Addiction, Awkward Moments, Bad Influences, Boys, Confessions, Girls, Open relationships, Sex, Writing, yoga

How Open Is Too Open?

images-75I never know how I will feel about things until they actually happen.

While I’m no longer chasing an open relationship (as in sex parties, multiple partners, monthly STD tests) I still need an open relationship (as in communication, trust, those other pervy emotional things I’ve only ever heard rumors about), and it feels kinky and dangerous, telling Connecticut everything. Especially this week, when everything includes the stimulating fact that I made out with an epically hot girl from yoga in the bathroom of a Cuban restaurant.

Openness. It’s a theme this week. A few days ago, I found out something about Sketch. I can’t write it here, because it’s a secret. A sad sex secret. His friend told me because he thought I knew already, and then I had to pretend to be cool while we finished dinner with my heart kicking at my ribcage. Nearly fifteen years I’ve been walking around not knowing this grubby piece of information, and when I found out, it felt like when you think there’s one more step at the top of staircase, but there’s not, and for a half-second you feel like you’re plummeting to your death. Sketch’s friend, realizing I didn’t know: Oh. Fuck. Don’t tell him that I told you. I wouldn’t want him to think that I was a tattletale. I fucking hate when someone has a sordid secret and they tell you and now it’s your sordid secret. And I can’t even follow up the way I want to, which at some elemental level would basically consist of me pointing my index finger at Sketch while making disbelief noises.

Clearly, it’s not something Sketch is advertising, so the compassionate thing is to let it go. But I need to tell someone, and so I tell Connecticut, and even though we are talking about my ex, he is able to listen and suggest a kinder perspective than the one I was initially able to take.

This is one reason why I am in love with him. I love you, I say right into the phone, right where he can hear me. Holy shit, I love you, waking up next to him in the middle of the night and realizing that he’s there with me. Texting: I loooooove yooooouuuuuu, because I think it’s funny that I get to say it all I want, after wanting to say it so badly all these weeks.

A relationship of openness. It’s amazing.  Because there are some things going on, and I need to talk about them.

 

images-76And now for a dirty confession: I have a weakness for small, beautiful women.  Back when I lived in New Orleans, I lived in a rented room over a bar, and I would sometimes go downstairs and look for the tiniest woman in the bar. If she didn’t protest too much, I would carry her upstairs where I could kiss her and squeeze her ass a lot in private. Women this small and beautiful and willing don’t wander into grabbing range that often, especially now that I don’t hang out in bars and strip clubs anymore, so I usually am just nursing one crush or another at my yoga studio. I’ve written about it before as being a pastime akin to a dog chasing rabbits in the backyard—it doesn’t expect to catch one. The playful chase is the point.

Well, one got close enough for me to grab this week. Beautiful, tiny, all taut stomach and dewy skin, the kind of shapely legs you want to get your knee between. Gorgeous.   The kind of girl you know will taste good.   And looking for something.   Looking for an experience.

Now, I have to tell you: this never happens. NEVER. N-E-V-E-R happens. But this one time, the thing that never happens actually happens and after a few drinks, there is an invitation to go lock the door of the single-occupant bathroom at the back of the restaurant and make out for a few delicious minutes next to the hand-dryer. Grabbing tight handfuls of this girl, grinding myself against her, touching her body not only on my behalf but on behalf of former Tippy, who I am mentally elbowing. Check it out, I say to my former self. Get a load of this.

She is tight and sexy and tastes wonderfully like girl, but when I head home, texting Connecticut goodnight, I feel a strange emotion that is not my usual acquisitive glee. It feels like guilt.   What the shit? It was just a kiss, and with a girl. To not kiss a girl this unbelievably hot would be like this would be like leaving money on the table. Wasteful. Right?

But the next day, the feeling is still there. I think I might feel better if I could just show everybody a picture of this girl in full-split on Instagram.  I mean, Connecticut and I are officially an item now, but come on. This girl is sex in yoga pants, and I am a sex addict, for fuck’s sake. Who could possibly blame me for wanting to push her up against a wall and touch her body?

So that happened is an expression I sort of hate. It makes it sound as if the events we set in motion are like weather patterns, ungovernable and unpredictable.   When I think about what I want to say to Connecticut about what happened with this girl in the bathroom, I write it just happened, and then cross it out three times.

What did you want to tell me? he asks the next night. He and I are on the phone and it’s late and I’m sitting on the floor. I read him my prepared statement, trying to sound like I’m not reading a prepared statement. I just wanted to let you know what happened, and hear about how you feel, I conclude, increasingly uneasy at the mounting silence on the other end of the line. Men are into this kind of shit, aren’t they?   Don’t they always want the details? I mean, it was a girl, not some dude. Not my ex.

Sexist goddamned double-standards, and I know it, too.

I’m not OK with that, he says quietly. And I know that I have fucked up. And it’s weird, because all I usually care about, ever, is whether or not I am in trouble, whether or not somebody is mad at me. And there’s a lot of that now, but mostly what I feel is horror when I realize that I have hurt him.

And I say all the things: I’m sorry, it won’t happen again, I didn’t know, we hadn’t gotten clear on what our rules were, I suck, I’m sorry.   And still he is hurt.

So basically this week, I told him I loved him for the first time, called him my boyfriend, and immediately went out and cheated on him. I am literal human garbage.

So yeah. That happened. Now I’m waiting to see if we’re going to be OK, and when I wake up this morning at 4:30 because some alarm is going off down the street, I pull the pillows over my head like I want to bury myself.

Giving up, I get out of bed and make my way to the kitchen with a drag-footed gallows walk. And there is a text waiting for me on my phone from Connecticut, from the night before. I’m about to go to sleep and these are things you might need to read in the morning. Breathe. You’re okay, I’m okay. We’re okay and going to be great. I love you.

My goal now is to figure out how to actually deserve this man. You’re okay, I tell myself. You’ll make better mistakes tomorrow. I try to believe it. There is air in the open space between us, and I breathe it, nervously.

 

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Addicted to attention, Breakups, dating, Sex, Sex Addiction, Writing, yoga

Is There Sex After The Friend-Zone?

FullSizeRender-15Connecticut confesses this week that he snuck a look at my blog, driven by a bolt of perverse curiosity, and then he tells me that I’ve gotten him wrong, all wrong.  “Come over here and tell me that,” I challenge.

So he comes over and he sits at one end of my hard little couch, his arms folded over his chest, looking like a bouncer for a nightclub which is in his pants. I’m at the other end in a black minidress, whorish in variety, intended for the bachelorette party I’m supposed to be at in an hour, and I lay back and let my icy feet seek him out for warmth, my palms chilly and damp because social anxiety always goes straight to my extremities. It’s the waiting that always kills me. The waiting and the talking. He tells me that it’s hard for him to make the move, and there are air quotes. “The move.” My heart breaks a little for this boy; I am eight years older than he is and sometimes it feels more like fifteen or twenty. “You can touch me,” I tell him. “You’re allowed to touch me.” He puts his hand on my leg, and then he kisses me uncertainly. His mouth tastes good.

Up until this point, I wasn’t entirely sure I even wanted him to kiss me anymore.   Something about being made to wait: I’ve been known to abandon baskets of carefully selected comestibles at Trader Joe in the long and snaking line, because after a while I just get offended and fucking leave.     And it’s been three months of telling anyone that would listen that Connecticut and I are friends, just friends, friends only, and that I like it better that way. But now he touches me, and the elevator doors of my soul ding open and a wall of oxytocin pours out.

His skin, when he takes his shirt off, is softer than mine, and he makes deeply appreciative noises when I pull my dress off (a dress I will have to put back on, slightly damp, in 30 minutes for the bachelorette party—I set a timer, and make it clear this is not enough time for sex, we’re just scouting things out). He’s been so fucking poker-faced for the last three months that I’m frankly a little astonished by how emotive he is once his pants come off.

Validation. I sigh, an addict with a fresh bundle behind a locked door. He even compliments my choice of underwear: black and strappy. No one ever notices your underwear; it’s usually a wasted effort. He touches me. I had forgotten to turn my all-girl Pandora station off before he got here, and I’m a little embarrassed by the Fiona Apple kicking out the speakers, but otherwise, I’m in a happy place.

