Wednesday, November 30, 2011
After getting home, I avoided the computer, the television, my music, chores and new books and laid down to rest. I ended up waking up at 6:30 pm and realized that tonight was our guy's group at Greg's place, so texted him to see if it was still a go. He shouted back fast, so I threw on a sweater and some jeans and headed into the city. He has this amazing loft in the River Market that commands some spectacular views of the river as well as the skyline.
I arrived just a 'lil late and decided to sit outside the group on the floor and merely listen. That of course didn't go well with everyone so Greg grabbed another chair from his bedroom and insisted I sit with everyone. I kind of was comfy against the wall observing but I went ahead and complied, knowing it was important to him and the others.. This is a group of 10-15 guys from my church that get together once a week to download life and share what is filling our days, heads and hearts. Many of my close friends were there, but there are also others I am just slowly getting to know, so it always makes for a good crowd and discussion over coffee, some snacks and good music.
So I just listened. I didn't participate, merely sat there and heard what others had to say this week and to be honest. I enjoyed myself. This is certainly a very diverse and unusual group of guys from all walks of life and backgrounds. One guy writes amazing poetry and shares it. Some of the guys play music and sing. One by one, they all share what is in their hearts and mind this day. It is a really neat way of bonding and building community that really doesn't happen much these days outside of a bar with copious amounts of alcohol to lower our inhibitions enough to be authentic. Now granted, it's not some sappy bromance love fest either, but it is good for all of us and for our souls as men.
I slipped out at the end and checked in with a friend from the Navy. Been helping him work on his Wrangler and were planning on going shooting at the range this Friday on my day off. We both have some new toys we have been itching to try and I know it's going to be a good day. It is going to be packed for sure. Meetings with two different friends, finding time to enjoy myself and then blow off some steam at the range. Shaping up as a good day off indeed.
Driving home tonight, I had a lot on my mind and decided to come home and write for a bit. Nothing really weighing me down but I have realized that I cannot escape faith. In fact, in letting go of many of the things I have been taught my whole life, I am actually finding belief growing stronger. Strange, that.
So now I am eating a late dinner, catching up on news and friends and generally winding down my day. Nothing huge to report. It is 11 pm and all is well. I hope that you can say the same.
PS: That watch is a Nixon 51-30 that I have been dating for almost a year now. I might just have to pull the trigger and buy myself an early Christmas gift tomorrow. I freaking love that thing!
Monday, November 28, 2011
I awoke this morning to the dogs gleefully pouncing on Michael and I...at 5 am. So much for sleeping in on my day off. I padded around the house, making coffee, doing little start of the day tasks and waited for him to roll out of bed. After about 15 minutes it was apparent he was having a rough go at waking up, so I crawled back under the covers and just cuddled him for a bit until his eyes opened and he was ready to join the waking world. I sent him off to the shower as he was going into the office today.
I got his bag together for the day, made sure he had everything he needed and kissed him goodbye and watched as he backed out of the garage and started his commute. Is this a taste of what marriage could be like? Simply sharing life, each day, as it comes in simplicity? Knowing the space and time we have for each other is ours and only worth sharing with others in small bits and pieces?
I took my shower, shaved and buzzed my hair. It had begun to get a little shaggy, at least by my standards and I am ready to break out all my winter hats and beanies, so it was high time for a trim. Not a lot of things feel better than a new hair cut, except maybe for cleaning my ears with a Q-Tip. Now that is some human pleasure right there!
My face is a little bit chapped and stubble burned from making out last night. For some reason, we can turn into two horny teenagers at the drop of a hat. A Sunday night spent snuggled on the couch watching a movie was just the thing we needed after a long hard work week. I put in 7 days in a row and he had worked at least 48 hours as well. Time we spend in tends to be even better than going out to see and be seen. Plus I can steal kisses anytime I want without worry, not that I let others change how I show my love, but one does have to be a bit mindful, even in this amazing city.
The wonderful evening was a bit marred as we returned to our car and a SUV decided to slow down and yell "Fucking Faggots!" at us, then sped up and drove away. This upset him a lot, but I simply pulled him closer and kept talking quietly as if nothing had happened, all the while keeping an eye on those around us and the departing SUV. I am protective of him and will never let any harm come to him. I wish I could shield him from the hate and aggression that so many chose to express at us and I feel only pity for those who let what others have taught them rule so much of their hearts and minds.
