Friday, August 7, 2015

Happy Friday! A Love Poem By Leticia Viloria

Hello dears,

It's long past time to post an update here, but in the meantime here's a lovely poem my friend wrote for her husband, about a topic that is near and dear to my heart.

The Love Song

I can't play an instrument,
but I can suck your dick.
I don't have a college degree,
but I can make you cum with one lick.
Now, you're gonna cum all over my face
and you know I'm gonna like it.
I'm gonna open my mouth and get ready for your penicular explosion.
Your penicular explosion.

Do do do do do do. Do do do do do do do do do. Do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do. Do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do. Do do do do do do do do do do do do.

You can play the trumpet,
but you'd rather have your mouth on my clit.
You may have a college degree,
but you've got a PHD in that shit.
Now, I'm gonna cum all over your face,
and I know you're gonna like it.
You're gonna open your mouth and get ready for my vaginal combustion.
My vaginal combustion.

Do do do do do do. Do do do do do do do do do. Do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do. Do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do. Do do do do do do do do do do do do.

You know that you're gonna like it.
YOU KNOW that you're gonna like it.
End of the song.

Leticia Viloria was born and raised in New York, NY. She wrote, and performed all her life because she includes mandatory school plays. She lives in Bethlehem, PA with her husband and almost 3 year old. She has been performing short form improv in The Associated Mess for almost 2 years.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Year After the Sparkly Festival

Last week in my poetry class (the absolute BEST thing I have going on in my life right now) my friend from church mentioned having helped get the congregation’s Maypole ready and I had such a deep, yowly pang for the Sparkly Festival and all that it means. I almost said the heck with it and bought a day pass, even though I am recovering from acute stress and therefore avoiding all things overstimulating.

I didn’t go, but the longing seemed like a good, healing sign, and the nostalgia got me wondering just where sexiness fits into my life nowadays. For a while, it didn’t figure in at all. The stress of teaching at a harsh school had me wishing for as much shelter, as much covering up as possible. The parts of me that were vulnerable—poetry, compassion, art, sex, retreated inward for safety as I went into survival mode. It was easy to welcome back the less complicated aspects of creativity, to write and draw and paint up a storm—in fact, it’s the only way to heal I’ve ever known. But sex is harder to let back in, especially since it’s hard to see where I stand in relation to it.

In the time since I was last blogging regularly, I’ve done one thing exactly right—I moved into a dream apartment in the most woodsy, flowery neighborhood in the city. Gold Star Wing Girl says it’s like I live in a cupcake, and I have a back terrace that’s so private it may as well be another room. Saturday was so perfect, the sun so warm and the air so lilac-scented, it seemed like a good place to see where I was with my old friend, nudism. Only the cats would be able to see me, and they were too busy sunning themselves and chasing flies to care.

The vine covered walls and perfect square of blue May cartoon sky were so encouraging. I changed into my pink fuzzy robe, sat down in my cute turquoise Adirondack chair, and gave some naked Saturday-afternoon reading a try.

I can’t imagine why it felt bad, certainly nothing bad happened—what even COULD have? My heart raced in an unpleasant way and I had clothes back on in minutes. Such a harmless, pleasant idea cast the day in this weird darkness, which luckily I could walk off in the gorgeous neighboring woods. (Maybe I’ve at least made my home a little more Festival-like, now that I think of it.)

Experienced and self-aware as I’ve managed to become, I’m vexingly at a loss as to how to express my sexy side. Sometimes it feels as though the trauma work I did last year took away more than it gave, or maybe it’s the trauma OF work still sticking with me and wanting me to pile on the shelter. I don’t know.

Today at church, we were doing the rites of spring, and the minister was shyly wading through the bawdier aspects of Beltane. The friends I was sitting with joined me in emphatic applause each time he mentioned the sexytimes rites of spring, as he, in his own very much clothed way, admitted that the world NEEDS naked shenanigans. (If I haven’t mentioned it lately, Unitarians are awesome.) So I know from the forcefulness of my applause that I am still aligned with wanting to romp naked in a field, I just can’t seem to want to do it.

As I’ve been working to convert the blog into a book, I’ve had to fight the feeling that the story doesn’t belong to me anymore, or I don’t belong to it. I struggle to feel entitled to it because I ended up writing it as an outsider. I wanted so much to serve you, but by the end (and I’m remembering that this was the point of the story in the first place) I could only end up serving myself. My somewhat disappointingly boring self.

The way the sermon ended felt oddly personal to me. Inspired by the Song of Songs, the minister gave us the go ahead to spout whatever love we had—“If it’s flowery, if it’s corny, that probably means it’s good.” He said there is a time to leave one’s love-nest behind and go out into the world and convert the love into other kinds of goodness.

On the way home from church, I felt lonely, maybe because my brunch pals aren’t around this week, but maybe lonely for the parts of myself I can’t currently access or express. I have such a deep love for my adventures. I miss them like camp friends who rarely keep in touch, but who save me and influence me and cross my mind all the time. I’ve felt little slivers of my sexual self coming back, and I’m curious and impatient to see what form it will take. All I know to do is write the book, so I don’t think I have any choice.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Nice Re-follow, If You Please

I'm a little bit regretful that I lit a match to the blog's old Twitter handle during a grief-blizzard, but what can I do but start fresh. give me a new follow if you want:

I'll do my best to make it fun! XX

Monday, April 20, 2015

Progress/Grief/Progress: A Year After the Big Therapy Project

One Saturday last April it seemed as though a fissure in my psyche released, healed, and closed, and with it, the door to all I’d experienced in my three years of adventure. It was a triumph and loss all at once. As I page and edit through the beginning pages of the blog to start wrangling it into a book, I miss the person I was at the beginning of the story, aglow with adrenaline, defiance, and denial. As I face the story for what it really is, the end of a marriage, a labyrinth path to things generally being healthier but less exciting, I have to grieve for what it wasn’t, for what I may never have—a story of belonging.

After I walked away from that festival last spring in what an uncharitable commenter called a tantrum but what felt like both defeat and acceptance, I really did walk into a happier life, in almost all ways. It felt the way I imagine being newly sober might feel—missing the thrills but welcoming the lack of roller coasterness, the feeling of belonging to myself, to my own life.

I spent almost every weekend last summer at my aunt’s beach house, bonding with family, swimming with my cousins. I felt entitled to be with my own family in a way I never had before. I went to my sister’s for a no-reason visit, walked along with river with my niece and nephews. I sat in the yard at my mom’s dream country house and watched hummingbirds for hours.

I didn’t make it as a teacher, didn’t get to be the change I wished to see. Despite everything I’ve learned here, I never figured out how to not be blamed for every single thing—in the fall, a student pushed me into a door, and somehow I ended up being made to apologize to him. Another child tried to push a locker onto me, and I was told to “stop putting myself in harm’s way.” Eventually, I started having real panic attacks. On my second to last day, I went to the emergency room because my heart hurt. A doctor told me I could stop panicking, if I stopped going there, so I did.

I say this to say, so many times in the last few years I’ve jumped in with both feet, fallen in love with every single person and thing around me, then unequivocally rejected the whole thing, the social equivalent of a bad donor heart. I guess that’s kind of what I’ve been.

As I begin turning the blog into a book, the big emotional risk, the scary part, is not the scary stories that await me—I feel safe from all of those fears and panics, perspective and strength did come as I’d hoped, right on schedule. What’s hard to confront is the love, held in there like so many bookmarks. Though at time I saw those adventures as a transformative dream, it wasn’t, it was real love, even in the most baroquely fake situations. And with real love, real loss. I held every single character in my heart, just like I loved the teachers and students and entire causes I walked away from this winter.

In some ways, these two post-teaching months have been the happiest, but I’m restless not really knowing what I am, having these vast reserves of unexpressed something waiting  in case true love or vocation miraculously come along. Though I’m by and large optimistic about what’s ahead, I get overwhelmed sometimes about the whole population of lost loves behind me, the series of identities I’ve slipped into and out of so quickly—the loss and loss and loss.

Today my beloved therapist, whom I’ve seen sporadically since we finished the project, had to cancel our appointment. She’s been doing that lately, switching my times around and so on, and today, I was done. She wasn’t one of my people anymore, somehow. I let her go and I felt something in my brain heave and swirl, maybe it was the real end of the story, maybe this is being free.

I’m new to the world again. I’m taking everything slow. I don’t know what I’m here for, except to write and eat brunch and pet the cats and take pictures of flowers. My type-A side wants a mission, my creative side wants to be a kite, seeing where things take me next. I honestly don’t know.

Monday, April 13, 2015

You Can Help Support the Kitten Calendar Book!

What's more vulnerable than a fire massage? Launching a crowd-funding campaign!

Some of you may remember The Kitten Calendar getting accepted as a book a couple of years ago, but that fell through like things do sometimes, and then teaching ate my life for a while.

I'm at a stage now where I want to reconnect with my creative dreams in a big way, so I want to give converting the blog into a book a good, solid try. My hope is to spend this summer working on the book full time and finding the right publisher.

If this story has meant something to you and you think it deserves a wider audience, I hope you'll consider contributing. If you can't afford dollars, you can still be an amazing help by sharing the link on your FetLife page and other social media.

Whether or not you contribute to this effort, I want my readers to know I still love you and that experiencing this story with you changed my life in the most incredible way. You'll always have my love and gratitude.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Year After Divorce: Confronting the Fireflies

Are you there, readers? I’ve missed you. A couple of conversations yesterday made me realize that even though I don’t fit into any scenes or anything anymore, my adventures are probably far from over. I’ve missed telling you stuff, so if you don’t mind that it might sometimes just be pictures of flowers, I’ll start posting every now and again.

Yesterday an old muse texted out of the blue with concerned questions, since it seemed like I’d ended the story on a down note—it didn’t seem that way to me but it WAS a rough spring, a hard transition from poly to post-poly, from unabashed to still-unabashed-but-with-pants-on. I freak out sometimes lately because I’m not sure where I fit into the world, but I do know that things are unequivocally better than they were a year ago.

Last Fourth of July, Sweetie and I went to watch some fireworks over the river. We were lazy and dawdled getting out, still in limbo out of the jumping-out-of-the-car incident, and I was all heartbreaky about Mr. Sweetheart. We pulled over to the side of the road and watched the fireworks, having missed meeting up with friends.

As we pulled away, families were streaming across the street, kids with glow bracelets and those light up toys that are always for sale at these things. I was supposed to meet Angel Face and his new boyfriend afterwards for dancing, but I was crying so hard on the way to being dropped off at the club that I had to ask them for a dancing raincheck. Sweetie and I went for a sad, slow, humid, beautiful walk in the woods instead. (We’re lucky enough to live in a city that magically has woods in the middle of it!) Gloomy as we were, the trees were not—they were completely full of lightning bugs, so bright and blinking that they rivaled Christmas trees. Like the girl in a movie that I sometimes am, even my heartbreaks tend to unspool in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Lightning bugs were always one of our things, so when they started to return this year, I was predictably grief-stricken. (It still comes, though a little less frequently.) The more she and I get along, the harder it is not to get nostalgic and want to go back. The trapped feeling, the name-calling, the feeling that I’m way too close to death, those are all gone, only the good parts are left. I pressed myself to do evening walks on my own, and was relieved to see that the lightning bugs are still there, and I still love them.

Last night I woke up in the night for no particular reason and saw, on my ersatz bedroom clothesline, a firefly. He lit up the front of a drying beach cover-up, flashed emphatically around the room, and was gone. Can’t confront the fireflies much more than that.

So today, I woke up happy. My life may still be in flux and missing some crucial elements, but the crisis part, knock wood, is over. I’ve been placed in a school for next year that seems, at least so far, to have a less mean-girl-oriented staff. I have the summer off and a season pass to the local fancy garden, and it’s sinking in that I can go and sit by the fountains all day long if I want to. My mom is planning me a 40th birthday party at the end of the summer and I’ll be overjoyed to blow out the candles with my niece and nephews, hopefully after a family trip to the comic shop.
And, accomplishment of accomplishments, Sweetie is now a best friend who lives a few blocks down and was persuaded to join me in being old ladies at our city’s Fourth of July concert, which features, among others, my avatar/hero Nikki Minaj. We will make no effort to be near the front. We will sit in chairs and watch people. Tomorrow maybe I’ll join my aunts and cousins at the beach.

I’m not awesome at singlehood. I do panic hard every few weeks or so at the prospect that I may have missed out on having my own family. A few weeks ago, I was staying with my sister and got to see her kids off on their second-to-last day of school, and that really lit up the family pangs inside me. Of course, it may have been less cute if I’d been trying to see myself off to school at the same time, but we’ll see what the future brings. I have no way of knowing.

My point is, dear reader (if you’re there) is that this is nowhere near being a down ending. There’s no ending here at all, just life moving forward in its gorgeous, mysterious, sometimes-aggravating way. There’s no more fighting-through-it to do for a while, and I am, for a few months, nothing but free.