Wednesday, July 21, 2004

36. Dick

Bruce was only around for the first half of last night's training. --Oh, shit, I have to start getting this straight: Anytime he has the suit and mask on, I have to refer to him as "Batman." When he's in street clothes, he's "Bruce." When the suit is on but the mask is off, I'm supposed to take my cue from him. I don't know how he can compartmentalize his life so neatly, but then I guess I'm learning.

Speaking of masks and suits, I have to wear my mask throughout the workout, even though it kind of gets in the way sometimes. Batman says that's the point: to get used to the feeling of this thing on my face, work around any limitations to my peripheral vision, make it second nature. I don't know how any of this will ever come as "second nature" to me; it's kind of like learning a whole new language late in life, and I doubt I'll ever be able to think in anything but English.

The hardest part so far may be the cover stories I have to invent to explain away my actions to other people who (used to) know me well. I haven't talked to Janice in a long time, relatively speaking, partly because I haven't had time but mostly because I'm dreading having to lie to her. I can see Peter is disappointed that we're not together more often, but I don't have a way to explain how I'm spending my nights other than the shopworn "working late" excuse. And then there's Dr. T. Our sessions are getting really awkward. The single most important development in my adult life is taking place all around me, and I can't even talk about it with the man with whom I've shared the most intimate details of my life for ages. I was so evasive during yesterday's session that the discussion got really boring really fast. I swear I even fell asleep at one point, but that was probably just exhaustion. (BTW, he's moving our sessions to Wednesdays now for some scheduling reason that escapes me. Doesn't affect me much either way.)

I've been out and proud for years now, and suddenly I find myself crawling back into the closet ... or the Cave, to be more precise. I don't know how I feel about that... and I haven't even brought up the whole WayneTech business; how the hell have I ended up falling for the guy whose company I've protested more times than I can count? If any of my old ACTUP pals ever heard that, they'd either kill me or die laughing.