Thursday, October 29, 2009

I wasn't going to write today because I have so much work to take care of before I leave the office, but two things happened that struck me as somewhat odd.

The first was, in the middle of lunch with my coworkers, the very first man I ever dated, the first man I ever had sex with, called.

Alpha, you know.

Not alpha male, but alpha as in the first, the original, the start.

He was out and about and thought he saw me on the street, was calling to see if it was, in fact, me.

We're still friends, we just don't talk often. There's the geographic distance between us, as well as the space that comes with me growing past him. We can still connect, we can still have fun, talk, go out and enjoy ourselves. We still have mutual friends.

But it's just... I'm mostly indifferent.

He was my case of requieted puppy love. We both moved on.

Well, we moved on, then he came back and was like "'Sup, baby?" and I was like "Er... no, I'm good. Thanks though."

He didn't actually say "'Sup, baby?". I'd never remain friends with a guy who talked like that, no matter how good he was in bed.

So we talked briefly and then I went back to join the herd at the trough.

Wrapped up lunch, was at my desk for all of twenty minutes, and my phone rings again.

And, of all people, it's Rick. The man who temporarily broke me, pre-Darkeyes. You know, The Ex. The reason why I haven't been able to open up and relax with a man completely, emotionally severed, for the time being.

So I've got the physical Alpha and the emotional Omega calling me within a span of an hour of each other.

I'm expecting the Ghost of Christmas Present to show up sometime before six.

Hopping on a plane in exactly nine hours, iPod is loaded with the music I determined would be best for this trip, my backpack is ready to go.

I wonder if this is going to be soon, this feeling of impending collision. It feels like something is going to happen and it's building, an escalation of unrelated events timed to unite in that one moment... though if that moment is beneficial or harmful, I am not one to guess.

And maybe it's all in my head. It's felt for so long like something is careening my way, perhaps someone else's destiny coming to sideswipe my flank. Images of beads sliding along abacus strings, clicking, adding, come to mind often. Foreboding and rich.

This life is what you make of it.
If it does not suit you, leap.
What you are at any moment is what you have become.
And when you look back, will you see a series of mirrored images, strings of paperdolls, or something old and near-unrecognizable?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

They cannot control us...

At this time tomorrow... I'll still be at work, sitting at this desk. Glaring at the phone.

However, at this time on Friday, I'll be in New York.

Which is, needless to say, exciting. For me, at least. My first time in the NE quadrant of the US. I've left some of my travel a bit up in the air, so I'm more likely to go and explore and make myself conquer this fear that, when I am forced to address it, I cannot take care of myself.

Which you think, at my age, I'd know that I could.

But my fairly steady stream of relationships have left my twenties (what I have experienced of them thus far) partnered up, working as a team, knowing I have that person to fall back on. Traveling with another.

I prefer to travel by myself.

My mother hates it. My sister is going to Japan in two weeks and she's going with a large group of coworkers and they have all these plans and schedules and everything's worked out.

But me? I booked this trip by myself, did not bother to invite anyone, have two concerts I am planning on going to and... that's about it. I found a rare and used bookstore by my hotel, so I'm going to go there, of course and... yes. Wing it. I'm spending Friday night at a friend's place, a man I met through my other blog. Haven't met him before, but... eh. In the total of my interneting, I've probably met up with 100-200 internet-based people, possibly more. I've had four bad experiences, and even those were managable.

I like how I typed "two", thought for a second, deleted it, changed it to "three", started typing and was like... "oh." So it currently says "four". If it's different when you read it, I've remembered someone else unpleasant.

Anyhow, it'll be a good trip. Wander around, take the subway, take the Amtrak, bus, walk a lot, see what there is to see and who I meet, as I always end up talking to strangers (if I'm not reading, that is).

GV8 is taking me to the airport on Thursday.

I'm finding more and more the word "love" is floating around the inside of my skull.

Definitions of. Remembering people telling me of how they knew they were in love, asking me what I thought love was, if I thought they were in love. What love means to me, what it means to others, the different types of love.

Driving my car in the high winds we've been having, speeding down smooth asphault, wondering if this is love. Comparing this feeling I have growing inside me, something foreign and unexpected, to previous experiences.

Knowing that in my last relationship, it took me over a year and a half to fall in love with my partner, and even then I knew it was not love, not really. Love for him, yes. But in love with him? No. Ripping two souls apart when separated love? Hardly. He was so bitter about that, that he was "in love" with me within a few months, but it took me so long.

I never understood that.

Bitter about not being loved by someone you return?

There's no guarantee, you don't get a receipt.

30 day exchange policy if you aren't satisfied with what you've been given in response to your emotional devotion?

That really wrecked us. He told me so, later. But I warned him in advance. I told him he was a rebound. I told him I wasn't over my last boyfriend and he would need to give me time to get over that man and into him. He said he understood.

But he understood so little.

And now we move on.

The wind rocked my car, and I thought. I got lost in a maze of apartment buildings clustered around a local community college, headlights leading me nowhere.

Then I realized how I would know if I was truly in love.

How badly it would wreck me if he left me.

How out of my skull I would be if he called me and told me he was done.

And if that pain would be caused by the rejection and the insecurity, or if it would be due to him being out of my life.

Then I realized that I would be hurt, that the rebound and the validity-sex I would likely engage in would last for two or three months, maybe more, maybe four. And that would be due to insecurity.

I realized I would miss the lifestyle and the opportunities being with him gives me.

And I would be shattered at the thought that because I have realized my need to feel safe, to have a man with control and power, it would be highly unlikely that I would be able to find someone else suitable. He is a man that I have never seen the like.

Knowing what would be lost to me, knowing that it would take years to find someone to make me feel as safe as he does, or to make myself feel safe, to learn that confidence, that ability, that self-protection... still, years.

I would miss him. I would miss the warmth, the strength, the self-realization he engages in without thought. The caring, the little gifts that I don't need but allay my more than somewhat occasional bouts of self-doubt when it comes to him and his desire for me.

I am falling for him.

But I'm not there yet.

I feel like I should warn him. We weren't sure if this was part of the program.

...but it seems so cold, detached, and analytical to say to him, "Hey, I'm starting to fall for you, so tell me now if that's a bad idea."

The heartbreak I'm not worried about. Sitting somewhere, wrecked and able to function through your day because you've been there so many times before this auto-pilot switches on without thought, with barest effort. You get through it because time doesn't stop, because life doesn't stop.

You can cry later.

The blows to the ego, though, the blows to the self-concept and the growing confidence that is so shaky on its feet... that's what causes me worry.

But, as we've learned, I do love a good trial by fire.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"You all die at fifteen," said Diderot...

Side thought, over lunch.

It's that insecurity. Self-doubt. The idea of being "enough" for another person. That if this one person you hold in such high regard has no desire for you or a waning interest that you cannot seem to ignite again, then you are not "enough". That you are lacking, somehow, on a fundamental level of desirability.

Wobbly legs searching for that emotional splint from another person, instead of steadying their own gait.

I am more than that.
I am more than this.

He is wonderful.
He is amazing.
He shows me a world that I've dreamed of, lusted after for so long.

But he is not what makes me desirable.
His need or lack thereof, is not what gives or takes away my value.

Unless I let him. Unless I am so insecure in myself, so doubtful in my abilities and desirability that I give him the power to make or break me.

And by simply giving him that power, I am creating and naming my own downfall.

Without him, I am not without value.

It is not through his eyes that the rest of the world decides whether or not I have worth.

And if he leaves me, my life, my goals, do not also desert me.

If he pulls away, it is not through my own failings, even if I do not wish his departure, but through a mismatch of desires and personality, and a recognition that his needs are to be met elsewhere.

Not because I am less, not because I am not "enough", but because we are separate people, with separate issues and needs. One person cannot completely satisfy another, and that is not a failing, only a reality.

No matter how much I please him, how attractive he finds me, how much chemistry we have in bed, or how well our minds mesh, it does not mean that we match.

Or that any two people match on a more spiritual, destined level, the one poets write of while the rest of us fantasize.

I need to be able to recognize my own value. I need to have faith in myself. The faith that he has in himself, knowing he will succeed or he will make the best he can with his failure or shortcoming. I need to be strong and recognize that while I am not perfect, while I will never be perfect, I am strong, I am beautiful, I am intelligent, I am more than capable in bed, and I am a good partner and friend to those that are in my life. I am kind, compassionate, a little too empathic at times, and dedicated to my family. I am a person people talk to, sometimes a giver of peace, lacking that all too present judgment we find in so many. I'm a listener, a helper, someone willing to be your go-to. In relationships, I am behind my partner completely, giving everything I can, honest, communicative, focusing on respect, observing small details and doing everything I can to please and help, to be a good partner, to make the best of what we have.

So if I wear thin on GV8, if I can no longer satisfy him on an emotional or sexual level, it is not anything that I am lacking. Or anything that he is lacking. Things happen, time causes change, causes realizations as events happen that open up the hidden passages in our brains that reveal damage, reveal core needs that we never were able to articulate out of our subconscious.

There is no failure, there is no "not enough".

To commit, to love without question of return, to accept and have the strength of self-faith not to shatter or destruct at unknowing injuries, to give without asking or demanding, this is that internal strength I search for.

I'm getting closer.

Identifying who I need to be.
Leaving for New York on Thursday, a longish flight with a longish layover. I've decided to do the trip out of a backpack... I don't feel like lugging a duffel bag around with me wherever I end up, since I have not quite planned all the various forms of transportation I am going to use to get to my various destinations. I've slid Rilke and Wakefield into my bag, along with Dune for the flight.

Trying to keep my reading this trip light.

My body started crashing on Friday. I spent the evening with a large group of friends that happened to contain one of my best friends. We talked as he rubbed me down, weeks of soreness coming from being hunched over computers or books built into my muscles. We spoke of Darkeyes, my continued anger, and the discussion allowed me to realize that, of all the people who have apologized to me for his behavior, and the friends of mine he has apologized to for his behavior, he's yet to apologize to me, and I will be unable to treat him with more than the barest of civilities unless I receive that apology.


He never understood that.

My aggression is unchecked without his acknowledgement.

It's odd for me to remain mad at someone for this long. Over a year and I'm still furious. Normally I am fairly serene, even when provoked I am able to at least maintain the facade of calmness.

Not with him.

Not yet.

The lack of control... I think is a sign of how deeply he disturbed me, how deeply I disturbed myself in dating him, in allowing things to progress as they did.

It's something to think on, anyway.

Saturday day found me at another coffee shop, plugging away on school papers with the baseline annoyance I find whenever I have to deal with Shakespeare. I continue to theorize that Shakespeare is popular solely because you have to be very, very well aware of all the nuances and cultural references that no longer apply in order to truly understand his work, which makes the whole thing a sort of inside joke for the educated.

But I managed to have fun with it anyhow.

Finishing that, I went home, legs shaking from the constant pushing I've been subjecting myself to, and settled in to relax by myself for once. SciFi Channel horror flicks, my mental candy during Halloween season.

It was not to be. My father called me, drunk, from an Oktoberfest, and bribed me with promises of a chicken hat if I joined him and some family friends.

Chicken hat.


I couldn't say no to that. I had no idea what a chicken hat entailed, but I knew I had to have one. So I drove over there, threaded the crowds of Orange County frat boys turned into Orange County providers with their now pudgy post-sorority wives, and joined my inebriated family. Chicken hat was purchased, and I sat by my father, the aging hippie and bad boy, and listened to his drunken ideas ("That's a man in drag. Yes, in the blue dress. Go hit on him.") and his occasional women of note ("That girl has great legs. I bet she has a heart-shaped ass, even though she's a butter-face." "Dad, she's a butter-face and a butter-torso. Ew.").

There was a point in the evening when my mother and her ex-sister-in-law (three hypens, beat that!) wanted to drunkenly dance to the Chicken Dance and I was wearing the chicken hat, so I got dragged up with them and found myself to be the only sober participant of the Chicken Dance.

I'm not a performer. I'm not a center-of-attention kinda girl. I like to keep things low key, prefer to be an observer rather than a participant.

But I realized, as I sat in the chair and they attempted to convince me to shrug off my typical demeanor, that there are only going to be so many times during the rest of my life that I am going to be able to do things like this with my mother. There is only this moment, no guarantee of any others, that I can make the most of. That I can delight and dance in a public venue wearing a silly chicken hat, laughing and skipping around with my mother.

So I did.

It took me a bit to get over my initial discomfort, but I managed.

And at the end, we were applauded.

So it couldn't have been that bad... or it was horrible and they were attempt to assauge our egos. One of the two.

Often I allow my need to remain under the radar to control my actions. I'm an introvert at heart, combine that with the usual dose of social anxiety, and I'm much happier watching others have fun doing inane things than doing those things myself.

GV8 has no issue with public displays of inanity. He's so comfortable and confident with himself, so apathetic about how he is viewed because he knows without a doubt how strong he is, how successful he is, how he can do anything without failure... that he just doesn't care about the rest.

I try to learn from him. To mimic him. When I'm out by myself and I find that uncertainty chipping away at my desire to do something, I think of him, of what he would do, how he would handle the situation, and I try to act as he would.

It helps. I'm doing things I never would have, seizing moments I would normally let pass me by. He's a good influence, possibly the best influence I could have right now.

He's been confusing me of late, though. Mixed signals which may indicate he's unsure as to what he wants right now.

I was studying at my somewhat usual coffee shop in Hollywood yesterday. I had told him I would be there. An hour or two in, hands drop on my shoulders, then snake around my torso and start fiddling with the button of my pants. I knew it was him from his touch, but I did not understand why he was attempting to get in my pants in a public location.

He had just stopped by to say hello while running errands, we kissed like infatuated teenagers and he took off.

A little later, he texts me to check my pants for gifts. He had slid in a Borders gift card with his manual machinations. Sneaky. I hadn't noticed because the pants were so loose on me, there was no pressure or feeling of intrusion.

Over dinner, at this fairly new pub on Sunset and Ivar called BoHo, we spoke about taking a mini-vacation together, about holiday invites, meeting his family. Not about meeting mine, though.

As the night went on, he became less and less "with" me. Hand-holding would abruptly stop. Sex, always our easiest way of communicating... it's not strained, and he seems into it, but his body isn't responding as it used to, so quickly, so easily. I'm wondering if it's the stress and exhaustion these last few weeks have brought him, if he's just getting too used to me and needs more novelty, or if he's becoming done with me.

The latter doesn't seem right, as we are planning future activities, talking about his family (as I mentioned), talking about things he's planning on how I will be there for them... so I'm wondering if his body has caught onto something his mind has yet to grasp, or if it truly is everything with his business.

I realized with my last relationship that the tired old saying that I've heard so often is true: the sex reflects the health of the relationship.

And he did, when he came in at 3 this morning (pulled another all-nighter), wake me up with sex, with the penetration I had requested, had needed. But he was so sore, so tired, that unless I was going down on him... yeah.

Instilling of doubt, I suppose. We're defined by our sex, me even more so, I would think, since so much of my built identity centers around sexual activity and seduction.

He tripped me up last night, over dinner. Mentioned my minor lust for The Bassist, and I went along with it, acting as though I would actually sleep with the guy. I think that was a bad move on my part. As soon as the conversation shifted, I was kicking myself for playing along with GV8 instead of shutting the idea down entirely. That's something I'm going to have to remedy.

I'm hitting that point where I need to know what's going on. I'm teetering on an emotional brink, possible plunge, but I cannot let go, not yet. I need to feel as though it is safe to fall.

I may see him tonight, and we are doing dinner on Thursday before he takes me to the airport. I'll talk to him then.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

All this is gone...

Last night I went to have dinner with some friends, one of which works at one of the BDSM dungeons in Los Angeles. Due to time constraints, we ended up each picking up our own food and then meeting at the dungeon to eat and catch up.

Now, I've been there before. Club nights, play-party nights... one of those nights was actually when I met and played with GV8 for the first time before taking him home with me, when we both thought the other would be a temporary diversion.

I showed up on time, and the friend of mine who worked there was already in residence... only her boyfriend was lacking. He ended up being an hour and a half late, though it wasn't his fault.

Which means I ended up sitting in was, essentially, the waiting room for the various Dommes, subs, and switches. Almost like a holding tank, waiting for their appointments or the walk-ins.

It was interesting, to see the girls in their downtime, in the shoddy little room that my friend spends so much time in, waiting for some guy to show up and select her as his playmate for however long of a time he wishes to purchase. All of them were in their work outfits, corsets, thigh-highs, nighties that barely covered their ass, a g-string for those bounds of propriety.

She's an artist, so she surfs the net all day, works on commissions, and promotes herself. The girl that I was sharing a couch with (wearing a latex number) was working on a script for... something. I noticed the words "Guardian Angel Jews" and promptly decided not to ask her what she was working on because I would not have been able to hide my expression. Two others watched NCIS with rapt attention, and the last did short exercises that would not make her sweaty or ruin her nightie.

Once my friend's boyfriend arrived, we shifted out of the waiting room and into the center of the hive, which meant multiple doors into multiple rooms, all closed, where the occasional pro-player and her client would walk out and stroll by us.

I've always been jealous of the girls at the dungeons. Making money by looking good, receiving gifts from clients (wardrobe or implements for future play), and spending a few hours each day doing something I love doing: playing.

I knew that the clients aren't always fun, vary in degrees of attractiveness, but the charm of being able to sit somewhere and write nearly all day, with only a few well-paying distractions... it was tempting. It still is.

But seeing those girls, that room, the white-trash feel of it all... it was a bit of a turn-off. Being surrounded by women in their underwear all day sounds like it should be fun, but it seems like a torturefest of inanity and daytime television, not to mention the catty drama that invariable crops up when you put two women in a competitive environment.

There was that one girl, though, the one that seemed outside of it all. The one doing exercises in her sheer nightie, her perfect ass split by a tiny black g-string, beautiful body... she was something more. Admirable.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I like the hallway ceiling...

So, most (98%) of my post titles come from the lyrics of whatever I am listening to.

This one is from an amazing CD I picked up called "They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top" by Liars, track four: "The Garden Was Crowded And Outside".

I thought I would just disclaimer the title of this post because it makes absolutely no sense. The following line is "It's just four feet wide", in case you're curious.


Last night C and I went to Knott's Scary Farm. This is a yearly tradition for me. I'm a major people watcher and I love the amount of work that they put into the event, so I wander around the park and check out the costumes and decor, laugh at the people screaming, running, and usually tripping on their own feet that results in a faceplant of sheer awesomeness.

However, during the evening, C gets a phone call. She's addicted to her phone. I hate it. So she gets a whiny phone call from this guy she was seeing who dumped her, got back with her, dumped her again, and now wants her back again because he's still in love with her.

Except she's over it.

However, being her typical type of emotional feminine beta male, he calls to tell her how much he cares and how much he wants to get back together and he misses her cling cling cling.

She gets off the phone, we keep walking, and about thirty minutes later, she gets a text from him saying "I love you".

That's it.

The night progresses and we walk some more, and then another guy she's seeing calls, and they start chatting about Mr. Cling and what do say in response to his text message. They could not figure it out... but I was obviously listening in and gave my advice.

Which is why he received a text from her saying "I love cake".

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tumbling walls buried us with debris...

GV8 and I went out last night. Roamed the streets of Hollywood, as seems to be our tendency. Wandering and watching, seeing what we find, seeing who we find. Strolling Hollywood Boulevard at 8PM, looking for a restaurant to our liking, threading through the performers by Graumann's and avoiding the male(?) with manboobs jigggling his flesh to a tiny boombox resting on his cart, using a balloon sword as a prop.

Dropped down to Sunset Boulevard, strolled past Seven Veils, did an illegal jaywalk that landed us in the middle of the street, waiting for traffic to pass with lips locked and wandering hands. Dinner was found at Bossa Nova, dessert at Mashti's, we lapped at our icecream and walked further down to peer in the windows of High Voltage at the over the top decor, then to an art gallery that seems to have a mural in front painted by my favorite artist, Sylvia Ji.

Before we went roaming, his requests (demands?) were oral sex and then to watch me get myself off, legs spread in front of him, fingers dancing. He loves to watch my twitches, hear my breathing change, moisture dripping.

Afterwards, as I was rolling off the bed to rinse off and get dressed for dinner, he said, "I'm cracking your nut."


"I'm cracking your nut. I'm getting inside your head. You're finally starting to trust me."

"I've trusted two men in my life. I'll let you know when you're the third." Said to him without malice, he tossed the comforter over my face and crawled onto me.

"You will."

Trust is an issue for me. Not because I've been treated so badly by men in the past (though, yes, I have been by some), but because of my worldview. It's not just men, but women. Humanity, as a rule.

I've heard the question too often in so many humanities classes and at coffee shops by the caffiene-fueled would-be philosopher: is humanity innately good or innately evil?

And everyone has these immediate reactions, with incredibly solid beliefs in their anectodes and personal experiences. It's never a wavering belief, but something clung to, almost desperately, like someone is needing to know that their cynicism is justified, or that they aren't living in an unfair, unjustice world, the dupe among wolves. Or that their behaviors are excusable.

When I was younger, I used to say that humanity simply is. Neither bad, nor good, as those are definitions we construct based on our views, based on our morals, religions, experiences, and how actions hurt or benefit ourselves and those we care about. I remember having those arguments in high school, having the hardest time trying to explain the idea that good and evil were just concepts.

While I still feel that way, my answer changed one day. I do not remember what class I was in, but we were discussing that constant question, and my classmates were throwing out the usual answers with the usual evidence to support their view.

I had been dating Rick at the time, constantly discussing philosophy and ethics, and hearing these arguments somehow made me realize that I did not believe that humanity just "was" anymore. That the actions we label as good and bad, and how those actions impact us... that judgement is made out of self-interest. Even charity is usually done with self-interest, though that's another topic that I'll likely never bother discussing in depth.

So I came to the realization that I believed humanity was neither innately good or bad, just self-interested. This wasn't some epic moment in my life, just an acknowlegement of how I view the world.

Which makes it hard for me to trust someone.

People do things all the time for someone else's "own good". And it is usually the decisionmaker's interpretation of "good" that they force upon the person they supposedly care for, without taking into effect what the receiver might actually find "good" themselves.

And that's on the basis of that someone else caring for you, loving you, wanting what's best for you.

I cannot trust someone who would not act with my best interests at heart when engaging in behavior or decisions that impact me.

That may sound incredibly impossible. That I would never be able to trust another person because of that ridiculous standard.

But I do trust people. In varying ways. I trust that the construction workers and engineers will build bridges and overpasses that will remain steady. And that the pharmacist will dispense the right medication, or my doctor will be able to prescribe the right treatment when I become ill. I trust that the men who come and inspect the various elevators I use will do a thorough inspection, and that the chefs in the restaurants that I dine will not keep rat poison by the food I consume.

I do not believe these things because I think these people care about me, but because these people are interested in keeping their jobs, in not getting fired, in not getting massive lawsuits thrown up against them. They are working with total self-interest.

And I do not find this wrong. I don't think self-interest is a bad thing, it is simply what we all do to survive.

But when you enter into personal relationships, not only romantic relationships, but any sort of relationship that exceeds the bounds of acquaintance, it becomes a matter, for me, of determining how each person's self-interest may manifest in negatively impactful ways.

Some people, you can tell secrets to. Some, you can't, but you do know you can call them any time of day and they'll be there to help you with a problem.

Some men you can sleep with and trust that they'll be safe with any other partners they have, but you know you can never date them because they can't control their lusts or the beasts that chase them.

Some people are flakes when it comes to being there at important occasions, but they are wonderful advice givers.

You take what you get and you balance the positives and negatives between them. Sometimes that friendship gets deep, gets intense, and you know that that particular person is able to maintain your complete trust because they truly care for you, respect you, and will make the right decisions for you if a decision has to be made in your stead. And you for them. This isn't a one way street of a person who has scads of people vying for trust.

It's a relationship. Two people. Symbiotic, parasitic, unbalanced, healthy? It is what we can make of it, what we allow it to be.

I stopped trusting my father when I realized that if, in a moment of rage, a decision was placed in front of him, he would possibly do something to harm me. He would regret it later, but he can't control his anger when it surfaces. And even if it wasn't a decision made with anger, he does not understand my idea of health and happiness, and he does not know or respect me enough to allow me to do what I feel is right if he has any say in the matter.

Because he knows best.

And he is my father. He did raise me, pour money into me, pour time, effort, stress, hours and hours of work, into giving me the life I have.

So, yes, he is going to make decisions for me that may not be what I want.

But I do trust my mother.

Which is funny. My father is so very controlled 98% of the time, and my mother is constantly ruled by emotion (and my father), but I know that she would make the decisions I would want her to make for me.

And she is one of the only people on the planet that I trust entirely with me. If I was killed today, maimed, made braindead, she would be the one I would want to handle me, handle my future. No doubt in her decisions or abilities.

Other people, I trust with them.

I trust C to be late to most everything. I trust her to respond in anger when provoked, to offer me a place to stay when I need it, help me when I need it, to go after the most beta, effeminate man around, and to always speak her mind, which is what I value most.

I trust SFPlayboy to be a horndog. I expect him to be going after anything with two legs that he finds attractive. I expect him to put his health and fitness first, to shove me out of bed no matter how much I grumble and take me down to the gym. I trust him to read the books I recommend, and to tell me when he finds one he thinks I'll like. I trust him with my diet, having my health in mind.

We learn to expect things from people, even from strangers. We walk around and interact with varying amounts of people every day, and we expect certain behaviors out of our baristas, our sales girls, the people in the cars beside us. We trust others on the road to stay between the lines, to not run red lights. Deviation from this is a violation of our trust, even though we all know that people will swerve, people will run lights, hit pedestrians, not look when making a right and ram into your car.

Which leads us back to GV8.

How do I trust him?

I trust that if I'm in trouble, he'll be there. I know if someone hurts me, he'll hurt them worse. I know if there's an emergency, he'll be at my door as fast as he can, violating as many traffic laws as he is able and still keep his car in one piece. I trust that if I do something wrong in bed, or something right, he'll tell me. I trust that he uses protection when he sleeps with others. I trust he will not intentionally hurt my feelings, and that he does want the best for me.

Do I trust that he respects me? No, not yet.
Do I trust that he knows and understands what I want for myself? No, not yet.
Do I trust that he will never do anything to seriously embarass me in front of friends or family? No, not entirely. Not because he can't read social situations, but because his reality is so far from my parents', and something normal for him is not normal for them.

But he is getting to me.
He is "cracking my nut".

And maybe, one day, I'll believe that his self-interest will shift to match what I need from him to trust him. And mine will shift to his.

Because I don't trust what people say. Emotions are easy and fade as quickly as they come on. I trust self-interest.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In bed, I crawled up his body, tongue sliding from groin to neck, lips coming to meet one of his ears while bodies writhe together.

He laughs and calls me his alpha sub, which causes me to pause his pleasure and look at him, head tilted to one side questioningly, "What?"

"You're my alpha sub," he repeats, which earns him another head tilt, "You're an alpha... and a sub."

I do not consider myself an alpha. I tend to step outside social groups and live the life of the roaming outlier.

But I do know that I am submissive, and that personality trait manifests itself strongly, enough so I have to be aware of it and control it to the best of my ability.

I managed to prevent myself from submitting to a man for over a year, though I had a few lovers and a couple one night stands, and then I hit GV8, much like running into a wall.

It amuses me so much, the thing that I have been told would ruin me, that would supposedly make no man want me as a committed partner, is what makes me desirable as a committed partner to him.

High partner count. Lots of experience.

Pleasing him because I'm wonderful in bed because of years of experience that would mark me to the socially/sexually inexperienced as uncontrolled and untrustworthy. That the only reason that he did not do a one or two night stand with me was because I knew what I was doing.

Because he learned that eighteen year olds might be young and hot, but they can't give head to save their lives, not to mention simply have sex.

Because women in their twenties aren't much better.

But I am.

We work towards partnership, towards that relationship. And maybe it will not work out in the end.

A twenty year gap in age, and I'm with a successful man, a man who is amazing in bed and happily works with me to get me up to speed. A man who has done so many things in life that I cannot help but know he would protect me at all costs.

Which is what I ask for.

I put in the time. I created who I am now, and I'm no where near done. I pushed boundaries, took the time to learn how to please, how to fuck, educated myself in life with books, with school, with people. Pushing myself to be the best I could be, which is still yet to come, so I could be with who I considered the best. To my own standards, my own values, which tend to befuddle so many others until I take the time to explain them.

I keep a wide view, a large scattering of social groups, a variety of music, books, movies, shows, experiences, so I can be the best I can be. So I can connect with others. So I can expand how I see the world and know all my opinions.

It truly tickles me how this worked out. I'm with a man I can actually respect, who I actually feel safe with, which means I can submit to him. And I would not have been able to do this with him if I had not pursued the path I had.

We're coming up on six months soon, six months of playing and never losing that excitment, that edge we seem to keep on what we are doing. Anxiety, amazing sex, nights out on the town, pleasing each other. No dullness.

I never expected this.

I was in the shower, maybe a night or two ago, I don't remember, and I thought to myself that I might actually love someone again. That I never imagined those words passing my lips once more. That my standards and expectations had grown too high and I was much too out there for most men to handle, for most to understand. I assumed that I would be alone, which I was mostly okay with. It's not like I'm ever actually truly alone, what with the various men whose company I kept for various lengths of time.

But I never expected to have a partner again. I never expected to meet someone I could respect.

Maybe I speak too soon, maybe this will all blow up in my face in a week, in a month, in an hour. But right now, the possibility is there and I find that startling.

And I love how this post didn't even address what I wanted it to. C'est la vie.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm such a hater...

I forgot, there were two things I wanted to do. Lets see if I do both of them, shall we?

First was to post a exerpt from a essay I was reading last week by the poet Adrienne Rich. This was written in the early 70s, I believe, and then re-vamped in 1976. She said something in it, something that really hit home for me.

"We seem to be special women here, we have liked to think of ourselves as special, and we have known that men would tolerate, even romanticize us as special, as long as our words and actions didn't threaten their privilege of tolerating or rejecting us and our work according to their ideas of what a special woman ought to be. An important insight of the radical women's movement has been how divisive and how ultimately destructive is this myth of the special woman, who is also the token woman."

Now, Adrienne Rich is a poet and a feminist. Her poetry is beautiful and strong, ultimately female but has an overarching idea of a certain way people should behave, what people should value, how the world should be.

This is why I am not a feminist.

It has been a topic of debate in other circles, in other blogs. Ultimately, it came down to one primary difference: I do not believe I should be enforcing my social values on others. I do not initiate or assume that other people will want the things that I want. If I want equality and respect, I get it for myself. I don't fight for women, I don't fight for men. I don't believe in the idea of a "liberated woman", unless she has been liberated from herself, from the environment she was raised in.

I was lucky enough to be the first-born to a couple of hippies. There was no pressure to act more feminine, more masculine. I was just to be and do what I wanted when it came to expressing myself and my sex.

And then my little sister was born, a delicate, feminine thing who could not hold her weight around the house as she grew, which meant I had the bulk of the chores, nearly all of the yard work, and grew tan and callused.

During all of this, I was partially raised alongside three boys, all rough, uncontrolled boys, with no idea of discipline, no real parental enforcement of order. We ran wild together until I was 13 and they moved out of state.

By that time, it had been established that I was very much my father's daughter. Controlled, analytical, quiet, too-intelligent, easy to detach from emotion, something that became nearly sociopathic as I hit my mid-teens. Flipping a switch inside me was easy, and enabled a good deal of the self-destruction I so eagerly threw myself into once I hit college.

This all left me quite masculine in personality.

There was never a question of being treated differently than the males around me. I was one of them in every way that mattered. I was the token female that wasn't considered a girl. I was the "special" female that would go out with them on boys' nights, who they would comfortably get sex advice from or brag about their exploits to.

I still am.

That girl.

The "special" girl.

The one that doesn't get excluded simply for being female.

Because the differences aren't with our bodies, they're with our attitudes and how we expect to be treated.

When you expect for your meals to be paid for, the door to be held open for you, to be assisted getting out of the car, to be treated like a precious, fragile thing, you are telling the people around you that you need help to live. That you can't do it on your own. That you expect special treatment. That you expect to be treated differently.

Which makes you different.
Which means you can't be like the others.

This is affirmative action based on sex, and you need assistance.

Audre Lorde wrote a poem, "Who Said It Was Simple", a part of which I really felt communicated something that I've been trying to say for some time now, something I tried to explain to some classmates that flew beyond and over their heads even though it seems like such a simple idea.

Sitting in Nedicks
the women rally before they march
discussing the problematic girls
they hire to make them free.
An almost white counterman passes
a waiting brother to serve them first
and the ladies neither notice nor reject
the slighter pleasures of their slavery.

It is that last line, "The slighter pleasures of their slavery" that is everything.

I see a lot of glorifying of feminity, of women encouraging others to take control of the relationship they are in, the use their feminine games and wiles, to withhold, until they get what they want. And these things work on most men.

Rules like the man should always pay for the date.
Rules like until he proposes, you're allowed to date and sleep with whoever you want.
Things that tell you it's okay to pout, to withhold sex, to expect him to read your mind and grovel.
To throw a fit if he doesn't remember your two month anniversary.
Lessons on how to get him to pay for everything.
On behaviors you should expect from a man.
To know if you're in a good relationship.
And those Cosmo articles that make me want to use the glossy edges of the magazine to slice open my own wrists before I would suffer through reading them.

These things make being female sound like being cattle at an auction, where instead of checking health, they check feminity expressed through how much a woman can beta-bitch her man.

It's not a partnership, only a symbiotic relationship between different kinds of parasites, if the man is lucky. If he's not, it's more like he's got a growth of mistletoe on his branches, and it's not looking for a kiss.

Female game makes me cringe. I tried it (should try everything once, right?) and that was an experience that was educatory and embarassing. Not because I did anything embarassing, but because it was so far from my own values that I was embarassed that I stepped so far away for myself.

But I've derailed. Again. I should just rename this blog to "Poetry of Flesh: The Pied Piper of Tangents".

If you want to be treated as equal, give up your slight pleasures. Step out of your "slavery". Female oppression? Females are more guilty of that activity than males.

Stop blaming other people for how you allow yourself to be treated.

There are horribly misogynistic men. Gods, do I know that. Hell, I've happily dated some of them- the sex is wonderfully objectifying if you're into that sort of thing.

You know what you do when you step into a new social group and you've got an asshole alpha? You shift. Examine the situation. Depending on the structure of the group and the type of asshole, you can out asshole him which discredits him, you can be polite and deflecting, even depreciating, which will partially discredit and disarm him, or you head into man-mode and agree with what you find agreeable, show that you're not female. It depends on what you want.

It's easy to be polite.
It's easy to come off well.
It's fun to watch a man blow up because he can't deal with you, and the aftermath of his lack of social control moves all power to you, as long as you can handle it.
And when you out asshole him, the shock (and sometimes horror) on his face as he realizes that you can always take it one step higher because he's a puppy, that's lovely.

Or you can leave. You don't want anything or anyone from the group. You remain polite, you remain calm, and sometimes you get a few people trailing after you.

You are in control of what you do.
If someone isn't paying you or housing you, your reaction is your own, and most else is fear or greed.

( is very hard to keep a consistent thought when one's office phone keeps ringing and people keep emailing. Dear Real Life, please stop intruding. Can't you see I'm blogging? Jeez.)

I'm not calling for some social change. As things are right now, I'm benefiting. Scarcity, the element of surprise, the constant, constant beta men that come after me with romantic or sexual intent, it all works. I'm okay with this.

But it does grate on me when women complain about wanting to be viewed as equals when their social expectations are that they get treated differently. So you want to be treated as equals with perks?? Seriously?

That isn't equality. And those perks aren't signs of respect. They're little social chains that tell the world all there is to you is a pair of tits and a (hopefully functioning) reproductive system.

It tolls for thee...

He's breaking me down.

There's something to be said about submission.

Something strong running through you, in different ways, with different needs and trigger points.

My issue, as I will call it, though it is not precisely that, is my need to please and serve. My desire to have someone worth serving.

My submission gives up my individual identity. I cease to be myself and instead become an extension of my partner.

If I can submit.
Which means I need to relax and trust.
Which means my partner needs to make me feel safe and that he has to be worthy of my trust.

Safe means power and strength. Trust means perfect control and honest communication.

He's breaking me down, slowly.

My need to please rises, and I feel that tugging in the back of my brain telling me that I need to become his. That I need to sink into him, that feeling of perfect surrender, that feeling of willing loss of control.

Control, my addiction.

Because I have never found a man with more control over his lusts than I have over mine.

Hence the lack of respect.
Hence the lack of trust.
Hence the lack of surrender.

He breaks me down. I seek his body under times of stress.

He made me dance for him. Something I have never done outside of a club. I'm not a performer. The compliments, the confidence, the knowing that unless a select few people are on the floor with me, it is likely that I am one of the best in the club. It leaves me. Nervous and shaky.

But I danced for him.

In the half-dark. Song of choice, Portishead's "Strangers". I always return to my trip-hop.

Too nervous, too shaky, blocky movements caused by anxiety. If we had been at a club, it would have been so much easier.

