Does anyone know why the caged bird sings? Of course you don’t. Just like you don’t know why 2 is the square root of 4, why grass is green, and why rabbits are exceptionally horny little bastards. But I will give you this: you have the courage to say, “I don’t know.” Unless you’re one of those people who answered my rhetorical question with a “Well, 2 times 2 is 4, and when that process is reversed…” If you did, I’m not talking to you.
Extending my pre-lucid morning thinking to a bout with a weight machine, let’s see if we can figure out how my contrived distractions have only poorly discarded the weightier issues in my life.
I came to work early this morning, hoping to get in a good workout. It’s the best way to start the day, I always tell myself. If everything else goes wrong, at least I can claim that I benched a hundred and two pounds, or ran a couple of arduous miles. If I’m lucky, I’ll have a smile on my face when it’s over and enough energy to get to work.
Anyway, I hopped over to gym on campus this morning only to find a sign on the workout door saying, “Closing May 15 @ End of Day. Enjoy Your Summer!” Now, I could have taken this at face value, grumbled under my breath, and headed back to my office. But the lights were on, so I tested on the handle. It was unlocked. The next three seconds constituted terrible moral constipation. I hate to give the circumstance such grotesque imagery, but it really does fit. Do I heed the sign, mope a bit, and sulk back to my eagerly-awaiting computer? Or, do I pretend I can’t read English, change into my workout clothes, and squeeze in a half-hour workout? I chose the latter. I’m not sure I want to know what that says about my moral condition.
You will be comforted to know, however, that my decision was not made with utter indifference to the posted closing. Being the only one in the gym, I watched the door like a hawk. I imagined crazy scenarios where the janitors would lock me in the gym, and I would be forced to live on rubber workout mats and dust bunnies. Each set I completed—bench press to bicep curls to crunches—I would go extra fast just to ensure I would have another few moments with my eyes on the door. Overly paranoid at one point, I jammed a piece of wood (marked, conveniently, “DOOR JAM”) under the door. That way, I thought, they can’t lock the door without me hearing. And then, at least I can scream.
But nothing like that happened. Instead, I stressed myself out with worry and guilt during my workout, while making it safely back to my office. Fairly uneventful, really. And, for what it’s worth, I offset my poor moral choice by cleaning up the gym a bit. Medicine balls were everywhere (which aren’t very curative, I’ve noticed), and rubber mats were lying around. It’s good to know I would have had rations for a while.
Now back in the quiet of my office—the only peace of my day—I think about my horrid yesterday. Well, I shouldn’t be so dramatic. It was awful. I mean, I got up and ran five miles. True, I almost felt like having a heart attack afterwards (damn this high elevation!), but I made it through in one piece. Except for that part of my sweatshirt that a squirrel chewed off.
In all honesty, I turned what might have been a day worthy of much rejoicing into a day destined for confusion, frustration, and self-loathing. You know the story already, really. It’s the story of Jeff and someone he cares about very much, blah blah blah. I know you don’t want to hear it all again. Especially the part about large wine glasses and toothpicks and Maggiano’s. Truth be told, I fucked up. I broke up with someone for all the wrong reasons, realized this, discovered far more genuine feelings for him, and then stupidly led him into a trap shaped like a blog. Which kind of looks like a blob, only it has no back, no shape at all, really. It’s spineless. And at the same time, it’s a tattletale.
Yes, I did a stupidly stupid, horrendously inane thing. You see, I wrote him a poem about our recently developed friendship as a thank you for his guidance and appreciation of me. It was earnest and honest, though poorly situated a few shelves above the salt and a little post-it note that read, “I love you.” Ahhh, shit.
Now what? So he knows. And he fumbles. Can anyone blame him? I sure can’t. Personally, I think it might be best if I joined an order of monks in Tenochtitlan to get away from it all. Or would, if the Aztecs were still around. And had monks. The point is, I screwed up. Is running away a good thing, or a bad thing? A big part of me, knowing I screwed up, wants to make things right by going away and not being a threat to him and his current relationship. Which, I will say without compunction or force of any kind, is wonderful. He is happy. Which, truthfully, makes me happy. The fact that he knows I care about him in icky, chocolate heart kinds of ways is what makes me unhappy. Which wouldn’t be a problem, except it also makes him unhappy. I think. Or maybe it doesn’t. I don’t really know. I guess I assume it does. Does it? Damn.
Feast or famine, they say! I don’t know whether they were talking about rubber mats and dust bunnies while locked in a gym, or whether literary artists can be a bit more metaphorical in their use of the adage. Honestly, I don’t know who “they” are. I never have. I don’t even know if they’re credible. I was going to apply their black-or-white injunction to my own situation, but it hardly seems fair. Love/emotion is not black-or-white, does not involve dust bunnies, and is inconceivably unpredictable. Feast or famine? I suppose that would mean I should steal this boy for myself or I will starve. Of love. Or something. No, it doesn’t really make sense. Moving on.
It comes to this: I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I can’t say it enough times. I meant to keep it under wraps (not the healthy kind with whole wheat tortillas), but through my own stupidity, it was revealed. Now, he thanks me for my honesty. Honesty? I hid it from him and he discovered it by accident. I hardly feel that deserves a gold star for honesty. Of course, at this point, I hardly feel I deserve a gold star for much of anything.
My fears are as follows: losing his friendship, being alienated from him altogether, and explaining why my actions are no more explicable than those of a prime-season hormonal rabbit. Why? Let’s be honest. For real, this time. He would like to tell his boyfriend about this recent revelation. Honesty is the best policy. Even the most understanding of boyfriends would likely be very uncomfortable with this whole situation. I wouldn’t blame him if he asked Christian never to hang out with me again. Which is why, given the circumstances, I feel it might be better if I helped retain their wonderful relationship by becoming Aztec. It fits. At least in my mind.
Ahhh! Enough droning. I’ve got work to do, and I’m distracting myself. It really could go on forever. I will re-read this now. But I promise not to change anything. Maybe it will be a good benchmark to come back to. Good God, how many times can I fuck up good relationships? Going once, going twice, and…gone.