My hand won’t hold you down no more
The path is clear to follow through
I stood too long in the way of the door
And now I’m giving up on you
No, not “baby” anymore – if I need you
I’ll just use your simple name
Only kisses on the cheek from now on
And in a little while, we’ll only have to wave.1
This will most likely be the last post about Aaron.
We started talking again. He emailed a few days ago, and I was glad to hear from him because I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to even contact him. It’s obvious from the tone of our emails that we’re in a very different place now. Apparently he’s “moved on” and is even seeing someone, some guy who was married for fifteen years and finally decided he couldn’t live a lie anymore. Apparently it didn’t take Aaron very long to get over me.
That feels great.
He sent me a letter on Saturday that arrived today. Four pages of angry ranting. Sure, he was angry, and he has a right to feel hurt. I can’t deny him that. But he included lovely passages like, “you really played this well,” or “as far as your virginity goes, I wouldn’t worry too much,” or “you’re just one more notch on my bedpost,” or “I knew better than to put any trust in a Christian who also thinks he can combine [his faith] with his very unbiblical sexuality,” or “Christianity has given me a lifetime of empty promises, and I should expect the same from those who claim to be its followers—including you.”
Again, feels great.
He did email to tell me that he was angry when he wrote that letter, but that doesn’t help at all. In hindsight I should have just thrown the letter away, but I needed some sort of closure. This was it, I guess. My first relationship gone in a cloud of very angry smoke. Everyone told me it probably wouldn’t last, but I didn’t want to believe that—partly the idea that it could be just another statistic, but more that I could be just like everyone else.
There’s a part of me that thinks I’m somehow different from “everyone else,” and in some ways I am—just not an exception apparently, or just not that lucky. My sister found her husband on the first try, and they’re very happy together. My friends Tim and Sarah had never dated prior to getting together, and are also blissfully married now. Nothing ever seems to come easily to me, and just I’m sick of it.
What hurts most was that “one more notch on my bedpost” remark. Sure, it was said in anger and out of hurt, but that was pretty low thing to say, especially considering that I’d never even kissed someone before having sex with him.
You know—he was drunk my first time, and apparently doesn’t even remember it. That’s a great start to my love life. I’m tempted to call it quits right now and follow my original course of becoming successful in my artistic career, but I know I’m more rational than that. I’m angry, and I never make good decisions when angry. At least I’m aware of that.
So what have I learned?
And when the day is done, and I look back
And the fact is I had fun, fumbling around
All the advice I shunned, and I ran
Where they told me not to run, but I sure
Had fun, so
I’m gonna fuck it up again
I’m gonna do another detour
Unpave my path2
From the very beginning, in April, after my first phone call with Aaron, a voice in my head was saying “Wait.” Looking back now, it was probably God but at the very least my common sense that is rarely wrong (which in that case has Divine written all over it); but I stumbled blindly on, determined to get what it was that I wanted, which was a guy to be with, regardless of whether he was the right one or not.
(Did I mention he was stoned the first time he talked to me? Isn’t that nice?)
I was just so afraid of being alone, and he seemed like such a great guy. He is, but by the time I actually got close to him my desideratum disappeared. He’ll be perfect for someone else, but in the meantime am starting to lose hope for myself. My parents were close to thirty when they got married, and I swore I wouldn’t be that old.
Looks like it might be even later.
I never good at being on time.
My standards are pretty high, which worries me. Does a Christian gay man exist who is masculine, isn’t into “the scene,” shares my conservative political and theological (though not fundamentalist) values, is well read, appreciates art and is maybe even musical, and can hold up his end of a conversation? Aren’t unicorns mythical creatures?
Do I wanna do right, of course but
Do I really wanna feel I’m forced to
Answer you, hell no.2
It’s great when music I used to love for entirely different reasons suddenly becomes true and relevant. There are tons of love songs and just as many breakup songs (my current favourite being Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats”). I relate so strongly now to what Fiona writes in “Paper Bag”:
I was having a sweet fix of a daydream of a boy
Whose reality I knew, was a hopeless to be had
But then the dove of hope began its downward slope
And I believed for a moment that my chances
Were approaching to be grabbed
But as it came down near, so did a weary tear
– I thought it was a bird, but it was just a paper bag
I’m glad we had this little chat.
1 Fiona Apple. “Love Ridden” from “When the Pawn” (1999)
2 Fiona Apple. “Mistake” from “When the Pawn”