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Archive for the ‘Introspection’ Category

Tomorrow is the new year.  For some reason, for the first time ever, the prospect of the new year excites me.  It’s not that I have dreaded the future before, nor that I’m eager for this year to be over.  I just never before saw any significance to the changing of a number at the tob of the calendar.  Regardless of the reasons theologically and scientifically for what the number is and when it changes, from a human perspective, it’s completely arbitrary.  Dec. 31 2008 is no diferent from Jan 1 2009.  If you lived in a cave in the middle of nowhere without a calendar, you wouldn’t notice anything changing between those two days.

But this year I’m looking forward to it.  Perhaps because of all I’m planning.  Even when I was in college, I had no plan beyond being in college.  Now I’m working towards a goal.  Even if that goal changes.  I may not take myself to England soon (on a permanent basis, anyway) for the sake of the new relationships I’m hoping to form here, but I still plan to get new computer training, advance my career, and form a deep relationship with a boy.  These are good plans, and I can only do so much to fulfill them on this side of the divide, and so I’m eager for the new year.

But that’s not why I started this entry.  It’s probably better than what follows, but…shrug.

Yesterday the cute tray taker was back.  I walked by his station several times (of course) and a few times I caught the sound of his voice.

It’s lovely.  I wrote before that it was unchanged, but I was struck yesterday more strongly by its sound for some reasons.  Every time I heard it my chest got tight, and I had the urge to close my eyes and just listen.  Very musical.  I think it all the time of other people, but he sould be a singer.  Not that he has much time left unless he’s like my two friends from back home who’s voices simply never changed during puberty.

Yesterday I was offered an extra shift.  As I was folding napkins, the scheduling manager came up to look at the schedule on the wall, seeking some people to take a last ninute shift.  She asked if I could, but I couldn’t.  Actually, I could have, I just didn’t want to.  But later that night I picked up a gig that would have conflicted anyway, so it’s a good thing I said no.  $250 for this concert.  (Tomorrow)

After I told her I couldn’t do it, she mentioned that she didn’t want to just post the shift for anybody to take, since the event was for a personal friend of the owner and she wanted to pick good people to work it.

So apparently, she trusts me.  Consideres me one o fthe better servers.  I’d been starting to suspect that anyway since she schedules me so often and is unhappy when I request off, and just generally the way the management acts toward me.  But it’s nice to have it a little more confirmed.

The thing is, I don’t like this job, as I have made clear.  Not only that, but I don’t feel particularly good at it.  I’m often among the last servers to get tables clear, I wander around before and after events, not really sure of what I’m supposed to be doing.  I’m glad they think I’m good at it (and maybe I am and my standards are just higher than theirs) since I hope to get a positive work refference from them when I quit in the very near future.

I’m done.

Seeing Sissy tonight before rehearsal.

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I just rewatched Dear Frankie.  I’d guess it’s the fourth or fifth time I’ve watched it, but it’s been a while since the last time.  I wish I could come up with words to truly describe how the movie makes me feel.  But the emotion is too raw, too primal, too pure to be accurately intellectualized.  I’ll try my best though.

In some ways the movie seems perfect to me.  Perfectly told, for one.  It follows my old acting teacher’s plot model.  Stasis-conflict-stasis.  It starts with Lizzie, Lizzie’s mother, and Frankie moving yet again, continuing to live in limbo.  Suspended fear.  With the discovery that Frankie’s fictional father’s ship is about to arrive in the town they just moved to, Lizzie suddenly has to produce the man.

With the introduction of the stranger hired to be Frankie’s father, things start to change.  Well, they started to change with the epiphany earlier.  The introduction is the change.

I don’t feel like continuing the plot analysis.  It’s not what I started for anyway.  Watch the movie.  It’s good.

More than being a perfectly crafted story that ties up all its loose ends while still leaving delicious questions, it feels like a perfect picture of boylove.  It’s odd since the stranger isn’t a boylover, but in a way that adds to the perfection.  It’s a story of a man and a boy who are unrelated and don’t know each other, yet still the man comes to love the boy.  Adding even more to the story’s relevance, the relationship is born out of a lie.  Beauty out of ugliness.

I think that the…not really emotion, but…it’s a word used in the sims…motives!  The motive that…motivates is need.  Both for the movie and for boylove.  Needing, being needed, and needing to be needed.  Frankie needs a father.  He has love.  His mother, grandmother and even neighbor love him.  So does the girl in his class.  But they’re all female.  Frankie has been exchanging letters with his “father” for years, and is partially satisfied in that, but he needs to connect with him in a more real, concrete way.  He probably doesn’t even realize this need until he faces the possibility of it being denied.  Of the ship coming in but not being visited by his father.

