more thoughts from a childhood home

I am still in Pennsylvania with my mother, and will be for another day or so. My visit has lasted longer than anyone intended due to a slight complication she experienced from her medications, which has now been corrected. She is doing well.

She’ll recover from this well enough to continue to live independently, although this health event has raised the specter of her care long-term. She has a church community that can (and did) attend to her in an emergency, but there are some things that only daughters can oversee, decide, and provide. Much to think about…


I’ve been immersed in vanilla life now for more than a week, and am going a little crazy from it. This is not due to being with Mom, but due to being around people in her world and being thrust into the responsibilities of making decisions with and for her.

If anyone ever needed proof of my innate submissiveness, this is probably it: I cannot bear to live vanilla for any length of time.

I perform those functions just fine, but it is a performance, something I play as an actor. I often write about the D/s life not being an act but being real and what I truly am. This week that script has flipped, and I find myself playing the role of a vanilla person in a vanilla world doing vanilla things. It’s hard to maintain this, and I long to be in my slavery once again where I can be the submissive I was always created to be.

I realize now this is what I experienced growing up — living in family and church as a girl who could not be what she really was.

I know this is somewhat the story of all kids growing up — the constraints of normalcy repressing the individual uniquenesses that need to break free. Home and family are the guide wires that eventually need to be released to allow the balloon of life to soar. For many kids, what they climb to is respectable and sometimes impressive.

My life of submissive service is not generally perceived so well.

The saving grace with mother is that she now knows what I am and accepts me in it. I wouldn’t say she finds my life of sexual submission to be “respectable and impressive,” but she at least respects my pursuit of what I need to be. I think she wishes she herself had pursued some things more aggressively earlier in her life.


Still, this visit is an event that portends a life someday in which I may need to care for her full time. I would, of course, and I’d manage to act the vanilla role for the rest of her life.

But it would be different and difficult, and the thought of it is sobering.


I will probably fly back to Amanda on Saturday.

thoughts from a childhood home

I am still here with Mom, who is doing well. And once again, I am living in my childhood home. Among memories.


The house is still filled with pictures and memorabilia of my father, who died way too young, back when I was just two years out of college. He was a big hulk of a man, conservative and often bull-headed, but with softer moments. He loved my mom. And he loved me, although he didn’t really know me.

When someone says “we weren’t really close,” it suggests distance and separation and even conflict, and that wasn’t the case with my father and me. But I was, I might say, of a music he didn’t understand. I think it’s sometimes true that a father sees his daughter as a curiosity, a cute object in childhood who somehow becomes strangely grown-up and sexually developed, and the transformation is sort of confusing to the man.

He was by any measure today homophobic, born of his own conservative bent and also the religious culture he conducted around us, Mom and me. This was not any outward judgment of my sexuality, for back then I didn’t yet know what I was. Then again, I’m sure I didn’t know what I was in part because my father was what he was. As I’ve written before, I was not so much “girl interrupted,” but “girl delayed.”

When I was in high school, my father developed arthritis and had a hip replacement. In recovery, he used a carved wooden stick as a cane, saying it was a shepherd’s staff with which he herded all his little lambs. I was no longer little, nor young as a lamb, and I was the only one in his flock, but it symbolized how he thought of me. In a time when I was trying to be independent, I resisted a bit and shook my head at him when he talked this way, but I also understood it to be his way of tenderness peeking out of his gruff exterior.


In my counseling with Jillian, my father’s influence on me has been terrain thoroughly covered.

We are always to some degree products of our clan and culture, and I am as well. But it seems my bisexuality is not directly influenced by my father, although, again, likely delayed by him in my self-acceptance. As to my submissive nature, the evidence is not so clear. My father was an authoritarian figure, for sure, strict in certain ways, and so you might draw some reasonable connections.

But I continue to believe that my sexual orientation encompasses both my bisexuality and my submissiveness, and that both are in-born. I was created this way. Yet perhaps the shape of my submissiveness, how I am submissive, is influenced by clan and culture, my father specifically, and has rendered my submissive needs to be a certain way.


