Thursday, March 8, 2007

the same old dream appears

I wake, heart clenched in my chest, into grey waiting. Late or early, eyes unseeing, it doesn't seem to matter. I've had that dream again. I resent my brain anew for having it. It drives me from sleep and into stark staring head-shaking denial, into controlled and exercised breathing, telling myself, it was a dream. It was just a dream.

and when October goes
the snow begins to fly
above the smoky roofs
I watch the planes go by

In it, I've returned to my life and my ways, and I'm standing in the place I call home, still, wondering who to inform first. And my strong neko lad--beloved, adored, the man I've named primary to all I am and all I do in this place--comes by. I hold him, and, as a matter of course, flip up his profile. It's more ingrained than habit at this point, it's become my second nature, pure driving instinct.

And in the dream, there's a name in his partner field. And it's not mine.

the children running home
beneath a twilight sky
oh, for the fun of them
when I was one of them...

Partner, I think. Partner. He's gotten married. While I was trapped in the grey spaces, pinned into ether by forces I could not control.

I cannot do other than ask; and I cannot do other than listen, when he says yes, he married. During the week I was gone.

Because that's the other part of the pain in this dream, that my life is spinning out without me, that things are changing, that I can't be a part of the world I love. I know how fast the world moves when I'm there. This week, I have not been able to be there.

and when October goes
the same old dream appears
and you are in my arms
to share the happy years

I feel...breathless. I feel my heart thudding, leaden, in my chest. I stare at him and ask--it must be asked--what that means, to him, for us.

He looks away.

He begins to explain, haltingly, that he was asked, and he would have told me, but for that I was gone...and he knew I'd return, but he had to be honest, about us, about what we meant to each other, and about what this other, this name in his profile, meant to him.

I understand all of it. It makes nothing easier, in this dream.

I turn my head away
to hide the helpless tears
oh, how I hate to see October go

And now I'm the one looking down, and I begin to slowly explain...I am who I am, I have never pretended to be other than I am, but...marriage. It is the reason I've refused him twice, when he's asked me previously to pair with him. Were he to share my view on marriage, it might be an entirely different thing, but...he does not, and I would not ask to change that, because...I've watched him alter so much for me. It would...injure something in me, I think, were he to try to alter to that extent. I'm fairly sure it would injure something in him.

Marriage? To me, even with my interpretations, it's vital, it's necessary, it must be preserved. With one exception, when someone I know, when someone I care for, has gotten married, I've stood aside. I've tried my best not to interfere, not to violate the marriage bond.

In some cases it's been a thing of great difficulty for me, and even now, I struggle with it. If you are paired with me, so goes my thinking...and you choose to marry someone else...I cannot then choose to remain with you. It is unfair to your choice, unfair to your marriage, profoundly unfair to your partner. I cannot be that person, for the most part. It...hurts too much, most of the time.

and when October goes
the same old dream appears
and you are in my arms
to share the happy years

And I ask again. What this means for us. Whether this means there is an us. And I listen as he explains, that he will always care for me, he will remain my guardian and defender, he will always be my friend...I don't have the heart, the air to carry the words, to say to him, stop. Stop. I have heard this before.

It's what I know he would say anyway.

I have to ask again, my own questions, answers known before I speak, the dream, I have to. I have to have these things said.

"Primary," I whisper. I look up, my eyes brimming with tears I'm fighting not to shed. "So now, I should...change that? Because you...won't be, any more?"

"Ayy, grrl," he whispers, and draws me close again, and I fight my body to wakefulness, preferring grey nothing to continuation, to hearing him say goodbye.

It's what happened the first time I had this dream. I let it play out, so I know where it would go. It bothers me that my brain saw the need to have it twice.

I turn my head away
to hide the helpless tears
oh, how I hate to see October go...

And what does it mean to the larger sense of who I am, of what I do? Some of my otherloves, they hold similar views. Were I to get married, were I to accept the third proposal from my neko--that part of me is convinced is coming--I will lose them. As utterly, as completely, as this dream tells me I'd lose him, had he actually chosen another to wed.

And I am left on the far shore, gasping in the space between, needing to think all these issues through again, remake my choices, consider every angle. Is keeping him worth losing the others? Is accepting his wedding proposal the death knell for my chosen occupation? Could I conform to his idea of marriage, which is one man, one woman, pairbonded and allowing no others?

He says no, he says it would not be this way, but...he also says yes, that this is his concept of marriage, and...could I be that wife to his husband? Could I hold to the monogamist's view of fidelity? Or would I be doomed from the start?

I should be over it now, I know
it doesn't matter much how old I grow...

In a perfect society, all the forms of polyamory--polysexuality, polyfidelity, triad or quatrad monogamy, all the rest--would be accepted and understood. We do not have a perfect society.

But more, part of the problem is that I keep falling for, becoming involved with, monogamists. I proposed the questionnaire, and did write the card, even though I haven't handed it out. Something in me twitches at the thought--it seems so rude to ask. Yet...if I don't ask, I find myself here again, with someone else--torn in that gulf of perception between the concept of loving the other, and of loving many others. It doesn't seem to be something I can ask someone else to consider, until it looks as if I am growing serious. And if I'm growing serious, it becomes difficult, if not outright impossible, to pull away at that point, deny anything further.

As my brain says, it will be if he asks again. As my brain tells me, it will be if he marries another.

And worse, I'm left with the truly damning bit--when he asks again, and my brain tells me, over and again, it is a when, not an if--and I say no...will I lose him anyway? Three times said, three times denied, it has the air of charm about it, ritual, defined spellcraft made flesh and bone by word. Three times denied...would that be too much for him, then? Three times no, would that say to him I didn't want him, that I've been playing all along?

I don't play, in this sense. But part of me cannot, will not, say yes, as long as I'm sure our views on marriage differ, so extremely. Which means my brain is partially convinced I will lose him anyway, when this day comes.

I consider sleeping again, but it may be no use. I may be up and forced to drift in the grey spaces awake. I long to return to my place in the world, but the waiting has never been harder, with the dream behind my eyes.

I hate to see October go...

(lyrics are Barry Manilow's, from "When October Goes".)

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