World AIDS Day 2018…My Day of Reflection

Yesterday was December 1st, which is designated as “World AIDS Day”. This year was the 30 year marker for observance of this day. HIV and AIDS have been around long before this day was designated to bring the crisis to front-mind awareness.

I was diagnosed in August of 1993. I had been in a “no-risk” space at that point for approximately 3+ years…so, I was infected in the late 80’s. I actually am one of the rare few who know exactly when and where I was exposed to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It was a one-time share of a needle, which was very out of character for me, but it happened due to the situation at that moment. I don’t know if it’s “good” or “bad” that I actually know my infection route. I guess it’s good in the sense that I never wonder “how” I got the virus. Yet, it’s bad in the sense that it makes me “blame” someone else in some ways, when it actually was entirely my choice to share that night and thus my own fault. I have always worked to take responsibility for my own actions and I made a split second choice that night that was the wrong choice and thus changed my life – or at the very least altered the trajectory. We never know what’s going to be handed to us in our lives, we just never know. 

In the 1990’s I lost quite a few friends in the height of the AIDS epidemic. Prior to knowing my own positive status I was working with local organizations to spread prevention information.  In the summer of 1992 there was a March on Washington (I’m sure that many of you remember) and it was one of the very last times that the AIDS Quilt was displayed in it’s entirety on the Mall in Washington DC. I was there that day; I walked the quilt with my best friend, Nancy. I was moved to tears over and over that day. Each of those panel represented someone’s life. Each panel is 3 ‘x 6’ in size, representing the basic size of a coffin. Every panel was handmade by someone who loved that person or even a group of people would together make a memorial panel. There was something cathartic in the whole scene. 

I vividly remember sitting down on one of the benches on the edge of the Mall with Nancy, taking in the enormity of the display. It covered the whole Washington Mall. Quite the feat of volunteerism to get it displayed with huge amounts of care and dignity shown by all of them. The quilt idea was borne of Cleve Jone’s incredible mind. It’s called The Names Project and is still in operation today. The quilt now travels in smaller displays around the country. I’m not sure how big it would be to be once again displayed in it’s entirety. I highly recommend that you visit the Quilt’s page and take some time to look it all over, reflect, learn and NEVER FORGET. 

The display that day brought my mind very close to beginning to think about getting tested myself. Up to that point I had not sought out testing for myself. I naively figured that since I hadn’t been using illicit injection drugs for over 3 yrs. and I hadn’t been sexually promiscuous with anyone who I thought of at that time as a risk, that I couldn’t possibly have gotten infected. That was pretty standard thinking at that time. We have learned so much since! I recall having a physical reaction as I walked through the miles of panels and I shudder to think that now the Quilt has more than doubled in size. It still gets displayed, in partial displays, around the world.

So, that was the beginning of me thinking about getting tested. Finally in July of 93 I got pneumonia and my then therapist urged me to get tested; just so I would at least know if there was any chance I had been exposed during my drugging days. So, in mid-August I visited the Feminine Health Center. I was paired up with a great counselor, Assiah, who interviewed me in-depth about my history and possible risk factors. Then we drew blood and it was sent out to the lab for testing. The whole process I remember cost me $25. But in my mind I was going to come back negative and those who kept urging me to get tested would shut up. The tests at that time took 2 weeks to process and you had to go back in person to receive your results. On Aug. 31, 1993 I went back for my results.  

I was taken into the private discussion room by Assiah. She quickly closed the door, spun around and said “You’re positive.” then burst into tears. I stood there stunned. I didn’t know what the fuck to do at that point. She was obviously upset at having to tell me this news. Come to find out, as she told me later, she had never had to inform a woman of a positive outcome before, only men. And the fact that I was lesbian and was HIV+ was very unique. Lesbians are known to be in the least-risk group for infection and were usually on the front-lines of care and prevention.

I remember sitting down and putting my head in my hands. I was super confused. I felt like I had literally been gut punched and was gasping for air. There was now an expiration date stamped on my forehead. Fuck. I knew this was not going to be a good experience; nope, not good. I asked for a second test and had more blood drawn for it, but I knew the result would still be the same. I now had to figure all of this out. I had to first tell my family, and I knew that would be the hardest thing. And I had to get educated; to learn how I was going to beat this beast within.

I have lots of side stories of telling various people in my life about my infection and how it related – or not – to them and our relationships. My family all gathered at my home at the time, and I told them all together. They, of course, had lots of questions, were very upset and concerned for me, all while bursting with love and support for me. Thank my lucky stars for this, I don’t know what I would have done had my family shunned me, as happens in so many instances. Things would have definitely turned out very differently had that been my case. I am super grateful that it was not, but I feel deeply for those who do encounter that kind of response – especially from family and close friends.

My life changed on that day. It was a definitively distinct change. I could no longer be as casual as I had previously been about love, life and living. I quit drinking immediately. I also discovered on that same day that I am co-infected with hepatitis C, a common hepatitis for IV drug users to contract. I had been an on again off again kind of alcoholic. If I wasn’t shooting hard drugs I was drinking myself into comas. Yes, some serious self-destructive behavior, I know. I figured I wasn’t going to live long at that point. Back then the average time between diagnosis and death was 3-5 years, sometimes a little longer for women. I just concluded that my future was over; I had no future in my mind at that time. But I was determined to educate myself and those around me so I could live as long as possible, as healthy as possible. 

So much has gone on in my life since that hot August day in 1993. Life has a way of changing continuously. We grow. We learn. We lose. We win. And life just continues to go on. I had been handed a massive challenge and there’s nothing that I like more than a good fight! I put my whole being into becoming as educated and informed as humanly possible. I began living a cleaner, healthier life. I learned to love those who loved me with a renewed fierceness and determination. I stopped being a total asshole and adopted a kinder, gentler way of conducting myself. And I fought. 

Today, I am healthy and doing very well. My journey hasn’t been so smooth sometimes; I’ve struggled with addiction all of my adult life. It rears it’s ugly head occasionally and it’s a battle to the death for me. I’ve had many, many good years; fun years and years full of awesome memories and tons of love. I’ve travelled, farmed, built, raised, and let go of things when the time came. I’ve had a couple of spectacular relationships that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I discovered real love and basked in it like a snake in the sun. I’ve lived a pretty decent life; being lucky enough to have access to great medical care and the cutting edge in medication I remain healthy and happy.

So, yesterday is my annual day to reflect on these years of living with HIV and to remember those friends of mine who didn’t have the good outcome that I’ve been gifted. I remember their faces, their voices, the laughter and the crying; every one of them beautiful and a gift to earth in their own ways. May they be dancing wherever they are. 

Peace ~ MB

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Twisted Tuesday

WavebyNelsonLinscottA mid-May Tuesday afternoon…I’m sitting here feeling really mellow and accomplished for the moment.  Yeah, I find myself in a really good place in life right now.  And I am dong all I can do to keep it this way for the long-term.  My attitude has definitely improved, as well as my outlook on life in general.  So much has happened in the past year, it’s difficult to put a finger on exactly when all this change started for me; I know that having Bones in my life has been the biggest enhancement for sure.  She’s the biggest reason I keep a nice comfortable smile on my face every day.  I like that – a LOT.

I’ve been struggling with writing lately.  What happens is that I get watching and listening to news pundits and my brain goes crazy trying to take in all that is happening in my country; with my government.  It’s just insanity.  Anyone who is trying to keep up with the daily tweet storms from the idiot in the White House is probably a bit stresses like me.  I’m an activist, it’s in my bones.  And I cannot just ignore what is happening; the destruction and degradation of the United States being done by one man and one party – the GOP.  Plus, ignoring what’s happening is not going to help move us toward any solutions, we all must continue to keep abreast of this “situation” and stay well informed so that we can speak out and stand up to his bullying ways.

I don’t care to spend this whole blog talking about his dumbass tonight.  I’d rather discuss other things, but I just wanted to remind you all that it’s all-fucked-up here in the USA right now, and it’s affecting everyone – even if they deny it.  Nothing is right.  Nothing is safe.  Every one and everything is being changed…and not for the good.

Work has been going great!  I complain a bit to my girl about my job sometimes; about a particular person I don’t like working with, but for the most part I really enjoy getting up at 5am every morning (except Wednesdays) and going in to work.  The truck stop is a really bustling place, with people from all over stopping in to fuel up their 18 wheelers, or their RV’s and cars.  We are also a full gas station, convenience store, and take-out bistro.  The place has shower facilities for those looking to freshen up from their long travels.  Yes, it’s busy.  We sell about 380 cups of coffee every morning…yep, 380….that’s a lot of fucking coffee!  🙂  Thankfully the coffee bar is self-serve!

I run into many of my local friends who come in to the store to pick up incidentals, fill their cars with gas, or get a pizza for dinner.  It’s nice, I can chat for a few minutes, get the gist of the local news from their end of town, and not have to visit overly long as I have to get back to my job.  I’ve been there 2 1/2 years now and I have no current plans to leave there any time soon.  Last week I actually scored a bonus from one of our product reps for doing a good job pushing their product line.  That was nice for my checking account!  And it felt great to be recognized for the work that I do there.  I know I only work part time, but I give it my all when I am there.  I am dependable, reliable, courteous, and friendly with the clientele.  It’s not rocket science work, but it’s steady and keeps me occupied part of every week day.  Working part time fits me well.  My back is sore – that’s a given – but I can deal with it.  And my co-workers know my lifting limits due to my back condition, so it’s not a problem.  Once in a while I try to work 3/4 or a full shift, but my back starts to really get back around hour 5, so I try to stick to my 4 hour days for health reasons.  Also, working early mornings gives me the whole rest of the day to deal with medical appointments, home maintenance, housekeeping, the dogs, and my gardens and other responsibilities.  Oh…and especially time to see my Mom at least once a week for a few hours!  So, yeah, work is good.  No complaints!

My girlfriend visited again at the beginning of the month, I may have mentioned that in a previous blog…hmmm…yes, I did.  I wrote about what we did.  Anyway, I miss her terribly in between her visits.  We speak on the phone a few times a day, and are in touch via text and messenger.  We Skype a couple of times a week – which I really love to do and look forward to doing.  Modern technology makes a long distance relationship (LDR) much easier.  Before cell phones and computers I would never have thought about dating a woman who lives in Texas!  And we are both very well established in our respective homes, so neither of us is moving any time soon.  We will keep doing the LDR thing, keep having visits, and make it work.  She’s stolen my heart…something I never thought could happen again like it did with her.  She’s magic to my soul.  And she makes me incredibly proud, happy and enthusiastic about life!  She’s also very low maintenance to me, she doesn’t give me a hard time about anything (except maybe smoking, even then she hasn’t been too bad…but I KNOW I should quit) and makes it really easy for me to be with her.  I try to reciprocate those same things to her.  I just want to be a really good influence, a good lover, and a happy part of her life.  As long as we are those things to each other then we’ll stay together as we are now.

So, Bone, my girlfriend, is returning to Maine in mid-July for a month!!!  YES!!! A MONTH!   I am really stoked for this upcoming extended stay!  She’s bringing her daughter with her.  Babycakes is 3 yrs. old and just a beautiful child.  She has challenges, but she lights up the room, and I love her to pieces – it helps that I am mad for her Mom!  I set up my spare room to accommodate the little girl, and before they arrive I am planning to paint that room and then Bones can decorate it as she likes when they are here.  Right now the room has a queen size bed, a dresser, desk and night stand.  I may have to remove the desk to give her a little more room in there.  We’ll see!  It’s all so exciting!  I have not lived with anyone in years, and not that we are going to be “living” together, but her being here a month is pretty damned close!

I have need for my own “space” sometimes.  I get into moods where I just want to be left alone to do whatever it is that I feel like doing.  Bones seems to be kind of the same, she needs her alone time too.  So, it’s good that I have the 2 bedrooms, and the back room that used to be my office is now another sitting room.  I call it the “Zen Room”.  I put a couch and coffee table in there and some plants and cool stuff on the walls, so it looks nice and is a really relaxing space.  We have plenty of room to do as we please.  Damn…I am so fucking lucky.

While Bones and Babycakes are here it will be the dead of summer, hot and humid I am sure.  My parents’ have a great in-ground swimming pool, which we will be taking full advantage of using!  It’s out away from their house, so we don’t even have to bother them if we go over and hang out around the pool.  There’s a pool house, bathroom, changing room and recreation area with outdoor games, too.  I’m anticipating a lot of great water fun with Babycakes, who really loves the water!  And I’m sure my parents will have some poolside parties, BBQ’s and the such while they are here.  I’m looking forward to all of that, and to showing my girl off a little.  (I’m bad, I know! haha!)

I’m also planning a trip up to North Conway NH to do some camping and to kayak a 7 mile stretch of the Saco River up there.  My siblings usually go several times during the summer, so I imagine we will tag along with some of them one weekend.  My youngest brother already has his 40′ RV set up at a campsite up there, so we have a sort of “base station” with that, from which we can go anywhere.  And there’s plenty of room on the site to either pitch a tent, or we’ll get a couple of bunks in the RV if they’re not all full.  The thing sleeps 8 people!  It’s crazy cool.  I borrowed it once to live up at the fair grounds while I was working an 11 day fair in Massachusetts a few years ago, made me want a small one of my own.  Maybe someday I’ll get more serious about that desire and look into doing it.  Wouldn’t travelling around with an RV be so wicked pissah cool!?

I can just picture myself doing something just like that: travelling coast to coast in an RV with my dogs.  I don’t know if I would sell everything big that I owned and do it, or if I would make it sort of a seasonal excursion.  That’s a chapter of life that’s yet to be written, but it’s on my list of things I would like to do!  I should do a new vision board…and that is something that I should put on it for sure.  Perhaps I will do that while it’s raining this coming weekend!

I’ve planted my flower gardens, as I do every year.  Those who have followed me, or who personally know me, know that I love to garden.  I like to put in new perennial flowers and plants.  I moved into this house near the beginning of December 2015, so like 2 1/2 yrs now…this is the 3rd summer here at this place.  The gardens were kind of pre-established when I got the place, and the only “new” one is the veggie garden out back that me and Charlie have (Charlie’s my neighbor who’s house is behind mine).  Charlie also has a MEGA garden tilled up on the top of the hill behind his house, it’ plateau’s and he tilled up a great big rectangular area where we are going to locate all of the vining plants, like squash and pumpkins, watermelon and some cucumbers.  Charlie also likes to plant gardens of cutting flowers, so he’s putting things that flower in among the veggies too.  Today I picked up some small starter plants from Walmart’s selection, which was on sale even.  I got: cucumbers, summer squash, watermelon, pumpkins, green peppers, red peppers (both the sweet style), jalepeno peppers, basil, lavender, and rosemary.  I think that’s the whole list…did that from memory as the plants are still in the back of my car, where they will remain until tomorrow.  It’s raining outside currently, and has been on and off all afternoon, so I am planning to get them out of the car and into the ground in the morning.

