Life as an Extreme Sport


I walk into my apartment and see clothing scattered on the floor, falling from the bag it had been so hastily stuffed into Monday morning. I drop my current armful of computer bags, clothing bags and purses on the floor next to the already established pile.

I glance to my right and see a scattering of papers and wrapped condoms, hastily pulled from my purse Tuesday before heading out. I walk to the left and see the ferrets perk up to see me. I scatter them a few treats and sit down at my computer. Web mail showed it had last been checked from here on Tuesday the 12th. The ferrets cage needs cleaning.

Walking into my dining room, I notice remnants of dinner many nights now passed, still needing to be washed, wiped and put away. The floor needs to be swept, ferret food scattered from haste across the grey linoleum.

I dig my toothbrush from the bag and walk into the bathroom, I attempt to scrub the taste of inhalers from my mouth. I walk back to the computer and check my eMail – nothing. I wander upstairs and check the phone messages – nothing.

I pause on the stair landing and listen. I hear nothing. I don’t hear the quiet steady sound of the Bay breathing, I don’t hear the humming life of the harbour or the sound of steelbelts on the blacktop. The silence is not punctuated by a foghorn or the scream of a siren racing off to some distant emergency. I don’t hear the sound of another breathing nearby, I don’t hear gentle rustles from moving paper or the light tap-tap of fingers across a keyboard.

I move, not down the stairs but back to bed. To rest under heavy covers, to close my eyes and wait for motivation to overtake me. To hear the phone ring and reach in eager anticipation. To sleep. To hear the sound of footsteps on my stairs, unlocking of a door, steps winding their way to me, to hear clothes drop and blankets lift, to feel a body near me once more. If only in my dreams, to hear these things. If only in my dreams.


It’s a dreary Monday afternoon. It’s grey. It’s damp. Instead of releasing the promise of rain, the clouds loom low in the sky. I’m coughing, throat raw and having a hard time breathing on top of that. My appetite is noticably suppressed, the mere thought of swallowing makes me wince. There is a 10 pound rock sitting on my chest, making me work for every gasp of air.

Amazingly, given all of this, I feel wonderful. I had a lovely weekend, and didn’t realize until I sat down to reread the last few posts that I completely neglected to mention it… I had a long bit typed out, detailing what I did with my weekend. Reading it over again, I realized that it only gave the mechanics of the weekend, it didn’t convey the essence, the magic.

When you were a child, did you ever have one of those days, the days filled with magic? Where you were convinced the afternoon would last forever, where the sky was a perfect cornflower blue and the grass green and sweet? Where there were toads behind every bush, the ice cream man came on time and you had just the right money for your favourite treat, which he actually had in the right flavour? Where the gloaming extended for several hours, instead of just a few minutes, and as you stopped and stood on the pedals of your bicycle you knew, you were convinced that if you exhaled you would scatter the magic to the four corners of the earth and it would all end?

That has been my life, these last eleven days. Only yesterday, standing on pedals looking out at the magic in front of me, I realized I couldn’t hold my breath any longer, I had to exhale and then, then the magic would scatter to the four corners of the earth only to stay with me as a memory. But I couldn’t breathe and had to let go, had to exhale.

And when I was done blowing, when I inhaled and opened my eyes, the magic was still there.

Thank you for listening, for letting me face my fears and paint them into objects I can see and conquer. Thank you for, in the face of your own weariness and frustration, letting me cry and trying to understand what I was feeling. Thank you for talking to me, thank you for asking me to stay another night, and thank you for what you said on the corner of 2nd and Pike. I will gladly miss another thousand lights to hear those words from you again.

I love you.

Out On A Limb

Today has been interesting; quiet and contemplative, sad and frustrating.

We had a lot of fun last night; first went out and met some folks, had drinks and good conversation (and asparagus – lots of asparagus). Then headed out to Moulin Rouge night at a club – got dressed up as a French whore from the 1890s and had fun doing it.

S~ was there. That didn’t go well. Drunk, she shot me a nasty look when we were introduced; he disappeared to the bar, not realizing he’d left me behind. The minute he left she collapsed into a crying fit into someone else’s arms. The rest of the night she had a group of people around her, all gesturing at me, looking and pointing. Sigh. It wasn’t easy. The club kicked up my asthma and today has been rough for it, as well.

Today was mostly rough because we talked about B~. In fact, that’s where he is right now – on the roof, talking to her. She called last night while we were getting ready to go out – he became agitated and upset, refused to answer the phone but just got worse. I finally suggested that I was going to need 10 or 15 minutes to get made up, and perhaps he should call her. He did. They talked for a while, and I could hear noises of the conversation as I got ready. First, tense and then relaxed laughing on his part.

It was hard. When he got off the phone, we left – ended up starting to talk about it. About how I feel like I’m in a media blackout, with little information, only scattered things here and there. We didn’t get too far in the conversation; it was a short ride to the party. But the mood from it faded quickly…

I brought it back up today, though. I felt like it needed to be finished, that I was uneasy. Probably both because it was unfinished, and because last night was so rough with S~. We talked for a while, and I finally managed to spit out what was so frightening and upsetting. He has so often in this last week and a half mentioned that he’s just waiting for B~ – he’s waiting for her to get better, for her medications to work, for her to stable out. And once she gets that, he’ll be able to unpause things and continue with a serious, long term relationship with her.

He agreed that this was at least a hope, although not something he considered a reality (not much, anyhow), and why did it bother me? I realized that it was because when he gets that, that I feel I’m going to fall to the wayside. I’ll be replaced, put on the back burner, any number of other ways to put it. That I’m a spacer while he kills time.

He was somewhat taken aback that this is what I was hearing, and asked why – why couldn’t he have a serious, long term relationship with her and I at the same time. I simply looked him dead in the face and told him I wasn’t polyamorous – I’m not, not right now. I wish I could be, it would make some things easier. But I’m not. The look on his face was shattering; guess that’s [polyamory] what he had been hoping for. Really, I don’t know why. He told me when we talked about this earlier in the week that he knew B~ wasn’t, that she was just trying to make do until he decided to settle down with her. I told him then, and I still maintain it, that he will only be able to have a serious, long term sexual relationship with one of us – she wouldn’t stand for it, even if I could.

He didn’t understand, if I was so convinced about this, why was I here, what I was doing. Where was my hope? I told him then my hope. That I look around this place and I see where my artwork would hang, my clothes would lay, where I would work and read and play. That I see him and I laughing in a month as we’ve not spent more than a a few days apart, that we consolodate and try again, living together. That in August we laugh at the courts and pull back the papers, or that we go thru with it, immediately setting another marriage date. That we fall into and keep this harmony and fun together.

Swaying alone, out on my limb…

He didn’t see that hope, not when I was sad about B~ and him. Why should he see it then? Then, he’s focusing on her and what to do with that, and it shouldn’t be about what makes me happy or sad, simply about listening to him. And when I listen to him, I hear the caring and affection, what I would dare to call love. I hear how much he wishes she would stable out, that things could be the way he dreamed. He dreamed of her. I feel like I need to encourage that, that he chase that dream he had – isn’t that what I’m doing, chasing my own dream?

It’s all bolloxed and confused, it’s all twisted and turned inside. He says I take his words, that he doesn’t want a long term anything with anyone, that he is happy living alone, all of that, too seriously and firmly. I ask how else can I take it, except as truth? I have the moment to be happy in, and to cherish everything I experiance and feel with him. How can I not hear his words and accept them as the truth, at least for now? As much as this is about having fun and enjoying life, I have to have some layers some barriers some protection for what feels inevitable.

What feels inevitable? That he will hear what I said this afternoon, that he will see my actions, and realize he cannot give my hopes to me. That, as with S~ and less so with B~, he will agonize over how to tell me it can never be more than it is, knowing that upon hearing that I will be crushed. That he will wonder how to phrase it nicely, to let me down gently…

Or perhaps it feels inevitable that she will get her medications straightened out, and suddenly I won’t be invited over, join him at the clubs or movies or anything else. Because she’ll be here, he’ll be there, they’ll be building their dreams and romance together, and he will look at me in confusion and say “but I told you I was waiting for her, didn’t I, and now I’m done waiting and she’s ready for me…”

I’m not doing well, and on top of it all, I can’t breathe.

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a boy, there was a girl. This boy, this girl, loved each other with a firey passion that often exhausted itself in anger and rage. But still, they loved.

As the years passed, their passion grew and so did their anger and rage. This anger, this rage, it drove a wedge between them. Over time the small wedge became a larger gap, a still larger gully, then a large gulf between them. But in their anger and rage, they didn’t notice this gulf between them until stepping out to reach her, he fell into it. Upon hitting the bottom, he looked up and called to her, but she could not hear him.

Sadly, the boy realized there was nothing more he could do, she was simply deaf to his cries. He placed a small package on the ground at her feet and walked away, to see where this gulf would lead him.

Time passed, and the girl noticed that the boy was gone. The firey passion, the anger and rage, all… gone. Then she noticed the gulf, and the package down below. She stood there, looking down at this package for the longest time, wondering what it was and how she could reach it. One day while she was standing at the edge of the gulf, contemplating the package, a wolf came by. He stood quietly next to her and looked down at the package, then asked her what it was.

“My love left it for me, before he left.” she replied. “I do not know what it is.”

The wolf continued looking down into the gulf. Finally he asked her why she had not gone to see what this package was. “I do not know how.” she said, sadly.

The wolf and girl stood there, silent and unmoving, for a long time. The girl began to think about leaving the package there, alone, and wandering off. Things were calm, nice, and the wolf was good, quiet company. She mentioned this to the wolf one day, and he nodded wisely. Then, without warning, he stood on his hind legs and pushed her quickly over the edge of the gulf. She landed hard at the bottom, and looked up to the wolf with tears in her eyes. He looked back at her, and as he turned to leave said “you need to know.”

The girl sat at the bottom of the gulf, staring at the package. It had been so long since he left it there, it was covered in a light layer of dust. She picked it up, it was light and heavy at the same time. Blowing the dust off the top of the package, she opened it. Inside of it was her heart.

Once upon a time, there was a boy, there was a girl. This boy, this girl, loved each other with a firey passion that often exhausted itself in fear and hurt. And finally, this fear and hurt burned out his passion and as he left, he gave her back her heart, her love, her passion.

She held her heart in her hands and wondered what to do with it. She sat like this for a long time. One day, walking down the gulf, the wolf appeared again. He asked what she had in her hands, and she showed him her heart. “Would you like it?” she asked. The wolf smiled and shook his head. “It is not yours to give to me, you’ve already given it to another.”

Tears finally fell from the girls eyes, and she told the wolf that the boy had given her heart back before leaving. “Well then,” said the wolf as he licked the tears from her cheeks, “it sounds like you need to give it back again.”

“But what if he won’t take it?” she cried. The wolf simply smiled and pushed her to her feet. “Go,” the wolf said, pushing her forward. “Go and see.”

She stumbled to her feet, heart cradled in her hands before her. She set off walking down the gulf, following the path the boy had walked before her. Before long she found him, sitting at the edge of a pool. She stopped, unsure of what to say, and held her hands out to him, heart extended. “You left this behind.”

The boy looked up, startled. After a moment, he stood and walked in front of her outstretched hands. Looking down, he smiled sadly and said “No, I gave it back to you.”

“You can’t do that” she told him. “Only I can take this away, and I haven’t. It’s yours.” Before he could refuse her again, she thrust her heart back into his hands. He stared at it in wonder, and after a moment placed it away for safekeeping. She looked at her empty hands, and then remembered. Closing her eyes, she pulled out what she had been keeping safe for him, his own heart. “This,” she said, handing it to him, “is also yours.”

He looked once more at her outstretched hands, holding his heart between them. Smiling, he reached out to her hands and pulled her close to him. “That,” he said, “has not been mine since it became yours.”

Once upon a time, there was a boy, there was a girl. This boy, this girl, they loved each other with a firey passion.

By Any Other Name

Glancing over to the countertop, I noticed it but said nothing. Then I noticed it again, and then I began to feel bad for it. Laying there, it should have at least been in water – it looked pretty, and someone, probably S~ had cared enough to buy it for him.

“Shouldn’t you put that in water?” I asked.

“What? Oh, oh damn! I meant to have that set up, in a vase, for you. It’s for you.”

“Wha…” I walked around him and picked up the rose. Two toned, the outside of the petals were a creamy white, the inside a blush burgundy. Wrapped in slightly blue babysbreath, it smelled heavenly.

In over four years of knowing each other, this was only the third time Mars had ever given me flowers. I stood in his kitchen, rose in hand, arms around him, crying into his shoulder.