the orange revelations of cosmic ikahana

a world view of a corner

Food Porn
cosmic_ikahana

The Eating of Beard Papa's Cream Puff























Pride
cosmic_ikahana



After taking a year off for only the 2nd time since 1977, I was excited about Pride again. Like everything in my life these days, the build-up is pretty relaxed and easy, but we did manage to watch an excellent documentary, Stonewall Uprising, from the PBS American Experience site the night before, and I put a few gay themed books on reserve at the library. We had a Pride Potluck at work - the Queers of the bunch brought in rainbow colored foods to share with everyone. That means a lot of sugar. I shouldn't have sugar.

The Parade was disappointing. It made me feel old and fussy and sad. I miss the politics, I miss the celebration in the air, I miss the anger and I miss the sexual energy. I also miss my friends. I didn't purposefully exit Le Gay Community, I guess I simply outgrew it or it outgrew me. Maybe a little of both. I feel like a stranger going to visit a house I used to live in that has been totally redone with a new family living in it.

I never wanted to be normal, or if I did those moments were fleeting at best. I guess I've become kind of a normal guy, and I guess the movement has become kind of normal now too. Funny I don't feel so comfortable with it anymore. I have never for a moment felt anything but complete sadness and confusion over those who claim to be "ex-gays" - why would ANYONE want to give up what for me has always been the greatest of gifts? But I think those of us who have no interest in being an "ex-gay" have still found ourselves in a place where that gift has been discounted and sterilized.

I'm now one of the assimilationists I always bitched about, I guess. I've been with my partner for 19 years, we have a son, we own a house in kind of a suburban part of Seattle. I have far more straight friends than gay and I'm more interested in my dogs than I am in bars.

A few self-described anarchist upstarts apparently did a little bit of street rampaging and window breaking after the Parade up on The Hill (the supposed gay neighborhood in Seattle). It was, according to their pamphlet which I read on line today, an attempt to toss off the commercialism and conformity of the modern gay scene. I got into a few internet spats today over this on sites that I follow. I agree they acted foolishly, but I also was a little pleased to see some of the old spirit out there. I'm less bothered by a few broken windows in a bank and nationwide clothing store than I am a bunch of gay sheep following a truck from Macy's handing out rainbow colored but with the "Macy's" logo bandannas, followed by group after group after group of men and women selling some shit or another.

Still, I like to be with my people. I like to be with my tribe. I don't do it often enough. I don't know WHAT to do when I'm with them, but I like to just be with them sometimes. I wish we had more than THUMP THUMP THUMP music, but I also like a little thump thump thump now and then. I hope some of those kids are learning their history and are taking pride in it. I am so grateful for the ones who came before me who allowed me to have the life I have today. I find our culture, our history, our writers and poets and artists and philosophers and activists to be inspiring and fascinating and amazing.

Today I stayed home from work. I did laundry, went to the grocery store, complained about my sore back and legs, played on the internet and watched some TV.

I have no idea what is next.

Dr. Frankencancer's Monster
cosmic_ikahana



Had a big hunk of flesh cut out of my arm on Tuesday. I expected it to be about a tenth of the size of what the Doctor ended up cutting out. Basal Cell Carcinoma might be the best of all cancers to get, but it still wasn't a night on the town. However, I'm getting a really cool scar out of it. Ended up getting about ten actinic keratosis spots frozen off my face and head. Good times. Had to leave that appointment and while the numbing agent was wearing down, went to see my Primary Doctor because of another issue. Up went a scope and out came a scream. Turns out that end didn't have quite as severe of a problem as I feared (I have a history and I get worried). Got a little something to help things calm down and was given the pass to leave after four fun filled hours at the Doctor's. Couldn't wait to get home and settle in with some take-out Chinese food and a bottle of vicodin.

I went back to work today and I'm doing okay without drugs so far. Of course, I soaked up every single bit of attention I could get. Being in the Cancer Biz, my co-workers are well aware that "if you have to get a cancer, this is the one to get" so the attention was pretty light-hearted and sarcastic, just the way I like it. Sitting (issue #2) is not really the most comfortable position right now, but I'm pretty post-vicodin loopy so standing doesn't work out so well either.

In a few days I'll be good as new. I will get, as a special bonus, a pretty amazing scar. It is equal parts Boris Karloff and West Side Story, very fitting.

Current Antidotes
cosmic_ikahana
Lasagna
The Crassical Collection (Crass reissues)
Fellini Movies
Apologies
Homemade Beer/Pretzel Caramel
Thank You Cards
WIRE magazine
Clouds
Neil Patrick Harris
The Fremont Solstice Parade
Sleep
Scott Cole Exercise DVDs
My Fancy New Threads
Film Noir
Talking to Chickens
Walking
Trader Joe's Tamales
Walking Away
A Full Late Spring/Early Summer Garden
Popcorn
Whiskey
The New Yorker
Van Morrison
My Beloved Dogs
"How you doing today texts?" from the neff.
Old Sweatshirts
Rain
People Watching
Voice Lessons
Georgetown Carnival
Art Blogs

The Reverend
cosmic_ikahana


The Reverend Green and Sister Etta


Here he is, my obsession of the moment. I find him so fascinating I don't ever really stop thinking about him. Two or so weeks ago, The Reverend and Etta were identical. Not any more. She totally dotes on him. He keeps all of the hens in line, but the two of them are clearly King and Queen. All of the chickens seem much more social than any of our others, but he is most of all. Curious and brave.

There will almost certainly come a time when he will start crowing and we will have to hope that the neighbors won't complain, but they will. At least one will.

I think I need to move to a farm. Outside of Paris. I'll have bread and chocolate for breakfast and paint in the afternoons and talk with the goats and dogs and cats when I stop for my coffee breaks. I'll have a young man, or two, come and clean up the place once or twice a week. He will be handsome, strong and friendly. I'll feature him in some of the stories I will write.

The Right Things
cosmic_ikahana



All in all, it was a good day. I did have to drive out to the hideous shopping mall to go to the Big Dude's store to get some t-shirts and underwear. I hate clothes shopping (although yesterday I had a really GOOD experience doing it at a new to me place, but didn't get the t-shirts and underwear). I hate malls, although this place isn't IN the mall, but I had to go through the mall's parking lot to get to it. Spent WAY too much, but did get some new shoes which aren't exactly my size, but which I've worn all day and are pretty comfortable.

Can't wait until I'm a normal sized guy so I can shop at regular stores and get normal priced underwear.

The nephew had his girlfriend spend the night. She is nice - they are a good match. He made breakfast for all of us this morning. I love this guy so darn much. Having him back in the house is one of the best things that has ever happened. Had another long talk with my man. It actually felt like a giant step this time.

Then we headed over to the Georgetown Carnival (which used to be Georgetown Artopia, but that name is now being used for another probably way stupid event you have to pay to get into). This is probably my FAVORITE event of the year in Seattle - this and the Solstice Parade which is next weekend. Art, music, funky stuff, motorcycles, scooters, coffee, an airstream trailer park selling art and other goods, power tool races, lots of beards, tattoos, cool hats, creativity, beer, food stands, clowns, side shows, bright colors, wood, brick, cavernous buildings, comic books, artist studios and just a great time.

Walking around, thinking about a few events of recent days, I was reminded that my most recent actions were the right things to do. I felt good about conversations I've had, things I've done, changes I've made, things I've kept the same, the direction I'm moving in and even the darn shoes I bought.

There is this tendency I think humans have when things go wrong to look back and think all that came before was a mistake, that problems were all that was there before, that the hard times are nothing but the pay off for the difficulties beforehand. I don't get that. I don't feel that. I don't believe that. Psychobabble bullshit. Life is hard. Life is good. Life has conflict. Life has peace. Life has art. Life has trash. Life has love. Life has hate. To try to eliminate part of what life is, is to deny what life is - a messy, sometimes uncomfortable, wonderful, beautiful, ugly, sad, happy miracle. I've had some amazing experiences. Nothing that has happened recently negates that. I'll have more problems, more pain, and more happiness. Hopefully a lot more art.

Forward
cosmic_ikahana




Moved out of the recliner, back into bed. Stopped taking Lorazepam. Got the beard and eyebrows trimmed. Signed up for voice lessons. Bought a few new clothes. Had my teeth cleaned. Walk between 2-5 miles a day. Got a bothersome cyst removed. Discovered basal cell carcinoma on my arm. Ever grateful but reminded once again that I have the most amazing, supportive, kind, funny, loving and non-judgmental co-workers in the entire world. Continued Film Noir Mondays with the nephew, moving on the Bogart. Getting more comfortable giving insulin shots to our oldest pup. Catching up on a bunch of (mainly) NPR podcasts on the walks and bus rides. Ended a friendship after a cruel and abusive interaction. Dusted myself off. Several times. Keep walking. Just keep walking.

Talking it out. Not attempting to figure it out, just talking and spending time together and apart.

