Moist

29 08 2018

humpty-dumptyWords – I love them. I even love the great huge portmanteau words (a la Alice in Wonderland) that carry loads of meanings between their consonants. I am gently mocked by friends and stared at by strangers when my three-syllable ones tumble out instead of shorter, clearer phrases.

It’s my sloppy brain filing system. I reach back for a word like orange and find titian, or ocean and find briny deep. I’m not happy, I’m exuberant. I have been known to galumph.

I blame Anne of Green Gables. I grew up like her – a little lonely, odd, wrapped in books and words like Aloysius. I read on my own, so my pronunciations are a bit dodgy. Poor Aloysius the fox lived for years as Alloy-si-us…

But there are some words that seem to be universally hated. Moist is one of them. It’s moisthard to find a pleasant use for the word, unless maybe in describing a cake or a towel, but otherwise, moist is tied to sweat, sweimages-35aty dark places, mouldering bread, dampness where none should be.

This is a moist summer. Offensively so. I honestly don’t think there is a spot on my body that is not moist at this very instant. Even my fingernails seem damp. The weather predictors use terms like humidex (ours uses the much more telling ‘frizz factor’), but really they are talking about moistness. How much there already is in the air, how much you shall personally generate, how much you will appreciate the drying effects of air conditioning.

I have never been so ready for the crispness of fall when I will feel my brain drying out again. I feel like I’ve been moist for far too long and the condensation and rising damp has seeped into my cerebrum.

I feel certain that, were someone to poke into my brain, it would feel like left-out-too-long zalivinoe, jellylike and fishy, with odd ideas floating around in it as the aspic melts in the heat.

zalivnoe-iz-sudaka-prazdnichnoe

borogoves_by_knot_a_typo-d7ot988At present, the old creativity-inducer seems positively mimsy.

“Well then, “mimsy” is “flimsy and miserable” (there’s another portmanteau for you).” Humpty Dumpty, explaining the poem ‘Jabberwocky’ to Alice.

I’m going to have to thrash it out of somnolescence soon – this is the weekend of the famed #3DayNovel contest, and I have foolishly signed up again. Been told before this is a somewhat pointless exercise, not important, but for me, it is a reclaiming of the grey matter and white matter I’ve eaten holes through with my MS and the dang moistness…Some get tattoos, some walk across the Rockies, I throw myself at a computer and write. Hoping I can unmimsy my grey cells and leap in…twistedbrain_main-800x533

 

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On porn, or the decidedly awkward moments of writing about sex

22 04 2016

As you may know, I have MS. As you also may know, I am writing a book about MS and relationships, particularly intimate relationships. Why? Well, they say, them as can’t do , teach…

Seriously, though, I started this project (to my children’s everlasting squeamishness) when I was first diagnosed with MS. I am single, and dating, and I wondered. So many of my friends with MS have given up sex, or have such difficulty with it. Their relationships suffer from these difficulties, or other problems with communication and touch.

I asked my neurologist about it and got inappropriate giggling. I asked the MS Society, and got the advice, “Talk to your partner”. My MS nurse said “Well, some people use a bag of frozen peas.” Giggling was demeaning, I didn’t have a partner, and I like to eat frozen peas, but not after using them for, ahem, other things.

It wasn’t enough information for me, and I wondered what others felt. We held an information session in Ottawa on sexuality and MS and it was a packed room, with people staying on to ask many questions. I did an online survey and over 100 participants had challenges and questions about sex and MS. They wanted information.

Girl-Hiding-Behind-BooksSo in I plunged, as it were. I’m a public health nurse by background, so a bit middle class and vanilla and of course have no experience in the darker arts of intimacy, so suffice to say it has been an education for me (and my long-suffering friends).

I’ve investigated all sorts of equipment, I’ve spoken to experts, I’ve looked at the scanty research. My borrowing history from the library is slightly embarrassing. For the most part, it has been fascinating – new information to me, some things I would never have known. Things like how people with MS may have difficulty interpreting facial expressions, or how we can lose concentration right in the middle of things through no fault of our own or our partners. All about sensory overload or underload and the challenges of incontinence and muscle spasms and the glories of sex furniture…(I’m saving up for a Liberator lounge, but primarily because it looks like a perfect place to curl up with a good book).

