Bisexuality, Butch Stuff, Gay, Gender Identity, Lesbian, LGBT Community Issues, Sexuality, Sexuality, Things Butch-Femme, Trans Identity, Transgender

Final Words on Labels

From Kim   “On a completely unrelated topic, one of these fine days, could you do a video on “labels” and the importance/unimportance of them (based on your opinions and perspectives)? I know you’ve said before that you identify strongly as “Butch” and use the label often, and many people within the community do identify with the labels “gay” “bisexual” “lesbian” etc. etc. Then there are those of us who do not identify with labels (myself included) that just are with whomever we are with, or not with, and we just don’t use them at all. Do you think society will ever reach a point where labels and “coming out” are irrelevant or unnecessary because all relationships and attractions will be completely normalized? I realize society has a long way to go before this happens, but what do you think the effects of that would be from your perspective?  I wonder if “labels” are a different issue or serve more purpose in the trans* and butch communities because there is such a spectrum? I’m curious because you would have more knowledge in this department than me–educate me! lol I am in no way trying to imply that labels are always a “bad” thing–I think to each their own, and if someone identifies with a label, great. If not, that’s great too. I personally don’t. But I’d like to hear your perspective of what you think society would be like if we weren’t always pressured to fit a label or stereotype, or fit in some box. I know it’s utopian thinking, but that’s me for ya! 🙂 I know this is kind of a lot to cover in one video; you might have to make it a series! But I appreciate your insights, as always.”
Ah,…my sweet young friend…you bring up “Utopian thinking” here.  And yes, it is quite Utopian! *chuckles*  For there to be a world without labels…that would be something to see.  How would we navigate?  How would I know who my people are?  How would they know me?
I know I’ve written about this before, but there always seems to be more, or new questions or ways to look at it, as in Kim’s request at the beginning of this piece.  She says she doesn’t identify with any particular label.  I would ask her how I was supposed to describe her if I were to describe her to a friend.  How would I identify the kind of woman she is, without using words to do this?
I did another fairly recent blog “Butch Femme Musings” on 9-8-14, (check under Butch Stuff in my archives here).  I take up a lot about labels and verbiage in there, take a quick read of that as well.  I also did the “Bread…an Anthology” vlog on Youtube about this topic.  And I’ve done others.  I’m burning out of ways to do this!  🙂
I don’t care if you are one who uses these convenient labels (i.e. Butch, Femme, Trans*, Bisexual, Granola lesbian, Dyke, Diesel, etc) or not.  These labels have worked their ways through the history of the LGBTQ movement from the very beginning.  They’re not going anywhere any time soon in my humble opinion.
I like labels because they give me a descriptor of the ‘type’ of person I am dealing with in the moment. Although some of these words have varied meaning among even those who identify with them.  My personal idea of Stone Butch, may vary slightly from the next person’s idea of that same sexuality and identity. I see Stone as my sexuality, and Butch as my gender identity.  I don’t see Butch as ‘just a label’, to me it’s WHO I am.  So my full identity…Stone Butch lesbian.  I explain it this way.  I am female bodied, and I prefer only women in my bed, sexually.  I am lesbian, but I am Stone, meaning there are limitations and boundaries with me as far as touch and approach go.  I’m not stone cold, I love to be touched, but I have my off limits zone just as my personal preference.  Other Stones could be more or less like me, some may allow intimate touch after some trust is built, some may not.  THAT is all part of the dance that happens between a Stone Butch and her Femme counterpart.  And every ballad is different.
I think that the labels in the Butch-Femme community in particular (let me take that perspective as it’s the one I know best and can relate to genuinely) are something that we not only use but that we find great comfort in.  Once I could allow myself to identify as Butch it was like the weight of the world left my shoulders.  I finally found a home.  I found a place where I fit, an identity that fit me and a way of life that I had been living all along was finally clarified and quantified to some degree.  And I love that I can see the Femmes in my community; and that they proudly call themselves Femmes.  It’s something I really like, a beautiful Femme woman.  In my mind those Femmes validate me as a Butch.  They are my equal opposites.  They have attitude, and they provoke attitude in me.  The interactions can be very intense.  Personally I really like that.
