Monday, September 5, 2016

Red Tent

The egg forms, moves through the Fallopian tube, plants itself in the wall, waits to be fertilized, most times it is not, so the walls of my uterus shed, then the cycle repeats. Seemed simple. But what I'd failed to learn or perhaps failed to be taught in school was all the other things that my body goes through in this cycle.

The first lesson came from my mother, telling me after I'd thrown myself on the floor in tears for "no apparent reason", and she didn't understand why I was so upset.
She asked, "Honey, are you on your period?"
Enraged I said, "Yes! But...but..."
She told me to dismiss my feelings because I was hormonal.
The truth was I had a real concern about something that was only amplified by my hormones. I hadn't yet fully understood that my hormones had only amplified my reaction, and that didn't mean I should dismiss what was bothering me.
It's taken almost two decades for me to learn the language of my cycle. And to me, it’s a lot more than the life story of a little egg. It’s a grand opera with many characters, both central and supporting. My whole body and mind take part every month. The opening scenes take on a little different flare each time but it usually begins with my hunger. My body wants more food than usual. I feel bad about wanting to eat so much. Then I get constipated and very thirsty. The increased quantity has me feeling bloated. And although I've consumed enough water to fill a bathtub, I become constipated for about two or three days. This physical discomfort forms mental discomfort. My clothes feel tight, body thick and heavy, my self-image suffers and mean thoughts about my body rule the day. Soon my breasts are tender. My back and sometimes my whole body are sore. I feel exhausted. Then, more irritability from fatigue and pain ensues. Even though I know that it is temporary, that relief will come with blood, every month I fear the discomfort won't end.

My second lesson came after I'd had an experience with early pregnancy. I learned what the function of hunger, bloating, and constipation served in this cycle. That whether for baby or blood, my body was preparing to do a very strenuous function that for two weeks out of the month it doesn't do. 
My body needs the extra calories and nutrients to make a bank of soft tissue and so I must eat more and then my body holds onto my food a while longer in my bowels to leech out all possible resources. I need a lot of water, like any factory, to both cool the body, and as an ingredient in the previously non-existent tissue. The water also serves to increase my blood volume and circulation and to flush out toxins so there is a clean work environment. Then it will need all that water to loosen and dissolve my uterine tissue so it can pass through a hole the size of a pinhead. 
With the exception of that one time in my life, every month my body is building a home day and night for about a week and then takes five to seven days of non-stop work tearing it down. The home is not just in my uterus, it is also in my blood, bones, organs and mind. 
When I begin to bleed, demolishing the house, my body also takes the time to clear out the whole foundation it was built on too, and every piece of garbage is thrown out via my kidneys, bowels, skin, lungs, and thoughts. My face breaks out, my sweat and breath stink, my stool is plentiful and soft, I have to pee three times as often, and all my insecurities rise to the forefront of my mind to be dealt with. 
When I actually sit a look at this whole endeavor from an informed position, I begin to have great respect for it. I move into a place of awe and fascination at what miraculous  creatures we humans are, what all animals are. If I had to work that hard every month in the outside world I would have quit half-way through the project. But the fact is I do work that hard every month! This is what is happening inside of me, inside of every woman from puberty to menopause.

My third lesson came when I was inside a sweat lodge in Ojai and the Water Keeper told a story, sharing that women are endowed with certain gifts not given to men. One being menses, the others were childbirth, nursing and finally menopause.
Culturally and historically, menses has a bad reputation. It is culturally loathed and and only mildly tolerated, a pesky nuisance of procreation, a necessary evil. Very rarely is menses regarded as a gift. Red Tents of the old tribes were a place of exile for the unclean, but in many tribes it was an honorable place of refuge. And having a refuge each month is a necessary element of life, not a form of exile. So, I create my own Red Tent every month, just for me, on the second and third days of my menses, allowing myself extra rest and time for contemplation in my process of tearing-down the house.
It is only natural that in this state things that I could normally busy myself from or dismiss should have an environment to come through, and I honor those thoughts, no longer writing off their significance to myself and others with, "Sorry, I'm on my period." I do not apologize anymore.
Now I say, "I am on my period, and am more sensitive to this thing that always bothers me and so my reaction is stronger." I ask, "Can we try to slow down today? I will have more energy next week." No longer do I try to fight against my body, pushing harder when I'm tired, no longer fighting my cravings for food and rest. I give in to what my body needs, much easier now that I know what exactly it is that it's doing. I trust the cycle instead of fighting the demands of my body, folding to the demands of a world that is no longer well versed or well practiced in listening to the rhythms of the self. By understanding that most people don't know the true complexities of the female body, knowing only the Tale of the Little Egg, not the Drama of the Extreme Uterine Makeover, I take my leaves, my cravings, and my discomfort with no apologies to my schedule, duties, the world.  It is my sole responsibility to listen and take action towards my own needs. Menses is a blessing from nature, a miracle of human existence and I live with much more ease when I honor it as such.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Lust Cleanse

While I was traveling this past year, left with nothing familiar but my own  memories, some realizations stood out so strongly I simply couldn't ignore them any longer.  "When I remove the sex, do I still love the man?" My answer was "no."  I had been taking a look back on all the men I have "loved." I noticed  a pattern.  My love for most men revolved most exclusively around sex.

I remember the first time the thought crossed my mind that I loved a long-term boyfriend, John. We were lying in a bed in a hotel in San Francisco. We had just finished having sex. I was kissing his neck. I'd had an orgasm. I could taste the salt on his skin and I thought, "God I love this man." I told him him so shortly after I'd had the thought. But it wasn't love. I was in Lust.

Looking even further back, that scenario repeated over and over with  different men. I realized all the moments I thought I loved a man, was usually during, after, or at the prospect of having sex with that person. I can hardly remember, as far back as my memory serves, a single day that I was not fantasizing or lusting after somebody, real, imaginary or celebrity. As a kid I fantasized about Leonardo Dicaprio in Titantic, Christopher Atkins from Blue Lagoon, and the kid who lived the end of my block. At age 11 I was kissing boys and even had one sleep in my bed. When I was 12 my mom took me to her gym with her. There was a trainer there, he was probably 30. I would flirt with him and I would find any reason to talk to him and at night I would wrap my arms around myself and pretend it was him. I did this all growing up and even fairly recently.

