Too Much

Do you ever feel like you’re just too much?

Do you ever feel that you have problems that won’t be solved in your lifetime?

Do you ever feel that everyone’s holding you at a distance with a ten-foot pole?

Do you ever feel that you have to be quiet so people won’t leave you?

I did.

Which is why I was downtown. I was at RBC in Deep Ellum when my girlfriend told me I was too much.

I tried really hard to not be too much, but I guess the veneer I had put up had been straining and had ripped a little bit.

Maybe more than a little bit.

I ran down Commerce street.

I ran because I had punched the guy who liked her that she always seemed happy to talk to. Well, not just punched. I wailed on him. There was blood.

I have always had trouble with anger. But that was only because everyone had trouble with me. I couldn’t say or do the right thing. I coped by not saying or doing much.

It could have been my upbringing, I guess. We were really different. Ate vegan. Had no television.

Always felt different.

Are there psychiatric reasons?

There are, according to the orange cannisters on my nightstand.

For whatever reason, nature or nurture, I had just lost my girlfriend and all my friends.

I don’t know why I was running. It wasn’t like the cops were going to come. My friends didn’t like the cops. At least they pretended not to. ACAB and so forth. I was running because it felt good. I always loved to run eighty pounds ago.

I thought it would be good to go into a building. To hide? To get to the top of to jump off?

Why not?

I was in front of a tall building with an awning and a poor man’s red carpet in front. I ducked in.

I thought I would just walk quickly through the building like I had a purpose. If anyone approached me I would just act busy and annoyed like George Constanza in that one episode of Seinfeld

I thought that I would definitely not be disturbed, but instead:

“Welcome to the Gay Hotel,” said an effusively smiling man in a bell-hop’s uniform.

“Huh?” I said.

“Welcome to the Gay Hotel!” said the man. “The Gay Hotel where everyone is gay all the time!”

“Um, sorry,” I said. “I guess I went into the wrong building.”

“Are you sure you won’t stay?” said the man. “You get two free nights with free room-service and we have satellite TV!”

This made me stop. Maybe this was just what I needed after a bad night. “Okay, sure!” I said. “I’ll stay in your gay hotel.”

“Okay, sir,” said the bell-hop. “Let me get your bags. Is your car outside?”

“No car, no bags,” I said. My girlfriend had driven me.

“Well then,” he said, smiling. “I’ll take you to your room.”

In the elevator, as we were going up, he asked, “are you gay, sir?”

“Well, uh, no,” I said.

“Well, you will be soon,” he said, smiling.

“What?” I said.

“Everyone is gay at the Gay Hotel,” said the bell hop. “Long ago, an Indian medicine man blessed this site so that everyone who crossed its plane became homosexual.”

“I see,” I said. I didn’t put much stock in what this guy was saying. I didn’t feel gay. I didn’t want to suck a guy’s dick. Or for a guy to suck my dick.

When I entered my room I was surprised. It was not the Ritz, but it was nice. Better than a Marriot. Pretty good for a free night.

“Please feel free to call room-service. I recommend the sweet potato pie a la mode,” the bell hop said. 

“Cool,” I said, parking my butt on the bed.

“Our blow-job expert will be by in an hour,” he said. “He needs an hour to prepare.”

“Blow-job expert?” I exclaimed.

“It’s a niche profession, but he is one of the best. Our straight guests seem to like his work more than the gay ones, actually. You’ll have a good time. Goodnight, sir.”

He left before I could protest. I thought about calling room-service to cancel the blow-job appointment, but then I looked at the TV. I had not watched TV-TV in a long time. I only had a Roku in my apartment. I grabbed the remote sitting on top of it and turned it on.

To my delight, it was That 70s Show.

“Burn!” said Ashton Kutcher, inciting laughter from the studio audience.

I was happy to watch That 70s Show. At the time, it was not available on streaming platforms. I watched it for the next hour.

After the first episode of the marathon, I started to find Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Wilmer Valderama and Topher Grace very attractive. I wanted to put my head on their shoulders. I wanted to lick their nipples. Apart from these new desires and feelings, I was reminded of the appeal of That 70s Show. The bond between characters, a bond I had not had when I was in high school. It made the audience enjoy a facsimile of this bond that most of them probably never had. Even in the music scene, with all the security and belonging a “scene” brings, it seemed that everyone was trying to out-hipster each other. I liked all the same things as them, but the only reason they tolerated me seemed to be my girlfriend, the girlfriend I was too much for.

I heard a knock at the door. “Fellatio,” said the voice on the other side.

