Thomm Quackenbush, author

" Threshold | 2008 | Caliber "

01.04.08 4:09 p.m.

If you go on working with the light available, you will meet your Master, as he himself will be seeking you.  

-Ramana Maharshi

 


Hello, My Future Girlfriend

I don't want a relationship. I am sorry, but I am just not ready. I would not want to inflict myself upon you like this, I like you too much for that, though I don't know you yet. (Do I?) I don't quite know when I will be ready. It is more a matter of individual progress than a specific time frame, but Zack claims that I should keep from dating for at least three months to avoid the tragedy of rebound crushes. As I am writing this, I have no idea how I will feel when you read this, but I feel it best to give you fair warning, a description of the luggage, and let you make an educated decision.

I am not looking to date as an end in itself, though I am going to. I am looking for a partner in crime, in art, in life, in bed. I don't have the slightest interest in sleeping around or drunken snogging with someone I don't cherish. I have spent over seven years building a life with someone. I was three months from marrying her and a breath from spending the rest of my life with her, if you get the distinction. I am not looking for you to replace her. Each love is unique and fortifying. I consider you for yourself, will not covertly or overtly be asking you to try on Emily's shoes in any way. She took them or I gave them away.

Much as I would love to have you move in or move in with you - I have never officially lived on my own and I like having the possibility of someone being there when I come home - there is almost no chance that would remotely be a good idea. It would just be rushing things and would not be in our respective or collective best interests. Being with me isn't going to be easy or comfortable as it could be for a while, until I am finished healing. I don't have the slightest interest in being anyone's project or burden. You deserve better. You have to.

Here is what I can offer you: I am quick and witty. I use humor as a coping mechanism and method of honesty. I flirt with people without meaning anything more than that I want them to know that they are special to me for that one moment. I miss having cats (I will miss having cats, since they are presently cuddled against my feet as I write this) but I am not getting new pets because I prefer to only be responsible for human beings. I love children, but I like giving them back at the end of the day. I have had exactly three sexual partners in the last decade and lifetime. I loved them all, better and more healthily each time. I have, however, kissed more than twenty-five girls, the vast majority between the ages of 14 and 17. I don't regret this, as I feel it has made me realize exactly what I am looking for in a romantic partnership and killed any urge for infidelity. I may cop a quote from Palahniuk and say that self-improvement is masturbation, but I am always sanding and refinishing my soul. At that, I don't think masturbation is dirty and I wish it were taught to children in middle school so they would be able to get out their newfound horniness without involving others. Within my apartment, I will forget to wear clothes, as I sleep nude and am often struck with brilliant ideas while I am showering. I don't pretend I am a good person but I don't have to pretend that I want to be. I have narrowed my self-adhering identity stickers down to "Writer" and "Partner/Friend"; I want to be good at these things. Beyond those things, I am fairly fluid in my identity. No, not even fluid. I am a gas, not a solid, and tend to be able to find the humor and antecedents in things more quickly because I am not concentrated in any one place or time. I am not vindictive or angry. I will bear a hurt a week before unnecessarily causing someone else pain. I don't fight, I discuss. If you cannot discuss and cannot bear productively creating a resolution, you are going to have a hard time with me. If you yell at me, I will likely just address you more logically and calmly but withdraw. Once I love someone, I will keep loving them no matter what bad decisions they make in life or in regards to me. This does not always mean that I like them. I like college towns, I do not miss being in college. I like corn chips and hummus, like the United Nations in my mouth. I wanted to be lusted after and seduced. I like being slightly bitten. I like talking dirty without meaning a word of it. I like better if you like it. I like writing sexy stories that I won't show anyone. In a committed relationship, I am good, giving, and game for most anything, though try to give me some warning before breaking out exotic toys. If I have sex with you, this is a big step in my telling you that I imagine I am spending the rest of my life with you. I find belly dancers a hundred times sexier than strippers. I am not terribly focused on my gender identity - I've been told I read as androgynous - but I love women exclusively. I am not jealous unless given reason to be, at which point I will simply ask rather than fuming and feeling horrid. If you don't talk to me about something, I have to try very hard not to keep reintroducing the topic. I will respect and keep your secrets until the moment to allow me to share them. I secretly care about things like honor, not in the way which I fight duels over insults but in that I want to keep my word. I love my friends and family and want you to love them too. I cherish honestly and do my best not to lie. I will tell you that this is because I won't be able to write about anything I lie about. I am occasionally arrogant according to my parents. I am allergic to dust, pet dander, and shellfish, which in high concentrations will cause me to become red eyed and grumpy. I half-believe in a dozen different things. I want you to respect what I believe, even if it is weird, even if I act like I don't. I really do think my silver dragon ring is important to my health and safety, though I will pawn this belief off on my mother if you act skeptical. I wear a different pendant depending on the personal work I am trying to do. I know at first sight whether or not I will like someone and there is little the person can do in either direction to change that regard. I talk during movies, but almost always just a wry whisper in your ear to connect this moment with a shared experience or inside joke. I like popcorn during movies and will ignore it most other times. I like Chinese food and fresh buffet sushi, but will try almost anything. I write about my life as a means of therapy; I will write about anyone I adore. Some find this unwelcome or off-putting and these people tend to independently fade from my life before long. I have mastered various adult arts - washing dishes, doing laundry, paying bills on time, etcetera - but I have yet to become a good cook. I believe in family, even if that family doesn't share any genes. I am tainted by screenwriters and authors into believing in social constructs that are rare at best.

In the past, in the post- Katean period, I made a list of what I looked for in a girl. Some of the conditions apply, some do not, but I will detail something a bit more narrative. I want a partner, as I said, someone delightful with whom to share nights and days. Someone to whisper to the angels hovering over every blade of grass. Someone to join me on moonlit nights when the air is velvet and fireflies flicker from the trees. I have pictures in my head of archetypes, but what they are wearing and how the are behaving matter more than anything physical. I told someone fairly recently that I felt I could, if given enough time, love anyone who could initially interest me. Such an interesting person is lovely and awkwardly confident. She knows what she would like out of life and will relentlessly pursue it. She will support me in doing the same. She will believe in love as the most concrete abstract, will have faith in the power of true love the way zealots do of Jesus. She will dance and sing when the mood strikes her, under the noon sun or the grocery store's frozen food aisle. She will foster a little bit of chaos in her soul, but always keep it in check, never letting it consume her. She won't let others be forced to conclude that I'm the stable one. I want to be proud of her, to be able to brag to everyone about how amazing she is. I am not possessive and will find it curious at the very least if someone feels too possessively of me, though I revel in being told that I am someone else's. There is a difference in that.

I can't really give anymore qualities than that. I love people for who they are, for where they have been in their lives and how those experiences have shaped them and brought them into my life. I never considered loving a martial artist or a pipe smoker, but I have done both of those things in my life. Beyond the core, that glowing essence of the truly important, everything else about someone is fascinating trivia that I will spend a lifetime memorizing in my soul. Once you have seen the center and know how to get there, walking the labyrinth is just a lovely pastime.

Soon in Xenology: Coping.

last watched: Juno
reading: The Great Gatsby
listening: The Moldy Peaches

" Threshold | 2008 | Caliber "

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.



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Works by Thomm Quackenbush

Anthologies

Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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