Thank you

From: Felicitas Fortuna

To: Seabiscuit

Subject: Thank You

[Name],

Thank you for being honest with me about seeing someone else. It hurt more than I thought it would. Kissing you before we said goodbye was a mistake. We should not kiss again.

It was cowardly of you not to tell me sooner, and it hurt that you kept it from me. That was not kind of you to hide the truth from me; after what we shared, that is what hurts me most. I couldn’t bear to ask for how long, but I will guess a few months from what you said. 

I am sorry I was foolish enough not to get it sooner. I told myself your lack of response to my emails was due to all the stress and family drama, and I tried to be supportive as much as I could. Now I realize you were a coward and did not want to face the truth and tell me the truth. I wonder if anything you said when you broke up with me was true; it does not feel like it. How could you say you didn’t feel you should be in a relationship and needed to work on some things only to start dating someone else?

The problem is not that nothing good comes of being honest; the problem is you hid what you should have told. You knew you should have told me, but you did not. I would not have flirted with you if I had known you were seeing someone else. I wouldn’t have kissed you either. I doubt your current girlfriend knows you’ve kissed me so much. Well, you better tell her when you break up with her. She deserves to know.

I won’t ask to spend time with you. I won’t invite you to any additional events outside of the plays already scheduled for CS and LCT. Those words you said, I couldn’t tell if they were meant for her or me or both of us: “You like me too much and want to spend too much time with me, and I want to be free.” Well, I get it now. I won’t waste my time.

I deserve better. I deserve honesty and kindness, as all friends should, and I do not see that in your actions. If you want to be friends, you will have to do better and work harder at it.

But you are free, for whatever that is worth. You are free.

F

The Craigslist Well

The Craigslist well of correspondents has dried up a bit. My folks across the pond have faced bad circumstances; Lord Byron will be out of contact for a full month. DJ MF has gotten so caught up in a nasty custody battle with his ex that I don’t hear much from him not. Prufrock is MIA, and I suspect something awful has happened as he used to write me multiple times a day. Lancelot hasn’t written in about a week (has something terrible happened or just busy with work?), so this leaves only Richard the Lionheart as an active correspondent. 

Richard and I have exchanged letters now. He finally received mine yesterday, and I await to see what he shall think of his nickname, for in my letter I told him what I shall nickname him. He dreaded whatever mythological nickname he suspected I had come up for him, but it’s a good nickname. I should hope he would be pleased, and I look forward to his next letter.

I recorded myself reading the poem I wrote most recently for Seabiscuit; the title is “Departures”, though it was previously untitled. I have sent it to Richard as we wrote about being curious about each other’s accents. He also has shared poetry, not his own, but some of his favorite poems by poets previously unknown to me. I have enjoyed the two he has shared so far.

I would say that perhaps it is time for me to post again on Craigslist, but I will be busy for the coming months and don’t feel I will be able to respond to people as quickly as I would like. Where shall I post next when I do have more time? Germany? Greece? Japan?

Don’t fall in love

I wrote Seabiscuit yet another ghazal, titled “Good boyfriends”. I asked the questions I asked here: what it means to be a good boyfriend, and what monogamy means.

He replied, “That gave me a nice warm feeling in my heart. I do feel like we have a strange and wonderful hybrid relationship, both platonic and erotic; virtual and real.”

We are both in the same world questioning things after being unhappy in our previous relationships. So we began our exchange last night, asking about each other’s fantasies and desires.

Later in the exchange, he replied that if we were to take things further in person, we needed ground rules: 

First, you must not fall in love with me. I came into your life on the winds from the Sapphire Sea and will go the same way.

Since when does making it a rule ever make it so? And why is falling in love forbidden? Why is that a terrible thing? How can love of someone you respect and care about be terrible? Even unrequited, it should be flattering but not a thing that tears a relationship apart and sends people away.

Also, is that rule a warning for me or for himself?

I have been writing another Brit (no nickname yet) about me and Seabiscuit. He has made some astute observations in the little information I have provided. He said it seemed both of us seemed to be holding back, but he couldn’t tell why. As I waited for Seabiscuit’s reply to my latest email, I wrote my unnamed British fellow that I suspect both of us are scared to lose this special, precious thing, whatever it is.

So a few minutes later, it seemed Seabiscuit and I were truly channeling each other. I received Seabiscuit’s email with the rule of not falling in love, and at the end of his email:

PS: Another fear I have with taking our erotic connection to IRL is that it would affect our e-connection. I like it. I sound like such a scaredy-cat with all this. But there it is.

So I find myself asking once more, is the warning to not fall in love for himself or for me? Or to us both?

Extending the Olive Branch

As my new Irish friend, Mr. Prufrock, described, I am sure Lord Byron was “morto” (Irish slang for “mortified”) upon realizing his error and grievious injury to Seabiscuit’s honor by calling him “Seabag”.

Though he did not apologize, Lord Byron seemed to extend the olive branch that way, though the circumstances were saddening.

Lord Byron explained he has not been well and not himself. He has slept little as he tries to comfort loved ones who are with great grief: his mother slips into depression, a friend who has lost the love of her life, and another friend whose 28 year old daughter is dying of incurable brain cancer. In an effort to cheer him, I sent a lovely photo Seabiscuit took of two trees and a poem I wrote about the photograph.

Lord Byron responded:
The photo is beautiful and the poem you attached quite the best you have sent me. I should also like to have seen a full length photo taken by Seabiscuit of you standing under the trees too…perhaps next time!

Thus, this strange adventure of two men  and this lady connected through Craigslist continues to become more intertwined even though they only know each other’s pseudonyms (though I suppose Lord Byron now knows what Seabiscuit looks like when surrounded by naked ladies.) We shall build our bridges across the pond together, and this tale shall be continued yet further. 

Seabiscuit had previously expressed an interest in experimenting with portraiture photography of women he has met through Craigslist as a new challenge to his usual type of photography (birds and landscapes), so I seized this as an opportunity for us both.
At my urging, Seabiscuit has agreed to this request. We plan to have a photoshoot next Saturday–me sandwiched between the same two trees up north, perhaps frolicking among the autumn leaves. Who knows. But I bet it will be fun, and I am excited.

Seabiscuits and Seabags: A Duel Over One Man’s Honor

I can be a bit mischievous. Quite, actually.

A few weeks ago, Seabiscuit, the master of selfies, sent a photo of himself with “naked ladies” and I wrote to Lord Byron about it with great amusement, careful to craft my words in such a way as to potentially cause a misunderstanding yet simple enough to protest innocence should that happen. I wrote:

Sadly no bird watching with Seabiscuit yet. He’s a bit too busy with all his naked ladies. He took a nice selfie with a bunch of them and sent it to me. Of course, now I see his face anytime I see them, and they seem to be just about everywhere here. Not sure if they are as common on your side of the pond, except maybe on Page 3…

Lord Byron responded with the following:

I do hope this finds you in the pink. Your friend Mr ‘Seabag’—if I may speak frankly—puzzles me. I cannot decide whether the tasteless vulgar behaviour you describe in sending you such photos is indicative of blind insensitivity, simple crassness or outright stupidity. Quite a problem! And then another presents itself—why would anyone such as your good self want to engage with such an ignorant prick? How puzzling is human behaviour!

I burst out laughing upon reading his email. Seabag! If only I could have a recording of him reading it in his posh voice–oh, how delightful that would be! I am unmercifully wicked.

In return, I wrote Lord Byron:

Oh dear! You have misunderstood the play on words. Naked ladies is (at least here) the common name of this flower:  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaryllis — don’t worry, no actual nude photographs here! Seabiscuit is the same who sent a photo of his “cock”, which was actually a photograph of a rooster. You are too funny in renaming him “Seabag”! That made me laugh.

In addition, I shared the exchange with Seabiscuit. A few days later, when Seabiscuit and I met in person to go bird watching, he still seemed a little hurt by Lord Byron’s calling him ‘Seabag’; he asked me to send the selfie to Lord Byron so that he would realize his grave error in attacking Seabiscuit’s honor. That request delighted me, and I was only too happy to oblige.

I emailed Lord Byron and attached the Seabiscuit’s selfie with naked ladies with the following:

Seabiscuit also personally requested that I pass along his photo with his naked ladies to show that you have gravely offended him and stained his honor in renicknaming him “Seabag”. (I told him about your confusion in the matter with the paragraph I wrote to you.)

I believe his exact quote was, “Hey, no need to be mean. Why can’t we all just enjoy the Mistress of the Sapphire Seas?”

Then I waited for Lord Byron’s response.

What does monogamy mean to you?

I ask myself that question.

I don’t know if I have an answer. Stability perhaps. I am sure some will same commitment–but only in one sense: sexuality. Is commitment in other ways more important?

I found myself falling heavily for DJMF, but is it just a raging-teenage hormones type of relationship? Could it be anything more? I so very much would like it to be, but it is hard to tell if he likes me as much as I like him. And there’s the whole long distance issue, which is not insignificant. The practical one and the romantic are always at war with each other.

With Seabiscuit, I don’t know how to describe it. Is there a word in English to describe this? I don’t think there is. I keep thinking about it, but words fail me.

He says that he probably would not be a good boyfriend for me. Why is that? Is it just monogamy? But do I care about that? And what is a good boyfriend anyway? Why the label? Technically, my last boyfriends were not good either.

Sure, there is an age difference: 32 and 55. But that does not bother me. I like him. We have had fun together in person when we went bird watching. He inspires me. He excites me. We have had meaningful conversations on hard topics. If I were to die today, I would want him at my funeral tomorrow. I feel close to him, and it’s different from other relationships and friendships that I have had. There is silliness and great maturity, honesty and great kindness.

