Where I Have Been

Yep, I’ve been MIA for quite some time.  Now I’m going to tell why!

2012-09-11

On 11 September, I got into a car accident that totaled my car and broke my left arm and wrist.  Not cool.  The other driver was at fault, uninsured, unlicensed, and without the benefit of the English language – which I guess is only a problem if the police can’t understand you.  Which they couldn’t, and a translator was eventually dug up from the nearby projects.  Delightful.  As with most sudden disasters, you still have a few nanoseconds for thought.  I realized collision was inevitable, and thought: “put your right arm down so it isn’t injured; cover your face so no cuts or chemical burns; and OH GODDAMN I really liked this car…”  CRASH.  The first thing I thought of after that was how and when to tell Kansas City without alarming him while he was at work over something he couldn’t do anything about anyway.  I had covered my face with my left arm, and airbag or no, it broke when slammed against the wheel.  It had a cool perfectly circular slice in the center of a wide array of bruising, stamped there by the emblem on the middle of the steering wheel.  But aside from that and seatbelt burn against my neck and chest, I was fine.  The car was clearly totalled, as its engine was clearly misshapen enough to never again function.  I sat on the sidewalk, calmly told the paramedics I’d take myownself to the ER, thanks, just an ice pack will do for now, and waited for the police, the wrecker, and – wow – my mother.  Mom saved the day by running right to me and taking me to the hospital, where they laughed at my self-diagnosis of broken arm … until they read the xrays.

So I had a cast for four weeks, which was removed just today.  I’m FIRED UP about things like taking showers that don’t involve garbage bags and being able to do my dishes and tie my sneakers.  And let me tell you, it was damn near impossible to have sex with that fucking thing on my entire forearm, although assorted partners (The Dom, the Kid, the Communist, Eve) were kind about the injury.

In the meantime, though, some stuff happened.  Teacher broke up with me (good for him!).  I broke up with Programmer (good for me!).  Eve and I jumped back into … well, not bed, but something together.  And I met the Dom, who is a whole BALL of (delicious, tantalizing, jesus that man has some hands) problems.  Also met the Foodie, who’s an interesting can of worms himself.  And Kansas City and I, well.  To follow this with “That’s going well,” would be so understating it that I’m not sure I can think of proper verbiage for it right now.  It’s also my bedtime, as I have an exam tomorrow that I expect to score 106% on.  But see – all this is coming.  Stay tuned!

Meet Kansas City

jcnfountainAfter Kansas City left Tuesday morning, I drove in circles on the highway, killing time.  My bedroom was still full of him, my shower, my kitchen, my brain.  KC and I met for the first time Sunday night – but we already knew each other.  As we lay entwined while Monday became Tuesday, counting hours of sleep vs. hours together, he whispered to me: “I loved you the whole time.”  I nodded, brushed his lips with my thumb.  His hand followed the path on me from shoulder to hip that had become familiar in just a day and a half, and pulled me closer. Warning: the following is going to sound a little like lines from When Harry Met Sally.  I can’t help it; it’s the truth.  I haven’t mentioned Kansas City before, because dating him wasn’t within the realm of reality.  At least, that’s what I thought.

The first time I “met” Kansas City, nine years ago in an online writing community, we hit it off right away and often shared our lives over IM and email.  Eventually we lost touch, each wrapped up in our own long-term relationships and educations and careers.  The second time we “met”, three years ago (due to utterly unbelievable online coincidence), we were thrilled to rediscover our friendship.  And we fell in love.  Hard.  Over email, text and phone, we re-learned each other and couldn’t get enough.  There were only a few obstacles: the distance.  His monogamous girlfriend.  We shelved things after a few months. So when we got back in touch for the third time, even though we were both single, we kept the romance quiet and became best friends instead.  We shared everything: work, school, relationships, family, and everything else.  In our more honest moments, we talked about love – but we were also honest about any kind of “us” being practically impossible.

And then we met for the fourth time, five days ago.  Finally face to face. We planned it about two weeks in advance.  I let myself believe it about two days in advance – and a constant low thrum of excitement and nervousness vibrated from my chest to my lower belly.  KC rang my doorbell and started down the five steps to my apartment, and I had to step hard on my heart to keep it from beating out of my chest.  The sun was shining behind him so I couldn’t see his face, but I didn’t even need to.  The space between us was electric.  “Hi,” I said, trying to keep breathing, looking into his eyes and at his smile splashed across his face like he’d just seen his first rainbow.  “Hi,” he said.  And I started a sentence about nothing that I never finished. With the words, “Come here, you,” KC pinned me to the wall with his mouth to mine.  If there’d been a film crew, they’d have been rotating around us to give you that world-spinning feeling.  KC’s hands were on my hips, on my shoulders, in my hair.  I realized my own hands were flat on the wall behind me, and solved that problem by pulling his hips against mine and holding him there tightly.

We rushed and we meandered, silently arguing with ourselves and each other over whether to take our time or just finally end all the waiting. As KC hesitated for a moment, arms around my shoulders, hips pressed tight between my thighs, looking down into my eyes, I knew I loved him.  As always.  I closed my eyes as the feeling spread through me, hot and golden and so, so good.  Kansas City said my name, and I opened my eyes, drank in his face.  “I love you,” he said.  And he slid home inside me for the first time. We spent the weekend half in bed, laughing and kissing and fucking, talking about absolutely anything that came to mind.  We wandered hand in hand through the city, discussing my history here and just being together.  We sat on a fallen tree and watched the river, nestled into one another, wishing it wouldn’t end in only a day.  We stayed awake most of Monday night, holding each other and telling truth.

When he drove away from me the next morning, he took my whole heart with him. I spent one day in a mess of emotion, thrilled and ever so in love, frustrated at being separated, and confused by all of it.  But my usual reaction to intense, overwhelming emotion is a burst of logic and pragmatism.  And by Wednesday night, KC and I had planned a schedule of visits through December.  We looked at maps together and picked a halfway point, six and a half hours from each of us.  And we’ve already begun talking about how to combine our lives in the fairly near future – who moves where and when.

It’s terrifying, to start planning life changes like where to live and where to go to school based on the very beginning of a relationship.  Part of me says: we were together for 36 hours, of course it was perfect.  But I have both logical and non-logical reasons I know this is the right thing to do.  Every time I think how foolish this is, I immediately feel another tumbler click into place on my internal certainty meter – the instincts I rely on to make all real, important decisions.  This part of me has no ability to make sense.  It just knows.  I have rational reasons as well.  As a woman in my 30s, I’m too old to wait for things to “just work out”.  I’ve begun making things happen in my personal life lately, including a new direction for my career.  It feels good to be more involved in my life’s trajectory, and chasing what I want?  It’s the best feeling in the world.

I know what I want when it comes to relationships.  I want a partner in crime.  Someone who understands me without needing explanation, someone I am always having fun with, someone with whom communication is effortless.  Someone who is game for adventures and challenges and even struggles, because we can do anything together.  When I meet someone like that, I fall in love.  Quickly, deeply, and authentically.  I’ve met four people in the past fifteen years who made me feel like that.  Recently I met a fifth.  He’s worth chasing.  This feeling is worth chasing.  In fact, I won’t be happy unless I do it.  My happiness is worth chasing.  So here I go.

The Teacher, Red Delicious, and Bi-Girl Syndrome

reddelheartThere’ve been all KINDS of exciting developments between now and the eight first dates I managed to complete in ten days’ time recently.  And this is the one I’m happiest about:  The Teacher slept with someone other than me!

He arrived at my apartment on Monday afternoon with a great big grin on his face.  This is one of the most endearing things about the Teacher, the look on his face when he sees me.  “You look nice,” he said, and we went straight to bed.  “So,” he said, “you want to hear about my date?” Of course I did.  His description of the afternoon they spent together was quite detailed, and I was getting bored.  “Get to the sex part!” I teased him, knowing that sex on the first date was highly unlikely for the Teacher.  And he blushed a lovely scarlet.  “That was later,” he said.  “Baby!” I yelled, “WOO HOO!”  I covered him in kisses.  “You know,” he said to me, “condoms aren’t THAT bad.”

I was amused.  The Teacher and I haven’t used condoms, see, since our first night together.  I let him make that decision with the full knowledge that I had other partners.  Since he doesn’t sleep with anyone other than me, and birth control is already double-covered, he felt it was fine to go without … so he’s had sex while wearing one exactly twice.  “Also,” he said to me, smiling at my joy on his behalf, “I got to be the experienced one.”  That made me throw back my head and laugh.  “I love you,” I told him, and for the first time, he didn’t echo me immediately.  I smiled inwardly.  I have little doubt about the Teacher’s feelings for me, and I respect his choice to save that for his new girl.  They are great for each other, from what I can tell, and I hope it works out.

I feel great about this, even though it will probably lead to the Teacher dating his new girl exclusively and the end of our (sexual and romantic, at least) relationship.  I’ve been on the receiving end of this sort of breakup before.  Single fellas meet me and think I’m wonderful, cannot believe I am also single, and are sure that my having other partners won’t bother them.  Most are pretty excited about the freedom to pursue other girls while also enjoying a relationship.  Ultimately, though, most of these single guys meet someone who wants the same thing they want – an impenetrable twosome.  It’s not that I don’t see the appeal.  It’s just that I’m quite picky about who I twosome with.  So the fellas move on with their new exclusive girls, and we always part on good terms.  Occasionally I have mixed feelings about it, but not this time.  I can see the Teacher marrying this gal, and I hope I dance at their wedding.  Aww.

Enough about his dating life, though.  This blog is ALL about me.  And I’m two things: uncertain and excited.  I’m positive you know what I’m talking about: that kind of interest in someone new that’s uncomfortable and thrilling and uncomfortably thrilling.  Red Delicious and I met for dinner last week, and almost immediately fell into the kind of conversation two people have when they have eighteen things to say.  She was warm, funny, honest, and instantly accessible in the way that people only can be who are comfortable with themselves one hundred percent.  Authenticity is the one thing I’m non-negotiable on.  Red Delicious has it in spades.  She also has gorgeous long auburn hair, and piercing green eyes that glow when she’s delighted.  We have tons to talk about, and we’ve laughed most of the time we’re together, on our two dates.  I love being so engaged in a conversation, and I love talking to someone smarter than me.

Thursday, we gave a hug and went happily our separate ways to our cars after goodbye, having already planned for Tuesday.  And last night, well, I think I muffed the goodbye there.  We’d driven in her car to a coffee shop, and she was dropping me back at mine. Without thinking, I jumped out and leaned down to say what a good time it had been.  Even before I had that sentence finished, I was frustrated that I hadn’t stayed in the passenger seat for a minute longer and taken a look in Red’s eyes – because I’d have loved to end the evening with a kiss or two.  We also failed to make a future date, even though I think we both would like to – again, probably my fault for leaping out of the car.

Since I’ve done dozens of them, you’d think I’d have this first/second/third-date-type stuff down.  I’d like to say that this one can be chalked up to a simple execution error, but I think it’s more of a trend.  After all, when the Biomed Engineer (we dated for six months this winter) dropped me off at my car on our second date, we accomplished the front-seat first kiss, awkwardly twisted torsos and all.  I’m a bit of a first kiss expert, even, and I can usually read my date’s face well enough to know if they’re thinking along the same lines I am.  If they are, I have no trouble making the first move.  Unless, of course, my date is a woman.  Everything else is the same – I want a kiss, I can tell that she does … and I fail to make it happen.

