You Called To Ask Me When I Was Coming Home, And When I Reminded You That I Wasn’t Coming Home, You Sounded So Disappointed That I Decided To Come Home

My boss called me into her office the day before yesterday to tell me that my contract would not be extended and that I would be let go.

“Like, fired?” I said.

Amazing how I now have a degree in writing and simple words I am unable to understand.

The boss whose dry silence, wry smiles, and wit I’ve admired and loved since the second I interviewed.  The boss whose simple style, and whose kindness, patience, and intelligence are unmatched. The boss who stared through me coldly and said sorry pinching her eyebrows together as if the word had no meaning. The boss who said it had nothing to do with my performance, but rather due to budget cuts in her department. I’ve been in her seat, I know how this goes.

Your friends and family behave like there’s been a funeral when you say you’ve lost your job:

“OoOoo I’m so sorry.”

“This too shall pass.”

“You have been through so much, I’m sure everything will be fine.”

And someone did die a little. And I won’t be. Fine. And although I have a separate writing and fashion description company that I run on nights and weekends complete with interns and quote requests—I still love my day job. Loved. I had a blissful few weeks. I’ve graduated. I gave a wonderful senior lecture, and had a fantastic final reading. My Manuscript Thesis is 201 pages. I am also very apparently unemployed.

So I am available for hire: I have an updated resume and a full suit. I have over ten years experience, and a Master’s degree in writing. I even have a closet helper, although she looks about as sad about this as I am.

Lalanii R. Grant, M.F.A











Title Quote by: David Levithan

Mastering The Art of Nothing

It doesn't matter, you didn't hurt my feelings, I listen to rap music now, lol. I've mastered the art of No. You.

  1. Try not calling for a week or so and then explain it’s because you knew I’ve been busy. Really, all that you knew because you called so much?
  2. Blame it on the al-al-al-al-alcohol.
  3. Fill your glass so overfull you can’t help but notice how empty it is, you know, with so much empty water-nothingness in there.
  4. Work at forgiveness, realize that resentment and forgiveness don’t generally hold hands, they both have “an open field in the rain-shower effect.” Think about it harder.
  5. Sleep well. Wake in Spirographic circles. And look over at the nothing next to you. Now, ahhh, doesn’t that feel… don’t you feel anything at all?

Great then, you’ve mastered it.

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”

—Winnie The Pooh

Didn’t you have this art of nothingness at home as a kid? I sure did.

The Only Thing That Makes It A Part Of Your Life Is That You Keep Thinking About It

Well that and the fact that it obviously persists in your subconscious forcing you to better yourself so that you can have more options. More. More. More.

Some more pretty stuffalus, I'm afraid I don't need

I have ordered yet another tea pot, from For Life. Because most of my life has been built on the things I think I need. In my defense, I’ve wanted this color, style, and stainless steel tea infusing mechanism for quite some time, but still, it was not a need.

On my quest to better myself, I’ve found the things I cannot stop thinking of inadvertently always have to do with a quest for something higher. The promise to make me better. I refuse to become this person that isn’t inspired. So much as so when someone asks what I’ve been up to I shrug and say “o just remodeling the inner beings of my kitchen cabinets, re-purposing notations on a new essay about why names matter more than cleverness, accomplishments, and confidence, while fitting in a new transformation of self, feeding my puppy treats and teaching her not to have anxiety attacks while I’m on the phone with a new **like interest** and having a contemplative discussion with my imagination about how I might get eleven loads of laundry folded up before Saturday morning, you know usual stuff.”

"You can borrow my pencil," "But I don't need a pencil"

I’m in my head a little. I’m in my head a lot. See? Quests for more. Must divy up collective thoughts. Piece together new algorithms to have better timing. I get tired of things too easily. I’ve written a few things away. I’m a talk-a-holic, and collectively a good listener if I value what you’re saying if you’re making good sense. I want to hand a few people a Shut The Fuck Up pencil. Tell them to go write it all down. List life.

