Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pie for Porn

To steal a line from the poet "I gave her gifts of the mind." She gave me pie. I like to think I got the better of the exchange. After all, anyone who knows me in the illusion we call "real life" will quickly tell you that I am obviously a lover of pie, and they won't be talking about Maths. As a very disgruntled receiver of some fairly awful gifts, I try to do better with the few gifts I bestow upon people. I try to figure out something that will push the simple "joy of getting a gift" button, and I try to make it a gift that defines what they mean to me at the time of getting the gift. Sometimes that is a very, very tricky proposition. A gift that will tell them this is something you will enjoy because I've taken the time, and put in the thought to figure out the type of stuff you will enjoy. That is why I gave her porn, which I consider to be, broadly speaking, a gift of the mind.

To be fair it wasn't the DVD  of some donkey show in Tijuana that I may or may not have filmed (or made) while I was struggling to pay the bills in college. It was what she labelled as "antique" porn. Porn of the literary type. Porn that was written long before the Internet obliterated the written word as a way of delivering quality porn to a generation of awkward sods. It was porn that was commissioned by a "collector" some fellow who just wanted to have his own personal collection of porn to have a private wank to when he felt the need, and had the money to find someone to write it for him. It was written in the 1940's, and not published until after the author's death about 30 years later. It was written for a dollar a page, which I guess was close to the going rate in those days, and far more than I will ever earn for anything I write, pornographic or not.

Unlike the poetry that I had given her, this was not designed to help the wooing process. It was written by a woman who referred to herself as "the madam of this snobbish literary house of prostitution, from which vulgarity was excluded". I must confess that I read it a million years ago, and had forgotten most of it until I decided to gift it to her.  I casually re-read some of it, and was scandalized by page 5, it caused to briefly rethink the idea of giving it as a gift, but fortune favours the brave, and if she likes this, and I am fairly certain she will, then I believe we have a future in the gift giving business together. I mean all she has to do is buy me more pie, easy enough.  Sometimes things are just as easy as well, pie.

Not that she was in any shape, form, or fashion easy.  Like most things in my life, she was difficult like an unbroken filly that doesn't  have time for my usual brand of bullshit.  Headstrong, stubborn, and just a bit wild if given her head.  Nothing wrong with any one of those qualities, but taken together, they made things quite a challenge. Then again, I doubt I would have given her porn if she wasn't all three of those things rolled up into one very pretty package. She was a racehorse built for speed, and I was more than willing to see how fast and how far she could "run".  I am a fellow that  loves a challenge, even if I generally fall at the first hurdle. However, that is usually my own fault, since I am generally the one that sets the height of the first hurdle. There have been times in my life where I had to be coaxed over the first hurdle by brazen acts of obviousness that Mr. Macgoo would be hard pressed to miss.

She wasn't obvious or even brazen, she was as understated as a well tailored Savile Row suit, freshly made for a fat man made skinny by the worries of the world. Which was a risk because, since I considered her about two hundred miles out of my league, I would have never guessed her interest if she hadn't been clear. It is possible to be clear without being obvious, it just takes talent, and thankfully, she had talent. I would have merely wandered through my days in her occasional presence, clueless as to the potentially wonderful thing that was directly under my nose. Oblivious to the fact that this wonderfully talented woman was looking at me with anything other than indifference. I had shopped in the "eye candy" store before, and found out to my cost that sometimes pretty things are just more expensive, price isn't always reflective of quality, or something that I am willing to pay.

 Often times, new relationships (using the term very broadly) never really mature past what I call the "new car syndrome". New cars are fantastic, and you immediately want to show them off to your friends, drive it around town, test all the features, and generally treat it like you have discovered the cure for cancer. Well, you haven't, and it is best to not attach yourself too firmly too quickly,  because after a few thousands miles you start to realize it might be the exact cure you were looking for. You bought it, and it was wonderful, but you were so busy enjoying the new, that you didn't learn the intricate details that it possessed, and now suddenly you feel bored. Boredom, and over sudden familiarity are very dangerous to new relationships. The Scylla and Charybdis of the relationship pleasure cruise in a manner of speaking.

  However, people aren't horses, and they sure as hell aren't cars. Cars, if you possess the means, can be traded fairly easily, people are a mite more difficult. You can't just drive/walk them back to the lot, and say to the dealership you can have it back it's defective. People "dealerships" do not exist,and I doubt frog marching someone back to their mother would be an effective method for getting shed of them. Also, you cannot just stop making the payments, and wait for the repo man to come and drive it back to the bank. The "new" will, if you are lucky enough to stick around long enough, wear off, and then it becomes incumbent on you to have forged something more solid that just simple newness. Either that or you are back where you started which is alone.You just have to make sure, and making sure is very, very difficult, that you do not allow the new to cloud your judgment overmuch.

It will cloud your thinking a bit, that is just the way of the world, but the world, when it is not trying to kill you, has a way of evening things out if you are careful. And I resolved to be careful with her, many a relationship had foundered on the rock of my impatience, and that (at least) was not going to be an issue in this case. Patience was going to be required because she was fond (overfond in my opinion) of telling me that my odds at achieving the final goal were long at best. "Better than some, but still about _%" (that percent never left the single digit mark).  Long shots are fun to bet, because when they pay, they PAY, but the problem is they rarely pay. Either way, I resolved to at least put down my bet, and see how the race was to be run, after all she was lovely.  Lovely enough that, without even seeing her undressed, I told her she was in danger of becoming my muse. She replied that "muses usually wind up naked, and your chances aren't good" and then proceeded to tell me my single digit percent chance again. She liked to throw the occasional bucket of cold water at me, just in case my hopes got too high. I was too busy shaking off that cold water to reply that Petrarch never saw his muse Laura naked, but I also figured she already knew it.

I was merely hoping for her to become a positive muse, naked or otherwise (obviously I had my preference as to which). Too many times in my life I have chased what ultimately became negative muses. Some people would claim that I write my best (using that term broadly as well) when I am sad, but those people didn't have to endure that sadness, I did, and it generally was not the most pleasant experience.  I have, when particularly sad, made people cry with these lines, and even made a grammar Nazi cry, and forget to look for mistakes in a post, it was a very happy moment for me. The idea that sadness makes (for me) great prose is all well and good, but sadness generally sucks, and sometimes has an annoying habit of sticking around and making itself a general nuisance.

All of this is to say, that perhaps my massive readership of four might see some posts that pass as "happy'. Of course, happy for me is probably a little different from the classical definition of happy, but who's to quibble. If the quality of my writing declines, which I find unlikely, then I hope the reader won't begrudge me the reason. It seems more than a fair trade to me.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

You, of the Sixth Part

This blog is like most things in my life, neglected and in want of a retouch. It is a sad thing to realize that not writing becomes a habit almost as quickly as writing. The "I will do it tomorrow" approach rarely ends with "it" (whatever it is) being done tomorrow or the next day. Suddenly you find yourself on a streak of non-activity (whatever the activity may be), and you are in a rut of laziness that deepens with each passing day. There exists no real, definable reason for my lack of writing, I still have the occasional (for me) brilliant idea. I still compose lines, and blog posts in my head before sleep, and sometimes remember enough of them the next day to recreate them, I still can't type for shit, and my grammar is going to get me stood up against a wall, and shot by some local, thuggish grammar Nazi (of which I am honoured to know several). However, I have decided to take that first dramatic step, and attempt a new blog post for the two people (if I am lucky) that still read me, and hopefully still think I have something beautiful to say. Without further ado, and for your reading pleasure (I hope), I give you the latest dross that stuck around in my head long enough from last night's adventure in thinking.

