today i was walking to a food cart pod to get a some pizza and a beer. i’ve been super busy (i don’t like being super busy) so on a slower day, i decided to walk and listen to a podcast. i choose SNAP JUDGEMENT. the latest episode is called “tin man” and evaluated what “we” are missing. so here i am, a vegan pizza and a pint down, wondering what have i been doing, what am i missing that keeps me from connecting to people, and why have i not posted any of my adventures in the past several months. questions always lead me to more questions: what HAVE i been doing, do i really want to connect with people and if so how, who, why? and how do i explain my absence from writing?
well, i’m not ready to address all those questions brought up in the podcast so lets talk about where i have been and what i’ve been up to. i started an intimate relationship… yayaya, i know what you are thinking… ok really i don’t. however, what i think is that at first i got so distracted with the whole getting to know someone new, having lots of sex the kind of sex that wears you out and makes you want more… to the point i was missing so many meals and still trying to work and not talking to people or reading the news or work email or…. so anyway, at some point we realized we were building (i don’t really like this term) or in or something beyond a casual “see ya when i see ya” thing…. there is a relationship happening. i never really thought i would want another relationship. i kind of think of myself as a sort of lone wolf. i meet someone. it only lasts for a short period of time because i don’t really want to share my precious time or energy on them, and neither do they on me… its great. kind of superficial. but it works for some time. also i have some really amazing friends that fill me in so many ways.
do i keep it this way because i am some kind of person lacking the drive it takes to build relationships? do i hate drama so much that i just don’t want anything at all to do with it? do i just really really like my time alone that much? or have i just not met the person who can relate with me in this same way? or is there some other fear that i just have not dug deep enough into? i’ve had a couple of really great loves in my life, why settle for anything less just to not be “alone”? or am i just missing something that makes me want to connect to another person in a more intimate way?
i think i’m looking at all of these, and the last one in particular, as i find myself in a relationship with someone i’ve known for a little while. we met on a trail run back when i was living in a van for a spell. she was in a relationship, and i was not into relating, but liked meeting new people. forward a couple of years, and one night in december it all changed. i had just started thinking how i would like to connect with someone again. that i missed those special moments that can happen when you have certain attractions with folks. i had just realized i loved and cared for another friend, and thereby found myself opening back up to this way of relating to people in my life.
so there we were, standing outside a bar (the band we went to see was sold out) drinking cocktails by a fire. people came and went while we stood, soaked on the backside, glowing warmth on the front. we left to go finally eat some food. had a bazaar and excitingly good conversation with a stranger who came to our table in tears, and left smiling and laughing. she bought us a round of jamison to celebrate her moving from tears to laughter, insisting that my friend and i had been in a relationship for sometime, that she could tell. after the jamison, she left us alone in yet another glow. my intent was to bike her home. she invited me to stay and cuddle… to cuddle. my reply was that i don’t cuddle [so here we disagree on what happened, so this dialoque appearently happened in my head until sometime later; as in weeks later]… i mean i do cuddle. i love to cuddle. but i don’t cuddle my friends (unless they ask me to spoon them like a friend and then of course i do) but really, i don’t spoon or cuddle my friends. i hold them in times of need. i am a hugger, but i also knew that if this woman and i were going to get into a bed, naked, and cuddle, that it would not remain cuddling. in other words, if we got into bed together that night we would have sex… that was my way of dealing with consent culture. because i do want consent culture, but i don’t want to have to ask at every step. i want to be with someone who will tell me what is going on with them, and i to them, and we can both read body language and ask if the fear we are sensing is a good exciting fear, or a fear where we stop and talk about what is happening, or just stop because they say so… no reason needed.
according to her, she asked if i wanted to stay, i looked up at the sky (having a conversation in my head) and said sure. she gave me cloths to sleep in. we cuddled in. warmth filled our bodies that had been cooled by a winter rain and bike ride.
anyway… we got into bed and it wasn’t long before we began to explore. i want to say we were inseparable from then on, but not really. a few nights later i invited her to a friend’s show. we walked to the bar. after some music, walked to the waterfront to check out the “no-car” bridge. maybe climb over and cross it. but it was during Ferguson and protests and cops with pepper spray and batons just waiting for an excuse to use them, and razor wire along the top of the fence that i couldn’t figure out why it was there, who cared?…. so we drank beer under the bridge, talked, and had sex on the bench along the bike path.
