Even though Gulag represents Soviet concentration camps, I like the word and it popped in my head for a title. I trust when seemingly random words pop in my head when I’m writing, even if it seems to have nothing to do with what’s happening they’re the fumes of a deeper psychic fire, so in this case maybe Gulag means there’s part of me feeling a little boxed in or viciously so but with my temperament that’s a constant tune in the background.
I’ve gotten another performance slot for January at the same place. Now, this time, I’m going to to warm up elsewhere first and roll in with momentum. I’ve spent the last week or so swinging out of those post-partem blues after finishing my novel. Now, thundering ahead.
As some of you know, I dated five Lisas in a row. Actually, it might have been four Lisas, then a break of one person, then the fifth. Still. Lisas are my Hapsburgs. This spanned from the age of 18 to 26, off and on. Lisa I’s reign was longest, Lisa IV the most tumultuous, Lisa II the William Henry Harrison of the troupe (She lasted thirty days), Lisa V my only lesbian conversion. But the one I’ve been dreaming about and have done so consistently over the last few years and a couple of times within the last week is Lisa III; the only natural blonde, I met her in grad school and like most of my life, it was bizarre. Maybe I dream of her because we were together during grad school, a real face to the gravel two years I’d love to forget, incinerate and shoot into space to be reformed as some harmless comet in some other solar system. Those two years split the rivers of what I felt and what I was doing so far I had a nervous breakdown two months later. So I dream of her and last night, others we went to school with. See, I was very sexually inexperienced. Amish were porn stars next to my record. It was bizarre in that over the year we were together, we never had good old regular official sex. I was still a virgin and too inexperienced and completely lacking confidence to even broach the topic, so it was a bunch of oral satisfaction. I thought the topic would come up in the first week but she didn’t bring it up and I sure as hell didn’t want to so week after week went by until you start realizing that if two adult/kids in their early twenties can’t discuss this, there’s more trouble inside this machine than just a low battery.
Eventually she cheated on me; she never told me but I knew; how could I blame her? All my self worth was locked up in anti-matter in some alternate universe and I was skidding into a meltdown of a lifetime. Ah, romance.
I lost my virginity proper with Lisa IV a short time later, though it was through tears and the rugged terrain of a nervous breakdown. An acting teacher once said in class that we attach the emotional experience with the first time we have sex with the act for the rest of our lives. Empirically I have found that to be a bunch, or a hectare if I may, of shit.
I know I’m a late bloomer, as Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski are two of my patron saints in this regard, unchiseled grimy genuises of grout and deep true chasmic living,late game spelunkers, but when I look back I have to say it’s been one bizarre parade of events, mostly unfulfilling as I grow into myself in my early forties, I can feel that deep sense of self worth that removes loneliness. Scrubs it away, at least finishing this book has opened up that painful and joyfully releasing path. And yet I don’t know a damn thing I think I know. Still, to drill further down until I hit a floorboard of a Chinese hut. It gets larger, louder and harder.
Taptaptap your eccentric arcs, see what falls out. A gulag tonight.
I always enjoy your posts 🙂 Not sure if you’d be interested but there’s a guy named Bud Smith who’s putting together an anthology on losing one’s virginity called “Wasn’t That Special” – he’s asking for non-fiction submissions. I know him via Facebook and have read his book of short stories called, “Or Something Like That.” If you’re interested, please contact me by email email@example.com and I’ll send you the info of where to send it. You seem to have the right fit for his book…
Thanks Sheila. Just sent you an email.