Lately-- last couple of years, last couple of months --I've been playing with and learning about my body's capability for lust. It's not something I come to easily, so to speak, because in my experience lust involves slipping the body off its leash, or perhaps letting it pull the rest of me along. Lust is a pull entirely physical, a sexual demand, and let's face it: for me sex is bound up in some pretty strange stuff. For me to surrender to my lust enough to even know what precisely I want, let alone to know how to get it, I have to feel really safe. I don't mean safe as in soft-blankets padded-room safe; I mean I need to feel like if there are other people involved they won't freak out, they won't be broken, and they can handle what comes up or call a stop to it if they can't handle it.
I wonder if that hasn't been part of my ongoing attraction to people who are jerks, who keep me at arm's length, who have egos beside which I am a mere shadow, who are emotionally distant or unavailable... at least at first, or at least until I become so trustworthy and available and giving that they let down their defenses. Hm. I wonder if that explains some of my rotating-door syndrome? We already know I like breaking through shells. There are beautiful things inside. I suppose, though, that in a lot of way those shells make me feel safer.
Now I feel like a jerk, but I will persevere (I typoed that as 'perseverse' which is awesome) because I really wanted to nail this desire thing.
Lust is about me. It's about what my body wants, what I want. It's active, it's about an end.
Desire is about another person. It's about immersing myself in them, surrounding myself, it's about experiencing them as deeply and fully as possible. It's a loss of self, if you like, submersion in the other. A conversation can slake desire; you know those long winding conversations that lead down deep surprising paths and cement immovable intimacies in your soul and then leave you in a quiet safe place together as if two worlds hadn't just shifted? Touch does it; taste, sight, no other person can stand in, can satisfy that specific craving that is desire for another.
Now most of my experiences involve some aspect of both of these, and I would write more about it, but I'm a little shaken by my jerk epiphany up there and I can't concentrate. Furthermore Angus is having his second bad day in a row, and although he's not in the room I can feel the pain radiating from him. He's rarely cried openly and loudly outright when he hurts in the last several months; things have been perhaps not so bad too. He's not crying now. Still, you become attuned to a person and that little catch of breath, the smell of their body, the way their eyes move, the type of sounds that come through the wall when they shift position-- it's really hard for him right now.
It's really hard for me, generally. Going into this I was so idealistic, naive, I had never done this. The things I thought would be hard (there, it's eased up, he just came past and smiled at me) like him being in pain-- well, when he's hurting really badly I can deal with that. He wants to be held or left alone or go out and smoke, it's something I can do.
It's harder not being able to do things together sometimes.
It's hardest not being able to read whether he's unhappy with me or just hurting. I often read his signals-- hunching away, or a clenched jaw-- as his being angry or feeling beat down because of something I've done or some interaction we've had. If I ask him-- hey, what's up-- sometimes that helps clarify, but the truth is that I spend a lot of time with someone my gut and my subconscious read as displeased with me a fair chunk of the time. It comes and goes in waves. It's not bad lately.
Also hard is some stuff where some of our stuff interacts in such a way that it's difficult to sleep closely cuddled together. He night sweats when he's really sick; when he's really sick especially, my dermatographia/whatever it is totally freaks out when I come into contact with that sweat, even through an allergy pill or two.
And I never knew just how much time being sick took. I'm a really busy person, and I schedule and plan things to within an inch of my life. I try to schedule and plan other people in as part of this, so I know how I can and cannot rely on them. Angus has a huge swinging block of ;he may feel great and be productive, he may be sick and stuck in the bathroom all day' in which case I need to take up some slack. Don't get me wrong, he pushes through more than I could -- he's had practice -- but sometimes he can't. And sometimes he doesn't engage the discipline to do things when he's well-- perhaps because he spends so much time pushing himself when he's sick?
I dunno. This has been totally hijacked. As if to disprove any points I've made, he's doing dishes and smiling and being loving now. Maybe that is the point, though: the thing is unpredictable. Neither of us know whether he will be worse or better in an hour, a day, a year, in ten years or forty.
I can't cure him. I can't even make him go to doctors, try new treatments, go for different tests when the last set comes back negative. I can't make him take pills on time. All of that is his, with me waving a pom pom in the back when I can and calling out in a thin voice from the distance.
And in this context desire is a strange beast. His body is becoming his enemy, if it isn't already. There is always some degree of pain, more or less. There are areas-- stomach, ass --to be avoided except by the gentlest occasional touch, perhaps forever, when my hands wish to taste the skin there. And when desire for him surges up-- him, him, only him-- he might well be buried, not only absent from his body but left emotionally tattered by just coping.
I suppose everyone has complications like this to some degree or other: I come home, I cannot take my head out of work, I'm short and snappish and go straight to the computer and stare through it for an hour. I am working this weekend and volunteering next and out of the country the one after and have no days off in-between. I have not had time to sleep and am floating in a haze all week, somewhere else entirely. I suppose everyone has barriers.
I didn't grow up with a normal family, with a normal relationship between my parents, and I seldom went to see how other peoples' families interacted. There was always a locked door between mom and dad when they were in the house for six months of the marriage once and I didn't even notice. I don't know what's normal; I don't know what's acceptable; I don't know what's tolerable. I know mileage varies per person anyhow.
I don't know where I'm going with this. Something about my Writer, though, about how those barriers are different, clearer, not entangled up with coming home from work and emotional support and the whimsy of an unpredictable illness. Something about how when I bury my face in his hair the world recedes, and how that has stayed simple so far, and how I always go looking for complications and so I drag my guilt behind me like a bloody mangled piece of my own soul sometimes, and other times I can leave it alone.
It's late. I'm tired. Someone made me dinner and did the dishes and I'm doing something that sounds a lot like complaining. I need to sleep, I need rest so badly. I need to surrender up my ability to affect the world for eight hours or so-- more than four or five, at least. I need to let bed happen to me.
Ha. Talk about rambling. Talk about incoherent. It's definitely bedtime. Be well, y'all, and remember I'm not really unhappy-- I just need to rest, and then engage with the lovely challenge of coming up with five or six or seven tasty vegan wheat-free dishes for my housewarming that can feed a horde, that will be cheap, that will be super tasty, that don't need a table to eat at, and that won't use up all the dishes in the house to feed people. I fully expect to have a brilliant stroke of genius about a way to serve quinoa tabouleh salad, to plagarize mimi's bean dip, to come up with a brilliant riff on pizza, to go through some sort of inspired root veggie thing, to do marinated mushrooms come hell or high water, to do something involving our lovely-textured friend the avacado and maybe his sidekick the mango (sushi? booooring...?) and to do something involving risotto and/or that amazing wild-rice-pecan-maple-orange-stuffed squash I did at Avi's thanksgiving. I wonder if I can figure out a tofu recipe that actually tastes like heaven?
I can *so* do this.
And then there'll be desserts. I wonder how I can serve fried bananas in a non-messy way. Corn tortillas? Hmmm. And some kind of sugar cookie. And... and... and...
This post is gonna have the weirdest tags ever.
Y'know, I really like cooking for people.