If you're as old as I am, you know what the word "cathect" means. The author M. Scott Peck taught us all about cathecting in his book "The Road Less Travel," which was mandatory reading back in the 'Eighties, suggested reading by friends and strangers alike. At the time, coming off having spent four years reading philosophy, theology, and american literature in college, I found the book problematic: I liked the people Peck described in his book better before they were "cured" by his ministrations than afterwards.
But back to "cathecting." It means to invest emotions or feelings in someone or something. To have something start to matter to you. Peck felt that the ability to cathect was the basis for a loving relationship, necessary for that Holy Grail of the 1980s, True Intimacy.
So now, back here in Bucks County, I'm feeling myself de-cathecting my present life, and beginning to cathect a future life for myself, one that will unfold at the edge of the californian desert.
The business of my life remains much the same. I get up, go to work, come home, make myself dinner, daydream in the hammock on the porch, go to bed. Work has become a wee bit more stressful than it was when I left it. There's a new assistant manager at my Ho(t)me(n) Depot. Although initially we got on pretty well, I can almost pinpoint the moment when that turned, and now he doesn't like me at all. As far as I can tell, I haven't done anything to prompt this turnaround, and I'm detecting a few whiffs of the stench of homophobia in the air. I think what happened is he figured out I was gay. So where previously work was either tedious or fairly enjoyable, now there's some stress running through it like an electric current. Nothing too serious, mind you. Just enough to be annoying.
The odd thing is that never before in my entire life have I encountered this. In every job I've ever had since I was sixteen, I've never been The Only Homosexual in the workplace, and even among straights I worked with, me being queer has never been an issue.
Of course, work still offers me the opportunity for fantasizing that gives me a hardon underneath my orange apron. Yesterday, an particularly well built bearish man with a nice beer gut--one of those solid round beachballs--was shopping with his wife and infant daughter. He was wearing a Miller Light tshirt, and that got me thinking. As in, thinking about him tied up and me pouring bottle after bottle of beer into him, growling in his ear, "I hope you can handle it, Boss, because when you pass out drunk, I'm gonna bend you over and fuck you till you bleed. I'm gonna wreck your whole so bad you'll have to wear a diaper from now on." *sigh* Ah, reverie.
Yesterday morning before work, I put my brother on a plane back to Florida. His visit up here was to show the house to those folks at the yard sale who had expressed interest in buying. We hosted an open house, even placing an ad in the paper. And no one showed. Which I was expecting. My brother and his wife see us as competing on the market with the mcmansions and capecodders in subdivisions in the area. And because we don't have Granite Countertops! and All New Fixtures! and a Spectacular Master Bedroom Suite!, they'd like to lower the price to bargain basement levels for a quick sale.
I'm opposed to that.
This is not a house for everyone, but it's a house that some people could fall in love with. The woods out back are beautiful this time of year, the fireplace from locally quarried stone, the open floor plan, the little house on the property that's close enough for friends or family or long-term guests but far enough away to rent out and get some extra income... It all adds up to a pretty nice piece of property. Particularly for a couple from NYC (which is less than two hours drive away) to get away to on the weekends, and later maybe live here full time. That's my strategy. It's not a house for everybody, but it's a house that some people out there could totally fall in love with when they pull in the driveway. But my strategy doesn't add up to a quick sale. Patience is required. And I'm teaching my brother and his wife to be patient.
But of course, more and more, I'm thinking of the Coachella Valley.
I've rented a storage space, 10x15, and I'm packing up the stuff that I'll be taking with me and putting it in there. As longtime readers know, I'm a sucker for the kind of examen du conscience that such a process entails. My values and my identity are reflected in those few possessions I choose to own, and so it's all about the editing thereof.
Yesterday it was 116° in Palm Springs. The kind of heat where you have to be careful where you park your motorcycle or the kickstand will sink into the all but liquified asphalt and your bike will topple over. It seems to me that this is another reason why there's nothing to do in Palm Springs. During half the year, you do your best not to be outside between Noon and 7 p.m. Unless you're sitting in the shade at Koffi drinking an iced tea and reading the paper. And about forty percent of the population is gay. And the cost of living is mostly affordable. (I saw apartments listed with rents of less than $1000.) I will go to Palm Springs and get a degree in Construction Management and learn to weld and get my California contractor's license and become a study up on the ins and outs of LEED certification. And then we'll see what happens.
But in the meantime, here I am in Bucks County. Today is a day off. The painters are putting paint on the outside of the house. I'm a wee bit disappointed that the crew working for my painter, Gus, consists entirely of young women in their early twenties, his daughters and nieces mostly, but they seem to be doing good work. The colors I picked out for the exterior were a deep blue-green and a sort of cranberry red. The red is going on today, and it's less cranberry and more a kind of mexican red. In other words, a shade of orange. I am not at all displeased since I love orange. I don't work at Ho(t)me(n) Depot today, so I'm doing some stuff here around the house, packing up books and winter clothes and such to take to my storage place. For the past week, there's been a "chance of severe thundershowers" and I feel cheated that we haven't gotten a drop of rain out of it. The lawn and gardens sure could use it and there's only so much I can do with my sprinkler and the hose.
And it's Summer. My favorite season. Time for eating peaches and grilling steak. And today in Doylestown, I want to get a boat launch license for my kayak.
And go to the gym today.
I found a new gym. And it's a great gym. It's a gym right out of gay porn. If there are spinning or aerobics classes and such, I'm unaware of them. There are, however, a few competitive bodybuilders, and all these hot young boys who come in for a workout after their construction jobs to show off the new tattoos they got down at the Jersey Shore. And these hot heavily tattooed men who park their Harleys on the sidewalk out front. It's that kind of a gym. It makes me slap the side of my head with wonder that I stuck it out all these years with the dads and grads as I used to call them at the always-crowded-with-people-not-working-out Cornerstone Health And Fitness in Furlong, PA.
Oh! And the Fashion Phenomenon of the Summer of 2008: basketball shorts and workboots. Totally hot. Totally totally hot. And I'm seeing it more and more. If'n you live in some fashion backwater like NYC or LA or SF, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about, but here in Bucks County, men have figured out a way to show off their hot asses by draping them in shiny acetate and still wear boots. And that's just making my Summer special in so many ways.
So during this interstitial period of my life, after dad, before the desert, I'm enjoying it all. In weak moments I fall into the trap of "Life Is Elsewhere," but not too much. It's too peaceful and beautiful and I have it way too good to get sour.