Families and flirty friends
Saturday, May. 16, 2020 - 9:51 pm.

I'm in three different pandemic-related research projects, all of them are side gigs. Two from my boss, and one with Brother #3: Respectively, one proposal and one international collaboration, and one data collection that's leading to three very interesting papers. I can't complain, though, because I'm not the one doing most of the work in either of them, I mostly look things over and give them the heads-up.

The week's been fine, as usual. Andrew and I went together to the supermarket for the first time in two months. It wasn't as we expected, in a good way. Other than us wearing face masks all the time, it was relaxed and the supermarket was nearly empty. We did go early in the morning on a weekday, though.

We were concerned because a lockdown was set in place in the capital the day before, and we figured that would trigger some panic and stricter measures down south. It hasn't happened, thankfully, but we needed to stock up, anyway. Andrew hadn't gone grocery shopping in almost two weeks. He had gone to a farmers' market a few days before, though, and got a magnificent cheese wheel among his fruits and vegetables.

Anyway, lockdown measures remain. From our apartment we see that the streets are busy again, although everybody wears a mask and most shops demand physical distance. We don't meet with friends yet. Andrew and I are still on lockdown and our university is functioning online only until further notice.

This week we also got a care package from Andrew's parents. His mom made us curtains because we couldn't find the type for the rails in this apartment. We're sleeping better now because the ones we had, that came with the apartment, were too thin and let in all the cold and the light from the street (we live in front of a big gas station). His parents also sent us homemade jams, a sweater for Andrew, and a winter hat for me, yesssssss. It was comforting.

On my parents' side, things aren't so comforting. My dad is anxious, depressed, trying to give himself all kinds of ailments to score meds and doctors' appointments. Guess what, mister, you're living under a near dictatorship now (which you fucking support), so not only you're at risk of getting the virus because the doctors willing to see you are working at poorly-resourced hospitals. You also risk, and are putting my sister at risk of, being stopped on the street by a soldier or a cop, and get sent to a shelter for over 40 days just because to them you seemed suspicious of being ill.

He doesn't drink water and barely moves, so he's dehydrated and with zero muscle strength in his legs. He also fell off the bed twice this week while sleeping and hit his head, and got a bloody lip. He tried to get a doctor to see him, but this isn't urgent, and thankfully he got back to his senses when my siblings told him his doctor is currently working shifts at different hospitals.

Like Brother #1 says, it's hard to know what's true and what's made up with my dad. He needs attention, pity and seeing doctor after doctor to tell him how in bad shape he is. Finally one of my siblings said this week that what my dad needs is a psychiatrist. He carries a lot of unresolved trauma and family conflicts, on top of his need to always be the center of attention. I mean, we've all always known that, it's just nice that someone says out loud, even though we know that's the one doctor he won't see.

Most of my dad's health problems are of his own doing (not to say they're not real) and he's not willing to exercise his legs nor drink water. Plus, he's so shitty to mom; she has to do everything for him but they fight and sometimes he plainly doesn't talk to her. My mom's at least dealing with it better now, just not catching on his nasty ways. But what a miserable man my dad is, and my heart breaks for my mom, who should be focusing on her own health.

Ugh, let's change subject.

I have a gilfriend. In my head. It's this friend of my friend Virginia, we'll call her G. We've been talking everyday for over a week, and she got me to tell her my full story with my ex Joseph(!!!). I'm only starting 2009, I haven't gotten to the juiciest, most painful parts when I had to deal with him and his new wife.

It's been nice having an audience to revisit this. I'd never told the story of Joseph to anyone this way, and she's invested in it. I think. It's interesting talking about this after nearly 12 years; a bit draining, but I'm enjoying it. I've also noticed that many things that killed me back then have faded from my memory. But hey, that's what this diary is for, eh.

Other than that, we flirt with each other. I think she likes me, because she's the one who's been on my tail for a while on social media and I think she enjoys my comics and columns. I like her, too, it's nice and easy talking to her.

One of these days I was telling her that I'd made omelets for dinner (one of my biggest achievements during the pandemic), and she said she never made those because she wasn't great at making them. The next morning, she sent me a picture of an omelet she'd just made, saying she'd cook one for me for breakfast if there was a chance one day. I thought it was funny and sweet, but half a day later I wondered if she meant it with me spending the night with her in mind.

Look, I'm having fun with this. Because it's safe, yes. She lives in Canada, for starters, and nobody's traveling anywhere anytime soon. But I do watch my step. I don't want to be a tourist. If she likes me as much as she seems to, I don't want to make promises to her that I can't keep, while simultaneously breaking promises that I made to Andrew. He'd never go through my phone, but when I'm getting too flirty I ask myself if I'd be comfortable with him seeing those messages, or if I'd be comfortable if I saw him doing the same with someone else. This has done wonders to keep me in check.

Hence, the most scandalous things in our chat are us appreciating booties in general, talking about our days, and exchanging "baby" and "gorgeous", but queer girl friends bond that way. And she knows I'm not looking for a relationship. I told her, once we were talking about our coming out, that I have all my emotional needs met and that I'm really happy with and in my marriage. And maybe after all I'm just imagining things with her. If it's just my imagination, all the better for everyone. Or, if she just wants to play with me, please, by all means.

Last night I was finishing texting with her while Andrew was trying to get it on with me (and he succeeded). This has got to be my peak bisexual experience in life so far.

One last thing: Tomorrow's the Day against LGBTI-phobia. It marks the anniversary of my first column in that digital newspaper, my big coming out online for the world to see.

All right. Here's wishing that you remain safe and healthy.

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