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?

You are that Kind

Well past 200 emails now, my relationship with Seabiscuit has taken quite an unexpected turn.

It is a special relationship, unlike any I’ve ever had before. We are friends and yet there is this graceful dance between us, an artful, erotic tension ever present. He has a girlfriend, and my heart is captured by another man, DJ MF, across the sea, but still that attraction lingers.

He is kind. Even when his emails are disappointing (confirmation of the girlfriend, for example), there is kindness in it. He is quite thoughtful. I’ve been given an open invitation to pursue him should I ever want. Otherwise, he will treat me with respect and as a friend in person and allow our erotic tension to play out by email.

His desire for me was a bit intense, only fully felt and revealed recently in one particular email this weekend. “But we both know you want and deserve a boyfriend,” he also wrote. And that is true. He has been very clear in not being good at the monogamy side of things–not that it bothers me as much as it might have once before.

I look back at my poetry–so much he has inspired. He is a muse! He said his mother once wrote a poem about cutting his hair. I have no doubt that he inspired her as a child, too.

I almost feel as though this is the deepest friendship I have ever had–and from Craigslist! Who knew. And still he continues to inspire me, and that artist and muse relationship continues to kindle the tension between us.

To go from who I was 6 months ago and to what a person I have become!

In a few months, I almost feel as if a phoenix risen from some ashes. I am me, and yet it as if I have been hidden in a cocoon for far too long, and here I am now: The Mistress of the Sapphire Seas.

 

What it means to be Obese

I work in healthcare. I work in tech. I know what it means to be obese.

I know it puts one at risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The statistics are out there. It is not an easy problem to solve.

Doctors throw their hands up and say a prayer with little resolve

To tell their own patients the truth.

 

As a kid, I was always overweight. I know what it means to be obese.

I know what it’s like to be bullied for it – it’s a chronic social disease.

A doctor told me “You’re fat. Just lose the weight, and your problems will go away,”

and she made it sound so easy–as if I could fix it in one day.

I refused to see her ever again. I was thirteen.

 

Didn’t she know that I know what it means to be obese?

Did she think I like being bullied for being fat? Please.

Did she not think I too have already considered how life might be

to not be shamed, taunted, spit on–to not feel that misery–

all because I was obese?

 

When a friend suggests I ought to lose weight since I’m obese,

it’s hard not to be offended–as if I haven’t tried or am not trying to lose these

extra pounds. He says, “It would bring out your prettiest self.”

Thanks. As if the rest of me belongs in a cage on a shelf.

“You have to be honest to yourself,” he adds. Ouch.

 

So this is what it means to be obese:

your friends and bullies give insults alike with ease.

I don’t need more insults upon injury, assumptions about my life,

about what I know or don’t, am trying or have tried. Spare me the extra strife.

I just want to be loved and treated with kindness like everyone else.

Thirteen Ways…

I’m not sure what the scoreboard is anymore. The exchanges have become too many, too prolific, too many one-liners. They have also become incestuous. I am writing them about each other, so there is some rivalry going on–at least for Seabiscuit and Njal.

Seabiscuit, I would say, is still in the lead. He has shared two photographs that have inspired me to write poems about the beauty in the photos themselves. And he has inspired 4 ghazals now. I am very proud of the poems I’ve written that are inspired by his presence in my life. They are my best, I know it. We still have yet to meet. His weekends are busy for the next two weeks, so the wait continues…

Njal (thought maybe Don Juan would be a better name at this point) still writes some sexy, erotic poetry. I don’t think I will find anyone who can write better erotic poetry than he can.  Somebody get a hose–I’m on fire! There is some strange magnetic force between us, some dangerous attraction crossing a Translatlantic cable and the entire continental US to reach me. It’s probably for the best we’ve got an ocean of separation; the two of us together might be a destructive fiery force upon the world indeed.

Lord Byron, still trailing third. He write more slowly, but thoughtfully. I’m perfectly charmed by his Britishness. I also laughed when I read he’s enjoyed a few erotic adventures spanking younger ladies. He has shared his photograph; he is the most dignified, dashing, handsome older looking British gentleman you can picture, and picturing him spanking some young women in a BDSM dungeon in London greatly amuses me.

