Expecting the unexpected….

I spent the larger portion on my early 30s desperate for a baby. In that quiet keening kinda way that disturbs small dogs and makes potential partners edge nervously for the door.  I even had a brief moment when I couldn’t imagine life having any meaning without the patter of tiny footsies.  And then I had to pull myself towards myself and come to terms with two clear facts: there was a good possibility that I was never going to have kids or if I did, I was going to be facing a non-traditional option.  

I weighed up the idea of various non-traditional approaches and eventually realised that doing things entirely on my own was probably not a road I wanted to go down.  So made some significant moves to investigating egg freezing. 

Not having kids took longer to get my head around than I thought it would.  But I did.  And the prospect was actually quite rad, to quote my 16 year old cousin.  International travel, less panic about stable income, sloth…yeah, I could do that. 

So imagine my surprise…

.Gah! It's ALIVE!

The universe laughs and laughs and laughs and laughs. 

If I dig deep for honesty here, I’m a little ambivalent.  I’d made other plans.  I’d shifted my perception of myself really rather drastically.  Mother was not fundamental to my sense of future self any more.  On the other hand, whoah!  Baby!  Squee!  A wee beastie in mah belleh.  A little zygote of pure loveliness.  Extraordinarily awesome. 

Fuck me.  Life does like it’s curve balls, don’t it?

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Unexpected adventures with ponderous consequences. And stuff.

I don’t fuck other people’s boyfriends.  I just don’t.  It’s bad form, on the whole.  And nothing good comes of it.  So how the hell did I end up in bed with another woman’s man?  Not only that, but with her permission?  And then a few weeks later, again, this time, with her in attendance?  What the actual fuck, as they say on the interwebs.

Let me caveat.  I’m not talking a saucy threesome here.  I haven’t popped that particularly cherry.  Well not really.   I’m talking a complicated grey area where the heady pursuit of experience hits the unyielding wall of reality.  That awkward moment when you’re naked in the sack with two other people and it’s the sexual equivalent of washing the dishes.  In fact, worse. The sexual equivalent of watching two other people wash the dishes.  Something that seems like a good idea at the time, suddenly feels rather like a massive error of judgment.  (Mangle that metaphor Dolce.  You LOVE other people washing your dishes…but I digress…you know what I mean.  A spectator to an act that it’s not particularly arousing.  Are we clear now? No.  Catch up, dammit.)

Actually, that’s not right either.  No regrets.  But it has left me a little ponderous.  One of the unexpected side effects of my little journey to the dark side has been the general prodding, pushing and outright rubbing-out of certain boundaries.  A tectonic shifting of how I understand the world to be.  A world where fucking other people’s boyfriends is just not good etiquette.  It turns out, that in many instances, it’s absolutely fine.  In fact, encouraged.  And if said partner can leap in, mores the merrier.  Right?  Mmm.  Yeah, I’m not convinced.  I find it hard enough to chill to the point of an “orgasmic rush of lust” to quote Rocky.  I don’t need a) an audience or b) the performance anxiety.  But that’s my shit.  Also, I’m well on one end of the Kinsey scale, so bi-shagging is largely one-sided.  Well, in my head, since as mentioned, my experience factor is now sitting at a field of 1. Lastly, sex (for me) is pretty much always better when it’s with someone you really dig.  And know.  And trust.  Did I mention trust?  Especially on the dark side.

I think I’ve just decided that I don’t like being the ‘third’ in these sorts of ménage a trios’.  I’m not closing the door on that particular adventure.  But perhaps I’d be happier as part of the pair. Or perhaps the trick is to be a triangle of singles.

I digress again.  I need to think this out.

In short.  I’m still not entirely sure I want to make a habit of shagging attached men.  Or indulging in threesomes for that matter.  And I sure as hell am not interested in anything that doesn’t result in me being shagged properly (yes, I am sub blogging), no matter how many folk are involved.

The silver lining to this particular playbook?  A particular attached itch has been scratched and no longer appears to be itchy.  Ding!

Afterwards

ImageI’m not sure which is worse.  Your disdain or my disbelief.  Somewhere in-between there is a truth that coils like a serpent.  The smell of cigarettes and ammonia.  The bare linoleum floor.  Sterile blue light and just outside crows huddle in the rain.  You ask me, sneering, what I thought I was doing.  And I can’t speak from the rage of it all.  My fists clenched to whiteness.  I must contain this.  The taste of blood in my mouth.  The hum and whine of corridor neon lights.  I cannot look at you.  Cannot.  Instead I let the metallic blood coat my tongue.  Breathe shallow, dark breaths.  And wonder how the fuck I got here.

 

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Goodbye

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“Meet him,” Mike said, “I think you’d both get along.”

But he stood me up.  ”Give him another chance”, Mike said, “He’s…well…he’s different.”

And so I did.  And we talked until the stars came out and the moon rose.  We talked about the colour of sea sand at night.  And of books.  And of the hard mash of life.  And how tough it was to see the truth of others.  And to be seen. 

Dreaded Outsider.  Literally.  I remember thinking he looked like Gary Oldman, and that if he didn’t have the dreads, I’d kiss him. 

The next time I saw him was in a Jozi parking lot.  He arrived with an arm full of books.  Ayn Rand, Ronnie Kastrils, Irving Stone.  The dreads were gone.  I wondered at the twisted humour of the universe as he kissed me in the late afternoon light.  My lips burned.  Books and stolen kisses will do that to a girl. 

I kept him at arms length, I don’t deny it.  He lived with an intensity that scared me witless.  He asked questions I didn’t want to answer.  He let slip the pain that had carved him out of the world and left him standing outside it.  

