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Changing the world
one mind at a time
My internets are working again! 
31st-Jan-2007 11:03 am
My internet came back on about 10 minutes ago. As promised to the divine, here's the end result of my suffering without power and cable.

It is long, but it does has better explanations and apologies for folks like Joe, Chris, Dave, and Bob.

And more to the point, it was theraputic for me. It was good for me to go back and examine a really crappy aspect of my life and finally tell the truth as I remember it, and do so honestly. No more hiding behind "I'll look bad if I tell the entire truth".

So, withought further ado...

They ask the question in RENT…”How do you measure a year in the life“? I can’t measure very well in love…perhaps obsession, passion, and depression are the best way to measure.

See, the problem with the story I’m trying to type here is that it really doesn’t have a good start, and it’s very hard to tell chronologically, since the events, while now lost to the past, seemed to happen all at once, and were well clouded in alcohol, high blood sugar, and my own mental decline. I abused people’s trust in me, and to some extent I was used by others.

So, let’s begin.

To start as close to the beginning as possible, I need to give a synopsis of where my life was coming in to the story. I could just let you go ferret around the archives, but I feel it’d be a waste of time. We’ll start with the first time I met Brian. It was close to the end of my time at the house on Neil Ave. When Erin and Rich had decided they wanted to move, and I was NOT happy about it. (See, I can admit to my anger now. I think we managed to bury the hatchet at some point.) One of my greatest flaws in recent times is the desire for something permanent to live in. When I was living with Beth, I was doing everything to get out…Now, I find I hate moving. Maybe because there have been so few moves that have been fairly voluntary. We’ll come back to this in a while.

Ok, so Brian was a nice guy I met in Live Journal. He had a boyfriend, Connor, although they weren’t living together quite yet when Brian and I met the first time. Brian and I ended up cruising around the West End, pretty much bonding over the various shit storms in our lives of 2004. And I didn’t talk to him again for nearly a year.

During that time…let’s see, I moved in with Virginia and Rachel, which was…not fun. It added a huge commute to work to my life, the cats made my allergies act up, the cats shit everywhere but the litter box, there was no internet, and the furniture was Victorian torture devices. This was supposed to be temporary. Virginia and I had found an apartment we both loved that was literally a block away from my work, and close to her work. Problem being Virginia lost her job, and Rachel (or so I was being told) wouldn’t let Virginia out of the lease. One big clusterfuck, right?

Well, eventually, we did get moved in, although it had mainly to do with the fact I had the money for both first month’s rent and the security deposit. Which tapped me out financially for a week, but I had it. So, we moved in on Halloween of 2004. While I waited for the utilities to get installed…(This took a while as I recall. I had to leave work to meet the gas guy, and the cable guy was about 6 weeks getting us hooked up. I can probably go check those numbers, but it did take for fuckin’ ever.) So, I had my internets back, an apartment I loved, and a dog I adopted for my birthday that year. Problem was Virginia and I weren’t exactly getting along that well.

In hindsight, I see better what was going on and can understand a bit better. First off, I know she didn’t like the commute to her new job from the new place. (There was no good way to get to Easton from Campus.) The only thing we had in common was her boyfriend. We didn’t have a router, so we were sharing my computer. And I know she and Chris were not exactly fighting, but there were issues. And those issues blew up right after Xmas. (And dear readers, that blow up is none of my business. And I did try my best to warn her about some of it, but all of it falls squarely on their shoulders. And none of it is my business anymore.)

So, anyway. One way or another, Brian and I ended up meeting again, this time with the famous Connor. And over time, they started introducing me to their friends. Chris and Dave. And eventually Paul. I’m skipping around in time here a bit, since I really honestly don’t remember a hell of a lot about this period. I know I ended up auditioning for CGMC in early January of 2005, which was exciting. And one of the few times I really was getting along with Virginia during the winter. The drama hadn’t quite exploded yet.

