Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What??? Another meme?

Stolen from the journal of haphazzard:
1. Ever punch someone in the face?

2. How old are you?

3. Are you single or taken?

4. Eat with your hands or utensils?

5. Do you dream at night?

6. Ever seen a corpse?

7. Have you ever wished someone dead?

8. Do you like Bush?

9. Whats your philosophy on life? and death?

10. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you:

11. Do you trust the police?

12. Do you like country music?

13. Do you think I'm attractive?

14. If you could change anything about yourself would you?

15. Batman or Superman?

16. What do you wear to sleep?

17. Have you ever peed in a pool? while you were still in it?

18. Would you hide evidence for me if I asked you to?

19. If I only had one day to live, what would we do together?

20. Will you post this so I can fill it out for you?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This week in Storm

This is kind of long, so I put it behind a cut...

"The Best/Worst Thanksgiving ever"...

The stress started a little over a month ago when Patt (Chas' mother) told me that she wouldn't be joining us for Thanksgiving at my mother's house this year. Under normal circumstances this would be fine, but our circumstances are far from normal: Patt is in constant need of care and supervision having been mentally and physically disabled almost four years ago by both a series of brain surgeries that sought to treat a previously undetected birth defect, along with Parkinson's disease, and a degenerative spine condition. She is often confused, cannot walk on her own, and requires assistance for almost every act of living, save perhaps eating. When I explained to her that not only would it be a fun time, and that since Chas and I both really wanted to go she would need to go with us, she simply refused saying that she would be fine on her own. Of course, that's her dementia talking... she needs someone to walk with her, to bathe her, and to change her diapers, so it's safe to say that she would not be fine on her own. But she just doesns't understand that. It's really only been this year that she stopped asking when she was going home. ("You are home... you live here now. See? All of your things are here.") ("But I don't stay here. When do we leave?")

A lesson that I learned in all of this was that you cannot reason with someone who has dementia. Actually I thought I had learned this a long time ago; I've been caring for her consistently for almost 4 years now, but this time it just sort of crept up on me and caught me off guard. My default stance with people is to communicate and reason, and so it is very difficult to be in a situation in which that modality is not effective; it seems to go against everything in my nature. Like switching seats on the Titanic, it's really just futile.

So we decided to simply change the subject and avoid taking it up again. The bottom line is that we all needed to go... I wasn't fond of the idea of leaving Chas behind on Thanksgiving to care for her while I went to see my family an hour away... especially since Chas really wanted to go, too... but there is no one else to care for Patt, and we have no money to hire someone to come and sit with her. So Thanksgiving morning came and Chas got her showered and dressed and she began telling us how she was not going with us and Chas protested a little but then decided to not fight with her. We just got our stuff together, loaded up the car, and then put her into the car, ignoring her protests.

See, here's the thing: she will often protest leaving the house no matter what we are doing... taking her to lunch... to a doctor's appointment... to see her family... even if she has previously asked to go, when the time comes she protests and gets nasty. It's just what she does, so I'm used to (politely) ignoring that part of her behavior. After all, it's not her fault... her brain is broken.

After an hour and a half, we get to my mom's house and suddenly Patt is so very happy to be there. "How lovely everything looks!", she says. "We're going to have a wonderful time!"

My mom's house was beautiful, all decked out in holiday swag. The table is set with her finest china, and the scent of roasting turkey is in the air. My mom herself wasn't there, having gone out to pick up my sister at the airport, so we waited and had snacks while we watched TV.

My friend David arrived, and then soon my mother and sister did too and we began the first of several courses, each paired with a particular wine that my mother had found during one of her winery trips. Patt refused to eat, however, and I wondered if her change of heart had been short lived. Soon we realized, however, that her stomach had begun bothering her, and when we sat down to eat the main course, he asked to lie down. We made her a bed on my mother's couch, and were already feeling bad about the situation, but as soon as we sat back down to eat, she began to get sick. I felt bad for her... and for Chas who insisted on single-handedly cleaning her up and caring for her while the rest of us finished our meals. At one point Patt berated Chas saying "I told you I didn't want to come!" and of course this was within earshot of my mother.

