One of the first things I noticed at Burning Man is that my identity is consistent in all kinds of environments and social situations. No matter where I land, I remain Ms. RealName. PENolan is just Ms. RealName's unconventional side and keeps me covered on the internet. This discovery was gratifying because solidifying my identity and finding my sense of self-worth internally, from my own self instead of external sources like boyfriends and bosses, was the whole point of nearly 20 years of therapy. During the seven or so years since my divorce, I've focused on individual identity issues so that I would know who I was in an of myself instead of as part of one relationship or another while I concurrently settled Velvet and myself into our happy little home in Harlem and stabilized financially.
Ever since Buzz Kill and I put the marital residence up for sale back in 2009, I've been determined to get settled in my new life without a man influencing my decisions - not because men are so bossy but because I wanted to make my own choices and build my own life for myself before bringing in another person. I examined all that during the summer at Gigi's (Between the Garden and the Glade, Stonerdate 07.10.12), and concluded I chose unavailable men because I wasn't ready to let anyone penetrate the defensive shields around the Triciasphere. Then too, I didn't really feel single again until I closed on this apartment last September when all the lingering ties between me and Buzz Kill were finally severed - except for Velvet, of course, but he doesn't count as a lingering tie.
Because I've had other fish to fry and because I have been undermining my search for a relationship my own self (especially during the Summer Boyfriend Reality Show phase), nobody ever penetrated the defenses of the Triciasphere. Nobody had the precise combination of strength of character and mastery of technique. That is, nobody did until last Saturday on Burn Night when Pinko made a move under the cover of darkness on the playa. I had been impressed with his character for a long time on the internet or I never would have gone out to Burning Man in the first place - but the maneuver took me by surprise.
Note the fireworks
That's a lot of figuring in a few hours, but being able to see that logistical and practical considerations are easy to address doesn't automatically mean that anyone is going in that direction. And even if we were to go in that direction, the open enrollment period for health insurance has no more bearing on a relational timetable than an apartment lease - although for sure, plenty of people in New York City move in together before they should simply because a lease expires. Actually, it looks like a lot of people all over the country are living together simply because of housing conditions.
There's also Velvet to consider.
Velvet is a big boy now. In fact, Velvet is a young man with places to go, people to see, etc. Nevertheless, he's never seen me with a man except Buzz Kill. There was that one guy - the bartender from Boston who passed out on the stoop of the restaurant while we were waiting for a table. That was in 2009. Velvet knew I was seeing The Narcissist and Notta Goodman, and I'd sent him over to his father's the night I had a date with Abilene Steve in the fall of 2011 - but he's never seen me with a man, and I'm not letting any man into my life who doesn't get along with Velvet. Gigi, too, for that matter. It's not that those two have authority over my romantic life. It's that they're both good judges of character and if they had an issue with a man, I'd consider their opinions very seriously especially since Velvet is still holding Gayle the Hillbilly Hustler against me.
The truth is that I'm much more concerned that Velvet and Pinko will get along so well that they'll gang up on me.
Either way, it's time to put the horse back in front of the cart. Being the first man in the new apartment is one thing; building a relationship is another thing entirely - and besides, I really want the First Man in the New Apartment to have long term potential. He may not be into the idea, which would mean that last week was just a one-time thing. A very successful and remarkable one-time thing, but until a next step is taken, all we have is memory and potential.
Plenty of people make the mistake of falling for someone's potential instead of accepting the person standing in front of them. I kind of did that with the Narcissist - or maybe I was banging the square peg into a round hole again. It doesn't feel like I'm doing that to Pinko, however. It feels like I'm a grown woman who knows what I want, knows what I like and knows how to make it happen - but the next logical step in making it happen is a big one. After discussing that step with me thoroughly, Pinko knows I'm not fooling around. Fooling around is much easier than taking determined, sequential steps that could lead to him moving here which is kind of heavy.
I'm under the impression he is neither satisfied nor content with his life in Reno and that New York provides many opportunities for social, political and economic activism which is where his personal interests lie. Granted these opportunities are poorly paid, if they're paid at all, but there are lots of nightclubs and bars here where a talented, hardworking person can make a few bucks. If he feels like making a career in that area, he can do that too. People have been moving to New York for generations because of the opportunities. I am the kind of woman who supports and nurtures personal growth and facilitates achievement. That's what moms and teachers do, and I've done it all my life even when I didn't have my own property and profession. Now that I'm settled and not a bit interested in nurturing and facilitating anyone's mainstream, corporate career ambitions, I like the idea of plucking a creative, talented, dedicated fellow worker out of the flyovers and transplanting him to the city. No matter how much I like this idea, though, it's still a big deal.
Everyone knew I was on an exploratory mission when I went to Burning Man to take a closer look at Pinko. Now it's his turn to embark on an exploratory mission. That's no so heavy, and it still makes a good story. Woody sometimes quotes a fellow who said there are only two kinds of stories: A stranger comes to town and a hero goes on a journey. Pinko coming to New York would be both - except that he's not a stranger anymore.