Everything You Need to Know About Poly-Open Relationships (Part One)

Discerning Daddy

For about four years I lived in a Poly-Open-Triad with my then husband, Alex, and our boyfriend Jon. And while our relationship grew and changed into something else, these two men continued to be my family, my brothers and my best friends.

That sense of family, and of a continuing and evolving love, is one of the biggest pros I have for polyamorous relationships.

But none of it came naturally to us. I didn’t know many people who were doing what we were doing, and many of the ones I met didn’t seem to share my fears or jealousies, fears and jealousies I’ve come to think of as being totally normal.

Watching my husband, Alex, fall in love with Jon while I too was falling in love with Jon was a beautiful and excruciating experience. We had no language for what we were doing, no way of knowing how to express what we were feeling, so we often made mistakes, we fought, we got jealous, but we always found a way to talk to each other, and to walk each other through our fears and insecurities, and once through them we always found ourselves at the same place: this amazing love.

I think I was always afraid that I wouldn’t be able to love Jon as much as I loved Alex, and if I did, did that mean I didn’t love Alex as much as I thought? What I learned was that love was infinite, it was not limited to just one person. I learned that I was capable of loving Alex with all my heart and soul, and that I was also capable of loving Jon with the same intensity.

We are always told that we can hate as many people as we want, we can hate whole nations, whole groups of people, but we can only love one person. That’s bullshit. The more I opened myself up to love, the more love I had.

But I also don’t think that non-monogamy is the more “enlightened” path. I think that however we choose to express our love, whether it’s monogamy, monogamy-ish, open or poly, it is all valid.
We have the freedom to be and love who we want, in whatever way we want.

I also think relationship styles can change from relationship to relationship, depending on who we are with and where we are at in our lives. I also like to think we can be fluid in our relationships, opening them and closing them as we need. It’s just about communicating.

Everything comes down to talking.

Here are five of the most common questions I get asked on my website about Poly-monogamous-open relationships, with five more to continue in Part 2.

1. What are Monogamy, Monogamy-ish, Open and Poly relationships?

In many ways these words are open-ended, kind of meaning whatever you want them to mean, but I will provide you with my basic understanding of each one.

Monogamous usually means that we are only with each other, sexually and romantically. In my definition of monogamous this also means that we aren’t having three-ways.

Alex and I started out monogamous. We spent a year focusing on each other and getting to know each other. I tend to like to start all my relationships this way because it allows me to build up a sense of intimacy as well as security and safety with my partner.

A lot of people don’t need that and will start out non-monogamous. Some people will just spend a few months, or maybe their whole relationships monogamous. Like I said, in the end, it’s all up to you and your partner (s) to find what works best for you.

Monogamy-ish expands on monogamy to include three-ways, or group play, or outings and adventures to spas or sex clubs or sex parties, but usually together. I know some couples who would say monogamy-ish includes some independent play as well, but for my purposes that would fall more into an open relationship.

When Alex and I decided to be Monogamy-ish what we were really saying is we wanted to explore three-ways and group play, but it was always something we did as a couple. A shared adventure.

Open relationships tend to deal with sex and not love. I’ve always defined my open relationships as we can go out and fuck other people together or independently as long as we follow whatever rules we’ve set up.

As I’ve gotten older I find that I tend to like regular fuck-buds over anonymous sex so that is something I’ve had to express to my partners.

I need a little bit of intimacy for my dick to get hard, but if the rules state that we don’t date or fall in love with other people, and if we do we stop meeting them, then I do everything I can to safe guard my primary relationship from my breaking the rules. And I am honest about that with all my partners.

It doesn’t always work, that’s the risk of bringing more people into your relationship, but if you are honest, and willing to grow and evolve with your relationship, I have found your relationship can survive (and usually joyfully) almost anything.

I think being clear about what we expect and what we need is the most important thing in any relationship, but it becomes even more important as we begin to explore opening things up.

Poly opens the door to allow love and dating and extra-relationships and multiple partners into your primary relationship. When Alex and I decided to ask Jon on a date, and not just over to our place to fuck, we had made the decision, after literally hours of talking about it, to invite Jon into our relationship.

This decision changed, I believe for the good, everything for us. It opened us up to more love, more sex, and more support: to an amazing family.

2. How do I know if it’s time to start talking to my partner about opening our relationship up?

There’s no one answer for this. The time to have that conversation is whenever you are feeling like you want to explore new things with your partner. Remember: you are doing this together. It’s both of your adventure and can be full of joy and fun and love…and potentially lots of amazing and new kinds of sex. The most important thing here is that you talk honestly with each other about your needs.

3. How do you deal with jealousy?

Jealousy is no joke. I can be a seriously jealous guy. I remember reading in one of the books on polyamory something about how jealousy was a sign of someone who wasn’t enlightened and therefore probably not cut out for a poly-relationship.

I thought I was fucked.

But here’s the thing, jealousy is normal. Sometimes we get crazy. Sometimes we say stupid things and do stupid things and just act like total dicks. If you can accept that, in regards to yourself and to your partner (s) then you’ve mostly dealt with jealousy.

Feeling jealous does not mean you are a bad or unenlightened human being. It’s just means you’re human, and you have something you are afraid of losing. And that’s the most important thing: I have found that when I am jealous it’s because I’m feeling threatened: afraid that something valuable to me might be taken from me.

So I express that. I talk to my partner (s) about what I am feeling. I try to get really honest with them and with myself and usually this helps. A lot. Just talking with the men I love has helped me to calm the fuck down.

But sometimes it doesn’t. And I act like a dick. And I have to apologize later. And that usually sucks for everyone.

4. How do we tell our friends and family that we’ve decided to open our relationship up, or to bring in a 3rd or 4th or a 10th?

Disclosure is totally up to you but not necessary. When Alex and I decided to start fucking other guys and having group play, we didn’t feel the need to run out and tell our moms. I talked about it with my close friends, people I knew would be supportive but I didn’t see the need to go running around announcing our decision to the public.

It’s really important to be selective. Not everyone will support the choices you’ve made. I find, at least initially, it’s best to go where the support and love is.

That being said, when we decided to bring Jon into our lives, our relationship and our home, we decided it was important to tell our friends and families. Jon was a full part of our relationship and it was important to us that he felt that way.

We decided to introduce Jon to everyone at our wedding. I think maybe we could have been less dramatic, but it did have a kind of flare we enjoyed, and we are lucky, our friends and family are all pretty liberal and open.

Like I said, choose carefully, and look for the love. And the more comfortable you are with your situation the more comfortable other people will be.

And if they aren’t, well, fuck them. It’s your life. You deserve all the love and happiness.

5. What are the most important skills to practice in a non-monogamous relationship?

Communication. Honesty. Listening. Clarity. These four words will be your best chance at having a successful, loving and sexy adventure through non-monogamy. The fifth skill, and sometimes the hardest, is really respecting your partner (s) and their needs. Really hearing them and approaching them with love. Remember who they are: that you are in this together.

Like I said earlier, there is no one way to do any of this, and whatever you choose, you get to change your mind, and you get to explore and try out anything and everything you and your partner (s) want. Have fun with it. And if you choose non-monogamy be playful with each other. I loved watching Alex and Jon as they were fucking another guy. I loved watching the two of them make out while I gave them blowjobs. It made them incredibly sexy to me. And it made me love them even more.

And really, that’s the whole point, right?

Also, check out my book, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon! Your support makes all of this possible!

On Sex Addiction, The Joys of Being a Slut, and Being True to Who You are

Discerning Daddy

My friend Christian is 22 years old. He moved to LA to be a music producer. He is dating 3 different men, Robert who is 55, an Accountant, who lives in Silverlake, Max, 61, an artist who lives in a loft in Downtown LA, and Pete, a 57 year old Pilot full of muscles and wild adventures, who lives in Santa Monica.

Christian has other lovers. Some regulars, some guys he just fucks. He is honest with everyone about his sexual exploits. His three boyfriends all know about each other.

“I never considered it a problem,” Christian says to me. We are eating tacos at a truck he likes to take me to in Koreatown. “I like to fuck. They like to get fucked. It always seemed like a good deal to me. And my dudes…I don’t know. I just never felt like I wanted that one guy for the rest of my life. Robert, Max and Pete, they are fucking awesome guys and I love them. Each of them. Totally. I don’t know why that’s so hard for some guys to understand. Why they always have to turn something beautiful into something ugly.”

Recently Christian got called a sex addict. Because he has three boyfriends. Because he has lovers on the side. Because he likes to fuck.

“I’m 22, man. Maybe in ten years I’ll want something different. Maybe in ten years I’ll be like, damn, I want one dude, I want to get married and have a kid and buy a house. I mean, honestly, I doubt it, but maybe. I’m open to it. But this is who I am right now. I’m honest about who I am.” He laughs. “The only time it ever got out of control, if you wanta call it that, is this one weekend when I saw all my dudes, and fucked them all, and fucked like four other guys. But man, I was stupid horny that weekend, and stressed out, and maybe I was using my nut to chill out. I try not to do that, not because I think it’s bad, but because I don’t want to spend all my time chasing a nut. I’ve got a lot of shit I want to do with my life. I don’t want to lose my focus. But fuck it, I had fun that weekend.” He laughs again, he has an easy laugh, excited. “I think I nutted like ten times that Saturday!”

Christian tells me he didn’t like being called a sex addict. It made him feel like something was wrong when before he hadn’t felt like something was wrong.

I have written a lot about my sexual adventures (I estimate the amount of guys I’ve fucked at 3600 and counting!). I’ve written a lot about being poly and my beliefs on sexual freedom. I don’t think anyone should have to live their lives according to someone else’s beliefs or personal choices.

This idea that there is one way to love and fuck, one way to exist in the world, is total bullshit.

When I was a kid my mother threw a party with the theme “come dressed as your favorite astrological sign to fuck”. My mother came representing all 12. I remember listening as she described each sign, and why they were the best fuck of her life. Everyone laughed, but one of her friends said,

“Beverly never was one to commit to a man. One day she will pay the price for that.”

My mother just smiled. Later, when I asked her what her friend meant, my mother said,

“She meant to shame me for being who I am. She meant to control me. She meant to embarrass me. But she can’t do any of those things unless I let her. When people try to do that to you it means they are jealous, or they aren’t happy with who they are, they are feeling trapped, and instead of making changes to their own lives, they lash out at those around them who are happy. Who are being true to themselves.”

“I try to be responsible.” Christian says. “ I’m on PrEP, I get tested regularly. I talk to my partners, even the no stringed ones. You know, I like a little conversation, I like to look ‘em in the eyes when I’m fucking them. I try to be a good guy. But then this dude tells me I’m a sex addict. That there’s something wrong and it got me thinking, what if he’s right? What if something is wrong with me?”