I cannot help but hear in my head those words..."Love one another."
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The ginormous turkey is thawing and my fridge is quickly filling up with all the things that I will be putting together for our family dinner on Thursday. I do get excited about these things! Great news also that my little sister will be coming back from Peru a month early and will arrive on Thanksgiving Day just in time to be with us all! Pretty stoked about that, even though her and I don't always see eye to eye.
Looks like were going to have a full house and I will still be working that morning before returning home to cook up a storm. Michael is getting a bit nervous about going over to my parents for the huge family and friends thing but I keep telling him it will be fine! Over the years my family has always welcomed everyone who ends up with us on the holidays though this will be super special due to him being my other. I have several other friends who will be joining us and I just hope he calms down and can enjoy himself. I know once he gets there he will chill out. My family has that calming effect on people.
Going into work a bit early to take care of some logistical things and get ready for my day in a leisurely fashion. Had to fire one of my kitchen boys yesterday but it was a long time coming. Wish I had more thoughtful things to say at the moment but my brain still isn't quite on. Missed the guys dinner last night but was way too tired to get back out after having been up since 2 am yesterday. Tomorrow is the big day and it will be long! Work, cook, eat, visit and then to the Plaza to watch the lighting ceremony and usher in this holiday season.
I will be back later to hopefully write about the people and things in my life I am thankful for. Hope you are all well.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I stretched hard and rolled out of bed up a short time ago and padded through the house as my brain booted up. I woke up today to the first true weekend off in over five months. A whole Saturday and Sunday to call my own, almost like a normal person. A south wind is blowing warmer air and the sun was already up. Kind of strange for a person for whom days start at three in the morning.
Coffee is brewing and music beckons me to a place where I felt compelled to write. As I sat in my sun room and considered the day, the quote I opened with rose to the surface of my mind.
"He who loves least controls the relationship."
Yesterday after work, I came home, did the weekend chores of laundry and house cleaning and spent some time getting ready to spend these two days with Michael. He gave me a call when he got off work and I headed over in a clean car, all scrubbed and polished for dinner and night out. A bit of a rarity lately, due to our working and life schedules.
I arrived at his house to find him brushing his teeth in the living room and the dogs bouncing all over the place in their excitement to see me. Those little girls have slowly worked their way into my heart and time spent with them is always fantastic. Kirby and Fallon; our own little family, if you will.
He had an errand to run and we headed over to the local hardware store to buy a new cut glass globe for the ceiling fan on his porch. After he carefully decided on one we then turned our thoughts to dinner. Between Mexican food or Chinese we finally settled on headed to the Plaza to one of our favorite Chinese spots. A new men's clothing store had opened, so we spent a bit of time browsing the new collections before deciding that none of this stuff was too our liking and tastes but we did have a good time checking out all the other hot guys there browsing and shopping as we were. :)
Our curiosity sated, we walked arm and arm to our restaurant and decided to pause in the lounge for a drink before we were sat at our favorite table. We paused and talked with strangers and generally just enjoyed each others company. Whether raking leaves, taking a road trip, snuggling on the couch, or wandering around the city, the best part of it all is just being together. He is my sunshine. When we are together, everything is better. I may falter at times but one glimpse of that smile or touch and I know all is right with the world, even for a bit.
After a cocktail, we were sat and ordered our appetizers and spent some time people watching. Our usual table is this ginormous circle booth that could seat 8 that sits on a slightly raised platform with a great view of the Plaza and the restaurant. I guess it is our own version of a life simple movie and we enjoy just watching others and telling ourselves stories about the people we see. Cody, our server, knows us well enough to attend to everything we need with minimal talk and we had a fantastic dinner.
We decided to go out for a change instead of heading home and dropped by a few new places and enjoyed the music, danced a bit and shared time with friends. He was really talkative last night and I just simply listened and was content to be with him. Where his is, I am happy.
