Monday, March 15, 2010

I am Ivey Lane

I had a pretty good time last week; specifically, Vincent and I got a away for a few days to a little resort-y kinda town with a few friends -- definitely a vanilla! -- but a little out of the ordinary this time. One night, we went to a dance club and, oh my god, was it fantastic. I haven't danced like that since before I was married! Hell, since before we started going out. Well, shit, I haven't danced like that for almost 18 years.

And it was wonderful.

Of course, the achy knees took over at about mid-night, a clear reminder that age catches up to us all but in my case, it's kinda worse than that....

You see, and I don't mean to alarm anyone, but I have a thing about my mortality; I know it's comin' and I know it's gonna suck.

Don't be alarmed. I'm not sick or anything, just hyper-aware of the process.

"Well, Ivey, everyone 'knows' they're going to die. You're just being morbid."

No, they really don't. They don't watch, day after day, month after month, year after year, strong people decay -- mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally -- before their very eyes. They don't do, with their own hands, the things that dying people need, like wipe shit from asses, and change adult diapers, and spoon-feed hand mashed peas into drooling mouths. They don't lift and carry from rocker to bed the same woman who used to both wipe and spank their behind. They don't fall to their knees so they can hold the penis of the bravest and baddest man that ever lived in a plastic jar so he won't piss on the carpet. Again. Then lie beside them, in a darkened and dingy room that smells of both Clorox and urine, as they are drawing their last breaths and hold their hands -- one on a hot July night, the other the following Spring -- as they leave this world for... what? The next? Oblivion? Heaven or hell?

No, everyone doesn't know they are going to die. But I know. And I know sooner or later, my last day on this earth is coming. It would be a gross understatement to say that knowledge caused the birth of Ivey Lane.

I'd been coming to the realization that something was "wrong" for quite some time. Not all at once, but with a sense of urgency that was palpable and intense. And on one of the many, many days or nights that I spent with my loved ones, I realized something horrible -- I've lived my life trying to please people who couldn't be pleased and missing out on the wide world of experiences that could be mine if only I'd hadn't been afraid -- of judgement, of condemnation, of disappointing people, of disappointing God. And here's the kicker, if I didn't change, I was going to die the same way that the two old folks in the house were dying, alone, afraid, incontinent, inarticulate shadows of their former selves; and in my case, without the benefit of heirs or children to ease the transition, however modestly.

"Oh, Ivey, it's just a mid-life crisis. You'll get over it."

Yeah, ya see, that's the thing. I don't want to get over it. I think most people do get over it by getting the tattoo they always wanted (check), buying the motorcycle or sports car (check and soon to be checked) and having an affair (okay, no affair but surely the swinging desire counts for that) AND THEN realizing that deep down, they either hadn't really changed or that they were still more afraid of dying than of not living.

But I really, honestly and truly, changed. And I have traded my fear of death for a fear of a life not fully lived. I want to experience everything I can, without fear, rejecting judgement. I want to know what I'm capable of; I want to know how much of life I can take in, how many people I can meet, how many places I can go, how many things I can do.

I want to know. That's all.

I want to know what it feels like to have sex with a woman. I want to know what it feels like to have sex with two men. I want to know what it's like to experience that kind of chemistry with another person or group of people then to indulge in the connection that presents itself. I want to experience pleasure for pleasure's sake whether that be good food, good sex, or good times.

And I know, in my heart of hearts, that I am fully capable of living life to the fullest. I know that I can enjoy moments and people and sensations. I know, for example, that if I decide to go to a strip club I can have a ball. I know that if I had the opportunity to have sex with another man or woman that I will enjoy it for what it is and not try to turn it into something that it isn't, for good or ill. I'm aware, that there are possibilities and limits in the world. And still, I am unafraid and unashamed.

And I'm not limiting myself to the sexual realm either though I feel this is a strong phase because of where I am in my life now combined with what I lost, through ignorance and fear, in my youth. I want to push the limits of my athleticism, to see what I can keep my body doing. I want to expand my mind and my understanding of people and ideas. And I must say, except for the sexual adventures, I'm doing a damn good job.

But some folks can't or won't do those things.

And that is how you "get over," or avoid entirely, a mid-life crisis. You accept the notion that life's experiences are, for whatever reason, not for you. Perhaps you cannot or will not explore beyond your defined comfort zone. Perhaps you are not willing enough to let go of your own judgments of yourself or others enough to connect with people who may not be like you. Perhaps you are unable or unwilling to jeopardize what you have for what you want.

I've mastered the first two. I am fearless -- "intrepid" is the word Vincent prefers -- and I've redefined my judgements in ways that have opened my heart to some fascinating and wonderful people. But that last one, may, in fact, be the one that moves me off Ivey Lane. I know there is one thing, one person, that I cannot give up. I would literally die for them. I hope to die with them, hand-in-hand, side-by-side in whatever old folks home we finally reside in, interacting with each other and with whoever is willing to wipe our asses and spoon feed us our mashed peas. If it ever comes down to what makes him happy or what makes me happy, the answer is already made -- it will be him.

It may seem self-defeating, but I cannot make him miserable, even if the source of his misery is my happiness, and still be happy myself. And if I lose him, the one experience I want more than all others, to share my life with him, will be sacrificed.

I am flexible and can change; perhaps he is not or does not want to. He is content with who he is; I am no longer content with who I was.

He is who he is. I am who I decide to be.

And for now, I am Ivey Lane.


  1. Age brings awareness, doesn't it? In most ways that's a very good thing. Good luck navigating the choppy waters, Ivey.

  2. Fantastic post, for a couple of reasons. I get the mortality thing, too. I love living life as an adventurer, taking risks. To me, that's what makes it all worth it- Who WANTs to live to 102 if it's a boring life? Living a ho-hum, average, boring life is MUCH more terrifying to me than jumping out of an airplane, doing 130 on a motorcycle down the front stretch, or climbing an eighty foot sheer rock face. All that's important stuff. Not nearly as important, though, as that last realization - there are just some things that aren't worth losing. Period. The most terrifying thing to me, ever, would be life without my partner.

  3. I freakin' love this post, especially this line- "I have traded my fear of death for a fear of a life not fully lived". Best to embrace life and live it to the fullest!

    Nice to meet you, Ivey Lane :-)

  4. Great post! I totally can relate to many aspects of this post. I'm so glad you are embracing life! Amazing words!

  5. A couple years back some friends and I climbed (well hiked). Mt. Whitney. My friend asks every year if we want to go again. I never do. 'we DID that, find a new trail.'. I tell him. He never hears me.

    On the flip side though, simply craving the new is ultimately unfulfilling.

    The trick is finding the core element of what 'the new' gives you and seeking THAT. I know, for me, it's not just the sensation of different tits in my hand or cunt around my cock, or even a dick in my ass, as interesting as all
    of those sound at various levels of arousal/intoxication ;-p

    if I figure it out I'll wrote a book and be RICH!

  6. I didn't have time to comment on this yesterday, but it has been on my mind all day today. Very eloquently written and I agree that no one should go to the grave wishing they had done things and regretting things they didn't get around to. Better to make the most of moments than to not act at all!