Edit: Both the Homeric and Christian oracles are now online, and I'm still too sick to go do anything, really, though I'll be watching the game tonight at a friend's.
I'm also listening to a country song called "I'm Tired of Pretending I Don't Love You Anymore" by Travis Tritt. It's amusing how true country songs can sometimes be.
I started writing this entry yesterday (Thursday), and today (Friday) I wrote some as well. I don't know when it'll get posted, as I'm home sick from work, and posting isn't always an option. On the bright side, I got to spend a lot of time on magic, read a lot, and did my best to avoid daytime TV. Frighteningly, I'm watching Jerry Springer at the moment, though. "Are you having an affair but feel like it's your lover's fault you're cheating?" Geez, who answers "yes" to that question?
In the time that I was dating Tina, I had very, very rare thoughts about women other than Tina. Sometimes I wonder if I'm an exception or the rule. In fact, for long periods of time, I wouldn't even begin to fantasize about other women. While I still enjoyed looking, I'd look at a beautiful woman the same way that I would look at beautiful jewelry or watch a well-made movie. While they're entrancing, the thought of trying on the jewelry never crosses my mind, nor does acting in the movie.
I worked very hard to be honest. Any crush or fantasy I did have I talked to her about. Well, I did that once. Tina took that very poorly, though, so I simply stopped saying anything, and she never asked. In the end, it wasn't important to tell her the rare, odd fantasy because she took it so poorly the one time. I ended up feeling so guilty about the honesty, that I couldn't bring myself to say anything again.
Fortunately for me, the frequency of fantasies was incredibly rare to begin with, so it wasn't an issue of dishonesty to me, but more of a feeling of, "Mentioning this is going to cause problems, and when I'm honest with myself, fantasies don't affect my relationship at all." After the first one I told Tina about (I actually mentioned two or three that were running through my head at the time), they dropped off to almost nothing. The fantasies I did have about those particular women ended entirely. I still admired, but again, there was no desire to do more than look, nothing you could call a "fantasy" and be proper about.
In the end, I don't understand cheating. I can barely comprehend extensive fantasizing about someone who isn't your significant other because it's been so damn rare for me.
This has, of course, caused issues now that I'm single. I no longer have a single person to focus on, and interest in more than one person at a time is something I don't know how to deal with. Not everyone realizes that I spent 30% of my entire life with Tina, including my entire adult life (from 18 to 25). For that portion of my life, there wasn't any possibility that any other person might be something more than a friend. The possibilities today are mind-blowing to me, and they're also often terrifying.
Of course, this terror is tempered by the absolutely secure knowledge that I have friends I can talk to and trust. It amazes me how I see women now (I was shocked at how, when I went out with Brian the night Tina broke up with me, I could see far more beauty than I ever had before, beauty that had previously been totally eclipsed by Tina), and in particular how I see my closest female friends. I'm constantly astounded at the depths I see in them, things I could never access before. Perhaps I was just blind to how wonderful they are and can be because I didn't need the level of trust, safety, and love that I've received in the past five months. That's not to say that I was only seeing the surface of beauty or that I was basing my friendship or trust on a false sense of who the person was. . . But instead of believing that these women are deep, wonderful women, I now see that they're bottomless in their depth, and I'll never see the end of their concern for me.
My friends have been there more than I ever thought anyone could. I was astounded when one burst into tears when one found out that Tina had broken up with me. One talked with me extensively the day of, and for weeks afterwards, discussing options, other women, and how I was holding up. One just smiled and helped me weed my garden, knowing I'd talk about it when I was ready.
So a thank you to all those who have been there for me. Some have heard more than others, and no one really knows what the full story of my feelings is (heck, even I don't), but everyone who has been reading silently and who has chatted with me in person or over IM or over the phone has been helpful. Some of you have helped keep me from slipping into depression (laughter hasn't been banishing as well as it used to), some of you have rebuilt my confidence from the shattered fragments, and some of you have reminded me what it's like to be safe again. You've all stuck with me through the hardest time of my life, and I cannot tell you how much that means to me, but this is a start.
I'm the guy you know today because I've had such skilled gardeners tending me. I'm growing thanks to you, where others might have been stunted or died. I have good friends, and I don't thank them enough.
Well, that was a bit more verbose than I intended that aside to be, so back to Jerry.
I admit, it's fun to watch Jerry's expression during the show. I don't think that the former mayor of Cincinnati ever really expected to be here. Often, it's like he's watching a train-wreck. He's been doing this for fifteen years, and I think he's still completely at a loss for words. It's obvious that words simply fail to express what goes on when the cameras start rolling.
Here's hoping he can run for Governor of Ohio and bring some integrity back to our government.