Thomm Quackenbush, author

" Drawing Blood | 2008 | Use Your Disillusion "

01.25.08 10:36 a.m.

Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.  

-Sigmund Freud

 


The Breaststroke

Melissa brings up a series of almosts from after Kate dumped me, things I very nearly did that would have damaged me, acts I might have gone through with were my soul not so attached to my innards, forcing nausea when I made my weak attempts at assisted self-destruction. There weren't many in that interim, a girl I dated for a few months in high school who wished to let me forget my troubles in her bed, a few female friends who intimated intimacy, an associate too young for me who wanted to leverage her eager lips against my tentative heart, all with whom I became terrified and sick before matters could progress to their satisfaction. The latter young lady, if I recall, came closest because I didn't then have the ethical compunction to tell her not to do things that I very much wanted someone to do.

The problem with having friends who have known you for over a decade is that they recall these infractions, much as you wish you could trick them into selective amnesia. Melissa calls me on this as well, "Oh come on, are you pretending that you don't remember this? Are we playing that game?"

"No, it's just... a while ago. Doesn't count anymore," I respond and fairly believe it. My actions then, desperate and pathetic, are nothing I am repeating now. Writing and age, as well as the luxury of selectivity afforded to me in being a decent prospect to the right woman, have leveled me out. Any vestiges of the adolescent need to feel validation through my groin have long fallen away. I can feel wanted and appreciated through words and gestures that allow me to keep my hands clean, metaphorically and literally.

I know some think I take this sex thing too seriously, especially given that I imagine everything else in life to be a joke. Having had only my three partners, I feel that I have had something quite special, something enviable that would be lost were I to become more ordinary, were I to allow myself to be meat for the vultures and turn predator in turn. At the expense of sounding like warmed over Born-Again propaganda, sex is a gift that I don't want to lose its sacredness by being given away free with purchase of a large soda and popcorn.

I am not rushing, though my body urges hastiness. Having so long been in a relationship, I'd forgotten what it felt like to be uncertain when next I would feel the siren's song of physical affection. My specific amorous interest, my Emilisexuality, falls away and the dripping awareness that other women have warm, vanilla-scented bodies starts to accumulate up to my ankles, then calves. I don't know what should happen to me should it reach my head. Perhaps I'll drown, but maybe I've learned to swim.

Soon in Xenology: Coping. Dates. Ideal Wives. Melanie.

last watched: Juno
reading: Franny and Zooey
listening: A Light of Some Kind

" Drawing Blood | 2008 | Use Your Disillusion "

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.



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Works by Thomm Quackenbush

The Night's Dream Series

We Shadows by Thomm Quackenbush

Danse Macabre by Thomm Quackenbush

Artificial Gods by Thomm Quackenbush