09 November · 20:00 - 22:00
Thaba Ya Batswana
46 Impala Road, Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve
Tswana Kraal at Thaba Ya Batswana
- see map here: http://www.footprint.co.za
R100 per person
Tickets available from aleXander Steyn
More Artists To be Announced
Sunday 16 October 2011
“So tell me, why are you single?” I pause. The image of this ingrained in my mind while I'm staring at it on BlackBerry Messenger. Anyone accustomed to the concept of jamais vu would know instinctively that words on a screen can be as meaningless as its encoded semantic presentation.
The sender of this loaded question is a very good-looking young professional. Well, by young I am of course referring to my age of reference. Being in the winter of your twenties renders an early thirty-something as sorta young. Beggars can't be choosers, right?
I wonder why anyone would ask such a seemingly trite question. I would never ask someone that. At the base it is underscored by a host of presuppositions. Call me a militant homosexual activist (wait, I've already been called that by the Levitican Lobby) but several very flawed assumptions and societal constructs create a loaded question rendered almost impossible to answer other than to indict yourself with some social stigma and pariah status. So, no, I do not do things because "one has to" or because "society expects it" -- I rebuke such notions like the militant feminist I was recently called. I sample such concepts like hors d'oeuvres, and I eat such questions for dessert.
So I ask him, “what do you mean with that question”, not even pretending to be flabbergasted. He retorts: you are young, you are good-looking, you are successful and accomplished at your job and a visible and seemingly successful activist (I won't own up to all of that though). So I reply with a simple “flattery will get you everywhere”. He laughs. Emoticons aplenty.
I did not know that being seemingly accomplished afforded one perpetual marital bliss though. Had I known that I would have strung them in by now. I tell him that I've had mostly fleeting and meaningless relationships and that in the gay community a life of a relationship is measured in something akin to dog years. He thinks I'm pretty humourous by now. All I've been was dead honest.
Immediately I think of Bridget Jones' Diary (the movie) and how Bridget shyly (and wryly) says that singletons are covered in scales. Also immediately the image of the angstful dream of being mauled by Alsatians comes to mind. Mind you, I recently had to protect myself against escaped suburban dogs while jogging at night. The eaten-by-Alsatians theme seems universal. Lest I break out in All By Myself by Celine Dion and diarise how much I drink and smoke (none of each) and how much I weigh (godforbid) I shall end this juxtaposition right here.
I have seen the cutest couples on Facebook, and despite the notion that gay relationships are as fleeting as the life of a housefly there's evidence that many relationships do not conform to this stereotype. My (maternal) uncle and his partner have been together for 25 years more or less, ever since I could remember. So I tell myself that there's hope. It is not always easy to harbour such a positive view on the subject as I normally revert to my sardonic jadedness. I am very happy in my own skin for all those who are wondering. I don't need another half because I believe that 1 and 1 makes 2.
Back to the good-looking young professional. In the meantime I learn that he is in a relationship (he didn't think it necessary to tell me). His relationship is as dysfunctional as it probably gets (and I am grilled on why I am single, pot kettle black...) And that he's kind of desperate and in a very miserable state of mind. If this is how the average relationship looks I'm quite content sans the heartache. I eventually wean myself from him but that loaded question mulls in my mind.
I keep on wondering what it is that makes me less than relationship material. Is it because I can relate to most of Sarah Britten's writings? Apparently gay men ought not relate to the writings of honest and accomplished contemporary women. Apparently I think too much and do too little. Apparently most men are sex obsessed to the point where I couldn't hide my incredulity anymore. “Say what, you do it how many times a week? You must be kidding me!”
Of course I too went through a rather promiscuous phase. I gathered a lot from that. I thought chasing after one meaningless fling to another that I would somehow find love. I didn't. All I found was a lonely emptiness and an equally empty gratification.
I might for all intents and purposes not be relationship material after all. I have too much baggage, a mind too free to be tied down. I might be too comfortable in my own skin and I might be too cynical and obstinate.
As I'm nearing 30 (shock, horror) it slowly dawns on me that I would probably get asked this question more frequently in future. In my defence, I could always be the love-interest-to-be one step ahead and ask the question before I get asked. Then again, I am not a little fuckwit drowned in inane assumptions but desperate times call for desperate measures. Jamais vu might as well turn into déjà vu. “So pray tell, why are you single?”