Trigger warning for sexy bits:

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Bird song, bus motor, traffic.

What am I to do? Everything I taste reminds me of your cunt.

Phantom scent that catches me around a corner, imagining your press into me as I lean against a wall.

I hear you in my ears,

husky whispering dirty while you touch me, crying out as you come.

–When the only sound is bird song, bus motor, traffic:

dust, settling in the heat.

-RD

 

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“It’s like my queerness didn’t work right until I transitioned–I had all these relationships with women that fell flat, missed the mark, were utter and unforgivable disasters–and the only common denominator was me.”

“but you like women, though?”

“I *love* women. But I couldn’t have functional relationships with them, they were too raw, too dense, too much hurt with not enough honesty.”

“…“

“every other woman that I fell for turned up straight anyways–and that says something right there, too. It was like they didn’t see me. But maybe I didn’t fully see myself, either.”

“…cis men, tho. I just can’t–”

“oh, I know. Me too, now. It was easier, tho. It felt like the fit was at least a bit closer. I was still always devouring queer lit and culture. But I had to transition to truly find my place as a queer person, that helix-universe-glittercloud.”

excerpt from journal entry

hella: missing the company of dating ladies but every time i think about it more than “hey pretty lady!” i think about all the times i have been used as the “lez sexperiment” date and i get really skittish really fast. also still super-burnt from ending things with A. (:/)

*subset of that feeling: is that internalized misogyny, assuming that all ladies will fuck me over? yes. yes, i think it is. don’t date ladies for a while, RD, until you can trust yourself not to take that shit out on them. wakka wakka.

i like this whole having crushes but not pursuing them thing. having friends who i have never ever slept with, would probably never. i feel like sometimes having a crush on someone is a way of distancing myself from actually trying to be friends with them, and somehow that feels more risky because i don’t know why but it does. yay boundaries!

god and damn:

you feel this constant hovering cloud of failure, don’t you?

  i am here to tell you the cloud is a lie
  the cloud is one big mean lie
  what matters is that you were there and creating a place safe and mindful enough that ___ could make the comment at all
  which is a rare situation
  because we are friends
  the threshold for success is actually very low, since we’re all figuring it out as we go along
ugh, lady, sometimes you’re like a punch to the gut. in the best way.

the stalled van

05/16/2012

free-write about sex, PTSD, relationships.

this morning i watched a minivan stall in the middle of a busy arterial at rush hour after stopping abruptly to avoid a cyclist riding thru a crosswalk. i feel like this a lot lately, the stalled van in rush hour traffic.

P. is hard to bring into front and center focus sometimes, instead he installs himself at the sides of rooms, a tall, quite presence, warm and now almost-familiar shape. i am not so good at being present in those rooms. i find myself made nervous by his calm quietude, like i should be doing something every minute we spend together to appease him, or else i will be a disappointment to the date we have been looking forwards to for a week or few. my anxiety feels misplaced most of the time. if i slow down to look at him he nearly always looks pleased simply to be sharing my company. he is a person of few words, but physically fairly expressive, particularly of pleasure.

on our most recent date we met in the late afternoon. ordinarily i attempt not to stack dates on top of one another, but sometimes schedules collude against this guideline (i frequently don’t see either of my steadies for a couple of weeks) and so i had a date with J. the night before. when i fail to stagger my dates i have to make at least a few hours somewhere to decompress, balance NRE (New Relationship Energy for you more monogamish folks) and my own needs (cooking, cleaning, practicing, writing, etc) against the staidness of P and i’s longer term sexual friendship. we are lovers but not partners. he is married to his partner of around a decade, and sometimes we double date with her and her other lover(s). our dalliances often involve bikes, the passion we most have in common (tho nearby are combining these exploits with good food and beer), although when my inflammation stuff precludes cycling we fall back on quiet working-on-stuff/reading time. i hate thinking of how many dates i’ve had to cancel or plans altered to accommodate my sick body and overwrought brain: stress-cold after stress-cold, bouts of inflammation brought on by continual overextension and anxiety, trips i have missed to cope with self-blame and grief. often now, i stutter and stop at any kind of sexual encounter, even kissing, especially when i can feel his eagerness immediately–suddenly i will realize i can’t feel anything below my waist, or uncertain of whether i will be able to have sex ‘to completion’ this time (what does that even mean?!), or my body hurts too much to be in it but i get so embarrassed of having to say that aloud–especially after i’ve had to reschedule and re-plan dates for weeks to even make it in the same room as him physically. my desire is doused by my inability to exist in the same room as P., faithful and kind creature who seems to only want the best for all parties, swallows his disappointment over and over again, even when i imagine it must vex his patience.

