When I am lonely for boys it’s their bodies I miss. I study their hands lifting the cigarettes in the darkness of the movie theaters, the slope of a shoulder, the angle of a hip. Looking at them sideways, I examine them in different lights. My love for them is visual: that is the part of them I would like to possess. Don’t move, I think. Stay like that. Let me have that. What power they have over me is held through the eyes, and when I’m tired of them it’s an exhaustion partly physical, but also partly visual.
Only some of this has to do with sex; although some of it does. Some of the boys have cars, but others do not, and with them I go on buses, on streetcars, on the newly opened Toronto subway that is clean and uneventful and looks like a long pastel-tiled bathroom. These boys walk me home, we walk the long way around. The air smells of lilac or mown grass or burning leaves, depending on the season. We walk over the new cement footbridge, with the willow trees arching overhead, the sound of running water from the creek beneath. We stand in the dim light coming from the lampposts on the bridge and lean back against the railing, their arms around me and mine around them. We lift each others clothing, run our hands over each others backbones, and I feel the backbone tensed and strung to breaking. I feel the length of the whole body, I touch the face, amazed. The faces of the boys change so much, they soften, open up, they ache. The body is pure energy, solidified light."
I’ve been thinking a lot about what people deserve from other people, like, whether they deserve to know if you have feelings for them, or if you’ve been friends for years, whether they deserve to be the one you go to when you need to talk to someone, or whether they deserve to know what your home life is like, or whether they deserve to know how fucked up you really are.
We have this notion that, at some point, people earn access to these parts of us. But at what point? At what point do we feel like we owe them? This kind of thought process has always troubled me because I’m naturally a very private person, and sometimes I don’t feel like I owe anybody anything. If I choose them, I choose them because I want to, not because they deserve to be chosen.
I think at some point we need to stop expecting people to give pieces of themselves. Those precious pieces may be all they have left, they may be the bones holding them together. And you are not entitled to that, not one bit. You only deserve what you’re given."