Later, June 9th, 1869

Dear Diary,

As promised, I return to provide a more detailed description of certain goings on in my life. My last entry was rushed, I know.

First, I want to talk a little bit about my experience with the cookie girls. I dare say my mother and father are turning in their graves at the very notion that their only child might dance in a burlesque show, even if it was for charity. Despite what society and religion generally say of such gay women, I was surprised to feel both excited and empowered as I danced. I flirted, I teased, and I benefited from a rigorous exercise that produced a healthy glow. The overwhelmingly positive reactions of the party goers enabled me to feel emboldened and proud of my body and of myself. “Everything in moderation,” it is said, and my participation with the cookie girls leads me to believe that moderation in matters of the flesh is as equally to be desired as moderation in any other aspect of life.

The people of Steelhead did not seem to like me the less for my display; in fact, they appreciated the cookie girls and our contribution to a noble cause. They enjoyed my tart sense of humor and my athletic dance steps. Far from treating my body as some vile commodity or as some wicked, shameful, thing, Steelheaders treated it as a thing of beauty to be praised and admired. On stage, I wielded a great deal of power over most of the principal citizens of an entire town. Even Lord Lunar, the most respected man (elf, really) in all of the land, wanted to dance with me — and, let me note, he was perfectly respectful during the entire dance. I have danced in a burlesque troupe, and yet I am not some craven, fallen woman. No Jezebel am I. My association with the cookie girls has taught me a valuable lesson, and I am grateful to have learned to take pride in my body rather than to be ashamed of it.

Perhaps that newfound confidence is why I was finally able to do more than moon over a man. Last night, I invited Mr. MacBeth out for an evening of ballroom dancing. We patronized a romantic ballroom first introduced to me by Captain Wytchwood. While we danced, we spoke of many things. Some topics related to business; others, to pleasure. Some dances were fast; others, unusually slow. During one such slow dance, my dashing favorite leaned forward and pressed his lips to mine. I cannot speak for Mr. MacBeth’s reasons for choosing to kiss me, but I believe the reason I did not jump away in shock and shame may well have to do with my discovery that things of this nature are enjoyable and empowering and that they do not, contrary to popular belief, result in immediate degradation and damnation.

That said, I am afraid that inhibitions remained, these largely due to my own lack of experience. What, Diary, does one do with one’s hands while kissing a man? His hands roamed freely and pleasurably, but I little knew what to do with mine other than to simply wrap them about his neck. And what about the lips? Or the tongue? Or anything, really? Mr. MacBeth seemed genuinely surprised when, embarrassed by my lack of prowess, I admitted that I have never before been courted. He said a woman like me should be showered with affection.

Fortunately for me, I did not allow the moment to be wasted. My memory seems hazy. I know I felt flush, incredibly so, all over. I think my complexion matched my gown for the majority of the evening! I also recall what seemed like a frantic, racing pulse and a heartbeat that I felt certain that everyone in the room could hear. A smile, too, seemed permanently painted upon my lips. I kept hearing the bard’s word’s in my ears. “Oh trespass sweetly urged, give me my sin again,” my mind repeated. At last, I snaked a gloved hand up my beau’s neck and under his chin, pulling his lips to mine. This time, it did feel magical.

Oh, Diary! I cannot believe it! You cannot imagine how giddily I grin as I write and recall last night’s events. When our tongues met, the most wonderful shivers shot straight down my spine. Like lightning, they were, and they seemed to dart from lips to loins in a manner most agreeable, although not entirely expected. My body literally ached, and yet not disagreeably so. My breasts felt fuller and somewhat engorged, as if pressing forward of their own accord. My, ahem, uh – you know, Diary, the parts of me that differ from those of a man – felt similarly. For the first time, I think, I knew desire, as I seemed to feel an emptiness there that craved completion. Oh, how my head spun!

I know that these feelings are dangerous. I know that my honor and reputation are truly at stake, here more than in a simple dance troupe, but I cannot seem to regret my actions. While I fear the intensity of these new sensations, I simply cannot prevail upon my heart to believe my actions wrong or sinful. To give and receive such tokens of affection is wonderful! It is delightful! Near rapturous, I would call it, and as divine as any pleasure received at church or in reading a beautiful poem. I fear consider very much in a way to lose myself, and yet, I recklessly refuse regrets. Is it wrong, do you think, that I so look forward to a repetition of this recklessness?

Perhaps ruin does come of being a dance hall girl for a night. Perhaps, lacking the aid of a parent or even a chaperon to guide my courtship, I already tread choppy waters and brave a deadly undertow. I must find a woman of years and experience with whom I may speak freely on such matters, one who can guide me and help me to keep my head. Despite these doubts, I remain mostly elated. I look forward to improving my technique with practice, albeit less publicly, in the future.

And so, dear Diary, until next I write, you have the comfort of knowing me to be —

Your elated,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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One Response to Later, June 9th, 1869

  1. Miss D Ember says:

    Wonderful entry. Ah, how the wings of young courting do quicken the heart.

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