His sudden death was, of course, an upside-down for Mom, and a sadness for me, though my grief would leak out over time, not immediately right then. Still, I remember, after the funeral, taking his old carved cane in my hands and tracing the ridges with my fingers, the dimensions of a man I never knew.

BBQ party

A dozen people came to the party Saturday night with all of the neighbors (numbering eight) showing up, which pleased Amanda to no end. Additionally Amanda’s lifestyle friend Dayna was there, whom I’ve mentioned in blog posts.

The surprise for me was that Amanda had invited Blake, our twenties-something handyman, the one who retro-fitted the entryway wall and the wet bar for my bondage display. Those experiences of my standing in place for him while he measured my position forged an unlikely intimacy that now surfaced as a kind of friendly connection. His black hair is a bit shaggier now, but he still has that “oh, shucks”-country-boy vibe. He’s still delicious. I sensed he felt a little out of place, so I introduced him to one of the neighbors whom I knew has a carpentry hobby.

I won’t list all of the neighbors by name, but they included our dear friends John and Patricia Miller, of course, and two other couples, along with two single men, one of whom was Mr. Hawkins, the ad exec and erstwhile extreme bicyclist, whom we now see often on our walks.

Amanda had the event catered with a BBQ specialist who went by the nickname “Sweets” and a woman named Maria who prepped side dishes in the kitchen and served from behind the food table.

So there was a crowd, and Amanda had the audience she so delights in.


It being BBQ, people came casual in jeans and tees. Amanda had me a little up-dressy in one of my print midi skirts of summery palm-tree greens and sky-blues, along with a white crop-top. It surprised me she didn’t make more more exposed than that — I expected a shorter skirt and a sheerer top — but she really wanted the evening to be invitingly normal and comfortable to the guests. Besides, that would come later.

She did, of course, have me in a slave collar, one of my heavy metal ones at that, so there was no question about my place and purpose and status.

I served drinks to everyone, taking orders as guests arrived, then refreshing glasses through the evening. Amanda had decided during the day to save the waist tray till later. She also had the sensibility to put me in wedge sandals rather than high heels — as being barmaid required me constantly to walk on patio slate, bare hardwood, and carpet. It may have been a nod to my general klutziness, but I was grateful.

Serving drinks gave me opportunity to talk with everyone, albeit in brief fits and starts. We have had tea times with everyone previously, so in each case there was something known to ask about and talk about.

I was asked several times when there would be a “demonstration,” so apparently Amanda had prepped them about this when she invited them. I simply said, “I don’t know. As you know, I’m not in charge around here,” which elicited chuckles and laughs.


“Sweets” became frustrated that the massive grill he’d brought in was not working right, and he apologized to Amanda for a bit of delay. She didn’t mind, especially as the neighbors seemed to be having a good time talking with each other. Some hadn’t met before.

I won’t belabor the obvious — we had food, which was yummy. In time, the caterers packed their stuff away and left.

One of the neighbors has a birthday Monday, which Amanda had picked up on and planned for. She brought out a cake with candles, and everyone sang happy birthday.

As this was going on, Amanda had me go to my bedroom and change clothes — a skater skirt in wine red and a sleeveless white button-down top.


I have forgotten to mention that Amanda had invited Master McKenna to the party. He politely declined, mentioning a prior engagement. But something Amanda said makes me think the two of them came to a mutual agreement that his presence at the party would be confusing for the guests in their understanding of my D/s slavery.

First things first, I suppose.


Amanda called everyone onto the patio, and I refreshed drinks one more time. With everyone settled, Amanda began to speak.

I wish I had a transcript of what Amanda said. Perhaps I can ask her this week if she can help reconstruct it for me. It was a clear statement of what D/s is and isn’t, and the kind of dominant-slave relationship she and I have. It was “this is who we are” and “this is the life we choose to have” and “we want to be good neighbors” and yet “we want to live our lifestyle openly.” It was awe-inspiring. To me at least.

