Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: academia, besties, blog family love, dad, family, friends, love, mom, thanks, yay
the title of this post should say it all. the moratorium on blogging and other fun and enjoyable things is officially over! monday night, i took my oral preliminary exam and passed! i am now an official ph.d. candidate and considered “all but dissertation” (ABD)! resuming normal life starts now!
blogging is not the only thing that has been put on the backburner in the last few months because of these horrific exams. socializing, laundry, moving generally beyond the 625 sq. ft. of my apartment (or library), are all other examples. seriously, i leave to see my family and friends back east in a week and my apartment has never been messier. life has been on hold far too long because of these things.
i miss being physically around my friends here in minneapolis. i’ve seen folks here and there and i’ve been to others’ houses for dinners and movies and thanksgiving, but no one’s been in my apartment since october. i realize that sounds pathetic, but when things got intense with writing my papers, my whole way of keeping up my apartment just took a nose-dive. i think it’s because it’s the one thing i *can* allow to slip, so it does. alas, i’m preparing to teach my last class of the semester tomorrow and then, for days on end, i will be armed with laundry detergent and pine sol in order to get this place livable again.
in the midst of all this stress and letting my apartment go to hell, i’ve never been closer connected to friends and family. there are folks out there in this world who, no matter what time of day and no matter with what frequency, high or low, allowed me to call them excited and hyper after too much coffee or crying and sniffling over what i assumed would be my academic decline. i owe so many thank you’s to the folks who got me through. allow me a few shout-outs, no?
my post-exam acceptance speech: (ahem!)
* to my parents, who don’t read this, but who i absolutely must acknowledge. i think we’re closer than we’ve been in a while because i called you nearly every day for weeks just to hear the encouragement and support in your voices even when we were talking about banal things like christmas, living wills, and the downstair bathroom renovation. mom, i’m sorry i bugged you so incessantly, but you make me feel better when no one else in the world can. knowing i make you proud is what’s most worth it. dad, i know you’ll never understand that what i’m writing is a dissertation and that it’s a lot different than my undergraduate “thesis,” which is how you repeatedly refer to it. still, the best part of passing monday night was calling you right after, when you were working on the trucking dock, and you yelled and cheered so loud that all the other guys on the platform knew i passed and they beeped the horns of their 18-wheelers and forklifts in congratulations. i will never forget the pride in your voice.
* to kelley, i’m finally getting around to giving you the address to this blog and with perfect timing. now i can say ‘thank you’ without breaking down into tears on the phone. i’ve never doubted the power of our friendship almost 10(!!!) years old now, but you reminded me why you will forever be so important to me. thank you for letting me sing entire songs to you that night i was losing my mind. thank you for telling me silly stories and rehashing all four years of college in order to take my mind off of the present. thank you for nearly getting into a throwdown with your boss monday night when you squealed with delight over my exams during the office holiday dinner party at a fancy pants restaurant. you’re the best surrogate sister a girl could have. family indeed, genius OF MY LIFE. xo.
* to emily, for being supportive and loving two time zones away. thanks for allowing me the occasional freak out phone call, my bombarding questions over gchat, and for not allowing me to wallow or be as self-deprecating as i probably would have liked to have been at times. you’ve always taken such good care of me – from first year to now – and you somehow still manage to do that even all the way over there in san francisco. i miss you way more than i can ever say. thanks for my surprise celebratory dinner. nothing says “you passed!” like pizza luce. you’re truly the best.
* to e, i’ve said it once and i’ll say it again, for all of our drama, you still know me more than most and know how to comfort me truly as a result. thanks for the much needed distraction of your neverending shoe dilemma, the oh-so-helpful and last minute study session over this past weekend and the reassuring phone call right before i went in. you are the only person i texted when i was waiting for the verdict to hear if i passed. that must mean something, no? xoxo.
