27 May 2017

Twist, Grist, and WPI.

There's more to spinning than it would seem.

You can delve feverishly into the intricate nuances of handspinning. The mechanics and measurements. The vocabulary. How to draft, ply, balance, wash, and set it. Dyed vs ecru, fingering vs bulky, roving vs batt vs rolag and so on and so forth.

There is a whole world of interesting textile talk backed by history and tradition blended seamlessly with respectful innovation.

But in the living room, with my feet on the wheel and the roving wrapped gingerly around my forearm like a gauntlet, there is so much more going on.

Spinning is for the senses.

And memory is rooted in senses.

While the modestly prepped llama fiber breathes through my fingers, I watch the twist travel up toward my left hand. I hear the treadles pump, the wheel rotate, the flyer spin. I smell the wool and its wash. Feel the bits of VM flick to the floor.

Part of my mind goes to peace. Smooth, repetitive, artistic motions. In one way precise and monitored, in one way relaxed and accepting of flaws and slubs.

Part goes to the movie on the screen, recognizing that in the gentle motion of the growing bobbin, I am rooted and connected to the space around me and the creatures and people who give me this hobby. To those in the room who watch the graceful cycle with me. To the hum and sounds of the room. Like watching a relative cook on a lazy morning - wordlessly, familiar, with love.

Part of me reflects.

That morning at 6 am in 2012 when I had finished two ounces of karakul, rough, grippy, and smelly. Yarn that felt like straw and must have been strong. Yarn spun in a panic, in denial, in pain. Bent over toward the wheel when I could no longer sit up straight. Crying as I spun yard by yard closer to not being able to ignore it. Yard by yard toward the inevitable. The phone call. The ER. The morphine. The ultrasound. The blood on the ground, on my legs, on the toilet seat, on the gown.

Missing the fiber bar and spin in at the yarn shop.

The bag with the circular needles and handspun that I'll never touch or pick up again.

The two days in fugue.

Thinking about getting back to work. Buying more fiber. Refusing what happened. Too much to process. Just spin. Just feel that peace. Just feel, smell, touch, twist, grist, wpi.

This is my full circle. In the moments that the wheel spins, I am peacefully nodding to those moments and acknowledging that I am still that woman, the wool is still wool, the earth is still the earth. It won't be right. But look at me - I am still.

I still am.

And the wheel spins.

09 May 2017

Three Bad Haikus, But

The sound of you
A warm echo
Across my cooling mind
To which I can stumble
When my day exhausts me
More than I have ever conquered it
More than I have ever wanted
You are more
Than I have ever deserved
And I
Am more
Than I have ever been

05 May 2017

Moving Is Tough

Moving my fingers, is tough.
Moving my legs, is tough.
Moving my

Things out of a house

I once got excited about

And now I tap my fingers and breathe quickly and rub my hair and feel my throat close

When I turn onto the street

When I pull up to the drive,

Is tough.



Being in this house feels like standing inside the skeleton of a massive, dead beast.  I can see where the heart used to beat.  But it lies, swarming with fruit flies, in the crusted dishes and damaged toys.  I can feel the air that used to push through the rooms like living, pulsating breath, hanging heavily around me.

I feel deeply sad.

Unspeakably sad.

Not guilty.  Not angry.  Not confused or frustrated or lost.

Well, maybe a little lost.

Mostly, I'm dismayed, I'm sad.

I used to survive here.  I used to struggle here.  I made some of my best and some of my worst memories in this old, dead beast.  But maybe it's been dead all along, and we just moved into this carcass, wanting to believe it was salvageable with a little clutter here, a little stain there, a little fighting and screaming over in that area.

The illusion is gone.  The screen is down.  I have a lot of things to pick up off the floor.  A lot of things to push into boxes.  A lot, and I mean a lot, of things to leave behind and slough off like scabs.



Moving my things... is tough.

Moving my legs, is tough.

Moving my fingers

Is tough.

