Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Door Is Open

Fairyhedgehog, who blog I follow, just posted about online aliases. Here is the link.

I commented that giving up an alias is sort of like coming out as a GLBT. I know there is an official "correct order" for those letters. I also know the order changed at least once. And I also know I can't remember which is the latest version. However, since I mean no disrespect I make no other apology regarding the order I chose. Okay?

For people like me, anonymity is still necessary. And I think fairyhedghog's post is a fitting one. You see, I am slowly, but surely, moving from one phase of my life into another. While never a "conservative", I did at one time hold and adhere to many conservative ideas and attitudes. Now, being older (and hopefully wiser), I have come to recognize many of those ideas and attitudes as more wrong than the things they stood against, which often are not wrong at all.

It's a scary time. And it explains the way I write about some things. Such as sex. And being GLBT.

Leaving one way of living and entering another is - confusing. At least sometimes. I don't know who - or what - I am right now. And so at times I apply labels to myself which are from my past - because I haven't completely absorbed the new way of looking at myself. But make no mistake: I like what I'm becoming better.

Mainly because I don't think I'm "becoming" anything. It doesn't have that feel. Not like a caterpillar entering a cocoon and emerging a butterfly. More like - a snake shedding it's skin. The old skin was confining. Dirty. Stuffy. The new skin is clean. Bright. Refreshing.

But frightening all the same.

Maybe being let out of prison is a better analogy. Or, not so much let out, as the door has just been opened, allowing me the freedom to leave on my own. But, like some caged creatures, leaving - the thing longed for throughout captivity - becomes something to be feared. And so only a few hesitant steps are made. And whenever anything startles it's back to the cell, which is familiar - and hated.

I am happy that those of you who read/follow this blog sometimes also comment to me and gently remind me that some of what I say about myself just isn't so. I'm using old terms from an old and narrow minded way of life to describe what it means to just be a person. No need for harsh words.

And maybe no need for anonymity, either.

But I expect that will be the last gate to pass through. Until then, I need to be Nightwings. As Nightwings I can talk about sex, romances, and other things.

And not be too startled.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Why I Became What I Use to Condemn

Sometimes when my heart is hurting I write. I write a lot. Sometimes I only write a little. But when the heart is sick there is still the chance to write something. Even if it's just a short piece, or a poem to express the feelings of anguish.

It's different when the body is sick. A sick body means frequent visits to the bathroom and little time for actual writing. Maybe a blog post, or a mail chat. But to actually write. Doesn't usually happen.

I've been making bathroom trips. And so I have not been writing. My heart is in that numb stage after being hurt. You know? That emotional catatonic state in which it refuses to acknowledge any feelings whatsoever. Not easy to write without the passion.

But like I said, maybe there can be a blog post. And so here I am again.

There is a shame in being someone else's one night stand. I'm not sure exactly why that is, other than to guess it has to do with the reaons behind acquiessing. When the reasons can pretty much be boiled down to "I wanted to feel loved again" I guess being a one night stand is something of an indictement against my own intelligence.

Catching someone on the rebound isn't much better. Not if the relationship doesn't last. The feeling becomes that which is suspected of a ping pong ball. Bouncing from one lover to another. Do it too often and you get a reputation. Whore.

To be honest, I used to look down on men and women who behaved like that. Running from partner to partner. How could they do that, I wondered. Didn't they have any desire to just have one person to love and be loved by?

And now I'm the whore. And suddenly I understand something I never did before. It is precisely the desire to be loved by just one person that inspires the behavior. And with each failed relationship the desire becomes stronger. And more desperate.

I don't look down on "whores" anymore. I don't like looking down at me, I guess.

Anyway, I was thinking about it. Nobody becomes anything without some sort of history behind them to encourage it. This is important for writers to know and understand. WHY is my antagonist the antagonist. They're greedy? Why? What caused them to be greedy while the heroine is not? Why is the heroine going to stick with the story mission, instead of just chucking it away in boredom and indifference?

These things do not always need to be in the story itself. But the author should have answers to these questions. Many authors will write entire backstories for their characters. That way, the author understands what is "in character" for each and what is not. It is just as important to know why your antagonist has a soft spot in her heart as it is to know why she is such a bitch the rest of the time. And if you tell me it's because "that's the way women are" I will slap your face. All behavior has a reason. Those reasons do not always belong explicitly in a story, but they must be there as a background to keep characters in character.

Meanwhile, this whore needs to visit the bathroom again.

Monday, April 19, 2010

You Can't Have it Both Ways - Unless You Have the Money to Force It

Regarding politics, social laws and things like that I am a bystander. I realize that makes me a disappointment to people who are working very hard and making tremendous personal sacrifices in order to ensure the betterment of living for themselves and/or for others. But the truth is, I don't like attending rallies. I don't picket. I don't like attending meetings and conferences - for anything, really.

In essence, I don't join causes - even when the cause should be my own.

Never have. Maybe that will change as I age. Don't know.

But I do know I am finding myself speaking out more and more about certain issues. And these issues tend to be closely associated with my faith. The main issue which inspires me to speak out is the issue of - acceptance.

As a member of the Christian faith - as opposed to the Christian religion - I am inspired to try and behave as Jesus behaved. And regarding acceptance of others, there was only one group of people Jesus rebuked: religious hypocrites.

So when I read news articles like this one, I find myself annoyed enough to want to speak out loud.

Apparently, there is this national group calling itself the Christian Legal Society. (For some reason I find that name scary. Even foreboding.) It wants to exclude certain people from its voting membership because they don't act/think/believe the same way as the group's general membership.

Personally, I have no trouble with these kinds of groups excluding others. Women's groups can exclude men. Men's groups can exclude women. Gay groups can exclude non-gays, and so on and so on.

Where I have trouble is when these groups want government money. By definition, this money is coming from ALL of the people. The government is not a separate entitity - no matter how badly it behaves. So by taking money from the governemnt, these groups are also taking money from the very people they are excluding. I think that's wrong.

The CLS (sounds like a disease - and I have a sick feeling it just may be one - a fatal disease if not treated correctly) claims it has the right to only include those it wants. No argument from me on that point. To paraphrase something my best friend once said to me when we were young: Anybody who would join that group deserves to belong to it.

The CLS also claims it has a right to receive financial help from the universities and campuses where it holds meetings.


Forming a group which poses no threat (and I'm not sure CLS qualifies in this) is a right of all U.S. citizens. And even visitors.

Receiving government money for your group is a priviledge, and as such comes with stipulations which must be met. The CLS does not meet these stipulations of openness. Therefore, the CLS should NOT get any money.

They say they are Christians? Okay. Then hear what Jesus said about the government:

Then he said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

That's in the Gospel of Matthew. Chapter 22, verse 21.

This is a government issue. Therefore, if CLS is going to "do as Jesus would do", they should shut up and give up on the money instead of trying to force the government to give it to them.

The CLS claims gay/lesbian/bi-/trans/etc. people are "evil".  No. They're not. They are normal human beings. Made in the image of God and due the respect as such.

What is evil? Using religion as a cover for lack of faith in order to gain wealth and power while making the lives of others miserable.

The CLS is a legal group. They are entitled to exist by U.S. law.

But I think their behavior is an abomination in the eyes of God. I don't care what they call themselves. I see nothing of Christ in their behavior.

And do you know what's sad? The court decision is going to be based less on what is right, good or morally just, and more on who has the most money to get what they want?

That's another kind of evil.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

If I Am Who I Am While Making Love I May Not Actually Be Anybody At All

Recently, fairyhedgehog had a post about sex. Oh, damn! I just lost my reading audience.

Most of us are fascinated by sex to one degree or another. I know I am. There's something about sex which seems to get to who we really are. I think when we're engaged in lovemaking we have let down our final guards. We do if we really give ourselves to the experience anyway. Some of us are so inhibited we can't really enjoy sex as much as we could.

But that is not where I intended to go with this post.

Fairyhedgehog began her post with a quote from on Russell Smith. In that quote Mr. Smith makes a statement about "not truly understanding a character unless he knows how they are in bed." He adds that that is true of his real life friends, too.

Personally, I find Mr. Russell to be a sick sick man.

I mean, I have talked about sex and sexual activity with some of my friends. I even remember talking with my best friend a few days after I had my first encounter. But you know what? I didn't go into any great detail. At the time I was very upset with myself (I liked being a virgin) and so I focused more on why I gave in and how I was seduced more than the details of what actually took place.

Some people probably do get into the nitty gritty details with their friends about what they do. Mr. Russell apparently is one of them. Personally, I don't think I could do that. Nor do I want my friends doing that with me.

Not that I think it's "dirty" or "bad" or anything like that. As long as it isn't rape and it doesn't involve children, it's probably just fine.

But sex seems to get right to who we really are. It's the final guard to our spirits. I think that's why it's used by rapists. I seem to recall that most rapists don't actually enjoy the experience either - even if they do cum. But having consentual sex with another person is probably as close as we will ever come (no pun intended) to actually touching their spirit. We are all locked inside our bodies. We can't get out without dying. Hence the old phrase, "I'm trapped in a woman's body!" Or a man's. The spirit inside is at odds with the body nature gave them, and now they want out. With modern medical science those who can afford it can actually do something about it. The rest remain prisoners.

I don't talk about the details of my sexual behavior. Not even with my closest friends. (And they are SO grateful to me.) I don't think many people do. Especially across gender.

This is because I think if a woman starts telling a man the details of her bed behavior he's almost certain to assume she's coming on to him and wants him in her bed. And if a man starts telling a woman she's almost certain to think the same thing. Generally, in neither case is it all that comfortable conversation.

I don't talk about the details of what I do in bed because I don't like exposing myself (maybe it's subconscious, but I don't think I mean to be cute with the double entendre) like that. I have not had that many lovers in the real world. Had a few more in online fantasy. What I discovered is that lovers are easier to have online. I think it's because, unlike the real world, you can have sex online and still keep the separation of spirit. I don't like that. It's touching the spirit which makes the sex more meaningful to me. But more so online than in real life sexual partners are often only interested in pleasing the body.

Nobody likes to just cuddle anymore.

I could do that without ever having sex.

Well, maybe not ever. But you know what I mean.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It Never Was But it Never Matters

Losing friends is part of life. All life on this planet ends in its time. People, animals, plants - relationships. Ultimately, they are all doomed to death.

Some things die in natural course. Some die before their time. But all things die.

There were people who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. Not a single person on this planet today knows they were ever here. But they were.

There was a time when they were alive and living. And when they died their life continued in the memories of those who knew them. But then those who knew them died, and their life could only live on in those who had been told about them. And then those who had been told about them died. Fewer and fewer people talked about them. Until nobody remembered they were here. All that become known was that someone was here. But nobody knew who.

The physical death of a lover is devastating. Some people never actually recover. The best they ever manage is to continue in their own life. But they don't really live it anymore. The grief just doesn't go away.

They are lonely.

I won't say it is more or less painful, but when the lover lives but the loving has died it is very much like physical death. There is grieving. And some people never actually recover.

We're lonely.

I have been told by many people recently that if someone truly loves me, then in time they will let go of anger/hurt/whatever negative feelings they have and return to me. And if they don't ever return to me then they probably never really loved me in the first place.

I know they mean well, but does making me think they never loved me in the first place supposed  to make me feel better? The only remaining joy I have of my lover turns out to be a lie? That means there are no happy memories.

When Blue-Eyed Boy was very young - couldn't walk or use many words - I had him with me in a store. He was fussy. Life gets awful samey when you're sitting in a shopping cart. And for people that young samey can get bad in a hurry. But before his fussed too much he saw something fantastic: a giant wind-up jumping Tigger toy. It was being demonstrated. Wind it up and it would bounce its head a few times and then do a big flip. Blue-Eyed Boy thought that was pretty cool. And by letting him hold on to one and play with it I was able to complete my shopping in peace.

I had no intention of buying the toy, so it never really belonged to Blue-Eyed Boy. But you all know what happened when I finished shopping and finally put Jumping Tigger back on the shelf? Blue-Eyed Boy was upset.

Now I have been lucky with Blue-Eyed Boy. He has only thrown one tantrum in his whole life. That was a difficult time, but we got through it well enough. It took the most difficult time out I've ever experienced. I sat with him. We were BOTH in time out. And maybe that's why he never had a tantrum again. He knew he was not alone.

But losing Jumping Tigger was hard. Blue-Eyed Boy had come to believe Jumping Tigger belonged to him. So having it taken away was not a matter of him not getting his way. It was like losing something he already had.

He didn't throw a tantrum. But he cried. He cried a cry he had never cried before, and only repeated since when we lost animals due to illness. He was grieving.

Did it matter to him that the toy had never really been his? That poor communication on my part had helped him misunderstand? No. That didn't matter at all. What mattered is that he had believed he had something precious. And now it was gone. It broke his heart.

There are those who probably disagree with what I did next. We were actually more than a mile away from the store when I stopped the car to try and talk with him. Then, crying myself, I turned around and went back to the store and bought Jumping Tigger. Blue-Eyed Boy still has it. Hasn't played with it in more than ten years, but he still has it.

That was the only time anything like that ever happened with Blue-Eyed Boy. Since then I have been careful to be more clear about what is - and what is not - his.

But why is it so wrong for me to feel the same way about a lover?

Does it matter their love was never actually mine in the first place? No. Because there was a time I was convinced it was. There was a time when I sat in my shopping cart content with what I believed was mine. And now that it has been taken away - - - - -

I'm grieving.

So go ahead and tell me I was never loved in the first place. The proof is that my plea for reconcilliation has been ignored. Not even a "no" answer. Just silence. Like I don't exist.

It doesn't matter if they never loved me. Because I believed they did. And now they don't. And it hurts. And I always feel like crying. And I don't know how long it's going to take to recover.

I'm lonely.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Would the Real Me Please Step Forward

I think I've mentioned before that I have played a few online games in which I get to be a whole new character other than myself. Some of them can be quite fun. Some not so much so.

What I find most enjoyable are the people I meet. Yes, we're all telling fantastic lies about ourselves - mostly with regard to our appearance. For even if we confess our age (which I kind of do - I give a decade) our visual images are generally young - and quite good looking. Mine is compared to the real life me anyway.

I've met people from a variety of occupations and countries. And ages. One of the people I've met is a young psychology student from somewhere in the eastern side of the United States. I actually know the state, but will grant her further anonymity by not revealing it. She said she read about people and their online behavior in one of her classes. There have been studies made. (Of course there have been studies made. There's always a study.)

Not surprisingly, the studies reveal that people are often more the way they want to be when playing these online games. Shy people often find themselves with arm loads of friends. And I suppose weak and powerless feeling people become dominant in the war games. (She didn't say that one. I'm guessing.) Followers must become leaders and I bet some leaders even become followers. And then there are the gender swappers.

I asked this question of her: So, if being online removes the barriers and fears I have in real life which prevent the real me from displaying to the world, does that mean I'm more real online than in real life?

Her answer: In way, yes.

What online has done is remove the visual aspect of who I am - which ultimately has little (nothing) to do with who I really am.

I believe this. Kind of.

For what I look like, and my physical gender, both directly affect my behavior in real life. If my body has limitations then I have limitations. There are places women and can go but men can't, and places men can go but women can't. There are socially accepted behaviors for women which are unacceptable for men, and the same in reverse.

She asked me to close my eyes and envision myself. Who do I see when I look at the me inside my body? In a cooperative mood, I began to list about six to eight character qualities I think I have - but rarely display - in my real life. As I listed them I felt a chill on my arms. Why? Because many people online have used those very words to describe me - without prompting of any kind from me. In real life I don't often get these compliments, even with prompting.

That conversation made me feel happier about myself online. And I realized just how many people online actually seem to like me. And if all of this mumbo jumbo about the real me showing up online more so than in person, then perhaps I am as kind, caring - and likeable - as I wished I was in real life.

Also makes me wonder about the people who are complete assholes in these games.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Complicated Characters

Lonely people can make fascinating stories. I think so. Maybe that's because I kind of identify with lonely people, being a lonely person. But the Sad Clown act always appealed better to me than happy clowns. Happy clowns annoy me. Never liked them. Not even as a child.

A few months ago I stumbled across an old Jackie Gleason movie on our local PBS station: Gigot. It was a movie about a mute man living a pitiful life who befriends a woman and child down on their luck. Apart from the humorous aspects of the film, of which there were many, what I especially liked was the sensitivity of Gigot. Not that every lonely person is automatically sensitive. Some are lonely because they're so creepy nobody wants to be around them.

I remember seeing the movie "Lili" when I was young, starring Leslie Caron. She played a lonely young women who becomes part of a circus troupe. I haven't seen the movie in years but I remember it pulled at me.

There was a scene in a Burt Reynolds move (The End) which just made me cry. It was near the end, right after Reynolds' character realizes he doesn't want to commit suicide after all. He makes it back to shore only to find Dom DeLuise's character there - ready and willing to help him die. There is a struggle scene which ends with Reynolds throwing DeLuise to the ground and screaming at him that he doens't want to die and so "Quit trying to kill me! Do you understand?"

It was DeLuise's reply which makes me cry. He chokes up and says, "Yes. You don't like me anymore."

There is something in those words put together in that sequence and uttered from the heart that tears at me. It was at that moment that DeLuise's character, who had hitherto been annoying to me, endeared itself to my heart. Suddenly, I felt I understood this character. And in understanding, I found I liked him.

Sad characters are not so easy to write as one might think. For one thing, they have to have a reason to be sad. Seldom do single events turn people into sad people. Single events can make people sad, but unless that event is completely devastating it probably won't have the effect of turning that person sad henceforth. Humans tend to recover. Especially if we have support of people we care about.

The sadness I'm trying to talk about seems to result from a person seeing their self-worth as no longer a part of themself. The two have become disconnected. You will notice - in real life - that sad people often are very giving. Why? Most likely because the times when they have received what they want have resulted from when they gave.

And so they give.

Money. Food. Possessions. Sex.

What makes their situation even sadder is that there are a lot of people who recognize the signs of such people and will take complete advantage of their giving nature. They will take every penny they have. Eat them out of house and home. Steal possessions. Make them their sex toy instead of their lover.

These are the stories that are hard to write. They may seem fairly straightforward, but they're not. Not if one is to make them believable.