Here is the latest Deconstructing Brian. Session 10. Thanks, R.(PS to Pfyre, in the version I'm seeing now all the line breaks are in, and all were made with the enter key. Let me know how it looks to you.)
Doctor's Notes: BK arrived on time, as usual. He was fastidiously dressed in an expensive suit and tie and looked composed and rested. He was perhaps quieter than usual, and I had to work at drawing him out. His reticence was explained early in the session.
Excerpt from Transcript:
Doctor: What's on your mind, Brian? You seem almost artificially serene today.
BK: Some bad news on the personal front.
Doctor: I see.
BK: Puts the rest of this shit in perspective.
Doctor: Can you share it?
BK: Justin's kid sister is sick. Could be serious. Leukemia, maybe.
Doctor: I'm certainly sorry to hear that. How is he holding up?
BK: He went back to Pittsburgh to be with his mom and his sister while they run all those nasty tests.
Doctor: Of course. Did you object?
BK: (Frowned.) I'm not a monster, Lydia. I wanted him to go back and be with his family! I bought his ticket! I'd go myself, if I didn't believe my presence would just aggravate the situation. His parents are divorced, and the only thing they agree on is how much they dislike me. They have enough to worry about with their daughter. They don't need to see me with their boy.
Doctor: I see. Did he come over and tell you about it before he left?
BK: He spent the night with me, the night before his mom called. He just showed up at my place in the middle of the night.
D0ctor: How did that go?
BK: (Smiled.) It was good, really. We had a hot night, playing this little game about his hating me. At least I THINK it was a game.
Doctor: Hating you?
BK: (Laughed.) Yeah, you know, how much do you hate me NOW? Ba da bing!
Doctor: I see. A sex game.
BK: Yeah. And before I left the next morning, he took a shower with me and it was like old times. Sexy, but also tender, you know? No games.
Doctor: Did you talk much or just have a lot of sex?
BK: More sex than talk. I figured we'd talk that evening, but he got the call. He had to leave.
Doctor: So nothing was resolved about Jeffrey?
BK: Resolved? No, not really. Ironically, Jeffrey stopped by my place and was there with Justin when he got the call from his mom. Jeff talked to her. Calmed her down. He is a pediatric oncologist, after all. He can talk the talk. Even Justin had to admit he was helpful and kind to Jennifer.
Doctor: How do you feel about that?
BK: I'd like to see Jeff and Justin reach some kind of peace.
Doctor: Is that realistic?
BK: Why not? We're all grown ups. Well, Justin is almost there.
Doctor: And what would that accommodation be, Brian? Justin is your partner and Jeffrey is your bit on the side? You think either of them would settle for that?
Doctor: No, me either. So where does that leave you?
BK: Look, right now, I care more about the fact Molly, his sister, is sick. It seems to me, we can put all this angst on the back burner for the time being.
Doctor: Of course the focus will be just that. Her health. But unfortunately, Brian, real life has a way of intervening, even during times of crisis. You need a game plan, at least in your head. You still have big questions in need of resolution.
BK: Yeah, I know that. I just thought with a kid battling for her life, this romance shit seems a bit sleazy. My old friend Mikey is coming into town Friday. It'll be good to see him, and he'll also be a distraction.
Doctor: Will you tell him about your current dilemma?
BK: Doubt it. What advice could Mikey offer? He's a relationship disaster, too. He's only succeeded with Ben because Ben is a fucking saint.
Doctor: Will you be seeing Jeffrey while Justin is gone?
BK: Probably. But I won't be FUCKING Jeffrey. I made up my mind. While Justin is in Pittsburgh, dealing with this big issue, I'm not sleeping around. At least not with Jeff. If some trick comes along, well, Justin understands about that.
Doctor: So a total commitment is out of the question.
BK: (Frowned.) To be fair, I don't know how long he'll be gone, do I? I'm not a monk.
Doctor: Some might consider masturbation an alternative.
BK: (Smirked.) Yeah, that's good too.
Doctor: Brian, I was going through your file. You indicated that early on in your life, you had a relationship, other than Lindsay, that was significant. What can you share about that?
BK: God, it was so long ago. Funny, Justin just asked me about him.
Doctor: How long ago was it?
BK: College. I was nineteen.
Doctor: Who was he?
BK: Not who you think.
Doctor: Who do I think?
BK: Some frat boy or jock or even a naughty professor.
