[oasis] [columns]

Michael Ditto

November 1996

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?" -- Matthew 16:26

Each month as I write this column, I think about what has happened in the last four weeks, and attempt to form it all into a piece which fits nicely into the puzzle called "my life." Sometimes it is difficult at first to find where the pieces all fit, but while I'm looking for just the right spot, I enjoy examining each piece; seeing all of its intricate edges and curves, the colors and the dimensions. Finding where the piece goes can be made easier by understanding its individual characteristics, especially since I have no idea what the puzzle will finally look like when it is complete.

Examining these pieces, carefully, one-by-one, as my life, forces me to introspect. All of the outside influences and events in my life each month, and my reactions to them, tell me more about myself, and what the picture will finally be when the puzzle is complete. This month's snippet is full of murder and intrigue, passion and sex, creativity and ultimate boredom.

Murder and Intrigue

This month I met, online, a very cute boy who is just about exactly one year younger than I am. As is typical with me, I latched onto him like super glue, just because he went to bed with me. I romanced him for three days and three nights. We took bubble baths by candlelight, had a fabulous, wonderful time cuddling and sharing our passion in bed. What I intentionally overlooked is that this person is extremely troubled, and has a lot of emotional problems. He is painfully shy, which I noticed immediately. He is also very scared, bordering on paranoia, which I chose to ignore. He also drinks a great deal, during the day, alone, the sign of a true alcoholic.

While visiting him one Wednesday night, he became extremely nervous and agitated, and then, almost like an autistic child, withdrew into himself, and shut down completely. He would not talk to me or tell me what was wrong. I asked him if I should leave and he said yes. The next day, I found out from him that he was upset because he had suddenly gotten the mental image of strangling me with his pillow, and he had enjoyed the thought at the time, which scared him.

Passion and Sex

It has been eleven months since my breakup with Mark, who I thought was the love of my life. I was convinced I would spend the rest of my life with him, so when we broke up it took a lot for me to get back into the dating scene. My luck has been marginal at best. Recently however, I began pursuing someone who showed respect for me as a person, respect for my work, and respect for my art. "How real," I thought. He brought me a CD by Laurie Anderson entitled "The Ugly One With the Jewels" which is inspirational, deep, thoughtful and peculiar. I have listened to it over and over since. He is going to take infinite patience however, and as it has happened with so many other guys, I think we will probably end up being best friends, after which starting something romantic would seem almost...incestuous.

Then I talked to another guy online, someone who I had only talked to once or twice. He sent me his picture. I though he was cute, but definitely not my type. He and I also talked about him being in the closet, which I was concerned about, so I pretty much blew him off. Later in the month, I spoke to him again. I was making plans to see "Stonewall" with a couple of friends (I don't recommend it), and asked if he wanted to go along, just to get a little more exposure to gay people and gay life. He was so scared, it took two hours to talk him into it. Then, when it was time to go to the movie, he didn't show up, so I assumed he had chickened out and decided not to come.

After Terry and I saw the movie, we picked up another friend and went to dinner. We had Pho, a Vietnamese dish, at my favorite restaurant. After we were done, we decided to go back to my place and then for coffee before going out to the club later that evening. We were amazed to find out from my neighbor that my guest had arrived, and was waiting in his car down the street, who had been there for four hours. I went to see him, and I met the guy I am currently dating. He drives a bad-ass Camaro, and has a bad-ass air about him, long hair and a mustache. He is short, stout and built, a far cry from the pretty, prissy, skinny boys I have always dated in the past.

We all went for coffee afterward, and had a great time watching "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" on video. After the movie, the other guys went to the club and he and I stayed behind. We talked for awhile. He was having trouble starting his car, so we decided he should spent the night at my house before making the hour-long trip home the next day. We talked until 4:00 am. We hugged, cuddled, and talked some more. The rest I will leave to your imagination.

Creativity and Ultimate Boredom

I have been writing some training materials at work, in addition to the other writings I do for Oasis and my book, the movie script, and everything else. I have been stuck on one particular section of the curriculum, which seems to have brought all of my other writing to a screeching halt. After listening to the Laurie Anderson CD, meeting the people I have met, I have decided to give up that section for awhile and move on, and that decision has permeated my entire existence and opened up all kinds of areas for creativity.

Household Credit took their option to cancel my $250 VISA card this month, because my balance exceeded the credit limit by $9.58. They did not take into account the fact that I have paid off the account to zero at the end of each month, and have never had a late payment in the two years I had the card. What drove the balance over the credit limit is the ten dollar fee they impose for cash advances, something which I have never been charged for in the past, and something which they failed to tell me they were instituting. Talk about ultimate boredom.


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