26 December 2007

Just For This Moment

***Published ex post facto on 16 Oct 2010***

While driving home alone from Christmas festivities, the music I was listening to wasn't keeping me awake enough, so I needed some music which was a little more...engaging. Thinking of music I couldn't help but sing along with, I decided to pop in Wicked. Yes, this did the trick. How could I NOT bust it out a little with Dancing Through Life and Defying Gravity? Seriously.

But one song stood out to me more than ever before. Suddenly, I realized how much I identified with it, and I listened to it twice just to catch it all and marvel at my newfound understanding of the emotion behind the lyrics which had made some sense to me before but which now sounded like an echoing memory from my own heart and mind. Oh, precious.

In this scene, the heady, logical, introverted loner, Elphaba (the "wicked witch"), finds herself in a romantic situation with the sexy and fun-loving Fiyero, the guy all the girls want but who Elphaba, despite her suppressed attraction, had decided would never choose someone like her. He was the hedonistic "player" but was now exploring this new world Elphaba inspired him to see, in which simply going along with pop culture and "dancing through life" was revealed as a copout and a relatively meaningless way to live, compared with trying to change the world and living by your own convictions without regard to society's imposed pressures. So that's a bit of background, as I see it, for those of you not familiar with the musical.

As I listened to the lyrics, I realized I identified in many ways, and it was interesting to think that I had been quite so in the moment, in a way. I'm generally one who thinks a lot about future consequences and how actions will affect others and myself. But in one particular relationship, I experimented, in a way, because of who and how he was and how that drew me in.

I found myself thinking, "But what about the fact that we can't possibly turn this into a romantic relationship...ah forget it, just for now, I'm here and in this moment, and for now, I'm going to enjoy feeling this close with someone again and enjoy the ride (without letting it get too out of hand). Come what may, I want to see what it's like to let go a bit and just enjoy this while it lasts."

Call it part "gay adolescence", part attempt at another approach or perspective, part marveling a bit that this kind of guy really could be attracted to someone like me, part genuine affection in a friendship-turned-fling. I felt a genuine connection and affection with him, but I also let my teenage girl traits overpower common sense.

The outcomes of my own relationship and the one in the musical are very different, but I nevertheless identify more with the lyrics now than I thought possible, and it weirded me out a little to think that I had "been there":

ACT TWO, Scene 4: A clearing in the Great Gillikin Forest. Night. A campfire.

Elphaba and Fiyero are alone at last...

Kiss me too fiercely
Hold me too tight
I need help believing
You're with me tonight
My wildest dreamings
Could not foresee
Lying beside you
With you wanting me

Just for this moment
As long as you're mine
I've lost all resistance
And crossed some borderline
And if it turns out
It's over too fast
I'll make every last moment last
As long as you're mine...

Maybe I'm brainless
Maybe I'm wise
But you've got me seeing
Through different eyes
Somehow I've fallen
Under your spell
And somehow I'm feeling
It's "up" that I fell

Every moment
As long as you're mine
I'll wake up my body
And make up for lost time

Say there's no future
For us as a pair

And though I may know
I don't care
Just for this moment
As long as you're mine
Come be how you want to
And see how bright we shine
Borrow the moonlight
Until it is through
And know I'll be here holding you
As long as you're mine

(Fiyero studies her face.)

What is it?

It's just-- for the first time, I feel...wicked.

As I listened to the lyrics, I wish I could have seen my own expression. It was probably a curiously amusing combination of nostalgia, longing, self-bemusement, realization, and the sort of amused expression of a parent whose child has just done something foolish but entirely understandable.

Never before had I experienced quite the degree of abandon as I did in this brief fling which came to mind while listening to this song. I'm not usually one to experience things for the sake of experiencing them. I've usually been mindful of the future, including whether a relationship had a future, and if it didn't, I'd not invest in it much, at least not in certain ways. But I tried doing things a little differently that time.

Yet, after all is said and done, and romantic attachments with the other party in this "fling" are dissolved and I don't want to "go back", and even though I can look back and see that the relationship was a bit immature and hormone-based, something about that kind of a connection leaves me wishing, longing to experience it again.

