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12:46 p.m. - April 05, 2004
Of 12
I do some of my best thinking in the car en route to a destination where I have to play the part of the service professional and be what I'm paid to be: a consumate communicator, able to translate nuclear physics into ASL and English with such facility that confirms in others' minds the reason why I'm paid so much to do what I do. While driving to an assignment like that where I know my role and how to function, I'm free to engage in just being me, whether it's singing off-tune to a song whose lyrics I don't really know, laughing aloud to something the (dis)entertaining morning show folks say in a forced attempt at humor and ratings, or just thinking about the things I don't schedule in during normal operating hours. Perhaps this is why I value driving as much as I do because there is a built-in assumption that this is me time; there is no book chapter to be written, no invoice or contract to put together, no oppportunity to work on presentations or workshops or budget proposals or consultant projects. It's why I refuse a cell phone because there's some atom inside, the last of its kind, that is intractable and pursuing its best interest of which I am merely a hanger-on, a symbiotic partner benefitting from an enforced period of time during which I really can't do much.

I am too hard on Ryan II and I am conflicted over where this relationship is heading; relationship is a descriptor as overblown and self-sensationalizing as French post-modern philosophers. It isn't a relationship because I am not emotionally vested in pursuing something I wish to last, and I am doing something unfair to him by going through the motions. I'm holding back because he isn't Spec and it's time I do more than state the obvious. I care for him in the same manner I care for - the only emotion I recognize is the care I had for students. I wish him well, I hope he gets back on track academically and is happy, I hope he won't drive too fast on his coming-soon motorcycle. But I don't care for him in an opening-up way when I turn off the safety alarms and jump, when I let go of my worries and fears. With Ryan II, I've simply accommodated room for him in my life, moving over a little on the bed, letting him leave DVDs and clothes around because seeing his realia makes me less lonely, obscures the fact that despite his proximity, he is far away. I want passion and emotions that roil my complacency, I want to feel the same way I did before. I want to feel that in-between space, that penumbra, the uplift before rushing down, I want to feel acceleration and geometric patterns. I don't want pro forma, I don't want in situ, I want to feel so much that I register, I compute, I make sense.

I am afraid to open up to him, show him my weaknesses. I worry he will be like Spec, and I push him away because he isn't.


Earlier last week there was a suicide jumper on the Bay Bridge that snarled traffic and dominated the mediawaves. Each time I hear it mentioned, I think of what it must be like to stand so high up above the water. I wonder if the greater silence absorbs the traffic noise so that the only sound is one's heart racing, or if the jumper listens to the caw of birds. I wonder if birds are scared by an unexpected visage so close to their perches, I wonder if that sail through the air is fueled with regret of leaving or anticipation of arriving somewhere else.

I knew a woman who jumped off the Golden Gate bridge and I've thought occasionally of her since she died but most often it was to reflect on her memorial service. How can someone so alone be confident that people will attend a function and take home used coffee mugs last touched by a woman planning a suicidal leap? Did she, or does anybody, really feel alone knowing there would be people surrouding her in death if not in life? I'd like to think I'm not alone, either. In many ways I'm not; I know people from the agency would come to a service, people from church. Would they exchange notes, try to figure me out? I think it's best to avoid scenes, so no jumping from a bridge for me. I'd rather drive off someplace quiet and hike into the woods, walk until I'm tired and lay down to sleep. I suspect such wouldn't allow for much appreciation of the surroundings; what if the greater silence absorbs the sounds I most keenly want to hear?


Last night I spoke on the telephone with Jon, another guy from, the website that's becoming my portal window. We've been chatting intermittently for a long time and when he asked again for a number I didn't see any reason to decline. So we talked on the phone for a while as I waited for Ryan II to arrive (Harrison Ford's The Fugitive) and it was a fun conversation. The more I interact with gay men, the more comfortable I feel with myself and showing myself to others - the not-so-serious side of me. He bragged about his massage skills and I headed him off, said I dislike being touched, and he thought I was kidding. I didn't correct him but I'm thinking of the disconnect between being attracted to men yet afraid. It is a mini-fantasy of mine to find a guy who wants to rub his hands over me and I let him, I want to feel fingers down my back and not cringe, I want to say this is my body and it is a gift for us both. It makes me sad that this is one fantasy unlikely to come true in any meaningful form.


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