Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Veil

While watching the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who last Saturday there was a couple of references to something that struck a chord.

For the past 2 incarnations, the good Doctor has regenerated into young-ish men. I had thought when watching The Day of the Doctor last year that this was due to his phobia around responsibility after the much hated War Doctor (played by John Hurt). This new series makes it clear that it was merely because he was "trying to be accepted by society." He wore a face that was pleasing to both his assistants and to the people he met, solely to "fit in."

Later a lizard woman (don't know her name, like the show but not obsessed) in lesbian marriage with a human woman** says that she herself wears a veil in order to blend in and not be noticed for her different appearance. When someone suddenly notices the veil is now gone and asks, "When did you stop wearing it?" she replies:

"When you stopped seeing it."

While I don't usually get stimulation from 51 year old children's sci-fi shows, this time it kind of jangled.

For a while now I've wondered why I feel uneasy in certain situations that I had convinced myself I loved or even just liked a lot. For example, the joys of getting shit faced in a pub. I thought I enjoyed it. I really did. But then I realised a couple of days ago that for years I've only ever done that in order to kind of "fit in." I love beer and will happily while away hours on end over a decent Guinness or seven, and a chat with good friends. However since about the age of 18 I have lapsed into the trap of simply getting drunk in order to tick a box and uphold my "veil" of being what I thought I needed to be in order to be accepted

When I was in my late teens I sometimes hung around with a group of lads who always did the same thing every week. We would go to the next town in someone's car. We'd go to a pub where you couldn't sit down as it was so busy. You also couldn't really talk due to the background chatter and music. So...we'd stand, have a pint or two without anything beyond minimal communication, go to another pub and then get something to eat and go home.

A lads' thing.

As I went into my twenties and thirties it was a habit that didn't even seem to be a habit. I'd drink too much, smoke too much and then traipse home and fall into bed (90% of the time alone) and wake up with a God-awful hangover and lay in my pit feeling sorry for myself

There is a veil around guys and alcohol. We feel that we have to want loads of it and embrace it at every given turn. If offered a beer (if we're not driving) upon arriving at a friend's house, it would be strange to not accept. Men love beer. And I'd told myself, on a level so deep that I didn't know it was a veil, that I did too.

To be honest I'm happiest with good pals, having a lot of beer while having good conversation. I don't like clubbing, I only like dancing when drunk and I abhor noisy pubs where you have to shout to order your drinks.

Similarly with sex. I've always had a high libido but would sometimes find myself questioning why I didn't want to fuck ALL the time. After all, I told myself, that's who I wanted to be...wasn't it?

I like one night stands, spontaneous sex and someone who is uninhibited. I like to be adventurous. However I'm not into being dominated, hurt or tied up. I also don't want to try and get some ugly old munter into bed just to prove I'm a functioning heterosexual (less of an issue in our modern, gay friendly era, but a bit of pisser when lads would say "as long as it's got a hole in the right place!")

I got Sky TV last week and gleefully looked for channels 900 and onwards (free porn). Problem was the veil slipped when I was confronted by some woman talking in a cockney accent, woodenly enthusing about how much she loved having cum dripping off her chin.

That wasn't sexy. In fact it killed my sex drive and wilted my erection. The woman wasn't ugly but the words didn't fit.

The veil that I wore was that I was "up for it".

With violence, I've always had an issue. Since joining a Krav Maga club things have got better but I couldn't figure out my discomfort around it. I even tried hypnotherapy. Bottom line is that my veil was one of being a macho dude, like you'd see in Lethal Weapon or Die Hard. I.e. a regular guy who likes beer and sex and hanging out with his mates, but can handle himself.

Truth was this was never me. I'm not a pansy, but neither am I some macho badass. I can stand my ground but cold blooded violence or going to "sort someone out" are not things I'm comfortable with.

I basically wore a veil for a very long time and forgot I was wearing it. I genuinely believe this is why I looked so much younger than I am for so long. I was determined to present a face to the world that looked youthful. I also tried to present an aura of a moody, hard drinking sex machine who just happened to be taking it easy lately.

Result, people don't get close to me because they sub consciously picked up on the fact that I wasn't being genuine.

Years ago I did the Landmark Forum and other courses from Landmark Education in London. I shared to a group of about 150 people that I had had a conversation on MSN Messenger*** with my ex girlfriend and was going to log out without saying goodbye. She then typed that she was seriously ill. Instead of logging out I immediately rang her to check she was OK. What I had realised that my suppressed, true nature was to be nice and sweet. A day or so later a woman from the group emailed me to say that she hadn't figured why I grated on her but now knew it was because I was a nice guy who had been "trying to act bad."

The veil is a weird addition to any wardrobe.

I burned mine.

** The Euphoric world of modern Doctor Who has not only same sex marriages, but same sex, inter-species marriages.

*** Does anyone actually use this any more?

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