Before I settle in to paint and plan and make my goals for the new year, I’m giving a little time to melancholy. My heart hurts for everything that’s gone past. Even though most of the people in these stories are still around, I miss discovering them, feeling all the hope and imagination I had when we first met. Though I wouldn’t change many things, I still grieve for lost possibilities.
I named 2013 my Year of Connection, and at times that felt like a terrible joke, a colossal failure—indeed, there’s still a fortress of bitterness inside me toward The Man and the Scary Party, and relatedly my inability to resist Steampunk Guy made a nice thing turn into a gaping, unresolved loss that it just shouldn’t have been. I wonder sometimes, if I’d said no after the third or fourth text, in which he said “friendship isn’t required” for sex, if I’d just has the faith to admit to myself he’d never be what I wanted, would we have ended up friends, or would we at least be able to share a dungeon with him? We’ll never know. Curiosity and lust pulled me toward him and I can never regret where it took me, to some of the most amazing scenes, to emotions I may never have experienced otherwise—he pushed me out of my comfy not-enough existence, whether he liked me at all or not, which I suspect he kind of did. I think he tried to fit just like I did. I think he’s gone because he didn’t like hurting me.
I can’t let the haywire things take away from the fact that it really WAS a Year of Connection. None of the connections except The Man really feel quite lost, and there were so many relationships that blossomed and grew all year, in spite of my up-and-down-ness, there are people who keep getting closer.
Though things didn’t work out romantically with Mr. Sweetheart, he has remained a loyal friend. I can still plan to call him, gather up my markers and draw as we catch up on our lives. He’s even one of the people I can call if I’m a tearful mess. (Dear Everything, Please let me spend much less time this year as a tearful mess!) I’ll see the Sweethearts in a few nights at New Years Eve, and there may even be some shenanigans, but even if there aren’t, it’s comforting knowing that spontaneous sexytimes at a festival can lead to real and lasting bonds. Which is good, because I aspire to many more festival sexytimes.
Speaking of the Sparkly Festival of Awesomeness, Mr. Shiny Eyes stayed a good friend too. He is always willing to share his life with me, to listen and lend me strength.
Cute Master and Pretty Slave have given me so, so much. They gave me the truest expression of bisexuality that I’ve experienced so far. That assured me that I do have a place in this world, that what I want and prefer really matters. She convinced me to treat myself like I’m worth something, and I often do. They both have given me so much joy and happiness, such an unexpected warm, safe place to be naked and sing Beatles songs. I’m so grateful for that, and as friends I love them very, very much, and I don’t think that will ever change.
Did you ever wonder what happened to the Huge Handed Fireman? I only saw him once after our Labor Day encounter: He was at a munch, scrolling through pictures in his phone, laughing to a friend. When I asked to see what they were laughing about, he showed me a picture of an obese patient he’d rescued sprawled and naked on a gurney, almost certainly unaware that he was being photographed. HHF may have been trying to reform the Scary Party, but it seems he’s one of their blackhearted ilk. I think I’ll try to stop being surprised when sadists are mean.
The other September crush fared much better. Cutest Boy sent me a heartfelt Christmas note, letting me know he still reads me and offering support and encouragement. We struck up a conversation and though he is still beyond off-limits, (Please let 2014 be a year without unmanageably jealous girlfriends!) it was good to feel that the friendship is still there and know that the whatever-it-was back in the fall actually meant something. I still have warm feelings for him and I hope they find a way to be happy, that he finds a way to be who he is.
Speaking of the warm feelings, I haven’t heard from Mr. Sweetface since we exchanged Merry Christmases, but I hope I do before too long. He feels genuine and makes me happy and it felt really nice of Mrs. Sweetface to share him with me last weekend. Whatever else happens, that Christmassy playdate will always be a favorite.
And then, of course, there’s Sweetie. I miss her very much. We spent Christmas day together and it was such a mix of comforting and sad. We watched a movie about a couples’ brunch that coincided with the end of the world, that seemed about right. Some days, I feel so glad to be free and be her friend, and other days I feel completely devastated that she’s not here to bring a cup of coffee to. I think that New Years may be a challenge because last year it was so much about her and our ropes. Before we finally gave up, we had some wonderful times, and those are what sticks with me now that the fighting is over.
Last week I was out at the local erotic reading with Winggirl One and a gentleman came up to us to say he liked the story I’d read, the one about my date night with Pretty Slave and Cute Master. In the ensuing conversation, it emerged that she and I had both played with CM, and that we’d spanked each other etc. The gentleman said “Wow, I have to get out more.”
That made me realize just how lucky I am to be in this particular story. I’ve gotten to do things that many people only read about, only do in their fantasies. It’s been a year of the most beautiful, sexy, strange connections and I get to keep every single memory, in my heart and in my hoo-ha. So I’m ending the year with sadness, yes, but also with gratitude—for everyone who shared him- or herself with me, who gave me pleasure and friendship and support, I love you. I love you no matter where you are now, no matter what happened. Thank you for touching me, for helping me grow, for turning me on, for being in this magic year with me. Thank you for being in my life. I wish you every single wonderful thing.