17th July 2021 – A Family Reunion

Disclaimer: This post mentions topics involving consensual sexual violence. Not suitable for individuals under eighteen years of age. Reader discretion is advised.

I very nearly called this post “The Prangle-Maker”. After yesterday morning, it almost felt as though I wouldn’t want or need to write about anything else.

“What did you write about today?” Matt asked inquisitively

“Just the garden, and the prangle-makers that got me” I replied.

“Daddy has a prangle-maker, too” Matt said, retrieving the steel pinwheel from the sensation play drawer and coursing it up my arm, “See?”. I bit my lip and squirmed. I admit, I miss them. I miss sensation play. I miss screaming and getting out all of that anger that’s piled up inside. I always feel so much better afterwards.

“Maybe I should put some Roundup gel on him too, then” I began, “actually, best not, he might start wilting too.”

“Oi! What’s that supposed to mean?!” Matt challenged, grabbing me by the waist and tickling me. I squealed and curled up to defend myself.

“Whatever you think it means” I laughed.

“So no ‘oh noes’ stuff then? Matt asked, covering his eyes briefly to depict something that shouldn’t be seen, “even if we…”

“Nope, you know me. Go into it a little…” I said, moving my flat hand downward as if following a slight gradient, “and then back out again”, I moved my hand on a steep upward trajectory, as if coming out of the imagined dip suddenly and steeply.

“You’re such a tease” Matt chuckled, I grinned. Maybe I was, but it was my style. I have nothing against those who write erotica or want to share more of their lives than I do, it’s just that it’s not for me. I like to whet the imagination – enough to set the scene and no more than.

“Besides,” I said, licking my lips and contemplating whether I really wanted to say the words that would follow next, “maybe if you gave me something to write about, I would.”

At about 5:30PM, Matt’s phone rang. It was unusual for my brother to call, and even more for him to call Matt, not me. Still. I let it go. We hadn’t seen my family in weeks so more than anything, I was just excited to spend some time with them again.

“Your brother is designated driver tonight” Matt informed me. Momentarily, I felt anxious – I’m not used to my brother’s driving. Honestly, I needn’t have been.

“Make yourself comfortable, sis” my brother said, “if you need the seat forward or back, do it. If you need the window down, do that. I tailor my driving to whoever is in the car so if you need to stop, we stop.”

I almost burst into tears right then and there, so few people are considerate about people who struggle with amaxophobia.

Fortunately, the drive to my mother’s house was largely uneventful. Even if my brother owns a little red Toyota Yaris called Ruby, his reason for sprucing her up, he says, is to demonstrate that not all asshole drivers’ cars are driven by asshole drivers. By ‘souping up’ his car and driving her in a more respectful manner, he says, more people will realise that not every fancy car is driven by a boy racer. I think it’s great in concept, I just don’t know that it’s going to do what he actually wants it to do.

A week or so ago, a blogging friend of mine removed me as a follower over a difference of opinion, but hadn’t unfollowed me. I realised that I hadn’t heard from them in a while and when I looked them up, I saw the reason why. Honestly, I found it slightly immature in a way that we couldn’t both have an opinion – albeit a very different one – on something that affected us both. Instead of trying to chase them down and make amends though, I simply returned the compliment. It is what it is, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt, or that I didn’t want to talk to others about it.

“As a disabled person, bro, what would you think of a disability pride day?” I asked.

“No” my brother said, very abruptly. “I think all pride events should be cancelled, but if you say that, you’re homophobic, transphobic and a whole bunch of other things”. I cocked my head slightly as I listened to him, go on.

“Pride – gay pride, that is – was a celebration of gay rights. It was about the liberation of the gay people and transgender people to live freely and love whoever they want to love. It can be celebrated for a day just like all of the other days we have – Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Women’s Day, Men’s Day – without farting glitter all over the streets all month long”. I almost laughed at that point. My brother misses out nothing.

“I think that people at Pride events should dress as though they are going to school or an office. Sis, there’s dildos waved around in front of children at these events, for heaven’s sake”. Having never been to Pride, I wouldn’t know, but anything is possible. I didn’t agree on that level of strict conduct, but I definitely didn’t agree on sex toys being wafted about at these events, either.

“Quite apart from which, I think Pride creates segregation, and what people should be aiming for is integration. The more you make people stand out, the more chance they have of being targeted once the party is over.” Damn this boy, I’d asked him a simple question and I’d been met with a tidal wave of philosophy. Even I wasn’t ready for that.

“Sis, can I get you anything to drink?” my brother asked.

