5/17/2019 – One Year Later…

Yeah I’m a day late writing this post, but that’s ok. Yesterday was way too busy to write a blog post, but I can catch up to speed today.

This is a little unfamiliar territory for me, but for the first time in my 33 years and a little change on this planet, I made it one year in a relationship. All of my previous relationships were very short-lived and dysfunctional, none of them lasting more than 6 months. To make it one year has been a little shocking to say the least. I never thought I’d see the day and I always thought there was nobody for me.

So Laina and I started our day with a visit to our favorite coffee shop then hit the road to Fredericksburg for a wine tasting (glad things are finally starting to open up again!). After a leisurely trip there and back, we stopped by my place briefly to unload and prep for the next stop, which was a couple of rounds of mini-golf at a premiere course just north of downtown. A little fun in the sun later, we retired to my place for some light reading and a special dinner cooked by yours truly – steak medallions, potatoes and salad – a recreation of the first meal I ever cooked for her. This paired with a couple of special bottles of wine (Lost Oak Rose Blanca for her and Pedernales Family Reserve 2016 for me), followed by a jam session, a movie (Angus), and a pour of Fredericksburg peach brandy to cap off the night.

I can’t say as though I’m surprised we’ve made it this long, just something I didn’t see coming. What the future holds I have no idea, but I guess we shall see, won’t we!

Here’s to another year ahead, which I’m excited to see what will bring. Never have I loved someone so deeply before. Maybe my curse has been broken after all (and maybe it just took a totally unconventional relationship to do that – conventional might just not work for me).

Holiday Fun, Some Personal Updates & A Look at 2020 Ahead

So I’m chilling in my apartment this morning resting up from a past two fun-filled days. They’ve worn me out for sure but wow has it been fun.

Our holiday fun started on Saturday the 14th when Laina and I caught up with my best friend from high school and one of her close friends for a stroll down the San Antonio Riverwalk to see the lights. They do it up in a huge way, let me tell you what! We walked down and up, stopped in for a quick bite to eat on one of the restaurants on the strip (and a couple of spicy margaritas for me – which were heavenly) and just took it in on a lovely, warm-ish December night.

Christmas Eve we went over to Laina’s BFF’s house for some fun and games as well as food and drink. Upon Laina’s BFF’s request, I made what has become my signature dish – a paleo-style Asian stir fry using spaghetti squash instead of lo mein noodles, boneless chicken thighs, sliced carrots, onions, celery, zucchini, red bell pepper, chopped portabella mushroom and diced peanut and garlic bits, with a mix of San-J (all gluten/MSG free sauces) Thai peanut and spicy Szechuan sauces. (Oh, and sliced green onions on the side for those who wanted them). Everyone seemed to love it.

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We ate, I cracked out my new Taylor 12 for awhile, then we played some Bullshit (a hilarious card game where the object is to lie like a dog and get away with it!). After having killed two full bottles of wine and some Peruvian brandy, I was in no condition to drive so we stayed the night.

Laina and I woke up at 6 AM sharp yesterday morning to run back to our places, tend to a few things and then hit the road to Abilene to see my family. We stopped in at my parents’ place first thing for some small gift exchanges and to fill up on my mom’s famous ham/pineapple before heading over to my paternal grandmother’s house for her last Christmas in her place before moving to assisted living.

Needless to say yesterday wasn’t as fun as the day before, but I made it through. I’ve always been the black sheep of my family but I felt obligated to go. After some light conversation with the group, Laina and I got right back on the road to SA (in which I promptly changed out of awful full-length jeans back into my signature Dukes – lord knows my conservative, Bible-thumping extended family would have thrown a fit over me wearing them!) and met up with Mr. Kitty for dinner and hard ciders at Flying Saucer. It was a great way to cap off the night.

As far as other personal updates, I continue to heal as my health continues to improve. I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight without even trying – no calorie counting or anything. Take this photo as a prime example. These “light wash” Dukes are one of my smaller pairs. This time last year I struggled to button them. This year, I need a belt with them!

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Now that’s progress!

Sorcha is doing well. She goes into the vet again tomorrow (Friday) for her third round of vaccines and to schedule spaying/microchipping. She’s become a little Houdini – she’s snuck out on my back deck once and out my front door once, going halfway down the stairs. Methinks she’s wanting to chase some tail (as do most female cats when they hit puberty), but the last thing I need is a litter of kittens so that’s not happening. She has stopped pissing on my bed (after switching her to a full-sized litterbox) and sleeps with me in bed at night – on my pillow behind my head!

Here’s a cute little picture I took of her exploring my wine glass. Like father, like daughter I guess!

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So, what’s on the docket for 2020 for this blog? Well, more of life in San Antonio as I continue through this major transitional step in my life, exploring a newfound love life, and some collaboration work! Laina and I have been visiting several wineries in the hill country lately (mostly on Highway 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg), doing like a superficial once-overs and some tastings. We are planning to launch a joint venture in which we review the wineries we’ve visited, from atmosphere, decor, staff, and of course the wine itself. As our wine palates run totally opposite (she’s into light, sweet whites/roses as well as ports whereas I’m more of a big, heavy, dry red type person) we’ll each have a different angle to approach with to give you more variety. Stay tuned, you won’t want to miss this!

December 19th, 2002 – “The Day”

December 19th is no doubt the toughest day of every year for me. For the past 17 years, I’ve kept why largely under wraps as I’ve not really felt open or comfortable discussing it with anyone. Sure, I’ve mentioned in passing the very unfortunate significance of this day, but I feel I can finally open up more about it and maybe this can help someone suffering from a similar type of feeling.

So the story actually starts a few days before when I contract some upper respiratory illness that was very much like the flu, even though I question whether or not it was actually the flu. I was a Freshman in high school and a manager for the basketball team. We had been traveling for a tournament and I swear I picked up the virus probably in the course of that travel (close quarters and all that). Well, with myself and four others living in a little trailer house, someone was bound to get it from me, and the person who did was probably the worst person it could have happened to: my 84-year-old great grandmother.

Though she was active and seemingly healthy, my great-grandmother had recently been battling early stage kidney failure. Her nephrologist actually wanted to put her on dialysis but she adamantly refused (and quite frankly I don’t blame her – that just sounds like a miserable existence).

Anyway, I digress. The evening of the 18th comes around and I get home from school and my great-grandmother is incredibly ill. Of course, this shook me hard and combined with the stress of upcoming finals in school, I was freaking out probably too much over my own situation instead of worrying about hers. I probably shot my mouth off in the process (as I often do under extreme stress) and my mother got pissed off at me and said I was being selfish because the illness could kill her (as if I didn’t already know that). What she said next are words that have repeated in my head nearly every day for the last 17 years: “and you’re probably the one who gave it to her!”

So then my dad gets in on the action, pulls me into my bedroom and told me if I didn’t shut up he was going to ram my head through a wall (yes, he had physically abusive tendencies in the earlier days and that was starting to resurface given the situation). Anyway, needless to say the evening of December 18th, 2002 was high-stress all around and my nerves were fried. How I was ever going to take a final exam the next day totally fried me.

Anyway, I wake up the morning of the 19th and go to school for finals. I actually only had one final exam – 2nd period. First period was gym and I had chosen to exempt my 3rd period final (biology).  This was good, as I just had this sick feeling within me.

So I was done that day by 10:30-ish if I remember right, came straight home and saw my great-grandmother. Her breathing was very labored and heavy, drifting in and out of consciousness. She asked me for an ice cube to suck on as her mouth was extremely dry. I gladly went to the freezer and got her one.

As the day wore on, I would frequently check back with her, and she asked for a couple of more ice cubes as the hours wore on into the afternoon. I stayed with her as much as I could (balancing that and study time, which was largely unproductive) knowing I probably didn’t have much time left with her. As time wore on, she spent more time in an unconscious state and her respiration was tainted with sounds of sloshing fluid (is that what they call “aqualung?” – I know it’s a medical term and not just a stupid song by Jethro Tull). It was at this point I held onto her hand for the last time, silently saying my goodbyes, then left the room as my dad called 911.

First responders came and wasted no time strapping her to a gurney and hauling her to the ambulance, but it was too late. She died in route to the hospital – DOA. When my parents got back, they broke the news. I was crushed to say the absolute least.

However, I didn’t have much time to dwell as I had another series of finals the next day. I had to shelve my own pain and power through my next round of finals. As such, I never really had a chance to grieve initially, but my mother’s chilling words never left my head. They stung like daggers through my heart, and on some level I came to believe she was right. I felt 100% responsible for her death. The guilt was crippling and would remain so for the next 16 and a half years of my life. Though I’ve kept it mostly under wraps, I’ve largely suffered from “complicated grief” over the loss since.

Fast-forward to Sunday, March 24th of this year. Laina and I had just gotten back from the IndyCar race in Austin and stepped out on her deck for some wine (and a cigar for me, of course). This topic came up in passing. Something I’d bottled up since that awful day. Yet somehow, I felt comfortable opening up to her about it – something I hadn’t felt with anyone else. She felt “safe” to me.

So I did just that, but out of my pain (and it was painful for me to talk about – I will admit that) the floodgates got opened. Floodgates that would spawn something beautiful out of my pain – the bond we share today. Opening up and telling my story to her set the stage for us to bond the way we have.

Between that and going on my recent health journey, I’ve begun to finally come to terms with it. It isn’t my fault. She was ready. She stuck around long enough to make sure I’d be alright before she crossed over (as I had gotten my diagnosis of Aspergers not too long prior and things with my parents were finally starting to smooth over). She made sure they understood me on the level she did before her departure. She was my rock growing up, as I’ve mentioned prior. She stuck around long enough to make sure my parents knew who they were dealing with, and for that I am eternally grateful to her.

It’s been 17 years to the day since my great-grandmother departed this world. Though gone from the physical realm of the living, she lives on in the little things – my tattoo, my peony scented soap, her old clock. As I continue to heal physically, so does my inner brokenness. I’ll always miss her. I’ll never stop thinking about her. However, I’m finally starting to come to terms with it, 17 years later. I couldn’t have written this post even last year. I feel a lot “lighter” finally being able to tell the story without the feelings of sheer guilt coming back.

Well, thanks for those of you who read this post to the end. I’ve gone on for 1,200 words now, which is probably way more than enough so I’ll shut up now, go light some candles and reflect. Have a good day everyone, and always remember to remind those who mean the most to you just how much they mean to you, for they might be gone tomorrow.

A Day For Reflection

So I’m taking today off of work, for a dual purpose. Today is a day of reflection, celebration, and mourning all rolled into one. Two major events happened on this day, 98 years apart.

First things first, my great-grandmother would have been 101 years old today. I think back to my childhood and am so relieved she lived with us growing up. She seemed to be the only person who understood me. Not even my parents understood me nor did they really try to until my high school counselor pleaded with them to have me evaluated for autism spectrum disorder. In that way, my great-grandmother was my rock growing up.

She passed away 9 days shy of 17 years ago, at the age of 84 years and 9 days. Not a day goes by I don’t think about her. It’s the little things, too – the peony scented hand soap I have in my dwelling place (her favorite flower), the tattoo I have on my left calf, her old anniversary clock that I’ve kept even though it quit working years ago, those kinds of things.

Though she’s gone from the realm of the living, I feel her presence still. Her energy is with me. Sometimes at night, when it’s really dark and quiet and I’m lying in bed, I hear her voice calling my name.

It’s been a long 17 years, and I’m still processing. So much of my deeper-seated feelings about the whole ordeal I’ve bottled up all this time as in a lot of ways I’d always felt responsible for her death (contracting a flu-like illness myself, then she contracted it – I assumed from me). Alas, it could have happened anywhere. I’ll never know for sure. All I know is I’m finally to a point I no longer blame myself and can begin to really heal from it.

Anyway, another major event today. Three years ago today I stumbled across a certain blog that seemed to catch my eye. One with a life story similar to mine, yet different in its own way.  I felt inclined so I left a comment. Little did I know what that little comment would blossom into 3 years later.

We started off by having a lovely dialog on WordPress, commenting back and forth, which then found us in the world of Facebook where we messaged each other through the blog “page.” Eventually this led to us exchanging numbers, blowing each other’s phones up by text, friending personal pages, and continuing blog dialog.

We finally met in person for the first time in April 2018 when said blogger adopted two kittens from my family (who have grown up to be quite happy and healthy I should add). We would meet again in person toward the end of March 2019, which set up my move, but something else was happening too – we were falling for each other hard.

Little did I know three years ago today I encountered who I truly believe to be the love of my life. My twin soul. Happy WordPress anniversary, Laina. You mean the world to me and then some.

Here are some pictures from this past Sunday. We went out to the Japanese tea gardens here in San Antonio, very close to the zoo. It was a lovely, sunny afternoon with a high of around 75 degrees so it was something to take advantage of. It was so serene, and though much colder today we might be heading back for a bit today.

All photos credit to Laina Eartharcher. signal-2019-12-08-180020signal-2019-12-08-175955-3signal-2019-12-08-175955-4signal-2019-12-08-175955-2signal-2019-12-08-175955signal-2019-12-08-175955-1

It’s very interesting to note how quickly my body composition has changed in just a few short months, and I haven’t counted a single calorie or struggled/toiled at a gym either. I’ve only changed the way I eat – going gluten/dairy free, more fruits/vegetables, cut processed foods. My Davy Dukes are actually kind of loose now – not loose enough to go down a size, but loose enough to need a belt. Laina swears I’ve aged backwards even.

Anyway, she just dropped in so I better jet – we’ve got some celebration and reflection to do. Have a good day everyone.

The Newest Addition to My Loving Family

Every now and then the universe throws you for a curveball and places a certain someone or something in our lives that we could never see coming until it’s right there.

This past Tuesday night Laina was over at my place doing school work while I was slaving away in a hot kitchen making a delicious meal of spaghetti squash when she gets a text from Mr. Kitty: “Does Lynn want a kitten?”

My initial gut reaction was no. I had just moved here, it’s going to be an expense I didn’t need and Mercury is retrograde – making a big decision during the next few weeks is likely to have serious negative repercussions.

Alas, the story unfolded more: their neighbors found her and were feeding her in their garage. I asked the normal questions: boy/girl, approximate age, etc. – turns out to be a girl, approximately 8 weeks old. Laina and Mr. Kitty are at full capacity at their place and so are their neighbors, so aside from going on doors knocking or taking her to a shelter, it seems as though I’m the only one left before resorting to those options.

As such, Laina went to go look at the kitten while I continued cooking dinner and, after some back-and-forth conversation as well as her sending me this adorable little picture:

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I was convinced to let her into my home. Naturally she was skiddish and hid most of the first evening (though she did eat plenty), but she got up and explored a little bit. By mid-day 2nd day she was out and about and actually came up to us, purring loudly, snuggling up into us and marking us as hers.

We started running through possible names, me hellbent on Scottish-Gaelic names. She hit on the Scottish-Gaelic for “stripes” or “striped” – Stiallach. Cool looking name, but was unsure of the pronunciation so I started looking at others and formed a short list, until I found my front-runner – “Sorcha” (soar-kah) meaning “bright” or “radiant.” She is definitely a radiant personality, so I asked her “are you Sorcha?” She immediately meowed back. I asked her a few more times, same reaction. Laina asked her a few times, same thing. She meowed every time we asked that. It seemed to me she was telling us her name.

Meanwhile, I asked a fellow autism blogger about the pronunciation of Stiallach, knowing she’d need a middle name. Her husband is full-blood Scottish so she deferred to him, and it was revealed to me that the pronunciation is “steal-ack” – which made sense once I placed the sounds in my head. Just like that, I had the perfect name – Sorcha Stiallach Blair. It was at that moment I broke down and cried, for I felt the love overpower me right then and there.

She’s making great progress – eating well, out and about, playing. She’s pissing in the box but she’s shitting on the carpet – go figure. Oh well, the latter is easier to clean up so whatever. Will get her into a vet ASAP for an evaluation to see what’s amiss, if anything.

Nonetheless, maybe what was missing in my life was a furry companion. She’s already the apple of my eye. My feline daughter. And I’m her daddy.

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The San Antonio Chronicles Episode 6: Marble Falls and Other Tidbits

Yet another San Antonio weekend has come and gone for me, and the more I visit there the more I get the itch to move. Between the much better vibe and it killing me to be apart from my twin soul sister, I’m almost at the end of my rope with regards to shitty ass Crapilene. Mercury Direct Station hits at approximately 11:00 PM Wednesday so then it’ll be time to get busy looking for places to live.

So I got in Friday evening as I always do, this time in a loaner vehicle as Phoenix is in the shop for some major surgery. Apparently she actually has a bad fuel injector (which I have never experienced in any other car I’ve owned) and the fuel system cleaner wasn’t enough to burn all the carbon deposits out. So far, between new plugs, new coils, a fuel injector and a carbon cleaning, we’re at about $1,250 worth of repairs on a car I have only had a month and a half. Needless to say the extended warranty has already paid for itself.

Anyway, I digress. I get in, and shortly after unloading we head out to Sushishima for a totally gluten-free sushi feast and, for me, a side of hot sake. From there, it was to her place for “happy hour” (which usually means a shot or two of Flor de Cana 12 and a nice strong cigar, and just a mixer of rum/soda and her vape for her). The night capped off by hanging out, watching a movie together, and lights out.

After a morning coffee and smoke Saturday, we ventured out for Marble Falls to visit a little hole in the wall diner called Tea Thyme. What makes this place so special is that it is 100% gluten-free. That’s correct. No navigation of the menu, no nothing. I ordered the same as Laina – the “Not Picky Tacos” (if I remember correctly) and they were heavenly, as was their chocolate chip cookie. Followed up the diner with a quick stroll in the park and then back to SA to chill for a bit.

That afternoon, after chilling, we set out to try to find Laina some thrift store jeans to hack up into DD’s (as she’s just been borrowing a pair of mine that had gotten too snug for me). We tried a couple of Goodwills but came up empty, and remembering Mercury is still retrograde, decided to pause that project for now and then ventured back over to The Cove for dinner.

Dinner at The Cove is always great; great burgers (which can be had with a GF bun or just lettuce wrapped), with some great GF sides too. I also ordered a couple of what I was told were gluten-free beers, however on further examination they turned out not to be GF at all. Omission beer says “brewed to remove gluten” and on the bottle it said “made from barley malt, this beer might contain gluten.” I’m glad I read that before I even took a sip. I was left feeling I had thrown money away on nothing but it’s a learning experience. Then it was again back to her place, where we had happy hour, jammed out for a bit, then called it a night.

Sunday morning started off with the usual routine of a nice smoke, after which we geared up for the day. Alas, before we got going, we just had to pause for a little “mirror selfie”…

…and then off to a little coffee shop called Mildfire for a little pick me up. I had the Americana Espresso which was delicious and gave me a good jolt. Just as we were about to take a bathroom break and leave, the barista pulled me aside and told me my shorts were “beautiful” and how she admired my confidence and said that I was the person she wants to be. I of course thanked her dearly, and had her come around front for a big, warm hug.

From the coffee shop, we went and had a delicious lunch at Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. They were out of GF pita bread but I was still able to get a feast fit for a king even without bread. Leaving feeling satiated, we ventured to the vape shop so I could load up on my vape juice and then went back to her place.

Once we got back, it was time for a movie, and one I needed to see because it’s life-changing. If you’ve not seen it, I fully recommend Defending Your Life. It’s light-hearted but very inspirational. After the movie, which made me both laugh and cry, we flipped it over to the IndyCar race in mid-Ohio and watched a real thriller of a race.

By the time the race was done, my time was about gone so it was then I packed up and we said our teary-eyed goodbyes for now. I departed SA at 5:30 PM and arrived in Abilene right at 9. Luckily Laina was able to accompany me by phone for most of my journey.

Anyway, that’s what went down this time, but a few of interesting things happened on the side. Remember I said earlier that pair of DD’s Laina is borrowing from me were too tight for me now? Well I decided to try them on again for a moment, and lo and behold I can actually button them again! They’re snug, but I can button them easily. Three months ago I couldn’t, which means I’ve dropped a not-so-insignificant amount of weight without even trying. The only thing I’ve done different is being GF part-time and reducing my beer consumption, further adding credence to the gluten reactivity theory.

The second thing is I never knew how addicted I had become to my phone/computer and social media. This time around I did something different at Laina’s request – when we went somewhere I left my phone behind. I didn’t realize how much of our time together I was wasting on my phone, which was causing me to disengage. I did feel like the time we spent together this time around was much better quality and that I maybe should put the phone away more often in everyday life.

Lastly was what happened after I got back to Abilene. Since having been gluten-free since Thursday afternoon, last night I reintroduced gluten. Not long after dinner last night I had stomach cramps and nausea that lasted well into mid-morning today. In my mind that all but cements it for me. As soon as I get by blood drawn for the reactivity panels, I can go GF full-time and I intend to do so. For now, since I have to consume some, I’ll moderate my intake and cut beer entirely. That seems like a good initial step.

Anyway, that’s that for this trip. Stay tuned for more developments as it’s about to be crunch time.

On Being a Total Fireball

If it is one thing that’s so true of me, I’m a fireball. I have the temper of Satan incarnate. It takes me awhile to get to that point, but when I blow, run for fucking cover. That’s how I’ve always been, and as I now know, how I always will be.

For those curious, here is my True Sidereal Astrology (TSA) birth chart. Pay close attention to my 12th house (about the 9:30 position) to see what’s in there, and also follow the red dotted line to the other symbol it’s paired with:

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See that? The red male symbol is Mars, follow that along the red dotted line with the square (indicating a “square” aspect – a pi/2 [that’s 90 degrees for you non-mathy types] angle +/- a few) to the green female symbol, representing Venus.

Yep, that’s a total double whammy there. My fireball tendencies? There you have it. Mars in 12th by itself is a dangerous placement, and totally explains why I have the tendency toward intense, and often violent, anger. It can often happen abrputly and without warning, and depending on what else has been going on at that point in time, it can take very little to set me off. When I learned about that placement, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, made sense. How I have never been arrested in my life I have no fucking clue. Truth be told I probably should have been a time or two in my life.

It made even more sense when paired not only with the constellation placement (Aries) but also when squared with Venus. When I do blow up? It’s usually at those who mean the most to me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve blown up at close friends, parents, siblings. It also explains why what few of my romantic relationships I’ve had have been highly volatile and never lasted more than a few months.

If it *IS* one thing I can honestly say it’s I’ve never hit anyone or used a weapon against anyone in a fit of rage, even as violent as it gets. I sure have a lot of destroyed personal possessions and property in my wake though! I’ve punched holes through walls, broken various objects, even ones one wouldn’t think would be breakable. I will also say I’ve used pictures of exes for target practice, but who hasn’t?

Anyway, when you combine the astrological aspects with being on the autism spectrum, you can only imagine it’s led to some pretty epic meltdowns over the years. Yeah, I was dealt a bad hand for sure.

Luckily, all is not lost. It’s not like I’m predestined to become a serial killer or some shit like that. It’s one thing I’ll have to learn how to channel and harness, and one thing I knew for sure before I learned about this is that boredom is not my friend. I had always known that, but all this just confirms it. I need to be entertained and active, even as introverted as I am.

This is another thing that solidifies my decision to move. Abilene only has limited opportunities for me to “get out of my head” and do shit. A bigger city such as San Antonio is much more conducive to that, and though Dallas was a bigger city I still felt isolated and idle. That place was not a good fit for me. San Antonio is a better fit, especially when I’ve got my spiritual guide beside me to keep me on the straight and narrow and help me avoid these pitfalls.

So there’s that. If you’re just a casual acquaintance I woudln’t blame you if you ran for cover. If you’re a closer personal friend I only hope I’ve not left some of your shrapnel in my wake. If I have, I’m sorry. Really. I know I’ve not always been a very pleasant person to deal with. Please know if I ever do rip into you, it’s nothing personal. That doesn’t make it right but damn it’s hard sometimes.

Trust me, I wish I didn’t have this placement. If I could choose any other placement I would. My life would be so much easier, as well as the lives of those around me. Alas, we don’t get to choose our placements so I’m stuck. I guess I’ll just deal as best I can.

Foxtrot Mike Lima.

On Being Asexual, Etc.

Since it is LGBTQIA+ pride month, I couldn’t let it go by without mentioning something of my own sexuality and how I deal with it. It’s no secret that I’m very much asexual, which is maybe the least understood sexual orientation of all because we’re all so different. So I figured I’d put to rest how I deal with it personally and quash some misconceptions.

First of all, what is asexuality not? It’s not a number of things, but here are the the big ones in my view:

  1. Asexuality is not “aromantic.” Asexuals can be involved in romantic relationships just the same as those who have sexual attraction. It is different for us, admittedly. Some of us are heteroromantic, others homoromantic and some biromantic. I’m the last one of these. I can be romantically involved with anyone, regardless of biological sex or gender identity. I’m just not right now because I’ve not found anyone with whom I would be romantically compatible. That does not mean all of us are in that situation, but some are indeed aromantic entirely.
  2. Asexuality is not the same as celibacy! Some are in indeed celibate, but that’s not universally true, especially for those married to someone with a sex drive. Asexuals might or might not engage in sexual relations. For some, it’s “optional” – a take or leave kind of thing. For me, sex is a no-go and the thought of it disgusts me, but some can tolerate it or maybe even enjoy it for the sake of a partner. It’s just that it isn’t the “end goal” for us.
  3. Asexuality is not a lack of “libido.” Our bodies function the same as anyone else’s. Just because we don’t take interest in sex in and of itself doesn’t mean our biological programming doesn’t sometimes take hold. Most of us (maybe even all of us – though I hesitate to make that claim) are not aroused by looks alone. I know I’m not (even though I do appreciate attractiveness). It takes some serious stimulation, but even as a male I do have erections. Actually, if I didn’t, that would point to some other health problem.
  4. Asexuality is not depression! For whatever reason, so many seem to think a lack of interest in sex has to be related to some sort of clinical depression. Though they can be correlated among those with a normal sexual appetite, asexuals are not by default clinically depressed.
  5. Asexuality is not an “excuse.” I get so sick of this. Many people think aces claim to be that way because they just can’t “get laid.” Whatever. This is one asexual males especially hear in a patriarchal cis-het dominated world. I’m sick of it. See my previous post on virgin shaming.

So what is asexuality? Simply put, the lack of sexual attraction. Nothing more. For us, sex can be anywere from optional to downright disgusting. As mentioned in a previous post and above, for me, it’s the latter end of the spectrum. I don’t know many 32 year old males who have never had any type of sexual contact, but I am one of the few, and that’s how I will die too because I just can’t bring myself to engage in it. I just can’t get past the thought of it.

I will admit, for me that does complicate romantic relationships a shit ton. That’s largely why I’ve not found anyone with whom I would be romantically compatible, among other reasons. I’d have to have someone who felt the same about sex as I do, but as we seem to be few and far between, that’s unlikely, and I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m not one who could “put out” for a romantic partner, even though some aces can. I don’t judge either way mind you.

Alas, not all asexuals are the same, and here’s one key way I am personally different. I’ve discussed this before, but you all know I am very physically affectionate even with close friends – something I’ve discussed prior. I can go all the way up to “make out” level with a person who is not a romantic partner and whom I have no romantic interest in! I’ve done it before with more than one such person (and a mix of biological sexes/gender identites). For me, I totally separate physical affection from romantic love. For me, even “making out” isn’t a romantic exchange, though it can be.  To me, it’s an exchange with someone I love, be it that or a friend/familial relationship. Now, that doesn’t mean I do so with just anyone, and I usually wait for the other party to initiate such contact, but I will respond if initiated and I genuinely love that person. Just stay in “safe zones” (i.e. non-private areas) and I’m just fine with that.

Anyway, I’ve just painted with some broad strokes, and the above are solely my opinions on the topic so nobody murder me here. It’s just my personal take, for what it’s worth. I’d love to hear about the experiences of other aces, so please comment with your thoughts. No two of us are alike, so I always like learning more. Please do share your views, even if you disagree with mine. I might just update or follow up with other persepctives.

The Hopeless(ly Deprived) Power Cuddler

Would you make fun of me if I told you I still sleep cuddled up with a teddy bear at night? Yes, you say? Well go ahead and make fun of me because it’s true and I don’t deny it. Yes, I know sleeping with a teddy bear is so 1st grade, but when you have an autistic brain that runs 230 MPH at all times (you know, as fast as an IndyCar runs on the straightaways of Indianapolis Motor Speedway), getting to sleep is hard enough without being even more anxious so you do what you damn well have to in order to make it easier to fall asleep and stay that way.

Anyway, childish personal anecdote aside, time to get a bit serious here. The title of this post describes me to a tee. As I’ve eluded to in prior blog posts, I thoroughly love physical touch. I thrive on it. I’m a hugger, a kisser, a hand-holder, you name it. I’m what my “twin soul” affectionately calls a “power cuddler” – no holding back, all of the aforementioned stuff, playing with each other’s hair, ears, rubbing various (non-intimate) body parts up against one another, all up in your business, whatever. It’s just absolutely sublime to me.

I’m sure to someone on the outside looking in it appears to be totally smutty. To the bystander it might look a little like foreplay, but I assure you I completely separate cuddling from romance, sexual behavior or anything. I never understood why the neurotypical world associates these acts solely with sexual attraction. Love comes in many forms after all, not just romantic. If I cuddle up to you, it’s not anything creepy or sexual. It’s because in some way we share a close common bond (whatever that might entail) and it’s merely an outward expression of that bond, regardless of what type it is or who you are – I’ll “power cuddle” with people of any sex/gender, orientation, whatever.

Now, the descriptor in this post is “hopelessly deprived” for a reason – it seems very few people see this kind of thing as something to be shared between people who are otherwise just friends or family and as such I really don’t have anyone around here to engage in power cuddling with. I, of course, respect others’ boundaries and won’t just go up to and randomly put an arm around someone and pull them into close body contact with me. That’s not acceptable behavior in any way, shape or form. I get that. I also get that some people have various traumas in their past that would make such action conjure up memories of painful or traumatic experiences. I also get that. Alas, where all this does put me is in a place that is not conducive to my mental health – I get more anxious, snappy, irritable, depressed, etc. when I’m lacking that.

Living in a world that frowns upon physical affection, being one who loves it is tough. If only everyone else (and especially neurotypicals) understood the power of a good cuddle. It releases endorphins, dopamine, among other “feel good” hormones. It relieves stress, has a calming effect (especially on someone like me), among other things. In a lot of ways I feel sorry for people who frown upon it. Our lives are so much richer when we openly express our love for each other (again, whatever form that love might be in).

If we learned how to hug, kiss, cuddle, hold hands, etc. each other with no strings attached and completely divorced it from romance, think of how much kinder of a world we’d live in. Maybe we wouldn’t have so much hate, pent up rage, school shootings, among other bullshit that’s the reality of life in the modern world. Baby boomers and older love to complain about social media being the reason for it, but I question the validity of their claims. We were detached long before the invention of Facebook.

Alas, I’ve only met one other person on this planet who sees things the way I do, and seeing as how that person is hundreds of miles away, the best I can do is “virtual cuddling” this person whenever possible and just longing for the real thing. It’s better than nothing for sure, but every time we virtual cuddle, god I can’t help but wish it was the real deal. Hopefully someday soon the universe will bring us closer together, but until then, I remain the hopelessly deprived power cuddler.

Tear, sniffle, tear, sniffle, repeat ad nauseam…

I See the Way I’m Acting Like I’m Somebody Else Gets Me (And You?!) Frustrated

OK, if you don’t get that song reference you must be living under a fucking rock because when that song first came out they overplayed it on the radio, so much I hated the song and screamed every time it would come on the radio.

As such, I never really listened to the words that closely, save for its instantly recognizable catchphrase “Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?” Actually, when you get down to the barebones it’s a very well written and composed song – it’s a lovely use of relative minor/major (and going between the two seamlessly) and the message is very deep and profound, and is why I’ve chosen this song for the 2nd installment of my song lyric inspired posts because again, it hits home and especially during this transitional phase of my life.

Those who knew me even as a kid knew I tried my damnedest to fit the mold, to be “normal” (What the fuck is normal anyway? Who decides that?). This both before and after I was officially diagnosed with ASD (AS at the time, but that diagnosis is gone of course). Shit, even as much as I love my parents, they often wondered why I couldn’t be normal. The only one who accepted me as is was my great-grandmother.

Anyway, the whole point of this is it’s so tempting to try to be someone you’re not in order to fit in, and especially for us neurodivergents. Humans are social animals after all (make no mistake, we ARE animals) and have a need to fit in. Usually that means trying to be how whatever society we live in deems “normal” through either established social norms, laws or whatever the hell else.

Of course, when we ND’s try to act normal and to fit in, what happens? Do we wind up fitting in? Oh hell to the naw. We usually end up looking like total fools, and especially to our loved ones (well, the more open-minded ones anyway). I mean, can you seriously see me wearing cargo shorts and/or full length jeans, still a blank canvas, no piercings, drinking Miller Light and whatever the hell else normal (or, as I prefer to think of them, boring) people do? Yeah, didn’t think so. Would you want me to fit that mold above? Again, if you truly “love” me (in whatever form that love might be), would you want me to? Proabably not because then I’m someone I’m not and why would you love an alternate me?

Nah, I’m not fooling anyone when I become somebody else around everyone else. They all know I (also, anyone else who masks) am not who I am presenting myself to be. And you know what? Not only that it’s fucking tiring to pretend to be someone else around everyone else. It wears on your soul. I didn’t realize that until I started allowing the true me to really shine through.

And who knows? Maybe all the tears I’ve shed this week (and continue to shed) are that unrequited pain exiting my mind, body and soul. That’s OK, because it’s ready to be released, because I had a defective pressure release valve that didn’t allow it to be released. Now that I’ve replaced it with a properly functioning one, it’s working better and it’s working very efficiently too because with each tear I feel a little lighter, a little less heavy, a little less troubled.

So what happens next? Stay tuned to find out tomorrow! In the meantime, enjoy the song and really pay attention to the lyrics if you’ve never done so before. You might just find she’s singing to you too (as it seemed she was me).