cul de sac

June 7, 2005

A necessary consequence of my being a homosexual is that I feel too old for my age. At ninteteen I feel as if I’ve lived through life twice, and I seize every opportunity to reminisce on a not-yet past. For me, there is no biological escape. I shall have no children to whom I may pass on my genes; I do not live life as if I were one day to have someone else to live it for, or to live it with. Those who have no such bright and beautiful future must needs wallow in nostalgia, for what else may they, may we, turn to if we cannot turn to the future except to the past?

That is why conscription has hit me so hard. I look at files upon files of documentation: this person moved this item there in the year 1999, and I begin counting on my fingers exactly how long that has been, and wonder how many generations of drudgery have passed through the walls which surround me like a despised cage. I imagine a future where two years of my life is reduced to nothing but a mere signature proving that I did my work and documented it properly. Will people wonder, as I do to my predecessors, who I am? Will they think up a story for me? Will they know the tears and the fears that will have been shed and fed over the two years that I spend utterly trapped? Two years, two years! If I survive until forty, that is five percent of my life.

That day I silently grieved when I heard a Backstreet Boys song: I must have been mad to have ever like them, in primary six. How long it has it been? Six years, slightly more. That is three times my conscription liability. How many soldiers must have heard it over the radio then? In six years, will others look back on Mariah Carey’s emancipation and think: god, how could anyone like that?

I am afraid, yes: deathly afraid of not leaving a mark. Those who cannot live on in their offspring must live on by other means: build a pyramid, construct a symphony, write a book, make a film: the greatest creators of time have been homosexual, is this why? For the circularity of a mind bent singularly on the present and the past finds other ways of living on into the future.

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