Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine Straddle

Eric and I met in person, after first corresponding a couple of weeks online, on February 15, 2002. I think we both wisely chose not to freight a first date with Valentine's Day portents. We needn't have worried, we hit it off immediately and never looked back. We became registered as domestic partners in the state of California before the year was out. It was something of a co-incidence that we signed the paperwork on February 13, 2003 -- neither of us were paying much attention to the calendar, by then we were already living together in a rented bungalow (we lived there nearly ten years before it got sold out from under our feet after which we moved a few blocks down the street to the quiet little apartment where we have lived ever since). I can't say that I approve of marriage (that vestige of human trafficking that queers may one day redeem into families we choose), or romantic fantasies of completion via another or possession of another (that seem to me rather dangerous and more deranging of selves and loves than not), or Hallmark holidays (that enlist consumers in damaging and distortive projects of self-making for the benefit of elite wealth concentration), and so I can't exactly endorse love's holiday, even straddled as it is by milestones in the story of the love that has made all the difference in my own life. But I will still take a moment to offer up a valentine to Eric, delight of my heart and my eye, love of my life, another to my ex-boyfriend and still one of my best friends, Jules, another to Gillian, another cherished friend who lives too far away, to two too-lapsed but still-beloved friends Catherine and Kathleen, to a few dear and dependable colleagues in a fraught and sometimes fruitless academy (especially Carolyn and Robin) and to so, so many cats, cats in windows and in yards and on porches I pass by regularly on my way, who say hello or present their chins or ears to be rubbed and relax my grim Trump-resistance rictus into a saving smile, and also to the memory of our recently departed Sarah, still swelling up to fill my heart and mind. Also, I suppose, a Valentine to any readers I may still have after a long few years' eclipse as illness, work-distress, creeping and then galloping authoritarianism, and the resulting demoralizations deranged for a time the writing practice to which I was so long devoted hereabouts... maybe this is the season when love breaks through again into writing... who can say?

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