I don’t feel safe

I don’t feel safe. I mostly mean sexually, but this could apply to other things too; I’m not sure.

Intellectually, I know that I am safe. Wolf and I have been together for a lot of years, and while there have been rare mistakes or missteps, I’ve never felt that he he looked down on me, disrespected me, or used me. Since I’ve been more aware and deliberate about trusting him, I’ve made a bit of progress but not as much as I would have liked.

I seem unable to feel safe. It’s like I don’t have a sense of safety because I don’t have the organ, nerve, bulb, whatever it is that I need to sense it. Or maybe my sense of safety exists but is partly impaired, since I’m perfectly attuned to detect the slightest whiff of danger.

Not feeling safe means I’m always reflexively on my guard such that I don’t necessarily even notice the tension. (It has recently occurred to me to wonder whether my chronic physical tension is connected to this.) Because of my history with Wolf, I can choose to let my guard down a bit but it takes a great deal of effort, and it’s imperfect because I don’t fully understand why I’m on my guard in the first place.

The other night, Wolf and I cuddled the way we always do. Ordinarily he’d touch my back and rub my neck, and I’m happy to let him because he knows through lots of experience what I like. But it still feels to me that he’s in control.

This time I was thinking about my feeble sense of safety and what I could possibly do to develop it. We decided that I’d tell him what I wanted and he’d do it, or he’d stop if I said stop. I often ask him to touch or massage one spot or another, but this time I just told him “touch me here” or “massage me there”. It’s a minor grammatical difference but it was enough to make me feel a little emotionally vulnerable. I hope I’m not imagining this, but when I told him to hug me a certain way because I needed reassurance, it seemed to sink in more thoroughly than usual.

With Jaime, dealing with my inherent feeling of unsafeness is more challenging. He has demonstrated his trustworthiness to me in myriad ways but we don’t have the same length of time together, and most of the time that we do have is long distance, which is qualitatively different and can’t really address issues of physicality.

I think this is why I haven’t really progressed beyond splashing around in the shallow end of the BDSM pool. BDSM often uses a dash of fear to heighten physiological arousal, but when I don’t feel fundamentally safe, all it seems to accomplish is to make me even more cautious and guarded.

I’ve been thinking about how things are with Jaime, and how I’d like to go deeper but I feel like I’ve plateaued. This relationship started with a BDSM flavour and the undercurrent is still there but right now it’s very quiet. I feel a bit disappointed about that. My difficulties with depression and low libido have been a significant issue, and in response to my general mood Jaime has chosen to back off, BDSM-wise.

Thinking about some of the BDSM things that we’ve done together that didn’t go so smoothly, I realised that I’ve probably deferred to him too much, trusting his domming experience more than my understanding of myself and my needs. And frankly, I’m not always that good at knowing my own needs, so it’s really attractive to believe that someone else knows what they are and will satisfy them.

Now, I like to know why things are the way they are, and when facing a current challenge, I often revisit my childhood to see if there might be some early learning colouring the way I think about things now. One of my tentative conclusions is that my parents were not very responsive to me when I was very young. This difficulty is that you develop your earliest sense of self from what is reflected back to you from your caregivers. If my parents weren’t good at knowing me, then they couldn’t teach me to know myself. As an adult, wanting someone else to know and satisfy my needs without my having to figure it out myself sounds like a mind-reading fantasy. But isn’t this basically what parenting young children is about?

But despite the past, I’m an adult and I now understand myself better than anyone else does. “Just going along with things” is a theme in an awful lot of my sexual experiences, and historically the results for me have been neutral ranging through to actively bad. If I’m going to submit, I think I need to trust myself more and be more assertive regarding both process  (how and when we communicate, how I express my needs and concerns) and substance (the activities I agree to).

I believe that it’s possible to be both assertive and submissive, but what I’m struggling with is whether it’s possible for me to do so, in my way, in this relationship.

a day in the life

Someone recently suggested that I was “living the dream”, polyamory-wise. Am I? I couldn’t say. My polyamory is facultative – it’s a response to a situation I’m in, rather than being my inherent preference for forming relationships. I never had a polyamory dream because I stumbled into it. All I can tell you is how things work for me.

Take yesterday, for example. I always sleep later than Wolf does, so when I woke up, I called to him to let him know I was awake. He cuddled with me and rubbed my neck. (My neck always hurts, so this is excellent maintenance for me.)

