Tag Archives: self-possession

“I-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t: Do You Know What That Mean?”

There is a poem by a dead comrade from my Motha Land dedicated to us, Russian broads.  It goes like this:

“She will stop a galloping horse and walk into a burning house.”  

We are like that, the broads in my motha’s family:  Never the tall or skinny supermodel types, we’ve been known to have smaller frames, upon which some have packed on curves, especially after carrying their firstborns.  For a couple of centuries, since a gypsy entered our family and genes, we’ve been strutting closer to the ground; and, as in the case of my motha’, have learned to sway our hips with enough gusto and sex to keep us better balanced in our short bodies.

But you would never call us “small.”  Even these days, most of my comrades are confused when I climb off my Femme Nikita heels and start standing a lil’ bit over five feet tall.

“You’re so short?!” they say with a sincere wonderment.

“It’s my ego,” I’ve learned to explain.  “It makes up for my height.”

From what I’ve overheard of the fam’s mysterious history, the broads of my motha’s clan have always had some serious temper on them.  Blame in on the Romani blood, but these wild cats have been known to intimidate their husbands and children into life-long submission — and heart-altering love — while getting shit done with the assistance of their famed sexuality.  Oh, yes, siree!  Hot-blooded, stubborn and messy-headed, these creatures have granted me their fearless make-up.  Especially when going through hell — when right in the very midst of it — we aren’t the ones to show fear.  And only when alone or in the arms of a man privileged to have tamed us into quietness for a while do we become the scared little girls every woman should be allowed to be.

All this preface to say:  I don’t need help!  Whenever lugging heavy loads in life, I don’t ask for assistance.  I can handle it on my own, thank you:

“Pleeze, dan’t khelp me!” I always shoosh away my comrades’ helping hands, in my motha’s thick Russian accent; and while I proceed with my stubborn struggle, I watch their beloved faces crack-up in recognition of my authenticity.  “Yourr velkom!”

Yesterday, after the expiration of the bloody tax deadline, I’ve finally ventured out to my local post-office with a couple of accumulated care-packages for my beloveds on the East Coast.  Typical to LA-LA’s fashion, this particular USPS location didn’t come with customer parking (shocker!); and after circling the neighborhood and deconstructing its street cleaning signs for nearly half an hour, I finally squeezed into a slot between the tank of a Hummer and a clogged-up sewage drain, about five blocks away from my destination.  Other than the reek that surrounded my car and reminded me of my Motha Russia’s cow fields, I didn’t mind the walk.  So, off I went, balancing in a newer pair of Femme Nikita heels in my best runway walk, while lugging my boxes.

Needless to mention, no man has offered to help.  Actually, there is a need to mention that.  I know the lovely creatures of my gender have made strides in pursuit of their equality; but until we are genetically predisposed to pack on muscles equal to those of men, chivalry should NOT be off the table.  Fuckin’ pussies!  Ball-less weaklings!  Call themselves “men”…

Oh, sorry.  Where was I?  What did I tell ya:  I’ve got quite a temper on me!

Actually, there was one creature who seemed to empathize with my load:  a drunk homeless man who took a break from vomiting out his morning meal, wiped-off the foaming saliva off his crooked, toothless mouth and slurred out:

“Getchaself a cart!”

Thanks, buddy — for this life-changing piece of advice.

Still, I remained un-phased.  But the weight of the load must’ve had some effect on my face; because by the time I reached the damn post-office, a Russian compatriot, who was meditating outside with a cigarette in his right hand, said:

“OH.  SHIT,” — and hurried to open the door for me.

Inside, it would’ve been a normal occurrence of events — unworthy of my rant blog — if it weren’t a handful of construction workers holding hostage one of the windows for the entire duration of my waiting in line, then my lugging struggles to the window, then what had to be a somewhat amusing attempt to lift these fuckers onto my clerk’s counter.

I’ve been a woman for long enough to know when I’m being stared at.  With every follicle on my skin, I can usually feel a stranger’s eyes on me; and despite all of my temperamental huffing and puffing at the window, I knew the brothers were watching me.  So:  I shot ‘em my askance look.

