Journeys in Love: The Compilation

Journeys in Love: And so it begins… Charles (part one)

My first boyfriend’s name was Young Son.

I only know that because my father had some sort of mafia connection that could run FBI files and get the beef on anyone.

When dad found out he was living in our basement he traced his life for me… and brought me these weird print outs with everything he had ever done…

I was 17.

He was 19.

I thought it was love. I wanted it to mean love.

I met him walking around my neighborhood at night.

I used to take my Walkman and just walk around the park in the dark as a teenager…. But that night I had gone a different way near the library and behind by the railroad tracks. And I heard a sound like water running, dripping, and I looked up.

He was standing on the edge of the roof peeing, stark naked, in cowboy boots.

Sorry he said… I didn’t know anyone was here.

What are you doing I said?

Recognizing him from school…. You’re that guy that lives with Lucio?

Yea they kicked me out he says, I’m living on the roof…. (at the library)

What’s your name? I ask…

Consuelo.

Consuelo?

Everyone calls me Charlie.

Nice to meet you Charles…. I say….

It was autumn, like now.

Nights were getting cold.

Aren’t you cold I yelled up?

And he had put on his brown leather pants and swooped down like an acrobat…

Yea its cold… he replies. I will manage.

I went home, a bit scared and intrigued.

I told my mother about my schoolmate living on the library roof… and she said no no no no tell him to get over here. We will figure it out.

So he lived in my basement….

And I fell in love.

Or wanted to.

We kissed.

A lot.

He let me draw him naked.

But we never touched each other’s parts.

I’m too dirty he’d say.

You don’t need to dirty yourself with this used dick.

And I would respect him. Though wondered at the time if I was unattractive.

He did insane things…

He bought a car at some point… and showed up one day to take me for a spin… said he wanted to go to the thrift store because he needed clothes… as he was sitting stark naked in the driver’s seat.

Apparently! I said… what happened?

I burned them he said… and I never asked why.

He walked into Alameda Family Thrift in his boots… and they let him dress!

We used to rent movies and watch them over and over again… sometimes they would go over due … because he wasn’t done obsessing….

November 29 1997…

It was my sister’s birthday and the day after thanksgiving…

We had gone to the mall…

We had both stolen things from stores in the mall… and had them in our pants…

And I needed to pee… but we were heading home… we had one more stop.

Take the movies back to Hollywood video…

And then we would go home …

So we pulled into a left turn lane and the view was obstructed by a big white SUV… so he noses forward… and a little more and then he looks at me with his wild eyes and he says…

GUN IT MARY….

And he hauls out across Montana… and I look out my window to see who is coming and I yell… “We’re gonna get hit”! and I see stars…. We slid at least 20 feet into a car dealership knocking down the cement pins landing beneath the street light… the windshield cracked… radio playing warped Sugar Shack… and I hyperventilated and realized I had thrown myself behind him. Without a seatbelt I managed to save myself from being entirely crushed and only broke the leg that sprung me over….

And it was a cop that hit us.

It is strange how the universe works.

We had been planning to run away as soon as I was done with high school… in that car…

That grounded me

Back to home.

It took months to heal and Charles and I … moved on.

I didn’t find out til later that his name was Young Son.

Or his history … until I broke my leg and my father arrived with these documents.

Apparently his white grandfather called him Charlie…

And that is a whole ‘nother story in itself…

Journeys in Love: Mojo Risin’ (part two)

That night after the ER… and the morphine… and the cast from my toes to my hip…. Charles and John carried me into the house at 3 am.

And Charles sat with me in the dark, and sang Korean lullabies until I fell asleep.

It had only been a month before that I had caught him in the strangest of lies.

He was a fascinating character. He could listen to a song in a store and come home and pick it out on the piano. He knew every word in the dictionary and its meaning and possibly the page it was on in his own dictionary. He could pick out one piece of a 1000 piece puzzle and stare at the cover and know exactly where it went and could lay it on the table in almost the exact spot it would need to be.

He would disappear for weeks at a time. Usually drugs. Or Juarez or both. During one of those weeks I decided to breach his privacy and I went through all his things. There were three books on his book shelf that were covered in brown paper. Two were political … Marxism. One had a hand written title “My Life” and it was a printed book but contained no publisher’s pages or any of that. It just started right into the story. So I sat in my basement and read Charles’ “My Life” story. And as I got further and further in it just became strange. Many of these events had occurred in his life as far as I knew, but they were with different people and the correlations were off. So I tore the brown paper cover off and discover it is Jim Morrison’s biography.

So I went to Barnes and Noble and bought my own copy and covered it in brown paper.

And he returned one day, to find me… in my room. Reading said book.

He stood in the doorway and stared at me reading… staring at the book. Silent.

He went to his room and returned to mine… and stood in the doorway again with his copy.

And began reading out loud from the page I was reading on my bed.

I stared at him… and I said… “is everything a lie?”

“Were you grooming me into Pamela?”… and I quoted a direct quote Jim had given to Pamela that he had given to me…

We didn’t speak for many days.

……

Ten days after the accident, I still couldn’t lift my plastered leg.

So we scheduled a recast with lighter material.

My father arrived that day with flowers and what looked like a cake in a white cake box.

He went with me to the hospital and I screamed so loud as they had cast my ankle with a slight bend, so they needed to straighten my foot out before they re-cast, it took twenty minutes and some intense sweating and screaming, but we got it… about five minutes into that though, my father had to leave the entire hospital.

He returned the next day. Said he had to get a drink after hearing me scream.

Is that a cake I asked?

No. This is for you. I want you to know who this dude is that got you in this mess.

It was a box full of paper. That paper that comes accordion all in one long sheet… with the perforated folds…. Printer paper… with the side holes.

It was Charles’ life… in documents.

His mother.

His father.

Their names.

He had a white brother…

Their birthplaces…

His father’s military information and where he was stationed.

His mother’s arrival to America… and when.

When Young Son Palmer was born… the date.

He had even lied to me about his own birthdate…. But maybe it wasn’t a lie to him.

After all he had been through… I was surprised he was alive.

Charles had a few charges on his own record. Public intoxication, and prostitution.

I confronted him about this. But it wasn’t even all that shocking … after Mojo Rose and fell… the truth felt right.

His father was a soldier stationed in Korea. His mother was a prostitute. When she became pregnant with his child, he made her his bride and brought her to California but Young Son was abused by his grandfather and his white half-brother hated him too. His father was then stationed here and when he was through he went back to California, but he and his mother stayed here. And his mother continued to prostitute. Young Son was abused as well, and was left alone mostly. Which is where he learned to play the piano and read the dictionary for hours on end.

He is an amazing man.

A few years ago I was talking with a bartender friend who said they saw him … asking for blueberry juice at the bar.

Charles Young Son Consuelo the Lizard King.

May he be well out there in the world.

Journeys in Love: Checs Colons and Commas (part three)

My second boyfriend was named Jose Checo Colon Gaud.

I called him Chec… and he had a cousin with the last name of Commas.

I loved their punctuation names.

He had a grin you couldn’t resist.

And oiled hips that could dance in the smallest of ways.

Tiny movements that meant everything.

He was Puerto Rican, with an absolutely beautiful family and outlook on life.

It was a dream that lead me to keep him.

And Limbo poles that lead me to love him.

The Dream:

It was mostly orange.

I was on a mission.

I had to get to Africa.

A song played… Cat Turned Blue by Rusted Root.

I had to find my guide.

I had to get to Louisiana.

I met my guide … but only saw his shape. The side of his face.

He had sunned skin, and what seemed like dreadlocks, he was small. My size.

I woke and gave it no real thought.

I worked at the University … in the hub of student organizations and met many people.

I helped organize events in the Union, scheduling entertainment and making events happen.

One day a guy I had seen a couple times approached me, curly hair, golden with big eyes.

You’re that girl that drives a Volkswagen?

Yes, I said.

You have one too right?

Yes, it died, he explains.

After speaking for a while he asks me if I could possibly give him a ride to the airport.

Despite not knowing him well, I took him home to his apartment to retrieve his luggage and take him to the airport…

The radio is playing a cassette… and it catches and turns over. Cat Turned Blue…

I turned it down…

Asked… Where you going? As we awkwardly go to the airport…

Louisiana… he says.

I froze….

When he returned from Louisiana he brought me a Mardi Gras gift and asked me to the park…

He played songs to me with his guitar… as we swung on the swings…

Then we had some sort of Union event with a Hawaiian theme.

We made limbo poles…

I had a dear old friend of mine, Joe, create them…

Chec and I painted them.

I fell in love that night.

In my driveway….

As my family watched me be in love.

It was only a few months later we moved together to Louisiana.

When I fell asleep at the wheel… driving across Texas

With a kitten… named Kickass.

I saw onions in the sky and Old Joe… watching me. Windshield wipers slapping and the tape deck catching and flipping in the middle of songs… No A/C and the rain hitting my face as the sky lit up in purple….

He had to graduate.

I met his family.

Terrified… we toasted in a traditional way that my white culture never taught…

And I simply said…

I love you.

And I hoped it would last.

Journeys in Love: Checs Colons Commas and period. (part four)

I lived in Red Stick Louisiana for a year.

I tried to make a home there

I even got a job. Cutting soap, and organizing Birkenstocks at a hippie store.

I longed for the culture.

To walk the cemeteries and… drink on Bourbon Street.

To understand voodoo better…

I had sold my Volkswagen for the move and we bought another one.

It scared me to drive it, and to drive so many stretches of natural bayou

Not a soul in sight, yet crawling with families…. The car broke down once and we had to walk home at night… the silent sludge of mud and distant voices.

Everyone lives tucked between there.

We originally had a reservation for a nice apartment… in a complex across from the University where Chec would work. We arrived and only had another day with our U-Haul vehicle. So we met with the apartment managers to get settled in quickly.

I was invited in, as Checo was parking the truck. They gave me lemonade and their house smelled like cinnamon. They began to hand me the paperwork and asked if I was going to be the main source of income, I said no. Checo will be as he is employed at the University. Ok they said, I sat on their white couch with a throw white blanket with my hands on my lap and waited for him, to fill out this last form. We can assign you an apartment as soon as we get his signature ok?

He knocked on the screen door shortly after and apologized for the wait, as the truck was large and he had to park far, but he ran quickly. He was out of breath with his irresistible grin. I stood and leaned toward the screen to let him in and the manager’s husband stepped forward to latch the door. May I help you he says?

I cut in, yes this is Chec. He is my boyfriend.

And I step outside to stand with him.

They asked us to wait for a moment and they both went upstairs.

They return to give us another form, which required a credit check.

It would take up to four weeks.

Once we were approved, we could move in immediately, they say with a smile.

What can we do I ask them… We need to move in today.

They referred us to another apartment complex… south of the tracks on the other side of the University.

My address was only one number off from my home at home. I tried to make it home.

There were at least six house fires in my neighborhood the year I lived there and once witnessed a boy crossing the street with a shot gun pressed against his body in a trench coat as if to conceal…

The complex manager was pagan… her apartment always smelled like sage.

I never attempted to grow close but always knew I could …

My neighbors were a lesbian couple that gave me a futon that became our couch.

Above us was an Algerian man … and a single white guy that collected pornography.

The laundry room was mosquito infested … thousands literally thousands of mosquito carcasses with every load, and it took a dollar to every quarter spent on washing, to dry and it was the only way to unweave their little dead bodies out of your clothing. Luckily I never get bit, it became an adventure every time to not eat them.

I had begun taking birth control and it was throwing my body in turns. Hormonal rages and crying hysteria. I remember a day at the mall with Natalie. She was Jamaican and so lovely a being, and I was so embarrassed at my painful bleeding, I realized I couldn’t live that way. I began cramping so intensely I stopped taking them. That period was a beginning to an end.

It was December, nearing my birthday and I was full of expectations for change.

I hoped I could turn 21 on Bourbon Street…

Walk into a voodoo store… not alone.

I wanted … and I felt alone.

It was when he said that he would be going back to Puerto Rico to be with his family for Christmas, and I couldn’t come along because we were too broke. It was when he sent me to the corner store with his buddy to buy beer on my 21st birthday… and they didn’t card me…

I called my father… and he came to pick me up.

The journey back across Texas with my father is when I learned everything I know about him though.

Journeys in Love: Knight in Shining Armor (part five)

I could tell by the sound of the engine, that our U-haul wasn’t really dead.

In the middle of Texas, it just needed a jump. I told Dad to just wiggle the battery cables and by chance … it worked!

We never shut it off after that. Left it running during lunch and everything.

I had spent that first day across Louisiana in silence. Crying over a broken heart. Feeling bad that I left.

He talked. He told me stories.

He told me his whole life.

Like this knight in shining armor he rescued me… it was a valiant effort on a Dad I didn’t know as deep as I wanted to at the time.

He had quit his job to get me. They didn’t let him take leave… so he quit.

He told me about his casino heist.

His drug use.

His adventures.

Victoria.

Everything.

That time he showed up on my 16th birthday with a bicycle… as if it was a gift.

He had ridden it across Nevada and Arizona running from the mob.

And it was too big for me to ride but he insisted and I took it for one spin and attempted to get off, jarring my skeleton on the cross bar, causing my uterus to evacuate its entire menses in one shot. It ran down my leg. My father was shocked.

And he asked mom to marry him…. Doing cocaine all day in the bathroom.

He punched a hole in the basement wall and I asked him to leave.

He didn’t speak to me for two years…

He told me about fishing ships in Alaska. And trapping animals in Canada.

The time he and some buddies were deer hunting and came across a bear…

Shot the bear and felt like warriors dragging it toward camp to skin it … talking about how they were going to use it as if it would help their stay in the forest extend longer….

And the bears paws bouncing on the rocks as they drag it… as it hits a rock and pops up and grabs my dad’s friend’s ass, claws sink in, and they all drop the bear and shoot it as if it were alive… sinking an insane amount of ammo into its pelt and flesh… rendering the entire bear useless.

They left the forest the next day.

I told him I came home with lice the first time I visited him.

He explained that that house was where they were learning how to conduct the heist.

There was a craps table in the living room and hundreds of beer cans… and pepsi… which made me think of mom.

He used Crest … and I always liked it better than the Colgate mom always bought. He said he tended to used Aim because it was cheapest but he liked Crest best too…

It was like a come clean session.

He told me everything.

When his suicide letter came a year later…

It contained only parts of these stories.

I hope one day to do them justice.

Journeys in Love: Nothing was ever the same (part six)

Upon my return from Louisiana I immediately started school again, in the same office, and got my old job back. I had originally been drawn to that job because the organization had advertised a retreat in the woods, a ropes course. Despite not knowing a soul, I boarded that bus and bonded with 30 students before I was even enrolled. It was easy to reform those bonds and join in with new retreat plans when I returned.

The leaders of the ropes course were very familiar to me. A group of old guys, that just seemed to feel like family. After my second retreat with them, I began to ask them questions, and realized I had attended ceremony with my mother and these guys when I was nine. We had built a sweat lodge together. I still have a tomahawk from one of those gatherings.

They took me under their wing and offered me a job at the hospital in which they operated. I became a psychiatric tech in the children’s unit mostly, with a part time tech position on the adolescent unit if there were girls admitted, plus a part time ropes course guide monthly.

I fell in love with the duties. I fell in love with the kids. I fell in love with work and life.

We were a safety system. And I was an integral part. I was upgraded to unit manager for the evening shift and basically recycled most of my income back into activities for the kids. I’d bring a “scary” movie on Halloween and bought a fake tree for Christmas. We had hot cocoa on Christmas eve… I tried to make it feel like home for them.

On December 29th 2001 I went out drinking with a coworker. I always got out at 11:30 pm and would drink regularly with coworkers after our shift. We had gotten a little too tipsy and wound up having sex in his car. The year I worked at the hospital I slept with three coworkers. After Checo, I felt like I needed to explore. Charles never wanted to have sex with me and sex with Checo, even though it was my first lover and I did lack perspective, something felt off. Nothing about sharing that act with him felt right, but it seemed to be taught into me that this is how it’s supposed to be. So I tried it, with other guys.

January 3rd, 2002 I was done with my shift and hungry, I called a friend to meet me for a late dinner.

He said I am at your house. Please come home.

I thought it was very strange that my friend would be at my house so late and telling me to come home, but I didn’t question it and came straight home.

The night smelled so good as I got out of my car, the neighbors burning mesquite. And I walked into my lit house, to find my mother in her chair, smaller than normal. She looked so worried. I sat on the little table in front of her and our knees pressed together. She grabbed my hand and she looked me in the eyes and she said… your father shot… and my mind raced… to fill in the blank… (a man and he is going to prison FOREVER) … Himself.

WHAT? I stood.

WHAT?

HE’s DEAD?

He died on the 29th of December.

I ran out of the house as if it could rewind the night and I could return to work and nothing would be changed. But I ran all the way down the street until I couldn’t breathe beating my feet into the pavement as hard as they could beat… feeling that old broken leg …

Nothing was ever the same.

I remained at my job for six more months, dropped out of school. I became angry at my duties. Irritated with the kids. I no longer performed in a respectable way and quit.

Mom and I became life support for each other. A team in survival.

I stopped writing altogether and began coloring in coloring books like a child for months, soon to draw my own drawings and color those in too.

By the time a new semester began I was ready to attend school again and changed my major to art.

And then I met Alejandro Almanza. He was my third boyfriend.

Journeys in Love: Eye Heart Art (part seven)

Alex the Mexican sculptor. Frantic magic, he mastered masterpieces of balance. Defeat the eye, feats of why, fill it with water. Hoist and light it within. Wires and rubber tires and zip ties, his sex was quick. Bathroom stalls, empty halls, party yards and fabric stores. He always took me to Juarez. Grocery shopping, stopping to visit his mother. She gave me the best mango I’ve ever eaten.

I had a dream once while I was with him, that we lived in a commune. An art compound of some sort. And I told him about it and I think it frightened him.

I met him in painting one or two. I remember he and his friend were laughing over apple juice, spitting it on their paintings. This is shit they would say. They were sculptors. This activity was lame. I remember him bitching about not being able to paint the hair and I told him to let the brush do it, since it’s made of hair.

I hadn’t written poetry in what felt like years but he inspired it to come back. He told me I had a way with words in a bar on Texas street once and I think that is when I fell in love. I tried to help him with everything I could. I probably came off clingy but he was fun to watch.

I was too depressing for his spirit in all honesty. I longed for his energy and would cry and ask him why and how … how do you do it … what makes an artist?

He told me it doesn’t matter. He picked up a black mug from his table and said…. Pick something.

Anything, he said. And obsess. It becomes art because you make it art. That’s what makes an artist.

He had bigger and better and brighter roads to travel and I couldn’t keep up and always knew we wouldn’t be forever.

A few months after he set forth on his adventures, I met a girl named Claudia in painting classes and she had invited me over to her friend Iris’ pink house for her birthday.

I found out that night that she was the reason he left me. But I never hated either one of them for it. It was entirely understandable they are beautiful people.

Then I fell in love with Claudia. She was never my girlfriend. But I think I always wanted her to be.

She scared the hell out of me and fascinated me entirely.

I just wanted to watch her and listen to her sounds.

Journeys in Love: I wasn’t gay yet (part eight)

Alpine Texas… camping with Claudia and Iris and Daniella and more… and I was so scared.

Scared of being social but just wanting to exist in that chaos. To observe the amazing sense of sisterhood they carried.

We had arrived to set up camp and I was pissed because it was far from Marfa and the art… which is what took us there.

But there was a river and a fire pit and… we went for a hike.

I tried to calm my soul. To calm my self and be present…

Claudia had hiked ahead of us… and she comes running back…

She hooked my arm backwards… and I ran backwards torquing my body it threw out a rib … for months.

SNAKE she yelled… SNAKE

She heard it… and ran toward us like a giant ready to scoop everyone from safety.

I cried that night.

Alejandro and his new girlfriend arrived at our camp fire and I couldn’t focus. I was in love and yet still torn and I didn’t know who to be.

I cried.