I do think that you are right that perhaps labels are more indicative to the Butch, Femme and Trans* communities.  We are far from society’s ideals of normal…I don’t even know if your “Utopian” culture of the future will be able to completely blend us in…for everyone to be the same, they would have to look the same, dress similarly, think along similar lines, and have very like goals and ideas.  B O R I N G.    I would rather live in a community structure where I knew who people were and how they identified.  and where there was lots of diversity and no two people were alike.  Perhaps it’s my age, being over 50 I am more settled in my ways of thinking and acting/reacting to things.  It’s so much easier on me to understand a person, and have better interactions with them too, if I know where they relate in the spectrum and/or binary.
Butches suffer the full time visibility issue, and Femmes quite often have to deal with the full time INvisibility situation.  Again equal opposites.  I’m not going to say that Butches are tougher than Femmes, because we all know that isn’t true….I know many fierce fantastic Femmes who are just as mentally tough as any pumped up Butch that I know.
When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I didn’t really care about labels, but as the world becomes a bit more complicated, and as we are doing most of our interactions through technology and on line now, it’s become imperative to me in properly communicating that I know or have an idea of someone’s base identity.  Then I have a better idea of how I will relate to them.  My interactions with my Butch buddies is far different than my manners and better conduct around Femmes.  I have some very good Femme friends who are great for advice when I get myself stumped.  Plus Femmes are generally pretty damned smart…and I think smart is sexy.  My Butch buds I’m not saying we’re not smart, hell we are all brilliant!  But our interactions are more about simpler conversations ….Stop!  I can’t go there or I will lose my Butch card for sure.  Classified stuff is what we talk about.  🙂
The newer words I am hearing a lot of now are Transmasculine and Transbians.  Maybe it’s not “new” but it’s being used now to describe those of us Butch lesbians who are electing to proceed with top surgery (like our FtM brothers) and who are easily confused with Transmen, but still identify as female and lesbian.  I’m sure there will be more evolution of the words and labels that we all use, it’s just how humans are wired….we have to know what to call things, people, ways, ideas.
I realize that some of the label stuff just gets ridiculous.  And that new stuff comes up on a regular basis.  Humans like to cause themselves problems.
There is now even a label for the Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists – TERFs….
And there are word/labels we have pushed aside now and think of as more derogatory – fag, dyke, Tranny – altough I will admit I use them all in my language sometimes.  (I also say fuck a lot.  Heh, whole other topic….btw I was told that intelligent people tend to swear more than stupid people…fact.  Probably because we get so exasperated dealing with the stupid people!  haha)
But to live in a world without labels…I would be interested to see how that will evolve, and no doubt at some point labels may not be necessary, but by then I think the gender boxes on our business forms will be growing in number.   The binary will need some check points – and border guards!  And we don’t even want to THINK about what will have to happen with the public restrooms around the world!
I want to take my own choice to identify as Stone Butch a little further here.  Because that’s how I identify, that my whole life is somewhat guided by the unspoken rules, I dare live as my authentic self, never altering myself to the atmosphere, but making the atmosphere accept me and my presence.  I go about my business daily just being me.  And if the world doesn’t agree with me, that’ fine, just agree to disagree and we’ll all be fine.  For the most part I personally find people to be inherently good, at bare minimum they at least mean well.  I have no problem talking to all kinds of people, and handling situations where I am often misgendered with skillful ease now.  I like just going about my business and not worrying about how people are going to perceive me.  I have a fairly well worn path around the Seacoast area, so many people know me or who I am.  I’ve not encountered much by the way of homophobia around my stomping grounds.  I think in all the years I have been here and back again, that I’ve had maybe 2-3 incidents of idiots.  Or kids yelling slurs at me from their speeding car.  Mostly for me it’s the misgendering thing that happens, and I CAN see what you guys mean when you talk about being treated differently when you are perceived as another guy.  Totally.  I’ve always hung with the boys and bois and they are sort of like my tribe now.  I blend in with them a bit better.
If I have to write anymore about labels and identity markers, binarys and gender identity I think I am going to throw up.  I have enough in this blog (200 posts!) and on my Youtube channel to answer with my perspective on this topic pretty completely.  Perhaps I will search out all of my blogs/vlogs on this topic and edit them down to one manageable article.  Time…it would just take some time.  Rock on readers.  ~MBbetruetoyou
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Things Butch-Femme

Femme Fatigue

In respect for my Femme friends….this article is great.
“It is tiring being constantly invisible: persuading bouncers that you should be allowed into your own community’s space. It’s tiring coming out only to be told you don’t belong, don’t look right, don’t fit. And it’s exhausting hearing other queer women’s misplaced defensive whispers when you dare enter queer spaces. I look forward to the day when a wider range of styles will be identified as “distinctively queer”. Where a distinctively queer femme style will receive the gay nod in the street. But I will not change my style for anyone who has too much of a closed mind to recognise all of our rainbow spectrum!”
I think that about sums it up, and I feel bad for my Femme counterparts who deal with this invisibility all the time….it’s not all roses dealing with being visible all the time either. Great blog! ~MB

The Gay Agenda

Queer spaces have always felt like home. From meeting like-minded people to not being on red-alert for the constant risk of unwelcome groping and everything in between mean that I feel safe.

But what isn’t fun is when we are made to feel like interlopers in our own spaces.

me at Manc PrideHappy Pride!

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Dang! I love this blog…I’ve been on the flip side of this EXACT Home Depot encounter…it’s always so hard for us Butches to distinguish between the suburban femme housewives and the suburban Femme lesbians….it’s the “invisibility” factor so to speak. This is a really fun blog entry by Femme Unplugged. Bravo. ~MB

Things Butch-Femme

Colts

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Butch Stuff, Things Butch-Femme

Goals..and 2014…

Usually people make New Years’ resolutions, not me I make them at like the end of February.  And it was about then this year started to take some interesting twists and turns…I started to go through changes and my thoughts were always full of things, so I decided to try to live the more simple route of making some basic “goals” to meet by the end of Fall this year.  Funny part is that they were 3 things that happened in the last 6 weeks or so.  But the preparation and lead up to them all was like they were all just meant to happen every step of the way.

The first was that I finally decided to go through with having the top surgery and I started pursuing the idea on June 5th with the first surgeon, and had the surgery by Aug 18th with the second much better surgeon.   The whole process and experience were totally positive.  I did meet one surgeon at first who I believe was severely homophobic / transphobic and who wasn’t real interested in doing the surgery.  Then I found a woman surgeon who I just think is great, she did a spectacular job and I healed up really fast.  I’m glad I got that done and over with successfully, and before Fall.

The second was that I wanted to meet more girls..be more social I guess, and that certainly started to happen for me I had a little fun flirting on line with a couple of girls for most of June and July…and then, not even expecting it, I met one woman that really has caught my interest very much so in August.   I really enjoy her and could easily spend days on end with her…we just have to work it in around some minor hurdles.  Now, at this point,  I don’t care to be talking to anyone else, just her…I so do need and want her in my life as much as possible.  She makes me feel good about life, makes me smile and laugh…yeah, she’s got me pretty captivated.

The third was that I HAD to get a new vehicle, with 4 wheel drive.  My old rat box truck, a 2000 Chevy S10 with a work box on the back…yeah it was very functional and useful, but it was pretty much at the end of it’s cosmetic life..it looked like crap and I beat the hell out of it, never cleaned it and used it for hauling everything!  So today I traded the old rat and got a GMC Envoy SUV, 6 cy  4WD, power / auto. in a silver or pewter color. It’s going to be my ride for the next 4 years, so I better like the damned thing. So far, so good.  And it is a nice looking vehicle.

