Your good friend asked his girlfriend’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage today, and it’s near midnight, and you’re texting.
You texted him, “Mission status?” and after some time, he texts you back, “All systems go!”
And you’re genuinely happy for him. But you’re also genuinely tired. Take normal tiredness and multiply it by a coefficient of moderately sick to produce the state you’re in.
Needless to say, your patience wore down while you waited for him to respond.
You’re coming to realize, patience is a fickle friend. And the irony of patience is that it doesn’t wait around for whenever you need it most, and comes and goes regardless of how greatly you need it.
The fickleness of your patience, your impatience, makes you fickle too. It makes you a fickle friend.
You know you don’t have the ability to truly (fully) love if you don’t have patience. You’re still loving to your fullest, and you’re truly trying your best. Sadly, you are. That’s the tragedy. Better love comes from becoming better people.
The topic deserves deeper attention, but you don’t have the patience.
Well, my sixth blog completely disappeared because my connection was slow.
It had to do with a lot of things.
First I talked about how I had unexpectedly joined my friend on a trip to a rural church where he had been employed to play the organ every other Sunday.
And I forgot to brush my teeth.
He was running late so he broke a lot of laws on the way there, which lifted my anxiety, but I hid that from him because he said he was glad to have me there and I already felt bad for making him more late.
Finally we arrived and I was glad I could be there for him, but walking into a tiny chapel populated by the elderly and the opinionated of a small town is not something I like doing.
Nonetheless, it all turned out well.
Except I never brushed my teeth that day. That didn’t turn out so well.
ninth, no … tenth blog
After some reflection on your various attractions to both sexes, a common factor running through each of them eventually ran in front of you. And suddenly you started looking for its tracks elsewhere. You realized it was everywhere.
You are attracted to that which challenges you.
You know it’s true. You know you love thinking, learning and growing and you feel this way about everything—about teachers, about art, about lifestyles. So of course you would build your erotic lens off the same blueprint.
You’ve wondered why your best friendships have never led to romance, while you’ve known shallower ones to incorporate elements of attraction in them…. And it’s because your best friends naturally relieve you, naturally pacify you. Although at times these friends have challenged you, it’s only been intellectually, never sexually and never emotionally.
Your friends whom you’ve had a hard time befriending, your friends whom you’ve found obtuse in the past, whom you’ve found hard to progress with emotionally: These friends are the ones that excited you inexplicably.
You’ve experienced this mainly with other men who made a point of their own masculinity over yours. When a male friend put his maleness between you, put up his machismo as a front, that’s what frustrated you and turned you on. It activated rather than pacified you.
You found yourself challenged to have a relationship with them, where with easier friends (male and female) asserting sexual identity is never an issue.
Friction creates heat! And for you, that holds true in an emotional and sexual sense as well.
For you the excitement of homosexuality has always been in the excitement of competition, the playful invitation to display sexual assertion. Which is why you’ve never felt any attraction toward an actual homosexual relationship, but only toward encounters.
As far as sexual involvement goes, you’ve never wanted anything more than relief to the sexual challenge in the form of sexual release. When it was an emotional incongruity, the emotional became translated into sexual and physical, and from there you wanted emotional release (in sexual outlet).
So far, whenever you’ve been incited by others or by yourself to decide your sexual orientation, you’ve become confused by your feelings. You felt heterosexual, and yet you felt attracted to other boys. But until the onset of adolescence, you’d only ever liked girls, so then why the sudden attraction to boys? All your crushes were still on girls. Why these new, different feelings for boys?
You didn’t know the answer then, but you did know that the way you were attracted to boys was different than the way you were attracted to girls….
And now, coming to understand the two-dimensional makeup of your homosexuality has encouraged you even more toward heterosexual resolution. Although, you should be clear: you have nothing against homosexuality—one of your best friends is gay.
Unfortunately, sex-symbols were usually the girls to command your attention. Real girls have rarely attracted you because they’ve rarely challenged you. And at times this fact has been something that’s compounded your sexual confusion.
You tend to understand girls as innately as other girls do, because you grew up as the only boy in an all-girl home. You’ve made friends with them easily. And you’ve rarely found yourself attracted to them because you’ve rarely felt uncomfortable or challenged around them.
