Men

This American Woman

I once dated a guy who made me a mix tape (technically a CD) and one of the songs he put on was, “American Woman” (which is a great song, and he’s English, and I’m American, and we had a very adversarial relationship, so it fit, but… anyways). A great song, but not really what I’d expect to hear, if I were expecting a mix of lovesongs. Which, y’know. Having given him the soppiest CD I’d ever heard, not 2 months earlier (and to this day, I regret wasting all that sugar-sweetness on someone so unmoved by it) I sort of *did* expect something reciprocal.

That was my first mistake, in that relationship. When you’re with someone who always brings a gun to a knife-fight, for whom the Horn of Gondor is never enough, no, they need the One Ring… expecting what is right and deserved and equal is a futile hope. In a relationship like that, the only reciprocation comes when they’ve broken you enough that the meanest hint of human kindness feels like an outpouring of the Balm of Gilead.

Which, you know. Is meant for–let me recall that song I sang in high school–making the wounded whole, and healing the sin-sick soul.

When *you* are the one wounding someone, and making them soul-sick, you don’t get to be the balm that makes it all better, as well. That’s not love–that’s emotional abuse–and although it works in the short term (turning a would-be lover into a tearful, sighing, queasy-stomached dependant, eternally hanging on your next word, a word they’re never quite sure is coming) eventually, the spell wears off and the person who thought they loved you, who *does* love you in some way, realizes that, mostly, they’ve just been played.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Fool me a hundred times, and I’ll burn everything we ever were on a pyre of self-preservation; and I’ll rise, jewel-toned plumage brilliant in the sun, eyes as hot as the flames, a strange, dark-haired Mother of Dragons, from the ashes of you, me, and the fiction in the space between.

And then I will scorch you to the bone and eat you alive, you fucking shitbag.

Advertisements
Standard
Men

Love As A Battleground

Have you ever fallen in love–I mean really, truly, head-over-feet in love–with someone, even though you *knew* it was a terrible idea? Like, you were already convinced when it started out, that you were about to bodyslam your own heart into a floor made of railroad spikes, but the visceral, unable-to-be-ignored pull of this person tugged you right off the platform of your own good intentions, and into the path of what was, in fact, a fucking train?

I have done that exactly 3 times in my life–and one of them was last year.

The first time, I was 17-going-on-18, and I can be forgiven. As the song so helpfully informs us, “young hearts are foolish; they make such mistakes. They are much too eager to give their love away…” and I really, really was. Think of the most hopelessly romantic teenager you know, times it by a factor of 3 or 4, make sure you imagine them as female, long brown hair, 100 lbs overweight and plagued by cystic acne and lopsided breasts, and that’s me.

Like Janis Ian, I learned the truth at 17. I got over it. I left one love for another, and had at least some comfort in being loved, however badly and selfishly and superficially, by the man I went on to marry.

We’ve been divorced since my youngest child was a toddler, but we’re on good terms, these days. And he gave my children just enough of his DNA to widen their eyes from the narrow slits their mother possesses, to give them a touch of effortless grace I will never claim, and some hint of slender proportion in the sweet clean lines of their little bodies. Also, he is much kinder to me, now that he doesn’t have to put up with my incessant demands, every day.

My ex-husband is not a bad man; merely a very weak one. I can’t blame another for a failing I share with them. And the boy I loved when I was 17 was too clever for his own good (or mine) too morally and ethically and intellectually fine to be ignored, but that was hardly his fault.

The man I fell for last year deserves at least some portion of the blame. He knew, going in, that he could never handle my polyamorous lifestyle… and he let me fall for him anyway. Made me fall, really–how dare he ham for me while driving, how dare he amuse me with a dozen flawless accents every time I ask, how dare he sing to me when it’s just the 2 of us, how dare he look at me with tears in his eyes while we make love.

But worse: how dare he tell me that if I can do this, he will do that? How dare he tell me that if I were more of one thing, he could love me fully? How dare he keep spinning the line that if I’ll just jump through this hoop, now this one, now this one, he’ll commit to me, to this lifestyle I share with the men I love, and try to make it work forever? “Whatever I do, you raise the same objections,” my Soldier.

He cannot love me the way I need to be loved, any more than I can stop loving him.

But I’ve seen this movie, and I know how it ends; and shame on me, for kissing him with my eyes closed so tight.

Standard
Uncategorized

Back to Sex and Boys (and Rock ‘n’ Roll?)

The time has officially come for me to stop crying over spoilt ballot papers and move back into more pleasing territory. I’ve been hovering around the edge of the Cliff of Mental Unwellness since the election results, and I can’t cope with it anymore. If I don’t find *something* else to talk about, I’ll wind up back on various medications, and I can really do without that… so I need something that’s guaranteed to make me smile.

So, men it is.

Nah, not really. But a little bit. Lemme tell you the tale.

So, I’ve got 2 fellas, we all know that. (Do we? All of us? Moving on.) The newest development, in the grand scheme of things, is that 1 of them is thinking about setting up a singing group with some of our other friends… and while I don’t sing–ever–in public or for public consumption, I *do* occasionally knock a line or two together for a friend (ta for that line, Bernie Taupin) and sometimes, I do it in the form of a parody. And while I’m no Weird Al, every so often, I put together something that’s actually a little bit good.

The thought of writing parodies for an actual singing group, of being involved creatively in some sort of collaborative writing, again… it makes the juices flow.

