Thursday, April 30, 2009


That fight that we had just needed to be fought. The anger that spilled over when you are usually so contained. At last the whiff of honesty. You were wrong, but honest and that is something I can admire. I love you no less for it. I love you.

Wrong about me though. I am not the picture you have of me. I am not the sum of my body and my age. I am the person that you talk with late into the night. I am the passionate conversations. I am all the things we have said that have brought us together. I am my love of literature and my desire to paint. I am not the potential parent of children or the sagging into middle age. I am not my husband's property or my friends' keeper.

Still I am glad about the fight. Our fight. Our tiny moment of bare-faced honesty. It has put distance between us but we are not separated yet and this seems to me a positive step, something that we can grow from, some new life. A shoot when the rest of the tree had shrivelled and was almost spent.

coloured clothing

I resisted the urge to try on a piece of coloured clothing. I have done that for weeks now, ducking into the horrible flourescent glare of the changerooms with my bundle of green or red or blue. You said I might look good in blue. I translated this to mean you would find me more attractive in blue. To tell you the truth I look hideous in colour. It looks like I am a clown. Colour does not suit me. I am better in black. Still I glance at the colourful dresses. She looked so nice in deep green. I imagine you like her because of it.

I walk past the clothing and try nothing on. Last time, and the time before, I sat on the floor of the change-room with a green shirt, a blue dress, a red cardigan and I cried. The floor was ripe with the stale socks of a thousand shoppers.

I will not try things on because of you or her. I no longer want you to find me attractive. I will slice off my left breast to draw back a bow. I will shave my head. I will resist the urge to wear makeup. I cannot compete for pretty. All I can hope for is my own kind of fractured beauty. You do not desire me, nor should you, and now, because of this, I will make it impossible for anyone to desire me at all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I walk naked through the house. The light is on. The door is open. It is the perfect temperature. There is the brush of the velour lounge against my back. There is an honesty in this nakedness. Yes, someone could look in and they would see the outline of a body that was never beautiful, but once, at least, my breasts were firmer than they are today. Once my skin was sallow and firm as if it had been rubbed with olive oil. Once there was less sag and droop than there is now. I walk in my nakedness and it is quite a challenge to realise that it will not get better than this. I can relax into my odd shape and my spiky combativeness. My body is a raised finger, an insult or a challenge. Look at me. I dare you all to look at me. As I settle into the wonderful furriness of the couch and feel the breeze on my skin. My body, just for my own pleasure. My body for me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This is a dark period, one of my many moments when sepia turns to burnt umber and all the light dries out of it till what is left is almost black. Even the sensual pleasures become furtive and chore-like. I finish them quickly behind the closed bathroom door. All endorphins fled. There is something amiss in my chemistry. I haven't been writing. My days are a dirge. Nights full of screams and I wake exhausted. I am eating myself with this wasting disease of sadness. I am struggling on without my support team. I have scared my support team. I have raged and plundered and pummelled tears from their eyes. They give me a wary berth. My arms ache for a hug that will no longer be forthcoming. I have spoiled the one good thing I was clinging on to and now I must drift alone.

I am sick of the sadness. Sad sick. A sea of it. I force myself to grin. I listen to the happy music but it only irritates. All I can bare is The Pixies, Syd Barrett, The Breeders, songs that rage or limp along in their confusion. I grow sick of it. I want the turn around now. I want the joy and the running and laughing. I want my friend back. I want our joking back. I want the easiness. I want it back now.

she is more beautiful

she is more beautiful than I am. This is a given. She will always be more beautiful no matter how much weight I lose or if I cut my hair right or if I wear make up like the other girls. I do not find her beautiful but you find her so and I will not compete. There is nothing I can do. I am resigned. There is no way that you will find me beautiful. There is no way that I will find myself beautiful.

I can do stuff. I can write. I can see you, really see you. That is something I have that she will not have, the ability to see past the haze of love and desire to the fragile core of you desperate to be liked.

I like you.

This is what I have. The ability to like you without the idea of love. She is more beautiful but I can sit in my ugliness and look out at the world and see it so clearly that it cuts into my eyes. And I will still like you when love has shriveled and fallen, a bud that abandoned a tree before the flowering. I will like you for your sometimes flawed, always insecure, and often dishonest self. I will like you without fairytales and despite the lies. I will like you forever and with love. Not her kind of abundant love, but a love that is unconditional and filled with clear-sight. I will love you forever.

Monday, April 27, 2009

brain book

Where does it rest in memory, this little misplaced piece of my history. Something only you and I know. Moments that should be filled with regret, which are instead infused with joy, moments that should be joyous coloured by regret. This flawed piece of history linking perfectly with my bad opinion of myself, enhancing it. It bobs to the surface of my life at odd moments. tormenting me. I wonder where it lodges in my brain and whether I should now remove it.


Like the books we like, the films we admire, our thing is just a balloon. Something elastic and changeable yet always the same shape. The space it leaves for you or I to fill it with whatever we will make of it. Fragile, in the kind of way a living thing is fragile, shake it too hard and it might burst. Even when it is repaired, it will never be quite as resilient.

I am rough with my things. I let my motorcycle rattle apart, my clothes tear in the wash. There is paint on my shoes. Our thing is ravaged in my hands. I have turned the corners down. I have dropped it in the bath and the pages have swelled. Still it has not burst yet although I have stretched it to breaking point. We breathe life into the structure of it and it is what we bring to it. We are good. Different but good. Our thing will change with each shared breath. The kiss of life perhaps. A kiss, anyway because there is room for some love in the analogy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hard Lesson to learn

So it keeps coming back to this. Me mistaking the idea of sex for some heightened emotional state that is overwhelming. My emotions are heightened. This is a given. I am blighted with a genetic inheritance that makes me swing like a kite in high wind. All the colours are brighter at these times, all the scents too sharp to pass by. When my skin is touched or brushed by it is as if you have torn open my flesh and placed your hand in the gore beneath. This is how I am, unmedicated. This is why I can write.

But sex gets mixed up in it. Sex becomes love. I love, overwhelmingly and somehow sex tangles in the mess of it and it is almost as if romantic love could be possible, when I know that it is just a myth.

When we have sex in the afternoon it returns to its rightful place. Him and me. Easy, fun, interrupted by scraps of conversation, snatches of laughter, carefully placed compliments. This is easy and nice. All the rest is fiction, Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, as if a kiss could be transformative. It is only lip to lip, the exchange of spit, some teeth. For a moment there was a fantasy that errupted from the wheeling kite of my emotional unbalance. I do not believe in love. Not that kind of love. I do not believe in kisses that can wake a girl from slumber.

Shh shh shh - I whisper to Beauty. Settling her in to bed. A kiss can not make me beautiful after all. I am just me. I am just this sagging, fading, mess of miswired nerve endings. I am the plain but loyal friend, the less than perfect wife. Not beautiful, but sharp and tuned in to the joy of my own body. Maybe this is enough in the afternoon with the sun on the bed and that quiet familial lovemaking that is fine, not mythic, but servicable and full of the everyday chatter of a life that will surfice.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


He had not showered. I think this is what made me close off. The idea that he was sitting with me with the scent of her still on him, that sickly sweet perfume. I had spilled out the acid of my jealousy till I was empty of it. There was no sting to me, just a sad tiredness knowing that the wonderful scent of him was cut with her juices, their easy togetherness clinging to his skin. Knowing she was good and I was bad and that this was the balance that had been stuck between us.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Things that make me come

I lied to you. I rarely use my hands. There is no certainty that way. I might be suddenly impotent and the awful need and hunger that this would produce. I need the sure quick release and the hand made variety is often not forthcoming.

I think of being naked, really naked, and looked at. My body. This less than perfect body. I come very quickly with the assistance of my battery operated device. The idea of you standing close up to me and resting your hands gently, almost without touching on the small of my back. You clothed, me naked. You do not see me properly, you catch glimpses of me in your peripheral vision. You are too embarrased or repulsed perhaps to look at me completely. Still it is enough, this almost-touch, this being naked. A minute, less and I am overcome by the force of the ending. The sad, over-used fantasies that never fail me.

But with my hand I might fail. I rarely attempt conclusion this way. I must be forced into secret by your proximity in the next room. By someone's parents, by the paper thin closed door of my office.

Sometimes with the assistance of pornography I can manage it. Violent moving images. The sexlessness of jobbing actors. And after, I feel bad about myself, cheapened.

But with the right equipment, even an oblique glance and myself standing naked is enough to send me. Aways a small event from a limited palate. The gentle push of a clothed crotch against my knee, a whisper - why does this have to end. Interlaced fingers. A kiss full of fingers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The sad man who might replace you.

I can't leave the house. I am not presentable. I am a man in a cartoon who stalks the streets with an umbrella, a small cloud following him about, raining down upon him, leaving everyone else sunny and dry. I lock myself away and I might drown from the lake it is creating.

I dream of a sex shop. I dream that he is buying vibrators, this man who is sadder even than I am now. I see him in real life and I recognise him for what he is, this man of rain, his own little invisible cloud. He makes a joke and I recognise the desperation in the delivery. See, he says, I am happy, and my heart goes out to him.

In the dream we meet in the sex shop. He is looking at vibrators and he has no skill in this. He picks up the flashy ones, the all-style-no-substance gel covered ones. I whisper to him. I talk about the tiny secret device that I have recently purchased and carry around in my handbag. Just one look at it can elicit a slideshow of memories. It is a single-purpose object. My one sure thing. I show it to him. I have never shown it to anyone else, but he is as sad as I am and I recognise this in him. He wants one. He wants a dozen of them. The girl at the checkout disappears into the back room and returns with a handful of them but they are not the same sleek silver bullets. They are nothing like mine. They are camouflage coloured. He touches each one with a finger and they pop up and make a sound, not a vibrator whirr but when I lean my head towards them they are ticking. Each one a little detonation a line of little time bombs.

I know each orgasm explodes in my body with too much ferocity. I know that the uncontrollable spasm that overtakes my entire body is more forceful than it should be. I know that I return to sex as if it were a drug, full of need and sleepless with it. I know that this is all a part of my addiction, but would I let them take that away from me? Would I sacrifice the whole-body pleasure for a chance to be nice and to be liked?

