Jodie. Kash. The first a nickname, the last an abbreviated version of Lithuanian heritage and posthumous ode to my Dad. The first incarnation of the alter ego, captured in a picture, the thumbnail on a blog page. She was born during a time of extreme change, a reaction to sudden death, realization of truths long hidden and need to love me more; I knew I could disappear completely if I didn't. She’s ballsy and brave, raw and real, exposing cleavage and soul. Because of her I changed the story I told. Funny, most create alter egos to hide behind, escape reality or represent themselves in a more favorable fashion. Mine emerged to tell more truth, to be ugly and beautiful.
Guess I was never really good at following the fold. It just took four decades and a digital self-portrait to see it.
Because of her I walked into a gym and began to transform muscles and organs and cells, probably extending her life and mine. Because of her I embraced my body, all of my body. The image, tits nearly out, isn’t meant to entice; she’ll get you hard or moist from words and imagination. Her sexuality and eroticism comes from words. I realize now when I captured her bearing skin and chest, it was to see her heart, really for the first time. How often had I joked about “a heart as black as night”; for too long a time it was sadly true. I just tied it in a pink tulle bow, sprinkled silver glitter over it so no one would stop and notice, so I didn’t have to explain the quiet unhappiness and self-hatred.
Because of her I finally let go enough to have sex so amazing it made me cry.
When she started to speak here, I was concerned, especially when family and old friends began to read her words. Found out the little of both who claim us understands and accepts. Expelling truth is a bit like finally taking a really deep breath.
And it's contagious.
Admittedly, I need to kinder to my other half. I love her, but haven’t cared for her lately like I should. Although I can still button the skinny jeans, the fat ones feel more accommodating right now. I need to help her shed the six extra pounds she’s still carrying from December. Stop some of the late-night comfort and stress binges. Remind her more often that alone is not lonely, and independence is not alienation. And that once you expose your heart, don’t be afraid of those who want to see it. Even if they drop it, or it slips from their hands.
Because sometimes you can’t make it on your own.