Immediately after arriving in New York City, I turned myself into a tornado of work and worry in order to make sure KinkForAll was the success I desperately needed it to be. To my indescribable relief and happiness, KFANYC wasn’t just a success, it smashed through even my wildest expectations, topping at 45 presentations with well over 100 participants physically present and countless others watching the online feeds. (I was so worried about presentation shortage, I prepared 4, but only ended up needing to present 1. Likewise, I originally thought we’d top off at maybe 35–45 participants, and in the end one of our biggest problems was simply lack of physical space!)
On that front, I’m now looking at the amazing possibility of helping people in sexuality communities who have contacted me from Washington DC, Toronto, and San Francisco emulate the success of New York City’s event in their own hometowns. But not yet…. Not quite.
As the unconference ended, Sara and I were joined by a group of over 20 friends (and friendly acquaintances) for dinner at a nearby Asian restaurant. Despite my hunger (I only ate at the behest of my concerned friends during the day ’cause I was so busy), I didn’t want to finish my meal; I knew that would be the end of dinner, and the day. Nevertheless, day turned to night and as Sara and I walked around the corner for a modicum of privacy, excitement gave way to sadness and we said (temporary) goodbyes in tears.
I retreated from the city then, headed towards Providence, Rhode Island to stay with close friends who generously offered me the opportunity to create a small sanctuary in their spare room. This has been helpful, and I can begin to feel myself recovering, but I’m still having trouble grounding myself in the here and now or focusing on the new tasks at hand. For one thing, there are so many, and for another thing, they are so vastly different from what I’ve just done that mentally changing gears so radically, so quickly, under so much pressure, is actually painful.
When I moved my self and my life half way around the globe to Sydney last year, I felt optimistic about what I would find. Sadly, I didn’t find what I wanted. Now, having moved myself and my life all the way back across the planet and then some, I’m determined to make what I want—because it doesn’t exist yet, and no one knows what it’s going to look like…except me.
My hosts, Emms and Zac, are nothing short of a godsend. They are literally a healing warmth of a magnitude I could not possibly express adequately in words. Unfortunately, shortly after arriving in their home, I fell ill. Of course, this is not at all a surprise considering my physiological history for exactly such mind-body connection.
My attempts to focus on my writing (for my second and much more advanced web development book on CSS I’m authoring; my first book was much more 101-level) have been only partially successful, but I’m encouraged by this anyway. As Emms told me last night while cooking a pasta dinner for us all, “Comfort yourself with the standards of the world,” a piece of advice she wisely preceded with, “Now’s the time to focus on only the most important parts of your chapters.” This, all while taking my hand every time my eyes unexpectedly overflow with the salt water I feel like I’ve been storing up in them.
I’m a little…not annoyed…chagrined at the admission that yesterday was the first full day in more than 4 weeks that I didn’t cry at all. Not only this, but earlier today while my hosts were at their day jobs and I mainlined enormous quantities of tea as though it were a blood transfusion, I couldn’t stop myself from crawling backwards in time towards happier memories. I cried again, embarrassingly loudly since no one was home, and resigned to let my head rest for a while instead of forcing it further into failing attempts to create reusable patterns of CSS code for styling semantic markup.
To help with the memories, I’ve been playing MGMT‘s Kids on repeat for what must be an hour or more now. I first heard it on Australia Day (apparently Australia’s almost-equivalent of America’s Columbus Day), which Sara and I spent with Janek and company at his house on a tropical, warm, rainy day in Sydney. The radio was playing all day but the only song I remember was this one because, somehow, it stood out like a spotlight. I remember laying on the couch in the living room with my head in Sara’s lap, eyes closed, as she pet my head and I purred along with the kittens in the far corner of the room. The memory is emblazoned in my mind’s eye as a vivid still frame.
When Zac came home and gave me a hug to comfort my tears, he remarked on the song. “It’s always weird to hear this song,” he said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because Emms and I went to college with them—the band.”
And now I have two memories.