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9:47 p.m. - October 27, 2003
Ex professo
The sky did not fall though my voice wavered as I introduced myself to the new co-facilitator of the group therapy and mentioned my name is Jason and that I am gay. I blushed only later when I referred to the intimacy issues with my boyfriend being part of my motivation to explore my childhood issues and their relevance to today.

I feel conflicted about what I said.

The group therapy dynamics have changed substantially: One facilitator gone, replaced by a man; we are down to four subjects, maybe five; a new room with a rug whose colors and design defy tracing. I am ambivalent about the group on one hand, desperate on the other. Until we sat down I didnít realize how much Iíve missed them Ė or the opportunity Ė and how much I want to say, the things I want to talk about. Itís like dust on lenses; you clean and polish, replace the eyeglasses on your bridge, and notice more dust remains. Some things you can live with, others are offensive and have to go.

The group began with nine, then eight. Then *L., who committed suicide and brought us to seven; *E. has moved to San Diego, six; *P. wonít return, has given up. *B. didnít show tonight, has been incommunicado. I, too, debated not returning, afraid of Ė Just afraid. The more I talk about it, the more I think about it, the more itís swimming among ice floes, there is only momentary solid ground, and you canít even trust that to last.

But I have hope, fleeting and episodic, that sometimes heralds saltwater fresh and blue from the bay and other times the stench of brine red and brown in the salt ponds. I donít hope that one day Iíll wake up and find that opening up to people doesnít hurt or fill me with unease, or that Iíll morph from an unattractive, socially-inhibited moron into something that doesnít make me cringe when I chance upon my reflection. I just hope that Iíll coddle whatever there is to be nurtured and exult in orchids grown in my greenhouse.


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