Justin's Life...

~ November 2001 ~

November 15, 2001 - Thursday

In general, people suck, and friendships are like a game of keep the balloon off the ground. You're always the one to call or write, and when you do connect and talk the other person, you meet one more time and then it's back to the let-me-catch-you game again. If it was up to the other person, the balloon would have long since fallen and popped on the grass. And yet you wonder why you don't just let it do the same. Why should you expend all the effort in keeping it off the ground? If the other person doesn't care, why do you?

And occasionally, actually very rarely, you have friends that are helium balloons. Not super brand new helium balloons as they'll fly off, just the other way, but older helium balloons. Ones that just sort of magically hover. Those are the friends that make life worthwhile.

In my life, I have two helium balloon and one would-be helium balloon: My mom, Jay, and Mike.

Mom would call me at least every other day, even if I never called her back. Jay would be there, calling me, wanting to hang out, no matter what. And Mike would be there, just the same, but he's afraid I'd have a better time with Jay. Other than those three people, I try to keep the balloons afloat, and I wonder why.

The week following my telling Brandon that dating wasn't working out, he stood me up at the last minute twice. One night was for my quaint Halloween gettogether, and when he told me that he wasn't coming, the wind was completely knocked out of my sails. With Mike not coming and Brandon not coming, that left Jay. A night with Jay was any other night. I'd gotten dry ice and was at the store to get other goodies when I talked to Brandon, but if it was just going to be Jay, there was no point buying bags of candy and trinkety junk.

Anyway, Brandon said that he felt bad that he couldn't come but explained that it was the last night a buddy of his was going to be in town; the buddy was heading out for a few months (presumably for some military assignment), so Brandon really wanted to hang out with him as much as possible before he left. -- Brandon sounded like he really wished he could be there, so that helped not put me in a total funk; before I hung up, though, I suggested he come by afterwards. He, however, said that they were going to be out late and suggested that I put it off a day, then it wouldn't be a problem. Disappointed but basically ok, I came back to my apartment and watched Halloween as Jay fell asleep on my lap.

The next day came and in the early evening when Brandon and I talked on the phone, he told me he was heading to meet his trainer then he was going to call it a night. I was aggravated that he'd cancelled the night before and didn't have the energy to hang out with me, even like he'd suggested, but I offered to bring over pizza. He'd said he'd already eaten and that he was too old to eat after 8PM.

After getting off the phone, I wrote him e-mail to let him know that it sort sucked:


Well, I've stopped myself from writing this e-mail twice, but I really think you should know that cancelling on me at the last minute two days in a row sucks. Yeah, I know our plans weren't confirmed confirmed, but especially today, after you saying that I should just put off the party one more day, that if it was "tomorrow" you could do it, I figured you'd be here. I thought the e-mail sent early this morning was just a formality. On the phone, the response for which I was hoping was that you'd meet me after your trainer. Heck, I even offered to bring pizza over. You didn't have to do jack... but you still didn't want to do that.

So I don't know if you're trying to get under my skin because I said dating wasn't working out or what. I think you're a quality person and that's a rare find, but I really need my friends to be there for me... to say, "yeah, sure, come on over."

Wishing you would've said that,

I followed a few minutes later:


Didn't mean to be pissy... well, not too pissy. ;-) I was just looking forward to seeing you last night and again tonight and I got let down twice.


The next day, I got:

Ok Justin, here's the deal. The fact is that I have met someone, he's really great and we are both really 'in' to each other right now. I never meant to blow you off and no I would never be vindictive or try to get back at you over the dating thing...it was your choice to make and I respect that.

Anyway, I met this guy online and we met a few times just as friends. But we just clicked sooo well and one thing lead to another. I didn't want to tell you because I didn't want you to think that I was seeing him while I was seeing you...truth be told, I met him a few days after you and I stopped dating. Second, (and this a purely selfish reason), I felt a little embarrassed (and cheap) about dating someone else just days after I stopped with you. But I really like him and I just did not want to lose the opportunity to be with him.

So I guess the short answer is yes I blew you off and that was pretty shallow of me. You know me well enough now to know how much I want to find that special person. I can't tell you if this will work out or not, but I had the opportunity to go out with him on Halloween night and last night and I took it.

That said, I don't want to lose you as a friend and I'm hoping you will cut me a little slack for my actions the past couple days and let me try to make it up to you.

I hope you will!!


I sat there slackjawed. I sit here slackjawed, even writing about it now.

I'd really thought Brandon was a worthwhile person... and for him to bold face lie to me.

Needless to say, I tore him a new one.


I don't know where to start, but I know I'm disappointed... in myself and you. I'm disappointed and livid.

I actually thought you were a worthwhile person. I trusted you and wanted you to be part of my life. I told you how few people I allow in that space... AND YOU LIED TO ME... bold faced LIED. I'm sitting here in disbelief. Not just "I'm busy" lied, but you FUCKING made up some crap about your friend being in town and it being the last day and the trainer and being tired. Telling me that you wished you could be here, but that it was his last day. Cancelling on me at the last minute... now I presume because you were waiting to hear if your new guy was available. How DARE you fucking LIE to me! But I guess your life is one big lie, after all, isn't it? Sorta gets hard to tell what's what.

You wonder what a life of deception costs you. Here's one answer: me.

You could've told me that you met someone. It would've reillustrated just exactly why I said we should stop dating: amazing how you find all these perfect matches, isn't it? Us folks that have been out for years can't seem to do it, but you have the best luck... You're not into the guy; you're into the concept. Get out of denial.

You could've seen him while you and I were going out. We never were going steady... but to lie to me, big elaborative lie to me. To tell me that you wanted to be here, but just couldn't because you had to hang with your friend who was going out of town for months. I mean, I still sit here in disbelief.

Real emotions aren't based on the "opportunity." If he was a real match, you wouldn't have to see him every day to assure yourself of that place. I just can't believe you threw me away for some guy you met less than a week ago.

The other guy, hanging out with him, being lovesy dovesy with him, etc. That's all fine. I wouldn't have cared a bit. Elaboratively lying to me about it is not acceptable.


I was so mad I was shaking for about an hour, and when he called later that afternoon, I yelled and swore for a while. He bit back, and then I broke down and started crying. I just couldn't believe that I'd misjudged him to that degree, that I really thought he and I were going to be close friends. He started crying, too, but he was at work, so he asked if he could come over as soon as he could get out of there. I said yes, and he showed up around 6PM.

We sat on the couch and talked for a while. I didn't feel as bad as I had earlier in the day. He obviously knew he fucked up and felt bad about it, but I still didn't know how the trust could possibly come back. I told him how I felt and near the end of our conversation, he broke down and boo-hoo sobbed. That was a start.

We had dinner then he went on his way... and that was last time I saw him. We've talked on the phone a couple times, but that's been it.

From time to time, as his picture comes up on my digital frame, I wonder what he's doing and still hope we can become friends... but I think that balloon might have already popped. I guess we could have a new balloon, but replacements are hard to get. I guess we'll see.

As for the other balloons in my life: I scroll through my cell phone's memory and see the names of people who were gonna be friends: Jered (the teacher), Jon (the military guy), Chuck (the movie director), Scott (the fireman), Scott (the guy with the boyfriend), and so forth. Balloons popped... and balloons on the ground, blowing in the wind, just waiting to hit that sharp shard of grass.

12:41AM - Technically November 16, 2001

Tonight I went to Hillcrest (the gay section of San Diego) in a foolish attempt to find the man of my dreams. I looked at a couple bars, but he wasn't even there for me to try to make eye contact and start a conversation. If I'd seen him, I'd have had no problem going up and saying hello, and I know I can hold my own in the decent catch department... but if he's not even there, how can I hope to find him?

Walking around Best Buy earlier today, I thought he perhaps might be working there or lurking in the aisles, but I couldn't figure out any way to possibly inquire as to his sexual orientation or to even introduce myself if I knew he was gay.

In short, I wonder what I'm doing wrong. I could have a better body and a little less ego, but it's not like I'm finding someone and he's rejecting me, so I'm at a loss.

Anyway, it's 1AM and I'm sleepy and incoherent. I'm off to bed.


November 18, 2001 - Sunday

Friday I got an e-mail from Larry. It had a purpose: to ask about the mileage on my car for insurance purposes, but it was very playful and he said that he still loved me in it. So yesterday I called and found that he was here in San Diego at the La Jolla house. He, in turn, asked if I was going to be around the next day (today), and I said that I was.

So earlier today I went over and hung out with the kids, Grandma and Grandma, and him. There were moments of pure sweetness, like an asleep Spencer holding himself around my neck when I carried him in and put him in bed. And there were times when I felt that Larry was artificially pulling back for some reason... but all I know is that driving back to my apartment a little over an hour ago, I don't think I could've felt more alone.

I still don't regret moving out, but I don't think a day's gone by where I could say being by myself has been easy. I miss someone really taking care of me, and perhaps my general mindset is hueing my vision -- I almost started crying on the phone with Mom earlier today. Not having enough money to fly in for Christmas and be the "successful" son. -- But I feel so completely empty now. Lost. Empty. Alone.