A half hour later, the timer chimes and I have to try to reassemble myself for the bachelorette party. Still reeling from what literally just happened, I will squeeze into a carful of beautiful girls in tiny dresses; I will be given a penis straw and a penis lollipop and we will go to a drag show where my friends will be given penis balloon-animals which they will wear like hats. It’s a fever dream of revolving dicks, all to celebrate the fact that my good friend is transitioning to an astonishing phase of committedness called Lifelong Monogamy. And I am in the back seat, behind her novelty wedding veil, thinking about this new person I will be fucking. I text a friend of mine, Connecticut came over and he went down on me because I have to tell someone this or I am going to die. After I hit send, I realize that I sent it to the wrong person, some hapless acquaintance who now knows too much about how my Saturday is going.

Too many people, and it starts to all get confusing. I’m crashing at Sketch’s apartment tomorrow, helping him practice running through the basic series for his yoga-teacher training. He’ll be adjusting me, telling me what to do in that voice that broaches no argument, and afterwards he will come and lay on top of me in sevasna and fuck the ohm out of me. And I love him, I will love him until my ears ring, but I still want Connecticut, too.

Is it OK to want them both? I don’t know. A drag venue full of bachelorettes makes it seem that love is supposed to be one person finding one other person and then unconditionally being into each other and getting tax benefits forever. But mine doesn’t look like that.

I don’t know. I don’t know exactly how either man is supposed to take it either. Sketch and I talked about the okayness of sleeping with other people back in the fall, and we have just been sort of asking each other no questions since then. But I haven’t slept with anybody else. Partly because I’ve been working on other things, but also because I haven’t been sure that new dick wouldn’t feel like cheating.

I’m still not sure it won’t feel like cheating.   And Sketch has told me he doesn’t want a bunch of details, but I feel like the headline is pretty important: Sex Addict Fondles Nervous Man.  As for sweetly awkward Connecticut, whose junk has not been touched by another human in a motherfucking YEAR, I’m asking him to run with an unconventional relationship model that’s not going to make sense to a lot of people.

I want them both, but there is a skeptic in the back of my head telling me that people in hell want ice water, and little girls in city apartments want ponies, and no one ever gets what they want.

But I can try, right?

I know polyamorous people who seem like they were born without jealousy, but that is not Sketch and I either.  We are wholly untested; this whole open-relationship thing has been completely theoretical until now.  How will I feel, hearing about his extracurricular activities with the yogi girls that surround him, bendy and willing?  It’s just hard to break out of the monogamy shape when that is the pose you have held for so long.

In my handbag, there’s a blue raspberry ring pop from the bachelorette party, a corn-syrup totem of marriage. My rabbit has dug it own and dragged it under the bed, and is trying to tear open the wrapper with her teeth. The crunching, chewing sounds under the bed are appropriately monstery, but the real monsters are up here, not in between my legs but in between my ears, in the place where I know what I want but am scared shitless to just ask for it. But at least I know what I want. That’s a start.

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dating, Health, Men, New York, Secret Crushes, Sex, Writing, yoga

For Play

images-67When I am embarrassed, I take my phone out and stare into it, the way a cat licks its own asshole after it falls off a table. I have my phone out; now I can no longer see you or feel required to deal with you in any way.

And I’ve been feeling embarrassed a lot this week. I recently sent Connecticut a link to one of my posts about him, over the cries and lamentations of my own diminished sense of social occasion. I do it because I need to get some of this whole thing out in the open, this thing where it seems like there’s something going on between us only there isn’t really.  He then goes off to band rehearsal, leaving me trying not to check my phone every eleven seconds, and failing.

He will ultimately thank me for sharing, along with some other boner-killing texts such as the one proclaiming that the way he sees it, we’re platonically dating. Sweeping relief, just in giving this thing we are doing a name, even if it is a name of something terrible, because dating means introducing parts of our bodies to one another while also exchanging stories about what our childhoods were like or arguing about which cookie is the best.  Platonically dating: it sounds like something young Amish people would do. This is not their fault; they have so many buttons and so little Internet porn. But I’m not sure it sounds like me.

I am a sex addict, and after a few weeks without sex, I get shaky and start looking at men on the street the way someone who is drowning will look at flotation devices bobbing just out of reach. A couple of months without sex and my senses heighten, the borderline superpowers of the experimentally deprived. I am not a person whom one platonically dates.  I kiss people the way a baby puts things in its mouth—to learn things, to know them, to understand where I am in relation to them, where they end and I begin.

