Friday, December 26, 2014

Not Sinking

“Have you seen Mouse?” I could just make out the shape of her shoes. The woven slightly darker than tan braided leather slip on dress moccasins, the shimmery knee highs that encased her regularly bare skin. Her voice dripping with longing as she searched for the one other person in the room that knew how badly she wanted to rip those leggings and fancy shoes off. The daughter that knew her in ways that both placated and terrified her.

“She’s around here somewhere Nance.” My mother’s mother being anything but mothering, so everything she’d known her to be. I sat there beneath the gauzy red organza that draped the Christmas serving table. The smell of rye crisps, pickled fish, salmon loaves, briny olives and gingery, molasses cookies, big plump black olives impaled on each of my digits, my white blonde hair in a swatch over one of my green eyes as I bent my fingers and choreographed the greatest all olive musical, of all time.

Mouse. Her name for me. She called me that for how quietly I moved, how gently I spoke, how afraid I was when people moved close to me. Mouse. That was me. A five year old hiding under a holiday table, olive show at my fingertips, intoxicating aromas of caraway, and powdered sugar coated cookies, too much scotch and the stench of expensive perfume. Those braided shoes slipped beneath my hiding table as my mother picked at the smorgasbord of her family’s Swedish delights and sweat the truth. The truth of how we didn’t belong but had to be brought in to make for a proper holiday show.

I could smell her fear and how it was woven into bits of her history that had her standing as tall as her broken frame would allow, searching for me as I hid from the life she spent years running from. Her mouse stealing bits of food and watching from under a table as she stumbled around in awkward shoes and fake smiles. My hiding another punishment for her. Her parents frowning and shaking their judgment filled heads as their disappointment of an eldest daughter searched for her second child, from her second marriage, alone. Her mouse. The girl she built. The girl she dug her heels into. The girl that would never scurry under a table again…

I think of her today

The clink of peaty saturated ice cubes

The smell of hope I get with each whiff of cheap leather, sweaty nylon and tuffs of exhaled anxiety…

I can only hope she can see and find me now

Hear me over the rumble of what should have been.

Thank you Mom

Thank you for being so fearful that you inspired me to run…

Come out from the cover of what should have been

Sink my teeth into the flesh of what comes next

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Can You Be Here With Me, Just For Tonight

Deep breaths

I find myself trying to collect my thoughts, plan my next move and pull myself together in between a series of increasingly deep breaths. 

Almost like in those seconds when I’m standing still, that warm bubble of air stretching my chest, all the noise around me is hushed by the sucking in and letting go and that’s my time to steady my legs, hear myself…try and feel like myself until I have to exhale and react to the next thing that needs me.

Deep breaths…


I’m tired of thinking

Tired of over thinking

Tired of feeling like if I just did a little more thinking I could figure it all out….

Tired of waiting

Tired of wanting

Tired, really fucking tired of the sound of my own breath…

Can you, be here with me tonight?

Just tonight

Lead me

Take me

Make me

Let me….

I’m aching to let myself slip just a little. Feel the rush as my feet stumble from the tightrope. Lose my breath as I twist in the splendor of heart racing, exhilaration, anticipation and probable regret. Hear only the thump of my own wildly beating heart in my ears as I try to balance again. Feel the fleshy bits of my face pull high and tight as my eyes settle in on you, hone in on you and the buried scraps of my own personal wicked, the way both cause the sides of my mouth to turn up and pry all my bits apart. Ask myself what a good girl would do and wait for that hissing voice with its forked tongue to whisper, “Who the fuck cares?”

Touch me

Hold me too tight

Show me

Correct me

Force me

Punish me

Forgive me....

I’m ready, tonight. Ready to meet you. Meet you in that place that you and I go. Away from the stage we are asked to preform upon. Away from the eyes and expectations. Hours away from the accusations and guilt.  Ready to feel your curious hands and fingertips. Ready to have you hold me down and make me hear and feel you….only you. Your power pressed against my chest, the most captivating and riveting quiet there is. Ready to fold into your palms, have the air sucked from my lungs, the power of my limbs surrender and succumb to the weight of Us.

Can you quiet me

Make me scream

Cause me to rethink my position

Make me crave a new one

Inspire me to not give a shit….

My mouth sweet and ready. Lips like my desire, swollen and open. Skin exposed and aching. Head too fractured to fight, until you need or want me to. Soul pliable, craving, cavernous, longing to be spread and exposed even further. My eyes looking to you for the next slide of a player across the board…

Are you ready to check me? Study my game, my next move…do you understand that the deep grooves imbedded in my bottom lip are my tell? My readiness to let myself get lost in your touch causing my teeth to bare down and try to restrain the tongue that craves exploring you, discovering us…

Can you be here, with me tonight?

Can you hear my breath calling you

Begging you

Blaming you

Taunting you 

I’m diving in

Head first into a night of my own blissful destruction 

You coming with me?

You ready to tell me where to go next

Take my hand

Take both of them 
Make me

Shake me

Just for tonight, break me

I’m Yours….

I need this

Need you...



Monday, November 10, 2014

Are You

Waiting for me?
Been swamped 
A bit deflated but....

I miss you and hope that both of you are still waiting.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Belonging, Part One

“I’m working the graveyard shift Friday night if you can come by, maybe bring something for dinner and we can eat together on my break?” my boyfriend at the time flashing me that smile that only he could, the one that made me vibrate, like from the balls of my feet, in a way I was just beginning to discover was even possible. We had been dating just about six months, our first date being my 21st birthday…..just months after his 42nd, and we worked together. Talk about your recipe for painful and gloriously dramatic disaster. Howie, his name was Howie and despite his horrifically archaic ideas about women even though he had been raised by a single mother, in south central Los Angeles, and the fact that he was “sort of" married and had 5 kids, (none of which from the wife on the way out by the way) he had…well he had me tightly spun around his dark and calloused fingers. 

Howie wore the swagger of a confident man but not at all like I’d seen in the high backed, educated rigidness of my mother’s father, and not in the way that the guys I snuck out late at night to run away from where I was from, and get lost in a world where I didn’t belong did. It wasn’t fake and it wasn’t inspired by righteousness or the belief he was better than anyone. He spoke low and mostly when spoken to. He spent his lunch breaks, before he met me, taking a quick run and doing pull ups beneath the tarp covered scaffolding that he would wheel from one refrigerated shipping container to another to make the repairs his union paid him to. Big grin, firm dark body that looked, and felt, like it was at least fifteen years younger than 42. And that swagger…. 

One night after far too many gin fizzes I felt a large rough palm gently grab my jaw in the elevator ride as I was being walked back to the, “No guests allowed” apartment where I lived with my mother, son and sister. A warm mouth sucked in the bottom half of mine that was left agape and stunned…terrified with wanting and fear. My lip growing as swollen as my desire and absolute terror as to what was to be waiting on the other side of that door when I returned from the date my mother hated, seriously hated, me being on. Powerful hands digging at the fabric of my shirt, the sounds in the tiny elevator shifting from wanting soaked groans to the banging of a vintage box carrying us up the shaft of a dumpy apartment structure. The vitriolic spitting of humiliating rage from a sad woman, the scent of hair wax and fresh sweat and for the first time actually craving something to make me feel good. I didn’t really drink, didn’t fuck around with drugs and before that moment I had only craved sex as a means to my own power, this time what was biting at me was the willingness to give into his. My fingers stretching and trembling as I flipped the toggle that would suspend us, in time and between apartment floors.

“Erica let me borrow one of the pickups and I got us some Carl’s Jr for dinner” big smile as I flipped up the thick blue canvas to Howie’s scaffold and was met with that grin that oozed sheer primal want and the mild arrogance that came with knowing he was going to get. I had driven the borrowed pickup truck, the one he taught me to drive as my mother would not, the length of the terminal. It was dark for the most part, just a few graveyard guys working on chassis and reefer units as well as the guys working the towering cranes that plucked stuffed steel containers from the massive ships that rested upon the docks. I could hear the bits of chatter over the truck’s intercom system as the soft wheels of my chariot drove me to find the man with the hunger I was desperate to feed.   I rested the oily sack on the planking of the scaffold and pulled myself up to him by tugging on the thick metal bars that would hold our night in their grip. As I climbed back in the tiny pickup truck an hour later, my entire body saturated, weary and leaking the kind of exhaustion that was actually exhilarating it dawned on me, Howie’s confidence wasn’t in the money he was making down there at the harbor, it didn’t come from being better than so many at his trade, (although he was) or even in the fact that he had a woman, (at least one) half his age breaking all the rules she knew to be with him. No, it was in his knowing how fucking good he was. At working hard, traversing hardship and adversity, at staying focused and driven, at teaching a young girl that she was worth the effort and fight he would endure with coworkers and her mother….showing her what it felt like behind the wheel of a car, the freedom to push against the possible life crippling shackles of “Oh I came from here and made these mistakes so I’m fucked”. Howie taught me that if you are willing to work just a little bit harder, like stretching for that toggle switch, life can be so fucking worth it.   A man about a thousand miles away from perfect, especially for me, but in that time and place….we belonged. 

“Samantha, do you remember this?” I was just settling my ever-chunky rump into one of the, “Oh for the love of cheesesteaks don’t let me break this fucker” chairs in the artfully draped and fairly hip salon at Marion-Bosser in Hautvillers, a rather fancy but still quite tiny and charming village in Champagne. Elodie Marion, young, beautiful, fit, never having to worry about busting an antique chair, and winemaker for Champagne Marion-Bosser, was handing a hardcover book in my direction. The hardwood floors, the smells of melting butter, seared whitefish and asparagus spinning around my already dizzy head as I glanced from a richly red saturated painting on the wall to the glossy pages in front of me. There I was, big dumb grin, stoopid flat blonde hair, button up black shirt with The Wine Country emblazoned across the top of the shirt pocket…a picture of me standing with Elodie back in the shop when she had come to visit and thank us for stocking her wines. Right there in high resolution color and hard cover, my ugly mug in a book that sat upon a table in a salon in Champagne showing all that come to visit the Domaine one of the people that work with and support the wines.  

Invited to come to Champagne by an importer that wanted, valued and asked for, my opinion in finding some new grower Champagne, sent there willingly by the bosses that have allowed me to make our Champagne department mine, at that dinner table with forkfuls of white asparagus that had been dashingly slathered with some rich creamy sauce prepared by Elodie’s father, glasses refilled as we discussed the region and  the plight of the small grower. The first night of several with Aline in Champagne that would prove to me that while never easy, this fight has always been worth it. Not sure I ever had a groove to get back but that night, as I sat in a quiet guest room in Hautvillers sipping the last puddle of bone-dry and mouthwatering Rose Champagne, I sure as hell got my swagger back.

I belonged there.

To Be Continued....