I’m writing this as I’m desalinating from spending the day at the Dead Sea. For years I’ve hear of this wondrous place where one’s body becomes a floatation device.
At first when I arrived I thought I’d get a friend’s cousin in Tel Aviv to be my guide. As it turns out I’m having a Tel Aviv fling over the course of this month. Nothing serious, like planning a long distance relationship. I’m pretty sure as much fun as it is, the expiry date will be the moment I board the plane. Nonetheless, it is quite nice. It has been well over a year and a half since I’ve actually spent the night with someone. Twice in one week is a miracle, and very nice.
We met because of a profile on the local gay site. He’s the only one so far I’m met. But over 70 messages later, I’ve been deprogramming myself from the old negative message track in my head, that is: I’m getting old, I’m not in shape like I used to be, I don’t have much to offer.
In Toronto the stand-up schedule does mean that time to meet guys is limited, let alone have anything sustainable. Also I tend to go from 0 to 60 to co-dependency mode in about three seconds. Even here, what I tell myself is go be independent and plan out what I want to do, and figure out where this other stuff can fit in. If not I turn into this big needy blob. But at least I can recognize it, which is why I have my next four or five days all planned up.
Weirdly though, the morning after spending the night together, I felt sad. Maybe because I know this is just a fleeting moment in my journey. Perhaps it’s a reflex from all those “paid” overnights. I started to wonder, “Have I become one of those guys who used to arrange nights with me due to the big gaping hole of intimacy in my life”. A Chihuahua, after all, can only do so much.
I did tell him I’m positive after hanging out a bit. I’ve since learned that this is something not many guys do here. But I had to. I’m just a Google away from him finding out anyway. Besides I can’t relax and feel authentic if I’m hiding something.
It was not a problem. Even when he asked whether doing such and such thing is safe, he was so cute and sweet about it.
Tonight I’m meeting with pretty much the biggest and most long term activist in Tel Aviv. Surprisingly enough, up only until now, he’s been the only public out positive person in Israel. There is a lot of work to do. He tells me that they have about six guys who are going public, which is great. A little context in which I disclosed.
My fling and I met up yesterday early and drove to the Dead Sea to his special spot. Not only did my dream of floating in the Dead Sea come true, I was doing it in the arms of a guy I really liked. It was this rare romantic moment. And then I blew him in one of the hot springs, just before a bunch of Haredim (Ultra Orthadox) men came down. This was the one time I was happy that they made the girls stay away at the top of the hill as we were butt naked floating in the water.
I panicked a little. I thought, “Please don’t bring the girls down!” Once I realized they weren’t coming down I was OK. I hear stories about the ultra-religious freaking out about stuff and wondered if our gayness was going to evoke a rant or something. It became clear everything was OK, though.
My camera got a bit mucked up so my photos (above right) aren’t too clear.
I’m off to a Storytelling Slam tonight about food, something about which Israelis are passionate. Then tomorrow night I’m going to attend the Tel Aviv’s gay men’s choir called Gayzmers.
On Friday I’m working out the details to head over to Jerusalem to meet a couple I know from Toronto who are studying here. Once a month there is a very musical and joyous Kabbalat Shabbat (the welcoming in of Shabbat). It is supposed to be very cool, and it’s looking like it will pan out.