I hurt you and you are confused by this and I am sad and sorry. Stay back I say in dream and in life. Make room. These little camouflaged eggs will explode so furiously that you will be damaged by shrapnel. You are wary. You take a step back. You know that it is true, the sex and the writing have force enough to tear me into pieces. You have seen the aftershocks first hand.

In my dream the sad man leans his head against the table and watches the ticking eggs resigned to the fury. I want to throw myself on top of him, protect him from the blast. But he is like me. I see it. I sense his vulnerability and the potential for him to cause damage. He could be my next person. I could turn my back on you, release you into the safe, gentle hands of someone who believes in love and romance and who falls for the idea of you without even knowing who you are. I should. But you have become a part of me, a limb caught in a trap. I must gnaw it off to free you from me.

I put my head on the table beside the ticking eggs.

You are still a part of me, but any day now I will be obliterated.


Writing is more important than fucking. If I could write like he can I would forgo sex. That is the truth. To create something that beautiful I would go cold turkey on the drug that has sustained me. For one sentence, one paragraph, a chapter. I would abandon the whole gamut of sexual adventures for a novel of that quality. I would give anything.

If this is what we share then it is enough.

If we do not share this, the work, the words, the possibility that together we might create something beautiful, then I want no part of it at all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Along with the advance there will be advances. She warns me of this as someone who has been here before me. I think she might be my mentor, my rock. We rarely sit down together, but these small wisdoms, exchanged on the run keep me running.

You will be surprised, she tells me, until now no one has been close enough to notice you. When they read your book, when it is a real thing in their hand, they will want to hold you.

I do not imagine that it is true. I have never had that kind of attention. I have desired but I have not been the desired one. I am not certain how I will be with that. Interest. People interested in me. I will be overwhelmed I suppose. I will be flattered if it happens this way.

The possibility of their attentions. The idea that they might see past this brittle exterior and really see me. I cannot entertain the idea that I could be wanted in this way. I build a wall of those I love and who have loved me. I save my own lust for this handful of people who are in my life and who will remain there. I am not quick to trust. It will not be an easy thing to accept the kind of attention that she is hinting at.

I will come with you on your tour he says, and I am grateful. I will call you at 10.30, will you be home? Lets meet for coffee before work. Bring your bike and we will ride and ride and ride. People I love. I love you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Angel and the heartless one

She is angel. She is sweetness and light. She is better than I could ever be. She is all love and easy emotion. She is forgiveness and laughter and a touch on the arm.

I am spiky. I am complicated. I am exhausting. I am all barbed honesty and mismatched juxtapositioning. I am never satisfied. I will not go easy on myself.

There is no comparison and yet I feel compared. There is nothing fair about this. There is nothing fair in games of the heart.

I have none. Heart. I have a hollow ache. I have the wind rushing though me. Still. I have sex. There will always be sex. And that is more than any heart could provide.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

sadness, orgasms and ice

The thing which makes us orgasm is the thing which makes us sad. She has been medicated for a year and with that the sex is gone. She is no longer sad. She no longer has orgasms. These two things intrinsically linked.

I am walking on a fine layer of ice. Beneath this is the plunge and the drowning in all that burning cold emotion. There are rocks in my pockets and I weigh heavily on the cracking surface. Sometimes I find balance and I am skating. I am making ecstatic patterns with my feet. Sometimes each footfall is a hammer, breaking things that might have remained intact. Always I pick a tenuous path on the whole brittle mess of it.

She has been medicated for a year and in all this time she hasn't orgasmed.

The dance on the ice is an extreme sport. I am watched by the few who know me enough to care. I hold out my hand and one or the other of them dances with me for a moment, retreating when the brittle surface is scratched and nicked and threatening collapse.

She. A year, and numb to the possibility of sex. A whole year.

So now it is just me out on the ice. I walk softly. Pretending that there is no threat of drowning. And it is beautiful out here, on my own, with the shift that has occurred which will edge me towards evening. Change of light. Change of season. And the orgasms are like the Southern Lights, always overwhelmingly beautiful, and the world butting up against my skin all crisp and painful and bright. And when I am sad, I am sad with every inch of my skin. And when I am happy it is luminous. So long as the ice holds I will be alright. I will keep walking. I will keep walking.


Going away together where it is just you two. A pair. A couple. Without the interruption of email, work, the demands of friends who want more from you than you have energy to give. This total uninterrupted weekend of sex. A weekend spent with abandoned clothing curled coyly by the door. Your skin being touched. Perpetually aroused. A consumation of something that might or might not have become permanent. I know about time away. I have been there and it is impossible to return to the same kind of normalcy when it is done. It is because of the bubble of honesty. The uninterrupted feast of sex. You return hand in hand with the lie that we are no longer completely alone. You return with the scent of each others bodies on you. You return but you do not return. You are gone.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

sex in my hand

I hold a proof copy of my book in my hand. I open the page at any place and there is sex. Sex that I have had. Sex made concrete. Sex that I cannot wriggle away from. Flesh made word made flesh.

I have lost a wheel. I am unhinged. I am all the cliches that relate to someone who is unsettled by the world. I stomp through my friendships and I set fire to my house. The cards are dealt. I read them and I shake my head.

I have proof. I have a proof copy. I begin the weary process of worrying. Dreams of panic. I have not given in to the idea of medication. I am still feeling it, keeping it all at bay. I climb the bridge and stare over at the drop and I say, I have a proof. There is proof. I climb down again. The bridge will still be there next week, next year, some other time.

Today there is just sex in my hand and in your hand. You reading my sex. You, maybe, becoming aroused by my sex. You having sex with someone else at the instigation of my sex. This is all I can ask from you. This is all I can offer you.

For me there is this proof, and this must be enough. More than enough. I climb down from the bridge for now.

Friday, April 17, 2009

story about a dog

I wanted to write a story about a dog. I wanted to write this because it was an ethical dilemma and I thought that perhaps I had found the answer to it. All things that are consenting. As long as you cause no harm.

The problem being that harm sometimes takes a while to show its stain. The immediacy is nothing. The long term hurt seeps out like bruising, colouring the skin later. We look at the stain of it and wonder, how did I do that to myself?

I did that to myself. I did it to you as well.

Maybe I won't write that story about a dog. Maybe I won't write about the dilemmas that I think I have solved. Maybe instead, I will write about the fingerprints we have left on each other, the way we shy away from certain situations, the spontaneous flinching. Maybe I will write about damage, because there is no way for us to rest side by side, holding hands without inflicting some kind of inevitable pain.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Point of View

We see everything from our own point of view. There are multiple perspectives. Sometimes I see them all, but at other times I am blind. Sometimes I see nothing. There is a cloud of all the things that have happened in my lifetime. Too many stimulants. Too much emotional interference. We are all just a blinding glare of our insecurities.

I hate her because I am jealous of her. I make you cry because I am crying from the hurt of brushing up against you. We cause each other damage. And also we provide comfort to each other. This is the nature of things I suppose but I wish I could live without the mono-vision of my own perspective.

Then I am everyone suddenly and I am her and you and them and I am crushed by the guilt of my own selfishness, this terrible schizophrenic existence making me heaven and hell all at once.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

clean sex

clean sex like you see in the movies. Like you see on billboards. Sex without the scent of flesh and juice. Sex without the premature ejaculation or the errection issues. Sex without the sudden cramping in one foot or the click of teeth or the wrong thing whispered in the dark. Imaginary sex without stretchmarks or breasts weighted down by the trudge of years, all soft focus and muted lighting, all temperature controlled and perfect pitch.

But I do not want clean sex.

Give me the little complications. Give me your inability to finish, your phone-ring interruptions, my insecurities, our mismatched timing. Give me all of this and I will treasure it as the messy meeting between two people a consumation of love and friendship. A hand-made keepsake. I will keep it. It is mine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Illusive orgasm

and she concentrates on it till her head thobs. Just the physical sensations. The perfection of his body, the idea that he is moving inside her, the idea of sex. Because this must make her come. Penis the size and shape of a porn star, and what he does with it, athletic, but gentle all at once. The neatness of it. THe freshly made bed, the privacy, the scent of lavender on the pillow.

She opens her eyes and he is there. This beautiful boy. He is there with her, but he is tiring. She has made him wait too long. Soon he will stop.

She promised herself that she wouldn't think about him again but of course she does. It is too hard for her not to. The distraction of him. Not nearly as beautiful as her own man, but something about him, the un-polished, sloppy mess of him, the raw nervousness. So she closes her eyes and lets him invade her. The image of him, the memory and she comes quickly with this odd betrayal, finally, against her better judgement.

Yay for fiction.

It was not difficult to find out things about her. She was an open book. The author of her own open book. He had read her collected works, a handful of paperbacks. Reasonably good. Moments that he was pleasantly surprised by, but girl's books ultimately, stories of love and redemption. Still he had read them. She was there at the edge of his circle. Firefly bright, not attractive exactly, but he could sense her potential. She could be something, this woman. She could be someone.

There were sex scenes in each of her books. He studied them. Highlighting the paragraphs. Little clues. She liked it when the back of her neck was kissed. She liked a whisper in her ear, or the wet sound of a mouth opening. It wasn't completely clear, there were inconsistencies from book to book, but it seemed like she enjoyed a little bite on her nipple, the back teeth engaging. There was no mention of cunnilingus, which was a shame because he would have liked some instruction on that. It was his weak suite. Still, she had given him enough to start with.

Chance brought them together. Chance, and some careful timing, a party, her favourite wine (another clue from his reference library). He had her in a chair and he was clever at this kind of thing. He could play it. Just enough underdog, a hint of humour, his sparkling combative conversation to engage her with. She would let him kiss her. He was certain of it. He would have to time it right but it would be a first step.

She was not particularly pretty, not young at all. But there was something. He had done the research now, it seemed a shame to waste it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

made up thing

She had a drink although, for once, she didn't want it. She sipped, and her stomach ached and her head throbbed and she swallowed it. He smelt wrong. His lounge chair smelt musty and kind of damp. She put her hand under her skirt where she was sitting but it came out dry.

She, herself, was not dry. she was damp and slippery. Felt the slick chafe of it when she shifted her hips. She was never wet and this disturbed her, wet settling down into the scent of old dog. Wet, and he wasn't her thing anyway. He was someone's thing but not hers. She refused to be turned on by his nervous shuffling in the seat beside her. His attempts to perch his feet on her seat, his inability to look into her eyes, the shiftiness of him.

She angled her knees away from him and asked about the music. He seemed to like to talk about the music. She barely listened. She nodded. She was thinking about his penis against her better judgement. In the kitchen, earlier, she had reached past him and he had leaped away too fast, but she was certain she had felt the little nub of his erection graze her knee.

Someone aroused by her presence. No one was ever aroused by her and perhaps this small unwanted attention was enough to turn the juice on. She couldn't be certain why she was so wet all of a sudden. There was nothing about him that would in anyway complement her. He didn't really like her for a start. When, like now, there was work to be done together, he dragged himself to her place or reluctantly opened the door to her. She became an imposition the moment she crossed the threshold.

Dog. Old dog. The smell of her childhood. An unwanted reminder. She felt a sudden jet of liquid and she squeezed her knees tighter. She would leak out onto the old dog couch at this rate. She would melt onto the furniture. He was talking about music and it was too late to stop the little palpitations that had suddenly taken hold of her. She was certain she was blushing, could feel her nipples tug into angry little darts. An ache as if someone had inserted something spiked and swelled into her, her body responding as it shouldn't. She closed her eyes and it was too late. She held her breath and rode it. The flush on her chest. Her skin stripped bare. She hadn't orgasmed like this since she was 19, hiding the race of it as it overtook her on the bus.

She opened her eyes into a new quiet. He was not talking about the music anymore. He was looking at her, his eyes perfect and large and dark and, she noticed now, quite beautiful. She had to look away. She knew she was blushing. He wouldn't know what had just happened. He couldn't, but she imagined his finger inside her, testing the palpitations of her orgasm, feeling the force of it, and it was all she could do not to go again.

Wide beautiful eyes but he was not her thing. He was for someone else. She barely liked him at the best of times. Maybe it was the smell of old dog, erasing the years between middle age and childhood. Maybe it was the little bow mouth that made her want to bite down. Maybe it was the hard little brush of his penis against her leg, an accidental revolation. Whatever it was it would not ever happen again.

She shifted the notebook and pen in her lap, glanced nervously towards him and away again.

"Chapter 3, part 2," she said.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Last truths

So I am going to be moving on to fiction. Leaving the certainty of truth behind me. Here now is the last true post. Cutting the line, letting the truth of it wriggle free, the people in my life kick up and flash away like fish. I throw them back. I forgo them.

I stand at the bridge with my slack line and my heart still chasing like Hemmingway's old man, for the bones of something that has already been taken.

And all the truth that I am left with?

In a fair fight I will never win. Down rods.

Pack up bait. Walk away with the endless gnawing hunger eating at my belly.

In a fair fight I will never win.


My fingers smell of tobacco. It is odd how this is so. I haven't touched a cigarette today. I do not smoke. I sniff my fingers and I am back on a step in the rain and the boy I was hung up on is there, somewhere, smoking, playing music. Leaping up to pace restlessly. I am a membrane away from a cigarette. It is already on my fingers. I sniff them and I am a well of hunger, for the cigarette, but also for the boy. The years of pointless longing, the nights of pointless sex, knowing that even as his body meshed with mine he was somewhere else entirely. I was never there in his bed, his eyes glazed over, his mouth humming a tune, his fingers plucking me as if I were a set of 12 strings for his guitar.

The impossibility of that kind of relating made me dig my claws in to hang on. My mind scratched at it until there was a deep weeping rent in my thoughts. So long in the healing. Am I healed? I saw him this year. He had been to a funeral. He found himself near to me and his eyes half focused when he said hello. He was wondering perhaps. Who is this girl? Was she once in my bed? I was. For what it was worth. Which is nothing.

Me on the step in the rain smoking. Him smoking, somewhere else. We shared the same tobacco which is about the closest we came to connecting. Two edgy, lonely folk and nothing between us except longing.

I hold my fingers to my nose and I sniff and I wonder what odd alchemy has made my fingers smell of tobacco.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Here with you

When you are here with me I am here. Completely with you. But most often you are marking time. You are somewhere else, your work, the house, the rest of it. I could remain jealous of the world or I could be resigned. I swing between both states and I wait till you are here. Then when you are, here, completely. I am suddenly, miraculously, here with you too.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Women Play

The women do not have sex. They are my family. I know that things can be hidden behind closed doors. I know how to keep secrets despite the fact that we are watched each day, the door cracked open in the dark, our chaste sleep observed. Despite all of this, I know that the women who share twin beds and dress in the same clothes every morning, who bow their heads together, whispering secrets, conferring, I know these women do not have sex.

It would be easy enough to make them into the cliche, the mother-daughter bond soured to meanness, brittle and cold and yet there is the problem. These women, my flesh and my blood, are fond of play. They play with the innocence of children. They wrestle and they flirt and they dance and make jokes and kid each other with a joyful easiness at time. I have three photos taken by my grandfather, developed in his darkroom with the help of me, the granddaughter. In these photographs the mother and the child walk along the beach, bend for shells, pin each other's arms behind their backs and laugh. The laughter is the thing. The laughter makes me soften to them.

