On One Hand

August 31, 2004

Please God

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 6:07 pm

I got my work schedule today – I start working tomorrow. I’ll be working in a dining hall on campus, even thought I don’t live on campus anymore. I’m not sure what to do but I guess I’ll just go in wearing the uniform I got today and they’ll cue me in on all the details. The hours I got are insufficient for me to cover rent, let alone other expenses, so I’ll either have to try to scrape up more hours or I’ll have to get a second job.

My work schedule:

Wednesday, 4:45PM-8:00PM

Saturday (every other weekend), 11:00AM-8:00PM

Sunday (every other weekend), 4:45PM-8:00PM

Please, please, please God, don’t let me forget to go to work on the first day. For good measure I think I’ll write a note on my forehead.

August 30, 2004

Something Cute AND Exciting

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 6:03 pm

Something Cute AND Exciting (6:03 PM)

There’s a new cute boy in the library now… this time I KNOW he’s gay and he asked me if I’d remind him of my name. I’ve met him once already, so I already knew his name, and I hope I’ll run into him again. He seems to be tutoring some girl about a topic involving DNA and genes, but I am trying not to eavesdrop.

I got a job today. (Well, almost – I still have paperwork – but close enough.) Thank God. It’s about time.

Updates

Do I update too fast for people to read my journal? I’m doing it like twice a day, burying good entries under much more plain and boring ones, reducing the probablity that the better entry will be read.

Oh, Shit

I just remembered that I had a praying mantis in a cage in my bedroom at home. I was planning to let it go, and I forgot about it before I left for school. It hasn’t eaten in quite a while, and I hope it isn’t dead already. It was a male, which are smaller and less aggressive than the females, and are cuter with bigger eyes and much longer antennae, and unlike females, males can fly. There was one grasshopper in the cage when I left (praying mantises are carnivores), but aside from that, it’s been eleven days since the praying mantis has had anything to eat.

It has been ten days since I moved in last friday. That means it has been thirteen (or so) days since I’ve masturbated, seeing as my roommate is ALWAYS home and I haven’t yet gotten a moment to myself. That means it has been nine days since I started feeling sick, and I am still unwell, though I think my condition is improving. It has been about three weeks since my surgery, and since I am not healed yet my chest is still asymmetrical – I am desperately hoping that it eventually will be. It has been two months since I was in a relationship, and two months since I was physically close to a guy, and oh God do I miss that. It has been four months since I last hooked up, and if I don’t count what happened in May, it has been ten months? since I last hooked up. (No, I can’t think about that right now, due to my condition with the roommate it doesn’t take much to get me going and when I do there’s nothing I can do about it.) I might be forgetting something that may have happened February, I don’t know if I hooked up then or not or if it was before Christmas that I exchanged hand jobs with that guy. It has been two weeks since I last drove a car. It has been fifteen days since I last smoked a cigarette. It has been one month since I last had phone sex. (IS IT OK TO SAY THAT?) It has been six years, or longer, since I’ve cried. I often have dreams where I can cry, but in real life I no longer have the ability to let my emotions out through tears.

It has been nine years since I last threw up. It’s been two years since I came out to my mom, three and a half years since I came out to friends, four years since I quit praying to become straight, seven years that I’ve known for sure that I’m gay. It has been two and a half years since I officially quit calling myself Catholic, five years since I was confirmed Catholic.

It has been five years since my last confession. That is, my last confession to a priest. I’d say I’m confessing quite a bit here right now, and let these intimate things be known now all the time.

Computer Lab

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:21 pm

Computer Lab (12:21 PM)

I’m in the computer lab at school (STILL no internet at home) to update my journal. A cute boy is staring at me from a computer across the table, but every time I look he looks away. I don’t know if he’s gay or not… maybe he is staring only because I’ve occasionally looked at him, and he finds me creepy. By his facial expressions he doesn’t seem straight; heterosexual guys are not that expressive but this guy is biting his lip, squinting his eyes as he leans forward from time to time, scratching his chin, fidgeting, and acting as though he’s putting on a show with it. I wonder how I would ever know what to say if I were to say hi.

Well I’ve got less than a half an hour before class starts, and I haven’t even begun reading the 20 page essay I am supposed to have read for my Women’s Lit class. I had the whole weekend to do it, but as always, I procrastinate. I suppose I had better hurry along and do my reading. Sorry, cute boy; I must be leaving you soon, with no time left to sit here and eyeball-flirt, as we know it’s not going to go anywhere anyway: neither of us would ever muster the courage to say hi.

Dashes

Hmm… I think I use way too many semicolons when I write. Looking back at my journal as a whole I use like two per paragraph. It may be in due time now that I re-discover the dash, and overuse that one instead for a while.

Cute Boy

I guess I could just read my Lit. book here, so then I’d get to stay in the lab longer with the guy. But the computer lab is packed and I should think it would be rude to just sit here, taking up a computer, while all I’m doing is reading a book.

On second thought, the computer next to me is empty, so the lab is not quite full yet. Cute boy has an empty computer next to him, too. That makes two free computers just in this section of the lab for newcomers to work on. And more people are leaving than coming in. I could just Google something on Emily Dickinson so everyone who looks will think I need the computer for something related to the book.

Cute Boy

Oh, now he’s packing up, on his way out, sorrowfully leaving me behind. So the whole fiasco was for nothing. Maybe next time there will be somebody better, or maybe I’ll see this same guy again; today was fun, cute boy, we should do this again sometime.

August 29, 2004

Remembering Virginia Woolf

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 3:10 pm

Let me first just say that I am deeply intrigued by the life of Virginia Woolf.

An interesting question: a disproportionate number of writers and poets are hetero-flexible. Why is that? I could see that gay men tend to be very talkative or communicative so would be inclined to write, but I usually see lesbians as the opposite of their male counterparts. Yet so many famous writers who are women (of before 1950) had same-sex love affairs. Could it be that the lesbians were so prominent only because they were more likely to get famous, and were more likely to get famous only because we tend to gravitate toward writers who know true adversity or emotional turmoil? Could it be that non-hetero men are more likely to write only because they aren’t distracted by families and relationships? Could the same have applied to the women? In any case, why ARE gay men predisposed to writing, if they really are, and why are lesbian writers so deep?

Lesbian Writers to consider:
Katherine Lee Bates, Emily Dickinson, Alice Dunbar, Radclyffe Hall, Marianne Moore, Adrienne Rich, Virginia Woolf, etc…

Even more intriguing to me: there is a huge number of women writers from the early 20th century (many of them having secret lesbian lives or relationships, but some of them not) who wrote about suicide. Virginia Woolf wrote about suicide a lot, and then later committed suicide by weighing her coat with rocks and walking into a river (I don’t think I could ever imagine a more powerfully symbolic way to go). Kate Chopin’s main character in The Awakening commits suicide. So many other women writers of that age have characters who kill themselves, and so many of them attempted to or committed suicide. Why is that?

August 28, 2004

frustrated as fuck

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 6:55 pm

There were times over the summer when I would write a post that said something like “I haven’t masturbated in ten days,” trying to be edgy or show the personal honesty that everyone seems to love, and to those posts I got quite a collection of responses. People responded with things like “damn, how do you do it,” or they made some very, very suggestive statements that didn’t offend me only because it’s damn near impossible to.

The thing is, my hormone levels were in a lull at that time, so everything was well and good; I could have gotten off if I wanted to and I just never thought about it. As a stereotypical dual-natured gemini (I hate to bring up astrology again but for me the description really works well), I’ll bounce from one extreme to the other.

Now I’m back at school, sharing a one bedroom apartment with a lesbian friend. I’m sleeping in the living room, she has the bedroom. I’m not a modest person (modesty is a form of vanity, as I see it) when it comes to sex and nudity, but around this girl I’m downright prude. Some people just bring out that particular side to me, and like I said a moment ago, I go from one extreme to the other: with some I’ll be extremely loose and fun; with Lorelei, my roommate, I take up modesty. So whenever she’s in the other room (and as long as I’m home she’ll be in there, sleeping or studying), there is very little I will alow myself to do.

