Jeremy 2: my bi

Jeremy and I have now had maybe four? meets at the diner. I continue to share my memories of our conversations, reconstructing them as I can. My memory of the conversations is not linear and swirl around in my head — I am likely to repeat myself, probably have. Our conversations themselves may have covered same ground from other diner times.

Moreover, I forget what I’ve posted before. Or written before — apart from any conversation with Jeremy. Long story short, I fear I am repeating things, so bear with me. I hope it’s still of interest — if only as a real-life example of how I talk about my life and sexuality in the presence of another person, a friend.

BTW, I’m renumbering some of these as just “Jeremy” with an added topic title. Eventually I’ll put all the Jeremy conversation in a separate folder at the top of my blog. (I kind of want to title these “Diner Dishes.”)

We talk about other things too, things not my current life, often reminiscing about our college years. I don’t recount those conversations here, as our references to people and events wouldn’t mean anything to my readers. But it’s a memory lane reverie for us, fun and richly poignant, as we each recall the future we imagined then and the future we’re in now.

Jeremy says, “We eventually become who we really are.”

We agree that in college — in our “arts & lit” cohort — we had visions of a life of the highest level artistic accomplishment — which we have not achieved. We also agree in retrospect, we really didn’t want that. Those aspirations were interests, perhaps, but not who we really are.

He confesses he had aims to become a “man of letters,” so to speak, a writer of the finest literature. But here he is as a stringer for an assortment of periodicals, writing human-interest articles. “But, you know, Shae,” he says, “this is what makes me happy. This is what I was supposed to become.”

I tell him I am blessed to be able to write. I share with him about some of my other writing outside my blog — and vow that I intend to get back to my erotica and mainstream fiction. “I don’t think much about getting published. That may or may not happen. But it is deeply satisfying just to write.”

He is curious as to how much I knew about myself in college in light of my lifestyle now.

I laugh. “Well I certainly didn’t think then that my high purpose in life was to become a sex slave!” I say it a little too loudly. Fortunately, at mid-afternoon the diner is not busy.

“You might,” Jeremy says with a smile, “want to use your inside voice.”

I laugh, blushing.

There’s a snippet of conversation that may have come in here or perhaps was in another diner visit. I share with him how I feel I’m about a “decade behind” in life. “I wish I had known at 19 what I knew of myself at 29.”

“I think most everyone can say that.”

“Yes, but my history is a slow self-reveal of my sexuality. I was delayed because of my upbringing. I wish I had come earlier to understand my bisexuality. And my submissiveness.”

He talks about his girlfriend (whom I will call Phoebe) in glowing terms. It leads him back to his self-confessed “sorry” dating life in college and romantic interests since.

He asks about my dating life back then: “Did you date a lot? I don’t recall.”

I dated some, I tell him, not a lot. I mention one guy I was kind of steady with one year and another I hung out with during a summer semester. “In college, at first, I was still kind of new to the dating scene. I didn’t date much in high school.”

“How much did you know of your bisexuality back in college?”

“I was aware, kinda sorta,” I tell him.

“Was it, I mean, because of your church stuff, was it a problem for you?”

It’s a great question, and while I have sifted through that part of my life before, I pause and take a sip of my coffee before answering. “The church calls it ‘same-sex attraction,’ and they see it as a sin, yes… They respect that some struggle with it, so to speak, and aren’t judgmental if you fight it, but they expect it to be overcome — somehow… Sure, I was aware of being attracted to girls in high school and college, but I never really saw it as a struggle. It wasn’t a fight for me.”

“Then did you see it as a sin inside you?”

I smile at his language. He’s outside the evangelical culture and doesn’t know the lingo. “Church stuff” and “sin inside you” are a little distant and “off.” No matter, I know what he means.

“Well, for me,” I finally say, “it was a background thing. I didn’t really think of myself as being bi in orientation… Also, I think some of this is different for girls than guys.”

“How do you mean?”

“Women have a more natural physical intimacy together. Even straight women commonly touch and hold hands and kiss, just as girlfriends. In college, I considered my attractions sort of in that category. It was more than that for me, but I rationalized it that way.”

“Did you have any girl-girl relationships at school?”

“Sort of. On occasion. Did you know Ashley Smith? Blonde, slender, some said she was bossy. But she was cute.

“She doesn’t ring a bell.”

“She was in other circles than ours. She was an athlete, volleyball and field hockey. I got tossed in with her on a project during some class I was in. I developed a crush on her.”

“Did that become something?”

“No and yes. We hung out together for a while. You know, social things but not as formal dates. She always initiated, asked me if I was going to something. I’d say I was thinking of it, and she say ‘Let’s go together.’ All of it was girlfriend-ish-ness.”

Jeremy laughs at my coined word.

“Well,” I say, “that’s what it is. For women it’s sometimes just a whisper of distance between friendship and intimacy. It’s girlfriend stuff… until it’s more.”

“May I ask if you ever got intimate with Ashley?”

“We did, mildly so. We kissed sometimes. Once we made out in the back seat of a car, but not all they way. We kept our clothes on but there was more intimate touching, yes. But it was nothing more, and nothing further after that one time. She had to leave school because of a family heath issue.”

“Did you later feel guilty about that make-out time with her in the car?”

“No. I never did. I think I liked it too much.”

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