So, what do I think about you don’t ask? Well…

  1. Time management opportunities/worries and harps on failures and rejections—another essay? Shout out to Yuvi Zalkow, ❤
  2. Chik-fil-A
  3. Finishing the six writing jobs I have in queue
  4. Memoir revisions, err, draft three, might as well be draft 3,245
  5. All these expectations. What happened to my jumbo dreamscape—backdrop the glass windows and book-covered wall décor? Please don’t tell me I’ve subconsciously given up? (cue more worry)

WTF, figure out your life.

Perhaps one might make their lists on some WTF post-its. I dunno. Just a thought. I’m still having nightmares. This time, they involve excessive amounts of exercise, this scary lady I used to know when I was a kid—and her murdering her husband in a bathtub (too much SVU, maybe?) and me sans Julia, as her character living the movie “Runaway Bride.”

Must force myself to annotate book, re-wire my thinking, and love how far I’ve come.

Must take my time, delight in the fascinations and intrigues of humanity, the entertainment and multitudes I’ve yet to find of my experiences, and the temporary vagueness of this post for lack of what I call nonfictionary-braveness.

Must compete with spellbinding originals to be myself in all walks and waylays. Must figure out how to have more belief in things again. Think with me.

And now for my usual awful and sentimental ending that makes you feel like you read something that was worth wasting a few minutes of your life… this is what I’m striving for, why I’m bettering myself, why individuals who don’t contribute to the betterment of my own economy-(lol)-need to take a shut the fuck up pencil and a WTF post it, and go think about something.

I sure do.

“It is possible to be honest every day. It is possible to live so that others can trust us-can trust our words, our motives, and our actions. Our examples are vital to those who sit at our feet as well as those who watch from a distance. Our own constant self-improvement will become as a polar star to those within our individual spheres of influence. They will remember longer what they saw in us than what they heard from us. Our attitude, our point of view, can make a tremendous difference.”
—Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something

“It is in his pleasures that a man really lives, it is from his leisure that he constructs the true fabric of self.”

The above title is a quote from Dinty Moore’s Craft book, as said by Charles Lamn and Sir Walter Scott in a contemplative essay by Agnes Repplier.

In the middle of acquiring two new Fashion Product description clients—thanks guys, I’m looking forward, I took a moment to breathe, and look at my pretty frikkin pup:

You gave me a treat-treat now shoo yourself away

She’s adorbs. My absolute love.

O, and about the size of my cordless phone (but 2 lbs, 10 ounces) and full-grown.

She keeps thinking she’s a bulldozer when she barks, so I got her the perfect t-shirt today.

She's BOSSY. She's the first girl to scream at the motorcycle!

 And then, if I didn’t jump out of my heartbeat enough looking at her cuteness—

she decided she didn’t wanna be photogenic for her Mom this afternoon.

No Mom, I'm just not gonna look, I'm just not gonna

Often, I think she’s even smarter than I am; just look at this face—studious.

Now if she can just get these edits done for me all will be well.

Mom's Gyrrrl

If I Would Have Known That Inviting You Into My Bedroom Would Make You Turn Down The Invitation To All Of My Other Rooms I Would Have Never Been So Hospitable

I started writing on this site for a few reasons, but mainly to share. Sharing has a way of coming around full circle—but not always in the way one might expect. This is nonfiction so as a preamble I tell my friends and family that they might all be written about, although I never use names unless I’ve made them up. So, now, after having lost two people I cared about due to the content of my blog, I’ve decided to write even more personal shit. Ta-daa.

Topic of discussion today is sleeping with a man/woman too soon, which has been written and re-written, but probably not as ridiculously. I feel like the Salesperson that indubitably gets sold, but here go I:

The courting process is built on assumptions. ASSumptions that change with conversation and habits. I’m a woman, and generally, we are creatures of habit, but that can be said for some men as well. If I go out on a date with a person, I’m immediately wrestling with ASSumptions, because we use them to make good decisions about strangers. So, if the man I’m on a date with keeps darting his eyes across the room and not making good eye contact, he either has a girlfriend that’s a high profile detective, or he’s trying to see who will witness him killing me. I’m going to assume my ass to the bathroom and never return.

