Thanks to the brilliant TALEA Ensemble, we’ll be bringing HYENA to NYC this August.
Saturday August 5th, 2017. 8:00PM, EDT, at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music.
Tickets are available here.
Read a little about it here.
I realised I’ll be turning 10 this year.
I’ll be sharing a bite of this story once again – after premiering “Hyena” in Vienna and then performing it a second time in Huddersfield England – at home in New York.
After giving up on life and then finding myself energised to reject my imminent death…after being advised it was almost impossible I’d stay sober on my “first try,” after bucking the fuckng odds this long, I take absolutely no day sober for granted.
I usually become a little more ferociously sentimental around my soberversary. As I approach, Ganesha willing, a milestone, I am humbled by this benchmark. I remember all of the people who helped me get treatment, get on my feet, get back to life.
I’ll be grateful should I reach this day. And I am so grateful for all of the 3,643 days I have lived thus far. Grateful to be able to count back to that darkness, and count the days to a lovely moment of wonder.
Wish us luck!
One of the toughest things to do is to have a communication style that works for all humans in a relationship. The best you can hope for, usually, is that all parties involved remain in a compassionate mindset and keep striving to do their best to meet the other as close to the middle as possible. A power-exchange dynamic can torque this flow, sometimes, with the person on the submissive side of the / taking it upon themselves to walk a little further past parity in order to facilitate communication that best suits the dominant person. And, in some cases, this works well, since submissive types can glean a sense of pride from placing this into the modality of a service they are providing.
I’m well-practised on sharing my inner workings fairly quickly and venting when pressure is building up. This is, perforce, a vital weapon in my arsenal against freakouts because if I do NOT vent as close to real-time as possible, I’ll Krakatoa later and the resultant damage is vastly more difficult to maintain…and my recovery time-frame feels glacial. My beloved Spousemeister, while he has worked and continues to work hard at sharing, is recovering from a lifetime of feeling punished for sharing his inner workings, so he’s slower to reveal. And, when he does, his recovery time is quite rapid. My desire to be as perfect a submissive for him as it can be often pushes me to attempt emotional processes and recovery times that work effectively for him, but can drain my reserves and strain my ability to recover.
“Toxic.” Yeah you can talk all you want about how pop music is artless, soulless tripe. I’d have probably sneered sanguinely along with you until late 2007. By then, I was as tired of that fucking song as anyone. I was also newly sober, deeply concerned for my mental health and running away from a job that had kicked my ass…a failure unlike any I’d previously experienced. I was having a solo supper, pondering the wreckage of my life, maybe 9 months of sobriety under my belt and the shadow of the demon that was my alcoholism perpetually snapping at my heels. Then this fucking song comes on. I tune it out but Spears’ autotuned forced breathiness skewered my consciousness.
Baby, can’t you see
A guy like you should wear a warning
I sighed, trying to tune it out but some facet of my consciousless sparked to life.
There’s no escape
I can’t wait
I need a hit
Baby, give me it
I’m loving it
Can’t come down
Losin’ my head
Spinnin’ ’round and ’round
Do you feel me now?
I could only relate on a limited basis to this song about feeling so hooked on someone…perhaps once in my life, OK, maybe…but that shit doesn’t last and wasn’t what drew me in.
My first forays into BDSM were heavily influenced by service, and the concept that doing for others could be eroticised. Much of that was extrapolation from an initial encounter I’d had in the early 90s with a man which lead to my discovering that my feelings of submission in the sexual realm somehow spawned the desire to serve in ways that had nothing to do with sex.
Or so I assumed at the time.
Since my Spousemeister was invited to be on of the masters in residence (heehee) at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, I of course would be accompanying him on a 3-week sojourn in Florida. In Summer. No Bueno. But I realised that one of the other master tracks was for writing and hey…I’m writing a thing…so I asked to join. Then I got slammed with a Bad Case of Impostoritis. So then also asked if I could participate in the presentations that were to be given by all of the participating fellows. Crazy right? Before I got up, I gotta tell ya, my watch pegged my heart rate at something like 164 BPM.
Even in these three days, I’ve felt so humbled and honored to be in the company of composers, visual artists and writers. Even in Florida…littered with Trump signs and gun stores.
I admire your skill and talent as a performer. And I am thrilled to see a Black man ascend to the ranks of megastar in an industry that does everything to deny and homogenize. I do not wish to cast any shadow upon the tremendous nature of your achievements. However. You are making some career choices that are proving difficult for me.
Your decision to play Shere Khan in The Jungle Book means humans all over the world are strangely aroused by a Tiger of Dubious Morals. Would this have been the alpha and omega, I could have accepted this as an (odd, slightly uncomfortable slightly hot) anomaly.
But then you struck again. I wound up watching several movies on a recent flight, and found it difficult to understand why I found Zootopia‘s Chief Bogo vaguely titillating until my research uncovered your particular voice talent as the culprit. But I understand. These are, of course, plum roles and who can blame you?
