I texted my brother that it was good to see him and to have a safe trip home. I knew better. But I wanted to send that message and I did not want to actually call. To be honest my brother has an energy I have a limited tolerance for, and I didn’t care enough about sending that message to actually call. So I texted. Even though I knew the history of texts between us consists entirely of messages I sent before I remembered he won’t see them. The only reason he won’t see them is he doesn’t bother to look at incoming texts. His phone gets them; he doesn’t look at them. Upshot: No message from me. See you next time.
It’s only right to acknowledge that that “energy” is just triggering reminders of the sort of person I used to be. My brother, our father, and I were all of a type and as I grew up, out, and away I tried harder and harder to be someone else, someone less sophisticated and less risk-averse and less polite and less overwhelmingly intellectual and less tentative and so on. I largely succeeded, and I don’t like going back to being a Berkeley teenager, even if it is by now an imagined construct. So the upshot is this problem is entirely mine and not his and all he’s done is given me an opportunity to look at something I don’t like about myself so I can work on it. I oughta send him a goddam thank you card.
I recently attended an online seminar on building your career as a creative independent. It was sponsored by a local DIY space. I’m not a member but I knew another attendee. She said she knew someone at that DIY space who was swamped by work doing engineering-type stuff for other creatives, and offered to see if he was interested in sending some of that to me or working with me. A day later I was told he was not receptive. A day after that, it occurred to me it was probably this one guy whom I know wouldn’t work with me. Three years ago we were on the same project and long story short he took the artist in charge to small claims court and my testimony was not complimentary of his work. But the fact I had to redo all his work so we could get the job done wasn’t relevant to the case. She intended to pay him regardless — a contract is a contract — but was struggling to pay rent so put it off and that wouldn’t do so he sued. That wasn’t relevant either. Anyway, three years later and no, he doesn’t want me around.
Except that it turns out the person who wasn’t receptive wasn’t him anyway. Some other guy I’ve never heard of. So all that talk about being disliked and not desirable to work with for reasons I can sort of call out as bullshit turned out to be the actual bullshit. Some guy just wants to complain about his workload and not get any help. That’s not my problem. My problem is hearing half the story and concocting it into some other story in which I play the victim. Not, you know, a victim something bad has happened to, I mean a victim in the sense (we all do this) of thinking something happens because it happens TO us and not instead the truth that it happens either outside of our actual lives entirely, or FOR us so we can learn something. I oughta send him a goddam thank you card.
I went to a little “event” yesterday (partay!) that included a number of folks in my local burnery/artsy community whom I haven’t seen in a year or two. I wanted to go in order to get out and see people and not just to escape my brother. It was held at a gay bar where I’ve been to lots of parties (those places will let anyone in) whose sun-baked yard has a little swimming pool (I ain’t getting into that, no sir) and was all Pride-themed and that. One of the few people my age was a lady I hadn’t seen in a while. There’s a been a low-level sort of sexual tension between us for the past decade. I was never available. Now I am but I don’t really want to be. We laughed a lot for having senses of humor that naturally coincide. She’s an attractive blonde, too. But when the conversation steered itself from hot weather to my newly cleaned pool, she shifted towards, he-e-ey, maybe I could come use your pool soon. I was of course all gracious-host about it but in hindsight, uh, no, uh-oh. That sounds dangerous. I have always found it easy to get into a relationship I didn’t intend to and hard to get myself out again.
Her evident interest sets off little alarms that I can’t really identify; and that might be entirely imagined. For all I know she’d be horrified that I had any such thoughts. Can’t friends just have dinner and a swim? Of course they can. But no; I can see her pushing that romance button, and I know other women whom I can see NOT pushing that button. It’s all intuition hence unreliable — or is it? Sometimes intuition is all we really have. Not inviting her over aligns with my intuition — unless she ONLY wants to have sex — but no, wait, I’m not down with that anymore — but why not — but intuition — but gah dammit. I should be grateful for all this stirring up of my shit around sex and relationships and send her a goddam thank you card.
For the past couple years I’ve had a job of sorts with a small company where we upfit mobile police and fire command centers and the like. We decided to branch out into off-grid RVs. It’s similar work, adding various electrical and electronic enhancements to RVs, just that the private ones get solar panels and refrigerators while the public ones get server racks and extending camera masts (etc … lots of etc). But lately it’s become apparent to me that this new venture is not likely to succeed. There’s too much passivity in the management style. They badly need a project manager and don’t seem to be interested in having one. Don’t need one for the government work because that’s all pushed at us by agencies that know us by reputation and have budgets, and we just push the jobs through one at a time. A retail customer type situation requires a lot more internal drive, I think. I don’t see it happening. And no, I’m not going to install a new personality and become that person. Instead I’m trying to figure out more income streams. It’s a hell of a challenge, because I spent my life in corporate and now I have to be a multi-faceted contractor of some kind (see seminar paragraph above). I should be grateful for this passive push in my rightful direction and send them a goddam thank you card.
I took a Facebook break this morning and found that a young woman with whom I was acquainted perhaps six, seven years ago just died. She was a real beauty and a bright star all around. She was a highly-paid lobbyist (this is the capital, after all) and a Burner and did all the things party chicks with high incomes do. But then at some point she shut the wild times down, got married at the Sikh Temple, had a baby some time in the past year; and now this. I am aware that it’s a mistake to allow my empath self to take in the expressions of grief all in her feed but that’s a hard thing to shield yourself from. She was an absolute beauty, one of those South Asians your heart stops for, with dark shapely eyes and a broad smile, a high level of competence and professionalism as reflected in her career path, full of so much life and joy and fearlessness … and goddam. Just that. God damn..