He sees me. He sees me for all of who I am. All of who I really am and not just the person I pretend to be when everybody’s looking. He sees the best things about me, and the worst things, too. He sees the things that are wonderful about me, and the ugly bits, too. The unmatched intelligence, the embarrassing gaffes. The flights of fancy, the horrible moods. My moments of generosity and warmth, my selfishness and iciness. Me when I’m dolled up and pretty for the streets, and me when I’m menstruating and cranky and greasy. He sees all of it, and he doesn’t run away, even when he sees the part of me that wants to hurt him, ruthlessly, and with no remorse. And he knows that there will always be a part of me that loves him. He isn’t scared by the fits of rage, the lasting tantrums, the egomania and the lust. I guess he isn’t scared by that, because even beneath that, he sees the part of me that only wants to hurt myself. He takes me, and he holds me, and he tells me, “I don’t want you to hurt yourself anymore, but even if you never stop hurting yourself, I will always love you.” I look up at him and respond, “I know you are the same way, too. I would eat all your pain and let it sit in my stomach until it killed me, if only I could, but I know that I can’t to do that. Your pain is your pain – it will always be your pain, and whatever you have to do to live with that – it doesn’t matter, because I will always love you. Even when the pain hurts the most, and even after its gone, I will always be here.”
“Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”
It wasn’t really the question I expected to hear. I wanted to immediately retort, “How do you know I don’t have a boyfriend?” but instead, I kept my cool and asked, “Why don’t you have a girlfriend?”
He proceeded to tell me why he didn’t have a girlfriend, and the conversation veered in that general direction for the next few minutes. However, we never got back to his original question: why I don’t have a boyfriend.
That’s fine. I wouldn’t have known how to answer that anyways. I don’t think I would have given him the answer he wanted, namely, some sob story about an ex, or waiting for the right person, or blah blah blah. In all honesty: none of the above. The real answer is an amalgamation of a few things, namely my post-hook up culture lifestyle choices, a general disdain for titles and labels, “focusing on my career.”
Since this conversation was happening in a semi-professional setting, I couldn’t really tell if he had lobbed this question at me as a way to ask, “Are you fucking someone already?” Answer: yes. Aren’t we all fucking somebody? What he really wanted to know was: am I emotionally attached to someone I’m fucking? Answer: duh, have you read this blog at all? Although, the right question to ask should have been: are you too wrapped up in your other partners to take on new lovers at this time? Answer: I don’t fucking know, I haven’t thought about that because no one has been worth the effort of thinking about it.
But, that’s not what struck me about the conversation. What struck me about the conversation was: damn, I’ve done a really good job of separating my professional life and my personal life if you have to ask any of those questions in the first place. And by “personal life” I mean that this blog is still my dirty, little secret that neither hinders nor helps my professional life. Cool! I guess I’m proud of myself for that one, but also perplexed because it was only three years ago that I was in constant professional peril because of my after work sluttery. Is it that people forget that easily? Or they just don’t care? Sure, our attention spans are embarrassingly brief, so I’ve been allowed to slink out of one corner of perception and into another. It’s not like I’ve been actively hiding this blog, or the other one.
On the other hand, it struck me: would I know what to do with a boyfriend if I had one? The fact that he straight up asked me why I didn’t have a boyfriend as opposed to if I have a boyfriend made me wonder: does society expect me to announce it if I’m fucking someone? How did he know I didn’t have a boyfriend? Am I supposed to post this shit on social media? I post about the people I fuck on here all the time! Is there some crucial element of social etiquette that I’m missing here?
At the end of the day, I have to admit: I rode pretty hard for hook up culture back in the day, and I’m from the Bay Area, so maybe this is just a cultural difference laid bare. When I was younger, I always kept my boyfriends under wraps. I never posted pictures with any of my boyfriends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whatever. It’s not really my style – I think when I was younger, I got into the habit of being perma-single so I could sleep around guilt free, and having a boyfriend really fucks with that, and now that I’m older it seems incongruous to post a couple picture on the Internet. Or, actually, it’s more that I spent so much time investing into my image as a boyfriend stealer that I’m not going to fall into the same trap that I set for every other jilted woman in Oakland. If I have a boyfriend, then my boyfriend is my boyfriend, and that’s my business, and not yours. And if I don’t have a boyfriend, that is also my business, and also not your business. Maybe that will change some day, but today is not that day.
At the end of the day, if you don’t know my relationship status, it’s because we’re not friends, and I don’t want to share that information with you. Leave me alone.
