Sex and Sangria Pt. 1
November 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
I like the alliteration. I went to the UK in the summer of 2011 for a month, one of the best months of my life. I went to study, partly, with my university, where a castle was donated to them from an alumnus, which has since been converted to a part of the university’s campus. I was thinnish at the time. I met a lot of amazing people. I hadn’t yet achieved the shambles of a life that I now possess (although, I still like to think I’m inching and inching toward better).
I love being busy busy busy, manic and insane and intense, especially when I’m on trips. I love people, but I also love…everything and I’m very self-centred when it comes to wanting to see and do everything I can if other people aren’t available. I don’t see any of this negatively when it’s done in a….hmmm..less self-destructive way we’ll say. Although I still love trying to be superhuman, flying around from place to place, meeting and being with everyone and running and running around cities as insane and disorganized and stressful as London and seeing plays and drinking like a fish for Canada Day in LONDON of all places. I had the most amazing time there. And I really did try to do as much as I possibly could. When my friends wanted to relax and stay put, I would walk around the city, seeing and buying and licking and swallowing the air and the people and culture, trying to take it into my body, making it part of me. I hate to forget and I hate to have lacklustre memories. Even the bad ones, they’re part of me and I love them as long as they are INTENSE.
I went to the Globe Theatre in London with one of the classes I was taking. The class was for Jacobean Shakespeare, although neither of the plays we needed to see were Shakespearean. First was Dr. Faustus. That was my first time I had sangria. During intermission, I was introduced to the lobby, this beautiful outdoor cobblestone courtyard. Food and drink could be bought, obviously very expensive, but I had no limits on vacation (maybe not ever). And this gigantic Sangria punch bowl was presented above the bar area. And I really wanted to try it. I was scared at the time because I knew there would be sugar and juice and pop, etc. Calories that I didn’t really want, but I did it anyway. I maaaaay have been smoking occasionally during my trip (do as the Romans do)? and I was puking quite a bit in the public showers and sometimes in the trash cans in my room after meals. So I passed out. I met a very nice health professional who led me into a separate room and apparently this happens all the time at the globe, because the standing seats are obviously, standing, and open to the sun and the heat. I was not special, I was number 30 something of the day in fainting audience members. He was scruffy and lovely and he liked me and I touched and flirted with him and probably would have fucked him if it had been a more appropriate setting.
That summer I became obsessed with sangria. I came home and I was alone in the giant house that I had shared the previous year with six other girls. I was working at a bar/restaurant that I took a ferry over to. It was an intense and hot summer and I was still fairly virginal. I had started seeing, if you can call it that, this older business man. I was 20 (almost 21) and he was 28. He was a complete narcissistic demeaning piece of shit. He openly talked about his love of Kate Bosworth in 21 and Natalie Portman in…something…and I remarked that he was into the scrawniest bodies, what could he have wanted with me? And he looked at me and smirked in a way I can only remember as making me want to crawl into my skin and disappear.
It was the first time I’d had sex with someone where it wasn’t assumed that love was involved (my only one-night-stand thus far also happened earlier that summer but that is another story) and I was terrified. I was terrified of my body and all of its implications. I had immense performance anxiety, and obviously, an intense hatred of my body, all intensified with this…person.
I had to be drunk to have sex with him.
Thus emerged a pattern.
I’m 24 now and it’s only been in the past year that I’ve begun to play with the memories that have led to my present state, the disastrous attacks I’ve made on my body and self worth and I am still light years away from understanding them in any way that will let me step away and say “huh”, while still enabling myself to act in any productive way despite my self-destructive inclinations.
I consider myself a relatively intelligent person. I was a mixture of confused/angry/relieved earlier this year when I was immersed with a group of sexually abused women in a therapy group for about a week and although I was there for an incident in my teens, I somehow realized that I had been abused as a child of 5-6 for a good two years and, although I remembered it, I never thought of it as an older man taking advantage of a naive child and his authoritative relationship over me until then. Now it seems blatantly obvious but it terrifies me how I might never have come to that realization, or at least not for years later, and the amount of people that I imagine are walking around out there, having no idea that certain experiences were wrong and exploitative, blaming themselves, feeling dirty and disgusting and perverted and slutty (insert your chosen pejorative label).
My mom read me and my brother a story when we were little, apparently, that was supposed to warn us of the potential for sexual abuse. I also remember being shown a newspaper clipping of some kind of pedophile and murderer in our neighbourhood who locked a girl in a closet and repeatedly raped and starved her to death, my mom warning me to be wary of strangers, lock the doors, etc. etc. I knew the basic mechanics of sex as a child, as I’m sure many children learn from asking questions, but I had no idea about the role of pleasure or foreplay, or any of the aspects of sexuality beyond a simplistic explanation of “this is how babies are made.”
I can’t remember his face at all, which seems strange to me now. The face of this person who I only encountered once a week over the course of those two years of my childhood. I remember asking my mom if he ever talked or discussed anything with her, but she can’t ever remember meeting him in person. He never physically touched me inappropriately and just framed something that I had no idea was sexual, into a sort of game and reward for having practiced my lessons that I saw him for weekly. I don’t remember much about how it started and I have, for years since, believed it was my idea. But I don’t know how I came up with a name for this game in the way it was remembered, or thought of it as a game or reward the way that I did. I can’t remember if he orchestrated it or anything involving him really, which also makes me curious about why I can’t remember. I generally have a very good memory of things and I saw him every week. I see a space for the recognition I feel I should have for him, an empty hole I am trying to suck myself into.
I only stayed in my lessons with this person for those two years because I moved when I was seven. My dad relocated to a better job, while my mom, who worked closer to our future home, was able to commute every day. We all moved to our current home during the summer of ’97. I had lived on a street filled with mainly boy children around my age, who I was always friends with, being a very outgoing and open young child, despite desperately wanting a girl for a friend, as I am told I whined about to my mother. Upon moving, my brother and I had an entire summer alone outside of school to either meet kids near us or not. We met a pair of siblings down the street. The friendship between the four of us was…strange. The boy of the siblings was a year older than me, the girl was perhaps a couple years older than my brother. I mainly hung out with him, my brother with her, but all of us had our fair share of time spent together.
I have always had questions about the relationship that the younger girl had with my brother. My brother was adorable. I don’t feel jealous anymore about acknowledging this. When I was younger, our family would frequently be interrupted by a stranger to discuss how adorable Jared was. I usually sat there, waiting for it to be over. Not that I thought myself ugly at the time, but looking back on pictures of us at various stages of our childhood, I know my little brother could have been a child model as a kid. This implication in his relationship with the neighbour girl was probably not for the best. I’ve asked my brother a few times about what happened with him and her when I wasn’t around. I worry he doesn’t remember. I only know that she used to make strangely suggestive remarks for a girl of 7 ish regarding a 5 year old boy, especially in front of adults (I know of these instances because my parents and babysitters at the time have recounted them, acknowledging my little brother’s shock and beet-red embarrassment).
My own friendship with the older boy, I only remember specific aspects. I remember the frogs mainly. I don’t know why it was just frogs. I remember a frog that was put in a tiny jar and this boy shoved wet sand over the frog, then covered it with the lid and threw it over the fence. A separate time, he threw a frog against our garage door. Only recently, a few incidents have coincided in my memory.
My piano teacher (said man above, oops, I slipped) who told me the bulge in his pants meant he had to pee, and me, stupid child, stating this to this very open and scary new friend. He whipped his own out. After that, I only remember him bringing it out another time. To pee on a frog.