Monday, January 16, 2012

The Road to Beaumont

Jon-El Williams fell fully into the Triciasphere today.
That could be a good thing because I've gained some insight into how connecting certain points on my personal time line throws me directly onto the Road to Beaumont.  Bob Hope is nowhere in sight.

I'm afraid that I've insulted and/or offended Mr. Williams with something I said.  It's important to remember that in all the years I was growing up, I never got popped for anything I did.  I got popped in the chops because of something I said.  So it's no surprise that there are times when I keep my thoughts to myself - at least until there's a safe distance between me and the other party.  Generally, it's not safe to be in the same room because even when they can't reach you, people will throw things when they get pissed.   The Man chucked his car keys at me once, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't aiming for me since they hit the wall a few feet from my head.  The Dr. Pepper my mother threw at me missed my head, too, but I think she was aiming at me and just missed.  I can't even remember what I said to my father that got him up off the couch and chasing me with the vacuum cleaner that happened to be between us.  Sometimes I just say things that set people off.  Other times all I do is cry so hard it feels like my eyelids are fixing to turn inside out - and I prefer to avoid that too.

Maybe if I could learn to tone it down a little, I could feel safe having substantive personal conversations with people who are in the same room.  It's easy for me to manage substantive conversations at work, or with readers and writers at KGB - but not so easy with someone with whom I'm in the process of becoming intimate.  Intimacy is tricky for everyone, I suspect.

I hope Mr. Williams hasn't decided I'm a damaged lunatic prone to theatrics.  I suppose I'd have to accept that characterization as accurate, but it takes a certain kind of trigger for me to land on the road to Beaumont.  I refuse to think of it as "making a drama" because that phrase suggests mountains out of molehills in places like The Jersey Shore.  I doubt there's ever any real tragedy involved in the piss ant little tantrums that pass as drama on soap operas.  Once you're in a land of trauma and tragedy, I'd say the story is big enough to include a few musical numbers - which brings us again to one of my favorite intersections of Imagination and Real Life, Sondheim's Into the Woods.

Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see.
And learn.

My family comes from Beaumont.  We moved to Houston in when I was two because my dad got a job with the phone company, but we went back to my grandparents' house all the time.  That picture up in the side bar, the one with me and Granny the Ho, was taken in Beaumont.  Even though Granny was certainly a character, her house was safe.  She wasn't living out some Tennessee Williams play.  Tennessee Williams might as well have lifted my grandparents' house and dropped it into some gothic psychodrama much like Dorothy's house was lifted straight out of Kansas.  We didn't have the kind of money Big Daddy had in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, but we did have some issues with Mendacity.

These days, months and months can pass without me even remembering the place.  As it happens, one of the first things Jon-El learned about me is that I was from Beaumont.  He'd known one other woman who came from Beaumont, and she didn't like talking about it either.  I wonder if she knew my uncle or my grandfather, or if she had uncles, stepfathers and grandfathers of her own.  Most likely.  That shit happens everywhere, but there's something about all that Spanish moss hanging from the live oak trees that makes it all seem just a little more twisted.  I expect that's why True Blood is set in Louisiana.

Speaking as someone from the Texas side of the Sabine River, I have to say that I fully believe the folks are more twisted on the Louisiana side.  They may be meaner in Texas.  One thing's for sure, Boudreaux and Bubba cause trouble no matter where they show up.  Just ask the people in the 9th Ward after Katrina.

Years ago, Jon-El was in the Congo for work, and before he could go into some remote area, he had to meet the local medicine woman.  She threw some bones on the dirt floor of her home and told him he had to leave in thirty days.  He did, but his crew stayed behind for another week and wound up with the encephalitis that fucks up your brain but the symptoms didn't show up until after the crew had landed in Haiti.  And that was back during the Duvailers and all the necklacing.  I figure if he has been through that shit he can handle the road to Beaumont.  I can't imagine why anyone would want to handle it, however.

I can't exactly identify what the trigger was last week, but I've been struggling with feeling like a Booty Call.  Jon-El apparently loses track of time when he's working hard, and although he generally responded if I sent a text, I initiated all the communication except for the time he called me on Friday evening, a little tipsy, wanting to come over the next day.  It was kind of cute the first time, but when it was looking like the same thing was fixing to happen, I was feeling like Jon-El and I had reached a point where, according to the Code of the West, my dad would be asking the man to state his intentions toward his daughter.  When a woman is my age, she's got to ask the question her own self.

Maybe I do turn into a damaged lunatic who is prone to theatrics, but there is a bright, shiny little girl who still lives inside me, and she deserves protection in a world where it can be hard to tell the good guys from the bad ones.  We all have that child archetype.  According to Carolyn Myss, the Child is one of our survival archetypes, and it has subcategories - Wounded, Orphaned, Magical and Nature.  Carolyn Myss is an intuitive healer who often works with archetype and story.  And if real life were a story, I'd be the one in the red cape right now watching out for that Big Bad Wolf just like my mother and my grandmother told me.  My mom and my Granny had uncles, stepfathers and grandfathers too.

The Patriarchy is a drag.

From a metaphysical perspective, it looks like I had a survival reaction to some First Chakra energy that was activated when I met Jon-El Williams. Gwen was saying something about first chakra stuff being especially major this year on account of some 26,000 year cycle.  She talks about all kinds of energies on Thursdays now at Here Be Monsters when the focus is the Consciousness Shift as seen in Occupy!

The good news is that I learned Jon-El Williams is not the big bad wolf.  He would be the kindly woodsman who killed the wolf with his axe because Mr. Williams is a 100% honorable man who actually listens, has astute insight and even when he's firm, it feels fundamentally kind.  I know this because in real life, his head might have been exploding once he read my email, but his response was restrained, focused and well written.  Once he sent it, he finally came over to the blog.

Him finding his way over here was a big relief for me, but I can see how it might be disconcerting for a person to be confronted with a character he has become in some theatrical lunatic's blog.  I sure like his character, though, and some people think it's kind of cool to find yourself in the middle of an unfolding story.  Maybe it's a little twisted, too, like the families in some mythical southern town, fallen into genteel decline, with mildew spreading along the white sides of the houses and moss dripping from the trees.  It gets pretty steamy.


Cali said...

Let us hope Mr. Williams can stand up to the moss and mildew of Beaumont, TX. So far, so good.

PENolan said...

Exactly, Cali.
But Beaumont is not so easy, and it may be a road I have to travel on my own.

ellen abbott said...

I find it much better to communicate by blog rather than in person. That way, I get to say my piece without getting side-tracked by his shit. Talking only leads to trouble.

Gail said...

Beaumont is another world for sure - I would most likely be in the fetal position for the first three months or so :-) I think Mr Williams is going to do well - he's has you to guide him through AND I just love that with a word you can get folks to throwing stuff - you are one cool chick
Love Gail'

PENolan said...

Well, Gail, I'm glad you love it. I had to learn how to duck at an early age ;) Actually, I think I'm kind of in the fetal position now, although I've developed an ability to put all that aside until a quiet, solitary time. I'm sure Mr Williams will do fine, too, where ever he goes. I'm not so sure he'll feel like going anywhere near me, however. But a girl can hope.

ellen - I hear you on getting sidetracked by other people's interruptions. I don't mind talking once I get a situation sorted out, and I find that blogging helps me sort out my own bullshit. But when something is bubbling up and demands attention, you have to go with it whether you've got it sorted out or not.
Damn the torpedoes . . .

Cali said...

I think there are a WHOLE LOT of women (and a pretty fair number of men, too) who have their own personal Beaumonts in their past. I would be very surprised if you were the first woman in Mr. Williams life with a Beaumont. However, you may be the first to openly discuss it with him. Beaumont-style pasts are a pretty tricky thing to talk about with potential partners. There has been entirely too much written about our "type" and how we are all either over- or under-sexed and accept being treated poorly by our mates. This is a common mistake made by those who try to paint others with too broad of a brush.

Then there are those among us who only ACT over-sexed until we snag a mate and then never willingly have sex again. Let us hope he hasn't tangled with one of those types before so that he doesn't assume the same is true of you. What is often misunderstood is that it is difficult to impossible to know what is "normal" or "right" when one has received so many mixed messages, and the bible-belt mentality of sex being only for procreation makes it worse.

PENolan said...

I haven't really talked about "IT" at all with him - although if he stumbles over here again I suppose the cat's out of the bag. For me, the last couple of decades have been an effort to lose the whole victim gestalt and become a victor instead.
There's a lot to enjoy about being a polymorph, even if we are a little perverse sometimes.

Nevertheless, you make a very valid point. There are many, many of us out there - all with different attitudes. It's not like if you've known one of us, you've known us all.

Overall, I'm okay. It's just that sometimes I hit a wall, and when it comes to trusting someone well enough to move beyond fun & games and into real intimacy - well, like I said, I was overwrought and awkward. Maybe a tad hostile, but I was hurt, afraid and in retrospect, pushing him away.

He knows enough now to decide if he wants to know me better or not. Blessed Be - and we shall see what we shall see.

Susan Tiner said...

It will be interesting to see how you two work out this unusual way of communicating with each other :).

PENolan said...

Your mouth to G*d's ears, Susan - since it sounds like you think we'll work out something. I'm trying to keep the faith since he does seem to be a man I could trust. That faith, hope and trust stuff all go together - and for all my fundamental cynicism, I still clap because I believe in fairies.

Lisa Golden said...

I hope the story continues to unfold because selfishly, I like the way you tell it.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I had brothers. It doesn't just happen in Texas or Louisiana. I also have a tendency to say things, which over the years, I have learned to edit before opening my mouth, not always though. I still tend to step in it on occasion and I can't help but assume people think I'm one of the freaks from the traveling carnival, which is apropos because my parents were Carnies after all. Take a deep breath. Hug your child, and tread carefully.

PENolan said...

Thanks, Lisa
V.V. - I knew a woman from Long Island who had brothers - and neighbors too. There's a lot of us out there for sure.
Your parents were Carnies? I want to hear that story.

I swear I love all y'all to pieces.

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