And even though I can think of relationships with greater depth, better communication, more history and commitment, and a deeper "connection", there's something about the romantic connection that brought part of me alive, that made me feel complete and activated in really positive-feeling ways, and so even though this particular "fling" was a fleeting and relatively shallow thing, I'm left longing for a relationship which includes that chemistry, that vibrance, that feeling like all is well in the world while you're with that person, that sense of total and exhilarating intimacy and trust, as illogical as it may be, fade though it may, along with the "deeper" things. I realize the energizing happiness I've felt with a couple friends-turned-romantic is theoretically unimportant in a "real" relationship, but it still feels so beautiful, so enlivening, so motivating that while feeling it, I have to believe I can feel it along with, or on the way to, the abiding, lifetime committing kind of love, too.

19 December 2007

A Passing Dream

***Posted 16 Oct 2010***

Missing the contact, thinking of it fondly and wishing for more, but feeling like it was with someone else, someone who is gone, who no longer exists, or maybe never did, like a passing dream. It makes it easier not to want more.

18 December 2007

Identifying with the Weepies

I like the sound of the Weepies a lot. The lyrics, though, are probably what really hooked me, in the end.

Nobody Knows Me At All

When I was a child, everybody smiled
Nobody knows me at all
Very late at night and in the morning light,
Nobody knows me at all

I got lots of friends, yes, but then again,
Nobody knows me at all
Kids and a wife, it's a beautiful life
Nobody knows me at all

And oh when the lights are low
Oh with someone I don't know

I don't give a damn, I'm happy as a clam
Nobody knows me at all
Ah, what can you do? There's nobody like you
Nobody knows me at all


Simple Life

Can I get up in the morning
Put the kettle on
Make us some coffee, say "hey" to the sun...
Is it enough to write a song and sing it to the birds?
They'd hear just the tune
Not understand my love for words
But you would hear me and know
I want only this, I want to live
I want to live a simple life.

I dreamed you first
But not so real
And everyday since I've found you
Such moments we steal
Like little thieves, we rub our hands
We hold our hearts between them.
But will you hear me and know?
I want only this, I want to live
I want to live a simple life.

Move on, move on
Time is accelerating.
Drive on all night
Traffic lights and one-ways.

Move on, move on
Parking violations waiting
Turn off the car, breathe the air
Let's stay here.

I'll kiss you awake, and we'll have time
To know our neighbors all by name
And every star at night.
We'll weave our days together like waves
And particles of light.
I want only this, I want to live
I want to live a simple life.

Not Your Year

Scattered shadows on a wall, you watch the long light fall
Some impressions stay and some will fade
Tattered shoes outside your door, clothes all on the floor
Your life feels like the morning after all year long.

Every day it starts again
You cannot say if you’re happy
You keep trying to be
Try harder, maybe this is not your year.

Movies, TV screens reflect just what you expected
There’s a world of shiny people somewhere else
Out there following their bliss
living easy, getting kissed
while you wonder what else you’re doing wrong

Breathe through it, write a list of desires
Make a toast, make a wish, slash some tires
Paint a heart repeating, beating “don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up.”

Living in Twilight

You look darkly on the day
With memories to light your way
A little sad but it’s all right
We are always living in twilight

No one knocks upon your door
Until you don’t care anymore
A little alone but it’s all right
We are always living in twilight

Living in a dream, walking in between the sunrise and sunset
Living in a dream, walking in between sunset and sunrise

You get tied up in your day, so I let go and walk away
And now we’re loose ends of the night
We are always living in twilight

So it goes, though no one knows you like they used to do
Have a drink the sky is sinking toward a deeper blue
And you’re still all right
Step out into twilight


17 December 2007

Do What You Enjoy

***Published, unfinished, 16 Oct 2010***

Talking with a friend at the gym, he seemed somehow detached. Disinterested. He talked about not understanding being torn. If you don't have enough reason to stay in the church, don't. For work, be selfish and do what you enjoy. You don't have to support a family, so why worry about that? Find what you're good at and what you love doing and do it.

