Naughty Fiction Because I’m Not Handing Out Halloween Candy. 

The fall leaves in shades of decay blew haphazardly around her as she stood wrapped in a bulky sweater that was almost a bathrobe.  The bright sun warmed her skin, but was unable to scorch her flesh like it would have just months before.  She could feel the weight of lust calling for her and it settled low in her belly with a twist and groan she couldn’t control.  The need burned in her veins and she couldn’t wait any longer.  Shoulders squared and settling into her posture of power, she stepped forward into the authority of the task she was born to fulfill.

She walked into the coffee shop and the smell of coffee with the thick sounds of burdened metal, heavy, hissing . . . frothing milk couldn’t mask the immediate attention she felt from every person in the small shop with old faded wood and bright blue Fiestaware decor.  The smell of the shop masked the smells of the rose oil, fresh marjoram and basil that made her smell like she spent all day in the garden.

She saw him before he saw her.  He was sitting alone with a mug of tea in his hands and a day weary slouch that spoke of stress, disappointment and anxieties crashing solidly over and through him.  His phone was face down next to him, like he didn’t want to know who would need him, but was too obligated to his duties to disregard his electronic leash entirely.  She could see he just ran a race and came out the winner, unaware of what he was running for.  There was little value in his accomplishments.

She stood in line to order her coffee.  Walking slowly, to see him watching her, she stood at the island and added cream and sugar.  He was still watching her with sidelong glances so she made her way to his table and stood before him.  He looked up at her, mouth slightly agape, not understanding why she would be right in front of him when there were several empty chairs at lonely tables.

“Do you mind if I join you? There’s something about your face that feels like home and this city feels so . . . “

“Isolating,” he finished.

She ran a hand through her loose auburn curls and said, “yeah, and big.  I feel small and sometimes it helps to be next to a solid person instead of isolated in the glass screen of my phone.”

His eyes and a nod gave her permission and she pulled her chair out, settling in and closer to him than the chair originally sat. They enjoyed the silence and she made a show of blowing on her huge mug of coffee that looked like it could have been a small bowl of soup and sipped carefully while he assessed her.  She could see his energy rebirthed in the power of her gaze.  He was no longer slouching in defeat, but sitting up and thinking of the best way to ask her out.  It wasn’t like business.  In his office, he is an embodiment of control.  He commands it and it’s surrendered easily.  This little kitten just wandered over and he was worried about pushing her.

“I’m Charlie,” he said as he leaned toward her.

“The pleasure is mine, Charles.” It was a confession uttered into her cup and it couldn’t mask her blush.  That delicious color in her cheeks conjured darker images for poor Charlie and She could sense it. He began to smile stupidly, unaware of the sorrow it brought her.

She rested her mug on the table and curled her right leg under her as she began to flip and twist her hair into a messy bun, feeling his gaze appreciate the press and stretch of her blouse against her breasts.  She waited until he was looking at her face, and smiled at him before saying, “I’m Brielle.  How cold is your tea?”

“It’s a bit icy.  You’re perceptive,” he said.  He hadn’t even noticed it had gotten cold on him until just before she stood before him.

“My coffee is too hot, and I really don’t need the caffeine.  Were you busy? I wouldn’t mind hanging out and not sipping this over-roasted brew while we do it.”

He looked at her, realizing he didn’t have to ask her out.  He finally saw that she had chosen him.  He looked at her petite frame and long legs and knew she would follow him to his place.  Without a word, he reached for her hand and paused long enough to feel how small it was in his hand before leading her down the street to his house.

 

Once inside, Brielle slowly removed her sweater and let it fall to the floor.  She could see the look on his face shift from an excited little boy, to anticipatory fear.  She could feel his emotions flooding through him and he was about to lose his nerve.

“So tell me about what you do when you aren’t sitting in coffee shops, smiling at lonely girls,” she asked.  Carefully, she unwound her hair from the bun it was in and set her hair free over her shoulders.

“I’m in finance. Acquisitions,” he shrugged his shoulders and she licked her lips.

