Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's All Fun and Games...

One of my favorite extracurricular activities in high school was going parking. The rush of holding that special someone in your arms while you navigated the gear shift was beyond measure.  My heart would always beat an extra couple of beats as we searched for that special spot away from prying eyes. We would navigate the roads of the small town I lived in. Searching……always searching…..

A favorite spot of mine was a parking spot behind my old junior high. As long as no one saw us, we could creep down next to the old school and settle in for a night of hot passionate teenage lust. Beside the school was a church that was home to a graveyard. From our vantage point, we could always make out the headstones before the windows  completely fogged up and obscured our view.

One particular evening, my boyfriend and I set out on our weekend adventure.

“Wanna go to the usual spot,” he asked. With a shrug of my shoulders I answered yes and we set off. I can’t remember what we talked about on the short drive to the school, but I can remember the anticipation as the butterflies settled into my stomach. This was what it was all about. Being a teenager, to me, was about breaking rules. Being daring. Doing the things you saw in the movies and telling your girlfriends the next day. I relished the freedom being so young and in love afforded me.

We had a routine when we went parking. We’d go to our spot, and after we’d park the car we’d leave the radio running and switch the engine off. We’d listen to whatever was playing on the radio, or slide a Jodeci or Boys II Men tape in. Yes,  I meant a cassette tape. Remember those?

On this particular night, as Lately was playing softly in the background, we looked over at the church and noticed a service going on. I remember commenting on this. My partner in crime said not to worry and proceeded to reach for me.

With our hearts beating and the windows fogging, we proceeded to enjoy ourselves like only sixteen year olds can. I won’t go into too many details, but I will ask you, dear reader, to do something…..try to recall what it was like when you were sixteen and out with your special someone. Do you remember the excitement of that time? Do you recall what it was like to be a teenager and so involved in that very moment that all else ceases to exist? We acted with such wild abandon back then.

My teenage lover and I were in a tight embrace in the backseat. I can’t remember the exact make or model of the car, but I do know the front seat was not very comfortable. We were worried about foot prints on the window and the steering wheel was quite unforgiving. Now, keep in mind we were in the middle of some pretty heavy stuff. Hands were roaming, feet were up in the air… was love making adolescent style….. So, you can imagine why we never noticed the pretty blue lights flashing behind us until it was too late. A police siren is not something you want to hear as you are half naked with your boyfriend at 3 am, in the car you swiped from your parents as they lay sleeping. Trust me. I know.

“Oh, shit,” my one and only said. “Oh shit oh shit oh shit.”  I too let out some colorful commentary as we tried to gather ourselves up.

“Where’s my underwear?” I screeched as he yelled, “Hell if I know! Where’s mine?”

And then the sound came. The sound more dreaded than even the siren of a police car as it sits behind you. The sound that can make a poor teenager’s heart beat right out of their itty bitty chest. It was the sound of the flashlight knocking on the window.

“Can you step out of the car, please?” The officer demanded more than asked.

“Um, no,” croaked I. “Can you give us a minute? Please?” I will not cry. I will not cry.

“Now.” The officer said in the most authoritative voice I had ever heard.

“My momma is going to kill me,” whispered my pale faced companion. “Oh, shit.”

Calmly, I explained to the officer that we needed a moment to pull ourselves together. He allowed us 15 seconds. After that, he informed us, he was breaking the glass.

We turned on the dome light and located our undergarments in the front seat. With haste, we proceeded to get dressed and step out of the car. An eternity seemed to elapse as the police man peered into the front and back seats.

Once he was satisfied with his inspection, he turned the flashlight on us. “What are you doing out here at this time of night?”

We looked at each other dumbfounded. Was he really asking us this? Was this a trick question? And which one of our parents was most likely going to bail us out of jail? I lived with my grandma and I do believe she would’ve let us rot before she came to get us.

“Um,” my boyfriend began to stutter. “I…uh…see…we were just, um, talking.” Wow, he was so brilliant. All I could do was look away and picture myself in prison garb.

“Right,” replied the officer. “I am sure of it. Who’s car does this belong to?”

Oh, hell’s fire and balls. My beau had taken his mom’s car and snuck out to come and get me. I suddenly felt such pity for him. I sure was going to miss him while he was locked up.

