April 25, 2013
Golden cancelled her Thursday arrival on Tuesday because she had to work. The sad part is that she owns a rock climbing gym and had just returned from a week-long rock climbing trip. Which means, in other words, she is in charge of her time and made time for what mattered to her. Sadly, that wasnt me. The other hard part about the cancellation is the way she did it. I chalk it up to the fact that she was raised rich. There is this breezy, airy ease with which some rich people, especially if they are also in business, administration or politics, avoid all conflict, apologies and personal responsibility. She texts to say, “I have to tweak the travel plans a bit.” Avoid. She calls to say, “I’ll let you decide.” No personal responsibility. She says, “Should I reschedule or should I fly in and out on Saturday?” The way she says, “Perfect,” instead of “I’m so sorry,” when I say, “I guess we’ll reschedule.” Then, she segued into small talk. She is seeing someone. Someone’s name is Sarah. I ended the phone call shortly after that, without any mention of what had actually just happened between us.
It has taken me a long time to understand that the way people treat me is not a reflection on my worth as a person. It has also taken a long time to understand that observing the treatment without judgement, then accepting, and releasing the person to their own inclinations is the best way to deal with someone who is going away, in whatever way it is that they are going away from me. After Lauren left — quite a going away, if you’ll recall — Golden and I saw one another four times in one year. Last year, we saw one another once, for 5 hours. This year, it will probably be none. Maybe Golden and I are finally breaking up, too. Ten years later. Released from whatever lovely thrall by which we were so completely held and for so long.
In the past I would punish, blame, embarrass or reduce the leaver, the disappointer, the sadmaker. I think I don’t do that anymore. Sometimes, I have been taught, the right thing to do is to try, is to let the person know that I would like more, or better, from them. Or I might even ask for a goodbye or an apology. These days, though, I am even trying to be more judicious with my requests for goodbyes or apologies.
My point is, though, I guess, I am learning, in my old age, that doing nothing is sometimes the right thing. In this case, right now, I am experimenting, for maybe the first time ever, with a very quiet . . . letting go. To actually withstand the shock of this new approach, I tell myself that I am protecting Golden from my judgement and disdain, and from my sadness and disappointment. (Really, I should tell myself that I am protecting me from all the sadness that doubles and triples when I dwell on these kinds of things.) My feelings are not her problem. What Golden really wants to do right now is climb rocks, run her business and date a girl named Sarah. And that’s OK, right? So, I am left (literally, actually) to do whatever it is I really want to do . . . and to take responsibility for my own feelings. So I’m writing this, but mostly I’m just waiting for the feelings to go away, which feelings always do, if you let them.
I had a weekend. A real one. Like the kind you mightve used to have had when you were young. Except for the first part, where I had beers with 50 year olds to celebrate a former coworker starting his private practice. I never did that young. But all the rest of it, young stuff, in the sense that it was unplanned and involved very little thinking about things like getting divorced or pregnant. My favorite parts:
1.) Observing a handsome young gay man in a white smoking jacket offer a handsome young straight man a bluberry flavored cigarette while the latter man failed to blink and fat snowflakes fell all around.
2.) My platonic date’s very white shoes, my new heels, and the dress of our other platonic date.
3.) When I walked up to two strangers at another table and said, “I’m in an awkward social situation, may I sit with you for a moment?” Only to find out one of them used to be a roommate to the person with whom I was having an awkward social situation.
4.) Arriving at a queer dance party where they played lots of music I could dance to. (That’s hard in a town that listens to Rusted Root and Mumford and Sons. Not danceable. My hips are heavy. Need more bass.)
5.) This queer on a stripper pole positively sporting a pink lace fan.
6.) Then, the next place, it was a warehouse and it had immense metal puppets hanging from the ceiling. Of note: A 30 foot tall tyranosaurus rex operated by a system of pulleys. The lone gay man in my party operated the dinosaur while I danced with it and its huge jaws went “clank! clank!” echoing all around me.
7.) I played spin the bottle for the first time in 20 years, then kissed a boy for the first time in 13 years. I have to say, I was so totally nonplussed by the idea and fact of kissing a boy. It really made me empathize with people who dont want to kiss a whole other gender.
8.) Then, we took a friend home and she had a bear rug on her couch. Except it wasnt like, properly taxidermied, I dont think, and it’s face was distorted and I like things that are exotic and grotesque
9.) The next night, I went over to this girl’s house which was actually a double-wide trailer decked out in mid-century modern furniture and she made spring rolls and tom yum soup. I milked her mama goat and held the mama goat’s baby. The baby was a girl and looked like her daddy. She wagged her tail like a dog and darted her neck like a chicken and pranced like a gazelle.
