“Ironically, to mature fully, we must rediscover what we knew when we were less sophisticated. Once we have re-centered ourselves in our experience, which is the position we inhabited as children, we can finally use our minds as instruments for creation rather than as defense systems for our image of who we are” – Radical Honesty
I first saw Johnny Seitan waiting at the curb of the Seattle airport. It was November of 1995 and I was on a road trip with my friend, Poe, to see the Legendary Pink Dots perform in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver.Poe and I met Tootles at the Seattle show. He’d flown in from San Francisco and was planning to travel with us to Vancouver. Tootles’ friend Johnny Seitan was flying in the day following the Seattle show, and the plan was to pick him up at the airport and all drive to the Vancouver show together.
Tootles didn’t have any of Johnny Seitan’s flight information so we just drove to the airport and hoped for the best. As I drove into the Arrivals area, I saw a beautiful man waiting at the curb and jokingly thought to myself “Please God… please let that be the guy that gets into my car”. No sooner had the thought been thunk when Tootles pointed at Johnny Seitan and said “There he is!”.
The world suddenly went into slow motion as Johnny Seitan got into my very sexy Volvo station wagon… we immediately made eye contact in the rear view mirror. I thought he was the sexiest man I’d ever seen. Tall, dark glasses, Flock of Seagulls haircut, and so… so very cool. We flirted throughout the night… but immediately after the show, I had to drop him and Tootles back off in Seattle; and Poe and I drove back to Denver.
At the time, I was living with my boyfriend, The Writer. The Writer didn’t come on the road trip with me because he wasn’t 21 and most of the shows were 21 and over. I didn’t tell The Writer much about Johnny Seitan when I returned. I justified it by telling myself that there wasn’t any point. Why should I tell The Writer about some random interaction that surely would not turn into anything?
Johnny Seitan and I IM’d for a month and he eventually asked me to come to a New Years Eve party that he was throwing in San Francisco. I don’t remember if The Writer knew how much time I was spending talking with Johnny Seitan or how I was able to get to San Francisco without a lot of drama or jealousy. What did I tell The Writer? What did I tell myself?
My trip to San Francisco was amazing, as was my time with Johnny Seitan.
By the time I went back to Colorado, I had fallen in love with Johnny Seitan. I immediately broke up with The Writer and began making plans to get to San Francisco as soon as possible. Johnny Seitan and I ended up dating for 7 years and are still friends to this day.
Reflecting on my dishonest behavior, I recognize that I should have come back from the road trip and told The Writer about my feelings for Johnny Seitan. He deserved to know the reality of the situation so that we could interact with each other honestly. In the end, I lost interest in and ignored The Writer… and focused all of my attention on Johnny Seitan and on earning enough money to move to San Francisco.
By not being honest with The Writer I showed disrespect for him and for myself. I created a defensive wall around myself so that I could be safe but I allowed him to be vulnerable. I left him surprised, confused, and wounded.
I can never know how being honest would have changed the outcome. But at the very least, I would have been treating a very good person with the respect he deserved.
At most, I could have taken responsibility for painting a reality that was accurate and fair. I could have built a relationship of trust. I could have stood tall with integrity.