01 May 2017

When the Levee Breaks

It takes the smallest, most unpredictable thing to trigger it.

We can be fine. Moving together. I am grabbing the sheets, grabbing at flesh, my mind in the skies, my body absorbed in the feeling, wrapped up in the present and the heat and the friction and the depth.

I feel the walls close in within my mind. My breath comes in short, ragged draws, like I'm drowning and I can't get to the air.  The terror swells up in me.  For a few short moments, I am lucid enough, aware enough, to feel my grip on reality slipping.  Determined and bull-headed, I grab on tighter, furiously insistent on holding on to my surroundings.  I fight it.  I push against the fear.

But it slips over my head and I can't resist anymore.  I'm drowning in a panic, I'm losing the battle, I'm underwater.

I can't speak.  Can't think.  I am underneath someone.  I am worthless.  I am helpless.  I am terrified and useless and nothing.  I feel them using me like a mindless fucktoy.  I cannot leave.  I cannot stop it.  I am a part of it.  I am the cause.  I am nothing, I am nothing.

Weightless under the surface, I float into that realm where I have no control and no perception.  I feel pain.  I feel pressure.  I can't see where I am - the ceiling isn't the right ceiling, the body above me isn't the right body, I'm not the right body.  Everything from the core between my legs, up my belly, down my legs, is screaming.

But I'm not screaming.

I am experiencing.

I am pure fear.  I am nothing but fear.

And as the experience fades, as the sensation comes back in my fingertips, as I begin to be able to move my torso, my head,

I fight

As hard as I can

I scrabble again for my grip on the Real World

I dig my nails into the earth and I pull myself back

With all my strength

And I lay there in myself

Wiped out from simply breathing


I feel embarrassed.  I feel exhausted.  I feel broken
Alone
Ashamed
Misused
Worthless
Ashamed
Ashamed

Ashamed

06 April 2017

A Fail to Kiss Is a Fail to Cope

Restless.

Paradoxical.

Juxtaposed.


I want to rediscover my younger self. The passion for dance and art. The trinkets. The unashamed love of horses and you know maybe dolphins and shit. The heady high that comes with staring at pictures of beautiful, bright, photoshopped people wearing beautiful clothes. Music playing constantly. Clipping out my favorite pictures of everything and sticking them to the wall. Doodling on something that no doubt had Lisa Frank on it and at least one decal of a winking cat.

I want to remember that I existed before and I have much more history than I thought I did.  I want to remember that I existed in my entirety before 2012.  I get so focused on trying to live now that I forget sometimes how easy it was to live then.



But, I also want a future of stability, animals, gardening, an office with bookshelves and canvases, a place to put my things where I know they will be safe so I can use them, look at them, touch them, wear them, create them. Where I can cook and bathe and sleep and raise my children. A place where I can be found, reliably.



But

I also want to get into a car and peel away every string that holds me in place like unsticking so many glued on threads from my skin.  Drop every responsibility, be secure in the idea that everything will be safe if I leave it alone, safe and happy and healthy and not let down.

Run, drive, wander.

Experience.

Listen.

Touch and feel and eat and sleep in a different place under a different tree in a different blanket in a different climate over and over until I belong to the earth like I should.  Until the ground and I are family.

With no deadline.

With nothing but love calling me everywhere.



I have somewhere to be.
I don't know where it is yet.
I think, maybe, it's too many places to be in at once.

I know who I want to be.  I know my heart is like dust that floats and spreads and dissolves.

I know the fever is both fear and urge.

I know I'll find peace in little moments as I go.



I need to get to May.
Lift my head out of the water and take a deep, desperate breath.

Until then

I can breathe the little bubbles of the bright moments that get me from second to second, day to day, night to night.



Center.  Margin.
Love.

20 March 2017

Won't Be Home - The Old '97s

It was dark as fuck. I could feel the wind whipping against the front of the mustang while I sped down the pitch road, 10 over, 20 over, braking for the next curve, taking the painted lanes as a suggestion.