10.) I spent time with children. The kind of time where you overhear them reading books to one another, or they crawl into bed with you in the morning. And I thought to myself that I will die if I can’t have two of them, if I can’t love them and watch them love eachother. And I thought to myself, “Don’t give up. Don’t, Don’t, Don’t.” [Baby-making post forthcoming].
11.) All of these activities were executed in the company of our friend, On Again Off Again; It now appears that she has a blog name — On Again Off Again. Leave it to me to make this big post about distance and then have a whole weekend with her. For the record, Mr Offy and I continue to not have sex. We didnt even make out. While I acknowledge that spending 48 hours with someone isnt exactly platonic, the thing by which I am so impressed, almost enchanted, is that perhaps we are really changing our relationship, maybe we are really breaking it off without all the slashing and burning I have become so accustomed to. Maybe we will find a connected place through which we can venture and voyage together without demands or expectations. I’m a sucker for experiments in unconditional love — for the maybe, maybe, maybe.
Throughout the weekend, I would find myself getting angry that our closeness was “fake”, that we were acting like lovers, but weren’t, really, and so the relationship is just an expression of our fear of being alone, but I would breathe myself through it. Or I would find myself angry that she can’t just do what I want her to do and be who I need her to be, but I would breathe myself through it. Or I would find myself angry that she wasnt coming on to me, but I would breathe myself through it. On a couple of occasions, I had to give myself a little talking to: “Sex doesnt make a relationship real, she is on her own path, jesus christ don’t be one of those girls who gets insulted when no actually means no.” And on a couple of occasions, she would check-in, or ask me what the sigh was for and I would tell her, mostly. The communication wasnt totally naked, wasnt totally honest — we were with people and goats and children all weekend — but it was honest enough to be a relief, to keep me from silence and sarcasm, to get me back to a logical, loving place so I could move on to the next fun thing. The talks were like operations whereby the doctor drills a hole in the heart to relieve swelling and pressure. Except she was the doctor, as anyone we love is.
December 3, 2012
House: Good news: The house has appraised for 30,000 more than the asking price. I already flipped that shit and I havent even signed the bottom line. What. And my coworker is getting rid of all her furniture and wants to sell it to me for cheap. Bad News: The appraiser didnt do the appraisal “right”, to quote the realtor, and he has to re-do it and now we wont make our original closing date.
Baby: Good news: I am 22 days away from try #12 and I have all the money I need to make it happen. Bad news: My donor might have thyroid cancer. He is being lax and casual and nonchalant about this and I am trying to follow his lead. But it’s just weird when people are casual about terminal illness, I mean. Right?
Love: Good news: She continues to be very, very handsome, generally well-behaved and fabulous in bed. She brings me presents and soup and walks my dog. Bad news: She has a primary relationship that is sad and twisted and, like a zombie, wont die but can’t live, so it just roams the Earth wide-eyed and grasping for warm things. My love for her will be a twisted little tree, if it even makes it through the winter. Her grief is cold and wet and weighing heavy on most of our moments.
September 7, 2012
Another girl. She is tall and tight and heavy on top of me, her skin is tawny and her nipples are a perfect dark, dusty pink. She has this voice, like her voice has its own backbone, it’s womanly, but authoritative, honey, but bottled. In glass. Her throat is the perfect desk for all the sounds she makes. I’m attracted to her and like her very much. She has a grasp on how to love without without squeezing (not that she loves me) and she likes to talk about schizophrenia and birth, she has a certain weight and a certain bounce.
That being said, my heart doesnt swell when her hand’s on my chest and my children dont look like her. Listening to her talk last night about what she wants and what she doesnt, about how she is so open and capable of being filled by so much and so many, but about how the people she loves need her to opt for a kind of half fullness, I felt some relief. (I have been worried that I am going to have to come to the conclusions in knew 20 years ago, that I am solo, alone, that I will have one baby and many lovers.) She is heart – broken and in between things right now, having come back from somewhere and being on her way to the next place. In her I see a soft, wet comrade.
Last night, I told her one of the things I think about her. After feeling her press her pubic bone through two pairs of pants and two pairs of underwear and into my clit and after letting her pull my hair and bite my neck, a new understanding came to me of a new kind of dysmorphia, of the seminal vesicle and vas deferens kind, a physiological dysmorphia – to have and like your topography, but want to cry or kill for what’s not underneath. She said she liked that description. That explanation.
She doesnt understand BDSM. I told her I like to hurt people and then take care of them and she said, jokingly, that I shouldnt be a parent, that she was going to take away my mother card. I told her I was going to take away her queer card. I said we will meet cardless, in January and consumate our acquaintance. By January maybe her heart wont broken and mine wont be in the process of crying or killing everytime I wake up.
