Time Traveler

What would you do if you went back x number of years? Someone asked me and I asked the specifics. Did I time travel, or was I in my younger body? Did I have my memories and experiences from current me? Specifically, I considered what it would be like, having my current memories and experiences trapped in me during my freshman year in high school. I hated high school, especially now that I’ve lived ‘real life’. “I would chew my mother out,” I finally answered.

“Really?”

“Yeah. And I would enroll in more extracurricular. I felt like she didn’t let me enroll in extracurricular.” He was surprised, especially with my bitterness towards that chapter in my life. He somehow had drawn the conclusion prior to our conversation that I was popular and social in school. “No, I was the outcast of the outcasts.”

I understand myself now well enough to have been a counselor for young me. I would have been able to point out why I was looking so desperately for validation from my peers, and that I do behave differently from them due to the isolation I went through. I would point out that the reason why I was not drawn to boys my age was because they lacked the ambition and leadership skills that are not commonly found, especially in boys, but that there were people out there that would love me for me. In fact, if I went back in time as my friend suggested, I would spend those years waiting and preparing to come back to where I am now. I would make sure to be at the college cafeteria during the first week of school where Alice and Edward would see me and invite me to sit at their table for the first time.

I even considered the relationship with my ex and how it affected my relationship I’m in now. I wouldn’t date him. I wouldn’t be content to be with anyone knowing my “soul mates” were out there and I would meet them again. What I would do is I would surprise my ex by telling him things that others didn’t know, and tell him that he was important and needed to not give up. I wonder what that would have done to him, to not have wanted anything from him and still validate him as a person. To kill time (I’m waiting years for true love) I would have probably made friends with him still, and taught him what a non-sexual significant other is, and then hang out with him and tell him the future. I think the mistake I made with the first go was that I thought that if I loved him enough he would love me back, and in a weird way it eventually kind of worked, but it wasn’t organic so it was disastrous.

I would have studied the bible more, and burned my Tarot cards sooner. I would have worked on my relationship with my mother and sister. “I know I’m not like the person I was yesterday, but today I want to be my true self, and that’s what I’m going to do, whether you can appreciate it or not,” might be the first conversation I had with them. From then on, I wouldn’t be feeble, and I would try to allow myself to argue back. I would have defended my writing time, making the argument that this could be a sign that I’m a young prodigy and my mother wouldn’t want to get in the way of that. I wouldn’t let myself be afraid anymore. I would have been a completely different person by the time I put that into practice.

I think I was still going to my father’s place every other weekend per court order, and to be honest, I would have allowed myself to go one more time. I’ve struggled now with my memory, and I think by reliving one visit to his place, I would have enough fuel for my novel to flush out my character confidently. And then I’d draw the line and say more bluntly that I was not going to be around my father anymore and that he made me uncomfortable and crossed boundaries. I think I could have prevented him from molesting my sister, and he also would not have gone to jail years later. That makes me feel strange, that the abuse my sister went through has resulted finally in my ability to go anywhere in the city without looking over my shoulder for a few years.

I would have gone up to Bailey when I saw her in the hallways, and I would have kissed her and told her I would marry her someday, before walking nonchalantly to class. She would have appreciated it, too, even before knowing. Hell, she would love me more now if I had.

I asked her this evening what she would do if she could take her current experiences and go back to her first year in high school. I’m glad I asked, though her take would have been almost opposite mine. “I would tell everyone I was bi and polyamorous, and get the shock factor out of the way then so it wouldn’t surprise them with my relationship now. They will see it coming.” And she would have made sure to have fun. Because we went to high school together at the same time, but weren’t close, it was an interesting and enriching conversation. I got to learn more about her now by hearing about the old her and her motivations, and some of my memories returned to me. I also have a greater appreciation for who I’ve grown into.

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Coffee for Two .02

Good morning! Bailey made coffee this time, and there’s chocolate flavored coffee creamer, with or without sugar. You’re right, that one is hot chocolate mix, so you can make your cup into a mocha if you would like.

How do you feel about Christian music? I feel like the majority of Christian music is like a Mardi-Gras cake. It’s the one with the plastic baby hidden inside if I have it straight, I think the proper name is a King’s Cake. It doesn’t taste good. I don’t know why it’s such a big deal, or why they haven’t changed the recipe. I think it’s only still around because of tradition and nostalgia. I feel the same way about Christian music.

Alice likes it, maybe because she grew up going to church regularly so it has a different meaning to her. I can find music that praises God without the bland flavor, like He is Legend or Flyleaf, and some Emery and Icon for Hire to move the world.

I’m making French toast, by the way, would you like some? I’m frying bananas in butter as a topping, I recommend it.

Let me play for you something from a band Edward introduced to me.

There it is- proof I’m not the only one. Did you catch the verse, “lean with it, rock with it/ when we gonna stop with it/ lyrics that mean nothing/ we were gifted with thought”? Okay maybe he was referring to what’s on the radio in general and not strictly the cheesy, monotonous, redundant music sung in church. What do you think, though?

Oh, try this lavender infused honey on the toast, it’s pretty amazing.

I like the skill of living according to one’s faith in a way that isn’t stifling and benefits even those who don’t share in that belief. I grew up repulsed by the stereotypical Christian life. I almost never went to church and didn’t know what to do when I was there, and the music was probably my least favorite part about the whole thing. Yet naively I listened to Evanescence and Flyleaf because they sounded good. I want to live a life like that, and I would like to write in such a way that I can showcase the good I believe in and not repulse those I reach out to.

I actually think that this idea is related to being polyamorous. I believe in living in love, and I think it is hypocritical to believe that God wants you to love everyone but you have to have a favorite person that you treat as greater than mortal, essentially worshiping them as above human and the source of your fulfillment. That is where I place the blame for the high divorce rate (which is isolated to monogamist relationships). Our culture has grown selfish, but I feel everything trying to balance out, a fissure growing. How can I miss it when I’m caught in it, becoming the change that put me here? Polyamory is growing in popularity (I hate that word, popularity,) but we have to do it right or it will become exactly what we are struggling to diminish.

I went too deep again, didn’t I? I hope you enjoyed the coffee.

Couple-Couple-Couple

“It’s my favorite couple-couple-couple!”

Katniss invented this nickname for our group, which was probably the easiest way to describe us. In our culture, if you are with someone, you are a ‘couple’. ‘Couple’ now means two people that have an intimate relationship with each other. We have yet to discover a term that so easily communicates, “Yes, I am with that person, that person, and that person. Yes, we are ‘together’ together,” the same way that a word like ‘couple’ communicates, plural. I suppose she says it three times to put emphasis on plural, or because we’re a couple of ‘couples’ and by dissecting it out it would equal the same term stated three times. So we are referred to as Katniss’s favorite ‘couple-couple-couple’ and it actually makes sense.

Katniss is a character that waits tables at a restaurant where all the servers are popular characters. Danielle was Tinkerbell (or Stinkerbell, as some wanted to put it) when we met her. I thought I wouldn’t like her, but apparently it was because she was in character. They dance and sing for happy birthdays and potty trips and for a massive platter specially for parties of four, which we thought was too ironic to let down and ordered one for ourselves. Jokes ensued, and it was the fastest way to get to know people and the most memorable thing about us. We may start our conversations with our servers using the phrase, “what is the weirdest thing anyone has told you?” This is followed with the most disappointing pause as they consider some conversations that were held with their customers and either an “I don’t know, I’ve heard a few,” “I can’t think of any,” or a not-so-amusing tale. You would think more interesting things happen, but somehow they escape memories. In theory it’s a good way to start up a conversation, and sometimes it actually does create a lively conversation where we are perplexed as much as the server. Funnily enough, I can’t think of those stories right now, either.

At another restaurant, our waitress answers that she had a customer who said that he was with two women, who knew about each other, which she found interesting enough to be memorable. “We can top that,” was my immediate response.

Mothers’ Match

“Our mothers have been hanging out,” Bailey informed me.

