Monday, November 9, 2015

The Earrings

I am standing at the jewelry counter at Saks Fifth Avenue, visiting a pair of earrings. This is my third trip to Saks. These earrings are haunting me. 

There is a tall, fit, distinguished looking man standing just beyond my reach. He wants to surprise his girlfriend with a necklace, or maybe a bracelet and matching earrings.

“Is this a special occasion?” asks the sales associate.

Maybe she’s dying, I think.

He wants to surprise her with a gift when he takes her on vacation next week.

 “Where are you going?” asks the sales associate.

“Don’t say Paris,” I whisper. 

“Paris,” he says.

I consider slamming my head against the counterinstead, I text a friend.

“He’s perfect,” I tell her. 

“I’m about to get a mammogram,” she replies. 

In solidarity, I lean forward and press my foobs against the sterile, glass countertop.

I leave them long enough to create two symmetrical, 425 cc oval shaped imprints.

“Is there a price limit?” asks the sales associate.
“Nooooo,” his voice echoes.

Swiftly, I shift left, straddling the view of my favorite Italian designers newest collection.

The sales associate shifts right, and with eyes fixated on mine, dips below the counter, unlocks the casement door that is directly in line with my crotch, and removes a tray of gracefully displayed precious stones set in luscious, hand engraved gold.

I cannot bare witness to what unfolds next. In defeat, I retreat to the sanctity and solitude of my home. 

It is Thursday, the day Dora cleans my house. I open the door and reflect on how fortunate I am to have someone clean for me. In addition to the standard service, every so often, when the mood strikes her, she changes and IRONS my bed sheets. Today is that day and this feels extra sweet.

I go to my closet and there, in my hamper of dirty clothes, on top of my dirty sheets, is a pair of men’s cotton briefs. 

It’s been six months and seventeen days since I’ve shared my hamper with a man.
It’s been six months and seventeen days since I’ve gained 50% more closet space.
It’s been six months and seventeen days since he left me behind.

From the beginning
I knew meeting could only
End in parting, yet
I ignored the coming dawn
And I gave myself to you.

                                                                             Japanese poet Fujiwara no Teika

I live in a river of change. I no longer resist change.

It was a crisp, early autumn evening when I accompanied George to the Met for a searing performance of New York City Ballet’s ‘Balanchine Black and White.’ 

There is newness to his touch, a freshness to his kiss. I awaken to the warmth of his body next to mine.

I will buy my own jewelry.

I will vacation solo.

A woman who has never been wounded can never heal.

Now that I am broken, I can blossom.

xo, MonkeyME

Saturday, October 24, 2015

More About the Blindfold

A continuation of  Me as Mrs. Robinson

"I have scars," she said.
"Me too," he said.

And then he showed her his scar. A tiny, sliver of a scar just above his right eye.

"Dangerous spot," she said.
"I know," he said.

And then she showed him her scars--massive battle wounds across both breasts and her stomach, a chemo port scar, and numerous skin cancer scars across her forehead, neck, arms, and legs.

But before she showed him her scars, she blindfolded him. And then, just in case he peaked, she lowered the lights.

She placed a bottle of well-chilled, California chardonnay on her lips and sucked hard. And then she poured some down his throat. And then she turned up the funk.

Now... she was ready.

He was attentive. He was eager. And when she finally turned off her brain, she was present.

It was invigorating and it was powerful. But best of all, it was casual.

I am learning how to live on my own for the first time in my life.

I am learning how to have casual relationships with men, and sustainable relationships with women.

I kept his socks--black, ironman, crew length socks. I wear them sometimes when I'm feeling frisky. I like feeling frisky.

I only reached out to him once since our adventure and I was sober when I did it.

"Incase you're feeling weird about me being older, you should know I am the same age as Madonna," she said.

When I confessed this to my daughter she said he probably didn't feel weird about it until I brought it up. In hindsight, I'm certain she is right.

He showed me a picture of his post Burning Man haircut. Gone was his man bun. Gone were those wild, rockstar, playa dust, fussed dreads.

Gone was my wolf cub crush.

I am putting dating on hold while I focus on pleasing me. This is challenging for a women who craves male attention.

I still see George Clooney from time to time when he's not off doing whatever it is famous people do. He is attentive, and patient, and fun. He is casual.

A friend of mine is dying. After a 12 year battle with breast cancer, she is in the final days of her life. Her husband is by her side. She is letting go and he is clinging to her every breath. It is heartbreaking to witness and yet, I can't help but marvel at their love. It is a love that is complete, and pure, and so good. It is a love that will last beyond her death.

When I'm done with casual, I want that kind of love.

xo, MonkeyME

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Me as Mrs. Robinson

The Graduate (1967)

Benjamin: Wood?
Mrs. Robinson: What?
Benjamin: Wood or wire? They have both.
[Offering Mrs. Robinson a coat hanger]

Burning Man (2015)

Wolf: Wood? 
Monkey: What? 
Wolf: Wooden or fur paddle? We have both.
[Offering Monkey Me a spanking]

Life is unpredictable. Never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned a "Mrs. Robinson" scenario on what would be my 12th year at Burning Man, and my first burn as a single woman.

The cards played out just right. After a week of flirtation, I returned to camp and found him waiting for me. The moon was full. We had all just witnessed the ritualistic burning of the Man - a sixty foot wooden statue that is the heart, fuel, and focus of the event. And with it went my long list of insecurities, fears, and regrets (all involving men) that I literally nailed to the base of the man, directly aligned with his crotch.  

There were so many reasons why I shouldn't have. For starters, the obvious; I was older than his mother and he was younger than my daughter. 

But there were even more reasons why I should have. Most enticing... that swagger. That hip, cool, Mick Jagger swagger. And those tone, taunt abs. 

[ummm, ummm, ummm...] 

There were undeniable signs from the universe. First, his name - Wolf. My very first boyfriend's name was Wolf - Peter Wolf. And then there was his date of birth - August 17th - my wedding anniversary and coincidentally, the date of my divorce.  

My campmates, all acting as my voice of reason, were in complete agreement; age is irrelevant. 

Because I am an adult, I set rules.  And because he is barely an adult, he agreed.

Monkey: I'm going to play funk. I'm going to blindfold you. And I'm going to write about it.

He set one of his own.

Wolf: I'm keeping your socks.

And then there was my unsolicited advice.

Monkey: Stop with the tattoos. Thirty years from now, your idea of what's 'hip and cool' will change. 

Even more prolific Monkey advice...

Monkey: Thirty years from now, the only thing you'll still love is music and blow jobs. You might not even love fucking because your back might ache or your knees might be shot. But you're always going to love blow jobs. So make certain the woman of your dreams worships your cock.

Memories of that delicious evening will arouse me way beyond menopause.

I am certain I rocked his world.

It felt like a reward for enduring years of rejection from a man who was focused on women other than me. Fantasies mostly. Fantasies about younger women, surgically-enhanced, voluptuous...

It felt like a reward for the rejection I was force-fed in the aftershock of my fifty-something-and-single-again-life. 

Forty-something guy: "We can be lovers, but there can be no love, you are too old."
Fifty-something guy: "I found someone better, someone younger."

And then there was George Clooney"How old do you want to be today?" 

And he would say 23, or 22, or 21. And I would be one year his junior.  It felt like our imagination manifested itself. To me, Wolf was the reincarnation of my twenty-something George Clooney.

I returned home with a sense of empowerment that I have never felt before. I now blow right by the dismissive, fifty-something, hedge-fund puppet masters without giving a second glance. Too old, too stuffy, too ...

It was, hands down, my best Burn EVER. I love my campmates. I love how the event continues to challenge me and enrich my life. I love how Burning Man gives you exactly what you need, even if that includes a delicious, twenty-something, playa playmate.

xo, MonkeyME

at Polo, post Burning Man Wolf infusion

[I choose wood]

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison