Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A certain kind of intimacy that maybe I'm missing, I mean I'm not missing it right now

First I'm sitting on Grant’s sofa so exhausted I can't speak but I'm speaking because that's what I do when I'm exhausted and around someone I mean I'm speaking because I'm exhausted. Grant’s on the bed, he motions for me to come over but I don't want to mess up my hair, and my body hurts too much to find the right position. I like it when Grant touches me but I also get nervous it's like my body sort of freezes and I'm trying to remain calm because I don't want to freeze this is something old but new. Before I thought it was Grant who got nervous but sitting here realize it's me, maybe Grant too but me right now.

This nervousness in body went away for a while, years really because I worked to stay so present and then I worked staying present too -- sex work, that is -- I didn't want to turn tricks like the classic stare-at-the-ceiling-and-then-tell-me-when-it's-over because that was like incest, I made sure I wasn't leaving my body instead I could find something hot to focus on. So I managed to stay pretty present, except all this pain drama changes things because I can't exercise and then I don't feel that present in my body just my brain and then someone touches me in a sweet and caring way and I get kind of edgy then I'm upset like all the work I've done is undone but not really because I know what it is, kind of. I mean I know that I freeze because of everything way back, my body not something I had control over it took me so long to figure that out and then touch became something to embrace instead of just where am I? I mean that's what I thought touch was before -- someone touches me, I leave. Remember to smile anyway. I don't want to do that now, but I don't want to scare people either, you know? Sometimes I fall into this deep exhaustion all the sudden and it's like I don't know where the hell I am, it's hard not to brush this away if anyone's around -- don't look!

I want to meet people with warmth and engagement, physical intimacy with the emotional and political and intellectual not separate, I want more touch in my life not less -- I mean I want more people to touch me, not all those conversations that go everywhere even deep emotions but body body body, where's the body? I'm trying to keep my body here, right that's why I want more touch but then I find myself drifting away I can make it safer by moving into a different position, shifting the hands that are hands on me or focusing on the sensation, yes I like that sensation I'm okay.

Anyway, then Grant and I end up cooking and talking late about his parents who were drug addicts, he'd wake up and there would be these elaborate new floral arrangements, a new sofa, everything would be clean or moved to a different place it was kind of disorienting but comforting when he heard his mother cleaning the bathroom late at night he could hear the water running. I talk about my father drugging me, I have these memories where it's like everything in the room goes white my head like one side of a drawbridge going up no hands. Except what are memories when these are memories, I mean memories broken except if I lean my head back I can see something. Grant says when you were a little kid and I can see his eyes getting sad but aware. That's one of the things I like about Grant her emotions are right up front except sometimes it's disorienting for me like what's going on I mean wait so much feeling I'm feeling too but more distant I think. I mean these things are familiar to me, I’m matter-of-fact about them but actually that's often true even with things I'm not familiar with, it’s how I deal.

Grant wants to show me the vacant apartment where this older fag used to live but then she died and now they're trying to rent it out for $1400. It's only a little bigger than Grant’s apartment, which is $800. We look in, but the coating on the floors is too toxic -- although I see the supposed bedroom, which is a closet-type space between the entryway and the bathroom. It's late, which is when I have energy but I want to get home before 2 a.m. so I don't get too wired -- or at least get a taxi before the bars close. Grant's getting wired, he's talking about painting her bathroom after I leave. No, girl -- then you'll be inhaling the fumes all night. Grant usually goes to bed around 9 p.m., now it's 1:49 and we're both getting funny and slightly delirious, Grant’s showing me things in the closet which is so organized it's like another room, here's a leopard print jacket from Grant’s father's wife -- Grant calls her Shower Lady, she likes that. But it's time for me to go, we hug goodbye I realize I don't hang out with people this late anymore because everyone goes to bed earlier. But there’s a certain kind of intimacy that maybe I'm missing, I mean I'm not missing it right now while I'm hugging Grant goodbye.


gina said...

you are beautiful, mattilda.


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Darling, *YOU* are beautiful.

Love --

Nabil said...

read a bunch of your blog yesterday- lovely. You're very welcome for intervention with smokers- i know it can be quite painful to have those conversations on one's own behalf. Besides which, I have the desire to perform small acts of chivalry for you.

Last night, at the end of a very long day, i started writing about why i am afraid of faggots. Thinking about strands of desire, recognition, tenderness, judgement. Reading your words makes me dreamy, hungry, and nervous.



mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Nabil, and they say chivalry isn't alive!

And I can't wait to see your piece for the anthology. I love what you say right here:

"Reading your words makes me dreamy, hungry, and nervous."


Love --