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Posted By Bakari
Very important first point of note:
There is an unfair implication in the title.



[While this entry is not entirely unsuitable for public consumption, my readership is likely to include those for whom it is unsuitable for.

For this reason, you may click the link to the full post if you like, but it won't do you any good


Perhaps I will end up doing the same as I did last time I posted something blocked, and go back half a year later and unblock it when no one will notice and its no longer relevant anyway.

Or maybe I won't.  Who's to say?

...Well, me I suppose.  But see, while I have nothing to hide, sometimes when what I write involves other people, its best to use some descrition.  So we'll just see how things go, ok?  If you are really desperate to know all the personal details of my life, you can always ask me to send you this entry.  Or you can just wait until tomorrow when I will post another general social commentary essay for your Bikeari writing fix]

Posted By Bakari

I am so sick of dating.

I can't say it hasn't been fun.
Its been really fun. Many first experiences.

I have been asked out. I have gathered the courage to ask out.
Some time later I replaced courage with confidence.

I have learned an awful lot of things (and confirmed a few I suspected all along).
I learned just how different I am compared to so many of my peers in this area.
I learned finding what I am looking for is really hard.
I learned all the common stereotypes about gender and dating are totally false.
I learned people really do have sex on first dates (and not just desperate people, drunks, or players, but ordinary healthy well-adjusted people)
I learned women are just as superficial as men (just with height instead of weight)
I learned (at least for those whose standards start at 5'6" or less) I am much more attractive than I had thought I was.
I learned there is very little correlation between stated views on sex and actual comfort and enthusiasm in practice; and little correlation between visual sexiness and actual quality of performance.
I learned the single most important variable is that she is truly comfortable with her own sexuality.
I was shocked to learn how many people think that the actions of the female partner have little bearing on the overall quality of sex, or that being "good" can consist solely of how much she is willing to have done to her. I learned not everyone can match my stamina.
I learned people are much more forgiving of me for my infidelity than I am of myself (I decided against ever making that story a blog, but I have nothing to hide, so if you ask me I'll tell you about it)
I learned I can easily fall in love with someone I am totally incompatible with - in fact, I'm suspect that I have a tendency to do just that.
I have learned a lot about emotional responses and how rare it is to just be told, directly, when something I do is upsetting or annoying or offensive.
I learned just how guarded and polite people are, and how it breeds a sort of inadvertent falseness which I honestly never noticed before.

I have had sex with a number of beautiful intelligent compassionate women of various shapes and sizes and colors. People involved in social justice and environmental protection and education, younger than me, older, people who want to get married someday and others who think monogamy is an artificial social construct. More women in just this past year than I expected to be with in my entire life.
I've shared both physical and emotional intimacy with women who I could have conversations with and find myself questioning beliefs I've refined over a lifetime of thought and debate and felt totally confident about.
I've even fallen in love. It may have been with someone totally incompatible with me, but it was still nice to know for sure I still can.

It turns out that sex with someone who isn't my best-friend-and-long-term-partner is just as unfulfilling as I always assumed it would be. They were everyone of them someone I could consider a friend, a whole world of difference from one-night-stand or purely-physical affairs (the thought of which makes me feel a little sick inside). That just isn't enough.

I have not had a history of following through on this sort of thing in the past; perhaps a public pronouncement will aid my meager willpower - or at least discourage the women in my life from taking advantage of it:
No more sex on first dates, no matter how good that date is. Or second. Or third. No sex unless...


(due to character limit, please click here to continue)

Posted By Bakari

I feel like I want to write, but I don't have a topic.

Actually, that's not true. I have several: adoption, consciousness, short-term dating/serial monogamy, and I doubt I'll ever be satiated of ranting about the injustice of a system that allows unrestricted accumulation of wealth across generations.

But as much as I feel like writing, I even more don't feel like writing about any of that stuff.

So I guess this will be more diary entry than essay.

I talked to a customer a couple days ago, a slightly crazy guy who I've worked with many times, get into heated debates with on the way to his storage space. He was shocked to learn that I make personal stuff public this way - (that reminds me, that's another topic I've been meaning to write about for about 1/4 of forever). He also questioned why I might think anyone would care.
I learned yesterday that someone I had never met or heard of found my website after I drove by in the truck, somehow came across the blog, had even commented once. A friend of a friend. There are 5 times as many views of the blog as my actual business website (even though the business site counter counts every refresh as a new view, but the blog counter doesn't).
I really don't know why. Why are you reading this right now?


