Playground 2 – The Mindful Kiss

First the bad news – Andrew Gurza came down with flu & couldn’t attend the Conference. I was looking forward to meeting him, if he had time with his many fans around him. The good news – I slept well & got up with time for a walk up Bay & down Yonge back to the hotel. I’m rarely in this area & the amount of construction is amazing.

I got back for the 10 a.m. Opening Keynote – The Intersection of Race and Polyamory presented by Kevin Patterson. Samantha Fraser open by acknowledging the natives who were on these lands before it was colonized. Kevin’s talk gave many of us the opportunity to consider the nature of race, representation (as opposed to tokenism) & inclusivity, but not only in the polyamory community.

On registration I was grateful to see how inclusive the Playground was with a large number of p.o.c present. All body types were represented. Watching people pick their pronoun stickers it was fun to see how many took several options. Looking around the room this morning I was more aware of clothing colours than anything else. Lots of, gasp, black & an equal quantity of purple/mauve. My orange was an anomaly (go figure).

His talk covered such a range of topics within the polyamory community but many of them spill over into all alternative conversations where inclusivity often means – we’re open to all who can afford our ticket price. I was struck how much poly is defined by one man, two bi-women. Are there any one women, two bi-men situations? I enjoyed the talk, bought the book & had him sign it. Sweet.

I skipped the next set of sessions for an extended lunch break. At 1:30 I took in Shame and Sexuality with Shadeen Francis. More than could be absorbed was squeezed into this excellent workshop. We looked at how cultural sexual shame permeates our personal feelings about sex itself, regardless what sort of sex one engages in.

It brought to mind one area of shame in my life right now. In the past I’ve sent my brother & sisters copies of everyone of my chapbooks except the most recent one – why? Because it is more sexually explicit than any of the others. One piece is about my experience as a bottom. So perhaps my shame is about bottoming? But I’ve sold over an hundred copies without that concern. Hmm something to ponder.

I skipped the next set of sessions and went back at 4:30 for The Quick and Dirty: Mindfulness for Men Who Have Sex with Men with Joshua Peters, R.P. and Dr. Rylie Moore. To be fair this was neither quick nor dirty. I was dismayed that the presenters felt the need to use, what they called, GP language so as not offend or trigger anyone. We did a sensory exercise mindfully  savouring a chocolate-covered strawberry.

One of the men I see regularly is an amazing kisser. This is a mindful kiss in which each step is savoured. We start fully clothed, touching with lips only – space between our bodies, no hands, just the graze of lips, after a few moments – tentative tongue tips – bellies touch, he hugs when he’s ready – each moment is intense & intimate. What follows isn’t as slow or gentle but intense. The mindful kiss 🙂

Aphrodisiac

I know you’re sore

because that gal you’d been hitting on

walked out on you

after three drinks

I heard you moan to your pals

about how the last two chicks you dated

dumped you via text message

how one of them still won’t return your calls

how they turn into such selfish bitches

when they know they can get

what they want from you

I’ve heard it all night

but just because I’m a clean old queer

doesn’t mean I have any interest

in chowing down on your heterosexual meat

because the fact that you’re straight

just ain’t my aphrodisiac

 

it takes more than a moan and sob story

to get me interested

I agree it’s too bad

every woman you’ve known

thinks you are some sort of egotistic jerk

who only thinks of himself

when all you want to do is please them in bed

then roll over to fall asleep

and I suppose it’s unreasonable

that you show up on time very time

you say you’re going to pick them up after work

yeah I guess those bitches are just lazy

unfair and expect way too much

when all Wall you want to do

is kick back with your buds every now and then

or spend a few hours watching TV all weekend

I can see how that is pretty mean

but the fact that you’re straight

just ain’t my aphrodisiac

 

you may think I’m one of those

predatory homos you are sure

are always lurking around

that I’m hungry for any straight guy

to come along and fall

into my eager mouth

well honey you are living in a dream world

the fact that I checked out our jeans

was because I was wondering where you got them

and why are you wearing those ratty shoes

so why don’t you go back to your buds

and bitch and moan with them

because you aren’t getting anything

out of me either

if them nasty hos

you always end up with

aren’t interested I’m certainly not

because the fact that you’re straight

just ain’t my aphrodisiac mac

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Slam: 8 pm Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Feature D’Scribe

https://www.facebook.com/events/2000968880141003/

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

 