* to all the other folks, some who read this and some who don’t, but who nonetheless i’m so grateful for: grandma, katie b., jasmine, porter, becky, uncle david & john, ricky, kandace, diane, bevin, and victoria (who sent me the most amazing femme-inspired care package ever!). special thanks also to leo, freedomgirl, kyle, sublime femme, and others for keeping me in your thoughts and leaving comments/sending emails of support and encouragement. love, love, love to all of you.
i worked harder than i’ve ever worked before these last few months and for all the effort i passed an academic milestone and simultaneously was reminded of the epic amounts of love and support i have in family, friends, and community. i am so thankful for all of you.
i’m sure that to some this whole post is going to seem dramatic and maybe it kind of is, but i’m too elated to really care right now. i’m happy and excited and *relaxed* for the first time in weeks. i’m savoring all of this and making it last as long as i can.
…in fact, until further notice, you can all refer to me as ph.d.-elect, hussy red!
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: butches, exes, femmes, love, memory, random ramblings, the ex: cohen, writing
it’s almost something sacred. the word “you,” when you speak it in reference to me. it is one word in a sentence made of many others, but it’s the only one that hangs on your tongue like the way honey drags down the length of a spoon – slow and thick at first and then rushed and ribboned towards the end. my punched down, plumped up heart doesn’t care about the sentiments or about the words that surround this mention of me in your mouth. i am focused only on the way it feels to be cradled by your lips like that; attention paid only to the feel of your breath grazing when you exhale me.
this is about absence. the kind that causes me to rock away grief. because sitting still with it is just too great an ache.
i am responsible for near tidal waves.
when we were a part of one another still, i noticed not the way you held me in your mouth – pulled me in, pushed me out – but more the sound. the gravel of your generations-deep, southwestern pennsylvania, coal miner family accent and the way it snuck out between the cracks of a crooked smile passed down from a grandmother every bit as pretty then as you are handsome today.
my concentration on the way you spoke me, the way you still sometimes do when i let my guard down a little too early, is about the ways i loved you. i wonder now if something as simple as how you wore your lips when you grinned – practically a right angle instead of a more even, upwards bevel – should have been a sign of the unpredictability of you.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: blah, butches, exes, femmes, love, memory, nolose, the ex: cohen
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: fucking, love, lust, memory, sex, writing
you are quiet like cedar forests when you fuck me. the noises that permeate my bedroom walls and travel down hallways are only my own. low moans and gasps when you press into me with all your weight behind you. the creaking and snapping of my bones like branches when you turn me onto my hands and knees and pull me onto you.
i was thinking of the last time you had me. your mouth covered my body in ripples and skipped like stones over the slight raise of my ribs. you were hasty with kisses, blatant in your want to have your hands and mouth at the core of me, but i resisted. redirected your mouth to my own. slowed it down. made you feel me feel you and the width of your shoulders, the strength that radiates from your muscles there, the heat. and the only sound was of me whispering aloud, “baby, baby, baby…”
i remember when i released your body, hard and fervent, to find its way into mine, you broke the silence then. a grunt of satisfaction. arrogance somewhat. of delighted disbelief at the honeyed smoothness with which four of your fingers could slide up into me with such ease. i turned my face from you to hide my smile and breathed in the scent of us from my pillowcase – woodsmoke and clovers.
Filed under: butches, dynamic, exes, love, lust, memory, stone | Tags: butches, dynamic, exes, love, lust, memory, stone, writing
with your lips to my ear and your fingers on my skin, you deftly trace across my body the lines and boundaries you have drawn for your own. “like this…” you say and with your mouth crushed against my cheek, your palm cups the side of my neck, slowly but decisively making its way past the top of my chest to the space between my breasts. your hand rests here, avoiding the flesh that surrounds it, flesh that you usually cannot resist to feel with hands and mouth. but tonight is not about this. tonight, with touches applied to my skin so that i might begin to understand your own, you teach me what “stone” means to you.
channeling the steady hands of a master cartographer, your fingertips pull channels down my abdomen, flowing free and unchecked against the soft roll and lower expanse of my belly. with palms wide and flat across my sides, you work harder, rougher, to push aside my ripples of curve so that the depth, the marrow of my bones, will remember the contrast in touches the sharp angles of your own hips demand, will retain the memory of distinction between my body and yours. when your hands reach my thighs and then skid along the tops of their inner slopes, you fall still. and with a deep breath settled in your lungs, you draft for me with the mere tip of one index finger the minefield of this place.
tomorrow, with you asleep next to me, i let my eyes follow the shape of a body recreated under the tightly wound ropes of sheet rolled over and passed over one hundred times in the night before we both stopped long enough to catch our breaths.
