I’m going to bed early.

I texted Rex late yesterday afternoon.  He had just finished the last ride of the weekend and was on a high.  He’d had an incredible weekend on his bike in the middle of no where and it had exhausted him, he said.

He texted today to say good morning and I sent him a couple of pictures of Peyton making us breakfast (literally the closest thing to breakfast in bed I’ve had in my entire life).

Then the day dragged on.

My back aches from my pelvis to my chest, my body feels contorted, my heart feels dark and heavy.  I am physically miserable, psychically stalled.

Thank God I have Peyton tomorrow, Valentine’s Day.  The single most excruciating day of the year when you are forced to remember your relationship status by every person wearing red to work for their Happy Hour V-Day dates later in the day.

I’m going to bed early.

It hurts.

 

 

 

Febraury Photofest

I am too still.

I have spent the bulk of the weekend in my pajamas save for the 6 hours I spent drinking last night with girlfriends.  Two women 5 and 10 years my junior; jaded and burnt out on men and overly sensitive about making sure we all kept our expenses the same.

My Old Fashioned drinks burned and smoked down my throat as their magic addled my brain.  Then the sadness crept in.

I hadn’t wanted to go out in the first place; I’d offered to see Rex, but I didn’t hear from him and so I’d made other plans, naturally.

Tina chatted up a beautiful man who somehow epitomized Brooklyn New York and her friend, Sina, cozied up with a handsome and grizzly older fellow.  I spent my time trying to give them each space.

I awoke on Tina’s couch alone and with an aching back.  This back ache is a symbol of my stillness, my general paralysis, and I hate it.  I need to move more, sweat more.  All this sedentary bullshit is literally breaking me.

Good thing tomorrow is a new day and I can start anew.  Thank god for the never-ending turning of our world.

My general state of being.

 

 

Febraury Photofest
Sinful Sunday

He loved the pot roast and I slept alone.

“I’m not feeling it between us.”  He made a back and forth motion with his hands at chest level.  “I think you’re very beautiful — very — fascinating, intelligent, really funny, but I just don’t know if it’s there between us.”

I sat beside him, about 18 inches away, a wine glass in my hand.  I looked away, swallowed.  I felt trapped and helpless, foolish.  Of course he doesn’t, I thought.  Men never want me.

I’ve spent the last couple of days fighting that voice and it’s left me low and energy-less.  I hate that voice.

Since none of this is happening the “normal” way for me I have been out of touch with things.  None of our dates have lent themselves to anything more than a brief goodnight kiss.  He’s responsible and has dogs and has left after every one and declined to come up after another when we instead sat in his car outside my building where I worked really hard to convince him I didn’t actually care about dick size, only the size of a man’s heart.

On the couch I continued my case, “I want to get to know you, Rex, I want to unwrap you and discover the man inside.  To learn about you.  I find you interesting and kind and sexy.  I want to keep learning about you.   You intimidate me because you’re so grown up and accomplished; I’ve never dated an adult before…”  My voice sounded desperate and clingy to my ears, but there was nothing to do.  It was all true.

I looked away again when he didn’t respond and he said something about me shutting down.  I dragged myself back up to the surface.  “You’re right.  I am.  I’m trying.  This is just so hard for me.”

I looked at him, my face an implacable mask.  He said he couldn’t read me.  I told him that was the point.

I have never felt something slip through my fingers the way that evening did.  He licked his plate, but was passing on me it seemed.

“What are you thinking?” I asked.  He said he didn’t know.  “Well, do you know what I’m thinking?  I’m sitting here wishing I could kiss you.”

He looked surprised.  “Go ahead,” he laughed.  “You should always kiss me if you want to.”

I leaned over on my knees and kissed his warm lips.  His hands stayed below my hips, perhaps on my thigh.  He began to talk.  I asked him if he wanted me to stop.  He said, No, but I felt like I was forcing myself on him.

I pulled away and he followed me, kissed me more.  I breathed him in and waited as my hands roamed his neck and jaw.  Nothing.

“I have to get going.  It’s a work night.”  It was 10:30 when the failure really sunk in.  Either there was just no chemistry between us or my strange flailing the previous two weeks had set the stage for this.

“Do you think you knowing about Hy made us both think we were more connected than we really are?” I’d asked before I’d kissed him.

“No!  Definitely not!” he jumped to say.  “I don’t think that at all.”

We stood up and I walked to the kitchen to send him home with leftovers.  He kissed me again at the island and it was intense and sweet, but still stopped short of full-blown passion.  I don’t know why.

He dipped down once or twice for more and I eagerly met his lips, but he seemed already halfway out the door.

I handed him his baggies and tinfoil-wrapped pot roast and walked him to the entryway and told him I was free on Saturday if he wanted to hang out again.  There was still so much more to say and explore, right?  The kissing was good, wasn’t it??  I didn’t know which end was up, perhaps more talking and spending time together would sort it out.

“Ok, sure.  I might be going out of town for a bike trip.  I’m not sure.  I’ll let you know.”

We kissed again and he left and I crawled into bed with the animals.

It’s Saturday night now and I didn’t hear from him about going out of town or not.  I assume he did, but perhaps not.

::

I went on a date with a man recently who was incredibly eager to meet me.  He leaned in at the bar as I sipped my glass of Chardonnay and his hand occasionally grazed my thigh.  I had no doubt of his attraction for me and I felt the chemistry buzz between us as I imagined what his body would feel like over mine.

We parted ways with a steamy, but appropriate kiss against my car under an abnormally warm winter sun, and I drove away contemplating chemistry and connections.

Another night I had a date with a different man who really liked me.  It was our second date (the first was coffee a week before and his eyes lit up when I walked into the Greek coffee house).   He texted me nervously the morning after because he was worried he might have said something that put me off, but the truth is as I sat across from him sipping cider under a chilly moon I couldn’t muster an attraction.  I tried, but it just wasn’t there.

There was nothing he said that made that happen.  It just was.

And as he kissed me and earnestly held me close my heart sank because I felt nothing in return except his soft lips and nicely groomed whiskers.  I had to tell him, like Rex told me, that I didn’t feel it between us and if Rex feels as little for me as I did for that other man then that hurts.  Not a lot, not a little, but somewhere in the middle like when you studied really hard for a test, but still only got a B-/C+.

I really wanted this thing with Rex to be an A.

The person is undesirable to most while the body desirable to all.

 

Febraury Photofest

Waiting and waiting and waiting.

Date #4 is upon me and it’s pot roast night.  

I’ve spent the morning cleaning and deciding on my final recipe.  Mildly agitated, slightly excited.  I am so very, very out of my element.

It’s been more than 15 years since I’ve had 4 dates and no sex.  I’ve seen his beautiful body only on a screen as he has mine.  

I haven’t touched or tasted; I haven’t felt or followed my fingertips to any delicious nooks and crannies.  I feel blindfolded in an art museum.

I don’t know what is expected of me once dinner is done because I’m certain sex is not on the menu for tonight.  “I don’t do casual sex,” he told me on date #2.  

I’m not even sure I know what that means.

So I wait and follow and see what’s next.  He’s the lead on this.  Not me.  

I hope my pot roast is edible.

Waiting.

Febraury Photofest

I need a pot roast recipe.

“Hy, I just can’t do this whole blog/you thing.”

It’s a sentence Rex hasn’t said, but I’ve heard before.

I told The Russian I was Hy, we met, he got distant, I struggled to understand the new energy, he called to say he couldn’t handle it and, frankly, didn’t want to sign up for any of it.

Ultimately, I wrestle with a much larger demon than just trusting someone in general: I can’t understand why anyone would want to sign up for me.  The Russian and everyone else has “proven” this fear over and over.

Before you all jump to tell me that isn’t true — that there exists a man who will in fact want all of me — I already know that.  Of course I do.  But tell that to the darkest, most terror-stricken part of me; I dare you to get her to listen.

So you know what I’m going to do about all this crushing self-doubt and crippling fear??  Nothing.

Instead, I’m going to make him a motherfucking pot roast and chill.

 

I need a hug.

Leaving marks.

I survived date #3.

We ate at a hip diner amongst hip diners and I marveled at the sleeves of tattoos across from me.  I fought tears upon hearing his touching story of self-exploration and loss and sat next to him near our cars under the night sky wishing I could just lean in for a kiss already.  Instead, I offered to make him dinner.  It’s his birthday week.

I asked him what he’d like me to make. “Pot roast!” he said grinning.

Sadly, I have no idea how to make a pot roast.  So we settled on Brussels sprouts for sure and I’ll come up with the rest.

In the mean time, I’m realizing there’s more than one way to leave an impression.

 

Febraury Photofest

I am overwhelmingly scared.

“I am overwhelmingly scared,” I said and stared at the houseplant glistening darkly in front of the window.  “After the third date I am cast out into complete No Man’s Land for me; I don’t know what to do.”  Tears spilled down my cheeks.

My therapist crinkled her crinkly eyes.  “I know you are, Hy, but there’s nothing about you that tells me you’re not capable of this.  Nothing.  You got this.”

I’m going on my third date with Rex tonight.  It’s not a big deal except that it is.  I can count on no hands the number of 3rd dates I’ve had in the past 6 years that didn’t include sex.  That’s right: zero.

Typically by the second date I’ve already fucked him and realized I never wanted to touch him again or he had disappeared.  Third dates like tonight mean we’re getting to know one another and as much lip service as I gave to such a pursuit over the years my heart wasn’t really in it.  But it is now.

Now I want to get to know someone and I want him to get to know me, but the fear is palpable.  It cloys to my ribs and stifles my breath.  Can I let my guard down and open up?  Do I even know how?? 

I don’t think I’ve ever done it in all my life; I’ve used this blog for years now as the outlet for me  to connect and be vulnerable, but I’ve hidden it away and only those who randomly stumbled upon me gained access.  Strangers are safe; real people are not.  Not my best friends, not my family, not my lovers, not even my boyfriend.

I consider connecting with strangers good theoretical practice, but I’ve never done it with someone with whom I could reach out and touch, look into his eyes and say the things I needed to say and know he heard every whispered, nuanced word.

Look, I know it’s just a third date, but it’s representative of this new adventure upon which I’ve launched myself.  If I want someone to introduce to my child, well, I better get to fucking know him.  I’m curious at which point the hands around my throat will loosen; I’m fighting complete panic.

I fantasize about a savage fuck, one that will take me away from all of this mess of emotion.  A soul-pounding, bone-crushing, spirit-erasing fuck.  I want my feet on the ground, but my head in the clouds.  Sex is my salve, after all, my fickle and rewarding friend, and when administered in just the right way can make the world right again.

Wish me luck.

Please….

Plugging back in.

Something wonderful happened the instant I shut down my dating profiles.  Gone were the twitches to check email.  Gone was the guilt in my delay, my sloppy responses.  And gone was the worry I was missing out.

For years now I have operated under the assumption that if I said Yes to everyone I might be surprised.  Truth was I was mostly disappointed.

I feel lighter, more focused, more energized.  I’m cautiously exploring what it means to let someone get to know me while folding in this life as Hy.  I also feel the extra energy in my mothering and my work.

Peyton’s colors glow brighter somehow; my baby’s voice like bubblegum and sunshine.  I feel more, hear more, am more.

Had I known shutting off that faucet of illicit want and depravity could bring me this level of calm I’d have done it long ago, but perhaps I wasn’t ready.  Perhaps I had to wait for a million other things to line up to feel like pulling the shades on those windows (shutting the doors?).

When I think back over the many years of my life (for there are many) I am reminded of other moments like this where I feel like my life is beautiful.  The first time I ever rode a horse.  The smell, that rich mix of hay, dirt, and live animal; his warmth beneath my hand and between my legs; the muffled sound of hooves on dirt and a breathy whicker.

When I was accepted to a prestigious university 1200 miles from home.  I packed my little car with all my things and struck out on my own and never looked back.  I sorted out the bureaucracy of the school itself and life as a young woman all while taking 12 to 17 hours worth of classes a semester.  I hobbled through the finish line, but I did it.

I remember the first time I ever fell in love.  It was such a revelation; I felt like I suddenly understood all of humanity.  Why wars had been started over a love, why heartbreak could drag a lonely lover down with the fallen.  What a miraculous thing, love.  Does anything in our lifetimes even compare?

Again when I completed my graduate program with a 4.0.  Never before had I been so ravenous with my schoolwork.  The words I consumed melded to my bones; I am them now, they are me.  How lucky am I to be born in a time when a woman is allowed to achieve and grow and become an expert.

I discovered my body and its pleasures at a time when my life was torn apart.  Alone, nearly penniless, and wounded from a lonely marriage I found solace in the space between me and others, a cock the key to my emotional freedom.  I played in the sparkling pools of orgasm and unreality for many months like a toddler and accidentally realized my own power in my life.

My writing and this blog has outshone so many other relationships in my life.  It has survived The Neighbor and even other real life friendships.  It is a constant, wondrous, evolving thing.  I suppose just like its creator.  The friendships I’ve forged I will have till the end of my days, I have no doubt.  Who knew that my creative outlet and need to expose myself could harvest such a boon of love.

But by far the most outstanding memory I have of my life — which is a universe of emotion compared to even the simple joyful moon I am experiencing today — is the day Peyton was born.  The day I pushed a small body out of mine and held that little blinking face to my breast.  The wash of feeling that poured through me a cosmic binding to my helpless babe.

And every day since feeling the bond between us, knowing I am the protector, the mentor, the safe place.  There is no highlight greater in my life than that.

I’m plugging back in, I can feel it.  I want to be back here with you, Internet Boyfriend, and I want to return to me.  Hello.  Can you feel the hug??

 

That breast. My body reminds me of so much love.

 

 

Febraury Photofest

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Following through and opening up.

I have put it out into the Universe that I want love.  I have changed all of my online presence to reflect that.  I have written about it here, I have spoken about it with friends, potential partners, my fucking therapist.

