October 14th, 2002

Thanksgiving Day Post

Right now, I'm cleaning my room. I've found pamphlets from the red Cross, given to me after I had my blood tested in the breezeway on campus. Apparently I'm a type O. (The tests don't tell me if I test negative or positive.) I suppose I should try to make one donation, at least, before I have sex and promptly become ineligible for donations, out of civic-mindedness.

Of late, since the rather unfortunately disorganized GLBT meeting a week and a half ago, I've been wondering about whether I was correct to identify myself as bisexual as opposed to gay. I was reading a biography of Timothy Findley--Carol Roberts' Timothy Findley: Stories of a Life. It is the only biography devoted to Findley in the Robertson Library's collection, but it unfortunately tends towards the hagiographic. An interesting quote:

"I adore women. I was married to a woman whom
I loved greatly and still do. I've loved many women,
but not in the physical sense, and that was where
my wife and I made our mistake. We thought we
could have a marriage without that, and you can't,
not if she wants children, which she did. So we
parted amicably. But I could no more live in a world
without women than in a world without men." (88)

I agree entirely with Findley on that last sentence. I've noticed, in passing, how some science-fiction writers assume that people who are entirely gay in orientation--as in Kinsey 6s, as in people who can't imagine female anatomy and heterosexual relations without gagging--in some far-future setting might try to establish male-only worlds or colonies. (Norman Spinrad's A World Between and Lois McMaster Bujold's Ethan of Athos both employ this.) I really can't imagine this--the people I know to be gay (as opposed to bi) really don't think in terms of wanting to live in a world without women. One interesting thing I noticed in Toronto was an odd merging of gay (and perhaps bi?) male teenagers with their straight female counterparts in a single chatty subculture. Even if they don't feel any sexual attraction towards one another, they can always talk about boys, I suppose. (I wasn't particularly good at being a teenager, I fear, so I'm just extrapolating here.)

What I don't understand, however, is the rest of that paragraph; at least, in the sense of applying it to myself. I can't say I've loved anyone; I can say I've lusted after people in my heart pace Mr. Carter, congrats to him on his Nobel Peace Prize, and I don't think gender had anything to do with that. (Or at least, that a person's gender kept me from feeling that way towards that person.) So, I've got that irreducible minimum--I'm at least as bi as Bert Archer, so it isn't a subject I need to particularly concern myself with. Bi still works.

Right now, I'm also reading Charlotte Wolff's Bisexuality. I've not read enough to be able to make any conclusions, but I'll just observe that I believe Charlotte Wolff, according to Colin Wilson, was actually a transsexual born a male in Hungary--her original gender was only discovered post-mortem. Interesting person, she was.

I'm downloading music videos now. I've got all of the mp3s I could want for the time being, save some Laurie Anderson and New Order songs, so I'm concentrating on music videos. From Garbage, a live performance in Paris of "Stupid Girl," "Only Happy When It Rains," 'Cherry Lips," "Milk," "Queer," and an undeterminate live performance. Also, not downloading right now, Garbage's "Special," Suzanne Vega's "Luka," and New Order's "Regret." Perhaps I should post my video playlist

"I feel fine, yeah I feel good, I feel like I never should"

I'm listening to my New Order CDs again, along with my Joy Division "Love Will Tear Us Apart Again '95" EP. They were quite good, actually. "Blue Monday" is a particularly fine song. It does a nice job, I believe, of conveying an underlying attitude of emotional distance on the part of a personality that's confused. (And who do you think could empathize with that sentiment right now, huh?)

I watched, before Thanksgiving dinner, on SPACE two classic Star Trek episodes--the original series' "Balance of Terror" (the first appearance of the Romulans, in which Kirk has to stop a Romulan raiding ship before it gets back home), and TNG's "Data's Day" (Data explores his humanity against a background of Romulan espionage and intriuge). They were both fine episodes, and I've realized that I've always empathized with the outsider characters in Star Trek. (At least in the first two episodes--Odo in Deep Space Nine, the Doctor and Seven of Nine in Voyager, and T'Pol in Enterprise seem to have too many human characteristics to really qualify.)

I've always felt on the outside, I think, even now. I feel better-prepared to deal with the wider world now, but I still feel that distance. I suppose it'll always be a component of my personality, one way or another.

What else to do today? Work on the bibliography for Dr. MacLaine, finish up the assorted note-taking and abstracting and question-answering for my American history course, perhaps reply to one or two long E-mails, and that will be that.
  • Current Music
    New Order, "Blue Monday"

Where do I go from here?

Where to start?

My personal life, by and large, is unfulfilling. Yes, I've been socializing more and I've enjoyed it, but it doesn't feel to be nearly enough now. There doesn't seem to be enough depth in my current relationships with other people, and I'm not talking about romantic prospects. (Or at least, I'm not talking only about romantic prospects; but I don't think I've the necessary social maturity for said anyway.) I don't know what I'm supposed to do, to move beyond instrumental bonds to something more profound, at least with the people in my life here on Prince Edward Island. This isn't something you can study for, I know, but nonetheless I only wish that tehre was a text I could find that would make it clear.

Ah, and my parents. This is harsh, but right now I don't much of anything for them, either good or bad. They exist, I live in the home that they own, but right now I don't feel anything in particular for them. They said that they didn't think there was much to talk about after I came out to them, and when I asked Mom why she didn't want ot talk about it she said that we didn't talk about much anyway. But then, I'd've expected them to be capable of the distiction between what happened today and soemthing that tore me up for months. I've survived since February without their help; I should be able to survive for the rest of my life without them.

I'm afraid that if my non-existent social life actually does expand to include a significant amount of my time, that my schoolwork will take a decided turn for the worse. People seem to think that I'm highly organized, but in truth, I'm really quite stunningly inefficient, spending most of my time wasting time, on the Internet or reading books. I've a sneaking suspicion that I've got good grades only because I work so long. It's like those amazingly high Japanese productivity statistics that report a stunning output per day per worker without mentioning that said worker works for ten hours a day: As soon as the workers begin to take long lunch hours, the statistics go all to hell.

Too, there's the rather catastrophic problem that not only do I have no idea what I want to do with my life in general, I have no idea what I want to do in my academic life in the short term. I've not looked in any significant detail at academic programs anyway, I've not applied anywhere, and I've no idea if I even want a master's degree in English. Or any kind of career.

This, I suppose, is what comes of living tightly bundled up in your head for two long: Everything feels flat and without affect. Yes, I suppose this reflects in part symptoms of depression; yes, I'll go seek further treatment; yes. sessions with a counsellor sound like they'd be good right now. But this depression is only symptomatic, though, of a deeper problem that I don't have any idea how to do. I'd thought that I was being more sociable, I certainly have no reason to doubt that--but it isn't enough. I'm not sure that I've ever be able to move beyond this low-level functioning for something more fulfilling.

So what am I supposed to do now? Advice, please; I'm desperate.
  • Current Music
    New Order, "True Faith"