Alternate Realities

She wondered if the past was binary, too. Once we make mistakes, can we never undue them? Once we disappoint, can we ever gratify? Once we betray, can we ever be trusted? Once we connect, can we ever disconnect? Or, maybe more importantly, once a connection is severed, can we ever reconnect?

© Chris Courtney Photography

Margot often wondered, ‘with so many possibilities, why do we only get to live out singular lives?’ The crux of life seemed to fall on either side of binary choices. Monogamy or not. Marriage or not. Children or not. And there were darker choices – to give in to her deeply carnal lusts or maintain her self-image of being desired but untouched…untouchable. Once they touch you, you can never be untouched again.

The sun was dropping between the towers of the Golden Gate on one of those rare, crystal clear, January days on the San Francisco Bay. She sat in her special spot on the Hyde Street Pier where tourists fear to tread. She was taking advantage of the late haul of fresh Dungeness crab just off the trawlers that came in that morning from the North Pacific. The smell of the boiling crab pots and the warm sourdough bread was gorgeous and made the wind whipping off the bay from Alcatraz a bit less frigid. Even the barking sea lions and seals seemed cold.

The taste of Christy was like manna from heaven. Margot had tiny orgasms whenever her tongue licked and savoured Christy’s beautiful oyster soft flesh.

As she dipped a handful of crab meat into the bowl of rich, drawn butter, an overwhelming sense of déjà vu came over her.

She wondered if the past was binary, too. Once we make mistakes, can we never undue them? Once we disappoint, can we ever gratify? Once we betray, can we ever be trusted? Once we connect, can we ever disconnect? Or, maybe more importantly, once a connection is severed, can we ever reconnect?

Even more perplexing: was all the personal evolving she was experiencing for purpose? Why not just go back to the hedonistic, sexual gluttony of physical and mental annihilation she had reveled in before? Why did this bother her so much more than it had ever bothered her before?

A pang of anger made her accidentally bite her tongue and the taste of blood mixed with the crab she was eating. Tears welled. Why was she letting this get to her?

The thud of the bottle of Diet Coke dropping onto the pier beside her made her jump. She turned to look, but the glare of the sun on the old Ghirardelli Chocolate factory backlit whoever was standing there.

“Can’t you even say ‘hello’?”

“Hello…sorry, I couldn’t see you -the glare. Thank you,” Margot added. Christy knew she meant the Diet Coke.

“I can’t let you drink Pepsi.” But she didn’t smile like she usually did. “Look, you’ve got to stop calling and texting and sending me all that other shit. I’m done. I’m not coming back.”

“I’m just making sure you’re not drowning.”

“I get that, but that’s not up to you anymore. You left. You gave up that privilege.”

“Wait – “ as Margot closed her eyes, Christy receded into the crowd.

The frustration was coming full force now, Margot couldn’t stop it.


The thud of the bottle of Diet Coke dropping on the pier beside her was not what she wanted to hear right then.

“I know you think that’s what I want right now, but –“

“I’d be wrong?” Christy finished Margot’s thought for her. “I can’t let you drink Pepsi.”

“Not entirely, but ya. What I really want is a bottle of wine.”

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“I’m sure there’s a 21-year-old around here somewhere,” Christy smirked.

Christy had consistently teased Margot about being an ally cat who fucked almost anything that moved. While Christy wasn’t a puritan, she had experienced much less than Margot sexually, and to assert her superiority, Christy often used Margot’s past to put Margot in her place.

“Fuck you.”

“You’ve been holding that in for a long time,” Christy’s voice was tired and resigned.

“Yup, I have. I should have said it the first time out.”

“Maybe if you had, you wouldn’t have been such a cunt in the end. I guess all that pent-up resentment finally found its release.”

“When you stopped fucking it out of me, it had to go someplace,” Margot knew that one would sting a bit, but she was too angry to care.

“I got tired of fucking it out of you. Rage sex gets boring after awhile Mags. There has to be something more.”

“Christy!” the voice came from across the pier from a tall, leggy blonde in running shorts.

Christy turned back to Margot, “I have to go. We’re training for The Bay to Breakers. Look, you knew what you were getting into. Throwing tantrums ‘cause you didn’t get what you wanted is cute, but it’s beneath you. Grow the fuck up.” And she was off, running towards Crissy Field.

They had never gotten close enough or deep enough to really hash out their differences and now it was too late. Margot closed her eyes and thought. Should she have been more honest? At the time, it seemed like the friction enhanced the physical dynamic.

Whenever Christy took Margot, it was hard and fast. Christy bent Margot over tables or chairs and reached inside her using her hands and fingers to elicit torrents of pleasure from Margot. Margot had never been taken with that kind of energy by a woman, and Margot craved Christy’s body. Christy was an athlete with long, beautiful legs that Margot enjoyed getting lost between. The taste of Christy was like manna from heaven. Margot had tiny orgasms whenever her tongue licked and savoured Christy’s beautiful oyster soft flesh.

Ironically, she loved that Christy was not emotional. This was never, ever supposed to be a relationship. Why was it more of a relationship now that it was over than it ever had been while they were fucking? Why did she suddenly want the one thing she had always run from?

