Monday, March 21, 2016

Endings, Beginnings

About eight or nine years ago, an anonymous blogger became notorious in the local (mostly) gay online community for two reasons: first, because of the quality of the posts he put up, and second, because he dealt with the subject of prostitution; specifically, his own life as an escort. The blog was particularly interesting because the writer was obviously an educated and sensitive young man, and his output revealed both an intelligence and a fierce sincerity that was rare and refreshing.

He wrote that he had a unique selling point to his clients: though sex was definitely part of the menu of services he offered, he also sold what he referred to as an “experience”. According to him, you weren’t just paying him for sex, you were also paying him for his distinctive set of skills.

An example: in one post, he told the story of a client (let’s call him Adam) who wanted him to act like Adam’s ex-boyfriend for one day. As part of their deal, Adam will, for all intents and purposes, treat him like the ex-boyfriend: he will use their pet names, they will go to the ex-lovers’ favorite dating spots, they will make love. Adam, apparently, felt like he needed closure from that relationship, and he wanted to have an experience, even a make-believe one, just so he can say goodbye to his ex-lover one last time.

A kicker: that day also falls on the anniversary of the day the ex-lover told Adam he loved him.

I’m reminded of this now, because I’ve been having some interesting conversations with friends about closure, and how closure becomes so necessary for us when an important relationship (romantic or not) disintegrates. And part of our realization is that the experience of closure is actually a rare thing: most of the time, the parties exist in a gray, emotional limbo that is bittersweet and frustrating.

And I guess it is important to remember that there are no endings in relationships that are (or were) truly important, because as good or as bad as that relationship got, you will always carry a piece of that person with you. And, in the context of moving on from a loss, you realize that beginnings are only beginnings when you, in your heart, decide that they are.

I got this quote from a friend earlier, which dives straight to the point:

“Look, in this life you won’t always find peace and closure. Some losses bury themselves into the heart too deeply to ever be entirely resolved or forgotten. Sometimes, the most you can really do is persevere until the pain is too small or familiar to harm you. - (Beau Taplin, Unresolved)”

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