Ryan St. Germain

Tag Archive: me

Aurora

Aurora came to visit over the long holiday weekend. It’d only been a few weeks before that we’d reconnected in New Orleans and she took the first opportunity that she could to come and see me.

She arrived late on a Thursday night and I took Friday off, making my three-day weekend into four so that we could spend time together. Storms were delaying flights the night she arrived and she landed late in the evening after a long day of travel. She sent me a message from the cab line to tell me that she’d be seeing me soon.

September always brings the notion that summer is over, but standing outside waiting for her cab to arrive, it felt like it hadn’t gone anywhere. Clouds hung low in the night sky, illuminated by the lights of the city and the few minutes that I waited stretched on because of the anticipation. My street was all but empty and I spotted the cab from a few blocks away when it turned the corner and headed slowly towards me. I caught a glimpse of her in the backseat through the front windshield as the car pulled over to the curb and let her out.

I took her bags for her and hugged her tightly before we headed upstairs to my apartment. She told me about her day and I told her about mine. She showered when we were upstairs and climbed into bed with me, falling asleep on my chest even though she was fighting to stay awake just a little bit longer.

Her visit was full of interesting, vibrant moments but there was one in particular that we were both waiting for, both wanted, both needed…

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Life in the Gray

We sat out by the pool as the sun went down, sipping drinks from plastic glasses that were meant to hide the content since we weren’t, strictly speaking, allowed to be drinking on the pool deck. She was wearing my sunglasses and I could tell she’d been out in the sun the last few days by the color on her cheeks and the light streaks in her hair.

We talked about plans for the coming weekend and the pseudo-date I’d gone on the night before with Mia, which hadn’t gone as I’d hoped. This is a strange situation that I’m in now; talking about a date with a woman that I’m currently seeing. Polyamory isn’t a lifestyle that I’ve ever sought out, but it’s been all around me and I’m giving it an honest effort this time around.

When we first discussed the pro’s and cons of seeing each other,  we discussed at length the possible issues that poly could cause, including what might happen if my ex somehow miraculously appeared and we decided that the time we spend together is too good to let any of it slip away over what might or might not happen tomorrow. She said something to me then that stuck with me and here we are now.

“We life in the gray. We never live life in the black or white.”

Shifting State

I’m moving soon, but I’m already gone. I’ve packed up most of the things that are left here and sold off as much of it as I can. I’m making a fresh start in my new place. This one is too wrapped up in the unhappiness and hasn’t ever really felt like my home. Tomorrow someone will come and take away the couch (which I never really cared for) and the living room will be nearly empty, just as the rest of the apartment is.

It’s funny though that in the last few weeks alone here, I’ve finally stretched out into rooms that I never felt comfortable in. My desk is in the room that has the most sun and the kitchen cupboards are arranged the way that I like them. It still isn’t home, but there aren’t lines drawn on the floor about where I can and cannot stand, walk, be, anymore. Don’t get me wrong; I drew some of those lines myself. We all do that in the course of a relationship. I didn’t see them clearly before but as I’ve been scrubbing them off the floor I’ve learned where they all are.

Truth be told, I’ve not had the best of luck living here and it’ll be good to say goodbye to this place because it feels haunted or cursed or just a bit wrong. It burned once a few years ago and I’ve spent my days here feeling like I can still smell the smoke. As far as I can tell, no one that’s lived in this place since has been all that happy and just like me; they’ve all been eager to leave it behind them.

There are some days of being distinctly happy though, that I will do my best to take with me.  I’ll add them in with the memories of times when I was content and remind myself that living here wasn’t always all bad. I plan on leaving my unhappiness behind me when I go and this seems like the place and the time to do so. These are the in between days of living in the past and the future at the same time, where it’s easy to forget to be present and in the moment so I am making the effort to be both.

Standing out on the balcony the other night beneath the stars, I realized that there is an ephemeral quality to everything in my life right now and I want something that I can feel the weight of in the palm of my hand when I hold it. The problem could very well be me though; maybe the reason I’m not able to feel the substance of some things is that I myself am shifting states.

The talk we had was about how even if we don’t know how we fit into each others lives, we want to be sure that we do, somehow, some way. When she wrapped her arms around me and kissed the back of my neck,  I felt solid for an instant and I knew that one way or another, we would.

 

Interlude

S. came over yesterday afternoon for a shoot; we’d been talking about it for some time and I’d missed being behind that camera so I called her earlier in the week and was happy when she said yes.  We agreed to a brief bondage shoot and I was happy to hear that it was something that she enjoys in her personal life and was looking forward to in the shoot.

