Hurting a Friend to Learn

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I don’t like keeping secrets. Sure, I have my little garden of personal information that I wish to keep private, but keeping things that would be best shared with those concerned is another story.

See, I believe that I am an intrinsically good person. Why do I dare affirm that? Because all my life I dreaded to tell a simple lie. Living while knowing that I have hurt someone is unbearable to me.

It was very unpleasant to have to tell my parents that I was going to some girlfriend’s house and then having to tell them a made-up scenario for our activities, while the truth was that I went out to a church basement party or to a gay boy’s house, as for my social sake I couldn’t have missed the event. My parents would have thought that for sure I would’ve gotten pregnant.

All I wish for is to always live in my truth. With all the liars and pretenders out there, I want to make a point that I can be trusted and that I do live in transparency.

Well, oops, I made a mistake. Some mistakes can definitely be worse than others, like driving drunk and killing someone must be pretty harsh on one’s conscience. Some are smaller incidents, but all mistakes have in common that they were done, and they are part of the past so they cannot be undone.

I was recently re-reading Kundera’s novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being. One section was very enlightening. While elaborating on the prosecutions that followed the Russian communism invasion, he was saying that many people who were responsible for many deaths kept claiming: ‘‘I didn’t know, I am innocent.’’

Yes, before the events and as they were going on, many people weren’t disclosed sufficient information to know exactly what the impact of their actions was going to be. But as it happened and after, they were forced to face the repercussions and that is where a change in attitude became necessary. At first, they didn’t know, but then they knew. So now what? How will they react as they now know what consequences their actions had?

It is not so important as to whether the person was innocent in the first place, as what matters from this point of view is how the individual will take responsibility for what has been done.

Like my friend V. was saying, ‘‘Sometimes, you have to commit harm to someone you love to learn from the mistake.’’ Oh, I did learn indeed.

See, interpersonal relationships can be complicated, as most people have varying boundaries of what they find acceptable or not. Where is the line that should not be crossed? I have had as many exclusive relationships as I was involved with couples who were open. I am very much used to feeling free in my friendships.

So I had a nap for a couple of hours at the end of a night with a friend of mine, who also happened to be… my friend’s boyfriend. Oh, and I wasn’t a bachelorette myself. But I didn’t do anything wrong. Yes, we shared some healing massages, yes, there was proximity, but clothes were kept on and no spooning occurred. My soul was clear and honest. There was no sexual tension within me in this whole act! I have no trouble in having a sensual moment and in controlling my animalistic impulses to not let a drop of desire shape within me.

But who cares? How can my friend check whether or not that was true? However clear I am within me, she won’t get a lie detector to verify what I am saying.

The most important thing I learned in that incident is how sacred the bed now seems to me. The bed is a place of intimacy for lust and sleep, two things I normally don’t share with just about anyone.

From that moment on, even if someone just wanted to nap in my bed I felt like saying: ‘‘Sorry, it ain’t your territory, a male already peed all around it.’’ I wouldn’t share my underwear with anyone, well I’ll keep my bed private too!

Great, Vanessa, you learned a lesson, that’s what life is: experiencing stuff and evolving through it. But when the male with whom I shared that pleasant nap said: ‘We won’t be saying this to our partners, right? F***, no one else in this world understands how these beautiful healing moments can be shared without making it sexual or a betrayal,’’ I totally agreed. ‘‘Of course, naturally, I wasn’t going to shout it out.’’ That’s when I had a reality check and thought: ‘‘F***. Now I have a secret. Oh no, oh no…’’

Right then is when the real mistake started. Instead of facing what I had done and being honest to my loved ones, I felt ashamed that I crossed a boundary that I didn’t initially realized existed. I kept it in and told no one.

I thought the event in itself was insignificant enough for the harm that it could do, as the other partners were jealousy-prone types. I thought that by learning properly from the experience and never doing such thing again, it would make it okay.

Like V. continued saying: ‘‘It is not humble to believe that you can decide for others what they should or shouldn’t know. By not telling the truth, you kept from them the tools that would enable them to take decisions for their own lives. Only they know what is or not acceptable for themselves.’’ Right on, so well said.

My friendship with the girl continued to grow, but I guess that there was always a distance maintained by the gap caused by this secret. The night that I slept over at her boyfriend’s house, clever as she is, she had a dream that we had intercourse. When she wanted to be reassured that we didn’t do such a thing I would say ‘‘no, no, that didn’t happen.’’ I didn’t lie, but I didn’t completely say the truth when she offered me a chance to do so.

Months later, she learned that her partner had actually fully cheated on her. She asked one more time if something ever happened between me and him. I was tired of feeling like such a hypocrite as I wanted to help her feel better in her break-up. Instead, I was perpetrating harm and adding to her pain.