So I’ve been here in Boulder a week, and despite the fact that I’ve been sick the whole time, I’m sexually frustrated as fuck. Having a fever and a burning throat doesn’t mean my penis isn’t, similarly, on fire. My hormone levels are not in a lull as they were in July. Since coming to Boulder last Friday, I’ve had more wet dreams in a one-week period than I have since I was fourteen. Needless to say, with a friend who gets up a few hours earlier in the morning than I do and wanders the main room where I am sleeping as she gets ready for school, I sleep on my stomach.

At this point in my life, I am realizing that, though my schedule is packed with class, volunteer work, and finding a job, I’d really, really, really benefit from taking some time to make a *ahem* new friend.

antibiotic abuse

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 5:15 pm

I got sick again, took some more amoxicillin, then went to doctor to see if I had strep throat. As I expected, the amoxicillin I took rendered a strep test useless, and the doctor was forced to prescribe antibiotics without knowing for sure if the infection is bacterial or viral. Evidently, taking antibiotics on and off is a VERY BAD IDEA, which I knew already, but I also knew that I couldn’t miss school during the first week and had to somehow make it to the weekend when I would have time to see a doctor. So now I have some weird new kind of antibiotic that smells like sweet tarts. (Nothing in the “cillin” family will work for me for this illness because of my amoxicilin abuse, so I have some “bactranex” shit or something that sounds like that). My question now is, can you drink while you’re taking “bactranex” or is it like penecillin where you’re not supposed to? My throat still feels like it has been sandblasted, but at least I know I’m on my way to recovery, unless what I have is mono, in which case it will only get better after a long period of being much, much worse.

August 27, 2004

Stalker

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 10:22 am

I have my very own e-stalker! I picked up this person a while ago and he has followed me onto livejournal. Hush, now, he’s listening, and I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

If any of you are curious, I’m sure some very amateur investigative research can reveal to you who my e-stalker might be. But if you try to guess who he is, I won’t be able to answer.

Your true identity is safe with me, e-stalker. I shall not reveal your name.

To any of you who are freaked out or embarrased: I’m probably not talking about you. Chill out. I’m more of a stalker than YOU are.

August 24, 2004

Taking time to write up what’s in my scrapbook…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 2:32 pm

Let me just say that I am thrilled, now, THRILLED to be back on campus. THRILLED. So I’m sitting here between the library and the Fine Arts building, pen and paper in hand, with absolutely nothing to do. I’m writing this down, waiting out the two and a half hours remaining before class starts. Why did I get up and leave for class so early? Sitting at home I felt like I was wasting time, and for some reason I tend to feel like my day is more and more worthwhile with each new lateral movement I make. Therefore, having walked a mile and a half from my apartment, I feel much more productive now sitting cross-legged in the shade of a small tree than I would feel if I were sitting the same way on the carpet at home. Unfortunately, home is where all the food is, and I have come to recognize that I am increasingly hungry as the hours go by.

I am meekly hoping to meet someone while I’m sitting here. I’m hoping to come across an old friend from last year, and old friend from high school, an old friend from somewhere outside the world of education all together; the club, a party, a get-together of friends of friends. Maybe this is where I meet my soul mate, when he catches me out of the corner of his eye as he walks by and can’t help but say hello despite his rush to get to class. We will stare into each others faces for a long time, wondering how or where from that we seem to know each other though we’ve never actually met. How would he introduce himself? What excuse could he come up for speaking to a total stranger?

Awkwardly we’ll glance around or fumble our hands in our pockets, searching, grasping for some request that fits the complex folkways of our culture and gives us an excuse to, at the very least, learn each others’ names. Borrowing a pencil wouldn’t work; you don’t ask for a name when you do that. Asking to use a cell phone is equally pointless; getting the phone for a moment doesn’t get you its number, and then there’s the matter of him thinking of someone he could call. So we’ll just remain there, searching, hoping, and then, finally, surrenduring to the circumstance and moving on.

“Do I know you?” I might ask, hoping he will lie and say he might know me from somewhere. “I don’t know. I thought so, but I guess not,” he will respond. “Oh,” I’ll say, disappointed, and after a pause he’ll apologize and walk away. If he’s really my soul mate we’ll come across each other again, next time with some excuse to talk. If a thing such as a soul mate really exists we’ll come across each other again. But for now, we will part, thinking of each other constantly and consistently from that moment on whenever we’re not dating someone, and then return to our sad old routines of walking, waiting, and wandering alone.

August 23, 2004

Sick in Church

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 5:08 pm

I got to the new apartment on Friday, eager to catch up on the week-long delay in getting to Boulder that had resulted from Lorelei’s personal problems. She and I got our stuff unpacked, went for a walk, each smoked a cigarette, and went to bed relatively early to get ready for the next day. Actually, Lorelei went to bed relatively early, I lay in bed awake, adjusting to the new environment and trying to calm my brain which was still racing in anticipation of meeting hundreds of new freshmen and transfer students over the next few days.

Six hours later Lorelei woke me up, demanding we get going as soon as possible. We had books to buy, errands to run, and I needed a job. I picked up an application to work in the dining hall, which isn’t a great job but is easy to get into while I keep my eye open for something better.

We didn’t have much food, so I didn’t eat for most of the day. Hunger is easy for me to ignore and there was much activity going on to keep my mind busy so I didn’t care about my growling stomach. I have a habit of ignoring things like that when I’m preoccupied. I regretted smoking the cigarette the night before as my throat began to tickle, as if dry, but I ignored that, too, and went on my way.

I went to bed early again Saturday night, early for me being about 2:30, but it wasn’t nearly early enough for me to get all the sleep I needed. Lorelei had gone to bed at some ridiculously early hour, several hours before I finally drifted off. I thought I had gotten enough sleep when she woke me up at 7:00 making coffee and then again at 9:00 to tell me it was time for church.

Church? What? How did this new activity interject itself into our already taxing schedule? I begrudgingly got up, took a shower and got my things together, disappointed that the dryness in my throat was slightly worse than the day before and despairing that I felt woozy and disoriented, though I prayed to God that it was only from extreme sleep deprivation and not an infection. The church we went to was about a block from our apartment, was named “First Christian,” and proudly proclaimed itself to be “an open and affirming congregation,” meaning that it is supportive of gays and lesbians. Lorelei was excited about the progressive church because she could feel welcome there, while I gave it a lukewarm response. I didn’t care if the church was “accepting of all sexual orientations” or if it has a great big billboard with my face on it, reading, “WE LOVE MATT;” none of that pomp and circumstance had any effect on the fact that I was still tired and felt like shit.

I have to concede that church was good; services was led by a visiting delegation from the “United Ministries in Higher Education,” which I had been wanting to join for a long time. UMHE is a progressive Christian student/community organization that has a Unitarian Universalist board member in Boulder. There were about seven people attending the service. Most of them were elderly and had probably walked in from the Senior Assisted Living Center across the street. The communion ceremony was the most, shall we say, “unique” religious experience I have ever been through in my life. Tiny plastic cups containing grape juice were passed around to the seated congregants, who also each ripped a piece of bread from one big loaf and sat with it for the pastor’s instruction to eat it. One old woman kept sniffing her bread and smiling,which I thought was cute. Being born and raised Catholic, I was surprised to find this new church’s communion habits to be so sterile. It seems that the Protestants’ quest for individuality has even influenced the community-themed sacrament of Communion, which dissappointed me a little. To a Roman Catholic, communion is the single most important reason to attend mass. Catholics see the tiny wafers of carbohydrate to be so sacred that if one falls on the floor, the priest has to pick it up and eat it, as no piece of Christ’s flesh should ever be disregarded as trash. Catholics take communion in front of one big bowl and take sips of wine out of one big cup (or maybe several cups, since most Catholic churches tend to be very large), and the whole point of doing so is to bring people together. Don’t get me wrong; I did appreciate that the Protestant ceremony kept sanitation in mind, since, and I may have said this before, it is always a shock to wait your turn in line to take a sip from “the Blood of Christ” to discover that some young communicant wasn’t finished chewing his Host and backwashed an entire chunk of “the Body of Christ” body back into the common cup. For me, however, the chalice cup was a meaningful symbol of togetherness, and as an innocent and faithful child I always assumed that surely Jesus would be mindful enough to ensure that his blood have antiseptic properties so that no one would get sick.

The other distinguishing contrast between Catholic and Protestant services lies not in the ritual, but in the demographics. During Protestant services, the pastor or minister recites the sacred words “let us pray,” and the church falls into a deafening silence. During a Catholic mass, no matter how big or small the congregation may be, prayerful moments are marked by anything but silence. During this special moment in a Catholic mass, every toddler and infant, and there will be many, opens up in song. There are at least fifteen babies crying at any given time in a Catholic church building. When I was growing up Catholic I never noticed the noise of the children since I was so used to it, and doubted that the rumors of Catholic’s inclinations to multiply still applied today. I instead assumed that two to eight children per family that I usually saw was a normal range for Americans. when I left Catholocism and visited some other churces, I couldn’t help but take note of the absence of children babbling during prayer.

After church, there was a small get-together with the UMHE students, and then I was home for the rest of the day. I could feel the telltale weakness in my joints and back muscles that never signifies anything but a fever on the way. I always know when I’m going to get sick. First my head gets woozy, and I remembered that it had been woozy on Friday and woozy this morning, and then I start to get tired, achy, and lethargic. As the fever begins, my eyeballs ache when I look any direction but directly forward and the surfaces sting when I close the lids. I tried to eat something while I still could, but I soon got nauseous, and soon abandoned the phrase “getting sick” for the more adequate “full-blown sick.” I took two multivitamins because they have vitamin C, I tried to eat some fruit, and started drinking water. Hoping to ward of a Strep Throat infection, I took three capsules of amoxicilin out of a bottle of several pills that I still had from a prescription of a long time ago. If only I hadn’t smoked the cigarette two nights ago. If only I haden’t smoked the cigarettes three nights the night before at the club. If only I haden’t stayed out so late at the club. If only I had gotten more than five hours of sleep every night I spent at home leading up to Friday, and if only I had gotten more than six hours of sleep each night when I got to Boulder. If only I hadn’t starved myself all day on Friday, if only I hadn’t fought with my parents on the ride to the apartment and stressed myself out trying to refute their criticism of my immaturity.

And then comes the first day of school. I now faced the reality that the long-anticipated first introductory period, when I try desperately to get first dibs on all the freshmen boys under dire competition from my gay friends, I’ll be sick. I’ll be completely zoned out and my face will be pale and tired. I would be meeting my teachers under the same circumstances, if I manage to even get out of bed at all. I’m no drama queen on the surface, and my body isn’t either: I rarely take painkillers and have never needed them after any tooth extraction or surgery. However, when I’m sick, my whole self begs to differ. My hands and feet cramp and my back aches and no matter what position I have it in, especially when I’m sleeping on a camping cot until I get a bed. Furthermore, my fevers always resulte in nightmares, hallucinations, profuse sweating, and dehydration, meaning that I would have to drink a lot of water, meaning that I would be be running in and out of the bathroom all to pee and I’ll be lucky if I get a wink of sleep. I’m already as thirsty as hell and I’m dehydrated enough that I can’t see the veins on my arms; they’ve collapsed. Seeing as the way I mistreated my body by getting up in the morning to go to church, I am placing all blame and responsibility squarely on God.

Evidently the amoxicillin worked, because I woke up in the morning feeling better. That isn’t to say I didn’t go through hell all night; I had a terrible fever, was shivering, sweating, and aching until everything started to clear up just before dawn. I guess I had strep throat after all, which is all I can think of to have had that would be cured so easily by antibiotics.

August 18, 2004

Another Religious Monologue

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 11:59 pm

Today I had the opportunity to meet Sister Jeanine Gramick at a meeting organized by a religious group that my parents are involved in. Sr. Jeanine Gramick, a Roman Catholic Nun, is the co-founder of both Dignity and the New Ways Ministry, two Catholic organizations that go against the grain of the Church hierarchy by supporting same-sex relationships. About a year ago my parents joined a newly-formed chapter of an organization called the Catholic Parents Network for Catholic parents of GLBTQ people, which is a parent support group that is, like New Ways and Dignity, also supportive of gay and lesbian interests.