My current obsession/love is what I now know is our Rooster. Thought we had nine girls but about two weeks ago my suspicions grew. Each day I could deny it a little less. Finally, probably the end of last week, it was clear. Changed "Odetta" to "Rev. Green" (after singer Al) and started calling him "The Reverend". I'm now totally in love with him - just about the coolest critter I've ever experienced. Of course, like a lot of my loves, he is illegal. Can't have Roosters. He hasn't started to crow yet. That is when someone can complain, and they - they being THE MAN I guess - can come and take him away. I can't let that happen. Can't. I love this guy. After years of having Hens (and loving them), having a Rooster is like discovering ice cream after only knowing cookies. Different ballgame. I spend a lot of time talking to him. He approaches me every time I am out there. We have long conversations. I scheme on ways to hide him, to protect him. Some of the ways involve Film Noir type "disappearances" of those who complain. We have a farm - friends own it - that can take him if need be. The wife of the couple collects abandoned and lost goats, turkeys, lambs, chickens, etc. I'd hate to take him away from his Harem, especially Etta (whom he was identical to until a few weeks ago) who seems to be his beloved. I'd hate our conversations.

The photo above is from a few weeks back when we thought we had nine Ladies. It was a simpler time. :-)

Today
cosmic_ikahana
Today we spent a huge portion of the day having a text message conversation. I think we both agreed it was two steps forward, one step back.

I have a lot of anger. I have anger towards him, anger towards the 19 year old, anger towards some of the folks we know. I also still care deeply about him. I don't give a flying fuck about the 19 year old. I'm not going to spend a lot of energy right now thinking about how I feel about some other folks. My brain is too polluted.

He has, once again, turned this into a conversation about everything that is wrong with me. We have been to a couple's counselor a few times, and each time, at this point, the counselor would say "Why are you unable to take responsibility for your betrayal and break of trust and not honoring your relationship?" In fact, we had this happen about two months ago and it made him furious. We stopped going a week later. I'm far from perfect. I'm a pain in the ass to live with. I would consider myself a "difficult person". But my relationship issues are relationship issues. They are not issues of betrayal, trust and not honoring our commitment. Because we are NOT in counseling, I'm letting him shift the conversation to these supposed "sparks", because they are important, but they are not what tore us apart. He knows that. He has heard that. If we go back to counseling, he will hear it again. It is a deflection. Important issues, but not the issue.

But today we focused mainly on those type of things. I did ask him if he heard about the message I sent the 19 year old (which I'm tempted to share here, in a private post). He said he had, that the kid had forwarded it to him. "And...?" I asked. "And I told him you were deeply wounded and that he shouldn't respond. I apologize for dragging him into this with my selfishness and told him I would not be communicating with him for awhile while you and I are sorting this out". Yesterday I asked him to remove the photo of the two of them from being the number on photo on his Facebook banner. He did. That I had to ask him to do this pissed me off. I did mention I was angry, didn't I? If not, I am.

I've been spending a lot of quality time alone, doing the alone things I like to do. I have Korean Tofu Stew stains in my white beard right now. I am living on medication that makes me groggy and sleepy, but keeps me from stopping at the gun store for easy answers to pain. I have been sleeping in the recliner, which is in our "library". I get up before he wakes up and take the bus to work. I stay out until he is gone, or I can go right to "bed" and avoid him. Right now, that is our new agreement - to stay in the same house but avoid one another for now and keep everything on "hold".

But again, today's conversations were good. It felt, as he said "hopeful".

I will be making a lot of my posts "private" (some already are). If you found me here from elsewhere (like Facebook), you will need to set up an account and friend me to read them. I will leave this one open (although it violates some of the new rules I've made for myself about talking about this but hardly anyone knows I'm posting on LJ again), but most having to do with the "relationship" or sex or those things will be private.

The Beast Inside
cosmic_ikahana
Man, Depression, with a BIG D and a little i, is a beast. I've been dealing with it for at least a decade, probably longer than that if I were to really analyze it. A good two decades at least. I've tried different medications with various success, but often with doubt that we humans should be medicating ourselves for something like this. Still, I'm currently on medication and probably won't be stopping anytime soon. This past week I've been on a downward spiral. Down, down, down.

I guess I'll email my Doc and ask if I should increase my medication. I've been on vacation the past week. I've also been sick. I've also been to a lot of films. I took the time off so I could get to a number of them during the month long Seattle International Film Festival. I didn't realize I'd have a month long cold virus thing that has made me exhausted, congested and a coughing machine.

I was planning on using this past week as one of those reinvention weeks - getting my house in order, so to speak. Staring some new healthy and interesting ways. That didn't happen. Quite the opposite. Ending the vacation in far worse shape, minus the sore throat thankfully, than I started. I did see some good films. Met my favorite porn star. Ate popcorn. Drank coffee. Not a total loss, but if you make columns of Pro and Con, Con is bigger.

