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11:10 p.m. - August 30, 2003
There was an old man who lived in a shoe
You're pushing me away.

Yes, I am.

Why do you do that?

I don't want to talk about it.

How to tell him I poison relationships less akin to arsenic and closer to drowning by bleach? How to explain that I dislike people knowing too much about me because then the guard goes up? How to communicate my many fears and insecurities? How to say I don't like the way you talk after you've been out with your [gay] friends when he is campy and flamboyant and I'm too uneasy to smile and pretend it doesn't bother me. It's in me, a malignant cell seeking stimuli and growth, I know it. And I hate it, I hate it with heat and anger and putrefaction.

So I don't say anything, I just begin drifting away and when he says I can't believe how cold you can be I arrange those same words from Spec, from JD-the-guy-I-never-talked-about, the Texan-from-Montana. A neat row, sacrosanct, and I light candles for the respose of my soul but I'm energetic-weary, tired of running but somehow there's always reserves to fuel adrenaline to keep going.

It isn't that he's too gay because he isn't and I like those qualities of his - he's open and funny, gentle and silly, thoughtful and can never say enough nice things about me. I've let him in my house for hours at a time and he roams my bookcases and makes me feel good. He came across my chapbook of poetry (1998) and I read some to him and he couldn't stop smiling, says I make him happy. And the nicer he is, the stronger I feel that pull towards oblivion, the louder the cold that creeps up my legs and pulls me down, the more I think I need to beware, not allow anybody in, don't get hurt.

Asks me regardless of how things turn out, that we can be friends and I just look at him and say That's not how I work and he responds, That's so sad. The right answer - the only one - and we're both right.


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