Letter from Myconos

Newsgroups: soc.motss
Path: netcom.com!vadim
From: vadim@netcom.com (Vadim Temkin)
Subject: Letter from Myconos (Long first post)
Summary: first post
Keywords: Myconos, First post
Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 241-9760 guest)
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1993 08:13:33 GMT

So, after almost two years of reading soc.motss, I decided to post here.

I wrote this letter in Myconos (Greece) to my (female) friend, 
however my hand-writing is almost illegible, so I keyed it in when I 
returned back home.

Some background information, which is known to my addressee, and is 
necessary to understand the letter:

I am 32 years old gay man, came to America less then 5 years ago from 
Russia, came out only to Masha (my addressee) some 5 months ago. Masha's 
profession is psychology (there are few references to that in the letter).

If you thought it was travelogue hit "n" now - it's kinda confession. 

     5-25-93 10:30pm 
        Hi, sweety!

        I  doubt if it is any practical to write you a letter. I  am  not 
        even sure whether I am going to send it out.
        My  impulse  was to fix my state of the mind last night,  but  it 
        (state of the mind) changed since then and therefore it would  be 
        reflections tonight about what did I felt last night.
        The  keyword  here is FELT. You know that I am not so much  of  a 
        feeling  person. But hot atmosphere of Myconos, overdose  of  gay 
        people and all this stuff made one horny guy from thoughtful  and 
        wise man you knew. No, "horny" isn't correct word. Just  somewhat 
        of an adolescent who want to get laid. Distinction between two of 
        these definitions is pretty significant.
        Here  goes all the bullshit said on account of gays in the  mili-
        tary. You know, there is The Nude gay Beach of the World -  Super 
        Paradise in Myconos. There are not only gays - straight  couples, 
        dykes,  even innocent kids are there. Half of people naked,  half 
        clothed  and it's not big deal for anyone. "Do you want to  share 
        shower  with acknowledged gays?..." What a bullshit - nobody  at-
        tacks nobody. People manage even hard-ons somehow.
        Well,  back  to my wanting to get laid. It was said that  it's  a 
        snap  to meet new friends on Myconos. I've heard it before  (from 
        Georgios the bridegroom). I overheard it few times here in  talks 
        in  the bus. It doesn't work for me. I am very unsocial type  (it 
        has something to do with my socialist background).
        For  2 nights I go to Pierro's disco-bar - the epicenter  of  gay 
        night-life  of Myconos. All the people you could meet during  the 
        day  all over the island are in and around starting 12:30  (after 
        midnight, of course). In - dancing, around - just hanging around, 
        looking at each other, starting new acquaintances. (I would  seat 
        alone, and none would come to me to say "Hi!," and I would rather 
        die than do it myself. It can't be the language problem, half  of 
        people there are German, Swiss, Dutch or whatever. Oh, well...) 
        And on the second night, early enough (when it wasn't too crowded 
        in  the dancing place) I see this gorgeous guy. The cutest one  I 
        saw here. Imagine Rob Lowe type (in the "About Last Night")  only 
        even cuter (with dark hair and dark eyes, and much better smile). 
        He's with some older (40ish) guy in round glasses, or at least  I 
        thought  he was with him. I am sipping my beer, they are  sipping 
        theirs. Dancing haven't even started yet. I am looking at him and 
        just  feel good that such beautiful creatures do  exist.  Nothing 
        (almost) sexual is in this feeling. The same as when you look  at 
        nice  kid or pretty pet. He moves to the other side of the  room, 
        orders  some drink, returns to the other guy to get  some  money, 
        then  back to the bar-side. By that time the dancing starts.  Two 
        pairs  do their "kiss-in" routines (you know, Queer Nation's  way 
        of kissing in shopping mall with the message "We are here, we are 
        queer, get used to it!" or something like that). I saw them night 
        before with the same act. Nothing disgusting about that, but  the 
        act  is little bit over-done, and a little  too  exhibitionistic, 
        and much too "the act." 
        Then "a Texan guy" starts small talk with bespectacled old friend 
        of the beauty (both on "my" side of the room). I met "the  Texan" 
        a night before (he was the only one who said How-are-you-doing to 
        me - he didn't miss one person on Myconos with this). Stereotypi-
        cal blond with blond mustache, watered light blue eyes and almost 
        in  cowboy boots (at least I saw boots last night). I don't  know 
        why, but I dislike the type a lot.
        Anyway, I am dancing (and I don't think I am too bad at it  after 
        few beers) and I'm looking at the Prince Charming. He is  looking 
        at  me!?  I don't believe it, I think he is looking  at  somebody 
        behind  me - most probably his friend. I go away to my  barstool, 
        finish  my beer, come back to dance-floor. He most definitely  is 
        looking  at me. And smiles like an angel. With these  great  dim-
        ples. I don't know how to react. He starts to dance, extends  his 
        arms to me, takes my hands in his, hugs me. And then he tries  to 
        say  something  in my ear. The music is so loud that  I  wouldn't 
        guess  what it was even if he spoke English (or Russian for  that 
        matter).  He's  petting  my beard and my cheeks  and  telling  me 
        something, which I interpret as that he thought I was Italian, in 
        language, I am guessing, is French. I am trying to explain him my 
        Russian-American nationality and that I don't speak any  language 
        other then English. We are hugging, I am kissing him in his neck. 
        It's  soft  and smooth and smells beautifully. All  this  happens 
        amongst the crowd and loud music, but I don't pay any attention - 
        after all, that's gay bar, and nobody cares (it's my  explanation 
        now,  when  I  righting it - I don't think I  needed  any  excuse 
        then). But, believe me, if he'd started to undress me right there 
        and then I wouldn't object a second. He's touching me  everywhere 
        in  my upper body and with the same angelic smile trying to  tell 
        me  to do something - go to the bathroom? (Now I would guess  may 
        be  he  was  trying to tell me to f**k off and  go  f**k  myself, 
        because  he was looking at some other young guy. Now I  think  he 
        may figured out my, let's say, un-athletic build, which was  very 
        well  conceived under my pirate shirt. I wouldn't blame  him  for 
        this - it can be very big turn-off - it is for me. I still  can't 
        figure it out what it was.) He is probably getting angry with me, 
        but  still he smiles. I go to the restrooms (he pointed  to  that 
