Elusive Ideal

For the longest time Joey was the elusive ideal.  Joey was sthe one ex that all potential suitors were measured against.  In attempting to write down our first encounter I came to the realization that there was nothing epic, template worthy, about the encounter.  There was nothing grandiose or particularly outstanding about the relationship’s arc.  In fact, the mental glorification of that relationship and its beginning is rather obsessive.

I met Joey just as I was turning 20 years old.  It had been New Year’s Eve, at club Tilt, during the celebratory drag show.  I felt the back of my ear get flicked.  I turned around, “Hi.”

Joey explained he was following an impulse and immediately knew the type of person I was dealing with.

“Alright.”  And turned back around.

Joey got my attention again by asking if wanted to roll.

“Okay,” I answered.

 

While we dated, I believed I was not complex enough for him because all that he was appeared brave and loud.  Two things that I was not.  I was scared the whole time that he’d find out that beneath the image I had designed wasn’t someone worthy.  I feared his rejection, and so created chaos to deflect from being a cypher.  I covered up my exuberance, believing that a demeanor of cold detachment decision making would be impressive, because in my fantasy of you I saw strong and decisive; weighed down by another’s gushing emotion; a man that saw devotion as a flaw.  Instead I became frigid and distracted with constant repair on my ice-walls.  I never learned to thaw for those I care about.

We broke up in 2011 on a Sunday in mid-January.  Thank you for being polite until after my birthday, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.  We hadn’t seen one another the previous night – I had worked late, so was all puppy-dog tails to see him.  When I arrived, I was greeted by a friend of his unceremoniously handing me my things.  I was numb; I needed to understand, so putting my belongings down took out my phone.  Joey’s response was a generic text stating the official dissolution.

I should have predicted the break-up because of the distance for three-and-a-quarter-months.  I persisted by being better at playing house as a new year’s resolution, but it was all too little, too late, and now suspiciously out of character.  His apprehensive glances telegraphed the to end our relationship.

Years later, when I looked backed on the relationship I know I wasn’t particularly happy.  When I recall the relationship with Joey, what comes to mind is his habit of telling him something, then he vehemently disagrees.  These weren’t ideological differences, or rooted in arcane knowledge.  Rather, disagreements came over individual rights and basic operations of politics and humanism.  We’d part in the morning for our separate work, and then return to each other that evening with Joey’s mind changed.  This change of mind arose because he had talked to his co-workers, who told him that he was in the wrong; that I was correct.  That was the routine of our relationship: Joey respected only his friends and their opinions, and not mine.  The chaos that I had sewn had seeped into every aspect of our relationship, leaving Joey unable to have faith that I’d be saying the truth, or respect my stance as having validity.

Advertisements

Dead Roads outline

When the Pantheon left the plane of existence they sealed the planet beneath a mercury sky.  One thousand one hundred eighty-one years after the Second Revelation, The Awakening occurs, those that fell into catatonic sleep awaken from their immortal slumber.  Among the awakened is an orphan five-year-old boy.  Sixteen years after that a young man wonders the remains of Bharat ad Xinca.  He is flanked by six direwolves.

As the boy journeys across the deserts and mountains, he gathers followers.  Traveling the boy hopes to trace his origins, having awoke with no memory.  He is raised by Rejenys monks in an underground Sacred Garden.  The monks train him to control all cells in his body, and to manipulate his xi into a body encasing tactile psychokinesis.

The boy left the monastery on his twenty-first birthday to find his origins.  Along the way the boy meets the Pantheon one-by-on – coming and going as they please.  The Pantheon uses the boy to gain access to dense urban areas, where the boy is compelled to re-enact Rejenys myths.  Doing this the Pantheon creates a spiritual resurgence of stories and prayers to the Pantheon.

Reaching the Xinca Archipelago, alone, the boy reaches the site of his conception.  There he is met by an undisguised Nico, who with open arms, reveals her to be his mother and takes him to join her and Topher.

