I just want your extra time and your…

Jack and I have been talking on and off about moves and when to make them: do you tell someone you want to kiss them or does it take some of the yummy anticipation out of the not knowing? After all, you can’t kiss someone for the first time twice.

We’ve argued all sides of it, individually and collectively. And I think I’m coming to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter at the outset. The how’s and why’s and wherefores only have relevance in the context of what comes next.

If it becomes part of the cute story you tell each other (and whomever else you share the story with 🤔) down the road when you’re in agreement that there’s a connection…either party could have initiated at any point and it would have been fine.

But if it’s bad…it doesn’t matter if you did it in the first five minutes or if you waited until the third date or after 10 years of knowing each other. The time and the experience play a part in discovering chemistry or assessing compatibility. But they do not determine the outcome.

Great kissing can lead to terrible outcomes. Bad kissing can lead to good ones. Everything is only elucidated after the tiny filaments of experiences accumulate as they are woven into the cloth of our pasts. It’s all about perspective.

Anticipation is its own reward. It is not a harbinger of what is to come. Our brains are wired and filled with groovy chemicals just for the enjoyment of anticipation.

I have to be careful with whom I talk about this meta thought experiment stuff with. In the wrong hands it can seem like I’m suggesting something or being a tease or who knows what…when, really, I’m just an armchair philosopher in the ways of humans…who also just happens to enjoy making out.

You can make him like you

I saw The Hold Steady tonight with Em at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg. Solid show.

Last night was supposed to be a down night. Mikey’s birthday took place on Tuesday at Nostrand Pub and I stayed til close. So yesterday was supposed to be rest and recover. I was in sweats and I’d put on A New Hope on the projector.

I captured the night in a text to the Israeli:

Hi Roy void. Last night I went out to celebrate my friend Mikey’s birthday at Nostrand Pub. I stopped by a grocery store and bought a bunch of snacks for everyone. Chips, fruit by the foot, crackers with cheese. All silly stuff that makes grown ups feel like kids and more generous and happy.

I went in a rainbow striped onesie pajama and silver sequined uggs. We were mostly outside in 30 something degree weather. The pajamas were just cozier than clothes. And I had my nice winter coat from JCrew that cost way too many hundreds of dollars but turned out to be the best investment. Almost too good because strangers stop me on the street to compliment me on it. And it is sooo warm.

There were about 20 of us. Even my roommate Jack came through. I picked him partially because I knew he’d be a good fit with my friends. He’s young. A little over eager to be liked. I had to coach him on what not to do (climb things, walk on his hands, perform random feats of strength). And now he’s working his way into the group.

It’s not clique-y. It’s just sort of a family. Everyone has worked at the same restaurant at some point so they’re very familiar with each other. Except me. I’m just the mascot and sort of mother to all these children.

It’s nice to be loved. And it’s nice to love with abandon.

Everyone is an actor or a musician or a filmmmaker. They’re great with yes anding. So the conversations flow really well.

I think the only thing I’m missing right now is soulful connection. No one really talks about the deep stuff. The meta Stuff. The scary stuff. The inspiring stuff. For that I usually have to go to romantic relationships with men. I keep my nose clean in that neighborhood so I don’t feel uncomfortable. I don’t date in that circle.

It’d be nice to have those late into the night talks that I love having with you.

Hope you’re well. Hope someone has told you how special you are. And if they haven’t, know I have seen most of the types of people there are in this world and you are special to me.

I didn’t even get to the cantina scene when my phone started ringing. It was him. The Israeli. A video chat. He was in Queens and he wanted to see me. I said yes. He sent an Uber. And off I went.

Normally I don’t come on strong with him. I let him take his time. We talk for hours while he chain smokes and unfurls like a fern and then makes his move.

But this time, I jumped him in the first five minutes of being at some shitty generic apartment in Forest Hills. When you get only one night every eight or so months with someone you’re in love with, who inspires you to write intense prose and poetry, who is the imaginary audience of one you’ve been writing to since you started blogging in 2019, you have to take initiative.

Yeah, I said in love. I’ve been in love with him since that first night in June 2018. I was dating someone else at the time though and I made the wrong choice. When I came back for a third time that year in October it was mostly to see The Israeli. But it ended up being the trip in which I realized I was moving to NYC.

So I jumped him early in on the night. And it was hot and heavy. We took a break from making out to talk. He told me I’m gorgeous. And he meant it.

Am I? I dunno. I’m not a great judge of how I look. But I’m gorgeous to him. He’s absolutely gorgeous to me. He doesn’t think he is. But he is.

At some point he said he loves having time with me. I asked him why then, if he loves spending time with me, does it happen so infrequently? Didn’t he know that I love him? That I’m in love with him?

He didn’t. I think it kind of shook him. He needed to process it. Because, and I’ll take his words at face value, he loves me too. And he doesn’t know what he wants to do with it. But he wants to do right.

How could he not know? He said he thought he was just another one of my many experiences.

I don’t know what happens from here. It felt good to say I love you. It felt complicated to hear it said back. But I laid my head in his lap. And we just sort of sat in each other’s space for a night. It felt easy. And warm. And I tried hard not to get used to something that has a way of ripping off like a bandage, leaving me raw ever single time.

We’ll see.

Take Me To The River

Some things are bigger than us. There exist secret, intangible currents that carry us away on journeys we can’t consent to or predict or navigate in the moment. All we can do is trace them on maps from memory once they’ve concluded.

Was there a moment…in the moment…when I knew?

With him, yes. Moment after moment. They said, “You are not in control this time.”

Like when he sat me down between rounds at Franklin Park to show me the research he’d done into the history of his apartment building. Screen caps of census records and deeds. And he lit up with glee.

He wasn’t trying to impress me. And he couldn’t have known it was the type of thing I did as well. I don’t know if he’ll ever understand what it felt like for me to not feel so alone or strange or helplessly plopped into the wrong era, the wrong continent, the wrong body, the wrong gender. To have become tired in my pursuit of kindred.

In that moment, he unearthed parts of me I’d buried deep, and left them bare, exposed and vulnerable.

This current has smashed me against rocks. It has swirled me in eddies that left me exhausted. But it also reminded me that I am alive. And that I sometimes have to put my trust in someone else, even if the very thought is abhorrent and the danger is real.

I couldn’t tell you what it was all about. The map has yet to be drawn that would show me the delta and confluence of waters, where moment meets meaning. But if life has taught me anything, it is that all of this will serve a purpose later on and I will realize what a silly girl I was to want the small at the expense of the big.

I just have to keep reminding myself: I am not in control this time. I must learn to trust. The rest will come as it should.

Just another Sunday

I wore my sparkly red boots the other night to Nostrand Pub and this guy kept complimenting me on them. I finally had to use 363 inches of Nikola as a physical barrier. It’s probably the loveliest barrier one can employ.

I got to thinking last evening about how every boy I’ve ever fallen in love with had a component of letter writing to it.

Even with the ex. He didn’t even like the me he knew in person because he found her silly and superficial. It wasn’t until we began exchanging emails (in 1996) that he began to see who I really was, disentangled from all the frivolity I wore as armor.

I told Jack that I improve upon acquaintance and I think I understand why. When I am viewed through the lens of neurotypical ambitions and motivations, everything I do is scrutinized within the modality of wanting to be liked and adored. When, really, I dress to amuse myself. I certainly don’t do it for the pleasure of men. At least not strangers.

But if one were to assume things about me based on the way I dress, they would be working with the wrong parameters. It will never impress me to be told that my glasses are nice or my clothes are nice or…and this is Brooklyn specific…that I am “thicc.”

The only thing that has ever made me swoon is to hear my thoughts called deep and my tone lovely and my heart true. That requires the exchange of notes or, at least, witty banter. Noisy bars aren’t the proper setting for this. Why anyone would choose a late night bar setting to pick someone to sleep with is beyond me. It lacks subtlety but also strategy. It is clumsy and gauche.

But there is no Isle of Autism. No place we congregate in numbers reaching anything near a plurality. No bars for sensitive souls. So it’s incumbent upon me to wade through the online masses and spot the weirdos. It’s harder than you think. There is a whole class of alterna-fuck boys who use the accoutrements of weirdos to hide their basicness. And there are true weirdos who are damaged beyond repair. I am looking for a needle in a haystack inside another larger stack of pointy, needle-like objects.

And thus, I am doomed to walk the world alone. Or, at least, the mean streets of Brooklyn.

Happy Sunday.

Antici…

He said something that made me think.

There was this thing that happens during sex that took him out the moment.

She would comment on how hot he was. She was picturing what it must look like from a different perspective. And she wasn’t sleeping with him, exactly, but with an attractive person. As if he were an aspirational lay that she had to admire in flagrante delicto.

He didn’t like it and he couldn’t say why. I told him he was a stunt dick. Crude, but similar to the sexy lamp test Andrea had mentioned to me the night before.

I guess all of us, even basic white boys, can be fetishized against our will.

I’ve slept with beautiful dummies. I don’t think I told a single one of them that they were beautiful. At least not before I got what I wanted. I think they liked me for it. It made them work harder. The prettier a guy is, the less inclined I am to mention it. Why state the obvious? My powers of observation are better used on more subtle things.

But it must be odd to them, to not hear the part of the script that’s been repeated over and over until it’s taken for granted. I know it to be true about myself. I can predict what they’ll say about me. Eventually they all say the same things. The ones who said it too readily bored me. The ones who reserved their words of praise made me work harder, too.

What a twisted game it becomes…hiding admiration so deep that any real expressed sentiment becomes a reason to distrust. Don’t show your hand. Don’t seem to eager. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Tell me who I am without telling me who I am.

The whole thing is perverse, this desire to live in the land of unknowing. It can tip into masochism. But when everything is laid bare and knowable, we stop feeling that tingle in the chest cavity. It’s why people eat hot sauce or fugu. The danger reminds you that you are alive. The only thing sexier that the conquest and the eventual retelling to friends is the anticipation.

Such is the life of the hunter.

24 hrs/4 acts/Bourdain

I.
Tyler was maybe gonna come over last night but he’s injured and lacking in sleep. Baseball. I was maybe gonna order cheesecake and then started shredding carrots (and two knuckles) to make a cake. But it was hot. And I wanted to see J. Turns out he wanted to see me after he got out of work. We met at Win Son, my suggestion. I’d been there once before in August 2018 with the 🦄 before going to this immersive play called Then She Fell.

The date with the 🦄 had been hot. I only saw him a few times that month I was here. And after the first, I’d fought with him because of something that he waited months to bring up. We met up at the bar; me in this slinky wrap dress that could withstand paint (you are forewarned about comfortable clothes and shoes when you buy tickets to the play). I told him about my date with a Palestinian named Tamer at the Natural History Museum during which I gave the boy a tour in a French accent, never breaking character. The 🦄 thought it was hot and suggested I go on a date with someone else and do the same. We role-played what I would say and where I was from. This was part of the kink–him knowing I would sleep with others and always report back. But that night, even in the midst of this great date, drinking milkshakes at a video game bar, I was texting the Israeli. It’s a bad way to be.

J was super cute last night. He’d showered and changed into a little Uniqlo button down. I kept thinking to myself…are we on a date? This feels like a date. Holding hands walking down the street. Eye contact.

I told J about this crush I sorta kinda have on this girl I met–a writer and a thinker. He was intrigued in a way that he wouldn’t have been if I’d told him it was a guy. And not for the same prurient “Maybe she’s into chicks” macho repressed fantasy bullshit so many straight guys have. He’s been around the block a couple of times. This isn’t new to him the way it is to me. Nothing’s gonna happen. That’s a dead end. She’s very straight and very in love with her boyfriend. She’s just sort of a fan girl. I have them from time to time. I’m the basic girl’s Hunter S. Thompson and William S. Burroughs.

“That’s Joan Didion,” you say. “Or Joni Mitchell.” Well yeah. But apparently I give off those vibes to all the girls out there.

Speaking of Burroughs, J. brought him up later in the night. “Why do I always have a thing for guys who have a thing for Burroughs?” I asked to no one in particular. J. lolled. And I don’t mean that he laughed out loud. He rarely laughs. He actually said ‘lol.’ It’s a habit of his I happen to find endearing because it’s completely sincere and idiosyncratic. Whether he knows it or not, he’s teaching me how to lean into the autism. How to stop with the ingrained ableism. He tests me in ways that force me to grow. He can be irritating but only when you don’t know what’s going on seven layers deep. I’ve learned. Or, rather, I’m learning.

II.
I slept at J’s. And, as per usual standards and practices, we had morning sex. It’s such a foregone conclusion. There’s no discussion. It just happens. It’s the most vulnerable J ever gets. He’s calm; focused; less damaged; tender. And I get to dote on him with affection. Little kisses on his nose and forehead. His curls wrapped around my finger. All that is beautiful between him and me sublimates with daylight and I never know when he’s going to retract into that head of his and resume worrying about everything. So I appreciate it.

I tried thinking about the others this morning, with him curled up next to me. And I couldn’t. They didn’t pull focus. I was there in that moment and not longing for anyone else.

He said something this morning: “Well, Keith and Iggy made it to old age, so I guess I might be around for a few more years.” I don’t know if he thinks he’s being cryptic or if he thinks I wouldn’t catch on to what he’s saying. But I know. I know that he has been waiting to die. Pushing the envelope because he feels tragic. Maybe he was told he was no good one too many time and he’s been trying to prove them right. Maybe he’s cavalier about death because he’s so beautifully fucking sensitive under it all and life is just too much. For someone who’s waiting to die to entertain the possibility that he might just make it to old age was him acknowledging a moment of peace…dare I say…happiness. And the boy doesn’t know what to do with either of those things. He thrives on chaos. I should know. I was born into chaos. Generations of it.

III.
It just so happened that we were both headed to the same place. 86th on the UES. J gave me a lift and we crossed into the city via the Queensboro Bridge. It’s the first time since I met him on December 1, 2019 that we’d ever been outside of Brooklyn together. Not that it’s a milestone or anything. Just…well…I come from vast country. It’s bizarre to me that the entirety of my relationship with a person could be reduced to a single part of a single city. This boy and I have spent the majority of our time together either in my bedroom or his. Our safe places are insular. We need more respite from a world not built to our needs.

I was three hours early. I didn’t need to go into the city with J. But he offered. I didn’t want to say no.

I spent time at a toy store I like and bought a squeezy dinosaur egg with a triceratops fetus inside and a bouncey ball. I sat for two hours in Central Park, writing and waiting for a Filipino man to come back for the phone he left on a bench by accident. He, Erwin, eventually did come back and thanked me profusely, even offering me a reward. While I was waiting for him, a rat came within three feet of me, casual as all get out, just creeping along the bench. He looked at me. I looked at him. I shook my head and said, “Nope.” And he scurried away. It was a very New Yorky experience. Really though, what I knew…and this is going to sound trite…is that I’m back. I’m confident. I’m me again. I don’t fear the world.

At the dentist’s, I talked to the dental tech about the Yankees. Four of the players have Covid and they might have to cancel tomorrow night’s game. I filed this fact away to ask Tyler about it later.

I got out of my appointment early and headed back to Williamsburg and straight to The Levee for a drink and free cheese balls. I used to go there with Nathalia back in 2019, when we’d take breaks from all day Ratagast drink fests. It’s divey. It’s metal heady. And, of course, Emily loves the place as much as I do. Emily and I are similar in too many ways to count.

Drink drunk, I made my way to see about an old friend at The Nitehawk. Mr. Tony Bourdain.

IV.
I’m not sure anyone will believe me, but Tony and I are the same in too many ways to count. He was antisocial. He was a born romantic and poet. He was addicted to chaos and melancholy. He didn’t know how to be loved. And he flirted with death his whole life. He loved watching the never-ending human drama play out. By turns he rejected and craved normalcy in a self-inflicted torture.

The whole documentary felt like deja vu, down to the fucking Siberia Bar. I’ve been trying to remember the name of that place for so many years I thought I’d made it up. It was a red lit commie bar down in a train station on 50th and Broadway that NO ONE I’ve met in this city seems to remember. But there on the big screen was Mr. Bourdain, bathed in a ruby glow.

I watched the documentary, taking notes furiously on sheets of paper. I never can go to a theater without feeling this intense urge to write. But my phone was down to 4% and I still had to make it home.

There were all these themes that got echoed back to me from onscreen. Keith. Burroughs. Iggy. Aguirre, Wrath of God.

Really, though, it all came down to this fight between light and dark that I understand in my very marrow. I was already attempting suicide at 12. I can navigate in the dark like a fucking panther. And I feel that this film fed into the narrative that suicide is a weakness or the coward’s way out. It’s a cheap way to go. I get that everyone who loved him felt his loss so keenly. But no more than he felt his own loss his entire life and battled the eventuality for absolute decades.

The first half of this year almost sucked the life out of me. What I survived should have been my undoing. And yet, here I am. No suicide attempt. I white knuckled my way through this bout with whatever residual faith I had that the nights would eventually end and dawn would arrive. I survived by summoning the very elemental forces of nature and using every possible resource available to me to get through it. And I know, as sure as there is breath in my lungs, that it wasn’t the last fight I will face. These things come in five year cycles. I will be tested again. How many victories do I have left in me?

I hate that people look for meaning in Bourdain’s death and, finding none, call it a waste. There is no meaning in suicide. Don’t judge a man by the way he died but how he lived in spite of that trajectory. If you understand the biological underpinnings of depression that can upshift into suicide then you know how much suffering has led to an irrational act. He left no note. He had no plan for his beloved daughter. Those aren’t the actions of someone who was thinking rationally. He was in such pain that he couldn’t see straight. I know. I’ve been there.

The film fails on that account. Survivors told their tales of anger and bewilderment. It’s the one part of his life that Bourdain couldn’t narrate himself.

I ask myself, now that I am back, why I am back and what makes the difference? I spent the ages of 36-41 rebuilding myself from rock bottom and learning to love myself in defiance of everything I was ever taught, always knowing I could be reduced to rubble in an instant. When things got really bad this Spring, I had to remind myself of that defiance. I had to sit on my hands and wait for the most gut wrenching pain to pass because I knew there was more out there waiting for me to accomplish.

Now that I am better, that I am back to February 2020 Vene, unafraid to the point of staring down rats in the park, how do I hook in the next phase of my purpose?

I told Nicole recently that I don’t care what people think about me or if they think about me when I’m dead and gone. I just want to leave the world a kinder, gentler place. Or at least engender that legacy in others who will carry it on as I did when I inherited it.

The difference between Tony and me…the difference between J and me…is that when my constructive and destructive forces battle one another I don’t come out a nihilist. I believe. Reluctantly. Amateurishly. Recklessly. Hopelessly. Passionately.

Mr. Brightside

I can’t write honestly right now and it’s killing meeeeeeeee

and taking controooll.

But honestly, I’m so mixed up in my head that all I can muster is staring at the ceiling fan. It feels like love. But it’s spread out over several people. And I have no idea if it’s requited.

I’m throwing up Red Herrings left and right because I don’t want to get found out for what’s really going on. There are bluffs and double bluffs and evasions and charades.

What I wish for is someone new to erase all the current goings on and make things solid and sturdy. I want to feel grounded.

I want someone to break through the facade and see me as clearly as I see everyone. Not because I’m invisible. And not because I’m deceitful. But because I hide so much of who I am. I am too much. I am overwhelming.

Mikey told me last night that he worried when we were newish friends because nothing slips my notice. He didn’t know if he made a misstep. As though I were judging him. I wasn’t. I just have this ability to open the aperture on the lens so wide that I can encompass the whole of a person. To the point where I know them. And some people don’t want to be known.

No one is capable of that with me, really. I think they buy the act. They don’t get how painful it is to be me. How my heart aches at beauty and sorrow and sometimes sorrowful beauty and beautiful sorrow. I’m so keenly sensitive in every way that I’d be a gaping wound if I didn’t shield myself in armor.

Men don’t fall in love with a wit. They get momentarily stunned by it, sure. But they don’t fall in love with me.

Not that I have much to complain about. J takes care of some needs. The Israeli takes care of my desire to pine for someone enough to write. The guys in Crown Heights…Mikey, Nikola, Travis, Tyler…I think they love me in their own ways.

But the paradox is that I seem self-sufficient when I’m really not. And guys want a girl who is going to need them. I am needful. Not needy. But I can’t let it show. For the right person, it wouldn’t be a problem.

If this be some unknown pathology, I don’t know what it is. All I can say is that I want to be wanted by someone who can see through defenses and not be overwhelmed by what is exposed. I want to be worthy of someone with that kind of perception. And to be loved most ardently. At least once in my life.

What I want is hope. I want someone to believe in me. I’m not sure I’ve got much in the way of substance right now. And I’m more than a little bit terrified. I won’t be attracting what I want until that feeling gets settled. Right now I’m just squirming to get out of a trap and locking it down tighter.

The “B” word

I’ve always leaned into relationships that involve witty banter. I like when people bring their A game. I can talk forever.

I’ve had a series of male friends with whom I texted for hours day after day for months: Brandon, Jon, Tyler…. I’m sure I’m missing a few.

These friends all have incredibly high creative indices and they’re funny. We could riff. Brandon was really special to me for a time. We had an ongoing joke about mayonnaise that I can’t remember, only that he pronounced it “MAH-nayz.” I took a packet of Hellmans’s with me everywhere I went the summer of 2017 to insert into photos I would send him.

One night Brandon texted me to go and meet him for a drink at Ten’s on Speedway. I think he was calling my bluff. We’d only known each other for about a week at that time and I was a bit magical to him. He wanted to see if all that confidence was a veneer. He was looking for faults in my armor.

It was late and I was asleep. I used to take Lunesta to fall asleep but sometimes it just turned off my ability to make decisions and left my subconscious free to wreak havoc. I could sleep walk, talk, text and even drive.

I showed up at the club, now awake, and had no idea where to even look for Brandon. All I knew is that he’d be hanging out with one of the bouncers. How do you search for a man in a strip club?

I decided to show the bouncer on duty a picture of Brandon and ask if he’d seen him anywhere. Brandon, this very sweet scrawny hipster who wouldn’t hurt a fly, just really liked hanging out with strippers the way I liked hanging out with bartenders.

The bouncer didn’t know Brandon. But one of the strippers, this gorgeous leggy blonde, came up to me and volunteered to help find him. I think she thought I was a scorned wife or something. She took my hand and walked me all through the first and second floors. Even into the private areas. The other strippers got curious and four or five of them eventually tagged along.

So when I finally found Brandon at the bar, I had a cadre of scantily clad and glitter sheened women standing behind me. His look was priceless. The magic held.

But not forever.

He found a girl he liked more and I didn’t take the rejection well. I was kind of a monster about it. It took a chunk out of my heart and about six months to heal.

Jealousy used to get the best of me. I can’t say I’ve been cured. Sometimes my ego still nags at me like an infected hangnail. But on the whole, I’ve soothed the savage beast. I just also happened to leave a trail of really badly ended relationships in my wake.

I behave better now because regret is the absolute worst feeling and it never goes away. The only way to avoid regret is to not do things that will cause it later. It’s a present to my future self.

Add it up

There’s this thing he said the last time he was here. About how pretentious people sound when they use expensive words and how boring it can become.

It was a preface, a condition, a distinction he was building to. How he could listen to me talk forever because my big words didn’t come with an intention to impress or an invitation to approve.

There’s this game I play. Let’s see how long he can sit there before anything physical happens. Because I am from the desert, I can outlast most when it comes to delayed satisfaction. I get to watch the wheels turn, the body relax, and the willpower tested.

But he comes from a desert too, halfway around the world from mine. And it’s taught him to love the game as much as I do. You can’t lust for rain unless you know what it is to be parched for an age. And even then, you want the rain to remain special and a bit of a tease. Anything or anyone who comes too easily doesn’t earn distinction from the vulgar primordial mess that surrounds us.