We explained to the nice officer who the car belonged to. We said we were tying to “spend time together.” The policeman ran the tags to see if the car had been reported stolen. After everything came back satisfactory, he gave us a stern warning and said if we ever showed back up there again, he would arrest us. I reassured him that he would never have to worry about that. We had learned our lesson. And that would have been the end of the story except for…….

When we got settled back into the front seat, fully clothed, we looked at each and grinned. Bullet dodged. Parental notification avoided. My sweetheart went to crank up the car and nothing……That’s when I noticed that the radio wasn’t even playing.

“Oh shit oh shit oh shit,” muttered my significant other.

With a dead battery, we sat and stared. What the hell were we going to do? Who were we going to call? It wasn’t like either of us had AAA. That’s when I noticed the policeman hadn’t left yet.

“Hey,” I said. “Go ask him if he can jump us off.”

“Who? Ask who?”

“The cop,” I replied. “Go ask the cop if he can give us a jump.”

“Are you serious?” My boyfriend asked me with wide eyes. I insisted that I was and explained it was either that or call someone. Anyone…..  He begrudgingly got out and did the walk of shame over to the patrol car.

With the assistance of a very amused policeman, we were able to revive our vehicle and make it home before getting caught. Looking back now on the experience, I have to laugh out loud. I often say only I could get pulled for parking and then have to get jump started by the same police officer who was threatening to arrest me. But, I also look back at that time with a bit of nostalgia. We were so carefree back then. As teenagers, we were afforded a certain innocence that time has taken away from us. I miss the days of heavy petting in the back seat of a car. I miss the cautious hands of a young man set out to find who I am and to prove who he is. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Comfort Zone

I do not wish to leave my comfort zone. It is a nice here. The clock is always set at dusk with a warm breeze that picks through my hair. Birds sing out in the distance. They harmonize promises of safety and redemption.

In my comfort zone I sit on a porch swing. The creaking of the to and fro recall memories of my younger years. The swings home is my Granny's front porch. It runs the length of her house. It's made of wood and laughter. Sometimes Granny comes and joins me. Her face is reassuring. The wrinkles that have long set into her features let me know that hard time do not kill. They only strengthen.

There's a gold lab that lives in my comfort zone. She answers to the name Lady. She stands at attention in front of the couch that seats Granny. Lady's position allows Granny to prop her tired feet on canine's back. Granny's feet and legs are worn out from the morning's labors. Her work is one of a homemaker. Her specialty is biscuits and singing. Old gospel hymns are her favorite. I can here them now as the fresh aroma of her handiwork makes it way to where I'm sitting. Lady knows Granny is tired. She stands there as long as it takes for Granny to rest.

I don't want to leave my comfort zone. The sky is lit up with pinks and purples cast about by the setting sun. The dirt road that runs in front of this wonderful spot is inviting. The sand is warm under my bare feet. Black and deep, it invites me to sit and bury my legs up to my waist as I did when I was a child. I forgo this activity. I see something off in the distance that keeps me rooted to my spot.

Clouds. Dark. Ominous. Numerous in their formations. I see them just past the dirt road. Past the field of sunflowers that hug the road and the dirt that I long to play in. Where once there stood a picket fence that separated my world from a neighborhood, there now sits a dark forest. The leaves that hang from the thick branches are brown and frayed from starvation. They are starved for light; for the brightness and warmth of the sun. They have multiplied in such excess that they are now slowly killing themselves.

Rain pours from the clouds. It burdens the limbs of these dying trees; causing them to reach towards the ground in sorrow. The trees wish to speed up the process of death. They are impotent, however. And can not do anything more than take the pain of living.

The biggest cloud, set in the middle of the all the other, smaller, clouds, spits forth a lightening bolt. I hear a tree explode and break as it falls to the ground. The other sinister clouds enjoy this display of power and spring forth life. One by one, they unleash their own hostile bolts of lightening upon the dying forest. I hear boom after boom as the trees are broken. They produce a horrific swooshing sound as they fall to their deaths.

Here in my comfort zone I shudder at the mayhem that I can faintly see. The sight is scarey; but I feel none of the moisture or the wind from the storm. I am safe and I know that as long as I stay in this swing, on this porch, as it sits on the side of a warm dirt road, nothing can touch me.

"Bad cloud over that-a-way," Granny says. She wears a pink button down dress with white daisies scattered across the front. Her long grey hair is pulled back in a bun. It is the perfect hair do to show off her round face. Her dress falls to her knees. The front is covered in flour from the morning chores. She sit on an old orange sofa put on the porch just for her. Lady stands in front of Granny, ready to receive the weight of her tired feet.