i am a van stuck in the middle of an intersection, stalled just before slamming into a cyclist. the cyclist waves me on but my hands are shaking too much to turn the key in the ignition properly, the engine sputters and sputters before finally spluttering to life. i roll on, disappointed at being given so much that i can not take. it’s like being starving at a banquet but with one’s jaw wired shut. i know he’d touch me, if i could tell him how. has. he has. will again? that’s the question, always, not just with him but anyone i date.

okay, but. so i have this plan: the next time the van stalls in the middle of the intersection, i’m gonna get out of the van and take a walk around the block. i don’t need to get thru that intersection until i’m ready, and it’s okay to take another route entirely. my sexuality is not really beholden to anyone, no matter how fucking tolerant they have been of my trauma shit and other quirks. my gender socialization is such that i am like the fight-or-flight hostess, constantly hustling to immediately alleviate conflicts where other peoples’ needs aren’t being met. but i lose track of my own.

what do i want? what do i need? simple questions, but i don’t trust anyone anymore, don’t trust myself. will i ever stop chastising myself for the way things ended with A.? will i ever stop being angry? not at her–just at what happened, how. shit with the manarchist, leaving ~e (goddammit, that was two fucking years ago!), so on. it’s like there’s a backlog of processing, and now all these new things are happening. and i’m tired of being strung out on processing relationships–i want to do the work of my life, writing, playing music, go back to school without getting distracted by emotional turbulence. i keep thinking that maybe polyamory is too much for me, especially the way i’ve done it in the past. no new dates policy is painful at times, but it also feels so fucking wise. i like the way that the relationships i’m in right now are taking shape. furthermore, i like the way that my friendships are deepening, as well.

i guess i need to take more walks, to start with. HORFFF.

girls girls girls

03/26/2012

i miss the smell of you on my hands. the first girl i ever. cunt and cigarettes, i never wanted to wash my hands, ever again. we must have been about 14 or 15. i probably had a boyfriend, it seems like i always did at that age, but he was of no account. your face was not pretty, it was handsome. your body was broad and square but thick-hewn, rolls of tender flesh i wanted to put to my teeth (but didn’t). your voice was loud (too loud), gravelly with cigarettes, Boston, whiskey. your biceps bulged under your secret tattoo. you told me stories about your little Sicilian grandmother, Boston, your old life in a gang (i could never tell if these were made up or not).

this was before you and i stopped with the charade of “massages”, before the time you leaned over to a boy you were trying to get at and said, “i used to date girls, but i don’t, anymore. i like the cock.” looking directly at me the whole while.

i wish we had been braver. i wish i had.

i wish you would have told me how to help you come, instead of pushing away my hand with “that’s enough.” exhaustedly. “let’s go smoke,” you said.

let’s not. next time let’s stay up all night. show me how. show me how to touch you. show me how you touch yourself when no one is looking, fresh out the shower and in love with your own body, damp and clean and flushed and slick.

say please. say yes. say no. i can hear you. i am listening. just tell me.

shine a light

03/12/2012

sub·ver·sive/səbˈvərsiv/

Adjective:
Seeking or intended to subvert an established system or institution.
Noun:
A person with such aims.
Synonyms:
ruinous – destructive

Dear ____,
My friend A and I had dinner the last time she was in town. As we sat across the table from one another, she asked me, “How would you describe your sexuality?”
Not skipping a beat, I responded, “Subversive as fuck.”
She smiled. “Can you tell me more about that?”
I made allusion to some of my sexual exploits of the last few years (fisting boys, sucking cock, loving all of it) and we moved on to talking about her recent experiences, and then on to gender (“How’s your gender feeling lately?”).
By definition, subversive means seeking or intended to subvert an established system or institution. That sure rings true for my life, my gender, my sexuality.
Most cultures throughout history have had a more complex understanding of gender than the dominant culture you and I are immersed in (see this map for an introduction: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/two-spirits/map.html). For instance, indigenous peoples of the Americas had a variety of genders, and recently native folks sometimes refer to being gay/lesbian/trans/queer/etc as being ‘two-spirit.’ I like this term a lot, though it’s not one I use for myself (y’know, I try to avoid cultural appropriation and all), because I feel like it conveys the complexity of a gendered life that colors outside the boxes of male and female, as well as the duality of my own identity. My friend F sometimes explains their gender identity as ‘a scraggly boy holding hands with a disheveled girl.’ I am like this but not like this, there are different characters but the duality is similar.
I think of my gender identity as oppositional, subversive, constantly pushing. I am part of the new guard of western culture, carving out space (and with it, slowly, safety!) for the other. The gender binary does no one any favors, it excludes the lives, bodies, and experiences of so many people. It excludes me and mine, for sure. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier if I would sit down and shut up, pass. Check the M box or the F box. But ultimately I would be perpetuating a whole host of things I don’t believe in, from the gender binary to the notion that trans people are somehow a shame and must pass. I have been and am all of these things: stone butch, nelly fag, femme boi, drag queen, faggot. Think of me as that crossdressing boy in a sequined dress, all limp wrists and sassy swagger, glitter intermingled with stubble. But think too of the Amazon who removed her left breast with a sword blade so as to better fit her body to her bow, a taut rod arched to defiance. Or sweaty bike boy, grease streaked across the cheek and creased under my nails, grinning and pungent after climbing yet another hill. I am all of these things; look at me not through a box but through a prism.
Gender is dynamic and infinite. What is acceptable now will have changed vastly by the time you or I die, hopefully of old age. It seems my generation is set on deconstructing the gender binary a bite at a time, and I am glad to be a part of that. We make ourselves safe by making others safe, too. You can be a man who cries at films, I can be a boi with bound breasts.
On one of our first dates you asked about my relationship with M and said something to the effect of, “I just kept seeing him treat you like a woman.” I tried then (and try still) to imagine what you meant. How does one treat a woman, specifically? The only things I can imagine are the grossest of things, the purchasing of affection by rings and chocolate, or the domineering of ones partner, all things that would never have even occurred to M. M treated me simply as myself, beloved co-conspirator, hotly desired lover, fellow purveyor of absurdity. And he trusted me with my strength, whether that be my fist inside of him as he came or my strength to weather my life’s trials and tribulations (and there were so many at the time). Thus, I can’t imagine any other way for he and I to have met but as individuals.
It seems you know already that reconciling what you’re seeing is up to you. I am writing this in part because these are things I have needed to put words to for quite some time, but also in part because I want to try to make it easier for you to somehow expand your world’s vastness to include mine. If you are having a hard time seeing me, break out the prism and shine a light–not on either/or but AND.

With warm and fond regard,
RD

Returning tension

09/28/2011

I don’t think that you will call me back (I never do). I often imagine that those I can even be bothered to call will begin to avoid me, even if they called me first. I imagine they will move to another state, all the way across the country, just to get away from the anxiety of picking up the phone.

