Monte Rio, High Anxiety

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006 | Friends, Gay

BC and I went up to the Russian River this weekend, holing up in Monte Rio, Vacation Wonderland. The river was all swollen and muddy, the Rio Theater played Rent all weekend, and a new wine shoppe opened up right across the street. BC was a total wuss about hiking after the rain, but the weather was so beautiful and the scenery so breathtaking that I forced him to march up a hill near Goat Rock and enjoy the scenery. He seemed very relieved that the hill had a top, and was much more pleasant for the 20 foot descent back to the CocoMobile.

Big Chrissy contemplates the Little Chrissy… or is that him, too?

At lunch, there was a totally cute couple, one considerably older and heavier than his muscly young companion. They both wore wedding rings, had matching shoes inappropriate for Sonoma County, and moved through the restaurant without speaking. One ordered lunch and carried it to the table, and the other grabbed the flatware and poured milk and sugar into each of their coffees. Their roles were highly organized and developed with no verbal communication. It was so entertaining just watching them and their deep, calm connectedness. The older dude would occasionally throw his arms around his young mate, completely adoring him, while the younger dude continued with his lunch, acknowledging the embrace as a tolerable inconvenience, seemingly uncomfortable with the public display of affection, but obviously happy to be adored.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from one of my best friends in Alabama. She had inadvertently sent an earlier e-mail about seeing Brokeback Mountain, intended for me, to her sister. Her sister is a fundamentalist Christian who takes the Bible seriously. In the e-mail she described her longing for the kind of desire and intensity shared by Jack and Ennis. (She’s married with kids, but is openly, if not practically, bisexual.) Her sister, who is a lovely person, replied that she had never heard of the movie, was sad that the film made my friend feel so unsatisfied, and that she dislikes Hollywood for making films that are so unrealistic. It struck me that my friend was describing the exact same kind of longing experienced by Jack and Ennis, and how constrained each was by the desire to conform–well, or by the fear of the consequences of not conforming. The sister’s Biblical version of reality couldn’t allow her to even see my friend’s pained reality, which is right up there on the big screen. It’s her story. Just without a Jack(lyn) Twist.

The past few days have been a little rough. I haven’t been sleeping. I woke up early Saturday morning and looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the person looking at me, frightened by the weary visage of someone I didn’t know. The person was so needy, anxious and fragile. And 40.

Sunday I was up all night. I lost 7 pounds. I should really start a fad diet, “Loco Coco’s High Anxiety Weight Loss Plan.” I spent last night alone again, and came to a few conclusions: I don’t like feeling so anxious about things that I have no control over; I can be more in control of what I need to be happy. Details to come, but I’m feeling much better today, and happy to see the clouds parting. My mid-life crisis seems to be less a single event than a series of inter-connected mini-crises, kind of like a cold you can’t shake. A-CHOO!

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