We met at work, I think in 2008-09, but were positioned at different branches of the organisation so didn’t really know each other very well. Then I went to a Hallucinogen/Shpongle event in the city one night. I saw a guy I knew was familiar but couldn’t place. We were all “omg hiiiii!” We hugged exuberantly (I was on drugs at the time, either MDMA or LSD) because I assumed I knew him from the doof scene. It was only afterwards that Jason (my then-partner) enlightened me: We knew that dude from work!
“Holy shit,” I thought. “A colleague just saw me off my face at a psychedelic music event!”
It took me a bit to realise the inverse was true.
The next time I saw him at work was when we actually started talking. As Brenton put it once, “we connected over dead baby jokes.”
We met up at Winter Solstice 2009, and went back (as a group) to his place afterwards. I was horrendously hungover that day; I’d had my first, only experience with 2CB (never again). We started hanging out socially a bit more after that. Not just Brenton and I, but Chelle, Jason, and Storm (more on them later). I consider 30th June, 2009 our friendship anniversary; meaning we’ve been friends for not quite six years (is that all?)
After this date Brenton joined our weekly games of Vampire: The Masquerade. After one such night we went to Vicki’s house, where he had sex with Chelle in the basement. I became upset and wondered what kind of guy he really was, taking advantage of my vulnerable friend like that (jealous, me? phhhht). I went over to his place one night with the express purpose of finding out, and ended up sleeping with him (ah, he was that kinda guy). I was in an open relationship at the time, of course.
After that we had a friendship/casual sex arrangement for a couple years. Then one night Brenton and Jason had a falling out. Jason indicated he was no longer comfortable with me sleeping with Brenton. Brenton started dating someone else. We remained friends.
We started working together more regularly though, and remained attracted to each other. One night we went out for drinks after work… and ended up making out. We decided to be honest with our respective partners. Brenton’s relationship ended. Jason’s response was that he was upset that I had broken his trust, but he was starting to think more about polyamory anyway. I resumed sleeping with Brenton, and started getting a bit emotionally closer.
Jason was going through some personal stuff at the time. I felt unable to help him. He was connecting with other women. We agreed we should live separately and pursue true polyamory. I moved out.
About a month later Jason told me that he didn’t like my relationship with Brenton. On top of that, Brenton was feeling more and more uncomfortable with the situation. He was not open to polyamory, but he was giving me time to decide what I wanted.
I wanted polyamory! I wanted them both! I really didn’t want to have to choose between them. So I didn’t. It wasn’t fair to anyone but me.
Jason called me one day soon after to ask me to choose. When I replied that I couldn’t… Jason chose for me, by ending our relationship. This was in July, 2011.
After that, Brenton and I became monogamous. It took me a long time to get used to monogamy. I’d been sexually available for so long that I had no idea how to relate to men without flirting. I eventually picked up the habit of seeing men as people, not sex objects.
Brenton and I only moved in together when we bought our house, in March 2014. It was the first time I’d really had a relationship that wasn’t co-habitable. We’d had our separate abodes, but spent 4-5 nights a week together.
Weird, for me! Brenton wasn’t quite ready to make a long-term commitment yet. and, given the origins of our relationship, I didn’t want to move so quickly. I wanted my own space for a bit. I’d had a habit of moving directly from one relationship to the next. If I am completely honest, I’ve not been single since 2005. Ten years ago: Michael left in March, Dennis moved in a couple months later. Two years after that I broke up with Dennis, who was still living with me when I started dating Jason. Ten years of never being single, not for a second. Yes I’m aware it’s an issue.
Or was, anyway. I consider Brenton and me to be committed for life. Neither of us believe in marriage, but that’s what we are. We bought a house together, and are attempting to become pregnant.
So who exactly is this guy I’m 100% committed to?
He works in the same field as I, of course. He studies Aikido. He rides a road bike. He is very passionate about sustainability, environmentalism and permaculture. He is interested in nutrition, and is a vegetarian at heart (I am a not-so-great influence on his practical vegetarianism, but I am working to change that so we can be two together).
He is far, far more gregarious than I am. He has always lived in Brisbane, so has a massive social network. He is socially confident and comfortable, and people like him.
He doesn’t see the value in reading fiction. He doesn’t write (and has a relatively un-excellent grasp of grammar, although a wonderful vocabulary). He is smarter than I am; he retains information better and as such is more knowledgeable: He can hold his own for a while against some of the most incomprehensibly intelligent people I know.
He struggles to have time for the creative arts, although he likes going to the theatre. Travelling the world is not high on his list of priorities, however he agrees with me that we need to see more wonders of the world on which we live.
He is a feminist. He is a philosopher. When he gets into discussions with people of different opinions and beliefs, he is genuinely open minded. His goal is never just to be right or to win, but for everyone to win. Corny as that sounds.
He believes people should have a healthy balance between consuming and creating. He is not traditionally creative, but is very productive; so much so that he feels uncomfortable doing nothing, even on a Sunday morning. He likes doing things himself, as opposed to paying someone to do for him.
He is encourageable (the non-existent word he thought I was saying when I once told him he was incorrigible). By that I mean: When he sees someone engaging in something that inspires him, he is motivated to actively to improve his own life. He takes immediate action. He is a striver: He works hard to improve his life, and himself. He has plans, and he follows them. He thinks ahead. He doesn’t spend time, he invests it.
We have similar tastes in music (it’s how we “met,” after all), except he prefers steady beats while I prefer broken. He had absolutely no fashion sense when we met, but is improving.
He challenges me. If I tell him I have a particular goal, he encourages me (and upon receiving feedback from me that this can sometimes feel like nagging, he has become more gentle about it!)
He is far more respectful of me when he is upset than I am of him when I am upset.
He has literally the exact same hair that I do. It looks the same, it feels the same.
He is extremely sexy.
Stay tuned for the next entries in the series: People in my life.