03 August 2013

The Depression of Doooom

Yesterday... or this morning, by the calender, but before the last time I slept, so to me it seems like yesterday... I said to a friend that it's difficult to write about love when you're depressed and heartbroken. I was a little surprised to write it; I hadn't admitted to myself that I was depressed, or that I was still heartbroken. It's a little pathetic, I suppose, to still be heartbroken seven months after the last time I interacted with my ex on any level.

I've been alone for a long time. The last time I was seriously in love was in the mid-90s. That romance had serious problems... my girlfriend then wasn't so much in love with me as she was with the idea of not being alone. She constantly compared me, unfavorably, to prior partners she'd had. When she finally broke up with me, she said that I wasn't as smart as I liked to think I was. And while I now recognize that she was saying harsh things in an effort to make me give up on her, it hurt me deeply, because I genuinely in love with her. When you're in love with someone, you let them in through your shields; you give them the power to wound you deeply.

So it had been a long time since I was with anyone, seriously. I'd dated a little here and there... there was a girl in New York, and one in Tucson; a third in Flagstaff. But none of those were anything more than a little companionship; not so much Ms Right, as Ms Right-Now. And I'm not good at recognizing signals... or else, women don't really send me signals. I have to be hit by a clue-by-four to recognize that a woman is interested in me.

The Redhead hit me with that clue-by-four. She hit me with it in possibly the most effective way she could have; in a way that reached all the way back to my childhood, when I was first forming my ideas about sex, and desire, and love. She was smart, and beautiful, and eloquent. She was a geek, and sarcastic, and tender. She was everything I've ever wanted in a partner, even the incredibly shallow things that I would never admit to anyone else.

And she loved me. That love changed my ideas about myself. It made me see myself in a completely different light. If someone as wonderful as she was loved me, how could I be as lacking in human virtue as I'd come to believe?

But she changed her mind. And I'm still trying to find a way to deal with that.

05 April 2013

New Fic Teaser (of Doom?)

“I came to the moon to go to college,” I said to my twin sister, Ren.  She... or at least her holographic avatar... was shrunk down to twenty centimeters and standing on my desk.  I leaned back in my chair and sighed.  “There were literally a million applicants for every admission here this year,” I went on.  “How can I waste time?”

Ren shook her head. Despite being my twin, she had Mama’s coppery-red hair, while I had Mom’s raven black.  I was jealous, but not enough to do the genetweek.  She was on Earth, at Mom’s alma mater, Northern Arizona University.  There was a slight but noticeable delay as the signal bounced from Aitken basin to the satellite at L2, from there to the processing station at L4, to the Baker Island High Port, and finally down to Flagstaff.  “Your argument is spurious, Ran,” she said.  “The admissions algorithm selected you as the best match for Sankt Vladimir’s cultural as well as educational milieux.  That includes your interest in dressing up in weird clothes.”

I sighed and rubbed my eyes. “I wish I could talk to Mama about it,” I complained.  I tapped my slate, pulling up the system map.  Two months on, Grey Maru would not yet have passed the orbit of Mars on its Hohmann orbit out to the Jupiter Trojans. The time lag would be no more than talking to Ren.  

Ren looked like she was about to object that I could, but then she nodded; she knew what I meant.  “It’s weird,” she agreed, “not being able to go to the jungle and talk to them. But she would agree with me.  Ran, you’re in Lunagrad.  How many times in the last five years have I heard you go on and on about the Valentina Bridge and the CosPlay brigade there?”

“How many times did I hear you gush on about ‘the mountain campus,’” I countered.  “How’s that fresh air thing going for you?”

Ren looked embarrassed.  “I’ve discovered that ‘fresh air’ smells like cattle droppings,” she admitted.  “But I’m waiting for winter... I’m told that skiing is a blast.”  She shook her head at me.  “And you’re deflecting.  You know what Mom would say if you asked her about it.”

“Is your homework done?” I said, mimicking Mom’s drawl.

“Well?” Ren asked.  “Is it?”

I looked off to the left, at my bed and the pile of textbooks I’d left there to answer Ren’s call.  “Yeah,” I said, only fudging a little.

“Then you can go play,” Ren said, mimicking Mom’s drawl as well.

I nodded.  Ren was silent for a moment, then went on, “I have to go meet some people,” she said.  “But you really should go.”  She blew me a kiss.  “Love you, Orchid.  Miss you.”

“Love you, Lotus,” I answered.  “Miss you more.”  Her hologram winked at me, and then vanished.  I sighed, and closed the channel. 

23 March 2013

The Movie of Doom

As I drove in to work today, I had NPR on the radio.  I often have NPR on the radio, because I need something to quiet the voices in my head... and NPR keeps me from having to listen to love songs that make me cry over The Redhead dumping me.  Because, you know, crying is not particularly conducive to safe driving.  And isn't it amazing how many popular songs are about love?  You'd think there was nothing else available about which to write songs.

But I digress.  On the program Snap Judgement, I heard a segment by the documentary filmmaker of Seeking Asian Female.  She described how she came to make the film; described how she was uncomfortable with the way that a certain kind of (generally White) male looked at her, objectified her, and that she wanted to get into those guy's heads, wanted to see what it was that they saw when they looked at her. 

Have I mentioned that I was born in Japan? I thought about a particular incident from my life: the night that I walked through a dark parking lot, and a man in a truck drove past, turned back, parked his truck, and came to talk to me.  There is no horror story here; I talked politely but distantly to him, he got back in his truck, I got in my jeep, and I drove miles out of my way on well-trafficed streets to be sure he wasn't following me.

But it happened because of how I look, is my point; it happened because he perceived me as being part of a class of women that fit his particular desires, and it didn't have anything to do with who I was. So I have some experience of what the filmmaker was talking about, is my point.  And I listened to her piece with interest.

One thing that she said made me sad: "Steve wasn't really marriage material.  He didn't have a house, he didn't have much money...."  It made me sad because you could say those things about me.  I have a decent job, but I don't really have any savings.  I have a twelve-year-old car that my mother gave me, and it's requiring a lot of maintenance lately.  I don't have a house... I rent an apartment in a part of town that's okay, but not the best. 

When The Redhead and I were together, she wasn't my girlfriend; she was my partner.  I placed her needs, physical, emotional, spiritual, on a level with my own, and tried to find ways to fulfill those needs... hers, and mine.  Sometimes, I put her needs first.  Sometimes, I put my needs first.  Most of the time, I found ways to fulfil both of our needs at the same time. 

I'm interested in my partner's life.  I'm interested in her interests.  I'm a good friend, an affectionate partner, and, I think, a good person to be with.  But it wasn't enough for The Redhead.  And, apparently, it's not enough for the maker of the documentary.  Which makes me wonder if there's anybody it's enough for.

In the last argument that The Redhead and I had before she dumped me, I said that I chose to believe that the future would be better; that I had to believe that, or I'd end up in the bathtub with a pot on my head to keep the bullet from going through the wall after it went through my head. 

I still feel that way.

16 March 2013

The Anniversary of Doom

In March, 2012, I was living in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Or, as I would sometimes write it, Tteenneessee.  On White Day, March 14, 2012, The Redhead sent me an email indicating her interest in me.  We'd become accquainted on Google Plus, and I'd been flirtatious at her, but figured nothing would come of it.  But on White Day, I wrote about Valentine's Day / White Day, and how lesbians interpreted the roles.  And The Redhead sent me a White Day present, indicating her interest.

We wrote a lot of email for a couple of days.  And she revealed that her roommate was leaving town for a few days, and that she was a little scared because the previous time that the roommate had been gone, she'd passed out and concussed herself.  She was afraid of that happening when she was alone, and of the possiblity that she could die with no one there.  So I stole money from my brother's "get out of jail eventually" bank account, put gas in my car, and drove the four hours to Charlotte to be with her while her roommate was away.

A year ago this very moment, I was waiting for her to get out of the shower and answer me, let me know if it was okay for me to come and keep her company.  She did, eventually, and I drove.  I stopped just across the TN/NC border, and got a side order of bacon at the Waffle House.  We were text messaging each other at each of my stops, and she was concerned about what I might pick up on my skin at the Waffle House.