Just like the classical love story has a damsel in distress and a hero to save the day, a boylove story has a boy in need and a man to fulfill it.  A boylover responds to that hunger for love.  We need to be needed.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Gerard Butler, the Stranger, is needed.  Or rather, Frankie has a need.  Lizzie recognizes his need and so employs a man to fulfill it.  The Stranger also recognizes the need ans so reluctantly agrees to participate in the duplicitous arrangement.  The offer of money doesn’t hurt either.

Up to this point it’s a story about a mother struggling to give her son what he needs.  It tugs at the heartstrings of boylovers (and probably mothers, and I’d hope everyone else as well) but it doesn’t really become a boylove story until the Stranger and Frankie meet.  Frankie’s need has been building up the whole time, and when it becomes greatest as his “father” stands before him and he perceives that it’s safe – it won’t be snatched away.  It isn’t a dream or a trick – he rushes forward and throws his arms around him.

At that point, the Stranger stands in shock, hands held out in the air away from the small body clinging to him, and I sit in front of the screen in agony, the words “just touch him” screaming through my mind, physically tense with the desire to act.  To fill that need.

Finally the Stranger comes to grips, truly, with the boy’s need and with the fact that he is needed.  And he commits to it, placing his hands on the boy’s back gently giving him that physical gesture of love.  The tension drains from my body and I smile, fulfilled myself seeing the boy’s need fulfilled.

The Stranger is no longer just standing in for written words.  He has started to fill the boy’s need, and having tasted that ecstasy, has started to need it himself.

That’s when it becomes a boylover story.  When the stranger finds himself needing to be needed.  It is subtle at first, but becomes more obvious at the end of that first day.  The Stranger sees in Frankie that one day isn’t enough.  Frankie still needs more of him, so he sets himself against the wishes of Lizzie and her mother.  That’s dangerous.  he’s fulfilled his agreement, he’s going to get his money, but he chooses to fight to continue fulfilling Frankie’s need.  Maybe that doesn’t yet show his own need.   One could argue that he doesn’t plant the idea of one more day for himself (and he doesn’t really.  He does it for Frankie) but his own need could certainly add to the motivation to defy the rules.  At the very least it shows he is willing to fight for Frankie’s need at cost to himself, and that shows love.  Not just showing love to the boy, but loving the boy in himself.

His own need becomes strongest and clearest right at the end, when he asks to say goodbye.  Frankie has had two great days with his “father” and is now asleep.  If he’d woken up the next morning to the story, “you fell asleep and your father carried you home but had to go back to the ship,” he’d have accepted that without much sorrow.  In a way, that would have been the poetic thing to do.  Not to mention the parental thing.  Let the exhausted boy sleep.

But the Stranger doesn’t.  He asks if he can say goodbye.  That’s his own need.  He doesn’t do it for Frankie.  The Stranger needs the boy’s love.  He needs to be needed.  He wants to see the boy’s longing for him, and for Frankie to see his own longing.

That’s boylove.  Needing to be needed.  Dear Frankie tells a story of that need and tells it perfectly, making me feel happy/sad, hot/cold, excited/depressed, energetic/lazy.

I’m not needed.  Maybe that is the ever unknowable longing that seeing boys makes me feel.  Or part of it, anyway.  Maybe I have, in trying to understand how the movie works, identified my own elusive need.  I need to be needed.  But I’m not.  Not like that.  There are plenty of boys out there who have great need.  Even great need for nothing but love.  And I am very able and willing to meet that need.  But they don’t need me.  Not yet.  But I am now on the road to changing that.  And that gives me hope that has taken the edge off the depression that usually follows a movie like this.

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I foolishly left my journal at home yesterday.  Well, not so much foolishly as forgetfully.  I meant to bring it, knowing I was working a double.  In actuality, though, I worked a tripple.  The AM shift had two banquets overlapping.

Anyway, The Restaurant seems to have hired a pair of children.  (I assume they are 14.)  The one is about 5’8″, red headed, changed voice, and slightly overweight.  The other, on the other hand, is 5’6″ (still tall for my usual taste), brown haired, skinny, unchanged voice, and has a very cute face.  And beautiful skin.  Quite attractive.  They were stationed by the dish washer to clear a la carte servers’ trays.

Also that day, in my second room, there was a boy probably about nine years old who looked a lot like a slightly younger version of the boy in the JCPenny’s comercials on Hulu.  (The Ice/Nice one.)  Every time I walked out of the kitchen, or carried a tray toward it, he would watch me openly.  He probably watched all the servers as they did their jobs, since the impression I got from him was one of strong curiosity.  He was very cute.  It seems to me that he was watching to see how the job worked.  Where we went, who was where, what we were bringing in/carrying out.

He’s not the first boy to watch me so closely while I waited tables.  Many weeks ago, near my beginning but after my training, there was a wedding when I had my tray stand right next to a boy I took to be around 10.  He also openly watched my every move.  I spent the whole time hoping he ‘d ask me questions.  He never did, of course.

With the dish boy in the kitchen and the JCP boy in the dining room, I noticed that I worked harder, more diligently.  I moved with greater purpose, made sure to smile, follow procedure, do everything with greater efficiency.  It’s something I’ve thought of before, and even considered writing about but never did, in part because I never had this tool –  the journal – that is so welcoming to such observations.

The observation being: boys inspire me.  I mean, really.  They have shaped me since I started noticing them.  While being a pedophile/boylover in an intollerant society has shaped me in various ways – some positive, some negative – the boys themselves have only ever been positive influences.

So many pivotal moments can be dated to when I was 13.  Christmas when I was 13 I discovered (rediscovered) my great-uncle’s colection of English men and boys choirs Christmas carol albums.  Those recordings inspired more interest in the other classical LPs in the basement.  I was drawn to them because of the boys’ voices, but in listening raptly I learned to love the music and the genre as well.  I’d always had an interest in classical music, but that’s when it became a passion.  In those other LPs I discovered Mozart, and then as my ears matured, Bach and Beethoven.

I bought from Boarders two CDs of boy music, also when I was 13 I think.  A compilation recording of Westminster Cathedral Choir and a Vienna Boys’ Choir CD featuring mostly solos by an also 13yo Max Emanuel Cencic.  The Cencic CD I loved, with its Handel, Mozart, Schubert and Strauss.  At first I didn’t like all the 20th century stuff on the Westminster CD, but again the voices inspired me to grow.  It eventually became my favorite CD.

A leadership position got me over my first hump in Boy Scouts (13 yo), but it was the boys (Candy, Orange Hat, Owl, CIA, N, Casper, Little Man, Fox, and finally The Beloved) that got me over the second, so I stayed to and beyond Eagle Scout.

Boys are the reason I joined the Citadel, and that has been an excellent post to have for many reasons.

I’m sure there are many more examples, but now I must eat, shave, change and go to work, yet again.

*I found some pages of skit scripts I wrote for skit night at music camp.  Kinda funny.  I was 14 when I wrote them, I think.  I had horrible handwriting.

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Fail

I am a chicken.  It’s seven o’clock, but I just can’t make myself go to the scout meeting.  Now I’m planning to get started with scouts come January.  It’s not a bad idea, but it’s born of fear, not reason.

I don’t look very leader-like at the moment.  unshaved, wearing a hoodie that shows my chest hair and low cut jeans.  I think I look pretty cool.  Maybe even attractive, but not like mentor material.

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A plan is starting to take shape in my mind.  A goal.  A direction.  I need to write it down to sort it out and to stop myself forgetting.  It will be nice to have direction if I approve the plan and put it into action.

The goal is to move to England with a job lined up.  I sort of have two paths before me.  One of stability and one of dynamicy.  (I know that’s not really a word.)  I can stay where I am.  Get comfortable.  If I do that, I may eventually end up with some semblance of a music career, but I doubt anything great will happen.

The other option is to take myself outside of comfort.  Do something new to inspire me to greater things.  That doesn’t have to be a move to England, and I hate to leave this country just as Barack Obama takes power, just as “my side” has won the election, but if I don’t do it now, it will only get harder.  I must follow the example of my friend who went to China.

So.  The plan.  It involves:
– intense voice study with my voice teacher.
– coaching with two able coaches in my area. One famous.
– maybe some lessons with The Tenor’s teacher.
– finding a roommate.
– getting an associate’s degree in IT.
– attending a prestigious music festival.
– Singing as much as I can.
– Finding employment and housing in England to arrive to.

Let’s start with that last one.  I can kill three birds with one stone if I get a job as a lay clerk at a cathedral, church or chapel.  Not only is it employment, but many offer housing as well, and I would get to sing with a fabulous men and boy’s choir, which has been a dream of mine since I was 13.

While I’m aiming for the stars, I may as well throw in some sort of job working with the boys of that choir in a more supervisory capacity.  In order to increase my competitiveness for such a position, I’ll add a few more to-dos:
– become a Boy Scout leader.
– become a volunteer with a youth mentoring organization.