Lately when I put my mind to things that I really can get them done, or make them happen somehow.  Call it good luck, or call it God’s will, or the way of the Universe…whatever it is it’s working really well for me right now.

NOW I am going to set my sights on winning the lottery or winning big in Vegas or maybe on a riverboat out of New Orleans….I’ll need a Lucky girl with me though….probably one who doesn’t like Vodka…that would be really who I’d want there…(don’t try to understand that last sentence, only one person will get it). Or maybe the Belize goat farming expedition…..yeah…

Seriously, I think that when I can find the opportunity to go to Belize and live and farm goats, etc., I would go in a heartbeat.  It’s this really weird drive in me to do it….but I can’t leave Maine yet…but if I do you’ll all know where to start looking for me!  Wonder if they have internet in Belize?  Satellite maybe?  hmm….    I suppose I’ll be living on solar energy…

In the near future I will be going back to work, hopefully with Home Depot again because I really like that job and working for that company.  I like it because it’s stuff I’ve been around all my life – construction and renovation stuff, lumber, nails, tools, and stuff…just good stuff.  Winter is coming on and it’s time to get back to work rather than be bored and hating the snow.  At least working keeps me focused, socialized and is a decent work out in there between all the leg work of walking that store 5-7 miles a day and all the lifting….ugh, my back won’t take too much more lifting, so I am going to try to get into the hardware and tool department….now I can sell some freakin tools!  🙂

Lori is leaving soon.  Somewhere around October 3rd.  We had a bonfire over the weekend, I had a couple of bonfires, so I don’t recall which day Lori came over…short term memory is failing me lately, lol.  Anyway, I was thinking that I am going to miss our conversations and the silliness that sometimes goes on with us.  We can crack a crude joke about just about any situation, and laugh our asses off over it.  Humor is one of my known personal defense mechanisms, I tend to use it to diffuse things, or to lighten them up from being so serious sometimes.  I can have a rather twisted sense of humor sometimes, so it’s not always good to take me seriously.

Then we had this Femme friend telling us this long and drawn out story about someone taking someone else for a ride on the stupid FB dating rollercoaster..omg we laughed, I kept whispering stuff at the phone….funny stuff if you were to hear it in relation to the conversation.  She was saying/complaining to us that “all her Butch did was drink beer and watch football on weekends”….I leaned over and said “and YOU are fetching the beers for her so she doesn’t have to get up, huh?”  Of course she was!!!  And she was complaining?  Hello!?  Of course that’s what her Butch was doing, now either there was some compromise, or if she’s like me Sundays are for football. Hey if you want to join me then great, but I’d really like to be parked somewhere – whether it’s home in my recliner or at the sports bar high top watching with a bunch of local rowdies, to watch the Sunday games.

Now, I have to ask/state the obvious here….

……there are at least a dozen Butches out there reading this right now saying “Hey, that’s what we do on Sundays too!”

So for this Femme to complain about her drinking is one thing, but to complain about 1 day a week of the good ole NFL, is completely another.  And maybe if you stopped fetching those beers for her, and chose to go off and do what you wanted to do or sat and watched with her – hell you might learn something and have a good time…it’s been known to happen!  I know many Femmes who are now also NFL fans because that’s how their Sundays are spent for 15 every winter.  Not such a bad way to spend a snowy December Sunday….watching a game and eating game food…falling asleep in the 4th quarter sometimes (if you aren’t watching your favorite team usually!) .   Can you tell this is one of my favorite things about this time of year?   And if I’m not watching the games on Sundays you’d best believe I am doing something either incredibly important or special, I generally don’t miss many Patriots games.  And to that Femme who was doing all that complaining – hey you could be dating some Butch who was into video games…now that would kinda suck even more because those are on all the time!

So yeah, I’ll miss Lori and her never-ending string of good stories, or how she seems to know everyone on Facebook’s lesbian groups pages…she’s kind of amazing in how she can navigate that scene sometimes.  She’s going to Arizona, and I hope her winter is a mild one there.

My buddy Suretta is moving in to Lori’s old place.  Which is terrific.  Suretta and I like to hit a lot of the antique places together and we have some really interesting conversations too.  But the conversations that I have with Suretta sometimes have more of a serious undertone to them than the silliness I have with Lori and I’s interactions.  I can definitely relate to Suretta on a more intellectual level.  We can talk war, politics, about LGBT stuff, gender bending conversations…or about antiques…the conversation just seems to flow with us.  She’s fast turning into a really close friend.  I’m going to enjoy having her here in the neighborhood.  As will Nola.

The Spring/Summer of 2014 has been a really good time.  Best times I have had in years actually.  I did so much, we had so many great parties and outtings over the summer.  And I changed my attitude, put together a plan of action and got it done…so to speak…let’s just hope that the rest of this year goes as well as things have gone the last few months.  🙂  ~MB

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Butch Stuff, General Blips

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Yes, folks, it’s a football kind of day!  Some part of Sunday afternoon football, wings, good beverages, and my recliner are all lined up for my relaxation and for some good old fashioned yelling at the TV screen about dumb ass plays and good calls!  I may not spend my whole afternoon inside with the tube, but part of it will be on for sure.  It’s too nice a day to sit inside and not absorb some of these great rays!

It’s one absolutely gorgeous fall kind of day outside.  The sun is shining and the air is crisp with September.  I love this time of year.  I pulled out all of my photography equipment today, going to get some fresh batteries for some of my cameras and pack the ruck sack for a trip out to do some early fall shots.  I haven’t done this in a while, see I put my best camera away, and I forgot WHERE away was…for a really long time.  During my tearing apart of my bedroom a couple of days ago (in preparation for paint and the new flooring) I magically discovered my camera case and viola!  There was my good Nikon camera!  Sans batteries – which I probably removed when I stored it so they wouldn’t corrode the camera, this is something only I would do.  I’m weird like that.

I broke out my flannel shirts this morning.  Yeah, it was 46 degrees F. here and a bit nippy getting out of bed this morning!  Thankfully it was only down to 62 inside the house or I would have been frozen.  I kicked on the electric heater to warm it up in here a bit, but after moving around for a while I didn’t need it anymore.  I love this time of year when I can layer my clothing…I’d rather have these temps than have the blazing sun and 80’s…I’m just not a Florida or hot weather Butch at all.  Give me colder weather, long johns and good flannel shirts and I am all set.  It’s almost time for me to break out the Chippewas – boots to beat all boots – with their insulation and warm winter feel.  I love those boots.

I also broke out my fishing poles yesterday.  Repaired some lures and lines and got them ready to throw.  I may even combine the photo jaunt with a trip to the dam to toss a few lines today.  Did I  mention that I love this time of year?  I know there are things I should be doing today but the beauty of the day just beckons me outside and my rambunctious attitude won’t allow me to settle into anything right now, so it’s a goof-off day and not a day of work for me.  It may even be another bonfire afternoon a bit later on.  Which reminds me that I got to go get some wood, because I burned all of what I had gathered yesterday with Nola and Lori.  We had a nice fire, filmed some Butch Bonding videos for Facebook and laughed quite a lot at life and it’s intricacies.  I’m actually going to miss that part of Lori and I’s relationship, the conversations that we have (when she’s focused!) are pretty cool.  Although I will always chide her for her ability to have 5 chat screens open at any one time, and be engaging all of them at once…amazing ability!

My favorite flannel shirt...

My favorite flannel shirt…

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Butch Stuff, Photos and videos

Post 9: Photos that depict my life Today

This little beauty visited me yesterday, it's supposedly a harbinger of good luck and love.

This little beauty visited me yesterday, it’s supposedly a harbinger of good luck and love.

mainelybutch

Just chilling out today, doing some introspective reflection on life.

Nola

Nola hanging out enjoying the Saturday afternoon fire we had. She’s my faithful buddy for sure!

maturity

It’s hard to know how not to hurt someone sometimes. I’ve cut myself frequently with the words I’ve written.