The conversation as the rope came out lead to a discussion about the type of dominant that she enjoys and the evolution of the dominant that I am.  S. tells me she likes to be able to take what anyone gives her and not be broken. For her, it’s about the strength of her will and I appreciate that about her. She told me that she enjoys being chocked, but only a certain type of man and I appreciated that too. She painted a picture of someone who would hold her after being rough with her.

She asked me what sort of woman I liked to dominate and my answer for as long as I can remember has always been to say that I want a women who wants to be dominated, but doesn’t need to be. One who is strong and is giving her submission as a way of letting go. I’ve realized though that the nurturing dominant in me is growing into a bigger role in that dynamic and when she told me that I was gentle with the rope, she asked me in so many words if I was a ‘daddy dom’ type and for the first time I realized that I can at least relate to that role now, even if I don’t see myself quite that way.

We all grow, we all evolve and sometimes it just takes someone lending a different perspective for us to see it ourselves.

Faster now

I got behind the wheel of her car today, which coincidentally was just like one I used to own. I followed her back from the garage, liking the way that it felt to be on the road and in the driver’s seat after so many months of being just the passenger.

I looked out of the window and watched as she drove the silver BWM back to the friend that she’d borrowed it from, keeping pace with her as she weaved in and out of traffic. The tree’s flying by and the feel of the pull of the car took me back to a road trip I’d taken between Las Vegas and New Orleans a long time ago.

I remember driving through New Mexico and seeing dark clouds in the rear-view mirror. The top was down and the rain was catching up to me. I kept telling myself ‘next exit I’ll stop and put the top up’, but I kept letting them pass even as the first few fat drops of summer rain belted the windshield and splashed my face. I remember feeling alive, really truly alive and more than a bit reckless as the smell of the rain hitting the dust wrapped itself around me. It smelled of something green taking root in an unfriendly place and thriving despite the conditions. It smelled liked perseverance and a bit of tenacity and I liked it. Exit after exit passed me by as I pulled away from the storm that was chasing me.

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The First

I was barely 18 when I lived in Kalamazoo and I’d moved there with no plan and little money. I figured I’d find a job of some sort, but it was a broke town full of college students fighting for the predictable jobs and the part-time gig I had painting and sanding decks wasn’t enough. I had three roommates, all of whom I’d gone to high school with. The only one of us who was steadily employed mopped up come at the adult movie theater across the street from our house.  We were close to being kicked out for being constantly late on the rent and we ate a lot of cheap foods made from recipes we’d all taken from our large families on tight budgets.

One night while I waited for my roommate to finish work I spotted an ad on the dirty cork board nailed to the pink walls near the rack of impossible large dildos.  It said ‘Adult Male Performers Wanted’ and I tore one of the perforated phone numbers from the sheet and stuffed it in my pocket before my roommate could catch me and give me grief about it.

I waited a few days before calling, not certain what the ad meant I’d be doing and I was both a little embarrassed and little turned on about what it could be. Dialing the number from a payphone made my heart thump loudly and when the voice on the other end of the line told me I’d reached a hair salon, I almost hung up, thinking it a mistake.

“I’m calling about the ad for performers?” I managed to say quietly, still unsure I’d dialed correctly.

The woman on the other end of the phone asked how old I was and I added year to my age for no good reason, because you only need to be 18 to strip in certain bars, even if you aren’t old enough to drink in them. She asked me if I was ok dancing for both men and women and I said yes without thinking it through and then wondered later if I really would be.

She invited me to come to her salon the next day, which was outside of the city proper and I hopped in my car not sure what to expect. I used a map and took dirt roads to the address she’d given and when I pulled up in front of the little free-standing building I had second thoughts. I sat in my car listening to the radio before screwing up the courage to head inside.

The woman cutting hair was in her late forties and she told me she’d be right with me. She finished the client whose hair she was cutting and she told me to take a seat in her chair. She cut my hair while we talked, asking me questions about how comfortable I would be dancing in front of different crowds, careful not to put too much emphasis on the fact that I’d be dancing in front of men more often than women. I worried that she’d ask me to pay for the haircut and I wouldn’t have enough money in my pocket to even cover it and eat that day.  Thinking back on it now I realize she knew exactly what she was doing; she had my number in a way that I didn’t see then. She was sizing me up from the moment that she answered the phone.

When I was done she took me out behind the building and had me pose for a few Polaroids against the brick building. She got me to lift my shirt up a little, showing off the trim body I had back then and that was the photo that she put on all the posters. She was subtle about all of it and managed to get exactly what she wanted. I could tell she was proud of herself and I had my own sense of pride about being able to satisfy whatever it was that she was looking for.

