Prison

Prison

In “A Drop in the Mercury“, Thelma has a distorted vision of what life would be like in prison. For the most part, she understands the hierarchical systems involved, and, that she wouldn’t be able to survive in that kind of environment. She longs for chaos. She longs for a perpetual state of arousal — emotional and mental arousal — that prison seeks to quell and altogether destroy.

Most people are familiar with the derogatory images and ideas (moreso than porn, I think) associated with women in prison: babes behind bars, raving horny chicks turning to lesbianism, women being “worse than” men in prison because of the violence, etc.

This image is an example of the classic stereotype we know and love, one that still “robs” a woman of any ability of being genuinely aggressive, hostile, or anything else “unfeminine.”

But what’s it really like to be a woman in prison? Let’s start with some facts.

It sucks. As it does for a man in prison. Who the fuck wants their rights taken away? Their families? Their children?

The number of women in prison is on the rise. By the early 90’s, female prisoners were 9.3% of the nation’s incarcerated population. The majority of women in prison, as with men, are women of color, from poor backgrounds or generally “low” social standing. An overwhelming amount of women in prison are also mothers of children under the age of 18.

The subculture that develops evolves from a number of factors. In “Prison: Prisons for Women – Prison Subcultures“, an interesting set of definitions for ways of life in womens prisons is described. In short, many of the subcultures that evolve come from women trying to preserve the identities they had before landing in prison. Some seek to stay out of trouble, others don’t care and continue the violent lives that led them in prison to begin with. Others still adapt to survive, and end up becoming people they weren’t before they ended up in prison, in order to not be harmed or killed.

One’s sex life of course changes once in prison. A common thing is the development of “studs” and “femmes”, the personas of a more masculine and ultra-feminine woman, as described in this ABC story “Inside a Maximum Security Women’s Prison.”

This video touches on the spiritual and emotional journies of women in prison, as they near the end of their sentences or are just beginning them:

And to close, here’s … more sex.

Thanks to some jackass changing the password on the wispdistance account (my fault for throwing around the password I guess) I have no idea if people sent things to that account. Sorry if you did. 

In short, none of the people who did send things in could own up to their perversions and sent in story-versions of their smut 😉 Here’s the last one. Enjoy.

Tomorrow: Nine Weeks of Strange, Week 5: We Die at Night

 We went through a lot of our standard parts.  I was lying on my bed in just my panties.  He was lying next to me, slowly rubbing my pussy over them.  His shirt was off, his pants unzipped, and I was softly stroking him inside them.  He stood up to take his pants off, and I made my move as quickly as I had just made the decision.  I sat up on the bed in front of him and started to rub his dick while he stood there.  And before he probably knew what I was doing, I took him into my mouth.

      It felt different in my mouth than it had in my hand.  Harder, but smaller.  When it was in my hand I’d have said he was average size, but now he actually seemed a little small.  I could almost fit the whole thing in my mouth and never once had a gagging problem.  I’d given blowjobs before, but it’d been over a year, and I sort of forgot what the sensation is like.  The slight discomfort as the head rubs back and forth on the roof of my mouth.  The concentration it takes to keep my teeth out of the way.  I actually like giving head, and sometimes I forget about my teeth.  Luckily there’s no gagging with Geoff.

      I played with his balls a bit, but mostly I liked squeezing his ass as he moved back and forth in my mouth.  I almost started to gag when his come hit my throat, but I was able to hold back, and my man fell to the bed with a huge grin on his face.  I snuggled up to him a for a bit while he recovered and after time I started stroking him again.  Then I told him the night’s not over.  He raised an eyebrow, but I told him quickly that I wasn’t quite ready to go all the way.

      I crawled over him, stood beside the bed, and I removed my underwear.  For the first time I was completely naked before him, and it felt right.  I didn’t feel guilty.  He sat up and just looked at me for a moment, then ran his hands up the outside of my thighs.  He quickly stood up and I took his place on the bed as he knelt between my legs.  All the time spent using his hands had been well spent, and now he knew just where to go with his mouth to get me off.  His tongue was softer, warmer, more insistent than his fingers.  He sucked on my clit, and pushed two fingers in and out of me and he knew me well enough by now that I came in no time.

      He didn’t stop though.  Orgasms pulsed through me in waves.  Some small tingles that pulsed right on top of each other, and some when I thought I was done for the night but suddenly my body stiffened out of my control and I thought I might crush his head between my thighs.

      I don’t know how long he went down on me, but eventually I could take no more.  I pushed him back, we cuddled up on the bed together and started to doze off.  I playfully rested my hand on his cock while his arm was around me and cupping a breast.  Before I fell asleep, I think I told him I loved him.

sensualists and aural sex — of sorts.

