In the second instalment of this new column, Symonne Torpy continues the story of her life on Grindr as Clark Rockerfeller, the virtual gay man trapped inside a woman’s body.
“A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.” – Socrates
There is nothing more immoral than putting a bunny in a dryer.
Contrary to the opinion of our favourite Athenian gadfly, seeing pink eyeball ripped from white fur and spun around with the socks, shatters clinical values under the weight of emotion, and visually overwhelms the fading yardstick of principal. And yes, that bunny always appears to be of the motherfucking albino Easter variety, with a generous heart and a couple of lollipop stains on its cotton-tail from the times you hugged it extra hard as a kid.
Richard Westin was the second bunny that made it into the laundry room of my life. This was a space reserved for the special ones – the ones that were a little more fragile, that I liked a little too well. I attempted to keep them clean, and succeeded for a time. Doom smells nicer soaked in OMO.
We met (or should I say, he and Clark met) and casually flirted on Grindr, one cold Monday night in June. Richard was interesting, clever, multilingual. His sweetness was something that one encounters rarely. And so, after a week of conversation, I came clean about my gender. His reaction was slow, but positive, and we decided to meet. A phase of platonic bliss ensued – we walked to work together, sipped local coffee and drew on memories of respective Stonewall nights.
But, as my gay relationships are wont to do, our friendship quickly re-evolved into something more.
By Tuesday, I had kissed him in the alley behind the Wesley Mission lodge. So the mis en scene of our lust, first coloured by a virtual gay networking site, shifted to a drug rehab hub in Surry Hills. It was raining in the city and I was entering an oriental wardrobe phase. The whole of Sydney sought warm beds and closed windows. Everybody was fucking. Very film noir. And I, the femme fatale, hung by my mental washing machine, ever sinister in my domesticity, ever attempting to make this one clean.
Five dates, fourteen bottles of red and too much gay sex later, Richard Westin was beginning to crumble.
I have long reconciled with my particular style of sexuality, but he could not. Fifteen years of gay identity, a particularly difficult ‘coming out’, and an active pre-Clark Grindr lifestyle did not lay strong groundwork for a suddenly-30 bisexual revelation. And then he told me he was in love.
Spun with the sensibilities that only come with upchuck and regret, on the nineteenth day, I unpegged Mr. Westin and spin-cycled him back into a world of men.
There is not only truth to be found in vulgar emotion, but a sound measure of principal. Perhaps our dear Socrates failed in this learning because high-heat spin dryers hadn’t been invented yet. The physical manifestation of an emotional metaphor wrenches us from our clinical logic as we lament those lost, fluffy Easters.
That fortnight with Richard Westin, when it seemed all the world was fucking like pomosexual rabbits and it was not against the moral grain to join in, has thus been challenged.
By a bunny. By a dryer. By an illusion. By an emotion.