She said something about “demonstrating some things this evening to give you all an idea.”

Then she ordered me to take off my top.

I obeyed, unbuttoning my white sleeveless blouse, pulling it off, and exposing to all my bare breasts. No one said anything that I recall. Maybe some murmurs, but this was not a catcall crowd.

It is an odd thing to be made topless in front of such a crowd, but Amanda had a way of making it seem natural — “Shae is obedient to me,” she said, “even when doing something like this is embarrassing to her. But she has gorgeous breasts. I like to see them, and I like to show them to others.” So of course, her implication was, this was quite appropriate. She spoke of my exposure as being part of my slavery, and how she wished to share this with the neighborhood, while at the same time not meaning to offend anyone.

I had known for some time this would happen this night, my being made topless in front of everyone, so I had been mentally prepared for it, sort of. It still was what it was, my slave status on display and my breasts unveiled for a crowd of neighbor friends-in-the-making. But for me, the feeling was not a humiliation of shame, as Amanda had put this in the context of our nearly noble relationship. I was proud of what I was.

But while Amanda had created the context for my exposure as being about my obedience, separating it from any sexual act, yet I was still standing there bare-breasted before them. I could imagine the neighbors intellectually accepting Amanda’s words and respecting this simply as part of our lifestyle but still visually looking at me through sexual lenses. I felt both.


This was the point when she fitted me with the slave tray.

Actually, I found her use of this odd because the slave tray has not been part of our life together. But in retrospect I think Amanda was looking for another way to “demonstrate” me without making the evening more explicit. She had decided earlier not to use me on the wet bar or entryway wall — she couldn’t know how neighbors would react to that. For now, the slave tray was another thing to help show me off.

The tray has a belt that tightens around my back and two chains on the front corners of the tray that attach to the O-ring of my collar. I had practiced with the tray the day before, and had found that if my collar was tight around my neck, my head movements would twist the tray. With a looser collar, the tray was more stable.

So Amanda had fitted me with the tray, then shackled my wrists behind my back. She told everyone that we would have “another thing in a while,” but meanwhile I would take drink orders and serve them using the tray. “Both Shae and I are happy to answer your questions,” she said.

Someone called out (I think it was Mr. Hawkins), “Can we touch?” and people laughed.

Amanda said yes.


Because I was now hands-less, Dayna took over serving as bartender, but since she doesn’t know much about making drinks, I had to talk her through it. It took longer, but it seems people didn’t mind watching me walk back and forth balancing cocktail glasses on my tray and trying to keep my breasts from jostling too much. There were a few minor sloshes, but I did OK.

People asked me questions, but mostly about how Amanda and I got together. Some asked about why I do this life of submission, which is a complicated answer that I had to strip down to simply saying it was the way “I have been made,” and that I think of it as “part of my sexual orientation.”

Mr. Hawkins got in his fondling, along with a few others. They were gentlemen about it — if copping feels can possibly be gentlemanly. I’ll just say that experience is very submissive-feeling. There were also comments about my breasts, but generally this crowd was still rather polite, treating me with a kind of curious awe.

Perhaps that’s why I handled it all pretty well. I was blushingly embarrassed, yes, but I also felt esteemed in a certain way. I was living an extreme life that others could not imagine, and in an odd way they respected me for it.


One thing I watched among the neighbors was how the couples, particularly the women, responded to me.

Of course, Patricia and John know me now very well, in every state of being, and they are accepting of how the other enjoys me. There were two other couples, one older and married, the other couple younger, unmarried but living together. The wife of the older couple seemed to engage with everything, and me, rather well. The younger woman seemed a bit more aloof.

Amanda and I have talked about this — not wanting me to be perceived as a threat to existing relationships.


Presently, Amanda announced that everyone would have the chance to “take me on a walk.”

She removed my waist tray, then leashed me, and assembled folks at the edge of the patio, handing my leash to each person, one by one. They each took me out to the back of our yard where it meets with the path up to the ridge. Then back.

They talked with me along the way. More questions about our lifestyle, and how I am “like this.” I didn’t mind.

