Daily O

Is it only sex without love? A man in a megapolis talks about the loneliness of gay life

It was about these sexual encounters where you didn't even get to see the face of the person, recounts Karthik Kalyanaraman, who is now a little less afraid of betrayal.

We are all time machines. In trying to locate the loneliness of others, I figured I was on the map and if you zoomed in, you could see me sitting by the glass door, looking out and on the phone with another lonely soul 1,000 or more miles away... asking them if they think they can tell their story.

Sometimes they ask me for my story. I tell them what they ask. This is how we transcribe notes on loneliness, on love and on loss. Some stories must tumble out of the closet. And they must be told in full length. They must flow freely. Some conversations can't be compressed. There have been many conversations over the years with men who have felt strange because they chose to love men. There are many stories out there. And you pick one to tell.

***

I left him a message late night asking him if he would tell me his story.

He said he would.

He wasn't brave enough to go to the dark enclosures in Cubbon Park in the city he grew up in as a closeted gay guy to understand the gay experience. Sometimes he would borrow gay fiction to read and that was how he felt a little less lonely.

And now, as an openly gay man, the sexual encounters as part of the subculture in the gay world that's often called "cum dump" are what makes him wonder if it is his sexuality that could be what makes him lonely.

image1When Chris and Karthik met Barack Obama.

"I want to explore things beyond the bed. All this sex made me lonelier," he says.

In the neon-painted, unfriendly city of Bangalore with its startups and its clubs, he finds himself going back to the poem called Broken Tower by Hart Crane, the gay American poet whose epigraph reads "lost at sea".

Hart jumped into the sea at 32 and the Broken Tower is his last poem.

For Karthik Kalyanaraman, a 39-year-old who

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