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.

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4

Anxiety Dreams

i woke up at 4:30 this morning from a dream in which, for the sake of some activisty project, my partner and i were moving into a new house, kind of in a garden, but not with other houses. Sort of aeon flux-y. Max from the L-Word is there and while i know my partner is there, shes’ not in the dream. she’s always just around the corner. As night falls we start closing the walls which are open, and made of canvas. and then slowly they materialize into glass walls and doors. But as the walls got more solid i realized that there are people coming in towards the house to out me and they have my real name and will out me to everyone in my life. Max is there to protect me but he can’t do too much because the house is made of canvas. My partner never comes out from around the corner.

There are things in my life other than my sometimes-closet. I mean, it’s really a small, though significant, portion of my life. And yet somehow it features regularly in my anxieties. I don’t know why.

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.

5

Fear volume 1 issue 2

Once again, it’s been nearly a month since I’ve written anything. Last time I wrote, it was about feeling like a crappy partner because I like to be alone sometimes, or because I just feel like a crappy partner. Now, I’m feeling very homesick and horrendous, so there is more whining afoot. Consider yourself warned.

I’m finding it difficult, also, to deal with negative feedback I get on this blog. There isn’t much. And it’s not overt. But there is the questioning of my life and decisions, occasionally, that makes me uncomfortable. Not because the questions shouldn’t arise, but because sometimes I wonder if I’m cut out for answering those questions. Questions such as

  • why are you whining about a relationship  when you went through so much to get it, and so did she?
  • how i read it: you broke up a het marriage, you ingrate, how dare you be anything but blissful after doing something so despicable.

This reading is my problem. It’s not what is said that I’m quarreling with here. It’s how I’m reading it. I must still feel guilty. Even though I haven’t go reason to, intellectually. I have no reason to because you can’t break up a marriage you’re not in. Lovely did that. Lovely wanted to do that.

But I feel the need to make a public defense of it because this is Pakistan and in Pakistan women should’t end marriages. Women should be grateful that someone married them in the first place.

That is also subtext. I live a very privileged life. I’m out to my friends. I’m comfortable in my sexuality.  God is kind to me. In my life, there is no overt demand on me for a) marriage to a man, b) gratitude for the attentions of a man, or c) harassment on becoming an ‘old maid’ no one will marry.   But my father wants grandchildren and a straight daughter from which they issue, and my partner’s family wants her not to live like a married person with another woman. If she does, she’ll bring shame. No one will marry her siblings. We’ll be stoned to death. Ad nauseum. Ad infinitum. Soon my father will add to this  a mix of difficulties that I can’t even predict yet. And I’m afraid of that. So, by extension, every bit of feedback that isn’t utterly supportive and woman-loving flowery yayful stuff makes me feel like dying.

That is entirely my problem. But I wish there was a way to get past it with other people. I mean, other than just me and Lovely and this blog. I wish there was some way to form a community around it so it didn’t just always feel like the hysterical edge of an abyss of badness.

There. Enough whine for you?

The purpose of this blog has been to out some struggles without outing me in a context where me being too out will not benefit me even a little. Outing the struggles serves only one purpose – finding people to engage them and so, make it easier for gay people to be gay in Pakistan.

7

Sometimes I Suck

Sometimes I suck at being in a relationship. Or having a partner. Or being one. Especially being one. Sometimes I suck at spending time with any person while at the same moment sucking at being alone. Sometimes I’m a miserable bastard. Sometimes I’m needy. Sometimes I’m angry for no reasons. Sometimes I’m all the colours of the dykorific rainbow in one.

It sounds like the I’m a bitch I’m a lover song by that horrible woman. Well. Maybe. My mom IMed me today and said, “You know, you haven’t told me what it’s like for you to be part of a couple.” And I thought, yeah. Well. I’m not good at it, am I? It’s not something I sing songs about.

It’s not about love. I love her to death. And it’s not about her at all. I’m 28 and I’ve been alone most of my life. Not a bad kind of alone, the kind of alone about which one goes “aw” or “fuck, what a whiner”. Just normal aloneness. Some people have a million people in their lives all the time. Some people don’t. I didn’t. So the day-to-day of partnership is weird. And I’m bad at it.

I don’t know why I feel like I need to blog abut it. Or that anyone will be interested. It’s not about The Struggle or anything. I’m not being especially interesting as the Pakistani Muslim dyke today.  I’m just, you know, me. Like this only.

I should talk about sex, maybe. That’s always entertaining.

Nah.

8

Reflux

Same fucking arguments over and over again. Same fight. Same questions. And we get excited for a day or two about us and all that we want to do together – and then again, the same arguments, the same anger, the same shit.

We’re going to have to leave the country. I’m afraid of that. The uncertainty of the future makes my belly bubble unpleasantly.

My girlfriend read my blog the other day and said I was colicky and complainy. Well, yeah, I am. I could write out what’s really going on with us, but that’s revealing details and the circles in which we move make up a tiny world. I want to say something else, but all I can do is sit with my family at Eid and miss her, wishing that when I said I was doing Eid with family, I meant her.

Some detachment would be … not nice exactly, but would bring ease. And detachment is impossible. Also, I’m just watching her deal with her family. When it comes to mine, it’ll be worse for me. Maybe. Different seat at the Bad Parade anyway.

There was a question embedded in a lot of comments to the Fear post a while ago: Why tell at all? Well, because we live those kinds of lives and have those kinds of relationships that not telling doesn’t work. Our family’s wouldn’t deal well with a lie. It wouldn’t survive long, and then things would be worse. Secondly, we’re raised in a time and mindset when “marriages of convenience” are anathema and we really do  think that we can have a better life than that. I pray we don’t get fucked over by that  hope, but honestly, I don’t think we will be. Which is to say, I don’t think our lives are in danger. I don’t think anyone will hurt us unless we attempt a pride march or go to a maulvi for a nikah. All the concerns are in a different layer: must we leave, can we ever come home again, how will we live when we do? Will Mom still love me, will Dad still respect me, can we ever sit together and talk about something else? Please can we talk about something else for a while?

Lovely’s dealing with a lot of shit right now and I’m not with her, because of Eid.  I feel like there’s a pendulum with a bowling ball at the end of it, whoomphing into my stomach every little while. It will be so until she calls.

Waiting for the day when this angst and hiding and fear won’t be necessary.