There are men on every single page of my college-era journals. Sometimes specific men, sometimes not. There is unhappiness and frustration and horniness scrawled across each page, with the underlying solution being some guy or another. Never an inside job; no, that would have required real work. It was easier to pin my happiness on Frank or Enrique or Daniel or Robert or David, who leaned over and kissed me one night outside the Saloon in Minneapolis, at the end of the summer, as we stood around the Sidewalk Sale, the nightly event where everyone spilled out of the bar at closing time, a ridiculously early one a.m. One kiss fueled an entire semester’s worth of despair and ennui, a thousand miles away in Sarasota, where I tried to study but found myself picturing erotic entanglements on the floor of the classroom, as the sociology professor droned on about deviants. Sometimes I’d piece together a dream boy, he’d have a shaved head and tattoos and a leather jacket and muscles and lots of testosterone. There weren’t too many of those in Sarasota.
I don’t pin my happiness on men anymore. But I want to remember this, I want to remember what is happening. And I am a goddamned hopeless romantic.
A couple of months before the Ex and I split, two years ago, I saw the movie Trick. I loved it, loved how it captured that feeling; when you first meet someone, and your heart gets dragged into it, kicking and screaming. I knew then that my relationship was disintegrating. I sat in bed as the credits rolled, and I felt adrenaline pump through me, because I was excited. That I might get to feel that way again.
more Joseph Campbell, on romantic love: “…the seizure that comes in recognizing your soul’s counterpart in the other person…”
Equal parts joy and fear: what if I’m wrong? what if it won’t work? this is crazy, feeling this way, when we haven’t even met.
Things I learn from him:
– just do the work, screw the results
– write down my progress at the gym (it works)
– fuck “what if’s”
– and stop worrying so much.
Nothing anyone could say would throw me off. You don’t know. And I know how that sounds.
I’m a kid again, with an imaginary friend. He drives with me, and I rest my hand on his knee. I spot him on the bench press. We eat at restaurants that I see again with new eyes. He walks on the beach with me and Louie. I’m late to work everyday because I don’t want to get out of bed. Or we fucked in the shower. I show him my favorite views of the city. I kiss him in elevators.
– How are your….
– My numbers?
– They’re good. T-cells are high, viral load is nearly undetectable. My doctor says I could go years without meds.
– That’s great.
– Do you ever think about that?
– Yeah. Do you ever think about the fact that I might not live as long as other people?
– There are no guarantees, Michael. We could all die tomorrow.
– I know.
– I don’t hold back on matters of love.
In the movie Trick the two guys spend the entire night trying to find a place to have sex, but are constantly thwarted by insensitive roommates and Tori Spelling. By dawn they know enough not to have sex. They kiss at the subway stop and part ways. The go-go boy gives the pianist his phone number. As soon as he’s alone the pianist tries the number, afraid it’ll be a fake. It’s not. The go-go boy’s machine says “you got me.”
I am living in a very very long movie of thwarted testosterone. Without Tori Spelling. It drives me up a wall everyday. It’s torture. It’s so fucking sweet.
My only two resolutions for New Year’s were to floss and pray everyday. I’m good to go on the flossing. Sometimes I forget to pray.
Believing in him is like believing in a higher power. I can’t touch him. I can only have a little faith.