There was a beauty in their dirty faces, an unexpected type, and it caught me off-guard.  In mismatching overalls and torn-up frocks, with unbrushed locks of hair or long strands of dreadlocks, they had to be independent contractors on their way back from building a stage at Coachella.  Or something like that.  And despite the heat of my temper affecting my better reason, I immediately wanted to know their story.  But still too pissy to soften up, I barely nodded in their direction and pretended to be consumed with comprehending the shipping rates my clerk’s mouth was now spewing out.

On my strut toward the exit and past the still staring brothers, I felt an extra spring in my step:  I just did that, my comrades, all on my own!  And now I was heading back out — to hustle and survive! — while looking pretty damn good for a broad who hasn’t rested since the beginning of the year.

With the corner of my eye, I sensed one of the workers jamming his elbow into his colleague’s ribcage; and he, in response, slid off his camouflage cap and with enough selfless innocence to make me wanna adopt him said:

“You’re beautiful.”

Phew.

Yep.

Da.

Time-out.

It was merely impossible, my darlings, to keep putting on my front without tearing up.  I nodded and thanked him, all kinda off the cuff.  Yet, I could feel my heart skipping a beat.  And in that moment, unmarred by the man’s further pursuit of my name or phone number; in that moment that a woman can never expect a life to grant her — not in this day and age! — I knew that the struggle of self-possession and the high price of independence have been worth it; even if — just for that moment.

A Prayer to My Fat Ass

Awaiting a train on an immaculately clean subway platform the other day…  What’s that?  Subway?  Yes:  There is a subway in LA-LA City.  Mostly ridden by brown people and Downtown’s business types, this magical recent innovation has saved V a lot of headaches caused by the convoluted parking rules, one-way streets, obnoxiously priced valet lots and traffic-congested roads—that look like parking lots—in that happening zip code of ours.  On the other hand, I’ve had to confront the utter lack of control and manners on behalf of this city’s male contingent when they express their desire to not only speak to me—but to touch me.  What can I say:  A walking woman is somewhat of a rarity around here!  Yet, still I insist on contributing my coins to the spanking brand new subway ticket machines and reveling in a system with visible time schedules and audible announcements about any possible delays or detours.  (Hear that, New Yorkers?!  I’m just sayin’.) 

Anyway.  While chilling on a subway platform the other day and trying on my best Dontcha Fuckin’ Dare Speak to Me face, I was devouring a book by a brown writer…  What’s that?  A book?  Yes, I still read books

So:  Reading a book, on a subway platform, I was brought back to reality by the clickety-clack of stilettos that absolutely had to belong to a beautiful woman.  Understandably:  V looked up.  Poorly balancing in her heels, the young creature wobbling in my direction looked like Bambi.  She was blonde and pretty—a perfect newbie in LA.  Yet everything about her screamed of wanting a little bit too much and trying a little bit too hard.  I’ve seen these creatures in casting sessions before.  Fuck:  I’ve been one of these creature my first year of auditions!  Albeit her prettiness, she hid behind too much make-up, applied by a hand of a four-year old who had stolen it from her mother.  The blonde hair was teased to shit into an asymmetrical bouffant completed by a mousey ponytail.  Her short black-and-white dress and a pink pashmina made her appear overdressed and utterly unaware of what it takes to navigate this city on foot.     

“Clickety-clack…  Clack!  Clack-clack-clack-clack-clack,” she went past me, nearly tripping over her own feet.

“Oh, honey,” my heart moaned in a half-prayer as it does when witnessing another innocent creature equipped with nothing but her dreams to survive this chaotic, slightly schizophrenic town.  But it was only a half-prayer—because I don’t have the time or the strength to adopt and rescue every young soul.  And because she had chosen her path—god bless her!  And because already having difficulty balancing in those big-girl heels, she could do without the pity by the jaded skeptics like me tripping her over.  Besides:  Who the fuck am I to project my own failures and embarrassments in LA-LA Land onto a young woman courageous enough to be idealistic? 

Oh, but I would leave her alone, my comrades, and return to the hilarious words by my brown writer; but the young girl, who has parked herself on a wooden bench a meter away from me, shook the pink pashmina off her shoulders and revealed a frame so thin, my stomach growled like a guard dog at the gates of GULAG.  The view that I got from where I stood was her nearly transparent back with every rib and every vertebra ripping through the bluish-white skin.  She slouched a little, in that way of a crying child or a young girl embarrassed of her budding new breasts.

“Oh, baby-boo,” my heart moaned—that stubborn organ that always gets me to go against my better, self-protective judgment.  

“Uh!” 

It was grunt by a black guy.  C’mon, we all know it:  that chesty, sexual, laconic groan that only a brother can pull off which usually means, “I gotta get me some a dat!”  Honestly:  It’s one of my favorite sounds.  Because, in my experience, a black man is hard to discombobulate out of his chill by any woman; and if he is moved, he’ll take his time before actually touching the honey.  Prior to the physical contact, however, there will be a dance of slow, self-possessed struts, accompanied by somewhat primal sounds.  Like the “Uh!” my brown bystander granted the Bambi on the bench. 

I looked over to him:  Over 6-feet tall, clad in New York black, with his skin glossy and gorgeous, the man—was a warrior.  He noticed me, held his gaze—fucking balls!—smiled ever so slightly, pouted, shook his head and said: 

“I dunno.” 

I tilted my head, meaning:  “Bring it.”

Tuned in, he licked those endless lips of his, formulated the words and said:  “Too skinny.”  Maybe I nodded a bit too enthusiastically, but the brown creature elaborated:   “I like a woman with a little ‘uh!’”

Yep.  Well said, comrade.  The reason the Bambi jacked up my empathy that afternoon was the utter deprivation with which she treated her young body.  Because past all that desperate glamour and paint, hid a self-induced violence by her poor self-esteem which was most likely already reconfirmed by the self-loathing scumbags of this town (i.e.:  agents, managers, boyfriends).  Because you see, my comrades, around here—it’s difficult to be enough!  There is a permanent hum of advice that hangs above women’s heads along with LA-LA’s smog:  Too Fat / Too Old / Too Brown / Too Foreign / Too Brunette / Too Smart / Too Something.  (Those are my favorite old tags.)  It takes oh so much fucking work to never let go of your authentic self; because if you do—one un-fine day, you’ll wake up as a washed-up cocktail waitress with blistered feet and soul, realizing that your two future solutions are:  1.  to go back to school; or 2.  to bait yourself a rich guy who’ll buy you your Happily Ever After.  

So, here comes my prayer, my comrades, for the sake of my own self, the women I know and the Bambi’s I wish I’d known before their fall:  May the very womb of our Mother Fuckin’ Nature grant us the courage to hold on to our fat asses!  May the armies of our shrinks and girlfriends shield us from being chipped away by those who live in hatred of themselves!  May we wake up to the mirrors that sing in the voice of Maria Callas:  “You are the fairest one of all—and I love your ass!”  And may we be lucky enough to be accompanied by men who worship our fat behinds, and when the schizophrenic voices chime in—shag some sense into us.

Zen — and the Art of Going Down

I’ve done some research for you, my male comrades.  I did that!  Having heard enough of women’s tales of woe titled He Just Won’t Go Down on Me—always followed by the eventual and unavoidable dumping of the unskilled lover, by the way—I’ve decided it was time to get a man’s opinion on the subject.  Or better yet:  Why not get a tutorial, I thought.

And who would be better suitable than the Young Latin Lover type I’ve known since my very first days in LA-LA-Land six years ago?  The kid is in his twenties, yet, as I’ve overheard from his satisfied customers, is highly equipped in the lip service.  He and I have never hooked up; because despite standing at 6-feet tall and then some, in a body of a Giorgio Armani model lives a heartbreakingly sweet kid.   Gullible and funny, always up for a game or an improv, he used to dangle off of the workout bar installed in the doorway between my former roommate’s and my own bedroom—for hours.  Sometimes, I would come home to a BB gun warfare of the two men-children at play; and while ravaging the furniture, the walls and each other’s backs with yellow plastic bullets that I would continue to discover for years to follow, this kiddo would leap out of his hiding place at my arrival, as if I were his mother and he were a 5-year old in love and I’ve been gone for way too long:

“Hey, Rara!”  He would engulf me in his embrace, and warmth, and beauty.

“Hey, Rara!” he said yesterday, leaping off his black vintage motorcycle and shaking a head full of Miami-sun-kissed hair out of his eyes.  His eyes—so dark they appear pupil-less—remained locked on mine while he walked toward me.  And then:  he smiled.  God damn it, I thought:  Youth!

That’s just the thing about the kid:  No matter his hustle in this city, or the struggle as a young artist, or the heartbreak of his recent love affair with an insecure creature who knew nothing about her self-possession, his heart—alas, his magnificent, generous, childlike heart!—has remained unscathed.  Oh, to what gods must I pray to protect my friends from losing their innocence?!

What followed was an afternoon full of uncensored laughter and words and stories, old and new, as if no years have passed since the beginning of our friendship.  He was my kid brother, my fellow artist.  A co-historian of human love.  A beautiful soul I wish to spend my lifetime deserving.  As the sun crawled through its habitual trajectory, we sat on the patio of our regular joint famed among actors, musicians, writers and other LA artsy types (yet somehow seemingly immune to duches).  When the meal arrived, we both chose to ignore our utensils; and while I was licking my fingers, the kiddo put on his best James Dean expression and said:

“So, what’s the deal with going down?”

I’ve warned him, you see, that he would be expected to co-author this piece; but just like I could not predict that an hour-long interview would turn into three hours of my uncontrollable laughing into this kid’s lap or the lapel of his black leather jacket, I failed to predict the manner of his contribution to the subject.  First, there was zero embarrassment or crassness.  Instead, he began with poetry:

“The thing is:  I just l’ove to do it.  Period.”  (He said “l’ove” like a Latin speaker would:  slightly softening the tongue on the first syllable.)  “I want all of it!  And I don’t care how long it takes!”  He bit into his medium-rare burger which made his lips glossy with its juices and oil.

Apparently, gentlemen:  It’s all in your intention. Just like you can sense when a woman is faking her pleasure during her oral performance, she can pinpoint a bad actor in her bedroom as well.  You must find pleasure in pleasing her. If you think the job too hard—just imagine the mere mechanics of fellatio that she suffers through:  much more rhythmical and forceful, it may cause a crick in her lovely neck or a lockdown of her jaw.  If your sympathy for her part won’t get you to dive—then, just go down a checklist of what the job entails:  a naked woman, moaning and grunting at your every move, whispering or screaming your name, and losing complete control of her censored behaviors.  Hmm.  Not to shabby, if you ask me—or my kiddo pro at yesterday’s conference on the subject:

“It’s kinda like…  I don’t know:  energy?” my “Jaime” Dean continued, searching to express a now seemingly god-given skill of his.  “You have to be in tune with her.  Gotta think about what it feels like—to her.”

You have to be in tune with her.” It’s not just about the moves; because the moves will have to be customized to fit your lover’s habits, histories, fantasies and anatomy.  Also, as in any artistic endeavor, there must be room for improvisation.  But something that cannot be taught—is empathy.  To get there:  First, you must be comfortable in your own body and mind (and hopefully, your lover matches your maturity).  Once the baggage of self-consciousness is out of the way, you must carry on as if the two of you were a part of one body.  Yes, there are signs that she may grant you:  moans, back arches, hair pulls, etc.  But what’s more crucial—is your capacity to identify with exactly how she feels, in that moment.  “It’s kind like…  I don’t know:”  Being her; being a part of her, as if a single entity.  Fuckin’ poetry!

“It’s a beautiful thing,” my Latin comrade smiled yesterday, with his eyes departing for a moment into what had to be a memory of a woman.  “It’s not just sex.  It’s something you do to get close…”—he got intense, channeling his inner Pablo Neruda.  “There’s nothing you can do wrong if you really want that person.”

It may be just sex, gentlemen, and she may even be on the same page with you.  But my beloved comrade hit a bull’s eye yesterday:  No matter the duration or the objective of your affair, in the very moment of every physical intimacy—you must be in love.  You must be in love with that person—your lover—in complete empathy with him or her.  In your sex act, you must worship their body and honor their humanity; and remain fully present and aware of their needs, finding satisfaction when those needs are fulfilled.  That, I believe, is the only way to beauty and art and, as confirmed by my Jaime Dean, to successful love-making.  Or, in his cunni-lingo:  “L’ove-making.”