“So you play with important things and you take what you want.  Sounds fun.  I can get into that idea,” she said.  She could see his uncertainty shift with the talk of his work and she pressed on. “I bet you’re the one in charge too, aren’t you?  I could see you telling people what to do.  I could see people eager to please you.” Not here, she thought. “Does it ever get old? Do you ever want to give up that control?” And just as quickly, he was lost in her gaze, not knowing he was losing to her power.

In the moment of his hesitation, she stepped toward him in a kiss of exploration that slowly took more than he gave. His balance shifted and he began to sway in her arms. She wrapped herself around him and her right hand slipped up to run curious fingers through his hair, only to grab a fistful, snapping his head back and exposing his neck for a gentle nip of grazing teeth. Her left hand lightly scratched his shirt in a hungry grasp so she could feel the muscles of his chest. She was grateful for the hair she felt because she couldn’t understand the concept of manscaping. She wanted to see his skin and feel the hair all over his body. He was glorious in his response to her.

He stupidly forced her hand to his rising reaction and she stepped back, washing him in the cold of the room without her touching his skin.

“Sorry love, this isn’t your board room.  You get to pay for your naughtiness here. Hands and knees. I want you to show me you know how to be the dog you are.”

He watched her in silent obedience as she kicked off her boots, and slowly unzipped her jeans. She removed her shirt, slowly. . . Button by button, exposing the satin bodysuit she wore underneath.

“Don’t look at me. You don’t have permission. Not until I make you my bitch.”  She rested a bare foot between his shoulder blades and the action was met with his sharp intake of breath. She felt powerful.

“This is so hot. I can’t believe-”

“Shut up, Charles. No one asked and I really don’t care.”

She kneeled behind him and mounted his body like a dominant dog, and thrusted him solidly against herself, holding him by the hips. At his moan of acquiescence, she slapped his butt, grabbing a handful before a second slap and stood up.  She told him to strip to nothing. He obeyed quickly, nervously.

In his nakedness, she pulled him in for a deeper kiss, unleashing the power of a famished succubus, draining him with each kiss, mounting his body and riding him . . . leaving bite marks and kissing bruises into his flesh before leaving him desiccated and frail, but happy.

Happy Halloween.

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Does Writing Make a Writer?

It’s not a simple idea for me to own being a writer.  I never wanted to be a writer.  It wasn’t something that was ever who I am or in my bones.  I didn’t breathe in every moment knowing this is who I am.  It just happens.  Words come out.  It feels better.

I was a scientist once.  There was a moment when the world in perfect excellence shattered for me and I was a scientist.  I fell deeply in love with Geology and I wanted to be a rock doctor.  I wanted to climb mountains and camp along active volcanoes and wear that big, shiny suit to take measurements.  I wanted to pick up and analyze rocks.  I wanted to weigh and measure and even bite dirt to see what the grains felt like.  I was a scientist. And I still stick rocks in my pocket.

To know me is to think of me with every sensory caress of the ocean; every rock that looks special; every butterfly that floats by.

Being a scientist at the time didn’t really take in the needs of a young family.  I couldn’t leave my family for field trips to study the earth and really thought about taking them with me.  I didn’t have the security of knowing that I could leave and their Dad could run the house.  This sounds harsh, but if you think about my first childbirth, it makes sense.  I had Kid1.  My ex got food poisoning and when I got home from the hospital, I had to make my own dinner.  I hit the ground running from that moment on.  I’d be hospitalized, and get home with laundry waiting for me.  I wasn’t allowed to lift a laundry basket and my help looked like someone willing to carry the laundry basket to and from the laundry room, but I was still on my own for everything else.  I couldn’t see leaving my family to study the earth as an option.

Then there was the math.  I struggled with math in the 3rd grade when I was suppoed to be memorizing multiplication tables.  It wasn’t just the math. It was at a time when I was sitting at a desk next to a boy that kept touching my legs and wanting to explore grown things.  I was curious too.  My teacher never noticed. I was not at all focused on math.  Not having that foundation, I struggled.  By the time I got through college level algebra with 2 kids and one on the way, it started to look impossible.  I was facing chemistry, calculus, and physics, and it seemed impossible when I had to fit homework in after my family fell asleep.  I imagined getting through with really bad grades and I wanted better.  I wanted an easier major.  I was no longer a scientist, but I fell into being an english major.

English and literature were easier for me.  I loved reading from the time I would steal my sister’s trashy bodice ripping romance novels.  I loved literary porn from the 8th grade, not realizing how much I was warping my ideals of love and romance and real relationships.  I got older and had  a family of my own and would spend hours reading books as an escape.  Some days I would read 3 novels in a day, forgetting to eat, and barely feeding my family.  The housework would sit.  I was in bed reading, while my ex was watching television, and it was okay to run away without leaving.

When I was in the 10th grade I started keeping a journal.  It started after a breakup and became a place to pour out all of my darkness.  I would write and forget about what was bothering me.  That first journal was full of terrible men jokes.  When I got married, at first I thought it was okay to share everything, so I did.  When you share what is hurting you in a way where it was written only for you, it can look hurtful and mean, even if that was never the intention.  I began keeping my journal to myself, but the new boundary was never honored.  I stopped writing.  At one point, I had several entries a day and it was a cleansing ritual.  It became sporadic.  I remember writing an entry after a 4 year gap.  I would write for healing, but it was covered in shame. Then it was hidden, because I couldn’t own how I felt.

In the months where I was still trying to save my marriage, I destroyed and threw away over 20 years of journals.  This was at a time when I couldn’t write.  I was trying to write creatively, and I couldn’t string together a paragraph.  I felt like my writing killed my marriage and I couldn’t get it out because I was so broken.  I tried starting a new journal. I wanted it to be new and not include the dark, but more optimism.  It was easier to not write. I tried writing a story and got bored while writing.  Why would anyone want to read what I’m too bored to write?

In February of this year I started blogging here.  It was free therapy.  My words made me feel better.  It was more positive because bashing people isn’t what I want to do and knowing the words are for someone else means I am held accountable by faceless numbers of blog hits and subscriptions.

But I still haven’t stepped into being a writer.  I blog.  It’s a hobby.  My Dad identifies himself as a writer, and I never liked what that looked like to me.  He was writing and I wanted to snuggle.  His dreams came with disappointment. Writers are made for rejection.  It becomes great material. I think that’s why I’m in love with falling in love and my superficial crushes mean more to me than the men actually did.  It might be why I still refer to them as boys.

One day I might call myself a writer.  Today I own the fact that the words I string together can be compelling.  Much like a train wreck. It’s enough.

How I Look and Cooking

I was having a moment of insecurity this morning.  I was wearing a dress, because I wanted to, but in my lounge, then rush out the door, I didn’t look in the mirror.  Most days I don’t really care, but as I was rubbing lotion into my dry legs, I just couldn’t.  In the parking lot at work, I went to the trunk of my car and pulled out my emergency pair of jeans and t-shirt.  I got dressed in the front seat of my car and had a moment of laughter because it reminded me of my entire adolescence.

I’m wearing this and not sure how comfortable I am in it either.  I may go back out the car and change again.  I haven’t decided. The jeans are shorter than I like.  I like my denim to be Victorian and cover my ankles.  The shirt is a blue and white tie dye.  I loved the way it reminded me of decades past, but wearing it in public? Not so much. Especially when a quick glance in office lighting tells you what color my bra is.  I need to update my trunk wardrobe so I feel confident, in another wardrobe emergency.

The lesson here? If you wouldn’t love it every day, it shouldn’t be your emergency clothing.  How does that apply to cooking?

Lesson 1: If it’s not good enough on its own, it’s not good enough in emergencies or as a foundation.

In cooking, I might deglaze a pan after searing meat with a dry red wine.  Or if I’m making beef stew or marinating carne asada, I use beer. You don’t cook with something you wouldn’t drink.  Bad ingredients can only make a bad meal.  If you don’t want to drink your wine, don’t cook with it.  If I’m using beer that has gluten in it, it won’t be worth the taste if I’m begging for death because of an unhappy belly.

Lesson 2: Don’t over crowd your pan.

Cooking anything often requires the right temperature and the space for your heating surface to do the job.  We want space so a sear doesn’t become a sauté. We need space to give what’s cooking a moment to enjoy the heat.

In fashion to me, this means parts are covered while something else is exposed.  A long and conservative dress begs for strappy heels.  If I’m showing off my décolletage, I’m covering up my legs.  If my legs are being showcased, I’m wearing a high neckline.

Lesson 3: Only sausage needs to be stuffed.

Often when stuffing pork chops or chicken breasts, I will pound and beat out the meat I’m using so it’s thinner and keep the stuffing on the light side.  I use medium heat that has had time to get to the right temperature because I want it to cook all the way through without over drying the outside.  It means cooking takes more time, and I’m intentional with what I do. I won’t wear underwear that is meant to make me feel like a stuffed sausage so my body looks a certain way.  If I don’t do that to a spinach and cheese beef roulade, why would I do that to my body? Sausage is made for being stuffed into a tight skin.

Lesson 4: Creaming

When wearing makeup, you want to blend.  You want soufflé foundations to melt into your skin, but not be so thick it could melt right off.  You want shadows that dance so closely, you can’t tell where one shade ends and the next begins. Moisturizer is important. Healthy skin is more important when makeup skills like mine are at play. 

I bake my cheesecakes.  I get the cream cheese to room temperature, and I will beat in eggs, sugar and vanilla.  By the time I’m done, you can’t differentiate what is in it because it is all the same consistency and texture.  It bakes and requires patience to cool.  If you’ve ever been impatient in waiting for a hot cheesecake to cool, you understand how horrible that can be.  You want the same patience in blending foundation into your skin, going past your chin and along your neck.  Like cheesecake, that much make up on me is rare.

Lesson 5: Lumps

Honor your lumps!

In pancakes or cornbread, I will often sift the dry ingredients before adding them to the wet ingredients.  It’s a quick mix that just incorporates everything because overmixing won’t give you fluffy breads. Over mixing makes it dense and tough.

A woman’s body is made for lumpy bits. I hate wearing a belt, but when it matters, cinching my waist enhances my bustling and flatters my hips. My hair doesn’t look as great stick straight as it does with the natural bounce and body of a good wave or girly curls.

Lesson 6: The mystery you don’t want to know.

Sometimes you just don’t need to know what goes into it.  When I make tamales, I use Lard.  I use cleaned animal fat because that’s where the flavor is.  I use the unhealthy fat because that’s how I learned how to make tamales.

When I’m wearing clothes, you don’t need to see my bra.  There are really cute bralettes that are designed to be seen, but they don’t carry them in my size.  (Thank you for that endowment, Mom and Nanny.) When I wear a shirt, I want to be sure that my bra can’t be seen. There are amazing advances in lingerie that include strapless and convertible bras.  I own a couple of corsets but can’t wear them without help.  These are designed to be worn under clothes or alone, but that doesn’t mean I should wear them out.

Lesson 7: A time and a place for everything.

I have absolute moments of food joy.  I have been known to whip up a quick Hollandaise in the blender before work and bring the rest of my goodies with me to assemble an eggs benedict at my desk.  This is not the same meal I would ever take to the beach.  Beach food is often cut fresh fruit, crudités, chips and drinks.    Small, manageable, and not requiring cutlery.

You want your clothes to match your adventure.  I’m all for spontaneity, but bowling in a mini skirt is not nearly as fun as it sounds.  Walking along a jetty in stilettos can be real torture. Wear the clothes you need for your adventure.

Lesson 8: Get Creative

It’s easy to get stuck in routine where the same outfit and accessories feel like home. Change it up. The beauty of not wearing a jumpsuit all the time is that your tops are not married to your bottoms. I don’t often wear dresses or skirts to work because comfortable to me often looks like man spreading and it’s not very lady like. 