I went to the tent early and Claudia followed. She sat in the tent with me for hours. she stroked my hair and let me cry.

AY gringa why are you so sad ?

I didn’t even know then. I couldn’t know then.

But I was so grateful… that she cared.

I met her yelling down the hallway standing above her piece.  It was art.  It was on the floor.  She wanted it to be on the floor.

“The Professor wants me to put this shit on the wall,” she smiled through her anger and looked up at the staple infested student walls.

“I don’t even have any nails,” she looked at her hands as if she meant her own and I loved her.

“I have a hammer and a few nails,” my nervous voice bubbled with helpfulness.

She was wrapped in linen and hand-woven belts.  It was as if the sun had set beneath her skin.  Her cheeks were flushed and she was rushed, her sweat making her hair like threads tangled into her headband.  She wiped her brow and pressed her palms into her pants.

She looked like hands had made her; as if her entire presence was sculpted and rubbed and pressed and cared for.  Her voice was like the edges of torn clay, it grated when she was angry or sad. Like some part of her insides were torn, and the blood would pool up in her throat and when her words would collect before speaking, sometimes that blood would boil and bubble up and it sounded like her soul.

I was nervous retrieving my hammer.  The voices in my head convincing me it was, nothing more than benevolent helpfulness. Yea. Be cool. Why are you nervous? You haven’t wanted to help anyone in months, let alone speak.  You want to know her. You really want to know her. Why are you so nervous? Her Spanish accent… her skin…but you wouldn’t even get along.  She’s gay right? She will think you are too and that isn’t true. This is just rebound from Alejandro with the similar art vibe. Why are you so nervous you don’t even know her.

“I think you should hang it vertically,” I said.

“Yeah?” she questioned me with her head tilted sideways.

“Yea, I think the Professor would like it better vertically, but what do you think?”

“Let’s go smoke a cigarette.  You smoke?” She asked me.

I did now.  “Sure,” I said.  Everyone in my family smokes and I smoked pot, I just never did the cigarette thing.

She smoked her cigarettes like they were rolled by her grandmother and there were only ten left.  She watched them sear around the edges and took in smoke after she had already inhaled, letting the smoke twirl around her mouth and sometimes escape just to be sucked back in with a sideways grin.  Her fingers rolled it as she smoked, it looked like a joint.

“What kind of cigarettes are those?”  The pack was tiny and colorful.

“Faros,” and handed me one.

She wasn’t gay. She dated some dude that worked in the Union and he was cute. And I attached to her as a friend along with a whole crew of other art weirding women and men. Then I began noticing her appearance starting to change. She was less clean. Her hair was turning into dreadlocks, and she was drinking more. We were at the other end of the hallway where we had first met and she cried. She cried so hard I could hear her heart beat in her eyes. What is going on I asked. We were with another friend too, she said many things in Spanish through her tears I didn’t understand, that our friend understood. I hugged her. She said she was afraid. She was afraid to tell all of us. She was afraid it would push all her women friends away. I hugged her and said … I always thought you were gay anyway! We laughed so hard about that, teary-eyed and laughing on the balcony at fox fine arts. I wasn’t gay. But I didn’t care if she was. I loved her. I didn’t even know how much I loved her until I loved so many others.

We got drunk at a party once, it was pretty regular. Thursdays were art openings and drink deals and they always led to plans for weekends. She sat on my lap soft and drunk and smiled that night. And I kissed her. And then I couldn’t stop kissing her. I fell absolutely head over heels. And I was terrified.

I painted that Faros package when she went away to Alaska.  Three by six foot like a giant postcard above my bed.  “You should come Gringa!” she would always say.  Instead I pressed her face in pigment into every surface that would take acrylic.  Claudia with her tweezers.  Claudia curled.  Claudia staring.  Claudia smoking a cigarette looking over the pier on the Faros cigarette label.  She hung in my dreams all summer like that painting over my bed.

“Bueno?”

“Clau?”

“OHHH guera!  I have missed you.  It’s so beautiful up here. I have painted and I have pictures to show you when I come back.”

“I wrote you a letter.  I tried to write in Spanish but it ends in English,” I tell her.

“Muy bien!  Es bueno que usted está practicando su español,” she says sternly.  My Spanish was formal and it always made her giggle.

“I got you something,” she said through miles of static.

“What?”

“A Dreamcatcher.  You don’t have one do you? I got it from an Indian. An Inuit, you know?”

“Yeah, WOW cool!  Thank you!”

I saw her at art openings now and again after that… but I loved her.

And I wasn’t gay yet.

Journeys in Love: March Forth (part nine)

My sister asked me if I was gay in eighth grade.

After asking me if I liked any boys.

I said no. She asked who do you want to hang out with most?

I wanted to spend all my time with Mabel, my best friend at the time.

And when my sister asked me that, my mind rattled and hummed, and thought of Bono.

He was my first crush. You mean like that? I wondered.

I kinda liked Leo in class. But really only because he sat right behind me and made me laugh.

The only reason Mabel, Leo and I bonded is because our last names fell together and as we were seated alphabetically, we were made to know each other for an entire school year.

I remember latching onto this idea that I loved Leo, so that I could “like boys” and be normal for a whole summer but I never saw him again in school.

This idea that I might be gay continued to terrify me.

I wasn’t sure why.

No one in my family has ever had anything against gay people and many of my mother’s friends were either asexual or gay.

Mom said once, she wished she were gay. It would be easier on the heart, she explained. But to be gay today is so very hard and if you are gay, sweetheart, I wouldn’t care, I just know that it would be a harder life for you.

I grew up bullied and picked on my entire school life.

For being white, for being a girl, for being smart, for being quiet, for crying, for knowing or feeling, for having boobs and not wearing a bra, for not having big enough boobs, for not being good at sports yet trying. For not being able to dance. Spit balls in the hair, and songs in Spanish just to be mean because they knew I wouldn’t understand. Kicks to the crotch and tearing off my shirt in the locker room to show my tiny boobs to everyone. Yanking on my long straight hair because it wasn’t like theirs … you’re a witch they would say, your hair is like spider’s webs.

I spent years trying to become some form of mediocre so as to not stand out. I understood that gay would mean standing out and there was no way I was going to opt for that.

I could like boys. Because boys would like me. And it would be easy.

After Claudia, I even hid it from mom, whom I told everything. I never told her how much I loved her but I would bring her over and mom liked her. She liked it when Clau would visit because it made me alive.

I met a boy named Christopher and tried to fall in love. He was a brooding type, like me, and had lived through trauma. Our first meeting was at a party where he told me about how he had attended art school in New York for a while and I was astonished that he would leave that. Why did you come back here of all places, I asked. He had been thought of as gay. His roommates were big and bully and they invited him to a party, and considering how much he just wanted to fit in with new friends, he attended. It was far away from their dorms and he had to get a ride. At the party, a group of guys ganged up on him for being effeminate and raped him. He was left to find his way back to the dorms where he dropped from school and came home immediately. He never told his parents. And it bothered him tremendously.

I fell in love with his honesty. With his emotions. I wanted to love him big and bold.

He felt small

He felt dim.

So… I did this painting for him.

A giant portrait … for his birthday.

March 4th.

And … I entered it into an art show…

And it was chosen….

And the opening … was on March 4th….

And because I had painted the actual calendar date into the painting….

My piece was chosen for the front window of the opening….

I was so excited to reveal this gift to him…. On display…. For him…

To make him shine and know how much he means to me….

I had nonchalantly invited him out… not telling him of this surprise…

But simply to celebrate his birthday with dinner and an art opening….

He told me he really wanted to bring his mother…. To get her out of the house and away from dad who was very ill at the time… and

It would mean that I would officially meet his mother….

I was nervous… but she was an art teacher (retired) but… I felt in my heart she would recognize this gesture … and see that I cared about her son… and it would be a good thing.

I had to be at the opening early …. So he and his mom had dinner… and I said… meet me there!

I was so excited.

And he never showed up.

They never showed up.

And he dumped me the next day.

Loving someone big and bold felt like the right answer, perhaps I hadn’t found the right one.

Journeys in Love: Gray scale and pheromones (part ten)

I focused on art.

And school. Getting through the core curriculum I had avoided while taking every poetry class the University had to offer. Balancing the creation of art and dry courses in study I never cared to know.

I met Aaron in one of those. Poli Sci or History or Astronomy or one of those.

But he was an art guy too. I had seen him in halls from afar but he was too beautiful to really look at.

I avoided this beautifulness, it was intimidating. Like meeting Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt. Those kinds of faces make you stare blankly and turn you into an idiot sometimes. They are art.

But there he was, sitting behind me in this auditorium class and I looked back at him once.

Next class he sat on my row. At the end. With no one in between.

And the next, he sat next to me.

His wrists were amazing. I focused on those.

He was quiet voiced, and carried a sense of calm. We helped each other with notes and I liked him.

He was clean and smelled good. He always had nice clothing and presented himself in nice sets of lines.

He was a graphic designer which put him in different classrooms in the art world, but his degree required he take painting as well. The next semester we shared a studio room.

I was doing self-portraits, trying to figure myself out, as always. To study humanity the self is your easiest subject.

I was stalled though, I had created fire and ice … dividing my face into cool and hot and it created a rainbow across my face. But the background. What the fuck do you do with a background when every color of the rainbow is being used in the foreground?

I think I stalled that thing for days…. And Aaron walks up and asks, what’s the problem?

And I pointed to the background that had been painted every single solid color I could mix… it was beginning to get thick. What color I asked him?

Gray.

GRAY!

FUCK. Yes.

Gray.

Aaron taught me gray.

He taught me hue and tone and the absolutely necessary world for black and white and everything that scale can balance.

He taught me light and dark and shadow.

Everything finally clicked.

And then the pheromones.

He possessed pheromones that entirely entranced my body. I couldn’t even think straight after burying my face in his scent. He smelled like Aaron, but if I had to describe this, it’s like burying yourself in leather scraps and rose petals in a breeze off woodland lake. I couldn’t kiss him without smiling he even asked me what was wrong with my lip once. What do you mean? So we kissed slower to study this phenomenon, YOU’RE SMILING, that’s what it is. I AM? I couldn’t help it. He smelled like something you wanted to eat or keep or roll on or wrap in, I wanted to bottle him.

