How fortunate…

It’s been a long day.
A long, beautiful day, waking up at 7afuckingm for breakfast with a new friend and good conversation, to coming home and again fighting myself to write the script for the Kickstarter campaign video. It has now been rewritten approximately 735,956 times, and I still can’t get it right… but I’m getting closer.

It’s difficult to say everything I need to in a space of three minutes. Damn the attention span that the interweb has created.
Everything hinges on this video. If this project doesn’t get funded, sure, the book will be completed – but no one will see it, read it, and it won’t help anyone ever.

It’s been a long day. Tomorrow, I continue – but with added bonus! A friend is loaning her car to me indefinitely, so I’ll have transportation to the archery range, various dog parks, the Sea and most importantly, perhaps even my Mother if I can afford the fuel. I will. I need to get to her, check in, take care of her.
Get to know her.

I should sleep. Close the computer, open my current book, escape my mind and this frustration, and sleep – at least for a few hours. We do it all over again tomorrow – and I can’t wait.

Gods, what an exquisite life.

How fortunate we are…

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Spirals / The Game

It was our first date. We met over the internet, enticed and attracted to each other but of course, who knows where it might lead? That’s much of the fun or terror, depending on where your mind chooses to find home.

We agreed to meet for tea. It was a windy, rainy afternoon, and I found a place, a tea room, with a fireplace. I would meet her and we would walk there together, exploring each other, too old to put up facades and being who we actually were.

A call shortly before asking me how flexible I was. There was something she needed to do, someone she needed to be there for. I was invited, requested, as she knew a *little* about me… but not the most important thing, not yet.

The actual “date” transformed from meeting for tea to taking care of a friend of hers going through some difficult times. I loved how it showed me more about her, and I was more than happy to break from the norm. Besides, she was needed, I had been in her friends place before. I could help. I would be of value. Not just another anyone over tea.

We did what we needed, wanted to do. She thanked me profusely for being so flexible, thanked me completely unnecessarily. I would rather do this than sit in a tea room. I like showing who I am… though I have a tendency to think that most people I just meet, who don’t know me, think that it is only for their benefit. To perhaps impress them with someone I can’t help but imagine they think I usually am not.

I don’t know how to fix this, but I do know that it is MY mind that is the culprit, the perpetrator.

We go to a Mexican joint to get her food, begin talking about something besides how much she abhors the weather or laughing at her continuously failing umbrella. It is so easy to laugh with her…..

I talk of my recent past, how perfect it was, could have been if that one let go of her past, not carried it around as her identity. We talk of the East Coast, of NYC where she is from, and realize we were something of neighbors at a point. Life goes on – that was New fucking York, and finding people who you lived close to at some time is a strangely small thing…but then we start talking of names.

Her ex-boyfriend. My Ex-girlfriend. She tells me his name, I know it. Not him, ut his name as an artist – and I may have met him a few times, because my girl at the time knew him.

“What was your girlfriends name?”
It was an amazing relationship – she was in law school, I was working at times 70+ hours a week, managing a kitchen that I couldn’t find a suitable second employee for. I kept my apartment but lived with her becase it was closer to work, and if I didn’t live “with” her & our dog, Max – we never would have seen each other.

Begin fond memory:

Gods, she was incredible. Brilliant. Drop-dead gorgeous and SO fucking intelligent in debate that she could argue that it was daylight, the birds were chirping and it was another beautiful spring – when my argument was that it actually WAS 2am on a dark night of a dark moon in winter… and she would win. She never made me feel less-than, never made me feel small… still, it surprised me when:

I named her.

A few nights ago, I was on a date with a gorgeous woman who briefly dated my former girlfriend after I had left NYC to go to school. 20 years ago.

The world is a very small place.

She told me that B, my ex of twenty years, talked about me quite frequently. I didn’t ask about what, I didn’t think it would be bad, as we parted ways still loving each other, talked a few times after that and then… lost contact.
It surprised me when she said, without provocation, how much B used to say how much she loved me.

It certainly wasn’t one sided, but me? Then? I wasn’t much… at least not that I saw.

Twenty years, and I am brought back to B through the incessant toying of time and the people who dance through it.

I fucking love this life.

I told L (my date the other eve) what I needed to at the end of the night, giving her a chance to run.

28 fucking years, and it hasn’t gotten any easier. 28 fucking years, and I’m still pissed off when people don’t ask ME about what it means, what needs to change if anything. Twenty-eight YEARS, over half my life, and if you don’t dig me – cool. I can live with that.

Twenty eight years and I see SO much fucking more than you could even begin to imagine. From the first day I’ve had to look deeper into myself, into you, into every choice I made, not only sexually but in ANY decision that just might extend over a year… at least until recently.

28 years, and though this impermanence has constructed the way I see, it is not my identity… though by thes last few paragraphs that is hard to trust. Just venting…
28 years, and of those who were singular, those who were and are special, those who I told before we met in such a sweet sweaty sexual way, exploring & discovering the flesh, our desire, lust & how deep we could go into this intimacy, this knowing, this pure dirty innocence of what we discover…
only three. S, K, & L. Three in that entire time said “no” because of what I have been both cursed & blessed with.

I can dig it. Life goes on. Someday there will be another that I need to conjure up all of my courage to tell.

Oh, the stories I have inside of me… Interesting to know that this is only a small rant, and most of the stories have little to do with this strange HIV game.

I’m fucking exhausted. Good night.

remembering: how it feels

It was 28 years ago. While much of that time is hazy save for a few of little consequence, there is one single moment that is cut into my memory – a deep jagged scar that will never go away.

I was living with Aleph, Rip & Jennifer at New Method Warehouse, heaven and haven, some time before moving there from my first home in Berkeley, the YMCA on Allston Way. I had run away to the Bay Area at 17, knowing absolutely no-one but eventually met some of the better people. People who are still my friends.

This isn’t about them.

After two years, I had begun talking to my adopted parents again, and they proposed coming back down to San Diego to visit. They would pay for the flight, everything – just a brief time to say hi, maybe try to mend some things between us.

Missing the beach and feeling as nostalgic as a kid can feel for certain things – the Pannikin Cafe, where I spent most of my days alone & wishing I wasn’t so insecure & withdrawn, sitting at the corner table of their outside patio watching people, writing & drawing in my journals, pretending to be all adult & doing my best to figure out life – and the abandoned building on Pearl St, the only abandoned building in La Jolla, which I found my way into one night and called home for a few months after I left my parents house.

Memories. Sure, I would come visit.

While there for those few days, they suggested that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get a physical – just a routine thing at our family doctor to make sure I’m healthy and doing alright. Eager to show them that I’m fine, flourishing, rosy-cheeked & flourishing, eager to show them that they can please stop worrying about me, I agreed. I don’t recall much more of the visit, but I suspect that it went mostly fine, or as fine as it could. Back to Berkeley, back to New Method and playing on all of Rip’s music equipment, back to work at Tower Video on Telegraph, back to free time at Cafe International, coffee and writing, still trying to figure out life and taking most of my instruction from ‘Barfly’. Back to just watching the days pass, one by one, an inconsequential life.

Life was simple, good. Me & my ’68 Dart, rolling with Aleph blasting Public Enemy & the Chili Peppers on the boombox that sat between us, changing the words to “Me & My Friends” to include each other, singing at the top of our lungs & making stupid faces…

A few weeks after I returned from San Diego, the memory of the visit already fading into the place where ‘things that happened and don’t matter’ resides in the mind, I was at work ringing up video rentals and putting boxes on shelves, when Chase, a girl who I worked with, called me over. Someone called and actually asked for me. That was rare, but whatever. I waled behind the counter, pressed the blinking line button, and confirmed “Yeah, this is Casey, what can I do for you?” As I listened to the unknown guy on the other end of the line, his voice grew dim but it was still the only thing I could hear. I felt the blood draining from my face, my knees buckling. Many years later I would experience the exact same feeling again when Baruzula told me that my Bean had been hit and killed by the train…

What the person – Dr. whoever on the other end of the line told me didn’t make any sense. I couldn’t have it… could I? Yeah, I had experimented, played around, but only a few times. It was fun, I had fun but it wasn’t really for me, I liked girls, women, more. I mean fuck, I didn’t even know what it was, no one really did at that time, besides a brand, a curse, a stigma and a near guarantee that anyone who had it would soon die a slow, agonizing death. I was healthy. I felt great. How could I have it? How was I supposed to feel? How could I possibly be HIV+? I wasn’t even TESTED! This is a fucking lame joke, asshole. How was I, when was I… oh……. wait.

Without my knowledge or consent, my adopted parents had requested an extra test during my physical.

In the time it took for the doctor on the other end of the line to say four words, my entire world changed. My story was rewritten.

Some things were obvious effects; I wasn’t concerned about trying to live anymore, not worried about if I took too much of this or that drug I would die. As long as I didn’t end up a burden to someone, as long as it was clean, whatever…

But there was one thing that in looking back now, I truly appreciate; Without question, this knowledge insisted that I looked far deeper inside of myself than most have reason to. It has forced upon and blessed me with a wisdom that I can offer to others and help people with. In the strangest of ways, it has become a gift.
Nearly every decision I made and continue to make comes with necessary introspection, a conscious decision, from deciding where I want my life to go to what may become of the most innocent flirtation. Little can be done without first reaching deep inside of myself and looking at it from every view I can consider.

While that may seem oppressive and prohibiting – and sometimes is, it has also granted not only a profound self-knowledge, but an absolute lust and appreciation for the things in life that don’t require me to do anything more than simply choose to say, with enthusiasm and joy: “Fuck YES”… then unfold my wings, and remember how it feels to fly.