Decisions, Decisions (Who Needs Decisions)

Yesterday was the first of two whole (and I use that term loosely) days this week I get to spend with she, who has previously been known as “Eve”, but is now to be known as “Her Royal Awesomeness”.  We will be spending Friday together at The Tech Museum, in San Jose, however due to another familial obligation Her Royal Awesomeness will have to cut the day short at dinner time.

We had big plans, which, to quote Her Royal Awesomeness, “consisted of lots of eating and indecision”  HRA and I are, the two least decisive individuals known to man, which makes us either the perfect pair who enjoy spending hours on end together, or two people who waste an inordinate amount of time trying to figure the other one out… I prefer the first answer.

It’s been raining – I was going to say, “raining up a storm” but I guess that’s a bit redundant – here in Northern California and my 40+ mile drive from my house in Oakland to Her Royal Awesomeness’s Grandparents house in San Jose, took a little longer than usual due to the worsened conditions.

I arrived in one piece and we headed out for our strategically planned day.  I asked her, “So!  What do you want to do?”

“I don’t know.  What do you want to do?”

See?  Now that’s what I call Strategery!  We have not an original bone between us and we did the same thing we almost always do:  lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, shopping at Target, wandering aimlessly around the mall, and a movie (He’s Just Not that Into You.)  Mostly it’s just about spending time together and getting to talk.  Something that doesn’t happen nearly enough for my taste.

By the time I was driving home, at 10:00 at night, the rain was coming down in buckets.  I drove home, wipers at full blast, eye’s wide open and knuckles white with tension.  Highway 880 isn’t the best lit (or striped) highway in the bay area and with the rain and the dark the drive was pretty tense.  I pulled into my garage and pried my fingers loose from the  steering wheel.

But you know what?  I’d do it all over again without a moments hesitation.  That’s how important this friend is to me.

So what about you?  What torment have you put yourself through for the sake of a friend?  Would you do it again?

Better Left Forgotten

Today is an anniversary of sorts. Not one that I’m proud of by any means, but one that is somehow unavoidable and unforgettable.

Five years ago this morning, I walked into my managers office, very nervous about what was going to come of our conversation.

The previous Saturday, Green M&M and I had gone to a club in San Francisco to meet up with some friends. There was some sort of event that was supposed to be happening there. I can’t remember the name of the club now but it was some sort of arctic theme which was tremendously ironic to me, because it was hotter than hell in there. Green and I had a couple drinks while we surveyed the crowd trying to find the group of people who were supposed to be meeting there. Forty-five minutes later, when we still hadn’t found anyone we knew, we decided to bail and go to another club we knew of that was likely to be less crowded and not so hot.

We spent four hours at the other club, closing the place down and then it was time to go home. When it was time to go, I did something, for which I remain completely ashamed and disgusted with myself and would give anything to undo.

The club was in San Francisco and Green M&M and I lived in Richmond, California, roughly 20 miles drive. The club was also in the South of Market (SoMa)/Mission Districts and while not a terribly frightening place to be, it was not a place I felt great about leaving my car over night, either. Plus a cab ride home would have cost a considerable amount of money.

I believed that I was fine to drive home and opted not to leave my car behind to be vandalized and broken into. At first it was no big deal. I used to subscribe to the old, “I drive better when I’ve been drinking” philosophy. I now know that the only reason why anyone can say that is because they know they’ve drunk more than they should and they’re afraid, and therefore are far more focused and “present” while behind the wheel… Sometimes.

The problem was, that as I was driving on the highway, and across the Bay Bridge I became increasingly drowsy and was having difficulty staying awake. I was on the bridge though and had no way of pulling over or exiting the highway. And then, for just the briefest of moments, I fell asleep. Fortunately, I was driving in the far left lane of the one way bridge and my car drifted to the left until my wheels hit the curb shocking me back to awareness and causing a surge of adrenaline that woke me up. Sadly, it’s likely that, had there not been any intervention, I probably really could have made it the rest of the way home safely on the adrenaline that was coursing through my veins.

Fortunately, there was intervention. The ruckus that was caused when I drifted into the curb was enough to attract the attention of the highway patrolman that I had passed a few minutes earlier and when I looked up again there were flashing lights behind me.

I was asked a number of questions I couldn’t possibly repeat. I did the “usual” tests. I’m not sure that I failed most of the tests. I never have been able to walk in a straight line, even when stone sober. No one can say the alphabet backwards. But I had no problem touching my nose. After going through all that I was given a breathalyzer test (which I kinda thought they shoulda done first). I blew a BAC of .18 (later lowered to .17 by a blood test) and was hauled off to jail.

