I bought a small coffee maker today. Why? To avoid having to buy things like the Starbucks Frappuccinos with unknown hormones in them, and energy drinks with sucralose in them. To spend less money on coffee every day.

I haven’t bought a coffeemaker in years because I wanted to quit coffee. I have gone years and years without one.

The coffee I bought was, apparently, super strong. I had only a few sips of it. I did not drink the entire cup. I am accustomed to drinking like ten bottles of coffee a day and not even feeling the slightest bit awake from it. THIS WAS DIFFERENT. THIS WAS NOT THE SAME THING.


I made the coffee at work in a tiny coffeepot.

I didn’t use ginseng. Ginseng is the other reason why I have to avoid energy drinks. When I am on ginseng, I cannot resist impulses to touch Agustin. But it is these light touches that he probably finds annoying, especially since I am not in his social group. He only wants to interact with me if I am socializing with everyone, not just alone with him one-on-one. He seems to feel it is safe if I am socializing with everyone at once and not demanding attention specifically from him.

I blurted out one or two words in Spanish, and he seemed to think that meant it was okay for him to acknowledge that I existed. I actually have a lot more words and sentences that I am capable of saying, but something stops me from saying them. It is not necessarily ‘lack of confidence.’ I have enough words that I remember from decades ago in Spanish class in school that I can still remember and use – in fact, those words from long ago were learned better than the new words I’m learning more recently.

Instead, it is more of a feeling that nobody really WANTS me to start speaking Spanish, nobody wants to encourage me to speak Spanish, nobody wants to acknowledge it if I do say anything in Spanish – this is just a feeling. There is no reward, there is nothing to be gained by saying anything in Spanish when the things that I have to say are unimportant anyhow. I am able to say things that are trivial that I don’t really care to say. I cannot say the important things that really matter to me.

Let me give an example of how I talk in English and how I am able to talk in Spanish. In English, I never say, ‘How are you?’ as a general greeting to everyone. Never. However, I do sometimes ask a person how they are, but I ask it in an intimate, specific way, if I have a feeling that something is wrong, so I might say, ‘How are you feeling today? You seem like you’re stressed out about something.’ Then I listen for their answer, which is going to be something specific that is happening to them – not just ‘HOW ARE YOU? FINE. HOW ARE YOU? GREAT.’ Instead it will be, ‘Well, I got out of bed and lost the keys to the car so I had to walk to work and I fell and broke my toe and dropped all of my belongings down a storm drain and…’ But in Spanish, all I know are the generalized universal greetings, the blank empty ‘how are you? I am fine’ type of talk, the kind that I never, ever do even in English. I have those words, I have those phrases, but I have absolutely no motivation whatsoever to use those phrases because I can’t stand to say those things even in English. I am not going to say things in Spanish that I don’t even say in English.

My problem with Agustin: My intense attraction to him is either ‘all the way on or all the way off.’ All day long today, even though I did not use ginseng, even though all I had was a few sips of that super strong coffee, I still had an obsessive attention to every little thing he said and did. I tried to avoid looking at him, but I glanced over every once in a while and would see his face, see his expression, see the shoes he has on and for some bizarre reason think to myself that his sneakers are the cutest shoes that I have ever seen in my life and I love the shape of them, and have this huge outburst of ‘OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU YOU ARE SO ADORABLE YOU ARE THE CUTEST SWEETEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN ON THIS PLANET I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU.’ It’s this super-intense adoration which I am helpless to control except by completely, totally switching it off so that I am absolutely nothing, a completely blank emotionless robot that has no feelings and does not exist and I am a dishwashing machine, la maquina lavadora or platolavadora or whatever it is called, I looked this up. I’m the machine. I am a rock, I am an island. I can’t even look at him, I can’t look him in the eye, and I can’t touch him if I walk past him. I am avoiding him by a large distance when I walk past him.

I know that if I expressed my feelings it would be extremely annoying and excessive to him. I saw him stroking Carlos sweetly. He stood next to him and put his hands gently on Carlos’s hands. I have no way to know how much of this type of thing is merely acceptable behavior in Guatemala, versus Agustin not being completely sure of his sexual orientation, versus just normal human behavior when we are
unrestrained and trusting. I do not know, but it was the sweetest thing to see. This only lastest for a few seconds and did not cause any problems.

However, if this were done to me, my reaction would be not to just stand there ignoring it or tolerating it or passively receiving it, but rather, I would have to grab on and actively hug or actively snuggle in a more aggressive way. After putting up with Mark wanting to kiss me constantly and being very annoyed and repulsed by it, I know that I would trigger the same response in this role reversal where I desire someone who doesn’t desire me very much.

I am a clinger. If I desire someone, if I am fond of them, if I am allowed to touch them freely, I will touch them every time I go by them, I will touch them too often, I will waste too much time touching them and interfering with what they do. If I were allowed to touch Agustin, I would have to touch him every single time I walked by as though he was the only important object on that side of the room.

There are these things that result from a lifetime of torture, decades and decades of this culture, this touch deprivation that I have lived in, where you are not allowed to touch anyone, ever. I am probably worse off than most Americans, er, Yankees, USA-sians.
Estadounidenses. But we are all touch-deprived more than other countries, in the USA.

In this hell that we live in, where we are not allowed to touch, the need to touch people is still there, but horribly twisted and restrained, so that it explodes in uncontrollable and inappropriate outbursts that are horribly awkward and unnatural and embarrassing when they happen. This is the ‘all the way on, or all the way off’ switch that I have. Nothing in between. Nothing moderate or controlled or appropriate.

So, tonight, as much as it might have seemed like I was an
expressionless machine who was not even looking at him, inside I was being tortured with this screaming ‘OH YOUR SHOES ARE SO CUTE, WHY ARE YOUR SHOES SO CUTE TODAY ALL OF A SUDDEN, YOUR EYES ARE SO CUTE, YOUR VOICE IS SO CUTE, I WANT TO HUG YOU, I LOVE YOUR NECKLACE,’ every little thing, every tiny detail. The coffee makes this kind of thing worse, but at the moment, I can’t live without coffee or I won’t be able to get to work every day. Coffee causes extreme and prolonged obsession, and also, I ate much less food because the coffee makes me not hungry.

However, since I didn’t use ginseng, all of the screaming and obsession was internal, and I did not reach out to touch him. If I had been using ginseng or any other herbal antidepressant, I would have lost my inhibitions. My touches are very weird, very creepy, and very awkward, and not at all appropriate. It is this light, delicate little touch, often on the upper back or upper arm, very different from the way that the guys touch each other.

I was thinking today, I am in hell. This is hell.

That coffee was too strong. I am going to have to use a lot less coffee grounds, and then, afterwards, dilute it with more water.

As long as I have no ginseng or other herbal antidepressants, there will be no creepy touching behavior. But while I have coffee, there will be this internal obsession. If I were decaffeinated, I would be relaxed and more normal and maybe even able to interact with him in a conversation without totally losing control. As it is right now, the slightest interaction with him in which he responds to me is excessively thrilling and amazing and wonderful and incredible. It’s not supposed to be that extreme, it’s supposed to be ordinary. The caffeine makes it too extreme. I want to be completely coffee-free, but I can’t do that – I have tried to quit many times and my chronic fatigue syndrome is completely incapacitating. I have to make a plan for how to quit coffee without losing my job.

It really is some bizarre effect on my brain. Why shoes? Why today? Why do his shoes look different today to me than they did every other day? Aren’t they just the same shoes he always wears all the time? I think so, but for whatever reason today it was AWWWW THOSE SHOES ARE SO FUCKING ADORABLE, HE HAS FEET, HIS FEET ARE SO CUTE. Drugs really do screw up your brain, even caffeine.

I have no idea how on earth I will ever go to sleep tonight, seriously. That coffee was some fucked up shit. I think it must have amphetamine in it.


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