Sunday, February 11, 2007

Jeff is a faker ;(

At one of the meetings at Mike's office, we had discussed relationships with other people in the group. I was standoffish because I felt other people were not sincere about Ba Gua. After Mike had tried to insinuate I was not qualified for Ba Gua, after practicing martial arts for 10 years, I think I took my frustration out on the people who really were not qualified. The ones who had never taken a martial arts class in their lives.

I told Mike I felt no affinity with the people who I thought goofed off. Mike told me all I really needed was a relationship with him. He talked about how he had been close with his instructor and the top students and that was about it. He was buddies with the guys who could teach him, and the rest of the people did not matter.

After hearing this, I resolved that I would do the same thing. I would try to develop a relationship with Mike, Jeff and Lonnie because they were the ones that really knew Ba Gua. I was going to meetings with Mike so supposedly I was working on the relationship with him. I spent a lot of time with Lonnie so I felt I was developing some kind of relationship with him.

Jeff though.....I didn't have any kind of relationship at all with. We said hello or exchanged words but that was it. Which meant that I needed to do something about the situation.

At one of the men's meetings at Tom's house Jeff was there. I decided I was going to talk to him after the meeting.

Tom's house was in a hilly area. When I say hilly, I mean 45 degree and steeper hilly. I clearly recall this because on this occasion, both Jeff and I had parked uphill from Tom's house.

The meeting was over and we all meandered out of the house. I wanted to talk to Jeff so I hung around some and acted like I was waiting for him. This was out of character so it probably put Jeff on notice I wanted something.

After the general goodbyes, Jeff headed out to his car and I walked with him. This was unusual because we did not interact very much. I began to talk about this and that.

I told Jeff I thought we were alike. At the time I felt like I was only speaking the truth. We were both quiet, standoffish, reserved, focused, intelligent and driven. Now though I think what I said probably made Jeff laugh. From his perspective, I was probably a lot of trouble. I had health problems. I did not interact well with other people in the group. I was not a talker like Daniel, Steve or George. The kind of person you can hang around because you know they will talk forever without demanding anything of you.

All this time we are both walking up a 45 degree hill. I remember this quite clearly because I was chasing Jeff. I did not realize it but Jeff was walking very fast. Almost as if he was running away from me. I am chasing Jeff up this 45 degree hill and trying to talk at the same time. I was having trouble breathing and talking normally.

Now I understand he did that on purpose. If he walked fast and made it hard for me to talk to him, maybe I would give up talking to him? Walking fast might also have helped him work off some anxiety energy, but I think it was mostly to try to dissuade me.

Because I am stubborn, that was never going to happen. Jeff could have flapped his arms and taken off flying and I would have found a way to follow him because I wanted to talk to him about being buddies and there was no way I was going to be denied.

We reach the top of this hill. I am still right next to or right behind Jeff talking away about how we are both smart and dedicated etc etc and how I want to be buddies. Just like Mike suggested in the office. Simplistic attitude huh? Seems like I should have been more circumspect.

At the time, my head was filled with Mike's talk of honesty and dignity etc. So I went directly to Jeff and honestly told him I wanted to be his buddy because we were both driven to be good at kung fu.

We are at the top of the hill and it is either level or all downhill from there. What is jeff going to do? Here is this guy he is trying to get rid of right on his tail. Walking fast up the hill did not get rid of him. There are no more hills to race up to try and tire him out. What the heck does Jeff do now?

Jeff turns around and hugs me. It almost broke my heart. Not because it was a good thing and I felt cared for. Because it was a completely false act that was meant as an act of manipulation.

Jeff and I do not have much to do with each other. I chase him up a hill talking to him about being his buddy. Then he is giving me a hug like he was my long lost brother. It just did not add up. There was no reason for it. Except as an act of manipulation.

If I thought Jeff liked me, I would leave right? I am telling him I want to be his buddy, he hugs me. What other gesture says "my buddy" better than a hug does?

It was kind of embarrassing thinking of how pathetic Jeff must have thought I was that I would believe his gesture. If I really was a simple minded fool chasing after an intellgent human being, then hugging me would be like patting a dog on the head. The dog would wag it's tail and be happy. Dogs are simple minded.

The embarrassment was overridden by the sickness in the pit of my stomach that he could be so obviously fake.

I let go of him and watched him run off to his car as I slowly turned towards my own car thinking "Jeez. I think my high opinion of one of my heroes was just punctured".

Tom's House - The beginning of the end?

Going thru these old posts, it feels like something happened once the men's meetings moved to Tom's house. Previous posts described how Jeff hardly ever made it to the men's meeting's because he was "busy".

Without the head student at the meetings, there was a natural floundering. After all, we were students there. A student has a teacher. If the teacher is busy, what does the student do?

Lonnie attended most all of the meetings at Tom's. Lonnie was the second top student. As has been alluded to elsewhere, there was something about Lonnie that precluded truly accepting him as a leader.

Lonnie would put on a false humbleness that infuriated me. Lonnie was a country boy who talked like a country boy. Except when he was at Ba Gua. Then he would put on this false womanly humbleness. I was so annoyed because I have a low tolerance for falseness. I could not understand who he thought he was fooling. It was a lie which was supposed to go against everything Ba Gua stood for.

I think he took this false humbleness too far, or he used the false humbleness as an excuse. When it came right down to it, time when the pressure was on, Lonnie would defer from his leadership role. There was a slight shift in his attitude that made it clear to a perceptive person that he really did not want the leadership role, with everyone in the group depending on him for leadership.

The result of this attitude was that there was no real leader for the men's meetings. The meetings had more of the feel as a gathering of friends as opposed to a meeting where there were things to be learned and enlightenment to be gained.

I think this was apparent to James. At this time the meetings were George, Lonnie, Me, Peter, James, Daniel, and Tom. After a prolonged period of Jeff's absence, James stopped going to the meetings regularly. He might come once in awhile, but the devotion shown to the weekly meetings before was not there.

What was even more odd to me was the fact that frequently Tom was not at the meetings. Here we are meeting at Tom's house, but there is no Tom.

I don't know what any of the other members thought or felt. To me this behavior of Tom's was subtly corrosive. Tom had been invited to join this special group. He had gone through an initiation process to prove his strong need to join. He joins and offers the use of his home to the group. That seems like the action of someone who is indeed strongly motivated.

Then, within the space of a month or so, the man never comes to a meeting again. Tom showed up for the first few meetings to introduce us to his home and make us feel welcome. After that, we rarely saw him. He might let us in and then he had to go somewhere. There might have even been times when he was not there and we used the house without him.

To me, that generated a sense of "who cares?", "This is all a joke", "This is a game or a play thing for children".

I wonder if this feeling was corrosive. Was it this feeling that led Jeff and then James to decide the meetings were not important enough to attend?