TEN EARLY ENCOUNTERS
By 17, I was beginning to handle my sexuality with greater confidence and assurance. I found myself increasingly drawn to the male gender and even ventured into a serious relationship with a senior at junior college. I was convinced then that a girl was a social misfit if she couldn’t nab herself a man. I thought then that all the initial oddities of my sexual orientation were part of a passing phase in early puberty. However, these confirmations did seem rather unsatisfying as I found that in moments of soul-searching honesty, I actually did not comprehend the intricacies of love and the sexual politics of heterosexual relationships. I was, at the risk of sounding cliche, in love with the idea of being in love. This explanation sums up all future encounters with men in the years which followed, especially in the face of pressures of dating in order to avert the stigma of being misconstrued a social pariah.
At 18, having gone through a couple of disenchanting associations with boys, I began to unleash the constraints of my inherent inclinations which I had kept in denial for a few years. For a good while I reviled these irregularities of $my inner psyche whenever I found a female attractive, but then another person would cross my path and re-awaken these repressed emotions.
This time it was a young teacher, not particularly attractive by commercial standards but she had an aura of serenity and self-possessed poise which drew my admiration, I fancied then that every nuance of a glance, smile or even a pat on the shoulder as a hopeful reciprocation of my affinity towards her. She seemed to me then to prolong our encounters at the corridor, or project meetings which we were mutually involved in. In my own egocentric reasoning, she seemed to treat me with special interest which I found gratifying, sometimes to the point of thrilling distraction. It did bother me that only once did a male affect me the same way when I was 14, but since then the same emotion has never re-surface. I found myself writing poetry and music more easily and needless to say, I was inspired to write a couple of songs about her. And the songs which I wrote before about men were often about the futility of love or the breakdown of relationships, which in comparison only served to ascertain that the female nature drew stronger emotional responses from me.