When I finished, the shakes continued to vibrate my body. I walked to where he was sitting and gently dropped to my knees in front of him, put my head in his lap and slid my arms around his waist while he stroked my hair and told me how much he liked the way I moved.

I stayed like that until the shaking stopped.

And I knew I had given him something, a part of me that would cause us to entangle even more. A hook on a line leading from me to him, something that would hurt if he ever ripped it out.

It wasn't the dancing. It was the recovery. It was the laying with my head in his lap until I settled. It was using him for comfort instead of finding it in myself. It was trusting him to treat me gently until I calmed and fought off the waves of anxiety that come from a solo performance.

He was right. It's something to battle, something to get over. I've had many men ask me to dance for them and I've declined each one, too nervous, too anxious. He was the only one that meant something, that had that power over me, the power I had given him, that could make me dance.

We had sex later that night. It continues to get better, continues to get more intimate, and for the first time I felt the stirrings of an orgasm solely from penetration. Oddly, it did not frighten me. The idea that, one day, I could give up my focus, my control, my monitoring, of what goes on during sex, enough so I could relax and actually orgasm through penetration... amazing.

We come closer and closer to that vaunted "making love".

Something I've certainly never done. Not even with Rick.

It truly does amaze me.

And, maybe, all those people who talk about the ectasies of making love, of that partner they truly care about, how that sex makes all others pale in comparsion, maybe they're right.

But it makes me think of the couples that make love who have had sex with no other partners.

Do they know, really? Do they know the difference in feeling between a grudge fuck, a pity fuck, a fantasy fuck, a one-night stand with no pretensions, a caring fuck, a friendly fuck, or a drunk fuck? Do they know what it's like to have sex with someone who you do not love, possibly don't even know, where all it is is the physical and what you create inside your head?

I do not mean for this to sound derisive, but how do they know what making love is, if they've never encountered its opposites? If they've had no variation? How can it be treasured?

I've always laughed at the idea (for me) of making love.

That anything could be as good as the brutal, animal fucking that comes with a man like Riot. Being completely used and degraded, being tossed around like a blow-up doll because your partner is so damn strong. Having your mind so involved with surviving the sex that you can't actually be bothered with thoughts of anything aside from taking the blows and the penetration (wherever it ends up) as best you can, minimal damage. Days later, you're still staggering when you walk.

That, to me, is sex. Is perfect sex.

But now I'm entering a realm of something I haven't experienced, something I don't understand, and, honestly, I don't really respect the opinions of most of the people who talk to me about it because it's such a religious experience for them and they usually have so little experience in the sex arena that I can't quite take their information seriously.

Which isn't the best of me, I know.

Maybe it won't happen. Maybe GV8 and I will split before I ever get to that point with him and, maybe, because of that, it'll wreck my trust for any men in the future. It's possible. I am a bundle of damage, but at least I take stock of my wounds and attempt to heal them.

I picked up Dune as Hope suggested. A cult of women that I think might be my heros, save for what appears to be a heavy thread of spirituality. But maybe it will change me like it changed her.

Who knows?

I've always said sex is what you make of it.
But I'm starting to think that I am what sex has made me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Words are jamming together in my brain, my dear.

Mondays have come to mean Venice, Culver City, Palms.

Mondays mean quick grocery shopping, darting through the produce section, talking life over sushi, and the inevitable marathoning of whatever show suits our fancy.

Mondays mean quiet touches that I hope are not loaded with more questions than I have answers to give.

Mondays are the start of freedom, the indicator that I have escaped and nothing is going to get me to stop, that the man who tried without intent to break me is only three miles from my office, in a neighborhood I once tried to call mine, a love of sidewalks and Christmas lights, a tiny town trapped in the fifties with a refinery breathing hot fumes onto its feet.

I am a hop, skip, jump, flying leap away from another reality, feet landing in the sand, distance to be measured.

Remembering that day you sailed into empty space, waiting to see how far your legs could take you.

To this moment, no further than now.
Waiting slide into the next.

It's Monday, and my body is recooperating from the weekend, remembering the touches and the laughter, Hollywood Boulevard at night, Frank and Musso's, and how he looked across from me, the landscape of his face. His eyes and smile across hills of pillows.

Other steps, other ways of being.

Dancing in the half-dark as he watches, quiet beams of light cutting the floor with the soles of my shoes, slick hardwood, reflective and too smooth.

Is this now my life?

When I step into the confines of the "normal" world, it becomes an odd and awkward place. Surrounded by children my own age. Looking at gaps in education and experience. Can we have only one or the other?

I wrap my limbs around him, ankles about his waist, arms snaking through the space between forearms and chest, breathing in the scent, stealing his heat, lips and teeth touching and dancing on his shoulder. It feels as though I can never get close enough, never love enough, never touch enough. Frustrations put forth by the boundaries of bodies.

Why can't I sink into his skin?

Mondays are without him, but are with rain and cold nights, and other hands that are blocked from roaming. Bare walls, clean carpet, a sleeping bag encasing my own heat.

Free, but not. Trapped by emotions, again.

Choosing the make and model of my cage, and yet I sing inside it.

Like poetry in motion...

Update: This post is a lot longer than I expected. You should probably just read the cliffnotes, which go along the lines of: "I hate my ex and women are whores, stabby, stabby, stabby".

Yesterday, once I decided my course of action, was spent lounging half-naked across the California king bed in the apartment, watching Whedon's Firefly on the oversized flat screen (with surround sound) while working on my papers and nibbling on two bite-sized red velvet cakes.

That was... mmm... so nice.

Two papers later, GV8 texted me and we hit my favorite restaurant on Sunset Boulevard for dinner before he headed back to work. Crawled into bed with me at 1 or 2 in the morning and I woke up enough to stroke and scratch his back until he started snoring into the pillow.

I'm turning into his bitch. Sigh. Ah well.

I promised, dear readers, that I would post an email my most recent (broke up over a year ago, mind you) ex-boyfriend sent me last week, and my response.


(I should have known he was a cruel man by the curl of his upper lip. That always bothered me.)

I just want to throw out there...

We have not really spoken since March, so, all these months later, I don't really know how you feel about any possible future encounter with me. I would only say, on the ever so slight chance you had any ponderings on the topic, that I have no problem with you. If we were to run into each other at a club or party, at least on my end, I don't expect to provoke any awkwardness or drama.

Regarding G's Halloween party next weekend, I know you and G are good friends. I would not want him to miss out on your company if you had any apprehension that I might cause a scene if you were to show up.

I hope you enjoy your Halloween season.

I guess that was all.

P.S. - Happy 8-days-late birthday

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking something like, "How polite and gentlemanly of him," or "How sweet that he would attempt to patch things up" or something along those lines.

And, without any backstory, I would feel the same way.

Here's why I don't:

We moved into a two bedroom apartment by the beach two Novembers ago. The two bedroom part was in case we ever broke up. It started as an office and turned into my bedroom immediately after the break up. It was agreed that since he made so much more than I did, we would split the rent 40/60, utilities 50/50, and security deposit 50/50. I would keep up the apartment, do the dishes, the cleaning, etc to make up for the difference in payment.

And I did.

When we finally broke up, it had been a long time coming. We hadn't been fighting as much as me constantly going out and him staying home and wallowing in depression because he got himself fired from his job for intentionally poor performance. For four or five months, while he wallowed, I attempted to get him out of the apartment, attempted to get him to clubs, to friends, the things he would enjoy. And once he got out, he would perk up, be happy and personable.

As soon as we returned home, snappish and moody.

We broke up. I was sad but relieved. And we agreed that, for six months, neither of us would date while we got used to the roommate situation, so there would be no drama, no rough patches.

He agreed, I agreed.

Three days later, he started dating a girl that I had indirectly brought into the our social circle. He tried to hide it from me, but I'm not a moron.

After the initial cry, we talked. He had broken his side of the deal. He agreed that he would not bring her by the apartment until the agreed upon six months was up.

Two weeks later, at work, I receive a phone call. He's upset. He's going to be having one of his many parties soon and he can't invite his girlfriend. What's the point in paying now 55% of the rent (after the break-up, we re-adjusted) if he can't have his girl over for parties.

So I agreed that on party nights I would find myself elsewhere and he could bring her over.

Another week passes, another phone call. He doesn't find it fair that she can't come over for his one a month weekend gatherings of friends and gaming. I tell him no, I already agreed to the parties.

He doesn't care. He'll move out if she can't come over for those.

I sigh and agree.

Two weeks pass. He calls, totally distraught. The apartment doesn't feel like his, he says. He wants his girlfriend over, he can't stand not being at his own place and hates driving the 30 miles to hers. It's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair, he's paying 5% more rent, so he should be able to have her over.

I agree to working our schedules around each other so I can tell him when I'm going to be out for the weekend so she can come over... if he agrees to stop being a little bitch and calling me at work to sob at me about the unfairness of life because he kept agreeing to things and going back on his word.

He agrees.

Two weeks later, another distraught call. "I'm a whiny bitch, I'm a whiny bitch" he says to me.

Okay, that's not true.

But I get another phone call. He's still upset. Life still isn't fair. And he thought he could hold up his end of the agreement again, but it turns out that (again) he can't. I tell him that since his apartment is half his, I will alternate weekends with him (which is how the couchsurfing started) so they can have the apartment to themselves twice a month, just have her out by Sunday night so I can go to bed on time.

He's joyous at this, thanks me, says he won't ask for anything else because it is half my apartment and oh boy thanks.

Two weeks.

I should have expected this.

Two weeks.

He calls, he emails, he can't take this anymore. Those are his words. He can't take only having her over two weekends out of a month. It isn't fair. It's his apartment too. He wants her over whenever he wants.

I tell him I will move out if he does this, and he cannot afford the place on his own.

He says he doesn't care. He would rather have this girlfriend of just a couple months with him than preserve our friendship and memories of a two year long relationship.

He starts bringing her over. Putting up calendars with their schedule on the fridge so whenever I go to grab something from the kitchen I get to see them. When I complain, he tells me to buy magnent boards and he'll hang them in the room but the refrigerator is half his so he should be able to hang anything he wants on it.

He starts emailing me any little problems he has, complaining that he might move out if I do x, y, and z, knowing that I cannot afford the neighborhood we live in now if I'm on my own.

He sits me down and purposefully triggers a panic attack in me one night, knowing I'm battling withdrawal and just not caring. He's powertripping because I'm powerless, because he likes being in control.

He sits me down one evening and tells me he feels like he can't be in the living room because if he breaks anything he thinks I'll make him pay for it, and he found it incredibly unfair that I asked him to give me $1.50 for the cost of some food of mine that his friends ate without asking. He tells me that the pan I inherited from my grandmother that he left sitting in the sink for two weeks that ended up rusting over should not have to be replaced by him because it was obviously a crappy pan and he shouldn't have to replace crappy things.

I break.

I go past the point of caring that I live anywhere remotely near my job.

I talk to my parents.
I talk to my friends.
I determine logistics.

I clean the garage while he's out for the weekend. Empty my things from it and rearrange it so nothing appears to be missing.

I empty my closet while he's gone.
I partially empty my bookcases of books, leaving the visable shelves full.
I borrow a friend's truck and move everything into my parents' garage.
My mother helps me unload.
I give my 30 days notice to the landlord and ask if they notify the other tenant.

They tell me no, they don't.

Slowly I shift things out. Taking down paintings and posters, photos. I sell nearly one thousand books on Craigslist for $20.

He's leaving for New Orleans soon, for Mardi Gras. Back to his hometown.

He's a southern gentleman, you see.

One week, one week before he's gone, the landlord calls him to check to make sure it's just the one of us moving out.

He calls me at work. The anxiety is gone, my heart no longer pounds when his name flashes across my cellphone's screen.

He asks me if I had thought he wouldn't find out.

"Out about what?" I ask, hoping it's something else, hoping that I can fake him out if it's some little thing.

But he knows. And he's panicking. He tells me this.

"How does it feel? Being the one panicking? God knows I've been feeling it for months now, and you've been purposefully causing it."

He feels betrayed. Asked me what I was going to do, if I was going to tell him.

I tell him I was going to move out while he was on vacation. Leave him a note and let him keep the security deposit for my last month's rent.

I lied.

One of the few times I out and out lied.

What I was planning was to move out, then call him while he was on his vacation to tell him in order to wreck his spending and partying because he's very money focused and knowing that he would have to pay the full rent would absolutely kill his vacation.

And he could have the security deposit. It was more than my month's rent and utilities combined.

He was shocked and horrified that I would move out without telling him. He couldn't believe I would do such a thing, betray him like that, not communicate with him because I was the one who taught him how to communicate, taught the value of communication to such a private man.

That weekend, before he left, I was packing in the kitchen. His girlfriend was sleeping in his (our) bed. He told me that he hoped we could still be friends. He told me that he would miss me, my intelligence, humor, wit. That he would miss clubbing with me.

We talked for two hours. I mostly listened to him, how much he would miss me, how he would desire my friendship still. He kept trying to convince me that I should remain friends with him.

Then I asked him why, why had he treated me the way he did.

He looked up without a hint of regret and said, "I thought you could take it."

That's when I imagined punching him in the face.

"I thought you could take it. You were so strong. I assumed you could take it. Apparently you couldn't." His tone expressed disappointment and mild disgust in my apparent lack of ability to "take it".

He elaborated while I wrapped up my glassware in papertowels and newspaper. Talked while I carefully packed up my grandmother's glass punchbowl, the one I had specifically asked for because I knew of his love to throw parties and thought it would make my (ex)boyfriend happy. The same punchbowl that was carefully placed in a box by my aunt with loopy, feminine script on the lid reading, "For all the happy times and memories". The same punchbowl my ex had the brainlessness to ask me if he could use for the Christmas party he and his new girlfriend had been planning. This was for the same Christmas party he asked me to pay for half the Christmas tree and to use my Christmas decorations, when the year prior he made me pay for the Christmas tree myself because he didn't see the point in getting one.

He talked and I envisioned flinging the bowls and glass into his face, pounding his skull into the tile edges of the counter.

I did not show my anger.

Finally, he finished his "I wish we could be friends" two-hour long speech and I went to bed.

A few days later, he said goodbye to me as I went to bed, as he would be boarding a plane early in the morning with his girlfriend to go to New Orleans. I went to bed and when I woke up in the morning I found one of his friends on the couch.

You see, after his heartfelt speech, he decided to sneak one of his friends into the apartment, give him an extra key, and have this friend watch my moving out to make sure I did not steal anything.

Even better, he did not tell this friend that was what he was there for until he left in the morning. The friend was not pleased. I was furious.

I tried to get this man out of the apartment, but even threat of calling the police did not sway him. And I actually liked this guy, so I felt horrible throwing such a fit. It wasn't his fault, he was just a tool.

In the end, he ended up giving me my space, even vacating for an evening... the evening I went and got my tattoo. Yes, move out weekend, the day I departed from the life I had set before myself, the day that I chose the separation from what I had been told to want, I spent eight hours under the needle, getting those black blocks embedded in my skin.

Saturday was moving, my mother, her friend, my best friend, and another good friend. My ex's friend also helped, brought tools and rope.
Sunday was ink. I laid on the floor of my bare room, in the sleeping bag that now accompanies me everywhere, aching from the eight hour long stretch of needles and ink.

And then I was free.


Tires beneath me, sleeping bag and duffel bag in my trunk, fuel in my tank... what else could a girl need?

A few months later, at a club, I ran into the best friend of the woman my ex was now dating. She apologized for her friend's behavior, and then informed me that this woman had been plotting to split us up for over a year and a half. Since they met. That this girl had been crazy for my boyfriend, and that all those little things that I dismissed when she had been around were cues I should have picked up on.

And that the foursome we had at a friend's beach house the summer prior, the one she had initiated with me, my first time with a woman, had been in order to get to my ex.

Two weeks ago, I ran into that same friend. She told me that my so frugal ex had moved her into his apartment some time ago, even though it has only been a little over a year since they started dating, and bought her a car.

Then, last week, I received an invite to a Halloween party, one he had also been invited to. Knowing this, he emailed me. tell me he would not cause a scene should I show.

Because he has something to be angry about? Something worth being pissed about? Some grievance? I did nothing to him. I treated him with respect until the last moment, and even then, I treated him better than he had treated me.

This is not the first time he had emailed me.

So if you re-read that email, knowing what you do, and with my own knowledge that I left many things out that would cause this post to become even longer than it already is, know that the first email I composed in response was full of anger.

And the second, once I had deleted the first, listed the men who have, in some way, harmed me, and how I hated him the most.

And the third, once I had deleted the second, told him how embarassed I was that I had dated him, how he was the butt of my family's jokes.

And once I deleted the third one and composed the final draft, when I hit send, it read:

Please do not email me again.

Thank you.

And that was all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Don't you wanna take a ride with me...

We're interrupting our (ir)regularly scheduled blog for a moment to clear ye old brain box.

Anxiety is a nightmare.

I suppose, on the list of nightmares, it is a small one, but it is still quite there on the list.

It is a dozen micro-machines (those cute mini toy cars from the 80s) zooming around the valves and arteries of my heart. I feel every turn, every yank of the wheel, and I know that the only thing to do is wait and attempt to keep the course while my body goes into a state of panic provoked by the slightest of incidents.

Currently, I have the combination of a mild lack of sleep, my usual heart condition kicking in (which triggers my body into a mild state of panic whether or not I'm calm and content), and GV8 ditching me this weekend.

It wouldn't be so bad if, you know, he would let me help him on his project. Physical labor is easy, and we work well together.

But he won't.

Which leads into the question of "why?".

Does he think I will be in the way?
Does he just want to do it himself?
Is he hiding something (or someone) from me?
Is he trying to shove away from me?

It is, as we say, no bueno.

No bueno, no how.

...that didn't make any sense. Anyway...

I'm annoyed, I'm hurt. I told Playboy not to come down this weekend so GV8 and I could have a bit more quality time together after the rough bit we had two weeks ago, and Playboy was a bit put off by it (understandable). So, GV8 and I schedule the weekend semi-to ourselves, and... now I'm spending the entire weekend by myself except when he joins me to go to sleep. I could have been at home, sorting through paperwork or loading up the iPod he got me for my trip to New York. I could have been detailing my car, hanging out with my family, getting myself organized.

But, no, I'm sitting up here in Hollywood in a little coffee shop on the hope that he might have time for dinner with me and not wanting to drive back to my parents' house, which triples my commute tomorrow morning.

I could go down and crash with a friend in Venice, or even go interrupt C and hang with her... which sounds kinda nice.

But I told GV8 that I would stay here, that I would be here, that I would wait for him. It's 3PM and I might not even see him and it pisses me off that a) he had to cancel the weekend and b) I'm sitting here like a little bitch.

I've got four papers to write and I can't get the anxiety down enough to focus.

I'm worried that I'm misstepping here. I'm worried that if I stay, he'll think less of me, and if I go, he'll think I don't want to spend time with him.

Rolling around in bed with him this morning, not even having sex, was so fun, so intimate and relaxing. And now I'm here, at this tiny little table, not relaxed in the slightest.

I think I may go over to Amoeba, pick up a boxed set of something, and pop it in back at the apartment and work there. I really don't want to be here right now. I want to be in bed, sleeping. Or with my mother, playing cards and teasing each other.

Yeah, that sounds good. Amoeba, boxed set, apartment, writing papers. Chat with my mum on the phone. I just don't want to be out right now.

I feel better already. Thanks, internet, you're the best!

Friday, October 16, 2009

This ego-stroking is brought to you by the letter "S"

I was going to post about an email I received yesterday from an ex-boyfriend and my response, but I suppose I will have to put that off because the office is jumping and I need to dive back into the paperwork building on my desk.

But I did get this email just a little bit ago, from my dinner companion from out of town, a friend through my other (now fairly defunct) blog.

If it isn't apparent, I am slightly more awkward in person. It didn't help that you're even more gorgeous as a flesh-and-blood woman standing before me than in single frames of a person viewed through a computer. Honestly, that radical tattoo going down your side (the one I've told you before I wanted to nom a little bit) didn't even cross my mind. I was too impressed with all that I could sense. I adore your smile, what I caught of your scent, and your feminine shaping. I came in slightly unprepared, having not spoken with you very much over the last few months. Nevertheless, it was a fun outing during which my senses were rather delighted and I was made to release genuine laughter.

I'm sitting here with a little grin on my face.

Last night was lovely. Down at the little steakhouse I adore, talking with my blog-friend and the waitress who works there. He was just as witty as he is online, plus those eyes that I adored. I've made friends with the waitress since I frequent that restaurant more than any other in the area. She'll usually hang out and chat with me, whether or not I'm alone. She's gorgeous and hysterical, comedienne in training, bright blue eyes and curly red hair. We made plans to go to a concert together in early November last night. She's one of the only feminine-looking women I've ever had any sexual interest in.

Unfortunately, she's moving in a few months, to go to school at Second City in Chicago.

Anyhow, back to my blog-friend. He's from Portland. I'm going to be up there the last week of December/first week of January for a friend's wedding. We're going to be traveling around Oregon a bit before the wedding, and then I am going to be ditching the rest of my party to spend a few days with him, touring the city and burying myself in Powell's because that is my Mecca and I must make my trip or I will be blaspheming against the gods of literature.

It'll be a good trip.

New York for Halloween.
Portland for New Years.
Christmas to be spent in a posh club in downtown.

I suppose I need to think of something to do for Thanksgiving, though I did make a slight push for Rancho Santa Fe with my cousins. Not because of their estate, mind you, but because of the comfy armchair by the fireplace and the 11PM drive up the 5 freeway, windows down, heat on my feet, and the CD of the moment setting pace with the dotted white lines of the highway.

I want to go to DC for Spring Break. I think this sounds like a plan.

Tune in for our next blog post: When Exes Send You Unwanted Emails. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.

Just in case I like the dancing...

I feel like I start every other post with a complaint on how my body cannot keep up with my mind or schedule.

Tired again.
Still fighting off sickness.
Flushing my body out with water.
Hoping it goes away.

A friend from my other blog flew into town yesterday, drove two or three hours to have dinner with me last night. Sweet guy, very expressive eyes. Easy to read. Had a tendency to joke by suddenly switching into a faked extreme anger without warning, though. I did not mention how many of my Pavlovian reactions that habit of his triggered. I need to get used to it. I need to expose myself to it so my fight-or-flight becomes dulled and managable.

Funeral was also yesterday.

I saw my two uncles do something I had never seen before: act like brothers.

I watched them, during the ceremony, make hand gestures and jokes across the aisle at each other, a quiet, hardly noticed acknowledgment of a shared childhood.

It astounded me.

They're always so distant, acting more like cousins that happen to see each other on holidays than boys who grew up together.

I suppose that's not overly surprising.

The older of the two went into real estate, but not in the normal way. In his mid-thirties, he was already a millionare, driven and successful, a no-excuses, no-way guy. Very judgemental, very knowing that everything he did was successful so his advice was solid gold and those who did not listen were fools and to be rejected.

The younger became an architect. Came out of the closet. Partied, rode motorcycles, joined a fraternity, took up with a man two decades his senior, spent his time around artists, writers, actors, designers. Never very successful. So different than his brother. Infinitely more open and accepting.

I watched their hands move, relaying information in a code that I could not understand, a shared language of common childhood experiences. I watched them silently laugh and smile at each other while the elder messed with a camera he had hidden behind a pew.

They were boys again. Brothers.

My sister sat to my right. Black dress, black flats, blonde hair.
My mother sat in the pew in front of me. White blouse, black pants, red hair.
My father across the aisle with the pall bearers. Black suit, white shirt, blonde hair.

We are the sum of our experiences.

My sister and I have some shared language, but her ever present judgement has an isolating effect that is amplified by her behavior.

My father's constant direction, constant molding and formation of character, leaves me at a distance, his occasional explosions make me wary and afraid.

My mother is more of a sister to me than my own sibling. Best friends, allies, confidants, anchor points for each other. Closer than we should be, easy to communicate, easy to understand.

I am glad that she is my mother, but I wish that she was closer to my age so we could have more time together. The years show on her face and I watch and wait.

Wondering what will take her from me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Darling, I'm down and lonely...

The walking wounded, she surrounds herself with submissive males.

Last night, the three of us laid in her bed.

I on my stomach, left shoulder against the wall, chin leaning sideways on my left forearm, my right hand moving up and down her arm and shoulder.
He is behind her, sitting up, one foot on the bed, one on the floor, thigh pressed against her back, hand roaming her waist and hips.

She lies on her side, facing me, face framed by her arms, dark, dark eyes wide without her glasses.

She hates weakness, possibly more than I do.

The weakness of those around her, the frustrations of disagreeing plans of action, she lashes out with brute force of tongue, biting words.

The weakness in others reminds her of the weakness in herself.

But she dates feminine men, submissive men, beta men. Men that are her playthings, men who do not know the art of home repair, who cannot change a tire, cannot change oil, who drive like women. They are emotional and fragile, they cling and look to her for guidance.

And she becomes strong through their eyes, through the contrast supplied by their weakness.

But then they stumble. It goes too far and some can only take her aggression, playing dress-up, teaching them how to live in the way she thinks they should, how to cut their hair, how to drive, how to carry, how to perform simple actions, for so long.

I watched her lecture one on how to grab paper so as not to afford himself a papercut.

He's inept anyhow.

How long can she do this?

The lack of self-examination, the lack of acknowledgement of what she used to desire and how those things scarred her, how her family scarred her, how her father scarred her, how long will she continue to seek out the lesser men, how long will she play the dominant, strong one in the relationships she creates, hurt and irritated that she can never be weak, can never be soft or feminine.

Because she is always taking care of them.

Of their lives.
Of their emotions.
As much as she can.

Small bouts of raging, her words filling my right ear as I cruise the highways of Southern California. She never has someone taking care of her, not in the way she wishes.

But she cannot, cannot get over that fear of the dominant.
The fear that she might not be as strong as her partner.
As strong as she should be.

And that, one day, she might not be able to fend for herself.
And on that day, maybe, she will realize that her great strength is not as strong as she thought, because comparing yourself to something so weak only breeds self-illusion.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Come roll the dice for me...

The weather is changing rapidly, from sun and heat to low-hanging clouds and winds that set my hair flying and my lips smiling.

Autumn is my favorite time of year, and this year is a reminder of what has happened, what memories were created in the cold air that stick to me with more strength than summer flings.

Sometimes scents lock it in.

And then I'm back in front of a street light on Beverly, lips connected with his, body wracked with shivers, learning his face again, looking at those wild eyes, those cheekbones, the cornstalk gold of his hair as we press into each other so tightly.

It is me, driving up PCH, bonfires to my left, constellations formed on the beach, windows down, heater blasting with IAMX filling the space around me.

Alone, at a farmer's market, sweaters and scarves.

Haunting a club in Los Angeles, in and out, dancing, sweating, my own world. Recooperating at a diner afterwards, book open on the table in front of me, watching the 3AM stragglers and scensters stagger in and flop into the red vinyl booths, laughing and flirting while sweat dries on my body, peeling sticky clothing away from my skin, staring at myself in the mirror over the sink, light blue walls behind me.

Alone and happy.

Following his car up the freeway for a late night rendevous spent in an oversized bed with his body, a back like steel that I scraped my teeth and tongue along.

And the fears, the anxiety, the roommate/ex-boyfriend combo who I never should have dated, never should have touched, should have listened to my gut.

But it got me out, got me wandering again, searching and exploring, recognizing my need for a safe place, a secure place. Started the couchsurfing and the long walks during the day, trying to get away, trying to avoid that which I always attempted to call home but never truly believed.

It's autumn. My body sings, my body wanders, moves with the rhythms of the clubs and waits to feel the bite of wind and rain, waits for the cold, open windows and the feeling of heat beside me, trapped together beneath sheets.

In a few weeks I will be on a plane to New York. Northeastern autumn, something new.

I have my books, my music, and my need to fly.

