Friday, December 03, 2004

Defining intimacy.



1. Marked by close acquaintance, association, or familiarity.
2. Relating to or indicative of one's deepest nature: intimate prayers.
3. Essential; innermost: the intimate structure of matter.
4. Marked by informality and privacy: an intimate nightclub.
5. Very personal; private: an intimate letter.
6. Of or involved in a sexual relationship.


Two nights ago, after the David Yurman party, I called Black on the phone because, for whatever ridiculous reason, he thought that the party would be the first step to me getting some swanky new job in Manhattan. He thought it would be a way that we could hang out there, and he would have an excuse to come visit.

I had to call him and tell him to lower his expectations.

During the conversation, he also invited me to his parents' beach house, and we analyzed our relationship's intimacy - and what it meant.

We've decided that it's some form of courtship or romance, the sort of closeness that's heightened, not diminished, by our lack of physical contact.

Our personal boundaries aren't as restricting, for the physical boundary is already there.

This whole thing, though Black is not gay, reminds me of Welsh Guy. And I'm willing to accept it for what it is.

Earlier that night, eating fried green tomatoes with Solenn at Mick's, she asked me what I was looking for in a boyfriend.

I told her that I was looking for someone who wouldn't run away screaming.

I then mentioned that I've been sleeping with someone who I'm not really interested in seeing in public, someone I've known for a really long time, but not someone I would ever think of dating. I said I thought that might make me some kind of asshole, but she said that the guy I'm sleeping with understands and accepts the situation I present him with.

She asked me if I'd ever been in love before.

That's what got me thinking about Welsh Guy the night I spoke to Black.

Telling the story of Welsh Guy, Solenn identified with it, I think. How she left her home in France and her job because she wanted to be with CJ, how they'd grown closer through e-mails.

I know from experience how you can find yourself telling a perfect stranger things that you wouldn't tell someone you see everyday. How you can reveal your own idea of your "true self" to them.

Because the words are all you have to define yourself to them, you try to paint the most flattering picture possible, you gloss over in words the things you don't like about yourself.

It all feels so familiar when I'm talking to Black. We sit up some nights and just chat until we collapse.

We talk philosophy, love, television, books, sex, politics, deep thoughts and even some secrets.

We use the word "love." I love Black. He loves me.

But it's not sexual. It's personal, intimate yet real.

I remember when Black first told me that he was attracted to my personality. I freaked out. I wrote a really funny blog post about traipsing through fields of daffodils with him.

But he's still straight. And I'm still gay. And yet we have something that makes sense to us.

Months later - in fact, years into our friendship, I'm more comfortable with him. I feared that meeting him, which happened a couple months ago, would diminish that or hurt that. But it didn't.

We still talk until we're too tired to say anything sensible. He helps me. I help him, or I try to. We have our own jokes.

It reminds me of when I first encountered Welsh Guy on the Internet when I was 18 and had more secrets than I knew what to do with. So I typed them into a box to a stranger who was willing to listen. And it helped me. And, when I met him, we already knew each other well enough to immediately embark on knowing each other in a different way.

It worked for what it was.

I don't have a boyfriend, but I have these friendships, not just the one with Black, that have a level of closeness, trust and comfort.

I don't have to call these friends everyday or write these friends everyday, even though I sometimes do.

I know they're there. I know they're there because they want to be. And I know I'm not alone.

It's not wise, in the meantime, to continue the affair with someone I wouldn't want to see in public. I know that. And it's also not wise to continue pursuing whatever with a man who doesn't show he wants me.

But, for some reason, my whole situation doesn't seem dire or sad.

If I need the closeness and the love, I know where I can find it, I guess.