In the midst of it all, I realized, that we were in love and had been for quite some time. Now that idea may seem strange considering our plans and relationship and it was not a revelation to me. It is something I knew and simply looking at our lives would show that fact. We fit and we have since that very first night that we met. There has never been any question about our compatibility and affection for each other. That is not to say we haven't had our own challenges and adventures, but I love this man and he loves me. Together we are greater than the sum of our parts.
And then...while lost in half thought while listening to him ramble about German cars and his desire for a new convertible I realized... I love him so much more and so deeply than he ever can me. I know he loves me. He shows this in all that he does, in every choice and action and is always quick to tell me this in the words I can understand and by his touch and simple gestures, but I love him more.
I told him last night that if I could afford anything in this world he would ever want, I would gladly give it to him, just to see him smile ever the more.
It is not earth shattering. This was no epiphany. It was simply the realization that, I love him more, so much greater than any way that he cares for me. I understand the inequity. There is so much past, experiences and realities on his side of the relationship that I can sympathize with him and his place but never truly understand. For him to give me his heart, after all that he has been through and goes through daily, is nothing short of miraculous. In his position, I would be hard pressed to ever open up and reach out to another guy in my entire life. Yet, he chose me and I him.
I just feel at an odd place. I have always been the initiator and aggressor in my relationships. I have always "felt" in charge or at least been allowed to believe so. But here, in this now, I am being led.
Funny thing though...
I trust him. I love him. I want to spend the rest of his life walking beside him. If that means for once I bend into the will of another then I accept.
It is a safe place. This is a partnership.
Does it really matter who leads at times?
So I leave you with this:
Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heart beat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep. Wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks your just as gorgeous when you wake up with bed head as you are when all polished up. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares for you and how lucky he is to have you...the one who turns to his family and friends and says, "That is him."
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I don't have anything very pressing on my mind this morning, or at least that is how it seems at the moment when my brain has yet to boot up. Had some dinner at Stephen's last night though I wasn't all that hungry. It still was good to see friends from church and talk.
Still fighting a bit of this cold and cough thing. My abs are getting rather sore from it all and the little cough seems like a chirping refrain in the soundtrack of my life as of late.
How well do we truly know these people around us that we call family and friends? We might have a myriad of facts and information about them that we piece together with their presentation of life and feel that we have a firm grip on their person but as I examine myself from many different angles, internally and externally, I realize how very little those facets add up into a true example of who I am to others.
Motivation. That driving force within and prompts my decisions and actions. The internal monologue so private and visceral, it is rarely even uttered in words thoughts to my own self.
Um...that was some kind of random deep thought? Guess my brain is working up and the thing it is thinking about is transparency and authenticity. Do I have it? Is it healthy or is a certain amount of obscurity and omission ever a good thing for the protection of ourselves and those around us?
I really do not know but I am trying to find out.
I do know exposure and disclosure can suck.
But how else are we to be known and know others?
Friday, November 11, 2011
Some days I walk back into those rooms in my head, the ones I rarely visit and have been kept closed and silent for all these years. I breathe deep the familiar smells and cast my eyes slowly over each memento stored there against hope and then with a resigned sigh, shrug the shoulders of my mind and walk slowly out, pulling the door firmly closed behind me with a resolute and hushed 'snick'.
Walking back down the hall, I cannot help but to think, that if I had someone to go there with me, that I may...just may be able to enter those places one day with the courage to throw back the shrouded curtains and let the streaming sunshine of reality cast its cleansing gleam over innocence lost and dreams shattered. Each piece laid carefully aside. Each thought so carefully gathered and stored, nestled in all my yesterdays.
All those pictures in my head. Faces and places gone now. The wistful tears and unfilled promises. The horrible nights and loneliness. Each pain, hurt and fear slowly swept into polished wooden boxes and placed gently on shelves. So much beauty surrounded by so many instances of loss. Where have they all gone? Who is this boy whose large solemn eyes stare wistfully back into mine? That face forever captured. Rare smiles and quiet nods. Years lost in silence and to books. Head bent over a piano, slender hands and fingers moving slowly, each note capturing what his heart could never bring up out of his chest and to his lips. Hoping, praying, wishing that some one would rescue him, would love him, would want more than the only thing he had to offer.
