"labor" | monday | september 1, 2008 | 2:15 pm
EEL BAD. FEEL SAD. FEEL SICK.
The past week has been a conflicted mix of good, fun, suck, stupid, mad, melancholy, ups, and downs.
I am still in shock. And there is a cacophony of voices, insecurities, indignations, questions, and coping
mechanisms in my head. So profound is the shock that I pretty much have been zombie-like since last
Tuesday night. People have been generally very supportive of me and for that I am thankful. My sister
came to visit over the weekend along with a bunch of friends from the East Coast; they were here for
Penny Arcade Expo. It was good (mixed with
a lot of not so good). I just don't know what to do. I'm at a loss still. I expected to be upset,
discombobulated, and tired. But I didn't expect to be so messed up.
read footnotes |
• • •
"eheu" | tuesday | september 2, 2008 | 12:51 pm
One week. It's funny how persnickity you get about time when you are in a relationship and when you are
kicked out of one. It becomes so important to tick off certain milestones, as if you reach a
certain point it makes you safe or it is some miraculous achievement. One week. I remember constantly being
conscious of how long Greg and I had been dating, and as the weeks grew into months, I felt better,
more comfortable, even complacent. It's like waiting for somethign to come to term, come to fruition. One week.
I remember crossing the six month mark like a
pollywog crossing the equator.
And now, after eight months, which is the longest relationship I have ever been in, it's over. All of that
strutting and noise slips as easily away as the twitch of a second hand on a clock. One week. And now I am
counting a different sort of time. Time since the dump. Break-up time. Heartbreak time. And there are just as
many rituals and measures for ending a relationship as there are for being in one. One week. They say that it
takes twice as long as you were in the relationship to finally get over the relationship. I wonder how long
it will take me before I stop counting out this time?
What I feel most of all right now is plain old sadness and grief and disappointment. Like most people who
get dumped (because it often is a surprise), I thought things were all right and then suddenly they are not.
Truth be told, I wasn't sure if Greg was right for me or if I was right for Greg. But I think these kinds
of relationship reflections and analyses are good; they keep the relationship honest. I did think that we
had more time (there's that word again) to figure things out, feel things out, explore, and develop. I know
that it is definitely better to find out that you're not in for the long haul or your partner is not
feeling the same way earlier rather than later. It just sucks. It just hurts. It just tears me up.
I didn't expect to be so affected. I guess I was far more invested in the relationship than I thought.
I definitely was invested in having someone close to me, in having companionship, and in having someone to
lean on. Granted, those things can come from people other than a lover or a partner. Alas, the culture
is set up to make you feel that you are only really complete, completely fulfilled once you have "the one."
I feel sad. I feel broken. I feel a lot of loneliness and alienation. I feel lost. I feel ugly.
I feel unwanted. I feel like I've done something wrong, and I am being punished. I feel like I will never
find anyone that really wants to be with me. I hate this feeling. I want it to be over.
I also feel judged, pissed off, angry, indignant, insolent, and spiteful. Part of the hurt wants me to lash
out, act out. I feel betrayed in a way because Greg left me for someone else, someone that he met because I
took him to a party. I feel fucked over because my life seems to constantly bait-and-switch on me: I keep
meeting people who seem interested in me, who need me for some reason or other, who use me as a safety net,
and then take off as soon as they've gotten what they wanted or they meet someone else (again usually through me).
I am the gateway gay. I am the practice dummy. I am the karmic track switch. I know you cannot totally
help who you like, who you don't, who you are attracted to, and who you aren't. But it's tough to know that
someone else has caught Greg's eye, someone else has him excited, someone else is a better match. It sucks
to come in second place, to come in last. The irony here is that prior to Greg's announcement, we had talked
and I had expressed that I wanted to be more of a priority in his life, in his world. I guess that was the
straw that broke the faggot's back. And now I have no priority. I really feel used. I really feel taken
advantage of. I really feel taken for granted. And I just want to scream and shout and bitch and hit and
blame. I want him to hurt like I do, and I want him to know what he's losing. I want him to go off and discover
that attractions are contingent, that most gay men are assholes, and that decency and superficiality don't
In truth, I am all of the above and then some. And depending on the moment, different feelings and issues
come to the fore or recede into the distance. I am really just trying to sort through all of it, a pile
at a time, a square at a time. I just want to get back to being happy (or whatever semblance of that is).
I feel very much embattled and attacked by all quarters of my life: school feels a mess, my dissertation is
falling apart and failing at the seams, my friends are all crazed and embattled, my personal hobbies are
either stagnant or unachievable, my goal to become hot and thin has hit a wall, and now my relationship
has bit the proverbial big one (and not in a good way). The only thing left is that I pretty much still
have my health (fucking cliche), but I expect any minute now to develop some sort of horrible disease
or get run over by a bus. I am feeling a little sinusy, as if a cold is coming on.
I didn't talk to Greg all weekend. He was away with family. And I had tons of friends in town. It
was good to sort of be apart (even though it wasn't for long), but it was really hard on me. I don't
like feeling abandoned. But we have talked since. And we are trying to work on continuing our close
friendship, which was the basis of our relationship anyway. Only time will tell -- another cliche.
Time will heal all wounds -- yet another. I don't want our friendship to die. I don't want my friends
to make him into a pariah. And I don't want to think the past eight months were worthless. But
clearly the universe is trying to get my attention and I just haven't figured out what the lesson is.
I need a clue. I need a hug. I need a good lay. And I need to know that I won't spend another seven
years struggling, waiting, hoping, missing, wanting to meet someone, be with someone.
But, for now, it's been
read footnotes |
• • •
"get it in print" | wednesday | september 3, 2008 | 12:53 pm
N OTHER NEWS,
my very first academic article just got published in the journal
Computers and Composition Online
as part of the Fall 2008 Special Issue on
"Reading Games: Reading Games: Composition, Literacy, and Video Gaming."
It was a really interesting process to go through for the first time -- from proposing the idea to
writing the paper to getting peer reviewed to getting feedback to revising to laying out the web pages.
My article is called
"Gaming as Writing: World of Warcraft as World of Wordcraft."
I'm pretty proud of it. See also my buddy Jamie Bono's piece on alternate reality games,
"Alternate Reality Games: Composition, Collaboration, and Real Community Play."
read footnotes |
• • •
"birthdays" | saturday | september 6, 2008 | 10:01 am
APPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FRIENDS ROB AND PETER.
Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! I hope you both have a
great day and a fabulous weekend.
• • •
"portraits" | sunday | september 7, 2008 | 11:01 am
EFORE I FORGET, HERE ARE A COUPLE OF DRAWINGS
a guy named
Morgan (probably one of
my favorite-ist boy names in the whole world) did of me a few nights ago when I was visit my
friend Kate's bar (where she bartends). Morgan was super cute, super nice to me, and a
This one is my favorite -- it's a very good likeness:
Another more interpretative portrait (I wasn't drinking martini's though):
• • •
"memories" | saturday | september 6, 2008 | 2:01 pm
AM PRETTY DARN DEPRESSED.
So much so that it's affecting my sleep, my appetite, and my ability to do anything (much less do
work). I think this is more than just being sad and disappointed and hurt over getting dumped.
Granted, it's definite the catalyst. But there are psychic and emotional interreactions happening
in my world, precipitating all sorts of negative feedback. School, work, writing, loving, living
are all a jumble and tumbling desperately down a rabbit hole. So much so that I have contacted
the University's mental health clinic, taken a few intake tests (including one on anxiety, one on
alcohol, and one on depression). According to a very short and curious battery of questions, I am
recommended to see someone soon. I called to make my initial appointment but got voice mail and
got no call back. Ironic, no? I'll have to track them down on Monday. Suffice it to say (and
as I have been so diligently saying): I am a mess.
I had a bit of catharsis last night.
My day was pretty uneventful, slow, lonesome, and unproductive. I was also recovering from a
hangover. I spend much of the day just trying to feel better. Then I went to a gathering for first-year
grad students (a sort of welcome to the city type thing) at the
(2409 10th Ave E @ 10th), which is right down the hill from where I live. It was the first time I had
ever been there -- it's a neighborhoody, sportsy, divey bar. There were a bunch of people that showed up
to the gathering (which ironically was not organized by me, even though I have plans for a welcome
grad pub), including
about a dozen new students and a dozen not-so-new students. I only stayed for a couple of beers
(which I shouldn't have had but felt like I needed to to be social). My friend Mark (whom is on loan
from my friend Colin) came to hang out and lend me an ear. Besides Mark, who is not part of the whole
grad school thing, I felt pretty isolated and antisocial. So, after putting in my due, I decided to
go home. But my friend Kevin called and invited me to a friend of his's birthday party; he said
there would be a lot of gay men there. I accepted, thinking I should probably try to keep busy.
The party was in a big gay mansion in south Seattle; there were a lot of very fancy, bougie, and
super gays. It was okay: I mainly kept to myself or hung by Kevin since I didn't really know anyone
at all. It was like other big gay mansion parties: full of fabulous people who pretty much could care
less if I were there or not. It's not that people weren't friendly, but I don't regularly ping on
people's radars; while everyone is flirting up a storm, I resign myself to the role of observer,
funny chubby Asian guy, or pissed off punk misanthrope. We only stayed for a couple of hours and then
Kevin headed to meet friends at a bar and I went home. Alone. And I pretty much cried myself to sleep.
The ancient Greeks were right: catharsis does help bring about restoration, balance, resolution. At
least somewhat. Unfortunately, cartharsis often comes with tragedy. (Eventually, I hope, I hope,
I will be able to move from tears to laughter.) Last night, I couldn't get to sleep. I still felt gross,
physically and mentally. So I just lay on my bed and wallowed. Everything felt empty. Lonely. Incomplete.
My bed, which is usually a sanctuary for me, didn't feel right to me. And as my hand moved to
the empty space next to me, I started to cry. A lot. I really hadn't cried much since the initial
break-up. I think I kept all of it in, neat and tidy, to keep a strong face. Though, there would be
little moments, particularly when I thought about it, when I remembered something, when I saw something
that reminded me of Greg. Those little moments add up. A bitter chemistry of memory that transforms
what once was happy, good, comforting into something painful, yearning, and draining. Every time I
look at the pillow that I used to keep at his house (which he returned pretty darn quickly to me).
Every time I go someplace I used to go with Greg. Every time I see a green pick-up truck. Every time
I flip past his name on my phone or see his picture. They make me happy and sad at the same time.
Eventually, I think, I just need to purge some of the bottled up emotions and anxiety. Last night was
a big release. And I went for the ride as far as it would take me. All of the things that I had been
feeling, have been feeling, were sharp and bright and present in my mind: fear, pain, self-pity, despair,
mixed with anger and frustration. Somehow, I think getting "left" by Greg got mixed into getting "left"
by my mother, two people whom I loved, whom I love that in my warped sense of self rejected me, abandoned
me, and no longer care about me. I know that this is not true, but whatever pain and hurt that feeds this
misperception and deep, deep, deep insecurity is very real.
Deep down, I want to be wanted, to be loved, to be cherished, to be nurtured, to be championed, to be held.
I feel like I'm not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, sexy enough, whatever enough. (I'm not the only
one, I know.)
The irony is that when I am by myself, when I am alone, when I am single, I am usually fine, level,
happy. I have to be. I have learned to depend on myself, to take care of myself, and to trust few
outside of me. But when I do try to reach out, when I do try to find some sense of belonging, when I
do try to make connections, I tend to get hurt. The whole heart on the sleeve routine. Maybe I my
expectations are too high. Maybe I pick the wrong people. Maybe I shift too much of myself, my
self-worth externally as soon as I am in a relationship. Maybe it's all of the above. I know all
that I have written about so far is codependent behavior. But I think there are other things going on,
too. I don't want to spend the rest of my life by myself. I don't want to be closed up and emotionally
I have been asked now by more than one source: what have you learned from your last relationship? I
think this is an important question to answer (particularly since I really believe that any experience
can be salvaged even just a little by one lesson learned, one takeaway thing). What have I learned?
I learned that I could be in a grown-up relationship. That sounds silly, but it's really important to
me. I learned that I had to be willing to open up, to be vulnerable, to show some of the stars and
shadows of myself -- it's necessary in order to continue to enrich any relationship -- I think this
is also really important. I think many people get caught up in the puppy love, the excitement of
first dates and first kisses, the infatuation and the lust and the honeymoon. But as time goes on,
things mellow, things temper, things become familiar. This isn't necessarily bad. But that's where
other kinds of energy, interest, investment, and intimacy come in -- to fill in the gaps, to
transmute, to build and add and enhance. Alas, the relationship was enough for me but not for Greg.
Finally, I learned that I can be a good partner -- a damned good one, too.
read footnotes |
• • •
"birthdays" | thursday | september 11, 2008 | 11:01 am
APPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FRIEND SHAWN.
Happy birthday to my friend Nathan. Happy birthday to you both. I hope each of you has a great day.
Happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday. The end.
• • •
"limbo" | thursday | september 11, 2008 | 12:32 pm
Things are a bit better than last week. I think time, distraction, tiredness, and feeling so drained
completely, so down completely have helped. The only direction left to go is up, right? I think my last
post and last weekend's catharsis really helped. I needed the release. I needed the opportunity to
verbalize a lot of the things going on in my head. And heart. And I needed a chance to see Greg.
This past Sunday, Greg and I got together. He had invited me to a lecture at
Town Hall Seattle, to see well-known physicist
and string theorist
Brian Greene speak. We walked from
my place down to the venue. Though the talk was geared toward families and children, it was interesting,
Greene is an animated speaker, and I learned a few things about
black holes. After the lecture, we
came back up to Capitol Hill for lunch at the
Deluxe. Up until lunch, our interactions
had been generally friendly, though I felt that Greg was being purposefully distant. I understand this
reaction, of course. Any time things seemed "too close" or "too boyfriendy," he would pull away or make a
comment. Unfortunately, it would often come across as blaming, bitchy, or mean to me. However, minutes
later, he would be flirty, affectionate, and caring. Then I would be blaming, bitchy, or mean. Then
I would be flirty, affectionate, and caring. And the cycle would repeat.
I finally had to say something at lunch. I said, "When did start being so mean to each other?" I was
asking because it seemed like we were constantly just focusing on what we didn't like, what we didn't want,
why we weren't a good match, why we broke up, why the other person was being insensitive or unrealistic,
and so on. I felt that we had forgotten why we became friends and why we like being with each other.
Granted, going through a break up is going to create a lot of emotional turbulence and irrational behaviors
and boundaries. But I just wasn't having fun, and more importantly, I didn't understand why Greg
was so mean to me or why I was constantly picking on him.
After lunch, we went back to my place and just hung out and talked things out. We talked for nearly four hours
straight. And lo and behold, we rediscovered that if we just stopped worrying so damn much about what "we"
are or what "we" aren't, we actually get along, we actually like being near each other, and we actually
draw a lot of comfort and peace and joy from each other. Greg even admitted that he didn't realize that
there was so much between us. I guess it takes being out of a relationship to see what you had in it.
That was good to hear. And I think I really needed to affirm that there was chemistry while we were dating.
But I think what got in the way was a lot of insecurity, on both sides, and the fact that our relationship
was based on Greg's coming out process and my role as surrogate therapist, confidant, and gateway gay
rather than on a more holistic connection. I think we forgot that we actually liked hanging out, playing,
laughing, exploring, and take care of each other.
I don't know what our status is -- if there is even a status -- but it is somewhere between "more than just friends"
and "relationship." I know that Greg does not want to be in an exclusive relationship with anyone; he
wants to play the field and keep his options open. I am not closed to the possibility that we might
reconnect somewhere down the line. But I am cautious, suspicious, and shy. I am not ready to be in a
"relationship" with Greg right now. I think we would repeat a lot of the same issues and problems if we
jumped back into things right now. I am interested in dating him. I am interested in starting our
courtship over. And I am interested to see whether or not he finds what he's so desperately looking for.
Hell, I hope I find what I'm looking for. But I am a good man, a good partner, and a good catch. I
think Greg knows it -- I so much told him to his face -- and he would be lucky to have me.
So, on with life, on with moving on, on with the show.
read footnotes |
• • •
"stranger in a strange land" | friday | september 19, 2008 | 10:28 am
T'S BEEN A WEIRD WEEK OR SO.
I am not sure how to describe it without fully incriminating those
who shall remain nameless. But suffice it to say that almost every interaction I have had with the
people around me has been peculiar, strained, confusing, or outright confrontational. I have had
some pretty strong interpersonal reactions, from caring and supportive and sweet to critical,
condemning, and anger. I have been having a really tough time sorting out what I am feeling
or perceiving. It's been a very codependent week for me. I am a little paranoid about things.
I am giving away a lot of power to people. And I am giving in to insecurities that I thought I
had minimized a long time ago. Alas, I got caught up in a he-says-she-says
drama and just need to take a deep breath, a big step back, and just simplify things.
It's been one of those weeks where life forces you to look in the mirror and take a long, hard gander.
I realize -- given past history -- that I affect some people very differently than others. On the
one hand, I am told that I am so nice, giving, relaxed, practical, open, friendly, and good to
be around. On the other hand, I am also told that I am challenging, grumpy, frustrating, draining,
demanding, intense, and hard to stay around. Clearly, there seems to be a dichotomy of people
when it comes to being friends with me, and I am interested in what causes this effect or what in
me produces this very polar reading. Perhaps there are people who I feel like I can be more
open about my inner issues and demons, a kind of vulnerability that I share with a select few. Perhaps
I am reflecting some insecurity or anxiety or damage. Perhaps I am different around people who
treat me well and actually like me for who I am as unconditionally as possible. Perhaps I
am jealous or afraid of or want something from some people and that produces either the
pleasant or poisonous personality. Maybe a little of everything -- I don't know.
For now, my plan is to just fall back a bit. Take stock. Don't go out of my way to extend myself to
people any more than I have to. And really think about the ways I look at people, think about people,
treat people, and how they treat me.
read footnotes |
• • •
last month |