2018-05-20 17.05.00Speaking of morning….tomorrow is the “day” for Lulu.  Yep, she’s going to get spayed.  She’s over 3 yrs old now (turned 3 on Feb 17th) and it’s time.  I also will not miss taking extra care of her during her heats.  She would get puffy and sore, and she would cling to me even MORE than she already does!  Wanted her belly rubbed constantly.  (Like any woman…LMAO)  And she needed baths every few days during her 2 weeks of misery.  That’s supposed to happen again in June…so I am pre-empting this show…cancelled due to lack of interest, and the star has to have some downtime….LMAO….I wonder if she will lose interest in her “humpy dog” stuffed animal that she seems so sexually attracted to during her cycle?  Hahaha…it’s funny as hell, and while I DO have a short video of it -BECAUSE  it’s so friggin FUNNY! – I am not going to post it here.  I’ll  spare you the Lulu show!  Haha.  And for anyone who is now wondering…YES, female dogs DO hump!  I have had several and every one of them was caught doing it at some point.  Some are sneakier than others – I had one that would hide and hump – while some, like Lu, have no shame.  Hey, they’re mammals, it’s natural!  (Ok, I’m laughing to myself here….)

I picked up a couple of new coloring books a few weeks back and they’ve been laying here on my table ever since.  I’m thinking that I may do some quiet coloring – maybe with a nice soft background music from Alexa – after I am done with my blogging, reading and watching the final episode of The Middle.  (Yep, I’m a known sit-com junkie…haha)  I’m feeling great; very laid back and relaxed.  As long as I don’t tune into CNN or MSNBC I’ll be super til morning!  So, after sitcom’s are over I am turning the TV off for the night.  I downloaded a sleep sounds app and am going to try out.  Maybe something in the list will inspire me in some way.

I had a couple of major health check-ups over the last month.  I’m doing excellent still.  My T-cells are 970 and my VL is >30.  It even showing could be just a blip from the time or the day it was drawn.  I’m damned lucky and damned healthy!  I also met with the kidney specialist, we’re doing more testing on what’s going on there.  There are signals that my kidneys are diseased and/or weakening.  So, I’m drinking lots of water and waiting for my next appointment.  This particular doctor is very had to get in to see, she’s top notch and her services are in high demand, so I’m willing to wait. I will see her later June again.  And I’m having testing on my liver done (a scan) first week of June, meeting the doctor on that one the following week.  If that scan goes well, which I’m sure it will, I’ll be starting on the Harvoni  – an 8-12 week treatment – soon as I am able.  I’ve been dragging my feet on this drug for years.  The only treatment prior to this was by injection…and being a recovering junkie playing with needles isn’t something I should ever be doing.  Even with the animals it bothers me to use the syringe.  Gives me the willies.

Tomorrow I’ll be getting up a bit early, so I can get Lu ready for her trip to the vet.  I’m going to finish this up here.  I hope you all are doing well, staying healthy as possible and happy as permissible.  Haha…

 

Peace   ~  MB

“What can’t be cured, must be endured.”

TimeOnlyPasses

Crazy Spring Feelings

I get crazy for her some nights, that urge just won’t quit.  I lay flat on my back, which is how I sleep anyway, stretch out and try to imagine…oops, did I turn off the stove…? Fuck.  And, yes, I generally get up to check if that thought, or a thought about the heat being turned down crosses my mind.  After getting back up to check on things at least once, I settle into my bed, one dog laying by my side and the other laying on my chest.  This is how I sleep every night.  I’m a back sleeper, flat on my back.  I wake myself laughing quite often, and can manipulate my dreams if I try hard enough…it’s a gift I believe.

I got up this morning, turned on my computer and resumed watching a movie that I had started last night – before my eyelids wouldn’t stay open.  The movie was “Below Her Mouth” and is very erotic, sexy and one of the best lesbian movies I have seen done.  Generally when you watch any movie with two women getting it on it’s staged and done by straight men, thus it’s not realistic or true to form.  THIS movie was very realistic, true to form and a great depiction of lesbian sex.  Didn’t look fake at all, which made it even hotter.  So, if you’re looking to get yourself a bit sexually aroused this weekend, check out “Below Her Mouth” on Netflix.  I can just about guarantee you won’t be sorry!

The high winds last week got so bad one night that it blew my bird feeding station pole down, and it’s anchored by a piece of marble…so it has weight, but the wind was so ferocious that anything without deep roots was flying around.   Luckily, I only lost one feeder.  My finch tube feeder was crushed by the pole when it fell.  I just put everything back together and the local birds are now happily snacking once again.

Spring is very slow coming here in Maine this year.  It’s April 7th and it’s 38 degrees, windy, but sunny.  It’s just been a weird ending to winter for us.  Keeps snowing, about every other day we get snow.  None of it is “sticking” or building up; generally it’s gone in a few hours of sunshine.  But it’s annoying as fuck.

I am anxious for warmer days, sunshine and gardening!  I have even mapped out my property in planning out my gardens for 2018.  I do love my gardens, and being outside working in them.  Even weeding has a sort of zen feeling to it for me.  And I’ve been watching some DIY videos about prepping the vegetable garden soil for better growth and production.  I haven’t added compost to that garden since I built it the first spring I was in this house.  So, compost is being mixed in this season, so things should grow good.  And I am planning a long garden down the side of the trailer, coming out about 6′ or so, I bought a bunch of wildflower seeds and am going to prepare that area and over-seed it with a mix of four types of seeds: hummingbird attractor, flowering perennials, flowering annuals, and a butterfly mixture.  This next coming weekend it’s supposed to be warmer, so I am planning to do some outdoor work; raking, trimming and laying some stones I have procured from the nearby quarry.

