Home > Life or something like it > Entry 02/09/2007 11:49:08 AM – Mentat 317

Entry 02/09/2007 11:49:08 AM – Mentat 317

     I can’t begin to tell you how many abortive attempts I’ve gone through trying to get this entry written.  I can tell you that each time I start — I get to a certain point within my introduction and introspection that I’ve been distracted or just plain disgusted with the lackluster approach I’ve been taking, that I simply either delete the entry out of hand, or just plain ignore it hoping that I’ll come back to it later.  I believe that some of the issue has to do with the fact that I’m just disgusted with attempting to be self-inspective.  Some of the other issues have to do with the fact that I’m starting to second guess what I want to talk about or what I don’t want to talk about within my entry because certain people within Yahoo have made mention to reading it; or I’ve invited to reading it.  Strange on the latter — given that the feelings of second guessing that I’m going through are too similar to the fall-out shit that I had dealt with when I was still with Rick three years ago.  It’s that discomfort associated with knowing full well no matter what I say, I’m going to end up feeling as though I’m going to be running through a minefield under automatic weapons fire.  That proverbial no-win situation Rick was all too good at creating every time he wanted a confrontation to make me feel even more miserable than I was already feeling. 
     It’s rather funny, looking at this hesitation of mine…  As [Stephen R.] Donaldson had mentioned in The Gap Cycle, Angus Thermopyle frequently found himself ‘…back in the crib with his mother — the drug addict — tied up against the slats, screaming, as his mother took out her torment on the infant Angus…"  whenever he found himself in a position of being held back, or imprisoned.  While my personal experience isn’t quite as horrifying as Thermopyle’s — the similarities are there nonetheless.  Particularly given the feelings I get whenever I’m about to embark on sharing something that can easily be misinterpreted.  But instead of being sadistic, instead of lashing out at anyone or anything that made Thermopyle feel that way — I frequently find myself withdrawing instead, and being doubly cautious in what I say and do. 
     Not necessarily a good thing…  Considering I’m supposed to be the sort of man that can be "devil may care" when it comes to personal disclosure. 

     Take for example the issues that I have with blind trust, the internet, and people that I find interesting and want to know more intimately than just a friend.  I’ve had people like Tom in California — a depressed, morbidly obese 60+ year old man — who after my ripping into him for posting pictures of himself that were quite easily 30 years old (you could tell by the Kodachrome quality of the scanned pictures) created not one, but two separate identities (two different times) of twenty-something year olds complete with pictures that weren’t his try to fool some of the denizens of GML:1 into liking him or finding him attractive — myself included.  He admitted to his lies the first time (of which I had ripped into him again), and got caught the second time by Nate (of which he got ripped into again). 
     Then there was this 13 year old in Canada that was pretending to be a 20-something year old in New York City that had tried to play games with my heart, and eventually got caught when I started doing research found no information on him anyplace in the New York Nursing directories and then delving into the e-mail headers found that he was up in the metro-Montreal area, which turned into scaring him into telling the truth. 
     Then there’s Seth…  And that’s all been said last summer…  Ad nausea… 
     Then there’s Chad and my finding out that it was really Kim (Tazzy) whom I had been speaking with all along in ICQ.  Sure that one was seven years ago; but I’ll admit that I did the research shortly after breaking up with Rick (three years ago), if only to touch base and see how he was doing and hear a friendly voice at the time that I sort of liked and was sort of enamored with.  Looking back through all the years we had chatted, wandered apart, chatted again — all the signs were there but I didn’t see them — as it was still during the sort of the end of Renaissance Era of folk mostly telling the truth and lies like that rarely happened to me. 
     In the years since that golden era (as I like to affectionately call it) when people were just a shade more truthful, and catching them was a piece of cake because the lies were truly apparent, I’ve come to learn that for every one honest person that I come across and befriend — there are twenty or so other that are liars (sometimes pathologically so), fakes, flakes, psychotics, drunks and other disreputable types.  There are times when I’m sitting there chatting with folk, and instead of wondering what it would like to befriend them, I start the egg-timer to see how long it’s going to take whether they’re caught in a lie — or whether they’re charming personality is going to twist in the wind and become some frothing at the mouth psychotic.  And more often times than naught — when I’m sitting in chat, I get the distinct impression that it’s like the dumping ground of those folk that couldn’t cut the mustard in reality, are followers, or simply lack the kind of personality necessary for the kind of attention they’re seeking… 

     So these issues, and experiences lead up to my dilemma in finding trust in getting to know Matt more.  Of course, this dilemma that I’ve been mulling the last couple of days might in fact become moot given last night’s conversation.  But I’ll get to that in just a moment….

     I admit that I didn’t quite do my routine research when I started chatting with Matt…  Part of the reason had to do with the fact my initial reaction was that he was what I would label an "Honest Joe" — that is to say someone that was precisely what he had appeared to be without too much deception involved.  Quite literally, the kind of person that wouldn’t ping my lie detector off immediately…  This had been doubly reinforced by the level of honesty he displayed by providing his full name.  Part of the reason was the fact that I had been impressed that he was enough of a man and a gentleman to apologize that he had been particularly hateful towards me, and admit part of the reason why he had been dealt with a personal attraction.  Part of the reason why had to do with his admission of attraction, which had floored me for a moment that the feeling could possibly be mutual. 
     When he had asked me to write him; I had been flattered that someone actually enjoyed and appreciated reading e-mail in this "instantaneous gratification is too long" world more reliant on Voice Chat, Webcams, instant messages, cell phones, and what not.  When he had asked me to write about my first (a couple of weeks ago), I had been challenged.  However little did I know that, that particularly challenge would cause me quite a bit of soul searching, and quite a bit of pain that I had thought I had finally recovered from.  And yet still — I didn’t really do my research… 
     Then one day — from a combination of niggling questions from friends, coupled with warning from one specific acquaintance about the hazards of the Internet, and the way people can play games with other people’s heads and hearts — I got struck again by that horrible feeling of betrayal and paranoia thinking that one of my previous adversaries was playing me for a fool once again.  Of course, there were a couple of facts that should’ve convinced me that Matt was at least partially telling me the truth — but since when have facts ever convinced me when I’m in one of my high betrayed moods?  After getting my feelings of betrayal under control, I did the routine rudimentary searches and found the information on the net to be consistent with what Matt had told me so far, and when I re-remembered the story about the interview for the local television, I felt quite shamed that I actually did the rudimentary research that I had done because I simply didn’t take things at the face value my gut instincts had told me to do.
     I admit that it had taken me a couple of days to get over my issues of guilt and shame, but I eventually did.  While not quite feeling quite myself, I did feel just a little bit calmer and less paranoid, and justified that even the little work that I had done was sufficiently self-protective.  But because of it — I wasn’t entirely sure how to approach the issue of trust with Matt, whether I should continue to pursue (or back off), or whether I should simply let things go the way they are meant to go… 
     Then last night, as I was talking to Matt about someone that he seems to have the hots for — a friend of his back in his home state — it didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that there between him and his friend was an unresolved issue of attraction that he needs to face or resolve — no matter how it goes.  It also made me feel quite acutely after listening to him talk about his friend that I was nothing more than a consolation prize to him not getting what he wants from his friend.  So being the gentleman that I am — told him that he needs to resolve those unresolved feelings, because I refuse to be treated as a second prize.  Of course, he brought up a valid issue that I’ve been fighting with since the time that I discovered there was a mutual attraction — that being the age difference between the two of us. 
     When he had first dropped it into the conversation, I had thought that he was simply making excuses because of other issues that we had discussed, but I realize that perhaps he’s right.  Considering I am old enough to be in the ballpark of his parents, I could see how that could be viewed as problematic…  However, when I went to bed last night, coupled with my mulling it over this morning — I had seriously thought about writing him an e-mail to simply wish him the best in wherever he wants to go, and that I understand the issues that he faces when it comes to the age difference.  I think I might mull about it a bit more because some of the thoughts in my head that I want to put into the e-mail are still pretty half-baked and I’m sure that he’ll misconstrue them if I don’t carefully lay them out… 
     At least the only consolation I can give myself is that, I tried. 

     About the only thing worth mentioning this week was back last Sunday when I went to see my grandmother during one of my infrequent trips.  My grandmother had been in the Day Room sitting there watching something on television blankly and perked up when my aunt and I showed up.  While sitting in the Day Room — we had told her we’d collect something to drink and that we’d head over to her room to chat for a bit.  One of the other women in there — a former nurse of forty or so years, and now a resident at the Home was making a couple of pots of coffee for the nurses coming in for the evening, and had offered to pour me a cup. 
     Took her up on her offer, considering I was having one of my coffee-craving sort of days.  While pouring myself a cup, one of the other residents — a woman that’s rather well known to have Alzheimer’s rolls half-way into the break room/kitchenette pointing at me and saying loudly, "I know what you’ve been doing and you should be ashamed of yourself." 
     I raised an eyebrow, looked over to my aunt to looked at the woman in the wheelchair blankly for a moment.
     Without taking much of a breath, the woman continued, looking directly at my aunt, "Your husband’s been cheating on you." 
     My aunt and I both told the woman that I wasn’t my aunt’s husband, but nephew, and that it was impossible for me to be cheating on her, as her husband’s (my uncle was at home at the time). 
     The other woman once she had finished getting the second pot prepped, said, "You know you’re not supposed to be in here, please get out of here right now."  She looked over at my aunt and I and said, "Don’t mind her.  She hasn’t been upstairs for years." 
     I smiled and nodded, my aunt confirmed that she knew all about the woman in the wheelchair’s condition, and we took the drinks and my grandmother back to her room.
     But the woman in the wheelchair was relentless with this piece of news.  She had actually followed us back to my grandmother’s room saying loudly, "How can you do that to your wife?  You should be ashamed of yourself." 
     My aunt kindly shooed her out of the room telling her "This isn’t your room, you know the rules." 
     She continued, "And you’re fine with the way that he’s treating you?" 
     My aunt said, "No.  Who’s he cheating with?  Can you tell me?" 
     "You know," her voice drifted off insinuatively.
     "No I don’t.  Can you tell me who it was?"  My aunt turned around and looked at me and asked me, "So who are you cheating with on me?" 
     I had been thinking of my friend Jer in Utah and blurted out his name, chuckling at the surrealism of the moment. 
     "Look at him, he treats you like a dog, and you’re okay with it?"
     My aunt said, "yes, I’m perfectly okay with it.  Now run along.  You know the rules." 
     The woman rolled off, my aunt and I had a chuckle about it, my grandmother simply looked at us as though it was a joke she didn’t get, and we went about catching up with grandma on the things that have happened since the last time I had seen her. 

     Well, that’s about it for the time being…  Until the next time. 

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