And CGMC helped me a lot. Mind you, it took me a very long time to warm up to people. But it helped a lot. At that time, I was having job related issues (speaking of drama, Papa John’s hadn’t quite become hell on Earth yet, but it was closing in on it. Jonda got knocked up somewhere in here, Jenny came back and her drama was never ending, and Karen was…well, Karen. Bill didn’t join the happy family until later, but he soon got caught in the dance.) Any rate, I was the opening manager, and while I was happy, events were conspiring to knock me out of the loop. But that fall comes later. Suffice it to say, I just had to work out a Sunday schedule that got me out in time to walk Claire, shower, and catch a bus. (Virginia stopped offering rides after about rehearsal number 2 due to 24 being on.) This got rough as time went on, since no one wanted to work Sundays, and when they finally stuck Karen with it (since Jenny wouldn’t show up until 7 or 8 and heaven forbid Jonda work Sunday), Karen took her good sweet fucking time taking over the shift. Hit a point where the second Karen showed, I did shift change and ran. I really didn’t give a fuck. (I wouldn’t have been so annoyed, but choir was one of the few things keeping me sane. Even if tech week did make me more insane. And given how much I covered for everyone on the management team, I really still feel they could have cut me a break. All water over the dam now, but I still feel a bit bitter.)

Ok, so let’s glaze over January through March.. Work sucked, but we somehow managed to get Real Lives produced,. Then we started getting ready for Reel Voices. Work was still ok, although I do believe it was during this period I started hearing mumblings from night shift about what was going on. I even started getting help on some of the opens, which lead to gossip.

Enough about Papa John’s. For the sake of this narrative, let’s just say my job satisfaction kept getting lower and lower gradually. It got really fucking horrible around my birthday, and hit rock bottom around April 2006. And I will admit for the record, yes, I can claim partial responsibility for that, but there were other mitigating factors. And to be honest, I should have left a few months before I did. It would have saved everyone a lot of heartache.

Ok, ANYWAY. Around March it was fairly obvious Virginia wanted out, lease or no lease. And she was starting to refuse to pay her share of the bills. Gas got shut off in April, and the other bills kept getting paid late. (Mind you, everything was in MY name. which was really starting to honk me the fuck off.) This falls under the whole explosion I mentioned earlier. When Virginia was home, I wished she wasn’t. When she wasn’t, I’d wonder how long before I came home to find her gone, stiffing me for everything.

Somewhere in here, Brian and Conner invited me out for dinner at BD’s Mongolian BBQ with Dave and Chris, and two bears visiting from Pittsburgh. Paulo and Harry. I’m currently writing this without internet, so I can’t go check dates, but I’m sure most of this is posted back there. It was a fun evening.

So, I had the hell that was work and home, but I was starting to slowly develop a social life with friends outside my normal circle and through choir.

Let’s move forward to Memorial Day weekend. This would be towards the end of Reel Voices, but Harry and Paulo were in town visiting again, and I think John dragged along that time. Hmm, let’s see…this was when Chris and I had the famous make out session that came from nowhere. And I think this is when I met Paul’s mother. Hell, I dunno. ( I really wish I had my net back, I remember the posts I made about this stuff, but I don’t remember the chronology.)

Ok, so anyway, that set up the whole dating Chris, even though nothing happened beyond making out. (These days I understand better his reasoning. And I agree. Sleeping with someone you don’t love almost never leads to love.) This was also about the point my drinking started getting more frequent. Between Virginia and her absence and telling me she wanted to move as soon as possible, work hitting summer, the concert coming up, and a boyfriend who wasn’t putting out (Yeah, I’m superficial. Get over it.), I wasn’t having a good time of it.

The only reason I mention the drinking getting started in here is that this is when I really started getting to know Matthew and Robbie. I knew Rob from chorus, and Matthew was his boyfriend. Right before Orchestral, I ran into them on the bus. I ended up meeting them at Club 20 that night, and that set up later events.

Quick aside here. From what they told me later. Rob and Matt at the time had a very bad living situation at the time. The guy they were living with wanted them for three ways, and was overcharging them. And they were looking for a way out.

About this time also, the weight loss was becoming noticeable, and I was pissing a lot. I didn’t start getting the fungus infection until late June, but there was something wrong, I just chose to ignore it.

So…I told Matt and Rob if they had no other option, I was going to lose my roommate, and they were welcome to come live with me. Which they did, even if it took forever to get Miss Virginia moved out. (She took a page from my early 20’s playbook and more or less moved without taking any of her stuff. Unlike me, she bitched when we took the liberty of moving it for her.) Think they moved in beginning of July.

