Wednesday, November 11, 2015


"Hey there. Mind if I sit next to you? I don't much get to sit next to pretty girls anymore."

I look up into the smiling, friendly face of an older man with twinkling gray eyes deeply wrinkled at the corners.

"Of course. If for no other reason that I am a sucker for compliments from handsome men."

I move my bags off the chair next to me so that he can sit. 
"Where ya headed?"
"Home. Just helped my best friend move across country."
"Oh, where'd she move?"
"Northwest Arkansas."
"Beautiful up there. I once went camping in the Ozarks."
"How was it? That sounds amazing."
"Incredibly stupid. I shoulda died out there half a dozen times. But I never woulda known that if I hadn't tried." He laughs a full, jovial laugh, that makes his eyes crinkle even more.

We chat a bit more, mostly the kind of superficial airport talk that happens between strangers, until he tells me his wife recently died.
"Oh, I'm so sorry."
"Don't be. She died old and happy and healthy and in her most favorite place in the world."
"Where's that?"
"Well, with me of course!" We laugh, loud and boisterously.
"How long were you together?"
"Hadn't spent a day without her 'til the day she died since I was ten years old. We got married when I was eighteen and stayed together for 57 more." 
"57 years? Wow."
"Aw, 57 ain't nothing. Not if you're living it right." 
"You're lucky. Lots of people can't find someone they wanna be with for 57 weeks, let alone 57 years."
"That ain't all luck. That's love. And work. They gotta coexist. And don't let nobody tell you nothing different." 
"How are you doing? Without her, I mean."
"You know, I'm okay. My kids and my grandkids, they keep asking me this. And I won't lie to you, I miss her something terrible. But we had a wonderful life. We were happy. We had beautiful kids who gave us beautiful grandkids. We went all over the world and made love in every country we set foot in," he tells me with a mischievous wink that reduces me to laughing and coughing at the same time, once again drawing the ire of the strangers around us. 

"It wasn't always easy. But it was worth it. And so, when I woke up that morning and made her coffee and she didn't come down, I was heartbroken to tell you the truth. But I knew I'd kept the promises I'd made to her when we were just kids; I promised I'd give her whatever life she wanted with me, and that I'd never leave her side. And I didn't."

I hadn't even realized I was crying until a tear rolled off my chin and splattered on my hand.
"Well, I didn't mean to bore you to tears."
"Ha! You didn't. That was just... Really lovely. You hear a lot about how marriage changes things and makes things worse and how everyone stops liking each other and having sex and enjoying each other. It's nice to hear something different."
"They just don't know no better, I reckon. Marriage is the best thing I ever did. You married?"
"Not seriously."
"Well, what are you waiting on?"
"I..." I trail off, increasingly unsure of how to answer this question when faced with it. "I don't know, honestly. I've just... I've been alone a really long time. It's... Comfortable." 
"Nothing amazing was ever described as comfortable, young lady." 
"I have no argument for that."
"You can't argue with old people anyway. You might kill us," he says with a laugh. "Well, I hope you weren't planning to seduce me and come after my pension. My kids will never allow it."
"Damn! You figured out my plan."
"I'm pretty smart, even if I move slow." 
"Don't you think some people just aren't meant to get married?"
"I dunno. I think "meant to" can be trap of sorts. People choose not to get married all the time, and that's okay. But when you get into evaluating your worthiness, if you are somehow someone "made for" marriage as if you can only be one thing and marriage can only be one thing, well, that don't sit right with me."
"But you, you're not even trying."
"That's not true!" He gives me a knowing, skeptical look. "Okay, maybe that's a little true."
"Are you really okay if you never find someone?"

This too is a thing I've been considering; that I might very well be getting to that age where all the things I've said about how I'd live my life without a significant other in it could very well come to pass. When it's time to turn the theory into practicum; am I sure?
"I guess I'd better have a life I can love alone."
"And do you?"
"Well, you better get to it, young lady. 57 years is nothing. And you're behind!"

An agent calls for boarding for his flight to Ixtapa, and he gets up, gathering his things.
"What's in Mexico?" I ask.
"It's our last trip together," he says, patting the sealed box he's been cradling in his lap. "Her second most favorite place in the world. Going to sprinkle her ashes at her favorite beach there. I'm ready."
My eyes tear up again at how devoted he is to her, even in death.

