They hang just like this.

Instagram-approved.


They also come complete with nipples.

Too nipple-y for IG.


And a smirk.  

[Ed. Note:I sent this to Luke yesterday because he has a thing for hosiery.]

I still have hope.


I have been sick for most of 2016. It began in January with a fever of 103 and is ending with laryngitis and tight lungs, the diagnosis of which will be determined this afternoon in the doctor’s office.

I am exhausted.

I have lost my muse, my cat, by many accounts even my dignity — let’s not even discuss the White House — but I haven’t lost my hope.

I hope 2017 is better than ever.

I hope that little ember I feel continues to grow.

I hope my heart continues to swell with love and light.

I hope to grow my bank account.

I hope to build stronger bonds with my loved ones.

I hope we fight to keep the world progressing.

I’m not hiding anymore pretending to have it all figured out. I’m struggling, working hard, fighting back. Everything has burned to the ground, but there is new life. It’s the way of things.  I’m still alive.  I’m still doing the things I love.

I gripped the balcony railing on the 21st floor as the owner of the condominium buried his face in between my cheeks. The city lit up below me and the cold breeze swirled around us, his wet tongue and puffs of breath hot on my skin. His moans of pleasure matched my own.  I imagined it was Luke and smiled.

I enjoy men in new ways, brighter ways now. There are no ties which bind, no words that bond. I am free as a bird and light as a feather.  This is fun again and without the stench of desperation flogging me on.

He had me keep my boots on when we came inside and made sure I noticed the sliding closet doors which were mirrors when I undressed and laid down.

He was hard and felt good; he loved my pussy, came quickly, and promptly fell asleep. I did too.

Just before dawn I crept out of bed and opened the blinds which faced east and watched the rose gold light spill into downtown like phantom lava. The reflection on the buildings sparkled and where the light met the night was a beautiful dark hue of blue, like my eyes in the dark I imagine.

I redressed and woke him up to say goodbye. “I have to take care of the dog,” I explained to his unasked question.  He’d mentioned earlier in the night that he wanted to have champagne and brunch with me.

In the long elevator ride back down I looked at my reflection. I saw a woman who never stops looking, who never gives up. I saw her hope.

I also saw a woman who lives her life as largely as possible.

This year may have tripped me up and beat me down with all its curve balls, but it hasn’t erased the core of me: an artist, a lover, a good woman.  I am tougher than 2016.  I am still here and I’m not going anywhere.

I’m not all ice and black heart.

Luke and I have been talking every single day for weeks now and it is this lone connection that reminds me I have a soft, gooey center beneath my icy demeanor.

For almost two years now my world has been a landscape of slate and black.  Jagged, torn edges that have left me bereft and alone.  The Neighbor’s abrupt departure from my life shone a light on how I have avoided intimacy my entire life, how its light scorched me like the sun upon a vampire, and in the ensuing months I have bumbled along self discovery and acceptance: I have intimacy issues.

Me, who opens up and shares the most intimate of details of her sexual life with virtual strangers.  Me, who entertains gaggles of friends with her lewd stories and tearful sharings of dead fathers and complicated mother relationships.  Me, who bares her body for tens of thousands of pairs of eyes and who elicits both hateful and lustful responses in equal measure and weathers them all with unapologetic and not not disdainful aplomb.

Yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

I’m a motherfucking mess.

Man after man — 14 this year alone, I think, plus the handful that I haven’t mentioned — have added to the bleak illustration of my life, some post-apocalyptic land where even the lightening bug’s glow is dim.   None have given color, none have inspired.  I have been free of a muse for too long, drained of inspiration and weighted down by the pressure to impress and be loved by the masses, but I am feeling color seep back in.  Because of him.

We may never meet.  We may never touch.  We may never taste one another, but what has happened is a tiny little fire has been lit inside.  The tiniest, just ever so, like the little diamonds in the slim band upon my finger.  It is there.  I can feel it.

I am no longer filled with dread when I think to write and the words spill out of me much like school children down the sidewalk after school: freely, with some joy, and with purpose.

I tease him about talking to me — he’s far too sweet for the likes of me.  “You’re a smooth talker,” he replies.

“Tell that to me when you’re between my legs,” I say.  “Then I’ll believe it.”

He persists in smearing color on me.  “You’re a great person.  You need to appreciate that.  I know there’s a big heart within that ice block,” he laughs.  Then adds, “For the record, you’ve never seemed as cold as you think.”

I’ve been cast a bright line to the old palette I used, rich in color and light.  His kindness, his ever-present warmth, his sweetness.  After years of grey to see this sliver of color I find myself almost afraid.  Afraid to reach for it, afraid to believe in it.  But I can’t deny that it’s there.  That little ember, ever so small, lit within me.

And I can almost breathe again.

 

My little diamonds.

My little diamonds.

I dream.

I dream of waking up and feeling strong and secure, knowing I will make enough money to provide for me and my baby.

I dream of health and no mysterious ailments which — if I am to believe WebMD — mean I am either perfectly fine or dying a protracted, miserable death.

I dream of a love which wraps me in its arms day and night, yet allows me to fly whatever strange Hy course I need.

I dream of friendships so strong I am never afraid to lean on them, to see the tears in their eyes as they hold me close having rushed to my side when I shared my need.

I dream of a future with less fear, less desperation, a time when I truly believe everything will be ok because it is.

As of today, I am only close to one of those dreams.

Having feelings really puts a damper on casual sex.

Ok, that’s not exactly true.  Having feelings for someone other than the one you’re casually fucking sucks.

I eat, sleep, and shit Luke these days; he’s literally all I can think about.

We text and send video messages all day throughout a day as we juggle our respective responsibilities.  I cum listening to videos of him telling me about the errands he’s running and, chagrined by my constant begging, he sends me selfies and tells me how he thinks about me while he soaps himself up in the shower.

He says he’ll never leave me – though what that means is more theoretical than practical – and I choose to hit pause on reality and bask in the attention of a man I find to be incredible both inside and out.  I let the smoke of his words fill my lungs and infiltrate my system and, as I exhale slowly, bask in the high that someone says he sees me and won’t go away.  Crack, meet Hy, Hy, crack.

I’ve been out with a few men since stumbling upon Luke, but none can clear the room of his scent.  Brad is a loving father, intelligent, filled with Dad Puns which make me cry with laughter, and a nimble lover, but he’s ignorant to his second-chair status.  Kent and I met for dinner after five years apart and argued over whether or not Michael Jackson actually touched those poor boys and though he smelled delicious, I went home alone.  There was another man whose brand of sense of humor left me straight-faced and deeply unimpressed.  He never had a chance past “Hi, all my dates end up saying they don’t want to see me again.”  Franklin’s presence is more life-preserver and less love interest and his existence seems to reside within a conflict-free zone at the moment.  Thanks, Universe, for that small win.

I’ve been doing my Hy thing for so long I’d forgotten that there was more to be had, more to feel.  A friend who knows me as Hy laughed when I told him I was struggling with having feelings for someone.

“All this time you DIDN’T feel alive? Wow. It must be somethin’.”

Indeed, it is.

When I lived next door and slid into a sexual, playful relationship with The Neighbor I was also fucking other men.  He was one of many, no big deal, a young, furry, inexperienced yet exceedingly talented lover next door.  And then we began to talk and hang out more and the sex steadily improved until every man I met and fucked was being compared to him.  That new, next man had to meet or exceed what TN gave to me.

TN was unavailable (and never said he wasn’t), but our attraction and chemistry overrode both of our common sense and eventually, I threw caution to the wind and decided to take what little he’d give me and go all in.  I focused on the positives until it came to a sudden end and now, nearly 2 years later, I am still sweeping away the residue of his chalk outline.  We had something special and I felt a certain way.  That inexplicable measure where suddenly you are real, you are heard.

I haven’t felt so divided, so distracted by anyone else since that early time with TN.  When I tried so hard to find someone to replace him – a man who didn’t want me – but who made me feel alive just the same.  Luke has inadvertently triggered a reawakening in me.  Not unlike the stirrings I felt while in London with Ben, but more strongly.  Perhaps they’re building upon themselves like a snowball down a mountainside or maybe I’m just becoming more comfortable with my softer, open side.

Luke wishes me luck before my dates and asks that I text him at the end if possible.  If I don’t text him until the morning he wishes me good morning and asks me how things went.  He’s jealous of the men in my life much as I’m jealous of his poofy, 5lb dog who gets to sit on his chest and lick his face like a miniature lion.

I have lost almost all interest in local adventures; I can’t muster the energy to focus on a man who isn’t Luke and I feel like an asshole.  It’s not like anyone I’m talking to thinks they’ve snagged all of my attention, but last I heard the polite thing to do is to successfully not think about another man while one is inside of you.  Just sayin’.  I’ve reached new lows.

Obviously weird shit happens in the course of a lifetime.  I have no clue why Luke was thrown into my path or I in his.  All I know is that with him I feel safe to explore the vulnerable parts of me, the parts which are so closely guarded I all but forgot they existed, and the distance between us emboldens me to poke around, find my limits.

It seems the impenetrable Hy isn’t quite the cool Ice Queen she thought she’d become, she’s also a warm-hearted fool who wants to slumber and rise wrapped in her crush’s arms while high as a motherfucking kite.