Take Another Look











I wanted company tonight while I cleaned my apartment. My heart kept racing from too much coffee this afternoon. My morning hadn’t gone as planned. But I went to lunch with a physicist who considered it a date. I didn’t feel so much of a connection because I feel like I can’t connect to anybody. But then, later, this evening. Jason (an ex, and a friend) calls. Guilt covers me from head to toe. He has tried continually to stop by my place and be my friend, and for a year I have flaked out 99 out of 100 times. He doesn’t overdo it. Sometimes it felt that way, but that was my irrationality, not him calling too much, just my guilt talking. Anyway, I told him things I don’t tell most people. I told him the problem with the book I was sending out compared to the person who reads it first and I talked to him about ethical fears. He told me to be less self-conscientious. He kept trying to touch me and I ended up on the phone with Michael having a great conversation. I looked at Jason and asked Michael why it wasn’t a good idea for you to be with somebody you had dated before. Michael gave a brilliant answer about two people occupying a space and time and how you can’t repeat that space and time. I repeated his answer to Jason. But before I could repeat it, he said he was going to go. So I got off the phone with Michael. He had been here for about two hours at this point. I said “why are you going?” I had said things like “I just want to be friends.” Anyway, I told him I still wanted him to keep me company. He showed how to really make a bed with the corners sharp. Mostly, he is a quiet but keen person and I babble on in his presence because he doesn’t interact that much conversationally. But he is supportive and is the one person I know who has been a homeless teenager,  lived in a millionaire home, (but turned down the girls offer to stay there), has been kissed by Jenny McCarthy, has had a younger sister die tragically, and has gotten off methadone and xanax. The last two parts are huge. I have kept my distance from him. But still, I am not afraid to let him see me when I am a mess. Mostly that is the reason I have kept distance from me and him. He buzzes my door and I don’t want him to see my problems. I can’t hide them from him and he can’t make me escape from them, so I’d hide behind the door when he buzzed. He started massaging my hip, (he has a degree in massage) and my feet began to tingle. I asked him why it was doing that, and he explained about the tension in the hip bone. From there it progressed. He wanted to know why I was so shy. The transformation was so extreme if he didn’t know me better, the way he does, he would have freaked out. I would only let him do certain things. But I felt a small part of me open up. But it is the first time really being with somebody so different, and the comparisons to Downey were so huge. Downey makes me just want to do anything to please him, while Jason wants to please me. I don’t know why Downey would turn me on so much when all he would do there is act like he didn’t want me. Jason turns me off by telling me all the things he wants to do, pushing too hard, trying too much, always pushing too far so I have to pull back. But something was different this time. I didn’t let it progress to sex but I didn’t pull so damn hard. I let him touch me and I gently touched him back. He held me ways Downey would never hold me. That is neither bad nor good, but what it is. The most important part was when he wrapped me up and I began to flow tears emptily on his white shirt. He rocked me back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. He didn’t understand why, when he was touching my pussy, and he said “he could tell I wanted to DO it” I wouldn’t let him get anywhere. At one point, he asked what was wrong, and he commented again on how I become SO shy, and I said I became uncommunicative. he said it was both. But after he asked what was wrong he also included “you can’t lie.” And I burst out with “I was just really hurt by that guy okay? It’s nothing!!!!” And he said “Oh” and held me to his body over and over again, caressing my hair, massaging me, pressing his body against me. When he kissed me I managed not to compare it to Downey. Much. Not very much. I could tell we were expressing different things. The only thing that I did to him that I used to do with Downey is write letters on him. With Downey, he was so scared of the words “I love you” that I would write them gently on his skin, and not care if he knew what I wrote or not. This was very different. Jason has word tattoes all over his body. it was