week #3 at national non-profit is over and that last day sort of tried my last nerve.
the plan was rather simple. our office closed early but then my department decided, 'hey, let them leave even earlier!' yay, so happy were we. so i took a meeting at our annual meeting site, walked down wacker drive and helped two business men find the hyatt regency, bought a coffee at starpricks and then began to edit a document and clean out my inbox. i was going to be outta there by 1.30 and on my way to see B-. (more on that later.)
then our annual meeting awards arrived. i had to unwrap and check each one and, of course, found three that had come completely apart. two hours unwrapping, wrapping, checking, fed exing, complaining to awards guy. sweating. my white cotton ramie coolness that B- was to later unwrap and defile was soon grunty dusty papercut and funky.
(jesus. on the annoying music show, they're singing about anthropology and the classification of the 'races of man.' they just said negroid.)
speaking of B- the afternoon tryst was a little lackluster. not on his part. on mine. i wasn't present at all. sort of discouraged. he and i have nothing to talk about. i thought that was an impossibility, but it's sort of true. after dozing on the train ride up north (while an old black man stared at me the whole time) i arrived at B-'s, spilling half a bottle of water all over myself crashing through the front door. we sat on the couch.
i said, so how are things?
he said, i don't want to talk about work.
i said, ok. what about the B- that isn't work? how are you?
he said, i really don't have much time other than work. it was a really tough semester. i really don't like talking about work. i mean, if you were really interested in my work, i guess.
i said, i am interested in your work. why wouldn't i be?
so he shrugged and vented for a good while about his department and review last week. i didn't mind this at all. i like watching men talk about their work, especially if they enjoy it. and he does. he's good at what he does. he's smart and tough. i like that.
so we talked about other things. sort of. it wasn't real conversation. just interjections, non sequitors. my dad may be moving to chicago, i just started a student newspaper, i love my new job, i have to teach over the summer. one thing, though. when i told him how i'd been afraid about this choice i'd made about my life, my new job, he said, really? i don't think of you as being much afraid of anything.
this misreading is the heart of our problem. we don't know each other at all, despite knowing each other for about three years. (there are those who know how afraid i am; there's one man i've never met who knows me much better than B- does me. he knows how i fear failure, intimacy, commitment, change, the ocean; others know how i fear acid thrown in my face, blindness, prison and leprosy.) i could assume the blame for our gulf, but i don't want to carry it all on my own.
anyway, the rest of of the evening sagged. my mind was racing to other places far from that gray lit dusky apartment; he was valiant in the effort to bring me satisfaction but when i couldn't i just became generous in my willingness to make the rest 'about him.' the only time i caught a glimpse of the inner B- was when i was stretched out on the floor of his living room, watching him pick obscure chicano rock albums from his time in san antonio, listening to him sing offkey to question mark & the mysterians.
it was the most naked i had seen him and when he lifted the needle from the last record and began to kiss my neck i was sorry it had to end.