Due to the fact that Jaime and I live in different time zones, he’s going to bed just as I’m waking up. Sometimes I catch him still awake in my morning and sometimes I don’t. This time I happened to be awake earlier than usual, so we had a little chat by text before he went to bed.

Wolf isn’t working right now and I work from home. I had one work thing that went well, followed soon after by an unanticipated problem: I was shocked to be treated incredibly rudely by someone in another organisation that I’ve recently started working with. Fortunately, this was by email. Also fortunately, I have a much better sense of my worth now than ever before, I knew this person was out of line, and I knew how I was going to deal with it.

Wolf heard all about this in real time and gave me an ear, a shoulder, hugs or distance, whatever I needed. He’s also profoundly protective of me, so he got almost as I upset as I did, meaning this kinda fucked up his mood.

Wolf went out to provision, then put together my lunch for me. Lunch is super easy – just assembly – and I wouldn’t mind doing it myself, but Wolf likes to look after me. Lunch is served with a kiss on the forehead.

I’m very happy to leave the cooking to Wolf so he makes supper too, ensuring that we’re done in time for whatever I’ve got going on in the evening. Twice a week, that will be dance class. Two other days per week I have my FaceTime call with Jaime. This day was a call.

Wolf busied himself in his office to give me some privacy for the call. Jaime had just woken up so hadn’t heard anything about my day yet. I told him all about it – the good stuff and the bad. He congratulated and commiserated with me. He reinforced my sense of worth, validated my perception of the problem, and praised me for how I handled it.

I let Wolf know when the call was done so he could come out of ‘hiding’, and we went about the rest of our evening.

At bedtime I chatted with Jaime briefly by text and we exchanged goodnights. When I was done, it was time for bedtime cuddles with Wolf and then sleep.

I don’t know if I’m living the dream, but this works pretty well for us.

lunch with my parents

My dad is visiting for a few days but since I’m leaving on a short trip tomorrow, today was the only day we could see each other. Four of us went for lunch, including my mom and Wolf. Wolf would have been much happier to stay home but this had the flavour of a holiday family dinner, and his attendance felt largely obligatory. Also, I wanted him with me.

We spent a lot of that hour or so talking and it left me drained. Socialising takes it out of me.

Usually when I talk to my dad, it’s just the two of us on the phone. In a group of four the dynamic was less clear, but I still observed that I didn’t say all that much and he dominated the conversation. I have felt for a long time that he’s not that interested in me or the things I do, and that may be the case, but I also wonder what it’s like for him at home. I don’t know if he and his wife talk all that much; if not, then he probably has no one else to talk to.

His wife’s mother is 94 and as miserable as she ever was. There’s a reason why all the kids moved away as soon as they could. She can’t drive or walk but she doesn’t want a walker because that’s for old people; she can’t hear but hearing aids are for old people; she has been living on her own and falls are a real risk but she won’t wear a personal alarm to call for help; and she can’t look after herself anymore but won’t move into a home. She can to an extent deny being old by imposing on others, which she does readily. (Actually, she has always imposed on others.) This woman is absolutely awful. She never told her daughter that she loved her. Not once. It’s a wonder that any of her kids even talk to her.

My mom then mentioned an incident when her brother was a little kid and got hurt. He came into the garage seeking sympathy from their dad. He got hurt again on a piece of equipment in the garage, and their dad made a joke at his expense. It may not have been malicious, but the effect was corrosive.

She also recalled having gotten hurt in an accident on her bike and thinking that she shouldn’t go home because her dad would see and she would get in trouble.

My parents don’t talk much about their childhoods, so I hoard these freely offered anecdotes and piece together what I can. Their childhood traumas became their adult pain, which they unwittingly passed on to me. My traumas are rooted in theirs; how can I heal myself if I don’t know what the wounds are? I think my dad has started confronting his demons but my mom’s are still locked down, and I feel like to be whole, I have to heal not only my own hurt but that of generations before me.

My parents taught me not to talk, but I can’t keep silent any more. There were times with Wolf when it felt like giving my words was harder than giving my blood, but it got easier with him. Now I come here and talk to you.

I wonder if I’ll be able to tell my dad that, when he calls and recites a monologue, I don’t feel like he’s interested in me. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to ask my mom what actually happened to her.

