Monday, March 23, 2009

Notes from a refugee

Trying to bring this all together, please don't mind the mess.

Last night, back porch, right side of the couch. Cats dancing around the four of us, launching themselves into space with kittenish mews. I'm in his arms. This shouldn't be happening. I'll simply hurt him again, but I can't pull myself away.

We're damaged creatures of desire, his hands, my lips. We roam together.

She uses him for sex, leaves her marks on his body. He's her secret, she's ashamed.

He's my joy. All six feet, seven inches of him. Leather jacket, army boots, cigarette dangling, constant scowl.

He said he didn't want me anymore, said he wouldn't touch me anymore, but I'm good at inciting lust, especially in him. Easily in him. His hand slid down the front of my pants, breath catching, thighs twitching, moans hidden between words. His fingers dance and glide. I pulse.

Afterwards, driving home, he tells me he feels nothing.

I nod and agree with him. I know he's lying. He's never been able to hide anything from me. His smiles and stolen kisses translate his words into truth; I don't listen to the syllables, just the meaning.

... ... ...

I'm on my back, corner of a parking lot in Venice Beach. It's Saturday night, almost Sunday morning. It's cold, but his body heat and my sleeping bag stops the wind.

He caught my eye when I was walking up the boardwalk, when I stopped to talk to the squatter kids. He was smooth. The few hours I spent with them, while the sun was going down, he alternately ignored me and wandered off, only to return later. I'd catch him looking at me, occasionally, eyes almost closed as he laid on his back in the sun.

While the dogs vied for my attention, he just watched. Their gropes, their attempts at stolen kisses, their antics involving helpless and clueless passersby. They were raucous hyenas, chaos under the influence. When it came time to leave, I asked him to walk me to my car. Double motive: Venice isn't safe at night.

We ended up walking to Washington Boulevard, ended up down the way at a Persian restaurant. He left his dog outside, leash tied to a table leg. We talked. He told me of his travels, of his lifestyle. I told him of my mental project, of recent events. He introduced me to people as we walked, he seemed to know the entire transient population.

Unsurprising, given that he's one of them as well.

He showed me his squat, such an unglamourous word for an unglamourous lifestyle. A tunnel in the canal system. He bent the metal bars of the gate with a towel and broomstick, lets people who need it share it with him. Lately, he says, it's been a girl named Dingo. Beautiful sixteen year old black chick, won't talk about why she's on the street. We both know what that means, though.

He's almost twenty-six. We're so close in age.

He takes care of the people around him, takes care of himself.

We get to my car, in which I drove over his tunnel earlier that day. There's a pause, one of those moments you see in movies where neither person is sure what the other one is thinking. My reasons are different than most, though.

And then we're there. My back is pressed against my trunk, lips and tongue playing with the bit of metal through his lip. He lifts me up, legs wrapping around his waist, hands running through his hair, over his neck, down his shoulders.

It's almost ten.

It was intimate. Pausing in between kisses to talk, to laugh, to exchange thoughts, with his dog resting at our feet. I mention I like things rough, and suddenly I'm spun around, face and stomach pressed against my cold car, bent over my trunk, and he's grinding into me. I can feel him so close, so warm. We're aligned.

He suggests lying down and, at first, I decline. He changes my mind, sleeping bag is dragged out of my backseat and tossed down. Then his weight is on me, pressing me into the asphalt, bruises will line my lower back in the morning.

I'm flipped over, pants slid down, his fingers pumping into me. I arch into him, then his fly is down, head of his penis rubbing over my clit. I've already told him no penetration- his choice of lifestyle is too risky for that- and he respects it. Doesn't even ask, doesn't even hint, but even this contact is more dangerous than I would like.

We wind down, lie down. Curling up close, sharing heat. His dog slides in beside us, I am sandwiched: Man-Woman-Dog. Talking, breathing together. He understands. Of all the people I have met, he understands. He knows that difference, between affection and love. I don't need to make my disclaimer to him. We can cuddle, tickle, roll, giggle, exchange light kisses... and he knows it means nothing other than the physical comfort and companionship the action provides. And he knows how to play the game, knows how to monitor people and subtly control. He knows how to direct desire, knows how to get attention. We compare notes, lying under a streetlight.

I'm comfortable with him. I'm able to let go enough so that I don't even notice I'm not monitoring what is going on around us until afterwards.

I leave.

... ... ...

Party Saturday night. I show up Sunday morning, almost 3AM.

Walking in the door, the few remaining people there shout my name. I smile, apologize for being late. They said they assumed I was getting laid, and actually had talked about it at some length.

It amazes me. In general, I'm astonished when people talk about me. I don't find myself too out of the ordinary. I do what I do, I keep dramatics to a minimum. I don't gossip, rarely lose my cool, and try to be supportive of my friends.

I don't think of how people view me on a long-term basis. Short-term, I know my actions may have impact on people. Long-term... I just don't look ahead that far. I probably should.

I am, I know, a source of entertainment for my friends. They live vicariously through my sex life, through my exploring and odd occurances. This has been told to me by so many people throughout my life. It's one of the reasons I continue to put my thoughts and adventures online. I know some of them wish they could do what I do, live like I do, think like I do. I know some of them just like it for the "reality tv" factor, since I rarely screen myself.

But, really, how do people see me overall?