Now, had she expressed a stomach ailment (or any other ailment for that matter) before we came then of course we would not had brought her. But her protests had come a month earlier and had more to do with her trying to express the very last power that she has in life: to be contrary. Eventually Chas got her all cleaned up, and we reheated his meal so that he could enjoy it as best he could and after pie we said our goodbyes and left, exhausted. We got home, Chas put her to bed, and then we talked about what happened as Chas tried to decompress. We came to the conclusion that we simply cannot take her out with us, unless it's to a nearby public place (such as a restaurant, or movie theater) as at least they will have handicap accessible restrooms, and we can get home quickly, if need be. My mother was not too happy when I later told her that we wouldn't be able to bring her over to her house anymore when she realized that it also meant that WE wouldn't be coming for holidays. My mom really likes to entertain in her house, which is understandable, but she really fought with me and insisted that next time we hire someone to watch Patt so that Chas and I could come and spend the holiday at her place. I'm assuming that she was just being emotional and that she really wouldn't expect us to abandon the woman on a major holiday... I sort of think there's a special place in Hell for people who would do such a thing, but I guess I'll find out for sure next year. There's absolutely no way that I would even consider doing that. I can't think of many more depressing things than leaving a helpless old woman alone with a stranger on a holiday, especially when it's perfectly easy to have the holidays at my place. Our house is huge, and my mom's is quite small. We have handrails on Patt's bathroom, and all her stuff is here if she has trouble. It just makes sense to have it here... especially since my mom has already told me that all Christmases from now on will be at my brother's house in Nevada (since he had kids) and that means I no longer get Christmas with my family, both since I can't afford to leave here, and because my brother has some unexplained issues with me that I can only assume are related to me being gay. So I should get one of the holidays, right? Again, I guess we'll find out next year if she'll understand, but either way we will have a big holiday party. Maybe more than one. So, there.

But, as always, there is a silver lining to this otherwise depressing cloud. Chas and I have recommitted to going out at night after his mom has gone to bed, which means that we will once again be making it out to a club every now and again. We did that for awhile, but stopped, because Chas was uncomfortable leaving the house with no one here with his sleeping mother, but now since we realize we can't even go out with her, we need to do this or else we will spend the rest of her life trapped in this house. So I am looking forward to this being a good step for our marriage. We need a break.... if only for a few hours.


In other news, some friends and I went to see Kathy Griffin live at the Warfield on the 24th. I laughed my ass off. Well, OK... actually I still am in full possession of my ass (one of my better qualities, I am told) but did suffer from acute cheek-ache the next day from the ordeal. She is so causticly hilarious. Highlights included comment on the Foley scandal ("Delicious", she said) and clearing up the confusion as to whether or not Paris Hilton is actually as dumb as she appears ("She's Corky from "Life Goes on", retarded!") plus lots of descriptions of her encounters with various celebs, including a meeting with former President Bill Clinton at an event for California governor hopeful Phil Angelides while she was wearing a "silver whore dress". She says she probably scared the shit out of him with her crazy awe-struck babbling as a result of having just bombed while telling jokes based on some remarks that Ann Coulter made about Clinton being gay. Too marvelous.

And then later...

On Saturday, my mother and sister came over and we went out to lunch. My mom was depressed at just having been told about our inability to spend holidays at her place in the future and so we needed some time to go out and have fun. By the end of the lunch all were in high spirits (not the least of which was due to some Towering Iced Teas and Pomegranate Margaritas) and when we returned to my place we got to work scanning a children's book that my sister made for our niece, Leah, in which she took old snapshots and pieced them together in a story about Leah finding the perfect place to plant her own tree:

We spend a good amount of time scanning, and then printing a copy for my mom, who also (at the last minute) brought some family photos of her own for me to scan and arrange so that she could have a collage to give for a Christmas present. After all this we spent some time burning CD's, enjoying some gingerbread cake and some really good port. Mmmm... port. It was a nice time, and they didn't leave until 1am! But that's my family for ya... we like to party until we can't stay awake anymore.


During all of this the business has been slowly growing... I'm still working on my next wave of meditation CDs, as well as some writing projects. Things have been more creative in this house since our house guest left early this month... I guess we just have more emotional space in which to work. My spiritual practice has been improved since then, as well. These things tell me that we are now on the right path for our lives... but still, at times, the house seems empty with just us. After Patt goes to bed Chas and I usually retreat into our creative spheres and the house is filled with silence. But this will also change... I'm looking forward to going out more and playing.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Circle is now Complete...

I'm just now getting around to finishing up with this. This is a follow-up to my previous long emo post of earlier this month. 

He and I have talked a bit since all this and I'm still unsure as to where his head is at... He actually texted me (4 days after he left) to tell me that he now hates me, but then took it back about a week and a half later. Now he just seems to think that his actions, while unfortunate, were nothing extreme or anything that he needs to take responsibility for. I let him know that I deserve an apology and that in MY world relationships demand honesty and communication or else they are meaningless. He felt that he told me about his decision quick enough by "his standards"... I told him that I didn't share that view and that Chas and I should have heard about it BEFORE he even came to a decision, because when you are in a relationship with someone, then you are all a part of the process together. Apparently this is a foreign concept to him. WTF?!?

