This amazing blogger friend of mine, Fern, posted this that really touched me, first in a way that hit a tender spot and was uncomfortable to read, and second in a way that I then remembered how closely I could relate to.
This movie, Take This Waltz, well, the clip here sums my, and many others, experiences up in a few short beautifully composed moments of film. I recently saw this on the instant download list on my cable channel for new movies, and I passed it by when I read the synopsis because it just wasn’t a place I wanted to go emotionally. I was so done with polyamory, and those men in my life for whom I was not their only lover. I just was done with this storyline because I had lived it, and more than once.
I was forgetting when I was the person who wanted more, who wanted someone else. I can justify my own desires and actions away with the various things that were going on in my life at that time, how I’d been and was being treated by the person I was married to at that time, or that somehow “it’s so not the same”, but it would all be a lie. An excuse.
It was exactly the same.
I was married to a man for just over a year, separated just under the wire short of 12 months. There’s a lot of back story there, but that doesn’t matter as much as this one story in particular.
In the summer of 2011, one August morning, I was yahoo messaging with my friend Norris (you all might know him from my posts here as ex-FWB). He told me how his son had said how it would be cool to get to hang with me and my daughter again sometime. I didn’t take this at face value, as Norris was fond of asking excuses about seeing me. If he wanted to see me, he would make a reason for it, it was never because he simply wanted to. I know this because he had confessed it to me before. So, I read into this, and knowing how the kids hadn’t seen one another since they were like 9 or 10 years old, this just reeked of total fabricated excuse. Hr just wanted to see me, and I wanted to see him.
I was nervous about this because of the feelings it excited in me. I wanted to squash down the desire to see him, the happiness that he was reaching out to me, and the eager anticipation with which I looked forward to it as it eventually grew closer once I finally agreed to an afternoon together. I wanted to make excuses to get out of it at first because of the awkwardness that I knew would be there. My husband would be there. They had never met one another.
It was a late August afternoon, and we were going to spend it at the pool that is in my community. It was not very hot, but we were going to eek out the very last bit of summer that was left, and enjoy that last pool day even if the water was super cold. This would be fun for the kids, and good for us, with lots of personal space.
They were late and my husband who was very fond of naps (and pretty much a slow-moving, low-energy dude), decided to leave the pool and go back to our house for one. The Norris and his son arrived after much delay. It was late afternoon and the pool was mostly in the shade now, and fairly quiet, with only a few scattered people still resting on lawn chairs in what remained of the sun.
My daughter was in the water and beckoned the son in. This left the two of us, Norris and I, to sit at a poolside table underneath the shade of the umbrella to talk alone. I had gotten out of the pool only minutes before they walked in, and I was shaking. I thought this was due to the fact that the water was now fairly frigid, and although the air was warm, there was a breeze that was constant, and the air across my goose-bumpled skin was causing me to shiver. Then moment came when I realized that this should have passed by now, as although I was bikini clad, I was wrapped up in a large towel and should have been warmed. I then not only became nervous at being in the same space together again after so long, but anxious at the realization that my trembling was now more nerves than chill. Norris sat across from me, a safe distance between us.
We talked. Nothing said was pointed or floated on any sexy innuendo, but there it was; desire. Not the kind of desire, at least for me, that would have me holding myself back from wanting more right then, in that moment, restrained merely by circumstance, but more so desire that was the kind that is omnipresent between two people who are like souls.
That desire, that uncomfortable remembering of our past, was sitting there like a third wheel between my towel-clad shivering body, and his over-sized polo shirt and wrinkled chinos. I notice these details because this is unlike him, Norris was always well dressed, and wrinkled clothing that was too big for him was never to be seen on him, ever. I worry that I look fat in my bikini as I allow myself to unfurl the towel now that my shivering has dissipated. I relax my body into the back of he chair, cross my legs, and keep worrying he thinks I look fat.
