Porcupine Nature


This was originally written Friday, January 20, 2012. Twenty-seven days after I wrote this, I met the woman who is now my partner. I found this on my computer the other day and was both surprised and encouraged to discover that I have found in her exactly what I was longing for when I wrote this.


I allowed myself to cry for a few moments today. Not silent crying, where water just flows effortlessly from your eyes. I let a few breaths escape, from the deepest part of my gut. It happened in response to a thought I had as I left work, walked into a dark parking lot, and began the drive home, to my empty life.

Something got lost along the way. This thing that got lost, I know what it is. I don’t know that it is accurate to call it “lost”, given that it is something that I’m not sure I ever had.

When I started blogging I did it purely for myself. Sort of. I wrote stuff and then threw it out there because I needed to heal. And it helped me heal. It energized me, and created momentum for more writing.

There is a certain freedom in anonymity. When I write something and post it, it releases something in me. But I want people to read what I write. If I didn’t need an audience of some kind, I would just write in a journal and call it good. But that isn’t enough for me, it’s not complete.

After I had been blogging for a while, I started inviting people to read it that I knew personally. And then I had to start censoring myself. All sorts of thing had to be left out for various reasons. And then I started to think that I couldn’t post anything unless it was relevant, or meaningful, or funny, or entertaining. I even started to get a tad resentful. Here I was throwing myself out there, naked, for people to read while they were completely clothed. I didn’t mind that the people who didn’t know me had their clothes on. It was the people who knew me personally that I was bothered by. Because I discovered that some of them seemed to take some kind of voyeuristic pleasure in knowing the intimate details of my struggles.

And then I got hurt. And when I get hurt, my porcupine nature comes out. I throw quills. I don’t discriminate either. I don’t care if I know you or not. If you are in the vicinity, you better be prepared to start meticulously plucking quills out of your face. Or your ass.

And then I abandoned my blog altogether. I thought, “Fuck that. I’m not giving myself away for free to anyone.”

I like to think I’m pretty good at being present for people. People tell me I’m a good listener, and say stuff like, “What you told me helped me”, or “Now I see that in a different way”. But when it comes to people being present for me when I am going through something, it never quite feels the same. People tend to get freaked out, they run away, or begin saying things like, “I’m sorry to hear that,” or, “I’m sorry I don’t know what to say!”  I probably scare people. Especially when I throw quills.

And so it goes that when I am hurting the most, or most in need of someone to listen, I turn to stone inside and refuse to let myself out, or to let anyone in. At times like these there is only one person I will allow near, and that person is my lover. That is, if I happen to have one. And if that lover is not able or capable, I will still attempt to get what I need from them, or sometimes I will just pretend that I’m OK with the fact that they can’t, or won’t go there.

I wish I had someone to lay in bed with, someone who knows me enough, someone I could whisper my story to, just allow it all to flow out without worrying about whether it makes sense or not, “And then, … and then”. And they would listen and look me in the eyes and see the person behind the quills. Or love me in spite of them. And when the crying was done, we would laugh, hard, until we were weak.


One thought on “Porcupine Nature

  1. I can relate to this post completely. It’s a double-edged sword, really, wanting to connect with others intimately, but being open to pain and rejection at the same time. I have yet to share my blog with anyone that I know, and every time I write a post and attempt to share, I fear exactly what you’ve so eloquently written–that I will lie naked before them as they get “voyeuristic pleasure.” I crave connection, but I fear…becoming entertainment.

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