In a way this was a trivial little activity, and it made me feel a little like the pony in the riding school being walked around by the students.

But in retrospect, I thought it was brilliant of Amanda to do this. In this way, she normalized me with them, making them more used to the idea of me being walked on a leash topless, and maybe planting in them a wish they could be the ones doing it.


For me, the party wasn’t “over-the-top,” and my exposure wasn’t overwhelming. I felt it — blushing embarrassment — but the vibe of the group was one of curiosity and interest rather than judgment. I’m not sure that means in the future they all will approve of me — judgment may still set in — but for this one evening at least, I was accepted with curious interest.

I think Amanda felt the evening was a success, but she had to process a while first. As we fell on the couch after everyone left, she wondered about so-and-so and worried that she’d not said something she wanted to cover.

But the party accomplished her goal of letting the neighborhood know that we may be “weird” but we’re harmless, that we have a lifestyle that’s healthy and loving, and that I may be topless but that doesn’t make me a sex kitten.

As for me, the bar was lower — I was pleased I didn’t trip and spill any drinks.

I will still feel self-conscious when being walked topless by Amanda around the neighborhood. And now people may feel more inclined to come out and greet us along our way, making me feel even more exposed.

So it doesn’t change a whole lot. But maybe now no one will call the cops.

party planning

I had written this yesterday morning and had thought I’d posted it, but apparently not. I send it now anyway, even though the BBQ party already took place last night. I’ll write up a report on the party evening later today…


Today is our neighborhood BBQ party, long awaited not only because it was rescheduled from August, but because this is the fruition of almost two years of a dream Amanda has had.

That dream started with finding this house in this area of the foothills, selected in part because of the types of people living here, people who might hopefully be open-minded about our lifestyle. That dream was interrupted by COVID, limiting Amanda’s contact with people for most of a year. She persevered, and gradually made connections, developed the relationships, and wooed the neighborhood one by one into our world. This evening is the first time the neighbors will be together with Amanda and me, our D/s life on display. This is her dream.

Amanda has decided to have me fully dressed at the beginning and, of course, collared. She wants neighbors to feel comfortable as they walk in, and not awkward about my state of presentation.

She intends later in the evening to have a kind of “demonstration” of me — to call the neighbors around in a circle on the patio, to share more about our daily D/s life, and to answer questions. This will be a time, she tells me, when she partially undresses me in front of them, leashes me, and shackles my wrists behind my back.

I am strangely copacetic about this, for some reason. I suppose that, despite the humiliation this will be, I would rather my submissive nakedness be out in front of them all rather than conducted in furtive walks with Amanda at dusk. This party tonight won’t change my feelings of exposure and humiliation when we encounter a neighbor on such a walk, but it should take away my fears of giving offense.

The other new wrinkle Amanda has in mind to try tonight is having me wear a waist tray. She bought one, and it seems sturdy enough, but she will have me wear it today as practice.

More later… we’ll see how this goes…

notes on a Saturday morning

Been a full week, with another spreadsheet project from Amanda and the work of getting the house and patio ready for the neighborhood BBQ party tonight. Hard to believe it’s Saturday again and we’re deep into September already.


I was a little conflicted about posting “what would you dress Shae in?” I meant it as a snippet of conversation and repartee that I often have with Amanda. But in process I realized the post would prompt people to submit their ideas of how they would dress me. Which is fine and fun, but it wasn’t originally what I was going for. Then I thought, “Well, why not?” and I offered the last sentence as a bit of an invite.

Later I regretted that. While I am looking for ways to make my blog more interactive, it needs to be what it’s supposed to be: my true account of my submissive nature and my slave life day by day. I don’t want it to drift into a series of fantasy exercises.