Butch…definitely unique.

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Relationships, Things Butch-Femme

Fumes…

Some days just suck.

Hey dear readers, I shouldn’t have posted that last post…and I took it down.  I admit that I’ve been a little on the snappy side all day.  Maybe it’s the paint fumes….

I’ve said before that I am seeing someone who I seriously care for and who has a super complicated schedule…I guess I just don’t quite “get” how complicated quite yet.  I shouldn’t jump so quick…but I am really over cautious sometimes.  I’m allowing myself to be a bit vulnerable here, and that’s scary.  I’m not good at guessing, and I need a certain amount of communication days.  I don’t want that to be too much to ask…and I also don’t want to be someone’s pain in the ass, or afterthought.  I guess that’s how I was feeling today.  It’s been a long, long week.  I need to just chill, smoke some weed and chill….good damned thing I don’t still drink! HA!

It’s a bitch allowing yourself to be vulnerable to emotion….this is why I have been really careful the last few years about getting involved or overly invested in anyone.  I want to believe that she is different; that she’s worth the risks involved.  I think we need to spend more time talking and together to get used to one another more.  But making that happen is like making ice in hell.  Sure it’s frustrating, but I can’t just turn off what I feel anymore.  So wherever this takes me, that’s where I’ll be.

I’m also used to a different kind of dynamic that calls for me to be more forceful and demanding.  I am trying like a mother fucker to not be that way with her.  Her other obligations don’t allow for it.  Typically I would be pushing for more than I currently am, time wise at least.  Hell, I’m going to figure this out, one way or another.  I can be a simple keep…it just takes a little communication.  I just need to learn what does me good and what doesn’t count.  I admit that I haven’t done this very much the last 6-7 years, so I am rusty at it and that scares me too.  I’m always afraid of saying the wrong thing.  Like that last post…I was wrong to post it.  I’m sorry.

I’ve been working all day on a project here at the house, painting my bedroom and preparing to rip out the carpet and put down a hardwood floor.  I hate carpet.  I cannot wait to get that wood down and not have to deal with the carpet anymore.  The Butch cave is a disaster tonight.  Stuff is everywhere because I had to empty out the room, save for the furniture, to get the painting done.  House interior and exterior painting is something that I did professionally for a couple of years for Painting Rose back in the late 80’s on one of my excursions in living away from Maine for a while.  I lived in the heart of Washington DC for about 18 months. (a whole other story I could tell!)  It was actually a job that I loved.  I did all the “high” work, probably because at that time I was usually high enough myself that the height work didn’t scare me.  I remember one particular gorgeous day on a roof in Alexandria, Virginia, just out side of DC where I lived at the time, and I was on the roof installing a chimney cap.  My whole crew and I would make up “painter’s rap” songs….I can still remember being up there and singing those dang songs with the gang below.  My rap skills are average for a white boi, but we sure had a lot of fun.  I can write a song or poem in a heartbeat….that was my skill contribution to the Rappin Painters…I’d write the songs and they’d put them to beats and rap them out.  It was a blast and is a great memory.

So anyway, the room is all ready to be rolled out…I spent hours cutting in all the way around twice.  Brush work was always my forte anyways, so it was like Zen work most of the day and kept my mind busy.  On my breaks from painting I worked on data entry for the Trans* Violence project.  Oh joy.  I had to incident report on a 16 yr old’s suicide at his Catholic school.  Kid killed himself after being harassed by faculty and other students…it was a tragic story.  It sickens me to have to input the suicides especially.  I can see how hard it is, I remember being a scared kid with a big secret too.  I don’t know what I would have done if I had been unfortunately outed in high school.  I expended way too much energy trying to hide.  Today it seems that kids reach for suicide a lot more frequently.  I find that incredibly sad.

 

 

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General Blips

My Mid-Life Crisis…Riding America

AngonBike709I’ve been asked to write about my buck wild running away from home episode from 2007-2011…seems there is some curiosity about what happens when a Butch goes wild and roams the country via motorcycle.