I have no idea where I'm headed. No idea what I want. It seems I'm spinning my wheels, but I'm going nowhere... and I don't even have a destination to which I'm not arriving. I just know I'm not arriving.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not fatalistic or mopey. It's a different emotion. It's singularly feeling lost, just like when you're lost in your physical travels. The logical part knows that you won't stay lost, that you will find your way eventually, but the emotional part of being lost in your physical travels is very real and very there, far in the forefront of the logic. That's the feeling I have now in my life travels. I know that one day I'll not be lost but I'm still uncertain as to the situation now... and wondering if I'll miss my date because of it.


November 20, 2001 - Tuesday

It was a while between the last October entry and the first one in November, and both of the days I've written above are none too perky, but my outlook on life isn't bad. I've just been busy.

I hang out with Jay nearly every day and lately I've been working more than a 40 hour workweek, but I'm not sad or wishful or melancholy. I'm just going about my life, figuring it all out and trying to make sure I don't miss the experience.


November 22, 2001 - Thursday - Thanksgiving

This morning I woke and decided that this is my life and I'm gonna make it be the best, most experience filled adventure I can. I'm going to experience life, not wonder about it or complain about the things that aren't right. I'm gonna try more to cherish each moment and appreciate those people that share the experience with me... and I guess that's the point of Thanksgiving.

I mean, I didn't wake up and say, "Hey, you. It's Thanksgiving. Be thankful." I just woke up in a my-life-is-good mood, and I think instead of letting the moment pass, I should capitalize on it.

Here's to hoping I'm successful.


November 30, 2001 - Friday

For the past few weeks, Jay had been lusting over a guy with whom he works and on Wednesday night, he was going to ask him out. I wasn't worried about it; I was sure the other guy wasn't interested. Yet last night, Jay was meeting a new guy and as the night wore on and I hadn't gotten the "I'm home safe and sound" call, I became increasingly jealous... to the point where I had to stop myself from trying to intervene.

Jay and I still have this undefined relationship. We're not dating per se, but as he told someone the other day, we're still too concerned when the other goes out to say we're not dating either. And by all accounts of fairness, I have no right to complain: I've been meeting my share of new people. Yet last night I couldn't help but tie myself up into knots wondering what he was doing with someone else.

While Jay had said that he didn't even really want to meet this new guy, he'd, nonetheless, agreed to meet him at 8:30PM and was going to call me afterwards to let me know he was ok. At around 10:45PM, though, I still hadn't heard from him, so I called his cell phone just to check. He was said he was fine and that he'd send me a cell phone text message when he was heading home... yet time passed and I heard nothing.

Knowing that he had to go into work the next morning, I couldn't figure out why he was staying out so late with this new guy who he hadn't even anticipated being worth the meet. At 11:23PM, I sent a message to his cell phone. It said, "Don't do anything that I wouldn't do. :-) -Justin"

Part of me wanted to say so much more, that I loved him, that he should go home, that I was insanely jealous and couldn't stand the thoughts that were going through my head about him and this guy he'd met... who was staying in a hotel in anticipation of moving here sometime in the future.

"Are they busy having sex? How could they have sex when Jay and I just messed around a few hours earlier? If they have had sex, that'll kill the inhibitions I've managed to lose with Jay, the inhibitions which were increasingly lessening. I'm less inhibited with him than anyone ever. I don't want to lose that. I like the new less inhibited me. I like sharing that side with Jay." The thoughts were running through my head in every direction.

And when I went to bed at a little after midnight, I still hadn't heard from him. I wanted to call, but I couldn't... I'd made my bed, so to speak, so I had to lie in it.

This morning I woke at 5:59AM and got my cell phone. "Message Received" the display read. I checked and Jay had written to say he was going home... at 1:46AM. He had to get up at 6:30AM yet he was out until nearly 2AM? If they hadn't had sex, it'd at least gone great.


I couldn't take not knowing any more. I called Jay at a little after 7AM, and we talked for about 30 minutes. They hadn't had sex; that was a relief, but it did go well. I articulated my thoughts to Jay, so I feel a lot better about that now, and when Jay was telling me about the night's events, he used made up words, like "arresticated," taken from me in his dialogue with the new guy. My presence in Jay's life is undeniable, and I was there in one form or another.

So who knows how anything'll turn out... as always in my life, honesty's the only certainty...

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© 2001 Justin Clouse
Justin's Life...Justin's