Not being a bitch pays off in spades!

Yesterday was kind of a milestone day for me.  It had its peaks and valleys. Okay, well, mostly peaks; one lowly valley. But I got to the end of last night really changed. A changed woman.

The day started out just great because I had a noon appointment to chat with MG#2, so I was feeling frisky. And work on the Hurley Falls Mysteries is going so great. I’m just so happy with how my writing is going these days. The Muse is just outdoing himself.

And then, to my surprise, 2 workmen show up to do some serious work on my furnace, and the vents, install a new thermostat. I wasn’t expecting them until September, but here they were.  And, lo & behold, the main guy, the guy in charge, could not be sexier or more good-looking if he tried. And he’s my age, to boot. Long curly silver hair in a pony tail.  I was floored. He was so my type, it was ridiculous.

I am absolutely not the kind of woman who would ever, in a million years, have sex with a repairman. Not happening in my world, ever.  To me, that’s just really tacky. But yesterday, I realized I have an odd definition of what’s tacky. I decided I wouldn’t so much as attempt to initiate anything but if for some weird reason, he asks me to fuck him, I’ll do it in a heart beat.

That’s not tacky at all.

At one point, they had to go to the hardware store to get some parts and I closed the basement door because I don’t want the cats getting down there, and then I realize that, if a person — a furnace repairman, let’s say — is coming up those basement stairs, they can’t help but see the built-in bookcase at the top of the steps and what the hell is sitting there, dead-center, going across instead of up & down, so it’s stupidly easy to notice, but a book that says BONDAGE in big letters and has a vintage b & w photo of a naked girl tied up with rope, right there on the spine of the book.

And I thought, well, that’s clever of me. Jesus. No wonder Gorgeous Furnace Repairman keeps smiling at me… But then I thought that if I moved the book at that point, it would be obvious that I’d moved it and would maybe make it look like I was preoccupied with something. So I just left it and decided to act like I had no clue it was there.

But then my eye caught sight of another book on the top shelf that said EROTICA on its spine, and I thought, what is that book anyway? I knew I had to have stories in it or it wouldn’t be in my collection at this point (I’ve had to purge hundreds and hundreds of books as I’ve kept moving over the past 15 years).  All of my own books, or books that I’ve contributed work to over the years, are in bookshelves upstairs, so I wasn’t sure why this one collection was not with the others. I took the book down and looked at it.

It was published 6 years ago, and it was the best of the best early erotica, from a British publisher. And the back cover copy said that these were early stories from “erotic masters” and there was my name, first, at the top of the list. Not alphabetized or anything. And I open the book and the entire 500-page book starts off with my story, Anal, followed by my story, Swingers. Almost as if to say that the sweeping trend of great erotica writing that occurred in the 1990s began with these 2 stories. I was, like, how come I never saw this book before?? How fucking flattering is this?? Was I really that caught up in my “next book sale and the next and the next” that I couldn’t even appreciate what might have been right in front of me??

Clearly, the answer was yes, on all counts. It was a strange feeling. I wished I could go back 6 years and been a little more appreciative to the publisher, for Christ’s sake.

I hadn’t read Anal in years. And my eye just sort of began reading the opening paragraph, and I was, like, oh my god; I forgot how funny this was. So I just kept reading and it was, you know, fucking hot. What a filthy, filthy story, you know? And then comes that totally typical Marilyn Jaye Lewis paragraph — that paragraph that goes for the heart strings and leaves the testosterone alone for one single moment; the paragraph about the first anal sex episode at 14, with the boy, in his father’s den, and skipping school, and then how the boy smells how all boys smelled back then; like mown grass and sweat and tobacco and spearmint gum.

Jesus. That paragraph was so erotic. So pure and sweet; you know, a reminder that sex is also about tender things like trust and love. It blew my mind, you know? I suddenly remembered how hard I had worked on writing that story Anal to get it just write.  Over 20 years ago.  And I was able to say, kind of with certainty, 20 years down the road, that I had done a good job.

At that point, the workmen were back from the hardware store, so I took the book up to my room and read Swingers, for the first time in, really, just years and years.  And years.  I knew it was  about a young single woman who ends up having sex with 2 older couples in NYC who are swingers. I knew it was funny. But I didn’t recall anything else about it, really.

Well, the opening line: “Friday night I went home with some married people,” suddenly reminded me that I had worked really, really hard on this story, too. You know? These stories didn’t just fly out of my pen or anything. I worked so hard at getting every sentence, every word just right. And as I read Swingers, I was kind of blown away by it, too. It is really funny, but it is also really erotic, in a really human sort of way. The pacing worked so well, and the interweaving of the sex and the humor worked well, too. But then I got to the final pages — a part of the story I’d forgotten completely about — and I literally could not believe how erotic it was. The pacing was spot on, and it was, of course, my own personal fantasy. My own personal, real-life daddy-issues in full flower in the backseat of a car, and after I read it, I was like, wow; I kind of just fucked myself from 20 years ago! You know, wrote something 20 years ago that managed to make me feel like I’d just had incredible sex with my own mind, 20 years later. It was incredible. Thank you!! I said to my 20-years-ago self. You totally nailed my very favorite daddy fantasy.

Then, of course, I immediately wondered if this was a short story my dad would have ever read, and it was such an uncomfortable question that I decided to tell myself: nah, no way would he have ever read this story that was read by thousands of people all over the world, published over and over and over again, and even published for free online… Crap.