It Takes A Village

Being overwhelmed can have a physical effect on the body.  It doesn’t always need to be pressure, but an overriding omnipresent emotion or anxiety from a routinely occurring event.  Triggers can be wide ranging from job promotion to routinely being around negative human beings.  In the instance of myself it causes extreme stomach and back pain.  I begin feeling constant pain in my abdomen that doesn’t dissipate with consuming food.  Knots form under my shoulder blade or at the base of my skull as pressure becomes more consuming.

When the stress’ antecedent is removed, stamina must be regrown to fully participate and engage with life.  The road to mending is a slippery slope – anxiously re-entering the hamster wheel.  Life is a cyclical series of work, relax, work, relax.  At any moment during the early moments of recovery there is the nagging thought that the next quick cycle would be the trigger for another physical episode.

Living from crisis to crisis doesn’t lead to stability, but creates a system of management only.  Management sustains a depressing homeostasis, which is as imprisoning as the pain itself.  Activities are missed; isolation ensues.  Regardless of the cycle that a person endures, breaking and starting on a new path is difficult to do.  The body and mind have reflexes driving actions towards knowable patterns – again the cycle repeats.  Friends and inter-personal relationships assist with driving the new path, constantly grabbing the brakes by injecting day-to-day with vulnerable relatable stories.  While they are not trained cognitive therapists, friends and co-workers offer opportunities to relate anxieties, failures, and successes.  They provide conversations where automatic thoughts, which distort reality, can be challenged.  Then the automatic thoughts can be worked through and dispelled with a professional.

It takes a village.

Diamond Queen – outline

Angel Constantine is an artist poised between two worlds: indie-art and dance-pop musi.  She burst onto the cultural radar with her single, the pure-peppy fist-pumping electro-pop “Hanging Out.”  The song’s promotional video contained brave sexual imagery that reflected her parents’ home country’s political upheaval in a vibrantly violent story; the promo went on to sweep the EU Grammy categories.  Since then, through her gleeful imagination ruled by a disciplined study of gesture and attitude, as well as strength, in body and spirit, Constantine has designed a new iconoclast daring the world to not scrutinize.

The brighter Constantine’s star grew the heavier she came under criticism for having a Svengali in DJ/Producer NORE, having begun a professional relationship when she was 15 in Ibiza.  Their mentor-protégé relationship is sweetly protective and utterly confusing to observe.  He has nicknamed her “Songbird”, calling her by it as they discuss work, art, & fashion.  Both she and NORE fought back by asserting Constantine was her own artist and dictated the direction of her work, writing all the lyrics and vocal arrangements.  The nature of their relationship was eventually revealed when a marriage certificate listed the couple married in 2052 in Hubbe City; Angel would’ve been sixteen, and NORA would’ve been thirty-three.  Three years later Angel was linked to the Blithedale sex-game murders, when a young man died at an Commission licensed event, when papers turned over to NEON in the Depravity Watch’s indecency investigation, listed Angel as an employee of Thaïs Kyabakura in 2051, when she would’ve been fifteen years old.

Inquisitors declared Constantine a victim of a clandestine and manipulative organization, escaping obscenity and prostitution charges.  But former co-workers disagree with The Watch’s ruling, going as far as to say that she perjured herself, claiming Angel had been in Neophyte training for six weeks at the Basilia Phalanstère in Sidume.  Constantine maintains she never took that path, and hopes that she won’t be called to testify at the indecency trial, scheduled to begin in November of 2056.  In the meantime, Angel wasn’t free from any entanglement with the Malthusian Commission, claiming to being continually monitored by The Watch.  Constantine says it’s because when inquisitors brought her in for questioning, they became annoyed and frustrated when she couldn’t supply names of executives or guests because she didn’t know anyone’s real name.