The creative ones, natch. Not talking about any other juices. Nope, not me, no way.

But while we’re on the subject, the vocal group (assuming it actually forms) will be a mostly-male group. (Do I count as a member, if all I do is shift rewritten lyrics and encouragement their way? Who knows.)

And who cares? Even if I were completely uninvolved, I think it would not tax me in any way, to go and watch a group of my mates (mostly male, did I mention…) doing the thing I find most attractive in the world, aka singing. Especially since they really make such an attractive group of lads anyway–and lads is about right. Not a one of them is older than me, and at least one is *significantly* younger. Like, really much younger. Like, in a would-it-be-funny-to-parody-Maggie-May, type of younger.

That sounds like a good idea, actually. Best get crackin’, then.

This is going to be so much fun.

Standard
Uncategorized

Polyamory, Revisited

So, I mentioned a while back that I’m exploring polyamory. I think I was pretty clear that, at the moment, I’m with 2 men and no more; and thus far, that seems to suit me (or it suits me better than my relationship with my partner was suiting me; for a variety of reasons, we’d grown… eh… a bit less close, but still deeply in love and committed to each other’s well-being). Our current situation does feel like something of a compromise–but then, when is love *not* a situation requiring compromise? (No, the compromise is not all on my lovers’ side, although I imagine that’s the first conclusion someone who doesn’t know the situation well might jump to.) One of the compromises I’m making involves exploring the ins-and-outs of polyamorous ideas and models, whether or not they coincide with my own ideals, and trying to ensure that my approach to my romantic relationships is as balanced as it can be. (I’m no great arbiter of balance and circumspection, you understand, but I do my poor best.)

Currently, I’m reading a book entitled, “The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory,” by Francoise Simpere, who’s something of a self-proclaimed expert on the topic. Don’t get me wrong, she has a lot of good points to make (many of them about the traditional roles of men and women, and the benefits of polyamory in redefining those roles) but I can’t help but think her ideals are so farfetched as to be virtually unobtainable. Without giving specific examples, there is a distinctly Utopian slant to the author’s writing, that makes it sound as if everyone in the world were capable of fostering relationships completely devoid of jealousy, possessiveness, or sordid curiosity. In one chapter of the book, she does address the “infidelity gene” that some people have (though she objects to its name) and muses that perhaps not *everyone* can reach these glorious heights of self-expression, romantic freedom, and boundless love… but overall, she certainly seems to think that it’s an ideal that’s perfect for many people.

Personally, I find I regularly vacillate between the 2 dominant views discussed in her book, namely, monogamy and polyamory. I can see numerous pros and cons to each; and, like the contrarian I am, I tend to admire the lifestyle I’m *not* engaging in at the time. (Yes, that’s a not-so-subtle hint that monogamy is starting to look more attractive to me, again–but in the clear understanding that, every time I’ve thought that and tried to practice it, I’ve come to the conclusion that 1 man is never going to be enough for me.)

If there is an infidelity gene (by which I mean, if that’s an accurate name for it) I have little doubt I’ve inherited it. As I love to say, my dad not only chases skirt, he chases it in much the same way as I chase trouser (similar MO, similar goals from what I can tell, similar rewards reaped in succeeding). And it’s not that I’m not more than the sum of my genetics–I am, as are we all–but there is a certain point which, when reached, does just leave you wondering why you would even bother to fight your nature. I’ve given up on the idea of eternal punishment (mostly) and I go out of my way to be kind and compassionate to my men (more so than many wives/girlfriends I know, at least as far as I can tell)… that ought to count for something. Right?

One final thought: I’m not going to load the dice by stating what it is… but I hope against hope and wish against wish that someone would ask the pertinent question, about the above.

Standard
Uncategorized

Am I An Idiot?

Once, a guy told me (about 2 months after we’d started an intimate relationship–and by intimate, I mean we were banging fairly regularly) that he’d actually sort of just wanted to become friends, at first. As in, the night he took me home, he was willing enough to do the dirty, but actually, what he’d really been hoping for was emotional intimacy, of a more platonic sort.

It took me another 3 months to work out that what he meant was, he wanted to just be friends, like… then.

Without any exaggeration, I imagine that if I sit here and actually tally them up, I can think of 30 or more instances in which I *hugely* misread the situation (but 90% of people I personally know, likely wouldn’t have). These errors in judgment arise mostly where boys are concerned, unsurprisingly… nothing clouds your powers of reason like wishful thinking, at least in my experience. The more I want someone, the more difficult it is for me to imagine that they don’t want me, too; or (more likely) they just don’t want me as much/for as long as I want them.

Of course, as smokescreens go, nothing obscures your view quite like a giant erection, either. I’m maybe not *entirely* to blame, for all of these mistakes. It is a *little* difficult to comprehend the phrase, “I just want to be frie…” when you can still take your shirt off and obliterate their train of thought mid-sentence.

But. But but but. When someone wants you in a way that’s so unlike the way you want them–one of you wants mostly sex, or one of you wants mostly conversation, or one of you wants mostly companionship, etc etc, and the other one wants something else–can it ever really work out? I’d suspect the answer is probably no.

And yet, I keep asking the question, in a variety of ways, with a variety of men, as if, someday, I’m going to be able to be perfectly happy in my romantic relationships… even though I *know* that, in life, we ALL want very different (and often contradictory) things from each other… which leads me back to my original question.

Am I an idiot?

Standard