Doctor: Well, then?
BK: He was a gardener. At the university. A groundskeeper. (Smiled.) Sort of a Lady Chatterly's lover, kind of thing. Except I was no lady.
Doctor: You're right, that does surprise me. Go on. Older?
BK: Yeah, late twenties. He was an Italian immigrant. He had only been in the U.S. a few years. His name was Renard. His mother was French. He was a beautiful man, with black curly hair and green eyes. I used to stare at him in those khaki work clothes, up to his elbows in soil, and I was reminded of Roman statues with those elegant profiles and lean, muscular bodies.
Doctor: Who made the first move?
BK: He did, I guess.
Doctor: How did it happen?
BK: I played soccer. That was before I fell out with my coach, who made Hitler look reasonable.
Doctor: I see.
BK: Anyway, one day, after practice, I was doing penalty kicks, just fucking off, testing my chops. I noticed Renard was watching me. He finally came over and told me what I was doing wrong. My follow through was off. I said bullshit, and he played goal tender for me and deflected every one of my kicks. He was good! So, I let him give me some clues. We agreed to go out for a beer after I showered and changed. At the pub, he told me his life story. He was a professional soccer player in Italy, got kicked out of the league for habitual fighting. He said he found peace with himself only after he learned about gardening. Growing things centered him.
Doctor: How did he end up in America?
BK: Married an American girl, but it didn't work out. Mainly because he was into dick, but in his culture, that was a very difficult thing to admit.
Doctor: It is in ours as well.
BK: (Shrugged.) I guess. Worse for him, I think. But we both had the Catholic thing to contend with. And family pressures.
Doctor: You became lovers?
BK: Yeah, more than that. We had a little affair. Kid stuff. But I was hung up on him. Why not? He was masculine, beautiful, an athlete, plus he had this kind of zen flower power thing going for him. Everyone in the gay community wanted him. I was flattered that he fixated on me.
Doctor: How long did it last?
BK: Until I went over to his place one afternoon and found him in bed with two guys I'd seen around campus.
Doctor: Did you think you were exclusive?
BK: Yes, but not because he made me any promises. We never discussed it. I just assumed he shared my infatuation.
Doctor: Which he did not?
BK: True. I was a kid. What did I know?
Doctor: You were hurt?
BK: Yeah. You know how kids exaggerate everything. Melodrama.
Doctor: Did he talk to you about it?
BK: Sure. He told me that love is bullshit. It's for girls and suckers. The only thing that matters is fucking. Fucking is real, is tangible. Never confuse the two.
Doctor: You seem to have learned that lesson rather well.
BK: It became my credo.
Doctor: What happened to him?
BK: Not sure, but I heard he married a wealthy woman. He was killed in a car crash, several years ago. I saw a blurb in the paper in Pittsburgh. He was with some young guy who was also killed. Driving a Mercedes 500 SL. Renard did alright for himself.
Doctor: Did it make you sad?
BK: I felt like I owed him something. But then I thought, fuck him, the cheating bastard! (Laughed.)
Doctor: So your first real infatuation was with a player?
Doctor: What did you do after the two of you broke up?
BK: I started tricking.
Doctor: And that stopped when?
BK: ( Shrugged.) Hasn't stopped. Slowed down, but hasn't stopped, really. I'm still a free man. If I want to trick with someone, I will.
Doctor: I see. And since you don't count Jeffrey as a trick, who is the last man you tricked with?
Doctor: You can't remember?
BK: His name? (Laughed.) I don't usually get names.
Doctor: I don't need a name. Tell me a circumstance, a time. No details necessary. This isn't a salacious inquiry.
BK: (Silent pause.) I...I'm not sure.
BK: Shit, I think it was the night I last called Justin in Pittsburgh. Before he came here. I went to a bar after work and picked up some guy and brought him home. After that, I was going to trick with the bartender, but Justin arrived in town, and that screwed it up. So it's been awhile, if that's your point.
Doctor: That's my point, Brian. How important is tricking to you now, at your present age and station in life? Or is it some image of your youth and a pale stand in for personal freedom that you think you OUGHT to want or you fear you may be losing out on something?
BK:(Frowned.) I always thought those old farts who cruise clubs and bars, hitting on young men, are pathetic. I never wanted to end up like them. But I'm not that much less horny now than I was at nineteen, and I just presumed tricking would take on a different caste. Instead of prowling clubs, I'd meet guys at work, or a party or working for a production company on one of our ads, or modeling in an ad.