Anyway. It was time for my appointed phone call with J. and so I picked up my phone and called him. And he answered right away, and I could tell something was not good.  I said, “Can you talk?” and in a clipped,  sort of angry way, he said. “No. I can’t talk . I’m busy. We’ll talk later.” Hang up.

Wow, was I pissed. And I immediately thought, yeah, we’ll talk later, pal, like next week later, next lifetime later… And I was just so pissed. I went down to the kitchen table to sit and stew, and there was Gorgeous Furnace Repairman working on installing my new digital thermostat. And even though he was still as good-looking as could be, I couldn’t even see him anymore, couldn’t focus. Because I was that pissed-off.

And then J.’s voice is in my head from a couple weeks ago, where he’s telling me, “Could you not get so pissed-off at me when things don’t always go your way, Marilyn?”

And then my voice was saying, “Yes, I’ll work on that. I don’t want to be that woman anymore. You’re right. I’m always doing that.” And it occurred to me that, even though I was still really angry, it was just me feeling very insecure and that this would be the ideal moment to step in and behave differently and just change my behavior for good — especially since he had no idea I was so angry, sitting there at my kitchen table, 500 miles from New York City. It was the prime moment to change.

And I asked myself, why am I so angry? It’s not like he’s with another woman, because if he were, he would tell me and probably text me a quick photo of whatever was going on. So, clearly, this was “business” stuff upsetting him and I had to just deal with it and trust that he would, indeed, call me later.

And he did. He called me later. We talked for 2 hours and had the best time. And he told me what had been going on when I had called earlier — something that was going to wind up costing him and his partners $50K.  Shit. That’s a lot of money to lose in a heartbeat, and I’d been sitting there in that stupid bitch-mode, at my kitchen table, with my feelings hurt because he couldn’t talk to me right at noon.

In fact, I think it was the best conversation we’ve actually ever had.  We talked about everything under the sun. Some of it disturbing, because some areas of his life are just disturbing, and some of it just cool and fun, and of course, some of it, really filthy. He told me about a woman he Topped on Monday. Just this past Monday. Just very matter-of-fact telling me all the details of Topping her, and I was just breathless. I couldn’t believe it, you know? I wasn’t even jealous of the girl, I just so wanted it to happen to me. I want to be Topped like that, too. In just that very, very same way. All my daddy issues in full flower again, only times ten.

And I said nothing, because, really, the pictures in my head took my breath away. And then he said, “Don’t worry, Marilyn. I’ll do it to you, too. And when you beg me stop, I’m not gonna.”

GOD, does it pay to not be my bitchy self.  My bitchy self would have sent that phone call in a whole other unpleasant direction from the get-go, and I never would have heard him say that to me — something I’ve wanted to hear a man say to me for my whole life. The man really makes me so happy.

What a gift

Yesterday, I was listening to an interview with a famous musician and he mentioned something about always having to play his biggest hits at his shows because fans can be really sentimental about certain songs, for instance, remembering that the” first time they fucked Susie, they were listening to such & such a song.”

Well, that really surprised me, because I thought he was going to say “the first time they ever had sex [at all, ever — as in losing one’s virginity].” But he didn’t.

And I realized that the guy (the famous musician) must be really faithful to his wife. Because, by that one comment, he’s implying that the guy went on to continue fucking Susie for a really long time, and how the memory of that first time still means so much.

Whereas my brain immediately goes to that very first time, ever, and then just forgets about everybody else involved — eternally.  I thought it was such an interesting differentiation.

But later in the day, I thought about that comment again, and something kind of magical happened.

As an aside, though, I do practically require music to be playing when I’m with somebody and having sex, and I’m really, really specific about what I want to hear at any given time, but I have no clear memory of a specific song playing when I was with a specific person, first time or not.

I do remember in the early 90s, that anytime I was with anybody in a  B&D scene, Enigma’s MCMXCa.D. had to be playing — loud. I think every New Yorker into BDSM in the early 90s played that CD during scenes. It was just too fucking phenomenal, how it felt to hear that CD, be overwhelmed by its pacing, and be sort of indescribably tied up and, well, I guess flogged for awhile, and then arrive at that plateau, then that really intense penetration  juncture with the person Topping you… (i.e.,  The Principles of Lust and Mea Culpa —  just super loud.) (In most B&D scenes, penetration doesn’t happen until way into the scene and then you are just sort of forced into this incredible energy-space that you can’t control because, well, you’re tied up.) (The Principles of Lust, wow. What a piece of music. Further proof that there is nothing better on earth than a highly intuitive Top. Pushing you, challenging you, taking you one step past what you think you can handle.)

(You know, I’m thinking this is why I never really responded much to  a date that consisted of “dinner and a movie”… I could do that all by myself; this other stuff — not so much.)

Wow. I do indeed digress.  Wasn’t expecting to go there at all. What I was going to say was a lot more vanilla. It was about Marc Anthony’s song, I Need to Know, and while I don’t remember any specific person I was with while playing this song, I do know that I’ve been with a number of people (in bed or in the vicinity of it) while playing this song. I don’t know, it just takes me to this zone. So amazing. Of course, you have to play it really loud and have it endlessly on repeat because the middle of it builds so awesomely, and you need that intensity to just keep on continuing. Or I guess I do. I’m all about the plateau.  (However, don’t take my word for any of this. Try it for yourself — you know; candlelight, bed or vicinity thereof, expensive French red, any person at all, and then play this song loudly, like, deafening, over & over, and see if that person doesn’t become your lover posthaste.)