Talking with another acquaintance, he talked about something from the other night at the club, and he said, "Why not? You only live once."

You only live once. Do what you enjoy. It dawned on me: as much sense as those lines make in a certain context and in a certain frame of mind, something inside of me tells me there's just something more to life and making decisions.

I realized that this is why some people are so confusing to me, like when they jump into the gay world but won't be seen in public. Maybe they're not acting out of awareness of how their decisions will impact those around them but out of what "feels right" in the moment. While I need to learn to let go of my analyses more, I don't want to be like that. I think there's far too much more to consider in life than what feels right to me at any given moment. There are consequences to foresee, people to consider, reality of truth even when you don't feel motivated by it. That goes either way, incidentally, in most cases. I'm not just talking about "gospel" truths here.


Man, I feel really adrift right now. I don't know what to do with all of this crap in my head and my heart. I just want to live truth, but I have to figure out what that is first, and I'm tired of the effort...

And no, don't tell me I "already know" what the truth is. You don't have any idea.

On a lighter note, I got a nifty little duster thingy at work today. Weeeee!

11 December 2007

Moho-Friendly Travel

Yes, folks, in quaint little Waco, TX, you can find the Town House MoHotel. The decor is conservatively frumpy with a touch of inexpensive style. Every nightstand has a Book of Mormon and a copy of Resolving Homosexual Problems. They regularly rent out the space for slumber parties, but only for 5 or more people in odd numbers. They even have extra wide futons for group spooning and other forms of "healthy touch", though beds are remarkably narrow, barely accomodating one person each, "for your own safety". Pay-Per-View service offers on-demand viewing of Evergreen promotional videos, So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, Brokeback Mountain (edited, offered as a "cautionary tale"), Angels in America (edited -- it's about 9 minutes long after cutting the vulgar language, cross-dressing prophet scenes, inappropriate sterotyping of LDS women, and heavy-handed, sexualized cynicism), and Latter Days (completely unedited for "educational" purposes, of course, so you know what your "gay" friends have been watching all this time).

09 December 2007

Marriage With a Girl? Not Now

Maybe, if a day comes when I have a firmer "testimony" of god-sanctioned male-female marriage or see things from a more mature perspective, I'll more readily choose the lesser attraction for the eternal blessings of doing so and the happiness I will then be convinced it would bring her and me. Until then...

Maybe I just haven't met the "right girl", the one to whom I'll actually experience a fuller attraction to. I mean, I can think of probably half a dozen people I've been attracted to enough to consider a relationship with, and seriously, that's not a huge pool of people. So you never know, right? Until then....

I tend not to say things which could be construed as "negative" because they're often passing thoughts which are, I think, fairly tempered. Still, my occasional spark of desire for marriage or dating girls is quite fleeting, yet I post that because many gay mormons seem to avoid acknowledging having such desires. But amidst recent talk of marriage and relationships, and the fact that I've mainly been expressing sparks of hope of finding such a relationship, I thought some balance was in order. At the risk of rocking the marriage bandwagon and flip-flopping, I'll just go ahead and say that recently, at least, I felt only disinterest and some bitterness towards the very idea of doing so myself, and now I'm back to a sort of bland, detached acceptance of the possibility.

Maybe it's because of recent events in my own life and feeling the exhilaration of mutual attraction and how different it feels from anything I've felt with a girl. But whatever the reason, this is not a fun thing to have to work on wanting...

Why To Come Out

See the companion post: Why Not to Come Out

Reasons I can think of, past and present, valid or less-so, for why I have chosen or would choose to "come out" to people (feel free to add your reasons--I'm interested in people's motivations here):

1) It's just part of me. Why should it be that big a deal?

2) How will people ever overcome their prejudices if their closest friends and loved ones do not reveal themselves and open up?

3) Why avoid the issue just because it might test the relationship? Why not find out how true your relationships are?