Paulo moved to Columbus to start looking for work not long after this all started. Harry was staying in Pittsburgh until Paulo got settled, but coming down on weekends on occasion. I’m trying to remember the timeline here, which is difficult without access to my archives. Drinking made my inhibitions go away, I was finding that flirting with and tormenting Paulo was more fun than trying to get Chris to get horny…

Ok, I remember going to Origins with Doug and Phil that year. That was when I bought the jock itch cream. But I think Pride was the week before. Pride was fun. I danced my way from Com Fest to Pride Fest, thanks to not being on the float, so I was with the girls on the street. We were the first act on stage at the park, which was amusing. Ever try singing right after marching a parade?

Pretty much my entire social circle was there. Harry and Paulo tried to get me to take off my shirt, but I’m self-conscious about that kind of thing. (Seriously. Pale as death, no definition, and surrounded by twinks and gym bunnies. If I had fur, I might not have felt as bad, but….)

Think we wound up at Woof’s later that evening. Which means I was drunk.

Ok. I remember Origins. And I’m pretty sure I discussed with Doug and Phil some of what was going on. I don’t remember what if any event I did that year. Probably Dread, and Toon. Fuck if I remember.

Now, somewhere during this summer, (drinking weeknights at Club 20, drinking weekends at Woof’s, spending Sundays at CD rehearsal) there are a few nights at Woof’s that bear mentioning. One night was the night I was trying to figure out whether or not to pursue Chris or respond to Paulo’s interest. That was the night they played “Send Me a Lover” by Taylor Dane. (For those who didn’t know, that was my long time spell focus for trying to get a bar hookup.)

And the night Gossamer Chris (Virginia’s now kind-of-ex-boyfriend) and I wound up at Woof’s, when I got drunk and blew Paulo twice on the front patio. (Did I mention I was drunk?)

Ok then. At some point, via Live Journal, I talked with boyfriend Chris, trying to figure out if there was hope or not. Which, to be honest, there really wasn’t. Thankfully, Chris is a hell of a lot more understanding than I would have been in his shoes. (I’m a Scorpio. He’s a Cancer.)

I got Paulo a job at Papa John’s as a driver. That didn’t last very long, but it did get him some cash. It also gave me an excuse to hang out with him.

And one of those nights, Paulo told me he had permission to do everything but anal with me. And I was sort of happy. (These were the rules. If one of them wanted to have sex with someone other than the other, they needed permission. And the silly part is I was the one trying to obey the rules.) Sort of happy because when it became obvious I was gonna follow the rules as defined, Paulo got dressed right after he came. No waiting on me to finish, just got up and got dressed.

And the bastard promised that there would be another occasion. And I took him at his word. (And yes, there was a second time, right before I moved to Old Town East. Nearly a year later. One which I rather assume he didn’t have permission for. But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

Any rate, my conversations with Paulo rather centered on sex. He was the one who kept pointing out of I wasn’t satisfied with Chris I should break it off before it got to a point where friendship couldn’t be saved. I remember us hitting some kind of Bear Buffet at Tradewinds, which is when I met Bob for the first time. Now, the most I knew about Bob at that point was that he’d dated Dave, and was pretty much anathema to everyone. He seemed nice enough to me, and I didn’t particularly see what the big deal was.

Ok, complete aside here. Been re-reading what I’ve written so far. And let me say that I in no way mean to portray Paulo as the villain in this little psychodrama. Paulo was and is a fairly nice guy. I mean, yeah, I place some blame at his feet, but I honestly feel all of us got caught up in the dance. I shoulder a lot of blame for everything that happened later, but also, there were a lot of mixed signal going around.

Ok. I think it was the night I met Bob or not long after that I ended up accompanying Paulo back to Pittsburgh.

I understand Harry’s position, being a few hours away from your SO sucks. I understand Paulo’s desire to see his SO. And I volunteered to go along for a few reasons. I knew Paulo hated driving alone. The only other time I’d been to Pitt was with Evil Kris, and that particular trip, while quite a story, didn’t really let me get to know the city. And yes, to a very limited degree, there was the possibility of being a third party with Paulo and Harry. Which Paulo had been telling me was a good possibility. I went fully knowing that it probably wasn’t going to happen while we were there. I had no problem with this. As I have stated, I went as a friend. And I had a good time.