This may seem like a simple thing to you, "Duh! Have you ever heard of Dopamine?" And I admit I was little embarrassed at my late-to-the-party admittance of this fact. I guess it was because I believed I was truly "in love" with all those men.

But when I took away the sex, I didn't  actually love the man. I loved the feeling of the man. I loved being held, kissed, called, hugged and made love to. They all fell pretty short in the "man" department. And furthermore in the "friend" department. I don't think a single one of them were very good friends to me. So, when I took away the sex, I didn't get love, I didn't get a friend. I got yearning and insatiable needs unsatisfied.

I searched for a reason for my Love/Lust confusion. My truest answer was that I thought it was easier to make them "love" me than to love myself. I thought that physical affection was more important than being treated as a person. And affection was like a drug to me. I craved it. And I was willing to overlook serious character flaws to get it. I looked back at the men who I thought I was in-love with and they all treated me so poorly from the very start. But It's my fault for taking it, my fault for thinking I didn't deserve better. I was only in lust with them as I was only in lust with my self.

After yet another disappointing attempt at a relationship I finally took some time, a little over a month, to do a "cleanse." I stopped dating, seeking and fantasizing. No sex, no physical contact with men. I took all that energy and devoted it to myself. There were certainly moments where I felt like reaching. But with the help of meditation, mindfulness and good friends, I was able to pinpoint when and why I reached. I took that time to do some spiritual housekeeping, consolidating my pains and failed expectations. When I had continually jumped from one prospect to the next, leaving no room to actually grieve and experience the negative pains and hurts through, there was no opportunity to balance out and heal before adding more shit on top of the pile.

I have learned I have been in love before. It took being very far away for a very long time to realize who it was actually with, my best friends and my family. I began to apply the love, forgivness and ease with which I viewed them and began applying it to myself. When I feel lonely its because I'm not doing something I should be doing for myself. I may not be spending enough time with the people I love, may not be spending enough time being loving to myself, perusing my goals, honoring myself physically and emotionally. The more I do this, the more I treat myself lovingly, not trying to control others view of me, or use relationships to fill a void, I feel better, I love better. And I have been able to see with incredible lightness and clarity what it actually means to love someone else.  By honoring my own needs, I learn how to honor others needs better. By respecting my own boundaries, I can value the boundaries of others. By loving myself unconditionally, even when I'm tired, lonely, irritated and accepting that's just where I'm at some days, I can have reasonable expectations of others, as we are all human. I take care of myself, instead of busting my ass to make someone "love" me.  Which never worked anyway, as I only ended up hating both him and myself in the end. Sex is nice. But love is better.  And it's best when I love myself and others equally, unconditionally, and sincerely. When I do that life as whole just feels lovely.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Such a Beautiful Day

 Winter is over, the break away is clear, apparent. The people of New York City are outwardly more cheerful, smiling in line at the bodega, the baristas more chatty, and all of us are talking about the beautiful weather. It’s such a beautiful day, much too pretty to be the day my father died. But death doesn’t consider such things. 

On March 8th, 2010, I got the news that he was dying. I was at work, in a stuffy office in Carson, California. His rapidly declining body was in the ICU all the way in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When I stepped out to my car to rush home to pack, the sunlight stung my eyes. The sky was a cloudless blue and it was gorgeous outside, I thought, “He can’t die! He can’t die today. It’s too nice outside.” I was manic, panicked, and utterly distraught. My face was swollen and snot-filled from tearful outbursts.  It felt unfitting to be in such a state on such a lovely day. And on that day, he didn’t make it. He died and it just didn’t seem right.

On March 8th in the years after, I was graced with rainstorms and fog, or chilly overcast greys. I was able to sit with my grief and not feel like the day had been wasted from my sorrow. The weather had graciously adjusted to my mood, to allow me to move through the darkness the anniversary evoked. I would look up and thank the clouds for their mercy.

But this year, March 8th is such a beautiful day. My mourning is cushioned in the warmth of a sunnier sky, a gentle breeze and the ease of a light jacket as opposed to a heavy coat and gloves. The sky that hangs above me brings me joy, and it’s like he is telling me, “Everything is fine, you are allowed to be happy. I’ve brought the spring for you. Life is still here.”

Regardless of how pretty the sun looks, I still remember.  I miss him. A little bit of heartache just feels right. I take time to remember, to honor a very significant human being. I write him a letter, something to say, “Hey, you are important enough for me to stop, you deserve my pause, my attention.”

March 8th 2010 was just as gorgeous as March 8th 2016. And this year I’ve come forth from the winter anew. I am still here, the grief is too, but I’m moving forward. After a morning of mourning, I step outside and enjoy the afternoon.  And it is such a beautiful day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Reality of Vagabonding

A year on the road was an incredible journey. I grew tremendously as a person. I shed a lot of tears, let go of opinions, and was able to heal grief that had compounded over the course of my life thus far. While I was traveling I got a lot of emails and notes from people. Most were filled with love and encouragement, but many held a type of cathartic tone that I was living a dream. And I was, I am.

I live a life that is completely authentic to me. I chose a structure of life that suits my strengths. I don’t function well in routine. I need a diverse group of people, from many different backgrounds and interests surrounding me. I need a lot of freedom and stimulation as well as time to devote myself to my passions for art, music, writing and discovery.

A year of traveling gave me that. However being in constant motion requires a lot of energy. For an outsider, seeing only my Instagram, there can be a very narrow view of what a life of travel really feels like. The things others didn’t see was the stress and physical tolls I felt every time I showed up in a foreign country, where everything is unfamiliar. Little things like currency, phone service, where to get my morning coffee became much larger tasks, often times more overwhelming and challenging than one would expect, especially when you add a language barrier. Budgeting money, being surrounded by strangers and even the sometimes nightly challenge of wondering where I am going to sleep, although adventurous and exciting, can be debilitating over a long period of time. It’s not sustainable.

