F is for Flagging, Fatigued and Finished

F

F is for Flagging, Fatigued and Finished.

Today is day 6 of the AtoZ blogging challenge and it is a day that has kicked my butt. I am exhausted, so for today please accept my apologies for no new story. I can’t believe I’m missing the opportunity to use “fetish”..I really am done.

As a thought let me put this forth, F is also for Family and Friend, but what if they are one in the same? I have frequently lamented the lack of language to denote the importance of found family. Many people I know have people they consider family that share no blood, but there are no words that I know of to get that across. Friendship is often dismissed when confronted with the idea of “family”, they are not on par with one another when it comes to triageing time spent and obligations . I have run into this issue, because my partners have had family that always took precedence, and I have had friendships questioned over bad over because somehow that was allowable. I would never question someones loyalty to a loved one, and I have never understood this idea.

How do you define the indefinable? What do you call the Aunts and Uncles to your children,  that are your sisters and brothers by heart, if not blood? I bet there is a German word for this, there is always a German word…

Just a thought. I hope all of ya’ll are having a great time with this challenge. When I can keep my eyes ope, I love doing it. Have any of you made friends and connections from it?

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PS Recently I have been able to refer clients to one of my oldest friend’s law practice and she has done right by each one. That’s all great and stuff, but the point is we are grown-ups and have been friends since age 10 and every time we do some grown-ass shit, I feel like we’re gonna get caught out and someone will call us out for playing at this whole grown-up thing. When I have to send her official legal documents, I try to put Winnie the Poo stickers on the envelopes because i know it will make her smile. Most days I am still surprised I’m an adult.

 

 

 

 

 

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Eli

E

 

Eli surreptitiously checked himself out, in the reflection of the glass before he went into the restaurant. Nothing seemed glaringly out-of-place but the surface was not a perfect mirror, so how could he really be sure. He couldn’t of course. He had done all the usual things, a mint for his breath, no spinach or other foods that might lead to teeth snafus and gone over the dating sites Top Ten First Date Mistakes. He had at least 10 conversation starters if there was a lull, plus questions he prepared if he got nervous and couldn’t think of anything off the cuff.  Was that normal? Did he remember antiperspirant?

He followed the large woman with the proportionately large gold bag into the restaurant, remembering to shift his shoulders back to give an impression of confidence and self-esteem.  He was early of course, he was always early. He had to create diversions at home so he wouldn’t be too early, but he was still there 15 minutes before the meet-up time of 7pm. He waited behind the large gold bag lady as she spoke to the hostess and was then lead to her party’s table int he back left corner. He watched as she was greeted by a tall thin man who stood up as she arrived. He kissed her on the cheek and gave her a hug. Both fo them were beaming. Eli saw the woman’s face for the first time and noticed that she was attractive int he way some women of a certain weight can be, they could carry it well, or maybe they were just comfortable in their flesh, he never knew. She had round cheeks that were blushing at the words the tall man was saying, a smile stretched across her face, suddenly making her pretty. They laughed and sat down across from one another

“Sir?”

” I’m sorry” Eli started and came back to himself, realizing that it was probably not the first time the young hostess had tried to get his attention while he stared at strangers. Pretty, too much eye make-up, too young, his brain quickly categorized the girl and then followed her. Nice to look upon, but probably barely out of her diapers.

She led him to a table that was at an angle from the older couple he had been so intent upon. He thanked the girl, sat down and pulled out his tablet to check work emails, but couldn’t resist checking the couple out again. He could tell they were on a date. They were flirting, laughing and arguing over menu choices in the way people did just for the joy of trading soft barbs. Eli wondered if he would still be dating when he was their age, which looked to be at least a decade beyond his mid-thirty vantage point. Neither of them seemed awkward, their conversation seemed to flow like water and each of them had some part of them touch the other; a finger, hand or knee constantly found its way to brush or bump into the other. Eli recognized the dance, he could sing the lyrics, but somehow the two never got together and made the perfect kind of moment he was witnessing, where everything was as it should be and neither party was conscious of every syllable and body language cue. He often felt as if he was following all the directions to the letter yet was always a few steps behind, stepping on toes and confused about what just happened.

“..and never the twain shall meet..” he heard the words come out of his mouth just was the noticed the hostess heading his way, another guest trailing behind her.

From behind the young hostess emerged a woman he recognized from her pictures online. In the pictures she looked different, but he Vital_Partners_dating_etiquette2supposed he did too.  She was curvy in the way that men loved but women often doubted on themselves. She had dark hair that  hung straight and shining to just below her shoulders, which she was nervously pushing behind her ears.  She wore what he had identified as “date” clothes, a skirt and blouse with a cardigan and paired with a nice looking medium height heel, that wasn’t too dressy or too revealing or too conservative. He recognized it because he wore the male version of the same uniform as advised  by various dating articles. What was good research without reading the corresponding data from the other side?

 

At first he couldn’t see her face, until she seemed to remember the same rules he had read and lifted her face as she too, straightened her shoulders and raised her head to greet him with an almost certain smile.

Her round eyes were that nebulous shade of hazel that never seemed to make a decision between green and brown.  He noticed a small collection of freckles dusted the bridge of her nose as a mouth that was just slightly too wide and full to fall within he median, smiled and turned her plain yet pretty enough face into a thing of beauty.

Eli reached out and grasped her outstretched hand in a not to firm grip to find the same barely there clamminess that is own nervousness often produced.

“Hi, Eli? I’m Olive, it’s nice to meet you”

The sat down, perused menus, chatted and her hand brushed his. He looked over and saw the older couple leaning in to one another, oblivious to the rest of the world and smiled.

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Dance

D

Lucy liked to sing in the store while she shopped, and enjoyed the odd looks when she broke into a little booty shaking in the aisles.  With Pandora on shuffle, a list in hand and a plan of attack, this had become a weekly ritual right along with laundry and picking her daughter up and getting ice cream on Fridays after school.

She liked the smiles she got and outright laughter when she was a little too loud and slightly off-key or doing a little dance to music only she could hear, though this wasn’t always the case. She had been taught to be quieter, because she was always too loud, to laugh softly when she brayed like a donkey and to just tone all of “this” down. She was too abrasive, too passionate, too everything. From her childhood to her marriage, she had been told to be a little less than herself, or a lot less really.

It took Lucy much too long to realize she had let people tell her these things and it had been her choice to change for them. That look in the mirror had been rough, but she had decided changes must be made, quickly. She started small, and this act of song and dance, this small act of inappropriate behavior was one of her first acts of bravery. What did people think of her? What would they say about her? She didn’t want people o look at her and think she was strange, that she wasn’t normal.  Why couldn’t she just be normal??

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Yet Lucy hated stores and shopping but she loved music and dancing, so she decided to try the latter to negate the former as an experiment and tiny act of rebellion.

At first it was hard and she stopped moving if someone joined her in the  aisle and  started whispering under her breath if they were within earshot. Sometimes she completely failed and became silent and still like everyone else around her, like a normal girl, but she kept at it. Soon, she realized she was making more people smile than frown and she caught them singing along, winking or trying to catch her when she passed them. She realized that they were laughing with her and not at her and the perception she had of herself and the the world she lived in, shifted on its axis just enough to let more light through.

As she sang and helped an older man get a collection of bottled water into his cart, he thanked her and smiled with her.

Much larger changes came after, many were still in process now, but this small thing that most wouldn’t consider an act of the utmost bravery, made her heart sing along with her voice every time she did it.

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Cherished (Adult Content)

C

“Why are you here?”

“I need to be hurt”

I hurt him.

With gentleness I stripped the clothes off his body, as he trembled, kissing and darting my tongue out as the urge struck me. His breath was already sharp and jagged as I smoothed his hair away and tied a soft scarf over his eyes.

With care I wrapped his wrists in soft, supple leather restraints. With affection I strung him upon the steel bar that spanned the high, wide doorway that allowed me to have access to every inch of his skin.

I hurt him

With love I marked him. Floggers of varied makes  and weight warmed his back, slowly increasing the depth of red raised skin.  I created wings along his shoulder blades, made of burning lines he thanked me for. Practiced aim and a dragons tail  whip left gorgeous triangular patterns on the muscles that braced his spine.

I loved him

I saw his walls, the limits he thought he had hit. I petted the lovely pain I gave him, my lips traced his wounds with oh so soft kisses. I circled him, caressed his face with tenderness and whispered of his safety with me. Give it to me, let me take all of the pain for you my love, let me shoulder this for you. I will keep you safe when you fall to pieces.

I brought him close to breaking from pain, from pleasure, from love until there was nothing left

I broke my beautiful boy and deftly put him back together again.

One tear , one touch, one word of love at a time.

I licked the tears from his cheeks, digging nails into wounds while he could not resist the haven between my legs.

He loved me.

I poured water over him, washing every inch of him clean.

I baptized him in our private rite of cruelty and care..

I cherished him.

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Beautiful Curses

B

The light was bright yet diffused through the white sheet they hid beneath. Her mother was lying upon her side, her body making a space for the little girl to be. The little girl never felt she was where she should be, except in the rare moments here, a fragile place of temporary respite.

Their foreheads rested against one another’s and the little girl breathed in the breaths her Mother gave into the world, giving her own back,  creating a cycle of secret, safe proximity. One of her Mother’s arms bent beneath her, so that her palm cupped the little girls cheek. Her free arm held the little girl close, pale fingers drawing soft circles on the little girls bare back. Every so often her fingers would find a spot that they decided to massage and sooth. The little girl could hear the comforting crash of waves nearby and smell the salty air mixed with their own. Breath in. Breath out.

Her Mothers face was as close as it could be and the little girl tried to count the pale sprinkling of freckles that could only be seen when she was very very close like this. The little girl loved the freckles. She did not have any on her own face. The little girls skin was smooth and olive toned. Her Mother was as pale as cream, with shifting blue eyes that changed with the light and her mood. Right now they were closed but the little girl knew they would be clear and dark when she opened them. She studied her Mothers’ face often. In moments like this and in the moments she was not supposed to see. In pain, in pleasure, in fear, in sleep and in that place she went when all she wanted was held within the needles the little girl hid when she could. Breath in. Breath out.

Everything about her Mother seemed different, foreign and special. The little girl was all bare thin dark limbs. Her cheeks were broad, her eyes almond-shaped and slightly slanted, she had brown hands with pale palms, nut-brown nipples and kinky dark brown curls. The little girl thought her mother was the most beautiful woman in the world and was thankful that she herself was ugly in comparison. The men who came thought she was lovely too, and the little girl thought this must mean she was not, since she was so different. This gave her some comfort even while she felt sorry for her mothers beauty. Breath in. Breath out.

Her Mother’s fingers left her back to trace her ears and trail along her nose. The little girl knew her nose and ears were the same as her Mother’s, she knew the silent gentle touch was reminding her of their sameness.

“You are my Wild  Little Thing, my Beautiful Wild  Little Thing “ her Mother’s words were whispered in the sacred space of cotton, light and shared breath.

The wild little thing told her Mother that she did not want to be beautiful. She wanted to be wild and free and swim in all of the oceans in all of the world.

Her Mother’s forehead furrowed, creating a crease not quite centered between her brows.
Why can’t you swim in all of the oceans AND be beautiful?”

The little girl thought about this for some time and petted her Mothers pretty pale face with her own small thin fingers.

She told her mother that she liked being wild and free and she didn’t think you could be those things AND be beautiful. Everyone tried to keep you when you were beautiful, and the little wild thing didn’t want to belong to anyone or anyplace. When she thought about being beautiful, she felt arms holding her down, her breath being taken away and pain. She thought being beautiful hurt too much, she would rather have the sea and freedom.

Silent ears rolled down her Mothers face, somehow making her even more lovely.

Then you will stay my Wild Little Thing as long as you want and I promise to show you all of the shores you can explore , okay?”

The wild little thing, the little girl , knew her mothers words were as substantial as the grains of sand being pulled in by the tide. She knew that there was only this small space where their breath and touch anchored her to this moment. But she nodded against the hand of her Mother and said “yes, okay” to the promises that would never be kept.

As her Mother’s eyes drifted shut the little wild thing left the confines of the beloved tiny kingdom of two, beneath the soft sheets, in her Mothers arms. She ran to her ocean and began to race with the receding tide, playing a game only she knew the rules too. Her dark slanted eyes streamed silent rivers, but only the waves saw,so it was okay. She dove into the water, floating on its surface when she came back up and pretended the sky and water were the whole of the world and that she would never be so unlucky as to be Beautiful.

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Fairy Tale Bruiser or Theme Reveal

 

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I have always loved stories. When we define ourselves, we use the words we see ourselves through. They are the words that define the story we tell ourselves,as well as others.

I remember discovering fantasy and science-fiction and feeling as if the world had shifted beneath my feet. I think Anne RIce might be my intro, followed by Octavia E Butler, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Tom Robbins, Gaiman, Jacqueline Carey, Terry Pratchett, Mercedes Lackey, Laurelle K Hamilton, Patricia Briggs and many many others. I always tended towards fantasy and I always tended towards women. I loved women that carried swords, hunted vampires, struggled to defeat the monsters within themselves and in general, kicked butt.

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Michael Sowa

 

My favorites were always the fairy tales. While I believe it is common to think that anyone who loves fairy tales is waiting for a prince , fairy godmother or some magical intervention to swoop down and make it all better, that was never how I saw them at all. There is always an orphan, a terrible plight, a loved one in jeopardy or some other extreme example of someone in need. I enjoyed the struggle of characters that were more real to me than most of the humans in my life.

When  I was around 13 a psychiatrist noted that I had sociopathic tendencies, a made sociopath as opposed to one born without the capacity for empathy.  This really meant that while most of good little girls and boys were taught lying, stealing, violence and

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Malisande and Phedre; Kushiels Dart by Jacqueline Carey

skullduggery were inherently not only wrong but dishonorable, I was taught how to do them well and rewarded as my skills developed. It is a bit like being taught that right is left and left is right. It’s gonna fuck you up in a myriad of small and substantial ways. You can learn to accept the “right” way of things, but it’s not the same integral aspect of your personal foundation, that the people around you seem to be built upon.

If you had to pick your own path and there was no road map given by the people who raised you, what would you pick and choose to build yourself upon? For me I found  that map in it the pages of books filled with heroes and heroines that fought personal demons as much as real monsters upon their paths.

In a week or so April will be upon us and so the A to Z Blogging challenge will begin. I have examined a lot of ideas regarding the theme I want to explore and this concept of finding myself in stories, in rewriting my own tale keeps clinging to my thoughts no matter jamie-and-clairewhere I turn. I have never been good at short stories. I envy and adore the storytellers that have mastered the small gem of a moment, a day, a single experiences and can spin it into a tale that sticks to everything you hear afterwards, reshaping the weft and weave of future experiences. This project has been something that I have used to force me to write, try new things and both fail and succeed at both.

My project for this April will be combining the idea of fairy tales, self-definition and how I continue trying to find a path toward being the bitch with quick wit, a loving heart, honor and strength to confront the shadows.

Just remember that in most good tales, a lot of tears, pain, breaking and growth happens to get there.

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Image: Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues By Diana Rowland

 

Z is for Zany

Z

za·ny
zānē/
adjective
1. amusingly unconventional and idiosyncratic
noun
2. an erratic or eccentric person


As I mentioned before, I have been a lifelong lover of NPR and a devotee of WNYC, and that means I get my news, entertainment and conversation starters via that medium. One of my weekly listens includes something called The Moth, a storytelling podcast. I had been hearing strangers stories on,  for years and at the beginning and end of every one, there is an entreaty for more. You can call the pitch line, give a short summary of your tale and hope for the best.

Have you ever had a moment when it all seemed to make sense, as if you stood outside of yourself and could see beyond your own internal dialog? At my daughters 4th birthday, that is what happened for me, as I watched everyone enjoying the sunny day and good company.  I was momentarily overcome by seeing the proof of what we had built, this shining thing that was something I never thought I would have.

During this moment of internal jubilant peace, I decided to call and pitch the story of my journey between one child and the next. It had all spiralcome together for me, in one hippy dippy moment, becoming a perfect circle. I called, I pitched and hung up in a panic. I called Robyn and told her I had done this incredibly idiotic thing.

A week or so later, I got a call, they liked my story, they wanted me to put it on stage.

What follows can be read elsewhere in this blog, but I can not articulate strongly enough, how amazing this experience was.  If you read back you can find out more about it here and here. It has put me in the company of people I admire greatly and shifted my perspective yet again. I found a new fight/drug/meditation to make the world shiny.

I didn’t find space to talk about my job in this month, so here’s the short explanation; I run an office that focuses on Transgender health, we provide the counseling and medical care for the transition process. I started working there because another adopted family member Dr. Lisa, asked me to run her office and I have been there for the past 6 years. I tell you this only to provide some background.

I get to help people everyday, through some of their hardest moments, I have a beautiful, weird, safe and healthy family and on top of that, I got to share my story with the world on a show I have been a fan of for years. It’s been a pretty zany, lovely, heart-growing ride.

I told my story in The Boys city, with all of his clan in the audience. I think that moment will be in my personal jewel box until the day I leave this world.thestory

I told my story because it is hard to say these things over the kitchen table during a weekend visit. I told my story so that my children would always have it, which is a pretty big thing for a kid without anyone to remember her childhood story. I told my story for me too, so I never forget my blessings.

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I did this as part of a larger project, both personally and professionally, but even if some of that doesn’t come to fruition, I really enjoyed the challenge.  I found a lot of new stories while I explored the other people participating in  the A to Z Challenge, which has been awesome. I also learned a lot about the habit of writing and myself.  So, thank you for reading this and thank you for being a part of this process with me!