The 180 Review

When I was working at University of Houston, my boss had us review him as he reviewed us. I want to take an inventory of what I’m doing, so I’m turning the circle toward me. I can’t conduct a meeting as fast as my boss could, but let’s at least hit the hot points.

Dana and I have been planning to see each other in DC since I left. Now she says that she might not have time because her friends and family are more important than I am. I told her, “I get it. I won’t call again.” It irritates the piss out of me, but she’s my ex for a reason. I have met so many people here that I’m not really interested in revisiting the past. It’s probably better that we don’t see each other anyway, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sad about it. I originally called because we both need to go to the bank to sign documents to get her accounts out of my login screen. You would think that would be important. Apparently, not so much. We’ve banked at B of A since, well, forever, so I had this vision in my head of meeting in Columbia Heights so we could go to some type of cool restaurant and shoot the shit until the sun goes down. But that’s my dream, not hers, and what are you going to do?

Walk away. If she doesn’t care that I can see all of her transactions and transfer money in and out of her accounts, I cannot help her. I just don’t want to see them. I don’t want to know where she is and what she’s doing based on the transactions that come in. It would be handy if we were still together because we could bank together from separate cities. But we’re not, and I want to move on. The worst part is that I thought she was still dedicated to being my friend, and her voice on the phone with me sounds different than it ever has. I want no part of it, and if you can’t tell already, I am being a little bit judgy. This is because I cannot even. There are nights when I lay in bed wondering what the fuck I did with my marriage, because it broke over the two years I spent changing my core. However, as I was doing the work to be who I am, Dana wasn’t. We just couldn’t stay together because I was a totally different person to her.

I am a totally different person to myself, too.

Checking myself into Methodist psych ward was the best thing I ever could have done for myself, because it gave me new context for old problems. I react differently, I see differently… and honestly, the moment it happened was when I put on my glasses- even before going to the hospital. I could literally Think Different. However, thinking differently does not happen in a moment. It is a lifetime process. My glasses were just the lightbulb, because I carried myself differently when the prisms kicked in and made my left eye stronger. Monocular vision affects the way I hold my head and my posture, because in order to function, I have to move my head to see everything around me. Monocular vision means three things- no depth perception, no angle of convergence, and no peripheral vision. The journey into stereo is not complete, but I want to work on it. As I said before, my autobiography is called “Staring at Myself,” so named because I only have stereo vision if I am looking at my nose. I have to train my eyes so that they track together even when I’m not looking that close. Some people use beads on a string because it gives them a focal point and they can gradually move the bead back on the Z axis to get the stereo to stick around. I have tried the bead method, and it hasn’t worked so far… mostly because it gives me a raging headache to “practice.” This one change, though. I have had glasses before, but there weren’t prisms in there so they didn’t work.

I always thought it was a neurological problem and there was nothing anyone could do. Then I picked up “Fixing My Gaze” by Susan Barry and I was proven wrong, both by Susan herself AND the great Oliver Sacks, who wrote a brilliant foreward. For the uninitiated, he wrote Awakenings, later made into a movie that still gives me a great excuse to have a good cry. 🙂

Sometimes I’m a big crybaby, because I have to get emotions out. I am not happy until the ablution has taken place. I don’t want to stuff down my feelings, and I don’t want to eat them. I love the line from Will and Grace. Will is talking about going to visit his family for Thanksgiving and tells Grace that his family uses the buttons on their clothes to hold in their feelings. I have been like that my whole life, because especially as a preacher’s kid, I was in “show mode.” I don’t have a “show mode” now. I am as authentic as they come, so of course I say things without thinking that have the power to undo marriages and friendships, because I know that my friends shouldn’t have to handle the shitshow I become when angry.

I learned an important thing from the last two years. If Dana or anyone else gets pissy with me, HANG UP and think about it for a while instead of just exploding all over the place. Instead of yelling at her and causing a scene from a time zone away, I calmly said that not planning time to visit me was thoughtless and kind of mean because I’ve been looking forward to it hard core. Not that I am trying to accuse her of anything, but like I said, it seems urgent that our money is disconnected and I also wanted to show her my version of The District.

That being said, if I don’t get to see her, it worked out the way it was supposed to. But Pride is that weekend, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather go with than Dana. But I won’t. I’ll go with Prianka and Elena, making other friends as I go along. Surely at Pride there are people who will adopt me as one of their own. In these cases, it’s usually large groups of gay men that need a hag to drive them home. The last time this happened, I was handed the keys to the most expensive car I have ever seen. I told the drunk gay boy that I wasn’t a very good driver, and he told me to drive it like I stole it because that’s what insurance is for.

I didn’t take him up on it. I drove so far under the speed limit that cars were passing me on the right, and I didn’t care because to me, driving like my grandmother was going to save him a claim. If I remember right, it was a loaded BMW, the kind meant for an autobahn because it can do 140 ain’t nothin’ to it. If you hit the accelerator, it only takes .5 seconds to back into a parking garage pole or something similar… oh, and did I mention it was snowing?

I love the snow. It’s white and pure, something I strive to be, and fail the way all humans do.


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