Saturday, May 23, 2009

thank god for mountain time

I meant to write when I was in San Francisco, to keep on top of things, and now I have to write this bumbling post that will take us through the past into plans for the future. San Francisco was a marvelous time. The weather was amazing, very un-SF. Definitely my favorite part was just doing very low-key things with good friends, tooling around town, gorging on things, and talking about life. I also caught up with past lovers--Ex, Love Affair, My New Best Friend, and even Joe showed up in town unannounced, though I couldn't really say I was surprised. I "celebrated" six months of sobriety in San Francisco. I ate many great meals, went for long walks on the beach, and remembered how and why I love San Francisco so much. Strangely enough, I also do not feel compelled to move back there at all--at least for the moment--I think mostly because it is so loving and familiar. The two weeks lolling about SF only reminded me that I have a tendency to lapse into hedonistic complacency in such circumstances. Right now, though, I am looking for some slightly masochistic adventure.

I think I've mentioned before that I hate my psychiatrist, but when I went to get a refill on my shhh-don't-drink-just-sleep pills before taking off for the west coast, she casually asked about my post-graduation plans. Because I don't take her very seriously, I just-as-casually responded that I had a crazy plan to travel around the world and do whatever the fuck I pleased, but it probably wasn't going to happen and would secretly drive me insane. It's something I've never mentioned to my detox doc/therapist, the one I love, because I do take him seriously, and I don't like to waste our time with my fanciful notions (of which there are many). But the funniest thing happened, which is that she said "Seriously, I'm a psychiatrist--and I don't give advice--but I want to say that your plan doesn't sound crazy." And we talked it through and she convinced me that it was worth pursuing, and that I should talk it through with other doc. After hearing her so unequivocally merit my plan not crazy, I pretty much decided that I was going to do it, though of course I've been secretly thinking of it all along.

I spent a lot of time talking through these new post-graduation plans in San Francisco, which are to spend an indefinite amount of time traveling and writing and shooting photos, and to do so ostensibly under the cover of research. More to come on this later, but every night now I have been falling asleep thinking of this, and it frightens me and excitens me so of course I know I have to do it, and I plan to leave in September. There is so much to plan and to worry about obsessively that it is almost enough to distract me from the overarching question of "is this really going to happen?"

Because it is. I stopped looking for jobs and decided, fuck, I'm going to employ myself this next year to do whatever it is I want to do, and I'm going to do a great fucking job at it. Also, I will hate myself forever if I back out of it now, and so this is why I've told everyone about it, including my family (and weren't they excited about it...).

The first person I called (and saw) when I came back was My Friend, whom I missed while I was away. I actually talked to him several times because we were finishing up a project together, and had to go over some stuff. I'd gotten him a graduation gift in SF and wanted to give it to him right away, so I scooted over to his place and we went for a walk. We talked about shit, plans, jobs, and as I sat there with him I felt both relieved and incredibly anxious. I wasn't sure what the feeling meant, maybe just relieved that I had made a decision of what to do and glad that we would have the whole summer ahead of us to fuck around, but anxious that I hadn't actually made any concrete plans. Then I wondered if the feeling had more to do with him and New York, because I'm not ready to say goodbye to New York just yet, or the people contained in it.

The next day we graduated. I hated graduation, but Mom came in to attend, so I had to go. My Friend and I were the only ones in our department who didn't buy graduation regalia; I appreciated his solidarity. Afterwards, Mom and I had dinner with My Friend, his roommate, and our families. It was cute. When dinner was winding down, My Friend squeezed himself between Mom and me and we chatted and I felt good until that weird feeling returned, the feeling of relief and anxiety, and I attributed it to having just graduated and being around proud parents and declining prosecco with a forced smile, and I tried to relax, but something was weird. Then our friend left, and I realized what was weird did in fact have more to do with my friend than the overall situation. The relief, I realized, was like this calmness I get from being around him, and the anxiety is the feeling I get that he is about to leave. It is like...being in love...why I hate being in love...why I have been quoted as saying "When I think I feel myself falling in love, my first impulse is to get into a car and drive as far away from the source as possible." The love-feeling is weird when it involves a friend, particularly when it comes at a moment when you are with your parents and theirs, and you could be getting married or something. Oof. The thought made me blush deeply. And then, in that moment, everything about our relationship flashed before my eyes and came into scrutiny.

Everyone knows I had a crush on My Friend way back when we'd first met, but then our relationship became completely desexualized because I never felt like the feeling was mutual at all, and I am pretty good at changing course. We are so safely couched in platonic-ville that it really can't go back there. But sometimes I feel so fucking attached to him that I wonder. Even more so than Joe, My Friend has been there for me this year. It's actually quite remarkable that we've not gone..there...because I do love the shit out of him. But rather than wanting to go there, I balk, because it's a desire that's completely asexual and I'm really not used to it. Because now it's just in a weird place of wanting to be a marriage without ever having been a romance.

After dinner, as Mom and I were walking home from the subway, I said, "I think I'm in love with My Friend." She just laughed. And that night, I did the typical girl thing of attributing every weird interaction between us to him being in love with me while simultaneously recalling every conversation in which we had specifically talked about various incompatibilities. I stayed up very late that night. The funny thing is that I actually thought everything through to a logical solution, which is to do nothing different and just to love on him the way I do. I love the way our relationship is now. Raising the stakes when I'm about to leave has always been my modus operandus, but I think that has changed. I really don't want to lose him as a friend, and will continue to get my kicks elsewhere if that's what it means. It's going to definitely be on my mind every fucking time I hang out with him now, which is weird, but I have owned this decision not to act on it.

I am now in the Catskills with Mom and Dad, staying at a hotel owned by the B-52s. It pretty much rules. There is no cell phone service up here, but of course there is wireless Internet. Tomorrow I am coming back to New York and I will have two guests waiting for me, kids I met in Bolivia who have been traveling through South America all this while. I have no idea how long they're staying with me.

I've just been bumbling around for a little while now, and I have work to do. I guess I better get used to all this motion and lack of structure.

1 comment:

Papagayo said...

gah i was wondering wtf was up with you. glad to have an update. would like to see the flesh of you sometime soon- now that i ain't got no work! much love!