I spent five and one half hours in a jail cell before being released “on my own recognizance” on the streets of downtown Oakland, without my wallet or cell phone, both of which went home with Green M&M who was not driving and therefore not arrested. I had to call Green from a pay phone and waited inside the front door of a local movie theater for her to pick me up.

The following Monday morning, I told Douche Bag as little as I had to and still feel like I was being honest. I had no idea what the outcome of the situation was going to be. I didn’t know if it was grounds for termination, but I knew it would be worse for me if he found out some other way. I also, didn’t know what was going to happen with me legally. I was terrified I was going to go to jail.

I didn’t lose my job (dammit) and I didn’t go to jail. I’m tempted to say that everything turned out alright but that’s taking things too lightly. This was a trying and difficult time for me and it has definitely not been worth it.

When I appeared for my court date, I was sentenced to “2 days in jail with time served.” The 5 hours I spent in jail after being arrested counted as one day. The second day was commuted to Community Service, which amounted to six hours on a municipal work crew. I had to pay a $1750.00 fine. And my automobile insurance skyrocketed. Before the DUI, I had an impeccable driving record. I had the very best rating possible with my insurance company, “E”, and after the DUI my insurance rating was “7”, the absolute worst rating. Every July, my record is reviewed by the underwriters and every year that I have no additional blemishes on my record that number decreases. Currently, my rating is “3”. Thankfully, my insurance has gotten far less expensive, but the blow to my pocketbook at the time was substantial.

Five years is a long time, and much of the time, it has felt as though the DUI was a lifetime ago. I’ve become accustomed to the insurance rates, and am only grateful when my rates go down each year. I have done my community service. I have paid my fine. Until last year when I applied to be a Big Brother, I had mostly put it out of my mind. Big Brothers and Big Sisters requires that you not have had a DUI within the last five years, and only have had one in your life. That’s when I did the math and realized it had only been four years.

So today, it is with mixed feelings, that I tick off the five year anniversary since my DUI. I’ll be paying for the damage to my record, by way of my increased car insurance premiums for three more years, but as I stated, I’m accustomed to that. Otherwise, I can finally put this thing behind me. There’s nothing left to stand in my way. I’ve learned my lesson. I know better than to take the risk. I’m glad it’s over.

Maybe now this anniversary can be forgotten after all.

There Was Vengeance in their Eyes as their Voices Pierced the Silence, The City Smelled of Chaos and the News Reported Riot (Riot Riot Riot!)

I have started to write this post a few times now, but every time I deleted it, unpublished because I thought, “I am not qualified to comment on these events.”  Somehow, today, I feel compelled to comment for just that reason.  I am not qualified.  And more than likely, neither are you.  And most assuredly, They were not.

I’m referring to the riots that occurred last Wednesday, in Oakland, CA, in response to the fatal shooting of a man, which took place in the very early hours of New Year’s Day, on the platform of the Fruitvale BART station.  I’m not qualified to comment on these events because I wasn’t there.  I didn’t see what happened first hand, in fact I’ve only seen one grainy cell phone video.  I haven’t gone through any kind of police training.  I’m not qualified to comment.

Here’s what I do know from news reports and media coverage.  The victim and several other “men” were riding BART home after celebrating New Year’s Eve in San Francisco when an argument erupted on the train.  One eye witness account I read said, “There was a lot of verbal arguing, jockeying between the two groups of men.”  BART Police removed the men from the train (as they should do) to deal with the situation.  The video I saw had no audio, but it shows three or four young men “cuffed” and sitting on the floor on the edge of the platform.  Despite being cuffed they still are seen being physically confrontational and do appear to be speaking vehemently to the officers.  And at some point, one of the men, Oscar Grant, was lying face down on the platform and one of the officers shot him, in the back at close range.

What I know is, this is a terrible thing.  It’s tragic for Mr. Grant’s family, for his young daughter who will grow up without a father.  It is also, very likely, tragic for the officer who shot him, who by witness’s accounts was visibly shaken after the fact.  If, as I think is likely, this shooting was an accident, the officer will have to live with the guilt of having taken another man’s life, for the rest of his existence.  And if it was not an accident, he’ll have to live with the shame as well.

What I know is, there are investigations underway.  BART is conducting an investigation as is the Alameda County District Attorney’s office.

What I know is, you never comment on an on-going investigation.

What I know is, demonstrating and protesting and least of all, rioting, will not bring Mr. Grant back to life.

I have observed in the days since the riots that just about everyone has something to say, some sort of an opinion on the subject.  Many of the people have had considerable anger and contempt in their voices as they make their opinions known, as if somehow these events have been a personal affront to them, some kind of personal attack on their lives and their families.  I find this vitriol suspect.  I find it unreasonable and unwarranted.

