Okay, so, that Conversation Nick Cave had again in Helsinki last night looked like it was just incredible.
Even though people were clearly stating that they weren’t permitted to use their phones during the show, several of them just seemed overcome and like they just had to do it, you know?
I, for one, don’t like to encourage bad behavior, but, wow, I was thrilled that some of them broke some of those rules. He did an amazing version of “Stagger Lee.” I got to hear about 40 seconds of it on Instagram. And then he sang “Mermaids” to this young girl who had a bow in her hair and who sat next to him on the piano bench!!!! (“Mermaids”? Really? We’re going there, and she’s still young enough to have a bow in her hair?? I loved it.)
Next is Norway, I think. (I think it was the Norwegians who were diabolical last time and posted all their Instagram photos in black & white, making me fitfully unable to figure out what color his suit was. But I’ve moved on. I’ve accepted it. For whatever reason, he steadfastly refuses to where that beautiful blue suit when he’s in Conversation. He does the tan-grey-brown thing, instead.)
Okay. I’ve been working on the 2nd Letter for my memoir-in-progress, Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. It’s posted below. It’s a work-in-progress, gang, so please overlook any typos or anything. And now I must get back to revisions of Tell My Bones. I will be in NYC in 21 days… Right.
I love you guys! Thanks for visiting. See ya!
(Excerpt from Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. Contains sexually graphic material and won’t be appropriate for all readers.)
A Beach to His Waves
Ten plus three; I see now that it’s only a handful of years. It was how long I waited. Thirteen years. I don’t know where you were or what you were doing when I was thirteen, but I was in a heck of a panic. I was in love with a boy who wanted to have intercourse and I did not know what it was. I did not know what that meant – to “fuck.”
I was naïve. And that made him impatient with me.
That summer afternoon, he walked off in a huff; fed up with me. My pants were still down around my knees. I did not know what I was supposed to do, what it was he wanted – this thing that I knew darn well other older girls were doing with him.
In a sleeping bag, after midnight in someone’s backyard, for instance. I heard those girls talking on the school bus.
That boy I loved was so beautiful that those girls on the bus were jealous of the girl who’d been in the sleeping bag. They were all older girls; they didn’t even know I existed or that I was listening to them. They had no clue that he was spending any time with me.
I wanted to be that girl he’d been with in the sleeping bag, but I didn’t understand anything. “You’re too young,” he snapped at me when he realized I did not even know what an erection was for and so he put it back in his jeans.
Still, in that way I had of loving back then, and now always will love, I wanted to give to that boy whatever it was he wanted. I just needed to figure out what that was.
* * *
You should have seen her. My best friend’s older sister. She was the sweetest, prettiest girl you’ve ever laid eyes on. She was 15; she had tits & hips to die for, to envy whenever she showed up at the local swimming pool in her snow-white bikini and all the boys went haywire.
She had already gone with a couple of them to that grassy lot behind the movie theater, after dark on Saturday nights, so I knew she would be the one who could tell me what it was I needed to know.
She told me, all right. I could not believe my ears. That thing’s gonna go where? How?
She had the prettiest smile; to see it could make you light up inside. She laughed at me. She said, “Don’t worry. You get wet – you know? It’ll all work out.”
That part I did know, that getting wet business. I didn’t understand that at all, either. But it was a relief to know that somehow, she knew.
* * *
That summer, the boy taught me how to play euchre, and how to play poker, and we drank whisky and played records and smoked cigarettes together. Sometimes we smoked weed with other boys he knew, and one evening, a sixteen-year-old threw himself on top of me and tried to fondle me, with force. The boy pulled him off and said, “Stop it, you’re hurting her!”
And in private, when I would hope he’d touch me again, he still told me I was too young. But if he wouldn’t even try, how was I ever going to learn? And I wanted to make him happy, so that he wouldn’t go off with the older girls.
So, I found an older guy – a grown man, in fact – who was willing to help. I was tall. He thought I was seventeen; old enough to have what it was I wanted.
When he found out I was thirteen, we were naked on his bed and his dick was getting ready to go in.
What the hell? He was stunned when he found out how old I was. He told me to go home.
I hadn’t meant to deceive him. It just hadn’t come up – my age. “No! Please please please, don’t make me leave. I need you to show me how to do this thing. I really really need your help.”
I literally begged him. So he showed me how it was done and it was the last time I had to beg a man to do it.
* * *
From the beginning, I didn’t like intercourse. I could not understand what the big deal was. It hurt and that was about it. But the boy really liked it and that made me happy, to finally be able to do that for him, and so we became inseparable.
Until he died. Later that summer.
After him, it was just fucking. For the longest time.
* * *
I remember all the guys I fucked, of various ages, when I was a teenager (8). I remember the guys from the high school who raped me (2). I don’t really remember all those guys who assaulted me after school, that autumn in the woods after the boy died, because there were too many in that pack – I only remember that, at the time, I knew every one of them.
I remember every girl I kissed (4), and the ones who kissed me – really kissed me – back (2).
I remember the girl with the long red hair, who was covered in freckles, who begged me not to leave her bed when we were in college. That narrow, single bed we tried to sleep in together. Luckily, we were both skinny. But I had a broken heart. Another girl, one I had loved, had turned on me – one of the ones who wouldn’t kiss me back.
That was all by the time I was eighteen.
I remember a full moon in February that shown down on the frozen snow the following year, and the trap that was laid for me that night. An urgent phone call from my mother’s boyfriend: he needed to tell me something important about my mother. He was crying. A grown man, crying on the phone. I was alarmed. I met him in a parking lot that he had picked out and I got into his truck. We drove and drove and drove, while he told me his sad story. He took me to a farm in the moonlight. In the old farmhouse, he offered me something to drink so I took it. He’d drugged me; just that quick. Then stripped me out of my clothes. Raped me for 8 hours, on the cold floor in that old house on the moonlit farm in the snow. I still have no idea where we were. And everyone said I’d seduced him, even my friends said that.
So I left Ohio and I went to New York, where people defined that word seduction very differently.
* * *
“Aren’t you afraid of going to New York City all alone; a girl like you?”
Everyone asked me that, as I was packing to leave.
I was more afraid of staying in Ohio.
* * *
The men in New York. They did Life in a whole different way. Kinky ways. Inviting ways. And sometimes things that sounded brutal to me at first, ended up being really fun. A lot of the men even made love and that was something I’d never experienced before; real lovemaking. Sophisticated stuff.
The women in New York were the same way. They were tough but they made love. And they owned fake dicks – in all shapes and sizes and colors. I’d never seen those before. At last, I learned to love intercourse – from being with women, even though their dicks were fake. They knew how to use them on a girl, and better than some of the guys I’d known who’d had real ones.
Intercourse is a strange thing. If you think about it too much, it can make you crazy. Why does the girl have that hole, and why does the guy put his thing in it? Who thought that up? It’s kind of creepy. And why do some women decide that they don’t need a man to do that and go buy something at the store instead?
Fill that hole. Why? And why does it suddenly feel so good once you finally learn how to like it?
* * *
For a long time, I was only comfortable doing it with men the way dogs did it – from behind. I needed sex; as much as I could get. But I didn’t want men getting too close – and intercourse, the sheer closeness of it? Too intimate. I needed men to keep their distance; stick to the other side of the barricade, please. I had a heart that was too breakable, secured precariously behind walls of steel.
Whenever possible, I’d turn my back on men when we fucked. It was the only way I could really relax about it.
By then, I didn’t really trust anybody.
Most of the men I was with were fun. I knew how to have a lot of sex without letting anything matter. Actually, I didn’t know how to let anything matter.
I didn’t know how to love men. As far as I could remember, I had never really been loved. Oh, maybe once, by a boy. But real love? That was a skill I had never been taught.
* * *
This is what sex looks like when you’ve made a career out of not being in love. And watch out, it’s coming right at you. Dirty words, patiently crafted, carefully chosen to assault your brain. Freeze it there, right on that filthy word. Vulva, in this instance. Now that’s a weird word. No, it’s not. Look what it does when you touch it – your fingertips almost weightless upon it, just lightly petting over those impossibly soft lips once you’ve pulled her panties down just a little bit. She’s vulnerable like this, exposed from her hips to her knees, so you whisper in her ear and kiss her neck just below her earlobe, where you know she likes it. She smells good there. She did that for you, you know – made herself smell good where she knew you would probably kiss her. You’re gonna get her to agree to all sorts of naughty things now because of what you’re doing; kissing her, lightly stroking those pussy lips. She trusts you. And now she’s tugging her panties all the way off, kicking them to the floor and her thighs are parting. And that vulva, it spreads open for you; revealing that slippery world that sometimes seems so unfathomable with all its folds: lips engorged now with lust while she kisses you back – lust that you caused because you touched it, her secret place. There it is under your fingertips, her clit, slippery and stiff now, easy to find. Just wiggle it a little. It’s almost too responsive. The gasp that comes out of her mouth when you rub that stiff little thing sounds almost scary; it’s too breathless, too passionate as she holds you tight, her legs spread just for you, for your fingers. She sounds so much like a woman now, gasping right there in your ear – like maybe she’s gonna want you to marry her. But don’t fall for it. Your dick’s on a mission and we’re gonna get you there. Move you past her little piss hole that’s so easy to see now because she’s got her legs spread that wide, she’s that shameless, her knees to her tits, and so you can see everything, even that tiny piss hole that sometimes makes you wonder in your delirium what would it feel like if she planted her soaking pussy right on my mouth and just pissed in it? We won’t tell anybody you’re thinking that, though; this story is just between you and your brain. And now here’s the main hole, the hole your dick came for; it is wide open and waiting, that hole that dreams are made of. And she is fully aroused. She’s so wet, it’s dripping out of her. Your dick is gonna slide right in. Now she’s likely to do anything.
It pinches off your reason, those dirty words, while your dick just floods with it – pay dirt.
It’s not as immediate as a dirty picture. It’s not some girl with her shaved pussy spread open, getting stuffed for the camera. Words don’t jump right in your face. They inch in and make love to you, through neurons and synapses and – oh god, here they come – hormones. Now you’re in love. In love with yourself and with all those dirty pictures in your head that know just who you are and how you like it. What she’s willing to do when nobody else is around. She’s gonna take it where? It’s gonna feel how? They will make it feel smooth as silk – those dirty words that weave into pictures that nobody else but you can see.
Then it goes down a step deeper – dirtier words, forming sentences that are creating pictures that not even you can believe. Oh man, this girl’s really going for it, like some dog in heat.
No, she’s not. It’s just a picture in your head, but it feels so magnetic because it came from inside of you. That’s right, down inside of you. Where God lives.
But don’t try to touch me in real life. I don’t go there.
* * *
When I entered my fifties, I met a man who was getting ready to die. When we started having sex, he said, “I love you, Marilyn.”
I didn’t believe him, even though I wanted to. I wanted to believe him but my brain was too filled with doubt; it was the one thing I knew how to feel towards a man. So I would just look away.
He said, “Look at me. No, just look at me for a minute. What’s with you? I love you, Marilyn. Why is it so hard for you to accept that?”
It just was. I didn’t want to tell him why. Who wants to talk about rape when a man is looking at you like he thinks you’re beautiful?
“Look at me. I love you. Don’t turn away.”
But who was I to make eye contact? I still hadn’t conquered my fear of being held.
We had a lot of sex; a lot of it. Two, three times a day. Because he was going to die. And it was the best sex I’d ever had in my life. Just the best. Because he forced me to look him in the eye and really hear him when he told me that he loved me. Eventually, he had to shout at me; to demand that I be there with him in the intimate bond that his last understanding of physical life was depending on. And I finally heard. By then, I’d been having sex for nearly forty-five years, and my heart finally came into the bed.
It seemed like bookends, really: one boy was young and so full of life; I loved him innocently and he led me into sex and then died. The other was an older man, at the end of life. And he taught me how to accept sex that involved being loved, and then he died.
This is what I learned, finally: Love will save you. It’s that simple. Love will restore you to yourself. A man on top of me, a man in my arms, my legs wrapped around him as he has intercourse with me and if I allow myself to love him – it’s the best feeling there is. I become a beach to his waves. A place that’s open and endless and taking that repeated pounding; those eternal waves of love.
* * *
When I was a young girl, love came so easily to me. I saw a boy and that was that. I loved him and I knew it. I was not plagued with doubt. I was in, sink or swim; a young beach to his waves without knowing it. And now, I see you and it feels just as easy. It has become simple again. I love you. I’m in, sink or swim. Ready for you, that wave of you, to crash into the depths of me.
© – 2019 Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse