Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tumbling walls buried us with debris...

GV8 and I went out last night. Roamed the streets of Hollywood, as seems to be our tendency. Wandering and watching, seeing what we find, seeing who we find. Strolling Hollywood Boulevard at 8PM, looking for a restaurant to our liking, threading through the performers by Graumann's and avoiding the male(?) with manboobs jigggling his flesh to a tiny boombox resting on his cart, using a balloon sword as a prop.

Dropped down to Sunset Boulevard, strolled past Seven Veils, did an illegal jaywalk that landed us in the middle of the street, waiting for traffic to pass with lips locked and wandering hands. Dinner was found at Bossa Nova, dessert at Mashti's, we lapped at our icecream and walked further down to peer in the windows of High Voltage at the over the top decor, then to an art gallery that seems to have a mural in front painted by my favorite artist, Sylvia Ji.

Before we went roaming, his requests (demands?) were oral sex and then to watch me get myself off, legs spread in front of him, fingers dancing. He loves to watch my twitches, hear my breathing change, moisture dripping.

Afterwards, as I was rolling off the bed to rinse off and get dressed for dinner, he said, "I'm cracking your nut."


"I'm cracking your nut. I'm getting inside your head. You're finally starting to trust me."

"I've trusted two men in my life. I'll let you know when you're the third." Said to him without malice, he tossed the comforter over my face and crawled onto me.

"You will."

Trust is an issue for me. Not because I've been treated so badly by men in the past (though, yes, I have been by some), but because of my worldview. It's not just men, but women. Humanity, as a rule.

I've heard the question too often in so many humanities classes and at coffee shops by the caffiene-fueled would-be philosopher: is humanity innately good or innately evil?

And everyone has these immediate reactions, with incredibly solid beliefs in their anectodes and personal experiences. It's never a wavering belief, but something clung to, almost desperately, like someone is needing to know that their cynicism is justified, or that they aren't living in an unfair, unjustice world, the dupe among wolves. Or that their behaviors are excusable.

When I was younger, I used to say that humanity simply is. Neither bad, nor good, as those are definitions we construct based on our views, based on our morals, religions, experiences, and how actions hurt or benefit ourselves and those we care about. I remember having those arguments in high school, having the hardest time trying to explain the idea that good and evil were just concepts.

While I still feel that way, my answer changed one day. I do not remember what class I was in, but we were discussing that constant question, and my classmates were throwing out the usual answers with the usual evidence to support their view.

I had been dating Rick at the time, constantly discussing philosophy and ethics, and hearing these arguments somehow made me realize that I did not believe that humanity just "was" anymore. That the actions we label as good and bad, and how those actions impact us... that judgement is made out of self-interest. Even charity is usually done with self-interest, though that's another topic that I'll likely never bother discussing in depth.

So I came to the realization that I believed humanity was neither innately good or bad, just self-interested. This wasn't some epic moment in my life, just an acknowlegement of how I view the world.

Which makes it hard for me to trust someone.

People do things all the time for someone else's "own good". And it is usually the decisionmaker's interpretation of "good" that they force upon the person they supposedly care for, without taking into effect what the receiver might actually find "good" themselves.

And that's on the basis of that someone else caring for you, loving you, wanting what's best for you.

I cannot trust someone who would not act with my best interests at heart when engaging in behavior or decisions that impact me.

That may sound incredibly impossible. That I would never be able to trust another person because of that ridiculous standard.

But I do trust people. In varying ways. I trust that the construction workers and engineers will build bridges and overpasses that will remain steady. And that the pharmacist will dispense the right medication, or my doctor will be able to prescribe the right treatment when I become ill. I trust that the men who come and inspect the various elevators I use will do a thorough inspection, and that the chefs in the restaurants that I dine will not keep rat poison by the food I consume.

I do not believe these things because I think these people care about me, but because these people are interested in keeping their jobs, in not getting fired, in not getting massive lawsuits thrown up against them. They are working with total self-interest.

And I do not find this wrong. I don't think self-interest is a bad thing, it is simply what we all do to survive.

But when you enter into personal relationships, not only romantic relationships, but any sort of relationship that exceeds the bounds of acquaintance, it becomes a matter, for me, of determining how each person's self-interest may manifest in negatively impactful ways.

Some people, you can tell secrets to. Some, you can't, but you do know you can call them any time of day and they'll be there to help you with a problem.

Some men you can sleep with and trust that they'll be safe with any other partners they have, but you know you can never date them because they can't control their lusts or the beasts that chase them.

Some people are flakes when it comes to being there at important occasions, but they are wonderful advice givers.

You take what you get and you balance the positives and negatives between them. Sometimes that friendship gets deep, gets intense, and you know that that particular person is able to maintain your complete trust because they truly care for you, respect you, and will make the right decisions for you if a decision has to be made in your stead. And you for them. This isn't a one way street of a person who has scads of people vying for trust.

It's a relationship. Two people. Symbiotic, parasitic, unbalanced, healthy? It is what we can make of it, what we allow it to be.

I stopped trusting my father when I realized that if, in a moment of rage, a decision was placed in front of him, he would possibly do something to harm me. He would regret it later, but he can't control his anger when it surfaces. And even if it wasn't a decision made with anger, he does not understand my idea of health and happiness, and he does not know or respect me enough to allow me to do what I feel is right if he has any say in the matter.

Because he knows best.

And he is my father. He did raise me, pour money into me, pour time, effort, stress, hours and hours of work, into giving me the life I have.

So, yes, he is going to make decisions for me that may not be what I want.

But I do trust my mother.

Which is funny. My father is so very controlled 98% of the time, and my mother is constantly ruled by emotion (and my father), but I know that she would make the decisions I would want her to make for me.

And she is one of the only people on the planet that I trust entirely with me. If I was killed today, maimed, made braindead, she would be the one I would want to handle me, handle my future. No doubt in her decisions or abilities.

Other people, I trust with them.

I trust C to be late to most everything. I trust her to respond in anger when provoked, to offer me a place to stay when I need it, help me when I need it, to go after the most beta, effeminate man around, and to always speak her mind, which is what I value most.

I trust SFPlayboy to be a horndog. I expect him to be going after anything with two legs that he finds attractive. I expect him to put his health and fitness first, to shove me out of bed no matter how much I grumble and take me down to the gym. I trust him to read the books I recommend, and to tell me when he finds one he thinks I'll like. I trust him with my diet, having my health in mind.

We learn to expect things from people, even from strangers. We walk around and interact with varying amounts of people every day, and we expect certain behaviors out of our baristas, our sales girls, the people in the cars beside us. We trust others on the road to stay between the lines, to not run red lights. Deviation from this is a violation of our trust, even though we all know that people will swerve, people will run lights, hit pedestrians, not look when making a right and ram into your car.

Which leads us back to GV8.

How do I trust him?

I trust that if I'm in trouble, he'll be there. I know if someone hurts me, he'll hurt them worse. I know if there's an emergency, he'll be at my door as fast as he can, violating as many traffic laws as he is able and still keep his car in one piece. I trust that if I do something wrong in bed, or something right, he'll tell me. I trust that he uses protection when he sleeps with others. I trust he will not intentionally hurt my feelings, and that he does want the best for me.

Do I trust that he respects me? No, not yet.
Do I trust that he knows and understands what I want for myself? No, not yet.
Do I trust that he will never do anything to seriously embarass me in front of friends or family? No, not entirely. Not because he can't read social situations, but because his reality is so far from my parents', and something normal for him is not normal for them.

But he is getting to me.
He is "cracking my nut".

And maybe, one day, I'll believe that his self-interest will shift to match what I need from him to trust him. And mine will shift to his.

Because I don't trust what people say. Emotions are easy and fade as quickly as they come on. I trust self-interest.


  1. I have no idea.

    But I don't ask for his trust. It'd be nice to have, but... me trusting him has no direct relation, at least for me, of him trusting me.

    It's something to think on, though.