So, now that the cats out of the bag, let’s discuss some feelings and motivations here. After the one time Paulo and I did something beyond flirting, I was lead to believe that Paulo and Harry were thinking about adding me as a third. And at the time, it’s what I thought I wanted. (I’ve had confirmation from outside parties who were observing the situation that, at the very least, Paulo was grooming me to be at least a second. ) As for my motivation in all this.. Hmm. With Paulo, there was a very animalistic attraction. With Harry, I was intellectually attracted to him. And the fact that the attraction was reciprocated was a very new experience for me. Up until that point, it was very odd for me to be attracted to someone who was attracted to me. I remember the absolute low point for me was this Gawd Awful hookup with a guy named Jeremy I met via Bear411. I mean seriously. He smelled bad, he had a stubby penis, his ass hadn’t been properly wiped in probably a month. And he wanted to top. Which yeah, I will bottom for some guys, but I have to trust them. And never on the first meeting. Jeremy seriously gave off this vibe of … sickness? Best way to describe it. And he wouldn’t take a hint, even after I kicked him out of my apartment. He’s like the only person I’ve ever perma-banned on any service.

My drinking was also getting worse and my sugar was skyrocketing, even if I didn’t know it. I remember going to an AA meeting, and about halfway through, thinking “This isn’t for me.”

Ok. So, finally Harry moved to Columbus. Going on what Paulo was saying, I, like an idiot, went out of my way to try and get Harry to warm up to me. Which didn’t work. I’ll admit to shitty judgment here. But I was acting on things as I understood them to be, rather than how they were.

Hmm, trying to separate two different bar trips. I know one night we wound up at Hound Dog’s Pizza after the bar, and I was drunk off my ass to the point of not being able to stand up. This was after Virginia was gone and Matt and Robbie had moved into her old room. And I remember Paulo helping me get home, since I couldn’t face the pizza. And I remember telling him on my front porch that I had the reverse Midas touch, everything I touch turns to shit. And I think I told him something along the lines of I loved him. (ALERT!) And it’s probably true, I did care for him. But whether or not in my inebriation I managed to get out “I don’t want to fuck things up between you and Harry”, I don’t remember. Which is how I felt, at least when I was sober. I realized on some level that what I wanted wasn’t going to be a reality. Harry wasn’t as interested as I was lead to believe he was. And my feelings weren’t going to help anything.

And to this day, I wish I’d kept my drunk mouth shut. It may have at least kept the explosion down a little bit.

Because, as I recall, next was the trip to Woof’s from hell. I wish I would have been alert enough to catch the “Don’t come tonight” vibe. Because, when I got down there, I got my very own Greek Chorus. Accusing glares as a bunch of folks moved inside while I was outside, and more glares when I went inside and they moved outside. This would have been funny under other circumstances. To be honest, all I really wanted to do was apologize for my behavior. As it turned out, I ended up going home with Joe, a very nice gent I’d met via Bear411. (And may I add, Joe, if you read this, I’m so happy you met someone. I always felt guilty about the fact that when we met, I wasn’t in a good space, and when we met again, I was in a worse place.)

And then I found out Harry was mad at me. Well, mad is an understatement. I believe he loathed me. And I will be honest and admit I couldn’t figure out why. I posted to LJ, I e-mailed…And I found out that it was construed that I had been fixing to try and get Paulo to dump him for me. Or at least that’s how I interpreted his response. Which I in turn e-mailed him and tried very hard to explain I had been under the impression I was being groomed as a third party and that my interest was in both him and Paulo. And I don’t think he believed me. And by that point I didn’t really care. I was crying every night, and telling myself that I’d get through it. It wasn’t the first time something I said or did was construed as betrayal. And yeah, I have my regrets about that as well. (On the bright side, I found out later that a certain Quinn Parks had been stabbing me in the back which lead to the worst of it, but my hands weren’t all that clean to begin with.)

Well, anyway, I talked to Bob on Bear411 one night about all the shit that was going on. Which lead to 2 hours on the phone. Which lead to meeting at Club 20. Which lead to me going home with him. And I’m not following that chain any further. Well, somehow, it got back to Dave that this had happened. And given I know of a whopping 2 people who knew besides me, I can only presume who the bearer of bad tidings was. (And Dave, if you’re reading this, I am sorry. I wasn’t thinking, and I didn’t realize.)

