I used to be able to sleep in, sometimes for hours. I can’t seem to do that any more. I have this love/hate relationship with waking early, especially when I don’t have to. Lately, though, it has been worse because once my brain wakes up it jumps immediately into trying to figure things out. Like, can I afford the house we just looked at which my daughter and I both loved. If I do such and such, will it help or hinder? What in my budget can I cut back on so the mortgage payment will not squeeze us half to death?
Then there are other things, too. Things that at times makes me feel like I’m walking a tight rope. Then other things which my subconscious just insists on replaying over and over again until I finally let it get my attention.
I have probably asked myself a million times in my life, “how can I be so stupid?” Why does it take me so long to see things, to understand things, to look at something and see the potential I had thrown away? Why could I not have seen the potential at the time before it was too late to do anything about it? Am I doing that now? Will I let that happen now?
All day yesterday a particular memory kept surfacing, it invaded my thoughts like someone taking a stick and poking me repeatedly even though I kept telling the person to stop poking me. As soon as my back was turned, “jab” I would get poked again. What the hell? Why wouldn’t it just leave me alone?
Sure we all have memories that will come to mind from time to time. Memories that might make us sad, or happy, or embarrassed or whatever. Most times we look at them, file them back and go on. It was fun, or sometimes embarrassing to look at them again. But we do it and then move on. This is normal as something in the moment might remind us of the past.
Yesterday though, I found myself, filing it away, over and over again until after my daughter went to bed, I finally sat down with my keyboard and a blank white screen before me. My version of paper and pencil. As I do with all my poetry, I let the words flow, only pausing now and then to choose another word, or at times to adjust a phrase. This time I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write poetry or write a story, all I knew is I had to stop shoving the memory back into its file folder and trying to get rid of it. A cursory glance when it surfaced just wasn’t enough for my subconscious to let it go. So I sat and wrote:
I wish I could go back in time and take with me all that I know in this time, in this place, in this universe. I wish I could go back, take a moment, just one moment, own it and make it mine with the knowledge I have right now, in this moment, in this time.
I would take that moment, when he first kissed me, when he first touched me, when he first tasted me and open my eyes, open my mind, open my world to encompass all the emotions, embrace them, understand them, welcome them, hold them within me.
I would take that moment, that moment of fear, when he asked me, that one little moment, that had become that singular moment of regret, which closed a door, slamming it between us, in that one singular moment, of lost understanding.
I would take that moment and flip it, send into it this moment, this now of this time, with all this which I have learned, flip it, and turn the fear, into what it could have, should have, was meant to be, a moment to embrace, to feel, to learn, to step within, and across a threshold, into what was, what is, what he offered.
I wish I could go back in time, to feel, to learn, to grow, to step across into and welcome that which this man, so confident and sure, so enticingly enigmatic, so unquestionably erotic, offered completely swamping me so completely, he could not see.
He could not see, my drowning effervescence, my floundering need to breathe, to slow, to grasp to comprehend, to learn, to not burst into flames, or not drown in the flood of desire, to not barge through barred gates.
I would if I could sink into the depths embracing while whispering, please, please, don’t drown me, don’t flood me, but slip beneath the surface with me, gently, compassionately, intimately, respectfully, lead me, chase away what is so near which makes me want to slip from you in fear.
I have not changed a single word. Reading it now, it is so different from how I’ve written poetry and stories. Like everything I write, I am surprised. The only thing I left out were my thoughts following its writing, which are these:
There once was a young man.
I remember this young man and the young woman child I have been.
He comes to my mind interestingly today for today is a day in which I can feel fear hovering just below the surface. This fear is close enough doubt surfaces which makes me question just what it is I want in this life.
I wondered why the memory of this young man would come to haunt me today. I know the memory of him has something to teach me. So… I let the memories of him dance its way around in my thoughts until I came upon its subtle message. I don’t remember exactly when he appeared in my life, only that he was one of my earlier lovers and even so, he was just a moment in time, we met, we loved, and we went our separate ways all in one day. Would it have been different if things had not gone the way they had? I’ll never know for sure one way or the other. Confident men in my life have been rare, of those exhibiting confidence, well let us just say they did not have my best interest in mind but were self-absorbed pricks. This man may have well been one as well, or he could have been just too young still in his confidence to understand the power it had over someone like me and just what effect it would have.
I stopped writing at that point because as in everything I self-examine, self-analyze, which has persisted in its presence, I finally understood why. I had finally alighted upon why now, after so many years, it had persisted so adamantly in having me examine it to its fullest. Why did it wait so long? The only answer I have to that is it wasn’t time until now.
What I never understood was the confidence this man had, the methods he employed were none other than those of a dominant man. I suspect he may not have even realized it at the time that he was exhibiting traits of a Dom, however very early in his explorations and growth. I had no idea at the time that I was a submissive and therefore ended up feeling overwhelmed, and frightened. And maybe he was like me and had no idea he was a Dominant.
Until now, I didn’t even realize he had invoked all those feelings that would surface months into a relationship that would have me running away in fear. And he did it in one single night. I was floored by his directness, his desire to give me pleasure beyond anything I had ever experienced before in my life, and shocked that he would voice so clearly his desires for me to please him in particular ways. I was so naive, so young, so inexperienced, all I could do was shake my head ‘no’ and bury my head in his shoulder in shame because I didn’t know the first thing about how to do the things he wanted. And my voice was paralyzed, frozen.
I never saw at the time what gift he was offering me until I examined this memory yesterday. I do however remember when I walked back home to my own dorm, how I felt. I knew I would never see him again and I wished I had the guts to go back and explain but I never did. And as I had thought I never saw him again.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret the moment in time I had with him. All my regrets have always stemmed from my own inadequacies to communicate and to understand in the moment how I was feeling. The arousal, the amazing sex, that was not hard to see or understand. What was difficult was why I could not talk, why I would feel my vocal chords become paralyzed. And he lacked the skill in helping me to unlock them or he didn’t care. Either way the result was the same.
But also, I was still denying any need to analyze anything. I was so young and naive, I thought when I met the right person, my vocal cords would magically not become paralyzed, I would be able to talk freely and openly about anything, and our lives would be magical. It is hard to believe just how long I clung onto that belief.
Yesterday, I felt the fear surfacing, I was feeling the need to run and hide from something wonderful that was being offered to me. I was reminded by the surfacing of this memory what regrets I could have if I let my fears rule me and let those fears encourage me to walk away.
The Universe is giving me another chance. I must keep reminding myself and asking myself, “Do I want to repeat my mistakes? Do I want to chuck it all away just because I am afraid?”
It is easy now to say, “No” to those two questions now that the fear has been subdued. It isn’t so easy to stick to that conviction when the fear is tapping me on my shoulder and wrapping its steely arms around me, squeezing me, and preventing me from breathing.
“Breathe” Kate, “Breathe”