2

This.

I wish you loved people who really listen to you. Listen to your silences as well as the things you said. Waited for you to come to it – whatever it is. Had the time, really, for you to be you. We’re not all the same speed. Thank God.

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5

Things to Do While the Cat’s Away

  1. Realize that your partner is not actually a cat, nor are you any kind of mouse-type person.
  2. Take no longer than 6 hours to realize also that, in fact, all that notion of partying while the cat/partner’s away is total bollocks because all you’re really going to do is more of what you already do while she’s at work, ie. sit around in your underpants eating mangoes and watching shows you’ve already seen.
  3. Start working 9 to 5, to the bafflement of yourself, your family, your friends and, most of all, your co-workers, who only expect you to come in when your livelihood or your favourite thing ever (this week) is under threat.
  4. Watch some more shows.
  5. Imagine how you will rearrange the furniture while you wait for a new episode of Castle or Vampire Diaries to buffer.
  6. Send your partner disgustingly googly email messages.
  7. Try to contact your partner, fail to connect, miss her call, call her back, miss her again, go to bed frustrated and with your eyes twitching from too much Vampire Diaries.
  8. Go to bed at midnight, that is. Not at 5a.m. like you used to when your partner was there sleeping consolingly next to you and you could get yelled at in the morning for fucking up your sleep cycle and managing to never spend more waking time than sleeping time together with her in any given day.
  9. Write really long convoluted sentences.
  10. Wake up at 8a.m. to drag your sorry, lonely, pointless ass to work so that you can feed your new and necessarily short-lived vanila-9-to-5-office-going fetish until you can’t stand your own pale tasteless waste of a life anymore.

Yes, I know she’ll be back in a week. Fuck off.

3

Love Dhakka

lovedhakka

Penny Mathews

This is a crap culture to fall in love in. I kind of get why people will voluntarily go for arranged marriages. There’s no place anywhere to troll for potential mates. Gay men, you would think, have it easier, but actually, while gay men have a lot of places to find sex, there aren’t that many avenues for true love, or even true-enough love, in our culture. There is, however, a lot of fucking and running.

With straight people, there are more avenues – you can go out on dates and have relationships that are acceptable in culture. But even there, you have to fit a very narrow, tight definition of “girl” and “boy” to be successful, and that success tends to be outward more than inward. Macho guys and girlie girls. No variations allowed.

It’s luck and patience, finding a partner in love, and really hard work sticking together. And I think that’s true for gays, bis and straights – here anyway.

2

It’s the fall that’s gonna kill you.

Mattox

Polyamory is a difficult thing. It makes a sort of sense, in that it makes sense to me that it is possible to fall in love with multiple people. I have fallen in love with multiple people, but I can’t imagine being in multiple relationships.

My partner can, and is. And that can be hard. Because it’s all about balance.

I’m a jealous person. I can handle jealousy, within certain limits. She used to be a jealous person. She isn’t anymore. Which is to say, she has defeated jealousy almost completely. Not me. I can be jealous and then watch my jealousy and laugh at it. And then there’s a level of jealousy where I can be jealous, not see it and act really weird. And finally, there’s the jealousy that I can feel it, I can recognize but I cannot laugh off.

These days I’m oscillating between the funny jealousy and the gut removing jealousy. And the period of oscillation is quite short, making me really queasy through the whole process. What do you do when your tolerance is… no, actually, what do you do when your jealousy is really being held in by a well-used rubber band of tolerance, and sometimes it contracts and sometimes it expands, and you don’t know if you’re being squeezed or exploding?

We learn early that fidelity means monogamy, and it means particularly monogamy between married people, and it’s  based on the stars-in-your-eyes love that you fall into when you’re young and that’s supposed to carry you through to old age when you’re toothless and adorable. It means that you’ll never look at another, or look and think, “Ah, well,” and smile fondly at your partner, and that’ll be that.

But that’s not fidelity. That’s monogamy and romance, and it’s a bit of a dream. Which is not to say that monogamous couples don’t live lives of fidelity among themselves. But the whole picture is one of those white lies you get told as a child, like Santa, except no one disabuses you of it when you’re older. No one says, yes, that would be nice, but there’s a lot of cheating going on in the most peaceful-seeming marriages, and there’s a lot of lying, and spouses fart a great deal and sometimes, just sometimes, you get so annoyed with how your spouse pick his teeth or how she hums her songs that, for a split second, you do contemplate blunt-instrument murder.