But at least now I know exactly where things are at; I’ve found if you tell someone the truth, they will likely return the favor. Even if you tell the truth by blogging at them, and you can tell they read it between their fingers because you scare them.

There is such a thing as too much talking. I once dated a man who would ask me, “Do you want foreplay?”   Ugh. Not anymore I don’t. Also, no one should use ever the word foreplay, which conjures up images of men with their dress socks pulled up halfway to a solid Republican boner, a copy of The Sensual Man on the nightstand.  Gross.

Sketch never asks me questions about what I want. He just does things to me. The first time he put his hands on me he said, I’m going to kiss you now.   He doesn’t ever ask me any questions. He already knows what I want.

 

imgres-23I get sick this week; the flu is very on-trend in New York right now, some virus that makes you burn at 101 and cough until you gag on your own lungs.   I, ever disciplined, attempt business as usual: driving lesson, a yoga class, making dinner plans I’m not terribly interested in keeping, until I am finally forced to concede that I am actually on fire and take a day off from work.

Being stuck in bed means one thing: I will watch porn until the Internet is disgusted with me.   It seems that anyone I spend enough time with I end up wanting to fuck, including, apparently, my own feverish self.   But it does start to wear a little thin after a while; it starts to remind me of coming down off cocaine, watching the same filthy VHS tape over and over again, trying to pry an orgasm out of the dwindling dopamine supply in my increasingly miserable brain. I think that VHS tape is still kicking around my apartment somewhere, maybe behind the box of Christmas ornaments. It’s like Jacob Marley’s ghost, only in tranny-porn form, reproachfully moaning.

Masturbation is a lonely pastime, but it’s being sick that makes me most vulnerable to wanting the kind of things other people have, like a car to drive to the doctor, or a husband who will go pick up the cough syrup and gingerale. I could take my bike to Urgent Care, but I’m pretty sure I can’t make it back home up the hill with my lungs intact, so I just google fever cough possibly dying before giving up, deciding to just spend the next 36 hours in bed.

Sketch Facetimes in twice, and I almost don’t pick up; I’ve got no makeup on and my hair is sticky.   But I do, and he is sick too, naturally, as I was just over there the other day licking things and leaving germs everywhere. We lay in bed, and we are together and separate at the same time, laughing at what our flushed faces look like, zooming in close to the screen before pulling away slowly, turning our devices around to show one another what’s going on in the background. He has no girls over there, unless they’re hidden out of frame. It’s just us, shimmering with fever, locating one another on our screens and marking each other for the next time.

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Addiction, Attention Seeking, Blogging, dating, Friendship, Writer's Block, Writing, yoga

No Off-Switch

imgres-22Scenes from this week are like a montage in a movie where an overgrown teenager finally begins to take adult control of her life. Driving lessons! Looking at apartments for sale! Organizing things into manila folders! Demi Lovato’s “Confident” is playing in the background of every store I walk into (I read messages into the pop songs that follow me around, the way other people read tea leaves; incidentally, if you hear “Uptown Funk” three times in a row, know it is a harbinger of satanic forces in your immediate vicinity, and get the fuck out of the Yogurberry).    Also, a thing that happened this week: the blog was featured on the Discover section of WordPress. This momentarily opened up the pipeline of attention I have so long and ardently desired that I needed to take an Advil and lay down. Apparently, wanting things is easier, in many ways, then getting them; I’m constantly trying to get people to look at me, but apparently I have no idea what I want to tell them once I get their attention. Cue panic.

My last post got two likes, so I’m kind of used to being a blog nobody who can comfortably and anonymously spout whatever she likes about her vagina, and now, for a moment anyway, it seems that the mic is on.   Fuck! It’s a lot for this attention addict.   I think about this guy I knew, years ago, who had a pretty hardcore crack problem; he found the transformer where the local dealers were stashing their curbside package for easier street distribution, utterly by accident, when he was cracking open pieces of city infrastructure to try to salvage the innards for copper scrap. He looked at all the shiny narcotics, neatly packaged for individual sale, and he thought I’m probably going to die. No off-switch. I relate, brother.

Balancing the equation, the thing I hate most is when someone ignores me. There are other things I hate, like when I see people dragging their dogs away from things they want to smell or when someone plays the bagpipes on the subway, but ignoring me is the number one way to make me lose my mind.

