Tag Archives: romance




“OH! How cute. A lock on your necklace. That’s an adorable idea. I like the look.”

I hadn’t even thought the lock was visible. I smiled and reached for it, a habit that I’ve started developing since I got back from North Carolina at the end of the month. It’s just a luggage lock for right now, nothing fancy. Durable. Enough to last me until April when Ace will be in town for job interviews. But it’s a little lock with a lot of meaning.

James is the only man to own me, really own me, and there’s a part of me still that is very much his. He knows this. I know this. And so do my partners and friends. It’s.. kinda obvious. As much as there are moments when I miss high protocol I don’t feel a need to be owned by another. Being called ‘mine’ is.. lovely and goes straight to my loins whenever it’s growled in my ear. But the thing is, it is growled in my ear again. Just in a different way. 

Ace and I have known each other for a LONG TIME, at least long for us being humans in our late twenties and early thirties. I was a damn virgin when he and I started speaking, so kink was far off on the horizon of innocent little high school me. Because of that, the kink between he and I is so different than other partners where the relationships were established around kink. I stopped searching for vanilla partners a long time ago. If you seek me out and you aren’t at least french vanilla or have a cinnamon twist hiding somewhere I’m fairly certain I’ll eat you for supper at this point… So, in establishing new dynamics kink is often at the forefront.

With a dynamic like Ace and I, the kink ends up secondary to the actual partnership. It’s partially because he and I have so much history, and partially because of the fluidity in which we switch. In the span of one scene we’ve played the ‘who’s on top’ game countless times, and it’s FANTASTIC, but makes it almost impossible to continually call him ‘Sir’ with a straight face. 

Our kink was also established long after other dynamics were in place. Chris, who I’ve called my Sir since the beginning, and I have been playing for three and a half years at this point. I am purely submissive to him. Aeonyse, Ace’s other partner that will be joining us in the Bay come June, is purely submissive to Ace and has always called him Sir (..this sometimes makes me giggle). All this has led to Ace and I having to look at our dynamic, or needs, and see what terms and connections actually work for he and I. 

What we came up with was that he is my Keeper. This has turned into a HUGE point of reassurance with the whole Ryan clusterfuck (still unresolved. We haven’t seen each other since 2018. It’s March. Sigh) and so many other changes coming up. The move. Job transition to school. New career path. Wedding. Babies. EEEEEEPPPPPPPP.

Ace as my Keeper and the phrasing he uses around that has also silenced many brain squirrels from eons past, during a time when there was no chance I would ever come first in Ace’s world. He and I have had many ‘near relationships’ over the years, where there were feels and passion and desire all there, aaaand also a wife. And distance. And, life. Many times over the years we got very close and then it would stop. We would have to go back to being platonic, or he would sneak text messages after being told for the twentieth time that he was not allowed to contact me. Sometimes he would listen to that order for a couple of months and there would be no contact at all. I never expected him to stay. I never expected that in the end he would actually choose me. 

I have an amazing meta and friend that is also a life and relationship coach. She taught me about her system of ‘things’, these key phrases that she sometimes needs to hear from her partners that are the perfect reassurances for her brain squirrels. She says the ones that they need in return. Both Ace and I lose words when we are in bad head spaces, and having our own ‘things’ has helped pull me back on more than one occasion when all we’ve had were words we could say over the phone. Mine are fairly simple. 

I choose you.
I’m going to K/keep you.
I love you.
I’m not going anywhere.
We’ve got this.

Being Kept is safety, not ownership. There is no high protocol, though there are times when I kneel at his feet and call him Sir. There are times when he kneels and calls me Ma’am. It is safety. It’s.. the odd magick that Ace and I possess, that’s been there from the beginning. 

The first time I met Ace face to face I remember the shock of the ‘zing’ of connection, and the feeling of home that I felt in being around him. I don’t co-sleep easily with folks and typically choose my bed as my sanctuary, and it was a shock to sleep comfortably and through the night not only with him, but with him wrapped around me and holding me. When I close my eyes and hold on to the lock, I get that feeling. That peace of the warmth of being beside him, the calm of hearing his heart beat and steady breathing as he sleeps. The melty feeling when your body just fits perfectly locked with someone else’s and you wonder how on earth that magick can happen. 

The last night of a six day long visit in February Ace and I went in search of my lock. I’ve had a ‘mark’ from him around my neck for many months now, and it doesn’t come off. But it’s had a clasp. It could come off. And I realized over time that I did not want it to. I wanted that reminder that someone’s got me. Someone is there to catch me when I fall. He’s human. There are times when he will be overwhelmed and when our brain squirrels won’t play well together, and I know that. But he’s also proved that he can communicate that when necessary and will still do what he can to take care of me when I am not okay. Ace has stepped up and proven time an time again that I am indeed his. That he is fully choosing me, not hiding me in the shadows anymore. That he wants an actual life with me. I wanted an anchor of that reminder, something physical, for when it’s hard to remember and we can’t be physically together. And so, we decided that my mark should lock. 

It’s a little luggage lock for now. Nothing fancy. Solid. Reassuring. I still got on my knees in front of him when he pulled it out. He slipped the clasp off my mark as I bent my head. “Are you sure about this?” My head went up at his voice. “Because I’m sure. I want you to be.” 

I am. The response was confident. The lock clicked. He grinned and put the key in the box he keeps his engagement ring in, the one I gave him. I melted.

I was going home with a lock around my neck. The key would be 3000 miles away. And I honestly felt perfectly safe. Held. Kept. I had a home. One that would build into a household, a polyfam. A life 

There are pieces missing in my overall life, but I am so blessed. I am Kept. I am cherished. I am loved. I am his.

And as always, dear reader. I am yours, with so much more to come.






New Relationship Energy.

Everything monumental in my life has always started with an “oh shit” moment. It’s just how it’s always been with me.

The big relationships in my life have been a dance of avoidance vs submitting to my own desires. It happened with James, who I felt immediate chemistry with and then hid from for a year afterwards because the amount of chemistry terrified me. It happened with Chris, who I watched scene from afar for over a year before I friend pulled me in to play with him. And now, it’s happened with Grey.

I’ve known Grey for over a year at this point. He was a BaGG regular who disappeared for a time..but when he was there, he and his lovely fiance were two of the people who helped make me comfortable with being at BaGG. They pulled me into a group, a clique before I had a clique, and made me feel safe and desired when there was a sea of people around me that I didn’t know yet. The play with Grey was always…toe curling, but it was never much. I was collared, and I honestly didn’t ever know he was interested in me. He played..plays..it’s confusing with a mutual friend of ours who is GORGEOUS, and his lovely fiance has curves in all the right places. And then there’s me. I never saw it. I played with his partner more than him, and then they disappeared for a bit.

And then they came back. They finally came back, and I was thrilled. And surprised.

That first night that they returned to BaGG I found out just how interested Grey was in me. He’s a vocal one, something I am not entirely used to, and is not afraid to express how he feels. Another thing I am very not used to.  I was upset about something.. I can’t even remember what anymore. He was walking me back inside when I heard him whisper in my ear, “You know I’ve got you, right, little one? You’re mine.”

My knees buckled. In a good way. As I said..he’s safe. He’s not trying to claim the primary spot. But he will claim at least part of me..

The night was laced with play with him; intense play that resulted in some lovely bruises on my chest. There were whispers of all the things he would love to do to me if we weren’t in a club. How he would love to hear me scream around his cock while his beautiful fiance did wonderfully evil things to me from behind… Followed by how he loved me, how gorgeous and beautiful I was. How he adored me.

It was a balm over so many sore areas in my life. And I felt myself melting.

