Monthly Archives: October 2006

Transparent Actions

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.