But I let it sit as I posted it, and actually I’ve found it fun to receive comments and emails about how others would dress me. Now that it’s posted, I welcome anyone to respond. It really is kinda fun…

But I’m just not sure what to do with those responses. Seems I should write and post about those somehow…


A lot of thoughts recently about love and not-love and sex and sexuality. I have come to feel that love can happen in small things, in bits, and little acts, services and sex things, and isn’t always about “I love you” in a “you’re the one for me” way. Service as a slave girl, providing for someone — whether drinks on a tray or a shoulder massage, or little touches of sexual relief — can be a form of love imparted.

This sounds cryptic, perhaps, but I’m not prepared right now to plunge into it. Maybe it will be another post.


This isn’t meant to be a calendar update, but I will say that Amanda has her hands full in scheduling me on an ongoing basis with both Kevin and Master McKenna. She has some decisions to make, but has wanted to get through the BBQ party tonight, before focusing on them.

I’ve been keeping up with my blog writing well enough, but my fiction writing has taken a hit with these added projects from Amanda and my service times with Master M and Kevin.

Amanda is sensitive to this and feels badly about the additional business work she’s had to give me, but it’s been necessary. I don’t mind that work, but I am desiring more fiction writing time. I can write blog posts in between other things, but writing a novel takes concentrated chunks of days.


I’m not sure any of these notes are of interest to anyone, but it helps me process…

what would you dress Shae in?

The other night, over white wine and yummy smoked Gouda, Amanda and I were talking. She mused about other things she might do with me.

Of course, I well know when she says “things to do with me,” she means “things to do to me.” I said I thought she had met her quota for the year and “I’m already a thoroughly dominated girl, if you hadn’t noticed” and, like, it wasn’t really necessary to dream up more stuff for my slave life. “I’m not bored,” I said.

But that didn’t seem to hinder her reach for more dom creativity.

Her latest is this idea of having other people dress me for a day. “We could open this up to the neighbors,” she said. Apparently one of our neighbors had asked what Amanda was going to dress me in for the BBQ party, and Amanda responded to him by asking, “What would you dress Shae in?”

The idea was born.

She went on: “They could specify a particular day, and describe an outfit — skirt, top, or maybe a dress, shoes — what sort of ‘look’ they’d like to see you have. I would buy the clothes to match the look they want, and we would that day go over to their place for a visit. You could model for them.”

I said I didn’t think neighbors would be so inclined to play along. Of course, that was perhaps my own wishful thinking.

“You be surprised,” Amanda said. “At worst, it would be a simple reason for a social getogether. But maybe it would draw them into the fun of our D/s lifestyle.”

She likes a bigger playground. Sigh. I love her to death and will submit myself to her till the end of time, but there are differences in our preferences, and this is one. I would prefer a more private slavery. She wants to share me with the whole world (and maybe some ETs outside our world).

I still wasn’t sure if this was a real thing or a fantasy idea for her. She says things often just to ride me. But this sounded real. There was no question that Amanda, the queen of woo, could get neighbors to play. I just thought that “Dress my girl Shae” was a little lame. But I didn’t say that.

“Maybe,” she said, “we combine this with tea times. Once a month. We schedule the neighbor for tea, and along with that ask them to dress you, so to speak. You’d wear that outfit to teatime. Eventually, the whole neighborhood would have their experience of you.”

“I feel like I’m being crowd-sourced,” I said.

Amanda looked at me with a knowing grin. “You’re just realizing that now?”

I shook my head at her, holding back a smile. “I’m going to shut up for a while.”

“You don’t think it’ll work.”

“Oh, I know it’ll work. You can make anything work. You’ll get people to play along. I have no doubt about that.”

“But…”

“But, for one thing, most people don’t have the fashion sense that you do. They won’t know what to ask for. It’ll be “a top and a skirt” and “I like blue.”

“I’ll coach them a little to get more specific, to think about your look and the whole outfit. I’ll give them time to decide. I think they’ll have fun with it, once they’re invited to dress you in their fantasy… So you said ‘for one thing.’ What’s the other thing?”

“I imagine some will just say they don’t want me to wear anything.”

“Which would be fine,” Amanda said with a straight face, “but there would still be shoes and accessories for them to choose. Maybe a waist chain with a dangle hanging down to your pussy…”

I opened my eyes wide, then realized, at least in this, she was teasing.