Dealing with that dang Gay Men in Relationships Issue #1 thing too. I've been on all sides of this one before. Thought I had it figured out. Thought I was pretty sure about it all. I don't have it all figured out and I no longer know how I feel about it. I do not think monogamy is natural and I don't know if it is ever really possible with two men, but I don't remember ever being this conflicted about it before. Maybe it is because I've taken myself out of "the scene" for a number of reasons (and well, I've naturally fallen to the waysides as well). I thought we had a pretty good policy that I had drafted; not in the city in which we live, not with friends, I don't want to know UNLESS I ask and then I want the truth. I came up with those rules based on my 70's Code of Conduct. I'm old. That didn't account for things like Facebook and text message buzzes. It is hard not to know even if you say you don't want to know.

As life turns out, right now my friends are mainly my co-workers. Right now my co-workers are all straight women (and one non-straight for now woman). This isn't a conversation I can have with my friends. More alienation, more isolation, more depression. I wish I knew more men.

I don't know how I became 52. I look around and don't see a lot of folks that are 52. One of my favorite Seattle events has always been this festival called Folklife - music, art, food, people - kind of a lovely relic of those hippier times, although it is far from just traditional folk at this point. This year the crowd seemed to be about 3/4 folks under the age of 21, and most of those seemed to be those (I think self-defined) gutter punks and crusties, the ones who roam about in layers of unwashed thrift store clothing, with dirt darkened sunburned skin and body odor, who never seem to be without a cigarette and a pitbull, and who have forsaken jobs and society but not iPhones and junk food. When it is good - when they magically combine the best of the hippies and the punks, when they have a true understanding of anarchism and socialism, when they form communities and have survival techniques that they polish - I have a lot of admiration for them. When it becomes another excuse to be aggressive and arrogant, cruel to domesticated animals while being a political vegan, blowing smoke in the face of strangers and trashing the planet, I'm less impressed. Either way, I feel really old.

I have been enjoying the Crass reissues immensely. I listen to them from the comfort of my home with all the sell-out comforts I can afford. I'm a fake and a phony, I'm old and obsolete, and my radical personal philosophies have come home to slap me in the face and they sting.

I'm grounded by a 19 year relationship (in transition), our dogs, our chickens, a mortgage and the need to have health insurance and an income. I wish I could just move to Paris, or Mexico and start over. I wish I could find a little cabin in the woods, near the ocean where I could hole up for six months to write and draw and walk through trees and by water. The boys, the human ones once in our care, no longer depend on me. My job doesn't need me - I'm replaceable. I feel obsolete and out of shape and cranky. I'm good at judging others and terrible at being judged. I know better and do worse.

When my man was in Portland, celebrating his birthday, visiting friends and having his "approved" private liaisons with at least one person too ignorant to know the social graces of social networking, he bought me a book by Greil Marcus (whom I love) on Van Morrison (whom I love). I've carried it around with me all day, but have only read a handful of pages. My mind wants to just ponder and weep (my eyes do not weep, but my mind does). But damn it, I'm taking that book to bed and I'm reading some of it and tomorrow I think I should start to learn French somehow, so if I ever get the nerve to just quit it all, I won't be one of those dirty rude kids, but someone prepared to start over.

We, Me & The BBC
cosmic_ikahana
After turmoil, we decided to go once again to see a couple's counselor. It is something we do about every eleven or twelve years whether we need it or not. Although I didn't really notice, I guess our counselor dosed off during my sharing time. I'd like to think I weave a spell-binding tale, but I guess I can't even pay 'em to stay awake.

It did lead, eventually, to a long, long discussion - just the two of us without the benefit of a paid somnambulist - and this morning my man sent The Man Who Slept Through The Threat of Our Divorce a friendly email saying we had a breakthrough and would no longer be requiring his services, and by the way did we still owe for last week?

He responded - "Not a problem, Rick - and I show you as paid for the 23rd."

My man's name is not Rick. It is Rodney. And we last saw him on the 22nd, not the 23rd. And the phrase "not a problem" makes my skin crawl. Now I want to stay together just to spite him. Well, for other reasons too, but now I have another one.



We aren't sure what exactly our new, improved relationship will look like although we did orally sketch a new outline. I've taken the BBC as my new concubine after decades of thinking it wasn't my type. Oh, it is my type now. And with a few exceptions, I've rarely remembered lusting after those Brits (that are a part of my heritage). Where did I get such a crazy idea that the Brits weren't for me? I have lusted after Oliver Reed my entire life, and now I'm obsessed - OBSESSED - with Bob Hoskins after finally getting a chance to watch the original "Pennies from Heaven" (I've long been a fan of the American version, but never had a chance to see the BBC show). Some friends have me hooked on "Father Ted" and today I started watching "Torchwood" after a tip from a co-worker who is a fan of all things British. I'm not going to swap out my coffee for tea just yet, but damn I'm enjoying getting caught up on what I've missed in the past 30-40 years.


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