Sunday, October 19, 2008
I keep eyeballs in a mason jar.
Yesterday was Bakersfield Pride 2008 at the Bakersfield Museum Of Art. It was quite lovely, actually. Lots of information booths (Including a couple of accepting local churches!), a stage with a dancing troupe, etc. I strolled through the museum while I was there, too. I loved the Dorothy Churchill-Johnson exhibition. Her stuff is very unsettling to me, but in a good way. The colors pop out in such a way that I actually got a little chill standing in the middle of the room, panning around.
I had a few drinks, tried to chat up a few people, and that's when I realized something. I've suddenly become socially awkward. I don't ever remember having trouble talking to strangers. See, no one was able to come with me, so I just figured I'd meet new people. Only, I didn't. I got all panicky and couldn't talk properly. I almost felt like Jeff from Coupling. I half expected to accidentally shout out something about keeping eyeballs in a mason jar, or worse.
I've never really been alone for long periods of time. And this year I've been alone a lot. I don't have many friends left in Bakersfield, and I'm not in a relationship at the moment, so I'm doing a lot of stuff by myself. And I'm just now figuring out that I'm terrible at it. I have these weird panic attacks when I'm alone in a crowd. I'd done so much to work through all my social anxieties over the years, and now they're all coming back.
I know that no one's staring at me and no one cares, but I get this weird sense of paranoia regardless. As an aside, the sheer amount of boys cuter and thinner and more fabulous than I'll ever be didn't really help either.
So after a few hours of trying to do the whole "loner solo me" thing, I just gave up and went home. I laid on my bed for a good 20 minutes, trying to drive out the panic. I felt like an idiot. I couldn't even properly give a good middle finger to the "yes on 8" people I saw. It seems like the more I work on certain aspects of my life, other areas are starting to lag behind or outright go into remission. Socially, I'm beginning to resemble a much fatter version of Gollum.
Later in the evening, one of my friends was freed from prior obligations and she wanted to meet up. She was disappointed that I was no longer at Pride. This was about an hour from closing of the festival. Eventually, other obligations kept me from going back out. By the end of the evening, I was watching baseball, wearing pajamas, and hugging my cats. It was the best I’d felt all day.