Thursday, July 23, 2009

Min[e] is a Razor Blade

J. noted that it was strange that I would go home, drink two beers, and, at 3am, write a blog entry. Well, this is doubly strange, then, because this is my second post for the night. But, prompted by the fact that I still have a beer to drink, and want to have a least one more cigarette (probably two) before I start not smoking, I was thinking about something I said to him tonight: I've been able to hear you sing, play your trumpet, and piano; I see you fold your cranes, sketch drafts for class; you've lent me books to read... And me, I've nothing to show you of what I do, no way for you to see what really excites me, what makes me smile, grabs my attention for weeks--sometimes years--on end.

I suppose I could lend him a novel to read, but we share the same taste, so whereas he introduced me to Murakami's novels (I knew his short-stories) I could only be said to loan him a book he wanted to read any way. I suppose, too, I could play my songs for him, but I'm still much too nervous for that, especially since he is a musician and actually knows what the fuck he's doing. And those songs reek of my ex, and the last thing I want to sing to him are songs about that time in my life. Though, I suppose some transcend the particular circumstance of my time with her and strike either "universal" themes, or are wholly narcissistic. I'll probably keep the latter of the bunch.

I wouldn't subject him to the papers I've written, nor would I share my lecture notes: both would require he read the text they address, and suddenly that seems like an assignment and not "exploring your interests".

Really, the most realistic way to let him have a glimpse into what it is I do, would be to let him read this. But I couldn't. At least not yet. I could, I suppose, when he wouldn't feel like he needed to read it to know me, when he could just trust me, the apparent me that he sees and hears and feels.

(A brief aside: I think my attention to the surface, to appearance, aside from the influence of Nietzsche, derives from my willingness to hold myself to what I say out loud. This got me in a lot of trouble when I came out. If I was out, I said to myself, this was the sort of thing that's all or nothing so, when I finally had the courage to say it to myself, I couldn't in good conscience keep it secret, as if there were an "inside" that was distinct from the "outside" everyone could see. Tellingly, when I came out to my friend Carly she said, "I could kinda tell anyway." Which is to say, it's quite possible that what I discovered "inside" was already "outside" and visible to those who knew to see it. It was a matter of courage, I thought, but also honesty: I can't look at myself at say, "I like men" and then look at other people and deny that. The other side of the same coin reads: I can't say to others, "x" and then look at myself and say "y". I can, I suppose, because I do, and perhaps here I become wishy-washy *every rule has, by necessity, its exception*, but I'd like to think that about important things I have the strength of character to make a promise and keep it: to conform myself in deed to the words I have pronounced.)

I suppose, that is to say, this idea that there are "two-sides" to everyone--a hidden "real self" and then an "act"--rings wholly off-key to me. I never know who I will be until I am asked: I become a question to myself, and an answer--provisionally constructed, of course--but the questions themselves are what define me: give me (and I've demanded this of myself numerous times) something to unpack: what are the fucking facts, how do you see them, what will you do with them? I emerge, always ever, from this dialogic process: this call and response is what I call my life: I love to think, I love my friends: with this I am given-over to myself, to life. He will learn, I hope, that what I say--even if I don't know I mean--I will live. So that if he ever needs to flee to this iteration of "Me" for comfort, for the Truth, he will only ever find what I've pre-sented for him.

In the end, after lamenting how "thin" I may appear to him, I said, "Trust that I am among the best at what I do." I suppose I said this to him so he would be able to feel the same pride I do when I listen to him play or look at his art. So he can say of me what I say of him: he's amazingly talented. I said this, again, so that he knew I wasn't just some kid who fell in love with him, who peddles dildos, and is perpetually poor, but runs his mouth on occasion--so he knew there was substance here.

So much of what I do that I attribute personal value to occurs in my own head and only appears on pages meant for certain eyes. It is lonely to realize that, unlike J., who can play to a bar full of strangers who will enjoy his music, I can only "play" for certain ears. I haven't really talked much about my work with him, mostly because I don't want to bore him, and also because I realize it presupposes so much other "stuff"--reading, acculturation, et cetera--that to just start from the beginning would devolve into a lecture and I'm not at all interested in that: it would feel like I'm condescending to him, and I loathe that feeling: I love him as my equal, which he is, and would never wish to come off as talking down to him. He sees the world in a beautiful way--not the way my eyes do, per se, but with a vibrancy and urgency that demands of me respect, attentiveness, care. I don't want to corrupt his world: his choices are his own to make, and he can see as he pleases. And I love to glimpse the world through his eyes: I love the overlaps, and I love to discover a new angle on a phenomenon that I'd come to know "all too well."

He will see soon enough, I suppose. I will be weighed with books in my satchel, reading perpetually. Even if he doesn't read my work, he will see me work. And I will be unable to shut-up about it, too. I'm like that: When I am attracted to something, when I start to fall in love with it, I can't stop myself from letting my body begin to slowly adjust its contours around it, even if for the 10 week span of a course. Thus, I've written so very much about J. And, once, about the Writer, and Freud, Judith Butler, Foucault, Nietzsche... I allow my body to begin to slowly--or not so slowly--adapt to life with these ideas and people. My body, I'd like to think, is an open book to those who take the time to read its verses.

I'm slowly beginning to allow my body to adapt to life with him. I think he is allowing his body to do the same. There is an ease between us now that we haven't yet know. I'm bragging. I'm no easy bird to get into the nest. Nor am I the sort that, once in the nest, is easy to keep. I've walked away from, or allowed to dissolve, plenty of possibilities. No one has excited me quite like he does. Excite is the right word: he pulls me upwards, fills me with an energy--not wholly raw, because it has focus, meaning, intention: a telos--an energy that I want and need: he sends me outside with the most beautiful welcoming: an ek-statis: upwards, to rarer airs. I gasp for air, holding to him as he pushes me, thrusting me on, and when I arrive, he holds me and I collect myself, in his arms, now with this new space opened--so full of questions, demands, possibilities...

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