Friday, December 4, 2009

A Man Like That Is Like an Unmade Bed

Tonight, after not hearing from J. all day, we finally spoke. We are seeing a show tomorrow night, and then maybe an "ugly sweater" party hosted by some of his friends. The last time I was out at a party with J. it was very nerve-wracking. I don't do well with people, I suppose, especially straight people when in a party setting. I can do fine when on my own, but with my b/f it was a bit strange. I didn't know exactly how close I should stand to him, whether or not to see the old guy who lurked near-by offering him a joint as somehow hitting on him, or what...

And there were TVs going in every room with music videos. I remember one especially: It was some heavy metal band. A man was in a car, wearing an orange prison jump-suit. But his face had multiple faces within it, like he was a schizophrenic. He was running away from something. Then his body, too, becomes like his face, only instead of being multiple bodies, this other body is a woman's body: this man is a schizo hermaphrodite (the third sex). And then a woman appears in the passenger seat and starts berating him. His mouth opens and a beam of light is cast onto the road ahead: it is an image of himself. The man w/ multiple faces is now both running away from something, and trying to run this phantastic image down.

I turn to J. and say: this is the insidious operations of power: the "mentally ill person" is a criminal on the run; he is mentally ill/criminal because he is gay. He projects his fears ahead of him after being shamed (by this woman), and tries to kill it, himself, his gay diseased criminal self. A Freudian-Foucaultdian reading.

Some times I see the world as through through the Matrix code, like Neo at the end of the first film. I see the coding that cultural artifacts are laden with; I decipher and I share this with people who half the time look at me and think I'm crazy. It's just a music video, they say: stop reading so deep into things! This makes me nervous. We are innundated with coding from every angle, and we rarely stop to think about how it infuences the way we think about the world, and ourselves within it.

Sometimes when J. and I talk about these sorts of things he gets angry and says, "this is why I'm leaving!" As much as hearing him say that, I can't blame him either. I sometimes wish that I hadn't committed myself to the life I'm in, but rather had held to the desire to just get away. As much as I know there isn't an "outside" to power, I also know well enough to see that things are different, and sometimes even better elsewhere. It's moments like that when I question my devotion to this country, to its future.

Anyway, tonight we finally get in touch. He's catching up on his work, and I'm proud of him for working so hard--he sets a good example. Tonight I'll be doing the same: I finish this Freud paper tonight or bust. I've three papers due Monday/Tuesday, which basically means that I'll be swamped and somewhat crazy all weekend.

But we have these plans. And then he says, "But I'll be seeing my family right after work." I begin to freak-out, and he begins to meet me there and then, suddenly, he defuses the situation: I can get my sister to drive me down so I can see the show. And I follow him: I'm sorry I made it an either/or thing, I say, I just will be so busy and won't be able to spend much time with you this weekend because of my work, and I really wanted Friday to be a night we could have together. He says to me: Pssh, I'll be around after your papers are done.

It was exactly what I needed to hear, though I didn't know I needed it until he said it. I didn't know to even ask for it. But it was there, under the surface, as it were, stirring around in my blood, putting me on edge. And maybe he didn't know it was there either, but I'd like to think he's beginning to learn my rhythms, I'd like to think that across the distance of tele-communication he was still able to see it in my voice and hear it under my skin.

I'm ambitious: I want work and love, like Freud. But it sometimes pulls me in two directions. And then I worry about neglecting the one for the sake of the other. He released me of that worry: do your work, I'll be here when it's done. And I couldn't have asked for anything else. Or needed anything more.

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