I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ comes

I have accepted that things change quickly and abruptly in my life, but sometimes it’s just ridiculous.

I came home on Sunday feeling something close to quaking joy over the weekend I’d just spent. By last night, it was all turned on its head.

It was weird to me to see Tam standing on my doorstep. He’d never come to Inverness before. I should have known something was wrong. I was tensed up enough already; Alec hadn’t answered his phone in two days. So that was the first thing I asked him about, even before what he was doing here.

“He’s left, dovekie. Left the city, certainly. Outwith that, I don’t know. He had no choice.”

Which explained why Tam thought it was time for a visit in person. Most of the time I hate having my Moon planted in Virgo (and in the 3rd house as a bonus), but sometimes it’s a good thing. Aries isn’t the sign of controlled emotions, but when I truly decide I’m not going to lose my shit, I don’t lose it. Not in front of anyone else, at least. (Pluto all tangled in that mess probably doesn’t hurt that, either) When I’m alone is better. So I decided there wasn’t going to be any shit-losing, and told him we should probably call it a day instead of drawing out the death. I’ve been here before: Triangles that suddenly find themselves with two legs fall over.

“So you’re trying to rid yourself of me before you even ask why he left?”

I told him what experience has told me, the hard way: When the center goes, the parts it was propping up can’t stand on their own any more.

“You think he was the center? You’re the only one, then. From where I’m standing, it’s still here. I’m looking at it.”

I told him I’d be fine, and I can take care of myself. That’s usually what I end up doing. It’s not such a bad thing to be able to do.

“Aye, and you can love yourself, too, and that’s good. But it’s not the same thing at all. I’m not going anywhere. My life isn’t…the way his is. I want you to do something for me: Come back to Glasgow. To stay.”

Oh, nope. “So when it all blows up, I can be homeless on top of everything else?”

“You’re not angry with me. Stop playing the part.”

I swear to you I’d belt anyone else who talked to me like that. Not him. “Fine. Then what about this being my house? I own it. And I love Inverness.”

“Do you not love me more?”

Ow.

“Why are you certain it will all blow up in our faces if you come to me there?”

I explained. It took a while. When we got to astrology, I literally drew diagrams.

When I was done, he waved at the pile I’d created. “Tell me what’s the part of it all that says it has to be that way every time and forever.”

There isn’t one, not really. But there also isn’t a part that says it can change, or how to change it.

“Then make one. I’ll help. You could find your own place. That wouldn’t make me happy as I could be, but it would be so much better than this.”

“You never had problems with this arrangement before.”

“I had them. I kept my mouth fucking shut. How do I prove to you that I won’t leave you if you’re not where I can stay with you? You’ve got to know how I feel about you. I know I don’t talk about it much, but I do. Just come and be closer to me. We’ll find out what it is we are.”

“I’m who I am, and who I am doesn’t live well with others.”

He chewed it all over for a while, then grabbed me and pinned against the couch. Oh…purr. I love when he gets like that. “You’re who you are up until it starts to scare you, aye? Then you back off just as hard as you can. Right, then. You are coming home to me. And you’ll stay. It’s where you belong.”

“And when you bail, too?”

“I’ll not. You’ll see it in time.”

“And when I flip out and panic instead?” The other half of the equation of my life.

“Then I tell you again you’re staying. And remind you why you want to.”

And then he literally slung me over his shoulder (<em.strong…*sigh*), carried me to the bedroom, and reminded me. In great detail. If only that solved everything. But I’m more than old enough to know it doesn’t.

It was the next morning before we talked about why Alec left. For his sake, I’m not going to go into details. I’ll just say this: He had a good reason, and he’s not in trouble with the law. For those of you who know much of my past, I am having one hell of a flashback; it’s just that I’m not the one who left this time. I decided not to lose it again. It just seemed too horrible, crying over someone else right there in front of him.

In the end, I made a bargain with him: I’d read with him sitting right there, and put the LWB in his hands so he could more or less read along. I’d ask Maman if there was any sense at all in doing this. And if she said in so many words that I needed to get it in gear and move, game on.

The answer was an unqualified ‘get it in gear’. No other information, just YES. He didn’t even need the booklet; there was nothing to interpret.

I keep my bargains. I’m not enthusiastic about living in Glasgow, but maybe it can be about who, not about where. Him, of course, but the unusual family I never expected I’d have, too. Maybe they can all conspire somehow to keep me from getting the city fits for however long I’ll be there. I’m not going to let myself harbor illusions about how long, not again; it hurts too much when the bubble bursts. Each day as it comes.