I’m a little bit baffled by this shyness.  “Shyness”, even, since I am the farthest thing from shy.  I’m almost never dumbfounded this way with a man.  So … why?  I have no doubts about my bisexuality.  In high school, I had one boyfriend and one girlfriend.  Ever since, I’ve had bunches of each.  The only thing I can come up with – and it’s a very uncomfortable thing – is that with men, I let traditional gender roles take the pressure off.  By ascribing responsibility for the first kiss to my date if he’s a man, I make it easier for myself to make the first move.  Or perhaps it’s that gender stereotypes allow me to be less concerned about a lack of desire on my date’s part if he’s a man?  Probably both.  And this stuff happens in my mind instantly, subconsciously, and it causes about thirty seconds of hesitation … which kills the moment.  Every time.  The thing is, the girls aren’t kissing me, either.

In that long moment, the women I’m with are paralyzed too with hesitation.  And these women are all bisexual, like me.  I have almost never dated a woman who sees women exclusively.  Many lesbians shun other women who also date men.  And enjoying the company of men and sex with men is part of me, no matter who I’m currently dating.  for these reasons, I am almost always dating other bisexual women.  I love it – they almost always understand me perfectly, and they are naturally the best people-watching companions ever.  So all my dates with women are the combination of two bisexual girls.  And when we want to kiss each other, intend to, even, something makes us halt and hesitate.  I’m calling it Bi-Girl Syndrome, and I’ve had it as long as I can remember, thinking back.  I can’t remember a female partner who hasn’t also had it, and it reminds me of one extreme example that makes me laugh.

My friend the Writer and I had long admired one another, and the timing was never right.  Finally all the pieces fell into place, and we went on a wonderful date and greatly enjoyed each other.  Afterward, we sat on my couch, our face inches apart for hours – and never managed even so much as a goodnight kiss.  When we talked again next, we said what a mistake that had been, that we’d been wanting to sleep together for ages, and we shouldn’t have let anything stop us.  And we made another date, that was equally wonderful … and sat on the couch again, waiting.  I couldn’t take it, all of a sudden, and stood up and pulled my dress over my head.  I reached for the Writer’s hand, and she smiled at me as I led her to my bedroom, where she undressed in about five seconds flat, with zero hesitation.  And the Writer and I had a GREAT night together.

Bi-Girl Syndrome only affects that first move – but, oh, its effects are strong.  Last weekend, when Eve and I went on our first date, we each hesitated in the span of almost an entire minute, trying to clear the BGS hurdle, and we didn’t, in the end.  Tonight is my second date with Eve, and I’m promising myself to overcome my hesitation.  READERS:  hold me to it.  ; )

Renovations – Life Under Construction

renovationsLast Friday, my bosses closed the books on the quarter by closing the books on my job. It was a surprise, and the bosses offered more condolences and good references than they did reasons to back up their decision. I was in a bit of a spin, and assorted boyfriends and lovers reacted in all different ways. The Kid listened to everything and responded to my texts with smileys, frownys, kisses, and <;3s as he saw fit – we won't see each other in person until the school year. The Teacher made me grilled cheese and tomato soup on my first Monday home from work and pretended nothing was wrong – which was comforting in its way. The Programmer responded perfectly with instant outrage on my behalf, sympathy for my mixed feelings, affection, and availability. And the Architect, well. He broke up with me. That was also a surprise.

It so happened that as I packed up a box with my personal things at the office last Friday, the Architect texted with a random “Love you!”. And when I told him why it was great to hear it at that moment, he invited me over without hesitation. He distracted me with pizza and cartoons, held me tight, and fucked me well enough to purge the day’s negative energy. I was yawning as I left his driveway that night, and I was feeling almost okay. Of course the next few days were a rollercoaster, and the Architect was quiet instead of his usual cheerful daily checkins, flirts, and iloveyous. So naturally, during our first real conversation in several days, I yelled at him … and immediately apologized and was forgiven. We set a date to talk more over the weekend. And each of us spent the next five days or so planning quietly how best to break up or stay together. During those five days, I swung from break up to stay together. And he swung the other way.

The Architect started saying goodbye to me as soon as we sat down across the dinner table from one another, although he didn’t do or say anything out of place. His eyes were all I needed to know what he was thinking; this has always been true. After dinner, I sat him on my couch, and asked him to tell me what he’d been thinking about. He told me a little bit of what he’d been turning over and over – mostly confusion about how best to handle the practicality of polyamory in his life. Although this isn’t a concern for me – there’s not a single person in my life who doesn’t know I date non-monogamously – the image he and his wife present is one of happy monogamy. The Architect still couldn’t manage to tell me the truth, the real stuff, until I said it for him: “I have to admit,” I told him, “I’ve been wondering if we should break up.” That unsealed his lips finally. He described how he needed to spend time on and with himself, and himself only; had to figure out what he really wanted from relationships, whether he wanted them at all. He meant every word, and it was killing him to say it.

My heart, instead of shrinking or freezing, felt larger than ever before, almost choking me. I let it, and kept quiet while he told me what he wanted to. I agreed, I understood, I probably even smiled. I responded hardly at all, except with acceptance, and that may have been my mistake. Maybe I should have let my feelings pour from my mouth like I always do, grabbed his hand, told him no, laid out the reasons why he needed me right now, vice versa. Maybe I should have insisted with my touch, my kiss, pressing my love against him, knowing he’d have to fight so hard to resist. Maybe I should have calmly laid out all the logic he hadn’t considered, the other side of the spectrum, my own perspective and even the third. I didn’t. I sat still, six inches away and a mile away, until he started to cry. That was when my heart broke.

While I held him, feeling him fight himself, I turned off all the thoughts that threatened to overwhelm me, urging me to remember just how he was stroking my hair because it would never happen again. I shut them down one by one; although self-torture is a specialty of mine, it’s not one that pleases me. I thoughtfully listed reasons why this felt wrong. There were several. And I listed reasons this felt right. There was one. The only reason breaking up felt right – the only reason I could make myself hug him quickly, hold myself still while he kissed me and whispered “I love you” against my lips, telling me goodbye in my doorway for the last time – was because he was convinced he had to.

It still feels wrong to me. I have filled my time since then, seeing friends, wandering the mall, tiptoeing between the library stacks, sneaking into the movies for a double-header with my mother. I am good at breakups, in fact, and these are tried and true strategies that are already helping. There is nothing, of course, that will make it hurt any less, and I am shocked at how much it hurts. It isn’t that, though, that keeps on bothering me. It’s the fact that of all the breakups I’ve been part of in my life – at least a hundred, over the last fifteen years – this is the first one that feels wrong afterward. Every breakup is wrenching, everyone involved is left ragged to heal, but that’s not what I mean. For the first time ever, I cannot recognize through that pain that this was the right decision. Dean Jagger’s voice twists through my mind on a fine thread that continues to resonate every few minutes, as he speaks General Waverly’s words to Betty Haynes at the train station in Pine Tree, Vermont: “I can’t help but think this is a tactical error. In my opinion, what you two need is a good talking-to.” We haven’t a General Waverly, of course. And we haven’t a neat two-hour plotline. And I just don’t know anymore. I know this: I’ve had just about enough rejection for one fucking week.

Becoming a (SW)Sexpert

SDAWAlthough it’s a fair bet I’ve long since met the qualifications, now I have an official title as a sexpert.  Watch out – my first post for Singles Warehouse’s new XXX blog will be about threesomes.  For now, content yourselves with my intro post over there – and while you’re at it, check out some of the incredibly hot pieces that are already up!

http://www.singleswarehouse-xxx.co.uk/2012/06/8177/

These writers sure know how to get a lady hot, wet, and willing.

Double the Flavor, Double the Fun

Bisexual

While I try and get the rest of my life under control enough to post you some more good stuff (and believe me, there’s been lots of good stuff going on!), check out my post over at Singles Warehouse about being bisexual.

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2012/05/bisexuality-is-twice-as-nice/

It really is twice as nice.

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