Often when I was struggling, exhausted and alone, that’s when I would get messages, “I envy your life,” “You are living my dream,” “Keep going! Don’t stop!” “Where to next?”

It was difficult to separate my own needs from the drive to give these people something to hang on to, inspiration mostly. And it’s not always easy to have someone else’s fantasy in your hands. I wasn’t capable to say, to them, “Yes! This is an amazing journey, but it has its sacrifices, nothing is perfect.” With every experience, there is a give and take. I didn’t want to destroy the fantasy they were creating about what it must be like to travel for a year, based on my pictures. But at the same time, there are many truths that should be shed.

No matter how well I planned, I was never in control. Bad things happened. My phone broke. I lost a credit card, and another was stolen. My laptop broke and needed eight hundred dollars in repair in a country where hot water was a luxury item. And I was in Paris during a terrorist attack. Not to mention, as a human being, changing my location and lifestyle did not make me immune to the full spectrum of human emotions. Sure there was joy, excitement and happiness, but there was also sorrow, heartache, fatigue and frustration. Ever time I got close to new friends or changed locations there was a period of grief for the person or experience I’d left behind that needed to be honored and felt.

Despite the message from some that, “I could never do what you’re doing,” what I did was not as far fetched, as one would imagine. I wanted others to know that they too could do go on a grand adventure. I am not that special. I simply made a choice. I made a choice to live with uncertainty, to rely on friends and strangers for shelter, to get rid of all my stuff, even my dog. I sometimes didn’t eat so I could pay for a hostel. I slept in my car whose payment I neglected that month. I chose to separate myself from close friends, family and support  to go off into the jungle, a forest or temple to resolve serious pain. There were some experiences where I needed to be completely isolated and other times I whished to all that was holy that I wasn’t so alone.

So, no I’m not that special. But that’s not to say there isn’t some luck involved. I am lucky that I am not married with children, bound to larger responsibilities that could damage other people in being absent for such a long period of time. I am lucky that I was raised by parents who encouraged and supported travel, allowing me the experience and courage necessary to take such a leap as a female traveling solo.  And when my dad died I received and inheritance (sadly, lucky), one that I invested very wisely, that I budget very frugally to afford me the time off to go on such a journey (choice). I didn’t buy a house, I didn’t settle down. I wanted to stay mobile. I chose not to peruse many rewarding life goals that could potentially trap me. Of course the sacrifices are all worth it to me. But there is a balance. A year on the road of international travel was as equally rewarding as it was challenging.

I have been living in New York City for four months now. In a kind of karmic exchange, getting closer to one experience always takes me further away from another. Sure I am not being bombarded with life affirming revelations and earth shattering discoveries. But I know where I am sleeping tonight. I get to feel a part of a community again. I see my neighbors at our local café, where the baristas know me. I can go to dinner with my close friends without the stress of covering the last six months of my life before the bill arrives. Last night when I was walking back to the train after mediation in Manhattan, a new friend of mine recognized me and called out my name, and we had a conversation on a street corner in the East Village. I can actually build a relationship now, with a beautiful man, who isn’t watching the clock tick, protecting himself from a girl on the next flight out. And really, if the journey didn’t stop, what would be the point of everything I learned about my life. You can’t spend all your time searching, and no time living, where then are the opportunities to apply all the wisdom you’ve found?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Surrender, Sound and Self

I didn’t know it when I signed up for the Tibetan Bowl meditation at Yoga Barn, but the monk conducting the mediation stated as I lay on my bolster, that it was a Chakra cleansing. I don’t know a lot about Chakras or what they are tied to, what meaning each one has. My knowledge  only extends  as very far as that go from the top of your head to the base of your spine. as seen from the batik sarongs people have hanging around. Mediation is also a new thing for me but I have been practicing and can slip into a very peaceful state for at least twenty minutes unguided.

The beginning of the mediation my mind was racing. But slowly as the bowls began to ring I felt myself slip into ease. After what I feel like was ten minutes she said in a clear strong voice, “First Chakra.” My focus went to the top of my head and I had a visualization of a white flower resting there, a 1000 petal lotus to be exact and it just kept blooming over and over. There was no end to how much was in its center. For me it represented the ceaseless knowledge and wisdom I could posses.  That image did not come out of nowhere; it was formed based off of something I heard from a wonderful yoga teacher, Heather Heinz in Hilo, Hawaii. But I had heard that only once and it was probably six years ago.

“Second Chakra,” My focus went to my third eye and I though of intuition. It felt strong and there was a reassurance that I just needed to pay more attention to it.

“Third Chakra.” My throat was weak. I strain myself by using too many words and I don’t say anything. I don’t speak my truth and I need to practice mindfulness and restraint. I am injuring myself by playing an instrument untrained. I am making noise and not music.  I need to wrangle it in, both in speech and writing. I need to take care of this place in me, it’s worn out from improper use.

The bowls rang and I knew the patterns and could sense when there was a shift I rearranged my legs and then “Fourth Chakra.” A funnel was popped into the center of my chest to let in some light, let out some love. Then my chest was cracked open. It was such a mess in there. Heavy wet sand filled my whole torso. I began the process of scooping out the wet, grey sand with both my hands. It was heavy and as I grabbed, the  murky water would spill over my hands and splash back to the well that was inside of me. I got about half way down when she said, “Fifth Chakra.”

In my belly lies my creativity. It is full and happy but I need to be mindful of what I put in it. Just like my art can be made better by the quality of my materials, so will the quality of my creativity.

“Sixth Chakra.” My fire. My womb. My sexuality. I am taking it to serious. That is also where my humor lies and I need to laugh more about sex.