Sometimes I think it will be me who drops the line. Even if we haven’t spoken for months, years, a whole lifetime–I put it off, returning your call, just so that I can escape the worry. It works at first, but then I begin to feel guilty for not calling. I should, I know I should.

But the open line between us would be so starkly crackling and pensive. What could happen in the space of that phone call? Subtleties, more graceful than those available to a text message. My voice might intone the spark that sets the line to flame. Raze the bridge between your burning ear and mine, break into silence.

Get off the phone, I’ll meet you in the streets.

Awkward Both

05/24/2011

In the dream we are trapped underneath the coffee table. A party swirls around us: clinking glass, high laughter and distant voices. One of us starts awake and the motion forces us to consciousness.

“Hey.”

“Oh, hey.”

Neither of us is sure how we got here, yet we both want to remain casual. We’re pressed chest to chest in the dark breathing heavily, trying to touch as little as possible. You know that yoga pose where you lie on your stomach and arch your limbs upward from your core? It’s like that. I can already feel the exhausted burn, ATP depleting from the muscles, and I know soon I’ll begin to shake and sweat.

I feel as awkward as a gay high school wrestler, so close to the salty skin I crave, but context deeming anything of the sort unacceptable, no matter how involuntary.

I’ve wanted to touch you. And we are touching, yes, but the physical and emotional constraints are nothing like I expected. I had imagined there would be some sort of spark, a moistening of the lips that would tell me the way to lean in for the kiss. Instead I am nauseous. My palms sweat but my mouth is dry and my lips are like parchment peels rustling against eachother.

“No, no. This is all wrong,” I want to explain. It was supposed to be different. I was gonna have my shoulders pulled back and my eyes bright. I was gonna be sure–we both were. We were both gonna be so sure.

Of course we’re not, tho. Maybe we’re missing key details. I stutter, “S-so, where were you born?”

I can feel you rolling your eyes as your lids snap shut against the gleaming black pupils. But still, you drawl nasally, “Long Island,” East Coast and matter-of-fact.

“Oh,” I say. “Well, that uh, explains…”

“The accent?” you finish. I can’t tell if you’re grimacing or smiling. We’re both struggling not to go limp. Straining not to touch despite the indisputable, given the facts of our entombment. We are indeed, touching, and may well have no choice but to do so until we engineer some sort of escape.

You surprise me as I’m trying to figure on how we got here, how we’re gonna get out. “It’s okay, I think. If you want to…” you shift your weight from side to side. “Relax. I mean, I don’t think we have much choice.”

I nod slightly, knocking the back of my skull against the wood of the table in agreement. “Yes, yes I suppose that’s so. Is it okay–would it be alright if I laid my head here, in the hollow above your left shoulder?”

“Yeh, that works. Better we’re not breathing the same air back and forth, yeh?”

I exhale as I ease myself into you, urging my body to relax despite the immense awkwardness, and feel my breath as it reflects off of your neck, blows a stray curl into my face. All the hairs on the back of my neck stand up again and my stomach tightens menacingly. Like someone has drawn up a string, my spine tightens into the shoulders and they contract. Suddenly my crotch is warm. Burning, even. I roll my gaze into your collar bone. Libido, you have some poor timing.

Cheeks flushed, I whisper into the ear I am so close to, “You sure this is okay?” and you shrug silently, snake a hand to my hip and press comfortingly.

Something in me releases. We drift in and out of sleep, alternately drowsing and jarring awake. One time I wake up and I swear, you’ve worked your hand up beneath my shirt. You’re stroking the skin of my back softly and pressing the pads of your fingers into the flesh one at a time like you’re typing a letter. But there are no words for this.

Next time I wake, you pull your hand away quickly. “Sorry. Sorry. I–”

“It’s okay,” I reassure you, not yet sure if I mean it. There’s no room in this space for that kind of discomfort, tho, so I put the sensation aside.

It’s okay, I tell myself.

“It’s okay,” I tell you, and wake up.