Wiscon 2012. The Sign-Out. This is the final event of a five-day con, a ballroom lined with tables at which writers sign their wares. I was punchy, in that place beyond exhaustion where hilarity lives; skogkatt had brought pretty gel pens, but had no books to sign, so I said "Sign me!" And she did, and britmandelo was sitting next to her and she did too. And then I just went around the room brandishing pens at anyone who looked like they might not be appalled at the idea. It was fun! People had fun. I was an engine of ridiculousness. And covered in signatures - back, belly, neck, arms.
And I turned from a table and michaeldthomas was there.
And he paused.
I had not been planning to ask him; I'd met him only in passing the previous night, didn't know if he'd be weirded out by this strange person wanting him to sign her body.
But he paused.
What you should know about me is that I do obsessive pattern-matching. I like to figure shit out. I like to figure people out. I map things. (Yes, I missed a big thing, but that's not what this post is about - the point is that I'm normally fairly impeccable.)
It wasn't a long pause. Was it even a full second? But it told me that one of two things must be true:
1. He did not want to touch me and was trying to figure out if he could get out of it gracefully.
2. He very, very much wanted to touch me and had not yet decided if he was going to allow himself to.
He unfroze and grabbed my wrist a little too quickly and signed me, and there were polite niceties, and we moved on.
But hmm, I thought. Hm. That's interesting.
By the time I got back to Boston, he'd followed me on Twitter and friended me on LJ. I reciprocated and friended him on Facebook. And for a few months, we just got friendly with each other there.
But I liked him. And there were sixteen bajillion reasons why I could never be with him, but I just liked talking to him so much. So naturally when I was reading something about which I had unprintable opinions, I ranted to him in e-mail. And when he was off Twitter for Worldcon, I missed him terribly and told him so via Gchat.
He snuck into being part of my everyday life. Neither of us planned it. It just happened.
And when shit went haywire in September, suddenly I was talking to him about it like he'd been my sounding board for half my life. He was there for me when my grandma died. He was there through everything. Bastian to my Atreyu.
But we could never be together. For those sixteen bajillion reasons. So even when we started texting each other and chatting every day, we never brought it up. That's not what this is because that can't be what this is. We are just incredibly close friends.
....yeah, everyone knew. *wry smile*
We were experts in negative space, in never saying that, never asking this question, because to acknowledge it meant that we had to deal with it. (This is also why I didn't have the case of mentionitis about him here that I did offline.) And. We could never be together.
But one night in April I went out for drinks with a guy Judah was trying to get me to schtup as part of his access into his new group.
And I couldn't stop thinking of Michael.
I walked home from Harvard Square composing wild incoherent declarations of FEELINGS in my head. No matter what I kept telling myself, no matter what restrictions I was trying to put on myself, my heart was wild and wide open and I couldn't - to be silent now was to lie. I was faced with my heart. I could not be silent.
And the next morning I took a deep breath and, on Gchat, I told him everything.
to be continued.