And radiohead.

We drowned ourselves in radiohead. Driving as fast as we could in his little black car with the giant white paint spill listening to radiohead as loud as we could.

He always made me feel fancy. Like two movie stars. We got stared at because we were beautiful together. He invited me to the University celebration of lights. A time when the whole school lights up in white Christmas lights in December. I wore a fur coat with a big collar and he wore pin striped wool pants and shined shoes. I even wore my only diamond that night and make-up! I felt like a star in the stars with him that night.

And he drank too much and he hated that I smoked pot.

We picked on each other’s bad habits.

We argued and fought.

He lived on the east side and would frequent bars by the University, which meant he would drive past my house weekly and never stopped. I wondered if he thought of me as a girlfriend because I loved him like a boyfriend. I would make demands – after you go to that bar you are coming over here so I can hug you goodnight damn it!! But he would never show. He hated my demands.

I yelled at him on the phone once… well I wouldn’t be so upset if I didn’t love you.

It was years later when he told me that he never understood how someone could say I love you so angrily. It was the first time I said I love you to him and it was buried in anger.

I punched the fox fine arts building wall five inches to the left of his head once.

That was the end of us.

He moved to Seattle. And he would call every now and then.

He invited me to come up there once but I knew it would be a disaster, I’d fall into his scent again and disagree with his living. It was never going to be good.

That summer I began making fairy wings. Claudia had inspired me to try, she was so fairy like. She wore a backless black dress to an art opening once and she was squatting in the hall to fix her shoe and I could just see the wings from her back, so I made some for her.

They were made of wire and panty hose and paint and glitter and ribbons.

I began to make hundreds of wearable fairy wings and selling them at the Farmer’s Market all summer.

I met David there. He was an artist. His wife made soap. They were inspiring.

One market day the newspaper had an article for an installation of giant painted “suns” or balls, that various local artists created to be placed all over the city. That night was the opening, and I was in my fairy booth reading the paper and I recognized hey that’s the soap guy! So I went to his booth where he was alone, his wife was out of town, hey I said, this is you! Cool.

Yea he said that is tonight, you going?

I hadn’t thought about it. But I wanted to. I might I told him. He asked me questions. You an artist? How old are you? Are you in school? What do you paint?

I went home that night and called Aaron because I knew that he was visiting town that month from Seattle and we hadn’t seen each other in months. I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet up again.

He answered.

Hey Aaron this is Sarahummingbird.

Silence.

Hello? He asks again

Hey dude this is Sarah.

Who are you calling for he asks?

You, this is Aaron right?

No, he’s not here, I will let him know you called.

It was him, I know it was, I hung up.

I attended that art opening alone.

For the first time in my life I attended an art opening alone.

And the only person I knew who was going to be there, was David, from the market.

So I went… with it in mind to find him. So I wouldn’t be alone.

Journeys in Love: Sea of Nakabayashi (part eleven)

I liked him.

He was tall.

And rough.

David.

And talked about art in ways that I could hear and hadn’t heard before.

He was straight-forward and asked a lot of questions. He was intimidating but his eyes were soft. His bear heart was kind.

That first night at the opening, I found him, and thank god I did, because I didn’t know another soul.

We walked together and looked at all the suns, and he walked me to my car.

I’ll have to see your art someday he said.

I saw him at the Markets every week and tried to be friendly with everyone. He and his wife hired me on for a part time job helping with their soap. Cutting soap… like back in Louisiana, it brought comfort to feel useful for good things. I didn’t have to cut it this time, it was more labeling and organizing.

He worked in his studio in the garage in a room off from the room I worked with the soap. And in the mornings I would arrive on my bike and he would hand me a clip-board with a list of duties and asked not to be bothered unless it was necessary, and he would retreat into his cave.

One day he made food for me. It was more than just food. It was a feast. Bowls and bowls of different things. Here try this he would say and made me eat homemade kimchi, and this … its perfect… simple sliced tomatoes on white rice with soy sauce and black pepper… and this… and this. It was beautiful and colorful and too much. I had to lie on the floors to recover from all the food. It felt like he was flirting juxtaposed with him being so cold and distant, dutiful and alone, when I got hired on.

But he never crossed lines, he simply asked questions.

So many questions. And I loved answering them.

One day, I was done early with my list of duties and was ready to head home but he stayed out of his studio and talked to me, hey there are a few more things you could do before you go, if you want?

Sure I said. And I washed some dishes in his kitchen. He sat in the kitchen with me and asked me about school and I had explained that I had no real focus, only to keep making art, and I wasn’t feeling the vibe. I wasn’t sure if I was going to re-enroll.

But its free right? He asked.

Yes, I have a grant that would allow me to finish.

You’re stupid he said.

Just like that.

You’re stupid. (Not to finish school).

In my head I was offended, but he had a point. And I thought, well you’re stupid too, artist man, slaving over art you’re never going to sell, bitching about this city.

Within a few months I think he came around to realizing he needed to make a change, a change he had known for years, but had just never actually finished.

I’d like to say David taught me how to finish.

But instead I learned the importance of finishing.

The importance of commitment even when you have to break one.

He broke from his marriage to achieve a lifelong dream and I stood there … watching.

I was finishing this thing. This school thing. And I was on the sidelines of a man embarking on the life I pretended I wanted. This is how you do it. I studied him carefully.

I helped him move to Santa Fe, into a huge art scene. And began going to every single art opening.

We schmoozed. I watched him schmooze. So this is it. This world is where I want to exist? If I want to call myself an artist and actually be rewarded by society for achieving my dream, this… this world is where I needed to be. I studied carefully.

I was making ten-hour road trips weekly to see him on weekends and finish school.

He was an adventure. He always had a trip planned to go somewhere. He couldn’t sit still unless he was making art and if you weren’t aiding to make that art you were just in the way. He was a bear. But a fantastic fun loving bear.

We managed to maintain a, rocky to say least, relationship for many years. Four? Five? It blurs.

We travelled across half the U.S. stopping in every tiny town that caught interest. I loved him. But mostly he loved me. He loved me and I wanted to be loved by him despite how hard it could be.

I latched on to his journey and it became mine for those years, but I woke up one day in a hotel in the middle of Virginia or somewhere, and he was out taking pictures of a bridge outside our window, and I went to the bathroom and turned on the dim flickering light and stared at myself in the mirror.

I looked 50. It was the first time I saw an adult self in my skin. The wrinkles were deepening, the circles under my eyes. Who was I?

Who was I? Became a message I couldn’t avoid. I didn’t know. And I wasn’t going to find out by building and helping someone else find themselves. I became resentful, we would argue. I never felt like I could plan anything for us, he was the aggressor. He was always in charge and it was so safe and wonderful and I loved for him to take lead, but I was losing my footing. I was losing myself.

I began to question the art life at all. I was an artist. And there are a hundred choices in life to lead. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand next to him and shine my level of art in the same realms as he, he had been an artist 18 years longer than I had. I needed more skill. More practice, more self-development. I couldn’t compete, not that it was a competition, but I needed to be able to stand stable in my field of choice in order to maintain a life with him any further. I needed more practice. And I was terrified to try.

Our relationship was chaotic in many ways. The idea that there is normal began to fade. Nothing was normal, repetition becomes normal. And our repeated fights were not a normal I wanted to keep.

We broke up many times, it became a cycle. He painted our love cycles. He painted me on beaches and weird scenes. I would write letters and cling. So much crying. On both our parts.

The sea we sailed was mighty. Choppy, and free. I learned love and being, the importance in finishing, patience in watching. To take time to appreciate something because it changes your insides. It took me seven years to get my degree but I was proud of finishing.

We still know and love each other to this day. He’s living in New York selling art in a big way. If he comes to town we have a meal and a hike. It is always nice to remember our life.

By the time our relationship came to that final close, I was sea sick and in need of warmth.  I needed stability and innocence. I needed a normal that was calm.

Journeys in Love: Nick at Night (part twelve)

(twelve is my lucky number)

That last semester of school, graduation, meant choosing.

Entirely move my life in with David and face my chosen career head-on crash-course in living, or let the flaming fiery beast of a bridge we built burn because it was beginning to fall apart in major ways already. I clung to my mom.

She became the guidance and measure of safe. She never truly liked David as my mate he scared her, but she loved him as a man, she admired him.

I clung to mom.

My last semester I took the class I had avoided the entire time I attended.

Dr. Wren.

I had heard such terrible things… tough and challenging and hard to take… so I avoided.

It turned out to be life changing in more ways than one. I loved that class!

Not only was the class content thought provoking, I met the father of my child in that room.

He sat in front of me.

Our class required we talk to each other online. I always liked his comments on the topics we had to address. I knew he had read the texts to the best of his ability and my patience never allowed me to finish anything.

Our chats led to chats in chatboxes unaffiliated with school. i.e Myspace facebook.

He became my sounding board. My friend. I would tell him everything and he’d let me talk. All the David drama and choices and what do we want to be when we grow up? He became my Nick at night.

We’d talk for hours on philosophy, he was a good discussion teacher, I always went to bed having learned something and couldn’t wait for our next chat hoping we’d find a good question to tackle together. He was a sea of calm. A mind to just sit in your canoe and paddle through. Arguments were discussions. I learned how much I fought with David really only meant I loved to discuss things and it didn’t need to have so much fire. Though I will probably always contain fire.

He had well set-up goals. He had plans and ways to achieve them. He was confident even if he was new and felt dorky, his sense of humor got him through anything. He wanted to get through school and had a few ideas of things he’d like to do. I liked his focus.

I felt like I had found the yin to my yang, I wanted to sail his sea of calm and also take him on adventures. I wanted to be the chaos he could learn from as he had taught me so much order. He could be an anchor to this wild life I desired to some degree.