I’m not sure if Connecticut is ignoring me this afternoon or if he’s trapped in an abandoned mineshaft or if he forgot that we are supposed to be going to see Deadpool in an hour, but there is no word, and my texts are sounding increasingly strained, all prefaced with things like Don’t mean to sound paranoid here…   I’m a perfectly rational person until you blow off my texts or defriend me on the Facebook, and then: crazy time.

It’s my own fucking fault too, because I have a HUGE goddamned mouth. I could never secretly be a superhero; I’m way too attention-starved. I’d be all cryptically namedropping my Justice League pals or letting my utility belt just peep out from under my sweater or finding situations at work that accidentally show people how superstrong I am.

So I couldn’t resist telling Connecticut about the blog and the whole Discover thing and the brief spate of online attention and why I have my phone, merrily vibrating with notifications, out on the table where everyone can see it (I completely suck as a human being and am hoping modesty, and quiet dignity, and bigger boobs, are in the karmic roll-of-the-dice for the next go round).   And I send him a link, even though the last couple of months of this blog are chockfull of references to my infatuation with him.

Anyway, I send him a link and a Bluebeardy warning to ONLY look at the one entry and not to poke around at the others.   Which is basically like telling someone where you keep your diary, and what page your thoughts about them are featured on, and that there is free candy inside. And I haven’t heard from him since.

We’re friends, though, seriously.   I like Connecticut, even though we are completely different kinds of animals.   This is, after all, a man who is on a self-imposed hiatus from sex and relationships: a year of voluntary celibacy, as he puts it, which sounds to me more like a judge’s sentence then a life experiment. Us being friends is like one of those old unlikely-buddy movies. I’m thinking the one where they make Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger put on matching white suits.

And now I have probably screwed that up because I have an almost comical ability to be discreet about anything, ever.   This is why Sketch won’t tell me about anything anymore: you’re just going to put it in your blog.  Sketch is nowhere to be found, either. He’s just started yoga teacher training, coincidentally with that hot instructor who looks like him that I was stalking a couple of years ago. So he’s busy, and I am imagining that he has girls all over him, “adjusting” him with their hands and sucker-like yogi vaginas. Girls always like Sketch, and girls also love male yoga teachers, so I glumly fear I have seen the last of him.

I’m home, alone, and my phone is still going. It buzzes and it lights up. Attention. But not from Sketch and not from Connecticut, and I am on the Discover tab and I am still kind of totally alone.  But I’m discovering things on my own, such as the fact that I am not naturally such a terrible driver, and that I can learn to be better. Outside, from the stereo of a passing car, Bruno Mars promises to uptown funk me up. It harbingers a text from Connecticut, who was napping, and who wants to know if I am OK.

 

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Addiction, Art, Blogging, dating, essays, Movies, Photography, Sex, Writing, yoga

Inanimate Objects

restraintwithpenSo this weekend Sketch draws me for the first time.   Never in one spot long enough for him to block me in on paper, my attention caught on all the things outside the margins, I finally remember this remarkable party-trick I’m calling sitting still and doing nothing. That’s when he takes out the pencil. Sketch is half hidden behind a battered easel, dressed in his day uniform of black workpants and combat boots, wearing a hat to cut the glare. I am wearing nothing, perched on the edge of a stool with one foot tucked up on a rung and one leg stretched out of the carpet, sucking in my stomach, wondering if the cast shadows from the studio light make me look older.

I’ve seen him draw a thousand times, but never from this angle, where I’m the thing he is looking at. He measures, one eye squeezed shut. Looks down, marks something out in vine charcoal. He looks up again, squinting to catch the values in the stack of shapes that is my body, and then back to the paper. My body is faxed one shape at a time across the room. And I’m watching him back. It’s a weird, center-of-attention experience that is both concentrated and utterly abstracted, and when Sketch makes appreciative noises, I’m not sure if he is approving of  the lighting, or me, or the drawing, or something else entirely. In the studio his dying cat cries, wanting something but not knowing what. It’s hiding, a noisy lump under a blanket.

Things between Sketch and I have been particularly good since the blizzard locked us up together for a weekend, and all of New York finally caught up on its sleep. Now I’m back IMG_3109in that place where I feel restless until I see him, missing him, texting him random pictures of blobfish or the songs that get stuck in my head in the middle of the day, but when I do finally see him, I think about heading home. I want to get out of here before I fuck things up again. The whole thing feels like an open window, a banana peel, an accident waiting to happen.

