Everything stems from this: vengeance is to revenge as lust is to love. This is her story of lust, but is my story of vengeance. Spoken together they are a twisted tale of punishment, pain, and retribution. You see, love and revenge live among people, but lust and vengeance are relegated to archetypes; one-dimensional shadows.  In the land of archetypes nobody is truly seen and barbarity rules. Where there is no face, there are no stakes. Where vengeance meets lust is a godless land, and that where our paths collided. 

I’m all too familiar with my archetype. I’m flattened into it time and time again. The tiny tattooed femme, which to the masculine reads as, “she must be a fucking freak in bed.” Maybe I am, but it’ll cost you. 

I knew of her before I ever knew her. I knew her friends called her Daddy and that she was rarely ever single. She moved from one gorgeous femme to the next like frogger. She always came out on the other side unscathed, and I imagined all the wreckage left behind her. I hated it. 

I had been in rooms when she walked in, and I saw the heads turn. Everyone noticed her.  Ignorance would say it is her hair that pulls them in like puppets on strings, but I am wise. Her hair has nothing to do with it. She commands attention. She drips of masculinity. She is the pinnacle of big dyke energy and everyone wants a taste.  Her masculinity at one time would have been my object of my affection, but now it was the mark of my vengeance. Trauma new and old alike had taught me something sinister about masculinity; it exists in a state of perpetual taking; taking spaces, taking bodies, taking time, and taking me. And I wanted to take it, and I didn’t want just a piece. I wanted the whole damn pie.  So you see, the butches wanted to be her, the femmes wanted to fuck her, and I wanted something different altogether. I wanted to emasculate her. 

I blew off our first date. I told her I slept through my alarm after brunching too hard with my friends. The truth is I never set one to begin with. I had no desire to get to know her in the daylight. She wasn’t a person to me, she was just mark; the masculine takedown.

When I finally met up with her hours late I gave her my big puppy dog eyes and whispered, “I’m sorry,” in her ear as I pressed my body into hers. I know how to play my part. She ate it up. And promptly demanded a lap dance to make up for my bad behavior. She leaned right into her part too. 

She took me home that night. She stripped me slowly as she told me how disappointed she was. Soon my flesh was on display.  She twisted my thong around my frail wrists, cuffing me. I braced myself. I knew what was coming. For weeks we had taunted in text. She was going to beat me. And she was convinced she was going to break me. Every girl had caved under her hand. I wouldn’t give her the pleasure.

As her hand cracked into my porcelain skin over and over again I focused on the noise.  Have you ever heard cells shattering? It is louder than you think. I visualized the sound waves erupting from the cracks in my skin as little screams. Their cries bounced over her stark white walls begging for escape. Alone they were a small sound, but synchronized they were a deafening army. I was dripping. I could have drowned them all into silence. 

With one hand pressed against my neck she shoved her other down my throat.  I choked but I never let my eyes break from hers. When she eased up on windpipe I filled my lungs with air like a newborn.  As I swallowed the universe between our faces she pried my mouth open and twisted her head slowly about like trained snake. She was inspecting me.  All at once I was thrown into reverse back to a childhood memory of Little Shop of Horrors. I was her patient and she was the sadistic dentist. I couldn’t see her then, I just saw him. I was only called back to reality when I heard an unusual sound I couldn’t place. My conscious rose and my eyes opened to see her head tilted back above me.  Suddenly her body was moving towards me like a like an asteroid on a path of destruction.  She spit down my open throat and our matter collided. Her world and mine crashed together and life began.

She disgusted me. She excited me. She wanted to ruin me and I wanted to ruin her too. We were lawless; straddled between the gate of heaven and hell. We could have tipped either way, so I turned around. I didn’t want to see her. I’ve always maintained that doggy is my favorite position, it isn’t. It is just the easiest way to have sex without intimacy. And intimacy is saved for few. She wasn’t one of them.

While still on all fours, I turned my head to look back at her. She was sprawled across the bed with beads of sweat rolling down her flesh. I could feel her heavy breathing through the palms of my hands still pressed into the mattress. She looked helpless, wrecked, and beaten. I had exhausted her without single mark on her body. I was the one left standing. My eyes slowly scanned her, up and down. I wanted to remember every second of this next moment.

I looked her straight in the eyes and said, “Is that all you’ve got?”

I saw her face change and I could feel every ounce of that big dyke energy draining from her body, as if I had just gutted her. I loved every second of it. Tell me, who is the sadist now? Her or me? Did I enjoy the way she beat me, spit on me, and degraded me, or was it all just an elaborate performance so I could flip the script? I’ll never tell. And it’s not important.  All you need to know is this: I have more big dyke energy in a single stiletto than she has in her entire body. 


This is story of a stranger that became a lover, then a stranger again. And song that once was ours and now I carry as mine.  And it feels appropriate that the song is called bloom because some beautiful things are just a season.

Shall I write it in a letter?
Shall I try to get it down?
Oh, you fill my head with pieces
Of a song I can’t get out

I found Charlotte amid a bubble bath after heartbreak, a glass of wine, a brash download of every dating app in existence, and a simple stroke of my finger. I certainly wasn’t looking for anything real, and lord knows I wasn’t ready.

A match quickly turned into a series of witty sports puns that rolled off me with ease, and I don’t know fucking thing about sports. I should of known then that I was going to move into unprecedented spaces with her.

She arrived to our first date unfashionably late in a full face of make-up and heels, which to this day She’ll argue aren’t heels at all.

“They’re boots!” She’d exclaim!

She is almost indescribable. She walks a tightrope between disheveled and flawless. Toes the line between masculine and feminine.  She is uncategorizable, and I had absolutely no idea what to do with her. You see I have always dated stone cold butches or jesbians, that’s Justin Bieber looking lesbians. She was neither of these.

As I stood up to greet her I flashed through what I like to call the four stages of swiping grief

  1. Shock: “have I been catfished?”
  2. Denial: “You are not the butch I ordered!”
  3. Annoyance:  “Damn you really need to update your profile.”
  4. Acceptance: “Fuck it I’m already here.”

“Lets get a drink,” I say.

That was the first night in a series of many that began with whiskey and ended with me in awe of her in the morning light. At first I wanted to blame the liqour because I’m not the sort of girl that goes home with a stranger from a dating app, and she wasn’t even my type. I wanted to believe that I lost my senses to a pool of warm cinnamon tinged liquid. That Rittenhouse Rye was to blame for those uninhibited kisses. In truth though, I lost my reason in her most mundane manifestations and in a sea synchronicities that couldn’t explain but felt to my core. That iteration of reality is endearing at best, and quite clinical at worst. And while I’ll freely shed most everything about myself, I’m quite certain my pride is bound to my bones.  And what prideful woman admits she lost herself in details so categorically simple.

I fixated on how she scrolled through her phone with her middle finger as if its absolutely natural. When she smiled the corners of her eyelids would sink slightly and softly while one side of her crimson laced lip would rise. It was as if they were nervous lovers leaning into each other briefly just recoil back. I got addicted to the way her would eyes change when something I spoke resonated. They would widen into a big black mysterious pools and I knew I had her even when she didn’t say a word. I fell for the way her small frame fell into chairs with no apologies for the consumption of space that is not proper for female bodies like ours. She did it anyways. My senses sank into her simplicities as easily as my body fell into her bed.

When I woke in the morning as the sun was spilled in through her skylight I expected to I’d be riddled with guilt and anxiety, but instead I felt totally still.

In the morning when I wake
And the sun is coming through,
Oh, you fill my lungs with sweetness,
And you fill my head with you

As she rose to make me coffee, bare, I think every ounce of air left my lungs and in that instant I knew I wanted to be one of her habitual peculiarities too.

But play it cool girl, she is just a stranger I told myself. And its true she was a stranger, but I wanted to know everything. Why did she have so many things hanging on her walls and how many years did it take curate? What are all these books? Has she read any of them? What are her favorites? Why does she have so many protein bars? Does she ever cook? What is up with that?

Under different twilights we met with whiskey, wine, and my relentless curiosity. I couldn’t have her as a mere stranger, I wouldn’t. I wanted to know her. Nestled in her arms I asked brashly, “what are all these random things on your walls?” Where she toed lines, I bulldozed through them.

“They aren’t random! They all have meaning,” she pushes back.

Bullshit. There is no way every single object has meaning. I quiz her. “Okay, what is the story of the wooden fish hanging from rafter?”

She tells me the story of her childhood home and a toy fishing pole. And I can almost picture it. I see her young, wild, curious, standing on the edge of lake wondering why she can’t catch a fish, blissfully unaware that pole is just a toy. I point to more objects and with each story my guarded heart softens. I imagine that it’ll take me years to learn the meaning of every object, and pray to a god I don’t fully believe in that I get the time.

The books, she read them. She loves poetry and French literature, mostly about love. And it is quite curious because I can feel that she is just as terrified of love as I am. Where I chose avoidance, she drowns herself among it like a parched man in an ocean of undrinkable water.

One night she hands me one of her favorite poems and watches me as I read it. I’m silent afterwards. She asks me what I think, and I say it is painfully sad. She grabs the book out of my hand and lays kisses over me, and suddenly I’m overboard lapping up undrinkable water that only leaves me needing and wanting more. I’m drowning, and like fool enjoying it too.

Can I take it to a morning
Where the fields are painted gold
And the trees are filled with memories
Of the feelings never told?

The night before I was set to leave town for two months to city where she knew I had another lover, that I secretly kept to temper my feelings, we spent the whole night making love. When the day broke we stayed in bed laughing, talking, and loving until it was dark out again.  I as rose to throw my life into suitcases I felt the weight of time and miles bear down on me. I had spent my two years in Nashville always trying to leave. I couldn’t peel my eyes off her. Her makeup was gone and the curls that usually hung in her face were pinned back. I could really see her, and it was first moment I wanted to stay. As I drove off into the twilight the song bloom came on and it brought my heart to its knees.

When the evening pulls the sun down,
And the day is almost through,
Oh, the whole world it is sleeping,
But my world is you