Saint Aziz?

The worst night of her life was a fairy tale compared to two of my most harrowing relationships. Aziz Ansari asked that anonymous contributor to, repeatedly, how she wanted it. A great opening for: “Not at all, please!” These guys never actually asked me what I wanted.

The first one started out as a loving departure kiss. We mutually agreed our relationship had ended, but it turned into goodbye rape somewhere in the middle of the send off. It was unfortunate that I didn’t scream, or ask for what I wanted, which was no more, please! I turned from his longtime lover into a lifeless doll, and he didn’t even notice or didn’t bother to care. He got what he wanted, which was to leave an indelible impression of what men want when they negate all humanity in favor of temporal narcissistic bliss.

This person later acknowledged that he crossed a line with me that one time. He was deeply regretful and ashamed of his lack of consideration for my safety and well being. I forgave him because that was my choice to do so, and I felt strongly that he never wanted to cross that line ever again.

The next person, SW, crossed the line so many times that I lost count. I had dug myself into a relationship with a financial and emotional parasite. He paid just one bill, while I footed the rent, food, utilities, his cellphone, his clothing, portions of the cost to run his fledgling business, as well as gifts to his family members at my most altruistic (or detrimental) moments. He, in turn, scrutinized my every move, utterance and gesticulation–sifting through them for faults he could foist in my face to remind me what a terrible person I was, a “cunt”, to be precise, and a thousand times over in a single sitting at that! I was never really good enough to be in a relationship with him, as he was willing to get on a train and ride all the way to his mommy’s house at any given minute just to prove that he didn’t need me paying 90% of his bills. And besides, he was going to pay me back “someday.” He didn’t know how, but he would start making payments just as soon as he could, even if our relationship was over, because I shouldn’t be spending any of my student loans to continuously support him (for several years running), or so he kept promising me. So by the time he began to suggest that I knew I wanted it, “come on, you know you want it” being his favorite go-to faux-romantic catch phrase, I was used to suppressing what I wanted in favor of the more demanding narcissist in the room. I often gave him exactly what he wanted without ever being asked what I truly wanted–just told.

By the time I began declaring NO, and asking for what I did want, it became a battle of wills (perhaps because he had grown so accustomed to getting his way whenever it suited his lustfire). An argument would inevitably arise regarding how I was “measuring up” in our relationship, which would sometimes last a ridiculous hour. I realized that I had to set boundaries with him if I didn’t want to be treated to a nightly mindfuck whenever I wasn’t in the mood to get lucky. I began sleeping in my kid’s room on these no-you-don’t-know-what-I-want nights, which led to his new dead horse beating that my mothering was questionable and clingy (it wasn’t like I was avoiding coerced rape to retain my sanity or anything). At the time, I thought of it as my problem, not his manipulative pattern of sexual assault to undo! It took re-reading an old journal roughly 2 years after this relationship had ended for me to realize what a genuine creep he was, and that what he was doing could be defined quite declaratively as rape. This is the guy who once shredded a flimsy bedroom door with his head and fists, leaving me with bruises to my back and wood shrapnel stuck in my arm, and then claimed that if I called the sheriff on him for it, I would get a 5150, and he would be dubbed a “hero” for breaking down a door to make sure I wasn’t suicidal (in a moment when I was screaming that I just needed a time out without a lecture about what a child or a cunt I was for needing to take a moment to catch my breath)! I ignored this and so many red flags and it wasn’t until the last year or so that he started coercing me into sex against my will because he knew “it’s what you want”.

I’ve grown into quite the troglodyte since reviewing those #GetOut journal entries. All to avoid my last offender, who never once bothered to arrange a payment plan for the tens of thousands of dollars that he bilked from me with sing song IOUs, much less acknowledged that what he did (at least a dozen times) was coercive rape. He used to apologize for “letting the monster out” during our most heated of arguments; I always wanted to protect our mutual friends from that ugly monster that he so quickly shifted into whenever he deemed me a lowly cunt (and that wasn’t even his rapey monster). Now, he rubs elbows with those friends on a daily basis as I attend to a hermit’s corner just to avoid punching him in the face. The statute of limitations isn’t even up yet, you know? I should have told everyone what a monster you were, SW, when it was still fresh for the record. Too many people are awfully suspicious of victims who take time to fully realize what they’ve survived!