(You know, I’m just going to insert here that Mob Guy #2 is actually, literally, way more intense than me.  Hard to believe, isn’t it? Such a blessing.  A very mild example (HIM): “Why the fuck  are you wearing that? That’s not what I asked you to be wearing. You gotta change. Right now.”  ME: “But I wanted to lose, like, 5 pounds –” HIM: “No, uhn-uhn. Fuck the 5 pounds. You gotta wear it. Now. Go get it.”)

All right, anyway. The “magical thing” I mentioned, somewhere, way, way, way at the top of the page. It has to do with a blog post from July about me basically forcing that older guy to teach me how to have sex when I was 13. (Something about “throwing up” is in the title but vomiting has nothing whatsoever to do with him.)

Well, when I was with him in his room and had finally worn down his resistance (and I will stress again that he had no clue I was only 13), he wanted to pick the perfect music for my first sexual experience. He was a professional musician, a hippie — long blonde hair, beard, mustache, hash-smoking, anti-Nixon, really tall, super, super smart — but he was getting a PhD in classical music, violin. Music was very important to him. And for my grand deflowering, he chose Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company. Cheap Thrills. Okay, not the most auspicious album title, but his focus was on Janis Joplin. I knew who she was. I knew she was dead. But I knew nothing about her beyond that. And he said, “I know you are going to like her.”

Well, I ask you, what could be more perfect than to be me at 13, losing my virginity to a guy I chose — this incredible guy that I would never lay eyes on again — and listening to this? (Yeah, listen if you dare. It only takes 8 minutes…).  Janis just seemed to me like the most powerful woman, ever. Even though I knew she had died from a heroin overdose in some cheap motel. She still seemed more powerful than anything I could ever contain.

He could have chosen a million other rock songs where women are portrayed as stupid, stupid girls, you know? There are so many songs like that. But he chose Janis, for me — for my memory of what was getting ready to happen to me.

And after that day, of course, I wanted to know everything about Janis. I already knew a few things about myself. One being that I knew I wanted to be a singer and a songwriter. I already played guitar, piano, violin. I had already written dozens and dozens of songs. I also knew I was bisexual by then. I didn’t talk about it much, but I also didn’t not talk about it. I was selective about who I talked about it with, but I knew I liked girls as much as i liked boys.

I found a book in the bookstore, called Going Down with Janis (first issued in 1973, link is a re-issue) and it was written by a woman who had been Janis’s lover. The book was about Janis and having sex with her. This book blew my mind because, when I was reading it, I felt totally, 100%, completely like I was okay. I didn’t often feel that way, I can guarantee you that. But by the time I was 13, I learned that Janis Joplin was one of the few people on earth (or in Heaven, as it were!), who made me feel like I was okay, just the way I was.

And then, of course, I fell in love with her for the rest of my life. She brought me to tears; she brought me to joy; she brought me an understanding of what it can be like to be a singer and be a girl (and go to New York and try to deal with the fucking music industry). In short: It can really suck. But try to make your life good, regardless, you know? Don’t give in to the cruelty and the crap and OD yourself on heroin in some cheap motel. Just don’t do it.

I worked with a VP at Columbia Records who had known Janis very well. He had really loved her. He also really loved my songwriting, seriously went to bat for me. There were a few amazing high points to my music career; he was one of them, but most of it turned my stomach.

Well.

So, yesterday, I thought about that guy who I “lost my virginity to”  — a guy I really have so much gratitude toward because I really, really did practically force him to do that to me, and he was really kind of not super happy when he found out how old I was, but it was too late. Anyway, he gave me that gift of music to go along with that ordeal of intercourse for the first time, and he chose so carefully. And Janis became this incredible gift to me, for decades, because of him.

How cool was that? Some men are really just awesome.

Now it gets dicey

I wish I could tell you everything.

He makes me so happy. But, you know, like, 95% of his life has to stay off the radar, which, of course means, off my blog. And I’m guessing that you can guess how difficult it is for my little fingers to not just start typing away…

I can say these things: he makes me laugh, he makes me smile, he makes me shake my head and go, oh my god. He gives me pause, also, when he talks about the past and who I was and how he felt about that, and of course, I have to admit that he knew me better than I thought — better than I knew myself back then.  And he knew himself pretty well, too, which is a good thing, because I was oblivious to pretty much everything about anything except my career, so it’s good that someone had sense enough back then to walk away. Even though my marriage died anyway.

The other day on the phone, he said to me, “You know, I did tell you I loved you back then. You knew. Don’t act like you didn’t. One afternoon, you asked me if I could ever love you and I told you, ‘I already do.’ I know you heard me and I held you. But you never said anything.”

And now, almost 20 years later, I suddenly remember that afternoon. And I’m thinking, Jesus, who the fuck  was I? I certainly wasn’t trying to be heartless and mean. It’s as if my world was flat and square, and his words fell from the bed  onto the floor and rolled and simply fell over the side of the world, you know? I actually said nothing. I could ask such a loaded question as that, get the perfect answer, and then not reply? Sadly, I do know that that was who I was.  It doesn’t do justice to who I was struggling to be on the inside, but there certainly was a huge disconnect between my outside and my inside worlds.

But the gift now, the blessing now, is that I have the chance to not only apologize for that — not that he’s asking for any kind of apology at all from me, which is also such a  blessing — but I also have the  chance to be a whole different kind of woman now. The woman I actually am, and the one I want to be. One who hears him and communicates and breaks the old habits of behavior and still just adores who he wants to be.

Which is, of course, insane. Even though he is actually totally sane. But his life is insane. And he enjoys pretty much every moment of it. Even the horrible stuff. He lost twin girls at 8 months because the doctor in Kenya fucked up (while a civil war was going on) and wound up killing the babies. They were born dead; stillborn at 8 months. I was so heartbroken for him when he told me about it. But he said, “Naw, they’re my angels now. They’re in Heaven , looking out for me every day. I’m with them every day.” He ‘d found his peace with it, even found a place where there could be joy. He’s like that about everything, really.

It’s so hard not to write about him, you know? Which I guess is why I have already written about him so much in the past. He takes his life as it comes to him, which is a million miles a minute. He’s a total pussy addict, for one thing. (I’m not divulging anything he wouldn’t tell a complete stranger if you asked him on the street).  He gets more pussy than any person I have ever known, and it’s still going on.  It’s not the kind of relationship I have with him or ever had with him, but it’s this sort of NYC mob guy pussy addiction thing. You know, he sees a pussy he just has to have, he’ll ask the woman if he can have it and if she says yes, then, bing, bang boom, he gets it and then  he’s back out on to the street.

It doesn’t matter if he’s married or not married, or in love with another woman or not in love; it’s just how he is. And he has always talked to me about it in this way that just kills me; he is so matter-of-fact. The other day, he said, “This girl shows up and I go down to the street to get her, you know, to pay her cab fare, and I get one look at her and I said, ‘Don’t even get out of the cab. You are not 21. Let me see your ID.’  And she says, ‘I didn’t bring my ID,’ and I know she’s maybe 16, tops. And I told her, ‘You are a liar. You take your daddy issues and go straight back home because I am not going to jail for your pussy, hon.’ I didn’t pay her cab fare, either. It kills me, these girls and their daddy issues, you know? Don’t they know I could go to jail?”

How could you not write about a man like this?  I love that he’s telling me this, while he’s also asked me to marry him — and he thinks we are getting married, so I don’t know, gang. I’m thinking maybe yes. That maybe he’s right.

I have to say that his marriage proposal was the very, very best marriage proposal I ever got. I have it memorized. I’ve read it over so many times. It is triple-X rated so I’m not going to repeat it on my blog. I did copy it verbatim in my diary, though, so after I’m dead, if you really, really , really want to know what he said, you can find out about it then.

Meanwhile, I gotta scoot!!! Have a great Saturday, wherever you are in the world, gang! Thanks for visiting. See ya.

 

 

 

 

Waking up in delusion land

I’m thinking that the summer of 2018 will go down in my own private history as the “summer I woke up.” On so many levels.

I wouldn’t trade any of this for anything, but it is blowing my mind to suddenly comprehend — pretty much every day — how delusional I have been for such a long time.

I’ve awakened to a lot of good things. Mostly, discovering that even though I considered myself to be an unlikable pain in the ass in pretty much all of my past personal relationships, many of those “personal relationships” (men & women, both) have been suddenly showing up this summer to point out that, while yes, I was indeed a pain in the ass at times, they liked me anyway.

The disconcerting reason why a seemingly simple thing like this is so staggering to me is that I was raised by a woman who (among a myriad of other all-out cruel things) had assured me year after year after year, in every way she could think of, that I was unlovable for simply being who I am.  And for all of my life, I believed her. I am just now starting to understand, at age 58, that I might be loved.

Once, she told me point-blank that if anyone in my [adoptive] family knew what I was really like, none of them would love me. I believed that, too.  A double-whammy, really, because she was also saying that the love they did have for me was false and based on nothing real.

A sentiment that was borne out a couple years later, after I tried going to certain family members for help re: the rape problem and getting the proverbial door slammed on me.  To be fair, though, my friends weren’t any better. Everyone I tried to go to for help, even for simple understanding, treated me like I was “fucking” the guy because I wanted to have sex with him.  (Just FYI, I never run to the toilet and vomit after fucking a guy I want to have sex with.)

Part of the problem was that I was extremely shy back in those years, and it was next to impossible for me to talk about sexual acts. I could think about them until the cows came home, but I couldn’t talk out loud about sexual acts. So for me, even getting the words out into the air, where my own ears could hear them — he made me “have sex” was the best I could muster — was so incredibly embarrassing for me to say. Then, to get the response I got. Jesus.  What a nightmare.

Only one girl — one — back in those years, ever had any mercy on me at all. She had asked me a question about something else, really, but it was in the realm of the sexual, and then I struggled so hard to get the words out, that this certain sexual thing had happened to me that I didn’t want to do. And she said, “Oh my god, you mean he raped you?” And it was like the sky cracking open, because I was finally able to admit to getting raped and somebody was really hearing me. Not that it healed me at all; it made me worse for a long, long time. I didn’t want to be the girl who was getting raped.

(And not related to the rape thing, when I finally took off for New York City, to get free, to have my life, I was going there to be a singer and my grandfather could not tolerate this, at all. He called me a whore and told me never to call him or speak to him again. Jeepers creepers. And he was true to his word for a really long time, only forgiving me for being a singer (whore) at my grandmother’s funeral. Until then, whenever I called my grandparents from NYC, just to try to even say hi, if my grandfather answered the phone, he would say nothing and simply pass the phone to my grandmother. Anyway.  It’s safe to say that, in those years, I really enjoyed being a girl…)

Well, letting go of these kinds of voices has been a lifetime’s achievement for me and, since these are not the voices I want to take with me into my memoirs without knowing how to combat them, I am really trying to make a dedicated effort to listen to the other voices that are in my world now, and this summer has been instrumental in helping me make progress with that.

But the blog, while really, really helping me put feelings into words, is also a great way to expose myself without meaning to. I guess it just goes with the territory and I am trying to be okay with it. But this current re-acquaintance with my past, a relationship that meant a lot to me almost 20 years ago that I never dreamed would resurface, has re-surfaced because of this blog.

I am always trying so hard to have some sort of spin-control; to manage how I present myself in any kind of relationship. But if someone is reading my blog and I have no idea they’ve been doing it, and I’m here thinking I can control any kind of spin whatsoever… Well, it’s sort of amusing. HIM (not in so many words, but the upshot is): Marilyn, who on earth do you think you’re fooling? ME:  Um, well. I thought I was fooling you.

Guess again. (Yes, I’m talking about Mob Guy #2, if you haven’t already seen completely through me.)

I had been thinking here lately that I had better tell him that I’ve written about him before. A few times.  And I mean stories that have already been published, several times, all over the world.  I’ve been thinking, well, if we’re going to re-connect, I need to tell him I’ve done this. Better to just tell him then to have it come up later, in some sort of awkward way.

Well, yesterday, I was stewing because he wasn’t replying to a very intimate text I had sent him the day before. After about 30 hours, I texted him again and I said: come on. More hours go by and I’m starting to feel guilty. I’m starting to remember how controlling I had always been, tried to be. You gotta do everything my way. Come on. And I’m also feeling guilty about not telling him I’ve written about him, in a really, really personal way… Feelings were piling up in me. He’s going to hate me. I’ve got to figure out how to look good in all this, like, you know, I’m not guilty of exposing someone’s personal stuff in print all over the world.

A few hours later, and I’m off to the Granville Inn to have drinks and dinner with a really old friend who’s in town visiting from Houston. And the very moment I walk into the bar where he is already waiting for me, a vodka martini in front of him — finally, the fucking text arrives. And what does he say? Well, he says some very personal stuff about me that I’m surprised he remembers, but then goes on to say that he loves that I’ve written about us and the things we did…

Crap. My knees almost buckled. He’s already read it. Already. He knows I did that.

But what is this “us” business, I start wondering. I didn’t write about “us,” I wrote about him.  But as I thought about it (and thought about it, and thought about it, all through drinks and dinner…) I realized, Jesus Christ, Marilyn. You change a woman’s hair color and maybe her height and suddenly it’s not YOU??

Since 98.8% of everything else in the stories have been pretty much as they happened, what the hell made me think he wouldn’t recognize me??

Wow, talk about waking up in delusion land.  I give up, you know? It’s just life; let it happen already, right? I exist in the world. On we fucking go.

 

 

 

 

So much joy, plus sinus headache! Plus cricket!

Yes, I have a sinus headache! Too much humidity around here.

And yes, we have a cricket! In the laundry room.  Nothing but an omen for so much good luck.  However, it is 1 cricket against 8 cats. I am trying to get them to understand that the omen of good luck pertains to all 9 of us in the house (10, I guess, if you include the cricket — 20 million of us, if you include all the spiders), and not just to me! ME (to cats): Please don’t kill the cricket!! This is good luck for all of us! CATS (to each other): What the fuck is her fucking deal, goddamn it??!! She keeps letting that thing get away.

Anyway. Since I last wrote, the Hurley Falls Mysteries has continued to explode. I am so serious. I am just loving the writing of this book. It has been such a long time since I was able to really, really love the thing I was writing at any given time.

I’d been praying for this. Well, I’d been praying for 2 things, actually. The first was that I prayed for a new Muse — an actual Muse, so that I wouldn’t just fade into the nothingness of being bored to death with my own writing, which was rapidly happening. (Literally, dying from boredom, as in, starting each day saying, “okay, once the cats are gone, I’m ready to die” because even though I have so many projects in the fire, and people are sort of counting on me to keep writing, if I don’t truly love my characters and the stories they’re telling, I can take or leave all of it, and more and more, I was siding on the side of leaving it. Until — as loyal readers of this lofty blog are painfully aware,  the month of June arrived and the Muse burst into my life with a vengeance and everything, absolutely everything in my life, turned around. Almost as if the last 20 years of my life disappeared overnight,  and I was suddenly, once again, the woman I was 20 years ago, before I chose to go down some really, really misguided roads.)

The other thing I prayed for (which was sort of a counterpart prayer) was that I could somehow create a story and characters I loved for the Hurley Falls Mysteries. I was okay with the quality of the writing I was turning out, but I was not responding to any of my characters at all.   I could not give them energy.

So, anyway, the Muse arrived in June (in spirit) and took over. He did a ton of “housecleaning” for me, as it were. And just blew my life open — my heart, my mind, my creativity, my sexuality. And, in an unexpected move, I was suddenly making tons and tons of notes on that memoir I had told those publishers in England (my friends, actually) that I was “working on” last year.  Then, just as suddenly as the memoir notes poured out of me (pages, and pages and pages, almost all coming forth at 4 AM most days), the Hurley Falls Mysteries suddenly reappeared in this awesome form, that frankly, I couldn’t really believe.

Suddenly they were characters that I really loved, and they surprise me everyday with the stories they want to tell. They’re funny, sexy, dark, vulnerable, rude, and unexpected characters — almost all of them drawn from the actual founders of this crazy town I now live in, all of them buried in the graveyard a couple blocks from me — having been dead now for nearly 200 years.

