Could you bring a dessert for dinner tomorrow night, if you can attend? :-) We are going to grill out.
(text sent 8:49pm)
(text sent 8:49pm)
You’re the best.
(text sent 8:50pm)
Well, yeah. :-)
(text sent 8:50pm)
I opened the door to my building and stepped outside into the humid August night. The club next door was prepping for their guests for the evening and a few early arrivers could be heard laughing inside.
I was walking to the grocery store a few blocks away to buy peaches. After a couple of quick Google searches, I decided I was going to make cobbler for the Sunday night dinner that my friends and I had almost every week.
I passed another club whose red and black theme looked like it must have been inspired by the Suicide Girls. Again, a couple of people who had decided to start their bar-hopping early were laughing inside. I thought about how different our evenings would be. They would be surrounded by people. Drinking. Laughing. My Saturday night would be spent alone making a peach cobbler from a internet recipe of questionable quality.
And I was cool with it.
Months ago, I realized that if I was going to live my life as a celibate gay Mormon, I was going to need to get comfortable with being alone. The thought of spending a weekend night alone used to cause me anxiety and even depression. What did it say about me? What did it say about my friends? Did I even have any friends? Faced with romantic relationshiplessness, I knew that continuing with such attitudes would be impossible. I decided that I wanted to be able to be comfortable with being alone. Heck, I wanted to enjoy it. Whenever I felt the anxiety or depression, which came when I was alone, instead of desperately grasping at something, anything to stave off those emotions, I stopped and allowed myself to feel them. I stopped running from my loneliness and embraced it. I felt my way though it, trying to discover the source of my feelings. I then discovered something.
Loneliness is boring.
Once I stopped running from my loneliness and allowed myself to feel it and explore it, it became extremely dull. I was then motivated to find things to do with my time that I enjoyed. I started running and biking again. I fixed my DVR and started recording crappy horror movies that aired on AMC on Friday nights. I even decided to learn to cook, which is why I was walking the streets on a Saturday night in search of fresh peaches.
I passed the gay bar next to the grocery store. They were apparently having an election-themed drag show based on the red, white, and blue balloon arch at the front door.
It was true that I was much more comfortable in my skin. It was true that I no longer feared Saturday nights alone. But I still felt lonely at times. There were still times that I wanted someone to spend my life with. Someone that I was attracted to. Someone that was attracted to me.
I knew that I would never be able to rid myself of loneliness completely – nor did I want to. If I completely killed my feelings of loneliness, then I was either suppressing my emotions (something that I already knew did more harm for me than good) or I had gotten at the point where I didn’t want to be around people at all (another situation that I didn’t want to be in). Loneliness didn’t need to be omnipresent in my life, but it would never go away completely.
I bought the peaches and a couple of sticks of butter and started back home. The next evening, I would be surrounded by good friends. We would grill out, talk, maybe play video games, and generally have a good time. Eventually, however, our lives would take different paths. We would get different jobs, move away, they would get married, have kids. We would always be friends, but life has a way of, well, getting in the way. Whatever friends came into my life, whatever friends left, I knew that I was becoming someone that I didn’t mind spending time with.
I decided that the next Saturday evening I would make strawberry tarts.