Learning of Lord Byron’s kink produced conversations with the other two about kinks, and whew! What a Thursday morning this was. Never thought I’d hear my name in the phrase “a Felicitas sandwich” in reference to a proposed threesome between me, Njal and Seabiscuit–and both men seemed to be really into it.

My life has taken a very interesting turn of events, indeed. I’ve gone from a history of rejection and neglect to multiple men wanting me at once. I am not used to so much attention. As Njal put it, “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, eh? Well, Cinderella, your time has come.”

Thoughts of You

Seabiscuit and I have exchanged 90 emails now. What happens when we cross that 100 mark? Will we finally get to meet face-to-face? Will we finally have dinner and go out on a date?

I have mentioned it a few times, but he always seems to talk about some other thing. I wonder now if he has the same worries that I do: what happens next? What if it doesn’t work out? What if the spark only lasts behind the veil of email? What if we lose this friendship we have started? It is a marvel to realize we have exchanged so many words in a little over a month. It was exactly one month three days ago.

In his last email to me, he said he liked the idea of reading to me and that “it seems intimate, like sharing a photo.” I wait now as he decides what he should record for me. He asked me for a few ideas. I said it could be a song (he has mentioned enjoying singing) or some of his favorite poems. I even told him it might be funny to hear him read the poem I wrote for him read back to me — surely, he would read it differently. It would be fun to hear the tones and inflections, what he would emphasize. It could have a completely different reading.

He mentioned one of his favorite poems is T. S. Elliott’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, and that is one of my favorites too. I am very excited about hearing his voice. I want to hear it before bedtime, before I sleep. He has already started to fill my head at that late hour…

Would I be a woman you would have an adventure with? Would I be a woman you’d enjoy sharing your time with? Could we be more than friends? I already feel myself falling — but then there is Lord Byron, who I still am getting to know, whose age remains a mystery, but is rather handsome in the photo I managed to peek at from his book. For all I know, he and Seabiscuit could be the same age.

I have written another poem while thinking about him; it’s titled “Thoughts of You”, but I keep this one, and its inspiration a secret. He will hear the poem eventually, provided I finish this poetry-CD project and send him one… will he know? Will he suspect it was written with him in my mind?

The Seabiscuit of San Francisco

Having hidden in the background for so long, at last he has finally made his opening to the forefront. That stud, that stallion pacing so softly but steadily, has raced his way to the head of the pack and is ahead by so far that it’s hard to imagine there could be an upset at this point. It should be an easy win, for the closest competitor is behind by a few leagues.

Seabiscuit has clinched the number one spot in the race. The score is 79, now 80, and Lord Byron, the most promising of the recent horses to join the race, is still at 12. However, Lord Byron did this morning send his completed manuscript of a novel that, while he had a literary agent, never found a publisher, so that ought to boost up his stats a few compared to the other leaders left on the scoreboard. I am looking forward to reading his work and laughed out loud once, just upon the first page. He sent it to me to keep me entertained while he is off to London for a week regarding a new publication of his (not the novel) and won’t be online.

I wrote a poem on the bus ride home today. I titled it, “San Francisco” and recorded it when I got home. I emailed the poem to both Seabiscuit and Lord Byron. I asked Seabiscuit if he would want me to send the recording over as well, as he did very much enjoy my voice before when reading his poem. He responded quite quickly; of course he did.

There is something wonderfully attractive and alluring to have someone enjoy my voice so much. He has been quite playful in his language back to me. I do believe we call this “flirting”. Still, I think both of us might be hesitant to go too far. We’ve had some lovely exchanges in the course of a month, and I’ve felt very comfortable talking to him more than to all the others. We’ve discussed a lot more variety of subjects than I have with others from Craigslist: race and racism, politeness in restaurants, others on Craigslist, and ourselves.

