Those of us who need alcohol or drugs to feel wholesome tend to unnaturally link our addictions to a feeling of ‘home’. Those of us who are gay experience what, in my oppinion, is the quintessentially gay quality: taking oneself far too seriously. In my opinion, straight men, in their belief that they are naturally prone to procreate are more ready than us to transfer the focus to their attention outside of themselves. It is in that very gay solipsism that narcissism always seems to be round the corner. Maybe that is why capitalism and being gay go so well together to the point of having transformed the gay man into the ideal (consuming) citizen. If one think that one is God’s main concern, one would only let the most exquisite perfume or soap touch one’s skin. There is a guy at the gym that cleans his dumbbells twice before he uses them. Inside his mind the value of his life must be inconmensurable so even a germ could start the Eighth Crusade.
As a recovering addict, I could say that one of our main characteristics is a very low tolerance to discomfort and pain. Addicts are used to get drunk or high at the first sign of discomfort. That is why recovery is tough. Not because one craves the drug but because one does not know how to deal with the hardships and toils of daily life. The truth is that I don’t crave the drug. To me stop using them was not a problem. The problem seems to appear when the precarious balance of life is threatened by an external force such as moving houses, for example. As Edith Wharton used to say, the balance is so delicate than even a whisper could shatter it.
That is why the recovering addict learns to identify certain symptoms as signals that precede danger. Mine has to do with a longing for home in the shape of my mom, my hometown or God. Art used to occupy that place too but not any more. It is as if art has lost its aura and I am going through my own private ‘Walter Benjamin’ revolution where an image is just an image. But, as we all know, an image is never just an image. I am saying this because the idea of home comes to my mind in images.
These days I am scared of changes. A few weeks ago I started obsessing again about my ex Krishna even though I am not sure I want to go back with him. The memories of him come to my mind like the trailer of a movie which bad parts have been edited by me and I play it over and over in my mind without calculating the consequences. So when my landlord decided to sell the property I was renting the first feeling that popped up in my mind was the memory of that ‘locus amoenus’ called Krishna. However, once I moved (to Holland Park), it took me a visit to Westfield Mall to forget about him. How did that happen? I think malls remind me of my hometown. Malls are not part of the London landscape but of the American and Argentine city. I don’t think it would be too bold to say that my Westfield Mall replaced art and Krishna as my obsessions. How crazy am I? Just a thought.