Justin's Life...

~ July 2002 ~

July 2, 2002 - Tuesday

Yesterday I was talking to Jay on IM when he told me that Rob had asked him out the day before. I responded by asking if he was interested, and he replied, "i'd test drive the car in a different situation but dont want to fuck up my friendship with you over rob. its not worth that to me." I was a slightly taken aback. Jay and I had discussed the possibility of Rob and he having sex, and I'd expressed that I wouldn't be ok with it, but we hadn't addressed the why's in detail. Now, as it had become more than idol chatter, he was making sure that I knew that our friendship was the most important thing, which I appreciated, and I knew he was again asking me to think about the subject.

We continued talking and he said, "i told rob that i needed time to think and to make sure that it wouldnt fuck up my friendship with you." and on the next line, he added, "point blank, dude ---- i wont do it if you're not cool with it."

I didn't know how to react. I'd thought about it before when we were just talking, but as a reality, I still wasn't ok with it. I soon wrote back, "it *definitely* has the potential (to fuck up our friendship)" and then underscored it with an enlarged, "definitely"

For the next twenty minutes, we talked. My answer wasn't what he wanted to hear, and while I tried to explain my feelings on the subject, he continued to try to convince me that I was wrong. Things escalated and my not wanting Rob and Jay to date became my not wanting Jay to date anyone. I explained that it wasn't like that, but instead, if they dated, I'd become the odd one out.

I tried explaining, without me feeling any more vulnerable or odd one out than I currently did, but I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by Jay's desire to do what he wanted: My feelings be damned. I mean, I couldn't see why he asked me and said that our friendship was the most important, and then insisted on trying to convince me that I was wrong.

When the conversation continued in person about an hour later, Jay said something about how they'd prefer to have my blessing. Fuck me. That was "we're doing it anyway" language, and the best friend who I thought had me as the person who mattered most, the one who said as much, walked out the door.

I mean, he asked then stated plain as day that he wouldn't do anything to jeopardize our friendship, that it was the most important, but when he didn't get the answer he wanted, he reneged. I was dumbfounded. He admitted before that he loved me more than anyone else in the world, yet here he was ready to chuck it for a chance at dating Rob.

In an IM a few minutes later, I started with a quote:

"point blank, dude ---- i wont do it if you're not cool with it."

Jay responded, "i shouldnt have said that, you're right."

I couldn't believe he'd gone from proclaiming our friendship being the most important to saying he shouldn't have said that in the course of two hours. I mean, WHY THE FUCK SAY THAT HE WOULDN'T JEOPARDIZE MY FRIENDSHIP WITH HIM FOR ROB, and then when I'm honest about it, it's "fuck you, I'm doing whatever I want anyway." I'm at a total loss. Why pretend that our friendship is the most important? That's the part that baffles me, and yeah, it would suck were our friendship less important than his dating Rob, but it wouldn't suck as much as saying that my feelings were the most important then completely disregarding them.

I mean, worse case scenario, so what if he doesn't understand my rationale. Isn't that was being best friends is about? The potential of dating Rob should come after the certainty of having me as a best friend.

And yet, feeling like I was flailing in the wind, I went for broke, and tried to explain just how painful it would be for me to watch them date.

Justin: this won't all come out right
Justin: so bear with me
Justin: if you two date, I'll be left alone
Justin: I won't be able to hang with Rob while you're on your date with [the guy you went out with the other night]
Justin: I'll have to leave Rob's apartment so you two can fuck
Justin: I'll just feel incredibly alone
Jay: i dont operate that way.
Justin: and while I'm never gonna be "yippee! Jay's dating someone else"
Jay: you've never seen me in a relationship.
Justin: I won't have to leave [the guy you went out with the other night]'s house for you two to be alone
Jay: and i dont think, from reading rob so far, that he operates that way either.
Justin: so you dating Rob not only is you dating Rob, but you're also taking the person I would be hanging with when I'm not hanging with you
Jay: but you're going back to the model that i dont subscribe to.
Jay: rob wont become my posession
Jay: even if he were my husband years down the line.
Jay: i'd still have my friends
Jay: he'd still have his
Jay: and we'd obviously have joint ones.
Jay: i dont create 3rd wheels.
Jay: i never have, never will.
Jay: hello ---- look at mike.
Jay: i've bent over backward to make him included
Justin: and you see how much he wants to be with us
Justin: the "Justin and Jay show"
Jay: it would be REALLY easy for me to just walk away and blow it off.
Jay: thats because of his feelings for you. not me.
Jay: it could be ANYONE
Jay: but i've tried....and done what i can.
Justin: listen: I don't know what else to say. It will completely tear me up/fuck up/screw with/make miserable me if you and Rob date. Please don't do it.
Justin: I will cut you off before I watch it happen. It'll be THAT bad for me.
Justin: I don't know how else to tell you.
Jay: i told you --- i dont do threats and i dont do control.
Justin: I'm not threatening... I'm trying to be vulnerable and tell you the severity of the situation
Justin: I CANNOT watch it.
Justin: I *will* cut you off first.
Justin: I just couldn't bear it.
Justin: *crying*
Jay: i dont want you to cut me off
Jay: but you cant control my life, either.
Jay: there has to be a middle ground.
Justin: There are 1,000,000+ other ppl in San Diego.
Justin: You can date any other of them.
Jay: but [my ex from a few months back] wasnt OK
Jay: even after you had Jamie.
Justin: and I explained that and meant it
Jay: i dont know what to say.
Jay: i told you --- i dont do threats, i dont do conditions. i am who i am -- i love you and dont want to be frozen out, but if you're asking me to make a choice --- im going to choose not being in a controlling relationship. thats for sure. and its not about rob versus you.
Justin: Just because there are consquences doesn't make them threats.
Jay: it was a threat....call it what you want
Justin: I can't win. I'm trying to be there... to show you just how much I'm not ok with the idea.
Jay: and im trying to show you how hurtful you're being.
Jay: i think we need to retreat to our corners......take a few days to cool off.
Jay: i love you --- and dont want things to end.
Jay: but right now we're not going to be productive.
Jay: i love you.

Technically, I wasn't crying... but I was on the teetering point, and nothing I'd said was making a dent. I mean, I tried my best to let him hear the severity of the situation... and all I got back was that I was making threats. I already felt incredibly alone and disposable. Kinda ironic since Jay had been accusing me of being transient with my newfound friendship with Rob, acting as though I had no loyalty since I was treating Rob with kid gloves to make up for past roughnesses.

And now, with the rational eye of a day later, a big part of the reason why I don't want Rob and Jay to date is the same as the reason as I don't want to watch Larry and Jeremy date. Baring myself, part of me still would like to date Jeremy, and part of me would like to date Jay. But both of them have issues in their lives which make me an imperfect match. I know that.

I know were I to date Jeremy, it would last no more than a week. I would need more than he could provide, like the ability to give me a hug in public and to be ok with me eventually calling him my boyfriend, and I wouldn't be able to deal with his irrationality or incredibly distant spells. It wouldn't last, I know that. But at the same time, I don't want to see the good part of Larry's and his interaction and let my brain play tricks and forget the part that wouldn't let it work with me in Larry's role. And beyond that, it would get me on the other side as I would imagine me back in the role Jeremy now occupies. It would be too painful... both wanting Jeremy and missing the closeness I had with Larry.

A similar thing applies with Jay. Without a major change of mind of what's important in life, Jay would never be happy with me. I can wish that he would realize what I think I know, but I can't wait around for him to maybe come to the realization. Yet at the same time, watching him go out with Rob because he better fits into his ideals would rip me apart. It's like I'm the old guy that knows, and there's absolutely no way to convince him otherwise. The logical part of me knows that if Jay ever comes to my realization, it'll have to happen on his own timeline... but that doesn't make it any easier to watch. And the idea of them having sex, talking about how much better it was than when they had sex with me, makes me nauseated. I already have enough sexual hangups, and while I know they'd never admit to saying as much, I couldn't help but feel it would happen. Again, I've exposed myself to Jay sexually. Shared experiences with him that were special in my mind, and the realization that he'll be sharing them with Rob, both in experience and in conversation, sucks. And on that point, I must admit, it would suck with anyone... but especially with Rob. The picture is too vivid in my mind with him in the role of Jay's boyfriend. I just couldn't watch it.

And what baffles me most is the complete disregard. They both thought it could be a problem for me and they both expressed that they wouldn't do it if it would cause a problem, but they both were full of shit. It was all about them and the possibility of it maybe working out. Fuck best friendship. Fuck a year's worth of certainty. Fuck me. *I* am expendable...


July 25, 2002 - Thursday

The last time I saw Jay was when he walked out of my apartment three weeks ago. We had a couple instant message conversations shortly after that and a few e-mails, but they went no where. Two weeks ago was the last I heard from him. In that e-mail, he ended one paragraph with, "I'm sorry that I've hurt you....it wasn't my intention." And started the next with, "I'm not sure what you want or what you're going to be comfortable with in terms of our friendship given the current situation. I can't deny that there is chemistry with Rob and that I really enjoy his company."

To me, that looked like a Freudian slip, not clinging to the idea that I'm trying to control him. But at the same time, it blatantly reminded me of the earlier lie that our friendship was the most important.

And so, I wrote him back, once again removing the walls as best I could. I closed with "My little heart just can't take it, hun. It's really no more complicated than that." It got no response.

Then last night, I got this e-mail:

Subject: Dinner?

Hey ---

Do you have plans Thursday night? If not, lets have dinner. You and I should talk --- and email/im is really not the place for it. Name the time and place.


I haven't e-mailed him back yet. The idea of meeting face to face scares me: I'd managed to move on. It wasn't easy, and little things here and there would remind me of the friendship we once shared, but this definitely, as the saying goes, has the potential to open a fresh wound. I still feel incredibly betrayed and expendable, and I don't know how those feelings will manifest themselves sitting across the table having dinner. It could blow up into a raring fight. It could end up with me crying. But I can't see it simply being conversation with no extreme emotion. I guess we'll see, though... tonight at 7:30PM.


July 29, 2002 - Monday

Driving to The Cheesecake Factory to meet Jay, I wondered what I'd do if I saw his car on the road next to me. I asked myself if I'd run it off if I had no chance of being caught and decided I wouldn't as that might kill him. I wasn't that angry. I then thought, "Would I snap my fingers to break one of his legs?" and my immediate answer was "yes." It was with that level of anger I was meeting him.

And so, when the conversation was heated and the patrons next to us got an earful, I sat fairly unphased. In truth, it hardly mattered what he said as anything short of "I'm sorry" and an expose of emotion wasn't going to get past the hurt. That, of course, didn't happen. He stuck with his mindset of me being wrong, and I stuck with mine.

By the time we parted ways in the parking lot, I was sad for the friendship that was, but knew it no longer existed. I still have the same feelings as I did and we won't be hanging together anytime soon, if ever... but, perhaps, the good that came from talking about it is that we both have very slightly better appreciations for where the other is coming. Not enough to change anything, mind you, but enough to make the "I'm right. He's wrong." intensity lessen. I think, for us both.

At this point, all I can really wonder is how life changes such an amazing amount in such a little time. The change itself still stings, but I'm getting used to being on the Goddess of Dating's shit list. I just wonder if I'll ever get used to change. Indeed, it sounds like a contradiction in terms.

Opening bills on Saturday, I found credit card charges for Tony Roma's and Disneyland last month, when all was fine. And now my best friend is no more. Indeed, I think Jamie's right. There were other issues going on and this was just the thing that popped the bubble, but the change sucks.

And I guess, beyond this particular event, I'm just tired of being my own rock. I thought Jay and I took care of each other. I thought our friendship was the most important and that it could withstand a storm or two. The ease at which it fell still amazes me, and I feel myself becoming jaded.

Now there's talk of Jamie coming down to stay with me for a bit and I think it's going to happen, but my heart is so guarded. Little vulnerabilities escape here and there, but most of the time, I am a rock... of strength through impenetrability. I hate that. I hate having no one to take care of me: I think that's the thing I miss most about my relationship with Larry. He took care of me. We took care of each other.

And so, I do fairly well most of the time. I'm not all mopey or sitting around wishing life was different. It's just that those feelings evoke the most emotion and therefore the most attention when my writing time is limited. I had an excellent time when Jamie visited a couple weeks ago: maybe I'll write about that soon. And come what may, I know I'll make it through... and maybe one day I'll figure out just exactly what I did to piss off that bitchy Goddess of Dating anyway.

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© 2002 Justin Clouse
Justin's Life...Justin's