On that One Friend

I hadn’t seen him in about five years when we were at that wedding. We got through the ceremony, to the reception, and we were sat next to each other at the table. And I think it took a grand total of three minutes before we were balls deep in a discussion of something political, or literary. 

Probably both.

And we laughed, and we danced and had a great time. At one point a couple of the girls went to the bathroom, and while we were touching up our makeup one said to me, 

“You know, everyone is betting you guys are hooking up tonight.”

And I know they meant it with all the kindness in the world and I know they meant it from a place of thinking he and I would be good for each other and I know they said it because we have chemistry and blah blah fucking blah. 

You know what also requires chemistry? The best kinds of friendship. 

The truth is, and it’s been discussed with him, many a time; if we dated, we would fucking kill each other.

To say nothing of the fact that we are wholly incompatible. We want fundamentally different things, in our partners, in our futures. We want to be in different places in the country, we want to experience life in similar and yet completely dissimilar ways. 

He came to spend the weekend with me on what would have been his wedding day. And you know what we did? Smoked cigars, drank a shit ton of whisky, and talked about books.
Because he’s one of my best friends, and that’s what best friends do.

I really, truly, do not understand when (cishet) girls and guys get jealous when their partner has friends of the opposite sex. 

Seriously guys? Do you just want your girlfriend to be with her female friends all day? More than likely, you will either end up in an argument over why you haven’t gotten her a big ass diamond yet (ITS BEEN 6 MONTHS, CHAD. WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME?!) Or, she’ll dump your sorry ass because she’s been surrounded by the friends who won’t tolerate your shit. 

And girls, do you not want him to have the friend that he can go to and say hey it’s Lauren’s birthday and I have no idea what to get her please help me what’s the difference between a size 6 and a size M? (So much. So much is different.) 

We need balance and perspective. And that balance and perspective does not need to include romantic chemistry.

This friend and I, we’ve known each other for coming up 13 years. And we’re there for each other, we support each other. We edit each other’s writing and know not to coddle the other. We’re comfortable enough to actually talk about how we’re feeling and when we’re having a bad day, which isn’t something we do for many people. And so believe me when I say, we also know we’re never going to date. 

But I will happily wing-woman him, give him advice and brutal honesty when he needs it. And he will tell me when I need to raise my standards because the current fuck boy is treating me like shit, or when I should be patient and wait for explanations. 

I had a phone call the other day, with that same group of friends from the wedding, and I mentioned his name. And one said, you guys are definitely the “if we’re not married by 40, we’ll marry each other” friends. 

We’re not, though. We’re the friends who say, your partner needs to like me and my partner needs to like you so when we’re stuck in the old folks home together and we’re still debating trade policy they know to continue on with their bridge game because we’ll be here a while. 

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On the Ride

It’s one of the first things they tell you, it’s repeated and repeated and repeated. By the instructors, the textbooks, the videos.

Keep your head up. 

Because the wind is blowing against you, even with your helmet you can feel it. The throttle is beneath your hand. 

Eyes on the horizon. 

Your first time riding a motorcycle, and it’s terrifying. I don’t care who you are. Even on a tiny little 125cc engine, you feel it go, how little it takes, and it’s goddamn terrifying to have that kind of power. You’re running through exercises, trying to remember everything they taught you. Trying to remember how to shift gears and how far out your bike needs the clutch and where the fuck are the rear brakes, anyway? 

And they tell you, don’t look at the ground, when that’s all you want to do. 

I tried this, after the first day of class, to look up more when I was driving my car, walking around the city, etc. My posture has been dreadful for years, and it’s only thanks to 2 years of bodywork and ballet that it’s starting to feel less grotesque to hold my head where it’s supposed to naturally be. 

That being said, I still, far more often than not, look down more than ahead.

