the boys of salisbury

the other day i hid my personals profile. i still go look, but i don’t show myself. i realized that i don’t have the mental energy or the time to invest in a new person. i can’t even keep up with my current friends.

i suppose that’s no different from a year and a half ago when i first re-entered the personals scene, but now i don’t feel like making time for boys at the expense of other things.

but, as i said, i still go look. the other day i thought to myself, “this is my porn.”

i was talking about porn with a friend recently. i’d decided that i must not understand it very well, because the announcement that a company is now going to start delivering porn to mobile phones is quite baffling for me. i have no doubt that there’s a market for it, but what would you do with that? am i hopelessly naive? would it really be that great to look at naked people while you’re out in public, or to be able to carry them with one wherever one went?

but i find it entertaining to look at pictures of guys’ faces. you never see their bodies, really, so this isn’t porn in the sense that we usually think of it, ie, images for the purpose of sexual titallation. and of course, i am also curious about them as people. i guess it’s like what dreadlocks boy said to me once about his interest in the show “blind date”. he said something to the effect that it was sort of like having a lot of dates with a lot of different kinds of people, so it sort of expanded his dating range. looking at these pictures is like being around a lot of boys, but only in this very undemanding (and of course unfulfilling) way.

he and i had quite the conversations once upon a time, we did. the things he made me think about! it was pretty intense and yet… i never stopped being curious about him. i never felt like i really understood him. i liked him a lot, in fact i still do, but he was elusive in a very subtle way.

when we first started corresponding, he invited me to look at his web page and go exploring amongst his links. so i did. off his friend rob’s page, i found the board. the board is a web page where he and his friends from childhood– from salisbury– post little messages to each other. it’s how they stay in touch.

at first i read the board because i was very curious about _him._ it felt like stalking and i felt guilty, yet compelled. then it became fascinating in and of itself. like a mild little soap opera, i became interested in these people and their lives. i tried to fill in the gaps, the things they didn’t say out there where anyone could find them, or things said when they’d see each other in person. the board wasn’t for anyone but them so there was no mission statement, no “about” page. it was left to the reader to fill all of that in, like finding a bundle of letters written by people now dead.

now my friendship with dreadlocks boy has gotten kind of strange. we went on one date, and either i blew it somehow, or he wasn’t that into me, or it was all just a big misunderstanding, or we both screwed it up together, but however it happened, there was no second date, and it was never discussed.

when i got the westy, he said, “you’ll have to come to everybus”. he goes to everybus every year. he makes the t-shirts, actually. i wonder if he would really want to run into me there or if it would just be hopelessly weird?

but we continued to correspond. i stopped late last year, around christmas, but started again when i got the westy. he had a lot to do with my appreciation for vw camper vans. i just had to tell him about the westy.

at christmas i thought about trying to explain to him how i feel about him. it’s complicated. while i’ve long since accepted that nothing’s probably ever going to happen between him and i, still i think he’s great, and i think sometimes he doesn’t know that, or needs to hear it. but i couldn’t think of any way to say this to him while at the same time saying, “i’m not trying to get into your pants by saying this.”

when i look back on the trip i took to seattle, right before our date… when i re-read those mails, which i just did. well. the things he was saying to me! he made me think very seriously about Big Stuff, like kids, religion, marriage. i was sitting in a swanky hotel room in seattle, alone, giving serious thought for pretty much the first time in my life to the idea of having a kid, and whether i would want to. i still can’t really tell you the answer to that.

but we had our one date when i got back and then… just kept writing.


i was looking at ‘my porn’ the other day– the personals. i was looking through those same ads, the same guys over and over. most of them dull. most of them just put me to sleep.

i passed by one that i’d passed by a few times before.

and then i realized that it’s the guy who runs the board– rob. a friend about whom dreadlocks boy had once said to me, “i’ll have to introduce you to my friend sometime, he loves macs…” etc.

a part of me is curious about this guy in and of himself. he’s got this extra depth for me because i’ve been reading about his life for the last year. part of me is curious to meet one of these people who dreadlocks boy grew up with.

but my god, how weird would it be if i contacted him? and pretended i didn’t know who he was, through this very strange roundabout way? or came clean right at first, pleading him not to think i’m a stalker, a crazy bunny boiler?

and then i tried to look at his ad more objectively and i thought… “he doesn’t do anything for me, really.” i wouldn’t want to answer his ad, anyway.