Call from the Past

Less than three weeks left till the election.

I am phone-banking again. I started a few weeks ago.

The location has changed from two years ago. People around me have changed. I  changed a lot too, I think. Not just  because I have lost weight or have cut off my long hair. I am more vocal, I am not limiting myself to the kitchen tasks. I am up front with the computers and phones, donning the headset and making call after call.

I am not trying to change minds,  I am trying to change apathy. I am trying to get people to care.

I feel aged, far more than the two years that elapsed from the last election. I can feel the wounds of many defeats since the last including the latest battle for the court. However, I do not feel defeated.

No Tyrone this time. Even with the weight of elections pressing my heart down I could not help but think about him. The evenings and weekends I come in, I hoped I would run into him. As I work the phones I wished he’d see the new brave me. It does not matter.

Did I say I feel aged?

I am not defeated. I am here to fight

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In Deference To The Queen

Note: This is some beautiful fem-fem BDSM erotica by Hana Jynn Whitefield (pseudonym). She is one of the amazing members of the twitter writing community and is so kind and generous to guest post her writing on my blog. I enjoyed this a lot. First, you are struck by the elegance of her writing then the erotica hits you like slow release poison, except it is far virulent than any poison. Enjoy. Twice. Or Thrice. NSFW and all Mature flags apply.

In Deference to the Queen

Hana Jynn Whitefield

You are stunning, in a pale pink saree with golden trim, golden bangles on your wrists, your thick hair loose around your shoulders. I feel underdressed in a plum-colored v-neck blouse and hip-hugging black slacks.

“Kavitha, you look ravishing tonight…my Queen.”

Your soft brown eyes sparkle at my use of our Go word, and a small, seductive smile tugs the corners of your lips. “The Queen is here, Elise.” You extend your hand, palm down, and I drop to one knee and cradle it in my own. Warm. Soft. An electric spark at your touch. I brush my lips against the back of your hand, but you pull it away swiftly before I can linger. “Did I give you permission to kiss?”

“No, my Queen,” I say. Your hand comes to rest on the crown of my bowed head. You do not stroke or caress. You let it lie there, heavy. Symbolic. “My apologies.”

“Rise.”

I stand and take a step back, watching you. You seem to be thinking it over, deciding your next move. We’ve only ever talked about what we would do, how we would play the roles. This is our first time turning the fantasy to reality. I think neither of us know quite what to expect.

“What is your pleasure, my—“

“Shush.” You cut me off, a finger to my lips, a spark of playful fury in your eyes. “Silence.” I nod, and you slap my cheek lightly. “If you forget, you will be punished.”

A rebellious thrill. I want to test your threat. I want your punishment. “Yes, my Qu—“

Your hand comes against my cheek again. Harder. Stinging this time. I feel the blood rush to the surface. “Silence!” You take a step back, and sit gracefully on the edge of the mattress, crossing your legs. I stand still, awaiting your command.

“Take off your shirt.”

I do as you ask, crossing my arms and pulling the blouse over my head in one swift motion. When I drop it to the ground, you say, “No. Bring it to me.”

I stoop and retrieve it, approach you, and place it in your outstretched hand. You put it to your face, close your eyes, and bury your nose into the fabric. Your chest expands, breathing deeply of the mingled scents of Tide laundry detergent, shea butter lotion, body spray of lemongrass and honeysuckle, and the faint, unmistakable, unique essence of my skin.

“Mmm.” Your eyes come open, and I see the longing in them. But you’ll hold back. You’ll make both of us wait. “Pants off too.”

My fingers slip the button free, draw the zipper down slowly. Thumbs hook under the waistband and ease them down over my hips. This time, when they fall to the floor, you don’t say a word. Your eyes roam over my body, the lacy black bra, my bare midriff, the lack of panties. Trimmed, neat hair, and shaved folds hidden between my thighs.

When you catch me watching, my eyes on your face, you shake your head and reach into a fold in your saree. Your hand comes back out, and between your fingers you hold the elastic band of a sleep mask. Black satin, with the word “Bitch” stitched in hot-pink embroidery across the top. “Put this on, bitch. And if I catch you peeking, your punishment will be worse than a slap.”

I take it from you, slip it over my head and fit it across my eyes. I will not peek. This time, I will obey your order.

I’m waiting for you to give a command, to lead me to the bed, to touch me. But as I stand there, you do none of those things. My senses are heightened. I hear fabric rustling. Are you undressing? Pulling down the covers of the bed? Preparing something for me to wear? I cannot tell, but my mind runs wild, and I feel the wetness of desire start to flow. A metallic click, and then another. And then I feel my bra unclasped. You do not allow your fingertips to graze my skin, I feel only the sensation of the article removed, my breasts freed.

You take my hand, and the feel of you makes my breath catch. You pull me forward, and I step blindly, putting my trust in you. When my thighs hit the mattress, you say, “Get onto the bed, and lie down on your back.”

I crawl up, feeling for the pillow, and when I find it I roll onto my back and lay my head down. You have pulled back the covers, and I feel the cool, crisp linen beneath me.

You pull my right arm away from my side, and something encircles the wrist, tightens, clicks. A fur-lined handcuff. I start to tremble with anticipation. You take my other arm and bind it as well. Then my ankles are bound in Velcro restraints, one by one, my legs splayed slightly apart, so I can feel the chill of the air against the wet heat between my thighs.

“Comfortable?” you ask.

My mind is swimming, my nerves tingling. I forget myself. “Yes, My Queen.”

“Bitch, did I give you permission to speak?” A smack on my hip, bristles pricking the skin. Your hairbrush.

I bite my lip. Shake my head.

“That’s right. Make no sound.”

The mattress bows beside me. I sense your presence. Hear your breaths. Feel the heat in the space between us. I’m yearning to touch you. My desire is a wild animal clawing to escape these shackles, but I resist the urge to pull against my restraints. It would do no good and only serve to anger you.

Your breathing quickens. With my sight blinded, my hearing sharpens, and I think I can almost hear your heart beating faster. Where are you looking? My breasts? Lying like this, without the dragging force of gravity, they must be round, full, plump. Just thinking about your eyes on them makes the nipples harden. Are you looking at my cunt, wet and glistening? The thought makes me ache, and I feel myself swelling, rising. You’re breathing faster, heavier. A sigh. Are you touching yourself? I want to see…oh God, I want to see you. I want to feel you.

And then, a soft brush across my cheek. Too material to be breath, too solid to be a feather, too ethereal to be a fingertip. It can only be a lock of your hair. My chest rises and falls, my body flushing hot as you run the silky hair down my neck, slowly, teasing. It tickles. I bite the inside of my cheek to fight a giggle. You bring it to my left nipple, draw it around in circles, slow at first, then faster. Then the right nipple. And then…oh then, it’s not just one little lock of hair. A cascading curtain falls over my body. Starts at my face, draws down over my breasts, my stomach. Beneath the hair, I feel the heat of your face, your breath. I think you are headed for my cunt. I think you will kiss me there. I want you to do it. I need you. A little moan rises and rumbles in my throat.

You stop and move away. The hair disappears. Another hairbrush slap. “Shut up, bitch,” you say. “Shut the fuck up.”

I feel you leave the bed. Your closeness evaporates, the sensation of your nearness is gone, leaving only a hollow emptiness in the pit of my stomach. I want you back. I’m sorry for making noise, but I can’t apologize, for I’m not allowed to speak. Please, come back.

But when you speak again, there’s no anger or annoyance in your tone. Your voice is throaty and hoarse, charged with excitement. “Fire or ice?”

I do not respond.

“You have permission to speak. Only to answer my question.”

“Fire, please,” I say. “My Queen.”

“Very well,” you say, and I hear the smile in your voice. “Fire it is.”

I smell a whiff of sulfur, hear the sizzle of a match struck. Then all is quiet and still. Slowly, the scent of a candle fills the room. It’s a heady, musky scent, the kind that a candle store might label “Moonlight Walk,” or “Midnight in Paris.” Sexy. Irresistible.

You come near to me, standing at the side of the bed. I feel the warmth of your bare thigh press against my restrained hand, and my fingers twitch and then clutch for you, squeezing, digging my nails into your flesh. The tacit permission to touch sends little jolts of pleasure into my fingertips, through my chest, and down into my wet, pulsing cunt.

And then you pull away, cool air instead of sweaty skin against my palm, and I exhale a sigh.

The first drip of wax comes without warning, while my mind is still on the feel of you in my hand. It falls above my left breast, over my heart. A searing heat. It catches me off-guard, and I draw a sharp involuntary gasp, hissing through my teeth. My fists clench. My mind falls through a jumble of simultaneous contradictions: It hurts. It feels good. I want more.

“Permission to speak,” you say. Your tone is still playfully commanding. You have not broken character. And yet, your voice holds a tinge of underlying worry.

It’s OK, hon. I would have said the word if I needed to.

“Do it again,” I whisper.

You release a half-laugh, half-moan, and the next drips come faster. I’m prepared for them now, craving them. Each one is a fiery lick of pleasure. They fall over my breasts, hardening on my nipples, down my stomach. Over my hipbones and down my thighs, it drips. The skin pulls taut beneath each daub of cooling wax. Holy shit, it feels good. My flesh tingles, split open with desire and heat.

And then you are over me. On your hands and knees, I think, for your body is not on mine, but I feel your arms and legs on either side of me. One arm lifts and your nail scrapes against my flesh, prying the drip of wax from above my heart.

“Aww,” you purr, “It left a mark. Let me make it better.” I feel your soft, moist lips press a gentle kiss to the spot. A groan of pleasure rises in my throat, but I swallow it before it can escape. You move on to the next drip over my right breast, and then to the nipples, peeling and kissing, sucking…biting. It’s agony and ecstasy. Involuntarily, my back arches, pressing my boobs up, straining for you.

