Wednesday, January 07, 2004

moral quandaries

Staying at AX's place is heady. As mentioned, he has plentiful heat and a fast connection. I adore his books. The place is clean and orderly. So it's a struggle to get out in the mornings, but his neighborhood is quite automobile-hostile. I have to be up early to go make sure I haven't gotten another ticket on my friend's car. Which is sometimes parked quite a few blocks away.

Which is why I was walking on a block this morning better known for its night inhabitants, many of whom make a living by renting out their bodies. I don't remember who I was reading--one of the many smart, articulate sex-workers out there--but she made the point that they don't sell their bodies, they rent them out. Different thing. Anyway. I found a wallet on the ground, one of those Japanese paper ones, with pretty women screened on the sides, and inside there was a driver's license, a cash card, two syringes, and a rusty razor blade (yes Mom, I had my gloves on.)

Hmmm. I know I should get these items back to their rightful owner, but I feel weird about it. At least the drug paraphernalia. At first I thought maybe I'd put up signs in the neighborhood with my voicemail number, so this woman could call me, but that seemed like a very poor idea. Then I took a closer look at the license and realized that she had a PO box, so I could just mail the stuff. But of course, you're not supposed to mail syringes. So I mail back the cards, fine; should I enclose a note? What could I possibly say? And then I realize that she's not, as I thought, one of the teenage runaways thick in the Tenderloin. Her birth year is 1969.

She's my age. No, five months older.

This made me incredibly sad. So I wrapped up the cards in a piece of paper. I found these on Hyde near Post, I wrote. I hope you're okay. Lame, but something. I'm going out to mail them now. The rest went into the trash.

The net isn't very strong. Too many of us are falling through.

And then in the "somebody hand me a hammer, my head doesn't hurt enough yet" category, I have to come clean and admit that I'm still reading PRobot's blog, and still finding the experience irritating, and yet I can't seem to stop. It's one of those loose tooth fixations, you know? The challenge right now is that he's started seeing someone new, someone he clearly thinks he has a future with, and the gooiness is making me queasy. Today's entry is particularly annoying. What was I, I think as I read about how intelligent, sweet, attractive, kind, and playful this new woman is, a speedbump on your way to her? Is it possible that I was none of those things to you? I feel like maybe he and I were dating in parallel universes, if such a thing is possible.

I don't begrudge him his happiness, mind you. And I don't wish it was me. Or rather, I don't wish it was me with him, although I would love to be as rapturously infatuated as he seems to be, with someone who felt the same way about me. No, the farther away from that whole situation I get, the more I realize that we really weren't suited to each other. For one thing, there was a major deal-breaker that I knew about from the beginning, but I chose to ignore it because I liked him so much. Note to self: Don't ignore the deal-breakers. I guess the thing that bothers me is that I feel like I've been overwritten like stale software.

Why it matters to me so much that my role--however fleeting--in another person's life can be so easily forgotten is a matter for serious contemplation. I mean, this is clearly about me, not him; this is my own problem.

That, and figuring out how to remove the cookie that makes it so easy to check his blog. It's the modern-day equivalent of driving by someone's house, isn't it?

Haven't I got better shit to do with my time?

I've debated whether to write about this here. It really doesn't reveal anything about myself that makes me feel like a good or admirable person. But part of the point of this exercise has been to acknowledge that all of us have shadows, and it's really looking like this period in my life is the one where I face mine.

Off to the post office.