The philosopher is recovering nicely from his emotional flu. It makes me think of those hushed, tear-jerking scenes in old black and white movies, in which someone of perfect goodness, often a child or soft-edged young woman, lies desperately ill surrounded by her somber family. The doctor intones that all they can do is pray. And then - oh joy! The fever breaks, the tide has turned, she opens her eyes, and slowly comes back to herself, even more saintly than before.
I am by no means implying that the philosopher is a saint, but he did have me scared. And now he is returning to himself. I am again required to give him a wake-up call at 10 am on weekdays, and he is telephonically tucking me in at a night.
The recent lack of regular contact, combined with the absence of tasks, was making my ownership feel rather tenuous. The little things he had sometimes ordered me to do, and which I adopted as my own gifts of submission, were losing their meaning. I usually make a point of wearing pink panties until they run out, and will mention that fact in my wake-up call. The philosopher has a thing about pink. But last week my heart wasn't in it. I have a pair of what I call my slave kitten earrings - tiny brassy squares with a suggestion of a cat subtly etched into each one. I am usually drawn to wear them, not due to any command but from a combination of superstition and symbolic dedication. Last week I felt like a fake putting them on, but was terrified of the potential for disaster if I didn't. I never considered not wearing the paper clip slave chain that lives around my right ankle, but wondered whether that, too, was an empty ritual.
In the end, everything turned out fine, we weathered the crisis and renewed our commitment to communication. But my fears were well-founded on two levels. Any relationship, whether vanilla or D/s, needs care and feeding. Even when people are living together, the bonds that unite them can lose their elasticity and fray to nothing under the strain of lack of attention. But even if you only see each other at bedtime, even if stress has banished sex, a touch, a whisper, a snuggle can be enough to carry you through.
D/s makes absence worse, I think. Submission needs reinforcement, even more at a distance and even more yet during difficult times. What is helping me feel secure again is the return of a very effective task from our early days. I am given one or two highly arbitrary times at which I must leave a message on his cell phone. Oh, I do love this task! It's good for my ADD as it gives structure to my day, and it keeps me constantly focused on being owned. Once he has made the assignment, the philosopher can return his attention to his own tasks without distraction. As a bonus that is both pleasing and torturous, my cunt gets very very twitchy as I make my call.
I think we can manage for a while, if need be, without visits or even delicious extended erotic scenes by phone or e-mail. I'm not happy at the prospect, but it can be done - but only if we keep up other little gestures of affection and confirmations of ownership until our hero completes the quest of slaying the grad student-eating dragon and comes back to claim the princess.
(I was happy to discover that our new blog made a contribution to the normalization of relations. When we spoke Monday morning, the philosopher said that he had finally read what I had been posting all week, and commented that he didn't realize i was so upset. I must admit that I've tended to turn up my nose at couples who were using a blog to communicate, mediated by the comments of their readers. Hey, you guys, can't you just talk to each other? But even if I hadn't been banned from e-mailing, in addition to not wanting to add the burden of my sighs and tears, I found it easier to fully express myself in poems posted on the side of a potentially public brick wall. Hooray for modern technology!)