First Day at the Playground

The best & worst part of going away for even a weekend is what to pack? This time compounded by what to pack for the Playground Conference? With it’s focus on gender, sex play, sex education, expanding the meaning of relationships does one opt for style or leather 🙂 Comfort or conformity? What can I forget to pack & still feel ready when I get there? The endless cords, rechargers, cables & oh my.

I arrived at the Holiday Inn by 2. A room was ready. Comfortable enough. Text message from a FWB as I unlocked the door. Sweet start though I probably won’t see him until Sunday night. Wifi boots up okay. unpack some. quick shopping trip for juice, $tarbucks to redeem a free coffee. Back to the room for a very fast shower & then down the conference floor by 4.

I volunteered to help on registration on the opening night. It’s one of way making sure I meet lots of people with a role other than ‘can I sit here?’ I am ‘in charge’ of the pronoun & fun stickers & giving out tickets to the free raffle drawn on Sunday. People love the stickers – Are you flirting? is one we run out of first. The most frequently asked question: “Is there a coat check?”

Sadly there is no cell reception in this area of the Holiday Inn – wtf! I have to go outside to text. My flip-phone isn’t really built for easy wifi usage. I duck out a little after 8 & go to my room to relax, check my email. About 30 minutes later my text message come through. It’s a small drawback but a drawback all the same.

At least 200 people check in by 8 pm. So I have made my face & my shirt familiar to 200 people, most of whom will forget me anyway. I do this sort of greet thing well though – I get lots of greeting practice at AA meetings. But after 4 hours I’m too pooped to do anything more than go to my room. A good day.

Calypso’s Cave

I want to return to Calypso’s cave

for more erotic instruction

the ways of love I had been taught

never seemed enough for this world

like Lazarus I could not

remain in the shelter forever

I cannot rely on Neptune

to fulfill all my body’s longings

released from his tender endless coil

onto this shore where

I am unsure of my welcome

unsure of my name

unsure of anything except

I need another seven years

to prepare me for cities of silver glass

for the fumbling turmoil of men and women

who tumble excitedly grasping for quick satisfaction

not having the time

to indulge in the erotic lore

I have received and long to pass on

let me return to Calypso

for another seven time seven

this school of sorrow and longing

I have been cast into here

holds no secrets for me

or is this the next lesson

pleasure isn’t the end but the beginning

sorrow isn’t the result only a symptom

as I wander these streets

I cannot the rivers flow

I see their mouths open

but no water comes forth

I want to return to Neptune

after sailing seeking

from one golden fleece to the next

is there anyone awaiting me

or am I the one waiting

to bring new light the cave

where Lazarus wrote on its walls

Calypso’s joke

Neptune’s revenge

the lover of the world ready for love

yet no river bed for me to lay my body on

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Slam: 8 pm Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Feature D’Scribe

https://www.facebook.com/events/2000968880141003/

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

 

“How could anyone … ”

I watched the W5 piece on the Village murders, which told me nothing new. That some of the victims were immigrants who come here to be free to be gay while still being the closet to their wives & families was a sad irony – that they died for the opportunity is even sadder.

 


The cultural bondage of gender roles and sexual acceptability is clearly reflected in the b&d scenes the accused offered online. Of course this was not explored in the brief W5 piece which focused on ineffective police response and the lurid sensationalism of – wtf – cannibalism! Let’s take what is already a disgusting situation and make it even worse so we can paint the gay world as sick as we possibly can.

This isn’t the search for truth but exploitation. I sensed that the reporter was relishing the opportunity to say what was said. Legitimizing the opportunity to use language just for the sake of being sensational. So far, there’s been no mention of the role of impaired judgement. It is presented as if these men where somehow complicit in what happened to them by letting it happen at all. “How could anyone” shifts the blame to the victim from the predator.