I mentioned to a friend, yesterday, that I had purchased a new pair of glasses. His girlfriend asked me what they looked like and I tried to describe the style, failing miserably, lamely saying to her something along the lines of, "They're very much my style, very me."


This launched into a discussion of, again, my lifestyle.

I walk a very fine line.

I am a devoted daughter and a loving sister.
I have many widespread social groups, people I have been good friends with for years.
If someone, friend or new acquaintance needs me, I am there.

But I'm tangenting.

People call me when they need help. People come to me for advice, come to me to vent, come to me when they're depressed.
My long-term lovers are dedicated friends, even the ones I no longer sleep with.
I make friends with strangers constantly, help people whenever I see a need. Even when I'm wandering the streets of Los Angeles, certainly not the most friendly city, strangers will stop and talk to me repeatedly throughout the day.

My friends know this. My friends see how I interact with people, see how I interact with my family.

And then they see me go through men like popcorn. Some get to stay, some don't. Some of my friends actually get to see me when I shift from friendly conversation with them to "I want him, I'll have him" mode. They get to see that mood change, that shift in my hips, how my voice changes so slightly, how my posture takes on a different cast, and chin tilting a little to the side.

Sometimes they call me a man-eater. Sometimes a predator. Sometimes a shark.

Last night, two of them got to see me do a five hour long dance, turning someone I had lost a few months prior, who said he would never speak to me again, to someone who could not stop touching me.

How do they reconcile the two images?

... ... ...

When they talk about me in clubs, I know they watch me dance... I take joy in their words. So much hateful bile has been spewed about me in the last few months, simply because I refused to sleep with someone and he took offense, that I have become almost a pariah. I have now become, through no direct actions of my own, a slut of epic proportions.

Unfortunately for that group, my actions only scream "slut" to the uneducated and, since I try not to socialize at clubs anyhow, my social life there has been completely unaffected. They tried so hard to damage me, but they did it so it would hurt a normal girl. That must be so frustrating for them, seeing how it has done nothing for all the work they have put into it.

I love when they watch me dance, though. I love how they want me, love how they loathe me, love that they will never look as good as I do on the dance floor and they know it, god they know it. Even with everything they have said, I know I could crook one finger at them and they would come running. They would brag about how they "conquered" me to their friends.


... ... ...

Sunset and Vine, northwest corner is Borders, one street east is Amoeba Records. I go there, some weekends, to stock up on music and books. This weekend was music for the road, and some spoken word sets. I'll listen to them as I drive up to San Francisco.

Started off the day getting my eyes checked. My right is degrading so much due to my constant reading, my prescription is miles off. I found a pair of stainless steel glasses, black, elegant, and a bit severe. Just that edge I like so much in everything I wear.

Afterwards, I drove over to Little Tokyo. There is a mostly abandoned shopping center on Fourth and Alameda, on the third floor is a u-don house, Issen Joki. It's almost always empty. The classical Japanese music soothes me. I've been going there for about ten years. It's a secret spot, a cooling down spot, a place where I center myself. I can run through memories there, of people I have brought, of dates, of adventures, of late nights clubbing.

I curled up with Nabokov's Despair, and a pot of tea. The same old woman, never changing, has worked there as long as I have been going. I can disappear for two years, come back, and it is still as though nothing has changed. It's a place for breathing.

Then Amoeba, then Borders, then I'm on the corner of a roof of a parking lot, seven stories up, a cup of hot chocolate in my right hand, looking over all of Los Angeles and Hollywood. If the day had been clearer, the ocean would have been visable.

It was beautiful, though. You can see the entire city, and the wind is wonderful, whipping my hair up and around as I leaned against the cement wall. Hot chocolate soothes me, the wind soothes me, and being alone... happy as a clam. It was all I could have wanted. Moments of perfect peace.

... ... ...

Time ravaged.

Sitting on a counter, I suddenly remember.

I remember why I did what I did. I remember why I pushed myself until I was a pile of wreckage.

I remember driving myself into the ground, driving my friends and family away, injuring anyone who came close. I remember abusing relationships, abusing the good natures of others, of causing damage, of causing chaos.

Slowly it seeps back into mind, water under a doorway.

I remember the whys.

I needed to cross that boundary. I needed to be beyond redemption. I needed to be not worth life, not worth living, that I was causing so much pain by being that if I was gone, it would be a relief, not a sorrow. I needed to nose-dive past the point of caring, nose-dive past the place where anyone could love me.

Burning into the ground.

I was trying to detach from this life so I could leave it. So I could slice my wrists, bleed out, and no one would miss me. Standby for launch.

We're coming up on nine years since I started the course of events that led me to the now.

I will untangle this.

1 comment:

  1. I like this posting. I like it a lot. I count three different Poetries in it.

    The first is the self-assured Poetry, who rises above the petty sniping of the clubbers.

    The second is the lone-wolf Poetry, who finds nourishment for her body and soul in a nearly deserted Japanese restaurant.

    The third is the self-destructive Poetry, who looks for answers as to why she's self-destructive.


    I've discovered very few perfect, irrefutable answers in life. The best we do is find approximate answers. We try them on to see if they work. If they do, we keep them for whatever temporary period they function. When they stop, we look for other, approximate answers.

    That's what life is. Continual trial and error, where we look for the best, approximate answers.

    There is, however, one answer that's perfect and irrefutable, Poetry.

    It's that your writing is beautiful.