Thursday, April 1, 2010

Devo Diary Chapter 53

Sean, part 1

July 2005
Even though I know I shouldn't, I give in and respond to the Craigslist personals ad of the BMX para dude. The ad is titled "420, Snuggle Fest!"
 Reasons why it's a bad idea: like Rollerboy, he lives several hours away; like Rollerboy, he seems kind of trashy and like we have nothing in common. Reasons why I email him anyway: he's a sporty para and those photos are gorgeous. Blond hair, blue eyes, bulging biceps, lots of tattoos. His name is Sean.
I decide I have to make a bold move to get his attention, and what do I have to lose anyway? I send him an email:

Hi there, I saw your ad on CL, and your photos are HOT ;)
I'm one of those girls who has a thing for guys in wheelchairs, I hope that doesn't bother you, cuz I think those photos of you on the half-pipe are sooooo sexy. I bet your arms are huge too, makes me hot just thinking about it.
If you're interested, let me know and I'll reply with some photos. I'm 5'3", dark brown hair & eyes, not fat at all, kinda nerdy-cute. I live in Raser City, it's far, I know, but we both have cars, right?
Try me, you'll be glad you did.

It takes him a week to write back.


sorry took me so long to get back to ya i was sorta in the hospital...anyways i am home now. so ya we do have cars your right! so what deck u ride?


Deck? What is he even talking about? I tell him he's awfully brave to set up a meeting without even seeing a pic of me first, and I send him one of me in fetishy black vinyl pants, looking over my shoulder, showing off my ass. He says I look cute and after a few more back and forth emails we finally set up a date.
Sean drives up to Raser City to meet me at a bar in my neighborhood, the same place where I just had my birthday party a week ago. As I approach I can see him already there through the big plate glass windows, sitting at a table right in front. Even from the back I know it's him. He has a black Quickie with a low back and steep camber. I get a rush over my entire body just thinking that he's there to meet me. At any other time, I might be walking down the street, then see him through the window and wish that I knew him. But this time, I do know. The guy in the wheelchair is there to see me. I couldn't be happier.
I walk in and introduce myself. He seems happy to see me too. He's even cuter in person. He's wearing a baseball cap over his buzzcut blond hair, and when he looks up at me his square face and blue eyes crinkle into the sweetest smile. He has a beard but it's short and neatly trimmed and frames his face nicely. His shoulders and chest are broad and stocky, with biceps like a bodybuilder and tribal tattoos over one arm. I'm smitten before I even sit down.
Over drinks we get to know each other. He's a T5 incomplete para, so he has some sensation all over and a little bit of movement, but not enough to stand up. He also has huge problems with spasms, so much that he has a baclofen pump. Right away I notice his legs jumping around from time to time, until he shifts position. Because of all this and because he's got a big frame anyway, his legs don't have the skinny atrophied look typical of SCI but that's ok. I'm open-minded.
He tells me he was injured about eight years ago when he was in the Navy. Actually, it happened less than a week before he was discharged, he was hiking with some friends and tried to jump off a cliff but fell badly and broke his back. Because he was still active military by just a few days, he at least gets VA benefits. Like Rollerboy, he seems to be perennially between jobs and sort of going to school for some undefined training, but he supplements his SSI by selling weed.
Unlike Rollerboy, however, he doesn't seem to just spend his time playing video games and feeling sorry for himself. Sean is into this wheelchair BMX thing in a big way. He's got a website, and spends a lot of time working on his skills, trying to come up with new tricks. He's also done some bodysurfing, racing and track and field, and has been recruited for the US Paralympic team but couldn't quite make it through the trials. What he really wants is for wheelchair BMX to become a Paralympic event.
He tells me one story after another about the pranks he pulled when he was in the Navy, all the times he fell and should have been injured even worse than he was. His stories are hilarious, and as he talks he's got a sparkle in his eye that's enchanting. I can't get enough.
I tell him about my grad degree and the opera and everything, and he says "That's cool" to it all, and he really seems to mean it. Then because I'm sick of having to hide and worry and feel guilty, I tell him upfront about being a devotee. He's never heard of it before but like everything else I tell him, he says "That's cool." He seems to like the idea that I'm attracted to his disability.
Things are going so well and I'm so infatuated that I invite him back to my place. But as soon as we get out onto the sidewalk, his legs start jumping around like crazy.
"Oh shit," he says, his face going pale. "I gotta take a piss, like right now."
"Um, I'm not sure if the bathroom at the bar is accessible. Want me to go check?"
"No, I mean right now. I've, uh, had some problems with UTIs." He's starting to sweat. Can paras get dysreflexia? I thought that was only a quad thing. But before I can say anything else, he's whipping his dick out right there. There are a bunch of tall plastic trash bins cluttering up the sidewalk right near us, and he's rolled in between them which more or less hides him from the other people walking by. He grabs an empty water bottle from the backpack slung across the back of his chair and in two minutes he's filled it up and tossed it in one of the bins. The whole thing happens so quickly I don't think anyone really notices.
As we're heading over to his truck, we both spot another guy with a disability, a DAK amputee. I've seen this guy around before. He makes quite an impression. He's probably in his forties, with a big mustache and a cowboy hat, and he gets around on a skateboard instead of a wheelchair, pushing himself along with his hands. This means he's very low to the ground, but he's incredibly fast and agile. It's amazing to watch him. Somehow I get the feeling he was born without legs. His whole attitude screams that he doesn't have time for your ableist bullshit, that he's figured out what works best for him and that's what he's going to do.
Sean picks up on all this instantly too. We watch the guy jump the curb on his skateboard then head off down the street between the traffic and the parked cars, even though he's barely higher than the wheel well.
"Hey, bro! That's awesome!" Sean yells as he skates by, but the guy completely ignores him. Oh well.
We ride back to my apartment in Sean's car. I lead him through the gate, past the main house, to the row of apartments in the backyard. So far so good, but when we reach my front door, there are three cement stairs painted red, then one more step over the threshold.
"So, um, do you want me to help? I think if you face backward, I could pull you up the steps," I suggest.
"Nah, 's cool, I got this," Sean grins, then scoots forward and lowers himself to the first step. He waits while I unlock the front door and carry the chair up over his head and place it right inside the doorway. I swing the door in as far as it will go and prop open the storm door.
As I stand there watching, Sean pulls himself backwards up each step, pausing each time to pull first one leg then another. He moves fast, not really being careful, and I worry a little about the state of his ass, but I assume he knows what he's doing. His powerful arms bulge with each step. Again I realize how much easier The Mantis has it with his crazy long arms. Even though he's not as muscley, the difference in center of gravity means he can transfer like it's nothing. For Sean it clearly takes some effort.
He makes it over the threshold at last but I realize that as he's dragged himself over the steps, his pants have slid down, and by the time he's sitting on my doormat, his pants are halfway down his thighs with his junk hanging out.
"Wow, we haven't even made it to the bedroom yet," I joke, and we both laugh. He rolls onto his side to pull his pants up, now exposing his taint and asshole right in front of the still open door. I can't close it while he's lying in the doorway. I really hope my neighbors don't walk by right at this moment.
It takes a surprising amount of effort for him to pull his pants back up, because his legs start to spasm and kick. After quite a lot of rolling around, Sean finally manages it and transfers back into his chair, and I close the door. Thank goodness my elderly Chinese landlady never comes to the backyard.
 As soon as Sean is back in his chair, I'm on him. My legs are too short to really straddle him properly, but I swing one leg over his lap and lean in to kiss him hard. He's into it, kissing me back and cupping my ass with one big callused hand. His chair creaks as we grab at each other, and I remind myself not to lean forward too much; I don't want to tip us both backward.
As much as I love making out with him in the chair, it's really not that practical. I show him in through the kitchen and back to the bedroom. He parks his chair next to my bed, which luckily is the exact same height as his seat. Who knew that buying the cheapest Ikea bed would have this advantage?
He scoots his butt forward a little, then puts his feet on the floor, one hand on the bed and swings over. I pull off his sneakers, which are scratched to hell on the toe cap but pristine on the bottom.
Gripping his pants, he lifts one leg up onto the bed then the other, and scoots over until he's lying in the middle of the bed. With a growl, I jump on top of him and cover him with kisses, testing to see how he'll react. I try his ears and neck, and he likes it, but doesn't seem overly sensitized. I pull off his shirt, and oh my god, those pecs. He's got a  big tribal tattoo over half of his chest, which is nicely tanned without too much hair. I go at his nipple for a while, kissing, licking, nipping, and again he's into it but it's not like orgasmic. I guess because he has an incomplete injury he hasn't remapped his erogenous zones to his upper body.
I explore lower, asking him to show me the line of his injury, but it's not like a clear cut line, more of a slow fade. Getting up on the bed made his pants slip low on his hips again, and as he lies on his back I can see the outline of the baclofen pump in his lower belly, just above the hip bone on the right side. It's about three inches across, a hard disk that protrudes through his skin. I don't want to make him self-conscious, so I pretend not to notice it.
Even though his legs are still kind of rounded, his hips are narrow without much muscle, and I can easily pull his pants down even without opening the fly. All this squirming around sets his legs off again, so I stand up over him on the bed. While I lock eyes with him, I pull off my shirt and open my bra. His eyes go huge. Still standing, I open my jeans and wriggle out of them, trying not to fall over.
I lie down again next to him, and pull his pants all the way off, so now we're both fully naked. I rub my hand over his belly and the tops of his thighs.
"Can you feel that?"
"Yeah, but it's, like, weird. I can feel a light touch but if you stab me with a pin I might not feel it."
I brush my fingers gently around his thighs, then grab his cock, but it only gets semi-hard. "Can you feel that?" I grin up at him.
"Yeah, I feel it," he answers in a matter-of-fact kind of way.
"So can you come? I mean, I'm ok with anything, we don't have to stick it in."
"Uh...I've tried, I mean, a lot, but I haven't been able to make myself come."
"That's really ok with me," I reassure him. "P-in-V is overrated anyway. I'd rather do other things."
He grins at me and I kiss him hard.
"I like it rough," I tell him, and we roll around in the bed like we're wrestling. I love the feel of his strong arms around me as I tangle my legs up with his. He kisses me harder, then moves down to my neck and shoulders, nipping at me playfully. I make a lot of noise, because guys like that. I love how he grips me harder every time I moan. I sit on his face and let him eat me out for a long time, and man he is good at it.
I'm not really sure what to do for him in return. I suck his cock for a while but like he said, it doesn't really go anywhere and he doesn't seem to be getting much out of it. We go back to rolling around, kissing and stroking, then he goes down on me again.
Like me, Sean is chatty in bed, so in between the sex we're talking a lot. He tells me a lot of very intimate things about himself, including that he thinks he might be bi. I tell him that's no big deal, I definitely am too. He talks about his injury, how life isn't really that much different now, he just has to do some things in a different way, but he still feels like the same person. He sounds surprisingly well adjusted. It's hard to believe we just met today.
Finally around four in the morning I'm so worn out I'm starting to drift off. I get out of bed to brush my teeth, and he follows me, still chatting. As I wash my face and brush my teeth, I tell him that what I really want more than anything is to get married and have kids. I know it's way to early to be opening up about shit like that with him, but fuck it, it's how I really feel.
"Me too!" he says eagerly. "My sister has kids and playing with them is the best thing ever. I can't wait to have my own. I think I'd be an awesome dad."
I stare at him in disbelief. Usually dudes like him who are still single into their mid-thirties have commitment issues and actively dislike kids. I would never have guessed he's so into the idea.
"I think you'd be a great mom," he says, smiling at me with those blue eyes sparkling. "I mean, I know we just met, but it would be so awesome to, y'know, have a family with you." Oh my god, I'm completely, totally in love. For real. Even though I know it's a bad idea, a fantasy of having kids with Sean takes hold of me and I surrender to it.
Now I'm finished getting ready for bed, but what is he going to do? The bathroom is too narrow for his chair to fit. I give him an empty plastic bottle which he pees in, then I dump it in the toilet, while he washes his hands in the kitchen sink.
"Thanks for being cool about that," he says apologetically.
"Hey, no problem," I reassure him. "I learned a long time ago that if you're with an SCI guy you have to be really ok with pee. It's no big deal at all."
By the time we fall asleep, it's nearly five in the morning. Three hours later at eight o'clock his phone rings. It's his roommates, calling to ask if he's dead.
"I told them I was going on a date with a chick from Craisglist then I never checked in again," he apologizes as he snaps the phone shut. "I should probably get home. We got a ton of people coming over this afternoon."
"Ok, want some breakfast first?" I offer. Anything to keep him here longer. He says yes, so I make us some fried eggs over toast, because that's all I have in the house.
Finally, I can't delay him any longer. I offer to bump him down the front stairs, but no, he'd rather do it himself. He lowers himself to the floor by the open front door, and I pick up his chair and set it down outside. I watch while he scoots his butt down each step, then pulls himself up into his chair at the bottom. Again as he's pulling himself up into his chair, his pants come down around his thighs. He laughs as he works them up over his hips, at least enough to cover his dick. Jeez, it's a good thing no one happened to be walking by.
I give him one last kiss, and he promises to come over again on the weekend, then he's gone.
That evening, I get an email from Sean:
hey i had a great time with you last night. thank you for breakfast. i am tryn to call but my cell died and still have lots of peeps hanging out. i'll call you when my phone lets me. i'll see you soon.

I reply,
Ok, I've got to go to bed now, I'm totally wrecked. Oh and by the way, I have bite
marks all over my shoulders, thanks a lot, ha ha ha.

I float through the rest of the week on a cloud. I try to warn myself that it's too early to feel this way, but I can't help myself. I pull up his photos from his ad and stare at them. All I want to do is lie around in a haze and think of him.
But I can't. Between work and rehearsals, I'm actually really busy right now.
The latest opera, La Traviata, is about to open. We're loading into the theater next week and I'm excited about it. Finally, an opera with terrific music that I really enjoy, with fabulous beautiful costumes and big parts for the chorus. Suzanna is the lead again as Violetta, and Uri has been quickly promoted to lead as Alfredo. Everyone has gotten over the scandal of their relationship, and now they have settled into cute couple status. The chemistry between them on stage just makes the show even better.
Halfway through the week, Sean calls and we make plans to get together on Saturday, after my rehearsal. Friday, he calls to say he might be getting another UTI. Saturday morning he calls to cancel, saying the UTI has gotten worse and he's going to the ER. I do my best to stay calm and understanding, telling him to take care of himself and let me know how it goes.
But then a day goes by, and another, and another, and I don't hear anything back from him. I try calling his phone, but he doesn't answer. The next day, I call again and get an automated message saying the number is not in service. Now I start to really worry. UTI can be serious. What if something's really wrong? What if he's dead? I would have no way to know. None of his friends know me. There's no one to contact me. I don't know what hospital he went to. With every day that passes, I get more and more crazy with worry.
As if things weren't bad enough, now I'm sick again. After staying up all night with Sean, I came down with a cold, and it's turned into a sinus infection. This has happened so many times this year, I know the symptoms depressingly well--the cold gets better but I feel worse and worse, with a fever, aches and exhaustion like I just want to lie down on the sidewalk and take a ten hour nap. As usual, I go to the university health clinic, but this time, instead of giving me antibiotics and sending me on my way, I get assigned a doctor who's on an antibiotics crusade.
I describe all my symptoms, and in a condescending tone, she tells me that antibiotics won't cure a cold.
"I know that," I say, trying in vain to stay calm. "I'm over the cold already, but I've developed a secondary bacterial infection in my sinuses, and it's getting worse." I run through all my symptoms again but she is not having it. She suggests I take a hot shower. I start to really lose it. As I describe my symptoms yet again, and how often this has happened, I start to cry, a few tears at first, but pretty soon I'm sobbing and hiccupping. I know, I'm partly crying about Sean too. I feel like everything in my life is spinning out of control.
The doctor hands me a tissue, and I blow my nose. Suddenly, with a sensation like uncorking a bottle, this massive thing like a lump of clay slides out of my nose. It doesn't even look like something that the human body should produce.
"Look!" I shout, holding out the tissue. "Now do you believe me?" The doctor refuses to look at it, but without a word she writes the prescription and sends me on my way.
The truth is, the moment that thing comes out of me, I start to feel immediately better. But I still don't hear anything from Sean, and my anxiety only increases.

The next Friday is load-in at the theater. Suzanna hasn't been carpooling with me since she started seeing Uri, so I'm on my own. The theater is only a few miles from my house but I have to drive over two bridges to get there. I leave an hour in advance, but the minute I get onto the freeway it's absolute gridlock. As I inch forward and the minutes tick away, I realize I'm going to be late. Like really, really late. I should have known it would be like this at rush hour on a Friday. Why didn't I leave earlier? The late afternoon sun is shining directly in my eyes, too low on the horizon to cover with the visor, but still painfully bright, and reflecting a galaxy of dust and scratches on my windshield. I start to completely lose it again. I'm stuck in this fucking car, I can't see anything in front of me, I'm going to be late, and the love of my life could be dead but I have no way of knowing. I'm so overcome with frustration that I pound on the steering wheel with my fists, tears pouring down my face.
I pull it together long enough to drive over the two bridges, find street parking, and check in at the stage door. I go into the women's dressing room and sit down in front of the mirrors, next to my friend Gretchen. When she says hello and asks me how I am, I start sobbing, big heaving, uncontrollable moans and rivers of tears. I don't know which is worse, the idea that Sean just ghosted me, or that he could be dead.
Gretchen rubs my back sympathetically, while Lulu and Ariel also drift over to try to help. Gently, they suggest that maybe this is for the best. I don't really know him at all, we don't have anything in common, and he's kind of a white trash pothead.
"I know you have this thing," Lulu says, meaning me being a devotee, "but I know you can do better."
"I was married to a guy like that, it's not what you want," Gretchen says.
"It's only been a week," Ariel points out.
I know, I know they are all correct. I can't admit to them that the reason I fell so hard was not just because he's in a wheelchair (I told them that already) but because he said he wants kids. It's stupid and crazy to even think that far ahead. Obviously he can't think through the consequences of any of his actions, that's why he got injured in the first place. I know my friends are right even if I can't quite feel it yet. To lighten the mood, I tell them about my moment of body horror at the clinic a few days ago and we all laugh. Then I wash my face and get on with the rehearsal, because what else am I going to do?

That evening, I write Sean an email, and I promise myself that this will be the only time I write. I stop trying to call, since his phone is disconnected anyway.
So it's been a week now since I heard from you, and it's really mysterious the way you just disappeared. If you don't want to see me again for whatever reason, that's fine, you don't have to explain yourself, but just let me know so I can get on with my life and not be left wondering what happened to you or if you're ok or what. The last I heard from you, you were in the ER, so I just really want to know what happened.
I hit send and try not to think about him any more.

Two days later, I'm stunned to see a reply from Sean.
ya i had a memorable week i would like to forget. i am ok...sorta besides the huge infection. VA doped me into oblivion the last week i couldn't of told u my own name. still kinda blurry to be honest. have me on cipro for a week and bed rest for 2. fone is MIA.  shot of demerol took care that one in the ER. my mom said she took it home and plugged it in but unless she put the thing behind the fridge i have no fuckn clue where it is.
to be honest at this point i am fairly embarrassed at my life as a cluster fuck. i apologize for not finding a way to reach u sooner. i wouldn't want to see me again if i was u. anyways i am hunting my fone...thing is prolly on silent under my bed.

I feel a huge rush of relief, like an actual physical weight has been lifted from me. I write back immediately.
Wow, I'm so glad to hear from you! I was really worried, and just didn't know what to think. Don't be embarrassed, it's not your fault.
So are you ok now? What happened? I've got performances for the next 2 weeks still, but after that I do still want to see you :) Give me a call when you're feeling up to it and you find your phone.

But the two weeks go by, and I don't hear anything back. I try emailing him again.
Hey, so how are you? Are you feeling better? Found your phone yet? I'd still like to hear from you....

A whole month goes by. Now it's been almost two months total since our amazing, incredible first date. There was never a second date, and he never wrote or called. At least now I know he's not dead. Probably. He was still sick when he emailed me. But the more likely option is that he just isn't interested. It sucks, but I slowly start to accept that it was just too much too soon. Still, part of me still wants to believe the things he said to me, about how much he liked me and wanted to have a family with me. Maybe he's just not in a good place right now, with all his health problems. After the second email, I don't write again, and try to let it go.
Then at the end of August, I'm searching through Craigslist again and his personal ad is back up, the exact same ad as before, like nothing ever happened. Motherfucker! I send him an email.
Hey, I saw your ad on craigslist today, so I guess you're not dead after all. What the fuck, man? How come you disappeared? I would have been happy to hear from you, even after so long. Was everything you said to me a lie?
He doesn't reply.


  1. Wow wow this was so tantalizing. I can’t help but notice that the title says “part 1”. Phew!

    1. Haha, thank you! Yes, Sean will reappear but not for a little while...
      I initially planned to tell the whole story in just one chapter but it got too long, and a bunch of other things happened before he reappeared. So readers will have to wait for part 2.

  2. Ugh I’ve totally experienced the awesome date followed by nothing too... I feel you.

    1. Thank you! Not knowing what happened to him was maddening. It wasn't just that he disappeared, but that he had gone to the hospital with potentially life-threatening condition. I tend to worry too much anyway, and this threw all my worst instincts into overdrive.

  3. What an asshole! You dodged a bullet with that POS. Ghosting is so cruel. So will the DAK on the skateboard be in the next chapter?

    1. OMG you are so right, I totally dodged a bullet. It would have been a disaster to date him, never mind trying to have kids with him. It took me a loooooong time to realize that.

      Ghosting is cruel, but remember I did the same thing to someone else just a few chapters back. I still feel so guilty about it. But there will be a part 2 to the Sean story.

      Sorry, I never did meet the DAK skateboard guy. He will not be appearing in the story again. Too bad!

  4. I'm sure you were better off... seems like he really needed to get his shit together!

  5. Very cool and entertaining chapter.