Denial

MacAvity's picture

So I just got back from my audition for the school play, and I think it went really well. Considering that I've only ever been in a play once before and all. The monologue I used was all about a person lamenting that her life wasn't more like a musical, and I could really relate to that pretty well - even though I can't sing worth a (something worth singing worth?), if I could change one impossible thing about the world, it would be for real life to be like the musicals. Yup, that wins out over world peace.

So I don't really know anything about this play, like who the characters are or anything, so I can't be making any predictions about whom I will or would like to play...but I'm sure it will be someone appropriate. Last year I was cast as Antonio in Twelfth Night, which was pretty much the perfect role for me even though I didn't know who Antonio was even after reading the play before auditioning. But I got to swordfight on stage, and wear a mustache, and speak in a Scottish accent - the mustache and the accent were my ideas, actually, but I liked them. And yes, if you've ever seen a performance of Twelfth Night in which Antonio had a Scottish accent, you now know exactly who I am, as I'm sure no one else has ever done that. But whatever. And anyway, Antonio was in love with Sebastian, which I thought was kind of ironic: I mean here I am, a girl who doesn't really like guys, playing a guy who does like guys. But it worked with the whole forbidden and unrequited love thing. I just imagined 'Sebastian' was Grey, which imagining was a little bit difficult because they have nothing whatsoever in common. Ah well.

Hmm... I can actually see myself ending up a little like Antonio in the distant future...devoted servant to some oblivious person who neither knows nor cares that I'm madly in love with him or her... Yeah, that actually seems to fit at least as well as any of my other imagined career paths...

Unrelatedly, I took a stand today... I felt a little weird doing it, just because it's so very expected, so much what everyone has been telling me to do, so much unlike my usual sit-and-listen self. For a while I'd been thinking about confronting that jerk Matt in Welding, who uses 'gay' as an insult at least twice or thrice a period, but the opportunity hadn't arisen properly. Today he made some Jewish slur, and someone called him on it. That provided the opportunity for which I had waited - better, even. So I said something to the general effect of 'Hey Matt, how is it that you make one Jewish slur and get confronted for it, but all those gay slurs go unchallenged?' His response was not 'You're gay,' as I had expected, but rather 'Huh, yeah, that's funny.' So I said, 'What would you do if I told you I was gay?' To which he replied, '...Cool. I guess.' It remains yet to be seen whether his use of gay slurs will be reduced in the next few days.

I don't think I'm actually gay. I'm closer to asexual than anything, I think, but closer to gay than straight, that's for sure. So I'll call myself gay if it needs to be simplified to a one-syllable label. Because I like girls, or at least one girl, and a lot of others are pretty attractive too. But I don't feel any particularly strong physical or sexual (I'm still not too sure of the difference) attraction to them, I just think they're aesthetically pleasing. More aesthetically pleasing than guys. And obviously I've shown myself capable of being emotionally attracted to a girl, too. Whether I even like males at all is in doubt - I haven't quite given up yet, but really the vast majority of them are just very unappealing.

Same goes with gender - I'm closer to none at all than to either of the normal extremes. I'm not sure how close to none at all, or whether I'm closer to male or to female, not sure at all. I took the Bem test and scored negative six, well within the limits of androgyny but a little on the female side, and that seems to fit pretty well. So I'm satisfied with that for the time being.

AAAaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

Aaaagggh, I am in such denial!

Here I am, pretending - nay, believing - that everything is pretty much all right, when my relationship with my best friend is pretty much crumbling to pieces. I know it is, I acknowledge the words as true, but it has not really registered in my mind, it hasn't entered my subconscious. Aside from a slight worry when I think about it, I have no emotional reaction to this knowledge. I have never been in such denial! There have been times when I've known something to be true but not wanted to admit it, there have been times when I've not believed in my conscious or subconscious mind, there have been times when I've believed with my subconscious but not my conscious, but never this. If I were reacting to this the way I should be, I could not have done any of those other things I did today, auditioning and all that, et cetera, I would just be frantically worrying my head off with nonsensical bad thoughts milling around inside my head, going completely crazy like I've done before in times of emotional strife. And here I am, cool and calm. Unaffected. Detached. I am in such hideous denial it is frightening to me. But only to conscious me. My subconscious isn't frightened either. My subconscious still exists, I think, it is just in a period of horrible sanity. Why, subconscious MacAvity, why are you doing this to me? Me being conscious MacAvity.

I should explain, but I really don't know how, because I really don't know what's going on. Things have been a little weird between me and Leigh for a while. Ever since 18 June they have been especially weird, but the weirdness started even before that, I'm not sure when. When he found out how I felt about Grey, he was everything one could have expected. The day she asked me outright whether I had a crush on her, and I confessed that I did, he lent me his shoulder to cry on, he held my hand and walked me home, he asked all the questions I wanted him to until I told him what had happened and how I felt about her. Later he helped me find excuses to spend time with her, he helped with the great campaign to make the most of what little time was left before she went away. When I broke down again, panicked because there were only two weeks left before she graduated and life, as I saw it, ended, he was there with me once again, as a friend, as a sympathetic soul, as a shoulder on which I might cry. I made it clear to him that I would need him even more when it - her graduation and departure from my life forever - actually happened, and he promised he would be there.

And then he wasn't. I sat weeping on the bleachers, Solace (my old human enemy, not an abstract concept personified with the capitalisation of the initial letter) had walked away, with his arm around the girl I loved, and I believed, consciously and subconsciously alike, that Leigh was coming for me, that soon I would feel his arm around my shoulders, that I would be able to lay my head in his lap and cry until...whenever one stops crying after having one's heart broken. But he didn't come. Two concerned adults I dismissed, and one concerned student, with the assurance that someone was coming, that I would not be alone, that I did not need help. But he didn't come. I never lost a night of sleep, but I didn't eat for three days.

Later he said he had been unable to find me. He couldn't find me, he said, so he assumed I had left, assumed I had found my own way out, to comforting arms that weren't his, and he had left. And ever since then things have been weird between us. All summer we saw each other only once, and he didn't know what to say, and his mother did all the talking, and I did all the crying, and he just sat there, not knowing what he could do.

When school started again I was feeling a little better. I could function again. At home I put on a decent semblance of being happy. But I didn't want to do that at school, because of Grey's spies. I knew she still had a sister at this school, still had friends, and many acquaintances. I knew that when she saw them again she might very well ask whether they had seen anything of MacAvity, and how is she doing? I wanted those spies to report to her that I seemed utterly miserable. I didn't want them to console her with any impression that she had not utterly broken my heart. It was and is petty of me, I know, but it's the way I felt, and still do.

But I thought I couldn't keep up the 'miserable' act if I continued hanging around Leigh. He makes me laugh, he makes - or used to at least - me happy. So I avoided him. It was idiotic of me, but I don't think I've internalised that enough to be able to honestly say that I wouldn't do it again if I had to relive the first few weeks of school. I ignored him, even though we had a class together. I acted as though he didn't exist, and neither did anyone else. I acted...I don't even know, exactly. And I thought he would be worried by my behavior, that he would feel compelled to help me somehow, or to make up for his failures. But apparently he just felt even more afraid, even more unsure of what to do. Apparently he deemed it better just to leave me to my solitude.

Eventually I tried to make it clear to him that I was more or less okay, that I wanted him back, that if only we could establish a new 'normal,' I was ready for things to stop being weird. I still don't fully understand why that didn't happen. There's a lot going on in his own life, he said, or something of the sort. His sister moving away, weird relations between his parents, illnesses keeping him from school, lots of homework. And while all that is undoubtedly true, it's never stopped him from spending at least some time with me before. It's never resulted in such total separation between us. Until now.

And he said something else, too. He's been hanging out with the choir most days - all days, it seems. He said that last year, when he wanted to be with the choir, he brought me with him, and I always seemed very uncomfortable. He said he didn't bring me with him anymore because he didn't want to make me do anything with which I wasn't comfortable. He said he had started to feel, last year, that he was obligated to spend time with me, and that he did like spending time with me (qualifiers, qualifiers, how I hate them!) but he didn't want it to feel like an obligation. So the solution is...what? Cut me out of his life altogether?

I can feel that he's already been cut out of my life. I can live without him, I have been doing it for the past three months. I can establish a new normal, one that doesn't have him in it. I can find something else to do at lunch than sit and listen to him talk. But I don't want that to happen, and if it is inescapable, I don't want it to happen like this, all trailing off with no definitive scene of parting. I should be panicking, deathly afraid that this is how it will end, this is how five years of friendship will diminish into a mere passing acquaintance, this is how the boy I once loved, and probably still do, will become nothing to me... And yet I'm calm. I'm not afraid. I have no confidence at all that those horrible fates will not come to pass, and yet I am not panicking. And that is what scares me most of all, as I've said. Is it too late? Have I already cut him out of my heart, without pain or tears? I pray that it is not so, but I pray only with my mind, nothing deeper. That deeper part of me is still there, somehow I know that without doubt, but why is it not reacting? Why?

Perhaps I still have some lingering, foolish faith in tomorrow. Not tomorrow as in the unforeseeable future of unspecified distance, but tomorrow as in Tuesday, 28 September 2010. On this most recent Friday I talked to Leigh, and we agreed to meet on this coming Tuesday. I have a wild excursion planned, a fun adventure almost like old times. And maybe it will have definitive outcomes. If he clings close to me out of fear as we explore the creaking darkness of the old abandoned house, chances are good that everything will go back to some semblance of normal. If not...I don't even know.

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MacAvity's picture

Update

Today's excursion yielded promising, though not quite ideal, results. Things are less weird than they were before, looking like they're going to go back to normal, but not quite there yet. So...fingers crossed.