Research Subjects

Blog Post  11/26/2012


I need to start a club.  An “Adult Children of Prolific Gay Men” club.  We’ll be known as the ACOPGM – okay, maybe scratch the word “Prolific.”  ACOGM.  Okay, maybe scratch the word “Men” – too sexist.  ACOG.  Adult Children of Gays.  Hmm…maybe let’s include kids, scratch the word “Adult.”  We’re just “COGs.”


There, that rings true.  And, essentially – we are cogs.  But what are we disrupting?  What did we do wrong to be targeted like wild animals?  Are we disrupting the order of things that have been put in place by Giants of Power?   Big Pharma, Big Retail.  Big Finance.  Big Ag.  Big Oil.  Big Politics.  BIG CORP.


Greed.  Corruption.  Hate.    I hope, I hope, that we are not cogs of these things. 


Some days I feel like a research subject in my own life.  Isolated.  Obfuscated.  Numb.  Or worse yet, without identity.  Every television program I watch, every book I read – there is something to identify with, some kind of new point of view or option or … answer.  Not to mention an endless barrage of questions.  But you know, I think I’m getting closer to understanding who I am. 


Ha, only after a half lifetime of floating around in a bubble. 


I wish I had this awareness in high school, but – yeah, I guess I was busy surviving.


I thought I had made a few friends at the University, but it’s difficult to keep up with them after you leave due to an unspoken, undocumented scandal.  One friend, “Ani”, who used to work with me in the Lab, happened to mention that she was Buddhist.  I was curious, so I attended a meeting with her in January of 2011.  The organization was called Soma Garam, or SGI.  Now, interestingly, I believe I had heard about this organization from one of my best Dream Life friends as well, “Arthur” – but I didn’t make any connection at that time.  I hadn’t talked to him in over a year.  Never saw Ani at a meeting after that one, which I thought was kind of strange, but….  It happened to be a women’s gathering (which, in hindsight, most of them turned out to be); it was so nice to hang out with other women, and listen to their problems.  It was a little uncomfortable, but I joined in on the sharing.  There were tears.  It was good.


At that meeting, I noticed a lady, Micki, who seemed to be hovering as she played cars with a little boy in attendance.  Later, when my hours were cut at work and I couldn’t afford my apartment, I would learn that she just “happened” to have a room for rent.  Which was good, because I couldn’t get anyone to call me back from places I had inquired about.  Paranoia?  Maybe.


Mind you, this is almost 2 years after my husband and I split.  I had had really bad luck dating since, and was pretty suspicious of every date – from the guy who strategically placed handcuffs on his coffee table and failed at hiding his rage for women, to an old classmate with an obvious Herp infection, to another gent that wanted to help me with my car by “wrecking” it first then wanting me to give him money to fix it.  Oh, and my old secret high school crush, a very handsome military man – we’d go out and at the moment I thought there would be an attraction, he would announce he had a girlfriend, or he got back together with his girlfriend “Lezlee” or, he’d take me to a gay Karaoke bar so I could sit there and watch him slap another guys butt…mmmm, let’s just say I ran far away (in my head). 


Fuckin’ Zombies.


Okay, I’ll stop complaining.  These are all my bad decisions, and I own every single one. 


After that I decided to stop dating men for a while, at least until I could get my life back together.  Been almost 18 months now, and one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself through this whole ordeal. 


Ironically, once I stopped dating regularly – I stopped working regularly.   But, you know what they say, correlation does not equal causation.


So the timing was right when Micki’s room at her home was available.  The timing was perfect actually.  Unfortunately, I had already become a bit disillusioned with SGI.  It seemed that every meeting, only women were present and they were all kind of going through some kind of existential meltdown.  The air was filled with incense, chanting and latent frustration.  Every story was laden with failure, and financial woes and marriage trouble and car accidents, and lots of lessons on how to get over these.  Yes, car accidents.  One night, I shit you not, one woman actually said:  “Well, my accident was…blah blah blah….”  Four people in a room of 9 or 10 had gone through a life altering accident of some sort.


My spidey senses were tingling.  Especially having almost been run off the highway twice in one week a few months before splitting with my husband …by the same red pickup truck.


The next red flag for me was how everyone was trying to convince me that I should chant for 4 hours per day to bring benefit to my life.  I enjoyed chanting, but I thought spending those hours on job search and networking might yield better results.  It didn’t.


And then after viewing a video from the Headquarters in Japan, in which the main message was about gaining benefit and wealth through chanting.  I was there to fill my spiritual coffers, why all this talk about money.   Ohhh, they wanted me to donate.  Got it.


I guess it’s no different for any other religion when you think about it.  But see, prayer has always been a good way for me to get my thoughts straightened out, and to voice those thoughts – I guess I feel weird about asking for stuff (for myself) while I’m doing it.  I may need to change that soon, though.  Heh.

Perpetuity ad Infinitum


So, I moved in with Micki in May 2011, about 5 months after we met.  Our relationship became intimate fairly quickly – I did like her, but as the weeks went on, I realized that she was pretty unstable.  We talked a lot about our problems, well…my problems I guess.  She didn’t divulge too much, but there were signs…  At one point she told me she thought she had “landed the big fish.”  What?


We went together for several weeks before I started realizing there was something more about this situation than met the eye.  For one thing, I couldn’t help but think I knew her from someplace, or saw her before – her euphamisms were familiar – or maybe, mine were familiar to her?  She knew me better than I knew her, it seemed.  Kept making assumptions – mostly wrong ones, but hmmmm…. Vaguely familiar.  Like maybe things I joked or talked about in Dream Life?    I met her best friend when she visited from the Navy in San Diego, she was familiar as well, – like maybe I’d seen her at a campus bar or something.  Anyhow, I figured out why she was kind of distant and cold, Micki was in love with her.  I was searching for a file for her (she called me a couple times from work to “find” things for her and send them via email), anyway, I came across a love letter.  Very heartfelt and tragic.


Then there were the obvious signs of trying to dominate.  Well, she had admitted she was into the BDSM lifestyle – lots of toys – but she didn’t practice anymore.  One night we went to Ground Zero to check out their S&M show – it was funny, and I liked the people watching but….that was it.  Nope, not a turn on.  Not a bit.  But kudos to the guy up front getting hot wax dripped on his nipples…


The list goes on.  Going to the grocery store and her never having money basically depleted my savings (in addition to taking care of my nephew for the summer as my sister was in rehab).  Or, how about trying to get me to take naked boobie pictures in a booth with her girlfriends one night while we hung out at a campus bar.  Nope. 


One time I walked into the bathroom and smelled … pee.  I pulled up the stone covered bath mat, very pretty, but super unpractical – and noticed a very light sheen of piss sprayed across one end.  Yeah, that’s not from a cat.  That was a spray bottle spray, even and no real point of origin.   Of course, I was the only one with a cat.  Remember my cat poo stories from the apartment?  No?  Well this time I didn’t have a remote skype cam set up to catch any crazy maintenance man….  Guess I didn’t need one.


Of course, when discussing my ex-husband, she let it slip that “if he had said anything to you, the knights surely would’ve kicked him out, and probably more.”  Um…what? Knights?  Hmm….   That same conversation she mentioned that he probably felt that I emasculated him.  Oh yeah, we fought over use of the kitchen and he spent more time getting ready than I did, but I’m the one that emasculated him. 




At Pride, I introduced her to my high school secret crush “Dustin”, I couldn’t help but notice how adoringly she looked into his eyes.   Maybe I’m paranoid.  But then, I remembered he hung out at that Karaoke gay bar (that Mickie used to call home) and oh, what a coincidence – he also lived next door to the SGI Community Center.


One night I invited Dustin to come chat with me and a girlfriend from the U.  We got to discussing jobs, and how her husband has been at is IT job for almost 20 years – and only took a two year course to get it.  “A lot of people try to get into IT, and can’t find a way in – including me,” he said.  “How do you think he got in?”  Then he made the most rude, embarrassing gesture (read:  BJ) with his hand. I could only stare at my friend in shock. 


Okay, I guess I figured out how Dustin really felt about homosexuality.


One night I caught Micki streaming four porn videos at once on her computer.  Hey, you know – I’m not going to judge…  but she did it while my daughter was sitting right fucking next to her.  I glared at her, at first – but she didn’t get it.  Then I said, Hey – turn it off – my daughter is here…    “Okay, Okay” as if she were the teenager just getting busted for playing video games instead of doing homework.  WTF?  Of course, I was the bad guy.  Soooo judgmental. 


I say again, WTF?  Who does this blatant kind of activity, and to what end?  Who brags “I have a cousin in the CIA” and there’s some shit going down?  Someone trying to intimidate, IMO.


Why is it that I can’t see the forest for the trees WHILE IT’S HAPPENING?  Like when I allowed her to share my dropbox?  Oh yes, it’s been so much fun looking at all the little easter egg packages she left me on my computer.


And that one date, the guy that placed his handcuffs on the coffee table while we were chatting about Burning Man and why lesbians marry straight men and leave them after 20 years of marriage.  (After describing, in detail, how much he “loved” driving Jeeps.)  Staged, much?


Or, how about one of those high school “classmates” of mine offering to teach me to “code” – we set up a meet at a campus coffee shop, and I download the coding suite on my computer WHILE he describes to me how hacking a computer is so easily done when you down load stuff like that.  After that he proceeded to initiate the most distracting sexual conversations – while I was at work.  I say again, WTF?


20/20 Hindsight can be a most devastating downfall.


All this staged behavior reminds me of being a kid, twelve years old, sitting at the breakfast table with my siblings, watching our dad clean his guns in his underwear.  While he was smiling and laughing with the other kids, he knew full well his message was getting across to me.  You see only he and I knew what happened the night before.  I did get the message…just way too late.


So what now? 


I have all this perspective.  I think I now understand.  I think everyone is out there trying to protect their interests.


Gays trying to survive in a world where the chips have been stacked against them for so long.


Straight men with dark pasts trying to hold on to their American Dream.


Women, struggling to survive in whatever camp they find themselves in.


Academia, stopping at nothing to try and protect their reputation.


And the fearful, using religion and cognitive behavioral therapy to wield a big stick against the heathens?  What?  I mean, IMAGINE – what if there are more children of gays than you think?  What if our genes have, under the grace of God, evolved beyond your control?  Science will tell you that.  The fearful need to stop being scared…and realize that we cogs are human, just like them.  Big Corp will have enough customers for a long, long while – no need to make more…


Meanwhile, who was protecting my interests?  Me, that’s who. 


I just finished a six week stint at a local Big Pharma company.  Another “situation?”  Perhaps so, perhaps not.  But I do know that having your 3rd party employer send you an email, strangely asking for “references” and then having a bunch of people at work drop off (new) lists of folks’ with screened and highlighted blood tests to be entered into a LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM is fucking weird.  But hey, correlation does not equal causation, right?


I still walked out.


IAMA COG.  Ask me anything.


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