However the latest situation is troubling. Eroticising a tiger is hardly a stretch. Even the brawny majesty of the water buffalo can easily conjure iconography reminiscent of Greek mythology and the troublesome allure of the bullring. But I am gravely concerned for my sanity and that of the planet when I learned that you are also in Finding Dory. My (initial, fleeting, freakish) hopes that your talent would bring to life some deep sea cephalopod – (after all, we have hundreds of years of history where tentacled creatures are represented within and the focus erotic fantasy!) but my hopes were dashed when I discovered that Fluke is, in fact, a seal.
Pinniped proclivities be damned…this is just way too far into an uncanny valley of WTF bonerism. I fear that, in several days, I’ll discover wide swaths of my subconscious crying havoc and letting slip the dogs of seal schtupping wet dreams. Like, really wet.
But I can handle it. I am, after all, an Executive Pervert.
Just promise – I beg You – if you’re approached to do the next installation of A Bug’s Life or Toy Story…have mercy. I cain’t be lusting after no bugs.
I’m still scarred from a run-in with a cache of Bondage Fairies comics.
Yours, Most Sincerely,
Mrs. Mollena Lee Williams-Haas
One of the most ephemeral emotional states is that of satisfaction. The sensation of pleasure. By its very nature fleeting, satiation – emotional satisfaction – is transitory. Emotions do not last. Persistence of vision, that illusory sensation of individual moments weaving together to form a coherent image – is not dissimilar to emotional memory, which can cling to us as we move in time. Of course there are situations where, due to circumstance or chemistry, our emotional states remain on the extremes of experience or lie dormant and create the sensation of stasis.
For most humans our emotional state, while variable, enables us to experience a wide range of feelings and yet retain perspective that reminds us that the extremes are not permanent and time will move us through them.
One of the main motivations for my alcoholism was a desire to control my emotional states, which frequently floundered beyond my control. If I was a little high on alcohol, my social anxiety became manageable, that worry about my finances gnawed less intensely on my nerves, and life seemed less of a meaningless grind. Of course, there is only so long one can short-circuit the organic response to the vagaries of life and eventually you will find yourself dependant – and possibly even addicted – to an artificial emotional modification that has rather unpleasant side-effects. Including death. SO… you can choose that continued oblivion or you can serenity prayer yourself the fuck out of that death spiral and accept the things you can’t change, have the guts to fuck up the shit you can, and have the goddamn smarts to be able to discern the fucking difference.
No, that’s not the original serenity prayer but fuck it. I gotta be me.
I don’t cower
I don’t kneel
I am never ‘less than’
I don’t beg
I don’t shrink
I am loud and aggressive
I’m not abused
I don’t take shit
I push back when need be
I pull hard when I have to
I fight demons
I feed monsters
I don’t iron
or scrub toilets
I make business deals
I make time
I set boundaries
I move mountains
I comfort and Correct
I set deadlines
I make mistakes
Even more than I talk and
I talk a LOT
I’m loved and
I love hard
I love like
Years back, when social media meant AOL profiles and pages on GeoCities, people relied on nicknames and handles as barriers against being discovered as a secret freak. Google wasn’t a thing, reverse phone-number lookups and ISP tracking were not commonly available with the click of a mouse, and anonymity was easy. Then things began to develop such that the percentage of lives lived online multiplied exponentially and it has become necessary for most folks to have a public online presence. For many folks, this means they are obligated to tuck away or tone down aspects of their lives in order to maintain their careers or family connections. It is an unfortunate truth that there are people in positions of power in our lives who wouldn’t accept us if we were living a lifestyle against which they felt enmity, or about which they were ignorant to the point of fear.
I am fortunate. I don’t have to keep it secret. Even when I worked for Wells Fargo, their liberal, accepting and forward-thinking policies meant my being involved in the BDSM and Leather communities wasn’t an issue. My orientation to their Bay Area team was lead by a self-identified transwoman. One of my co-workers was the Empress of the SF Royal Drag Court. Another had been International Mr. Drummer and was well known as a gay leather pin-up. Hell, they provided the portable ATMs for the Folsom Street Fair! I made sure I always worked for companies and businesses where inclusivity was a feature, not a bug.
And yet, I have felt the momentary sting when I am disowned from public connection by a friend or acquaintance because they do not wish to be associated with a kinky person. Like BDSM is a contagion that will besmirch you. Leathery , kinky cooties, out to make you look…well…perverted!
Let me state that I find it bloody strange that my non-kinky friends and acquaintances never seem to feel that they have to evade me because I am kinky.
I want to give a shout out to all of those folks because you give me life. All of you – parents, spiritual leaders, doctors, lawyers, midwives, teachers, bankers, bakers, artists – all of you who are not ashamed or reluctant to claim me as a friend….you are changing the world, one drop at a time.
I give them dap because they don’t seem to worry about someone saying “Hey how do you know that pervert?”