There is an anecdote that was passed down through my family of a very, very brilliant scientist with a wife and family and the all-American family vacation to Disney Land. It was a much anticipated event for the scientist’s family and non seemed more excited than the bespectacled man was using computers for important space projects when they took up entire rooms but were a tiny glint in the consumer’s mind. Perhaps it was the invigoration of getting back into one’s youth or even the power of the imagination, the chance to ride the movies, manifested creativity and a chance to leave planet earth for awhile.
When the day finally came, the house was vibrating with the impending thrill. The tickets were purchased, the souvenir hats distributed, and then he got to do what he loved most of all with his family: he explained the physics and the mechanics of every ride.
Words tumbled in an excited frenzy and cotton candy fell from his mouth and he missed the kaleidoscope of emotions on his family’s face as he rushed to explain engineering and science. So much to learn and explain, how thrilling to see such technicolor depictions of fundamental physics lessons and what grand metaphor for the universe and its laws. Much better than a dry textbook! He saw the link between something he loved and something his kids loves and found that nexus point but stopped short in his own enthusiasm and forgot the perspective of wanting to get on the rides and experience them first hand.
It’s a fatal flaw of a dreamer and it is often accompanied by broken hearts that ring in a different frequency. It’s a story I pay particular mind to because I’m often subject to my own long flights of fancy. I was held back in kindergarten for “social reasons” and I was made fun of all the way through high school for a particular way I tilt and bob my head when I’m paying focused attention to something. “The [Mayhem] Head Bob.” I think there was a dance that accompanied the taunt. When I get deep in thought I often want to pace or move but when you’re being assessed on how well you can sit down and listen to someone, that steam has to vent somewhere.
Over the years I learned how to stay put, smile, and look attentive. It looks pretty spot on for a normal person paying attention to conversation. Behind the scenes I’m chanting, “Act normal. Don’t panic. Do not bob your stupid fucking head or they’ll know.”
I relate to what it’s like to catch an idea like a wave in your mind and to ride it all the way to shore. A great idea feels exactly the way professional surfers talk about “the tube”; all of the sudden a big piece of the ocean is surging over and around you and it seems like an impossibility of physics but you’re right there in the middle of it. A heart never beats so loudly as when there is a rush cascading all around it and all you can do is remain right there and hold it for as long as you can because you know, you know, that time is so relative and it’s all going to dissipate into a wisp one way or another. Sadly, you sometimes land in a room full awkward and people staring at you wondering where you went for an excruciatingly long fifteen seconds.
Dreamers have this curse of consciousness in which ideas light up like millions of tiny stars all forming whirling galaxies in the mind. Like the universe, so far as we know, they’re wrapped up in an impenetrable void. They seem so close but you cannot reach and touch them. Then, it can seem like people are the same, because they glow and glitter and have their own orbits and you can’t really touch them either. Sometimes I feel so locked in by my inability to connect or reach other people and to feel so many vibrating ideas in my head that rush with such intense speed that I cannot articulate them clearly and people stare at me because I’m talking about something so far away.
Dreamer-itis (an infection of the dreams): I do not belong here.
But we do belong here, all of us do, by merit of the fact we are assembled whatever the morphology might be. I do belong here, I have to belong here because I’m made out of here and so is everybody else. What I do has an impact on the people around me and the world at large, regardless of how small I might be. The actions of others around the globe have an impact on me. We’re all pretty porous to the universe.
I can’t speak for Alice but orgasms were my rabbit holes into seeing a lot of that. That strange place in the human mind known as sexual arousal is like another dimension and another perspective of all the knowledge you’ve ever acquired. It was pleasure plus a quick look at the underwater of myself that never really lasted longer than I could hold my breath. I couldn’t really find anyone to talk to about sex because everyone would immediately talk about something else and I usually wound up learning a whole hell of a lot more about them than I did about sex itself. Talking about sex is always educational but it’s very rarely actually educational about sex itself. Even in the world of sex education, you’ll find more conversations about technique and partnering than sex a priori.
I often feel like I’m too weird for my tribe of weird people. We’re all different strains of weird co-existing on the same petri dish, all things considered, but it feels especially pointed when I panic before a social function and attend in a NASA replica space suit because you can act like in a Martian when you’re dressed up like it’s a rocket launch. (Don’t ask me why, it just works.) I like spaces where I can get hot and bothered and really aroused talking about weird nerdy shit with chai tea and ganja that turns into spontaneous sacrum licking sex round about 4AM.
