Dismissed

Since coming back to the gay community, I have been trying to collect friendships like Pokemon Cards. Which is an odd thing for me to say since I’ve never played Pokemon. But, in short, I have attempted to hold on to all of the newly minted friendships. Trying to keep a connection with my new acquaintances. Or trying to revive or build a friendship with someone I knew ages ago, whom I have recently reconnected with.

The last two days for me, have been fairly emotional. Not in any groundbreaking sense, but, I think I realized I should have been trading some of the cards that I had collected and not attempting to collect all of the friendship cards in this area.

Friendship: Quality over quantity

According to the article: This is Why You Don’t Need More Friends

The article suggests that: Maybe you don’t need more friendships, you need deeper ones. It seems simple enough. Unlike in Shasta Nelson’s TEDx Talk, Frientimacy, my social network has not grown. In fact, many of you know I do not have any social media. So, I rationalized my quest of collecting all of the gay Pokemon Card friendships in this metro as an attempt to network, in an old-school way.

Needless to say, those philosophies were at odds and I had not realized it until last night.


Last night was a weekly meeting of some newly minted friendships, where we gossip over dinner and then go to a local weekly gay event. The longer this weekly ritual happened, the only satisfaction came from the dinner and the deeper conversations we would have across many topics. In fact, most of my weekly dread would be a sum of accepting that I would be in attendance for the local weekly gay event.

As every week, people have different work schedules and obligations in their daily lives, so, their attendance would be very dynamic. Might show up for dinner and skip out before this event. Might skip dinner and show up for this event. Last night was no exception.

The night moved on and these newly minted friends would have to call it a day and leave. The legacy friends that I am attempting to revive that old friendship with were all that remained. Now I’m left at this gay event with these gay friends that I knew years ago, you would think I would be the most comfortable and have a sense of peace. But oddly, I felt more anxious, more out of place, more annoyed, and more alone than with the newly minted friends that have left for the evening.

I have nothing in common with them (the legacy friends). The stories they tell are fairly shallow and have little to no substance. Hell, the longest story last night was about one of them going to the doctor and being admitted to the ER. I hadn’t even had much to drink at that point, but the story went on for what seemed like hours. It ended with: “So that’s why you didn’t see me out over the past couple of weeks.”

Reflecting, standing at the bar service-well waiting to order, I thought to myself: Had he been missing a couple of weeks? Had I even noticed? I then truly realized, I did not know if he had or had not been around recently, and I didn’t care. In fact, I disengaged in the conversation to ask one of my newly minted friends if he wanted a drink or not.

That’s how shallow a “life milestone event” of going to the emergency room and being admitted to the hospital for a few days was. I just did not care. Which made me wonder why I would even spend time going to see them in person?

This then leads to me reflecting on how often we actually talk outside of this single gay event. Ironically, the only texts we exchange are him (this legacy friend) giving me breaking news alerts on if he’s going to be out for that event or not.

Is this a friendship?

Dismissed.

Oh. Hello… again

We all knew I would do it. While writing does bring a certain calm to my life, I enjoy the chaos of life. It’s almost hard to believe that I’ve neglected this blog since September of 2021. Where has the time gone? Why does life seem to be moving faster now?

Since the time we spoke last unless you are among the few who have access to my other blog, I should bring you up to speed on life.

October 2021

I recently started venturing (back) out into the gay world just a few months prior. There were a couple of people with whom I had been texting very regularly since August. What is more healthy than an established text friendship transitioning into a face-to-face company? We are no longer living in the early ’90s, where all you could do was AOL Message the gays you had met online. It was 2021.

Sunday, October 3rd, 2021: I had decided. The two gays I had been texting, I was finally going to stop beating around the bush and ask if they wanted to go out. I had also decided I needed to rip the bandaid off and stop being scared of the gay bars. One of the two guys I had been texting had a favorite hang out, a place he went to every Monday, religiously, as they put it. It was an exciting concept, a local gay bar that was a hangout… the place where everyone knew your name.

Finding solace in stormy weather, as a thunderstorm blew into town, I thought: there is no better time than now tomorrow to start this new journey. So I sent a text to both of those guys, announcing my intentions. “Hi, I know that Monday at [that local bar] is your going out on the town day. I think I’m finally ready to go back to a gay bar. So I’m going to show up; if you’re planning on being there, I’ll see you then. If not, please don’t make any special trip. I might get nervous and leave a few minutes after arriving, and I don’t want you to waste your time”.

Whew, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Indeed it was.

Monday, October 4th, 2021: Mission Gay Bar.

The night started off fairly decent. Guy 1 showed up, we had some great conversation, a friend of his showed up, and we all had some good conversations and laughed.

I won’t go into too much detail here (because I posted this on my gay blog), but needless to say, it was a shit show.

My luck. It figures that I go out for the first time in ages and the night was a complete trainwreck.

Guy 1=Amazing new friend. [Even to this day… which is Tuesday, May 10th, 2022] he and I remain friends. We formed a bond over the trauma from this night. Although, honestly, Guy 1 was too drunk to realize I was having trauma inflicted on me.

Friend 1=Pocket gay. Adorable. Allusive. Hits on me with that hint of reservation/hard to get type of way. — Warping forward to May 2022, he and I have gone on a few dates. Something about him makes me wonder what if, but, I’m too nervous to see where it will go. Just an odd feeling about him, when we are together.

Friend 2=A gay who had been catfishing me… although, it wasn’t the guy he was pretending to be. He brought his real self to the bar, obviously… but made some statements that I had heard. Sentences and elevator pitches that had already been given to me… but, but a different face. A simple text message from me to the “other guy” to whom I had been texting and this guy’s phone dings. The look on his face was priceless. Nothing else needed to be said. Warping forward to May 2022… this guy still texts me randomly. He wanted to “start over” and “pretend it never happened”. I might be good at acting (not slapping people or showing my bitch face in person) but, I’m not that good. Hard pass for me.

The rest of October was met with some personal time. A lot of hiking, a lot of reflection, and, a lot of drinking. Yes, I started drinking again.

November & December 2021

Attempting to keep a low profile, I did start going out to a weekly gay event. I’m not even sure I should talk about it, because, it still happens to this day. Yes, I’m the loud offensive one.

I did meet a guy, handsome, Latino, master’s educated, funny, and shared the same dark humor that I have.

The year was ending. Nature was starting its annual cleanse. This is exactly what I needed to do. I need to start expelling everything from my life that I wouldn’t need starting the next year. I have carried a lot of baggage with me, for a long time. Truth be told, not all of it was my baggage. I am the friend that everyone will dump their baggage onto and I am left carrying the bags.

Oddly, a new friend that I’ve made this year (it’s currently May 2022) and I have had this conversation recently.

Like any problem in life. I started with problem analysis. Define what I perceived the problem as and reflect on some data to make a decision. There weren’t many people I needed to cut from my emotional life. But, there were some. The process of offloading that emotional drama happened from November to December.

2022 will be MY year

I haven’t expected much out of life, recently. I had been content being with the same person, doing the same things. Not taking any time for myself and feeling trapped at work. After the offloading of friends who always counted on me, but, who I could never count on. I continue down my journey of taking control of my life.

Stay tuned for another blog post where I will try to summarize the first four months of this year.

I’ll make another laughable promise… I will truly come back and post weekly? 😉

Strange experience — Helping a friend

I have spent the last week out of town helping a friend recover from a surgery. I knew it would be a bag of mixed-feelings from the start, but, I never knew how much I would resent him.

There are so many years of a backstory, it would be hard to put in one blog post. But, I could sum our friendship up in a few bullet points:

  • Co-workers
    • A long time ago, he and I worked together. We formed a close work-friendship bond that has lasted time.
  • Similar upbringing
    • Both grew up in a small town.
    • Both wanted to escape.
    • Both have a self destructive tendencies.
      • I grew out of mine many years ago.
      • He grew into his… as recent as this last week.
  • Similar medical condition
    • No escaping it, other than surgery.
      • The surgery is only 20% in the recovery to escape the medical condition.
      • The other 80% of success comes from you and how you live your life daily.
      • Failing to execute the daily changes will result in 100% failure and make the painful surgery pointless.

In the past, I have gone on some vacations with him and other friends, and after day or two, it gets weird. I was expecting the weird factor to increase and come on hot and heavy the longer I was around him.

I was right.

While our medical condition was similar, the treatment (including the surgery) was/is different. The pre & post surgery care instructions vary based on doctor. So while it is hard to compare apples to apples during this post, there are some foundational things that he refused to partake in.

Even before his surgery date, he would make excuses for why he wouldn’t do pieces that were foundational for my surgery. His excuse was always, they told me (his care team) that it wouldn’t matter for him. So, he wouldn’t do it.

I wasn’t expecting that to continue even after surgery. There are some things after surgery that are basic medical fundamentals. For example, after surgery you have to get up and walk around.

Obviously, this doesn’t happen instantly. You have to wait until the a bulk pain is gone, accepting you just underwent major surgery, and you’re not going to be 100% pain free.

YOU HAVE TO GET UP AND WALK!

Him: “This is too much trouble…” (to get the nurse to help him out of bed) “…I’ll just wait and walk in my halls at home.”

When he gets home, is it any different? Sort of. The excuse of, “It’s too much trouble” was gone. He would just refuse to do it.

When I try to give him advice, he ignored it. To the point, I just told myself. “Stop”. At one point, I gave him advice and he mocked it. You know the way, as you’re saying it, they finish the sentence in that bitchy know it all voice.

To which I said, “Oh, so you already know the advice, you just refuse to take it. Got it! That was my last piece of advice”

Well, I’m now at home and feeling great. I feel blessed to have had the surgery, I felt blessed to have the support system that I had. I was hoping that I would be able to help him share in the same success that I had. But, that ship has sailed.

Calm before the storm

The day has started off very relaxed and calm. While I seem to still be having trouble staying asleep all night, it does allow me to wake up during the calm of the morning and get some things finished.

Last week, I was really off my game. I did not have the energy to do much of anything.

  • I would not get out of bed at any set time.
    • Even after not being able to sleep a full night.
  • I would not exercise beyond 30ish minutes a day.
  • I would not leave the house.
  • I did not really even text, Tweet, or socialize.

My biggest fear was not keeping the promises that I made to myself about being active. So, I made sure that I followed through with that, even tho some days were a huge struggle.

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