We’re Standing On The Edge Of A Precipice

In the past few months the world has seen a marked increase in extremism, from all sides of the field. International tensions are peaking, and each of the countries involved have internal issues that fail to be resolved. Even in a country like the United States, random shootings have become a despairingly common occurrence. Religious institutions have moderated themselves a lot in recent years, but other fringes of society have popped up to feed into a neo conservative frenzy that threatens to become militant at any moment.

All around, we see that people want to be proud, and the first thing that comes up to many is national identity. Patriotism is a commendable trait, but history has multiple examples of what happens when the patriotic fires are left to burn for too long. And yet, despite having perfect examples of nationalism gone wrong as common knowledge, people still fall into choosing loyalty over practicality. Just because you love something, doesn’t mean it’s flawless. Patriotism means wanting your country to be great because you and your compatriots will make it great; it’s not because you’ll be imposing that greatness upon others.

The same issues are seen across the board in other fields, too. The religious right pitted against the secular left, but also fighting the religious moderates. Catholicism’s move towards the center was refreshing, but it also creates a power vacuum for those who relied on a storied institution to back their fundamentalist views, and the fight for who gets to fill that gap is drawing all sides to radicalize. Hyperbolic pronouncements that were the trade of banana republic personalities are now seen in the higher echelons, while everybody feels like their neighbor is persecuting them, bringing paranoia into the streets… It’s crazy out there.

This isn’t humanity’s first go round in the existentialist roulette game, and we can surely survive this one, stronger and fiercer than we currently are. But a lot of us are getting killed before such balance can be regained.

Blurs

When we both tried to make shit castles in the pit to feel better about our decadency, we built them separately, with a wary eye towards the other, sometimes disdainful, other times seemingly uncaring, but always watching.

I never saw anything unusual in it. We are greedy hedonists of the highest order, and giving up on someone we may have possibly had goes against our core. Our core. Touching her, tracing her cheekbones down to her jawline, admiring at once each detail of her face, the slight curves of her nose, full lips that look pouty when resting, amber pools that make me want to dive in them… such beauty was beyond my own vivid imagination, and the person behind it all a woman who I could not believe was real. She could match passion for passion, and challenged me in ways no one else did. Always affectionate, and sometimes selfishly so, as a master to a pet. The other times are the affections of someone who wants your attention on her and nothing else at all, not even yourself. Such selfishness was beyond me, but it could draw you in if you weren’t careful.

Sometimes, I wonder if I’ve already been drawn in, and am just deluding myself into thinking that I can still walk away. 

Enough Fire Can Melt Anything

She has the most amazingly stunning green eyes, vivid emerald that glow with her moods, and when I first saw her I couldn’t help but notice that. I’ve loved green eyes, but since that pair all the other ones I’ve seen have been judged by their standard (completely unfair, but I couldn’t help it). She’s beautiful, a woman whose cheekbones I’m proud to say were inherited well, but her eyes have always held their own, even beside her considerable character.

That is because her eyes are always intense when she’s in a mood, and it’s impossible for me to describe any action of hers without noting how her eyes look at the moment. Her eyes are portals into one of the most intriguing minds I’ve encountered. I don’t think of them as calm eyes because their owner is anything but calm.

Charismatic as can be, it’s always baffled me how someone who holds such strong views on sensitive subjects can make people around her feel completely at ease in her presence. I try to mentally warn them, “She’ll skin you alive if you give her half a chance. That’s all she’d need. Run!” But when I’ve tried, all I get are condescending pats, and I’m left to watch this woman, hands over curvy hips and pouty lips doing what they do best, make the world her little playground. She’s a hunter, and yet even those she hunts are so charmed by her manner and how she just gets them, that suddenly they’re offering themselves to her wishes. Something that I’ve wanted to do effortlessly for so long, and to her it’s no different than breathing.

