30 May 2008

He’s a loner...a rebel

Curiosity is a bitch for a Leo. Rather a Leo is Curiosity's bitch--- like Pandora, who knows what likely hides inside that box, but can't help taking a peek.

So it is that a Leo will even put friendship on the line to satisfy a long-smoldering lust.

He beckons through the curtain, finger curling toward him and a glimmer of a smile on his face. I smile back. I know this little game. We're bravest when we're surrounded, when there are no possibilities. We banter, we flirt, we make unspoken promises we never keep.
Get us alone, and it's all propriety and friendly chit-chat...

"What's up?" he asks, and I sense the rules are changing. There is an inflection, a certain posture...an inability to hold my gaze.
He's testing the waters.
Who am I seeing. Who am I with...?

"Why do you care? You're the one who runs away every time there's an actual opportunity..." I tease.
"When?!" His indignation is charming. "Well...I'm kind of scared" he admits.
"Of what? Of me? I'm harmless!" I know I am lying, know I am guilty even as I plead innocence.
"You're trouble..."
I stretch and smile, prepare for the game of cat and mouse.
Something tells me each of us thinks we're the cat.
He is afraid of getting physically involved. Afraid he will like it.
"You're like the forbidden fruit"

We are in his car now, away from the crowd and the noise, and I think this is where he'll turn tail and scurry back to safety.
*twitch, twitch*
I can wait out this little mouse.
I watch him intently and he asks what I'm thinking as he looks at the dashboard.
Hey! That's my line!

"I'm thinking that I'd like to make out with you, actually" And he calls my bluff. He cups my face as he kisses me. It is sweet and thrilling, new yet familiar, and awkward as only a kiss in a car can be. I start to feel a little breathless, being this close to him---those are his soft lips, that's his playful tongue, that's his hand on my face...and I can hardly believe it.

"See?...harmless!" I say as I pull away and pull myself together.
He lets out a chuckle that says he disagrees.
We're each waiting for the other to back out, we're children locked in a match of dares and double-dares.
"I kinda wanna get outta here" he says.
I dare you.
"Me too. My place is closer"
I double-dog-dare you.
"I know" he says with a nervous chuckle. I don't play fair. I've upped the stakes.

I wonder if he's still scared of me. He is, but all he'll give by way of answer is a helpless:
"Because you're...you're you..."
"Is it the blog?". No. Maybe. Probably.
"If you're gonna blog about me, I want a cool nickname..."
"Oh yeah? Like what?" I ask him as we drive along.
"Like...Rex! I wanna be known as Rex. I wanna be a loner... I wanna be dangerous...!"
The tipsy giggle that punctuates his speech ruins the effect. In my mind, all I can hear is "I'm a loner, Dottie, a rebel..." and I giggle too.
I am sure he will leave me at my doorstep, but he is following me up the stairs.

The way he smells, the way his skin feels, the way his hands feel on my skin...it all makes me dizzy. And it's too late now to retreat. We're past dares and double-dares. Now it's lips and tongues and warm skin, lust and just the slightest hint of regret already lurking in the corner.
I wonder briefly if this will change the easy affection we share, and then he shifts beneath me, bringing me back. I pull him over on top of me, wanting to feel his weight. I want something other than the weight of my thoughts to anchor me.

I watch him sleep, afraid to touch him, watching the morning light play...now on his face, now on his shoulder as he tosses fitfully. Through paper-thin walls I hear my neighbors having a morning romp and I start to get ideas of my own.
He is so sweet when he wakes. Boyish. He's feeling the late hours and the drinks he had.
Damn Jäger.
He'd lay in bed with me all day, he says, if only he didn't have things to do.

He kisses and hugs me goodbye, mumbling apologies, leaving me to my thoughts.

I wonder if it's just him. I wonder if it's just me...
I have a friend who has tried to convince me that while I blog, I will be incapable of maintaining a romantic relationship, or even any sort of "friendly understanding" with anyone.
I was having perfectly dysfunctional relationships before blogs even existed, thank you very much!
I do wonder, though.
Some people fear my blog, fear saying or doing something embarrassing in my presence that might end up public knowledge. Men worry about being inadequate lovers, about being too normal or "vanilla" to hold my interest. Worse yet, some of them, I fear, just want the CoatCheck Girl experience, the fantasy, the seduction.
It's way too much work--- I want to be swept off my feet for once.

All Content Copyright Juliana Tobón, 2008. All Rights Reserved.

17 May 2008

PP---gettin’ dirty

I have a black thumb. I own a couple of plants that are desperately clinging to life in their dark little corners. Lately, though, I've been thinking that maybe gardening might be a nice, rewarding hobby to take up.

Wouldn't you agree?
Check out Portland Pistils for more information.

All Content Copyright Juliana Tobón, 2008. All Rights Reserved.

02 May 2008

Misanthropes Anonymous

I am the Infamous CoatCheck Girl, and I am a misanthrope...

Whether one blames it on the political climate, the economy, war, the planets...whatever your scapegoat of choice, it's hard to deny that 2008 has been a hard year so far. For everyone.

"I hate people" seems to be the motto of choice these days. So many people I know have suffered disappointments at the hands of others, myself included. Ordinarily, I try to be aware of what is mine---my own projected expectations, viewpoints which might color my interactions--- and take responsibility for them. But this year in particular, I have noticed people just being unapologetically mean and inconsiderate and extremely selfish. It's hard not to be affected by it.
I hear about the experiences of friends and acquaintances, and know that these incidents are not exclusive to my experience. Recent work has brought me into contact with mental health professionals who say they are hearing the same from many of their clients. One has been heard to joke about starting an "I hate people" support group.

Much to my dismay, I find I have adopted that motto myself. In attempting to mend rifts between members of my family (at their request), I ended up having both of them upset with me. They, of course, are doing peachy.

A very dear friend asked for advice with her rather tempestuous romantic situation, one that has many of her friends concerned. I had received similar calls at least once a month for the entire duration of this romance, so I knew expressing an opinion was futile, and told her so. I asked her instead to look to herself, determine whether in her heart of hearts she believed things would change, and if not, whether that was the life she was willing to accept for herself and her daughter.
I pledged my support, regardless of her decision.
That was a little over a month and a half ago, and I have not heard from her since. With the encouragement of mutual friends, I attended a dinner held in her honor. Flowers in hand, I went, ready to offer the loudest cheer and the heartiest congratulations...and was unceremoniously rebuffed.

As for romantic ventures...I'm probably more jaded than ever when it comes to dating or relating to people on a romantic or even sexual level. My little interlude earlier this year had some lasting repercussions. The most significant was that it left me doubting my intuition. How many times did I ask him or tell him directly that I felt like a mere place-holder until he found what he was really looking for? It could have been so simple.
"You're not it."
But no. It was this or that, timing, personal inquiry, sex, polyamory....All the while he was leading me to believe that I was being unreasonable, making me think that my radar was "off" somehow. He would become indignant when accused of sending mixed signals, while in the same breath admitting he didn't know from one day to the next how he felt about me.
I have since found out what appears to be common knowledge--- that he's been hung up on the same girl for over a year, just waiting for her to acknowledge him as something more than a glorified errand boy.
Something tells me if that were to ever actually happen, he would still not be "ready", he'd still be questioning what he wants, etc....

I currently have some gentlemen friends, all of them nice smart and cute, who I am keeping at arm's length. Every invitation to spend time together initiates an avalanche of thoughts.
"He's nice, fun...but it's probably a matter of time before he starts lying or other issues surface...and I can't stomach any more conflict or drama...so what's the point. I'm not even going to call him back..." And I just put the phone down and go back to my editing, or curl up on the couch.

When the general populace acts in a callous or selfish manner, that's one thing, but when it's the people you really care for, the smallest betrayals cut deeply. It has lead me to keep to myself for the most part. When I do have to interact with people I feel this new cynicism seeping in. It saddens me, the eternal optimist, to look at people with disgust and distrust, and yet, I can't help it. I have come to think the worst of people.

I suppose my financial situation has done nothing to improve my mood this year, either. The interpreting thing, which held so much promise, has kind of fizzled. When I do get photo work, I end up having to educate people---show up on time, if you agree to have my name on the photo you actually have to do it, don't take 6 months to tell me which photos you want then tell me you need them today, and most importantly I will not shoot your band in front of a brick wall...
I've even been doing odd jobs for a guy I have affectionately dubbed "The Rock-n-Roll Contractor". He hires mostly musicians to do odd jobs---light construction, remodeling and yard work. The jobs rarely start before noon, and it's not uncommon to have cancellations due to hangovers. Most of the clients know they're not getting pro-quality work, but are trying to do their part to support the arts in their own way.
It is in this manner which I have come, in the past month, to caulk a bathtub, paint an apartment, and wrestle with ruthless blackberry brambles and ivy plants. They won, by the way, as the many scratches on my arms (and, curiously, my ass) will attest. I am such a delicate flower. My skin is unused to such treatment...unless it's in the heat of battle, the clashing of teeth, fingernails and skin.
So here I am, almost halfway through the year, and still unclear of the direction it will take. I've had hopes, of course, but given the previous 4 months, I'm letting go of even those.
I did get a little push from the universe yesterday. One of my co-workers turned out to be a Reiki master. Just another reminder that I have all the answers I need.
I'll let you know if I figure anything out.
In the meantime, I'll be over here on my couch. The Infamous CoatCheck Girl is so very tired.

Help me out, kids. Send me a story, publicly or privately, of something good or great that you've witnessed or experienced in 2008.

All Content Copyright Juliana Tobón, 2008. All Rights Reserved.