So, when I arrived about five in the morning and found her sitting on her porch, I sat beside her in another chair, and didn't touch her.  We talked for about an hour, and then I got up and went inside, used the bathroom, and did a full nursing scrub from my fingertips to my elbows.  And when I came back out, I took her hand, and we talked for another hour or so, sitting on the porch, holding hands.

Eventually, we decided it was time to sleep, and we got up and went inside.  I hesitated at her bedroom door.  "I came here," I said, "with hopes, but no expectations.  If you want, I can go and sleep on the couch, and it'll be fine."  And she smiled, and took my hand, and led me into her bedroom.

We had a very good week together.  And that turned into a relationship, and that turned into the best six months of my life.  I felt like I was loved; I felt secure and happy.  And I didn't know what the future was going to look like, but I believed that she would be next to me as we went forward into it.  As we shaped that future for ourselves, to suit ourselves.

But then, she began to draw away from me.  She made new friends, and adopted a new religion, and one of the keystones of that religion was "No Homos!"  And she said, "They're going to have to yield on that," and she said, "any friend of mine will just have to acccept you," and she said... many things.  But in the end, she kept me hidden from her new friends, and eventually, she broke up with me. 

And the worst six months of my life ensued.  I miss her every day.  I cry at stupid things, because The Redhead would like them, and I can't share them with her.  I haven't spoken with her at all since Christmas Eve, and I don't expect that I will ever speak to her again.  And I'm coming to terms with that.  But... I still miss her.  And I still love her.  And I've gone over everything I've done, and everything she's done, and I don't see anyplace I could have done anything different.  I don't see anywhere I did anything wrong.

I thought that this relationship was going to be different.  I thought that she saw who I was, and accepted me for that person.  I thought that I was ready to have a real, grown-up relationship, and to make it last the rest of my life.  And I thought she was ready, too.  I thought that there were myriad little pieces of our lives and experiences that fit together and made us an excellent, an amazing couple.  I knew that she made my life better, and I thought that I made her life better.

But somewhere, I was wrong.

10 March 2013

The Maunderings of Doooooom

I was thinking about FurryMuck tonight. As I did paperwork, wrapping up yesterday, preparing for today, I was thinking about who I used to be. Mucks started after the grand hayday of text-based adventure games, after InfoCom stopped being a gaming company, but they were the same sort of thing... a text-based environment where you could relate to people through their words, and yours.

And even then, I foresaw that they wouldn't last forever; that graphics would overtake them. And though FurryMuck is still there (I had to check; I myself have not signed on in years), it has been made less important by the advent of MMO games. In some ways, MMO games are not as free an environment as the mu* worlds, because you can't do whatever you want; only what the programers have set up for you to do.

But I wonder how long it will be before technologies like Kinect make it possible for you to be in those worlds more fully; before you find the line between reality and virtual reality blurring.  I read an article which suggested that gaming insiders believe holodeck-equivalent technology is no more than ten or fifteen years away.

And I find myself wondering... how will we find each other there?  FurryMuck was found because people had a common interest in antropomorphic animals (or theriomorphic people, depending on how you view it) but I haven't found that the PlayStation Network's Home has any organizing principles.  I haven't played Second Life... in part because no one I know seems to play it... but I wonder how people find each other there.

I talk, sometimes, about how great it would be to be able to play RPGs with Michael and Steve, who now live far away from me, or with Grace in England.  I wonder... will the technology make that possible, or will there always be barriers such as time zones stopping us from getting together?  Will we be able to gather for a few hours once a week with those who are congenial to us, and have shared adventures?  And... how would we find those people, new people, who are congenial to us?

It's a brave, new world.

12 January 2013

The Break-Up of Doooooooom

The week before he was murdered in New York City, John Lennon said in an interview that life was what happens when we're making other plans. I was planning a life with my girlfriend. She had other plans. And there are a lot of things I could say about that. I could talk about how her stated reason makes no sense to me. I could talk about how devistating it was to me that she didn't want a future with me anymore. I could talk about how close I came to dying. But none of it really matters, in the long run. All that matters is that she broke up with me, and I survived it, and now I'm trying to figure out where all the pieces go back together without her. And that's very, very difficult. But I'm working on it... one day, one piece, at a time.