Read and learn, people.
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As we approach the end of 2013, I am finding myself slipping deep into a world of reflection quite often. On mornings where I am not in a hurry to be somewhere, I have spent hours remembering and daydreaming. It has been a very tough year for my heart, both literally and figuratively. And so, it is way too easy for me to look back and fixate on all the things that went wrong. Many of my hopes and dreams and ideals, hit the fan in a big way and were shredded up and scattered everywhere. What a mess! And I’m not cleaning any of it up; I am just moving on. I kind of like leaving a bit of a mess behind, anyway. 😉
But I am still, at a very deep level, the eternal optimist. So much so, that I usually have to work to remember the bad things because my brain is so filled with hope and love. At this very moment in my life, even though I am an optimist, I’m having a hard time expressing JOY at the moment, so I will list all the things that currently bring me joy, in no particular order:
Beer. Beer gives me joy! But only occasionally, and definitely in small amounts, because I am a very, very, very cheap drunk. I am American Indian, mixed with Irish, so I have the Irish will to drink, and the American Indian tolerance for it. So after one beer I get sorta confident, and I actually think I can play pool. After two beers, I am very silly and then I fall asleep. Some people have chosen to take advantage of me in this fragile state… and I am very grateful that they did.
My favorite beer is Delerium Tremens. My second favorite beer is Unibroue Éphémère. I wasted much of my life thinking beer was the most awful concoction imaginable, but that was only because when I was young, and people wanted me to try beer, they always handed me Milwaukee’s Best or anything that was really cheap — and truly awful. Much later in life, my brother-in-law, who brewed his own beer, got fed up with me and took me to a high-class beer tasting, where we tried many flights of different beers paired with food matched to each beer by a great chef’s distinguished palate. It was awesome and I fell madly in love. And I kind of liked the beer and the food, too.
The hands-down worst beer I have ever had was Burger Beer, when I was in Bucharest, Romania. A friend and I were at a Burger Beer festival and were eating amazing Romanian sausages called mititei with mustard. We noticed that a liter of Burger cost less than a liter of water (that should have been a red flag), so we bought one to share. The first taste was light and citrusy, a very good start, but then after about fifteen seconds, it was followed by a horrible, formaldehyde-like aftertaste of rotting death that was dreadful, and could only be cancelled in your mouth by taking another drink, which would magically restore you to the pleasure of the first ten seconds of the experience. So my friend and I traded off taking swigs of the beer straight from the liter bottle, to keep that fresh initial taste going, and to ward off the nasty aftertaste. The beer was actually so bad, and was ironically its own cure, that instead of just cringing and dumping it in the bin, we were so desperate for relief from its aftertaste that we forgot all propriety or possibility of germs or backwash and shared the bottle between us until it was empty. And we have never been tempted to have another Burger beer, ever again.
Music. Of course when I hear the word JOY, the first thing I think of is the final movement of Beethoven’s Symphony #9. And right after that, I think of the quarter-fed classic video arcade game, Pengo. In 1982, I spent every quarter of my allowance and hard-earned cash playing this, and a few other games. Every five screens or so, a half dozen penguins would come out and dance to the tune of Ode to Joy. So I can’t even think of the song, or hear it at church, without having an irresistible urge to dance right along with the penguins. I have my own little Penguin Dance that I do, flapping my wings in one direction, then in the other, then turning and wiggling my butt. It’s really cute. And trust me, after the first time I did it, our priest told the music minister never, ever, to play Ode to Joy again.
And you are probably thinking, WOW… that is a very geeky overshare, but now I have to one-up you and share that I actually have my own small video arcade in my den, and the second of the three real video arcade machines that I acquired, is Pengo. And I have a V1 and V2 boardset I can swap between, in case I want to listen to “popcorn” as I play, or the catchy theme they composed for the game when they realized you couldn’t just stick somebody’s hit song into a video arcade game and make money off it, without some sort of copyright license.
But–oh, this isn’t the Video Games section of my stream-of-consciousness joy post, is it? It’s the Music section. So I will stop talking about enjoying video games, right after I say: JOY STICK. ‘Nuff said.
Listening to music is one of my favorite things to do. Every month I drive hours to visit my friend Evan and besides the camaraderie, my main motivation for going is just to think and listen to music for hours on end. I feel unproductive if I’m just sitting in a chair listening to music, so I enjoy actually driving somewhere and doing it. I have an extremely broad and varied taste in music. I enjoy practically everything.
Playing music brings me ultimate joy. I have five guitars: a classical, a resonator, an acoustic electric bass, and two electrics; two banjos, a tenor banjo and a regular five-string; two mandolins, one a beautiful antique and one for jammin’ on; and a piano. I have a lot of fun playing music on them, but unfortunately I am not very good (think of Ferris Bueller saying, “Never had one lesson!”).
Oral Sex. I can think of nothing I enjoy more than performing oral sex, and I’m not even that particular about the gender of the recipient. I wouldn’t do it for just anybody though, because my reasons for enjoying it are mostly empathetic; I mostly enjoy feeling and watching the pleasure of my partner, and I need to know them and have in my heart, a desire to please them. Tenderly bringing someone to orgasm with my mouth, while enjoying the charge of their pheromones, the smell and flavor of them, feeling their textures and folds and edges, are ecstasy for me. The experience for me is complex and sensual, like licking an ice cream cone that is melting, and I like to vary the way the muscles of my tongue experience my partner: either relaxing my tongue completely and letting it be broad and soft, making broad slippery strokes; or flexing my muscles and being hard and yet still applying myself softly. And of course I enjoy doing it for as long as necessary for the pleasure of my partner. Some people just take a long time to get there and I don’t like them to think I’m going to get bored, because I won’t. I am elated when a partner has an orgasm and I know they have a lot of trouble getting there orally. Being occasionally thanked for having the patience to get us there, is a peak experience for me. I do like achieving something that is difficult. But I also just like stimulating my partner, and I often wish that orgasms weren’t such a great big goal of sex. The reality is that they are though. I wish we could just have whole lazy days of stimulating nakedness where we nap and eat and lick and have sex all day.
Receiving oral sex also brings me joy. It’s definitely my preferred way of having an orgasm — not that all the other ways aren’t totally awesome. But I deeply enjoy the feeling of someone focusing their attentions exclusively on me — is that totally selfish? It often feels to me like I spend the majority of my life serving the needs of other people and it is rare that anyone reciprocates. Intercourse, by contrast, seems a lot more like two people racing to the finish. Who will get there first? Oral sex, on the other hand, is about me just letting go and yielding so that someone else is in control of my pleasure. I find oral sex elating and surprising, and the sensations are varied and frequently unexpected, and usually when I come, it is a total suprise.
Friends. Last but certainly not least and probably the most important thing here, is the joy I feel when spending time with my friends. I don’t have a lot of friends; I prefer to focus with more intensity on a smaller number of very special people. I am so blessed to have found (sometimes even across vast distances), a few incredible people who are very dear to me. My relationship with each of my friends is totally different. Some are sexually charged, some occasionally involve sex, and most are completely platonic. But intimately knowing each friend’s loves and fascinations, and being invited in to their lives, is my favorite part of life. When they call me to talk when they’re feeling down, or to celebrate when they are happy, I feel connected and this feeling for me, is truly my greatest joy.