Joshua Weiss

November 1997

Milky Discharge of Opportunity

I don't get email anymore.

There was a time, of course, when this was normal, nobody I knew had an address, and therefore couldn't reach me. Then I made the horrific and utterly deplorable mistake of writing for Oasis. A mistake which, with this column, I rectify. (Note: this also marks the final submission of creative writing. It's a short story, I wrote it for an Advanced Composition class and it's very good, no matter what you think.) Suddenly I was a (semi-) star, getting mail from who knows where simply because I put a few things on a little computer screen, insignificant things, little words with no meaning. And people apparently loved me for it. Hooray. After all, didn't I like it? Didn't I want to be in the spotlight, to finally be recognized for something I can do well? Of course I did. Mistake number two. It's funny. I always thought of my July/August/September trilogy of columns to be sort of a "I've been writing for Oasis for less than a year. Should I be this jaded already?" query. Nobody got it, unfortunately. So it goes.

I never should have written that first April column.

Well, actually, if I hadn't, I never would have met the love of my life. Okay, so I'll give you the April column. But I should have stopped then. I should have realized that they were just empty words. A lot of them (July) even bordered on lies. Surprise! Yes, that's me, master of ambiguity and confusion.

Reading through the October issue, from which I abstained because I consider the month of October too... good... too holy to be contaminated with more lies, I realized that I no longer wished to write for the magazine. Running through the columns, I discovered that everyone was saying the same thing over and over again. There was good-old Paul Pellerito, the happy-go-lucky gay still extolling the virtues of PFLAG. I tuned that out within two months. Nothing against Paul, just that the PFLAG gibberish gets quite annoying and I secretly believe no one listens to it. As I write that I realize that it will most likely be edited out. Yet another reason that this is my final column. Silence me if you wish, it'll only prove my point.

Hmm, what else? While I'm on the subject of Oasis writers, I'd like to touch on the subject of Ty. There has been the question of whether he is who he says, truly a 13 (?) year old boy. And a nudist, to boot. Who has sex. A lot. Well, I wish to go on the record as saying that I don't know if he's who he says. I don't really care. He'll never speak to me, I'll never speak to him. The beauty of Oasis, right? All these queer youth being able to correspond with each other. Anyway.

Ty: If you're not lying and you really are all of those things you talk about in your column, then you'll make a great smutty autobiographer someday, maybe your life will be made into a tv-movie. If you are lying, you'll make a great smutty romance novelist someday, maybe one of your books will be made into a tv-movie. Either way, relax. You've got it made.

Hmmm. Who else. Nobody, really. Nobody else really stands out in my mind, other than the true writers who've graced the issues (Simon Thibault, I'm talking to you). Everybody just kind of gets lumped together in one big gay muck, like a talking blob, ranting about coming out and parents and movies and PFLAG and bad poetry and bad fiction and bad plays and the fact that the blob knows better than anyone else because the blob's been there, only it hasn't been there, it just likes to say it has because deep down inside the blob realizes that it's just the clockwork I talked about in July, it realizes it hasn't really felt, thought, or done anything. It's just sat there and complained. Or gone to a PFLAG meeting. For God's sake. We're youth. What has this magazine made us? What has the internet made us? We go through life clutching our modems and sucking our thumbs like Linus, thankful that, no matter how shitty the world gets, there are always people to talk to on Oasis who've been there, who've done that, who really care. Sure, if you're lucky. But most of them don't care. Just little cogs in the clockwork, waiting for every new month when they can sit down in front of their little computers and type their little hearts out so that nobody can care about what they've written. Great.

Well, not anymore. I'm through. Fend for yourselves, I'm gone. I have the only good thing borne out of my Oasis experience, and I'm running with him. I'd like to say I'm sad to leave, but that would be a lie. And though I am skillful at lying, now is not the time. So when are the rest of you going to stop pretending that you care? When are you going to stop pretending to know what the future holds? When are you going to accept the fact that you're all just dead?

For those rare few who actually care, you can reach me at sengir@ncn.net on my better days. On my worse days you can leave me alone. By the way. That god-awful picture of me at the top of this column is terrible. I'm really much cuter, just ask my boyfriend. And I am a junior in high school.

I'm bitter, I'm jaded, I'm tired of pretending, and I'm getting out. I wonder what would happen if everyone else did, too...

- Harrison Bergeron (and if you've read Kurt Vonnegut you understand)

[About the Author]

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