1:13 a.m. - April 25, 2003
It has been a bumpy week. Too many telemarketers from SBC promising low per-minute rates but they canít beat the deal I have and so try to sell me block plans. I was in the newspaper. The teleconference with Barbara-the-Editor went well but I tuned her out when she mentioned something about Alaska and ďsqueezingĒ in time this summer to do another project Ė as if Book II wasnít enough Ė and present in Virginia for a $500.00 fee before September. The university found me housing on-campus but only at a 50% rate, meaning if I want to stay within walking distance of my office and classrooms I have to pony up $115.00 per week which at 10 weeks is a hefty amount; something tells me I will be in Maryland again. The Toronto conference may be canceled due to SARS because it seems like there are no other available hotels in all of Canada. A(nother) new chip in my windshield. I received a blatantly-gay catalogue in my mailbox and surely the staff at Mailboxes Etc. are snickering; must find out how this happened. Continuing the worrying-mail theme: A letter from the IRS Iím afraid to open.
Bump, bump, bump.
Wednesday evenings Ė group therapy night Ė are incrementally losing their appeal. I sit there and watch the clock; so far Iíve yet to roll my eyes but it just isnít for me. This last time the thought that I must be the control group crossed my mind and itís tragic-comic because I not only seem completely different from them but I am. Am I the only obsessive-perfectionist-over-achiever-who-never-achieves-anything-sexually-ambiguous-and-uptight-homphobe-who-likes-guys? I am learning that thereís a spectrum with let-me-forget-my-pain-by-sucking-fucking-addicting-myself-to-anybody-everybody at one end and the control freaks who do nothing and ingest daily amounts of denial at the other. No need to elaborate at which end of the spectrum I am located. I donít talk during the group therapy other than respond to direct questions and Iím trying not to emit negativity though I suspect Iíve failed in this arena, especially when one of them (disregarded the rules) inquired into my occupation. I gave him that look, the one that people dislike. Iím realizing Iím a constellation of Huh?: I am attracted to men but scared by them but crave them; I am repulsed by gay sex yet Ė I admit it Ė I love sucking cock and were it not for my panic attacks would be an insatiable bottom yet find giving in to the baser impulses frightening because all I think about are the events that happened when I was a child; I am homophobic and I donít think my relationship or sexual activities with men really ďcountĒ as gay; I like people, I want to know them, I want to be open and trust, yet I push-and-pull and wear them out, reinforcing my conviction that People Suck and am relieved they do, yet beat myself up for continuing the cycle; I achieve, achieve, achieve yet derive little pleasure in a job well done provided I finish it; Iím independent, do my own thing, stubborn and strong-willed yet want to be dominated Ė well, maybe not to the dungeon-degree but close enough. All these things Iím thinking about and it seems easy enough to chalk it up to my childhood and damn it, I told myself I wouldnít do this, wouldnít be so reductionist.
My experience with Ė I struggle to say it Ė things is conflicted because the experience itself was conflicted. If I was terrified, as I know I was, why then did I return, as I did? Why didnít I say anything? Why was I so passive? The sneaky thought that comes in like a whisper in the fog makes me wonder if I caused it, if somehow I started it. But Iím not sure; I was sexually precocious very young but did I play cowboy and cowgirl with LG pre- or post-next-door-neighbor? What pisses me off is that I just canít shrug it off and be done with it. It. It. Things. Funny, the power of words. I cry at the group sessions; I cry a lot. I think itís good and donít care about what kind of a sop I must look like.
Why am I writing about this?
If you say youíre going to do something for me, then do it or rescind properly, meaning tell me you arenít going to do it after all. A while ago a woman who reads (present tense? Past tense, Iím certain) this journal said sheíd send me a CD and hasnít, and itís been months. I think about these things like the dutiful obsessive calendar-maker I am in January when I note everything important a year in advance, and promptly forget until I realize tomorrow is my motherís birthday. So Erika, if youíre reading this, I want that damn CD or I want a note saying ďUmÖ see, there was a change of plans . . . ď Speaking of unrealistic expectations, why arenít you reading my mind? I shoved off, went away, wanted to return from the emotional exile, and now itís like Iím dead. Well, Iím not dead yet folks, so where the fuck are the emails? Telephone calls? Yeah, yeah, I know youíre busy. Iím feeling needy here.
Jesus. What the hell am I talking about now? I could talk about Jesus; Easter eve I went to St. Markís in Seattle and took part in the services and singing by candlelight and, well, thatís enough. My faith is disintegrating like year-old saltine crackers.
One point for me: Was tempted to call Spec on Monday (his birthday) but didnít. Perhaps I donít deserve the point since I was convinced he wouldnít talk to me and thereís nothing worse than looking like a fool in my world and that was enough to dissuade me. I do miss him, though. Correction: Itís not him I miss, itís being intimate and trusting someone that I miss. Does that make sense?
Do I ever make sense nowadays?
Sometimes when the phone rings and nobody responds when I pick up the handset, I think itís him. I hope itís him, I hope itís not. I listen for a moment or two, and then I hang up.