The same applies to the habits that form if you were to make it out of that date alive, deeming him an ok guy. Next you have the text messages. Now, I’m all for text messages, but a lot can be said about text tone, and so much more about a person that picks up the phone and uhh, calls me. It’s damn near like receiving snail mail, now-a-days. Score! But secondly, and more seriously what we are learning about in between this time, is if we can build trust in a person or not. This is synched with the building of memories. We are finding out what a future (if there is any) will be like with this person, and we are building rapport. This is why sharing about one’s past or talking about childhood at any point is important to friendships. Building on those foundations—just as important to relationships. Or standby to get separated into a box marked, “for now.”

Jozen Cummings of Until I Get Married wrote about this very topic a few weeks back and said “If you sleep with a woman too soon, and you suck, she will leave you. Wait for her to fall for you emotionally first, then deliver the sub-par performance you’re capable of.” So real.

But from a woman’s perspective, and only because my besties and I were speaking on this very situation… if we like you and you suck in bed, we’ll try again, and sometimes even again, just to make sure it wasn’t something we could’ve worked with. All of whom shall remain nameless (yes first hand my friends and I have vouched for these shenanigans) men have sex for thrill, for the happy end, for the fact of doing it. Sometimes they’re really into you, sometimes not so much. Women? We have sex, mostly (not always, but definitely mostly) for love. We want it to go somewhere. Maybe not to the moonlight and back, but we want it to go somewhere. 

“Men, they jump for money. Women, for love.”

Man On A Ledge, Movie 2012

What I said it! Women are emotional beings. I mean occasionally you get the girl who has conditioned herself to separate the two—lust, love. But even in doing so, a woman is a liar if she says to herself that she wasn’t hoping for that good guy afterwards. We ALL are. Get that fellas? All of us are still counting on you, so no this is not a male bashing party.

So when is the right time, you ask?

Ah, we can go into vibe, conversation, I’d usually measure for commonality. Discussing value can go on and on… every situation was different. A guy friend of mine said he’d slept with a girl after a drunken night, a stranger, and said that afterwards—that awkwardnesss, he felt her embarrassment, for her. He said when he woke all he could think of when he looked at her was, and in his exact words:

“I don’t think I would like to do that ever again with you.”

Another of my friends has trouble with caring at all emotionally thereafter. She said her proof is in the days to come. My sister married her high school sweet tart, also the father of her children—and still to this day will claim she wasn’t pregnant with her first child when she rushed to the altar. I slept with a guy for a year and a half and kept telling my friends he was “a one night stand.” Eventually, my bestie said to me, “it’s been a very loooooooong night then, dontcha think?” I didn’t leave him because he didn’t commit to me, I stopped calling him because he wasn’t honest with himself or his feelings.

I’m saying all of that to say this: The theory is you have to kiss a few frogs. Or, err &*%#. Which is personally frightening for me since my emotions aren’t controlled by anything physically (only), but rather uncontrolled when taken into oblong loops and upside down dances. I find that when taking chances, my best judgments elude me. Especially in moments like these:

“I respect you,” he murmured. “and your views. I think of you as an equal. I respect your brains, and all those big words you like to use. But I also want to rip your clothes off and have sex with you until you scream and cry and see God.”
—Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

The point I want to make is that it isn’t the sex on the first, second, or thirty-ninth date that matters. It’s the intimacy in the moments that develop far before that. The part that keeps your thoughts twirling, even after whatever excuse isn’t given. Even after it’s all lost and over and you know you knew better, but you didn’t do any better because you knew too much better. The part you maybe should’ve fought for, but pride—she got in the way, and then when she didn’t it was too late. The part that’s shy when approached now, fumbles, foibles. The part that doesn’t understand why it crumbles so quickly, wait a year—no bueno. Wait weeks, months, days, hours, give each other raunchy looks across karaoke bars. Doesn’t matter, much, the outcome has all been the same when measured against others’ experiences. I’ve asked men, women—randomly—strangers, friends. When is it a good time to invite a man into your bedroom, with the hopes that he doesn’t turn down the invitation to all of your other rooms? A bust. It’s all subjective.

