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It started in a Mother Lode bar, which closed at 2am and disgorged us into the street where policemen idled their cars waiting for people to try and drive. I was crafty and slipped the dragnet.
Three hours' sleep later I visited my father in the rest home and found him alert and matter-of-fact. I didn't stay long.
Back home, took a brief nap, then hung out with a new friend whom I hesitate to refer to as a sort of experiment but I'm afraid a dispassionate view of the situation leads one to that conclusion.
The experiment continued. What is the nature of this experiment? I have knots in my head to untangle. These knots create intricate social, sexual, and emotional interdependencies. They are mysterious but have impact.
I would like this stage to be one of seeking myself through relationships, and I'd like those relationships, even if they follow the serial monogamy model, to be satisfactory during their time.
Outside of this model is the one woman for whom my sexual / emotional response holds no doubt. Within it, however, the story is the same as before, and it is not satisfactory, not to me.
Calls me honey. Tries to remember not to. Says it doesn't mean anything.
Amenable to sitting around watching sports. I rarely do that. But I enjoyed it. Very restful, and I was very tired.
The alternative was to make excuses to leave. I really had no reason to.
I needn't fear. She's been through the dating-website ringer. I think I'm being evaluated with appropriate skepticism.
But I must ask myself what I really want, and to consider the damage I might do looking too closely in the wrong places. Lots of people crave closeness. I don't want to mislead.
I see something at work in my brain that I'm not happy about. It's a strong impulse to please a woman, to make her feel appreciated, without a whole lot of regard for how I really feel about her. I don't even open my eyes to really know how I feel. I just go with the program. And it's pleasant enough, but my body betrays me. A woman can tell that I'm not truly there. And though I can excuse it, the truth is hinted at by the fact there is one woman for whom my body responds very well.
So I have these knots to untangle, or more likely understand and work with. A tapestry, not a tangle. Any case, the question is, why am I ambivalent about my attraction to X and Y (and potentially a Z), and how does this differ from being married to W? It doesn't, and the answer is apparent: X and Y essentially pursued me, and I went along because going along is what I know. I pursued W at first, but quickly fell back into going along.
Z, therefore, needs to be somebody I pursue, less compromise, and no just going along.
I reached my father on his cell phone.
“Who is this?”
“What do you want?”
He's never been so abrupt.
“Um, ah, just to see how you’re doing.”
“Lousy. How are you doing?”
“Fine. So. Not very well, huh? Everything’s just, um, not going very well?”
“Then I’ll come see you on Saturday.”
“All right. I’d better go. I’ll see you on Saturday."
Then, an afterthought: "Thanks for calling.”
His cheerfulness has gone. His body is failing him and The End is staring him in the face.
Can't believe they're just ripping it out, packing you with cotton, and sending you home. You're not driving yourself, of course, so there's that. I hope F carries you in and lays you gently amongst your puppies and lets you lie in splendorous anesthesia until and only until you feel like getting up. I would love to do that, of course, and bring you lunch, and kiss you on the forehead.
The rainclouds passed and it is going to be a beautiful weekend. I will put more miles on the rickety old truck. We will maintain our tender textual tethers.
I just made that macaroni salad sandwich with pepperjack cheese. The one I dreamed about. It was pretty bland.
I wasn't even hungry. Which is odd considering I last ate seven hours ago at brunch.
Breakfast / lunch was outdoors at a road house filled with bikers. Bikers are not what they used to be. Bikers are successful middle-aged husbands and wives with grown children and thirty-thousand-dollar toys to ride around on.
Afterwards we drove through the foothills. I thought of you a lot, but especially when we wound up in Coloma. I was not taking any pictures.
I don't feel like going to SF Decom today. Pretty much want to stay in and wallow, or perhaps find some means to break out of my melancholy and actually accomplish something. The BMan thing doesn't work so well for me in winter. I just want to store food away, as it were.
But I will be near it anyway, to do whatever I do that amounts to slowly assisting my father's transition out of life. So I will feel even worse about myself if I don't go.
I'm just bein' negative. Maybe I should invest in a coffee pot.
Fixed the network same way as before. The long house necessitates a double star topology. The shunts to various room have been replaced with a couple wireless APs. If I trace through carefully, I find a home-made cable with a bad connection. Tonight, replaced the bad one with a professionally-made one. Will see how it lasts.
And so I used most of my word allocation on that, rather than on the conversation that examined more reasons for our split, and ended with a strong reminder that my boys deserve to know me a lot better than they do.
I've an 11709x4716 pixel scan I found on the internet somewhere of a photograph of San Francisco taken in May of 1906 (about a month and a half after the great earthquake) from a "captive airship" tethered to a ship moored off the Ferry Building, looking straight down Market Street and out to sea.
You can zoom in and see long-gone piers that warehoused coal, sailing ships and side wheelers, streetcars, horse-drawn buggies, construction materials, burnt-out shells of buildings, homeless camps, and little silhouettes of anonymous people.
I can look at it this wonderful picture for hours.
Finally got going this day on the board design. Various things have preempted me but now a design of sorts is thrown together and a netlist provided to my CAD guy. We are partnered with one of the most popular of Evil Corporations and their bid to dominate yet another global industry, and we really can't have delays. I hope I don't cause any.
That night, a lady made me dinner after fretting all day over worries that I wouldn't like it. Of course I did: I'm hardly a picky eater. But now I worry that I've got a worrier.
An emotional day. My best girl is with a dying father. (My father is dying too but taking his time about it.) Most of all, though, I seem to have caught someone who's been looking for someone a lot like me, and instead found only me.
That is, found not someone like me who is ready for a serious relationship, but just me, who has barely started exploring. This makes her sad and being the loving idiot that I am I joined her in playing hooky and spent the day eating, watching TV, and talking.
So now who am I?
Honesty truly is best. I've never regretted telling the truth. I have regretted delaying it, and obviously one always regrets a lie.
So the tall blonde who never lets anyone in yet somehow let me in is now struggling with the facts of my life and how she cannot fit into it as she desires to. My life has changed, of course, because of this. But it hasn't change enough, and will not, not for awhile yet.
Why is it I never have quick meaningless relationships? Everyone who appears in my life turns out to be something special, someone important.
I learned forgiveness when Girish killed my mate to stop a sneeze.
We were to storm the sleepy garrison an hour past midnight, and had snuck within talking distance of the well-gate, silent as cats. Any sound would betray us.
Mrilish drew a breath. A beetle had found his nose and a sneeze was building on his face.
Girish thrust a dagger through his throat.
Mrilish and I had bound our lives in oaths! I drew my knife.
But men were going to die. A sneeze now would kill many more.
I buried my rage and, tearfully, forgave Girish.
Last night's was the second Burning Man Decompression party so far. Looks like I'll be going to four all told. I'm thinking it would do me good to pursue a project of writing about them. San Francisco, then Reno (which was more fun), then next week's in the foothills, and finally our own after Halloween.
What a season. Basically five major outdoor costume events in five successive weekends. And though I was never a dress-up-to-party kind of guy, I have to admit it's a freaking blast. Not a fucking blast. A freaking blast.
Leaves me melancholy, however.
Maybe I won't write about the Decoms. It's a good writing project but I seem to have run out of time for writing projects.
My oldest friend suggests I forget having girlfriends completely for awhile. However, I didn't leave the marriage to be celibate. Rather the opposite.
I have an ultimatum for myself, and for her: Clarify what I need and see what she decides to do. At the very minimum she must accept my relationship with you. Embrace it as she embraces me. That may be a tall order, but her acceptance of me may be the missing piece.
The CEO is on internal global video talking about our record-breaking quarter and taking questions. The company is making more money than ever, and that's saying something, because it's always done well. To be doing well in the current environment is particularly interesting.
I can't help but contrast this experience with the general hatred of corporations that has become fashionable during this heyday of the OWS movement. The contrast tells me that people are angry and aren't sure who to be angry at, so they're choosing the easy targets. The real culprits, however, are the Democrats and the Republicans.
NaNoWriMo looms. I am intimidated. Not by the prospect of attempting 50,000 words in 30 days. By the prospect of attempting it while leading this particularly busy life. Apart from my demanding job, my bed-ridden father needs my help, I've a new gal pal wanting company, I need a costume for Halloween, and I want to build up my electrically-motivated piece of mobile desert furniture for the big party.
So, what the hell, do it anyway, right?
The real point is that I need to hold on to owning control of my time.
How silent are Huge Chavez' apologists on this day of Qaddafi's death!
"They assassinated him. It is another outrage," said he. "We shall remember Gaddafi our whole lives as a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr."
Qaddafi was in fact those latter three. He beats Hitler, who was never a fighter, and Hussein, who was no martyr. He was also a petty dictator and a murderous thug, and it is only the relatively peaceful nature of Latin American versus Arab culture that prevent Chavez from equaling him.
Of course, populism leads to tyranny, and all tyrants do
The suburban homeless fascinate me. They are a very different crowd than what you find near the soup kitchens.
By the roadway this morning, there walked an attractive woman in her forties, wearing a parka and boots and a bright hand-dyed skirt, carrying a sleeping bag up from the riverbank.
True, she might only have been down there to accompany a husband who's among the salmon fishermen. But she looked well-weathered, and unhurried, and it was just sunrise. Her face was a model of serenity.
I want to know their stories. Failing that, I could probably invent some.
What is companionship anyway? I found a friend who's not my type physically nor has many of the same interests. But she is smart and caring and likes me a lot, and let's face it, I am starved for sexual variety, in terms of body-types if not activities. But I trap myself with doubts and fears. My biggest fear? Hurting her. Second fear? Losing her before she is fully explored. These fears keep me in place, "limited" to two girlfriends, i.e. you, and one local; and my mental gears turn and churn on what I should really do.
Odd how the world can change so radically as a function of something so ephemeral as my mood. My mood is subject in turn to the day's accumulation of events, many of which seem fairly random.
I feel I am failing to communicate what sort of relationship I think I need, and this creates a block to everything else.
My ex got in trouble with the family of another man, who misunderstood her attempt to commiserate, and they nearly threatened her.
It's hot out and I don' WANNA change the oil but I gots to.
One step at a time.
Not sure it needs explaining, but if it did, I'm not sure I could explain it.
I love local history.
I love knowing where the old train station was, or what cut on the hillside is the remains of an old train line, or what some old building was used for three generations ago. I love hearing what the broad boulevard looked like when it was a gravel road. I love knowing that there was once a town where my office building now stands, complete with graveyard.
I love knowing that some folks can still claim Nisenan and Maidu ancestry.
My father again lies in hospital from renal failure. He says he hadn't been drinking enough water. Of course not, that thickened water is like wet starch. But now they give him a much better thickener, and with ice. My comment to the doctor will be that if they'd been giving him that before, he wouldn't now be in hospital.
Another doc said he should be in close contact with a group that shepherds one through "the dying experience." He doesn't think that's very far off. His voice tightened a little, but I'm heartened by his matter-of-fact tone.
Strangely at odds. Nothing anchors me. The recent girlfriend: meh, and feeling guilty about it. Halloween, Decom, big parties I look forward to for months out of the year: meh. Costumes, my machine, installing lights: meh. NaNoWriMo: meh; and while others prep with plotting, I vaguely consider concepts, no interest in story. Am not organizing house, am not working on truck. Facebook and blog posts and comments are meaningless brief distractions. Didn't want to go to gym; went; was sort of a drag on everyone.
Dad faces possible death, I can't reach doctors ... Grudgingly I admit: maybe there's a connection.
NaNoWriMo seems so self-indulgent.
Everything Burning Man seems self-indulgent.
Even dating, should I ever figure out how, seems self-indulgent at this time. I suspect however that my sanity requires I stay in the game a bit.
But Father needs me as a partner transitioning through the final stages of his long life.
And Wife needs me to be her friend and advocate in the face of loneliness and overwork.
And Sons need me to actively and constructively engage with them and help them sustain their difficult upward trajectories.
You are not my self-indulgence. Rather, my goddess!
The engineering staff went up into the rolling oak-strewn foothills for a late lunch and to try the product of a couple wineries. Meanwhile doctors and social workers were leaving me voicemails I couldn't pick up for the spotty service.
When I got back I talked to one and learned my father needs to be situated post-hospital, and in the couple months of life he may have left, wants to finish a couple major projects. Housing and care will cost lots of money he'd rather leave behind. Say to me, only I'll only get about 20%, so whatever.
Deep in a blue funk, I was ready for my cocoon when M texted me to go karaoke with her friends. I realized I needed that. Such a diverse urban/suburban dive bar! Young people. About half in costume.
Now, noonish, I am not hurrying to go down and talk to Dad. But we must speak of death, and of money, of what he really wants to do from here on out and how soon out is anyway. I cannot take any weekdays off to go manage this, not this week. I will try to keep the next changes simple.
I'm captivated by good writing, and I am finally learning not to waste too much of my time reading bad writing. This is why I don't regret missing out on most bestsellers. Whenever I start one, more often than not they are badly written.
But I am not (yet) spending my time developing my craft. I've let too much else into my life. And if the choice is necessary, I'd rather live an interesting life than write an interesting book.
So, I should embrace managing Dad's end of life, rather than grouse. Life is most enriching where it is unintended.
Inside I am still the child who was ignored and inadvertently taught he has no value. I shy away from people because I know in my heart they cannot be interested in me.
As an adult, I know a lot of people like me. They show me, they tell me. But I don't know why they would. When they say, "It's good to see you," I just say, "Yeah."
I don't mean, "Yeah, it is good to see me."
I mean that I'm in shock they would say that, and am awkwardly struggling to come up with a similar lie.
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