8:15 p.m. - November 28, 2005
When everything is going well how can one be disappointed? It's selfish and ungrateful, like accepting a gift and thinking I didn't want this:
-Today while walking in San Francisco I heard my name called; it was Teri and her baby and we made small talk for a good 20 minutes standing in the cold. Inoccuous, sweet, and a first: My first adult greeting, as silly as it sounds. Before I could outstretch my hand she grabbed me and hugged, and then kissed my cheek. I have never experienced that form of greeting before and hours later haven't stopped thinking about it. It was beautiful and it was ugly in a way, because it's made me think of how much I miss. For a brief moment I had a glimpse of life on the other side and I should be thankful for what I get, right? Instead I'm morose - in Eden I'd point out the slivers.
-I am now a business, an inevitable move fueled by income that is literally soaring. Had I not, I would have been hit hard on all sides by capital gains and the alternative minimum tax. Somewhere in the early fall I became a 1K flier, meaning I've flown more than 100,000 miles this year, and with the designation comes a perk: I'm now almost always upgraded to first class - no more premier gaffes when the attendant passes me a linen cloth and I put it on my lap, only to be told it's the tablecloth. I will deliver the keynote addresses to three major, national conferences this year. The books have been incredibly well received and nominated for several awards, and I am motivatd and eager to continue writing, time purchased with the royalties that are flooding in. I've been asked to contribute a chapter to an anthology about language teaching, and in my spare time I think about picking up the pieces from the Ph.D. track that fell apart. And as good as all these good things are, the awareness of how hollow and disappointed I am in myself is reaching a crescendo. I'm on the road someplace different every week now and - gee, how fortuitous - it's okay that I don't date or have weekend plans because guess what, I'm in a strange city and exhausted after working all day, so back to the hotel room I go. Conveeeeenyunt. I write when I can't bear being alone, when I turn up the volume and listen to yesteryear's music, hyperfocused on this, and that, and putting onto paper all my hopes and dreams for the perfection that will allow me to rest when I've finally proven to myself that I've done a good job. I know that day will never come and it leaves me hopeless, it really does.
I suppose the most present loss is that brief taste, as incomplete and uncertain as it was, of company, of making spontaneous decisions to skip writing to knock on his door and say let's go out tonight. It wasn't so much the physical aspect of dating that I enjoyed half as much as getting to know someone and feeling confident enough in myself to share those parts I mostly keep hidden away; it was almost like rediscovering hidden limbs (hmm, Freudian alert there) or stretching cramped legs to go for a run. On too many levels dating A3 didn't, couldn't, work out, and objectively I don't think most of them were mine. I can see what those weeks were and the pleasure they brought me, and pack them away to bring out the next time I cross paths with another who wants to pause even if for just a moment or two. I am learning, though too slowly, how to interact with men and such interplay is not all bad. Quickly I thought A3 was a blessing that came just at the right time when I had begun to think the combination of my childhood, my defenses, and experience with Spec, Ryan I, and Ryan II had made me simply unable to feel close to someone. Dating A3 was something I hungered for and want to taste again, but I can see how the odds are stacked against me. So much boils down to the barriers I have with physical intimacy; how does someone like me work with that when physical comfort is directly linked to emotional safety in an environment focused on here-and-now gratification?
A3 is a bottom and wanted me to top him, and I couldn't do it. As much as I wanted to, I'd think about whether the guy from my childhood climbed onto me the same way I was positioning myself, or I'd think about Spec and the things he would say to pardon himself for his homosexuality but which made me feel like shit, or I'd think about how ugly I am in this stunning technicolor joke and quick as that, I would freeze up and push away. It makes me feel awful because if I can't be intimate with someone with whom I feel comfortable, then -
then what? I guess that's why I'm me: Workaholic. Overachiever. Distant from everybody and distant from myself.
Ah. Damn Teri. I can't think that - that brief kiss, her happiness at seeing me - these are things I yearn for. Gifts. I have a destructive habit of rejecting them.