Yesterday I went to the opening of an exhibition at a small art gallery.

I love exhibitions. Especially when they’re small and quirky.

The invitation to the opening was nondescript and black, and gave no indication of what the art was going to be like, or even what medium it was going to presented in. All we could discern from such an oblique invite were the artists’ names, ksubi and Kane, and the title of the new collection.

There are certain things you aren’t supposed to admit to—things, people might construe as faults in character.

For instance, say you admit you love spandex—tight, shiny, full-of-flesh fabric.

Find the angry dog

The dying houseplant
The noncommittal monosyllabic babbling idiots having a tailgate party
In your first chakra


It’s far more satisfying to see a lie coming than to elicit a confession. A confession ratifies only your ability to badger.

Anyone can badger.

But to know a lie is coming before it is told, to watch it form on someone’s lips:

That is pure power.

Except, it’s the kind of power that makes you a little sick from enjoying it, like Presidential power, or kidnapper power or cheesecake.

Through snooping, sleuthing and sneaking, you can ferret out the future.

The NSA agrees with me wholeheartedly on this.

Mainly out of boredom (impelled somewhat by societally-engineered female insecurity), I started spying on my boyfriend. Nothing major; strictly cyber surveillance – no hired henchmen or hidden cameras. I simply knew the name of an online forum he frequented, so I checked in as “Guest” and monitored what he wrote, who he wrote it to, when.

I guess I wanted a glimpse into his private thoughts.

Yet bearing witness to his frat boy antics illuminated nothing. Bestowed no happiness. His avatar was a large pair of cartoon breasts and his handle also referenced mammary glands. He regularly posted links to porn sites and Jackass-esque stunt videos. He wrote in what I can only describe as ghetto teen speak.

Who was this sophomoric moron?

Why was my college-educated, professionally employed, intellectually developed male partner making time each day to ingratiate himself with a bunch of misogynistic retards?

While the love of my life redeemed himself in my eyes somewhat by regularly posting erudite articles about current events for debate, these submissions went largely unanswered or were acknowledged with monosyllabic replies such as Sux, mayne or Dope.

Yet he continued to post them, day in and day out.


Why? I wanted to ask. Why are you drawn to these idiots?

Badly. I wanted to know badly. But this would have meant blowing my cover.

You can either trade in your secret power by asking for answers, or you can live uneasily with the questions teetering on the tip of your tongue.

I became drunk with spying power.

Which I duly exercised.

He’d already posted on the forum certain hip hop shows he planned to attend, and I would often ask, casually, where he was going, though I already knew. On several occasions, what came out his mouth did not match his postings. I wanted to call him out.

It made me a little sick, not being able to ask why he was lying.

But I enjoyed knowing I could show up at any moment and provoke a confrontation, Cheaters-style.

The other members of the forum dedicated time to rating asses on a scale of 1 to 10 (Jessica Alba = 10, obese African American fetish model = 2), comparing the buffets of local strip clubs and bragging about who had the worst hangover that day. Crude photo-shopped pictures were extremely popular and provoked delighted outrage amongst the members, especially when someone from the group’s face was used.

Discussion of their craft (DJing) and the state of hip hop, was merely a front for some kind of degenerate brotherhood.

I began to wonder if I was still dating my boyfriend’s Representative.

A Representative is the person that shows up the first couple months of the relationship freshly showered, attentive, interesting, humorous, idiosyncracy-free.

The aseptic version of yourself, your interview self, which is on display until you bridge the gap between initial dating to breaking wind in front of each other without caring.

Maybe he’d kept up the mature male persona only for me. For a relationship. The person he presented himself as on the forum was, frankly, embarrassing.

But what if this was who he really was?

My perception of him was altered, bathed in an unflattering light.

Then it got worse.

I cataloged a trend of increased responses to the only female member of the forum.

Her postings received a lot of views, not just because she was the token female, but because she often uploaded new soft-porn self-portraits.

I began to imagine how they Private Messaged one another, exchanging fantasies, having a cyber affair.

I started to hate him.

Over time my judgment softened.

Well…not softened exactly.

My attention simply wandered.

I lost interest.

The locker room talk and Slutty Sue’s pictures just got boring after awhile.

Nothing ever seemed to change; the same parade of T&A, the same gross-out videos, the same wacky photo shop pictures.

It became as routine and boring as a workday.

As predictable and tedious as a monogamous relationship, perhaps.

And I realized what the BF was looking for probably wasn’t an affair. It was a sense of community, of belonging to a group.

This realization of mine happened around the time Porno Patti posted a picture of her 2 year old and the baby Daddy on the forum. Not that having a baby precludes affairs, just that I didn’t know she had a baby and this checked my imagination.

It didn’t matter that this particular group couldn’t spell, type or use standard American English.

Acceptance mattered.

Recognition mattered.

A common love of music few others had ever heard of mattered.

So I stopped caring about the goddamn forum.

And I stopped checking it.

Stopped checking it so much.

I guess my point is this: it’s good to be vigilant, but perhaps it’s most important to be vigilant of oneself.