Sunday, June 26, 2011

Laying Claims

Though I look in many directions for affections, if you, my lover, my acquaintance, my friend, find refuge in someone else’s arms, I feel fractured. Even though I know there is not nearly enough of me to appease everyone’s needs, I want you to feast upon me with your eyes, your hands, your mouths.

Is it fair to compare two lovers who no longer compete for me? To wrench out the guts of two men who no longer bleed for me? I fantasize about the size of their parts paired up, shouldering burdens no man should bear. It originates from a certain love for brutality, I think, action movies where there exists no such thing as pain.

I want to donate my body, not to science but to carnal pleasures. I want to be measured and treasured for my worth. My heart sings at the thought of it, beating out a strange refrain. I do not understand your need to lay claims. It only gives me glee to see them struggling in my name.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Breaking Free

I still dream of your cock crowing inside me, welcoming a dawn too warm to wear on the street. Sunshine blinds sense when I regret your touch. You examined me, naked behind blinds. all awe and wonder at how quickly I disrobed, basked in the early-morning light.

I know now the way our bodies moved addicted me, that only parts and appendages mattered. We talked about features, like you were preparing to test-drive me: the size of my breasts, the firmness of my butt. Red creeps in my cheeks. If you asked me, I wonder if I could refuse you, even knowing this.

One whirlwind winter, I spent my weekends with you. We would wake and sleep on whims, submerged in each other’s biological rhythms. Bantering back and forth, we spoke a gibberish that made perfect sense to us in your snowed-in apartment. My therapist called wondering why I had been missing my appointments. I had been working on my self-esteem, I told him, meditating upon my worth.

How simple it was, our tangled pressing, more natural than any I have felt before or since. Standing back from your shadow, I must break free from your influence. If I fall again, it will be my consequence, a fate I cannot face. I grew too attached and terrified of the connections I elected to make. In every thought I read your name.

I have tasted it one too many times for it to be good for me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Holding Off

I hold you at a distance, keeping my fortress walled and protected. Too many times I have let men swim the moat and gloat upon my shores. They have tried vainly to domesticate me, and I refuse to be tamed. We have struggled against one another like prisoners in chains.

My ex and I followed the rules of the game, buying up furniture and collecting debts like lint traps catching up fibers. When I think of our bedroom, it is with a mixed collection of hot wax and oil with tears, loneliness stirred in with silent wishes. Now it feels distant and hopeless, but then we talked like we could hold forever in our hands and never let go of it.

Though I have let you into my encampment, don’t expect a warm welcome with every step. Back then, I still believed in magic. I still thrilled at the thunder and lightning, the drama of the dance, but wondered at the cost of it. The sun shone too bright for my heart, which was clogged with gray. For four months, it rained, one storm after the next. Some storms came as inconsequential as a hovering mist, others raged and shook me.

The further you venture, the more I hoard my riches to myself. There are still secrets I have kept. I have not been untrue, but have only shared my surface self with you. I cried at the courthouse that morning. Divorce is a district of this city I never wanted to live in. I became a reluctant inhabitant. Until you have proven yourself, this truth is all I can offer you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wanting Expression

Mix me another martini and I will dance on the bar barefoot. Watch me strip and read poetry at your art gallery. We will talk about repressed expression and sexuality. On the stairs that night, I ran naked past your roommate. He barely noticed me. I felt like I was trying to flag down a bee.

In the emergency room, they asked if I might be pregnant. With the pain in my stomach screaming shades of red, it was no time for white lies. Please don’t tell my brother while you are working, I wouldn’t want my family to hear about this second or even first hand. Lying in your bed made me feel less lonely, even after you woke up and left. I could still smell you on the sheets.

My mom invited you to lunch in the cafeteria. It must have been awkward for you, talking about sexual health over cold sandwiches while I slept with an IV in my arm. Upon my release, I started swallowing pills each morning, counting them out in circles of doubt.

I can’t believe I even told you my secrets, but you mixed me a martini, but you mixed me, you mixed me up like oil paints spread out on canvas and then digitally re-mastered me. I could still feel you, holding me the way I hadn’t been held for many months.

I tried to go back to sleep but I could only worry about your roommate and what he must think of my body. You caught my garter at the wedding and hung it from your rearview mirror for weeks. I wondered why I cared so much and then I wanted a drink.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Forging Ahead

Ours was a friendship struck up from proximity, two edges bumping up against one another until their grooves ran in the same direction. It wasn’t until months later that I noticed our mutual bruises.

You had been wounded years before and sought to even the score by reminding everyone of your maleness. Like a cat marking his territory, you claimed me. You pawed at my back, scratched a hole through my heart and left me bleeding.

I would pass by your office on the way to mine and we would chat in spare minutes. Then we both frequented the same karaoke bar each Thursday. Mumbling our reality, we rarely had real conversations, just drunken fumbling. Even with my boyfriend there, I cast longing stares in your direction. I used you as an excuse to escape from a prison cell of my own making.

Together, we tested waters warm and cool. We noted the results as we went, always talking and holding hands at the most awkward moments. We shared kisses like little tokens or trading cards swapped between sentences, and once or twice we shared a mattress.

You were the thinnest man I have ever loved, and yet I still couldn’t see through you. If I could go back, there are so many more questions I would ask. You warned me against my wedding when that warm summer came so suddenly, but I blindly forged ahead past you. I have been looking back ever since.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Creating Dead Ends

Did the dream come before or after I knew you liked girls? I called you one lazy afternoon, crying over my sudden affection for breasts. You listened, unsure of my intentions, and reassured me. I wanted to hold you, feel your copper skin against mine. You couldn’t begin to understand my conflict.

You gave me gifts: shirts your mother bought you but no longer fit, cookies sent over from Korea. I tried to give you compliments, but always at the most inopportune moments: in the pool at the hotel, sprawled drunk on the floor of your apartment, after I accidentally deleted your graduation photographs.

All I know is how I wanted to watch you shave in the bathtub for hours, all lathered up in foam. Your legs were always so smooth, I thought it a miracle you could be human. You would shower with some of the others, make out in the hot tub while boys watched you. But my shyness stopped me then. I looked away, ashamed of my yearning, the hunger I felt.

We stood under the streetlight as I looked at your lips. Whenever that song plays on the radio, I remember the summer we embraced and how your shadow faded away. We drank too much, slept too little, and confessed nothing. One morning, I woke on rose-petal bed sheets and stumbled out of your apartment into sudden sunshine.

Now I wonder if my dream took over reality and none of it even happened at all. Maybe, like so many other things, I just saw it one night on TV. In the end, I was never yours and you were never mine. I told you it felt like we were breaking up, that the breaking felt tectonic.

This should make things less difficult, you reasoned. Now the whole world could be an option. For me, that just created more dead ends.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Driving Past

You drank Arnold Palmers and smoked an electronic cigarette that snaked off your laptop like a fat caterpillar’s hookah. We spent our nights watching movies or texting, delighting in clever conversation. On that tattered couch, we argued about religion for hours.

For two weeks in college I contemplated dating you. On a piece of paper, I tallied up all the reasons why it would end in heartbreak. A few days before you left for China, we shared sandwiches and grapes, sitting outside as the sun slid from view.

A real gentleman, you wanted to take me to the opera and watch me glimmer in a sequined gown. We stood under your porch light, kissing our goodbyes. You sent me a postcard, but even before you returned from your trip I knew what I had to do.

I called my high school sweetheart back and let you fade like a street sign in the rearview mirror.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Making Moments

We spoke French when I still knew how to pronounce the words. We kept it in our back pockets like a secret only the two of us could share. In your arms, I sang to you a song we both knew. You said it felt strange, knowing I was your sister’s age, but it didn’t stop you from inviting me out to the parking lot.

In the backseat of your parents’ van, you kissed me full on the mouth. You wanted to make sure I reached the milestone post haste. You did not linger long enough for me to taste your lips, and the only thing I remember about it was the force behind your movement. A seventeen-year-old girl in my condition had no excuse to remain untouchable, you said. We listened to the stereo until you became persistent, requiring my attention for every moment.

I pushed past you and forced myself to forget. While you searched for me, your smile fading, I hid in the women’s bathroom. There I examined myself in the mirror and counted my zits. It did not surprise me when you found someone else. I watched the two of you dancing like marionettes, perfectly in time with the music.

You disappeared from my life, like a brilliant flash of lightning too soon gone. It is these moments I remember, like the dark between blinks or the space between slides, deep breaths taken when no one is looking.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Catching Sparks

Cute boy from the third grade, I blame you for my obsession with baby blues. Now, everywhere I look, I see sky-colored eyes, bright and inviting, and I wonder who chose you. In you, I saw a brilliant but misguided spark that could flame one moment and smolder at the next.

