January 1998

Okay, it's not like a bunch of us writers got together and decided to cover the same issues, from the "gayture" thing to SEXuality. But it is nice to see others with similar views, and I guess greater numbers speak louder. And while I still feel those of us are probably in the minority (of the minority), it's not a hopeless cause finding a relationship of mutual respect (again, not to speak out against anyone, just trying to find out about other chapters under this general heading). Now being rather shy and reserved with new people, on top of everything else, I haven't seen that covered too much (thank God for off-line editors)... *sigh* Well, I do recommend going through the back issues of Oasis (start with the very first issues, don't forget the "stories and poetry"); There's a lot of really good articles. It's cool that they're always available.

So, enough with the speculative quandaries, for now....

A rather peculiar experience did descend upon me the last month (a first for me, at least). Starting out typical enough, myself, innocently being up to nothing in particular while contemplating getting a life, is suddenly approached by a female co-worker (and casual friend) for a shoulder to cry on and confidant after the break-up with her boyfriend. Not only am I caught off guard in being one of the first persons she sought (let alone being among any of them), but also feeling completely unprepared having not any real prior experiences myself of such things. Well, I couldn't turn her away so tried the best I could in providing comfort and advice on what knew rather little about. I had listened to a weekly loveline radio show for a while (a sincere one with a really good therapist hosting) and remembered a lot of the advice given on it about handling break-ups and the like ("nobody's a bad person", "only time will heal", "spend time with friends", "talk about your feelings", "write a letter"...) and basically try to be sympathetic while carefully considering everything I was about to say. I felt like I was being cross-examined, but we talked for several hours, including bringing up things about myself I had never brought up to anyone else; nothing incriminating, just never had a discussion at this level. Apparently, I did a good job on this and we finally parted with her feeling much better, and I felt pretty good about being about to help out (especially all things considered). I still ended up staying up all night replaying as much as I could remember thinking if there was anything I should have said differently, but I couldn't think of anything (which is very rare).

She felt alot better afterwards. All we did was talk and a couple of hugs. A couple of nights later she wanted a ride home after a show. "Sure, no problem". And stop by a coffee shop briefly. "Okay.". Another half-hour or so of talking (therapy). We eventually, arrived at her place in the car, "I want to come home with you". Whoa! This was suddenly veering into a totally different direction. I still felt sorry for her, but this was going too far, too fast for me. She started to break down again; she was falling in love with me. For yet another 30 minutes (engine still running), we hugged and kissed while I talked her down by casting myself as a big schmuck and rationalizing why this was a bad idea. For various reasons, I simply did not want to enter into a relationship with her, but I couldn't bring myself to say it (was too concerned about her feelings). She finally left and went home, I went to mine for another sleepless night. I felt really bad; it was the evening before Thanksgiving and she had no family in the area. I considered inviting her to join my family, but after what had happened, I wasn't prepared to handle that situation again in front of everyone. I was also upset at myself for how I handled it this time, letting it go too far, not telling the whole truth, leaving it unresolved. To some extent, I was upset at her for making me feel this way. I'm still not sure who was wrong or right (or both). I'm sure she was hurt by this too. Under any circumstances, I was not going to say something like "I'm gay, go away!". This wasn't the time for it, and a seemingly cheap excuse for such a situation. Nor do I don't feel the exclusion of relationships with the opposite sex (let "bi" arguments lie). It just wasn't the right person, or under suitable conditions (basically being a band-aid for the last relationship).

The next week, we caught up. She had spent the holiday with friends and apologized for the prior evening. There was still interest in getting together, but I found it in myself to bring up that I was not interested in a relationship and it seemed to be taken okay. We go out shopping or to a club on a weekend, and it still involves a bit of closure each time, but less is needed and we're almost back to "just (good) friends", I hope.

Seems quite trivial to most, but it was a first real conversation of this sort I have taken part in with another person (not even with my $100/hour doctors). I'm still not too sure what to make of it all... Sounds rather silly, I suppose at this hour of life. At least it's a good social exercise in the off-chance I find the right person. I'm sure I've missed a couple of opportunities (once or twice briefly exchanged glances with someone of potential interest of either side, but never dared to bring myself to pick up a conversation, particularly if it was another boy; I could never be sure).

My move to California looms ahead in a few more weeks. Perhaps more opportunities will arise and I can possibly get a "hi" out at an audible level. Something might actually happen then, I'm afraid...

I probably won't write next month, unless something interesting arises to share and I still have net access; not likely, but I do appreciate the e-mail from people and try to get back to everyone.

Thanks and regards,


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