Monthly Archives: October 2006

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We were watch­ing Boogie Nights, and in the movie, Scotty’s wast­ed at the New Year’s par­ty. He tries to kiss Dirk, but Dirk throws him off. I asked her if she knew Scotty was gay. Until that point, I thought he nev­er gave off any such sign.

Of course”, she said.

How could you tell?”. I had to ask, because I could­n’t tell. I’ve watched Boogie Nights with dozens of peo­ple before, and they’ve all asked if Scotty was gay before it even got to this scene. It must have been the 20th time I’ve seen this movie, but I still did­n’t see what so many oth­ers did. My gay­dar can’t be that bad, I thought to myself.

Just from the way Scotty looks at Dirk all dreamy”.

Dreamy? So Scotty was­n’t being par­tic­u­lar­ly flam­boy­ant, he was sim­ply attract­ed to Dirk. It was obvi­ous to every­one but me.

Then I recalled Pat telling me a few years ago that a cer­tain girl liked me. He did­n’t have some kind of inside knowl­edge, he said he could tell just from the way she looked at me. I nev­er believed him, of course, because I had no inkling of such an mes­sage. I nev­er believed him until she gave me a writ­ten con­fes­sion.

It made me won­der, am I that obliv­i­ous? More impor­tant­ly, do I ever give myself away, do I ever make myself so vul­ner­a­ble, with such a look?

It took me almost a year to be com­fort­able enough to pho­to­graph Jenn (let alone get­ting over being so tongue-tied around her), because I was afraid of being too trans­par­ent. I always thought that by ask­ing to take her pic­ture, every­one could see how attract­ed I was to her. I would go around Aaron’s par­ties and pho­to­graph any­one but her. Now I real­ize that in doing so, I prob­a­bly gave myself away.

It’s scary to think that peo­ple may read me so eas­i­ly from sub­con­scious body lan­guage. A girl­friend once said that her mom asked how she would feel if I asked her out, about a month before I did. To this day I won­der how her mom knew I would. All we did was have din­ner togeth­er on Sunday’s. Did I steal glances from across the table? Did I look away when she looked at me? Did I lose myself in her face and stare?

Am I that trans­par­ent?

I’d like to think that I can hide such things, but how can I when I don’t even rec­og­nize what it is I’m doing.

How can I hide my heart, when I don’t even know that I wear it on my sleeve?

My Cat Can Beg

Before giv­ing her food, I use to ask Dolly to shake or beg or give paw, and she’d lift one paw up (always her right one) for me. Now she’s asso­ci­at­ed the paw-lift­ing action with being fed, so she skips the step of me say­ing any­thing and auto­mat­i­cal­ly does it.

She’ll do any­thing for food real­ly.

An Intimate Morality


A voice calls me into the back from the wait­ing room.

As I get up, I notice that her eyes are dark against her fair skin, almost black. They’re pierc­ing, but gen­tle, nev­er intim­i­dat­ing. Her face is kind and wel­com­ing, full of youth, like the younger sis­ter of your girl­friend.

I fol­low. Her hair is pulled back in a neat, braid­ed pony­tail. Wrapped around the curves of her body is her den­tal gown, and she looks like a small, ster­ile pack­age of ener­gy. She asks the usu­al ques­tions, speak­ing with unri­valed con­fi­dence. It’d be intim­i­dat­ing as well, if it was­n’t for the con­trol in her voice.

Even after I’m seat­ed in the chair and the ultra­son­ic scaler starts to whirr, I’m sur­pris­ing­ly calm. The unique buzzing, spin­ning, squirt­ing, suck­ing sounds begin their sym­pho­ny.

She rests her fore­arm on my chest for lever­age as she works on the pos­te­ri­ors.

With her breasts pressed tight­ly against my head, she stays like this, com­fort­able in this posi­tion, as she cleans.

I start to won­der how appro­pri­ate it is, if any­one has ever spo­ken out. Or have they not had the heart, like me?

I feel objec­ti­fied.

As she works, she makes one-sided small-talk, say­ing every word with con­vic­tion. With her tools in my mouth, I answer only in mum­bled pos­i­tives and neg­a­tives. She goes along the arch sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly, molar to molar, lin­gual to buc­cal.

I want to see her eyes again, to take a clos­er look at what struck me first. To avoid mak­ing an obvi­ous, dart­ing glance, I pre­emp­tive­ly look where her eyes will be soon as she fol­lows her pre­dictable path, and wait.

Her eyes arrive, and I look away. It’s too uncom­fort­able. I’m peer­ing into the world of anoth­er who’s dis­tract­ed, not return­ing my gaze.

