Capacity

One of my confidants once told me that I have an enormous ability to love. She also said that I had an enormous ability for rage. What I have to say about that is I’m a trumpet player and a soprano, and Sam proved it to me for three weeks straight. One of the trumpet players I followed religiously as a tween and teen was Doc Severinson in Johnny Carson’s old band. When I was 12, I thought I was destined to take over for him, but I have said many many times that there was a flaw in my plan. I didn’t practice enough.

I wanted to. I wanted to practice six hours a day like my dad did, but I started out as a euphonium player. I had braces, and the trumpet mouthpiece was too small. However, the euphonium mouthpiece was large enough to fit over them, trumpet training wheels.

Well, taking the training wheels off didn’t go very well. I had a beautiful, fat sound I was in love with and an embouchure I wasn’t. I went years without acknowledging that I was in physical and emotional pain about it. That I would never be the kind of musician I wanted to be, and I had chosen an instrument before I really gave voice a chance.

In voice, I might not have made All-State in “the system” (code for Texas Music Educator’s Association, or TMEA), but I would have had a WAY better shot. When I was untrained with raw talent, I was okay. Once I was trained I was fabulous. I can’t sing like Jennifer Hudson or Beyonce. You’re thinking of Lindsay, my younger sister. I’m the one that owns at classical music….. just everything from early English to Hebrew. I speak many, many languages through choir, even if I don’t know the direct translation. In “the system,” I made it to All Region as an alto, but marching contest was on the same day. They literally couldn’t do without me. I was screwed.

Today I found out I feel the same way about Daniel. That if he wasn’t in my life, I would never recover. There are many, many, many reasons for this, but let me tell you one fundamental.

My mother was a substitute music teacher for my elementary school when I was in third through fifth grades. When I was in third grade, my mother took over for my music teacher. Guess who was in my class?

He is the only person that has asked to date me since my mother died that knew her well, even if it was in childhood. Daniel went to school with me from second to sixth grade. I lived longer in Naples, Texas than I did anywhere else as a preacher’s kid. Daniel knows my dad in his capacity as a pastor, and legit no one remembers or talks about that except when my biological sister and I are alone, because we’re the only ones that have that context……

Or we were, anyway.

I am way less interested in the fact that I am losing my lesbian label forever and way more in the fact that of the four personality elements in Meyers-Briggs, three of ours match. He is also an Idealist and writer. He’s been to war, which means his stories are awesome and I love to listen and read.

I think I’m obsessed with him. It’s good the feeling is mutual. Just puke. I remember his little boy voice and it’s irritating because I know it will absolutely make me nauseous to other people when he moves here.

We’re playing around with titles to call each other later in life. I am tickled by “wife partner,” because I’m a writer and it’s a play on words. The most sugary way to tell someone you’re a gay couple is “she’s my life partner.” Or, because I’m old, it was the term before wife was a thing among female couples.

I have purposely started asking all people when they only say that they’re married and I don’t know their partner how they gender identify. I want to know pronouns ahead of time, especially before I meet them so I don’t have preconceived notions about their gender before their identity is presented to me and I get in the wrong habit of something. Also, visibility matters, and being in a relationship is one of those things where no one’s choice should be a pejorative. Let people do life with whoever they want. Christ, it’s so much harder than everyone thinks. Let people have their pleasures, and marriages are…. or they’re supposed to be. The thing I am least worried about in this relationship is getting along, because we were raised in the same context.

That also means more to me than Daniel being a man. Pretty much everything does.

I recently lost the person I thought of as my inner compass, the one that would be the one at the end of my letters for all time. Something that I thought was irreplaceable isn’t so much. It’s comforting, though I’m not bragging. I’m relieved. She was my true North, everything that was honorable about me when I couldn’t be that for myself. It gave me hope, strength, love, and faith until it didn’t and I realized that I was in too deep to fix whatever was wrong, because she didn’t talk. I could try to clean up the mess on my own, but as we say in Texas, “you can’t help a little old lady across the street if she doesn’t want to go…. particularly when she is banging her purse.”