It was dark as fuck.  I could feel the crisp chill blasting through the open window, icing my cheeks and fingers.  The feeling at the top of a roller coaster track, my face betraying the thrill while we gunned down the pitch road. 30 over. 40 over. Taking the painted lanes as a suggestion in the massive black diesel truck.

It's 2006, and instead of a CR in Bryan, I'm barreling down a farm road in Seguin, my long ponytail tangling around me, my fingers gripping the seat as we pass fences, boars, goats, and ramshackle abandoned structures.  I feel every dip and hole in the road.  I hear the crunch of complaining gravel being hurled and scattered behind us.

I loved hating those days.  I loved it.


Why do I need people to be comfortable around me?

Potentially more importantly, why do I suck at it?

With the best of intentions, I keep things to myself and show the parts of me that will put other people at ease.  Right up until the point that they realize I'm keeping things to myself.  And then they are hurt that I don't share all.

Well.

All hurts you.  All makes you feel like shit.  All makes me a three dimensional and reactive person with feelings and effects and learning curves and it's too much for you to predict.  Wouldn't it be easier if I were simple and comprehensively comprehensible?

All is selfish and presumptuous, putting my needs and emotional responses in the spotlight to be dealt with like they are of some major concern.  But they don't need to be anyone's concern but my own and an extremely select few that I know won't take it personally.  That I can rest easy knowing won't be hurt by them, or at least, will bare it to me if they are so I can repair what I damage.

I love easy.

I am naive.

But I don't trust easy.  I am guarded.  I am tense, jumpy, flighty, and hypervigilant.  You don't have to do anything WRONG for me to act like I've been shot.

Don't take me personally.  I'm carrying a big weight.  I choose how to interact.  I choose how to love.  I have to, because if you have the power to decide how I process or love or behave - I have no control of my brain. And whose hands deserve a brain? A riled up mess of a brain?  Is that even a kindness, to dump that on someone I care about?

--

Your hand on my knee makes me shake.  Your fingers on my neck make me terrified in my gut.  It isn't because of you.  It's because when I feel spotted or out of control or cornered, I tremble.  Involuntarily.  It has nothing to do with you.  I chose all of this.  Out of love. Let me bear it.

--

Step back.

Stop asking what I am to you, and what you are to me.

What I am is an easy conversation, emotionless, not intimate, simple and full of smiles and no deep needs.

What I am is a fast streak of pavement under your tires, taking you where you need to be, and leaving you there to go forward in your life.

What I am is a thing.


What you are is a complete human being who has no business kissing the road.

07 March 2017

Secrecy

There's a silence about it.

Don't show weakness.


Sometimes it's pride.  The feeling that you should be just fine, and anything less is a failure.  And you're too proud to fail.

Sometimes it's spite.  A need to keep others who don't deserve a crowbar into your heart at a distance.  So you shut up around them, keep it to yourself.

Sometimes it's protective.  To prevent people who will use your soft spots to work over and manipulate you, or simply, to feature you in their own private show.

Now, too, it's awareness.  Of people who are most alerted to the vulnerable.


I am the vulnerable.


I am keenly alerted to the fact that I have a target on my back.  When I am spoken to, I am analyzing.  How much do you know?  What do I tell you?  How will you use it - and when?  Not now, surely.  But when I drop my guard?  In a few minutes?  Days?  Years?  When does the backdrop change, the scene shift, and when do I find myself a victim again?

I am juxtaposed between refusing to be used and knowing it will happen.


I am stumbling from day to day, and

I am so lost without you


I could have done a great job

as a mom.


Fucking nobody will ever know,

least of all me.

19 February 2017

I Have a Letter

I don't know where it is. I don't remember what it says.

I know the sentiment like the back of my hand. It plays on repeat in my mind every day.

I miss you.

I love you.

I will protect you.

I couldn't protect you.

It loops through behind my eyes when people speak to me. When people presume to know me.

It's why I don't let them know me.