Amanda laughed. “Of course I will have some ground rules. They’ll have to specify a whole outfit.”

So then I was thinking that this is just an extension of her dressing me each and every day. She would just be freelancing this one thing on occasion to others, maybe for teatimes. “What would you dress Shae in?” was maybe no big deal.

Amanda went on to say she thought it would be interesting what outfit people chose. It would, she felt, reveal something about each neighbor — why did they choose this particular outfit for me?

“You’ll be a conversation piece,” she said.

What would you dress Shae in… and why?

arousal

It seems to me there are different kinds of arousal.

In physical arousal, you fondle my breasts and finger my labia, making me a puddle of flush and tingle.

In emotional arousal, you stand in the doorway looking like that, and because of feelings you made me have with you before, I am drawn to you and want you to take me.

But there is also submissive arousal. When you wrap a collar around my neck and snap it shut, I feel desire for you. It doesn’t matter if I know you, if you are friend or stranger, the simple act of your dominance arouses me. When you attach a leash to my collar and walk me, you turn me on. When you give me an order to stand or sit or kneel, you trigger in me sexual desire.


Being a deep submissive who lives in constant submission is both a piece of heaven and a touch of hell.

My submissiveness is engaged almost every minute of my life. Even the clothing I wear is an act of submission, a reminder of being dominated. My submission is harnessed and handled every day by the person I love. That is the piece of heaven.

But the simple truth is that I pretty much live in a perpetual state of submissive arousal. It’s a life of foreplay, in a sense, subtle in its drip-drip but at times becoming a tub full of constant craving, a bath of desire that isn’t always unplugged. In fact, not being allowed release and orgasm is part of my life of being dominated. My submissiveness is used to keep me in want and make me wanton. This is the touch of hell.

Though it is a delicious hell.


As I have written before, we submissives need to be protected from ourselves. My submissive arousal makes me a little stupid. Loose in the wild, I would be vulnerable.

I need a keeper and a manager and a protector — a dominant not only to rule me but to keep me from sleeping with the whole world.

This, I think, is sort of the point of D/s slavery. Or at least mine.

I have noticed…

… that I have for a while now referred to my leash instead of the leash. It is my leash not in the sense that I own it but in the sense that it’s a part of me. My lips, my breasts… and my leash.

… that while I was never uncomfortable with Master McKenna, I now feel in a kind of pleasing rhythm with him. Maybe this is because his expectations are more fully clear. Or maybe it’s because he is fucking me.

… that Amanda does things one-off. That is, she tries things once — baring me to the trash men, making me wear chains from my labia while grocery shopping — but doesn’t go back to those things again. Once done, they bore her.

… that I am more often now, of my own choice, wearing a collar to bed. I have begun feeling naked without a collar on. I like the weight of it. It’s somehow a comfort at night.

… that I am strangely okay with the idea Amanda will present me topless to the neighbors at the barbecue this weekend.

… that my occasional meltdowns are somewhat predictable. They seem to operate on a schedule, every so many months. It’s like there’s one little unsubmissive piece of me that lies dormant for so long, then has to speak up and protest. It does its little rebellion rant, then goes on mute once again.

…that I really like it when in a public place, Amanda comes to my side, puts her arm around my waist, and whispers something explicit into my ear, usually about how she wants to watch me with someone else. She likes seeing me blush and get all freckly.

brand new emotion

She stands before you naked, nervous and excited and fearful and hopeful and desirous and wanton and vulnerable — all of those at the same time, all boiling together in a chemistry of a new emotion, a submissive feeling too complex to be reduced to a simple name.

The emotion fills her eyes, which glisten with inexpressible joy to be in the slave place you’ve put her. The emotion sits behind an ambiguous Mona Lisa smile that flickers with excited apprehension about what you will do to her. The emotion fills her breasts and floods her nipples in trembling preparation to receive your touch, whether a gentle fondle or cracking slap.

