Periodic Update (sex life <– got your attention?)

Start a new blog? Meh. Meanwhile I’ll just continue here.

The shift is slow but I see it happening. I mostly get emotional about S in a sentimental way. I love her to pieces. She’s still heartbreakingly beautiful and when I’m near her I feel drawn to her from every angle. But I do not carry excitement about whatever might be next at the personal level. The feelings are about connection and respect and affection and a wealth of memories that can never be approximated in any future version of us.

I canceled the trip by which I was going to meet up with someone new (see prior rambleation) because I realized I couldn’t afford even one week off the hunt for income. The night before I had intended to leave I went to a little meetup for a BDSM group based in the East Bay that has a few people up here. It was a fun little gathering at a bar and grill where most people were watching the NFL draft and we were talking (not quietly) about polyamory and dungeons.

I have no experience with dungeons and come off as pretty vanilla in the BDSM test but I have experienced some excitement tying someone up and want to try being on the receiving end too, and the group in question seems pretty safe and unintimidating, so there I was. There were only half a dozen of us and I didn’t say much because I often never do but afterwards I found myself in conversation with someone who was there for the first time, out in the bar, for an hour. Next day she invited me to dinner and we talked for a long time at that too. Two days later we were at a concert she had extra tickets for, a very small intimate affair with three musicians and not much more than a dozen in the audience, and on the walk through a park back to the car I took her hand and drove matters as one may under a full moon, and we decided we really like each other.

She’s not like many others I’ve dated. She’s not needy. She’s not in yet-to-be-managed pain. She doesn’t need rescuing. She’s neither tall nor slender. She’s highly confident and has a history of taking no prisoners. She doesn’t fit into the pattern I need to break. I’m very pleased with these things.

She’s away this weekend. Meanwhile the other young lady mentioned above (birthday party) invited me to be her plus one at a DJ-fueled brunch this coming Saturday afternoon. It is not a Cinco de Mayo thing. I’m happy to be going but I’m finding interesting things going on inside of me. This young lady and I made out a little too, some weeks ago, though not nearly as intensely. She likes me and that, and I like her, but it’s just not the same (at present) and I find I have to be really super clear with myself as to what I am doing. If I find I am going to be in any way distracted by thought of the one not there, and thus not fully present, then the usually very welcome idea that our afternoon date might stretch through the rest of the weekend has to be considered very carefully. I have no problem managing the open dating, questions if any, avoiding sentiments that are not real, loving the one I’m with. The polyamory side is not a mystery to me. The mystery is, to what extent does being distracted (if I am) indicate I’m not really made for polyamory after all?

That’s possible. People fool themselves all the time to get what they think they want. They will put enormous effort into fitting into a world they have chosen for various reasons, without it actually being true for them. I did that to some extent over the past several years (just how is yet TBD).

Well, no, I think it’s just that the NRE with one overwhelms the NRE with the other. It can all work well. Just have to be real, really real, really.

On to the oogy stuff. By now we’ve all had various careers and been various people. The one I’m not (in this instant) as drawn to was a professional dominatrix at some point (let’s call her A). The other liked me in part because I am beginning to explore tantra but her interest went up a notch when I mentioned shibari (let’s call her B). I haven’t gotten anywhere with that, but one of my best friends is studying it and since I’m moving in with him soon I expect to start learning. So I’m thinking, hmm, A has skills I want to learn about, and B wants to be my rope bunny. Both of them are in the category of being independent, in need of no rescue, and neither tall nor slender. Interesting times ahead.

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Rambling off the cuff

You know it’s true love when I find myself trying to help her make up with her latest boyfriend. Well, I want her happy. Cause I love her.

But then I laughed and said, What am I doing? She can sort it out. She probably won’t anyway. He was annoying. They’re all annoying. She wants to know why men can’t be more like me, i.e. not annoying.

She loves me too. And we’re not shy about telling this to each other.

Yesterday, when they were fixing to go out and I was over to fix the water heater, she was in a good mood, got this new guy, I’m there too, she was all happy energy and thus, as you might expect, was the most beautiful woman in the world. It’s possible that she always will be.

But things went south sometime in the evening. I was asleep and missed the 2am text. Good thing. “I gotta rescue you AGAIN?” Of course I wouldn’t have done it. And she took care of it herself. Problem was a mixture of hard alcohol and him being a Leo. A normal Leo. I’m more an anti-Leo. But he’s self-centered and immature and never had children and said something to one of the kids that woke the mama bear right up. C’mon. By now, a man’s gotta know better than THAT.

