Archive for culture

affection

Posted in cusak, language with tags , on Wed, 05 Nov, 2008 :: 309/45 :: 13:45:34 +0000 by anaïs' little sister

Etymology: c.1230, “an emotion of the mind, passion, lust as opposed to reason,” from O.Fr. affection, from L. affectionem (nom affectio) “inclination, influence, permanent state of feeling,” from affec-, stem of afficere “to do something to, act on” (see affect (n.)). Sense developed from “disposition” to “good disposition toward” (1382). Affectionate in the sense of “loving” is from 1586.

“They’re out-cute-ing us,” I whined petulantly. Most men would recognize this as the girlfriend’s plea to demonstrate affection, to soothe her jangly nerves and reassure her that she was. Cusak laughed, and turned to one of the guys and offered to snuggle with him. I, unwilling to be outdone began snuggling with the girls indiscriminately, as if offended by the PDA I had seen, and trying to place it back in its social box.

But secretly, I have to tell you, I’m a sucker for it. I am an affectionate person. I snuggle randomly, capriciously, on a whim. I touch, I kiss, I hold hands with. I hug hello and goodbye, leaving all whom I have as much as a comfortable acquaintance with (much less true friendship) in a cloud of clove smoke and (most days) vanilla with my passing. It defines me, this public affection, this easily shown allegiance given through even casual gestures.

And I expect it from my lover.

Cusak admits to me that holding hands is big for him. That any public touch at all, however slight, is mountainous from where he was. That he fears losing me because this is a hurdle for him. And I smile, and nod, and promise I won’t leave him over this (I won’t, now. I never promise him the future, we’re both too cagey, too wary, too often betrayed by such promises to risk it.) I watch him sleep, I listen to his breathing, and even in the medicated silence of the late night I wonder to myself what I have to change about me. To make myself accept. To become perfect. To create a comfortable space for him to express affection, or a space in which I no longer care.

I poke at the exposed bit of this mentality, picking at the scab. Peeling it back to see if there’s fresh, pink skin underneath yet. But there isn’t. Inside, the five year old who is my id still feels unclaimed, unloved, unheld. Because no one sees her when she is. Because she is just accepted as a part, as naturally falling into place as his girlfriend as his t-shirt falls into place as a post-ironic expression of his sarcasm (“Smile, Jesus loves you,” the yellow smiley face proclaims).

It is the same part of me that recoils to know a friend of his, however far from my hearing dislikes me and refers to me even in passing as icky, the part of me that refuses to put her hands on her hips and do something about it, but instead sulks in the recesses of my mind while I tell her not to. While I rationally dissect the situation to prove to myself that she is just my id, and I owe her nothing. That the freudian complications of my emotional state are built up to give me something to be actively neurotic about, like breathing — an autonomic function.

There’s nothing resolved, we both just went to sleep.

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miscellany

Posted in cusak, thoughts with tags on Sat, 27 Sep, 2008 :: 270/39 :: 15:40:10 +0000 by anaïs' little sister

I’ve been trying to put an entry up here for almost a week now. I have a half done entry about the ex, and a couple of thoughts that have become three sentence place holders in my drafts file. But of course, the more you want to pin the butterfly of thought to a board, the less still she sits.

It figures then, that my times of greatest thought are my times of least communication. I find it amusing that afterward — when the thinking’s done (much like the sex) — I want to talk about it. I want to process every little detail, and relive the whole experience through the vicariousness of my words, of sharing it with someone else.

That means one of these days you’ll get to see the posts.

**

It’s crossed my mind a lot, recently, that it’s been more than a year since I did E. I kind of miss it, in that “it was fun, but not worth risking my health or freedom to try to arrange it happening again” kind of way. Still, when you have a brain that moves as much as mine does, anything that gets you out of the head and into the body is something to be aware of.

Maybe it’ll fall into my lap again. Maybe it won’t.

**

Cusak’s mother now knows we’re “serious,” whatever the hell that means in the normal, white-bread world that is the place his parents live (existentially, not physical location). Have I mentioned how nervous I am at spending the holidays with his family? I mean, let’s break this down. I’m a Jew, I’m from the west coast originally (which is not where I’m currently living, obviously), my favorite colors are black and pink, and my favorite bands are the kinds of things grandparents yell at kids to turn down. How am I going to keep a straight face while sitting across the table from generations of old people, staring at a trussed up turkey, and wondering if he can replicate that kind of tie when we get home because I think it would make a great sexual position.

I have a hard enough time being “normal” around his immediate family, and they’re the liberal ones.

…the holidays, I’ve always thought, are sort of a purgatory for people like me (us?). We go back to these nests of people who would disapprove if they knew who we really were, and what we really did, and we pretend to be like them. We hide our deepest truths under the superficialities of our lives, and pretend like we really are the people we send to work, we take out of the box when dealing with sales people, the faces we hide behind.

And they believe it. Which makes me wonder how much our families ever knew about us anyway.

**

Maybe I’ll get to another sex post one of these days.