That Thing We Do

Hello Mr. Magazine - - INTRODUCTION - Words from the edi­tor photo by Phu Tang

It’s a truth uni­ver­sally ac­knowl­edged, that gays are quick to jump into re­la­tion­ships. Short- or long-term aside, ro­man­tic en­tan­gle­ments be­tween men tend to es­ca­late at ab­nor­mally fast rates. The con­ven­tions of court­ing a po­ten­tial part­ner are thrown out the win­dow the minute we find some­one that ticks enough boxes and pays at­ten­tion to us. And if he lingers long enough to cud­dle, then you can skip ahead five places and add a baby peg to the back­seat of your plas­tic car. This is our game of life.

We’ve all done a lot of crazy things in hope of be­ing loved back. Head­strong and head-over­heals, our op­ti­mistic out­look of­ten over­rides dis­cre­tion. The out­line of the story is fa­mil­iar: you gush about him first to your friends, then to your col­leagues, and even­tu­ally to your moth­ers. Fully con­scious that ev­ery word that leaves your mouth is im­pos­ing that much more pres­sure on the suc­cess of your new­found re­la­tion­ship than if you had just kept your mouth shut un­til you’d known him longer than two weeks. At this point, you’ve spent more time talk­ing about the man than you have with him. But you don’t care. What you’re feel­ing is in­cred­i­ble and ev­ery­one who cares about you should know.

And sure enough, the prom­ise of that re­la­tion­ship failed be­fore sum­mer. But you’re fine. “He wasn’t the one for you any­way,” they say. And the po­ten­tial of this new guy is dis­tract­ing you from the pain. And when he takes you out for din­ner and re­fuses to let you pay, you for­get about last sea­son’s beau al­to­gether. “He’s such a sweet guy,” you tell your friends…and your col­leagues, and fi­nally your fam­ily. And be­cause they love you, they bite their tongues and tell you how happy they are to see you happy, again. It’s like an elec­tro­car­dio­gram, with peaks that spike at near ver­ti­cals and dips that seem to hardly last. And just like the beat of your heart, you find the rhythm rather sooth­ing. It fright­ens you to think about it flatlin­ing, or even more, what hap­pens above the pin­na­cles. Yet, each time a new line starts, you hope that this will be “the one,” and you tell ev­ery­one you know be­cause you know by telling them you’re con­vinc­ing yourself that it’s worth try­ing again. It’s like how they say writ­ing it down helps you mem­o­rize it, so you speak your feel­ings in hope that they’ll stick. This time it’s dif­fer­ent, you say. I can feel it.

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