In food, this means I was hugely surprised when I swapped vanilla for almond extract in my French Toast. Smoked Gouda and dates was a whim that became a staple. I used to love cheddar popcorn and chocolate and one day swapped the cheddar popcorn for spicy chips. It was good. 

Lesson 9: Be flexible

Sometimes I’ll start with something but it might change.  I recently bought a pound of ground pork and the same amount of ground beef, but instead of making the meat loaf my kids weren’t in the mood for, I made country fried steaks and used the ground meat for potsticker filling that used rice paper instead of wonton wrappers.  It made me happy.  It made the boys happy.

I don’t always care about fashion, but these things are in the back of my mind when I get dressed most days.  I ignore what my mood tells me to and stick to what feels right. And the bra being seen through my shirt . . . Yeah, I’m slapping that dress back on.

Cravings

In 1998 or 1999 there was a boy.  It’s always about a boy.  There’s a phrase for boys like him now, but back then he was just Lenny.  He was the first of several boys that liked me less than I liked them and I was the puppy.  I couldn’t drop my toy, and I was happy to lay on my back for belly rubs from anyone wanting to play with me.  Every time I saw him, his kisses had this taste that I couldn’t place.  It wasn’t quite beer or hard liquor.  It wasn’t really cigarettes.  It was beer and cigarettes.  By the time I figured out what it was (because we never talked enough for me to ask him), I wanted the taste of that kiss more than I wanted him.  I started smoking and by the time I figured out how to inhale, not cough and enjoy the feeling of oxygen deprivation that felt like being light headed, it was an addiction.

The few times I wanted to quit, I’d see a cessation commercial and it would remind me that I hadn’t had a cigarette in a while.  I would wake up and smoke, go to bed and smoke, eat and smoke, exercise and smoke (I used to sweat willingly), have a cold with a nasty cough and sore throat and smoke. My kid sister would steal my cigarettes and snap them in half or run water over them.  She loved me.  I may have hurt her for that.  In early 2000, I would buy 3 packs of Marlboro cigarettes a day, with an occasional pack of Black and Milds, or Djarums if I was in the mood.  I was a friendly smoker, often sharing my smokes with anyone that would ask.  Cigarette for cigarette, I would smoke about 40 to 50 cigarettes a day, spending about $15 a day on cigarettes. When I quit it was for the idea of having a family and it was very close to cold turkey.  I quit smoking for my ex and the kids I saw in our future when I looked into his eyes.   Cheesy but true.

In the last few weeks I’ve started craving cigarettes.  It’s crazy, because I haven’t been a smoker for over a decade and a half (yes, I know my old is showing). There were rebellious times when I would buy a pack and sneak a smoke here and there when we’d fight and we were in our first apartment in North Hollywood.  It was always when I was angry at my ex and trying to gain a little control.  My actions tried to express that I’m a grown up and I can hide and smoke a cigarette because I’m a grown up.  Let’s ignore the smell, and the taste. Let’s pretend that pharmacies won’t even sell cigarettes anymore because of how bad they are.

My sister and her husband and my other brother in law have cigars from time to time.  I’ve had two cigars in the last month or so.  I’ve also been burning incense at home. It’s a place holder, because what I’ve been craving are clove cigarettes.

I don’t want to be a smoker again.  It’s the feelings around smoking that make a smoke break sound right.  I feel the familiar feeling of rejection and longing that feel like I did the whole time I was a smoker and only dated fuck boys (before there was a cute name for them). There are people that will smoke while at a bar on weekends only.  It’s the same idea.  They are used to having a cigarette while sipping a cocktail and the two go together.

I’m not broken like I was when my marriage fell apart.  It’s not like my crush on Mr. Hot and Visually Pleasing.  That was never going anywhere and I never fell into the trap of his scent and looking forward to spending time together with engaging conversations and sweet smiles. It’s this feeling of “I really want this . . . It’s not right . . . I need to let go . . . but why can’t I stop obsessing.”  I’m not just waiting.  I’m meeting and rejecting people like I did before I met my latest crush.  He’s still a great guy. He’s not like anyone I’ve dated before. I’m recognizing where I am and with him, I never offered complete transparency.  I didn’t give him my full authenticity.  I might be slightly pickier than I was right before him and entirely selective compared to where I was as a smoker. I might enjoy turning down dates a little less than before. I’ve found my compassion through him. I’m working on being less intimidating but it’s not easy when I keep thinking, “turn down for what?” Aside from the men in front of me being entertaining, I keep looking at the man behind me and I feel unease.  I crave what is not for me and that feeling makes me want a cigarette to go along with my dysfunction.

This feeling is so dangerous because it’s so familiar.  It’s easy to fall into patterns that feel the same as something else once did.  I notice what I couldn’t see before and I’m trying my best to not fall into easy steps.  I’m embracing alone time, even if it feels lonely at times because the loneliness of being alone is far less painful than the loneliness of being with someone that isn’t interested in an emotional connection.

Like all things, I know the feeling and the craving will peak and then pass.  It always does.

Right now I’m considering ways to keep my hands busy.  I may start crocheting a blanket or scarves.  I might try knitting again. I might not. I might start making jewelry (that I’ll never wear because I prefer light weight pieces but always use natural and heavy stones because they’re pretty). In the end, a cigarette, like a cigar, feels a lot worse than it looks.  I could taste the last one with every deep breath the next day.  I had to wash my favorite sweater to get stale smoke out of it.  The smell of burnt tobacco lingered on my hands and my sense of smell wasn’t damaged enough to escape it at all.

This feeling will pass and I’ll stop craving a cigarette, or a hug, or an easy smile and engaging conversations about everything but us.

Hiking Runyon Canyon

 

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One that is proudly inactive does not simply decide to hike Runyon Canyon.  Unless you’re me, and committed to not over thinking anything.  Then I go for it.

I’ve lived in Los Angeles all of my life and I’ve recently decided that I can enjoy my city too.  So many people that live here came from elsewhere.  There are people that come and stay in hotels and pay an insane amount of money for the sunshine and beaches and I’ve spent long enough sleeping in and not going out to explore.

This morning I was up before the sun.  It was my usual morning of my body waking me up for no reason at all.  I looked at my phone, then thought, “I could catch the sunrise . . . go hiking . . . have coffee on the porch.” The day was ahead of me because it was still dark outside and I was rested.  Somehow I got sucked into Facebook instead only to look up and discover the sky outside was lighter and the birds were chirping.  I could have tried sleep at that point.  I could have gotten up for housework.  Instead I threw on clothes and told my Waze app to get me to Runyon Canyon.

I parked closer to Vista and used that entrance.  I had my keys in one hand and my phone in the other and didn’t bother with water, but decided stretching would be planning enough.  (I also stopped at every fountain for water and sat at every bench to appreciate the view.)  As I started walking with my music in my ears, I was singing.  On the way up, I saw this massive climb with people goat hopping and climbing up and thought maybe I could turn back at that point.  It looked intense.

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I started focusing on each step I was taking or the views all around me.  I have never done the trail before, so I figured I would just follow the paved road.  Runyon Canyon Road leads to Mulholland Drive and I was about a third of the way there when I checked my map.  If you were there, I was the crazy woman laughing hysterically on my way back down and to the fork that took me to Fuller so I could complete the loop.

I’m focusing on the fact that the way you do anything is the way you do everything.

From the time I woke up, I sat with the idea for a while before I decided I would just do it.  I bought a sports bra a couple of years ago that is way too big for me now so  I wore a regular bra and found peace with the idea that I would bounce and it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.  I didn’t even think about it.  We do what we commit to do or we make excuses, but at the end of the morning, I hiked a trail I’ve wanted to check out for a while and didn’t have anyone to get me out of bed for it but myself.

I remembered to stretch after watching someone else doing it.  I remembered my post workout stretch when I was sitting in the air conditioning in my car, and got up to stretch and it felt good.  Not gelato good, but good. Doing things properly has latent benefits.  Take the time to stretch and focus on your breathing and being present in the moment.  It feels better than you might imagine.