You put a hand on my shoulder and push me back against the mattress. “Stay still, bitch,” you growl. I’m breathing hard, struggling with the effort of staying quiet, staying still, containing my overwhelming urge to tear through these chains and devour you. But you are my Queen. I must obey.

You work your way downwards, peeling one drip at a time, one kiss at a time. By the time you get to my thighs, I am trembling, shivering. I cannot stop.

When the last drip is removed, the last spot kissed, you pause. “You’re wet. And hard. I can see it. Would the Princess like a kiss as well?”

I nod vigorously, and you release a melodious laugh. Oh God, I hope you’ll really do it this time. I can’t take much more of this torture.

And then I feel your warm breath, ruffling the curly hair, blowing over my swollen clit. Your tongue dips in, tastes me, and you groan with satisfaction. “You’re delicious, my Peach. Sweet.”

I’m panting hard, my hands clenched, nails digging into my palm.

“Do you want more?”

I nod again, and open my knees wider.

“Hmmm…I don’t know. You seem like you’re ready to come. You can’t come yet, bitch. It’s not time.”

Fuck. I thrust my hips up, a silent plea.

“Fine. Just a little more. But don’t you dare come. Don’t you fucking dare.”

I nod, though I am so close already I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold back. I don’t give a shit. I’ll take your punishment. I fucking need you, right now.

And then your tongue swirls faster, presses harder. My painted toes curl, my limbs tug against my restraints. I grit my teeth, but a moaning gasp escapes, and a wave of heat rushes—

You stop, remove your mouth and roll away from me, laughing when I buck in protest. “You almost came, you naughty bitch.” Another slap of the hairbrush on my hip. The hardest yet, but I barely feel it. You pinch my thigh, your black-lacquered nails biting into the skin, but the pain only serves to intensify every other feeling coursing through me. It’s pleasure veiled as punishment, and I swear it feels like that alone could push me to climax. My slippery cunt pulses, and it takes every ounce of strength to hold myself back. You pinch again, and I moan in agony.

Something is stuffed into my mouth. Fabric…it smells and tastes of you. I don’t know what article of clothing it is…an undershirt, a slip, your panties…but I bite down and breathe it in, and it does nothing to quell my fervor.

“Shut up, bitch,” you say again. “This is your last chance. One more time, and we’re through. You’ll get nothing more from me.”

Oh damn, I’d better fucking be quiet. I’ll cry if we don’t finish this.

You leave the bed again, and I lie there trembling, my cum dripping down. What are you doing? You’re gone a while, and I hear disconnected sounds I can’t piece together. Something unzipped. Velcro ripped. Elastic snapped against flesh. A clinking sound of plastic on plastic. Fabric rustling.

And then the restraints on my legs are removed, the Velcro cuffs ripped free. I let my legs fall open, offering myself. But that’s not what you want. Not yet. You push my knees together, closing me off from you.

A click and my left hand is free. I know better than to reach for you, and let it lie limp on the bed. And a moment later, there’s another click…but my right hand is still shackled. I feel the other end of the handcuff dangling loosely from my wrist.

You slap my hip. “Put your hands above your head, bitch.”

I do as you say, and you cinch the other cuff down around my left wrist, my arms resting high against the headboard of the bed.

You grab my legs and pull me down, roll me onto my stomach. You drag me sideways until my feet touch the carpet, and I’m bent over the side of the mattress, my arms still above my head, my cheek resting on one sweaty bicep. My wet, hairy pussy presented to you as you stand behind me.

Your hand slaps my ass. Once. Twice. Fuck, it hurts. Harder. I want it harder.

And then I hear the humming chatter of a vibrator, and my whole body clenches with anticipation. From the sound of it, probably a bullet vibe. My clit throbs, waiting…but I feel nothing. Instead, behind me, you give a crying moan of pleasure. Fucking bitch. I’m not allowed to call you that, but I’m sure as hell thinking it. You make me listen. Your sighing moans intensify, rise in pitch…but you stop before you come. The vibrator continues to buzz, but now it’s muffled. What the—

OH FUCK. You pound through me, flaying me open, the dildo hard and thick. I’m so wet and slippery with cum, and you slide in deep. My cuffed hands grip the sheets, my grunting cry muffled by the fabric in my mouth. I can feel the vibration in the dick, you must have slipped the bullet inside the harness, pressed between the base and your own clit. You fuck me hard, sliding in and out with feverish speed. With every thrust, you give a cry of pleasure, while I am screaming inside my head.

“Don’t you dare come,” you command, digging your nails into my fleshy hips. “Don’t…fucking…come.”

I try not to, but it’s impossible. It’s almost here. You’re hitting just the right angle, my G-Spot, and in just a few more—

“Now, bitch! Scream for me.” You push in deep, your thighs pressed against mine, and I feel you go rigid.

I spit out the cloth and let out a high, keening wail as the orgasm crashes through me. Battering me, breaking me, I’m tossed asunder. A geyser gush of hot liquid rushes from me, soaking our legs, dripping onto our feet, mingling with your own wet stream of ecstasy. Fuck…fuck…

I fall against the bed and you collapse on top of me, shaking, fumbling to turn off the vibrator, but you’re too slow and clumsy to stop it. You come again, moaning into my hair, your breasts and stomach and dildo pressed down on my back, squirting your juices over me.

Finally you manage to shut it off, and you slide the harness down. The blindfold comes free, and I blink and squint into the candlelight. I close my eyes again, wait until the handcuffs are unlocked and my hands loosed. Then I turn my head, and find you. Beautiful and glowing, the Queen of my body and soul.

You lie beside me, stroking me gently, tender now. You kiss my lips for the first time that night, the signal that the game is over, and we are ourselves again.

“That was incredible,” I breathe. “You’re incredible.”

You smile shyly. “It wasn’t too much? I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

I laugh. “Oh, you hurt me. And I fucking loved it.”

Don’t Wilt My Wallflower

Note: This is companion piece to semi-autobiographical Tower of Sorrow of Sunaina

Tyrone

The November rain did not bother him as traffic crawled south on interstate I-880. For that matter, nothing gets Tyrone agitated. He is blessed with limitless patience and unbounded optimism. His resolve is tested sometimes when his football injury flared up. Other times he presented his calmest face to the world, a near seven-foot friendliest giant. In his late fifties, it is hard to peg his age. With his conditioning, training and maniacal workout ethics he looked younger.  When he shaves his head people pegged him at forty-five and fifty when the gray showed in his curly mop.

Tyrone let a smile escape, thinking about the day ahead. This was another Saturday to look forward to. Because of her. No more Saturdays left. At least no more Saturdays when she would be there. The girl who lit his mind ablaze, made him bound with joy and trigger the stoppered love. The two would go their separate ways after the following Tuesday, the Election Day.

He worked for a political campaign, managed an army of volunteers.  His limitless energy pervaded through the two big rooms bustling with volunteers in headsets making calls, ringing bells and freaking out when their computer crashed. He was their leader, the cheerleader, tech support, and their therapist when the polls showed their candidate down by a few points.

Tyrone was close to all at the phone bank but kept his distance. It was not because the place lacked beautiful people or any stated or unstated rules. Nor it was because he is married to his wife Bian, a Vietnamese gal he met during his army days in Texas. They both loved each other dearly and they still had more to give. For him more love to give did not mean a ticket to sleep around. It truly was about giving love. There was no one else he found that he wanted to share his unbounded love with. Being polyamorous did not mean scattering love for all.

Until he saw her in September.

After that Tuesday, Tyrone has to find a new job as well. That did not bother him. He always landed on his feet. The thought of not seeing her beautiful eyes again tested his resolve. It seeded a pain that started to sprout leaves and branches.  Eyes, her beautiful eyes, and a name that is so apt, Sunaina. A name that deserved respect and should not be insulted by anglicization or modification to Sue. Once he learned what her name meant, he could not help but call her many times, in his heart.  Sunaina.

He remembered the September Labor day weekend she walked in. The picture of a bold woman sheathed under layers of thoughts, an unsure gait that seemed to be more ready for flight than fight, and eyes that drew your attention away from everything else and announced, “I am here”.

That was an unusual election year and it brought in hoards of volunteers who had never before been involved in anything remotely close to politics. Women came in droves. Women of all background and age group. Everyone else was just another volunteer he welcomed and trained. For any other trainer, she would have been another volunteer to onboard and let loose. To be forgotten except for occasional greetings.

He leaped before the other two trainers, an older Caucasian woman and a trans girl whose age was difficult to judge,  to greet her and take her under his wings. She seemed she might find an excuse and walk out any second. He quickly took her to the very crowded and farthest part of the phone bank, so the energy in the room would ease her concern.

Yes, she heard about the phone bank from a friend.

Yes, she wanted to be involved.

No, she did not know anything about any other down-ticket candidates, she cared about just one at the top.

No, she was not comfortable talking to strangers, even over the phone.

What could you do with someone who was not interested in making calls? This was after all the phone bank.

Tyrone was in no hurry. None of the “Nos” mattered. As a trained organizer he knew he had to get her vested fast with one activity, make her own it that she would feel compelled to return.

So he sought her help with an imagined problem. The food table needed supervision, stocking it well to feed the army, keeping it safe from people trying to use bare hands and other invented problems he did not know how to solve.

She took the challenge. She would be the one to feed the army and keep it moving. She would do it better than ever before. She had one speed, super fast. One mode, full commitment. What Tyrone thought was a way to ease her way in became her cause. She went beyond keeping an eye on the food table. She inventoried, found the mix wrong and unfit for the volunteer army and had solutions to fix it. She drew up food schedules, what to buy when, what to put out, and what to ask others to bring.  She knew when the crowd peaked, and when they grew tired and needed a boost.

A simple side task transformed into something remarkable.

One thing she would continue to refuse to do, putting on the headset and making calls to convince voters. It was not for lack of trying by Tyrone.

