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While she was being fucked, Sylvie was thinking about loneliness.  Not in a morbid or dramatic way.  Not in a heavy, sodden, weighty way.  Not in a self-pitying or all-encompassing way.  Not unending, no-way-out loneliness.  Sylvie was thinking of a quiet kind of loneliness.  An adult kind of loneliness.  The type that is both subtle and necessary.  Which can fit neatly inside a person whilst they are being fucked in the garden at a friend's 30th birthday and even as their body melds with another body, quietly reminds one of their isolation.  This thought was so compact and eloquent in its smallness that Sylvie was also processing three other thoughts at the same time.

Thought one:  Of all the many different words for intercourse (ie: sex, making love, fornicating, rooting) tonight we are definitely 'fucking'.

Thought two:  There is something so urgent and animal about fucking with your skirt hiked up and his pants around his ankles.  It is clumsy and ridiculous but at this point we're not after elegant and sensual, are we?  We want to feel illicit: the thrill of possibility that we might get caught.

Thought three:  God, I hope we get caught.  Not to satisfy a kink or fetish (Sylvie does not believe she has any kinks or fetishes) but just so word can spread of my broken 'dry spell' without my having to say a word.

Sylvie's friends were very involved in her lack of sex life.  Everyone had words to say on the subject.  More than words; whole paragraphs.  Novels with graphic illustrations.  Sylvie's friends started sentences with 'what you need' and 'you deserve' with the occasional 'you just don't' thrown in for good measure.  Sylvie was not good at being pitied and even worse at being advised.  She would sit miserably opposite them, mute and staring into her latte as they clasped her hands from across the table.  'You deserve to be loved.  To feel sexy, wanted!  And of course, to be pounded like there's no tomorrow.'  The friend's eyes would mist over and then, since Sylvie's friends were all, without exception, over-sharers, would proceed to describe in graphic detail their own most recent sexual encounter.  What incredible thing he had done or not done, how their expectations had been met or disappointed, the exact magnitude of their orgasm.  "I've become selfish in my old age," declared Annie, in a voice too loud for the crowded café, "if I'm not satisfied I'm like 'that's not good enough!  Get back down there, buddy!'"  The group shrieked with laughter and two young men a table over looked up, shifting uncomfortably.  Annie met their gaze and sipped her piccolo latte, never once breaking eye contact.  

Sylvie sighed.  Sometimes she wondered if she had been born in the wrong era.  An era where women were expected to know exactly what they wanted and vocalise it.  She had had sex exactly three times in the last three years.  The last two men had both whispered enticingly into her ear "tell me what you like?" which had just made her feel self-conscience, hyper-aware of how little she knew of the mechanisms of her own body.  

At least tonight's man had not asked her anything so fraught.  He hadn't asked her anything at all.  His month was next to her ear now and his snuffling, panting breaths and wet lips reminded her of animal rooting about for bugs on the forest floor.  

Sylvie's eyes looked past him and up to the window of the party above.  No one seemed to have noticed her absence.  Silhouetted in the amber kitchen she could see heads bending close, trying valiantly to maintain conversation against a throbbing electro-pop track.  A hand lightly resting on a breastbone or shoulder and then a sudden explosion of head-thrown-back laughter.

Sylvie wondered if the mechanical noises she was making sounded too mechanical.  She tried a variation, a sudden hitched breath, which could be interpreted as either 'oh that's a new spot' or 'careful, that was a bit on the hurty side' but in truth, alcohol had killed all sensation below the waist.  She didn't mind.  The novelty of the situation, the very thought that she was fucking a stranger in a garden was considerably more exciting to her than the actual sex.  She was well aware that she would be more aroused tomorrow in retrospect than she was right now.

Sylvie re-adjusted her position.  There was something digging into the base of her spine.  A scrunched up packet of cigarettes perhaps, now crushed and suffused in their mutual sweat.  Sylvie reached up her hand to find something to hold onto.  Her alcohol-fuddled fingers closed on the edge of a potted plant which she knocked over just as the man on top of her gasped his climax.  Potting mix filling her eyes, ears, mouth and nose, entwining with her curly hair and ensuring that there would be no returning to the party tonight.

The man (Jackson? Jacob? Joel?) rested his weight fully on her, trying to catch his breath, completely unaware of Sylvie's coughing, forcing her to push him up and off so that she could roll to the side and spit clods of dirt onto the garden path.

"Shit!  I'm sorry!  Was that me?"

"No, no, no!  Don't worry.  Just me being my usual un-co self."

"Fuck!  You're a mess!"

With a surprising tenderness and dexterity for a man who had downed two bottles of red since 9pm, Jackson/Jacob/Joel picked potting mix from Sylvie's hair and then sat back on his heels to survey her.  Sylvie tried to focus on his face but couldn't see past the pants still around the ankles and the condom still encasing his softening penis.  'There is no poetry in sex,' she thought without rancour or disappointment.

"I'm sorry, did you...?"

Sylvie shook her head sheepishly, feeling absurdly guilty, as if she hadn't held up her end of the bargain, let the team down.

"Sorry."  She muttered.

"What?  Don't apologise!  I'm sorry!"

"I was close!" she lied, "but the dirt incident sort of killed the moment."

Jackson/Jacob/Joel gave her such a knowing look that she couldn't meet his gaze.  She pulled down her skirt and pressed her knees firmly together.

"You okay?"

"Yes, of course I am!  Why shouldn't I be?"

How was it that he could sit there, so comfortable in his indignity?  So calm, so knowing, so completely unabashed by his limp penis while she, now fully covered up, felt so naked, so ashamed of her stunted sexuality.

Sylvie stood up, brushing the dirt from her dress.  She searched for and found her misplaced handbag and tried to exude an air of 'well that happened!  On with the rest of the night' but still he sat, beatific in his calm indignity.  

"Want to sit and chat?"

"I'm too drunk to talk."

"But not to fuck?"

"Apparently not."

"Okay.  Do you have a pen?"

"What?"

"In your handbag.  Do you have a pen?"

In silence she searched and found.  He took it from her with his right hand and held her arm still with his left, while he wrote something on the underside of her wrist.

"This is my email.  I get the impression that a phone call with you could be a bit quiet but if you want to talk about it, just drop me a line."

'About what?'  Sylvie wanted to say but she couldn't feign indifference.  The loneliness she had experienced, so compact and restrained when she lay on her back, was expanding.  Filling her lungs and throat as the potting mix had threatened to do.  'I liked you better when you were fucking,' she thought as loudly as she could, willing him to hear, to experience a shred of the inadequacy that consumed her on a daily basis.  'Go on,' her mind screamed 'feel self-doubt!  I dare you!  Know you are insufficient.  Struggle for words or just blush! Just fucking blush!'

But he didn't.  

"I'm sorry couldn't get you there tonight," he said without a hint of remorse, as if he had read in her face that the issue was not his but her own.  "You are a very beautiful woman.  You deserve to feel sexy.  Wanted.  Satisfied."

"You sound just like my friends.  'You deserve.'  They are forever telling me what I deserve."

"Good.  If you hear it enough, perhaps you'll believe us."

The loneliness in Sylvie's throat welled up and vocalised itself in a hollow laugh which, even to her own ears, resonated with disbelief.

"Thanks."  She said.

Sylvie left him there, half naked in the mud and potting mix.  She walked inside, up the stairs and into the toilet where she threw up a mixture of spirits, corn chips and earth, then she rinsed her mouth and washed the writing off of her wrist.  She caught a taxi home.  She never learnt his real name.  She never cared.
Okay... so a few things to say about this.

1. Yes, adult themes. Sorry about that but this story wanted to be written and then it wanted to be share.

2. This won't be up for long, as this is one that I am actually hoping to publish so I'll take it down in a few days but I would love to get your responses before I do!

3. It has been a long time, DA and for this I am sorry. A few of the things that have happened in this time include my show latest show having a show in both Melbourne and Adelaide, separating from my boyfriend of two years, moving out of the house that I shared with him and being homeless for two months. Th generosity of my friends during this time has been unbelievable and, while it has been really tough I have come through this feeling even more loved than I did before. I write this from my new room in my new house with my new housemate cooking downstairs.

4. This story is NOT autobiographical. Or, if it is, I like to think we have all experienced a few of these moments. The moments when you think sex is something that is meant to happen only to other people. I am a sex-positive feminist and whole-heartedly believe in and advocate people indulging in responsible, fun sex but sometimes this is easier said then done. I think we have all been Sylvie, sometimes just for a night or sometimes for years on end. If you are experiencing this right now, I really hope that you can take some comfort from this piece and know that you are one of many. I also hope that you find supportive friends to talk to as communication helps so much.

5. Please do not get offended. I have tried to handle this with the sensitivity and love I believe it deserves. I would love to hear from you on how you think it went but please keep comments clean. This isn't an invite for dirty talk and anyone who has been following me for a while knows that I can hold my own against the inappropriate commenters. Happy reading!
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner May 9, 2012
Ha! Thank you! Well I just got my camera back from Sarah who has been babysitting it so my room is already set up but I have a few in mind and I do have totally beautiful light in my room. I've never had a beautiful room before!
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:iconpelicanh:
Pelicanh Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Professional Photographer
Ah yes...been there, done that. Been BOTH characters, in my own way.
Far as critique. I think if they had shared a good laugh when he discovered what a mess she was, would be a good add. I LOVE that he sat and tenderly preened her hair...it's such a primate kind of activity.
I'm a bit sad she washed his name off. Guess I'm a romantic.
What I feel for her is mostly sad. She seems a woman confusing isolation with strength. Maybe it's the choice of the word "lonliness" instead of "alone".
Perhaps if he'd written his email on a tissue (echoing fragility and a temporal nature) and stuffed it in her purse with a little smile?
The last line pushes it a bit, to me. I never believe people who say they don't care. It just makes me wonder what they are masking.
I'm gonna cling to the hope HE cared and will try to find her. :)
I also TOTALLY agree and also advocate people indulging in responsible fun sex. I've always said, "I think we should be able to fuck our friends!"
Wonderful story and a nice thought provoking read. You are certainly a talented writer!
:hug:
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Thank you Mr H! I hoped you would find this one before I took it down.

It took me a while to decide how to end it. I thought about giving it a bit more positive end but I just don't think that drunk party sex with a stranger would be the way out for someone as stuck in her head as this character. As you say, sex with friends might help but not that nights episode. I don't think she could ever have laughed about it and I just couldn't bring myself to make this man the saviour. If he had been seeking out eye contact or checking in with her throughout, perhaps but he didn't realise where she was at until the end. I think I'm just too much of a feminist to let such a character be the hero and too much a writer addicted to gloom to end on a positive note. ;) That said, I agree on the last line. The whole piece is proof that she actually cares a lot so I might go back and look at that. Thanks!

I was also really interested that you focused in on the use of the word 'loneliness' because that word was actually the starting point for me. It actually came from a conversation with a couple of friends who, in the wake of my breakup with my partner of two years, have been starting sentences with 'what you need' and 'you deserve'. To try to explain to them why running after sex is not my first priority I said that I felt that I was feeling that a little loneliness was necessary for me right now. Loneliness like it is described in the first paragraph - petite and simple - to create enough space in my head and heart to move forward. I'm pretty sure that I actually said at one point 'loneliness, not just being alone'. I don't think it is a case of confusing isolation with strength but just creating some breathing space.

But anyway, thank you once again for your response! Hope life is treating you well. x
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:iconpelicanh:
Pelicanh Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2012  Professional Photographer
AH...much clearer to me now where you were going. You are right..I hadn't taken in the drunk factor! :)
I used to be bad at being a savior type - seemingly always looking for "wounded birds". I'm glad to say it took me only a little while to mature beyond that stupidity and arrogance. I have always been attracted to strong, confident, and accomplished women. I enjoy the company of partners, not dependents. Conversely, I don't want to BE dependent/or codependent. I SOOOO understand the "breathing room" comment and wholly support that decision. Also, I have issue with people who start sentences with "what you need" or "you deserve..." or "what you should do is...". Although it may be good intentioned, it strikes me as more of a confession. Sort of saying what THEY wish THEY had or, worse yet, what they think YOU should be in terms of the ideal person THEY think you should be.
ALl of this sort of strikes at the heart of something that, in relationships, is important to me. I firmly believe people generally love their partners in ways that make THEM feel good rather than in ways that make those partners feel good.
A few months before my ex and I broke up she had cooked a nice meal. We sat down to eat and I told her how much I appreciated it and that I knew she had put a lot of work into preparing it. She said,"Thank you, I take good care of you don't I?"
I was surprised that my FIRST response (although I didn't voice it) was "NO!"
What I didn't know at the time was that she had a new boyfriend so our sex life was practically nonexistent. Sex is an important issue for me and food is NOT all that important to me.
I thought about it for a while and went back to her. I asked,"Are there ways that I love you that don't mean much to you? I truly want to love you in ways that make YOU feel good."
It of course, opened up a long conversation that, in the end didn't go well, but it DID air some stuff out.
Basically, I'd have been happy with McDonald's cheeseburger as long as I got laid!
I knew it was over when I said to her,"Melinda, it's Friday night. You're not doing anything, I'm not doing anything. Pick your favorite restaurant, I'll buy, then let's come home. I'll run a tub and put up some candles. Let's get in and just talk. I miss you. I just want my girlfriend back"
Her response was,"Well.... I really need to clean out the fridge"
LOL
I knew it was over.
Sorry to ramble. Sure hope to meet you some day. Plus, I'm sure you and Kaz (current gf, soon to be wife) would really hit it off.
If you come to the states ever, we'll put you up and feed yer face!
XO
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:iconsilentlydamned:
SilentlyDamned Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I wanted to say that this comment triggers a lot of thoughts for me. I know it was not written specifically for public consumption, and I realize you're fairly active in this community but I haven't really crossed your path in any way that was significant to me before reading this. It comes across as something akin to the 'wisdom of age' concept.

The line " I firmly believe people generally love their partners in ways that make THEM feel good rather than in ways that make those partners feel good. " really sums it up for me. It seems so obvious, but I guess the outside perspective helps highlight it. Thanks for sharing.
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:iconpelicanh:
Pelicanh Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012  Professional Photographer
thank you for the wonderful comment. I guess after 62 years, I've learned a little...or at least what works and feels healthy for me.
Much appreciated. Good luck with you and yours!
Reply
:iconsweet-aphrodisia:
Sweet-Aphrodisia Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
Exquisite as always. Just the right amount of grit to be dirty, while whispering the promise of poetry. You have an amazing way of turning a simple moment into a vivid story.
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Thank you! Your words are so very much appreciated.
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:iconsilenceunbroken:
silenceunbroken Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
this is fantastic. well done.
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconevidentlychickentown:
EvidentlyChickentown Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
very well written
concise and expressive
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Thank you!
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:iconevidentlychickentown:
EvidentlyChickentown Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
welcome!
Reply
:icontiercel-24:
Tiercel-24 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
Powerfully candid and beautifully written. Someone whom I love very deeply feels like she is sexually broken and always alone. I feel like one of her friends who is always trying to convince her to see her beauty from my perspective but knowing that telling her those things can't change how she views herself. I think many of us have a little Sylvie inside at least to some degree. This friend of mine has been the strongest advocate for my inner Sylvie. She sees my vulnerabilities and has a very real and deep understanding of loneliness.

I feel like writings like this are important to all of us whether we feel like we are Sylvie, the nameless fucker, or her friends. They bridge the gaps among our unique experiences of life and help us see that each of us is a person who feels inadequacy, needs connection, and desires to be understood and respected for who we are.

Thank you for sharing this.
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Thank you for your lovely comment. I'll PM you.
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:iconstaceystone610:
staceystone610 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
it's perfect. congrats.
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
:blush: Thanks!
Reply
:icontonepainter:
tonepainter Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is great. The detail of the potting mix spilling all over her is exactly right for what's going on. Sylvie is a character you could really run with, too, if you so choose. Would love to continue following her and see where she goes from here.

Please don't apologize for the adult themes... it's not like you handled them in any kind of prurient way. You can't write truthfully about people (except children) without writing about sex. Also, people looking to get their rocks off on dA have lots of other places to go more germane to their inentions...

Lastly, please let us know once this gets published!
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Thank you so much! I nearly made an even more humiliating choice but decided that the potting mix did the job without being as gross and my other potential disaster. ;) I also totally agree with you about sex being in writing as another part of life. I'm reading a truly amazing novel at the moment called 'Freedom' and the author of that handles sex so well. It is always about the characters and their personalities and choices which brought them to that point, never just sex for the sake of it or sex free of emotional depth. I think reading that was what made me think I could write a story completely centred around a sex act and make it about the inner world of the character. Thank you so much. x
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:iconmeghan-solo:
meghan-solo Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
this is amazing.
your writing is so lovely, it seems sophisticated in some way, i don't know.

One spelling error I noticed 'shock' instead of 'shook' in this bit Sylvie shock her head sheepishly, feeling absurdly guilty, as if she hadn't held up her end of the bargain, let the team down.

you have captured the feelings perfectly, emotional ones and physical ones.

i love it.

:heart faved
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
Thank you! Being dyslexic means that I can't really proof-read as my brain just switches things around and corrects them automatically. Sarah also send me an email with about ten corrections which I have just made.

Glad you enjoyed it!
x
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:iconmeghan-solo:
meghan-solo Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
my pleasure :)
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:iconkwikdraw:
kwikdraw Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012  Student Writer
Beautifully written, though I'm sure few want to admit it. :love:
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Thank you! The first person I read it to sat there with his hands over his face the entire time. At the end he said 'oh god that was painful and hilarious and far too familiar!'
Reply
:iconkwikdraw:
kwikdraw Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Student Writer
And then he came in the bathroom, locked the door, and stayed there for a good fifteen minutes! :rofl:
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Ha! I think we had a cup of tea actually but very similar. If you like tea a lot. Which we do.
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:iconkwikdraw:
kwikdraw Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Student Writer
I do drink tea sometimes, yeah. :D
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:icondarth-marlan:
Darth-Marlan Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012  Professional Photographer
Nice to see you back and good luck with it too :aww:
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:iconhalohid:
Halohid Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Thank you! I have a photography project in the works, sort of based on this story so hopefully I'l be around a bit more now. :)
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:icondarth-marlan:
Darth-Marlan Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Professional Photographer
Sounds cool :) and yeah has been a little quiet around here :aww:
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