…Is Hard To Do
First things first: All you who think that the only reason two men would get together is for the sex and that we’re just deviants and there’s no love involved because, honestly, how can one man love another man? Fuck you. Fuck you all. Fuck you all with every bit of the heart I have left inside me. Fuck you to hell.
Ahhh, better. See? I knew I could find something positive in this situation! It’s a chance for me to try to put my loss of someone I loved in perspective for those narrow-minded Bible-thumping assholes who want, more than anything, to deny me my happiness and tell me I’m not worthy of their stupid marriage shit. That I couldn’t love someone enough to be with them forever, even though they can’t manage it themselves, and that it’s all about some fucked up vision of a world where popping out more babies to grow up and abuse each other and be ignored by their parents and shoved through schools that no longer teach them anything anyway so they can grow up and continue that insanity about whatever the hell it is that keeps two people together in the face of everything, everything, everything that tries to pull them apart.
Bitter much? Well, certainly. But why don’t I step outside myself and become observer of my own life. Remember that one, children? Can you think back that far, when there were some of us out here before blogging and Google and iPods and TiVo and fucking horrible Star Wars prequels, and we would write obsessively about ourselves and what we were feeling and doing alone and together? Were you there with me, back then? Me and Alexis and Maggie and Derek? There were others, too, and some are still around and some aren’t. I went to Alex’s wedding last year, she married the perfect man for her, that Allen fellow, and Maggie was married too for a while, had another baby, I think she’s now separated or divorced, haven’t spoken with her for years, actually. Derek and I no longer speak. Something I said, obviously. Long time coming, probably. It’s how things work. People drift apart.
Drift. Shove. What’s the difference?
So now here we are, you and I, and if you’ve been keeping up with me you know that a common thread through it all, the thick yellow line down the center of my road, the reality that crops up time and again is loneliness. Being alone. What that feels like, and how I deal with it (or don’t) but I can tell you now with certainty and fear that I had no idea what I was talking about back then. No clue at all, really, because you can’t feel alone unless you’ve been with someone you love. If you’ve always been alone, it’s not really a feeling or an emotion, it’s more like a state of being. Sometimes we are moving, sometimes we are stationary, sometimes we are alone.
But this is really how it feels. I get it now. I understand. It should really stop now. Really. I’m over this. When does it stop? When can I go back to not being alone, again?
Friends try to help me, because that’s what friends do. Judith and Molly shared their break-ups with me over chicken and couscous. Jeff talked about feeling suicidal after Hef left him, and how he felt like he’d lost his definition of what feeling good was. Jim spoke of loneliness, in general, and unhappiness, and that it won’t last (forever). Irina is far away and wonders how I am taking this and mentioned that she saw it coming. Brian is moving in with his boyfriend, he’s in love after not being in love while I was in love, and now I’m not.
Or I am, but it doesn’t matter anymore. Love’s not enough. Love wasn’t enough. In itself.
Judith said it took her a long time to learn this lesson. Michael, who is wise and knows things because he fucking lives his life and does what he wants, Michael said it’s like I used to live in one world with him in it, and everything was one way. Now I have to shift into another world and he’s not in it, and even though only one thing has changed, it changes everything.
Of course, he’s the one I really want to talk to, and he’s the one I can’t. Sitting across from him, looking into his eyes, seeing his smile, wanting it all to be back where it was, whether that was right or wrong or who gives a shit? Just give me back what I had, and let me live there in ignorance, let me wallow in it, let me be with him again.
It hits me at unusual times, that I’m alone again. And I remind myself that I’m not, really, I have all these friends, I can call them, they want to comfort me and tell me it’ll be all right and go out for beers or see a funny movie or just get me the hell out of my apartment where I live alone with my cat and my memories and they swim inside me, deep and dark and fully formed, and bubble up when I am sitting at the computer or watching the plate of leftovers in the microwave spin around and around and around or get up in the morning and put my bare feet on the carpet on the side of the bed where he sometimes was, but will never be again.
The crying is fucked up. He told me once he envied me that, as I once sobbed and shook on his bed as he held me and told me it would be all right, whatever it was. And I finally saw him cry after he said, no, we wouldn’t go on like this, it’s time to stop, things won’t get better, things aren’t great. I saw him cry and it made me cry and all I wanted to do was comfort him and hold him, but instead, knowing that it was over in that moment, that things had suddenly changed altogether, I sat where I was across from him with my cat on my lap and him crying into his hands, his whole body shaking, the sobs loud and wet and I could not look at him and I had nothing, nothing, nothing.
Time, they say, they all say, time. It will take time. Everything heals, they say, in time. So I wait it out, and I shake and roil and collapse and hold it together and go into the bathroom to sob and look at my red-rimmed eyes and think, “everyone will know I’ve been crying, how long can I stay in here, how long does it take eyes to go back to normal?” And I sit at my desk at work and try to concentrate on something other than this and try to accomplish something and try to keep going and hope that time speeds up and the minutes become hours become days and I will feel better someday, I know I will, they said so and they’re my friends and they wouldn’t lie to me, would they?
The hard part is that we never quarreled, we never fought, no one cheated or lied or “met someone else.” It just… stopped. It’s like I was watching something on TV, some show like Lost or Desperate Housewives with a continuing plot, serialized, one thing leading to another, I got really into it, that show and when the time came for next week’s episode there wasn’t one, there wouldn’t be any more, and I would never find out what happened to Lance and Scott and Lance’s cat and Scott’s allergy and the trip to L.A. and the weekend at Russian River and the concert next Wednesday because none of that would happen, it was done, just like that.
We promised we’d still be friends. I really want that, but for now I can’t see him. I can’t do that. The love is still too close to the surface. I really do want to see him, I want to talk to him, I want to hear him laugh about something or talk to him about his job or his plans for the next drag show or how we’re going to make mockumentaries about this and that, have fun, be together, make it al exactly like it was with just one small, insignificant, huge, hurtful change.
Anyway. Perhaps this will all benefit you, gentle reader. Perhaps I will return to days of yore, spilling my guts online as I used to, trying to make sense of what’s happening by typing it into the computer and posting it for the entertainment of the masses, for everyone to come by and look at the freak in the cage, watch him perform I.R.L., see as his emotions falter and stagger and die from misuse. You are my God, dear WWW. To you I cry out my pain and anguish and confusion and hope for an answer, even if I don’t really want to hear it. I pray out loud in pixels stacked up here, little black dots on a white background arranged before your eyes to explain, or ask, or wonder. What’s happening, God? Why now? What did I do? When does this stop? Who can I blame for this? When does this stop? When does this stop? When does this stop?
May 27, 2005