Pdx

Sometimes, when I come back to the city where we were in love, I miss the you, and I wish we were back there again.

I miss our first apartment and the way I learned to wait for you to get home from school. We’d launch into the lesson you’d just taken and I tried hard to learn everything. I miss our parties that took so much planning but no one ever ate at. I miss the submarine noises of winter and windows thrown open in the snow.

I miss biking along Ankney on my way to write while you made croissants. We drank so much coffee. I miss working two days a week and thriving like an airplant off the fumes of our love. I miss learning bass to you playing old Weezer songs that made me think of you in Chicago among friends who later wouldn’t be friends, but seemed like it then.

I miss so much, and yet I do not want those days back again.

I was depressed in a brutal way. Life was one long dark hard night. No end in sight. I became a bitter harbinger of doom, a house of unintentional abuse, a crazy unaware fool. It’s astounding I managed to pull through those tanniny oversteeped nights of fights and not-fights.

I was a feral heart caged in my own chest, clawing my own arms up to try and get out. Lucky for me the cage over Vista Viaduct didn’t exist as a ready reminder. If I hadn’t been able to perch on the edge of those stone benches and stare down into the cruel lights of oncoming trains and envision again and again what it’d be like if I jumped — I think the desperation would have swallowed my resolve whole. But the freedom to consider, up there all alone with nothing but the wind, rain, and occassional stranger pulling over to ask if I was alright gave me the space to find my heart. And find I wanted more from life.

I moved away and the dark between myself and you spread. But the gap between what I was and what I seemed to be narrowed significantly. So that by the new year in the east, we could see the end of our road together. But you could no longer see me.

Slow and careful the ending came. Now, we stay friends in a peripheral way. And still, some days, I wander off into the woods and wonder when hemlock will be the only friend left. But all in all, it’s better than it was. And I know what I want. And I have notions of how to get it, whether my long-term planning for the ultimate long con fail or not.

At least I’m not stuck.

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Patience/Winning

I wait for you, but I wonder. Is it meaningless? This sitting and standing, turning and pacing. This checking every aspect of everything, over and over again. Preparing every step, every dish.

And then, waiting.

Is this me on the edge of the kitchen door, bated breath, waiting to deliver the next course? Or is this dinner, on the table, getting cold?

I hope for one and fear the other.

If we were close, I’d ask you to confirm. Not to change your mind, but only to know where I am. How deep I’ve come into the stairwells of your heart. How many doors I’ve tried that remained locked. And, possibly, hints at least to where the keys are. So I can correct what needs correcting. So I can fix my standing. So I can more than please you, but help you expand, growing ever greater without end.

But these pages, I know, express a personality invisible.

It’s intentional. Don’t be distracted with the me behind the words. Only the me I give you. The palatable form. The one who the story is for. Narrator, reliable or not. That is what I offer up.

And yet. I too long to be known. Trusted. Well loved. I long to sit in your dining rooms and living rooms, talking story long into the night. Telling tilted ears of all the things I know, things I thought I knew, things I’ve learned, and ways I’ve grown.

But maybe, you don’t want to know.

Or, if you do, it comes later. Much, much later. Once you’ve learned to trust my narrators, learned to love the districts, learned to pity the exiles and officiates. Learned where the lines of good water and bad water collide. Where empathy and love, fear and hatred reside.

Once you love these, you may come to glimpse me. Not a face behind a mask but a name behind fingertips. Isn’t this always the autonomy I longed for? The slow building of safe places I needed to reside in. A special security in order to ensure that trust wasn’t misplaced, and love wasn’t misguided, and all these eggs that I am definitely setting in this one pretty-well woven basket will be secure until they hatch?

Yes, but impatience is so much easier to succumb to than this waiting. This unknown. This questioning and dreaming, waking and trying, falling under the spell of wanting, wanting, wanting.

But patience is what will pull me through. Determination and commitment and endless trying.

Just like marriage.

