It seems so much of my life right now is engrossed in love. Or, at least, the media that I expose myself to discusses it. (Then, I really do have life outside work since this statement certainly is exclusive of the over 60 hours I spend in the office. There is no love in that cubicle on Madison Avenue; only a striving towards indifference in the midst of haplessness and ambivalent bitterness.)

I feel like I’ve been on the Love Boat these past few weeks. The cruise began on the week of the NY Musical Theater Festival (NYMF) where I saw Josh Walden’s dance review All is Love and Darius de Haas in his one-man show The Man in My Head. Josh Walden, a prolific choreographer, presents his comment on love through the eyes of three bright-eyed women who come to New York City for the first time. Imagine three Millies, one ending up more thoroughly modern than the other, each distinguished by her own primary color as seen on her outfit — yellow girl, green girl and red girl, in one show each pursuing a different story. The choreography is exquisite with its magic woven into the picture of the group’s movement as a whole (such as the portrayal of the city waking up to its eventual hustle and bustle in the beginning) as well as into each dancer’s individual image painting its unique own with the haunting original music (such as each of the girl’s sequences of infatuation). Throughout the show, the big city remains to be Babylon and the women encounter its cruelty in different forms from different men — the sexually unfulfilling scholar, the closet homosexual, the hunk-turned-rapist — leading into that one substantive heartbreak. But love, and not heartbreak, has the final say. The 3 women reunite in the end and find comfort in their friendship as the cycle of love and loss goes on with them continuing on to new relationships and new women coming into the city to replace them where they have left off. Finding romantic love and forging the relationships needed for it, especially in a big city, is most complex and in the event that one gets entangled in its intricate web of misery, there is always that most reliable love, friendship, to fall back upon and rise from. One is never without love as one is never without a friend. I wish Darius’ show was just as satisfying. I have always been a fan of his lush and smooth voice which scales all ranges (ever since I saw him perform in Rosie’s cruise last year). But his one-man show, which tells the tale of a young boy from Indiana who moves to NY, comes out to himself and to everyone around him, simply doesn’t have enough of the music to sustain a growing momentum throughout the show. The R&B rhythm seems monotonous after a while and, as is the danger in every one-person performance, the show falls into a pit of tedium. But Darius is a consummate performer and he gives into his (many) role(s) so much more than is written into them. I come out of the show relieved knowing that it’s over and that my story is shared with so many others. Now, if only I can have my grandmother turn out to be as accepting as the character’s granny from Indianapolis.

Those were Wednesday and Thursday nights 2 weeks ago. Tim came over Saturday night after his show. We woke up to Sunday brunch in bed of pancakes and maple sausage. We were deciding on a movie — The Blossomming of Maximo Oliveros was showing in the East Village but we felt like it was too much of a schlep to head out there from Brooklyn Heights — so we just stayed home and watched Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit as well as the last 2 episodes of Sex and the City which were on HBO on Demand. SATC has assumed the role of shrink (ever since I stopped going to one after Carter and I broke up.) (Okay, sometimes but very rarely, well-made and most entertaining animated films also fit the role if only as fantastic escape.) I feel like watching its reruns on Demand gives me reassuring insights every time I fall into a hole. I know it sounds pathetic that I turn to a TV series for therapy but I really love the show. It’s funny how I felt like I used to be Carrie who was always anguished by her own wonderful emotionality but now, I feel like I’ve grown to be Miranda, the no-nonsense pragmatist and career-driven cynic. (Okay, I do have to admit that I am Samantha too only in so far as she’s a slut. But I’ve also sought a relationship and am not limited by that one hunt for only sex.) I remember this line that Carrie drops when she breaks up with Aleksandr in their suite in Paris, how she is looking for that “all-consuming, inconvenient, I can’t-live-without-you” kind of love which the Russian wasn’t giving her as he lay wrapped in his own exclusive commitments. That must be the one line I love the most in the whole series. I love it because that has always been my fantasy — to experience, to receive as well as to give that all-consuming love. I don’t think I can say that line right now but the hope is that I eventually can and will. Tim was right beside me when Carrie said the line. I just ran my hand down the length of his back and he gently squeezed my leg. What cannot be said can at least be expressed in approximation.

The culmination of this cruising/rumination on love hit itself on Wednesday night when Tim and I saw Shortbus, John Cameron Mitchell’s new movie, as it opened in Chelsea. I just loved the movie. The film was released unrated (and, since watching the docu The Film is Not Yet Rated at the IFC, understandably so. This was art most admirably superceding commerce since the only plausible rating of an R for a wider, more commercial and profitable release would have compromised so much of the integrity of the film.) I have never seen so much dick,ass and pussy as well as blowjobs, 3ways and vaginal penetration on the big screen until this movie came along. (The opening sequences were like the Kama Sutra!) What began as seemingly porn suddenly but never abruptly evolved into an exposition on sex which, ultimately, is love (whether you fuck either a vagina or an ass.) It tells of 2 couples’ search — one hetero and one homo — for love in each of their relationships and how these journeys find all four of them in Shortbus, a DUMBO salon/sexclub for everyone who needs and wants it. (Apparently, Shortbus is an allusion to the shorter school buses for the special children with special needs as opposed to the bigger buses for the “regular” kids.) I thought the movie hit its mark when it showed how urbane relationships have become so overly sexualized that sex, being the be-all and end-all of an encounter, leaves no if little room for anything more on the level of emotion. Interrelation has been reduced to sheer fucking devoid of the connection integral to ecstasy. The couples knowingly but unexpressedly drift away from each other as the emotional chasm that they have built between themselves grows. The challenge is in rekindling the connection if it was lost or finding it if it was never there and the breakthrough lay in the realization that it is absent or lacking or gone and should be found. Desire is the spark of ecstasy. Everything else that comes after it (whether a therapist or a sexclub or a 3way partner or a dominatrix) is cinderblock.

It was an early night for Tim and I. He had early rehearsal Thursday and I had a long day capped off by a Leukemia Walk I had committed myself to. (What began as an office engagement became a genuine commitment for me.) As I saw him off the subway, I found myself smiling. It may not be an all-consuming L-bomb relationship yet, but I am not rushing. I am more than happy knowing that I simply want to be with him.

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