So that’s a tiny little bit of a leftover bruise from almost three months ago. It used to be a whole forearm full of (consensual) bitemarks. Bill’s not around, but he’s still in my heart, and I miss him. I know he’s been the villain of this story so far, but this story doesn’t really need a villain. I feel like if I’d met him a few months later, I’d’ve known what to do with him, but then, if I hadn’t met him, I would never have known what to learn. I can’t promise that I won’t use him for compare-and-contrast anymore, but I just wanted to acknowledge how much he contributed o the overall project that is me.
- He taught me to say out loud what I liked. There was something about him that brought filthier and filthier language out of my mouth, and I appreciate that so much. It comes in handy every day, in both writing and sex.
- As someone with trauma in my past, I’d always treated my body very delicately when it came to sex. He taught me that I’m strong and I don’t need to be quite so careful. With that came hair-pulling, spanking, name-calling, and even aftercare, though I didn’t know it was called that.
- He showed me that first dates can be romaaaaaantic, rather than (well, in addition to) awkward. Every time I’m downtown, I remember how he bit my hand (best first move ever) and then pulled me in for the most amazing hair-pull-y kiss on a busy Christmastime street. He had the strongest arms. He told me I had a kissable smile. We made out in the park and by the river and it was aggressive and hot and beautiful. It’s just nice to know that that can happen. (Just an aside: tonight’s my first first date in a few months. Wish me luck!)
- On our second date, he came over and watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s—“watched” being maybe too strong of a word. There’s this part where Paul Varjak is hollering at Holly Golightly that "Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness." It was probably a coincidence that he was kissing me so wildly and breathlessly during that part of the movie, but it really made it sink in just how very much I want to belong to a man.
- This is hard to put into words. I’ve had this fantasy for a while of being overpowered, taken, ravished. I’d stop short of calling it a rape fantasy because I definitely want to be in on the plans, but what I want is something scarier than passion. Sweetie is very bothered by the fact that I want this, understandably so. She was a rape crisis counselor for years, and she can’t separate my fantasies from her need to protect me.
So it’s a part of myself that I’ve felt guilty about, like I’m not doing a good job of protecting myself or I’m being a bad feminist or even a bad humanist. When Bill dropped duct tape into the conversation on, like, the second email, I felt like he recognized part of me and even like he liked it. It was part of what was so addictive about him. All these years I’ve tried so hard to make myself into a nice girl, and here was somebody who liked that part of me I’d been fighting. The fact that he liked that part of me helped ME to like it, and it brought me a little closer to healing from my past. And Sweetie and I have made a bunch of progress about it, too.
So, I know you won’t read this, but thank you. I hope I can continue to do a good job of moving on.