Coming Home: Day 19 – using all of it

[burst into fire]

Once again it’s the end of the day before I can blog — it’s a workshop Saturday, and so after a morning orgasm (big and upending — more about that in a minute), it’s rush to eat, get Sophie to her playdate and get back to set up for the writing. After an workshop filled with excellent words and gorgeous community, I went with a friend to another friend’s and we made incredible food and played music and with kids and were generally California and fabulous and laughed and maybe cried a little inside and out and got to just be in these lives of ours. Who gets this?

These are my questions today (just two of very many more, actually): what does it mean to get to have orgasm be a routine part of my day? (Today’s was not routine, but still.) And: what does it mean to have writing and workshops just be a regular part of how I spend my time? (That is, not set apart, not special, not anxety-provoking — just… my real life.)

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 I want to give you this paragraph from The Chronology of Water, a memoir by Lidia Yuknavitch. I want, actually, to give you the whole book. Please go find this book and read it. This is a book about trauma and recovery, which is the most horrifyingly reductive thing I could say about it. It’s a true story about the ways we get damaged, how we damage others in our attempts to heal and just fucking survive, it’s a story about loss and wanting, the thick desire to keep living even amid the coping mechanisms that just lead us around by death, it’s about a true and messy kind of resurrection. I was going to loan my copy to everyone I know, but now I can’t let it out of my hands, so I just want you to go buy it, please, so that we can talk about it.

I’m just going to give you this paragraph about the narrator masturbating after she has just stood all the way up to a father who has been mean, controlling, abusive, and devastating for much of her childhood — but I can’t give you the whole paragraph, and so you won’t get everything it means for her to take her hands to herself in this moment. In this chapter, she is taking down the suitcase that used to be her father’s; she’s going to use it to pack the things she’s taking with her to college, a school he didn’t want her to go to. He catches her in the garage, where she is pulling down the suitcase, and begins to scream at her about how selfish and shitty it is that she’s leaving. Yuknavitch writes this, about that:

My sister and I, we were selfish. We wanted selves. There was no rage or love that could stop us. That’s what opened my mouth.
(pp. 50-51)

Then there’s a bit more confrontation — I don’t want to give it all to you now, because I want you to find and read this book. But here’s what happens, after she gets through it:

I carried the suitcase to my bedroom. I went in. I closed the door behind me. I took off my clothes. My skin smelled like chlorine and sweat. Summer heat snuck through the screen of my window. I put my head down on my pillow. I waited. I heard a car go by. I heard a dog bark. I could hear a shiver of wind in the shrubs outside my window. And Cicadas. And frogs. I waited and waited. And then I didn’t I put my hand between my legs. I parted my lips. The wet slid my fingers around and around and fast and hard. I closed my eyes. I thought about Sienna Torres shoving her fingers up my wide open cunt, as open as a mouth screaming motherfucker. I came so hard it shot out of me. I didn’t know until that night a girl body could do that. Shoot cum. (pp. 51)

Do I have to tell you how hard I fell into this book after reading this paragraph? There, this character, this young woman, this girl claiming all of her prowess and fear right under her fingers right there in the threat that was the aftermath of that argument.

Go get this book from the library, from the bookstore, from your friend who has a copy. Read it read it read it. Keep your hands on your body while you do. Keep your hands on your pen.
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Here part of what was not routine about today’s orgasm — I came hard and strong under the water, in the tub, fully immersed in the fantasy of being watched, being observed; I let myself fully into that desire, did not concern myself with the well-being of this watcher, did not even perform much as I thought about her/them/you catching a glimpse / listening / looking in on me. Shar Rednour writes, in the Femme’s Guide to the Universe, about allowing oneself to be an OoD (Object of Desire), to be objectified in all the right ways (she writes about letting ourselves have OoDs, too, and getting to consensually objectify our lovers sometimes as well!), and this morning, this is what I was imagining: I’m in here, making all this noise, taking care of myself so well, and the object of my affection is out there, on the other side of the curtain just listening, or able to see me but not able to touch — and the fact that she’s getting so turned on watching/listening to me turned me on further, which, you see, just becomes the best feedback loop ever.

It was a little scary to give myself over all the way into this fantasy, feels selfish, almost mean. And what happened, then, was that I used those feelings, too. Look at how fucking selfish she is, how mean she’s being. Doesn’t that make you hotter? Use it all. Implosion. I’m telling you.

This evening I’m tired, want quiet, don’t want to write about orgasms; more, I want to be having them, and then drifting off to sleep. I’m going to take some tea and read instead, maybe go back into my re-reading of The Chronology of Water.  More tomorrow. There are still thirteen more days of this marathon.

Did you like how you were good to you today? Come tomorrow, as you want. See you then.