Saturday, April 26, 2008

Straight Talk

Pour yourself another cup of … whatever. For it is time for old John-Michael to reveal more of himself than he ever intended. Not with any measure of unhappiness of regret, … just in comfortable statement of “what is.”

I awoke this morning with chest pains and muscle spasms. This is a “morning greeting” that I have not enjoyed since my years in an unhappy marriage. This difference today is in the fact that I can do something about it. And what is the “It?” “It” is the residual effect of emotional conflict.

I received two phone calls yesterday. Each was from a woman who had initiated unsolicited, but very welcome, offers of romance in months past. Each have, in the past, spoken of love and desires. Each, yesterday, laid their individual variety of “You are a phony.” and “I don’t think that you are telling me the truth.” on me. Both of these outlandish statements are born of the unwillingness of each individual to accept my practice of speaking in blunt, direct, and unrehearsed candor with them … and all others. The very traits that motivated each of them to burst into my private space with their declarations of affections and desires for intimacy, were now being thrown as javelins of accusation against me. It would seem that I am just too far outside of the accustomed “norm” to be credible.

All of this in my very present mind brings me to this … my private and personal “pulpit” with a message of clarification and definition. I will, first, make it perfectly clear that I pursue no personal “agenda” in my moment-by-moment relating to the world around me. To have an agenda, I would have to be seeking some benefit or the acquisition of something of value … for my Self. This would only make sense if I had some preferential inclination for my Self. And it is here is where the whole scheme falls apart. For, the simply fact is that I have no interest in laying up benefits for my Self … because I have no interest in the continuation of my Self. I have no desire to be here (in this form … alive) tomorrow. I have had no such interest for a good many years now. I have gone to sleep with the spoken and unspoken desire to not wake the next morning for many, many years.

“No way!” you would (as several others have) reply. “You enjoy life far too much to have such a wish!” I have heard. And you would be more than right. I do, indeed, enjoy life more than most who I am aware of. But that is a conscious commitment based on a deliberate choice. I renew that election with each day that is forced upon me. And I do have fun … I like fun! But the whole deal requires effort and drains my emotional (the source of all energy for those of my temperament/personality type) resources. At each day’s end I am weary and (in the absence of the one “restorative element” that would “recharge” me [a passionately intimate romantic relationship]) have no interest in a “repeat performance” on a day to follow.

“OK God,” I have often prayed, “bring on “Plan B” … am sick and tired of “Plan A.” Whatever You have in Your bag of tricks for whatever is next … is fine with my Spirit. I trust you to be Loving and Caring. So, let’s do it!” Thus far, the Heavenly response has been “Tough shit, Big Boy! Here’s another Plan A day to make into something good for whomever I bring your way. That will be your source of joy.” So, I accept (as if I had a choice) and throw all of whatever I can muster into doing just that.

So, you see, My Friend, there is no room for devising plans for self-enrichment or situation-betterment anywhere in that daily Reality that is My Life. How could I possibly be motivated to waste a moment in manipulating or deceiving when I haven’t the slightest interest in being around to “benefit” from such exercises? The idea is just plain stupid!

Now, enter the two women previously mentioned. One who is incarcerated in a set of immutable circumstances that hold her in a passionless and unfulfilling setting that prompted her reaching out through the “bars of responsibilities” to me. Seeking acceptance, endorsement, encouragement, friendship, affection, and yes, even passion, she offered her return of some of the same as inclined. From this less-than-sterling foundation, she launched her attack against my unbounded openness to and embracing of all who I encounter. “You are just a phony!” she railed as she stated her need to feel “special.”

The Other woman … when presented with the stark realities of this life of “Starving Artist” that I have chosen in order to free myself to pursue my life’s dream (as stated in my profile … written two years ago, when I started this blog.) … simply could not believe that I could be in a situation that did not allow fuel for my vehicle’s trip across the bay to be with her. “I don’t think that you are telling me the truth.” was her delicate way of saying what I heard as “You are a damned liar … and must have some secret reason for not wanting to be with me!” Well … that hurt my feelings. It wounded me. It bruised what had been an unblemished beginning to a potential “something.” And my baring my soul in defense of myself with presentation of the fact that I live on a mere $150 each week, did nothing to bring about any appreciation from her.