Filed under: exes, fucking, love, lust, memory, sex | Tags: butches, dynamic, exes, femmes, fucking, love, lust, memory, sex, writing
friday night i’m with you and you’re fucking me in ways that make my stomach first and my heart second, feel like they are being pulled down from their place high up in my body cavity, out between my thighs. every time there is the slightest retreat in your touch or in your thrust my body tenses with the fear that you will stop and break this chain you’ve created that links all of my important organs – brain, heart, gut, cunt – with all of yours – brain, heart, gut, cunt, fist.
we’ve been fighting for weeks now over stupid shit because you can’t recognize what love and care looks like. or maybe you’ve just got an unquenchable thirst for it; for playing games, for mindfucking. you’re losing me now and you know it. this is irreparable. you’ve waited too long without giving me much. you’ve waited too long to fuck me heart-to-heart like this.
and, for a second, i think i have it figured out. i think that i’ve wound up on top in all of this because i’m realizing these things even while my whole body is beating around the hand you still have inside of me. but i can’t see that you’re also thinking beyond the fucking and the grunting right now too. you’re not processing shit the way my sweaty, little head is doing while mashed against my pillows and headboard. no, you’re still trying to figure out your next move in this long drawn out game of “who do you love?”
then you do what i fear most, but what i least expect – you pull your hand from me quick and cruel, causing me to gasp at the contrast of going from full to empty in less than a second. i hear conceit, a tonal snicker to your words, as you throw yourself down next to me and say low, a threat for my ears only, “i wanted you to feel me leave you.”
Filed under: butches, dynamic, exes, femme, love, memory | Tags: butches, dynamic, exes, femmes, love, memory, writing
when i slip my hands in the pockets of your jeans as you’re getting dressed in front of the mirror, tying your tie with shoulders scrunched, brow furrowed, legs slightly spread in solid stance, i move up on tip-toe in order to position my mouth just behind your left ear. careful to avoid the collar of your shirt, lest i muss it with that carnal red shade of lipstick you love so much, i lean in closer, pause, whisper, “handsoooome.” i draw out the last syllable for amatory emphasis, of course. you pause, turn to me eye-to-eye, smiling. no other word could better describe you right this moment, you know. that face, that body…don’t even get me started on those hands of yours…fingers rounded, palms wide, wrists thick and strong.
i love the physical strength i associate with you. when my body responds to your first touches it is because of what i know is there lying asleep deep in the muscles beneath your blanket of skin. i also know, though, that this attraction, this pull is more than just good looks and strong forearms. to imply otherwise would be an insult to everything you embody and to the inherent infractions your masculinity and your queerneess makes in the world every day. this need i feel in my stomach for you, this yearning, is about gender fucking. it’s about a dynamic that i can’t describe to my best of friends despite the endless amount of words at my disposal.
it’s about…how you smile with both your mouth and your eyes when you tell me i’m “such a fucking girl.” it’s a statement meant to tease, but one that is ultimately filled with pride and with validation for my femininity and your masculinity. you, my butch, my lover, my whole heart, understand femme, understand me. to you, i am the definition of what it means to be femme – both physically and politically. you never forget the latter and it is as important to you as it is to me. for the first time in my life there is you who values who i really am. i know it the day you tell me that i fuck with gender as much as you do. you get it and you love it. it turns your head, it spins your heart, it turns you on.
