Chains

I wore her necklace to work today. I don’t wear it very often; it sits in the bowl on my desk, and I feel a little stab of something every time I see it. Wearing it is too distracting usually. It’s a choker, and I don’t like things up against my neck, high collared tops, tight necklaces; they make me feel breathless and confined. But sometimes, I will deliberately put it on, both to remind myself of her, the memory of her hair and lips against my neck, and also to feel my body constrained and neck moving in the unfamiliar restraints, a very tangible way of telling myself again that I am in fact tied up, confined, closeted, shackled in so many invisible ways. I know that sounds masochistic; it absolutely is, but it’s also a promise to myself: while I continue to remind myself of the ways in which I’m hemmed in, not allowed to be the person I really am inside, I know I will continue to fight for some sort of space for that self.

Yesterday though, I almost forgot about the necklace, except that my hand kept finding its way back up to rest against my collarbone, feeling my pulse beating through the beads. But by the end of the day, when I undressed in the dark, it was a shock to feel it catch against my shirt as I pulled it over my head. I unhooked it, and the end slithered down over my breasts, curling around my nipple, and suddenly everything I’ve been pushing down, away, every feeling of desperation, longing, frustration, I’ve been keeping at arm’s length, shot through me with the electricity of touch. I know I gasped I want you out loud, clutching the necklace to me with both hands, like it was really her.

I do want her, but right now I want so much and I want it so badly, so viscerally, that it scares me. I’ve been running away from writing, from meaningful conversations, from masturbating, from anything even vaguely like an expression of desire, because of how overwhelming that desire becomes, how terribly quickly I’m reduced to shaking tears when I try to talk, how my mouth opens wide in a silent scream whenever I try to write. I want my own life back, not whatever crumbs of it I can steal: emails here and there, phone calls once in a blue moon, furtive blog reading and writing when everyone else is asleep — if there isn’t too much work; if I’m not so blindly angry at my family that I can’t sit still; if the internet is working; if I’m not interrupted; if I can keep awake. I want to be unapologetically out as a feminist, as sex-positive, queer, atheist, angry, self-centred, female, human, in my daily life, whether it’s sleeping without underwear, or talking openly, or being able to find and read the books I’m searching for in a bookstore, or going out without answering to anyone or worrying that I’ll be harassed, followed, groped, raped. I want to be able to write freely without worrying about what people will think if they read it, about where to hide my diary, about how to make sure that nobody associates me with this blog, about how to keep myself safe. I don’t want safe; I’d rather push my limits further.

And after all that, yes, I want to write and post long love letters, and flirty emails and be reasonably sure of getting a reply. I want to know what she is doing, what are her problems and challenges, share the silly things I’m noticing about my new job. I want to know if she ever got my last letter, and tell her that I wore her necklace and was thinking about her at work, all the way at the other side of the world. I want her to continue thinking of me as someone strong and thoughtful and able to handle the decidedly bizarre circumstances of my life; I want her to trust me and tell me about her own journey to the amazing person she is today. I’d love to actually have a relationship with her. But first I have to get rid of these chains.

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~ by mortarandpestle on February 14, 2008.

4 Responses to “Chains”

  1. MP,
    I wrote some time ago for the passwords for your posts and while you asked that I write back with comments regarding the topic of ‘desire’, when I went to do so, I realized that I could not articulate what I was thinking, that I had not thot. thru what I was feeling.

    I just want to say your posts make me crazy.
    Your choice of words, your ability to split open the guts of what you are feeling . . . I find sometimes I am left “disturbed” (in a good way), challenged to think of how I have been remis in articulating and exploring the same types of feelings in my life, how I have not attended to my needs (sexually, emotionally,etc.) perhaps because I ultimately don’t believe I deserve to have them met.

    Anyway, I suppose that is the inevitable result of good writing and your compulsion to do so (despite your recent distractions). While I would not be able to commit such things to paper (excuse the antiquated reference), it is appreciated that you can and do.

    Chains. Do you recall the story about the circus elephant?.

    L

  2. Thank you, L. I do plan to be better about writing regularly. I don’t think I know the story about the circus elephant…could you point me to it?

  3. Incredibly powerful writing.

    This especially
    “I want my own life back, not whatever crumbs of it I can steal: emails here and there, phone calls once in a blue moon, furtive blog reading and writing when everyone else is asleep — if there isn’t too much work; if I’m not so blindly angry at my family that I can’t sit still; if the internet is working; if I’m not interrupted; if I can keep awake. I want to be unapologetically out as a feminist, as sex-positive, queer, atheist, angry, self-centred, female, human, in my daily life, whether it’s sleeping without underwear, or talking openly, or being able to find and read the books I’m searching for in a bookstore, or going out without answering to anyone or worrying that I’ll be harassed, followed, groped, raped. I want to be able to write freely without worrying about what people will think if they read it, about where to hide my diary, about how to make sure that nobody associates me with this blog, about how to keep myself safe rather than how to push my limits further.”

    I just kept saying yes, yes, yes – she is articulating exactly what is in my head and heart right now. exactly.

    jen.

  4. […] February 21, 2008 Filed under: Coming out — Araliya @ 2:30 pm Mortar and Pestle wrote: I want to be unapologetically out as a feminist, as sex-positive, queer, atheist, angry, […]

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