The November 2056 inquisition was too much for Angel and NORE who broke up early in 2057.  Angel left the studio that year and turned towards acting, turning in an award nominated and winning performance in ‘Perfect Blue’, playing a singer turned actress whose mental stability slowly unravels after shattering her perfect image.  Further distancing herself from her past, Angel moved into The Sacred Orchard at Topher’s invitation, acting as ambassador to the World Government Organization.

A Beginning Path to Balance

I have dawdled and diddled to put the new home together.  The furniture is in place, the dishes are away, and the closet is full of clothes.  My walls though seem extra-ordinarily empty and sparse.  I have yet to achieve a home that is centering.  Calming, yes.  Centering, no.

Centering requires balance, but that is still on the “Working On” list.  My mind is constantly five steps ahead of where I need to be, which is evident by my home – piles of “To Do” are everywhere; and each seems as though it never shrinks.

I am constantly bogged down in the planning and minute of life.  The big picture is in the plan, but the trees are too enticing.  It takes all my strength and energy to stay focused and not become distracted by gears in the clock.  As I focus on the patterns, designs, clashing, and mixing I lose the trail through the woods.

Goals center a being.  They keep everything in perspective, allowing balance to be the dictator of motivation.  The goals of my life morph but have always been rooted in the idea of creating equity.  The tool I have always wanted to use is writing.  Life is at times hacking away with the tools to see the path.

Over time I have learned that it is okay to feel lost and drift from day to day, ignorant of balance.  I began doing this by actively choosing to go through the two boxes of print outs and read, which allowed me to see how much of my fictional cosmology has been told.  I began reserving weekends to take inventory of what I have produced.  I learned that days do not need to be a constant rush towards the goal line, but can be relaxed and taking inventory.  It is on those days, taking stock of what has been accomplished, one can be humbled by the steps that have been taken; we can pat ourselves on our own back.

Dorian & Brent

Immediately after my sixteenth birthday, I left the flotillas and headed to the family estate in Pentapolis of the Valley.  I was determined to attend Aerynd University’s Waterfront Annex conservatory.  I backpacked my way across Bharat, working as an Bliethdale artist’s model; I never considered myself the prettiest, but I smiled deceptively locking myself in another mind.

As I crossed Bharat I met an Ascomanni, Brent, who acted as muscle to protect models from overly amorous artists and auteurs.  He was a a few years older than me.  Brent had a strong secure beach body, that had a thick mat of auburn brown chest hair.  Brent was different than the flotilla boys, he engaged in rough-housing, and the closest I knew that summer to camp-adventures.  Overall, being in his company made one feel protected no matter what.  Brent made me feel as if I could tell him I was ecchi and not be thrown in the trash.  I never told him but I like to pretend he knew and was kind to help me.  I wouldn’t have minded if Brent was my first kiss (he wasn’t).

Since Brent was Blithedale security we were all able to go at night, and play in the bars and clubs without being molested by Bharat’s governing class.  With Brent around yacht-parties off the coast became available to us, and were regularly indulged because of the ability to easily procure poppy java and salvia cigarettes.  On one weekend, a group of us models and security were invited to dine and sunbathe on the Blithedale local chairman.  As we were walking the deck to lunch inside, Brent ran up and grabbed me around the waist, to throw both of us into the pool.  I’m a good sport and laughed after catching my breath.  I was flustered and flushed that Brent had been so close to me – with his shirt off no less!

The Blithedale Chairman asked Brent if I was as much a paper weight as I looked.

I was hurt – my emotional high did not even get to last a full moment, let alone minute; I had never heard the term ‘paperweight’ before.

Brent chuckled.  “He’s as light as he looks.”    Brent picked me up again, this time cradled in his arms (swoon!) and – saying “Fun to throw around!” – he again threw me in the water.

After Bharat, I took an ocean-liner back to Biell, in The Valley.