The truth was, I had had a crush on Grey for some time… But the logic of ‘he is my crush and is therefore untouchable’ remains in my warp, twisted mind. Suddenly, my crush was showing he wanted me..in a very big way. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such an overwhelming rush of feels before. It terrified and thrilled me.. Terrified, because love scares the ever-living shit out of me. Thrilled because at least part of me understood the feels were safe with him. That they had always been safe with him.

We started texting back and forth..and realized just what derps we had been, each having feelings for the other but imagining the other didn’t feel the same. We played at yet another BaGG. Finally, we went on a date.

Oh my goodness… It has been so, SO long since I’ve had a first date like the one Grey and I had. I felt that zing, that ‘oh fuck’ zing of this is going to be something. And I cursed internally as we drove to our lunch destination, trying to process all that I was feeling. The last time I had zinged so intensely on a first date had been James..I didn’t know if I was ready for another James, or Chris. Casual play, yes..but this would not be casual, this would be intense.

We’ve spent more time together since… I have neither asked, nor expected intense or emotional. Neither of us did. I don’t think he was looking for a new partner any more than I was..and yet here we are. There is a bitter-sweetness to it. Chris and I have continued to have bumps, where Grey and I have a natural ease when we’re around one another. “I like us”, he has told me, over and over. And I have to agree. I like us too.

The NRE is so strong with this one.. I forgot all that comes with a good relationship. The missing. The craving the presence of the person hours after they’ve left. The fantasies that spring to mind late a night, when I’m alone in bed and left to my own wandering hands and thoughts.. And the play! GODDE, fresh play again! Bliss is the simplest way I can describe the feeling of his hand wrapped around my throat. He has big hands; hands that know how to work and that are not without their scars.

I most certainly have a type.

I have missed new adventures. It feels as if Grey was this piece that I’ve been missing. He’s slid into my life so seamlessly that it feels as if he was always supposed to be here. Of course, this is my partner. And his partner? What a joy she is, and how amazing she has been in sharing the man she is going to marry.

After so much struggling, being in a relationship with good, safe poly where I don’t feel threatened and I know someone isn’t trying to fill James’s spot… It’s a good feeling. I let myself revel in it, and I look forward to more adventures with Grey.

Yours, enjoying the new and the shiny



Who’s On Top


Hello, lovely internet world. Yes, I still live. I’ve..been through quite a bit since my silence, and I will get to what I can, when I can as time goes on..but I am back. I hope some of you are still around, and willing to continue to read my thoughts as my journey continues.

I am very much active still in the local San Francisco scene. James is still in my life, though we are..complicated (as if we have ever been simple). I remain unowned and uncollared for now, but I am far from single.

For now, I’m not talking about James. This entry will be about another partner that I’ve mentioned before, Chris.

Chris and I have had our bumps, but even through me being released we’ve managed to stay together. For a time I was..terrified. There are still times I feel unbalanced, not having a primary and remaining in a relationship that would be considered a ‘secondary’ relationship. Right now, officially, I belong to no one. Emotionally is a different story..but I’m digressing.

It was about a month ago that Chris and I hit our biggest bump in the road. One of the reasons being with him was always so easy was that I felt like I was on an even playing field with all of my met amours. For the longest time, Chris preached that he did not believe in hierarchy, and that he did not have primaries and secondaries. There was no worry about who came first. We were all even, and would be what we would be.

For the most part, I get along with my met amours. Some I want to play with. Some I enjoy a sort of sibling relationship with… there’s a kindred spirit feel. I work to maintain these relationships because these people matter to me, and matter to a man that I call my Sir. I enjoy the family feel that I have with the majority of my partner’s partners. There is..one, however, that does not fit this mold.

Emily, my partner’s parter, is a force of nature. She is a polarizing, creative soul that has frustrated the majority of us from the very beginning. She wants nothing to do with any of us, and that (for the most part) is okay. It’s her personal choice and not something any of us can really impact. Not even Chris can. Their relationship has been..turbulent to say the least, and the only time the lack of contact with Emily has bothered me has been when I’ve had nights with Chris a day or two after a drama-filled visit and my partner was visibly distraught. She has effected him emotionally unlike any of the others; the highs with her are the highest for him and the lows are the lowest.

