So, I’ve been absent from myself for a few days now. Today, I blame narcissism. Yes, my own and also the books on it that I’m sifting through like a pigeon bobbing its beak in street-shit for this chapter on, you got it, lonely gay narcissism.
The fun thing about writing on gay narcissism? Well, there’s nothing really. You feel self-absorbed no matter how far away you sit from mirrors, and people give you the stink eye as they pass your table at the cafe and see books like: “I’m Fantastically Queer, and You all Suck,” and “Super Gay: Super Great!” on your lap. Ok, those are not real books, but you get what I’m saying. It’s not a conversation starter.
And with queer advocates of narcissism like Jay Manuel (is he actually alive? His lips have never moved so I’m not sure if he’s breathing) and characters like Shane from The L-Word its hard to get away from the notion that we gays adore ourselves, have endless sex with gorgeous copies of us and our sculpted abs. Umm, my abs are less sculpt and more plushy pillow, but whatever.
Here’s the thing about narcissism that is sending my face into closed windows these days. Well one thing really: Freud. I know he’s famous. I know he was a mastermind of puzzles and symbols for all things genital. But I’m still trying to sort out how gayness and narcissism got sutured so perfectly onto us queers by someone who prescribed his pals cocaine for their anxieties, professed to be the father of sexuality, and argued that the self is triply multiplied. I mean, the Superego? He makes our psyche look like an episode of True Blood. And yet I run into Freud time and time again rummaging inside of my depleted jewelry box, emptied of phallic symbols, broken dreams about bats, and wayward seductions concerning my father. Oh, and my wandering womb.
Here are his thoughts on parents for instance:
“Being in love with the one parent and hating the other are among the essential constituents of the stock of psychical impulses which is formed at that time and which is of such importance in determining the symptoms of the later neurosis.”
Relax Man! What the hell did this guy tell his kids about Santa?
I do respect Freud. I visited his creepy house in Vienna once and saw all of this “hysteria relieving” water-gun sex toys, and sat in the room that he practiced Psychoanalysis on his daughter. But let’s be clear: the man has no business talking about lesbianism or narcissism. Not only was he notorious for knowing absolutely nothing about female homosexuality, or women in general really, he even openly admitted it. Which makes me kinda love him.
For instance, he refused to continue seeing his only lesbian patient, a 19 year old girl, after four months because he had no idea why she loved women. And he really didn’t care either. She was not ashamed of her sexuality, was never going to become heterosexual, and so he told her he could no longer handle her “negative transference towards him” (TRANSLATION: she was not in the least sexually attracted to him and so was a bore) and she was outed.
Of women in general he summed up his career by saying:
“The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is “What does a woman want?”
Oh buddy, no worries there. I have no idea either.
What seems problematic to me is this: even after giving us such gems as “penis envy” to explain female sexuality, even after calling any woman with an independent thought a hysteric, we still actually accredit him with our understanding of feminine sexual experience. Penis Envy. Really, is that all this being a woman thing is about? Fantastic. I’ll just craft one of those shafty-things out of Play-Do, marry my dad or mom– depending on whose penis I think is bigger– and then PRESTO CHANGO HOMO: my voice will drop, I’ll grow a hairy lip, and I’ll magically find women unattractive. But then what? Not only will I now be stuck being attracted to men, but I’ll have this hardened, crazy glued phallus stuck to my women bits and bites. And if I rip it off, I will have castrated myself, a mega-no no in Psychoanalysis, but I’ll have set myself up for evermore penis-envy. What’s a gal to do? Well, I became a lesbian. And apparently a narcissist.
What I figured out today:
Freud? Not a lesbian. Of that, I am sure. If he couldn’t even handle one woman’s drama, I can’t imagine him ever being able to leave his closet and deal with a succession of beautiful women and their feelings. Imagine Freud sitting down with a woman who says to him, “you know? I think we need to talk about our relationship. You are just not a very good communicator.” Excellent. I want to cast Winona Ryder as Freud and Justin Bieber as the lesbian who shows up after two dates with a wedding dress and a U-haul, for the movie
The good news is that my scope is a bit clearer now that I’ve ruminated on Freud’s general lack of influence in my life:
Horoscope for Sagittarius for September 29, 2011
There will be a tough decision for you to make today — are you going to do what you know you should do, or are you going to do what you want to do? Take a step back and look at potential problems that could develop if you take the easy route. The longer you delay doing the necessary work, the bigger these challenges will grow. The best attitude for you today is to focus on getting things over with. Tomorrow you’ll have more flexibility to do what you want.
Ok, so I’m either congratulating myself today on making the “tough decision” to stay a lesbian in spite of Freud’s enticing theories against such fun, or I’m congratulating myself for not quitting the PhD today, day 22 of the process, a day like any other where I often have to talk myself down from the ledge of academia. Walking back up a stack of self-serving books on me and my own dependency on my lovely image, I’m going for it. The lonely lesbianism ride, and if I could I’d pick Anna Freud up and take her along too. Poor gal. Imagine dating her and having to meet her dear old dad?