In a logical continuation of my revisitation of all that crap I wrote on the old blog, Jesus Christ, 2012 was a weird year. But, mostly, I was surprised by 1) how blatantly ratchet and indifferently cruel I was on the Internet when it came to everybody in Oakland and 2) despite that, I still got a lot of love in my comments section and inbox. Which made me realize: huh, I definitely start a lot less shit these days, and no one comments on this blog anymore. Which is fine – I’ve rehabbed my image considerably over the last seven years, and that rehab has been quite successful. I guess it’s just a bummer that “rehabbing my image” meant “sacrificing my dream of being a sex blog hellion.” Of course, the reason I sacrificed that was because I wanted to make real money, which, I know, I know how tacky it is to be a sell out. But – actually, it’s more than just that. I guess I was just kinda over starting shit with people. Well, the world’s changed. There’s that, too. Because of “feminism” I’m not super inclined to start shit with other women. I gotta practice what I preach, right? And seeing as feminism cashed me out pretty hard last year, I feel a sense of obligation to uphold some of the basic tenets of feminism, such as: be nice to women and don’t drag them for sport. So, there’s that. But, also…I mean, wow, I was just getting all sorts of love letters in my inbox back in the day. And I miss that. I wonder if the lack of anonymous love letters has more to do with 1) the fact that I’m a sell out these days and I don’t promote my blog because I didn’t make enough money for the amount of time I put into promoting it 2) not starting shit with people has significantly lowered my profile in the Oakland scene so people aren’t aware that I’m crush-able 3) my pronounced allegiance to Urban Outfitters-style feminism makes me less approachable on an anonymous Internet level or 4) let’s face it, I’m not 24 anymore, and the years of self abuse are starting to show on my face a lot more. It’s probably a combination of all four, but, wah, I love anonymous love letters so much! And seeing as there are only three people who read this blog nowadays (Hi Kelsey! Hi David! Hi Gangsta Boo!) all I can really say is: sure, I guess I’d rather have the actual, tangible love of those three people than the anonymous inbox messages that don’t really do shit for me in the rest of my life. Fine! I’ll take the real deal over the tepid Internet knock off that anyone can buy on Amazon for $7.99. Also having peace in my life and not constantly looking over my shoulder and wondering what kind of behind my back shit talking I have to counter in order to survive is pretty nice. Ugh. You’re right. My life is definitely better now, but in the moments I take to revisit my own glamorization of the most salacious bits of my previous life – the nostalgia kicks in, nice and heavy.
He loves me now, but I wonder if he would have loved me back then, too. I guess it’s impossible to say, and I don’t like living in the land of theoreticals, but after spending a breezy morning combing through some of the earliest Fuck Feast writings, I can’t help but wonder. I guess have nothing better to do but think about the person I used to be and fantasize about what life would have been if I had ever met the person he used to be. For some reason it’s better than thinking about the people we are right now – there’s a lot more romance in the mystery of my former self than in the reality of the person that I am now and will always be from this point forward. I’ve reached that point where I get to steep myself in nostalgia about my youth, and that, combined with a distaste for experiencing the reality of the present, is why I’m thinking about these types of things right now. Or, what I’d really like to know is: would I have been beautiful to him then? Although, that’s not what I’d like to know, either. What I really, really want to know is: will I be beautiful to him in the future, when all the things that brought us together start to fade, and, yet again, I become a different person in a different form with a different face and different feelings. There’s no guarantee for the future, or that any of this will make sense weeks, months, years from now. So I sink my claws into my best memories of myself and use it as evidence that the future holds something wonderful, too. I’m trying to practice a better way to find hope in what is yet to come, because this habit of fear is becoming self fulfilling. It has always been so easy for me to see myself as succeeding beyond what the world has told me I deserve, but for some reason it is difficult to me see how all of this turns out. Probably because I care too much about the outcome to risk setting myself up for the heart break of disappointment. I could withstand a lifetime doing nothing more than what I’m doing right now, but the idea of life without him is more than I can bear to stomach. So I throw myself into what we have now, close my eyes, and hope that he can hear me wanting the entire world for us without saying a word. I never want to be nostalgic for him, I want to always have this moment we are in right now be the best version of us.
Originally written November 26, 2010
Which is what she sees when she flips through magazines – a distortion of self copied and pasted into fantasy magazines filled with fantasy women, and somehow she thinks she is so close to fitting in between those pages, to belonging in the pantheon of women who have actually never really existed…
Mozambique Drill – two to the body, one to the head
I have been sitting in my bedroom for nearly a decade, slowly trading lust for violence as I wait for one of these boys in this endless stream of boys to catch my attention and hold me here.
My fascination with fucking started at an early age, and it was the direct result of years and years of contrived sexual repression. The world is a wonderful place, and I dared to devour every fucking inch of it, from the mouth to the taint, every patch of skin, every blemish and gleam, all the bitter bits and juicy bites. Now, years later, I have to ask myself: why am I not satiated? After combing through the documents of my discontent, the various remedies I levied at my loins, why has nothing worked? I was supposed to wake up on the other side of this decade of indulgence a better person, but in the brief conversations I am having with my younger self, I wonder: is this really what I wanted to be, and how come this is all I got out of it.
I have started a long list of regrets, which gets longer every day. There is nothing incredibly important or grave on that list, just a litany of “could have beens” that probably would have been inconsequential at the end of the day, because I will always be me, no matter where I go, or what I do, or who I surround myself with. You cannot change a monster by washing it once and shaving all its hair off – its still the same monster. It will always be the same monster, just cleaner and smoother.
This journey was supposed to be profound. It was supposed to be worth writing about, which meant that it was also supposed to be worth reading about. I write every day about the world around me, and now I wonder: for what? So the world can have evidence of indulgence and privilege? What am I supposed to do with these pages and pages and pages and pages and pages of bad deeds laid bare? I am certainly not smarter because of it, or richer, or more successful, or happier. I am just a girl with a pile of pages and a list of venial sins.
That’s great. I like to laugh about that. I was supposed to regret all of this, but I don’t. Not at all. Not in a big way, at least, just in the small ways that I am watching my youth fade inevitably over time. I stared into the face of every taboo that my mother had given me, and I broke them, over and over again, because I thought that I would find salvation inside. Or revelation. Or redemption. Instead, all I have found is that I am the same and that the taboos are broken, messy shards on the floor, and perhaps I will cut my feet when I run away, or maybe I should just tip toe around the potential of pain with more focus.
I don’t understand why I wasn’t supposed to do any of this. Why my mother cried all those times. Everything is fine. Or, it is for me, as I whisk away into the tedium of adulthood without glancing back over my shoulder at all the corpses I am leaving behind. I am a championship taboo breaker, but what kind of new taboos do I leave in my wake as I scurry off into the falsified arms of normalcy.
I am a snake, I am a snake, I am a snake. Once a snake, always a snake, around the throats of men and between the toes of saints.
When I walked into the room, he was splayed across the floor in a tangle of blankets, empty liquor bottles and cough drops. I couldn’t tell if the slurriness was symptomatic of the sickness or the alcohol, but the sickness is, at the end of the day, symptomatic of the alcohol, so I guess that explains it. I pulled him back into bed, and then his phone rang. It was the other woman he’s fucking, and as I sat there next to him in bed, he explained, “She’s really nice, I should answer it.” I rolled my eyes, even though he couldn’t see, because I’m right here, and he’s a fucking mess, and I wonder how could another woman put up with this shit? Oh. I mean, I guess I should be asking myself: how do I put up with this shit? I guess after loving someone for five years it just starts to feel…normal.
Nah, this shouldn’t feel normal. It doesn’t feel normal anymore. Why am I scraping him off the ground and trying to put him back together just so he can pay attention to someone else. I never wanted to be the main – I have a great track record as a tried and true side piece with him, but it seems like recently that’s changed. Suddenly, and without me noticing. Which is why I have to ask myself: is that what I want? Well, is it?
After he hung up the phone, he reassured me, “There’s enough of me to go around. I’ll never a let another woman come in between us again.”
Ah, yes. That. I roll my eyes again, even though he can’t see, because I know what he’s talking about. He’s talking about that time two years ago when he blew back into my life, tried to kill himself, and then I did my best to take care of him before he left abruptly to be with the so-called love of his life, which is now I guess the ex-so-called love of his life. I don’t feel reassured that he’ll never let another woman come in between us again, because he did it before, and it’s not that I don’t believe him, it’s that another woman is coming in between us right now. No, not the woman on the phone – the love of his life, whom he just broke up with. Not because he’s going to go back to her at any moment, but as I look at him, palavering at me with one eye cocked open, pasted into the bed which he probably hasn’t left for days, naked and dirty, I realize that he’s letting her come back between us because he’s allowing himself to be like this: depressed and destroyed by the recent break up. She might be gone, but her presence is still palpable in this parade of pity and self destruction. I can see her claw marks in his heart, and as I clean up the puke and the blood and the stench and the mess that another woman has left in the pit of his soul, I realize: there will always be something or someone between us. Some demon, whether it’s an ex lover or a bottle of booze, that is ripping us apart.
I wonder how I got here. Oh, I know exactly how I got here. That’s not important. What’s important is: do I still want to be here? Have I ever wanted to be here? And why haven’t I left? Because I can leave whenever I want.
So I go. Knowing full well I’ll be back soon. But today I am leaving. Today is what counts, and I can only hope that tomorrow I do what’s best for me, again.