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July 26, 2010

For some reason it keeps popping into my head how my ex joined my typography class. I was really unsure about her liking it, so I told her that she needed to make sure she wanted to stay before the drop deadline. She stayed. As with most things, she seemed to accept that the class was happening, but ultimately she didn't really want it.

There is something that really bothers me about that story. That must be why I keep thinking about it.

I had broken up with her by that point, but the relationship dragged on for I think another year. The relationship became worthless. In the class, it was like there was some sort of magical barrier around my experience. By magical, I don't mean good; I just mean mystical and hard to define and therefore control.

Class was held in a nice dark and quiet room full of new iMacs, and the teacher was a likable person, but the ex colored every experience I had. Instead of being a typography class, it was a situation where I drove out to San Mateo with this girl who was wrong for me, who would sit by me, who I had little in common with. Where I went, she went. But it wasn't like she wanted to be there.

The class was a way for me to pursue an interest I had heard about but knew nothing about. For her, I think it was just an opportunity to follow me around.

We limit our experiences for codependent relationships. By having her there, I reduced the likelihood of making a new friend. Maybe not consciously, but on some level I thought "she is here, so why do I need anyone else". I did desperately need someone else, though. Or I at least needed to be away from her.

I just went into the kitchen and saw my mom put things in the wrong places in the fridge again even though I've emphasized how I'm trying to keep it clean.

So, yeah. In a lot of relationships, people just fulfill the role of my mom. By the time the momentary benefits were gone, I was left with the protective layer around me that prevented me from having new experiences, from being free.

I kept thinking yesterday about how the ex, in what sounded like a rehearsed speech, said to me that type isn't her art, music is. Something about that really bothered me, too.

Maybe it was because of who was telling me that. If she was someone who pursued singing like mad, who was always honing that craft, I would accept it. But she wasn't, so it just seemed like a way to rationalize the bad decision of coming into a place she didn't belong and then not making any effort to conform to the environment.

Not that anyone needs an excuse not to be into typography. And that may be one of my problems. I tried to show her things, like astronomy, typography, museums, nature, but none of it seemed to interest her. And I took it personally.

I took it personally every time our incompatibility manifested itself in some way. I should have ended it long before I did. Rather than trying to make things right, rather than trying to force compatibility. There are other girls out there who don't need to be convinced to have an interest in those things.
What she said bothered me at the time, too. Because I felt like typography is music. My interest in typography comes from the same brain that has an interest in music, so there were all kinds of connections I saw between the two arts. I don't see such an explicit line between them, or between much of anything. Almost anything has an analog in anything else. It is just a matter of finding it.
She wouldn't or couldn't find it.

I guess this story has been more pervasive than I realized when it kept repeating in my head, because for one of my upcoming comics, I have been spending a lot of time honing the type, first as a lark and then as an interest in maintaining beauty. It is a comic that is ugly by nature because it is the sort of thing I do that is almost intentionally shitty so that I can get it out with minimal anxiety. But last night I spent a long time on the type. I worked on it in a word processor since the graphics program is too limited for it, and then copied and pasted the processed type as an image.

Quite a while after taking the typography class, I got an email from someone who was in the class with me. She became my friend. She got me a job and we went to see New Moon together. I'm glad she got in touch with me. Codependent relationships have a way of blocking off such connections. Mine did, explicitly. The person I got in touch with even told me how the ex had a standoffish aura about her, so she avoided talking to me. It's no wonder I felt isolated. Even other people could see it.

After my ex and I broke up, not for good, but while I was still seeing her, I kind of kept her at arm's length so I wouldn't be controlled or held back. I still was, though. I was less compassionate than I should have been because to me, compassion facilitated the threat of control. I still feel that way. With this person I've been getting inside of lately, I've been less kind because she seems too affectionate to me. I don't want a relationship with her. I need to learn to grow a spine, so I can be kind, but still be assertive in what I want and know what I will and will not accept. Sex compromises relationships.

Two days ago, I went to fuckfest with a new friend, and we ended up in my backseat. Nothing happened, really, but it felt like it could have. And then there was the horrible sensation of guilt, like I had been cheating. But I wasn't cheating. So I lash out, to remind myself not to feel guilty, but it doesn't work like that. Pushing people away doesn't help anything. Knowing what I want does.

Everything is music. Or everything else.
I wanted to change the world through music, wanted to be known, but I was too afraid. I scared myself away.
So I've been learning to appreciate the art I do, that for all this time I've refused to acknowledge as art: the comics, the drawings the stories, the journal, the photography. All that stuff I beat up on for not being music. But all of it is music.