We are in his apartment in Hollywood. He is playing a new song he mixed that day. Above his desk is a print of a photo he took: a homeless woman searching through a garbage can, at her feet is a baby pitbul. The woman looks up right as Christian is taking the picture: her face haunted, beautiful. Sad and yet defiant.

“Her name is Mary,” he tells me. “Everyone calls her Crazy Mary, but that bitch isn’t crazy. She has mad stories. Some nights, when I can’t sleep, I like to sit out there smoking joints with her and listening to her talk. She was once married, had some kids, was like a total Valley House-Wife. She fucked up, man. Smoked meth, got all wrapped up in that dark life, and now she’s here, on the streets, eating shit out of garbage cans.” He goes quiet, looking up at that photo, his music playing, “It’s that easy. Like one minute life is golden and the next it’s all dark and out of focus. I keep that picture there so I don’t forget. How fast it can all go away. Like one bad choice and you’re lost. Forever.”

Christian’s mother is from Mexico. Jalisco. He doesn’t know who his father is.

“My mother was always this free spirit, you know? I’m a lot like her. She’s had lots of lovers. There was this one guy, he was a movie producer, he loaned her the money to buy the house I grew up in. My mom cleaned houses every day so she could pay that man back. She didn’t want to owe any man anything. She always said, “If I’m with a man it’s because I’m choosing to be there. Not because I have to be. It’s a choice.”

“Do you think you’re a sex addict?” I asked him.

“Do you think I’m a sex addict?” He laughed. “Cus that’s the problem right? Dude, it fucked me up hearing that shit. Like had me questioning everything. One minute I’m fine with who I am, the next I’m like, damn, what the fuck is wrong with me? All cus some dude couldn’t handle me being me. Like, I gave him all this weight. Like what he thought mattered more than what I thought. It isn’t what he said. It’s what I allowed my head to do with what he said. The fucked up part: he wasn’t saying it to help me or because he was concerned for me. He said it to hurt me. And I let him.”

I have fucked a lot of guys in my life. I am a big believer in polyamory and open relationships, as well as monogamy and whatever other style of relationship you find to fit who you are. I am a big believer in being true to who you are, and fuck anyone who tries to tell you that there is something wrong with who you are. If you are honest, if you come at your partners with integrity and respect, if you show them kindness and love, then I do not believe it is anyone’s business who and how you fuck.

My husband and I, when planning out our honeymoon, decided we wanted the sexiest honeymoon adventure ever. We decided to go to Berlin, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid. We wanted to fuck our way through those three weeks. I wrote a story for Vice about how Alex and I spent our honeymoon at Lab, the infamous sex club in the basement of Berlin’s Berghain. We had an incredible threeway with a man we met, who later became an important friend to me. We went to sex clubs and met hot guys, but we also spent time together, exploring, going on all the adventures and being as open to whatever life brought us.

I remember a friend telling me, “Wow, that sounds so sad. You spent you’re honeymoon in a sex club? Didn’t you guys want to be alone? Didn’t you guys want to celebrate your marriage just the two of you?”

I was shocked by this, which is maybe naïve. But I was. In my head we had celebrated our marriage just the two of us, we spent it in a way that celebrated who we were, the way we wanted. We had fun. We met some amazing guys. We got laid a lot and had some pretty fucking intense adventures. I am still friends with most of the guys we met during that trip.

“Do you think you’re a sex addict?” Christian asks me. We are eating Tacos again.

If you’re in LA you should seriously check out the taco truck on Ardmore and 8th. Those tacos are fucking amazing!

“No.” I say it confidently, but I’m not sure. I’m never sure. It’s hard not to let what other people think affect me. I am sober 7 years and a few months off of drugs and alcohol. I am an addict. But like Christian, I try to be responsible, I try to be aware. And I try to be balanced, even on those crazy days when you end up fucking four different guys. I try to make sure my life is always moving in a direction I want it to. “I just like to fuck.”

Christian laughs. “Hell yeah. Me too. I like to fuck a fuckin’ lot!”

Please check out my novel, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon.

Gorgeous Descent

Discerning Daddy

It is hard to describe the feeling of Magic. Like love, it feels like something concrete, something physical. It has the ability to ache and to create joy, to move along your body, ripping at your soul and nourishing you: Magic is akin to love, to desire: it is the stories we tell ourselves about our lives, about who we are and who we were, who we will be.

It is the creation of an existence, of a world, of a self, built from a darkness that is waiting to devour us.

Love, though, is the intricate and aching beauty buried deep inside everything we will ever lose.

A few years ago I met a boy named Joe. Joe was 25 years younger than me, 22 years old.

There is something I should tell you, something I can’t explain, but that feels somehow part of the fabric of magic and love, part of the fabric of the creation who of I am: ever since I was 18 I’ve been having the same dream. I have it every week. And every morning, I wake up from this dream with a sense of hope and love, and the pain of loss, of having lost something so beautiful and magnificent that for a few moments I lay in bed, stunned, not sure how I will make it through the day.

I always get up. I always make it through the day. But like some strange and golden treasure buried deep, I carry the longing for something that feels impossibly gone.

The dream goes like this:

I am riding a big wheel through a vast and endless field. The sky is dark, but a silver moon aflame in a burning white light hangs full and cold in the night sky. Ahead of me is a barn. Next to the barn is a lake surrounded by a forest of giant trees.

In the lake a giant mermaid jumps from the water and into the sky, hovering there before returning to the blackness of the water: her reflection etched into the moon, imprinted inside me.

I stop my big wheel next to the barn and I walk inside. There is a staircase.

This moment is always reflective, as if I can see into my own dream, into my self, into what is coming. I have a choice: to turn and walk away, or to continue up the stairs and to the beauty and pain that awaits me.

I never choose to walk away. But I always hold it for a moment, savoring the option, savoring the idea that if I did turn away I would never know him, never see him, never lose him.

At the top of the stairs is a large room. One of the walls is missing, looking out at the lake and the forest and the moon.

A boy, maybe 18 or 19, stands in the middle of the room. I can never remember exactly what he looks like, just that overwhelming feeling of love, of need, of longing: I just know he is the most beautiful human being I have ever seen in my life and that I love him with all that I am.

He has written the words, “He falls gently through the trees,” in black.

He turns to me. “I miss you so much,” he says, and it feels like the words are tearing into me, decimating and full of a searing heat. “I miss you so much and I love you.”

And he turns, every time, he always turns in the exact same way: he always turns away from me, and he walks to the missing wall, walking on air, into the night, above the lake, until he gets to the trees, where he hovers for a moment, before falling, before fading, before being gone.

I have no way of telling you what this dream means. The absoluteness of it. The totality. Just that in those few moments I am so in awe, so enthralled, so swallowed by life and love: that in those few moments I am given a glimpse of something ineffably full of wonder.

Joe worked as a barista at a coffee shop in Echo Park. But he was an artist. He didn’t want to be Banksy, he wanted to be Basquiat, he wanted to be Herring, he wanted to be something else: something new and old: something violent.

“I want to create that one thing that no one can turn away from, that one thing that will be so beautiful and so terrifying, so personal and intimate that you will never forget it.” He laughed. “There is no such thing, of course. The idea is the thing that is beautiful, once I make it it will be nothing. That’s the thing, right? You create the most beautiful piece of art in the world, pulled from some faraway place to show the world exactly who you are, and –”

“It never does.” I say.

“Yeah,” he said. His eyes were a golden haze, his hair dark and curly, his hands long, thin, nails perfectly cut to an almost painful precision, his body lean and tall: he was stunning.
“I’m always trying to find the words to say exactly what I mean,” I tell him. We are laying in my bed in the Silverlake Hills, LA burning bright outside my windows, he is sweating, his head on my chest, I can feel his heart beating against mine. “I am always trying to describe what it is I am feeling: who I am. I feel like all I’m ever doing is screaming: This is me! Me!”

“I want…” he hesitated, and then he laughed. He smelled of carnitas and weed and…himself. He smelled impossibly like Joe. “That’s it. I want. End of sentence.”

We kissed and he fucked me, him inside me, connected to him as he held me down and fucked himself deeper into me, grounding me. He always had this amazing way of grounding me.

I love that feeling of being pinned under someone, their weight heavy on my back, their cock deep inside me, the feeling, even if it’s just for a second: of being more than who I am: more than who we are.

He would kiss the back of my neck, his arms wrapping around me, his body shuddering, and whisper, “Baby, I’m going to cum. Fuck, baby, I’m going to cum!”

I would catch Joe looking at me, his eyes open as we kissed, or the few times we went to the gym together, or as I was standing: lost in my own world, I would turn and see him and he would smile: everything I’ve ever wanted was in that smile.

A few weeks before Jon died he came into my room. I was trying to write. He lay in my bed. We weren’t boyfriends anymore. So much of our lives had been destroyed by heroin and meth: the ravages of addiction. I lay down next to him, and I wrapped my arms around him.

“Baby,” he said.

I almost said to him, I’m not your baby anymore. Not because it was true. But because I was mad at him. Jon had been in a heroin relapse for months by then, he had stolen from me, lied to me, and I was angry.

But on that day, that one day, I didn’t push him away.

“Baby, did you know I love you?”

When Jon’s mother told me they had found his body, in the back of his car in a parking lot in Montebello, that Jon was dead: that Jon was now forever gone: I thought my whole world would fall apart. I thought the pain of that moment would be too hard to ever stand up from, to ever return from: I believed that my whole life would be forever defined by the incredible aching pain of that one second.

“Baby, did you know I love you?”

I don’t remember what I said to him. I’m not even sure I said anything. I think I just held him, wishing I could keep him safe, keep us safe: wishing I could protect him from what would eventually come.

The next time he came into my room and lay down in my bed I was mad at him. I told him to leave. I told him I didn’t want him in my room anymore. He looked at me. If I could erase that look, those words, from my life I would: if I could change the very moment I forgot who he was, who we were, I would.

“I understand,” he said, and he walked out.

What was I doing in that moment? What was so important? I was probably on Facebook, or watching Netflix: lost inside the insidious banalities of life.
I don’t have an ending for this. I don’t have some beautiful way to wrap it all up in hope and how amazing life is. I don’t know any of the answers.
I do know Jon loved me. And that I continue to love him. That I will love him forever. And I don’t know where Joe went, but I like to think he is working on that impossible painting: that forever beauty, even if it means he will fail. It would be an honorable failure.