"Looks scarey," is my reply. I turn my face into the warm breeze. My features are similar to Granny's, yet different. My hair, while long like her's, is brown and free to hang down my back. My skin is a darker brown than her's. My face is absent of wrinkles and laugh lines. My legs are long. They are strong and free of fatigue. I am taller than she is. Tall enough to kiss the top of her head whenever I so desire.

And while she will never be seen in anything other than a dress, I am most comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt.

"Wonder what's on the other side of them trees," Granny says.

"Why does it matter," I ask.

"Don't you wanna know?"

"Not really. I like it here. I have everything I need. I got a good life here."

My reply seems to amuse Granny and she laughs. I love to watch her laugh. She hunches her shoulders up into a shrug and giggles like a little girl. It's as if laughter is a secret only to be shared between loved ones.

"Having everything you need isn't a life. Just like breathing don't mean you're living."

"Well, I'm happy here. Is that a better answer?"

"No," she laughs again. "Don't you wanna know what's on the other side?"

"Not really," I tell her. "I could get killed in there. Look at the way that lightening is hitting those trees. That could be me."

"It could," she agrees. "What if one of your youngins was in there? Would you go then?"

"Of course. No doubt."

"But, what about the lightening? You still get hurt. Or even killed."

"My child is worth the risk," I say.

Granny nods. She leans forward and scratches behind Lady's ears. Lady wags her tail to show appreciation, but never moves. The animal is intent on carrying the weight of Granny's fatigue as long as needed.

"What if that sweet boy of yours was on the other side of all that mess? He was over there, happy, healthy... Just having him a good o'le time. What if the only way you could ever see him again was to make your way through them clouds? Would you do it?"


"But, you could get hurt," Granny reminds me.

"I know. But, it'd be worth it."

"Yep," she agrees once more. "So, why don't you go see what's on the other side?"

"I don't understand."

"Ya ain't living, ya know. Sittin' here. Rockin' and bein' comfortable. That ain't livin'. In order to live, ya got to grow. In order to grow, ya got to move. Ya got to live."

"What are you talking about?" I ask her.

"You believe in God?"

I answer that I do. I have always believed in God. Him and I haven't always seen eye to eye, but I know He is there. Just like I know the sun is in the sky. Even when hidden by the night.

"You got gifts, ya know." Granny finally takes her weary feet off of Lady. The dog, happy in the knowledge that she's done her duty, lays down and stretches her back out. Granny thanks her for her services by rubbing the dog's belly. "God gave all of us gifts. And to use them the way He intended, we got to grow. We got to get closer to Him."

"Those woods are scarey, Granny. I could get hurt. I won't have anyone to help me. To guide me."

"That's true. Look at it this way. The birds in the sky don't worry about guidance or getting hurt. They don't fret about when they're gonna eat. God takes care of all that for them. Now, if He does all that for a bird, imagine what He would do for you."

"What if there's nothing on the other side?" I ask. I can still see the rain beating the thick trees into submission. As lightening forces more of their friends to their doom, I want nothing more that to stay seated in this spot.

"If you come to nothing, then that just means you're not done travelin. Got to have more faith than that. There's always something. He wants you on the other side. He wants you over there away from here."

"What's over there?" I whisper.

"Go and find out."

But, I don't want to leave my comfort zone. The view is nice where I sit. I am happy. And I probably could say that I'll never leave my place on this porch if for not one tiny detail.

I desire to be more than I am.

I've always been happy. Even when the tears fell and my heart broke, I was still happy. As long as I felt safe, I've been happy. But, I've never been satisfied. Granny is right. God has blessed me with gifts that I'm not using to my fullest potential. I'm not doing what He designed me to do.

I'm not going to either as long as I permit myself to sit on this porch, in my comfort zone.

It's a scarey thing to set on your own. To venture into new territory. You find yourself leaving behind old friends, traditions, customs that you thought you'd always have. No one knows what the world has in store when they first introduce themselves to it. We don't know if there's a tree blocking our path until we've come upon it. The only way to truly leave my comfort zone is to step out on faith. I just have to believe that I'll make it. Believe that God will hold my hand through every gust of wine, down pour, and lightening strike that comes my way.  

We have to pray our way through life. Pray our way out of our comfort zone and into the unknown. We have to hope that those who claim to love us will continue to love us. And we have to trust that God will heal our hearts when those people don't.

