Um…its like…it feels like…
It feels like I’m smashing my head up against a hard rubber wall is what it feels like.
I spent some time during one of my classes at the Folsom Fringe event calmly muzzling my increasingly agitated DÃ¦mon, Bubbles. There was a discussion going on about being monogamous when involved with poly people, and I asserted that I didnâ€™t feel that monogamy and polyamory were very clear sides of the same coin. Monogamy has to do with marriage and polyamory has to do with emotional connections. I think we kinksters, usually so innovative, have been lazy about our verbiage here. And I think I want to be monoamorous. Or better yet, monoflexible. Blah blah yadda yadda and
â€¦because rightÂ nowÂ what I wanna talk about is the noisiest, dirtiest most aggro denizen of my inner menagerie and that’s myÂ (mostly un)friendly neighborhoodÂ HyÃ¦naÂ spirit. And what she has to say about my â€œUltimate Compromiseâ€Â (yeah whatever)Â of giving up on the idea of finding The One monogamous person with whom I’d fall in love and have a passionate connection and then with whom I’d be all slaverytime nummyummygummy goodness.
Whenever well-meaning people point out Iâ€™d probably be happier if I just eased back into a polyamorous configuration, I wince inside. It isn’t the hard-wiring for me. It feels like a challenge to do poly. Monogamous relationships don’t have that â€œIN YOUR FACEâ€ from get-go like poly does for me.
So. Is it true? Have I just â€œgiven upâ€ on waiting…afterÂ fifteen yearsÂ of waiting…have I collapsed under the weight of loneliness and compromised some core aspect of my monogamous heart so I can scramble for crumbs from someone who will never put me first? Am I making someone priority when I am only an option for them?
No matter how many times I patiently…tiredly…exhaustedly…point out that waiting for an ideal I’ve built in my head out of fantasy and patchwork is likeÂ that joke about the drowning man waving off rescue, she snorts, my Bubbles does.
No.Â ThisÂ is more like you being stupid again and setting yourself up for massive, epic disappointment.
I’m scrambling, just a little, trying to figure out a way to get my brain around the issue of why this…this thing, this situation, does NOT seem like a Bad Idea. I turn the question back on Bubbles.
SO, you’re so smart. If this is so horrid, so epically doomed, why are you always so calm, quiet and chillaxed when we are with him? Why don’t you trip out and bark and whine and scream and gnaw at us the whole time? Why do you only start in again when time our near him ends? If you wereÂ THATÂ unhappy, you’d hardly ease up when the â€œdangerâ€ is at its worst!
And besides…we’ve done dumber shit.
Hell, we walked away from the highest paying job we’ve ever had. Walked away from full medical and dental. From a rent-controlled house in one of the trendiest neighborhoods in a beautiful city. And we landed on our feet. Why do we keep tearing at this idea that this new thing …this person, this situation, is bad when it feels good?
We sit a bit quietly for a moment, the internal menagerie and I. And then the brainhamsters do the thing that they do well, which is process. Running, running, squeakitysqueak and a sip of an analogy trickles into my parched emotional desert.
This is…this new thing? This new journey is like…its like taking a job in a new city.
The hamsters are racing at breakneck speed, and Bubbles is listening, grudgingly.
Like, a job…? In a new city. I don’t…
Yeah. Let’s say you’re minding your own business and you have a good job, and a nice place to live. You’re bumping along. No harm, no foul. Someone walks into your office, outta the blue one day, from another company, say, and says â€œHey, I like what I see. Why don’t you come work for me?â€ and you say â€œUh, but I have a good job here.â€ and they are all â€œReally? You like it enough to stay here forever?â€ and you look around and realize no, not really… And this person says â€œOK, check it out. Yeah, it is a new company, We aren’t sure if it is gonna take off. And youâ€™d have to learn a bunch of new job skills. And you’d be taking a risk. But. But…you have the potential to do shit you’ll NEVER do in the job you’re in now.â€ And this sounds tempting but…you’d have to leave everything you know. Your house, your friends, your steady 9-5, the shit you KNOW. And here’s this stranger promising you …a chance. A maybe. No guarantees. Fuck, the entire thing could collapse in a year and you’d be in a strange city, having left behind all of this…stuff. History, Seniority. You’d be starting from the bottom, and for what?
For aÂ chance.
For a chance at a future you hadn’t imagined, a future that just isnâ€™t gonna happen inÂ thisÂ job, inÂ thisÂ city, inÂ thisÂ time and place.
What would you say?
Would you back down and not even…not ever try?
The brainhamsters wind down. Bubbled shakes her scruffy head. There’s no point in even waiting for an answer.
We, this ragtag menagerie, we do not ever…ever…back down from a challenge like that.
And that is the heart of the challenge The Dominant Guy has put before me.
Am I willing to take that chance, to risk falling down…again, to risk hiking a new path, to do my life’s work in a framework that is so different than mine it might as well be a different world as a different city… am I willing to leave behind the fears and the apprehensions in which I’ve swaddled myself for so many years? The reluctance to risk that shielded me from pain, and also closed my eyes to possibilities I hadn’t ever considered.
Am I willing to trust? To surrender that deeply, simply because he has asked me to?
Simply because I need to surrender?
This is one of those questions that is answered in retrospect. My heart is bowed before I have uttered the words of submission. I’ve already planned how I might best adjust to my new life before I have even shaken hands on that job offer.
I’m in midair wondering if I have the bravery to leap.