So, here I am … one woman demanding to be loved with a romantic passion exclusive to her, whilst she is permanently ensconced in a situation that denies any possibility of remedy. And another who is available, intellectually and emotionally attractive (whilst I haven’t a clue as to her appearance or the possibility of any “chemistry” that might occur between us [we haven’t yet met “in person” and though I have sent many recent photos, she refuses to send any to me.]) She has insisted that she desires all that I have to offer romantically as well as personally and wishes to reciprocate in kind. And both of these women are attacking me with the very elements of my Being that attracted them to me in the first place … my emotional availability, honesty, passion, and candor. And I am vulnerable to them, for what reason … a rational mind would ask. For the reason that my innate make-up … my core functioning … is instinctively predisposed to intimacy and romance. I have an insatiable hunger for that. Not a choice … a fact.

So, Dear Friend, it is here (no! … not a potty break!) that I must make clear the form and method of my processing of all of this nonsense. As an “INFP- Idealist/Romantic/Introvert” my mind must convert all of my life’s “Input” into some form of a “concept” … an image, picture, setting. Until this is done, I simply cannot “deal with” anything from mathematics, to art, to relationships. My mind goes into a mad scramble to form an image with the first bit of information on any topic. This not only presents a challenge in an academic setting (where the data being presented is completely lost until an overall concept of where that data fits into a larger picture is made.) But also in every relationship in my life.

And what do the conceptual images of my relationships with these two women look like? Well, we can describe my feelings this way … I allowed and encouraged the “structure” of Love to be built in each instance. And finishing touches to the basic construction were being made … fine moldings and trim (far short of paints, stains, and the like.) And as of yesterday … the power was cut. The lights are out. The unfinished work is draped … silence inhabits where frenzied work had been present. Echoes replace the sounds of music and lively voices. And an air of sad acknowledgement of disappointment reigns. So the “structure” of Love still occupies a place in my Being (in both instances … as in every instance of Love’s habitation throughout my past ... I'm creating quite a "ghost town" for my Self) but there is no Life in the structure. It is a mute space.

And instead of typing separate Emails, to each of these Ladies, today … I opted to take out the trusty Waterman, find my quiet corner in Micky D’s, and write this absurdly long account to be posted on the blog. I will then Email a link to each of them. And to any and all who entertain the thought of broaching similar concerns or interests with me into the future. This will be my “check here to understand how I function on this topic” document.

For now, I will accept this new day and give it all of Me … candid, honest, expressing Love when Love is felt; Adoration when it surfaces in response to some stimuli; and leaving nothing on the table for tomorrow. For I still prefer to hope that tomorrow is not going to have to be dealt with. And these considerations, as discussed today, are part of the reason for that predisposition. I will, again today, choose love and happiness over any alternatives. And, at day’s end, because there is still no “Significant Other” in whom and from whom I can restore my Self … I will, once again, fall exhausted, spent, and happy in my realization of all that is the best … while genuinely dreading another day without the Love and Romance that would make me want to see another day.


Anonymous said...

Michael, I know how you feel about being alone, but just know that you brighten my day when we have the chance to talk and you always know what to say when I'm feeling down.

Know you are loved and that the world would be a far sadder place without you in it.

Love Tammy.

aims said...

JM - it is obvious that the power above has something else in mind for you. And that something will come tripping down the lane and fall squarely in your lap - and laugh.

These women were not the ones - that is quite obvious. As they say - the right one comes along when you aren't even looking.....

San said...

I'm so sorry, John-Michael, that your heart is aching. You speak of love as a "Structure." That sounds a little, well, structured. I believe, like AIMS said, the right one comes along when you're no longer looking. There's magic and fluidity and surprise and then you claim it and build from there. But it's not always a finely honed work of art. More like a kid's slap-happy messy fingerpaint. Or a mud pie that somehow turns into a castle, a wonky one.

You know all of this of course. I just find it so hard to be quiet. Forgive me. You are in my prayers. I agree with Tammy: you are loved and the world would be a far sadder place without you in it. You're part of the magic that makes the mud pie of life!

John-Michael said...

My Dear and enduring Friend Tammy, You had better run when I see you in the warehouse in the morning ... 'cause you're gettin' a big ol' John-Michael kiss for sure! Thank you, kind-hearted One!

I have loved You for more years than either of us care to count.

John-Michael said...

Aimie(I am feeling more intimate and personal than nick-names do justice to right now [has to do with Your dear closeness to my Heart]), my darling Friend ... You caress my Spirit with the gentleness of your kind caring and sweet thoughtfulness. I am humbled and grateful.