The words spoken before touch are not banter or foreplay. They are as much a sexual connection as anything that follows. The sex would be nothing without the exchange of thoughts and finishing of one another’s sentences. Parables that require no explanation.

This is not quotidian. It must be kept rare in order to create the right conditions for the lightning strike, the thunder crack and the deluge birthed by pregnant clouds.

Lean On

It was 2015; the end of the 4th of July weekend spent in San Diego and on Coronado Island. In the back seat of the car, headphones in and listening to Major Lazer while my parents talked in the front seat, I started writing something on my phone. I can’t remember why. It turned out to be really predictable erotica that makes me a little cringey.

I hadn’t had sex in years, literal years. And I hadn’t had good sex in forever. I just had this idea of what it could be. Definitely not something I’d share with anyone for fear of being judged.

When I finished typing it out in the tiny iPhone 5 keyboard, I sent it to Michael and he approved.

I created it out of thin air and based it partially on experiences I’d had when I was 16 and 17. Two years later I’d meet the 🦄 and he fit the role like I’d cut him from a pattern.

Funny thing is, it still reads as true as I feel now. I need taboo and danger and domination and pain and pleasure and teasing and seduction. If sex were categorized as film genres, mine would be film noir. I respond to the femme fatale who maybe likes getting tossed around a bit. I like it when the guy is a little angry and conflicted.

The other night I asked V to make out. It was late and we’d been practicing Spanish. I’d drunk way too much and we had been sharing a cigarette or two. It just seemed like it would be fun.

He said no. We’ve put that issue to bed. Maybe he was afraid I’d catch feelings or was harboring them the whole time. I’m not. I’ve dealt with real emotions. What’s left is a harmless crush and some really fun make out sessions.

But we made out anyway. Maybe him being conflicted was the taboo that I wanted. It was hot because we weren’t supposed to by the terms of our own accord. I knew we weren’t going to go further and I also knew that V has a will of steel and he’s only gonna do what he wants to do. I just like provoking him every once in a while. I’m a brat.

I was so dopey I fell off the bed at one point and laughed. No harm was done to me or to our friendship. He’s just so fun to provoke and make angry and kiss. Good kissers are my jam.

The one who gets me implicitly is the Israeli. The man was born to tease and be playful with. He enjoys being dark and enigmatic as much as I love witty banter. To quote Kesha, his love is my drug.

So whatever it was that I wrote in 2015 holds true to my nature. And with that I give you, completely unrevised, my terrible fiction. Enjoy!


Chapter 17

Introduction about engagement party…

“Can you find Hector for me? I’ve been meaning to introduce him to Uncle Raul.”

I walked out of the foyer, placing my glass of Pinot Grigio on the bar in the great room and scanned the crowd for the tallest head of dark hair in the room.  When I caught his profile I took a moment to prepare myself to approach him. Previous to our unpleasant meeting at the bar the week before, all I’d know of him was what I saw in high school. He’d been arrogant and dismissive of me. Even when we served on the school board together, he never said more than two words to me together. He figured himself for one of the adults and I was beneath him. 

I started to approach him and thought I’d caught his eye when he suddenly turned his back on me and started walking away. Great, I thought. Now I have to chase him down just so I can placate my sister. The burden of being maid of honor.  

I made my way through the crowd of imbibing guests, smiling and gently moving the swaying bodies to traverse the room.  But by the time I’d gotten to the spot where I’d last seen Hector, he was gone.

I walked through the darkly lit hallway. Years of memories filled my mind of running through these dark halls as a small child, afraid of ghosts of the rich and famous Hollywood stars who’d gayly traipsed through the estate decades before.  Even in the dark I knew the lodge like the back of my hand. Hector’s father wasn’t a golfer though, and he didn’t go to any of the social events we frequented as children, so it didn’t make much sense for him to be walking in the dark this way, but it was the only place he could have disappeared to.

I felt my way down the corridor until a door knob appeared in my left hand.  It was the library. I turned the knob and stepped onto the red carpet.  It took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the inky dark room. But it was my nose that first noticed him. I smelled something like apple cider and pine that I had smelled on him at the bar.

“Hector?” I called out, feeling the presence of someone near.

“Shh.” The door closed beside me.

“Wha?” I said before I felt a hand on my face covering my mouth and nose. All of a sudden I was scooted back against the door frame with my legs pressed apart by a man’s thighs. I pushed back only or be forced harder against the wall.

“You found me.” He whispered into my left ear.  “I knew you would, good girl.”

Good girl?  He hoped I’d follow him?  What was this game I had started playing? And what were the rules?

I didn’t have too much time to think before his other hand had lifted the hem of my dress and slipped into the elastic of my underwear between my legs. His fingers were wet, probably because he’d licked them. Before I knew it he was inside of me.

With my mouth covered, I tried to scream, but my body had clenched down from the fright and surprise. I was trapped.

I felt his breath on my neck and a second finger slipped in.

“I’ve been waiting for us to be alone.” He whispered. “I want you to feel everything I’ve been feeling since I saw you at the bar. I’m going to remove my hand from your mouth.  Just stay quiet.”

“Oh my go..” was all I could get out. The feeling of someone inside me was so foreign and so controlling at the same time. He had complete power over me. With what little light there was in the room, I could make out his piercing blue eyes, his nose and his lips. He was staring right at me, while his fingers cupped me, one hand grabbing at my ass through my dress and the other exploring inside of me, awakening something I thought I’d lost.

My breathing was rapid. My chest heaved. I was scared. His stare was so intense. I broke our mutual gaze and looked down at his lips. Feeling pleasure made me greedy and I wanted to do nothing more than to bite his plump lower lip. Our faces were an inch apart. I tilted my head and reached for him with my mouth. He abruptly pulled his head back, guessing what I was about to do and moved his hand from my ass to grab the back of my hair, pulling my head back against the door frame.

I looked back at his eyes. They were darting from my eyes to my lips down to where his hand was stroking me, making my muscles tighten. 

He glanced back up at my eyes.  And back to my lips.  He moved in as though to kiss me but instead just hovered his lips by mine.  

“You’re getting wet,” he whispered, staring at me intently. “Good girl.”  He lightly traced my bottom lip with his tongue, still holding my head back against the door frame, tight enough that I couldn’t move in to fully kiss him. He was teasing me and pleasuring me at the same time and I felt wild.  My feral mind broke loose and all I wanted was to have his mouth on mine. My tongue on his. But he wouldn’t let me get close. His pupils were dilated, turning his blue eyes black. 

He flicked his tongue against my upper lip and then pulled away again to look into my eyes. When he saw the desperation in them, the corners of his mouth raised into a slight but perverse smile. He took his fingers out of me and moved his hand up to my face and stroked my cheek with the back of his hand.

“Do you want me to kiss you?”  I nodded as much as I could with my hair tightly held in his other hand. 

He looked down at my lips. I bit my lower lip and closed my eyes. My legs were trembling. My heart was racing. I pushed against his biceps but I was trapped. And I liked it. I liked my hair being pulled. For the first time in too long I was feeling fluttering in my body. It was a yearning to feel something. Anything at all.

With his free hand he tilted my chin up and then pulled my hair a little tighter, moving my face up to meet his. He started kissing me. First on the left corner of my lips. Then the other corner. Again he was teasing me. And there was nothing I could do. I felt a mixture of anticipation and anger rising in me. Now.  I want this now, I thought. 

Ever so gently, he rubbed his lips against mine. They were soft. Why wouldn’t he kiss me? I wanted him to ravage me.  He’d been so aggressive just a minute ago with his hands. I couldn’t take it anymore. With one hand I grabbed the back of his head and with the other I grabbed his ass. 

“Kiss me,” I implored.

“Beg,” he said in a low full voice.

“Please.” It came out of me before I even had time to think. 

He came in close and kissed me, lips slightly apart. His tongue breached my mouth and I felt my toes curl. Our eyes were locked on each other. 

He tasted like red wine and chocolate. Satisfaction overcame me and I pulled him closer to me.  I wanted to attack him and aggressively began kissing him.  My tongue mingled with his.  

He pulled back for a second and tilted his head the other way. I thought he was going to kiss me again. But instead he bit my lower lip and pulled it slightly with his teeth. 

The mixture of pain and pleasure was intoxicating. 

He let go of my lip and started to kiss me again. His hand was still in my hair and mine were exploring his hard pecs and chest. I wanted to feel his body. I started pulling up his button down shirt from inside his pants.  He stopped kissing me, grabbed both my arms and said “Stop.”

“Stop?” I asked, incredulously. A moment ago his hand had been between my legs and now he wanted me to stop.

“Yes.  I’ll tell you what to do, and when to do it.” I let go of his shirt. For some reason I complied. I surrendered my will to him. I felt innately that he would lead me to feel more things that I’d never experienced. Against all logic I trusted a man I barely knew.  But he knew me so well. Better than I knew myself. 

He took my bangs and tucked them away behind my ear. Then he dug his face into my neck and began deeply kissing my neck. He pressed his body up against mine and my hard nipples pushed into his firm chest.  I felt like a caged animal released into the wild. I wanted to run free but fear was holding me back from the unknown. 

I had entered into a game. But I didn’t know the rules. All I knew was that I was the prey. And I craved an attack.

Hector bit my ear. “I’ve gotta go.”

“What?” I shouted incredulously.  I was hot and bothered and he was going to leave.

He covered my mouth again.  “Quiet,” he whispered, in a voice that was commanding and a bit frightening.  “I’ve got some business to attend to.  And I want you waiting for me.  The next time I see you, I want you dripping wet.  I want you to beg for me to finish you off.  And if you’re a good girl, I’ll do it. And more. Now I’m going to take my hand off your mouth. Calmly tell me what you wanted when you came looking for me.”

