the bird and the bee – polite dance song, directed by Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric.
[…] Since I’m asking so nice
Would you just entertain
There’s nothing left to hide you away
Just show a little bit of brain
Yes that is what I mean
That’s the nail that I hit
I try to be as coy as I can
But I wanna see your naughty bit […]
We fall asleep facing our laptops; two beds, eight hours away. I have practice at this, at living far away, at being untouchable, unreachable, lonely yet loved.
The first person I had such a thing with lives here in England. He’s the reason I have the eight hour time difference from Vancouver to London permanently memorized. Our correspondence set the foundation for this place. Years of it, years of talking late at night, of mornings together, of chats and distance. There are hundreds of letters from him in my folders. Hundreds of pictures. He kept me writing, coaxed me into taking pictures. In many ways, he changed me from writing to being a writer, kicked it off, back when this journal was almost new. Back when I believed people who said nice things to me.
I was only a few years older when he hurt me, sliced his way through my center, sliced until I bled, and worse, then put me in a book full of sex that opened yet another crooked little vein. (This starts the part that’s never been public). Perhaps it was meant as a surprise? A surprise like the awful things I found out about him, how he used people; a surprise that sent everything sour.
With the open eyes of an adult, I can see that I was prey, but it took many emotional years, and many, many others to come forward with similar admissions. Women in pain have reached out to me from New York, London, San Francisco, Berlin, Toronto… We’re in so many places! There’s so many of us we might need a name. I collect them, now, his talented discarded. We are a small network, but we’ve started keeping track of the others and making friends. He has excellent taste.
I never asked him why I had a starring role in his first book, our relationship was already critically wounded and we had almost bled out by the time it was published. Was I the first? It seems too unlikely to be true, even though it’s what he said at the time. I’ve also never asked the other woman named in the novel if she had been consulted or what her place in the mess might be. Her name was easier to spot, the public attention must have been massive. (A mutual friend told me that she wasn’t, so I’ve filed her under “One Of Us (potential)” and crossed my fingers that she’s been okay.)
But I have been considering it lately. Now that I’m living just outside London, I’m only an hour’s drive away from his house. Two if I take transit, not even as long as a film. (Closure is such a pretty word. Sound it out! It’s beautiful.) Maybe I should reach out to her, the way the others have reached out to me. Break the silence, try not to fumble, and then, perhaps, ask him for tea.
It has been a long time, but I’ll bet his phone number is the same.