August 6, 2017

When I told me housemate I was rebounded, she told me that sounded too negative. "You're just trying to date and figure out my relationships with men," she said.

Perhaps. I'm not so sure.

I've had some wacky things happen that I haven't shared here.

In March, I volunteered at a Burning Man conference. It was days before starting my new job, and months after diving into grad school as a single mom. I decided my perk for volunteering four days of my time would be getting laid. I didn't worry about the how.

On day three, I managed to sneak away from my station so I could listen to my longtime friend and current CEO of Burning Man speak. We had been encouraged as volunteers to dress in our playa weirdest. That day, I was wearing a green Hello Kitty cheerleading dress from a clothing exchange at American Steel, and I was carrying these cheap green Pom Poms I'd bought in amazon. I sat down near the door so I could sneak back to my station unnoticed. That's when I saw him noticing me.

There were about ten empty seats between us. We looked up and smiled at each other a few times. I got up my nerve, collected my Pom Poms, and walked over to the empty chair next to him. I asked if it was okay if I sat there. He said yes, and then he told me, "I was a cheerleader in high school."
I replied, "So, when most of the guys were at football practice, you got to ride in the bus with all the cheerleaders?"
"Yep," and he gave me a heart melting grin.

We whispered a little during her talk, and when she was through I told him I had to return to work and gave him my card. He found me a little later and asked if we could meet at the party at NIMBY that night.

I found him about an hour after I'd arrived and he said he'd been looking for me. He seemed annoyed. It was a huge party. I was a little surprised he wouldn't shoot the funny hydraulic gun at one of the interactive stations with me, but we flirted and talked and wandered around and then an old friend came up and he wandered off but found me later on the dance floor. The party ended soon after, and my housemate called a lyft. He jumped in with us. We had two conference attendees staying with us. One was asleep; her partner came up and welcomed us home. She told me later he woke her up excitedly, saying, "Absinthia brought a guy home!"

I drove him back to his hotel the next morning, and we met up that night at the closing party. I spent that night at his hotel, and he confessed he'd pocketed my panties that morning. I thought that was hot.

The next morning, he flew home and I started my job.

He texted me a bunch, and I was happily surprised when I realized we were staying in touch. But things got weird fast. I wouldn't hear from him for days on end, and then he'd send me an article on how to be a Power Couple. One night, friends walked in my home for dinner and found me a complete mess. It had been over a week since we talked, and he sent me a message about how he loved me and had been thinking about our kids and living in different states and had no idea how to make it work. I had no idea what to do wth this information when one friend suggested I invite him to the campout the following month. So I did.

He didn't reply.

A few days went by. I emailed him how confusing that was for me, and he told me I was being dramatic. He said he'd love to but had to check his custody. A lot of time went by. Out of the blue one day, he texted me his travel plans. He was coming. The weekend was Friday to Monday, and he was coming Thursday till Tuesday. I told him to come Friday. It weirded me out, I didn't want him to meet my kid, but he changed his plans. I relaxed and got excited.

When he showed up, we had a wonderful drive. We held hands and kissed, stopped for lunch. We talked and laughed. We got the dance floor and had a great time after setting up camp. We had sex but it was a little awkward and quick.

The next morning he jumped out of bed without touching me. We talked about our plans and ideas for the day, made breakfast, that sort of thing. I sensed a weird energy pull from him any time I tried to do something. Being an equal partner is important to me; it felt like he couldn't handle that. By the time we got to the river later that day, he told me, "You're pretty bossy, you know." My heart sank. I told him I was sorry he was feeling that way, and that I had sensed a power struggle earlier. Perhaps we can bring that up and work on it and talk about it when it happens?"

It took a few hours, but by nightfall, he was ignoring me and not making eye contact. Still, he only knew the few people I'd introduced him to around camp. We went to the dance floor and he acted bored until camp mates turned up, and he lit up and hugged each one. I was hurt and confused.

We had some conversations that stopped me in my tracks. He trash talked his ex wife a lot. He started talking about anal sex and how his wife wouldn't do it, how he's longed for someone to fuck him in the ass for a very long time. Okay, maybe we can make that happen. He asked me about several people and whether they were a man or a woman. I replied with the gender they presented and didn't think much of it. He asked, "Are you sure??? Do you really know?"
"Why does it matter?"
"Oh my god because it matters!" He replied.

I will say one interesting conversation we had was about deaths we'd seen. I brought up safe sex, and he was surprised. He'd never heard of anyone he knew with AIDS. I've lost several. He said it was pills and heroin that he'd seen in Salt Lake City. Living in New York, San Francisco, and Oakland, I hadn't seen very much of that. But AIDS, definitely. That disease really affected my life.

He told me about his upbringing and that he was kicked out of the Mormon church when he was 14. Um. That should come first, pal, not in the middle of the mountains with 500 of my closest friends.

The next morning, it was worse. I left camp shortly after breakfast, and didn't return for hours. I just wanted to get away from him. My campmate collected me at dinner time, told me there was food, and she told me that I should try to engage with him. I did. We ate and went to the dance floor, and I saw him disengage with me and act bored. I walked away calmly and put myself to bed.

We left the next morning. I said, "I'd like you to find somewhere else to stay tonight, please."
"Oh, okay. Is there something I said to upset you?"
Wait what? Does he feel everything's fine between us? I asked him that, he said he wasn't sure, and I asked him about the bossy comment. He got very defensive and it was impossible to communicate. I went silent and after he sent a few texts he made arrangements, and I dropped him off at bart after the longest four hour drive ever.

He came around to my side of the car and said, "I'm sorry things didn't go smoothly between us. Thank you for an amazing weekend. I've never been to that part of California and I really enjoyed it. Can I have a hug?"

I gave him a quick hug and drove home, relieved to have him out of my life. Later that night, he texted me all about where he was staying and how it had worked out and signed it Loves!!!

I unfriended him the next morning. By the evening, I saw his name was not bold in my camp mates post tagging him. He'd blocked me.

There it is, out in the open for all its weirdness. It is so hard to be human. I promise to post more weird stories like this as they happen. They seem to happen a lot.

July 28, 2017

I think what people don't realize is that no matter how much they hurt me, I've already been cut deeper and survived.

I wasn't invited to a friend's birthday dinner this evening.
He hasn't called.
My housemate brought home dinner and left mine in a box, while plate-ing theirs and eating it in their room.

It made me feel isolated and hurt. Single. Lonely. I'm single, but I'm not lonely. I ended up at a friends picking something up from her for tomorrow's costume event and having a lot of fun. I spent the rest of the evening home relaxing.

I surprised myself when tears started falling. I miss him terribly. I like this new guy more than I should, and I know he's always going to let me down. I hate it when a bucket with a fuck in it appears in my hand. I need to remember my faith in the future. Someone new will come along and shake things up, and I'll wonder why I was hung up on a known disappointment. But right now I care and it hurts.

It's just a small hurt, though. I can handle it. I've lived through the last year and the four years before that, and this is not even a thing.

No man will ever hurt me again like that. I can't say for certain that's the worst thing that will ever happen to me; I can say that I've survived it. I have so much to do here, and I'll keep on surviving.

Oops, there goes that bucket of fucks.

July 17, 2017

Hi. It’s been a while. 

It’s been over a year since I started this. Am I still the hot grieving MILF?

Of course I am. Somewhere in my heart, as long as it keeps beating, I always will be. 

Some days it feels like I’m fighting to stay off the antidepressants. 5htp, l-tryptophan, staying away from things like alcohol and too much indica. Some days it feels like that and a well of inner strength, source unknown, are the only way I can stay off the anti depressants. Keeping myself going at a breakneck pace with work and school and kids and dating. 

Not today. Today was a good day. 

I miss having a partner, one who doesn’t play games, who rolls with the punches. Mature, kind, understanding, and, just as importantly, whip smart and ridiculous amounts of fun. 
For now, the dating is okay. It’s entertaining me, and it’s filling some needs but not all needs. I’ve realized I’m 46 years old and terrified of commitment. Terrified they won’t be alive the next time I want to see them. I don’t trust life. I don’t particularly trust death, either. 

Truth is I enjoy it. I’m good at it, dating. Sometimes it blows up in my face. I keep one around too long, a month instead of leaving them behind at the conference, and they say:
“You’re bossy.”

Um, single mom, triple entrepreneur, MBA student. HA! Yeah, and?

Sometimes I am surprised one comes back for me, and I handle the first sign of bad behavior head on. I receive a sincere apology, and I hear:

“I can’t play with fire as hot as you and not listen.”

That’s one of the hottest things I’ve ever been told. I have a secret box with love letters, dirty notes on cocktail napkins, and cards that arrived with bouquets of flowers. I guess I’ll have to print this one off my phone. 

Sometimes I call an old friend with high status and ask for a favor and receive an enormous gift. One that opens doors and warms my heart immensely. 

My marketing presentation was very well received. My personal book project was given the green light tonight. 

I’m alive. I’m living. I’m on fire. 

June 21, 2017

A reason, a season, a lifetime, and the gift economy

Reason, Season, Lifetime. Anonymous

I met a man recently. No, not like that. Well, actually a little like that. Exactly like that. And this beautiful poem that first moved me years ago came to mind. Actually, it’s been on my mind for a while now. 
It’s coming up on single digits. The days till its been one year since Rupert died. He was both a reason and a season in my life. I think the two are similar, most are both and some are just one. He taught me so much about love and self worth. He raised the bar. And then instead of the future we were planning together, he died. 

The man I met earlier this week was a reason. We spent 15 hours together. We peeled back a few layers. There’s so many more that never will be. There’s no season for us, just the reason. 

He was stunning. Tall, lanky, strong face, charming smile, and twinkly dark grey-green eyes. A great conversationalist and a great listener. With a French accent and name to boot. 

I was the first person he’s ever met who’s been to Burning Man, which seems amazing for a world traveler from Montreal. But there it is. And he wanted to learn from me. I became his link to this thing, this event he’d heard of that he doesn’t know how to get to. “Just buy a ticket and get on a plane,” I told him. He replied with a big, sexy grin and repeated my words. 

I told him how I found Burning Man. “My undergrad is in photography, and I was a color darkroom printer.” 

“Useful job now,” he teased. 

“Ha! Yes, true. It was October 1994, and I was in San Francisco at a color darkroom rental facility. I’d moved from New York City nine months earlier.”

“That’s enough time for gestation,” he pointed out. I thought that was an interesting perspective and told him so. 

“A woman also using the darkrooms printed a picture of a man covered in mud on a giant desert. I introduced myself and said I would like her to take me to the next one. She laughed and the following August, 1995, she took me to my first Burning Man. I turned 25 at the event, and stayed an extra four days to help clean up because I couldn’t leave. I was home.”

I explained how hard it was to find your camp before there were roads, with 2,499 other people camped together and burning a beautiful wooden man at the end of the week. I described Pepe’s linghams and operas, and laughed while I described the embarrassing way I learned the meaning of the word lingham. We watched a video of the Temple of Wholyness burn over cocktails, and I described the somber quiet of that burn as compared to the frenzy of Burn Night. 

He listened to all if it, absorbing it, asking a question here and there. It was when I started talking about the gift economy that he stopped me. He had never heard of the concept and needed it explained. He needed examples. He really wanted to understand this aspect of the event. Of all the aspects of Burning Man that I described, it blew me away that what he latched on to was the gift economy. Later, because I wanted to gift him and because it felt like a great way to demonstrate he gift economy, I gifted him a key fob made by my dear friend Beveler. 


This man passing through town, dropping in to my life for a moment, gave me the opportunity to give a tremendous gift. I was able to teach someone who travels the world about the gift economy. In all his worldly travels, this was his first experience with it. Before this, he knew how to barter and buy. I am so grateful for the experience. I am so grateful that I was shown what a unique city I live in for a short time each year, but that I’ve been able to carry the economy of Black Rock City with me every day since I turned 25. 

Later that day, I saw my friend John Halcyon in a video he had made about the gift economy, and how important it is to avoid paying for labor at Burning Man. If you have to pay for it, scale it back, he said. An important message for all of us to remember. Because as I was shown earlier this week, the gift economy is a treasure worth fighting for. 

I love watching life for its lessons. It’s a hard place to live, this human existence in  21st century America. If you watch for it, though, the magic is there. The connections, the lessons, the synchronicity, the gifts. 

Who in your life is a reason, a season, or a lifetime?

April 17, 2017

A friend asked me to read this with her. Wow can we talk about mixed emotions here? I’m excited to grow and learn and gain wisdom from this highly recommended book, and yet the reason I’m single is because of a motorcycle accident. I know how to love deeply beyond “the Games of Seduction.” I had it and he died. 

I believe someday it will all make sense somehow. 

April 7, 2017

Previously, I’ve been devastated because he’s gone. Tonight, I’m devastated because I’m moving on.

It was supposed to be this faery book romance. Instead, I’m moving on. 

Rupert and Absinthia took us both by surprise. We were friend zoned when we were teenagers because I was dating one of his housemates. Flash forward 20 some odd years and a drunken hook up after the Dead reunion tour – our first Show together since ’89. We fell in love. And then he died. 

Nine months later, I find myself grieving again. It’s been building over the last week or two, I can see that. And here it is. Emo music, tequila, tears, and all. This wave is different though. I’m not devastated because he’s gone, I’m devastated because I’m moving on. I’m moving on and I’m starting to see that clearly. Knowing that makes me ache. Its breaking my heart. 

I’ve had three lovers since he died. Beautiful people, inside and out. They have been one right after the other, short term but, strangely, serial monogamy. Brief and intense. Just days between each. Sudden, intense connections with limited face to face interactions. Two long distance, the other a bridge between. The ends of each have lingered with tangled emotions, with one deliciously continuing on from afar. It’s like I’ve lived years in the last nine months. I feel myself moving on after Rupert, and it feels right and wrong and I don’t want to be but I am and I need to. I have to! It’s important. Rupert is dead. He crashed his motorcycle. He’s not coming back. It hurts to be getting over him. It hurts more then any things ever hurt in my life. And yet, I’m doing it. Three lovers. That counts as moving on. 

I would like to find a way to take something positive from this. I don’t want to be hardened and unable to allow myself to make a connection with another man. This lifetime is teaching me male loss. Why is there so much male loss in my life? I don’t know how much more I can handle before I rid myself of the lot of them. Men. Fucking assholes. Too bad I really, really love men. Tall little boys, taught to be serious and to win, with their easily awakened silly sides, unsure of women and themselves and arrogant and entitled all at once. Not to mention their smell…mmm. Sorry, where was I? Right. 

Throughout my life, I’ve experienced father  abandonment repeatedly, divorce (my choice so that seems really different), the deaths of Alexius Stephen Rupert. My two gay husbands and my lover. Partner. Boyfriend. Late boyfriend. Men I never wanted to say goodbye to. Is it a wonder why it’s so much easier to say I love you and feel love with my female friends? Do I hold men at a distance because of this? Have I? Am I now? Will I, in the future?
That’s not who I want to be, walking away from this tragedy. I am moving on. I can choose how I will be. 

I choose connection. I choose love. I’m not going to be rash, but I’m not going to hold back. I do it in an invisible way, the holding back. You can’t see it but you can feel it. I’ll be open, and I’ll listen so much better than I talk. 

That’s where my work begins. 

December 22, 2016

You will find that it is necessary to let things go: simply for the reason that they are heavy

Just a few more days left to this very hard year. The calendar year is meaningless until it allows a psychic break from a life phase. I’m ready to put this year behind me. 

It occurred to me earlier today that my grief has split in two. One part is grieving the loss of our relationship, and the other is the loss of my friend. The loss of my friend may never stop hurting. I know I continue to hurt for other friends I’ve lost. It doesn’t hurt all the time, but it remains with me always. 

I’m traveling to visit my long distance lover in Australia in just a few days. We met through Rupert’s brother just two months after his death. I’ve had guilt. I’ve kept going anyway. What’s helped the most has been talking about the grief with friends. I don’t do much without my committee these days, and I’m blessed to have a strong group of friends around me.  I’ve been advised to face the guilt head on and to give it a voice. Let it be heard, acknowledge it, thank it, and let it go. It left this week. The night before I left town, I texted a friend, “I have guilt.” “Don’t. You deserve some fun!! You’ve been through hell.” It was the right words at the right time. 

I’ve let the guilt go. 

I’ve spent the last few days at my parent’s vacation home. Rupert and I celebrated New Year’s Eve here one year ago. I haven’t been as triggered as I expected, and I have done some deep thinking and processing. I went through a divorce and, a few years later, I thought I’d found a wonderful relationship to last me through many years. It ended suddenly when he died a year and a week later. I’ve experienced the loss of a “forever” relationship before, more than once. I believe I’ve moved through so much of my grief that I can now differentiate between the end of our relationship and the death of my friend. I can handle the end of a relationship. I’ve done it before and I’ll likely do it again. 

I’ve let the relationship go. 

Now I just miss my friend. Just. HA! Like Bill and Alexius and Stephen and Paul, Rupert made a mark on me. He’ll be in my heart forever. It’s okay to move forward with him in my heart, knowing the relationship and the guilt are too heavy to carry; I’ve let them go.