Airports, home dungeon make-overs, suicide, and Butch Voices…
This has been quite a week in Surburbia. Â This past weekend, I hosted the lovely and multi-talented Roxy for a long weekend of debauchery and romance. Â More on that in other posts, but I will say here that it was a wonderful weekend, and we squeezed every moment for the experiences it could offer.
Seatac Airport is becoming very familiar to me. Â Air travel used to be a novelty, something cool to look forward to, now it’s mostly a pain. Â Between traffic, long lines, security protocols and the lack of anything resembling a meal being served anymore, air travel is a means to an end, rather than a treat. Â I was at the airport 4 times in the last 2 weeks: Â taking my family up, retrieving Roxy, taking her back up and then meeting my family for their late, mid-week arrival. Â The airport used to seem large, but I know my way around pretty well now, which does reduce my stress somewhat. Â What I’ve noticed is that being in the airport for more than 5 minutes does something bad to my brain. Â Time slows, my mental abilities dull and the air seems to take more than it gives. Â Airports are weird, time-warped spaces.
Our elementary school community was rocked by tragedy earlier this week when a dad committed suicide. Â His daughter is in my daughter’s class, they sit next to each other. Â We’ve known her parents since our daughters were in kindergarten together. Â He was a consistent Field Trip Parent, and that’s how I knew him. Â I remember riding out to one of the field trips with him and two other dads. Â I remember them talking about fishing. Â Apparently, he’d just taken it up. Â He was a really nice guy, always seemed upbeat and positive. Â He’s survived by his wife and daughter and a lot of family in this area. Â His friends and fellow elementary school parents are stunned but working together to take care of his family. Â My daughter was still in Florida, on spring break, when we heard the news. Â My wife and I talked about what to do, when to tell her and we decided to hold off until she was home, before she went to school.
I took some extra time Thursday morning, sat her on my lap and told her that her friend’s dad had died. Â Little by little, I told her what had happened and answered her questions. Â As is typical for her, she took a small amount of information, digested it, then came back for more. Â We already knew that the school had brought in counselors the day before and that everyone was being upfront about the fact that it was a suicide.
My daughter told me that she’d just seen Â him, that he and his daughter had given her a ride home the week before spring break. Â She wondered how her friend was doing. Â We talked about how to be respectful but available to her friend. Â They sit next to each other, so I wanted to make sure she had some preparation, as it looks like she’ll be returning to school on Monday.
A couple other moms are sending out emails, getting ready to coordinate support efforts as the couple’s extended family members depart in the next few weeks. Â Plans for meal delivery, yard work, play dates and nights out are being made. Â It’s a horrible thing, for most of us an incomprehensible act, and I’m proud that my community is reacting, for the most part, in a loving and supportive manner.
The week was made even harder by exhaustion. Â I was drained and dropping from Roxy’s visit when I heard about the suicide. Â A couple of days later my family was home, after a very long day and not making it home until after 1 in the morning. Â Yesterday, I was not at my best. Â I was tired, cranky, impatient. Â I blew up at a co-worker.. he deserved it, but I hold myself to a higher standard than that. Â Today, thankfully, after a little more sleep, I’m feeling a bit better, more settled, more patient, more optimistic.
And that’s good because life doesn’t hold back just because you’re tired and grumpy. Â I’m heading north to the Microsoft campus for Seattle Code Camp 5.0 tomorrow and Sunday, getting out early to miss some freeway congestion caused by construction. Â I’m carpooling with a friend, which makes the 1.5 hour drive a bit less onerous. Â The timing is lousy, though, because the weather’s going to be awesome this weekend and I could be working in my yard. Â Instead, I’ll be geeking out with a bunch of nerds until my eyes areÂ desiccatedÂ and my brain is stuffed full and all the gears have ground to a halt. Â Yeah, I’m sure it’ll be great fun 🙂
I mentioned the basement dungeon I created, which Roxy and I got excellent use from. Â I took some pictures and plan to post them here and on Fetlife. Â It was a simple set-up and easy to take down and ‘sanitize’.
Another thing that happened that weekend was that Roxy shaved my chin. Â I’d never shaved before and the thought of her doing the honors was really exciting. Â It happened on Sunday morning, in the shower, and it was sexy as hell. Â She was gentle and took her time. Â It’s been five days and it’s just now back up the stubble it is normally after I clip it short with haircutting shears. Â I don’t think I’ll shave very often, but she left me a razor and some blades just in case I want to try it myself sometime.
Last but not least, I met with Joe Leblanc ofÂ Butch Voices fame today to talk about the single-day Butch Voices conference that will be held in Portland in October (one of the four regional events recently announced). Â I’m going to be helping to organize it in some fashion. Â We talked about the different opportunities that would be available and he sketched out a draft plan for the weekend. Â Sounds good and we’ll have more to say about it as the details get firmed up. Â For now, if you’re interested, check out the Facebook page for more information and reserve the weekend of October 2nd on your calendar. Â I’m hoping to lead a session, and have several topics I’m interested in: Â Genderqueer, issues around masculine presentation, the challenges and rewards of long distance relationships and managing polyamorous relationships. Â Which one I ultimately do will depend on what other topics are submitted.
And that’s the week in review. Â I’m going to go join my wife and Little Bit in the living room now, with a bowl of ice cream. Â Y’all have a great weekend.
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