But when girls (real ones) have challenged you, you’ve fallen head-over-heels….
Earlier you were fantasizing about a girl who could shut you up with all her own realizations and ideas—a girl who would invite you to inspired silence. And now you know why.
Still, you need to reconsider all your assumptions, because suddenly you’re wondering whether your intimacy with girls has caused you to put them as a whole into boxes and onto pedestals.
twelfth blog … should you start titling these?
You are amused, looking back on several brief instances of miscommunication that happened tonight at dinner.
You like the thought of yourself as an unwitting actor in a little comedy of errors. To whatever extent, you sometimes like the thought of your life and all lives, and even life itself, as a comedy of errors. Well, anyway,
You were enjoying the special company of one of your old friends from high school, and you had together decided on dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.
When you were ordering your meal, you wanted to replace the side that comes with it, french fries, with a side of fried yuca. But apparently you said, “… and instead of fried yuca, could I get french fries?”
Your waitress wondered aloud whether you might mean the opposite of what you’d said. You were surprised and you felt silly and laughed and apologized, and thanked her. Somewhere among all that you got out a confirmation of your order.
Later, the conversation drifted to your recent thoughts on marijuana, which you use occasionally. And when your friend was explaining why the idea of smoking weed repelled him personally, you were already beginning to get a feel for his overall tone toward the subject. So it surprised you when you heard him say, “I think it’s good to use the substance”, and you interrupted him to ask him to restate what he just said.
He was annoyed, so you clarified that it seemed to you that he was advocating use—
“No, I’m saying the opposite!” he said quickly, interrupting your interruption.
You added that you knew you must have misunderstood him. And he went on. But within ten minutes your roles were exchanged and he was misunderstanding you.
He had taking issue with your low estimation of yourself, in response to some narrating you’d been doing about a few of your latest self-discoveries. The thesis of your new self-view was (and is) fundamentally this, that you are much more selfish than you have ever realized before and probably more than you will ever be aware of.
And, boiled down, your friend’s valiant counterpoint was this, “Well, as bad as you are, you’re much better than many other people are.”
And you laughed and thanked him. Straightaway you disagreed, and in your mind insisted that the majority of the perceived differences between yourself and others have had an influence on your present selfishness. You thought to yourself: no, you’re really not all that different from most people. But you did appreciate the good intent of a caring compliment from a friend, which is the way you interpreted his statement.
So you told him you appreciated what he said, and that you don’t agree, but that it did endear him to you. And you told him clumsily, and with the awareness that telling anyone that their actions are endearing to you is not normal.
He was annoyed, which dismayed you, and then he said, “Not everybody’s actions are selfish!”
And you said, “Well no, but—Wait, what do you mean?”
“You’re saying that I only said that to make you like me!” he claimed.
“No,” you assured him you were saying “the exact opposite!” and you laughed, recognizing the by-now famous appearance of miscommunication.
On his face annoyance gave way to confusion. You restated that you were thanking him for complimenting you, and that you value his kind intent.
Annoyance crossed across his features again but left just as quickly, and he said, “Well, I guess it doesn’t matter….”
Everything before, between, and after these miscommunications was smooth. And yet this last one left you puzzled. Speculating, you wonder what annoyed your friend:
You wonder whether his statement was less compliment and more opinion, and whether your disagreement was what annoyed him. You wonder whether he would expand his opinion with you sometime, and whether it’s worth all this wondering.
You wonder … whether your love of identifying with others is good for you, or whether you ought to find new ways to express it, because the way you expressed it tonight caused conflict.
Miscommunication of the kind you experienced tonight, but in the case of syllables instead of words or concepts, is called spoonerism.
The real reason you stopped smoking
Was because of you
Not because of God.
You lied, to yourself and your friends,
Because it sounded better coming out of heaven
Than out of your own heart.
You’re superhero tired.
You’ve been up for more than twenty-four hours,
Which isn’t healthy, but
You spent most the night laughing with your friends,
Which is healthy. So,
It all balanced out, right? Well…
Not quite. But it’s bedtime anyway.