Aziz, asking directly, how do you want it, and allowing her the agency to answer, to change her mind (without repeatedly insisting that she definitely wants it), that’s what I’ve grown to expect in a truly loving relationship. That’s what any individual should expect in a healthy consensual relationship. I can’t help but feel that Aziz has learned to be exceptionally more mindful of what his lover wants, while continuing to ask what she actually wants, which is more than I can fathom from #TheRogueMonster.



get trumpy

it bends with beginnings
what keeps the muse spinning
the force of shove–Beginning

You may remember me as a “writer” of sorts. The air quotes and “of sorts” are added to distinguish that I have had little financial success in my chosen field: A $20 gift card for a corporate bookstore from my first college alma mater, Cuesta College, for a laudable poem in their literary journal, Tellus, many, many moons ago; An offer of $50 per published poem in The Rogue Voice (way back when it was still in print), which ended up being a mere $15 per poem when I was told that I must have misheard the publisher’s original offer; a handful of editorial work, including roughly 3 years as “Associate Editor” of The Rogue Voice (the print years, a personal bad investment which led to a net loss of tens of thousands of dollars [*it’s not libel if it’s true]), as well as editorial feedback on one movie script and one memoir (got paid a beginning copy editor’s wage for a pleasant change). So now, that once hubristic confidence I had in my ability to produce laudable words ebbs and flows, singes as a phoenix (often literally and ritualistically), and I call myself “writer” because so many of the words, songs and scenes that repeatedly flash in me don’t make it to the page, or are stricken from the page, because I have yet to earn that title–Writer.

Once, I was in dildo & lube sales, i.e. an in-home “romance consultant” for a multi-level marketing racket. It seemed like a pretty fun gig at first, until I made little money and never recouped my full investment. Somewhere in the middle of my sexy sales experiment, a good acquaintance, Jackie, pulled me aside at a social gathering to declare that I needed to stop kidding myself, that I wasn’t cut out for sales or even my other job at the time as a barista, that I was destined to write stories and poetry and whatever I else I felt like writing, but I needed to stop with all that other bullshit. At the time, I argued with her that it wasn’t a distraction, that I could be both a proletariat and a Writer, but, for the past few years, I’ve failed miserably at both.

I miss that ridiculously hubristic confidence I once had in my ability to produce and awe with a metre-making argument, which is why my latest experiment in selling my muse-fodder–my brand, as our dismal post-Bill Hicks world sees it–is to get trumpy. Be as sure of my every muse meadering as Donald Trump is with his every twitter rambling. Convince the world that I am as awesome as I want to be by repeatedly stating that “I have the best words. I have the best words.” And believing it as strongly as I want you to believe me when you’re still snickering behind my back and adding air quotes to my newfound reaffirmation of Writer (everyone but Jackie, that is, according to my lying psyche).

Have I been kidding myself that this latest story floating in my head, goading me to do the research on how much cash you can stash into a styrofoam cooler (literally, to negate any pesky overwrought contrivances), is the story e-bookworms want to devour next? Not if I don the lizard skin of trumpiness, a coiled shield against all naysayers. It must’ve worked for E.L. James! Why not this gal’s nom de plume?

I’ve come too far to give up who I are
So I’ll raise the bar and my pen to the stars

Even bad poetry sells if the cover art is slick and cunning, right? So, I’ve got that going for me! As soon as I get used to this chilly lizard suit and reciting all those awkwardly unfamiliar affirmations about how awesome I am at being awesome at writing, that old beloved muse train will at last leave the station (yet again), and, this time–for the first time–forget to pack the match. I bought the ticket long ago; I must take the ride cuz Jackie said so, and she’s right, I am so effing awesome with words. Believe me!