Not dead. Just busy.
Updates soon, fellow deviants.
Also cheesecake. ♥
Not dead. Just busy.
Updates soon, fellow deviants.
Also cheesecake. ♥
As inspired by the Trainspotting monologue, in anticipation of Trainspotting 2.
Choose kink. Choose a role. Choose responsibility. Choose a clique. Choose a fucking expensive sex toy. Choose dungeon equipment, sex swings, dildos and volumes of how-to bondage manuals. Choose self-awareness, anxiety and aftercare. Choose entitlement. Choose opinions. Choose your friends. Choose private parties and fitting in. Choose a wardrobe purchase in a range of leather, latex, and rubber that you’ll never wear twice. Choose SSC and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose standing in the side feeling insecure watching holier-than-thou Tops have a go at newbie bottoms, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable sex club, nothing more than an embarrassment to the stuckup, know-it-all next generation spawn to replace yourself. Choose your lifestyle. Choose kink.
Ending Monologue: Revisited
But, that’s gonna change – I’m going to change. This is the last of that sort of thing. Now I’m cleaning up and I’m moving on, going queer and choosing kink. I’m looking forward to it already. I’m gonna be just like you. The role, the clique, the fucking expensive sex toy. The dungeon equipment, the sex swing, the dildos and volumes of how-to bondage manuals, self-awareness, anxiety, aftercare, entitlement, opinions, friends, private parties, fitting in, wardrobe, junk food, the next generation, walks in the park, eight to one, good at rope, cleaning the toys, choice of methods, public outings, casual munches, teaching workshops, setting up dungeons, getting by, looking ahead, the day you die.
I have been silent for a lack of better words and for that alone I must ask for forgiveness.
Know that I do not speak for everyone. I lack the capacity to speak on behalf for anyone nor do I feel qualified to do that. Those of you who are already familiar with my habits, whether from my previous writings or direct interactions, can agree that I am often quite wary and cynical about everything.
There is a bitterness that lingers deep inside me. My journey has taken me quite far, with its share of positive and negative experiences, just like anybody else. I have found in this journey both wisdom and insight that are often unknown to those outside of this lifestyle. It is the kind that will never be replaced by anything else in this one lifetime.
But it seems that there is now a shadow over the horizon.
Everywhere it seems this world has gone mad – mad from anger, from grief, and from fear – leaving behind only the embers of bright memories that slowly burns away. It seems that our nature leads us to unavoidable conflict, an inevitable clash between self-integrity and the capacity to embrace and foster the people around us.
In such conflict, I have seen the rise and fall of entire Houses and brotherhoods, the mourning and absence of potential; the ending of friendships, partnerships, and divide that separates whole communities apart from one another.
During those moments, people act dismissive, becoming absolute and stubborn, turning a blind eye away from those that do not agree with them. They forget the means of compassion, opting for ignorance and apathy – a kind of cruelty that is beyond mere sadism and savagery. In anger and grief, as the saying goes, blinded to the world around them.
I am not unfamiliar to that feeling of anger and grief as well.
After all I, too, have loved and lost.
When the fires died down in June, even as my friends fought with one another, I have said nothing. Even at the town hall gathering, when every bit and nuance urged me to stand with flag in hand, I ignored the call. I ignored it when there was outcry from my friends abroad and my friends at home.
I ignored it because it was easier, less painful.
I ignored it for selfish reasons, for the very reasons that have often left me questioning my vows and my oaths. I ignored it because I was angry and afraid like anyone else.
Perhaps that is why people tend to leave all this behind. We give in to those feelings, often when we are at our worst. Despair is powerful emotion, capable of driving out all forms of reason, trapping us in that darkness. I can see now why so many Elders turn away or flash that smile of knowing, that smile of admiration to spirit and perceived naivety.
But I will not be silent any longer – a person can only admit their faults once and hope only to correct them.
Through the stories passed down by Elders, through my own experiences, I have often been warned against the storm in the horizon. More often than not I have taken some measure of comfort whenever I’m told that I’m being too dramatic, too quick to assume the worst, but like some kind of a waking nightmare that has been made into an awful reality.
