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It's Only a Number (?)

Updated: Apr 23


Good Morning My Confidants


I hope this finds you happy and well.


Today is my 64th birthday. Wow. Where the hell did all the years go? There's days that I can remember that are a long long time ago, but don't seem it.


The year I lived in Georgia, I was in fourth grade, I turned 10 and I had a teacher who pointed out to me how miraculous this was because we were now two digits old and very few of us would ever make it to three. I learned to ride a bike that year. I just hadn't been able to do it, I was too scared, but we we're just under a mile to school and the school bus would only pick you up if you were over a mile. And all the kids in the neighborhood could ride a bike, and then just somehow, I was riding a bike. Of course, I fell off once in the gravel and really screwed myself up, but that's part of growing up, right?


In fifth grade truly discovering I liked to make up stories. I mean I had always done that, but a cousin pointed out that I should be writing them down. That I really knew how to spin a tale. A dream began.


In sixth grade I was sitting on the front stoop with a friend who noticed my legs were getting hairy. I said thank you, although I don't know if she meant it as a compliment. I remember being very excited about it. I was getting hairy. Very excited. I've always liked hairy. Although I'm not sure I knew what was really going on in some level in my head.


The first time a guy kissed me. I was only 19 or 20, and I can remember that kiss! My knees went out from under me, and he had to support me to keep me from falling. He was so shocked to find out that he was my first kiss.


Meeting the woman, Kaththea, who would be the mother of my child. We met at a Worldcon in Chicago in an elevator staring at the butt of this guy who was very scantily glad. We noticed that we are both looking at the same butt and the minute he walked off the elevator we burst in the laughter and by the end of the weekend we were the best of friends. Surprising that it eventually led where it did, but I cherish that time. I found out I wasn't a Kinsey 6, although I've never been with a woman in the 35 years plus since. I think it was meant to be.


My daughter being born. Absolutely a miracle. I was the first to hold her. I was the one that mushed her little feet against the piece of paper so that we left footprints. She didn't want to cry, she was quite purple. The doctor said she needed to cry so finally I pinched her teeny tiny butt (7 lbs, 2 & ¾ oz) and she cried for just a moment and got her color. We had arranged to get a private room in the hospital ahead of time so that she could stay in her room all the time, but they didn't honor that. She cried hysterically every time they took her away, I'm setting the entire nursery, and this bitchy nurse finally brought her back to us and told us she could stay in the room. Ha! She had a blue vein between her eyes and going up her forehead and it took forever to go away and we were so afraid that you would have that all our life but it disappeared after several months.


Discovering a percentage-wise "heterosexual" church that accepted and embraced gay people. Wow! But I became friends with this "weird" lady (I wonder if she will see this) who picked and chose from many spiritual paths her own way, like she sort of created her own religion. I thought that was insane. I remember driving home from a prayer meeting and telling my partner at the time that you could NOT do that. It was nuts!


Discovering Buddhism. It saved my life. Christianity, real Christianity gave me a good moral foundation, but I just wasn't satisfied with all the questions it didn't answer. Buddhism answered them. Oh! The Silent Retreats I went on! Magic! And 25+ years ago! How could that possibly be?


And then I found New Thought (Ancient Wisdom) and that changed me from caterpiller to butterfly! Finally, people were saying out loud what I had been thinking to myself (and wondering if I was crazy) for years and years and years.


Guess what? I am a Jesus believing, Buddhist, Zen, Pagan, New Thought, Fringe-science, Witchie-woo-woo Faerie. I have, as my dear friend Barbara says, become the person I used to make fun of.


Meeting RBear. He had the most exquisitely beautiful eyes I've ever seen. I think he had my heart and that very moment. Wild that I took him to bed a little over 24 hours later and he's been in my life ever since. I was recently broken up from a disastrous relationship that it started wonderfully, I've gone really bad. I had no intention of being unsingle. I guess I wanted to be a slut for a little while, but that was not to be. I even tried to break up with him after a month or so, but it didn't work. He was very sneaky. He got me back in less than a week. I've never regretted it.


Our wedding. It wasn't legal, to the courts of our land thought that love didn't matter. But it mattered, matters, to us. We headed at the same convention that we met and the room was packed with over 100 people, and it was all written to make sure that as many people as possible were comfortable with it. That doesn't mean we didn't kiss. All we did. To Grand applause. But it included readings from numerous faiths, including Christian, Native American, Buddhist, and Pagan. Even ancient Pagan. To this day people tell us it's one of the best weddings they've ever been to.