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It was a morning of appreciating the present moment I was in.  I wasn’t focused on the really steep climb I could see people struggling through.  I ended up in the opposite direction.  By the time I got there, I was coming down and not climbing up.  Instead of struggling, I was jogging and hopping and it was fun. I hit a crest and realised I was looking at the original ascent I was afraid of.  I made peace with the idea of sliding down on my butt if I had to.  I accepted that I might fall, and hoped I wouldn’t end up with a face full of cacti needles because I have plans tonight and want to look cute.  By the time I got down, I didn’t fall.  I was able to just enjoy the beautiful view.  I spent some time petting some stranger’s dog and we both got lost in a few moments of watching dragonflies.  The dog’s owner seemed a bit nervous about the dragon flies and I assured him they might land on you for a little insect porn, but they really don’t harm people.

I saw lots of exhaustion and determination on faces, but my face offered a smile and a song.  By the end of the hike, I did more than I planned to. It was exciting and relying on my body felt amazing.  I was more capable than I expected I could be.  I was sweating and really appreciated the fact that I was too lazy to shower first. That post workout shower is a special gift.  I didn’t plan, but the adventure made me laugh.  The steep climb looked far worse than it was because it was my descent.  I didn’t bring water but I had just what I needed in water and rest stops. And it was a road travelled alone.  It’s exactly how I’m living my everything.

The Cigar

I want the chocolate one. Make it two. Please cut the tip.


He bags it and adds a pouch for humidity. Who knows if I’ll smoke it? It’s rebellion enough to buy the thing. I’m in my early 20’s again, scratching at the void with longer nails to mask what I refuse to notice.

I walk familiar streets and along the pier, sitting and watching people watch their phones.


Rolled and rectangular with a hint of chocolate. Dark leaves neatly folded like fey clothes in the Seelie Courts.  It smells like rebellion. The taste of leaves feel dry and moist. I lick the end and feel closer to the earth and dark soil. It’s almost sweet until I light it. I fake a habit I used to own, preferring to blow out an oral fixation and imagine dragon’s breath out of a borrowed phallus I destroy in embers and flicked away ash. You would think I forgot how to smoke but it’s work to not step into instinct from a three pack a day habit nearly two decades old.  I turn it slowly for an even burn, blowing more than puffing so I can keep away the light headed bliss that tells me I want to return to this escape. I’m at peace with how unattractive it is because I handle it like a boss.


The moon is full and tells me these phases come and go with the force to pull waves along a shore, crashing and eroding even solid rocks with constant force because the moon is greater than anything we have on earth. It’s great because as big as the earth is, you can’t ignore the size of a moon that orbits the earth while dancing around the sun. It does what it will as I watch in gratitude for it’s beauty and it’s lessons and the life it forces in partnership with the sun.

It’s a clear night with dotted lights along the shore and winking at me from the sky. I find a moment of grace and it feels like peace with joy around the edges. The other cigar will be a gift to brighten someone else’s day and I smile because I find happiness in my giving.

Pride Blanket

I pull it around me like a blanket made of stone.

It’s rough hematite scraping against my chest.

I’m holding it close to comfort me.

It’s streaking red anger in bleeding emotions Pride promised to stop.

Feelings seep from a crevasse of loneliness but my Pride goes before me.

It’s a bridge that leads me no where.

It covers the soft parts I left exposed as I stretched in hopeful longing.

In transparency, we grew cold when the sun we exposed was too bright, too weak.

I felt the burn once his heat was gone and the sting lingers long after night falls.

It covers the weakness and longing that sit around me in solitude.

It whispers the strong words we hide behind because the feelings were too new, too strong.

Pride tells me it was nothing and didn’t matter.

Pride tells me it was a mess we stepped over and away from.

We’re given a clean break in the world of the unknown.

Pride protected us from ourselves.

Pride tells me it’s better to never know.

Pride prevented me from needing, loving and losing.

I wrap my Pride around me.

I pull it closer so you can’t see I’m shivering in the cold of almost.