4) There's something liberating about allowing people to know the fuller picture, the more complete puzzle, and discovering that they accept you for you, even if they don't understand, and allowing them or helping them to see past labels.

5) Sometimes it's helpful to other people for them to know your life isn't as perfect and cookie-cutter as it appears.

6) Get people off my back when it comes to asking about why I don't date, why I'm not seeking the ultimate goal in life to find an eternal companion and make babies.

7) Until those of us who experience this speak up for ourselves and stop silently letting everyone else grasp at straws, progress towards understanding will be entirely too slow, and those who feel alone will continue to feel alone until more people speak up.

8) It sure would make strained relationships with girls easier sometimes.

9) I wouldn't have to make up excuses for why most of my wardrobe is Banana Republic-style and why I love Project Runway. (OK, so I don't make excuses. It's more fun to just let people wonder.)

10) There's something to be said for just being "authentic" and "genuine" and welcoming the same from others. Doesn't the world need more of that, in some ways?

11) I don't want my mother holding out hope that more grandbabies are just around the corner. There may be, but right now, making babies is not on the top of my list of fun things to do with myself.

12) If they knew you were dealing with this before making any apparently drastic decision, it could soften the blow when you do decide to date a guy and have a relationship, rather than looking like you suddenly decided you are gay and went off the deep end.

13) It's nice just to have a little sympathy sometimes, or understanding of why you're not always chipper or as "faithful" as others think you should be.

14) You don't have to hide your copy of In Quiet Desperation in the back of the closet with your porn. OK, so I don't have porn. At least not in the back of the closet.

Note: Stop freaking out, reason 14 is a "funny".

Why Not To Come Out

See the companion post: Why to Come Out

Reasons I can think of, past and present, valid or less-so, for why I have chosen not to "come out" to people (feel free to add your reasons--I'm interested in people's motivations here):

1) It's not everybody's business. It's a part of me that people can find out, or I can tell them, when it's pertinent, but it's just one part of who I am, and it's not necessary in most relationships. Why go there until it seems to be blocking the relationship or becomes obviously significant?

2) Sometimes, I'm just tired of answering inquisitive questions, explaining myself, helping people understand what it's like, easing their worries, dealing with their prejudices...

3) I don't want to be labeled as "gay" and have that become the primary aspect people see in me.

4) If I were to meet a girl with whom I wanted to explore a relationship, I wouldn't want people saying, "Wait, you like boys! What are you doing?!"

5) Maybe I can do the most good to increase understanding and tolerance without people disregarding me just because I'm "one of them" and therefore already tainted and biased.

6) I haven't wanted to make it seem like this is the one and only reason for not pursuing relationships with some girls.

7) Sometimes, if people were to put too many pieces together, it could be embarrassing when they make certain connections.

8) In some cases, outing myself would also out, in turn, friends who are not ready to make their own situation known.

9) Some friends' families have implored them not to make it known in general. They don't want the family name brought into it, or they don't want their children's lives to be made harder by people's judgement and intolerance.

10) When I was really unsure of which way I was to take all of this, I needed to know I was making decisions of my own accord and not due to pressure from those close to me.

11) Telling certain family members who aren't great at keeping secrets would mean telling the whole family, so even though I felt I could probably talk with certain family members, I didn't, because I really wasn't ready for the others to know.

12) Sometimes, I haven't told people because I didn't want them to inaccurately ascribe some of my personality traits or decisions solely to this. "Oh, THAT'S why you like baking cookies so much!" "Oh, of course you WOULD like Sondheim musicals." *grin*

13) Sometimes, it's more comfortable to compartmentalize life.

14) How many of my friends have come to me and confessed they're "straight"? I just make deductions and assumptions. They can do the same. I'll not try to hide it, but I don't need to just come right out and say it.

The Perfect Friend

I think I've always held out this desire, even if I'm not always aware of it, for that "one friend". You know what I'm talking about? That one friend with whom you can do everything, call any time, talk about anything. The one who will always be there, no moving, no taking back burner to the newest flame. One with whom you agree on most significant things, with whom you really identify, and who complements you in important ways. And it'd be great if they're a cuddle buddy, too. Hm....OK, so maybe that's a "spouse" or "life partner", but even in that context, I actually think it's a fantasy relationship.

