Apology

Something is wrong. I can tell by the way you talk. Or don’t talk; because there is more weight in what you don’t say than the actual feather-like words you speak. You rushed forth with a fake apology, for a mistake that I hadn’t yet  realized you’d made. I wish that I had know then, on that day, your sudden distance wasn’t in fact me “over-analyzing” and you weren’t “too busy with work.” The gap between us was intentional; you had silently crept backwards away from me with every decided step.

I believe you owe me an apology. A sincere one. I’m going to get a little Workers of the World Unite on this one. I want every man, woman, and in-between to stand behind me if they’ve felt this way in our society and so called dating-culture today. As a child and then a young woman, I grew up hearing about the three-date rule from the women in my life and culture around me. I along with others shaped my limited knowledge around sex and dating from an early age. I, sadly,  was programmed to believe that I was worth exactly three dates. And those that have tried to pursue me have been programmed to believe that all it would take to get into bed with me was a few lousy dates, a moderate interest in my character, and a smooth caress of the side or thigh.

And I am here to say, fuck you. I am a human being, as equal as the next person. As equal as every man. It is hard enough for me to believe that I am worth more than three dates without you trying to come over and “relax and watch tv.” The rate at which I wish to be intimate is entirely up to me, and no amounts of manipulation or beverages is going to change that. Sleeping with some one on the first date doesn’t imply sluttiness nor does sleeping with someone  on the 3rd or 4th date imply an intention to settle down. Waiting to get to know a person before jumping into bed with them is fine, they are a STRANGER in every sense of the word. This should not imply that the party is looking to get married, have your babies, or meet your friends and family. It should however imply that the person is looking for something real, regardless of the length of time it lasts. I don’t need something to withstand the length of time. I just need you to look at me and see someone worthy of respect and kindness. I need you to be mindful of the guidelines by which I choose to lead my life. I need you to be patient. And most importantly and pressingly: you owe me an apology.

Advertisements

On record

How could I possibly explain what I don’t even understand myself. All my life I feel as if I have been searching –not searching — scouring the planet for this thing I can’t even name. I don’t know what it is, what it looks like, where it is, or really anything about it at all. All I know is that the rusty gears behind my rib cage are constantly turning, exhausting themselves and me after a mythical, invisible goose. Do you know what that is like? Can you even begin to imagine how it feels to be missing a part of you–a part of your very spirit–and to be oblivious to what it is or where you last put it. I am seeking answers to questions I don’t know how to formulate, chasing the end of a circle, or trying to see out past the horizon where the line between sea and sky becomes indistinguishable. And I feel heavy and burdened like someone has filled my soul with stones while I was sleeping. Everything is a task, everything is challenging and hard. My highs are too high and my lows are too low, my emotions seem to be polar and extreme. I feel everything too much or too little.

And then I step outside, go walking into the woods and I can see everything. My world is balanced. This mental clarity is like a drug and I find myself oh, so addicted. Nature and the wild fill my soul with what ever is missing, and I cannot see it. I can only feel it and trust in it that some part of me is slowly becoming whole again.

An Invisible Grief

I lay on my side facing him, my head propped on one elbow, my other forearm extended on the sheets between us. He smiled at me, then looked down and passed one finger lightly over my forearm, near the top crease of my wrist bone. He traced two small, faint scars nestled there, little pale parentheses cradling a minor vein. He looked up at me, knit his brows.

“I made them once,” I admitted. “It wasn’t such a big deal. It wasn’t dangerous or anything.” Toru nodded wordlessly, conceding that they were nowhere near the underside of my wrist, where tender skin separated artery from air.
These were marks made during a particularly confused period of adolescence when I had wanted not so much to destroy myself as render tangible an invisible grief so it might begin somehow to dislodge and recede.

-Passage from The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World by Tracy Slater

Teach me the stars and I will show you the ocean

Our lives are filled with moments. Snapshots of the mind in a single frame of time that you can revisit whenever the inkling hits you. These moments are important, they are everything we are or have been; the lachrymose, the lucid, the precious, the egregious glimpses of our lives as a whole. As I have gotten older, I’ve begun to realize how cruicial the patches of your life are. As a child, unknowing to me, I had already dug into dissociative tendancies that would change my life all together. This year, 2016, has been arduous. I finally succumbed to my desperate need to see a counselor. I believed all along that the hardest part of starting my own healing process would be finally taking the initiative to make an appointment. To my surprise, working with her these past few months has been one of the most trying experiences of my life. As I dig up the horrible cumbrous roots of my past simultaneously I’ve noticed a sheer force strike up within me and grow; as if it were a sproutling piercing the earth’s crust for the first time to breathe.

Since my childhood and adolescence were difficult my dissociative states and anxieties have made it difficult to recal large portions of my life. Giant gaps are missing from my memory reel. As much as it pains me to say, if you were to hold it up to the light most of the film would be blank reflecting heartbreakingly to me just how much of my life I have been absent from. Which is why holding onto memories now is so important to me. I cling to them pertinaciously because I’m scared if I don’t they will leave me and I’ll be dancing on an empty negative for the rest of my life.

So I’m going to hold onto the memories I’ve come across of late. I will remember what is was like to lie on the beach tracing out the lines that Saturn took to travel across the sky or the deep craters on the peel of the moon. And then how it felt to exchange your wisdom for that of my own as we splashed wildly in the night surf hoping to see the waters glow with illuminative microscopic life. Or what it was like to hear your breathing slow and grow steady as you peacefully fell asleep beside me. Or how much I loved the weight of your arms around me and the cool breeze of your breath on my neck. You are not afraid of the fragile glass bubble that I live behind and you are so strikingly gentle when it comes to my instabilities and failings. I think your kindness will forever be playing in my head and your silly demeanor as the early hours of the morning slipped by us. Because no matter where we go or what happens to us, in that moment I was human. A rare and beautiful human moment. And my brain still thundered with anxieties and my soul didn’t believe I deserved your touch. But I was there, and in all of it, I was the person you decided to share it with

Complicated

I don’t ever write poetry but this danced around in my head while I tried to fall asleep:

Don’t tell me it’s not complicated.
Don’t.
Can we please just let it be complicated.
And it’s not just one.
It’s not just that we’re coworkers,
that’s complicated.
It’s not just that we’re 20 years apart,
that’s messy.
It’s not just that only one of us is single,
that’s ugly.
It’s all three, very complicated.
So please just let it be.
Don’t tell me that no one at work has to know.
Don’t laugh off 2 decades between us,
saying you’re mentally 10 years younger
and I’m mentally 10 years older
so we’re theoretically met in the middle.
Don’t lie to me and say your wife is okay,
or that she doesn’t need to know,
or that life has played out in a disappointing series. 
Just let it all be too complicated.
Let it permeate the space between us,
and keep us from being.
Other wise it’s just too easy to touch.

When sleeping with inappropriate partners

I don’t feel bad for what I did. I feel bad about not feeling bad for what I did. This is quite the paradox and has been knotting my stomach and giving away my good sleep. My moral compass has never exactly pointed due north, in fact the damn thing’s been spinning around on its axis for a quarter of a century now. And while I’d like to ramble on in the profound fashion that I normally do, there really is no point. Not to mention, I’ve been struggling with writer’s block since the incident and I believe it’s partly to do with the fact it’s hard to talk about—this thing that I’ve done. Society will chastise me for my actions, best do it quickly.

I slept with a man 20 years older than me.

I slept with my co-worker who is 20 years older than me.

I slept with my co-worker who is 20 years older than me and married.

Ah, now we’re getting to the root of the issue.

And I don’t think that I feel bad or regret doing so. The actual sex was just the tip of the iceberg, if you will. Don’t get me wrong, I had a full on Hollywood-can’t-breathe-get-me-out-of-here-out-of-my-skin level panic attack afterwards, once he was gone but that’s beside the point. My point is that the sex produced more problems than ‘Oh shit, I slept with a married man.’ And honestly, the panic inducing factors were less about him and more about me.

I knew eventually something would happen between us. Our attraction (both physical and mental) was obvious and palpable from the beginning. In the back of our minds it was merely a matter of time; when and where. ‘Let’s get a drink sometime” turned to “You make a wonderful drinking buddy” which turned to blurred intentions like I’m going to grab your thigh to make it look like I’m driving home my opinion on something but really I just want my hand as high up on your leg as I can get it in a social and public setting. Once we were drunk enough, it was on.

I had more than enough opportunities to change the conversation, claim it was out of my depth, inappropriate or dull but I didn’t because it wasn’t. Talking about sex, first in innuendos, and then in actual context was exhilarating. Not cheating, not unfaithful but tight-rope walking across all the fine lines in the world. He was testing me—easing me in to see if I reacted. I knew that I was being manipulated. And in fact I was manipulating him into thinking that he was manipulating me. He is married, he knows better than to behave like that but I’m young and he thinks I’m sexy and who knows what his other justifications were.  But he’s married and I know better. Society will preach he’s a man he can’t help himself but you, you young single heathen, you know better than to tempt him.

But as I sat there, for hours and listened to a man tell me in so many words that his marriage lacked passion and his life had played out in a series of disappointing and unexpected realities. But nonetheless he had bound his life to this woman whom he still loved but saw lustlessly as a roommate. I listened to him tell me that he could easily separate sex from love and all other emotions, “sex is just sex.” Over and over he drove this point home, in my own head I could deduce that if I had sex with him I essentially would mean nothing to him. Not that he wouldn’t be gentle or respect me as a woman, I just mean that in the sense that us being together would only ever be sex. I would be a tool with one purpose.

And ultimately I didn’t have a problem with band around his finger. I don’t love this man or harbor any outstanding feelings for him. All I knew at that point was that I’d had enough beers to quiet the noise in my head that would normally over-analyze the situation. When you get down to the nitty and gritty, I wanted to have sex with him. So I did.

And now I’m stuck with the usual consequences. I have to see him everyday, we have to remain discreet and quiet about it at work (obviously). What does this mean about his marriage? Would it happen again and under what circumstances? Are we still friends? Do we pretend that it never happened?

But I also have to digest what this means on my own level. What exactly were the factors that contributed to my exhausting panic attack 86 seconds after he was out of my sight? What exactly was it about the situation that made me sick? For days the thought and feeling of his hands on me made my skin crawl. The images of the night would creep in and my body would shutter revolted by pictures of us in the dark, involuntarily blinking and shaking my head trying to erase them from memory like an etch-a-sketch. Is that shame and guilt from the event or previous events? Is the shame I feel actually from the event or is in indirectly presenting itself because I don’t feel guilty. I showered and showered and showered when I got home but I don’t think it’s because of what we did. I think it’s what I did. I manipulated him, a married man who couldn’t help himself, to sleep with me because I couldn’t stand being inside my skin for one more second.

I knew better. I knew what would happen if he and I were alone together. I knew we’d collide. I think that subconsciously I used him to set me free. Free to punish myself for another week or month or year. Another opportunity to self-destruct and liquify. I knew all too well that the force of our bodies hitting could knock me out of my realm—out of the sky.

 

‘scuse me while I kiss the sky

I recently read a line on a blog summarizing Sod and Murphy’s Laws. The summation was “everything happens to me, for me.” And while at first I scoffed at it’s almost biblical connotation I started to repeat it to myself over and over as I processed it. I let my mind’s tongue work over every word like it was a giant cage my brain was trying to pry into. Everything happens to me. For me. After I’d scavenged the carcass of this phrase and spit out the bones I liked it more and more. Everything happens to me, for me. What a wonderful thing to remember when I’m trying to blame the world for my problems. I like this phrase because it puts me back into control. The responsibility to put my life right after so much is in my own hands. My experiences have given me the tools to rebuild. Even the experiences that brought me to the very edge of my destruction have provided for me.

20160327_121655-2.jpg

Everything happens to me used to be my mantra. I’ve been beaten, bruised, and almost killed. I’ve trekked across the world trying to put myself back together and still have barely made a stitch. Maybe I’ve been leaving out the most important part of it all. It’s all been for me. I truly believe that despite the hardships I’ve faced the universe has had my best interest at heart. Even though I may seem to have a tendency for the melancholy and melodramatic, I mean what I say on both ends. I just need to rework my brain and add a new end to my previous mantra of ‘everything happens to me.’ For me.

 

Grimace, motherfucker.

I want to walk up to you.
And scream in your face.
I want my warm, sharp voice to brush the hair back from your face. 
I want to spit fire.
Grimace, motherfucker.

I want to scream at people with normal brain chemistry.
It’s not fair. It’s not fair that their minds don’t work the way mine does… or should I say that their minds do work and mine doesn’t? That can’t possibly be true, my head is hot with a constant never ending friction of endless thoughts.
How is it that they don’t think the things that I think. How is it that every moment of every day they’re not trying to figure out the quickest way out of the room, out of their head, or out of their own damn skin. Why am I the only one trying to calculate how quickly I can unravel before someone notices and puts me back together?

A Naive Notion?

Life is weird. The little details that add up over the course of your life can take the wind out of you when you realize what the summation is. And it can be strange to think how easily you could have missed the spot where you’re standing if one of those miniscule details didn’t happen. To think if a microscopic fraction of your life had gone differently; where would you be standing now? It’s got me wondering how the decisions I’ve made, how the decision others have made, and how the universe have shaped the path that has risen up to meet me. How is it exactly that I’ve arrived in 2016 standing in front of someone who I loved 10 years ago and haven’t stopped thinking of since.
It’s been put into perspective just how long 10 years is; and how fast and how slow the time goes. How the person who I was 10 years ago is a stark and naïve comparison to who I am now. How strange it is that two people who believed they were destined to be apart could in fact grow towards each other, following each other’s footsteps blindly in the night. Is it fate? Is the universe giving me a sign that I’ve longed for my whole life? Or is that a silly notion belonging in the same box as fairy tales and myth? Who is to say? Can I trust it to be a fairytale; something a kin to the stories I tell myself at night to get to sleep? Can fate be trusted? Fate is written but you don’t get to see the end. So if I, someone of sound mind and education, someone reasonable, someone scientific believe that the universe is standing in front of me with giant foam fingers screaming “You idiot! This is your f*cking sign!” then it’s probably fairly valid, right?
So my big question is: is the universe fighting for me? Is it trying, with all its might, to move two bodies it deems soul mates closer together. Because I can’t tell anymore and I am two scared to climb up to the mountains and ask the universe point blank. The universe has a tendency to not answer and occasionally be a dick. Okay, more than occasionally. Perhaps our souls had been intertwined long before our bodies had and since we divided the universe has slowly and without our knowing led us back to each other. Is that a legitimate hope? Or a naïve musing of a girl carrying around a ten-year old heart break?