And trying it, the wind blows at my eyes, making them water, making my left eye stream, (it’s never the right, for unknown reasons, like only half of my brain is experiencing some traumatic event). It pulls against where my triceps want to go and makes the constant pounding across my forehead worse. And it feels unnatural, like I’m staring everyone and everything down in some perverse contest of self importance. 

All that is to say, you remind me of riding a motorcycle.

Because I am fucking terrified of everything you make me feel. 

I told you this, one bourbon filled night, that you scare me, that having this love for you is frightening beyond measure. And you held me, my head against your chest, and told me of course it was, the fear was a part of it, and you understood. You were scared, too. 

Do you remember the night, lying on your living room floor, you looked at me and said, “I didn’t think anyone could tie you down,” ?
And I told you, “I want to call you mine.”
The cutest, most wonderful smile spread across your face, and you pulled me down to kiss you. 

I knew, I was in for you. 

But you know that you are a first for me.
The first “I love you,”
The first of so many emotional steps.
And those are much, much bigger than any physical thing we could possibly do. 

You ride on a bike, and the wind is flying past you, and you’re holding onto a machine and trying to remember to look up, to not be afraid, when in truth it is new and horrifying and why did anyone think you could do this and give you a license to do this and let you loose on city streets? 

I have survived you leaving me once before. And I keep hearing things about this girl who had you then, and try to keep my bitterness at bay. But the more I hear and the deeper into you I fall, the less restrained I become. 

I hear it in your voice, in their voices, when you all talk about her. 

Everytime you say she called, or you have to tread on eggshells because of her. 

I hear the hurt in you. And the more I care about you the angrier I get. Not just at her, but at you. For choosing someone you knew would hurt you again, and again, and again. And in that process, hurting me too. 

I understand, if you had been happy, then we would not be ‘us’ now. But I think that would be easier to swallow than knowing we both went through hell just to wind up in the same place. 

Keep your eyes on the horizon. That’s where you find your balance. 

Except, we’re not in the same place. I became somehow simultaneously more jaded, and more vulnerable to you. Found the ability to be open and tell you that you, who you are and what you give me, is what I want. Is what I’ve been wanting. And you not just found your way back to me, but are even more of what you were and who you are, and have opened yourself to me too. 

I love you, and I know you love me too. We can say this to each other, now. 

Look up, look up, look up. 

I remember the first time, on the back of your Harley, holding on to you for dear life, knowing you wouldn’t let anything happen to me. And you told me afterwards, that with the seat placed as it was, I didn’t have to hold on, I could let go. 

I will survive, if you leave me again. I will not cause scenes, or chase you down, or show you any of the hurricane that would be inside me. But I would also never come back again. I think a part of you knows that. But I can’t help remembering, when you give me glimpses to a future that might be ours, that this is not new to you. These feelings that are so true, promises made in a moment that could disappear as fast as it came into being.

I hate that I still feel this way. That I can’t let these feelings go to just believe in you, and in us. 

I want to feel the engine beneath me and soar up the hills. I want to look out to the sky and enjoy the ride, without fear, without a sense of impending doom. 

Loving you has been less scary, with every passing day. 


I can only hope the bike will be the same.

On a Shameless Self Promotion #2

Hey loves,

So my book, Dancing With The Shadows, is now available as an audiobook!

I’m really excited about it, the narrator, Colin Ricks, did such a great job and it was a fun collaboration.

I have some promo codes available for the US and UK audible stores, so if you want it for free (in exchange for a review?) hit me up in the comments and I’ll send you one.

Thanks guys ❤ ❤

Emma/Zoe

On Separation

It begins as it continues as it ends

It’s a street sign that looks different. A shop sign that’s changed. The renovations have been redone. There’s construction lining blocks upon blocks that warble your senses of direction. 

And you come back, and you come back, and you come back 

And suddenly, it’s not your city anymore 

But you don’t think on this, as you arrive. You don’t think of what has changed and what is no longer there
Because you’re being questioned in a customs line
You’re being told these things flat out.

