Saturday morning I wanted to punch Mario in the face. I had an elaborate fantasy about completely kicking his ass. I’m not generally violent, and I’ve never been in a fist fight in my life, but I was seriously considering it. Y’see, there are a couple of situations that have been building that I haven’t told you about…
Mario and Annie are moving to Idaho directly after Christmas. Unsure of how they are to be housed, they’ve been looking for a new home for the dog. They won’t just take it to a shelter–he saved the bitch’s life, so he feels responsible for continuing to preserve it. This is not a concept that makes logical sense to me. The kids are supposed to take care of the dog when they’re home during the day, but they both grumble and complain and try to foist any dog-responsibility onto the opposite sibling. They claim to love the dog, but love never looked so like hate. I have never claimed to like dogs, but I go running with her in the morning and sit or lie on the couch with her when it’s doggy nap time in the afternoon, and I’ve learned to tolerate her propensity for licking me (Ew.), even on the face (Double Ew. So unsanitary.). Hate never looked so like love. Mario’s been discussing with his family the possibility of handing the dog off to his grandparents. His grandpa is showing signs of dementia, and his grandma really needs someone around who is going to be unconditionally affectionate instead of hypercritical and batshit crazy. The dog met the grandma at Thanksgiving, and they really hit it off. As long as grandma was around, the dog did not touch the floor. She was always in her arms, I suspect even during dinner. Thursday night grandma went home, and we came back home Friday, when Mario announced that grandma was getting the dog. The kids wept. The twelve-year-old boy made these huge demonstrations of affection and cried more effusively than I have ever seen a male human of that age cry, up until they drove away with the pooch. Out of sight, out of mind. When they came back eight hours later (detour for Christmas shopping), the boy had another major weeping fit, after having been fine all afternoon. He hated walking the dog, he hated feeding the dog, he refused to clean up after the dog, he only played with the dog when he was avoiding doing work, so why all the tears? It seems like the boy is experimenting with emotions instead of experiencing them. It’s all show, with little worth beneath. I spent the day feeling depressed, so I watched an old British comedy series on Netflix, Spaced. I do love Simon Pegg.
This morning I was feeling kind of antsy, but without a dog, I’d look kind of dumb running up and down the driveway (it’s long, and has a steep grade, so that’s not quite as lame a workout as it sounds). I said to Mario, Let’s go out and do something fun, but apparently he didn’t realize that that meant OH DEAR GOD GET ME OUT OF THIS HOUSE BEFORE THE WALLS CAVE IN ON ME, because he went looking for a putty knife under the house instead. I walked myself around in the yard for a bit, then sat on a rock in the sunshine to try to get some heat and vitamin D before condemning myself to another day inside. I must have sat there staring into space for a good twenty minutes. Around lunchtime, though, Mario’s grandparents called and asked him to come get the dog. She was completely distraught in her new home, and they couldn’t stand keeping around a depressed dog. They even offered to drive the damn thing over here, a move without precedent. The dog is back now, and things are better, but there were some tense and lonely times over the last couple of days.
Last weekend, Topher was having a crisis, so Mario went to go pick him up from his favorite bar to keep him from killing himself. BJ came along too, and they both talked Topher back into life, reconciling himself to his own existence, and to the existence of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication. Mario also found the time to chat me up to BJ apparently, because he told me that BJ would be willing to take me out some time and introduce me to all of the gay sex I’ve been missing for the last thirty-three years. I thought about it overnight, and Sunday morning I asked him to give BJ my number so we could set this thing up.
Tuesday night Topher came over and we had a fire. He and Mario, when looking for something to talk about, talked about BJ. They told me his stories, including his catch phrases, and I thought to myself, This is so weird. Here are two straight-identifying men who are living vicariously through their gay friend. [Yes, Topher admitted to being bi when he was drunk, but apparently he can only admit that after he's downed a six-pack of Guinness.] They want to be him, because he can be all the kinds of outrageous that they rarely permit themselves to be. I think these stories and catch phrases must be much funnier coming from their original source; I didn’t hear anything to attach me overmuch to the absent BJ, and most of it tended to repel me, actually. I don’t need more attention whores in my life; I’m enough of one on my own, and I live with a few more. In all, though, I’m not really looking for a long-term relationship, so that’s not really an obstacle to going out with him a time or two.
After a while, Topher started glancing at the bushes in an awkward manner and wandering over to them, only to stand there for a few seconds and then turn quickly back to Mario and me. Eventually, Mario told him to quit being such a baby and just pee. We weren’t watching him, and it was too dark for anyone else to see. He tried a few more spots, but finally he just went inside. We left him alone for a suitable period, but then Mario told me that one night he and Topher stayed up drinking until Mario passed out, and then Topher tried to convince Annie to sleep with him, so we headed inside to make sure she was all right. Sure enough, he was lounging on the couch and flirting, with no apparent desire to rejoin the men outside. So we all stayed in and Topher and Mario reminisced about some of Topher’s past conquests. Apparently there was one woman who claimed to be a professor at Little State School, and she manipulated him into taking her back to his place, even though he had no intention and even less desire to have sex with her. When she started undressing, he repeated his lack of interest, and when she wouldn’t take no for an answer, his beer-swilled mind issued forth one of his worst ideas yet: Why don’t you just pose for me? And she did! She struck all of these supposedly alluring poses while he only pretended to be watching, and then he sent her home unfucked. It seemed rather heartless to me, kind of like the time that he rejected a girl by telling her that her vagina was like an old laundromat washer. [Context: he once watched a homeless man taking a shit in one. Laundry machine, not vagina.] Anyway, Mario suggested Topher and BJ come over Saturday, as a sort of antidote to all the good family fun we’d be forced to endure during Thanksgiving.
So, Thursday night I checked with Mario, and he hadn’t given BJ my number yet. Then Saturday morning I found out that he wasn’t coming over, because he wasn’t careful about gluten during the holiday and was too sick to leave the house. I was super pissed, at Mario for wasting time in helping me get my needs met, and at the universe for delaying it still further with BJ’s gluten-sickness. I know what that’s like, so I’ll have to wait until Tuesday before I start reminding Mario to pass my number along.
This afternoon, the three adults of us were talking about the imminent return of the dog, and Annie acknowledged what I had already thought: if the dog comes back into the house, she’s never leaving it again. They’re going to keep her for good, and they’ll just have to find a place to live that will accommodate her. She looked at me and said that if this trend continues, they’ll bring me to Idaho as well. The words flew out of my mouth before I could stop them: Find me a boyfriend. I mean really, this whole sexless threesome bit is already old, for me. It works out great for them, but they tend to focus on helping me with survival needs, like food and a place to sleep, when I’m currently placing a lot more emphasis on the emotional needs they’re ignoring, love and a sense of purpose. I suppose fixating on where I’m going to rest when they sell the couch out from under me is one method of showing concern, but frankly, I don’t give a shit if I end up sleeping on the floor under a couple of decorative throws; I do give a shit that my life seems empty and meaningless, and that I’m afraid of dying alone.
Tonight I reconnected with my therapist friend, because with our odd holiday schedules we’ve been skipping our daily chats. I realized that there’s something going on in my head that I’m not dealing with, some loss that remains ungrieved, and I need to get really really sad about it. It seems to be the source of all the fear in my life, but I’m too afraid of it even to admit to myself what it is. Whatever it is, it’s deeper and more scarifying than what I do know about my past, and what I already remember is pretty fucked up. I’m afraid of what could be worse than what I remember now. Paul wants me to work toward figuring out what this is, but right now it’s just a huge black mass that blots out everything else and scares the shit out of me.
I’m drifting back into romantic fantasies with Mario, but this time I know that this habit has more to do with loneliness and his being the only adult male I see regularly than with any actual feelings I have for him, or he for me. I don’t know how the BJ situation will work out; I’m trying not to pin too many hopes to it, but failing miserably. I really need a friend, and a hug, but all my life has given me so far is a dog.