I wanted David adventures only done on my own, as the aggressor, with someone calm. We took a road trip together the summer after I graduated. We both had family in the east, so we headed east, caught a concert, and visited our families. I stayed with my sister and did lots of meditation. Chanting in the woods. Sitting in Om vibration for ten minute intervals while everyone was at work. Realigning some sort of center. When we joined back up after his visit with his dad, the trip home was tiresome. I was irritated. I had decided to bring home a cat from my sister’s house, and I was hungry all the time. I learned on that road trip that we were good friends and we always would be. But I felt I had just come out of David, I was jaded, I didn’t want to jade him on relationships too, he was innocent and good, so I broke it off. We continued chatting at nights, I kept balancing who am I, and why.

A couple months later I peed on the stick.

Pink positive.

I felt like I ruined every plan he had for his future.

Innocence lost. He was so orderly and clean, and here I was careless and wild.

I had no clue what my future even meant. I had lost myself to some degree with David. I had lost faith in my artistry, and now to build a baby, and have it attach me to an entirely new job and family, that despite having the choice not to choose, I chose.

We tried to work it out.

We absolutely tried in every way, in very respectable and honorable ways.

We tried. Everything.

He lived at home with me and my mother for a while after the baby was born.

I moved in with him and his stepdad while he finished school because it was so close.

I developed intense post-partum depression.

I moved back home, I missed my mom.

We bought a house.

And I set up new space of my own.

And I fell in love with it… this idea of …

This space

Of my own.

Journeys in Love: I became…. (part thirteen)

I found, the more I found myself the less I could relate to the logic and order in my mate. But I tried, I really wanted to bridge the gap, to find the language of myself that would be received and understood on the other end. I reached out oddly enough to Dr. Wren. I knew he was highly respected by many, especially Nick. I aired some of my issues to him and asked if he understood where I was coming from and if he could help me relay that to Nick, he helped sometimes, sometimes he’d make me angry. I sought out every mind I knew Nick would respect, in order to learn how to think like him, so I could stay within my own information and self, yet be understood.  I was completely lost. I knew I wasn’t insane to want to find a different path in life and asking for help to get there was logical. David had forged his path with help and pure pride and confidence in his work. I needed to find my own pride to fight for and then the help would follow.

So I holed up in our garage. I claimed my own space to find myself. I sat in there for hours. I did meditations, and chants and vibrations. I painted a little and thought about art and concepts and read books and spent hours with myself. Emma would nap and I would escape to the garage with my baby monitor and find myself. I detached completely to this idea of a marriage and proper mates. I tried to keep to a schedule, cook the meals, tend to the baby, laundry. But also, find myself. I detached the love part to another in order to love who I needed to become.

Nightly meditations involved sending out questions to ancestors, asking for signs. And breathing and feeling my body entirely. To become a whole energy.

I had a dream one night, a recurring dream I have had throughout life, but it ended differently this time. I had always dreamt of this field and over the years I figured it was just my own little field to play in, in my mind. But this time, I was walking up the path as usual and standing at the top silhouetted as the sun was behind, with open arms. A raven haired man. As if this field was not mine after all… and I was welcomed to it. I felt like a trespasser. But he smiled and his face lit up in lines and cracks of light, and he was welcoming me. I woke up immediately.

All the weird synchronicities began revealing themselves. That messenger I used to dream, the raven, all the black birds in my life. They have always been messengers to me. My spirituality has always been entirely self-defined based on cultures I was blessed to be a part of and pure experience that cannot be defined, and mostly I keep it to myself. Like Checo, I had dreamt him before I met him, and I have had many other strange occurrences like that in life. But I never gave it much credit to my reality in relating to others because reality here and now rarely contains this level of magic. Majority of society will find it to be fun and games, forms of entertainment, these experiences are rarely shared, therefore cannot be proven by acceptable respectable scientific means. Sometimes things just are. There is an “is” to life that we can tune into and when it happens to you, it isn’t a question of belief.

I was still upset at an argument I had had with Dr. Wren the day before about art; seeking another brain to relate to, I went through all my facebook friends, seeing who was online. An art friend of mine had recently travelled overseas for an art residency and had returned so I decided to click through some of her photos of her trip. And then it hit.

There he was.

That man.

Exactly that man.

And the photo of him… smiling his arms open to welcome, standing on a hill.

My dream was photographed by my friend. My stomach was sick with excitement.

I went to the bathroom to relieve myself. It literally scared the shit out of me.

This was all too weird. I sat on the toilet for at least ten minutes freaking out over this synchronicity. This is the guy of my dreams literally. I have dreamt this place my entire life. And this guy owns it? I had to know who he was. The idea to actually meet someone that somehow became part of a lifelong journey to this field. Who the hell is this guy?

So I friended him. His name was Jurmi.

And he accepted my friendship.

And he spoke.

Asked me how I was.

I was fucking shocked and scared in all honesty but I opened into my absolute reality at the moment.

I explained I was pissed at an elder, whom I respected, because I couldn’t believe he wouldn’t understand this argument…. And I laid out the art argument for him, asking him what he thought.

And his reply changed my life. It was poetic. It explained exactly my side. In the most beautifully selected words in a matter of seconds.

YES! I said. YES.

Perhaps all this searching to be able to relate to other minds, was really supposed to be for searching for like minds?

Perhaps it wasn’t about growing my own mind into knowing others but simply to grow my own mind and see what it attracts.

He said something to me relayed through a wise one, “to all of empty space is solid stories.”

And it struck. All the silent meditation I had found myself in filled me with all the stories, all the empty space in living, the simply living is the building of the story.

I became a writer.

I began to pick his mind on everything. We wrote every day. Every night.

He would travel and go quiet sometimes and I would fill his empty space with story.

And he would return and fill mine. I spoke more as a housewife. but he never failed to lift me with an adventure when the time was right.

Apsara, apsara… are you up sara? Melts the heart every time.

I would dream at night of places he would be and in the morning he would send me photos.

The eerie carried into months of synchronicity. I share with you an entry from just one day, so you can see for yourself. This one shows the realizations coming together. The how and why it flows and what it flowed. I would write in legal pads by hand, sometimes filling an entire pad in one night, in the garage, and use a slow laptop to transcribe and send it over an ocean to be cherished and prized. There are hundreds of entries like this, this is an early one:

[Tis 2 pm as Emma naps.

When I think of you I shine rightly bright true and when that graces public space, my face make the papers… Those smiles are for you. I stare at that journalist and think of you. Those captured news clips shining for our city, though I am pleased, little do they know my shine is Bhutanese! HAHahaha I love thee. You have made me a star from afar in such a bizarre fashion! I was sending out meditation after meditation. Calling upon dad, and ancestors. Asking the heavens for answers. What the hell am I supposed to be doing with myself  I would ask, What is my calling?  I asked my mothers old massage therapy instructor, Wanita, one random day… through facebook message… saying it was time for me. I was past 30. Motherhood yes but there is more and I am just dying over here on the floor! Where am I going and why has the magic that used to charm my path, seemed to have disappeared and left me to dryly do math. Fuck that. Wanita was in Sedona Arizona, a magic place, unknowing I had asked her at a time she was heading to a sacred place in our desert to walk and meditationally send and receive answers. She said she would ask her ancestors… she would ask the universe on my behalf.  That week I did a spell for a friend of the church I barely knew, I figured it couldn’t hurt, she seemed in a strange way. The next week she thanked me, that her troubles had a bit faded away. Through her thank you, a strange feeling came over me, as if my actions had granted my prayer sent to be received. I felt at ease. Not ego, I am glad I helped her. It was more like helping her opened a receptive door for me. I sent a request with hope and my restoration of her hope caused mine to be heard. There was no real validation of anything that day… it just smelled like electricity.  I have become good friends with that woman now, Heather and Doug all their kids. I feel like my answer was writing… I was led to you. I feel like my answer is you, I have fallen in love with you. Whether it be a year or nine or in between… I will love you somehow in person. Perhaps I will find my starring self staying here and drawing you near… and together we make these traveling journeyed trek…are you my travel partner? Or am I to go alone like an asphalt sunflower, adaptation and find your home? Perhaps it is journeys broken into many small bits that last until I am 80. Lying in my garden, writing that last page. Perhaps all of this documented year… almost daily it seems to be. I hope you are saving things… I save some but Levi the laptop has no ram and I have relied on our facebook chat to be my historian. Time stamped and everything. Perhaps all of its many plans are parts of Pangaea like said once before… picking it apart into content, contented themes… continental swing. Flinging stories here and there… I think there is an autobiography here. A love story. A diary. A change in life non-fictionally… All of my father’s writings.  I am terrible at organization. I hoard and don’t edit. Lazy or fearful and sometimes don’t even get it. Sometimes things are freaking amazing and I don’t realize it ‘til months later. I have learned to not throw writing away. My hoarding is mostly paper… it’s a little insane. ‘Tis why I need a partner in crime with this writing scream… I am just going to keep going. Eventually something will change… organization will be required for something when it is needed. ‘Til then my sweet…  am over heated. Good day. Good night… according to my phone it is 10:30 at night for you dearest. I hope you are well wherever you may be. Funny to me, remembering myself advising friends not to fall in love online because you can’t truly know them, and now a good friend is married to one.. and look at myself. Seems to always come true the things you say ‘never’ to… serve as lessons to you. Never say never and love is not about whether …  it’s about weather and leathery skin and softened sin… it’s a choice to give in whether it is accepted, I have chosen you ‘tis true and I have no expectation. To love you like this. Just sending it out and feeling happy inside out. Because you are not here I shine as bright as I can it seems… to reach you. Makes a rainbow love arc over oceans and causes smiles in everyone who catches the colors along the way.  Ahhh… ok. I can hardly say goodbye these days. Or ever what am I saying. HAha.

Struggling over the muddling meddling truth, I cannot lie even when I try. I write my life as it comes and flood into poetry and to find a rhyme could crime my family? Steeple jump feeble minds, I cannot stop this song. Longer than a donkey dong, eat dung and dengue fever. Leave me be that this truth I see is my life, its done and buried, why dig up strife? So I write my novel novel to revel and squabble over its revealing truth. Perhaps it will be like Mutant Message from Downunder, coined fake but true, just to send its seeded journey to the root. Sure, yea, yes, it’s made up. smiley. But I know me, I’m a freelancing naysaying truth holder you see, I reflect to project, I can’t hide me.