I reiterate, I do not speak for everyone, but there is no arguing that there will be many who will be affected within this climate of tension – that if the world beyond brings with it a return to those days of bigotry, ignorance, and hate – I am all too prepared to answer the call.
It is easy to dismiss this as small talk, to argue that things cannot be as bad as they seem, but to that I cannot help but ask if that is the kind of talk that stems from privilege or willful ignorance – that one can easily say that they are not as risk for being queer, for being a minority, for identifying differently – that is is easier to stand aside and do nothing.
Or that, worst of all, to say that our community is not at risk. To argue that because we are remote, that we are obscure and shrouded in secrecy, that we could not be affected – that’s bullshit. The very possibility of that occurring, no matter how far fetched it seems, is far too great of a risk to dismiss or ignore. That is vigilance, that is the creed of every flag bearer and every Elder and every person that have experienced them.
If it means that I must stand with my flags in my hand, facing off against the ignorant, to serve as a reminder that there are still those that are prepared to take a stand, I will gladly answer the call.
If it means that for every outcry, every moment of anger and grief, I am to stand in bold defiance against those that would sooner ridicule and scorn us for our emotions, I will gladly answer the call.
If it means that for the next four years, I would put myself at risk to add my voice to all the others, to witness and to watch and to remember each act of injustice; to pass those stories down, to recount to whoever is willing to listen so that it won’t happen again, I will gladly answer the call.
This is not the time for silence. It is not the time to turn a blind eye, to remain comfortable, or to let one’s guard down. It is not the time to give in to that shadow of anger, despair, or grief. It is not the time to share mere sympathies and do nothing. The call has been made – not necessarily by those we know – but those that share those bevy of experiences.
I do not believe that this journey is a selfish one. A community is not built overnight nor are relationships and friendships either. It is fostered and nurtured with great patience and care.
The pain that we feel when those foundations are broken is a human kind of pain. Once we lose the ability to love and care for one another, this journey becomes a bleak and meaningless one; once forgotten, it can never be replaced. Our ability to love, to have our hearts broken, and still to love again is masochism in its truest form.
That is courage. That is strength.
Remember that feeling.
Remember that it exists and that it is beautiful and rich, powerful and irreplaceable.
Remember and that feeling transforms into a different kind of emotion – the kind that drives away that shadow ahead, that feeling of uncertainty.
It is a powerful emotion and it is not an unfamiliar one. It has and always will be a light in the darkness.
It is the feeling of Hope.
Do not forget hope. Do not forget the very things that make this journey a wholesome and unique one, no matter how difficult or painful that becomes. When the time comes to answer the call, I know deep down inside, your heart will be in the right place.
Look. Real talk? Real talk.
Us “weirdos” only do the things we do with express consent. Everything about what we do in private is with consent. We don’t grab strangers by their crotch without getting thrown out into the curb or getting curbstomped entirely.
There is no gray area. It’s either yes or no and understanding that no means no. Plain and simple. Black and white. No “it’s just locker room talk” bullshit. No “this is a dark day and age” nonsense.
Even the activity of consensual non-consent emphasizes on pre-negotiated consent. You can’t get any clearer than that. There is no fine line. You either get permission or you don’t. If not, you don’t force the issue, you learn to respect other people and walk the fuck away.
But when you actually have the gall to admit to having been guilty of predatory behavior, let alone unapologetically, it doesn’t matter who or how famous you are – you’re branded for life. You’re a guilty rapist pig. Noone should ever feel safe around you. You shouldn’t be allowed into any events with sane people who happen to value consent.
An apology is never enough.
And no, changing the subject and talking about defeating ISIS is only going to get your teeth kicked in if you’re from where I’m from.
Holy fuck if you’re not the biggest smug motherfucker I’ve ever seen.
Reflections is a series of short stories that aims to capture glimpses into the vibrant essence of my local community. Brief moments of human interaction, alluded conversation, and candidness – all with due respect for everyone’s privacy. It is a series that aims to capture both the surface and underlying current beneath the face of public kink, the wit and humor, which has so often made my experiences an extraordinary one.
A Saturday Evening
It was close to dusk when I arrived at the venue. Already the sun had began its slow descent over the horizon and cast itself a velvet-pink stretch against the overcast clouds against the waters of English Bay. I had arrived early, hungry, but already the atmosphere had transformed the dreariness of the outside world into the familiar tempo of the dungeon interior.
There were, of course, the familiar faces all around me. The door person smiled and as we exchanged pleasantries, the background conversations had mixed with the pulsating throb of the music selection. I looked around in the dim lighting. The bass speakers drowned out the sound of activity and the effect of leather drawn against bare flesh, the moaning of players already engaged in the dungeon floor.
See them, the figures undulating in the shadows, the sound of their laughter interwined by the ecstasy written across their faces; the gleam of the floor tiles against the flicker of navy blue and crimsoned lights. From time to time, I find myself caught up in conversation, and here and there are the streams of mild gossip and updates.
It’s hot inside the venue. The summer has been unforgiving. The water at the dry bar is overpriced and sweat trickled down the scalps of semi-clad individuals. I’m again complimented on my appearance and return the due courtesy, amid flirtations and clever puns, the continuous bickering about ventilation and the merciless heat. Come the winter, it’ll be the cold that takes the focus of our follies.
Passing by the dungeon floor, I spot the local riggers in their corner, already mid-course in their suspensions and the serenity wrote on the faces of their partners. I see too the couple in the corner, the chaste kisses and the subtle motion of her fingers slipping underneath his shirt. There are nods of acknowledgment and the respected silence that follows with observation.
Outside a volume of cigarette smoke purveys the street beyond where I find myself caught up in further conversation, the prospect of activity, and the intensity of group discussions. I take note the mixed presence of the elders, the regulars, and the new and unfamiliar. I bid them welcome and keep what gossip that surfaces to a minimum, lest their concerns occupy my focus for the evening.
Briefly I excuse myself to join a group of fellow peers. Together we made our way to a local restaurant, ate between musings of our exploits, and returned down the empty store fronts and lanes. We teased one another as friends often do. The sound of conversation carries itself across the desolate avenues. We checked our phones outside before hurrying back to watch another scene unfold.
There is louder screaming now, between the occasional lull in serious conversation, and the complaints about the unflinching summer heat. I regard each of those that pass me by, shaking hands and sharing embraces – heat or sweat be damned.
Now comes the arrival of late attendants and the chastising of their absences. I watch as they make their rounds, announce their presence to their friends, and join them together. Sometime in between those bouts, I am caught in negotiation, and intrigued by the thought for activity I venture towards the dungeon floor. I pack my toy bag lightly, carry only a set of old but familiar tools, and engage in consensual sadomasochism.
A half hour later, I’m nested in the embrace of my current partner, and we whisper to one another in regards of our mutual performances. Our conversation itself is brief and private. We share cold water, bitch a little more about the heat, and flirt before making our departures. Sometime later I spot them again on the dungeon floor, spurred by the same appeal which had brought me back to the venue and the company of my fellow community.
I step outside only moments later for a breath of fresh air and a cigarette. The menthol crisp seems to prolong the euphoria that courses through my veins. I’m high and hyper-sensitive, words flowing out of my lips without thought, at times stammering over them. The newcomers express their satisfaction over the evening. Everyone calls out to the person leaving, asking them to get home safely. I return inside.
Shortly after I am again back in the dungeon. Already the hour is late and I feel between the haze of an adrenaline fueled high, the course of hunger setting in. Once more, I attempt to trick the snack bar into surrendering their candies, and am again thoroughly dismissed; the look of disapproval is one that is immediately followed by the subsequent grin, which is as satisfying as had my attempt been successful.
I take the time to comfort a friend and listen, silently, to their deliberations. It has been a difficult year, fueled by the ending of relationships and the deaths of numerous individuals. I remember to be as much of a friend as possible – listening to them, interjecting upon the ache in their voice to comfort them. For a time, I remain in this corner as friends often do.