August 25, 2012
August 9, 2012
There is a new girl on the horizon. She is taller than me, bigger than me. She is butch and kinky and says new things in interesting ways. She has the rough and tumble background that I like, and the smarts and the heart and the aesthetic. We have sat on a bench together twice for two hours each time. Did you know that a band called Glasvegas sings a love song about a social worker? (At the same time that I didnt want this life, this dating life, this new-girl-every-month life, I am excited to meet all of these sweet new creatures, to poke them with my fingers and see what moves them.)
This month, I am working a lot. And planning a trip of epic proportions for September. My birthday month, also known as October to the uninitiated, will feature a hot air balloon ride, a Santigold concert and a Wonder Woman costume. Right now, though, I need a nap.
(I am also very proud of Madonna.)
August 1, 2012
I saw Golden yesterday. She was flying home to Miami from Montreal (where she grew up) and scheduled a 4 hour layover in Charlotte. I drove two hours over the mountains to see her. We ate at cafe, then rented a motel room. We talked about our feelings and had sex. Or rather, I went down on her. We kept our shirts on, me, my pants, too. It was the best I could do, since she abruptly stopped talking to me in March, only to abruptly announce her visit last week. She’s the kind of person who feels seldomly, but hard. I know I just have to wait her out. I believe she will always come back. Which might make me stupid, but not ashamed.
She stopped talking to me when I told her I was falling in love with my most recent girlfriend and that we couldnt have sex during our next visit. She was crying and I was trying to be gentle, but she was making me late to my girlfriend’s house, “But, Golden,” I said, ”We are never going to be one another’s bread and butter.” She said she knew that, but kept crying. And cancelled our visit. Yesterday, she said, “I hate it that you let other people dictate how we are going to be together,” referring also to that time I had a second wife. I said, “Golden, it’s called monogamy. I don’t have the heart for anything else anymore.” She said she understood. We left it at that. For now, we are both single.
On the way back to the airport, I asked her, “What would you do if you had an extra 50,000 dollars? Buy a house or put it in retirement?” She said, “Buy a business. Well, buy another business.” She had to correct herself because she already has a business. “You wouldnt buy a place to live?” I said, careful not to use the word “house” because she is not domestic or “condo” because she is not trendy. “I might buy a rental property,” she said. “But you wouldnt live in it?” I said. “No. But, then, if I wanted to buy something to live in, I could get more because that’s collateral, that’s capital.” She is such a creature. So different from me. She hustles.
My deepest fear is that I am going to be an old lady living in motel rooms and eating cat food. I do not hustle. I am much more attracted to the sure thing. So now, with my 35th birthday on the horizon, with a fancy part-time job at an Organization with a capital “O” that offers an 8% match and 4 weeks paid leave after 10 years, and with 3 more years in this town, for a total of 5 in this town, and then only 7 more until 1o years at the Organization, making me 44 years of age, I am preoccupied by thoughts of house/ retirement/ house/ retirement/ house/ retirement/ baby, baby, baby/ roots, roots, roots It’s like an incantation. The other day, when I told a coworker, who is older than me, that I had retirement savings, she said, “That’s because you’re from the Midwest,” which I most certainly am not, took offense to and promptly corrected. But still. There is no 401K with Golden’s name on it. (She does not seem bothered by this. I’ve stopped mentioning it.)
I pointed with my chin to a ramshackle no-tell motel worst than most of those that seed the strip lining the backside of the airport. “How ’bout that spot? You wanna get a room there next time?” I joked, alluding to the Super 8 we just left because it was all we could find. I said, “I’ve got it! Twice a year on your way to and from seeing your mother (whose hate for me reaches Biblical proportions, making this proposition all the more crude) you’ll stop off in Charlotte, we will rent a motel room, talk about our feelings and fuck.” Golden doesnt like it when I’m crude. She is very French that way. “Ah . . . non,” she said. “I mean, you know, I like traditions,” I said, “Think about it,” I said. ”I know,” she said.
We are entering year 10 of our acquaintance. This month, actually. Golden is the love of my life. After we broke up, we stayed with our respective next partners for five years. We loved them, but they were not the loves of our lives. I married mine, only to be left by her for another woman who loved her better. Golden let hers go, mostly gracefully, after hers walked away, also mostly gracefully, tired of being loved at arms length for so long. Now, it looks like Golden and I are left to visit from time to time, talk about our feelings, maybe our plans, maybe our past, have sex and wonder, privately and aloud, what’s in store for us next, together and separately, if anything.
We’ve been doing that for 16 months now.