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08 March 2013

V for Amicizia

Fever pumped in my ears as I rode the tube, nearing one a.m. I had not said goodbye properly to V and I did not see the look in her eyes as I climbed down the tram to run into the metro station. I was afraid they wouldn't tell me anything.

I have been thinking about V insistently for the last two weeks although she didn't even exist before that. Her appearance can be thanked to our marvelous and previously equally inexistant support network that has set up meetings and dinners in every major city of the country at least once a month. In a single month between 4 and 6 events take place from the southern islands to the chilly northern mountains of Italy, and all of this did not exist one year ago. Poly's were dead in the water, now the community's thriving and the media can't have enough of us. I'll remind myself to toast to this next encounter I go to.

But I'll probably forget, because I'm thinking of a woman. Whoever knows me knows well that this is nothing new, I'm always thinking of a woman that I like and that probably does not share the same feelings for me. Indeed V is the perfect replay of this scenario: I usually brush the whole thing aside telling myself they're not smart or open enough to figure me out, and here's where things are getting tough, 'cus she's not dumb.

Even if you don't know me you can guess that I don't particularly enjoy riding the subway with a fever in the middle of the night. I only did so because I was at a party. V's party. Now, I have no idea what I was looking for but I presently had a horrible sensation of not having found it. I knew that given the hour, the connection station was probably closed, leaving me with 4 km to walk with my fever under heartwarming rain. This is Milan's idea of Spring, if you're wondering. God needs not be asked twice for this kind of twists for effect, so he readily closed the transfer station and as I walked out into the night and started jogging to keep my body warm and not allow the fever to rise, I did ask myself if I was truly gonna stick to the story of not being in love. In fact I was full of questions and was almost glad the station was closed, for this gave me pause for thought, so to speak. I also realized I would look better on the blog.

I am in love. I'm in love with V. At the beginning, when she first turned to smile bright upon us at one of the Milanese encounters I couldn't even stop to think that she was cute, there was almost immediately something else that stroke me about her. Something more. I don't keep this things in check, exactly what it is that strikes me about a person, so it's not until now, writing these lines, that I realize it was always more than just looks with her. Not to say that she's ugly, there is indeed nothing remarkable about her in purely physical terms. She's beautiful in a very common way. But it's only under the knife that I could tell, for the look of her enthralls me. The way her attention is always set on something, and her demeanor is full of intention. She does not wander, there's always something going on inside her head and this fills me with curiosity.

So out of the stark incapacity to even put things on paper, my system's first reaction was quite simply and perhaps predictably, to fall in love. This is not something I hid from her, I was in fact very forward with it, as I usually am, as part of a strategy that I probably oughta review for it has pretty much never worked. Fine, it's not a strategy per se but rather the conscious choice of not having a strategy, which had an original purpose of not putting too many expectations on things. Inloveness is already all too efficient at such a task. But that hasn't worked out as expected either, for the level of expectations that I put on love has not diminished, I've only become more cumbersome and perhaps more demanding. As if the lack of a strategy should work AS a strategy and the honesty in it should be thanked by furthering my objectives. Pay my forwardness with falling for me, it seems to say. And I know that in a way, it's what I expect.

But that's not how it works.

She took a short look at me and quickly decided I was going to be her new best friend. This is the single most unattractive, uninteresting, unsexy, boring, party pooping, bummer turnoff anybody can put before me, and when I heard the magic words (I never really did, she spared me the pain) she was still high enough in my ranking for me not to close the chapter on her definitely.

I did however warn her: I'm not good at being friends. Which was of course an underestimating, information-manipulating, Stallinist way of NOT saying “I don't have any friends. The ones I have cling to me like rats drowning in the ocean cling to a speed-boat. They don't get anything from me, ever. No phone calls, no e-mails, not even spam, nothing, and I only look for them when there's a two-for-the-price-of-one at the Japaneese restaurant or a tooth breaks and they happen to be a dentist”. I didn't just say this because it's both mysanthropous and sick, and whether I'm sick or not is something I'll start discussing with myself come the time (probably around the year 2036).

I left her with that and reluctantly began a process of mourning. I had to get off the love-fever and I had to give objective analysis to having any romantic chance left with a person that had just quite clearly friend-zoned me.

Now, there's a disclaimer I have to add here.

Friend's zone

A lot of women find the term friend-zone offensive, because they oppose this term to fuck-zone. In other words, you don't fuck your friends, so since you're not gonna fuck me, that puts me in the friend-zone and the reason why this sucks it because I was hoping to get laid.

Such a conception is fine for high-school, but by the time you grow a heart it is reductive in the sense that it excludes there being anything on top of sex. It is also misleading because usually friend-zoning will be used as a term that specifically excludes sex, when this is the case only for most friendships, but not for all of them.