Sometimes I think all we can do is fail in the most human and beautiful way possible. It is the tapestry of our failures that will elevate us: Magicians conjuring the impossible.

You can find my novel, Accidental Warlocks, at Amazon.com. I’d love if you checked it out. And thanks for being here. My witness.

Sex Fucking Matters

Discerning Daddy

Sex fucking matters. A lot. In my experience sex is one of the most important parts of a healthy relationship, statistics even show that sex and money are the two leading causes for relationships ending, and for some reason it’s one of the hardest things for people to talk about.

Sex is so deeply rooted to our sense of wellbeing and security, to our sense of self-worth, that when the person we are with doesn’t want to have sex with us anymore it can make us feel worthless and ugly, not deserving: it can really fuck with our identity.

Which is why, no matter how hard it is, we have to talk about it. Openly and honestly.

The other thing that can complicate sex in a relationship is varying sex drives. Not everyone wants or needs to fuck every day. Some people are fine going a few weeks without getting laid. I want to get fucked all the time. I’m a dog. I can jerk off three times and still want to fuck. This can be exhausting for someone who is dating me.

We often end up in relationships with people who don’t share our sex drives, whether they are higher or lower.

Something I want to add is that neither version is the better version. We are all different and our needs are all different. Our sex drives don’t say anything about who we actually are as people. It’s just our chemistry, the way we think about sex and love and intimacy. It’s all valid.

I equate sex with love. If you don’t want to fuck me every day then I think there is something wrong. With me. With us. That you are bored or not interested. I can be pretty fucking unrealistic. This is something I’ve had to work on a lot in my life. But I still have my needs. And one of the things I have found is that you have to talk with your partner about how do you get those needs met.

Some guys find intimacy: cuddling and kissing, touching, holding, to be more important than sex. This is how they express themselves sexually. For them it isn’t about the fucking. It’s about the connection. This can be a really beautiful quality. One that I have come to learn to appreciate, even if it is different from my approach.

The great thing about being queer is we don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules. We get to make up our own rules, to find our own ways of dealing with discordant sex drives in our relationships.

One of the things I’ve had to learn through-out the years, when dating someone who expresses themselves differently than me, is how to get my needs met while also allowing them their needs. One way I do this is: I love to have my partner lie next to me and rub my belly while I jerk off. For someone who is all about connection and intimacy this allows them an intimate way to share in my horniness and get their needs met. I get off, they get to cuddle, it’s a win win.

Sometimes having threeways or group sex or public sex can help. I dated a guy who loved to watch me get fucked and fuck. He would sit in a chair in our bedroom while some guy came over and would fuck me, or I’d fuck him. My boyfriend would sometimes jerk off, but often he would just sit there and watch. It was his thing. It was our way of making sure we both got our needs met.
And that’s the point. If we are committed to our partners and our relationships then we will find ways to get our needs met, and to make sure our partner’s needs are also getting met.

But it can also be hard. If someone doesn’t “want” us as much as we “want” them we can take it personally. We start to wonder If maybe they aren’t into us or don’t think we are sexy or maybe they are just bored.

Sometimes this can be the case, but mostly, it rarely has anything to do with us.

Which is why talking about sex and our needs is essential. Even if it’s scary and hard. Because if we don’t the closeness we can feel through sex and intimacy can disappear, instead becoming about insecurity and resentment, and eventually we find ourselves moving on or cheating or breaking up.

I hate talking about sex. And it’s hard to do without blaming the other person, or feeling shame. And talking too much about sex can become incredibly unsexy. I’m trying to learn to do this in a healthy way. To talk about my needs, not about my partner. To not blame them for my needs not getting met, or to feel unsexy or insecure.

And to remind myself that sex is varied, and that sex with a long-time partner is sometimes more about intimacy than being thrown down and fucked. I’m learning that lying next to my boyfriend, my hand on his ass, and jerking off, or having him lie next to me rubbing my belly and kissing me while I jerk off can be incredibly sexy and fulfilling.

Instead of blaming each other or feeling shame, maybe we just need to find ways to get our needs met, and to meet their needs, and to not put so much pressure on each other.

And to talk. Even when it’s scary or awkward.

These are the things I’m learning and working on. I find if I can stay true to myself, and to be open and honest about who I am and what I need, and to really listen to my partner’s needs, then I get to grow, and experience more love and more intimacy: and that can be super fucking hot.

And hey, my new book, Accidental Warlocks, is on Amazon.  Go check it out.  Your support allows me to keep doing what I do!

TRIAD LIVING PART SEVEN

Triad Living

There is no space. No where to go, no place to find that can be your own. That is the hardest part. Maintaining yourself and still being a part of the relationship. That is true of all relationships. Finding a place that you can sit quietly and just be. We live in a three bedroom house. We have two guest houses. Every spare room is rented out: either on airbnb or to friends. It is how we subsidize our lives. How we afford to live.

And yet there is no space. Someone is always moving about. Always shitting. Always doing laundry. On the phone.   Someone is always washing dishes or sitting on the couch, people are talking, laughing. Rarely are there ever times when it all stops. And then there is work. Or having to take care of the car. Or the bills. Navigating outside relationships with friends. Family. Dying mothers. Ageing fathers. There is Facebook and the phone and tumblr and blogs that have to be maintained.

There is no space. No one can breathe. Everything private occurs publicly. Witnessed by someone. Even if we didn’t rent the rooms out there would be no space. There are three of us. There are three cats and one dog. There are groceries to be bought. In the space of just these few paragraphs someone has walked past me four times. My computer has alerted me, in the upper right hand corner, that someone is trying desperately to tell me something on Facebook Messenger. I have events coming up. It’s someone’s birthday.

There is an endless amount of things that must happen. Right now.

This morning I broke down. I ended up back in bed, after having been up for half an hour, sobbing. Uncontrollably. Sobbing so hard it hurt in my stomach and lower back. The weight of everything spilling over. I realized: this is just what it is. This is life.

A few weeks ago Paco, our little dog, jumped out of our bed and did something to his spine and couldn’t walk anymore. We had to take him outside to pee, expressing him by pressing on his bladder. He shit in his bed at night and didn’t know it. One of our cats began pissing blood. He had crystals in his urine. My mother tried to grow her hair back but it fell out again. She doesn’t like the chemo infusions. She says she can’t sit there like that, for endless hours, having chemicals pumped into her. I’ve had bronchitis for the past six weeks. At night I find it hard to breathe, like a great pressure pushing down on me.

Laying in bed, the blankets pulled over my head, I wondered: can I do this? Is it actually sustainable? Am I capable of this? Outside I knew Jon and Alex were fed up with me. Tired of my tantrums. Maybe I should leave. Even though I say we are broke I could leave. The money would be there if I needed it: plane tickets and a new life. An allowance to buy me some time while I re-figure out who I am. The money is always there when I need it. And I’ve done this before. Disappearing into new cities, leaving everything behind. Maybe that is what I should do now. Just disappear. I’ve failed at this life. Maybe it’s time to make a new one.

Ten and a half months ago I got married. We are discussing buying a new house. Laying down roots. More roots. More restrictions. More shackles. And I think about freedom. I think about space. I think about escape. I think about who I am and who I am becoming. 13 months and a few days ago Jon moved in with us. Taking up more space in my life, in my head, in my heart, and in the bed, on the couch, using the bathroom and his shirts and underwear taking up room on the floor and in the dresser. In two weeks Alex will go back to work, in six weeks he will leave for six months. He’s barely been here at all. I feel like I haven’t even had the chance to spend any time with him: because there is no time between the loads of laundry and the doctor and the constant negotiating of all the aspects of our lives. He just got here and now he is leaving again.

I look around my house. I look at all the books. At everything I love. And I feel the burden of things that are trivial, empty, meaningless: and yet all those trivial, empty, meaningless things grow into one giant weight, while the love seems to lose whatever power it once had to help elevate me.

There is the car honking outside. There is the neighbors fighting. There are all those bills: endlessly appearing and subtracting what I have. From my bank accounts. From my relationships. From my self.

I find myself thinking a lot about “a room of one’s own”. A quiet space where I can disappear for a while. I’ve been talking about going to Berlin or Madrid. About living in those dark, poetic skies in Kreuzberg, or on the Chueca Square. Of quiet and space: lying on the floor, no noise, no people, just thinking…my thoughts flying away from me, forever spiraling into new dimensions. Of going for long walks through strange new neighborhoods: a life of discovery.

Of being alone.

There are so many of us. There are so many socks and shoes and shirts: so many different feelings and thoughts and needs: there is never a break: never a moment when you can sit back and just be.

Or at least that is how it feels. The truth is: this is all wrong.

When I am frustrated or upset instead of getting sad or quiet or asking for help I yell. I get mad. I am conflict driven. I work it out through fury.   This can be exhausting for those closest to me. For those who have to suffer my bursts of unexplainable rage. I like to blame everything else around me for the inadequacies I feel inside: the amount of people in the house at any given time, the laundry, the noise, Alex and Jon laughing or talking, the lack of money, the constancy of bills, the political climate and the whole fucking world. The problem is always outside of me. And I start punching.

The truth is simple: there is never time for myself unless I take the time. I know this but I don’t do it. Instead I am constantly caving to the endless chatter of Facebook and the New York Times: the constant call to pay attention to things that don’t actually matter.

Time and space and individuality are, for me, the biggest challenges in this relationship triangle I find myself in. All I want to do is be with them and all I want to do is get away from them.

Yesterday I blew up. I was sitting at my desk: which currently sits in the middle of the living room. When Alex is in Spokane and Jon is working and everyone is out of the house it is my favorite place to be: just me surrounded by all my books. When everyone is home it is chaos. As I sat there, frustrated because I couldn’t write, listening to Rene’s Mexican pop music and Jon and Alex giggling on the couch at Tumblr gifs I began thinking about how impossible my life was. How I had no space, no time: that I could not write and it was their fault. Everything was their fault.

I started huffing and puffing, stomping around: I was mad and they were going to know it. Everyone was going to feel what I was feeling.

Part of what happens, I know, is I pre-fight in my head. I work up a good fury before I even take it to the people. I imagine all the things I am mad at, all the wrongs done to me: I see how no one else is living up to my expectations of them. How everyone else is fucking up my life. I talk to them in my head. Hold lengthy monologues where I tell them how they are fucking up. In my head my arguments always make sense, they always add up: I am always totally justified in what I am feeling and in how I express it. I am always right.

Of course, none if it went as planned. Because they are there too: they are not the them that live in my head: they are real people with their own inner dialogues and their own expectations: their own needs.