“Come in!” I said. I was now a lot more enthusiastic about my promised blow-job.

The man came in. He was about five-foot-four, had gray hair, and pointy-seeming ears. He smiled warmly at me.

“So,” he said. “Have you ever received fellatio from a fellatist?”

“No,” I said.

“Well, generally, the procedure requires that you remove your jeans and underwear and lay back on the bed. Would you like a plug?”

“A plug?” I said.

“An anal plug,” he said. “It enhances the experience.”

As he was talking to me, he got water from the bathroom, filling a small electric kettle. He plugged it in and set it down next to the TV..

“This is for after,” he said. “Now, sir I advise that you lay back.”

What followed was an almost perfect experience, the small lack of perfection being that I came too fast.

The “fellatist” went to the bathroom and spat, before coming back to me. I was sitting up.

“Lay back down, sir,” he said. He took the kettle to the bathroom and re-emerged with a towel inside a basin. He then proceeded to wash my privates with the hot towel. The feeling was almost as great as the blow-job.

Finally, as the towel became lukewarm, the man stood up. “Alright, sir,” he said. “Will you be here another night?”

“Yes, yes,” I said, nodding vigorously.

“Good then,” he said, winding the cord around the electric kettle. I’ll pencil you in…how does 9 PM sound?”

“That would be fine,” I said.

“Alright,” said the fellatist. “I will see you then. Sweet dreams.” He made to leave the room,

“Wait!” I said. “Can you stay and maybe talk with me?”

The man looked at me and then checked a smartphone in his pocket. “I have a little time,” he said.

He smiled and sat down in a chair that was cattycorner to the bed.

 “What is it you want to talk about?” he said.

“Do you ever feel like you’re just too much?” I said. “Do you ever feel like you have problems that won’t be solved in your lifetime? Do you ever feel that everyone is holding you at a distance with a ten-foot pole? Do you ever feel that you have to be quiet so that people won’t leave you?”

The fellatist paused. He took a deep breath in and nodded, mulling over the questions I had asked him.

“I have felt like that,” he said. “For a lot of my life, actually.”

“But you don’t feel like that now?” I said.

“No,” he said.

“What changed?” I said.

“Well,” he said. “I guess I stopped fighting it.”

“But you said you don’t feel like that anymore,” I said.

“Yeah,” he said.

“That doesn’t make sense,” I said.

He sighed. “People are driven by romantic love,” he said. “It wants us to go after the people everybody finds attractive at first, and then the most attractive person we have a realistic shot with, and as we gain a better estimation of ourselves, the attraction becomes more refined and our compass of attraction points in new directions. The whole thing is very competitive. And some of us find ourselves in a position where no one wants us or is receptive to our advances. I was one of those people. Now, as those kinds of people, we have a choice. We can keep pursuing romantic love with the attitude that we are more attractive than the most eligible mates and that nature is wrong, which actually works sometimes in a limited capacity, or we can occupy our time with other activities. I was of the former persuasion. I thought that the people who were still in pursuit of ideal romantic love owed love to me. I was miserable and took their avoidance of me personally when it had nothing to do with their character and everything to do with nature. There was one night where I got in a fight with a boyfriend because he slept with another one of our friends. I didn’t do anything to him, but I smashed up his apartment and spent the night in jail and the next two weeks in a psych ward. That was when I realized that although I wasn’t anyone’s ideal mate and did not have the capital of attractiveness to seduce one, I was going to be okay simply because I was going to make sure that I was okay. I discovered then that acceptance is as beautiful as love, and that those who pursue love will never have what I have. They may accept themselves, but they will never feel how I felt after I accepted all my flaws, my anger, my alienation, and, hardest of all, my unquenchable desire to be someone’s favorite person.. Acceptance is a beautiful feeling. You still feel hurt, but everything slows down for you and you feel like a kid on a playground. You are more curious and mindful. You think better. You learn better. You find it easier to enjoy yourself.  A few months after I had that realization, I started studying fellatio, which has become a lifelong passion.”

“You’re certainly very good at it,” I said.

“Thank you,” he said. “Next time, I recommend using a plug. You’ll have a much stronger orgasm. Anyway…” He got up and grabbed the towel and the electric kettle. “I’m afraid I have to prepare for my last appointment,” he said. “Goodnight.” And he left.

I put my underwear back on, feeling sleepy and gay.

I went to the window and looked out at the city, a city full of people who didn’t care about me. I sighed. I had lost all my friends, but maybe, just maybe I could be a friend to myself.

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