Inspired by a project at work, I’ve been re-reading some of my old journals for the past couple of nights. It’s the first time I’ve really dragged them out in ten or twelve years, and so far I’ve gone through 1980 and 1985. Strangely enough, I like 1980 a little better. Of course, I was a sixteen-year-old idiot in 1980, and I said and did incredibly stupid things (that was the single year of my “drug phase”), but at least it reads as relatively genuine in retrospect.
The 1985 stuff, though, is excruciating. It reads like the ramblings of a boy-crazed teenage girl, but with an alcohol kicker to make it ten times as annoying. What a miserable, self-absorbed little wanker of a barfly I must have seemed to anyone who got near me. It’s really quite painful stuff to read; I go for months and months without writing a single sentence about anything of lasting significance (not that this site is much better lately). And now, I can’t even dredge up the faintest memory of many of those boys and places and events that seemed so incredibly fucking important at the time–although I imagine I remember more of them than many of my peers do, maybe because of the journals.
That said, I don’t think my experience was all that unusual among homos. Since many of us don’t get to experience a proper puberty at the appropriate time, much of my generation, at least, had a tendency to make up for lost time as soon as we hit that whole bar-infested social scene: the “fashion” thing, the “can you find out if he likes me?” thing, etc. Maybe it’s a necessary stage for some of us. But it’s annoying as hell to watch (or to read about and remember).
I sometimes think that a lot of my later life, from my misanthropy to my still occasionally raging homophobia was in many ways a big reaction to this period in my life. Either way, I’m more glad than ever that I’m no longer twenty-one.