A Gentrified Dream Named Desire



I like straight-forward, good-natured personalities who have the confidence to revel openly in the sublime and cackle at the ridiculous. Most of the best moments in life balance on a precarious line stretched taut between those two extremes. It’s sexy.


On many sweat-drenched evenings with previous paramours one would be in a state of rapture one minute, roaring with laughter the next. I highly recommend having a laugh with your partner mid-bone: that shit is not only good for your soul, but it makes your skin glow like you’ve been glazed in the finest minerals. Try it, reader, and report back.


In this season of despair and mass death, I walk the streets and observe everyone like a beady-eyed Miss Marple-type, without a mission but filled with a hunger to see the world for all that it is, and everything that it ain’t.


Because I live in a recently gentrified neighborhood with a copious amount of uninspiring hipster gay art lads (read: lanky, middle-class white boys cosplaying as starving artists while Mummy and Daddy Dearest foot the bill for their cosy flats), I wonder desultorily what desire means to these young men.


They seem so leached of life, so willfully dull, indistinguishable background players on a film set depicting how bougie my corner of South London has become. Who are these people, I wonder, and why are they so aggressively boring?


I once posed this question to a local pal. Who are these people? Do these dudes even have sex? My friend chuckled at my ignorance and arrogance.


‘Are you kidding?’ he said, ‘These motherfuckers have the most colorful and outré sex. These buggers are absolutely filthy. They love snorting cocaine from each other’s bumholes.’


Rube that I was, I found this shit super-gelastic.


My friend remained stush. ‘Dude, I’m being dead serious,' he said. ‘You should try it sometime. Having someone rim you when your ras is coated in cocaine is like God beckoning you to the pearly gates. That shit is bomb.’


I had to take him at his word. Such sexual experimentation was to be lauded if you were down with that particular struggle, but it wasn’t for me. To be honest, reader, I exist in two vastly disparate states as I write this. A small part of me misses being a twenty-something sex idiot, but nostalgia has a tendency to tilt-shift the lens, framing out the sheer exhaustion and hustle of one’s youth, recomposing what’s left until it resembles a hazy wet dream.


As I walk up and down through Peckham on a Sunday morning, I try to remember what it felt like to be physically held. Perfunctory sensations like shaking a hand or hugging a loved one now come with a health warning. In those moments, I think about the lovers I once laughed with mid-bone: the sweetness and relief such memories offer me now. I think about the past lovers with wide, shameless grins and wack teeth. I think about them over and over again and I laugh like my life depended on it.



Image by DIRIYE OSMAN and BORIS MITKOV