“Yeah?” I dumped the broken noodles into the boiling water.

“Apparently about once every three weeks.” I scrolled through my calendar, trying to find landmarks for important dates. I can’t remember when it was that Bailey met with our mothers at the café and chewed them out. I refused to go after texting my mother and seeing her absolute naïveté to not only the case but how she is a pawn on the opposing side. She played innocent, and I figured that if in innocence she could cause so much heartache, I would preserver her ‘innocence’ and just not give her the ammunition. “They’re besties, or at least that’s what it looks like.”

“It really does. I don’t think she hung out as much with her other ‘best’ friend.” I tried scrolling through my mother’s schedule back when I was living with her. The one person she hung out with most and might have called a best friend she met maybe a few times a year.

“I know my mom’s gay. What do you think, do you think your mom likes girls?”

I considered. I couldn’t imagine her liking anyone, she probably hadn’t dated anyone in four or five years. “I know she hates men.”

On Teaching Babies (at Six AM)

The street lights illuminated her saucer-sized eyes, which drifted sleepily side to side in a daze at 5:45 in the morning. I recognized the voice on the radio. “It’s Eminem,” I informed her. Her eyes drifted to mine, oblivious, and then away again. I have and will continue to teach her things even if they go over her head, no matter that she’s seven and a half months old. I chuckled at the lyrics.

“I don’t like Eminem,” Bailey stated. She slouched at the other side of the car seat, hair lit orange at each passing streetlight. Guinevere turned to stare at her.

“I do. He’s really popular in Germany, too.” I couldn’t tell if Guinevere liked Eminem.

I imagined a voice criticizing my parenting. It’s easy to imagine when you’ve been in court over it for a year and a half. It’s also easy to imagine a lot of things at almost six am. You let your child listen to this music? they would say. (Now, I realize that people wouldn’t say something about exposing a baby to mature language [I don’t think] but I’ve been surprised by a lot of things lately). Yes, I would retort. I would not say that she’s just a baby and doesn’t know any better, though. I would say that Eminem makes good music, and his lyrics communicate many relevant statements. I don’t believe that I should shelter my baby from reality and cover her ears from ‘bad words’. She needs to know that words are just words, so that when she goes to school, instead of crying to me that some kid called her gay, she can make a witty retort to them about homophobia.

Legally Married

“So, how do you feel?”

“Nervous. Why am I nervous? Ishouldntbenervous we’ve beentogether three years…”

Alice chuckled at me. The plaque on the door said 120. The date was 9/20. Don’t forget this date. Edward and Bailey were hunting down an ATM. I continued reading the walls. I read and reread a flyer demanding to have your IDs and the fee of $81 handy. Behind the desks were figurines of couples and an upside-down heart that Alice and I couldn’t help but eye warily, pondering the intentions of the artist. My hair was pissing me off again and I was mad at my shoes and why didn’t I take a little more time getting ready.

They returned. Bailey played with the bills in her hand as I addressed the clerk behind the counter. We weren’t the only lesbian couple. No one seemed to care that we came with another couple, either, even though we seemed to be the only ones who did. Plural marriages are still not legal, but now we can all be married. I never considered, especially given the nature of my relationship, that I could actually get married. continue

Work Wife

Work Wife

It would be a while before Ed came to get me from work. I paced nonchalantly outside the door of the classroom. I searched the back of all the heads. Surely I can remember what the back of my wife’s head looks like. I think that was hers, in the front row. I wouldn’t take her as the kind of person to sit in the front row, but then I remembered that classroom settings put her to sleep. She’s probably combatting drowsiness. Her jacket looks kind of dull, she usually wears things that are vibrant and colorful. Then again, she has also been trying to give a more mature impression. I bet that’s her. I did not look ‘natural’ walking back and forth, poking my head in, in figuring this out. I slipped away hoping no one was watching me. If anyone did notice, I hope they assumed that I was trying to get the attention of someone I know, which would be the truth. I hoped the instructor didn’t notice me; I didn’t want to get Bailey in trouble during her first week of training. continue