Friday, September 12, 2003


I feel right now like I've had my skin pulled off... not my physical skin, of course, but rather my emotional skin. I'm feeling feelings, and they're just sitting here not going away, and I feel like a snail with its shell off, sort of quivery and gelatinous and weird. But also a little bit freer. Lighter.

Still, I need to talk to someone, and it's too late to call anyone on the phone... though I know some of my friends are still up at this hour, I don't know which ones or if they're busy bathing or writing or fucking or watching a good movie or something else that I wouldn't want to interrupt. So I talk to you, here, because I know I'm not interrupting you or waking you up from your much-deserved sleep.

I (finally) just now finished writing my Ninth-Step letter to my friend Kevin, and I didn't realize until about halfway through the letter just how much I really missed him. I haven't talked to him in four years, and that four years of missing has just fallen down on me and I'm feeling every minute of it all at once. It doesn't really hurt, but it's a big feeling, and I'm having a hard time grappling with it. I'm also crying, which I haven't done (without watching a tear-jerker movie) since I don't know how long ago.

I had expected to feel Feelings when I wrote this letter, so I was somewhat prepared... but I wasn't really prepared for this feeling, nor for so much of it. I was ready for regret, self-recrimination, loneliness, anger, sadness, I don't know what else. But I didn't expect to feel this terrible longing of missing someone, of wanting so badly to see someone again.

The thing is, I didn't expect, when I started this letter, that I was going to ask Kevin to forgive me and give me another chance with our friendship... wait, that's not quite accurate... I knew I would ask him to forgive me, and that I would leave it to him whether or not to communicate with me and see if we could salvage our relationship, which is exactly what I did do in the letter. But I hadn't expected to want it so badly, to really, wildly, and passionately hope that he would contact me and become my friend again. I would completely understand if he didn't want to do that, if he just tore up my letter and never thought about it again... but now I feel the actual intense desire to have him back into my life. And that desire leaves me open to the pain of rejection. Hence the skinned feeling, I guess.

And there is a huge amount of regret over the loss of our friendship that is far more profoundly moving than I thought it was before I started writing. It was a flawed relationship because I was a damaged person, but there was genuine love between us. I don't really know how he felt about me, largely because I never asked him... the chief flaw of our relationship was that I was never honest with him about my feelings toward him and never gave him the opportunity to express any feelings about me, either — there was only one feeling I wanted from him, but I knew I wasn't going to get that feeling, so I buried not only my desire for that feeling but also any knowledge of other feelings that he might have had.

Still, when you love someone, however unhealthy the demonstrations of that love might have been, no matter what our sick psyches do about that love, the love exists on its own despite the passage of time and the absence of the person.

Well, there's really nothing I can do now. I am not going to send this letter until I've had a chance to go over it carefully with my sponsor and discuss my motivations and my hopes. Besides, I don't have Kevin's address and don't really know how to get in touch with him. I'd have to ask for the favors of an intermediary, and I have to not be a heel about asking (I guess I fear the intermediary feeling used, a means to an end... I know I'd hate to feel that, myself, but also have to give the intermediary the chance to not feel used and rather be happy to help, a chance I often fail to give people).

All I can do is sit here and feel my feelings. And if Kevin chooses to let sleeping dogs lie and the dead past bury its dead, I'll have to feel that feeling... and if he does choose to reunite with me, I'll have to feel those feelings, too.

As I've shared before, I'd simply rather not feel feelings. I mean, one likes to feel pleasure, happiness, excitement, maybe sometimes even fear or anger... but I like to feel them in a refined way, in comfortable doses, felt through a silken veil, as it were, delicately presented with a garnish of dainty flowers and swirls of piquant sauce on the plate... not this raw welling of emotion that makes my eyes and nose run all over the place and makes me think that my heart is going to rip apart as it swells. There's just too much snot and intensity involved.

But there it is... I'm feeling the feelings and there's nothing I can do about it. It's precisely what I was trying to avoid by putting off this letter. But it is necessary to my growth as a human being to feel feelings, as well as to clean up the wreckage of my past and to do what I can to redress my wrongs. Maybe next time I won't be so afraid of the feelings that I spend a little over six hundred dollars on drag in two weeks. Maybe next time I'll just go ahead and feel my feelings and do my duty. Or maybe not. I don't know.

Either way, I'm glad I wrote the letter. Not only is it off my mind, but it's off my chest.

And speaking of chests (because I have to stop somewhere, and I'm getting sleepy now)...

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