Loving you is a privilege that I enjoy cherishing.

John-Michael said...

Fir your consistent generosity of gentle Spirit, I am constantly grateful, Dear San (be glad that I do not know your full name because I would be using it right now in honor of your full character and nature. [respectful and admiring smile]) i refer to "structure only to demonstrate the reality of a permanent "home" that i "construct in my Heart when I choose to love someone ... and I never dismantle that person's permanent place in my Being. It is always there ... ready to be re-inhabited whenever or if ever they wish to "come home." Those who I love always and forever have a place of their own in my Life. This is my chosen way (always has been.)

Some of the "homes" have been elaborately built from many varied experiences shared whilst others are alway a "work in progress." But my "conceptual mind" uses this "device" to fit the parts of my relationships into a recognizable place for my comfort in understanding. I hope that I have made some sense of that now.

And You, Dear San even have "reserved parking," [grin], 'cause I always want to encourage your visits with me. I love You!

debi said...

Oh Dear John, This makes me so sad.It is true that when you are open and honest that people have a hard time. I love the way you speak to everyone like a family member. I have felt very much like yourself in the past. I didn't wish to continue to be here either.But God has blessed you in a mighty way. You have a big loving heart. You have all these people here who really love you. Please be here tomorrow and the next day too. my love to you, debi

Just Joni said...

John-Michael, take a step back, take a deep breath and let love will...and it will be with someone you haven't looked for, someone who crept in when you weren't expecting have a gift, a sensitive approach to BEing and for all that entails, it means you have a responsibilty to your romantic self to ease up and wait for that worthy person who can reciprocate with sincerity and appreciation. Not wanting to wake up? I never thought I would hear you say that and if you lived closer I'd sit your little fanny down and we'd have a l-o-n-g talk about that statement...
I'm sorry you hurt, but somewhere there is someone for you and you are just going to have to be patient.
Ok, I'm take inventory of all the people who love you, hug your son, look in his eyes and know that there is a reason for everything and everything has its time...
many, many hugs,

debi said...

just joni, you said it best.

CrazyCath said...

Woah JDM!

I knew you were hurting somewhere and somehow. Don't focus on the negative. You are worth far more! And there is a time for everything as others have said. This was just not the right time, or the right people.

When we are open and honest with people, it makes us vulnerable. We show our weak spots in showing our sensitivity. I wouldn't have you any other way.

Unless you use my full name on this blog! Then you ARE in trouble! ;0)

You are loved. Know it and feel it.

John-Michael said...

I surely am glad that You, My Dear`CathDaughter, wouldn't have me "any other way" than the open and vulnerable that I have elected to be ... for I entertain no thought of change. (Kinda like You just as You are as well!)

Lovin' You ...

lime said...

visiting here from david's. i have been by a few other times as well i now realize.

i am sorry for the pain and frustration you are feeling. you cultivate a gentleness in this space and seem to have a real sincerity. it's so odd how the things that once attract a person to us seem to later repel them but it seems to so often be the case. i do wish for you the love and intimacy you desire. may the kindness you give be returned to you multiplied.

John-Michael said...

Debi, My Darlin', please forgive my tardiness in responding ... but laying this one "out there" REALLY did me in. It is still a bit tough coming back to even your gentle and caring comments. Please rest in the truth that I have no intent to willfully not "be here tomorrow." It is simply an abiding truth that I have had not so much as a faint desire to be here tomorrow ... far many, many years. But, you can be sure, as long as The One in charge of such matters keeps serving up new days ... i will capitalize on them and make more of them than any sensible man would expect to.[smile] Like I said earlier "I like fun!" (and I like making the whole ridiculous deal fun for everyone else in the process! [grin])

Thank you, Sweet One, for making your Self available for me to Love You!

John-Michael said...

Joni, My Precious, when I wrote this bit, it was in the awareness that everyone would echo your "I never thought I would hear you say that." But if I allowed You and anyone else to continue in not knowing that corner of my ever-present Self, i would be practicing "deceit by omission" and that would deny others who struggle with the very same daily challenge, an insight to, and perhaps an encouragement in, my own devices and mechanisms for dealing with that daily load. As always, I have only my integrity to offer ... and I will not compromise that. So, "it am, what it am!" (I do like the thought of your "sit your little fanny down and we'd have a l-o-n-g talk" though! That would be very nice, indeed [impish grin])

Thank You, Dearest of Friends. I rejoice in the heavenly Gift of Loving You!