important he know exactly what I wrote. I wrote the word “WHY”. Then I did it again. Then I did it again with a question mark. Finally, I did it one more time, with my fingers pressing hard into his back, punctuating every letter. He responded somehow with his body, touching me in some way. I knew not to ask “you don’t hook up with girls like this all the time do you?” I don’t think he does that. I felt a little bad that I don’t want to jump his bones the way I do with Downey. I loved the time with Jason,but I still felt I wasn’t ready to have sex with him. On the other hand, I could have slept in his arms. I have slept in his arms before. The part about being shy- I wasn’t so shy when I dated him before. I would become inarticulate and push him away, but I wasn’t silent, and refusing to look at him in the eyes. The lack of eye contact meant something. It meant I was only going where he and I could go. And so when I did meet his eyes for a moment, it had a context. I don’t understand why Jason doesn’t make me want to have sex without foreplay, why I have so much foreplay with Jason but don’t want to go all the way. While with Downey, there were times when I felt so deprived that I would have felt happy if I had just been able to give him a blow job and he touched my hair. TOUCHED. Is it because Jason doesn’t stand there and act like he isn’t attracted to me? Is it because Downey really had issues with being touched, and I always want what I can’t have? I guess this proves that playing hard to get is awful but that people who do it end up with lovers who want to be their slaves. I don’t know. I am confused. I felt precious and loved being with Jason. It’s when I think about Downey (and I can’t ban him from all thoughts, even though I had forgotten our sex life and didn’t want sex anymore until Jason pushed the issue to the forefront.) Maybe if I tell Jason all the things I want him to do. But all this Dan Savage, talk about it and it makes it better ruins the mystery and doesn’t necessarily make sex better. But I thought it would work with Downey. Now I feel like such a hypocrite. I am one person with one person, and a very different with another. With Downey I am somebody who always initiates with wild abandon and when it doesn’t happen feels let down and angry; and with jason i feel like a teenager who loves the time spent together and can trust him but is afraid to lose their virginity and has to keep pulling back. Here is a film clip: Jason, who rocks me back and forth and holds me until I subside and calm down, and Downey, who sits there stonily, ignoring me, ignoring me, ignoring me, and if I get upset or sick or anything at all (one time I was loudly sobbing and he asked me if I had allergy problems when at the time we were 8 months into the relationship and discussing something incredibly intimate that led to me dumping him). A part of me feels like Downey and I had some kind of weird gay romance and he just can’t come out so he forced me to dump him by making is unbearable- oh trust me I put up with unbearable so unbearable isn’t the word… impossible, I guess, he made it impossible… I couldn’t even get a hold of my so-called boyfriend and yet we were supposedly together, we weren’t physical for a month, and yes, I had a problem with that. On the other hand, if I were with another guy and we didn’t have sex for a month, I don’t see how it would be such a big deal. But it was with HIM. I hate these contradictions because I don’t understand them and can never get the answers. Even if they are in science.. or something else. Finding Downey was like coming out. it is another metaphor to add to my grave of metaphors. Whatever the case, Jason was beautiful. Jason was worth the moments. And when he stood up and kissed me, I could feel myself getting wet. Maybe I just need to work on some things, (although sex should not be WORK) and I will want to “jump his bones.” I just DONT understand how it could be the exact opposite with Downey… and how I could be the one, as always, pushing away. I’m always pushing away except in extreme exceptions… I don’t know how Downey got (gets?) me to come to him in every way when with every other person I push and pull. Downey just makes me push… Jason makes me do mostly pulling. Maybe I found two very opposite examples I don’t understand. The awful thing was- but my wounds are too fresh to be saying this- I liked loving better than feeling like the recipient. The only person I have had a healthy balance of these things is B. My heart gets fast. i want to come to him. but he also comes to me. They both turn me on. Life is SO strange…..

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{January 27, 2010}   the sanctimonious prick (x-rated)

cant remember what it ever felt like to have the sanctimonious prick’s cock in me. oh, he is one of the very few who needs to pretend he must resist me if he is going to want me. anything worth wanting you have to play a bargain game with, well, this kind of game can be emotionally tiresome, especially after a long day when i just need somebody to wrap their arms around me and say, you are okay the way you are, but no, he told me i was supposed to love myself more, why? because i had a history of people like him. or maybe he said it because he knew that after him i would be so wounded that i would need all the love i could take, that i would become so sick i would need to suck off the love from homeless men. i want to say he knew what he was doing when he resisted me and that it was always intentional because oh, if he had to worry about weakening for one second he might lose his power, the only thing he cares about in the world, besides, he likes to think of a world where people think about what they must not do with each other. oh, my long term boyfriend or husband or fiance or ex, i must think about what we shouldn’t do. i would think now that we have broken up you are so angry at me for leaving that you want to believe that it was your resistance that made me leave, that i didn’t know about it. i knew about it and i tried to build on it but you were too simple to learn. to stuck in old habits. if your ex was a nun in bed, what were you? besides, i banished any feeling of what sex was like with you out of my minds-eye first, they were the easiest to forget because the feeling is too familiar to me, that sickening need to gush their seed into any slit at all, but he acted like he was different, and don’t go on thinking i don’t feel unworthy every moment of the day for believing in a prick like him who cant even pick up the phone, who doesn’t have the courage or character to even say hello to me, for in his head i stopped existing the day he pretended to acknowledge my existence, and if only i had known that then, i could have walked on and over him, not by him but over him, because people like that, they don’t go away if you walk by them, after all, how many other young pretty girls did he send friend requests to, and if i believe he was ever sincere in anything he did, if i let myself believe that he was different, which i do, then i won’t get better. for they tell me to move on and forget but i keep screaming, no, it’s not over, and i’m not going to let it be over, all i have to do is reach him, but they remind me that his heart is dead and i’m pumping on and on for days on a corpse, saying no, no, i won’t let his heart be dead. maybe it was dead the whole time and i thought a person was making love, but now it feels like we are simply paying for a clash between our different previous lovers. i’ll move to his grave and look for some sign that he left something for me, i will get machines and tear open the ground looking for a tiny piece of paper with a number, a name, a sign, even a picture. but his daughter cared for me more than he ever did. she left me a picture to remember her by, but this guy didnt even want to get me a holiday gift, a birthday gift, or an anniversary gift. i must accept i was nothing but a dog for him to kick. a dog for him to kick and kick and kick and kick and kick until my gut spilled out and then that part got boring for him, but for some strange reason sadists like to watch their dicks get long and hard, they like to see somebody else as powerless and just a receptacle for their waste and toxins, and the people who want to get rid of their emotional toxins by kicking me are a lot worse than men who just plant their cock in my mouth. so girls want to give them a taste of their own medicine by saying they can play it loose and fast too, they can kick their head back and treat it like a game, going about the search for instant gratification by any means necessary, but it just comes down to remorse and despair, i dont even have the energy to muster up anger at him, i never did, i only wanted to hurt myself for what he did. after he caused so much pain you wonder, what is wrong with you, can’t you fight back? it was never about fighting, i want to say, it was never about a fair fight, either, nor a crooked one, it’s the fact that i was out of my league the first day, and still i loved, i loved so hard and so good, and i took every kick like it was a kiss because i thought maybe it’s the only way he can show anything, just like i seem to notice criticism more than i notice praise, but why now, why this silence, why this cruel, everlasting taunt, it’s in the air, invisible hardening everywhere, and just like the employee he fired i want to plaster papers everywhere saying, this man is not real, this man is not real, he is lying to all of you right now, but im still hoping that he will show up at the last minute and say it was just a test, im sorry you are so exhausted, but the truth is he was never very nice to me anyway, so why cant i find somebody nicer? plenty of guys let me call them any time of the night, even if it is to hear me go on and on about my problems, so why am i wasting time wondering about somebody who never was very nice? because we fit together, that’s why. we fit together, but we are both so fucked up we couldnt even make perfection work. he had to go and ruin it his way and my way, well, i told him from the beginning it was a long shot, i told him all my weaknesses in our first conversation whereas he told me nothing, shouldnt that have told me something? well, i thought his privacy was interesting, and i like puzzles, but this one is ruining my life, taking over my time, i have t0 look over my shoulder all the time now because i think i am still standing on the grave he sent me to, but he didnt even send me there, he sent me to no mans land, a place where children are kidnapped, because he doesnt want me to get my ending, it is the only power he has right now, trying to hold my ending over me, and i cant stop that, he does have a role in the end of our goodbye or in the continuation of us, but he is too lazy to think about it, he doesn’t want to decide, he wants to decide not to decide and one day he can just crawl over and die, and then it will be decided for him. if he never says goodbye or hello, then the fate decides for him. i hate him for this philosophy, i see how it ruins everything he touches and i cry out, and i do things to hurt myself in front of him to show him how it affects people, but it is too late, he hardly cares about a few scrapes and falls and he is too hardened to soften when he sees a boo boo or a drawing or a little girl by her swing set crying. he is hard. he is so hard, maybe he is made of metal, so why do i care? why do i waste my time with a titanium robot? maybe it is easier than facing my own demons? i dont know. I dont know. I just don’t know.im so tired of thinking “how will he react if oh no he sees that i wrote something unflattering about him when he said i wasnt supposed to write down anything about him?” but he broke so many promises you’de think he of all people would understand somebody else breaking a promise but no. and this one is for my sanity. dear sanity, i do not feel sane. please help me. i feel like i need him to feel sane again because my heart is on life support, im willing to give it to somebody else who needs it. put it on a ventilator or something i cant handle it inside me anymore, please, oh please, oh, i will do anything if you give me that. but it doesnt matter how many times i say please, does it. and what is it i want back anyway?



