I love the dissonance of the cello in this song. I was raised to appreciate absurdity, so to me, joy is like a C chord: ordinary; too dreary; without nuance to dig into. There’s only the expected. That cello knows that perfection is found in the rust and the mud.

When you ask most people about music, they speak about the harmonies and lyrics. Me? I love dissonance. A misplaced minor key, instruments shifting in and out of the song’s chord, the breaking of a perfect voice. I love the dark, the unusual, the out of place. I’ve spent most of my life chasing precisely those things. How else does a writer learn to use a pen?

My early twenties were steeped in kittens and rainbows, complete with all the right trappings: love, the “perfect” career, two dogs, and a walk in closet. Was I happy? Yes, very much so, but I was not fulfilled.

(Continued below)


Within months of leaving that life, I stumbled on the wrong kind of darkness: Rape. I became a ghost, living so far from reality that I barely knew I was alive. There is nothing as intolerable as a sense of unreality. If I destroyed myself the way rape had tried to destroy me, surely I would begin to feel real again? I felt as though my soul had crawled into a tiny ball and withdrawn to the core of my body, so far away from my surroundings that voices almost seemed to echo.

My therapeutic team stamped me with the words “treatment resistant.” Only one counsellor believed in me enough to admit me. A month later, he called me his miracle baby. He still does. He used to call me a space cadet, though. I don’t think I ever stopped being one of those, but every year, on the date I left his care, I call him to thank him, to tell him I’m still alive. I’m still happy. I’m still well.

Six years later, E introduced me to D/s, which finally gave love and sex the very dissonance I’d sought elsewhere.. I used to call him Stagger Lee because he was as gritty and evil as that track. My friends mocked my Fuuuuck-Nick-Cave-is-Sexy phase, but damned if he wasn’t E’s essence personified. As for his love, well… that goes a little something like this

I’ve experienced true love many times. I’ve lost it to death once. What have I learned through all of those experiences? That this is my space. This is my truth, and I will speak it even while I feel I owe you my silence. Words are everything to me.

They say poetry doesn’t come from an ability to write, but to find beauty in the grunge and filth. And that takes me all the way back to the beginning, to this cello, this rust, this dirt.


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