Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cooking party

As you might have guessed from my last post, there have been some interesting developments with Penny. It started on Sunday, when I had invited Penny and Lori over to my apartment to cook a meal together. It's the first time I've had anyone outside my family over to my place since moving to New Jersey. The two of them met back in early December the night Penny and I saw Stomp! at the Orpheum Theatre, and became fast friends.

Lori arrived first and I picked her up from the bus terminal in the early afternoon, and we went to Whole Foods to have a quick lunch before coming back to pick up Penny. Then we went to Costco to shop for food, and to the Asian grocery store for dinner ingredients. Lori taught us to make fried tofu with mushrooms and snow peas, and fried Japanese eggplant with mushrooms and garlic. We also made Ghirardelli's chocolate brownies for dessert. We created a very nurturing energy among ourselves, Lori sharing her cooking wisdom, and each of us contributing our efforts to create a meal that was shared by all. It was a very positive experience for me to open myself up a little more to my friends. Since Penny gave her permission to use it, here's a photo of her at my house:

After dinner we watched The Forbidden Kingdom on my projector screen and looked at Lori's photos on her computer. I showed Penny some comics she was interested in, like Castle Waiting, Frank Miller's Wolverine miniseries and the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter books. It was around midnight when we left the apartment to drive back to Staten Island, which is about an hour's drive each way.

We got lost in SI trying to find Lori's house because she's never driven there before from New Jersey, but her boyfriend Erik was nice enough to help us over the phone, despite the lateness of the hour. We finally dropped her off and went to Penny's house. We walked in the door about 2:30 am, and her mom came downstairs to greet us in her bathrobe. She asked if I would like to stay the night, and I asked Penny if she wanted me to, and she did. I called Tara and left her a message so she wouldn't worry about me.

We stayed up for another couple of hours, looking at pictures on her computer and talking with her older sister, who was home for a visit. When we were done looking at pictures, we brought an extra blanket and pillow upstairs and shared the queen-size inflatable bed. Truth to tell, I hardly slept a wink all night - partly because the bed was really firm, and these days of unemployment have made me accustomed to a very late sleep schedule.

But what also kept me awake was the significance of sharing an intimate space with this girl I'm growing to love. She is only the third person I've ever shared a bed with in my life, not counting group sharing (Tara and my ex-spouse are the others). In some ways, our relationship has progressed very quickly, considering we started seeing each other only four months ago and haven't spent all that much time together. However, hardly anything about our relationship is "normal" so there's not much point in analyzing it by conventional standards.

In the context of my last post about the nature of love, I feel I'm attracted to her specific wavelength of energy that I can feel when we touch each other. I've written before about the importance of touch and Penny is one of the few people I've ever met who communicates through touch the way I do, possibly because we were both raised by families who practice massage and healing touch. Apart from hugging and kissing, we transmit energy through non-sexual touching, mostly through our hands. We can be sitting through a PolyNYC meeting in a roomful of people and have this wonderful exchange of loving touches, almost like having our own private, unspoken conversation. It's very difficult to describe, but it is real - Tara and I have shared this as well.

I also feel it through my other senses, like my sense of smell, which has become a much more powerful pull on my emotions than it used to be (we primates tend to forget that for most mammals, smell is more important than vision when communicating with each other). But probably most important right now is that Penny and I share a connection through polyamory, and we agree on the basic principles contained in my theory on unconditional love - meaning we try to enjoy our moments together without regard or expectations for what the future might bring, or what we might want from the developing relationship.

Despite all this, there is one future event that does loom on the horizon - she is leaving for a solo trip to Argentina on Feb. 15, so we will be mostly out of touch for two months. I'm trying not to think about how much I will miss her while she is gone, because I don't want it to spoil the time we have until then. As I've said before, one of my three tenets is to live in the moment and fully experience happiness as it comes, and I will continue to do that. But I also have to recognize that the moment is not meant to last forever, and the only way to prepare myself for when it's gone is to live fully in the present, so that there are no regrets later about moments left untouched, unlived.