I suppose, knowing this, I should been able to predict what would happen next. I got a call from my partner informing me that he was going to choose a primary, and that it was Emily.

There were many emotions associated with this decision..still are.. I was so angry at first. I felt betrayed. Hurt. Confused why he never communicated any of this to me. We had just had a very intense, connection-filled camp at Dark Odyssey, and during all of it he could have easily opened up to me. Out of all of his partners, I was one that understood hierarchy and the complicated emotions often associated with it. I felt like I had been slapped, backhanded. Not only had he not trusted me enough to open up and tell me what was going on, he had chosen for his primary the most unstable relationship in his life. One that I had seen almost destroy him emotionally multiple times.

Slowly, the other partners have adjusted. I have as well. I am now the closest partner locally that he has. Emily is next, at a couple hours away from him to my half-hour. I see the little changes the most..and some have them have hurt me.

This world of hierarchy is wildly new to Chris, and I know that… and I’ve watched him struggle with navigating it. For the majority of the summer Emily got all of his weekends, which cut off most of the time he could have spent with two partners that were long distance and only are able to see him about once a month each. The bit of time I got with him was almost always good, especially when we were out and away from his place.

The last couple visits to his home, however, have felt like I was on a day with not just him, but with Emily too. The first real blow came when I walked in one day to see an art piece Emily had made up on his wall. Chris has artwork all over his apartment, including mine, and Emily’s was a rather big piece on a wall that had nothing yet besides it. It framed the wall funny, and I mentioned to Chris just shifting the piece over a tad.

He agreed, but only after going to his front door to look at it on the wall. “I want it to be the first thing I see when I walk through the door,” he said. I winced at the words and looked over at the piece I had given him; a painting I had done a lifetime ago that had meant the world to me. I never thought I could give it to anyone. I let it go to Chris because he had worked on me so much, gotten through my armor. Slowly, he had taught me how to love more than one person. That meant so much to met that I wanted him to have the 2D piece I was most proud of making. In one moment, with a single comment he probably hadn’t even thought twice about, he had thrown that out the window.

Another time I had opened the fridge to find it filled with food; a rare sight in the land of the Chris. None of the food was for him. It was all for Emily’s kids, who he loves. Over and over, throughout the evening, he mentioned how much he was enjoying the uncle role and how amazing the children were. I felt like a bitch, staring down at my dinner, upset about him loving something so much that I was unable to touch, or see, or fully understand.

There are many conversations about Emily being his number one, and wanting to be number one with her. Emily getting the most of his time, the most of his energy.

Emily, Emily, Emily.

I felt myself swallowing bitter pills more and more as time went on. Chris, this strong top who is quick to punish me for being five minutes late to lunch, let Emily get away with murder. Rescheduling and canceling things last minute, not showing up to something after a fight when she had made a commitment to, calling and having a fight with him in the middle of a date he and I were having.. More and more, I felt my territory stomped on. And there was always an excuse. If I pulled half the crap she did with him, he would have dropped my ass months ago. I couldn’t understand it. I was so hurt, so terribly sore, and yet even as he bent to her I saw him happy and fought being upset and jealous. I disregarded my feelings, chalking up what I could to a lack of primary and a need for more attention. I was okay, until I saw a photo of Chris wearing a leash and collar.

Chris is a switch, but his submissive side rarely comes out to play. It exclusively comes out with Emily, and I knew this. I was aware of this. But he is my Sir. Selfishly, I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t understand it. I was..disturbed by it. Upset he didn’t give me any warning about it. Angry at the amount of power and control she had over him. Very human emotions.