In watching the W5 I was also dismayed to realize that as much time & money was spent on nice graphics & music as is probably spent on helping the victims’ families. One of the reporters said they had been closely following the case for months – fuck! This has been going for years! Media and police were alerted almost a decade ago – maybe if they had started following this case closely before it became so sensational some of these victims might be alive today.

These are the identified victims (so far) Selim Esen, 44; Andrew Kinsman, 49; Majeed Kayhan, 58; Soroush Mahmudi, 50; and Dean Lisowick, 47. I’ll repeat their names. His will probably never be forgotten so there’s no need for me to mention it.

Guilt

he told me I had too many shoes

I almost told him to drop dead

I have no sympathy for the shoeless

how did he know

that they didn’t prefer it that way

besides I’m helping the economy

he said I have too many cds

tee shirts

so many books

I am single-handedly responsible

for depleting acres of the rain forest

in my insatiable hunger for more

as mother earth stumbles

to a sobbing heap begging

no more please please

this rape and pillage has got to stop

 

so I have more shoes

than I can wear at one time

what fucking business is it of his anyway

his eyes glance around my place

going from the neat rows of shoes

neat rows of cd’s books

tidy piles of tee shirts

then to the  bed

 

we’d met at rally

to protest auto sector bail out

hit it off over free trade coffee

at a non-chain coffee shop

that gave a discount for our travel mugs

we were on the same page about issues

till I brought him back to my place

 

he started in on

my drive-in-sized TV

how TV was mind rot

how books were part of the problem

reading for solutions

rather getting out there making it happen

 

when we got to my bedroom

and he saw the shoes

and gasped

my that’s a lot of shoes

for someone who lives alone

I bit my tongue instead of his

laid back to glare at the ceiling

his head a lighthouse beam revealing

all my self-indulgent planet-wasting

depleting thoughtless humanness

 

finally he laid back

one hand gently on my stomach

and like mother earth

he let me have my way with him

because sex with guilt is always the best

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Workshop: 4 pm at Glad Day with D’Scribe.

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Slam: 8 pm Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Feature D’Scribe

https://www.facebook.com/events/2000968880141003/

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy ice cream in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Nothing Is Sacred

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. This another of the 92 pācittiyas.

Nothing Is Sacred

it’s not that I don’t know

but what I know isn’t relevant

to you

 

I’m not an explainer

what you want to understand about me

isn’t going to make any difference

 

what I don’t tell you

isn’t even a secret

it’s merely a boundary

of how willing am I am to trust you

 

I won’t even confirm

what you think you know

I have nothing more to tell you

not even why

 

each thing I say

makes it appear I’m open

for negotiation

that if you keep me talking

I‘ll tell you what you want to know

 

tell you some amazing realization

that let’s you feel ah ah

now I have him

he’s in my control

or he’s not so special after all

 

you were expecting something deeper

more profound

instead you are getting nothing

don’t forget

nothing is sacred

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Gunning For Fidelity

Gunning For Fidelity

what are you looking for

fidelity or ownership

fidelity as long as you are interested

but if the other party

should be unfaithful

then you can gleefully

slip off the chains of fidelity

blaming them for betraying you

for being the first one

because you have the power

only you

the other party must surrender all

for unity to be real

 

what are you looking for

commitment that serves your pleasures

as long as you permit it

as long as they satisfy

as long as they never look beyond

the scope of your pleasures

until you get bored

because they would never get bored

because if they did

then they really didn’t love you

they really weren’t as committed as you

life is so unfair

because you never met someone

who can live up

to the true fidelity you want

no one is as capable of it as you are

so you keep seeking

keep being disappointed

in each new opportunity

that disappoints

 

it’s always their fault

for lacking the deep spiritual values

you hold like a gun to their heads

waiting for the first flinch

as an excuse to escape

This is the 5th of the saṃghādisesas. Keep in mind these pieces are prompted by the saṃghādisesas, they are not explanations or expansions of them. This is a theme I have blogged about before in The Fragility of Fidelity. Stepping out of the lock-step of what relationships are often lets them last longer and become deeper and more satisfying.