Fiery and focused, she is a force to be reckoned with. As my stumbles in life kept placing her in increasingly awkward situations, she never faltered in presenting herself as the perfect queen, commanding voice behind a smile that expressed empathy for the hassles caused but the only way something acceptable could be accomplished is by following her lead. Her courtesy, warm enough for others not to suspect just how coldly she felt about some of them, masked the passionate girl who wanted to do nothing more than to enjoy the world. She loves admiring things and experiencing all the wonders the world has to offer, but feels that she won’t be able to do so without taking charge and making sure no one around her is willing to screw her over. Part of that desire for enjoyment spills into a very nurturing woman who would care for those she watched over with unrivaled competence and a tenderness that warmed cold moods.

When she is by my side, I feel like I can accomplish anything. I may not get things right the first time, but that would just mean that my next attempt will be that much fiercer; we’re deeply competitive, and the only way a loss can be easily dealt with is if it comes right before a roaring victory. It’s not the safest policy, but when I’m beside a person who can be as determined as me if given the right motivation obstacles seem more like temporary inconveniences; enough fire can melt anything. It is definitely a risk, and I may end up worse than when I burned out before, but I couldn’t live with myself if I let a chance like this pass without giving it my all.

A little attempt at free verse

I have a song in my mind,
and it serenades a fire in my chest that burns deep and warms my coldest nights.
My legs already itch to join the dance floor,
reminding me that I’ve danced to these tunes before,
back when my hair was fully dark and my eyes hadn’t witnessed as many storms.
Now that silver streaks decorate locks and scars snug intimately with flesh,
there is no guarantee that each step will go the same as with my last round.
Confidence from experience only does so much,
and I’m actually more hesitant to take steps that crushed my toes before.
Hesitation has no place on this dance floor,
and a man who hesitates is a man who will miss the crucial step.
The song serenading my fire still sings strong,
but a melody in my mind can’t ensure I do this right,
and there wouldn’t be a reason to make the effort if that couldn’t be the case.
Amber eyes blazing from behind prominent lashes,
pouty rouge lips set in a half smirk and burgundy braids
framing a pale face that hides steel under exquisite delicacy,
are all that I needed to remember that it wouldn’t matter if I missed a step,
so long as I could do so with her arms around me.

Be Careful Who You Follow Home

I felt her warm breath against my cheek as my hands went into their usual reconaissance mission around her body, feeling every uncovered part of skin there was to feel. She nibbled my ear, which made me squirm, and I answered my putting my mouth on her upper neck, my teeth touching her skin while my tongue zig-zagged around the area. She moaned at the feeling of my wet tongue against her skin; smirking to myself, I went for the kill by closing in on her neck, my teeth biting her slightly, at the same time that my right hand went around her thigh and squeezed.

Her response was just as I had expected it to be. In a matter of seconds, I was slammed to the bed, while she threw herself on top of me, wrapping both legs around my waist in the process, and letting a growl escape her throat. I looked up at her emerald eyes, hers vicious while mine smirking, I got you now against I don’t think so yet. She cocked her head to the side, as if to challenge my unspoken statement, and I raised my eyebrows to confirm it. That did it for her.

With another feline growl, my shirt went off, ripped buttons flying through the air; missiles in the battlefield that was this hotel bed. Before I could reach for her, she had my arms pinned to each side of the bed, her hands on my wrists, and squeezed. “Ow!” I protested, as I felt my hand about to lose circulation.

She looked at me, her green eyes once emerald, now radioactive. “You think this is rough?”

I smiled at her, defiant. “Please! This is nothing.”

She smirked back, and swooped down towards me. “I was hoping you’d think that”, she said in a tone that warned me that this was going to be one rough night… Before I could do anything about it, her lips were on mine, and I inmediately felt how my body became still, posing no resistance to her. I’m no cockcroach; without a head, my body wasn’t able to do anything.

And how could I possibly keep my head? All I could register was the sweet fragance of her perfume, which should be banned and only used with a written prescription, the silkiness of her long black hair brushing against my cheeks, the softness, oh what a marvel, of her lips as they slowly grinded along with mine, and the feel of her tongue as it danced a complicated, yet graceful, duet with mine, moving sometimes around my mouth, sometimes around hers…

It was too much. In a second’s notice, I regained my self-control, this time to do unto her what she has obviously been begging me to do to her through her actions. I growled, making her pull apart from our kiss and look at me quizzically, and moved up, intending to grab her, throw her against the mattress, and indulge her so much that she’d need a wheelchair for weeks. Instead of looking scared, however, she looked smug. In half a second, I noticed why:

As I tried to stand up, I realized I couldn’t. Looking around, I noticed that my hands were tied to the bedpost. Shit. She probably took advantage of my moment of subconsciousness and tied me here. “What the fuck!”

She smirked maliciously, as she stepped off the bed. “You thought I was going to be just an easy lay, huh?” She shook her head as she walked towards a black trunk across the room. She turned to me, and I could see the insane gleam in her eyes. “Or maybe that I’d try and play it a bit rough, but that you’ll eventually take control and put me down?” She barked a rough laugh, and turned back to her mysterious trunk. “You seriously had no idea what was coming to you, did you?” And with that, she opened it…

She walked towards me, with a cat o’ nine tails in her hands and a fierce determination in her eyes that, to my horror, had nothing to do with sexual pleasure. She pulled her lips back into a snarl, took a leap that landed her right on top of my tied-up body, and growled: “God, how long have I waited for this!”

I just looked at her, prey to the snake’s charm as it bites its food to pieces…

She stared at me, and in her eyes I could see the meaning behind those words. She was…hungry; there was no other way to put it. She looked at me as if she’d been searching for me for a while, just to do whatever depraved thing she was going to do to me tonight.

She noticed my calculating stare and smiled. “Catching up here, aren’t we?” She rocked a little bit, grinding her crotch area, which was not covered by such mundane things as underwear, with mine, which made me shiver involuntarily. “Who knows?” she pretended to ponder, “While you try to figure this out”, she dropped down, laying on top of me, her face inches from mine; I felt something leathery around my throat this time as her eyes got that insane gleam again, “we can play some little games.”. She dropped her head by my side, so that her soft lips brushed againt my ear; as her left hand tickled my Adam’s apple slightly and her right hand nails pierced my back, she whispered seductively: “Who knows? You might enjoy them. I know I will…”.

I tried to get up, to make some sense of this before I fell too deep, but it was too late; when I moved, I felt the leather from the nine tails holding me down. She noticed this, too. “Now, we’re being a bad boy, aren’t we?” She shook her head in disapproval, and stepped back. “I guess we need to be disciplined, don’t we?”

I took a few deep breaths, mustering as much self-control as I could under these circumstances; it was hard, considering she was pretty much incapacitating me with her mind games. I managed enough to yell at her: “What the fuck is all this?! We don’t even have a safe word or anything!”

She looked at me, and I could’ve sworn I saw a red glint there. For a few seconds, there was no seductiveness, no sadistic playfulness; there was hate. Before I could make something of it, however, they had that sadistic gleam again, and she replied: “No safe word? But I was so sure there was one!” Her eyes narrowed, and I felt as if I was missing something. “Just strain your mind and remember; it shouldn’t be hard.”

Despite myself, I said: “I can barely manage to stay conscious with what you’re doing.”

She smiled, obviously complimented by what I said. “That’s the point, and that’s a good boy.” She walked towards where I was laying, and her hand lay between my legs. “Maybe we deserve a little reward, don’t we?”. Without saying anything else, she unzipped my fly, took my penis out, and in no time I was feeling like I was taking the express to heaven…or to a hell that I wouldn’t mind being a part of. The feel of her lips against my skin, her tongue doing figure eights around my foreskin, and of course the eventual feel of her pharynx against my one-eyed head…it was too much…

Then, something suddenly clicked into place…

The way she was doing it oddly matched a girl I knew…

Horrorstruck, I became painfully aware of the fact that I had been led into a trap by someone who already had a grudge on me. And the worst part of it was that right now she was blowing me in a way that didn’t let me think right, and before I knew it I slipped into one habit I could not afford to have right at this moment… “Massielle!”

