Poly Benefit #397. Many Hands

Many hands make lighter work.

demolition 3

this is similar to what we ended up with (minus the rad brick) -image from lssu.edu

Traveler has begun a gigantic renovation project and Jonah (Quinky Girl’s other partner) and I helped.  We demolished his 1960’s bathroom from his 1917 house.  There was basically a room built into a room, so we took down paneling, sheetrock, studs, plywood, plaster and lathe.  Actually it looks like there were two renovations to that area of the house over time.  You know those bathrooms Greta Garbow must have had in some movie, all marble and golden fixtures, hollywood glamour?  Yeah.  We took out the 60’s plastic version of that.  Formica with veins and flecks and swirls and fake brass frills on a bathroom that at some point had eaten a hallway and what seems to have been a closet with a window. (We can’t figure it out!)  They wanted that 3 feet of kitchen and a luxurious bathroom from this century.  It’s step one.

I felt giddy to be included.

FINALLY.. something I’m good at that I could do for them.  They’ve taught me about wine and Traveler has taught me to ski and play WOW and helped me make furniture.  Quinky has taught me a lot of life and love stuff and inspired me to learn to cook with her crazy skills and encouragement.

renovation

This is part of what we did today.  Image found at wanderleur.com

I have a lot of skills and I am always appreciated, but this was kinda special to me.  Long long ago I did demolitions for a living.  I had one unsettling moment for them when about 40 pounds of plaster came down in a shot, but I was a huge help.  And I loved it.  I loved it because I love them and I love being useful to them.  The plumbers are coming and I helped make them ready.  We all worked really really hard and we all contributed.

But here’s a little secret part.  I love it because I love feeling included.  My family was doing a big project and they needed my help.  We built something. I helped them make home better.  I love it when we’re all together at times like that and when we sit afterwards sipping lovely champagne that is extra good in our parched and tired throats and the sore muscles we have earned.  Seriously.. next time you kick the shit outta some long and aching task, sit and survey your labors with bubbles.

I love it too because I love how well Traveler and I work together, working on our own parts and coming together, flowing in and out of our lone tasks and those we collaborate on.  We troubleshot together, taking each other’s suggestions and jumping to one another’s aid, and got a very large amount of work done.  They’re ready for the plumber now.  I love that we work well together.  I love that we all made it happen.  It thrills me to have this with Traveler and me. It’s not like it’s some thing that only exists with us, but it doesn’t have to be.  I just like that it exists with us.  I like how much we love working together.  It makes me feel… secure.  It’s a thing partners do.  I won’t have his last name and I may never know his family.  But I helped to make his home.  And that makes me really happy.

It’s a thing partners do.

And we’re partners.  We’re actually really good partners.

renovation 2

 

Difficult to Love

I have to admit that all my reading and writing has belonged to grad school, but I’m here and I’m thinking of you.  I do a lot of thinking these days.  I can’t stop thinking about this tonight.  I talked to a friend going through a break up from a terrible man, and this kept running in my head.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/38766162″>Warsan Shire – &quot;For Women Who Are Difficult To Love&quot;</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/movingonworks”>MovingOn</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

You are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?

closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
prettier
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him traveling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.

It doesn’t directly relate to my life right now, but I feel it. I have spent my entire life trying to be smaller and easier and simpler and less of a pain.  I can remember, one of my first memories and one of the few of my mother in early childhood, she was suddenly there and her face was evil red and she grabbed my arm and yanked me up by it.  I had been laughing at something.  I found something hysterical.  I have no memory of what it was.  Maybe it was a cartoon or a game I was playing with a doll.  I had been laughing in the sunbeam streaming in the living room window and then suddenly her red angry face was inches from mine as she yelled at me to stop it, that my laughter was too much and would I please just shut up.  And suddenly I was crying wracking silent sobs.  I felt so ashamed and I could see this was making her madder.  I knew I needed to just shut up but I was overwhelmed with tears.  She looked at me like I was a disgusting vile thing and dropped me and walked away.

