Saturday, January 05, 2013

A stalking


When he starts to touch me, I can feel myself pulling back, shutting off right away, watching the coffee maker on his nightstand, why is there a coffee maker on the nightstand? I'm thinking: I'm never doing this again. This is the last time. I'm never doing this again.

But then it's over, and I think okay, that wasn't so bad. Of course I can't sleep, so then I'm delirious at 9 am after he drives me to the Boy Block, where he always leaves me, even though he offers to drive me home I figure this is part of our ritual. But then I'm standing around, everyone's rushing to work or wherever and I'm totally delirious on the T, thinking maybe I'll call Michael and asked him if he wants to get dinner, tell him I'm an incest survivor, see if he wants to hire me to hang out without the sex, or maybe with sex, but changing the boundaries.

But then there's that calm feeling in my head when I hold the money in my pocket. Except, if it makes me shut off, is it really worth it? Especially now, when I'm getting ready to confront my father.

I get in bed as soon as I get home, and when I wake up I don't feel as bad as I thought I would. I unpack all my books, and first I read the rest of Funny Boy, I guess I stopped before the end, months ago it feels like. The end is the most dramatic part, senseless interethnic mob violence in Sri Lanka in the 1980s, and I can't stop myself from sobbing while thinking about the silence that makes the violence possible. The density of fear. And for some reason that makes me go back to that piece "A Wart on My Foot" by Severo Sarduy where he says "AIDS is a stalking," and there's that feeling of everything going to my head and I can't help thinking what the hell am I doing, what the hell am I doing about AIDS and I know I'm getting ready to confront my father, I know that's what I'm trying to focus on, but is that just a distraction?

Abby’s starting to annoy me with all the drugs she's doing, and I don't know how to say something because I'm certainly doing plenty of drugs too. But it's different with Abby because it's starting to seem like she can't do anything without them. And then, every night it's the same story: she's all spun out with her head in her hands, asking for comfort, even though she doesn't really support me. I need to be able to talk about the things that matter, and sometimes when I do she just stares at me with a blank look in her eyes, or tells me to calm down, or asks me if I want a bump.

I go to see Todd Haynes's new movie, Safe, at the Coolidge Corner. It kind of surprises me because I was expecting something frantic and gritty like Poison, but instead it opens with a het fucking scene, he's fucking and you see her face, no emotion as her hands move as if to calm him. Then there’s the hyper-wealthy ‘80s suburban California lifestyle, devoid of style or feeling and everything moves so slow I want to gag. Carol, the main character, develops environmental illness and ends up at a retreat center in Albuquerque and it's hard to say which is worse, her life of wealthy nothingness or the vacant positive thinking she searches out.

In the movie, the positive thinking works, Carol says I love you as the movie closes but there are so many eerie asides, like a woman who says she made herself sick because she didn't forgive her abuser and I hiss loudly at that, want to leave the theater but I realize that means the movie is working. And then the guru with AIDS living healthfully from positive thinking alone, he sees lesions in a dream and they turn into pansies.

There’s no allowance of rage as a healing option. Yes, the movie is almost an exposé of New Age hucksterism even if this is what gives Carol autonomy. There’s a scary part in the middle of the movie where Carol falls to the ground with blood in her nose after entering the dry cleaners and I think shit, I'm going to develop an environmental illness. I guess that means I'm empathizing. But then the question of whether being so careful, living in seclusion, makes you more sensitive rather than less.

Abby leaves in the middle of the movie, she says she's bored, she’ll meet me at home and afterwards I'm a wreck and I really want to talk about this movie with someone, but who? Then I'm on the way home and this boy stops me just as I'm getting on the train at Government Center, he looks me right in the eyes and says: You look beautiful. Thanks, I say, and he says no no sit down. So I sit down with him, and he says I'm always afraid to dress up on the T, I saw you and I thought I had to say something. I was out with my friend George last night, we were going to Chaps for his drag show. You'd like my friend José, he does crazy stuff.

And then, as he's leaving the train, he looks back and says: You look fierce. Like he's trying it out for the first time. It’s moments like these that make everything worth it.

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