17 July 2008

Beachside Bukowski

A lovely vision of a man told me a few years ago that I should not be afraid of meeting people online.
"You work with energy, you can feel people out. The internet is just energy...you should be able to feel people out online the same way you do in person."

I don't know that this view is entirely true, but so far my instincts have been pretty good. There are people who with a simple "hello" chill me to my very core, and others whose initial awkward attempts at conversation have developed into significant relationships, both romantic and platonic.
I have become less reluctant to meet people online, though I always remember what Jeff Buckley told me when I asked if how he'd met his band.

"...Did you already know them, did the label hire them...did you put an ad out in the paper..?" I'd asked him.
"No, no...never advertise for a lover or a band mate!" he'd said emphatically.

But meeting people through personal ads doesn't have the same sort of stigma it once had. I had wonderful luck on Adult Friend Finder last year--- it's why I canceled my account. What are the odds I'd keep meeting incredible people like the Leo Couple and the Frenchman?
About a month ago, however, I signed up on Lovelab, the Mercury personals. It was part curiosity and part marketing move, as I do make reference to the Misadventures.
I still refuse to pay to use any of these accounts, so I can only reply to emails. However, it doesn't stop me from going window shopping. Who doesn't like to shop?
While perusing, I came across a ruggedly handsome figure, a writer who lives on the Oregon Coast. He made me think of Indiana Jones, the pre- alien/nuclear bomb-fiasco Indy.

As luck would have it, I was contacted by a young man, on myspace, who had seen my personal ad. The handsome writer happened to be among his top friends. What a lovely coincidence.

We began exchanging emails and phone calls, trading stories. I love his stories. He writes about drinking and fucking. I've begun jokingly referring to him as the Beachside Bukowski, or BB.
But he is at his most eloquent when he writes about where he lives. He has made of the Oregon Coast a home, a lover, a place of worship...
I have become enamored of this place I have glimpsed in his writing. I feel I have never really seen it before, though I have been to the Oregon Coast.

It was inevitable that we would meet.

He came into Portland early one Sunday morning a few weeks ago and we met for coffee. We hit it off instantly. So much so, that he has invited me to go and stay with him this weekend. It promises to be part Misadventure, part writer's retreat.
While he has made it no secret that there is an attraction, we have spent as much time talking about the craft of writing as anything else. He's even talked me into reading at an open mic while I'm there.
He has already influenced the way I write and think about writing. I'm even doing research! At his urging, I am going to submit a story to a huge anthology of Oregon writing/writers that's going to be published next year.
He'd asked if I have a good "Sauvie Island fuck story". As a matter of fact, I do. He gave me a brief history of the place, of the events that took place and the laws that were passed so that people could run around naked and fuck on the beach there. Well, when you put it that way... it appealed to my sense of whimsy and got my mind working.
So, between readings and glasses of gin, and whatever trouble we can get into, we'll be working on an outline for my story. Wish me luck kids!

16 July 2008

Woke Up In a Strange Place

Red wall, light-filled room, warm body stirring next to me...
No, not home, and not my typical M.O.
I'm more the hit-and-run type, the "Thanks, now turn the light off on your way out" type.

"Do you want some coffee? Some eggs?" he asked me.

I tackled him and rolled him over, snuggling into his arms, planting little kisses on both his cheeks as I did so. I may have even giggled with girlish glee.

"Yes please!"

The house holds painful memories for SB, but I found it hard to believe a negative thought could exist in that place. I felt completely peaceful and comfortable...and girly! I smiled and I stretched as he started bustling around in the kitchen downstairs.

After such a perfect day at The Mississippi Street Fair, it had seemed a shame to cut the evening short.
After tea, it had seemed a shame to waste such a perfect night.

We ate dinner on the back porch, with no light but that of a few candles and the unusually bright waxing moon. There were more stars than I ever remember having seen from within the city. We talked outside until we could feel a chill creeping into the night. We talked of the changes and transitions he has experienced over the past year.
I tend to encounter (some would say I seek out) men in this particular phase of their lives. The transition phase; existential crises, divorces, break-ups...I'm the perennial rebound girl, and perfectly suited to it. I'm affectionate and free-spirited, the companionship without the emotional demands.
It suits my purposes, too, as a free agent. Perhaps when the weather turns cold and I have the urge to hibernate a bit, I'll feel differently. But it's summer and everyone is jovial and scantily clad and coming back to life.
Why would I sample just one dish when presented with such a feast?
But it's never about the random fuck.
I much prefer "friends with benefits", and things with SB were certainly friendly... and mutually beneficial.

We had our morning coffee and eggs on the back porch, and the day just seemed to unfold perfectly from there. His morning appointment canceled, so he invited me to the planetarium at OMSI.
I must confess, I am a nerd at heart. Science turns me on. We sat in the dark, looking at a fake firmament, listening to Robert Redford talk about colliding heavenly bodies. I found myself breathing just a little faster and wishing we had sat in the back row.
After the planetarium show, we strolled through the dinosaur exhibit, getting more and more frisky all the while, but knowing we would soon have to part ways.

"If you say the word, I'll call and cancel my afternoon appointment" he said with a grin, "but aren't you supposed to hang out with Rob?"
"Yeah, but I know him. I'll get a last minute phone call, and he'll cancel. Make the call." I love playing Devil's advocate.

No sooner had he hung up his phone, than mine rang. Of course , as I'd predicted, my friend couldn't make it, terribly busy, work to do...Of course.

It was the perfect way to wrap up a perfect weekend. We spent the last couple of hours together laying on a blanket in his back yard, eating strawberries with home-made whipped cream and little bites of chocolate. By the time I got home that evening I was blissfully exhausted.

"I'll see you when I see you" he called out as I got out of the car.

Indeed. Perfect.

All Content Copyright Juliana Tobón, 2008. All Rights Reserved.

15 July 2008

Mississippi Street Fair

This is Portland at its very best. Summer in full swing, sun blazing down, Bastille Day, Mississippi Street Fair, beautiful people everywhere...
Even though I'd got home at 9am and only slept a few hours I was ready to head back out and enjoy what the city had to offer. Maybe it's the fact that I grew up in the tropics...though I prefer to be out of the direct sun, I do thrive in temperatures reminiscent of more equatorial climes.
I had made plans to see a friend later in the evening, after my voice lesson. (We'll call him Shark-Bite, because it's silly and fun, and in keeping with the tone of our weekend). My lesson was canceled and his afternoon plans had fallen through as well, so he picked me up early and together we went to the Mississippi Street Fair.

We wandered up and down the street, listened to music, took in the sights, talked. Though we have known each other socially for many years, we had never really had a chance to get to know each other. As we walked, the conversation turned from the general to the more personal. We eased into an affectionate, flirtatious rapport.

Having seen all there was to see on Mississippi, we doubled back toward the Bastille Day celebration that was happening several blocks away. Just as we turned back, who should I see walking toward us, but The Magus (more on him later). I had thought he might be there, but had hoped to avoid any awkwardness. He saw me with my date, nodded his acknowledgment and continued in the direction from which we had just come.
Awkwardness averted... or so I thought.
As we reached the street we had intended to follow to the other event, The Magus brushed up from behind, passed us and turned up that very street.
Had he doubled back and followed us?
It did seem rather suspect, but we brushed it off, giving him a minute or two to reach whatever his destination might be.

Once we arrived at the Bastille Day event, we went straight for the 21+ section where they were serving oysters and champagne.
I love this city.
Eating oysters and drinking champagne, al fresco, on a gorgeous summer day. Watching The Sprockettes, Portland's all-female synchronized mini-bike dance troupe. Where else would one find such an eclectic event?
The only thing that could improve upon our day was chocolate.
Fortunately for us, PIX Patisserie was just yards away. Unfortunately for us, Th Magus was sitting on the sidewalk just outside of the place. I was already feeling a little uncomfortable with his earlier behavior and did not know what I could expect were we to have a more direct encounter. There was no helping it though. We would have to walk past him, or rather behind him, as he sat on the edge of the sidewalk.
We had almost passed him, when he abruptly stood up and bumped into me.
"Oh sorry, I didn't see you there!" He glanced at Shark-Bite, then turned and walked into the crowd.
SB and I exchanged amused glances and shrugged.

PIX was doing brisk business, but we didn't have trouble finding an empty table and satisfying our chocolate cravings.
There was something about the festive atmosphere, the sunshine, the decadent indulgences, my little random encounter with Flirty Boy by the bathrooms (Bastille Day Bisous)...
My entire body was buzzing from all of it.

As SB and I left, we debated on where to go next. We both had invitations to backyard barbeques and shows that night. Flirty Boy had even invited me to go see his band.
The company and conversation were too pleasant and we were both reluctant to part ways just yet. We settled on tea, at his place.

I was instantly charmed by his house. It is so peaceful and airy. The back yard was my absolute favorite part, though. The heady fragrance of honeysuckle permeated the garden, and passion-flowers dotted one part of the fence.
The sun was setting, and everything seemed to glow. We watched the butterflies flitting about the blooming butterfly bushes and fed each other ripe raspberries as we picked them off the plant. I could feel the grass beneath my feet, his hands on my hips, and his lips grazing my neck. It was all too perfect and I felt utterly content.

Copyright Juliana Tobón, 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Bastille Day Bisous

PIX was bustling with revelers from the Bastille Day Celebration. My date was standing in the seemingly endless line, trying to get an order in while I waited at a table. I saw a familiar face a few tables over. Flirty Boy. He smiled when he saw me and ambled over.
He is the friend of a recent acquaintance, The Magus. When we were introduced he had lived up to his reputation as an incorrigible flirt, despite the fact that I was on a date with his friend.
And why should Bastille Day be any different?
I smiled as I greeted him.

"Hi" he smiled back "Where's (The Magus)?"

"I don't know...I'm not here with him." I replied archly.

His manner immediately changed, became more playful.

"Well, are you here with me, then?"

"I could be..." I crooned, unable to resist "but I'm actually here with somebody else. Another time...?"

"Yeah..." he said with a self-satisfied smile. " 'cause you're the most beautiful---"

"Yeah, another time..." I interrupted. My date returned with coffee and dessert in hand and I introduced him to the interloper. Flirty Boy, meet Shark-Bite (more on all of the new players later).

"Nice to see you again." Flirty Boy said as he went to rejoin his friends. I could see that he kept casting the occasional glance in my direction. I excused myself to use the ladies' room, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Flirty Boy watching me.

When I came out of the restroom, he was standing just outside it, in the little hallway.

"Oh, hey..."
Without a word, he moved toward me, hands moving over my arms. I felt the wall behind me, not quite knowing how I ended up pressed against it. He touched his cheek to mine for a moment, then kissed me full on the lips. I kissed him back with equal abandon.
Public, illicit, inappropriate displays with a near-stranger... does it get more fun and exciting? One more second and we'd be locked in a bathroom stall, I just knew it.
I pulled away as I remembered my date, patiently waiting for me.
"We should hang out sometime" I called out as I turned to walk back into the dining room. I couldn't help but grin as I thought about the look of bewilderment I saw on his face just before I turned away.
The only way for him to track me down easily will be to ask The Magus.

I was laughing mischievously by the time I returned to my table, to my date.

Vive la Revolution!

Copyright Juliana Tobón, 2008. All Rights Reserved.

12 July 2008

Morning musings

I rarely get to see the sunrise.
When I do, it's not the kind that marks the start of day, but rather the kind that marks the end of a long, long night.
This particular day... night... moment in time, I found myself at a bus stop in an unfamiliar part of town, squinting against this shining reminder of just how long my night had been.

The last thing I had done before leaving my apartment was to take my sunglasses out of my purse, thinking I'd have no need for them. When did I begin making such rookie mistakes? In my twenties I would never have left the house for the night without sunglasses, toothbrush, condoms and lube.

Cursing my own oversight, I squinted some more and watched people with fresh-scrubbed faces starting their day... morning coffee, pastries, smiles. All I could think about was getting home to bed. Still, I couldn't help but smile a bit.

He smelled of whiskey and cigarettes and conquest.
I'd had my eye on this one for a while.
Full soft lips and a little rough around the edges, a gentleman in hooligan's clothing--- or maybe the other way around.
He told me he'd wanted to grab me by the hair and throw me down on the table the first time he saw me. But there, in the dark, his kisses were sweet and his hands moved lightly, skimming over my skin.
I've never been terribly shy about vocalizing my enjoyment, but I felt suddenly self-conscious. There was a house-full of people trying to sleep just upstairs. He seemed to sense that I was trying to be quiet and redoubled his efforts... deliciously... relentlessly. I heard a soft chuckle in his throat as I finally let out a loud moan.
He may have won our little battle of wills, but guess who got the prize?

But I like to give almost as much as I like to get.

It turns out I need hardly have bothered.

Ah, whiskey-dick. So much promise, so little follow through.

"That felt so good... but I took a Vicodin..." he said sheepishly.
I sighed in defeat, and nestled into the crook of his arm as I stretched out the cramp in my jaw. A couple of hours of sleep would do us both good.
"I'm gonna have to roll over" he mumbled sleepily.
"That's alright. I can't sleep all cuddled up like this anyway" I said as I relinquished his arm.
He rolled onto his side and I placed one hand between his broad shoulders.

"Hey, would you like to have dinner sometime?"
He sounded so earnest, so polite. I giggled at the absurdity of such a question at such a moment.
"That would be lovely" I replied in my most genteel manner.
A few moments passed and I thought he had fallen asleep.
"So why only the one nipple pierced?" he asked abruptly.
" I think people should always have options" I quipped.
" I thought you might say that" he said with a chuckle.

Copyright Juliana Tobón, 2008. All Rights Reserved.