Sunday, February 8, 2009

On Embarrassing Oneself in the Name of Honesty

I have a problem. But I don't know if it's really a problem. The main character in the novel "The perks of being a wallflower" describes what it is to feel "infinite." I read the book when I was 22. I can't say that i remember more than that line and the fact that he really likes the smiths' song 'asleep.' Also, I think the main character was sad most of the time.

Well, I know what it means to feel infinite. I get that feeling when I'm soaring down the river in a boat, traveling, writing, or (and this is my problem) having a huge teenage crush on someone.

Oh, I know, it's not as poetic as the others, but it's just a true for me. I revel in the feeling of wanting to see someone and impress her. I hate the way I get all weird around that person and say ridiculous things. I love/hate that it makes me feel vulnerable. I feel totally alive, though. And that's the infinite feeling. It's even better when that person likes you back. And now I'm tired of the word 'crush.' I wanna call it something else. intense interest, maybe.

But intense interests aren't all fun and games, especially now that I'm married. In my early 20s I'd pursue that person until she gave in, then move on to the next one. It was fun and easy until I hurt someone, or I hurt myself. I mean, it's terrible when those feelings aren't reciprocated. I've had my share of intense interest in women who weren't gay (and weren't even interested in giving me a shot). I've made a fool of myself telling someone how I felt about her. Over and over. Or, through notes and song quotes. Or after leaving her apartment, barging back in to pull my beanie over my eyes and say, "I'm sorry, it's just that I really, really like you." And that's where my honesty gets me in trouble. After I vowed to always tell the truth, I started telling the truth loudly, and to people who didn't necessarily want to hear it. But, in these cases, I have to tell people how I feel about them. Just think of all the people in your life who've had special feelings for you but never said anything. Doesn't it feel nice to be told you're beautiful and awesome? I mean, if it's done in a tactful way?

Now, most of you are worrying. What about Mindy? Well, my friends, I love Mindy and I've chosen to spend my life with her for many reasons. One of those reasons is that she understands I'm human. Being married doesn't mean never being attracted to someone ever again. It does mean not acting on those feelings, if that's the agreement you have with your special other person. Being married also means telling the truth. I have a new crush. Mindy knows everything about it. And of course I feel badly about it. How dare I enjoy the company of someone else when I have everything I could ask for right at home. It's not like that, though. I enjoy the awkward moments of life and sometimes I create them for myself to hate, enjoy, and get through.

If you're curious, here are the usual qualifications for you to be the person I have an intense interest in:

1. You must be absolutely new to me
2. You must love an art form in which I have no talent
3. You must have dark or curly hair
4. You must be a little curvy
5. You must not realize your own beauty so I can have the joy of telling you how awesome and beautiful you are.

"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite."

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
Writer, teacher, and archaeologist. Contributing essayist in the anthology "Crooked Letter I: Coming Out In the South" from NewSouth Books.