44. don't fuck in my room: horizontal with a (grown-up) child of poly parents

In this episode, I lie down with one of my favorite humans, Lurleen. Lurleen lives in Portland, Oregon. Well, I still think of her that way even though she recently moved to the outskirts. Let's say she's Portland adjacent. When I first met Lurleen, I thought, "This is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in real life." And just as my envy started to kick in, she made a joke or a funny face and it was as if to say, "You don't have to do that. We can just love each other."I had just moved to Portland in November of 2008 (an ill-advised bit of scheduling on my part) and it was grey and rainy and I didn't own a car and I was biking around without proper rain gear and I was cold and my butt got soggy and damp and that made me very, very cranky. I tried to remind myself that the universe did not owe me a car.... The tango scene was pretty much my only social life in PDX. So I bought the Comme il Faut 3 and a half inch heels, and dove in. My initial joy gave way to the shame and frustration (recognized by partner dancers of uneven skill levels everywhere) of not being as good a dancer as my new boyfriend. I tried to come to grips with the way he chased after dances like a dog with opposable thumbs. I came to abhor the way he would shark around the perimeter of the dance floor, snapping his fingers, smiling vacantly and hunting for a partner good enough for him. Hunting for a partner who was better than him, is what it was. And, more often than not, he'd forget to check in with me in the process. And then whine on the car ride home (after we fit my folding bike in his trunk) about the fabulous visiting dancer who wouldn't accept him yet, and how he was going to be good enough for Mila one day. One such time, when he was off chasing dances, I sat down with Lurleen and her boyfriend. And I started to rant. They had eyes, after all. They were in the same scene with him. They could see what he was doing. But it was the first time I'd shared openly with them. Lurleen almost smiled at me in my rage."I like you so much," she said.And we've been saying that ever since. Even now, we still say, "I like you so much." It means, of course, I see you. I love you. You matter to me.Lurleen is a giraffe in a gazelle's body. She's a Vogue-colored candy shell with a creamy Saturday Night Live center. Lurleen is a fashion model who had thyroid cancer in her late teens/early 20s, was successfully operated on, and became an aesthetician. She still has the necklace-like scar, a smile across her skin. It serves as a daily reminder of how precious existence is, how crucial it is that we enjoy it, and how fortunate we are to still be able to laugh.I feel utterly at ease in her company. In a way, the fact that she's far more beautiful than I am gives me permission to be as beautiful as I want to be, and as talented as I am. What a gift that is. I never try to diminish my light around her, because she's bright enough that she has nothing to fear. She's never trying to dim anybody else.Lurleen learned at a young age that she could disarm people with her humor. In the acting world, she's what would be called a "rubberface." She learned how to contort her face for other's amusement, make herself momentarily less attractive so that others would feel more comfortable around her.Her steadfast friendship saw me through two narcissists and a kind, coffee-making guy I met on a summer trip back and decided I wanted to marry.I am unmarried.A few days before I left Portland to travel for a year, in October of 2010, I sat down with Lurleen on a bench outside a cafe and said, "There's going to be a time that we lose touch. I won't be living here and I know how you are with the phone. And I want you to know that, even when that happens, I will continue to love you as I do now." And it has. And I do.Whenever I announce that I'm coming to Portland she says, "How long are you staying, and how many days are you staying with MEH?"I love this woman so damn much that I hope you will too. This episode was recorded in Portland, Oregon at Lurleen's old, creaky, cozy apartment. It was recorded in October of 2017, on my cross-country horizontal does america tour, before she moved in with her boyfriend. In the first part of our conversation, we talk about oversharing, proper boundaries, opening up a marriage to save it, simultaneously experiencing thyroid cancer and her parent’s divorce, and shoulder-checking your sister. Now, come lie down with us. *** If you enjoy lying down with us, become a patron of the horizontal arts! You could receive monthly love poems, tickets to a live horizontal storytelling show, or horizontal pillows so that you too can get horizontal with lila. Every bit of patronage goes into continuing to make independent, uncensored, ad free homemade radio. I believe that making private conversations public makes intimacy contagious, and the more intimacy we have in all different forms, the happier we are. Be part of my mission to spread intimacy across the globe through Patreon.com/horizontalwithlila. Show me you believe in what I'm doing. Patronage begins at $2 a month, and as it increases, the rewards get more sumptuous. *** Credit Where Credit Is Due: Chad Michael Snavely edited this podcast. He's at Chad Michael.com. Alan Markley created my intro jam. He is plasticcannons on Instagram. And Shana Shay drew my cover art. She's at shanashay.com. *** Tune in next week for the second part of my conversation with Lurleen, in which we discuss the art of masturbation, shapeshifting for boyfriends, the Nazi cuddle, my future man, and Lurleen’s one and only time at a sex club...

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