Prayers sayers of light wrap in blue bubbles of whitelight. skylight to highlight a whitened hair that tells of a scare of yesteryear an era of loss or change… clack those tracks in safety for the wise are wickedly whisking your way. be well be awake. be naked. be sacred and always mind the gap!

I’m raining and you’re training clackity clack. Keyboard tapping clack trapping a past. I hope I’m not longwinded and overly wordy. Beat is cheap and less is more or bore me a lore, get cracking. Trying too hard to say it all?

“Don’t Try”

Bukoswki’s headstone. To head tones, he could seed vibrations deep in his cantankerous cantational reads.  You can when you don’t and it is what it is.

Is this a memoir car to nowhere, smelling the clover that never blooms?

Aye my groom, first mate, I think too much!  Dashing dreams with that cardboard card, ringing up the register with flouncing bouts of chancy ambivalent up in the airs. Uncertain curtains that hide pride.

Fake IDs

Who are we. Human animals with stardust sense. We are myriads of hybrids, tribesmen. Birdmen, ape gods, lizard creeps. Goat warriors and rat worriers and sleepy sheep. We are thee. People populace. Freaks of nature trapped in nature to see. To learn to be. To grow to be. To know to be. And be.

Comeback again sometime, ya hear. Starburst death and sign-up sheets, I would come back I think, earth is a place with a magical view and weighted with sensual sensical humor to undo and redo and try again. Alien star sentinels we are earth guides. Signed up for this mess to caress. Its funky and real and rots and heals. It’s a feeling footpath, collect-your-lessons-and-learn-to-know path. The feeling of know now and do, then be, is freeing.

Faded blue jean knee of a sea of rhymes. I’m growing thin, not enough time.  Editor of editorial edition, I know you’d cut. You’d change and rearrange. It is time I pull you from the toolbox?

Cut the fool talk!

I’m all fool.

Blithering idiot, mush-mouth, mealy-mouthed, yellow-bellied chicken. I’m full of shit, spitfiring, in denim. Mending meddling music in a mottled meter of measure.

Concentrate congregate converge

Capture crowd comma and caw this flock of fury!

Clusterfuck of beauty.

Gather your thoughts.

I think I did.

Like a pernicious knid

Dink of a kid

Deep drink of a squid

Non-skidding eyelid

Stare me a well.

Stairwell to hell and inkwells

It just keeps unwinding.

Raveling reveling ribbons of rides I can’t hide.

I’m a sid.

A nancy of a sex pistol, I’m pistol-whipped and my pussy whips like a bullwhips whisper.

My levees broke, and for what its worth, I’m rocking the casbah. With Bobby McGee, I’m Sara, and lilywhite. Eleanor rigby and a fish wife. Like a bird on a wire, U2 Desire, I’m shaking the tree, shocking the monkey and letting it be. The times they are a changing and no doubt, talking heads with tears for fears and foo fighters flying led zeppelins will eat their anthrax and their nine inch nails. Gyspy kings with tools and jewels and pearl jam, seek soundgardens and nirvana. Mazzy stars and smashed pumpkins are on the road again. Circle jerks eat korn and erasure is better than ezra. Petshop boys with porno for pyros dress like stone temple pilots boarding Jefferson airplanes over styx and yes. Oingo boingo pixies and a blind melon, raining like a bee girl… banding bands.

Off to Nodd. Odd, I said goodnight, but I couldn’t stop this rain tonight. It never ends. All night and then some I fill and flow. Trying not to drown in this rainman. There just ain’t jack nothing I can do to keep these rains from bowing.

Glowing me. Coloring my book.

Fuck sticks and Bobs. I’m done. Good GOD shut up!

No wait.

Whisper kind.

I wait for your rhyme.

Like a boost to loosen my historical trap!

Slap in my face to come back!

I am here. Fuck. I’m not going anywhere. I never was.

But I went somewhere, and always was.

It’s a conundrum. Conan’s drumming chest, ape howl, and screech owl madness. Lists and wrists and cursed verse. Thesaurus.

Breached my reach of language. English dabble.

Dappling, snapping my sapling try.

I hope this book ain’t dry.

Asshole.

Doubt is a bitch to digest and shit out.

I am a god! I must believe.

Or I will never be free.

Ok.

For real.

I think this entry is dead.

Must rest my busted head.

Don’t be dead.

Stay alive Jurmi

You are a wonderful pour in me.

Goodnight sweet sweaty meat of an inked man.

Sleep with my tithing tide from the rainman.]

He is a soul mate.

He helped me find my own soul.

Soul mates are not what society has taught us to think they are, society doesn’t teach us about finding our souls or to find mates, that will guide those souls. We are taught to cling to those guides, as if we are meant to stay the same forever.

I became a writer in that garage. With a goal to travel more, to fill my empty space of living with a story I wanted to tell.

I moved home and began writing endlessly, Jurmi would skype me, he even met my mother once.

I was painting like a mad man. Kicking out paintings every night. Writing poems and sharing them freely.

I became an artist and a poet.

I found me. And I wasn’t afraid anymore.

Jurmi never had to love me. He taught me how to love me.

Journeys in Love: The first person to ever love me (part fourteen)

I was on a magical bend in self. Creating every day and wondering what to do with it. But just to collect. To build. If you build it, they will come. I clung to this hope that if I just simply kept at this art making, it would reward. My mother was growing more and more ill, in need of oxygen and medications. She became mostly housebound and we spent inordinate amounts of time with each other watching television and talking. My art processes made her lonely though, I was beginning to detach from daughter and into self. I even self published a small book that mom was afraid to read, you’re too real she said with a grin, it rattles me. I began selling artwork and books at the Farmer’s Markets and considering how hard it is to sell art in this city, I was doing fairly well.

I remember I had made tacos that night with some left over brisket. Tomatos and fresh avocado, cilantro, they were delicious. She thanked me for making dinner again, as I had turned into the maid and cook for a few months. I remember shrugging at her, instead of welcoming her thank you. It was old hat for me to cook, nothing new, but she did thank me. And we sat watching wheel of fortune, and she dropped her taco.

Are you ok? I asked.

No.

What’s wrong?

I don’t know.

I think I’m going to vomit.

She couldn’t walk fast enough to the bathroom so I grabbed the trashcan and she puked everything out.

She hobbled to the bathroom and continued to throw up for hours. She was exhausted and could barely breathe. She would sweat furiously and then become cold. She slept on the bathroom floor while I sat with her, thinking we were going to get through the food poisoning…. Though none of us were sick from those same tacos.

She was sensitive, I didn’t understand what was happening.

She was sick for four more days…. Lying in her bed, I even gave her a whistle so she could call me from my room, but she didn’t have enough energy to even blow it.

She got up on the fifth day and dressed, and she said I think I need to go to a hospital now. Despite being entirely anti-hospital, I knew this was serious now. I argued her, NO … I always told you, if you go to a hospital you’ll die there because you hate them and you hate jello… DON’T GO!

John got in the driver’s seat and I carried my mother to the car on my back. And flopped her down into the seat. That was the last hug I ever gave her, I will never forget her thick rib cage and her mom smell.

I got the call about 20 minutes after they left.

It was a nurse, “your mother is here and she is being admitted for emergency heart surgery, she has suffered two heart attacks, please come now.”

Everything went white. Everything blurred. I have to find a place to take my kid, I called her father.

I called my sister.

My sister was on a plane that day.

That moment she dropped her taco… was a massive heart attack… and entering the ER caused the second.

They removed a blood clot from her heart, but she never recovered.

She dreamt a lot.

My sister and I played music for her, and laughed. She would smile. She could hear us.

We kept her alive for a week with machines, waiting to see if her body would wake to heal itself.

She died.

She died at the end of January.

And Jurmi, wrote to me that day. He was in India on the side of the Ganges, writing a piece on the death ritual there, he sent prayers into that river that day for my mother.

Everything stopped.

The life I had built, with her, ended. She was my grief partner. My counselor and therapist. She was my best friend. We took care of each other… for years. She was a hundred more roles than just mom, and I am not sure that I have even entirely fathomed her absence yet to this day.

Everything ended.

My precious tiny mama died.

And now I was granted this space… of my own… filled with her things…

Now I was granted this freedom and time … to continue building my work… my art … to keep growing.

But I stopped… and I wasn’t sure if it would come back.

Journeys in Love: Gabriel (part fifteen)

It was like I finally had time. WAY TOO MUCH of it, after Mom died, what was I supposed to do with all this time?

I used to spend my days talking about life, all day sometimes, and planning meals and making sure to keep the things she loved in stock.  Mom and I were life partners in many ways.

I hadn’t realized how much I had grown with and into a routine that supported her and now it was entirely different. I ate out too much, I didn’t even know what to buy for food anymore.

Many of my friends were advising me to go on a small trip, or do something just for myself, to get away from this sudden shift in order to gain perspective and I agreed.

I had become a writer. I could claim the title with pride now. But let me rewind back… to when I first realized being a writer, was something to be.

Now I shall take you through time all the way back to the start of this journey, with Charles in part one.

My high school clique didn’t have a name, Gabriel named us The Oddballs.

Gabriel was 40 in a 16 year old body. He had hair down to his ass, and wore black converse every day.

I want to say he was the leader of our group but we didn’t need a leader, we just were.

But Gabriel’s deep voice and long hair, made it so he was never carded and he would always provide us all the alcohol we wanted after school. My clique consisted of mostly men, with drug problems, and deep thoughts, and their girlfriends. They were fascinating. We swept and wept those dusty skylines, by those clacking tracks like beat generation why. The fiery days of hormone craze and naiveté, amongst the wild sunflowers tossing bottles onto that moving arm, that envelope of chance dancing past curfew and into the dawn.  Frank Black and Kerouac rolling cigarettes. Jukebox minarets we are what’s left of the bereft trying to relive a dream… keep on trucking. Gabriel loved Kerouac, and Burroughs, and any other beat poet he could drown in. We would read the Beat Reader aloud to each other, sometimes we would free write, sometimes we would listen to cassette tapes of On the Road. Charles always told me Gabriel was in love with me and I could tell, but I was in love with Charles, and Gabe was risky and more dangerous than Charles ever lead on. I loved Gabe too, he would make me write, faster faster, he’d say, don’t think, just write! When I graduated, most of my clique dropped out and moved into a house that became the drug house of the century. It was nasty. I couldn’t stick around anymore.

When Gabriel moved to California after the drug house stint, we were all proud. YES my friend! Go live off grid. He was made for it. He invited me to come along but his alcoholism scared me at that time and I was too young to know if that seemed right. Charles and I had loosely planned to take off too and I wound up breaking bones. I was cautious to say the least and declined.

I gave him a hammer. Because… you know… if I had a hammer…

Everyone should have one when they embark into life.

Ten years went by. He raised a son and married. They lived farm-like and quaint and he continued to drink. I lost touch with him though felt he would always be my friend.

Emma was 8 months old, and I was living at Nick’s step dads house and I had gone to visit my mother, out of annoyance at my living situation. And lo and behold, my doorbell rings. And its Gabriel! WOW, a ten-year relief on the eyes to see that guy. His handsome self, standing there in the same old black converse and hair down to his ass, he hadn’t changed a bit. I was so happy to see him. We went out for pizza and beer and he met Emma. As I drove him back to his mother’s house where he was visiting, he asked me to marry him. He had split from his wife; his son was ten. He asked me to marry him.

I actually did think about it. Considering how my life felt off, he felt so right to see again. I declined, I was in the midst of truly trying to make a life with Nick and our daughter. But we exchanged numbers and I would call him once or twice a month to stay in touch. He was a forest fireman, a member of a helicopter Helitac crew, he was almost always out “in the field”.

When my mother died, I called Gabriel. She knew him well and I knew he’d want to know. He was torn up about it. It was at that time I realized that Gabriel himself was going through a rough time. He seemed down, he wasn’t writing anymore. He had lost his sense of spirit in remembering our old stories.

My heart called out and when my friends were saying, hey go do something just for you, I thought I should visit Gabe.  Our timing was always off, and here I was with too much time. We had known each other for over 15 years, and he needed help too. We were friends forever it felt like. So I booked a ticket to Northern California and flew to my friend.

When I arrived it was like old times again. We explored the forest and hiked and talked and laughed he taught me all the tricks you need to know to prevent a fire, how to cut a tree down properly, how to dig trenches and why they are important. We stayed up all night that first night just catching up. I offered sex to him, considering I was finally single to say yes to him, and felt it would do him good to relax. But he told me, he felt uncomfortable, You’re my sister, he’d say. It feels wrong. I didn’t take it personal, I agreed. He was certainly a brother of sorts to me. A few days into my 8 day trip his habits began to show. His trauma began to surface.  He had lost his entire Helitac crew during a fire the summer before. He was the messenger in the helicopter floating above his friends. He delivered the messages of them all dying in the fire… professionally reporting on his own friends frying in tin foil just feet below him.  He snapped one night.

He asked me why I was there, in a drunken haze. WHY ARE YOU HERE?! As if I was in the way. I knew it was the alcohol talking, but I tried to stay calm. I came to see you Gabe. I came to see how you are and how you are living. I came to be your friend.

YOU WANNA KNOW WHO I AM !? YOU WANNA KNOW? YOU WANNA COME OVER HERE AND INVADE MY SPACE AND SEE WHO I AM… I WILL SHOW YOU !

He grabbed my arm and had me stand. I stood. He put his helmet on me, his fire coat. He handed me an ax. STAND UP STRAIGHT he demanded and despite my fear I smiled and held that ax like a proud statue of him. He pushed me into a rolling computer chair and slammed his boots on my feet and laced them PROPERLY he demanded, so that they are easy to undo and get out of in case you become stuck. He wrapped rope around me and rolled me into his stereo system. My knees smashed into the speaker. He made me listen to all the transcripts. All the tapes. All the recordings he had to relay, as his crew died. I listened to his crew die, as if it were happening that night. Gabriel led me through who he is. I had asked for it, certainly not that forcefully. But he showed me, why, why he was who he was that day.

He drank and cried on his bed the whole time I listened to his friends die and passed out. I undid my rope and got out of his uniform and placed everything back where it was. It was snowing outside and he lived very isolated. He had neighbors and I did actually think about fleeing, and asking for help, but why stir up more drama than had already occurred in his tiny apartment. I smoked cigarettes until my fingers were numb and I went back inside.

I wrapped in a blanket tightly, like a sleeping bag, and went to sleep next to Gabriel passed out on his bed. I woke to rape.

I hate to use the word. Because he was my friend, my brother, my very traumatized brother. I hate to use the word at all because he had no idea what he was doing I don’t think. But it was.

It was rape. Unwanted, undesired, unasked for sexual penetration is rape regardless of who is on the other end of the penis.

I woke to a penis entering my anus. Drunkenly missing the right hole, he was disoriented. I woke to rape and I was so shocked, I slammed him so hard into the bed WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!? I screamed and ran into his bathroom and locked the door.

I took a shower for hours. And when I emerged, he was asleep. He slept for six more hours. And when he woke he carried on as if he had no memory. I asked to go to the river. It was something I had been wanting to do. We drove silently to the river and once I could see a path, I tore off … running as fast as I could tears streaming out my face, I was sobbing and beating my body… I am sorry… I am sorry I said to my body, I am SO sorry I brought you here and this has happened to you! I apologized to my body for putting it in danger and reached the waters edge and cried. I cried into the water until Gabriel arrived.

What the hell dude? Are you ok, he asks.

AM I OK?

NO ASSHOLE… I’M not…. You RAPED ME last night.

Rape? He says, that’s a harsh word.

FUCK YOU I said.

We were silent the rest of the day.

That night he got angry at me for not washing my own dishes, when I had offered to do them earlier on my trip, his machismo didn’t want me to have to do anything on my trip but that was all over.

I stared at him with fire, oh yea? You want me to wash your goddamned dishes NOW? Ok… I will. And I am going to do them thoroughly and slowly and take my motherfucking time.

I washed them and he stood behind me the entire time apologizing to me.

I never looked back. I simply washed and dried and put them away.

I wanted to do the tourist thing the last day of my trip, to get some things for my daughter and friends, so we did that and he took me to the airport…. And I flew home….

To my child. To my empty home. To my safe place in silence.

I lost my friend. He is still Gabriel. He is still Gabriel, but I lost my friend.

Journeys in Love: Ed Rabbit (part sixteen)

I lost my mother, and a very dear friend all in a matter of months.

I had asked my mother years before she died how she would want me to grieve for her.

Don’t hurt yourself she said. Cry but don’t give yourself a headache. Miss me, but continue to grow.

So I took on this depression I knew very well and focused on rearranging the house and moving things.

To make it my own.

I fell into ritual, I fell into building altars. Moving dirt. Sitting in water. I made my space into a sacred space again, only this time, I was the leading holy man, rather than mom.  I would meditate. Send out prayers to be answered again, like with Jurmi. Ancestors, great spirit … lead me to where I need to be I would say. I am happy healthy and whole… I would repeat it over and over and over again until I fell asleep.

I was rewarded, gifted, with many things that year after she died. It felt like a privilege to be given such gifts, based on simple conversations about spirituality. There was potential seen in me, and elders handed me the knowledge that would help me grow.  I was given classes and seminars to learn more within the realms of spirituality, that I had always kept sacred and my own. These classes added to my knowledge but I was still unsure of how to share the magic.

I attached to some people from my church, and began doing more things with them.  I also buried into Facebook chats with friends, finding language again to represent myself. Language is groupings of symbols we have all agreed on. It’s the ultimate human agreement, this communication thing.

I bounced my new knowledge off anyone willing to listen. This is how I met Eduardo.

Being white in a mostly Mexican town, I can say that the Mexican culture, is my culture, though I do not carry with me the bloodlines or attachments to the history. I cannot say I am Mexican, but I can say I was raised in this culture and it has deeply shaped who I am today. Though I am white, and that carries with it, a privilege in the ability to stand outside of a culture and view it in such a way I can write this. To be immersed so much into this culture, I am sure the stories and the importances, the meanings would be entirely shifted, for someone born of the blood.

I had found myself in arguments with family members based on white privilege and cultural appropriation.  Protest and why? I was digging into brains again, trying to learn more about humanity.

Despite being unfriended and blocked and told I can’t be trusted, being feared for what I knew or wanted to know, I was deeply moved by all of these arguments. It led me to seek more knowledge on racism, on culture. On whiteness.

My culture was based on fideo, carnitas and pico de gallo, and family gatherings after school at friends’ houses. I was the adopted sister or cousin everywhere I went. My culture was based on, Guadalupe and Che Guevara, Mayan temples, Mariachis and Frida.

I was raised by white parents, or should I say mostly by one white parent, a white parent that was steeped in the hippie culture and by no means used her own whiteness as a privilege intentionally. Mom taught me equality. She taught me how to listen and accept. She taught me the infinite “is” – some things just are…. And it’s our job to understand them rather than change them. My mother was like a minister for her circle of friends, our home was open to all the misfits and lone wolves. People processed their deepest concerns to her, in my yard, in my mother’s room, and I was always the witness, the humor to lift the mood, the person to bring them water. It was my childhood.

We entered into Indigenous based ceremony when I was about nine. Attending sweat lodges, long dances, sun dances. I would go with her as much as I was allowed. Lying on the earth naked in a blackened womb beneath the moon, raining down the plant healing and sending up the prayers.

Great grandfather sky and all our ancestors. The glowing rocks. There is a simple but profound Lakota prayer: Mitakuye Oyasin it sounds like “Met-AH-quoyasin” all at once…  It means All My Relations or We Are All Related. I was taught these words when I was nine, and by the time I was ten I had learned Namaste, which meant that the sacred in me recognizes and honors the sacred in you, and for me, those two sayings worked hand in hand. Mom entered into Massage Therapy and stopped her waitress, secretarial and editorial positions in the world. She was home more and much more spiritual. I had rediscovered these rituals at about 22 when I worked in the psych hospital running into mom’s old friends, and it had faded out again. I had spiraled my way back into discovering a fireplace to join just before she died too. But again, it seemed to be fading away.

Now I was steeped in more. I had so much more I wanted to share but to find the minds that would receive it.

I met Eduardo.

We had chatted on Facebook a few times, I had picked his brain on indigenous beliefs, and his thoughts on cultural appropriation. He brought up interesting ways to see it. The idea of this Myth thing we all cling to. Its metaphor. Its language. Its story in order to relate and learn some sort of lesson without having to take it personal, but the goal was to take it personal, in order to become wiser, more knowing, more helpful, more whole. To recognize the sacred in someone and know we were all related.

Eduardo asked me to lunch a couple times, but I was still reeling out of death. I was unsure of his intentions with me and quite frankly I avoided him at first. I became more and more isolated and in need of social interaction. I had another seminar coming up based on shamanic practices, and I knew I was going to want to share everything I learned with a brain that would be able to help me store it properly in the soul. So I set up a date with him, for after my seminar. I would drive home from New Mexico, and attend a party at a friend’s house, and then meet him for dinner.

I enjoyed him immensely. He shined. His eyes were fiery like mine. His hair was soft. He had a beautiful mind that he shared with me freely and allowed me to share mine. I fell in love with his gentleness. He was the least aggressive man I had ever met. So balanced. How did he do it? When my friends learned who I was seeing, there were mixed emotions. Many had no clue who he was and immediately judged him based on rumors, or false internal belief.  Rather than just asking me about him, or venting their concerns to me, they judged…. And I didn’t like this. So I sent out this letter … to the public, after we met.

“I will speak.

There has been a little talk.

Here and there.

There are facts and falsities and stories and opinions

There are feelings and emotions all wrapped up in changes…

Everyone goes through them.

But … I will speak.

I will speak on behalf of the person I have recently allowed closer to my heart.

He can speak for himself too…

But for now… I will speak.

I chose him.

I asked for him.

I spoke then and I speak now…

I sat in my meditations…

And I came upon my imbalances…

I found the voids that needed to stay clear

I found the ones that needed filling…

Like heart chambers…

I began getting more involved with my church and older friends. Less art openings and night events, more day things and good conversations.

I asked the universe… or creator… or god… whomever you choose to symbolize that great all that is above and below and within us…

I asked for what I felt would fill those voids that needed filling best…

I asked for kindness.

I asked for food.

I asked for spirit… for joy … for the recognition of similar joys that can be shared.

I asked to be understood … to be listened to.

I asked for respect and room to grow.

I asked for a teacher in fields I’ve been tilling and carried good seeds.

I asked for someone that had their own life… so that I did not have to fill theirs.

I asked for someone that allowed me my life… so that I could develop it all anew…

I asked for adventures that didn’t lead far from home, but just enough to feel a little lost.

I asked for safety and support… in being myself in an open honest way.

I asked for someone that did not want more children but accepted mine as i would accept his and any past life he may have lived…

And then, I surrendered and allowed myself to die.

I wrote it out all the way to the end…

And

He spoke.

He asked if I was ok.

He asked me if I was ok … at one of the lowest points in my life….

And I said no.

And he turned the page….

On that chapter I had finished … ready to end…

I was not ok…

But it was not the end.

There are so many more stories to be told…

The universe spoke… and it was Eduardo.

I am grateful

I am hopeful.

I am respectful of this gift.

I love him.

I chose him.

I asked for him

And I speak now…

Thank you for listening.

I ask for acceptance… for kindness… I ask for love… on behalf of love…

May we all have happiness respectfully rewarded.”

We had fun. We would take naps together, or try, I always find myself thinking and talking endlessly if I have a mate in my bed.

We ate… we ate so much food he revived me into a human again!

And he never expected sex, nor even asked for it. This was the hugest relief that I didn’t understand at the time. I had asked for this freedom; yet didn’t quite know how to interpret why I had asked for it.

Everything began to shift for me internally. I was embarking on changes but I didn’t know what they were…

He healed me in a hundred ways.

He led me to grow and know myself more… which meant, I was coming into a big realization that I had no idea was coming.

Journeys in Love: And then I was gay (part seventeen)

“I love you too, but it’s not about sex.”

My mother used to say “two mules for sister sarah?” as if that is what was instilled in me in order to enter an earth soul. That quote really meant Holy Shit, do you really need to be so stubborn?

I am stubborn.

I think the two mules are mom and dad. (Hee and Haw.)

I might go picking through a thousand minds in order to hear something new that will change me, but there is no guarantee I will agree with you, nor will I be silent about that disagreement, because to me, pressing it creates more growth, or it entirely kills the connection. Either way, I am better not knowing you if we cannot discuss things until we grow, or… lets grow and I will never lose my soul.

She fell in love with me.

My sacred space.

She fell in love with me and all my stories.

And it wasn’t about sex.

I met her the same night I had my first date with Eduardo, after that seminar, at my friend’s party.

I was mind spinning and sacredly grinning for miles to the party. Wow… I had learned and experienced so much in just two days. Drums and elders and stories and herbs. So much to know and understand. My mind was entirely connected to this space after my weekend immersion.

I met her by a fire that night. The sky was beginning to go indigo.

I shook her hand.

Horses. My mind flashed. I took it to mean she either rode them, or she carried power and stamina like a horse within her. I immediately told her I wanted to meet her in daylight, so I could see her face. She was someone I needed to know.

She picked brains the same way I did but she was so much better at it. More grace. More time. More caution. I think she loved my freedom. My self ness. The art and the space and the stuff and the things and the stories… all the stories. She would listen. And I loved hers too. I loved her.

I saw myself in her. But she was better. Her caution gave her grace but she was fucking leaping off cliffs of freedom when it came to doing her job. It wasn’t a freedom I knew anymore. I used to manage a psych unit for kids, ropes course, talking kids through terror with a smile. Asking the law office, I worked in, if we could reorganize their entire file system with cojones, I think back now like shit man, you were fucking around with super sacred materials, but I could see a system that would work better and was willing to stand up for it, even if I was only 23. I had it in me, but those cliffs were no more. I was now steeped in spirituality, sacred stillness, sacred silence. Listening rather than knowing. Being.

I was carefully choosing who to open to now, with what I did know and feel. I didn’t let everyone into my home like mom did, I hadn’t built a circle yet, though my space was ready and open for joy.

And she filled it.

With golden sunshine.

She filled my space with a village.

She filled my space with herself and herself was amazing.

I had all this experience at living love and she had all this experience at loving life.

I felt alive again.

Her I love you’s came like moms. It fit in the heart just right. And she was kinda deaf like mom, it meant we always looked at each other when we spoke. It is an act society doesn’t do enough, in my opinion.

But she wasn’t like mom at all in that she wanted to run and climb walls and play games and live. She was a galloping horse, ready for the obstacle course.

I fell in love with her and poured. WOW I love you. And I don’t even know why. I wrote endless poems.  And it caused her to say… I love you too but it’s not about sex.

I hadn’t really thought about it, the sex.

At least not yet.

It’s not about sex.

That was my line!

But here I was on the other side sending my heart on the line, with sensual language and poems to last a lifetime. They were love poems. They were love. It was love. Holy shit, was it about sex?

I remember walking to the park with a very dear friend in my house robe and barefoot. She was older and gay. And I just remember knowing I needed to speak, I was sobbing. We marched to the park and I was tearing my mind and heart in half and trying to stick them together. Trying to make sense of her actions that led me to loving her and my actions that led her to say … yes I love you too, but it’s not about sex. My mind went over Claudia and who I have tried to become and who I have become and who am I?  I so very much recognized at that moment with my friend, the road her generation, and those that followed, paved in order to get past my mother’s fear of having a hard life. It’s easier on the heart she said, in her opinion, to be gay, but it leads to a harder life.

It is because of those brave enough to lead that harder life, and all the challenges they faced and spoke openly about, that I could stand there that day and openly admit that I was gay. Was my mother gay? Is being gay really easier on the heart if you truly aren’t gay? I kept questioning everything. My entire past. All the fears I have faced in life and the ones I still faced.

Why was I pouring that way? And it isn’t about sex, it wasn’t about sex, it didn’t need to be about sex.

But did it? Was it?

What was it?

What is this?

She loved me and I loved her. And this is how I love, where is the problem?

I scared her with love? How is this possible?

We balanced each other. Her message through chaos needed to be this sacred medicine she entirely understood, and I had just been taught all this ritual medicine, and needed to practice. My message through my stillness and listening needed to be this sense of purpose and helpfulness, speaking. She always had the answers and I felt like I did too. When her message would ring out I would be there in a heartbeat with some sense of calm based in ritual she loved and respected. When my message would ring out, She’d leap to get my help in organizing or get some system running, it was symbiotic in many ways. I could assist her system and she could assist my story.

I was stubborn with this love. I wasn’t about to let it go. I wasn’t about to enter sexual relations either.

But I clung to her like a lover.

And when her system was no longer needed here, she opted out of my story.

I am posting this anyway despite the fear I may stir.

I am not afraid.

It is because of her, that I needed to tell all these stories.

She helped me become … and makes me love her more.

Respects paid. Tribute made. Commemoration, for life.

Thank you, you.

We have come to my present in our journey now.

She doesn’t have to love me the same way I love her; in fact, I hope she never does. Because I love loving her in my own damn ways. Do my ways of loving mean sex? I am not sure. I love how I love her…

And it’s not about sex.

I would love her as much as she’d want me to until she died.

That is what love is.

In the end.

Love is about acceptance yes, it’s about fighting too.

Loving is stubborn sometimes and it frees you.

It’s about growth and change and stillness.

It’s the yin yang.

It’s finding the chime to your clang and the ring to your song.

Its finding who you want to write into your story even when they don’t want you to, because sometimes, they are wrong.

Today I can say I have been gay and I have been straight. In my current situation I will call myself Bi, as society has set agreed upon terms.

As I am not attached to either gender today in a sexual way, I might be someday…. I feel that my being is sexual to some degree, I will say today I am Bisexual.The next time I fall in love I might be straight or gay… who’s to say… only to keep traversing the verses of heart.

There are more journeys to be had between heart and mind, to create my soul.

Love: And all its journeys.

May they hike you up paths and sail you through seas and ride you down roads that all lead to a wholeness and/or holiness in you that feels most true.

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