John-Michael said...

My newest and most fresh Gift from the Giver of the best Gifts, Lime! How you have impacted my day is immeasurable. Upon my initial reading of your sincerely thoughtful and meaning-filled comment ... I have gone to your profile ... read your "Magic
" piece ... dried away a few tears ... jotted a few notes of a song inspired by your piece ... added you to my blog's side-bar to allow my Friends to know a new and marvelously genuine woman ... and back here to write this note to You. You, obviously, touched a beautiful chord in my heart that allows me to unabashedly Love You.

Thank You!

lime said... i'm all choked up myself at such a warm and lovely welcome. i am just tickled pink that a piece about my grammy would inspire a piece of music and if there is anyway you'd be willing and able to share it somehow it would do my heart good. no pressure though, i know some folks prefer to keep things a bit private as they create.

anyway, in case you are willing or able...

Sandi McBride said...

I hope this finds you feeling more connected, the power being restored...take a deep breath and let it out slowly...all will be well with you, I'm sure.

John-Michael said...

Isn't it strange how we have old "treasures" brought up from our emotional/mental archives, Sandi?! Your "take a deep breath and let it out slowly" gave me immediate recall of the USMC rifle range in Parris Island and standing ... sling wrapped around my 19 year-old arm, sighting on that distant target ... "take a deep breath and let it out slowly" ... squeeze. [smile] Omigosh! Such a long time ago!

I am comfortably well in mind/body/and spirit, Dear Friend. I thank you for your care ... and love You more for your BEing who you are.

John-Michael said...

Lime, My darling, I will return to your posting, re-read, allow the "place" to return, and Email you with the words of yesterday, with today's "enhancements.

This after I complete my job (that I am NOW running late for [I know ... but loving You IS my priority!])

Crystal said...

Are the chest pains just due to stress? Hope so, you take GOOD care of yourself! Hear me???

Your right, most women are unwilling to accept someone elses personality, in the way they speak bluntly or to the point. My feelings are like yours but, a little more colorful. Lets cut the crap and get right down to it. Here's what I want for my life and if you can't or wont accept that, move on....Now, how come I can say and feel anything in my head but not be more assertive with the guy i'm with?LOL! I'M WORKING ON IT!!

"For, the simply fact is that I have no interest in laying up benefits for my Self … because I have no interest in the continuation of my Self. I have no desire to be here (in this form … alive) tomorrow. I have had no such interest for a good many years now. I have gone to sleep with the spoken and unspoken desire to not wake the next morning for many, many years."

I use to feel like that to John-Michael. I wanted the ULTIMATE love of someone but time and time again was walked away from or not good enough, special enough or worth taking risks for. So, I do understand those feelings of just being "tired" of being here. The dispair I felt from you when reading that paragraph...

Sometimes I wonder why we have to work so hard to be happy, to get through each day being positive for others when inside we feel so negative at times. And lonely. I see all my friends in love or happily married and I wonder why i'm not loveable material too.

But, then I quit the negative thinking, put myself in a better light or situation and things really arent so bad. I read what Jen is going through and it rips my heart in two that she even has to go through what she's facing. Then I look at my own life and feel so ungrateful for who I am and what I have in my own little world. She is a fighter and has the strength of SO many in that little soul of hers...She really does humble me.

I understand what you mean when you talk about feeling emotionally drained. It's my nature to be one big ball of emotion. It's always a constant in my life. Always has, always will. I think it's how I percieve the gift of intense emotion though, that it can either be a blessing and help others or it can be a curse and hurt my Self if I allowed it to. Make sense?

As for these two opinion only...not good enough. So don't "settle" for temporary pleasure. If your heart is anything like mine it would do more harm than good to your Self. That's something I realised with the Matt thing. I AM worth the very best. I've spent my whole life being submissive and was "lead" by others, changing who I was to please them. No more. I am worth it and so are you. I think one of my lifes "lessons" is to discover the full meaning of patience. Wouldn't you agree?

Chin up dear friend, many are with you when I say that you are loved;o)

John-Michael said...

Crystal, my Darling, we share an obvious kinship in temperament and core aspects of valuing and appreciating life. You have articulated some of our rich harmonies, and your understanding is gratefully embraced.

I do, so love You.

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