Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cockblocked By A Dog

I was supposed to fly to Steven's city later tonight so I can spend the weekend with him. Well, not the entire weekend, since he'll have to sneak out of his house to go to my hotel room in the evenings.

Yep, I'm dating another closeted guy but he's at least ten times deeper in the closet, if not more. I'd say he's a typical Chinese closeted guy but he's far from it and by far, I mean his situation is a lot worse. See, his mom prefers that they keep to themselves. He and all his siblings were academic achievers from really good schools in the country but at the expense of not having friends because his mom insisted that it was all that matters. So he doesn't have anyone but his family. He does everything with them - work with them, go out and eat with them, vacation with them. I recall him saying more than once that he's sick and tired of it. Anything done without them is bound to raise suspicions. Anything out of the norm will invite nagging questions. That means traveling often is not an option. Travel done without his family requires an elaborate excuse and he doesn't have much excuse until he decides to fuck it and run away with me.

We started talking in this dating site around December of last year. Been crushing on the guy for months before because holy cow! he's beautiful and plenty smart and seemed to have got things figured out. He's eloquent, too and has this genuine interest in people, in me. Hours pass by real fast when I talk to the guy and I'm obviously enamored. I know I told myself I'll get my shit together first before I even try to engage romantically again but he's just too good to pass up. We were together for six days when he flew to Manila in late January for a reunion (during which his mom would check on him at least twice a day). Even went to a church service for him (I shit you not my flesh burnt a tiny bit), because there was no other opportunity to meet. He snuck from his family to sit with me for a while until it ended then we parted ways. We have not seen each other since.

Anyway, his parents are out of the country for a two-week or so cruise somewhere in Europe and he's left here with two of his sisters to look after the company. Earlier this week he started floating this idea of me flying to him so we could spend time together. The caveat was he could only go to me after dark because his sisters will look for him. And I wasn't comfortable with the idea because it was all of a sudden and I don't have the funds what with the expenses of getting our house renovated, moving to another apartment here in Manila, plans of going back to school and all that adulting stuff. He generously offered to cover the cost which I appreciate but the proud part of me refused the offer because I'm a man and I should pay for myself. I also hate how situations like that highlight our socio-economic difference. We eventually settled into a compromise where he'd pay for half and I'd take care of the other half and that sounded reasonable.

So I asked him to book the ticket as I was busy at work. While he was doing that, he thought of putting his old dog buddy from college, JJ, in his sister's room to see if she will cry and look for him. Because if she does, his sister will, in turn, look for him to come pick her up. And what do you know? She did and she did which is mighty unfortunate. I asked him to ring the hotel if they were pet-friendly and, of course, they're not.

And that, my friends, is the story of a blind, old shih tzu cockblocking me.

---

Truth be told it's tough. No kidding. We're both in the closet. He's family is super conservative it'll make your head spin. We're hundreds of miles from each other. He's rich and I'm barely middle-class. I could go on. But I'm in too deep now. So it's best to swim until I get to him.


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Monday, December 19, 2016

Not Coming Out (Yet)

One of the ex's major gripes about me is my being in the closet. I clearly recall how he broke down in front of me when he said he wished I didn't have to be so ashamed of him. And vividly I recall how I broke inside to see him breaking because of me. A part of me wanted to rebutt it was his fault for taking me in despite this glaring shortcoming. I mean, he knew full well I wasn't out when we started talking and going out and he willingly accepted that it was okay. Was he thinking that I'd suddenly change my mind and throw open these closet doors I've kept shut for decades now for him? Because if so, that is slimy, dodgy at best. Yet I bit my tongue and allowed myself to chew on this bitter pill I was served.

I understand how terribly selfish I had been for the most part of the relationship especially in terms of my openness of it towards people we care about. It makes sense, of course, given he's out and I'm not. I got to know and meet his family, nay, his entire clan, he didn't mine. Except of course when I would tell him about them, which gives one nowhere near the satisfaction of actually getting to meet the other's family in person. His friends and classmates knew of me, only two of mine did. There's more to enumerate, obviously, but you get the idea about the one-sidedness of it all. I constantly convinced myself it was only fair. There was an unwritten rule that he accepted it and there was nothing to talk about. But then I would be reminded of the issue when we would go out and we had to consciously avoid places too crowded, too near the places my friends and acquaintances frequent for fear of being seen together, be content with nods and subtle smiles to acknowledge each other in public.

Despite the open communication we had when we were together, my coming out was never fully and seriously discussed. I guess he knew I was adamant about it and he had to make peace with that major flaw as I made peace with some of his. Which was dumb of us, to be honest. Of me, especially. I really did not give it much thought until after the breakup. This whole time I was thinking I could get away with living in the shadows as someone walks alongside me in the light; sometimes he'd get in, sometimes I'd get out but never totally. Perhaps we didn't have that open communication I prided ourselves to have had after all.

But I think I'm making progress. I had the emotional bandwidth and time to make sense of my apprehension earlier this year and this is what I got:

I am terrified of coming out because I'm a coward (I only speak for myself, so chill).  I am no people-pleaser but it'd be false to say I don't fear the judgment of people I barely know, much less people I do not like. I hate that I will probably be disowned by my family after so many years of me trying to fix my relationship with them. I don't want to be alienated, no one does. I like being in the closet because I'm selfish. Because I like the preferential treatment I get for being thought of as straight. Girls dote on me, guys are comfortable with me, people generally like me and I like belonging, despite my constant need to be alone. I enjoy being in the closet because it's cozy here. I've been here all my life and stepping out will be plenty inconvenient. Because we live in a messed up world where everyone needs something shown to gain other people's respect and acceptance. And I'm fucking lazy and apathetic and tired to help upend this absurd normalcy. Of course, I knew all of these all along, I just wanted them to remain intangible for the longest time so I wouldn't have to deal with them (Yep, that's depressing).

Nope, I'm not coming out. At least, not yet.

The plan is to get the family to be financially independent of me. Perhaps in two or three years time. Sure, I can do that now but I feel like it'd be nothing short of blackmail to come out to them yet they'd still have to rely on me. That'd be extremely uncomfortable for all parties involved. At least, in three years, say they kick me out and write me off the family tree, I could just live somewhere far and they would have no need to contact me.

Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe I'm getting a lot less stupid. Maybe because love happened to me. Whatever it is, I want what the ex wanted for me. To be free and to be proud of the love he had for me. To be free and to be proud of me. And if I am to love again, I want to love the way he loved me.

In the meantime, I offer my deepest apologies, my good LGBT comrades for hampering the call for equality. I know how hateful it is of me to be thinking of just myself and I've no acceptable excuse. I swear I'll catch up and make up for all the years of dilly-dallying.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Purposefully Yours

This ain't quarter-life crisis because I'm pretty sure I won't get past 60, much less get to 100. Nor is it mid-life crisis, because, well, this has been going on since I was 16. You could say I'm belaboring this confusion and I'm a whiny little bitch who should shut up. And you would be right. Like what I do with most things, I'm overthinking this. I know it, and I know I'm not doing myself any favor but truthfully, a part of me loves wild, stupefying incomprehension. Sure, I don't like it but damn, if I say I don't enjoy it.

Now, the problem with overthinking is one gets too involved in spaced-out, keep-everyone-out, private conversations with one's self. And when I say too involved, I mean, it pretty much takes all the time one has leaving very little to do anything else. Yeap, it's that simple and straightforward. Thinking a lot but not doing enough.

I can't say for certain why.

I did say a part of me loves the pain of overthinking. Of the options I have and the possibilities they bring. Maybe I like the Schrödinger's aspect of just thinking and leaving things as they are but doing squat about it. Because I could be anything I want until I act on it breaking this pitiful illusion-delusion I have. Perhaps because I like being stymied and getting stuck in this limbo, creating an appearance of insurmountable roadblocks that justify my inaction.

It could also be that I'm afraid of confirming I don't have it in me to do great. Like I've always believed myself to be capable of. I wanna blame the family and the environment I grew up in for having very low expectations from everyone that when I did decent with half-assed efforts, I was relegated to being that-guy-we-expect-more-from. Isn't that messed up? (Whoa, that is a good argument but that's a different conversation altogether.) Point is, they made me feel like I could do things, things that would make a real, tangible change. At one point, I wanted to be a lawyer, a forest ranger, a political scientist, a librarian, a community developer, an economist, a teacher. And I ended up being someone my 16-year old self would barely recognize. But I could only put the blame on someone else for too long.

Fuck if I don't say I'm not terrified of knowing there's not much else for me but to live life like this: wake up tired, get bored at work, go out with equally-bored people, buy stuff, wish for the year to be over as I cry myself to sleep, rinse and repeat. I want Santa to be real so bad to tell me "Yeap, you're bound to be just like that, a cynical jerk angry at himself and everyone else". That way, I don't have to burn through the supposed best years of my life with nothing to show for it.

My pining heart says I don't know what I want because I don't have you but hell, no. I don't have you because I don't know what I want and I don't want to drag you in this shitstorm. And shitstorms are bad. I remember saying to myself I'd die happy and content if I get to build a life with you. How romantic and sappy and awfully naive was that. And I'm tired of being a child.

Then there's my laziness. I swear it fucks me up more than anything else I said above.

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Though if I'm being real honest, I'd say I've made some progress. I have a more concrete plan for the future. Y'know, adult vanilla stuff like get my own space in the city in two years instead of paying rent. Go back to school in the same year. Start traveling next year. Engage in community work. Get a house in the suburbs in another 5 years. Buy a small orchard and be a kickass farmer-husband. So it's not all bad.

I understand that life goals can be fluid - shifting as one goes along and experience what life has to offer, morphing as one's perspectives and character change. I guess I'm dissatisfied with the way my brain is wired. That I can't make peace with all these realizations I already recognize as truths. That I didn't get the chance to be purposeful as others were. I know it's wrong to measure yourself against others' progress because we all have different battles but my small brain is having a tough time letting go.

But at the end of it all, it is what it is and there's not much I can do about it. And if you can't do anything about it, don't overthink. Just make peace and move along. Take it from me, I wasted years and years and look where it got me.


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