My problem with friend-zoning is that it is created with the purpose of setting limits. Limits that have not been agreed upon inside a relationship but that try to be imposed from the person that friend-zones, and that are established as a precautionary measure, not as an actual need. The person that friend-zones, in my experience, is interested in stopping an already present and possibly evolving process of attraction from the person that is being friend-zoned. This however does not properly implies a certainty from the part of the friend-zoner that no attraction will ever be born inside them but simply means to stop an ongoing process of attraction in order for it not to get out of hand or simply for it not to be a nuisance.

So friend-zoning cannot really be an imposition, it's just a deal. The friend-zoned person will of course accept the deal often, but he or she doesn't have to. The deal is simple: “I really like everything I see inside you so far. I'm just not attracted to you and I'd like it if you either stop being attracted to me, or don't ever mention that you're attracted to me again, and certainly don't try anything funny”. So strictly speaking, as a deal it presupposes one of two possibilities: That attraction can be commanded to stop, or that it can be lied about forever. I find the first supposition just dumb. It is kind of like reading a book and finding it interesting and the commanding oneself, for the sake of stability, to NOT find this book interesting anymore. The second supposition is of course perfectly alright except perhaps because it entails dishonesty, which I'm comfortable with. So in practical terms, accepting a friend-zoning means quite simply to accept to lie about one's own feelings and to act according to this lie. It also means accepting that a series of needs inside a relationship will never be met (but will probably not go anywhere).

So I don't have a problem with setting limits per se, which are due and necessary to everybody, but with doing this in a preemptive strike manner, which is the friend-zoning manner. You don't really know what kind of relationship will come out of the interaction with another person. You know you don't want to kiss him or her right now, but you don't know if you'll find him or her attractive later on. And what I really dislike about friend-zoning is that it gives me the strong sensation of attempting to establish how relationships will evolve: Attraction is impossible because we're friends.


What transpires here is the real reason for which I don't have friends: I just don't understand friendship. Friendship is this relationship of affection, inside which any amount of love can be felt and exchanged, without it ever involving attraction. Indeed the difference between friendship and “deeper” kinds of relationship is precisely that of attraction. Friends don't kiss, and they don't have sex.
And they never... do that thing... love each other in that... intimate kind of way, if such a thing can exist or be defined by anybody alive.

Talking to the cat (B), however, it became evident that friendship is made up of few rules that make it not unlike monogamy. It's a set of rules that are pre-established and pre-cooked by society and allow for a certain type of interaction that has, in a way, been socially policed. This interaction distinguishes itself from lovership nominally to begin with, but eventually, also practically. Friendship helps shape the type of affection that it names. So when we become friends, our love will tend to be more friendly.

In other words, firendship complements lovership inside monogamy by creating an affective space that does not threaten monogamy but rather allows it to thrive, absorbing all exogamous affection in safe containers. It is because one can only have one partner, that friendship is so strict about its rules. Friendship is monogamy's way to cope with people's polyamorous nature. When I said this to the cat it hit me like I had fallen off the bike I was riding: If it wasn't for friendship's limits, if it wasn't for friendzoning, all affective relationships could involve anything, and all affective relationships could become loverships. Or rather, everything would be loverships (relationships based on some kind of love), they would just have different degrees and measurements and items in trade, that would be defined per case. Which is precisely what my life is becoming like. Easton talks about this in The Ethical Slut (I did make it to about page 50); she says that she's had sex with all of her friends, and that it is only some people whom she hasn't that give her food for thought. “How come?” she wonders, “when it's something you can share even just to try it, like going to the movies.”

Of course, there is one essential step that we're missing here, and that opens the chasm between V and Me: Attraction. She does not yet feel attracted to me, and she never may. Attraction is not born rationally, but rather follows the unconscious rules of our erotic pulsions. This, at least to begin with. Then something may or may not be added to this equation, and that is: intellectual attraction. My problem with normal friendship is that it does not establish intellectual attraction limits, and yet, it means to police physical attraction. Which is where I guess we're different to the monogamous crowd. One kind of attraction can easily lead to another.

Indeed in my case, it's not only inevitable but rather fitting. The more I like a person intellectually, the more that person will become beautiful in every aspect, including the physical. As a matter of fact, I thought that an intellectually uninspiring girlfriend would never have a chance at making me fall for her, and for this too I have been proven wrong. So strong levels of admiration and or affection in one department can easily jump or translate into other sections of my feelings. As you can easily guess, I am attracted to an awful lot of people.

I love to feel how this is something I share very intimately and strongly with the kitten, but I do realize we're the odd bunch. Monogamy-abiding crowds are apparently very effective in establishing taboos inside friendship that resemble kinship taboos. You just can't feel attracted to your sister or brother, no matter how much it would make sense. They are screened behind a taboo, that makes such thing impossible. In a way, years-old friends become like that, it is impossible for them to feel attraction for each other. No matter how much sense this would make.

