The days are passing by so fast, and I have so many thoughts that I don’t know where to begin organizing them.
My girlfriend is sick right now. She was running a high fever when I got to her last night. We didn’t have a thermometer but her skin was burning when I felt it. Before I went to her, I was at the wakepark and some people were there. When they asked why I was leaving so quickly, I was about to say, “I have to take care of my girlfriend.” But it wouldn’t have been true. I wasn’t going because I had to. I was going because I wanted to. I chose it, no one made me. Words are so important.
Back when my parents weren’t okay with me being gay and having girlfriends, I would sneak around all the time. I got so good at telling lies. My mom would go through my journals every chance she got; my dad hired someone to stalk me everywhere I went. It was crazy. Even after they became resigned to the inevitability of me wanting to have girlfriends, I was so in the habit of lying about where I was and who I was with.
Then, I went on a beach trip with J. and her family, early last 2015. All throughout high school, like me, she had had a troubled relationship with her mother. She said it was getting much better, though. We were walking on the sand. She said she does what she wants whether or not her mother agrees, because, as she said, “I’m not doing anything wrong.” I realized that if I was certain about my sense of right and wrong, I did not need to rely on others to make my decisions for me.
At one point, also, I asked to borrow her laptop and automatically asked, “What’s your password?” I was so used to everyone having passwords on their gadgets. She said there wasn’t one. I was surprised and asked her why. She replied, “Because I’m not hiding anything.”
To be able to do what you want; to live a life that is free of shame, whether about the rightness of your decisions or the imperfect parts of yourself – that is priceless freedom.
This is a scene from what is probably my most favorite film, Ever After. It’s a Cinderella story. Danielle (Cinderella) is walking in the woods with the prince. He is telling her about his plans to build a university.
“I’ve measured my life by these trees. Starting here, all the way up there. And still they grow. So much life to live. But I no longer imagine it alone.
Oh, last night, I had a revelation. I used to think, if I cared at all, I would have to care about everything, and I’d go stark raving mad. But now I’ve found my purpose. I feel the most wonderful… freedom.”
I asked my girlfriend to keep me good. I know she will. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone so pure of motives. Not that I think she’s infallible; but that the reasons behind her own actions are clear to herself, even if sometimes she can’t or won’t put it into words. Among many things about her that’s something I want to cultivate.
I don’t “have to.” I want to. That’s the truth.
I’ve never met anyone who has made me want to strive so hard to be better. Well, except my dog.
To understand someone, is not just to know what they are but also to see what they are capable of.
From a character in the movie Run, Fat Boy, Run (one of my favorites growing up). Chastising the main character for leaving his fiancee at the altar:
“So, you are a coward. You did not think you were good enough. You were terrified that you could not give her what she needed, what she deserved. I thought the same things on the day I married my wife. But guess what? It turned out I was good enough. I made myself good enough.”
One time I was running late for a movie date. She wouldn’t have made me feel bad about it. But I did. I want to be someone who does the things she says she will.
“It’s the secret to a meaningful life: picking an existence that is of value to more than just yourself, even if that existence defies the logic of reality – your biology, your environment, and, of course, society. And once you have chosen who you want to be, once you have defined the parameters of this life, you force it to be true, as real as any gene or social factor. And know that once you have invested your life in this identity, this existence – all or nothing, even in the face of the doubt and terror that accompanies your “rational” self – it will be impossible to fail.” – TLP
I do the things I do because I want to. No one makes me.
I was late that time, but I’m trying not to let it happen again. Not because I have to do it to keep her from getting upset, but because her happiness makes me happy; because she deserves to be with someone who values her time, and I want to be that someone.
These days with her are so wonderful.
“You own all the land there is and yet you take no pride in working it! You have everything, and still the world holds no joy. Yet you insist on making fun of those who would see it for its possibilities.” (Danielle from Ever After)
The world is full of sorrow, and it is also full of joy. No more numbness. I can mourn my loved one’s passing; I can be hurt; I can feel lonely. I can also feel so connected to her; and (slowly) to my friends and family again.
Unrelated – My mother thinks this year’s Miss Universe is somebody to emulate. I hate the whole contest and all the others like it. Why do women allow themselves to be treated that way? To be paraded like property, to have their worth subjectively judged by someone like Perez Hilton – a man who rose to fame by posting the aftermaths of his masturbation sessions, which consisted of him gleefully ejaculating all over images of celebrities experiencing humiliation and misery. They bask in the fake adulation. They take it so seriously. Beautiful men would never allow themselves to be judged like that; no one would even really watch that, pay attention to it the way the world pays attention to women’s beauty contests.
These women derive so much of their self-worth from people’s arbitrary judgments of their beauty and their mostly meaningless answers. “To be a Miss Universe is both an honor and responsibility. I will use my voice to influence the youth. I would shed light in causes like HIV. Show the world that I am confidently beautiful with a heart.” Everything that is to become real starts as something specific. I’ve said it before. Write it down. You might think you understand it, but you don’t. How does this answer make you feel? “A better strategy [to help women stay productive in the economy] is incentives for corporations to build daycare centres in the office and the development of a flexi-hour scheme dedicated to mothers.” Did your eyes glaze over? That was Dr. Harathi Dorairaja, a government dentist and Miss MalaysiaIndian Global 2015. She will never become Miss Universe. Partly because she isn’t pretty enough (I won’t lie), but mostly because her dreams are too specific. Too realistic. She is a skilled professional, and she wants to make changes related to her field.
Why do people crave those other broad, meaningless words instead of encouraging the people who have the agency to make lasting changes? I don’t know yet. I’ll think about it in the shower and maybe while walking to class. I think all the time. I try to un-knot these problems, I pick at them patiently. I want to figure it out. I don’t want to always just be asking and complaining.
These days are going by too fast. I want to hit pause… like we did that night on my roof. She was in my room, lying on my bed when I opened the curtains and saw that the stars were out. I asked her to go look at them with me. We took a sleeping bag and some pillows and blankets upstairs and lay together on the roof and said some things but mostly we were just close to each other. I hadn’t felt so safe and at peace in a long time.
Every time we kiss I’m still –
I still fly, I fall, I feel the lines between us blur.
She and I, in bed together and wound so tightly around each other that no spaces at all are left between our bodies.
She is my match; or will be, when I have grown –
match 1 |matʃ|
2 a person or thing that is equal to another in quality or strength
3 a similar or complementary pair
1. to correspond in some essential respect; make or be harmonious
2. succeed in reaching or equalling (a standard, quality or strength)
• equalize (two coupled electrical impedances) so as to bring about the maximum transfer of power from one to the other.
meet one’s match encounter one’s equal in strength or ability.
to match corresponding in some essential respect with something previously mentioned or chosen
ORIGIN Old English gemæcca ‘mate, companion’.