Today I was the victim of Up In The Air, the Oscar-ambling flick about a rugged, lonely man (aptly played by a rugged, lonely actor) and his empty relationships. I didn't cry--I didn't know I was supposed to--but I left completely silent. Nothing to say. Nothing to think. My thoughts had been read by some screenwriter, probably living in Williamsburg or Seattle, a few years ago, plucked by some ambitious producer in Hollywood, adapted and cast with my friends and thrown on screen for all to see. The emptiness of daily life is something we mentally push aside, like bills on the dining room table, eventually buried with Crate & Barrel catalogs, grocery lists, our extra salt shaker and possibly even a placemat, just to make sure the Offending Article is hidden. That Which We Do Not Speak Of. But eventually my hollandaise needs a pinch of salt and my grinder is missing, or I need to set the table. And there it is. IMPORTANT, written in red. (It's likely Helvetica, and if the Offending Article didn't involve me having less of something it might even be kind of pretty, in it's perfect proportion and red-on-white design.)

Up In The Air is a bill left on the table. Life is tough, love is rare--exceptionally rare. I learned that from both a summer in Paris and the film Before Sunset. And today, walking out of the theater, I was on autopilot. Movements were slow, deliberate. And deliberation does not necessarily mean there is caution involved. Changing lanes becomes an arduous, "I hope there isn't anyone in the left lane going 80" kind of action, but made without thinking.

If love is life, lovelessness is numbness. I wish I had a better word than "numbness"--it's one of those that seems to be a mistaken combination of syllables--but it's the most appropriate.

Today I was also the victim of bank fraud. I checked my account this morning, one day before leaving for Miami, mind you, to find that my entire checking has been drained. The bank says there's a 90% chance I'll have the money back by morning, but it seems like such a slap in the face on December 30th, 2010. I am love(r)less, penniless, and a bit hopeless. Hopefully the superficiality of Miami will remind me why we Americans live--to eat, drink, and ogle on the beach.


The Semester

This Fall has been sobering. And not in the healthy way. Not in the, "I woke up today feeling fresh and sprinted six miles!" kind of way; no, in the "God, reality sucks." kind of way. And by "reality," I am referring to what our parents always referred to as The Real World. And this Real World doesn't contain Anderson Cooper's adorable ex-boyfriend.

Lesson 1: Dicks exist. There are people who make unjust decisions based on prejudice and, most frighteningly, for Fuck's Sake, and these people cannot be trusted and deserve no respect. I am actually referring to a very specific series of Fuck Dustin events that hit me in succession in late November and early December. Actually, revisiting them is a bit too harsh at the moment. Though, from now on I'll guard my asshole a bit better.

Lesson 2: You don't always get what you deserve. Ideas can be thrown away, work unacknowledged, and as someone who has happily received everything he ever wanted in life (plus more), this is like taking a sip of water and finding the sour bite of Vodka waiting for you beyond the rim. (It ain't Titos, either.)

Lesson 3: Love is entirely unpredictable. I worked with someone this Fall who was a genuine Flavor-Of-The-Week connoisseur, rummaging the dating world for whatever melted popsicle-of-a-man he could find. Oh, its Monday? That means ThirtyyearoldguyIworkwith must have a new boy. Oh, he thought he tasted like medicine? Back to the garbage can.

[I'm selling him a bit short. He did date one guy with an actual job, and two of them were mildly cute. But grape-flavored popsicles look good, too, until you look in the mirror and your mouth is dyed like you ate one of Lady Gaga's lavender wigs.]

Lesson 3 (continued): There was one man I wanted this semester. (And "wanted" is past tense because there was never any "getting.") He was much older (like, Daddy range--don't judge), but gorgeous, fluent in four languages, and the owner of a Chateau in the rural Loire Valley of France. I have always been into the...erm, ADULT type of man-- I wrongly fancy myself an old (er) soul--but never have I lusted after anyone this strongly. The fact that he never even REALIZED all of my awkward Hellos and How Are Yous (naturally, in my way-too-tight jeans) were an attempt at flirtation is the most upsetting part of the whole story. I just don't have the personal radar. One second I meet a straight man, three seconds later he tells me I'm "charming" and slips me a note with his number and "lets hook up soon." But give me six months, a toned ass and close proximity and I STILL can't get a man's attention.

But why is love unpredictable? (I use the word "love" loosely here) Because, all my time spent on this French-speaking, tanned and rugged Da Vinci of a man left me with nothing; but the entire time, a slightly younger man, yet with all the power and possibly a bit more in his pockets, wanted to, and I quote, "pin me up against a wall." And he did, in due time. But, like lesson number 2, don't I deserve the man I want? The man who is, by all accounts, LESS good-looking and OLDER than the man who actually wants me?!

And that leaves me here. Back at home, playing videogames and reading a biography of Alexander the Great. (My second-favorite gay of all time.) I feel pretty empty. Pretty unsuccessful. And I hope the next year brings something better. To end a year where I excelled at school, had three life-changing internships, spent six weeks in Paris, and lived out a few romantic fantasies in such cloudiness is the real tragedy of this situation. Like winning a marathon but finding the finish line to be two PVC pipes and fishing wire.