Since I come from an urban environment, I really cannot comment on rural mostly men going out into the woods and shooting animals. In bygone years, the hunter would kill the animal, decapitate it, take the head to a taxidermist who would stuff the head with cotton or Styrofoam, and the hunter would hang the animal head on his living room wall as a trophy or decoration. How sick is that?
Hunting means to me gay men cruising. The most extreme adventure I had with cruising was getting arrested for public lewdness in a public bathroom in Pennsylvania Railroad Station on 34th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan, New York City. This was about 35 years ago. I have noticed Penn Station is on the news almost 7 days a week. Now with the bombing on nearby West 23 Street, we see even more of Penn Station. For years I worked in a social services office on nearby west 28 Street and 8th Avenue.
Nevertheless, I found getting on my Long Island Railroad car every evening to return home a somewhat traumatic experience. Ordinarily, I am a timid civilized person who would not dream of carrying on in a public bathroom. But one evening, I had an attack of agoraphobia, which the dictionary defines as a fear of public spaces. What it really is is a fear of crowds.
My rational civilized self told me that it is logical and normal that very large numbers of people are racing about to catch their trains, to board them before the scheduled moment of departure. But evidently I had another creature inside me that said these were not people going about their business, this was a life-threatening mob engaged in a riot. Walking about in these mobs, I became very confused, I felt threatened. I felt blood rise into my neck and head. In a daze I went to the Men’s room and did some unmentionable things. I sort of reverted to what Rousseau would have called the state of nature.
You smile at a guy you like, he smiles at you. You do what you have to get him excited and interested. And vice versa. And if it weren’t the public bathroom, you would then go at it and have a roll in the hay. Unfortunately for me, a police undercover cop caught me being naughty and arrested me, even putting handcuffs on and taking me to the nearby police office in the station. The handcuffs were metal (not the soft plastic), and my hands were behind my back.
When the rather good-looking cop interviewed me, I told him I got confused and I asked him if he did not ever get confused walking in the midst of the crowds at Pennsylvania Station. He said no. As time passed, the cop noticed I was amused at my situation and was even enjoying what could be seen as skin flick fantasy. The cop told me originally I would have to go to court in about two weeks and answer the charge of public lewdness.
About an hour later, the cop told me that his superior decided to drop the charges, and the record of the charges would be expunged. I was free to go. Informally, he told me that, when the police captain perused the contents of my wallet, he noticed I had several church membership cards (they were gay churches in my case), and so he concluded I was a solid citizen. So he decided in my favor.
The moral of this story is that, though we like to think our civilized personas are in control, and usually they are, if threatened, we all have a more animalistic self inside of ourselves that will act like an animal if going by the rules becomes too constraining or threatening.
© 20 September 2016