 

So this piece is a variation on a theme for me, not breaking new territory. I’ve done reading on the history of romance, sexuality and marriage. What is currently assumed as the ‘norm’ comes more from idealized fiction, drama and poetry than it does less than ideal reality. We judge relationships according to a laugh track, good lighting or the right background music.

There is also a tendency to judge things by what we decided when we were twelve or thirteen and as we get older don’t even questions those formative decisions. At that age not only do we feel vulnerable but that first love is a permanent love. Our first falling out of love becomes a warning never to be that open again or a reason to seek revenge on everyone who shows an interest.

Is it love or is it obsession? If you think about me all the time, can’t get me out of your mind, not somebody until the right someone loves you – I may be flattered but I prefer men with lives of their own not one defined by my emotional responses to them. To last it has to be more than hormones. Lust can be a useful starter but it can run out of energy if that’s all there is to the relationship. There has to be chocolate too 🙂


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

 

Sexting

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza in conversation with Mari Ramsawakh covers a lot of territory including sexting, in particular sexting as a way to experience shared fantasy. Both of them use it as an opportunity to talk about sex they are physically incapable of performing but would like to have. They are clear with their sexting partners about their real limitations.

 

 

I enjoying sexting – sending, receiving – on my cell with guys I’ve met up with before. We’ve exchanged dick pics etc. Nothing can perk up a routine day like getting a sweet selfie for a guy bored at work – who then slips into the washroom for an even more intimate pic. It creates a fun sense of anticipation.

On line, some dating sites allow for c2c – camera to camera – but, to be honest, watching some guy I may never meet jacking off doesn’t appeal enough for me, even if it’s one I know. There is one guy, who I’ve played with in the past,  who would ‘page’ me to watch his ‘show’ with me providing hot talk to really get him off. After the second time I lost interest. Which can also happen without a camera on – too much sex talk with no chance of meeting up doesn’t hold my attention for long.

With no face – other than profile pics – one is never sure if who they are fantasizing with is actual the person in the picture. Usually these guy want you to talk about what you will do them, ask them what they want to do to you and conversations end quickly or they say doing them should be enough for me. It’s not as if we’re doing anything real anyway so if I can pretend, so can they 🙂

Icarus

when I caught Icarus

I thought he was a snowflake

as he tumbled through eons

the taste of fast singed flesh

on the tip of my tongue

filled my mouth

 

I set him on the ground

red-faced and sizzling

he wasn’t sure where he was

memory sun-stung into forgetfulness

the propulsion of the sun

sent him spinning through time

 

I offered buttered ice

to cool his shoulder smoulder

offered clothes to cover the cinders he wore

the wing stubble on his back

not sufficient cover for the shame he felt

at his blistered red raw nakedness

he stood chastened before me

barely able to open his eyes

to accept what he couldn’t see clearly

 

he was no longer the ambitious boy

but now a man on earth

his generations gone in the spin though time

he didn’t understand my language

didn’t know how to say yes or no to my help

followed me unsure

as I lead him from the field

into my arms    my home

 

I caught Icarus

now I need to find the right myth to repair

his broken heart    his broken spirit

to assure him

I mean no offence when I order

the extra hot wings

 

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

https://www.facebook.com/events/1895647050666334/

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Workshop: 4 pm at Glad Day with D’Scribe.

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Slam: 8 pm Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Feature D’Scribe

https://www.facebook.com/events/2000968880141003/

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy ice cream in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

That Tone Of Voice

Chalk It Up To Experience

‘don’t use that tone of voice

young man’

grade seven

the visiting maths teacher

the one the guys in the class

called blubber boobs

oh oh blubber boobs this afternoon

hope she can see my homework

over those blubber boobs of hers

 

she came to our school three times a week

Miss Dunlop

we also had a Mrs. DeMoine

who came twice a week

to teach us French

we called her Madam to her face

and Mizdammit behind her back

Miss Dunlop was another story

with her small waist

and gigantic breasts

 

she was berating me

I hadn’t written my homework

in the strict form she required

I can’t remember my reply

nor can I recall my tone of voice

perhaps I had slipped into

that school yard sexual intonation

we used when talking about her

erasing the blackboard with her boobs

there’s chalk on them there hills

 

I stood silent before her

after she ordered me

not to use that tone of voice

I couldn’t even apologize

not knowing how to control

how I sounded

I did know it was pointless

to ague with her

like my mother

winning wouldn’t get me anywhere

all I’d prove

was that I was a smart mouth

not that I was smart

 

Miss Dunlop taught me well

it’s better to be thought stupid

than it is to prove a pointless point

This is the 4th of the saṃghādisesas. It practically wrote itself. School memories are usually great to revisit, even the unpleasant ones. This one was more embarrassing than unpleasant. Like many of these  ‘true to life’ pieces it is a composite of different moments as I struggled through school. Not all of them were in Grace seven.

In Cape Breton many schools had travelling special teachers for things like maths, art, music & French. Usually female, young & sometimes pretty. Each brought different routines, different disciplinary tactics – that usually involved getting one of the male teachers to tell us to behave. The guys would always joke about these teachers breasts or lack of them. The bigger the boob the greater the respect for some reason.

I was told, more than once, to watch the tone of my voice, but many of the guys got the same command too. As I say here I just didn’t know what was meant as I couldn’t hear myself talking and once I was told to watch my tone I couldn’t hear anything else for at least ten minutes. Being singled out never helped my focus or ability to absorb information.

Being made so self-conscious opting for silence was the only choice I could think of at the time. Confrontation would only result in one of the male teachers, or the vice-principal, being called for to keep us all in line. The vice-principal was prone to giving the entire class detention not just the ‘smart mouth.’ So keeping my mouth shut was as much due to peer pressure than anything else.

One result was that I became very dismissive of my actual voice. I hated to hear recordings of myself. If you’ve been one of the fortunate ones who have seen me perform you know I got over that 🙂

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

 

Salacious

A cishetero friend in recovery asked me how gay men could place themselves in such ‘risky’ situations. I knew he was spurred by the salacious media coverage of the murders. The media hasn’t refrained from revealing specific ‘play’ experiences some men have had with the accused. 

Several things came to mind for me. Much like the women Jian Ghomeshi abused – many people have a different notion of what rough sex means & jump into situations without parameters. To one ‘rough’ means ‘I’ll fuck you hard & bruise your nipples’ to the other it means ‘I’ll slap you around & choke you till you nearly pass out.’

This is why communication is crucial yet too often we are unwilling to be clear. Saying yes to one thing isn’t saying yes to another. Yes you can hold my wrists down with your hands, isn’t permission to then snap on handcuffs.

 

Men don’t set out to place themselves in risky situations but get caught in them and out of ‘politeness’ let things go too far. It can be easy to get caught in the escalating patterns of I let him do that I might as well let him do this as well. The partner can often say the same things – well you let me do that why not let me do this too – well because I don’t want you to.

 

These men weren’t told ‘it’ll be so hot to let me kill you’. These are the known victims  Selim Esen, 44, Andrew Kinsman, 49, Majeed Kayhan, 58, Soroush Mahmudi, 50,  Dean Lisowick, 47 – plus one unindentified. I’ll repeat their names. His will probably never be forgotten so there’s no need for me to mention it.

Apparition

I was taking a leek in some bar washroom

there was this message on the wall

‘for better bj than jesus call ….’

the cynic in me was mildly amused

 

as I sanitized my hands

the theological implications

started to reveal themselves to me

I knew Christ did miracles

but that wasn’t one that I recalled

though I have had some amazing bj’s

that resurrected my will to live

but that JC might’ve be into that

had never crossed my mind

it did put that whole last supper

take and eat etc

into a completely different light

 

I saw how sacrilegious the graffiti was

the deep disrespect it showed the sacred

would these thoughts result

in my condemnation to eternal damnation

was I as bad the person who wrote this

or am I a jaded indifferent observer

with no real faith or direction

someone to whom a blow job

is more significant than salvation

should I have written down the number

or does it matter

what apparition appears in front of anyone

as long as it makes them think of faith

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

https://www.facebook.com/events/1895647050666334/

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Workshop: 4 pm at Glad Day with D’Scribe.

