What does it mean, anyway?
It's not like you have to fill out a questionnaire and answer yes to 180 of the 200 questions before you're allowed to use the word. So I can't pin down why I feel compelled to say it. To pin that tag on the vast bulletin board of my feelings for my demon muse.
I just do.
I didn't want to. He declared quite clearly from the start what he would NOT be to me, and for many reasons I had no complaints about the limits he set. He was challenging, exciting, stimulating, arousing, but I expected nothing more. I put up a wall against anything more.
Then one day,
way back last Fall,
and James Joyce
in the same e-mail message.
And I put my foot down.
In a panic, I put my foot down.
Can you imagine?
"Don't you ever again!"
But it was too late.
At the moment I read his words,
it was long past too late.
And soon after, he told me I was in love with him. Such a matter-of-fact statement, he takes it for granted, the subs always fall in love with him. So I stopped fighting what I couldn't control.
What he didn't expect me to control.
He doesn't seem to mind. And I don't either. It's part of the warmth, the contentment, the security that I feel when I think of him, when I write him, when I serve him, when we talk in the evenings, whatever small gift of time he can find for me. And sometimes he rubs it all over himself, this love of mine. Like the time he ordered me to repeat those words over and over again until he came.
I love you.
I love you.
I love you!
No, he doesn't say those words back. I don't ask for them, I don't expect them, I don't want them. "Yeah, right..." you think, but really, it's better this way. And every so often, when I say I love him, he will respond almost kindly. "Yes, I know," he says, accepting it without bombast, and then I know it's ok.
So no, he doesn't love me. I am his pet, I am his treasure, that's better than words of love tossed lightly without meaning.
He owns me, he encourages me, he drives me, he looks after me. And although it would be nice seeing him more often, touching him more often, giving my eyes to his and my mouth to his, it's been long enough now and deep enough now that I feel secure and content. He is always with me. His ownership surrounds me.
So love? It's just a word. We all of us use it when it feels right. And the sadist? "You will be fine," he says. "Report to me," he says, when I tell him I'm nervous about seeing the dermatologist to be examined for signs of suspicious spots. He doesn't have to flood me with comforting words. I know the support is there. And afterwords, when it's official that I am still cancer-free after 20 years, he writes: "Just as I predicted." And it doesn't feel cold or cocky. He is saying:
You are mine.
I know these things.
And all is right with our world."