I was with my friend Diane yesterday, for the first time since we went to see the Kirtland Temple with the Mormon missionaries. And I was telling her about what has been happening to me with my writing now, and about how the Hurley Falls Mysteries are going. She  knows this town now, too, and knows why I respond so strongly to it. But yesterday, she said, “Marilyn, maybe you lived there in another lifetime. The spirits just come right to you.”

It is weird how that happens here. I thought at first that it was this old house — that it was some sort of friendly portal to the spirits of this town. But now I wonder if it could just be my heart that is so open to them. They do seem like friends to me.

Well, I’ve had an incredible bunch of days since I last blogged here. I had quite a staggering phone chat with my first husband. I won’t, of course, detail it here because it is personal to him.  And I’m guessing that it bothers him enough that I write about him at all here on the blog but he is too polite to say that, however, it is sufficient to say that after we hung up, I was literally speechless. Just sort of staring at the wall and wondering which marriage he was talking about. Certainly not the one I was in with him, because  all I remember is that he was perfect and I was just a relentlessly opinionated bitch who was fucked -up all the time (bourbon and pills — this was back when you could still get pharmaceutical grade Black Beauties.) (Yes, if you know what pharmaceutical grade Black Beauties were, picture that kind of speed on 101-proof bourbon, and then picture yourself marrying that….) (And no, they weren’t prescribed for “attention deficit disorder” back then, because, back then, no one had that — we just wanted to stay awake, lose weight, fuck our brains out and act insane.) (I think he married me primarily because, back then, I looked a lot like Jackie O. on the outside and he thought I had class. Sadly, I was Dennis Hopper on the inside…)

Then, to immediately follow-up that phone conversation, that very same day, I got a proposal of marriage, for the first time in years. From a man who also used to think I looked like Jackie O. on the outside, but who knows darn well what I am like on the inside and still wants to marry that. I was so touched by that, really. I can’t even tell you how much. But I would much rather just be very frisky now & then companions because, among other complications that would be involved, I don’t want to leave this town and move back to Manhattan. Ever.

Still, you can probably guess by now that me and marriage is not the best idea, anyway. I don’t see myself getting married again — except maybe to the gorgeous guy at work. I’d marry him in a heartbeat, and not just for the sex, but because I am still so good  at making misguided decisions based on all the wrong things when it would not be in the best interests of any of the people involved. Those are the kinds of marriages that I excel at!

(In seriousness, though, I say that about him because from my lofty viewpoint of my advancing age and all my varied experiences of life, of people, the world, the spirit, and because I know I knew him in another life, I can see him from a wider perspective. I can see that his soul is already amazing. That his life has the potential for an inner landscape that will be amazing — if he allows it. You know.  I guess I would want to marry him in order to remind him, 24/7, to allow it. To let the mundane go, and allow his inner world to get amazing. I would marry him for that, and of course, the sex.)

All right, gang. On that note.  I’m outta here! Gotta get back to the world of Hurley Falls. Thanks for visiting. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world.

(I leave you with this — one for the Muse. Seriously. “I can only thank God it was not too late”.)

 

Balancing Act

Yes, I managed to allow myself to just go ahead and get sick.

I fought that sore throat for about 3 days before I finally just told myself, All right. I’m just going to submit to some sort of overall ill-ease and then just move on.

The message exchanges between me and Mob Guy #2 continued for a couple of hours on Monday morning and then sort of came to a peaceful place of rest.  But, really, I was just astounded by the beautiful things he told me, about how he’d felt back then, that I simply had not known. I of course apologized for having been so fucked up back then that I couldn’t hear what he’d been saying.

He said, “You weren’t fucked up. You were just in a  one-sided marriage and really unhappy.”

Wow. Was it really that simple? All my insanity? I was desperately unhappy in my second marriage, especially toward the end of it, as I became a successful writer/producer and my husband belittled all of my triumphs. ( And they were triumphs. I hate to play the “woman” card, but at that time in our culture, I was one of a key group of women in America who were making amazingly beautiful and powerful changes to the sex industry through not only publishing but also through the Internet as a multi-media producer. This was in the infancy of the Internet, before it got completely cannibalized by unimaginative, hardcore porn — produced, frankly, predominantly by men.)

As that marriage wound down, I was always at odds with my husband. Always. Daily. He was just as unhappy with me as I was with him. I can’t go into personal stuff about him because that would be invasive, but for me, I don’t know; I just never knew how to be “normal.” Couldn’t be “normal” if my life depended on it. I don’t even know what normal is. When I see someone who sort of looks like maybe they’re “normal”, I wonder, wow, isn’t their brain, like, unraveling inside? Isn’t there some great un-normal thing they’d really dearly like to be expressing right at this moment?

Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe most people really are okay with falling in line and having simple, manageable lives.

For me, though, what has to be removed from who I am in order to become simple and more manageable,  leads to madness.  It truly does. And I never wanted to be like Virginia Woolf, going off to the river with rocks in my pocket. I have attempted suicide twice in my lifetime, and I guess there’s still plenty of time left to get it right the third time. But I really, really do not want to be that person. Because of that, I simply have to allow myself to be who I am.

My first husband didn’t have any kind of picnics with me, either, but he was raised Buddhist, and perhaps that helped. He pretty much took the attitude early on of: Well, I’m just going to let this pony run. He was pissed off at me most of the time, especially when I left him & moved out, but he refused to divorce me for years. Not until he saw that I was actually going to be okay and so he went off, finally, and had a life of his own.

But my second husband? He was a much more hands’ on kind of guy.  I think he was determined, for a while there, at any rate, to figure me out.  But I just totally wore him down because I was always, always, always all about sex. Not only did I always need to have sex every 14.5 seconds of every single day, it was always really complicated sex because I was a fetishist. He was not.  He put up with it, really  tried to accommodate me at first . ME (on a comparatively simple Saturday afternoon on the Upper West Side): “Wayne, can you go get the drill and put in a couple of really sturdy eye-hooks right over here?” HIM: “Now? Like, right now? I’ve got a hard-on, for chrissakes, can’t we just utilize that and then I’ll  go get the drill afterwards?” (The answer was actually ‘no’ in case you’re curious.)

A lot of fetishists I knew in NYC made their “straight” marriages work by having above-board outside arrangements. But I hated dungeons and play parties and orgies, etc., etc. And I never wanted to hire somebody to simply go through a set of rigid rituals with me. I wanted to just be with one person who I loved, who loved me and was into what I was into.

Turns out that’s a super tall order to fill. And I am only now, in hindsight, seeing just how unhappy that made me. How emotionally isolated I allowed myself to get for so many years.

You know, I actually really like to do things like clean house, sew, cook and bake, I really like to do laundry and go grocery shopping. I honestly love doing shit like that. On the outside, it looks like I could be a really good wife. I honestly get excited by things like a new washing machine. Really excited. All these new clothes-washing options at my fingertips– come on, dude,  let’s do laundry! But the rest of me is on some distant, lonely planet, far, far away.  I used to try to perfect my apple pies. I was so intense about getting the crust just right, the filling at that perfect texture, the flavors balanced just perfectly. I took my baking seriously (and did it professionally at MoMA for a while).

But eating the pie was not the pay-off; creating the pie was the spiritual connection for me. And for some unknown reason, spiritual connections for me are always erotic. My husband would come home and see “pie!” Let’s have a piece of pie! ME: “Okay, but first, I was thinking, you know — I went down to St. Mark’s Place today and bought an amazing outfit at the fetish store. I could go put that on, and we could play Pony Girl Lounge for awhile, and you could tie me up and –” HIM: “And it’ll take you forever to come because all you do anymore is plateau and plateau and plateau, and then I have to work really, really, really hard to finally get you to come, and then it’s 5 hours later, and I’m exhausted, and then I get to have pie? Marilyn, I just want to have pie.” ME: “Fine.” But secretly saying: That outfit looks really good on me, dude, and I put it on your freakin’ credit card and it was expensive. Enjoy your pie.

We developed this really intense way of hating each other by the end there. But I didn’t feel good about it. I was always feeling so intensely guilty. About just being me.

I left Wayne 15 years ago.  And I didn’t really learn how to let go of all my intense guilt until last year.  Seriously. Last year. When I moved out to the Hinterlands and left everything and everyone I knew behind me in a city in Ohio that I despised. A city I had returned to because I thought it was going to make sense for me to do that, but I was wrong. The only thing right about that move back was that I finally went into Divinity School full-time and became a minister, after years of fits & starts doing that in NYC.

I make jokes about my being a sinner in regards to my ministry and my fetishes, but I really did have a tough time accepting that I was a fetishist when I went into the ministry.  I didn’t go blithely into that. I really did examine myself and what I thought Jesus was saying to me.  I really do believe that Jesus couldn’t care less what my sex life is like; what the contents of my mind is like. He wants me to love people, and to try my best to love people as he would love people, and then of course, bring people to him if it seems like that is what the person is seeking to make them feel whole.

So I guess what really bothers me most, as I look back on all these passages of my life, because I suddenly have a Muse that is so alluring and so inspiring and keeps showing me these unexpected passages of my life — what is bothering me the most is seeing how I allowed myself to get so tangled up with who I was or wasn’t supposed to be, so many judgmental voices in my head, that I couldn’t really hear what anyone was trying to say to me. For years. I only listened to the harshest voices. I blocked out so much love because that’s what I had been taught to do.

I feel terrible about that. I’m trying not to let it weigh me down, though. I’m trying to just look on it as “yesterday” and let today be brand new. Wide open. More loving.

And if I spend more and more time with the Muse right now and less and less time with actual people for awhile, it’s going to be a really good thing. Yesterday, my Hurley Falls Mysteries blew wide open for me, when I was least expecting it.  Suddenly, around 10 AM yesterday morning, the Muse put an awesome picture in my head and I realized, oh my god, this is Hurley Falls! So I sat down at my desk right away, re-wrote what I’d written a couple weeks ago, then wrote 14 more pages that I absolutely loved, finished Chapter One and was at it until 8 o’clock last night.  Even though I was sick the whole time. But that was ecstasy. For me, there is nothing finer in the world.

So it’s working out. My life is working out. I still keep certain people’s energies away from me at all costs because I can’t balance them; still happily isolate myself out here in the Hinterlands, but I’m letting a lot of other people off the hook, as well as allowing that for myself, too. And the results I’m seeing, just in my writing, are just exquisite. I am so blessed.

Mob Guys Pt. 2

I’m still in my PJs. My cup of coffee is here on the desk beside me and is still actually piping hot and not old & cold, like it usually is by the time I’m at my blog. I haven’t even done my morning meditation yet; I’m blogging instead. Why? Because life these days just astounds me.

I was so very tired when I crashed last night. For 2 days, I’ve had a sore throat, and I know it’s because I’m trying to process the rape stuff for my memoir without actually screaming anymore.  Instead, you know, just a constant sore throat.

But at 4 AM this morning, yet again, my eyes open. And I’m thinking, this is not the Muse this time. This is just this awful sore throat waking me up. But then suddenly I get the impulse to check my email.

I really did feel like shit and just wanted to roll over, hug my pillow, and try to go back to sleep, but instead, I grab my phone off the night table and start checking my email… And then my heart stops beating. Holy Christ. There’s an email from Facebook alerting me that Mob Guy #2 has sent me a message through Facebook messenger.

How terribly surreal.

Of course, at first I just sort of, you know, freaked out. Too many thoughts at once, the primary one being, But I haven’t written anything about you yet, and all of it was going to be good, I swear!

And then of course the next primary thought was: Oh my god, he’s been reading my blog.

You know, it’s hard to be a public person, to be the kind of writer I’ve been, and to want to write a memoir and be truthful without being hurtful, without short-changing myself, but without, you know, exposing people or just being cruel. I have so many complicated feelings about this memoir and the blog is how I try to sort it all out. You know, how do I feel about being public with all this?

When Neptune & Surf first came out, I had already been writing erotica for over 10 years, but the book was the first time I had ever done anything so high-profile. So “out in the open.” Suddenly, my doorman is reading it. My hairdresser. My accountant. My father. It was one thing to have total strangers read it, at far-flung distances all over the world and, for the most part, respond really well to it. Another, to be the physical woman who wrote it; who is standing right next to you.  Who knows nothing about the private thoughts that are in your head but now you know everything about mine.  It felt exposing, obviously.

But even though I was writing graphically about oral sex and anal sex and handjobs and  sex with pregnant girls on the boardwalk in Coney Island, and BDSM sex among ex-nuns, and brutal explicit gang- bangs, and, yes, a Great Dane named “Pepper.” I was always writing about love. Trying to help my characters find their dignity through love, and, like real life, they also had a lot of sex while doing it.

Readers don’t always see that love in there, though, or that struggle to find dignity. They see the sex and then they put me into whatever category their mind needs to put me in. I’m okay with it now. I’ve been at this for over 3O years.

However, a memoir is just so different. There are no characters to filter my personality through. It’s my life. And, of course, there are other people in it — in my life.  My memoir isn’t meant to be an erotic memoir. But at the same time, most people simply don’t buy my books when they’re not erotic in some way.  You know, I can offer a really well written, 600 page work of literature that took me 10 years to write, and most people still choose to buy a  really, really, really old short story, like “Anal,” for the very same price.

This is not a judgment. It’s only an observation. If you’re a fan of the story “Anal” it’s totally okay with me. I like the story, too. It was the first story of mine that really sort of knocked it out of the park. After the popularity of that story, my work began to get published everywhere. I had no story left unsold. (And, yes!, “Anal” is basically true. That woman was real. We had a blast. We were out of our minds and really jaded. It’s okay if you like reading about it. I had fun living it.)

But a memoir. So many things in my life were not so fun. But mob guy #2 — he was actually a high point. He was 20 years after mob guy #1. I was, of course, married. Cheating. High stakes insanity overtaking my life before my marriage completely died.  But he was a high point, because, among other things, he was level-headed and — unlike me — often deadly serious. “Marilyn, stop yer shit.” He used to say this to me and it would make me so fucking pissed-off.

This morning, 5:30 AM, I sat at the table in my still-dark kitchen, having already read his surreal message sent to me through Facebook Messenger. I drank my first cup of coffee, in the dark, and chuckled. I was shaken but also chuckling. A lot more had come back to me than I’d remembered before reading his message. “Marilyn, stop yer shit.” That came back to me. I was so full of fucking shit back then and not many people thought to tell me to just knock it off. But he did. This morning, I found that kind of funny.  He never, ever took my shit. But he could be nice. And was very considerate of me.

I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to craft Mob Guys Pt. 2, but I knew it was going to focus on the reputation these guys have in the world, and how limiting it is to look at them from only that view. They are notoriously clear-cut about their boundaries, but when you’re not overstepping those boundaries (which can be kind of horrific), they have human hearts.

One of the main things I knew I was going to write about was how this guy was another man, besides my birth father, who was extraordinarily compassionate with me when I told him about what had happened to me back home, the rape, who the guy had been. I felt like he really listened to what I was saying, what I was confiding in him, and he empathized with my pain. I never forgot that afternoon, and this happened almost 20 years ago.

Yet, before I could write word one about it, here comes this message, through Facebook. I hardly ever go on Facebook. But I went on there at 4 AM to check his message. I was shaking, really. Part of it was exhaustion, but the other part was, Oh my god, what did I say? What horrible line have I unknowingly crossed? I haven’t written anything yet!

It was the most beautiful message.

He called me on the carpet for a couple things, mostly that I had been a little demanding for a woman who was cheating on her husband.  But mostly he said a lot of beautiful, emotional things, and he wrote about that afternoon when I finally told him about what had happened to me.

He remembered everything about it. The bed we were in, the apartment we were borrowing, the thing he inadvertently said to me during sex that had started me hyperventilating; then me finally talking about what had happened, him holding me while I cried.

We are talking about one afternoon, almost 20 years ago. And he remembered every detail. He really, really was listening to me. And he never forgot my pain. His message really threw me for quite a loop. But in a really good and unanticipated way.

I tell you, these 4 AM wake-up calls from the Muse — I am, truly, exhausted, gang. But I just feel really, really blessed.