Oh yes, I’m updating twice in one day. I started writing before and I was interrupted and then I lost my train of thought. I didn’t have a lot of time to sit around trying to get it back, so I just posted what I had.

For some reason, while I was in the shower, I remembered a guy who knocked on my door, one day, a couple of years ago. He was very polite and humble, and he told me how he had been laid off several weeks before. He had just found out that his young son was diagnosed with some bad terminal disease. I can’t remember what. He apologized for inconveniencing me, but said plainly, that he was out of options. His family needed money. I gave him the little cash that I had at the time.

I might have mentioned this before, but it comes up in my mind a lot. Whatever cash I usually carry on me is never a huge loss if I give it away. I could easily blow it on something stupid and useless, anyway. Why not let it benefit someone else? I say that just to deflect the “sucker” response. “Maybe he was lying. Maybe it was a con.” My thoughts regarding that are, “Who cares?” I’m not the kind of person who lets ideology get in the way of pragmatism. He needed, he asked. Maybe he felt he had to lie, maybe he didn’t.

But also, my gut told me that he wasn’t lying. He was clearly from my neighborhood. The place I live is working class to it’s core. It’s always been the part of the city where the laborer’s lived. The masons, the plumbers, the construction workers, the maintenance men. Drive through it and you will see Italian, Irish and Catholic influences on every corner, on nearly every street lamp. When people take on extra overtime to send their kids to private Catholic school, this is where they come home. Modest little houses, packed into tight rows, that were built over 100 years ago.

So, I knew, as soon as I saw his rough hands and work clothes, heard his accent; he’s from here, and his people are from here, and they were probably from here for generations. This is not the kind of person who would sully his neighbors with a lie.

Of course, the neighborhood is changing. Oh, it’s still all honest, hardworking laborers, but now they’re a different color. All those Irish and Italian people who worked so hard to give their kids a better life, succeeded. Their kids didn’t come back here to live. They went to “nicer” neighborhoods with big houses and big yards. They live where the public schools are good enough, so that they don’t have to send their kids to private school (but, they probably do, anyway).

Frankly, I welcome the change. My outward appearance might be all Ann Taylor and white collar job, but I’m still technically a minority, and I grew up in a ghetto. There’s something about being in room full of white people that always puts me a little bit on edge.

Adam often says that, too, which is funny, because he is actually 100% white. Although, comparatively, quite a bit darker than me because I’m one of the rare “people of color” that’s actually… well, whiter than white people. What, in the beauty industry, is called porcelain.

Which, kind of reminds me of something that happened to me today. I was at work, and I ran into a coworker in the kitchen. I smiled and said hello, and she excitedly did the same, and then she wished me a happy new year. I looked at her confused and asked her to clarify, and she cheerfully reported, “Your New Year!” and I responded, “Oh! Do you mean the Chinese New Year?” Still excited, she nodded emphatically, “Yes!”

That was the end of the exchange.

Afterward, I kept thinking to myself, “Did that really just happen?”

While, I think that if I were any other Asian ethnicity, it would be much more likely that I would celebrate Chinese culture, especially in this melting pot of a country, where being Asian is often enough of a commonality to forget what goes on back on the actual continent. But, I’m really the wrong person for that, especially given my especially crazy, crazy, crazy mother from a very old-fashioned family; meaning, I was never taught anything about any other culture.

Also, Asian pride does sort of nag me to say, “I’m so obviously Japanese! Look at my skin-color! Look at my bone structure!” When that’s kind of ridiculous, since some people out there can barely tell that I’m Asian, at all, but I must also add that those who are experienced in such things can tell that I’m Asian, and often get the country right.

Since I’m in a ranty mood, I may as well get off my chest the thing that interrupted me during my earlier entry writing. In this story, I will be forced to use initials. I apologize, but sometimes, it just has to be done. The reason I need to be discreet will probably be obvious, but once the pronouns start flying, it would get confusing without some kind of name placeholder.

So, anyway, I was quietly tapping away at my computer, when a friend of mine, H, sent me an IM. We only talk over IM because we’ve never met in real life. We’ve been friends for about a decade. We also have a mutual friend, A. I know A in real life, but H doesn’t. Careful, long-term readers are probably familiar with A. A is the person I mentioned a few weeks ago who was having tall girlfriend issues; meaning, his parents are superficial assholes.

The relationship ended a couple of weeks ago. He couldn’t take the conflict. He was fighting with his parents almost daily. He can’t cut them off because of a variety of financial and emotional reasons. He’s in too deep because he didn’t do something that most people do when they are in their late teens or early twenties. Most people, once they realize that they have totally insane and messed up parents will either stand up to their parents and force them to accept them as adults, or they’ll cut them out of their lives. A didn’t do either of those things, and now, approaching his mid-30s, is living with the consequences.

The ex-girlfriend, E, was heartbroken. She kept approaching him with phone calls, IM’s, asking him to go to the movies or out for coffee. The reason she kept on with it? He was receptive. He continued to be friends with her, allowing her to think there might still be a chance. I scolded him for stringing her along, and he responded that he wasn’t stringing her along. He said he’d made himself clear, but still intended to talk to her and go out with her on non-dates.

In my mind, that’s extremely cruel way to treat a person. When a person is in love, they don’t know what’s best for them. They’ll do harmful things, like see the object of their affection, even if that means irrationally dragging out the pain. The desperation that comes with love isn’t a defect, it’s human, and when we are that vulnerable, it’s up to those of us around us to gently guide us back.

Then today, H asked me if I’d heard anything from A about dating. I told him no, and H said that he asked earlier that day. He said that A told him that he spoke on the phone with E, but the call ended with her crying. She’s still heartbroken. H asked A if he had any affection for E, anymore, and A’s response was a very strong, “NO!”

His explanation was that she “Did something bad, and it turned him off. He would never be attracted to her again.”

I know this guy. As a matter of fact, I know this guy so well, that I’m sure that E didn’t do anything bad. I’m so confident in my assessment that she didn’t do anything bad, that I have no desire to find out what he thinks she did. I know that it will be stupid and petty, and it will frustrate me. This bad thing that she did, happened recently, weeks after their break-up, weeks after he strung her along, while she was still hurting and probably half-crazy with grief.

For awhile now, I’ve been kicking around the idea that A is gay, but he’s Catholic and conservative and his parents can’t even handle the idea that he might date a tall girl. For me, this about sealed the deal. He‘s gay, and he can‘t deal with it, and this is how he acts out… or maybe not.

Later, when talking to Adam about it, I asked him if he thought that maybe I was concluding that he must be gay because I can’t imagine why a straight man would be so cruel to his women? But, since when did being straight stop a man from being cruel to a woman?

Well… I continued.

“Here’s a man who was getting regular sex for the first time in his life! Why would any straight man give that up so quickly?” I asked him.

I went on to explain that their relationship ended well within the window of infatuation. Meaning, when we (as humans) first become infatuated with someone, that feeling euphoria usually lasts between six months and two years. It’s a state that is so outside of the normal human behavior that it is actually categorized as a form of temporary insanity. Then I asked him to remember the first time he was able to have a sexual relationship with a woman who was the object of his infatuation.

While that infatuation was going on, what were the chances that he would allow his parents to come between him and that person?

What do most people do in that situation? They don’t answer the phone. They close the door. They have sex until they’ve lost control of their extremities, only pausing for the occasional naked meal and nap.

Parents that don’t accept mates during this stage in a relationship are parents that seize to exist.

So, why, I asked Adam, would A cut off his relationship while this was still going on? I answered my own question, “He was never in love with her.”

Why was he never in love with her? Because he’s gay.

I know that’s a really odd conclusion, but, you have to know this guy. You have to know his history. If there was a poster boy for repression, he would be it.

This is someone whom most of his friends were fairly certain that he was still a virgin before he met E. The kind of guy where, for the first 33 years of his life, if he caught a glimpse down some strangers blouse, that qualified as his dose of physical intimacy.

If there was someone who desperately, desperately needed to have a long and intense affair, full of body-slapping, hyperventilating, animal-calling sex, it was him. And, if he were offered such a deal by someone of his preferred gender, he would, at the very least, let the infatuation play out. Even more likely, he would fall in love with this person for offering something that he’s been waiting to have, for approximately 20 years.

That was my reasoning.

I also concluded that this guy can’t be helped. I used to think he could be helped, but now I think he’s beyond help. It’s been too long, he’s too set in his ways.

As a matter of fact, when talking to H today, I said, “You know, I should really drop A as a friend, and be friends with E, instead.”

Oy. Ok, time for bed.

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Thursday, Feb. 03, 2011 at 11:22 PM