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 Post subject: How did you get there the first time?
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:40 pm 
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Posts: 15
I'm an epidemiologist, and ever since I woke up to find my mark spread out across my thigh, I've been collecting data and looking for answers. It's so hard, though, when everyone is in too much of a rush to talk and share their tales. And experiments are harder to run than you might think.

I'd appreciate any help you could give me. It'll help you, too, if I can gather enough data and explain what's going on for all of us to better understand.

Let's start at the beginning, as the King said in Wonderland. How did you get there the first time? Who infected you, and where did you find them? Please forgive my crudity, but it's the only to find the answers I need - what did you do? Who fucked who in which hole, if you even fucked at all? Did you come? Did they? What was it like? Where did it take you?

Don't be shy. I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours.

I was first infected during a night out at a bdsm club in New York. I was there alone, just chatting with some friendly acquaintances and watching some of the play going on around me, when I noticed this stranger. I was drawn to her because of the map I thought she had tattooed onto the back of her neck. I was fascinated by the way the dark roads meandered up into her hair, as if lost in the forest of her buzz cut. I had no idea what it meant.

All I knew is that I wanted to run my fingers over those lines, feel the smoothness of her skin and the coarseness of her hair connected by the seeming ink. I'm not exactly subtle, so I went up to her and told her just that. "Lady, you are gorgeous, and if you'll let me, I'd like to beat you until you scream before I fuck you."

I thought she let me get away with such a sleazy line because these things always seem more tolerable from another woman, with none of the sexist bullshit that gets in the way with men. I thought she let me grab the back of her neck and squeeze hold of the muscles there to pull her face towards mine because she liked the lines of my jaw or the curves of my breasts. I didn't know, then, that all she wanted to do was travel, and that all she saw in me was a metrocard with a whip and a strap-on cock.

I did deliver exactly what I'd promised, at least. I bound her wrists up over her head to a suspension point on the ceiling, and spread her legs with her ankles pulled wide with rope tied off to metal rings attached to the floor. The club was well designed for our needs. I had my singletail with me, and it cut through the air and her skin as she gasped and moaned and trembled with each slash of it against her back. I wasn't paying any attention to the people milling around us at that point, except to be sure that they were far enough away that I wouldn't hit them accidentally. I was focused entirely on her.

Her back was a mess of bloody lines by the time I was through, and she had screamed for me, just as I wanted. We were both moaning, then, as if we'd already been fucking for hours. It's much the same thing. Some people can come from the pain itself, or close enough, but I never did have the chance to ask her if she did. She shuddered beautifully enough, but I wasn't sure.

I hadn't come yet, anyways, and I usually want to fuck after a scene like that. So I took my cock out of my bag and strapped it on with my leather harness before untying her and lowering her to the floor. Gorgeous woman, I didn't even have to tell her to steady herself with her hands on my hips and take my cock into her mouth. She did it without needing to be asked, and her fingers on my clit as she rocked that cock into me as she sucked it were enough to send me over the edge. After I came in her mouth, I shoved her down with my hand on her throat and fucked her there on the floor in the middle of the club, not caring who saw us or heard the cries I ripped from her with my cock as easily as I had with my whip.

She disappeared afterwards as I was rinsing my cock and packing it away with the rest of my toys for the night. I'd hoped she would stay, curl up with me a bit, perhaps. Stop by the diner for midnight waffles and stay over for a homemade batch in the morning. But she was gone, and I was sleepy enough that I was glad my apartment was just a few blocks away.

I stumbled home alone, and I think you know how the rest of this story goes. I had strange dreams that night, red cord tying us together like a group bondage scene I usually wouldn't want to bottom for, and when I woke up I found that for once I was the one who bore the scars after a night at the club. As soon as I saw the map on my thigh, I knew it had to be some sort of STD I'd never heard of, no matter my care in not touching her bloody back with ungloved hands, no matter the condoms I'd slipped over both ends of the double dildo I'd used to fuck her.

I thought I'd go into the office and do some research and find out what it was, and why I hadn't heard of it, and if there was a cure. I thought I'd stop by Planned Parenthood and maybe pick up a brochure that could explain what was going on. I didn't have a fucking clue what I had gotten myself into. And I'm still trying to figure it all out.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you get there the first time?
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:49 am
Posts: 4
I keep seeing this post, and I keep not answering it. I can't.
I think collecting data is a good idea, but she asked me never to tell anyone what we'd done. I'm sorry.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you get there the first time?
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:14 pm
Posts: 9
I wasn't made to promise anything, but I've done the same thing -- the reading, the not answering. I... don't do this sort of thing. I've read this post over and over and it's like something in a novel, the kind I read when I was thirteen and hid under my bed because I didn't know that Romeo could be anything but Shakespeare, but by then I was hooked, and... It was kind of like that, to be honest, kind of like pulling a book off a shelf for its spine, its cover, the blurb on the back, and finding -- no, not even disappointment, but the completely unexpected, the unlooked for.

She had a book, you see. It was the most beautiful book -- nothing about its cover, but books have auras like people do, you know? Not that I can see auras. I mean -- god, this is just so hard.

I mean that she was carrying this book in a shoulder bag, and it didn't quite fit, it was peeking out, and I wonder now if it was an advertisement. It was called The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her own Making, and it seemed so familiar, like something I should have read as a child, like something I maybe did but had forgotten, but that one ought never, never to forget. And the book... I wanted to touch it. It made me want to touch her. She was beautiful too. I was sitting by myself, drinking hot chocolate, and I wanted her to come over, I wanted to talk to her about this book, but...

Crap, my laptop's almost dead. She came over, and she smiled and joked that I didn't look underage, why was I drinking hot chocolate in a bar? And I couldn't think of anything to say, because her eyes were so green and dark, like moss in the rain.

I've got to go. But I'm here, too, and that book ... I wish I could make all the world read it and still keep it as a secret for myself.

Kind of like the mark, I guess.


Last edited by December on Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How did you get there the first time?
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:39 am
Posts: 5
My finger keeps hovering over the post button, too. Mine wasn't anything so dramatic as that first post! It wasn't a secret, either, or a magical book. Mine seems so mundane. A night dancing with my best friend. Ex-boyfriend, friend with benefits, but my best friend more than anything else. He'd shoved his sleeves up, and in the flash of a strobe I saw the ink on the inside of his forearm, right below the elbow.

I teased him about it, about going out and getting some cheap flash tattoo. He insisted that that wasn't what had happened, but he wouldn't tell me what had. There was something about the way he kept retreating from the question that made me keep pushing. Because if it wasn't something important, he would've just told me.

And he looked a little scared. And I wanted to know, and to help.

So we went outside for a cigarette and talked for a while, and he spun this story that I would've thought was fabulous bullshit if I didn't know him as well as I know myself. I could tell that he believed in this thing.

We both got more than a little tipsy after that. So I don't know whose idea it was - but we fell into bed together, just like always. I've been with a few people before and after we dated, but no one was ever quite like him... I think no one ever knew me as well. So I make it a point to revisit that whenever I can, you know?

He was really quiet the next morning. He hadn't really realized that that would bring me there. Or the alcohol kept him from thinking it through.

I haven't gotten to see him alone since then. Just in groups of friends. And he seems nervous and leaves early. I ought to write to him, or call him. I don't know what to say.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you get there the first time?
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:54 pm
Posts: 7
Rose—Offer to have the conversation in the dream, if you can't have it here. MIght work. (It might, of course, disastrously not-work.)

Dvash—The leading lady in The Lady's Not for Burning gave me my map. It was intermission. She took my hand, took off my headset, and took me away from my post and back behind the flats. No words exchanged. No protection, either. I remember feeling stupid about that last bit, but I did nothing to stop her when she leaned up against a prop table, reached behind her and pulled me in. She didn't seem to have any trouble finishing the show. I missed two of my set-change cues. My favorite line from that show is "I loved her once. Earlier today."


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 Post subject: Re: How did you get there the first time?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:08 pm
Posts: 6
Strange how just the sense of community makes it easier to talk. Knowing that others have experienced...at least a little of what I have. Four weeks ago, I never would have thought I would be explaining the intimate details of my life. But four weekks ago, I never would have dreamed I'd be living with a spiderweb gateway on my body.

It's the most often told story in the world, I think. I met him in a bar. "Mister, I met a man once", as Rick said in Casablanca. What made me talk the way I did? What made him look at me the way he did? He saw the tattoos that covered my body, impossible to hide in a cut-off tee. "What are those for?" he asked, voice slightly slurred, and now, in hindsight, I can recognize as a little bitter.

"They're my stories." I answered. "Like little memories, stories inside my head. To get out on the outside what's on the inside, you know?" And he laughed, laughed so long that he was suddenly a scary drunk, a man who could cut you as soon as look at you. I was frozen, but at the same time, I could smell the scent of him across the slim gap between our bodies. I wanted to tangle fingers in his hair and pull him to me, and I almost didn't hear him ask, "Like places? Places that never leave?"

And I said yes, God help me, I said yes. I said yes, and as he started to laugh again I leaned in to kiss him, hard and long, biting the bottom of his lip and then pulling away. I looked at the blue eyes only long enough to make sure it was what he wanted before grabbing his shirt, one arm, and dragging him out the door. We weren't even able to make it out of the smoke and haze and dim lights before he had his hand under my shirt, squeezing my nipple between his fingers and then rolling it as he walked, twisting if I moved too fast. I didn't even know his name. I still don't know his name.

But I know that he has thick, rough hands, because as we maneuvered out and around the first corner I could feel the rasp of them on my skin as one worked its way downwards and the other swiftly tore my shirt over my head. I was bare, utterly bare, and my multicoloured skin reflected the streetlights like the Aurora Borealis. i could feel the granite blocks against my back as he pushed me to the wall and thrust up into me, one finger, then two, then three, twirling them around and around, his knobby knuckles bumping against just the right spots on the way out. I cannot remember the noise I made, but I know that it made him shudder and start clawing at the buckle at his waist, hand-worked leather. And then he was springing free, the incredible softness of his cock rubbing against my stomach and then teasing the sides of my clit, and I pulled his own shirt off so I could have more skin to talk, to touch, to bury myself in.

I will never forget that my first sight of the map, centered around his navel so that some of the streets ran into the folds, was as he pulled his fingers away and drove himself inside me, holding me against the wall with one wet, glistening hand. And I thought, what a beautiful tattoo, what beautiful ink. I thought of the ink as I clenched myself around him, pure black like you couldn't get easily in shops. Should I be ashamed that it was the map that I stared at and not his face as I came, or accept it as a sign, a portent. He was just the gateway. We stumbled the extra three blocks home, but it was entirely out of exhaustion, and on my part, gratitude for the best fuck I'd had in months.

That night I dreamed. I write down most of my dreams, so I'll dig it up and post it for you. It might be helpful, to learn where and how the garden of stone that lies in him lies, and where it leads.

But for now, I'll only close my story by saying he was gone in the morning..but my new story, the story of a city, that wasn't.

Who knows what it all means?


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 Post subject: Re: How did you get there the first time?
 Post Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:26 am
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I used to spend a lot of time in a chat room for motorcyclists. I actually am not interested in motorcycles, but I briefly dated a man who was, and he brought me to the chat room. I liked it so much I stayed there after he and I parted ways.

This actually is sort of like what happened with the dream-city.

In this motorcycling chat room, I met a man who lived in Louisiana. He spoke Créole, and we enjoyed making bilingual puns, though it was sometimes a bit of work to translate the Créole back into French and then figure out the joke in English! We began to chat privately, and we traded pictures, and... you know how these things happen. He invited me to visit him in America, and then he came to visit me in Paris, and it all worked so perfectly. He was so sure of himself, a tremendous flirt. I loved it. I have always been shy with men and he knew how to make me laugh and get me talking. He especially enjoyed making me believe things that were not true--in a funny way, or so it seemed at the time. I would fall for it, and then he would reveal he had been making it up, and we would laugh. We laughed a lot together.

I was desperate to leave Paris, a cold grey city where I have never truly felt at home. I liked what I saw of Baton Rouge, so I packed up my flat and moved there to live with him. We got married right away so I could get my visa. I got a job as a French teacher in a small elementary school, which was more fun than I expected. My husband and I were silly and sweet and happy.

Some months after we got married, I began to dream of a strange city. (I had no idea it was related to sex, so I'm afraid I cannot help with your studies in that direction, Dvash; I could not possibly remember what we did that night.) I have always had recurring dreams, so I thought nothing of it, though it seemed very vivid and not like anything I had dreamed of before. Sometimes I was walking along a dusty street, with sandstone buildings leaning over me as though they wished to gossip to each other about each passer-by. There was a church there, or a building that was like a church, and in the lower part of the church was a fountain and a statue of a woman holding a flute. If I went upstairs I could hear singing but I never saw the choir or understood the words. I would sit by the fountain for hours, not thinking or speaking, just sitting. At other times, I was in a sort of sports stadium, where strange games were played. I did not like the games--too often one of the players would be injured, and the crowd would roar like hungry lions at the sight of blood--but I could not leave the stadium; there was a strange wall of grey fog around it. Eventually I found a back staircase that led to the offices, and I befriended the bookkeeper, a short round woman whose hair was a coil of tentacles. I often had to duck as one whipped by me to retrieve a ledger or a dropped pen.

I often saw my husband in these dreams, but he would always hide his face from me and vanish into the crowd. One day, awake, I teased him about being so mean to me in my dreams. He laughed and said, why do you think you dream of me being mean? He made it sound as though I was being subconsciously unkind to him. I had no idea that he knew the dreams were real, the city was real.

The map is on the back of my thigh, so I never noticed it. My husband must have seen it, but he said nothing, of course. I would not have known at all except that I picked up a very different sort of infection from him. While I was at my doctor's office, she saw the map. Gently, she told me that my husband had given me chlamydia, and then she rolled up her sleeve and showed me the map on her arm, and told me about that too as I wept and cursed. (She said she got it from examining a patient! I suppose any sort of penetration is enough, or perhaps the patient felt it was sexual... does anyone know how it works, really?)

I confronted my husband, and he tried to lie but soon admitted multiple affairs, before and after we married. He parted his dark hair to show me where the map was tattooed on his scalp; no wonder I had never seen it. Had it not been for the disease, I would never have known. He was always such a good liar, and I was always so gullible.

I could not bear to stay married to him long enough to get American citizenship, so I went back to my parents in Paris. Eventually I made my way to Nice, where I met my wonderful Marc. Before we married, I told him about the map, what it meant, what it would do to him. I am so lucky that he accepted me, even marked this way. On our wedding night, after we made love for the first time, I waited outside Orlande's shop for him, and then I showed him the fountain in the church. (I am forever grateful that the horrible stadium is on my ex-husband's map and not mine, though I do miss chatting with the bookkeeper. I hope she understands why I no longer come to visit.) The next night, he took me to an enormous playground where adults play on the slides and swings as gleefully as the children. Sometimes we wonder what other parts of the city are like, but these are enough for us. We have each other; we are content.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you get there the first time?
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 4:40 pm 
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Marginalian: It's taken me a week to even begin to figure out what I want to say; I understand your difficulty finding the right words. (Me, I'm still working on "I'm not crazy? I'm not crazy, right? Maybe everyone else is crazy too.") It just feels so unbelievable.

For the last couple of years, my boyfriend has been moonlighting at one of the local nightclubs here in Vancouver. He ends up with the occasional batch of free tickets to some pretty unusual shows, and sometimes he'll invite me along. A few weeks back, I was having an epically rotten day at work, and decided to take him up on one of those shows, maybe dance with a pretty young thing or two, blow off some steam. (He and I have -- had? -- an open relationship. We live together, he's my primary partner and I'm his, but as long as we observe safer sex and tell each other what's going on, we can have other lovers if we like.) I wasn't out looking for that... normally I have to know someone for a while before I'm interested in them sexually. Nevertheless, she found me.