While I don’t think that conveying every detail is going to happen here I can tell you of people that I met and a few funny incidents along the way.

Long story short, it all started this way…I was having issues in my marriage with fidelity and sex.  I was basically in a sex-less marriage by the 10th year, but I stuck it out.  Then I got interested in sex and was so tired of not being able to be intimate with my wife – who had formerly been a real little sex freak at one time – Another woman caught my eye.  She then proceeded to give me the attention and things I was missing from my marriage.  It turned out that she and I fell really hard for one another and I spent a few months in southern Utah with her and her teenage daughter.  She completely rocked my world; taught me more about myself than I ever thought that I could know. She allowed and encouraged me to be the Butch that I was mean to be – which I was not allowed to be in my previous marriage – she encouraged me to be my authentic self, and I did the same with her.  Her super Femme energy just fueled me like a rocket.  I’ll never forget those days.  We had a lot of really good times and we were good for one another, but  I eventually left and never saw her again…it was in her best interest I do believe, she had a hard time with her kid and I wasn’t making it any easier as I toe a hard line with know-it-all kids.  We had a bunch of incidents surrounding the daughter, and her behavior.  And she didn’t care for her mother being with such a Butch lesbian.  It just got hard for me and I had to leave.  I do thank her today for making me a better Butch; one that respects her woman and can handle things in much calmer ways.

So she was the catalyst that began my “mid-life” crisis…or my run from myself as some would say.  I needed to figure out where I fit in the world, and I seriously needed to blow off some pent up energy and steam.   During my trips out to Las Vegas and Hurricane Utah I would fly out and get around  by car – always renting awesome model cars.  The Mustangs were my favorite of course!  Money was easy then, I had just split an estate with my ex and had plenty of cash to throw around.   I even took the girl to Vegas repeatedly and she brought me great luck on those Blackjack tables.  I even took her to a nightclub one night and we had an awesome time there…yeah, that was  a pretty formative period of time for me.  I don’t regret one moment of it.  I only wish I hadn’t left like I did.  That could have been handled far better.

I spent a many days while in Utah laying under the painted hills in Zion canyon writing….I swear that I have never felt closer to God.  There is just something magical and god-like about the canyons and the desert landscape in that part of the country.  I can still close my eyes and fell what the sun felt like on my skin, the pen felt like in my hand and how easily the words flowed onto the paper that day.  Yes, back in the day of notebook blogging.  I was also doing the photography gig full time then, and there were a lot of photos taken that day…just wish I knew where they were now…

I bought the new motorcycle in 2008. A Kawasaki Vulcan 900, Maroon and sweet as hell.  It was an impulse purchase…a very expensive one.  But I laid out the cash and was happy as hell for the entire time I owned her.  I would like to own another one someday, but it’s not a must anymore.  The bike was my mid-life crisis in some ways, it gave me the freedom and ability to just pick up and go wherever, whenever.

Riding those long and lonely highways, sometimes in the dark of night, sometimes freezing, and sometimes just rolling with the purr of the engine between my legs.  Motorcycles for me are a power high.  I love the feel of having all that power at my beck and call.  I like the way the grips feel in my hands, gloves or no gloves.  I like the way my body flows with the ride, leaning into the curves, and laying back on the straight aways.  I love the feel of the power of the engine between my legs…A good bike is like a good woman, you treat her right always and she’ll have your back.

St. Louis…I met a couple at a bar, had some really cool conversation and ended up out on their yacht with them the next day fishing and basking in the sun.  They were really cool, and I think she had a thing for me, but I didn’t misbehave.  Although I do believe her husband would have been right on board had I wanted to take the woman.  Straight people make me laugh.

