this is how I memorize
the sculpture of your body
fingers mapping skin
this is how I take you in
with lips against your collarbone
kisses up your spine
teeth sunken into flesh
this is how I cross the line
in little leaps and bounds
past those rules that I forget
this is how I’ll measure you
in pleasure and regret
this is how I disappear
into little white lies and words unspoken
in bits and pieces
and promises broken
this is how I go
in the blue hours of the early morning
and without warning
DISCLAIMER: I began thinking about and writing this months ago but haven’t been able to bring myself to finish it until recently. It isn’t inspired by any one particular person, but by a combination of relationships. I’m going to be posting a number of pieces over the next few months that are works-in-progress intended for performance eventually. I am using a healthy amount of creative license here, so nothing should be taken personally or as my version of gospel truth.
Usually, you don’t know it’s the last time when it’s the last time. I read something along those lines in a book somewhere, maybe Written on the Body? Things fall apart and there’s just a hole, and then you realize, “oh, that last time we did X, that was the last time we’re going to do that.”
The last time we giggled over an inside joke. The last time we kissed. The last time we fucked. The last time you made me breakfast. The last time I looked at you without anger, expectations, or resentment in my eyes. The last time we were nice to each other. The last time it was good.
Other memories begin to fade, but the last times linger, bittersweet. The last time you brushed my hair. The last time I gave you a massage. The last time you held my face in your hands. The last time we watched cartoons on a lazy Sunday morning. All these last times pile up on my chest, slowly collapsing me, forcing the air from my lungs.
When it hits, the realization of what “last time” truly means, I don’t push the weight of it off me. I want to be crushed, decimated by the loss of you. It needs to feel real. Otherwise, how will I get my brain around it? I keep forgetting. I catch myself making plans for us in my head. I tell myself it’s the last time, every time. And I hope eventually I’m right.
Slowly, it becomes a different kind of last time. The last time I’ll have to lower the chair at my computer desk. The last time I’ll clean beard trimmings from the bathroom sink. The last time a thought of you sends shards through my heart. These last times are good things. Little victories leading up to the big one. The last time I think of you and still want you. The last, last time. Because that one leads to the firsts.
The first time I make exactly what I want for dinner. The first time I flirt with a cute stranger. The first time I sing karaoke without you. The first time someone else tells me I’m beautiful. The first time I kiss another man. The first time I feel a new lover’s hands on me. The first time I come without you in my head.
The first time I realize I’m me again.
The first time I think of you, and smile.
And every so often, I click on this link and wonder if today will be the first time it doesn’t make me cry.
Just in case you’ve ever wondered what I look like with bedhead and no make-up…
I just fell into a hole of songs I loved when I was a teenager/in my early twenties. Here’s a couple…
Sigh. I was a cynical young romantic, wasn’t I?
I’ve finally gotten around to changing the theme of this blog to one that has a few more customizable bells and whistles. Of course, now I have to figure out how to actually ring those bells and blow those whistles, so you’ll likely have to bear with me for a while before I get the thing into tip-top shape.
I’m still coming down from my Threads tour and getting used to being home, but today I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the CAFF lottery. As I said to a friend the other day, this is what I do now. Strange to realize it, but there you go. For the indefinite future I want to create and perform my own works of theatrical storytelling. Besides, I’m sure there’s a post-tour crash coming, and I wanted to throw my hat in the ring before I let myself get distracted. I may be tired now, but I’ll be raring to go by next Spring…
Sometimes, when I need it most, the Universe gives me a little hug. I recently received this email from a client who wishes to remain anonymous but gave me permission to post his words here.
Welcome home and my most sincere congratulations!
It appears you were covered in accolades for the last few months with your Threads tour. That must be extremely satisfying for you considering the anxiety you expressed before leaving.
Letting go, as you referenced in your blog post, is something that holds quite a few of us back. Time goes on and we cling to the routine, unwilling to change, and so life and opportunities pass us by.
The universe doesn’t care about our dreams, and will let us die an empty, unfulfilled lump of unused potential if we just hold on to thestatus quo. But…it has no choice but to respond to the plans and actions of someone who is obsessed with a vision.
You have a vision, to combine a mere 26 letters, over and over again, in many different combinations, in such a way as to open the hearts and minds of all who you meet.
Keep doing it. The strong may survive, but the obsessed leave a mark that echoes down the hallway of literature and theater.
Best wishes and I hope to speak to you again soon.
Three and a half weeks ago…
I am sitting in a theatre in Winnipeg. It’s the last show of the night. I’m exhausted and emotionally spent, and I’d kind of rather be asleep. But I took an actual printed comp from my friend and promised to come support her. These 10:45pm-or-later shows are brutal, and we performers do try to help each other out where we can. It’s just good fringe karma. The show is hilarious and original, and soon I am watching with the joy and appreciation that makes me so proud to be a fringe artist.
I’m not thinking of the phone sex business back home that is merely treading water in my absence. I don’t think about the relationships that feel in danger of coming apart at the seams because I am not there to tend- or end- them properly. I am, for the first time in days, not bowed by the pressure of remounting Threads for the second year in a row at the same festival. I am just letting myself be entertained, allowing myself a rare moment to relax.
