29 January 2008

Fan Art

You know you've made an impact when you start inspiring fan art. Thanks for reading, kids!




All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

23 January 2008

On my adopted tongue...

Many who read my work or who speak with me are not aware, or may forget, that English is in fact my second language. I forget too, sometimes, until I encounter the occasional heteronym that throws me for a loop, if only for a brief moment.

"What does my work history have to do with my DVD player? How 'Big Brother' !" I thought momentarily, the first time I saw the word "resume" blink on the TV screen.
Sheepishly I realized a second later that it said "resume"---as in "continue".

Yeah...we'll just call that today's embarrassing confession. Moving on...

I learned to speak English when I was six years old. I had just moved from Colombia and was enrolled in the first grade for the remainder of the American school year.
The first morning, my mother abandoned me... I mean dropped me off at the classroom, but not before teaching me one very useful phrase.
"I don't understand!"
Armed with that, "Hello, my name is", a random smattering of words (garbage, cookie, dog), and a charming rendition of "Tweenkle, tweenkle leettle Es-tar"...I went to meet my fate.
Sink or swim time!
A girl name Brooke Boqua, to whom I am forever grateful, drew the short straw and was assigned to spend time talking and reading with me. I absorbed everything I could, though I had a few minor setbacks.
Very few native English speakers realize what a difficult language English actually is to master.
I recall one particularly traumatic day when we were reading in a group. I was stumped by one word. I could not make heads or tails of it, try as I might. I was frustrated to the point of tears and the class bully was laughing at my efforts to sound it out.
"Sound it out, think about it. What's he doing?" The teacher asked me, trying to be helpful.

I had not yet learned the words for "he's pissing me off!".

There was a "u" and a "g" and an "h"...I could not, for the life of me, imagine how they might be strung together.
"He's laughing!" the teacher finally supplied.
I still didn't understand. Where was she getting an "f" sound and where did the "u" come in?
I redoubled my efforts, and within two months I became fluent.
I read voraciously. I collected words the way some kids collect coins.
By the time I returned from summer vacation and had gone through two months of the 2nd grade, I was obviously bored. Having spoken English for a little less than a year, I tested at a high school senior reading level, and got moved up to the 3rd grade.

Thus began my love affair with language.

There is something inherently sensual about it---the way tongue and lips and breath work in tandem, shaping sounds...
While I'm not a true synesthete, I do experience a mild form of synesthesia with language, spoken or written.
There are words that are an absolute joy to speak or read...and then there are others...they are ugly to my ears and eyes.

One such word was a recent topic of discussion with several friends and readers.
The word "blog".
Say it.
It sounds like something that should be accompanied by dry-heaves, not something entertaining or interesting.
One reader suggested a word from his adopted language.
He wrote:

"Oh and a thing about the word 'blog' I was wondering if we could change it to the word 'projev' pronounced 'proyef' I think that it sounds much nicer and it is a better word in Czech meaning more than blog."

I'll have to find out what the gerund is, but I like it...

As proud as I am of my grasp of the English tongue, I have to admit, it does lack a certain lyricism present in other languages.



All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

21 January 2008

Eh...beats working fast food...

This whole Craigslist job search thing is frustrating, but it's not entirely without humor...


"Sell Me Your Socks $150

I would like to buy dirty socks from hot girls when they're done with them.
I'm willing to pay lots of money..but I also want you to be able to prove you're you and you're hot.
I love the smell of girl's feet, especially when they get really dirty, like when they've been confined in boots dancing in a club all night or in old dirty sneakers walking in the rain all day.
The type of girl I'm looking for is the punk rock fetish suicide girl type, one that dances in PVC and heels or beats people up in mosh pits.
I'd be willing to pay $150 to send me a few pairs of socks you've been wearing in various settings and to see a few cute pics of the feet I'm smelling.
If this sounds cool and you want to make a bunch of money selling me your dirty socks, let me know. Thanks"



I'm open to other suggestions...Help the Infamous CoatCheck Girl keep her socks!
I'm looking for any leads on paid photo or writing work. I've supported my fellow artists long enough with freebies or "friend deals". I need to work with people who appreciate my artistic skill and will pay for it...and have professional integrity.
Such people do exist in this town, in this scene. I recently had a band insist on paying me what they could for some photos, despite the fact that I shot their show as a favor. It may be a token gesture, a token amount, but it speaks volumes about their respect for their fellow artists. I was touched.