I do not wish to leave my comfort zone. I am happy and safe here. Yet, God is pulling me. He wants me elsewhere. He wants me to be what I am supposed to be. He wants me to use the gifts He gave me. I do not wish to leave this porch swing that speaks in creaks and memories. I do not wish to leave the porch whose wooden planks give off laughter when I walk across. But, I do desire to be more than I am. And it's this desire, coupled with faith, that propels me to step into the warm dirt of my childhood. It is the need to grow and live that drives me across the field of sunflowers into the dying forest.

And, while I still do not want to leave the safety of everything I know, it is my faith that keeps me strong as I venture out to say what lays on the other side of the storm that hangs above the dying trees.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I'm not ashamed of what I am. Do you understand? It's important that I make myself clear on this. I'm not explaining myself so you can sit back in your cozy little life and judge me. Ok? You haven't walked in my shoes and all that bullshit. Have you? No, you haven't. And don't try to understand me either. You won't be able to. I doubt you've ever laid on your back and prayed for the sweet rush of nothing to sweep through you. So, just listen to what I have to say. And then when I'm all talked out, when I've poured out my heart, bled my secrets all over that nice shirt you're wearing, then look at me and accept me. That's all I need.

Because, you see, even a no good junkie like myself needs someone out there to accept that I exist.

I despise my skin. My body is not mine. I have it away years ago for a twenty minute fix. And it wasn't even all that great. Why did I keep doing it then, you ask. I dunno. Why does any addict go to that special drug over and over again even when its ruining their life? To escape. That's why. To leave behind that damn burden that's weighing them down. That sob story that God, in all His infinite fucking wisdom, has seen fit to saddle them with. And He decided to saddle me with a doozy. I gotta big whopper of a story.

So, what would you like to know first? Oh! What am I addicted to? That's easy to answer. Sex.

Yeah, I know. Women sex addicts are less common than men. I don't know why that is and I really don't give a rat's ass either.

There's nothing better than feeling a man's skin beneath my hands. The smells are incredible. Intoxicating really. I mean, I could go on and an on about how strong a man is. How safe it makes me feel when we his arms are around me. And how I can get lost in kissing. But the fact of the matter is is that during sex your brain starts releasing all these chemicals that just makes life all better. At least for a little while. And that's all any of us really want in life. Just for it to be a little bit better. Just a little bit.

For a little while anyways.

Now that's a question I can't answer. Seriously. I have no idea how many men I've had sex with. Nor do I care. One thirty minute mindless romp is just as bad as a hundred. See, you're judging me. I knew you were going to. Tell me, how much chocolate do you eat? How much coffee do you drink? How many bottles of wine did you buy last month? Better still, how many packs of cigarettes did you buy last week?

We all have our vices. Our little addictions that make us feel safe and secure in a world that vomits up all kinds of monsters everyday. Earth spins ever do dramatically. Forcing us to face up to the demons that smile so lovingly at us. It's all a lie though. Really. Those smiles that we seek out. The people that hold those smiles are not people at all. I used to think they were small devils waiting to disarm me. Patiently waiting for me to become defenseless. Helpless even. Wanting to hurt me. Now I'm not sure. I don't know what hides behind those smiles. But, I suspect, at times, that it's something evil. We all think that. All of us junkies. Doesn't matter what your drug is either.

Chocolate. Wine. Coffee. Nicotine. Crack. Heroin. Sex.

We're all junkies trying to escape a world we fear. We all carry around stories that we're too scared to tell.

I happened to turn to sex because I couldn't afford drugs. And I'm too chicken to become fat. Alcoholism, by the way, is too much of a cliche. Everybody is an alcoholic these days.

I've lost my train of thought. What was the question? Oh, right. How many men...

I really don't know. And I'm not saying that because I'm ashamed. I no longer recognize shame. I'm numb to that emotion. Shame implies regret. And a need to become better than what you are. I am neither regretful or in want of becoming better than what I am. That better person is someone I don't know. And I don't trust her.

So, believe me when I say I have no idea how many men or women I've had sex with. Yeah, I've been with women too. I'm not proud.

But, I'm not ashamed either.

What else do you want to know? The first time? I was thirteen. Yeah, I know. That's too damn young. But, there I was. Lying on my back looking up at some idiot and biting my lip through all the pain.

Trust me, getting your cherry popped at the young of an age is no picnic.

