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Evan Peterson
6,365 followers -
Gyno-percussophiliac. (Time Zone GMT -8)
Gyno-percussophiliac. (Time Zone GMT -8)

6,365 followers
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(Writing prompts continued)

My current relationships. . .

At present I'm dating two people. That's all on the up-and-up: remember I mentioned being polyamorous in my "ten interesting things" entry. Both ladies are aware of each other and that I am dating them. I'm going to change their names here though because one can read this and it isn't my place to out them in this regard, so we'll call them Kate and Juliet.

I actually met each of them, at separate occasions, through the same larger social circle. We end up having a good many friends in common (though I encountered Kate over OkCupid prior to meeting but my greeting message was summarily ignored). We'll also remember from my ted things that I'm gray romantic? That often leads to me not really approaching people as often as other folks might, and so nothing really started with either of them until they approached me with interest.

Kate is younger, in her 20s. There's a lot of different energy that comes with that. There's also a huge lack of common ground between us. Between "she's too young for me" ageism and many fundamental differences (she has no kids, wants no kids of her own, and therefore often doesn't really get it when there are kid issues) I know that this is a relationship that isn't going to be a forever relationship. I'm ok with this. but I have to be careful that we're on the same page because I don't want to lead her on in that regard.

Juliet is a couple years older than me and we connect emotionally really well. We don't see each other as often as I would like; I'm likewise not her only fella, and we're both parents with complicated and complex lives, but there's no resentment about it. We get each other, we're really good at supporting each other. And even though we see each other far less frequently, reconnecting is always easy, and comfortable, like we really hadn't been apart at all. With Juliet I know that no matter the future, we will always be able to be close, close friends and I cherish her energy in my life.

There's someone else, we'll call her Charlie. Our time is ever fleeting and rare, but when we have it. . .it falls into that "wow" category I mentioned in my ten things. And I love that our time is ever fleeting and rare, because I think that's where the soul of our "wow" resides.

I don't really know that I believe anymore that there is a person or persons out there for me to spend the rest of my life with. I'm still trying to come to peace with that thought. I'm still holding on to some hope.

Beyond this, and beyond the love I have for my children, I have a deep platonic love for my friend Adrienne, who has been the closest, truest friend I could ever hope for these past two decades and hopefully for all those that remain.

"Grandma, can I have some juice?"

"Of course. You can have anything you want. Go ahead."

I scamper off to her fridge in search of my favorite thing ever: grape juice. I'm probably five, definitely younger than when I was hit by a car so six tops.

That jug of pure purple gold. I fill a cup and slurp it down. The taste is a little unexpected, not the same kind of tart I'm used to with grape juice, but still so yummy.

I probably drank down the entire container over the next hour. Not long after that came the stomach cramps and hours upon hours of diarrhea.

And this, dear friends, is why I don't like prunes.

10 "interesting" facts

1. I was ten years old. Father #3 might not have been the most abusive of the fathers, but if he wasn't it's only because my memory of awful fathers #1 and #2 is not as clear. He was really bad. I didn't even know what a poem was, but my school was lauding me for a poem I wrote (I didn't) and wanted me to read it to an Open House assembly. I wanted to do the right thing, say this wasn't my poem and I didn't know why whoever wrote it put my name on it (and a love poem? Eww), but at the same time that asshole KNEW (like, intuitively, not because he knew anything except how to open a bottle) I was a fraud and I really wanted to show him up--especially because mom was defending me. And so I claimed that poem, and I read that poem, what I think now was another kid's crush poem written to me. I stole their love, enjoyed all the glamour for it. And I felt so badly about doing that to whomever the real poet was that I became a poet in order to somehow redeem myself.

2. It was the mid 90s. It was techno music. It was (including my vocals) three Mormons. I have destroyed all but one of the evidence. I still love to sing, even with one lung down.

3. I have a form of flat affect where, beyond resting bitch face, I'm really not expressive of the emotions I feel. Unless the emotion is so much it's explosive (laughter, tears, etc), it doesn't really register in my face. People rarely believe me if I say I'm excited about something. Or happy. Or traumatized. In person I tend to be able to talk about these things with the same level of expression I can tell you about the weather. This HAS been improving though, and that makes me happy. Not that you can tell wink emoticon

4. I'm gray-romantic, which is on the asexual spectrum. It means I rarely feel romantic attraction. Many of my 'romantic' relationships are really strong/deep affectionate platonic relationships with sexual elements to them. But when I DO feel romantic attraction. . .wow. Just wow. I love easily and with affection, but rarely romantically--it's a distinction difficult for me to articulate. I'm also pretty militantly bisexual, which pretty much all of you already knew. I don't know about the whole gender thing.

