I’m prime.

Forty-one.

Never gave it much thought, really.  Forty was rough, hopefully this year will be better.

My body has changed; my pics prove it.  So do my slightly tighter underpants.  My life has changed; my stress levels prove that.  And my heart has changed too.

It’s darker, farther away.  I don’t feel badly about this.  I feel safe, focused.  I know what I need to do and finding love just isn’t it.  

I’m good without it.  Alone and independent.  How can I say I don’t need anyone without sounding jaded or hurt??

The truth is, I don’t and I’m not.  I’m just very, very clear.  

I only need me.  And my baby.  Ok, and the goddamned animals, but that’s it!  Wait.  My sister, too.  I definitely need her.  

But all my friends?  The ones who half ass the friendship?  Nope, don’t need them.  The men who come and go as they please?  Nope, definitely don’t need them, either.

Forty was the year I realized how alone I am.  Maybe 41 will be the year I start to really move on and gain steam.  Make enough money, new friends, and stellar decisions.  Maybe 41 will be my year, the year my body loves me as much as I love it and the year I let it all go.

Here’s to 41.  

I don’t feel like writing.

It scares me, this lack of enthusiasm for the blog.  

I just wrote about making new goals and striving to achieve them and instead of inciting me to action I feel pushed away.

I think I’ve indentified part of it: it’s less fun for me, more stressful.  My standards for what I put here are extremely high and it takes me up to 5 hours to write a thoughtful, moving piece when it used to take me an hour or two.

I could blame life changes for that, but I don’t think that’s it; I’m more easily distracted and I don’t feel as welcome in my own space.  

I’ve gone and fucked this up somehow.

To combat this, I’ve decided that I will write more, not less.  Lower my standards for a post and fucking play here again. 

Play with my words, my body, you.

 I used to post lots of nothing — lots — and it felt like a playground, like swinging high above the treetops, spinning faster than a top.  I could do anything I wanted, have any voice, share my thoughts and ideas without worry that there was a hole in my argument.  

I want that back.

So, to kick that off here’s a random nude pic of me.  Raw, real, and [barely] exposed.  Just like I used to be, just like I want to be: playful and seductive, playful and here.

I am alone.

Alone in a crowd, with a man inside of me, bathed in the bright light of morning.

Alone beside a chatting friend, next to my mother, across from the velvet couch.

Alone behind the panting dog, buried beneath my troubles, alongside my half empty glass.

Alone atop my life and in my bed.

Alone with myself.

 

Sinful Sunday

I am unfit for a relationship.

It’s Friday night and I’m binge watching Frasier.  Peyton is at my parents’ and I am at once exhausted and angsty.

The week has taken the piss out of me.  My credit card company is inept and drafted an enormous payment without my authority.  As I type I’m currently $275 in the hole.  That’s -$275, in case you think you’ve misread that.  I bawled out everyone and their mother, but still they said, “You’ll be reimbursed within three to five days, Ms. Jones.”  Three to fucking five days. 

Work has been intense and particularly stressful and I have ignored moving my body which is the most important thing I do each week to maintain my sanity.  Instead I swim in golden bottles of Sauvingon Blanc and get lost in my baby’s eyes as I do our bedtime routine.  The love I feel as I look into those blue eyes overwhelms me, fills me with light and this eternal ache, a mother’s love mixed with stark raving fear for the future of my love.

But tonight I am alone and I have none of that love to anchor me, just the wine to float on

Will, the sugar daddy, was forced to cancel our plans to consummate our relationship in a bed instead of over the front of seat of my car and The Artist’s attempt at a booty call fell on deaf ears.  I can’t be bothered, honestly.  I have bigger fish to fry.

Something keeps coming up for me, this sense that I am unfit for a relationship, and it’s been all consuming these past few days and weeks.  It’s been a real revelation; it all makes sense now.  I’m the square peg and a relationship is the round hole.

Yes, I want to be treated with respect and loved and adored and all of that, but the honest truth is that I cannot give anyone much in return.  I am a decent human being and treat everyone with kindness, but that’s not giving much.  That’s the bare minimum. 

 I am able to skate by with men because I’m charming and sexy and “busy” — oh, so busy.  And everyone thinks I’m open and that they know me, that they’ve learned a secret about me, but I’m performing to such a degree they don’t notice me hiding over there.  And I have no desire to come out.
As a young man recently accused me, I’m good at “the game.”  And fuck it if he wasn’t right.

I dance away and twirl just out of reach time and time again.  I am transfixed by others just like me, shiny objects shimmering in the distance just as I shimmer in the distance for someone else.  No one can catch me and as I’ve cried and lamented over the past years of my life at my bad luck it’s been because I choose the wrong men to focus on.  I can accept my role in my own misery.

Like I said the other day, I don’t trust myself.  It’s like I’m drunk on trust issues: my judgement is impaired.  I shouldn’t get behind the wheel of my love life.

I like men who are falsely close, those men who resemble Labradors and who feel like old friends immediately. Petra and The Soldier were like that and this new man Poppy, too.  Or I like men who can never commit to me like The Neighbor or the sugar daddy, Will.

There have been an extremely small number of men who’ve wanted to be present with and for me, but they’ve gotten no air time either in my life or here.  I found them to be unstable, strange, clingy — which may actually have been true, but the thought of blending our lives together gave me hives and choked me.

I maintain that the man I will ultimately want will know me as Hy and as me and will love me all the more for watching me soar away and yet circle back to rest with him because he is my safe place, my rock.  I’ve never had a rock before.

I am drawn again and again to the age-old saying of, “Youth is wasted on the young.”  Truer words may have never been uttered.

I spent years suffering poor body image and low self-esteem in general and suffered an even greater strife of not truly knowing myself until now.  At 40 I understand my wounds as if I had held the knife myself.  At 20, 25 or even 30 I knew only a fraction of who I was and my marriage was doomed to fail because of this; my life was always on this trajectory though there was a part of me that tried mightily to solve for it, to be traditional and monogamous.  But I don’t think it’s me.

I am wild and wanton, I push boundaries and crave newness.  I have grown accustomed to my aloneness, but I recognize that if I had a base to return to I would again and again; happily.  Like a toddler leaving her mother’s hip to explore further and further each time.  

My own mother didn’t appreciate that kind of exploration, it was threatening to her and so I pretended to be the daughter she needed and wanted.  And then I pretended to be the friend people needed and wanted, the wife, the girlfriend.  Today I don’t have the energy to pretend anymore and being alone isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

I’m not a religious woman, but I believe in magic, the magic of coincidence and observation.  What makes me notice these things now?  They’ve always been this way, but now it’s like seeing The Matrix; I am me.  And so I find it no small coincidence that this blog is named A Dissolute Life Means… for I am dissolute.  Completely, utterly, beautifully.  It’s like past me knew exactly what future me needed to embrace.

I am not ashamed of this and I am not trying to be anything but.  I am a good person, a perfect person in my own flawed way.  I have carved out the smallest little corner of the Universe for myself and I feel decently enough about it; it feels good, warm.  I’m happy here with you all.

Men have become like ocean waves since my feelings have begun to shift, crashing on my shore relentlessly.  I have to be more careful about poking around out there because they will want me if I say I’m available and the truth is, I’m not.

Not to the guy who lost the condom in me and came silently and not to the guy who disappeared for two months after our date and then I couldn’t remember him (or the date) when he texted again finally.  Not the guy who popped up after weeks to tell me that his lifting buddy pointed out my apartments as we drove by and said, “Hey, I dated a girl named Hy who lives there.” and the guy texted me to tell me “Small world.”  Not the guy who won’t let me wriggle away and pinned me down for a date.  Not the other guy who wouldn’t let me wriggle away and who also pinned me down for a date.

I’ve named Hy after Samantha Jones from Sex and the City.  She was always the character who was criticized the most as being one-dimensional, but I found Samantha extremely complex.  What female character has ever been lauded as sexually free without being a caricature of a desperate woman?  She just plain liked to fuck and wasn’t interested in anything more, unlike so many other slutty female characters out there who were ultimately looking for a boyfriend.  There is nothing wrong with not wanting a boyfriend and I do not want a boyfriend. 

I want to be free to do as I please, to go where I want with whomever I want.  I don’t want to answer to anyone.  Most importantly I don’t want to worry about anyone else.  I want to focus only on my child and myself, my career, my health, my animals whose needs are so ever-present it’s a miracle I even get to sleep.  One is beside me as I type, his black fur over-heating my thigh even as he purrs softly, ignorant of my discomfort.

There are risks to this route of course: if I don’t care, they don’t care.  My time is less valuable and thus plans are more like suggestions rather than commitments.  Fades are the name of the game instead of graceful goodbyes.  It’s the tax for the reality of the situation but it’s all I want to spend.  

Watching Frasier I’m reminded that 20 years ago we we talked to each other more, dating was a relational exercise more than just words on a screen.  We heard each other’s voices, expected someone’s complete attention.
There were endless debates on how long to wait to call a boy, etc., but that was so easy compared to today’s dating challenges and I want to return to basics.  I want to do only what I really want to.  I’ll walk *this* far and no more.  If no one is there where I stand then I will change direction and I suspect that I’ll make a beautiful pattern in the sand as I walk here and there trying to discover which way to go, deliberate and mindful of what feels right for me.

I might be alone tonight, but I’ve never felt more by my own side.

 

 

 

 

Being stood up is fucking shitty shit.

Today sucks and for different, yet related ways.

