On Neon Lights

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He’s running late.

I’m sitting in a freezing hotel lobby with a dying computer trying to relax, trying to watch a movie, when I’m nervous and cold and aching all over.

He didn’t tell me he wouldn’t get off work until hours after my flight got in.
He didn’t tell the hotel that I was authorized to check in. So instead, I’m sitting here, beside a fake Holiday Inn fireplace, hoping my laptop battery holds out, trying to keep myself calm.

In truth, I’m not so angry as I am nervous. I haven’t seen him in almost five years. Our history has been…bumpy? We’ll go with bumpy. And we’ve talked about this, built this up. But, it was all fantasy – timing and distance getting in the way of fantasy becoming reality.
So when I said I could potentially have time/money to come up for a weekend, I didn’t know what to expect. He enthusiastically agreed, and I suppose I thought he’d put a semblance of effort in.
I certainly expected him to try to get to where we were staying at around the same time as me, or let me know if advance if there would be a problem, let me know when to try to arrive, but…

He finally comes through the door, and I shove the computer away. He hugs me, and he’s bouncing up and down. A barely closed bottle of happy energy.

I thought we’d talk for a bit. I’d have time to decompress, to relax.
I thought I’d have time to get my hands back to a normal temperature, anyways.
He’s on me, kissing me, holding me, and it’s almost like I remember but at the same time entirely different. I remind myself I wanted this. I remind myself I came here. Of course this would happen immediately.

And he’s tearing off my shirt and my pants and I’m so, so nervous.
It’d been a while since I’d had sex. Too long. But my previous experiences with it had been a combination of both wonderful and exceedingly painful. This was height of ‘the time of vag hell.’ I had halfheartedly tried dating, but this wasn’t exactly a time in my life when I would call myself “happy,” I was struggling in my city, between moves again, and finding someone to just relax with, while it would’ve been nice, was just another stress I didn’t need.

So while his foreplay might’ve worked for some, for me, no, it was not enough.

It was pain. Tense, terrifying, horrible pain.

We try a different way, and it helps. And he manages to make me orgasm, for the first and only time that weekend, but far from a release it feels like agony. Like tearing something from me that didn’t want to give.

He stands up, still that happy energetic ball, and leaves me to pull myself together. I’m a mess of emotions, with a steel mask in place.

Will it be like that for the rest of the weekend?
Well, he hadn’t seen you, he was probably excited, maybe he’ll take more time, you’ll be ready next time?
Oh God, what if he does take longer next time?
Maybe booze will help? Can you find a bar near here?
Maybe you won’t have to again tonight?

He’d mentioned going to a concert, when we were sort of planning this weekend, saying things we might want to do.
He’s pulling out some sort of drug, he calls it a supplement, but it a drug, just the kind a test won’t care about, and I say fine, but I’m driving back.

It’s not until I’m in the passenger seat of the pickup truck that he says it’s a three hour drive. Because why wouldn’t it be?

 

We grab dinner before the show, and talk about old friends, old memories. I say how much I want to travel, don’t want to settle in one place. He’s saying he wants to come with, if I need a travel ‘companion’, he’s there, and I don’t know how to respond.

 

The concert, as it turns out, doesn’t start until 1AM. It’s not really a concert, though, it’s part rave, part club night, and this would be fine, but I’m so tired already, and looking forward to a three hour ride back in a truck I’m not sure how to drive with a guy taking uppers and drinking. If we could just get a cab and go home, I wouldn’t care.
And then I go to the bathroom and see blood.
Because he’d torn me.
I come back, and he’s whispering in my ear that he wants to fuck me again when we get back.
I don’t know how to deal with this; deal with him. I don’t know how to yell at him and tell him he’s acting like an asshole when he’s been in my physical presence for less than eight hours, and I don’t have a flight away for two more days. I don’t know how to deal with a body that at that point, I had no other explanation for than sheer hatred of dicks.

 

So I took a deep breath, and said, no, I’ll be too tired. I got his ass in the car, got my ass in the car, made him stay awake long enough to help me figure out the controls, and got us back.