You chased me for hours across asphalt trying to land a sloppy kiss on my lips and I slipped lists of my adorations into your backpack. We ate acorns crushed by cars in the street, played tag and hide and seek under the trees, and tortured our little brothers mercilessly. When your friends came, I suddenly became a little girl, shy and shunned by your revelry. But in my backyard, I would cling to you, tackling in the grass, racing against your fast legs.

I drew close to you like a moth, fluttering but ugly in my approach. You liked my best friend for her blonde hair even though I lay my heart bare to you. You trampled it. No one could carry me like a phoenix from those ashes.

I wish I could say I learned to swim in your pool, but I almost drowned in it one summer. I swallowed so much water I thought I would die, looking up into blue shadows. I wish I could say you rescued me, but that would be a beautiful lie.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Exploring the Edges

There is only one word for love, but there should be at least seventeen. In all its flavors and varieties, it comes wonderfully and unexpectedly. With each coupling, it gains strength.

I made a mixed tape of my musings, an aberration of sound. I sincerely hope you have lost or destroyed it by now. I sang, read passages from Song of Solomon and recorded the radio out of tune. I did it to show I loved you, but I was in love with love then. I did not have a definition or a medium to express it in.

I gladly sat on your lap and laughed at the fact that I could attract the attention of your friends with a bend at the hips, a twist in my mixed drink, an audible expression of the things I think.

I once believed love was God’s true identity, that He lived and breathed through our passions. I am not certain how it happened, but I have since abandoned that theory.

We roasted around a fire of phallic twigs, faggots, sausages and plastic casings, threatening raccoons marooned in thick bushes. Each conversation led back to the same conclusions.

I am still exploring the edges of this place. I have yet to traverse the whole country, to plunge into the deepest valleys and climb to the highest peaks. I have taken many companions along with me, but none of them can guide the way.

I shudder to even speak that word to anyone, even friends I have carried with me for years. Sometimes that word, with all its awful power, only brings me to tears.

Horny humans with ash on our faces, we danced in circles of shadow and light. We gazed at the stars and counted our freckles ‘til midnight.

Some nights, I wish I could just stay in one place, but come morning I move on toward the rushing day.

I whisper it under my breath, uncertain, in fear.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Storming Echo Boomers

I won't claim that it is a new term, but it is a new term to me at least: echo boomer. And this is important because apparantly I am one. I just like the sound of it - like I'm some sort of thunder cloud descending ominously from the sky. Described as the children of the baby boomers, echo boomers are also the generation born to use computers. \

While I can vividly remember the days of dial-up, floppy disks, and yes...gasp...beepers, the computer has definitely been a mainstay in my life. At the same time, I have plead technology defiiciency on many occassions and was once well-acquainted with what I called The Blue Screen of Death. Do you remember that? It was horrible! The whole computer would just crash - telling you that you had committed some aggregious error that simply could not be fixed unless you rebooted the entire system. It usually meant the end of computer usage for that day, if not the next week.

Years later, when error messages had shrunk to little warnings you could just click off of and largely ignore, I would still pick up viruses by accidentally downloading things or opening the wrong windows. Is it any wonder that computer geeks have always proven attractive to me? If nothing else, they definitely earn their keep and quickly. Over time, I have gotten better at not breaking the technology around me - and on rare occasions even troubleshooting. But you won't see me boasting about it.

My most recent frustration? When I realised that all I had to do to print from my laptop was plug the printer directly into it. It took me two months to figure out that fix!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Another OK Hypothesis

Image source:

In an earlier post, I discussed the possible origins of OK. There is one I missed completely, which is that during the VanBuren-Harrison political campaign of 1840, O.K. arrived as an abbreviation of "oll korrect". But what does "oll korrect" mean? Turns out it was an intentional misspelling by the press to immitate the Irish brogue pronounciation of "all correct" by immigrant Irishmen who were a large faction of the Whig Party supporting Harrison.

The "logical" leap to throwing bananas at each other, as expressed in the pic above, is just about as random. On a side note, I just thought of that song by Gwen Stephani when I typed out bananas (I always used to misspell it): B-A-N-A-N-A-S! That damn word even made me lose a spelling bee back in gradeschool. Sad to say I'm still sore about it.

Other OK posts:
Conundrum Pounding Out Okay
Okay, kiddo, you're overly kind