When I think of the human arousal scale, I don’t really see the smooth arcs written about by Masters and Johnson and even recorded by equipment that my partner and I built. Instead, I see something more like a Klein Bottle. The way that our awareness starts by focusing on something other, a desire. Physical sensation is very much a part of sex and it has an undefinable relationship to consciousness. Humans can have orgasms just by thinking about them but we know that there are all kinds of things that humans do when they get to that place of impeccable focus that seems otherworldy but is well within the terrestrial domain. We know that something starts when you get turned onbut what is that and where the hell are we going? Desire is a focused meditation and it reaches for something but it occurs inwardly and pulls the psyche into it. We talk about it as if it were an intangible process of “mind mist” but it’s chemistry and physics and electricity. I have nothing to firmly articulate but a bounty of joy upon contemplation of the matter. Theorizing about it makes me utterly giddy.
On one hand, I do porn and that comes with it a bizarre kind of klout of intimidation factor. To do porn is to commit social suicide. All you’ll lose is your respectability, the profit margin won’t get you very far these days. There’s a paradigm shift happening in the way we consume media but that’s a whole other tangent. The point is: you flaunt a disregard of social mores by your very existence with a blunt medium that depicts sex for no other reason but sex. It’s not a vehicle to talk about love or to sell a particular product or to go anywhere but the mania of arousal and hyperbolic visual stimulus. In a culture that acts like sex is an unstable isotope or at least best discussed as a metaphor rather than experienced as a tunnel, making fuck films is daring.
I have a public pussy, an awkward head bob, and I digress into weird topics like sexy, sexy Klein Bottles. It’s amazing anyone ever lets me out of the house. The fact that I managed to find myself another weirdo perv makes me feel endlessly fortunate. Most people see the non-monogamous, mutual queer, porn thing and imagine a disconnected love. What they don’t often see is how often we work as a team building stuff together and putting our strengths together with equality and mojo. I found someone I can go off on tangents with and follow with a buzz and excitement while they do the same and being earnestly our weird selves with one another more and more with each passing day.
Then, I found another dreamer type who had a way of intellectualizing the world that was similar to mine. That’s a moment when you thank your lucky poly stars not to miss out on such a wonderful occurrence and a chance to develop more wisdom and more intimacy. Between computation and copulation, nerds are indeed inheriting the earth. Although I have dalliances of many kinds, this was one that I had a particular fondness for based on the brain sex alone. I positively radiated in those times when it seemed like we were playing raucous games of tag with our ideas. I could run at a swift pace and they could give chase and vice versa but with other kinds of pleasure paraphernalia thrown in as well.
Then it all got rusty somehow.
It felt as though we were talking through a pane of glass and in so many ways, we were. They came from legitimate institutions that carry the kind of credentials that make people nod with reverence. I have to fight to prove I’m not dumb. Things unraveled between us because that difference never got fully reconciled. I felt like a ghost of myself in their presence increasingly often, like an amorphous entity, a source of adulation and affection rather than a co-participant on this island, Earth. So many times I would point out the obvious distance, the lack of a firm two-way connection, and they would note it as being a struggle. Still, it continued as it did and got worse over time.
It was a mix of romantic and intellectual frustration. Those are the conflicts that always seem to blow up the worst for me. There’s more than one thing that triggers a breakup although there were several acute instances that got particularly under my skin. It seemed like I had been cast in a role that would never advance beyond bolstering the already well bolstered, the soft hands in good suits. That is a place where I don’t belong.
Things happened, they hurt my feelings. Maybe it was an overdue comeuppance, it was certainly a reminder to think about who and how I leave people in my own wake. And all breakups suck but this time I had steady lover and partner to console me though it and he did. He reminded me that I’m going to meet other people who take my breath away and some of them will probably break my geeky little heart again in the future and I’ll probably skewer a few more as well. Even in the pain of not being unseen by someone I wanted to see me, there was something soothing in having someone hold me as a lover and tell me that maybe they’ll figure it all out soon and stop saying the things that make me feel even more immaterial as a human. Maybe they won’t for awhile, maybe they never will but that I’m certainly not unseen by everyone.
Dating just seems to make sense with the support of someone else, be they a friend or a lover, to mitigate things like a dreamer’s wake. It’s amazing I ever tried to do it alone.