I was young but when it came to sex I’d had some experiences ahead of my years and in my head, I was already grown up. I’d lost my virginity to someone 10 years older, had a threesome with a married couple and I knew full and well that I was kinky. I wasn’t afraid of what I might not like; I was afraid of what I might be missing out on and that eagerness was exactly what Sharon was counting on would be lucrative.

Sharon added me to the lineup of the next gig she’d booked and told me that she was going to call me ‘Virgo’ after my star sign: I chimed in that I liked ‘Phantasm’ better because it sounded dark and somehow untouchable to me. I picked out Nine Inch Nails for my first song and when they called ‘Virgo’ to stage, I shot her a look. Her expression told me that she was putting me in my place just a little and I sort of liked it, if I’m being honest. The next time around I was Phantasm though, so I like to think we understood each other alright.

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By the Light

Sometimes people ask me why I kept trying with Emily. Orion said to me not that long ago that I often linger when I should let go; I can’t disagree and it’s hard to explain why. It’s hard to explain why Emily was so important to me, which is maybe in and of itself the reason; because there isn’t any one specific quality that is responsible for my having loved her that I could point a finger at and say ‘That. That is why I stayed’.

I can tell you this though; there is one moment that comes to mind when things are bad. Every time I’m angry or sad, or upset there is a memory that comes to mind and makes me feel like I should keep trying. It’s also the moment that comes to mind when I’ve been happiest with her. Maybe it’ll seem silly to you but this is it:

 She is coming down the escalator the day we finally met in person. I see her nervously clutching the rail as I wait at the bottom and I know it’s her before I see her face. Her eyes meet mine and she smiles and her smile is filled with all the time that’s passed from the moment that we started talking until this one. I meet her at the bottom and we hug and she’s shaking, or maybe that’s me.  We hold each other so tightly and nothing else in the entire world matters.

That moment is about more than just finally meeting, it’s what we overcome to arrive at it. There were so many more obstacle in front of us than there are now and none of it held us back, none of it stopped us, nothing was impossible no matter how improbable ; we found a way to be together. We lived in different countries, had separate lives thousands of miles apart, she was married and we overcame everything that stood between us which is exactly what it felt like when I held her in my arms that day.

Maybe it’s foolish; it certainly feels that way sometimes, but certainly not more than giving up because of a fight over bills or what to have for dinner feels. It isn’t need that kept me with her and It isn’t the easy comfort that keeps people together long after the spark has faded because it’s never really been easy. It’s knowing that we’ve been through worse and we’ve come so far and despite the list of sound reasons we could have given up in the past we didn’t and we found a way to make it work. Maybe we expected it to be easier when we found ourselves living together and in many ways it was, but in many other ways it was just the beginning and all the normal challenges were still ahead of us. You have a high expectation for how easy things will be comparatively when you overcome obstacles and sometimes the expectation doesn’t match the reality.

I know that a disagreement over what to eat or what movie to watch or who’s paying more of the bills are always about more than that. So was that moment though, the one I mention above. It’s that moment that comes to mind when I was happy with her. It’s that moment that comes to mind when I’m sad.

People will tell you that these sorts of memories usually fade or pass. They’ll tell you that you’ll replace them with new ones that you make with someone who is better for you and maybe they are right. I’ve never had a moment and what it stood for make an impression on me as great as that one did though and I’ll admit it’s been hard to put behind me.  I have a feeling that any time I think of her, it’ll be there, somewhere, in my head, in my heart, reminding me of why I stayed so long. It’ll make me wonder if I gave up too soon, it’ll make me wonder if she did.

That’s it. That moment, what it stood for, everything that it took to arrive at it and all the challenges that we overcame to be together; that is what I’m giving up, in giving up on her. That’s the hello that’s kept me going, even after most reasonable people would have told me that I should say goodbye.

That’s all that I have to say about Emily and this is where that story ends.

 

Put Light around her in your hearts.”

-Margaret Atwood

 

Good Girl

I spotted her coming down the escalator as I approached the bottom of it. I recognized her legs, her posture, even the dress she was wearing and I knew it was her before I even saw her face. She looked up at me and smiled, recognizing me too. This was the first time that we met, though we’d spent a few months getting to know each other by way of the internet after crossing paths online thanks to a mutual friend. It seemed a little crazy that she should travel over a thousand miles to visit me but at the same time it made perfect sense. We knew before ever touching that when we did it would be addictive and that meeting was a dangerous idea, but we did it anyway.

