Last night, I saw "God Grew Tired of Us", the less ponderous documentary on the Lost Boys of Sudan. The film followed a few of these boys, now young men, who were orphaned in the Sudanese civil war. After living in refugee camps for over 10 years, they were relocated to the US, where they suddenly needed to figure out everything from how to use an alarm clock to what potato chips are. You might think this has bugger-all to do with asexuality, or even pop culture for that matter. But, I'm not so sure. Once the Boys got to America, and for the rest of the film after that, I just couldn't stop thinking back to Women Who May Never Marry. Sure, maybe a small object got lodged in my brain, messing up the usual neural paths. But, "God Grew Tired" just seemed to be giving further insight into why forming the relationships we want can be so hard. And that's fair game for me, I think.
Once the Boys were living in their American apartments, their different work schedules meant that they could go weeks without seeing each other. One of them said something like, "I'm so lonely, but that's just a part of American culture I need to get used to." I've never thought about this before, but when seen through the eyes of an outsider, our urban American culture seems absolutely demented. To wake up at dawn, go to an office to perform meaningless tasks with near-strangers, then go back to your apartment to distract yourself from the unpleasantness of having to go back and do it all again tomorrow? How many of us live like this, and how healthy is it? Is herding cattle all day with your entire family (a viable enterprise in Sudan) a vast improvement? At the risk of sounding like Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" (although, that is my favorite Disney movie), there must be something more!
I wish someone had told me that being asexual doesn't mean you'll be alone (although, I can do the next best thing-- tell you). That actually, it's the fault of studio apartments, commuting, Netflix and Amazon.com. I think that people on the margins-- be they queer folks or refugees-- are in a good position to poke around and think about new options for our culture. Maybe I'm just extremely, stubbornly communal, and this stuff doesn't bother anyone else. I was the only person I knew that preferred living in college dorms to our off-campus house. I'd say it was some sort of A thing, but there are certainly As who have little or no desire for community. All I know is that the longer I live alone, the more I miss living with a group, whether family or friends. Herding cattle is, however, optional.
Less serious post next time; Scout's honor.