Friday, June 13, 2008

(The End)

cartoon from Gaping Void

DTW, again and always. Upgraded, a thrill for me as well as for Power Girl. Thank God we’ll get some sleep, and the little china houses filled with liqueur the attendants bring around at the end of the flight…yes, they give you gifts in business class, thank you for flying KLM. I am as happy as I have ever been – the universe is conspiring to shower me with blessings, as Rob Brezny might say.

I walk to the fountain, the massive black oval in the center of the terminal, the leaping water momentarily still. It’s time.

And as I call up each unforwardable photo living in my phone, I think, yes, that was a good time. And then I hit delete.

Pumpkins lined up to be weighed at a fair.
Waterskiing drag queens.
The mermaid I painted, now painted over.
Bruises on my breasts.
The time I dyed my hair Lola red.
The girl in Las Vegas.
Mary Magdalene with her jar of ointment.
An erection in jeans.
A fortune: You Will Pass a Difficult Test.
His hand in my ass.


The fountains start their arcing paths, catching the light of the sun over my shoulder. I realize I have lost my screensaver, this is still my phone for one more month. I follow the edge of the oval, the water reflecting my knees as it slides over, hugging the berm of the pool, and I snap facing into the light, the blackness of the fountain, the clearness of the water, the sun coming through it all, everything clarified, everything clear.

This is what I will look at. Until I get the new phone. And then I’ll snap something else.

This is the end of the story.

It’s not clean – there are still some posts in rough editing, ideas scribbled on napkins and pieces of paper tablecloth, plot lines unfinished, things left unsaid, some of them important.

Here there is a whimper – in my other life, the life where people see my eyes and my smile and my body all in the same snapshot, there is a bang. One big enough to need a pre-emptive removal of this particular risk.

It’s the end of the movie.

Beautiful Girl is on a mountain in Taos. She sends texts when she gets reception. She is clearing her life of alcoholism, laziness, and inertia – only a little of the last is hers. Someday you will hear her voice. Maybe you have already.

Power Girl is standing beside me, finding her power and helping me regain mine. We’re off to cities in Europe, Asia, Canada, and the next big thing. The blond and the redhead holding hands? That’s us.

Secret Scientist is scientist-ing and music-ing, with Hairline Boy, who is happy there weren’t enough pills in the cabinet and has appointed himself a future helpline.

Zurich texts me: Flights have just doubled everywhere – don’t worry, Mandy will get her mail-order booty somehow.

Fucked-Up Guy was good on Friday, and I was fine with it being too late for me on Saturday, and I knew on Sunday it would be too late when I saw the shot in his hand. But I needed the time to pack, no harm no foul.

Be My Real Friend is my real friend. We’re working on girlfriend-with-presents status, and I need to tell him, the thing that makes me a whore is asking for it. If you choose it, it’s a present. Even if it's cash.

Folk Rocker is on the other side of the world. We’re both looking forward to a future meeting, unforced and uncompelled.

Big City Lover has come through as a friend in surprising ways. We’re cool.

I don’t know where Ex-Lover is or what he’s doing, and I’m OK with that. I am at times a little wistful, but my mourning is done. And I’m letting go of feeling obligated to be good to him. The only thing I miss is being a muse. But I suspect that when someone else needs me in that role, they will appear to me (or I to them) and there will be more long conversations, more writing, more listening, more…

Husband is still imperfect, still trying, still next to me when I am home and still lonely when I am gone. He’s made some local friends. He’s planning home improvement and a trip to see me this summer. He's manning up, as Beautiful Girl would say.

And Mandy? Mandy has a big dream on the verge of coming true. And not that lame self-realization, use-the-zen, feel-the-moment crap but in a concrete way. In a big way. The best thing I ever made up ‘til now may be about to place second. True story.

There will be a book. I hope you will buy it. Even (Anonymous) if only to enjoy schadenfreude.

And so, Gentle Readers, goodbye, goodnight, and good luck.

Thank you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Closer to Fine

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains

Me: I think we should be not-friends for awhile and see how that works out.

Him: OK, I'll talk to you...later.

(sound of two car ignitions)

And there it is. The magic-fucking-bullet. And not the silver bullet I use so much the paint's starting to wear off, thank you Doc Johnson, but the bullet that puts the whole damn thing to rest, stops me tearing out my hair and my heart. Confirm delete friend.

An hour later, I'm in therapy, with my dread-locked doctor nodding seriously at me:

"So, he started dating one of your employees? That's a very angry move."

I have never thought of it that way. I tell her, I tell Beautiful Girl, I tell another friend, yes, we went on vacation together for a few days, we came to a meeting of the minds, we moved on from oh-our-relationship-made-me-a-bad-person-and-now-I-am-redeemed, and he told me he always wanted to be full time and permanent, at heart he is monogamous, he didn't want me to fuck other people but emphasized getting turned on so he could deal with it, he wanted me to leave my husband.

They all say, "That certainly puts it all on you."

I tell Doctor Dreadlocks I'm screwed, I have to make a decision whether to hire his girlfriend and keep her where I can see her, or not hire her and have her show up where I am without warning, to visit him.

She says, "That's his mess. He made that problem. Tell him to clean it up."

And maybe I will.

But right now the feeling of not-talking, not-poking, not-friending, not-worrying is so freeing and lifting me from the dark fog of maybe I will take all these pills that rattle so invitingly in my purse, that I can't be bothered to pick up the phone, not even for a tiny victory.

There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

(Not Dead)

Just so's you know.

Hoping to write tonight.

Thank you for reaching back - it truly helps.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Press One If You Are On A Ledge, Two If You Are Holding A Pill Bottle…

As the Ex and I drive back from our little vacation (more later), I call Big City Lover and let him know that no, I can’t continue my drive to Midwestern City, I need to go home. Husband needs me, I need to be home. He is, to his credit, totally cool and understanding about this. Mandy Brain is amazed that a guy is OK with her not driving five hours out of her way today to fuck him (he still likes me?!?!), thus again demonstrating the self-esteem of a walnut.

We plan to meet up Friday instead, and I arrange my day and my excuse. It will still be a five-hour drive, but at this point, it would be nice to spend some uncomplicated time with a man as resolutely non-dramatic as Big City Lover.

I wake up with the beginning of a yeast infection.

Determined to soldier on, I apply cream (bought by the ex, anal always spreads things around) and head out to get a new phone. At the phone store, I discover that I need to forward all my saved texts…shit. As I send them from one device to the next, I trace the dissolution of the relationship. I ask the guy behind the counter what to do about my pictures. He grabs the phone to help me, then blushes and hands it back.

“Whoa, maybe you want to do this yourself…”

Um, yeah. Zurich, my breasts, Zurich in a towel, me in the shower, hot shoes, more breasts, the last hotel, and of course, at the bottom, Ex-Lover’s hand in my ass, his cock inside me, facing away.

The photos may not be salvageable. There is a cord to be bought, I’ll make another attempt. My attachment to the photos surprises me – there’s the drag show from the time we spent in the islands, the mermaid I painted, the Mary Magdalene he sent, sunset in Vegas.

I learn how to use the new phone and seek food – I had no breakfast or lunch and have no appetite but maybe that’s why I’m crying over a set of old photos. I call Big City Lover and plan my departure. I don’t want to go. And when I cruise up the street towards my home, the sign for unleaded at $4.18 triggers and the waterworks start.

Google for my last therapist’s number. Voice mail, if this is an emergency call…I feel ridiculous and hang up, then call back and get the number. It’s a holiday weekend, I don’t want to bother her. Still crying.

Pull out of the parking lot and speed dial 3 for Beautiful Girl. Voice mail.

Scrolling through, my main concern is this: I grew up in a state where if you threaten to harm yourself or someone else, you can be involuntarily committed. I can’t face that, I don’t have time to spend peeing in a cup and wearing a cocktail napkin that ties in the back. Two weeks at 15 was more than enough.

Directory Assistance. The hospital please. Yes, I know the ER does not answer medical questions. Hold. Sure, I’ll talk to a social worker. Hold. Yes, they can commit me, but they probably wouldn’t, you don’t have insurance, why don’t you call the hotline?

I leave a message on my therapist’s office voice mail. Still crying.

Text to Big City Lover: Have started crying and cant stop. Probably will not make it after all. V sorry.

Hotline, please hold. Yes, I’d like to talk to a counselor. Hold. Heidi is pleasant and I feel stupid taking up her time when there are probably people with real problems who need the line I’m tying up with my stupid baby life. I can’t face explaining the whole thing from the beginning. She wants my number to follow up, but I’m not able to give it.

Best Friend, five times zones away but she’s a night owl. Answering machine. Mobile. Voice mail.

Tom Paine. Gone, I think I remember from his blog, and gone he is.

Another friend picks up and I realize I can’t tell him, can’t bear to explain enough to make sense. Let me tell you about my website guy, my video girl, the media company that’s working out for me.

Hairline Boy. Voice mail. Secret Scientist is probably having a lovely weekend with his lovely girlfriend, can’t wreck that up.

I call another friend, let her think I called because I’m a good friend who calls for no reason. I’m generally a pretty shitty friend, so at least some good is coming from this.

Beautiful Girl, still no answer.

I call my therapist’s emergency number. Voice mail. I leave a message asking for an appointment, at least it will be something to look forward to.

A few hours later, she rings me, she’s in China, she’ll call Sunday when she’s back. And there’s the lesson, the one I should know from my dedicated devotion to clients in all my professions, the one I should know from short-changing the Ex my attention, the one I should know from skimping on wifely duties.

You get what you pay for.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Chasing God

(I am not Christian, but that is the language I know how to speak)

* * *

Every time I come here:

This is it. This is the time I have gone too far. He will not be here this time.

The cobbled streets are grey with damp and edged with snow that melts at my step. The Minnewater is before me, open boats laden with tourists even today, their umbrellas blooming over the gunwales, bottoms shifting on the hard bench seats as they dutifully point their cameras left and right, five houses in a row with five styles of roofline, history in a digital frame. I cross the bridge, the heavy wooden doors open, the whitewashed buildings of the Beguinage low before me.

There is a carpet of daffodils, where I expect last year’s green commons. They stop me in my tracks and steal my breath. They are a sign to me in all my arrogance, a sign that no matter how shitty a person I am, no matter how much of my holy talents I squander on the maintenance of Big Lies, God still gives with both hands, God still loves endlessly, boundlessly, God forgives the unforgivable and loves me despite my profound absence of loveableness.

Inside, the church is warm – signs entreat donations for “HEATING” in four languages. There is the chanting of vespers, and I know as I enter behind the German girls sharing an ipod that this is not atmospheric recording to aid in the parting of tourists and their money. The chant is slightly flat, in partial tune from daily use and not from anything so useless as practice – how can living this chant be practice? – it is round, perfectly incomplete, the edges soothed by acoustics, the nuns’ honking their noses through each others’ singing (older in full habits, those merely fifty- or sixty-something in fleece pullovers) coughing through the readings, they are not performing, they are not living a Big Lie, they are not lost and afraid all the time, depending on the hands that yank away. They are here. They reach for God as I do, but I am tentative, stepping to the edge of the crosswalk knowing in my head that cars stop here, but still unconfident enough to hover at the pavement, the drivers waving their hands in frustration – are you crossing? Are you stopping? These women, I am sure, stride into the road, the Bruges drivers accelerating to a stop just as they do in London, in Amsterdam, in Paris. These women stand at the edge of the table and fall backward into the arms of God.

I light a candle. I always light a candle. A nun reads in Flemish. The chapel is filled with the warmth of candles and expensive heat and the smell of wax. I do not have the right to pray, but I hope I can be good.

Officially, Intermittent

I did *try* to write every day. And mostly, I did actually write at least something. And then was felled at the knees by lack of internet, lack of privacy, and much mental time occupied by being The Boss.

So yeah. This is now an intermittent blog. I can't keep letting you down, Gentle Readers, by saying I'm going to do something and then not doing it. So when I do, I'll make it as good as I can. And I'll also not kill myself by saying, oh, don't post that until it's perfect, because that way inaction lies.

Where am I now? In a secret location (let's note that it's a major honeymoon destination), shacked up with the Ex. I know. Dumb, dumb Mandy. So far there's only been minor shortness of breath. And really, who knows? The part of me that says, hmmmm, you're* kind of self-involved and a little bit boring and really, the sex had been going downhill, is strongly considering making this a last hurrah. The part of me that thinks, hey, never know when you'll be hit by a bus, would rather not end without closure. I'm working on having Part A strangle Part B but then the thought of choking just turns me on.

Where will I be Thursday? Possibly in a Midwestern City with Big City Lover. We're texting it out.

Where will I be the first weekend in June? With Fucked-Up Guy, plotting and planning to give my team-members and his fiancee the slip so we can shag intensely and silently in shared lodging.

Where will I be all year? Why, on the road, of course. That big beautiful pond full of fish, maybe one of whom will touch the thing in me that needs it beyond my control...

* * *

Quote of the week: "I never learned in health class that wiping front to back thing, and that's why I got a gall bladder infection that almost killed me..."

Words to live by.

* * *

*note intentionally ambiguous pronoun

Friday, May 9, 2008

Day Eleven: Motorcycles

(Because tonight I rode in a tank top and jeans in a no-helmet state, legs wrapped around the driver (no pegs), arms wrapped around him, speaking softly into each other’s ears. Harley Nightster. I want one.)

* * *

Last year. My ex-student comes to visit, his Harley still not paid off, the loan from his ex-girlfriend one last tendril in his new relationship. He takes me for a ride around town. I lean into him, young, handsome, talented, totally fucked-up, and wish I was younger and the kind of girl he likes. A minivan pulls in as the left lane ends and he politely drops back.

“You could have made it,” I say into his ear.

“If I didn’t have you I would have.”

“Don’t stop on my account.”

* * *

Two years ago. Bike rally, Fourth of July. Kentucky. Three other girls and I watch fireworks and lounge on a riverbank. After the finale, we want to ride. Two of us have never been on a motorcycle before. "Come on," I say, and we head through the parking lot full of black and silver and red and yellow and every tattoo-like tank-paint job imaginable. I see a group of men. “There’s four of you and four of us,” I say to one. Wanna give us a ride?” We figure they’ll spin us around the block, nice to meet you, have a nice night. But fifty yards out of the lot My God I’m in fake pleather pants, not even vinyl, Power Girl’s in a halter top, two girls in skirts they pull left instead of right, onto the highway, into the fog. Fireworks are still distant in the hills, other towns not finished “GoAmerica!” yet. None of us have helmets. The bikes rocket up to 90, 95, 110, 135, I stop looking.

I realize, this could be it. One pothole, one bad bump, one careless motorist, we will all die. We don’t know these men, they might take us to their secret gang hideaway…does anyone have a secret gang hideaway any more? If one of us got separated, we’d have no way to find them…

Halfway, we pull into a Conoco to fill up, get Power Girl a pair of sunglasses. I ask my new friend, “So, how do you all know each other?”

“We don’t. This is th’ first time we rode together.”

“But I thought you guys were together! You said, yeah, we could all ride with you all!”

“Well, I didn’t figure they’d say no.”

* * *

Fifteen years ago.

My boyfriend Doug, chosen largely because he looked like my brother, takes me home from seeing the director's cut of Blade Runner. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, and we rocket down the eight lanes by the water, the light on his jacket, my miniskirt, very MTV. Hair in the wind. Sunglasses at night. Doug deals with a traffic slowdown by striking up the middle of the lanes, and the cop who pulls us over is so disgusted he stomps up, huffs out, “If you want to kill her you should put her in front of the bike,” and stomps back without writing the ticket we richly deserve.

Later that week, I am in the parking lot of a grocery store, buying what I buy every week in college – cheap steak, eggs, potatoes, macaroni, canned tomatoes, broccoli, oatmeal, raisins, half and half, exactly twenty dollars every time. I set the bags in the back seat of my hatchback and watch a beautiful motorcycle cruise the parking lot – it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a reproduction vintage Harley, brand new and antique, everything shiny and silver and art deco turquoise.

“You want a ride?”