And if this isn’t your home, where do you go?
Because there isn’t here. It never will be, it doesn’t want to be. You don’t want it to be.

And maybe it’s not so much that you’re missing your home, as that home no longer exists.
It was a fleeting moment in time you can not go back to

Really, would you want to? To forget everything you have learned, everything you have done, and go back to the person you were yesterday?
Just think of what your bar tab would look like.


And you can long for what is gone, but maybe
You should not dwell on the feeling of your heart split in two
But rather,

Can you extend your heart to somewhere new? Can you love what this has become, and what that is now?

And one day, can you wake up when you arrive where you are going and say
This is now mine, too.

It doesn’t have to be today.

But someday

Maybe.

On Hesitancy

In the middle of the night, I hear your voice.
And I’m not sure if these words are in my head, or a dream.
But after an age I roll over, press my lips to yours, and say it back to you.

And these words shouldn’t be too big of a deal, but it takes us another month to acknowledge it again, aloud.

Maybe we didn’t have to.
Maybe it’s the way your arm falls around my waist in the morning when you don’t want to wake up.
Maybe it’s in the way you pull me to you before we drift off to sleep.

It’s not love. Not yet, quite possibly not ever.

But there is something in the way you smile at me
That makes me smile back.

And I’m trying not to hope, to give a mile when you give an inch.
I’m being careful, and I think you are too.
But we can try these new things together.

With your lips at my ear I feel beautiful, strong, and brave.

And I want to keep feeling that way.

On Changes and Things

He tells me he wants to take me to dinner.

And he knows I’ll say no. Knows I’ll say he doesn’t have to.

But he tells me he wants to take me to dinner, because I deserve it.

We met the day before New Years. I don’t know why, but I instantly felt comfortable with him.

He was artistic, smart, creative. He wanted more from life than what he had at that moment and would work for it. Had worked for it. He was interesting, conversation flowed easily, and, well, his cheekbones were unreal.

So we went back to mine and in the morning, I didn’t feel the need to kick him out.

I couldn’t say why, even to this day, but, instead of making him leave so I could go get ready, take a shower, put on makeup, I let him stay, face buried in my pillow, sunlight on his face.

And when I woke him up, and he looked at me all bleary-eyed, and said, “Oh, you look beautiful,” I knew something was different this time.

It wasn’t anything that lasted long. It wasn’t a relationship, and we didn’t talk too much when we weren’t together. But, he was someone I liked cuddling me as I fell asleep. I liked waking up beside him.

My friend nicknamed him ‘butt-scratcher’ when I referred to him as someone who scratched a much-needed itch.

I don’t know if the itch was semi-regular sex, companionship, or a mixture of the two. But I think it was more the latter than the former.

It didn’t end well. It ended with me waiting for him to show up, and he never did. And I never really heard from him again.

I’m not bitter, not upset anymore. I don’t resent him for it.

He knew about my blog, and he said he wanted to be ‘more than one story,’ and for a while, I thought he didn’t deserve to be anything afterward. Didn’t get to be a story, a part of the narrative. 

But, looking back, I realize he showed me something I hadn’t recognized before. And so he gets this. One post. This one part of my story.

I was ready for something I had previously run full force away from.

I was ready for that person to wake up beside me. I was ready to share my space with someone. Keep a toothbrush in my cabinet for when they spent the night.

So, if nothing else. I owe him thanks.

A thank you for letting me dip my toes in the water.
A thank you for kisses on my forehead and fingers entwined in mine.
A thank you for being a push in a different direction.

Because who knows what our future might have held, but I can now envision futures.

And that is exciting, terrifying, and new.

On A Shameless Self Promotion

Hello!

So a while back (On Writing a Sex Scene) I wrote about a book I was writing/working through and how weird both receiving and using feedback can be.

That specific project is still ongoing, however, I have managed to complete a different book. This book is now up on Amazon, and is free always if you have Amazon Prime, and for the next two days if you don’t.

