Last night Missy, MB, and I went to The Crucible, for the P part of the LF&P.

It's the first time I've been there since they moved to their new location.  I saw tons of people I adore, who I haven't seen in person in ages.

It was fantastic.  I have all these friends I've known through the club and Camp Crucible for a long time now.  People welcomed me with open arms, literally.  I hugged.  I got hugged.  My butt got grabbed a bunch.  I grabbed people's butts too.

I was positively dipped in my own history as an adult, in that population.  It felt amazing.

And I got to sit, cuddle and talk with my friends Dixie, and Bryn.

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I'm gonna take a minute to absolutely gush about her.  Because she's absolutely gushworthy.  (Sure, it's a word.)

Bryn, she's not just MY friend, but she's also mako-kun's friend.  He just loves her to pieces.  She's a grownup he knows and trusts and really likes.  And she not only knows this, but takes joy in it.

She really sees him, distinct and separate from me.  And likes both of us. 

This means the world to me.  She's got this funny ability - she can call mako-kun out, and he'll just pop right out, happy to see her, and spend time with her, even if it's in the midst of a busy place, filled with people he doesn't know.

mako-kun, unlike me, is kinda shy.  He's hesitant and fearful of being seen by people who don't get him.  So, in busy places, and amongst strangers, he mostly hides in the back of our head.

But that's not how it is with Bryn.  She makes him feel so safe, and welcomed.  We're laying on the couch, talking, Bryn, me, and Dixie, and she asks if mako-kun's around - and WHOOSH, out he popped.  

From the back, I watched them laughing, cuddling, and being silly together.  (Bryn is an EXCEPTIONALLY silly person.  If silly is a martial art, she's got a black belt in it.)  And I was able to just hang out in the back of my head, and relax.

Because he was safe with Bryn.

She's really wonderful.

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

So, I have this sort of dirty confession to make.  

I'm mean.

But the trick is, it's really only to myself.  I grew up with a lot of pressure to excel, had a very typical preppie/jewish/success-oriented sort of childhood.  I was a smart kid, and my mom and dad were both proud of that, but also rather unrelenting about it.  If I brought home a B, that was fine, but how about an A?  And if I brought home an A, how about an A+?  And if I brought home an A+, well, that's living up to my potential.  

That sort of thing.  My dad, who was a pretty bad guy, was also a very wealthy, self-made sort for many years.  There was this unspoken thing between him and me - that it was my job to improve on what he had done, to seek and go beyond his level.

He's long since left the planet, and as my partner Maya likes to say, I'm my own "grown-ass mandog" now.  But there's stuff written down in my BIOS or whatever, that remains.

I tend to push myself.  I always have a lot going on.  I'm ambitious.  And frequently, I am the very worst critic of my own efforts.  It's a weird mix, because at the same time I can have almost rocket-powered levels of self-esteem to the point of arrogance.  I know when I'm good at something, because I'm used to advocating for myself.  It's exhausting.

But I'm lucky.  I surround myself with people who love me, and who go out of their way to tell me I mean a lot to them, or that my efforts or character are worthwhile.  My wife Missy, my girlfriend Alissa, my girlfriend Maya, my brother Spacey, my sister Pene, all regularly shower me with love and affection and validation.

But this post, it's not about them.  (Except to tell them that I love them.)

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It's about a friend of mine, Dixie.

We've been friends for years.  She's an age player like me.  She's witty, silly, and smart.  We're book friends, and nerd friends, and just like one another enormously.

I think the world of her.  And recently, she wasn't feeling so hot, and asked folks to post why they liked her.  So I told her.

 "You're insightful and thinky in general and about fiction in particular. You have strong, passionate opinions, because you're a person of deeply held convictions. I love that. 

Also, you're really cute."

(This is true, she's adorable.)

She wrote this thing back to me, that just utterly took my breath away.

"You have one of the biggest hearts I've ever known, and you are constantly looking to better yourself and become even more self aware, which is amazing"

I'm honestly a little teary over it, in the best way.  Thank you, Dixie.

I can feel myself loosening that white-knuckle grip I keep around myself so often.  I feel a little more worthy of my own love today.

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1 hour drive

over in moments

Last night I walked out of my office a little before 7pm, walked to the garage, and got in my car. Then I drove the hour or so between where I work and where I live, and pulled into my own garage at home.  It's a long commute.  But it went by like no time at all.

The reason for that is I was talking to Moliére.

We've been friends for years now.  I first met him through mutual friends of ours.  He knew of me through my work on the podcast, and asked some mutual friends of ours to introduce him to me.  I was up at their kinky bed & breakfast to teach a class.  He came to meet me beforehand, and we spent a long time together chatting and just getting to know one another.  I liked him enormously from the get-go.

That had to have been four or five years ago at this point.  

We're similar in many ways.  We're both techies, both love puns, have many of the same sensibilities for things in life.  We both have excellent taste in partners, too.  Did I mention he's my metamour?  Yep.

You know that song My Boyfriend's Girlfriend Isn't Me?  It's like that.  Oh you don't? Here.

So anyhow, back to Moliére.  We've been close for ages.  Our relationship, like all relationships, has had its ups and downs.  We've endured hardship, apart and together.  The part where we're metamours is relatively new, and it's not without adjustment.

That's not a bad thing though.  Last weekend we got together, just him and me, to talk about where we are, how we feel about one another, and to eat really good poké.  

We love one another, a whole lot.  We always have.  We're still figuring out all the various things we mean to one another.  It's a good thing.

So when I got in the car in the first garage, I decided to call him, just because I felt like chitchatting, spending time.  We joked around, talked about all sorts of stuff, laughed, did some insightful thinking about ageplay and porn, and just generally basked in the warmth of one another's company.

Before I knew it, I was in the second garage, the one in my house.  I really love him, and I'm so grateful he's in my life.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow
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So, here's a picture of yours truly, prior to getting some surgery, yesterday.  

I was in the hospital to get a vasectomy.

It went really well for the most part.  We showed up. I gave my name. They asked me some questions, I took off my clothes, put on a funny hat and the hospital-gown-what-makes-your-butt-hang-out.

One thing that did come up was people kept asking me, and Missy, if we had children, if we wanted children, were we sure about the procedure, etc. etc. etc.  It got asked a lot.  I kept saying I was sure, no we didn't have them, no we didn't want them.  It was honestly kind of upsetting.  

I could tell that much like the silent e that follows some words what they were really asking was either, "So you're not going to change your mind in a few days, right?" or maybe, "After you sign these consent forms and we invade your body to cut you up a bit, you're not going to come back with a lawyer and sue our pants off, right?"

There was even this brief bureaucratic mix-up, where the normal hospital policy is that you can't be scheduled for a vasectomy until 4 weeks after you've made the decision.  I was clocking in at a way-too-fast-for-their-comfort three weeks.  Because I'm so in a rush, right?

Actually, this is a decision I've been considering for the better part of a decade.  I'm 46 years old, recently started a new business which is very likely to make me travel a whole bunch.  Plus, I'm polyamorous, and have loving connections with my partner Alissa's children, whom I'm not exactly a parent to, but not exactly not one either.  I already raised my ex's kid, my stepson T. for the better part of nine years too.

So I'm pretty set on my choice.  Which is good, because it happened yesterday.

The reason I'm talking about it here, where the gratitude comes in, is because the whole experience made me aware of just how much agency, how much control I have over my own body and my own life.  Yes, the hospital administration and staff, and my own urologist got all up in my business about my choice.  But in the end, I signed papers, and they shut right the hell up and did what I wanted.  

My co-pay for the hospital stay was twenty bucks.

I have a female friend, L., who never wanted to have children, and was looking to have some sort of procedure to do something about it.  I can't exactly recall whether she wanted a tubal ligation or a full hysterectomy, but she spent the better part of her 20's trying to find a doctor who'd agree to do it, and coming up empty.  

Frankly, that ticks me off.  

Sure, as a polyamorous, kinky person I'm not quite like most folks. But I do have good "vanilla" face.  From the outside, I sure look like a typical cisgender white middle class male.  And it comes with a lot of privilege.  

It's got me yet more cognizant of how other people who are not in my same demographic don't have the advantages I do.  

There's already stuff I do to try to help with that.  I'm a big old lefty when I vote.  I actively give money to the ACLU and do micro-loans through Kiva.org.  For which I want no pat on the back whatsoever.  

This is why universal, single-payer healthcare is a deciding issue for me.  It's why I understand reproductive health isn't a luxury, it's a right.  

EVERYONE should have the power and ability to make the choice over their body, their life, that I made over my own yesterday. I think part of the purchase price of having agency over one's own life is making sure society changes to give it to everyone.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

So I have loved science fiction since I was a kid.

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 Back when I was about 12, maybe 14 I first read this amazing story, Return from the Stars by Stanislaw Lem.  In the story, Hal Bregg, a cosmonaut returns to Earth after a 10 year mission to space, to a distant star called Formalhaut.  But due to relativity, 10 years in space is much, much longer on Earth.

Returning to Earth isn't easy on Bregg.  The world has evolved in vast, strange ways that he struggles to comprehend, to adapt to, in order to be able to live happily. 

i won't tell you how the world of the book has changed, part of the joy in reading the story is experiencing the bewilderment and delight along with the main character.  

I am going to make one exception though.  There's something incredibly prescient in the book.  It's the description in chapter three of a bookshop. 

 I spent the afternoon in a bookstore. There were no books in it. None had been printed for nearly half a century. And how I had looked forward to them, after the microfilms that made up the library of the Prometheus!

No such luck.

No longer was it possible to browse among shelves, to weigh volumes in the hand, to feel their heft the promise of ponderous reading. The bookstore resembled, instead, an electronic laboratory. The books were crystal: with recorded contents. They could be read with the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it. But optons were little used, the sales-robot told me.

The public preferred lectons—lectons read out loud, they could be set to any voice, tempo, and modulation. Only scientific publications having a very limited distribution were still printed, on a plastic imitation paper. Thus all my purchases fitted into one pocket though there must have been almost three hundred titles. A handful of crystal com—my books. I selected a number of works on history and sociology, a few on statistics and demography, and what the girl from Adapt had recommended on psychology.

A couple of the larger mathematical textbooks—larger, of course, in the sense of their content not of their physical size. The robot that served me was itself an encyclopedia, in that—as it told me—it was linked directly, through electronic catalogues, to templates of every book on Earth. As a rule, a bookstore had only single “copies” of books, and when someone needed a particular book, the content of the work was recorded in a crystal.

I read that on my opton, I mean my iPad as I sat this morning waiting for my car to be repaired at a mechanic.  It was weirdly meta.  

I knew it was coming. I have read this book before.  The last time was a dog eared paperback book I bought in the only English bookstore I could find in Cannes, France.  At the time I was living overseas with my family for the summer, on holiday, and I was absolutely   desperate  for books.  I went to that bookstore several times, and bought a ton of books. I remember thinking at the time how amazing it would be to have such a device, and be able to read and listen to books at my leisure.

And now, it's true.  

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow