Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Quick Reference Guide to the Life of Devin Danger

So, I decided to start this blog, whether anyone will actually read it or not is besides the point. I just thought it would be good to journal some of my thoughts, so why not share with those interested?

Life is a messed up crazy thing. I've been a lot of different people. I've worked a lot of different jobs. I've had a lot of different friends. The only constant I have is change.
Now, for some people, change is a bad thing. It's easy to stick with the comfortable. When I get comfortable, I get itchy. It usually means it's time to switch it up, meet new people, move somewhere new, get a new job.....whatever it is that I feel I need to change....and I usually do quite rashly and without very much thought. I like it. I find it empowering to control, change, and alter my life. It's enthralling. I'm not one to simply take the status quo and deal with it. I do what I want and it's extremely important to prove that to myself on a daily basis. I am the only person who can take charge of my life.
Perhaps my biggest "rash" change I've made in my lifetime was my decision to elope with my husband, Nathan, over two years ago. Not only was it split-second decision-making, but, considering that we lived in different countries and were two gay men, it called for a major lifestyle change. Previously, I had been a somewhat notorious party kid in Indianapolis. I lived in my own place alone downtown. I went out 7 nights a week. I had hundreds of friends all over the globe. I was finishing up school. Life was my oyster. I was extremely independent and loved every second of it.

When Nathan came along, he hit me like a wet bag of cement. I didn't mean to fall in love, it was just inevitable with him. He was and is my polar opposite. Don't get me wrong, he has a total bad boy side to him, but if you only judge a book by the cover, he's conservative, quiet, sweet, thoughtful, anall-aorund nice guy. Oh.....and Canadian. When we got engaged, I don't think I ever thought it was real until we were married. I suppose, being an American, I had never fully conceptualized the thought of legal gay marriage.
We eloped on June 30th 2007 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It was a brave rash decision. We got up that Saturday morning, called a B&B around the corner, grabbed a couple witnesses, had a few drinks and got married under an arbor in a graden around sunset. We wore jeans and promised eachother that we would spend the rest of our life together. Although, we destroyed all the wedding pictures because they turned out horrible, I'll always keep a picture of this day in my mind. Two crazy-in-love kids locking lips feeling nothing but pure unrestrained love. It's the hard times that I try to remember them, they were an AWESOME couple.
Shortly after, I moved to Canada. That's when things started to get rough. All my life, things have come easily to me. I always knew if I wanted it bad enough, I would find a way to make it happen. Guile and brains go a long way if used properly. I endured one year of the following:
*Learning how to be married
*Learning how to share EVERYTHING
*First fights
*Socializing with his friends who didn't accept me and saw me as an outsider.
*Anti-American sentiment from nearly everyone I met.
*The worst winter Ontario had seen in 36 years.
*Loneliness; not only had I left everyone that I'd known behind for Nate, but he travelled for work 45 out of the 52 weeks of the year.
*A lot of second-guessing myself and everything that I'd known to be true.
*Learning how to be domestic.
*Learning the art of doing nothing....couldn't legally work or attend school.
*Learning how to live without a car and horrible public transportation.
*Learning how to deal with in-laws who didn't like or accept me or our marriage.
*Due to long distance fees, a lot of isolation. If I could figure out how to talk to even one of my best friends for a half hour on the phone, it made my week.

In short, it was a miserable year and a truly humbling experience. I still can't listen to a song I liked then without shuddering and changing it. Too many bad memories and heart ache. I lost touch with myself to a great degree. Slowly, I saw myself becoming someone I wasn't. Someone I didn't like. So common-place and boring. It was like all the fire that had always shined straight out of me was dampened.
Forget whatever fairtales you may have of marriage because it's HARD. It's WORK. After that wonderful intial honest loves simmers to a soft flicker, there is a whole lot of bullshit and compromise to deal with. I could probably fight both sides of the "single" or "married" argument equally. Although, most days, I'd take the grass is always greener approach and scream "RUN!" to anyone with an engagement ring on his/her finger.
Towards the end of my year there, I knew it was time for another change. I hated Canada and I knew that I needed to get back to the US to get myself back. I put it to Nathan like this; "I'm not happy. I don't like who I'm turning into. So, either you find a way to get a work visa and we move to the US, we win the lottery, you find some AMAZING job here or I'm leaving and moving back down." I never put it down like I was leaving him, I just simply said we could go back to long distance.
Apparently, the gods gave me a break, and a little over a month later, Nathan was offered a better job with his company and a relocation to the Southwest. We discussed where we wanted to live;

L.A.? Too smoggy. Horrible traffic. Horrific cost of living. Too congested in general.
San Diego? Gorgeous but HORRIBLY expensive.
Phoenix? Yuck.
Palm Springs? Too many old monied gay guys. It's not like we were looking for daddies.

So, we came upon Las Vegas, which I had visited semi-regularly in the past and which I liked. It was equi-distance from everywhere Nathan had to travel to....and frankly, I think he would have done anything to keep me at that point, so it was settled.
We moved down to Las Vegas on July 31st, 2008. It was the fresh start we needed. The desert heat evaporated every lingering ounce of cold from that past horrible winter and painfully humid summer. We were new again. We were in love again. It was the start of our "real" life together. Everything seemed just perfect. Well.....almost everything.
I was anxious to get back to work. I had just taken an imposed year off of work and I was ready to find a good company to really throw my all in. However, the economy took a sharp nose-dive right around then and Vegas was hit HARD. Still, to this day, I've found nothing worth doing here. I've heard the words, "Over-Qualified", at least one hundred times. It seems a bit ridiculous to have to dumb-down your resume in order to get employment, does it not?
So, in my constant search, I joined a gym and went along like I had been. Corporate housewife. Trophy husband. Whatever you want to call it.
Mostly, I was just looking forward to getting back out in the world, meeting people, interacting, feeling alive again. I threw myself out there to see what could come of it. It's been over a year now and I've made a lot of observations about the unique nature of this city.
On the surface, Las Vegas is a friendly town. Extremely transient, so I still feel like Nathan and I both fit in. We're life-long nomads, so the smaller, tightly-knit towns are a bit more difficult to infiltrate for us. People tend to cling to one another here. Nobody is here for long. It's almost like a never-ending waiting room in a way. It's nobody's final destination, but it's nice to find friends to pass the time with.
In the past year, I can honestly say I've gotten back to my old self. Sure, I made some compromises. I am no longer the party kid I once was, going out every night, but I've scaled it back to a few nights a week. The one thing I learned in Ottawa was how to truly enjoy time alone to myself to think, to write, to dream, to be creative. I'm thankful for the ability to just coast and let life happen.
I'm thankful that I'm now in the position to tell the world to fuck off. It's just me and Nathan against the world. We have obligations to no one but ourselves. Not working, I have the luxury to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I don't wear normal clothes or have conservative hair. I wear eyeliner because it's fun. I don't have to play into other people's selfish petty drama, politics, or credos. Life is good and full of change, excitement, intrigue, happiness, pain.........the whole mix and it's just how I like it. I know I belong here right now. Forever? That can never be sure.
I've met a lot of people in my short time in Vegas.I'm sure you'll hear about a few of them in blogs to come. I'm not going to name names in this blog, but I'll make up a few pseudonyms and overviews for reference purposes;

Dallas: Female, 23, blond/blue,caucasian, 5'5" 140. Hometown:San Antonio, TX.
Laid-off bank teller turned stripper and insta-BFF. Got swept off her feet by one of the guys she met in the club and recently moved to Detroit to be with him, marry him, live happily ever after. I miss her but I can't knock her choices. Afterall, I once chased that same fairy tale.

Chun Li- Female, 26,Black/brown, asian, 5', 110. Hometown:Honolulu
Came out here for college and never left. Bank Teller by day and black jack dealer by night. A very sweet, very secretive girl sort of riding the wave of life until something sticks. She's friendly, socially versatile, and loves to laugh. An all-around great running buddy. She's the type of person that you can run errands with, go to the gym, then meet back up to go clubbing later. We've become better friends in the last 6 months.

Mr. Wang: Male, 29, black/brown, asian/caucasian mix, 5'9", 180. Hometown: ???, North Dakota
Came down here from North Dakota with brother, with whom he currently resides, as well as young niece. Makeup Artist, esthetician, retail. Quirky, fun, lively, HUGE HEART. He couldn't hurt, let alone kill a fly. He likes to go out, extremely social.....but bakes on his nights off. He's down for whatever as long as a few laughs are involved.

Bob: Male, 24, black/brown, mexican/caucasian mix, 6'2", ???. Hometown: Hidden Hills, CA
Interior Designer. A really sweet guy. Funny, sarcastic, kind of goofy. Big guy. Reminds me of a gay, less experienced version of my late BFF Brett. Just now learning about how the gay scene works. Learning the pleasures and perils of having gay friends. Won't sleep with a guy before 90 confirmed days of dating have passed. Cautious, conservative, reliable, and generally honest. This early in the game, he could go like the flip of a coin. We'll have to wait and see how this one turns out.

Lena: Female,22, Black/green, caucasian, 5'4", 130. Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia/Las Vegas, NV
Barista/college student/ aspiring actress. Goofy, silly, energetic. The kind of person you can say anything to. Easily interested and easily entertained. She'll go wherever and do whatever. Alternative chick. Swings both ways. Young enough to still get excited at the prospect of a dinner invitation.

Michael: Male, 30, black/green, caucasian/mexican mix, 5'8", 180. Hometown: Detroit, MI
Manger of some sort at The Gap. Fun-loving, easily-entertained, good heart. I was a little hard on him from the start and I regret it because he really is just a nice guy. He always wants to help the world and pass on his love and excitement. Still has that youthful energy about him. Loves Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. He's looking for "the one" and turning every stone searching for him. Even after the painful breakup of his long term relationship, he still has the youthful ideals of what he thinks the perfect relationship is and is convinced he's out there somewhere. It's almost inspiring.

Charly: Female, 24, blond/blue, caucasion, 5'6", 130. Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
In school for Sports Marketing/ currently does office work for Daddy's company. Fun, neurotic, talker. Never does the gay bars. Enjoys being a girl but will kick your ass if you say anything against her football team. Has a boyfriend of nearly a year.

Paul: Male, 30, blond/blue, caucasian (very), 6', 200. Hometown:Bunkerville, NV
Massage Therapis/Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers! Sweet lovable guy years behind his age in energy and spirit. Raised Mormon. Previously resided in Las Vegas but had to move back to his home town out of economy-driven lack of work. Eccentricity is definitely one of his trademark characteristics. Has a great heart and is definitely a forgotten member of The Lost Boys. He and Peter Pan are tight. He may never grow up, but you'll never guess his age either. He has a strongely veiled inner-self. I know he's got a lot of pain in there somewhere, but it rarely comes out and never in full form.

Now, for a few on their way in...............

Laura: 35, brown/blue, caucasian, 5'10" 140. Hometown: Erie, PA
Online English Professor. Fun young woman, recently single and currently divorcing ex-douchbag husband. Decided to move to Vegas on a whim with her gay best friend. High-energy (for the most part), newly rediscovered joie de vivre, loving her new life and gobbling it up.

Brent: 26, brown/blue, causcasian, 5'5" 140. Hometown: Erie, PA
Cash and Go Clerk....or something to that effect. Total pocket-gay. Just moved to Vegas with his best friend, Laura (see above). He, too, is enjoying his new life but is quickly realizing all is not what it seems. Vegas has a tendency to throw a coat of gold paint over the ugly and cover it in distracting neon lights. Fun guy to hang out with. Has been dating around. Currently just started dating Bob.....we'll see. Still early yet.

Lissa: 25, blond/brown, caucasian, 5'5" 140. Hometown: Spokane, WA
Barista. Met her through Lena, they work together. This girl is a wild time. Also recently single after a misguided relationship with an older man. Back on the scene and loving it. Shakes her ass to any beat. Positive, happy, and care-free. If only she knew how to drive, we could end up besties.