Only this time, I’m no kid overburdened with social expectations I didn’t have the lenses to see. I have these glasses of social disillusionment and I’ve taken my hats of protection and self-preservation off. I’ve ripped open my shirt, exposed my chest, and let the world see it for what it is. And I know, full well this time, the costs. I’ve taken the time to make sure I know the definitions and the things I’ll need to survive. The expectations and the things success and/or failure will cost me.

I’m all in.

Dive head first into the water. Brace if it’s cold and swim to the bottom of the ocean where Atlantis is buried, find the treasure, and come back alive.

That’s all I’ve got to do?
Oh hell, I’m so ready.

In a dream

「夢で」

I rarely remember my dreams. Most of the time, if I do they are either inane or insane. I am much happier to have the majority of my nights filled with the sweet blackness of rest without interruption or memory.

Every once and a while, though, a dream will strike me. Like this morning.

I dreamed I was at the edge of the ocean. It was calm near my feet, lapping against the shore just out of reach. The sky was a blue grey, the air was perfect, and waves rolled white and deep blue off in the near distance. I watched, comforted, knowing that if I took one, two more steps, I would be wet with it.

I thought, looking out at the rest of the ocean bounded in by emerald green distant mountain islands — I have always lived near the ocean. I need this. Why did I ever think I should live anywhere else?

The dream carried on. I followed some sandstone path through some city, looking for someone. I don’t recall who or if I knew who in the dream. Only, I was looking but not desperately. I was content, but on a mission.

When I awoke, I laid there, lost in thought. I remembered a personality test I took some 10 years ago. In it, I was asked to think of a body of water and a way across it.

I thought (of course) of the ocean. By my way over was a bridge. Impossible and oh so removed.

The person giving me the test revealed that the ocean was my sexuality and my way across it was how important it was to me. I was stumped. I had chosen the biggest body of water on earth inter-connected to every waterway and centrifugal to the systems of how water flows. The place all water comes from and returns to. The birthing canal and the grave.

A thing central to the whole of my being.

And yet, I had placed myself impossibly far from this. On a way across that would never, in practically, connect to anything. I could look down at the ocean and only dream. I could not touch, bathe, swim. If I wanted to submerge myself in the experience of it, I would have to jump. And that jump would probably kill me.

Then, I got pushed off the ledge while I was leaning over.
And I can’t be more thankful for that moment.

I now dream of the ocean, powerful and deep, yet calm here at my feet. A place I long, always to be. A warm wetness I know I only need to approach to be covered in. A safe place. A place I never want to leave again.

Home.

And while I may journey off, meander, and look casually for others — I know the place I will return. The water. The ocean. My sexuality bounded in by islands of experience teaming with life. Rich, lush, and mine.

Why did I ever think I wanted to live anywhere else?

“The brighter flame casts a darker shadow.”

This, a lyric in a song that plays randomly on my opening play list. I don’t know who the artist is, but I resonate with the sentiment. Less the brightness, more the dark.

After much deliberate consideration over the last few years, I have had to face the reality  that my body is not something people want in the way I want them to. Despite being as GGG as I can be, as readily excited to try new things, as willing to give and bend and bow over end over end as much as I can — this is not appealing.

I’ve attempted to parse this reality. The most seemingly logical conclusion that I can come to is the more-than-slightly disheartening conclusion that it is, in fact, my identity that is the problem. (Am I shocked? I shouldn’t be.)

I have this theory that if I put on a pink frilly skirt and played by all the rules — I wouldn’t be quite so alone. If I grew my hair long, coiffed it up in the front, put on eyeliner and bright red lipstick, and picked one cis-hetero guy at a time — I’d be fine. If I released my other energies by indulging said one guy by talking being excited about the occasional fantasy of a threesome with some other lady said one guy chose — I’d have prospects.

Or not. Because there appears to be another issue. Even if I played the cis-hetero-monog role so hard core you never noticed, I’d have this problem: over-eagerness.

This seems to be more of a catch 22 than I ever anticipated. The age old “people want what they can’t have” definitely comes into play. So does the idea that being overly eager is a bad thing.

I’ve taken to this phrase: “Too much, too soon?”
I notice how often the answer is “yes.”

I’m genuinely confused. In a culture where eager and obvious consent is (supposedly) a sought after quality, shouldn’t this idea of “over eagerness” be moot? Shouldn’t we have gotten over this necessity to play coy and disinterested? Shouldn’t we be appreciative when people clearly communicate what people want?

My confusion leads me to the following conclusion: what I misread as interest was not. It was curiosity at my oddity. And people don’t love strangeness. They push it away because being too close to the other is uncomfortable. And despite how hard I tried to learn the secret codes and keys of communication and tried with all my might to put people at ease — it has begun to appear that I do the exact opposite.

I seem to inadvertently point out the things people don’t like about themselves, about culture, about reality. Discussion and open communication doesn’t help my case, but only furthers the distance between us. My gravity doesn’t draw you in, it pushes me — wandering planet — away. Into empty space. So I can be viewed through your telescope sometime in the past and marveled at.

A spacial circus freak behind the bars of a vacuum pressed against, not my chest or brain — but heart.

It’s a good thing I decided, rather than throw myself on that fire, to hone a craft. Because at least in the cold hollowness out here, I can keep my hands busy and my core warm. One day, possibly, someone will fall into me. We’ll spin and dance, and it will inevitably be temporary.

Or not. Possibly, with age, these road bumps will even out. Or, I’ll get better at sending out a more clear vibe and attracting a better tribe.

One can hope.

Until then, I write on. Imagine worlds and hearts that need one another. Meld together. Share, take, give and grow. Become beautifully graphed into one another. I was there once, for a brief while, and I can trace those scar lines like maps as much as I follow the observations of others’ behaviors. It is not a bad life.

Correction: it is good.
Occasionally lonely, but then — who isn’t?

This internal disconnect from everyone else is an infliction I suspect we homo sapiens sapiens tend to suffer from. Our current evolutionary lot. I will try to carry it with some grace. Of course, I will fail an awful amount. But, I aim to always pick back up. Find a tool. And carry on.

Unknown Variable [x]

There’s a thing about being an unknown. A new face in town. The new kid on the block.

Stranger danger. Nobody trusts you.

On the outset, this seems a fair assessment. Why trust something you have zero experience with? Why not test and challenge, and see who can stand up to the cruelest of storms? And really, it isn’t here where the issue lies. It runs much deeper than that, thereby making itself harder to dig out.

The true problem of this way of approaching what are effectively “strangers of thought” is that there becomes this invisible barrier between “known” and “unknown”. A kind of wall that people must somehow charge through. Which, again, one could rationally understand.

But what do we get as the flip side of this image? A city, walled in. A collection of people whom an individual inherently trusts based on the preordained bias of “these people made it in”.

This community-building practice soon becomes something much uglier: cliquishness. Which easily and quickly lead to cronyism, tribalism — and a long list of other -isms people consciously don’t like. The treatment of one group as if it is inherently of more value than another.

Any time there is a predefined level of acceptance as applied to a specific group simply for having once proven trustworthy, problems quickly arise. The most glaring of which is that those on  the inside are offered unearned benefits while those on the out are withheld necessary resources. An imbalance in privilege and accessibility arise, which births more -isms for those on the outside.

“Rise up to our level. Prove yourselves,” the insiders cry to those pressed hot and hard against the wall.

But the rising and the proving will never work because the wall is inherently set up to keep these “outsiders” out. It mutes the ears and numbs the heart. It effectively tells those without the proper credentials to “eat cake” in the worst of famines.

I see this again and again. In the clash between cultures and individuals. When ideals solidify and calcify into strictures, rules, regulations, and a list of necessary credentials  — there is no entrance and no escape. The in is always in and the out is always out. Change becomes stagnant. Incest is inevitable. And the world of those who remain becomes very small indeed.

The solution, of course, is to break down these walls. Assess each moment and individual with the same openness as any other. Be aware and awake. And fuck using easy fall back words like “friend” or “family” to mean “more worthy” or “worth my time”.

Yes, this is the hard road. Yes, it is a lot of work. Yes, it will — at times — hurt. But my feeling is what can be gained is worth more than is lost.

So what do you say: are you in?

Matters of Time.

With each step taken in the same direction as the last, my feet feel somehow inherently linked to success. As if just because I climb through the stairwells of my dreams, I will become something else.

I have to remind myself when stark white failures still strike me down — this is not the case.

I move in an intentional direction, yes, but against a riptide. The current draws ever out to sea. An onslaught of wind and rain slap my skin and toss white capped waves around me, battering my sides like the vessel of strategies and attempts, schemes and secret plans that I am.

We are each our own boat, tacking and jibing toward some distant island. Sometimes, we catch a good wind. Other times, we get locked in irons. Still other moments, we veer off course and crash together. Hulls smash and we’re left with leaky holes. Patching takes time. The glue of our dashed hopes has to dry before we can set out again.

My year back in the cloudy northern west has left me wary of these collisions. Weary of getting my hull smashed in. So I decided to hug close to the coast. Keep my main sails down.

For ten months, I have drifted. Listless. Searching a map other people had writ. With a compass, seemingly broke, set not to true but moral north. A needle aimed, as it turned out, at my own heart.

I am coming to the end of that route. The edge of the distant horizon is beginning to call. And I am clipping in, preparing to set out. With the stockpiled resources I’ve got aboard, I know I have nothing to fear.

Another storm is another skill earned. Another crash is another thing learned.

I will set out come the blowing in of autumn. A cool breeze and me, going away.

Oh of course I can’t wait.

A winged thing of change I am.
I will always ride the rise and fall. The ebbs and flows. The ups and downs.

And those who miss me will always call me back.
And I will come when the winds change again.

This is how I love.
I know nothing else.
I am a craft with sails and a bird with wings, and if I didn’t move — I’d die.

For now, I prefer the shift.
In a few more weeks, I set out on a new adventure with a chin held high.

Revelation/Commitment.

For those of you who know me personally, you may have seen my attempts to swim in the murky waters of human relationships these last two-three years. It’s been…less than pretty.

The result of having what I thought was solid ground imploding. A sink hole opened up in my heart. I had no idea where all that dark, impossibly icy water had come from. But there it was, and there I was dropped in it. My attempts to climb back out became an ongoing cycle of treading cold water, sinking, gasping and sputtering, finding the surface, treading cold water, ad agnosium.

Some of you may have thought, at times, I was waving. I was always drowning.
Some of you knew as much, reached out a hand. But for all our tries, we barely touched. This or that reason. Hard to know for sure. Failures abounded, lining the muddy walls of the hole I was in. If we want explanations, we could take our pick.

The thing is, I’ve come to the end of it. Or, better said: the water has drained. I’ve found a rope by which to climb out. And now, shivering with shovel in hand, I’m ready to fill this goddamn hole in.

Stories are my soil. Taken not from this hobcob ground my life has been made from. Rather, taken from the solid ground of other universes where my life is good, my heart well-rooted,  my dreams planted and growing. The tested magic of imagination brings these realities to my door. I dive in, dig up the riches of those lives, and bring them back.

And with this shovel shaped like a pen, I fill the holes of my brokenness. I scribble endless escape routes should the ground open up like a mawing mouth again. I will be prepared.

So I carry in my mind Fenugreek. Bon. Charcoal. Gravity.
And I bear up in my heart Carbon. Lithium. Akailum. Sekibanga.
I love these otherworldly vapors and atemporal ghosts of  more than I ever loved anything.

The imaginary friends of my early years, it turns out, never let me go.
I find it my duty to do the same.