Sunday, February 25, 2007


The accompanying photo has its own story. Another time...

This is what I remember about Jim.

Two false front teeth. Guitarist. I seem to have a thing for guitarists. This one was a street musician, we saw each other every day when I left my obligated-to-have-a-job job at the shoe store and went to my actually-makes-money-job reading tarot on the street. Another city. I carried a cardboard sign, the first summer it said "Fortunes Told $2", the next year "$3", the year I got smart, there was no price and I said "whatever you think it's worth". I wore a gauzy blue broomstick skirt and a brown velvet vest from Salvation Army, no shirt, no bra. This started the year I hated my parents. Fifteen.

I don't really believe in fortune-telling the way I don't really believe in astrology. That is, I ask people their birthdays in their new-hire interview. Squatting by a hot dog stand, it's easy to look at a teenage girl:

"Your parents don't understand you. You're ready for more responsibility but they just won't give it to you."


He comes up to me as I'm walking past his pitch, by the deep-fried stuff outdoor cafe corner, headed back to the bus. Pulls a coin out of the open guitar case.

"Tell my fortune."

I don't remember most of it, I always did past, present, future, the first two setting credibility for the payoff. What I do remember:

"You're going to jail tonight."

He laughed. I laughed. I saw him again the next summer, he'd been busted for heroin. That night.

Future, future, mumbo-jumbo, yeah, whatever.

I flirted with him all the next summer. Or rather, I did my subtle-as-a-brick version of letting him know I was interested. I wasn't smooth. He was perhaps 25. Maybe older. One night, we ended up in an apartment, garret really, the view was the roof of the museum. He was squatting at a friend's. He pulled my hair. That's all I remember. It must have been while kissing, but I don't remember that part. I asked him to pull harder. The tender parts of my scalp occupied me on the bus for days.

The next year, I gave him a book, 9 1/2 Weeks. Let's just say the movie has a more...sensual...take. In the book, there's blood. We went to his apartment, probably actually his, it was morning, I don't know why it was so early in the day. He tied me to the bed, beat my breasts with a hairbrush, fucked me with it, left it in me and left me there while he went out. I think it was my hairbrush. Perhaps he asked me to bring it.

Half an hour later, he returned. I said, "It would have been scarier if you hadn't left the radio on." I had bruises for days, black, then purple, then greeny-yellow that took forever to fade. The sheets were white. The radio was a clock radio. There was a window by the bed.

We finally fucked when I was eighteen, living in that city for a few weeks. He came over to my rented room, the house adjoined a wild area. We rolled on the hill under the trees, needles in our backs. His hand ran down my ear, found my hoops.

"Can I pull out your earrings?"


"Someday you'll ask me to."

I don't remember anything else.


Tom Paine said...

There is a line I have realized I can't cross. Pain releases endorphins (which feel good) and many of us associate sexual release with badness (therefore justifying punishment). But pulling out earrings? Not me. I would much rather kiss your ears, run my tongue along their edge that mimics your labia's edges, or otherwise make you feel good.

I realize BDSM is play-acting. I get it. I was in two plays in high school, and that sorta scratched that itch.

BTW, I play guitar, both six and 12-string.

Mandy said...

I find that for me the line is damage that cannot be hidden, or that takes too long to heal. In my other work, I need to be reasonably fit, and I deal with the public, so there can't be visible non-explainable marks.

I'm going to be getting more into the BDSM thing here - I'm not much of a play-actor with it, and the costumes just make me laugh, but there's a lot to be said for dominance and submission :)

Tom Paine said...

Well, as you know from reading my blog, I have written often about "power exchanges" of the kind inherent in BDSM (there's a "labels" section for anyone who wants to go back and read them). Real love often involves a surrender of the ego to the beloved, and we make sacrafices to one another for that love. Your husband, for example, is permitting your polyamory/non-monogamy because of his deep love for you. I waited over a year for C. to come around to an acceptance of some non-monogamy because I did not want to rupture the close bonds we've built up over time (or lose a real Aunti Mame orgasmer).

And BTW, I play the guitar. ;-)

lux said...

I find the dynamics between you and the guitarrist in this memory of yours very sexy and interesting...

Anonymous said...

I have started to really enjoy being bitten. During sex, the pain is still pain, but there is an intense undercurrent of sensuality that is just intoxicating. Plus I get to take off my shirt and look at the bite mark like it's a medal on my chest!

Great post!