Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Shoulder to Lean On

It's been a very long time.  Looking at my last post, it's been almost exactly a year.  A lot has happened in that year.  More than I can possibly get into now (and more than I am possibly ready to deal with emotionally).

Professionally, I have learned more in the past year than in any other year I can recall.  I don't think I could ask for better coworkers.  And oh, the stories I could tell.  I've reached the point in my career where I should probably stop sharing them indiscriminately with the internet for fear of compromising the theatre I'm working at however (that isn't to say that I might not post some carefully edited ones later if I feel like it).

I'm not sure if I'm actually going to return to blogging or not.  It's an amazing outlet, but there's a lot that I'm not in a head-space that I can deal with right now.  That being said, I recently had a set of experiences that made me think of why I started blogging in the first place.

It's been a rough couple months.  I hesitate to call them the roughest months in my life, but that very hesitation really informs me how difficult they've been.  Recently, one of my coworkers (let's go with Jed for a pseudonym) and I have gotten to chatting.  During my latest show things went from: let's exchange hilarious and sometimes terrifying theatre stories for hours, to: let's talk about literally anything for hours.  I talked about my whole mess and he talked about his.  And I found that sometimes there is just that selfish relief of: Oh thank god, I'm not the only one with baggage.

But one day we were on our dinner break and Jed casually mentioned being poly and I remember my mind just stopping, while my mouth went on talking like he hadn't just given me deeply personal details as though they meant nothing.  I've never met someone who has told me they were poly, let alone one who used that exact terminology.  And so, in a similar manner I said something along the lines of: "oh, yeah me too" and we moved on with the conversation.  It was certainly the most casually I've told someone that particular piece of information.

But later that night I somehow managed to plunge myself into a world that I desperately want, but is so far outside my experience that I had trouble finding my balance.  Jed's ex-wife had come to see the show and then invited both of us over to her house afterward for tea and dessert.  When I showed up, her babysitter (she has a son under a year old) was just leaving.  She kissed her babysitter on both cheeks, the lips, grabbed his ass, and he went on his way.  Jed commented something about him being one of his ex's boyfriends.

So I sat on the couch with them and chatted, while the baby sat on her lap and waved his arms happily and threw toys for the dog.  She's a lovely person and the most openly affectionate I've ever seen.  And despite their history, there was an ease between Jed and his ex, I'm not sure I've ever seen.  It was all incredibley surreal.  After I finished the tea, I headed home, head spinning.  My night certainly wasn't a picture I had ever envisioned existing as a child, but what struck me was how thoroughly normal the three people treated the situation.  The next day, I met Jed's girlfriend, also a lovely woman.

There's a lot to the story I just can't tell, because it's just not my story, but I can tell you that I sat and talked with Jed for a half hour after the next night's show about his relationships and about how he'd realized he was poly and about the various relationships he'd had.  If truth be told, I kept my family waiting while I talked to him.  I shouldn't have, but what he had to say was something that I needed to hear.  I know rationally, that there are other people who identify as poly, but I guess since I'd never actually met one, it didn't really compute until this week.

Being poly hasn't really played into my life recently.  I'm aware that there are frequently many people I'm attracted to, but since I haven't pursued any of them, it's almost been irrelevant.  I didn't expect having someone to talk to with actual experience in the matter to make such a huge difference.

I wish I could say more, because I've truncated this story rather severely, but it's a relief to finally have someone to talk to who's speaking from personal experience.