I met him at a cafe. There had been intermittent phone conversations . I knew of him, had heard a few very fulsome commendations about him from people whose views i trusted implicitly. I had scoured his facebook profile trying to crystallize my preconception of his gayness , a preconception i felt hardening into conviction. Though whether this prefiguration was simply fancy or rooted in some nebulous intuition remains unclear .
He was handsome, had a stubble with patches of luxuriance . His discursiveness , manifesting in alternating layers of self awareness and rhetoric, prepossessed me. This meeting between us, an entirely friendly meeting planned in advance was uninformed by the undertow of a simmering eroticism. I felt oddly restful and responded with costive utterances mingled with thoughtful interludes. I had a cold and waited for the glass of iced tea to becomes less cool. Meanwhile i spooned up with a spindly spoon the remnants of cherry at the bottom of the glass and chewed ruminatively.
While the surface of our conversation peregrinated myriad realms of worldliness and wordiness i myself had only one thought. And that was to extract a candid admission of his gayness. In retrospect this seems intrusive, almost as though i wanted him to correspond to the blueprint i had already promulgated. I did not even circuitously dissimulate , trying to steer through scurrilous insinuation the confirmation i didn't know why i sought. Nor did i lace my questions with surreptitious intent to draw him out. The absence of sexual desire in me, and my mindful apprehending of it pleased me. Yet there was something invidious in my desperation.
When he became forthcoming and said he was gay i felt neither relief nor reprieve. Nor any malicious self satisfaction. Rather i felt empty because this moment, an anti climax in fact, underscored the fruitlessness of ratiocination. We met, a moment of self disclosure supervened , almost naturally, thereby impugning hours of prurient speculation with no amorous intent but an omnivorous desire for appropriation. Over the next six years our friendship deepened and his gayness receded as a predominant factor. By then he also became simultaneously clearer and indistinct in that i grew to love him for him rather than because he was gay.
When we parted that day he hugged me . And i wended homewards mortified that the indecision and inner agony i had undergone in accepting my queerness and projected on to him only revealed how queer life itself is and how the most assiduous calculation or indefatigable self analysis authenticates the protean course of any unknown friendship and the futility of assumption .