The thud of the bottle of Diet Coke dropping onto the pier beside her was just what she was expecting, and she smiled to herself.

“Thank you,” she said with deep sincerity.

“I can’t let you drink Pepsi.” Christy sighed in exasperation, but she didn’t smile like she usually did.

Margot lit up, “It’s a travesty –“ and Christy finished the line “to serve a delicacy like crab without the option of diet coke. I know. Still it would be best with wine.”

“Sure, if the alcohol fascists would just let me drink in the open. How did you know I’d be here?” Margot adjusted herself so Christy could sit beside her on the pier, but Christy just leaned precariously against the rickety wooden railings.

“Where else would you be on rare sunny, freezing fucking cold evening?” Christy pulled her winter coat tighter around her and put her sunglasses on top of her head, so they could look each other in the eye, “and I heard about the late catch.”

Neither of them moved or spoke for a while. They were both too angry, too hurt and too – everything to do anything – and they were both too stubborn for either to make the first move.

But it was Magic Hour, that phenomenal band of time just before the sun slides into the Pacific when everything in California is bathed in dark gold and bright orange hues ravishing everything in its glow.

Margot cracked a crab leg, pulled the meat out with her fingers, dipped the sweet, tender meat into the butter and stood to feed her bounty to Christy.

“Oh, my god – that’s amazing,” Christy declared, and the smile Margot hadn’t seen in weeks flashed across Christy’s face more stunning than any sunset.

Margot’s heart raced. If she dared, there would be no going back. Her mind whirled, ‘Why is it so much easier to say no than yes? Why is it so much easier to run?’ She had been running all her life, and Christy was hard fucking work, but maybe it was time to stop running? Maybe staying with what was exceptional but broken was better than something shiny and new.

For Margot, this would be real submission not just submitting to an evening or scene but really submitting in a way she had never, ever submitted to anything or anyone. It would mean she was not free to run anymore. If she wanted Christy, it would have to be on Christy’s terms and those terms seemed almost impossible to Margot.

Christy knew Margot was working out all the possibilities in her head. She knew how Margot thought and processed and came to conclusions. Every scenario considered, mapped, tried – in theory, flipped over, under, sideways – but only when Margot was rational. When Margot got emotional, she was all impulse and rage – there wasn’t a measured bone in her body.

Christy liked to play with Margot’s lack of impulse control. She could make Margot beg for just about anything, and Christy had fun watching Margot tie herself in knots trying to get what she wanted. She liked Margot’s mind as well as her voluptuousness, but Margot could be dangerous. Margot’s self-absorption often left Christy feeling more isolated than before they met. Margot had a way of seeing through Christy, and it left Christy feeling not just vulnerable but violated. It wasn’t just that Margot was fearless, she was also emotionally reckless and that scared Christy in ways Christy couldn’t workout. But Christy also knew if Margot touched her now, a hunger she had felt all her adult life would be fed.

A drop of butter slid down Christy’s lip. Margot looked at Christy and took in all Christy’s longing and denial. Margot wiped away the butter as if it were a tear and fed it to Christy from her finger. Margot moved in as if to kiss Christy but instead she held her lips just out of reach and breathed Christy in. Christy resisted briefly before releasing into their comingling energies. At first, they both tried to lead, breathing in together and exhaling together, but in a moment of release, of softening, and accord with themselves and the grace of the bay and the pelicans and the long shadow of Mount Tamalpais in the distance, they both gave in. Christy breathing in Margot as Margot exhaled and vice versa back and forth until everything melted away and it was finally just them – together – on the edge of the continent.

Margot held Christy’s gaze and caressed Christy’s face almost imperceptibly with her finger tips. Every nerve in Christy’s body began to sing. This is all she ever wanted - pure acceptance and pure desire in one exquisite touch. It was almost too much to bear, but for once she couldn’t fight it. She had to relinquish all control and finally, unequivocally give in to abandon. She let Margot kiss - the gentlest, softest touching of lips she had ever known.

Margot almost imperceptibly ended the kiss but was careful not to disturb the intensifying desire rising in both of them. She remained a hairs breadth from Christy’s lips as both barely moved letting wave after wave of mutual ecstasy enveloped them.

Christy whispered, “If you touch me now, I might break into a million pieces.”

“Then I will put you back together, so you’ll never shatter again.”


Margot closed her eyes and wished as hard as she could to make this last possibility her reality, but when she opened her eyes, she was alone on that windswept pier. A fledgling thought crossed her mind: saying no and running or destroying was easier because those were decisions and actions that were solely her own. Being with Christy wasn’t up to her. She had to accept that. She marveled at the complexity and rarity of a true communion between lovers. It was not as easy as it looked. It hadn’t occurred to her that she was as much responsible for Christy’s experience as she was of her own, but she also knew that Christy didn’t want any responsibility when it came to Margot. Margot had to be satisfied that this discovery was enough, but she also couldn’t help feeling it was a horrible waste of two people who were forged in similar fires and almost...almost...meant for each other.

© Copyright Eurydice Rising