Hey all. I’m back after after some trials and tribs, namely a death in the family, frustration with the blogosphere, and the way my work is perceived. It’s this last thing I want to write about today
A few years ago (eons in social media time) I fell in with a new group of friends. One guy, let’s call him Jeff, paved the way for me to work on projects and go on crazy trips with them. The projects were art for Burning Man. The trip was to Black Rock Desert.
This jab-punch of new people and experiences left me blissfully starry-eyed. There seemed to be no contradiction between my writing and what I do for a living, as far as the group was concerned. In fact the way I swung a cat at one of our campmates may have been what tipped Jeff’s opinion in favor of letting me camp with the group that year. Feeling safe and secure, I delighted in cheap beer outdoors in the sunshine, in fabulous art, in belching as emphasis. I let my hair down fully and completely for about four glorious months.
My first burn was transformative, yet it was also troubled. One minute I was flying high on plain old love for the world, the next I was treated worse than a rag rug in a cowshed. Jeff luckily had my side against one artist in particular who claimed I wasn’t pulling my weight. Then give instructions, we said behind his back. Don’t feel threatened by the skills of people who want to lift you up. Let everyone play in the sandbox we all built together.
A few months later I was at Jeff’s house on my way to pick up and drop off gear at said artist’s place. He was a douche, but we still had to work with him. I noticed Jeff’s wife wasn’t home, but she worked odd shifts. Jeff had my blog up on his monitor. Again, not worth mentioning, except in light of what came next.
It makes sense in hindsight that Jeff asked me to sleep with him. But at the time it threw me. I was with Declan, Jeff was with his wife. That made us platonic friends only in my mind. Didn’t matter he’d been kinky and poly before pairing up for life. Didn’t matter both of them had been confessing to me for months that they were having trouble. I was just a shoulder, an ear. Someone turn a wrench or make a salad. Family.
I don’t really blame Jeff for asking in the end. People are human. They slip. No, what nagged at me, just below the skin, was that being open about my sexual writing seemed to be what put me in the realm of people who cheat on their spouses.
Of course what nagged at me more was Jeff silently, surely, cutting me out of next year’s art project. Getting between my friendship with his wife. Failing to invite me over. Telling people he and I weren’t getting along. Because a friend saying no to sleeping with you isn’t something that can be just swept aside. You have to cut her out of your life.
Featured Image: Race Point Publishing/Sidney Erthal and Scott London Photography