I couldn’t remember anything before I entered the room. Dopamine blocked me from thinking of anything but the pleasure I had just experienced. 

Dumbfounded and terribly turned on, I searched for words.  Finally I studdered, “Grace wants to see you.”

Hector grabbed my shoulders and moved me. He flipped the light switch on and looked in the mirror above the green velvet sofa. He adjusted his tie and stuffed his disheveled shirt back into his pants. He opened the door I had just come through, looked back at me, and leaned over and licked the tip of my nose.  Without a word, he walked out of the room, closing the door behind him.

Everything was so confusing. Hector?  That arrogant bastard who’d ignored me all through school and treated me like crap when we’d met at the bar the week before?  

In just a few minutes time he’d managed to unlock some primal yearning in me that I thought had left me when Johnny broke my heart. But that wasn’t quite right. Johnny had never made me felt this way.  Sex had been fun at first, and then routine.  But it had never been scary and controlling and hot.  I always thought we were equals in the bedroom, as in all situations. But here I had let Hector dominate me and I had surrendered. And all I could think of is how I wanted more.

Chapter 18

“Hector? Sarah asked incredulously after I recounted the basics of the previous night’s events over the phone.

“Yup!”

“Government class Hector who sat in the front of class and took notes on a legal pad?”

“Yup.”

“Hector Diaz?”

“No, the other Hector, Sarah. Yes. Hector Diaz.”

“He was in my kindergarten class, Norah.  I think he ate paste.”

“Well he wasn’t carrying a jar of Elmer’s paste with him last night, so I can’t tell you if that’s changed.”

“Hold on, I’m going to Facebook stalk him.  I need a visual. I’m putting you on speaker.”

“Fine. Hurry.”

“Ok. I found his page.  Well, he’s got a nice cover photo.”

“Stay focused, Sarah. I need to know what all this means.”

“I don’t know what you want me to tell you, Norah.”

“I want you to tell me what you think of the situation.”

“Well, it sounds kind of rapey to me, honestly.”

“I know. I know. I know! I’m so screwed up.”

“What did you do after he left the room?”

“I just walked back to the party and made small talk with guests.”

“And you’re sure you didn’t lead him on in any way at Nox?”

“Sarah, I drunkenly verbally assaulted him and left. I’d just found out about Johnny and Christina. I was out of my mind.”

“Well I don’t know what to tell you. It sounds kind of fucked up. You liked it? Don’t you feel used?”

“I’m so confused. But I’ve got a working theory going.”

“Shoot.”

“Well, just listen.” I paused.

“I’m listening.”

“Ok so, remember The Princess Bride?”

“Yeah.”

“Well I remember watching it at a slumber party in the third grade. All the girls swooned over Westley when he was the poor farm boy, saying, “As you wish,” to Princess Buttercup.”

“Sure.”

“But I didn’t. I liked the Dread Pirate Roberts when he was a cad with Buttercup and threatened to hit her for being a liar.”

“Seriously? Norah? You’re going to base your weird fetish on a kids’ movie?”

“No, bear with me.”

“Fine.”

“So remember in Pretty in Pink when Andie has to choose between Duckie and Blane? I didn’t care about either of those choices. I wanted her to end up with Steff.”
“The James Spader character who treated her like white trash?”

“Uh huh.”

“Really? I always wanted her to end up with Duckie.”
“Well she did. At least she did in the original script and they had to rewrite it after audiences disagreed with the ending. But that’s beside the point.”

“Which is? I’m still not following you.”
“Ok. So then there’s the Breakfast Club. I hated that movie. I didn’t identify with Claire. I identified with Allison.”

“Really, Norah? You were always dressed like a preppie. And you were a cheerleader.”
“Yes, Sarah, but I felt like Ally Sheedy. And I wanted her to end up with Judd Nelson. Don’t you see? It’s all been there since I was a kid.”

“Norah, you’re basically telling me you like assholes who treat women badly.”

“Exactly. Yes. Thank you.”

“You know, that’s not a good thing right?”

“Oh, I know. It’s my burden to bear.”

“Now that I think about it, Johnny was a dick to you before you started dating.”

“Totally.  See.  It’s like I’m a glutton for punishment. I crave it.”

“You’re twisted, Norah.”

“But you love me, right?”

“Yes. Of course. So what are you going to do about Hector?”

“Well, I’m not going to see him until the wedding. And that’s not for three months.”

“Just don’t do anything crazy.”

“Define crazy.”

“Oh my God, Norah, I’m not going to play your games. You’re such a lawyer, you’ll find loopholes in my definition to get what you want.”

“Ok, ok. I’ve gotta get back to work anyway if I’m going to make my hours for the month. Grace’s wedding is going to eat up all my vacation for the year. Thanks for listening.”

“You got it.”