Let's go.
More mental blocks, stacking up. I start composing sentences when I am away from the keyboard, but as soon as I drop down in front of once, fuzzy silence in my brain tilts on, full-throttle.

We met on Sunday afternoon, 3PM.

I was an hour early, so I ended up pulling my usual routine of parking in the ArcLight structure and spinning through Borders, for once denying Amoeba, and depositing myself on a couch at the coffee shop on the corner of Cahuenga and Sunset.

I shared the couch with a thin blonde man reading The Brothers Karamazov, "HOME" tattooed across his right knuckles, a faded batwing protruding down his arm, escaping from the rolled up sleeve of his sweater.

Fifteen minutes and several pages of my book later, I left to go meet with GV8.

It was... a little awkward at first.

We kissed, hugged, but there was a slight... misalignment.

Not physically, of course, but just a reserve. Dipping toes into cold water, hesistating if one is going to jump all the way in or curl up in a towel on shore.

He showed me the work on his loft, the new ideas, the changes. More mirrors have been installed, and it is rapidly becoming obvious that this short project that was supposed to be off the ground by the end of October at the latest is going to be pushed well into January.

But he wants to do it right, wants to make it perfect.

While he showed me, our eyes rarely met. He was avoiding that contact, which is unusual. It wasn't a sign of submission, I think, but more of an avoiding of things you do not wish to look on, closing your eyes to something unpleasant. We did not touch, we did not stroke or pat, fondle or hug. None of our usual hand-holding as he would tote me about the site of construction, even when I tried to touch him, he would not lean into it, would slightly dodge... nothing noticable, unless you're me and have a habit of dodging unwanted physical affection from male friends. The signs are there.

It worried me.

It still does.

We moved around each other in an ever-widening circle, until returning to the apartment.

I told him on the phone, a few days ago, that I would give him a rubdown to ease his muscles after so much physical labor. He stripped and crawled onto the bed, I followed suit.

It is a pleasure to please him. Holding the oil in my hands until my heat removes the edge of coldness and then dripping it onto his back, onto his waist, his arms, legs, feet. The slick slide of my hands over his skin, kneading his muscles, hearing the quiet groans that signal his contentment.

I used to be so good at this, before the accident, before the surgery, before I lost most of the strength in my right hand.

Even though I will likely never have that strength again, I can still feel and move the muscles, I can still relax and understand the body in that way that is so unexplainable to most, but has been second nature to me since I was small.

The massage turns into something sexual when I have him roll onto his back and straddle his pelvis, my own natural oils coating him, gliding up and down on his shaft while massaging his arms and chest, using the weight of his head to get the solid knots on the back of his neck.

This is when it turns to harmony.

This is when that ever-widening circle vanishes and we're speaking to each other with our skin and sweat. Barriers are removed, awkwardness vanished, reserve gone.

We are perfect beasts, so in tune, so woven together, running through the woods of our lusts.

When we finish, we are one again.

Words unneeded,
Our flesh's communion,
And then... peace.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nineteen oh one...

Hit another wall.

No, not in my car. I'm not prone to ramming inanimate objects with my vehicle.

I want to write, I want to think with the keyboard and have the discussions that are featured here with myself, but something seems to be causing a sort of muffled internal monologue that isn't translating well to actually figuring out what is going on.

Called GV8 three times yesterday, once on my way into work, once on my way home from work, and once right after the second one because I had to check something.

We just talked. Just... conversation. Surface, trival stuff. I had been worried previously that we would not be able to do that, just talk about the most commonplace stuff. You know "conversation". Talking for the sake of talking, for the company of the person on the other end of the phone. Talking without purpose, without trying to communicate information about yourself to the other.

And we did it for awhile.

He also, without realizing it, addressed my general hatred of the beta-boy routine he goes into in most social situations. We were talking about... gods, I don't know. And he mentioned the act he puts on for people, how he shifts gears in social situations in order to make other people comfortable because they would not be comfortable with him acting himself.

I had not realized that's why he did it.

And I was mildly unsure if he knew that he did, indeed, do it.

It still bothers me, I will admit. It likely will for awhile. First, I don't find it attractive. Second, if I'm to be dating a man who is nearly two decades older than me, and he acts, in public like something everyone knows I would never find attractive, it's going to look like I'm after him for his money. And the people who actually know me, who know that I don't care overmuch about the money, are going to wonder why I'm with someone so different than my usual type. I like representing myself well, being represented well by my partner selection, being proud to be with them.

And I am proud... ah, am I proud? Shoot. Well, my brain just came to a screeching, discordant halt.

When he's being himself, when he's truly opening up to me, when he's revealing all those pieces of himself he hides even when we're alone together, I am thrilled, I am happy, to be with him. Proud? I'm not much one for being proud to be with another person.

But those other times, when he's doing the song and dance, I continue to cringe, wishing that man I know that he seems so often to hide from others in so many different ways, would be with me all the time. I want to feel like we're running alongside each other, a complimentary team.

We're seeing each other on Sunday. I've decided to take tonight and tomorrow to catch up on needed sleep, on homework, on bookwork, on organizing life-stuff. I was hoping to spend more time with him this weekend, but his complaint that I am always tired (accurate) means that I need to sacrifice quantity of time with quality of time.

So I get an afternoon.


I invited him to meet my parents, you know. Saturday, we're going to a little festival and his complaint that I hide him from them (accurate) caused me to speak to them about inviting him to it. And they were actually okay with that. It was the last thing I was expecting, especially since when both of them discovered our age gap, both separately lectured me about how he was too old for me and what the hell was I thinking?

But he turned me down. Said that with everything going on between us, not certain of where we are going, it probably wasn't the best idea.

True. But... I tried.

I feel like a little girl, scrabbling about for a solution.

I'm trying to do this right.

And maybe I should just give up. This isn't the best time for this, and I can't afford the emotional distraction from this in my work or education.

But how much am I supposed to let pass me by?

Just because it's inconvenient? Just because I'm incredibly insecure about so many things and this could just make it worse? So it's easier to run away than to risk being rejected for who I am instead of who I thought he wanted me to be or, rather, what I thought would cause him to want me, to want me to stick around, to want more from me than casual sex?

Fear is a big motivator.

Not just for me.

Fear of being hurt. Fear that every horrible thing you've ever thought about yourself might be true. Fear that every self-doubt was truly self-knowledge disguised with the light of hope or just blind ignorance. Fear that every insult that has been tossed your way was correct. Fear that you're unlovable, that you're unforgivable, that you're horrible, that everything you ever will attempt will fail.

It's easier to hide, easier to not try and rationalize it in a way that you can accept and that you can convince others to accept. If you're good, and most of us are, you can do it so smoothly you don't realize that you're even covering these thoughts up. You live a rationalized reality.

Personally, I'm terrified.

I'd like to say that I'm only afraid but, really, that would just be me trying to convince myself that this bone-vibrating fear isn't as bad as I would wish it to be. That I would, like most things in my life, dissociate myself from the emotion to the point where the experience is simply an echo of what I do not allow myself to feel.

But part of this, part of all of this, is acknowledging.

It's about digging up the mounds of earth that I have buried all my fears and hurts in and examining the fossils that shape the landscape of the person I am now.

Maybe it won't do any good.

I mean, I've been doing this for years. I have writing scattered across the internet, essays and blogs floating around for the last decade. And people always tell me how self-aware I am, how in tune with myself I am, how courageous or honest, brutal and revealing, how knowledgable, mature, whatever.

It doesn't feel like that to me.

I know that, compared to the average person, I do examine myself thoroughly. I try to be aware of myself as much as I can, but I certainly fail more often than not.

I mean, it should be fairly obvious to even the most unaware person that if you are dating one person, hoping for more, and you continue to see other people, that shows you have a lack of true interest in that one particular person.

You think that would be obvious.

But here I was thinking that it would make him want me more, that I would be more of a chase, because so damn many PUA men online have said that I'm a horrible slut, horrible human being, I need to become a born-again virgin because no decent man will have me now, it's far too late, but maybe I could settle for a lower middle-class beta loser and become a chubby soccer mom getting her stubby toes polished by a Vietnamese woman on the weekends.

So I play hard to get.
So I say, sure, men find me desirable, and I'm going to continue to enjoy myself with them and that will illustrate that GV8 better get a move on if he wants me because others want me too.

And what's funny is that, this year, I've had sex with five (5!) men, two of them being hold-overs from last year (Hardwood Floors and SFPlayboy), one of them was a crappy one-night stand (Dose), a not-so-crappy one-night stand (Mr. Brush-off), and GV8. Mr. Brush-off was the only man I've had sex with since I met GV8. I have not had the inclination or the true interest to pursue anyone further.

Anyway, I think that was more of a sidetrack than anything.

GV8 still wants me, at least in some capacity, after all of this. After me acting like someone else entirely, someone I wanted to be, but not someone who I was.

And I did learn. I learned how to be stronger, how to hold back, how to not rush into things. These were things I had never been able to conquer before, but I did so with him and I'm proud of myself, in my own way, for being able to do so.

I faced a fear. I faced an insecurity.

And I tackled it, drove it to the ground. It wasn't the smoothest, at least on an emotional level, but I did force myself to face my anxieties.

Now I have to learn how to let go.

Even if GV8 is not the man for me, even if he rejects me, I need to learn how to do this, and I need to learn how to accept this complete rejection.

Because I know I will never be happy, never have that security or sense of self I desire, if I do not learn how to let go. If I never learn to have faith in myself.

I am much better than the girl I used to be, but it is going to take a lot of work to become the woman I know I have in me.