Like a Sad Bridesmaid

This weekend nearly 2500 gay couples were married down at City Hall here in San Francisco. They came from all over the Bay Area, and many from out-of-state. They camped out overnight in the rain as if the Rolling Stones were set to play. Today two conservative groups, the Alliance Defense Fund and the Campaign for California Families, will bring the mayor to court in an effort to protect the sanctity of marriage, which is hilarious considering the bang-up job that heterosexuals have done with the “sacred” institution.

Meanwhile Valentine’s Day came and went and I spent the weekend nursing my stupid broken heart. Stupid because it cares about nothing but its own pain. It’s a black hole in my chest; sucking up everything around me, wind howling at its edges. It doesn’t care about all of the giddy love catching hold in the City. It won’t let me read because nobody else’s story is good enough. It allows certain songs to play if only for accompaniment, a soundtrack for its soap opera. It wallows in its painful stew, sighing dramatically so that everyone around can, you know, hear it.

Seriously though. There’s no getting around it, the only way through is through, or whatever it is they say. Too close to write about it, and too distracted to write about anything else. There’s a thickness behind my ribs and a heaviness behind my eyes, though I’ve been listening to The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry” as if it contained instructions for becoming a less sensitive man; somebody who could move through his days more blithely, immune to the arrows slung from Cupid’s misguided bow. Someone who could lie to himself and still sleep at night.

I piece together jigsaw puzzles on my Mac, as if by completing a digital puzzle I could answer all the questions my stupid broken heart keeps asking, its needle stuck in the groove. Stop asking unanswerable questions. Finish your sentences with a period instead of a question mark. Dream smaller. Aim a little lower. Stop circling dates on the calendar. Finish off the groceries you bought. Come down and brush your feet along the ground. Give up and look around at what’s left. You still have Art. Art will never let you down. Art is more important than love, you tell yourself. Though you thought you had room for both. Let the self-pity flow, for awhile, then make it stop.

The sadness following a thwarted daydream like the sadness after you come; your underwear looped around one ankle like a ridiculous talisman.

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