When there is no balance about this, no reciprocity, I feel rejected and rejection hurts. The fact that feelings have jumped from a place to the other, that my sense of awe now pervades every conception of the person whereas for that person there is no awe or it remains limited to just an aspect or two of who I am in his/her eyes, this irks me and pain soon ensues.

Best Friends Forever

V's friend-zoning worked to a degree and although I didn't take any distance from her, friend-zones are usually equipped with electrified barb-wire which provides all the shock therapy one needs to “get over that bitch” and V's friend-zone, although not being amidst the most stringent, was clear-cut.

And then something happened. I was all good and well at the friend-zone's exit (all friend-zones have an exit: away from the person) waiting for my levels of attraction to fade to a point where I could just enjoy her friendship and then either disappear or have the third Italian friend ever. And then... almost suddenly...

She began looking for me. I couldn't be surprised since she really meant it when she said she wanted to be bff's. But she began looking for my insistently, and she began stalking my activities and reading anything of mine that she could find. I even gave her the address for this blog and she seems to have read everything I've ever written inn'it. Our online communication bulked up with questions and answers and discussions and debates, and she was never short of praise and enthusiasm, indeed she was all over me. A strange question rose from the objective part of my brain, sober and undiluted: Is she falling for me?


As I arrived home, my back hurt, my nose dripped and my fever had miraculously stood still. It warmed me up under the rainy night sky and four layers of sweaters. I had thought about everything a few times over and realized that there was nothing I could do now but wait. Nobody could answer my questions. If V was falling for me, she didn't realize about it. If she wasn't, there was no clear time at which I could call it. Either way, we were both walking identical paths, indeed parallel. Paths of discovering each other, and in this discovery filling with wonder and admiration and curiosity to continue digging. And love.

But she's the Shroedinger cat, for while she's walking my same path and I am hers, this path is taking us in different directions. The more I find out about her, the more attracted I am to her. Whereas she just loves me more... like a friend.

I think of her constantly and I'm taking a huge gamble with every passing moment that I spend with her. I am just waiting, I'm waiting to see if I can get through and reach her heart, to put it melodramatically. To find a different look in her eyes. It may never come and I'll have to decide, sooner or later, if I want to stay close to her as friends or if I even can. Painlessly.

I'm Léu and I don't have many friends.

12 January 2013

Zen and the incidental fuck

I do believe I have walked some road in the process of dealing with jealousy. More than anything, I believe to have found the main thing, the one solution, the cure-it-all medication: Zen.

I will, however, not talk about zen, right now, more on that can surely be asked to Osho or Budha himself for that matter. What I will talk about is not of how well zen cures all illness of wanting, needing and not having, but of its evilest archenemy: the incidental fuck.

I don't believe that there is anything about B that gives me chills more than knowing that I am eternally exposed to one of her incidental fucks. They are not present in absolutely every circumstance but rather in very specific and obvious scenarios, which is when the other partners, M and L, are present.

Whenever this is the case my reality becomes this minefield, where anything can lead surprisingly quickly to her ending up... well... fucking. A headache, sleepiness, a crisis that needs talking out, any of this is a scenario that can magically turn into her making love with one of her partners. It is indeed enough for a door to close between her and the outside world – I can turn around five minutes – for her to be naked and moaning of pleasure. And I'm not sure if this is what distresses me the most or the misleading information that precedes it: “hey hons, we're gonna go talk about stuff”, “Sweety, I'm not feeling too good, I'll just go lay down for a bit”, “Lèu, I'm sleepy, I'll go take a nap”. Whenever I look around myself and wonder where the kitten is, if she has said any of these things and was walked anywhere closed by one of the metamours (loves of my love, partners of my partner), odds are she's fucking.

I have so far walked into a room to see her fucking, not been able to walk into a room 'cus' she's fucking, hear her fucking while I await her return, arrived to meet up with her to know she has just had sex with an ex, found out she's had sex with a common enemy...

So well, I know what you may be asking yourself: So where's the problem? Are you complaining? How would this be any different from her ending up unexpectedly watching a movie, whenever you turn around for five minutes?

Well, yes, what transpires here is that my sexual relationship with the cat is conflictive. I don't handle her making love with other people in my vicinity very well, and how well I handle it depends on how close or far removed I am from zen. And the deterioration of zen will be directly equivalent to how much incidental fucks affect me, unnerve me, or even hurt me. And indeed, lack of zen makes many things harder to tolerate, or even things I have to tolerate at all as opposed to not caring or even being able to enjoy them.

So what is this zen already!? Well, detachment. Lack of expectations. When we want something, not having it can lead us to pain, so zen is not wanting or wanting but being able to detach. Or as Yoda would put it “desire the way to pain is”. Does this mean that in order to have a happy polyamorous relationship you should stay away from love? Is love not a direct equivalent, does it not immediately precedes wanting?

Well I got no idea. Not anymore. Mexicans like to say that if you love somebody you should let the person go. If he or she comes back to you, he's/she's yours. If s/he doesn't, s/he never was. My problem with this is the clear message of possession that's hides behind this phrase; mononormativity teaches ownership. So granted that love be defined alien to ownership, can it really be defined detached from all expectations? And what are expectations if not desire. “I wish you would come home after dinner”, “I hope we can meet this summer”. Even if expressed in the most constructive of manners, “I'ld like it if we could write a book together someday”, the want transpires. You can add “If that's not possible, I won't mind” but it is necessarily bullshit. By saying you would like something, you mean to imply that should it not happen, you will automatically not have wanted it and not be disillusioned, thus the use of the conditional “would” instead of an already expressed desire in “want”. But is it honest? Does one really not care if something one “would like” does not actually happen?

I don't think so. I think zen is the measure in which wanting is quelled, but I don't think a perfect zero is attainable. And if complete detachment is impossible, who is to say love does not actually exist without it, or is, in fact, independent from it. “I can stay apart of my loved for any amount of time, as long as I know the person is ok, I love him and want her to be free”. Sure but what happens if I actually tell you you won't see the loved one again. It's a perfect equivalent to him or her bieng dead. I could also do the opposite, lying about the person having died and instead continue telling you he or she is fine and happy. “I care only about his happiness, even if I can have no part in it and indeed know nothing of it or him”. No wishes, to know or see or share, nothing, no needing or missing, so what are you still calling love? Wishing the person well? “If he ever needs me, I'm here for him” … Fair enough, perhaps.

In fact, I will allow doubt to take over here and not define zen as opposite to love (unlike budha). I will allow us to imagine in a psychology-fiction scenario that love can, in fact, exist despite absolute detachment.

Then sex comes in. And I know this is cultural, but here I will simply admit defeat. Nothing erodes my zen, my detachment and peace, like sex. I live sex like a fusion of poetry and obnoxious cliché. I've gone into this zen-corroding exercise of metaphor in sex, where I make the body is a metaphor for the person and as such, sex is a direct interaction with everything you love about a person. And I get the fusion desire, and the adoration and the condom commercials. Pathetic like all innocent beauty.

The conclusion I've arrived to is a boring one: Unlike love, my zen and my sex are definitively opposite. They are antagonists in an unimaginative Apollo/Dionysus Nietzschian narrative. And I'm fucked sideways, for the more I sex the less I zen. Which is fine for monogamy, but sucks in polyamory. Specially at parties, gatherings, meetings, conferences and pretty much any space and time where L, M, B and Me share a common roof (and have doors to close readily available).

If polyamory is a war, zen is your sword: it'll scratch, chip, splinter and ultimately shatter. Like the samurai katana in an old Japanese movie it is an extension of yourself, knowing your soul is knowing your sword. It's holding your zen in place. And indeed, the war is not against your partners but against yourself, your need to merge, the frailty of your boundaries, the burning heat of your needs, and the challenging, even treacherous environment.

I'm Léu, and I'm an able swordsman, but I hope somebody invents shields soon.

18 November 2012

The poly test, and how to fail it

The Poly Test.

There is something I love to call the poly test. It is not an official category, just something I invented for all the folks out there who're unsure whether they are poly.

So when explaining the reasoning behind polyamory or open relationship, the first subject that will usually be touched is the one of multiple romantic interests: It is kinda pointless to give polyamory a thought when somebody just doesn't feel like he or she can love more than one person at a time. The mechanics of jealousy also change for most of the people that feel their partner could have sex with, but not love, another individual outside the couple. So loving more or just fucking more is also a relevant question.

Anyway, you're there talking about loving many and a certain comment often pops up, that goes something like “Oh, I've felt that. Maybe I'm poly”. This is my cue to enounce the poly test in its one-phrase-on-the-back-of-a-cereal-box form:
"Anybody can love many, not everybody can share."

If 'sharing' is the right term (you would need to own something in order to share it) I won't go into that here, this phrase just sort of illustrated the point quickly. It is my belief that pretty much everybody alive has the capacity to deeply love and care for more than one individual at the same time, and that it's a monogamous effort (constant or sporadic) the one that prevents such feelings from developing. This however does not mean that a person can effectively deal with knowing the love of his life has similar feelings for others. This is where the sharing comes in, even if just sharing one's own presence in the loved one's mind.

Be it that possession is possible or merely a reassuring illusion, the possibility to allow the loved one to love somebody else is where polyamory is really at, because it makes consensus happen and honesty possible. To be polyamorous, you must confess, and they must agree.

So how can you tell if you've got the grit?

Well, the test can be materialized in many ways. In truth any moment of knowing the other exists for your partner, another love, another interest, is a moment of reckoning, for it is the moment in which the mental comparisons begin and the sensation of risk appears. The risk of being less in any way. Hell just to think of it kinda gives your a hint already of the real deal, what it would be like.

“I'm interested in soembody”, “I have another boyfriend”, etc etc, she's met somebody, an old girlfriend has come back into town for him. And of course much more complicated places and scenarios are possible: meeting the person, going out together. All things that may have beneficial consequences for the relationship or make you go completely out of your poly head.

Each level has it's benefits to reduce the impact and allay your fears, or indeed increase them and worsen them exponentially. For most poly's, I hear, the initial levels of contact are enough for things to be neither too close and intimate, nor so impersonal that too much space is given to imagination to fill with ghosts and monsters. Finding the right spot for you to take the poly test is thus essential to getting good things out of it.

But I'm not gonna talk about the right balance. I'll tell you how to fail the poly test spectacularly.

How to fail it. 


Newflash: B is actually a cat. I mean, she does look and talk like a beautiful young woman but inside she's just a cat, she even meows. This is why from now on other ways to reffer to B will include all kinds of cat sustantives: Cat, kitty, pussy. Ok perhaps that last one will be reserved to other subjects...

When I showed up, B (the cat) was already in a relationship with M and with L. When i came into town I caused quite a rumble for L found in me a great reason for fear and doubt. His jealousy sparked fast and hard and a small crisis ensued. This actually reassured me of my worth inside the relationship, of my fitness to face what the others were offering. The marketing mentality was probably the first mistake I made, and I knew it was a big mistake to make, but at the same time, knowing I was the hot new stuff was too alluring and felt too good to not take that pill.

In the meantime, the poly test were many. Just developing strong feeling for B was already a poly test of sorts, since I already knew there was other people in the relationship and I was already being measured up and compared, even if unconsciously. I already knew the other boyfriends in person, so that test too had been passed a priori, it was kinda like homeschooling and then facing the class and exams mid-year, no mysteries or surprises. Watching them kiss, or cuddle, all this I faced like a true master in the matter, and being the favorite, there was a constant complimenting of my abilities and me in general. I had nothing to fear and as such I was too self-assured to doubt.

But time passed and you're the new kid only until a new guy comes along (or girl, alas). And my relationship with B moved on not without big fights that put all fireworks to rest for a while. I was brought down from the pedestal, and Lu got kicked out of B's heart, and then readmitted. He had changed and things were not gonna be the same with him anymore, possibly for the better. Although he was not a new face, my mistrust for how he had been kicked out the previous time was never gonna go away, and as such his presence irked me.

So then came the inevitable, I am even surprised it didn't happen before. A poly meeting in the Italian capital of polyamory, Bologna. The House of Poly greeted us with arms open and beds made, and as soon as the general, public meeting was over, we readied ourselves to stay over. According to the diagram things were kinda clear-cut: the master bedroom was used by fond enemies of ours Mr. Curl and Mrs. Hänchen (there are no enmities in the poly community, just people we love to hate), the couch that lay in the dining room would be used by L and M to have their loving wiles, a small bedroom built behind the kitchen (the House of Poly holds many wonders) would host a new addition to the group, a girl that goes by the name of Almond. Fair and cute she is, by the way, though with a tireless mouth that has a life of its own. And in another section of the house, separated by a door and some stairs, the studio was to be our bedroom, where I would hold the kitten (B) in her sleep.

Yes well, that was the plan, at least. We also went out. On bikes, nothing less, and to the disco! We danced all night, me and the kitten, along our host and master of the House of Polyamory, Emerald, and some other poly additions, who would stay over at Emerald's own apartment outside town.

Once we were all done blazing on the dance floor, we were given a lift back to the Poly House. As we walked in, however, a plot unfolded: M was asleep on our bed. Not in, tucked and cozy, but sitting on it, apparently waiting for us (or death, or destiny). And the gasping moaning that came from across the house could only mean Almond was getting better acquainted with our frenemies, a story on which I won't abound.

Almond and I had gotten close as well, we were talking much of late and when I met her, several encounters before, I was struck both by her beauty and her charming goofiness. So Kitten, seeing that M had been waiting for us, had to talk with him extensively. They needed to talk. A small crisis had erupted between L and M and the kitten had to smooth it out. It was then that Almond showed up.
Having apparently finished her job over at the Curl/Hänchen, she wanted to know what we were up to. Specially if it was sexual. I was indeed in the mood for love, but the evening had spun so magically around the cat, with the cycling around Bologna and the dancing (cats hate to dance and this one in particular). We were tipsy and tired and I just wanted to hold her in my arms and kiss the entirety of her skin.

In this scheme, Almond could not be allowed. But I didn't tell her right away, I just didn't find the strength. The kitten wanted to take some time to talk with L and M over at the dining room and in the meantime, I might as well caress Almond's fair and soft skin, to then gently excuse myself for not being able to go further, as the evening belonged, in my mind, to the cat. B said, “I'll be right back”, and went off with M to save the world of polyamory.

Then the unimmaginable happened. As I stroked Almond's hair and ran my nails on the shriveling skin of her naked back, I heard moans. Moaning I could have recognized anywhere and in any circumstance. Cat's moaning. Apparently the frail emotional need that had lured the cat away had just grown a hard-on.

I was shaken. I was waiting for the kitty, not certainly in bad company or without distraction, but still I waited. Instead she now moaned loudly and I knew that her pleasure was poignantly strong and that it was going to last long. Because M lasts for hours. I froze. I began finding it hard to think, my heart aching. Jealousy. I boiled with jealousy. Tipsy, tired, horny, the cold chill of jealousy poured on me with the cat's every loud moan of pleasure. I couldn't handle it, I had to escape it. Escape it at all costs.

“You need to leave, Almond” I said, my voice cold. She didn't understand. She asked if this had anything to do with her previous visit of our frenemies. “No, I'm sorry. It has nothing to do with them, it's me. You need to leave.” She began putting her shirt back on, “Uhm... quickly?” she asked somewhat tense. The tenderness of her apprehension soothed me. “No, I'm sorry, take your time.” She dressed up and hopped off the bed. As soon as she was out of sight, I realized I had to solve my problem as quickly as possible. I had to leave the house. The kitten's moaning could not be quelled with a door or wall, she's a loud one.

To my misfortune, however, I was in a dire position. The studio happens to be on a mezzanine 3 meters above the ground. The easy way to get off of it and onto the exit door is quite simply to take the stairs. But the moaning of the kitten were so clear I feared they were closer than expected. That they came from the bathroom, perhaps, which I'd inevitably have a peek into if I climbed down the stairs. The horror of such a vision chilled my blood, as I already sustained the pain of the moaning with unease. No, the stairs were not an option. A second mezzanine was built right next to the exit, a meter from the one I stood on. Jumping on it left only the problem of a one and a half meter high jump to the floor. I got dressed for a cold night, jumped to the second mezzanine, then tried to slide down from it by stepping on two chairs which lay beneath, one turned upside down on top of the other.

One broken chair later, I exited the House of Polyamory.

The night was dark and the air freezing, I began shivering after a few steps. “I just failed the poly test” I told myself as I quickly paced away from the house, to produce heat but also to escape cleanly. I had left the cellphone behind, the last thing that I wanted was somebody calling me “Where are you, are you out of your mind?” sinking me deeper into my shame. The frenemies would know and scorn “So he went nuts and jumped down mezzanines to leave the house, can you believe that, how quaint!”

I hoped the cat wouldn't notice I left. I hoped they wouldn't notice anything at all, I hoped I could be all by myself for at least an hour. Well, that's about what I had, I told myself, for M wasn't gonna be done in at least an hour. The pain refreshed. The jealousy. I began crying. The sense of failure, the sense of entrapment. The unwanted resentment against M. Against myself.

I walked for about a mile. I went to the fringes of the city, which lay close by. Alone in the empty brightly lit streets, I spoke loudly to myself. Scolding, interrogating. I tried to put my thoughts in order, to clean my heart of remorse, to calm down. To quell jealousy. To quell jealousy, to kill it. To allow myself to understand why I hurt so badly, what made me need the cat so much. Need her mine. Need her at my disposition that very evening. To have her for myself, instead of somebody else. What fed my sense of possession, what made me feel so dispossessed, so crossed.

It was the romantic expectation. Monogamic in a sense, perhaps. The perfect evening, the perfect night. They do not include other people, there is no metamour when you turn off the candles on the table of the dinner for two. I though this was a night for us, when they were right there. They were supposed to have their own thing going on, M and L, but they were still there, and were entitled to change their mind at any given time. And so they did, and I just didn't get the fax. Nobody warned me.

“I gotta get back,” I told myself at last “if the kitten realizes I'm not there and have left the cellphone behind, she'll go completely berserk.” Few minutes later, I walked back into the Poly House. In a wink of fate, they were not done, but were finishing up. I had to hear her moan little more, before it was all over.

I got back into bed and as the kitten came back up the stairs of the mezzanine into the studio to sleep with me, she didn't notice anything odd. She excused herself for taking so long. I couldn't hold back. I thought it would be best to wait until the next day to talk things out calmly, but tired as I still was, and very emotional, I began telling her I had just walked in from the freezing cold of the Bolognese night.

Lack of communication, misunderstandings, biting more than you can chew. That's how you ensure a spectacular failure of the poly test.

I'm Léunar and I'll be taking that exam again soon enough.
Happy poly testing.

19 August 2012


I like J, I'm not gonna lie about it. I mean, I'm lying to her about it almost every day: whatever it takes to keep her mono head at ease. But I'm attracted to her, all the more now that we've become closer and that we're supposed to spend all of this time together. But hell, she's one serious mono demographic, she's the kinda girl that really needs to have things clear in her mind in a completely unobtrusive way. No ambiguities, no shades of gray. We're friends or we're not, we like each other or we don't, no attraction, or it cannot be, it's the law of friendship! So I lie, and I've always been good at it and I'll even say I'm amused by it, I get a kick out of it. But it does make me laugh sometimes, the sheer ridiculousness of every little scene put together. I mean, I'm just into her, it doesn't really mean anything in real life. She'ld freak out to know so, but it's not like she's in any danger. I do like her lips and would like to approach her mouth and kiss her, but I wont. And perhaps feel her up, and yes, fantasize about it every now and then, but this is what life is all about, fantasies and fantasizing. And this doesn't mean that I'll pick a moment or other to take advantage of her, or that I'll spot her vulnerabilities or get her drunk at a party to later take her home and confess all passionate love with a hand that undoes her bra in the back. Firstly because it's not something she wants. And secondly, because I don't passionately love her, I'm just into her and friends should be able to deal with that.

E is a different kind of woman, she's older, wiser. What really drives me nuts about her is that she's all experienced and stuff. Hell knows if this is real experience, but she's got that air to her, of a woman who's been around the block a few times and can tell you stories. Not old, just in the know, and not even all that powerful or imposing, if anything I often find her shy and indecisive. But perhaps hard to impress and with beautiful disillusioned eyes, like she expects nothing from you and is just trying to have some fun before she dies. Sharp, and dark somehow, like she won't take your shit. I like that in her, just short of demanding or princessy. But you stop being a princess with age, it seems. You either grow into fully obnoxious queen or quit the act. She just seems fair to me.

S is among the strangest I've ever encountered, she's beautiful alright, but she has a background that makes little sense. She's a second generation hippie, but she's not unapologetic or fiercely independent, she has a bit of both, a bit of everything: jealous of her own space but in need of care and company, devoid of jealousy in relationships but possessive, clear-headed but feral. Contradictory. I don't like contradiction for it's own sake and as such I'm not sure I'll like S for much longer, but she has mixed all of the above with a hectic lifestyle where she's never available, so it might be a while before I actually realize I'm not longer interested in her.

I was just in Toronto for a short vacation. It's like being in the States but not, it's nicer somehow. And yet, in the bottom, it's kinda the same. I must however say that there are several things that I did not expect to see and learn and I was quite surprised by them. People there is really big on cultural differences and you'll hear a lot about white people and their privileges. I guess this makes sense given the clear and 'recent' invasion of white colonialists, whereas if you wanted to state who's the rightful owner and privileged oppressor of the territory comprised by the Italic Peninsula you'd have to review an eternity of occupations, colonies and massacres. What most interested me about the multicultural issue is how at some point in time (probably thousands of years ago, if ever), the cultural group in power (won't call it white people since russians and east-europeans are probably not feeling all that privileged) stopped teaching empathy and began teaching tolerance. Empathy is not only anti-hegemonic, it's completely anti-capitalistic. It requires the investment of time and effort into something that will generate diversity while at the same time strengthening the bonds of a society, creating solidarity and even kindness. All of which are horrific prospects for a society built upon hierarchic differences and a vertical structure of power. Tolerance, instead, solves the problem. It means not understanding anything about the immigrant other, but simply not complaining about his or her existence. Thus all groups representing other cultures can be exploited productively while at the same time keeping a peaceful environment where business can thrive. White Canadians are not just tolerant, they're also empathic, more so than most white americans. The model is still however, that of empathy.
Something completely different that stroke me about 'white people' is how they're picky. They love their personal space, and it's amazing that for the same cultural group that invented and celebrates sex positivity and polyamory, being touched by somebody else can be so discomforting or having somebody else too close can happen so easily. The opposites that meet in them are so far appart from one another, openness to all romantic and sexual encounters and closedness to all non-romantic and non-sexual human contact. They are so weird, white people.

I'm léu and this has been a vacation reentry account.
Merry working polymers to you all!

14 August 2012

The labyrinth of despair

I know we suck as a Live TV, i apologize. I told you some time ago i had had a fight with Bea and then i was already having another one before actually saying I had survived the first one. Well, things have been hot as hell ever since, and it’s not just the summer.
Our problems didn’t actually stop, or they did but only to resurface.
Underneath, however, certain things, unbeknownst to the lot of us, were actually coming together, certain forces were accumulating, going somewhere, and gaining momentum. In other words, I saw a series of fights come one after the other, with me as the center of hatred, and figured they were independent form each other and wouldn’t mean anything in the long run. That problems were being addressed as they surfaced and sooner or later, we’ld kinda have gone through most of them and that we would then stop fighting. But as fights stopped with me, they began somewhere else, with L. And I just thought it was part of the same dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s process, that issues that came to light with me could also lead to useful discussion and
friction elsewhere. All beneficial and constructive.
I was wrong. As me and B stopped fighting, L and B began a fight that opened up before them like the majestic gates of an ancient labyrinth—shit that had to come from Greece or Mycenæ. And as they walked in, I thought I saw a confident gaze in their eyes, even optimistic. Only later did it dawn on us that only one of them would make it out.
I don't believe this to be something that happens exclusively with B and L in this specific context. I realize as i write, that every time we enter a fight with one of the partners we are actually walking into this kind of maze. A labyrinth of despair, complex and daunting, where there are in fact many ways to escape alone but very few to walk out together. And still, the objective is to escape, like in any other labyrinth. It is merely our obsession with what we've had and would never want to lose what makes us irreverent towards the labyrinth itself. Disrespectful before its ancient walls. Like any labyrinth, it has much to teach us, and like all labyrinths, it pits us against ourselves. And we're tough foes.
When defeated, the labrynth quickly lets go of us, but whatever we shared with our partner when entering its dark tunnels is no more.
Small quarrels are probably not comparable to the scenario of near apocalypse that i here portray, and indeed not all minor disagreement will show us the end of the world. But every now and then, and perhaps unexpectedly so, the gates of the labyrinth reveal themselves and we are not forced but compelled to enter.
When B and L entered the labyrinth they did not do so unknowingly. Perhaps they suspected... but they couldn't know for sure. I do believe they could feel the blood of the fallen reeking from under their steps and they knew this was a place where one comes to change. So it comes to mind that maybe that's what they wanted. They wanted to change, or not stop changing, they wanted to follow the flow of what they had, and called relationship. When this flow became a waterfall, there was nothing they could have done.
War broke out.
Now, for good or for bad, I don’t speak to M much. It’s not something I do Intentionally, I’m just not good at bonding with males and M is a quiet kinda dude, so of course he doesn’t make it any easier for me. Anyway, our mutually confortable silence has only been broken once, as M asked me if I wanted help to get things back on their feet with B, during the first fight. This war was not another exception. We didn't talk to each other at all. Not once, not one word. I figure we were both too busy feeling horrified with the display of bloodshed we were witnessing. Either way, I didn't like it how we abandoned each other. We didn't have any business talking it out, perhaps. But I couldn't help but wonder if this could not be done better by actually picking up the phone and giving each other a distress call (Over a flashy red lit-up 80's telephone, if you want).
Or maybe this conflict, this war, was something we had to stay out of, it was not our quarrel to quell.
But of course we were there anyway, we could hear them fighting next door, though in a distorted and childish kind of way, like your parents yelling in the next room, where the specifics escape you and all you get are the occasional “all your fault”.
Nobody will ever know what happened. The first diplomatic incident, kind of like for the Second World War, was a proxy incident. B was not feeling in the mood for sex, but Venice was all romantic and such, and we had some conservative fun. Then B told L and M she didn’t want to have anything to do with sex anymore, and then I told L and M the kinky Venice story.
L called foul arguing a double standard, B said she hadn’t exactly meant a few things she had said. Or she had but not in the way L had understood them. The rest was one misunderstanding after another. A carnival, a whole World Fair of mutual incomprehension. In conversations with us (for I know M had the same job I did at the time: HQ adviser) they
said all kindsa contradictory stuff. They contradicted not only each other in what had been said and suggested, but also themselves. In a matter of a week none of them were making sense anymore, and the more upset they got, the less precisely they could put together an argument.
So they panicked. They were so pissed off at each other that panic is the only thing I could describe things as. Few days later, all diplomats were called in, and the war had ended. Everybody lost, ties were severed, all messaging pigeons to be seen flying anywhere the no trespassing zone would be shot at upon sight. It was a nightmare. And not because they were all stressed up and shit, but because WE had to put up with their shit.
And... well the story of this conflict sort of extends itself like a Star WArs Saga (books included), so suffice it to say, that the axis did realign.
B and L are no more. B and M are still around and so are M and L. B and me are having potato chips as we speak, and L and me just put the italian polyamorous website in third place on the Google ranking.
Uhm... everybody is full of questions. Nobody's asking them, but I know whoever is not 30cm under sand somewhere in the coasts of Sardinia is asking themselves a thing or two. How are L and M gonna meet now, when B is part of the house's cats army? And what about me and L are we still gonna be bff's? oh and, why should we care about yet another Spider Man movie, that's just like the previous one?

All this and more, we ask, but while answers escape us, we can only set the kettle, and brew fresh love flavoured iced tea.
Post-apocalyptic polymers to everyone.
I'm Leu, and I'm still standing :p