During an afternoon lull on a Sunday he tried, “How about just once Sunaina, you are persuasive. People will listen to you”. He sat her down at one of the computers and eased the headset on gently without getting it catch her silky straight mane. His hands felt her hair and sent a gigawatt to his brain. Up close he saw her ear that peeked through her hair, it had a tiny pinch at the top. He adjusted the microphone closer to her mouth.

The computer called someone from its list and did a beep to tell her they picked up. It did not go well. No one wants to receive calls in their homes. It was a short call but one that would dissuade her forever. She did not wait for Tyrone, removed her headset so fast that it caught it caught few strands of her. Tyrone knew to back off.

She was happy to be the food czar. He would grow closer to her in such a short time. He would grow fond of her without realizing it. He would try to fill out her story because she had not shared any. She was definitely more informed than him on policies and polls. He would pose an ill-formed opinion as a question just to get her to talk. She would be rational and emotional at the same time. He was happy just to listen to her voice, those excited gestures and those beautiful eyes speaking more words than her fast-moving lips.

It would all end soon. What was the point? This connection came with expiry date marked on it, the Election Day. And it came.

She was there on Election Day even though it was a weekday because it was her cause. She wore her blue pantsuit, not white, and had her hair tied in a ponytail. During the day she would undo and redo per ponytail as it loosened from her high energy. She was doing more than food duty, she was cheerleading, she was socializing, she was hugging and high-fiving.

The evening that day became a disaster. The high excitement of the morning popped so quickly. People started leaving fast. Those who stayed were holding on to tiny hope that something would turn. So was Sunaina. Not the Sunaina of all these weekends or this morning. It was the deflated and defeated Sunaina. Tyrone kept his distance and silence.

Then came the moment when they flipped the leaderboard for Florida.

One second she was there watching the big screen, next second she was not. Tyrone caught the flash of blue darting through the back door. He did not hesitate. He did not think she might need a moment. He knew this was more than just an upset election. He had seen this before. Standing on the sidelines to let her have a good cry by herself was not an option. He knew that all too well.

Tyrone found her between the Port-A-Potty and the big dumpster. She was crying loud, her whole body shaking and her hands pressed against her abdomen as if she was stanching blood gushing out of a wound.

He tried to hold on to her hands that were pressed hard against her navel. She was heaving, her frame shaking, her nose clearing out her sinus. Her hands firmly in his grasp. Her spasms passed through her hands to his but came to a stop in his broad firm hands. She tried wriggling her hands as if she needed them to stop the bleeding.

She could not get her hands free. She threw herself into his body, with her hands awkwardly stuck between them. So close to his body she looked so small. He held her without hurting her. If she really wanted she could have freed herself.

She buried her face in his chest. His body dampened her spasms like a shock absorber would. Her hands-free, she wrapped them tightly around him as if she was holding on to a tree stump in the raging rapids. He used his newly freed hand to stroke her hair which had long ago transformed from its shiny smooth sheet into a dry frazzled mess.

Tyrone felt her skin burn. He could not help his own senses heighten and blood rushing away from his head. At her saddest moment, he could not help his arousal as her fingers dug into his back. He felt his penis grow fast into full-on erection. There was no hiding it. She clearly felt it.

He felt her breasts harden against his body, her nipples standing up on their ends pushing against him, her body burning hot as if the raging fire was real. Her breathing was the hot exhaust from the fire. All her sweat burned off by the fire and her body stopped producing any more sweat to put out the fire.

He felt a change in her body, The sorrow and anger that reverberated through his body started to subside and were fast transformed into something else. He knew what it was. Was she reacting to his erection or is he reacting to her hunger?

He was swept away by her tsunami.  The strong and sturdy Tyrone was taking orders from her body. She was inviting him. He felt that through every cell in his body. Logic and caution decided to not interfere.

He understood what was asked of him. He did not have to kiss. She did not expect him to. There was no warm-up needed as she burned full blast. The instructions communicated to him were clear.

He turned her around and pressed her against the building outer wall. There was not much room in the hiding place. She pressed the wall with her arms held up. She felt his weight press against her back but in a careful way to not crush her against the wall. His right hand searched around her pant zippers on her sides. His left hand ran inside her shirt and crushed her breast.

She had to help him with her zipper for his big meaty fingers struggled to hold on to tiny zip. The next steps were easier as he unrolled her pants and panties down. His face pressed against the side of her neck, taking small bites of her neck and her ear the one with a small pinch in it.

It took no effort to get his penis out. Guiding with his freed hand he mounted her. A million voices spoke in his ears. None of them dissuaded him.  None of them asked what the fucking hell he was doing.

He entered her with ease. She was inviting him in. He was a big man and well endowed. She was ready for him. He could feel her muscles surround his shaft and take him deep. He was careful to not crush her against the wall. He wrapped one hand around her body and let his other keep guiding his penis.

When he knew he was in he thrusted. Hard. Harder. Fast. Faster. His penis felt like a monster that ran through the walls, filled her inside and filled her cells with pleasure.