I’m scared, but I want to be with Tam for as long as we have, and I want to be useful to people I care about. If trading a city I like for one I don’t is the price for those things, it doesn’t seem too high, not really.

I had my cry after he left. A good, long one, with plenty of yelling and cussing. I’m going to be such a fun apartment-building neighbor. And then I got myself together and went out to Culloden. I had a hell of a lot of explaining to do. I’m leaving, and the man who apparently held the key to reaching them no matter where I am is gone. I didn’t sense any response, positive or negative. I don’t know what to make of that, but all I can do is just keep doing what I’m doing. Second-guessing is how I cut my own throat every time.

Mostly I just hope Alec didn’t know there were problems on the way last weekend. I’d rather think we all had fun with no idea of any of that. I want that to be how we said goodbye; maybe he did, too. And I hope he’s all right.

I’m ready for some guidance in all this. I’ve made my decision, but I have a lot of new territory to steer through, and I’d like some help. I had some trouble getting it, until I realized why.

I asked Maman for some further guidance, and got a garbled message, with cards that seemed to be in the wrong places. It took a couple of hours for it to dawn on me: I went to Maman for advice, and Alec was always her biggest point of interest in this thing. There was other advice to seek, and maybe who answered most clearly would tell me things, too.

I tried Brighid, and got a similarly jumbled message using a different divination method. Then I tried Kuan Yin. Direct hit.

She said to sit tight through all this change — physical and spiritual — to meditate and stay centered; the chaos will pass. She also counseled, as she has before, to remember that home is within me, not anchored somewhere outside me; home, in other words, is what I make it. She says the time has come to share my knowledge and skills to the benefit of others, and I know there are others waiting in Glasgow. Oh, and that I need to not overthink my emotions rather than feeling them. Again. Always.

She also reminded me of something, by another route: Whatever’s happened since, the poem I wrote before I came here was for and about Tam. I was writing poems for him before I even met him. Surely there’s something in that.

I know it doesn’t make any sense in context. It’s just a song I go to when I want to wrap music around me and feel snuggled by it….

(photo: card from reading, for illustrative purposes)

Three-Stack Yes/No Tarot Layout

Because I’ve put it to a lot of use in the past few hours (which I’ll explain when I feel up to that), I thought this was a good time to share another tarot layout I use often.

This layout is only for yes/no questions. You need to be very sure that (1) the question can be answered with yes or no; be careful of either/or questions, and (2) the question isn’t actually two or more in one (“Should I move to Outer Someplacia and take the job I was offered there?” is two questions; they should be asked separately.)

You also need a deck with four aces or their equivalent, that has 78 cards or very close to that; many more or fewer cards will skew the results.

To begin, state your question out loud or silently, as you prefer, and shuffle the deck. Then start a stack of cards, turning them off the deck one by one face-up, and counting them as you go. Stop when you turn up an ace or when you reach the 13th card without having turned up an ace, whichever happens first. Begin a second stack, starting your counting over from one, and going on until you reach one of the same two conditions. Do a third stack the same way.

Now look at the top cards of the three stacks.

No aces = absolute no, without qualification
One ace = no, with further information
Two aces = yes, with further information
Three aces = unqualified yes

Read the further information by interpreting the non-ace cards on the tops of the piles.

I add this twist, which is optional, but has been very useful for me: If on any stack you turn up an ace as the first or thirteenth card, the answer is yes — even if that’s the only ace you turn up. Continue making stacks until you have all three, and use the non-aces on the other stack(s) for clarification.

Examples:

No, with further information (Maturity is an ace)

Yes, with further information (Going With the Flow and Consciousness are aces)

Yes, with cat hair (Tycho is nosy)

(photos — original work; deck — Osho Zen Tarot)

Glasgow, gooshiness, giggling

Just a random gooshypost because I’m really happy tonight.

The thing I love most about having the guys in my life (okay, other than the truckloads of sex) is the cultural exchange. They took me to a concert this weekend, a band I like but never could have expected to see live in the US. Then I was introduced to my first munchy box. Dear sweet deep-fried mother of fuck.

(That’s a pizza box. Gaze in awe with me.)

We’re staying at Tam’s place. There’s an African grocery, of all things, about two blocks away. I went in this afternoon, went insane, had to call for help to haul it all back, and made doro wat for dinner. Considering the audience, I tripled the recipe and put in two cut-up chickens. (I hover protectively over my 14″ skillet at all times. Yes, I brought it from Inverness with me. I knew I was going to cook something this weekend.) It vanished. Two chickens, a full 3-quart cooker of rice (the one thing I couldn’t get my paws on was domoda), and heaven knows how much gravy. Gone. Neither of them has moved much in the past 6 hours, but they smile a lot.