“Just squash for me please, mate. If I drink alcohol in this heat, you’ll be able to jar me up and put me in sandwiches” I replied.

“How do you mean?”

“I’ll be bloody pickled!” I laughed.

Over dinner, I realised again that my mother, sadly, cannot cook. She’s a great woman, a great leader and incredibly empathetic, but she can’t cook. The tomato sauce she’d poured over the chicken had a burned aftertaste and the chicken itself was almost rubbery.. I ate it out of politeness, but I so wished she’d used fresh peppers and garlic in her sauce, rather than the jarred and dried varieties.

Dessert was a lemon cheesecake, or rather, a store-bought lemon cheesecake.

“I’m judging you, mind you” I teased with a wink. “You’re serving up a store-brought lemon cheeseecake to the Masterchef of lemon cheesecakes? Tsk tsk…”

“Well if you don’t like it, next time you come down you can bring a homemade one with you” Mum shot back, I laughed.

“Careful what you wish for, because I will” I replied. “I’ll make it full-fat, too.”

“God no. Your cheesecakes are hard enough to resist as it is, and my waistline definitely doesn’t need it.”

Since moving out, I love hanging out with my mother. We used to be at loggerheads and yet getting some space between us has made a huge difference. We chat online almost daily and see one another once or twice every two weeks, rather than every day. We both have a difference of opinion and we respect it. We don’t let disagreements come between us like we used to, we make the most of the time when we are together.

Later in the evening, Mum’s neighbours, Mark and Jane, joined us in the garden. It was evident that they had both had too much to drink, though Mark particularly was evidently inebriated.

To be completely honest, I’ve always been uneasy around Mark. He does like to drink and he often behaves in ways that are not socially acceptable. On my mother’s road, the new Asian gentleman living opposite had been seen dumping his waste into other people’s bins and it was causing a bit of a stir.

“Have those Indians opposite been out yet? Have they? Eh?” Mark asked, mocking a Native American. It was the wrong kind of ‘Indian’ for a start, though equally just as offensive and vulgar.

“Mark! Shh…” Jane ushered. Mark wasn’t having any of it.

“Guess where I’m going tomorrow?” my mother asked Mark and Jane. She paraded up and down the footpath, rather proud that she had a date. A Dominant – my mother was off to meet another Dominant. She’d met one in the morning, and she was off to meet another one on Sunday. I rolled my eyes at the behaviour, I could see how this level of desperation could be off-putting for some.

If I may have another moment of judgement here, I do find this to be a touch hypocritical, given how often my mother wouldn’t let me dress a certain way or do a certain thing in case I got kidnapped or raped. Now that she is a single lady again, my mother is doing all of them.

For whatever reason, howling and panting commenced and I realised then that I was glad that these people don’t know my true identity. I leaned against the wall in a sort of smug pride – pride that I had a great relationship, and smugness that these people knew nothing about what goes on in it.

“Hey, will you be going to Ladies Mile?” Mark asked. In history, it is believed that the upper-class ladies would walk down Bristol’s ladies’ mile on their way to the slave trade. In more recent times, it’s one of Bristol’s top dogging spots.

“Lady smile?” my brother misheard. Lady is my mother’s dog.

“No, Ladies Mile!” my mother repeated for him.

“Hey, bro” I called, “I’ve walked down Ladies Mile, and I was sure as hell smiling by the end of it, too”. There was a roar of laughter and Matt grinned, I shot him a wink. I had walked down Ladies Mile, but in broad daylight, during normal hours and on the way to visit him, so I absolutely was smiling by the end of it as well. In this situation though, it was exactly all that was needed to rein in my mother’s shameless behaviour.

“Hey, do you fancy an early night, eh?” Mark asked Jane. Jane was having nothing of it. A little later and we heard something to woman should have to hear:

“Shut up!”

It was aimed at Jane, from Mark, and it made the rest of the evening very uncomfortable. One by one, people began to reconvene back inside.

If there was one thing that I realised yesterday, no, two things, it’s that A) I can have a perfectly good time without alcohol and B), maybe I didn’t need my sexuality out on display. I think, when Pride became bigger, I felt threatened. In a world where sexuality and gender are a core part of your identity. I felt as though I needed to identify in some way in order to fit in, when in fact, I realise now that more people don’t care than do. If the wrong people know our sexual identifies, don’t we open ourselves up to ridicule, just like Mark did to my mother? For some people, BDSM is little more than a bedroom fantasy and for others, the kinky life which they lead may just be a core part of who they are for probably a long time to come.

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