The Importance of Where; A bi-weekly glance at Grayson Russell (#5)

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Installment five of Grayson Russell’s work: ‘To be Chained or Unchained: A short Chronicle of MDMA’

I know it hasn’t been two weeks since I posted Grayson’s work, but he insisted and I can’t tell a friend ‘No’–especially when it’s a story like this. After this happened he called me on his way from Atlanta to Athens. His voice in monotone made it clear he was exhausted. I learned all about his adventurous night with a pink dildo.

“I’m not fucking ashamed, man,” he said through my laughter.

And, to prove he’s not, he asked me to press this story. Give it a read if you want to run down a twisting road of sex, confusion, and sleeplessness with a flamingo.

If you’ve missed his other work check it out here:

The Art of Self Reflection | Installment One
Faulkner’s Room | Installment Two
On Bars, Evictions, and Writing | Installment Three


To Be Chained or Unchained: A Short Chronicle of MDMA

“Man if I am gunna do that shit, I am gunna do it on the ground floor from now on, rope up to the trunk of a tree or something. Just no more balconies.”

And that was my lesson after the fact, after leaving Paris for Madrid, remembering the first time I had done MDMA on the balcony of a seventh story flat with a girl I used to shag about a bit, and who I had come home with carrying those same intentions until her boyfriend showed up after four beautiful lines of methylenedioxyN-methylamphetamine). Whatever that is or was, I found myself on the balcony, avoiding the obvious elephant. I had fucked her and he knew, and she knew that she had fucked me and all through her feminine wiles couldn’t convince him or herself that she didn’t want to fuck me again. I strayed back inside for a beer, quietly. Then the astronomical moment, like suddenly we had all found a new star that caught us speechless. Lover’s whispers. My awkward space which I found hard to fill. I don’t know how to explain this but I walked back outside onto a Parisian balcony, which is short for foot space, but wonderful for the iron railings. I remember leaning over that iron railing, a beer and newly lit cigarette, two lovers within less than 20 feet of me, in late spring trying to convince each other that I had no part in their lives; I remember the taste, the dullness in my mouth like Aspirin. It was a small flat so I could still hear, even with the French windows shut ajar, the fruit and labor of her orgasm. And then I held on, somewhat like an astronaut being suited for outer-space. I held on until the back of my wrists turned white. The thing is, I didn’t care at all about the two lovers making love behind me. I kept looking down, watching this elegant yellow light, a saffron light, a sky light. And my hands grew numb holding onto the railing because I wanted to fly. I wanted somehow serendipitously to land like an elegant creature of the night, a friend or foe with a bottle of champagne, and glasses to boot.

I don’t know how long I stayed on that balcony, but it was long after the lovers fell asleep. I drew a makeshift coverlet beside the French windows and finally called it for the night.

When I woke I made coffee from the little petite coffee makers they have in France, and grabbed my half empty pack of soft cigarettes and walked out onto the balcony. And it was a different balcony that I had known five to six hours before. This time I leaned against the canopy of the windows and drew my breath out long enough to see the smoke expire before me. Below, below I could see the sunrise litter over the canopy of a sky light. But below there was no light, there was no sky. What I was looking at was the yellow tops of six trash bins pushed together.

I thought I was the only one until I met my friend in Madrid. Then that’s how we were gunna do it, chained to the ground, but we never did.

Somehow, radically, I made it through two more years in Paris, six months in Amsterdam, and more time than I want to count in Madrid without ever without ever having chained myself off from the effects of MDMA.

But the story doesn’t end here. Five years later I took it with a girl I used to sleep with. We took bumps from the key to my car. We laced a joint, cut a few lines of this that and the other. All I remember is her room being enormous. She had a spa-type Jacuzzi. I remember telling her, because her room was on the second floor to chain or handcuff me if shit got weird. Then I remember telling her many things, confessions of a squandered love. To make sure she kept me away from the windows and the shadows of dimly lit trees. So, we slipped into a warm jet bath, our nudity swimming toward each other. I remember the bottle of plastic and empty Vodka I dropped in the hot tub. And somehow I remembered to kiss her afterward as if I planted a garden of roses. And we smoked, cigarettes like a thousand chimney sweeps evicted in May. And I kept getting out of the warm soft waters to look for a window. Because I kept seeing the same skylight, that branch of a dimly lit tree, — my escape to Heaven.

It’s only so long before two people that are that high try to fuck each other every different way from Sunday. And we did. In the heart of those three days there was no expiration. We fucked each other like animals. Fucked each other silly. Fucked each into shame and into moments of Joy. Whether it was forty different ways from Sunday or thirty two, I remember taking MDMA the first night I was with her. I remember being clumsy with her bra and putting my fingers into her vagina, the soft and wet moan of it all .The cocoon. I remember cumming for the first time in a long time

Then came the subject of her dildo collection. She had two, one a small oval shaped clitoris stimulator. The other was a narrow pink dildo with a bubble near the head, the color and the bubble like chewing gum. I remember sinking it deep inside of her, once the right way and then the wrong way. She took me in her mouth, and held me there, and I used what she called her, ‘Pink Flamingo’, to care and culture for her what she wanted.

I wasn’t chained to a tree or the ground when I fell recipient to her, ‘Flamingo’. I lay flat across her loins not so far distant from her breasts. It was her left breast she gave me to suckle like a child, to kiss and caress, and then she defiled me in a way that I could not explain. But that was on the second floor of a ten year hierarchy.

To quote my friend and to paraphrase, “Its best to start off on the ground floor. But if you end up with a pink dildo up your ass on the second floor, call it for what it is. Chained or unchained.”

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