Sexionary

nympho – term often used for a sex-obsessed woman. 

blowjob – fellatio; dick-sucking.

autoerotic asphyxiation – suffocating oneself during masturbation to intensify orgasm.

sex surrogate – a counselor who helps people solve their sexual problems by having sex with them.

smurf – when a man slaps his partner(s) in the face with his dick

paraphilia – sexual obsession, usually with an object or act. See also objectum sexuals and mechaphiles for some VERY interesting paraphilia acticities.

What’ve you got to add?

Thanks to the folks at Sex Dictionary. 

Gender Roles

For some people, checking that little box on applications and some website data forms that ask if you’re “male” or “female” is a taxing experience, for myriad reasons. I tend to be annoyed with the example I just gave, where “male” is always placed as the first option. Some people get frustrated with it because they don’t identify with either gender, consider themselves to have no gender, or possess one gender’s features/voice/mannerisms while feeling and believing quite clearly that they are the opposite gender. There’s all sorts of stuff in between. Our fascination with gender role and expectation in modern society is a deep one. For this blog entry, I’m just going to keep it to sex play. I’ll let Wikipedia do some of the basic  explaining on gender roles.

An interesting article on the issue of gender and gender roles is on Melted Dreams and talks about there being more than one gender, and the differences between “sex” and “gender”. Interesting, intelligent and digestible writing on the topic.

I miss gender roles being challenged more in media. Aside from the stovepipe-legged hipster. No no, not American Apparel-endorsed androgyny… oldschool shit like Grace Jones.

An article that recently irritated the shit out of me was “Why Are Women Leaving Men for Other Women?” from Oprah.com, which I think, if anything, does some work to support the: a) never-ending fantasies of straight men; b) encourages an idea that women are built to be sexually accessible regardless of the person that approaches them; and c) should really — and I don’t care that it’s Oprah.com — look at the whole issue here, and address that men are also sexually dynamic and have breadth and depth to their experience as well. The article suggests a connection with sexuality that is inherent and easily warpable in women.

Bah.

What do you think?

The song this article reminds me of is Berlin’s “Sex”. Don’t know it? Love it? Wanna hear it? Here it goes …

 

Aural Sex – Bonus Reading

I usually only read once from a story. Why not do two, since people have been so happy to check out the first sex vid

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Your friend to the left … 

Strangebreak! Miss Felix Cane

Schooling us on the art (yes, art) of pole dancing, Felix Cane. She makes herself look as if she weighs 3 oz. Absolutely beautiful. And the song is fucking bitchin’. 

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Later today: sexionary and gender roles, with a little “Bonus Reading” from yours truly. Ooh ooh ooh…. Guess what I’ll be reading from? It’s from a section deep in the story. Come back and find out.

Sex Games & Diaries. Yum.

And we’re back. Miss me? Got clean towels?

Let’s go!

First, a sensual wash to the ears, by Rae & Christian, “Not Just Anybody”. Let it play as you read. Iz very nice:

Sex Games

Annabelle’s “Willy Wordsmith” Game from Women in Strange Places: Stories – In the entry “Willy Wordsmith”, Annabelle goes out on a date with a guy named William and they have a very … nice time. This is a fun game William makes up for them to play. Also as a side-note, all of Annabelle’s entries are rooted in sexual truth — I mixed in some of my own experiences with those of my friends and a few strangers — the things you find out about people when you’re writing a book is fucking priceless. Onto the game:

I’m back and it’s late and I’m tingly. I met with William. It was actually quite like a date. We went to the movies to see a documentary about vaudeville and literary burlesque. He told me he was a word fetishist. I didn’t really get what he meant. I like him quite a bit. He’s a few years older than me, wears glasses. In great shape. He has intense eyes that I could just stare at all day. We went back to his apartment to play after the movie. He told me he was going to teach me his favorite game. We got naked and got into bed, got real close, facing each other. I had one hand on his cock, he had one hand between my legs with his fingers barely brushing against my clit. He smelled delicious. Some men’s colognes are witchcraft. He said the object of the game was flattery to the point of orgasm. He’d say a word that he thought described me and if I liked that or thought it was sexy I played with his cock. The opposite went for him. If I said something about him that he liked and thought it was sexy he’d finger me. I’ve never worked so hard to come up with good unconventional words before J We did all this between long kissing sessions. I hope I see him again soon.

iPod Sex Stories – The article is far too cheesily written and but the idea is an interesting one. Download some erotic podcasts into your partner’s iPod, and then tell them that when they are on their way home from work, to listen to the special thing you put on there. If you’re home when your partner’s on the way back home, call them and ask which story they’re listening to. Then say you’re listening to the same one and you’re playing with yourself. They’ll be dying to get home. My twist to it: have them listen to it on the way to work. Keep them happily distracted all day long and can’t wait to get home and bang. To make it even better, record an mp3 and put it after the story with a location at which they should meet you and have sex in an interesting (familiar or unfamiliar place). 

