9:40 a.m. - August 15, 2003
If I knew which viscera it is that pushes people away, I would cut it out and feed it to a dog I disliked.
Last night my mother implored me to have one final dinner with her and I acquiesced less for mother-son dynamics and more for family harmony because were I to deny her a final burst of Motherism, my sister and brother would surely be on my case and who wants to be an ingrate, rude, and insensitive all in one? Spec wanted to come with and my brain froze, 100 ice-cream headaches, and he was angry that I said no - mothers always know, don't they? Especially lesbian mothers? - and we argued over nothing, he upset that apparently he isn't masculine enough to thwart mother-lesbian-gaydar and would blow my cover. He said some pretty mean things about my own masculinity and he was on a roll and I could feel his barbs hitting home in quick succession. Standing there, arguing, I had an aha! moment: This is why people really come out, isn't it? Because hiding causes too many problems. People don't come out to facilitate sex and STDs, but to be able to breathe. And so I thought, Do I want my mom to meet Spec?, is he my boyfriend and thereby understandably upset by denial or quick-hide-in-the-closet-until-she-leaves Three's Company shenanigans, or is he just this week's fuck buddy, or is he an ex-boyfriend that's Over and exempt from Get-to-know-the-family obligations?
I thought about my Gay Cousin in Long Beach, the one everyne knows is gay but who has never said one word about it, other than mention his roommate is named Patrick and a nice guy. Once my grandmother and brother went to visit and as he guided them around his condo, he pointed out his bedroom and then his roommate's bedroom; my grandmother, the curious fact-finder she is, opened the closet doors and Gay Cousin had no clothes whereas Patrick had enough to clothe two and confirmed suspicions. Between that and the back issues of Out, my grandmother told my brother, Why does he do this? I would love him regardless and I think about that every so often and did again last night. Of course my family would love me - well, there's little love there to begin with, but what exists wouldn't disappear - and frankly, it's just me standing in my own way. I don't want to be like the Gay Cousin on the one hand, and I don't want to my brother to laugh and my sister say We knew all along.
I gave in and together we met my mother and it wasn't the end of the world and of course he made a great impression, trying his best in ASL and not allowing me to make it easier for him. Zero awkward moments and I didn't perceive any questioning glances from her though I wasn't comfortable and seethed inside when Spec put his arm aross the top of the seat behind me and winked. What's bothering me is his self-righteousness, that he knows better and I'm some helpless not-quite-enough-man with too much baggage needing direction to see the light.
After, he was his old self, wanted me to please him in the fucking car, was rough when we got home, and I panicked during sex and he lost his temper. I am not a tease but how do I explain when I do not know why one moment I want it, and the next I don't or can't? And how I hate it when he grabs me by the chin and says You need a man and you know it and he congratulates himself on helping me come to grips with things as if I'm some sort of stutterer and he a speech coach. I want that even playing field, you know? I want collaboration, not hierarchy. I want mutual support, not one pulling the other through the jungle vines. Bringing him to meet my mother only reinforced his See-I-know-best attitude and if he loves me why does he make me feel this way?
But of course, more importantly, it's why I let him. I guess it's because I don't believe I could find (a) again or (b) better. That's really sad.
We were going to go to the mountains for a picnic, until it began raining and plans changed. Now we're hanging out in privacy because the housemate went home Tuesday. And funny, we're hanging out together but I'm in the bedroom and he's in the living room and I prefer it that way.
Again I wonder, what's wrong with me.