Oh, I don't know when I realized I had a serious problem. I can tell you I've never been faithful. Not once. I can also tell you that shit just didn't make sense to me. Not for a long time. I'd get bored easily. Bored with men is what I'm referring to. Routine sex just didn't do it for me. No, it had to be more. It had to hurt. It had to be rough. He had to be mean. It was the only way I could ever feel something else inside. Something other than what I was feeling.

But, even realizing what I was doing didn't force me to realize what I'd become. I didn't even know I had a problem. Even during the week I was out of work because the douchebag I was banging hurt me so bad.

Just for the record, walking around with a bruised diaphragm is no fun.

I can't pin point when I decided I needed help. It was when I lost my job because I got caught fucking that guy behind the dumpsters. And it wasn't even when I took that drunk guy home and blew him behind a barn. I almost gagged over the smell of horse shit.

I guess if I thought long and hard enough, I would say it could've been when I decided to try to be normal.

What's normal? Oh, that's an easy one.

Normal is not begging a guy you barely know for a chance to give him a blow job. Normal isn't telling some idiot from the bar that just because you did him the back seat doesn't make you his girlfriend. Normal isn't doing your bestfriend's husband simply because there's nothing good on TV.

And normal certainly isn't questioning if a man likes you simply because he wants to wait a little while before having sex.

Normal is a lot of things. But, it's definitely not me.

Yes, hon, I'm not ashamed.

Honestly, I don't know how old I was when I started trying to be normal. I was an adult. I had already become a mother. A wife. Looking back, it feels like I've always tried to be what I'm not.

Ya know, not a junkie.

My last fix? Um, I dunno. Six months, maybe? I was doing this guy and just stopped right the middle of it.


I climbed off of him, handed him his clothes, and told him to get the hell out. It's the in the same manner that the alcoholic walks away from the bottle.

Why? Oh, that's easy. I began to hate my skin. It started to crawl with him underneath me. I no longer found his smell to be intoxicating. I was repulsed by the sounds he made. The faces he put on. He had become comical.

No, darlin, that's not shame. No, I don't know what that was. I was trying to escape from myself. Instead of dealing with me. I can tell you there's a lot of anger in me. Anger that I've fed and nurtured for years. And before you ask me what I'm angry at, let me tell you that it's a long list. It's complicated.

Simplify it? Well, I can give it a shot.

I'm angry at Life. That's a little easier I guess. Simple maybe.

I'm angry at Life turning me into a victim.

Once upon a time I was helpless. I laid under the heap of shit that Life decided to throw at me. I was being crushed by circumstances. By people. By events beyond my control. And I've been trying to like hell to reclaim my spot on top ever since.

That struggle

           the fact that I even had to climb so far up

has left me angry.

No, not just angry. Pissed.

Sex quieted all that though. At least for a little bit. For however long the poor bastard I was with could last. Well, it did until a few months ago anyways.

No, it wasn't shame that pulled me off of him. I told you. I don't know what it was. All I know is that since then the anger has quieted. But, I still hate my skin.

And I'm awfully lonely now.

Why? That's another easy one. Our emotions are our companions. They are there even when no one else is. My anger had been lived along side of me for years. It's held my hand, propelled me in life, and hushed me when I needed it. And now that it's gone, what the hell do I do? I've taken sex out of the equation. What's left? Where do I turn?

I didn't get rid of the anger. I just converted it. See, emotions are energy. And we all know you can't destroy energy.

Oh, see, that's the kicker. I converted it into something. I'm just not sure what.

I've been trying to deal with being a sex addict for some time now. And the most difficult part of it is that no one can appreciate what I'm going through. Hell, even I can't half the time. I'm so busy trying to deal that I don't actually. Sounds weird, but it's true. It's still such a foreign concept to me. I can't quite comfortable roll the words 'sex addict' off my tongue.

It's as foreign to me as shame is.

Any other questions?

Plans for the future? I try not to make those. Plans mean you hope. And I don't do much of that these days. I try to take it day by day. But, that sometimes fails. So, I not I have small goals. Tiny ones. Like, I'm gonna make it til lunch. If I can get til noon without making it with some guy in a broom closet, then I'll tackle the afternoon.

And, if I fail, if I once again succumb to my body's need to touch other, then I will restart the clock. Say that I will take the next morning, the next hour if I must, to hold off this nasty addiction.

But, there's no shame here.