April 10, 2018.

My girlfriend and I are doing really great, despite the distance.  My heart is really happy about this.  It’s strange to take such a big chance on love again at 56…I seriously thought that this part of my life was pretty much finished.  I never expected to meet Bones.  She’s changed my whole outlook on some things, and I was obviously very ready to make the changes.  I don’t exactly know where we are taking things, it’s complicated in a few ways.  She has a life in Texas, a business and a child.  Right now we are just trying to stay connected daily, enjoying the moments, and not making any future plans.  Living and taking things day-by-day, as they come.  She’s coming back in May to spend some more time with me.  And she’s bringing her daughter to meet me.  I am really looking forward to this next visit!

I’ve really gone out on a limb with this woman.  I’m pleasantly surprised at how well things are going and how deeply she’s affected me.  I’m allowing her past many walls and letting her through the barriers to my heart.  It’s been scary, but worth every wince. She just looks at me and I melt into a puddle inside…the feeling is outrageously delicious.  I long for her touch when we are apart; and I know she’s feeling it too.  That’s the best part.  I feel for people who settle for anything less than this feeling, it’s the best feeling in the world to connect with another person on this level of depth, emotionally, physically and sexually, it’s just phenomenal.

I have opened a new website for anyone interested in Butch-femme connections and conversation.  It’s just getting off the ground.  It’s a membership only site where you join up and create a profile.  I am going to link it here in this post.  Anyone who would like to contribute, participate or even just lurk around until they feel more comfortable, is welcome to join.  The site has been created for women who prescribe to the Butch-femme dynamic mostly, but there are forums for other things as well such as LGBT news and articles.  The site is called Butch-Femme-Perspectives.  Please join me!  I feel that with some effort on all of our parts we can make the site pretty damned cool!  We’ll add and subtract from it as necessary, creating our own unique safe place on the web.

Alrighty, let me wrap this up.  The day is burning away, I need to get some things done outside and am lingering inside just waiting for it to warm up a tad.  Hell..I could be waiting til Thursday at this rate!  Haha…

What does your week hold in store for you?  Any great things happening?  What are you looking forward to?

Peace.    ~MB

 

 

 

Butch Desire

Butch desire is to fem hunger what peanut butter is to jelly; what ying is to yang.

I recently read a really GREAT blog about “hunger”; specifically fem hunger. You can read it here, which is my previous cross post about this blog, and will connect you with this wonderful blogger. The writer is a fantastic femme, who writes with elegance and ease about this topic and many others concerning Butch-fem relationships and dynamics. As with anyone, I don’t always agree with her, but I have found that she quite often stimulates me to write more!  I truly value her opinions and perspectives.

This article she wrote about fem hunger has made me think much about what it is that I, as a Butch who desires that fem hunger, feel and how I respond to that hunger.

Butch desire is the deep, almost primal, need a Butch feels when acknowledged by a femme. It’s the riveting eye contact that conveys the message that they want more; they want to take it all. Butch desire runs deep in the body, and is activated like an electrical current, making the heart race and the breath come in heavy sighs. It’s that desire to be wanted and needed exactly as I am – Butch and proud – not to be told to “tone it down” or hide in any way.

It’s the unending need to fix everything; to make everything good and right for her femme; to treat the femme like the queen of her world, as it should be. Then it’s the aching need to take what is hers; to conquer and devour every savory morsel of femininity exuded by her fem lover, and to do it with force and precision.

“I want you as a woman, not as a man; but I want you in the way you need to be, which may not be traditionally female, but which is the area you express as Butch…….I make it right to want me that hard. Butches have not been allowed to feel their own desire because that part of being Butch can be perceived by the straight world as male. I feel I get back my femaleness and give a different definition of femaleness to a Butch as a femme.”
Amber Hollibaugh, “What We’re Rollin’ Around In Bed With” My Dangerous Desires

Butch desire is the raging need that fills my mind with visions of her, spread before me quivering and waiting for my touch, sometimes gentle and sometimes rough and demanding. It’s the ache in my entire body that is only stopped by her moans, that deep connection we make in becoming whole together, mind, body and soul. It’s her unbridled hunger for being taken and my overwhelming desire to claim her as my own. Butch desire is all of those things, plus much more. From the way it makes me lick my lips in anticipation, to the guttural noises I make as I find my release with her body quaking under mine.

That hardness; the rigidity of our closely guarded emotions, that we keep locked up safe behind our walls of protection, is also our vulnerability. When a femme sees momentarily behind the wall that we build, it’s an intimate and very exposed feeling for a Butch. We do not show our vulnerabilities readily, nor often. Some say we are damaged goods; that our lack of visible emotion and response is from some trauma – or from our “wanting” to be male – nothing could be further from the truth for a truly authentic Butch.  Femmes have a way of seeing through our thinner walls, and of reaching past those super-tender spots without threatening or damaging us.  This serves to heighten our desire; to fan the flames of heat and passion.

