Thursday, March 25, 2010

Devo Diary Chapter 55

Trip, part 1

Oct 2005

It's time to get serious about my career. I've extended completing my grad degree beyond all reason, now I've got to finish by the end of this semester and start applying for jobs. At the same time, I'm still working on campus and singing in the Raser City Lyric Opera. I'm not in an opera at the moment, but the Gala is coming up, the yearly fundraiser concert. Even though the performances are silly parodies, the staging and costuming are the same as for a full production. Between work, school and rehearsals, I feel like I'm going flat out all the time.
"Eyes on the prize," Lulu tells me every time I call her up to procrastinate, then she tells me to get back to work on that degree.
I feel even more intensely that sensation of looming over a bottomless pit, like I'm about to fall into the abyss.
I still stay up way too late every night combing the internet for personal ads of guys with disabilities. Despite what happened with Sean, I keep going back to Craigslist, not just the personals but also the missed connections. What if someone saw me?
As I'm scrolling through the Craigslist missed connections, I stumble across the strangest ad.
Hot girl with her wheelchair on eastbound train, 10pm - w4w - 24 - m4w
To the blue-eyed hottie in a wheelchair with a girl on your lap. The two of you were making out like crazy. Interested in a three way? I'm the same...
I read the ad over and over, trying to figure it out. So there was a lesbian couple making out on the train, and a guy saw them and asked to join in? Does the 24 mean that he's 24 years old? It has to, there's no way he would know the exact age of the women. And when he says he's the same, does that mean he's also in a wheelchair? I can't stop thinking about this ad. I have to know something more about the person who placed it. What do I have to lose?
I write a reply:
So does that mean you're a hot young single guy in a wheelchair? Looking for some fun? I'm not either of those MC women, but I am single so I at least have something up on them. And I'm a cute girl. Interested?
Twenty minutes later, I get a reply from a guy name Trip. The first line of his reply is a link to his blog on Geocities with a photo of himself. Oh my god, he is a gorgeous para. He's in a rugged manual chair with knobby mountain bike wheels, sitting on what looks like a hiking trail. He's definitely not twenty-four though. He seems a little older than I am, maybe fortyish, but so handsome. He's got honey blond curly hair flying everywhere in a big halo over a tanned face with sharp features and the most beautiful blue eyes. After the link, he writes, That's me. But you are a figment of my imagination.
I reply,
So if I'm a figment of your imagination, how come we're not having mad
sex right now? Oh wait, that's my imagination. Man, you are hot hot hot. Here's a pic of me in case your mental image needs a little prodding.
I send the photo of me ass forward in the black vinyl fetish pants, looking over my shoulder, with my Betty Page haircut.
He writes,
Yes, that's her, the fantasy-girl, I'd recognize that butt, the lovely face and the not undersized bowchaser, though it is a side view. She and I did have hot sex last night, actually. Wish I knew where are they keeping fantasies these days?
Seriously, who is this?
I decide it's time to be a bit more serious. I attach one of my personal ad close up photos and write,
I suppose with Craigslist being the haunt of mental midgets, scam artists, and the criminally deranged, you might be suspicious, but I assure you I am quite real and mostly harmless. I live in the Bayfront neighborhood, and I'm a grad student at Lester State.
Since I'm what you might call a fan of guys in wheelchairs, I thought I might contact you. But seriously, I was blown away by your photos. You are a total stud. I'd love to meet you. Here's another photo of me, sorry you can't see my bowchaser, ha ha.
Ask me anything, and please tell me a little about your fine self.
He writes,
Well...I heard a rumor that women such as you, fans of wheelchair guys, existed back when I was first injured but always assumed it was wishful thinking. I know I've thought wishfully of it many times. You're really lovely and it pains me to have to say so, but I have a girlfriend.
That aside, I'm a writer and am often near Bayfront if you wanted to get together some time. Thanks for the compliments, by the way.
Dammit! I'm disappointed but I can't stop writing to this guy. If he has a girlfriend, why is he flirting and sending me photos? I dial back the sexiness and write a more measured reply.
Alas, I thought you were too good to be true. We fans do exist, but our numbers are very small.
So what kind of writer are you? I might have known, your emails betray a level of literacy rarely seen anywhere on the internet, especially not on Craigslist. Once in the distant past, I considered becoming a novelist, but then I realized I could be even more underpaid and underappreciated as a grad student.
I would still like to meet you, if you are interested. When is your next trip to Bayfront?
He replies,
Very small numbers indeed, in fact, I suspect that it is just you. If that's the case, girl, you're famous amongst us chairistos!
Smart career-move with grad school, but you made a serious error: hour-to-hour, pound-for-pound, you can't get more underpaid than a novelist. I am not a novelist, a mere humble essayist, also a highly underpaid job. I do get to read a lot, though, and pretty much do what I want to when I want to. For better or worse.
Yes, I certainly would like to meet you, though you have to promise not to
try to seduce me...I'm in Bayfront tomorrow, probably.
I am definitely up for meeting. I send him another photo, a more recent one since I no longer have the Betty Page look. This is one of me in a cheongsam with my hair pulled back in a bun, rolling my eyes at the ceiling and laughing. I tell him,
We can compete in person over who is more undeservingly ignored by an uncaring utilitarian society. I understand your warning that you are not available; our meeting will be strictly platonic.
He writes,
The warning wasn't to you, believe me, it was to myself ;-)
We arrange to meet for lunch at one of the nicer sandwich places next to the Lester State campus. He'll be taking the train, so I confirm which exit we'll meet by. He replies,
I'll be the guy in the wheelchair...
At twelve noon, I'm lurking nervously by the elevator to the subway, not really sure what I'm doing. Why am I meeting him when he said he has a girlfriend? I shouldn't be doing this. But I have realized the value of making friends with guys with disabilities. It doesn't always have to only be about sex. I vow that I won't come on to him. I meant what I said about being platonic. As a sign of my intentions, I don't wear anything special, just the same boring clothes I wore to work in the morning--brown polyester pants and a white button down shirt with little embroidered flowers.
The minutes tick by, many people go in and out of the subway station but no one in a wheelchair. I continue wait, feeling increasingly sure that I've been stood up. I mean after all, I messaged him literally out of the blue and he is not single. It wouldn't be the slightest bit surprising if he just didn't show up.
Finally, thirty minutes late and just as I've completely given up hope, he emerges from the elevator, the same big knobby wheels and curly hair as in the photo.
"Sorry I'm so late, there was a delay on the train. Did you get my message?" he asks as he wheels up to me.
"What message?" After a moment of confusion, I realize that I gave him my home land line phone number instead of my cell phone, that's why I didn't get it. He thought I was standing him up, or gave a fake number. There are apologies on both sides for the confusion, but it's kind of an awkward start to an already awkward meeting.
We head off to the restaurant down the block. I try not to stare too hard at his nicely muscled shoulders and skinny legs tucked up under him. He has a Quickie, which I now appreciate as the sexiest of chairs, and properly fitted and set up too so he's sitting at a good angle with his back straight. Platonic meeting, I remind myself, as I open the door of the restaurant for him and watch him bump over the threshold, then again as I move aside a chair at the table for him to pull up.
We trade the standard getting to know you spiel. As I suspected, he's forty-two years old. He's from a WASPy patrician New England family, going sailing in the summer and skiing in the winter and would rather die than talk about their feelings. Trip is a nickname of course, because he's the Third, sharing the same double-barreled patrician name with his father and grandfather. I grew up with people like that but of course never went either skiing or sailing because they are dangerous and also uncomfortable. He wasn't injured doing either of those things, but in a mountain biking accident, another sporty outdoor activity I will never try. It was twelve years ago, and his injury is at the T12 level, so relatively low, but complete, no sensation or movement. He still goes sailing and hiking in his chair.
"I'm trying out racing too, in fact I have a lesson next week, although I'm honestly a little nervous about those racing chairs."
"Oh, you mean the kind with the third wheel way out in front?"
"Yeah, it's really easy to tip over backwards if you're not careful. You've got to keep your weight forward."
"Huh, I never thought of that."
"But you've dated other guys in chairs before, right?"
"Yeah, but they were into rugby and basketball. I never met anyone who raced."
"So you've been with, like, a ton of disabled guys."
"Hey, what are you implying! I reject the implicit judgment in that comment."
He backs down apologetically. "I didn't mean it like that. I've just never met anyone who's a, um..."
"Devotee," I supply the word for him since he seems to be having trouble saying it out loud. Even for me I admit it's weird to say aloud, since most of my discussions about it are online. Ever since Rollerboy, I've given up the pretentious (but technically correct) "day-vo-tay" pronunciation and gone for the thoroughly American "dee-vo-tee."
"Yeah, that. So what's that all about," he challenges me.
I give him my standard line about how it's something that's always been part of me, since my earliest memories, but it wasn't caused by anything specific in my childhood. He's still looking skeptical, like he's not sure if I'm some kind of predator or what, so I step up my game.
"Look," I say, "It's not easy to be a sexual minority. I always felt like an outcast, like I didn't fit in anywhere. I never see myself in any romance stories. There's no pop culture narrative that I fit into, no role models anywhere. I just have to make it up for myself as I go along. But I have just as much a right as anyone else to be happy, and to pursue my own sexual desires. Even when society is telling me 'That's weird' or 'You're not allowed.' Because fuck that. I didn't choose to be this way, but I just have to make the best of it."