Adopting my dog, Sarah Jane, who became my soul dog. I used to not believe in soul dogs. I thought people who believed in that stuff was silly. But this was the second animal miracle in my life, the first being when RBear 's cat--who despised me--fell in love with me. I wasn't a cat-person. She was dying. We had saved $500 to build a pond and that was the cost to try and save her. One of my best friends reminded me that if I loved RBear, saving his cat with a small thing to do. So, we did. And she came home and she adored me, and suddenly I knew. I knew that all that stuff that those crazy animal lovers were saying was true. They do know. Between Betty and Sarah Jane I truly learned the sacredness of all life. I am now one of those crazy animal people.


Meeting Noah. I saw a photo of him. He had friended me on Twitter. I thought he was cute and pointed him out to RBear. He thought so too. Noah and I became fast friends and fell in love. I had always been polyamorous, so RBear wasn't surprised. I finally met him face-to-face, and POW!!! I was rocked backward. And we knew it was real. Then to my wonder and joy, RBear and Noah fell in love. And six years ago our triad finally began. I waited 58 years for the triad I wanted when I was about 19 or 20 years old. It was worth the wait. Six years! How could it be that long?


64 years! How can it be that long?


I see beautiful young men and inside that's what I feel like. I look in the mirror and I think, who is that guy? What happened to thin, sexy, turn-heads, able to sit cross-legged on the floor Ben? Where the hell did he go? Am I the creepy old man I caught looking at me in the bar when I was 21?


Sixty-Four.


Only a number.


But is it?


According to a numerologist, "The 64 Angel Number is a powerful symbol of divine guidance and spiritual growth. It carries the energy of both the numbers 6 and 4, which have their unique energies and meanings. The number 6 encourages us to find balance in our lives by seeking harmony between physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual realms. The number 4 resonates with practicality and hard work as well as stability and security. Together, these two figures can suggest that you are progressing in the direction of achieving your ambitions or attaining your desired outcome in life." *


That sounds good to me. Is it real? **shrug** Could be. I have become the person I used to make fun of after all.


"The predictable movement of fuel through gas tanks, or of grain through funnels, keeps our buses running and our food coming. It also turns out that those two kinds of flow - of liquids and solids - are connected by the number sixty-four." I don't really understand, it's very science-ie, but, "whether it was sand through an hourglass or rice through food processing equipment, a smooth, continuous flow was easily sustained. That is, as long as the material didn't pack into more than sixty-four percent of a given passageway. Below sixty-four percent capacity, grainy materials flowed like a liquid. Once the tube through which the 'liquid' moved was filled to sixty-four percent, things changed. The grains locked together until they behaved like a solid." ** You should check it out. It's over-my-head and very interesting, but I don't want to get boring, so I'll include the Iink in comments and let you read more if you want.


Today I am not the person I used to be.


How can I be?


I have survived so much and made it through the other side. I have outlived a plague that so many people I knew (and never got a chance to know) did not survive (I watched men who look Olympic turn into concentration camp survivors in mere months). I survived job loses. I survived a relationship that started as a fairy tale and turned into a nightmare (and I don't blame it all on him). I have survived two heart attacks (the first when I was only 38), an appendicitis, a gangrenous gallbladder (two weeks in the hospital) and through it all remained HIV negative through some miracle. I survived when so many others haven't. I used to have so many friends and acquaintances, and realized in considering having a little get-together that most of them are all gone.


But so many are left. Very important friends. RBear, Noah, Will, Belinda, Linnea, Cricket, plus many others (I am not listing any others because of all those I may forget as of this writing).


I own a house. I have dogs that bring me so much joy.


I have learned so much and I am still learning. I have changed lives. I have touched people with my dream, of writing books. I have had books published! Publishers have sought me out!


Today I am 64.


This could be my last day. But I am getting healthier, and maybe that fourth grade teacher was talking about me when she said maybe a few of us would get to three digits old. I could rock 100.


102.


I like the idea of 102.


But however, many years I have left, I am going to rejoice and be glad in them. I am getting over this, "Who is that old man?" in the mirror and thinking I am kinda rocking it.


Sean Connery I ain't, but I had a friend wish me a happy birthday this morning and he called me a stone-cold fox.


Hey!


Happy Birthday me!


Peace and love to you all!

Embrace every day, okay?

(And remind me to as well!)

Namaste,

BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas



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4 Comments


Happy Birthday! Rest easy knowing you are never creepy. 😀

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I love you!

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Have a wonderful birthday, Ben, and I hope we're both around for many more.

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Thank you dear one

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