She came down the last steps dragging her suitcase behind her and we wrapped our arms around each other. She rested her head on my shoulder and we held each other tight. We’d been waiting for this moment for a few weeks, suffering because of the way time dragged on in the last few days leading up to it. She trembled in my arms or maybe it was me that was shaking. I took her suitcase and as we walked away she clutched my arm so tightly and pulled us close together. I looked at her, taking in every little detail as we exited the airport on the way to my apartment.

Emily is exactly what I’ve always imagined when using the word ‘lithe’. Her delicate collar bones peeked out from under a pale pink shirt and the smooth skin of slender arms led down to hands that felt needed to be held. I’d seen her shapely legs in pictures and I loved them even more seeing them in person. Her eyes swirl with blue and green and grey and even flecks of gold; her lashes are delicate and her eyebrows add a hint of seriousness to an otherwise soft, sweet face. Her hair was swept back out of her face and it fell over one shoulder; it’s a cool brown blond, with hints of honey and sunflower. Her bottom lip is slightly fuller than the top and when she smiles, it kills me.

We dropped her things of at my apartment and while walking through the French Quarter together, she reached out and ran her fingers through leaves that poured through a wrought iron fence . She did it again in the park, touching the flowers and leaves as we passed through Jackson Square. She beamed at the crepe myrtles and marvelled at the way the branches of the old oak trees crookedly plunged and rose, touching one of them as we passed beneath. I can’t see those trees or flowers without thinking of the way she ran her fingers over them.

When we returned to the apartment I followed her throughout the long hallway, watching the way she moves, studying her gait, appreciating everything about her. Light poured in through the courtyard, through the windows and on to the brick and plaster of the old walls. We climbed the stairs to my second floor apartment and as her dress moved, I slide a hand beneath the flowing fabric. She laughed a little in disbelief, but she slowed her pace and met my eyes for an instant in the reflection in the mirror that stood against the wall at the top of the steps. Her hips moved ever so slightly as my hand continued on.

We spent three days together when she visited me the first time and it wasn’t enough.

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Catching up (pt.2)

I thought long and hard about the reasons that Mina and I split up and we talked through a lot of them, but they still lingered. Some of the most serious issues she apologized for before we parted ways in Las Vegas, but that didn’t convince me that they wouldn’t happen all over again. The night she left Las Vegas she said “I screwed up the best thing that ever happened to me”, adding a promise that she was going to figure out how to make it all right. I wasn’t sure if that was even possible, but I didn’t have it in me just then to say otherwise.

I spent my last few days in Las Vegas alone, packing and cleaning up the last bits of our life together while she went on to Texas. I spent a lot of time working with Selena, who seemed certain that Mina and I would figure it all out eventually, but I wasn’t so sure.

I considered the idea of what it meant to be single again, but I didn’t really embrace it. Perhaps I wasn’t ready for it or perhaps my heart was still with Mina, but whatever the reason, I turned down offers to spend time with some people because I didn’t want to give anyone the impression that no longer being in a relationship was the same as being available. It also seemed to me after my breakup with Mina that dating anyone that wasn’t in my industry wouldn’t be a good idea, and work was a better distraction anyhow.

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Catching up (pt.1)

It’s been two months since the last time I posted an entry, and I have some catching up to do here. I’ve spent nights in five different states, putting distance between myself and Las Vegas. I needed time to clear my head after everything that happened during my last few weeks there, so I made my way first to California.

Aaliyah and I have been friends for a long time now and so when the opportunity presented itself to get some work together done and get out of Las Vegas, I took it. I spent almost two weeks with her, filming clips, shooting videos for fans and having a bit of fun. We went to Disneyland (I’d never been), ate a ton of sushi and had what felt like one long, candid discussion about our lives and where they were headed. By the time I left California, I felt like our friendship had really grown.

The next stop on my tour was New Orleans. One of my best friends roommates was hiking the Appalachian trail and his room was available for sublet, so I took it. It was good to be back among some familiar faces, though admittedly I laid a little low. I didn’t want to answer too many questions about what had happened with Mina, because we’d started working on mending things and I didn’t want to speak out of turn. People asked me reasonable questions to which I had no definitive answer and I answered in a vague way that was tinted with optimism.

I had different habits in New Orleans this time around; I wanted to see what it might feel like to start over there again, but it’s far too familiar of a place for me to ever really imagine having a fresh start there. I ate at different restaurants, drank at different bars and enjoyed myself, but I was subletting someone else’s space and that just isn’t the same as having a home. Two weeks were how much time I’d allotted myself there and it came to an end quickly.

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