clock and swamp

It’s been a gameriffic weekend. Yesterday, the MSG bought “Homeworld 2” for himself, and “Space Colony” for me. We’ve been gaming the weekend away, showing each other neat little things that come up, and chatting off and on. My favorite weekends seem to go just like this. Last night we made Swamp Thing Chili with green chiles, white beans, corn, onions, garlic, and ground buffalo meat. It turned out so good that I want to eat leftovers for dinner tonight.

Friday night we saw our friend Chris’ band Subimage play at the Red Devil Lounge. They were wonderful! I had never been to the RDL before, but I’ll be going back. It’s such a cute little space with really good bartenders. Ours, upon being asked what the official RDL drink would be, did a shot with us that contained equal parts Campari, Amaretto, and Pucker. It was pretty tasty. I had such a good time, and good turned to great when I discovered my friend Paul waving at me from across the club! We sang Moxy Früvous songs and were generally goofy. I met a friend of Chris’ named John; I guessed his astrological sign on the first try and his birthday on the second try. Too bad I can’t do that when I’m sober.

Today we met some friends at Dolores Park for the free symphony concert. Fond memories of Ravinia washed over me as I listened and basked in the warm San Francisco sun. We talked about bookcases, glorious floor-to-ceiling bookcases with rolling ladders attached to them, about the decision between having a kitchen separate from the dining room or having a library. And I couldn’t help but smile when the MSG said that sounded like an argument he and I might have someday.

The usual cliché is that “relationships are hard work” but it’s accurate. They are. They should be. I consider my relationship with the MSG to be one of the most important things in my life. It’s not effortless all the time, but it’s always worth the effort. One of the toughest parts isn’t working with all the differences; it’s first learning what all the differences are. And the biggest difference is how each of us is comprised, internally. Of course, another cliché is that opposites attract. I’m not sure if that one is entirely accurate, but certainly if you are open enough to the world, the most rewarding lessons are those learned from being challenged by what is unfamiliar to you. That is how we grow. That is why I read, why I travel, why I play chess. Why I write this journal.

When I was a kid, my mom would buy me old clocks at garage sales and I’d take them apart and put them back together again. Sometimes I’d manage to fix them, and sometimes not. I told the MSG yesterday that he is clockwork to me. He is consistent, inside and out; he is reliable and balanced; he is straightforward and efficient; he fits and makes sense. Like any clock, he needs energy and care, which I provide willingly. In return, I can trust in his support and attention without fail. And when I say “without fail” I don’t mean 99.999%. I mean Without Fail.

Unlike the staunchness of clockwork, I am a swamp. I’ve been told many times that I am intimidating, enigmatic, inconstant and even volatile. These things are true, and when it comes to my emotions, I often find myself hip-deep in my own quicksand before I realize I’ve stumbled. It’s not all bad in the swamp, though some things that seem innocuous can be deadly. There are rules to the swamp, of course, but they’re not wholly apparent; rules like “don’t step in stuff that looks like THAT” are tough to intuit first, and must be experienced, then remembered.

Unfortunately, I have some things to forget, too, like mistrust. Whereas ten years ago I’d trust first, whole heart slammed into the glass wall, now I pitch pebbles at the transparency, begging what I think must be glass to be air, expecting the bounce anyway.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.