X-Men’s Legacy Virus

X-Men's Legacy VirusI annoyingly tagged along on my mother’s weekly grocery trips, using them to routinely see if the magazine spinner rack contained a new super-hero adventure.  As a youth, I connected with every aspect of the superhero genre: the ordinary persona was a cover for the true fascinating life away from restrictions.  The grocery store’s spinner rack held many A-list superheroes, such as Batman, Superman, and Captain America, but was overwhelmingly mostly C-list, Ex-Mutants or SleepWalker; others were B-list or cult heroes like the growing Dark Horse line, Ghost or X.  I flipped through each title, sitting on the ground, sampling their plots and characters, but their struggles felt too distant from my own.  It took months for me to find the title that was my life, that reflected everything that I was feeling – the X-Men.  These were heroes that instinctually understood me and I them.  Their world was my world.  I was a mutant and that’s why I didn’t fit in!

The X-Men family of titles when I discovered them were polybagged because they were amid the “X-Cutioner’s Song” storyline, and each issue contained a trading card.  The X-Men’s founder and mentor Professor X had been shot.  Searching for the would-be assassin the X-Men discover the attacker was a clone of Cable, time travelling son from the future of founding member Cyclops.  Before being defeated Cable’s clone, Stryfe, gave a mysterious canister of mutant DNA to the X-Men’s enemy Mr. Sinister, who opened the container to discover it open.  Rather than receiving the genetic code to Cyclops and Jean Grey, another founding X-Men member, Mr. Sinister released the Legacy Virus, a disease created by Stryfe that targeted mutants and disrupted their necessary RNA replication, making the body incapable of creating healthy cells, which resulted in the mutant’s death.  In the final moments of life, the Legacy Virus caused a mutant’s power to flare violently, in effect turning the mutant’s ability – what made them unique amongst other mutants – into the cause of their own destruction.

Underneath the garish early 1990s costumes the X-Men had pathos.  The Avengers and Fantastic Four were friendly clubs occupied by those who found being a super-hero an adventure.  The characters were chums and friends who spent their down time around a pool or squabbling over used condiments.  The X-Men were a found family because there were no other heroes that understood their position in society.  The X-Men didn’t want to save the world, they wanted to live and be left alone.  The villains of other teams wanted their opponents subdued so that victory could be achieved.   Down time for the X-Men was spent training to control their powers, running through numerous survival scenarios because their antagonists were actively attempting to kill and commit genocide.  Still the X-Men believed in showing compassion and empathy to their opponents, believing in finding a common ground to move forward.  The X-Men taught me that exposure to similar experiences has the potential to bring about understanding.

NEON/ECN – Lost Children outline

After the Seven Year War, when the Terrain System first came in contact with another sentient life form, was the Great Devastation, when Terrains were forced into solation – behind the Devastation Wall – there was widespread inter-planetary post-apocalyptic chaos: The Central Government Council is impotent by the cost of a failed expansionist war; science crimes have sky-rocketed; and inflation runs unchecked.  To investigate and stop those that would exploit the cracks in society is counter-terrorist and anti-crime wetworks ECN: Emergency Chevalier Network.

Chevaliers are genetically grown soldiers that are hybrids of carbonite, plants, and human DNA.  The chevaliers Misty Bleu and Felix, among other agents, are assigned with investigating and dismantle a blackmarket Aeolya synthesis network.  As the chevaliers dig deeper into the network of illegal science their own Twentieth Century and Aeolya origins become apparent to them.  Taking point in the investigation Misty and Felix journey to the Outer Planets, where they discover the source of the Aeolya synthesis is a Sacred Garden of The Pantheon around the orbit of Saturn.  The ECN’s discovery of a new Sacred Garden triggers the implosion of The Devastation Wall, which slowly compresses the energy of the Terrain System.  This brings about an explosion that births the evolution of the next universe.

Verve – Joey Looked Good on Paper

For the longest time Joey as the elusive ideal cast a long specter over everyone that came into my life.  He was the one ex that all potential suitors were measured against.  Physically, Joey was wondrous.  He was tall with broad shoulders.  A great chest; a nice set of strong thick legs; beautiful chest hair.  Joey had kissable lips.  I loved his devilish cackle of a laugh, and the glint in his eye.  Joey was never the emotionally warmest person, in my recollections, but I never found it a problem.  He did share though, he talked about his day and how events affected him.  Joey brought a person in.  I never felt alone with him. I was always an embarrassed 13-year-old around him.