5. What I do love is cussing at people in Hebrew. Thank you, Natalie Portman.

6. For most of the first 21 years of my life I was really devoted to being an artist. All the time, day and night. I have one of my favorite pieces hanging on my wall to this day. For no reason I can tell, I just stopped. The few times I've tried picking anything up to draw or paint with, the work has been a struggle toward mediocrity. All of my children are artists and I hope it stays with them.

7. Despite, or maybe because of, #4 I am polyamorous. I have never understood, personally, how someone could love just one person for the rest of their lives.

8. I can fill the house with onion fumes, everyone in multiple rooms brought to tears as the suphurous oils irritate their eyes. I am immune to this. They never make me cry. My mutant power. I'd rather fly.

9. I can be stubborn when I need to. I'm pretty confident force of will is the only reason I'm still here.

10. Synesthesia. Under stressful conditions I can sometimes hear colors. Yellow is the worst. I can also feel sound almost all of the time, which can be really overwhelming--especially when there are many multiple incongruous sounds hitting me at once.

I don't really know that there's any one person who truly fascinates me. There are a lot of people who inspire me for their ability to lead healthier lives, their mental fortitude, the way they treat others. And there are people I admire for those same reasons, or for superficial reasons like the way their butts look in Captain America costumes or their talent at stringing together the written word into interesting reads and make a career of it. But fascination? I can't say I know some ONE who fascinates me. But there are classes of people who fascinate me.
I'm fascinated by people I don't understand. People who vote against their best interests due to the dictates racism, religion, or classism have over their hearts.

Last year I had a weekend date with a guy I had been talking to online for a month or so. Over dinner I learned that this young, gay, black man was also a very firm Republican. I couldn't wrap my mind around that: college graduate with a hundred grand in student loans, black, and gay. And Republican. I can't remember the last time I met an actual oxymoron.

Fascinating.

Day 7: Tattoos.

I have a few.

1. I'm driving home from a department store and pass one of the local tattoo parlors, one that comes highly recommended by my friend Bandito. It's also a barber shop and piercing parlor with a heavy rockabilly vibe. I've been saying I was going to get a tattoo for years and for whatever reason, I suddenly decided that night was the night and I pulled up to the front. The place was set to close in two hours, and was only still open as a barber shop for the night. When the barber, who was also the owner, heard my story, he called his artists to see if any would be willing to come back in. One did, and a little over two hours later I had my first tattoo: a feather quill with a pool of ink and a shadow on my left bicep.

(the rest aren't listed here in any particular order)

2. "My mama said if I'd be good she'd send me to the store
She said she'd bake some Gingerbread if I would sweep the floor
She said if I would make the bed and watch the telephone
That she would send me out to get a chocolate ice cream cone
And so I did the things she said and then she made some Gingerbread
Then I went out just me alone and got my chocolate ice cream cone"
These are the words to the first verse of the Chocolate Ice Cream Cone Song, an old folky ditty that my grandmother Janet used to play for all of us on her guitar when we were little kids. She was the world to me, my mother in all the ways that count.

She passed away suddenly in 2008. On my left shoulder blade there is a chocolate ice cream cone. It isn't the most detailed or attractive of my tattoos, but it has so much meaning.

3. Down the inside of my left forearm, in descending order from the crook of my elbow to my wrist are the zodiac symbols for Gemini, Taurus, Virgo, Aquarius, Gemini again, and Scorpio. These are the signs for myself, my ex wife "Betts," and our children Lash, Aeia, Rael, and Tasmia. My next tattoo is going to finally incorporate some form of cover-up of the Taurus symbol.

4. Jack Knight is a character that exists in the DC universe of comic books. His story was one of generations, of family and the bond between a father and son, of legacies. With the complicated nature of my relationship with my birth father, this series has always spoken to me and touched me in ways that really highlight the loss I always felt not having a decent human being of my own to call father. It also informs so much of what I put in to my relations with my own children. Jack Knight has a tattoo of a griffon on his shoulder. It is black and has a "tribal" style to it with a large red circle in its chest, and a word written within the circle in Japanese kanji.

It was my second tattoo. The artist was still in his apprenticeship, and is today an artist who has a lot of renown and long waiting lists. Because it was my own drawing, and his early work, it isn't as beautiful as what he does now, but I love it (the kanji in mine was changed to the kanji for "poet").

5. Grace. I want to be a better person. This is a constant. I will never be done being a better person, being a more graceful person. Whenever I feel as if I'm drifting and want to remind myself of this, I get the word grace tattooed on my left upper arm (near the quill) in a foreign language. Right now I have it in French, Latin, Japanese, and Chinese.

