Thursday, March 22, 2012

Last April I Accidentally Wore the Scarlet Letter: Part One



I don’t like a learning curve. I’m a straight-A student and I get very frustrated about the fact that I have to fuck up and learn from it sometimes. This is that kind of story and I hate it, but I’m gonna have to write it out and move past it if I want to have at some poly husbands. (And I DO.)

I should tell you that at the time of this story, I hadn’t hooked up with a guy in any serious way for about ten years, and I hadn’t had PIV sex for fifteen years. I’d considered myself polyamorous for a while, but had only expressed it through a little bit of party-kissing (I mean regular parties) and a lot of having crushes. Part of me still dismissed my bisexuality as a sort of commitment-phobia. I wondered if, when I finally ended up with a guy, I wouldn’t like it and would turn out to be a lesbian after all. (Spoiler alert: not so much!)

Every April, a lot of my poet friends around the country write and post a poem a day as a celebration of National Poetry Month. It’s a great way to get to know your fellow poets. For most of us, a poem a day is a fast pace, and posting early drafts is a trusting and vulnerable thing to do. It dredges up a lot from your subconscious, so a lot of us end up addressing our traumas more and more deeply every April.

Between the urgency of the poem-a-day and the number of years it’d been since I’d been with a guy, I was kind of boiling over.

The morning that Scrabble Boy set out from the Midwest to drive to our city for a gig, he read my jillionth poem about Laura Palmer, about my need to aestheticize trauma, as a way to climb on top of it, as it were. I seems a little unfair to associate the poem with what happened, but the truth is, this guy I’d never met (but had received some mix CDs from) had been reading my first drafts for four years. That feels like closeness and it feels like he had a little bit of power over me. Of course, I’d been reading his first drafts too.

Scrabble Boy was married, I knew from his poems, with two little daughters. But he’s best friends with the most famously polyamorous poet I know, and in my head, that made him a possibility. (I KNOW! Why didn’t I ask? I’ve wondered that a million times.) Possibility or not, I was sooo excited to meet him IRL! He was scheduled to feature at the local poetry slam, for which, at the time, I was the booking and hospitality person.

When he walked into my apartment, I was cooking him dinner. Sweetie wasn’t home yet. I was wearing my favorite apron with the sparkly cupcakes on it. I was dressed up to host the reading, including red lipstick and fishnet stockings (Note: sometimes things happen to me wherein I’m wearing neither fishnets nor something printed with cupcakes. Just not, apparently, on this blog.) I had pink terrycloth slippers on, with little ribbon bows.

He walked in and it was just like OH, he’s perfect. Picture a nice tall sensitive poet. He looked at me like I was perfect too. It felt like a flash of recognition.

Next: A good sex sonnet is hard to come by.

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