Avast, Me Hearties!

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of having a drink named in my honor. At Small Bar, of course. They just celebrated their third anniversary. Louis (the GM there) asked if they could name a drink “The Vampyrate”. If you’re unaware, I am co-creator and co-writer of a comic book called “Vampyrates“. It was served in a special mug. Here’s a photo of yours truly enjoying this delicious, rum-based (as if you had to ask) libation:

‘Nuff said.

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They Pull Me Back In!

As I mentioned, these Doorman Diaries are from a time when I worked at Small Bar on Park Boulevard. It’s been well over a year-and-a-half since I stopped working there, but I try to visit often. Once a week or so, actually. It’s the people–both the ones I worked with and the customers–who bring me back. I simply enjoy the mix of folks, the conversation, the people-watching.

Recently, I ended up at Small Bar by myself after an…adventure. I had been conversing on the book of faces with someone I knew from way back when in the old Mod days. We decided it might just be easier to go grab a beer. Naturally, I suggested Small Bar. Somehow we ended up going to talk a friend of hers out of doing something stupid. He had been drinking and made a vaguely “done with life” type of comment to her in a text. (She has been dating him and another gentleman on and off for the last five years or so.) Without going into a lot of detail, I’ll just say he definitely needed to be out of the house, but he was in no condition to actually go to a bar. I drove them both to her place, whereupon the other guy she’d been dating showed up. Oops. After a few minutes, I departed for Small Bar, adventure accomplished.

Or so I thought.

An hour or so after I got there, the doorman came in and told a couple of us who were standing in the “alley” area that we should see these two guys who had come out of Bourbon Street, heading past Small Bar in the direction of El Zarape. He said neither of them could walk, but they were both trying to help each other do so. The end result was that it looked like some bizarre form of ultimate fighting–they were basically body-slamming each other into the ground every four or five steps. When we got out to the street, we all realized that one of them was now injured, bleeding from the back of his head. A guard from Bourbon Street ran back and got towels. We convinced the injured guy to sit down while I ended up calling 911. Drunk Guy #2 kept trying to get Drunk Guy #1 to stand up, and we kept having to convince him that, no, that wasn’t a good idea. Especially as he was the reason Drunk Guy #1 was bleeding. Apparently, Drunk Guy #2 had tried to carry Drunk Guy #1 and instead dropped him on his head. On the metal grate around a small tree.

The ambulance arrived. I told them what I knew and let them take over.

That’s part of the job I do not miss. At all.

Mom vs. The Backrest

As I mentioned before, my mom and I work at the same place, and worked together previously at another company. I handled many things there, including all the computers. This was, well, a long time ago. Modems were slow and phone charges were expensive. We had people who did field work for us around the country. One of the things that these representatives did was meet arriving foreign student groups at international airports and get them to the next gate. (This was well before 9/11, so it was far easier for our reps to meet the kids.) I had designed a database program to help track the students and their host families, along with travel information. A few times a year, the reps would send their laptops back to the office for me to work on–update the database, do some general system work, etc.

Now, while my mom had a computer on her desk, it was a mysterious object. She simply had no idea (nor any desire to learn) how to use it. I tried. I continue to try to this day. It’s . . . excruciating at times. She’s an intelligent woman, so that’s not the problem. I believe she has convinced herself that computers are too complicated and that she’ll never learn how to use one, so she simply doesn’t make a true effort. This has been going on for more than 20 years. (And people wonder where I get my stubborn streak from!)

Something my mom did (and, yes, continues to) do, though, is order things from catalogs. Gadgets (nothing too techy, of course), books, movies, CDs, shoes, what have you. One thing she’s always trying to do is find things that will help her back. She’s had a bad back on and off for a very long time. To a point where she’s been forced to lay in bed for days due to the pain. Various lumbar supports and other back-stress-relieving items have come and gone over the years. Typically, she has them delivered to the office and then has me come and install the gadget du jour. Because she somehow assumes I have lots and lots of time to do such things. At one point I explained how I really didn’t have time to help her with each thingy that showed up at the office. So she began a relatively vain attempt to figure out the installations on her own. And then I’d get a call to come and help after she gave up.

On one particular occasion, a box arrived at the office and she eagerly opened it to get at the latest back thingamajig she’d ordered. But, as usual, I got a call on the intercom an hour later. “Kev, can you come down and take a look at this thing I got for my back? I don’t know if I’m using it right, and it’s not very comfortable.” Down the stairs I went, over to the adjacent building, and back to her office. “See? I don’t know how it’s supposed to go. There were no instructions. I don’t know if it goes behind me or if I’m supposed to sit on it. And if it goes behind me, does it go vertical or horizontal?”

I looked at the item and knew exactly what was wrong. “Mom, can I see the box it came in, please?”

“Sure, it’s right there. Why?”

“Because I want to look at the label. Yeah, just as I thought. See this? It’s not from a backrest company.”

“But I haven’t ordered anything else!”

“You’re not the only person who receives packages here, Mom. It was addressed to me.”

“Why would you order a backrest? Are you having back problems?”

“Mom, it’s not a backrest. You’ve been sitting on a laptop computer wrapped in bubble wrap!”

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An Angry Person

On the Book of Faces, I was told I’m angry because I make and vehemently defend a lot of political/social posts. First, I’m going to explain why that opinion is wrong. And then I’ll explain why it’s right.

It’s wrong because, as most anyone who meets me can tell you, I am almost always easy going, friendly, happy, and loving. In fact, I am almost hippie-like in my belief in the importance of love and peace. Elvis Costello had it right: what is so funny about peace, love, and understanding? If people were more open and loving with each other, I believe that we’d elevate our society. I want love and acceptance to overcome hatred and aggression, and I don’t see why that can’t be the case. I know it sounds corny, but if you think about it, it only makes sense that the world would be a better place if we’d all just let go of hate–even if it’s just a little bit–and love that much more.

But, yes, I am angry. I’m angry at people who promote hate. I’m angry at those who hide their bigotry behind a smile and a pulpit. I’m angry at those who would bully others, whether it be on a personal level or from a place of political power. I’m angry at those who would push others down so that they can feel better about themselves. I’m angry at those who would deny rights to others–rights that they, themselves, enjoy. I’m angry at those who feel they have the right to tell others who they may love and how they may love. I’m angry at those who hold disdain and contempt for the disenfranchised and less-fortunate. I’m angry at those who blind themselves to the misfortunes and miseries of others while lining their own pockets.

I articulate this anger and outrage against injustices I see. I feel compelled to point these things out, to say, “Hey! Look at this! There’s a problem here! PAY ATTENTION!” Because so many people find it all-too-easy to look away and ignore the hurt, pain, and social injustices that assail us every day. I can see how one could simply say I need to grow a thicker skin and learn not to care. The thing of it is, I think I already have! I just don’t know how I could possibly cut myself off completely from the rest of humanity. I love too much, care too much, and empathize far too much to be able to ignore such things completely.

Concert Review: Adam Ant at 4th & B, San Diego, 2012-09-15

The Adam Ant show at 4th & B was truly excellent. While, no, he didn’t jump as high as he might have some 30 years ago, he nonetheless had great energy and an excellent band backing him up. I will admit, I did miss Marco Pirroni on guitar now and then (I think Marco is one of the most influential and underrated guitar players of the last several decades–his use of feedback alone was innovative and I can hear it in so many recordings from so many other artists to follow).

All told, Adam played for nearly two hours, featuring music from all eras of his career. The highlights for me were the many B-side songs, such as “Beat My Guest”, “Red Scab”, and “Fall In” to name a few. Now I must come clean about my bias, here: I became a fan shortly after the “Kings of the Wild Frontier” album came out. This strongly influenced my enjoyment of  his set list as it was heavily peppered with songs from “Kings”. He performed approximately half of the songs from that album, several from “Dirk Wears White Socks” and two-to-three each from “Prince Charming”, “Friend or Foe”, and “Vive Le Rock”.
 
As to Adam himself, I very much enjoyed the fact that his look has returned to the pirate of old–high boots, gold-trimmed jacket, scarves, and trinkets. Let’s face it, Johnny Depp owes the entire Captain Jack Sparrow look to Adam, so it’s only fitting that Adam should reclaim it now. And as someone said to me that night, very few musicians can pull off wearing a T-shirt with their own face on it. Adam did, without seeming either self-aggrandizing or showing any sort of conscious self-parody.
 
By the end of the show I was drenched in sweat from jumping up and down, hoarse from singing along at the top of my lungs, and grinning from ear-to-ear due to sheer enjoyment of the evening. Welcome back, Adam. It’s been a long time and you’ve been missed.

A Gentleman In A White Dress, or, Three Nights Of Fun

More Doorman Diaries!

MAY 8, 2010

12:32 am: Large group of approximately 7 females walking from Adams to Bourbon Street, laughing loudly between El Zarape and Small Bar, but quiet down just before they reach me. Simultaneously, a group of 3 males depart Bourbon Street and are very loud wile standing in the street looking for a cab.

12:35 am: 4 females in front of Bourbon Street, laughing loudly.

12:53 am: Saw a male who had exited Bourbon Street urinating behind a car. He tried to enter Small Bar, but I simply blocked his path and shook my head. He then staggered back to Bourbon Street, obviously intoxicated–and they let him in. However, I told the Lei Lounge doorman what I saw and he ran over just as the guy was going inside. The Bourbon Street bouncers stopped him and sent his whole group away.

1:02 am: Large loud group in front of Bourbon Street, laughing, yelling, and clapping.

1:30 am: 4 males depart Bourbon Street toward El Zarape. 3 walking, 1 riding piggy-back, too drunk to walk.

1:31 am: Group outside Bourbon Street. Lots of yelling. (“LORENZO!”)

1:32 am: Male ran out of Small Bar and asked where he could “take a piss” as the line inside was too long. I directed him to Lei Lounge. They kindly let him use their restroom even though they had already called last call.

MAY 13, 2010

1:00 am: Group at corner table/booth and group at long table closest to exit in Small Bar are throwing coasters at each other. Also singing VERY loud, drowning out street noise.

1:03 am: A loud group exits Bourbon Street but quickly disperses.

1:36 am: Group of 4 males and 1 female exit Bourbon Street, crossing toward Madison. Female is yelling at the top of her lungs.

MAY 15, 2010

10:55 pm: Bourbon Street has some sort of “Carnival Night” going on, with popcorn, cotton candy, a bubble machine, and alcoholic Sno-Cones. That said, it’s been fairly quiet so far. Why do I think this is going to change?

11:47 pm: Denied entry to 2 males who have been here a few times in the past. One had an expired ID and the other was just a bit too intoxicated.

12:28 am: Fight out in street in front of Bourbon Street. Might have been 2 different females trying to get a cab. Bourbon Street security broke it up, but there was a lot of yelling.

12:40 am: Car with loud (no?) muffler set off the alarm of a truck parked across from El Zarape.

1:05 am: Just noticed that what I first thought was a bus parked down across from The Lancers is actually a lunch truck, open for business.

1:07 am: Group of approximately 12 outside Bourbon Street. Lots of piercing whistles and yelling.

1:10 am: 3 males dressed for the drag queen contest at Bourbon Street, walking past El Zarape toward the direction of Small Bar and Bourbon Street are SCREAMING. I quietly and politely asked them to respect the neighbors. They loudly and rudely refused.

1:40 am: A gentleman in a white dress and up-do wig is standing in the middle of the street with a bunch of balloons, yelling “BITCH!” at each passing car.

1:50 am: From amongst the huge crowd from Bourbon Street making scads of noise outside, a Small Bar customer came up to the gate and made an extremely loud and piercing whistle, trying to get his friends to hurry up for the bus. I did get him to stop, but he’d obviously already made a huge noise.

A Night On Park Boulevard: April 29 & May 6, 2010

Here I start a new category on my blog. It’s notes from the time I worked as a doorman at Small Bar on Park Boulevard. The bar was relatively new at that time, and a few complaints (mostly about noise) had been lodged. So the owners began having the guys at the door keep notes as to goings on, especially after 10pm when the San Diego noise curfew takes effect, mostly to show that Small Bar was not the source of the problem. For a visual, facing the street from Small Bar, Lei Lounge is directly to the right, Bourbon Street is just past Lei Lounge–to the left is the issue. There are several apartments above the businesses between Small Bar and El Zarape. It’s a relatively short stretch, probably about the same distance as the front of Bourbon Street and Lei Lounge combined. But the problem is that it is residential . . . and just beyond it is a business that stays open until after the bars have closed: El Zarape taco shop. I got my hands on a couple of the old notebooks. Enjoy the transcripts.

APRIL 29

8:20 pm: Turned away a male for intoxication. He insisted he was not on anything, but motor skills were impaired & speech slurred at times.

10:05 pm: Loud group of approximately 6 males and 1 female outside Lei Lounge yelling and laughing loudly.

10:45 pm: 2 males ran across the street from El Zarape to a truck, yelling loudly.

11:35 pm: 3 females exited Bourbon Street toward El Zarape, passing Small Bar. They started shrieking and poking each others’ breasts.

11:55 pm: Group of 7 standing in front of Lei Lounge door, talking. Not too loud, but going on for several minutes.

11:56 pm: For the last 2 or 3 hours, the group at the window table inside Small Bar has been very loud. Then again, they have been trying to hold a conversation over the music.

12:28 am: Group of 7 from Bourbon Street heading toward El Zarape–they became loud just after passing Small Bar.

1:00 am: Group at window table is still audibly loud from outside, even though the music was turned down half an hour ago. Dan asked them to keep it down a bit. We’ll see…

MAY 6

10:37 pm: A male got out of an SUV in between Small Bar and El Zarape . . . with a megaphone. He turned it on and started yelling through it to the bouncers at Bourbon Street. I approached him, pointed out that he is in a residential zone, and asked him to turn off the speaker. He apologized and complied.

10:43 pm: Group of 4 females in front of Lei Lounge, talking and laughing loudly. Asked them to keep it down. They apologized, but did not quiet down very much.

11:07 pm: Lei Lounge doors are still open and music is blaring.

11:10 pm: 5 patrons exit Lei Lounge, heading past Small Bar toward El Zarape, talking and laughing loudly. I asked them to keep voices down as it’s  a residential area. They complied.

11:57 pm: A group of 6 males walking to Bourbon Street from the direction of El Zarape were talking and laughing loudly as they approached Small Bar. When they passed I politely asked them to keep their voices down. They refused.

12:10 am: Just learned from a patron that Bourbon Street is having a wet underwear contest tonight. Great.

12:14 am: 1 male and 2 females in front of Bourbon Street yelling and otherwise conducting themselves in a loud manner. They started walking in the direction of El Zarape. As they passed Small Bar I said, “Hey folks, just so you know this is a residential area, so–” and they cut me off with “we don’t care!” They continued making copious amounts of noise as they headed past El Zarape and toward Adams Avenue.

12:31 am: There is a fair amount of yelling and screaming audible from inside Bourbon Street right now. I’ll guess that the wet underwear has something to do with this.

12:33 am: 2 males ran out of Bourbon Street, shrieking at the tops of their lungs. One ran straight down the center of Park Boulevard, the other paralleled him on the far sidewalk as they headed toward Adams.

1:15 am: 3 males ran from Bourbon Street toward Adams, yelling and shouting at each other. I was unable to say anything to them. After passing Small Bar, they ran into the street.

1:45 am: Group in front of Bourbon Street, singing and shouting. They head to El Zarape, but do not quiet down at my request.

1:46 am: 4 from the above group head back past Small Bar–my request for them to keep their voices down is again ignored.

Mom vs. Days of the Week

For this Mom story, we need to delve a bit further back. No, farther than that. No, more. Okay, look, let’s just go get in the Wayback Machine… Tim, you really need to come along for this one. It’s your favorite. Yeah, there’s room in here. Please fasten your harness and pull down on the safety bar.

Okay, everybody in? Controls set for 1978, aaaaand here we go!

Pling. And here we are.

My best friend, Bart, would often stay the night at my house on school nights. He lived in a different part of town and it was a long ride. It tended to make a lot of sense. Mom would come in each morning and wake us to get ready for school. Being best friends we would regularly stay up way too late, talking about music and what have you. So waking up was rarely an easy thing. “Boys! Boys! Wake up!” She’d start off gentle. We’d groggily open our bleary eyes and make vague attempts at consciousness. “It’s getting late you have to get ready for school!” She’d never get really loud, but perhaps a bit more firm in her calling to us. “Come on! Get up, you’re running late!”

One morning, however, she came up with, well, how shall I put it? An . . . interesting twist. “Boys! Boys! Wake up!” Came the familiar call. We’d stayed up extra late the night before, so it was taking a bit more on her end to get through to us. “Come on, boys, wake up! I need to tell you something!” And so, we forced ourselves awake and peeled our eyes open to hear:

“I just wanted to tell you it’s Saturday and you can sleep in as late as you want!”

An Early Morning Stroll

I went to dinner at my favorite local spot: the bar inside Ruth’s Chris Del Mar. I was lucky enough to enjoy the company of a friend whom I’ve known for some years. Okay a few decades. Her current boyfriend was three years old when she and I first met. I enjoy teasing her about this. But I digress.

After lots of talking about relationships, old times, jobs, routinely breaking into the house of a friend and consuming food from his fridge in the wee hours of the morning (no, that was NOT my story–she’s quite the adventurer), and various and sundry other subjects, I found myself on the way home far earlier than I’d expected. Hell, it wasn’t eight o’clock yet! I could hear the call of Small Bar.

Far be it from me to resist such an invite. I got there around 9.

Chatted with several of my old customers. Well, since I no longer work there and therefore they’re no longer my customers, I guess it’s better to call them friends as that’s what they are. I left a little bit after 11pm, much more in line with my expectations than the 8pm departure from Ruth’s Chris. On the way back to my car, someone called out my name. At first I thought she was an old customer, but then she mentioned a party in Las Vegas. Um, not terribly helpful. That we had both worked. Ah! She volunteers for the same charity I do. Let’s call her C, for the sake of simplicity. C was with her girlfriend, A. I’d met A before, briefly, during another sojourn in my old work neighborhood. They wanted to go . . . somewhere, anywhere. And, gosh I don’t know how they managed to twist my arm, but I ended up with them. Lei Lounge was closing so we headed next door to Bourbon Street. We spent, oh, about twenty or thirty minutes there. They ended up taking me–

–back to their place. They have two medium/large dogs and a cat. All super friendly. We watched a movie on HBO. I sat on one couch with C, rubbing her shoulders and drinking wine, while A dozed off across from us.

Eventually, well, what can I say? It went like this:

C got up, woke A up, they each hugged me, headed for the bedroom, and invited me to spend the night. On the couch. C’mon, what were you thinking? Really? They’re a lesbian couple! I don’t have the right bits. Ain’t nothin’ was gonna happen. I tried to get a bit of shuteye but their pets had other ideas. The cat jumped up on me. Not a bad thing as I often sleep with a cat or two on top of me, but it was really only a secondary annoyance. One of the dogs decided it was time to play. With me. I felt a wet nose against my arm and a moment later, something rolled against my side. A slobbery ball. I put it gently on the floor. A few seconds later, there it was again. I again put the ball on the floor. This time it seemed to work . . . for about a minute. Plop. Slobbery ball. After the fourth or fifth time, cat still atop me, I gave up on the concept of sleep. So, sometime around 2:20 in the morning, I walked back to my car. Oh, wait. It was, ah, two miles away at that point.

Leaving their house, heading south toward Adams Avenue, I was struck by how bright it was outside. The sidewalk was lit as though a full moon was at its zenith on a clear night. Yet there was no moon up–I’d seen its crescent low in the western sky far earlier in the evening and knew it had long since set. Nor would I have been able to see it had it been up and gibbous–a uniform, featureless cloud cover blanketed the city, hiding the stars and planets. Ah, but city lights brightened the clouds from below and that reflected light was, in turn, illuminating my walk. My very next strong recollection is that of having to carefully navigate a stretch of shattered pavement perhaps a block from their house. It looked as though it had been smashed up from underneath, rather than blows from above. It was in such a straight line, right down the center of the sidewalk, that it couldn’t have been a tree root.

There were more people out and about than I expected at such an hour. Once I got to Adams (a right turn to the west), I found myself walking behind a couple of guys who had exited a busy taco shop, but I slowed to let them get a nice long lead. Other sources of human noise were a 7-11, a coffee house, another 7-11, and the stragglers from a nightclub–all in the first half mile or so. But the walk down Adams grew more quiet as I went on, though the city noise never fully disappeared. Far off traffic (especially when I crossed the 405 and later Texas Street) was the main culprit, joined by crickets and some distant frogs on this warm summer night. Yeah, it was closing in on 3am and the temperature was either in the high 60’s or the low 70s.

Approaching Old Trolley Barn Park I could hear water. The sprinklers were on, but that wasn’t the noise that caught my attention–one of the heads near the curb was broken and water was gurgling up from the ground. It flowed freely over the concrete to stream down the gutter and pour noisily into a storm drain some thirty feet on. My car was still another three blocks away, past Park Boulevard, but as it was on the south side of the street I decided to cross right there rather than try to negotiate a dry path through the sprinklers.  For some reason (lability? affectation? Ten points to anyone but Chip who knows which book I’m re-reading right now based on this sentence) I walked down the middle of Adams Avenue for at least a block, passing the power substation. By the time I’d reached Cheers, though, I was on the sidewalk again.

I got in my car perhaps two minutes before 3am to head home. And now here I am blogging about my little journey. At least I don’t have to get up early to hit the gym: a) I’m already up, and b) I already got in over half an hour of cardio!

Regarding Love, a re-Blog

Over on the Book of Faces, I wrote a few Notes about Love. I’m republishing them here in one large post. Here goes…

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A friend of mine has something in their profile on another social networking site that resonates with ideas and thoughts that have percolated in my head since, well, at least junior high school. Yeah, a long time.

It’s about love. To be specific, loving unconditionally. Here’s what was written:

“One of the most difficult-to-grasp concepts is the notion of loving and expecting nothing in return. That doesn’t mean you should make yourself a doormat or let people take advantage of you. (While real love is unconditional; relationships do have conditions.) It means love for the pure joy of loving. Love is a creative act, and like making art or music, there should be joy in the process. Does it matter if your doodles never end up in a museum or you never perform the song you sing in the shower at Carnegie Hall? If your love is not reciprocated, at least you’ve loved with an open heart; taken pleasure in making another person happy; uplifted the souls and spirits of people with whom your life intersects. Ironically, the more you practice loving without expectation, the more love you will receive…yet that can’t be your goal. (It’s a Zen thing.)”

I think the only thing I disagree with in that paragraph is the first sentence. The concept is not difficult to grasp. In and of itself, the concept is very simple. It’s the practicing that is incredibly challenging. I know—I’ve tried. And failed. And succeeded, I think.

Now, it’s probably fair to say that many parents feel something close to this ideal in relation to their children, if not for their whole lives then at least a significant portion of the child’s growing years. But unconditional love for someone who is not your child is another matter altogether. Even the most secure people can feel strong jealousy at times.

Jealousy springs out of possessiveness, though, not love. Love doesn’t want to hold onto the other person, though it revels in their presence. Love puts the happiness and needs of the other person before your own . . . and finds joy in that act. Those who love (or who are in love, which I view as a slightly different concept) almost always expect, or at least hope, that the person they love will love them in return. That is the way we, as a society, feel it’s supposed to work. But it doesn’t always happen that way. Thus, we have “unrequited love,” where one loves the other hoping to receive love in return, but is simply left hoping. There is rarely much joy in that situation.

Unconditional love removes that hope, removes the need for that hope. The act of love itself is all that is required to bring joy and satisfaction. But in our brains, love is almost always tangled with other things. Physical attraction. Want. Need. And we are confused, mixing these other things with love and mistakenly making them part of love. They are not. Love does not want, love does not need. Love is.

This is where the difficulty comes in. Divorcing need, want, and attraction from love is, again, a relatively simple concept. But just try doing it! Sorting out the tangle of emotions may be something that is beyond the abilities of most people.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t try.

Now, I mentioned above that I think of “love” and being “in love” as slightly different things. Until I wrote that down, I hadn’t really tried to quantify the difference. It got me thinking. “Love” has already been discussed, so that leaves the other.

Being “in love” is, perhaps, like a cocktail. Several things all shaken (or stirred) together. Its main ingredient is love, but there are other emotions and feelings involved. One of which, physical attraction, I mentioned before as being apart from pure love. I still feel that it is a different thing. But it is a component of the “in love” cocktail. A feeling of romance is also part of the cocktail, and is, in a way, a linkage between love and physical attraction.

The third facet is sex. These thoughts are driven by several things, but are mostly prompted by an interview (here: http://fanboy.gaymer.info/post/1252849523/lgm-exclusive-samuel-r-delany ) with my favorite author and good friend, Samuel R. Delany.

My thoughts here relate to a few of the many thoughts Delany touches upon in his interview. Especially his long response to the final question. And, in particular, these four paragraphs:

“A certain order of fidelity in a mate is supposed to make you feel good and of worth. But as soon as we learn a sex partner’s behavior has deviated from that, even if he or she is miles away in another city, you should feel hurt and disrespected—and anyone who hurts and disrespects you is supposed to make you suffer unbearably.

“Well, my personal worth does not depend on whom my partner fucks or sucks with, when he’s not with me. Nor does his worth depend on whom I fuck or suck with, when I’m not with him. We’ve been pretty happy together, now, for twenty years. I’ve been gifted with someone I love so much it still can block my throat, make my belly and chest feel like they just exploded with electric happiness, and my eyes water, at three o’clock in the morning, when I turn the light on and see him sleeping next to me, holding my hand.

“Or when he sends me an e-mail or leaves me a note signed with love.

“The primary want in my life is for him to be as happy as possible, and if having sex with someone else besides me would make him feel good, what else can I reasonably  want other than for him to do it? He claims he feels the same way about me. Our own sex is one of the most reassuring elements of my own life, and it’s been that way for a couple of decades.”

That’s about as open as a relationship can get, and they’ve been together longer than most married hetero couples I know. My brain goes in so many directions when I read this. Certainly I do not question the validity of his statements. What comes to mind most, however, are questions. Is this the (or one of the) ultimate act(s) of love–to be happy with whatever makes your partner happy, regardless of what that might be? Is this something that only a few people are capable of? Now, obviously, Delany is gay and I have noted amongst my myriad friends in the LGBT community a certain departure from what most hetero couples would consider to be “faithfulness” in a committed relationship. I’m not trying to tar all with the same feather, just noting things I’ve heard from many friends. So, with that disclaimer in mind, is this more of a gay thing? Or perhaps it’s a male thing?

I am brought back to my statements above about jealousy and possessiveness. I wrote those original statements in 2008. Delany’s interview took place in the summer of 2010. Surely my thoughts were somewhat along the same lines; clearly I did not take it to it’s ultimate conclusion. I doubt I would have been able to.