Because

I miss her

I love her

I WILL protect her

And in the most defeating way, like that cocky breath you take right before the world makes you completely powerless, I exhale

And she is

Gone

Like the minutes in the car staring at the front door
Like the empty space in my chest at the end of the night
Like the pressure in my throat
Like the heartbroken sigh of deep, unavoidable loss

I carry my baby with me like a physical weight

That weight in my arms, that emptiness, is all I have left of her

I won't let it go

I won't move on

She belongs here at my chest, wrapped up in me, kept safe where I could not keep her alive

15 February 2017

Do it

Something the Mindy Project said.  Something about being so used to someone criticizing you, that when they are gone, you fill that hole.  You already push, but now you judge, too.

It's like a drug.  Self punishment.  Skipping happily into risky situations.  Leaving the result up to someone else, to the moment.

Getting close enough to smell it.

Walking the edge of the fence.

Toying with the sharp side.


Maybe this will be an incredible thing.  Maybe I will grow within an atmosphere of watchful awareness and self analysis.

Maybe I've found another of him.  Playing games with me until he finds he one that gets under my skin, because once you're under there, you have control of all my strings.

I'll walk along that edge and see.

I'll ride this out and see how it goes.


Who will I allow to push me?

09 February 2017

How Do You Write About It?

Do I say it runs my life mechanically?
That it tastes like cloves?
That some mornings I don’t get up?
That some mornings I know I should never have gotten up?
Do I recite memories that cycle through my head daily?
Do I describe hypervigilance?
Do I explain the crippling, all-consuming halt my thoughts and actions come to when someone mentions a trigger?
Confess the shame of being alive despite, or the horror of not being in the right universe, or
Maybe I write about the misery of not recognizing my “wrong” baby as my own?
Should I quote the songs from that time that still make me sob?
What about the disorientation?

How do you discuss grief. What IS grief.

I’m broken and to play it back again is to lay here in the bed and give up like I should have when they told me I had to make a choice.

Nothing About Grief (TW)

My fingers are timid.  They touch the wood of the bedroom door.  Graze against the rough surface.  Is this my home?  Is it time to give up on the day and go to sleep in the bed in the mess in the house I don't own by the child who doesn't know under the row of soft drink cans on a mattress on a carpet on a foundation on dirt that isn't in the right place?

Shh.

I touch the door.  Twist the handle as softly as I can, and slowly, quietly ease it open.

In that moment, through the suffocating door frame.

Like those moments, through the front door.

Or those moments, out of the car.

A transition.

It's hard to go through doors.  It always has been, but now the weight is tangible.  Now I feel the mask around my face.  Now I want to be naked.

...

I have a hard enough time being sure that I am where I am.  Now I sit here on the couch, wondering where I am emotionally.  Mentally.  Grammatically.

Tell me why I even made the call if I was too fear-struck to do the real work.

It's a knee jerk.  A tensing of muscles.  An immediate and overwhelming NEED to run for the door, to physically get away.  It's thinking about how many steps to the door.  It's a spinning of wheels while I simultaneously prepare for defense and analyze how many of my cracks have been spotted.

That's it, isn't it?

Locking eye contact and listening to every syllable while I try to determine how much of myself has been exposed and how can I disarm the situation without showing weakness.

...

Just tell me where you are.

Just open the door.  Look at it.  And tell me.

...

Tonight I am upset because I read through my old text posts.  I saw revelations being had over and over again as though they were brand new.

That's what it is.

I'm not any better.  I.  Am there again.  I am there again.

...

Where are you at with your grief.

I'm exactly where I was before.

I'm laying in the bed at his parent's house, the sun coming through the sheer blinds and hitting the pale blue comforter.  The basal body temperature thermometer is on the speaker on top of the safe that serves as a side table.  The mess of prenatal vitamin bottles, snacks, trash, drinks, and clothes are piled up along the edge of the bed.

With the pregnancy journal, green, with its strap keeping it shut.  I can't look at it.

The phone was in my hand when I heard Kari was pregnant.

The phone was in my hand when the doctor said "it will probably take all weekend."

I played the song that broke my heart over and over again, and when Jack was taking up that space, I played it to him, too.  AJ laying next to me, oblivious, with his book of fetal development complete with transparent stacking illustrations.

My heart was breaking again and again each time I woke up, and he was telling me what size the new baby was.  And I was nodding along because THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO.

I just laid there after they took her away from me.

I just laid there

I wrote her a letter

The people on the phone

My mom, upset that I hadn't told her until I was on the way to the ER.  My boss, upset that I even wanted to have a baby.  Why do you fuckers even have opinions on this.

Picking fights over the island in the kitchen over everything, because WHY ARE YOU NOT UPSET.  Just at least remember that I can be upset, that I get to be upset, that I have no choice but to be upset, that this person isn't even in here anymore and it is all I can do to keep moving around.

Did they think I had any level of control?

Do I have control now?

Counting everything out.  Walking the same number of paces.  Chewing my lip to pieces.  Keeping the clean clothes, food, and water in the car.


"Yes I know what you think of me, you never shut up"

Where am I?

Where am I.

I don't fucking know how to answer that.


My baby is dead.  I'm not there.  I'm not anywhere.  She's in the trash and I'm walking around like a living person would.

It's not reconcilable.


I will try this again later.















03 February 2017

Control and Focus

Over the past nine days I've been wondering whether or not I was worth his time.  Self worth, that is the question after all, isn't it?

"Bitch it's called SELF. ESTEEM."

Last night I was thinking about how I needed the question marks to end.  I crave stability like I crave oxygen.  Information is a drug. flipping the switch on neurotransmitters, sending a rush of calm and peace.

So instead of waiting until two weeks went by, my arbitrary allotted amount of acceptable angst, I sent a text:

Hey you. I know you are probably still dealing
with stuff, or at least I'm guessing you are. If
there's any way you could shoot me a text and let
me know if you are still interested (or even like, if
you're doing ok), it'd put my mind at ease a bit.
You've been so quiet, I'm not really sure what's up.

And with that, I communicated my feelings without behaving needy or accusatory.  With that I gave up the reigns on my own terms, leaving the door open, but as a participant instead of a helpless witness.

My mind is open this morning.  There was no text on my phone when I woke up.  That's fine.

Because this gives me the space to focus on myself.  Space that I needed in my brain, which is still outgrowing its little pot, spreading outward, reaching into parts of me I missed and needed, parts that stuck just out of reach, starved of nutrition and development.

Space to look at my day as a slew of positive or simply present opportunities instead of a vehicle that drags me running behind it.  Space to interact.  To recognize my needs and limits.

Space to not only be comfortable, but to allow myself to be uncomfortable.

I want control and autonomy back, and I can when I want to now.

Not because of a text, but because of the choice to text.


I don't know which pill that is.  But my eyes are open, at least for today, and I am going to keep looking until I understand.
















01 February 2017

Where Am I At

Some moments I see myself, and I wonder if I am overreacting.  Everybody loses people.  Sometimes in worse ways - frequently in worse ways.  Shouldn't I be past this?  It's done.  Shouldn't I be functional?

Your baby is dead.  It was years ago.  Your life has moved forward, sometimes without you.  Get over it.  Catch up.  WAKE up.

But then I think.

If I can survive without her.

It's like she doesn't matter.

If I stop talking about her, thinking about her, obsessing over her, she won't be a part of my life anymore.  I will invalidate her by breathing when she isn't.  By living when she isn't.  By smiling, occupying space, fighting for my needs, confiding in people, feeling happy, I stamp out her memory.

By not telling people about the date tattoo on my ankle, I lie.

By saying I have two children, I lie.

By saying I am happy.

I lie.

And should it really be this way?  Is my life so ruined?  I'm here.  But I'm not here at all.

I'm on the wrong train.  Speeding along as time chugs and spins, every minute taking me further away from those few days, weeks, moments we were together, whether I want to acknowledge, heal, or dwell.