Conversely, Joey looked good on paper, but fed the deepest insecurity about being valued.  Joey had the habit of vehemently disagreeing with something I had said, which could’ve been an explanation or clarification of a fact.  These were not exactly ideological differences.  We’d part for work, and then return to each other that evening.  As we discussed our day Joey would drop comments synthesizing his morning’s statement with what I had said.  This change of mind arose because Joey had talked with his co-workers, who had informed him of why I was correct.  That was the typical routine of a typical disagreement.  Over time, I began asking myself, Why does Joey never just have faith that I’d know something or be correct, or respect that my stance has validity?  Joey respected only his friends and their opinions, and not mine.

Sex & the City Dating Escape

Sex and the CityJodie Dallas of Soap had loomed over my concept of homosexuality until Stanford Blatch of Sex & the City.  The show populated New York city with playful high fashion, single-life experiences, and a found family that I seemed tailored to me as a glamorous adult.  Sex & the City made the goals I had longed for myself seem a greater possibility.

Stanford Blatch was the primary gay character on the series, riddled with insecurities about not being gay-perfect just as I was, but Carrie Bradshaw was who I had wanted to be.  It wasn’t having all the dates, but her love of style, being a writer, and out partying with literati.  Seeing Carrie’s brownstone apartment made me long for my own, where I could look out a window and watch the world, inspiring my writing.   She started as a columnist and grew into an New York Times Bestseller List author.  Her humor was self-deprecating and her friendship unconditional, while being self-absorbed.

The four women – Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha – were a glamorous and carefree version of the found family.  Where Tales of the City had been realistic working-class San Francisco, Sex & the City was a high-class Manhattan fantasy of friends, weeknight art shows, and weekend Broadway theatre.  The Sex & the City women found each other through shared dating experiences, creating a strong bond between one another that anchored them through hardships.

Behind my manic-pixie-boy mask older men seemed more worldly and attractive, I adventured beyond SUNY Purchase boys to older gay males, hoping to be a step closer to NYC escape.  Instead of a Sex & the City fantasy – theatre, dinners, and art galleries – I reversed my escape from ticky-tacky suburbia, to be behind the neighbors’ curtains.  And I didn’t like it.  Behind closed curtains, by men citing an appreciation for privacy, my perception grew to see “privacy” as a bent mirror to myself.    The growth of Carrie and Jodie only moved smoothly because they had the benefit of writers who ensured their progress.  This does not accurately reflect real-world journeys, which are filled with starts and stops.  When I left for college I believed I was leaving behind childhood for adulthood.  College to me was the floor of maturity and not another step towards growth.  The growth of Carrie and Jodie only moved smoothly because they had the benefit of writers who ensured their progress.  This does not accurately reflect real-world journeys, which are filled with starts and stops.  When I left for college I believed I was leaving behind childhood for adulthood.  College to me was the floor of maturity and not another step towards growth.

I had careened from one fantasy depiction of homosexuality to another, from Jodie Dallas to Sex & the City’s Carrie Bradshaw.  Both characters found their lives conflicted and dramatic as they learned who they were.  They both did deal with natural consequences and problems rooted in emotional authenticity, their journeys were routed in entertainment and fantasy.  Their experiences were heightened for viewership and broad appeal, a fantasy where internal and external hardwork are glossed by in favor of the end goal.  In Sex & the City Carrie is rarely seen actively writing (beyond the episode’s hook), skipping over the day-to-day difficulties and grit needed to reach the Bestseller List, just as Jodie Dallas’ emotional journey is truncated by emotional swings that skip closure.  The sweeping storytelling of television leaves daily details on the editing floor.