Friday, July 20, 2007

Sex & Guitars

I'm working on another final edit of Sex & Guitars. It's been a few years since this book came out in hardcover, and now it's finally -- maybe -- hopefully -- coming out as an Ebook. As soon as I know for sure, you'll know for sure.

In the meantime, I'm going over the manuscript and cleaning up little things I might have missed before. A word used too many times, a turn of phrase that seems odd, things of that nature. But as I'm doing the editing, I'm also re-reading the story.

Sometimes, a walk down memory lane is a real bitch.

I poured my heart and soul into that book. It's a memoir, after all -- isn't it supposed to be all about the heart and soul? I wrote the novel with not only Ayza's consent, but his constant support during every stage of the process. As my journal became a novel, he encouraged me to include everything, even the parts that were almost too painful to write. If I took out a scene that I thought was too close to my heart, too sensual to be laid out in the open, he almost always talked me into putting it back in. The result is a broad, honest account of what we went through together.

That's to his credit, not mine. If it had been entirely up to me, I might say I would have been as open about things, but I'm not sure that's true. I think I might have tried to protect myself from the things I didn't want to remember, and focused more on the things that I wanted to hold onto the most. The good times versus the bad ones.

Looking back, I see myself for who I was back then -- a young woman, little more than a kid, in love with a man who was forbidden. It was that very fact that kept me coming back at first. What person doesn't want their moment of rebellion against all things sensible? But as time went on, he became a need, not just a want. He became the center of me.

In many ways, going back through the story of that time is ripping that center wide open all over again. It's dragging me through the long nights, the empty bottles of alcohol, the passion that was just as intense as the fury, the arguments that made no sense and the moments when everything was so crystal clear, it cut like a jagged blade of broken glass.

It is pulling out those things I left buried, too -- the lines on the mirror, the nightmares while he was in rehab, the haunted look in his eyes when he was coming down from it all.

It's a look I can still see in him. The scars are too deep to ever go away.

Writing about the sex during that time only made sense. Our relationship was based on a lot of things, but sex was the glue that held it together. We expressed so much in bed, things that couldn't be expressed through words. Sex broke down barriers and made us vulnerable, pulled us together in our exclusive little world, where we could discuss things that would never come to the surface in any other way. An orgasm was like striking oil...once the initial rush was over, the steady stream of words would come.

Most of that book was written while I was still tingling from his touch.

I approached this final editing of Sex & Guitars with the question in the back of my mind: Would it still matter? Would it still be relevant? Would it still have the same impact, tell the same tales, hold the same openness and honesty and outright pain that it held in the beginning? Would the sex still burn as hot as fire, would the passion still make sense, would the desire still linger?

The answers to all those questions is yes.

I'm glad for that. That means it might be draining, it might be emotionally exhausting, it might be difficult to look at in the light of day, all these years later -- but it's worth every minute.

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