Polarizing Masturbatory Shots

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m no more narcissistic than anyone else, I just don’t bother to hide it.

Apparently the arrival of The Pictures (well, the re-arrival, as it’s always been a part of this site) has ruffled some feathers. For instance, the following message is from one of my FaceBook “friends” (errors intact):

“hi alan, really enjoyed seeing your posts and lover and whoever that little girl is and your travels. been FB “friends” a while… but got to block your postings, you just are getting a little too narcissistic and masturbatory-ish. you used to post nice things, and well, you’re an old man like me now, and i can’t tell my daughter and mom and co-workers who this aging naked man is posting on my timeline! lol i think you look great, but there’s an age where we do things with our friends and in private, or in porno mode, but not in family/work public. sorry to stop your postings, but i’ll still visit and admire from a gay adult man’s persepective. enjoy your fun.”

I will always admire honesty like that, and the writer makes some good points, though they are devalued when he takes pot-shots at someone’s age, especially when he’s about fifteen years older than me. Luckily for every post like that there are five other posts that are supportive and complimentary, but I won’t bore you with the ego-boost. The point is, they balance each other out. Over the years I’ve developed a very thick skin when it comes to dealing with this sort of thing, and it happens to anyone who puts themselves out here, identifying ourselves without a pseudo-screen-name, using our real faces and not a profile pic of our pet. It takes balls to do that, and it does not come without the risk of being attacked.

In certain cases, this one included, it’s apparent that I’m not the real issue. No one really has that much power or influence over another person. There’s no way I hold such sway, especially over someone I’ve never even met. Most of the rage and anger or simple annoyance that I inspire in others is a triggered response to their own issues. I just happen to be the lightning rod that’s erect when their storm hits. When I realized that, there was an instant sense of relief, and an infusion of contentment that took over both my work, and my attitude. You can’t take any of it personally. It’s never worth it. For the most part, I simply ignore these things, which is usually the most infuriating thing to do to someone who is dying for some sort of interaction. In this instance, I threw the person a bone and responded. But that’s all.

‘Thanks for letting me know. Out of genuine interest, and sarcasm-free curiosity, I’m wondering why you felt the need to notify me of this. Most people simply unfriend or unsubscribe without an explanation, and had you not said anything I never would have known. Part of me thinks you wrote that just to hurt me, and I guess I don’t understand that. I’ll never understand that, and I hope I’ll never be able to access what it takes to understand that. As for being an old man, I’m embracing it. I don’t dye my hair, I don’t try to turn back the clock, and even if my body completely falls apart I will never find shame or anything wrong in displaying it. That said, I respect your decision and in a way I’m glad you told me. I wish you well. – Alan’

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