Saturday, January 28, 2012

In a Neighborhood Near You...

I can't sleep. Not because clowns will eat me or anything. That's one thing I can certainly say has never made me shake in the metaphorical boots people keep going on about.

What has me shaking (in boots that I can only imagine are made out of snakeskin and look great on cowboys that I don't sleep with, though not by choice but most probably because of region) is the fact that my life now occupies a ten foot by 5 foot by 6 foot square in one corner of what will no longer be my living room. I'm sitting on a chair that will no longer be mine, typing on a keyboard that will no longer be mine, on a blog that hasn't been mine lately but is now being reclaimed, among other things.

Now let me be clear-- Hmm, now I'm channeling Obama...

Let me say this, then: I know I will be fine. "Fine," of course, being one of those words used to answer the questions of life that no one really cares to ponder too deeply, lest they learn something about themselves or others that may make them uncomfortable. So perhaps "fine" isn't what I'm trying to convey.

I will land on my cowboy-bootless feet. I will find love and happiness again. I will make it through these next few weeks and months, mourning the relationship and husband I'm leaving behind in my own way (which I'm also sure I'll learn how to mourn a 12.5 year relationship), learning once again how to be alone and enjoy my own company.

Some of this I'm greatly looking forward too. But there are definite things I will miss, not only about having a companion, but having had this specific companion. There will always be things I love about him, always memories I will cherish to my dying day, and always a place in my heart that he will reside in.

This is probably a given, and shouldn't need said, but I said it anyway, because I know, now that I am leaving, he will be reading.

So be it.

Hundreds, perhaps millions, of other people have gone through this and been "fine," cowboy boots notwithstanding. And even though some may disagree, I'm nothing if not rational and logical, with a dash of dreamer and romantic, with leanings toward optimism--ergo, I will be fine.

But at 1:30 a.m., when your brother and father are to arrive in 7.5 short hours to figure out how to fit your life into their respective vehicles...?

I don't feel fine at the moment. Which, of course, is to be expected in this kind of situation. I think. Maybe.

It's almost a shame Oprah's off the air. Almost. She'd be eating this stuff up, and probably trying to get me onto see Dr. Phil. Wouldn't that be fun?

But I digress.

I've never liked seeing my life in boxes. I'm a nester. I like to see knick-knacks of places I've been, or photos of people I love, or items that were once owned by those I loved. I love rows upon rows of books, separated by subject, alphabetical by author, from earliest to latest work published. Same for my music.

And my closet? I look forward to not sharing a closet! To have my clothing once again in color order, from darkest to lightest, on all wooden hangars, and further separated by season?

I know no one believes that I am a highly-organized person. Well, except those I work with which see me in action, attacking and reorganizing the supply closet, neat stacks of folders on my desk, stapler, scotch tape dispenser, and hole punch neatly lined up to one side of my monitor, little plastic bins for rubber bands, paperclips, and pens.

But most, if not all of my friends, have never known me without the other half, so I can't say I blame them for thinking we're just two big pack rats who can't file a piece of paper to save our lives! It's hard to have a system of organization when someone doesn't use your system of organization. Of course, having been raised by my mother, where I get this need to have everything hyper-organized, I also know that in and of itself can be an unhealthy life, and thus for the last 12.5 years, I haven't once made a stink about it.

Now I don't need to.

Of course, you, dear reader, are reading all this and thinking, "Wait--you're leaving him because he's disorganized and can't hang your clothing in color order?"

Of course not. There's more issues between us than Carter has liver pills. And perhaps, when wounds have healed, when hearts have begun to mend, and people won't see things as an attack but instead as the therapy and venting one needs in life in order to stay sane--then perhaps we can get into those things.

By then Armageddon may have happened, or the Mayans may have annihilated us, or a tsunami may take down the entire East Coast of the United States! But we'll just see how it goes, shall we?

I'm starting up and stepping out into my life. I'll be shedding some tears, perhaps getting too drunk on a few nights in the near future, and maybe even second-guessing decisions that have been made, not just recently, but long past.

But that is how I will grow, and learn, and live again.

I've missed you, blog. I've missed you, my audience (if, indeed, there still be one here waiting patiently for me to get my life back in order).

But mainly? I've been missing me.

And I'm coming back.

Just as soon as I find that apartment and unpack. And get my clothing hung in color order. And my books separated. Alphabetized. Color folder filing system...

Did I mention the new car that goes with my new life? Fucking Bambi. My new life also includes a call for the extermination of all deer. But that will be a short-lived campaign, I'm sure. I'm a sucker for those big doe eyes, like the rest of you.

Hello, world. I'm Jason. Welcome to My Life & Otherwise... Complete without cowboy boots in a neighborhood near you.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New is Old, Old is New... Including T-shirts...

Per my friend Kelly, I'm coming up with a lot of cool T-shirt slogans lately.

It should be noted, of course, that the Daddy of all T-shirts for my new, up-and-coming clothing company, will be a T-shirt that reads "CHB" on the front, and "Cold-Hearted Bastard" on the back. It's a bit of a story that will be even funnier eventually.


Other T-shirt contenders include things like
  • A Little Rock Goes a Long Way
  • No Matter--I'm Getting Laid Tonight
  • Power Bottoms = Top Rated
As I look around my life these days, one week post breakup, even I wouldn't have thought there would be this much newness. There's the new car (unexpected due to a very undear deer experience), the new sleeping quarters (expected), the new clothing (semi-expected--fitting easily into the new size 34 jeans and having them be slightly loose? COMPLETELY unexpected...), the new computer system at work (expected), new cell phone and cell number (to be expected at a Hughes near you...)

More unexpected newness was found in an old place--or, we should say, a friend from many years ago. Thirteen years had passed since I'd seen him last--fifteen years in actuality if we discount the one chance meeting at the local gay bar in Allentown trying to converse for a brief two minutes over booming, rhythmic music.

A lot can change in fifteen years, and things cross your mind at 36 that never even crossed your subconscious at 21 years of age, not the least of which is the fact that at 21, you just assume you're hot; at 36, you need to evaluate that in whole new ways. At 21, you know you aren't good at sex, but more than make up for it in energy and enthusiasm; at 36, you hope you've learned enough to be awesome at sex while retaining that same energy and enthusiasm.

Add to the fact that I haven't been on a date in 13 years, and I was a nervous wreck...

Nervous disaster is probably more accurate.

And then your eyes meet. You forgot they were that stunning light shade. You remember again the way he blushes, even still, with eyes crinkled in disbelief that you do find him more attractive then ever. You remember that chiseled jaw line, the way his nose curved up slightly, and as your hand reaches out to caress his jaw, it remembers automatically how to tilt it just so for that long, deep kiss...

And then you remember that you will have to try to remember that you haven't kissed another man for the last thirteen years. Will this be familiar? Different? And by how much? Will it be that silly awkward teenage make-out type session, with hands fumbling, not knowing where to hit but knowing a target is there somewhere? Or will the past rear up from where it has been buried, and we can pick up just a little of where it had been left?

An evening with an old flame...

People keep asking if this will stop me from moving to Florida, if I feel the need to try to reclaim this past and make it my present and future. I can admit the thought had crossed my own mind, but fleetingly. I know myself well enough at this point in my life to know I'm not only not ready to start a new relationship, unlike 21-year-old self who wanted a relationship come hell or high water. 36-year-old Jason is going to Florida, but for the 2 months he is still in the area, he will enjoy the company of his family and friends, old and new.

Life is just starting again. And while I think a lot of people at my stage in life, just out of a long relationship and beginning to step out again on to the dating scene go through this, reaching out to comfortable people and happier times in the past? I will not be content going backward.

And that's part of what would happen if I did change my mind at this point and not go forward with my current plans. Life would once again stall.

I think I should point out, having a relationship is not "stalling." But I do think you know what I mean. Reaching out and trying to recapture the past, while comforting, cannot sustain one as a means of approaching life. And while all the "newness" of singlehood settles about me, and my self, my personhood, finds ways to cope and deal with what at times is extremely stressful, extremely exciting, and extremely boring in alternating ways, I am finding that excitement is becoming the overriding emotion. While I still harbor sadness and anger and other unresolved emotions from the end of my relationship, it is tempered by a lot of the good and happy memories I carry of him and our past.

My life these past 13 years have not been a mistake--if anything, most of those years are precious and beautiful to me, and always will be. But it is also still too soon to revisit that person and try to foster a friendship, I think. It's only been a week--it's definitely too soon to try to be friends. I am hoping, however, that for the time being, we can be civil, respectful, and not overly emotional.

That's a bit too much to fit on a T-shirt though...