Papers & Lube – Now these sound fun! My fave on this list of 5 are “Forfeit” and “What Is It?”. In “Forfeit”, you: “Bring treats into the bedroom that have small, easy-to-write-with nozzles, like frosting, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. Write a naughty word on your partner’s body. If they guess the word correctly, they get a small taste of the treat. If they guess wrong, they pay a forfeit by swapping places with you.” In “What Is It?” (which also has potential for some funny fuckin’ outcomes): “Your partner lies down blindfolded. You lubricate different parts of your body — fingers, chin, tip of the nose, nipple, and so on. You then touch your partner in various places. They have to guess which body part it is. If they guess correctly, you perform a sex act with that body part that only pleases them.”

Whips, Chips, Chains and Dips: BDSM Games – For those of you interested in (safely) tipping the powerscales in the bedroom, here’s some stuff onmore  imaginative play. You get a list of tools and ideas and you can have at it with making something up, and you also get some sample games and things to try if you’re drawing a blank. In BDSM communication is more than tantamount. Be very very open with each other and respect one another, even if your scene may involve disrespect or humiliation. There’s some resources on safety and understanding at this other part of the site. BDSM can be tons of fun when done properly, and brings in some very interesting psychological elements. (Yes, I’ve done it before.)  You’ll definitely learn more about yourself and your partner, believe me.

Got sex games? Sex experiences you want to share? Keep it private and let me know what you’re thinking and what you’re doing! Woo! Email me via the pre-made account, wispdistance@gmail.com. Password is distance. My address is womeninstrangeplaces@gmail.com. I’ll post lines of whatever I get throughout the week. Yeehaw.

The Diary

Everyone’s had at least one diary in their lifetime. To some people it’s a life-long friend, to others it’s just something to rant to emptily, and get some feelings or thoughts out. My first diary was pink and had a lock on it and smelled like vinyl and the inside smelled like starchy bleached paper (one day I’ll tell you about my thing with smelling books lol). I used to always turn and twist the lock because I loved the sound of it. The whole thing was very 90’s. Since then, though, I never kept another paper diary, because of the motherfucking God-blessed internet. Between the oldschool (and good) days of Open Diary to my current obsession and usage of LiveJournal, the internet has turned the once sacred, private relationship with the diary into a means for communication and sharing, instead of keeping and hiding. To some this is a good things, to others, not so much. I’m kind of on the fence about it. 

But it all comes down to trust and personal space, as many things do. There are plenty of things all of us want to keep completely and totally private, and others that we’ll gladly reveal, but only to a select few. There’s an interesting angle of encroachment upon personal space and time, what with almost every program now constantly asking you to update your status and state what you’re thinking or doing. It’s fun and all, but some people are ADDICTED to constantly staying in touch and connected. It certainly has it’s merit and value, but honestly, have some you space and you time, and LOTS of it, not a few minutes here and there. 

Some interesting links on why people keep diaries:

* BBC News: Dear Diary, Why Do I Have You? talks about celebrity diaries vs. “normal” people diaries.

* BiblioAddict: Diaries and the People Who Keep Them has some cool notions on the basis of the ego, and the need for recording thoughts and time. This is making me a little existential! I like. 

Real Life Diary

More story form from another loyal reader 🙂 I’m excited for people to send me the real nitty-gritty trash hehe. Enjoy!

His hands cup my face and my arms encircle him as we lead each other to the bed.

Delicate but hungry fingers pull me on top of him, and my jeans slide off one sigh at a time. My hair falls over his face, hungry mouth once again tracing the patters of unnamed constellations across his body. His pelvic bones grinds mercilessly against the oozing warmth my own body can’t hold back, because it wants so much to meet his own.

I slide his black slim jeans off, and to my hungry delight he does not believe in jeans and underwear either. Kisses stream down his body from the corners of his eyes, across his cheek, over beautiful nipples, grazing his ribcage, cross his jutting pelvis bone. Up mirroring each kiss given, back up to frenzied lips. I can feel his teeth moving against the inside of my mouth with furious want. The slightest scrape against overwhelmed blood vessels and we both taste the metallic drip of my life. Yes, I am willing to offer, even this.

I rise up, head titling backwards, mouth partially open, and you will wait no longer. There is no room for long anticipated release, only the overwhelming feeling of being whole. Satisfaction comes in waves of heat permeating the room with the scent of loved mingled with want.

Our eyes never closed again, until we both fell into a deep slumber. I wanted to learn every inch of his body, so our eyes locked and neither of us ever waivered. I began to see the explosions of colors as his pores beat down with sweat. Every push was met by an equally strong gravitational pull, begging to surrender and go deeper.

He moved on top and I screamed, loud and triumphantly as he entered me again. Every muscle is our body was working relentlessly to bring us closer. His soaked hair buried right above my heart, leaving the hungry imprints in shades of brilliant blue. We kissed with mounting want, sweat, saliva and both our blood racing to feed us a love eternal.

Thrustworthy information.

Has your mouth gone agape yet today, with shock, surprise or desire? Or all three?

No?

Well come here honey, your tongue needs more oxygen.

Why why why, Sex? WHY?