Doctor: Or at the Natural History Museum?
BK: (Glared.) Jeff is not a trick.
Doctor: What is he?
BK: A friend.
Doctor: A friend you fuck?
BK: Yes, a friend I fuck.
Doctor: A friend who threatens your relationship with Justin?
Doctor: Now who's being na´ve, Brian?
BK: Justin's still a kid. He'll get over it.
Doctor: Just as you would do if he introduced you to some dynamic, handsome, successful man he was fucking?
BK: Ok, I admit it. I'd hate that. But I've been through that fire with Justin, and it's not happening again.
Doctor: You mean YOU aren't going to be the cuckold again?
BK: (Long pause.) Yes.
BK: Because it hurts too much!
Doctor: Then why would it be alright for you to inflict that pain on him? Because he owes you one free pass?
BK: This is ridiculous.
Doctor: What's ridiculous about it, Brian? It's a legitimate question.
BK: I didn't plan on Jeffrey.
Doctor: Do you think Justin PLANNED on his lover?
BK: Because he wasn't getting what he thought he needed from me.
Doctor: Are you sure you're getting what you need from him?
Doctor: And is he getting from you what he needs now?
BK: He came back to me, didn't he? Yeah, he left again, but that was just anger and hurt feelings. He wasn't gone long. This trip to Pittsburgh doesn't count. He had no choice.
Doctor: Will he see his former lover while he's there?
BK: (Smiled slightly.) Is that some kind of technique? Supposed to shake me up or something? That's just cheap and low, Lydia.
Doctor: Is it? Does the idea of it bother you?
BK: Fuck it, I don't care.
Doctor: You can do better than that, Brian.
BK: Ok, I do care. And no, he's not going to look him up.
Doctor: Why not? Who knows how long he'll be gone and after all...boys will be boys.
BK: (Laughed.) Good try, but I don't play that easily, Lydia. I'm much harder to rattle than that.
Doctor: No, you really aren't.
BK:( Long pause.) You're probably right. I'll just brood about it in private and wonder why you were trying to get to me, and then turn it into some plot and lose all confidence in you.
Doctor: See the lovely insights these sessions are giving you into yourself?
BK: (Laughed.) Seriously, Lydia, while Justin is gone, I have to sort out this Jeff thing. I need to make sense out of it, somehow.
Doctor: Unfortunately, we can't always put time deadlines on emotions. But think about what Jeff has brought to your life. How has he enriched it? How has he damaged it? Where do you see it going, and at what cost?
Doctor: I know. Relationships can be a drag. So much better to be a promiscuous barfly.
BK: You got that right. This sucks. So... are you going to meet with Mikey while he's in town?
Doctor: Your oldest and bestest friend in the whole wide world? Do I have a choice? Of course I will.
BK: Good luck.
BK: Mikey is a piece of work. Like a big kid in some ways. An idiot savant in others. To say he is lacking in finesse is a compliment.
Doctor: But you obviously love him very much.
BK: Sure, he's my bud. Unconditional love is Mikey. I'd do anything for him. And vice versa.
Doctor: Swell, Brian, because a dose of unconditional love is just what you need right now, in my humble opinion. Someone to straight talk with you.
BK: We're both fags, Lydia. Straight talk is hard to conjure.
End of transcript.
Doctor's Notes: BK seemed much more controlled today, although not falsely so. He has the type of personality that performs well in a crisis, as with JT's sister's illness. He only tends towards panic with his own emotions, not when providing a strong shoulder for friends. He is a clear thinker in a bad situation, but he is under a lot of pressure from Jeffrey and is confused by his feelings towards the man. JT's unavoidable temporary exit couldn't have come at a worse time, from a relationship stand point. I have hope that BK's old friend's visit will provide him with non-judgmental encouragement and guidance. Despite his cool demeanor, BK is suffering right now from disassociation from those closest to him, and profound isolation. His revelation of his college relationship with Renard demonstrates an early genesis for the attitude he later adopted towards lovers. He obviously fell for this man, and was treated badly and discarded as just another trick. So he assumed the man's attitude towards love: love is without merit, and only sexual conquest fulfills. This shell he's constructed around that young Brian, who fell in love with an older man, is deep and hearty. But the young Brian still exists inside, and each session brings new insights into how desperately he wants to let that person emerge.
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July 25, 2004