On the inside of my closet door, there is a row of hooks where I hang shirts and pants that I've worn that are clean enough to wear again. When I opened the door a few minutes ago, a shirt fell off its hook onto the floor and behind it was a baby gecko about two inches long. It froze in the light for a few seconds, and then it scurried behind the other clothes hanging there. Now I can't find it. Maybe it dropped to the floor and ran away. I hope I don't put my hand in the pocket of my jeans next week and find it there dead. I found a dead baby snake behind the garbage can in the kitchen last week.
Speaking of not knowing how things will play out, my new friendship with the Gardener is something like a science experiment. If you like science. I am mightily attracted to him, and I get the idea he's into me too. I think neither of us is accustomed to concealing such information -- and I get the idea we have similar opinions about "how men are." But possibly we also have similar feelings about the ethics of sex, and our better judgment tells us to practice some self-control. Not that a friendship can't begin with sex, but does it need to? (Most of the people I've had sex with I've never seen again.) So we say to each other, "What would it be like if we kept our paws off each other?" This experiment fits nicely with my Buddhist meditation practice, which is all about just sitting with the urge to do something, not scratching the itch, practicing not reacting.
The experiment doesn't sit at all with my philosophy that pleasure is good and that one should enjoy it where one finds it.
It's tricky -- at least mentally, for me -- because recently, well, in the last decade or so, I've tried to let myself be more physically affectionate with my friends. I was not raised by touchy-feely people. When I became an adult, sex was the only setting where touching was easy, and, inversely, touching of any kind felt sexual.
As usual, life is complex.
So, what do I make of my desire to touch the Gardener? I want to allow myself to give in to my feelings of affection, to touch him because we're friends and it's good to touch your friends, but I know that the urge has an erotic component, which I am trying to control. (Who ever said that the human capacity for self-reflection was an evolutionary advancement? I don't buy it. I say it's been nothing but trouble since day one. If we were dogs, we could just fuck, and everybody would be happy.)