Archive | Essays

Cities of Lost Children

I’ve been thinking a lot about Nathan, my father’s father. I often do when pretty weather makes me regret my solitude.

Nathan was a survivor and he never let you forget it. He also didn’t like to think of himself that way.

He was born in Poland to a determined woman with a schnorrer of a husband. That Yiddish word isn’t in the kind of rotation that other ones are–schmuck, for one. But it should be because schnorrers are everywhere. They’re hustlers who aren’t very good at hustling, people (men mostly) who drain your resources without profiting from them. They’re what my grandmother Basha, my grandfather’s wife, called losahs without their mezuzahs.

She was a pissah, that one. Mean and judgmental and super clever.

Anyway when my grandfather was alive we didn’t exactly get on because he was funny about women, especially big blondes. When his mother arrived in America with him and his little sister, his father already had found himself a better-off wife and here was my great-grandmother not speaking English and not having anywhere to live or money in her pocket. But with two small children in tow she wasn’t about to fall on her face, not while she was still young and had some spring in her step. So she started going by Mary Banks and turning tricks and well–

My grandfather didn’t really understand shall-we-say normal sexual boundaries.

Any sexual boundaries. Continue Reading →

Teach Me Tonight (NSFW, O My)

I’ve been trying to figure out who to sleep with next–really, who to be attracted to. As if any of us have control in that department.

I always tell my Ruby Intuition clients that the best you can hope for is a version 2.0 of what’s erotically imprinted on you. Because I’ve seen those relationships borne out of someone stubbornly trying Not to Date Mom or Dad and, boy o boy, the no-sex vibe is stronger than Prince’s pheromones are even now.

Which is to say: strong.

As usual, my shrink has useful advice in this department. She says, “The minute you get that Child feeling, get out.” What she means is that when I start to get that desperate, pay-attention-to-me! feeling around a paramour, I should cut it off because once again I have fallen for a charismatic narcissist who would rather drown me in their black hole than make our dynamics about anything other than their ego.

Readers of this blog have slogged through that black hole along with me. I can’t do that again to any of us.

But the problem is that I am human and also a witch and thus my unconscious is in charge when it comes to selecting my lovers.

For a woman who never got married and is rounding the corner to 50, I haven’t had that many. Maybe 35 or so. If you got married at 24, that may sound like a lot, but really, it amounts to roughly one lover for every year I’ve been sexually active. Nothing untoward–and so what if it were?

Long before I started trusting my intuitive abilities, I already trusted my dreams to tell me who to shtup. They’ve always led me down wonderful paths, if also occasionally treacherous, like an enchanted forest in the fairy tales that informed our erotic imaginations before we could learn to just say no.

So last night I had this very voluptuous, very purple dream about a man I’d already decided in waking life was too self-involved to continue chatting up. It was the first intimate dream I’ve had about anyone since the Legend and as I’m sitting here trying to climb back into 1988 for my book I’m still feeling this new person’s lips and fingers everywhere on me, forceful and gentle both. Also the cool soft sheets upon which he threw me, because when you are 48 home décor is always a crucial element of any sexual fantasy worth its salt.

I haven’t had sex with a cis-male in nearly six years but the person in this dream had a cock that surprised me–satisfying—and a wide mouth and childlike eyes and was younger and more delicate than I’m used to but still in possession of that wolfish–yes, wolfish–hunger that pushed me back against those pretty sheets. I’ll never not be attracted to wolves, they’re the only ones who can stop my nervous prattle, and sure enough this man was as selfish as he was sweet, like the most charming wolves I’ve known. I knew it was a bad idea even as I inhaled his scents of sandalwood and dark roses and his grandmother’s ragu and–

Jesus. It’s a good thing he lives far away.

And now that I’ve put this to paper maybe I’ve moved the story somewhere else. For sure writing about the Legend is how I permanently severed our bond. But sharing this sexy story could just as easily cement this new person and I to each other, and if that’s the case, it’s really the dream to blame–a postcard from the collective unconscious that cradles us all in one big starry crib.

The future is never in stone because there’s no overestimating the power of human free will, but when it comes to our desire the best we can do is tweak it. Goddess knows we can’t change our cravings altogether.

Skinny and Number-Sixed: 2019 Orthorexia

Recently I was in a room of women who did not eat carbohydrates.

I am exaggerating, of course. I am sure they occasionally ate things like sprouted quinoa in bowls filled with other expensive elements meant to extend their lives by weeks or even months.

That is, if they didn’t choke on their own bile first.

Because these women were unhappy. They were rich women and they were white women and they were women my age. I kept having to remind myself they were my age, because they looked both older and younger than me. Their skin radiated a glow that mine only achieves about an hour after I work out–but really it was a sort of florescent, dangerous glow that spoke of misplaced determination. Their hair also spoke of that determination. It was very actively Not Grey, but not with the generic beige which less clever or moneyed women slap on grey hair. No, their hair was like a trip to the Grand Canyon or South Dakota’s Badlands–compelling flowing layers ranging from gold to burnt sienna–waves of sediment, not sea. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy