A hand-drawn picture of Scudder (as played by Rupert Graves in the 1980s film) – the fictional character in EM Forster’s ‘Maurice’. He is the younger working class lover with whom the protagonist, Maurice, ultimately falls in love and escapes – to build a new life. Source.
I shall write, I imagine, under a pseudonym. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. In the novella, the protagonist is a 30-something middle-class man who lives in a vast and impersonal city; London perhaps. Although trapped by his class – he is in a relationship with a younger, profoundly working-class man. And to put paid to that rising assumption that will inevitably follow – it won’t be about the physical relationship. That’s far too easy. That’s transactional. It exists – of course – and it’s important. But that’s not it.
It, instead, is a deep connectivity that transcends class boundaries. Being in that relationship feels, to all intents and purposes, like travelling in a foreign land. The compass to which one has clung for so long doesn’t work here. But the colours of this land burn brightly – exotic almost. And that powerful, deeper connection usurps all that is rational, that is conventional, that is known. This is special. Different.
When your own class is steadfast in its assumptions – and its judgements – one feels a kind of… ‘dislocation’ I suppose, into a kind of ‘no-man’s land’. To have stumbled headlong into a trench and to have found solace in the arm’s of ‘the other’. A connection formed of something deeper. More primal. Not just the ephemeral that comes from your own kind. An overwrought description perhaps. But we’re in uncharted territory.
I have always wanted to write a book – well, to write something beyond this blog. But I’ve never really known what to write about – until now.
Note that this is a significantly shortened, abridged post to the one originally penned and unpublished. My motto, perhaps, is that actually ‘less is more’. Vignettes and asides – rather than the detail – should be this blog’s raison d’etre.
We’d conversed for several weeks and I hadn’t though we’d necessarily end up meeting. On paper we don’t have a lot in common. He’s blue-collar, Eastern European and 10 years younger than me. Without wanting to sound prescriptive, I do normally look for a degree of parity in a potential life partner. That can of course be boring and I think that, over time, I’ve perhaps been too conventional.
But we met today. Tall and good looking – about 6ft2. There was an earthy warmth about him that I liked. ‘Unaffected’ men (by which I mean, those that aren’t slaves to fashion or society’s labels of how or what a gay man ought to be) – can be hard to find. He was such a person. This ‘motif’ is one that those who have known me the longest will recognise. I do not harbour an elicit homophobia but I genuinely think all people should behave the way that comes most naturally to them and, most importantly, be themselves. I don’t like people who feel a strong, powerful need to ‘play to type’. This doesn’t just apply to gay men – but everyone. The middle classes, religious groups, etc. People who adopt certain behaviours, traits, views and mannerisms – because they feel it’s ‘expected’. Doing so can make them more comfortable, reasserting their ‘otherness’ vis-a-vis other social groups. This is something I’ve never liked; I like genuine diversity and individuality, not a tribally cultivated persona.
We probably had one too many drinks. These things happen. I gave up smoking many years ago but his warm, sweet, slightly smokey breath on my neck was not unpleasant. And I liked his hands and how they felt in mine.
Of course, I am also in touch with Clive who I’ve mentioned in prior posts. I don’t think I consider myself to be dating multiple men. I’m just keeping options open. Clive is very different to the Hungarian László. Older than me, solid, professional job. I probably have a lot more in common with Clive. But I don’t know if the ‘spark’ is as strong.
Clive wants to see me again and so does László.
We’ll see what the future holds.
The guy I’ve been seeing from online dating is abroad with work.
But he’s been super supportive in light of my current setback. No need for me to go into excessive detail. But some of what he’s said via text message has just been really, really supportive. I can’t easily describe it. But there’s an empathy. When I compare that with how certain ex’s would have treated the situation there’s a marked difference.
When it comes to finding a life partner – I need someone who can support me and empathise and be there for me. It’s very early days. But I’m just saying. It means an awful lot.
For me – empathy and I guess solidarity is everything. It’s a form of unquestioning loyalty.
We met outside a tube station in the West End. He had a nice smile. Green eyes; salt and pepper hair. Good teeth and good skin (yes, I’m aware that I’m starting to sound like a horse breeder).
He was slightly stockier than I had imagined, but as he was my height (6ft) he didn’t look out of proportion. And I’ve never been overly fond of thin men.
We decamped to an independent coffee shop where we spent the next two hours talking. He was interesting – an interesting job that takes him away quite a lot, mostly to different countries in Europe. We found plenty to talk about.
He’s older than me, by about 4 years. Of course that doesn’t worry me. I thought of him as quite masculine but also quite sensitive. He felt – genuine. I have always known that I need a ‘foil’ to my own sometimes ‘highly strung’ personality. I need an anchor I guess.
So we’ll see. After two hours in the coffee shop (which went in a flash), we then went on for a bite to eat where we spent another hour.
As first dates go it was good. We’ve been in touch since, by text message. It’s much – much too early to say whether we’re destined to be ‘star-crossed lovers’. But we both seem to have a similar approach to meeting new people: friends first. If that one day turns into a relationship – great; but that’s not the singular motive. In a city this big, it’s not a bad approach to find friends first.
The guy that I’ve mentioned is a front-runner from my online dating escapades?
He came back to me this evening saying that he does want to meet up when I’m back from my holiday. For a moment I thought maybe I’d come on too strong (I really hadn’t, but you never know when suggesting that things are moved from the online space to the meeting-in-person space).
So I shall look forward to that. There is something about him… that I really like. But it’s ages since I met someone from online dating so I need to keep my expectations in check.
I work hard and play harder
Come on guys, it’s 2013. How can people still be spouting that kind of hideous cliched crap?
Was seen on the dating website I’m on. In other respects I liked his profile. But that. Ugh.
In all other respects – it’s going well. Front-runner I aim to meet when back from my holiday. Really like his messages.