MY MY: My Selfie with My Boyfriend
Video of Performance
McGolrick Park, Brooklyn. Xmas Eve, 2015. 2nd Performer/Camera: Karolina May. 3rd Performer: Tony
I behave as a dog to a female owner, going to the park, chasing balls, with a ‘MY Boyfriend’ sign hung round my neck.
‘My’ neck. ‘My’ dog’. ‘My’ ball. ‘My’ boyfriend. I found a guy at a film festival. I found a dog on a doorstep. Do I then go on to possess them equally? Are they both, as the word suggests, mine? And why can we only have the singular ‘my boyfriend’, yet the plural, ’my friends’? Who made these rules? Why must we have dominion over our lovers, why must we own them, make rules for what they can do and who they can see, grant and withhold our love? All these questions can be seen in the metaphor of dog and owner, as examined in this performance.
At the same time, this performance is an embodiment of the real life circumstances of the performers. Two weeks prior to this, the woman performing, Karolina May, told me, the man performing, we were through. Since we’d met two and a half years prior, where she’d been nothing but loving, I had been voicing the arguments above, telling her I didn’t want a relationship, I didn’t believe in monogamous love, that if she needed that stupid crap she could go get herself someone normal. Well, bless her, she finally woke up and did. And it was then, of course, that I realized I’d been full of shit the whole time, that I’d been hiding behind my intellectual arguments to protect myself, and here, before me, was the love of my life.
Too late now, stupid doggy.
In fact one of the most painful sentences I’ve ever had said to me was the seemingly benign ‘Don’t put that in the video’ she says at the end. I, on my knees, literally, begging for her back, like a dog, trying to steal a kiss, and she not wanting anyone who saw this to think — for even a second — we were still together.