29 May 2005

Twice the Fun

One Lageman is a ton of fun, but two are exponentially greater! And I got to hang out with them both today.

After today's show, the delightful Robin W invited us to a picnic at her house on the South Side Slopes. The view from up there is really quite something -- I crawled up on her roof and snapped some shots of the Pittsburgh skyline. Sadly, since they're on film, you've gotta wait 'til I get 'em developed and scanned to look at them.

The party was really delightful; I got to see a number of people I haven't seen in an age, including my friends Brian and Fred - the two gay men I know with the longest-lived relationship of any of my contemporaries. They give me something to shoot for. I hope someday to meet someone and have the kinda longevity these two have.

So it was a great picnic -- and a wonderful reminder of how great it is to have friends.

I've talked a lot over the years about how much I enjoyed having a really small circle of really good friends - and how happy I was to just let the myriad other people passing through my life to just be acquaintances -- but I've had time lately to really regret that line of reasoning. And it's hard to just decide to stop thinking the way you've thought for twenty years.

Up until the past few years, I've been content to not know a lot of people, to keep the number of people I know to a minimum. It was partly a reaction to my paralyzing shyness in meeting new people, and partly my in-bred belief that if you think of someone as your friend, you need to be in constant contact with them; that you can't let their lives slip away from you. And that requires a lot of work. A lot.

So I was content to let the acquaintances pass through my life without making any particular emotional commitment to them, and keep my small circle of five or six really good friends; The Lagemæ, Ken B, Toni, and more recently Chris. They managed to fill up my life, and they were -- I thought -- about as much as I could handle in the sense that I could keep track of their lives and work to be a really big part of them, and, as importantly, make them a part of mine.

But here's the thing: The Lagemæ have left New York. It's a pretty fair bet that Kenny'll be gone in a year, and Chris is considering leaving as well, though he has no specific plans.

So that's where my brilliant "I only want close, true friends" plan gets me. Alone in New York City without a support structure. Thus my obsession with expanding my circle of friends. I'm not saying that I need to cultivate a new crop of people as important to me as Kenny, Kevin, Kirsten, Chris, and Toni -- I'm just saying that I need to be a little more open.

And who knows, maybe being open will net me a lovah, or even better, a boyfriend!

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