After not too long, my husband walks through the pool gate, and begins his slow walk towards us. Norris asks if this is him, and I confirm it. And then the awkward grows.
I introduce them for the first time, hands are shaked, and pleasantries exchanged. My husband says something like, “So, Portia tells me you’ve known one another for a long time”, and the conversation continues. I remember not feeling sure how to act. As much as I was angry at my husband for many things then, I was still very much in love with him. And as much as I was married and in love, I was more deeply in love with Norris.
(I almost erased “more deeply”, but that would have been a big lie, and since I am not one for lying, I left it)
I didn’t want to not be myself with my husband, didn’t want to hold back my usual affections, but I also didn’t want to be overly affectionate in front of Norris towards him either. It’s a strange feeling when you’re trying to balance the emotions of two people, well ok, three. One, I didn’t want my husband to think I was acting strange. Two, I didn’t want Norris to feel…I don’t know what…hurt? Uncomfortable? I suppose whatever the feelings he had when we had lunch one day, many years before this, when remarked at the pictures of my then ex-boyfriend and I in Hawaii still framed and on the wall in the dining room with us, after I had tried to remind myself to take them down because I knew Norris would notice.
I felt like I was walking on a high wire above the ring, trying desperately to find the balance that would keep this whole event pleasant and sociable.
It was around 5 o’clock by this time and I decided that perhaps we should all go back to he house so I could start on dinner. I had invited them to stay for burgers and such a last BBQ ha-rah of the fading summer. The kids climb out of the pool, and we all meander back to the house.
The real mind blower came when I was in the kitchen making the salad, and Norris and Husband and both kids, were both out in the back yard at the picnic table just jabbering away together famously. My husband was getting more time to talk to the person I wanted to be talking to and spending time with.
The night was fun. Dinner was great, conversations flowed effortlessly, dessert was had and martial arts movies introduced. At one point Norris was sitting on the sofa and I sat down next to him, nt close, but close enough, and he shot off that thing like he was shot froma cannon! He offered my husband the seat. It was a large sofa, and there was more than enough room for all of us on it comfortably.
Goodbyes were made around 8:30 ish.
After the door closed, my daughter whisked me upstairs and told me “You made the wrong choice. That was the guy you should have married!”, and this just messed with me because that was the guy I wanted to marry, but he never asked.
The husband, well, later that night he asked me if Norris and I had ever slept together, and I blushed like a school girl embarrassed by the surprise questioning, and said “Yes, but that was a long time ago”. He told me he could tell the minute he walked inside the pool gate and saw us. He said he could tell just from the way we were sitting, how we were with one another. I was unsure how he could tell that from two people not even sitting beside one another, with a whole table separating them for safety. I don’t know what he saw. Maybe he made that up, maybe he really saw something I was unaware of. He said two people can’t be sitting together like we were when you’ve never been intimate with each other before. I don’t know. I didn’t see what he saw. I only felt what I was feeling. I’m not sure what the tell-tale sign was. I wouldn’t have thought, looking at us, that we were anything more than friends.
The next two weeks were pure emotional upheaval. I was getting my period and blamed my irrational thoughts on that emotional unraveling that sometimes comes with that time of the month. I told myself to take a deep breath and relax, but all I could think about was Norris. He was all I thought about, all I wanted to think about.
My husband, who I knew really didn’t love me (and that’s not a made up feeling to help me excuse my own, it just was…he was pining for his ex-wife…for the life he screwed up), was just not paying attention because it was evident that something was stirring madly inside me. I played the song that Norris had once told me made him think of me, over and over and over again on YouTube. I sang it in the shower, while cooking dinner. I was preoccupied. I was running around the track at he Y fueled by a desperate fire inside me that would not let me go, that incessantly tossed my heart about, a fragile paper heart, floating on the heat of something that was once in a way, could’ve been, but never could be now.
And he had turned me away anyway a year earlier. Norris told me he loved me, always had loved me but could never bring himself to tell me, and then after he finally told me, told me all the reasons why we could never be. What was I thinking?
I was going mad.
I needed to be alone to talk myself off this emotional ledge.
I was guilty of the very thing I hated my husband for. I made every excuse to justify how what I was feeling, thinking, wanting, yearning for was somehow different from what I hated my husband for feeling towards his ex-wife, and although yes, there are circumstances and back story here that you would probably agree that I was MORE than justified too in my thoughts, but even in the light of all that murky dark, we would both be wrong because it was all in secret, all kept neatly hidden.
I was now no different.
When I did have the chance to act though, one year earlier (and only a month before my wedding date), when he called me one night and wanted to whisk me away for a quickie, I said no. I didn’t want to either, I wanted to say hell yes, yes yes, but I didn’t. At least I have that integrity of my heart.
We are not as perfect as we would like to imagine. Our lives are not all cut and dry, clean and neat, like we would like to pretend. Our real emotions our deepest thoughts and most secret yearnings are no different, or any less unscathed than those of our neighbors. We can judge. We can sit back and say what someone has is better, or more perfect, but it never is.
I knew my husband and his previous wife long before he became my one-year husband. On the outside looking in, I thought what they shared was perfect, and how that was the kind of love I wanted. I was never more wrong in al my life. 13 years after meeting them I knew it was the FARTHEST thing from what I ever wanted in a relationship.
I’m ready to watch that movie now. I also don’t want to go there again.
So you know, my divorce had nothing to do with the events of this August afternoon, or any day after involving Norris, or my feelings for him. That story can come another day.
I don’t miss my ex-husband for a minute, but I miss Norris every day.
Poof! I’m back! I bet you thought I disappeared for good from blogging land, didn’t you! Perhaps abducted by aliens never to be seen again, or traveling cross-country with the band of circus misfits that might have convinced me to be their new acrobatic horseriding lady, but alas, I was just lost and awash in the world of work and the normal holiday chaos that ensues sometime after Thanksgiving Day, and doesn’t stop until after New Years Day. Both of those other options might sound more interesting to me too, depending on which day you ask me.
The honest answer, in addition to the much-loved holiday chaos (and no that was not tongue in cheek, I really do love the craziness that comes with holiday preparation), was that the terrible tragedy of the Sandy Hook massacre, where some suburban nutcase annihilated innocence from an entire community, truly shook me to the core, and left me feeling inside like a house of cards in the wind. I couldn’t write. How could I write about sex and joy in the wake of that? I felt inadequately trivial for even considering it.
I’m still not quite right. I worry a lot more…about everything. But, as all good healing processes progress, so do we find ourselves more willing to be comfortable once again with the world we were once accustomed to before everything came crashing down, and I am in that place where I feel ok to be back and living without feeling like a cloud of doom is hovering over me.
I was not immediately effected by the loss at Sandy Hook, but something I experienced made it touch me more intimately. Up until this point, I had only shared it with those closet to me.
On the Wednesday night into Thursday morning, one day before Sandy Hook, I had a dream. It was a dream that wasn’t even really a dream, as it came without any images at all. I was finishing up a dream. You know that point in the dream when you realize that it’s coming to an end, and a new dream is now waiting to begin trickling in? I was in that space. The first dream fading out had me in a warehouse assembling mannequins with other people. There was nothing scary about this dream. No mood of ill-affect, or any hint of foreboding. It simply was a normal, weird, everyday dream.
And then there were no images.
There was nothing but a simple and solemn male voice that spoke in my ear.
It was all on the right side, as if someone had leaned down and whispered in my ear.
He said, “I”m sorry I have to tell you, Fran was murdered today.”
What happened in the next few seconds after hearing this was pure horror and panic that raced through me as I tried to make sense of what I had just heard, and I flung myself straight up in bed, heart pounding in my chest, mind reeling, grasping for some bit of the waking world to hold onto.
She could not be dead. This was not true. Did my Dad just tell me this? I think it was his voice. It sounded like him. Was I on the phone?
These were the thoughts flashing through me.
(Two pieces of background, so you can understand this situation better. One, Fran is one of my closest and dearest friends. We ere roommates in college beginning sophomore year, and we have been tight ever since. We have goofy pet names for each other, have held conversations with each other about the day while one of us was in the bathroom with the door open and peeing, have been to each others major life events like marriages and births of our children, and know each others inner most joys and sorrows. Friends for life. Two, my father calls me every workday morning at 6:15 to help me get my lazy ass out of bed, because sometimes I like to sleep through my alarm. )
I checked my cell phone which sits on my bedside table on my right side, and it read 4:14am. It’s a dream, it’s a dream, it has to be a dream. It was not my Dad. It’s not even close to wake-up call time. Everyone’s asleep. This is not really happening.
I started to cry.
I was completely and utterly sure it was a dream, then real, and now knew it was indeed a dream.
I laid back down, my heart still leaping out of my chest with panic, and I spent the next five minutes consoling myself that it was not real. I wanted to call Fran, but she lives in Houston, so it was only 3am there.
When I finally got back to sleep, my alarm, and then my father rang at 6:15am, normal time. I told him about my dream, and he asked me if I called Fran to check on her, but I reminded him about he time difference. My Dad is in her same time zone, and said “Well she’s probably up with the baby, so call her.”, but I couldn’t risk waking her.
Finally after I got to work I sent her both text messages and a Facebook message urging her to let me know she was ok. At around 9:30am (HOLY SHIT – JUST MAKING THIS CONNECTION NOW!!! – 9:30am the next day would be Sandy Hook), she let me know she was ok. I never did tell Fran what the voice said. I just told her that it told me something very scary had happened. I did’t want to scare her, and still don’t, so no worries because she doesn’t read my blog on a regular basis.
The next night I stayed up as long as I could. I was afraid to go to sleep. I don’t have nightmares very often, hardly at all, and when I do they are about things less emotionally devitstaing like being swallowed by a tidal wave, or losing my teeth. Both of which are indeed very scary to me, but those kind of dreams are easier to spot as being only dreams. I was able o chat with Fran via Facebook before I finally gave in and let myself go to sleep. Just getting that time chatting with her made me feel comforted.
Sandy Hook occurred he next morning. I didn’t hear about what had happened, except mild inklings, until around 9pm that night. I was working overtime, and was in the office late. I sat at my desk reading the reports, but it wouldn’t be until the next day when I would be sitting here where I sit now, at my desk in my bedroom, when I would read all the articles and be rendered paralyzed with sadness.
I cannot imagine a world in which that could happen. I cannot fathom the kind of heartless and desolate soul that it would call for to be able to harm anyone, let alone tiny innocent children, in the way that man tore those lives from this earth. I cannot, without rendering myself into tears and a throat that suffocates itself closed with tension, imagine what it is like to be the parent of one of those children, left behind on earth to live a life without the sound of their voice filling their home, or the look of their smile that following Christmas morning. I wanted to take down my own Christmas tree because it didn’t feel right to celebrate joy when others so close were in such despair. And I wanted to knock the heads together of those who took it upon themselves to use the threshold of the aftermath of Sandy Hook as a political pulpit for either more gun control, or less gun control. I just wanted those fragile people to have their time to breathe, to feel, to be comforted, and not to be used as a soapbox issues. I wanted people to respect that space, and imagine for a moment, just what it would be like to be one of those parents or surviving children.
I was a teetering house of cards. I felt like if someone pushed me even the slightest, I would topple over, fluttering in all directions.
Slowly I am coming back, but I am still worry more than before, about everything: my daughter’s safety, my parents safety, car accidents, shootings, anything and everything. It just feels like any illusion of safety in the world has been ripped from the very lining of my soul.
I’m crying even writing this down. I have to realize that nothing has changed, and yet, everything has changed, and the two concepts are one in the same.
My cousin Mike posted this single comment on one of my Facebook statuses regarding my fear surrounding the days after the shooting:
“Fear is the mind killer”
So true. If I allow terrorists of any kind, brutal soulless monsters, to steal away my joy and life by freezing me with fear, than they have won. And that was how Dune became one of the book gifts I gave my daughter this Christmas, and ended up being the first one of the 4 books given her, that she chose to read.
I will not allow fear to wither my spirit.
And now onto cultivating life with caution, but without fear, and unrestrained joy…one baby step at a time.
It appears that, somewhere back in the middle of October and unbeknownst to me until recently, that flirty, dirty, blogger friend of mine, Joe, gifted me with the infamous Addictive Blog Award!
In case you missed it last week when I dedicated this post on striptease to him, Joe writes the sinfully delicious blog, My Jaded Parts. Journeying through Joe’s mind is an interesting ride involving his sexual forays, too many glasses of wine, knee-high sock fetishes, fantasies involving ex-girlfriends, and lots of other sexy hubbub, so be prepared for a great read! You should go check him out! But not right now…keep reading this post first! (I’m so bossy, aren’t I?)
Now, there are a few rules to this award, so here goes:
Award Rules: Thank the person awarding you. Share a little about why you blog and how the journey started. Paste the blog award on your page. Nominate 10 other bloggers you feel deserve the award.
First, thanks Joe! You are one rock solid piece of sexy, cerebral, lovin’. You’re a juicy read always!
Second…Why do I blog?
I had a roommate in college who told me that I “should be famous, so that everyone can know you”, and since I’m still not famous yet, I figured I would go with the latter part.
I want people to know me, but not necessarily me “specifically”, but more so the facets of me that some part of them can relate to. Kind of like finding a proverbial life raft afloat on the vast expanse of the ocean we call humanity. The reason the “US” in “erogenoUS” is capitalized is because, while these are true stories of my erotic life, they are really stories of sex and sexuality that all of us, female or male, can relate to on some level, personally. I want people to read me, and while learning about me, learn something about themselves too. That’s the simplest version, at least. 🙂 All of that, plus, I love to write! Always have, always will. I started this blog back in June of this year, and I see it as a spring-board for me to bring sex-positive awareness to the world around me, one inner musing at a time.
Now on to my Top 10 Nominations for Addictive Blogs (da dada dah!) These are not all sex-related, just so ya know. They are in NO particular order:
1) The Fur Files – Fern is bushels full of absolute awesome, and I love reading her! Humor-infused love of home-life, sex-life, and cat-lady life: what’s not to love? Plus, she’s also a super saucy erotica writer, too!
2) The Redhead Bedhead – We share a passion for all things sex-positive. Her vulnerability and openness is addictively brilliant! She is helping save the world from mediocre sex. I read her and feel like we would be best friends if we met outside of blogging land. 🙂 Her blog is all kinds of awesome.
3) Why Am I Here in a Handbasket? – She says far more with fewer words than anyone on WordPress! Addictively funny!
4) Go Deeper Press – Erotica and sexuality with honesty, humor, and wit! Love these ladies!!
5) Smut for Smarties – Lady Cheeky’s insatiably addicting sex-positive packed erotica blog for people who know smart is sexy!
6) My Jaded Parts – Duh!
7) Not So Sex In The City – Saucy reading! She makes me feel like I’m not as “out there” as I thought I was!
8) Many Shades of Sexy – 3 sexy ladies, 3 sexy different perspectives! One amazing blog! They have been quiet lately, but I hold out hope they’ll be back.
9) The Bloggess – Unless you have been sleeping under a VERY big rock, you already know how motherbleeping fall-off-my-chair laughing-all-the-time STELLAR she is! If not, GO READ HER NOW!
10) Kink in Motion – She wrote one of the best articles on kink and fear play that I have ever read. She also has a wickedly fun sense of humor!
So there you have it, now go explore!!!