We’re on our paths. We need separation to follow our paths. She’s taking hers faster than I am mine. But I know what a lot of the changes I need to make are, anyway. No big deal. Pretty much a complete reinvention of my approach to life. I can do it.

As for girlfriends, I’ve invested more than I should in an upcoming adventure. I’ve done that because I want a fully satisfying adventure. But we haven’t met face to face and all bets are off until we do. But I’ll visit for a day or three and I have hopes. Six hundred miles away but why not. The one woman I ever loved (still do) who was also a healthy relationship for me lives that far away too. Who knows. Maybe that’s what it takes.

I met a gal a couple weeks ago who was fascinating and took enough of a shine to me to invite me to Jerry Brown’s private family birthday party. But she was sick that day and called off the date. I haven’t had a chance to sit with her and ask just how she got to be friends with the Governor. I intend to see her again but she’s mighty cool. I’m beginning to think normal single people play it pretty cool. It’s how they manage to stay single. I’ve worried about that, worried if I’m going to manage to stay single. It’s important that I do. I’m discovering I don’t know what that really looks like.

Maybe that uncertainty of definition is what it looks like.

Lane change

I should probably start a fresh blog, since so much has changed. This one started just to record my semi-sabbatical. But that wasn’t followed by a return to work. I had the freedom to try other things. Feeling open-ended, I kept this open-ended too. Didn’t have much use for it anyway.

But now I find everything turning upside-down and have a strong need to talk about it. Cutting to the quick: I’m suddenly and irrevocably fated to be in that group of people who are sixty and broke. This realization is staggering. I was better than flush just a year or two ago. What happened then doesn’t yet bear examination (in other words I’m not in the mood for focusing on my failures, I don’t need that). Today’s realities are that a) I will soon realize I have a huge debt to the IRS, larger than any remaining assets bar my house, and b) the family I love (whose principal is now rejecting me) has no other means of support.

The explanation as to why a highly intelligent and extraordinarily hard-working woman with six kids has no reliable means of support is not mine to give publicly but I do have to say it has zero to do with government assistance or other aspects of “liberalism” and everything to do with male privilege and ineffective courts. I was too offended by the injustices to turn away and while my actions may have been all noble and self-sacrificing they were not sustainable.

I can probably get a good job. I’m ramping up on that. Gotta forget about writing that book, though. I should instead be catching up on technical matters so I at least have a ghost of a chance to compete.

No words

No words that should go into more public forums.

Out of love I bought a house and a truck and a new car and capitalized a business and supported a large family and destroyed my personal finances, all out of love and faith.

I love and respect a woman who lives within her truth and this truth doesn’t align with what I thought anymore. There’s no pretense and no time wasted.

She still has no reliable means of support, though her potential as an artist / businessperson remains worthy of some faith. I spent all mine. She asks for nothing. She never did. All those decisions, ultimately self-destructive decisions, were mine.

Yeah, so I need a job. To avoid poverty when working good jobs is no longer possible (and never mind that I haven’t proved it is possible now), I need more than that. I need my IRA back but since I spent it in one pivotal and interesting year, I’ll have to come up with something else.

I really like making things and I know people who live off of making things. Writing books people want to read is a similar dream, one I’ve held for decades. But I’m really bad at doing what I want done. There’s always been too much else that’s important and more urgent. What’s funny is it all arises from the needs of others. Now I’m told I can stop worrying about that but, come on. As if. Nothing has changed regarding this family’s needs and resources.

I’m also too depressed to go find friends this evening. Just now I couldn’t even make a run last more than a couple blocks. I just, I dunno.

I feel like most writers spend their actual time writing, because that fits their temperament. That’s one reason they can become writers. There was always a part of me, though, that wanted not so much to write a novel as to live one. So here I’ve been living in far too interesting a world to have time to invent any. Also, despite my affection-less small-family upbringing, I apparently wanted family, lots of family. I must have, because that’s what I chose to live with.

That will now change. How, who knows. The ideas I hear don’t make a lot of sense yet. I say yet because she’s had months to mull it over while determining if this is truly her truth. I’ve had about a day. The air about me buzzes mostly with unknowns. If you’re drawing a cartoon, fill it with question marks and sad, sad faces.

Right, I shouldn’t share this sort of thing but I don’t care. It’s truth. What else is there to write but truth?