While I was cooking, Tam went outside for something and I heard the upstairs neighbor say he could smell onions. I went to the door and apologized and said, “That’s me caramelizing onions. It’ll smell a lot better when the rest of the ingredients go in.”

He gave me a look like he was watching Eraserhead for the first time. On acid.

My biggest language gap thing these days is that sometimes things mean other than what I think they do. When Tam came back in, I asked him if “caramelizing onions” is Glasgow slang for some kind of sex act involving donkeys and teleportation. He laughed so hard, I thought he was going to need oxygen.

I’m still not sure what the look was for, but I did bring him up a piece of chicken and some rice and gravy while there was some left to be had. He broke it open and tried it right there at the door. I swear his eyes crossed. (Doro wat is really, really, REALLY good.)

Something happens to or around me every day that I never would have experienced if I hadn’t come here. Sometimes I can give a little of that back. It’s a pretty damn good way to live.

(photo: Wikipedia. By the time I thought of taking a photo, we’d already heavily damaged ours. Both of them. :) )

Catchers and crushes and concepts of cute, oh my!

My forever baseball crush is Mike Redmond, probably not anyone’s idea of a pretty boy.

(But a great smile, no?)

He was the backup catcher for the Twins for four years, and had a reputation for two things — being tough as a slab of granite, and being at least partially insane. Evidence, your honor:

1. Nude batting practice. He did it rite. (In socks and spikes.)

2. The game that did me in. Joe Mauer (then the Twins’ catcher, now at 1st) got hurt, and Redmond put on the gear and came in for him. He got injured as well; his hand was hurt so badly that when he came up to bat the next time, he dropped the bat after each swing, unable to hold it through the motion. He just picked it up and stepped back in the box each time, and refused to leave the game, as the Twins weren’t carrying a third catcher. He went on to finish the game.

That gooshy thing over there on the floor? My heart.

I like the backup catchers of the world. They don’t get the glam or the glory, but they’re usually damn good players, and that whole tough-as-hell thing is kind of a given.

Today, Chris Gimenez, backup catcher for the Twins and occasional relief pitcher when they need him to be, is playing. In left field, because they need him there. (They needed him to hit that home run in the ninth while I jumped around and yelled, too. :D )

(Great smile, no?)

That sound you hear is a crush crushing.

Alec says that explains a lot. The man who cheerfully describes himself as looking like a serial killer. Heavily tattooed, scarred, not what most people would call pretty, either. Absolutely at least partially insane. Strong, physically and in the ways that matter even more.

His assessment of beauty standards, when I was having a bad day over them: “What? I’m sexy as hell, and I look like I was hit by a train.”

That scraping, drippy sound you hear? Someone picking up that heart that was on the floor and pushing out the dents.

(photos: team photo library)

Wet

I enjoy writing abecedarian poems. This one started with one line that didn’t have a home. I put it in the appropriate place, and the poem grew up around it, made of a little gem lore, a little outright fantasy, and a little science.

Wet

Azurite, when wiped with a damp cloth, turns the perfect
Blue of the skies you remember spread out over
Childhood birthday parties and baseball games.
Don’t forget the law of the jungle:
Everything’s better when wet. Think of how you
Felt when you withdrew from me —
Glistening, sated and so much better than when you were
Hard and angry-red with unmet need, before
I took you in where it’s warm. And wet.
Just think: How much fun would a clay sno-cone be?
Keeping a red-eared slider in a tank of playground sand?
Looking at high tide on a sea of rush-hour traffic?
Molding surfboards to ride on goodbye waves?
No, they cry out for moisture in their milieu,
One and all. Lapidaries wet their stones so they can
Price them twice as high on the promise of potential.
Questioning the value of wetness never enters the equation,
Really, not for the stonecarver, the lover, or the stranded
Sea creature that is more brilliant in water and
Turns wan and faint in sunlight. Hurry. Hold it
Underwater again, watch it awaken and reveal a
Vivid secret life as rich as a virgin’s dreams.
Wetter is better. That’s science. Consider the
Xenotropic virus that comes from a world of burning
Yellow sand and finds itself unable to take hold among the
Zooplankton inhabiting the bathypelagic zone of the sea.

(2017)

(photo: Wikipedia)