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May 19, 2019 3:12 PM
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SHe'd almost looked forward to the nonsexual intimacy stage, when he'd thought he'd be able to do it with Asher. 

He does his best to hide how miserable he is.

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He's not even trying to hide how miserable he is.

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He — isn't miserable. He's still Lev's friend, Lev still needs him, he can't be miserable. 

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"Over the next three weeks, we'll be working on developing nonsexual intimacy with other men. In the last step, each of you learned what unmet needs you had that you inappropriately sexualized. In this step, we will learn how to meet those needs through appropriate, platonic affection."

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Dolph raises his hand. "Uh, ma'am, what happened to Asher?"

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"Asher chose to pursue a homosexual lifestyle and will not be joining us for the rest of the session."

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He curls inwards, just barely. 

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Christine provides a lecture on nonjudgmental and active listening! It is important to try to understand people from their own point of view. You should not be constantly thinking about what you're going to say next. Don't mock people or judge them; instead, try to figure out why their behavior makes sense to them. 

"Our first exercise will be a deep conversation about your feelings. Please pair up. I will give each pair a series of five questions to discuss; it's okay not to get to all of them. The exercise will not be beneficial if you are not honest; remember that everything you say in group is confidential. Try to practice the active listening skills I just discussed."

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He doesn't think he's going to be able to concentrate no matter who he's paired up with. He — can't look to Asher; he glances at Lev. 

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He gives Lev some space and pairs off with Dolph. 

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Lev sits with Sasha. He's grateful that he doesn't have to say no to Marlo, and disappointed that Marlo doesn't want to talk to him. 

(You fucked up, you fucked up, he wanted you for sex and now you're never going to be loved again--)

He is radiating off waves of profound misery. 

The questions say: 

1. What is the one thing you would most like to change about your personality? Why?

2. Do you feel like certain things are missing from your life? What are they?

3. Do you think you’ve changed in the last year? How so?

4. When it comes to the future, what do you worry about the most?

5. Who do you consider your best friends? How has that changed recently?

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"I like my personality the way it is but I guess being more organized would be helpful. You?" 

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"I wish I were less scared of everything all the time."

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He nods. "Do you feel like certain things are missing from your life, and what are they?" 

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"I think we're supposed to like. Have a conversation. And not just answer the questions. --Hugs, mostly. And books. And the ability to spend time with little kids."

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"I know I'm not going to be able to concentrate and I don't think you are either. Space and freedom and privacy and not having to hide." 

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"I... like listening to you talk about things."

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"Right now I feel trapped and miserable and I don't think I'm going to be great company but I can try to talk more and I'll answer questions." 

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"Because Asher ran away?"

(He's looking at Sasha like Sasha is the most interesting person in the world.)

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"Yeah. Because Asher ran away and because I didn't." 

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"We probably don't want to talk about that"-- he hesitates-- "in group."

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"You're not wrong. 

I can get you more books if you give me a list, I'll need to mail Natalie something anyway." 

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He looks not miserable. 

"I'd love that. Thank you so much for the books."

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"It's not a problem, I'm not the one tracking down PDFs."

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"...I'm glad you're here."

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"...how come?" 

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