"Is there a thing you say to someone who's scattering ashes? Good luck? God bless? Don't inhale?"
"HA! I reckon if you say anything you say, "You're lucky." Cause I was."
"You're lucky."
"I was. And I thank god everyday for it. Live some life and make it good. I gotta feeling you'll get lucky too. And not only in the fun way." 

He leaves me with a warm hug and a squeeze of my hand. As I watch him amble toward the gate with his wife held reverently in front of him, I wonder how many people really get to get that lucky.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Moonlight Becomes You

I walk into the bar, paying special attention to the clickclickclick of my heels on the slick marble floor, because while these heels and this dress make me look and feel amazing, they will not have the same affect if they are sprawled out on the floor where I've slipped and fallen. 

I stop and look around, nervously fluffing my hair before I approach the bar and slide on a stool next to a handsome brother in a gray suit hunched over what looks like an old fashioned. He's absentmindedly making amber circles with the stirrer. 

"Are they any good?" I ask him and he jumps a little.
"Old fashioned, right? Are they any good?"
"Oh, yeah. Um...pretty good. Yeah."
"That wasn't convincing at all."
"No, seriously. It's good," he says, his eyes sliding up my thighs until they meet my raised eyebrows. "I'll buy you one. That way if you hate it, you can blame it on me." He mentions to the bartender with his glass. "For the beautiful girl."

Once it's placed in front of me, I take a tentative sip.
"It's good. Not better than my favorite. But it's good."
"What's so special about your favorite?"

We go silent, each of us thinking and sipping. He breaks the silence first.
"This is one of the saddest games I've ever seen," he says motioning to the TV.
"It'll be a low scoring game. A boring, low scoring game."
"You here by yourself?"
"I'm alone," I say, and a look I can't name passes over his face so quickly I think maybe I've imagined it.
"Me too. Wanna keep me company til it's over?"
"I can do that."

I don't even noticed I've finished my drink until he subtly orders another round. 

By third quarter we've loosened up, the whiskey lubricating the conversation. We're laughing and lamenting our fantasy football failures. Every once in awhile, as he's sliding his phone across the bar so I can see his roster, the banner at the top scrolls across showing he has a text. Once. Twice. Once more.

"Someone is trying very hard to get a hold of you," I say, sliding his phone back across the bar to him. Without a glance, he slides the phone into his jacket pocket. 
"I'm good," he tells me, and orders us another round.

By the end of the fourth, we've turned into each other, the game mostly forgotten, his hand on my crossed, bare knee. He stares at me, trying mightily to focus.
"You're so damn pretty."
"You're drunk."
"Yes. But not so drunk I'm blind."
"Thank you."
"You must get that a lot though, don't you?"
"Well, yes," I admit with a laugh. "But it doesn't make me any less grateful."
"You should let me take you to dinner."
"I'm only in town a few days."
"For business or pleasure?"
"Pleasure," I tell him with a smirk, at this point abandoning all pretense of being coy.

He makes a sound as he looks me up and down that makes my back involuntarily arch. 

"I'm staying here. And you should buy me breakfast in the morning," I say as I slide my room key across the bar. "703. If you're interested."
I slide off my stool, steadying myself, and walking across the slippery floor as alluringly as I can manage. I probably look like a drunk baby reindeer. I'm praying he's not watching but I can feel his eyes on my ass. 

I make it up to my room where I open the blinds so the moonlight falls over the gigantic bed. I put my spinning head against the cold glass. Before I can turn around, I hear the key in the lock.

He wraps his arms around my waist and I lean back into him, my head falling forward to accommodate him nuzzling the back of my neck. 

"Hi," he sighs into my hair, lifting it atop my head and kissing the back of my neck.
"Wait," I say, turning in his arms to face him without ever breaking the embrace. I reach into his jacket and pull out his phone. I power it off and toss it onto the chair across the room.
"Mine," I demand, loosening his tie.
"I missed you, La."

I kiss him. Everything I need to say can be found there. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Outside Your Door

It's 2am and there's no good reason for anyone to be knocking on my door. Granted, I'm not asleep but I should be, as usual. And I'm not expecting anyone.

My heart picks up tempo as I slip out of bed, quietly digging my toes into the carpet and padding across the apartment to my front door. I've seen enough Law and Order: SVU episodes to know there's not a chance in hell I'm actually opening the door. But my curiosity has dragged me to the threshold. 

I pull myself up on my tippy toes, straining to see out of the peep hole.MThere's a man on the other side, his shoulders slumped over so only the top of his head visible, looking like he's typing out a text.

"Who is it?" I ask, hoping I sound more confident than I feel. I'm greatly regretting the fact that there aren't any guns in the house yet because I'm female and live alone, and more importantly southern; so there should be guns.
Yes. Plural.

"Carly?" he asks through the door, more than a little confused by not recognizing my voice.
"No. Sorry. No Carly here."

By now I can hear his phone ringing and he answers clearly exasperated.
"I'm outside your door... maybe... What's the apartment number again? Oh, shit."

After a few more seconds of hushed conversation, he hangs up. I watch through the peephole as he raises his hand to knock gently once more.

"Not sure if you're still there," he says far quieter than our previous conversation, "but if you are, I'm so sorry. Have a goodnight."

He walks off in the direction of the stairs seeking Carly's apartment and only then do I lower myself from the balls of my feet and exhale loudly. My heart is fluttering wildly in my chest. My breathing is choppy. My skin is hot to the touch.

I crawl back into bed, trying to get my misfiring synapses under control. I don't feel scared, I don't think. I was never in any danger. But still, my heart is a drum line.

It's not until later, when I've calmed down enough to start to drift back off that I realize what my body was reacting to; foolishly, irrationally, I thought it might be you. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Wake Up Alone


I'm crying before my fingers can find the alarm clock in the darkness.

The tears are an every morning ritual, so I've at least gotten to the point that I can control them. I can't keep them from coming- there's too much to cry clean for that- but I've learned to cry them softly so that my deep, heaving sobs don't wake up the rest of the house or send me into the throes of a panic attack. 

I lay my head back on my pillow and cry, hot, sticky tears sliding back into my hair. I reach for my phone. Radio silence. The tears come harder, faster.

Never a word from his side of the world.

I don't know how many mornings I've woken up this same way. I lost count somewhere after forty. But every morning for those forty days, for however many days have followed, it's always the same; I wake up with fresh tears streaming down my face, my heart, my stupid fucking heart, already knowing he's gone before I can fully slide into consciousness. I cry myself dehydrated. And then I get up.

I talk myself through the things I must do to leave the house; I gotta brush my teeth. I gotta wash my face. First a bra. Then pants. Then a shirt. Then shoes.

I pull my heartbreak around my shoulders last, like a shawl. I carry it with me everywhere I go.

I do things during the day. What, I'm not entirely sure, but there are things. I say words. I think they make sense. I do my job and forget to eat. I find swift exits when fresh tears unexpectedly surface. I say an innumerable amount of prayers. I curse my choices. I check my phone.

Around 11am or so, like clockwork the messages start.

I'm sorry.
I miss you.
I love you.

My stomach flops over on itself, the juice I forced down this morning to stop the weakened trembling of my fingers threatening to make a reappearance on the white marble floor.

I fold things. I type. I clean. I talk to people. I'm alone.

I drag myself home long after the sun has retreated. I've cried in the car briefly, anger bubbling up from the pit of my belly and spilling out my eyes so I'm completely spent. The house is dark and silent. So am I.

I sit. I'm so weary. I only manage to take off my shoes before I tuck myself under the covers fully clothed. My eyes grow blurry with new tears and I'm so fucking angry with myself for being this destroyed over another human being. 

I dial his number and, as usual, he picks up on the first ring.

His voice, this pet name, sucks all the venom from my tongue and unlike the morning cry, this one is unrestrained. 
"I loved you," I managed over my thick and bumbling tongue and between broken sobs. 

"I know."
Of course he does. I always say the same thing. Sometimes it's an accusation. Sometimes it's a question. Sometimes it's a dagger I hope to gut him with.
But always it's the truth.

I hang up and he calls back, once, twice, eight times before he slinks back into silence. I burrow my head in my covers knowing how this goes.

I'll cry myself to sleep, finally passing out on a soaked pillow when my body can no longer manage to carry the weight of this trauma. I will dream, and sometimes I'll be happy, and sometimes I'll be angry and sometimes I'll be running, but he's always there. And I'll wake up to the tears that are my only constant companion, the only thing he left me with after so unceremoniously abandoning me.


I can't live like this, I think to myself. Except I have been, for what must be going on 50 some-odd days now. Please, I plead to god, to whoever's listening.


I slip my earbuds in my ears, the only song I can bear to listen to on repeat. I cry so long and so hard that each gasping sob feels as though it'll make my chest cave in. Finally I drift off into a fitful sleep.

I wake up alone. I'm crying before my fingertips can find the alarm clock in the darkness. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

The L Word

We look at each other, awkward in a way that we usually aren't. We aren't sure who should go first.
"You called."
"I called."

The truth is, I'd wrestled with it, turning my phone over and over in my hand like a sorcerer's stone. Debating. If I should call. Weighing what it means about me, who I am, who I've become, if I take advantage of the tender place i live in his life. I chastised myself for being weak, even as I dialed.

He steps through my door frame, backing me inside, and letting it swing shut behind him. He folds me in his arms, holding me tight, and rubbing reassuring circles across my back. Without my permission, I start to cry. 

"Are you okay?" And I know he's not really asking me, that he's doing the thing I do, where I ask the question knowing full well the answer, but offering it instead as an opening, a life vest to someone who's drowning.

"No. No, I'm not. I'm not okay."

We hug and we sway, my tears dampening his shirt and more than I feel relief, I feel shame. Because I am, I should be, I should have been so many times leading up to this moment, much stronger than I have been.

Eventually, we decamp to the couch, on opposite sides like we're opponents. 

"I'm sorry."
"Sorry for what?"
"Because I'm basically using you. And you're letting me."
"I'm a grown man, La. And I'm not stupid. I'm here because this is where I wanna be."
"I wasn't-"
"You keep beating yourself up like you've manipulated me into my choices, and you're really giving yourself entirely too much credit. We didn't make it, but we were friends once."
"So, why did you call?"
"I saw you were here because social media is the devil. And I was overwhelmed. And lonely."
"I've never heard you say that before."
"What, that I'm overwhelmed?"
"Well, that too. But that you're lonely."

That much is likely true. I learned early what it meant to move through the world alone. And so loneliness is an old acquaintance; not a dear one to be sure, but we are intimately familiar with each other. And while I am not someone who gives myself over to loneliness often, when I do, I tend to weather its visit alone.

"I don't think I've ever heard you admit to it. You've alluded to times in your life when you felt lonely. But never said it aloud. You seem almost proud to not need anyone to alleviate your loneliness."
"It's not that-" and he looks at me skeptically before I can finish the thought. "Okay, maybe," I admit with an uncomfortable laugh. "But mostly because I don't think my loneliness is anyone else's responsibility. Seems unfair to ask someone to fix something they didn't cause."
"Your feelings aren't a liability, La."
"We can agree to disagree."
"You're not weak for being lonely."
"We can agree to disagree."

He sighs at me. "I'm at least glad you called. But-" he stops himself before he completes his thought.
"Who did you wanna call instead of me?"
"Don't do this."

We eye each other wearily, both of us stark still as The Thing hangs between us, neither of us taking our eyes off it or each other, willing the other to touch it, and hoping like hell they won't. He breaks first with a sigh.
"You have people in your life that give a fuck, La. You don't have to be alone."
"I'm fine alone."
"I know you are. Truly. But knowing that you can be doesn't mean you have to be."
"I never want to be one of those people so incapable of being alone that I'd have a placeholder instead of a partner. Or so pitiful that I call someone I haven't seen in awhile to come give me a hug when they're in town because I'm too in my own head."
"You're not pathetic, La. You're human."
"We can agree to disagree."

He gives up on me as silence settles over us before he opens his arms up to me, and I fall into them gratefully. He wraps us around each other like we used to, and kisses my head, tracing absentminded circles on my back, signing his name when he thinks I'm not paying attention. 

"You want some sushi?"
"You wanna watch Die Hard?"
"I'll order."
"Thank you."
"It's just sushi."
"It's not just sushi."
"I love you too."

I turn my back to him, pretending to look for the movie. I feel rubbed raw and exposed. I feel weak and pathetic, running to him because I couldn't stand to be with myself. I berate myself for using him, for knowing why, for not being stronger.

I'm glad he's here.  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TMI Tuesday

Shamelessly stolen from SBG. Because, writer's block.

1.      Are you privy to a secret about a famous person? Do you read gossip about famous people in magazines or online?

I am. Quite a few actually. But no one else will ever know them. I really don’t read gossip. I used to. Lost much of my appetite for made up, snarky stories about strangers. 

2.      Do you know of a co-worker, friend or neighbor who is currently having an affair? Are you having an affair?

I do. And I really wish I didn’t know. I don’t wanna be involved in any way. I am not. And would not. 

3.      Have you ever had a secret that made you the subject of gossip?

I have. Although technically, it wasn’t my secret. It was my SO’s at the time. I was just helping keep it because, love. And dumb. 

4.      Do you like hearing gossip? What kind interests you most, e.g. sexual behavior, drug use, lying, betrayal, etc.?

Nah. I really don’t want to know or be involved in gossip or the types of things people tend to gossip about. I will admit to getting a kick out of hearing about the new and inventive ways karma has bitten someone in the ass though. 

5.      Do you pass gossip on when you hear it?

Nope. Because passing it makes me involved to a level that I don’t want. I tend to be a vault. And that’s why people tell me things.


6.      Do you consider telling your spouse or partner to be consistent with a promise not to tell? Is he or she trustworthy with secrets?

I don’t. If someone asks me not to tell anyone, that generally includes my partner for me. If they don’t ask, I might share it with my partner if it’s relevant. But I also tend to date people who practice discretion, so it’s never caused any problems. My only bae is Jesus, so yes, he is trustworthy. 


Bonus: What is one private thing that you would like to know about someone?
really wanna know if someone is down with something I’d like to proposition them with. But I really don’t need to know the answer. No good can come of it. Lol

Well, that’s not true. Some good can come of it. A lot of good, actually. But it’s still a terrible idea. Lol

I’d also really like to know how someone actually felt about me. Because what I thought it was, it wasn’t.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

No Church in the Wild

I first found out I was black when I was about 8. To be fair, I knew that I was black before then, but I didn’t know that it meant anything. Certainly nothing bad.

But it was at 8 when, upon meeting me, the parent of one of the friends I’d made at my very exclusive, very white private school looked at me in shock that someone their kid had grown fond of, with a name as plain and “acceptable” as mine, was also a little black girl with unruly ponytails and penny brown skin. I don’t know what happened after my friend was hustled into their waiting car, but I do remember we didn’t seem to play as much after that. 

There weren’t many invites for sleepovers or birthday parties. And there was the assertion, at that same school many years later, that I had to have cheated on a science test because “you people usually aren’t this good at science.” There was the time I wrote a paper so good that my teacher was sure I plagiarized it, because she couldn’t believe that I was smart enough to write it. It wasn’t until a black teacher’s aide I’d had the year before came to my defense that the ‘A’ I’d earned was allowed to stand. All these years later, I still remember the stinging humiliation of it. It would be years before I ever wrote another thing for pleasure.

In high school, there was the time someone assumed I was a janitor. And when an employee followed me around a store I’d just been hired to work in to make sure I didn’t steal. There was the time when leaving a club, a cop assumed I was a hooker, not just a college student trying to get home. There was the time when leaving my job in a wealthy part of D.C. late one night when a cop pulled over to question me, and wouldn’t believe I was just leaving work until some of my white coworkers also left and vouched for me.

Being black in America is being followed in your own neighborhood and called a nigger bitch by a group of white boys in a pickup truck adorned with a rebel flag. Being black in America is being pulled over on the side of the road in southern Georgia while on a road trip with your mother. Being escorted from the car and questioned at its back bumper about whether or not you’re running drugs for your boyfriend. It’s being asked if you’ll consent to a search of your rental car, as two more cop cars pull up. It’s the flippant remark over a uniformed shoulder when they realize there’s no wrongdoing here that you “sure are pretty for a colored girl.”

It’s being followed in stores, and the assumption that you’re the secretary or that you can’t afford anything in the expensive store you’re shopping in. It’s strangers asking to touch your hair, and waiting on pins and needles for white people you love that you know love you to say something off color about a black issue and you never again being able to regain the full warmth you once had for them. It’s people assuming you have children and being shocked when you don’t, and telling you how articulate you are. Being black in America is watching the news and feeling scared and helpless and stricken and having your racial PTSD reinforced for you.

As I watch the coverage of the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, trying to choke back tears and still work, I wonder how I am to exist and function in this white space of work, of the world, all while recognizing that there is no safe haven for me and for my blackness. I wonder how I could, in good conscience, bring a child into a world knowing that their skin is a target on their back. It is why I will never support the Rachel Dolezal’s of the world and people like her who use blackness as a cloak or costume or convenience. 

Because being black in America is a great joy and a great burden that I cannot take off at my leisure. It is a responsibility and a reckoning. It is the idea that even as you exist, you can become a martyr. It is the recognition that even as you walk the land of a country grown from soil stained with the blood of your ancestors, you are not a citizen. That you cannot live the full breadth of human emotions in public, lest you be gaslighted or arrested or murdered. Being black in America is knowing that even the aisles of your house of worship can run red with your own blood. 

And that there’s nothing you can do about a country where blackness is the enemy.  

Friday, May 15, 2015


I am often consumed by the desire to lay waste to my life and start it over again. I don't mean some overly dramatic Eat, Pray, Love kinda reset. I don't see me setting fire to my world just to watch the flames. But sometimes in the morning, when I turn the key in the lock on my door, I imagine that this might be the last time I do it. That I could, if I really wanted to, leave this apartment full of things in this city that I love and simply walk into a new life.


The thing about growing up not really moored to anything, is that you recognize that you can always leave. You can start over; you will start over. You'll cry and you'll mourn and you'll miss, but you'll also rebuild and adjust and move on. You'll wake up and the life you had that you so earnestly, so dearly loved will earn a collective shrug. You'll get up and make coffee and go about your day. You'll be fine.


It's a precarious sort of being present and itching to make a break for it; the way your heart forms attachments but your head says, "You can leave this too." It's an unfairness really, to you who needs a rock even if you don't need an anchor; to those who try to show up and be present for you. 


Being is a skill. Staying is a skill. And if you don't know what it means to be, to belong to something or someone or somewhere other than yourself, it's hard to ever learn it. When you have spent your life turning inward, fixing and mending yourself, self-soothing, you are especially ill equipped at forming the attachments that might help heal you in this way you don’t always recognize you are broken. You are whimsy. You are wind. You move through the world as if you belong to no one. Because you don't know how.  


It's how you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this life you've built, you could leave. It’s why you have such a hard time connecting. Why you forget things other people hold dear. Why people find you warm, but distant. It's why the people in your life don't totally trust you; they see you eyeing the exit even when you don't realize that you are. 


I fantasize all the time about leaving my life and starting a new one. And I'm really trying to stop. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015


It feels like there's an invisible cord linking us. Each minute that slides by cranks the tension a bit tighter, pulling me toward him or him toward me, or both. I can't tell which anymore. But the distance between us, the minutes he spends not touching me feel like agony. 

I'm talking myself down off this ledge, calmly and levelheadedly telling me not to jump. But my body isn't listening. It too is winding tighter at every clock rotation. My breath has quickened and grown shallow, but my pulse has slowed down, leaving me disoriented and foggy. I can feel every single fine hair raise to attention on my arms, up the back of my neck, the goosebumps like Braille across my skin that only he can decipher.

I'm coaching myself, and I'm succeeding, but I'm weakening. Just breathe, I tell me. Keep talking. Keep your hands busy. Don't let go.

I'm not sure who touches who first, but at first contact I can hear the cord sizzle and snap, breaking under the weight of this astriction. I don't remember stepping closer or if I was pulled, but here I am pressed close and breathing the same staccato air as him. He takes his teeth to my neck roughly, his hands heavy and possesive on my ass and hips like they're his. My mouth hangs open but I, usually so loud, so vocal, can't manage to make a sound.

At some point I pull away from him, not because I want him to stop but because I need a minute. I can't breathe. I want him to devour me whole. But, Jesus, I need a fucking minute.

I don't even realize I've slipped my thin shirt over my head, slung it away from me like fire. I've reached behind me, unclasping my red bra and dropping it on top of my toes. I stand there before him, topless, panting, my breath so guttural I'm dizzy. He's on me before I can ask him to take me.

His mouth feels like fire and his hands feel like home. He's pinned me to the wall, his fingers slipping and probing, one elegant finger telling me to come here, his thumb making light, pressured circles. The room shrinks around us and my legs start to give out underneath me. I try to get away- I'm still fighting to regain some control- but he's not letting me go. He's watching me as I tremble and shiver beneath his touch, his eyes on mine as I slide down the wall and he comes down with me. I'm still trying to get away and he's chasing me every inch of the distance as I pull myself across the carpet, my back earning a carpet burn for my effort. He's on top of me, watching me, telling me to stop, to stop fighting, to let go without ever saying a word and his weight on me is so perfect, so fucking perfect, I can't believe I ever thought I could live my whole life without feeling this feeling. I feel myself come undone in his arms. 

I'm getting loud, curses painting my lips like lipstick. I've gone blind, my body shuddering and jerking without my permission. I don't know that I've ever so intensely, so wholly surrendered to someone else. I've never been so exquisitely out of control in the entirety of my life. 

He takes me like I'm his, like he's travelled my body a million times before. He's stroking, long and deep, his hands on my ass, his palms leaving stinging indentations on my skin. He's talking to me, telling me what to do, and I am completely relieved of the ability to form rational thought, my body slipping away from my control and the taste of prayers and curses in my mouth.

His name is a song he makes me sing more times than I can count, with him coaching me through every debilitating orgasm, watching me, reacting as my body responds, telling me to let go, to stop, to look at him, at turns commanding and tender. I am so completely overwhelmed I feel like I'm going to cry.

We fall away from each other at some point and I feel so dizzy, so drunk I don't even trust myself to stand. I am stumbling and disoriented as though we've spent the whole night drinking. The sun streaming through the windows is a surprise. I feel exposed in a way I am unfamiliar with, laid bare in a way I have steadfastly endeavored not to be.

How the fuck did this happen to me?

I feel like I've lost my mind. It's been slipping away slowly, unwinding itself from my ironclad grip and spiriting away by inches into the ether. But I was good. So good. And then he touched me. And I was gone. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Run, Baby, Run

The sun is sneaking down into the basement of the sea slowly, casting the world in soft pinks and oranges in its decent. The wind is blowing soft and cool off the water and making the humid air more bearable. A bird I can't place sings a song that sounds like a melodious car alarm. Beneath me, the ocean swirls and swishes like a heartbeat, reaching fingers up the shore.

I'm on the balcony, a thin white robe slicing open at my bare breast and bare thighs. I'm admiring my newly tanned legs in the diminishing sunlight, smoking and snapping pictures. I lean back, the wind sliding up my thighs like a whisper, the robe falling open a few more inches less decent considering I am naked underneath.

I could do this, I think to myself. I could live this life. 

I could spend my life flying from place to place, letting the sun warm my skin and learning new languages and cuisines. I could reasonably take up a life of pleasure, indulging my whims and my desires across continents. I could swim in every body of water. I could climb mountains. I could hike jungles. I could take a new name and a new lover every place I went, slipping away in the middle of the night, leaving only a fond memory in my wake. I could wake up with the birds or with the bats. I could see the world. I could travel and experience, tethered to nothing, responsible to no one. I could actually, finally, live in the world rather than just exist in it. 

But not if it's running, I say to myself and I know it to be true before the thought even finishes.

I take a hard drag and pull my hair down from its perch atop my head. It's heavy with salt water and smelling like fruit. I tug at the mangled curls and think about where I go next.

I could live this life. I could. I know.
But not if it's running.
This I know too.