If any of you fantastic lovely people wanted to download the book, hell, maybe even leave a review?? I would love you ’til the ends of the earth.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HLH58PH 

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Two versions of the summary – the one that’s on Amazon

Rory tells herself it’s a trick of the light. That she can’t actually see the spirits of living beings as they die. Until one night, when a starving demon comes across her path, and the mysterious blue and yellow lights are suddenly given a name. Asa can’t understand how a human can see mana, let alone possess it and use it, but wants to help Rory find a way to control her abilities and find out more about her. But he’s not the only one who’s intrigued by the mystery. Others begin to take an interest in Rory’s growing powers, and her potential as a shield, or a weapon, for forces in the demon realm.

and the one I use to describe it in all of my self-deprecating glory.

So, it’s basically a plot-driven romance with demons and sorcerers, with a potential uprising/war and all sorts of lovely darkness. But also humor and sexy times. Also, my editor described it as “this isn’t horrible to go through!” which is the highest praise I feel you can get.

Hopefully one of those convinced you to give it a go. I’m also happy to do the same thing in return if anyone needs.

^_^

On Those **** Eyebrows

You make me want to scratch my face off.


It’s not out of anger – it’s that every second you’ve been in my life has been a combination of fluttery highs that have made me happier than I can describe, and anxiety of when am I going to fuck this up because I know I will.


And it’s not that you have not told me how you feel, if your own special and lovely way. It’s in the way you touch my skin, in your words in my ear, in the way you raise your eyebrow that tells me you’re thinking of all sorts of terrible things you want to do to me. In the way you say you miss me. In the way you call just to say hi.


It’s because I never thought I’d feel this way at all, let alone with someone who could, maybe, possibly, like me back just as much.
And having never done the adult actual bona fide relationship thing, I’ve never had any desire to have the conversation of;
“So, what are we?”
Because any time this might have potentially come out I would retreat into emotionless pit of darkness with a supply of vitamin D supplements because no one has time for that shit.
But you make me want to venture out of my little fox hole and sniff at the sun.
And you terrify me, but in a way that makes me want to jump off the high dive, that pushes me further, that makes me want to try.


So, the other day when we had a conversation about our future goals, our plans, our dreams – I had a moment of;
Is this enough for you?


I am not ashamed of my job, of what I’m working for, of what I’m doing. But the nomadic, artistic life is definitely one of those concepts that will make a person say
“Go do it, go follow your dreams and passions and conquer the world,”
Or
“Sure, that’s fine, but what are your real goals?”
And I’ve been thinking about this, because again, that nagging horrible voice in the back of my head is saying,
You’re not enough. What you want is not enough. They’ll want more.
And a realization came from a most unlikely of sources.
You, on your own, don’t have to be enough.


Because, you and I, and I know I’m getting so far ahead of myself, but, we can have our own little bit of happiness, create something together, and it can be ours and beautiful.
But you can also go do that with someone else, and that’s okay. You need to have your friends and your family and the other things in your life that complete you, and make you you. I need you to have a life outside of me, and need you to appreciate that I will have a life outside of you.


I’ve always thought about the concept of ‘other halves,’ solely in how it relates to me. In that, I firmly believe that one person will not fulfill all my emotional and physical needs. That one person, or no one, might be all I can handle at any given moment, or all I want at that specific moment, but in time, I may find that x and y is missing from my life. It might be that a and b needs aren’t being fulfilled. That I want to explore m and n. And that could be something requiring another physical partner, or something that friends, or even I can do on my own. I’ve been fluctuating with on my own personal tolerance for monogamy or nonmonogamy, and I’m still figuring it out. And it might take me a while to find an answer, if there even is one.


However, I haven’t spent too much time thinking about this from the opposite perspective. What it would mean if I was not enough for someone.
And again, I don’t know what we are right now.
But I know that I love the feel of your hands around my waist as my legs wrap around you.
I love the feel of your teeth against my shoulder.
I love sitting on your couch with a beer watching something stupid on TV.


