Sometime in the morning last week, just before dawn, my brain was thinking, "I'm ready," just as I woke up. Naturally, I instantly concluded that must mean I'm ready to actually consider the possibility of a man in my life. Since my divorce, the new man who has remained longest in my life is Woody. Woody lives 1,500 miles away and I've never met him in real life. Further, I was recently challenging him to examine his perspective and as he stomped off to get another drink, his manner was much like my dad's when I've been challenging his perspective and he stomps off.
Listening the playlist this morning here at HQ, I don't appear to be interested in anyone who reminds me of my father.
Then there's this one, which always reminds me of the Preacher from the Mountains.
Herb, the artist in the woods, is in sort of the same position as the preacher in that he's someone I only know from the internet. I like Herb's work better, though, because conceptually, Herb falls at the intersection of art and activism which intrigues me. Church was always a drag, and the Preacher confirmed what I always suspected: Jesus himself cannot come between the clergy and the collection plate.
This song turns up on my playlists all the time:
I couldn't hear it when I was floating between homes because it wasn't authorized on my laptop. The line that never fails to speak to me is:
I know a lot of things that you don't
You want to hear some?
Somehow, the artist in the woods was pulled into the Triciasphere back around the hurricane. I don't know why the media continues to refer to the hurricane as a superstorm. The Man from San Antone said it had to do with litigation. Somebody who was suing over a hurricane has to prove damages against a superstorm. Apparently, the Courts will have to acknowledge climate change with regard to liability and litigation against their friends in the Insurance business. Litigation has a way of clarifying societal arguments - much like that Catholic Hospital who dodged a malpractice charge by claiming a fetus is not a human even when the mother is seven months pregnant (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/24/catholic-hospital-chain-beats-malpractice-suit-by-saying-fetuses-arent-people/)
The Man told me about litigation and the superstorm when we had drinks at Cafe Luxembourg right after Thanksgiving. I think The Man has the same sort of role in the world as my great uncle the crook down in the Sabine River Valley. He's going to come over to my new place when he's up here next month for depositions. I'll be glad to see him, but he doesn't count as the first man in the new apartment any more than my father, the contractors, Buzz Kill or the super. The Man might think he should count, because he is a man, after all, and I suppose there is a possibility that we might get Romantic again - but as much as I love and adore The Man from San Antone, he's fundamentally isolated from other beings. The Man needs some healing, for sure, and I'm evidently getting good at healing. However, there have been entirely too many Miss September, October and Novembers in his life for me to consider him a candidate for First Man. He may be The Man, but he's not going to be the First Man.
The key line in this one:
I'll be burning rubber
You'll be kissing my ass
When I'm being fully honest with myself, I have to acknowledge that the thing I liked the very best about Notta Goodman was that The Man would be jealous of his resume. The Man always wanted to make films, and Notta Goodman successfully maneuvered from entertainment law to Emmy Awards. There's no denying that the wall between Notta Goodman and other people is very similar to the wall between The Man and others, just like there's no denying that the both of them have wound up as corporate hacks. I'm not interested in being with a Corporate Hack, which seriously limits my dating possibilities.
Buzz Kill's head would have exploded over Notta Goodman, too, but only because Notta Goodman is a black man. If Buzz Kill hadn't read that story I wrote about the black man with a dick the size of a Mag Light, he might have taken a whole 'nother year to move out of the marital residence on Central Park West. After he finally moved in with Vagina Dentata, Buzz Kill became convinced I was a lesbian.
True, a few weeks after he stomped off down Central Park West, hollering at me from his cell phone, "Once you go black, you never go back," he was taking pictures of me leaning the Gay Pride Parade down Fifth Avenue - but I was simply helping out my friend Donna, who was in The Sirens at the time. The Sirens used to be called Dykes on Bikes, and they traditionally lead the Pride Parade. Although it was one of the greatest rushes of my life to be leading the Pride Parade when we turned onto Christopher Street heading toward Stone Wall - that doesn't automatically make me a lesbian. I'm glad it gave Buzz Kill some comfort, but really, when you consider the amount of time he spends running around the country in Spandex displaying his camel toe to all the other mini-triathletes, not to mention that he and his swim coach wound up in Coney Island smack dab in the middle of the Mermaid Parade allegedly practicing ocean swimming, that Buzz Kill has some nerve pointing fingers at my sexuality.
I listened to this Peter Gabriel song a lot back then, and I still listen to it now.
I'm not sure why I reached out to Herb when my head was reeling after seeing The Man. I think it's because he seems genuinely open to intimacy, but he's still fully unavailable. I can daydream about him because there's no chance he'll actually show up at my door. He functions more like an illustration I can examine and determine what I find attractive.
As it happens, he's developing a project that involves distorting Facebook profile pictures. He's interested in the constructs of internet communication. I've been looking at selective presentation of self on the internet for a long time mainly because of the things I choose to say or not to say on the blog, but also on Facebook and dating sites. In many ways, it's easier to be more authentic on the internet because the distance between self and others provides a level of safety - but then, I use a pseudonym. Buzz Kill may have insisted on a clause in the divorce that stipulated I write under a pseudonym, but in the end, it was a very good idea.
The Artist in the Woods, whom I'm calling Herb at the moment, has a very buttoned up Facebook profile because (1) it's his real name and he uses Facebook primarily as a professional thing and (2) the lawyers aren't done with his divorce and his wife isn't shy about collecting information she can use against him. People get that way during a divorce. One spouse initiates a divorce because s/he believes the other is the source of all his/her personal misery then subsequently becomes a source of complete misery to the other. Lawyers exploit all that for their own financial gain.
Because of all that bullshit, Herb is as unavailable personally as he is geographically - which somehow makes him all the more attractive to me. The thing is, though, that he's not going to be unavailable much longer. While I have no interest in being somebody's Rebound Relationship, I can see how he'd be a good candidate for First Man - at least in my head he is. Hard to know what's in his head.
He must have sent me a friend request about the time he got separated. I had just friended the founder of a lefty political organization called RootsAction who lives up in the woods too because I was all up into my activist beat for Worldwide Hippies at the time. Herb showed up a few days later. I couldn't help but notice his work is brilliant. Politically, it's kind of subtle and In Your Face at the same time, but there's a playful air a whimsy about it too.
Besides, he's cute. So far, he's been responsive, and he's initiated conversation enough so that I think he's actually interested although it's distinctly possible he is only interested in me as a concept - and as long as he's in the woods and I'm in the city, nothing will come of it anyway. I always respected the way the Preacher from the Mountains took a chance when he got on the plane to come see me. I respect his gumption to this day.
Even though The Preacher couldn't keep up with me, he was a fundamentally open person. So is Herb. I'm not so sure he's much of a risk taker, however. I boldly go all sorts of places because risks don't bother me - it's the ramifications that wind up biting me in the ass. I don't mind that either because, as Q told Captain Picard, if you can't take a bloody nose every now and then, you might as well stay home.
When Herb first showed up, he mentioned something he'd read on the blog in a private message to me on Facebook. He said he liked my attitude toward Mr Wisdom back when I was still collecting information and had deliberately overlooked a few adolescent tendencies. He also left a remark in a Facebook thread at Thanksgiving when I'd written about drinks with The Man at Cafe Luxembourg. I wonder if he suspected, when he said he was eager for the next installment, that he'd be in it?
It takes The Presentation of Self in Every Day Life (Goffman, 1959) up a level, and may inform his creative project.
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