Fifteen minutes past midnight and already the activity has begun to die down. There is an emptiness in the eyes of the dungeon monitor, more focused than weary, unwavering in their station. Briefly I sit beside them and keep my conversations to base accord lest I distract them from their duties. One of them teases me about wearing tight jeans, being a masochist for doing so in this heat, and chuckles.
At around one in the evening, the dungeon has cleared and already people are exchanging their goodbyes. There is a couple making out briefly before they leave, a glimmer of mischief in the eyes of one as I said goodnight. The volunteers are small in number but dedicated. They immediately set about the task of stacking chairs, dismantling each of the dungeon equipment, and loading the truck.
One of them is a father, works five days a week; the other, fixed on the other side of the Saint Andrew’s cross and unscrewing its hinges, suffers from a recent leg injury. Neither of them complain. I stop briefly to have a cigarette and stare off at the distant cityscape and the lights twinkling across the silhouette of Whistler mountain. Shortly after, I return in time to help them take down the A-frame, which I affectionately refer to as “the heavy fucker”.
Each of the volunteers acts with great expedience and wastes little time. Conversation is professional, concise, each between panting breaths and focused on the task at hand. Each month, the tear down crew is painfully understaffed, and dropouts are a frequent occurrence. I have been painfully absent due to late-night transit issues.
The fluorescent lights and silence of the venue floor has since become nauseating but the heat has worn off. The haze of adrenaline is instantaneously replaced by the sharp contrast of focus, the immediate desire to finish clean up. Someone brings us all coffee and tea and is deeply revered. There is playful mention of intimate reciprocation for the gesture.
By around two in the morning, the last piece of equipment has been loaded aboard the truck. It will be driven to a U-haul and again stored in one of the units there. Already the volunteers have dispersed, leaving only a handful of the remaining to go about the task.
I find myself outside with another cigarette. There is a mild breeze in the air and I reek of nicotine, sweat, and old laundry. Eventually, sitting in my ride, I find myself drifting slightly. Fading fast, I’m occasionally peering at the passing glow of orange street lights, the lone pedestrians wandering the late night streets.
Finally I arrive home, thank my driver, and unlock my front door. The ride remains parked there in the middle of street for a time – making sure I manage to find my keys, driving off into the night. I pull off my boots, toss my toy bag, and slip into bed.
Just another Saturday night…
Still alive. Just busy. Also relationships tend to do that.
Rest assured, journey still continues. Updates soon.
P.S. This fucking summer heat, I swear.
Note: This will be a long post nor will it be an easy one. I take the time now to gently remind you that reading this is entirely optional, but the issues that it will address is grief, death, and mourning. Every one is entitled to share their opinions though I advise that you remain as civil, polite, and respectful as possible.
Be warned: This may be a heavy read for some.
I do not speak of death very often.
It is a heavy subject. It is, however, an inevitable one. A person cannot anticipate nor stall its course. It is as evident as the changing of seasons, the passing of time itself.
In life, we are destined to encounter individuals each in the course of their own journeys. Some of those encounters will be temporary and brief. Others will have a longer lasting impact and continue to do so long after it is over.
During those moments we find connectivity. Sometimes they develop and we discover mutual interests and ambitions together. By nurturing, fostering, and protecting one another we forge friendships and camaraderie that is rarely understood by an outsider.
This community itself was built upon the basis of connectivity. It is a platform for personal growth and for us to interweave our lives to those we deem fit. We explore, guide, and comfort one another; limited only by our sense of individual compassion.
At times it is described as primal and empowering energy. Nothing is more gratifying than the feeling of warm company, among our friends and companions. To be accepted unconditionally is an emotion that countless of others have spent their entire lives searching for.
The world can often be a very large and unforgiving place. It often appears to be quite false and full of hypocrisies, ugly and intimidating. I imagine that to be real in such a place can be a very painful and lonely existence.
For those of us who have felt the feeling of abandonment, isolation, or even betrayal; the feelings of acceptance are worth their weight in gold, irreplaceable, and tends to be damn near sacred.
Time, however, has never been quite as accepting.
Time itself is the course between the destination from life to death.
When time runs out, death follows. Like the falling of autumn leaves and the coming of winter and spring, there is change. One can neither stall the course of time nor can we predict the course. It cannot be changed and it cannot be controlled by anyone. It is as intangible as the duality of a beginning and an end to all things.
We can neither stop death from taking away the people we love nor can we stop time from delaying its course.
In the wake of loss, there is pain and each person handles that pain differently. At times such pain is distant, buried away within, replaced by the constant process of our living; other times it is frequent, unavoidable, like an injury that may never heal.
I have often asked myself from time to time the cause behind such pain. An individual who has shared their mutual friendship and affection does not seek actively to harm those that they truly love. I do not believe in such cruelty.
In the scene, I relish the product of such relationships from a person I trust and respect. That they permit an instance of vulnerability is the greatest honor imaginable; in the same manner of an intimate conversation or a moment of shared wisdom.
I asked myself questions from time to time such as why is there such pain from their absence? Why would there be an immediate feeling of regret? Why would that linger? Did we not spend our time together, laughing, crying, and living in those past moments?
Was the time I spent worth it?
When I had first stepped away from the city, I felt an immediate pang of regret. I wondered about my loved ones, my friends and inspirations. I wondered if the feeling was mutual and if in time our paths would cross again.
At certain times, after my return and in the numerous places I’d visited, I thought of those that I had encountered and wondered what had become of them. In my heart, I know that quite a few exist only in my memories.
There are some roads in this life which are meant to be traveled alone. Other roads are meant to be shared, side by side, bound together for reasons that nobody can actually understand.
Likewise there are some moments that are irreplaceable, temporary, and gone. I have watched the sunsets spread across the desert and seen the silhouettes dance around bonfire flames. I remember the long conversations between kind strangers, the wisdom in the voices of people who are long past their prime.
Likewise I have felt raw passion, intimacy, and unconditional love from the people I have met. I have felt the pain, the agony, from the moment of losing them.
There are men and women that I have met whose invisible scars are buried deep from the memory of such loss. Their tears are empty and cold, like the gaze of a person who has experienced far much worse.
Once, I watched from a distance, the mourning of a loved one. The primal nature inherent in those closest to him, unrestrained, terrified me. The cries they made were incoherent, savage, like that of an injured animal. Such was their grief, that it seemed as if though their hearts were literally breaking.
Wherever such roads may lead, one cannot blame the result. Grief is the cost of love itself and it is a deeply masochistic feeling. We must not fear our grief. We must understand, embrace, and accept it.
I have always been prone to being distant and detached from the people I know. Sometimes I am act possessive, controlling, and unwilling to let go of them. The reasons for this are often selfish, I fear the pain of loss as much as anyone. I am reluctant to be burdened by the ache of absence and the course of time itself.
I will never see again the pride in my father’s eyes nor will I hear the laughter of absent friends.
I will never walk the roads with better individuals who have already come and gone in this one lifetime.
I will not see again the faces of those from before, listen to their stories, and grow from their wisdom.
But I gladly accept the price of such pain.
Nobody should forget or attempt to replace them with the people they meet. We honor the dead by the simple act of living.
For now I add the weight of their memory to the flag I bear, another patch on my sleeve; in time, I will take their place, passing on their stories, and with it my wisdom to those that I have yet to meet.
One day if I fall I hope to have enough strength to turn where the sky should be and with my last breath, I would whisper only the names of my loved ones, calling them over and over even as I plunge for the other shore.
For even in the darkest place, comforted by their love, my spirit will never be a lonely one. In death, my love would last forever. I face that with a kind of dignity that shall always be without fear or regret.
I would leave behind the knowledge that this life, this journey, is worthwhile. I would want them not to grieve for long and always to show others the same kindness and affection that they have shown me.
If not, I will kick your asses when I see you next.
Until that day comes, don’t ever hesitate or be afraid to live and to love, forever.
“The Flag Still Stands”