First, it’s The Neighbor’s 32nd birthday and last year feels like this morning somehow.  And second, I was stood up on Saturday by someone I liked and trusted and even today it feels like a raw, stinging slap in the face.

Though I am making strides to distance myself further from TN, it’s still a struggle.  Last year we were broken up and his birthday spent together was painful, awkward and titillating, not unlike a red, angry blister on ecstasy.

A couple of months later I ended our friendship and embarked on a TN-free life in pursuit of a man who actually valued me, but clearly I’ve failed in that endeavor.  It’s been an interesting 10 months.

That brings us to two days ago when I was treated with no respect and little regard.  I don’t have control over others; I thought I’d chosen well enough, but I was very sadly wrong.  I feel sucker punched.  I have never in my entire 20 years of dating ever stood someone up.

Not a guy I’ve never met before and certainly not someone I had met previously.  Clearly everyone doesn’t operate by the same moral and character code as me.  They do whatever the fuck they want whenever they want because they can.

He didn’t text me when I asked if he was en route 30 minutes after our agreed upon time, nor did he respond when I texted close to an hour after our date to confirm that we were actually meeting at 8.

I can’t guess what happened, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that there are only 2 reasons why not texting me back would be acceptable:

  1. death or serious bodily trauma or;
  2. a phone is lost or broken.

But this young man turned down the offer of my address because he said he remembered where I lived, so ostensibly he could have shown up if it were #2.  And I’ll feel badly if it’s #1, but the odds are slim to none that something tragic befell him.  Let’s be real: he was just a dick.

In a world of disposable dating, why do I have to extend any slack in the line??

With TN we fought a lot about his tardiness.  I would have dinner timed and  he’d call 5 minutes before he was supposed to arrive to say something had come up at work.  He thought he was being sensitive.  My risotto or fish never agreed.

He demanded my understanding and I his, but we were in a committed relationship so it seemed reasonable.  But for a 3rd date?  Is it reasonable to extend blind understanding and empathy at the expense of one’s dignity and self-worth?

When I have shared my upset in the past with a man at being treated like this I’ve been called inflexible, told my standards are too high and that I’m seeking “dating perfection.”  I’ve also been called old and demanding, as if to infer I don’t know how the kids these days date.

The details of the interactions are immaterial, but what’s important is the overall belief that if I insist on effort I am high maintenance and rigid.  But here’s the thing, for a first date, yeah, you better make a fucking effort.  In fact all my dates better have some work behind them because I will be working for them, too.

I’ll have cleared my schedule and protected your time slot (I turned town two sets of friends for that date Saturday night), I’ll eat the right things so as not to be gassy or have an upset stomach (yes, I do that), I’ll clean my fucking house, shave my entire fucking body, moisturize and shower, buy various sizes of condoms to accommodate your dick, make my bed, stock my fridge and even put my phone on silent once we’re together.

And yet somehow texting me to let me know that something has changed or come up is too much effort.  TN could barely keep me in the loop and I was supposedly a major part of his life.

Well, thanks a fucking lot for that, you fucking dick wad.

In 20 years of dating I have never mistreated another human being in that way.

I’ll admit to being distant and letting things die on the vine, or not returning feelings, but I have never not been where I said I’d be or not done what I said I’d do.  It’s counter to who I am: I am a nice fucking person whose word means something.

Dating has become this vicious, self-serving, distant act.  We do what we want when we want.  We rely on our phones to implant a wall between us and those we’re actually trying to get to know.

We don’t want to seem too eager, too clingy, too insecure, too caring, too into it, too ______.  God forbid we show any genuine excitement about anyone lest we reveal ourselves to be drooling, humping idiots with no self control or caché.

I have spent literally hours upon hours of my life dissecting text with and for my friends. What does it mean if he doesn’t text you after a sexual encounter?  a first date?  Should you send the first text?  reply immediately?  What happens when punctuation suddenly shows up when text was fast and loose before?  Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

I treat a man I’m talking to with the same respect and social courtesy as I would a friend or family member who’s texted me; it removes any thought on my part.  It gets tricky when the interactions become dating-specific, like the post-fuck text.

In those instances I err on the side of who I am.  What feels natural?  To text or not to text, that is the question!  There’s no right or wrong answer there considering we’re all our own Litmus test; if he doesn’t like what I’ve texted when I’ve texted it (or didn’t text it) then that’s valuable information moving forward and if it ends there, well, then we clearly weren’t meant to be.

Everyone plays it so cool we forget the message we send is I don’t care about you.  Maybe there’s some truth to that, but what if it’s on a scale?  Like, I don’t care about you that much, but I still care somewhat?  Obviously, there’s no way of knowing the intent since it feels the same on the other end regardless.  We all really fucking suck at communicating.

For you Gen Xers out there, like me, do you remember when all we had were landlines?  I would come home from work and toss my keys into the bowl next to the answering machine and would be filled with a pleasant rush if I had a flashing number blinking at me.  Someone had thought of me!

They’d left a message with real words and the only way for me to let them know I got their message was to pick the phone up and call them back and use my own voice.

Chats took effort and focus; I couldn’t do anything else but think about and talk to the person on the other end.  My mother, my friends, the men I’d met.  It was a simpler time despite it requiring more effort on everyone’s parts.

Ben is the last man I’ve “chatted” with and one of the only ones over the last several years.  I’d like to think it sets him apart in some ways.  But I could be wrong; I seem to be wrong regularly.

My Saturday night date was a sweet young man — or so I thought — and it doesn’t help that other men I care about have been infuriatingly silent for far too many days on end, as well.  Nor does it help that today is TN’s birthday and all the memories of him are kicked up.

I’m worn out and down and frustrated and lonely.

I have extinguished the frantic pace with which I was devouring men and all but ground to a halt.  I have been picky, patient, and persistent and yet it has not yielded what I’d hoped: a shield against bullshit.

The truth is, dating sucks no matter how you do it.  Whether you’re a man-eater or  cautiously optimistic and highly selective.  There’s nothing I can do to protect myself: dating is dangerous, period.

My feelings are hurt from Saturday and I’m left scratching my head at how I could have been so wrong about him; I never would have thought he’d do something like that.  And I am bereft — still — at the absence of The Neighbor.  Yes, even now.

The other irons I have in the fire don’t seem to be panning out and so it’s back to the drawing board.  I’ve spent my entire weekend basically on my couch or poolside doing literally nothing of any interest.  I’m not proud of that.  I fear loneliness is slipping between my ribs and weaving its way towards my heart.  I feel frozen in time.

I don’t remember the last time I felt this way, adrift and aimless.  Sad.

Treating a person with disregard, a person whom you ostensibly want to get close enough to lay with, is an odd cross of messages.  I want to penetrate your body, but I refuse to acknowledge your humanness.  It makes no sense and no wonder we all act like crazy people in this random, ridiculous march to coupling.

Had he only texted, “Hey Hy, got super drunk with friends earlier today. Can’t make it tonight,” I’d have been pissed, but grateful for the note.  As it stands his continuous silence is humiliating and embarrassing.  Not only was my judgement off, but he clearly doesn’t think I’m worth even the littlest amount of effort to be treated with kindness.

TN’s continuous stalking is humiliating in its own strange way: he wants to keep tabs on me, but not in a meaningful way.

I look forward to the end of July.  This has never been my favorite month.  It’s TN’s birthday, the anniversary of my father’s death and my friend Sara’s suicide.  My grandmother’s birthday falls on Sara’s death and I can’t think of her without thinking of the pain my friend felt.  I put my cat down after 15 years of togetherness on the 6th.  The anniversaries are on the 4th, 6th, 8th, and 9th.  It’s a brutal time of year for me.

I always try to be kind to myself at this time; there’s nothing worse than self annihilation when you’re hurting.  Unfortunately, I don’t feel all that successful.  I’ve been glued to the couch and my computer and have been pumping my veins full of wine.

I guess the hurt will pass, as will all the memorable days, and I’ll get back to normal me.  Quiet, lonely, normal me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avoidance.

Hy at night in shadow
Shadows.

At this point in time I fully admit to avoiding some things.

My fitness, for one, not to mention my creativity, my mental health, and my peace of mind.

I feel like I’m floating on a little raft of seaweed just past where the waves swell and form.  I can see the beach with my towel and my things, but my senses are consumed with salt, long, low pulses of waves crashing, and the tickle of the sea.

Peyton flew unaccompanied to San Francisco for a couple of days during my most recent custody period then went straight to my ex’s upon arriving back home.  Today they all leave by car for a family vacation and won’t return until mid July.

My phone remains mostly quiet except for my frantic checking of world news.  The list of heartbreaking things seems never-ending lately; it’s been a particularly brutal late spring for the entire world.

Knowledge is power, but it’s also paralyzing.  I feel overwhelmed as a member of our global society and even in my own little life.  Tributaries of thought and feeling merge into a raging river only to split off a few miles away.  I have a clear idea of what I need to do, but then remain sedentary.  Not taking care of my body is the main signifier.

I stain it with alcohol and lack of movement, my dietary choices aim to hurt, not nourish.

Yet meanwhile in the other parts of my life I am dedicated and driven.

My work continues to bring me significant pride and satisfaction and my Summer of No Men (or really, Summer of Very Few Men) has brought a sense of calm and balance I have never felt before.

I blocked The Neighbor from being able to view my AFF profile and with that single keystroke the weights attached to my ankles which threatened to drown me were gone.

He remains in my complex, but the sight of his car somehow bothers me less.  My empty, boring nights are a result of my choices and I feel empowered even as The Good Wife and a bottle of Casillero del Diablo keep me company.

I chat with Ben on occasion and have a couple of other irons in the fire, but they’re on low heat and I like that just fine.  My standards for a date seem impossibly high after London.  I want someone to look at me and think, “Fucking shit I’m a lucky man!”  Not, “She seems ok for now.”  Effort means everything to me now.

My avoidance of my physical and creative health is the natural reaction to my career and dating health.  I have yet to master all aspects of my life simultaneously and that has been a lifelong pattern.

If I’m working out regularly and my diet is on point, then I am making risky decisions with my heart.  Slacking at work?  Then I’m probably drinking less.  It’s like squeezing a balloon that won’t pop: it just squirts out somewhere else; I can’t hide it.  At least I haven’t had a cigarette since December and that seems unlikely to change any time soon.

The biggest question I’m trying to answer is why do I have this deeply driven need to balance smart, healthy decisions with their opposite?  Why can I not allow myself to revel in all the sun?  Why must I always be cast in shadows?

The immediate answer that comes to mind is I am not comfortable with that level of success and/or happiness and I’ll admit to that; it’s what I am working so hard to change.  I want all the sun.

The second I hit Publish today I will feel better.  It’s a very caring thing, writing, and I have been actively avoiding things I know will make me feel better.  It seems I want shadow in addition to all that sun — perhaps I need it, I can’t tell the difference — but I’m trying to honor the pull nonetheless and not beat myself up about it.

I’m supposed to see Remington tonight, a reschedule from the weekend, but I’ve asked if we can move it to tomorrow.  I’d like to see him in an old friend sort of way, but I’m content if it doesn’t happen.  Not quite ambivalence, more like acceptance.  That’s a sunny thing.

I’ve skipped lots of opportunities to work out this week, though.  Shadowy.

I’ve focused on my work and goals.  Sunny.

I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine every night.  Shadowy.

I’ve been highly selective about the men I interact with.  Sunny.

I haven’t written all the things I want to say: good v. bad sex, UDP (unsolicited dick pics), the strangely dangerous and beautiful world of IGShadowy.

My hope is that while my little one is away for so long I will get my sea legs and stop floating, overwhelmed by the current and unmotivated to move.  I’d like to honor my quiet mornings and my need to write.  The summer is short, though the heat is long, and I have to get my shit together.

The cicadas are chirping.  It’s time to get started.

Hy in the morning in the sun
Sun.

 

A summer with no men.

Before Peyton started kindergarten my life was set by the sun and moon.  Alarms factored very little into my life.  I led a charmed, though albeit unemployed life for years.

Things changed drastically the spring before school started.  I wasn’t making ends meet and so took a second job that required I arrive by 7:30 am.  It felt like hell on earth.  That fall I quit so I could take my own baby to school and ever since I’ve been a slave to drop-off and pick-up and after-school commitments with our summers chock full of camp commitments starting by 9 am.

This summer we’ve decided to cut way back on all of it.  My ex will take care of his weeks and I’m responsible for mine and since money continues to be tight I can’t afford camps and Pey is dragged to my office on short days and dropped off at my parents’ on long ones.

However: NO ALARMS.

No goddamned alarms kicking me out of slumber.  No groggy morning routines.  No interrupted afternoons.  No stolen pockets of time.  No bedtimes.

And it is fucking glorious.

I'm certain the animals were judging me as I did this.
I’m certain the animals were judging me as I did this.

This is the second week of summer vacation and my first week without my baby.  Each morning I awake gently, early still.  I stretch, I let the dog out, I lay back down, I take pictures of my 40-year-old body and think, Not bad.  I research how to make the perfect French pressed coffee.

And then I sit at my kitchen table with the window open behind me and I write and catch up and read my friends.  My bottom was sticking to my cheap plastic Ikea chair so now I sit on a cheap Ikea lambskin.  It’s like a dream come true.

I’m already trying to figure out how to incorporate this into my life come fall.  I struggled to find time to write during the school year; the only time I had free was in the evenings or an hour or two during the day but I found myself worn out and empty.

Was it Hemingway or London who’d get up at 5 every morning and write for two hours then just chill the rest of the day?  I know that’s when I’m my most creative and relaxed and I feel like a motherfucking winner if I allow myself to write in that space.  And yet, I rarely do.

I get distracted by my phone, IG, sexting (if I’m lucky), crap around the house, whatever.

At the Tate with Ben we wandered into the room with some Picassos and Dalis.  He was impressed — this wasn’t what he was expecting to see that day — then wandered into another room with art by people we didn’t recognize.  “You know what makes this art?” I asked him.  “The fact that these people say it is and work so hard to put it out there.  If they didn’t, it’d just be a hobby.”

I’ll never be a lauded author, but I know this is more than just a hobby.  I’m a writer, a poet, an artist.  This summer I want to reconnect more deeply with what makes me tick, what drives me.  It used to be that I floundered aimlessly.  Lately I still flounder, but I have an idea of where I want to go.

It’s been 3 weeks since London, since I allowed anyone to enter my body.  I’ve shared kisses twice since I’ve returned, but I am in no rush for more.  The thought of anything less than what I experienced with Ben shuts me down.  This summer, I have a feeling, will be one with many early mornings at my kitchen table and quiet nights alone.  I need to catch my breath and embrace the writer in me anyway.  I don’t want this to feel like a hobby.  I want it to feel like motherfucking art.

This could end up becoming the summer of no men.

 

 

 

I am Hy.

Smith found me on Instagram.  His weird, dummy account told me nothing about him, but his good grammar and smooth words did.  We chatted for one long early morning when I woke up before dawn and checked my DMs; he was at work, I was in my underwear.

It quickly became clear that he had a banging body.  Images of six-pack abs flooded my feed, a glass sink bowl strategically hid his penis from view, and I openly drooled.  He laughed.

Because of my IG catfish experience I asked him to verify his realness with a kiss to his middle finger.  He obliged.  I wasn’t exactly expecting a picture of his face, but I got one.  He was dark-haired, manly, damn fine looking.  Reassured, I kept talking and discovered he lived in my state, not too far from me.

I keep my location top secret for multiple reasons, but the main one is I don’t need any crazy people fucking up my shit.  I know it’d be pretty difficult to figure out who I am just from my pseudonym and my city, but I’d rather not chance it.  Smith was calm and cool and quickly earned my trust.

“I’m not far from you,” I said.

“Oh yeah?” was his reply.  He didn’t ask to know.  He seemed to understand I’d tell him when I felt it was right.  When I eventually did we discovered we were a little more than 3 hours apart.  Not bad, but definitely not easy to meet up.  We shelved any imminent meeting and concentrated on being occasional penpals.

A while later I got a direct message from him.  “Looks like I’ll be coming to your town soon for my friend’s bachelor party.  Will you be free for lunch or dinner or anytime, at least to meet? ;)”

I checked my schedule.  I’d have Peyton, but my folks are often on kid-duty on Fridays.  I told him I hoped we could make it work.

We switched to text and fantasized together what it’d be like to meet.

He would be the second person to meet me that I met off of IG, the 3rd to meet me as Hyacinth Jones.  I was nervous.  Would I measure up?  Would the fantasy overshadow the reality?  The first man I met was just a friend, a Twitter friend first and foremost, then we’d moved to Skype.  When he told me about some upcoming travel and it happened to be in my town I took the plunge and revealed my whereabouts.  The night was fun and it’d been especially thrilling to me to be called Hy all night.

The second man is the fella with the beard and “complicated relationship” (read: marriage) I’ve mentioned here and there over the last few weeks.  He’d DM’d via IG something smart and respectful and when I clicked on his profile I discovered he lived in my town.  I kept our proximity hidden for days until I felt comfortable enough to share (he wouldn’t ruin me seeing as he had much to lose himself).

So Smith would be the third man to know me as Hy, the first with whom I fully expected a physical encounter.

We texted off and on throughout the day he arrived and realized that the plan for the night would be one neither of us had counted on: we’d meet a strip club.

“Are you sure?” he asked.

“Yep!  It’s fine with me!” I replied.

I worked in a titty bar after college as a cocktail waitress and have frequented them off and on over the years during more than usual debauched nights out with friends.  I consider them dens of iniquity, the worst of all of us under one roof, but there’s something thrilling about being so base.  What did I care what people did with their time, money, and bodies?

I wasn’t nervous as my Lyft bore down the dark, streaky streets.  Despite the rarity of the situation itself, meeting someone new wasn’t.  I live for this shit.

I wore what he’d asked me to, a black and white striped mock turtleneck that clung to my body, black tights and boots, a short black skirt.  The deal was I was supposed to be braless for him, but I still wore it when I arrived.

“I’m here,” I texted.

“Be right out.”

I walked up to the doorman and got waved through; no cover for a single woman, I guess.  Lights flashed rainbows and I blinked trying to adjust my eyes in the busy foyer.  I looked up and there he was.

Average height, shirt pulled tight across his bulging pecs, dark hair, dashing.  We hugged hello and he drew me into the belly of the club where I pushed him against a wall and kissed him.  Music thumped and girls writhed all around us, but my eyes were closed to it all as I tasted his lips and pressed my breasts against his hard body.  We broke apart and smiled.

“Lemme buy you a drink,” he said.

At the bar I took off my jacket.  He admired my shirt.  “I still have my bra on.  Sorry.”

“You need to fix that,” he said loudly over the music.

I deftly undid the clasp and pulled it out through the bottom of the turtleneck, held it up for review, and dropped it into my large shoulder bag that I’d brought exactly for that reason.  His eyes widened and he laughed.  I turned in the flashing light this way and that, my breasts clearly outlined by the clinging fabric.

“You like?” I asked.  He liked.

He led me back to the VIP section where his friends were buckets deep into beer and babes and soon I was on his lap, my breast in his mouth, the fabric hot and wet between us.  We kissed and ignored the world.  I don’t remember a single thing we said to one another.

The agreement had been from the beginning that we would meet for a couple of hours and then he’d peel off to spend the rest of the night with his friends.  Their proverbial carriage showed up and we said goodbye.  I called a Lyft and rode back home thinking about his lips on mine and aftershave on my skin.

Was this something I would do or just Hyacinth?  Would I meet a strange man and his friends at a strip joint and make out with him, say goodbye, then leave?  Or just Hy?  Would I push a stranger against a wall and kiss him 30 seconds after meeting him?  Or was this strictly a Hyacinth move?

It may be surprising to learn that having a double-life, a pseudonym as important to me as mine, means that I wonder if one is enabled by the other of if they’re independent of each other.  Before Hy existed I’m pretty sure I’d have done the same thing, but the opportunity to meet someone and do this would be slim to none.  I’d be “looking for a relationship” or some such.  Being Hy gives me the freedom to literally do whatever I want whenever I want.  Funny thing is, if I’m honest with myself, I kind of do the same thing.

Pushing Smith against the wall and kissing him branded me Hyacinth in a way that the other men I’ve fucked and kissed and talked to haven’t.  It symbolized to me that she is me and I am her in all the best of ways.  She is my freedom much as I am her sensitive side.  Together we are me regardless of whether or not you meet me as Hyacinth or me and it’s about time I accept this.

The next morning I texted him to see how the rest of his night had gone and we both lamented that I wasn’t there in his big hotel bed with him.  Maybe I will be for the next bachelor party he attends.  As both me and as Hy.

 

 

When the stars align.

There’s an eerie balance to the universe.  One thing expires, another blossoms; a door closes, another one opens.  People who are closely bonded find themselves on similar cycles of mood, energy, menses, luck.

For me, the stars have been aligning, one by one, to bring me to my knees on the alter of Pull Your Head Out of Your Ass.

I’m finally admitting to myself that, yes, I want a relationship.  

A real thing to nurture and take care of.  I want to be fucking special to someone, not just a fun time — my fun bags be damned.

Admitting that is much harder than you might imagine.

To say I want to be loved shows you that I am soft where I wish to be hard, that I have a chink in my armor.  It means I will have to be honest for a change with both myself and the men I date because right now, I’m a giant liar.

“No, I just want something casual!” I might say laughing, which roughly translates to “I don’t need you to call me, to make plans.  I don’t need you to say nice things or let me know you care.  I don’t need to share myself with you in anyway because you are a blip on my radar, just one vessel of many in my dating sea.”  In other words, I pretend I’m self-sustaining And don’t give a fuck what you do.

But the truth is, I’m not and I do care.  I care very much.

My little relationship with the Bad Texter has taught me that I am capable of developing a connection outside a bedroom and though I wonder that he might not be a good candidate for me in the long run, I’ve decided to practice my truth-telling with him.

I will tell him I am looking for something real and that I’d like to explore that with him.  Because that’s actually the truth, crystal ball malfunctioning or not.

What that means is, I will say that I care about him and that my feelings are ripe to develop and that I want to explore them with just him.  

Well, to be more specific, I want him to date only me.  Baby steps, ok?  I don’t think I could put all my eggs in his basket.  Admitting I have feelings is big enough, thank you very much.

Then I will wait to see how he responds because there are only two things that happen when you tell the truth.  You either hear what you want to hear or you hear what you fear.

I suspect he will tell me he’s not looking for a girlfriend at which point I will kiss him goodbye and thank him for our time together.  He won’t have any idea how his easy-going nature and focus on me helped put me back together, but I will never forget our brief time together.  

I’m tired of lying to myself and everyone else.  It’s time for the truth: I want to be special.

Next step will be to look for a man who thinks I’m amazing.

I’m taking applications for boyfriends and/or lovers.

To all prospective boyfriends and/or lovers:

Please include a short note as to why you think you would be suited for the position.  Attach your CV and current photos of your cock, body, and face (if you’re willing).

Send info to: hyacinth.jones@hotmail.com

Who I am:

I am a single mom to one adorable school-aged child.  I’m 39, almost 40, and I have a broken heart.  Sometimes I drink too much, sometimes I smoke too much; I rarely exercise enough.  But I take care of everyone I know really well.  I’m the planner of the bunch, the one who reaches out to everyone she knows to grab a drink or invite over for dinner.

