Monday, August 31, 2009

Body is sore, though not nearly as bad as it was after that threesome that was followed up by a morning of cross-fit. I did love how I could hardly move between the bruises on my skin and the muscle tension, propping myself up against a wall in the SFO airport waiting for my flight.

Last night was spent mired in Shakespeare. I felt like I was drowning in asshattery poorly disguised in flowered verse. Deception, I don't understand. Villany for the sake of villany I also do not understand. I need a motive. Much Ado About Nothing, both the book followed by the movie, left me annoyed. The wordplay, his puns, the innuendo, was lovely.

The characters, their failings, and the complete inability anyone could have in relating to them, was not.

Heart of Darkness was so much better. My bare feet kicked over the side of a leather armchair at Starbucks, highlighter alternately dangling from my fingers or my lips, happily burying myself in a battle between lofted civilization and the internal darkness of man, the changes that take place, but on the inside, as the good doctor told Marlowe.

Now that, that was a book.

I've started Chopin's The Awakening in order to free up the coming weekend and actually read my pleasure books. East of Eden and A Preferred Blur have been tossed by the wayside (the backseat of my car) until reading can resume.

Finished my paper last night, post-phonecall from GV8, discussing where he is, what he wants. Ever the pleaser, I tell him to tell me his desires, and I will act accordingly. More time spent will, uncontrollably, mean emotions entangled no matter what I wish to do because I've violated my own set rule: not to make lovers out of men you would actually date. So I tell him this, that if he is willing to explore that again, after calling a halt on our progression towards a relationship, then he needs to inform me. And if he does not wish to do so, we need to continue spending the amount of time we already do, so I do not get entangled with him.

If that happens, I will need to pick up another partner. I will need to pull back from him and exert balance in my life with a man of equal value, if I can find one that suits.

My monogamous nature, such as it is, makes this hard.

When I attach, I lose interest in others. I have no need for outside partners, unless it pleases the one I am with.

Which means, right now, while I would be able to have sex without issue with Playboy or HWF, because I have been with them before and repeatedly, a new partner makes me uncomfortable. I would have to break myself of that, make myself uncomfortable, and sleep with someone, like Ev, that I know would please me, once I got over this internal distaste in touching men other than GV8 or those previously established.

And Ev still is pursuing.

But I will not know what to do with that until GV8 determines what it is he wants.

It bothers me that I'm such a pleaser. That he has shown me what kind of man he is, and I can do nothing but adore, as much as I wish I would not. Someone so strong, so dominant, so experienced... I'm drawn in. He will let nothing defeat him and he has no fears.

So I'll sit and play, sit and wait. See what he does.

And we'll see what happens.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Taking a break to express a moment of glee.

GV8 wants to see more of me. A week ago I mentioned my feelings of jealousy towards his other partners, and that I wasn't as ambivalent to him as I wished to be (all true), and that got him thinking.

I was hoping it would.

So we've been texting and calling more and more, me still obeying my rule I have in place with him: even exchange of initiating texts. If I'm the last one to start a conversation, I will not start one again.

And it works. It works well.

Communicating to him where I am at, what I want, what I do not want... he seems to admire it, desire it, respect it.

So he wants to see more of me. The distance he initiated is not doing it for him. I have been getting hints of this more and more, and was starting to wonder if I was imaginging things.

But I've been following my instincts with him. Being careful and cautious, listening to his word choice, his tone, watching how long it takes him to text me, how he picks up the phone, if he's talking just to be talking with me, as opposed to talking to relay information.

This is the first time I've tried to do this. The long-term game, as it were. Usually I get pursued without wanting to be pursued, or it just falls into my lap. This is me consciously looking at something, and knowing that I want it and taking the steps to have it long term.

Hopefully this will work. Our schedules are so demanding, him with his business and his loft, me with my school, work, and social life. Trying to balance it out. And he's trying to make more time for me.

He wants me. Beyond the sex. He wants me.

I hope this doesn't go down in flames. He's not sure how he wants me, just that he wants more of me. This push/pull game that I've not intentionally been playing, especially this weekend, when I had to cancel on him due to an impending cold, that really seemed to get to him. I was worried it would have negative impact, and sincerely regretting having to tell him I was not going to be joining him for fun and frolic.

It's odd. He... he doesn't know what he wants with me. Only that he does. He seems caught in this space where he knows he wants to see me more, but he's unwilling to commit, to tangle up with me on an emotional level. And, with a man like him, one who seems to make up his mind when it comes to others and stay with it, that must be frustrating and unsettling, to not know what he wants, not fully.

Not sure how to go with this.

But I'm seeing him Thursday, meeting up at the loft.

We'll see how things pan out, at least get a general idea.

He's so much easier to read through text, though. His written word... he can't do his usual poker face. He's oddly charismatic, not in a normal way. It's easy for me to get overwhelmed by how confident and actualizing he is in person. But he doesn't seem to know what his word choice via text reveals.

Anyhow, I'm in the middle of a paper. I need to finish this thing and get to bed.
It's amazing what spending an hour and a half on the treadmill while watching Much Ado About Nothing and making mocking whimpering puppy noises whenever Claudio starts crying will do for one's mood.

Pilots watching stars..


Truly, ugh.

I've got so much in my head right now, but... at the same time, not so much.

Frustrated by the guy last night. I hate how easily influenced I am by people. I mean, this was an inexperienced, ignorant, insecure jock who spent, basically, the entire night attacking me and I am letting it get to me.

I totally am.

How frustrating is that?

I hate when I can't look at something and go, "Well, we're different people and his views are his views and my views are my views..." and leave it at that.

I hate how I was so excited to sit down with someone else who wanted to write and just... write. And, instead, the evening turned into me sitting there under an onslaught of aggressive and, more often than not, insulting questions.

There was no openness in this man.

Not a drop.

Talking about BDSM clubs and how if he went in there and someone even looked at him, he'd just beat the shit out of them.

And I'm sitting there, looking at him, going, "Really? Are you that insecure in your sexuality?"

Because wanting to potentially beat someone up for looking at you is a pretty significant sign of issue there. A confident, secure man would just roll with it.

It was such a disappointment.

And his writing idea? His book idea? Uh... a group of people in their mid-20s looking for identity and career paths in a world that is so unlike their parents' very linear experiences. Hello indie flick. Hello so over in a decade when trends shift yet again.

So I go from excited and happy that I'll be sitting at a Denny's writing all night to being made fun of, being attacked, being told how unhealthy and wrong my life has been and how it continues to be, the whole while him making a disclaimer that he's "really concerned about people" so this is why he "feels the need to tell people when they're being unhealthy".

Talking. To. A. Wall.

Emails me that he hopes some of what he said "rubs off on me".

That he hopes, as I said, that I wasn't disappointed in that he wasn't one of those guys I could just hook up with.

A. No.
B. His personality, his outlook, his inexperience, was very much not outweighed by his looks. I don't reward bad behavior. If he had a great body and we had good chemistry, sure, I'd one-night him. But he didn't. He had a post-jock body. You know the one I mean. When a guy is all buff and active in high school and then moves to a desk job or goes into college and eating fast food all the time so the structure is still there and you can look at their face and see where they used to be hot before their chin started rounding up and their skin started sagging under the unexpected weight, and this layer of fat starts spreading over the muscles on their chest and stomach, and you can still feel that muscle as it leaves over the years, but they never get it back and their body feels so betrayed.
C. No.

It was just a nasty experience and I'm still feeling that grime you accumulate when you encounter something that doesn't quite vibe right and if that ever happens again, rude or not, I'm going to excuse myself and leave. I had the biggest instinct, after talking to him for just a few minutes, that I should go to the restroom, call a friend, and tell them to call me in fifteen minutes.

I've never done that before.

I usually just tough it out.

But I really wanted to write.

So I tried. And everytime I started going he would start in on me again with the insults and the advice and the therapy and the total lack of understanding that when things like my life happen, you don't fit in anymore, if you ever fit in at the first place and there are other ways of being.

There is more than one version of happiness, more than one version of being healthy, more than one idea of what love is, what success is.

He couldn't get that. It sailed over his head.

And me being me, I was polite. I was polite and answered his questions and teased him without going too far (in my opinion anyway) like a good spokeswoman of the sexually-free females.

God, he made me feel dirty, though. Pawing through my notebook, making exclamations, asking questions, telling me what I did wrong, where I should meet men, how I will know if I meet a good man (apparently, all Jewish men are good men, or so he informed me) and how to keep a good man. Oh, and, of course, the definition of a "good" man.

Being incredibly sarcastic and insulting the entire time.

I shouldn't have stood for it. I should've just walked out, fuck politeness, I shouldn't have to deal with this crap.

But I want to learn. I want to learn about as many views and ideas as I can in this world and he was one that I only encounter online because our social species avoid each other in life. It was a learning opportunity, and he made his kind, the standard white American jock male, even more detestable to me. To be avoided as much as I can, unless I happen to have a ball-gag in my glove compartment, which I never do but might actually start because some of them are hot. Roofies, chloroform+cloth, condoms, and a ball-gag. The V-Starter Kit.

Oh, that would be priceless.

Hehhe, I'm cheering myself up.

It bothers me, a bit, that I wasn't able to walk out.

That the combination of wanting to learn, wanting to be polite, wanting to represent my "type" well, to be a good spokesperson... I should know better than this. I should stop allowing the occasional person to make me uncomfortable just for the sake of politeness. I mean, they're not being polite, so why must I always be polite and respectful?

I need to be more assertive in these situations.

I should have just looked at him after his first few declarations and said, "Sorry that you drove out here for nothing, but I don't think this is helping my writing and I need to leave now."

Buuuut, I didn't.

I sat and took it.

I always forget how difficult people are. I surround myself with like minds, or at least open-minded individuals because that's what I appreciate, because that's what I consider healthy. To be able to accept others, no matter what your differences.

Trying to toss myself in with a regular joe, even for just a couple of hours... no, that was just not the best idea. Yes, I can fake it. But I wasn't looking to fake being normal while writing. What good would that be?

And I know that in a week or two, I'll have forgotten all about it, that in a few days, the lingering effects of his internal discontent pushed to external issue will have gotten out of my system, especially once I start catching up with my friends during the week. The Bassist and I are going out on Friday night, I'm seeing C on Thursday (and probably my concert buddy), hanging out with my TV-marathoning friend tomorrow, school Tuesday and Wednesday (and I already made friends with an interesting tattooed male who is the drummer of a decently popular metal band). Also should have the funeral on Friday, so I'll be seeing family as well.

I wish people weren't so judgemental. I wish people could look at each other and say, "It's not for me, but I respect that you enjoy it," instead of the constant fighting and judgement and declarations of wrongness and psychological issue and accusations of bad parenting, of being molested as a child, being beaten as a child, being picked on as a child. It's a constant search for something to blame, something that makes what the other person likes or does invalidated, to show that what one has chosen for oneself is somehow better than what other people choose for themselves.

I wonder if it just comes down to security in a lot of cases. That people aren't secure in the choices they made, or they aren't secure with who they've become, so they have to look at the people around them that make different choices and tell them how incredibly wrong they are for not towing the line like a good citizen.

But, then, in the case of religion, which is always so outwardly offensive (not offensive like "oh, you offend me" but more of the "on the attack" offensive), people seem to be very secure in their views, in their gods, in their morals, and yet they still run around like angry idiots proclaiming to those who do not share their beliefs that something is wrong with them, that the Devil is in them, that their judgement is clouded, that they're going to Hell.

People so delight in telling others that. It's crazy.

If I was at all religious, I certainly wouldn't wish to be the one to inform a friend, or even a stranger, that they were doomed to eternal pain and suffering. I mean, what a mood kill.

Sometimes I think I should read more.

No matter where I go, there's people. There's always these people with their external proclaimations and their trudging ways. You talk to them and, yes, some of them are nice, but it mostly just pushes me more and more outside of everything because it's so rare for me to actually strike up a conversation with a stranger (which I do fairly often) and actually meet someone I can connect with at all.

I spent this weekend in Orange County. I was surrounded by tan Christians in white and khaki, women my age and younger, married and pushing around strollers, living in the same cookie-cutter homes, drinking their Starbucks, slowly putting on weight or wrinkles, their husbands in boardshorts and flipflops, carrying their kid on one arm while their wife orders their insane drink with more adjectives than should exist when talking about coffee. Bleach blondes, tiny shorts, boys on skateboards with their clothing plastered in brand names, like they're part of one of the skater teams. I might start slapping "Clorox" and "Miller" stickers on them and make them race around the fountains and palm trees.

So many small children, so many young women already popping out a brood. I run into people from high school occasionally, and I look at them in bewilderment and amusement. What it must be like to have that one path, to graduate high school, go straight into college, marry while still in college, pop out a baby as soon as you're done with college and, with your parents' help, buy a nice home in suburbia and work at the same job for the rest of your life, while your children wash, rinse, and repeat the life you just led.

I wonder what that would be like.

I wonder what it must be like for these girls that are the definition of "Orange County" with so many options of boys that are the definition of "Orange County". To know that, because of the shared and average experience, that you could pick among any man you see at Starbucks and have a decent match. That being average, that falling not only on the mean, but the median and mode as well, how nice it must be.

I mean, really. All an "OC Girl" has to do to find a mate is to pop into Yard House or TAPS or any number of the bars in Fullerton or The Block and pick the guy that appeals. No conversation necessary.

Yes, I know, I'm being annoyingly generalizing and bitter about this. I shouldn't be. I picked my path and, for the most part, I enjoy it. It's just hard, spending so much time here, in this area that I could never blend into. There is not a single city in this entire county where I could go and look normal, be normal. I'm pale, dark, and curvy. I don't have the jewelry section of Forever 21 dumped across my body. I'm not wearing mini-dresses and outrageously high heels that ruin my back and make me walk like an unsteady T-Rex.

Being here all weekend, even though most of yesterday was reading Heart of Darkness and most of today was reading Much Ado About Nothing and hanging with the family, I still have this awareness of separation. That if I would want to go and blend in somewhere, I'd have to drive about 40 miles.

Which isn't too bad, all thing considered.

I could be living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Or Santa Fe Springs, NM.

I'm just whining and bitching to myself because that guy last night grew on me like mold and made me question my own sanity because I allow myself to be open to views in the way that I do, so I can understand, and then I fit them on myself and forget who I am because I'm trying so hard to look at the world through someone else's eyes.

I'm glad that I do that, but I hate how it makes me feel afterwards. Shaking it off... makes me feel like I'm almost vomiting inside, trying to get them out of me, stomach upset and off-center. I wish I was strong enough to look and not let them get in my head. I feel as though if I had any self-definition, if I knew who I was, it wouldn't have such an impact on me.

Maybe. Maybe not.

It's all made me feel very lonely.

I know. Me, lonely? It happens from time to time. I'm usually more of an "alone" girl than a "lonely" girl. But I do occasionally hit that point where I wish I had a man in my life, a man who I understood, who understood me. Someone I could talk with and it wouldn't be a debate, but a sharing of ideas, an acceptance, and a knowledge of a shared truth.

How nice would that be?

So I sit here, in my bedroom, laptop on a desk inherited from a friend, mail next to me, reclining in my oversized office chair, wishing I could just give up the ghost of hope. Wishing that I could be satisified just by myself, wishing that I didn't feel so alien in such a huge city, wishing that I didn't so badly want understanding, that I could just be who I am and that that would be enough.

But it's not. Not right now.

That's the way it goes, though. As years go by and more and more experiences and ideas pile up, as more things happen, it becomes harder and harder to relate to people, and you're left wondering that, at the end of the day, if you should even bother trying to connect.
Lying in my parents' bed with my father, my front to his back, arm over his shoulder as we talk. Quiet jokes and laughter, he hurts and I can feel it.

I ask him what he is doing today, and after a short pause, he says, "I had somethings I was going to do today but..." and this hesitation, this impending negation and admittance to depression that he never engages in, never lets it impact his life to it affects his productivity, "...I just don't feel like doing them."

It is hard.

It is hard watching this man be so depressed, so very hurt, his father, then his mother, now his sister that he was set to protect until the end of her days, they're all gone.

And he can't even work, he can't use his usual hiding place, burying himself in paperwork and duties, because he cannot focus. He is incapable of doing the work.

This is something so new and foreign to him, something that shows how this event hit him like a meteor. Something so unexpected, something so impacting.

We talk, lying in bed. I work on the knot in his shoulder, my thumbs kneading until they give way, switching to a driving elbow as he rolls it, releases the muscle.

He lies in bed with the fan circling above him, repetitive movements casting rhythmic shadows.

And then I go.
Quick check in.

Sunday morning, 1030AM, building up to be a little less hot today.

Mother has been manning the phones, Father has been working and trying to forget, Sister and I are watching over the two of them, trying to make sure neither of them breaks.

Never thought my sister would play that role.

But she is.

It's nice.

Funeral arrangements were done on Friday, my mother and I driving around, me keeping her distracted, helping her when she needed help, making my usual dry-humored comments when (vaguely) appropriate.

My father is running on autopilot, like he does, like I do. Self-enforced training to never shut down no matter what happens. To keep moving forward because the world isn't going to stop for you to mourn.

We had a couple of interesting conversations about that in the last few days, him and I.

And my mother and I had further conversations regarding that.

It's odd, how much he holds back from her, how much he tells me. Because we're so alike, because he knows I'll understand and he doesn't want to worry his wife.

Not entirely sure what to think about that, but I'll come to a conclusion eventually.

... ... ...

Hit up Craigslist last night in an effort to find a single-serving writing buddy for a project I am working on. Ended up bunking down at a nearby Denny's with this ex-jock with views so opposite mine as to be the start of a sitcom.

The night turned into a three hour conversation regarding sex.

But not in that way that conversations turn to sex because both parties are interesting and trying to rile up the other and keep thoughts on sex, but actually him just being blown away and fascinated by my history and being unable to wrap his brain around it.

He was so concerned about me. Incredibly concerned that I was not learning from my "mistakes" and I was placing myself in danger with GV8. He was trying so hard to convince me that I should just go to school, like I am, and pick out a nice guy from the grad program. A normal guy.

Like a nice, normal guy would be desirable to me.

And he was like, "Oh, just try it. Learn to like him."

Because it's better to be with someone normal and healthy so you can feign those symptoms than to be with someone that works for you. Got it.

Also the suggestion of therapy.

That suggestion... gyeh. I don't like it. It's essentially telling a person that A) something is wrong with them that needs to be fixed and they can't do it on their own and B) the person suggesting it is a model of health that can look down from above and pronounce those people around him as healthy or unhealthy, depending on his worldview.

While it wasn't a hostile evening, it was certainly one of him being captivated (his own words) by me and my life, but condemning it at the same time. He couldn't stop reading my notes.

I hate being told that something is wrong with me.
I hate being told that there's only one way to be.

He told me there was only one way of being healthy. And that enjoying rough sex was a sign of psychological issue, that normal, healthy people would not engage in BDSM activities, that no one actually liked that stuff.

And people have these views. They actually do. This guy was a smart dude, UCLA grad, double major, polisci and something else that I don't remember. Ex-jock so he knows the wildness that kids get up to.

But he couldn't get it in his head that there are other ways to be.

And not one universal definition of psychologically healthy.

Frustrating, annoying, almost hurtful.

I wish I hadn't been so tired.

Afterwards, he sent me an email, sending me a link to something he was telling me about. And a note apologizing to me that if I had been looking for someone to hook up that night, he's sorry that he couldn't oblige, but he's not that kind of guy.

I looked at this email and was like, "Did you completely not pay attention? Did our conversations just go over your head??"

It was frustrating. Veiled insults, sarcasm, total dismissal that sex could be healthy, telling me that people couldn't possibly drop their lives at my feet like they do so often, deriding more often than not. And so judgemental without realizing it. Masking that judgement in concern.