I honestly hope that his life is a good one, and one that is preferably lived far, far away from me. No... I'm actually not bitter. I'm just done. Maybe if he takes responsibility then we can at least be friendly (I won't close the door on that possibility... I believe that people can change) but I'm not holding my breath. ;)

Thanks to all who offered me support when I needed it. Much love and hugs to all.

Life is actually pretty damned good right now...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

OK fine... :)

You are The Magician

Skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning, depending on dignity.

Eloquent and charismatic both verbally and in writing,
you are clever, witty, inventive and persuasive.

The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things so just by speaking them aloud. Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Breaking up is apparently very easy to do...

This is one of those detailed, emotional "breaking-up" posts... so I've hidden it behind a cut to save those of you who aren't into bitching. :)

First some background. A little over 5 years ago, I met this really sweet guy (name withheld to protect the guilty) on the internet. We chatted about Paganism and I gave him a link to my website. We later met and there was definitely a connection, and so soon afterward we started dating. Chas was brought into it a bit later and a little after that the new guy's husband was brought in as well. It was a great summer... full of passion and connection. Unfortunately the factory that they both worked at was already in the process of closing down and they had already made plans to move to Minneapolis to go to school. So we ended our relationship as they moved away... but we kept in touch.

Over the years this guy would tell me how much he wanted to move back to California... how his heart was here... and how he missed that time spent with Chas and I. This eventually gave way to him telling me that his relationship was unfulfilling, and how he suspected his partner of cheating, but they (in true WASP fashion) would never actually talk about it. Eventually he and his husband would meet someone else and open their relationship into a triad. I was a bit jealous when I heard, but was glad that he seemed happy.

But it was definitely short-lived. I later heard that he and his husband were planning to move back to CA but that they had opted not to tell their third because they were afraid that he would try to talk them out of it! I was put off by it, and told him so, but then plans dissolved and they all seemed to be happy once more so I forgot about it.

Not long after I was hearing again how unhappy he was... how he couldn't get motivated to finish school... how he wasn't happy in his relationships, and again how he longed to return to California. Chas and I offered him our place so that he might find it easier to return since it seemed apparent to us that the reason that he was so unhappy was that he was trapped in an unhealthy, uncommunicative relationship. After awhile, though I figured it wasn't going to happen any time soon, and that he needed to find his own process. I would continue to get reports from him and eventually heard that his husband had moved out of state to pursue his career, leaving him and the third in Minneapolis. Again I started hearing that he wanted to move to CA, and a few months ago he asked if the offer was still open to come and stay with us. Of course it was; I have held a torch for him for the past several years and welcomed a chance to help him out, especially if it meant that I could see him again. In August he arrived with the idea that he was going to figure out his life, get a job, and find a place to live. The official story was that he was going to find an apartment and then his husband would move out to CA to be with him, but I soon started hearing how their relationship was basically over and that he needed to figure out what he wanted to do. He had until the end of the year to figure it out, during which time he would look for a job in his field (tech writing) but said that he would take anything in the meantime.

He soon started telling us that he wanted to move in here permanently, and that he still loved us and wanted to build a life with us. He told us that he was in the grieving process for his other relationships and that they were over, but that he just needed to find a way to talk to them about it. We knew that this needed to happen before we progressed with anything with him and so were in a space to give him as much time as he needed.

Later he and I would go to a party and met this really nice guy named Steve. He and Steve clicked and over the next couple of weeks they started having a phone relationship. I asked him if he wanted to date this new person, and he told me no, that he just wanted more friends in the area. Later I found this was not true. I asked him what he wanted. He said that he just got out of a relationship and so he needed to be free to do what he wanted to. We understood. Then he told us that he really wanted to be in a relationship with us, and had for the past five years, but needed time to work everything out. Perfectly understandable. After a long talk in which boundaries were discussed it was agreed that we could pursue a triad between us AND he could date outside it IF the three of us were happy and fulfilled first. It was a big talk in which we all shared our feelings. At the end he told me that he wasn't used to talking about his feelings like that and it felt really good. I was happy.

The next day was his day off, so he wanted to go out and see this guy. Chas and I agreed and then said that because it was so new it would be nice if he would join us for dinner that night and we could talk about his day then do something special for the three of us. He agreed and we went on with our day.

Dinner came and went. He never showed. Like a fool, I thought "Oh, he must be having trouble on BART". An hour and a half after he was to be home he called --still at this guys house-- saying they "lost track of time". We were upset but things happen, right? Two more hours go by and he shows up. Now telling us that he actually realized what time it was a half hour BEFORE he had said he'd join us, but decided not to call because he "didn't want to get into it" in front of his date. Ouch! Wrong answer.

Now keep in mind that had he simply called and said that he lost track of time or needed more time or whatever, then we could have rescheduled our date, but instead we were left hanging. Again I asked him what he wanted and he said that he wanted to build a life with us... that he was committed to the triad and understood that he had "fucked up". We talked... we shared... we came to an understanding; he was not going to date outside the triad for awhile while he got his life together and worked out his other relationships and his job situation and his unfinished school. We said we could re-visit the open triad idea later, but that for now we needed to focus on the here-and-now. He said that he agreed and that it was actually for the best for him; that when he got overwhelmed that he had a tendency to jump into something new without regard to what was going on around him.

Things seemed great since then, although he had a strange habit of disappearing into his room for lengthy phone calls. I didn't think much of it. He and I went out the Sunday before Halloween to meet artist Paul Rucker at Ancient Ways in Oakland. While Paul and I chatted, he got a tarot reading. Afterward we all went to Walnut Creek for dinner and had a nice time. At some point in this period he made tentative plans with Chas for themed Christmas decorations for the house.

Tuesday was Halloween and we had my mom and best friend over. We all had a nice time dining on hor d'ouvres and cocktails. Wednesday my mom was still there and we watched a Japanese animated movie ("Spirited Away") that he had got from NetFlix. Good times.

Thursday night the three of us sat down to watch the next installment in our Buffy saga. It was the one where Buffy and Riley break-up. After it was over he said, "It's ironic that this episode was tonight." I was honestly thinking he was going to tell us that he had finally found a way to tell his guys that he was moving on but instead he said "I'm thinking I should move back to Minneapolis" contingent on him getting his old job back since he had no money and no place to live and since his old boyfriend had moved into a smaller apartment that didn't take dogs. The decision, he said, was made a week ago, and solidified by the tarot reading the previous Sunday. He had been making plans with his (almost?)ex and was going to start setting things in motion. I was shocked. Although I should have, I never saw it coming. The reason that he gave (at first) was the job market, saying that while the job market was improving he was competing with people who had lost their IT jobs in 2001 and so it was going to be impossible for him to get a job until he finished his schoolwork, which is very little, but he seemed to not be motivated to actually do it while he's been here, contrary to the whole reason for him coming. A strange reason, but I sadly accepted it. He said that he had thought things were over with his "husband" but that he had heard second hand that his husband was waiting for him to figure out what he was doing in order to get on with his life. So my previously nice guy decided to give it another shot with him. I understood and told his so. Then he said that things had never been the same between the three of us since the Steve thing, and that he felt that we had put unnecessary restrictions on him as he wanted to be in a relationship with us but that he didn't want to have to answer to anyone about sex (or love) outside the relationship. He said that Chas and I could have picked any other night to have our special dinner with him, but that we chose that night and it made him feel restricted. I reminded him that he was an adult and he didn't need to agree to the dinner if he didn't want to. Instead he agreed to our faces and felt restricted in secret. Then he tried to blame us for it.

So... Friday morning I talked to him again. I told him that his moving out was NOT contingent on him getting his old job back but in fact was going to happen no matter what. I knew he had no money, no job, and no place to go, so I told him he could stay until the end of the year (the original agreement) but that I felt strung along and lied to and so our relationship was definitely over. I told him that I was not anybody's "back-up plan". He said he felt bad because his other guys felt the same way and that now he had effectively made all the men he loved feel bad. I sat in silence.

He started packing almost immediately, and then told me that he was going to be staying at a friend's house in San Jose for the weekend and then leave for Minneapolis on Monday (today). I was sad, but knew that it was for the best. I asked him where he would be staying and he said he didn't know, but that he would find friends to couch surf for awhile. On Saturday I was to go to San Francisco with a friend from out of state and so I left thinking that I would see him on Monday when he made his final trek out to the mid-west. A couple hours later I received a text message from Chas telling me that he packed up his car and his dog and left. He wouldn't be back. I was surprised because he told me that he was leaving on Monday, but apparently he was leaving from San Jose instead. So I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye, hence this post, since I really need some closure.

Closure for me is coming in the form of lots of bitching and venting, some tollhouse cookies, and deleting the bastard from every internet networking site I have him friended on, including LiveJournal. It's not the decision to return to the mid-west that bothers me... it's the fact that he made the decision without me and actively engaged in deception in the meantime just to make sure that I wouldn't catch-on before he was ready.

I guess the good thing is that I can lay down my five-year torch for him finally. It sucks though because in handling things this way he lost a really good friend. I mean, how can you be friends with someone who lied to you like that? I certainly can't.

So... I'm sad. I loved him. I still do. I'll miss him. But I guess it's not really him that I'll miss, but the beautiful illusion that he projected. Now even that summer five years ago will be tainted in my mind. Hopefully after some time has passed I'll be able to separate them and cherish those memories again, but for now they are just another example of the selfish deception that he wove.