What sexual ANYTHING would be complete without Mr. Dan Savage? In the article, “237 Reasons to Have Sex — Some Good, Some Not So Good” featured in The Stranger, Dan gives us the results of a UT Austin study in which the researchers asked participants WHY they had sex. Topping the list is heat of the moment and boredom. Also in the list is wanting to conceive, wanting to lose viriginity, and so on. It’s pretty interesting. There’s also a link from which you can download all the results in a Word document … if you’re into that sorta thing. 

I’m Sure a Clapper-attachment Will Be Sold with This One Soon…. 

It’s the Orgasmatron. I guess I’m late as balls to the party on this one but it sounds like a nifty idea no?

When They Said A Woman’s Body’s Got a Mind of Its Own … they weren’t whistlin’ dixie…

I felt a little weird being a woman and not knowing this but apparently, when a woman orgasms, the cervix dips downward into the vagina. There’s kind of like a dip-and-suck motion going on to get as much semen inside as possible when it’s there … evolution, my friends. Here’s a woman’s link describing it in some SERIOUS MOTHERFUCKING DETAIL. There’s pictures. Just sayin’.

Sex and Health

See? I wasn’t lying — it’s good for your body. In this Intent.com article, Felice Dunas tells us about the emotional and mental conversation that happens between people having sex. It’s real, sheer, total, open exploration. Enjoy. 

Fakin’ It

Everyone’s done it — faked an orgasm. Sometimes it’s because you don’t wanna hurt your partner’s feelings; or you want them to get off on you getting off cuz you’re tired and you want them to finish already; or you plain just don’t care and want things to sound good — or whatever your reason is. This article talks about the big fat misconception that guys always cum. Not the case at all, they say. Some of the stuff is kind of common sense. Some is pretty interesting. I’m just here to help. If you’re gonna fake it — at least do it in style. 

BULLSHIT ALERT

I’d love to know what the hell group of people conducted this experiment. “Wealthy Men Make Women Orgasm More” . Come the fuck on. Any woman that gets off on a dude purely because he’s got cash needs to revise herself as a woman. Full the fuck stop. In tomorrow’s post I’m going to talk more about social status and sex. But for tonight I’ll let your rage and mine combine and do the talking. There are many of us women out there who are NOT some variant of gold diggers. Men that turn me on are loaded in the brain and in their health. That’s that. 

What do you think?

And finally … the big two questions of the day, lain side by side like testicles.

1. Are blue balls real? I’ve heard from men that it’s a real thing. I’ve heard from men that it’s bullshit. What do you think?

2. Does size matter? As your humble presenter, I shall impart my opinion:

YES.

Why: It’s more girth than length really, but every woman has a part in her vagina that needs to be stimulated or touched during sex that brings that feeling of physical fulfillment. It varies in location. For some women it’s deep inside, for others, not-so-deep. It’s a really frustrating thing to have sex with someone who’s too “short” … your body REALLY wants something that just isn’t there. Kind of like when you find your favorite thing in your favorite store, on sale cuz they’re going outta business, and it costs $5, and you find yourself at the checkout line, thing in your hand — with only $4.98. 

Frustrating.

Tomorrow: sex and status, gender roles and “American Sex”.

Doin’ It vs. Not Doin’ It

Doin’ It. 

Ah, you gotta love the joy of sex. Not the book (though I’ve heard it’s good). The actual joy — the thrill of the chase, the first kiss, the wonder of what the other person will feel like, or what their reaction will be when you do your favorite signature “thing” you like to do to a lover. Or simply the familiarity of a partner, the secureness of adventure, the unclaimed then reclaimed territories of your bodies and imaginations. The work, the “happy soreness” of the next day, the noises, the ideas, all of it!

In Annabelle’s diary in The Distance Between Here and Space, she writes: “Maybe that’s why people are so insistent on judging promiscuous people – sex brings out the deepest and the weirdest and the truest parts of you.”

And oftentimes that is true. What good things has it brought out in you? Have you discovered anything through it?

From discovering our beauty as humans to loving the feeling of giving and receiving pleasure, to “hey I had NO idea I could bend that way!”, one discovers some interesting things about themselves during sex. As someone who spent several years reclaiming or sexuality and her right to it, it’s something that’s even MORE special and fun when you discover the self-ownership that comes with it as well.

Not Doin’ It

Ah the moodswings of no-sex. Some people eat. Or smoke. Or do inane physical activities. Or anxiously plan out the “next time”. But as we all know, people react funny to long spans of time that go without getting laid. It’s a fact — sex is as natural and necessary as eating! There are many reasons why we don’t fuck as often as we should. Emotional state, schedule, jobs, other responsibilties, relationship issue, “can’t” find the right person to get with, and so on and so on and so on. But really, we all need and deserve a happy, healthy sex life. Be good to your body! Fuck more! Don’t worry about your appearance if that’s what troubles you. Self-confidence is the hottest thing you could ever “wear”, and it’s invisible 😉 The more honest and happy you are with YOURSELF first, the more people and things and events will line up for you. Especially at crotch-level ; ) 

So get with it. Happy discovering. Find something to inspire you to learn a new tactic today! 

Here’s some music to set the mood. And some fun positions. Enjoy!! And for added inspiration, read Annabelle’s diary in full.

http://www.sexinfo101.com/sexualpositions.shtml

There’s no excuse now! Sex positions for different heights, weights, penis sizes and energy levels! Holy shit!

One of the best songs from a damn good movie, it’s “Sensual Woman” by The Herbaliser

Nine Weeks of Strange, Week 4: “The Distance Between Here and Space”

These excerpts feature MATURE CONTENT, 18 and older please.

Hi everyone. The new video is up. Stay tuned, as this is not a week to be missed!

 

Excerpt from “The Distance Between Here and Space”, from Women in Strange Places: Stories. (c) Celeste Ramos, 2009

Some people have now come to know Annabelle’s diary as a handbook of curses: it always makes its reader do strange or uncharacteristic things.

A young woman, who had never crafted a creative word in her life, found it at a bar next to overturned ashtrays. She wrote a poem about it on a bathroom stall an hour later:

            there has to be a time or place

            in the distance between here and space

            where a woman is herself and only.

            She took it to her friends in the smoky mazes of the college dorms and they all read it, leaving behind in their interest greasy thumbprints, rings of coffee and beer worked into the covers, edges torn, or altogether singed by cigarettes.

            Eventually it earned a place in a frat house’s coveted library of “smut”, on a series of tilted bookshelves in the basement.

            Flogged by the passing of a decade the diary had yellowed. It made it out of the basement when one of the more conservative brothers in a new class decided to get rid of the shelves. Annabelle’s diary was the first thing he saw, sticking out among the hot pink, glossy covers of porn magazines like a bruise.

            He read the first two pages out of virgin curiosity, and then tossed it over his shoulder, shaking his head in judgment.

            A source of pleasure and confusion for all who read it, Annabelle’s recorded days disturbed the sleep of men in particular. The diary ended up under a few more cushions and on a few more shelves, in houses, hotels, airplanes, diners and rental cars. Another five years went by before it finally made it back into the hands of a woman, named Elizabeth.

            In the weeks before her Saturn Return, Elizabeth’s artistic intrigue came to her one night on a drunken walk home from a birthday party. It was nearing four a.m. The night was powdered down by fog. Her body was exhausted from walking the blocks that heaved up and down Telegraph Hill. Her troubled thoughts were adrift in whiskey.

It had been nearly a year since she painted. When she felt something that she thought would finally feed itself into the paint and canvas, she dropped everything, sometimes leaving her job early, and ran home to really work. She would stand there, stock still, her brush up and ready, dripping navy blue (her signature starting color), her eyes intent on the canvas, forgetting even to breathe –  and then nothing.

Her frustration had gotten her into the habit of tossing her brush against the wall.

When she hit these doldrums her superstition was to complain, and as if by some form of Murphy’s Law she would immediately receive inspiration and was off painting again. But that hadn’t worked lately.

            The distant moan of a cargo ship pushed through the fog. When Elizabeth came to Mason and Vallejo, miles, it seemed, from the next living being, she saw a drunk woman cross the street, dressed plainly in black fitted jeans and a blue t-shirt. She was a few years younger than Elizabeth and underweight for her height, which had always been the fashion. She stood against the base of the streetlamp in a coquettish pose that was completely accidental.

            Then the image struck Elizabeth. She stopped and looked at the diamond shape that formed in the distance between the woman’s waist and the inside of her elbow; at its top corners under her arm and against her palm at her hip.

In that crooked intersection, Elizabeth envisioned this woman as the classic whore; the one that braved whatever street at whatever hour to be present where men only wanted to be absent and lost in someone else. And obscuring her chances of even being seen was that persistent, trademark fog, making her heart beat hard in worry about money.

Before she realized how hard she had been studying the woman’s form, the woman turned to Elizabeth and shouted, “Hey, where can I get a cab around here?”

Elizabeth had understood, “Hey, where can I get a man around here?” She laughed right at her and kept walking, chanting to herself, “Don’t forget, the woman in diamonds, the woman in diamonds!”

With every intention to paint she finally made it up the faux marble and mildew stairway to her studio, drew a diamond on the canvas in blue, and passed out.

She woke with one of the worst flus of her life the next afternoon.

Two days later, a loud knocking at the door shook her out of a dream.

“It’s Andrew!”

“It’s unlocked,” Elizabeth croaked.

The crowded studio smelled like paint and all the mentholated vapors of a sick person. Andrew opened the door slowly as he walked in. He carried a blue backpack over his right shoulder, and wore his favorite black cargo shorts and green t-shirt.

The fluidity of Andrew’s strong body would often give people the impression he was a dancer. He encountered an odd disappointment when he said he was just a librarian, though it wasn’t rare for him to meet someone with a pervert’s mind about his profession.

