Monday, April 29, 2002

Bracelets and Broken Hearts...

Still can't figure out the publishing thing. I even broke down and sent an email to Customer Support at my hosting humiliating! It's like having to ask directions at a gas station. I loathe having to ask for help. And then to make matters worse, I got an email back saying that they're backlogged with service questions and will be somewhat delayed in getting back to me...backlogged service requests do not bode well for my choice of web-hosting providers. I get the distinct feeling that I've bitten off more than I can chew, and leapt too precipitately into this project without waiting to consult knowledgeable friends.

On the other hand, I got two more bracelets from HSN today, and though they don't go with what I'm wearing today, they are quite a pleasure to look at. The pearl Suzanne Somers bracelet is most entertaining, since it has a magnetic clipping or shoving or folding, I just let the ends get near to each other and it snaps shut with the most delicious little click! I was going to link to a picture of it, but the item is gone from the was a clearance sale and I guess they're out. But here is a link and a picture for the other bracelet, which is a very soothing color and makes me want to go lay on a beach in Hawaii.

I've been reading a number of blogs lately where people are discussing dreams they've had. I am always amazed at the clarity and organization of these dreams, if I bother to remember them, are most notable for their meandering confusion and the fact that I am usually quite confused in them. Last night, for example, I dreamed that I was at this very strange sort of drag conference, and I didn't have my wig on though I had my real hair tied up in four Pekinese-like tufts as I usually do when I'm going to put on a wig; I was sitting at this big white Rubbermaid table in a white plastic lawn chair inside a large circus-tent, trying to get my makeup on and eat spaghetti at the same time, and the judges and audience were all watching me and other Galaxy Girls as we ate and made up. Then I was crowned Miss Gay Marin 2003, though it was still only 2002 and Candie Swallows (who is Miss Gay Marin 2002) was happy that we could all be concurrent Miss Gay Marins. I couldn't get a straight answer out of anyone as to how we could crown future Miss Gay Marins without having a proper pageant, and could not figure out how I could possibly have won when I hadn't performed and didn't even have a wig on. When I did finally find my wig, it was very long and cheap-looking and blonde, and I then discovered that the silver dress I was wearing was all torn. And no wonder I don't remember much of the just didn't make any sense. Or maybe it did, to someone who understands dream analysis.

But one of the highlights of last night's dream was a recurring item...I keep dreaming about running into my old friend Kevin.

Kevin and I were very close, constant companions for about eleven or twelve years, from the time we were nineteen until about three years ago (you do the math). I was very much In Love with him, but I didn't dare tell him for fear of ruining what we did have, which was a very close camaraderie, a sort of coupledom...he was very much like a boyfriend to me, except that he had other boyfriends and we never had sex (well, once when we were very drunk and I pretty much hectored him into was utterly pathetic).

Well, I'm not sure just how common such relationships are, so I can't tell how much I need to explain about it. I mean, I was in love with him in this very confused manner, and I was actively drinking by the time we got to be close, so it was (in retrospect) doomed from the start. I think I fell in love with him because I knew it couldn't work out that way, but that we had so much in common and enjoyed so many of the same things that we could remain close friends virtually forever--and my sick little self-destructive mind latched onto that instead of keeping that part of my emotional life open to new experiences...better the pain one knows than the pain one hasn't experienced yet. I would become interested in other people, but I never felt anything near the Sturm und Drang passion I felt for Kevin.

That is, until I met Shiloh. When I fell for Shiloh and started pursuing him in much the same (gutless and impossible) way I had pursued Kevin some ten years previous, my relationship with Kevin started to deteriorate. Even when Kevin and I were alone, all we could talk about were a) things Kevin and I had done/said/seen in the past and b) Shiloh and how frustrating my pursuit of him was. At the time I didn't see how this was different from conversations when Kevin was involved with someone...this third person, his boyfriend, would become part of my life, and when Kevin and I were alone we would talk a great deal about that third person.

But I see now that the difference was that when Kevin was romantically involved with someone, it didn't change his feelings toward me. But since my feelings for him were different from his for me, and yet were quite similar to what I was suddenly feeling for Shiloh, I took away the interest and affection that had once marked my relations with Kevin and gave them to Shiloh. And as close as we were, he could not have failed to notice that reduction of affection and interest.

But this is all the wisdom of hindsight. Not quite four years ago, when I was hot in my cowardly, unspoken, passive-aggressive pursuit of Shiloh, Kevin started taking offence at things I said quite offhandedly. We started fighting a lot...well, actually, he would get mad at me for some imagined slight, and I would get mad at him for getting mad over such a silly thing (and more often than not yelling at me in front of other people). At the same time, my mood was rather sour, to say the least...aside from my romantic frustrations with Shiloh, I quit smoking and was insanely bitchy and negative. After a few such dust-ups, Kevin and I pretty much just stopped communicating with each other. I called him a couple of times and left messages he didn't return. But over the previous years, we had often gone months at a time without speaking, not out of anger but just because we were busy or occupied with something or someone else, so I didn't really make much of it.

Enter the go-between. Caroline wondered why Kevin wasn't around so much lately, and in her curiosity decided she'd call him up and see what was going on. He told her that he had been avoiding me because I had been so negative and unpleasant lately; he went on to say that he thought I had been treating him badly for some time, perhaps trying to punish him out of some vague subconscious resentment. When pressed, he couldn't say what had turned me against him, but that he had felt it for the last year or so. When Caroline reported the conversation to me, in hopes of facilitating a reconciliation, I did a little math in my head and realized that the time frame he stated was not as long as I'd been sober, but longer than I had been smokeless...and aligned exactly with how long I had known Shiloh.

Well, that pretty much decided me that I wasn't going to call him anymore, either. I considered it an out-and-out betrayal that he would avoid me because I was being bitchy and negative...or, as I saw it then, that he would cut me off at a time when I was suffering blinding mental and emotional pain...after I had stuck by him in all his bad moods and times of turmoil over ten or eleven or twelve years. I further felt that his accusation that I was taking out my resentments on him was mere projection, since I still couldn't see why he was being so thin-skinned and flipping out over my merest utterances. And that if he couldn't deal with me when I was deeply in love with someone else, after I had sat through his being deeply and confusingly in love with at least two other guys, I figured that our friendship wasn't so great and close as I had thought, and maybe it was time for it to end.

Well, that was three and a half years ago. I haven't heard a peep out of Kevin in all that time, nor have I made any effort to contact him. We still have one mutual friend, from whom I heard that Kevin had graduated from college; I don't know if he has pulled away from that mutual friend or if the mutual friend doesn't want to get involved in our split-up, but she never mentions him to me anymore.

Since then, I have learned a lot about myself and grown a good deal emotionally. In dealing with Shiloh over these last few years, I have really seen where I went wrong with Kevin...because Shiloh and I have been able to discuss our disparate feelings with each other and come to a resolution on how we could deal with that issue and remain friends. Shiloh is an open, honest, communicative person (perhaps, sometimes, too much so, but that's another topic altogether), and from him I learned to be open, honest, and communicative about my feelings...something that Kevin and I never did. I knew from one of his boyfriends that Kevin had always been aware of my feelings for him, but he and I never once discussed it or even hinted at it out loud. And that kind of glossing-over of home truths, the ignoring of our deepest tie, is what, I think, ultimately destroyed our relationship.

Since learning all this about myself, I was finally able to see where I was wrong and what I had done to Kevin--he was quite right, after all, that I often acted out my dissappointments and unconscious resentments by being unneccessarily cruel to him, but I had been doing it all along...not just after I got involved with Shiloh...and I guess he didn't notice it so much then because I was always trying to make it up to him...which I didn't feel as compelled to do after I started in on Shiloh. Since all of my emotions were tied up in Shiloh, I did not feel guilt toward Kevin anymore, and did not do those special little grovelly things I used to do to propitiate him after I did something I thought was unpleasant. Yet I still did the things, but habitually, off-handedly and without intention.

And now I think it has come time for me to try to resolve this problem with Kevin. The fact that he has been popping up in my dreams means that our broken friendship is still rattling around in my head, no matter how much I rationalize why our wildly disfunctional relationship had to end. If I don't get this out of my system, it will probably become worse and start coloring other aspects of my life, as an untended sore will fester and spread over other parts of the body.

The first step in getting this resolution was to admit that it was not all Kevin's fault, that I was indeed wrong; the next step is to bring it all out in the open, make a public admission of my wrongdoing, which I am doing here in my blog. The next step, I think, is to get in touch with our mutual friend and see if she is willing to act as liaison between him and myself. Of course, she might not be in touch with him anymore, I will have to think of another avenue. But I just don't think I can continue to live with this situation without doing something about it. Even if we can't be friends again, and even if he doens't want to talk to me, I need resolution of some sort for my own peace of mind...closure, if I may borrow a bit of psychobabble.

Well, this has all been very cathartic. Thanks for listening! As a reward, here's something pretty to take the bitter taste out of your mouth:

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