Passages and Pathways

Ok, so a while ago on my tumblr blog, which can be found here, I wrote the following piece, mostly just as a writing exercise but also as a sort of diary/journal type thing about sexuality and self-discovery and wondering if it all comes to us the same way.

I think I can pinpoint the exact moment. The very specific instant where girls went from things kind of like me only better dressed, cleaner, and sort of annoying to mysterious receptacles of all things beautiful, magical, strange, in other words, the object of desire. Well, the object of desire for me, others have obviously had this little epiphany for themselves about whatever gender they ended up desiring. That’s not the point though, the point is I can clearly recall that mental gear shift that has subsequently come to dominate large portions of my adult life quite often with disastrous, gut wrenching pain and self loathing, yay 🙂
I was re-watching Willow (and right here anyone reading this just got weirded out, looking at the paragraph above and wondering “where the fuck is he going with this, dear God?!?!?”) at around ten or eleven. It’s always been one of my favorite movies and up until then that was because it had sword fighting, monsters, magic, and kickass one liners. Then, completely out of the blue, in comes Sorsha, daughter of the evil queen who changes sides out of love and helps save the day. I’d seen this film a million times before and until this moment she had to me just been like Madmartigen only with boobs and a cooler sword. Now, all of a sudden I’m wondering what kissing her might be like, and thinking it would be pretty awesome, and wishing I was Val Kilmer leaning over her as she slept and wanting her to think I was cool and all this other stuff that just came flooding through my brain all at once leaving me kind of dazed and feeling pleasantly yet still somewhat inexplicably embarrassingly warm all over. That was it, just this one little instant and I went from just being a kind of shy, imaginative kid to a gibbering ball of new, strange urges and socially crippling awkwardness. Ahh, the joys of life eh? For some reason I’ve been pondering this a great deal of late, wondering if this is a universal thing, sexuality just a light switch being flicked on for everyone, going from a vague indifference to near levels of insanity at just one precise moment in time or if it’s more gradual for others. I’m always curious about this strange affliction of being human we all suffer from, how experience and chemistry shape each of us, usually in an attempt to figure out why I feel so disconnected from people. So I thought I’d put this out there, both as an exercise in my own writing (which everything I personally post on tumblr is) but also to maybe gather a bit more data in my ongoing quest to understand things a bit better, both about others trepidatiously navigating dark, turbulent waters without compass, map or other nautical navigational tools that would beat this analogy into the ground as well as myself. Do any of you out there remember? Was there an “ah ha” moment or a series of little steps on the path to the pursuit of something that tends to take a place if great prominence in our lives, this quest for The Other? This is just me wondering, answer if you wish, whether you do or not I will say as always cheers for now. Oh, and if you are still involved in the quest, I wish you good fortune. 🙂

Now, earlier today one of the people kindly enough to follow my blog on tumblr by the name of uglyintrigue added this little anecdote of their own experience.

“I remember trudging through a field at 11 or 12 years old with my two best friends (boys), it was a hot summer day and I sighed, “ugh, I’m getting sweaty”, one of them told me that I sweat perfume, that was it- something so simple triggered that feeling of warmth and butterflies and everything sweet. I’ve only ever experienced that rush of anticipation and attraction in regard to men.”

One particular exchange in this little vignette went on to inspire me to write the following poem and the reason I am telling you all this is because not only am I proud of the piece that came about but I am also fascinated by the strange paths inspiration can take. Without any further ado, here then is the end result, I hope you enjoy it:

June was ripe golden
Sweet fruit waiting to be plucked
Full of promise, wild and free
The days ahead rolling out laden
With adventure and building tree forts
Diving head long like sleek pike into the mill pond
Along with a million billion other dreams.

We were jeans and t-shirt trudging
Ambling aimless towards something
Not in any hurry to get there
I watched your nimble fingers pluck the seeds
From a stem of grass, nails grubby
Absently letting them fall
Breadcrumbs along a path we could never
Walk down again.

The light hit you different that day
The sheen of perspiration a luminous glow
Drawing your face in lines that tangled
With something dark and warm inside me
As your hip nudged mine without purpose
I got my breath tied up in your hair
Along with a stray breeze
I felt dizzy and stars spun through the dusty air.

I blinked and you became poetry and strangeness
My companion of a dozen summers
Now an alien full of grace and fear and…ache
Filling my brain with words I’d never heard
Wanting to spout endless verses
A hopeless, awkward Cyrano
Walking in the shadow of Roxanne.

You’re face screwed up then
The crinkles around your eyes, the dance
Of the freckles over the bridge of your nose
The most beautiful geographies I’d ever seen
As you grumbled
“Ugh, I’m all sweaty”
My heart wanted to explode from my lips
Yet the only sonnet I could muster was
“You sweat perfume”

You turned then
Like the wheel of time revolving in battered sneakers
The dawn of your face beneath bronze cloud hair
You didn’t say anything, just gave me a little smile
Punched my shoulder and walked on
To this day I still have that smile
In an old pair of jeans
I take out every now and then
Remembering the summer we walked off
Leaving the children we were
In a June field.


One Response to “Passages and Pathways”

  1. fleabiss Says:

    used to being the echo
    weary stating the obvious
    we do or don’t do
    the sun rises
    we breathe

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