State by state bucking the helmet laws.  My hair was longer, and thus was windblown most of the time.  I did don the helmet in the helmet law states, but I use a half helmet…the brain bucket type.  So it wasn’t that bad.  My eye glasses were another story.  By the end of my couple of years of roaming around my glasses were all speckled from road grit wearing them down.  I traveled fairly light, I had my ruck sack strapped to the sissy bar on my bike, and a couple of saddle bags packed with essentials like my computer and necessary items.  Being a conscientious biker I did wear my full leathers for the ride.  Sometimes it was a hot one, but hot is better than hamburger burns from hitting pavement on a spill.  Plus what decent looking Butch doesn’t look ubber hot in leathers???

I spent many a night in seedy hotels, hey when you travel by motorcycle you need to keep costs down too.  Some were better than others, and I developed a liking for Motel 6 – they leave the light on for me.  (ha!)

I came to a realization that states put in grooved road surfaces just to fuck with bikers.  I would hate hitting and trying to stay up right on those grooved pavement areas where they were doing construction and tried to avoid them if possible.  It’s like riding a bike on ice without chains or spikes.

I met a really cool dude at a rest area outside of Lincoln Nebraska.  He was driving a very cool Triumph and on a long journey too.  We ended up getting some hoagies and having a picnic in that rest area park, and just talking and laughing; exchanging biker war stories.

I met a couple of sweet women along the way.  Got involved with one for about 8 months in Arkansas (never go there!).  A very hot young girl looking for a Daddi….after I had enough of that scenario I moved on down the road, but we did have some good times.  I can be good with the Daddi thing for a while, but it’s not really my strength.  I’m a great partner/lover and haven’t had any complaints in that department, but the Daddi/girl thing I still need to work on I guess.  Maybe it’s just not something I am seriously interested in full time anyways, plus I always get a little weird with the concept and it’s semi-relation to pedophilia – something I am NOT interested in being associated with at all.  But, throwing that thought aside, it is a very fun role playing game when I am in the right mood for it.

I rode with an all black bike gang through the Northeast corridor of NJ and NYC…that was super cool.   Not a word was exchanged.  Just glances, eye locks and looks and nods of approval.  I came up on them in NJ, probably about 30 riders and bikes.  I merged into the lane behind them, then one waved me up into the group who were riding 2 and 3 abreast.  I got some thumbs ups on my sharp looking bike and they seemed to just accept me into the group no problem.  We rode about 75 miles together before they veered off into NYC and I kept on going up 95.

I saw so much of the country it was just astounding.  I love driving.  I love riding.  I love wandering.  I’ve got a gypsy heart for sure.  It’s been a real effort to stay my ass back here in Maine.  If I didn’t have this home that I have I might possibly be back out on that highway, burning it up.   I rode through several mountain ranges, from the Appalacians to the Blue Ridges and out to the Rockies…never were my eyes bored with the gorgeous scenery of this vast country.  The states I didn’t ride were North and South Dakota…just didn’t see anything I needed to go up there for…plus I am really intrigued by the southwest and spent a good amount of time there riding Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas.

Of course there are lots of little stories of happenings along my journey.  I can’t get them all in here.  It was on my bucket list, to ride America in the wind, just me and the bike.  And I did it, with gusto.   I eventually landed in Austin TX and put the bike up for sale. It sold really quickly and I was off to Arkansas for a while…wow…I have been some places and seen some shit, and done some awesome things…I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

But now, I have a new woman in my life -one who is beautiful, smart and just awesome to me – and she’ll keep me here in Maine for sure, as this is where she is too.  I want to continue to grow that relationship and spend as much time with her as I possibly can.  She really has my heart and that’s not something that I give very freely.  I haven’t had this feeling toward any woman I ‘ve been with in the last 6 years….since my divorce…so it’s kind of fresh territory for me and I am treading lightly to make sure it goes down the right path.  She exudes this kind of good-girl Femme energy that really super turns me on.  It’s hard to get back into the mode of interacting with someone on this level, sometimes I get nervous and slide back a little, but she always manages to relax me and helps me forget whatever was on my mind.  I’ve said before, she’s got a pretty full life, but I have to figure out a way to fit in there somehow.  I’m not giving up on what I really see as a great start to something that could really be good for both of us.  Thus far I really like the dance.

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