Never have I desired to be “male” – although standing to pee is very appealing – it never came to me to transition to the male gender. Femmes get this. They don’t push us to change, but accept us for who we are and how we represent ourselves in the world.  We are women who push the gender boundary and skew the binary; who look, feel and think a bit differently perhaps. There’s a thin line; a boundary of distinction, invisible to most and yet something that we are very keenly aware of as we move about our world.

Being a dominant Butch it’s often assumed that I take on a “male” role in any relationship.  While this has some truth to it, it’s not really that cut and dried; every Butch owns her own butchness – and what that is and how it plays in her life, daily.  Being Butch doesn’t stop when no one’s looking, it’s an authentic way of being in the universe. And it’s that combination of being female, yet very masculine that feels every so right to a Butch – and to her fem partner.  It’s what gives me life and joy in being.

When I am with people from outside of the gay community I am more keenly aware of my differences with them.  Whereas when I am with my counterparts I am much more relaxed and less guarded overall.  The more “mainstream” lesbian community generally frowns on the Butch-fem dynamic, lifestyle and those who partake in it’s beauty.  Sad for them in my opinion.  Lesbians seem to have a real tendency to be judgmental of other lesbians – at least that has been my own observation.  I see more lesbian on lesbian bashing than I care to see.

Personally, I don’t give much weight to their opinions, rude remarks, comments, or slurs of others – lesbian, straight, or whatever.  That’s their business; their own frame of thinking, generally constructed from within their own culture, community and situation in life.  People get hung up on what they do not understand; it frightens them, so they try to minimalize it however they can.  I find this to be a real form of “internalized” homophobia.  Preach about equality, but disrespect those who do the same things you do – just tweaked a bit.  That does NOT make much sense.  And perhaps me even saying this here doesn’t either, it’s MY own internalized phobia of occasionally worrying about what others may think.   And there I will leave it.

~MB

I’m In a Festive Mood! Christmas 2017

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Fa La La, La la, la la laaaa….Yes, the Christmas season is in full swing, with Christmas day now only 2 weeks away!  I am completely into it this year, and loving every minute!  I got my tree up early, and have been decorating a little more every day.

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This afternoon I added a pretty silver wire, spiral Christmas card tree, to which I added a string of pretty colored lights!  I have that in the middle of the dining room table now, and it’s already got a few sweet cards on it!  I love getting Christmas cards almost as much as I love making them out and sending them — which will be part of tonight’s activity!

Today Nola and Lulu received a “Bark Box” in the mail.  I found it on the front porch in front of the door when I got home from grocery shopping and getting my haircut.

I always feel terrific after a good haircut!  It wasn’t out of control, but it needed to be tightened up some, and edged out nicely.  I had it done today at Supercuts, by a woman named Cathy.  She did a pretty good job and was very pleasant while doing it.  It wasn’t my favorite barbershop today, but it was fine and I’m pleased.  I really didn’t have time to drive all the way up to the Boston Barber’s barbershop that I usually use, plus it was starting to snow, so I went to the back-up – Supercuts!  They’re priced reasonably, and they also do waxing so I am able to get my eyebrows done at the same time.  That is one service that the barbershop doesn’t offer, that they should!  It’s the only way to keep decent looking eyebrows!

I also picked up a couple of new button down shirts and two new ties today.  I have a couple of Christmas parties coming up and want to look half-way decent for them.  I’ll be going stag of course.  Although, you can’t say I didn’t try, I did ask a woman to accompany me to one of the parties, but it doesn’t look like that will pan out.  She lives a bit of a drive away from me (about 3.5 hr drive), and she’s nervous about coming up.  While I would have really loved to have her company for the party, and perhaps the weekend, I get that it’s a long drive to be around people she doesn’t yet know.

That particular party is at my youngest brother’s house.  It’s generally family and friends of the family, as well as personal friends of him and his wife.  It’s a pretty big party, and we have a massive, rousing game of  Yankee Swap!  I always enjoy the party because it’s a lot of great food, really cool people, and a very festive atmosphere.  Sets the holiday in the right light for me.  I generally will go and stay for about 2 hours, then go and drive around a couple of the local towns to see the Christmas lights, culminating with a ride by the Nubble Light House in York Beach…which is just stunning, as you can see by the photo below.

Nubble Christmas 2017

Next Saturday is the Wreath’s Across America event here in York.  We are laying 1100 wreaths on veteran’s graves at the cemetery in York Maine at 11:30.  I am volunteering, as are many other locals, especially veterans.  It will be an honor for me to participate this year.  I am looking forward to it.  Below is a photo of one of this year’s trucks hauling wreaths through here to other cities south of us….they all originate way, way up in the top of Maine and distribute the wreaths to cemeteries across the country.  It’s a huge undertaking and a wonderful Christmas memorial for our veterans.