If I do, I suspect it will feel less like bravery and more like a final failure to act out this ridiculous role I was assigned.

great things about being a grown-up

This tweet from Girl on the Net the other day got me thinking:

I couldn’t limit myself to a single favourite, so here are a few great things that come to mind:

I get to set the thermostat at the temperature I want, and I enjoy being warm enough indoors that my nose doesn’t run.

I can have the nice shampoo, conditioner and soap that I want.

This is obvious but bears stating. I can have sexy times (solo or partnered) without having to be quiet and/or secretive. I can procrastinate and leave sex toys lying about before cleaning and putting them away.

I don’t get chores sprung on me at someone else’s whim. Wolf and I have worked out who does what, and I do my stuff when I want/am able.

Home is now a refuge rather than a place to escape. The only people who get to be there are ones I really like, or ones who I don’t mind but will also leave soon.

But there’s more great stuff about adulthood than that and I think the reason why we as adults aren’t more excited about it is that we have a tendency to look at it in terms of responsibilities, which is a variety of negativity bias. (And then there’s hedonic adaptation.) But growing up is about becoming autonomous, which necessitates taking responsibility for yourself. While not “fun” exactly, autonomy can be deeply satisfying.

I’m autonomous in my emotional life. I can learn for myself how my emotions work and what I need rather than rely on my parents’ (as it turns out) incorrect assumptions. I can learn better ways to cope with conflict than (a) freezing, bottling it all up, and hoping the other person will read my mind, or (b) bottling it all up and then having an explosive confrontation. (I mean, it’s not easy to learn a different way of doing things, but I can.)

I’m not being explicitly or implicitly criticised, and I no longer feel like I’m always wrong. I can choose to share my life with people who give me the love I need and think I’m pretty great, and choose not spend time with people who make me doubt myself or make me feel unwelcome. My self-image is still worse than it objectively should be, but being autonomous means that I can make decisions and take steps to get my needs met.

NYE with Rosa: a coming-out story

New Year’s Eve, a day marking an arbitrary end point on the yearly cycle, doesn’t mean a great deal to me. I didn’t expect it to coincide with a real ending and new beginning.

I went out for coffee with my good friend, Rosa, as we do about once a month. We’re surprisingly alike in the sense that I think we were both surprised to have found someone so much like ourselves. We’ve shared a lot with each other, which is something that neither of us do readily – we’re both introverts, highly sensitive, cautious, self-sufficient, etc.

I’ve told her plenty about the family difficulties I had a few years ago that led to serious personal growth and ultimately (though indirectly) the creation of this blog. I told her about the blog itself (its existence, not the URL) at least a year ago and she treated it as a total non-issue. (She has never really asked me about it which I’d interpreted as disinterest, but now I wonder if she has refrained from asking about it because she’s leaving the decision whether to share entirely up to me. She’s like that.)

She takes privacy and confidentiality very seriously and is as much of a dead end for confidences as I am so I knew that I could trust her with the information.

I’d been thinking about telling her about Jaime since I’d told her about the blog, if not before, because, frankly, Jaime is much more exciting. But caution, as always with me, prevailed. I suppose I worried that she’d judge me as “cheating” on Wolf.

At some point my reason for wanting to tell her had gone beyond “hey, something fun is happening in my life” to “this relationship is really important to me and not sharing it feels inauthentic, like I’m cutting off a part of myself”. The last couple of times we met up, I’d been actively thinking about telling her. The same was true this time and it popped to mind from time to time while we chatted.

After a couple of hours Rosa looked at the time and announced that we should probably think about leaving soon; it was in fact the time when we would ordinarily leave, but we’d gotten there 30 minutes later than usual so I wasn’t ready to go yet. Also, for the previous 10 minutes, I’d been thinking seriously enough about confiding that I had begun to feel nervous. Fuck it. I took a deep breath, smiled and stared off into space somewhere beside her head while I tried to figure out what to say.

I’d thought so much about the fact of telling her but I never considered the words themselves. I don’t really remember what I said ­— something about having something I wanted to tell her but wasn’t sure how to say it — and when I paused to take a breath she said, “I’m all ears!”

So I took another deep breath and, by way of preamble, told her that this was something that no one* knew about, except for Wolf. But … I was also in a relationship with someone other than Wolf.