I am just as saddened as the next person by the events that took place on the platform that night.  And I want justice to be served, just as much as the next guy.  I guess the difference is, I am mature enough, to admit that at this moment, I do not know what justice would be.  I may never know what justice would be.  I admit to my ignorance, and knowing I have such ignorance on the subject, I leave it in the hands of the legal officials to determine what should happen next.

I believe that there was a lot going on that night.  I know that there was stuff happening before the one grainy cell phone video began that no one will ever know about.  I find it easy to believe that Mr. Grant and his friends were being disruptive and difficult.  And I believe that there are any number of explanations as to what happened and why.  I do not suggest that it is OK.  I do not suggest that the whole thing be swept under the rug and forgotten about, but I do not think it is up to the general public to make a determination about what did happen that night, or what should happen next.

And so, when I heard about the rioting that happened, I can’t help but question (and yes, maybe judge).  What was the point?  What did you hope to accomplish?  What DID you accomplish?  Now that you’ve done this, how are you any better than the boys on the train that night or the cop who shot one of them?

What was the point? Can anyone actually answer this?  The event started out as a “Peaceful Protest” at the BART station where the shooting took place.  Certainly a “Peaceful Protest” is better than an all out riot, but really, what was it going to accomplish?  Unfortunately, the man is dead and your “Peaceful Protest” isn’t going to bring him back.  Unsvelt Girl Who Runs told me, “They were protesting the way the investigation is being handled.”  OK, so now we, the random citizens of the city know better than the legal officials how this thing should be handled?  I think not.  If I knew so much on that subject, I’d be in that job.  What was the point?

What did you hope to accomplish? Did you expect to have an impact on the investigation?  Did you expect there to be a change in the circumstances because you waved a sign?  Was anyone even listening?  Whether you were part of a “Peaceful Protest” or part of the rioters, their is only one reason that I can come up with for the event, to attempt to turn the tide on this investigation.  To try and bully or intimidate someone, somewhere into doing more to the officer who pulled the trigger than “investigate”.  There is a word that is used to refer to people who try to use fear and intimidation to get what they want.  We call them Terrorists, and each and every one of you who participated in the events of last Wednesday night are just that.  Terrorists.  So again I ask, what did you hope to accomplish?

What DID you accomplish? You clearly didn’t intimidate anyone…  Not anyone who can get you what you want anyway.  You probably intimidated the people whose cars you set on fire.  You probably intimidated the business owners of whose shops and restaurants you smashed the windows.  I don’t really imagine those people can further your cause though, and I seriously doubt that you’ve “won them over.”  So what did you accomplish?  Destruction of private property.  Unlawful assembly.  For many of you, resisting arrest.  That’s at least three laws you’ve broken right there.  They maybe lesser violations than murder or even manslaughter but violations they are, nonetheless.  So, what did you accomplish?

And finally, Now that you’ve done this, how are you any better than the boys on the train that night, or the cop who shot one of them? You’ve broken the law, you’ve created a civil disturbance, you’ve damaged other peoples property, and let’s just hope that those business owners had insurance to pay for what you’ve done, because if they don’t and they have to repair the damages out of pocket, well…. In these difficult financial times, you may have set them back much more than just the cost of a broken window.  So, Now that you’ve done this, how are you any better than the boys on the train that night, or the cop who shot one of them?

Now, I have entertained the idea that somehow you’ve done us a favor.  Wouldn’t it be nice if, somehow, as a result of your actions, the economy turns around?  The significant out lay of cash to repair the damage you caused, then trickles down, to the workers doing the repairs, who then need to eat lunch, who then go to the restaurants where they repaired the windows and the owners then do increased business and, etc., etc., etc.

Of course we know that is not likely, however there is one good thing that did come out of this.  On Thursday morning, the BART Board of Directors had a meeting at the BART headquarters which happens to be a block away from my office.  In fact there is no other structure, just a park, between my office window and that building and I can see it clearly.  What I can also see clearly is the park below.  The BART Board of Directors, in all their wisdom, decided to invite the public to come and voice their opinions at this meeting.

It started at around 10:00 with the sound of police sirens out side.  I looked out my window in time to see nine police vehicles fly up the street toward the building where the BART headquarters are housed.  No noticeable results came of that and soon they had moved on.  Half an hour after that I looked outside again to notice that the intersections all around the BART building were closed and officers were redirecting traffic.  And then I looked down at the street closer to my office to see that there was a parade of police vehicles congregating on the street outside my building.  At the time that I looked, I counted no less than thirty-two motorcycles, black and whites, unmarked cars and SUVs lined up along the street with the officers poised and ready for trouble.

At 12:30, the one good thing to come out of all this happened.  At 12:30, word came down from “Senior Leadership” that we were encouraged to go home.