Wasn’t I doing exactly what he did to her by not being honest? So I told her the whole story. I feel extremely sad for contributing to her sorrow and for losing her as a friend, but so relieved to not be holding on to any information anymore.

It did put me in a weird place to extract these old skeletons from the closet, to put myself back in that past moment and to remember how my own relationship was crumbling apart.

I don’t want to clean up something after leaving it dirty for so long. The dirt solidifies. It’s so much better to just deal one thing at the time and keep none for later. So for now, I have done what was most appropriate, there is nothing more I can do. I guess I just have to wait and see if she’ll forgive me. I hope so, for I promise that I won’t do it again!

Photomontage of Element by Stephen Crosby, Tears of Change by Rose-Lynn Fisher and illustrations by Vanessa Serhan.

Vanessa Serhan is a brunette multi-disciplinary artist working and designing in Montreal.

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How I Got a Crush on my MD

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“ARRGHH!” I scream on the ground, looking at my ankle twisted in the weirdest angle. Ouch! I try to move my foot, but I cannot command anything. My foot does not respond. A woman helps me to get up. I try to put my foot down, but yikes! No way, I can’t. “I work at Notre-Dame Hospital,” says the kind helping lady. ‘‘We were just heading there. Do you want to come with us?” Ah, yes thank you. I am saved. Here we go, straight to the hospital.

At the hospital, I am scared. I hold my tibia against my chest. There is no position in which I may relax my leg and feel comfortable. The pain is horrible and my emotional nature makes me cry and shake in despair. How quickly did I slip on ice and find myself here!

After three or four hours of waiting with fluctuating anxiety, I get to see a doctor.
-Well, tu t’es pas manquée!*

I want him to touch my ankle, to send it some reassuring love. I want him to put the bones in the right place where they belong, but he barely dares to touch them as it is as large as my knee.

I get scanned. I am told that I have a very bad fracture and will need an operation the next day. This is all happening so fast!

Can I at least go on the Internet and do some research to find another solution first, an alternative one? Girl, this time, it’s out of your hands, you need help and you’ll get it.

I keep crying as I am so afraid of such a thing as an operation. I ask to see the scan. The doc asks me if it’ll make me cry more and I say, yes, probably, but I still prefer to face reality.

I look at it. I am in pieces. I call my brother to come and pick me up and he arrives super quickly. He is my hero, he is so reassuring. We get in a cab and go to my place, he helps me go up the three floors. He brings me some water, makes me some calendula tea, rolls a joint. We smoke. I cry.

The next morning, I am finally peaceful. I have been in pain for 24 hours because I did not want to swallow any drug yet, expecting to get the total trip during the surgery. I am reassured that I will be taken care of.

I am to be operated at Hospital Hôtel-Dieu, a beautiful hospital in downtown Montreal with white walls and tall windows.

The employees have great charisma. Some who will be working on my ankle even come and introduce themselves to me prior to the operation. This change in atmosphere from my experience the day before at the emergency room is a world apart. I am smiling, almost excited for this adventure to start ahead. And oh, as I am there, about to be operated, the first thing I ask is for strong painkillers.

It is my turn, yahoo! I am taken to the operating block. The room is big, well-lit, and the equipment looks pretty high-tech. I wasn’t expecting a set worthy of the latest TV show. What a luxury treatment. I may now sit back, relax and just enjoy.

But I’m curious, so I keep asking questions about this indicator, this number. They answer politely and smile. Then, I see the surgeon in charge: damn, he’s young and hot. Maybe early thirties? I wasn’t asking for that much.

Well, I hope he won’t be too weirded out by my end-of-winter hairy legs. I don’t like waxing my legs in the winter because when I shiver, the goosebumps hurt as there is no hair to raise. I wonder if he’s used to straight platinum-haired chicks with a Brazilian wax.

I’m getting anaesthetics  for my lower body, which means that I’ll be conscious throughout. As they start opening me, I go, “Woah, I can still feel everything!”

This 24-hour pain ride was sufficient for me. I don’t feel the need to experience all of the stuff that they’ll be moving around in there. I only have enough time to finish my sentence that they’ve added something in my solution and I fall completely asleep.

The operation is soon over, so a lady wakes me up. I go “already?” and laugh. I touch my legs. I can feel nothing and since that’s the weirdest thing that ever happened to me, I laugh even more!

They can do such freaky things with their meds these sorcerers…
The personnel kind of awkwardly laughs with me. It could be a sign that I’m starting to freak out. I guess they stated in their papers: “Well, she woke up laughing”.

I thank everyone, still laughing a bit (maybe the drugs helped). I am taken away to spend the rest of the day in another room.

When the anaesthetics’ effect wears off, I am not laughing anymore.

I feel like 14 knives are squeezed inside of my leg. I am tortured. My dad wants to take me to the parental house but I refuse. Going for a long car ride is the last thing that I want in that instant, the pain is too intense.

I say that I need some sleep before I go anywhere. My body just can’t handle it anymore, so I spend a lovely night at the hospital and wake up the next day feeling ready to head to my apartment.

It turns out I get all of these follow-up appointments with the hot doctor. He’s the kind of surgeon with a lot a charisma that all lady patients must be enamoured with.

He always asks about my weird job (I was working in a hair loss prevention place at the time) and if I eat meat again or not. I love his little teasing, it makes me feel special (which he also said about me ^ . ^). I look at his curly dark hair that I want to twirl in my fingers.

In my convalescence I hardly feel like I look hot but always make an effort to feel ‘‘okay’’ when I go to my appointments.

We fill in papers to set an operation to remove the metal that was put in my leg.
“We’ll have lots of fun,” he says. Oh yes we will. On the operation day, I am super calm and excited. It feels like such a step forward after such a crazy year.

The doc warmly welcomes me. The scene is perfect. He is washing his hands in the corridor besides the waiting area where I’m sitting and a male nurse comes in to ask him a bunch of questions about his knee, of which he is specialized.

I try not to smile too much as I look at his muscular arms. He looks tan as if he was just back from a sunny trip and I wonder whether or not he’s a gym dude. Well, he looks very healthy and energetic regardless. Oh, it’s my turn to lie on the table.

Lord, his assistant is also hot. With a mystical and serious face.The hot doc starts working on me and I feel tickled and laugh. I guess my body completely accepts his touch.

He can’t believe that I’m laughing, he’s like, “you’re a very special one”. There I am, conscious this time, looking at these two hot guys open up my ankle.

Sometimes the way he holds my foot feels so nice that I could moan. Then the not-so-fun part starts. They pull the screws out and it feels awful. I twitch and tremble and scream a bit, transitioning to singing when it becomes uncomfortable.

In between painful moments I feel embarrassed, way too aware of the resemblance between sexual pleasure and pain. Thankfully I am wearing panties. What if the sheet under me had gotten moist?!

He keeps wanting to talk to distract myself from what’s going on and I alternate between telling him that I don’t want to talk or simply not answering and shooting quick answers as if we were speed dating – even  absorbed in my pain, I still want him to get to know me (sigh).

It’s over. I sit up. I’ve been crying for a while now. The doc says he doesn’t like to make girls cry. The others laugh, as if they know about his Don Juan qualities. I ask if he’s married and he negates with his head.

My recovery is going well, although I get a really bad infection so two weeks after the operation and after a 12-and-a-half-hour wait at the emergency, I am lucky to see my doc again.

He warmly shakes my hand, his tall body super close to mine, and asks me how I’m doing. I say “hmm, not so good…” He looks at my ankle and doesn’t understand why my body is reacting like that. I tell him that one day I’ll write a novel about the reasons why and that if he wants to, he’ll be able to read it. He may first think that I’m crazy before thinking that maybe I’ve got a point after all.

We have this nice eye contact. He has the light turquoise iris of a really healthy fella, according to naturopaths. He prescribes some antibiotics and introduces another doctor to me to for a follow-up appointment the next week, as he’ll be travelling during that time. He leaves the office, saying in his cute theatrical way: “Dr S. will be taking good care of you during my absence!”

I answer with my eyes bat-lashing and a cute head pose. I love when I make him smile, which he’s not shy to do. He goes out to wash his hands but comes back to say, “You’re right, nutrition can’t be the only thing that matters” and compares some cases he knows. I’m happy that I’ve installed a little spark in his mind.

Now I know why I find him so cute: he’s healthy, has a tall and strong lean body, has clear eyes which prove his head is just as clear. He’s already penetrated me through my ankle and… he’s a doctor. For what I understood that I really seek in my man is that I want to find the one who will be my healer and for whom I’ll be the healer. I am very much interested in health, but through ancient knowledge and alternative holistic approaches. He comes from the academic background, so it is somewhat in the opposite camp that is not that opposite. Both groups want the same thing: to help and heal people.

So I can’t wait for my next and, if all goes well, last appointment. I feel ridiculous about imagining scenarios, but don’t even feel like holding back. Will I dare to say with my eyes “Will you be my own personal healer?” Will I ask him out for dinner aloud?

 

*Translates as ”you didn’t miss your shot”.

Vanessa Serhan is a brunette multi-disciplinary artist working and designing in Montreal.