I do very much want a ride and since I am 19 and away from home and getting more reckless by the day, I hop on. It is wildly different from Doug’s tiny, shaky Kawasaki. This is like riding a bus, so stable and solid. The rider is an elementary school janitor, he has saved for twenty years to buy this bike, this machine, this moment of “wanna ride?” and the 19-year-old blonde with the nice tits says yes.

* * *
Twenty years ago.

I leave school, cut third period gym, walk down the road across the interstate where it becomes not a nice part of town (I am just now remembering this, this started as a story about motorcycles and joy and risk and wind and maybe a meaningful moment about the janitor) and hitch the four miles to my boyfriend’s house. I am fifteen. He is twenty-eight. I think that this makes me very, very cool. He lives with his mother, he has a six-inch scar from heart surgery as a child. We fuck on his bedroom floor. He is my third partner, he is “friends” with my second partner, but not friends enough not to go after his girlfriend. I make tickmarks by their names in my pink address book, once-twice-thrice-more. He takes me back to school in time for fifth period after lunch, English, which I never miss. People know I cut, but they do not know why. They know I am the girl who answers too many questions with too many words in class, the girl whose parents won’t let her get contacts, the girl we call names and put things in her locker and shove in the halls when teachers aren’t watching. They do not know about my cool grown-up boyfriend and my cool sex life and what I do when I am supposed to be showering with everyone else because I am sick of getting marked down for not showering, not being able to show a wet towel.

* * *


“Want a motorcycle?” asks Power Girl.

“Ummmm…maybe?” because I already know this is a Candy Mountain moment, and I will be grumpy Charlie while Power Girl fills my world with magical wonder.

“Lie down on your back on the floor!” and everyone gets giggly, I can tell we have all had motorcycles, and yes, I should have a motorcycle, it will be good for morale, whatever it is.

She grabs my ankles, puts her foot in my crotch and jerks my legs up and down while going, “Vroom! Vroom!”

I laugh. Everyone laughs. The Boss played, and everything is OK. And The Boss plays as hard as she can, hoping the outside and the inside come closer.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Day Ten: Sunshine

So many things are different in the cold light of day.

Here's the fault on my side: I should be more willing to defend, more willing to say, when someone says, "He was a B-List Boy. He still is a B-List Boy," that No, you don't know him like I do...

I don't know if I kept it secret because I like the game, or because I was embarrassed to claim him.

Now, I think I know why I'm here, why I'm in this miasma. Because it ended with a fight and we never made up, we never had a chance to sort things out, look them over, say yes, we're in, or no, sorry, we're out.

And maybe if he now was with someone not bent on making my life hell (while, of course, smiling sweetly and complaining about how I persecute her), perhaps I could wish them both better.

Maybe maybe maybe. Maybe not.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Day Nine:

Grief fills the room up…
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me

(King John)

I am mad with grief. I am past caring if I give away my power by telling too much, past caring if I am stupid, enabling, whining, boring, needing to get a life. If I am to believe everything that came before, then what came before was such that I would now have the right to ask, to want, to need.

He says “I can’t hurt her.” The unspoken conclusion, so instead, I will hurt you.

One bad – no, one empty day—

Because when I am working from dawn until past midnight, when the job demands more than I have to give, I can be here now. I do not have to be here now. But in that moment of calm – hiding for lunch in a storage closet where no-one can ask me One More Thing, slipping into a borrowed bed at 6AM after one last load of laundry, Power Girl already unconscious beside me, then it crashes in on me.

I’d rather hurt you.

Husband is sweeter, more kind, more supportive than ever. But I cannot tell him this. I should leave him, because I can’t tell him, and it is not enough.

I have done the texting-because-you-can’t-talk-right-now.

I have done friends.

I have done use me as a badge of your virtue, congratulate yourself every time you look into my face and do not kiss me, every time you hold me in the night and do not fuck me, make another tick under “I was strong and good!”

I am an object. I am “look, I can so be faithful.”

She is an object. She is “really, I can be faithful if I want to.”

She has taken to sending anonymous emails to Husband, phoning me late at night, snarking about my company to her friends. Perhaps he is, after all, hurting her.

For me, the line between here and gone, present and absent, is growing thinner as the icy Dread licks up the beach. The barriers left? I have an event…an appointment…something needs doing. I don’t want to make a mess. Too strong a swimmer, too queasy to cut.

(There were only five pills in Hairline Boy’s cabinet. Not enough to do the trick, just enough to fuck up my day. So I didn’t today.)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day Eight: Better Stories

At the gym, in a moment between sets, Power Girl notices my elbow. “You have a bump – do I have that bump?”

I hold my elbows side by side to show her the white, raised, dime-sized swelling. Right elbow only. No, she doesn’t have one.
“How’d you get that?”

“Early in our marriage, Husband pegged me with a Coke bottle.”

Power Girl pauses.

“I bet you got a lot of mileage out of that.”

I laugh. “Yep, with the guy I was dating at the time.”

* * *

* * *

If you see me, Mandy, in the street, here is how you will know me. I have a scar across my upper chest, in the shape of a chain, 5 ½ links burned into me. The raised flesh does not tan. It is no longer the first thing people notice about me, but it’s still fairly conspicuous. If we meet in conducive circumstances, I will tell you how I got that scar.



It’s a good story.

* * *

* * *

Not the first time I ran away, but the first time I ran away at night, on my bicycle, past my middle school, hiding in the bushes at a church where two nice young women found me and took me home. I remember eating a sandwich I had either saved from lunch or made for the next day’s lunch. Probably ham salad on white. My bike in the back of their minivan – minivans were new. My father coming in through the front door, back from looking for me, throwing his car keys hard to the tile floor.

I got better at running away. Ditch anything with your name on it, rip out the inscribed page of Richard Bach’s Illusions, hand over the first grown-up present from my parents to the friend’s mom who drove me to the shelter, “I heard you liked earrings.” Gold ones, bought retail (never pay retail for jewelry), still in the blue velvet case.

* * *

* * *

“Scars are tattoos with better stories,” I saw on a t-shirt. I have good stories. I have good scars. I like where I am and so I must be at peace with what I’ve come from. It’s not your problem, Gentle Reader, that I’m white, middle class, “misunderstood.” It’s not your job to rescue me, solve me, open me up and reassemble the machinery, get rid of the knock, the ping, the way I shake over 75mph, start slowly on cold mornings, overheat too easily on a Texas back road. Something drives me to the iron, the razor, the hot edge of the oven door. Thank God it’s the same thing that drives me to words, to tell, tell, tell and not be silenced.

What will that feel like?

Only one way to find out.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day Seven: Fumbling

I breakfast with Beautiful Girl, two days in a row. Sunshine, patio, internet, business, boyfriends. She knows me. She knows nearly everything. I have written her paeans, she has been my favorite girl to flirt with.

The flirting is gone - we are deeper friends than ever, we can say anything, but we no longer say that. Perhaps it's the way I've shrunk while she's expanded. Maybe it's that we're both wrapped up in Boy Troubles. Maybe it's that I can barely juggle whoring and wifing and dying inside a little every day, let alone adding another orange to the pattern. Mill's Mess, indeed.

The first day, I realize, she is right. I should be moving on. The second day, she sits across from the table and sends me this. Yes. That is how I feel.

I speak to Be-My-Real-Friend. I wonder if he feels left out, that I haven't written yet about our last time together. It's on a napkin, it's in the notebook. Many things are in the notebook. Big City Lover - an hour's pleasure. A musician and a video chat (he's emailed twice, just the sort of thing that makes my ego beat a little faster, I cannot bring myself to answer). Folk Rocker and the writing block and how it passed.

And I lie next to my husband, ostensibly napping, and I wake weeping because I realize this is it, it's not fun any more. Writing isn't fun any more. Whoring isn't fun any more. Fucking isn't fun any more. Even the challenge of thirty days has been mired in work, work, work - it's been 21 days without a day off, 21 days of bed after dawn, wake before noon, manage and boss and lead and take on one more job because running and bossing and struggling and resenting the load are all better than thinking or feeling.

The blog is in its throes. I've no call to write the bits of flesh rubbing together that make everyone happy, give us all a wank. It's tripping sadly down the path of the lame little diary, whining about my life, come and share the pit with me, I can't get out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day Six: Small Comforts

Free-associating. Late.

And Power Girl is out dancing at a dive bar (In the car: "Now, what do you do, Third Friend, if someone asks to buy you a drink?" "I giggle and say nothing!" "No, you ask for something nice and give it to me if you don't want it!"), Hairline Boy is asleep in the next room and I am bumping slowly, slowly down dial-up road. That is to say, when I want to video-chat in my schoolgirl skirt with yet another musician, it has to be done in the parking lot of the coffee shop down the road - but that's tomorrow's post.

The first night I spent here, I slept alone. And then the next night Hairline Boy and I talked into the night, both of us a little wounded right now, and I asked him to share his bed given up to me. He said, "All I can do is sleep." I said, "I know."

He is faithful, as faithful to his distant girlfriend as he is to the choices and ideas that have kept him at a lower level of success than makes him happy. He is constant as penury, honest as paper plates, truthful as sloppy guitar playing. He is kind, universally so, even when kindness lays his heart on the table for the cleaver, ends his relationship, breaks up the band. He is exactly the sort of man who believes the woman he left his partner for when she says, "No, we can't openly see each other right away, and I have to see this other guy as a cover..."

He doesn't want anything from me. We flirt - a very little. His eyes sparkle when he looks at me. And each night we hold each other a little less tightly, grading down from drowning outside our depth to now, merely close. I still wake each time I roll over, surprised to find him there. His hands behave, his mouth stays shut, his heart is uncovered, but not in that way.

And that is why I advise when I know it will not be taken, that is why my expertise in his field is unwasted even if unreceived, that is why I pay him with two checks to be certain he will pay himself. Custom for me is payment in kind, base currency, the attitude of prayer, and that custom is unwelcome here.

I ask him, "Do you not have kitchen things due to circumstance or because you don't want them?" I think I will get him some knives, or nice glasses.

He says, "Like what?"

I say, "Like plates."

No, he does not want kitchen things. I can't give him what he wants. My usual band-aids are all wrong, don't cover a burn unless you have to. His wounds are drying out. I use my hands to wipe his face in the night, thumbs gently taking the tears from his eye sockets, asking if I can kiss his cheek with closed lips.

I can't fix it. I can't fix anything. So I change in the bathroom and come to bed in t-shirt and leggings, lie in his arms and wish him more like me, me more like him.

Day Five: Fun With Math!

1) Word Problem
Mandy plans to fly to Eastern City to be driven by Ex-Lover to his home for “friend time”. Ex-Lover writes that she should instead fly into Midwestern City where her car is parked and drive to meet him, but he’s not sure if he will be coming home Sunday or Monday. If Mandy’s home is North of Midwestern City, and Ex-Lover’s home is South of Midwestern City, how many hours should Mandy wait in the airport for Lover to decide at the last minute whether he will leave Eastern City and meet Mandy at his home?

Bonus: By what exponential factor does Ex-Lover’s classiness decrease when he informs Mandy of this plan via email?

2) True or False?
Ex-Lover has actually told Cute Girl that Mandy has been invited to spend a week with him in a distant city, which has been planned for more than a month.

3) Graphing.
Using a standard graph, plot a parabola to represent Lover’s feelings towards Cute Girl. Plot another, opposing parabola to represent the number of conversations per week between Mandy and Lover. Label the intersections of the two lines, “I really miss sleeping next to you.”

4) Multiple Choice.
Beautiful Girl tells Mandy, “He’s not worth it, get over him.” A wise friend whose advice Mandy trusts tells her, “He is being incredibly selfish by continuing to engage with you in this way.” Power Girl tells Mandy, “Get over it already.” Mandy thinks to herself, “He wants to have the wonderful friendship we always had, but he had it when he was treating me well and now that is no longer the case. It feels good to be comfortable with him, but afterwards I’m a wreck.” Mandy will:

a) Get a fucking life, count her blessings and get over it.
b) Delete him out of her email address book, phone, Myspace and Facebook, tell him not to call, text, email, message or poke her, and try very hard to mean it.
c) Enjoy only the company of friends who do not expect her to be totally okay with being betrayed and lied to on a fundamental level that violates everything that has come before.
d) Think that anyone who describes his time with her as being a “bad person” while describing being with the new girl he lied to Mandy about and betrayed her with as a “fresh start” is a clueless puddle of insulting slime who is pretty much flat out saying that Mandy’s trash.
e) All of the above.
f) None of the above, Mandy has the self-respect of a walnut.

Extra Credit: Describe your most memorable, triumphant break-up moment.

When finished, turn in your papers and ask for a library pass. Make sure all your work is in number 2 pencil and that you have filled in the entire circle with a dark mark.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Day Four: The Kitchen

(Just a moment)

Young Turk, yet another musician, is fussing with food and the fridge, he's asked if I'm sated and I'm not, but I'm not hungry for food. We've come from our respective work days, our projects overlapping and coinciding, our friendship growing, his flirting evenly spread between every girl on the team.

I ask him, "Any luck finding a well-heeled cougar who needs a pool boy?"

"It's an ongoing process..."

"I'll let you know when my financial statements come in."

"I'll look you up when I'm tall enough to ride this ride."

He touches me each time he passes, his hand on my shoulder or in my hair. I type away, must write, must write, thirty days. Another long post? Another angst-y piece? The porn was made last night but isn't finished being written up...

Young Turk is an excellent cook. He sets out his tools on the counter, I hear the click of the cutting board, the slap of a filet of something thin and wet. A drawer, a knife unsheathed and the sound of the blade in the air and the sharpener.

Every hair on the back of my neck stands up and my nipples harden.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Day Three: Postscript

We sleep back to back, pressed tightly against each other. 5AM and lobby call for us both.

Folk Rocker goes to the door, still damp, still wrapped in a towel, and peeks out to see if there’s anyone in the hall. Clear, and I step past him, one more kiss and water drops in my eyelashes. I head down the hall towards the elevator, and as I lean in to press the button, I hear “psst!” He leans into the hall, blows me a kiss, and I smile all the way through the lobby and the cold to my car.

Day Two: Little Postcards


Also, there is a paragraph in here that has previously been posted, but this story is where it belongs. Indulge me.

* * *

I go to a big city and meet Folk Rocker. It’s been a year. We have exchanged photos and flirty emails, texted occasionally, finally we end up in the same city at the same time again, both for our respective jobs, though I am fudging, my job is technically over, I have other reasons to want to be here.

I pick him up at his hotel, the lobby sleek with stripes and overstuffed chairs, the breakfast room at one side. We both need the same bank, we plan to “hang out” at my hotel. He has been so equivocating in email, so sometimes taken aback by me, that I am treading carefully. I have no plans.

The phone rings, I always take Husband’s calls. I drive and chat, Husband’s ill, I suggest a cup of tea, a hot shower, I tell him it will be alright. I worry that I sound like I’m speaking to a child, that I’m being rude to my passenger and rude to my husband, having a private chat and trying to wrap it up reasonably quickly at the same time, worried that I sound like a mom. Soothing is done and I press the button. As I fold my phone, Folk Rocker says, “I’d give anything to hear my wife speak to me like that, so tenderly.”

I can’t imagine any other way.

* * *

My favorite hotel in Big City, a suite, brand new, lucked out on Hotwire. He pulls my suitcase while I check in, we go to the room, explore the possibility of room service. He draws me to the bed, we make out a little, his mouth large and open over mine. He’s nervous, he’s not comfortable with cheating, I am happy with anything, I am happy with nothing. I have no expectations. I have surprised myself that after a long hunt, I am honestly, truly, delighted just to spend time, I have no desire to push him or nudge him or draw him into one single step that betrays himself. He is over me and under me, gentle, sweet, hesitant, and in my head I write off sex and content myself with a cuddle, just as he puts his left hand on my wrist and presses it over head and his right hand on my throat begins to squeeze. And then I have been rolled over without knowing how I got here other than the heavy fingers in my hair, and he is behind me and above me, his mouth on the back of my neck and his hand coming around to my breast.

* * *

I am learning a new language.

It takes him awhile to get hard, which I prefer. I am used to younger men, I am used to older men popping pills, taking my sore pussy a second time, a third, ready to go again right after the bang. This fortnight I have been with four men and each time there was a moment where they slowed. I am puzzled, and then Folk Rocker says, “don’t want to come yet, feels so good…” and it all falls into place.

* * *

I suck his cock, bent over him, kneeling beside his hip, mouth warm and wet, him warm and smooth and slick on my tongue, the head his penis velvet-textured like the skin of a blueberry, the little drag of skin on taste buds every time. His hand reaches, holds back the curtain of my hair. I put my hand on his, gently, it’s ok to pull a little and he takes the cue, tightens his fingers on the back of my neck (so primal, so hindbrain) and pushes until I gag. I come up for air –

“I’m surprised. I didn’t think you’d like it rough.”

“I like it all ways. You seem like you’d like it rough.”


And then his hands are on my shoulders, pushing me on my back, prising my legs open and his cock thrusts into me hard, catching a little at the entrance of my pussy, that first thrust that speaks of virginity every time.

* * *

He’s fucking me from behind, first standing while I’m on the bed, then kneeling between my calves. I hear a noise, I feel a sensation and realize he just spit on me. Spit. On my ass. Holy shit, this man watches too much porn…no, wait, it was actually…kind of nice. Close. Like the time I took Lover into the bathroom, took his hand and held it against my pussy while I peed, so very intimate…

* * *

His room, past midnight (I agonized a little over whether to come at all this late), he’s packing for the next leg of his journey. I curl on the bed, watching him pack, watching his rituals so like and unlike mine, so hard to feel at home on the road unless you fight for it to an absurd degree, I have pictures of my cats and Husband, a light blanket that feels the same on every bed.

“I want to hear you sing “I’m On Fire” sometime.” He already does a little Springsteen occasionally.

As he picks up things from the desk, the bedside table, the coffee table, lays out tomorrow’s shoes, pants, he sings it softly, his voice husky with late and drink and the show:

Hey little girl is your daddy home
Did he go away and leave you all alone

And right now there is no place better in the world than being up too late, listening to this song, listening to this man.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Day One: Aftercare

There is the blank page.

There is the empty notebook, the block of time constantly rescheduled, filled in, replanned. No time to write, so busy! So busy…

I have been having a writing holiday. Taking four weeks to travel, restore my spirit, see the world with new eyes –

(that’s a lie)

Not much has happened around here, the sex has been marital, the adventures limited –


I haven’t written because I have been focusing on my marriage, on my husband, exploring Amsterdam, Paris, my sacred city Bruges, reveling in the Northern European cold, the white and startling snow that followed us from city to city, “I don’t know whether to say Merry Christmas or Happy Easter” from our tiny gay host—

(also a lie. Fact, but a lie.)

I’m debating whether to continue whoring. Continue sleeping around. Continue blogging. Continue writing—


I am afraid. For the first time in my life, I am afraid to write, afraid of what will come out – this from someone who used Columbine as material, triumph coming at last from the memories of the days when I would have done the same. I cannot eat, it is dangerous to open my mouth. Telling the first word means telling them all; I don’t know if I can stop. The poison dissolves me from the inside, wracking my guts, destroying my sleep, calling me to the Dread, the lure of the medicine cabinet, the icy road, the rope, the knife, the gun.

There is something in BDSM called aftercare. It’s when the parties involved calm down, come back to “normal”, release each other from their roles. Mostly, it’s the dominant partner bringing the submissive partner back to a place of equality and comfort, soothing their wounds, their ruffled spirit, their mind.

Ex-Lover used to be very good at this. “Good girl,” he’d say, and I felt approved, that my efforts to please him, to scream when he wanted, to fight against screaming when he wanted, were well-received, pleased him as much as they took me down the dark hallway of terror and release. For four years, he cut me open and sewed me up, told me when to do the job myself, put me back together. Not just with my clothes off, but in my head, my daily life, tormentor and refuge, hell and hope. I fucked no one else without stepping outside my body, recording the scene for him. Lately for you, too, Gentle Reader.

I debate for three and a half weeks whether to see him in Europe as we planned. There is the pleasure of making Cute Girl uncomfortable, the worry on what the time together will be like, the sense that this is senseless, there is no friendship to be had, no going back. Finally, I weep with my best friend in her foreign city, I weep with Beautiful Girl via Skype, and I change one plane ticket. I will go only to the city that finishes my trip, wait in the airport, get the next flight home I can. I tell this to Ex-Lover, first via text, then phone to be polite.

He meets me in the city, taking a train some six hours to be there. We share a room, a bed, a walk through a street festival, oranges, chocolate lemon rind, meals he orders in the language I do not speak. We sleep on separate sides, we dress in the bathroom. We see the church. We decide to go to another city, where we meant to spend time. And there we take long walks, hold hands, share candlelit dinners, look at views, have conversations. Everything is as it always was, except we do not fuck. Or kiss. And in the night he says to me, “roll over and I’ll hold you,” like he always did. He wraps his arms around me, so tightly one of us is drowning, one of us cannot breathe. Three nights next to each other, three days side by side.

And still, there is his girlfriend nervously texting, trashing my company (for which she works) on her not-so-private-as-she-thinks blog, snarking at me in email for business decisions I made after weeping and then clear-eyed asking my partner to choose, to be even-handed, to be fair fair fair enough to cut off my own finger lest she think I’m pointing at her.

And still, there is everything there always was. Right down to

I love you.

I love you, too.

And in the night his hand reaches across my body, he mumbles in his sleep,


His hand on mine, my hand on his cock,


We ride together on the train, he sees me to the bus. I lose my head, I’m nervous, I say, still yours, just a little bit. Still mine, just a little bit.

He turns three times as he walks away.

I am happy. I think I am happy. And then there is the long ride over the ocean and I pour out into emails what I do not even know is in me, I realize I am shaking in the corner, raw and beaten and the man who is excellent at making the hot girl writhe beneath his hand has no time for the bloody creature at his feet, there are new games to play, a fluffy new puppy to pat and love, and I watch everything that should have been mine (all anger comes from should thoughts), everything I need to come down, unspool, release, be let go, let out, told that was enough, that was good, it’s time to go now, watch it all be given away.

I am waiting to come down. I am waiting to be released. It’s not enough to walk away, to be my friend, to plan things that feel like dates and thread me on. I have spent four years learning to stay wired until he fades the dimmer and it is not enough to simply flip the switch.

He texts:

I feel like once you’re serious about another lover things will be easier with us…I keep hoping for simple solutions to complex problems, and that one would require nothing from my lazy ass

I can’t come without weeping. I can’t touch anyone else without remembering his hand on me, starting the recorder in my head. I don’t see another serious lover in this picture.

He is not worth it, and I know this. Beautiful Girl knows this. My best friend knows this. He knows this. I start a phone call, “Maybe we shouldn’t be friends any more.” The call finishes with plans reaffirmed, plans to talk again soon, a request for my schedule to make that happen.

So I will write. I will hide the limp and swallow back the poison and open up the vein to dip the pen. I will write for you, Gentle Reader, and for me. There are things in the notebook waiting to be shaped, notes from time with Be-My-Real-Friend and Secret Scientist and Folk Rocker and Big City Lover and Zurich. Some of them are lovely, full of drippy porn and happy laughing faces.

Thirty days. Every day. An obligation to you and myself.

And then - ?

Perhaps I will be done with him.

Perhaps I will be done with me.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Coffee, Gentle Readers?

I am on my own again and in London, England. Holler if you'd like to coffee, Pret, or show me something I'll never find on my own (and I'll warn you, I go off the beaten path, it's a place I visit often, and my standards are high - that said, I love a person who rises to a challenge!). The email's to your right, as always.

I'm debating whether to have any...erm...professional contacts while I'm there - on one hand, new city, new rules, don't want to get into a bad situation or god forbid get deported, on the other, well, have you seen the dollar versus the pound lately? I can only hope to make it out with my pocketbook not too badly dinged...Your thoughts? Any sources you know (other than Craigslist) where a girl might meet like-minded individuals and have a chance to vet them before committing?

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Next week, I go to Amsterdam. It's to be a long-delayed honeymoon for Husband and I, his first time to Europe, my eighth? Ninth? And as per usual, I dig through old notebooks, smiling at who I was, rewriting the note that begins them all:

Remember, you were afraid and lonely when starting the trip. It's OK to be that way. It will pass.

The former me is very reassuring to the present me.

I make lists of things to see, my favorite cheese shop, a store with hats, the photography museum. I contemplate whether this year will be the time I try space cake, visit the live sex show, consume substances more altering than ice cream, though even Euro convenience store ice cream gives most drugs a run for their money.

I turn the page, and there is the first night I spent with Guitarist, who lately sends me emails with photographs of his cock, messages no less sexy for their simplicity and bad phonetic porn spelling, and codes to good software for the mac (it's like I've joined a cult - when do I get the sneakers?). I wrote:

Changed in the bath - earlier, in the lobby, "I hope you don't think - I'm not getting fresh or whatever." Asking me about my deal [with Husband]. "You're a very adventurous person." And later, "Let's get adventurous." Jewish men are the best lovers, the first time I came [age 19, partner number 37], no wonder they're God's chosen people [thank you Wex]. Kissed hungrily. "I love how responsive you are." Pinched my nipples. So sensitive in his nipples that he gasped. Turning me over, taking my pants off on all fours, thrusting his fingers inside me, still tender from ex-Lover's hand days earlier. Rolled me over, went down on me, very good. Went and smoked in the bathroom, brushed his teeth, came back and it burned my pussy, so intense, I could have come but I think I didn't want to. He finger fucked me again, very good. "I really like my hands, I'm proud of my hands and forearms, I think they're my best feature." I sucked his fingers, took them into my throat, he was excited by that. Went down on him, told him he could come (in my mouth) if he wanted to. "Yeah? In your mouth?" He stood by the bed, I knelt, he asked me to look up at him, open my mouth, he slid on my tongue and came over my face, in my mouth, rubbed it on my face. "That's so hot. That was so hot." In the morning, we made out, I gave him more head (last night, I worked my way down his body, kissing his side, under his arms, put my fingers in his ass, sucked his balls), he came in my mouth, holding my head down to take it. It was amazing. He walked me to my car, I said, despite my being an inherently slutty person, I really like you. You're the only person I've slept with in Europe. He said the same. It was nice. He was nice. I say nice too much.

What I remember most is the look on ex-Lover's face when he read it, later, in another city, in another country, another place. For years after, I could make him harden by opening my mouth, rubbing his cock on my tongue, and looking up.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Coming Around to the Mac to speak.

Things still troublesome -

- Hate iPhoto
- Can't play my favorite solitaire, for which I may yet install Windows.
- Something's funny with my iTunes, it won't sync up my podcasts. I'm sure there's some button I need to press and the gang at the mac store - who by now need "I survived Hurricane Mandy" shirts - will help me.

Amazing Thing One
I filled out the online survey about my experience with the mac. You know, the standard, tell us about your shopping thing. I wrote quite a bit, most of which boiled down to, "I'm probably experiencing the same level of difficulty I would switching to any new computer, mac or PC. But because you market the mac as easy-easy-perfect, that's the quality of experience I am hoping to have and feel that I'm missing out on."

Two days later, I sit down to drinks with friends of Power Girl, who also work at the local Apple store. Geek Boy says, "'re that Mandy. I've heard about you." Geek Girl (whom I already know) says, "After your first Genius Bar appointment, our guy came back and told me, 'I think I may have met the first person in the world too high-strung to own a mac.'" They fall over themselves with helpfulness and indicate that I may be eligible for either an upgrade or money back, because in the five days since I bought the computer, during which I have been at or on the phone to the store every day, a better version has come out. I resolve to call the store the next day.

The next day, Geek Girl calls me. "Yeah, we got your online survey and the manager really wants to make sure you're having a good experience, so come in when you get back from your business trip and we'll give you the newer, better computer, transfer your data for free, and set you up with a free hour of one-on-one time to learn to use it for what you need."

I suspect that, as a whore, I value good service even more than most...

Amazing Thing Two
When home with jet lag, watching Alisha Klass and masturbating (damn that girl is enthusiastic!), it's so easy to use the two-fingers-on-the-touch-pad scrolling method with my left hand, so my dominant hand can focus on my personal touch pad. Now I can balance dildo, vibrator, and not run out of movie right before I come! Go mac!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Gentle Readers - I am so darn cold...I'm in a geographical location right now that just involves being cold all the time, and it's sapping my will to live. I swear I'm trying to write, but between the cold and the cold and the worrying about gaining weight and the cold and the working 15 hours a day and the being around other people and the cold, it's been challenging. Until such time as I pop out something better, I hope you will enjoy this. Just keep hitting "random"...

* * *

...I'm working with a member of a local team who is 100% Survivor Called, They Want Their Fan Back. He has long straight hair with poufy bangs, tight jeans, and wears a lot of vests. He has become less openly skeeve-y since the last time I worked with him, now appearing merely socially inept and wanting to play a flirting game he hasn't properly learned rather than oozing slime over every woman he meets. As I think this, while executing some work tasks with him, my hand brushes his and I realize, shit. If I was sixteen/fifteen/fourteen, I would have dated you. And not the you at that age, the you now. We'd have made out in your backseat, you'd have picked me up on your motorcycle when I cut Gym, it would have been you coming over when I was babysitting, asking if you could "just see if it fits." Sobering...

* * *

...due to some wacky phone zone issues, I'm not able to call ex-Lover. And work has been busy enough to keep me from texting much, or emailing at all. Which is a lie. If I wanted to badly enough, I'd make it happen, just like always, slide into the bathroom, the closet, get five minutes alone however I could. But there's a new stage happening, sliding up on me like a Prague pickpocket. The footsteps get closer, closer, why doesn't this guy pass me? The sidewalk's plenty - oh! and then I check my bag, change purse, postcards, pens, notebook, camera, what's missing is trust.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Little Postcard

I am learning a new language.

It takes him awhile to get hard. I am used to younger men, I am used to older men popping pills, taking my sore pussy a second time, a third, ready to go again right after the bang. This fortnight I have been with four men and each time there was a moment where they slowed, I was puzzled, and then one says, “don’t want to come yet, feels so good…” and it all falls into place.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Ungentle Thoughts

(Should they happen by, I hope that each of the three men I was with this week will assume this bit happened to one of the others…)

I’m fantasizing before I come. I often do, calling up the faceless strangers who watch me on the stage, the pool table, the bar, in the back alley. And in the crowd of eager hands, eager mouths, suddenly there is Lover’s face. I change venues, now it’s a club, I’m in another ring of grasping fingers, the collar around my neck. Follow the leash to the hand that holds, the arm rising to a familiar shoulder, Lover’s face again. Change. The hand that holds the bottle, his again. Change. The hand across my face, across my ass, twined in my hair, the voice in my ear, low, murmuring, come now, come for me, and I do.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Things That We Have Carried Here

(beautiful muffins from Foodbeam, where the recipe also lives)

Sunday morning, lazy Sunday, and Husband and I have brunch at a local foodie place. We nibble muffin samples, I observe the price of cheese, and we sit at the breakfast bar to miss some of the wait. A happy hippie artist sits down next to me (Later, “Well, yeah, I have a name, that my parents gave me, but I just think names are so limiting so I don’t really use it.” I think, you’ll have to use it if you want to apply for that grant I just told you about for your sustainable housing project, Rainbow.

When he first sits down, though, he smiles big and says, “Is your bag over here so far so I can look in it?”

“Sure is,” I say and push it towards him on the counter.

“It’s open, that must mean you’re a very open person.” But he bails out before actually poking around. I wouldn’t have minded, but the gesture was really to see how big his balls were. I poke through his sketchbook, he’s pretty good with pen and ink in an anime/Banksy way, but my slouchy just-big-enough bag remains inviolate.

And for you, Gentle Reader – a list.

ipod (red), earbuds, itrip, charging cord
Dark chocolate raspberry lemon biscotti bar, ¼ eaten by Power Girl and I on the way to see Folk Rocker in Midwestern City
Purse pack of Kleenex
Smart phone, which has to go into the case the same way every time or it turns itself on and then it’s dead when I need it.
Camera (digital) in case, camera a present to me from me, case a present from Husband
Brown kraft notebook with red spine, for ideas relating to a specific project
Blue and green spiral notebook for writing ideas
Pink Japanese notebook that I’m trying out to see if it’s the right size to carry around in Europe next month (it’s not, sadly)
Card from Be-My-Real-Friend, with notes for a contract on the envelope
Pen from a city I visited in Austria
Utility pen
2 passports
Receipt for the Mac
Contract to be faxed when I get to it
Corner of a condom wrapper that fell into my purse during a visit with Big City Lover and can’t be thrown away at home
Black Swiss Army pouch with chapstick, ibprofen, gum, enough hair ties to do pigtails, flash drive, token from Sex Addicts Anonymous (one day), lipstick in a color called Stained that I shoplifted from a not-as-good-as-Sephora cosmetics place in Atlanta, pin of Southern City’s crest and accompanying card thanking me for service to said city, vitamins, 2-inch origami paper and set of small folded sheets of paper for a conversation game called Oracle that I made up.
Wallet (black leather outside, hot pink silk inside, lately I’ve started liking pink which is a first, don’t worry, I’ll never buy underwear in pink) with ID, bank cards for two countries, debit card, ancient student ID (still works at the movies!), AAA card, Barnes and Noble gift card from Power Girl, business cards, frequent bagel, coffee, taco and smoothie cards and $268 in bills only.

What does your hippie-spider-sense tell you?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Zurich (again)

(there would be photos, except that there is mac.)

I take a plane to Midwestern City, a place of ice and ugliness, where I am going to see Zurich. Lately he has been unusually unguarded. I find myself hoping, hoping that we will connect, that he will say he likes me, that I will feel worthwhile. He is handsome, and when he wishes to be, charming. He looks like Michael Keaton. I want to curl into his arms, I want him curled into mine, I want to touch his skin, and see him breathe more slowly. I want, I want, I want most of all to be what he wants.

He is finishing some work when I arrive, surrounded by people who adore him, are impressed by him. I watch him work, watch him reassure, lead, goad, coax. I am silly, I am proud to leave with him, leaving the girl who wants to walk with him behind. The cold makes us both gasp, his car follows mine, we run to the door of the hotel.

“You know, you could have parked farther.” He’s deadpan as always.

“I didn’t think you could run it.” Two can play bitter and acerbic.

We walk in, Hotwire has graced me with a four-star glass tower, the last time I was here was with Ex-Lover, not the best surprise but at least I know my way.

“This is way nicer than anywhere I would have taken you.” He’s right, but in fairness, the last two beds we shared were booked by his clients. Elevators whoosh us softly to the twelfth floor. Going down the hall, he texts his wife.

“How are things going?” I ask.

“We’re allowing each other space. Mostly by not talking to each other.”

The room is well-lit and warm. He starts the shower while I call Husband, check in, share the day. I get in the shower and Zurich’s touch surprises me, I am always slightly astonished when he reaches out, volunteers anything. His hands soap my back, the curve of my neck, my ass. He kisses me, the water on my back, his tongue in my mouth. His skin is soft, his hands callused, I love his hands.

We go to bed, good sheets, good mattress, Zurich flips channels, “Should we fuck to Home Shopping or Crossfire?” then turns it off. We kiss for a long time, his mouth gentle on my face, my ears, the side of my neck. He moves down my body, licks my nipples, takes them in his mouth, pinches with his fingers don’t worry it can never be hard enough runs his hands along the sides of my body, kisses the inside of my thighs where they meet my body, moves his mouth over my pussy, his tongue wide and soft. He’s good, he’s always good, but it’s so hard to come this way without feeling I’m asking for too much, taking too long. I pull his head up, he kisses up my body, I sometimes wonder if men do this to take away the taste, but I like tasting me on you. I roll him over and take his cock in my mouth, so sweet and hard. Suck him, lick him up and down until he laughs, “Sex, please!” Roll on the condom (always a little sad, but he has more to fear from me than I do from him) and slide on, his cock rising into me, filling me, hurting just a little as it connects with my cervix. I come almost immediately, the velvet of his skin against my breasts, my thighs, my belly as I lean in. Shaking, crying a little, release is still immense in my heart, in my head, almost more so than my body. He sits up, gathers me into his lap, I fold my legs around his back and we rock eye to eye, pelvis to pelvis, his favorite position. Roll over for mish, he tucks my legs over his shoulders, thrusts into me, I can’t remember how he came, what it was like, the look on his face, just that I was still trying not to cry, to make a scene.

He gets up to toss the condom, comes back and lunges for his underwear, he can’t stand to be naked in front of anyone else. I tear them away from his hands, “No! I like you naked!” He dives for them, we wrestle, I pull away and hide them in the bathroom. In the night, he finds them when he gets up to pee, puts them on, holds me in his arms.

I mumble in my sleep, “wake me before 7 and I’ll kick your ass.”

He waits until 7:15.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ah, the Mac

Still behind. Still trying to catch up. Not helped by the computer change-over. Thank you all for the wise advice. I have to say, the shopping experience was less than thrilling - I got a lot of "Mac is so great/easy/fantastic/drink this Kool-Aid!" and not a lot of what I needed to know to need to run this sucker.

I feel a bit lied to, because the thing I perceive Apple touting all over their ads (and the thing I hear from my Mac-cult friends) is "It comes with everything you need! No more pesky shopping for software! No more uploading!" comes with a lot of bright shiny toys. And if I want to build a website for my cat, or start a band in my garage, I'm set. But as far as the programs I actually need to use to do my business on a daily basis - word-processing that can pick up all my documents from Word, spreadsheets and so on...those have to be bought separately. Just like PC. And let's not get started on the 600 emails I need to rescue from Outlook Express...

At least I've managed to open up my documents, so I'm hoping to get you back to your regularly scheduled blog sometime tonight.

(If right click isn't important, why is there anything at all that can be right-clicked to? If right click is dumb, make another way to do everything! If you need right click, support it with a button! Auuughh!)

The only thing keeping me from chucking it out the window is that I may yet return it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bursting forth, ready to...oh.

Late last night, I began tentatively emerging from the coccoon of
writer's block, tapping away at any and all of the past three weeks'
adventures in no special order, letting my brain happily pursue dead
ends and false trails, just pleased to be making words again.

This morning, my laptop became a paperweight.

Gentle Readers, Mac vs PC?

(I must say, the lovely feeling of not panicking, of saying, oh, it'll
be alright, this is a problem money can fix, has been worth any number
of hours flat on my back. Vive la whoring!)

Saturday, February 9, 2008


So I have another pseudo-deep whiny-whiny post already written, and it will eventually see the light of day.

But not yet.

I am lounging in the syrup of once again being with someone where I replay what happened in my head in the car, the next day, as I fall asleep, it distracts me from eating, I pause with food on my fork and get temporarily lost in the warm glow of memory all the more precious for being fleeting, tenuous, likely to be recaptured eventually from mutual desire, but unlikely from circumstance.

Notes were taken, porn will be written - but I beg your indulgence for a few hours, while this swirl of sensations and skin-tingling memory settles into transcription. You'll excuse me if I am disinclined to reach that point...

Friday, February 8, 2008


...if I stay until 6, the breakfast buffet will be up when I get back...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

OK, ok...

...but I absolutely *have* to get back to my own hotel by 3AM.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mandy's Mailbag

I write:


Because your sig says "newbie", I'm answering a message I normally would delete without reading. I'm going to be a little harsh here because I think you will have a better time on this [hobbyist]board if you put slightly more thought into your communications.

I'm not interested in making friends with anyone who can't write a complete sentence. It pretty much specifically says that in the bottom of my profile/sig line. I don't know what kind of experience you are hoping to have, but do you really want to meet a lady who is so un-choosy that she is willing to meet up with a gentleman whose first message reads in its entirety:

“[city name]?"

Do you really want to share your gift, your time and your person with someone willing to just dive right in there with so little information?

You don't have to write a novel. But you might find it worthwhile to start off with something more along the lines of "Hey, I saw your profile/post/you-at-a-meet-n-greet and would love to chat more/meet you. I'm in [city name], are you near me?"

Good luck, happy hunting, and a friendly smile and hug your way -


art by Nick Bantock

Whore Sex Vs. Not Whore Sex, Episode 4

Painting by John Currin, who is doing amazing things with porn images painted with Old Master techniques.

(Episodes One, Two, Three)

Pre-dawn, I usually wake up right before the beep but today it yanks me out of sleep, the puzzled “why did I set the alarm?” feeling lasting for a few minutes. Out of bed, first thing move all my stuff to the hall, laptop, suitcase, extra bag, pillow, make all the noise at once so Husband can go back to sleep. Why am I doing this again? Oh yes, taking Husband to Europe, every day of whoring is another week abroad.

Space heater on in the bathroom so I won’t freeze after the shower, contacts in, teeth brushed and flossed. Home dermabrasion with my hair in a band. It’s a trade-off – better skin, more pimples (say breakouts, Mandy, it sounds less disgusting, do you want them to think you’re gross?) from taking off the layers.

Into the hot water, shave all the bits, grit in my mouth from the dermabrasion, how the hell does it get there? Towel dry, blow dry, hate hate hate my hair, I just got it cut and it won’t do a damn thing. Makeup, I never used to wear makeup, my best eyeshadow is starting to crumble and only half-used. Undies, cute enough to be seen in, comfortable enough to travel in, bra bought with Be My Real Friend’s money so he can see it, leggings, top, hot pink mini that’s on the safe side of funky/trashy. The hair still sucks, no product can save it, the straightening iron helps but not a lot. Keep it down, men like it loose no matter how awful it is. Last kisses goodbye, pat all the cats, and into the morning, thank God it didn’t snow enough to have to dig out the car.

The sun rises. Breakfast burrito. Mocha with only half the coffee. Two hours of more-boring-than-usual NPR, a chat with Secret Scientist, a chat with Lover (still my safety friend), through security and onto the plane.

Know what sucks about whoring? The hours.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Whore Sex Vs. Not Whore Sex, Episode 3

Be My Real Friend calls, or I call him, I don’t remember, it was a month ago, we talk about the election, about the weather, about his sons, about sports. He has an idea – we’ll meet in another city, get some sun, avoid the pressures of time and being recognized – even in a city as big as his, he was asked the morning after our first meeting, “Who was that redhaired woman you were walking with last night?” I call him to set dates, I get the voice mail.

He emails:
I'm sorry I missed your call yesterday because I wanted to talk to you about my latest thoughts regarding our rendezvous. I know it won't happen soon enough for me, but I'm very excited by the prospect. I think it takes our relationship to another level; one I hope you're looking forward to as much as I am.

I think, I should charge him more, overnight is more time than evening and morning, and then I think, greedy bitch, let it go. This man is nice, this man is good to you. He calls me back, says he’ll get the hotel, he wants to take me shopping. This is a little message from God – calm down, you will be taken care of, the net will be okay. Trust. Even this “another level” shit, let’s see what he really means and if it’s as scary-real-relationship as it sounds before you freak.

We decide on Southeastern City. It’s the city where I found out about Lover and Cute Girl. I have to go back through contracts, daysheets, find out what hotel we were in, warn Be My Real Friend not to book it, Motel 6, Super 8, Crack Whore Arms, anywhere else. I price plane tickets, rental cars, think of things to do. He visits Asia. I spend time in the Southeast, hang out with Power Girl, reconnect with Husband. I tell Be My Real Friend about what I’m going through.

He emails:
I know it's odd that I would get cold feet while I'm half a world away, but that's what's happened. I can't believe I'm writing this, but I think it's best we call things off. I did a lot of thinking on the flight, and something you said and wrote has me thinking that I need to focus my energies on my wife. Although I've really enjoyed our adventure, I realize that it can't compensate for everything, and I need to figure out what I want/need in my life. I hope you understand.

It catches me, unexpectedly, in the gut. But I write:

I understand and it's totally OK. I'll be disappointed not to see you, but we're still friends, I hope, and feel free to call when you get back - love to talk to you and know more about what you're going through and thinking about! (And if you need to not talk to me as part of this process, that's OK, too - just let me know) Have a safe and wonderful journey.

He answers:
Thanks for being understanding…The main thing I got from our last conversation, is that cheaters like us need to be honest, with ourselves if no one else, about what we're doing. In your case there's more room to be open with your husband, but I felt that we're both is similar situations. Cheating comes from being selfish enough to put our own sexual needs ahead of our respective marriages. Like you, at one level I'm ok with that. After all, it's not like we're withholding ourselves from meeting our spouses' needs in that department. If it's selfish to want our (greater) needs met as well, then so be it.

The downside comes from letting that turn into something through which we would also fail to meet other, broader, needs that contribute to having a successful marriage (aside from the cheating)…My concern is that I not lose what I have in order to get what I want. I hope it's possible because when you told me what you wanted in a lover, I knew that it was also what I want. Fucking you has been one of the true joys I've experienced this past year, and I ache to be the man next to you who wants to wake you with his cock sliding into you…

I haven't actually canceled my reservations yet. If you're interested in talking about whether we can be cheaters together, maybe we can still talk through this process.

I tell him yes, I’m interested in talking.

I’m not completely sure what I’m signing up for.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


I whip into the drug store with my mother, who needs milk, and my intern, who needs hair gel. What I need is condoms. Magnum XL, thank you very much. And I *know*...I just *know* that this will be the only convenient time and place between now and when I need to actually have the condoms in my little hand ready to go.

So as Mum debates 1% vs 2%, I nip down the aisle towards family planning, located right by the pharmacy so they can watch for shoplifters and embarrassment, grab the black and gold box, dart towards the cash.

The shelving in the aisles is all just about eye level. And I can't resist.

I catch my intern's eye in the next aisle, hold the box of condoms to my head like a fin, and hum the theme from Jaws all the way to the cash register, the box seeming to float above the shelves, something big and hopefully-not-grey on the way...

I do in fact manage to get them rung up, bagged and into my purse before Mum comes up behind me. But only just.

* * *

CD's just went into the mail box yesterday. Sorry about the delay, so I tried to make them extra special. Holler if it doesn't show up in a week or so!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sugasm #115

Aradia Ardor courtesy of My Fetish Diary.

The best of this week’s blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #116? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form.

This Week’s Picks

Debauched nothings
“You promised me you’d give me your cock.”

Sex Trophies
“Inside the drawer are two pair of panties.”

Who gets to talk about sex?
“I was thinking the other day about who gets to talk about sex and sexuality.”

Mr. Sugasm Himself

Editor’s Choice
The houseboy’s rebellion

More Sugasm
Join the Sugasm

See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

Erotic Writing and Experiences
About Chantal, now…
CyberGirl goes beyond amazing
Lady Chatterley’s Ruf
My New York Indiscretion
Off on the right foot
Table Top
Tonia (Part 2)
The Train
Walking Home In Her Panties

Sex Humor
A joke

Thoughts on Sex and Relationships
Bragging rights and the name game
Circumcise Me
An Eco-Sexy New Year
I mean this in a caring way
A Time For Sex Ed Innocence
An unexpected sexy anniversary
The Way I Like It

Sex Work
Keeping It In The Family II
What Do You Look Like, Rose?

NSFW Pics & Videos
Aradia Ardor
The Cam Lover is lonely and needs rough sex with a new doll
Crystal Klein super hottie
Kyla Cole
Missy Nicole - I’m Bored

Sex News, Reviews & Interviews
Adult Entertainment Expo 2008
Dana DeArmond Submits To The Training Of O (Bondage, Forced Orgasms)
Fetish Fair Fleamarket recap
Harmony HotMovies Interview
Jamye Waxman Wants You to Find Your O Face

BDSM & Fetish
Flavours of Pain
Half-Nekkid Toe Licker
The houseboy’s rebellion
LA Story: the night I learned to f-u-c-k
Padme amidala: My history of blowjobs
Sexy porn turns into a sexy mental fantasy
Spanked Her Off to Work. - The Husband
Trick or Treat
(The Worst?) Profile of the week