“Seventh Chakra.” I didn’t know there was a seventh but here I saw my faith and my grounding. It’s the base of my spine and here lies my past and my sorrows, my self-criticism. It was here that a woman came to me. She was in her late thirties/early forties. She was fit and beautiful with tan skin. She had blond hair, mid-length and wavy. Her presence was so comforting and she was so familiar even though we have never met.  I realized that she was my future self and she directed me to think kindly on all the past versions of me. I saw myself as a small child with weird puffy hair and teeth in different stages of gaps and protrusions, I saw myself with braces as an early teen, thin and awkward. I saw my self at twenty, overweight and swollen. I saw myself as I am now, self-critical over my body and appearance. She put her hands on my cheeks gently, she held my face in her hands and looked into my eyes. She said softly but sternly, “ You are a creation of God, please stop shitting on his work." She smiled and backed away into the abyss.

As the mediation came to a close a thunderclap rolled outside. The monk directed us to take this as a blessing, a gift from the Gods and when we felt ready to silently leave the room. I laid there drinking up the experience for a while , then tip-toed out.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Now You Will Remember Bali

I went down the stairs of the open-air villa this morning to find the whole bathroom was engulfed in a swarm of giant termites because I’d left the light on. A gecko the size of my shoe was near the toilet lapping them up and a spider the size of my hand tap-danced in the shower. I was still half asleep and didn’t wish to disturb the ecosystem to get to the toilet. I crossed the wood floors moving beyond the wraparound deck to pee in the yard. The dawn was just beginning to cast an azure haze on the horizon. The flutter of the ducks in the paddy was the only sound to cut through the tail end of night. The little gaggle was undisturbed as I swatted where the lawn begins to give way to the jungle, rising up from the river.  When I finished drip-drying, I crept back into the villa and went up the stairs to the bedroom. Mitch was still asleep curled up in a ball. I could see him through the white gauze canopy. His dark hair curled on the pillow and his salt and pepper beard was bent sideways from the press of his face. As I looked at him sleeping I thought about how things between us had gotten so painful and distant. I didn’t want to climb back into bed with him. I’ve stopped feeling affection towards him in a self-protective sort of way.
I went back down the stairs and made a cup of coffee instead. I heated the water on the kettle and pulled a heaping scoop of the black powder from a bag marked  “Bali Kopi.” When the dark water separated into a black sludge on the bottom of the clear glass mug and the drinkable liquid formed, floating on top I took the coffee outside. I moved gently through intricately carved gate, trying not to disturb the newly born morning, and walked out to the one lane road.
It was quiet and clean but for a few fallen leaves from the banyan trees.  A few motorbikes rested, leaning slightly. There were no signposts or noticed perched on poles telling anyone where they could or couldn’t park, no street sweeping, no tow-away zones or meters. I took a sigh of relief that I was finally free from the confines of the Los Angeles parking hell that helped to drive me to Bali in the first place.

A few months ago Mitch and I were in the parking office on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. We were waiting for our number to be called, sitting in plastic chairs with blue felted armrests. He was stroking the top of my hand with his thumb and at the time we were still intoxicated with each other. Our number was called. I paid my stack of parking tickets and the nearly one grand it took to get his car out of the city impound. The lady behind the double-paned glass knew me well. I’d spent a lot of time in that office. Between street sweeping, expired meters and the overflow of cars from the Hollywood that kicked me out of my residential permit zone, I was getting tickets every week. I was struggling to afford rent. While the office lady printed our receipts, Mitch looked at me with a wild eye and asked, “You want to get out of here?”
“I do.”
“I don’t mean this office. I mean like out of here. Out of LA.”
“I know what you mean.”
“Where should we go?” he asked.
“Berlin. Paris. Amsterdam. Ibiza.”
“No. No. No. Think warmer!” He chirped.
“OK. How about Bali?”
“Yeah Bali. There are beautiful beaches and nightclubs and yoga and lots of expats.”
“OK. Fuck it. Let’s go to Bali.”

I’d drank half my coffee and as I rounded the corner at the bottom of the hill, the gashes on my knee began to throb and I inspected the tender, swollen bump on my elbow. I fell off the motorbike yesterday. Mitch was sliding us down a gravel hill at a crawl, he hit the brake a little too hard, the back wheel came out from under us and over we went. I hurt my hand, knee and have a nice hematoma on my elbow.  He got two gashes on his knee and elbow too. We were following a van of new friends to a beach near Padang Bay on the east side of the island. It took us two hours to get there. And the wreck happened while he was looking for a place to park.
Despite wounded skin and pride we decided to stay and enjoy the beach. Tensions were high, the air felt thick. Mitch kept a large distance from me and could barely look at me. He mumbled out a weak “Sorry.” Seeing his reaction in this situation is helping to confirm my suspicions. I am meant to be here, but this relationship is not.
I laid face down on a lounge chair, the skin on my legs browned, and a Balinese woman gave me an eight-dollar massage. She tied my long blonde hair into a twist, exposing the side of my head I shaved in victorious rebellion after my last day at the preschool. When I turned over for her to massage my front, I could see Mitch sitting in a nearby chair, his hazel eyes moping, the grey flecks in his hair seemed misplaced, as he acted so childish. He moved away when he saw me looking at him.
When I try to retrace the beginning of the end, the end of Mitch and me, the timeline seems to keep rolling backwards. It goes further and further to a time before I ever knew he existed. And in all that time, I’ve completely forgotten who I am and what I have done in my life.  Death can do that to a person. The day my father died, began a rapid descent into a dark hole where I stayed for five years, a hole I began climbing out of only this past year.  But now I am beginning to remember who I was, who I am, when I am around people who ask the right questions. Not the, “What brings you to Bali?” “Where are you from?”  Or “Are you two a couple?” Those questions give me anxiety because the answer changes depending who I am talking to, how safe I feel, and how much time or energy I have.
I began to remember when the girl sitting next to me in a cafe brought up Dominica, a very small island in the Caribbean and I said, “I’ve been there!”
“Yes! I hiked through the Valley of Desolation and made it to the Boiling Lake. In fact I lived on a sailboat for three months and have been to almost all of the Lesser Antilles.” I am beginning to remember that I’ve seen many parts of the world and I am beginning to remember how creative, resourceful and outgoing I can be when traveling. I am beginning to remember that somewhere in me is still a girl who loves to laugh, explore, sing and make art.
After my dad died, I couldn’t see her. I was alone for weeks at a time with only a bottle of wine and sleeping Chihuahua to talk to. I couldn’t see myself when I was in grid-lock traffic on Sunset Boulevard, fighting my way across town, bawling my eyes out, with nowhere to pull-over as my tampon leaked through my work pants.
I forgot about that girl, the one who went to Tahiti by herself and survived for two weeks on $500 dollars and a smile. I forgot about the young girl who was happy to sit on a Paris balcony all day looking down at the people below. And I forgot about the girl who taught herself how to play the ukulele, published a book and made collages that she pasted on walls at night. But now I am beginning to remember her, embrace her and be that girl again.
As the Balinese masseuse rubbed jasmine scented oil on my arm she studied my hand and elbow.  “Motor bike?”
“You must be careful. Many tourists fall.” She held my hand and gently inspected the dark brown mud inside of the gashes on my fingers and smiled, “Now you will remember Bali.”

All along the road there is a simple concrete canal system that irrigates all of the island’s rice fields. It starts at the top of the mountains and not a single patch of farm is missed. It is used for bathing and as I walked down the hill, I was never without the sound of water softly pouring from each micro fall.  I met the eyes of beautiful women walking up the road in bright lace and yellow sashes.  They carried stacks of offerings in baskets and gold plated tin vases on their heads for their daily trek to the temples. Down a ways I could see a grown man with his dick out pissing in this canal just barely up stream from a group of old Balinese women bathing naked. I took a sip from my coffee. I looked at the swollen bump on arm again. Now you will remember Bali.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lay Me Down- at Vroman's Bookstore

If you didn't make it to the book signing/reading/Q&A, here is what you missed.

To a mixed bag of about 50 people, I read an edited version of a passage from Ch. 3, "Pajama Party". 
It was edited for the audience only because the presentation area is dangerously close to the "Children's section"! Yikes! Below is the FULL Unedited version.

We walked down by the dunes and laid out a blanket. I got on top of him and we started to make out. I started to get into it grinding him in my thin cotton knickers. Just as I was about to take off my top Dan stopped and looked up. He said he thought he saw someone. 
“But who would be walking on the beach at midnight?” I asked him. 
“Well, we’re here,” he shrugged. 
“Well what should we do? Should we keep going? ‘Cause I don’t really care as long as he doesn’t get any closer.” Dan shrugged again so we continued to make out and dry hump.
Just as I took my shirt off, a flashlight popped on and was pointed directly at us. I quickly put my shirt back on and got off of him. I was freaked out. Why was this person shining his invasive light on my little boobies when I was trying to get my freak on? I wasn’t hurting anybody and if he wanted to watch this was not the way to go about it. As the light got closer it became clear what our situation was with the voyer.
 “I think that’s a cop,” Dan said in annoyance. 
But what I didn’t understand, why then did he watch us make out for so long? Why did he wait for my shirt to go off?
As the cop got closer he asked us, “Can you tell me what you’re doing on the beach so late at night folks?” 
Cops are such assholes. What the hell was he trying to prove with his whole “folks” business? If he respected us as “folks” he would have left us the fuck alone.
“Uhh? We were just enjoying the night officer!” Dan told him as politely as possible.
 “Well is that your car parked up there on the street?” the cop asked. He knew it was our car but he asked anyway.
“Yes sir it is.” Dan’s voice had a little tremble in it now. Hearing him hesitate made me nervous.
The man in blue directed us to go back to his squad car that was running up at the road with all of it’s lights conveniently Off. 
“I’m gonna need to see some ID from the both of you.” 
Dan told him it was in his car and ran over to get it,  leaving me all alone with the object of my biggest fears. 
“And what about you? Do you have ID?” 
Since I was only thirteen, I  sadly did not have ID.
 I was and still am very intimidated by a man, or woman for that matter, in a police uniform. It’s probably the bullet proof vest underneath that makes them look like they have big rooster chests. Also being a child addicted to television I had seen my fair share of COPS and knew it was never smart to lie to a man of the law. Once you lied it was all over and they were more likely to not be so hard on you if you told the truth. I told him I didn’t have a Driver’s License. So he asked for my social security number instead.  I gave it to him through gritted teeth. I should have lied and told him I didn’t know it. That would’ve actually been a believable lie, a lot more believable then the hooker on TV saying, “No, officer that’s not my crack that you found in my purse! I have no IDEA where that came from! I just give blow jobs for money I would nevah do drugs officer nevah!” That scenario usually ended in tears and hand cuffs.
The officer went inside his car and punched in my social security number. A few minutes went by and Dan came back with his proof of Identity. The cop was in his car for a while and I was beginning to wonder what the fuck was taking so long, I was starting to get cold damn it! The officer looked up at me from his police car mini-computer
 “Are you sure you gave me the right number?” 
Now I was frustrated, was he calling me a liar after I just used my better judgment Not to lie?
 “Yes I did give you the right number!” and gave it to him again. 
“Yeah I’m not getting anything. What’s your full name and address?” he asked and that’s when I was in trouble.
My social was not in the system because I didn’t have a driver’s license but my name and address was in the system from when the detectives and paramedics came for me back in January. The cop took a deep sigh then pulled Dan to the side. But not far enough because I could hear everything they were saying.
“Were you aware this young lady over here is thirteen?” Copper asked with sympathy. 
Dan squinted and then put on quite the little act
“Are you serious! She told me she was sixteen, sir, I swear! I can’t believe this!” he turned to me “I can’t believe this, you said you were sixteen!” 
He looked really mad, I would have bought it too if I hadn’t known better.  Then to my utter disbelief, the cop told him to go home, feeling bad for him that he had just almost been seduced by a thirteen-year-old. Dan shook his head at me in disappointment. And I felt the water works coming to the front of my sinuses. I did what I could to hold them back and luckily they stayed put. Dan’s car pulled away and I did not yet comprehend what had just happened. Dan ditched me with the cop and somehow I was the one in trouble?
 When I was left alone with the law, the officer looked at me irritated, “Looks like you’re no stranger to statutory rape laws.” 
He must have seen the report when he pulled up my address. 
“Now I’m sorry I have to do this but its procedure and for your own good.” 
And that’s when he put me in handcuffs. 
             As he placed the cuffs around my now shivering wrists he informed me that I was technically breaking a few laws this time; trespassing, breaking state curfew for minors, not to mention public indecency, and coercing someone into statutory rape. I knew at this point that the officer thought he was teaching me a lesson. It took everything in me not to burst into tears. He walked me to the side of the car and put me in the back seat, (which is still the one and only time I have been in a cop car).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Memoirs of a Beatnik

I don't feel so bad about my level of sexually graphic content anymore! Well, ok. I never felt bad writing about giving slobbery blow-jobs or letting some random loser do me from behind. But
right now I'm reading Diane Di Prima's "Memoirs of a Beatnik".  If you've read it you know what I'm talking about. If not I will give you a little break down.

Within the confines of her 194 page novel (meaning fiction, however I know those stories came from somewhere) she loses her virginity to a guy and the very next day is fingering another guys asshole. Said fingered asshole belongs to a gentleman who goes down on "fictional" Diane to suck the cum out of her pussy left behind by its previous occupant. The owner of the fingered asshole sucks the cum out because he is gay and Diane is "the veil through which [they] can be together."

Diane also describes countless orgies, lesbian sex, lesbian orgies and even an incestuous scene where her friend/sex partner is being eaten out by her own fifteen-year-old brother and then pretty much ass-raped by him afterwards. The following day the father of the incestuous siblings drunkenly rape/fucks Diane on a grassy hill in the middle of the day while the rest of the family is napping.  And we're only on page 68.

I'm currently on page 163 and it is still about sex and occasionally about her life in New York City in the 1950's. And don't mistake my description for criticism. I fucking LOVE this book! It is awesome and Diane Di Prima is my new hero for writing it!

She writes about sex much more beautifully then I do and I get really turned on when I read it. I have been more horny in the last week then I have been in six months. She describes men very affectionately and her sex is far more erotic then mine. I most certainly was not fingering assholes hours after losing my virginity. I was having lots of sex at eighteen, but not with entire groups of women.

I always wondered what that was like. I hear many tall tales, which are quite cliche, that college is the place for girl-on-girl experimentation. And I wish that was what it was like for me. My two girl-on-girl experiences were not great. I didn't like the taste or smell of the first girl and was interrupted before shirts could be removed with the second girl. The sex just kind of happened. It wasn't sought out or forced. I wasn't walking about town thinking, "I'm going to fuck a girl tonight, now lets go find one." And in "Memoirs of a Beatnik" the giant college girl orgy also just kind of happens. Maybe it was the time, or maybe today girls don't want to talk about it, but I have never heard any of my girl friends share stories or hear-say about college girl orgies or college girl-on-girl experimentation. And we talk about a lot of kinky shit sometimes.

I have my own girl-on-girl stories, some of my girl friends have had serious relationships with girls. But none involving this free flying pussy of myth. And Frankly I feel left out. When Di Prima describes being with girls it makes me feel like I might have missed something. Yet I don't feel that way when she writes about fingering a gay man's asshole or having sex with her girlfriend's dad, boyfriend's dad or being double-stuffed, even if it is in the beautiful and warm glow of the firelight of an Upper West Side apartment.

So Diane's book is fiction but all great stories come from somewhere real. I'm convinced that all of her stories are true, but if she said so she would be very sued by the people she wrote about. Honestly, writers can't describe crazy sex like that unless they have done it, seen it, or heard of someone else doing it. So to please myself I'm going to believe that "Memoirs of a beatnik" is a real memoir.

To give you an example of how much more beautifully Di Prima describes sex, I will do some side by side comparisons of sex acts written by each of us, from our books respectfully, "Memoirs of a Beatnik"  and "Lay Me Down". That is not to say I do a shitty job. My description is just not as eloquent.

Blow Jobs:

Di Prima: " mouth closed over the large head of his cock, and I tasted the bittersweet liquid at its tip. I bent my head down as far as I could, completely filling my mouth, straining to make that space larger and to take him in more completely."

L. Marie: "He pulled my head to his already hard erection. I went down on him just how he liked. Then I stopped before he came so I could make the whole thing last."

Girl-on-girl Cunnilingus:

Di Prima: (receiving) "My legs fell open like a sigh, and with a rush of pleasure and relief I felt Petra's strong mouth against my cunt, her warm wetness meeting my own in the gentlest and most subtle of caresses."

L. Marie: (giving) "I looked down at her fire crotch, and what a bush! It was a big fire ball!...I could smell her pussy inches from my face, and it didn't smell good."


Di Prima: "...I turned my attention more fully to it, parting the two mounds of his buttocks till I found his small, round asshole...I set my mouth over it, licking and reaming the opening..."

L. Marie: ...

Aren't you turned on? Aren't you envious of Di Prima's sexuality? Yeah, me too.

Click here to Buy "Memoirs of a Beatnik" by, Diane Di Prima

Click here to buy "Lay Me Down" by, L. Marie Cook

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dating and Working- A Comparison

The dating world is incredibly similar to the working world.
Especially the beginning of a new relationship and the hiring process.
Allow me to elaborate.

You scour the internet on Craigslist and in much the same
way one scours dating sites. You look first at the overall job and its
environment, much like how you contemplate you initial attraction to
the potential suitors looks and overall interests. " Seeking waitress
for bakery, that sounds nice but I would end up weighing a hundred
pounds...Hmmm he enjoys the outdoors, but I think sunscreen smells
funny and I don't need anymore wrinkles."

Same goes for when you are walking into a business or hitting on
someone at a bar. You are getting a chance to get a better feel for
the overall personality but all you the information you know is based
on this first encounter. For all you know this guy/gal could end up
being a total psycho.