Her phys­i­cal inti­ma­cy was inno­cent, I assume.

Mine may have been less so.

Dusting Myself Off Like I Just Stole Third

Thumbnail: Green tea ice cream
Thumbnail: Bronwen with Dolly
Thumbnail: Pumpkins for sale
Thumbnail: Bandit
Thumbnail: Quebec view
Thumbnail: Speciality sushi
Thumbnail: Autumn leaf
Thumbnail: Crab claws
Thumbnail: Sarah
Thumbnail: War memorial
Thumbnail: Spicy pork soup
Thumbnail: Olaf

More than a crazy week, I man­aged to sur­vive a crazy fort­night. Something went wrong almost every day, from get­ting my hair high­light­ed, to almost get­ting killed in a near-miss car acci­dent, to find­ing out that my com­pa­ny was bought out. On top of this, I kept los­ing sleep, which only expo­nen­ti­at­ed the stress. Now is the process of pick­ing myself up and dust­ing myself off.

I still feel over-stim­u­lat­ed, so I’ve been her­mi­tiz­ing. Staying away from peo­ple for a while. I’m lim­it­ing myself to one social inter­ac­tion or extra-cur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ty per week. It would actu­al­ly be noth­ing if I had the option, but I keep get­ting pulled into things because of their annu­al exclu­siv­i­ty, such as Thanksgiving din­ner at Louise’s.

I’ve cut off the woman who gave birth to me. There’s a tremen­dous feel­ing of relief, after hav­ing done it. I’m grate­ful for all the sup­port that peo­ple are show­ing me, as well as the fact that none of them have giv­en me advice as if they know more about the sit­u­a­tion or have more wis­dom than I do.

I hold Pat’s opin­ion in high­est regard because he’s the only one who under­stands from both a cul­tur­al and first-hand point-of-view. He was also the only one who told me, “Good for you”. This, from one of the most for­giv­ing, car­ing peo­ple that I know, con­firmed to me that I made the right deci­sion. ____ offered a unique per­spec­tive too, since los­ing his moth­er at a ten­der age. “You only get one”, he said, although he nev­er chid­ed or judged me about it, per­haps because of the num­ber of times I’ve called him up in tears because of her.

Of the last five times I’ve tried to play table ten­nis, things did­n’t work out once. It cer­tain­ly made the last two weeks a lot more dif­fi­cult to han­dle.

Table ten­nis is the only thing that helps me sleep well, not to men­tion the fact exer­cise releas­es endor­phines that fight the exact depres­sion I was going through. I’m tak­ing it as a sign that I’m not meant to play at the moment, so I’m giv­ing it up until next year.

In the mean­time, I’ve tak­en up Tai Chi. Through the last while, I went back to the Tao Te Ching look­ing for answers, and it renewed my inter­est in Tai Chi, which I see as a phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion of the the­o­ry. I was also able to clar­i­fy a few of the con­cepts with my uncles while they were here, so I’m read­ing things over with a fresh per­spec­tive.

Letter To My Mother

You did­n’t know it, but for years I’ve come close to burn­ing the bridge with you. It was a heavy step to take, because in doing so, I knew that I would nev­er be able to go back on such a dras­tic deci­sion.

I appre­ci­ate all the finan­cial sup­port you’ve pro­vid­ed. It’s been more than I can ask for. Unfortunately, what I want­ed and need­ed the most was emo­tion­al sup­port.

I’ve always played the role of the sub­mis­sive son. Your boy who’s always done what you want­ed and agreed with what you said. When we exchanged tears on the phone in August, I let you know how poor­ly I was treat­ed grow­ing up. I’ve always put up with it, but the way you act­ed last week was the straw that broke the camels back. I keep giv­ing you a chance, over and over. Seeing you over those few days was the last one. Even if you say now that you can change, the risk isn’t worth it. The poten­tial mis­ery, frus­tra­tion, and anguish you may cause me aren’t worth it.

Normally, I would be sen­si­tive about the tim­ing — the fresh divorce, the tran­si­tion — but I don’t care any­more. I’ve put my feel­ings aside my whole life. You pushed me too far, and now I have to con­sid­er myself.

Don’t con­tact me again. Not even if some­one dies. Any calls, mes­sages, e‑mails will be ignored. This is not an easy or a brash deci­sion for me, a deci­sion I’ve made after cool­ing off and calm­ing down, but from my point of view it’s for the best.

You give me noth­ing but pain and mon­ey, and the mon­ey does­n’t mean a thing.

From now on, I don’t have a moth­er.

And you don’t have a son.