But we both know you want and deserve a boyfriend.  Maybe DJMF or maybe someone else, probably not me.”

Why not?

A New Challenger Has Appeared!

Lord Byron, busy as always, has been writing less. (I was and still am flattered he looked for me and found me on Facebook–you naughty old chap!) So I’ve been trying to find other connections in the UK.

So, feeling blue after the whole Njal ordeal, I responded last weekend to a strictly platonic ad in the UK, that ended with these lines:

So….. What you waiting for? Let’s travel this journey and see where it goes.

All aboard 🙂

It looked promising. So I responded:

Hello,

I never thought of CL as a train so much as a sea of effluvia, given the number of posts one has to wade through to get to a real gem.

I’m not in the UK but across the pond. I’m here seeking companionship, hoping to make some friends. I lead a lonely life this side of the pond and have always found it difficult to make friends–I’m the silent wallflower/bookworm type. But writing! I enjoy writing, and that I can do. I live a life of words…

Perhaps you’ll write back, or perhaps you only are looking for folks on that side of the pond. Either way, best of luck to you and where the CL train takes you!

Warmly,

F

And thus our flirtatious exchange on that CL train began.

Read more

Njála – part one: Reading between the lines

Njal and I got off on the wrong foot. 

I had asked his age, and he had said he was 51. A few hours later, he emailed again and confessed he wasn’t 52 (I noted the number change) as he had said he was previously but several years older. He said he did not want to get me under false pretenses. 

The number discrepancy bothered me, but I was glad he came clean about it. It did make me want to ask more questions though, such as if he also writes to other women. He has such a deeply seductive quality that the thought of it made me jealous. He said there were no others. Our exchange became quiet as both of us had things to think about.
The rest of my Friday went poorly (problems at work), so I was not in high spirits. On top of that, I got terrible charley horses in the evening that nearly paralyzed both my legs with pain. I think one of our armchairs causes the cramps. I shall start avoiding it; that was no fun.

It should be no surprise then that I fell into a bluesy mood Saturday morning, having spent 5 hours the night before, until 3am, writing out the story of gaining and losing my friendship with Caleb (Caleb Saga, I called it), which I sent to Seabiscuit. Caleb had come up in an earlier email, and Seabiscuit asked something, so it seemed worthwhile to tell the whole story. It made me sad thinking over things, and there was a lot to reflect on. 

Then I slept little. I kept waking to see if Njal had written me back. He hadn’t. I knew Seabiscuit wouldn’t be writing because he was off on a family trip up north. My spirits were low.

I emailed Njal, but we couldn’t read each other. I couldn’t tell if he was being cold or distant, and he was misinterpreting my messages in the same way. We were reading between the lines and not seeing the same thing. It was starting to go downhill fast–wait! I don’t want to lose yet another interesting person in my life! 

I had held off on giving out my phone number  because it scared me; I tend to be very cautious and private. He had given me his number–but my mobile plan doesn’t cover calls to the UK–I know because as soon as I saw how bad things were going, I called my mobile company to ask. But with how this avalanche was going, I became more afraid to lose him than to give out my number. I bit the bullet and emailed him my number, saying I thought we both were misunderstanding one another and perhaps talking over the phone would clear up the miscommunication. Then I waited.

That Special Feeling

My coworker M was drinking a La Croix (they are all the rage these days, aren’t they?) It wasn’t a can I recognized.

“Ooh what flavor is that?” I asked.

M: Sandia! They do tropical flavors now.

F: Oh, damn but it has kiwi.

M: You’re allergic?

F: Yeah, my lips get tingly.

M: You know, some people like having their lips feel tingly…

F: I’m sure there are MANY things you love to have tingling—and thank god HR is not here to hear about it!

Measuring Intimacy

Text messages from this evening:

Phil: Long time no see

Me: Indeed.

Me:  I think I am falling for Seabiscuit.

Phil: Huh? 

Phil: Who dat? Specs. You date so much I can’t keep track.

Me: Lol, you have heard about him. The older guy, photographer.

Me: We have exchanged 90 emails now in 33 days.

Phil:Your metric for intimacy is rate of text/email exchange. I’ve always found that interesting. Not in a bad way mind you. Just interesting.

Me: I’M REALLY INTO WRITING.

He is right though. I do seem to think of intimacy in words exchanged. With Caleb it was texts. With all these men from Craigslist, it is by emails (and soon recordings–Lord, I can’t wait to hear Seabiscuit’s voice! But Lord Byron may particularly make me swoon with that special fondness I have of British accents and their effects on me.)

Despite Patrick being an idiot, he did get a few things right. He said once about me having an ethereal mind: “For you, words are real.” It is very true. They mean very much to me; it was always disappointing when I would ask J to write something for me and he never would. So it goes.

Now I’m just measuring intimacy in words–and how much variation there is in the quality I receive!