Joshua Byron


It’s Pisces Season, which means it’s a time for dreaming, reflecting on our histories, and drifting into less logical ideas. Sometimes we drift to find clarity; sometimes we just drift.

An ex-boyfriend and I recently went to a party where I ran into another former lover. We exchanged pleasantries, and I drank some champagne before running off with my date to hide in a room and read a book of Lucia Perillo’s poetry. As I read about dying cows and death, I struggled to feel anything for that first ex who was now sitting across from me and playing on his phone.

After leaving early (and separately), we texted paragraphs about our feelings and fears. I felt that if we started something romantic again, it would be serious: we had discussed my neuroses, and he felt we should just let it happen. I knew this probably meant letting go — more lack of control. But I couldn’t force myself to have a strong enough opinion, so I let him drift. I found that I still hadn’t changed my pattern of wanting emotionally unavailable men. I couldn’t date anyone who would date me.

As my mind drifted, I began to wonder if I wanted something serious at all. I’d desperately clung to the idea for months, hoping that each museum date would be a grand, romantic gesture. But they never were. It was just an attempt to find connection in a difficult time of my life.

I still went out, and I still messaged men on dating apps. I was asked to a gay brunch, went to House of Yes, and met a bunch of queer men at a comedy night who seemed to stare right through me. I felt bitter and uncaring in various measures. I mocked one of the men for looking like Sufjan Stevens and stared through the barred window from the outside as he talked to a hunky-looking model.

As the month passed, I wrote about longing more than desire. What seemed like a lull at first turned into almost a month of no dating, which itself turned into melancholy. Between work, art, and thinking about MFA programs, I’d had enough anxiety. I became less focused on what it meant to have a man. Some call this progress but usually it’s just a shifting of longing.

Out of dreaminess, we build ourselves. But it can take a long time of drifting to build —  sometimes longer than we’d like. Two people, two dreams. One person, one dream. I wonder if the years favor those who live alone or those who grow old with their partners. I still cannot fathom what having a man would be like. I wonder if I am even made for dating or if I am made to be single. Are the two predestined?

I’ve found that I’m always planning my life. But maybe sometimes we just need to feel our way through the confusion, hands up in surrender, open to what may come our way, romantic or otherwise.

Cover image courtesy of Uroš Jovičić