(Photo: Beth Delano, Kittery, ME 12/9/17)

Wreaths across America pic

Today, other than getting my haircut, I got my grocery shopping done and gassed up the truck…storm coming, those are things we do before a snowstorm here in New England!  It began to snow around 1pm, just before I got back home with everything.  Tonight, after I get this blog posted, I am going to begin wrapping gifts to put under my tree.  I get small presents for my nieces and nephew, and for my parents and siblings.  I have a really large family, so it’s quite a stretch. I have managed to get imaginative, and I think I have everyone covered.  I’m surprised I have it most all done and it’s only Dec. 9th!

After wrapping I am going to sit down at the kitchen table and make out my Christmas cards for 2017.  I love doing cards, and try to get them out before the 15th.  I’m right on schedule, and barring any unforeseen interruptions I should get them done tonight and into the mail on Monday.  I really love Christmas cards and hope they do not ever become completely obsolete.  It’s fun to get them; and its fun to send them!  If you would like a card from me send me your name and address via email and I will get you on my list!  Deal is you have to send me one in return!  🙂

OH, and I have put myself on restriction from posting anything about politics for the next 30 days…on Facebook at least.  That may not carry over to here, but I am going to try my best to stay away from political upheaval for a bit.  It’s really stressed me out and what’s happening just makes my blood boil.  I need a break from it – hell, we ALL do.  So, I have to do this.  I think it will be a good thing for me!  Too much stress during the holidays makes it less fun, and this is one stressor I can control for now.

Off to wrap and do cards…you all take care and drop me a comment…what’s your favorite parts of Christmas?  Or Hanukkah?  Or whatever winter holiday you celebrate?

Peace.    ~MB

 

 

Again on Butch-femme Relationships

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I have just had the pleasure of reading a most outstanding piece on Huffpost  called “Redefining Butch-femme Relationships”, by Georgia Kollas, writer, Huffington Post blogger, and cultural observer.  I loved it!  It could not have been any better!  I encourage all of you to give it a good read!

Also, Ms. Kollas is a self-identified as a femme, a “strong, badass” one at that!  I love reading about the “dance” from a femme perspective as it’s obviously the opposite, yet the same as my own experience from my stance as a Butch.

To quote one favorite and much agreed with paragraph from Ms. Kollas’s article:

…We are yin and yang – seemingly oppositional forces that are actually complementary and interconnected. We offer a devoted appreciation for the gender expression of the other, an affirmation of intrinsic qualities that make us who we are. Each of us is unique, with our own blend of characteristics along a gender spectrum. We all carry both masculine and feminine aspects within ourselves.

I so agree that we are the “yin” and “yang” in each other’s worlds.  We are the same, yet complete opposites that need on another for happiness and love.  We, both identities, thrive on the energy that our opposite exudes.  As a femme loving Butch, I am very strongly attracted to the softer essence of the femme, and to her fierce badass parts as well.  It’s not just about the sex, it’s about the “big picture” that each of us has in mind.  It’s about the sensuality, both strong and intriguing, that lures us to each other; to desiring to be in one another’s presence.

I’ve always heard the old “mimicking hetero” stuff, even from other lesbian identified people in my community.  And it makes me chuckle to myself because that’s really not what Butch-femme relationships are at all.   As a Butch I do not desire to be or to mimic a man; I am a undeniably a female person who is entrenched in masculinity from within my soul.  I embrace my masculinity, and I love women who embrace their femininity with that same reciprocating enthusiasm – particularly lesbian identified femmes who find my Butch-ness appealing and attractive.

I appreciate the power of a femme; that alluring mystique that captivates my every thought when I am with her.  I love the flirtations and the magic that happens within the Butch-femme dance.  That magic fills my chest with pride; pride for being with such beautiful and sexy woman that makes my masculinity feel so perfect to me.  There is just nothing akin to the exquisite dance that happens when we are connecting.

Another favorite line from Ms. Kollas writing,

I love butch–femme and the particular dynamic that exists when two people are firmly in their fullest expression of their gender and interconnected in a dance of complementary opposites.

I see femmes as precious beings; ones to be protected and to be loved deeply.  As I run my fingers through her long hair, balling my hand into a fist and pull her head back to kiss her passionately it is actually she who controls that very moment, as it is she gives me that power.  There is a power exchange in the Butch-femme dynamic that is fierce, yet so subtle and we feel it deep in our bones; spiritually, emotionally and sexually.

We know the deal, and we’re in-tune as we dance.

Kudos to Ms. Kollas on this wonderful article!

Peace.  ~MB

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Court Dates…Thoughts

2017-11-09 21.45.37I got home from an 8 hour shift at work this afternoon to be greeted by 3 – THREE ! – fat envelopes in my mail from my attorney.  Fuck.

One was the discovery from my last run in and lock up incident in Portland.  The second…was about a hearing on a motion to terminate deferral and impose sentence because of my being arrested was in violation of my bail conditions, or conditions of release (VCR).  Fuck.

I’m scared of course.  I don’t like the idea of going to jail.  I fully understand that I violated the conditions of my release from the charge from 2016, and by doing so I put myself in this position – where they can choose to impose my 1 year jail sentence and lock my ass up.  I am not sure if they will actually try to send me up for the full year, or if they will want me to do a 7 day “hold” – of which I have already done 3 days – or what will happen.  I have a terrific attorney, who is especially skilled in drug charge cases, and I am going to give her a call tomorrow and see what she thinks she can get them to agree to.