Alright...back to the job-hunt!

All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

17 January 2008

Talk "Nerdy" to Me

(Well, I still haven't settled on a nickname for the new boy, but I've received some entertaining suggestions. Thank you everyone for playing along!)

This is the first time in a while that I've indulged in just getting to know somebody before satisfying my lusty desires with them. It's a daunting prospect in its unpredictability. Sheer carnality is pretty straightforward and easy to understand---true intimacy is challenging. It is a challenge I had not been terribly willing (or perhaps able) to face.

But, this is a new year...

I've allowed him to set the pace. Despite the emotional uncertainty that comes with opening up to somebody, this feels relatively safe. And, as far as character-building goes, it's a fairly enjoyable lesson...so far...

It's also nice to confirm that some of my first impressions of him from years ago, were accurate.


The first time we crossed paths, he was at Ohm for an early sound check (yeah, musician... I don't want to hear it!). I had just come in from the cold and was in my little coat check cubby, trying to rub some warmth into my hands. I must have been a pathetic sight, because he walked over and motioned for my hands. He said I looked cold, as he warmed my hands between his.
It was so odd to be sharing what seemed such a sweetly intimate moment with a complete (and very handsome) stranger. I was rather speechless, though I think I managed some inane comment about bad circulation.

"Better?" he said, finally.

"Mhmm...thanks" I mumbled weakly. He smiled and walked away.

I still didn't know his name, and I was utterly thrilled and confused. I needed a plan...once I regained my composure.
I've always been pretty resourceful. I asked around and found out that he played with a few different projects in town. Perfect! I approached him after the show and introduced myself. I told him I photographed a lot of local bands and added that I often received inquiries from bands who were looking for other musicians---a sort of musical match-maker. It was true enough, and it was the perfect excuse to exchange contact information.
That's about as far as my burst of courage got me. I did end up on his email list, though. It was around the time of the 9/11 attacks, and he sent out some deeply insightful, very eloquent emails about them that really touched me. And completely intimidated me. He was handsome and intelligent!
I did try to talk to him a few more times after that. I would hear myself and will myself to "just shut up!". But I could not stop the stream of banalities that escaped my lips, seemingly of their own accord. I finally gave up, limiting myself to a safe friendly wave, from a safe friendly distance.


I'm generally more comfortable in my own skin these days, but I still feel a little tongue-tied around him sometimes.
Sometimes.
As I spend more time with him, I discover that along with that deep intelligence, there is also a sweet goofiness. Those two qualities combined make for some very entertaining exchanges. A recent memorable email included lusty thoughts couched in scientific metaphor.

I love it when he talks "nerdy"...


All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

15 January 2008

On the perils of mixing business with...

When two people who have been involved part ways, it stands to reason that any personal plans they may have together, become null and void. I have known former couples who went ahead and took their planned trips together post break-up, and did so quite amicably---but it takes a certain degree of maturity and mutual respect to be able to do that.
When there are professional ventures involved, things become more tricky. Yes, I always hear the admonitions "don't mix business with pleasure", and one would think I'd learned by now. I've had people decide they didn't have to honor agreements regarding my photography once we've gone our separate ways. It has made me wary, but not wary enough it seems.
When I first met a recent (ex)lover, it was in a strictly professional capacity. When it became apparent that the interest was more personal, I voiced my concerns about getting involved and what that would do to the projects on which we might collaborate.
He tried to ease my fears. He implied that my past experiences might have been due to the age and immaturity of the other parties.

"As you get older," he said "you learn that business is business."

I still had some misgivings, but I decided to trust this person, whose business acumen I admired.
The projects in question would have eased my financial worries over the coming months and would have brought my photo business to a whole new level.

Despite the spectacular split, I trusted that he would be true to his word and honor those commitments. While a disparity in our personal philosophies would preclude the possibility of any close collaborations, there were a couple of jobs on which he'd acted merely as a liason between the client and me. It was those projects I had expected would still be possible. I even attempted to follow up on one of them, based on a couple of scraps of information I had. I at least wanted to protect my own good name if I was, indeed, expected.

I found out about the status of one of those projects via a "well we had somebody but she's upset so we hired somebody else" style status update on myspace.

It turns out getting older has nothing to do with maturity or integrity, in business or life in general.


All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

13 January 2008

On Thermodynamics and Making Out

"I can feel you purring from across the table!" Em said with a laugh.

My brother, his girlfriend and her brother had gone to the show with me.
Em was right.
I watched, fascinated.
I had thought him sexy before, having seen him play back in my days as a coat check girl at Ohm. But then I was only admiring from afar---I had but an inkling of who he might be.
As he played tonight, I thought I caught his eye---sexy song, sexy boy, sexy...instrument--- it was almost too much. I feared I might have to peel myself from my chair. That's when Em interjected. I blushed. My whole body was abuzz .

A few close friends have commented of late that they have never known me to show such restraint. I am typically relentless in my pursuit. When somebody piques my interest I let them know it. Let's face it---few men really require a lot of coaxing from a beautiful woman anyway.
I find myself on new territory with this one.
We reconnected while I was still with Snow White, and he made it clear he didn't want to be part of a polyamorous situation. I have a lot of respect for somebody who has his ideals and sticks to them. I was, and am, determined to be respectful of them as well. Still, he is somebody I have wanted to get to know for a long time. Since I returned from Seattle unencumbered, we have been spending more time together.

He has been the consumate gentleman, sweet and kind.

I knew a real test would be bringing him around the "familee", so I invited him to the first week of Auditory Sculpture's new residency at Ohm last Tuesday.
I am very protective of these people. We are all protective of each other. Bringing in outsiders is always a little tricky. Frankly, I was still embarrassed by a recent interloper's awkward attempts to ingratiate himself to the group---offers for favors, an internship in an architectural firm, a meeting with a record label exec, a custom tattoo design---all within minutes of his introduction...

The new boy played nice.

He handled the good-natured ribbing graciously and even gave it right back. Whether it was due to something I said, or blogged, or the mere fact that I found myself minus one "aging rocker dude", he seemed to have let his guard down around me as well. Our interactions to that point had been so reserved and proper that his flirtatious and sassy comments that night had me blushing.

This self-restraint thing is not easy, especially in light of such spirited repartee.

Along with the banter, there emerged an easy, friendly affection. I realized that night how much I was missing that sort of thing. I'm pretty fortunate to have a group of friends that is pretty physically affectionate. We hug, we grope, and we sometimes even make out, but it's all in good friendly fun. It has been a while, though, since I could just enjoy sweet, innocent physical affection with a guy I like, without worrying whether his next move includes diving into my pants.
Due to my self-imposed deprivation, I am rediscovering the joys of simple contact---holding hands, spooning on the couch, the contact of thigh to thigh in a restaurant booth, his hand on the small of my back in a crowded club---and it's also been driving me crazy!

I'm usually not shy about making the first move, but...almost a month, and not a single kiss...until last night.
Worth the wait?
Absolutely!

I think too many people forget the joys of making out like hormonal teenagers, as they get older---making out on the couch until your lips are almost numb and your face is raw and your clothes are so twisted that you're practically wearing them backwards...mmm...

"You feel really warm" he said, moving the comforter aside.

"Well...uhm...I kind of have a lot of stored up...energy..." I replied sheepishly.

"You've gone exothermic!" he grinned.

I kissed him with renewed vigor.
Any man who can incorporate a word like "exothermic" into his make-out banter deserves all the respect and restraint I can muster.

He says he still wants to take it slowly.

I have no particular destination or schedule in mind---I'm just thoroughly enjoying the ride!




All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

04 January 2008

Lessons From the Mountain Top

Lessons from the mountain top
Current mood: confused
Category: Romance and Relationships
One of the reasons I had not blogged much over the last two months was because of Snow White. Due to the age difference, some early conversations, and assumptions he made based on my blogs, he had insisted he did not want to keep me from doing anything I might want to do. He was referring, of course, to me pursuing other...misadventures.

"I just don't want to know," he would say emphatically.

I prefer a little more "openness" in my open relationships, but I didn't argue the point, at least not at first. The blog, however, presented a bit of a problem.

"I just won't read it," he told me when I brought it up.

I knew it was inevitable that curiosity would get the better of him, so I kept my misadventures to myself.


I remember once talking about polyamory with a co-worker who lived with three women, all of whom had children by him. I was acquainted with all of them, and on the surface at least, they seemed to make it work.
I asked him what the secret was.
"Being open, honest, considerate and respectful." he told me.
That is how I try to conduct my relationships anyway, but I have yet, even to this day, to have a polyamorous relationship where the men were completely comfortable with such a situation.
"Of course not!" He exclaimed and looked at me like I was a silly girl. "You're a girl."
Excuse me?
His theory was that it would never work in the reverse. Guys are too competitive, he explained. A man will always be wondering why he's not enough. And forget telling one guy you can't go out one night because you have plans with another!
I hate to admit that this particular co-worker would be right about anything, especially where relationships are concerned, but I fear he may have been on this point.


Try as he might to be at peace with it, I know it rankled Snow White to think that I might be involved with other people. Pride would not allow him to ask me about it, after having been so insistent on not wanting to know.
I suppose I should be flattered that some people have been willing to bend their own rules, and push their own boundaries in order to be with me. That feeling of flattery quickly dissipates, however, when it becomes apparent that the men in question (and it is most often the men) are not really being true to who they are.
I'm told that one of my more charming (or, depending on who you ask, infuriating) qualities is that I am unapologetically "me". That is a quality I admire in others as well. I can't fault my lovers for the personal choices they make, nor can I take responsibility for those choices. When they compromise themselves too much, frankly, I begin to lose interest and respect for them.
I don't like seeing people I care about lose themselves in a relationship, even if---especially if--- that relationship is with me.

I'm not opposed to monogamous relationships as a general rule, I just rarely find a person who can challenge me and hold my interest enough to inspire that sort of devotion in me.
Is it too much to ask to find intelligent conversation, communication, compassionate understanding, and great sex with one person?
To tell the truth I haven't wanted to find that person in the past year. The last one I thought had those qualities ended up sorely lacking in the compassion department, and that's putting it very mildly. It has made me somewhat hesitant, so I have purposely kept my interests...diversified.

These are all ideas I have been forced to re-examine of late thanks to...who else? A guy. One who has occupied my thoughts for the last couple of weeks. A man so certain of what he wants (and doesn't want), that I could not help but admire him more...and then retreat, uncomfortably aware of my own, sometimes fickle, nature.

I told The Wifey about him yesterday, and she pointed out how uncharacteristic it is for me not to fearlessly pursue somebody who piques my interest.

"You respect him and you're intimidated by him? I wanna meet this guy...!"


All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

02 January 2008

Snow White vs. The Tranny

Snow White and I had decided to play the Seattle trip by ear, particularly in regards to New Year's Eve. He'd looked up several events happening that night, and we thought we would just pick one or two. Frankly, some of his recommendations held little appeal for me---The W, The Seattle Symphony... Events that sounded like I'd be dodging diaper-clad octegenerians and their walkers. I wanted something smaller and nice (but not black-tie), and where I wasn't half the age of everyone else there.
We grabbed a Seattle Weekly and read through the listings together. I found one that sounded perfect. Cafe Amore: masquerade ball, belly dancers, burlesque, rockabilly band, 4-course meal. We looked at a few more, but kept coming back to that one. I had a good feeling about it.
I was right.
We arrived at this wonderful little restaurant in Belltown around eight o'clock, all dolled up and ready for what the night might bring. It wasn't much of a masquerade ball, since they'd had some issues with the masks they'd promised, but it was a lovely place. The staff was really friendly and very passionate about the food, which is all made from fresh local, mostly organic ingredients.
Before too long we'd befriended a majority of the staff, who occasionally stopped to dance with the patrons. At one point, I had returned from a smoking excursion outside and found our table empty. Snow White was chatting with Johnny Rocket, singer from the Hot Roddin' Romeos, between one of their sets.
As they approached the table I heard Johnny telling Snow White "It's an honor man, really an honor to meet you!"
He was very gracious as we were introduced, but clearly a bit awed to be talking to Snow White, so after exchanging some pleasantries they wandered off again to chat. When SW finally returned to the table, I asked him what that was all about. It seems Mr. Rocket and a couple of other members of the band had recognized him from his band days.

"Are you serious? Are you that recognizable?" I asked incredulously. For all I knew, he'd slipped the guy a $20 to make a fuss. "C'mon! Just tell me the name of the stupid band! You've told my friends, you've told my brother...now this guy..."

"I'll give you a hint. It was named for a Disney movie" he replied coyly.

I guessed on the first try and almost shot wine out my nose from laughing so hard. Really, his blog nick-name was mere chance, but I was absolutely tickled at the coincidence.
I finally regained my composure and got back to watching the performers, sipping my wine and chatting with my date. It was really a wonderful night. I even got coaxed into dancing, since Johnny dedicated a song to us, announcing Snow White's former musical associations, much to my amusement.
It seemed like it would be a lovely night to remember.
We left around 3 or 3:30 and walked to another club Snow White had heard about which featured burlesque performances. It was, predictably, closed. As we stood outside the door debating what to do, we were approached by a tall, very drunk figure.
She stumbled on hir heels and practically fell into us as she wished us a Happy New Year, asking us what we were up to. She'd been ditched by hir friends and was looking for somewhere to go. We were heading back to Amore to ask if there was an after-hours event anywhere.

"Can I come with you guys?" she asked barely keeping hir balance.

"Sure!" "Of course!" we replied in unison, and with our new companion propped up between us, we wandered back to the restaurant.
And so we met the fabulous Sophia.
I was happy because I had a new "girlfriend". As we walked, we admired each other's outfits. She wore a lovely veiled pill-box hat and a fur stole and the new shoes she had just bought in New York. Those patent pumps had vexed hir all night. Ah, how "girls" will suffer for fashion!
We chatted all the way to the Five Point, a 24-hour joint where we'd been directed by the opera-singing door man at Amore. Sophia and I got cozy as we sat in a booth across from Snow White. We giggled and made small talk and ate our greasy food. Our companion got noticeably quiet, but I figured he would tell me when he was ready to go.
Sophia pointed out that he looked grumpy, but I dismissed it, making my usual jokes about his age, until he abruptly made it clear he was ready to go. With a quick peck and another round of "You're fabulous!" "No, you're fabulous!", I bid Sophia goodnight, and ran out to find SW sitting on a bench outside.

"Hey...!" I began.

"No one has ever done that to me" he yelled, standing up.

"What?" I was startled. I didn't know where such anger was coming from and I am not accustomed to being yelled at.

"Come on, let's walk." People were looking in our direction and I did not want a scene but I hesitated for a moment, before I started to follow him.

"No one has ever done that to me!" he yelled again.

"What the hell are you talking about? What did I do?" I asked, genuinely puzzled.

"You know what you did, what you said...you and that fucking faggot!" he spat venomously.

"What! Don't call him that! Wait...what?..."

"What you said...you and that fucking faggot!..." he continued.

I didn't know what upset me more, whether the fact that he was yelling at me for some slight I could not determine or the fact that he was showing himself to be such a homophobic prick.
The last was a real surprise. His supposed best friend is gay. When he had told me about his best friend, I had detected a tone that reminded me of people in Myrtle Creek when they said things like "I'm not racist, I like Mexicans."--- but I had dismissed it. I had chalked it up to a generational thing, maybe they joked around with each other like that. I didn't think they would be as close as he purported them to be, if he was such a homophobe.
He continued to insist, yelling all the way, that I knew what I had said or done. I racked my brain, thinking that I had made the same little jabs I always make, teasing him about the age difference, but that was all I could think of.
I was also a little fearful, realizing that I really didn't know this man. I was seeing a whole new side to him, an anger I didn't know existed. It crossed my mind that this new person who had emerged that night might be capable of physical violence and I wouldn't even be aware of it.

"You can bet we're taking the train back home tomorrow!" he snarled, before finally falling silent.

Once at the hotel, he cleared the day bed in our room and moved there for the night. I changed into some jeans and went for a walk. It's a horrible neighborhood, especially at that hour, but I didn't care. It actually seemed a better alternative to being in a room with him.
So, it was just me and the crack heads.
The thing about me when I'm that angry is that it comes off me in waves. Even the crack heads will cross the street to avoid me when I'm in that state. The few who would make eye contact with me, would quickly look away.
I finally got back to the hotel, packed my bags and looked through his things for my return ticket. Even as furious as I was, I couldn't bring myself to rifle through his things too much, so I couldn't find it. I settled in to sleep for a few hours.
In the morning, I could tell he was awake on the other bed, but pretending to sleep. I dressed and went into the dining area to eat breakfast. When I returned to the room, he was gone, but there was some money and a ticket on top of my purse. I gathered my things, showered, and had the concierge call me a cab after we'd looked up departure times for the train, but not before leaving Snow White with a parting thought.

It had to be something to which he could relate, something simple and to the point, so I chose from his own words.

I set his Scrabble board out on the bed and carefully arranged my letters:

D-I-C-K


All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

A cautionary tale: On dating aging rocker dudes

A trip can make or break a relationship, whether it be platonic or romantic in nature. I am back from my Seattle trip with Snow White, a day earlier than I had intended.
I would say this is an irreparable break.
It started off well enough. We took the train up and had no specific plans except for where we would stay. We stayed at my favorite hotel there, right by the Pike Street Market. We spent our first afternoon wandering around the market, taking in the sights. For dinner, we tried a restaurant recommended by the concierge.
The Pink Door is just that--- a pink door, festooned with lights for the holiday, but otherwise unmarked and unremarkable. Once inside, however, it is a sort of otherworldly place full of beautiful people, soft light, and wonderful Italian food. Half-way through dinner, the entire restaurant spontaneously took up the song that was playing softly over the stereo.
A chorus of "Que sera, sera...whatever will be, will be..." filled the room as the puzzled kitchen staff peeked out from their respective posts.
Neither of us had slept much, so after our somewhat surreal dining experience, we headed back to the hotel. There are no televisions in the place, and we wanted something low-key with which to entertain ourselves. Snow White stepped out to buy a Scrabble game and some wine. When he came back, it was apparent from his purchases that he had other entertainments in mind as well.
"We're playing strip-Scrabble!" he announced as the condoms and lube tumbled out of his shopping bag.
I was tired and not feeling particularly amorous, so it was regular old-fashioned, fully-clothed Scrabble for that night. He seemed a little pouty, but I could not discern if it was my points lead or my lack of ardor.
In the morning I nuzzled up close to him. I was still not feeling particularly amorous, but he was insistent, in fact, rather unceremonious in making his intentions known, as he shoved his hand down my jammie bottoms.

Sometimes, as one friend of mine put it, "it's just maintenance".
Oh, you've done it too...those days when you're not particularly in the mood but you know it'll make the day go more smoothly...You go for efficiency, not style. You push just the right buttons, move here, squeeze there, and you can get on with your day and keep things friendly.

As I mentally plotted my course, I asked him to grab a condom, which he tried to coax me to forget, citing a time when we had, rather stupidly, done without. I persisted and he finally, reluctantly, conceded upon my third request. That did nothing to improve my mood so I strengthened my resolve to get on with my day as quickly as possible. Buttons, push, move, squeeze...and we were shortly on our way to the EMP and Science Fiction Museum.

The morning's events---his brusque approach, his complete disregard for my initial resistance, and his lack of respect for my safety--- weighed on me as we walked through the exhibits. I finally broached the subject when we sat down to order a snack.

"So are we going to talk about what happened this morning?" I began.

"What about this morning?...We've done it without condoms before..."

"Just because we've done something stupid before, doesn't mean we have to do it again. You're showing a total lack of respect for me, my body, my health..."

"I have respect for you and your health," he countered, "I just think...yeah, you should use condoms with other lovers, but if I'm your primary partner, we should be able to have sex without them..."

"You don't get to make that decision...it's my body..."

"So... what...you're making all the rules now...?" he interrupted.

"Yeah...! When it comes to my body...absolutely!"

"Well, maybe we just shouldn't have sex anymore, then..." he snapped nastily.

At that very moment, those were my sentiments exactly.

He dismissed the conversation, saying he didn't want to talk about it then, in the restaurant. He said he prefers when we have our talks during our rambling walks.
Alright. I let it rest for the moment. I didn't want it to turn into a scene, and we were about to go do one of those Duck Tours.
After the tour (which, incidentally, was really fun) and another hour or so at the EMP, we started to walk back to the hotel.
If we were going to walk, we were going to talk. I wanted to be constructive about it, so I chose my words carefully.
"Just like you like to clear the air when you're upset, I need to talk to you about what we were talking about earlier. You really hurt my feelings with what you said." In reality, I was pissed, but determined to talk, not fight.
"You showed an utter disregard for me, my body, and my health. You were disrespectful and rude. You just lashed out. That whole 'maybe we just shouldn't have sex anymore' comment was rude and immature..."

I waited for an apology.

"I didn't say it to hurt your feelings." And then silence and tension.

"What are you thinking?" I ventured after a few very quiet blocks.

"I didn't say it to hurt your feelings." Then more silence.

I wanted an apology, resolution, but neither was forthcoming. I racked my brain. I wanted to go home then and there, ask him for my train ticket, raid his bag for my train ticket. I didn't want to spend New Year's Eve with somebody who would treat me this way. The rest of the evening was silence and distance.
We had morning plans to meet with a high school friend of mine for brunch, so I hopped out of bed and got ready. When he returned from his shower, he approached me and said he was sorry, that he had wanted to apologize the previous day, and that night, and all morning.

"That was all I wanted to hear...an apology" I told him. It was mostly the truth. The fact remained that there was now a breach of trust and only time would determine whether it could be reconciled or not.

"Well, I am sorry," he reiterated. "I really wanted to tell you that yesterday...it kind of ruined the rest of our day"

"Yeah. You were kind of being a poop"

"I was being a dick" he corrected.

"Well I was looking for something more innocuous, but yeah, you were being a dick" I agreed.

He seemed sufficiently contrite.
I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and we began our new day on good terms.

My school chum and his lovely wife drove us to a great cafe for brunch. They brought along their 2-month old. She's pretty cute as far as hairless monkeys go, but the idea of my old cohort having reproduced was a bit difficult to grasp at first.
I still remember our childhood escapades---sneaking out at night to go find whatever trouble we could. Trouble was limited in that tiny logging town. We were dumb kids, but not dumb enough to get into meth or heroin like some of our peers. The worst we did was go walk around the graveyard in the wee hours and smoke cigarettes.
It's nice to see people achieve their goals. Some people always search for their "true identity" and never find it. I witnessed much of my friend's search, as he tried on different identities---goth, skate punk, alternative kid (whatever that means, but that's what MTV called us at the time, right?), raver...but through it, all he asserted that he wanted to be a yuppie when he grew up.
Well, he's done it. House in the burbs, sensible car, wife, kid, job at Microsoft...

He and Snow White talked tech, but soon the conversation came around to my travel companion's musical past. It seems he was once in a fairly prominent hair metal band.
I don't know hair metal. I was in Colombia during its hey-day and was never interested enough to learn anything about it.
He has refused to tell me the name of the band these past two months. While I was in the bathroom, he swore my old friend to secrecy and told him. I was a bit indignant.
It has become a sort of game, though, trying to guess which band it might be, and which (label-assigned) pseudonym he used. Our typical banter and ribbing about spandex and make-up further lightened the mood. By the time we got dropped off by our hotel, we were great friends again, and ready for a fun New year's Eve.
We took in the Seattle Underground Tour and did some shopping to kill time before the evening's festivities began.

So why did I end up cutting my trip short? Well, that's a story for the next blog...a mystery involving us, the Five Point, and a very drunk tranny named "Sophia"...




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