{January 6, 2010}   No word for No, ever…



I looked around the place where he no longer lived. It was strange to see the things he had touched. Why was it so hard to remember his smell? Memories did not come when I chose them to come to me. They came randomly or listlessly. I often thought that I had brought them to me, that there was a kind of sense being played out. I tried to make sense of what could not make sense. There were messages where he said he hoped his mindset was not destroying our relationship. Was his self-awareness extended enough to later remember saying that? I’d never known somebody so intimately. Simultaneously I yet felt so lost. Every time I used to dial his digits, I didn’t know what kind of mood calling him would inspire. Before he got on the phone, I could be in one of a hundred of different moods. And there were so many shades of beauty he missed out on when he didn’t answer. Sometimes it seemed like he answered only when I was not in the right mood to talk. But I persisted to call even when the mood was bad, if only to connect. And still, I didn’t know what disconnection meant. All those things I did not know but could see and hear and feel pounded on my door and chased at my nights. It held me captive, the thing I could not know. The space that we did not share was where I kept trying to break in. I wasted time trying to pound that place open. I think he saw me there and pretended not to. I think he saw me and it’s what made him want me to go away. But he wanted me to stay, too.

Occasionally my heart would leap out of my throat as the phone kept ringing. This especially happened when I sent him emails I could not retract. My words were like bullets meeting their target, but I never thought I was a good marksman, and I always assumed I had not been heard, because nobody heard me in my youth. I thought I was wildly scattering fire because I needed an outlet, because he wouldn’t let me communicate in words anymore, and when I couldn’t communicate in words I tried touch, but he had long ago banished communication from entering any realm we inhabited. I loved him so much I could not breathe and I hated myself for a weakness that he seemed to hate. I let words be more decisive than I was but I did not know what words were doing. I could not see things the way he did. If he had changed, how much had I changed? I later was able to see things in a logical way, but unfortunately, I wanted to share that with him too. Was there ever going to be a time when I didn’t want to share things with him? All of my friends kept saying he didn’t give a shit about me, that he was not right, and they pointed at my checkered judgment to prove it. Their words either pushed me closer towards him or farther away. But I never knew where he was. The longing to know possessed me. It became more important than finding my way. The uncertainty came in waves. One week I was both irritated with myself for stirring up trouble and speaking what I thought was pure logic, but I was most irritated with him for not responding and causing more uncertainty, which in turn caused me to try to ignore what was going on too. I felt free, as if the bullets had freed me in some way. And yet there was only silence on his end. I tried to imagine a life without all the pain he’d caused, but that also meant a life without the pleasure. I cursed him in my mind for the parts of himself he hid from me over and over again, especially since it was getting worse. Or so it seemed. I tried trusting his judgment, but it cast me astray because I could not know the full picture. I tried trusting my judgment, but it was full of holes. I tried trusting the piercing howl of anguish that came over me like a shod of electric shocks. The shocks did not dissipate. And then they quietly left for a while, and I peeked around uneasily. Again, had I trusted my friends more than me?

I looked in the mirror and held my gaze firmly. I was attractive. He didn’t tell me that much. Was that something I liked about him? All those things I attacked, they’d also drawn me to him and now I was blaming then forgiving him for qualities that he had always had but that I kept discovering anew. One time he said I was blaming myself, but when the tears came I was restless that he couldn’t turn over and face me, wipe the tears off my face, kiss me and assure me. I thought that was all I needed but what did I know about need, after all was said and done? I needed so much for that one gesture to be in there somewhere but I felt like an unwanted occupant taking up space next to him, neither mattering nor not mattering. Why didn’t he wake up in the night and randomly whisper things to me? Why was he so effusive, so cold, so habitual in all of his tendencies? Was this a particular tactic to get me to leave or to stay? I could not accept that he could not take on my love except in his own form. I had to see it in my own way. And my own way was so stripped and naked he seemed secretly at a loss. I was at a loss, too. I didn’t know what I could stand to lose. It was strange to believe somebody when they only spoke their thoughts once, then never repeated them. The most important things were unswayable and I latched on to what could not be said like a tiger and her prey. I knew my capacity to love was too large. I had to hide it. It was too much. I was too much. But he was confusing me again. I didn’t belong anywhere.

Maybe he wasn’t really dead. Maybe he had created this house for me as a place to think he had left. But no that was just hope talking. Did I hope I could forget? I think I was scared that I hoped that I would never have to stop breathing in his fumes, his embrace. But I also wanted to be unfettered. I would never trade freedom for security. Except in small items, one by one, the hook sunk into me as into a fish. I could not rely on any one belief, nor could I rely on what the whole picture said. No wonder I was so filled with yearning for him to take me to some cold place and quietly disembark my contradictions with the soft taste of spring water. So he could fill my thirst with something that was cleansing. I did not expect to feel my face burn in a flash of indignation, nor for my hope to give way to a shy but fierce awkwardness. And if it did he had to be there to make it better, and when he wasn’t, I wondered if I didn’t know who he was, and this thought despaired me the most of all. I had to assume everything was a lie if I was to try to follow the trail backwards, to know how far I had come and from where.

Good or bad. Had he been good or bad for me? Why was the house vacant? If he came home he might find me here, still standing and waiting for him to appear. Or he might find me tapping on the table, impatient and ready to coil with a wave of questions. Or still, I might be calm and still, simply wanting that lucidity I felt I deserved. I’d thrown too much and now could not wait. I was walking around in my own cage and feeling deserted all the time if only for my own issues with abandonment. But there was more to it than that, and it was what incensed me to not give up. I wanted to start from a blank slate, I had said, without realizing I was eroding the latest of floors that he had started working on. I kept breaking things and he kept trying to protect me until I was floored to discover that my hammer had a safety valve on it that I couldn’t undo. I used the safety valve as a hammer instead. All the while, my own sense of isolation drummed at me like a pulse. I knew I could live without him, but when he was there I felt like I could not live without him at all. I didn’t understand how things could be so different when he was there and when he was not. Was he the only one making an impact on things? It seemed nothing I did impacted him after a while. Which was why the house looked unaffected by my presence.

Damnit, I had desensitized him. With my words, I had made my moods too indistinguishable so that he was so used to a flourish of ten pages that it made no difference to him when I tried other tactics. I had already poured so many paint colors in there it made no difference when I used white-out. I feared nothing would make the difference. I would have called an “Inaction Hotline” to see if that would fix things but there wasn’t any Inaction Hotline for me to go to and I could not refrain from acting. Whether it was calling or forgetting or thinking or trying not to think, I had no finality. Even in asking for it, did I really expect to get it? I gave up on my ability to use words further. I was sending him two messages. I love you and I hate you or I don’t know, do you know, and I had sent it too many times. And we were tired, so tired. I was tired of doubt, and he, no doubt, was sick of reassurance. He had no more to offer me because in one click, I erased my own message but not the internet footprint it left behind.

