Friday, August 9, 2002

my heart is not strong enough to tell you how not strong it really is

I have glue dried to my fingertips. Moments earlier, before the conception of this, the start, the attempt, I sat, stared at the computer screen and chewed on the dried glue and wondered what it is that I want to say, wondered why it is that when I am most emotional, most burdened with thoughts do I not know how to say it, say them, how to put together coherent sentences that flow from one to the other, how there are so many things I want to say but how do I puree them all together in some coherent fashion, wondering if there is even a way to go about doing it, if I should just give up, just submit to again lying on the couch with my head buried in dirty laundry wanting to cry, to lie next to someone, a certain someone, but knowing that that is not going to happen, just wanting to talk to someone about it, about him, maybe even relating it back to me, but no one is around to talk to about it even when people are around, it is that type of thing, that type of moody broodiness that is making me lie buried in the comfort of dirty laundry, listening to Belle and Sebastian and thinking how much longer should I wait before I open the bottle of Cabernet, at what point do I want to call this day just that, a day, and begin the process of bringing it to a close, circling in those said wagons, and cuddling up in my bed, trying to deceive myself, imagining my sheets as the warmth of another body, that I am in fact, not lying by myself, that I have company on my journey through this town, these days of summer, this world, this lifetime, but even more importantly, this moment, the present, right fucking now.

It is 37 hours exactly until our planned departure time, until we leave behind this town of Madison and head out towards school, leaving behind our summer. Already I am glancing in the rearview mirror from the road, sad that it is over, wishing that it could have been longer, that I didn't have to leave, that a boy would not have become representative of the town, of the city, that he would have treated me nicer, maybe even just a little bit, that Madison would not be a place I wanted to reach out my fingers gently to, cautiously, hoping that my hand would not unsettle it, worrying that my hands would be pushed away, rather than taken up and interlocking fingers into fingers into fingers. In 37 hours, the adventure that was this summer will decide to open that bottle of Cabernet also, calling it, the summer, a day, and the curtains will slowly settle down onto the stage. Of course, that will not be The End - the cast members will all go on to work in other productions on other stages, maybe even in other cities, maybe even on the screen, the big screen - it's just sad, conclusions are, not knowing if the next production will be as fun, missing with nostalgia all those funny moments that you had backstage, this little ending serving as a very subtle reminder of the big ending, but a reminder none the less - a mini-version, a scaled back production of our deaths, of everything we have done, of how we will (or will not) miss them all - the moments and the people that constituted the existence that came, or (in my case) will be coming to a close in a short 37 hours. And maybe this is why Belle and Sebastian "always cry at endings," because they are like me, like you - we all cry at endings with that nostalgic fingering of the lived life mixed with an existential fear of the to be lived life, secretly wondering if there is one, a to be lived life.

This entry is about to change in tone, in outlook a little bit, and that is because there is a temporal gap of about half an hour between that last paragraph and this one, look at that space and there, somewhere, lies half an hour, a decent chunk of my day, maybe even of my life, a period of time occurred where things happened to me, things were consumed by me: words, lettuce and tomatoes. And they have changed my mood, made me a little less melancholy, have allowed me to see a bigger picture besides the rejection of a boy by another one. Sometimes all it takes is a talk with my mom to bring me back into sync. We never talk about anything particular that should rejuvenate my mood, just the talk of how the house is going, where she is going to next week on business, and how I am doing in the most superficial sense. But there is something about her voice, the familiarity of it that grounds me, makes me feel a little less atomized in this country from the rest of its inhabitants, makes me feel connected to people, that there is some order in this world as long as my mom and I have our weekly phone conversation. It is also a small, beginning step in transporting myself, in moving some of my self out of Madison, these correspondences that I have been having with not only my mom, but people from school at a more frenzied pace as the summer has neared its end. I have been writing to people from school, friends I haven't seen in forever, writing them a lot more often this past couple week, sending bits of me to Sarasota, rebuilding the connections that will allow me to feel at home there, putting down roots, as they say.