Trip listens thoughtfully, furrowing his brow. "So you're saying that devotees and us wheelchair users have that in common?"
"Yes, exactly!" I smile at him. "I mean, of course our experiences are different in a lot of other ways. But I think we share that one thing, of having to accept the hand we're dealt."
"Hm, I guess that makes sense. Sexuality is a complex thing."
"Yeah, right? Just think, we don't even know why some people are gay, never mind understanding why some people have kinks or what causes specific kinks to arise."
"I never thought of it like that. I guess I just assumed that devotees were, like, into taking care of guys."
"I know, people always assume that I'm looking for someone to control or take advantage of, or that I have no self-esteem and think I can't do better. It's so insulting."
He nods. "Yeah, I thought after I was injured that my sex life might be over, but actually it wasn't that much different. The only women who rejected me outright were the kind of empty-headed bimbos looking for a quick lay, but I'm not interested in them either anymore. The smarter, more thoughtful women were always willing to give me a chance."
I'm sure that's true. I don't say anything, but I get the feeling Trip is a player. He's a sporty low para, of course the women are into him. I don't ask about his girlfriend, but he volunteers a few details. Her name is Shruthi, and she's an artist. Like, actually has paintings in galleries artist, and she's only in her twenties.
"So if you have a girlfriend, why are you posting a missed connections ad on Craigslist?" I ask.
"I didn't post that ad," he says sincerely, looking a bit surprised I would even think that.
"But I replied to the ad and the system sent my message to you. If that wasn't your ad, how did you get my message?"
"No idea."
I give him a skeptical look. "Seriously, how did you get my message?"
"I really don't know! I posted a reply to the ad making a sarcastic comment about it, but I swear it wasn't my ad."
"That's so weird." I'm not sure what to think. Maybe there was a reply to that ad. That would explain the age difference--he wasn't pretending to be twenty-four. Was there some kind of crossed wires situation? Did I accidentally message the reply instead of the original ad? Now it feels even stranger that we ended up meeting in person.
We've both finished eating, and as we're talking I'm toying with the things on the table--my empty water glass, the little container of sugar packets, my unused butter knife. It's really time to go, but he seems interested in hanging out a little longer.
"Have you ever been down to the pier?" he asks as we split the bill.
"The what?" I had no idea there was a pier with a public park right near my house. It's on the other side of a big parking lot in kind of an industrial area that I have never bothered to check out. But apparently Trip has been sailing there often. At his suggestion, I drive us both down to the pier in my car.
We wander about on the public walkway for a few minutes, me walking and him pushing beside me. It's quite pretty with the green trees and grass, and the bay right beside us, filled with moored sailboats. I can't believe I've never been over here when I live so close by. There's something so appealing about walking along with him pushing next to me, the different pace of his arms pushing the wheels forward contrasted with my steps. This is such a weird situation. I'm trying very hard not to flirt with him. I'm starting to like the idea of just being friends. He's a smart guy, and easy to talk to.
As we approach the end of the walkway, he points out the yacht club, a single story, unassuming building at the end.
"Wanna get a drink?" he suggests.
"Don't you have to be a member to get in?"
"Nah, anyone can order at the bar."
We go in and sit down by the big picture window with a stunning view of the bay. I order a gin and tonic. As I sit there demurely sipping my drink and thinking I've been very virtuous in not coming on to him, Trip leans forward and whispers in my ear,
"I want to watch you masturbate."
Well. That was not the direction I thought things were going in, but if that's what he wants to do, I'm not going to say no. I put my drink down slowly, smirking at him.
"That could be arranged."
We toss back our drinks and depart for my place. When we reach my house with the three cement steps, Trip opts to scoot up on his butt while I place his chair inside, but unlike Sean, he manages to do it without losing his pants in the process.
I don't even bother with the tour, but just lead him straight back to the bedroom where we immediately tear off our clothes. I stare openly as he transfers onto my bed. My god, those arms.
"You like that?" he growls as he rolls over on top of me.
"Oh yeah." I smile up at him. It feels good not to have to hide my interest.
He kisses me hard and grabs at me with his big callused hands.
"God, I've been wanting to see you naked since you sent me those photos."
I pinch his nipple and he lets out a loud groan. Good, he's sensitized. I roll him over and kiss his nipples, first one then the other, enjoying his hard, smooth chest and the way he writhes under me. Then I move up to his ears, licking and nipping at each one, and he likes that even more. I like that he didn't have to tell me what to do. I feel like an expert in SCI sex.
"Now I did promise you a show," I say, reaching for my cache of sex toys on a shelf by the bed. I go for my current favorite, a pocket rocket with a silicone bunny head on top, with long rounded ears. Trip nods approvingly, his eyes huge.
I lean back and get comfortable, while he takes up a viewing position at the end of the bed. The bunny is good, and within five minutes I've come three times.
"Now it's my turn," Trip says, and he wraps his arms around my thighs and plants his face in my crotch. Goddamn, he is talented with his tongue. I lay back and surrender myself to him, and it's like nothing else in the world exists. I'm already sensitized from the vibrator but he makes me come three more times in a row.
"I did warn you not to seduce me," he says, leaning back and wiping his mouth.
"Oh please, I wasn't the one who started talking about masturbation. This was all your idea."
"What are you talking about?" he teases. "Your exact words to me were, 'I want to
masturbate for you.' I was shocked!" He makes a fake surprised face.
I laugh. "No, my exact words were 'I have a master class this afternoon.' You seemed to have misconstrued my intentions somehow."
"Oh! How embarrassing. Just a little misunderstanding then. Glad we got that cleared up. Would have been touch and go if you had gotten naked and spread your legs wide for me and I was thinking it was something other than a master class."
"Yes, good thing that's cleared up."
"The bunny at least seems to have played its role satisfactorily."
"Actually, there's a dolphin attachment I've had my eye on lately. The bunny ears seemed like a good idea but in practice they're too long and floppy. I need something more, ah, rigid."
"I'd like to see your dolphin show," he growls, kissing me again.
"Any time, just let me know when."
"You ever free in the day time, hottie?"
"Sure thing, just let me know when." I grin at him as I zip up my jeans. There's no time for romantic lingering in bed though, he has to get back home.
Trip lets me bump him down the stairs backwards, then I give him a ride to the train station. We promise to meet up again soon.
I drive home and make myself dinner in a haze. The past few hours feel almost unreal. Did I really just hook up with a hot para through a Craigslist missed connections ad that had nothing to do with either of us? And why am I getting involved with yet another guy who is not single?
Now I really can't say I'm a good person anymore. With K, I could give the excuse that he was in an open relationship. His girlfriend knew about me and gave her consent, even if somewhat unwillingly, and I didn't treat her very well. With The Mantis, well, he was cheating on his wife, but we had a six month no-strings contract between the two of us, and he was looking for the BDSM experience he wasn't getting from her. It seems to have worked out ok in the end. He came clean after the fact and they both moved on.
But with Trip, what am I even doing? We didn't discuss anything. He's just cheating, plain and simple, no extenuating circumstances. And I don't even care. Maybe I should, but damn, he's so freaking sexy. Hooking up with him was nasty, dirty fun. This isn't even the first time I've done something like this. There was Tim the blind guitarist with the pregnant girlfriend. This is starting to look like a pattern. But it's not that I want to be with a guy who's cheating or otherwise not totally single. Just the opposite, I would so much prefer to be monogamous. It's just that there are so few guys with disabilities, and even fewer with whom I share a mutual attraction. I'll do just about anything when I meet one.
With K, not being able to have the relationship with him that I wanted was torture. But I don't feel at all in danger of falling in love with Trip. I like talking to him but I don't want to date him. He seems just a little too into himself. I've learned from William, these guys in their forties who have never been married are single for a reason. Also he's the kind of guy who calls himself a feminist but not so secretly gets off on degrading women.  An occasional hook up is just about right.
I email him the next day.
I'm really glad we met up. Let me know when you're free again. Oh and definitely let me know about your racing lesson. I want details on that.
He replies that the racing didn't work out because the woman who was going to give him a lesson was busy, but he's much more interested in hearing if I went to the lesbian-owned sex positive adult store to purchase a dolphin attachment.
I reply,
I just went there today. Now the bunny can enjoy a well-deserved retirement. I have
already tested the dolphin and found it quite satisfactory. I suggest you book your ticket now for Wednesday afternoon.
Now that is really a shame about the racing. Next time be sure to take your camera and get some pictures.
He writes,
Wheelchair slut! I don't think this girlie is into other women, but she is very toned from the wheelchair athlete standpoint: huge shoulders and very little leg. She is innocent of your perverted ways, though, so I wouldn't  want to subject her to your lustful uses now that you are riding the waves with your dolphin.
I will see if I'm free on Wednesday. I'd like to see your dolphin show...maybe see it
jumping through rings...splashing around in the deep....leaping for a fish...;) Will the batteries still be working by then?
I let him know that he has misconstrued my intention, I am not at all interested in his female trainer. We flirt and tease some more but we can't find a time to meet in the next week because my schedule is packed and he has to sneak around.

As I'm in the middle of this exchange with Trip, an email arrives from the last person I ever expected to hear from: Sean. The super hot para who does half-pipe stunts and who disappeared after going to the emergency room for a urinary tract infection. It's now been three months since I heard from him. After I saw he reposted his personal ad on Craigslist, I decided he was just a player who didn't mean all the things he said about wanting to get married and have kids with me. I really thought I would never hear from him again, but now here he is in my inbox.
i know i disappeared off the face the earth and you are very upset. rightfully so. there's no easy way to put this. i dug you so much it freaked me. let me tell u why. in the last year i have come to realize something very difficult and i didn't know how to bring it up and tell you. i haven't told anyone. i decided for my own sanity last new years to check out what it would be like to explore my sexuality beyond women. what i found was simple. i can never dig a man like i do a woman, soft touch snuggling, baby kisses, the entire package...but i do dig some kink. you are the first woman i had ever met into kink. i felt i should tell u but was so damn afraid at the same i folded...clammed up and treated you inappropriately. i am sorry for that and hope you can forgive me. now the truth is out...i am naked as it gets. i know what i lost in not being str8 up...and so you know every thing i told you was are a beautiful woman and any man would be lucky to have you. i owed you this much and so much more. i hope everything is going great for you.
I reply immediately.
Well I am very surprised to hear from you, I really thought I would never hear anything more from you again. When you disappeared at first I didn't know what to think, except maybe that you were very sick or even dead, after all the last I heard was you were in the hospital. Then when I saw you put your ad back up on Craiglist I figured you had just played me, that you were just looking for a one night stand and all that sweet talk was just BS.
Anyway I am glad you wrote to me, although I'm still not totally sure what to think. I remember you told me you had messed around with guys, which isn't a big deal to me, in fact I think it's cool. And yeah, I'm seriously kinky. I don't remember how much we talked about it, but there isn't much that can shock me. What was it exactly that you wanted to tell me? And what were you scared of? That I would freak out and say "You're sick!" or that I would say, "Ok, let's try it" ?
Anyway I was disappointed that we didn't even make it to a second date, and I still think about you sometimes. I felt like we really connected, and that doesn't happen very often. Also you're seriously one of the sexiest guys I have ever met.
He writes back a few minutes later.
well in're an extremely sexy woman be honest i felt you were the kinda woman that was above me...i know i know that's self sabotage but i didn't have the best self confidence in the world...i am truly sorry i hurt you...your an awesome person and i feel like we really connected too. i would kill for the chance of a second date...though i know i truly don't deserve one. anyways i would love to talk again sometime at the very least. gimme a call.. i am sorry i freaked over the me being a bi. thanks for writing me back.

Ugh, I hate this "you're above me" crap so much! Come on, pull yourself together, dude! And I am still angry at him for bailing then reposting his ad. But on the other hand, I am grateful that he's apologized. Against my better judgment, I call him on the phone and we talk for over an hour, mostly just repeating what we already said in the emails. He tells me more detail about his time in the hospital and his recovery, which took a few weeks. I tell him about struggling to finish my degree, work and applying for jobs.
When I finally hang up the phone, I feel exhausted but also somewhat lighter. We don't make a plan to meet up again. I'm not giving him a second date. I'm definitely not thinking of him as boyfriend material. But maybe we can be friends, or at least on good terms. It feels ok, like I finally got some closure with him.


  1. Great chapter! Any chance someone who uses crutches will feature? That's a personal favorite :)

    1. Thank you! There will be some crutches use in a future chapter, not sure what number yet, maybe 5-6 chapters from now.

  2. Wow, what a sexy para. Great chapter .

  3. I had no idea Craigslist personals were such a thing. So cool you met a para through a missed connections post. Great chapter with a hot sex scene.

    1. Yes, it's such a shame Craigslist was forced to remove their personal ads

  4. Cool episode - a real winner!