it’s about…the look that we exchange every time you are called “sir.” how my stomach flips at the utterance. i blush with excitement for you – of all that you already are in this place, in this body, and with the anticipation of your constant evolution and the privilege i feel in witnessing it. you should know though, that in this moment, i am only two seconds away from scanning the room, looking over our shoulders, preparing for battle in case someone should realize the gender trespass being made here at this cigarette counter. because while you’re still enjoying your moment of passing, cataloging the details of this space – from the mismatched linoleum flooring to the smell in the air – i am planning our escape. to be on your arm, to be with you is to silently vow your safety as you have promised me mine. you will drop your guard, you will take this all in, you will revel in it. you will be safe to enjoy it on my watch. i promise you this.
see, this thing we call butch and femme is so much more than your chucks vs. my heels, though the way they sit side-by-side next to the front door of your apartment makes me smile in that way that causes me to, when i think about it long enough, drop my eyes, fold my chin down my neck, and bite the corner of my lower lip as it begins to sneak its way up my right cheek. this thing we do, that we feel, it is dependent, it is complementary. it’s not just a dynamic, it is dynamic.
i am yours, you are mine, show me where and i will sign.
Filed under: exes, love, mom, reciprocity, resistance, therapy | Tags: exes, love, mom, reciprocity, resistance, the ex: cohen, therapy
when i started going to therapy three months ago, i wasn’t sure what i was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t what i got – an amazing queer-friendly, sex-positive therapist with pretty progressive politics for a heterosexual professional who looks like a nicer, cuter version of ann coulter. it took only about three sessions until she had me pegged and left me wandering home, mouth agape, with the realization that after 26 years, there was no denying i was my mother’s daughter.
i had suspicions this was going to happen. i laugh like my mother – loud, unchecked, and with legs stomping if you really get me going. when i’m upset, my words pour out 100 m.p.h. and my new jersey accent is as thick as molasses (…or maybe toxic, newark sludge). my feet are near mirror images of hers…save for my slightly wider instep and far superior baby toes. she is strong, she is loving, she is smart, she is beautiful. she is my heart and i am hers.
unfortunately though, being my mother’s daughter also means that i have been witness to a cycle of emotional abuse that i have not only endured personally, but through her pain and heartbreak as well. my father, a manic depressive, has made 33 years of marriage a task worthy of receiving sainthood. i mean, it would be if you absolutely had to stay or, like, you would die. the fact is, though he has caused us hurt for decades, she has only participated in this violence through her decision to stay married to him and living within the same home. despite her reasons for not leaving being (somewhat) understandable, her continued involvement has enabled a cycle of anger, depression, and neglect. years of debating our staying and going manifested itself into an inescapable pattern for her.
and here i am now – 26 years old and on my own, living and loving the butches and the bois that come and go in some repetitious narrative (dare i say it?) of life that finds me – the strong one, the loving one, the smart one, the beautiful one – playing second fiddle to a conductor without ears. the lack of mutuality, the ungratefulness, the emotional ineptness is staggering, but i have taken it from you. i have participated, i have enabled. i have tried, like my mother, to unsuccessfully make good times out of your bad times. i have put my hurt aside to fix you, to care for you. i have loved you, i have listened to you. i have made you lemon bars, pastina, brownies. i have sent you flowers, taken you shopping, made you care packages. i have kissed your eyebrows, i have sucked your dick. i have raised your self-esteem, i have inflated your ego. i have been your saving grace, your biggest fan, your desire, your love. i have been what you said made you feel whole….
to me, you have been a dearth of reciprocity.
i am my mother’s daughter because i believed you, despite the lack of tangible evidence and despite the harsh words, mood swings, emotional voids. i stuck with you. i let it happen again and again.
except then it stopped.
because i was not going to pay one more $200 cell phone bill to hear you tell me that you loved me, but that now was not the time (5 years from now, you say? go fuck yourself!). i was not going to spend one more long weekend/holiday/spring break without you because you couldn’t get time off of work, but could, in fact, find time to go to nyc and see your mediocre best friend…and her harem of strippers. i was not going to spread for you on saturday, sunday, and monday for you to tell me on tuesday that you “hated” me. yes, even if you meant it ironically.
you see, i am my mother’s daughter, but i am not her twin. i have learned from her mistakes. i have meticulously studied her scars.
i say to you now what my mother should have said to my father at 26:
you, sir, are fired.