--

A man walks into the shop and past Derek and I on the couches.  He speaks over the counter to Jeremy about the tattoo he wants to get.  A footprint from the hospital.  Stillborn.  The artifacts from a life missed, a body on the wrong train.  That mark in the skin, that small and audacious link, that tiny effort to connect across the dimensions, to keep the family together, to keep a baby with you when you never got to hold them.

I start to tap my phone.  I flip it against the back of my hand.  I stare at the sidewalk through the window.

I am thinking about those hours in my car, within sight of the front door.  Unable to go in, lost and unsure of where I wanted to be.  Wondering if I had the strength to go inside when I didn't want to.

Derek pops me on the arm with his drawing pad.  Says hey.  Gestures to the screen.

I don't have to say anything.  He knows what I'm thinking about.  He knows I need to watch The OA on Netflix.  Come back to the train.


Move forward.

16 January 2017

Bracing in the Mornings

Some people wake up in the mornings and invest in themselves.  They drink a cup of coffee, take a shower, eat food.

Some roll out of bed, grab an energy drink and shoes, and run out the door.

Some laze about for a while.


It takes me about 30-45 minutes, on an easy day, to get up.

I sit up fast - I've undoubtedly slept through every alarm again.  I stare around the room I hate, blinking hard and reaching for the red bulls by the bed.  I might eat a couple bites of whatever food I had the foresight to put nearby.

I think to myself - okay, let's get up and do today.

And then I realize that I have to do today.

And my entire body tenses.  I am filled with an overwhelming, drowning feeling of terror.  I'm not ready.  I am not ready to wash tools.  I am not ready to interact with people who want to know about my life or their bodies.  I am not ready to use my words.  I am not ready.

Calm down.  Sip your drink.  Take your time.  Do your makeup.  Put on clothes.  It's okay.  You have twenty minutes to get it together and act like a normal person.

Breathe.

Act like a normal person.

05 January 2017

Two steps forward

I'm eighteen.  Fit.  Fucked up.  Meek.  I've never smoked, never had a drink, never had sex.  Full of energy, full of big thoughts, full of questions for the world.  Full of everything - simply full.  The most novel thing is being able to drive anywhere I want at any time, and I grow attached to my vehicle as my home on wheels.  I may leave the car to go into other residences, but they are borrowed, not mine.  This car is mine.  This bridge and the rocks and life underneath it are mine.  This town is mine.  I fall into the earth every time I need to bring myself back to baseline.

It works - I inhale the grass and dirt and twigs.  I remember that they are my source.  I follow everyone like a stray waiting for scraps.  And at night, I lay down in the elements and I humble myself intensely.

I'm twenty-two.  Not fit.  Just as fucked up.  I've found a voice in my core, and I use it to voice opinions and defenses that I will never stand behind.  I can be loud.  I can be silent.  I swing between a hard headed determination to pursue what I want and a deep loathing that prevents me from ever really wanting.  I sit on the curb and read the chronicle while the sun rises in the cool, moist air above the treeline and lights my paper.  The beginnings of the fear of going indoors has been planted inside me.  Now I take maybe ten minutes to myself before stepping over the threshold.

How many times did I tell him and my closest friends that I wanted the relationship to end?  But my voice still had more compassion in it than personal interest.  I stayed.  I sat in the grass and distracted myself with rescues and waited for time to pass.

I'm twenty-three.  Fit in the wrong way.  Fucked up more than I have ever been.  I spin through life, I breathe in water, I choke and sputter and slip beneath the surface because at least it makes sense to drown.  I run.  I take my beloved car, my home, all over the state.  I take it to Montrose, again and again.  I have lost nature and found whiskey.  Found kamel reds.  Found xanax.  Found a gun.  My will exists on an unwitnessed paper towel in sharpie in the cabinet of the armoir.  I have no home and I do not go to it - I don't go to his parent's house, and when we move back into our own filthy hoarder's storage unit of a house, I don't go in there, either.  I stop at the doorframe.  I think about the shotgun.  I think about taking it out to the yard, way in the back corner.  I think about waiting for someone else to fire one off so I can time it just right, so the vultures will carry off my pieces before 7 am, before he comes home.  So there is no clean up.  So I can sink back into the ground that I miss, so I can nourish the birds that he so loves.  So I can fly, and be dragged, and be torn up.

But instead, I wait in front of the door.  I sit down on the bucket on the porch in the pile of filth that vomits out the entryway a little more each day.  I rest on that pickle bucket and I smoke a smoke and I rage at myself for not being able to simply. Walk. Inside.

I'm twenty-eight.

Not fit.

Probably fucked up.

I have little pieces of purpose in my life that float around inside of me like puzzle pieces.  Sometimes they fall into place, and some days I pull them apart.  Some pieces are under my couch.  Some are in my ear, like a buzzing bass humming through far away ear buds.  Some touch my lips and twist up my stomach.

Some days I walk through the door.

Some days I wait for an hour or more in the car.  Mustering courage.  Trying to be ready to step into that life some stranger in my shape created, fostered, cultivated.  I don't know who she is, but here I am in her place, trying to keep things together in case she comes back.  In case someone sees through my act.  In case one day I can get back to my own dimension.  The one with the right baby.  The one where we never got married.  Where nature didn't steal my child.  Maybe there we are together.  Sometimes I think that's not it at all - I'm just dead alongside her, rotting the way it was supposed to be.  Holding my tiny ball of a future in my hands like I have any way at all to express the love I carry for her.

I cannot live separated from her.

I can't breathe.

There are good days and there are bad days, but truthfully - none of them are really mine.

Maybe this year I'll find a way to live in my own life.  Find a person who allows me to grieve, survive, love.  Maybe I can forge a new direction in this other woman's life I'm leading and do right by both her and me.

I mean, maybe, right?

02 January 2017

Reactions

I smile the entire day.  The more he speaks, the more I can't help it.  He's too new for me to read - I'm watching his face, looking for his responses.  Am I oversharing?  Is he upset?  Is he interested?  I'll back off and keep to shallow topics.  It's too soon for anything more.  We have time.

I exhale.  I calm down my need to run.  Because it feels good to be with him, just the two of us, spending time like we have it all.  I've never moved so slowly, never melted like honey, relaxing into the evening hours.  Attuned and dripping off of his words with comfortable, warm ease.

I grin wryly.  In the late evening hours, someone messages me.  I come back with responses that are quick, teasing, and unfair.  I know where I'm at now, and I don't need any specific reply.  I'm prepared.  I'm confidently lacking a base, and ready to move left, right, to hold out my arm and say, bluntly, no.  I make no excuses for myself.

I shake.  I tremble like a leaf, like a cat in the cold, out of control of my own skin.  Just like I was before.  Out of control.  I watch with amusement and frustration while my legs, hands, and voice tremble and ignore my commands.  Wherever my body is, my brain clearly isn't with it.  Disobedient.

I leave.  The woman on the television cries while she recounts her forced loss.  I simply go.  Out the door, around the corner, I just keep walking.  Close to home.  Too close - so keep walking.  When I come back, I dodge eye contact and sit beneath the counter in my booth.  By some stroke of kindness, nobody engages with me.  I breathe it out.  I exhale it.  This is not the time or the place.  I will be in control, for the next forty-five minutes.

I communicate softly.  He messages me now, to make plans, to continue our pattern.  I'm finished with patterns.  I'm finished with people who want to control me or guilt trip me.  I'm finished with being asked where my bite marks came from, or told I shouldn't get more.  I am not your possession.  That you would even attempt to assume control over me infuriates me.  You will not have it, you won't, and neither will anyone else who tries.



Maybe that's why I'm so blown away by this guy and his "old fashioned" date.  He didn't try anything.  He didn't push anything.  He verbalized everything.

Slow like honey.

Sweep me off my feet.