Sunday, May 11, 2014

Succulent Suffrage

If you’re going to suffer you should suffer magnificently.

Not sure where or when I first heard that but that phrase resonated with me and has been with me, for as long as I can or care to remember. Spoke to my slightly untamed and indulgent nature. Was louder and more enticing than the sullen voices and gray shaded memories of hollow women that would scold me for laughing too hard or too loud, falling in love to often, kissing too hard, twirling my hair betwixt my fingers or giving myself over to any real pleasure.

Somewhere around fifteen I found myself sitting stiff and awkward at my grandmother’s table. Not “our” table mind you, hers as she was the one that afforded and could promise my mother the too-sweet-to-ignore possibility of spending her days breezing about some palatial rancho home in the high desert, millions of miles away from the screeching of a close to being cut off phone and the boom of demanding bill collectors. The air thick with cigarette smoke, older than I was, a gracelessly slung fur coat propped, as in behaving like a prop, propped behind our frosted hair matriarch as she and  my mother whispered, scowled and passed judgment on a group of people three tables over.  

The group was opulent for sure; many empty bottles and more on the way, food remaining on their plates while they ordered dessert, lots of laughing, cuddling, touching, kissing that made my heart flutter and other parts of me wonder. I sat there watching this six top of shameful behavior wishing I could slip out from under my chair, ditch the “civility” of whispering women, the clinking of the ice in their frigid glasses of sugar-less tea. The slow, guilt laden, stabbing of food….the glances around the room to see if anyone was watching them pleasure themselves with the sweetness of a boiled potato. The shoulders back, the head high, the nose even higher. Trojan horses of regality that were filled with envy, resentment and  the kind of jealousy that wrote volumes without them having to do more than splay their nostrils and raise their brows. I ached to slip away and let myself plunk bits of food…food that I picked at with my fingers between my lips. Longed to pick up one of those glasses and let the warm with alcohol liquid slip down my throat and loosen the behavioral corset that bound me so tight that I was incapable of feeling much of anything at all.

I sat there, them shaking their heads, looking over their shoulders, bitter words of “trashy” and “no class” feeling slightly fragmented. My years of trying to please these women urging me to agree, to denounce these people for…and that was when it hit me, denounce them for what? Having fun? Living too much? Laughing too hard, enjoying their food too much, touching, kissing, wanting? Oh I felt shame for sure but it was at the boorish, uncivil and very clearly jealous snapping of the people at my own table. If this was what you got from living your life by the rules, restraining yourself from feeling too good too often, this holier than thou attitude full of judgment and ugly words sputtered from a tight lipped frown, well then I was ready to go stomping around in puddles, naked, Slim Jim between my teeth as I swung my hips to Let’s Get It On. 

Now I know there are wicked smart and driven teenagers but sadly I was not one of them.  I went about this new, “Gonna get my feel on” thing all wrong. Took a lover at 16, as if the fumbling of some 16 year old boy was somehow going to please, placate or teach me anything. Fail. That was my first of many failures when it came to discovering what made me feel good…although I did find that I derived tremendous pleasure from seducing him, so much as it was. The way he would risk just about anything to be with me simply by me giving him a certain look or brushing the back of his neck with the tips of my fingers. The way he would stutter, stammer, tear at my clothes like an animal and the way I could get him to follow me behind the building where he worked because I “Simply had to be with him”. Wish I could say that was the greatest 3 minutes of my life, wasn’t but I did start to figure out that I was getting the real pleasure by making him feel, crave and need.

The relationship was bound to end, fuck I mean we were only 16 but it was doomed more by my pretending it was just for fun when I actually cared very deeply for him. I needed him and the way he made me unrealistically feel like I was in charge. I never was. I knew it although I suspect he never did.  That thing of ours went on into our twenties, both of us in and out of relationships but always lovers. He wanted the body I was freely giving him and I wanted all of him. To this day he holds the record for breaking my heart, hurt me the worst and to this day….I don’t blame him and I would do it all over again. To learn as much as I did, to hide the way my own heart was pounding away when he would kiss me, the pain I felt when he would talk to me about his newest love, the way I cried every time he left.

 If you’re going to suffer….

I find myself now, at nearly 43 and here I am at that “touching bottle filled table” using my fingers to eat whenever I wish, pouring plenty of warm alcohol rich liquid down my throat and still playing around with whatever bit of crave I might be able to instigate. I will flirt, bend my body, wet my lips and growl saucy things to make people stutter but I’ve found my true pleasure comes from using my words to inspire want. Wine or otherwise. 

 Being able to describe something in a way that drives people to seek out that moment that bottle, that taste.  Truly drives me wild. I’m lucky enough to work in an industry that kind of requires that, unbelievably lucky to have a boss that allows me, often encourages me to do it in my way and now, now there are others. I’m still reeling from this trip to France that has not only brought me new friendships I know will live on long after the wines we discovered have sold. It has me swimming in the headspace that makes me feel punch drunk and like I’m glowing from the inside out. I’m fatigued as fuck and while I claw and shimmy back into the spots that need and want me, I find that my voice is gurgling right at the base of my throat, my fingers are twisting my hair again and as the soft tuffs of blonde slither through the deep v’s of my fingers I find myself once again noticing. I’ve got that pull in my tummy. Like a moth to a flame fluttering around the less populated but dripping with dewy high desert sweat and the desire to learn more.

A shy woman traveled to France, drank deeply from the cupped hands of artisans, chewed judiciously at the body of work in my path, felt the callouses of the people, the leaky open ended bottles as they whispered their stories and seeped their history so deeply into my flesh it acts like pressurized tattoo. I’m stained with the color, scent and voices that filled my ears and haunted by the wines that I have to share..

If you’re going to suffer…


Unknown said...

Wecome back, blogger extraordinaire! good to 'hear' your voice again. You haven't lost your touch

Steve Pinzon

Thomas said...

Yes, indeed. Good to have you back, especially with my favorite subject: exquisite pain.

Samantha Dugan said...

Did you just call me a blogger?! How rude! Thanks for the sweet words and for waiting for me.

Best kind of pain right? You get me...and I adore you for it.

Dale Dimas said...

" I’m stained with the color, scent and voices that filled my ears and haunted by the wines that I have to share.."

And we can't wait to read about them!

Samantha Dugan said...

Just you wait mister....

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Love,

So here's my suggestion--write more, taste less. Or write more, taste more. Or write more.

Steve is right. My common taters love you, too.

I love you the most!

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Yes, Steve is a shared tater I think but I'm lucky in that he lives close enough to visit me so I also get to taste with and sell him wine. Nice guy that Steve and I do believe you've met his lovely daughter Jess.

I think writing less would be the sanest option and yet, much like my time with you, I ache for it. Thanks for reading My Love. I love you so!

Winey The Elder said...

Succulent suffrage.- Sam Dugan
Suffering succotash - Yosemite Sam

Must be something in the Sam gene.

Il faut souffrir - one must suffer for one's art.

And you my dear are a very gifted artist. Glad to be reading you again and can't wait to be haunted by the voices of wines that captured your soul.

As always.

Samantha Dugan said...

Not sure what if anything is going on in my "genes" but I do know that I am always touched to find you here and know that you and that gentle heart are sharing space with me. Thank you for that. xoxoxox