Sr. Jeanine is a person I used to read about when I was 16, when I was struggling with my Catholic faith and ready to tumble headlong into a complete religious crisis. Though the majority of Catholics and Catholic moral theologians are ambivalent or even friendly toward same-sex relationships, the bishops and church hierarchy as a whole is staunchly opposed, and Sr. Jeanine and her ministry were banned in the Church by Pope John Paul II in 1999. Despite the persecution, she still speaks for tolerance in private homes and religious conventions outside the official sanction of the Church. It was quite an experience to talk face to face with someone who left such an impression on me when I was younger.

There were about 30 people at the meeting, which was held in the living room of the chapter organizers. Most of the attendants were elderly, including two men that had been committed to each other for over 40 years. The event began with a song and a prayer, and consisted of a short video and several hours of talking about conflicts between the Church and the Church’s hierarchy, and between one’s individual sense of morality and the teachings of the Vatican. One statement by Sr. Gramick really struck a chord with me: “many Catholics somehow have the idea that obedience is the most important part of being a Christian. However, the true teaching of the Gospel and the Church insists that the greatest virtue is not obedience, but love, and that obedience means obedience to God and not obedience to religious leaders.”

After the meeting, when most attendants had gone home, I struck up a conversation with Sr. Gramick, who seemed perfectly accepting of the fact that I am no longer Catholic. The group’s hostess concurred, stating that God was leading me in a different direction for some reason and will keep me on the right path. The openness was interesting, and almost made me want to become Catholic again, except for the fact that I don’t believe in many of the historical aspects of Christianity that are vital to the faith. Sr. Gramick and I talked about unorthodoxy, vegetarianism (she is a self-described “animal lover,” though she and I are vegetarians for different reasons), and the fact that most nuns are more progressive than priests and male clergy. She seemed very open minded and asked as many questions of me and my beliefs as I did of hers.

The meeting tonight came at an interesting time in my life. I’ve been praying and meditating a lot more lately, and have had the urge to find other people to pray for common interests, though I don’t know what. Maybe it’s just Mercury in retrograde, but lately I’ve been feeling much more spiritual and have a greater urge to reach out and find something to fill the empty place in my life. By some coincidence I have been meeting people who have recently been through the same faith struggles that I have had in the past, and I don’t know if it means anything to my current spiritual yearnings. I thought about how those people should have been there at the meeting, and how at the very least I will certainly pass on to them Sr. Gramick’s message. I think I’ll pick up a Bible sometime and see if I can gather anything new from it for further guidence, though I believe that half of what’s in the Bible shouldn’t be there and that there are many true scriptures that are missing from it, so I have to take what I read with a grain of salt.

When I do a Google search on Sr. Gramick, I find ten anti-gay websites for every one affirming site, which seems to call into question her claim that most Catholic moralists are very affirming and gives me a very sick, doubtful feeling in the pit of my stomach that reminds me of the dark place I was in just a few years ago. As a person who gives consideration to everything I hear and who doesn’t believe in absolutes, I find it difficult to completely disregard all of the hateful rhetoric I hear coming from people who claim to be speaking for God while there’s no way to know for sure if those people are right or wrong. That’s anxiety is one of the reasons why I felt I needed to distance myself from Christianity in the first place, although today I’m glad that I did because I believe that the place I am in now is the right one. I am, however, very grateful for my meeting with Sr. Gramick tonight and will keep her message with me for a long time.

The meeting tonight reaffirmed my long-held belief that my personal mission in this life, whatever it may be, involves spirituality. I think my purpose is tied to the Catholic Church, though is not completely a part of the Church as it is more ecumenical in nature, and definitely involves a wide progressive movement in society that will occur on a grassroots level. I know that I feel most at peace when I’m serving other people, and I feel particularly happy when I’m bringing diverse groups of people together who wouldn’t normally work together to preach a message, for example, radical queers and progressive Catholics coming together to call for widespread love and unity. I’m glad that I can come across inclusive-minded people in all walks of life, to keep me on track and remind me that unity is meaningless if that union is not between people who are not exactly the same.

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