I have been mentioning periodically for a while now how overwhelming it all is.
I feel tired, but I am still just as much in awe. I don't feel like I am ever going to be able to take all of this for granted.
I mean ALL of it.
That water falls from the sky periodically. That sex works the way it does. That music can affect me so much. How many people there are. That we are apparently on this giant liquid filled rock hurtling through the vast expansive of nothingness around a giant burning fireball of hydrogen and heavy elements it creates by being, basically, a constantly exploding nuclear bomb held together by the sheer weight of itself. The very fact that matter exists seems unbelievable to me.
I am running a business? What the hell is that? I never had a girlfriend throughout grade school, high school, college. I was not exactly an outcast, but I was far from popular. All my life I was the little skinny guy, the weird guy. Invited to parties for sheer entertainment value. And now I look back on a couple recent experiences and wonder if maybe she was in it as much out of lust as anything, and given how I felt, its like I was used for my body. Me? WTF? Mind you, I'm not complaining. It just seems so unrealistic.

This has been fun. No question. Some of my favorite people I met through the dating process. I have no regrets. I have learned a whole lot about life, people, relationships, even myself. I feel almost no connection to my life from as little as a year ago.
But there was something I really liked about having only ever had sex with two people. Something I liked about only having had one partner and planning to keep it that way. I liked being settled. It wasn't an ideal relationship, but my feeling of loyalty made up the difference, and there was also a lot of genuine good. I'm happy to have been released from that responsibility, but I would like for my next serious relationship to be my last.
Obviously I don't think there is anything immoral or unhealthy about promiscuity, but it just doesn't feel natural to me. Before I had experienced it I never understood the appeal. And honestly, now that I have, I still don't.

[Due to the character limit on this account, you will have to click HERE to read the exciting conclusion of this blog entry]

Posted By Bakari

I read something recently about psychologists and neurologists who decided to put people in the early passionate stages of new love into an MRI machine.  They showed the volunteer subjects various pictures, some of the object of their affections, some not, and watched how their brains responded differently.

As it turns out, the analogies with drug addiction aren't just a matter of poetic license.

The craving, the irrational behavior, the withdrawal when forced to go without, they seem similar because the same parts of the brain respond to each, and in the same way.

The author of the article I read said that love was like a drug.

But of course, evolution didn't develop our brains to respond positively to cocaine, heroin, or nicotine.  There would be no incentive.
There is, however, very strong biological incentive to have people fall passionately in love.

Which means its far more likely that drugs are like love, not the other way around.

Perhaps the whole reason drugs have appeal in the first place is that they artificially take the place that passion and romance are supposed to.

Makes me think about narcotics in a whole new way.  Sure seems simpler than dating.  I guess there could be a downside I'm not considering....

Posted By Bakari

In Spanish the term for "I love you" is the same as "I want you"

Contrary to what English speakers might assume, this isn't meant to imply lust.
Te quiero is just as applicable to love for family or friends (with te amo reserved for romantic love - though te quiero is appropriate for a spouse or lover as well)

This is perhaps no more than an idiosyncrasy of language and translation, but it strikes me as the dominate view of love in our own culture.

We might say "I love ice cream" or "I love that movie", meaning that you really really enjoy it.  When something brings us great pleasure, we love it.
Certainly our friends and family and lovers ought to bring us great pleasure.

This type of love, possessive and self-centered, can certainly be applied to people.  I love you because you make me happy, I enjoy your company, I want you around.

It is perhaps unfortunate that we have one word that should cover such a broad range of emotional experience.

Love can also mean "I want you to be happy".  For objects it never means this, but hopefully for people it often does.  While in the 1st meaning it is dependent on my own happiness to exist, in the 2nd I am willing to deliberately sacrifice my own happiness for the benefit of the object of my love.  Ideally a good relationship (any type, not just lovers) will have both types, but really they are two different things.

We feel real care and concern for others, we want to make them happy as they do us, but in a culture obsessed with the self it can be all too easy to get caught up in prioritizing selfish love.

There have been a number of studies out there which confirm in scientific terms what we have known from folk wisdom forever: it is better to give than to receive.  It turns out this isn't just a way of conning the populace into desirable social behavior, its an innate truth of human nature.  Spending money on a gift does more to raise subjective well-being than spending an equal amount on ones self ( 

It seems that love as a feeling of care for others as opposed to a feeling of enjoyment of others, particularly within romantic relationships, is strongly de-emphasized in our culture.
We each spend our time focusing on our own needs being met, giving little time left over to question how much we are meeting theirs.

I see people being quick to point out that it would be unhealthy to prioritize another over ones self - but see, as long as its mutual, it balances out.  Its just like in society: everyone does better when everyone does better. 

Imagine a game of tug-of-rope.  Two equally matched opponents face off.  They pull and struggle and sweat and the knot in the middle stays more or less right in the middle.
If either lets go, they lose, and the consequences may be miserable.  But say they both agreed to stop pulling.  The knot still stays in the middle.  But they don't have to fight anymore.  Things are still the same as they were, but both are better off.  This is what happens when you focus on being good to your partner instead of just on them being good to you.  In the end, instead of a sacrifice, you are both better off than when you started, which is how a good relationship should be.

[click here to read the rest]

Posted By Bakari

I still do not put any real stake in sexual compatibility.
What I want is a partnership.
What matters most to me is being able to fully respect my partner, admire her.
I want us to enjoy each other, have fun together, teach each other, challenge each other, support each other.
I want intellectual and emotional compatibility.
I want shared values and priorities.
What matters to me is who she is as a person, not just what I get from contact with her.

It is very early, we have a lot to learn about each other; I can't say anything with any confidence. We haven't had a chance to talk about these things. I don't even know what she is looking for in terms of a relationship. I have always had a tendency to idealize people, to emphasize the good and overlook the bad, and especially now I am not in a proper emotional state to judge - that being said, I have not felt so positively about a new person so quickly since... well, actually, I don't think I ever have.
I am learning more and more exactly what it is that I want, raising my standards by having contact with various people who were each wonderful in their own way, and seeing those things which I might have thought I wanted, but turned out not to work for me.
As I became more selective, it has become harder and harder to find someone who held my interest. I tried not to even think about concepts like "settle"; a slippery slope atop depression.
When I was young the focus of my infatuations were completely random and baseless. It had more to do with accessibility, proximity, than it did on personality. I remember in junior high intelligence became a prerequisite. Then independent thinking.
Kathy, in the first year of high school was the first where looking back, I know exactly what I saw in her. Aside from my crush, she was also my best friend.
But then, she was my friend first. It was based on who she was, not just what she looked like or that she happened to be in my class. But my interest developed slowly, bit by bit.
And so it was with my ex-wife, Aileen. We became friends first, and for years after our first conversation I had not the slightest romantic interest in her. We had sex before we kissed. We still both considered our relationship to be friendship after we were sleeping together regularly. I felt that I loved her before I felt in-love. That was definitely a first. The feeling of love, not romantic, not passion, but caring deeply for a person, caring as much about another human being as you do about yourself, that does not come easily for me. I have felt it only very rarely, and usually transiently. She earned my love by being the wonderful person she is. We became partners, and romantic feeling developed with time. That made it no less real, no less strong. I felt as deeply in love with my wife as I did in any obsession before her. Combining the feeling of "love" with "in-love" produced an attachment so strong it is a wonder to me that I was actually able to function in the real world day-to-day. (It is actually a good thing that she didn't feel as strongly as I did, because we may very well have never left each others sides, and would in fact have not been able to function in the real world).

All this to say I don't especially value what most people today consider a prerequisite for a new relationship, a chemistry or passion or attraction...

[Actual blog no longer blocked at MySpace; just be aware, its gets pretty explicit]

Posted By Bakari

You all know what has been going on.

I didn't seriously expect things to get so...
so quickly

I feel ok. Better than ok

I am in constant awe of everything, of everything, not just the people in my life and our interactions, and it is non-stop, it has been constant - and all but overwhelming - nearly every moment for as long as I can clearly remember (which is about the past two months or so)

As I mentioned before, it is exhausting - but with a week off last week (off from working anyway, though a date, time with friends, and/or a party every single day; and somehow I am becoming aware of my age? While I have felt like a kid playing grown-up all my life, (well, except when I really was a kid. Then I felt much more mature than my peers. Its like I have been at the same maturity level my whole life, and at some point I grew into it, but then I kept aging as it stayed the same (I'm (mostly) kidding)), I have been noticing certain details - owning my home, running a business, being divorced, driving conservatively - which I always associated with "real" adults. Yet recently I seem to be in the young adult world all over again) I feel re-energized and ready for more.

Except that now I am starting to fear hurting certain people (who shall remain nameless and detail-less to protect the privacy of the innocent (particularly since I was specifically asked to and I am most certainly not the type to pull a Lucy Ford on anyone, no matter how disgruntled or resentful I might be - not that I am, not at all, but I'm just saying, in theory, none of you ever have to worry about that; although I tend to assume that anything is ok just so long as you don't tell me otherwise so if you want not to be mentioned here make sure and tell me explicitly because I'm not any good at taking hints) and while I knew in theory this possibility was lurking, I really never expected it and so now I'm wondering how to cope if this trend continues on its current trajectory and certain other things pan out in a way like they look like they might possibly could and of course I am basing this on so little, I am, and I know it, but it sure looks more likely than average and I can't help but to think about worst case scenarios and its making all sorts of wacky (and sometimes terrible! :( ) things pass briefly  through my mind (the sort of things which are in direct opposition to the ideas in the love essay I've been telling you all I have been working on (I really have been, life is just very distracting at the moment and its hard to focus) if you know what I mean).
I added a note on the ok account about these potential changes, and deleted my words with the CL, but as Malomar would have it, these actions are exactly 2 hours too late and as things are I don't feel like it would be reasonable to not at least find out because this is a potentially narrow opportunity to learn, and its too important not to find out. Is it selfish? That is the question I am struggling with. That is the question which is forcing me to write this against my better judgment. Everything I have said has been true, but all of us know (sometimes we choose to ignore, but I believe that deep inside everyone of us knows) that it is always more complicated than can be forced into a set of rules or theories.

My next therapy session is not going to have enough time to cover a small fraction of all this.
The hour goes by unbelievably fast every time as it is, even when I come in feeling like I don't have much to talk about (this isn't just my perception, he is surprised every week when time runs out)

Bonus Points:

If any of my readers actually read through this and are able to make sense of all the ((())) and explain in more comprehensible terms what the hell I am talking about here, I will take you out: ice skating or for ice cream; your choice, my treat (it has to be accurate)

Posted By Bakari

Feeling like I'm in love without having any one particular person to focus it on is an entirely unprecedented experience for me.  I really don't know what to do with it.
It surprises me that its not so overwhelming; even the giddiness of a few weeks ago is fading (a little) - yet something I don't know how to explain beyond "in-love" remains.  It is a little tiring.  I'm not sure why (I'm not sure anything!)
Overall, I don't think I like it.

Posted By Bakari

What tells one person they are loved may be no more than background noise to another.

We are limited to words, gestures, actions, to express our whole range of feelings to one another. 
A smile, a cringe, expressions are largely universal.  But we are quite able to misunderstand each others communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and do so all the time.

Of course the words alone ("I love you"), with no action to support them will not make a convincing expression (though the words are a vital addition for some). The range of potential actions in enormous.

If we go about acting on feeling without really thinking, our own most natural expression of deeply felt love can come across as meaningless.
What matters is not if you find unexpected flowers to be romantic, but if your partner does. 
Our choice of method to express our care for another may be dependent largely on how it was expressed to us. 
Maybe I was not shown much affection growing up, but much emphasis was placed on my health, well being, and nutrition.  Maybe my partners experiences were just the opposite.  When I cook her healthy meals it feels to me like she takes this expression of love for granted.  She does take it for granted, since she never considered meal preparation an act of love.  Her parents never cooked, and she would be just as happy eating out.  She assumes I cook for her just because I enjoy cooking.  
When she gives me a hug it feels hollow to me.  I don't associate physical affection with love very strongly.  She feels the lack of response on my part, and takes it to mean I don't feel strongly about her, when really I just don't feel strongly about the method of expression. We don't understand each other, but we can't explain -  we may not even understand the reasons behind our own feelings.

It isn't so much selfishness as ignorance, immaturity.
Its only natural that one would assume that what makes them feel loved is what would make others feel loved, and would therefor express their own in the same way they would like to receive it.  After all, we are reminded to treat others the way we would like to be treated.  The golden rule is unfortunately a bit of an oversimplification, for perhaps I appreciate surprise guests and my neighbor appreciates being left alone and as we each try to be especially kind to each other by doing what we would want them to do our displeasure only grows.

Truly caring about someone, we have to look at them a little closer, and to learn to channel our expression of love in such a way that it is understood. 
If you don't know what would make the most meaningful expression to your partner, probably a good clue would be whatever things they do to attempt to express it to you!

Perhaps many of us never really thought about it.  Now you have no excuse. 

Posted By Bakari

[edited for space throughout, link to full text below]


after that horrible experience ... hours awake ... alone with my thoughts... I decided that ... I would not even try to sleep.
This time I took the opposite route, modofinil, caffeine pills and primatene... cranked up the music, turned on every light in the house...

With hours to kill, I looked up an internet forum I found months ago when I was trying to learn more about the sort of psychological issues I suspected my wife of having related to her traumatic childhood, and how it was likely to play out in our marriage.

This time ... I was just looking for general validation and emotional support from people who had dealt with the exact same issues themselves. There are many posts both from people who have attachment problems of their own as well as spouses and former spouses of them.

I signed up this time.
I read a lot of posts that felt very familiar. I read questions I had been asking, feelings I was feeling. I started writing myself, wrote in detail about my experiences... Within hours I was getting responses back to my own posts, ones which felt relevant, helpful, and always validating.

... I finally closed the computer. It was daylight by then. I spent the day variously: pacing around, lying on the floor, not returning work calls, lying awake in bed, checking for new emails or friends online ... and thinking thinking thinking about all that I had learned and how it applied to my past, how it changed the context of my memories.


Some of the things I read, which echoed things I had felt, were written not by a spouse of someone with an attachment disorder, but by a person with an attachment disorder themselves.

This was not the first time the idea had occurred to me
After all, I had very abnormally strong infatuations on random girls throughout grade school, I had never felt particularly connected to my family, I rarely formed close friendships and had little desire for them, and clearly how I felt about Aileen was obsessive -

Don't say that!
Its Love!
Its Real!

why are you getting so defensive?

that totally invalidates my feelings, it denies that my love for her is based on her
it implies all sorts of terrible things
that line of reasoning leads to total disillusionment...

don't be so dramatic
its over anyway, so there is no point
you can stop now...
just admit that your feeling for her are obsessive

...I don't want to hear...

Hey! Calm down... look, granted, there is, and always was, a real base. I'm not denying that. I'm not taking that away from us. If we didn't have any type of abnormal attachment styles, I'm sure we would still have picked the exact same person.
I'm not saying the love itself is not fully genuine. I am only saying the degree of the feeling is obsessive.
Think about it: you don't believe you could live with out her, do you?

Well... no

You feel that you don't just want her, but that you need her?

I... I... yes.I do.

But that is not true, in an objective sense, is it?

I feel that it is.

But is it really?

I don't know...

Yes you do.

ok. ok. you're right.


[entire post at MySpace ]

Posted By Bakari

devoid of meaning
a faint echo of death keeps whispering to me from the distance

I do not hear it
I can not heed it
I do not wish to
I know I will not
But it is there

I need sleep
I beg for it
It is callous
Like her

It knows that I need it; but it is selfish, it has its own priorities, and it will not come to me
I know it is near by, just outside, enjoying the night
I have always tried to be good to sleep
Sleep medicine is no different from no-doz; it makes no difference, not even a little
Maybe I need something prescription strength; medical insurance leaves me in divorce

At least sleep never told me it loved me

I feel as though I have no organs
I may have, at one time, but they have dissolved
Sometimes they have been replaced with barbed wire
Other times they are replaced with nothing
I feel sick
Maybe that's all the sleeping pills
I can't remember for sure, but I think the feeling was already there
I think that was the reason I took them

I keep hearing "time"
This planet has circled our sun
I feel worse now than I did 1 year ago
I did not think, when I last wrote, that it was possible to feel worse than I did
How much time?
2 years?  3?
What happens to the human brain if it feels this way for too long?