there were a few more encounters like this, and then we became somewhat inseparable. though not really. we both had our things going on, but when we didn’t, we could spend long periods of time in each others company…. not just having sex, but exploring one another’s desires, wants, needs, asking questions not so much during but after, talking about what worked or didn’t as well, learning…..
we become confused on why we couldn’t get breakfast at 5 pm or why brunch ended at 3. reality became warped. on one spring camping trip that was particularly rainy, we stayed in the back of the car all weekend, we craved some kind of special room service, and started developing plans for long hotel stays with room service, but we really prefer our own cooking, so what if we made a bunch of treats that were nutritious and delicious that we could eat to replenish calories and satiate us until we were really ready to get out of our sleeping area….salads are great! pre-made and ready for the simple dressing to toss it all into… lots of seeds and nuts….
anyway, i’m getting distracted… see how easy it is to get distracted when talking about sex. i don’t think it’s because sex is actually distracting, but because we don’t talk about it much, so when we do it becomes distracting. we don’t encounter it enough in our lives, in positive ways that is. i’m not saying that we aren’t having enough sex, though that could be true. but if i start talking about the sex i am having with someone, regardless of the kind of relationship i have with them, people get kind of awkward, and so do i. how much is too much sharing? why don’t we talk more about why we like certain experiences and what happens when we explore those more? what about when we come up next to a super old and socially shared fear and face it? question it? go deeper into what it is about and if that is the real fear, or if there is something deeper?i would like to think that my fears aren’t so simple, yet at the same time are more simple. do i really fear that the person i am with is going to leave me for someone else, or that i am being lied to and therefore can’t make more well-informed decisions about the relationship or the other options before me because i am being manipulated by lies and misinformation?or maybe i’m not really afraid of them leaving me, but of being alone. if i think of the alone aspect, well that doesn’t really work for me because alone is what i know it’s what i’m good at. so maybe i fear not being alone. the list could go on and on.
if we don’t have places we can talk about these things, well we just stay in really fucked up or confusing situations, accepting relationships that don’t really feed us, or allow us to truly nurture the ones we love, or to questions our social norms.
the person i’ve started this relationship with is polyamorous and wants to only be in open relationships. i knew this going into this because we have been friends long enough to know that she won’t be in another relationship that’s not. as her friend i wouldn’t ask her to do anything different. that being said, neither of us have ever really been in an open relationship. sure, i’ve “dated” more than one person at a time, but at some point we either decide to be exclusive or we move on. then there are the people i’ve dated that were in open relationships and i was the other person.
so what does this all mean, and why am i writing about it? i’m not so cheesy to think that love is the biggest adventure of them all. however, i think that the idea of love and how we love, what makes up a good solid relationship, who makes a good partner (especially consider the timing of “gay” marriage and all that bullshit), and how we define all this is one of the top social constructions we face regularly. as a queer person and a vegan with anarchist beliefs, i have a really hard time thinking of telling someone i love and care about, what they can or can’t do with their bodies, time, interactions…. i can say what i do or do not want in my life (sti, drama…)and make agreements about how we meet one another’s needs. what i am learning is that i really want to be with someone who knows who they are and what they want. that we have these lives we want to live and dreams we want to make real. who am i to stand in the way?!
i’ve never been in a relationship that had this level of communication without the kind of over processing that drives me crazy, or scripted language of liberal folks that have had too much therapy that they can’t speak directly any more. we still have a lot to learn and have made mistakes, but we are learning and laughing and loving.
in the mean time, i and we have been on all kinds of queer vegan adventures that i want to share, but and yet, this relationship has made me question what it is that i can or should share here. if it was just me, well i wouldn’t care. she has given me full clearance to share whatever i want. yet, what do you want to hear? do you want to know the amazing places we found in nature to explore, where there was no one else for days so we spent it naked in the car, in the tent, out of the enclosures, laid in the grass or meadow, in the water, on the sandy or rocky beach? do you want to know how much i am being stretched and pulled as a person, as a lover, as a friend, as a human being trying to relate and still be myself? how i am calling bullshit on myself? or do you want pretty pictures and thoughts about how we relate to the greater world?
what does it mean to be a complete human being with love and fear and dreams….
well now, that is what i call an adventure!