(if you missed Part 1, you might be lost)
We were immediately close, in a way that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me these days. I’m not saying it was a bad thing, at all. Just weird to think back to that time, and remember how I felt, and how foreign that seems to me today. I probably prevent myself from feeling that way, but I also think it comes down to me being insanely particular about being that intimate and emotional with people.
What held us back, early on, was distance. I lived in Hollywood, she lived in Murrieta. That’s about 90 minutes (or more, depending on traffic) away from each other, and we both still had jobs — I, at M+, she at a skate shop. So, while I was off on weekends, she was off on alternating weekdays like Weds and Thurs one week, then Tues and Weds the next. Despite this, she made the long, arduous drive up to Hollywood every time she had a day off, and quite a few times when she didn’t.
Fun things happen when you’re with someone regularly, and there’s a great deal of comfort and trust, and you both enjoy BDSM. She was just as dirty as I was most of the time, and her masochism matched my sadism like a glove. She liked being tied up, spanked, she liked knife play, and Wartenberg wheels. Sometimes, while on her way over, I’d say “I left the door unlocked, but I need to run to the store”. In reality, I’d be inside and she’d walk in and I’d come up behind her and throw her down on the bed. She’d act the part of “well, I guess he isn’t here” (saying later “well, I loved the payoff so I played along”), and I’d sometimes give it a minute or so, or hide in places she couldn’t see, before jumping on her.
One time, a little over a month after that first date, I asked her how much she trusted me when she was tied up and blindfolded. She said “I trust you with my life”. She was allergic to bee stings, and I had an emperor scorpion as a pet. Though their sting is non-lethal, it’s apparently similar enough chemically that a sting from an emperor scorpion would’ve put her in the hospital. I tied her up, blindfolded her, and placed my pet scorpion (Pinchy McStabby) on her stomach. She said “is… is that Pinchy McStabby?”, and I said “just don’t make any sudden movements”. She squealed a bit, but started breathing slowly, like it was meditation. After a minute, I removed the blindfold, and she smiled, and said “I think I just came”. I went down on her while she giggled at how much it tickled when Pinchy crawled around on her, but I came back up before she had another orgasm, and put Pinchy away. When Pinchy died a year later, she cried and needed a few moments of silence to reflect.
With her, just lying around watching TV in the dark was an hours-long edging fest. Edging, in BDSM, is when someone is brought increasingly closer and closer to orgasm, but all stimulation is ceased just before they go over that “edge” into full-on orgasm. I would edge her for half a day on some occasions, and by the time she released, my bed felt like a full body massager for about a minute solid. While I thought she was being facetious when she said “you control my orgasm”, there was a time we were talking on the phone and she said “I wish I could masturbate right now, but I’m not allowed” — she literally thought she needed my permission to have an orgasm, at any point. I told her that she had my permission to play with herself at any time, unless/until I stated otherwise. 1I never rescinded on that permission, but I felt it was necessary to make it sound like I might
It wasn’t all sex, of course. There was just a constant intimacy. We didn’t fight, we only ever playfully made fun of each other, and I understood what my dad meant when he’d talked about my mom over the years and said “it didn’t matter where we went — it was fun, cause she was with me”.
As these things go, while driving around in the Hollywood Hills one early evening (as we often did), she said “I hate to be such a girl right now, but… we’ve never talked about US, y’know?”. That’s about the time that I normally freak out a bit, and start worrying shit’s going from “whee! fun times!” to “hey! put a ring on it!”. But, this time was different. She knew I was still seeing other people, and she said it didn’t bother her. I told her that, in everyday life, I’d much rather be with her than anyone else — but that wasn’t always possible. So, I said, “like if I’m on tour, or you’re at home and I’m out here on the town, I don’t want to have to turn down people and opportunities just because ‘oh, my girlfriend wouldn’t like that’, because that’s a shitty excuse” 2yes, you’re free to think I’m the world’s biggest asshole for saying that. She thought that was reasonable, and that pretty much became the first bulletpoint in “The Deal”, which was basically :
- We never cancel plans with one another to spend sexy-times with someone else
- If something happens with someone else, it’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” 3that was for her sake — I didn’t mind if she told me about stuff, but she said she’d rather not know, so I agreed never to rub it ...continue
- If anyone is uncomfortable with Rules 1 or 2, we discuss it 4this might sound eerily familiar to the last time I made this mistake
Not long after, I accidentally broke Rules 1 and 2, and she silently broke Rule 3.
A few days prior to her birthday, she said “I think I’m going to Six Flags with Jackie on my birthday”. I said “ohh awesome. sounds like a great way to spend a birthday”. Because I’m an idiot who doesn’t get “clues”, I later discovered I was supposed to either offer an alternative — like “or… spend it with me” — or an addition like “…and, afterwards, come to my place”. I did neither, cause I thought she was hanging out with her friend that day. Well, the day of her birthday, a girl I’d met online asked me if I was free that night. As it happens, I was. And, yeah, we had sex. Loud, rough, she-scratched-the-shit-out-of-my-back sex.
Maybe you see where this is going.
The following evening, Melinda came over for our birthday-make-up hang, dinner, and furious fuck session. The following morning, she woke up, rolled over, and the morning light shone on my back to illuminate a series of long scratches. She ran her hand over my back, and I knew what was coming. “What’s this from?”. I just didn’t answer. She knew. And I didn’t want to intentionally break Rule 2. So I just sat in silence. She said “you’re not supposed to rub this in my face”. I told her I hadn’t intended to, and asked her how I was supposed to deal with it. She didn’t have an answer.
There’s a town in Pennsylvania called Centralia. It was a small mining town, home to about 1500 people. In 1962, a fire (of apparently still-debated origin) somehow crept into the coal deposits beneath the town and set a blaze that went mostly undetected and largely ignored. Sometime around 1979, there was evidence that something was amiss deep in the coal deposits, and things above ground started warming up and in some cases melting. In 1981, a sink hole just 4 feet wide but 150 feet deep almost swallowed a child, and tests of the hot steam that billowed out of the hole showed dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. By 1984, congress stepped in and allocated $42 million to evacuate the town of its residents. Today, there are just 10 people living there, having held onto their homes out of stubbornness and out of desire for proper compensation. If you walk the streets, your shoes will melt into the concrete in under a minute. The coal beneath the town holds enough fuel to keep this fire going for another 250 years. But, in 1962, when one of the many purported causes of the initial fire began, no one thought much of it.
That morning, when Melinda found scratches on my back from a woman I fucked on the night of what would’ve been her first birthday spent with me, was the Centralia coal fire of our relationship. Like the Centralia fire, it didn’t begin to visibly melt the foundation until it was too late to save it.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↩||I never rescinded on that permission, but I felt it was necessary to make it sound like I might|
|2.||↩||yes, you’re free to think I’m the world’s biggest asshole for saying that|
|3.||↩||that was for her sake — I didn’t mind if she told me about stuff, but she said she’d rather not know, so I agreed never to rub it in her face|
|4.||↩||this might sound eerily familiar to the last time I made this mistake|