I get countless letters and e-mails from Xtra readers over the course of a month. Sometimes I respond by, say, forwarding your address to the North American Man/Boy Love Association mailing list – whatever the Muse (the 11th one, I forget her name… Caitlyn?) dictates.
But I’m always grateful for the interaction. Makes me feel as integral to the community as that fragrant, old homeless woman who lopes up and down Church St, sometimes nude, asking, “Dooooo yooooooo haaaave anyyyyyy chaaaaaange?” like a topical Nina Simone 45 played at 33.
Quite often I am asked for advice on matters of the heart, mind, vulva and anal canal. This I find surprising, because I’m not introspective at all; my lone epiphany in nine years of therapy was that I’m not Jodie Foster. Nonetheless, I will now attempt to answer a few, with all the compassion with which I would counsel my friends, if there weren’t all dead or insane. To begin:
Dear Greg, I am a gay, and it is horrible. It hurts so much, down deep inside. What should I do?
Sincerely, Plagued By Gay
Dear Plagued, there is very little that you can do. So just sit back and observe your gay life unfold in the following, inevitable way: You will manufacture a love of performance poetry and will perform your terrible poems – “Right On! (For That Fat Guy That Went Around With Frida Kahlo)” and “O, That Was Really Interesting” among them – at various spoken-word slams. You will work at CIBC. You will date and date and date and date until your first-date patter becomes so basic to your daily conversation that you start asking your mum if she’s cut or uncut. Love will elude you. You will age and become unnecessarily rude to waiters. Then you will die during routine plastic surgery. Come to the cabaret, new chum!
Dear Greg, I used to weigh more than 400 pounds. I found it very difficult to move, and I was often mistaken for a washing machine. So I lost 300 pounds. Then Princess Diana died and in my grief, I gained 100 pounds. Then I went to Woody’s, and one of the bartenders told me that I’d be almost not-hideous if I lost a lot of weight. Buoyed by this chance at romance, I quickly lost 150 pounds. I didn’t feel well, so I went to my doctor, but he reassured me that, at 50 pounds, I was just being negative. I don’t know who to believe. What should I do?
Sincerely, Thin But Thick
Dear Thin, keep up the great holistic work! Also, maybe try getting into meth. All the best.
Dear Greg, I am the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. I work in a call centre; people call in and we listen to them talk about how they feel about their carpets. Quite often, I’ll be in the middle of a call and will suddenly discover that my supervisor’s penis is deep inside my ass, while I yell out, “Wow! Please don’t ever stop fucking me!” I’ve never felt more violated and angry, and my customers are starting to notice that something’s not right. What do I do?
Sincerely, Minimum Wage, Maximum Rage
Dear Minimum, I’ve always, always been an avid proponent of workplace sex. Of sex that occurs in the midst of any professional relationship, really. Boss/underling. Doctor/patient. Homecare nurse/Estelle Getty. Why not? What a piquant way to enliven a stilted situation! When in doubt, have sex. It’s like my grandpa used to say: “Diddle that part between the arse and the wang. It makes me feel dreamy!”
Dear Greg, Everyone I know is adopting children: Trevor and Bucky, Glynda and Lineah Camprosensea-Vugchialanou-000#00;;eln. Now I want to adopt one, too. Or do I? My partner and I conduct a strict dom/sub relationship, and we never step out of character. I make him sleep in one of those crates that you catch lobsters with. And if I’m really being honest with myself, I don’t like babies or children, or anyone who isn’t well-versed in the work of Willa Cather. Should we adopt?
Sincerely, Boyz In The (Father) Hood
Dear Boyz, I’ve been where you are. You find the notion of parenthood vaguely appealing but ultimately incongruous with your rarefied aesthetic and razor’s edge, erotic lifestyle. After Stevie Nicks had her seventh abortion and her uterus fell out onstage at Madison Square Gardens during “Landslide,” she took to tearfully toting around a Cabbage Patch Kid. I do a variation of the same thing, treating an inanimate object like a baby, and it fills me with the thrill of paternity, minus the grating cooing and laughter. Which brings me to my next letter.
Dear Greg, Why do I sometimes see you on Church St talking to a ratty blue rag?
Dear Anonymous, fuck off! How dare you talk about my baby-blanket in that way! You are so gross and played-out!
That’s enough compassion for this month.