Many people felt there was a charm to his face no one could ever put their finger on. But it was the intensity of his green eyes, and the way he would smile with his eyes, that made people feel invited toward him and want to sit with him, often telling him random anecdotes and even secrets.

Seeing Andrew meant that a good story was on its way to Elizabeth. Their old friendship was virtually based on storytelling. Whenever she was sick he would come over with soup and a series of books, and she would do the same when he was ill.

His presence also meant that Elizabeth’s heart would go at double its pace, and as sick as she was it was even more draining to spend time with her best friend – with this man who had no clue she was in love with him.

He was the reason why she couldn’t date anyone or even have a one-nighter or two. She was beginning to imagine he was the reason why she couldn’t paint, either.

“Wow, you look pretty,” he teased.

“Fuck you. How are you?”

“I’m okay,” he replied. He looked around at the organized mess of the studio.

“Don’t look.”

Andrew smiled. “Still not painting huh?”

“I tried. I feel like I’m molding over. This is disgusting.”

“Don’t worry, you’ll be fine in two days. It’s the good ol’ San Francisco Flu. Everyone gets it at least twice a month,” he offered. “I can’t stay – ”

“Yeah, yeah. You’ve been so busy for months. I’ve barely seen you. What are you doing?”

Andrew smiled again. He sat beside her on the bed. “I brought you something I think would suit the weather. There’s a heat wave coming.”

“Oh wow, it’s gonna be sixty?”

“Eighty-eight for the next two whole days. It’ll help you sweat this out if you keep the windows shut like you have been.” From his bag he pulled out two books and Annabelle’s diary.

“Is that another collector’s book you’re drooling on?” Elizabeth asked. She eyed the green and blue cover. “Looks like it’s been through a hurricane.”

“My sister’s boyfriend left it at her place a couple months ago. She said she didn’t want to read it and was tired of him looking at it.” Andrew handed it to her.

The spine felt natural to her palm. It was easy to feel the dozens of hands that held the book before her. She opened the cover and read the first page, blank with the exception of the words, “by annabelle.”

“I’ve scanned it here and there, I haven’t read the whole thing myself yet. Other people have loved it – they’ve scribbled things on the inside covers and along the margins,” Andrew explained. He fingered along the places he’d mentioned while Elizabeth held it open. “Someone even went through and titled all her entries. Isn’t that funny?”

He took his hand back slowly and rested it on his lap. “It’s good,” he said.

“Why didn’t Gemma want to read it?”

“Gem’s a prude. I guess whoever this lady was, she was one hell of a – well, some people might call her a slut. I wouldn’t.”

“Andrew … I can’t read someone’s diary,” Elizabeth said. She went into a fit of glassy coughs.

“Well, when you called me you said something about painting a whore.”

“It was an idea.”

“Maybe this’ll help you make it out of your dry spell.”

“But since when do sluts keep diaries?” she asked. She caught sight of the words “HE FINALLY FUCKED ME” in bright red marker and she set the book down on her lap.

“I brought you some other beautiful books too. But don’t be shy,” Andrew said. “I’m loaning the diary to you. Don’t keep it.”

“You are a pervert.”

“I love books.”

“But slut diaries …”

“Aren’t all librarians supposed to be trashy anyway?” Andrew said with a laugh. “Want me to call you later?”

He stood and began to adjust his deflated book bag over his shoulder.

“Yeah. If I don’t answer it means the meds have kicked in. Thank you.”

Andrew kissed her forehead and set the other books on her nightstand. “I brought you some Baldwin and a really nice poetry collection. Feel better. Enjoy the diary. Don’t rub yourself too hard.”

Andrew rushed out of the studio before Elizabeth could toss an old magazine at him.

Elizabeth kept the diary out of her sight. She put it on the floor, just barely under the bed. After two hours of poetry she nodded off into plotless dreams, and woke in the middle of the night to the sound of rain and her skin covered in sweat.

In her sleep her arm had gone off over the side of the bed. Her left hand first became aware of that tattered, raised spine as she came to. She grabbed the book and lifted it to her sight quickly. She felt a hint of intrigue. It was like a feather being moved across the back of her neck.

She set the book down on the floor again and opened the hard cover to revisit the simple introduction, “by annabelle.”

On the back of that page, someone had written in pencil: “beware! the man that reads this becomes an asshole, the woman that reads this becomes a whore!”

Elizabeth smirked and continued on to the blue script of Annabelle’s careful hand. She fell in love with her penmanship immediately; it reminded her of the curling crests of waves.

 

June 16 – Work

Dollars are permission slips.

