Never Saw You Coming (Yes I did)

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NEVER, no

I never expected you, never saw you coming, not at all,

but there you were, wearing all the wrong clothing:

horizontal striped collared button down shirt, like

colored bands ringing a thick, redwood tree trunk.

Middle aged folk fallen prey to time and gravity

don’t wear bold-colorful advertisements to widening

perimeters, especially for one with no boundaries,

sexually speaking, of course, not morally or politically.

And logo’d button down polos reek conservative bean 

counter, occupation-ally bound to count kisses, time and

orgasms, sans deductions for the unholy of holies among the

fiscally, vaginally vigilant.

And there I was, a raven, coated and shiny like wet ink newly

splotched on your parchment paper computer screen, dark

and waiting to be lit, turned and transformed beyond the

shadowy picture created in your imagination, confessions

and slick-wicked liquid words sliding thick viscous

through your keyboard fingers, just like we wrote, painted

pictures in sentences spelling out, enumerating, if you

will, voracious mimicry, want and want some more, only not

wanting all that just can’t have, not then, not now, but

something else arose, grew from our impossibility, your

straight laces strung tightly, fronting the devilry in your

daydreams, drooly lasciviousness set free, not freely given.

Yeah, we really did it for each other, whatever it was that

needed doing, and still do to both no one’s and yet everyone’s

surprise, including us who love so much so little of the

time, no time all the time, we who live separate lives

lived in broad daylight secrecy, while we storybook

pieces and patches of once upon a time we were other

people than we are and were then who could be us now.

You often ask, “Who knew you’d still be around?” And

“How could I have known? I didn’t see you coming.”

No, we didn’t see each other coming but we sure do now.

Sentimental Morning

Yesterday I read in the Huffington Post the story of A.J.’s 25 year affair with a married man, her divorce lawyer, on whom she had grown dependent for love, money and herself. Her story is familiar. She filled a space that was her, missing most probably due to the abandonment she felt in childhood, with him, but came to realize after two and a half decades that only she could fill that gaping hole.
 
The hole in my heart couldn’t be filled by anyone but me. I had to love myself more than I loved anyone else. Even him. Finally, I understood.

 

We walked out of the hotel onto Park Avenue, and without another word to him, I turned and walked away.
 
This morning I awoke from a dream the last vision of which was the face of my husband of nearly 35 years, smiling, his head leaning on someone else’s shoulders, completely content. 
 
No one has made me weep more in my dreams than he has.
 
Though we are no longer intimate, we share a connection deeper and more profound than the silence we keep about what went wrong and what is right.
 
Love is more than dependency, but its shape and character are dependent upon lovers. There is no doubt that we fall in love with love and all we imagine it to be, including that leaning, literally and figuratively, on another. Our hearts resound solitarily in our chests, but the primal urge to sync our rhythms to the beats of those hearts walking beside us is unimaginably fierce. We don’t want to be–alone.


Graham Nash — A Simple Man


I am a simple man
So I sing a simple song
Never been so much in love
And never hurt so bad at the same time.
I am a simple man
And I play a simple tune
I wish that I could see you once again
Across the room like the first time.
I just want to hold you I don’t want to hold you down
I hear what you’re saying and you’re spinning my head around
And I can’t make it alone.
The ending of the tale
Is the singing of the song
Make me proud to be your man only you can make me strong
Like the last time.
I just want to hold you I don’t want to hold you down
I hear what you’re saying and you’re spinning my head around
And I can’t make it alone.

Who Has Affairs and Why – Dr. Peggy.com



credit:  http://assets.nydailynews.com

For a compressed (succinct but thorough) breakdown of the profile of an affair with all of its moving parts and consequences, read Who Has Affairs and Why on Dr.Peggy.com, which includes this section that I particularly appreciated because the author, Peggy Vaughn, details data I have merely passed off in summary in prior posts as the various ways we inherit our cheating disposition:

Societal factors

Affairs are glamorized in movies, soap operas, romance novels, and TV shows of all kinds. Public disclosure of public figures having affairs is headline news because we are fascinated and titillated by hearing of others’ affairs.

People are bombarded with images of women as sex objects in advertising and marketing campaigns. Over and over, the message to men is that the good life includes a parade of sexy women in their lives. Women inadvertently buy into this image and strive to achieve it.

The lack of good sex education and the existence of sexual taboos combine to make it difficult for most partners to talk honestly about sex.

As teenagers we get conditioned in deception when it comes to sex—engaging in sexual activity while hiding it from our parents.

The code of secrecy is a major factor in affairs because it provides protection for the person having affairs and leads them to believe they won’t get caught.

She concludes that there are many factors that contribute to having an affair including “pushing” and “pulling” factors, drawing to or pushing toward it.  

In addition to causes and effects of affairs, there is a brief rundown on the naturalness of monogamy–or not–as well as advice on preventions, which is…guess what?  Right.  Honesty.   

There are other similarly succint, informative articles on the site to peruse for everything affairs related, Dr. Peggy’s specialty. Most are quick reads with easy-to-read and track headings, subheadings and bold font. It took me no time to read through the site and pick up on some of the advice and factual goodies she offers.  I hope you enjoy the site as much as I did.

Branden and Rand Together Again?