It scares the shit out of me, and looking for a distraction I make plans on Sunday to go see that horror film The Boy with some friends. I invite Connecticut along, still trying to determine if I am capable of having a friend who is straight and male and single. He’s chubbily adorable, and I try to shake off wondering what it would feel like to make out with him against the side of a building, his hands down my pants.   I like you as a friend, boys used to say in grammar school when they wanted to blow you off. But I genuinely like Connecticut as a friend, one who is vivid enough that I can almost make him out through the thick murky dimness of my own self-centeredness. I sit next to him in the movie theater, and when scary things pop out, I lean appreciatively toward him, our shoulders touching. In the film, people are talking to a doll like it is real. I understand, because I am broken and other people can feel like dolls, animated by my interactions with them, lapsing into plastic once I walk away.   Some of my most successful relationships were the ones I had with my stuffed animals as a kid; actual human interactions are wildly confusing.

Connecticut is my friend, but I can’t stop trying to assess if he wants me or not. I can’t stop caring if he wants me or not.   I’m taking him to a hot yin class after the movie at my yoga studio, an opportunity to parade half naked in front of him to try to find out.   “So that’s why you’re wearing make-up to yoga,” my yogini friend Veronica says knowingly.  Connecticut gives nothing away as I strip down. Poker face.

Three mats over in the yoga studio, which is bedecked with budhhas and smells like a boxing ring, all feet and effort, I spot that girl who stopped wanting to be my friend last September. It’s the first time I’m seeing her since she broke off contact with me, ending our friendship with a vague text. I still don’t know why we’re not friends anymore.  Sometimes I wonder if she caught a whiff of lust off of me, but it really wasn’t like that; she was just my perfectly imperfect friend that I liked to meet for tacos. It’s the first time I’m seeing her since the breakup and I’m not sure what the protocol here is, but I can’t not say hello. I give her a hug and do that back-patting thing, which I never do; I find it weird and confusing. I’m hugging you but I’m hitting you.

Connecticut is of course friends with this girl because our social circles are weirdly cramped, considering we live in a borough with over two million other people in it. After yoga class, which is front-loaded with lengthy hip-openers that make me feel both like crying and like fucking everyone in sight, I wave goodbye to the two of them, enmeshed in conversation, and beat an undignified retreat, dropping things in my haste to get the fuck out of there.

There will be no making out against the side of a building today, and there will be no trying to explain Sketch to Connecticut, luckily; afterall, I can’t even explain it to myself. Sometimes it feels like some karmic consequence. Maybe I’m doomed to go on loving, wanting, fiending for this person, making the same mistakes and then: taillights. Maybe this is why Sketch has never drawn me before; we’re both too worried about getting it wrong.   That’s why pencils have erasers, is a thing that teachers say. I am always explaining to my students that we learn more from our mistakes, our failures, than we do from the easy and early successes. Not a lesson I have personally taken to heart, but it is still a thing I say. Around the right angles of his easel, Sketch looks at me, drawing, and I look back around my laptop, typing, and I wonder if we’ll get each other right eventually.

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Addiction, Attention Seeking, Blogging, Writer's Block, Writing, yoga

Side Dishes for the Socially Anxious

IMG_3033This post is the blog equivalent of a Starbucks gift card, purchased in a panic on Christmas Eve.   I just don’t know what to give you, and my self-imposed publishing schedule doesn’t give a fuck that absolutely nothing is going on. I feel like I’m writing on a chain-gang this week, and so here I am. Taking it off, boss.

I know I can’t be the first writer to consider making some bad decisions on purpose, just to have something to blog about. I get an email from that girl I like, who wants to know when we are going to get together for French fries.   Maybe I answer her a little too fast, because I don’t hear back after I list out some days to see her. Or maybe I didn’t hit send. I’m half-assed like that.

Also this very week: a highly stimulating man I know suggested a midwinter fuckation, and that, my friends, is a tempting offer.   Someplace hot enough to justify running around in age-inappropriate clothing. Surf. Sand. Lubricants.

Instead, I am here where it’s cold and the trains don’t run for shit, holed up in my apartment. I am trying to learn how to write a book proposal, using my twin powers of the Internet and bothering my friends.   I am invited to consider my platform (hello my 11 Twitter followers!) and asked to consider what I am promising my readers (soup! I will make soup for everyone who buys my book! Everyone likes soup!)

A book proposal. I feel like I have just shown up for an Iron Chef competition with a bottle of ketchup, a freshly honed spork, and a dead-earnest expression. Let’s fucking do this thing.

It’s mortifying, but I grimly finish all the modules of this online course, tamping down rising panic and self-loathing with handfuls of leftover Christmas candy. Sometimes I sit on the floor and just look at nothing for a while, chewing. I fill a notebook with careful summaries, bulleted lists, questions I want to ask (yes, junkie nerd to the bitter end). Then I leave the notebook on the floor, and my rabbit eats half the pages. Yes. My rabbit literally ate my homework.   This goes beyond my reach exceeding my grasp—we are in the territory of full-bore delusions, people.

Or maybe not. Who the fuck knows. I’ll just keep sporking away over here on the blog.   “You need to talk to more people,” suggests my friend and amazing writer-person, Jodi Sh Doff, who invites me to view social media a bit more socially (I shiver, side-eyed). “It’s like a cocktail party. If all you do is talk about yourself, people will drift away.”

And here it is, the uncomfortable awareness that no matter how much of myself I’m willing to bare for you, it’s still just my bloviating self going on about myself.

And I panic. Am I a boor??  Am I that person who wants to take you conversational hostage at a work function to tell you about the weird dream he had, and the symptoms of things he’s experiencing, followed by a slideshow of vacation photos on a greasy iPhone screen? Am I that person?

Fuck.

I can do this. Not a big deal at all, just go cruise around some blogs and leave some comments. Come on, Tippy. Go make friends.

And instantly I feel like I did when I was eight and my mom would send me over to go talk to some kids. Hi, I’m Tippy and I like things that have skin on the outside.   Do you also enjoy making mouth sounds? Like an alien, trying to pass herself off as human.

And so, hyperaware of the freaking hubris of this whole thing, I struggle to connect somewhere. I read blogs, leaving comments that I hope sound casual but I fear border on shrill. I go on Instagram, where I see this Kino MacGregor quote beside a photo of one of my favorite yoga instructors:   

“Get comfortable with who you are. Just be yourself. You don’t need to be the ‘best’ or prove your worth. You’re enough. You don’t need to be better than anyone else and you certainly don’t need to try to be anyone else. No matter how tempting it may be to compare and contrast yourself with others, life is not a competition.”

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Serena Tom, Instagram 

Posted along with this photo, by the gorgeous and bendy Serena Tom.   It seems like it’s mostly the people who don’t need to compete, because they are already physically flawless, talented, and wildly popular, who love to remind the rest of us that it’s not a competition.

But if it wasn’t a competition, there wouldn’t be so many numbers attached to it all. It wouldn’t be so easy, to go online and count the ways that I am sort of failing.

That’s kind of a grim ending for a post, but I probably won’t publish this anyways, not unless I get really desperate, and then I’ll make sure to include a picture of a hamster at the end or something, just to cheer it up a little.

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My exact expression when someone asks me who my audience is

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New York, Photography, Writing, yoga

Tippy Rex, Girl Detective

NOIR1_large-194x300I am a relationship detective. Picture me in my good underwear and a deerslayer cap, brandishing a magnifying glass, looking for clues and writing them down.  But that’s not the reason why I’m here. I came here because this is where the man I love lives and sleeps and works;  Sketch’s apartment is a familiar enough beat that I can negotiate my way around it barefoot in the dark without stepping on any cats or introducing my shinbones to the corners of furniture.

Last night, getting ready to go to bed with him for the first time in four months, he pulls out a bag of personal items I thought I would never see again– toothbrush, contact lens solution, hair dryer, clean underwear neatly folded– hidden like evidence in his studio since we parted company last June.  Some things are gone– conditioner, hairbrush– and I don’t ask what happened to them.   We are in the delicious now, with the gerbera daisies he buys me in a Ball jar, with the orgasm that still reverberates through my body like a bell after the clapper has stopped swinging.  We wake up at five in the morning, reach for each other again and after more sex of the kind that I need to live, lay in the dark talking about the news of the day until the light starts to filter through the blinds like smoke.

It can be a curiously empty feeling, finally getting what you want.  Want is the thing that gives my life purpose and direction; I wake up and I look at him, and the want is satisfied, but I still don’t know what I feel.   I question myself, held in custody under a blanket.  Am I angry?  If I were angry, my shoulders would be tighter, and I would not be pressing the keys so softly while I type in the dark.  If I were angry, I would not have gotten down on my hands and knees to feel around for any glass shards I left behind when a tiny bottle of perfume fell out of my hands and smashed on the tiles of his bathroom this morning.  If I were angry, I wouldn’t care who ended up with bloody feet.

Am I sad?   I wonder: who brought over that weird turmeric tea in the Sketch’s teaspoon-sized kitchen?  Whose Neti pot is that on top of the medicine cabinet?  I draw conclusions about the girl who was sleeping here while I was away based on these personal effects.  Someone who doesn’t eat wheat or sugar, who attends kripalu retreats and plays the gong.  Someone who has hiked the Inca trail not once but twice.   I wonder what happened to her.  Is there a plastic bag filled with her items, twisted and sealed off with one of her own hair ties, secreted in the back of a closet?  I don’t know, and I won’t go looking.

Maybe what I feel is afraid.  It’s too much.  I tumble into bed with Sketch with a click of recognition and rightness that feels like putting your own key in your own front door lock.  I climax so hard I cover my face with my hands, trying not to scream, shaking all over.  The man knows how to lay it down. If you have to ask why we keep getting back together, you’ve never had sex like this. Afterwards, he folds me into him, and he tells me he loves me. And it is terrifying, because why do I ever leave?

Maybe the turmeric tea and the Neti pot are Sketch’s.  Things around here are changing, like his body, whittled down from vegetarianism and yoga.  We claim a corner of a class at Yoga To the People, unfurling our mats side by side.  The teacher is a gorgeous Italian I met at my studio in Astoria.   The last time his voice lead me through the postures, I wouldn’t stop leering at him.  Sketch later tells me that he has never had particularly successful communications with this man, whose English it seems is limited to describing the ways you might bend your body if you wanted to bring yourself a little closer to bliss.   Now, during class, my eyes on Sketch and his anatomy as we turn in side-angle, the hot yoga teacher comes over to adjust us, his sexy fingers on our wrists.  “I am glad you two know each other,” he says, right into his headset for everyone to hear.

I don’t know what is going to happen next.  We just had that whole talk about an open relationship, so I guess that is on the table.  Perhaps more strange objects will appear around his apartment, and around mine.

images-55On Saturday, I had brunch with a beautiful writer girl and four hours vanished as deftly as if a pickpocket had come along and unburdened me of them.   She is young and fascinating and I want to suck out all her stories like some sort of narrative-vampire.  When she gets nervous, she taps her incisors with a finger, as if to check on the progress of a pair of fangs.   I take hold of her hand, sweat rolling down my ribcage. I used to be so suave; I don’t know what happened. Now I sweat and I accidentally stab with fingernails.   She is reading The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and she shares a passage with me about the laughter of angels and the laughter of devils, and how they laugh at different things, although the laughter sounds the same; I hold Milan Kundera personally responsible for at least two particularly irresponsible decisions I have made over the last twenty years.  Biking home, I am nearly killed four separate times.  I’m in such a daze I nearly pedal right under the wheels of a car.

Open relationship.  I am still trying to piece together what this means.  I want to sit Sketch down in some interrogation room, turn my chair around backwards so that the rungs are between us like bars, push a cup of coffee his way.  Invite him to just tell me everything.  You may as well, son.  We already have everything we need.  Snap my fingers and someone brings forth the Neti pot in a ziplock bag with the date written on it in sharpie.  Flashbulbs.  Tell me.  Did you love her?

I love him.  Are we open to loving other people?  I know he is like me, falling in love the way that you fall through trapdoors, the way you lean against a bookcase only to find yourself facing a long set of stairs.  Love is easy.   It’s the consistency of effort that is hard.  I love, and I run.   I love, but I also love to chase your back while you beat feet like a suspect, scaling chain link fences and narrowly missing cars, putting distance between us while I yell at you, unable to keep from laughing as I call out to you to stop.

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