He was so incredibly messed up about himself, about sexuality. Just a tangle of knots secured by education and religion. One way to be.

Only one.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's funny. For once, I don't feel like writing. This is the last thing I want to be doing right now.

Okay, not the last thing.

The last thing I would want to me doing right now would be being eating alive by sharks or gang-raped by a pack of Down Syndrome kids.

Actually, I think I would prefer the sharks.

...Yeah, thinking on that, definitely the sharks.

Took off from work a little after noon, drove down to C's place to grab my stuff, hit Hot Java for their Mocha Blast, skated by the non-official student bookstore to grab my texts for this semester, and then headed home.

$230 for textbooks, though I've knocked that down with aid of Amazon, and am going to be trolling used bookstores tomorrow with my mother to see if I can find the other items, get it below $150.

Speaking of Amazon, yeah, me on that site is not a good thing. I think a sort of subconscious financial preservation has kept from from using it in the past.

Well, I used it for the first time. And overshopped, picked up some things that I did not need, that were not on my required reading material list.

Ah well.

Got home, my mother and sister were at the grocery store, so I did what I do when I'm sitting at home and have no idea when I'm going to be put in motion: watch whatever channel is marathoning America's Next Top Model.

No, that isn't sarcasm. I love that show. It's my weakness. I'm fascinated by the photoshoots and the make-up and fashion and the photography itself... drool.

They got home, a couple hours(!) later. By then, I had vaccuumed and cleaned up the kitchen, returned things to their proper places so my mother would not walk in and drop her shoulders like she does when the house is messy and she's feeling overwhelmed.

We ran an errand involving one of the cats, talked and planned out the next few days, about the relatives that are coming into town and the sleeping/bathroom arrangements.

Let me do some backstory here, father's side of the family.

My grandfather was raised on a farm in South Dakota with his sister. I do not remember the reason behind it, but he decided to move to Los Angeles and started working for SCE.

My grandmother was raised on a farm in Arkansas with her two sisters, one of which died fairly recently, the other of which committed suicide in her 40s. She went to a school for typists and decided that, once she graduated, she was going to move to Los Angeles to find work.

So she and her best friend packed up their steamer trunks (which I still have hers with her name engraved on it) and hopped on a bus heading west.

They moved into a house that was renting rooms to women, headed by an older married couple, and worked at whatever jobs they gained of which I do not know the details of.

My grandfather was friends with the owner of this house, and he happened by one day while the girls were out in the front yard and demanded an introduction to the woman that would become his wife.

They began dating, my grandfather constantly taking her out to shows at the Hollywood Bowl (the programs from some of which I still have), but she decided to move back to Arkansas.

They wrote. They wrote and wrote and wrote and we have so many letters, even recorded records my grandfather made.

And she came back, bringing with her a cake.

My grandfather used to say as soon as she stepped off that train with that cake, he knew that she was the one for him.

So they married.

Eventually, she had their first child, my father's older sister. My grandfather doted on her, though not as much as he doted on his wife. She was spoiled and fixated on, loved deeply.

Then my father was born.

Something wasn't right, though. Theory has it that my grandfather became jealous of the amount of attention his wife was spending on their son. She was his world, his everything, children were a secondary matter, and any attention she was not spending on him... no, he didn't like it at all.

My father was raised with this hostility, to the point of where, in high school, my grandfather ceased to acknowledge his existence. Mail would be thrown away, callers would be told they had the wrong number, that no one by that name lived there. The breaking point, I believe, was when my father was offered a full scholarship to the school of his choice- any school would take him- and my grandfather, still not acknowledging him, refused to sign any papers that would allow this to take place.

So he moved out.

Couch-surfing and living in his car, attending Pasenda City College, where he met my mother. Where she continually refused him and his advances because he was such a known player. A "man about town" she called him.

The first time he proposed, she informed him that she wouldn't marry him on a stack of Bibles.

He wore her down eventually.

Then there was a car accident, one that nearly killed him. Between the near-loss of his son, and my mother's influence, the gap between father and son started to mend, though it would never fully heal.

During this, though, my aunt continued to be raised as the golden child, protected, loved, nutured. She had depression issues, but we all did, and still the only two people in my family that imbalance has skipped was my grandmother and my sister.

But something was wrong with my aunt.

And she married.

She married a small-time actor, they traveled the world, lived in Asia for a few years, until she was finally able to escape him. You see, he had anger issues. Abuse, isolation, beating, I do not know how bad it was, but we do not talk about it much.

She escaped and they divorced.

Years later, she met her second husband. I was born by then, as was my sister. The wedding was held in Big Bear and I still remember the awful flowery dress I wore, the silverware against the glasses and the speeches.

They married and moved to Arkansas to be with the rest of the family, the few of us that did not end up in Los Angeles.

And things were good.

Until the accident.

Until the day that her husband, a construction worker, had a beam break under him and he fell six stories, paralyzing himself from the chest down.

It has been many years since that has happened, I was still a child, not even in my teens, remembering seeing him again, that tall, strong, and tanned man, weathered face, kind eyes, large beaked nose, constant button-up shirts, though not the business kind, but more of a western look with those bolo ties that my grandfather also favored. I remember the wheelchair, the novelty of it.

Physical therapy, surgeries, legal battles, more surgeries and more surgeries.

They would travel in their motorhome, going from Arkansas to Los Angeles, then up north, camping and seeing the country, a motorhome full of dogs and cats that they would park in my grandmother's large backyard for a few months, spending time with the family, my parents driving us up to visit, me staying for weeks in the summer with my aunt feeding my book habit, coasting along Main Street to the library that she would occasionally volunteer at, and I would return back to my grandmother's with stacks and stacks of books, maxing out the limit allowed, searching for hours for those that interested me, browsing the ancient computers for topics and ideas, hunting for perfect pages and information.

My uncle's back got worse, so they stopped traveling and bought a large property in Arkansas, and a mobile home to place beside their catfish pond. I never did visit.

To deal with her constant depression, my aunt decided to try an experimental surgery, having a device implanted in her skull that would send electrical shocks through her brain in the theory that it would stimulate serotonin production. It didn't seem to work, would just send her into coughing spasms when it went off on its set schedule.

When I was 13, my grandfather, my father's father had a series of strokes. Combined with his diabetes, he passed away. This was an interesting time for me, as it solidified the role I continue(d) to play. My mother still tells the story of how, when I went up to visit my grandfather one weekend, and saw how wrecked my family was over it, over his inability to remember where he was, what was going on, and the look on his face when he would glance at his wrist and see that hospital band and know that something was horribly, horribly wrong and the last few days, weeks, months, that he had would be spent in this haze of not knowing, of not truly being with his wife, his everything, and this great silent man would tear up, look at us, look at me with those eyes overwhelming in their desperation, in their knowledge...

I kicked everyone out.

I saw this and told everyone to leave. To go get food, to nap, to get out of the hospital and regroup and take as long as they needed because I was there and I would take care of it.

And they did leave.

At 23, my grandmother started going south. She lived ten years past her husband's death, and we all assumed to our core that once one of them went, the other would be behind them in months.

But she did not.

She stayed up in the High Desert, in Hesperia, in the house that they designed together, the house that they built together, their dream house, with the stray cat that her husband charmed, a calico that went from sleek to chubby with the food they gave it.

Ten years in that house.

Ten years alone, sleeping a bed built for two, in a bathroom with two sinks, with the record player that would fill their days and nights with the music that they loved, that they danced to, a closet full of his clothes, a dresser unused, a table set for one, a connected pair of recliners that they raised due to her bad hip, where they would lean back and watch westerns together on TMC and AMC.

They moved to the High Desert because of her lungs. Because the Los Angeles air was so bad for her, was doing such damage to her already weak lungs, that they had to go somewhere cleaner, somewhere drier. So they moved from their house on Ivar Avenue in Temple City, a house on the same block where my parents purchased their first house so they were close, and moved an hour away from life, from family.

When I was 24, she died.

We pulled the tube out of her throat that was working her lungs for her, the family gathered around, I watched the blood on the end of that plastic pipe catch on the corner of her mouth, and she died.

My aunt went further downhill.

In my grandmother's will, it was determined that everything was to be left to my father, because my grandmother knew that her daughter would be unable to take care of herself and was relying on my father to do it. This included the house, her dream house, because she was afraid that her daughter would wreck it in the way that she does.

My father was unwilling to sell this house.

Not because it was his parents' house, something that was built for love, a physical representation of their goals realized, but because he knew that his brother-in-law would not outlive his sister, and he needed a place, a house, where she could live because she would be unable to fend for herself when that time came.

Almost two years later, his sister shot herself in the head.

I'm stuck between two places.

The feelings of my father, of his assigned role, not just as an adult, but as a child, to protect his older sister, his mentally frail and emotionally unstable sister, and then having her kill herself, having her not talk to him, to have that bond of life experience shared not reach across the miles, that she could not pick up the phone, that he did not catch on when he talked to her... not just that, but to have the last person of his original family die, someone he assumed would be there with him until the end, someone that he would continue to age with, to care for, to celebrate with... and she left.

The feelings of my aunt.

The point at which one is either so unstable that, without forethought, takes a gun and ends their lives, or the alternative. The planning. Picking out a weapon. Spending days, weeks, months, eyeing this gun as your exit out. Picking your location, daydreaming, hoping, being so lost in the idea that you need to leave, that there is nothing worth living for, that people would be better off if you would just go ahead and do it already. Imagining your funeral. Imagining the crime scene team scrubbing the blood and brains out of the woodpanelled walls or white paint on the inside of your trailer, knowing that your husband will not be able to enter that room, will not be able to look at that wall that pieces of your skull flew across, that splatter, knowing that he would have to be the one to find you, that there was no other option, and the damage that would do to him was so outweighed by your own pain you no longer cared, that he would spend the next several days, several weeks, sleepless, phone ringing off the hook, social pressures coming down, the constant questionings of okay, and he's wondering if he is okay, what he's going to do, why the woman he promised himself to love and cherish and protect left him voluntarily, that everything should have been able to be worked through and did he do something wrong, was there anything he could have done, did he say something to you that set you off, what were his last words to you, when did he tell you that he loved you, and he combs over the memories of the last time he talked to you, wondering if his missed those signs, wondering if the way you ran your fingers through your hair, touched his arm, hugged him, kissed him, eyed the drawer or closet where the gun was stashed and if only he had noticed, if only he had been paying attention.

When the gun went off, did he hear it?

Did he rush to you in his wheelchair or with his cane or crutches, wondering if you were okay, wondering what had happened? Was he asleep, woken by the noise, not hearing when you left the bed? Was he out fishing, or out in town? What was the last thing you said to him, and how long did you stare at the gun before you finally lifted it to your head? How long did you wait, how many breaths did you take before you determined that you had breathed enough that this one, this one was the last one? How many times prior to this had you lifted that gun and put it back down? How many times had you told yourself you would not do such a thing, that you would get help, that people loved you, people needed you, and you weren't done or you were just too afraid of what would happen once that bullet entered your skull, weren't ready to know, and then the pain and depression outweighed that fear, lifted that gun, weightless and you knew it was time.

Did you close your eyes? Were you crying? Was it a mechanical movement, or were you sobbing, hunched over in the dark, in the light? In one of your shirts, usually with cats on it, and the wooden animal earrings, big brown framed glasses- were they on or off? Did you not want to see? Did you set them on a table? Did you have a drink, or many, to dull the nerves?

Or did you just dive right in?

Seems to be the season for suicides

My father's only sibling killed herself yesterday. Wednesday day, Tuesday evening. One of the two.

More later.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Like Joan of Arc coming back for more...

I'm mentally caught between two places.

The now... and the then.

I once, years and years ago, walked in on some friends watching the director's commentary on the movie Dark City. I was only there for seconds, but it was long enough to catch the sentence:

"Are we just the sum of our experiences?"

Last night, in class, studying the Romantics, focusing on the self, on identity, on an unchanging core. That you are who you are, no matter what age, no matter what happens. The professor tossed up William Wordsworth's "The Rainbow".

My heart leaps up when I behold
A Rainbow in the sky:

So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!

The Child is father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be

Bound each to each by natural piety.

A simple poem. A quick readthrough produces the general idea that he wishes to keep his views of the world. (Though some of my classmates took this poem to be more related to The Bible... the rainbow and all... bleech.)

As we talked, as we read and reread this poem, as the teacher lectured on the meaning of it (which I disagreed with her interpretation, but as I am petitioning this class, I'm not going to argue).

But what got me, as I looked at it, as I let my mind wander and soak in the words my classmates were tossing up, was the middle:

So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!

The Child is father of the man;

The idea of the Child being the father of the man, that who you were creates who you are, and the Romantic notion of the "I", the self-identity... it brings more to it.

The sentiment of death before change, death before straying from who he is, that anything else that he could become would not be good enough, or that an event that would change him so strongly, so completely could be so horrible and traumatic he would not wish to experience it and live.

...Or perhaps that his faith in who he is is so very strong that he is willing to invite death if he ever changes.


"This is who I am. This is who I am not."

A Romantic, in the literary sense, I am not. The idea of the unchanging core, of that sense of "I", maybe I did know myself at one time, but the shakings of my reality, the observation of those around me breaking down, the man I held higher than anything, my father, shattering in anger, people straying from how they present themselves in times of stress, or when their need to be viewed a certain way is overruled by their own self-interest in other fields... no one is constant. We are blurred creatures, exiting our own boundaries, self-made and society-made, as needed, when the fear or sense of propriety that keeps us in is knocked out by other things.

My father, a man so strong, so intelligent, so controlled and emotionless, turning into a raging beast, defying my definition of "father" and going into another category that I'd never thought possible.

Myself, a girl set on love, on romance, on soul mates and waiting for marriage, never to do drugs, never to drink or smoke, never to party... losing it, losing it all in a mess of depression, angry, anxiety, mis-medication, self-interest, self-harm, and madness.

How can I ever define myself if I know that I may change at any moment? That one incident can lead into a series of unforeseen events that will alter how I view myself and the world? And that that potential definition I so strive for could harm me in such an event?

So I stay fluid, dancing between the lines of who I was, who I am, and who I can and will be.

... ... ... ...

The Then.

My mind is on Vermont, just north of Wilshire Boulevard, in K-Town.

Novemeber, maybe December, 2008.

It's cold out. The sky is clear and dark, probably coming up on 1030PM, not too bad.

I'm listening to Garbage's "Vow" on repeat, being followed by my date for the evening in his little Suburban. City lights are orange and red, highlights of yellow, condos to my left angular and high. Those same condos' residents complain when the clubs around then play the music too loud, so the windows at the venues must be kept shut.


I love it.

Turning onto Wilshire, he follows. Drive down a little ways, wave to the valet and park myself.

We dance.

This is one in a line of men that I have brought to this particular club with me. The regulars, I know, are probably whispering. I'd listen, but that would involve caring. I'd listen, but that would involve sticking myself in a world that no longer makes sense to me.

See what you want, take what you want.
If you don't know how to get it, learn.
Be safe, be respectful, set boundaries.
Communicate with your partner, even if they're just there for the evening.
Be aware of yourself. Listen to yourself.
You can learn something new from everyone you interact with should you bother to listen.

I initiated contact, like I do, when we first walked into the club. The bouncer, a friend of mine, went to pat him down and I volunteered to do the job for him, letting my hands roam over his back, ass, and thighs, lightly gripping the muscles and near purring to myself. He had such a nice back.

We dance.

In all of the men that I have brought to the club, that I have brought to any club, this one, this one is the only one that has been able to move with me. The only one whose rhythms match mine.

For a first night, we're good.

Given time, we could be amazing. It's something I've wanted for so long. A partner to dance with, one where it isn't a battle to learn each other, but a natural awareness and synchronization. I've never found it before, have not found it since.

We dance.

And when it gets too hot, we step out onto the patio, three stories up, cold night, leaning against a wall, his hands running over me, resting on my ass.

"I'm going to buy this," he tells me, squeezing, "And build a cottage on it so I can vacation there in the summer."

It's always been my ass. When someone tells me they're an ass man, I know they're mine, just as when someone tells me they love eyes. I have a natural sway to my hips and an ability to look at a man as though he's everything at that moment.

By the time the club closes, I'm more than ready to go back to his place and see the body that I had been touching all night. I mention this to him, and he hesitates. Odd reaction, so I pull back, don't mention it again.

Back to the car, he stops and tells me he has HSV-2.

I handled it well enough, I know, but I wish I had handled it better.

After the initial pause, the disappointment that he has an STD, that this night will not be ending in sex, I tell him that does not stop us from doing other things, and if he is okay with me not sleeping with him, then I would love to return to his place and continue to fool around and talk.

So we do.

His bed is huge and custom made. I fall into it and it's a dream. Kissing and grinding, our pants stay on and zipped all night, though he did try to briefly convince me otherwise. A one-nighter isn't worth the risk, I'd have to see him a lot more and drop my other lovers in faith that he would make time for me, and that we would have a relationship... but noting the bong by his bed, a relationship is not the route this would take. Disqualified by drug-use.

The one thing I remember clearly, through all of the touching and whispering, is him saying, "Let's just see how this would feel..." and turning me onto my stomach, raising my hips.

Perfect alignment, perfect rhymthm.

When I left in the morning, tired, my face propped up in one hand, elbow resting on the window ledge in my car, I inhaled our mixed scents.

I've never smelled the like. We blended, we blended so damn well. The scent the two of us made together was its own creation, a combination of him, me, my perfume, his body soap, and sex. A universe on my skin.

I never saw him again, though we spoke briefly online.

I think my reluctance to sleep with him rendered me useless. No point in having a platonic (or mostly platonic) friend with such good chemistry. Also, the rejection on my end due to something that he considered fairly minor must have stung.

And there are other reasons I'm sure I'm not thinking of.

But I look back, and I wonder what would have happened if I had risked it. If I had dove for the moment, for experiencing what was built between us. Yes, I know, the whole herp thing would have sucked, but sex on that level... it's something you don't find every day. Something I find rarely.

I'm trapped on Vermont in my head, turning onto Wilshire, taking steps into an evening of a future I did not choose, wondering if it was right.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Metal on metal...

More and more, I'm straining towards another division of blogs.

Though it becomes increasingly unlikely as my schedule takes another shift. School is starting tonight. A fifty mile commute to my classes, lovely. My "underling" is starting school as well, going down to part-time, meaning that I am going to have to pick up the slack. That means less writing time.

Already, I have problems maintaining two blogs, the other one neglected as this one went up, me basking in anonymity, knowing I can say what I want about who I want without the desperate emails from men telling me that we needed to go out, that I was the one for them, that only I would understand them, or the growing section of fangirls, girls that I don't know how to handle.

And this blog is still anonymous. Those who have asked for its location have been denied, no matter how close we are, because I'm withdrawn, because I know that even with the closest friendships, things happen and people change, and people are self-serving beyond good, beyond bad, just seeking for themselves.

Someone commented just a little bit ago that I was slumming by making out with a man in a relationship, that I needed to raise my standards. It made me feel as though they hadn't read the post at all, simply skimmed it, not bothering to understand the content, just getting the barest of details and slapping a face on it, a face they understood.

I forgot what that was like.

I'm so used to having my face up, so used to having a backstory, so used to having groups of people reading my stuff and interpreting it that things like that so rarely happen.

But it's something I need to get over.

It does let me see the difference, though.

Things move along though. Inching towards my Master's degree, couch-surfing, socializing much too much, the random social encounters... I've met so many people in so many places and I wonder how many more I will meet before I give up entirely in the barely-there-as-is belief that I might meet someone for me.

I run through southern California, from San Diego to the Valley, digging.

Digging for experience, digging for knowledge, digging for identity, to compare myself to others and say "this is who I am not" because it is so rare for me to say "this is who I am".

I'm 26 in a month and a half and I feel like I'm starring in some crappy indie flick about a girl trying to find herself.

Usually, though, these girls are these delicate creatures who have never fallen in love, never experienced a man, wear wacky scenster clothes, and stumble across their awkward romance while working at a drug store.

Whereas I'm sitting here, wild, damaged, too experienced, always mellow, withdrawn, overanalytical in my simplistic clothing style, glasses, and layered black hair, nose in a book, wondering if I should just start dating only intelligent ex-cons because it seems I get along with those the best.

When I was out with Sad Eyes on Friday night, wandering Downtown Disney, he said he was looking for his Belle, interfering that he was such a damaged beast, saying that he needed the tolerance and understanding of such a woman.

And I find it funny. If you've seen the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, it starts off with Belle being incredibly devoted to her father, nose always in a book, innocent and determined. And then she rescues the Beast from the darkness within him through her faith and understanding, through her determination. She keeps, for the most part, her innocence, only losing it somewhat when the villagers in the town she lived in lost their heads and Gaston went all possessive/avenging his honor batshit.

We were by the west end of the area when he said this, walking back from the Disneyland Hotel. I could not help but chuckle because the last time that tale was raised around me, one of my blogging friends rewrote it in the start of a project where he was redoing fairytales to feature the girls he knew. It was about me, a combination of Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast, where an innocent girl pricks her finger on a spinning wheel and becomes, inside, a beast. In the end, she saves the beast, prevents him from turning back into a human, so they could be beasts together.

I enjoyed it.

So often these damaged men I dig up are looking for redemption through innocence. Looking to be saved like in some Hollywood ideal. Embarassed and distant about their past actions and feelings, they go through women, looking so hard for that one that will see past their behaviors, that will somehow, solely through love, make them whole again.

Every time they hurt another one, one that cannot handle who and what they are, they become angry, frustrated, and more withdrawn. Badges from battle, they wear these girls like shields, keeping people out, yet drawing them in.

I suppose I'm no better.

Looking for a beast of a man, someone I can respect and run with. Someone who pushes like I do, someone who wants to be more, someone who will be more and understand the isolation that comes from this all, comes from being different and wading through crowds, up to your neck in people that you do not want to understand, hoping that someone will grab your hand and yank you out, or at least walk with you until you both find shore.

But that's all fantasy.

And, right now, I've got to be in reality. I have thirty minutes to wrap up work so I can start my lovely commute to class.

Good morning to me.
I'm feeling restless.

That might be the caffeine. Might not.

Examining, briefly, relationships.

GV8, it bothers me that he no longer wants me in a serious relationship capacity. Not that I want him in a serious relationship capacity... I think I could learn a lot from him, experience a lot with him, but I can do that whether or not we're dating. And I do like him. But, in a serious thing, he's not for me. Where we are right now, it's good. It does bother me when he sleeps with others, but his sex drive is high, higher than mine. And he's used to a lot of sex with a lot of people. It does worry me, on an STD level, but he's been swinging and partying his entire life, gets tested regularly, is very cautious, so I'm going to trust him until I can't. There's also my monogamous nature coming through. I've never had a lover not satisfied by just me. I've never had a man sleeping with other women, even when I was sleeping with other men. I mean, Playboy does, but he's a couple hundred miles away from me and we certainly don't have the relationship that GV8 and I do. There's that twinge of jealousy, maybe more than a twinge, but it comes from insecurity on my end. I need to get over that before it drives me insane.

The man with the sad eyes on Friday... damaged. So beyond damaged, with a significant flair for dramatics. I don't... really have interest in knowing more. He's wallowing, and while his headspace is interesting, I don't have interest in dramatics and people without motivation towards improvement. There's a lot going on there, and I'm too busy to concern myself with it.

Sleeve, he got in my head for a few days. His face and his confidence, his experience and social control. I wanted to know more. I have his email, his phone number... and I'm not going to use them. Because that's going to go one of three ways, and two of them are just no good, and the one that could be good isn't even worth it.

I want to go out. I want to start dating again and I don't have the time.

No, not dating dating. That would just be silly. Where I am right now, it's not a healthy place for dating and I'm not going to expose a man to that. At the very least, it's incredibly selfish on my part.

But that loose dating, where you're going out and men are paying attention to you and fawning and flirting and hanging onto every word you say and you end up feeling so desired.

And I think I want that simply because the thing with GV8, my insecurity shining through.

That happens every so often. After rejection, after a week of feeling down, I'll just want to go out and have someone lavish attention on me, prove to me that I am wanted, that I am desirable.

Most of the time, I don't need it. Most of the time, I'm fine on my own.

But then something happens and I slip up and I'm eyeing myself going, "Christ, not again. Get over it."

Sometimes I do. I just put my head down and power through it until the insecurity and self-doubt fades away.

Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I hunt for that not-too-hard-to-find male attention. Not necessarily sex, mind you. Just positive attention.

People, in life, are always surprised when they find out that I'm not a constant fount of self-confidence. And then I feel as though I'm letting them down, especially those younger girls, usually late teens to early twenties, that seem to find me such an object of fascination and intimidation.

So I'm at that point again. Feeling a little unsettled by GV8 and his sex life that does not always include me, wanting to validate or, at least, confirm my desirability.

Which means I'm going to sit and stew. Which means I'm going to deal with this and continue to work on myself to get myself to an acceptable point, a point where I feel desirable on my own. I know that no one ever feels desirable 100% of the time, and that my occasional moments of extreme self-doubt concerning my desirability are, honestly, probably every two or three months, I think I can be better, more secure. And if I cannot provide this for myself, then I shouldn't be expecting it from an outside source.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Release the pressure that builds within...

In the last few days, I've gone from Orange County to Palms to El Segundo to Long Beach to Manhattan Beach to Silver Lake to Long Beach (again) to the Valley to Hollywood to Orange County to Disneyland (technically in OC, but another world entirely) to Huntington Beach, back to the South Bay/Westside.

Somehow, I believe I've managed to avoid Los Angeles, true Los Angeles, entirely.

Even with missing that integral part of this area, being back over on the Westside is a bit of a shock. Tan and toned bodies, surfer shorts and bleach blondes. I forget this stuff too often, don't take it seriously, to be honest. It feels so much like these people are enclosed in this one place, it's rare to see them anywhere else.

I wonder if they're under quarantine.

... ... ...

I keep forgetting if I've eaten or not. The go-go-go that my life has become doesn't lead a lot of room for food, or at least a lot of room for remembering food. Lunchbreak hit, grabbed some coffee, drove back to the office trying to remember if I had eaten breakfast, my body providing no clues to that mystery, a vague memory of chowing down a half-bowl of applesauce in the kitchen, pacing on the white tile in my rush to get going, though I don't know if that was today or last week. The smell of bananas in my desk reminded me I should probably eat, tossed down most of one, then had a couple of cashews while in the car. I need to start planting food for myself so I remember to eat. My father looked at me Saturday morning and semi-jokingly asked if I was leaning towards anorexica these days. I tend to consume more coffee than food of late. Probably should pick up a multi-vitamin to go with my fish oil.

... ... ...

Started reading Rollins' new book (no, I haven't finished East of Eden yet, though I'm still loving it, I've had this book in the trunk of my car for a few days now and I can hardly keep myself from it any longer). I wish he published more. I wish his online blogs weren't so reserved. I wish I could find more writers like him, people that let you muck around in their head, in their innermost thoughts. I value that more than anything when it comes to writing.

I so rarely want to meet famous people (though I've already met him and briefly spoken with him, some months back), so rarely care what they're up to or what they're doing.

But there you go. My mini star-obsession, my hope that there are others out there obsessed with strength and improvement, who keep to themselves and write and rage, who travel and explore cities by themselves, who read too much, write too much, and live in their own heads.

Back to work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thursday, I saw GV8. Sex, dinner, sex. He always starts dominant then moves to sensual. He took us to the Cat & Fiddle on Sunset. I'd never been. The food was... decent. Nothing really to remark on.

Friday afternoon I went to get my arms waxed and took my mother to lunch.

We talked, mostly about my sister and her boyfriend. Near the end of lunch, she says to me, "I was talking to Aunt Val on the phone earlier this week. I was telling her that I miss you, even though you're living with us again I never see you. I told her that you're my rock. She asked if I had told you that and I didn't think I had. But you are my rock. You're the person I call when I need to talk, the person I want to see when I'm upset, the person I can tell anything to."

She is mine.

I don't think I've ever told her that.

She's the thing that holds me to earth. She's one of my closest friends, even though I can't tell her too much about my life, as it would hurt her. I love spending time with her, calling her when I'm able, just to chat, coming home and doing housework for her while she's gone to help her free up some time to, at the very least, get other things done, if not relax. I take her to meet my friends, invite her when we go out, let her know if she ever wants to go clubbing with me, she's more than welcome, though I doubt she ever will be.

She's 54.

I think I will lose it entirely when she dies.

... ... ...

Friday afternoon, after lunch, I drove over to the Anaheim Convention Center.


That's right: World of Warcraft. Diablo. Starcraft. Nerd central and I love it.

Entry, for me, is free. $120 is waived, and I park in a lot that I use each time something happens at the convention center, so I can avoid the park fiasco that occurs way too often.

I hunt my friends down, different groups of people. They all play WoW. I haven't touched it in at least a year. No time.

I watch the males parade around their girlfriends, the select few of them, all tarted up for the convention, looking young and unsure of themselves, but their boyfriends are so proud to have them on their arm.

I slide through crowds. Strangers occasionally come up to talk to me, to tell me how pretty or striking I am, one telling me, "I did not know Baroness had a hot sister!" and taking a photo with me to prove to his friends that he actually had the balls to come up and talk to me. I love nerds. I love how friendly they are, how outrageous they can be, how passionate and angry they are about their games, the awkward shyness around women, and how they each deal with their discomfort.

I'm no better, really. My mood varies from confident and social to quiet and anxious, depending on the setting and how tired I am.

It's hard at bars. Hanging at the bar in the Hilton lobby, packed to the gills, mostly with industry people. I don't drink. Drinking is a social activity, and to be there with a glass of water or soda in hand is declaring seperation. It makes me uncomfortable, a feeling of distance. Men stop and talk to me, touch my hand or shoulder so I say hello, and I am polite to each. As the night wears on, I draw more and more into myself.

One of my friends walked me into the demo area for WoW: Catacylsm. I tried out the Worgen race, werewolves in a -very- slightly steampunk environment. The time, normally 15 to 20 minutes, was extended for us, playing until we were done.

Fox introduced me to his friends, guildmates and others he'd known for some time that I had yet to meet. A particularly beta male latched onto me, flirting desperately, even though I flat out rejected his advances each time, finally stopping him and saying, "I'm not interested. I have a specific type and an odd outlook and if you don't start treating me like one of the boys like everyone else, I'm going to get uncomfortable or annoyed and send you away, so please stop."

And he did.

Friday night I found another friend talking to the man with the sad eyes, which is how I met him. Attractive, more than most, but it was the edge of desolation that colored his vision that made me want to know him.

Saturday night was a different social circle where I met Sleeve. Web developer, content manager, COO for a gaming news site. I'm feeling better about that. I spoke with another friend afterwards, and he pointed out that if Sleeve was going to cheat on his girlfriend, it would have been with anyone (though, honestly, I knew and read the signs and could have stopped it) and it was lucky to have been with me, because I would not have taken it past kissing and light groping. And maybe this incident, if discussed, will allow him to either fix or end his relationship.

Maybe not. But I'm not going to feel guilty about this anymore. I'm not going to do that again, I am going to learn from this.

Saturday night was also the Ozzy concert, one I hadn't been planning on attending until I walked into the Exhibition Hall and saw that it was going on. One of the mini-barricades was open for a short period of time, letting people out, so I slid in and threaded through the crowds, finally wandering into the press section unmolested. Fifth row at an Ozzy concert, pit in front and to the left, singing along with Crazy Train as Ozzy blasted the pit with a fire extinguisher hose.

Sunday, I woke up at noon. Having gone to bed after 4AM, plus wandering around all Friday and Saturday, I was fairly displeased.

I went to Fox's barbeque, bacon-themed. Bacon burgers, bacon cookies (I have pictures of this in the album at the bottom of this post), bacon-wrapped jalepenos, bacon-wrapped bacon... I don't even want to know what else they did with it.

Stopped and talked with one of my friends, a man I had been particularly close to a few years ago, consider him close to a brother with how comfortable we are together. Talked about the incident with Sleeve, about my "street cred" with the girlfriends in the group, and how we should not bring up the incident around them because it would probably make them nervous. I've never slipped before, but it's enough.

It was funny. I was harassing him for not inviting me to Fox's wedding last year, and he told me he wasn't incharge of wedding invites, only the bachelor party. And then he looked at me and said, "Goddamn, I should have invited you."

"Well, yeah."

"I mean, you have tits and all..."

"But it's only a technicality."

I am one of the boys. Masculine dandy to an extreme. I am one of the only girls in the group that does not have a nickname, because most of the girls come in and start sleeping with one of the guys and no one expects them to stick around, so they're given nicknames in order to identify them. Sexual or physical in nature, usually. I had "IDSN" for about a month (a nerdy joke, owing to the fact that my lower lip is rather full, but my upper lip is normal, so I only have half-DSL), but that faded quickly.

We talked about that for a little, and then we talked about his impending proposal to his girlfriend of six years, a cute little redheaded engineer, and how I will be invited to his bachelor party, assuming the two of them work out their issues regarding how he wants kids and she really, really doesn't.

It was an interesting weekend. I'm probably forgetting so many things, odd conversations, interesting men, bizarre incidents and side comments.

But I had fun.

They're trying to get me to start playing Warcraft with them, harassing me to reactivate my account and join their guild, but I just don't have the time. I do miss them, and I did enjoy the game, and I do know that if I started playing with them I would be more aware of all the parties and barbeques... but right now, sacrificing the time... I don't think I can.

Maybe one day.

This week, in pictures:

Bacon cookies, Ozzie concert, BlizzCon photos, Beware of Safety concert, and a dog in socks!

August 22nd, 2009
Well, now I'm not falling asleep in my chair.

A little tired from the events of the weekend, but not verging on passing out.

But... yeah.

I still feel horrible. My Disney-like morals coming to surface.

He had some alcohol in him, I did not.

I was the responsible, aware, and controlled party. When he asked if he could kiss me, I should not have even asked about his girlfriend, but instead just ignored the question or told him no.

And I knew what was happening. We were escalating for a good hour at the least. I just assumed that he would not do anything. I don't know what keys in his personality caused this impression, but there was definitely something that made me think that he would not act on any desire.

Maybe he would not have, if he had been 100% sober.

Not that he was drunk. Just buzzed.

The shouting as his friend walked over to us... yeah, as he walked over and told Sleeve that he was in big trouble and no offense to me, but they had to go. And he apologized and said it was nothing personal, and that he thought I was really cool, but they really had to go.

I felt like a freaking poacher caught in the act.

His friend was looking at me and I knew that he remembered he had told me Sleeve was taken. And I was one of those girls. Yes, one of those girls. Not one of the guys, not someone to be respected and trusted, just a freaking poacher like the lot of them.

I can't believe I did that.

I can't believe I violated nine year streak of living true to my morals when it comes to men in relationships. I can't believe I let a line of how they weren't working out, happy together, whatever it was, "convince" me that it would be okay to touch him. I've heard that line so many times and never acted on it, even lectured the line-giver more often than not.

On the plus side, I think this has slapped me hard enough that it won't happen again.

On the plus side, we were only kissing.

I just... the look on his friend's face. I have to go see that man in a few hours. And I wonder exactly how far that event has spread, if at all. No one would ever expect that behavior from me. I'm safe. I'm always safe. Leave your boyfriends with me, girls, because I'm not going to touch them and I'll watch-dog them.

Except for, apparently, that one.

Why do we fall?

He caught my attention at the bar in the Hilton. It wasn't his looks, but his presence. The full-covered sleeve running up his left arm and the ease and confidence he took control of his surroundings.

I walked up to my friend at the bar and hugged him, throwing my body over his huge frame, not realizing that he was there with others.

Introductions are made, three new faces lined up at the bar for me to remember, but the only one I'm interested in is him.

I notice him stealing glances at me, but I do not return them. I talk with my friend, talk with the new faces, and I leave, my shoe catching on a piece of tile as I walk off, undignified stumble, but I catch myself.

I go up to the hotel room, I change into my swimsuit, and head down to the pool area. I make friends with a Ukranian and we wander the hotel, checking out men and women, laughing as our types are so different.

We head to the pool and, once more, the man with the sleeve done in such beautiful work is there with my friend. He steps away to get a drink and I comment that he's attractive.

He's in a relationship, I'm told.

I miss a beat, nothing noticable. I'm used to news like this. It's disappointing, but there are many men in easy distance, and some might actually be desirable to me.

I make a loop, threading through the crowds, dodging drinks, waving at strangers who smile at me and try to call me over.

Nothing. Not a single one. There are plenty of attractive men, but none I want. None that have that presence I desire. Some come close, but... it doesn't quite line up.

I return to the group after being sent on a beer run, four cold cans in my hands, I saunter up, mentioning to a friend about my new tattoo.

This gets the man with the sleeve's attention. He wants to see my tattoos. The chaos star that decorates the inner curve of my left hipbone and the "visceris" running down my side.

I show him, and we start talking ink.

A few minutes later, we're interruped and I decide to make another loop.


The pool closes down, the patio follows suit, security herding us out like drunken cattle. I follow my friend, my hands on his shoulders, and suddenly Sleeve's hands are on mine, and a mini-conga line starts as more people hop on the evacuation train.

We go to the sixth floor to visit a room. Ten minutes in and I'm ready to go. I bid everyone goodbye, tell them I'm going to hit the lobby and jet, but suddenly I have three men following me and a group of us head downstairs.

Drinks are obtained after a good twenty minutes. Sleeve trying to work the bar system when it's so understaffed and overcrowded. But he does make it, brings back drinks, a water for me. We toast to nicknames.

Shortly after, security shuts down the bar.

We change hotels. The three of them have a hotel room across the way, so we walk over. Sleeve mentions his back is killing him, so I have him lie down and straddle his waist, rubbing the tension out of his back while the four of us talk and laugh.

He wants a cigarette, so the two of us go back downstairs and he smokes and rubs my neck.

I think nothing of it, at first.

I earlier, I had thought that with the three of them following me, with him insisting that I should go back to their room with them, that he was trying to set me up with one of the other two, live vicariously through them. Such was not quite the case.

Facing forward, I pretend not to notice the quiet sound of him inhaling through his nose, nearly touching my neck with his lips, brushing my hair aside with his hands. He slowly pulls me closer to him, and I do not encourage him.

His nose continues to travel bare inches from my neck, and I can tell how much control it is taking him not to bury his face in that curve.

I talk. I do anything not to acknowledge what he is doing, not to show that I know we would have great chemistry and it's such a freaking waste that he has a girlfriend because we could do some damage.

A whispered, "Can I kiss you?" and I stop, I turn my head so my lips are near his ear.

"Don't you have a girlfriend?"


"Open relationship?"

"No. We shouldn't be together."

"Easier to stay?"

"No. Harder."



I kiss the upper curve of his ear, and soon the stubble on his upper lip is rubbing my lips raw as we nip, stroke, and suck.

Five minutes in, we hear yelling. I assume it's security, not liking how we are sitting in front of their hotel, his hands straying over my chest.

But it's not.

It's one of his friends. One of his friends came out to make a cigarette run and saw the two of us going at it and yelled at us to stop and yanked him away, apologizing to me, saying it was nothing personal, but Sleeve was in big trouble and have a good night.

...that is the first time since I was sixteen that I have ever knowingly touched a man who belonged to someone else.

I slipped.

My control, my morals, the things that make women feel safe to leave their boyfriends around me, men that are my friends that I do not touch, thrown aside for some damn chemistry.

Guilt flooded me as I walked back to my car, as I drove back home, passing them on their cigarette run, sitting at a red light as Sleeve's friend shouted and gestured at him across the street.

I wounded another person tonight with my selfish actions, with my lack of consideration, with my rationalizing and looking for a reason that it would be okay to kiss him.

And I know it's just kissing. Kissing, to me, is so incredibly minor, it's like shaking someone's hand.

But it can hurt someone else.

I did that. She may never know, but I do. Self-absorption. I let my own desires control me in a way that I do not normally do.

I was supposed to email him later, to talk about writing for his website. He needs more article writers.

Now I'm not so sure.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Before I run out the door...

Invites to dinner had me on my way out, earlier than I wanted, but I had not seen this group of people in nearly half year.

As I walk, I hear my name shouted, look over. It's a friend, who is also a one-nighter that didn't go anywhere because our chemistry was no good and he was too submissive.

Sitting by him was a man, decently well dressed.

I was curious.

He was polite, charming, a little self-depreciating, but not overmuch. Slightly high energy, a soft waft of alcohol around him.

The three of us talk. I flirt and neg.

And I want to know more. Looking at his behaviors, looking at the expression on his face, the creases at the corners of his eyes that indicate when his mood does not mirror his words, which is much too often.

But to know, to know what it is that is causing this fracture, I have to get him away from everyone else.

So I do.

And in the quarter-mile we walk to get to the parking lot, I've burrowed under his social mask and as I lean against my car the sadness in his eyes is overwhelming, the creases dark with shadow, angling down.

He's too interesting. He's so wrecked and beautiful and I can't say no to poking around in the ruins of his head.

I decide against dinner with my friends. It's almost 10PM and they've been at the restaurant/bar since 830PM, if not earlier.

He asks me if I'm going to leave, I tell him no.

He asks what I wish to do, and I tell him I wish to eat.

We walk to Disneyland.

Downtown Disney, to be precise. Disneyland is closing as we arrive, families flooding outward, boarding trams that will take them back to the cars and they will tuck their exhausted children into carseats and backseats and those children will sleep deeply on the ride back, as I once did.

He's never been in Downtown Disney. It sounds like he was in the army when it was being built, and then he never bothered to come once he left. He did not even know it existed.

So I walk him on a quick tour. World of Disney Store, the horrific Anne Geddes store, through The Vault, into Build-A-Bear, pointing out the jazz band at Brennan's, into the LEGO store with its plastic scupltures, through the Rainforest Cafe, down to Disneyland Hotel with the Peter Pan themed pool, the secluded waterfall caverns that I've known for years how to get into once they're closed.

We talk damage. We talk philosophy and values. We talk about beasts, and wildness, about how wrecked he is, how much distaste he has for his body, how much loathing he has for himself. The ideas of goodness, ultimate goodness, or the greater good. Descartes, Aristotle, Plato, he loves philosophers, studies them, intersperses their quotes and ideas into our conversation.

Dinner is settled on at Rainforest Cafe. He seemed to be the happiest there, and he needs a little happiness. He needs a break from his brain and a person to talk to, to chisel away at him, lift up the rocks and see what lies beneath.

We eat, the food is always poor, but I told him of this in advance. Rainforest Cafe's draw is not in the food, but in the atmosphere. Looks over substance. It does well.

I take him into the lobby of the Grand Californian and we sit in the large fireplace, warming ourselves.

We walk back to the hotel where he's staying and he's eyeing me. "I can't determine whether you're interesting or dangerous."

"Oh, I'm not dangerous. I'm perfectly polite, concerned with respect and boundaries, good presentation. Never rude."

All accurate, all having nothing to do about whether a person is dangerous or not. He calls me on it and I smile.

He tells me he can't imagine anyone ever wrecking me. That I'm too strong, too self-contained. If I was going to be wrecked, I'd do it to myself. He envies it. Wishes he could be like that.

I don't explain it to him.

He tells me he shows how wrecked he is because it makes others happy. A sentence that would make no sense to a regular person, a person who would declare that no one would be happy at one of their friends or family broken, but they would be wrong and naive. People like others exhibiting their wreckage for various reasons, but we do not go into it.

I tell him that the only reason he allows himself to stay wrecked to keep those around him happy is because he hates himself and determines that there's no reason to heal, no reason to grow and examine, because he's not worth it to himself. Might as well make others happy, he does not deserve to be.

He stares at me, then looks forward, tells me I'm right.

"I have my moments," I say.

"Probably not a rare occurance."

"I know."

His eyes are so sad.

We walk back to his hotel, take the elevator up, me already telling him I'm not going to sleep with him this evening.

Ninth floor, I look around and know that I haven't been in this hotel in years.

We sit on the balconey of his hotel and talk. He has his feet propped up on the railing, long legs extending out and up as he leans back into his chair.

Ten minutes later, he's in front of me, his legs on either side of mine as he rolls his fingers up my sides, and I writhe. His lips are soft, not firm, but he can kiss. He kisses like I do: tongue darting out, swiping across a lip microseconds before lip contact. His fingers go around my throat, my breath catches and I near purr for him. I stand up and he turns me around, my back against the railing as he leans into me and we continue to kiss.

But I don't like heights.

I wiggle out from between his arms and walk into his hotel room, bra already unclapsed, I swing it and my shirt over my head, toss it onto a chair in a quick, easy movement.

He's sitting on the edge of the bed and I go to him, fingers running through his hair, nails up his back, gripping his thighs and he asks for my tongue, sucking it and sliding back on the bed.

Little movements indiciate wildness, indicate rough. He switches back and forth until I lean back and tell him that I can't tell what he wants, but I prefer it rough.

He tells me some things are better to keep chained down.

Too many men are afraid of this. I want him to let go.

I crawl on top of him, trailing my tongue up his neck, nibbling on his ears, hands roaming his chest and nipples, his hands are in my hair as I slide my tongue over the bare bit of flesh at the top of his jeans, feeling his muscles twitch as my hands run over the insides of his thighs and he's unzipping but I'm not going to touch him until he breaks.

His penis is out and my breasts brush against it and he gasps. He's responsive, his whole body alive and I'm confident I'll get through as I lick his stomach and his penis angles towards my face, brushing against my cheek.

I stop.

I look.

He's a good 10, maybe 11 inches.

...that was unexpected.

His hand goes for my neck again, "Such a tiny throat," he whispers against my lips. I hope this is a good sign, but he controls himself again.

"Just give in," I tell him, licking his neck, "I'm either going to leave or take pity on you, and I hate it when I have to take pity. I'm not going to lose control, I have perfect control. This is my world. Give in."

He says to me, "You're right. We should be what we are."

But he does not give.

Another twenty, thirty minutes pass, his jeans are around his thighs, he's moaning, twitching, reaching for me with the occasional, "Oh please..." half-beg, trying to steer his penis towards my mouth or hands, and when he does this, I stop. I bite his side, the bottom of his ribs, and move my mouth down, tongue darting out, barest of touches on the head of his penis, and I breathe. I breathe and blow lightly, he's whimpering and I let my lips bump his length as I come so close to him.

I find it... sad, when a man begs. When a man tries to convince or cajole, penis straining ever upward.

So I swing my body off of his. He's not going to break, I want to go to bed, and for once I will not let pity dictate me. He can take care of himself.

"I've gotta get going soon," I tell him between kisses.

"Let me go down on you first. I love a good meal."


Pants are unbelted and his fingers seek me out, him moaning, "So wet..." as I grind against his hand, trying to take off my shoes at this odd angle.

Shoes drop to the floor, pants slide off me and his fingers are working.

He's good.

He's actually good.

He's redeemed himself. I run my fingers along his scalp, my right leg thrown over his body and I roll my hips against him, pressing my chest into him, moaning between kisses, between tongue.

But he's shown he knows what he's doing. He's shown he has experience.

Finally something that allows me to view him as not just another desperate, though attractive, male.

I stop him, slide between his legs, and run my tongue up that so-long shaft. A long journey, a hissed "Christ" escapes from his lips and I go to work. He spasms, twitches, curses, my mouth roaming over him. GV8 has me trained so well.

"Bring yourself over here so I can at least finger you," he says between gasps.

"No. Too distracting."

"Let me go down on you."

"No. The angle is wrong if we do that. I won't be able to get my tongue here," and a quick run up the underside of his shaft and a babbled "Ohokayokay," from him.

He swings me around anyhow. Lying on our sides, me on top, him on top, his huge shaft dangling at me from above.

I finally manuever back around to him being unable to please me.

Thumbs stroking the base of his shaft, fingers running over his balls, tongue running wild over the sheer amount of surface area he's been blessed with.

A whispered "faster" sets me in motion, and he's trying so hard not to buck against my face. "Ohgodohjesusjesusjesusfuckinggodohcrapjesus," pours from his lips and he shoots. Mouthfuls and mouthfuls and I'm trying to get it all and not make a mess as he continues to shoot load after load, profanity on the heels of each one.

His twitch alerts me that he's a hyper-sensitive guy. I lie absolutely still, knowing that pulling off of him will be painful. It takes about two minutes for the painful overload of sensation to leave him, and I gently drop him from my mouth.

"Oh god," he tells me as I crawl up beside him. "Jesus, that was crazy. Damn."

"I didn't mean to give you tourettes. Sorry."

We laugh and talk. I clean up, hit the restroom, get dressed.

He walks me to my car, we exchange numbers, and I drive home.

If I see him again this weekend, I see him again. If I do not, I do not.

It's not about the justification or validation that is brought. It's what you learn from the person, what you learn about yourself and what you learn about the world around you and how people view it.

We have moments.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sitting with friends last night, this morning, midnight and past.

Talking about the social personas we put on, the social groups and the dancing through faces of what we consider presentable, of masks and ideals and how we each cope with our own discomfort and what trained us to be so.

Started with one, moved to another, and another, then to me.

Being quizzed, queried, questioned.

Being examined like a foreign object.

Nothing new.

Just an unusual stone you hold up to the light.

Why do you not drink?
Why do you not smoke?
Why do you not do drugs?
Why do you not date?
How can you consider yourself monogamous?
What is subspace like for you?
Why do you not consider men who drink, smoke, or do drugs?
Why is respect so important?
Why do you sleep around like you do?
Why do you not bother for an emotional connection?

Answering them, question after question as they tried to line it up, tried to make sense of it, I found myself thinking, a significant hint of derisive sneer in my mental voice: "I'm just so fucking tragic."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

...I'm caught between laughter and... well, more laughter, I suppose.

My reputation continues to follow me through the years.

So I bit that guy's lymph node in half? He told me where to bite and how hard to bite and I did.
So I left bite marks all over that other guy's penis when I convinced one of my female friends it would be a good idea for the both of us to go down on him? He liked it.
So I broke that that one guy's nose on my pubic bone? He had a big nose.
And when the other guy pulled a muscle in his thigh and was down and out, that wasn't at all my fault. He was in control of the positioning. Sure, he was an acrobatic performer and in top shape, but still...

And then I get a text from someone in that social circle.

"What are you doing this weekend?"
"I'm going to -----. You as well?"
"Yeah. Having a BBQ on Sunday, a bunch of my bros will be there. You should come."
"Stop whoring me out to your friends. What time?"
"Call me."

"Hey, Fox, what's up?"
"About 40 of my friends are coming in from out of town. Thursday night we're having a party, Friday night we're going to -----, Saturday night we're getting rooms at the ----- Hilton and trashing the place, Sunday is the BBQ. 2PM."
"I have a date Thursday and Sunday. Saturday and Friday nights are good. I'll be there."
"Ditch your date on Sunday, come to the BBQ."
"You're just trying to even out a sausage fest, Fox."
"My boys are in from out of town for the weekend, V."
"And you're hoping I hook up with one or two of them to make sure they have fun."
"Stop who--- crap, I'm at work. You know what I mean. I'll think about it. I don't want to hook up with a bro."
"They're not bros."
"I hope not. I'll think about it."
"2PM. My pad."
"I know."

I like how he doesn't deny it. How he just wants to impress his boys, show them a good time, and he's calling his single female friends to do that. And he knows that if I did hook up with them, that I would be cool with it being a one-timer. Because he knows I'm not batshit clingy or emotional, and I've got a reputation for wildness.

I should get paid for this.

I'm going to dress up, do the make-up, hang out, flirt, spin a few heads, and if I actually find someone worth my sex, then we're solid and, if not, that's fine as well.

Which means I have an excuse for cancelling on Ev. Relief. Because I don't want to sleep with him anymore. I don't want to deal with a recurring partner that I have to play a role for.

Maybe that's why I like one night stands so much.


That is it.

I don't have to be anything that I don't want to be. I get, for once, to be me.
Was talking with a friend last night, on my way home from work.

This is a man I am... decently close to. He shares my feelings of alienation, even though the source is not the same, even though we cannot truly relate to one another on what makes us feel disconnected, and the ways we each handle it are different, how we view it... it's still there.

Yesterday, we were talking about my disconnect. Well, for the most part. Conversations with him tend to easily derail, frustratingly so.

It was actually funny.

Started off with a general, "I'm sick of taking lovers that I can never relax around, never be myself around."

With him advising, "Well, be yourself and then those who can accept you will find you and you'll relax."

And by the end of the conversation, oh a good thirty, forty minutes later, he was saying:

"Yeah, maybe you should just keep those parts of you inside and just act normal around your lovers."

When I started laughing at him for the differing advice, he backtracked, but didn't really retract his ending sentiment.

The frustration I feel so often pervades my male-centered relationships. The need for self-control, for accepting, the need to be low-maintenance and low-drama because I am able to do so. Lying in bed with one, watching his face, watching his body language, laughing at his jokes, picking apart his words, looking at him with adoration, doing everything I can to please him, type depending on who I'm with.

Blond and Studly, Darkeyes, and Ev preferred the girl next-door/independent woman combo.
GV8 and Stuntcock preferred the strong woman turned sex-starved sub.
SFPlayboy prefers the strong woman-player, turned sex-starved sub for him.
Riot of Tattoos is simple, preferring the submissive slut at all times.
Zat and VG prefer the girl next-door.

Hardwood Floors and Wolfboy were the closest I have gotten in a long, long while of just being able to be myself.

But with Wolfboy, I still have to be gentle. God, do I have to be gentle with him.

I have to be gentle with all of them, though with Playboy I can be a little more me.

I'm too nice, too concerned.

Maybe it's atonement, as I sometimes suspect. Making up for misdeeds, for the damages and pain I have caused others, and my relatively new ability to actually be empathetic.

Maybe it's my constant need to please, to serve, taking the edge off of the fact that I have had no one to truly focus my submissive nature on for almost a year. I miss that. I maybe need to find a dom, something every two or three weeks to allow me to focus on myself and, of course, to allow my body to heal.

That's probably not the answer, though.

It'd be nice, but I doubt it would do anything other than relieve my need and take another chunk of time out of my schedule.

Anyhow, back to where I was.

Talking with my friend, having him advise me to just keep things inside. To not let my partners know how much I study them, how much I read them, how much I adjust myself and my behaviors based on their feedback, based on creating a web of self-disclosure where I disclose stuff that should be so personal (and it does sound as such) causing them to disclose stuff that is actually personal so I can use that information as I see fit.

I mentioned, a few posts ago, about getting a guy so wrapped around me that he ended up slamming his head into the hood of his car repeatedly, and I was apathetic and slightly amused. I did not mention the next day, where I spotted a male friend and proceeded to act upset over the events of the previous night, and he held me, comforted me, consoled me, continuing with my own internal apathy and amusement on how easy it was to do these things.

That was... hm, I was seventeen. Second semester in college. Probably Spring semester, 2001. Eight and a half years ago.

Fortunately, several months later, I managed to complete my process of burn-out. Destroying everything that I found sacred, my little trial by fire.

Cheating on the boyfriend, purposeful alcohol poisoning, squatting by the traintracks smoking left-over roaches, Mountain Dew can for a bong in the alley, drugged up threesome, cutting myself just to fuck with my closest friends (still have the scars, yay), alluding to my parents the things I was doing that they had no control over just to destroy that relationship with them, stealing thousands and thousands of dollars of merchandise that I did not even want, finding the sleazest, most strung-out guys I could just to make myself part of them, making out with the boyfriend of my bestfriend, picking up horrible men in front of my friends who were so worried about me just to hurt them, flunking out of college, picking up men online, men so much older than me, never learning their names, going back to their places with no knowledge or thought of safety, being used, leaking semen out of whatever orifice they felt fit to use. Heh, using one of my friend's houses as a pick up point. They had no idea what to do. The men that used me, used me. The men that loved me, liked me, cared for me, I purposely fucked with like I did with Jake. Taking my parents' money, my mother going to bed in tears.

Yes, I know this.

I know all of this.

The things that set you apart.

Burning myself out so well that my own mother admits that while she loves who I am now, she mourns who I used to be. That she never envisioned this life for me, how I am such a different person than I was, that it is like the girl I used to be died and she was given another child grown.

People wonder why I am not more cynical, how I can still believe in love, if I am even capable of love.

People wonder how I am not as damaged as I should be.

They didn't see the years of work. The sitting down and taking count of what I did, how I did it, why I did it, and what it did to me. And the battles I had to fight, the behaviors I had to recognize and change, the people who believed in me and supported me, who put up with my internal struggles.

I'm healthy. Not 100%, but certainly more than most of the people I know. Given my history, it's surprising, not only to me, but to others.

But I'm not normal.

You don't get to be "normal" again.

You get to learn how to fit in, you get to learn what to say, what not to say, how to present yourself so people aren't necessarily aware of any difference between us. You learn how to hide, how to camoflauge yourself. You know that when you enter a social group the first few times, the easiest thing to do is shut your mouth and observe until you know who outranks who and in what way you can integrate yourself and how much you can relax into who you are, what skin will fit and how much maintenance it will take.

To exercise parts of yourself, you keep different social groups with different values, different ideas of morals, of what is acceptable. Alternate through them so you don't feel too trapped in one role. Multiple lovers means multiple avenues of exercise. You don't have to wear the same face, and you find that some of them adore you, are intrigued by your internal struggle, by your different faces, and you learn to identify that. They want to protect you, want to be special.

They can't. And they never are.

You're told that you're like so many others, but when you give input, you're told that it is invalid because you're an outlier and you find yourself more amused than frustrated.

My friend, the one I started this post off about, he's one of the few who has recognized, without being told, that I have more walls up than anyone ever realizes. Everyone considers me so open, so out there and honest and easy to get along with, easy to talk to, easy to confess to... because of the openness that doesn't actually exist.

I don't like being told that I'm crazy. I don't like being told that I'm cold and calculating. I don't like being told that I'm manipulative and studied, that being the way I am is the wrong way to be and normal people, normal people aren't like me and I need to seek psychological help because I need to fall in line so people feel safe around me.

Not everyone is the same. The line that I should fall into is one I would not care to join. It hurts every time someone sees me, sees what I'm doing, and tells me I am horrible for being the way I am, for viewing the world the way I do, like it was a choice I made or a symptom of horrific damage and if only I dealt with my psychological damage, my baseline would change and I would be a different, happier person.

Because I couldn't possibly be happy as I am.

And they never believe me, can't wrap their brains around how happy I am, how much I enjoy life, enjoy the people in it.

It's apparently impossible to be different and happy.

But somehow I manage.