Fidelity is this: I love you how you are. And I will stay with you for the rest of life, provided you stay honest with me, and I stay honest with you, and you tell me when you hate this, and I tell you when I hate this. And you don’t hurt me on purpose and you’re sorry when you hurt me on accident. And I don’t hurt you on purpose and I’m sorry when I do it on accident. You are first in my heart. And everything else is window-dressing, or negotiation, or outside expectations, or somewhat painful each-other-discovery.

Fidelity is that I chose you because of who you are as whole and who you might be, and no your happiness is first in my heart.

3

Coming out again and again and again

I’m visitig family these days and my cousins, all of whom are younger, all have significant others. The youngest is 16 and he’s got a new girlfriend he’s terribly excited about. The oldest is 20 and has bee with the same guy for at least 4 years. All my cousins, despite my secret predictions, are straight (so far, anyway). And the whole famikly is really open to them being in relationships that are probaby quite physical.

I’ve been feeling awkward and strange since I got here because I can’t talk about Lovely to any of them. Not that I couldn’t come out to this side of the family: I could. But my mom doesn’t want me to because I’ll leave and then she’ll have to deal with making sure my aunt doesnt’ blab to my grandparents (who really can’t handle it and shouldn’t have to, I guess) and the low grade generica homophobia that is going to come from them. It wouldn’t be fair to my mom and it would be a huge family event and so, yeah, I shouldn’t tell them.

And yet. My aunt, my oldest cousin, her boyfriend and I went out for a late night dinnery snacky thing last night and my aunt asked me if I was being fixed up back home. I talked like it was completely normal and I talked about not having a boyriend and not wanting to get married any time soon (not exactly true, the marriage thing, but what can you say if you haven’t got a boy). In short, I acted totally straight and it didn’t even ruffle me, I didn’t even stumble over it. I just had a deep urge to say, well, I do have someone and she’s awesome. I had a deep urge to say, well, my father does try but the reason he’s being as weird as I’m describing to you is not because he’s old fashioned but because I came out to him and he wishes I wasn’t in a relationship with a woman. I wanted to say all these things and I was unable.

I suppose it’s easier. Or better. Or something. I feel like I’m betraying Lovely every time I hide our relationship from someone. Because, barring the most difficult, dangerous situations, she would want to be out. She is less out than she wants to be because of me.

Once upon a time, for a very short time, we were living abroad and we were out to everybody. And that was good. I didn’t understand a year ago when I finally made contact with some queer women in Lahore why they felt like it was so hellish to live there, even when they had some support, like we do. Now I’m sort of getting it. Maybe we should move.

Anyway. I wish I could tell my family. I think they’d take it in their stride. Weird stride, but still.

16

It’s comin’ on

Lovely and I have been together for over a year and a half now. Our lives are great, ma sha Allah. We have our own place, we have our friends that we are out to, we have family support – hers more supporting than mine, oddly enough (probably the baptism of fire thing). We’re both working and making some money, we’re both saving and buidling our lives. We have a tv where we watch the horrible news of our lives; we have warm blankets to sleep under; we have a housemate who adores us and whom we adore. Her family sends over food regularly, since they nearby. Life is good, alhamdu lillah.

So we’re starting to organize around queer issus. Right now, we’ve set up a semi monthly meeting of queer folk. We had our first one last week and it went oddly, but well, I think. The next one is middle of next week.

It’s scary. You don’t know who all the people are and you don’t know who to trust. And they don’t know if they can trust you. That’s probably our greatest asset, in the end – mutual distrust.

I don’t know what we’re building, but we’re building.

4

Full Disclosure

I’m a big fan of full disclosure. And honesty. I think honesty is great, particularly when your loved ones are involved.

However, I’m also becoming a fan of the doctrine of need-to-know. For example, does a parent need to know that the child’s first kiss was in the pre-teen years? Not from the child’s perspective, no. Does a lover need to know that, far back, before history was invented, you slept with six people at a time, and liked it? No. Why? Because it makes your tummy rumble in a bad way and causes incontinence and lack of sleep.

I was going to fess up my relationship with Lovely to my beloved parent. The one that doesn’t know. And then, in the presence, as it were, I realized: the ways in which said parent does not need to know this! I mean, the ways! And I don’t need the pain and aggravation of arguing daily, weekly, monthly about what a terrible idea it is, how bisexual meant MAN, dammit! and all that stuff.

So I’ve decided, for now, that no one else needs to know. And after five days of insomnia, depression, crying fits and general pissing my pants, last night I slept like a baby cradled in the arms of this decision. Today I jaunted merrily with the parent. Tomorrow, we’ll talk philosophy. And if it ever becomes necessary to fess up, I shall. But not out of some random adherence to the integrity of the relationship. Not torturing the parent with things that the parent cannot control is also chock full of integrity.