From there the conversation is even more of a blur. I remember that she started a sentence with “He” and then caught herself — “Is it a he?” — and I said yes, and she continued on with her sentence. How sweet, I thought, that she should be so conscious of not making assumptions about me, and that she has also pre-emptively accepted that I might be bi. But then I don’t expect anything less from her.

Though she hadn’t guessed or predicted it, she said that in a way she wasn’t surprised because she figures I already live a bit outside the box. She didn’t know whether I would take that comment well or poorly, but I found it reassuring. I suppose it’s comforting when someone knows you well enough to expect you to be weird and to be open enough to difference to be OK with that.

She did a lot of the talking and I really don’t remember what she said, though I recognised at times that she was filling the silence with a stream of comforting words to say, “I see you, I (still) like you, and I approve of you.” She recognised that the relationship with Jaime was something I hadn’t undertaken lightly, and respected the fact that I was circumspect about the effects on Wolf and Jaime (and others).

I didn’t tell her a great deal about Jaime — I didn’t even mention his name. I did explain that he’s the person I was visiting on certain of my recent trips. She and I don’t really talk about sex, so it didn’t make sense to lead with that aspect of the relationship but I told her about some other things that make Jaime special to me: that I feel deeply loved by him and that his emotional support is unwavering.

She basically was cool with it all and happy that I was happy. On top of that, she was very happy that I trusted her that much to tell her about it. And she told me she loved me.

Throughout it all, I found myself on the verge of tears despite not being sad or upset. I think it was just the intensity of the vulnerability, like holding my ribcage open for an hour, hoping she wouldn’t reach in and crush my heart.

She shared a couple of personal things with me too, though not so intense. An hour and a half after I launched into this confession, we decided it really was time to leave.

And that’s why I began 2018 feeling happy, accomplished, and even more full of love than before.

 

* I also mentioned it briefly to Lucas, after he first confessed his own BDSM-based poly situation; and to a mutual acquaintance of Rosa’s and mine who I unexpectedly ran into at a play party, after she first confessed her own queer poly situation.

I have Oxford on my mind

1

Wolf finished his thesis last week, and I insisted on proofreading until past my bedtime even though a deadline was looming. I hadn’t been able to help much with the doctorate beyond being a sounding board, but this was the assistance I’d been planning to give him since he first was admitted to Oxford. It was for him but also for me.

He emailed it off to the printer down the street from his former residence, and try as I might I can’t visualise the shopfront. Once printed, the readers’ copies would be delivered to the Examination Schools, another place I’ve walked past countless times. He’ll be mildly fretful about it until it’s successfully delivered, and so it’s on my mind too.

2

An acquaintance from sexy Twitter just ran the Oxford Half Marathon the other day. I’ve spent some time in the city and though I haven’t been there for the Half Marathon, I’m certain I’ve seen some other race there. I have a mental snapshot of runners in bibs, which must then date from May or June 2015. Where were they? Longwall?

 

3

Another acquaintance from sexy Twitter has family in Oxford and also studied there. We’ve talked about that a wee bit, and discussed colleges. No doubt some of his most vivid memories of the city are situated near some of my own. Like that evening when I saw an undergrad in a room above street level, carrying on with the music loud and window open, and wearing a bedsheet toga.

4

My mood is tenuous. It’s bedtime and I’m looking for a book to read. Must be fiction but there’s precious little new fiction in the house. I haven’t yet cracked the new Yann Martel, in part because the quote from a review on the front cover calls it “entirely heartbreaking”. Why did I buy this? So I look for an old friend and choose Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches, a goodly chunk of which is set in Oxford.

 

I’d spent time in the city before I first read the book, but only a couple of weeks by that point. My visual memory is shit and I could barely remember the things that I had seen. I reread the book in preparation for my trip in 2015, and then soaked up vistas, views and sights. Radcliffe Camera. The Bodleian Library, the Sheldonian, All Souls (all from the outside). New College mostly from the outside but briefly from the inside once to take in evensong. The Covered Market, Blackwells, Holywell Street. The river down to the college boathouses and beyond. On the second-last day of my two-month visit, I took a tour of the Bod and got to see the famous Duke Humphrey’s Library and the Selden End (alas, no photos allowed), where the Harkness book begins.

 

As a student, Wolf was in and out of the Bod regularly, though not this building. He has a few business cards and one of those makes an utterly perfect bookmark for this book.

5

When I arrived in Oxford that time, Wolf and I both had things to tell each other that needed to be said in person. We’d been living apart for the better part of three years, though our last separation commenced only about two months before. He told me that he wasn’t feeling well and hadn’t been for a few months already. He had noticed a problem soon after he had last returned to Oxford, so it must have been March. There wasn’t much to be done until we got home, but at least I’d already set up a checkup for him. Seven weeks after he went for that checkup, he was having open-heart surgery. The ends of the scar are still pink, the drugs a daily reminder.

It was all I could do to wait a week before sharing my own news. During that week, we fucked up a storm, jet lag and period notwithstanding. It was a delight to reconnect, and to connect sexually in a way that we hadn’t really ever before. I’d been busy having my epiphany and related revelations but I was at home alone most of that time. And when he had been home, he found it a bit overwhelming.

When I could no longer hold my tongue and finally confessed that Gawan wanted to come and meet me, it was very difficult and took quite a while for Wolf to process. I have a trip to visit Gawan in a few weeks, and my departure date is almost two years from the day we first met at my local airport. Gawan is now my dom, and though the distance and polyamory are a challenge, Wolf is comfortable with it now, which allows me to be too.

6

The book I brought with me to Oxford was Guy Gavriel Kay’s River of Stars. I’ve since given Gawan the previous GGK book, which he’s currently reading.

7

I’m not generally one for romance novels, but I found I enjoyed the romance element of A Discovery of Witches. The main character is a witch who has avoided learning anything about or using witchcraft and magic since childhood, and the love interest is a vampire. Leaving aside the issue of how vampires in literature (and other media) went from being terrifying to romantic, many of the little things he does are dominant; it reminds me a touch of D/s. One of the first things he says to her is that it can be pleasurable to let someone else take the lead, he’s protective of her, and following a bonding moment he declares that she belongs to him. And she agrees. He’s used to being obeyed. He also wears a lot of black, so there’s that.

e[lust] #94

Exposing 40 Elust 94
Photo courtesy of Exposing 40

Welcome to Elust 94

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #95? Start with the rules, come back June 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Always Coming Second

Balance

THREESOME – the card game

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

The #500words Project ~ 2

#Pussy Pride

~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

No Eligible Posts

 

Erotic Fiction

Forgiven
Finally A Prostitute
On Display
World Traveller
Red
Ms. Mona’s Online Dating School for Dudes

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

BDSM is Not My Source for Life.
Pure and Simple
Discussing Consent & Scene Negotiation

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

You can
All for one, or one for all…
He haunts me.

Erotic Non-Fiction

Oh no, I’m not.
the shoot begins
Raylene’s pain does not matter

Poetry

-05.05.17_00:21-
White Tee Shirt

Body Talk and Sexual Health

Orgasm Challenge

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

A Kink Couple Fantasize About the Waitstaff

 

Elust 88

e[lust] #93

aurora glory header elust 93
Photo courtesy of Aurora Glory

Welcome to Elust 93

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #94? Start with the rules, come back May 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

A dress to die for

Pushing Past

Necessary.

 

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Kink lite, Kink life
Disturbance

 

~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

The Contract

 

Erotic Fiction

The Contract
Speaking Truth to a Submissive Heart
Thunder
Subjugate U

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

Jerking off to be banned under Texas bill
That Time Steve Bannon Destroyed Me
How to program a sex robot

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Effortless Connections & Harmonious Energy
Cialis
Playlist…

Poetry

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “A” – Always
-07.04.17_02:43-
Scouting: A Lusty Limericks

Erotic Non-Fiction

Conflict(ed) part 2
It’s All About The Feet
TEASE
Oral Birthday Fun ~ The Glorious Sixty-Ninth!
I Will Do…
The subtle threesome

Events

Eroticon 2017 – I Herd U Lieks It

Body Talk and Sexual Health

photo shoots past and future

 

Elust 88

sleeping together 3

On the fourth day, Gawan took me to the outlook he’d shown me the day before and went beyond for a proper hike, though there were paved paths and steps throughout.

falls

He even brought a picnic: nice thick sandwiches and homemade pie for dessert, which we ate while looking out over a dizzying height. But we had mostly walked down to get to this particular height, and the return trip was up the equivalent of something like 40 flights of stairs. I would have eaten more pie if there had been any.

vista

That evening, Gawan and his roommate’s boyfriend wrestled the soft office mattress upstairs and plonked it on top of the hard mattress in Gawan’s bedroom. It turned out to be just right: baby bear’s bed.

On the morning of the fifth day, we explored each other more, and this time it was not entirely vanilla. He visited the leather paddle upon me again (the first time for that had been at the hotel). We fucked again. He gave me oral, explored with his fingers, and wielded my trusty little vibe on me. Whenever I got close, he sweetly crooned “good girl” until I eventually came. He was unconditionally invested in my pleasure and happiness, and he swaddled me in a blanket of warmth and love.

In the afternoon, he drove me to a notable landmark, one of the sights you really should see if you’re in this part of the country, partly just to have a little outing and partly so I could say “Yes, I saw the famous sights”. I had travelled a long way to get here; if I didn’t see any sights, there would be some awkward questions when I got back home.

So by the fifth day we knew we had a bed that was comfortable enough for me and big enough for us both, but we slept on it only once more before leaving town for the first time, then a couple more days here and there. Otherwise, it was a parade of five different hotel beds over the next two weeks.

***

Throughout the trip, I continued to check in with myself, but less and less frequently as the guilt and anxiety failed to materialize. I did, however, experience some guilt for a while after I got home, in response to Wolf’s moods. He had been consistently supportive of me taking this trip and having fun but had nonetheless found it difficult with me away, and more difficult that I was with another man. This almost certainly hit him harder than it would have otherwise because of his depression and anxiety (which was finally diagnosed only a couple of weeks ago).

But he was still unhappy even after I returned. It pains me when he’s unhappy, so I have a tendency to take more responsibility for his mood than I should, but it seemed clear that the trip was the cause of his unhappiness. And this probably hit me harder than it would have otherwise because of my own depression.

Looking back, I suppose I was projecting my own fears: that non-monogamy would hurt him, and when I saw that he was hurting I unconsciously assumed that was the reason and duly felt guilty about it. While it was unresolved, I couldn’t face writing about this trip. We’ve talked about it many times since: he didn’t expect or want me to do anything differently than I had done, and I’ve let go of feeling like his pain was my fault. I think we’re in the clear now.

sleeping together 2

The fire had burnt itself out during the night. The velvet intimacy of darkness barely kept at bay with firelight had given way to the earnest flat grey light of mid-morning.

We abandoned our living room encampment, still smelling slightly of wood smoke, and returned to Gawan’s bedroom. Third day, third fuck. I hadn’t yet spent enough time with him to be fluent in his body language, but I suspected that to someone who knew him well, he’d appear more relaxed, cheerful, and perhaps satisfied than he had in a while.

One such someone turned up rather earlier than expected: his roommate pulled into the drive, already back from her boyfriend’s place where she’d spent the last few days. I was dressed by now but a still bit cold and had thrown on a bathrobe over my clothes, but I thought it impolitic to meet the woman of the house for the first time looking as though I’d just rolled out of bed — it would bring the unstated assumptions a little too close to the surface ­— so I ditched the bathrobe, put on a sweater, and went out to say hello.

It was a little awkward, though that wasn’t surprising. I’d been nervous about this meeting. She and Gawan are like family to each other, and I knew I was being assessed.

That first meeting didn’t last too long though. Concerned about the unhappy state of my back and neck, Gawan had made an appointment for me with a massage therapist, so that was the first order of business. Afterwards, we ran some errands, and then he showed me the commanding view from a nearby outlook.

falls-2

By the time we got home, the roommate’s boyfriend had arrived for my welcome supper, and the four of us spent a convivial evening chatting while demolishing a roast duck.

We wound down and said our goodnights. Where to sleep this time? Not surprisingly, Gawan wanted to use one of the multiplicity of beds in the house instead of the couch (which was no longer private enough anyway), so we went downstairs and tried the mattress in his office. Third night, third bed. It the same size as the one in his room but less of the surface was available. It was also softer and it sloped down slightly on my side.

Since access to the office was from outdoors and the bathroom was a long, inconvenient way away, I took out my contact lenses in the office rather than doing so upstairs and then fumbling about blindly, past the pool, in the dark.

I slept poorly. I was cold and I got bumped once or twice. When I had to pee during the night, I got as far as the lawn and thought, fuck it, good enough. This was even more like camping than the air mattress by the fire in the living room. Not good.