Hecate Moon

In astrology, the Scorpio archetype, one of twelve archetypes describing the stages in the human experience, takes us by the hand and leads us into the underworld. Sometimes we are snatched, just as Persephone was in Greek mythology, and brought down into the dark against our will where we are irrevocably changed. Therefore the sign of Scorpio speaks to any experience that transforms us through the shadow, through death and powerful rebirth.

I mention this because today is the New Moon and it falls in the sign of Scorpio. My experience with this archetype expressed via a lunar lens is that of emotional discomfort. Indeed Scorpio speaks to those experiences that are emotionally uncomfortable — sex, death, and soul bearing intimacy. It likes to pick at the scabs and pull out all the thoughts we’ve stashed away in the dark recesses of our psyche. And Scorpio’s sole function is to get us to purge that which no longer serves us just as death naturally transmutes the physical body into another substance. Continue reading

Equinox

In the month since I last wrote, I’ve been adjusting to my new routine of separateness. On one hand I relish waking up alone, stretching out under the covers, or simple things like home-cooked meals that no longer require extensive negotiation. I hadn’t realized how much I missed my freedom. But on the other hand I miss having the physical presence of someone close, the intimate moments and language that only a couple can have, and, yes, I miss waking up next to the person I love.

K is still around and still living with me, but our time together is abbreviated. Two or three nights a week she’s out with Jess and sleeps over her place, the other nights she’s either at home with me or I’m out or she’s working late at her second job. For now this arrangement works, giving us ample room to carve out new lives. I’m not angry or resentful, just eager to be in a space that feels less transitional, yet anxious about what that life will look like. Continue reading

New Sight

Earthquakes come in two forms.

There are, of course, the literal ones, the geological varieties that cause multi-story buildings to sway as if a branch in the wind. Then there are the metaphorical ones — earthquakes wrought by a buildup of wrenching emotional tension and heretofore unexpressed grief; earthquakes that threaten to rip apart the psychic landscape with their undeniable power; and earthquakes that cause an illusion to slip, laying reality bare. Continue reading

The Accidental Polyamorist

As I trace back the events of the last couple of months, it’s hard to remember when it exactly happened, when my relationship with Ms. K started to unravel.

Was it during a recent vacation when she, yet again, proposed the idea of an open relationship? Was it when I said yes after years of saying no? Was the seed planted months or even years before, born of restlessness and the arguably difficult task that some find it to remain monogamous? Or was it there all along, tucked in the knowledge that long term commitment probably wasn’t something that K was cut out for?

I don’t know.

I can, however, point my finger to a conversation with K this past February. She had innocently announced that she was going to purchase Tristan Taormino’s Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships from Amazon. With that she had hoped we would both read it and have an honest talk on whether an open relationship was right for us. It was a very passive-aggressive approach to an old subject that occasionally bubbled up. But K, knowing me well, had played to my rational side this time.

I read Opening Up, an enthusiastic if not academic selling of partnered non-monogamy, figuring I would give K that much, even if my enthusiasm didn’t match that of the author’s. I’m not saying that an open relationship can’t work, but even sex positive Tristan Taormino would agree that they can be a landmine. And if anything, to do them well, one has to be at a graduate level when it comes to relating, boundaries, trust, communication, and maturity. Were K and I even capable of that level? Continue reading

"Don’t worry, I’m gay."

Alchemy.

According to Merriam-Webster, it means “a power or process of transforming something common into something special.” It’s not what I would call your every day, run-of-the-mill kind of word, but I randomly saw the word twice within a fifteen minute time period. First, as I was waiting in line to order a sandwich, I glanced upon the word on an advertisement. Second, it graced the book chapter that I woman was reading next to me on the 6 train. I was reminded of childhood episodes of Sesame Street. Boys and girls, the word of the day is . . . alchemy.

Maybe there is something alchemic in the art of turning a random coincidence into meaning. Maybe I was turning something common — a common event — into something special.

But there was nothing common about the two events that happened hours later.

First, I randomly received a check for $189 from the hospital that I stayed overnight in way back in January 2008. I have no idea why the hospital sent me a check almost 22 months after I stayed here. There was no explanation in the envelope, just a check. Also, how often do hospitals reimburse? Color me confused, color me $189 richer.

After leaving work, my windfall fresh on my mind, I headed to the bank to deposit it lest they decide to take it back. As I crossed the street to the corner of 33rd and Park Avenue, I saw man walking straight toward me. At first I thought he was going to let me pass, the street was busy with people leaving work, but we ended up doing this sort of awkward dance that people do when they’re trying to not run into each other. I noticed he sort of looked homeless and it was as if he was intentionally blocking me from entering the bank.

“I was wondering if I could ask you a strange question?” he said.

Great. Fantastic. What does this guy want??

Before you think that I am uncharitable to homeless people, especially in the wake receiving an unexpected $189, let me explain what happened next.

He started with his speech. “Don’t worry, I’m gay.”

It was a disarming thing to say, especially to a woman in New York. Translation? Don’t worry, I won’t rape you! Meanwhile as he talked, some explanation of some situation that required my help, I was a little transfixed by the poor state of his teeth. They were either non existent or small, discolored nubs. Anyway . . .

“. . . . you see I’ve done something stupid and I’ve locked myself out of my apartment.”

Something clicked in my brain. Wait a second, I thought. WAIT A FUCKING SECOND! The speech. It was familiar. Because that’s what it was. A speech. A con.

Flashback to December 2004. I was new to New York City, painfully broke, and painfully naive. While crossing Washington Square Park one evening, I ran into the same man with the same exact story. I’m gay! Help me get uptown! I need cab money! I locked myself out of my apartment! I need to make an appointment for some job! Except that time I gave the bastard $20 because I believed him. He even asked where I worked and swore he would come back the next day with my $20, thanking me profusely. (Suck it, naysayers, I am charitable. And gullible.) After I had handed over the money — the smallest bill that I had — I knew that it was a mistake, but it was too late. He was already off on his bike. Sometime later I happened to read a description of the same guy and the same scam on Gothamist, confirming what I already suspected.

Five years later I was face to face again with the con artist. And yes, it was the same guy . . . except time had not been kind on his teeth. (Karma!) In city of 8 MILLION PEOPLE, I run into the same man? What are the odds?! Had I remembered all the details of our last encounter as I do now, I would have thumped him on the chest and demanded my $20 back and perhaps my good faith too. But I remembered enough to walk away from him with a curt, “Sorry, I can’t help you.”

And then I deposited my $189 in the bank. It’s like my original $20 made interest over the last five years.

How’s that for alchemy?

"Do you want to get another drink or do you want to go home?"

It’s funny to think that there was a time not too long ago in my life where I danced on bars, got hangovers with an alarming frequency, and went out four nights a week. I spent a good portion of my 20s sleep deprived and dehydrated, like it was a right of passage, but with age 30 came this strange thing called maturity and responsibility. And while the party is far from over in my life, it’s now taken on overtones of a quiet dinner followed by a glass of port. Ms. K, who ironically is only 24 years old, has also mellowed from her free wheeling gal about town days too. My oh my.

We’re okay with this, really we are, but now and again we are reminded that our tastes and habits have shifted in the couple of years since meeting. Take Saturday night when I thought it might be nice to meet Ms. K for a drink at 11:30 pm after she got off from work. A nice idea, yes, but it became clear that both of us were out of practice.

We tiredly drank a couple of rounds at Superfine and as the time grew long after midnight, we negotiated the remainder of our evening.

“Do you want to get another drink or do you want to go home?”

I yawned. “I can go both ways. Do you want to go home?”

Ms. K yawned. “Only if you want to go home.”

God, we were like two old ladies, but two old ladies determined to recapture some of our past glory while simultaneously longing for our bed.

“One more drink!”

I yawned again.

By the time we finished our third round, we decided to leave and find an open restaurant even though it was nearing 2 am. Crazy. We should have just gone home, but instead we stubbornly took a car to Park Slope to see if Blue Ribbon still was open. It was, and in the car over I found a pack of Camel Lights on the back seat.

For a second I was excited by my good fortune. Camel Lights! That was my brand when I used to smoke! They’re normally $9 a pack! I will smoke a free cigarette and recall the bygone days of my youth because I am wild and crazy! But then the moment passed and as I clutched the nearly full pack, I realized that some things were best left in the past.

Our hearts were no longer in our late night adventure, even though we had gone all the way from Dumbo to Park Slope at 2 am. It was time to go home to walk to dog and crawl into bed, accepting defeat and knowing better than to stay out into the wee hours again.

"We’re going to crack open the big egg!"

I know, I know. I am a bad blog neglector. See, Ms. K and I got back from vacation and life sorta slipped back into this sleepy late August vibe complete with picnics in Prospect Park, bottles of white wine, and trips to the Cortelyou farmer’s market. Naturally Labor Day weekend was a staycation since our travel budget was blown in Sweden . . . and then some. Basically a whole lot of nothing has been happening.

It’s been a year since Ms. K and I moved in together and very nearly broke up in the process. Time flies! Despite our grand home improvement plans, our initiate stalled sometime in November. Dusty pictures remain unhung, trim is still not put back up, painter’s tape is still up in the bedroom, and a To Do list is still on the fridge like a tally of our failures. I think the problem is two fold. On one hand, losing the car in the accident last January cut back on our mobility and the ease in which we could visit Lowes or IKEA. On the other, I think we lost steam in the end because we want to live somewhere else. To put work into a place that we would like to be out of in 6 months seems silly at this point. Never mind the fact that half our books still are in need of bookshelves.

When Ms. K and I got back from abroad, it became ever more obvious that we hate our apartment and our neighborhood. We even started poking around Craigslist to see what apartments were going for. But money is still a big factor and while it is not as expensive to get a back yard space in Park Slope these days, I’m sure we’re both reluctant to double our (currently cheap) rent.

So we have dreams and we’re working on them, but it doesn’t make for very exciting blogging. Ms. K wants to get her masters in Computer Science, we’re both working on freelance projects, yadda yadda yadda. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, check out this video that blew my mind:

"It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark"

What a bad week for the 1980s. Ed McMahon? Farrah Fawcett? Michael Jackson?? And speaking of Michael Jackson, his death has been giving me some weird childhood time warps. I’ve probably have heard the song Thriller more times in the last 24 hours than I have in the last decade. Thriller at the nail salon. Thriller blasting from cars with their windows down. Thriller at the gym. Suddenly it’s 1984 all over again and I’m five years old, trembling from the scariness of Vincent Price’s monologue at the end of the song.

So RIP, 1980s. I’m officially old. If Mr. T dies, then I don’t know what I’ll do.

"This used to be your life. Remember?"

I was in Washington, DC recently for a brief business trip and being back in the old hometown was strange, as if I was visiting a past life. From my old Metro stop and the place in Dupont Circle where I used to get my hair cut to Teaism and Adams Morgan, the old emotion connection was there like the distant crackle of a radio signal. Everything I walked past said, “This used to be your life. Remember? That was where you used to go to happy hour. That used to be the road you lived on.”

Yeah I remember, but that was five years go if you can believe it. My DC knowledge has gotten rather rusty and it took me a second to navigate the farecard machine for the Metro. And I was acutely aware that my memory of DC street names has been supplanted by New York ones.

Even stranger was the memory that for a while DC represented the sum of my goals. I wanted to live in Dupont Circle or own a house in Takoma Park one day and I was reminded of this as I traveled past visual cues of these old goals. I guess I still could, but I’ve got my eye on a sweet brownstone in Brooklyn. Now I just need to make my millions.

Incidentally I had forgotten how beautiful the city gets in the Spring.

"Let’s me and you blow off work for the rest of the day and go have martinis."

After what seemed like the longest winter of my life, I awoke today — the first day of Spring — energized and longing for sunshine, greenery, and Easter eggs. Instead I was met with the sight of big fat flakes of snow and minimal sunshine. Mother Nature has a sense of irony.

My vernal excitement is unabated. Yes! I will go to the gym . . . on Monday! Yes! I will go shopping for a much needed Spring coat!

“What’s wrong with your other Spring coat?” Ms. K asked when I told her of my failed shopping trip to Herald Square Macy’s yesterday, which is like a workout in of itself.

I explained the my old coat is too snug, which brings me back to needing to go to the gym.

On Monday!