That boy still lives in those rooms. Shut off from the world. Different ages and times. His eyes and face change with time, but still those brown eyes ask, "Will you love me for me?"
I miss him and so wish I could reach out across that space from the doorway to where he sits staring at the floor and let him know that he is not alone. I will never leave him. I will always love him. When all are gone, I remain.
I am him.
Monday, November 7, 2011
So here I sit, in a pool of nostalgia pondering my latest conversation with my Dad. While it may not always be easy for him to share his feelings with me, the son most like him that he has, each year that has gone by has brought us closer to each other. While he can still infuriate me to no end (and I him, surely) we have found our voices and in the years we have left are taking that walk together where we can relate to each other as men. I have so much I can learn from him, but am also learning that he also gains much from me in our exchanges. We have come a long way from where we were and for that I am forever thankful.
Another song plays, this one the tune that imprinted itself in my head when I graduated from Navy Recruit Training Command. My parents, siblings and boyfriend Chris had made the journey to Chicago to see me Pass In Review and it came on the radio as we were driving back to the base to say our final goodbyes before I shipped out to Submarine School in Groton, CT. It got stuck in my head and heart and held me over on so many lonely and homesick nights when all was dark and I had nothing but the sea to haunt me of days gone by. I wandered the earth for a few years after I got out of the Navy and this song always took me back home, even if but for a moment, I was back in that Suburban with all the people in the world that I loved. It gave me hope that one day, some day, I would see them again.
Strange the things that music can do to us. I find myself just rambling now, but I am okay with that. My mind is just drifting in its own way down the paths of all those years. Place in this world I have been. Faces met, known, loved and forgotten float to the surface. Some names I can grasp, others no more than a familiar smile and they are gone. I told my sister about the song in one of my letters and sure enough, the single showed up one day for me at mail call. Man, all those letters they wrote. Pictures from home. Baking cookies for my whole division at RTC so they would have something home made on such an important day. All the name of guys with no family I would send my Dad and the letters he would write to them and the way their heads would jerk up when they heard their named called out during Mail Call. Man...time just keeps rolling back.
All those years at sea...nothing but my inner thoughts, the open sky and water from horizon to horizon.
I am starting to realize my mileage is not getting lower and time and tide wait for no man.
All this from a couple melodies and words and now it is time to cook dinner. I'll be back.
I always am.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Worked Wed, Thurs, and Fri morning before I finally called 'uncle' last night around ten pm. All my time off work was spent hibernating in bed for ten to eleven hours at a stretch and I can assure you, when I am sick, it is not a pretty sight. I am a grouchy, grumpy, sniffing, coughing, growling, mewling, whining mess of a man. Much better for everyone to stay out of my way and ignore the sick guy.
That being said...I feel about 53.9% better this morning and am able to get around the house without too much soreness and random fits of lung wracking coughing. I must say that the coughing jags make for one hell of an abdominal work out. Maybe someone should look into induced coughing as a possible muscle fitness thing. Now I am just rambling. Sorry. These meds that I am on make for one disassociated sense of being.
Ahem...where was I? Ah, yes. So I have been sick but am recovering. I have taken, took, whatever three days off from work to rest and am doing my dead level best to remain at home regardless of how my mind keeps trying to trick me into running errands or heading to the coffee shop. I feel a bit of cabin fever already but I can deal with that. I want to be at my best before I try anything, otherwise I will never get any better.
I have no idea what they are making and eating on this bizarre show. It looks like some weird sausage made out of marshmallow but they are Asian, so I can't read their lips. Grrr... Nothing in this show makes sense. This cannot be food. I can't watch it anymore!
Tomorrow, I hope to be on my feet to get to my coffee shop (missed it for 4 whole days!), church and then hang out with Michael the rest of his weekend. It has only been a few days and I still miss him so much! I don't want to get him sick but I am feeling selfish, too. I know I wouldn't be fun to hang out with anyway when I am like this. Talking on the phone has had to suffice and he brought me some soup, crackers and 7-Up while I was asleep. He is such a sweetheart.
I guess I will shut up now. I have nothing of value to add. Off to take a hot bath and hit the sack again.