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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

In Praise Of Women

So here I am at work on a Sunday, with a laptop and a live wireless connection. So why on earth would I be working? I've made hours and hours of quality client contact today while trading blog I.M's with my tribesman Ned (I was sitting in the midst of my clients, watching Ratatouille while I was talking to you, Ned).

And now I've driven an hour to another site and doing my last client contact for the day. I have no midtown clients on the weekends, so tonight is mine. Woo hoo. To do what? Whatever it'll be, it'll be alone.

But here at this other site, a fetching little lady breezed through here a minute or so ago and wished me a happy holiday tomorrow. And was it the meds, or was it Ned, or was it my constantly regenerating intolerance for lonely that pressed me to ask her what she was going to do for her holiday.

There is such magic in the transaction between man and woman. Me plying and prodding into her life. Her responses, some coy, some not. Uncovering her interests layer by layer and discovering, like favorite chocolates, the things we have in common. She loves Manhattan, she said. She likes the area down by W. 11th. St. (That's the West Village and the Meat-Packing district, where I was a few avenues away from yesterday as I got my shrimp from "A Salt & Battery" and ate them in the park across from Magnolia's Bakery on Bleecker St.) And were I an average citizen of the Testosterone Brigade, I'd have totally said, "We should hang out sometime! I was just down there yesterday!" Gotten her number and placed it in my little black book.

But I look at her, her soft eyes and concave teeth (yes, like the kind that has a natural almond-shaped space as though she'd been a late-age thumbsucker) and I avoid further conversation other than "have a great holdiay." When she asks the same of me, I stay non-committal. I do not volunteer a tenth of the same information to her as she did for me. I tell her my plans, which are to do nothing tomorrow. Not. A. Thing. Except I might to to the gym and run in Central Park. I'm still 10lbs. lighter than I was last month and I still have 20 to go. But I didn't tell her that. I didn't even tell her that I live on the island that she loves.

Because I think this precious lady co-worker of mine doesn't need a case like me all twined up in her heart. Ned's making me--no, not true--Ned's awakening the side of me that doesn't want to hurt my next partner. They see me, an assistant director of some charm with no wedding ring on, salt&pepper sideburns and vandyke, and they wonder if I'd make a good father for their kids. A good lover? A good friend? And the answer would be "Yes. I would."

But would they tolerate the fact that I also think some men are terrific? Why would anyone sane want to take on the challenge of finding out their partner's tolerance level while falling in love with them? Because when it's a matter of "You freak! How could you do this to me?!" screamed at glass-shattering decibels...well you get the point. I'd be a masochist and a sadist rolled into one.

Are there women who would actually dig that? Would they dig it the same way guys would dig having their chick singing "I Kissed A Girl, And I Liked It...!"?

I said I'd try it out on CraigList. I'm lax in doing so. But I do know this. I wouldn't want to live in a world without women.

I love women.

Anyone want to trade places?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Seas Would Rise When I Gave The Word

Coldplay is haunting me like the wishing-well ghost in the Gordon Lightfoot song.

Coldplay Lyrics
Viva La Vida Lyrics

Today MFTD got back to me after three days. I called his home on Saturday and left a message with his wife. I had been squirmy enough after posting the Coldplay video to get him on the line. Three days later he calls me. Well, I remembered Scott's advice in a comment when I last kvetched about MFTD's inaccessibility. Spilling all your tea in the lap of one person all the time (especially when you're not paid to receive it) gets to be tiring. This is paraphrased from Scott's original words, mind you. And I'm not at my literary best atm.

Wait, I tell a lie. He actually called yesterday and I didn't pick up. I was in session.

So when he called today, I determined not to spill the tea. However, I couldn't keep the convo breezy and superficial. I did try, I swear it. But he heard I was being false and he insisted I tell him. He knew I was sitting on top of something. It's like, I want to tell, but I don't want to drive these people out of my life with my monotonous, same-old song. The eyes rolling with "Oh here we go again".

But I did it. I spilled the tea. I told him how jealous I was of him and I itemized the bill.

Well, MFTD is a fixer. So, unbidden, he launched into therapy. But we went over everything that we've gone over before. I owe him money. He's not pressuring me to pay him back. I want to make more. Why am I not leaving New Jersey and saving $$$ on car ownership and commute costs? I want to be in a relationship where somebody loves me. Then why don't you?