 

credit: graphics8.nytimes.com

Apparently I missed the news that Ayn Rand’s former lover and protege, disciple or sycophant, depending upon your tolerance for Ayn Rand, Twentieth Century philosophy and/or cults, died. Luckily, I have friends looking out for me, so I was tipped off to the story, which I found, among other papers’ accounts, the L.A. Times article summary of the life, death and love affairs of Nathaniel Branden (formerly Blumenthal).

Of course, the article focuses on the most famous and all encompassing love of his life, Ayn Rand, best known as author and purveyor of her own brand of philosophy, Objectivism, and someone long embraced and cited by Conservative Republicans, most notably in recent history by Paul Ryan in the last presidential race. In fact, she is one of the “staples of the modern Conservative canon,” according to Beverly Gage of Slate.com in her intriguing August, 2012 article entitled, “Why is There No Liberal Ayn Rand?”

Fortunately and unfortunately for Nathaniel Branden (he changed his name to include “rand” in it), his life’s sum and legacy is dependent upon Rand. His story is only interesting by virtue of his involvement with her as first fan, then disciple, then lover, and finally nemesis. According to the Times, when Branden and Rand found themselves in love, the ever rational Rand insisted that their spouses be sat down and informed:

In 1954, Branden and Rand, who was 25 years his senior, started their affair after summoning their astonished spouses to a meeting.

“We’re not Platonists,” Rand reminded them, in Branden’s account. “We don’t hold our values in some other realm, unrelated to the realm in which we live our lives. If Nathan and I are who we are, if we see what we see in each other, if we mean the values we profess — how can we not be in love?”

How Rand. Reading the above passage in the Times article, I was caught once again in Rand’s net: that simple, affirmative, rational and adult-like composure to fiercely defend natural human want, desires of the flesh and the heart–by the head. I was very drawn to her ideas, her promoting the will of the intelligent, rational being as prevailing above all, when I read the Fountainhead at age 14. I was not aware then of her philosophical agenda.

For Rand and Objectivism, the here and now (the real world, the one that can be perceived with the senses) is all there is and the ultimate moral objective for humankind is each individual’s rational pursuit of his or her own happiness:

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute (Atlas Shrugged)

She spoke out against anything remotely ‘socialist’, which is what she considered the payment of taxes (one of the three pillars past of Republican principles: taxes, defense, and anti-Communism); she was for anything diametrically opposed to the communism of her descendants’ Cold War Russia. Thus, the Republican lure.

Politics aside, of course it makes sense that two people would fall in love if they are passionate to the point of obsession about a cause, an idea. And isn’t Rand to be applauded for her forthrightness and honesty to tell the spouses, hers and Branden’s, about their intention to engage in a love affair and the reasons? How mature and insightful about the human condition. After all, people get married at specific times in their lives to others who fit their needs. But needs change. Partners do not always change together, keep their goals the same. Those facts should be clear and common sensical. So why not acknowledge that as just another fact of the human condition? Why not acknowledge the unreality of monogamy as a viable institution, right? If folks were just practical…

The couple announced they wanted to be alone in Rand’s New York apartment for one afternoon and one evening each week. Over the next few years, Rand’s husband, Frank O’Connor, started drinking heavily and Branden’s wife, Barbara, began having panic attacks.

Ultimately, both couples divorced; Branden and Rand went through their final, searing rupture after he revealed his intense, secret relationship with Patrecia Scott, a young model and aspiring actress he later married. She acted under the name Patrecia Wynand, a surname drawn from “The Fountainhead”.

Well, there are good ideas, and then there are behavioral realities. How does a philosophy work that is based only on what the rational self can produce? Whose rationality? Rand would dismiss the idea that there is more than one rationality, that there is no such world produced by individual minds, only the one physical world. But that does not jive with lived experience. If you asked my brother and me the story of our childhood, he (2 years my junior, same parents and home) would bemoan the poverty and deprivation, missed birthday presents, whereas I would express gratitude for a carefree, want-for-nothing childhood. Whose reality is the real one?

My egocentric young teenager self was attracted to Rand’s thinking, deliciously indulging my belief ultimately in my own intelligence, strength and determination as the tools for my future success (Tomorrow, Pinky…the world!). But there was an unease, a coldness about that rational world that even I could not fully subscribe to or believe. In fact, Objectivism, it occurred to me later in adulthood, was only appealing to me as an idealistic, selfish adolescent inexperienced in life’s ass kickings delivered by human beings with diverse interpretations or completely devoid of rationality, reason and/or logic.

Even Branden, a psychology student and PhD, finally figured it out: that the world would be great if we could all just sit down like rational adults and reason this affair thing out–but that’s just not the way it works–especially if some other hottie comes along to derail your principles and your rational lover and guru turns irrational (but logically so) in a rage of vindictive jealousy as a result thereof.

I guess that’s why in the articles I read, Branden’s successive work, after Rand, published books on self esteem, gets footnoted almost, with a hint of an ironic wink, a chuckle and a nod.

And I suppose that’s the fate of the mistress, sometimes, when he/she is caught or even up front about the ‘other.’ People may get hurt in the schism between reason and emotion. Certainly society’s eye will sneer and smirk at his/her downfall.