December 24th, 2002

Yo Maniacal Tang

Well, THAT was Ugly...

So, lavendersage and I wound up having a fight, in spite of my best intentions. I note from her journal that she can't understand why I was so upset at the finer points of defining "yelling" and "screaming". Screaming is what I *used* to do when I got angry, and is far louder, shriller, and a lot less coherent. I believe spittle was also involved. I try to avoid getting that upset at ANYTHING any more.

Of course, it's doesn't do any good to note an improvement if someone wasn't around to appreciate the differences between then and now. You can only go with personal experience. In my case, people who DID experience me pre-medication/diagnosis are still so goddamn shell shocked that I might as well STILL be that screaming moron.

If there was anything that I feel truly awful about was yelling at Eileen (who was so upset she started her own journal as lovingstones) when she tried to intervene on Audra's behalf. I felt like I was being attacked on two fronts, and even if I deserved it (for the record: I did) she didn't deserve to be caught in the cross fire.

When the dust cleared, Audra and I were holding each other and sobbing. We wound up snuggling in bed for awhile, exhausted. Later, Audra went out to get some food (food good, tree pretty, fighting bad). I stayed behind to make some effort at patching things up with Eileen.

It's hard to approach someone you care about after you've hurt them. There's always that feeling that the damage has gone too far, too deep. I think about how Rob is still distant from me because of my outburst during therapy, and I cringe at the possibility I've done just as much damage here.

Bless her, she accepted my apology, and we spoke together for quite some time. I found myself walking down a path I hadn't thought of in quite some time, back 20 years, where one of the biggest elements of my perpetual self-doubt was molded.

As usual, my treacherous id snuck it into my foremind by means devious, the ghost of my naked idolatry of Neil. Neil Rosenstein was the first man I had ever met that made me feel that there was hope for my gender: He was calm in that way that I always dreamed of, unfazed by the small shit (and it really IS all small shit when you're that centered). Like Peter Gabriel sings, "I want to be that complete."

Except once.

The only time I ever saw Neil lose it.

It was summer, 1982. Christ, was it really 20 years ago? Tony was Neils roomate, his friend. I saw him one day, and we played pool at Campus Center South at SUNY Purchase, which he beat me at (I was only an OK player... he had a lot more control). I took it with good humor, and told him I would beat him next time.

That was the last time I saw him alive.

That night Tony took a full bottle of pills (I was never to find out what kind) and a bottle of Gin. Neil, perhaps one of the only people who could have talked him out of it, was in NYC visiting family -- no accident, as I'm sure Tony knew he couldn't do it if Neil were anywhere on campus.

I found out the next day that he was on a respirator in Port Chester. For the next week I was in denial of the worst sort, certain that he was going to get better.

They un-plugged him the following Wednesday.

When I got the news, my fist went through a wall, winding up in my own closet. Neil, however, apparently tore apart an entire kitchen. I couldn't understand why he blamed himself so much, as it was obvious Tony wanted to go through with it. And here is where I realized why I never trust my feelings, more than anything that has happened since:

I saw him mere hours before he did it -- how the hell could I have missed it? Was I so wrapped up in my own bullshit that I couldn't see the agony he was in?

I'll never know for sure. And I found myself falling to pieces on the spot, crying again. And Eileen held me as I sobbed, confused as to why the FUCK this particular memory was surfacing now, when it wasn't exactly convenient.

Regardless of whether it is or not, it was obviously something I had to write down. I think I'll post this, and then catch up to last night and today...
  • Current Music
    Natalie Merchant - Tell Yourself
Yo Maniacal Tang

I'm Sorry, Wednesday's A Holday?

So, since I'm pagan and the holiday WE celbrate was during the weekend, I find myself a bit peevish at being caught up in the insanity of the pre-xmas hysteria. I have to worry about store's being closed early, holiday traffic and such, even though it isn't the day *I* celebrate. Oh well...

Since I'm spending New Year's with steelmagnoliaca and Roni, I'm missing a "Sunday" with lavendarsage. That was the core of the previously mentioned fight we had -- I *hate* that feeling that I'm going to dissapoint someone, no matter what I do. Anyway, I'm heading over there (probably right after I post this) to spend an evening there, so she only has to wait 10 days instead of two weeks before seeing me again.

Right now I'm a bit annoyed with Michele for being so fuzzy on her plans. She can't understand why I was ticked off, as (in her words) all I had to do was ask for what I wanted. Of course, I'm trying to not be so damn demanding, so I'm trying to let her take the lead. She's the one who complained that I tended to force my wants/needs onto her, thus forcing her to subvert her own: Now that I won't do that any more, it sounds like she's complaining.

Anyway, we exchanged some gifts last night (we believe in an extended gift giving period...tends to relieve some of the tension). I scored with an assortment of unfinished picture frames from IKEA (perfect for all the craft projects they like to do), combined with a starbuck's coffee card for Ron and a copy of "Beauty and the Beast" on DVD for Michele. Rob helpfully translated between me and Michele, so I was able to finalize plans for today at A and E's, dinner X-mas afternoon, and then I can head up to the city to spend some extra time with Roni before steelmagnoliaca gets here.


I guess if I want anything for the coming year, it's to improve on my abilty to communicate, and (perhaps) lose the annoying inability to ask for 100% of what I want. That, and learn how to talk with Rob again. Lot's of money wouldn't hurt either.

Ok, it's FREEZING in my fingers are getting numb, and it's getting dark out. I go forth to confront the aforementioned holiday traffic.