I was very touched by his thoughts on race and racism in his email to me this afternoon, responding to the thoughts on that topic I had written to him. It was a very thoughtful recognition of being a white male. (It could not have been any more different than Patrick’s email where his logic boiled down to “I have black and Asian friends and dated a Mexican girl once so can’t be racist.”) It was very understanding and acknowledging the issues that he is blind to by his own privilege as a white male. I appreciated the sincerity of it. I have found it is hard to talk to someone on the other side when it comes to race; hell, I even have moments where I raise an eyebrow to something my own mother says, realizing she has no idea what challenges her children face by only being half-white, and only one of us (not I!) passes for white.

Could this be going somewhere, besides circles in my head? I am very curious to hear his voice too. How attractive would it be? Would I find his voice as alluring as he finds mine, and hear that call of the Sirens in it? Would there be whispered words exchanged by phone?

I have been wondering and entertaining the thought for a while now of doing recordings and including them here, short podcasts of a kind, whether tales from Craigslist or reading my own poetry. But what is the proper length of a podcast? Can it be the mere introduction and reading of a poem? “San Francisco” is only about 30 seconds on its own. Would people listen to a podcast series that was only poems read aloud? Seabiscuit is all for it and says he would certainly listen to any podcast of Craigslist stories so that I can prove there are real women on Craigslist (ha!), and I’m sure he would as eagerly listen to only poetry too-whatever the Siren of San Francisco reads across the waves.

Lo! Listen to the Siren who speaks!

I am happy. I thought that, having not heard back immediately from Seabiscuit, the chances were good that he never saw my recording because it might have been filtered to junk or spam on account of the file. I sent him a quick note yesterday afternoon letting him know he should check there if he did not see another message from me because I had sent him a file.

He listened to it almost immediately and responded back within 15 minutes.

“You are a siren and a poetess! And so good to hear the actual voice of the siren on the rocks.  Perhaps good that I am tied to the mast here in the North Bay. … Lovely gift. I am honored and awed.”

 It is a present of its own to have a poem, and the performance of a poem, so well received.

Thoughts on a Don Juan named Seabiscuit

I went back through my exchange with Seabiscuit, rereading every email he sent. I think there was some romantic interest that I failed to pick up on. I find it terribly amusing that I missed it. How did I miss it?

I think perhaps I was always so focused on the others in the lead that I missed the underdog of the pack making his steady gains on his competitors who fizzled out in the first few laps.

Also, I realized that I may have misinterpreted one of his lines early on which led to my missing the signs later. He wrote he found a girlfriend on Craigslist–and I took that to mean he was currently with someone. I wonder now if he might have meant he found one previously through CL but that they were no longer dating. That would make a difference now, wouldn’t it? But I assumed he was with said girlfriend and approached our emails as just a friendly getting to know each other exchange, with no hopes or expectations beyond friendship.

While he is a photographer mostly, he does have some nice lines in his prose. He asked me to write him a poem a few weeks back, and I brushed it aside as friendly banter–is it as significant of a request as it feels it might be?

I have shared with Seabiscuit the many haiku I have exchanged with others. He has enjoyed them very much and always lets me know which lines he likes best. But it feels too late to write a haiku for him. Another form of poetry seems to be required.

But what shall I write, and what form shall it take? Sestina? Ghazal? Pantoum? Free verse?

It is a fine line to tread now. I like him–I like having a friend who writes back and enjoys my writing. Does a poem risk it all?

Interrupting a Kubla Kahn on 420

Despite the signs being everywhere about the significance of yesterday’s date, I admit I didn’t quite get why I kept seeing so many people acting funny and so much marijuana out in public.

We had a national conference of sorts for one of our remote teams, and my small team was invited to join their large team on a bus tour around San Francisco–one of those really bad tourist, double-decker type tours where the bus is entirely plastered with advertisements for Angry Birds.

The bus driver, Steve, was a better driver than entertainer. His jokes were bad, becoming worse with every cross street. It devolved into a painful kind of bad, and eventually his heartless commentary became the “I wish I could throw rotten tomatoes at you” kind of bad.

We had passed an intersection where a large cloud of marijuana reeked, and Steve joked, “And there goes a guy who is smoking his lunch.” Oh, Steve.

The colleague next to me rolled her eyes and muttered , “It is 420 today, Steve. A lot of people are going to be blazing today.” And then I went Ohhhhhhhhhh. Everything clicked.

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