“I completely understand,” TBB said to me last night. “You are right. Your ego is shattered, and with it your confidence that you can get what you need. I’m not even going to try and talk you put of your despair. What desire do you have left? What hope can you have?”
TBB spent the weekend being grown up. She went out of her way for a friend, but the friend just couldn’t reciprocate. Rather than make a big deal out of it, TBB just said “What good change can come out of me being pissed off?” and when the answer was none, she let it go. When she went to the bar, her friend went all pussy to stroke a guy, but the guy would rather talk to TBB, and maybe she will see him again. And when a girlfriend across the country needed affirmation, TBB admitted that she found her attractive. But, as so often, queer love was beyond the ken so TBB let it go. “Don’t tell her you want her to be lesbian,” I suggested, “tell her to embrace her inner bisexuality, and with you, she has all the hot monkey bisexual love she ever needs.” TBB laughed, but the truth is that any relationship she or I have will be queer, no matter who our partner is, because we bring plenty of queerness to bed all by ourselves.
It’s usually hard for other people to stand next to us when we challenge their own identity. If you have always believed you are straight, how do you handle attraction out of that model? If you have always believed in boundaries, how do you handle seeing beyond that model? If you have always held on to comforting ideas, how do you handle seeing that they are not always right?
TBB had a good outcome in finding out how her friend saw her. “Yes, a woman, but a woman who has also been a man.”
“Next time you are with her, suggest that the goal is to get you laid, ” I suggested. “That way, you can see the place and your relationships through her eyes. Who is interested in you? What techniques should you try? What should you do to be more attractive?” These are all things girlfriends have helped each other with in younger days, days we missed.
That didn’t stop TBB from trying to see if she could get me “laid.” This week is NGLTF Creating Change in Atlanta, and as a gathering of smart activists, TBB imagined that it would be a target rich zone for me. Maybe, in the old days, but I have aged out in many ways, and besides, my ego has been stripped away by years of denial and self-sacrifice. When I heard about the conference on Thursday, I briefly considered if it was possible for me, but knew the logistics would be a killer. That didn’t stop TBB from having me look at transportation options, but $500 and 30 hours on a train there and back for a day in Atlanta just seems really not worth the effort at this point, though I understand and appreciate TBB’s intention to get me together with people who might, just possibly might, get the joke.
Sarah and I also chatted, and we found a possible roadtrip, much shorter and more manageable, for after she comes back north. Sarah loves nature, finding peace with trees, even when they burn in the stove, wonders if that would nourish me. And Ms. Rachelle wrote to remind me that all families are dysfunctional, people do the best that they can, and things may work out in the end.
When I was a kid, I went to a counsellor who said that I kinda, sorta seemed like I was depressed. The problem is that the response to stigma of expression in the world seems a lot like depression. You constrain and limit yourself, you don’t let loose and let go, you do box yourself in. And now, with the limited financial resources and such, I search hard for good things to do, avoid sweeping my parents lives into garbage bags and spend the rest of the time in stasis.
I know that good things are possible. I just also know that the amount of resource digging through bad and mediocre things to find the good seems to be an overwhelming task.
And TBB understands. As does Sarah and Ms. Rachelle.