Breaking my Illusions
What’s wrong with cruelty? Where’s the love? Balancing the internal and external perceptions of ourselves can be fraught with anguish. Looking inwards requires skepticism otherwise opportunities are left untouched.
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FASHION DESIGNER & STYLIST: NATASHA TABUNOVA MODEL: BRANDO LOPEZ HAIR & MAKE-UP ARTIST: ARACELI BRAVO PHOTOGRAPHER: FLÁVIO IRYODA
I tried to be as quiet as possible entering the house. I had a disturbing dinner with my boyfriend Allan, he insulted me?!? He said, “Cameron you are a condescending fuck who judges everyone else but yourself…. you’ll end up alone!”. Who me? What the hell, I admit I love to be outrageous, and I repeatedly push past my sexual and conceited boundaries. I totally understand who I am, and I will not be alone!! But?? I am, after replaying Allan’s words in my mind, doubting myself now. I mean, I suspected that my mom has been a little disappointed in me lately. She and Allan want me to be less loud, kinder, more accepting of other people. I just don’t understand what they are talking about, I am as liberal minded as can be. I look at the world and totally accept most of these shit-munchers. I have friends and acquaintances that resemble a rainbow of races and sexuality. People love having me around and Allan loves me. I know he does. But sitting here in the dark, I started to consider that in the past year although many of my actions have been deeply pleasurable, I may have been cruel and just maybe more selfish? My mom made it clear that I have reached new depths in depravity. Nonetheless, I love her, she is an amazing woman that is not only kind but also forgiving. Lately it has been hard for me to be with her, I hate seeing that disheartened look in her eye. I love having fun and it’s not reasonable for me to act the way she does. There are so many new opportunities and sensations available to me now. Culture and community are not as restrictive as it was 20 years ago, and I want to take advantage of it. Before Allan, I met this sexy surfer-boy, Chaiyo, from Thailand. Chaiyo was, like all my past toys, extremely pretty but he surpassed all others with almost incredible levels of child-like naiveté and stupidity. Chaiyo was exceptionally happy go-lucky and had absolutely no sense whatsoever. Periodically charlatans from Europe or China would convince him to travel and try his luck as a print model or even reality television. Chaiyo was certainly attractive enough and he has occasionally modeled in Thailand for lightly pornographic magazines. But so many people in his industry wanted to use Chaiyo sexually and for only the most threadbare of opportunities. The last straw in our relationship was when I received a call from Chaiyo to help him when he was stuck in Spain after being fooled yet again by another would-be agent. I mean seriously, I may have been a bit of a marshmallow with Chaiyo, but I certainly was not going to help this lovely but stupid boy. I laughed in his face and hung up. Looking back, I know I hurt him and now looking deeper inside myself I could still feel a frisson of excitement at what I did. This finally raises the prospect that I am truly evil. I don’t want to be that way.
I know that there are pieces of me that I do not want to change, even if it upsets my family and boyfriend. But I am starting to see there are pieces of me that embarrass me. I keep thinking back to Allan. I met him one warm, orange-tinged afternoon last year at my club. Allan is a 24-year-old, six-foot one-inch-tall tennis instructor with beautiful green eyes and Justin Timberlake curls. He is extremely athletic with a very pretty body and that afternoon he pushed me extremely hard at playing tennis. We played for two hours on the green clay courts as the sun was setting. I tried not to embarrass my pervious instructors but, in the end, I grimly held on to be trounced by Allan in the ever-rising dust. There were gin and tonics served during rest breaks, which were all too brief, and during the breaks I flirted with Alan. My friends rolled their eyes when they heard this story, I reminded them to please remember that I love to flirt with everyone: men and women. This is not a skill that should be attempted by children or ingénues since there is a certain talent involved to prevent getting my ass kicked up down the street. Well, to my surprise, Alan flirted back and asked if I wanted to go to his place for dinner. I thought for a few nanoseconds, not of rejecting the offer, but if my underwear was clean and said yes. We have been together ever since. Alan is a sweet guy who has supported my mom in to trying to make me a better person. But it has been hard. Sometimes I regress and act atrociously. I keep asking myself why do I care what my mom and Allan think? Although my mother is old school in the way she thinks about relationships as well as being polite and respectful to any gomer that walks the streets, she isn’t toxic. I mean my mom has never overreacted to my craziness nor has she ever demanded that I change the way I treat my love life. She respects my boundaries and loves to be proud of me whenever she gets the chance. But I can tell she frets about me; she loves me and isn’t sure the way I have been acting will let me be happy in the long run. It drives me batshit! She’s so nice and reasonable and I have retreated from her, and I know this has hurt her.
I keep asking myself tonight why I am doing this? I suspect it’s because I don’t want to admit that maybe… just maybe I have crossed the line into being an asshole. I have never been an angel not since I was hurt by all the gossip about me when I was younger, and I first discovered that I loved sex and being desired. My aggressive personality went into immediate attack mode. If someone insulted me behind my back? I would taunt them with my vicious comments on their own lives until they cried. There is no feeling as supremely satisfying as when you make a gossipy sneak back off and make it clear to everyone that I would never be bullied. Tonight though, I am thinking all that my quiet, sweet mom wants from me is to talk. Not about anything in particular, I think she just wants me to be around more and maybe share with her on what I am up to. She is a lovely person, a fitting example to anyone. Which is why I am sitting here feeling awkward and guilty. My mom is not making me feel guilty, I am making myself feel guilty because I am underestimating myself and purposely undermining myself. I want to talk with her more not only because I love her but because I need to better understand myself. Who better than the woman who gave me light? Right? Allan has gotten to know my mom pretty well and I love how they sit around our red aluminum kitchen table, slicing up vegetables or leaning back on the chairs with the bouncy red leather seat cushions and talk about everything or nothing at all. It makes me smile and I feel a deep part of me get all warm and I can’t help but be happy.
I know that in the past couple of months I have been become more driven by my salacious and inconsequential desires. But I have never betrayed Allan. He is the type of guy I thought would never be interested in me. I was a late bloomer and for so long I felt awkward with my body, I was amazed and confused when guys got so focused on my boobs and ass, which by the way, I loved. Wasn’t I supposed to focus on romance and chastity? I felt like a whore, which is what my childhood friends called me. I was so hurt by them that I hid behind an emotional wall and slammed my desires into hibernation. Then about 3 years ago I finally decided that as long as I was careful, I deserved to be as perverse and corrupt as I could. To hell with it I say, nobody ever got hurt by having a little fun even if my desired acts are illegal in most states and countries. And yeah, I had fun. I met guys like Chaiyo and made sure that I wallowed in every physical and adventurous pleasure. I always put myself first. Then I met Allan who initially looked at me just like everyone else did with a physical lens and hungry eyes. But that night in his apartment, sipping delicious spicy Grenache, Allan wanted to get to know me first. I thought I was going to be bored and either I would have to jump him or leave. But instead, I felt comfortable and I kind of morphed into this funny, charming version of myself that started to feel that warm center inside me get hot. Over the first months together, Allan was patient with me, he instinctively knew when I was feeling prickly or just itching in my own skin. He wasn’t a saint; Allan is never going to allow himself to be bullied or pushed around and can be brutal in his direct assessments. But Allan could instinctively reach that part of me that recognizes that this sweet, beautiful guy wanted to love me and not judge me.
Before Allan, I was catching up sexually and being impulsive for all that I missed when I hid behind my emotional wall. During that time, I was so concerned about being this nerdy, sloppy, impulsive girl that I avoided having any fun. So afterwards, I went wild when I stopped hiding. But now, I didn’t need to be that crazy, self-destructive bully with Allan. He could look inside me past the boobs, which is difficult, cause they are nice!! Yet sometimes I still get nervous and act out like an idiot. Even Allan has limits to his patience. I kind of love Allan, I am heartsick he is mad at me. I know he is going to give me another chance, but this is the moment where my next steps will either turn him away from me or force me to acknowledge that I cannot be so egotistical. He has accepted me as an aggressive, sexually driven, and bitchy woman with a gooey warm center. In turn, I need to accept that Allan wants me to concentrate on expanding that warm center and make it a more prevalent part of who I am. As I start to scare myself here in the dark, I realize that I must change somehow. It is so easy to say but I like who I am for the most part. I will have to look carefully inside myself and see what I want to continue to accept about myself, both good and bad, and what really must change because I do not want to be purely selfish anymore. It is not always about me; I am coming to understand that. I care so much about Allan and my mom that I need try. I may love being arrogant and condescending, but I also want to be loved by them as well.

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