I’ve heard the typical, ‘a person looses interest, when it wanes, and if they do it wasn’t meant anyway.’ I’ve heard as long as you know their parents’ last names, I’ve heard that if you hope enough, fairy tales come true. I’m waiting on the latter. Well, first the tiff, then the kiss:

“I was just thinking if the sex with you is one-tenth as fun as arguing with you. I’ll be one happy bastard.”
“You’ll never find out. You——–”
He kissed me.
—Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

What classifies the Good Girls from the Bad Girls, really? The ones whose partners can be counted on one hand? Love might have me mistaken, but I can rest assured I’ve never slept with anyone I couldn’t see myself with permanently—not planning showers or picking out kitchen tiles, but I’ll admit, I am a force of romanticized nature. Is it ruining me? Us all?

“For women especially, virginity has become the easy answer—the morality quick fix. You can be vapid, stupid, and unethical, but so long as you’ve never had sex, you’re a “good” (i.e. “moral”) girl and therefore worthy of praise.”

—Jessica Valenti, The purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women

Yes, there’s the treasure idea. The “kept” woman, but at what point does it start to matter less about how fast a person jumps in the sack with another person, and more about the two people individually and how they work together? More about the way they trust each other, and understand each other. What about the married people I asked that both said “you never really know your husband/wife anyway, but we just keep trying?” What about the couple I asked that’s been married eight years and they both (without consulting each other) said “we make each other the best versions of ourselves” Or the homeboy who said he would never still be with his girl if the sex wasn’t sOoO good? Or the girl I went to undergrad school with, who said she always sleeps with a man the first night and it’s never not become a relationship.

Or sometimes I wonder if I can’t always do better than what’s in front of me? Is it all just a ploy? Drake said “all those other men were practice.” y’know?  My best girl and I fought over the double standard: that a womanizer is whatever, but if a female has three partners she’s a, what’s that called now, “ratchet?” I keep hearing it.

I’ll put it this way, for me:

“Sex isn’t good unless it means something. It doesn’t necessarily need to mean “love” and it doesn’t necessarily need to happen in a relationship, but it does need to mean intimacy and connection…There exists a very fine line between being sexually liberated and being sexually used.”
—Laura Sessions Stepp, Unhooked

There’s tons more to dating than sex, but sex is the part that makes the difference in loopy or comatose. A little turned around, or head across arm on the steering wheel. A little flutterbye in the tummylovely, or I swallowed a sick whale flapping in there.

Ah, lesson learned.

illustrator weheartit, quote from yours truly.

People I Have Met, and How They Have Proceeded To Disappoint Me

Now that the epilogue of my memoir is complete, I’m going to continue the re-re-re-vising process and attempt to pitch to agents. Experience is the most  poignant yet clear-cut teacher. I’ve been inspired for a new book… well,  I’m keeping notes to form the premise. How’s this? Hahahahahahah!

Have a happy Wednesday and thanks for the requests, the emails, and the lurking!

Picture origination unknown

I Did It, All Me, Can’t Blame Anyone Else or I Can’t Cry Over Spilled Coffee ‘Cause There Are Worse Things To Cry Over

So yesterday I said I wasn’t writing about this–today I am.

My new job is great, great, great. The people, the experience, the everything. Lunch at the job is great, great too. I’m no big shot by far, but I get to see all of ’em. I get to succumb to being lost in thoughtlessness, the Studio backlot is a very interesting place. There’s the new age execs that pair blazers with jeans and carry briefcases. The fuzzy haired blonde or dull cherry business women that look busier than I can imagine, the café woman who I could swear un-intentionally (is that a word?) gives me non-fat milk when I insistently ask for soy in my coffee. You know. A regular work-lunch place.

Yesterday was a day. I’m getting the hang of things, acclimation is steady. I’ve officially allowed myself to stop staring at a screen even when it is doing nothing. [I wouldn’t leave my seat even during lunch a few days ago, and if I did the worry that I would miss something was so great, my anxiety would send me back upstairs to learn the next trick or whistle that’ll hopefully keep me there] But now, now that I’m feeling better about what I understand, I leave for lunch. I wander. I stopped in the cafeteria for a coffee.

