Wednesday, April 11, 2012

146. After a Long Absence

So, it’s entirely possible that I’m PMSing, -- the fact that I found myself in tears while watching a clip from To Kill a Mockingbird yesterday makes that even more likely, but I’m still feeling…. well, I’m feeling feelings and so I want to express them. It’s late, so I can’t call anyone – I tried making a call to a different time zone but no one’s home out West, so here I am. Blogging. I haven’t done this in ages.

I recently discovered the show Once and Again. I will admit, my ‘discovery’ of the show was entirely motivated by the fact that I heard that there was a sweet lesbian storyline in it. So I found copies of it and began watching right from the beginning. It is a remarkably good show, actually. Well written, good pacing, well acted (for the most part). Everyone who talks about that show talks about Sela Ward – she’s the person I always pictured when I thought about this show before I started watching it, not that I thought about it much – but the person I’ve been most impressed with acting wise is Susanna Thompson. She’s pretty impressive. It took me a while to figure out where I knew her from, and actually I didn’t figure it out on my own. Thank goodness for IMDB – she played the Borg Queen on Voyager. It’s no wonder I couldn’t figure it out, she looked human!

Anyway… none of that is what has caused these… feelings. I just watched the ‘big gay episode’ and found myself in tears. It really was a very sweet episode, a sweet, well played out storyline. Not overly dramatic or preachy, just… sweet. That really is the best word for it. A sweet, teenage coming out story. And I’m sitting here on my couch, in tears because… damn, I wish I’d experienced some of that. Innocent first love that doesn’t carry with it all of the baggage that comes with being 36 (seriously, I’m 36 years old now. Fuck.) I mean, I can’t just ‘date’ now because at this age people expect any sort of dating to be serious.

I’m going to tell you (write to you?) something I’ve actually never told anyone. Ever. I think I could have had a girlfriend in high school. There was a girl I was friends with my last semester, and we became really close. She had a boyfriend at the time, and he hated me. Which was fine, I hated him too, he treated her really badly. But his hatred of me was so odd. I remember being quite certain he was jealous of me. I also remember him telling me more that once that he was pretty sure that she was a lesbian. That alone would mean nothing, but well… our friendship was really intense, and I have really vivid memories of these moments that, well, make no sense otherwise. I remember one night, she was over at my house visiting, and for some reason, we went outside and it started to rain slightly. We didn’t go in, for some reason we were standing in the middle of the road (it was late, there were no cars), and she began to walk in circles around me, and the circles would get smaller and smaller, and she wouldn’t break eye contact. By the end, the circles she walked were so tight; she would brush past my arms as she walked. In retrospect I can totally identify what I was feeling, but at the time… I remember this rising sense of panic, but it wasn’t a bad panic. It felt good. And I couldn’t seem to remember how to breathe, and my arms felt like they belonged to someone else, and my heart was beating so loud.

I honestly don’t remember what happened after that. We didn’t kiss, I know that. We didn’t even talk it. We didn’t talk about that, or any of the other oddly intense and intimate moments we shared.

That was, what… 17 years ago now? Wow. A long time ago. She and I are still friends. Really good friends. In fact, she was the friend I tried to call out West. She’s married now. To a woman. So her boyfriend wasn’t too off after all. Knowing what I know now, I’m glad we didn’t kiss… because she’s married to an awesome woman, I quite frankly couldn’t be happier for her. For both of them. She’s one of the most important people in my life, and if something had happened back then it is highly likely we wouldn’t be friends now (knowing her for as long as I have, and loving her dearly, I know that we would be disastrous as a couple, and would have crashed and burned pretty quickly, even without all the guilt and shame baggage I would have carried back then).

But… I can’t help wishing that things had been different. How different would my life have been if I had allowed myself to be me in high school, would I have dated? Would I have experienced that rite of passage most kids go through? Young love…

Or how about when I was in university? I was a member of our university’s Christian Fellowship… I was on the ‘poster committee’, which basically meant I hung up posters. I would always hang them up next to the posters for the “Womyn’s Group” meetings, so I could read them. That’s where I learned the word ‘questioning’, a word that I would use in my deepest, most private thoughts when I would try and figure out what was going on with me. They met on Friday nights, which was when our group met. Every week I would hang a poster next to theirs and hope that maybe they would have a meeting on a different night, but they never did. And I could never bring myself to skip our Fellowship nights. Besides, they were fun. But what if I had? Would I have met someone then? How different would my life be?

And because I’m being so honest here, part of what I’m thinking is that back then I looked so much better. Not only was I younger, I was a lot thinner (although if you would have asked me then I would have told you I was fat). Now… well, getting down to a weight that is even remotely acceptable is so overwhelming – one of the things no one really talks about when it comes to losing weight is that while you are doing it, you’re still fat. You can be working out 3 mornings a week, getting up at 5 AM to go to the gym, eating all the right foods, and your scale and your personal trainer (who costs a fortune, so much so that 2 years after you’ve stopped seeing him, you’re still recovering from all the money you spent on him) can all be super happy with your progress, you are losing weight in a healthy way at a healthy rate… but during that time, you are still fat. People still look at you and think ‘fat’. I know, I did all of that. Felt all good about myself, went on a few dates, and they went no where. I could see it in their eyes when they looked at me. They didn’t want to go out with a fat girl. It was so discouraging. I gave up.

Oh… I suppose I should tell you that since I’ve last written… oh so long ago, yes… I’ve been on a few dates. I’ve tried this online dating thing and well… I’ve given up. I’ve tried other… less than ideal sites to try and meet people and met someone on one of those sites that I went out with a few times. We even kissed. That, I must say, was lovely. Turns out I thoroughly enjoy kissing women. But, well… that fizzled out rather quickly. It was all sort of a blur.

Anyway… I’m no longer feeling that tight feeling in my throat, so this has done its job, I guess. I’m just stuck in a ‘what if’ loop. How would my life be different if I had been able to be authentically me back then? Would I be happier? Would I be healthier? I know I pretty much gave up on my body a long time ago because I just didn’t see the point, and now that I actually see the point I’m mad at myself for letting it all get this bad. Mad at life for being so unfair.