Editor’s Note:

I have a ton of funny Texas sayings and I will be publishing them at some point, as well as a clip of Daniel talking eventually so that all my friends could hear what my accent sounded like before we moved to Houston….. Naples was roughly 1600 people when we lived there. Not sure what it is now. Sufficed to say that Houston was……… a change for me.

The capacity to love Daniel comes so easily to me that it’s scary, and I can tell that I am ramping up with dopamine, such a blessing because when I wake up in the morning my brain chemicals are right. I am literally going gangbusters, and feeling the connection I felt 36 years ago return full force. There are so many reasons for this.

None of them having to do with me just meeting the right man. Homophobia sucks. I know there’s going to be a lot of people reading this who are Evangelicals. I’m not. Sexuality is a spectrum. It has been proven by science…. many, many researchers, not just one study. I would say look into it, but my guess is that you won’t. So don’t judge me. You can’t know that part of me. It is not for you. Who in their right minds wants to be involved in my sex life if they’re not my partner? Please don’t think I need that kind of help. I gave you “what you want.” It looks like what you want from the outside, but it isn’t. I write and I know things. You may write, but not about me to the extent that I do.

It wasn’t easy going back to memories of my supposed elementary school friends bullying me, and this is not something I’ve addressed with Daniel yet. It’s just something he’ll have to come to me about later when he’s had some time to digest. It’s just that if and when I go to our hometown, there are people I don’t care to see (not you). It’s not because I carry any ill will or even care that I was bullied. It’s not taking the chance that they’re just bigger now. I will serve them their asses fried, and no one needs to see that. I just pictured Dana laughing at that, and it cracked me up. She would have an absolutely unprintable response, so line cook that it tickles me to death that I know it and you don’t.

Now I’ve Done It

Once the Facebook scanners find you, it’s all over but the crying. Like I said, there is no recourse because “there aren’t enough people to manage content.” So, an Evangelical Christian came at me like the brain dead idiot into which she has willingly transformed. It was epic in terms of how close she was to getting the point. It was smacking her in the face the whole time. It was like my hand was on her head and she was windmilling her arms. The entire thread has been taken down, but ended with “you go and learn everything by rote…. come back to me when you have an original thought.” She came back with “is that the best you’ve got?”

Oh dear God.

I thought I was safe because my words were originally a bumper sticker. I said, “No. Jesus loves you, but I think you’re a bitch.” #bumperstickerwisdom And that’s how I got banned for a month less than two days after I got banned for a week. Between this and trying to win a cooking contest, I really feel like I’m getting my full use of the words “inciting violence.” But maybe not as much as I want, because if I’d come back at her with an original thought, I would have been in hell, not Facebook Jail. I am so mad at being cut off from my family and friends for that long, but I have absolutely no choice in the matter.

Aaaaaaanyway, these people drive me insane. They think the Bible is all about learning facts. Facts and the Bible are not really compatible after 2,000 years. Not only is it leaving science and medicine to their own devices by taking it literally, they’re missing out on a wealth of information spiritually by not taking it seriously. No true Jesus scholar would agree that learning your faith by memorizing scripture is a good ideea. It’s better to learn concepts.

My analogy for this is cooking (again).

I am a professional cook, yet I have only one true recipe. Even that was a wild guess at how much spice to put in the dish as I worked backwards. That’s because I understood the concept, but didn’t write down the facts. I innately know that fat supports heat, acid cuts fat, sugar neutralizes acid, acid neutralizes salt. Witth those combinations, you can make damn near anything. It’s all about choices. Let’s take one. Acid. Are you going to use citrus or vinegar? Well, how much fat are you trying to balance?

It is directly akin to my reading of the Bible. It comes in bites, I chew on it until I can swallow, and then I pass on my understanding, just like I did with the whole “concepts” thing. I had to cook thousands of times until I rose above the facts… so as it goes with the meticulous study of a book…… and it’s amazing how much The Bible and Le Guide Culinaire (Escoffier) have in common. The take home message in a professional kitchen is Old Testament “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” RAGE. Way, way before that, in order to become the best of the best, you work your way through the Luncheon Lectionary (yes, I did just make that up). You don’t read Le Guide from cover to cover, although you can. You skip around depending on what you need.

There are two types of people in the world. Those that can extrapolate assumptions from incomplete data…. #bumperstickerwisdom