When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Saturday, April 5, 2008

My Agenda

This was quite a nice Saturday, full of the promise of Spring. I was surprised to see how much the twigs of Winter have bloomed at 80th St on Central Park West. To my stunned surprise, I was very close to the area whereupon my background photo was taken. So here's what that area looked like on April 5th, 2008;

It was the kind of temperature where you saw a huge mix of dress. From scarves and winter coats down to tank tops and flipflops (Go on guess which segment of God's rainbow were wearing those).

And the kids. A million kids. Which meant an average of 1.75 million parents accompanying them.

Which brings me to My Agenda. The Neighbor, Ned, opened up the topic by invoking my honest, critical eye upon my motives for wanting to pursue Match Girl (as I shall now call her). Ned shared that after his experience with this process, he found that he just wants to matter to someone. Today's your lucky day, Ned. You matter to me, and I'm just a stranger on the other side of a computer link.

So from the time I posted my response to Ned's comment until now, I've been figuring it out. Going through the Park today, taking the Lexington Avenue line downtown (with inhumanly clean subway tracks at 77th St)

revisiting the Karaoke joint and giving my 90% healed vocal chords a work out (and they've come back even better than before the strange and sudden illness which hit me with laryngitis back in, like, Oct or Nov), and going through the decimated Washington Square Park (they dug up that fountain. BASTARDS!! Every movie you've ever seen with Washington Square Park and the fountain--never again. I've no idea who's bright idea it was to irreversably alter this landmark, but here's the proof

on the way back across the village (where I also encountered the world's smallest art gallery opening

and the weirdest set of plaster-of-paris gay couples set I ever seen. Well, the only set I've ever seen)

to the Number 1 train for the return home.

Seeing all the permutations of life out there made me so aware of how "outside" I feel. Sometimes I feel that clients coming to me is like them going to J'onn Jonzz, The Martian Manhunter, for therapy.

How do I even know that I'm making a lick of sense when I'm, for all intents and purposes, divorced from my clients' experiences as human beings?

So My Agenda is simply this; I want to belong to the human race. I want to take my place in society as a member of it. I want to conform to how our society is shaped, how it grows, and what is expected of its members. I want to be normal. This may sound like the Vulcan Guide's Answer To Love, but when the rubber meets the road (no pun intended) that's what I really, really need. The fluffies of love, the hand-holding, the laugh-sharing, the snuggles, the wondrous experiences of seeing new plays together, eating new foods together, getting caught in the rain together. All fringe benefits.

Heehee, I said "fringe"

And by the way, I received another e-mail from Match Girl. We're trading info on our music tastes but she has now asked about some details of my life. Clearly, she wants to see what size this fish on her line is, and if she'll have to throw it back.


akakarma said...

Breathe in, breathe out! You'll be ok. I can't believe that the tress are budding out in NY- how cool! I just heard a huge flock of geese overhead this am. Best to you Alan.

Alan said...

Thank you, Karma! And to you too, of course!

The Neighbor said...

Alan, you are kind to me. Thanks for your words and thoughts; it's pretty odd to feel camaraderie across 700 miles and some wifi, but I agree - you're def. part of the tribe.

As for your agenda - belonging is a beautiful thing, but I don't adhere to your methods at all. Society exists as a collective entity - all of our inputs change and form it. I don't ever want to conform to anyone else's ideas of society. We're "grown up" now, and that means that we get to decide what that means. Mom and Dad's ideas are theirs. It's a brand new world, and it's ours now.

That's not to say that we should endeavor to be weird or non-conformist. It just means that we have as much right to form society as anyone. "Normal" is very relative. So is "fringe."

But it also means that a lot of things once thought fringe are finding deeper acceptance. As a gay person if life is better today than fifteen or twenty years ago.

Hopefully, Match Girl is one of the good ones. I've found that more than a few have a picture in their head of who they want you to be, and try to find ways to make you fit their gilded frame.

So if you're normal, be normal, but if you're not, don't for a second try to be anyone other than who you are. It's too easy to capitulate on little things (that seem inconsequential) to make things work out. Don't do it.

Alan said...

Well Ned I can tell you, I won't stop collecting comics or playing Dungeons & Dragons. One of my best friends wears IS a superhero, in fact and I couldn't ever deny him. Heck, too many of my geek brethren are married (including my superhero) and a bunch others have children, so there's another example of what "normal" is becoming. This generation is putting the idea of the basement-dwelling pimple-faced stinky geek in the grave where it belongs. Heck, geeks today are so cool, they have to be getting vasectomies because of all the sex they're having! (That's right CyberD and Dagromm, and was that Gyuss as well? I'm calling your sexy asses OUT!)

When you said this,
"As a gay person if life is better today than fifteen or twenty years ago."
did you mean yourself? Because I didn't catch that from your blog--I thought your matches were women? I have another blogfriend here named Coaster Punchman and he can speak to whether life is better for the gay community now than 15 years ago, and he lives in NYC too. I figure if it got better anywhere for gay folk, it would be here and San Francisco. :-)

But yeah, my "normal" pretty much just means "married with children". whether I'm a geek or not, or even gay, that seems to be what society expects from me. In the absence of familial stability during all my formative years, I've come to really need support and acceptance, for better or worse. That's a dependency I can't shake and have accepted about myself.

And that's also why I make with the reaching out and bloggedeer supporting. I value the feeling of kinship whenever and wherever I find it. It matters to me. People matter. You matter, Ned. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently. And you, sir, are frickin' brilliant.

And too, I really only started expressing myself this way when I "met" Mike his blog. He was going through such a painful time and was being so honest and open about his emotions--putting it out there in public--that I couldn't reserve myself. I wanted to reach out to help, but I knew I couldn't do it as though I didn't really care. So I just took the chance and expressed myself honestly. He was being openly vulnerable so I responded in kind. And yes, the chance was that I'd sound a little too interested--and he even thought I was gay at one time, but he didn't even care. That was how much he needed people to support him, and now to see where his life has taken him and how far he's made it from those awful times ... well, it was all worth it. We all need each other in this chilly world. Pretending otherwise just leaves us more alone than we started.

Alan said...

This; "One of my best friends wears IS a superhero, in fact and I couldn't ever deny him."

actually translates to

"One of my best friends IS a superhero, in fact, and I wouldn't ever deny him."

The Neighbor said...


I meant "ask" in lieu of As. I do prefer the ladies, but I'm cool with everyone being who they truly are.

I have some envy of your blogosphere, even as I find myself meshing into it. I'm in my sixth year of blogging, my second blog, and I'm always sort of expected to go unnoticed. Being noticed is weird - I simultaneously want to write to my newfound audience and to resist that urge.

I'm down with the geek factor, although it has been years since I played D&D (or Champions, or Magic:The Gathering). I have mad respect for the real life superheros; we have one locally, and I saw some on the news one night in another local community. It takes major balls.

I just want to assert one thing here, lest you get the total wrong idea. I have self-worth and dignity and pride and all of that. I am, in no sense of the word, a desperate person. I'm good with my life. When I say I want to matter to someone, it goes a lot deeper than you will probably ever feel about me.

When someone matters to me in the sense I am referring to, my whole life considers their needs and impact and wants. I want that for myself. I want to be cherished and loved and pleasured in absurdly hedonistic ways. I don't want to be first in anyone's life, but a close second would kick ass.

Brilliant, eh? That's a very nice thing to say. I will only say that brilliance is relative.

I'll check out Mike's blog. I have a deep appreciation for anyone who expresses themselves unrepentantly.

And for you, Alan. Deep respect from the not-so-deep South.

Alan said...

"I don't want to be first in anyone's life, but a close second would kick ass," he says, and then insists that brilliance is relative. Psshyeah, whatever! ;-)

Mike doesn't post as much as he used to--he's too busy having all sorts of sex, lol! Scott is another dude who has a wife and children, and his appeal to me is in example and inspiration. He too is an emotional deep thinker, and we were born a few days apart. Yet he survived his early days with better resiliency and now has the life that I have dreamt decades of. And he's a good writer, but he too doesn't blog as much since he started working from home. Why, Ned, buddy, I think you've come along at the right time. :-D

And go ahead and browse my bloglinks! That's how Ibr/>
Okay, cheers man. I'm going out to eat some steak and maybe take some more pics. I do love this city...

Alan said...

What the heck happened to my sentence up there?

I meant to say, "That's how I found them, by following the blogrolls of those I read and adding them to mine." Each one of them has a bigger blogworld of friends than I do. Fringes & Q even knows Gyuss, Dagromm and Cyber D in person, lol

And Sunshine is missing in action. I'm worried that she's come to some harm since her last entry was about a repeat of insomnia. But too, her husband was running for a government office. But still, she hasn't responded my e-mail either. :-(

Right, okay, steak!

The Neighbor said...

OK, Alan, Brilliance IS relative. I can put words into pretty patterns just fine, but ask me to knit you a sweater and I'm lost in fewer than three rows. Ask me to change the oil in a bike or car and I'm spinning wrenches like a baton twirler, but ask me to solve a calculus differential and watch me get glassy eyed. This medium plays to my strengths. Genius, yes, Brilliant, only sometimes. :)

Anyhow, I'm very sincerely happy to be here. And now, I'm going to eat steak too. You amde me jealous.

Lara Croft said...

Pictures :-)