The emotion fears that which might happen as much as it fears that it won’t happen. The emotion ebbs and flows, recedes and advances, receives and gives all at the same time. The emotion makes her quiet and passive in her submissiveness, yet eager behind that surface, silently begging.

As you take her, as you command her, as you do her, as you disgrace her, and as you defile her, you will bring her to tears — not of brokenness but pouring from this impossible emotion — tears of feeling everything in one brilliant, overwhelming moment in time…

As she is flooded by you.

conversation in the park

Amanda and I are out and about, Sunday and sunny again following the stormy weather that swept through me earlier in the weekend. We are shopping, walking, talking, and at the moment sitting in the park at the edge of downtown.

We both have pulled books out of our purses, and Amanda has her reading glasses on. She scans the park lawn in front of us, surprisingly green during a hot summer.

She points to a guy sprawled on the grass on the other side of the path. “You would be good with him,” she says.

Here we go again.

“He’s a teenager,” I say.

“He’s older than that. Maybe mid-twenties. I think you’d be good with a younger man.”

“I’m better with older men —you told me yourself.”

“Yes, but it doesn’t mean there couldn’t be others.”

“Currently I am rather booked up, don’t you think?”

“You have a lot of hours in your day.”

I don’t know what that even is supposed to mean. “I’m telling you, he’s a teenager, maybe twenty at most.”

“He looks mature, though,” Amanda says.

She has no way of knowing this. “He’s young enough to be my son,” I say.

“You need practice with younger men.”

“Practice? Really?”

“I’m not suggesting that you marry him, Shae. I just think you would be good with him. Younger guys could be your new demographic.”

“I have demographics? Fifty-five year-olds and what, now twenty-year-olds?”

“Yes.”

I know I shouldn’t ask, but I do anyway: “Okay, how exactly do you imagine me being good with him?”

“I think he looks like he needs a blow job,” she says.

“Amanda, all twenty-year-olds need a blow job.” I shake my head in exasperation. I say nothing, hoping to drop the subject.

The young man is reading a book. I like that. He has long black hair, pulled back and tied into a ponytail. He is slender, but has thick forearms. Appealing, I must admit.

I look away, but Amanda has been watching me watching. “Kind of cute, isn’t he.”

“Sure, maybe he’ll take me to the prom.”

Amanda laughs. “I’d like to see that. You walking into the gym on his arm.”

I say nothing. This has gotten squirrelly.

I sense she is thinking about it. I mean really doing it. Eventually I ask her, “So what are you proposing, that you go up to him and say, ‘My friend here wants to give you a blow job?’”

“Yes. That. Exactly that.”

I know very well she will do it too. She has no compunction about making such things happen. “Maybe he won’t want me,” I protest.

Amanda looks over, tilting her head down, glaring at me above her glass frames. “You are kidding, right?”

I ignore her and pretend to read. But something prompts me to call her bluff, which I regret as soon as I say it: “If you really thought of me as, say, servicing this demographic, as you put it, you would have long ago paired me with handyman Blake instead.” I cringe at myself even before I finish speaking. I want to take it back.

Amanda laughs. She is prepared, somehow, and jumps on my comment: “Well, (a) you say it as if it’s an either/or… Then (b) now that you mention it, Blake is an interesting possibility… And (c) sounds like you might like it with Blake, yes?…”

I say nothing. Not like she hadn’t thought of Blake before.

Amanda stands. I close my eyes. She is preparing to approach the young man in the grass. I brace myself. Here we go.

But just as she places her purse on the bench beside me for safe keeping, the young man stands. He walks away.

“A pity,” Amanda says, sitting back down.

It is one of those ‘road less traveled” or “sliding doors” moments prompting “what if” thoughts and imaginings of life that might have detoured, for a wrinkle in time, behind an oak tree. She would have, and he likely would have, and then I would have. But sometimes slave life is living in possibilities that never happen.

“You wanted to,” she says.

I say nothing.

Amanda picks up her book, but first scans the park once again. She’s looking for other candidates.

“I think you should just read your book now,” I say.