My Writing

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Crazy Bitch



You know, I never intended to grow up to become a crazy bitch. It just sort of happened. And now, I'm not sure how to reverse it - or deal with it.

And it's hard not to feel guilty about my lack of emotional stability. When others need me to be strong or loving or understanding, I'm too busy falling apart or dealing with the demons in my own head to be all that concerned about anyone or anything else. It likely seems terribly selfish...maybe even narcissistic. Even to me.

Once, I told my husband that I could only focus on one thing at a time, and usually - it wasn't our sex life. Ouch. Yeah, I know that hurt. Now. But, at the time, well...it just was. In fact, it still is.

One day or week or month or season my head's fine. And then, all of the sudden, inexplicably, it just isn't. I can't even explain what the hell triggers it. And it makes him nuts. It doesn't help that therapists try to get me to figure it out either. Don't they understand? I don't fucking know what makes me crazy! I don't know why one minute I'm fine and the next I'm in need of an exorcist.

There's one side of me that wants to just say, hey...that's the way mental illness is. But, then there's another side that wants to just cry and fall to my knees and beg forgiveness for just being me.

I wish I could be stable. All the time.

I wish my ups...the times when I'm full of ideas and hope and ready to start a million things and stop sleeping because all my ideas are so fucking amazing you don't even know and I feel like I can take on the whole world...would just be normal times of contentment, happiness, and moderate productivity. And I wish my lows would just stop coming altogether.

You know, when I stop to think of all the things that fill my time every day, all the work I do to simply keep myself in line: the planning, the scheduling, the checking things off and obsessing over whether or not I accomplished everything - I realize I'm my own worst enemy.

But it's not my fault.

Damn, even saying that sounds foolish. It sounds like a cop out. But, the thing is - it's really not. And I'm not shunning accountability. Believe me. I'm not the best patient. I don't really want to take medication, though I do...most of the time. And I don't want to talk to a counselor, because I'm intensely private (yes, I realize the irony of that here) and seriously introverted (which is another thing I feel like I'm always apologizing for).

So, yeah...here we are, the end of January, and I've only posted once. Why? Because I had this great plan...along with like 42 other great plans...and I'm starting to realize that the only plans that really matter can't share the stage with all the other plans.

Basically, I need to learn to be a better wife. And writing fantasies or erotic fiction seems so fundamentally wrong to me right now, when my own sex life and marriage are suffering. So, while my 52 Erotic Shorts goal is certainly doable - I can't bring myself to do it.

And I'm going to put this out there - I'm not very good about asking for help when I need it. But, I know I'm not the only one who struggles with marriage issues, and parenting issues, and career issues, and balancing home/work issues, and sex issues, and mental health issues, and writing issues....the list could go on for days.

The central and most important issue on the table right now is my marriage. And the most central and imperative piece of that puzzle is sex. How to find a middle ground? How to find something that works for both of us most of the time? How to resuscitate it?

It's hard, when you explain your problems to a psychiatrist/marriage counselor who tells you it sounds like you and your husband are on an unsustainable path and that maybe you should just be friends because she/he can't figure out a way to help you compromise. Hard to keep hope when even the professional is telling you to bail. The thing is, we still love each other and we don't want to separate.

FUCK.

Sorry to unload, but I'm sort of at a loss on this one and needed to vent to a sympathetic audience. And...of course...apologize for yet another failed mission on my part.

I keep thinking that one of these fucking days I'll get my act together. Stop promising things I can't deliver...stop beginning 5 projects at once...become a brilliant wife - or at least a "good enough" wife.

Regardless of my failures...I'm putting the project on hold. I can't write erotica right now. I just can't.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman




She woke to the sound of her alarm, and immediately glanced at the calendar above it. The date, circled in heavy red ink. Today, he would be posed before her, at the mercy of her artistic novice. And she would be charged with recreating his likeness with pencil line and brushstroke, steady-handed and professionally.

She wouldn't be alone with him. He'd be posing for dozens of students, but she felt the pressure as if she'd be the only one, spotlit and watched by an audience of critics just waiting for her cheeks to burn up completely with embarrassment.

Countless bowls of fruit and vases of flowers had not prepared her. And her virgin eye was simply terrified. Yet, biting her lip, she realized she was also excited, the curiosity building like solid blocks in the base of her stomach.

She rose and quickly dressed, piled her hair in a loose twist on top of her head, grabbed her art portfolio, and ran to the kitchen to grab a quick, portable breakfast. The humor was not lost on her as she grabbed a smoothie from the fridge and glanced at the brand. Naked.

Yes. Naked. He'd be naked. Very naked. And yet, somehow, she felt like the more vulnerable one. Would the whole world be able to read it on her face: this is the first fully naked man I've ever seen.

******

She sat down at one of the provided artists' stations and set up her materials, clipping her paper to the board on the easel, laying out her pencils and brushes and paints. The assignments was to pencil draw the entire body and then paint it, paying close attention to shading that would accentuate his muscles. Facial features were to be secondary, if not ignored altogether. The focus was to be the body.

She looked around nervously at her classmates, all of whom seem intent on preparations, and all of whom seemed to be relaxed and at ease, sipping coffees and smiling at each other. There was easy laughter and conversation surrounding her, but she, herself, could think of nothing to say. She licked her lips and concentrated on breathing in and out slowly.

From the corner of her eye, she noticed him entering the room from a door on the right. Short, blondish hair, on the darker side of sandy. A strong jaw, slightly dusted by a night's worth of facial hair growth. Sideburns and a well-carved mouth, two even peaks on his top lip, and a full bottom lip framing white teeth that formed a confident smile, as he moved toward his pedestal at the center of the room. He placed one bare foot in front of the other, and she watched the muscles in his calves contract and relax as he walked. 

It took a moment for her to realize she was holding her breath. She exhaled slowly and then inhaled sharply as his robe dropped to the floor, exposing his entire form to the room. 

Her eyes widened, and she stopped breathing again. Closing her eyes to regain her composure and talk herself into treating this like any other drawing class, she bit her bottom lip and began breathing in and out to the count of eight.

She could this.

When she opened her eyes again, she took her pencil in hand, leaned forward, glanced at her subject, and began sketching the vague outline of his body: the head, the shoulders, the torso, and arms...the buttocks, the thighs, the calves. She left the detail of the fingers and toes and the facial features for later, so she could concentrate on the shading of the muscles. Thankfully, the model, who'd obviously done this before, sat stone still. He seemed to be preternaturally calm, staring off into a corner, the rise and fall of his chest so even it appeared as if he were connected to a ventilator. He stood tall, his legs slightly spread to provide stability and balance, his arms naturally hanging at his sides. The light in the room came mainly from the left, to create shadows and encourage the students to experiment with various shading techniques.

She left a rather obvious blank space at the center of her drawing, not knowing exactly how to handle drawing the penis, and instead spent her time perfecting the torso, arms, and legs. By the time the class reached the first break, she had finished the majority of her pencil work on the body. She stood and stretched, covered her drawing, and headed out the side door and down the stairs to find a coffee cart and a bit a fresh air. Sitting with her coffee, on a bench outside the building, she watched the passersby, noting their movements and imagining the muscles rippling beneath their skin. However, suddenly unable to keep her gaze from roaming to the groin area of nearly every male that passed, she quickly stood and found her way back to the classroom.

Sitting next to her easel, she uncovered her drawing and pondered her next move. 

"Ahhh...unsure how to proceed with the genitalia, are we?" The instructor was standing close behind her, bent forward to keep his voice low, his breath noticeably warm on her neck.

Coloring instantly, she stuttered her response, "Ummm...I just wanted to focus on the largest muscles first and then concentrate on the detail work at the end."

"I see. Well, just in case, you should know that you wouldn't be the first to struggle with nude drawings. Not only can they be difficult, they are intensely intimate. There is no shame in feeling uncomfortable. It'll get easier. Would it help if you met the model?"

"No!" She nearly shouted her response, and then caught herself before she rose from her seat in protest. "No...that won't be necessary." She bowed her head. "In fact, I think it might actually make it worse, really." She was mortified and wanted the instructor to move along and find someone else to counsel.

The instructor chuckled softly. "Alright then. We'll see how it comes out, okay? Just take your time. No one's judging. This is just an experience. Just one in a thousand."

Good lord...one in a thousand? She wasn't sure she was cut out for this artist stuff. Couldn't she just paint pretty flowers and pastoral scenes? She began to imagine rolling, green hills and red barns, and large full canvas Georgia O'Keefe flowers. Someone had told her all of O'Keefe's flower paintings were erotic, though veiled, depictions of female genitalia fashioned to look like flowers...or something like that. She didn't agree, though she realized art was open to interpretation.



His robed form walking toward her slapped her out of her internal visualizations. He was in front of her before she had a chance to find an excuse to run away. He reached his hand out to her.

"Hi, I'm Nathan. I've noticed you looking at me all day." He smirked in a good-natured way. 

"Funny. I'm Lilly."

"This your first time?"

"First time doing what?"

"Doing a nude...you know...nude drawing...painting, or whatever?"

"Is it that obvious?"

"Well, either your sunburn fades in an out on a whim, or you're embarrassed by my nakedness."

"Oh...I'm not embarrassed by your...I mean, I'm embarrassed, but not by you..."

"It really is okay. You know, watching you all drawing me is a study in human emotion. I'm actually a psychology major, and this is part of my research. There are two of you today, both young women, who are showing physical evidence of discomfort. I was hoping to talk with you afterward about your experience. It could help me greatly with my research."

"Oh...ummm...well...I don't know...I guess I could maybe...ummm...talk to you..."

"Good. Here...hold this for me, would you?" He handed her his robe and walked back toward the  center of the room.

She watched him as he walked...the muscles in his buttocks alternately contracting, the muscles in his lower back undulating and rippling subtly as his shifted his weight from side to side.

He turned forward, facing her, and perfectly recreated his simple pose from the first session. She looked directly at his penis, which was flaccid. She bit her lip and looked up at his face. He winked at her, and she instantly averted her gaze back to his penis, which almost imperceptibly twitched. 

She placed his robe on the floor beside her and rolled her eyes at his playful arrogance. She took her pencil in hand and touched the tip of it to the paper. Looking from the paper to his form and back again, she softly sketched the roundness of scrotum, one side slightly lower than the other.


The darker shading where the scrotum met the thigh blended seamlessly into the shading of the lower stomach muscles and the inner thigh. Lilly found herself wondering what the skin there felt like. Was it smooth, firm, rough, hairy? Suddenly the shadows she was creating began to hold great intrigue, and she lost herself in them, blending, and smoothing the lines, creating the soft folds and curves. She set her pencil down and began blending the lines with her finger, watching the tips of them softly rub the edges of the penis, below the scrotum, and down the insides of each thigh. 

Unaware that she was, herself, closely being studied, as well, she continued to perfect the area she had earlier been afraid of even beginning. Nathan watched as she looked at his body and then back at her drawing, her tongue continually wetting her lips, her nipples begining to show, barely through her unpadded bra and thin white t-shirt. He wondered if she was getting wet, and smiled to himself that he was the cause of her earlier discomfort and current hyper-focus.

Inside, he was taking notes, drawing a mental picture of her as she sketched him. He would need every detail for his study. He wondered if he might be able to convince her to draw him in private. It would be an odd request, he knew. Not a standard date, was it? How would one even go about asking a girl to do it? Hey babe...wanna get a six pack, a pizza, and head back to my place to study...each other...naked? I need to see how your body responds to mine when you are feeling sexual embarrassment and discomfort. And would it even be valid research if he called it a date? Too creepy, though, if he brought her back to the lab.

She sat back, turning her head from side to side, squinting her eyes and scrunching up her face critically as she surveyed her work. Brushing a few wayward strands of hair from her face, she left smudges of gray on her cheek and forehead. Between that, her erect nipples, and her obvious innocence, he found her absolutely irresistible. He decided he's start with a simpler request. Coffee. A cup of coffee. 

In time, he'd get her naked.... In time, he'd do more than sketch her in his mind, though he enjoyed memorizing as many details as he could.