Saturday, November 21, 2020

Smothering Instinct

I'm extremely forgetful. Perhaps because of my tendency to look below the surface of things and not to stay on top of things? Whatever the reasons, I depend on careful organizational skills and when I find myself under the thumb of the pandemic and not going anywhere there's a tendency to forget about my daily planner which contains (or is supposed to) all my project intentions, chores, appointments and recurring events: everything from teeth-brushing to garbage day to NFL Opening Day.

I sometimes forget to take my meds; both for blood-pressure and the miracle sleep-enabling drug.

Sometimes I forget a couple days in a row and things get sketchy. Recently I went three days in a row without the miracle pill due to a combination of sleep irregularity, lack of organization and terrible service hours/closures of the pharmacy from Friday through Sunday.

The result was the same as the last time I went on a three-day bender. My emotions went right into hyer-drive. While I am always missing a few very dear loved ones and have so since March, a kind of panic sets in in the above circumstance. I feel like something is going to go wrong and I'll never see them again; never hug them; or perhaps that my absence will lead them to forget about me or perhaps to not need me? I don't really understand it. There is no logical interpretation of what I feel; just an extraordinary yearning for certain people.

Certain best friends who I have had in life slipped away from me and lost interest in me despite my continued interest in them. That's probably part of it.

And also being a person who had to fight his way out of the closet in a much earlier day there remains a life-long liability which few straight people could fully comprehend. It lies, normally unwoken, in the pit of every such person who has suffered this adolescent trauma in a less-kind age; as the Eloquent Potter puts it: the fear of being de-grouped. If you know a gay person and you want to utterly kill them just make them feel unwelcome in their established peer group. For us there is nothing crueler.

Now that the internet has given us all a soapbox for preaching our advice any old time at all there's a great tendency to indulge (like yours truly, especially!). But sometimes there's a resentment if we feel that the advice to embrace sacrifice is coming from those who have less to sacrifice. We feel like the call to sacrifice is much stronger when it comes from those who must sacrifice more. This does not reflect on the accuracy or wisdom of the message though!

For instance I am full of parenting advice which I believe in confidently but I rarely ever breathe a word of it because I've never suffered the things which parents must suffer. So my voice is a weaker one. That doesn't mean I'm wrong. It means I'm less trust-worthy.

That's actually a poor example. Here's the point. When my excellent brother and other folks tell me here is the sacrifice we must make in order to ensure our parents health, there is a part of me that knows damn well they are right. But there is another part of me that says "Okay but by the way, go to hell because you have a wife and kids for you to love in your household! I have no one!"

I have a housemate who sleeps two floors above me and a there's her dog too, but these relationships are tricky ones and the love there is not of the sort that seems to keep me alive; not like my family and such dear souls as the Eloquent Potter or Aqualad or Neo for instance.

As much as I adore them, by the way, no one comes close to my Mom. She is number one; our relationship is sacred. But luckily I see her about every five weeks and we either call or skype at least three times a week.  

I found out with certainty after near-thirteen years with Long-Time Companion that the standard relationship model in our society is largely nonsensical to me and that I suck at it either way and since then I cherish close friendships with whom I can share anything (and even the odd one which has edged into sexual behavior though my interest in sex is well into its final hour) and multiple best-friendish companions have in essence replaced the idea of a spouse.

Phone calls and video chats with great friends are great!  But as a person who is starved for physical contact at the best of times these events are simultaneously a reminder of what I am missing.

In my drug-starved despair I hit the facebook status alarm bell, worried or perhaps offended some dear people and an hour later tried to trust my logic and issued a retraction. But the damage was done. Friends of a masculine-problem-solving nature be they men or women; those who rush to fix things as quickly as possible rather than pause to understand them, tried to give me advice; advice I already knew and knew could not satisfy my instinctive perception of my clobbered needs, but bless their kind souls for trying.

Telling a starving man that you have no food, that he'll have to be happy with cigarettes or chewing gum or a harmonica, solves no problems.

I'm a few days back on the pill regular now, and I still miss these people (and some others) quite terribly. But I feel again that this hell-born Covid disaster will surely pass at some point and I will just have to hang on, one way or another, and take my damn pill every day, and pray a vaccine comes to the rescue.

And when this is over I'm coming for you with a giant hug so brace yourself, and just like the childless female penguin who competes so desperately for an available orphan, I'll try not to crush you to death.

Building the Map Room

No comments: