Monday, September 18, 2017

Sunlight, Sunrise, Sunset, Suntime

Two weeks ago now I spent the better part of my morning on a train to collect one dear young man from a plane that was landing from New York City. My trip on the trains was longer than his in the air, but I arrived in time to pick him up with two dogs in tow, excited to see him, excited to spend the afternoon with him.

We were barely in the house ten minutes before falling into bed naked and luxuriating in each other as sunlight poured through the windows while we wrapped around each other in love, familiarity and the sweet outpouring of emotion on a cool Chicago afternoon.

Sunlight cascades and mid-afternoon love affairs, before the day is too old to beat you down, before you feel to torn by all the conflicts and messages and wants of the day. Falling into embrace and warm caress with sweat and laughter and much light.

The window faces the east here. I rise to the sun, make love in the sunlight, fuck in the sunlight of the late midday. My eyes closed and shadow light characters playing behind my eyelids as my body tenses and releases and the universe compresses into a moment of absolute realness. In that second all reality.

Different lovers, same bed, all meaningful. Sunup or sundown change the flavor but now the warmth of it. Like cocktail lovers in the late evening who wrap around like a warm glove, with busy mouths and fingers and hands all moving in unison as the sun goes down and the room cooler. The sweet smell of sex and sweat and flesh and coming together at just the right moment with bellies full of nectar and ease.

One lover or many doesn't change the flavor of the happiness I find there. A young man in New York who I don't see enough, but who I love enough for all the time apart. The in-between times full of sweet fresh faces, friendship, fellowship, fulfillment.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Work Life

Here is a weird thing about myself that is completely true: I'm a job jumper.

This may or may not be a known thing to many people, but since I started being employed I have a habit of switching to a new job in about two years. Mostly because I get bored doing the thing I was doing, sometimes because I have no choice and basically couldn't continue because there was no were left to go. Part of me wants to take credit for being career oriented, but in the beginning it was more the potential to do something new somewhere else.

Perhaps this stems from having been employed in the same work from the age of 8 to 18. Work that I did not really choose, work that I most likely should not have been doing, and work that, for the most part, I did with a certain pride no matter how bad the scars may be. It's difficult to understand how a job can be scaring until you have your father pull you out of bed at three in the morning to yell at you in a full blind rage about the work you didn't do, work someone else was supposed to do. It's hard to imagine what it's like to sit there crying as the yelling continues until your elderly grandmother, who happened to be visiting, gets between him and you and offers to do the work. This is one of a million stories I could tell about my first job. El Diablo Madre was no picnic either, and frankly often worse, but those memories are most days hidden from me. It's for the best.

In college, where I could choose my work, I bounced about every year into something else. Food, finance, until finally settling on the coffee shop which was a nice balance of the two. I liked the simplicity of that and the under-the-table work I did at the bookstore down the street twice a week.

Volunteering in Chicago for money. This is not a living. But it was work the experience.

Then came Korea.

Korea, mind you, did and did not change anything. I still bounced from place to place, though I probably would have stayed in my first job had I not been forced out. Being forced out allowed me to really dig in and decide I wanted a career in the field and, well, then I went and did that. 10 years, 5 jobs later, here I am.

In a job that I applied to during a lunch on a day when I was bored with the work I was doing. In a job that I felt almost certainly I was under-qualified for but figured what the hell. In a job that, for no human reason I can explain, I love almost more than breathing every single day I get to do it.

On Friday I got a note reminding me that I was now, indeed, three years into this job. It was a strange thing to read and be reminded of it. There was a moment of panic where I wondered if I were not doing something wrong that I wasn't even interested in looking for something else. Some days I wake up still wondering when I will be found out to be a fraud, unqualified, unfit to to do this work that defines me as an expert. There is this sense of impending doom once a year that the other shoe will drop and I will find that I'm not going to get to keep doing this after all.

I'm not afraid of change, I've never been afraid to change jobs. Perhaps, what I'm more worried about is what continued happiness looks like.

For now, I work, I love the work, I travel, I do, I become, I least today, still very good at what I do and I don't want to change it for the world.

Monday, September 04, 2017

There are easier ways...

The thought has been stewing in my brain for at least four months, which was only exacerbated by deciding to re-watch all of Lost Girl. Every time I see a succubus in a bathrobe, I want a new bathrobe. It was eventually going to have to happen and finally it I broke down after spending a month looking at fabric online and decided it was time to go to the Fabric Temple of Doom. Some people will spend five minutes shopping and pick the bathrobe they see online that looks about right. Some people have easier ways to do things. I am not those people.

The challenge with getting fabric online is that it is not always possible to get exactly what you want, and I wanted something with very specific drape and fall in order to make this very specific piece I had in my head. There was no pattern, there was not starting or ending place, just that I had a sense of what I sort of thought I wanted and figured with enough work I could probably get there eventually. This is usually how all my projects begin.

Going to the Fabric Temple of Doom is a catch-22. I love shopping for fabric, but I hate how small the selection is where in Korea, I could go on for hours and hours, past stalls and shops, spanning a one mile block, and three stories. In Korea, I could go for a hunt that would last 8 hours and never see the same fabric dealers twice if I wanted to. In Korea...

In Korea...

There was as symmetry to the trip in that the public transit journey was long and tedious, the anticipation dreadful, my lack of shower appropriate (for fabric shopping is heavy, sweaty work) and my hope that I would be able to find weighted only with the realization that I would achieve both more or less then I wanted. It took more than an hour to get to the proper point south of the city to get to the shop, and then from there as solid two hours of searching the smallish collection (which is VERY large for the US, but small when you have been spoiled). In the end I had almost given up, standing in front of charmeuse that is almost, exactly not quite the right thing when the thing I wanted as a very specific color palette. Finally I got so close I actually screamed, finding the right sort of pattern in the wrong sort of color.

And then I moved a bit of hanging fabric and there was the pretty thing I was looking for. Which then pushed me on a massive run to the other side of the store to find a matching lining, and still in the end I didn't find everything I wanted. I got close enough that I decided to be satisfied and ended up only picking up two things I hadn't planned to buy, which is a testament to how small the Fabric Temple of Doom is (in Korea, I would have ended up with about 70 pieces I had not intended to buy after negotiating hard with hajumas and ajoshis and stuffing bags and backpacks until I could barely walk under the weight of fabric and...and...and...gods I miss Korea sometimes).

Finally, having picked up the few things I wanted I went back home where this morning around 11 a.m. I started cutting. I had no pattern for what I was putting together and no solid idea what I wanted things to become, mostly just a sense in my head of what I was doing. This is pretty normal for me, I'm either following entirely predictable patterns or I am doing something completely on my own and you will never know exactly what it is.

The end results was a lot of sewing, only one mistake, and finally a pretty bathrobe that looked almost exactly as I had imagined it. Hopefully this will satisfy the need for now. It amuses me as this could be such a simple, one step process, but sometimes to get what I want I'm willing to complicate it endlessly while also excepting that it may never go as planned. The journey remains worth the effort.