I think this may be the post I carefully haven’t been writing during the last few months’ near silence. Because sometimes it’s what you’re not saying that really matters most. It’s easy to witter on about knitting*, and post pretty pictures of sunsets; not so simple to write about love, and the way you want to live your life.
“Everybody’s a bit bisexual,” was yesterday’s quote of the day (part of another conversation where I left the important things unsaid… I’m good at that…) Well, maybe, but to put an Orwellian spin on it, I think some of us are more bisexual than others. And the older I get, the farther left I’m hanging on that spectrum. I really truly thought I was cool with this. That’s the story I spun around myself: look at me, a kid from Chesterfield, sleeping with men and women! No repressions here!
It’s easy enough to feel gay, self define as gay, blog gay (rule number 1: the internet is Not Real Life…), but living gay? It’s one thing when you’re young, free and single and working in possibly the gayest university department ever (why, yes, anthropologists, I’m looking at you…), but fast forward 15 years to life as a respectable member of the community in a northern village, with children? Really, not so much.
You want to experience truly deafening silence? Let your guard drop for a moment at a PTA meeting, allow one tiny honest remark about preferring women to slip out. One day you’ll laugh, but not until you’ve secretly cried yourself sick. Easier to keep on pretending you’re into men. You’ll lose all self-respect in the process, but at least someone might talk to you in the playground.
By the same reckoning, it’s easier to keep on living in that dead relationship: it’s the price of a pass in to the fringes of social acceptance. Sometimes I wonder why I’m bothering to raise a brood of free-thinking individuals; why I’m preaching tolerance and acceptance, encouraging them to stand up for what they believe in, to live their lives true to their own selves, and to allow others to do the same. Why, when I’m too scared to do that very thing?
(*Here, have a knitting picture to lighten the tone. I think the birds are only gay in an early C20th sense.)
That is what’s in my head today. Now… the sun is out, and so should I be…