So let's get to the cause of this bout of melancholy, write it, identify it...At work, Brandi had a Plato quote taped up in her cubicle, "The unexamined life is not worth living." But, to be a little more clinical about the whole thing, this diary writing process, why I felt the need, the fucking need, where I had to get up and write an entry, had to dig my watery eyes out of dirty laundry and sit before Bonnie's computer even though I had no clue what exactly it is I wanted to say, and still don't - I did this because there is some scientific methody proverb that goes something like, "You have to identify the problem, before you can figure out the solution." Something like that, you get the idea. Or at least, I hope you do. That is why I am here now, writing an entry, writing a problem, a drama where the ending will seem all too obvious, where you can be like: duh, anyone can see what is going to happen next. Because I want to know what is going to happen next, what will follow this bout, what will fix it. If I set up the events in a linear fashion determined by cause and effect and effect of effect, then I am giving my life, the world, order - the senselessness of wanting to cry into dirty laundry is the direct result of something else, that I am really not just an emotional mess for no reason at all, that there are reasons, or at least that is what I am trying to tell myself, and what I will now tell you.

The reasons: Last night, I planned on going to the Rainbow Room with Bonnie and the PIRGers, our last night there, one last hurrah in our tradition of going to the RR every Thursday night. I was pretty smashed even before getting there and once there, I got even further smashed, but not in the yelling, making out with any boy in sight type smashed. The type of smashed where I wanted to stick out my bottom lip, have downcast eyes, and feel sorry for myself because a boy did not meet me there. This boy, being the oft-mentioned Giancarlo who a couple hours earlier had said that he "might" meet me there, that he had to go to a friend's party first. And I know about vagueness, I know about ambiguous language, mights and mays - I knew that this was a veiled no, veiled behind the imperatives of social customs, of the need to be nice - but also said because a no would mean that you would lose an admirer, the president of your fan club would turn in their resignation and move on to flatter the irrepressible ego of some other boy with nice cheekbones and scruffy hair. And so yeah, all night I was sad that again I was not going to have sex with Giancarlo, another bead in the necklace of this week, the string of dashed hopes and rejection.

I was hit on by an insane number of boys last night, most of them decent looking boys, some of them even fucking hot but I was not in the mood to feign interest, to tell them why I am here in Madison for the millionth time, to put on a smile and dance. There were a couple people, the regulars, the people I knew, that I trusted not to push away my hand who I did smile to, who I did dance with, who I did engage in sincere, animated discussion with. I just got sad during those moments when boys that I didn't know talked close to me, tried to make that type of eye contact with me that precedes a kiss, that they hoped would - they just made me long more for Giancarlo, to lie with him - they made me aware of how silly it is, how silly I am to want this from any of these boys here, perhaps from any gay boy. Fags, all of em. We're a sick fucking lot, unable to sustain tonight into tomorrow, to allow continuity, to talk the next day about anything meaningful - and it just made me so sad to have these boys smiling at me, sticking their hands under my shirt, knowing that it's all for shit. I kept on scanning the front crowd, hoping against reality, against the more rational thoughts in the back of brain, that Giancarlo would appear, that he would walk through the door and restore my faith in him, in gay life, and even more importantly, in myself - that I would not have been the sad loser I have been playing these last couple days, desperate for the boy who couldn't give a damn either way, the boy who when I met up with him a couple days ago told me that he didn't remember anything about the night we fucked and asked me if he picked me up, a boy that says cruel things and does not know they are, does not give a shit either way - that I should not like boys like this that make me feel like shit, piercing my already fragile sense of self with reckless words.

