Friday, February 5, 2010

I was cooking some salmon earlier this evening, grooving to my usual, and the smoke detector goes off.

I'm not the brightest person, at times. Should have probably opened the windows before spending that long at the stove.

I'm 5'9". Usually I can stretch, jump, and hit the smoke detector open, then jump again and knock the battery loose.

My new place, however, has high ceilings. Somewhere in the 10' range. Fortunately, the detector wasn't on the ceiling, but high above the french doors leading into the kitchen. The little white circle above those doors, below...

Unfortunately, it was still out of reach of my leaping capabilities.

Unfortunately, I haven't bothered buying a kitchen table and chairs yet, so I had nothing to stand on, the only chair in my residence being one of those plush executive deals on wheels. I might be slow on the uptake, but I do know that hardwood floors and standing up in rolling chairs don't mix.

I tried to smack at it with my maglight and pop the cover.

I opened the kitchen windows.

All ineffectual in stopping the shrill beeping.

And then I realized my apartment is full of books. Grabbed my unabridged dictionary, an encyclopedia of poetry, and a history of romance in 1920s films, coasted up nine inches in extra height, turned the thing off.

See, books are useful.

Currently sitting in a crowded coffee shop, a funky jazz band playing in the back, a friend across from me who does the most amazing paintings, if you're into horror.

I like this city.

I like this life.

I finally gave in and bought a Blackberry on Wednesday. Paired it up with my car and basked in the joy of clear sound while driving down the freeway. The salesperson transferred all my contacts over and told me he had only seen one other person with more numbers than I have. I really need to clear my phonebook out.

I sat down here tonight, hooked up the laptop, started backing up files, pulling photos and video off my camera, digging through my iPod to determine which Portishead song I'm going to use as my ringtone (ended up being Strangers). I'm turning into one of those people. I used to keep it so simple, used to keep all the information I needed in my head.

And I thought it would get simpler, when I stopped couchsurfing. That my schedule would settle down, that the social demands I feel continuously under would ease off. I thought I'd be able to spend more time writing, more time on my classes, getting things together.

But the demands have grown. I'm finding that, again, I am getting one night per week to myself.

It's my choice, I know.

I'm becoming different.

Sometimes I feel like I took so much of GV8 into who I am making myself. I've found I've lost a lot of my shyness, a lot of my "respect" of social boundaries, of territorial boundaries. I'm taking more control of my social relationships, especially with men.

More confident, more self-respecting. I'm losing fear, it's dripping out of me, and I know, when I look inwards and compare, things are different.

I ran into an old friend last weekend. I spent all of Sunday exploring the city. I picked a direction and walked, was gone for hours, walking for miles, people watching, checking out restaurants, bikepaths, how everything is interwoven. And, gods, the architecture. I need to go on one (or many) of those architecture walking tours, with a guide who actually knows what they're talking about.

On the way back, I stopped at a little cafe that I had been eyeballing for a few weeks. I flirted with the staff, talked about the food, sat and enjoyed myself in the afternoon sun. I left just before one of the staff did. I was around the corner and almost to the next block when I discovered that he had followed me, to give me his number. He was cute, he was a little older, he was confident, though not charismatic. Charming in a scrappy way. Not for me.

I could tell he was getting up to asking me to accompany him to some coffee shop or other venue, when I happened to walk by someone I recognized from years ago, when I used to do photography of abandoned buildings, refineries, hospitals, and the like. It was the one guy, the "that" guy, of the group.

That guy. The one who maintained my focus. Hot, tattooed, an amazing artist, but also a writer. Gods, do I have the hots for good writers. A man who can write like he does instantly catches a part of me, a part of my interest, that few will.

He's now in his mid-to-late thirties, I believe. Probably where I should be dating, though I find myself more interested in the late-thirties, early-forties men these days. It just keeps pushing farther and farther back. I always hoped that eventually I would start being interested in men my own age for more than casual stuff, or at least something closer to my own age, but... no.

I was so surprised at seeing this man, this writer, that I did not bother to maintain conversation with the man from the restaurant. We shook hands and he took off as soon as he realized he had lost me.

I caught up with my old friend, talking about his life, sniffing out his details as best I could, kicking myself for wearing my "fake" engagement ring. We're likely going to meet up on Sunday morning, do some writing together... he lives very nearby.

Yay for proximity.

The hug goodbye was not one of those chest-to-chest hugs. No, it was a fully body hug, letting me feel his hard leanness. Gorgeous. Sounded like he had some girl-drama on the side, though, so I'm going to take this slow, if at all. I don't poach, and I don't touch men if I know they're having girl issues. They've got enough going on without adding to it, and it tends to breed negative associations. It's a matter of finding out what is going on, which I'm good at. Once that is established, we'll see.

And I feel even ridiculous saying that.

It's habit. It's complete habit. Date him? No, he engages in a deal-breaker. This was my brain shifting into old patterns of establishing a casual friendly partner, also wanting to check him off of my list of men-to-do. Completion. Bragging rights, even though I would brag to no one but myself and this blog.

I would know I had finally tagged him.

Tagged, yes. I've, for some reason, turned that into my lingo for bagging a guy for the sheer sake of checking him off the list. For no reason other than who he is, what he means, something aside from emotional attachment or desire for emotional attachment.

You tag them and then you release them into the wild.

I mentioned this to a friend recently and he told me I was starting to sound like a rapper with my language regarding men.

It's funny. I'm fairly resolved to not have sex for the next few months, if not longer. It has been, if you can believe it, almost two months since I've had any major sexual contact. I've turned down repeated offers of DP from a couple of sources, turned down old partners, turned down potential new partners, turned down a couple of one-night stands that kept calling or texting for more, turned down dates and phone numbers without care.

My body is a bit sad, I will admit. I love physical contact, I love, gods do I love, to pleasure. I was able to take a little bit of edge off of that need when Playboy came down, but it was just scraping at the top of it. I have so much knowledge in these hands, in this mouth, and I'm not using it. It seems like a waste. I want to be appreciated, I want to hear those sounds of gasping shock. I want to work on my tricks, want to refine further. I want to learn new bodies, want to learn new ways to please new men.

And I'm not. I can't bring myself to do so.

I'm not sure if it's my monogamous nature still clinging to GV8. I can't stomach the thought of touching another man when I'm in a relationship, and I know I'm single now, but... no desire.

It might be that I know that it's unlikely that any male I do pick up will come close to GV8 in bed. That man was... amazing. His philosophy of sex and mine meshed perfectly, as well as how we interacted. He said to me a few weeks ago, though I don't remember exactly what we were talking about, "You knew how to touch me from day one." I've never been with a man that I could spend hours with in bed, completely enrapt. I've never been with a man who did not, eventually, bore me (aside from Riot, and that's only because he was so wonderfully rough I never had a chance to get bored because I was too busy trying to survive his lust). GV8 had amazing technique and total joy of sex. Not of orgasm, but of sex, and most men will never understand that.

Or it might be that I'm now in a position where no man can impact me. I'm financially independent, finally. I am not co-signed with anyone on a lease for anything. My debt, minimal as it is, is my own. Only half of my monthly take-home is spent on bills. I'm organized, I'm capable, and my social network continues to grow stronger.

And I'm finally getting the body I want. In the next month or so, I'll be hitting the healthiest I've ever been. No coffee, no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes. Exercising almost every day. I'm starting to see the flare of my ribcage, cheekbones are slowly becoming more pronounced, and I've tossed bags and bags of clothes away that now just hang on me.

I've felt limited by my appearance for a bit now, in an annoying way. The mind, the experience, but physically not caught up to where I should be. Now I am close enough to taste it. And it's a joy. Seeing what my body is, how curvy my skeletal structure makes me, I love it. I'm totally digging my body for the first time in years. I like that this is enabling me to step up to so many things that I have been unable to tackle, how much fun it is for me to take people by surprise when they expect certain things of me by my appearance and find other things entirely.

