Monday, August 11, 2003

We ran into Diane and Garett yesterday, and I guess that was okay. I've been avoiding all my friends, especially everyone from the library, because I just didn't want to have to explain that I lost my teaching job. Everyone at the library thought I was an idiot to be leaving a relatively high-paying job with benefits for a definitely low-paying job with no benefits, and I just don't want to hear them say, "I told you so." Or even worse, look at me with sympathy and sorrow and try to cheer me up. Diane and Garett were pretty matter-of-fact about it all, though, so it wasn't too bad. They made it sound like it wasn't any big deal and that I'd have a new job, a better job, by Monday, Tuesday at the latest. They're obviously wrong, but at least they didn't fuss.

We walked around with them and their friend, Jenny, and it sort of felt like "Be kind to Susan day," as they both spent a good chunk of their time telling Jenny about all the wonderful things I do with my spare time. Diane has always told me I've raised extracurricular activities to an art form, and I suppose she's right, I focus a lot more on the things I do outside of my job than the work I'm supposed to be doing inside my job. But yesterday it got to the point where I really thought the next thing Diane was going to say was, "Oh, did I tell you that Susan single-handedly designed, built and piloted a rocket to the moon last week?" it was that bad. Garett said everytime he sees me he feels bad because all he does after work is go home, watch Friends and maybe play his guitar a little. I told him the partial truth, that really, he's the smart one because I'm always tired, always on edge, trying to do too many things, while he's getting a good night's sleep. I didn't tell him the rest of the truth, which is that the only reason I do all this crap is because I can't stand myself the way I am, and I keep hoping I'll turn myself into something better. It's like I'm both Capability Brown and his landscape, simulataneously.

When I was younger, I always wanted to be really, really smart, and do really, really cool things with my life. I figured if I did all this remarkable stuff, if I was totally brilliant, then when people found out I was gay, maybe it wouldn't matter so much. Coming out cleared that up, but now I do the same thing, operating on the theory that if I spend all my time doing all this stuff, people will be distracted by the deeds and not notice that I'm a total nutcase; or, if they do figure that out, it won't matter so much because hey, at least I'm building houses for people who need them. I hope this plan is working.

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