I accomplished one thing on my list today. So far. I might still get to editing that script -- it’s only 7. If not, there’s tomorrow.
I went grocery shopping at Whole Foods because I wanted to get some meat. Chicken breasts were on sale and pork chops, so I got a few of both. I put the pork in the freezer. I think I’ll marinate and saute the chicken and then freeze some of it cooked. I don’t plan to prepare much but salads for a while, and I’ll put some cold chicken on mine for protein. For J, I’ll cook some beans, and there’s tempeh in the fridge.
I had a little mental breakthrough last night as I was lying in bed waiting for sleep: no major revelation, just a moment of seeing clearly how my being so agitated isn’t helping anything and will never change what happened. I need to read the Pema Chodron and start meditating again if I want to get sane. I know it works. Marijuana helps also, to loosen up my mind, get some air in there.
I was thinking about when I met M. It was at the Chain Drive, he was there with a friend of mine. They had just met at a party through an acquaintance, and M was interested in my friend. I thought M was handsome, and I was drawn to him because he was smart and funny and he knew who DeAundra Peek was. But he was interested in my friend, and I just thought of him as an interesting guy to have met, someone I enjoyed talking to.
A few days later, I saw him there again. I had just been stood up by a guy I’d gone out with a few times, I was miffed, and I decided to go out carousing by myself. Some time between the night I met M and this night, my friend (the one M was interested in) told me that he wasn’t interested in M.
M was out on the front patio with his roommate. He lit up when he saw me, and he called me over. He and I and his roommate talked for a long time, had a friendly, boisterous, increasingly drunken argument about race in America, which was so stimulating I was giddy; I so seldom had those kinds of conversations, and I was eating it up, how smart these guys were and how much fun. It’s the kind of situation where I feel like I blossom, I become my best self, my most impressive, or something. I don’t know how to describe it, I just felt alive. I felt like who I am, or who I like to think I am, anyway. Some time after midnight, M’s roommate wanted to go. M had come in his roommate’s car, but I told him I would drive him home if he wanted to stay. He did.
We talked non-stop for another hour at least. M was pretty tipsy. I was a little less drunk, but we’d smoked some pot. We sat on a bench, and M leaned in toward me, and we talked about art and sex, gay culture, the South, and I don’t know what all, and I have such a strong memory of how that hour or so felt. Maybe we were a little flirtatious, I don’t know how to gauge. It was a loud bar, so we had to be pretty close to each other to be heard. It wasn’t at all like a pickup, I didn't at all have the feeling that we were going to go home and have sex, but I was really smitten with him.
Eventually, I drove him home, and, when I pulled up in front of his house, I asked if I could kiss him good night because, I said, “I have a bit of a crush on you.” He made a sound like “aww,” and he let me kiss him. We made out a little. I felt awfully good driving home.
A day or two later, he invited a group of friends to a talk by Heather Love at a conference at U.T. In the email invite, he said that he didn't know what Ms. Love was talking about but that everything of hers he'd read had been "gorgeous." My crush was deepening. It ended up that I was the only one to join him. We both enjoyed the lecture, but he had to rush somewhere immediately afterwards, so we made a date for coffee a day or two after. We met at Caffe Medici across from campus. I think of that as our first date, but at that point it was still unclear to me whether the smooching in the car was just a drunken impulse or if we’d try it again.
My next memory -- and I can’t place it exactly, but it was in the first week or two of our acquaintance, it was probably the next time we saw each other after the coffee date -- we’d been somewhere together, I think, but we were back at his place, sitting on the couch. Which is interesting because it’s seldom that anyone sits on the couch in his house. But we were there, and by that time we’d started to kiss a little, but it still felt tentative. I was telling him how, at the Heather Love talk and our coffee date, I hadn’t been sure of his interest in me. And he said, “I was interested in you.” And he said, “I think you’re actually kind of amazing.” Inside, I was swooning.
That’s how it started. I wonder now how things would have played out if I hadn’t asked him for a kiss that night when I drove him home. Would we have become just great friends, instead of lovers?
My interest in him at the very beginning was not sexual. That came later. So it’s easy for me to imagine that we could have had a very different kind of friendship if we hadn’t become lovers. I miss him so much. I’ve lost the first person with whom I felt like I brought my whole self, without fear, into the relationship. The hardest thing about this breakup is that, because he lost interest in me sexually, everything is lost. There was so much more to our partnership than sex: he turned me on emotionally, sexually, intellectually, artistically, politically. But somehow the sexual aspect is the keystone and none of it holds without that.
I’m conscious of the artfulness of what I’m doing here, but still I’m trying not to exaggerate anything for the sake of a better story. If anything, I would say I’m downplaying the maudlin aspect, all the crying and moaning. It is emotionally harrowing. I’m half-expecting to wake up one morning and find that my hair has gone completely gray.