I am told you learn to trust again
I am told you learn to love again
It's not that I don't believe it
I am scared
I would like to see it work
6 years ago I thought this would
Time may heal, but it offers no security

I told her I could not be friends with her
I was not asking for much
For her to keep her agreements to me
Is that so much to ask of a friend?
She expected that from me

I had asked that before we give up, we have at least a short-term commitment with exclusivity, a trial-unseparation, and see how that went 
If it still didn't work out, so be it
She agreed to that
And then she just didn't do it 
She decided she didn't feel like it.
She said she would go through the relationship book with me, the one that she ordered.
And halfway through, she just stopped, she changed her mind about trying
She wasn't going to try anymore
I asked her to spend a night at my place, because I had been spending a lot at hers
She agreed to that
And then she just didn't
I asked her to read my last letter a second time, after allowing a few days for it to sink in
She agreed to that
She just didn't do it

All I needed was that she not ask me to stay the night with her if it didn't mean anything to her, since she knew I was still in love
All I needed was for her to not have sex with me if it didn't mean anything to her 
She thinks saying the words "this doesn't change anything" made it ok
All I needed was for her to show some basic level of concern, even when I wasn't especially upset
This was not too much to ask

But when I told her I needed for her to be willing to do this just these basic things to prevent hurting me so much
She said she was not willing to
She would rather lose my friendship altogether than to have to change anything at all about her behavior
She says she can't help the way she feels

If she would rather lose my friendship than to put even the slightest effort into not hurting me, then she never loved me

I do not hold this against her

I suspect she can not love


Entire blog at <MySpace>

Posted By Bakari

Much of the time, I feel like its done, I can move on.
I understand what went wrong, and its too late to fix it.
Ache Vecho.

There is still so much else good in life, good in my life.
Many interesting people, much fun to be had.

I have not been dreaming about her (at least, I don't think so, I usually don't remember my dreams though)
Tonight I did.
She was at my home for some reason.  It was late.  She was in the living room, I in my bedroom.  I had been acting as if everything were normal, but I was roiling inside.
I'm not sure exactly what about.
Mostly I was angry.

Often, I am (angry) when I'm awake, in real life.
But, at her?  at life?  at myself?
I don't know.
I feel like she took from me my love.  The feeling of love itself.  I no longer have any love.  I have nothing.  (I have things, many things, but nothing to take the place of love).

I enjoy writing.  I enjoy running, jumping, climbing, skating, singing while I bicycle.  I enjoy trips to new places, meeting interesting people, going out at night with friends.  I enjoy both of my jobs, I love that I help people, that I'm good at them, that it makes a difference, and not just to some corporation.  I am proud of having a green business, of working for a non-profit, for helping to save the world in my own little way.  I have been largely successful in my efforts to make my neighborhood a little better, making things happen, getting on the landlords case.
I have gotten an unusual amount of attention from women, something I'm not at all used to, and it gives me self-confidence and motivation. I've even been asked out, and she is fascinating and wonderful and fun and we share many ideas and I look forward to getting to know her better.

My relationship, my marriage was the most important thing in my life.  I don't think that is abnormal or unhealthy.  I think she was right for me.  I think we could have been happy in the long run with the right changes.
And so it leaves me in this weird place where the person who has hurt me is also the person I most care about.  Do I want her, or do I resent her?  She hurt me more than anyone ever has.  She made me more happy than anyone else ever has.
Even if she were not so closed to me, and was willing to talk about it, if she ended up wanting to work on it before giving up, how could I ever trust her?  She said she was 100% sure.  She said that over and over.  If she changed her mind about 100% sure, then a commitment from her could never mean anything.  I couldn't feel safe. 
I enjoyed the feeling of being part of a couple.  I considered her in my every decision.  I enjoyed feeling love for someone.  I never felt that before.  I had felt care, infatuation, respect, but not love.  And I feel like she robbed me of all those wonderful feelings.  It may sound illogical, but not wanting her actually hurts worse than knowing she doesn't want me.


<entire blog at MySpace>

Posted By Bakari


We are at home, bed time.

Once we settled into bed, I spent some time rubbing your back, while we spoke of things we had been thinking about.
Nothing particularly important, but we were still awake, and it’s always nice to talk.

Now we are both getting sleepy, are ready to actually fall asleep.

You lie on your side, facing away from me.
I lie behind you, facing you, our bodies lightly against each other.
It’s a cool night, but not cold
naked, beneath the blankets, our natural warmth together is the perfect amount to combat the night air,
you, of course, have your feet outside of the blankets.

My arm is over and across you, my hand around your breast
your arm overlaps mine, your hand on my hand.

And we fall asleep feeling the subtle expansion and contraction of each other’s breathing
You, with the light touch of my breath on the back of your neck, me, with the subtle scent of your hair in my breath
For me, I fall asleep to the thought that I cannot imagine a more perfect existence

than spending my time with so beautiful a person
the only lover I have ever had, have ever wanted

than falling asleep next to my best friend

Posted By Bakari

A few minutes ago my iPod, randomly shuffling between a 605 track playlist, played "Everyday" by Dave Matthews Band.
I was putting up window tint, and not thinking about you at all at the time.
It immediately made me think of - not of you exactly, but of the feeling of you, the general thought of you.

Within the next second, it reminded me of Stanford and then El Cerrito. Then again, not really the places, but the feelings that go along with them, a memory not of any particular site or sound, but of the feeling I had when I was there

And of course, the places themselves were of no significance, it was the person I was with who made those places interesting, something to look forward to.

I have the feeling of "nostalgia" now and then, from different things, about different things. In one way it is a good feeling, but usually it is more just interesting than it is pleasant. The good component is usually balanced by an unpleasant part, which is much too subtle to explain, almost too subtle to even notice, but it is there none-the-less.

I can't remember a feeling of nostalgia which was as filled with warmth. Warmth is precisely it. It was all pleasant feeling, even with what has been going on recently. It made me realize something:

I think I really was in love with you, long before I was aware of it, long before I told you, long before I admitted it. Not just "love" in the sense that I have loved you all along and continue to, not just care and positive regard, but "in" love, with that extra little special something which is indefinable.


-A digression:

I have updated my theories of love. I used to belittle the feeling of "in" love as either being "just" a crush or infatuation, or lust, in any case, not real, not sustainable.
These certainly can be factors, and the three can be impossible to distinguish sometimes. But, when accompanied by "real" love (you know what I mean), the distinction comes in the indefinable element.

You can list the factors which make a person someone you would love, but there are always other things, subtle, indefinable, unplaceable things, which are still very real despite being incommunicable, which are the extra element, which make it "in" love.



Sometimes I would say I loved you, and you would ask why, and I might say I wasn't sure. Which you took to mean it was either untrue or meaningless. But really, it was very true, and very meaningful. Probably more so than the list of qualities could ever be. You do fulfill the 'list', but another person who filled the list might not be the same to me as you are.

I had always assumed that when people used the term "chemistry" they were essentially talking about lust. But, this morning I was thinking about all this; you said something to the effect that if certain others had specific qualities, (and maybe they will turn out to) I would really like her - but I don't feel for anyone, now, ever, quite the way I did (and still do) for you, even back when I didn't admit it. Perhaps it could be called "chemistry"; whatever it is, it's missing with others.


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Posted By Bakari



My definition:


Several parts, all absolutely necessary without exception.

(In no particular order)



Which I consider to also consist of several parts –

Trust: one should be willing to tell the other what they think and feel.

Comfort: one should be as comfortable doing or saying anything in front of the other as they would be if they were alone



I define this as not only feeling sympathy, but the willingness to make a personal sacrifice for another's gain. One is not only willing, but will take the initiative to give up something they want, or to do something they don't want, in order to make the other happy. This should be up to, and including, a one to one ratio – i.e. a sacrifice of equal magnitude to the gain the other gets from it. In any particular instance the ratio can be higher (I give up something I strongly want to give you something you moderately want) but overall it should not exceed 1:1; that would be an indication of a non-mutual, and ultimately unhealthy, relationship.



A desire to be with the person, just for its own sake. Not because it makes them happy, not because one should, not because they provide some particular useful thing, but just because it is enjoyable to spend time with them.



Both knowledge of and understanding of the reasoning behind the other's beliefs, principals, opinions and preferences, and having one's own beliefs principals, opinions and preferences known and understood. This does not mean that each must necessarily agree with them all, but they should know what they are and why.

All of these things must be present for me to call it love. Any one or any two of them I would not be comfortable calling love. I certainly have felt one or two of these for others before. Never before all three for the same person. I had to experience it before I could formulate my definition, and so I have used the term in circumstances which I wouldn't today. To me, it is not an easy thing to come by.

Note that the first 3 can exist without being mutual.


Any of the four can exist without the other 3, which would constitute a friendship.

Having, say, 3 of the 4 could make a very special and important relationship. But having all 4 makes a qualitatively different relationship. It is what separates a close friendship from a life partner, or a healthy "long term relationship" from an unhealthy one.


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