Posts Tagged ‘middle aged lesbian’

Discourse on love is overworked, it’s cliche, there is almost certainly nothing left to say on the subject that has not already been said. Love is written about eloquently, awkwardly, succinctly, verbosely. It is analyzed, dissected, and deconstructed. We fantasize, romanticize, fetishize, darker moments of pessimism push us to minimize as we are demoralized. The Oxford defines love as

An intense feeling of deep affection
A deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone

As very young children we understand the meaning of love, it’s an early word in our vocabulary, this emotion of the heart. We know love when we feel it, even if, after the fact, we change our minds and re-describe the emotions as lust, infatuation, crush or some other, safer emotion.

Emotions are tricky. There is a certain cultural assumption that when emotions are felt, they are expressed. Feeling and expression are two different things, the lack of expression does not indicate a lack of emotion. Yet we find ourselves saying things ‘If you love me, why don’t you show it?’ and the like, confused at this separation, expecting, even as we know better, that the lover will express emotion in the same way we do, and hurt when that expression is not forthcoming.

When I fall in love, what is it that I fall in love with? How do we parse, identify within the being, the exact bits that enrapture us? The pat answer is that if I am in love with you, I love everything about you, that love is unconditional and all-encompassing. To be sure, there are parts that are far less likable than others, parts that are difficult to understand, but the envelope of love surrounds every piece of the parcel.

I say ‘I love you’, the emphasis on ‘you’. And you is a big word, encompassing everything that you are, or maybe it’s a small word, encompassing the tiny kernel in the center, surrounded by a multitude of external factors that give you an appearance, a character, an image. Factors that can be changed, removed, replaced, while still leaving you as ‘you’, the one I love.

Picture the person you are in love with. If they color change their hair style, length and color, you are still in love. If an accident takes away their mobility, you are still in love. If illness removes their ability for sexual intimacy, you are still in love. If their gender expression changes, you are still in love. If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they love you, but they are unable to express it outwardly as they once did, you are still in love.

If I say I love you, there is nothing you can change that will change that.

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I started crafting a well composed and well thought out blog post half a dozen times at least.  A compact and cautiously worded essay balancing my less than charitable thoughts with warm understanding and compassion.   But every time I felt that, although I agreed with the sentiments I was expressing, my heart was not entirely there.  Because the things I want to say are not as nice as I’d like to think I am, because there’s something about June that sometimes pisses me off.  For straight people, June has traditionally been a month filled with weddings and engagements.  For queers it’s been a month of Pride Parades and rallies.  White taffeta vs. rainbow extravaganza.  Weddings were a ‘them’ thing.  A contentious thing.  A thing we could not partake in.  Now, in 19 states and DC, we can.  Marriage equality has gotten a good toehold and we are not going back.

But…

1 – I believe in equality, I believe we should all have the same rights, including the right to marry, but that does not mean that I believe, or don’t believe, in the institution of marriage.  Saying I want to be seen as equal is NOT the same as saying I want to get married.   We have our own history, our own culture, and for many of us, that culture does not include the great desire to get legally married, only the great desire to be seen as human and equal.

2 – Why do straight people think it’s OK to ask questions about my relationship they would never ask a straight couple?  Not every straight person, and not even all that often, but these questions have been asked –

If I refer to her as my wife or spouse –

Are you married?

If we say yes

Legally?

In what state?

How do you have sex?

3 – I think it’s great that you believe in equality.   Put another way, I think people who do not believe in human equality are kind of fucked up.  So yes, it’s good that you are in favor of marriage equality, but you don’t need to tell me that any more than I need to tell you that I believe you have a right to marry.  I don’t need your validation or approval.  Yes, having someone smile and tell me that they think it’s fine that I’m gay is a lot better than gay bashing but it is kind of condescending, you know?  Telling my you don’t think it’s anyone’s business what I do in the privacy of my own home makes me a little suspicious that you’re actually thinking about what I do in the privacy of my own home (hint: if you watch girl on girl porn, that NOT it)

4 – This question has to go ‘Why do you people need a Pride Parade?  Why do you have to be proud of being gay?  We don’t have a straight pride parade’

Because straight culture did not suffer shame at the hands of gay culture, because you probably did not come of age being told there was something wrong with being straight, you did not have to come from a place of shame, to acceptance, to pride in being.

 

So that’s my rant.  It’s maybe not my kindest, most open side, but it’s how I sometimes feel.

What about love? There’s a topic that’s been dissected, written, poured over, expounded upon to excess. Because we’ve probably all felt love at one point or another in our lives, and there are so many sticky issues, so many surprises. Love can draw you into the depths of a darkness that defies logic, and just as quickly, just as definitely, bring fill you with a sense of euphoria that overwhelms all sensibility. Right away people think of romantic love, that’s obviously a biggie, and the other loves we feel so often seem tamely calm by contrast that we can forget their impact on our lives.

For most of us, first love is parental love. Our infant selves loved without question, without limit. There’s no way of making it through childhood unscarred. And this with loving, caring parents who want the best for their children, who mean no harm. We long to make them proud, and in our tiny child worlds we suffer the hardest strike of failure when we think we have not met the mark. It is in this framework that we learn we are not perfect, long before we realize that they, our parents, are not perfect either. But also, our love for our parents, and their love for us, follows us, always faithful, allowing for our mistakes, bolstering us in the face of the adversities of life. From our parents we learn of love in darkness and light.

The love we feel for our children is fraught with peril, this love takes us by surprise no matter how much we expect it, overwhelmed by the shear force of emotion, at the lengths we know we’d go to to protect this life put in our trust, and knowing even as we dedicate ourselves to our children there will be missteps, errors, slights that we did not intend. I do not mean to be the harbinger of doom, to point out that all love is flawed, it is, but that’s beside the point. Our children forgive us our missteps, it is from them that we learn the largess, the generosity of true love, the ability to see beyond the details into the solid force of it.

As children we discover the extensive pallet of love, how it covers all manner of family; siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the rest. That our friends fit into this rubric too, that there are degrees of love, even if we cannot find any exact measure.

There is an understanding early on that romantic love exists, that one day our hearts will open in this different way, enveloping us in a love like no other. This other word, lust, skirts around us, ready to take us in, take us by surprise, toss us headlong so that we fall hard when we fall in love, landing in a heap, heaving and shaking, simultaneously without doubt and completely unsure.

There had been an assumption, from culture, from parents, from… and I waited patiently as friend after friend developed this thing called a crush on one or another cute guy. So the rush of feeling I felt the first time I saw a girl in that way was not immediately clear to me. I did not define this sudden sense of longing as love or lust, at first it was just some strange affliction that caused heart palpitations, but with time I understood, this was it, the ‘love’ they all talked about.

And still, nothing prepared me, more than three decades later, for this love I am in. At the cusp of fifty I found myself as shy as a school boy, as sleepless as a youngster with a first crush, overwhelmed by the raw force of emotion she brought out in me. I ascribed it to nothing but carnal desire, there was no doubt that her physical self threw me into all manner of want, so it was easy enough to be jaded about it, to tell myself it was casual, I was good at sex without strings, it was no big deal. I fell into that boiling pot of emotion as innocent as a lobster.

how does one define this visceral yet intangible state of being?

 

Thankfully, for the most part, our world has evolved past the ‘which one of you is the man in the relationship?’ questions.  People are either educated enough, or polite enough, to realize the rudeness of the question, even if we all know that they’re making assumptions in their own heads.  Much (maybe not enough, and maybe it’s not read enough, not mainstream enough, not considered enough, but still much) has been written about gender identification from an academic point of view, from a political point of view, from a feminist point of view, much good, valid stuff.  What interests me right now, is my own little family and how we see ourselves and each other, how our culture informs our concepts of self.

 

We walk a cultural divide between our primarily traditional heterosexual geographical culture in which we are accepted because we’re ‘safe’ queers, other than that one little difference we act just like them, we talk just like them, we fly under the radar, and queer culture.  Within our home, and within our queer culture, my partner uses masculine pronouns, ‘Puppy, Daddy’s busy now, he can’t play with you, go bring your toy to Mommy’, we slide back and forth from one culture to the other with a practiced smoothness that requires no effort.

 

One of us dresses in mens suits, has half a dozen different fedoras, mows the lawn, kills spiders.

 

One of us wears make up, colors her hair, spends hours getting ready for an evening out.

 

One of us cooks and does the laundry and feels it’s her job to nurture, to make take care.

 

One of us is the primary wage earner who feels it’s her job to be a good provider.

 

It would be easy, and would help with everyone’s sense of stereotype, to refer to us as femme and butch, as we refer to ourselves as him and her, but it’s not that simple, and how we see ourselves is not how others might see us.  We are femme and butch both of us.  I cook and clean and nurture and mow the lawn, I wear a suit and tie and fedora, I wear a strap on, I wear my emotions on my sleeve, I cry and want to cuddle.  I am who I see myself as, not in the least confused about my identity, comfortable with my pronouns, comfortable when she calls me her boy, when she says I’m her little butch femme.

 

Butch?  I look the part for sure, the all important visual cues that people rely so heavily upon are all there.  He’s my boi, he’s the strong one, silently bottling emotions, she’s my he and he’s my she, fluidly switching from pronoun to pronoun, fluidly being.

 

How we see ourselves, how we refer to ourselves, how we feel inside our skins is such a personal thing, and, for some of us, it’s fluid, a state of flux that we are entirely comfortable with.  We are lucky to be a part of the queer community, where such things are nothing unusual, we’re used to figuring out our own definitions of self, we’ve had to do it from the get-go.

My roots are urban, weeds growing in sidewalk cracks, dirty and tenacious.  My queer came into being with politics and history.  I was a kid who witnessed the Stonewall riots holding tight to my father’s hand, queer came to me replete with protests and posters and a strong fight.  My queer came wrapped in a plaid flannel shirt and feminism.  My liberal west village childhood informed me about gay culture before I had informed myself that I was gay.

 

My culture clashes against hers with the regularity of a clock strike, we are learning to live within the beats of the second hand, understand that our past is not a common one.

 

I don’t realize at first that the distance from her home to mine is far more than simple mileage.

 

Her queer came into being quietly and inevitably, in her being with no prefacing on politic, no gloss of liberal trend.  Her gay surrounded her and took her in in a world nearly devoid of those like her.

 

It would be simple to say ‘closet’, simple to imply some sort of self-righteous superiority, simple, but not correct.  There is no bravery in proclaiming a lesbian identity when living in, and having grown up in, one of the gayest neighborhoods in the country.  The ease with which we urban dykes proclaim means nothing, we are sheltered by our privilege.

 

Yes, of course there is always danger, we are still marginal, even here, although the margin we live within is wide, we are among our people, protected.  There are crimes committed, there is hatred, we are still ‘other’ but this is other in lower case, wherein other blends with so many words that our safely grows around us.

 

Suddenly I find myself out here on the ledge, living in this new world, this hetero space  without a safety net.  This space where we do not hold hands on the street, we do not kiss across the table at dinner, we do not…

 

What does it mean to just be queer, to just be this dyke living in the boonies, neither hiding nor proclaiming identity?

 

The possibility of outright danger is small, but the small things that dig, the small things that remind are constant.  The patronizing comment from a client that she totally accepts us, that ‘what we do in the bedroom is our own business’

 

Waking in the dark I wrap myself around her sleeping body, bury my head in her neck, breathe in the beauty she is and I am completed.

BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION

 

Four years ago, another lifetime, a different blog, a dyke then too, but far less anonymous.  There were reasons (mostly having to do with a having two kids and an ex-husband) for people to assume I was heterosexual, and share with me those things that they would never share with queer folk.  So eventually, having suffered through one too many homophobic attempt at humor, I outed myself to those people in my world who had not yet figured out my queerness.  Single then, I had the freedom to expose myself without reflecting upon others.  That blog brought me directly to this place, a shared life wherein exposing myself also risks exposing the one I love the most.  I willingly gave up my blog for my love,  but missed it.  She gave me this anonymous space to return to myself.  I’m sure the first posts will be a bit confused and raw, it’s been a while.   I fell in love for the first time a few months shy of my 50th birthday.

BEGINNINGS

 

Where does any story start?  Beginnings are a moving target, you think you’ve found the space then you remember a step before…  so I walk backward slowly, trying to remember.  Walking through dark woods, land mines, danger.  There’s always danger in remembering.  You remember something and it changes everything you know about yourself.  Things you’re sure of, things that matter.  I was in a safe place, alone, un-needing.

 

It beings on September 24th 2010.  She is someone I know peripherally, someone known in our profession, not even a friend.  She says, ‘so you and I have more then music in common it seems.’  It was a couple weeks after I’d outed myself on my blog, and I was getting an awful lot of these still sort of in the closet confessionals, they were getting a little tedious, a little tiresome, so it surprised me that this one even caught my attention.  I remember reading it, putting it aside, processing.  My answer, when it came to me, was a long one.  I have no explanation.  Her words had already grabbed me, but I was unaware.

 

MEDITATIONS

 

October

I know I think about her too often, but refuse to be aware that she has worked her way into my consciousness.

 

Sit quietly, think…  There was a space within confusion, a black hole that caused me to write the words to her, to share things I spoke of to no one.

 

Sit quietly, think…  I share words with her, more and more of them, still do not question this.  It’s harmless, a pen pal.

 

Sit quietly, think… I love her words, look forward to them with irrational joy.  No matter, it means nothing.

 

 

FEAR AND TRANSITION

 

We’re sitting across the table, talking, looking at pictures.  Words exchanged.  She comes around to my side.  The view is clearer.  I am calm, comfortable. No danger here.  That was my mistake, wasn’t it?  I should have seen it coming… There is a sublet shift,  just a fleeting glimpse of it, I focus back on the pictures.  She kisses me.  KISSES me.  I want her so badly, I did not know that, had no idea, but it all floods into me at once.  Lust, pure lust, nothing more.  There are things I have to believe to survive.  Lust is something I understand, I control.  I just want to fuck her.  Really?  Unless I count sexting, I haven’t fucked anyone in years, why now?  No matter, it’s just fucking I want, just friction, the feel of her body.

 

I’m lying to myself.

 

She says, ‘I like thinking about you’, she says ‘just to complicate things’, she speaks and I try to listen, but my heart is making too much noise, fear pounds loudly.  I see her and want to protect her.  NO!  That can’t be right, protection is too close to emotion.  I want to fuck her, I have to believe that. I’ll tell her that I want to take care of her, want to protect her, but what I really mean is that I want to fuck her.  I speak the truth to her but lie to myself.

 

 

THE DRAGON ENTERS

 

The dragon first came as an extra, a bit part actor you’d catch a glimpse of in the background, maybe had a line or two, just enough for a SAG card, but no staring role.  But the dragon was my first mistake, the dragon made me show my hand, I should have never let her know she held the winning card.  The dragon breathed and fire filled my existence.  I knew enough not to define my love for her, but the dragon, that definition seemed safe.  Dragons excel at that, of course, lulling one into a false sense of security.  Every time I sought to define the dragon I was pulled further into the lair.  I pretend to other things, but these words were written –

 

‘And the dragon isn’t real, she’s just a word to explain emotions.  I think of the dragon breathing fire, both Prometheus and Pandora, and I’m filled with desire.’

 

 

APPRECIATION

 

So yeah, OK, friends are there for each other, even new friends, even when you’re still exploring the territory of friendship with each other.  Time is meaningless, you’re either there for each other or you aren’t.  Fair enough, I can’t argue with that logic, so I don’t.  She’s unhappy, she’s so in love with someone but the love don’t feel so fine, there’s coldness there and a lack of attention, she’s hurting, speaking of sadness and loss.  It’s simple really, she just needs to feel appreciated, just needs that boost to weather the struggles.  No harm in that now, is there?  Just a word or two, an honest complement, wouldn’t anyone do that for a friend?  Damn it, don’t argue with me, there’s nothing special about what I did, she was hurting, I just gave her a little care.  You can’t argue with me, friends do that for each other.  Would you be a cold hearted bitch and watch a friend suffer?  Wouldn’t you tell her she was special?  Yeah, I thought so.  So don’t rag on me for doing the same, OK?  It didn’t mean a damned thing, not a damned thing, I tell you.  And it was so easy to do, there were so many qualities to enumerate, so much appreciation to give away.

 

 

FUCK

 

Our hearts are not on the table, whatever bargains we might strike with each other, we’re safe in that knowledge.  Lust is a language we share, comfort zone, the promise we keep.  Fucked up and damaged I tell her, already in love with someone she tells me.  Our hearts are not on the table.  I try to speak, but it’s not words I’m after, it’s lust, sex, friction.  Nothing more.

 

Fuck.  I’m shy, it’s been a long time, I know I’m not all that I should be anymore, I feel my lack pretty acutely, but what does it matter?  It’s just fucking, right?  No strings, no emotion.

 

Fuck.  I’m less shy, less awkward, this world is coming back to me.  This world of freedom, no strings, no emotions.

 

Fuck.  I’m almost feeling it now, almost.  Just a shadow, an edge of something not quite where I want to be.  There’s yearning

slipping in, sometimes there’s a glimpse of something I can’t quite describe as lust.

 

Fuck.  Not her this time.  What does it matter?  It’s lust, sex, friction I’m after.  I am in my element, confident, secure, taking control.  I mastered these things.  I bring pleasure easily but do not take it in.  My hands on this body but my mind is on her.  Fuck, that really scares me.

 

Fuck.  It’s her again.  She fills me with…  emotions are not something I let me self get too far into, just get back to fucking. I can’t take it anymore, I don’t want to think of what it is I feel.

 

We head unavoidably toward the precipice, our hearts dragging us in against our better senses.

We are closing in on four years now, crazy, fucked up, tumultuous years, years filled with words we treasure and words we regret.  We are difficult people, emotional and sensitive.  There are black holes, in our darkest moments we can easily believe that light has been extinguished for all time.  There is love, abundant love.  In every way, she is the most beautiful woman I have ever known, and oh, how I love her.