I had been at the house for a while now. I had my little life. It was the first time that I was truly on my own. I was exhausted and tired and confused. I had come to LA for companionship. I had come because I wanted sex, and now I was really angry. Where was my sex? Why hadn't I had sex yet? There were all these woman running around but I didn't seem to know how to get any. Was I awkward? Was there something wrong with me? I felt that there was. For some reason, I simply didn't see myself having sex. I wanted it, but there was something missing in the human connection department. I wanted pleasure, but I don't think that my mind saw it as a means to connect with other people. I was scared, and tired, and hiding deep inside, and I yearned most to know me. That was my true desire. I couldn't honestly say that I wanted to get to know another person.
There came this one Saturday night, and I had had it. I just needed to get out of my mind, and out of my house. I thought about the whole city and thought to myself, "there has got to be someone in this city that I could hang out with". I decided to park my car, and head to Ocean Avenue. There were some bars, and people walking around, I figured, if anything was going to happen, that would be a good place to start.
I walked into a drum shop. I had never done this before. It must have been about 8:00 at night and I started drumming on one of the drums. I was semi enjoying myself but looking back, I can tell that, inside, I was dying to have sex, or some kind of close connection with another person. I wanted to know that I was human. I needed to know that I was whole, that I was human , that I could get close to another person. I was aching to know that my body could be touched by another and have another touch it.
As my luck would have it. In came JC. he was a man I had met a couple years earlier. H was good looking and in the gym, he had once given me a very warm hug. I did not know it at the time, of the hug, but looking back, it was probably the kind of hug a gay man gives to another person he is interested in. I knew nothing of hugs, and gayness. I just knew that I really appreciated that hug. I remember it felt so good to be held that close. I needed it and I remembered it, but at the time, I knew nothing of what a person might do with a hug or where it could lead. I just knew that it felt good.
He and his definitely gay friend Patrick, had come into the store together. Somehow we all got to talking. I was excited by the conversation and had no idea where it may lead. I just knew that I had been distant from any kind of friendship that felt close and warm. I simply never had it and so I had no idea what I was missing. I had come to LA, and looking back, I had spent most of my energy just trying to survive, and make sense of the disaster that I had just been through. I knew that I was living in a beautiful place with all kinds of strange weird and different people. I knew that somehow, I fit in because I felt more relaxed being myself, but I surely did not know enough about myself to venture out and have a friend. Now, I was chatting with these two fellows and they invited me back to their home. That was exciting since, I don't think I had ever been invited anywhere (except for a shabbos meal or something.............or a bris, but then again, you're not supposed to be invited so does it count?)
As soon as I walked into their house, I had a really good feeling about being there. There where delicious tantalizing smells of oils and incense. The living room was a spacious and cozy area where people just did whatever, no furniture just lying down and relaxing kinds of spaces. Patrick was a masseuse. I didn't even know what that was at that time. I didn't even know that people were paid to massage other people's bodies. I surely didn't know that they were paid to do his kind of massage, which included a very unique event.
My head had been, was (and still is sometimes) in the clouds and then, it would take ropes of iron to bring it down to this planet and teach it some things about the way this world worked and didn't. I noticed that there was a lot of touch going on. As people just sat chatting and watching TV, they would touch each other, just gentle petting and soothing. I was amazed that this was considered normal. It seemed so natural to them. I felt so awkward and yet, I yearned for what they had. Why couldn't I do this too? I yearned to feel that comfortable with my body. It seemed like such a natural and real experience and right to be able and feel comfortable touching another's body. After all, I had hands and legs and I wanted to use them. Somehow, I knew intuitively that there was so much that could be told and shared through simple touch. I wanted to have that too, but somehow I knew that that destiny was not mine. I didn't know why and I wondered how it could be this way, but I knew that my body was not meant to touch and be touched. I had never had that experience and the distance made the possibility and impossibility. I had been so far from the world of touch that my mind, body, did not really know that it existed, but yearned for it with every fiber, somehow knowing that it was lacking something so raw and essential to being human.