Since my new 6 a.m workouts began I’ve started to realize a few things I cannot live without. There’s tea I cannot give up. I like sweet red wines and sweet subtle whites—but those are optional during crunch time. What time is it you ask? CRUNCH. There’s avocados, shrimp Pho (when I’m sad, cold, angry, or need comfort) there’s the salad and fruit munster I am—no trainer will say no to those much, there’s breads and pastas which (less the three pizza slices I scarfed down last night to my own painful surmise—I’ve heard you can’t eat that *%#@ once you start eating right, but yikes) and then there’s thu, thu, thu, thhhhhhhhu… COFFEE.

They say you can tell who has graduated from school by one simple question.

“Do you drink coffee?”

The premise is, coffee is a pusher. It forces you to press through, sleepy, irritated, exhausted, overworked—whatever. You get that paper in. Same for mattés. Lately, I’m juggling so much I have to press through. 25 lbs. I want to lose. My trainer says 15 is fine, but 25 for me. Overachiever. Big stupid smile. I’m 140 and 4″11 and 3 quarters tall. “Thick in all the hula places,” my ex used to say. Anyway, coffee I cannot live without, although I’ve been advised that if I want to eventually reach the aforementioned goals—I’ll have to.

Yesterday was not one of those—let’s start giving up shit days.

So I head across the lush Fall-y looking courtyard and into our cafeteria for my fix. Wha? Might as well have been, it is. I even got a Keurig machine to no avail. It’s too big to leave my house, aye. I pass our inner café because like I said, either that girl gives me non-fat instead of soy, or that coffee—my body—is rejecting that coffee. I figure simpler is better. I go inside the cafeteria where they have the large black coffee juglike containers against the wall and you can put your own goodies in there. I opt for the straight black with 1/4 soy and one sugar. I waltz on over to pay.

Because it was only a quick break, I didn’t grab my purse from my office. I grabbed my wallet, and my cell. I had to grab a white to-go bag to put my sugar and stir stick and I might as well throw my phone and wallet in the baggie too. A tall familiar man stands behind me in line as I do this.

The line is growing down the walkway because the lady in front of me can’t find her wallet to pay for her salad or some other issue is happening but that’s the one I made up in my mind to justify how long her ass is taking to get out of my way somysleepyselfcangetthiscoffeeINme. I reach over for a napkin across the sliding tray table and knock-over-the-coffee-into nice guy’s pants.

O. My. Shit. The guy jumps back.

You can tell a lot about a person by how they react to certain things. The cliché examples are: tangled Christmas lights, forgettable waitresses, and spilled drinks.

Of course I apologized profusely—which I promised I wouldn’t overdo on this job, given my so pleasey-to-please nature. But this was different. The look of general—it’s ok shot back from his eyes. I’m pretty sure coffee had wet through this man’s pants legs, socks, and probably unmentionables. I scrambled to clean it all up. I heard sighs, shrieks, and an “o, how embarrassing” behind me. Just the look I was, going for, really.

The man (who if I weren’t extremely interested in the likes of someone else) I could’ve fallen in love with. His face was round, his features bold and warm, his striped blue and white tucked smartly in his Banana Republics, a dark brown belt, and I thought I saw glasses. He winks. Then he jokes.

“As long as you don’t try to clean it up” he says, as he steps back and I notice his bejewels are likely more soaked than I’d imagined. I was patting around the counter like a poor maid.

“I’m so so sooooo, so sorry,” The counter gal had disappeared to grab more towels. The coffee went unendingly drizzling down the sliding table, the sides, the floor, the creases and cracks. So glad for the 1/4 soy. It would’ve been hotter, usually.

There are few things I can hope for in this instance. Empathetic understanding, and that this all goes quick. The line is pretty long now.