Time stopped. Flowed. Jumped back and forth. Not much he could feel how the time flowed.

He was in a trance. She had placed him in that trance.

The spell broke just in time when he pulled away from her.

Her fever broke at the same time as she quickly pulled herself from him, not with aversion but with a gratitude. All her sorrow burned through to ashes. She did not wait for him or turn around. She fixed her pants back up and dashed through the parking lot.

Tyrone stood there dazed. He felt like she left a part of her with him. It was her pain. He could feel it welling up in his body. He was her healer but his healing had come at a cost as her pain had merely transferred over to him.

Tyrone stood there forever with hot tears rolling down his eyes.

 

Unsaid Words

Is it better to eventually express the unsaid things or should we let them fade away?

This was the question posed by someone on twitter. They had deleted their tweet since then, so I will respect their privacy and not attribute the quote.

The question still stands and a one that is constructed to look deceptively simple. From the first read, it looks like a closed-ended one, asking us to pick between two options. But a second read gives you the hidden beauty.  It shows the near universality of the feeling, we all have had such unsaid feelings at one point or another. It conveys that these feelings are hidden from others, not from us.

There is one thing I wish I had expressed in my life when I had the chance. Unfortunately, I did not have the clarity of thought or the words to express my feelings. I have all the clarity I need now and yes the words and carefully crafted sentence structures but the person I want to say these things to is far removed. Even if I find her and show my heart, she may not be in a state to receive it.

It was my late teen years when she came into our lives. Back home, people would describe her as just a maid. To me, she was far more and never a maid. I called her “Valli akka”.  Even though the word “akka” means big sister that was not the way how it was used in most circumstances. It simply became the way of addressing the girl older than you. Yes, she was a Help woman who worked in several homes in our apartment complex. But to me, she was my friend, companion and the first and only person I gave my heart to.

It was not the easiest time of my life then. We had lost our mother the previous year, I had to settle for evening college, and a typical Indian father who turned his anger on my sister and I. It was also the time I was starting to admit there was something different about me.

Valli was older than me by a decade or so but I still cannot tell how old she was. It is the thing with those hardworking people in India who have skipped their adolescent years to become adults so early in their lives. Constant hard labor ate away any ounce of youth left in them. She looked older than her real age. Those factors did not diminish her beauty one bit, I can still see her so clearly in my mind.

She was taller than I was, her body was malnourished once but thanks to the support from the families she worked for, she had filled out nicely.  She wore the simplest of sarees, handouts from others, that showed grace. Her hair was long, oiled and pulled up into a makeshift messy bun. I have seen her let her hair down, it flowed down like shiny black snake till her waist, stuck together as one unified being by the oil. Her arms were toned from all the mopping, sweeping and washing. Her breasts looked so round, placed so far apart from each other that her cleavage must have looked like a valley.

We connected well from the first week she was hired. She then called me, “kannu”, which translated to, “my eyes”, an endearing term most adults used for girls in the family. We would talk about things like two friends would and in a way that there was absolutely no judgment. I could tell her the most trivial thing that happened and she would listen with rapt attention. Her stories, there were way too many from her employment in the families, were colorful, detailed and relayed with amusement and no schadenfreude.

Our friendship took a huge leap perhaps even a shift in another dimension when my mother died. Valli became closer to me since then.She then became the savior for me, more so to me than my sister who has always been stronger and smarter. When she reached out and offered her love and support I latched on to her like it was the most natural thing to do.There were many firsts after that.

First time she would hug me. Something not seen or accepted in the strict employer-Help relations there.

First time she would call me by my name. For whatever reason, that felt more endearing than the actual endearing term, “kannu”. She would only call me by my name since then.

First time she would share her past and present with me.

First of many times she would brush and braid my hair.

First time I would drop, “akka” and called her just by her name, Valli.

Since I was at evening college, I spent my days by myself at home. Most days Valli would join me during her breaks, and we shared more stories every day. Even when we talked for hours every day we never ran out of words to share and never saw a drop in excitement. When she rang the bell, I always knew it was her. I automatically smiled big, my heart would shed any self-pity it had and would beat with excitement. We would talk when she did our dishes, cleaned our floors, and when sipped the chai I made for her (she preferred double sugar).

I had trouble labeling our relationship. I did not understand it then. It was easier for me and others to describe this as me filling the void my mother left with another woman.  But that seemed too convenient.

I had never felt this close to my mother.

I had never felt my heart jump with excitement to hear my mother enter through the door.

I had never felt the same racing heart settle into unnoticeable pace when I talked to my mother.

I had never felt that the world around me ceased to exist and the only thing mattered was the present when my mother hugged me.

It took me a while to understand my feelings. It was staring into my eyes and I simply lacked the eyesight to understand it.

What else could explain the safety, comfort, and happiness I felt with her?

What else could explain the pain I felt when she had to leave for the day even though I knew I would see her again in a few hours?

What else could explain yearning I had for her embrace, to her warm embrace, and the bright smile she conjured up just for me.

I sure loved her. I sure felt her love.

Yes, I understood my feelings for her.

Understanding is one thing. Expressing that understanding is another.

Valli and I exchanged so many words. We always talked without a gap. Yet, we did not utter the simple words that expressed our feelings for each other. I could blame it on my confusion but mostly it was the fear of unknown. I wish I had the courage and clarity to express how I felt.

How I wanted her to not go away but be with me.

How I wanted our embrace to last longer, like forever.

How I wanted to melt into her arms and become one with her.

Alas, I did not say any of those things.

Those unsaid things did not go away. But we both moved far part. The unsaid things gathered more mass and grew in size.

I may not love her in the same exact way I did then. But I wish I could tell her that when we were together I loved her more than anything.

My Quantum Entanglement

I have a very complex relationship with my hair. Perhaps, the complexity does not arise from within me but is brought upon and magnified by my environment. By environment, I meant my birth, culture, religion, mores, parents, and now the family I am married into. There is a lot of agony and anger mixed in with the sensuality that hair brings in. The strong feelings come from the fact that I didn’t get a choice and still don’t.

Let me not add extensions to insinuate even a wee bit that this choice is of the same proportion as the other big Choice. That would be hairesy. This is the choice to express my individuality, explore my whims, and enjoy simple pleasures.

And yes, I will blend in many punny tales to comb over bare spots as I bob and weave in my writing.

Let me untangle this for you.

I come from a country of Billion people, million subcultures, each with thousands of unwritten rules just for women. I bet there are hundreds of such rules on just how we should wear our hair.  In the specific group, I was born into, here are a couple that bothered me a lot

  1. Women should not let their hair loose — because that depicts anger, bad luck, or ill omen. One of the heroines in the epic Mahabharata has her hair loosened by a man who pulled her by her long hair to a court. He then goes on to un-saree her only to find she was wearing infinity saree. After that, she vowed to keep her hair down until the day she could wash it with his blood. Yeah, I know, gross. And yes she did get to fulfill her vow. So letting hair down implies bloodthirst.
  2. Women should not cut their hair – this likely comes from the perversion that girls and married women are representations of a goddess but widows are not. In not so distant past when her husband dies they would shave his widow’s head rendering her, in their thinking, not fit to be beautiful or a representation of goddess. That practice has faded and is replaced by the lesser form, widows aren’t allowed to sport any kind of hairdo or adorn flowers.  In the family I am married into, despite their long presence in the USA, the belief is there is a direct connection between my hair length and my husband’s wealth. So cutting hair to them means bankrupting my husband if not portending his death.

There were many such rules designed by others to tell the woman how she is allowed to mane-age. ( Told you this is about punny tails.)

Whether it is because I am truly a goddess, the tropical weather or my body is an amazing hair growing machine, I always had long thick black hair. Not as black as true black, more like the creator spilled too much black ink on the previous girl and overcompensated when he came to me. It grew fast and with sufficient root strength to support waist length hair. That is not uncommon among women I grew up with.  I was proud of my mane and did love the length. But when I was denied something or worse forbidden, naturally I built up a reservoir of desire to do just those acts. Luckily, right after I got married and yes it was an arranged one, the first rule went away.

My husband turned out to be a huge fan of my long hair and prefers I let it loose when we have sex. I was debating between using the word intercourse vs. sex, but the word intercourse sounds like only your OBGYN would use -“How often you have intercourse? Does it hurt during intercourse?. Sorry I got tangled up there. So yes, in our early days there was lots of sex, lots of lovemaking and lots of fucking and all these involved some kind or other of hair play. Do not ask me to psychoanalyze him because I too liked it.

After coming to this country I had all the freedom I want on letting my hair loose and not having to tie it, braid it, and jail it. But the second rule was still in effect. The husband liked it long and preferred it long and the cultural chains said don’t cut it short else you’d bankrupt him. I was young and I wanted to try out something trendier that fit my age but that was not something I had the freedom to do.

Fortunately, the wealth rule did not say much about trimming ends or getting bangs. I made full use of the loophole in that.  I discovered salons are a sanctuary from this real world and really looked forward to going there as often I could. I first stuck with simple trims, then I asked my hairdresser to make it appear that I have length but give some shape to it. It was me slowly knocking on the door, seeing how far I can push it before someone noticed.

All that said, for more than a decade into my married life I still did not get the choice to wear my hair like I wanted to. Until past October. I do not want to go into details on the events that led to my decision here. Suffice to say that I found the resolve in me to assert myself, and had my hair done short in a cute asymmetric bob.  It was every bit worth it, as a style and as a statement. I have not bankrupted him yet.

I enjoy the cut, the looks and compliments it got, and the ease in mornings. But I also miss my long hair. I miss the near meditation like the feeling I get when I brush it. I miss the lovely feeling of my hair dancing over my naked shoulders. I also want to take it a few steps further, to get a side shave or an undercut.

So is it the quantum state of wanting long hair as well as wanting to cut it? How can I, one who was dying to cut it short, now miss and want long hair? I am letting it grow and it sure is. The point is, now it is my choice. I get to decide. I am not following someone else’s whims and rules.

Choice is a beautiful thing.

The Gray Matter

This post is influenced by Brianna Kienitz. A line in her post just stopped me.  She wrote this about her sexuality,

I’ve lumped myself into the grey part of the spectrum for the time being.

When I read it I had to stop and let those words wash over me. It was as if she captured my life in fourteen simple words that covers both time and space. This made me write a self-awareness post using the metaphor Brianna offered. Because  categorizations only cover a tiny sliver of humanity.

In my case, I am confused and unclassifiable in not just one aspect but in almost every practical aspect you would take for granted. If sexuality is one dimension, there sure is a vast grey zone in its spectrum. When you layer in other dimensions it gets complicated and sometimes painful. I am unclassifiable or confused when it comes to culture, chastity, sexuality, love, my career, my food preference, etc.

Scientists talk about multi-dimensional space, dimensions beyond the three (four if we included time) that we are in. They say that dimensions beyond three are curled onto themselves and not easy for us three dimensional creatures to visualize. Let me stick to simplicity and talk about my grey zone circumscribed three dimensions, culture, chastity and sexuality.

Culture

I was born in India, in a very conservative, practicing Hindu family that had strict rules even on simple things like what I can wear, when I am allowed to leave my hair untied, to where I should stand when I have my periods. It is hard to pin down one culture for a country of billion people but in one way or another the common threads are about restricting the role of woman.

I now live in the land of freedom, or that is what implied in the Declaration of Independence. I definitely have more freedom now than I ever had in my birth country.I love my adopted country more, more than anything else. I love the promise and hope it offers. This is not yet ideal but as Dr. King said the arc is bending in the right direction.

I dislike the hatred, restrictions and the social mores of my birth country. I have more freedom than before but being married into another conservative Hindu family I still have restrictions on what I can eat or whether I can drink.

Outside of home I take advantage of every chance I get to break those rules. While I was born vegetarian and still mostly is, I have eaten meat. I drink wine when  I go out with group (but I take measures to drive out wine breath before I go home). On the flip side, I dress in Saree for events, kept my hair long for a very long time,  and play  the traditional role expected of wife.

Nothing showcases this more than my pseudonym.  My parents named me for a Hindu Goddess. I decided to name myself Stacia here. Perhaps it is my home that had I been born as Stacia in this country, my life would have been different.

People tell me I am running away from my cultural roots. I say, if breaking shackles mean running away from culture, so be it. My Indian friends place me on the far side of the spectrum and my other friends see me at the near side.

I am in the grey zone.

Chastity

I am not sure if this is the right word. Perhaps loyalty is a better one to use. Let us stick with the dictionary definition of chastity for now.

Hindu mythology, no doubt written by patriarchy, is full of stories and examples on extremely chaste women. Sita, wife of god Rama, is often quoted as paragon of this virtue. Her chastity was so powerful that when she walked through fire, unscathed. Conversely, she was asked to prove her chastity by walking through fire. The moral of the story is, if your chastity is not fireproof, you are dead.

The very definition of what it means to be chaste was and is very restrictive. In one of the stories a saint’s wife saw a reflection of a minor god flying in the sky and thought to herself that he looked cute. The saint declared she lost her chastity and punished her to death by beheading (by their own son).

There are many such examples of women of high character. And there is just one about a man, Rama (his chastity was axiomatic requiring no proof unlike his wife’s).

I resent these examples and definitions. While I do not see promiscuity as a viable lifestyle for me, I do not agree that sex can be limited to only one partner at a time. I call myself non-practicing woman with lust. Another grey zone.

Sexuality

This has been a long term confusing aspect for me and still confusing as heck. When I was growing up I did not have sexual attraction for a man. Did not have a boy friend. And my first experience was on my wedding night. You can chalk all these up as artifacts of the culture since what these are true of almost every girl who grew up with me in my home country.

It is not that I had explicit likings for girls back then. Well except one. That too was almost a one sided love that burned out from my end. Since then I was scared of expressing love or making myself vulnerable. I was confused by my feelings then. I did not have have anyone to discuss why I felt attracted to her, why I wanted her to hold me in her arms and tell me she loved me too.

Now I am married to a man. I do enjoy sex with him, more in early days than now. I still have my feelings to be with a woman. I am attracted to certain women, have secret crush on some I meet in daily life. I would say I am still the non-practicing type, the one who has not acted upon her instincts, but I have come close to what you describe as flirting with some. To confuse things further, I also think certain men are cute and fantasize about wild sex with them. Yet another grey zone.

So what you find in the region circumscribed these three dimensions is me, made of grey matter, trying to manage my confusions, manage my fears and trying to live the life where I am true to myself.

Astrophysicists say most of the Universe is made up of Dark Matter, that is matter that we cannot even get any observations on to even classify them one way or another. What we can see and classify in Universe but a tiny fraction of Dark Matter. I guess the Humanity is made up this unclassifiable Grey Matter like myself.