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I woke and stumbled around the house feeling scattered, wandering into rooms forgetting things, my head about five seconds behind my body. I walked out of the house with Louie and realized I left the leash inside, etc. We walked to work in the warm sunlight and I tried to shake off this sense of dread I’ve had, recurrently, since my mother’s health first went south. I’m feeling behind on life and frankly, tired of trying to meet it half-way. I simply want to retreat, escape, slip away in a puff of smoke.

I’m realizing that the cute bodybuilder boy’s invitation to get naked sometime has me nervous because it’s an invitation to a performance, one that’s been out of my repertoire for awhile. I’m flattered and interested and yet scared to go there, scared because I don’t want a performance; I want a union of sorts. I’m scared that the minute someone touches me with something resembling compassion, I’ll break down and never return. I guess I’m more scared of engaging in something that’s purely physical, without the compassion; something I’ve never particularly desired.

Okay, isn’t that enough information? Shouldn’t I just stop analyzing and just live for a few minutes? Hah! As if.

I realized I lied a little when I wrote awhile back that Ski was the only man I had wanted to date over the last year. I failed to mention that I had also cultivated a crush on my other best friend, the Tattooed Monk. Sobriety has changed me, changed the way I’ve grown into relationships. I used to see guys a little more black and white: if I thought you were hot, I’d do my best to seduce you, quickly. Becoming friends wasn’t a comfortable option, therefore if I couldn’t seduce you, I avoided you. My friends were not people I wanted to sleep with.

So sobriety comes along and everything changes; I become friends with the two men I most desire, hoping something will develop but not pushing it (much), trying to accept with each day the growth of a friendship. In each case the attraction was mutual, making it more confounding and yet more beautiful, in a way. Beautiful that I could become a friend to each, confounding because I was finally attracted to two amazing, humble, compassionate men with big hearts and yet in each circumstance, when I finally said I wanted more, I was let down. Gently enough, I guess; not a hard rejection, just a not-right-now rejection.

In the months since each rejection I’ve become closer to both. I didn’t run away or avoid either; I just tried to show up for each one as the friend I assured them they had. With Ski I guess I haven’t given up hope that something else would develop. With the Monk, we were becoming such good friends that I’ve tried to accept him as is. During this time he’s done a lot of soul-searching and has decided to return to a monastic way of life (I mean that literally, not figuratively) and so has become celibate in the process.

Last night the Monk and I grabbed some take-out and went back to his place. It was hot and stuffy in there, and as he has done several times before, asked me if I minded if he stripped to his t-shirt and boxers. I say “no” if only because I can’t say “yes, I do mind”. As he undresses he says “I probably shouldn’t say this because I’m celibate now and it could seem like I’m teasing you, but there have been times I’ve thought about seducing you.”

Hmm. Men. I just don’t know how to win.

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