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.

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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.

Dorian After the Blithedale Scandal

Dorian After the Blithedale Scandal 1I turned my time with Blithedale into the novel Vagabond’s Ways, which was met by critical acclaim.  The novel presented readers with the outre challenge of piecing together the history of an unconventional polygamous experience, far removed from social and political expectations.  Despite detailing experiences outside of readers’ experiences Vagabond’s Ways’ popularity caught Tilael Publishing unprepared.  My success overshadowed Ian Jimenez’s painting career that to had sputtered due to political controversy.  Eventually the stress of divergent career trajectories led to their break-up, which I responded to by throwing himself into work at Ego’s Own.  At the time, I thought we were different but we weren’t.  Ian smiled to confuse, and I talked; he was egocentric, and I thought myself unique.

After the Blithedale Scandal, friendship and old-fashioned dating were off the table.  Alone, I would smoke salvia walking through Caentibiry and wondered if my ex-boyfriends wondered about me the same ways I’ve about them?  I was sure they hadn’t because when I dreamt of ex-boyfriends, I gave them the relationship that wasn’t possible with me.  I omnisciently observe their typical day: wake up, go to work (recording or art studio), then happily home to husbands.  They were good boyfriends, just not good for me; they were someone else’s happy relationship.

When I haven’t been in a romantic relationship, the friendships I had with unattainable men quickly fizzle.  He did not need to be the most attractive, but needed to be surrounded by the most.  I relied on presenting myself as the ice cold, eye-rolling, label-less one.  The bonds that were attempted consistently had an expectation of friend with benefit situation.  I found those that took that route to be overbearing, as shallow as I pretended to be, or what I used for a mask was their true personality.  Do straight women need to flirt to begin male friendships?

For the next two years, I curated a collection of coffetable autobiographic fiction by Huxia artists, which detailed the Genesis Revolution’s effects on their ecology and culture. Continue reading “Dorian After the Blithedale Scandal”

Oliver’s NYC Escape

Oliver and Company (Oliver's NYC Escape)My passionate love for all things New York City began with the rollicking technicolor adventure of Disney’s Oliver & Company.  While it can’t be possible because I was born in 1983, but I recall seeing Oliver & Company on the big screen movie; but I still maintain that The Little Mermaid was my first big screen Disney movie.  The pop-songs of Billy Joel and the bright colors of New York City were candy to me.  Oliver & Company had it all, as far as I was concerned: quick, hand-drawn animation; various styles of humor; a lesson about family; and the pop-songs of Billy Joel.  The Disney film’s Manhattan adventures helped lay the foundation that created the landscape that fueled my queer escape fantasies.

Oliver, the remaining free-to-adopt kitten in the box, reflects the emotional isolation queer students feel throughout middle and high school, watching other students pair off to experiment with the opposite sex.  Oliver is separated from his peers.  Abandoned, Oliver falls into friendship with the thief Fagin and his dogs – Dodger, Tito, Francis, and Rita – paralleling the found family friends that homosexuals find in similar people; either because of disapproval or knowing how difficult life would be for the child.  During his time with Fagin’s crew, Oliver meets a similarly abandoned young rich girl, Jenny.  Upon meeting Jenny, Oliver is offered an opportunity of acceptance; and vice-versa for Jenny, who is consistently left with only a butler while her parents travel.  The basis of that acceptance is that Jenny doesn’t truly know Oliver, or his life as a thief, which eventually catches up with him.  For queer identity development Jenny represents the dreams and goals that are imposed by the majority.  Oliver, like young queers, has mixed feelings about owning the newly discovered world or the normative from which they came.  Choosing neither endangers the clarity of life’s path.  Only at the end when both worlds, that Oliver doesn’t want to meet, do meet is he able to find happiness in his identity and create unique goals for himself.

Oliver & Company painted the picture of New York City with the experiences and people I wanted.  The characters kept a sunny view towards the world, despite the hardships that were thrown at them, regardless of the collar-color of the problem.  While they scrounged for food scrapes the dogs made playful games of their thievery to alleviate.  The cast of Oliver & Company took their lumps, learned, and then tried again with new vigor.  They had grit, ambition, and motivation to make steps.  No matter how many knocks life gave them, Fagin & Crew dreamed of a utopian life, nurtured with their communal domestic routine.  As in the found family, Fagin & Crew, shared their spoils and comforted through their failures.  They were early models of friendship and family in its purest forms.  A New York City of bohemian friendship, where there wasn’t much, but what was had was shared willingly.

ENTELECHY – 3 – Crepuscular of Limited Questions

Topher begins revolutionizing the world by acknowledging Artillects and computer-based life forms as equal.  By appealing to the maligned and forgotten Topher forms his power-base.  Next, Topher decrees that Magnolia Orchard, will be known as Star Garden, and seceded from NAU.  Topher requests from the World Nations Organization to have the Gardens acknowledged as a separate country.  The Malthusian Commission rallied other WNO blocs to deny Topher’s petition.  In retaliation, Topher raises the numerous Sacred Orchards around the world from their countries, creating tribal utopias with unlimited power, clean water, food, etc…  This begins a quickly escalating terrorist war between Rejenys and status quo.

The conflict began in earnest when a series of Malthusian coordinated terrorist attacks occur at Sacred Orchards across the world.  In Afruika, hysteria reaches pitch when Rejenys followers are lead into a mass execution in Mount Eros; among them is Melissa Cobalt, who prays to Topher but Nico arrives, taking the survivors away.

Next, in Vargaria, while on a romantic hunting trip with Ninive, Wyte is killed by Malthusian Coalition soldiers.  After Wyte’s funeral, Topher sends apostles out to purchase items for a Pantheon dinner.  With his friend murdered, Topher believes that peaceful existence with the current WNO cannot be.  Using the Sacred Orchards as hubs, Topher enflames the Burning Ember, whose Tear re-emits an electric-magnetic pulse that leaves 79% of the population in suspended animation.  When the remaining 21% of the population awaken their memories and identities are reset.  The Pantheon takes residence within The Ember, abandoning the amnesiacs to build a new society unburdened by preconceived ideals.

Verve – Tales of the City & Sense8

Sense8 [I Am We] (Tales of the City & Sense8)Tales of the City series offered a worldview where groups do not exist in isolation.  Rather, they exist shoulder to shoulder, helping and loving, other groups.  Tales of the City celebrates the connectedness of humanity.  My first found family was Armistead Maupin’s More Tales of the City, the second in the series, when I read it in high school.  More Tales of the City embedded in me the values and worldview that made the Netflix series ‘Sense8’, by the Wachowski Siblings and J. Michael Straczynski.

In ‘Sense8’ there is a parallel species called homosensate, where a group (‘cluster’) is mentally and emotionally linked across the world.  The show emphasizes the shared humanity amongst the diverse characters, while using their differences to unite and save one another.  The members of a cluster did not know one another, due to global distance, prior to being activated, and find in one another a family.  While happy in each other lives, they are isolated from those around them either because of a secret or just feeling misunderstood, but a cluster’s connections allows members to share experiences and memories, granting them innate understanding of who one another are.

The found family concept was introduced in More Tales of the City, which was taken to a global level by the wonderful ‘Sense8’.  The Netflix series acted as a macrocosm to San Francisco in Tales of the City, applying the US melting pot to the entire world.