I’ve been to sex shops, played with the toys, found much to inappropriately giggle at. Investigated safe and unsafe nipple clamps and binding equipment, lifts and DIY vibrators. Wandered the aisles of Dollar and hardware stores with a titillated eye, looking for ticklers and sensation increasers.foodporn_july1

But what about porn? Some people find it arousing, so I figured it was something I should include for those who need a bit of visual help. Most porn is, to my mind, degrading and boring, but perhaps that’s just me. I asked at the sex shop – I didn’t want the icky stuff you can find online, I wanted the stuff that was deemed “female friendly”, the stuff that didn’t feature brutality and that maybe had a plot. My counsellor there was unenthusiastic. But she was a girl, and I honestly think it’s unusual for girls to enjoy porn – women seem to need more context, prefer a storyline, like Diana Gabaldon’s fantasy series. So I asked some guys of my acquaintance.

They sweetly, and shyly, shared their DVDs with me.

And nope. Still gruesome, still blah, still all too frantic and yet uninteresting for me.  Three thoughts occurred to me – first, honestly, why do people watch this stuff? Secondly, do people actually think sex is like this? And third, I can see immediately the urge to escalate.

See, it’s all pretty boring. In out in out. Same old. I always think of the late great Alan Rickman as the Metatron in Dogma,

Bethany: What’s he like?
Metatron: God? Lonely. But funny. He’s got a great sense of humor. Take sex for example. There’s nothing funnier than the ridiculous faces you people make mid-coitus.
Bethany: Sex is a joke in heaven?
Metatron: The way I understand it, it’s mostly a joke down here, too.

So what I got to wondering is, for the people who use porn as a stimulant, wouldn’t you get bored? Wouldn’t you want to up the ante, as it were? Wouldn’t you want to seek the more challenging sites? The ones with force or whatever? And how does this fit into our rape culture? What does constant exposure to porn do to our minds, our hearts, our sense of ourselves and others? What does it do to the image of loving connection?

I’ve got a list, from an expert, of possible okay movies and links to include in my book as a reference. I’m glad I had an expert to consult because I don’t want to take my brain there.

My dad once told me about how you have to be careful what you put into your mind. (He was right – I can still see the opening sequence of Friday the 13th Part 2, which I saw when I was in university back in the 80’s. To this day I look around before I open my fridge at night.) I don’t want to have images of women and men faking sexual enjoyment fill my head.

Right now I still think of sex as fun.

And funny. Where is the Metatron when I need him?

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Losing my voices

14 01 2016

051726b3b9c2504494417355e49585450db82-wmSome of my pals tell me they are visual types, focused on how a thing looks to determine how they feel about it, or him or her.

Not me. I’m a voice gal. I used to swoon regularly listening to Long John Baldry’s deep voice, especially his “Oh, Baby!” on “You’ve lost that Loving Feeling”. I croon along with Hugh Laurie in the car, delighting in his deep tones. Matt Andersen gets my money whenever he appears in town. I get phone calls every once and awhile from a fellow I’ve never met, but I’m always delighted to hear from him because he has a glorious “radio” voice. I’ve been known to assault unwary waiters with the suggestion they look for voice work.

Add an accent and I am as liquid as a cat.

So when David Bowie passed away this past week, I was left saddened but not tragically so. His reedy voice never turned me on. Too hip and tight.

But Alan Rickman????? His loss grieves me to the core.

I’ve watched every movie he was in. I swear to the gods I’d listen to him reading a grocery list, my head tilted forward, ears turned greedily toward the sound. I wish I’d had a chance to hear him on stage.

Why is he no longer among us? I feel bereft, so sad, just like when I heard of the loss of Long John Baldry. My favourite voices are slipping away….

Of course everyone knows Rickman as Snape, the evil/good character from Harry Potter, but I love him best for his role in Dogma, as the Metatron, the Voice of God. If my god had a voice, I’d sure as heck want him to sound like Alan Rickman. I’d be ever so much better behaved if only there was an Alan Rickman talking crossly and then gently to me. Heck, a Voice like his could simply say hello and I’d vow to be good forevermore.

Maybe he’ll get a voice over job up THERE? I can only hope.

Until then, I shall simply keep on sinning, with a deep bass background…

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Whisper in my ear…..

Thank you, A.R. You’ve made my life immeasurably richer.

 








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