        direction). After some time he is in the stall, I come in. He  is 
        buckling  (or unbuckling) his belt, I am trying to help him  with 
        it.  (Yes,  I  am crazy, I would go down on him  right  there  in 
        bathroom if he'd let me - and I don't feel sorry for this  inten-
        tion even now, 22 hours later.) But he doesn't let me. He pinches 
        my cheeks, hugs me, tells me to stay there (all by gestures  only 
        -  or I misinterpreted it altogether) and leaves. I translate  it 
        into Yiddish "gei kakun" ("go shit"). I feel he's lost all inter-
        est  in  me (if there were any). I don't know why  I  feel  that, 
        because  he  is still smiling. I am kidding myself  that  it  was 
        because of inability to find common language. I don't know if the 
        time  stopped.  I can't estimate duration of  this  paragraph  in 
        astronomical time. Was it all only five minutes, or two hours, or 
        an eternity?
        I  went  outside and drunk an orange juice for the next  half  an 
        hour  watching all people coming out. First I see  "bespectacled" 
        and "the Texan" coming together (by the way, they started kissing 
        before we did). Then I saw my Prince Charming. Some time later  I 
        went in the same direction. After walking alongside seashore  and 
        onto the pier I found him sitting together with this other guy  I 
        saw  he looked at when we cuddled. They were sitting arm  in  arm 
        chatting. I walked in some distance and waved my hand casually  - 
        no response.
        The end of the tale. Now I wonder - didn't I dream all this story 
        It  was so symbolic of me not being IN the gay behavior, my  lan-
        guage problems (forget the French), my shyness, my  insecurities, 
        my being in closet.
        I  am more sober now. And I intend not get to this mood  (to  get 
        laid).  However I am ready to go out, and I am wearing the  other 
        dazzling shirt.
        P.S. (5-26-93 4:30pm)
        Today  I  was  at odd time in the town. (I made  trip  to  Delos. 
        Walking among remains of the most sacred place of the Greco-Roman 
        civilization  I  thought of changing Latin  "sic  transit  gloria 
        mundi"  to  "sic transit gloria Dei," which I meant to  be  "thus 
        ends glory of Gods" and that was quite scary thought.)
        When  I  was sitting in cafe looking at waterfront  and  drinking 
        iced  coffee I saw three men - Prince  Charming,  "bespectacled," 
        and  "the Texan" - walking nearby. I drunk my coffee in one  gulp 
        and  walked  in  the direction where they  disappeared.  I  found 
        Prince  Charming  at postcard stand slowly looking at  dozens  of 
        pretty  cards there. I started to look at postcards too and  when 
        our eyes met (well, how would I know - sunglasses on both of  us) 
        I  coyly said "Hi!" I started to pay more attention to the  cards 
        and  didn't  notice  when and where he disappeared.  This  is  an 
        obsession.  If  I  had some talent I'd invented  the  tale  about 
        "bespectacled"  and  the Prince, and it would be  something  like 
        Mann's "Death in Venice."
        I started to think that it was my first love, my first love  from 
        the first sight, my first love without requital.
        I'd like to think that he is looking for Prince Charming too, and 
        had mistaken me for the one for few short moments...
        P.P.S. (5-27-93 11:30pm in front of Pierro's)
        This  part is not the prettiest of all, and I do wright  it  with 
        some  degree  of reluctance. However it is immanent part  of  the 
        whole story and probably a logical one.
        So without further ado. Last night I decided  go to Pierro's just 
        for  dancing  and to enjoy myself. Dancing started at  12:30,  as 
        usual. Before that I had 3 or 4 Metaxa brandies in Kastro Bar (no 
        relation to the Castro in S.F. - but it is the most beautiful gay 
        bar  in  Myconos,  with classical music, cozy  coaches  and  most 
        extraordinary view of the Aegean Sea, especially at sunset). It's 
        amazing though that all people (including myself) who enjoyed  so 
        much  classical  music - Bizet's Carmen, e.g. -  by  two  o'clock 
        ended up in Pierro's, and even Kastro's barman was there too.
        Anyway, returning to Pierro's. (Masha, dear, does this  wandering 
        of  mind  characterizes  me as schizophrenic - or  just  as  poor 
        stylist?)  I did enjoyed myself. I didn't get out even  once  for 
        some  fresh  air. After hour or so I decided to  stay  until  the 
        place  would  be closed - I was just wondering  what's  going  to 
        happen  at the end. Well, I was dancing just for pure joy of  it, 
        but was looking at some guys anyway. (By the way, an  interesting 
        phenomenon of straight couples in the gay disco. Straight women - 
        it's  easy  to understand: good dancers around,  and  the  safest 
        place, if you want safety - but couples?)
        By  four o'clock I was quite tired already and was kept alive  by 
        the  "investigative interest" in what it was going to be  in  the 
        end  (and  by slight hope that one of the guys I was  looking  at 
        will pay some attention to me).
        And  then  something happened. A freaky looking blondish  guy  in 
        ugly  glasses...  (What  an obsession with,  or  rather  against, 
        glasses?  From me, who started to wear contact lenses just  three 
        months  ago, and who wore glasses all life. Isn't it  a  material 
        for Freudian analysis?) ...The guy hugs me from behind, trying to 
        dance  in tact with me. It wasn't completely unusual behavior  on 
        this dance floor. I did something similar to this quite innocent-
        ly  few  times  during the night (with  members  of  acknowledged 
        couples, though, so it was appropriate, I mean non-sexual, behav-
        ior).  From this guy it was most definitely not a  dancing  step. 
        When  I turned around, he started to kiss me. (No, not the  sweet 
        necking I had with Prince Charming. He was almost hurting me.)  I 
        didn't like him a bit, as a matter of fact, I disliked him a lot, 
        but...  I guess, I was afraid to end this night alone (no  matter 
        what  did  I  tell myself about "enjoying  myself"),  and  deeply 
        inside  I was in need to hear the words that I would hear in  ten 
        minutes.  So  I  let him to dance with me.  We  went  outside.  I 
        learned  he was Swedish (I didn't quite get his name, nor  did  I 
        care  to).  I learned also that I was "so  beautiful,  he  didn't 
        believe  it...",  and that "he loved me so much." Every  time  he 
        repeated this valuable information I disliked him even more.  But 
        then  after all, I was in reversed position just two  nights  be-
        fore.  And nobody ever called me beautiful (wonderful - yes,  but 
        not  beautiful).  And I wanted to be loved, or at least  to  have 
        sex. May be, I thought, I would be able just get it and enjoy it.

