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So I meant to post this for Valentine’s Day, but didn’t quite get my shit together in time LOL! But I thought I’d go ahead and post it anyway. It’s something I’ve thought about writing for a while, but only recently did the idiom for it really come together. That was part of the reason I didn’t get it up in time for Valentine’s. But then, just this past week, I was listening to Eve Ensler’s absolutely amazing memoir In The Body Of The World, which I cannot recommend highly enough that people read by whatever modality! (PSA, it’s available in audiobook, performed by the author. Yay!) And although the subject-matter’s different, hearing her way of writing – part poem, part dramatic monologue – really made something fall into place for me. And I could finally hear how to write this piece!

(Note, the section that begins and ends with quotation-marks at the bottom is not my own writing, but rather the words to one of my favourite Unitarian-Universalist hymns that I learned back when I belonged to a UU congregation. I was praying about the desires and concerns expressed in this poem/monologue after finishing writing it, and that hymn popped into my head, feeling like an answer if a strange one. So it felt important to include it here!)

Defining Desire: Deal-Breakers And Hopes

So I used to worry that I was just looking for a copy of myself – someone who would simply reflect me back to me.
This worried me, of course, because that’s narcissistic.
I’m supposed to be looking for someone who’s not just a reflection of me – who has interests different from mine, so that each of us have different things to bring to the relationship.
I worried that I’m being too picky – too precise in what I’m searching for,
and setting myself up for failure.

Then one day, while sitting in church believe it or not, I realized that none of that is true:
That, once again, I’d been being harsh and judgemental with myself.
I’m not simply looking for a copy of myself! I’m not simply seeking a narcissistic mirror!
I’m craving someone with whom I can be my whole, weird, complicated, paradoxical, maybe even contradictory self.
I’m craving someone with whom I don’t have to hide or repress parts of me – with whom I don’t have to simplify myself, and who doesn’t have to simplify themself or hide parts from me.

I’m longing for someone whose kinds of crazy fit mine like in Deadpool:
Phan, Christian, but with a foot still in Pagan spirituality, Crip, Queer (Bi), die-hard romantic, activist.
And don’t even get me started on the gender stuff, because I’m still just as confused as you are and still feeling my way!

So what/who am I looking for?

I long for someone who’s equally at home going to Phantom as to a pipeline protest,
but, at the same time, who’s equally at home going to a pipeline protest as to Phantom.

I long for someone who, when we go to Phantom, truly gets it! I don’t just mean intellectually, or just being happy for me, I mean who really gets it –
Who feels the same awe and ecstasy as they catch, in the Title Song, that riveting glimpse and taste of what could be;
Who feels the same awe and heart-twist of bright sadness at the Final Lair,
And the same call in it to go make a better world.

I long for someone who loves me the way the Phantom loved Christine;
Who loves my singing voice the way he loved hers;
But who’s willing to explore what it means – what it feels like
for both of us to be both Phantom and Christine to each other;
Who’s also drawn to the kink in Phantom and is willing to explore it;
Who’s singing voice I love the way the Phantom loved Christine’s.
Whom I love the way the Phantom loved Christine?
LOL Still a bit terrified of leaping into that flame! But no longer, I think, so terrified as to be unwilling to take the chance.

I long for someone who gets why certain movies, songs, or even chord-progressions in certain pieces of music,
move me to ecstasy, or almost to tears, for sheer beauty.

I long for someone with whom I can share church, who feels the power and awe of the liturgy;
Who shares that strange space of faith that’s less than literalism
but more than cold, disembodied metaphor;
But who won’t be shocked by my comfort with Tarot cards, spellwork, or participating in friends’ Pagan ceremonies.

I long for someone who doesn’t need our dates to be fancy or expensive all the time.
Just going for coffee, or staying in with an audiobook or DVS will do just fine!
But who also enjoys getting dressed up and going to the theatre (live, not just movie) now and then, too, as our budgets allow;
who gets the importance of special occasions!

I long for someone who listens as well as they talk, so that we don’t have to be on constant social high alert with each other.

I long for someone with whom I have real, mutual access intimacy;
who’s unfazed by my lack of “normal” vision; who cherishes the fact that I can be “immature” and giddy sometimes;
Who’s unfazed by all the hair in places and quantities girls/femme aren’t supposed to have it;
Who gets why I’d rather let that mindfuck my sense of gender than submit to the dictates of “normalcy”.

I long for someone to share the dream of the Bread And Roses revolution with, and with whom to work to make it real;
Who gets how that dream is rooted in Phanship and extended to the world.

If all this still sounds like I’m looking for a mirror of myself, that’s honestly because, for much of it, I only know what that relationship looks, sounds and feels like from my side. I don’t know what it looks/sounds/feels like for you! I don’t know what brings you to the places where we share those connections. I know what’s brought me there, but I have no idea what brings you! I’ve looked in all the places I thought I ought to find you, but didn’t find you there! LOL So now I’m totally confused. I sometimes fear you’re not in God’s plan for me after all. But the romantic in me still hopes you are!


“From the light of days remembered burns a beacon bright and clear
calling hands, and hearts, and spirits into faith set free from fear!

When the fire of commitment sets our mind and soul ablaze,
when our hunger and our passion seek to call us on our ways,
when we live with deep assurance of the flame that burns within,
then our promise finds fulfillment and our future can begin!

From the stories of our living rings a song both brave and free
calling pilgrims to true witness to the life of liberty!


From the dreams of youthful vision comes a new, prophetic voice
which demands a deeper justice built by our courageous choice!

When the fire of commitment sets our mind and soul ablaze,
when our hunger and our passion seeks to call us on our ways,
when we live with deep assurance of the flame that burns within,
then our promise finds fulfillment, and our future can begin!”

(The Fire Of Commitment, a Unitarian-Universalist hymn)