Traders, explorers, hunters, and adventurers marked the paths over which destiny took its course, but it was the settler who, in the end, was most consequential in establishing the United States we now know. – Thomas Hart Benton
It’s late at night and I can hear the sound of distant strings of firecrackers and small explosions through the dark night air. America is keyed up for its annual festival of blowing things up. Creeping into the wee small hours I find myself still restless and beginning to mourn the loss of my personal freedom. Tomorrow I’ll be returning to the office, returning to psychic school, returning to the routine and the demands of others. While there’s a certain beauty in participation, in being needed, there is still much I wish to explore unencumbered. I want to be a hunter. I’m still longing for adventure with an unrelenting thirst. It strikes me odd that the final hours of my vacation have fallen on Independence Day itself.
After witnessing the largest fireworks display in North America last week, local pyrotechnics are leaving me nonplussed. They say the skies will be clear for viewing skyrockets, an unusual occurrence in the Bay Area almost any time of year, but my mind is drawn to fireworks of a different sort. After a vacation featuring sexy strippers of both sexes and sharing a non-sexual bed nightly with close friends, I was eager to feel someone else’s skin on mine, so I set for on an expedition of a different kind.
Carl was the chosen one. The fact that I was his caused the ignition. Quite tall, rugged, handsome, I saw him coming and was immediately intrigued. Soon we were engaged in conversation. Hunters and collectors. Laying traps. The smoke of sexual adventure thick in the air.
At times intuition tells me more than I want to know. I knew he was married before he shared the info. He and his wife have been together quite a few years. Color the man bi-curious, an explorer from Sacramento. The connection was strong between the two of us, eventually leading deeper into a night of mutual flattery. Tasty conversation discussing spirituality, clairvoyance and Jungian psychology. Convinced that I was in control of everything, setting a scene for seduction not easily avoided, I later found myself falling into an emotional trap I had not placed. Here was a man capable of firing up my heart, mind and body. Apparently he felt the same. It’s not often someone tells you upon departure that “Tonight was the most erotic night of my entire life. Thank you.” And how does one even respond to something like that? I simply said “Thank You” – with a sense of glee and validation I was careful not to show too brightly.
There was something incredibly karmic about it all though. I had the sense we had known each other during World War I and there we were sharing each other’s company all over again, making up for lost time, knowing that he would return to his life, or his infantry, or something all over again. He asked if I’d see him again and I told him I honestly did not know. I wasn’t in a place to effectively view the barometer of my feelings. I still don’t know that I am. A chance encounter seemed fine, but a planned excursion? Would I feel like a potential homewrecker? A third wheel? Then again if his wife knows about it and doesn’t mind, should I? Something he said though is still ringing in my ears. “I have no doubt in my mind you’d make someone very very happy Philo.”
While I believe that could be true, on sunny days at least, the romantic opening in the West I’ve been waiting for has yet to arrive. Those making their way through other passages have often brought with them so many, how shall we say, complications. Truth be told I’m enjoying my independence these days, savoring it quietly like a cup of chamomile tea on a chilly night. Most of the time I don’t have the slightest feeling that anything is missing in my life. While Choire’s crowning achievement, one worthy of major applause, has been the loss of his regained virginity. Mine, however, has been a regaining of a sincere sense of enjoyment in solo living.
While I know noone can make it entirely on their own, in my earlier naive and angry years I didn’t need anything from anybody. I could take care of myself just fine thank you very much. As I’ve gotten older though I see great value in needing, in being dependent on my friends, of being intimate and vulnerable. As a result of being able to give and receive support and to be there for the interdependence with others I’m clear that this remains a very real goal. In recent hours, however, independence has once again become the theme, enjoying these final vacational hours of before I light myself a sparkler. Can it be that in further finding my sense of self that that someday opening of the West will bring greater and brighter things, even a partner not worth settling for, but something to settle down with? I suppose so. When there’s a knock on the door and I hear it loud and clear please do not doubt that I will indeed answer. Until then I wait and dream in wonder.