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Tell Me

April 26th, 2015 by

Tell me you’re mine
While you fall asleep
Thoughts scattered,
Mind adrift
Whisper it, with a kiss
And my name

Tell me you’re mine
When passion throws you to the ground
Let it come out, unbridled and unbidden
Escaping your mouth,
A release,
Much-needed.

Tell me you’re mine
As I start to slip away
And the distance is too much
And you feel lost
Use it as a call, to find me,
Seeking you

Tell me you’re mine
In the space between the fights
The bitter puncta that blossom into an ellipsis
Say it!
One last time–
Lie, if you must–
Just.
Tell me?

Missing Person

April 8th, 2015 by

I haven’t been around much lately. I haven’t updated my Patreon in months. I haven’t posted much here either. I have a good reason for it.

It has been over three weeks since I have eaten solid food.

As part of my complex, multiorgan illness, I suffer from digestive tract paralysis. It’s an enigmatic, and for the most part, untreatable disease. It has rapidly progressed in the past six months, and I can no longer tolerate anything more substantive than clear liquids.

As a result, I am being fed through my veins until my gut has had enough rest. This process, known as total parenteral nutrition (TPN), is one which I find myself simultaneously terribly resentful of and immensely grateful for. This is not the first time I have been on TPN, nor will it, I imagine, be the last. (At least, I hope it will not be the last. The possibility of this lasting forever is too bleak for my mind to accept.)

I am adjusting to life on TPN. It dangerous, but it is not terrible. I have a bandage-wrapped IV line in my arm that never comes out and itches. I have a bag of nutrients and fluid to lug around for twelve hours a day. I have new and deadly risks to live with that require me to go to the emergency room at the slightest sign of them. These things are irritating, but immeasurably better than constant pain and nausea, than malnourishment and untrollable weight loss.

I am in mourning. I miss food. I miss being able to fully partake in the social activities that revolve around it without huge amounts of stress. I miss feeling properly human. The urge to eat is so primal, the lack of the ability to do so has plunged me into a pool of identity loss. I feel more artificial than animal.

Being chronically ill can be terribly isolating. I  feel as if I’m outside of my “real” life, looking in at what could be, what “should” be, unable to reach it, as it passes by, without me. And I grieve and give voice to my grief, and if anyone happens to hear, they usually don’t know what to say, so they don’t say anything. I know people care and don’t know how to express it, but their silence adds to the feelings of loneliness. I see them express more sympathy over the flu than ten days in the hospital. I know why. The flu is relatable. People have had the flu, and they know it sucks. But few people know the grief I’m experiencing, and they don’t know how to relate. And so they say nothing, and I feel alone.

And what of the boy? He is wonderful, as always. He is my light in the darkness, my breath of fresh air, and all the other clichés that spring to a love-drunk mind. He does what he can, and it is more than enough. He makes me chicken broth and fancy drinks. He helps me with. But part of me worries that he will miss the woman he could cook for, the woman he could go out to eat with, the woman whose body and mind weren’t so brittle and breakable. And that my lack of ability to lead a “real” life will outshadow his love for me. And part of me feels I will never deserve the sort of sweetness he gives me, and that he will realize it. I fear this terrible thing, this thing I have no control over, will kill his love for me. Bad enough that it should kill me.

Bloodletting

September 22nd, 2014 by

I wanted to give blood today.

I have never donated blood before, only had it taken from me for the purposes of diagnosis or maintenance. It’s not that I was unwilling; I was forbidden from this particular act of charity for one reason or another. But today, it has been long enough since I have lived in Europe, and enough time has passed since I have had sex with a bisexual man, and I am finally, finally above their minimum weight requirement, so I give.

I am having health problems. They are too close, too imminent for me to talk about them here yet. Just know that they are serious, and they are frightening.

Walking to lab this morning, I saw the yellow sign reading “BLOOD DRIVE TODAY” and I was seized with a fervor, a desire to do something useful with the body that has been letting me down so much as of late.

Trapped in the space between numbness and my feelings, I am not handling the news well. The feelings are inaccessible. It’s like I can see them out of the corner of my eye, but when I turn to look at them, they’re not there. They won’t let me touch them, and yet they slip out when I’m not paying attention; grief threatens to spill out of my eyes when I ride the bus home from work. Loss clutches at my chest and steals my breath. The numbness is easier to reach. It surrounds me like a blanket, stifling, yet comforting. It is all I have, so I cling to it, though I am desperate to feel.

The yellow sign poked me squarely in the heart, and I felt an inkling of hope. My body was failing me. Perhaps it could do some good to someone else.

I sat in the booth and fidgeted as the tech took my temperature, pulse, blood pressure (my claim to fame, it is always perfect). “One more test left,” he told me, and jabbed a tiny needle into my middle finger to squeeze out a fat drop of blood into a high-tech instrument. I tried to stifle my impatience. I wanted to be in the phlebotomy chair with its oversized arm rests and sticky vinyl seat. I wanted to feel the poke of the needle in my vein, to see the blood pouring out of me, to feel the lightheadedness from bloodloss and to know that loss was for another’s gain. To save someone’s life. I cannot save mine.

Meanwhile, the tech was frowning and making frustrated noises. I asked him what was wrong. “Your hematocrit is 37,” he said. “We need it to be 38. There’s nothing wrong–you’re perfectly healthy, it’s just we need it to be at least 38 for us to take a pint of blood from you.” He told me that it can fluctuate sometimes, so we tried another finger. 36. He threw up his hands and told me to eat some spinach to raise my iron levels and try again next time. “Don’t worry about anemia,” he told me. “It’s just that it’s not high enough for you to donate today. You’re perfectly healthy.”

Perfectly healthy. It made me want to laugh. If only he knew.

I left the blood drive and headed back to work, crushed. There was nothing more for me to do. My body had failed again, but it was not just letting me down this time. I silently apologized to the unknown stranger who would no longer be getting my blood, whose life I wanted so badly to save. I could not save them today.

There are times when you can only save yourself. Sometimes you can extend the effort for altruism, and save another. And sometimes, you cannot save anyone at all.

Margaret

July 17th, 2014 by

As she lay dying, we made the long drive back from his parents’ house. By which I mean, he was driving, not me.  I don’t drive, I don’t know how.  First I wasn’t allowed to because I wasn’t old enough, then I wasn’t allowed to because of medications, finally I wasn’t allowed to because of seizures.  Now I am twenty-eight and embarrassingly, still without a driver’s license. Unless I can get my health under control, I’m not sure that I’ll ever get one.

Her death was with me, weighing on me. I speak up about it, an attempt to lighten my load. I talk of her presence in the scene, how much of an impact it made on me, a young femme dominant. I talk about the tea party I attended at her house, and how much of my love of tea service can be attributed to her. I talk about the love I saw between her and her slave, how it was always something that simultaneously warmed my heart and made it ache, not knowing if I would ever get to experience that kind of love.

“That must be hard,” he says. “To outlive your owner.”  And at that I become quiet. There is too much to say, so I say nothing at all, and instead I look out the window, into the night roads, illuminated by street lights. Finally, I reply with a requisite: “I think it must be hard for an owner to outlive their property, too.”

And it must be, I’m sure, but that is not really what is on my mind, which is flooded with thoughts and sorrow.

I think about my property–him–and how, if our relationships lasts, he will almost surely outlive me, something for which I am self-centeredly grateful.

I think about how I always wanted to ask her for mentorship, and how I was intimidated to approach her about it, so I didn’t, and now I never will.

I think that while she lived a full and rich life, she still died too young. I think about the precariousness of my health, my uncertainty of my own life expectancy. I wonder if I will still be here in ten years, in twenty.

I think about myself. I think about heartbreak dogs, and whether those of us who are destined to die young are really worth loving in the first place. (I am not certain, myself.)

But most of all, I think about her, and her smile, and her class, and her generosity, and how I wish I had had the chance to know her better. I think how scared she must be, and how alone she must feel, and how I am certain she is handling it all with the grace and poise we have all known her so well for. I think on all these things and my heart fills with grief: for her, for her loved ones, and, selfishly, for myself.

The Broken Temple

January 29th, 2014 by
The Broken Column, Frieda Kahlo

The Broken Column, Frieda Kahlo

 

This is about my body. My body is many things. It houses my soul. It has caused me more suffering than possibly anything else in my life. And, also, it’s beautiful. Sometimes, I forget that. Too often, I forget that.

There is a conflict between how I view my body and how it is viewed by others. This follows from the fact that they don’t have to live there. My body is fairly normative in appearance, but that’s as far as it goes. I have a chronic illness, which is mostly invisible. I’ve heard so many well-meaning friends and acquaintances have uttered the phrase that every invisibly-disabled person knows well and hates deeply: “but you don’t seem sick. You look so healthy.” When your body doesn’t function the way it’s supposed to, and society confirms this by constantly reminding you how pitiable and worthless you are, your healthy-looking body becomes a hateful shell, shielding the dysfunction that lies beneath. You walk a line between wanting your illness to be acknowledged, and not wanting it to eclipse the rest of your identity. It can be hard to see value in your body, or yourself.

Body worship is one of my favorite types of play. It’s very meaningful to me for many reasons, with many layers. On the surface, there’s my dominance; I am a fairly stereotypical dominant in many ways, one of them being that I love having attention lavished upon me. But it goes deeper than that.

There’s really no way to look at my body’s defects in a positive way. There are positive things that have emerged from it, such as greater self-awareness, the connections I have made with others in the disabled community, and activism I have participated in that I likely wouldn’t have otherwise. I am grateful for these things. But, in addition to limiting me, my malfunctions cause debilitating physical pain in many parts of my body, as well as fatigue, seizures, and more. The secondary effects are also numerous: frustration at my doctors, who are not equipped to deal with an obscure and untreatable illness such as mine, frustration at society, which is not equipped to deal with a broken person such as myself. It is, at times, difficult not to turn these feelings inwards, and feel hatred towards my own body.

