I’m proud of myself.
I was worried about this week’s weigh-in. I spent a lot of last week in Dublin, staying in hotels and working and not able to count calories as exactly as I can when I’m eating at home, so I was amazed and delighted to find that I had lost another two pounds. That’s three weeks of weightloss in a row. And I’ve tracked my calories every day and I’ve never once found it particularly hard and this is the best I’ve felt about myself in a long, long time. I already feel smaller. I’ve now lost one stone, down from 26 stone 10 to 25 stone 10. Only another fourteen stone to go!
I was in Dublin again this weekend for work, and was staying in a hotel on expenses, which is lovely. I deliberately chose a hotel, rather than staying with a friend, because I was having a man over. He first contacted me over a month ago on one of the many websites I’m a member of and he immediately caught my interest. He was thin, toned and hot. We chatted a little online and last week we shifted communications from the website to What’s App. If you’re what’s apping someone, you know it’s real. We arranged to meet on Friday evening for fun. He changed his shifts around to be sure to meet me when I was free.
He what’s apped me around noon on Friday to say he was already in town and only ten minutes away from my hotel. I panicked. I didn’t feel ready. Meeting men is just too hard. I cancelled on him and arranged to meet a friend for dinner.
I panicked for a number of reasons. This man’s profile online reads as follows: “I’m 22 and want to meet guys with minimum waist size 44 to 60 that weigh from 22 to 45stone or even more. Chat soon…” This kind of profile should delight me. I’m totally his type. And yet, all I think is “what a pervert”. I can’t stop feeling threatened, I feel like someone with that kind of perversion is probably a serial killer and he’ll make me strip in my hotel room and then he’ll take a knife and hack off my man boobs and my belly apron and my thigh fat while laughing and then watch me bleed to death. Or maybe he isn’t a pervert. Maybe he isn’t attracted to fat men at all. Maybe he’s straight. Maybe it’s all a pretence and then when vulnerable fat gays meet him, he beats them up and robs them, or maybe even blackmails them. Anything could happen. It’s not nice being a fetish. I am niche pornography, and sometimes I just wish I could be a visiting tradesman or a drunk fratboy or some other kind of normal porn.
On top of my fear of anyone who is weird enough to be attracted to someone who looks like me, I also just feel like I can’t cope with sex. It’s sore and you have to practise and prepare because boys don’t fit up there easily. And I’ve already had sex this year, and last year, and surely once a year is enough. Though that’s not to say that there isn’t an itch that I desperately need to scratch sometimes, I guess I’m just used to not having it scratched very often.
And it’s not even as if I’d like to be slowly wooed before doing all the sex stuff, because meeting for a coffee or a drink would be even scarier than inviting someone to my room. Because that would be putting my personality to the test and that would be horrendous. And I don’t really want to date anyone. I know that you’re not meant to say that, but the idea of having a boyfriend kind of squicks me out. I don’t want someone to know that much about me. And being around someone that often seems so boring and oppressive. I leave Dublin after a day’s work to drive home to Longford and my whole self relaxes that I get to be alone again. And since I moved here, I’ve frequently gone five or six days a week without talking to anyone at all, other than to thank shop assistants and my once-a-week phonecall from my mother, and it’s been glorious. And I worry that I’ll turn into a recluse, not to mention a spinster, because I can’t cope with not being alone. (I still fantasise about a wedding, but marriage seems absolutely dreadful – sharing a toilet for life? Ugh. That’s what prisoners do.)
Today is National Coming Out day. It’s over three years since I came out to my parents. It’s 18 years since I told my supervisor in Paddy Garibaldi’s restaurant that i was gay (the first person I told outside of the Sacrament of Confession) and yet I still feel like I’m not really gay yet. I’m not really gay in sexual or romantic terms. Because once a year doesn’t count. And I don’t feel gay socially. Today Ireland were playing rugby against France and soccer against Poland and the whole country went sports mad for the day and I felt a tightness in my chest as a result. No one ever attacks me for not liking sports, but when Ireland are playing a big match I feel under attack. I feel like an inadequate man, like I’m not good enough. No one is being homophobic towards me except myself. But I do hate myself more on days of big matches.
As anyone who’s been reading the blog for any length of time will know, I bought a One Direction bracelet in 2012 after my 8K run and I wear it every day. Or I wore it every day. I took it off when I got home from Vietnam and spent six weeks in my parents’ house. Because I’m not really gay at home. I’ve never put it back on. And I have lots of silly jewellery and pieces of clothing that I just don’t wear any more, because being visibly gay is just too scary. And I feel myself consciously trying to butch up every time I speak to anyone over the age of forty, or to almost any man I encounter. So not only am I not very gay in the sexual sense or in the romantic sense, I don’t feel safe enough to be gay in the social or cultural sense. And I haven’t felt safe being gay since I left Hall. All of this would be a lot easier if I was 10 years younger. I was in a taxi yesterday in Dublin and the driver started talking about how “the Gays” had tried to ruin the Southside of the city and I agreed, because I was to afraid to disagree. I wonder if I’ll ever be brave enough to be a real gay. In all the ways I want to be.