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Slam: 8 pm Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Feature D’Scribe

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy ice cream in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

 

The Right Entrance

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. This #4 of the 92 pācittiyas.

The Right Entrance

the girls

had their own school

a Catholic separate school

we’re talking 60’s – 70’s

Cape Breton

 

I don’t know if there was one

for Catholic boys

but the girls had their own

to protect them

from the unruly attentions of boys

 

schools I went to were mixed

but there was

boys manual training

girls domestic science

separate entrances for boys for girls

mixed classes

but boys gym

girls gym

the best way to control

those masculine urges

was segregation

 

guys who got laid were men

girls you got laid were easy

girls who didn’t weren’t teases

guys who didn’t

bragged about doing it

or salivated endless about pussy

boobs

because they were men

never once

never

was there a sense

that the guys were in the wrong

it was only the girls who need to be protected

guys weren’t taught

to think differently

in fact

we were encouraged

to get a little

get laid

get into her panties

 

find’em

feel’em

fuck’em

forget’em

 

this was masculine prerogative

entitlement

a natural urge

that resented any attempt

to curb it

do you want your sons

to grow up to be fags

yeah sure

free and easy access

to pussy

is the cure for queer

 

yet I grew up

gay queer a fag

full of fear

while sure of who I was

& what I wanted to have sex with

I tried dating

getting a little

getting a little wasn’t enough

to cure me of anything

but I did learn

how to use the right entrance

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Have A Seat

Have A Seat

she struggled

snuggled

into the subway seat

next to me

gave me an irritated glance

 

my knees were tight together

my shoulder bag on my lap

my elbows pressed to my waist

my ebook open and balanced

on top of my shoulder bag

taking up as little space as I could

 

‘do you mind’ she muttered

I pulled my feet closer

‘I said do you mind!’ she was angry

I chose to ignore her

I couldn’t take up less space

she elbowed me sharply

knocking the ebook askew

 

it wasn’t my fault

the seats were so small

that there no way I could take up less space

 

‘what an asshole’ she said loudly

‘keep your hands off me’

 

someone looked down at us

I shrugged

my hands were clearly

clutching my ebook & my shoulder bag

in place

 

more people got on

the now over-crowded car

the a/c wasn’t working

it was hot stinky

I had ten more stops to go

and she was muttering

‘fucking asshole men

think they can get away

with pawing women

when ever they want’

 

I didn’t need this aggravation

put my ebook into my shoulder bag

pulled myself out of the seat

and indicated it as empty

to a woman much bigger than me

then watched the face

of the angry woman

as she was squeezed even tighter

and

for some strange reason

it felt good

when the large lady said

‘move a little. do you mind’

I prefer to walk an hour to get anywhere rather than take public transit. When I do take the subway I always have my earbuds in & my Kindle to protect me. If I could I’d wear gloves too. Usually, if there’s space, I’ll stand – sometimes I sit just to get out of the way. I never quite get it when other passengers feel it’s their right to blame you for crowding them when someone is crowding you too.

This piece is a composite of various personal or witnessed experiences of mine in transit, on the subway, bus or streetcar. I’ve heard people muttering things like ‘asshole men’ or ‘fucking bitch’ because there wasn’t room for them to look at their cellphones.

I’ve sat on empty three seat rows that quickly filled within stops & have been crushed into the corner while the chrusher acted as if I wasn’t there or as if it was my fault for not ceding the entire seat to them. In winter it’s impossible to make a parka take up less space.

Most people try to maintain some decorum in transit but others are quite eager to take advantage of the captive audience to call attention to their discomfort. I have seen men take quick advantage of the proximity & felt helpless to do anything or even know what to do. Stop everyone rushing to get up stairs?

I have been told to take up less space. I have, as in this piece moved to distance myself from a muttering seat mate. Engaging is never a solution – I don’t know who has a knife. I have done exactly what happens here. Given my spot to someone else to deal with the mutterer. I didn’t feel victimized just grateful.I have more important things to worry about than sitting in transit – like,  where’s my hand sanitizer 🙂

coming soon:

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet