Archive for February, 2009

Sex

February 27, 2009

 

For the past few night or so, I have been dreaming incessantly of sex. Not the usual, missionary kind of sex. Not even the unusual dirty, kinky kind of sex that oftentimes accompanies some sort of physical follow-thru on my part. No. This stuff is just plain bizarre. Three nights ago I had sex with my cleaning lady. And though I love her dearly, there’s something about an overweight, diabetic black woman who wears a wig and a false tooth that, in reality, I just don’t find very attractive. But apparently, in my dream, she came at me hot and heavy and I said, “What the hell.” 

Two nights ago I dreamed I had sex with my ex-husband. I actually find that slightly more disturbing than the cleaning lady. Although, I have to admit, he resurrected some of his old moves, and I might have even had a little dream-gasm. 

Last night though was by far the strangest. I was lying in bed atop white sheets and all these animals hopped up onto the bed and started licking me all over. I realize that, to some, this may seem freakishly erotic. But a dog, a cat and a mouse? I mean, what the hell would create in me the need or the desire to have sex with a mouse? I can maybe understand a dog. But a mouse? A cat? 

Gross. 

So, I broke out my dream-analysis book. And not surprisingly, there were no entries on “sex with mice” or even “sex with cleaning ladies.” Fearing that I was on my own in my interpretations, I started to combine entries. For example: The cause and or source of sex in dreams may be “a direct result of your own thoughts, desires and wishes that you are aware of; but at times there can be hidden or suppressed desires you don’t care to admit.” Harboring secret fantasies for Delores is highly unlikely. However, the book goes on to say, “Since everyone is highly telepathic, especially while in the Alpha state, it is not at all unusual to find yourself involved in a sexy dream with someone you do not even care about.”

OK. Fine. That explains Delores and the ex. But what about the animals?

I skimmed through the book for an entry, and this is what I found:

“The animals we find in our dreams often represent the animal instincts, urges, habits and aspects we attribute to them which are also found in ourselves [or others]. That would include the good and the so-called “bad…” Cats and dogs can both represent strong sensory powers and telepathic abilities as well as faithfulness, loyalty, and disciplined behavior. Cats are intuitive, aloof and detached…sensual and sometimes uncaring…dogs represent loyalty, protection, courage and companionship…”

This makes sense, and yet, I think it’s a little simpler than all that. I tossed the book aside and came up with my own theory:

I’m not having sex. I haven’t had it in a while. But it’s hovering over me.  Right around the corner. Inevitably on its way. But D and I have pretty much made a conscious decision to wait. All very exciting. I’m very much enjoying the wait in a sort of imposed painful way. Yet there is something that bothers me on a deeper, more buried level. I’m honestly afraid that our notions of sex, or rather, our sexual needs are vastly different. In plain language, I’m worried that I am too wild for this particular man.

The reason I am probably having sex with women and exs and animals in my dreams is not so much who they represent as “what” they represent. They are all taboo in the realm of what is normal and acceptable in matters of sex. Not to me, of course. At least not subconsciously. But in my mind, I worry that simpler things are highly taboo to D. These dreams, then, serve as guilty triggers to remind me of who I am and how I am perceived. 

For the record, I don’t like sex with animals. Nor would I probably ever “do” a  full-figured black women or my ex-husband. Not so much for reasons of morality as much as preference. However, I am far more liberal and experienced than D and this has me vexing about it, even in my sleep. 

Am I wrong? Am I dirty? Am I bad? Will I be perceived in a dark, evil light? These are all the things I have begun to question about myself. And why on earth do I see him as so pure and innocent and unsullied? Because he tries to come off that way (which he is not entirely, by the way)? Or because I see myself as such the opposite extreme. I hate this about me. I hate that I am this way at times. I am ashamed. 

And yet, I’m not. 

When D and I began talking about seven weeks ago he mentioned that he wanted to “exorcise” his “lust for crazy women,” and that sometimes he chooses “purity over happiness.” I barely knew him then, but I quickly shot back, “I hate to be the bearer of great news, but having/wanting/craving sex and/or falling for crazy women is not evil or impure and therefore NOT the polar opposite of “goodness.” It’s (surprise!) synonymous with goodness AND purity.” This then led him to tell me, among other things, that he doesn’t equate sex with impurity, but by then, it was too late. I had already formed my opinion. 

I need to state something here, which may not be entirely obvious: I am discussing the SUPERFICIAL. None of this has anything to do with matters of the heart. To me, there are many realms of sexual expression, all of which I enjoy and desire; that which arises out of a deep connectivity between two people in love, spiritual sex, tantric sex, enlightened sex; plain old missionary sex and quickies that tend to be self-serving but fulfilling; passionate sex, make-up after a fight sex and so on. The sex I am talking about here is the edgy, experimental, psychological kind. The kind of stuff at which you arrive when you’re curious about the underworld of sex. Ambiguously taboo stuff. Even more so, the kind of sex that you “suggest” one night in the bedroom only to be met by a comment like “aren’t people arrested for stuff like that?”

The kind of sex that drive feminists to institute laws protecting women against it. 

You get my point.

At any rate, here I am, seven weeks later, dreaming of sex with animals and trying desperately to believe in the purity of my own lasciviousness. Hoping there might be a middle ground between his perceived innocence and my so-called…experience. Hoping too that I am not running the risk of seeming weirder than I actually am. The more you draw attention to something the bigger it becomes. Right? It’s at this point that I wish to exhume all my old boyfriends and say, “Can you please help me out? Tell D that I’m not as strange as I’m making myself out to be,” to which they all reply, “you were a little bit crazy, but definitely hot.”

That’s the gist of all this. I’m hoping D thinks I’m “hot,” not weird. Among other flattering things, of course. Is that asking too much? I just don’t want to give up my fetishes, that’s all. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if there were a guy out there who accepted even the darker, more questionable side of my nature? Wouldn’t it be great if someone said, “give me what you’ve got, Tracy. I’m not afraid…” 

He and I have talked at length on this subject. Maybe not enough. Whatever the case may be, there’s really only one way to set my mind at ease and purge the guilt and fear. And that’s to do it. To have sex and lots of it. And after months of doing it and learning about each other and experimenting and talking and crossing lines and pushing envelops (or shall I say buying dildos, renting movies and breaking out the Catholic School-Girl outfit?), I will either be satisfied or I won’t. Plain and simple. Until then, I suppose I will remain the victim of guilty, animal dream sex and the telepathic lust of my cleaning lady. Let’s just say I’m hoping this issue is resolved quickly.

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A Caution To Everybody

February 27, 2009
Consider the auk;
Becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly, and could only walk.
Consider man, who may well become extinct
Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked.   

Ogden Nash 

 

Gray day

February 23, 2009

I’m so damn tired. Run down. My body has been crushed under the weight of massive amounts of pleasure and now, I feel broken. Good broken, though. Like the kind your body feels after hard labor.

I had a very guilt-ridden dream last night that my son and one of the girl’s from his class were snooping around in my room and found all my lingerie and sexy bras and panties. They brought them to me and threw them down in a pile at my feet, completely disgusted with me, tears in their eyes. “Is this who you are? Is this the only thing that you have to offer the world? Is this what you are teaching you’re children?!” I stared down at them and the pile, dumbfounded and somewhat ashamed. I tried to come up with some smart response. But nothing.  “Stay out of my stuff” I said. And I locked myself in my room. 

I’m assuming this comes after a talk I had last night with D. I often think in terms of black and white when it comes to intimacy. I sometimes see ideas and “acts” as tarnished  or pure, dirty or clean. Nothing in between. But is sex so black and white? I hope not. I hope, after all these years of living under the oppressive beliefs of  the Roman Catholic church that taught me to think this way, that I can overcome this type of thinking for a more Taoist one. I’m surprised at myself for not having overcome it yet. I do believe that virtually anything can be seen as good and beautiful when there are huge amounts of love and trust between two people, as well as a shared interest in the same kinds of stuff.

But anyway, the dream very well may run deeper than I’m admitting. I suppose more or less I am questioning the very fabric of my being. Who am I? What do I have to offer the world? What am I teaching my children? Hopefully I am worth more and giving more than the sum of my underwear drawer. 

oh pleasure. oh guilt.

The lawyer and the barista

February 21, 2009

You are not normally self-effacing.

Until you push past the carts.

In a black suit.

Against a dichotomous background.

On your way to the Cafe

To buy  black coffee

Circumnavigating the aisles of Whole Foods,

Where you obviously don’t belong

At two in the afternoon

While there’s work to be done

At your desk;

Your glass office

Some ordinance to file.

You are

Linear and finite

Braving a sea of amorphous,

Communal, leftist, hippies

Who brush past you with their flowered dresses

And canvas tote bags

And downplay their superiority,

Just so you can catch a glimpse

Of your girl’s smile.

 

 

 

Night at Johnny Brenda’s

February 11, 2009

  The Morning Benders

Monday night I went to see Dawn Landes, The Submarines and The Morning Benders at Johnny Brenda’s in fishtown with D. I have to admit I hadn’t been “out” to see a show in months and months (Bubble House doesn’t count). And this was so last minute. And so much appreciated.

There is something to be said for a smaller venue. I typically cannot tolerate bigger places like the Tower (though i will be going to see Ray LaMontagne there in April), and massive headliners at places like the Spectrum or the Vet (note the use of obsolete terms here– both stadiums have either been renamed or demolished–that’s how long it’s been since I’ve been there) are completely out of the question.

I’m a Khyber girl. A Tin Angel girl. And now a Johnny Brenda’s girl. I like intimacy. Atmosphere. I like old city buildings with brick interior and romantic red velvet seats. Hardwood floors that lead to curtained back rooms with sofas for kissing. I like the smallness of a crowd that huddles around a bar drinking local beer next to the stage. I like a balcony. And the flicker of a dim blue light. And in a perfect world, if the experience of going “out” is to be truly amazing, I also need there to be good company and good music.

Monday night was it.

D was dreamy. The visuals were charming. The music was fantastic.

I am a poor critic of talent and sound. But Dawn Landes has one of those balmy, little girl voices that when paired with the harsher strum of a guitar (that she’s playing) make you want to gush with emotion. Quite beautiful, smooth, yet at times quirky delivery. And what is it about a woman in a little vintage red dress and strappy heels, playing a guitar that’s just so damn sexy? No doubt the image triggers my previous life. You see, I was a lounge singer that only wrote one hit tune and sadly performed a washed up show to a washed up audience night after night at some rundown bar in Center City. When I see women performers like Landes, it summons that old life of mine and makes me appreciate how hard the girl is working.

The Submarines were great as well. I was mesmerized by Blake Hazard’s ubiquitous smile. And gosh, she’s so bouncy and blond. Not to mention quite talented. Beautiful, tinny voice. Thing is, she was the band’s only source of energy (except the drummer, to an extent, who reminded me a bit of Animal from the Muppets. No joke). She’s bouncing around, smiling, cracking all these jokes, and yet her hubby never makes eye contact with her or cracks a smile. He’s just slumped over his guitar with this angst-ridden expression of deep preoccupation. Like, just do your job, honey and leave me alone. It made for a nice yin and yang. But I couldn’t help wonder how the hell she gets a rise out of this guy when they’re in bed at night (they are husband and wife). I imagine she’s the one on top.

I guess what felt best was that I was OK to watch the show and be silent. I’m not typically one to enjoy sitting (or standing, in this case) along side someone, facing out, watching something else that’s going on– a show, a band, a movie, a reading, staring at the decor on the walls… Someone did a study once and determined that men talk this way; side by side, facing something else (like someone else working), whereas women talk to each other face to face. I definitely feel the need to talk and listen and have that sort of exchange, face to face. But this was new and different and nice and comfy. I actually liked having someone by my side so that my senses were free to focus on the surround.

Anyway, the night was wonderful. It’s good to know that I am still seeing and experiencing the newness of life, still turned on by little things. I hope to never be desensitized. So many people I know have faded away. I did that for years, they say. It bores me now, they say. I just think of Blake Hazard’s smile and Dawn Landes’ voice and brushing indiscriminately against D’s blue jeans with my hip and I am awash with giddiness and life.

More on Pernille

February 10, 2009

I honestly thought I would not hear from  Pernille Rose Grønkjær again, after several months of no contact, but I received a wonderful e-mail from her this morning regarding the film. Quite surprisingly, she had sent me both the trailer and the pilot, which included her interview with me and George as well as interviews with other therapists and professionals like Pia Mellody, author or Facing Love Addiction and The Intimacy Factor. 

This is not the actual documentary. I still don’t know if I will be included in the documentary. What this is, rather, is a teaser for submission to the Danish Film Institute so as to get them interested in funding the film.

As much as I would love to share her work here and post the trailer, I will not.  I do feel as though I was somewhat misrepresented. I do not fault Pernille for this. I think she has an idea for her film in her mind and she is pulling only those lines of mine essential for her vision– she is not, however, creating a clear picture of “me.” 

I have to say that when I watched the trailer (not so much the pilot) I felt a little sad for myself. It portrays me in a much darker, more desperate light than I view myself. It’s surreal to see how others interpret mine and George’s behavior. It makes me seem dangerous and “pathological,” whereas that was not the case at all in my real relationship to George. Yes, I clocked a few more hours of obsessing over him than I’d like to admit, but my way of managing his rejection was to leave him, to run away. Not to chase after him or call him incessantly (actually, he would do that to me). The professionals, however, that pop up in between segments of George and I, describe love addiction as this desperate, “pathological” behavior where love is a fantasy only in the mind of the love addict, not shared. They relate behavior as stalking, chasing and so on as characteristic of the “disease.” Though that is true in many cases, it is absolutely false in my case. George and I loved each other mutually. He wasn’t going any where. And if he did, he was free to. Many times I was quite happy to be rid of him, actually. But, he never ran away or broke up with me. He was, however, unavailable in certain ways (not emotionally, ironically, but physically). The way this stuff manifested itself in me was that I knew he was not a good choice for me, but I stayed anyway. Or rather, I kept going back. And the only reason I went back, was because he made it so easy for me and wanted me back. I guess we were both quite lazy. But as for stalking or Fatal Attraction kinda stuff. I find that to be very ugly and scary and do not want to be viewed in such a light. 

I think part of the disconnect is that the therapists, though they touched deeply and exactly on certain issues, (that love addiction is very much about fantasy, not about love) they hyperbolized other characteristics of this issue (the stalking, the pathology, the danger etc.). There are of course those extreme variety of love addicts that will commit these more anti-social behaviors, but I would have to say that most love addicts are simply burdened by obsessive thinking and worry (this is the case with me). They have low self-esteem and allow men to treat them badly, but they are rather passive in their behavior and do not have that desperation to chase or hunt down. I think the key word here is “passive,” and I would even go as far as to say “submissive”. Most people who can be written into this kind of diagnosis are passive and/or submissive, and simply make bad choices based on insecurity and low self-esteem.  At least that was my case.  George’s love of me was quite controlling. If he said jump, I said “how high?” He stripped me of my identity on the one hand, on the other, he brought out beautiful things in me and helped me through a lot- as I did for him. But I do not know many women who are overly aggressive or actually attack men and go after them.

As per the documentary, I believe Pernille wants to focus on these latter, extreme cases. And well she should. Drama sells. She wants to make a film that people not only respect, but fear. She wants to shock. But what troubles me deeply is that I do not relate to this kind of behavior, nor do I want to be perceived in that way. There are MANY different varieties of behavior. Not all women (and men for that matter) behave the same way. And so too, there are different stages of development as well. I’d like to think that I am a little more advanced than some of these cases where the police are called in. Ew. Ugly. Gosh, I’m even thinking of that scene in “He’s Just Not That Into You” where Gigi misreads Alex’s signals and thinks he wants her. She hops in his lap at the very end of his party when no one is around and practically rapes the poor guy. He responds by pushing her off and saying something like, “whoa babe, you got the wrong idea.” I can thankfully say I have NEVER made that same mistake, or anything remotely like it.

I mean truth be told, the whole George-thing may have merely been some sort of “post-traumatic-stress” reaction to the dissolution of my marriage. My marriage was abusive. it was dramatic. It was filled with rage and pain and suffering. Coming from both parties. George was mellow, peaceful, hard working. We never fought. I was disgruntled, but willing to put up with no sex for the sake of that kind of peace. 

I think as far as a “main message” is concerned, Pernille focuses too much on love addiction as it relates to the relationship between the couple and how one or the other acts out. This is not accurate. Love addiction is really about avoidance of the Self, not, as you might think, obsession with some guy. Like the “avoidant” who avoids dealing with his partner in a relationship, the love addict, avoids dealing with his or herself via the focus of someone else. We so often tend to see these two (the love addict and avoidant) at opposite extremes of the spectrum and yet, they are two different sides of the same coin. In order to understand “love addiction” we must understand that it is merely a mode to avoiding the pain of the Self. Just as alcohol is not the underlying cause of alcohol addiction (it’s only the vehicle or the symptom), the same can be said for the person a love addict is addicted to. The person, the relationship is not the problem. the Self experiencing the relationship is. 

I will have to say that my “work” with Pernille has been extremely eye-opening and enlightening. She is a brave, artistic and inspiring woman, and I am fortunate enough to have gotten to know her. I plan on helping her further with the film (as she has asked)  and I am so glad I am at a place in my life where I can help.

We all suffer at times. We all struggle,  feel pain or insecurity in different areas of our lives. To overcome those difficulties is to climb mountain. I still cannot say I have perfected myself in the area of love and relationships. But I do feel quite proud of how far I have come, how high I have climbed. And how peaceful knowing that I can help others along the way. I believe that Pernille and I share that basic hope. That through the telling of my story, and through the creation of her documentary, together we can help many woman better understand not so much their relationships, but rather, themselves.

Demons

February 8, 2009

Oprah gave me advice in a dream last night. She said, “honey, don’t worry about what others think of you. You keep moving forward like the strong woman you are. We all got our problems…” And she raised both arms up so as to draw attention to her large figure. “Everybody’s fighting demons, child,” she said, “everybody.”

He’s Just Not That Into You

February 7, 2009

So, K and A and I met up to see He’s Just Not That Into You and despite it being a “for the masses” chick-flick with no real depth whatsoever, it was kinda cute. It tried to send a very important message, but ultimately failed. Cute girl can’t quite figure out that certain guys just aren’t “into” her and so she cyber stalks and does retarded stuff like make passes at this guy who’s totally not into her.  She humiliates herself throughout, until the end, when she finally “wins” said guy who wasn’t that into her, but who changed his mind after she lays a heavy guilt trip on him for being so emotionally detached to the whole ritual of dating. Please. This makes no f’ing sense and sends the wrong message to women in general: keep humiliating yourselves, girls, you will still win that dreamy guy in the end.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I was also grossly disappointed in how it portrayed women as only after men, sex and marriage. Hello! Why not at least have one of the characters be an investment banker with a penchant for rock climbing? While there’s a grain of truth to everything, even nonsensical romantic comedies like this one, it never ceases to amaze me how many people buy into this kind of fantasy more so than not. It’s Disney-esque silliness if you ask me, which keeps perpetuating the story of Cinderella over and over and over again. I know I sound rather bitter. Some might even suspect that I need to get laid…but come on, people. The whole Prince Charming bullshit was so 1950’s.

I hate Hollywood. 

Afterwards, wasn’t much better. We went out for drinks at G’s in C’Wood. A and K at one point both kinda ganged up on me and basically made me feel like whatever it is I’ve been doing my whole life, I’ve been doing all wrong. I’ve been mis-reading signs. Not seeing red flags, and blah, blah, blah. They’re probably right. And all along I thought I was carving out this heroic life for myself and trying to be the best me that I could possibly be…

Weird

February 6, 2009

hills

I remember listening to Weird by Clem Snide, driving through Indianapolis some summers ago. How the sun kept playing tricks on me and how the landscape changed like a slow twirling kaleidoscope, reconfiguring the horizon with sparkly newness the farther west I drove. Indiana sunk behind me, back into itself- into its own drabness, and I was glad to be rid of all 275 miles. It got me thinking of love and sex and relationships and how everything forward comes from nothing, just like us.

If someone asked me six months ago if I thought you would be in my bedroom with your shirt off, sitting on the edge of my bed, listening to Dawn Landes tunes on my iPod, I wouldn’t have believed it. Not you. Six months ago was August. It was August sixth. I was with the other guy, writing things like: “You love your man, Tracy. But he is struggling. He is trying to pay down his debts. It has nothing to do with you…He’s just tired, Tracy. That’s all.”

See, you’re driving and driving under easy conditions, a few bumps, but mostly flat land, miles of green field. And then all of a sudden you hit this drop and the world falls away like nothing- and you’re left, undone, holding onto to the steering wheel for dear life, just trying not to crash and burn.  You no longer trust the road and you’re looking for god on the hills. In the clouds. Hoping something out there will save you. But all you’ve got are these weird, bulbous pea green and yellow hills that make no sense.  Even the air out by Ocoama is different.

I remember imagining the landscape as a soul, once I reached the canyons. The deeper you go, the closer you are to being reborn.  It’s like the land gives you this second chance. That’s how it feels now. I am driving toward you, through you, and I have no idea what beauty or ugliness you’ll spring on me, but I don’t care. Where there’s a turn in the road. A curve. A drop. I’m driving not because I need to be somewhere.  I’m driving because I’m on the road. Because I want to see everything. Because when you’re through moving you’re through. And I’ve learned to trust myself. And because the only god I ever found was the one who never showed up to rescue me.

Or maybe he did. Maybe he was the road.

Your hills and valleys. Your forests. Your empty space. Your source, your sink. I stop and I rest and I make peace with the newness of your sights and sounds and smells. It’s all so new. Like the first time I parked and inhaled the dust of red rocks in Moab, felt the heat, touched the old earth… saw nothing but felt the entire universe, and knew I wanted to stay.

Born again

February 5, 2009

Last night I was born again…many times. My cells converged and reshaped to form a new soul over and over and over. I was dirtied  and then I was purified. 

I had no dreams last night- that I remember. I am of the opinion that one only remembers dreams if they are needed to solve the problems of waking life. I solved all my problems last night, lying in bed with Lata Mangeshkar’s Vaishnava Janato playing on my iPod. I sware, that song transforms the inside of my body. My blood courses differently. My nerves respond to it. It’s almost as if I recognize it from a past life. The same can be said for the Adhan, which, in some cosmic way, fills my entire soul with the realization that we are all connected. That I have come before.  

So, I laid in bed for what seemed an hour, after the boys had gone to bed, listening to different songs, allowing the music to transport me where it wanted me to go. I felt the transformation in me with each new song. How one would empty me and cause me to long for the past (The Park, Feist), how another soothed me and brought me to myself (DeBussy’s Claire de Lune), another deepened and lifted me upward (Marnia’s Tent, Richard Horowitz, The Sheltering Sky), another debased me, sexually, and made me feel dirty and insatiable (Knocked Up, Kings of Leon).

I went back and visited my father (Joshua Come Home, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), and my brothers (Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison), and then G (In Dreams, Roy Orbison) and S (Ann the Word, Lungfish) and D (I Will Follow You Into the Dark, Death Cab for Cutie). I even went to Paris (Valse d’Amelie, Liz Story, Amelie), and Marrakech (The Sacred Koran, Ibrahim Canakkaleli, Fevzi Misir, Yusuf Gebzeli, Aziz Bahriyeli, The Sheltering Sky) and somewhere out west (Grass Dance, Dances With Wolves).

I existed on so many levels last night. Both good and bad. And I realized that I could go ANYWHERE I wanted. And I did.