6. I've long ago put traditional religious beliefs behind me and developed my own ethical standards and spiritual beliefs. There are two artifacts of popular culture that actually deeply speak to these same beliefs for me. One of them is a series of novels by Stephen King called The Dark Tower. On my upper left chest I have the series' "Ka" symbol encircled by a red rose and its stem, with the quotes "Stand and Be True" and "I Kill With My Heart."

All of these are shown somewhere or another in my photo albums.

Books.

A young boy, neglected and friendless, finds a father figure, a family, and a heroic adventure. A man riddled with inner demons finds his strength, love, and redemption. A woman with a broken mind finds peace, some healing, and the ability to go forward in life without being alone. The revelation that no matter where you end in life, what truly matters is how you got there and the relationships you nurture along the way. And a lesson in how your obsessions could cost you everything you love...but the universe is full of second chances and it's ok if it takes you longer to get your life right. This is what I get from the eight books of Stephen King's Dark Tower and these are the reasons I read it again every two to three years.

There are many books I didn't love. There are none that I outright hate, but among those I will never read again are Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey, every single novel written by Hemingway, and, minus Of Mice and Men, the works of Steinbeck.

I've been participating in a 30 Day Writing Challenge. One of the topics was Ageism and my thoughts on it. Here's what I wrote:

It's my experience that ageism is very rampant in our society, across most all age demographics.
My social circles include a lot of age mixing--from friends in their early 20s to those in their 50s and a couple in their 60s. It NEVER fails that some gathering won't include some patronization of the younger at the hands of the elder. It's easy, too easy, to discard a younger person's view because it lacks the lived experience of someone older. There are other things..."Oh that boy just makes me shake my head sometimes" is an example (one I'm too guilty of myself) of creating false hierarchies among our peers based on age which goes against everything to do with the notion of being someone's peer.
Along this same line, and this is one I experience from older queer white men, is dismissal of youth because they weren't there to experience the hard times--almost always in defensive dismissal of today's youth decrying today's problems.
Gene touched on another aspect of ageism that's still looming huge in our society, one I butt heads against all the time as well: the impossibility of dating or romance the older you become. Men want nothing to do with you as you get old (an ageism/sexism intersection!). Once I hit my mid 30s I may as well have put myself out to pasture--finding a date or ongoing romance with another male as a bisexual male is a veritable impossibility due to my age. It isn't just a same sex issue though--look at how Hollywood treats aging actresses vs aging actors (check out Amy Schumer's "Last Fuckable Day" skit). When a woman ages too much (40 is the canon death knell), she stops being held up as sexually attractive. Conversely, male actors can still be sexualized, and paired with much younger women, no matter their age because discriminating against growing older is all about the male pursuit of youthful sex partners. Jack Nicholson can be Helen Hunt's romantic lead in his 60s and get an Oscar nod; you won't be seeing Jane Fonda headlining any romances with Chris Evans any time soon.

I'm sorry to have ignored you this year, G+. I'll try and do better (which just means I will try more frequently to cross-post things I post elsewhere to here as well for the time being). It would be a lot easier to give you attention if there were an easy way to post to you simultaneously to Tumblr or Twitter.

Hey +Paul Was  , you're a rock star! Thank you for donating to my #Movember efforts and for changing the face of men’s health. You’re what making a difference looks like.

Post has attachment
Hey There,

Who doesn’t love a well grown moustache? Especially one that’s changing the face of men’s health.

It’s time for Movember and I’ve made the decision to participate in this charitable movement. http://mobro.co/TeamSlider

With the support of Mo Sistas, Mo Bros grow and groom a moustache over the 30 days of November to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health problems.

It’s going to be a hairy journey and I’m looking for friends to join me. I want YOU to join my Movember team and help change the face of men’s health:

I’m passionate about Movember because I am a two time cancer survivor and I’m facing a possible third diagnosis and it terrifies me a little bit a lot. I’ve also lost far, far too many of my dearest friends and family to suicide. Movember gathers donations for charities that work on both of these issues.

I’m passionate about Movember because they are working tirelessly connecting and funding the best scientific and clinical minds in the world. They are working towards two urgent goals: to fast track a time when no man will die from prostate or testicular cancer, and to rid the world of discrimination against men and boys with mental health problems.

You can learn more about the important work and impact the Movember Foundation is having at: http://us.movember.com/programs

We’re in this together, so get involved and spread the word.

Ev Peterson
http://mobro.co/TeamSlider
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