Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I won't say that I'm better than ever, but I am better than I was last week.
I spent a pretty relaxing ten days in the country, but it was also a sad, soul-searching, sobbing into my pillow kind of week. Think of Naomi Watts' denim cutoffs scene in Mulholland Drive and you'll have some idea of what this past week has been like for me. It finally hit me that Hayley is really truly gone, and she's never coming back. I'm in that place I hate so much where I'm single again but not really ready to start over. It's a terrible, painful, sexually-frustrated place and if I was better at casual encounters I dare say I'd get over it a hell of a lot faster.
Fortunately the island is a therapeutic place for me these days. I went to a wine festival the day after I arrived and drank a great deal of fine wine. It was such a stunning, blackberry-scented, hazy, sun-drenched kind of day. If you're ever wanting to impress me or get me into bed with you, a bottle of Mission Hill's 2004 Reserve Shiraz is a good way to do it. And God, the description of that magical liquid: "Dark, almost black with heady aromas that suggest blackberry pie, coffee bean, cocoa and pepper. A nice hint of smoked meat and cinnamon on a foundation of fine grained tannins round out this big, plump, explosive red." I'm not easily bought, but this is a damn fine bottle of wine.
After the festival we all piled drunkenly onto the island's only bus and Ivan the Terrible Bus Driver conducted us perilously but intact up the island, where we jumped the twelve feet or so off the dock my Bro is sitting on at left (note his superior sandal tan) into the impossibly icy blue ocean. Damn, it was cold. I drank about a fifth of a can of Lucky beer and watched our neighbour (who is improbably above the age of 35) get so drunk that she fell face first onto the deck and split her lip open. Classy.
I spent most of the afternoon being shyly flirted with by the nephew of our flamingly gay neighbour Rick who owns waterfront property next to the dock and whose "beat-up island car" is a red BMW convertible. That's him on the right, by the way, the little dot in the background. He's a damn fine swimmer, and judging solely by the temperature of that water he doesn't plan on having his own biological children. Rick's Malaysian partner owns a beautiful little art gallery in town and I'm bartending a party for them over the Labour Day Weekend. His nephew was an impossibly quiet, beer-swilling frat-boy type, blonde-haired, blue eyed, and stocky in a muscular sort of way. His little crush on me was fairly apparent to anyone with two eyeballs partially open, but despite two days' worth of various conversation attempts, I realised we didn't have enough in common to even get each other into bed. Plus, he was not that cute. But apparently I've still got it in the boy department. Ziiing!
The rest of the week I spent moving from our porch swing to the beach to the couch to my bed, rinse and repeat. I wish I could say that it was utterly carefree, and it was in certain moments like when Cait came to visit for a day and a night, but I had rather a lot more meltdowns this week than I would have liked. It became very difficult to get through the day without crying or getting upset about something utterly inane and banal, like bad coffee or mosquitos. This is pretty out-of-character for me, because I generally roll with the punches fairly well, but I was not in a good place.
I kept remembering the most inane details about my time with Hayley, back when she was a rough-around-the-edges beauty and a brilliant, funny, wonderfully affectionate person. She was the only one to ever stroke my hair and hold my hand when I curled my arm around her when we were sleeping. It only took a small fraction of consciousness for her to remember I was there and wrap her arms around me. We used to make out for hours at a time even though we clearly weren't in high school anymore. It's such exquisite torture to remember things like this, and even more torturous to think of how much more time I spent longing for her than I spent actually lying in her arms. She used to make me so ridiculously happy that it almost seems like another dimension in which she's become this skinny, alcoholic zombie of a party animal who wants only shallow friends and shallow thrills from life. I don't want her to hurt herself but I honestly don't think I can help her anymore without sacrificing my own sanity and self-respect. And so the only solution is to cut her off completely, and try to move on.
I raced home from the ferry last night (which was 30 minutes late and resulted in me having to wait an hour for the next bus, thanksalotBCFerries!) because I desperately wanted to go see The Last Second at the Queer Film Fest, an Indonesian film which looked dark and fabulous. I didn't make it to the bus stop until 9:15, and the thing started at 9:30. I was about to get on the bus when I spotted a tiny wavy-haired girl with all the mannerisms of Mia Kirshner walking with a bicycle and I realised it was T of first-date fame. I suppose we'll call her Tori from now on.
Tori and her friend told me that the movie I wanted to see would almost doubtlessly be sold out since almost all the tickets get sold in advance, so I asked if I could tag along with them downtown. They said sure and we began the perilous and noisy walk across the car-choked bridge (Tori not being a fan of public transit). Tori's friend Rhea was an interesting character who apparently has the opposite problem than I do in the so-called queer community. She looks like the biggest dyke on the planet if you believe in such subjective gaydar ratings (I never assume anymore), and all her friends are gay, but strangely enough she's only interested in boys. I, on the other hand, don't set off anybody's gaydar but am definitely interested in girls. I find this both funny, and kind of fascinating. I suppose it's just best not to assume anymore.
I spent the rest of the evening strolling through the West End with Tori and Rhea, running into people we knew and eating potato pizza and drinking root beer. I ended up back at Tori's place, which was one of the cutest yellow-painted little basement apartments I'd ever seen. Rhea and Tori's roommate went out and Tori and I stayed in, talking about Tokyo (where Tori used to teach English), harajuku girls, music, movies, and our friends and former lovers. We listened to an electronic video-gamesque song she'd written on her IMac (I forgive her fondness for the Evil Apple), and she played a klezmer song for me on her accordion. She asked for my number again and I wrote it in her address book. We hugged goodnight and I walked up her alley, where I came upon a skunk staring quizzically at me from about ten feet away on the street corner. I stood silent and still and I waited to see if this was an omen, a black cat or a ladybug in the form of a smelly city creature with no natural predators. But the strange two-toned creature just shuffled away with a casual little wiggle of his tail, and I turned my Zen player to K'nann and set out for Davie Street.
I walked most of the way home and tried to sleep. But relaxation was extremely slow in coming.
The problem with Tori is simply that I like her too much. She's such a strange and sublime beauty of a girl. Half her hair is short and the other half curls perfectly around her face -- the assymetry is remarkable. Her body is so long and lean and almost childlike in its smallness. She's all clean lines, easy smiles, and simplicity. She's one of those beautifully imperfect girls, with delicate features hiding a lot of strength and uniqueness. She's a new level of musical in that she doesn't just consume it like I do, she creates it herself, unpretentiously and on her own terms.
The fact is that I could never be with this girl casually. I could never fuck her and not want to know her, not in a million years. And until I'm ready to date her (and I'm not even sure she wants to date me), I absolutely have to keep her only as a friend. Otherwise I risk not trusting her enough, and not being able to be there completely as I really want to be. My heart's still in a million jagged bits floating around in my rib cage, and when I'm being honest with myself I have to admit that I'm still really bitter and angry about Hayley. I absolutely have to let go of that before I can let anyone else in, and especially someone as incredible as Tori.
This is insanely long -- sorry guys.
I have a lot on my mind at the moment, and I never want to burden the people in my so-called real life by being terribly self-absorbed and a drama queen.
So thanks if you're still reading.
Seriously -- thanks.
p.s. Here's my new 25Peeps URL if you want to go and support me, which I know you do, my lovely and fantastical readers.