Another time, playing with friends, we were playing house and I was the mama and my two friends were my kids.  They made me a drawing and brought it to me and I got so overcome in my fake mama role with the joy of their present and their love of me that I rushed to hug them and kiss them.  So charged was I with the intensity of wanting to love on my pretend children, I knocked my friend over and kissed her face over and over again until she shoved me off of her and stood up, infuriated.  “What is WRONG with you!  Jesus.  Holly.  You are too much”.  They both shot me a look and walked out of my room and out of house and away.

My best friend’s birthday party.  I excitedly watched her opening her presents and was thrilled that I had bought the most presents for her and wrapped them all individually in the years of Christmas wrapped paper and home made wrapping I’d decorated.  After a couple of presents people were looking at me funny.  What happened?  What was wrong?  Melissa got up and asked me to go talk.  “That’s so embarrassing.  Why did you do that?  Do you want people to think we are lesbians?  Damn it, Holly.  Too much.

I felt sometimes like everyone had a book about how to be that I didn’t.  I thought for a long time that my mother had left because I was so infuriating.  I thought my father was depressed so much when I was a child because I was a shitty daughter.  He told me he hadn’t been able to meet anyone because of me.  I think he meant being a single father made dating hard, but I heard “because you are defective nobody wants to be your step-mother”.

I tried to be simpler and easier and to care less about everything.  I was a disaster with the first guys I dated and I got hurt.  It happens.  I’ve learned and learned and learned and learned and it’s been HARD work.

But I know I’m still a little difficult to love.  And maybe that’s okay.  Maybe I *am* a little difficult to love, and maybe there will be people, as there have been and are people who are up to the task.  I am a lot, but sometimes people want a lot.  Maybe you are a bit much too, and maybe there are people in your life or in your future that are looking for something a bit much.

 

The Cats Will Eat Me…

I really dislike my brain sometimes.  I woke up this morning with my brain churning a little.  I noticed it and realized what was happening.  Every now and then I start spinning about something.  I used to see Great Date do this, and it’s how I finally realized I did it too.

Sometimes it’s fear.  Sometimes I feel a little afraid and my mind casts about to understand my fear.  The house is not on fire.  The cats are okay.  Maybe I had a nightmare I don’t remember.  I don’t know, but my mind is an unkind place.  I cast doubts around about my worth.. my friendships.  I chew on the edge of my relationships.  I pull up reasons I should be afraid or sad or that things could be bad.  I pull up real and imagined evidence for how I suck.  I tell myself mean things.  I am the voice in the dark.

catsI’ve learned over time that this is just me petting a worry stone.  I can spin up elaborate bad things, and I know it.  I’m cherry picking the little rotten things to make problems that don’t exist.  I’m fine.  I’m more than fine.  I’m happy.  I’m here in my quiet apartment with my sweet kitties.  I live in a neighborhood I love.  I live in a city I love.  I have a family that I love that loves me.  I’m making the best choices I can and I’ll be ok. My relationship(s) are good.

And I learned to pull out the anti-venom for poisonous thoughts.

Continue reading

So it Begins Poly Christmas

I just dropped Traveler and Quinky Girl off at the airport for their yearly trek to Traveler’s family.  It was nice to be able to see them off and kiss their faces and wish them a great trip.  I cried a LOT less this morning than previous Christmas Eve’s.  It’s only taken me a couple of years, but I think I might have a good plan for this holiday.

I need to be proactive.

A Christmas Story Bully Continue reading

A Million Years Ago

shrek far far away

From Shrek- The Far Far Away Sign

A million years ago….

  1. I kissed you in the vacant lot and ran home breathless.
  2. I broke your heart because I wasn’t ready.
  3. I thought this was what relationships were and I didn’t know this was rare and special.  We danced all night.  We made love and when I called it that I didn’t giggle.  We said shit like “soulmates” and “forever” and I didn’t doubt for a second they were real.  Nobody had ever loved like we loved.  We sang songs to each other.  We took baths together and sat there until we were pruny.  You fucked her.  And you lied.  I felt worse about the lie because it meant we weren’t what I thought we were.  I walked away hurt and insecure.  I spent a decade feeling the image of you in an Indian blanket in our cold apartment, silent, as I dropped the key into your lap.
  4. I got her note. She was gone.  She needed to be with him.  She had a family back home. Wouldn’t I please understand?
  5. I fucked him at some party, the entire time wondering if the pool table took quarters… “mmmmhmm.. yes.. oh baby”.. does that pool table take quarters?  What is the mechanism to drop the balls if it doesn’t take quarters?
  6. I wondered if she’d ever love me back.
  7. I wanted to break it off but his dad had just died.  So I cheated. A lot. I felt more and more sick and when I broke up with him I thought I was doing him a favor.
  8. I couldn’t sleep with him because it would have been too real.
  9. She played with me next to my bed and I thought she liked me, but we never talked again.
  10. I liked him and he liked her and she liked someone else.
  11. He was a lot worse than I thought.  He was a lot worse.  He left a scar on my back from the event that changed my life.  He committed suicide years later, after hurting a lot more girls, and eventually going to prison.  He got out and killed himself.  I felt relieved that he wouldn’t hurt more girls and ashamed I’d been silent and hurt those girls.
  12. I waited a long time to touch him because I wanted to do things differently and when I finally touched him it just didn’t work and we couldn’t make it work so I broke his heart.
  13. He was my friend.  He was deeply honest and really flawed and fucked like a demon.  We talked about EVERYTHING with utter and complete honesty that wasn’t brutal because we bore no brutality.  It was the most comfortable I’d ever been with my body in his pure love of it.  You’re supposed to learn to love your body but I loved mine because he did.  We kept the lines really straight and loved each other for years, around and in between all the others, coming home.  We’ll never be lovers again, but I still consider him a friend.
  14. He left me for groupies and I met the women he’d cheated on me with when her boyfriend was cheating with me and I didn’t know it.  She and I were great friends for years.
  15. I loved him for his letters and got swept up in them and the things he created in them.  It was too late when I’d realized my mistake and I spent a long time trying to stick to my mistake.  When I could no longer be faithful and couldn’t be unfaithful, I left.  I like seeing his happy pics on Facebook.
  16. I never thought it would happen again, but it did.  I met him at Starbucks.  We shared a humor and a passion and loved each other through a million challenges and rewards.  We wrote love poems and songs and gave each other gifts of 100 kisses on post-its and notes hidden in lunches and suitcases and pockets.  For years I knew great love and great passion.  He was my best friend and I was his.  And we grew and grew and grew.  I wish I made him dinner more.  I’ve only learned that these past few years and I wish I’d learned it with him.  Some of the greatest and the worst days of my life were spent with him, and the love we had carried us through them.  With the end I wondered if I’d imagined it, but my box of letters tells me I didn’t. The passion never died until finally, that last year it did.  He told me she was too much and there was nothing left.  He wrote a poem based on a speaker we’d heard together when we were first dating, and redid it at times over the years to delight me. He used it again with the next women, which did not delight me. I don’t understand what happened really.  I make up theories and live with them and discard them because I’ll never know why.  I’m trying to accept that but it sits uneasily without ever having had my closure.  I read the things he said, to me, and later to others, the lies. He was intentionally cruel and admitted it.  And I’ll never understand.  That is not the man I loved. He replaced me and then replaced her.  He lied a lot to them too, and I’ll never understand it.  This is not the man I loved.  He is not the person I loved for so long and so well.
  17. In the midst of all of that I fell for him.  He seemed sweet and honest and clear, a relief in troubled times.  I loved his dazzling mind and the force of his love.  I fell hard and had a hard time letting go when the mask fell.  But I did.
  18. I fell for him so slowly and so well, my love sneaking in on quiet cat feet.  It took a long long time to know him and I’ll always be learning.  His kisses stayed dizzying, and his arms became home.  I love our adventures and our quiet nights and that we can get lost in each other doing absolutely nothing.  And then he told her he’d leave me if she asked him to.  I’m still not totally sure why it changed either, but suddenly all the things we were talking about for our future were different.  All of the little plans we were playing with were off the table.  He didn’t want what he said he wanted anymore.  Or he wanted it differently.  I wondered if I got this love wrong, if it wasn’t what it seemed.  I didn’t get it wrong.  It’s just complicated to live with all of our commitments and honor and complexities of life and history and it’s hard to navigate for women with a past.  There are a lot of moving parts.  It’s beautiful and hard sometimes, but he’s worth it.  Eventually it came that he would not trade me for the wishes of anyone on Earth, and I know it in my marrow.  He’s part of the family I’m making.  I sometimes miss the surety of when I was a girl, or think maybe other ways might be easier.  But then reality reminds me that relationships are always complicated.  Grown up love is complex and beautiful and long-awaited and deep… if you’re lucky.

I’m lucky.

shrek and fiona in love

Shrek and Fiona ride off into the sunset. From the movie Shrek and found at http://basementrejects.com/

 

I'm Actually a Romantic

I have a cold, so maybe this is the meds talking.. but I have to confess that I’m a romantic.  Don’t fucking laugh.  I’m serious.

Even a poly girl.. shit.. maybe especially a poly girl is prone to this.  My heart is huge.  My heart is wide.

Even a poly girl.. shit.. maybe especially a poly girl is prone to this.  My heart is huge.  My heart is wide.

Traveler and I are deeply, madly, passionately in love with each other.  It took 8 billion years, but he says it all the time.  I’ve always been a mush who says it.  Such proclamations don’t come easy to him.  He told me 72,000 ways that he loved me and I finally heard it.  But I needed him to TELL me.  I need the words.  And they came.  They come more easily now.  I need him to say, out loud, what he feels and he does.

And yet, I’ll admit, I have a yearning.  It isn’t because of a lack.  It’s not because Traveler doesn’t go there or isn’t enough.  It’s because of me.

I want more.

I want to find my other love.  I want to watch TV curled up with her, or go to the library on Saturdays with him.  I want to be too lazy on a rainy afternoon together.  I want to hit the art show.  I want to say mushy mushy things to each other with our limbs entertwined.  I want all of it.  Traveler is mine.  He is fully and completely mine even if he isn’t mine alone.  And I am his.  I am utterly and totally his.  But I have this wide wide heart.  I have this well of love that constantly fills, and I want more.

cuddling girls

girls snuggling found at polyvore.com

Even after all these years in open relationships that still feels subversive.  How can I be so greedy?  How can I have this.. THIS!.. and ever want more.  Am I unsatisfied? No.  If the other loves never came I have to admit that would be perfectly okay.  I have my life.  I have my life with Traveler.  And it’s everything.   I told him the other day when we were laying on the couch just laughing and holding each other that I’ve never been loved like this.  I’ve never had a love that held me like that.  He holds me in a way that makes me feel like I am filling.  I am flooded with all the good hormones and I feel myself glow.

We were talking about nothing really, just laughing and petting each other. There wasn’t any music on and the TV was off and we’d be laying there just talking for a long long time and neither one of us wanted out.  I’ve never had that.  I’ve never had the love that doesn’t pull away.  I’ve spent my life apologizing for being too affectionate.  I didn’t know how much that hurt.  I pulled away to sip my wine and he curled around me the second the glass touched down, unconsciously and not breaking the stride of his conversation.  And I lay curled against him smiling and laughing with him until it was getting really late and we needed to go to bed.

And

I have more to give.

The trick is to remain open but not to chase it.  But I’m calling it to me.  I am a greedy lover.  I want the whole thing again.  The first step is admitting it.

I’m a romantic.