Now my eyes were rolling.

But yeah, why don't I?

But see, MFTD knows. He just hasn't accepted it. Hell, I haven't accepted it. I don't want to. I've fought it all my life. It just feels like there's no point in fighting it because it's not going away.

I'm gay.

I mean, this isn't actual news, I'm guessing, because I've blogged as much--I just wouldn't end the sentences with it. Because too, I like breasts. Jiggly ones that double-mound in the center. Push-up bras are my friend.

But I lie if I didn't admit to myself that I really like guys. I mean, I admire so much about guys. Masculinity and strength. Their ability to go tough and stand like pillars for family, community, and nation. That in itself is not being gay. I know that. And no I've never had sex with one. And I don't particularly want to. For instance, I don't just not like the smell of booty, I'm disgusted by it. Gaggingly disgusted. I can't use a public restroom that's been bombed out by some exploded-colon victim. I'll circumnavigate like Jack Nicholson on a city street in "As Good As It Gets" to avoid the very shadow of careless dog turds.

Yet why do I think I'm gay?

Because I've been turned on by men since I was six. It was molestation, pure and simple, and a crime against me. But it was more than once and it's an appetite I have and have always had. Like K.D. Lang's Constant Craving.

And I don't KNOW if I'd have been gay without the molestation. But surely I wouldn't have been turned on at the age of six otherwise? Surely I'd have had a childhood without trying to rub myself into a stupor? Surely all the weekends that my mother worked wouldn't have been spent hunting down Mom's porn, isolating myself in the house instead of learning how to make friends, and then feverishly, guiltily teaching myself how to masturbate before I even knew how to ride a bike?

And here's what I also know--I am anything BUT gay. "Gay." Now that is a laugh. This? What I am? Is not "gay." This is miserable. This is conflicted and self-loathing and arrested and stunted and phobic and trapped and destroyed. Is what this is.

Because I love the company of a good woman. I want the late night talks. I want the staring into the eyes. I want the handholding. The hugs. The spooning. The "squooch-squooch-squooch" of sex. The slow and the fast.

But that's just not all I want. I'm a wide open, burglarized home. Despoiled and unprotected. Ravaged and unattended. A panic to the owner upon discovery, and forevermore a constant disturbing reminder that someone unauthorized has been here.

All my chances for normal is gone. Gone before I ever had a chance. My whole life, done in one.

MFTD knows this already. I've told him, and we've been going round and round for a few years now. And now I'm telling you. And him and me, we're working on the theory that I'm not hardwired by biology to have sex with one gender and no other. I don't think anyone is. I know a gay man who had sex with a woman just to try it, and loved it, but prefers to be and stay gay. He, I believe, is actually the definition of "gay," he does what he does, loves who he loves, and accepts who he is.

So the treatment plan is to move forward pursuing what I actually want. Not what I crave. What I want.

and what I want is a do-over. I want my chance back--my chance to be normal. To be loved and to be able to return it. To make a woman happy the way I've never been able to do in 43 years. Any woman.

It isn't unreasonable, it's just impossible.

And the happier I see other guys be, the further away from me it seems. For all the pitfalls of the normal life, it is infinitely better than this life I'm living. This life that I have prayed to be redeemable. I've lost my perspective on how that can be possible. Maybe I'll get it back, someday. But right now?

I used to rule the world.
Seas would rise when I gave the word. Now I wake up in the bed alone. Sweep the streets I used to own.

Sorry Ned, but you did ask.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Used To Rule The World ...

I'm going to explain this in a few hours. The tag I put on this post and the tone of this song should clue you in as to what it will be about.

Buckle up...

... okay, I've calmed down a bit since I first posted so I'm sure I won't be as virulent as I could have been. And that's a good thing.

Here's the deal--

Today is one of the infrequent days my New York suburban friends play D&D in a New York suburb. This is where to find the oft spoken of Grim Jester. Well, there a member of this group who I usually pick up in my car and drive to the venue. This member is a recluse and has symptoms of social phobia and some schizophrenia. I haven't told him that when we sometimes decompress at the end of the night, talking for about an hour before he leaves the car and goes home. He really does want relationships, but he says he hates people. Yet he games with us, introduced to the group about four or five years ago by Grim Jester.

Well today, Grim Jester calls me to say he has an emergency and he can't make it, and he wants me to distribute the news to everyone else as he rushes off to save the world. He tells me to tell everyone that we should still play without him. And that suits because he's not running the game--our other friend is, the cop.

So I carry out the news. When I get to the friend who I drive to the games, he says he doesn't want to go if Grim Jester is not going.

I mean, come on. I'm the guy who drives him every game. We talk all the way there, and all the way back. I sit in the car and talk to him for 30mins to an hour after the ride, after five to six hours of gaming. The only thing the prevents me from going over his house when there's no gaming is because I don't want to do therapy when I'm not working.

But because Grim Jester's not going, this guy is just going to drop all of us?

Fine, I tell everyone else, and just let the game be canceled. Because now that two of us canceled, there's not really enough of us left to pick up where we left off.

Then half an hour later, Grim Jester calls me and says the emergency is over and he wants to play. So I tell him the game was canceled, telling him only that his friend canceled when he heard that Grim wasn't coming, so Grim gets all indignant and decides to call everyone else himself to Make Things Right Again.

Seconds later, Grim's Friend; My Passenger calls me back to say, "Grim's going! Can you still pick me up?"

And I'm like, "What?"

Now, I understand the dude has phobias and it takes a lot for him to want to attend the group. But evidently, it also takes Grim Jester. And I just couldn't help but think "Well what the hell am I, just a chauffeur?"

Then, of course, being me, and being recently aware of my loneliness, I hated Grim Jester. Grim is always the leader. He's the one with the muscular, lithe frame. With all the body hair. And the bare feet. And the ... whatever.

It doesn't matter. I don't hate him anymore. I am, in fact sitting here in the group, in New York suburbia, having transported Grim's Friend; My Passenger to the game (he's sitting right next to me). And I am getting over it. Being jealous takes a lot of energy, and this is my one day off a week.

So what I'm not liked as well as Grim Jester is by this guy who I give time, gas, and therapeutic attention to so he won't become an utter psychotic? So what that Grim Jester is really the glue that holds this group together? So what that we aren't really friends--but we're just Grim Jester's satellites? So what?

I'm still here. We still have "fun".

So what?


Thursday, August 21, 2008

So ... Connecticut.

MFTD's birthday was precisely what I thought it'd be. Minus all but one brother. A girlfriendless brother. So that was nice.

But it was Americana at its best. MFTD didn't cry when I gave him my gift, but he did buy a house.

Thank God for my meds.

So I bemoaned my sad featureless fate to my other friend, late last night (well, he asked), and he leapt to my rescue. He did something on a personal level (as opposed to a professional one) that I've really only gotten here in print--he said nice things about me. I've mentioned this friend before, and he has a Name that I gave him here at Redeemable Life (and a tag I can use to categorize this post) but I won't use it.

Because he has become a real friend. The friend I wanted him to be when I first met him. He's that kind of friend. And often I asked myself, "What does he want to be MY friend for?" I mean, I knew why I wanted to be HIS friend, but I didn't understand the reciprocation. Until last night. Because of the things he said to me.

I was listening to NPR yesterday afternoon, before I learned that MFTD bought a house, and it was Teri Gross on "Fresh Air" talking to a Lincoln historian about the possibility that Lincoln was gay because of a friendship he had with a man named Speed. In letters between the two, very affectionate words were found that seemed above the limits of hetero-ness. But the historian pointed out the texts of other manletters back in Lincoln's day where men would pour out their feelings for one another without the stigma of sexual identity or interpretation. What they felt, they said.

And that's the friend that I'm talking about. He says what he feels, good or bad, right or wrong. So I believed him when he told me my worth and my potential--and of his affection for me. And it isn't as if you guys haven't told me the same--but there seems to be a difference between the written word and the spoken word. I hear the heart behind the voice. And I really. REALLY. needed it last night.

I love my friend.

So NutriMe is 187 lbs. now, making my weight loss up to 10 lbs. I have been cheating, just not crazily so, and not getting to the gym as often as I'd like since my boss (The Director of our department) is on vacation--entering week two of it--and I'm now the acting director. Thankfully, I haven't had to actually work harder, but the potential is there and it keeps me on my toes.

Again, thank God for my meds.

All this pressure and failure to perform in the adult arena would have hit me a LOT harder this time last year. My friend helped me see that and a bunch of things more. Like how it's a good thing that I feel dissatisfied. For if not, I'd never change. But I am dissatisfied, and I am going to change. I've got 20 more lbs. to go, and a full time job to replace. He asked me what my wishes would be if I got hold of a Ring of Three Wishes. It didn't take me long to answer.

1) To Get Rid All My Debt.

2) To Own (so that the only payments I had to make were utilities) An Apartment in Midtown Manhattan.

3) To Not Want A Significant Love In My Life.

What would yours be?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Um, Duh??

This story is not at all a surprise.

And if you think this guy was the only one out there, you're fooling yourself.

This is why white racism is so terrifying to me. Yes, there's racism in every skin-color group of people, but when was the last time you heard someone of color decide to assassinate a Presidential candidate because he was a white man?

If Obama does not get elected because someone killed him, I will most likely change as a person. And it won't be for the better. Because it has already happened one time too many. If it happens again, I'll need some serious conditioning not believing in complicit guilt by apathy and indifference.



So I started the Nutrisystem meals on July 29th, the day after I returned from Cali. I cheated on Aug 2nd with Jim Dandy, a strong lover made of 5 scoops of ice cream, 3 toppings, a mound of whip cream, chocolate sprinkles and walnut pieces.

(stomach: *growwwWWwwwll*)

Yesterday I cheated with a McDonald's double hamburger.

From the 29th until now, I've lost 7 lbs. This means I'm now 190.

So it is working, and slowly which is good. It's helping me know what size portions I should be eating, and when in the day I should be eating them. It has plenty of sugary snacks (cookies, brownies, scones, hotchocolate) and flavored pretzels and chips and things to snack on (at the appointed time, in the appointed amount) as to not keep me hungry--but sometimes I still crave. The dinner "meals" are small, er, I mean "perfectly porportioned" but the s uggestion is to eat these with a salad, drink plenty of water all day, and snack on fruit and yogurt as well (like 12 cherries, as opposed to the whole store bag of cherries).

I've also gone to the gym a few times since the 29th--not as frequently as I'd like, but I'm going. The more I exercize, the faster the weight loss, and the less hungry I am. So that's good.

And I have a pair of black stovepipe jeans that I've worn out of sheer orneriness, which would make me look like a pumpernickel loaf with my shirt off. Now they are looser in the thighs, and I only look like a bran muffin instead of a loaf.

So onward and downward!

In other news, MFTD is having a birthday bash at his place this weekend. I look forward to going only because I got him a gift when I was in Cali (an exclusive convention toy in his favorite genre, and I've never bought him a gift before), and I want to see if it makes him cry. lol! What I don't look forward to is the same ole that lowers my elevation each time; His family.
His wife.
His adorably real and just-learned-to-walk baby girl.
His cat.
His dog.
His life.
His mother, who bakes him a special cake every year for the b-day.
His father, still amrried to her.
His brothers.
Their girlfriends.
One of theirs' wife and newborn baby.

Americana at its' most vanilla. It's not perfect, and neither is he. But dammit, man. It's just ridiculous to be around all that stuff and be who I am. It's like an ant among elephants. Or an elephant among ants, to reflect the appropriate denial of low-self esteem. I'm not worst than any of those people, and they aren't better than me. In fact, I wouldn't trade places with half of them. Not even with MFTD. I like my freedom.

But I'm just so damned different. It's a pain in the ass.

Monday, August 4, 2008

California Dreamin'

So here is where you can find my pics of my vacation.

Thanks to My Hero, I can't think of anything but happiness when I think of California. Not that I'll move out there anytime soon. I'm a New Yorker, born and bred. But for vacation spots--yeah. The bestest ever! (Until I get in swimsuit shape and take my first trip to a tropic island).

As to the Crazy Plane Girl tally, Dawn has tilted the seesaw into the "RUN!!!" category. Which was my inclination at the start. Which is why I asked for advice, in case it was just me being the unmedicated me. And which is why I haven't called her, with or without advice. Too many warning flags. She needs me in a professional capacity, not a personal one--and still, no. I'm not the only therapist on the east coast.

Thanks all! Enjoy the pics!