these are a few of my favourite things

Snakes. Snakes are damn sexy. Smooth, muscular, not human, fully prehensile. Heat-seeking creatures with heavy cultural symbolism and taboo built into every scale. The way they scent you with their forked tongues, slither and wrap themselves around you in a slow, dry, deliberate caress. The way they rear up when surprised, ready to strike but watching, watching, waiting before action, because they can take action any time they want, in a split second. Mm.

Leather. Not the kind that’s the victim of misguided design (quilting and pleats, anyone?), or dripping with studs and fringe, or ill-fitting. Rather, the kind that smoothly encases the body like a literal second skin, that gleams darkly in light, that’s soft and hard all at once, that smells rich and slides against the body when you move. It doesn’t have to be black to be beautiful, but that sure does help.

Boots. Classic design and quality material, natch. Boots with a heavy enough sole that they add noticeable weight to your step, that cause you to walk with just a hint of a swagger, that plant firmly and hold the foot with care. Boots that are dirty, because they beg to be cleaned. Boots that are gleaming, because they beg to be licked. Boots that are new, because they hold untold promise. Boots that are old, because they exude history.

Conversation. The kind that starts smoothly and surprises you with a bit of a flirt, and that turns into a mutual weaving of ideas and lasts well past the time you thought it would end when you first introduced yourself. Conversation that renders you breathless, that makes you laugh but not giggle, that challenges and affirms all at once, that connects and excites and leaves you with more questions than answers, one being, when can we do this again?

Dance music. I know many will disagree with me on this one, but hear me out. Dance music that’s exquisitely constructed to compel the body to move. Rich, deep bass that cradles the pelvic floor muscles and pushes the hips into motion, but not so loud as to reverberate or drown out the tune. A treble line that fills your lungs and tickles your shoulders, beckoning you to follow as it takes you spiraling up and around, a melody that makes you a little bit sad in the midst of the sheer joy of motion. A DJ who knows how to work with these things – a bit of suspense every once in a while, but only long enough to make you really want it, none of those long empty pauses where the body has time to lose its momentum and the mind has time to refocus. I don’t want focus when I’m dancing. I want to lose myself in the bodily experience of the beat.

Burlesque. But it has to be done right. I want to be teased, titillated, surprised, denied. Start with a gorgeous costume. I appreciate the humour and camp of burlesque, don’t get me wrong, but what I really want is a sweetly curved feminine body in clothes that push the curves out, pinch the waist in, flatter and slink and drip and veil. Don’t take them off too fast and spoil the surprise. Make me wait for it. Show me a little bit, and then take it away again. I want you to take your body from the realm of cheap and glittery spectacle into the world of luxurious, decadent art. I’m not actually here to see your breasts or your butt. I’m here for the enjoyment of being made to want to see those things, so make me want them.

Books. More specifically, books about sex. Lots of them. The words on their covers, the ideas inside, the crisp feel of pages, the scent of ink and paper and musty old glue, the knowledge that if I am surrounded by books about sex it means I am not the only one in the course of history who has spent this much time thinking about sex and all its many meanings and permutations. Proof positive that sex has inspired deep thought, intense creativity, broad theorizing, endless debate. All of this documented and catalogued and explicated and questioned and created. Bliss.

Blood. But not just any blood. It has to be done right. You have to do it voluntarily – accidents are just messy, and often tainted with the wrong smell. I want a dark-red jewel welling up from a single tiny hole, or perhaps several, or maybe a razor-sharp line that stings and gives me more. Salty, thick, delicious. Powerful. A bit of fear mixed in to heighten the scent, flavoured all the more sweetly with the intensity of your totally irrational, but utterly compelling, desire to feed me.

Clothes. Your clothes. The ones that you chose because they made you feel dressed up, groomed, beautiful, confident. A nicely ironed shirt that nestles just under the freshly shaved line at the nape of your neck. A casually knotted tie that just happens to match your socks. Pants that break on your instep and hug your hips just so. The look on your face that’s cocky and proud and a bit shy all at once, knowing you look good but not sure I’ve noticed yet.

And you? What are a few of your favourite things?


5 thoughts on “these are a few of my favourite things

  1. Watching my little boy eat and feeling happy and grateful that I can provide him with what he needs.

    Getting lost in a book (fiction, non-fiction, whatever) and being entertained by it but also learning and growing from it. Occasionally getting lost in a game of Zelda.

    Getting lost in my writing and experiencing the time loss that goes with that. Re-reading myself and not remembering how it all came out of my brain because the ideas just seem to flow straight from my brain to the screen.

    Long, long walks or hikes where I can let my mind wander. Being in the woods, on a mountain, in the middle of a lake in a rowboat and just floating.

    James Bay and its people. Allowing myself to fall into the web of interpersonal relations that exist there on completely different terms than what I’m used to. Adapting to the predominance of non-verbal communication and silent co-presence that signifies comfort and companionship.

    Feeling like drinking beer or wine and deciding whether or not I really want it instead of feeling like I need it.

    Playing cards with my blood family. Getting toasted with one of my sisters and having deep discussions.

    Cold metal (like chains) on my skin. Watching and feeling a tattoo being inked into my skin.

    Going into transe and connecting with my deeper self and universal forces.

    Sliding down a snowy mountain with my little guy. Walking outside in the winter and feeling the exhilerating cold on my face and the crunch crunch of the snow under my boots.

    Performing on stage, especially in a number that takes the audience by complete surprise, confuses them and makes them laugh or gasp. Creating said numbers.

    Coordinating stuff, organising events.

    Going back to work after procrastinating (which I’m going to do RIGHT NOW 😀

  2. Quick list:

    Music- particularly live, folk, Celtic, and classical when one can feel it reverberate throughout the body and soul.

    Annual week with family- catching up, hanging out, laughing uproariously, and having crazy fun.

    SF/F conventions- conversations, discussions, and having a jolly good time.

    Scotch- being able to sip and enjoy a good single malt with others.

    Also sailing, water, camping, books, leather, dogs, horses. . . . Speaking of Scotch, I think it’s time for a nip and a nightcap.


  3. Scruff. I love scruffy people and things. Tousled hair, faded clothes, rust on a car, scuffed shoes. To some, this makes people and things look unkept and dirty. To me, this makes things come alive. Every scar, every tear, every stain has a story to tell, a story about lived experience: enduring tough times maybe, or living it up and having a good time. Survival, resilience and the strength to keep laughing. So much focus on living life that there is little time for anything beyond basic grooming and maintenance. Maybe it’s because I’m a plumber’s child and one of my favourite places to be as a child was in my dad’s car, with the buckets of tools in the back, the smell of sawdust, my dad driving with the stubble on his face and a gleam in his eye from enjoying both the physical labour and the brain power needed to conceptualise his work. Maybe that’s why I find so much peace among hunters of the north. No one really seems to care what they look like – it’s the warm and resilient spirits that matter.

  4. Candles. The lingering smell of a blown out match after lighting, and the soft, warm, flickering light accompanying you during whatever activity. Smoke and that particular scent that comes from the instant, shocking darkness of blowing them out.

    Tea. Freshly brewed and prepared with care, or the hasty kind you throw together before running out the door, it doesn’t matter; it’s all delicious, warm, and comforting. Whether it be a packaged twinnings earl grey, or that loose leaf pu-erh you had once in that one city years ago that you finally tracked down a few ounces of, it’s all good. Granted, the more ethical the production, processing, packaging, and delivery, the better.

    Mixed Tapes/CDs. Satisfaction in hearing smooth, thoughtful, witty transitions and compilations of tracks you never would have expected. The surprise in learning a particular individual has a similar affinity for doing this while forming a string of lyrical puns throughout the listening experience and ambiance they so calculatingly crafted.

    Autumn. Scents crisp yet musty. Long, clear night time skies. Scenery colorful, but brief. Snow for the first time that year. Students and life-long learners who finally get reprieve from the plethora of social, summertime, outdoor activities having then even more of an excuse to hunker down and read, away from the imminent creeping cold. (Not that one needs excuses…)

    Letters. Experiencing hours at the typewriter late into the evening, mesmerized by the sound of fingers and keys, metal and ink. Fountain pens moving over satisfyingly thick, rough, handcrafted paper. Pleasure in melting and placing wax for the final seal with a certain finesse that only comes from repetition and good intention for whomever this parcel of paper, so delicately prepared, is headed for. Not to mention, receiving mail is also delightful.

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