I breathe in the seasons and once believed I was a mermaid.  I could sleep on the dirty hay of a horse stall if allowed.  I love makeup as much as going au naturale.

I’m a little plump, but very athletic.  No one has worn me out, yet, though I might have begged them to a time or two.

I lose my temper quickly with the animals and my kid when I’m worn down to the nub, but I’m quick to apologize and explain why mommy was acting crazy.  I rarely lose my cool with grownups and am actively looking to change that, so beware.

I don’t like sweets and drink my coffee black.  I sleep on my side and often fitfully.  My favorite flowers are lilies and roses and — of course — hyacinths when they’re in season for that week or two in March.

I’m a skilled cook and can make almost anything taste great; eating out is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  Mmm, fucking wine.

I need a lot more attention than what one person can give me; I have no interest at this time in giving up  my online social streams, but know that once committed, I am faithful with my love and my body.  Just don’t ask me to stop sending tit pics or harmlessly flirting online.

I’m smart, level-headed and deeply understanding.  My friends rely on me for everything and I have been fought for a time or two.

I’m ok financially, but not at all well off.  Staying home to start a family and finish grad school decimated my career, then the divorce delivered the final blow.  I have a modest 401k that I’ve had to sell some of just to make ends meet, and this after selling all my shares of stock I was awarded in the divorce.  I am determined to use my graduate degree to support myself and it has been a slow and painful journey to financial solvency.  I’m so so so close.

I’m also sometimes too gruff or not alert to someone’s shifted mood, particularly if I’ve had too much to drink (which is rare).

I am a loud talker.  Very.  And that happens with or without alcohol.  Everyone will hear us talk, but I won’t care unless you do and then I’ll be very quick to apologize so long as you don’t chastise me.  Chastise me and we will have a problem.

I’m an extrovert which means I need to be around people to recharge and fill up.  If you’re interested in my personality type, look up ENFP.  It’s a pretty accurate description and I’ve read them all.  I really, really have a thing for all you damn introverts.  I handle you perfectly.

I’m also shy.

I have deeply rooted issues connected to opening up and trusting.  Recently, my heart was broken and I ignored every gut instinct I had to hit the eject button because I loved him very deeply.  I have been steadily discovering that I am all sorts of fucked up from it.  Like soda in your nose.

I never make love, but I can fuck like an animal.

I’m an artist and an exhibitionist; I’m sensitive and cry during movies and sex and sweet exchanges with my baby.

I want very badly to wake up to a man whose warmth towards me spills over like a fountain.  Who has ideas for things we can do together, who takes me to brunch and asks if he can stay for just one more hour, who buys me gifts or makes the bed; who calls at random times to say Hi.  I have a very bad track record of attracting men who are not available to me and so I may push those of you away who might actually be capable of such a thing.  Please, bear with me.  Tell me I’m being stubborn or closed off.  Maybe I’ll look closer and clear away the cobwebs mistrust from my heart.  Or maybe I’m just not feeling it.  I promise to be honest with you if that’s the case.

I tell filthy jokes and cuss like a motherfucking sailor.  I’ve read lots of literature and The Game of Thrones and enjoyed them all equally.  Writing is in my blood; I am, therefore I write.  I can’t not write any more than a bird cannot fly, nor a fish swim.

I have a complicated relationship with my mother which is often very problematic for me.  I love her, naturally, but don’t expect us to be the Cleavers when you meet my family.  You’ll like them well enough, but you’ll see what I mean when I say, “Well, they’re different.”  And when you meet my kid you’ll see an angel on earth and if you don’t, well, you can go fuck yourself.  Seriously.

I live in a little teeny apartment with a bunch of animals and a small person, but my home is my castle, my safe place.  You’ll feel really comfortable here, too, I bet.  Everyone always does.

I’m sure I’m leaving some things out that might be important to know, so feel free to ask.

Who you are:

Some line-items: you must be between the ages of 30 and 50 and someone who can afford dinner whenever we want and maybe a weekend getaway or two; a guy whose sexual appetite meets or exceeds mine; a guy whose cock needs a Magnum condom or just misses it.

You don’t vote red and don’t like guns unless it’s at the range; you have never used a racial slur.  You don’t believe a woman’s skirt was too short and therefore she asked for it.  You don’t have problems apologizing and you’d rather gnaw off your arm than lie.  You are going to or have gone to therapy.  You would never strike a child and you understand the socioeconomics of poverty and how it relates to race and gender.

Most importantly, I’m looking for a man who gets me.

Is that guy you?

Sincerely,

Hyacinth J. Jones, Broken-Hearted Anonymous Sex Blogger at Large (And Her Tits)