Ripped Jeans

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There are some clothes, no matter how advanced or decayed their state is, I just can’t get rid of. I won’t pay attention to the warning signals : women’s round eyes signaling my outfit is way too outrageous or men’s inquisitive stares, as they obviously interpret the tears in my pants as an invitation to get to know me.

Every time I selected the clothes to be removed in order to clear some wardrobe space (which would be filled again in the blink of an eye), somehow, there was always this one pair of jeans I ended up taking back from the donation bag to put back on immediately, like to excuse myself to them. Just like make up sex can be so good after an altercation, the softness of the fabric and the memories I carry in it brings me to a tactile orgasm. The places I have been to, the smells that got impregnated in them, the people who deserved to be smacked from touching them and the ones that I let carry on, the mosquitoes and the douchebags they have kept at distance. Wow, how comfortable my pants are. I’m sure some of my own collagen has ended up weaved into the cotton, after uncountable hours of rubbing on my skin.

They were initially black but now they have this unique dark-blue-grey tint. They anonymously presented themselves to me. No brand or production tag could be found on them, which makes me idealize that they were made with love by a well paid and respected worker in a beautiful atelier with plants and no fluorescent bulbs.

On the seams, the fabric has been flattened so much that there is a silky shine to it. The crotch gives this perfect boyish baggy attitude. My hands fit in the front pockets without stretching anything. The back pockets are gone but their shape remains visible as they were sun-printed in, showcasing my plumped butt under which the rips dangerously circle the back of my thighs, making me forcibly choose when appropriate to twerk.

The straight leg might soon not cover my shins anymore as the knee rip is coming full circle. They were with me for numerous years and waist sizes. Only fatality will separate these Sacred Jeans from me. I’m sexy in them, badass because I dare to wear them and look nothing like a punk. Feeling so chic when I’m covered with something that, on its own, has nothing seducing makes me laugh, especially when I think about stuck up people who make themselves suffer all day up in a downtown tower in some butt-tightening-impossible-to-breath-in-high-waisted-viscose-thing. Oh yeah, and the waist of my awesome trousers is 3.5 inches down from the bellybutton, sometimes sliding down to 4.3 if I’m frugivoring a heat wave day away. Yeah, that’s pretty darn close to the bushy-me.

 I’m sure other ripped jeans wearers, beaten boots kickers or whatever other ragged thing one may be fanatic about will understand me, as most of them won’t take the initiative to consciously say : “I let go of this [thing] as it embodies the past and I wish to separate myself from all the experiences attached to it, therefore I now say bye”. Or more realistically : “man, this thing is destroyed and f****, get this out of here.” I mean, for sure it does happen to go through an awesome purging trip to start anew the accumulation cycle. And isn’t it lovely when some friends want your stuff, so you know it’s available close-by if you were ever to change your mind that got hyper frenetic during the purge. 

The first person I knew who never renewed his wardrobe was my dad. He didn’t really give a shit for appearance, except if it was about me showing a little bit too much skin. (Is my pants description demonstrating a reactionary behaviour to parental authority on my part?) Otherwise, I’d never see him in the weekend out of his weekend outfit, no matter how many years went by. While I tend to find this sort of behaviour redundant, blasé and pas ben ben chic, I can understand that there is some comfort that comes with clothes that have been softened by the constant wear and washing, the chemical smell of dyes having completely left the fabric and the little holes allowing thumbs to come out or the skin to breath more at the armpits. I guess it’s cool to never have to look for these items as they’re most often where expected : on the body.

Back in high school, I disliked having to say to my dad : “you’re not taking me to the mall wearing that coat” when I’d get ready to go meet with friends who inevitably were wearing the brands in fashion at the moment (i.e Ecko, Sean John, Fat Farm – or whatever). I’d feel uncool in my on sale wardrobe that bore no brand tag. I did not care that not taking for granted expensive clothes as a basic need may be good for my education. 

And yet, as I used to be horrified when my mom would come back from the Salvation Army with something she was happy to find there, I eventually became a second-hand shopping addict for a time. That made me take a different look at my parent’s behaviours : they did act in a way that preserves nature. They are not perversed by the fake luxury ideas of buying new products polluting the world and financing big corporations, and so on.

Another friend had taken on to never wash his pants as they fitted him perfectly and could not be equaled with any prestigious designer jeans. Feeling like a punk-rock star, he’d freeze his pants to rid them of bacteria and odors, but would never let them be handled by an agitated and anxious fabric-dissolving washing machine that would dissintegrate the pants before he could live all that he meant to experience with them. 
 
There are in total maybe three or four people I’ve met who were proudly wearing glasses which either lacked a branch or a nose ridge.
While I’ve never critically needed my glasses to see my hands raised in front of me, I would say I find the idea of broken branches and unbalanced glasses hanging on my nose pretty scary. I’m too afraid of things getting in my eyes I guess. Just like I’d never bike with a whistle in between my lips. What if I fell and swallowed it, or worse broke all my teeth?! 

Walking with destroyed shoes also has the potential of being very dangerous. I walked in my favourite boots whose heels were thinned out, and then got caught by the rain, making it impossible not to slip (hello Montreal hills !). The same happened at a time when I twisted my ankle and walked with crutches. I guess I’m too passionate a walker, as even when four-legged, the cement literally ate the rubber part of my crutches, which I only realized once I fell face forward as the crutches failed to grab the ground.

I was happy one time when my friend stopped at my house, as I decided my evening mission would be to take advantage of her presence to motivate me to pile a number of items in my donation bag, or to offer them to her.

She was good company, but no help at all. When I showed her those sacred jeans I’m talking about, wondering if that night was the magical night when I’d be ready to let go, she suggested : “keep them for gardening?” to which I enthusiastically agreed. That night, nothing was added to the donation bag. 

But now I wish I threw them away. Later that evening, wearing the pants I’m rambling about, I headed to my friend’s party. People were chilling in the plounge, some in the kid’s pool on the terrace and others bootyshaking on the dancefloor, which got more and more popular. I used to proudly believe that I had been conceived on a dancefloor in some hot Cuban-like party to justify my thirst for dancer’s sweat. Quickly getting in the mood, I two-stepped my way through with the help of my hips hitting side to side to push the people a little bit.

The guy I noticed to be very cute came by me and a few seconds later, we were moving in perfect harmony, his body embracing my curves and his hips following mine. All around us people were so high and flirting and touching, our temperatures rised and I felt a dangerous pulse in my lower belly : I was horny. 

Our dancing got very erotic and I got out of my head, completely carnal. I didn’t care if the other ladies would dissaprove, I was letting his hands slide and grab on any inch of my skin which was accessible to him. The rips in the jeans eventually got handy. Making his way in the big wholes, right under my butt, his finger found the opening to my sacred garden. I did not push him away and forgot to measure how discrete we were. This went on for some time until I reached for his zipper.

When my hand pulled his underpants away, I felt that I had a déjà vu, but made nothing of it as I thought what I consumed was responsible for creating that impression of familiarity. I teased him some more and then he made his member slide into my pants. Right then I heard someone scream : “MICHAEL, HOW COULD YOU !” 

Just to make the moment perfectly akward, someone had just kicked the speaker so there was no music to cover the scream. Every one turned to Michael, who was trying to get in me. I turned around and was stunned : my ex-boyfriend somehow took the place of the other guy I was previously dancing with. He tried to pack himself in his pants quickly, caught his penis when he fastened the zipper up and looked absoluetly embarrassed and in pain : ” (Ouch!) Maria, it’s not what you think…(Argh!)” . She said : “you told me it was really over with her” to which I furiously nodded in agreement.

I immediately felt like puking, as this was too much drama for me, I drank too much and had sworn to never ever, ever, go back (for sex) to an ex. “Maria, I’d never let him do this if I knew it was him…” bad comment on my part, people looked at me dazzled “is she stupid or what?!”.

I guess I didn’t look too smart right then, but that’s when my participation in the scene ended. Maria stormed out of the room and Michael followed her, calling out her name with his hand still on his zipper. I tried to come up with some better line to save my face, but did not have to, as the music was put back on and the episode seemed immediately forgotten.

But it wasn’t. The bad surprise of being penetrated by someone I never wanted to see again wasn’t enough.  I was in a cafe enjoying a nice ice-cold drink to freeze my hungover when I heard guys at a table behind me: “Dude, check this out my friend filmed this girl at Tee’s place getting fingered and fucked on the dancefloor!  Hollyyy…”

I projectile-spitted the coffee out of my mouth and ran out of the place. As soon as I was home, I found the scissors, removed the pants and cut them to pieces : alas it was separation day!

Nessa, back in Montreal, was shocked when someone made her realize that all she ever speaks with, writes with, shares ideas or shoots interrogations at the world with are the same 26 letters arranged, or not, in assembles. Alas, that realization didn’t help her scatterbrained intellect to find center.

Saying Bye For Now

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I wanted to send a Facebook message to my best friend Patti who was moving earlier that day to Ontario, but was unable to as it seemed she had just taken her profile down. I was surprised for a second, but then it made so much sense. I had done the same on my own move out of the province, so I calmly took in my impressions of the meaning of her ‘erasement’ of social networks. Going off the radar for the people who knew her might just be a necessary compromise to enable something even greater to take place in her : change.