Heaven stopped, the trip to the candy store got cancelled, and I was 100% back in this deranged hotel room that was my own personal hell. She had stopped playing her seductive games, as the sudden coldness in her tone let me know when she muttered “So you finally recognized the safe word, huh?”.

It hit me. For a split second, I knew it was going to happen. But there was nothing I could do to prevent it, nothing to move it or placate her; I felt like the most impotent being in the world…

And it happened. Simultaneously, taking advantage of the fact that her hand around my dick kept my erection steady, she bit through it, not enough to cut but enough to pierce, and with her free hand smashed my scrotum.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

She jumped on top of me and, in no time at all, her hand was covering my mouth. She leaned into me and, her eyes like the Antartic Circle, whispered: “Does it hurt, Joseph? Does it?” After I uncosciously nodded, she slapped me, her face disgusted. “That’s nothing! NOTHING! Compared to what you did to me psychologically, this is a walk in the fucking park!”

With the last thread of conscience I had active, I agreed with her in the fact that whatever I did messed her mind up more than she messed my balls. Self-preservation made me keep that thought to myself.

But she wasn’t done yet. With her left hand, which contained a faux-diamond ring I had bought her, she punched the right side of my face, adding to the already excruciating pain I was enduring. “You thought it was cool to leave, asking me to wait for you, and just” another punch “forget-about-ME?!” Each of the last three words was punctuacted by a blow to my left side.

After I gave her no answer (I wasn’t able to think properly), she stood up and took her purse. “You disgust me, you son of a bitch.” Saying that, she spit on me and turned to leave.

Mustering the little strenght I had left, I mumbled. “So you’re leaving me like this?”

She turned around, and in her eyes I saw the sadistic glint that once attracted me to her; I felt now nothing but terror at it. “Oh, I’m not done with you yet,” she crooned. “You made me waste two years of my life; I’ll be sure to get them back from you now.”

And with that, she left.

Master Of None

My big obsession when I became a teenager was with finding a soul mate. I didn’t receive or understand true affection when I was a kid, and I loved the idea of having someone who would care about me as much as I cared about them. With that in mind, I tried to take any chance that came my way of fulfilling this.

Thirteen years and countless stories later, I can see how badly I overshot it.

I dated. A lot. I met numerous women, and tried my best to make things work with each one. I wanted each my relationships to work out, just like everybody who starts dating does, but I was so deathly scared of letting go of a girl who may have been that coveted soul mate that I stayed in relationships until they burned out and we hated each other. I began early, and worked my way up so quickly that I have a nice little four-element breakdown of my relationships; who else could claim that?

I even followed the standard hero’s path of adventure, with a twist. I began my journey, realized that I was way in over my head, dug deeper down the rabbit hole to gain the knowledge I was so severely lacking, realized I was really in over my head and was forced to the sidelines, came back a little wiser and stronger with a calmer disposition and ready to accept my place under the sun, and found what I wanted: a woman I loved so much that I’d be willing to give up the rest of my life to be around her. When the complications came, I faltered, because I was forced into a decision where I could either: do the right thing and let her go until things in our lives were sorted properly; or do the passionate thing, tell everybody else to go screw themselves, and went for broke. I’ve watched enough TV to know that nothing good comes from the hero deciding to give up his morals for personal gratification. I did the right thing for a while, until it became painfully obvious that life wasn’t a fairy tale of morals but a wild jungle where one has to do whatever one can to survive.

When I tried contacting her about this, I found out she had recently died. Had I done the ‘wrong’ thing, she may not have been in a situation where she’d lose her life the way she did. Boy…that sucked.

It’s been over three years since all that went down. I took a few years to myself, and I was able to move on. I had wonderful friends around me, and I learned to apply a lot of the information I had gained by senselessly dating around. I was even able to have a relatively fruitful relationship…and failed afterwards. Now the girl hates my guts. But I’m not as bad off as I used to be.

What bothers me the most about all this is how long it took me to grasp a very key concept in dating: no matter how much I know beforehand, the best odds I’ll have of a relationship working out is 50/50. Same as if I knew nothing about relationships. I feel like I wasted my life looking for some way to improve my chances in something where I can’t actually cheat. I’ve seem complete dunderheads have amazing relationships, and some of my most emotionally capable friends have the worst kind of luck with relationships.

Billions of dollars are spent trying to figure out how to hold down a happy marriage, or simply a content relationship. Horoscopes, therapy, vacation escapades… Massive industries are fueled by this desire to help improve them odds towards getting one’s ideal significant other, but it’s all bullshit. It doesn’t really help, and if it did chances are it was a case of “they always had the potential inside them, and just needed an outlet to share it”. If anything, all this brou ha ha makes it worse, because it convinces people that the tools are the reasons relationships work out or fail. Tools are tools, and the success (or lack thereof) of a relationship hinges solely and exclusively on the people involved in it.

Why do we keep trying to make this a big deal? I get that it’s an essential personal journey, and I am not giving up at all on finding a suitable partner for myself, but could we just finally say that the emperor has no clothes, and dethrone those who call themselves “relationship experts”? There’s no such thing.

I’ve dated numerous people. I have loved, been loved, hated, and been on the top of numerous hit lists. All the while, I kept a close eye on my actions and monitored everything that happened, taking time to compare notes every now and then with others. I could publish motherfucking studies on this shit. My conclusion to my own unpaid, completely voluntary research, is: good luck, buddy, brace for the pain, and enjoy every moment you can.

The hour is late, at least according to the clock on the laptop screen. Any sense of space or time, however, has been left discarded with our phones and my coat lying by the door. The chilling vibes from her favorite playlist resonated through the room, the steady beats coming from the speakers stirring the already substantial tension in the room.

Her body was stretched across her bed, her pale skin a contrast with the black satin sheets sprawled haphazardly under her. The contrast was sharpened by how much skin was showing; a lacy brown thong was the only clothing covering up her ivory skin. She was looking at me, large dark brown eyes wide open, watchful of every move I made. Her short hair was draped over her left cheek, leaving her shaved right temple uncovered.  She was wearing minimal makeup, but the eyeliner and mascara were enough to underline her dark stare. Her rosy lips were set in a half pout against such piercing eyes, and when she saw me notice her pouting she outstretched a hand towards me. Her chin lowered, almost touching her collarbone and giving my eyes a nice tangential view of her bare breasts. Her eyes never moved from mine.

I unbuttoned my shirt, noting the intensity in the air. I could smell how badly she wanted me to come to her, along with the faint scent of vanilla lotion and burning sage. I downed the rest of my shot, breathing in the fragrances that underlined the idea of Laura in my mind. The real thing’s eyes narrowed ever so slightly, but I held my ground. Every second that passed just added more to the lust in the room, which was already thick enough to be felt. I slowly placed the shot glass down on her desk, then made my way to her, taking my time with each step. Her eyebrows raised ever so slightly, and I held my stare up to hers, losing myself into that dark abyss. If you want to be dramatic, dear, then I’ll give you dramatic. Her skin was already crawling with goosebumps, and I could tell that those looks she gave me back at the party were all anticipating this moment. I took a knee by her bed, my lips resting softly on her hip. The vanilla mixed with her natural scent felt like electricity coursing through my lungs, and it was all I could do not to break character and just ravish her right then and there.

She was ahead of me in that regard. Grabbing me by my unbuttoned shirt, she pulled me up towards her and kissed me. The taste of the sweet cloves she liked to smoke couldn’t distract me from the passion of her lips pressing against mine, our tongues intertwined while we tried to remove the rest of my clothes. Suddenly a sharp pain rang through my left cheek. “You lazy ass, you should’ve taken your clothes off before coming to bed!” I heard through the stinging reverbations left by her hand. She pushed me down face first on the bed, moving aside to stand above me once I fell, and pulled the rest of my clothes off. I tried turning around, but she climbed on top of me, her short frame nevertheless pushing hard against my back. “If you had been naked, all you would have had to do was remove my underwear, but since you wanted to be lazy, you can wait down there while I take it off myself.”

I couldn’t make a sharp move without potentially harming her, so I waited until I saw the thong thrown across the room to act. I twisted just enough to be able to get a hold of her, then pulled her down. She shrieked as I grabbed her, “What are you-!” until I covered her mouth with my lips, which made her quiet down…only to scratch my back hard. “Shhh, here, honey.”, she patted me soothingly when I cursed. “You’re a big boy. You can take that and more.”

I grabbed her wrists and pinned her down. Taking a few deep breaths to calm myself, I rasped. “That hurts, and you know it does if you do it too soon.”

Her eyes were unrepentant, and so was her tone. “Guys before you have suffered worse than a few scratches from me.” She smirked, which made her cheekbones stick out more. “I know it hurts. That’s why I did it.” She shifted up, and I released her wrists so she could sit up. She pulled my face close to hers, and whispered in my ear. “You could just man up already and accept it.”

Riding on the shivers that her breath caused, I ran my fingers through her hair. When I felt her tense up as my fingers slowly caressed her temples, I whispered back. “Accept what, exactly? Why must it always be a competition, dear?” I moved back, cupped her cheeks, and lay my forehead on hers, so our eyes were barely inches apart. “I love you, Laura. What more could you want from that? Must you be obsessed with winning?”

She smiled tenderly, holding my hand with hers. “You say such kind words, love. I would believe them more if you hadn’t tried to out-diva me earlier.” She pushed me back with both hands and more strength than I would expect from a girl who stood at 5’4 with heels, and I had to keep myself from sliding off the bed.

When I looked back at her, her smiling face was framed by her legs, which she had raised to wrap around my neck. I let my knees fall to the floor to get more comfortable, and just stared at her dark, dark eyes. She squeezed her thighs, which muffled her voice to me when she spoke. “Why do you insist so much in being stubborn? You criticize me for playing games, and yet you try so hard to beat me.”

After taking a second to process what she said (my heart pounding in my ears made her hard to hear), I replied: “You know me. I’m super competitive. Just like you, dear.”

She raised her legs slightly, still applying pressure. “Just like me?” She wiggled her legs. “You’re good, sweetheart, you’re very good.” She squeezed tighter. “But don’t flatter yourself too much.” She pulled her right leg back, until her foot was against my collarbone. “I, for one, wouldn’t be brought down to my knees so easily.”

“What?” I tried looking down, but she outstretched her legs again and applied pressure. “Ah, ah, ah.” she said in a singsong voice, shaking her index finger. “That’s a naughty boy.”

I stared. “Boy?”

She laughed. “Oh, don’t look so hurt! You’re a man everywhere it counts. You just happen to be a boy when it comes to controlling me.”

“Let me loose and we can discuss that in an appropriate manner.”

Her laugh was louder this time. “Oh, I love your jokes! You want me to give you a chance to take me down? Why would I let go of the position I have right now?” She shifted down, and accommodated herself so her knees went past my head. “I.” She kicked down with one of her legs, sending a sharp pain through my lower back. “Don’t”. Another kick. “Think”. Another. “So”. She went to kick me one more time, but I had had enough.

While the kicks rained down, the only thing visible to me were moist lips, just waiting to be ravished. I grabbed her thighs and squeezed. Ignoring her yelp of pain, I climbed up on the bed and on top of her, sliding in between her legs until my face was once again inches from hers. Her mouth was set in a hard line (I squeezed hard), but I noticed a small glint on triumph in her eyes before I descended on her.