On a physical level, body worship reminds me that my body is capable of feeling pleasure. That’s one way in which it does function, and when you spend so much time in pain, pleasure becomes something of solace. When I go for long periods of time without sensual touch, it’s almost like a surprise, a feeling that I nearly forgot existed. I’m not a spiritual person, but the closest I have come to feeling spiritual is the intimate connection I experience with another person during sex.

In a deeper sense, an emotional sense, it’s empowering to have someone take pleasure in touching one’s body, and being shown that pleasure. Even though I know, on some level, that my body is beautiful, it can be very difficult for me to truly internalize that as love. Instead I externalize my feelings of hatred, convinced that no one would want something so useless, so broken. But touch that is both gentle and eager, murmuring of appreciative sounds, and tender and hungry kisses are all evidence to the contrary. It is proof. Undeniable proof that despite all that feels wrong, there is something right about my body. If I can step out of feeling resentful and broken, if I can see my body through the eyes of someone who loves it and get a small glimpse of their love, this is an affirmation that living in my body isn’t tantamount to being trapped in a cage. At times, it can be powerful perfection.

My body lies in ruins. Reverence can take many forms: sweeping my hair across my neck to kiss my shoulders, tracing my sides with fingertips, touching me, touching my body with an admiration approaching awe. These actions are transformative and I am reminded that, despite its broken columns and crumbling foundations, my body is still worthy of reverence and of love.

Lacrimae

December 18th, 2013 by

Tonight will be intense. Tonight I will pull from him a fluid manifestation of his pain, but I am not going for blood. No, tonight, I will go for tears.

My voice is calm, my demeanor methodical, though my heart is pounding and my stomach is fluttering. This is unusual for me. Normally, I am unable to hold back my laughter during play, my joy uncontainable, my smiles so wide they hurt my face. Tonight, however, I am nervous; I have never intentionally made a partner cry before, but I am determined to do so now. I am wielding my “mean stick” as he calls it. Similar to a wooden night stick, it’s something like a cross between a cane and a paddle. Heavy and very, very cruel, it is one of my favorite toys.

My most favorite toy is lying on the bed, face down, naked except for his purple boxer briefs. Purple is my favorite color. He knows this, and that’s why wears them. This makes me smile. I aim right below the curve of his ass, above the line of the shorts.

Thwack.

He moans into the pillow, already in pain. “No warm up tonight?” he asks. Tonight is not about gentleness or slowly building pain. Tonight is about intensity. Tonight is about tears. “I am warming you up,” I say. “I could be hitting you so much harder.” I raise my arm above my head to demonstrate.

Thwack.

He twists and screams. “It hurts. IT HURTS.” I remain impassive, although I smile freely now, my endorphins overpowering my nervousness. I know it hurts. That’s the point.

Thwack.

My heart continues to race–no longer with agitation, but with excitement. My dominance is substantiated more as sensuality than sadism, and indeed I have never really considered myself much of a sadist. I do not think I am a very effective or skillful top. I do not think about ramping up the pain or whether something will sting or thud. I merely consider what I want, and then? I take it. And tonight, I am taking his tears.

Thwack.

“I. DON’T. LIKE. IT.”

Thwack.

“Hold still,” I tell him. He’s writhing around on the bed, and I’m having trouble aiming. I want to hit him repeatedly in the same place, to break through his body and tear the emotions from his soul and the tears from his eyes. But he won’t hold still. I move down his thighs. This hurts him more, and I know it.

Thwack.

“I want you to stop, I WANT YOU TO STOP,” he is sobbing. But it is dry sobbing. No tears yet. “That’s not the safe word,” I tell him. He moans: “I know.” I’m not stopping.

Thwack.

“It’s not about what you want,” I tell him. “I KNOW,” he cries.

Thwack.

My arm is getting tired, but I am resolute. No stopping. No stopping just yet.

Thwack.

“There are tears,” he sobs. “I’m crying for you, Boss.” I turn him over and see his face, red. For a moment, I think he’s messing with me–he is, by his own admission, “a bit of a brat.” But he’s not bratting me this time: I see a tear trickle down his cheek, a hard won spoil. The sight of it makes my heart do things I can only try to articulate, and I am awash with feelings which are raw and unfamiliar. They are, in a word, intense.

I gather him up in my arms, my brave, beautiful boy, broken by me, and hold him.

“Thank you,” he whispers.

We haven’t said our first “I love yous” to one another, but my heart is bursting with it. I do not think now is the time for those words, so I hold his face and make him look into my eyes, emoting as hard as I can. He senses my emotions and responds, quietly. “You’re very special to me, too.” His voice is ragged and my eyes prick. I wonder if I will cry, too, but I don’t. Tonight, the tears are his alone. I merely marvel at his beauty, his vulnerability, and my fortune that he is mine.