So, for that at least, I thank you, you wacked out, ignorant, ne’erdowells.  From the bottom of my cold, dead heart, I thank you!

It’s Just Sex, Right?

I never knew how much fun blogs could be.  There are a lot of different types of blogs out there and I admit that many of them do not hold any interest for me.  I’ve happened across a lot of blogs where people take pictures of the food they have in restaurants and write a journal entry about it.  I have only one thing to say about that.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I have read a lot of blogs where people take trips and write about what they did.  Often those are the same blogs as the ones mentioned above.  I guess the difference between good ones, and bad ones of these blogs is whether the author is really a writer.  If you can write something with a lot of artistry and beauty in your use of words, it barely matters what it is you write about.  On the other hand if you write like you’re writing a Dick and Jane book (See Dick’s lunch.  Dick had good lunch.  Dick cleaned Plate.  Jane had good lunch too.  Jane not cleaned plate.)  (I guess that sounds more like a Tarzan and Jane book, but you get the idea) then your blog isn’t going to be interesting to read.

Some people write their blog entries as a blow by blow report of what they do.  I usually skip over those pretty quickly.  It’s like reading my own writing…  From the 7th grade.  A good blog will recount a tale, or an event, or an experience, but in a way that is interesting and attention grabbing.  It’ll provide all the pertinent facts without boring you with unnecessary details and time tables.

Here’s an example of what I mean.  Back in April I went with a Green to Las Vegas.  Now I could recount the trip thusly:

Our flight was scheduled to depart Oakland International Airport at 9:36 a.m. but didn’t actually leave until 9:50.  We landed in Las Vegas at 10:47.  After we got off the plane we went straight to the bathrooms.  After we finished using the bathrooms we went to the luggage claims and found our carousel.  At 11:37 the luggage started coming out and after a few minutes my suit case came down the shoot.  I grabbed my suit case and we waited for her suit case to come down the shoot.  We waited and waited but it never came out.  Then we went to the baggage office to find out what happened.  They checked the computers and the piles of luggage outside the office, and called the baggage handling area to find out if anyone had the suit case but they didn’t find it.

So Green was pretty unhappy about her suit case not showing up and was worried that they wouldn’t find it.  We gave the lady in the office a description of the suit case and told her we where we were staying and gave them Green‘s Cell Phone Number.

Then, we walked outside to where the shuttles were, found the ticket office and bought our tickets and found our shuttle.  We had to wait in the shuttle for about 20 minutes before the shuttle driver decided their were enough passengers to make the trip.

We were the first stop on the trip and we got to our hotel around 1:00.  Then we walked inside.  Then we went to the front desk.  It didn’t make any sense because they did not have a clearly marked line.  We didn’t know where to go and we though we were in line.  Then an employee came over to us and offered to help us find a line and we got in line.  Then we got to the counter and then we checked in.  We asked if they had any upgrades available.  Then they showed us the options and we chose a room with a “strip view”.  We were excited because we always wanted a room with a strip view and we never get one.  After we checked in we went to our room, but we were disappointed because the view was not of the strip.

Boring, right?  I felt like a little kid while I was typing it to the point that my rhythm of my typing even became very staccato.  Dah dah dah dah DAH.  Dah dah dah dah DAH.  Dah dah dah dah DAH.  Boring!

I could however have told the same story thusly:

Green and I absolutely love Las Vegas.  We are always looking for an excuse– er, opportunity to go.  This year we decided to go in April as a joint birthday celebration having chosen this time because it falls rough in the middle of her mid-March birthday and my mid-June birthday.  Right between our birthdays, but better yet, before the weather there turns to full blown summer and the sun feels as though it will incinerate you where you stand.

We were expecting a great trip, staying in a new (to us) hotel, the MGM Grand, and tickets to Zumanity, the Circ du Soleil show we’d been itching to see for several visits.  After our first visit to Las Vegas, a New Years trip that had a departure time scheduled for 6 something in the morning which we missed resulting in a six hour lay over in Fresno International Airport (and if you’ve ever been there, you know what a joke that is) we learned our lesson and booked our departure for a more reasonable hour.  Our flight was delayed taking off by about 10 minutes but fortunately, as they so often do, the pilots made up the difference in the air.  But the “adventure” was not to end there.

Upon deplaning in Las Vegas we made a b-line for the restrooms because sadly, the very public restrooms in a busy airport are favorable to a cramped, Southwest Airlines jet bathroom, and then headed on down to Baggage claim.  This is always a dicey time because you never know if your luggage is going to make it or not.  Fortunately for me, after just a few revolutions of the carousel, my suitcase came down the shoot just fine.  But as the crowd was thinning and the frequency of the bags passing by slowed, it became apparent that there was a problem.  Green‘s bag was nowhere to be found.

Green immediately began to worry about not having her suit case and not having any of her clothes or toiletries and whether she’d be reimbursed if her suit case never showed up and the $100+ flat iron she had inside was lost to her forever.  We went to the baggage office where we looked at all the unclaimed luggage sitting around but none of it was her’s so we went in to file our claim.  The attendant did her due diligence and searched the computer, the unclaimed bags and called the baggage handlers, but sure enough, Green‘s suitcase did not appear to be in Las Vegas.

The attendant immediately began the process of opening a claim and tracking ticket and we provided her with the necessary information of how to contact us when the suitcase arrived, while answering all our questions and doing her best to reassure Green that they’d make it right with her if the bag didn’t turn up.

Once that was completed it was time for the jaunt to “the strip” where we were to check into our hotel.  We got out to the transportation section and found the booth to buy our fair on one of the many shuttles to the strip, but unfortunately we did have to wait about 20 minutes till the driver felt he had enough passengers to justify the trip.  And while we waited we were fortunate enough to get to listen to the drivers gangsta rap music he had playing over the speakers…  While he was no where around.  Thankfully, the MGM Grand is one of the first stops and we weren’t on the shuttle for long.

Walking into the lobby of the hotel we were immediately impressed with the grandeur and beauty of the place but as we approached the front desk we encountered our next obstacle.  There was a mass of hotel guests waiting to check in, and no clearly delineated line.  We must have looked pretty lost because pretty soon a woman wearing a blazer and a golden name tag came over and asked us to follow her while she lead us to what looked like the next most expeditious line.

When it was our turn to check in, which really did only take a few minutes, we asked the front desk clerk if they had any upgrades available.  They did and she showed us what our options were.  We chose a suite that was on the 18th floor – we prefer to be higher, but all the higher ones weren’t non-smoking – and that had a “strip view”, however when we got to the room we were sorely disappointed because what they consider a “strip view” is a sliver of the back of the next hotel over and a sprawling view of the rest of Las Vegas proper.

Now, I admit, the second version has more words, more paragraphs, but isn’t it more interesting to read too?

I read a lot of blogs, and I hope a lot of people will read mine.  I just hope that mine fits into the better written, more interesting to read, category.

“““““““

Now to the real point.

I do read a lot of blogs and I admit that I’m greatly interested in the blogs of people who write about sexual encounters, be they real or fiction.  They’re usually interesting to read and exciting and quite often get me going.  I believe another term for these entries is “stroke writing”.  But I also admit that I can only suspend my sense of reality so much and I’m often shocked and disturbed by some of the behaviors people write about.  Many accounts of random, anonymous sexual encounters, unprotected bareback sex (I do only read the gay ones) and other forms of complete irresponsibility and frankly, I don’t know what to think about them sometimes.  I wonder, “Do people really do these things?”  “Is this really a favorable way of getting what you need?”  “Do these people not regret or feel ashamed about their actions?”

But I’ll be honest.  They affect me.  And sometimes, when I’m feeling really lonely, and I’ve had a little too much to drink (read: an extra bottle) I think, maybe…  Maybe I could give it a try.

Such was the case this past Friday night.  Halfway through my second bottle of wine and leaning toward my third, I’d read all the “stroke posts” and looked at all the sexy pictures on my reader and I was horny, and feeling lonely, and not as inhibited as I normally am.  So I turned to Craigslist.  I knew I couldn’t be the predatory one, and I knew I couldn’t drive, or “travel” as the post authors always say.  So I posted my own ad, something I’ve never done before.  The post was something about being “newly gay” and needing a teacher, both of which is true.  I put down that I needed to be taught about gay lovin’ but that I would have to be convinced because I was frightened.  And I attached a grainy, unclear, cell phone picture of myself, naked and sprawled out on the floor that was taken some time ago while I was drunk and Green, my former room mate, was trying to get me to bed.  You couldn’t see my face, and I was not trying to hide my physical appearance.  I was saying “Boys, this is what I look like and if I actually see this thing through and you come over here, this is what you’re going to find.”

Almost instantly I got two e-mails from guys who had seen my post and suggested they might want to teach me.  I was emboldened by the vino and I thought, hey this is great.  I replied to the e-mails with answers to their questions and questions of my own.  Still figuring that there was no harm in pursuing this.

One of the guys dropped out after a couple e-mails but the other guy was serious about moving forward.  He was ready to take down my address and head on out and that’s when reality struck!  In an instant my head cleared and the fear took over.  My mind was racing!

Oh my God!  Is this serious?  Could I really do this?”

“Crap!  The house is a mess.  I need to clean the bathroom!  I haven’t changed my sheets in months!”

“I don’t know anything about this guy and while that may have sort of been the point, it’s really risky!  Plus as ‘anonymous’ as I’d like to believe it is, it’s not really ’cause if I do this he’ll know where I live.  He could very well be genuine and sincere, but he could just as easily be coming here to case the joint.  I don’t have a lot that’s worth stealing but I do have some.  For that matter, he could be a serial killer and I would have invited him in.”

“And it’s sex.  Really sex.  Not just I-contemplated-it-while-jerking-myself-off sex.  And that would change everything!  There’s no going back from that!”

And so, I contemplated it while jerking myself off.  And then the “need” had passed and I turned off my computer and went to bed.

The next day I felt like shit!  Two and a half bottles of wine will do that to you, but it wasn’t just the hangover and the headache and the diarrhea and the shakes.

I was ashamed.  Still am a little bit.  I’m relieved ’cause I didn’t follow through. I know I’m still safe.  I know I still don’t have any diseases.  I know that I haven’t opened myself up to be a victim of a crime.  Yes I could still get robbed.  It’s part of life.  Yes I could still be attacked on the street.  That too, is a part of life.  But I didn’t invite a complete stranger into my house and tell him to take a look around and see if there’s anything he’d like to come back for, uninvited.  And I didn’t open myself up, figuratively and literally, and make myself as vulnerable as a human being can be and risk a life changing result from an “anonymous donor”.

Yet, I can’t help being ashamed of myself for having gone there in the first place.  Sex should be a wonderful thing between two people who care for each other.  Right?  That’s certainly a lovely sentiment and I’d like to feel like I can apply it.  But let’s call a spade a spade.  I’m not a social person.  I don’t meet new people and I haven’t got anyone in my life so the likelihood of meeting someone I can feel a connection with and start a relationship with is next to impossible.  Meanwhile, I’m still human.  I’m still male.  I still have needs that need to be fulfilled.  And it is just sex, right?

This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself in some semblance of this situation.  I’ve been on Gay.com many times.  I’ve had on-line chats with local guys while looking for a little “inspiration”.  But inevitably, it always goes the same way.  They don’t want to just talk about what they’d do.  They want to come over and do it.  And it’s always the same thing with me.  I’m horny.  I’m probably inebriated (only time I have the nerve to do anything sexual.)  I’m naked, with my cock in one hand and the computer mouse in the other and I just want to get off.  And then I start to wonder whether I should take it a step farther.  And then they say it!

“Can I come over?”  Cue the thunder clap and the lightening bolt.  The scratching record.  The sudden silence of the crowd.  The dramatic “plot thickens” organ music.  And suddenly it’s not a game anymore.  It’s not just fantasy, or what ifs.  it’s not just masturbation.  It’s an opportunity.  An opportunity for something, I actually really do want…  sort of.

And in an instant, I’m overcome.  I’m sick to my stomach.  I’m shaking.  I instantly go from the “could I?”s to the “how could I?”s.  All the blood drains from my body.  Where I was hot and bothered, now I’m frozen and terrified.  I’m weak and shaking and, eh’hem, everything goes limp, to jelly, turns soft.  And I chicken out.

And in spite of all this, I can’t really decide if I think that following through would be a bad thing, and make me an amoral person, or if I think it would be a perfectly natural thing to do and I’m way over-thinking?  And it doesn’t really matter because like it or not, my sub-conscious won’t let it happen.

Yes, I’m relieved, because I didn’t follow through.

But I’m also kind of pissed.

‘Cause I didn’t follow through.

What’s My Next Move?

“Hi.  I’m Jesse.  I’ve been assigned to walk around with you during the fire drills” he said.  He’s a rookie firefighter.  Been on the job for three years.  Can’t be much more than 26-27 years old.  He’s 6’2″ ish with piercing blue eyes the color of the sky.

I work for the Facility Management office of a 25 story high-rise building in the Lake Merritt district of Downtown Oakland, California.  Twice a year we conduct Fire Drills and we always invite a crew from the Fire Department to come and observe.  Douche Bag always assigns a fire fighter to the staff members and today I got Jesse.

In the fourth and final segment of today’s drills I was assigned to the fourth floor for observation where I saw an  old acquaintance of mine searching the floor for stragglers.  Her name is Connee and she’s from Niagara Falls, NY.  I LOVE her.  She’s a sweet little older lady who has always been very nice to me.  After searching and then evacuating the floor we met up in the park across the street where we waited for the announcement that it was time to return to the building.  I was chatting with her when Jesse returned to my side and she asked, “What’s your name Mr. Gorgeous Blue Eyes?”

“Kevin.”  Jesse answered.  “Just kidding.  I’m Jesse.”

Connee laughed.  “Oh I thought you were going to tell me you both had the same name.”

“Wait,” I said.  “Does that mean I have Gorgeous blue eyes, too? —  Never mind.”

“Yep.  That’s what I was saying.” He replied.

Now you see, this is where I fall short as a “newly” gay man.  This guy was cute.  I liked him.  I’d have been interested in talking to him more.  But I never thought he was gay.  Still don’t know that he is.  But here’s what his comment suggests to me.  He thought I had nice eyes.  Had been thinking it all along, and Connee gave him an opportunity to bring it up and see what happens.  But because I’m insecure, and an idiot nothing happened.  I don’t know how to react in a situation like that?

So I’m looking for advice.  What should I have done?  And I’m seriously asking, so no smart ass, “You shoulda jumped on top of him” kind of responses.  How could have I have conveyed to him that I was interested without making the scene crunchy if I had misinterpreted his statement?

What, Mr. Reader, would you have done?

Down on the Farm… In Oakland?!?!?

I live in the middle of a fairly urban part of Oakland, CA. I’m lying in bed at 8:00 on a Saturday morning and, I shit you not, there is a rooster crowing somewhere not too far away IN my neighborhood. IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!

Life, Lunacy and the Pursuit of Financial Happiness; or The General State of Affairs

There’s a tickle at the back of my brain. A wee, small voice is calling out for freedom. There is a compulsion making its way to the surface. I feel like I have something to write. I’m just not sure yet what it is.

Saturday was Vengeful Mother’s 64th birthday. I played the dutiful son and called to wish her Happy Birthday and to inform her that a gift was not to follow. Things have been really tight for me lately. True to form, she took advantage of a moment of vulnerability on my part in which I told her of the financial difficulty I’ve been experiencing, to tell me that I wouldn’t be in this situation if I would just pay my tithes. Because after all, when I’m having trouble making ends meet to begin with the smartest thing I could do is write a $250.00 check, twice a month, for which I’ll receive no goods or services in return. Why wouldn’t I want to be $250.00 shorter per paycheck than I am now?

She tells me things would have been worse if she hadn’t done it, but I remember watching her write her tithe checks regularly, spending her last $50.00, and then having to scrape the cupboards to try to find something to feed her three hungry children. I guess she was “leading by example” by writing the checks, but what she was trying to instill in her children, that God will bless your finances if you tithe, didn’t come through. As far as I can tell, she’s still waiting for the blessing.

I suppose I was meant to accept not suffering homelessness, not having to go to school in rags and not starving to be a blessing. Now, I know I’m a bitter old dolt who has a fucked up sense of obligation but as far as I’m concerned, if Vengeful Mother and Dead Beat Dad weren’t prepared to guarantee those minimums, they should never have procreated in the first place. They probably shouldn’t have anyway. No, to me, being blessed is having all your needs met and having ample opportunities to make the most of your life. Those are the things I most certainly did not see happening when Vengeful Mother put her last few tuppence in the offering plates. Those are the things I didn’t have, period.

Tithes are supposed to be the “first fruits” of your “harvest” or the first 10% of your income. In other words, pre-tax. So my take home pay may be $1500.00 every two weeks, but I earn closer to $2500.00. Uncle SAM (as in Stole All my Money) takes the first nearly $1000.00 and then I’m supposed to hand over $250.00 more than that, before I do anything else? It’s impossible!

We had a luncheon at work today. I work in a small office of about five people. If you’ve read my blog, you’ve already been “introduced” to that group. We have a counter part group who works in another building. We don’t like them. They don’t like us. We have a mutual don’t like for each other and it’s a permanent condition.

Since my manager, Douche bag, is on vacation, the diminutive manager for the other group has been in charge. He decided to buy lunch for everyone today. So we gathered for sandwiches in a conference room. Midway through the lunch, he decided to announce that he was going to make this a monthly thing and that we’d meet for lunch monthly.

Every couple of months this comes up. Douche bag and his fun sized counterpart talk about how we should work together and have team building orgie— er, exercises and be BFFs, like that’s all it takes. Personalities and hard feelings be damned. I’m not sure why they can’t get it through their impenetrable skulls that we do not enjoy each others company and no amount of forcing the issue will change that. In fact forcing it on us will just make it harder to change things.

I had a couple of very peculiar dreams the other night. The first had to do with a forced entry situation at Vengeful Mother’s house. CPA sister and I were both there and it was bed time. CPA Sis was getting into bed in the living room, and Vengeful Mother was in bed in her room. CPA sis came across some papers in the living room that had some significance to a former boyfriend of hers; we’ll call him Breastplate (Explanation to follow). Vengeful Mother and I were reviewing the papers and realized that they were incriminating for Breastplate and some other guys. Suddenly, we heard loud noises as the front door was being broken down. I grabbed the papers and stuffed them under Vengeful Mother’s headboard.

I don’t really remember what happened after that except that the guys were tearing the house apart trying to find the papers and there was threatening and violence going on.

The second dream had a similar theme. I dreamed that Vengeful Mother and I were in a drug/grocery store and we had separated. The store was taken hostage by a group of ne’er-do-wells. I do not remember what their motivations were, but I remember that they were very rough. They were armed, but they had some sort of poison darts that they used to kill some of the hostages.

Once again, I do not remember the details of the dream but I remember that Vengeful Mother was killed with one of those darts. The dream ended when the police broke into the store and took out the bad dudes. I had managed to kill one of them in the course of my dream so when it was clear that the evil doers were going to die, their leader shot me with one of the darts, a moment before a policeman shot and killed him. Then just as everything was going dark I felt a sharp prick and shortly after I recovered. The police had the antidote for the poison and were able to save me, but not Vengeful Mother.

My therapist had the audacity to go on vacation last week and so it’ll have been two weeks since I’ve seen her, when I get to my appointment tomorrow evening. It seems as though I may have a lot to talk about. I do not wish for Vengeful Mother’s demise, but I do know that many things would be a lot easier on me if she was no longer part of my life. As I mentioned, she just turned 64 and some of you might be saying I don’t have that much longer with her, but you’d be wrong. People in my family, on both sides actually, live very long lives. My Paternal Grandfather who just died was almost 92. My Paternal Grandmother was in her early 80s when she died of cancer. My Maternal Grandmother was 84 when she died. The only enigma, if you will, is my Maternal Grandfather. He was killed when a psychotic divorceé boarded his plane wearing a dynamite vest in 1962. Grandfather was in his late 30s. Who knows how old he would have lived to be?

I take comfort in the fact that I won’t have to face the death of my parents for many years, and yet, there would be some comfort to be taken if I didn’t have to deal with those troubled relationships any further.

After nearly a year of negotiation, my regrettably pink bathroom is finally going to be remodeled starting on Monday, August 25, 2008. I’m dreading it. It’s going to be a major hassle for me. Their will be detritus everywhere while the work is happening. For a few days, my shower will be unavailable to me. Scared kitty will have to be closed up in the kitchen for his own safety and sanity, and the house will have to be thoroughly cleaned this week before my landlord sets foot in the place to meet with the contractor. I’ll be thrilled when the work is done.

My house was built in the 1920s. And the bathroom may well be the original bathroom, save for a new-ish toilet that was put in fewer than 5 years ago. The floor, sink counter and backsplash, and two sided shower surround are all covered in 4″ x 4″ pastel pink tile. The counter has a beveled, raised, pastel pink tile boarder that is hard to keep clean, and the counter is only 22 inches deep while the sink is 26 inches deep, so there is an angled protrusion from the counter where the sink is. The tile is dirty with the kind of dirt that doesn’t come out. Decade upon decade of use has resulted in a hue of grey that covers the pink such that only a power sand scrub or perhaps a dose of hydrochloric acid would make it come off, and then the tile would come up too. There are also what my landlady calls spider vein cracks in the tile. But most importantly, IT’S PINK!

Apparently, in the 1920s people were a good foot and a half shorter than they are now. The shower head, were it not to have an aftermarket handheld shower wand added to it, would hit me mid tattoo

 

and require me to bend down significantly to use it, and the top of the tile shower surround hits my shoulder level. Here in Oakland, we have a lot of mold issues to deal with, and it’s been my concern all along that this is going to be an issue if left unchecked.  (By the way, no comments about my ogre head!)

When completed, my bathroom is going to have new shower head that is up about two feet from it’s current location, the shower surround will be two single slabs of granite that will go up to 18″ from the ceiling, their will be an entirely new sink console with a new sink with polished nickel fixtures including a goose neck faucet. A new wall mounted mirror will hang over the counter and the counter will be single slab marble. Their will be fresh paint, new light fixtures, new towel hooks and rods and a brand new pergo floor. When finished the bathroom will be modern and lovely and will match the rest of the renovated house. I can’t wait!

And then theirs work. Douche Bag returns from his three and a half week tour of China tomorrow. When that happens, the respite I have had from all the shit that comes with his presence will be over. I do not look forward to that. I so desperately want to change jobs. I want to find something to do that is fulfilling and gratifying. I want to make a living being creative and inspiring to people. I would like to be a writer, but I don’t know how to make a living that way.

What I need is a sugar daddy! I’m now taking applications! Serious inquiries only, please!