They do not have sex, my flesh and blood, not in my lifetime, not in the house I shared with them. They do not touch themselves or any other. But, the women play.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

separating love from lust.

It was once a simple separation. I lusted often, but I rarely loved. The lust was clean and easy. The love was tangled up with ideas of rejection, low self-esteem, my jealous streak.

I have become soft in my older age. I have my everyday moments of lust but they seem not to touch me with the same kind of intensity. Potential lovers brush past me and I am barely moved. They wouldn't be interested anyway. They are fading from my view just as I have become invisible to them.

Love is dragging me out of my comfortable sleep. My body is waking to it. I greet the ones I love with more ferocity. Sometimes I cry. I love you and I will never touch you. An ache like a cancer. It has infected my whole body and I am sick with it.

I love you, you love me too. Smiley friendly love, and that seems not enough for me. The youthfulness is seeping out of my body and it will be wasted.

My beautiful boy is here with me in my bed and his body is robust. It is weathering the storm. Mine, like my confidence, has not been so resilient. I feel the loss of this.

No point. I turn every piece of clothing out onto the bed. None of it makes a difference to me now. It is all a veil to hide the truth from the world. I will waste no more energy. I am here. Underneath the clothes and the tired sag of skin. Beneath the caricature of sexuality. I have things to say, truths I have stumbled upon, poetry, words lying dormant as seeds waiting for the winter to pass.

The winter is passing. All my care will be for the next book now. Something beautiful might grow.

Yes I love you, but no, I will never have the coveted jewel of your attention. I will let go of your hand and you will fall into the care of someone more appropriate. I stop now and I turn back to my work.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

out of your control

When your eyes are irresistibly drawn to someone you barely know. Just the visual stimulus, that thing you like, that thin shy smile, the pretty fine cheekbones and just a touch of lipstick, or that scruffiness or the boyish play. Whatever it is that moves you you are looking. It seems beyond your control. An urge to feast on the vision of him or her moving through the room in the way you like best.

Of when you touch them, a hand paused on their arm, a hug. This person you know better, perhaps very well, an old lover maybe or a potential one. A friend that you will never meet past the chaste bounds of friendship. At any rate you are close enough to smell them. I think the smell is the thing anyway. Then there is this overwhelming desire to climb on top of them. You imagine their fingers inside you. Your body does not respect the bounds of social niceties. There is a pulsing and sometimes, when the wanting is particularly strong, there is a pain like there is something lodged in your vagina and bruising it, small internal punches to that most sensitive of parts. This must be about virility. Your body smells a potential future, drags you unwillingly to contemplate the copulation.

It is out of your control. You force yourself not to want him or her, but your body is responding as it shouldn't. Just a hug, a kiss on the cheek perhaps, but there is a whole evening ahead and you wrestle with the uncontrollable urges of your body, engaged in polite conversation with others, feeling the fleeting brush of his or her skin against yours.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Worst Headjob in the World

It is the disappointment that brings it back to you. You have failed, and all the failures of your life are there alongside this one. All successes fade and are impossible to remember. The times that you have shot the goal for the opposing team; executed the wrong throw and failed to move up to the next coloured belt; the telephone that did not work on stage during that scene, that terrible scene whilst you were stage managing.

This time you did everything you could to make it work. You cared too much. You lugged chairs, laboured over posters, you read and read, even the books of his that you didn't really like. You listened to podcasts of his voice and refined questions to a perfect pitch. You lost sleep. All that sleep. You wanted this event to be the best event. You wanted to relax into a quiet drink with him after it all, perhaps a meal, a chat, you wanted to give him a copy of your book despite the fact that you are nowhere near his stature. You put too much emphasis on it's perfection and it failed. Not miserably, but enough to deflate you. Enough to make you remember the worst headjob in the world.

This was something you prided yourself on. You once were on your knees before a lover who appreciated your attentions enough to dampen the roof with his sperm. It is something you have always done without forethought. You are orally fixated. Something in your mouth and your body takes the trip from there. It has always been something you do for your own pleasure first. He is superfluous.

So long ago now, but such a monumental failure of performance slinks up beside you onto the stage. Beside the inadequate sound system and the stifling lack of air conditioning and the complaints of the women in the back row. You will remember this always, this thing you wanted too much. The prize. The ultimate fulfillment of longing.

There would not be any other penetration. You had resigned yourself to that. He was only half invested in the act, and that half vaguely distracted by other potential lovers more suited to his needs. He allowed you, reluctantly to take him into your mouth. This sad fact gnawing at you, the pressure to make it the best headjob in the world, the impossible hope that your expert skill your pheromones, your good heart and your need of him would somehow make his need for you match your own. He didn't want you. You knew this from the first moment, the kiss which should have been a kiss to hold up in the dark and find your way by. The going-through-the-motions as he sucked your breasts from your bra. You, sad and regretting from the very first, but losing yourself at intervals because this is what you had wanted. This is what you had dreamed of.

You take him into your mouth and you could sob because there is no scent of need from him. He lies back into his take-it-or-leave it and you have suddenly forgotten the dance steps. Here is a penis in your mouth. Your brain takes over from your body and you try to move in the way that other men have enjoyed, you try to suck as he wants you to suck but there is such a bitter sadness and you can taste it in the back of your palate and perhaps you have touched him with your teeth because he has flinched, and you must abandon the project, salvage something of your self esteem. And it is over. The worst headjob in the world is over. You have delivered it. There was nothing to show for it. He lifts your head away from himself. Abandoned. Such a sad sence of abandonment and all the abandonments with you here too. All the failures. All that leaving and being left.

You pack it carefully away in your subconscious. It remains intact for so long, although it feels like a handful of days when you step up onto the stage and field the questions for this author who is hot and bothered and less than grateful for your efforts with the chairs, the bruises that will flare up in the morning, the sweat and your sore muscles and the slow delivery of nightmares, dreams in which you fail to consummate. Dreams in which you are condemned to relive the pointless suckling, the thing you enjoy and you are good at under other circumstances, this failed event. This failure.

Let me do it one more time, you want to beg him. Let me try again. But he has moved on to someone else that pleases him more.

The author has stepped down off your podium and your failure is another bookshops success. Your bad event coordination is subsumed by the next grand event all air kisses and real pearl necklaces .

You lug the last of the chairs. Your ridiculous shoes. Your terrible hunt to find a dress that might impress him. Your failures held in your face like that awful deflating moment that you will remember, always. Your recurring nightmare.

Very Beautiful

You do not know how very beautiful you are. The pleasure I get from watching you. Your mouth, a small succulent fruit, the curve of your neck and the dark furred patch that blossoms out into the air. Your eyes particularly, your large, dark honest eyes that belie the truth of your secretive soul. That irresistable patch of skin that unveils itself as you bend or turn or stretch, that part of you that promises the rest. All I can see gives me pleasure. I sneak glances. I secret them away.

I am telling you this because I know that you doubt your own physical presence. You have a less than positive opinion about your skin in the world. I empathise. My eyes look in the mirror. My brain interprets the image, my judgement leaps in with critique. I am you. I know you. I share you. We are pleasing to look at you and I. I objectify you in the privacy of my quiet times. You do not value the things I covet and therefore maybe there is some other one out there who covets my flesh in the same secret fashion. But this is the way with us. Always undervaluing our assets, hunkering down, expecting everybody else's bad regard.

Know then now that I do look and what I see is beautiful. An exterior to match that sweet secret person that I know is hidden within. Know now that I look and appreciate and, yes, lust. And if I am lusting then there will be others who lust in private, never telling you how they unpack you in their hidden thoughts, unpick you, sample you, keep pieces of you. Because you, my friend, are very beautiful indeed.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Message from Kate

just read your last two blogs. i dont know if its cause i know you, i dont know if im making connections in my mind that arnt there... i read them and they felt so intimate, kinda like i shouldnt be reading them and i wondered how you showed yourself like that, is it real.. or is it fiction? but i know its not fiction, but, but, perhaps its an incredible compliment to your writing, it just felt very raw and i reacted to it - and is there a line you draw somewhere between you and blogger you? its none of my business and im really asking for myself and my own desire/fear of exposing myself (probably what i need to do most), and now that i think about it - christ, youve got a whole book coming out about you!! - Kate Lee

So we make choices. Some people chose to hide behind privacy. I hide out in the open. Honesty becomes my smoke screen. Here I am, naked I become invisible. You see me and you take the things that resonate with your life and I become you. I am you. I am your insecurities and your joys and your passion. I am the secret of your lovemaking. I am your furtive masturbation. I am the moments when you fall publicly and must pick yourself up and dust yourself off and you walk away with your pride hurt but it is my fall, my pride, and so you remain safe behind the public striptease that I am performing day after day.

Some times I become tired.

Some times I am dry and slow to orgasm. Some days I cannot hold the mirror up to myself. Today is a hard day. Today I do not impress myself. Today I would shake my head and drop my props and sit down on the stage exhausted. Today I would walk away from my life if I were able. Yes Kate. I am honest and it is horribly revealing and some people look away, and some keep staring as if my life were a traffic accident in slow motion. But if you asked me to find myself in 380 days of blogging, I might glean a moment or two. There, I might say, there I am as I catch a glimpse of that person who shrugs back at me in the mirror. The rest of it is all about you. I am you. There is nothing of me left to see at all.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I had the opportunity to write something sensual about her. It was a time when I was tired, fed up, wrung out till there was no moisture in me. Sometimes now I touch myself and I am slippery wet. So odd to feel this after years without. It has something to do with new beginnings I suppose, an odd kind of excitement, the potential for joy. She kisses me on the cheek and it is caring, care-full. It is a show of affection and I could feel myself slip down beside her. Slippery girls the two of us both.

We would have fun, we two. We would enjoy the play. We would do voices and throw our clothes around the room and laugh. I would lie and watch her, endlessly fascinated, I would hold her and listen. All this in another life, another time. These lives I long for when my own feels arthritic, paining me at the joints. I think of Laura because it would be easy, joyous, lovely. Lovely. She is lovely. Tomorrow, as always, she will kiss me and I will smile and there will be a small moist place in me perfect for growing the kernel of our affection.