So you figure you'll put yourself out there. You hand out your number
(including experience, past relationships and the phone numbers of
your exes in case they want to ask how I perform under pressure) to a
bunch of people who you wouldn't mind taking orders from, and you
email another dozen whose ads sound half way appealing. And then you
wait. You figure, "Well I gave my info to a bunch of people,
somebody's bound to call me back!" But you're not the only person who
gave these guys their number. He might have found somebody with better
qualifications (read bigger boobs) or more experience (past employer
is know for banging interns) then you.

But hey. It's no big deal. You don't even really know these guys and
they have no real obligation to call you or even send a confirmation
email. But just as you have given up and are ready to go on round two
of putting your info out there, you get an email and he wants to go on
an interview! "Yay! He wants to meet me!" you say out loud, alone in
your apartment, bouncing excitedly up and down. Yes! Yes! Yes! you
bounce hop, almost trip, and jump for joy. You set a time for the next
day and immediately run to your closet to look for outfit!

As you dig trough your piles of clothes, you realize that your
favorite purple blouse screams irresponsible, your black button down
is quietly whispering boring, and that super-hot v-neck you wore to
your sisters rehearsal dinner will be telling everyone in the room
what a slut you are. If you dress too boring you won't stand out. If
you dress too nice he'll think you're desperate. Too causal then
you're not very interested or your not taking this whole thing very
seriously and what does that really say about your performance.

So in order to find an outfit that truly transmits that you are
serious, but laid back. Smart but creative. And sexy but not a whore.
(because God created cleavage for a reason) You go shopping for a
whole NEW outfit.

You show up for this meeting a few minutes early. Nervously waiting
for him to finish getting ready for you. You scope out his diggs,
thinking, "Yeah I could spend time here. I could put a plant in that
corner and hang my autographed Keven Smith Poster above the
computer... my favorite coffee mug over there." Just when your nerves
start to settle he snaps you out of day dreaming, the life you might
be venturing into, and says he's ready.

You find a table in the back, nice and quiet so you can talk and get
to know each other in a more private setting. And he starts, "So, tell
me about yourself." And this is the part where you babble on about how
great you are at multi-tasking, and in your mind you're remembering
that one time you were painting your toe nails and talking on the
phone at the same time. You explain how very organized and detail
oriented you are, meaning you know exactly where your ex hid his
bourbon (bottom left drawer of his desk). You finish by letting him
know how you are motivated to succeed, thinking back fondly how you
held the highest score for Angry Birds three weeks in a row.

Then he asks you about your ex's. In reality you're not with them
anymore for a reason, but this new guy, you can't talk shit about your
ex's to him, he'll think you're bitter and you might someday talk
about him that way. And you can't very well tell him you were dumped,
because then he'll think you're a loser. So you lie. "We just outgrew
each other...It was time to move on to something with more long term

Over all this first date seemed like it went well. You seemed to like
each other. May have even laughed a few times at things. You don't
think you made a total ass out of your self and you did catch him
checking your boobs out once or twice while you were explaining the
duties involved at your last position and what you would be willing to
do if he was above you. You shake hands,"nice to meet you." Blah blah
blah. And he says he'll call. You get home and send him a message
saying it was nice to meet him, you look forward to seeing him again
and concoct some random question to make sure he has a reason to talk
to you again.

For the next three days you pick up your phone so many times to check
it your starting to get tennis elbow and your computer is on the verge
of meltdown because you've hit the refresh button on your gmail
account too many times in a three minute period. You can't leave the
house from 10am-6pm because you know that's when he's at work and the
last time you talked to him was at work he will most likely contact
you from his office like he did last time.

You think to your self,"oh no! What if he met someone else he liked
better then me. I'm mean if he doesn't want to see me at least he can
tell me instead of making me wait. Or maybe he didn't get my message?"
So you email him asking him if he got your last message. He quickly
replies, "Oh yes! Sorry I've just been really busy here at the
office." And you take a breath. " Ah see. He's just busy. Maybe he
does like me. And you wait, and check and refresh some more. Until you
finally realize that he was just being nice and he's probably Not
going to call.

Now sometimes in this scenario, He DOES call. And he Does like you and
he wants to meet you again. He asks if you'd like to join him a few
days a week just to start off. And you gladly accept.

The first few weeks are always kind of a trail period. You both lied
your asses on the first date. You told him you were a much better
person then you actually are and He made sure not to scare you by
telling you how demanding he really is. But you've gotta feel these
things out for your self. In many cases you realize after a week or
two that this is Sooo not the kind of situation you want to be in day
in and day out and you can easily cut your losses by parting way
before things get too serious. Also if you find a better opportunity
and bail nobody's feeling are too hurt.

But lets say after a few weeks you're happy and really see things
going somewhere. You plan for the future and start thinking Benefits!
Medical, Dental, Paid Vacation! But you know you've got to earn those
things and if you stay with him long enough and are loyal and
hard-working, someday All this could be yours!

And if one day you leave because after all you did for him he still
doesn't appreciate you or you get caught banging the mail clerk on the
copy machine, you can still make out of the divorce with a monthly
unemployment check till you go through the whole process again to find
some other poor slop to pay you for sitting on you ass all day.

See! The dating world and the working world...exactly the same!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Air Sex

All over the nation a new sport is gathering a thrusting momentum. It's called Air Sex. Much like Air Guitar, each athlete (for lack of a better word) pantomimes sex to the song of their choice. After each performance there's a panel of judges, much like in American Idol, to offer their critique, but ultimately the winner is chosen by the viewers. Last week, The Satellite (formerly Spaceland) hosted the Air Sex Championships. With a PBR tall boy in hand I proceeded to watch the greatest sport on Earth!

The festivities began with a Zack Galifianakis look-alike tonguing the air and grabbing the head of an invisible woman. His hips pumped the air in great horny enthusiasm. He mocked pulling his pants down and pulled out his "cock". I could tell by the great care he took in laying his lady down and eating her pussy, that he really cared about this invisible girl. He also looked as though, and from the rest of the crowds reaction, that in real life he was probably pretty good at whatever it was he was pretending to do. He stuck his faux penis in and pumped. He finished. The crowd clapped. It was a beautiful thing to watch a burley man show the world what he would do to a woman. And I imagine that since he was the host, he most likely got a few numbers based on his performance alone. But that was only the beginning.