I asked him to give me a call when he could. He was away, on vacation, and we could not talk face to face. When we did talk I shared what I could about how I was feeling; that I didn’t want to be a bitch and be bitter when he was so happy but that I felt neglected. Shoved to the side. Second fiddle. I am aware that Emily comes first. I don’t need it shoved down my throat. James always came first for me and I tried my damnedest to make sure that Chris was always sure and steady in his importance and his place in my life.

Chris said one very key phrase, and suddenly everything fell into place in my mind about their relationship. Why he gave her so much lee way. Why she could do so much damage to him and why the effects lingered long after a fight with any of the rest of us would have been recovered for. Why he was so greedy for as much time with her as he could get.

“I feel as if I belong to her.”

The moment I heard the words, I felt equal parts pain and understanding. The subby ache inside of me reared its ugly head, and I let a couple silent tears fall. Yes, I knew that feeling well. From the beginning I had belonged to James. I didn’t need a collar to tell me that. He has always been able to touch parts of me that no one else has gotten near.

Chris, as much as he was my Sir, as much as he was a sadistic bastard at times, was not the emotional top in the relationship. He was hers. Emotionally, he was submissive to her.

I had been looking at the whole situation from a top’s prospective. Why was she given special treatment that the rest of us never would have gotten long before she became primary? Why WAS she the primary when she was by far his most difficult partner? Why did he cater to her so much, when so much of what she was would be a deal breaker with anyone else?

Because he was emotionally in service to her, and probably had been for some time. Now, as their relationship develops, he is comfortable enough to be physically in service to her from time to time as well. She is the only one he can do that with; the only one that he can even begin to imagine doing that with.

In a way, I understand. I can call any man who tops me that I respect sir. James remains the only man I have ever felt the desire to call my Master. He is the only one I can be a slave to, as of now.

I don’t know where this relationship with Emily will go. I hope that Chris doesn’t end up hurt, and I’m going to do my best to help him begin to navigate this sort of relationship in a slightly healthier way. There are ways to belong to one partner and still not make the others feel like crap. Partners are partners for a reason. Relationships are hard work. You don’t continue them, especially through conflict, if they aren’t things that matter to you. And I know that, realistically, I matter to Chris. I know he absolutely loves me. I know that I am not Emily, that I do not touch certain parts of him that she touches, but I also know that we have other things in common, and that’s okay too. Other things is different… not ‘not as good’. It’s teaching him how to communicate that (at his request) that will be..interesting.

Poly isn’t easy. But honestly, at this point in my life I can’t imagine being monogamous. Even with the drama, my life is much better with Chris in it. He is a good man, and for the most part a fantastic partner. We’ll navigate this. Nothing is unchanging. Nothing is perfect. Life is change, and development, and growth; and there is so much beauty in that.

Yours, still very much alive and kicking



Fifty Shades of Shit


Before I start this rant (and oh believe me, there will be a rant) I invite you all to check out the blog of someone much more eloquent and knowledgeable than myself. He also writes from a Dom’s perspective, which is not something you come across often.


He hit on a few things about Fifty Shades that I wanted to address … But as a submissive I have a whole other list of issues on top of these.

I admit that I struggled to get through the book. I started it and put it down several times in the course of the last three years, finally biting the bullet and charging through it when my mother informed me that we would be seeing the movie next time I was in Jersey. I wanted to see how much alcohol I would need to get through it.

I consider myself a well-read individual. I went through a phase in middle school and high school where I would gobble about a book a day down. I have never had to look up so many word definitions for a single book in all my LIFE. Yes, Ms. James, you are very smart. Clearly you’ve shown this with your fancy big words. This was just a knit-picky thing through the majority of the book, until the second to last chapter or so, the scene where Ana is flogged.

This one little scene, and one little vocabulary slip, showed just how little research Ms. James did into actual BDSM. She insists on calling the ends of the flogger fronds. They’re tails. Nothing fancy. Occasionally I’ve heard the business end referred to as lashes. Again. Common words you don’t need to Google in order to understand their meaning. Literally if you Google “what are the ends of a flogger called?” this is what you will find. Why use fancy words for absolutely no reason, to the point where they actually take away from the authenticity of what you’re writing?

Now then, let’s move onto Mr Fifty Shades himself, Christian Grey. I am a submissive woman, attracted to Dominant men. I am not attracted to Christian.. For quite a few reasons. One being that the way he approached Ana would be the opposite of any Dom I have ever met.

A good Dom would sooner cut off their manhood than try to change their submissive’s nature. I have had Doms as both friends and lovers and they’ve all said the same to me.. That they fear their lovers getting consumed by the relationship. That they want their lovers to serve and be themselves and not completely deny their personal needs in order to fulfill their Doms.

Most of all, no self respecting Dominant that I know would EVER ask a woman to submit who was NOT A SUBMISSIVE. “You are completely inexperienced and know nothing else… I know this is kinky and taboo but screw anything vanilla and try it my way”. Yeah. No.

Christian hounds Ana. Stalks her. Allows her no breathing room to figure out her own sexual identity and instead attempts to mold her to his. Wrong. Wrong all over the place.

One thing I want to address before moving onto Ana’s character flaws is that you have to be “50 shades of fucked up” to be into BDSM. Speaking from personal experience, it takes a lot to come to terms with taboo sexual desires and accept yourself as you are. There is such a stigma attached to kink, to someone being twisted enough to want to be beaten, or want to hit someone.

I grew up in a stable, loving home. My parents are still happily married. I can count the number of spankings I got growing up on one hand and was never hit in any other way as a child. I have no daddy issues, get along great with my parents, and still talk to them at least six times a week even though I live 3000 miles away from them.

And yet I get pleasure from being taken over someone’s knee and spanked until my ass is bright red. I love being bound to beds. I crave the bite of a flogger, a hand wrapped around my neck and buried in my hair, pulling it. I get GREAT pleasure from anal sex. I get gratification from getting on my knees, crawling between my Dom’s legs, and pleasuring him like no one else can.. Etc etc

I’m not saying my kinks are normal. I know they are far from it. But I don’t have some fucked up past that brought me to want this. This is just in me. It’s a part of me like my height, like my interest in art or my bookworm personality. I’m a submissive. I’m an artist. I’m a night owl. It’s a segment of what makes me, me. And it’s not for anyone else to judge, because I’m not going to be judging you if you think vanilla missionary is the most fulfilling thing in the world. If it is for you, fantastic. Different strokes for different folks. But it took me, as it’s taken others before me, a long time to come to peace with our kinky selves. It took many of us a whole to realize we WERENT fucked up. We were just different. And different is good. Different is what makes this world exciting.

So, Ms. James, don’t you dare turn our different into a horrible vice made for fucked up people. Because our different can be beautiful.

Now, to address Ana.

As I’ve mentioned, I identify as a submissive. I get pleasure from pleasing others in any number of ways. I love cooking for Kane and helping him when he desires my assistance just as much as I enjoy serving him in the bedroom. It’s part of me, part of my nature, and comes out even when my clothes are on.

This is not something anyone has morphed me into. This is something I’ve figured out about myself through time and relationships.

Ana is not a submissive woman.

It’s mentioned over and over in the book and the movie. She gets no pleasure from it. She does not want to do it. She is merely a lovestruck idiot who wants to keep her man.. “Red Room of Pain”. Do you KNOW how much fun I could have in that room??! That playroom is a submissive’s dream, and yet it terrified her.

I’m not even going to touch on the fact that the twisted perverted figure of Christian corrupted the so-virginal-she’s-never-orgasmed Ana. Really. Can we get any more archetypical?

There’s a big word for you, Ms. James, and it makes sense.

Still, with all this, I trudged through the book, and it was bearable until the last fricken chapter. When Ana asks for punishment.

Punishment is not fun. I still flinch every time I see a riding crop. No sub likes actual punishment. It means we’ve screwed up. We disappointed our Dom. We did wrong. But it is a quick, cathartic way to make everything alright again. We go through the punishment and then all is forgiven. Past sins are gone and we go on with a clean slate.

This is not explained at all in the book, and so Christian comes off as a twisted fucker who wants to hurt women.

Which, in part, he is, but still.

Ana does something very stupid, as an inexperienced not-subby woman. She asks for the worst punishment he can give her. The most painful.

Do you think we get this often? The worst? Doms don’t like doling out the worst any more than subs like receiving it. It means there’s been a big fuck up. It will hurt like hell and require aftercare for both Dom and sub.. Because it’s emotional. It’s hard. And it’s trying.

She asks for the once in a blue moon big fuckup punishment. And when he gives it to her, and then reaches to hold her for aftercare (again, not explained or touched on in the book) she calls him a monster. And I wanted to hit her. Really hard. Because I am protective of my Dom, and of Dominants I am close to. They are not monsters for giving punishment. She knows nothing. RAWR.

I want to touch on the movie quickly at the end of this post.. Yes. I sat through it. It wasn’t as horrible as I expected… The actors had no chemistry and she had an ass double for the kinky scenes.. But the sex scenes surprisingly turned me on. The time line was jumbled and made little sense.. But that wasn’t my biggest problem.

My biggest problem with the film was that Christian could not do THE VOICE. The almighty Dominant panty disappearing voice.

EVERY Dom I’ve met, and frankly every lover I’ve met (good, bad, or indifferent in the sack) has a sex voice. Where suddenly they sound like they’re coated in honey. Every word is sweeter. You hang on their every syllable in anticipation of what is to come.

He didn’t do that. Sex orders and whispered desires were said in a monotone. This made me want to scream in frustration.

All in all, my main problem with 50 Shades (besides the piss poor writing) is that it is marketed as a BDSM novel. This is NOT an example of a D/s relationship. I love books that are. If any of you have any interest in well written D/s romance novels check out Tara Sue Me, Maya Banks, Alison Tyler… There are many more. I can give specific recommendations if any of you desire them.

But not this. Call this a twisted love story. A romance novel. But do not associate it with my world. Do not call it D/s.. Because it does not come anywhere close to a proper D/s relationship.

Rant over.

Yours out of breath from screaming



I haven’t been to a play party in about three weeks, and have been away from San Francisco since Friday.

Coming home this time is different than it was in June. The finality and the sadness of the last visit isn’t there. I have enough time to decompress, spend time with my family and friends, and visit all of my old haunts.

There is the seashore of course, the local mall, the city, my home with its wooded backyard and crickets that ease me to sleep at night. There is also a very strange cemetery my best friend at the time and I would visit as teenagers.

It is around the block and down the street from my home, directly across from the entrance to my high school (I hated high school, so it seemed oddly fitting at the time). Aesthetically, I loved it. The stones were old, the last one laid there the year that I was born, and largely forgotten. The entire cemetery was Jewish, except for this small Dutch section in the back. My town was founded by Dutch immigrants in the 1800’s, and the only stone still visible reads from 1864. The others are too dilapidated to read anything, and too overgrown by ivy and other plant life to even resemble stones anymore. They, along with the newer Jewish stones (clustered with groups taken from Scarlet Fever epidemics in 1912 and ’14, as well as World War 2 casualties) watch generations of youth pass by the silent gates, few paying them any mind as time passes.

Well, I suppose I was one of the few. This place, as a youth, was where I did all my great thinking.

There is one tombstone I always visit. Aaron, a little 12 year old boy taken by Scarlet Fever in 1912. His stone is flat on the ground, and often was overgrown when I got there. I would clean it, sit on the crumbling wall beside his stone, and we would talk. Or, I would talk to him. I would mention the feelings of claustrophobia, trapped in a place I never felt like I belonged. I would talk about dreams of college, of great things, of leaving Hawthorne in the dust and never returning.

As I aged and entered college, giving me the freedom to actually live away from home, visiting the cemetery became a comfort of constants. The stones were always there, with names I began to recognize as time went on, still and silent but not at the same time. Even as distance separated my old friend and I, she and I would return to the graveyard on weekend when I came home, and we would traverse the stones as we had in our youth. I would talk to Aaron about what I was seeing and doing, and would wonder what he would have become if he had seen past the age of 12.

My self in high school was…haunted. I think that’s why I took comfort in the cemetery. If I was haunted, I might as well hang out somewhere where there were ghosts. My friend had even more demons to battle. She was a cutter, a rather serious one, as well as suffering from major depressive disorder and other mental problems she was aware of but never diagnosed with. I was continually struggling with my weight and my self-worth, and had developed an eating disorder by high school (because no one ever suspects the fat chicks of being bulimic). I felt the judgment of my extended family and of my small town on a daily basis, and it felt like the only things I could but could not control would be my body.

I still have a love-hate relationship with food. I love to cook, especially for someone like Kane who truly appreciates it. I love family recipes and the social aspects of food. I love when my mother bakes chocolate croissants or sticky buns. I hate stepping on the scale after, of seeing the numbers go up and feeling my pants get tighter because I looked at an M&M. I still have my demons. It would be a lie to say they were gone. But I haven’t binged and purged since I was 20.

Dragon stopped cutting when she was 21. We are both 23 now, and still in touch from time to time even though neither approves of the other’s romantic relationship. I think she’s too codependent on her boyfriend of three years, and that happiness can not revolve around this “us against the world” ideal. She thinks that I need to be with someone closer to my own age, and that I’m too sex obsessed. We agree to disagree to keep the peace, but we have both grown from the 16 year old damaged souls that used to visit the old cemetery together.

Later this week, we will go back together. We will take photos together, in the cemetery, documenting where we are now vs where we were. Pausing at this transition time between young woman and full grown to see the progress we’ve made, and the women we’ve become both separately and together.

My mother told me when I graduated high school that by the time I was done with college I would no longer recognize myself. I would be an entirely different person. I didn’t believe her at the time. I was so sure of myself and my identity. I was a good girl, who was going to be a psychologist to make money and marry her high school sweetheart who didn’t care she was fat.

Well, my mother was right. I left that little girl behind a long time ago. I believe that I shed off the last layers of her just a few months ago, when I finally allowed myself the freedom to admit my submissive nature. To let myself be a sub, and serve, and know that there was nothing wrong with wanting to serve.

It is a fool’s errand to fall for a married man. To devote yourself to him is emotional suicide. To fall for him is death of the heart, and yet here I am, hopes blazing. Coming home has made me face my past, my demons, and to look for my future. I see Kane beside me as I visit these old haunts. I want show him. I feel like he belongs there, and I’m not ashamed to say it. There is only so much selflessness in me. Eventually the selfishness wins out.

My name is Rena. I am an artist from a microscopic town in New Jersey that I outgrew a long time ago, but still draw comfort from. I am in love with Kane. Hopelessly. Completely, Totally. And I see my future with him. I see us working in the studio together, pushing each other creatively. I see coming home and him meeting my family, being a part of my life here. And knowing that he sees it too… I don’t have words.

My parents know all the details about him, and the wife, and that life..and they like him still. They trust him with me, which is not something they could say about my previous boyfriends. They trust him with my heart, and watching our interactions see what I see.

If this ends in me being heartbroken it is completely worth it for the hope I feel now. Better this than dark oblivion. I have a man I adore, I worship, I serve willingly and freely, who fulfills me as much as I do him. I feel his love even from 3000 miles away, his support.

I hold my head higher as I walk through Hawthorne. Someone loves me. And I love them, and I can finally see a clear future forming, away from this place but a part of it at the same time.

I have quite a lot to catch Aaron up on. Some things never change.

Yours apologize for all the mush lately…still getting used to this whole “in love” thing…