I really love this feeling at this time
In this space
Not tomorrow or 5 years from now
Thursday will be a new day
Linger-ments of Wednesday
but not necessarily
THIS Thursday is created new
Nothing is constant
Nor do I want it to be
Nothing is a sure thing
and I am elated for that
Friday we may be different
And not want the same things
I so hope so
Terror and utter bliss
Above is a free-write I did some time ago. I found it while rustling through the many napkins, backs of receipts, edges of brown paper bags torn to lay pen to capture a lighting thought before sound hit and it was gone for good. I read somewhere that if you’re having difficulty moving forward with a project; in this case writing, one should work on something unrelated. So, there I was, on the floor thumbing through folders of word memories. I came across a dated sheet of paper the size of an index card adorned with scribbles, chicken-scratch and yet a new idea that navigated me back to my writing. Although this piece was about something altogether different, multiple ideas resinated for me. This resurrected idea comes full circle with former contemplations about negotiation, sex and love.
My thoughts captured ideas about how I’ve come to desire “relationships.” Relationships in this regard, referring to any intimate or sexual interactions regardless of the length of time together. The above piece in some senses, summarizes what I love and what most of us fear in those interactions–uncertainty. Living in a moment constructed by slabs of boundaries and negotiations. Enough slabs to create a strong foundation for a place, a room, a house–that for years to come, will have its furniture moved around, may stay the same, degrade, be destroyed or be remodeled. We just don’t know. All we can be sure of is that we used the best materials, followed safety guidelines and every so often, tested what we built. There is no certainty of the future, yet we make ourselves believe that we can control it.
“I’ll never leave you.” “I’ll love you forever.” “I’ll always be there for you.” “Never,” “forever” and “always” are absolute certain words uttered from emotions, used to express the wishfulness of such great feats of certainty. As unattainable as these things are, I do understand the poetry of it all. It’s a beautiful sentiment to express, but what happens when that sentiment is taken at face value and we cannot deliver? Deemed liars and heartbreakers, the promise-crushers are said to have skills that “waste” years off unsuspecting-love-interests lives. For many, its forever or nothing, and the time spend before the break-up become distant distractions from righteous truth tellers of forever. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to want the possibility of a-fairy-tale-forever–but also knowing what reality might bring today. Unfortunately, some of us don’t value the “now”. We bank on the goal of forever and in the process forget about it. What does always and forever represent? Security, love, financial stability, companionship, family? The things we most want can be attained and not at the cost of losing sight of the experiences, memories, and lessons learned in the process.
I’ve grown so much from my relationships throughout the years and will continue to. Some of those intimacies where horrible and some great but all contributed to my journey. I’ve been monogamous and for the past 13 years, practicing polyamory. Sometimes I’ve gotten it right and other times I’ve messed up royally. My experiences took me from trying to jump to a future of proposed satisfaction under the guise of forever, to intentional steps of wonderful moments. I try to feel it all and not skip to the end. It’s amazing to dream of the future but I work hard to not have my head in the clouds so much so that I miss out on the day to day beauty of intimacy.
This is less about polyamory vs monogamy but more about an understanding that we really don’t know what will transpire. Honesty, communication, vulnerability and good intensions are just a few mechanisms we could all use to attain what we want right now. The rest is gravy. Regardless of how your relationships are configured, how many people you love at once, if you’re monogamous, or if you believe in marriage, we all want meaningful relationships. Forever should be the time we take to learn what that actually is.
Ignacio Rivera M.A., is a queer, Trans, Two-Spirit, Black, Boricua, Taíno who prefers the gender-neutral pronoun “they.” Ignacio is an activist, writer, educator, filmmaker, performance artist and mother.