Friday, April 3, 2009


In fiction I can reveal myself. I long for the freedom that lying offers. The place to take risks, to open myself and stand naked in public hidden behind the conceit of make believe. The raw truths glittering like the flash of sunlight caught in a rock.

I write my fiction for a collector just as Anais Nin once did. The truths I scatter out in the sunlight to turn leathery. The fiction is posted and hidden away and will be unearthed one day and gathered and even though it is fiction, it will seem more real than the shiny veneer of real life.

Voice in my head

I am not embarrassed for people to know about the illness. I have bi-polar. It is often far from pretty. It is a difficult thing for me to live with at times. At other times it is nothing, just the background noise of daily life. We all have our problems. Mine could be treatable. These are choices to make.

So I begin to emerge, tentatively. I do not want false hope. I distrust the idea of a dawn, free of nightmare. But here I am and I look back over the apocalyptic landscape of the last few days and I look for wounded. There is an odd silence in the aftermath. It is the voice in my head turned down, not completely silenced, but reduced to a vague crackle like a radio playing in another room. The soft toxic dust is settling and I wonder about your lungs, you who have stood too close and breathed my poison. I think about metastasis and long term damage. I remember that story by Tove Jansson. Moominland. The Groke, exiled to the ice. Everything he touched froze solid. And it comes back to me, this figure that most closely resembles myself.

I am not so brave. The lonely Groke wanders in self-imposed exile. I hold onto you like a buoy and if I drown there is a risk that you might come with me. It is unfair. It is selfish of me.

Still the clamour of voices raise themselves to an ugly shriek. They misinterpret the world and I am confused by the ferocity of lies. I listen and the world becomes an unrecognisable confusion of self-doubt. I reach for a hand and I cling to it. There is a desperation to the gesture. I am aware of it and this awareness joins in with the cacophony.

This sudden silence. A world returned to it's waking and sleeping. I stand in it and survey the damage. There will be damage. I am incendiary.

Then your voice. The voice in my head. My imaginary friend. Who has not been imaginary for quite a while now. And you say 'Hi'.

This blog post is not about sex.

This blog post is about love.

You say 'hi' and it is like a wound beginning to scab over. It is like a fur of grass growing in a dug out vacant lot. It is the 'post' to the word 'apocalypse'. One word, a voice in my head but a good one. A solid one. I turn the radio of self-doubt down to a mere whimper. There is another voice here. Yours. A good person, my poor shell-shocked friend. I am glad of you, and I am sorry for the damage.

past stories

Past stories can't hurt you. Stories set in the here and now are more problematic. I cruise through the I did this and I did that with a passing glance. Plenty of space between me and that. No bumping up against, or maybe once but I bumped and pushed away and righted myself.

Now we are here.

I kid myself into thinking that if I punch through the veneer then I will be down to the same stuff that everyone can relate to, all the messy guts of life, foul smelling, rank. My thesis is that I will bring you with me, because surely it is the same for all, this aching mix of fear and anger, this pit of emotional turmoil. Cess pit.

But the difference between us is that I am all demons. No angels. The shame of it. I imagine we are similar, but we are not. There is something amis with me. I am the spiked coil of armour that I have inherited. It is genetic, some tragedy of biology which quarantines me. Which is fair. I know it. I may be mad but I am not yet delusional.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

being beautiful

On the Weightwatches website there are before and after photographs. Slimmer of the year. We look at the after shot and we see women who are beautiful. We view 'before' and we are meant to recoil. I find myself teary. This beautiful woman who would have been overlooked in a crowded room. This woman who now, after dieting will be glanced at and longed for and desired.

I wanted to be desired. A touch without the benefit of desire saddened me.

I also wanted to be published.

But ultimately, really at the end of it all the real point of it is the writing and the real point of my body is that it gives me pleasure. I have neglected myself of late. I have not touched myself or desired myself for a week and my body has begun to shed it's unsightly kilos in this mourning period. I will be desired, eventually at the end of it all, and then, as with the publication I will finally realise that this is not the point at all. My body should be like the writing, something done in private, something tended to in the dark with my little desk lamp. Something that comes from me and that is for me. Your critique is unwanted and unnecessary. One day when I am desired I will probably not value your review anyway.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

crimes of passion

I think about passion and I think about anger, hate, the tearing of flesh. Romeo and Juliet, a slap in the face elegantly subtitled but so eloquent in the original French. I think, in exactly which of the seven stages of grieving do you pick up a semi-automatic weapon and shoot all the people in Garden City.

Christopher tells me that isn't in the seven stages at all, you have to endure all seven and then some. He tells me that is in the 20th stage. The French filmic slap is still coy enough to be textbook grief. Romeo was perhaps somewhere off the scale.

Christopher is the voice of reason. I squint towards him at the bar and try to imagine him trudging past the first stage of grief but can't. Just enough passion to get some traction on the new book but little more. He brings me a vodka and soda and I want to become him. I want to trudge casually past my erratic behaviour. I want to anchor myself somewhere in Mckissocks polite little stages. Somewhere within the realms of sanity. But perhaps I will just go on the meds again instead.