Sensual vs Sexual: a narrative story Part 1

She took her time walking through midtown. It was already 1:30 AM. The last train had left the station at 1:15.

She’d been working at the club.

She’d made a connection with a customer and gotten lost in his eyes.

Normally she’d give herself a good amount of time to transform into her everyday self.

No makeup, jeans, t shirt.

This time, she didn’t.

She felt the two versions of herself as one. She’d leave as her hyper sexual alter ego.

The one that turned her back on the customers and danced provocatively for herself.

There was a mirrored wall on the back of the stage.

She’d never found herself more beautiful. Or sensual.

She’d move her hips to the music. Run her hands up and down her torso, and when the time was right, unclasp her bra.

At that point, she’d turn around and let the men admire her.

She loved it.

That was huge since she hadn’t ever had consensual sex without a debilitating flashback that rendered her a small terrified child.

Just when it was getting good.

She got to grand central and considered sitting on the ground outside the main entrance till the trains started running at 5:30. She’d done it before.

It was cold. She wasn’t completely prepared for it.

She reached into her coat pocket and found a slip of paper.

Hyatt Grand Central Rm 206.

She remembered his eyes.

Kind. Deep.

“If you want, come and see me. We’ll talk.”

That’s what he’d said at the end of the lap dance she’d given him.

They’d talked for a good hour at the bar before that.

More than what she should’ve according to her employer and bartenders.

There was just something about him.

Like he saw her.

Really saw her.

She made a decision….

Part 2 coming soon…

Hot Flash

As a woman I’ve often heard about hot flashes.

These are things that happen to older women and they’re often met with an eye roll.

Like they’re not really happening and should just be shrugged off.

I admit, as a young woman, whenever an older woman complained about a hot flash, I thought she was over exaggerating.

This is the product of women diminished.

Especially women over 40.

I, 46, have been experiencing hot flashes lately.

They’re nothing like I thought. It’s physical not mental. Guess what, I can think and function during a hot flash. I can even make informed decisions.

You’re hot if you’re in a full tuxedo in July, in New York, upstate, in a tent, for so many hours.

The heat is from the outside in. It can be changed by the temperature changing.

A hot flash, is opposite.

It’s like your bones are radiators and the heat is coming from within. I’ve never been so uncomfortable.

I just hope,going forward that my co workers are sensitive to this.

Not that I was ever sensitive to the ones before me.

It’s just not a thing, but I hope it can be.

At the moment,anyone that thinks it’s not, will have to deal with my very reasonable wrath.

Just trying to live my best life. Just trying.

Seriously, I’m sorry for all the women that came before me, going through menopause and I didn’t understand.

Give yourself a gift and recognize a gift

Radio City Christmas Tree, brighter than I remember.

Everyday I judge myself for the things I haven’t done.

I don’t have kids.

I don’t own a business.

I haven’t changed the world as a whole.

What if, helping an older lady up the stairs on the subway platform was enough.

What if deciding to be positive today was enough.

What if saying, excuse me,when I bump into someone was enough.

That would be in fact enough.

It’s the little things accumulated that turn into enough.

My day is lifted by politeness.

By holiday lights.

By a smize behind the mask.

By people wearing masks.

I went into Manhattan today on Christmas Eve and I was uplifted by how many people gave me the respect of wearing masks and bumping into me and saying excuse me.

That doesn’t always happen.

Happy holidays!!

Another man’s trash: Why You should mindful of want you say

We don’t all understand what the other has been through. What they’ve experienced throughout their lives.

What upsets one may not upset the other.

What is wonderful to one is triggering to another.

Let’s talk about the word “triggering.“

Some may think it means to gently annoy.

Or to make someone roll their eyes or upset to the point of rolling their eyes.

Not true.

It’s actually a professional term.

It means to evoke strong feelings that overtake.

If you are someone with an anxiety disorder, it stops you in your tracks.

If you are someone who has PTSD, it stops you in a different way.

You hear the trigger. It could be anything that reminds you.

You shut down slowly by coasting over any feeling.

But you are slowing down. You are slowly dissociating.

By slowly, I mean minutes, hours or days.

You are moving away from the present to oblivion.

Oblivion turns out to be a place you’ve been before.

When you were helpless.

When no one would hear you.

But you’re not there yet.

You have to work in the meantime.

Excellence is expected.

But you’re off.

You’re in the past but you’re also in the present.

It’s an impossible situation and you’re set up to fail.

Like you felt you failed in the past, no matter how old you were, and any criticism cuts like a knife.

Because you’re a failure.

It’s a headspace that you’re physically unable to release yourself from.

This is different from direct re trauma.

Like, your trauma stems from a civilian explosion in your house, you hear a loud noise in the distance, and you instinctively put your head between your knees.

Conversely, This is pervasive.

It can start with an idea.

It’s a real thing and it’s devastating.

It’s also basically invisible to the naked eye of anyone not experiencing these things.

Therefore it doesn’t really exist to most.

This makes it so much worse for the experiencer.

I appreciate those who talk openly about mental health.

About things that most would like to ignore.

Because no one wants to be vulnerable.

And for some, vulnerability has devastating consequences.

.

Hello menopause, we’ve been waiting for you. Here’s where my mind goes in this process.

46, looking down the barrel of 47

Getting older is hard. Especially for a woman. Appearance wise I mean.

As women,our worth is often tied to how desirable we are to men.

Perky breasts, bright eyes, supple skin.

All of that is maintained by hormones. Hormones that rely on you bleeding every month. Hormones that rely on you being of child bearing capability.

That’s what’s really attractive isn’t it?

That you can have children.

Often mistaken for “looking good”. Often mistaken historically for “a woman’s purpose.”

If that were true, anyone with the wrong chromosome, would be obsolete at age 40.

As a result, women over age 40 are seen as obsolete. That’s what my experience tells me. I’m 46, looking down the barrel of 47.

History is to blame.

You see, the importance of hunting,because it’s in your face and immediate, has stood the test of time.

Childbirth, taking time, 9 months to be exact, is a slow burn and less noticeable than something that’s immediate.

Therefore, men seem to be more impressive than women. More important.

The day to day things that keep us going are not as impressive.

I think of peacocks. The males have this flashy plumage to attract females.

But, in human culture, females are the ones with the plumage. Artificial of course, so can’t really hold any respect or power. makeup, push up bra’s, high heels….ect.

I wonder who decided this was a thing? probably a very loud voice.

Males are better and more respectable than females.

Could it be competition? Females can do something males can never do? Bear a child? Notice details?

Could it be the ideas of a loud group somewhere in time? IE, the Bible?

Perception is everything. An entire industry was built on that. Marketing.

I think the press on females has definitely improved, but I see the difference every time I venture out into the world.

Every time I work.

I’m a manager, but if there’s a male who’s also a manager, eyes and confidence go immediately to him. People are different in front of him.

I have to instill confidence to the point of annoyance. Some might roll their eyes.

Whatever.

I know I’m capable. I know I won’t have a child. But I can be instrumental. Even if it’s not recognized.

The Phoenix from the flames

We’ve all been through hell.

We’ve all thought about what we want.

What we need.

What we’re willing to accept for a paycheck.

We’ve been there. We’ve been absolute in our findings.

We’ve re entered society.

We’ve found our approach different.

We’ve tried to adhere to our knew findings.

It’s worked to a point.

Work is work.

Capitalism is capitalism.

I tried.

I tried to look after myself spiritually but then reality grabbed me by the neck.

I need to pay rent. I need money to survive.

I need to bend my beliefs to survive.

I forgot.

It’s been so long that I forgot.

I forgot my beliefs could be blended.

I forgot my beliefs could change based on what I need. Right now.

I forgot how dire my situation was.

If I don’t earn a paycheck this week, I’m fucked.

During the pandemic, I learned so much about what I need. So much about what I want.

I could be so happy but then reality set in.

I need to remember what I need. What I want.

Then, I’m back to square one.

Cat Zoom Call: Overlooked for a job

Sammy

Sammy is upset but playing it cool, and calling Belle.

Belle

Hey Sammy. I got your text. What’s the 911?

I’ve thrown myself into this pillow. I’m so upset!!

Belle

I’m listening…

Sammy

I threw myself on a different pillow because I was just grossly overlooked!

Belle

Go on.

Sammy

Well, my male human, the one that hasn’t been home, is apparently opening a bar. Clearly he needs a capable mouser! He hasn’t asked me once to take the position!

Belle

Wow. Just wow.

Sammy

I mean, he knows I’m from the streets! I pulled a mouse carcass from a hole in his first apartment and dropped it at his feet! He was like “what’s that smell?” It’s a fucking dead mouse bitch! Here it is!

Belle

Humans can be so ungrateful.

Sammy

Yes. They can. It took a while to dig that carcass out. It wasn’t a confirmed kill but an excavation which actually is harder!

Belle

You’re perfect for the mouser position. Who knows what his problem is. I certainly DID NOT send my resume to him.

Sammy

Wait. What?

Belle

I mean, I definitely didn’t send a PDF file of my confirmed kills to him…or anyone! I got your back girl!

Sammy

A PD-what?

Belle

Nothing! Absolutely nothing!

Sammy

Anyway, thanks for listening. He came home after so many nights like he was so stressed out and it pissed me off. I know from Harry who grew up in a bar that there are mice. And they need to be taken care of. Just thought that job was mine cause we have history you know?

Belle

Yes, yes, of course. You see I’m not emailing a PDF of my resume, just sitting on a magazine. Keep me posted.

NYC, Determined to make your out of borough commute a nightmare Pt. 2

25 minutes later, we got in our Uber and inched downtown on 5th Avenue towards Union square.

We caught every light, and almost collided with a speeding car when the driver ran a red light.

It would’ve gone right through us if our driver didn’t have that automatic break feature.

We cared for about two minutes.

It was nice to see all the high end department stores lit up with mannequins dripping in jewels and couture right off the runway.

We got to our destination, said goodnight, and I headed down to the Q train.

3 minutes later, the train came. Unheard of for early AM Sunday morning.

Everything’s coming up roses!

“This train…..on the bridge…..not Brighton beach.”

I did what every New Yorker does when there’s an announcement in the subway.

I looked around to see if anyone looked like they understood what the fuck it was he was mumbling about.

One short spikey haired bleach blonde woman did.

We all looked at her. She did her job.

“It’s going across the bridge but it’s not going on the Q line.”

“What the fuck!”

“Jesus Christ!”

“Of course!”

We all went into New York City underground crisis mode.

We were no longer strangers. We were now a squadron. Car 63, Stillwell avenue bound Q.

“Is it going to Atlantic Barclays!?” A guy asked our leader.

“It has too. It’s probably switching to the R, but the R stops there.”

She was good. Much better than me scaring the shit out of my Jersey bound co worker.

“…..water on the tracks….. not Dekalb…”

“He said there’s water on the tracks, so we’re skipping Dekalb Avenue.”

The squadron commiserated.

“Awwww, is thewe watew on the twacks!?”

“Fucking BULLSHIT!”

“This shit wouldn’t happen in Manhattan!”

This ride was turning into a shit show but actually kind of nice now that we had all United.

We got to Atlantic Barclays and broke formation.

I stayed behind hoping it was a mistake and the conductor would say he was kidding and the next stop would be mine.

I stepped out to see what was going on on the platform.

There was a pre pandemic rush hour amount of people, looking around, disoriented, some had formed there own squads, studying subway maps and looking things up on there phones.

I found the only remainder of mine, maskless but I didn’t care, I just wanted to go home.

“They’re saying the Q is on another track!”

I looked around and realized we were in fact on the R track, and the Q was across the terminal.

I pointed him toward the stairs and we made our way there with countless others.

About 7 minutes later, we got to the Q platform. There was an announcement.

“The Q train is running on the D line due to water on the tracks”

I couldn’t take it anymore so I walked toward the Long Island Railroad platform/Exit.

Now, 2AM, I climbed three staircases, alone.

I got to the deserted Long Island railroad platform . Deserted except for the man passed out on the floor.

I moved quickly past him, sure he would wake up any second and push me onto the track.

He didn’t and I followed the many exit signs until I finally came across the actual exit.

That was about 5 or 10 minutes of sheer panic.

When I got outside it was of course raining.

I couldn’t make out any street signs. Unlike Manhattan, Brooklyn is not a grid. It’s many short or colliding streets. This one becomes that with no warning.

I called an Uber. $44.00, normally $17.00 or less, but fuck it!

My GPS said I was on Felix and Hanson. Never heard of them. Had no idea what was up or down.

I had no idea if my GPS was correct.

My Uber was 5 minutes away. The wind was picking up, so was the rain.

I got a message that he had arrived. Where? No idea. They’ll only wait a few minutes if that.

My phone was at 33%. Hopefully enough to call him.

“Hi, where are you?”

“Atlantic Terminal.”

I looked across the street. Atlantic Terminal. I looked down the street. Atlantic Terminal. I looked up the street. Atlantic Terminal Barclays Center.

“I’m in front of, Buffalo Bills Wild Wings and Men’s warehouse?”

“Ummm.. I’m at Atlantic Terminal.”

I heard horns honking. He must’ve been blocking traffic.

“Do you hear me honking?”

“I hear it through my phone.”

I moved toward Atlantic Barclays and stopped in front of Citibank and Chucky Cheese.

“I’m at Citibank and Chucky Cheese.”

“Citibank? I’m at Citibank. Do you see me?”

I looked around, nothing.

“Oh God! There’s multiple Citibank’s!”

“Atlantic Barclays?”

“Yes! YES! I’m going toward Atlantic Barclays!”

I was actually running toward it.

“Do you see me? I’m flashing the lights.”

I saw him! I started flailing my arms.

“Do you see me? I’m waving! I’m by a big truck!”

“I see.”

“Thank you! Thank you!!!”

I got in and on we went, deeper into sheets and sheets of rain water, multiple flashing lights, and cop cars blocking the entrance to the Verrazano bridge to Staten Island.

I thought of the woman at 96th in her $200 Uber only to find the best way home for was blocked.

30 minutes later of a normally 10 minute ride, I made it home.

I MADE IT HOME!!!

And I’m never leaving again!

NYC, determined to make your outer borough commute home a nightmare

New York City has seen a few hurricanes and tropical storms. Nothing like the southern coastal states but maybe that’s the problem. We’re not always prepared.

This past Saturday, we were visited by Tropical Storm Henry. That horrible bitch. It came quickly and wreaked local temporary havoc.

When you happen to be on an out of town job at the same time the governor calls a state of emergency, you’re particularly fucked.

I was managing a wedding in Tarrrytown NY, what the natives call “up state”. Really, it’s the outer suburbs but anything north of the Bronx, even just outside, is considered way too far.

I was in Tarrrytown, or if you’re into regional folklore, Sleepy Hollow of headless horseman fame.

It was a typical wedding, nothing out of the ordinary except that some guests made a point of leaving early. Like, before last call at an open bar. That’s strange.

I didn’t think anything of it until one of the waiters asked for takeaways for his table.

“They want to take dessert home so they don’t get stuck in the hurricane.”

I had no idea there was a hurricane coming. I don’t have TV anymore so any news I get is through yahoo and based on my searches.

“There’s a hurricane coming!?”

“No, it’s already here.”

That’s when I looked outside and noticed the sky lighting up like dessert storm.

I went outside and heard rolling thunder that was drowned out by the 90’s boy band hits the couple requested for their after dinner dance set.

Nothing I could do but forget about it. Weddings can only be stopped by pre vaccine Covid. I’d worked through many.

As if on cue, 11pm on the dot, it started to rain in Tarrrytown just as we were walking to the shock less bus that transported us from 96th & Westend in Manhattan in a mere 30 minutes, and there to take us back… or try.

The further south we got, the more it rained.

We must’ve been traveling directly under it.

By the time we got to Yonkers, the Westchester county city just above the Bronx, the bus was going way too fast in at least two feet of water.

All our phones were getting ominous warnings about flash flooding that could cause “loss of life”.

I looked back at my co workers. Normally they’d be sleeping or fixed on their phones, Facebooking, texting, what have you.

Now they were wide eyed and sitting straight up looking at the sheets of water hoping the driver could actually see where he was going.

I felt I had to say something.

“Don’t worry, these warnings are for Bergen county in Jersey.” Good leadership tactics on my part.

“Yeah, that’s where I’m going.”

My co worker I forgot lived there was sitting behind me.

We were all thinking the same thing.

It would really suck to die on the way home from a fucking catering job.

1 hour and a half later, we were back at 96th & West End.

Thankfully, it wasn’t raining there, and the streets were not flooded.

The streets weren’t flooded.

I got out with every intention of calling an Uber and done with this whole thing.

When I got a block east to Broadway, I should’ve known something was wrong.

Way too many people hugging the walls of the buildings or standing by the curb looking from their phones to the street.

I called my Uber to Brooklyn. It was going to cost $129.00.

I caught the eye of a woman next to me with the same look of disbelief and held my phone up. She held hers up, $250.00, going to Staten Island.

She was fucked.

I accepted the price and after a few seconds of “Connecting you to a driver”, I got a message saying there were no cars available.

I decided to just take the subway, on a good night that would take up to two hours, but what the fuck else could I do?

I saw my co workers standing outside the turnstile.

It turns out, there was no water in the streets, but ALL the water was underground. On the tracks of all the 1/2/3 trains.

Nothing either way.

We paired off based on residence, east, west, north, south.

I found my partner, south east Ron. We decided to walk toward the crosstown bus and try to catch a cab along the way.

There were of course none and an abnormal amount of desperate people waiting for the bus.

I convinced him to Uber with me to his address then I could get the Q, a mere 20 minutes to my stop in Brooklyn.

A mere $75.00. 😳 It was brilliant and nothing could go wrong….

Part 2 available now!

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