So, for those of you who remember my late 2005 posts of “If you’re going to remove me, please do so now”, that was the end result of all this. I managed to lose many of the people I thought of as close friends. And yes, I probably had it coming.

And in October, I got diagnosed diabetic. And that’s really when I started getting sober again. Once I quit drinking so much and got my sugar under control, I could finally get control of my life going again. Sort of.

To fast forward a bit, mainly because most of you never really heard much of this, Matt and Robbie moved out on New Years. Without paying their bills. My old computer started dying, and then finally did die. My Papa John’s hours kept getting cut. My cable (which I had been paying off) got shut off. About the only thing I could keep semi-current on was electric, and even then I had to borrow money from mom at one point to pay $30 to keep it from getting shut off. And Mom pretty much paid my rent from February through May. About the only thing that kept me sane through that period was Claire. I left Papa John’s in April and joined the UDF family. That helped, it was good to have hours again, even at a lower pay rate.

And as I mentioned before, there was one night before I left my old apartment when Paulo dropped by. Actually, I think I saw him twice, and talked to him a few times via cell phone. He told me he was sorry and that he’d never been mad at me. Which was good to hear. Problem being that last visit, which turned into a make out session. I can laugh now, since I excused myself to walk Claire. I had walked Claire about 10 minutes before Paulo arrived; I just wanted a reason to get away from him for a few minutes to figure out if this was what I wanted. Which meant calling Robbie from my cell and saying “I have a horny Paulo in my apartment, do I kick him out or go for it?” Robbie, whom I had woken up said, “Um, girl…uh…up to you. If you’re horny go for it. Just give me details tomorrow at work.”

And so, figuring that no one could hate me any more than they already did, I went for it. Which is how I managed to get a Guinness cap, since he left it in my boudoir. The irony here is that to me, it seemed the roles were reversed. My feelings toward Paulo were nowhere near as strong as they had been 6-8 months earlier, whereas he was all touchy-feely and made sure I came before he got dressed. Actually, we cuddled a bit, and I got dressed first.

Any rate, that’s where the story ends. The rest of it is pretty much I moved to Old Town East, and wound up leaving for Missouri from there. Yeah, there’s drama there, but most of it has been discussed to death.

And maybe that’s why I was sent to MO. Distance in time and space has given me a chance to process a lot of this, and even earned me a few apologies from people. And I in return have apologized for the people I’ve hurt. And maybe now I can move on with my life, wherever the
(Deleted comment)
31st-Jan-2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
Well, when it was going on, I really didn't want to talk to anyone about it. I mainly just gave edited accounts to a few people who were trying to figure out my withdrawel:(
1st-Feb-2007 02:45 am (UTC)

I would like to talk to you sometime. Clear up some of the crap from 2005. I had hoped we could've reconnected some after the 70's concert, but you moved away shortly there after.

Give me a call or drop me a line. If you need the contact info, let me know.

(My house is much emptier now that a certain couple have moved out.)
1st-Feb-2007 03:43 am (UTC)
I *think* I still have you in my AIM/Yahoo list, even if I don't log on that often. (Seem to have picked up a few folks who want to talk to me that I don't want to talk to that much, thus why I don't normally log in before midnight.)

I may have your number in my cell, I need to double chack.

My email is still gangrel_pri@yahoo.com.
1st-Feb-2007 02:50 am (UTC)
James, you don't owe me an apology. If anything I owe you one. My relationship was over with Bob, and I shouldn't have had the knee-jerk reaction that I did... I'm sorry. I never knew so much was going on in your life...
1st-Feb-2007 03:46 am (UTC)
Well, still, I should have known better at the time. But hindsight is 20/20.

In all honesty, at the time, I thought it was related to the other drama;)

But yeah, getting somewhere close to drama-free took a very long time and a lot of distance. and a lot of it was self-inflicted. This is kind of like my own 12 step program...finally dealing with shit I handled really badly and doing my best to make amends, even 2 years after the fact.
1st-Feb-2007 05:53 am (UTC)
Gah. Quinn Parks, if karma is real, will be reincarnated as some cute fluffy animal like a mouse or bunny that gets sent to an LD 50 lab to die from mascara poisoning or some other form of torture.
1st-Feb-2007 06:20 am (UTC)
Him and Chevy Hoover both. remind me to drink a toast to their health when they die.
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