A Thesis Against Our Interpersonal Paranoia

Well, I’ll be honest with you here. This blog definitely gets in the way of a lot of my sexual relationships, mostly because men are intimidated to read about my sexual exploits and my psychological analysis of amalgamated characters that may or may not be based on them and their particular shortcomings. This presents a whole host of problems, mostly with men saying, “Why did you say that about me?”

To which I reply, “Say what?” (Because I say a lot of bullshit on here, and honestly as soon as I say it, I tend to forget what I’ve said. There’s not a lot of thought that goes into this.)

“You said that I was a junkie addict with dick issues and that no one would ever love me.”

“Oh…um…well….that wasn’t about you….” This kind of exchange happens a lot; I think in my younger years I fetishized the narratives of junkie artists, mostly because that was the kind of narrative I was exposed to as a kid: everything rock and roll. (Which I resent now, but that narrative transcends the music genre of rock and roll and tends to define the creative milieu.) Being a lost soul was supposed to be glamorous, and wasn’t that the appeal of Oakland back in 2005? We were all lost souls, defiant creatives, wilting artists who could hold a job at a coffee shop, pay rent, and also work only three days a week in between drinking and drugging and fucking and arting. I realize that this narrative has changed inherently due to current economic conditions. Or, really, what actually happened is we all moved to Oakland to be in Oakland, but now Oakland is gone and we’re still here.

Anyways, I forget this every time and with every new relationship. I’m running on the fumes of fantasy here and writing about people and a place that don’t even exist anymore. In my writing style, I try to build characters that are vague enough to be universally relatable; it’s about the meat of the emotion and the truth of the experience. I’m trying to build characters in which we can see ourselves, who speak to us and our sense of self rather than alienating the reader from the character by imposing race or social stature or economic conditions on the situation. However, I forget that when I’m sticking to a dark narrative, if the people in my life see themselves in the things that I say and the fictions I create, we must ask: does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?

It’s true that when I started this blog, things were a lot more real and a lot more personal. Part of this is because I was young and I thought that I could hang people out to dry on the Internet and that would be cool. Another part of this is that my lifestyle fit into the above mentioned artistic milieu I was trying to envisage. But I’m older now, and I don’t really do that anymore, but this hasn’t changed the fact that this blog impacts my relationships on the same level.

Until recently.

Up until now, my lovers tend to either read my blog and hate it, or they don’t read it at all and pretend it doesn’t exist. This puts me in a predicament because clearly my blog is a big a part of my creative endeavor and therefore my life. To have a lover either hate or ignore that part of me is to allow myself to be incomplete in my relationship. Having a lover hate my writing is hurtful, mostly because it belies the fact that he and I can’t see eye to eye on the things that I want to do creatively, where I’m going with my work, what I think about, or what I believe in. It means that he resents what I do creatively, and it’s okay for him to resent that part of me because it’s seen as exploitative. We don’t have conversations about my blog, or, if we do, they are painful and filled with tears and rifts in the relationship. If a man ignores my blog, it means that there’s a side of me that he’s not seeing, that he’s choosing to not see, and in that way this isn’t a whole relationship because if he’s not man enough to read the things I write and react to them like an adult, then what kind of relationship is this?

For a long time, I thought that I was saddled with these two options, both of which are miserable. This is incredibly unfair, because male artists get to objectify their muses constantly, and that’s called art because revering the female form even in disgust is supposed to be something that we just put up with. We are supposed to pose for the camera and inspire songs, and we are supposed to like it. We are supposed to be flattered. But these men are not flattered.

Until recently.

Am I the only one who found your blog and was like swoon?

He said that to me in the middle of a casual text conversation when I was at work, and at the time I thought, ‘yeah,’ but later I realized, actually, absolutely and completely: YES. I realized that, for the first time, I was talking to someone who was smart enough to realize that this blog is both about him and not about him. It’s based on my experiences, but it’s not personal. This blog isn’t a coded, secret message between me and you, it’s a blurry, half assed, half truth story that is meant to capture something bigger than both of us, even if we are in some ways and sometimes characters within it. This isn’t my diary (although sometimes it’s my diary), and this isn’t a verbatim recounting of my life right here, right now, with these people.

He gets it. And for the first time I can talk to somebody about my writing because unlike most of the other people out there, he actually reads my blog often enough to have something interesting to say in response. And because the artistry of the craft of writing and the wit of communication aren’t lost on him, it’s an interesting conversation. It’s not a series of leveled, defensive accusations, but a creative, curious conversation because of course I already know that I write in a cruel tone. But no one has ever held me accountable for the things I say in a way that makes sense. No one has ever been able to talk to me on my level about my blog. Because of course I am responsible for the things that I say here, but if we can’t have a rational conversation about it, then there’s nothing rational about the relationship or our communication in the first place.

And for him, too.

“I’ve never seen myself reflected back at myself through someone else’s eyes like that before. Usually it’s just rants and accusations. But you make deep cuts, and it still feels tender.”

And I know what this means. The rest of the world is not okay with the badness that is inside us, and they rally against it in the most vicious way possible because they cannot understand that an appeal to the senses and to our sensitivity might actually work, even in the face of our own insensitivities and senselessness.

I also realize that the ability to identify this quality within my blog, which is almost sinister and buried deep beneath layers of glitter and sneer, belies in him a duality of good and evil which exists simultaneously as both the goodness of having a strong enough sense of self and level of confidence to not feel threatened by calm and honest observations, and also a badness of narcissism wherein any reflection of the self becomes an utter fixation of vanity. But maybe that speaks to the duality of man in general and not the duality of this man in particular, because anybody without a solid sense of self would revere someone who is confident in their own identity as a narcissist, anyways. I am not bothered by tapping into either of those traits, nor am I afraid to deal with them as they come my way. Only someone much less self assured than me would be intimidated by someone who knows who he is. And I am only irritated by anything less than that; perhaps it is the men who are still grasping at an identity they cannot yet define or hold onto who are the ones that I cannot stand.

It must be painful to see yourself, and it must be more painful if you do not know yourself at all. It is hard to sit here and have someone else tell me who I am or what I should be feeling. It’s awful really, but the worst part is when someone else is right about the worst things inside me that I pretend do not exist in the first place. Perhaps I would be better off to confront and define these demons on my own time. That way no one could pick them up and throw them back in my face, where they would consume me. I am not defined by my demons, and you shouldn’t be, either. My demons are my friends who carry the weight of the judgment that the rest of the world foists upon me. Who carries that weight for you?