Tuesday, December 07, 2004

any minute now, i'm going to start feeling this

E has managed to fuck another birthday for me.

The man has an instinct, I must say. And the fact that he has just proved me right in something MonkeyScientist had almost talked me out of doesn't help.

But I'm not being clear.

I just got home from a holiday party for some bank, down in Palo Alto. It wasn't great, it wasn't painful; there's a cook who regularly flirts with me who was being a 'performance chef', which means that he was out on the floor carving lamb where I could see him as I was bussing and passing hors d'ouevres and so on, and that was nice. I wouldn't date this man--we want very different things, as he's made clear from our conversations in the past--but he makes me feel sexy, no small feat when I'm wearing a tux and feeling about eight feet around at the hips. The guests were no worse than usual, and I ate quite a few handmade truffles, washed down with a heart-stopping quantity of dairy products loosely bound with potato. My ride and I regaled each other on the way back with stories of what we'd like to do to Dubya and his pack of thieves, and I'm home before ten, which should mean that I get an article done and a shower before I go to bed.

Except that there's an email in my box, and as soon as I saw the subject line, I knew.

Bit o' news, E begins. All good here, in Vancouver at present...being a husband. Yup. Married at City Hall, San Francisco, 2 weeks ago. And then he names her, as if I didn't know her name, as if I didn't know that he met her no more than four days after dumping my ass because he thought he "should be alone for a while", as if he hadn't put me on the e-mail list of people who got the updates from their trip to Israel, about eating melon in the afternooon in their hotel room in Tel Aviv and napping with her in the sweltering heat.

How do I know it's not me, I asked MonkeyScientist Sunday, after we'd already had an awkward conversation about this delicate thing we've been doing, this very limited engagement before he expatriates, how do I know it's not me when every man I've ever really loved, really thought I might have a future with, has married the next woman he dated? And I counted off on my fingers: Jer, BowlCut, Slice, E. MonkeyScientist folded down two of my fingers because there was actually someone between me and the woman BowlCut married, and because E wasn't married. That's not true, he said. Fifty percent.

Seventy-five percent now. And the fact is, they're all married, some of them quite gloatingly (I've been to BowlCut's wife's Web site. The self-congratulatoriness ain't pretty, let me tell you)--and I'm not. And I know it shouldn't matter; that I'm a fine person all by myself, with my own interesting life, blah blah fucking blah, but where is the man who has MY back? Who will love me, and travel with me, and think about building a family with me while I still have a fresh egg or two left, before the DES damage means I need to have my damn misshapen precancerous cervix taken out, and be there to come home to when I've had a night like tonight and just really want my shoulders rubbed and my hair stroked? Who is interested to see what kind of adventure we can have together?

And the knowledge that I would be miserable now if I'd stayed with some of these guys isn't helpful. I mean, it will be later. But the burning that is rising in me now is making that clear, smooth truth hard to hold onto.

So I write it here, knowing that I'm going to distress some people, that some of you are going to worry about me, and some others wonder about my stability. Whatever. I have to say it here because I CAN NOT write the e-mail back to E that I so deeply, desperately want to write. I will be okay in the morning. I may even be okay after my shower, especially if I take a beer in there with me. But this part right now, this part sucks.