 

June 18 – Dream

I had a dream that I was wearing a hideous brown and tan plaid suit. I was a woman from the 1940’s. I had a fur stole around my neck, and those big hats the movie star girls used to wear. There were lights on me, blinding me. I was on a tiny stage, so I couldn’t see the audience that watched me, I could just feel them. Like the air in the room was flexing with everyone’s breathing. It was a packed house for something. It didn’t occur to me that the something was me! And all of a sudden all these hands were coming out of the white-dark of the audience, ripping my clothes off, ripping that nice fabric. The seams of the pencil skirt were busting along the outside of my thighs. The way they busted was strange. They pulled so hard it was like my skin was busting. And I was laughing! I was almost in tears I was laughing so hard, as these hands shredded me naked.

I’ll have to call Donna and see what she thinks. If I ask Julie she’ll just tell me I need to get laid. This isn’t news.

 

            “Well this is stupid,” Elizabeth said to herself.

            She turned to the next page.

 

June 21 – Bank man

            At work today my favorite man came in to make a series of deposits for his boss. He was telling me about how he was tired of running this kind of errand for her as I put the information into the computer. He is obviously someone of low standing at his job. But all I can sense in him is power. This reined-in thing. He was angry about running errands for his boss, I thought, because he was the one who wanted to be boss. I know what it’s like to be at the bottom, I don’t like it either. For him I would stay there. If he needs someone to take out that pent-up need for seizing power on, I am his woman.

I’ve gone and come back to this page twice tonight. I can’t sit still. I was just in the kitchen steaming milk and I caught myself rubbing the side of my neck, and then my hand drifted down to the center of my shirt. I was thinking about what his mind must be like. I see him as the kind of man who wouldn’t take off his silk navy suit to fuck. He’s so tall. His features are perfect. The power in that body is so balanced, I can see it when he walks.

He would get me in a closet. In a corner out of sight from people in the office maybe. He would pull up my skirt, push my panties to the side, he would free himself into me. He would look me in the eye when he came. Maybe he wouldn’t care if I did. I wonder if he’d blame me for the mess I made him make, like a coded thank you. As a secretive “let’s do this again.” I hate the burning of wanting someone you can’t have. I wonder if anyone feels this the way I feel the absence in my hands. These days when I get this infatuated with a guy it’s like there are dents in his flesh that are the shape of my hands, made only for their fit. I hate this I hate this shit! Why can’t I forget about him? Or any of the other ones? It’s like waking up to a familiar scent in a warm bed. And it’s comforting! But it hurts.

 

            Elizabeth felt something inside her retreat. Her energy was lower now with the words of this stranger that instantly mirrored her thoughts about Andrew. The longing that never died, even while she slept, was there when she woke up as if it were keeping vigil over her every night. Their friendship had been long and easy, and her love of him had always been secret. She preferred it that way. Things weren’t messy that way.

            Yet the vulnerability of being ill made it worse. The need to be taken care of, to feel someone next to her, serving her, was stoking her fever as the medicine began to reclaim its hold.

            She rolled onto her back and dreamed about sex in an office.

            The studio was a sauna the next morning. The air coming into her mouth and one of her nostrils felt fat. She didn’t open a single window or vent, or crack her apartment door as she would sometimes do when it got hot. She went to the bathroom when she woke up, took a hot shower with a soap that smelled of tea tree oil, and instantly got back into bed.

She felt just as bad as she had the night before, only this time, Annabelle’s words were on her lap, and she didn’t care about the scalding gravel of her sore throat.

 

            June 22 – Bank man!

            When I got into bed I lied there with my thighs together. I hoped I would fall asleep but I couldn’t. It didn’t matter what I tried to do. I fucked myself in bed for what felt like half the night. I stopped when my hands got too tired. And this morning, who was my first customer in line, in that bullshit bank?

            He wore a black suit today, with a perfectly white shirt and a mint green tie. He smiled at me again, he complained to me again. I fantasized about writing my phone number on his deposit receipt. And also about opening my blouse for him and showing him my bra. Oh my god I wanted to do anything he would say to me. But instead, I said, thank you, have a wonderful afternoon. That was so humiliating. That was like stuffing my mouth full of nails. I wonder if he thinks about me ever. I should tell him I want him. Where would I start! I would drop to my knees wherever he was and hope to stop time for him with my tongue.

 

            June 23 – Kevin

            I went out with Julie last night to this bar she’s obsessed with. She said it was time to “let myself” get picked up. I didn’t want this, I just wanted the man from work. Now I’m afraid something in me has been opened. I met a guy named Kevin who was okay looking but had a great smile. He asked me my name. He wasn’t my type and I didn’t think I was going to talk to him long so I lied and said my name was Annabelle. I was a little drunk by the time closing time came around. I wasn’t hanging off him or anything. I’m usually not very good at hitting on men. He told me he wanted to take me home so I said fine. We got in the cab and made out some. He lives near the Bay Bridge. Had a real pretty view from his apartment. He asked me if I liked to experiment. I felt like my blood was about a thousand degrees. Inside I was saying, “Yes! Yes! Let’s do something nuts!” But I just couldn’t get horny because he wasn’t the man from work. Kevin asked me if I fantasized about anything and I told him I only fantasized about fucking the guy from work. He said he’d change my mind. He said he liked doing kinky things with underwear.

