February 20th, 2002

Yo Maniacal Tang

The Perils of Pantheacon, Part II

Saturday night seems somewhat fractured to me now, but I do remember a few things.

After meeting with Teri, I walked to my room to drop some of my assorted props: The beaver skin flogger, shackles, and so forth. To my surprise both Karin and Roni were already there, huddles under the covers, naked and...shivering?

Turns out the hot tub wasn't. The stupid jets wouldn't turn off, and the water, merely tepid, eventually had them running for the room.

Roni convinced me to go drumming...she thinks it's good for me. I suspect it is, in a way. Karin came down with me, a bit nervous about attending her first real Pagan event, in a way. As it turns out, she spent most of the next two hours fascinated with this one belly dancer with incredible abdominal control.

It was a good drum, though I felt my lack of practice showed. gtpooh was there, wearing a lovely outfit, and avalon33 finally appeared. Kathleen was dancing with gtpooh, and several other large women were there as well. It was a GOOD night to drum.

When we finally got back to the room it was almost 2 am, and (as usual) I was horny as hell. Drumming does that to me. However, Roni simply was not in the mood (a fairly rare occurrence, actually), so Karin and I had a quiet session together in the other bed before I crawled in with Roni to sleep. I *really* wish that hotel had some king beds left when I reserved the room.

I honestly don't remember waking up Sunday. I do remember Teri dropping by to give me her schedule, which began the series of events that would result in one of the worst afternoons I had in quite some time.

It started because Roni had gone down to grab some food while Karin and I slept. I woke up first, and went in to brush my teeth, chatting with Karin back in bed. Karin overheard me talking to Teri after I let her in, and misunderstood the conversation. Thinking I was making plans to be with someone else that afternoon, she made a big point of yelling out that I needed to check with Roni before I solidified anything.

Needless to say, I was pretty upset by all of this. For one thing, I had already made that clear to Teri. Another was that, good intentions aside, Karin really shouldn't have put it the way she did: It was as it I were incapable of communicating, when it was Roni who didn't let me know what she wanted the day before.

When Roni got back the three of us began what turned out to be a very long talk, one that ran several hours. I have thought long and hard about how much detail I should go into about it, and I think I should just leave it with the generalities. First and foremost, I had to confront some serious errors in judgement that I didn't want to, and work it out with two people that I love intensely and who loved me enough that they wouldn't let me run. It was hard as hell, but I think we're all going to be together for one hell of a long time.

When the dust settled, I had arranged with Roni to be with Teri that evening between 6 and 8:30 pm (I know, sometimes being poly sounds so damn clinical...but if you're going to do some of this stuff, time management is REALLY important). Karin had to go home, as she had work the next day (yes, on president's day).

After I walked Karin to the car, I managed to catch up with Teri to let her know about the confirmed time. I went back to the room to touch base and connect a bit with Roni after a rough, emotional afternoon, waiting until almost 6 before I got up to go...when Roni's phone rang.

Now, I think I've mentioned Roni's extreme needle phobia here before now. It is now easily matched by Karin's phobia of bridges. Yes, the kind that go over the San Francisco bay.

Normally, you can take 101 to 680, which will get you to Pittsburgh, CA without a single bridge. However, thinking she had to go north bound on 101 to go north (normally a logical assumption...it just wasn't correct) she wound up heading away from 680, which was a mere 5 miles south from the hotel.

Panicking, she made the mistake of taking 84 to Fremont (which she recognized as on her way normally), not realizing that it was going to take her to the Dumbarton Bridge.

She went completely hysterical then.

Sure, laugh. I'll bet a lot of you have phobias just as bizarre.

So we had to talk her over the bridge, getting her to breath. Then it was my job to mentally picture a route that would get her back on track to get home.

I was only 15 minutes late getting to Teri's room.

Speaking of which, Karin just asked me to call her. I'll post this, and (hopefully) get caught up with this tomorrow.
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Yo Maniacal Tang

The Perils of Pantheacon, Concluded

Well, let's TRY and wrap this saga up, as there is SO much to catch up on this week.

The visit to Teri was perhaps the most affirming of the whole weekend. She was not upset that I was a bit late because of the trouble with Karin and the bridge, and in fact did a lot to ground me. She sat me down across from her at the hotel desk, to discuss the boundaries of the situation.

The night before she had walked with me out to the car. I had left the drinks I had brought for the weekend when we walked up to the room, and I desperately wanted some caffeine. I sat in the back of the open bug, our eyes level with each other as she stood in front of me.

We kissed for the first time there, and, if we thought we could get away with it there in the parking by the hotel service entrances, I think we would have gone a lot further than just some mild groping. However, there were people waiting for me back in the room, even if it did turn out that Roni would send me and Karin off to drumming.

So, less than 24 hours later, I was face to face with someone who felt like a kindred spirit in so many ways. As much as I love and adore many people, it was nice not to have to explain myself in one way or another.

It was a wonderful first experience, and one I hope to repeat. It turns out she's dear friends with people who live in the Santa Cruz mountains, so she might be down here again soon.

I actually managed to get back to the room to Roni by 8:36... close enough to the agreed time I felt a bit better about myself. I snuggled next to Roni, who had apparently had a really good adjustment by Bill, and watched the olympics for a bit.

She turned off the TV after five minutes, and we spent the next 30 minutes or so kissing. It was one of those things that built slowly, until we were almost in a frenzy. Considering all the tension from earlier in the day, it was almost as if we were hungry to get inside one another again, pressing into each other as tightly as we could. That's all I'm going to say about that.

I had a really hard time sleeping that night. Roni fell asleep around midnight, leaving me to watch some TV. It never ocurred to me to just go and find a room party or something...I didn't want to leave her.

She woke up around 4 am, and we wound up talking for nearly an hour, mostly about how I felt about stuff earlier in the day. About how I needed to get myself back on track toward the goals I still had, there in the back of my mind. How much I admired Teri's example, her clarity, knowing full well I was just as capable as she was.

We finally fell asleep around 5, and slept until 11.

I took a load of luggage down to the car, where I found a note from Teri stuck under one of the wiper blades. Some of the ink smeared from the water stuck there, but I could still read it. She thanked me for making the effort to be "emotionally present" the night before, which gave me this warm tingly feeling that helped boost me a bit from the hollowed out feeling from all the effort of the previous day.

Later that night, after getting back to Roni's, I sent her an email thanking her. Just for being there, really. It was an...affirming meeting, realizing that I'm not out of my mind about a lot of things I believe in. I even spoke to her about the infamous issue involving Valerie and myself, and got exactly the same responses I was getting from everyone else...plus some insights that no one else had.

That pretty much wraps up P'con. I'm going to post this, then catch up the rest of the week...it's been more of the "Talking about the hard stuff", and it seems it's happening to everyone. A good thing, as now I know it isn't the universe taking a special shine to fucking with me personally.
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