Sunday, June 25, 2006

67. Parched

To begin with an aside, my computer has completely crapped out on me. I've left in the hands of D. (one of my coworkers) who will hopefully uncrappify it (yes, I made up a word, sue me). I feel very naked without my computer. Especially living so far from home. All of my friends are sort of in my computer (via MSN, Skype, etc...) so not having it also sort of isolates me.

Oh, in case you are curious, I'm writing this in an internet cafe... or what is more accurately called a "PC Bang". It's a pretty neat setup, the computers are fast, and the chair is insanely comfortable. But I want my computer back!

Okay, on to the subject at hand. I had a weird experience the other day that I thought I'd share. My coworkers and I go out for dinner together every Wednesday night (it breaks up the week quite nicely), and often after dinner we go out to this nice bar (with nice couches and a huge library of English music) afterwards and just talk. I can't remember exactly how the conversation progressed, but I got talking about my recruiter (the man who found my job here for me) and how creepy he was when he picked me up from the airport. Actually, he wasn't creepy then, he was creepy in the car on the way home... he kept stroking my thigh as he talked to me. It was a little bit unsettling. Anyway, as I was talking I reached over without thinking and demonstrated the 'thigh stroking' on S. (my neighbour). And that's when the weird thing happened.

Have you ever seen the ground so dry that it's all cracked? Have you ever poured water on ground like that? For a few moments you can see the water, shiny, and reflecting back at you, and then a few seconds later, the earth just sucks it up and it's like it was never there. Well, that's what it was like when I touched her leg. I hadn't done it with any intention or desire, but the moment my hand made contact I felt... something. Like a drinking sensation. Like I was dying of thirst, and there, in my hand, was water.

Needless to say, it kind of freaked me out. It was a very pleasant sensation, but I pulled my hand away, and like water on parched earth, it was gone in a few minutes.

No, I am not attracted to S. At least, I'm fairly certain I'm not. I conducted a few thought experiments when I got home because I was worried, and I passed. (Heh, I think the 'thought experiments' I did would probably freak a few of my friends out, but whatever, I just had to make sure). I think it was just the contact.

S., of course, isn't the first woman I've touched... I'm a fairly physically affectionate person, and most of my friends are women. I'm not sure what made this different. It's not the first time I've touched someone and felt 'something', but usually that happens with someone I'm actually attracted to. I don't really know what to make of this. Maybe I'm just sort of starving... or to continue my metaphor more accurately, dehydrated.

I don't know what to say, really. I don't know if it means anything at all, if it was just a fluke or what. It just happened.

I do know that yet again, I find myself watching as a friend (or in this case, friends) of mine go through the process of developing a romance. I like them both, and am therefore happy for them. I will mention some selfish concerns I have. I was excited about them getting together because D.'s contract ends soon (he'll continue teaching, just in another city) and I was hoping S. might convince him to stay, but it looks like she (I admit, wisely) will not be doing that, and... and this is my big one, I suspect that S. will move to another apartment when D. leaves, which will mean I will get a new neighbour who I probably won't like as much. But I can deal with that. I can deal with a lot. I just don't know that I can deal with constantly knowing that I am never going to be first for anyone. Not that I was ever first for either S. or D., but I am now aware of the fact that part of the reason we were hanging out so much together was because they wanted to hang out with each other, and with me in the mix, they could do it without being over-obvious about their feelings.

I'm just consistently getting 'bumped down', priority-wise, when these relationships begin, and I'm kind of tired of it. I want to be a priority for someone. It would be kind of nice. I know from experience that there are times when I will really need to talk to someone and will not be able to find anyone to talk to. That has happened to me more than once, more than a twice... more times than I care to count actually. It's not that I expect anyone to put me ahead of their husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend... it's just that, well... it would just be nice to be higher up on people's lists than I seem to be. And I know that sounds selfish, and I suppose it is, but the thing is, because I don't have a husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend, the friends I have are way up there on my list. I don't have prior committments, I can drop things and come when they call, I am almost always available when they need me. It just doesn't seem to work the other way, at least not anymore that pretty much all of them are married, or on their way to being married.

Phew. Once again, writing this out has caused me to veer off of my original topic. I think I'll just leave it that way for now. Especially because I'm paying for this time by the minute.


Paul said...

Hey JJ, this is my first time posting a comment on this blog but I've been reading it pretty regularly. My comment is not really about your blogging but on the world that it opens up for me. I'm a 27 year old gay man from good ol' (post?) Catholic Ireland. I've been following some of the links and looking at some other gay Christian blogs and I can't imagine what these people are going through. That's not true, I can imagine to an extent. I denied my sexuality to myself until I turned 20, so for most of my teenage and college years I just left myself confused and dazed.

However, that aside, my confusion looking at this gay Christian N. American psyche stems back to my Catholic upbringing and my subsequent spiritual journey. I imagine I will probably upset a few people now. I no longer consider myself Christian. In fact I haven't done since I was about 17 (a decade ago now). However, my Catholic culture and upbringing played a vital role in informing and shaping the person that I am and the values that I hold dear.

Protestant Christianity, from my understanding, places the locus of faith within the individual. There is no representative of God on earth(priest), only you. And everything worth knowing is in the Bible. In fact, everything in the bible is the word of God and eternally and universally True. What a headf***!! Catholics aren't really concerned about the bible. In terms of spiritual practice, the centre of Catholicism is the Mass. And when it's done well, the Mass is a beautiful and almost visceral experience. I enjoy the iconography of Catholicism, the ever present divine feminine in the form of Mary, and so on.

I've lived in a few western countries. But nowhere does homosexuality seem to be such an issue as in North America. I can appreciate that there are historical roots to the dynamic, and especially in the US, a political arena dominated by protestant white middle class men. I once commented that my n. american friends were very literal. I believe that there are beautiful and truly wonderful lessons, teachings and truths in the collection of books we call the Bible. However, I also believe that as well as the basis of many world faiths, the bible is also a multi layered historical document constructed over several millenia. And if a few choice passages cause heartache, I don't believe it makes you a 'bad Christian' to just ignore them, and see them in context.

The inspiration for this post came after a read a blog entry from a young Christian man who wanted to become straight. The thought of an ex-gays programme makes me feel sick. And I think trying to 'help' someone change who they are, to repress the dynamic energy of their sexuality is abuse and only bad can come of it. Is maintaining respectability based on a overly literal interpretation of the Bible going to bring joy to the world. Is that helping to spread the Good News?

God bless.

Eric said...

Hey JJ,

Gosh, i totally relate. There are times that i just hate being single. On the other hand, i'm kind of used to the flexibility that i enjoy in my schedule. But i would gladly sacrifice that flexible schedule in order to be able to share my life with someone.

I want to be someone's priority. As i mentioned in a recent blog post, i want to be "picked". I don't think we're being selfish. I think we're just acknowledging that we've got needs.

I hear ya sister!

E said...

A few months ago I found myself standing in a prayer circle where everyone was joining hands, and I was holding hands on one side with a male coworker. This is an acquaintance I get along with okay but don't find at all attractive, yet for some reason holding his hand at that moment was the most wonderful feeling in the world. There was nothing sexual about it, just a warm "I could stay here like this all day" sort of thing.

Although some people don't like being touched by others regardless of the context, it seems to me to be something that most of us have a need for, celibate or not.