You weave in and out of my life like some sailor made drunk by the combination of hard drink and dry land, staggering down the forlorn alleyways of my memories intent on the destruction of my sense of self. Granted, you aren't singing any bawdy songs, I've never heard you sing, but I doubt you have any particularly bawdy songs in your personal play list.  No, your songs are more melancholy, songs that are designed to make lusty men of every nation forget their happiness, and look out to sea, remembering all that it has taken from them. You seem to be content with your occasional berth upon the ship of my soul. Taking your rare turns at the helm, and seemingly attempting (with varying degrees of success) to steer it into the shoals of a personal disaster from which I would be unable to recover. You do this with both the ease of Picasso painting a picture, and the glee of a child turned loose in a candy store with a freshly minted pile of money that is dying to be spent.  You don't seem to mind the rain that your presence inevitably brings, soaking the sails, and making the decks slippery as a ski slope in December (at least in this hemisphere). It seems to invigorate you, driving you on to take even greater risks/liberties. Where the sailors before you would at the very least reef in the topsail, you call for more canvas, and steer into the wind causing as much havoc as you possibly can.

If there were torpedoes (and who's to say there aren't)  you would damn them like Admiral Farragut, and sail full ahead into whatever disaster that lurks just over the horizon. Disasters do love to lurk, hiding in the shadows waiting for people to make a wrong turning, and come into their wheelhouse. But not this ship, not with you at the helm. No, this ship under your malicious (it has to be malice doesn't it?) steers directly for those disasters, daring them to "come out and play" almost pleading with them to combine and do their worst. Perfect for you, after all, you won't be around when the actual worst hits. You chart the course, you ignore the warning signs, and you steer, purposefully into as many disasters as you can humanly find, and then "poof" you are gone. Like some incompetent magician performing a trick that he's never been able to get quite right, YOU disappear, not the lovely assistant that you picked out of the audience, but YOU. There isn't even the customary puff of distracting smoke. You just calmly, gleefully desert the wheel, leaving it spinning like a child's top and the ship lurching drunkenly towards whatever doom you've selected in your own mind.

You do this with the knowledge, and I would suspect the faint hope that, in spite of whatever disaster you have found for me, I will recover steerage, and sail far enough away from the storm you've found and/or created. You are convinced I won't be scuppered by the event, just slightly swamped, with just enough water below decks to slow, but not swamp me.  Certainly you expect that I will try to sail away unscathed, but that isn't a part of your plan. Just as certain is the fact that you won't be around to repair the damage. No you aren't a healer, you prefer to wound and then watch your victim bleed, content in the knowledge that the wounds you've inflicted aren't fatal, and positive that it will provide a learning experience for your victim. Victim is an almost fatally charged word, and I don't use it lightly. You would say, it you could be bothered to comment at all on such a triviality, that I am a willing victim. You might even say (with some small degree of justification) that I am more of a co-conspirator, a willing actor in whatever disaster we find. After all, you would argue, again with some degree of justification, that I allowed you to sail into waters too deep, and did it too soon. Knowing that neither I, nor my ship was ready for the deep ocean voyage to the lovely climes where the sky is just a bit bluer than it should be. You will claim that I am not a victim at all, but someone who should be standing in the dock beside you to answer the charge of willful destruction of his own soul.

Often as not your weapons are words, and you use them with almost surgical precision. Cutting away just enough flesh to make it hurt like hell, but leaving enough for the scar to form and not be too terribly noticeable. I think this is based upon the theory that, on the off chance, I find another pilot to attempt to steer away from you, they won't notice the damage until it is too late. Realizing that when they do, I will sail limply back into your port, sails slack and in tatters, asking for another trip to parts dangerous but at least semi-known with you.  Not surprisingly this has happened before, and since I am as predictable as a summer squall, you take out your sextant and beginning plotting me a course for those dangerous parts with the grim determination that would make Captain Ahab proud.

I remain convinced that eventually I will mutiny like Fletcher Christian, and put you, my own personal Captain Bligh into a long boat with just enough supplies to provide you with a slow death, and retake this ship that you sail around like a plaything, and sail it off into the glorious sunset without you. Without a glance back to check on your progress, or hopefully lack thereof. It is probably a bridge too far, and I realize that if you were to be piped aboard, I would allow you to order the anchor raised, and stand almost idly by, as you begin to chart my course into another purposeful disaster.