            I couldn’t be a chooser for being such a beggar, I hadn’t gotten laid in a looong time! He put on a pair of hot pink crotchless panties. He gave me a new pair of small boxers and extended the flap into a hole straight down the middle over my pussy. We fucked that way. It was weird. But I liked it. I stayed over.

            Ever since then I’ve felt this thing … I want to be full of someone. It doesn’t matter who. I want to know them, to take sips of them through their skin. I just want to have sex. But now I’m so scared of myself. What if this gets me into trouble?

 

            June 25 – Lawrence

            I did it again. With a cop! Beautiful jawline, a body that filled out the uniform perfectly. He was the hottest thing I’d ever seen guarding an armored truck. The truck was running late. They didn’t get in til five. I was just leaving. I saw him look at me. I love the way men look at women. Weird thing to analyze. Men seem to break up the female body into sections. I don’t think we’re ever a whole to them. Maybe we are. To him I was a pair of legs and a face I think. He completely glossed over my figure and my tits. He loved looking at my legs. He thought I wasn’t noticing. I asked myself what someone in the movies might do – I sure as hell didn’t know what to do. I took a post-it and wrote my phone number on it and told him to meet me at the bar down my block at 11. And he did! I can’t believe it worked. His name is Lawrence, he’s a delicious blonde from Montana of all places. The city girl in me went into “abuse the country boy” override. It didn’t take long. We had one beer and after that we kissed. I sat in his lap at the bar. He said I was aggressive. All this stuff started to come out of my mouth. That I wanted him to cuff me! I’ve never thought about that before. I told him I wanted him to go get his uniform and fuck me in it. Then he told me the oddest thing. He said it’s illegal to wear it when he wasn’t on duty. He was dead serious about it. So committed. So faithful and dedicated to his job. I had to fuck him for his integrity alone! He doesn’t live far from here. He went and got the uniform and instead of fucking me while wearing it he laid it out on the bed! J Already arranged! It was like a cop had melted into the bed and all that was left was the uniform. He was really, really, really good too. I came so hard at one point I wouldn’t be surprised if someone on a plane heard me. 

 

            Elizabeth woke with the diary open against her chest. Her body writhed gently as she became aware of the heat, now a presence in the room unto itself. A small moan of discomfort came from her, as her body had become stiffer over night.

            She examined the thickness of the remaining pages of Annabelle’s diary with her finger and thumb. There had to be fifty pages left at least. Annabelle could wait, she could sit there on the bed, ready to advise her more if she needed it, ready to understand the all-consuming need for Andrew’s body that had come back to haunt Elizabeth as the goosebumps of inspiration. She decided to only pleasure herself through the painting.

            Elizabeth set up the canvas and laid out her paints gently. She covered the canvas first with a soft sheen of metallic blue, then built voluminous shapes of red on red, green on black. She breathed deeply, letting her hand create the long, easy strokes, as her mind struggled for focus.

Her thoughts wandered. Instead of considering the gauges of the shapes, she thought about what would happen if she and Andrew had sex. It was frightening to imagine something like that ripping the seam out of their friendship. But she knew exactly where Annabelle was in her mind at work, with the suited man standing there. She knew how the shapes of a room and all the people in it could completely vanish and become a pane of grey. The world would cease to exist, with the exception of that one object of lust that never aged or became repetitive. She knew how an urge could utterly bleach the risk out of a situation.

But she knew cowardice, too.

            She looked over her shoulder at the diary, open on the bed.

            Telling Andrew would only be the beginning. She’d have act. Maybe – and most likely, she imagined – she would have to run away with what might feel like a hole in her chest at his rejection.

            Elizabeth had no idea how to imagine the scene in her mind. She put down her paintbrush and returned hungrily to the diary.

 

            June 28 – Annabelle

            I must make it a habit to write in here more. This is the only place I can unwrap my mind in without caution. I haven’t told Julie or Donna or Greg or anyone about this. They call me to go out and do things, they call me to ask me questions and meet their friends. I can’t. My heart won’t stop racing. My mind won’t stop being so fucking curious. I’ve started a list of things I’ve never done.

            I did something I’ve always made fun of other people for doing. I put up ads for sex partners on a bunch of sites online. So far I’ve gotten something like one hundred responses. So many are fakes or ads for something. But there are some actual men on here. I hate how so many of them are people who don’t have any social skills. I’ve talked to one of them on the phone already and he sounds awkward and boring. I need someone who can match wits with me. I’m still going by the name Annabelle. I think I’m going to keep it.

            I’m back. I’ve made two dates for tomorrow. I’m being greedy. I know I’m being greedy. I just can’t keep up with myself all of a sudden. This is fun. This is really fun but I’m nervous – I’m not doing anything dumb, I don’t think I’ll catch anything or something like that. I just feel like I’m vibrating, constantly.