The performer begins a new story, one about going sky-diving for the first time with her deceased husband. She is describing standing on the wing, holding onto the bar, being paralyzed with fear. Her arms begin to ache under the strain of holding her to the plane. All that wind force and air pressure meeting her resistance hurts. It is the line she speaks next that hits me square in the gut:
“It’s not the letting go that’s painful, it’s the hanging on.”
I feel like I’ve had the wind knocked out of me, like I’m the one who let go of the bar, that my parachute didn’t open and I’ve smashed against the ground. I realize I’m crying.
Home to me is more a feeling than a place. Being back for a couple weeks, I can’t ignore that something feels wrong. I know I need to make some big, big changes.
Most importantly to the majority of you, my professional focus is shifting from phone sex, to writing and performing. I’m not retiring altogether or anything drastic like that, but I am no longer going to be putting the majority of my “work” time into BayCityBlues.com. I’ll still be available for calls when I am home, and the website will remain intact for myself and the few operators I’ve chosen to keep on. I will not be putting anyone new on BCB unless they pass a rigorous screening and application process. I may try new ops on the fantasy sites from time to time, but they’ll have to pursue the position heavily and meet strict minimums if they’re hired.
Being the head of a giant phone sex company is not my future. I have tried for nearly a decade; building the company up, burning it down, starting it over. It doesn’t work, not the way I want to do it. Sad to say, having ethics and respect for my clients and operators makes me infinitely less competitive in this industry. I’m great on the phone, decent at writing when I put my mind to it, and reasonably web- and social media-savvy. But the rest of it? The administrative and managerial nightmares that never seem to end? It’s exhausting, and it puts me in a sour mood that is directly contrary to being able to provide quality, authentic phone sex. I can’t and won’t do it anymore. The company will continue, but with only the core group of women we’ve pretty much had since the beginning and the few amazing ones we managed to find along the way.
I’ve started streamlining the sites, and I’ll continue to over the coming weeks and months. I’m surprised at the emotions this decision is bringing up. Part of me can’t help but look at this as epic failure almost a decade in the making: after ten years, I still can’t get it right. And another part of me remembers that phone sex was the job I took to get me through acting school, so turning my attention from phone sex to acting could be viewed as the natural, even overdue, progression. In 2012, for the first time ever I earned more from my writing/acting than I did from phone sex. So when the anxiety hits, I try to focus on gratitude for the blessings I have and the wonderful possibilities my new career endeavors will present. It’s exciting, and terrifying.
In addition to all this professional upheaval, I’m also dealing with the evolution of one of my personal poly relationships. Suffice it to say that this period of adjustment is difficult, awkward, painful, sad…and necessary. My heart is broken. It isn’t anybody’s fault, it’s just what happens when things don’t work out the way we hope they will with the people we love.
For some reason, this is the hardest and roughest break-up-type-thing I’ve ever gone through, including my divorce. Why do two people who deeply love each other find themselves growing apart? What do you do when clinging to what was threatens to render unrecognizable the love that does remain? Where does one find the strength to step out on that airplane wing and dive into the no-guarantee-there’s-even-a-parachute-strapped-to-your-back future?
RE: How to jump out of a plane
Take one step and hope the next one comes easier. Breathe. Be grateful for the air. Take another step. Feel your grip loosening against the wind. Stumble. Right yourself. Open your eyes. See the world in front of you. Breathe. Let go. Fly.
It’s not the letting go that’s painful, it’s the hanging on.
**Many thanks to Christine Lesiak. If you are anywhere near the Edmonton Fringe, go see her in Ask Aggie.**
When I am alone and far away, I close my eyes and imagine you here with me. You chuckled when I told you, months ago, that I was attempting to memorize your scent, the smell of you where neck meets shoulder, the place I like to bury my face when you make me blush. You didn’t know that even then I was preparing myself for this, cataloguing and filing away every detail, each sense memory.
When I am alone and far away, I am weak. I need. I want. I crave touch. Your hand resting on the nape of my neck, gently but firmly guiding me in public. Or your lips locked onto my nipple, eliciting a gasp that begs for more. Your teeth, your breath, warm and damp on my skin, whispering promises of sweet pain across my flesh. Your fingers, exploring and opening me, pressing a delicious rhythm into my wetness. Your eyes, laying me bare in a way no clothing could cover. My body, under yours, undulating and writhing and urging you faster, deeper, harder.
When I am alone and far away, I curl myself around these memories, clutching them tightly to my belly, letting them comfort me in empty rooms and strange cities. I re-live the first kiss, hand on my jaw, so deliberate, the feeling of being claimed for at least that moment. I savor the first orgasm again and again. Mine, yours, ours. I give myself another, in honor of you.
When I am alone and far away, I smile and flirt with strangers, knowing none of them are my size. I feel the lust rolling off of them and wait for it to crash against my shores. It flatters, and fails. Convince me you could own me, overpower me, I want to shout. Show me you know what you’re getting into, that you’re up for the challenge. I’m easy, but I’m not easy; why is that so difficult for them to grasp? It only took you a hand on my throat.