Old Friends and Reoccuring guest appearances by:

Cortez: Male, 25, black/brown, African-American, 6'3" 150 Hometown: Indianapolis, IN Currently Resides In: Indianapolis, IN
Best friend since Freshman Year of high school. Housekeeping supervisor for large upscale boutique hotel. Funny, OCD, extremely neat. To the point, very quick, very intuitive. My flame burns together? It's an uncontrollable wildfire. Loves to laugh and can find humor in just about any situation. Loves cars, cell phones, rap, and running shoes (although I've never seen him run in over 10 years). He's my diary. He knows everything there is to know about me.

Roxy: Female, 25, ?/ brown, Caucasian, 5'10" 150 Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Currently Resides: Indianapolis, IN
Hair Stylist/ Makeup Artist. Met her when I was 19. She was a friend's college roommate. She's funny, neurotic, laid-back, free-flowing, free-thinking. Has a great heart and the ability to look way beyond the surface. Always up for an adventure. Has giant dreams and her biggest fear is that none of them are to be attained. One never knows what she'll be wearing or which color or colors her hair will be. She longs to leave Indianapolis and start anew, but keeps letting life hold her back.

Dakota: Female, 27, brown/brown, caucasion, 5'10" 130 Hometown:Indianapolis, IN
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, CA
Assistant/Talent Management. Our fathers are best friends. We became friends out of commaraderie as much as anything. Former party girl. Has turned classic LA, and by this I mean, hippyish yet materialistic, sarcastic veiled with false optimism, go-with-the-flow yet surprisingly rigid, an open book although highly secretive. You never know what might come out of her mouth or what she'll do next but she is a good friend and her heart is in the right place.

Aaron: Male, 27, brown/hazel, caucasian, 6', 160 Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Currently Resides: St. Petersberg, FL
Hotel Manager. Met in Freshman year of high school, he was a sophomore at the time. Had a brief (9 month) fling during final years of college. Dated (officially) exactly 2 weeks, broke up....and he won't let me go. Insists that we still be friends despite all our drama from when we dated. Love him. Hate him. Can't live without him. Scarcastic bitchy nature coupled by a natural charm, making a dangerous nature. Continuously on dating misadventures. Needy, pesky, addictive. Always has my back when the dramz comes down and vice versa.

And, of course, the husband:

Nathan: 27, blond/gray, caucasian, 5'8" 160. Hometown: Hong Kong, China/ Halifax, Nova Scotia/ Vancouver, Island, British Columbia/ Ottawa, Ontario
Sales Business Manager. Met him out of the blue on day when he happened to be working on a job in Indianapolis. He pursued me for a few months until I agreed to a date. Been together ever since. Generally, easy-going, go-with-the-flow, happy, easily-entertained. Has a lot of disassociation with the human race. Not lacking in social skills, but conversation rarely trails from the surface. When his attention is on me, I feel like I have everything I need in the world. That said, workaholic, constantly stressed, insanely focused. Great at his job because he knows the technology and numbers so well that clients love him. Very non-salesy salesperson. Loves food and will do anything for a home-cooked meal.
In the past year, especially, we've gone through a lot of changes personally, which has put a strain on our relationship but we're working on it. He has the ability to frustrate me, annoy me, anger me, sadden me, and make me it must be great love. Nobody that can affect me in those ways.....many of which occur a very present occupant of my heart. He can also make me laugh, enthrall me, spoil me, and my heart still skips a beat when he puts his hand on mine. I'm the creative, he's the technical. I read between the lines, he counts the words. I'm the agressor, he's the passive. My flame burns bright, he's content with his flickering glow. Polar opposites but somehow we start where the other ends. We're in this for our all. We're all eachother has. And anybody or anything that tries to get between us is exterminated quickly.

There are many characters not listed here. You'll have to get to know them as they come up. Not to say they haven't played important roles in my time here, but some people are just blips in my lifetime. In the long-run, they barely show as a point in my timeline. I read in a magazine once, years ago, that you can classify all people/relationships as the following; The Reason, The Season, and the Life-longer. In the end, I've been able to put about every friendship, relationship, etc into one of those boxes. The best life-longers are not necessarily always right there with me but play a starring guest role in and out of my life over it's duration.

So, there's the set up, folks! Questions? Comments? Feel Free. Happy blogging!