        How naive I was. We've got to my room, we've got undressed and... 
        nothing happened. I don't mean feelings, I mean pure  physiology. 
        Nothing,  nill,  zilch, nichevo. (Oh, my dear, it was  safe,  ex-
        tremely safe - this night I was more then able to control  myself 
        - if I would need such a control - unlike the other night. And  I 
        had all necessary protection in case I needed it - I didn't). You 
        don't want details, but without me wanting him nothing worked. Of 
        course, he was very lousy lover. I think I would've be able to do 
        something if I "...loved someone so much..." and this someone was 
        "...the  most beautiful man on Earth..." (which I heard from  him 
        every  minute).  I told him that I didn't like him  in  the  very 
        beginning,  but he answered it was OK with him. Soon I asked  him 
        to go home and showed him a way.
        It was first "real" sex in my life (I mean bed, lights on,  guilt 
        off) and - Oh, Boy! - was it a disaster!
        What  was that all? I mean this four days crash course  in  being 
        out, being in love, being loved, being disappointed, being disap-
        pointing.  Have somebody set it up for me? Have I set it  up  for 
        myself? Was it something important - or was it really  insignifi-
        cant? Is there Prince Charming for me somewhere to which I am the 
        one  too?  Will I be able to be gay and happy? Why  all  this  is 
        happening with me now, not sixteen years ago?
        This  morning I decided to go tomorrow to Naxos of  all  Cycladic 
        Islands  - it was promised to be quiet there. It is  one  o'clock 
        now, and I am still sitting in front of Pierro's. I am not  going 
        in tonight. I will be sorry about my running away from Myconos. I 
        fear this place. I love it. I will return here when I'll be  much 
        more sure in myself, or, better yet, with my boyfriend...
        I love you too.
Vadim at home (vadim@netcom.com)