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Dal Long

May 1997

"Midnight Ramblings"

Ciao, Mie Amici!

Let me start this column with an apology. I've written three very long essays this weekend, so this column might possibly have a touch of the incoherent. It's near the end of the semester and I have seven papers due in the next three weeks. Three down, four to go, and my neck went permanently stiff sometime around the second paper. (Someone remind me why on earth I want to apply to grad school?)

So here I am, sitting at the computer once again, plunking keys, and trying to give a blank screen some meaningful words. My body's beyond protesting.

I'm listening to U2's new album POP. It's the first actual rock album I've purchased in a very long time. One of my friends told me he's taking me to the upcoming concert, so I felt obliged to buy this album. It's not bad. I don't listen to much rock anymore. I prefer folk and world music -- Celtic, Middle Eastern, Cajun, all that stuff. So wasn't I pleasantly surprised to hear the beautiful, mournful wailing of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares faintly scoring the background of "Wake Up Dead Man?" Ah, Bono -- bringing the world of Eastern Europe to the masses of MTV. And yes, Paul, there is someone out there who is familiar with Wolfstone. Are there any other fans out there?

Good Lord, I think my desk just shifted slightly with that last blast of thunder. I wonder if I should turn this computer off and wait out the storm? Nah. If I'm electrocuted, I won't have to write those four remaining papers.

Okay, here's some actual, somewhat meaningful thoughts as a reward for reading this far into my otherwise pointless column...

One of my classmates turned me down today when I asked her for a date. And this started me thinking. Why haven't I tried to date a guy yet? I'm bisexual, I've suspected that for years. So why haven't I yet explored the option of dating men? Is it shyness or fear? Both are correct answers, I think, but mostly fear. I've done a wonderful job of ignoring "the other half" of my sexuality up until this past year. At least now I can admit to myself that I like men too. This is all very new to me, and I feel kind of weird of telling it to myself. But it sounds nice too. And reading and writing for Oasis helps immeasurably.

I've made a lot of excuses for myself for not attempting to date men: I'm too busy, my family would disown me, my friends aren't ready to deal with it, my town's too small and conservative, I don't know any nice gay or even curious guys, no place to meet them. Lately, I've been thinking about that last excuse. The other excuses I'm not able to change or I'm not ready to change, but not having a place to meet guys is a serious obstacle. There's no real club for gays at my school. The school relented this year to pressure from one activist and allowed a GLBTS club form on campus. But guess what? The school told him the only free room available was at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays. This is essentially a commuter school. The hallways are empty at 3 in the afternoon, so who in the hell is going to be here at 10 p.m.? Discrimination within the letter of the law is what I think.

Actually, getting to know other gay and bisexual guys is a problem. (There seem to be far more lesbians at my school.) I know a total of three guys at school who are openly gay. I dislike all three intensely. Two are outrageously campy -- one could have given Nathan Lane lessons in "The Birdcage" -- and the other is a creepy gay activist. No, activist is not the right word. "Fucking terrorist" is more appropriate. I discovered there is a PFLAG chapter located a few towns away, but it would be too difficult to find a way there without a car. What exactly goes on at PFLAG meetings anyway?

I suspect one of my friends might be gay. He's 21, never shown much interest in girls at all except to party with, never dated anyone more than twice, never kissed anyone. And I tried that "look into their eyes" trick somebody wrote about a few months back. He held my gaze with no apparent difficulty. But what does that actually tell me? Not a hell of a lot. I could be very interested in this friend if I knew for certain. But he's also quite conservative in his politics and devoutly Catholic. He'd be mortified if I asked him outright. Ah, what to do, what to do? I'm afraid the answer for now is "nothing." I know myself. The answer is always nothing. I'll just sit back and quietly speculate until I'm fifty-eight years old and slowly dying of emphysema.

Okay, enough of POP. Let's listen to Deana Carter now. "If This is Love", what a beautiful song. Ahhh, the refreshing twang of country & western. (Shut up, Steve. I know my redneck bashing is two-faced. So what if my own redneck heritage creeps out on occasion! It's always safely in the privacy of my own room.)

Uggh, I'm on the verge of exhaustion now. My hands are crippling into painful old woman claws. See you next month. Ooh, it will be blissful summer then. I'm quivering with anticipation. No more research assignments! Please e-mail me, of course. I'll try my best to reply quickly!


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