10:16PM, Saturday, November 17th, 2001
I wish I had something a little nicer than simpletext to write in. I wish I had something a little nicer to write. So much of what I have to say just isn’t kind. It isn’t kind to me. It isn’t kind to the people in my life. So much of what I want to say might just go down the wrong way with some people that I just don’t say it. Not even to myself. I believe in the idea of honesty, and of being forthright with what is on your mind, but this has led me to mislead myself. If I can just convince myself that something about me isn’t true then I don’t have to worry about whether or not I reveal it to the people it would upset; there’s nothing left to reveal.
I censor myself. I don’t just censor the words that I say and write. I censor my own thoughts. I have heard it said that thoughts cannot be censored, but I know that this is not true because I censor my own thoughts. I have blanked out whole sections of my memory and my hopes and dreams and desires and emotions and so much of myself that I am no longer sure what it means to be me. Some say that I just like to be a complicated person. Some say that That is because I want to be able to push people away. That I want to be left alone. I have hidden so much from myself over time that I don’t know if I am even capable of knowing whether my complexity is intentional or a side effect of something true about me. I don’t know how to find out if I am really this way, or if I’m just pretending to be this way, or if there is really a difference between reality and imagination, if one believes what is imagined.
If I lie to myself about something for so long, or so convincingly that I and up believeing it and living my life according to it, does it remain a lie? If I lie to everyone I know and I live my life in line with that lie, is it still a lie? For whom? Does it stop being a lie the moment I believe it? I can be pretty convincing. I think people, myself included, have a very good ability to make themselves believe things, whether or not they have any basis in truth or not. I think that this very ability can change the course of human events. Can change the whole world. I believe that since everything that is is just a matter of what we perceive it to be, if we can change our perception of the world, we can change the world.
I remember when my sexual orientation was not a question, but an assumption. I remember when a career was something I wanted to have; was going to have. I remember when I knew for certain that I would always be alone; that I would never find a match and would live my life without the companionship of a partner. I remember it was not in question. It was a fact. So many things that I believed to be true about the world and about my own place in the world. I remember specific moments when some of these things changed. Some of them have been more gradual. Some of them have even begun to shift back from possibilities to facts of life.
I can think back to when I first started showing an interest in the opposite sex thinking to myself that this would be an interesting experiment – something to look at, learn about, and move on from. I remember looking at relationships as a part of the human experience that I did not share, that I did not understand but wanted to understand. I remember losing girlfriends three years in a row while I tried to figure out what the deal with Valentine’s Day is. I remember not knowing little assumed things about how to deal with other human beings in an emotional, intimate relationship causing so much trouble. I remember how I learned to be a good partner by learning what it means to love. I remember how love itself compelled me to say things like “I want to be with you forever,” and how saying those things began to change what I believed about my future. How I eventually managed to convince myself that I should be with the person that I love, even if I could never really convince them of the same thing about me. How the reality of what was true in my heart about what I want in my life was changed because I was trying to work out how to be in a good relationship.
So much of the love in my heart, so much of the flirtation in my past, so much of the pleasure in my bed, has come from this ill-advised quest to understand human companionship that I think I muct have convinced myself that it was all rubbish. It wasn’t real, it wasn’t valid, it wasn’t true, and all because my intentions in experiencing it were artificial. I can remember that I used to be able to get anyone I wanted. I remember that I used to flirt effectively with the best of them. I remember girls fighting with each other to be with me. I remember having more than one person at a time (more than half a dozen at another), and all to myself. I remember these things happenning, but I don’t seem to be able to do them now. A little while ago I spent over two hours in a store where an attractive young woman I am interested in is working, and I did little more than say hello. Now I know just about every product offerred in the entire store, but she doesn’t even know I like her. I used to see someone I wanted to get to know and in no time they were reveling secrets they never thought they’d tell anyone – now I see someone I’d like to get to know better and I just freeze up. I just don’t know how to start with people anymore.
One of my favorite things in the past has been getting to know new people and new experiences. I remember losing several partners because I had been a little too tempted by a new face, a new smile, a passionate kiss I had never had the chance to taste before. . . I remember relishing in the getting-to-know-you routine. Today it seems to be the hardest part. I’m still forward and freindly enough on the surface that I have relatively meaningful conversations with strangers and people who work behind the counter wherever I shop, but I can’t seem to bring myself to take it past that point of casual aquaintance with whom I am comfortable discussing things of no import, but of whom I know very little. Then again, maybe I’m making too big a deal out of something that really isn’t a big deal. Maybe there really isn’t anything more to getting to know someone than to continue having conversations with them, and to be interested in their lives and their existence as human beings. Maybe if I just keep showing up at her shop and having conversations with her, she will get to know me well enough that she will be interested as well. Maybe everyone I’m considering mere casual acquiantances consider me a friend, because I’m so friendly. How could I ever really know?
What does it mean to be alive? What does it mean to die? Why do want to be with someone other than myself, and not just next to someone but with someone? Why I want to find someone to be physically intimate with is not in question; that is a part of being made from flesh. That is obvious, even when it isn’t easy. Why I want the person or persons I am physically intimate with to also be emotionally intimate with me – now there’s a question. What am I so afraid of? They say that one cannot express courage without being scared first, but I don’t think that finding someone to share living with is something that I should be afraid of. I am alive. Other people are alive. I want to share that. Their lives and mine. I want something meaningful and fulfilling. I want . . . I want to be normal. From where I am sitting right now, all I can see are couples and people looking for someone to couple with. It must be normal here.
There is something wonderful about having someone to have and to hold. I understand why all my friends are getting married. I figured out why to get married years upon years ago, and I tried to get married a few times. It hasn’t worked out yet, but it seems that my involvement in their lives has led over half of them to marry others with hearts similar to my own so far. The sueation then becomes “What is wrong with me?” There was a young woman I was pursuing a couple of months ago who told me that she didn’t want to have a serious/romantic relationship with me because she wanted to spend time getting to know people as friends long before even considering having a relationship with them. That is a reasonable and worthwhile thing to do when in pursuit of a long-term, worthwhile relationship, so I didn’t think anything of it. Then, a few weeks ago she introduced me to her new boyfriend; somone she’s known at least a few years less than myself. So what was it that he has that I don’t? What is it that I have that drives her – and others – away?
I’m getting so cold. I just don’t know what to do with myself. Sometimes I’m sure that it’s all my own fault, but . . . I am not in control of other people’s actions. I seem often to find myself in the position of having offended someone simply by being myself and speaking my mind. Worse is that more often than not in these situations, people become offended or upset but say nothing at all, leaving me to continue behaving in just the same manner as has upset them in the first place. There is so much more to human communication that I just don’t seem to have a grasp on right now. . . I may have understood it once, but now I’m just twisting in the wind. i want someone to care enough about me that they want to help me become a better person. I want someone to want to be with me with such a passion that when I say something just wrong, they stay by my side and do everything in their power to teach me the just right way to say what I’m thinking. I want someone who loves me enough that they don’t want to leave me all the time.