And so I turned down boy after boy last night, too sad to bother with ambiguity, with cushioning rejections in kind phrases, instead saying simply no, walking away, telling one boy even, an Israeli, that I could never get with an Israeli, that I hated them and the state of Israel. I probably should not have said the last bit - he told me I was a racist but yet still he wanted my racist cock, tried to reach his hand down my pants regardless of the fact that I hated him and his country, that I secretly cheer in a score-one-for-the-team type cheer whenever Israelis are killed by Palestinians, that I would smile with a vengeful delight if Israel were bombed out of existence - of course, I did not tell him about the cheering part, I would never tell anyone about that, I did not just tell you, you dreamed it - but I made very explicit my hatred of the state of Israel, and yes, he called me a racist with a sexually hungry smile of his face. And what is wrong with fags? Why don't you punch me in the face, you sick fucker? I pushed his extended hands away, broke free, and made my way to the back bar where I talked to Matt the bartender for the rest of the night and got free drink after free drink and got progressively more and more smashed, more hammered, more drizzityunk as a skizzityunk. I talked to Rebecca a bunch, possibly even kissed her if Bonnie's memory is to be trusted, if any of ours are to be, and made my way home, made my way home very slowly, the long fucking drunk solitary walk home where I very likely thought of no other thoughts except ones of, and ones directly relating to Giancarlo.

When you fall asleep at around three AM, drunk within inches of your life and are supposed to wake up at 6:45, less than four hours later, chances are pretty good that you are not actually going to get up and go to work, chances are really good that you, instead, will turn off the alarm clock with a quickness that appears out of somewhere, out of our superhero reserves, only in such instances. And so, this morning when my alarm clock went off, as should be obvious to even the densest reader, I did not get up for work, turned off my alarm clock with Olympian speed, and went back to bed, to sleep, to the deliriously comfortable, cuddly feeling of my blankets. When I did wake up finally a couple hours later, I called the temp agency to tell them that I was not only not showing up for work today but quitting the job, and oh yeah, could you mail my check to me in Florida? Needless to say, the temp lady was not thrilled and admonished me on how they would have appreciated more notice.

But, we all would appreciate certain things. As has already been mentioned probably what is an excessive amount of times in this already excessively long diary entry, I would appreciate the affections of Giancarlo. Today, the boy, the asshole was on my mind again. Also on my mind today as Bonnie and I went thrifting and out for coffee was our impending departure from Madison, how I have yet to pack one thing, how our room looks like shit and we are supposed to clean it, how I have no money, how Bonnie’s car is possibly going to fit all the crap we have in our room, how Sarasota is just not as exciting as Madison, not in any way whatsoever. And these two my-life-is-so-sad strains of thought morphed into an unstoppable capitalized My Life Is So Sad type of day, especially after Bonnie left to go hang out with Russ, and I no longer had to act happy, enthused. I, against my better judgment, and following Bonnie’s advice who said, “You’re only going to be here for another day, you might as well. It’s not going to hurt anything to call. Just do it,” called Giancarlo to ask him if he was “free,” if any of us are really, if he would be able to hang out with me this weekend, and again the cruel uncertainty of vague words, of “maybe tomorrow, I’ll be free,” of “I might go camping tomorrow, but if I don’t, I’ll definitely give you a call.” And he is never really mean, and he’s never actually stood me up since our plans were never definite, it’s just utterly frustrating and ego-crushing to have a boy that I think is the bee’s knees be so casual with my feelings, with our possible plans. And, I am not really expecting him to call tomorrow, even if he does, he said that he would most likely be going to Club-5 and since we are planning on leaving bright and early Sunday morning, I do not know if I would even go. So that was probably the last time that I would ever talk to Giancarlo, that I would never see him, never get to run my hands through his scruffy hair again, and this made me insanely sad after I got off the phone with him, this sense of finality, and this is why I buried my head into the dirty laundry of our couch, felt emotionally exhausted and just wanted to cry, to lie next to him so much. And that brings us full circle, to the beginning, to me sitting down at this computer and attempting to tell you, the reader something, but even more so to try to tell myself things, to try to work these things out, to come to terms with why I feel so lame, to hopefully alleviate the feeling of loserness and replace it with a feeling of release, of contentment after entering the confessional. And, the same If You’re Feeling Sinister CD is still playing on repeat and now it is being interpreted not as the soundtrack to my melancholiness, but as something chipper, a barely contained yelp of love for life and beauty, as if they are biting their lip not to yell with utter delight, saying loud, happy things in hushed tones. And so, I guess this has worked - I no longer have the desire to bury my head into the couch, into stinky clothes that need to be washed, packed, and somehow placed into a car to be moved across state lines.

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