I was hysterical with fury and panic. What started out as “I can’t think. I need space. I can’t write.” Turned into a discussion about our entire relationship and whether or not we should even continue. Five hours dissecting every aspect of every possible problem. When all I was really upset about was not having a space to myself. But they had their own upsets. Their own complaints and worries and fears: they were their own universes with their own needs and dogmas. Their own internal monologues. And it all ended up being dumped right there on the floor in front of us.

Alex and I discussed divorce. We discussed my just leaving for six months, moving to Amsterdam or Barcelona, where I could finish my novel. We discussed just giving up sex and opening our relationship up. I was melodramatic. I made them each promise not to leave me right away if we broke up.

I always wonder at people. At their relationships. At how they behave with each other when there is no one else there. I wonder at people beyond Facebook and the bars: I wonder at the truth. I wonder do they go as crazy as I do? Do they ever get angry and yell and scream? Do they say unforgivable things to each other? Do they worry that they are more Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woof and less Love Actually? Do they ever think about all the shit that keeps piling up, suffocating whatever love is there? Do they fight endlessly about nothing, worrying themselves down to the sharpest nerve? Or are they calm and quiet and perfect? Do they live in houses cluttered with clothes and books and the debris of life or are their floors clean and swept, white curtains blowing eternally in the gentlest wind? Everyone else always seems to have their shit together and I always seem to feel like it’s all falling apart.

We didn’t get divorced. We didn’t “open up”. We also didn’t necessarily solve any of our problems: in truth I’m not even sure exactly what our problems are. I’m still trying to figure that out. We all left the bedroom a little broken, a little sad: those kinds of conversations never really work out. I’m beginning to think “talking it through” might not always be the best idea. Maybe sometimes the best idea is just walking away. Getting a little space. A little time for yourself. Maybe a hike in Griffith Park. A walk to Larchmont. Sit in a café and read. A matinee alone. Sometimes we are so up in each other’s faces we can’t even breathe anymore.

I am realizing something about myself: all this talking isn’t about the talking: it’s about fear. About being afraid that I am no longer loved. Or enough. That no one wants me anymore. All this talking, this fighting, this round-about endless dissecting has very little to do with solutions. I want everyone to stop and just pay attention to me. I want them to all be happy and behave exactly how I want them to behave. How I expect them to behave. And that is the fucking endless problem. My expectations of how they should be behaving. My expectations of how life should be: how my life should look. My endless expectations of how everything and everyone around me should behave.

And so I am endlessly let down.

I want space but I want you to always want to be around me. I want time alone but I want you to be always thinking of me, always wanting me: content to just sit around waiting for me. But I also want you to go out and work: just in a way that is convenient to my needs. I want Alex to be successful but I don’t want him to go away for six months: so I get mad. I want Jon to write but I don’t want him to sit in the living room writing when I want to write: so I get mad.

I want the world to conform to me and it will not. It absolutely will not. And that makes me fucking furious.

I am like a five year old kicking and screaming and demanding that everyone listen to me: give to me: save me.

And even knowing this I still think that everybody would be much happier if they just did things my way: if everyone just did what I said. I’m smart. I’ve lived a pretty crazy life. And I’ve survived it. I know what the fuck I’m talking about. I’m pretty sure I know better than everyone else how they should be living their lives.

People should fucking trust me.

This morning I was talking to a friend of mine on Facebook Messenger. He and his husband recently opened up. I asked him how it was.

“Fine.” He said. “Less than I thought.”
“Less how?”

“I’m still not getting laid.”

He was mad at his husband. They hadn’t had sex in a month. They kept fighting about it. Talking about it. All the fighting and talking had begun to make the idea of sex seem not just unsexy but kind of repulsive.

“I don’t even want to fuck him anymore.”

I’d fuck his husband. He is hot. While listening to my friend I found myself imaging me fucking his husband. See, if we were open, I could fuck his husband. It would be okay.

Then I wondered if Alex would fuck him. Who would Alex fuck? And Jon? And I started getting mad. I could feel it building. It’s okay if I fuck the world but you better not want to fuck anyone who isn’t me.

Alex and I share a tumblr account. We post pictures of guys (mixed in with pictures of the three of us) that we think are hot. Recently Alex reblogged a picture of some hairy muscle daddy. I kept going back to that picture. Staring at it. Trying to divine what Alex liked so much about it: fine, it is obvious, the guy is hot. Hotter than me. And that was the problem. I didn’t mind if Alex reblogged chubby older white guys: but lately he’s been reblogging younger guys, muscle guys: super fucking sexy guys. And I didn’t like that. In fact, it made me fucking pissed. Because he shouldn’t want them. He should want me. Why isn’t he taking pictures of me and reblogging them (For the record, if I were honest: he is…it just isn’t enough…but then it is becoming clear none of it is enough)? Why isn’t he texting me and talking to me….and honestly, why does he jerk off in the shower? Why does he even jerk off at all? Why can’t he always fuck me? Why does he….and on it goes until the fury builds and I am ready to fight. To tear it all down. To fucking destroy everything.

“Do you and your dude still fuck?” I asked my friend.

“No. But that’s why we decided to do this. He says he isn’t in a sexual space, whatever the fuck that means. He isn’t horny. But I know he’s fucking other guys. I’ve gone on his phone and looked at his Scruff account. If he isn’t feeling sexual why does he even have a Scruff account?”

“Do you have a Scruff account?”
“Of course.”

I told Alex and Jon if we ever opened up I didn’t want to announce it on Facebook. I didn’t want to know about their adventures. I didn’t want to see it.

But here is something I have learned about me: I can start out adamantly against something, and I can begin to reason with myself.   Begin to see where maybe I have been wrong. I can be opinionated and arrogant and judgmental, but I am also willing to change. To see other sides of the argument. Maybe not while the argument is happening: I am designed to fight to win, but after the battle is over: I begin to think about it. To consider it: to let the opposing sides in. So maybe I would want to know about it: maybe their adventures would become my fantasies. Maybe this could become the new tool in our sexuality. A way to flirt with each other.

Because I want to be involved. I want to be included. Not just because I am selfish and greedy and want the world to revolve around me (all basically true statements) but also because then it feels healthy, it feels like we are still intimate on some level: participating in each other’s sexuality.

Sex matters to me. I believe sexual intimacy is important…maybe even essential to what I want from a relationship: but I’m also beginning to see it doesn’t have to be limited. Maybe being open is a way of allowing all of us to explore what we need, and then bring those experiences back to the relationship. A way to learn more about ourselves.

Alex used to say, when we were first dating, that he didn’t want to limit my sexuality. So much of who we are and what we need or want gets limited: restricted: inside a relationship. But we don’t necessarily have to give in to that. We can step out side the constraints and try something new.

And still be us.

Life is not easy. Often it is hard and messy. Sometimes it feels designed to oppress us. To hold us down. To keep us trapped inside our narrow worlds. But we can step outside those boxes: walk around our self-made prisons, consider life on the outside.

I believe that the only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves. That doesn’t mean I will become a world class Opera singer or president: but it doesn’t mean I have to live a small, narrow life either. I can go big if I really want to. I can go as big as I allow myself.

And the other thing I am beginning to realize: all those things that are driving me so crazy: my cellphone bill, my car insurance, mortgage payments and the constant people who are always around me, loving me: wanting and expecting things from me, little Paco and our cat Ash, Henry and Dorian, all these things that are driving me so fucking crazy right now: they are blessings. Things I have fought for. Things I have built. Things I love. I love my house: our home. I love my books and the computer that Alex and Jon bought me for my birthday. I love our crazy little world of animals, I love the two men who sit on the couch and giggle and whisper to each other: even when we forget that we are friends and not enemies, I love them: I love the car my father bought for me when I met Alex and was embarrassed to tell him that I was recently sober and had lost my car along with my house and everything else: I love my father who never stops supporting and loving me, my dying mother who has beat the odds over and over again: I love this life that just three and a half years ago, drowning in drugs and alcohol, seemed so impossible, so far away: I love the way sunlight plays across the wood floors: all these annoyances and distractions are mine.

I have fought hard for this life. And I am lucky. I can remember so clearly living at 1036 Sanborn Ave, high on oxy and whiskey, standing naked in front of a mirror screaming at myself: hearing voices telling me to jump out the window: to die: telling me I was alone and I would always be alone. Forever.

But that was just a lie. I am not alone. I am surrounded by love. Even as we disappoint each other, even as we save each other, even as we scream and yell and cry: if I can just remember: this is mine. It is what I have always wanted.

And while everything comes at a price: it is never so high to make it not worth it. And so maybe my white curtains never seem to flow as perfectly in that gentle warm breeze as I would like, and maybe there are dishes in the sink that no one seems to be doing, and Paco is always barking, and Jon is doing the fucking kitty litter box again, and Alex is watching some stupid video, and maybe Facebook keeps reminding me to wish some asshole I don’t know happy birthday, all of these things…are mine.

I have been given the chance at a new life. Most of you never knew me when I was high. Will never know how far I fell. How desperate and scared and ugly it got. How fucking alone I was. How in those moments late at night I would have sold my soul for the life I have been given.

And then I remember: this is magic. I listen to a lot of people talking about how horrible the world is. How mean humans are. How terrible and ugly everything is. And I know: life is what I want it to be. Even as my mother dies she goes to book clubs and she has lunch with friends: even as she coughs up blood she tells jokes and makes dinners for the people she loves.

There can be so much ugliness and despair and hate. But all the things that seem to hurt so much are all the things I have loved so deeply.

A few days ago, driving down Fountain Avenue, I pulled over on the side of the road and began sobbing. My mother had been telling me about a book she was reading. I could see her there in her apartment, Don asleep, shadows surrounding her, it would be cold outside: and she would be both frail and endlessly strong: she would be this woman who was sick and old and she would be my mother, young and healthy and beautiful, a woman famous for the parties she threw, famous for the artists she knew, my mother standing on the banks of rivers conjuring ghosts. After we hung up I pulled over to the side of the road, alone, and sobbed. I screamed at God. Because if he existed he was a monster. My mother did not deserve to suffer like this: she did not deserve this ending to her life. She did not fucking deserve this pain. My mother did not deserve this and fuck God and the Universe and fuck everyone who lived on this miserable ugly planet.

And then my phone rang. It was my mom calling again. I picked up.

“I forgot to tell you!” she said, her voice raspy from coughing.

“What?” I asked, trying to hide the fact that I had just been crying.

“Just how grateful I am. You know, I’m not grateful I got cancer, but I am grateful for what it showed me. I keep thinking how every thing I’ve ever done in my life was selfish. I left you and your brother, I’ve cheated on so many men, I’ve been selfish and petty and yet tonight, all these women came over and made dinner with me and we watched Sherlock and then we laughed and gossiped till after midnight. I mean, think about that. And I am grateful for you. And for Damon. I don’t think I deserve the life I’ve gotten. I am the luckiest person I know.”

I do not think I deserve the life I have gotten. I have cheated and lied and betrayed those I love. I have squandered the gifts I have been given. I am rarely grateful and when I am it is usually a prelude to wanting more.

And if there is a God I’m still pretty sure I do not like him. Not one fucking bit.

“We are blessed, you know.” My mother said to me. “You and I. We have been blessed. Kissed by heaven. My whole life I’ve been giving God the finger. I’m glad he has been more tolerant of me than I have been of him.”

 

TRIAD LIVING PART FIVE

Triad Living

Right now none of us are living in the same city.

Alex is in Spokane Washington working on Znation and is gone six months out of the year, Jon got a job as a reporter at a newspaper in Bakersfield and is only home on the weekends, and I am here, in LA, keeping our house safe for my men.

It is a strange time. It has offered me a lot of time to sit and think. To read and to write.

It has been unbearably hot in LA. The nights burn. The sun is inescapable in that cloudless, endlessly blue skied, LA way. I have found myself crying over things that people don’t cry over. Sometimes out of sadness, sometimes because I am so overwhelmed with joy: I can’t seem to make it all the way through a half hour TV show without crying at least two times. It’s become kind of embarrassing.

I have no idea why I am crying so much.

In November Alex and I are going on our honeymoon. We are spending three and a half weeks in Europe. Berlin, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid. Jon won’t be going with us. There are many reasons why this is true: it is our honeymoon, something we had planned before Jon, something that we all three feel Alex and I need to do: but also Jon got this new job. A good job. A job that is exactly what he wanted to be doing: this is something I realize now that makes the three of us very lucky: we each have found a way to do exactly what we’ve always wanted to do: we are each living the lives we wanted to be living.

I am going to miss Jon while we are gone. A lot. I am going to miss his strange and awkward facial expressions, his startlingly handsome smile: how he goes from total book geek to super model in a matter of seconds. A friend of mine recently said, “Jon is so unassuming, so quiet, that sometimes it’s like he isn’t there, and then he will say something or do something so small and charming, and he will smile, and you are taken aback by how handsome and gentle and beautiful he is.” This is true. This is exactly true.

Sometimes, when Jon is home and Alex is still away, in Spokane, I lay next to Jon, my hand on his back, feeling him breath, and I love him so much while simultaneously missing Alex to the point of it hurting.

I am amazed at how all these things can exist simultaneously. An infinite array of feelings happening at once. It makes me wonder about our complexities: about what it means to be human.

And while I will miss Jon, while I know there will be nights when I will lay in Alex’s arms and feel his love, the completeness of him surrounding me, I will also feel the loss of Jon: the pain of his not being there: and I will also be happy. I know that I will experience the amazing adventure with Alex and I will experience the pain of not having Jon by our side at the same time. Both will exist. Both will be true.

I recently had a dream. I am walking through a wide open field. It is dark out. The moon hangs low and full in the sky. A light fog moves over the ground, coming to my knees. In the distance I can see the sparkling lights of a large house: warm and bright: inviting. As I walk up the path to the front door I hear voices: a vast tapestry of the same voices all happening at the same time: each distinct, each it’s own pattern, it’s own story: a hundred different variations of three voices: and I knew what each one was saying: as if they were brightly lit before me, burning streams leading off into different directions.

Inside the house I walk through rooms: each a completely different world, a different experience: Jon and Alex and I, sitting on the floor, or at a table, or in bed, talking and laughing and fighting and fucking and cooking dinner and making plans: all of this happening in each room I entered: all of it happening at once: and I could taste the flavors of the emotions in the air, I could see the colors surrounding us, the beating of our hearts, the way the blood moved in our veins: the small lines carved into our skin, the maps of our existence: I could see the fullness and the depth: I could see it all.

When I woke up the next morning I felt something had been given to me: a gift that, while beautiful, I wouldn’t exactly be able to use: the kind of gift that is marvelous and perfect and yet strangely impractical.

In September Alex came home for a three day weekend. His mother was here too. She had sold her house in Huntington Beach and was moving to New Mexico for a new job. This was the house Alex had grown up in. So many things were happening, it was layered and complex: his child hood home was being sold, his mother was moving away, Jon and I were here in LA, life was moving forward and he felt like it was all happening without him, away from him. The weekend was hard. For everybody. I can’t exactly put my finger on it: for me, I know, I am not good when people are sad or sick or scared. It terrifies me. I want to break things and rage: I want to destroy everything back to being okay.

This is not always a helpful approach. I know that.

When we brought Alex to the airport after the weekend, I sat in the car, watching him: he stood there, people moving past him, crying, looking at us as we drove away: lost. I have never known exactly that pain before. There was nothing I could. Nothing I could say. Nothing I could offer to make him feel any better.

I was just a witness to his life.

I think sometimes that is all any of us can be. Witnesses. To each other. To life.

A few nights ago I found myself sitting in the middle of my living room, our living room, alone: it was late, after two in the morning, and I was crying. I can’t tell you why. I just felt afraid. I felt lost.   I felt hopeless.

I felt powerless. Over everything. Again, I was a witness, only now it was to myself.

After a few minutes I stood up and I started talking, out loud, to the air and the house: to the room: to the future. I believe there are things that listen to us. I’m not sure there is anything they can do, but it is comforting to me. And after a while I went to sleep and when I woke up there was a stream of text messages in our threeway group chat. Stupid things, meaningless little things:

“Babies! Are you awake yet?”

“I’m awake! I don’t want to be! I want to be in bed with my loves!”

“You will be! Soon!”

“Do you promise!”

“I promise!!!”

“Baby what are you doing?”

“I’m at work.” A picture arrives of a prosthetic zombie body, painted to look bloodied and decaying.

“Baby! That is so cool! You have the coolest job ever!”

“No baby!”

“Yes baby. It’s true. You are the coolest ever.”

“What are you doing, baby?”

“I’m at work. I was given a new assignment today so I’m researching story leads. It’s hot here.”

And then me: “Babies!!!! I’ve awaken!”

“Baby that is so beautiful!”
“Shut up baby! You are so beautiful!”

And I get out of bed and I play with Paco and the cats and make coffee and I consider writing or reading, maybe the gym, reading texts from Alex and Jon, going through my day: a witness to our life.

I will miss Jon when we are gone. I have missed Alex every day for six months. And I will love being alone with my husband, traveling and having adventures, and I have loved the quiet times Jon and I have had together, watching TV and holding hands on the couch, and I will love the three of us, lying in bed, whispering to each other, our hands touching, my belly pressed into the small of Jon’s back, Alex’s hand wrapped over Jon and onto me.

It’s okay that we aren’t all together right now. Even in my loneliest moments I know that: because we are living our lives and we are encouraging each other to move forward, supporting each other. I want them both with me here always, but more than that I want them to live the biggest lives they can, even if it means I can’t have them next to me: even if it means I have to lose them for a while: because it is only temporary. It is only circumstantial.

And then we will all be home again. Together.

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THE STORY OF US PART FIVE: FAIRY TALES

The Story of Us

None of it was easy, not in the beginning, but looking back on it now I realize it was just life doing what life does: spinning endlessly and wildly: always a little too fast, a little too intense, so it was hard to catch up: hard to see what was happening. So many things had happened, so many changes and new additions to my life that I had no idea how to incorporate this new love, this whole new idea of who we were into that madly shifting existence.

I remember when I found out my mother had cancer. I was in the middle of my drug relapse. I was at a job in Hollywood and I walked out into the alley in the back, off Wilcox, just below Hollywood Blvd, standing a few feet away from a street actor dressed like Michael Jackson and a strange alien-esque looking Trannie in hot pink lycra pants and a silver top smoking a joint.

My mother’s voice was calm at first. And then it wasn’t.

It is a strange kind of heart break listening to your mother cry and know there is nothing you can do. You are powerless.

Life is barreling toward us: full speed: a train roaring through the night and we stand, star struck by some simmering light in the sky, unaware that we are about to be hit, smashed, destroyed and left behind.

And afterward we find a way to stand back up and climb our way back into some newly precarious situation: mesmerized again by some startling little piece of beauty, walking endlessly off the cliff.

I have said this before: Jon was supposed to be a trick. Just some sexy dude from Orange County who was going to come over and fuck me with my boyfriend and then go home.

Alex and I were excited. Finding tops is not easy in this town. Mostly Alex and I fucked other bottoms together. Jon was a rare and magical find: that second top.

We pre-met at the Faultline where I was working the door. We went into a small back dressing room and made out. It was sexy. I remember the way my heart beat, pounding inside my chest: nervous and excited. I had to help Jon walk through the crowd: it was busy, sweaty, half naked men everywhere: the music invasively loud: porn playing on video screens through out the large open space: I remember moving men out of the way for him. People know me there. They tend to move out of the way when I am coming through.

I like to look back at moments.   To see the truth of them. But of course, looking back at the moment and assigning truth is like telling a lie: creating a story: a fairy tale re-remembering through vastly different lenses then the ones we were looking through in the present. I like to think I fell in love instantly with Jon. That I knew, in that moment, somewhere in my pounding heart, that Jon was special.

Maybe I did. It’s possible. Or maybe, like most things in the present, I was so lost in the swirling chaos and the rabid fury of my thoughts that I noticed nothing: life seems to hold all it’s meaning in retrospect, never in the moment.

Here is what I do know: it is a fact, an actual truth: we made plans to meet again. I can’t say for sure if my motives were two dicks or potential love (though, for those of you who know me I’m sure you are all thinking the same thing: two dicks) but either way, we made a plan. David Bowie’s Cracked Actor Documentary and Pizza. And then Alex was going to show Jon our assortment of butt toys. And what he likes to do with them: to me.

I wonder, looking back and trying to find meaning, if everything had gone perfectly: if they had fucked me in that relentless fashion I was hoping for: holding me down and grounding me, centering me in that way that only seems to happen when you are being thoroughly fucked: if we had actually broken out the toys, if we had that hour and a half of porn quality fantasy inducing sex: would we have ever seen Jon again? Maybe it was the flaws: the nervous dicks, the anxious kisses, the awkward fumblings of three men trying to find a place for themselves on that bed: maybe it was the lack of “truly amazing” that first time that allowed the door to crack open onto something better: a glimpse at who we really were: strange and awkward and insecure, nervous and scared and hopeful: wanting and needing and funny. There was an energy there, a kind of crazy and creative magic that I do know I felt because each kiss burned bright in my mind: each time the three of us held hands, the taste of sweat, the overwhelming body heat: there was a kind of emotional intensity to each contact, each passing moment.

