memory ln


-- चार हजार दो सौ दो --

Last night was my one evening all week with no plans. Or the second one, I guess, if we count Sunday, which I spent with Shobhit pretty much all day at home after we went to see the wonderful Coco. I still don't know yet whether my afternoon or evening will have plans on this coming Saturday; it depends on what Ivan winds up planning with his new boy toy from Port Orchard -- expected to be their fourth weekend in a row hanging out together. He's already calling him his boyfriend, which I find a little naïve -- but then, Shobhit and I actually moved in together after only two and a half months. That said, I was sure as shit not calling Shobhit "my boyfriend" after only three dates, which we had within the space of about a week.

It is interesting to me how this guy Ivan's seeing is basically a long-distance relationship from day one, since Ivan has no car and the other guy works and lives in Port Orchard, a town that holds evidently zero appeal to Ivan, as does any small town. It may be only across the Puget Sound, but one or the other of them has to take a one-hour ferry ride for them to see each other. Thus, it takes four weekends in a row for them to see each other all of four times. I can't imagine it, but then, before I met Shobhit, I could never have imagined how his and my relationship developed either.

As it happens, yesterday I went into my LiveJournal archives and re-read my journal entry about when we had our first kiss, and also when we first got undressed together -- although it was another month or so before we had sex, thanks to my massive tentativeness about it at the time (an aspect of myself that is now, clearly, ancient history). We didn't even have oral sex that day in June, nine days after we first met. We just got naked and, you know, fondled, I guess. Anyway, re-reading that entry really brought back a lot of memories -- very fond ones, in fact, and a nice reminder of how I ultimately fell in love with Shobhit in the first place. I didn't even admit that to myself until Shobhit took his trip to India that summer, three weeks after we met, then was away for three weeks and I discovered how much I missed him already.

As a quick aside, I guess I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss Ivan's quickness to call this guy he's seeing his boyfriend; I only just now, while writing this, noticed this entry with a title that read, in part, Matthew's got a boyfriend. That was posted on June 28, 2004 -- precisely two weeks after we had our first date, which is one week less than it took Ivan to use the word. Granted, he used it after seeing the guy only three times, and Shobhit and I saw each other a few times more than that, but still. I need to remember that I have only my one experience with this to compare; unlike the vast majority of humans with a pulse, I have still only had one relationship.

And I was met with my share of skepticism as well -- including from my mother. Consider this excerpt from July 26, 2004:

A few weeks ago I was talking to my mom on the phone and I was telling her all about Shobhit, and how it consistently boggles my mind, the fantastic ways he treats me. When I told her, "He just adores me," I was somewhat surprised by her reply: "Do you adore him?"

The question took me aback a bit, and I paused. Then I said, "I don't know."

"Well," she said. "Then you don't."

I feel no such uncertainty anymore, however. Were I to be asked that question now, I would answer without hesitation, without having to think.

Absolutely. I do.

I read that yesterday, and now that it's thirteen years later -- I was still in my twenties then! -- something occurred to me that I clearly didn't think much on at the time: What the fuck did Mom know? Also, there's a kind of subversive, arguably shitty context to her making that declaration for me, "Then you don't." If I had the wisdom then that I do now, I would have known better than even to try to engage my mother about embarking on my first-ever relationship, one of the most transformative experiences of my entire life, a beautiful thing that should have made her happy for me -- because Mom's attitude about my gayness really never transcended tolerance. It barely qualified as acceptance, and when it comes to the entirety of who I am, she sure as shit has never celebrated it. It's why, even though I was still fundamentally disappointed when she quite characteristically weaseled out of attending our wedding in the end, I always felt it was for the best that she wasn't there. Absolutely everyone who was at that wedding was thrilled for us -- even Gabriel! -- and Mom would not have been. Neither would Shobhit's mother, incidentally, and she didn't come either. Ditto my brother, although I know his kids would have liked to come and they didn't get to.

Comparing one's own relationship to others is pretty much always a trap, but I can't help but think pretty regularly about the ups and downs of Shobhit's and my relationship and how it compares -- honestly, when all is said and done, I do feel what issues we deal with is very tame compared to many. Other people have far more volatile relationships than ours. On the other hand, there are those couples that seem contented with each other, all the time, and I often feel envy when I observe them -- which I know is foolish, because, I mean, how often do Shobhit and I display our problems when hanging out with other people? Those other people surely have their own problems which they just keep to themselves, and it's dumb to assume any kind of perfection on their part, or even that they're "better at it" than Shobhit and I are. And frankly I think that when it comes to true, long-lasting commitment -- in spite of how many times I have seriously considered ending things -- we are actually better at it than most. We're still going, after all, and now we're in our forties.

Of course, there are also people who wind up divorcing after thirty, forty years of marriage. It won't matter how long we're together, taking things for granted will always be a mistake. In any case, reading those old entries from 2004 was something I actually found helpful.

I can remember that first year, longing for the time in the future when we'd have settled into each other so long that there was a comfortably established history, and no more anxiety about whether we were going to last. These questions do still come up from time to time, but it's still different. The emotional roller coaster of being in a brand new relationship -- honestly, if I can avoid ever going through that again, I'd like to. I suppose that, depending on the circumstances, whether or not I should may be another question.

But, well, you know. So far, so good.

-- चार हजार दो सौ दो --


-- चार हजार दो सौ दो --

So anyway, I walked home from work yesterday, via Denny Way so I could stop by the library and pick up Sia's 2010 CD, We Are Born, because I wanted it but didn't want to have to pay for it. I paid for Sia's three most recent albums within the past two years, I figure she's got enough of my money for now.

Shobhit made a potato dish with tortillas that I ate way too much of for dinner, while we watched some Golden Girls on Hulu. I took a break from that when Shobhit fell asleep on the couch, and went to the bedroom to get started working a bit on the requisite year-end video retrospective of 2017 that I'll be posting on New Year's Eve. Shobhit woke up after a little while and I returned to the living room. We did the New York Times crossword puzzle. He made some Indian chai. We watched a few more episodes of The Golden Girls.

That pretty much sums up our evening, aside from the fact that for some reason both Shobhit and I had trouble sleeping last night. I slept for about an hour, very lightly, until Ivan got home from work an hour later than usual, at 11:40. He and Shobhit then had a conversation at normal volume that I could hear crystal clear, and woke me up even more.

Shobhit came to bed soon after, and he lay down for a while, but never did start snoring the way he usually does almost immediately -- often making me envious that he falls asleep so quickly. Not this time, though. After a little while he got up and went back out into the living room. I have no idea what time he finally came back to bed for good; I just know it was well past 1:30 a.m. before I finally fell asleep and did not wake up again. I seem to be doing okay today and not too tired at work, knock on wood, but this did result in my sleeping until about 5:35, twenty minutes later than ideal for me to get up. I left the condo at 7 a.m. and barely missed the #11 from the stop outside my building, so I walked downtown -- only to find a next bus was at least another five minutes to wait on Pike and 3rd and so I might as well just walk the rest of the way. So I did.

I always aim to get to work by 7:30 and today I got here at 7:50. It doesn't matter as much today though since I'll be here later than usual -- I'm meeting Mimi and Claudia for drinks at 5:30 and won't have time to go home and back down to the waterfront again. So it'll all basically even out in the end.

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[posted 12:18 pm]