I was furious when I found out that the messenger service was so flawed. Why couldn’t my love be greater than my hate? I suppose it was, but when the stain of blood entered the picture, the sense of timeline was lost. What did I know about endings anyway? There I was saying he was ending things all the while asking for a beginning or a new one anyway. The first one was good enough, but I wanted a repeat I guess. Please, I’d just wanted to make things better, that’s why this all started in the first place! I wanted it to be getting better and I was a self-improvement kit I felt he never used. He must have felt like everything he said went on deaf ears after the contradictions were sent out like nuclear warning strikes.

My heart felt like it was locked up inside, and my thoughts felt like they were crying against my skull to get out. I felt like if he could only hear me he would understand, he would understand. I had to believe that. Don’t you see why I had no choice but to believe that?



{September 13, 2009}   Don’t You Panic Now

Don’t You Panic

We’re fighting. We fought. The words don’t taste so good down in my throat. I think I might want to spit them back out again. A screech of a tire. A window breaking. Isn’t that enough? Somewhere somebody in a white hospital is fighting for their life. The word is beginning to sound a little better, it’s giving me some ground. Who gets mad because somebody is too apologetic, too meek? I didn’t. But it sounds good if you say that I did, right? That’s looking at the world with one set of blind-folders on.

I got a cold feeling inside, like a frozen tire. He told me I was making him feel like a cocker spaniel. So I swallowed, a little swallow, and I felt hollow inside. I had to do the right thing.

“Nobody should be made to feel like that,” I said. I hung up. I was gone. No more relationship or bogus love. It was him that went on about love, anyway, not me. No more whatever he said it was.

A different day, if he had told me I made him feel like he was a cocker spaniel, I would have cracked up. It would have been the wrong response, but maybe it would have been better than this. My seriousness. It’s like a cancer he doesn’t know how to look at.

He keeps calling back. But I won’t pick up. I don’t like his apologies. He is always saying “I don’t want to make you mad so I won’t tell you this” or “I don’t want to make you mad but you said you want the truth so..” He’s always making it about what I said I wanted and adapting it to the next day. And when I’m quiet about what I want? It throws his world upside down. He wants, oh so bad, to make me feel good. I don’t always feel good, it’s not natural. I’ve gotten over that, so why can’t he? I was stressed this morning, a lot on my plate that I had to say and I felt like I was going to a trial. So he was angry with me for having a life that I must engage with. His is so bare, he leaves it behind all the time without thinking. He has no idea what it must feel like to be so connected you can’t look back. So he can connect to me and my world feeling lighter than a feather. The only thing he holds on to is me. But he isn’t prepared to see what I see. Nobody could be.

I got annoyed with him. But he couldn’t get anything right. I said ten-thirty, and he doesn’t show up.

“Well, truthfully I didn’t know what kind of mood you’de be in, and gauging from this morning, I know I told you I had to go to this appointment I’d forgotten, but I also wanted to get away…”

Then go. You now see I would have been happy to see you, but it’s too late. I’m in a bad mood again, so I better hang up the phone. Only the bright side to you. Nice end. No end.

He doesn’t like my “truth at all costs.” He doesn’t like my arrogance. “Well, somebody needs to act without thinking,” I say. I ask him what I said. He doesn’t know. His three favorite words.

I finally call him on my terms. Everything is always on my terms. I told him this the second day, when he was falling hard for me. But did he listen? No. Anyway, the phone didn’t pick up. He can get a hold of me, but I can hardly ever get a hold of him. He shares a phone with a huge apartment full of drug-using hillbilly beatniks downtown with security that makes me wait outside the door, away from the comfy lobby on a windy day until he gets downstairs. Somebody has to pick up the phone, and then travel to the fifth floor to see if he is there. As a result, everybody ignores the phone because they know it’s not going to be for them. Sometimes somebody offers to give him my message and I’m relieved. Mostly, they don’t.



et cetera