 

And I’m exhausted, and he’s rolling over to me, and trying to touch me, and it burns. I tell him the Reader’s Digest version of the truth. That he tore me, I need the night to recover, he can fuck me in the morning. He groans, and falls asleep.

It’s not so bad, in the morning. There’s no foreplay, at all, but I’m so tired my body gives up resistance, and I convince him he doesn’t need to try for anything but his own pleasure because I’m still sore.
We have a nice day, go explore his city. I take him to a very nice dinner for his birthday. We don’t run out of things to talk about, and it’s nice, and easy. He makes me smile.

I’m relaxed again.

 

We go to the hotel and watch TV, and eventually, he kisses me. 2 seconds of foreplay and he’s in me and I want to scream. I’m trying to adjust, to take him, not even to enjoy it, just to make it through. I want it to be okay more than anything. But he pulls away, and there’s blood on the sheets.

And he doesn’t get it. I’m upset, and I call down to the desk to get fresh ones. He says it’s just my period.
No, it’s not. It was too rough and you tore me. He gives me a raised eyebrow.
I understand that wasn’t rough for you, but that was for me. Why am I justifying myself? I’m the one in pain. I’m the one bleeding. I’m the one trying to deal with this.

We don’t mention it again that night. In the morning, he has to give the car he was borrowing back, and get a different one. He gives me a kiss, and I pack my stuff. I debate. Do I want to try again? Do I want to leave it like that?

He calls me. To get me to the airport, he was borrowing another car. This car has a girl attached.
Okay. Whatever.
But, girl attached is girl attached.

 

I think it’s been established by now that I really could give a rat’s ass about commitment. But, there’s a difference between ‘we’re not committed’ and ‘here’s the other girl I’m fucking let me dangle her in front of your face as you’re on your way out the door.’

So he comes in to get me, and we kiss goodbye then, because it’s an unspoken fact that from that moment, I am the ‘friend,’ and not the fuckbuddy. That’s her role now.

We spend a lunch with them on one side of the table sharing their own inside jokes and old memories and secret glances. I smile and laugh when appropriate, and let them get on with it, not showing how upset I am.

 

They drive me to the airport and he gives me a hug.

My flight won’t leave for seven hours.

He said he’d check in on me later, we’d talk once my flight got in, but we haven’t spoken since. I’m okay with this. I haven’t felt the urge to reach out, to like any pictures, to say hello, to know even cursory details of what’s happening in this guy’s life.

I understand that from his perspective, this story will look different. That he may have expected something much more enjoyable. That he may have wanted some crazy off the walls fuck machine and a destroyed hotel room. And that’s fine. At that point in my life, I never advertised that. He knew full well the extent of my experience. From my perspective, it was a fucked up weekend where my emotions and physical limits were pushed far beyond what I ever would have hoped, and I was left alone in the airport terminal feeling sore with a queasy stomach half full of thai vegetables.

We can’t know how these things will play out before hand. No one knows the future. And sometimes it takes stupidly shitty couple of days to figure out whether or not your gut instincts on a person/situation were right all along.

2 thoughts on “On Neon Lights”

  1. Oh fuck this is horrible and I feel so bad for you. On the other hand, I am so glad that you wrote this because women need to share that this shit goes on and it’s just not OK. How on any planet is it OK that the sex was all about his pleasure and that he understood so little about female sexuality that he didn’t even ‘warm you up’ – to put it in a very phallocentric way aka turning you on. I hate the notion of ‘foreplay’ because it assumes that the act of penetration is the most meaningful and penultimate moment – when for me at least, it’s the icing on the cake – but definitely not the cake! Read Shere Hite’s book and you will see that women need to speak up and share this stuff. What she has to say about the history of the way penetrative sex and orgasm has been sold to women will make all the dots that ever existed in your head line up in one big ‘wow’ moment. I am still reading it after buying it online and thinking, hmmm I have never read this legendary book and I think I should.

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