We shared phone calls that would go on for hours.  Me in the bath, him sitting somewhere in the Transkei dusk.  Invariably, his credit would run out, and I’d phone him back.  And curse him when the bill came.  But it was worth it.  Those long, rambling conversations.  

He start, always, with “What are you reading at the moment”, and then we’d fugue and rift from there. A jazz note of words that swirled and ebbed and flowed until we touched the raw places.  Until, inevitably, one of us said goodbye.  Usually me. 

He wanted to paint me.  To make me curries.  To buy me books.  He had nothing, but he wanted to share everything.  Such generosity, such hopeful optimism. That one chicken curry would change everything.  The right combination of spices and heat would melt my stubborn reserve.  And maybe it would have.

But he was there and I was here. And when finally we were in the same place, with time and space to say the unsaid, I was raw with sadness and he was bruised and battered by life.  Not sleeping, drinking, staring at me as if he could find the thread that would unpick me.  I said, “You’re too intense, I can’t handle it.” His response was to ink my name across his beautiful, freckled skin.  And I did what every sensible girl does.  I ran, and ran and ran.  Until the vast Karoo lay between us and he found love and comfort in another.  And our lines of communication lay silent and thrumming with “maybe”.  

And now he’s dead.  Cold and gone.  And those maybes lie dark and heavy in my heart.    

Tent man, beatnik, beautiful dreaded soul.  I loved you, Dreaded Outsider.  I still do.

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Good girl

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She knelt at his feet.  Naked, save for the blindfold and the leather cuffs that bound her hands behind her back.  Her hair was loose, curling around her shoulders and down her straight back.  She held her head high, seemingly determined to show confidence.  But he noted that she’d tucked one foot under the, the small gesture revealing her vulnerability.

He sat in the wingbacked chair and watched her.  She was perfectly still.  Body lit with the light of fire in the grate.  He knew she was waiting for him.  The tension growing as her mind began to wander and consider what he’d planned for her tonight.  He knew this part of the game.  Letting her do his work for him.  Knowing he was watching, his eyes studying her.  The room was warm, but her nipples rose, erect.  He knew a combination of discomfort and desire would be nudging her to shift her position.  But she stayed exactly as she was.  Back straight, head high, eyes and hands bound.

“Good girl”, he said and leaned forward and reached for the bag next to the chair.*

___

*a small teaser for Kono.  Because he’s been so very patient.

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Remorse

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Just where the light leaves the sky.  That thin, dying line of day.  There lives my remorse.  That shadowed thing that calls like a distant bell.  You were wrong.  You were wrong.  And my heart, propped up with chemicals and a tiny, fluttering hope, sags just a little.  Just enough.  To unstitch itself again.  So that the dark night gaps like a maw.  Quick to swallow me up, grind me down, spit me out.  Shattered and shivering into another bleak day.

Walking the moon road

The low chime of the grandfather clock in the hall reminds me that I’m not asleep. And again an hour later. If I listen, I can hear the shush and pull of the ocean. The moon sea-rises here, casting a glamoured road across the water. On nights like these, when I can’t sleep, I creep to the balcony window. And I imagine I am stolen by water fae. Thieved out the window and down the hill to the beach, and given rights to walk the moon road. To skip on fairy feet along the glittering until I reach where the mer-people hold their counsel. I long for the thieving. Keen for it. I wish with every piece of my 8 year old heart. Because I know, I know, that there is so little magic to be had. So little grace and wonder. Less so as 8 becomes older. And the deep belief of childhood leaks away. So I hope and hope and hope that the magic steals me before it is completely gone.

Pretty in pink

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The rope is surprising.  The restraint more about containment, somehow.  Safe.  The slow pull of each tie, each expert tangle.  The rasp of it, as it pulls against skin, clothing, carpet, itself.   I am a novice.  The tying makes me giggle.  But I’m drawn to it too.  The fingers of the rope master.  The concentration he brings to the task.  The frustration at a wrong choice, the subsequent unknotting and redoing.  I wait.  Try not to move.  Feel myself more contained as the binding holds me.  Not too tight, this first time.  But enough to leave marks when the rope is unraveled.  Pretty in pink.  I’m cupped in roses.

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Click click delete

Writing is like a muscle, they say.  Use it regularly, and you’ll get better, stronger.  They’re right.  What they don’t say, is that the type of movement matters. 

I write all day.  Reams and reams.  Words pour from my hundred-meter fingers.

“Dear all”

“Please note”

“Action required”

An accountant of words.  Dry and drab and cubicalised.  Punching out my memo streams like a clever little drone.

“She writes so well” my colleagues say.  “Oh please won’t you look at this?” they wheedle.

And I preen and edit.  And convince myself it matters.

Until the page stares.  Waits.  With the deep patience of something uncreated. 

Click, click, delete.  Click, click, delete.

And the critic in my head gives a wry smile and says “You’re only fit for emails, girl. Who do you think you are?”

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Love

“Love is a form of prejudice. You love what you need, you love what makes you feel good, you love what is convenient. How can you say you love one person when there are ten thousand people in the world that you would love more if you ever met them? But you’ll never meet them. All right, so we do the best we can. Granted. But we must still realize that love is just the result of a chance encounter. Most people make too much of it. On these grounds a good fuck is not to be entirely scorned. But that’s the result of a chance meeting too. You’re damned right. Drink up. We’ll have another.” ~ Charles Bukowski

I don’t think he’s wrong, Charles.  I think about that.  How we do our best, in the fucking dank shadow cast by happily ever after. And that’s ok.  I don’t need to be rescued or kept or cherished.  I just want to try my best with another human.  Someone who sees me.  And tries their best back.

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