Tail between legs—covering face I head back to the coffee station to make another round. I promptly scurry to the back of the now more than eight-person line. I figure, my anxiety would tell me I have to explain diarrhea to my boss or a three-car pile-up in the cafeteria—neither being the case. Having an awesomely unique prior work experience in which you have the most micro-managing impossibles overlooking you, will change the way you view everything else coming after that experience. I’d taken a few longer minutes than I should have. This made me more frazzled. I waited in line and when I got back to the front I calmly said,

“Two coffees please,”  blatantly holding up my one coffee.

“No, one,” The cafeteria lady smiles pity at me, and says

“It is ok, it happens to everyone.”

But no, no, it doesn’t. As I am walking back to my office, down the hallway I see Mr. Incredible (obviously returning from the bathroom) and I smile. It was a smile that hurt and I felt shame.

He gestured an it’s ok with hands pushing away the air with a sly smirk. Aw, my goodness. I LOVE THIS PLACE.

When I got back to the office, I sat at my desk with an I can’t believe that just happened face—staring at my now lukewarm coffee.

One of the ladies in my office passes and stares and asks if I’m ok. I love her too for the way she just read my face. Everyone is so—cognizant of their surroundings.

I shake my head “I just spilled my coffee all over this man in the cafeteria,” her eyes widen.

“O no,”

I leave out the fact that said man apparently works down the hall from us.

Soon, I think, I’m giving up coffee.

What’s With Me?

The allergy-flu? ...bedsick. Trying to figure out if this puff stuffy nose is a cold, or an allergy. Allergies don’t usually come until April for me. DayQuil was like poppin’ a tic tac on steroids, Claritin-D worked for maybe an hour. {Sneeze}  Benadryl, made me sleepy-groggy. Gooey clear water is seeping from my nose, and I have a tissue farm infested around my bed. Four deadlines Monday, three Wednesday, and one Friday, and did I mention I have to figure out what I’m teaching for my senior lecture in June?

Warm tears fill up my pink eyes and then I cough. My baby dog loves me so much I saw her eating one of my snotty tissues. Tearing it apart and making neat little piles all over the room. I want someone to love me like that, to not give up when it gets hard. Well, maybe not exactly like snotty tissues. But maybe, not having to get my achy legs out of bed to fix my own tea. How lovely is it to be bundled in bed, when there are so many bigger things I need to do?

Should I Answer?

Some days, I just don’t feel well. And those days, are most days, these days. I wonder when luck will buck. When the sunlight will beam through the wall I’ve probably built too high. What have I lost since I’ve come undone? How much of me? If there’s a break, will I fall through it—or receive it? Albert Camus said “A work of art is a confession.” Maybe I’m done bleeding. What. Was. I. Thinking? Where were you when you were needed? How come you couldn’t see through that? What’s going to be the difference? Nothing is for better or worse—that I’ve seen yet. If you keep pretending it might get better, it doesn’t move at all. I should have played with more dolls when I was little, more easy bake ovens, more puzzles, more role-playing. Less pens and composition booklets. I’d be more equipped for the real world.

And then again Camus also said:

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
—Albert Camus

How come when it rains there are no gutters for me? There’s no “safe word,” there’s no “Easy Button?” How come when he speaks in my dreams does it still sound like a lullaby? And I’m a big girl. With a soft blanket, that’s been watching Law and Order: Special Victim’s Unit for five days straight, and I still feel sorry for myself. Every time I wake up, my characters are still asleep. How I will manage? Who cares enough? If any of this was ever worth it? How do you know when your sacrifices were worth it? When do I give up if they weren’t?

Where is my fucking broomstick and when Ryan Gosling will call me. When he does, should I answer? This is what I think of.

Picture from Pinterest. Thank you.

Unprotected Sex

You are in the throws. You are ready mentally, physically, probably not emotionally—but you can deal with that much. All of a sudden, you’re done. You’re exhausted, it was wonderful, or it was not. Either way, you realize… you did not. I repeat, you did not. Use protection.

As a woman, there are a few MAJOR things we think about. Me, meaning. me, but I can attempt to speak for some.