March, Not March

I didn’t have a true need to participate in the Women’s March. But I did want to speak up about the complexities of being a man who wants to be a good ally. In the end I got the message that by doing so I was just putting my fingers on everything, as men always do. I decided it would have been better to say nothing at all; to just, from a social media standpoint, ignore the entire event.

And then after making that decision, another powerful woman of my acquaintance posted to all the men, come march with us, we want you to.

I’d rather they all didn’t want me there, than that some do and some don’t. But my feelings about it don’t matter anyway.

I write a lot. It is not Real Writing that I write. It is journaling, again. The self-absorbed examination of self that I meant to quit because it so amplifies the negative. But it’s how I process, and I have a shit-ton to process. Either that or I’m just way too bound up in my own head, which is also true.

Writing here instead of there makes a slight difference. Very slight, since the audience is about the same.

When I try to Write For Real, I don’t get very far. With that or anything. Damn ADD brain anyway. I really don’t think it’s worse than it used to be. I don’t think age and “retirement” have made me lazier. I’m just more keenly aware of how poorly I’ve trained myself to be productive despite all this continuous distraction. The relative lack of structure in my current life is why I notice.

And I’m starved but the kitchen is unusable thanks to multiple kids being up all night, as they always are, and not yet having cleaned up after themselves. So I’ll just go out somewhere. And it was that thought that brought me back to the March and led to me sitting down to write about it here. Cause actually, I did want to go, just to be among friends in the bright winter sunshine in one of my favorite parts of one of my favorite cities. Which I knew in turn was just turning a statement of social action into a pleasant walk in the park, hence another instance of a man putting his fingers all over something that isn’t his.

Sand

Our lives are dominated now by the art installation. We load it into the Crocker in a couple weeks and continue to learn how much work there is yet to do. While tonight I’m laser-cutting some parts for one part, a team is sanding and staining larger parts for another. Tonight they just learned the water-based stain being used raises the grain too much on the pieces, necessitating a whole lot of unexpected extra sanding. A whole lot. Dozens of hours worth.

We have work. Come and earn a little over minimum wage, sanding and listening to music and sanding in good company while sanding.

I’m only writing here cuz I won’t on the F-book but I feel like typing it out. While this project is somewhat funded by the museum, the up front costs, and ALL other costs in our life, are covered by me. My choice was to either have faith in our future plans and intentions and spend what’s left of my retirement now to allow them to happen, or just say no, keep my money, and walk away. I couldn’t do that, of course. Not only because I love her, but she and her family depend on me to enable this stage of their lives. I can’t throw them into poverty, government assistance, and probable despair just to keep my money. My choice was to instead live in faith and hard work and see how things work out. She’s validated my faith many times. Never failed. So here we go.

Meanwhile more and more friends and acquaintances are paying their rent with my money in exchange for help in getting this thing built. It’s a peculiar feeling. I’m not worried about being old and broke. I just don’t care about that. If I have no dependents, what’s to worry about? I’m only worried about actually running out of money before we’re ready for me to. Against that, I’m sort of willing to go look for work. But I can’t yet, really. This project is all-consuming, and I am doing a lot of important work that otherwise won’t get done, just as she and her team are.

I was cooperative with a recruiter a few days ago, which is more than I can say for previous calls. But there’s been no word since, and I just don’t know. I’d rather write and build a company than work for someone, but work for someone I will if it’s the only way to bring in some income. And until our new venture turns the corner after this museum piece and starts selling actual stuff we make, that will be the only way.

I don’t know, I’m just sharing a piece of life because I don’t blog anymore and almost no one reads this. I feel just alone enough in all this to scratch it out onto a piece of paper and toss it into the wind.

Who Knew

Who knew one could be so bold? I have so much to learn, and I want to learn more of it, and faster.

We were signed up for a sarasa tantra retreat in a luxurious woodland setting, a long  weekend of fine food amongst other couple, singles, and groups to learn and practice methods and techniques of intimacy. Various factors to do with family and business led my partner to decide to bow out. But she encouraged me to stick to plan.

“You should go. You will get a lot out of it. Me, maybe not so much.”

“Yeah, well.”

“Ask someone to go with you.”

My list of acceptable someones else was quite small. It numbered two. And after some discussion of what was going on in the life of one of them, it was reduced to one.

“Isn’t it kind of crazy?” I asked. “Here I’m going to invite someone to a tantric yoga weekend whom I’ve never gone out with, never even so much as made out with at a party.”

“Try it.”

“So these women,” I said, feeling out the overall situation for future reference. “I’m extremely picky. They have to be smart and confident, they have to like me, and they have to completely accept our situation. I don’t want much from them. Sometimes I wonder what I want, what they have that you don’t.”

“Boobs.” She laughed.

I shrugged. “Yeah.”

“They have big tits and I don’t. I’m fine with that. Ask her.”

So I did. I asked a woman who’s amazing, really, someone I admire and knows it, someone who admires me back and has said so, whom I’ve never done anything with but talk to, maybe dance a little, a brilliant, quiet, glasses-wearing book-reading redhead whose boyfriend recently moved in with her and her husband. And she was flattered, and said several times she would normally make adjustments to go to this thing with me, but this one time has an unbreakable commitment and, alas, cannot go.

I was lifted by her encouraging attitude about the whole thing, and especially lifted by the supportive outlook of the woman who loves me. I never knew I could be so bold. This was a true revelation. That aside, I will be going to this retreat without knowing a soul, which is probably best anyway. I can then open up without worrying about anyone else and maximize whatever lessons I will be there to receive. Mostly breathing exercises, I guess, though the list of things to bring includes a blindfold, as well as “something that makes you feel sacred and sexy” to wear for pujas and rituals, so who knows.

I’m just moved to write about how blessed I am in this short-lived phase of my life which, like all phases, must be appreciated in the moment and not just rushed through and (hopefully) remembered later. Why I should write more but of course I don’t.

 

Just Paper

Making room. I find files taking up space. Space I need to use.

Some of it is easy to throw away, even though it wasn’t easy at the last pass a couple three years ago. I kept it then. I’m filling a wastepaper basket now.

The purchase agreement for my grandparents’ gravesites? I scanned it and tossed it. Well, there’s info in there. Who knows, some distant descendant might have no other way to find their graves. And want to. I have no need, but I can’t speak for others.

Tossed all the scripts and instructions from that one time my father was in a San Francisco Opera production of Lohengrin.

Tossed the manuals for a TEAC tape recorder that I remember having but don’t remember how I got rid of it. Don’t see it anywhere. Must be gone.

Then I found all the records scrupulously kept by Dad during his firstborn son’s final year, from when he was diagnosed with leukemia in January 1959 to when he died in November shortly after his 5th birthday. There’s a lot of emotional weight in those insurance letters and medical bills and invoices and receipts, and in the certification of death and final payment to the mortuary. Dad kept every scrap. Then after his son was cremated, he buried the ashes under a tree. No one knows where. A secret taken to the grave and, given subsequent developments, probably long since uprooted and scattered through a housing development.

Wastepaper basket. It’s just paper. This blog post represents my memorial to the sentiment. Jimmy is dead. Dad is dead. Sentimentality is a distinctly useless emotion (as distinct from sentiment), and I am happier the further I get from hanging on to things of this sort.

And from the sort of personality that kept it, though I suppose I’m being harsh. One can’t always help it when they’re so close.

Here We Are Write Here

Steven King (On Writing) cautions against spending your time not writing when you could be writing (or reading). He doesn’t have much sympathy, nor should he, for people who claim they want to write but whose time is spent doing other things. When he wrote this, his example of time misspent involved television. Now, of course, the would-be writer has it even harder. Blogs helped us pretend we were writing, and Facebook and fake news sites help us pretend we’re not watching TV. But neither of those activities are writing (or reading).

It occurs to me I’ve done a pretty good job of not blogging. I also do a pretty good job of not watching TV, though I am a sucker for a movie (any movie) watched on a laptop perched on our supine bodies in the bed space. The problem activity remains Facebook. Even the recent loss of my phone (not to be replaced until tomorrow) didn’t slow me down. I just take a laptop into the bathroom with me. If I were to claim I was doing less Facebook, no one should believe me.

Still, I’m trying to write more. I’m certainly more driven than I’ve ever been. The trouble is, well, everything else. Right now, for example, I’m (happily) designing a one-sixth scale mockup of the installation Sunya will do for the Crocker Art Museum later this year. They want a picture of her holding a model for the magazine. We don’t have the model yet. I’m trying to design the parts and produce them on a laser cutter without any 3D CAD knowledge but just by faking it in 2D, and the photo meeting is day after tomorrow, so: I’m not writing right now. But I will. Soon. And she apologetically reminds me she won’t need me after this and I (happily) remind her this is our project, not just hers, and I’m enjoying myself.

And if it isn’t that it’s a thousand other things, festivals every weekend with some level of work involved, cars that don’t quite run right, a house needing work (e.g. fix the dryer vent, detox the pool, strip the front yard and landscape it on the cheap, I do go on don’t I). Even so, I do a lot of research, and a little writing, and a little more rewriting, and a bunch of thinking; and I try to read but I get bored so easily, gah.

And no, I don’t want a damn job. I want us to figure this out, and suddenly make it.

Another thing King said (I was reading his book today because of my lost phone — there’s some sort of lesson in that — and I will paraphrase because I don’t want to fetch it from the other room): It’s not possible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer, nor is it possible to make a great writer out of a good writer, but with a lot of hard work it might be possible to make a good writer out of a competent one. I’m a competent writer, and I intend to become a good one. We’ll see if after fifty eight badly-managed years I have time for that. We’ll see.

Mystery

I don’t know how it’s going to happen.

I’ve felt a lot better, been a lot happier, since deciding to hell with finding a job. I don’t want to work for anyone. I want to bend my energies towards building our arts business, i.e. big works for festivals as a means of exposure / marketing, and smaller works at household prices for the interior decorating market. In addition I want to write my damn novel, and branch out into other stories. That’s what I want.

Meanwhile you might say I need an income. I have a house with seven people in it and at the current burn rate the remainder of my retirement will last about a year. But, while it’s possible I’m being a moron about this, I just don’t care. I don’t want to live carefully. My father did that, my brother does that, my ex-wife, indeed everyone I’ve ever been family with lived soberly and cautiously and left the planet quietly with no undue fuss. But I’m not interested in that model. I’m living now, not a decade from now, and trying to do what I want, and if it doesn’t pay off, so what? I’ll be broke. Who cares?

It seems my influences fall into two camps. The majority are young creatives with varying levels of self-support, some building up a level of prosperity, others unable to keep a car or get their driver’s license, but all of them creatives of varying sorts, while the other group, the smaller group, seems to be older people like me who are retired or nearly so, who played by the rules and are now doing whatever the hell they please. Some are well off, some are not, but all are happy in the main, being themselves after a lifetime of finding out what that meant.

This past weekend was spent at a party, a mini-festival you might say, but a private party really, with a few hundred attendees, aggressively screened against creepers and predators such that the subtle unknown creepers like me can enjoy the fact of many beautiful young women being completely comfortable dancing etc with their exotic costumes mostly removed and just having fun. I call myself an unknown creeper because I know I look like one saying that, but in fact I am happy that people felt comfortable exploring themselves, and don’t care about the details of it. The fact of a social scene in which all manner of young people felt safe, really felt safe, is a great thing to celebrate.

I realized as the day and night wore on that I have become one of the tribal elders. Young men tell me they respect me and the way I’ve supported my lady love’s growth as an artist, both young men and women tell me they are impressed with the open and trusting relationship I have with her, older folks embrace me fully as one of them. It’s a peculiar revelation, to be a tribal elder, when I’ve spent nearly sixty years trying to “succeed” at just being the youngster I thought I had to try being in order to move forward. Well, whatever youngsterish things I did or didn’t do, I moved forward anyway, and here I am feeling loved and respected by a bunch of amazing people. As I say, it’s peculiar. It seems I need to grasp and accept the person everyone else knows me to be, rather than the somewhat less accomplished person I keep thinking I am.

Which brings up a question. Is it all right for tribal elders to make out with young warrior women? I did that, with just one (I’m not an aggressive fellow), and wondered later if I looked the fool I thought I should. But my lady love extracted the details from me (did she kiss back etc — oh yes) and concluded I was worrying too much. I’m a handsome old devil, evidently, so what the hell. No worries.

Right. Yeah. I dunno. I’m thinking at some point there will be alignment between monogamy and dignity that will cause me to care about both of those things. Not yet! But it’s in the wind.

Overall point? I’ve spent a lifetime hiding. Don’t seem to have that impulse anymore. Socially, I’m visible to all, and it’s high time I understood that and quit with the denial. Professionally, I have no interest in following another’s lead. Well, some, if it’s going somewhere. But in not having a boss I’m not at all lost. I know what to do. I just don’t know if there’s any money in it.

Dangerous times. I titled this “Mystery” when I started typing, because it really is a big mystery how it’s going to happen, “it” being the creation of some sort of life that is self-sustaining. It’s headed that way, but I only have so much runway, and have no idea how much runway I actually need. Probably more than I’ve got. But a regular full-time job, while extending the runway, would bring a virtual end to my acceleration. What would you do?