Social dissonance.

Reminds me of the day my stylist told me it was a good idea that I dyed my hair black, as people needed some sort of warning label before approaching me, as my natural blonde was too misleading.

I spent my lunchbreak today hanging out with a professor of Russian history at one of the local UCs. I had ordered my food and went to sit down and read, and saw him reading at the table next to mine. We made eye contact and then I raised my book as though it were a glass at him and said "Cheers". He did the same.

He was reading A Woman in Berlin, I was reading A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. He filled me in on the history of the book, of why Germany had condemned it so strongly, how a movie had recently been made, etc. I told him of Egger's writing style that I have found myself loving so strongly, how he dances between non-fiction and total fantasy.

It was a fun lunch, where we determined my love of modernism in literature was completely antagonistic to his historian viewpoint, and made plans to meet again next week, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

Another day in the life.

Date tomorrow night- art show, cafe hopping, gelato.
Clubbing after the date- dancing, sweating, flirting.
Meeting with my old friend Sunday morning, then going to a Superbowl party.

But tomorrow morning, tomorrow morning is gloriously free.

Maybe I'll set off the smoke detector again.


  1. Love the smoke detector story...sounds a bit like me. You seem to have an enchanted life. I think independence in life is key. I have finally reached that point myself. I enjoy your writing. I am a writer also and my blog is my way to express myself creatively. I have a degree in Art, but I work as a short order cook in a hospital.

  2. Yours is an extraordinary intelligence, Poetry. No one who appears in your writing is your equal. Not even GV8.

    Is there an obligation (something like noblesse oblige) imposed on those who are as intelligent as you? Is that what the bouncer at the club meant when he referred to your kindness?

  3. Sweetmagnoliya,

    My life isn't always enchanted, though lately it seems to be almost nearing a peaceful, dreamlike quality. It is the independence, and the knowledge of self that that independence needs. I've been so damaged growing up, with the way my family was, always in fear that I could never support myself, never could truly be independent, always having to rely on a male to be my net. Knowing now, finally knowing, that one of my worst fears (and dislikes) about myself is not true... it's unlocking so much.

    And you must have some amazing stories about cooking in a hospital. I'm kinda jealous... I've always wanted to work in a hospital, watching all those people with all those stories, all that intense emotion.


    I... can't tell if that comment is sarcastic or serious, and I'm not sure which I would prefer of the two. I have a knowledge of myself, of navel gazing, and the applied knowledge that gives to the people around me. I'm smart, but certainly not overwhelmingly so. GV8, he's not beyond me, I suppose, since I was one of the three girls in his lifetime that he had a serious relationship with, but he does things, is able to do things, that I cannot yet, and the intelligence and type of thinking those things require is something I may never develop. Good or bad, I don't know.

    I don't consider myself as kind, I just try to be polite, and treat others as I would hope to be treated. People are very wrapped up in their own insecurities, their own fears, and their lives. I think it's very important to step outside of that, go out of your way for a stranger, and keep reminding others that we're all in this together, whether or not they desire it. A little bit of compassion can make someone's day.

  4. My comments were serious, Poetry. I'm glad you assumed so in writing your response.

    I've read that there are two kinds of thought: romantic and classical. Romantic thought is concerned with the appearances of things. How a motorcycle looks, for example. Classical thought is concerned with how the motorcycle works.

    You write classically. You even write classically about love, a "romantic" topic if ever there were one. In every post, from the first word to the last, your intelligence is on display. But your kindness wasn't. Not until the bouncer spoke of it.

    I skipped ahead and read your latest posting, about your mother and father. Now I see there's more than the word of a bouncer to demonstrate your compassion.

    It's good getting to know you through your blog, Poetry.

  5. Rider,

    I hadn't heard the idea of the two kinds of thought, and I love it. Romantic and classical... how lovely. I just analyze, it's something that I do, probably too much of.

    I'm glad you're liking the blog, Rider. There's a lot to read, but hopefully you'll continue to enjoy.