  • You wonder about how many other dumb*^$ women he’s been with that he didn’t care enough about to make this same mistake with, while you try to still tell yourself you’re special.
  • Maybe, you think, since we just went half on a baby/half on a life together that he has deeper feelings for you than he realizes… fast forward—the reality—that man hasn’t thought about nor gauged the reality of what has transpired, nor is he worried one frikkin little bit.
  • Now, you need to have the serious talk with him because you probably want something serious depending upon how good it was… (aka where is this going? What do you want? Why didn’t I think of this sooner?) Apparently, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

And panic shoots through your thoughts. You develop a schizophrenic holy fuckery reaction, then you add in—how can I take this back? And your worry that the things you can no longer change are causing you to not think straight so you second-guess the belief you had in your suave accomplice, and beat yourself over the head with a textbook. Ok, last one was just me.

I’m compelled to write this blog because my bestie (poor baby) fell for an artist. I tried to tell her, you know I did. Us artists are wayward. We care, boi o boi do we care, and then we wake up one day and we don’t. We just don’t.  You must be able to change as fast as we do, or you are left, back there, the same. Having been on both sides of the “overwhelming infatuation” spectrum, I know this much. Apparently the guy she fell for was a strikingly handsome-sweet-talking, and pretty well-known graffiti artist. She’d been raving about him for the last few months, their connection, they’re both uncomfortable in opposing transitive positions in their lives, and the fact that they both like getting drunk and having a good time. A few months going in, he told her he wanted a relationship and they (without protection), erh erh erhmed.

Day before yesterday’s yesterday she not only calls me with the news, but she also calls me with him flaking out on their plans together and he has since changed his mind about the relationship. She cried these—big—screaming—hollow tears into the receiver as I shopped for my tampons at Target. Lol. It was not funny, but that last part was.

Many of us have made this mistake, I included. I learn once again from the recoiling of the feelings inside of me when she told me this, and from her deep moans of sadness and regret in our male-bashing session.

“You were wayyyyy too good for him and you knooooooow he didn’t deserve you anyway, losers I tell you!” I say to her.

But the truth is, it can’t be avoided, really, eventually you have to trust someone, or you’ll always be alone and that will eat you up s-l-o-w-l-y. Eventually you want to be careless. You tire of the “safe” way. You are aware of the consequences, and you pay the price anyway.

I have a reason. I rush it. I love the rush. I love not knowing somebody so completely and that blind trust that you’re ok—your hands in the air—when the coaster could derail and send you flying into a broke-necked oblivion. Why? Because I’ve heard stories of friends who met a person then just “knew” it was right, got married, and three kids later they’re happily pushing their sugar-infested germily brats on the swing, at the top of the hill, on the acre of land they just bought, with the maid that comes on Wednesday evenings. Because I know people who met and fell in that kind of love, and it isn’t easy but they haven’t given up on it. Because I’ve been reading too much Italo Calvino and in his Six Memos he tells this Chinese story:

Among Chuang-tzu’s many skills, he was an expert draftsman. The King asked him to draw a crab. Chuang-tzu replied that he needed five years, a country house, and twelve servants. Five years later the drawing was still not begun. “I need another five years,” said Chuang-tzu. The King granted them. At the end of these ten years, Chuang-tzu took up his brush and, in an instant, with a  single stroke, he drew a crab, the most perfect crab ever seen.” —Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium

I think making love is that perfect drawing that may take years to perfect. I think that when it comes to sex I often put it off because of fear. Because I don’t have the right brush (lol). Because I need five years, a country house, and a dozen servants. Or because I need a book deal, a PhD, and o yes, servants would help out. Because I want more than what I’m afraid to discover that man won’t ever be able to give to me. Because it all has to do with the perfect stroke, and in order to really feel that perfect stroke you have to be open enough to receive it—without anything protecting you, as catshit crazy as that sounds. And best of all because, the time when I let go before, I got no where.

I told my best friend (and I really hope she doesn’t kill me for writing about this, I love you girlie) that I was so sorry that this happened and that I would get her a glass of wine as soon as she came back into town. What a good friend I am. Then I asked her. “Why didn’t you use protection?” Her answer was as silly as I thought.

“I don’t know.”

I currently want to lock up the whole idea of trust in people, and throw away the key forever.

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