Found this in an old journal I kept in grad school. Throughout it, I espouse some ideas (mostly about writing and sex, the bulk of the journal’s concerns) I now find myself often working hard to fight against. But looking through it in place, I get glimpses of the self I was becoming the self I am now. Like in this one from June 2009:

We’ve seen heterosexual men take bar napkins and roll them into rose-shapes to hand to women they’re trying right there to woo. Pretty sure movie scenes have happily depicted such. Last week, at a bar in Chelsea called Barracuda, I watched a homosexual man roll a bar towel into a stiff penis with a perfectly formed head. It got great laffs. Other men were charmed.

Here, one could argue, is the difference between straight men and gay men. One could also argue that it’s a shame, that we trend right to sex and hard-ons. We go directly to the literal while they make a stop at the metaphorical. The rose, though, is just another choice, just another shape, one with four or five thousand years of romantic love behind it—a set of values codified by straight men so thoroughly that today we cannot see a rose without thinking of men and women together.

They both wilt, eventually, but man grew erections long before he ever grew roses.