The first contestant was a tall, bald hipster by the name of Coochie-X. He chose a soft sensuous song. He started out sitting on the stage talking to his "girl" in what I can only assume was either a park or maybe a living room floor. He began to make-out with her. Then Coochie-X put her on her back and went down on her. He made sure to pay attention to her boobies while he air licked his partner. We all kept waiting for him to pretend to get naked but he joyously ate, fingered and rubbed the place where the girl was supposed to be, the entire song. The announcer had to actually put an end to the performance to get the bald hipster out of his invisible pussy trance.

Next was Duke Dickalot. My curiosity was piqued when he requested a chair, yet quickly put to rest when he slated his performance with, "This is me having sex with a fifteen foot woman."To the wonderful sounds of "Back That Ass Up", Duke's scene started by knocking on the giant's door and meeting her fifteen foot gaze as she opened it. In order to make out with her he stands on the chair. It is quickly clear that this fifteen foot woman has extremely large breasts since he uses two hands to lift and suck on each one. He then motorboats the ginormous boobies. Since this large woman has an equally large snatch he skips the usual finger work-up and goes strait to fisting her. From there he graduates to two fists. Duke Dickalot then wow'd the crowd with his finale. He got off his chair and shoved his entire upper body into the giant vagina of the imaginary fifteen foot woman. By far the most creative spectacle of the evening.

The following act was the worst display of frat boy jockhood I had ever seen. He called himself Mr. G-spot. He had clearly been preparing for his exhibition all month. He came out with a cape on and quickly disrobed to exposed a hairless by Nair and steroid-induced musculature. He wore no clothing except for two "Censored" signs attached to a pair of tighty-whitey's covering his crotch. He danced like an egotistical male stripper and the only people cheering were his frat-boy buddies. When he finally started to pay-attention to his "partner", it was clear that he was going for pure comedic shock value and had never really ever been with a woman in real life. He put the girl in the chair. He put her legs on his shoulders, which was the only decent thing he did in his two minutes of fame. But as he began to mime going down on her he backed away, wafting the air and plugging his nose. As if he even knows what pussy smells like. Then out of his goody bag he grabbed a face mask and Febreeze air-freshner. He put on the mask and sprayed the chair down. Since his mouth was now covered he pretended to finger the poor girl. By this time I was so over this so-called Mr. G-spot that I went to the bar for another tall-boy and a piss break. Lucky for you, I attached a video where he moves on to fist her.

While I was at the bar/taking a tinkle, a girl went up who was equally horrific. I actually rushed out of the bathroom to see her hopping it'd be fun to watch a girl. I caught the last few seconds of her act and realized that she spent the whole time on her knees giving her "husband"? a very bad blow-job. She held his cock in one hand and the microphone in the other. Into the microphone she asked him to contribute to the grocery list in a monotone voice, "Butter? Eggs? Milk? Ok I'll get that anything else?"

Now I didn't come to the Air Sex Championships to watch the kind of sex people pray to never have. I wanted to see the kind of sex people would cut off their left pinky to have. I wanted to get a peek into the kind of closet kink factors you could only legally perform in pantomime! Not some bored housewife asking "do we need butter?" with a testicle in her mouth. It would have been funny if she was giving what looked like an Amazing blow-job but it was a pretty shitty one from where I was standing.

After her there was Premadonnature. One of the better acts for sure. To MJ's, "Man in the Mirror", we watched him prepare for his date, who I guess was waiting for him in his own bedroom. He psych'd himself up in the bathroom. He flexed. He got on the floor and did three crunches and three pushups. Flexed again. Then he trimmed his ball hairs. Most of us thought we could see where this was going. We all waited for him to start jerking off to his own image. But with all the same disappointment of a premature ejaculation, he walked into the "room", made-out with his faux chick and then came in his pants.

Next was another fucking weird performance from an Italian guy who judging by his lack of English, was fresh off the boat. Carlo Alberto, and I think that was his real name, he requested two chairs. I thought "Ok this is gonna be good." But then the music started and he tied both girls up, placed them in their chairs and began to back-hand the shit out of them! Then punch them in their faces. He pulled his cock out and raped their mouths going in and out as fast as he could, yelling, and slapping his way through it. He then grabbed the girls bobbies and sucked on her nipples. And then it was over to the total disbelief of the audience that we just witnessed an Air Rape of two innocent invisible women.

To save the day, was La Maricona, the other woman performer. She announced that she would be competing as a representative of the Lesbian Community. Beyond gettting an authentic look into lady sex, she was by far best pantomime with enthusiasm. She brought her beer with her up on stage. The music started and she was making out with her lady and digging for her keys. She pinned the chick agains the door as she made out with her. She got into the apartment and pinned the girl up against the speakers on the stage and kissed and groped the air-boobies. She moved to the floor and licked the girls snatch. She picked up her beer, took a sip and then actually dribbled her beer on the carpet/faux lady carpet. The crowed cheered and I'm sure most of the girls in the room got beer showers from their boyfriends that night. But that's not even the best part. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, La Maricona mimed armoring herself with a strap-on. She air fucked the girl with such realism that every man had a hard-on and every woman had moist panties. She pulled the strap-on out of her faux lesbian lover and fucked the girls mouth with it. Bravo. La Maricona. Bra-vo.

After announcing the semi-finalists, Mr. G-spot, Carlro Alberto( god only knows why they qualified), and thankfully La Maricona, the three were told they had to perform to a mystery song. Which ended up being three Disney songs from The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. G-spot and Carlo ended up doing more of their horror shows they call sex. But La Maricona, she once again brought the goods. And by goods I mean her beer bottle. She won because she shoved a beer bottle into her imaginary girl friends' pussy to "I Can Show You the World" from Disney's, Aladdin. Isn't that sweet?

Here is the recap for the Los Angeles Air Sex Championships! This is not the order they went in, but you get a good taste of the action.