It happened in an instant.
I was teaching my first class of the Grue, a presentation centered on cigar play from the bottom’s perspective. Gray consented to helping me, taking on the role of my demo top. We had already demonstrated a few fun aspects of play (smoke kiss, smoke rise, and eating ash) when Gray noted he had more ash to give.
Since I’d already eaten ash out of another’s hand, Gray asked if anyone else was interested in tasting the treat. My students didn’t seem eager.
And then I volunteered my chest. Inretrepida piped right up.
However there were two problems. One, we were outside. I couldn’t just take off my shirt for fear of snoopy neighbors. Two, the shirt I wore had a button up collar but did not completely open down the front.
Fixing the conundrum took a group effort. Gray held open the collar of my shirt. Rough held my necklace out of the way. Gray then spread the ash across my exposed chest and Inretrepida licked up the flecks.
This was, once again, one of my Minnesota moments where I felt spoiled. In that moment, my life absolutely did not suck.
But just as quickly it all tumbled away.
When the group stepped back, happy and gleeful from the experience, I sat up straight. Inretrepida had ash on her lips, so I took her head in my hands and licked it off.
And then I could feel it as it happened, yet I had no control to stop it. My necklace slipped from my neck onto the patio floor. Thankfully the chain mail caught on my Zim jacket, which I had been sitting on during my class. But my pendant and ring, which normally hung from the necklace, slipped through the wooden slats and landed under the patio.
“Oh no!” I cried. Tears welled in my eyes as I scurried off the patio and under the deck.
I saw the pendant through the slats when it first fell. With the assistance of one of my students, I was able to easily retrieve it. But then I realized the ring was missing too. Thankfully he saw it as well and pointed it out as I crawled over prickly wood to grab it.
Back on the patio, I remade my necklace. Chain mail again around my neck, my relative’s ring and my Love pendant again kissing my skin, I felt right with the world again.
Sometimes I forget how attached I am to my necklace. It is a symbol of me, kink me, all of me. People have recognized me just from the metal around my neck.
On occasion that reality feels cumbersome, like a weight bringing me down. But in those moments, I reassure myself that my necklace is a symbol of my choosing. I can always take it off and set it to the side, a symbol of me I can pick up and put down at any time.
But when it fell, when it was almost gone, the realization that so much of me is associated with those pieces of metal came crashing into me.
I own me. That necklace is a subtle way of me projecting my own personal power over my life. And that symbol was almost taken away.
For a moment, I felt lost. For a moment, I was so near to crying an ocean of tears. For a moment, I felt like a part of me was almost gone.
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