I don't even remember who the band was -- they were well outside of my usual industrial genre. But I remember the girl. Five foot six or so, she was just a few inches shorter than me. Short dark hair, big green eyes, boyish figure, and a challenging twist to her lips. She saw me and struck out across the dance floor, headed straight for me like a knife. I found it hard to resist the challenge. She started out sultry and ended up fierce, and by the time she pulled me off the dance floor I wasn't sure if she was trying to take me home, to steal my wallet, or both. (My boyfriend later told me that he'd enjoyed our show from backstage more than the band.) I didn't notice her mark at the time, arching around the curve of her hip and onto her lower back. I didn't even register mine in a timely fashion the next morning, when I woke up and found her gone. It looked like just another stamp, just another memento of a night spent out too late at the club. My skin likes ink, so I wasn't too surprised when I couldn't scrub it off the next morning -- just more runnels and grids that once had meaning. It took a few days for me to realize that it was stuck there, rooted on the back of my left hand, the river just touching the base of my finger. By then, I had begun to remember the dreams.

My boyfriend came home late, as he usually does after shows. Not knowing that I was infected (we had practiced safer sex, for whatever it got us), how was I to spare him? I didn't know. And he's gotten increasingly irritable and tired, blaming bad dreams. I woke up this morning and he was gone, and he hasn't come back yet. I'm still waiting. I hope he's not upset -- he said he was fine, but he's been out of sorts over these dreams for weeks, and surely he must realize that I love him so much more than a girl who meant very little. I didn't know what she would do to us.

Anyway. That was probably much more than you wanted to know... but I feel slightly less crazy.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you get there the first time?
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:14 pm 
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Raven: About your boyfriend - is he always going to the same place there (maybe wherever is on your skin, if you and he are having sex beforehand)? As some of the people here have mentioned, it seems like there are some less savory places to be over there. I've definitely gotten the evil eye from some of the chimera folk there, though I don't quite understand why. If the place he goes to has lots of them (or something else that's unpleasant), he might be testy afterwards, maybe? Perhaps you could ask him when you next see him. (And I'm sorry to hear he's been gone lately - if he doesn't know what's going on, like the rest of us before discovering this forum, it could be quite daunting.)


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 Post subject: Re: How did you get there the first time?
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:44 pm 
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Posts: 4
It was in a movie theater in winter under the eyes of plastic owls.



I remember they glowed orange-red. They looked like Christmas candle bulbs and the light flickered on the black wall as the film unspooled and I knelt down in the dark, his hand on my hair. It was a snow emergency, coming down heavy. We didn't care.



It was a movie, but he smelled so good. Apparently, so did I. It was warm and dark and the snow came down outside. If cars were screeching and squeaking in the square, losing traction on the snow, I didn't hear.

I didn't lose my grip on him. He was grabbing my hair, I was clutching his hips, one winter coat over me, the coarse wool brushing the back of my neck as he finished, I moaned.

On the screen, men rode in a little cart under the streets of Rome. He put his arm around me for the liturgical fashion show scene. I nodded off and nothing felt as soft as that scratchy wool.



When my eyes opened, I crested on waves of tweed and worsted. I felt myself rise, Venus of the coat closet, wondered if I would drip loose threads, patches. I thought how all that would feel on my bare skin, the tiny scratches. I took the boatman's outstretched hand and my eyes opened again and the credits were rolling and it was time to go, the owls watching from light fixtures, corners, fundraising brochures for the theater. Outside it was so quiet it was like being underwater, snow falling like feathers from the sky.



I daydreamed of my cheek on a billow of down waves, sliding into waters of sleeves and sleep.



We met every week after that and I was in the theater for 8 ½, Three Coins In The Fountain, La Dolce Vita,.We were in the back row, no one ever cared. We groped and drowsed and I saw minarets and domes and trains and glittering cockroaches. I know part of the way. There are streets across my belly and I will never wear a two-piece again, not that I did. This way it's better.



He left after La Dolce Vita—he showed me the map on his neck, when I caught a glimpse as we put on gloves, scarves, hats. So I wait in the theater. I have seen Bergman and Polanski and the Found Footage Festival now and I wait and when the right people come, I do too.



I rise from rivers of coats,floods of fabric.



Tomorrow's movie night. I already have my ticket.


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