We all came. And afterward we lay there, kind of stunned. I was trying to piece together what had just happened: empirically speaking it was not the best sex I had ever had, but those last few moments when the two of them were lying next to me, touching me and kissing me while I jerked off: I felt like I was on fire: burning through my life: lit up in flames and exploding.

There is a kind of sex that is for one night stands and there is a kind of sex that is for the building of love. One night stands are intense and brilliant because they stand alone: they are chemical: animal: they are connections without the burden. There is something beautiful and violent and magical about those experiences.   And then there is the kind of sex that builds: it grows and expands: it lives inside you even when you aren’t together: it merges into your daily thoughts and living: it is a slow burn, an expanding, growing kind of hunger.

I have laid in bed, Jon and Alex kneeling over me, kissing each other, their hands rubbing my belly, stroking me while I watch them, playing with me: and I am lost inside the two of them: the love I can see in those kisses, in the way they hold each other; when Alex is inside me and Jon holds me, kissing me, looking into my eyes: watching me: seeing me: pinning me there in that moment: that present that extends out beyond the three of us into some kind of eternity we can only catch glimpses of like flares shot over a dark and endless ocean or comets shooting through a vast and eternal night, disappearing faster than they appear: lighting up the whole world only to fade, leaving shadows and memory.

In those moments, when the two of them are inside me, I think I can see the whole of it: I can feel my skin, my body, my soul all collapsing.

And then there are times when I want to break it all. Because lets be real: I can be a fucking brat.

Recently Alex came home for the weekend from Spokane where he is working on a TV show, ZNation. Jon and I have been living alone. Seeing Alex for weekends once or twice a month. The three of us struggling to maintain the three of us: and mostly succeeding. Doing impossibly well considering that one third of us is gone six months out of the year.

There is a thing that I like to do. I love to give them both head while watching them make out. It drives me crazy. It is sexy beyond sexy. I can see everything in those moments: I can see the love and the passion and the desire: I can see it all in how they kiss each other.

But for some reason, that weekend, I was feeling insecure. I was angry. I was in my head: terrible deracinating thoughts about abandonment and failure and betrayal. I imagined all the ways they would leave me. I saw, in those kisses, while I was sucking their dicks: true love: more love than either of them could ever feel for me. I saw a passion I suddenly decided they didn’t have for me.

Now, if I were being rational, if I were thinking in any kind of sane way I would have seen how crazy this is: I am the bottom in my relationship to Jon and Alex. I am the object of desire. I am sucking their dicks. I am jumping on them and kissing them and they are always touching me and hugging me and saying sexy things to me: I am so loved it is almost unfair. And: I want them to be in love: I want them to feel all of those things for each other: without that: without all of us loving each other this can’t work. It can’t survive: it is essential.

But in that moment I wasn’t thinking rational. So when it was my turn to take my place between them, the two of them cuddling up to me, while I began to jerk off: I stopped and jumped out of the bed and said:

“Forget it. I’m not going to cum.” Then I looked at the two of them and said, “You know, I like when people kiss me too.”
What was I even talking about? I had been lying there for about three seconds, they were just beginning to touch me, just beginning recover from the blowjobs I had given them: if I had given them a few more seconds I know what would have happened: they would have kissed me and touched me and guided me and I would have had one of those amazing explosive orgasms that only seems to come when the three of us are all together.

But it wasn’t possible. Because I had allowed the thoughts to poison me way before we ever go to that moment. I had been pre-fighting with them for hours. This is a game I like to play: where I hold whole conversations and fights in my head: trying out every angle, every possible terrible outcome.

So even though we hadn’t fought, even though nothing was wrong: I felt like we had been fighting for hours: and in the end, that is how I reacted. Toward them.

That moment turned into one of those endless arguments were we broke up, I kicked Jon out, stood outside till sunrise not letting Jon leave until finally, exhausted, we all fell asleep.

Like I said: I can be a real brat.

I’d like to say this was a one time thing: but it isn’t. I’ve done this exact thing a few times. It’s what happens when I start pre-thinking. I think a lot about the power of our thoughts. I am pre-disposed to certain aspects of magical thinking. But what is undeniable to me, what I can not escape: the way I am thinking does effect the shifting contours of my life. If I had been thinking about love and how lucky I was to have these two guys then I would have gotten them off in one of my favorite ways possible, and then been able to get off with the two of them next to me, kissing me and touching me and it would have been hot and intense and amazing. Instead, the whole experience turned into a six hour fight and I never came.

There is real power to our thoughts. I have suffered whole days of terrible insidious jealousy and insecurity that if I had been thinking clearly I would have seen was not in any way backed up by the facts. But again, that is only knowable in retrospect: in the moment I am often too lost in the swirling chaos to have any idea what truth would even look like.

So here is what I would like to say: in that moment, in the small dressing room at the Faultline, when I first saw Alex and Jon kiss, when I first kissed Jon while Alex held my hand, when the three of us pulled in tight, into our circle, hands held, eyes closed, breathing each other’s breath: taking turns kissing: I would like to say I knew that this moment was a foretelling: it was a prediction of something beautiful, something wonderful: and in my mind that is the truth: that is what I know. I mean, what else is the truth than what I remember it to be? If you were to show me a picture of that moment I know this is how it would look: the three of us connected, eyes half closed, hands holding on, pushing into each other, safe. Real.

And yet I know there is another truth: a darker truth, and yet no less beautiful: that I was scared. That I am still scared. Because I have no idea what any of it means. That there are no guarantees.

My mother didn’t die of cancer like they said she would. She fought. She didn’t beat it but she’s held it at bay, its chopping gnashing teeth just inches from her face: never gone, always there, but not destroying her.

Life is relentless like that. It is beautiful and violent and it is kind and terrifying and it holds secrets that we can catch only vague shadowy glimpses of: candles blowing out in a discordant wind, flares across a broken sky, in the way we kiss and hold each other, the sweat off his back pressed against my chest, the way he cries in front of us, the palm of his hand over his face trying to hide: knowing that we can see him.

Whether I knew it or not in that small dressing room: destiny was occurring: regardless of my fear, of my insecurities, regardless of all the fights and the despair: something beautiful happened in those moments: something that would grow in spite of us: because of us: through us.

I am predisposed towards optimism. I am predisposed to believe my life will always turn out well. And I can’t help but think that is a kind of magick all its own.

THE STORY OF US PART FOUR

The Story of Us

THE STORY OF US PART FOUR

It is important to explain that Alex had been gone for six months. He came home, in October, from Season One of Znation. Our focus was supposed to be on our wedding. That was supposed to be the only thing we thought about.

We decided that I would fly to Spokane and meet Alex and we would drive North to Vancouver and then slowly, over three weeks, back down to LA. It was a strange period in my life. It was almost a year ago that I had found out I was HIV positive. Alex had been gone for six months. I would be getting married. Life was changing in strange and mysterious ways. Just three years ago I was still a drug addict. October is a heavy month for me. It is the month I got sober and the month I found out my status.

In a strange way I like to link these things to Rosh ha Shanna and Yom Kippur. I am not religious and I certainly don’t believe in the kind of God described by Judaism, but there is something healing in the idea of a new year and redemption, forgiveness.

I once asked a Rabbi why the Jews blow the shofar at Rosh ha Shanna. He told me the Jews have a contract with God, and every year, for Rosh ha Shanna, we renew that contract. That each year mankind’s fate hangs in a sort of existential balance. Will this be the year God finally gives up on us? Or will he find something beautiful, something worthwhile in man, and be our King for one more year?

One of my favorite things to do is go listen to the Rabbi blow the shofar. The sound does something to me, conjures something up inside me: it reminds me of something I think I have forgotten. There is a magick to it. The Rabbi told me that we blow the shofar in order to cry out to God, imploring him, reminding him that we are worth another year of existence. Begging him not to give up on us: to renew the contract between man and deity. But it is also the cry of humanity into the great darkness, the void, the endless scream, howling for our creator: because we have been severed, cut off from the source, and the cry of the shofar is the cry of our pain, calling out to God to know us. To believe in us. To have faith in us.

In some strange way I believe this. The sound of the ram’s horn blowing, the Rabbi standing there, dark and mysterious and wrapped in cloth: it is desolate, full of despair and pain, full of loneliness and terror: the sound pierces me. For one brief moment, wrapped in that wail, I am the one standing alone, trembling, shaking, waiting for God to decide: am I worth it? Am I worthy of this existence?

In Seattle we fucked a sexy bartender we had met on Scruff. We had spent the night wandering around Seattle’s Capital Hill, eating dinner, checking out all the bars: we flirted with a sexy bear couple, watched a drag queen do karaoke, sat on stone walls and watched as people walked by, the endless parade of humanity that fills cities on weekend nights: are we happy? Is this fun? Is this it? Is this everything? Is there more? Can I be more?… a silent chant flickering in the eyes of everyone we saw.

We had seen the bartender at one of the many gay bars we had been to. I was unclear on how sexy I thought he was until he sent us a picture of his ass: he had one of those asses that you don’t say no to.

It was four am. We were staying in a studio we had rented on airbnb. Alex was drunk. I told the guy to come over, get naked, bend over the couch, and just let us do what we wanted. He seemed to like that idea. I went down stairs to let the guy in. When we came back, Alex was sitting on the couch, a drunken silly-sexy smile on his face, completely naked, hardon sticking up proud as ever. I fell so madly in love with him in that moment. He was outrageous and funny and ridiculous and stupid sexy all at the same time.

We fucked that bartender with the amazing ass until none of us could stand, and then we sent him home, Alex and I curling up in the small loft bed, the sun coming up, birds loud and obnoxious out the window, and held each other as we fell asleep.

I tell this story because it stands out for me as a visceral and gorgeous testimonial to my love for Alex. He was the first guy I was ever able to truly be myself with. In all aspects. I didn’t have to hide my sexual sides: the dirty dog who wanted to fuck some dude bent over the couch at 4am and than send him home, barely speaking two words, and then cuddling with my lover, wrapped in sweat and cum and ass funk, and laugh at how amazing our lives were. I could be vulnerable with him and stupid with him and scared: he has never rejected me, never looked at me like something was wrong inside me, never found a flaw with my desires or fears or insecurities, he has never made me feel dirty or unworthy. And it makes me think of that shofar: the two of us standing on a mountain top, the world vast and endless, the sky above us eternal: infinite in its alien intelligence, and suddenly I no longer feel so alone: together we will wail and scream and howl at the world, at God, at the terror: and together we will celebrate ourselves: in all our dirty, shit mongering, diseased, beautiful, disastrous ways.

And it will be okay. We will all be okay.

The next day we drove to Vancouver. We had rented an amazing one-bedroom apartment at the End of Davie, at the sea-wall, on the 18th floor overlooking the beach and the ocean in one direction, and the city and the mountains in the other. We spent three days in Vancouver eating bagels on Granville, wandering the City, meeting new friends and fucking on the couch overlooking that incredible view.

Then we drove the long drive to Portland: I don’t really get Portland as a City. It feels strangely detached and cold to me, sexless in an oversexed way, but the food was fucking amazing. Seriously, I’ve had some amazing meals in that town.

In San Francisco we became friends with our Uber driver: I still regret not inviting him up to our apartment and fucking senselessly: it was so obvious we all wanted it, but it just didn’t happen. He did meet us later that night and we’ve all become friends, but have no doubt: I plan to fuck that Uber driver into the ground the first chance I get (or maybe let him fuck me into the ground, Alex and Jon holding me down). We made out with a sexy bearded man at the Eagle, and stayed up all night sitting on the balcony of the house we rented in Twin Peaks and watched as the fog devoured the City, enshrouding it in a kind of ecstatic gloom. During the day we drank Phil’s Coffee and wandered used book stores and magick shops and bought a new dildo for me: I love the reverence Alex shows towards my ass, an idolatry toward it: this makes me want to show it off for him, put myself on display: offer myself up to him: when it is just us my whole being becomes focused on his pleasure: submissive and hungry and madly in love.

We decided on a wedding date. February 21. I had grand ideas about our wedding at first. I thought about renting a house in Cambria or Big Sur. I considered Ojai and Idylwild. Moroccan estates in Palm Springs. Beach front properties in Malibu. Then we decided maybe just have it at the house. We have this tiny but amazing 1910 craftsman with original detail in Hollywood. A cute little back courtyard. Why spend thousands of dollars on a wedding when we could save it all for a grand honeymoon adventure…we love travel adventures.

The future was open. We thought we knew the course of things. We had no idea that in a few weeks we were going to meet Jon, fall in love, and invite him in to our adventure.

The Rabbi told me another story. This is when I was 22, in the midst of a dark and heavy heroin addiction. I had been sent to him for counseling. Rehab and AA and therapy hadn’t worked. Maybe a man beholden to a mythical God could save me. He told me about a boy in a small Russian village who had been very sick and was dying. His parents went to the Rabbi and asked for his help. The Rabbi prayed and prayed to God, and still the boy was sick, dying. He brought together all the elite holy men of the village, and they prayed to God, begging for a reprieve, but the boy only got sicker. Then the Rabbi went to the other side of the village, where the thieves and murders and whores lived and he brought them to the boy’s bedside and together, with those thieves and murders and whores he prayed to God. And the boy got better.

“Sometimes, Jeff, it isn’t the good or the holy who save the world. Sometimes we need a thief to break into the kingdom of Heaven and get God’s attention. Sometimes we need a whore to remind God how beautiful we can be. This path you are on, it is your path. We can not judge you for it. We can not condemn you for it. It is the path that you must walk with your Creator. Find a way to make it wondrous, find a way to make it a testament to God.”

When people ask me why I write I think back to that Rabbi, and I think, this is my testament to God. Together my Creator and I wallow in filth and debauchery, in sex and in vile beauties, and together we redeem ourselves, and together we grow: hand in hand, each of us completely dependent upon the other.

TO BE CONTINUED….

THE STORY OF US PART THREE

The Story of Us

The day I found out I was HIV Positive I was working security at the Faultline for a Sunday Beer Bust. It was October 13, 2013. I’m sure there is some kind of numerological magic to the date. A testing truck was parked in the parking lot. I don’t know what made me think to get tested. It just seemed like the thing to do. The tester was bored. He wanted to be inside getting drunk. He looked at the results and then at me and he said,

“Oh, I’m really sorry.” Then he looked outside and waved to someone in the parking lot.

“Excuse me?” I said. Looking back, I’m not sure why I was so surprised. There had been clues. Choices made that should have made this less of a surprise, but still…I just didn’t think I would find something like that out from such an uninterested asshole in the parking lot of the Faultline.

I think it was the banality that upset me more than anything else. And the fact that he was so unattractive. It just didn’t seem fair.

“I’m sorry,” he said, and kind of shrugged. “The results are positive. Would you like me to make you an appointment with someone?”

“Other than you? Yes. Please.”

I made up some excuse to leave work. I think I said that the sink exploded at the house, or that Alex had set himself on fire, something outrageous. I had to get home. Away. Just for a few minutes. I had to see Alex.

If I could just see Alex than maybe this might make some kind of sense.

And I had to know if he would still love me.

We had guests staying at the house. I told Alex I needed him to come outside. I needed to talk to him. And I stood there, on our front porch, and I looked at him and my heart broke. I burst into tears. He wrapped his arms around me, holding on to me and he kept saying,

“Baby, what is it? What’s wrong?”

I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to answer. I just wanted to stay like that, wrapped in his gigantic arms, forever, safe.

But if I have learned anything in life, it is that the world will keep going: life will keep flowing, and that we are never safe from the inevitable. When I found out that my mother had cancer I learned about inevitabilities: everything I love, everything I hold dear, everything that I find beautiful and wonderful will one day die. That is inevitable. It is a rule of life. When I found out I was HIV Positive I learned that I too will die. Like everything else. One day I will die.

But I also learned something else. I learned that Alex did not pull away from me, he did not tell me to leave, he didn’t yell at me and he did not reject me: instead he held me tighter, and he cried with me, and then he said,

“Okay. We will be okay. We will take care of this.”

And we did. We found me a doctor. We learned that HIV never really leaves the body, it just hides out, in the belly or the brain, always vigilant, so I have to be vigilant too. Every day I have to take my pills. Every day at two Alex sends me a text to remind me. He has been doing this for a year and a half. Together we are vigilant. Together we stand guard.

And I made a decision: that day, October 13, 2013, will have power for me. It will have meaning for me. This thing that lives inside me: it will matter. I will let it change me. I will let it affect me and alter who I am: I will take my inevitable death and I will do something with it: because what is not inevitable is happiness, or success, or beauty: I could fail. It is possible to lose everything. To end up alone. I might relapse, shoot dope, become homeless: these things are all possible with a man like me. But I decided that the world would be different for me: even if I failed I was going to try, I was going to succeed in the doing: my life would have meaning because I was going to give it meaning.

I hear a lot that being HIV positive in this day and age doesn’t mean anything: it’s manageable, it’s not important: it doesn’t mean I will die or get sick, not anymore, and they are right. I am healthy. I am strong. I am not sick, and for today, I am not dying.

But it does mean something. It is like a sign along the way: a reminder: none of this is forever. My mother will die. Alex will die. Jon will die. You will die. Everyone will die. It sounds like such an obvious thing. Of course. But feel it. Really know it. And it changes you. At least it changed me.

I am lucky. I have always been lucky. I have a beautiful life. I am surrounded by love.   I’m happy. Happiness is one of those things that comes easily to me. I want to be happy. I like it. It feels good.

Recently, when the three of us are all together: Alex is gone right now, in Spokane, working on season two of the TV show he is on: But when we are all together I like to lay in bed and listen to the two of them while they sleep. Their breathing encases me, it wraps me in warmth and love. There is a magic in those moments, a power, that is another one of those signs along the way: Yes, you will die, but you will also live. This is living. This is it. Right now.

Sometimes all we are doing is watching TV. Sometimes I am sitting at the desk writing and they are on the couch showing each other stupid tumblr cat gifs and giggling: they do that a lot: look at cat gifs and giggle, sometimes we are arguing or we are fucking, sometimes we are eating ice cream and pop tarts till we are sick, sometimes we are cleaning up cat piss or dog puke or stressing the fuck out or going for a walk: sometimes we are doing nothing and I will see them, or I will catch the light as it falls across them, and I will think: I am the luckiest man alive.

This life is a kind of magic. It is a spell: we are like magicians: conjurers. My mother once told me, you have two choices in life: You either believe in magic or you don’t. It doesn’t matter if it is real. Just choose. Which seems more interesting to you?

Three weeks before we got married we asked Jon to move in. This, in retrospect, seems like a strange choice. Maybe we should have waited a few months, let married life settle in: not just for us but for our families. But things were moving: life was moving. So we kept going with it.

We decided that we would introduce Jon to our families at our wedding. This made a kind of sense at the time: I wonder though, if maybe a pizza night before hand would have been easier. I can still see Jon, in a corner, surrounded by all our family and friends, a little lost, so handsome, and people asking him, “How do you know Jeff? How do you know Alex?” And he would say, “I’m Jon. I’m their boyfriend.”

…TO BE CONTINUED

THE STORY OF US: PART TWO

The Story of Us

THE STORY OF US PART 2

For much of my life I had been a heroin addict, and then, in 1998, I stopped. I had been living in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn next to a dominatrix named Zanny. Zanny was saving up all her money working in a Dungeon in Chelsea to move to LA and be a movie star. At least once or twice a week I would sneak across the fire-escape that connected our two apartments and crawl through her window and steal a couple hundred dollars from the shoe box she saved her tips in. I would use this money to buy heroin.

One morning I woke up to find Zanny standing over my bed. She had a gun in her hand. It was pointed at me. In her other hand she had the number to AA. Zanny gave me an ultimatum.

She had this amazing red, curly hair, and a southern accent that reminded you of peaches and cream and sugary deserts, and pale white tits and she laughed a lot and shared her whiskey with me and she loved me and still I stole from her: I can tell you this, the fact that I loved her and the fact that I stole from her never seemed to conflict in my mind. I did love her and I did steal from her. I am surprised at how little these two realities converged until that day I woke to find her pointing a gun in my face.

It was summer when Zanny gave me my ultimatum, July. A week later, broke because of me, the man who stole her dreams of moving to LA, she moved back to North Carolina. And I had seven days sober.

Two years into my sobriety I moved to LA with my partner Jordan. I had convinced him that we needed to be in LA to get our careers started. Jordan bought a beautiful apartment in Los Feliz overlooking the park and downtown. A month later I broke up with him for a guy I met in AA.

I remained sober for 11 years. And then, a week before I was to fly to Amsterdam to meet my mother, I decided maybe I could drink. I spent weeks wandering Paris and Amsterdam and Venice drunk.

That four year relapse was the coldest, darkest place I have ever been. I met strange and captivating demons, monstrous entities inhabited my mind: a darkness flowed through me that was insatiable: I hungered for my own destruction and created palaces of despair, a life of loneliness and isolation. I believe that I had allowed a demon inside me: that I became possessed. My mother told me that she thought maybe I was cursed. It was the only thing she could think of. Someone had cursed me. She believed that by relapsing I had forfeited whatever good will I might have gained in those 11 years sober: and that I would fail. I have a clear memory of some hallucinogenic night standing in front of my bathroom mirror staring at my reflection and a voice telling me to smash my face into the mirror. To jump out the window and fall to the street. To pick up a knife and stab myself with it.

I was possessed by darkness during that time. I lost everything: my home, my mind, my life, my friends, my job, boyfriends and family, all in ways so unexpected and shattering, so horrifying that the very fact that I was eventually able to get sober again and regain even a small percentage of what I once had is mind boggling in its mythic miraculousness.

I have learned something very important from that four year relapse: inside me there is a demon, and he is growing stronger every day. The longer I am sober the more vicious he becomes: and he is waiting for me to fuck up, to make one mistake, so he can pull me back into his darkness. And it is possible that I will fuck up. It is completely possible that one day I will convince myself that I need a xanax or a joint or a glass of wine: something small and innocuous, something harmless in appearance: just to cut the edge, to smooth over the blandness of daily life: I am fucking apocalyptic and if I am not careful I am capable of destroying everything.

I can’t tell you exactly what made me get sober. I had broken up with my boyfriend. I had been evicted and was living in a strange and dark apartment in the building next door (I had created an elaborate lie that lead me to court where I was able to sue the landlord who was evicting me, giving me enough money to move and to live for a few months), my car had been repossessed, and my family was basically done with me. My father, who had been supporting me for years had finally decided, at 43 years old, to cut me off. No more new cars or rent checks or allowances. No more grand trips to Europe when I felt trapped. I would sit in my apartment alone reading old interviews with Allan Ginsberg and jerking off to gang bang porn online. My friends had all moved away. Or were just as fucked up as I was. My life was small and it seemed to just keep getting smaller.

So I went to an AA meeting and I found a sponsor and somehow, a few months later, I got sober.

I was also evicted again and ended up, in some kind of magical moment of grace, moving in to a large and beautiful Silverlake Mansion in the junction with views of the Hollywood Sign and the Observatory and on those incredible clear LA days maybe even a glimmer of reflected sunlight off the Pacific.

And here is the other thing I know about sobriety: there is a grace to it, something strangely magical and miraculous. If I can just get out of the way and let it happen: life seemed to fall into place for me. I went to meetings. I did step work. I meditated and jerked off endlessly and watched a lot of TV and went on epic midnight bike rides through Los Angeles. There were some nights, still detoxing and unable to sleep, that I would ride my bike all the way to Santa Monica and back. Or through the hills of Silverlake, my calves burning. Anything to escape the screaming panic that was my head. For me, that bike, was faith. It was God. It was magic. I rediscovered the world: I rediscovered color and hope and beauty on that bike.

That period in my life, when I was just getting sober, was incredibly magical. But no more or less magical than the dark magic of my relapse. Both events, relapsing and getting sober again, opened me up to a world of spirituality and magic and endless possibility. I learned that I am capable of things that even I, on a surface level, can’t understand. That I make choices and bring about futures that seem unimaginable to me. Every single day I choose between annihilation and success. It is that simple. But around me there are forces rooting for me, pushing me ever forward, hoping for my happiness: just as there would seem to be forces rooting for the opposite: parasitic entities: leeches that have latched themselves to me, feeding off my pain.

Three weeks before my relapse I was walking home from work, east on Sunset Boulevard, toward Silverlake. I was happy. I felt free. I felt connected. I had been meditating and casting spells of intention and I thought I understood the world, I felt strong and good. I looked up into the sky: blue, cloudless, and I watched as a large black bird soared: wings expanding and merging with that endless blue, and for a moment it was as if the layers of reality were pulled back and I could see behind the curtain: an endless flow of energy where time and matter were the illusions, creations of thought. I stumbled and fell, and all the world melted into color: shifting forms, people like burning stars exploding and reforming before my eyes: the street was a river of golden light. In the distance the hills shimmered like diamonds: the world was aflame in light and color and I could feel it all move through me, become one with me and than separate: I understood that that was the constant play of the Universe: becoming one and separate, endlessly moving between the two.

When I got home I sat on my couch and tried to understand what had happened to me. I was completely sober at the time. To this day I sometimes wonder if I had a glimpse at God, at who we really are.

It is strange that three weeks later I decided that I could have a drink. A glass of wine at Stella’s Café with a friend of mine, a new ageist who affirmed for me what I already knew to be true: I didn’t need AA or some God outside of myself: all I needed was will power and intention and to believe in my personal strength: she kept saying, over and over, “The world is what you believe it is. What you say is what you are. We create our realities.”

I now know this is absolutely true and complete bullshit at the same time.

When I met Alex I was a week short of seven months sober. We met on Scruff. He was supposed to be a trick: just a fuck: a really dirty fuck. The first thing we established was that we were both tops. Alex said he was versatile, which, I was later to find out, was a lie, but he has a seduction tool: he has one of those famously large Dominican dicks, what I’ve come to think of as his bottom maker.

We spent a few days talking on scruff. Alex was working on a movie for SciFi at the time: he does special effects make-up and I was spending a lot of time in prisons and jails talking to criminals. We made a plan to get dinner: he insisted we go on a date, I had been hoping we would fuck right away. I like to get the fucking out of the way first: how else do I know if I even want to go on a date with you if I haven’t fucked you? Somehow, over the course of those days, I went from being the top to being the bottom. We had a solid plan: dinner than sex. I hadn’t been fucked in over a year. He sent me a picture of his dick. It made me nervous. But it also turned me on. I liked the idea of getting owned. Of being dominated. Taken.

I was suddenly in the mood to be seriously and righteously fucked.

Alex showed up and still insisted on dinner. This was a date. Later he told me he knew that I was going to be more than just another fuck. He had a feeling about it. I was living in that run down, decayingly beautiful Silverlake Mansion.

We went to a Thai Restaurant in Hollywood.

While at dinner he gave me his card. Which I thought was strange, but somehow endearing. I had recently had some interest in a horror script of mine. He was learning how to network. Looking back, of course, he was networking with me. Months later he told me he thought I was out of his league, “I kept waiting to step into some bad lighting and for you to see me clearly and realize you’d made a mistake.” This idea, of course, is ridiculous. Alex is stunningly handsome. Breathtaking.

Alex insists that two weeks later I gave him the keys to my house. I’m pretty sure I made him wait at least three weeks. He also likes to remind me that I didn’t invite him to my birthday party. We met on May 4th, my birthday was May 8th. I had decided that I couldn’t invite him: what if he bought me a shitty gift? I could never forgive that. It was safer to just not invite him.

I still think that was the right choice. And I still think I made him wait three weeks to give him the keys to my house. Either way, I definitely made him wait 8 months before he could move in.

Magic is strange. The way the world works is strange. Somewhere in the middle of my relapse I met a Persian boy named Arman. He was a dark and violent young man: painfully beautiful. I believed he was going to be the love of my life. The first time we fucked I woke up covered in bruises. Arman liked to hurt me. He enjoyed it. He had a long fat dick that I loved to feel inside me: at first the biting and the brutality seemed sexy, passionate, but there came a point where I thought: can’t we ever just fuck? Like people? Can’t we just have fun and kiss and get off and then go to bed? Does everything always have to be so fucking epic? Sometimes, late at night, I would wake up to hear him in the living room of his West Hollywood apartment talking to himself. I would walk softly to the door and listen to him madly whispering to ghosts or demons; I was never sure which. We spent a weekend at a friend’s family’s estate on Lake Tahoe where we dropped acid and sat on a dock in the lake, looking up at the stars. Arman held me tight, telling me strange stories and somewhere in the middle of that night I knew: he was not mine. He was dangerous. This knowledge flew through me in shadows: as if I were seeing a reflection of the future; I could see the future the way it would play out with us. It was a future neither of us would survive.

Arman’s family was wealthy. They were art dealers and he spent a lot of time with his father in Tokyo and Hong Kong, Paris and Rome. Once, after a trip to Lisbon, he returned to meet me in New York City.

“He’s evil,” my mother said, and I laughed. She said things like that sometimes. Hyperbole was a way of life with us. “He’s dark. Susan saw him standing over you. A knife in his hand. Bloody. You were gasping on the floor, dying.” Susan was my mother’s psychic. She channeled an entity named The Omega. While the name was stupid, something about Susan’s predictions always came true. She had a way with the future. Omega said that time was like a flat plane. It was like looking out over my front yard. That is how he saw our lives. Like blades of grass flickering in the garden: whole existences existing simultaneously: all time like a magnificent pond, shimmering in the afternoon sun. “He will kill you if you stay with him.”

Two nights later he pulled a knife on me. I ran onto the street, and east toward 7th Avenue. I called my mother. I was terrified. She told me to keep heading east, toward the River, where she would meet me. You’d think that would have been the end of Arman. But it wasn’t. He bought me Rayban sunglasses and a beautiful Cartier watch and cried and told me he loved me. We flew back to LA. For a week he was amazing. Gentle and loving. But then the voices came back, the late nights locked in the bathroom, chasing me through the apartment with scissors.

I bring Arman up to say that I was not always the best judge of men. Sometimes, if they fuck me right, I can lose whole years of my life to a man. But Alex…he was different. I felt it in my soul. He was my partner from the beginning.

I have thought a great deal about the idea of a soul mate.  The idea that one person can be everything to me, that there is one person who is magically created to fit me perfectly.  My other half.  This idea gets even more complicated when you know the future and know that we end up with Jon, the three of us coming together to form something new, something larger: but still…I can’t seem to shake the magic that surrounded the events that lead me to Alex.  He protected me.  Sheltered me.  Carried me.

Maybe I believe that there are souls that call out to each other, and once united they are stronger together than they are alone.

I became stronger with Alex.

This is not to say that there hasn’t been darkness.  Remember, I am possessed.  I have a demon living inside of me.  Gnawing at me.  Chewing at me.  Clawing its way out.

But I also have a lightness in me.  And sometimes, in those darkest moments, if I stand really still: I can feel Alex’s love for me and I feel that maybe there is a purpose to all this.  That maybe love does matter.  And that maybe I might find some kind of redemption for my past.

It was almost a year and a half into the relationship that I found out I was HIV positive. And again, I think, the world moves in strange patterns.

To Be Continued….

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