I’ve been going to Groups now – which qualifies as treatment as required by the conditions of release – since last March.  Prior to that I did individual therapy and got myself clean, kicking the habit back in October 2016.  I have been having regular urinalysis tests done every week, which prove that I am clean.  So, I have to gather documentation of those things, plus a letter from my employer, as well as from a couple of other people like my HIV case worker and probably someone else who knows me personally that will write me a letter of support.  I am hoping that by showing those things to the judge; showing him/her that I have been clean and sober and am doing what I am supposed to be doing that I can get a favorable decision to let me continue being out on bail conditions.

Then there’s the new charge.  Fuck.  I am so angry with myself for ever getting it; for ever even thinking that I could get high just once and it would be alright.  Those thoughts and my acting on them are what put me in this very dangerous position now.  I am really not sure what the punishment will be, seeing that this is a second offense 13 months after the 1st offense.  I can only show them what I am doing, and hope that they will give me probation for this charge.  Meaning that I will have to continue treatment (which I intend to do regardless of all of this) and that I will have to report to a probation officer on a regular basis.

None of this is fun.  I regret my mistake very much.  And I am aware of the “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time” aspect of this.  Of course I do not want to go to jail, but I do know that there is a chance that that is what will happen.  I most likely wouldn’t do a whole year, but I could do 9 months with good behavior.  That would seriously suck.  It would literally ruin my life at this point.  I would lose everything I have worked so fucking hard to put into my life.  I would probably lose my home, my job, my vehicle, the trust of my family, friends, and more.  I would be separated from my dogs.  THAT would really, really get to me bad.

I’m not sure what else I can do to show the courts that I am seriously better off not being jailed.  That I am a productive and upstanding citizen who is contributing to my community.  Locking me up would only serve to punish me, cost the taxpayers, and cause losses to the local economy and community.  It would be senseless, but I KNOW it is the law and is a decided possibility.  No matter how good I am, I broke the law – twice.  And now I am in trouble and will have to pay for my fuck ups in some way that will satisfy the state.

I am currently free on $1000. bail.  That may work in my favor.  And I served 3 days; which also will work in my favor, so I can only hope the judge is in a mood to consider my position on the day of my court appearance.  If not, I will be spending Thanksgiving and most likely Christmas, my birthday and 8 months of 2018 in jail.  Fuck.

I feel a bit like a failure, but I am trying not to be overly hard on myself.  I know that recovery is a process, and that relapses do happen sometimes.  Nevertheless, I am very ashamed that I let myself get caught up in this again.  I have learned a pretty valuable lesson, and I won’t ever touch anything illegal again.  Nope, I’m too old for this bullshit and too old to be doing jail time with mostly kids half my age.  Those 3 days I was literally the oldest person in the group that was in there with me.  I don’t want my life to be like that; threatened by jail time and legal issues.  It’s not what I signed up for, and I will do everything in my power to repair this fuck up and move on with a good, clean living kind of life.

My bestie and I haven’t been hanging out much since the “incident”….I think she’s kind of fallen off her wagon and she’s staying away because of it.  That is really the only reason she wouldn’t come around more.  We have talked a bit on the phone, but not as much as usual and there have been days that have gone by with no word from her for a few in a row — very unlike her.  I can’t risk my own sobriety though.  So if she is using again I don’t want to be part of it; see it or be near it, so she’s best to stay away.

Drugs can really fuck up life.  I wish I had never started dabbling in them as a teenager.  My brain wasn’t fully formed and I developed an addictive disorder.  So for the rest of my life I’ll deal with it.  I’ve been dealing with it for what feels like eternity already.  At least I can recognize it and understand that I have a problem.  And I know all the “right” things to do, I just have to stay completely on the defensive and very focused on staying clean.  I can do it; it may not always be fun, but I can do it.

I’ve always been very honest in my blog.  That’s why I am even writing about this hear.  Plus, it’s what is going on in my life right now and since I’ve written a couple of blogs about it previously I felt I should let you, my readers, know how this situation is progressing.

Everything else has been going very good.  I’ve been spending time with my mother, trying to assure her that I am going in the right direction with things.  I’ve been working steadily, 5 days a week now, and going in at the crack ass of dawn every morning.  I still have my weekends to myself, and have been getting alot done around the homestead.  Things are ready for winter, now it’s just got to get cold here – it’s still unreasonably warm temperature wise.

I put 2 new tires on the truck, fixed the shot headlight and got it all ready for the annual state inspection due this month.  I also got the 4 wheel drive fixed (I may have mentioned that previously) and it’s running great.  So it should get me through the winter much better this year.  All I have left to do on it is an alignment, which I have an appointment to get done next Wednesday afternoon – if things go as planned.

I’ve been checking out the thrift shops and cruising around the back roads of Maine and New Hampshire checking out the fall colors and that’s been a lot of fun and very relaxing.  I’ve done it mostly by myself, with my dogs of course, and the solitude of driving around on a beautiful sunny fall day is so quieting to my soul.

So, that’s my life this week folks.  I’m just hanging in there and trying to keep it all together.  I hope you all are doing well.

Peace.  ~MB

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