Obviously, this isn’t an easy list to accomplish.  My time will have to be more tightly managed.  I’ll need to find fun in the journey, and not in the spaces between the steps.

One of the local community colleges is obviously a good place to start for the IT degree.

***

My father and I just had a long, nice conversation.  Talked about everything from the cause of higher humidity on land vs. ocean to voice change, karaoke, computers and countertenors.  He suggested that I take classes in the specific areas of computer technology that interest me rather than pursue a third lesser degree to the degrees I already possess.

Priorities when I get home involve:

– getting out of debt.
– gathering information about local community colleges.
– reconnecting with the coaches.
– submitting applications to become a leader and a mentor.
– cultivating relationships that can provide references for jobs involving children.
– find information about the music festival and apply.

I need to become more involved with the Citadel’s choirs for the second to last point in that list.

To accomplish all this I will need to make sacrifices, obviously.  World of Warcraft is out.  Sadly.  I like it, but I don’t.  It’s fun, and it’s good, but it’s boring and it’s bad.  BBM will be sad.

…I’ve lost my focus.  Good thing I got down what I did.

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My life is in need of a little maintenance, I think.  I am writing this on a dining room table cluttered with junk, trying to avoid putting the book in a spot of jelly or the like.  Tuesday.  I’ll do it Tuesday.

Yeah right.

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As mentioned previously, many entries to this blog will be adaptations of my journal entries.  That means that the events of feelings depicted are not necessarily current or even recent.

Oh, and by adaptation, I simply mean that I remove or change the names of locations and individuals and edit for length and understandability.  My journal is pretty stream of consciousness sometimes.  So, with no further a-do, my first entry:

I feel…off.  I don’t really understand what I feel.  Naming my truly important feelings has always been impossible.  Recently, I’ve noticed a change in the way animals react to me.  They used to love me.  And not too long ago either.  Some still do.  But my neighbor’s dog…  That was the first time I noticed.

Now, I don’t consider my neighbor’s dog to be any kind of reliable judge of character, but a little while ago–maybe two months?–my neighbor came over to introduce her pit bulls to me.  The female had just had puppies and wasn’t much interested in anything.  The male, though, took one sniff and backed away, growling.  Then, last Sunday I saw a stray cat.  I reached my hand out for her to sniff.  She also pulled back after getting my scent.  And then a little later, I let another pit bull sniff my hand as its owner was walking it.  It tried to bite my hand off.

What about my scent has changed?  Have I become the villain that I always joked I had the potential to be?  I spoke to Jess, my fellow potential villain, and she just laughed at me.  It is ridiculous.  I’m judging myself based on the reactions of a dog bread for it’s aggressiveness and bad attitude and a cat who digs through dumpsters.  Of COURSE they’re not going to want to be friendly.

But what if something about my scent HAS changed?  What did I do to change it?  How can I go back?  If I look at what’s changed about my lifestyle…  I need to simplify, I think.  I’ve become too…adult.  Focused on earning money, making a living.  At the same time, I’ve taken laziness to a new personal level.  Maybe this journal will help.  Help me focus my thoughts, force me to think more clearly.

I need to reconnect.  De-isolate myself.  Being unemployed so long, I haven’t had anywhere to go, anyone to see, or even any money to do something if I DID have somewhere to go.  But I even have had more hermit like tendencies when I DID have people around, things to do, places to be.  That needs to stop.  Maybe work will help with that.  Force me to interact with people.  Get over that insulatory instinct.  I really think I’ve pulled away from human contact since graduation, and that my friends have noticed my withdrawal and responded in kind.

Music, boys, books.  These have always been my focus.  They really still are, but I feel on some level that the way I focus on them has changed.  It’s less passionate and more mechanical.  More out of habit.

I need to change.  If I haven’t changed, then I need to now.  If I have changed, then I need to again.  But this time, the change must be positive.

I’m going to do the dishes.  Then maybe I’ll eat something healthy, for a change.

(In rereading that while I typed it up, I’m almost reluctant to post it.  I was being such a diva!  For one thing, that dog attacks anybody and anything that it can get at.  I have heard many screams of terror from people as it escapes the house to chase down them, or their smaller dog.  It’s jumped through their window before to chase something down, right through the glass.  But it’s how I felt, and there’s some truth to what I wrote.  That is what journalling is really about.  You write and you write and eventually something true ends up on paper.  As you get more experienced, it becomes easier to be truly honest.  So, I hope you’ll forgive the drama.  It’ll get better, I swear.)

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