An unexpected anniversary and an unreachable audience
Saturday, May. 08, 2021 - 10:15 am.

Yesterday was the first anniversary of dating my girlfriend. This is not a sentence I ever thought I'd write but there you go.

I got flowers delivered to her, three roses, a gift more symbolic than exuberant. Look at me doing this kind of shit. It got her emotional AND made her sister jealous*, so my job there was done.

*I'm hoping this gesture will inspire her sister to dump the ass of a deadweight she's been dating for a while, that's all.

It feels like a lie that it's been a year, but also it feels like an eternity. I guess it's true that thing about queer relationships moving at a faster speed. But if that's the case, it was the same thing with Andrew, though the heteronormative eye would not see in us a couple of queers married to each other. But hey, liking each other at first sight and moving in together (as "acquaintances") two weeks later. I think that's just my style, though. I rush into things, but except for a couple of times, I've done it with the right people.

I digress. Helen's a wonderful person and I'm lucky to have her on my side. I've grown up thanks to her, and thanks to her I was freed from a fundamental part of my sexual trauma. I remain feeling uncapable of giving her what she wants from a relationship anymore, but she says I do plenty and wants to stick around for as long as possible. She's in love with me, even though we have yet to meet face to face.

We did have a rocky week. Two nights in a row she made some comments that just threw me off, one that was very condescending and the other that made me feel diminished, because she's a giver and has a hard time receiving. Neither of those comments came from a bad place in her, I know she didn't intend to sound that way. But it just made me feel even more exhausted. The second comment, or more like a dynamic, made me feel hurt.

I was already feeling hurt because of a remark Andrew had made about me. We were in yet another meeting with the social worker for our adoption case. We were describing each other's flaws, and he said something that I know he didn't mean but the way he phrased it felt like a slap in the face. He spent some 10 minutes trying to reformulate what he meant. I know what he meant, but he'd said something else and that hurt. That was also put in writing, but I hope the social worker corrected it.

Anyway. The hurt came and went in both cases. My week was rough mostly because I'm back to feeling exhausted, to waking up beat every morning. Work is enjoyable enough and not too demanding these days. My thesis students are being very annoying, but I hope that's just a phase.

What also has me upset constantly is the state of my home country. It's getting dangerous, but enough people (and propaganda) continue to applaud the government wiping out all opposition. Criticism is just jealousy. Cartoonists and twitter users are being told by people they know to be careful with what they post. The president called diplomats to a meeting, lectured them for an hour about why he's done what he's done (with zero arguments grounded in reality), recorded the meeting, and aired it without their knowledge nor consent the next night, passing it as addressing the nation. The list goes on.

Me, of course I'd like to do something about it. But I'm a nobody. I can spend hours carefully ellaborating a blog post or a twitter thread or just whatever about what's going on, but I don't have reach nor influence (in a way, thank God). It feels like a waste of time and knowledge.

I don't like staying silent, but also I don't think that pointing out at what's really going will change the mind of my pro-government friends and family. I'd just like to cut ties with them: Politics reflect your core beliefs and values, which have an impact on people's life, and if you so much as justify authoritarianism I'd like nothing to do with you. But hey, I don't have the strength of character to cut off these ties, one of which are my parents.

Just a few weeks ago I realised something. And this was thanks to Helen, who's always supporting my work (my fiction and non-fiction writing, my comics), not because I'm me, but because she truly appreciates them. I was surprised to learn she has appreciated it for years, way before we exchanged words a year and a half ago. Anyway, she always says the problem is not the quality of my work, but who's paying attention to it.

What I realized was that I've always sought validation for my work from my own country. For the fuck what?! I've directed my content to the people in it, as if "making it" there would lead me anywhere in life. That might've flown when I was 19 with a blog, when my world was so small and when social media wasn't ubiquitous.

I mean, OK, it *is* my country, so it is *my* people I'm trying to address about a reality I know. But no one listens to me. My pro-government friends and family are fond of me, but they won't believe what I'll say if it's anti-government. My friends and family in general are kind of gatekeepers to what I do (writing and comics), because they're exposed to it, but won't share it so others will be exposed to it. And the latter's fine! No one owes me that on account of knowing me. I just mean, they're probably not the audience my stuff is for.

Then *who* is my audience for my good stuff? And *how* do I address the people who are fond of me but don't believe me when I tell them something rotten's going on?

And on that note, I'll stop here.

Good news, though: Andrew and I are getting vaccinated in two weeks, around the 18th. We won't change our current indoor-cat routine, but it'll be a relief.

Holy shit, I just remembered. My sister also got vaccinated this week, and I was happy because now my four siblings have had at least a dose. But she got an adverse reaction that same night, she went to the hospital. It wasn't that bad, I was told in our sibling chat group (I don't know if my parents will be told about this), but she had trouble swallowing. They weren't seeing her as an emergency and I was scared the reaction might get worse.

I was crying, terrified, stuck to the phone waiting for the next message. I was able to fall asleep at midnight (with Andrew awake by my side, bless his heart), when she got treatment. The next day she was better, apparently with no signs of the allergic reaction. What a relief. Jesus fucking Christ, I got so scared. I shouldn't have gotten carried away with "what ifs", but I was too far away to do anything or gauge the situation properly, and I was aware that even with the vaccine things can go wrong. Thankfully, things went well. My sister's OK.

And after this episode that I'd already suppressed from my memory, I close this entry.

Nevertheless: Get vaccinated! Wear a mask! Do something nice to treat yourself! And fuck fascism forever.

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