I got the word yesterday that my story “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” is, in fact, going to be published in the upcoming (August release) anthology “Lesbian Lust.” The editor at Cleis Press called it “atmospheric, nice.” Now I don’t know how much I like “nice” to describe my erotica…but then again that’s better than, “sucks!” right? And they are publishing it, so I am (actually) absolutely thrilled. It is a nice little story, to be honest. And when a friend asked me to describe my writing to him yesterday I thought about that description: atmospheric. Yeah, I like that. And I think it fits.
It’s a little bittersweet, for me, getting this piece published. I wrote it when I was in the hot-and-heavy throes of NRE with J, and the story is infused with all those feelings of love and longing and desire. We have since broken up, and though we remain friends, it’s not the same, of course. But now I’ll have that story to look back at, to bring those feelings back vicariously, like experiencing them through someone else: not my own. Safe.
Truthfully, though, by the time it was “officially” over between us I knew that I had chosen poorly by falling in love with her in the first place. Not because she isn’t worth falling in love with or a wonderful person, but because I violated my first rule of poly: no drama. And dear J, as much as I (still) love her, is drama-incarnate. I am sure that is one of the things that people that love her love about loving her–she is a wild ride. But I am done with that phase of my life, and have been for a long time, with wanting the emotional highs and lows that come with drama-in-relationship. Give me a real roller coaster or the intensity of an incredible BDSM ride any day.
(I should also be honest enough here to admit that much of the drama she engendered was my own–all of my insecurity issues came raging to the fore when I was involved with her. Add to that the fact that she was new to poly and has some of the very character traits that can make poly relationships difficult, and you can see why it was destined not to work. I could too–and I deliberately ignored my big head. So, I am complicit in this and accept responsibility.)
As I write this, I also had cause to pause and think about the phrase “chosen poorly by falling in love with her.” A sometime-lover of mine snorted at me (snorting sounds funny over IM) the other day when I used that phrase. “How can you choose who you fall in love with? You either do or you don’t!” And maybe he should know, since he falls in love every other day it seems. (And gets his heart broken on the opposite days.) Personally, I believe falling in love is a choice, and yeah, lots and lots of us choose to fall in love with people we know aren’t right or good for us. Me included. Because sometimes, we don’t care that they aren’t right or good for us. Sometimes we want the drama, or the thrill, or whatever-it-is that we get from loving someone wrong for us.
If you’re poly, though, it can be damn hard on the rest of your SO’s. And that’s why I really really work hard to make good choices, because I love my guys, and I value their peace of mind as much as my own, and I know how crazy I can get in the midst of emotional upheaval. And you know what? They deserve better than that. So…good choices. Smart choices. At least I can try.
And in the meantime, I can hold this bittersweet close to my heart, savoring the memory of the sweet, even as I acknowledge–and accept as a consequence of my own choices–the bitter. And it’s okay.