When reconnecting with people after I came back and reappeared on the net, a friend asked : «And how was that [living in Toronto for a while]?» It took me 24 hours to sum it up in a few words, only to realise that my time lapse was my in construction break. Yes, just like it could be seen on a website. I and every little cell I’m composed of were like : ‘‘we’ll come out of the closet soon, but for now, let us make your mouths water with expectations, as you are so impatient to take a bite of us. But don’t look while we’re changing from an old skin to a new one, we don’t know what you might glimpse at as we’re not hidden by the protective layer of our integument filtering what comes in and goes out in sight…’’

The certainty of people waiting at the door to see how I’d turn out was merely a fantasy, not something I accounted for a reality. How easy it is to think you have disappeared from every one’s memory, even the ones for who you’ll always keep a spot in your heart? ‘‘Will they even remember my name?’’, I’d ask myself. People do forget some stuff. They forget that they wanted to call me for a while, they forget that they had planned to visit me. But that’s what goes on anyways, far from them or not, as soon as I’m not part of their habit anymore. Don’t take it personally, that’s the modern way! To run out of time…

As I was in this period of discovering the hidden truths within myself, I remained very close and connected with my friend Ivy, who was walking in a parallel line to mine, making more or less similar changes happening in her life. We felt the need to keep connecting, not counting the minutes of our phone conversations when the craving to speak with someone who shared a common language arose. This enabled us to distantly witness how these changes were respectively happening in our lives.  She was doing so while still running into the same faces that had been familiar for long and while also making new connections according to her ever-evolving frame of mind.

I, on the other hand, was in a position of erasing everything and anything that I no longer wished to be in my surroundings and that, in every layer. I could make changes in my diet and the people that I met simply knew me with my new reality. No one could go like ‘‘but we’ve eaten this many times! It won’t kill you!’’
That’s right. It will not kill me (right this second). But that’s not what it’s about. It’s about what I want, now. 

Being somewhere where the old you is not known allows you to, instead of saying ‘‘no, I don’t want to do this anymore… don’t wish to wear those anymore… don’t want to go to these places anymore…’’, to simply have positive and informative statements.  Being like ‘‘Hey! That’s what turns me on! I just learned this new thing… Want to go to this place I heard of?’’ without having to justify your new point of view.

In both of our cases, a lot of alone time was necessary so that slowly, we could build our personal culture.

So when I noticed Patti’s page no longer existed, I wondered what kind of mindset she was in. Was it a peaceful relief, leaving a social chapter behind to focus on a new way of interacting, of relating? I questionned a lot what Patti had been going through for a while and her choices. Still, I was kind of thankful for not knowing the details motivating these decisions that she kept in her heart: this way I could not judge her. Only she knew what was best for her, it was none of my business. And wasn’t she in the best of all paths anyways?

Finding only you to support yourself makes you look deep into your eyes. Slowly you learn how to hold the stare.

When I see the ones I love after a moment of separation, it becomes obvious to them that they are not facing the same old friend entirely. For sure, they are ever-changing too, but getting out of a comfort zone accelerates transformations. They may or may not acknowledge it, but they will stare in an iris with new stains and lines narrating the stories of unknown faces and places. The body they will hug will be transformed by new thoughts and concerns. The hair texture may change too. What about the voice? Is it softer, deeper?

I know we are in constant change as cells divide without the need to consciously command them to, but being exposed to a new environment encodes many new things in our evolving DNA and lets us hear the voice of our free will to develop our capabilities further and in the process, to diversify.

If I see that person who was away from me for a while, I welcome into her new life chapters. Her experiences will also benefit me if I listen closely. I will intergrate some of her knowledge.

But if I am unsure and feel on edge with this person I once thought I knew and don’t recognize anymore, well too bad! Change and chaos are what life is. So flow with it!

*Names have been changed.

Nessa, back in Montreal, was shocked when someone made her realize that all she ever speaks with, writes with, shares ideas or shoots interrogations at the world with are the same 26 letters arranged, or not, in assembles. Alas, that realization didn’t help her scatterbrained intellect to find center.

Photo: Juliette Leblanc. You can see more of her work here: http://julietteleblanc.tumblr.com/

Naked Modeling: A Feel-Good Medicine

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Just like most random jobs, I picked this one up at a time when I needed money and didn’t know what I felt like doing to get some.  A few years ago, I became very curious about the stripping occupation. I know many girls have had similar fantasies to mine: dancing and feeling sexy in a place where we can only be known by a chosen cheekie name seems hot. Shopping in strippers’ ”work apparel stores” was already a favourite hobby of mine and I had spotted a location with the best hooker heels in town. To start investigating, I went for a drink at a Toronto strip club (where the girls were so talented) and asked the bouncer a couple of questions on my way out. That’s how I found out that one needs a licence to get their clothes off in an Ontario bar. So like, your name is forever attached to that? I know that long forms, small prints and signatures of papers that are less than cross-read are part of life, and perhaps it would be one more form lost in the already existing confusing mass, but having my name permanently associated with this profession (as I’m still working on getting famous and being a respectable person) was enough to weigh in with my friend. “Don’t do it! You’ll get addicted to that dirty money!” she said (which, by the way, came out of her own experience). It dissolved my curiosity.

So after doing this and doing that in order to get by and to renew my wardrobe often enough, one job I knew about long before having slutty ideas popped in my head :  life drawing modelling.

The time of my passion for latex, pvc or polyurethane tight clothes, night-living and ear-ringing inducing music was over for me. It had been a few months that I was dedicating most of my time to practicing yoga and dancing for myself or for the geese of Lake Ontario, and so I thought it might be a great time to take a stance in front of a new type of audience!

I was drawing at this gallery which offered free sessions and so I asked to be hooked up with some paying gig. To break the ice, I did a first informal one for a group of visual artists who’d regularly meet at one of them’s house. I was drinking wine and snacking on olives in between poses and progressively took off my bodysuit as the evening went on. There was good music and it was easy to get inspired. I felt proud upon hearing the artist’s reactions which were stimulated by the variety of attitudes I served. I would laugh and remain concentrated when at first they’d warn me of the difficulty of keeping up the position I just got in, but then I would let my thoughts wander away. I was learning how to transform a burning muscle pain into a propelling fire, focusing on every inch of myself to remember where it was located in the space and how it was in relationship with the rest of my body. I was already hooked on this AND I got to see all of these amazing portraits of myself as a different modern individual and with a rather cool aesthetic. Rather than a mirror reflection or a photo, how great is it to read an interpretation of you that is made solely by hand!

With this to attest of my experience I started having a regular gig at an art school. No music or wine were part of the much more regular context. The room was a little cold but the organizer was very warm. I’d find it funny when he’d get right by me to tape marks around my edges so I could take a break in the middle of a long pose (i.e after 20 minutes of not moving). The artwork I would look at as I walked in between stations was much more classic: oils, graphite etching, inks. I loved it. I felt as though I was enscribing myself in a long tradition of the model posing for the artist. It was mind blowing to witness all of the different interpretations of the same me. It was helping to detach from my scrutinizing self. None of these peoples’ stare was sexual ;  they were not wondering how they’d fuck me, but how to intuitively make a stroke relating my arm to my trunk, my head to my neck. THAT was a balm soothing all of these little places in me that were inflammed by the constant undesired aggressions of restless flesh predators. It did not feel out of place, provocative or libertine to be in my birthday suit for hours in front of clothed people. With my pubes neatly done, sometimes armpit hair but always jewellry, I’d imagine I was in some hot country posing on a bed for a controversial artist a few decades ago, later making the headlines. For that was the freedom I’d realise I had in that moment. In my statued body, still my mind could go to any place I wanted, jumping from memory to fantasy, most of the time only holding myself from bursting in laughter as I recalled something funny. I particularly enjoyed the moment when I’d choose a pose, install myself into it, check with all muscles that they were at ease. Then, there was a little hold before the frenetic soundrack of the materials rubbing on each other would start.

I enjoyed this tax-free money for a while, but just like I question most things at one point or another, as in “is this still good for me?”, there was this one session I didn’t enjoy. Nothing in particular happened, it was just me. Just like one can get uninterested by a relationship whose vibe one has quit. That time, I felt cold for the entire length of it. I wondered why I was offering my precious body to all of these strangers for them to stare at. What made them worthy of me? It was a noble art practice, but no sublime opus was created in that room. All them pairs of eyes were pulling a little energy, slowly, slowly. Was it worth the money? See, I had become interested in someone and yet, we had not touched. I wanted to be warm and inviting for those first moments to come. I didn’t want to confuse and lose this boy’s eyes in the mass around me and be left feeling empty.

I was called by this other class orgaziner I had been refered to. Happy of my rising popularity and the eminent money, I accepted with immediate enthusiasm. This was to be at a bigger art school with talented attendants. I gulped in front of the challenge but felt confident… until the day of the session. I drank wine to get myself to go and put on a cool outfit on for going out plans following the shift. That wasn’t enough to get me into it, I was dreading to go. It meant exposing my intimacy to a larger group of people whom I might have run into anytime. It felt like the no-coming-back line I was about to cross. For the first time ever in my life, with shame, and more than halfway there on my bike, I turned around. I was a no-show.

The kind and worried organizer tried contacting me a few times. A while later I answered that I was sorry, that really I just didn’t want to do life drawing modelling anymore. He thanked me for my honesty and we went on our journeys. I still felt bad for not showing up but relieved that this episode was over.

I wore a lot of long veiled skirts on top of my short shorts that summer.
But I still like to undress smoothly when it’s only for a pair of eyes to see.

Nessa, back in Montreal, was shocked when someone made her realize that all she ever speaks with, writes with, shares ideas or shoots interrogations at the world with are the same 26 letters arranged, or not, in assembles. Alas, that realization didn’t help her scatterbrained intellect to find center.

Cougar At Twenty-three

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As the delicacy of just baked young male flesh seemed to be the hormone-driven cougar women’s main nutrient intake, I was led to think that they held the secret of pleasure’s longevity, of tight thighs and happy bouncy breasts for the years ahead when other couples might desperately wonder what show to watch that night.

Looking forward to enjoying the pleasures of youngsters at a later age, does it seem normal to say that I first spent some time exploring intimacy with father figures? Well, what can I say? If their mental age was about mine, which meant just around nine, we were then a perfect fit! After touching more and more wrinkled skin, the day came when I thought to myself: “Oh! How do I crave young fresh flesh!”

What was the problem with me? Why was I finding it so hard to be attracted physically or mentally (let alone both at once) by guys around my real age? Maybe I didn’t know how to live in the now and lived my future to distract myself from my fear of it. Maybe I had met those people in past lives, forgot why we broke apart and was foolishly happy that we might be united again. Maybe I just wasn’t confident enough with myself to realize that I could get a guy my age if I wasn’t losing time dating deadbeat dreamers who were ready to craft a new world between their bare bloody hands for ungrateful me.

Well, it had to happen. Seeking to attain balance, doesn’t one often go from one extreme to another? I fell in love with the freshest flesh on the meat market: a not yet legal virgin with no facial hair but the softest duvet! My encounter with this young fella happened two seasons after I told the last could-be-my-father type “ta-tah” and started re-flowering myself to have it just like a virgin with someone I would, for once, truly go crazy for, would truly get moist for, that I would get to know bit by bit until one day, one lovely day, naturally and without any questions, we would start to… ah, I do not dare to spell that delightful and censored rite! I have shivers down my spine evoking the sensual pleasures I have once known that are no longer familiar to my body.

I did not think about this new guy too much at first, but as my interest and desire grew into a constant stream of fantasy that my body made half-real, I faced my emotional self and realized how much I was delusional in my relationships. I tried to rationalize to keep the friendship going, in a platonic way of course.

His cute attempts to get closer to me made me smile at first since we were not of the same league. Slowly, the honesty and intensity he deployed in his innocent courtship grew on me. I became more and more vulnerable to it.

As he crashed at my place when he was in town, I did really good at appointing him a bed that wasn’t mine. The dreaded day came when, out of my control, the situation called upon bed sharing.  “Oh Divine, please help me!” I cried as I sealed myself up with clothes and took place next to him (oh his fresh scent) in bed, not ready to give up on the vow I took a few months earlier. The first night went okay, I do not recall sexual dreams leading to an orgasmic awakening, although I did get drenched in sweat, being used to sleep naked.

The second night was painful. All day I had been delighted by the sight of his strong and tanned body, wet with salt water, shining in the August sun. Not being in the city nor surrounded by society, the social age conventions were evaporating out of my mind. Again, we went to bed and the following morning, it was not the sunshine that awoke me, nor heat, but my inflamed ovaries yelling at me: “woman!! Will you get us or not to work and reproduce? Come on, we’re ready for a little sport!”

I understood why my cat (my friend pet and not my own pussy) would meow and rub herself onto anything, painfully, before being fixed. I had myself never accumulated such sexual energy, since I would normally do like lots of other people do: get drunk and get low with whoever was cute enough for a blurred late-night vision. Frantically, I got out of bed and took on whatever tasks I could find to use up that energy and to hold myself from acting like my cat. But really, it was too late: I was hardly remaining focused in his presence, imagining intensely caliente scenarios.

We did get closer and closer. We slept holding each other’s hands, then bodies. One day we had our first kiss (how soft was a duvet-covered lip against my feminine mouse-stache). I was experiencing stages of intimacy I skipped with previous partners. Stepping back a little and living these moments enabled me to grow. I was letting him lead, forgetting my seducing patterns, even becoming clumsy as we touched. We went on like this for a moment until one day…

… to be continued!

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Nessa, back in Montreal, was shocked when someone made her realize that all she ever speaks with, writes with, shares ideas or shoots interrogations at the world with are the same 26 letters arranged or not in assembles. Alas, that realization didn’t help her scatterbrained intellect to find center.

Photo: Madonna and Jesus Luz for W Magazine, photographed by Steven Klein