Basil


So I was thinking about putting together a few New Year’s Resolutions for myself, which caused me to realize a few things. First, I realized that absolutely nothing that I hoped for last year came true for me. Then I realized that this was because pretty much all my hopes were bound up in Carlos making good on all the promises his flirtatious behavior had seemed to make. I had kindof a half-formed goal of becoming a better dancer, but I hadn’t thought much about what that actually meant. My dancing has improved immensely, but if I were to judge the year’s success by my current relationship status, things would look pretty bleak. Sure, there was the Actual Date with Basil, but at year’s end I’m pretty much where I started. So this year I decided that not a single one of my goals should involve romantic relationships in any shape or form. For a while I toyed with the goal of having gone on another Real Date, but in the end I decided even that was too much. Instead, this year I want to focus on other things, like:

  1. My dancing. I have some basic things I know I want to work on (my balance, spinning, not drifting when I spin, relaxing into the lead, etc.), but those are things I’ll be working on probably my whole dancing career. This year I want to work on my solo Charleston. Specifically, I want to be comfortable enough with it, comfortable enough with my own body, that I can dance a whole song by myself without needing anyone else dancing along side me. One of the very few sad things about PittStop was that no matter how infectiously Charleston-y the song was, I couldn’t get anyone to form a Charleston circle with me for love or money, and I wasn’t confident enough to go it alone. Lucy has traditionally been my steady Charleston-circle partner in crime, but there’s a good chance that she might be leaving town later this year. So I need to work up the chops to go it alone. We’ll see how that goes.
  2. My friends. There are too many people I really care about whom I hardly ever see. This is partly because for the last two years I’ve been consistently choosing to spend my available free time dancing, and too many of my friends don’t dance. Still, I care about them and I don’t want to let them slip through my fingers for lack of a little effort. I’m a person who needs structure, so I’ve been trying to think of ways to structure friend time into my life. So far what I’ve come up with is having friends come over to watch TV with me, now that I actually have a TV night again. I know there’s got to be other ways to work this in. I’d be happy to hear other people’s ideas on this.
  3. My finances. I’m not gonna lie – I’m pretty much a spaz when it comes to money. I do stupid things. I buy stuff I don’t need. I either don’t plan ahead or I don’t follow the plan I have. I’ve bought the financial software, but I don’t use it. I never turn necessary paperwork in on time. I’m just awful at this stuff, and I know it. The accumulated impact of failure after failure becomes so overwhelming sometimes that I become emotionally paralyzed and can’t do anything at all until something snaps me out of it. However, little by little I’ve been improving, planning ahead, taking necessary steps to make sure every thing’s covered. I’m still far from perfect, but I have hopes that finally, this year I’ll get my stuff together.
  4. My writing. I took first prize in a poetry contest in 2007. Now I have two publishing creds under my belt. I’d like to have more. I don’t want to set a goal for acceptances or prizes, but I would like to send out at least two submissions every month. It’s not a lot, but I think it’s an important step for me. In his latest letter Joe sent me information on a poetry competition for a magazine he reads. I think I’ll start there.

And that’s what I have. I think they’re pretty good goals, challenging but achievable. The best part? None of them involve romance!

So I think I have a date this summer.  Sometime between June 13 and June 16, Basil and I are going to get together, spend some time, and consume a yet-t0-be-determined beverage (he said something about orange juice, but I’m pretty sure he was teasing).  It took a little while to sink in that I had just scheduled a date with him.  It wasn’t until I wrote the words in a letter to Lucy the next day that I really realized what had happened the night before.  Then I had to stop and breathe a moment.  However, as I was writing, I realized that I really admire the way that Basil has handled the situation.  This is the third time I’ve been in a class with an instructor who is interested in me.  Of all those guys, he is the only one who has proceeded without:

  1. doing anything the slightest bit inappropriate,
  2. pushing my boundaries in any way, or
  3. leaving any doubt whether or when I would see him again.

At the same time, his discretion has given me a lot of freedom.  I don’t need to know precisely how I feel about him.  I don’t need to try to figure out exactly how he feels about me.  I just don’t need to know.  I have a lot of questions (am I really up for a bi-racial relationship?  is he?  we’re very different – can our personalities really mesh?), but knowing that I don’t have enough data to answer them in any meaningful way means that I’m less tempted to try.  It’s very restful.

This absence of pressure is such a huge gift to me.  My whole life is one big pressure cooker right now.  I’m a full time student, and it’s the end of the semester.  I have several other projects going on right now as well.  And (barring a miracle) my roommate is dieing of liver cancer.  On top of this, Joe has been calling every night wanting to talk.  Trey (so far) only wants books, but he isn’t being all that clear about exactly what he wants.  Basil doesn’t want anything from me right now.  In June we’ll meet and go drink something.  At the moment, he doesn’t need anything at all.  It’s so nice.  It may be the only restful thing in my life.  Every time I think about it, I’m pretty sure my blood pressure goes down a notch.

Restful.