And if you think you have it, it may actually be what we refer to as "codependence". Maybe investing in various friendships which fill different roles is simply the way to go. That's not to say you must amass friends around you like some obsessive collection, but you have different friendships with different people. Nobody is going to complement you perfectly in all aspects of life and personality. By building a great foundation of close friendships, I am choosing which aspects of myself I most want to be brought out and supported.

And when I'm pining away for the "perfect friend", I sometimes think of ways in which I may be able to better extend my own love and friendship to those closest to me whose friendship has stood the test of time. Rather than waiting for the perfect friend (or romantic partner) to show up, I can work on perfecting the friendships and family relationships which matter most to me. What you value is clearly indicated by your investment. And sometimes you discover what you value by investing more proactively.

New Moho Uniform

OK, so my friend, "A Girl Who", recently sent me a beautiful discovery, one I absolutely must share with the world.

Considering this new finding, it might be time to officially retire the blue shirt and green tie in favor of an entirely less subtle, much more fun way of indicating our brotherhood. Behold, the moho cufflink:

Keep it in mind for your moho loved ones this holiday season.

06 December 2007

Coming Off the Emotional Rollercoaster

Last Sunday, after having been through a funk, depression, numbness, manic phase, and awkward acceptance, I crashed. The night before (Saturday), I had started watching a movie which showed a lot of tenderness between a couple. Close-ups of sweet, tender kisses on the neck, holding each other... As I watched, I longed for that kind of intimacy. I was very tired, and I decided to go to bed rather than fight my increasing emotions.

The next morning, I went to church, and it was fine, but I was feeling this inexplicable funk again. When I got home, it hit the fan. Somehow, everything came rushing back, and I broke down and cried harder than I have for a long, long time. It was a gut-wrenching cry, one in which you know you're letting something go which you really don't want to let go. I was mourning a loss all over again and feeling very alone, very sad. Maybe it was my own little pity party, but whatever it was, I just let it out. I had to.

During church, I had had a sudden, strong desire to play piano, which I haven't done in many, many months. Now, after a good, hard cry, I needed the therapeutic effects of playing the piano. I grabbed my books and drove to campus to find a piano free somewhere. But as I parked, I was still breaking down somewhat randomly into tears. I didn't want to be seen. So I called a good, long-time friend and went to visit him. We mostly talked about anything but what was bothering me. It was a good distraction to occupy my mind for a while. Then he asked, and I explained what I was feeling. That at this point, it wasn't so much about the fling, I didn't think, as it was about having tasted, again, the beginnings of a romantic relationship and what that could feel like, the sweetness, the tenderness, the beauty, the connection, and that I was mourning the loss of that kind of relationship, at least in the way I had always imagined having one, once again.

My friend told me about a past relationship of his and some of the parallels and similar emotions and thought processes he went through, and he reassured me that he was pretty sure I could find a better match for myself. He expressed his appreciation for what I (and my gay/SSA friends) must have to go through, and that he doesn't know how we do it. I said, "You've gone through a divorce and shared custody and financial burdens. I feel like an idiot being so bent out of shape over a fling and the loss of just barely the beginning of a relationship." He said, "You know, they say it's better to have loved and lost..."

I've never been to the "loved" stage. Not truly. Not deeply. Not in that sense.

But OK, I'm accepting that again. After our talk, I went and practiced piano for a long while. It was really good for me. I was able to focus my energy on something constructive and vent some raw emotion through music.

Since then, I'm feeling fairly "normal" again. I'm able to hang out with my fling buddy without much awkwardness, and now without bitterness or anger. No strong drive to be closer, more physical, more intimate. I've accepted that it was partially a fantasy. I'm back to enjoying his cuteness, his little charms, his beauty, his personality, without needing to be closer to him than other people. I still find it weird, at times, when he seems closer to my roommate or others than to me, but it doesn't hurt anymore. It's just the way it is.