My friend told me that my eyes go soft when I talk about you. Because you are a lot of firsts for me.
You are the first guy, as an adult, I have missed when they’re not around.
You are the first guy I would be willing, even want, to stick some sort of label on, whatever that may be. Something that gives it the impression of stability.
You are the first guy who’s friends I have met. Hell, met more than once.
You are the first guy who I want to come to, versus having them come to me.
You are some of, maybe the best sex I’ve ever had.
You are the first guy who makes me want for something more.


That being said,
You will not be my other half.
You will not be my soulmate.
You will not be the center of my universe.
But, you could be my love.


And I want to believe that we’ll figure it out as we go. Because if you are not enough for me, and I am not enough for you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t still want me, or that I don’t still want you.


And maybe that’s why I like you so goddamn much.

On Fire

I wrote this about 6 months ago, and had a friend post this writing elsewhere. It was before I started this blog. Now, I have a place to vent these feels, and the emotions then and now are more or less the same.
_____________________________________________________
They ask me, ‘What does it feel like?’
I don’t know how to answer this question. I know how I want to answer the question, but it’s not an answer I can say aloud.

It feels like fire.
Normally no larger than a candle flicker, it grows, unwanted, unwarranted, always at the worst possible times. It feels like flames clawing their way through my skin, through my brain, and the only way to get rid of it is to bite, scratch – attack. To revert to the lizard brain and pounce on the next thing I see. It feels like a lethal combination of lust and raw power.

They rephrase the question.

‘What do you need?’

This is not rhetorical- it’s a question that needs an answer, and I’m in conflict.
Bite.
Beg.
Grab.
Plead.

The lion would pounce, bird would fly, fox would bite.
We’re past the point where human language has any meaning, where the only words understood are grunts, or moans – sighs or gasps.

And I pull them to me, with patience I do not have, and kiss them. I slowly show my hunger.

We fall into a tangle of limbs and sweat and I feel their hands everywhere, fingers in my hair, squeezing around my skin, trying to pin my hands that have become claws against their back, jaws snapping, thighs squeezing like pincers around their hips, and there is a roar that might have come from either of us or never have happened at all.

We breathe deeply, out of rhythm. It is not a moment for tender touches or sweet words as we take stock of the markings of the fire. I pick up my things and head to the door. The cursory goodbye, and I’m gone.

The cool air hits my face as the lizard brain retreats – humanity restored.
Control is back.
The flame simmers once again.

On Words

(Special thank you to the friend mentioned in On Dirty Minds for helping in the editing of this.) 

The alphabet will affect me far more than kisses and bites and fingers ever will.

Or is it the tongue that wraps around the letters, that forms sentences that travel through me, making my mind turn to mush, melting me into a puddle that no longer wishes to move, to think, to feel anything but that person wrapped around me.

Or is it the timing, things said as I’m already floating up in space, words that send me higher, which feel like a jolt of electricity down my spine, sending shivers straight through to my toes.

Or is it the person themselves, that have read each reaction so carefully, that have cracked through exterior walls, that understand which things will have more of an effect than their body ever could, or make me more than willing to accept what their body could offer.

There are times I crave the silence. Because some people need to stay silent so I can fly above the atmosphere, so I can be somewhere else in that moment, or get through the moment, and then come back to be present with the person beside me.

Sometimes silence is our language, growls and sighs whispered in ears, and it’s more than enough. It can be positive, negative, or neutral. In whatever case, human language is unnecessary.

But there are those that have understood the power of words, in the most intricate of manners.

That can ruin with a sentence.
Melt with a whisper.
Destroy sanity with syllables.

And I can only reply with a yes, no, or sigh. I will paint landscapes with a mouth that never utters a sound, but I will come undone under the power of words.

But only for those who know how to properly wield this power.