I believe the time is right and that now more than ever I am ready, but with all this preparation and declaration I have also been brought face to face with the reality of what and who I am.  And I am scared.  It all seems completely impossible.

I have deactivated my accounts across all dating platforms.  It was getting too noisy and bumping into Rex made me realize that I need quiet in order to do this.  I had a full dance card on Sunday and by Saturday I had only kept two engagements.  Both with him.

He crowded my thoughts all week and other men were distant seconds due to their own innocent ignorance.  Why would I pretend to be only half of me with one of them when I could attempt to be all of me with him given the opportunity?

::

I came across a quote on Instagram today — I’ve seen it before.

He says you are too much.

You talk, laugh, smile, feel far too much.  But baby….

here is the problem:

He is too little to appreciate that it took an entire galaxy

being woven into one soul to make you.

I was married to that man, that little man who made me feel like I was wrong and whose own soul was in a self-imposed box.

I took up too much space on the sidewalk, he said.

I spoke too freely of my opinions, he said.

I shouldn’t need him to say I was beautiful, he said.

My art, my being, my movement through life was unacceptable.  It made him uncomfortable and self-conscious  It took me nearly 7 years to realize that his words for me were really for him.  He was a miserable shell of a man afraid of his own shadow, his own needs, and I had inadvertently married a man who personified my inner voice: I was too much.

I cried when I read the quote.  It felt all too familiar.  And I am feeling fragile today, far too vulnerable.  Telling people I want to be loved feels like peeling away my skin.  I feel raw, weak.  Like I am shivering and helpless and strapped to a tree in the goddamned sparkling snow.

Being honest about what I long for means I must demand certain things of the men I meet and of myself.  Honor and respect, kindness and compassion.  I have not had kindness in my life in so long and even the smallest glimmer of it creates a fracture in my facade.  I am suddenly and completely armorless.

Is this what it’s like for other people?  Normal people?  For everyone else who doesn’t have what feels like crippling issues with intimacy and trust?

It wasn’t long ago that no one could hurt me.  I was on a pedestal far above the fray.  Fuck me, leave me, don’t text, don’t show up, cancel on me, lie to me.  Fuck you, do it.  I’m not here anyway.  It’s just a body and I’m merely feeding it.

But I am no longer hungry for that.  I want to be a human, not that thing I was for so long, whatever that was.  I want to fill my heart.

I want to fill it with a man who knows me.  Whom I can introduce to my baby, my mother, my friends.  Someone who will help me move furniture I struggle to drag from one end of the city to the other on my own.  Someone to fucking care, to tell me everything is going to be ok when I’m not at all sure it will be.  Someone to just hold me, stroke my temple, press his lips to mine and breathe me in.

::

I sat across from that small man, my exhusband, last week and the disdain and resentment in his eyes burned into me.  His words cut and confirmed what I had always known about him: he never liked me.  I let his inner road map route my life because, I’d thought, it’s what I was supposed to do.  The truth is, I should have ended our relationship 2 months in, but his interest in me was mesmerizing despite his criticisms.

Step by step he moved us closer to marriage and all along the way he rejected who I was.  Six years after I closed the book on us I have never regretted escaping his dark cloud, but I have yet to find the sunshine.  I have operated under my own dark cloud of fear of people.  He betrayed me.  He made me promises he never intended to keep and he told me it was my fault.

The Neighbor never bothered to make a promise, but somehow convinced me he was worth having in my life.  Or maybe I was just an fucking idiot and the sex and his daily rejections were my catnip.  I’m open to that possibility.  Looking past and around them my life has been filled with men whom never deserved my energy, yet I gave it freely all the same.

They were safe because they would demand next to nothing from me in return.  I could be safely ensconced in my armor of detachment; they could be easily dismissed for behaving awfully.  Deciding to open up and be myself positions me for love and hurt, but I suppose it’s time to woman up and follow through.

I can either cry about being alone and continue to play child’s games or I can change the game altogether.  Be myself instead of someone else, but the truth is that when you line up all the pros and cons of Hy there are an awful lot of cons to get past first.  I’m not saying the cons are greater than the pros, just that there are many brambles to cut back before someone reaches the castle gates.

I feel like a branch heavy with snow about to break.  Can I really expect anyone to take it all on?  I mean, can I??

And the answer is yes, because if it were anything else then that would mean I had already given up and I have only just begun.  I have only just begun.

I am altered.

We’re forever altered from the healing, from the pain, from the experience of life and love.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve healed at all; I am so marred, so mangled, so marked.

I am a walking, talking scoreboard of my life.

So much to see.

 

 

Click the lips for all the other amazingness out there.

Sinful Sunday