Mad Passionate Love, I Say, Mad Mad Mad

Trust myself in the process. Through the process. Have faith in another person’s choices. Because if it weren’t possible; if people couldn’t change for the better (or potentially even the worse) all the psychiatrists on this wide universe would be out of business. Side of the road. Luggage in hand. And let me tell you, I’ve known and conversed with quite a many, and none of them have empty pockets.

Because it is maddening. Going against your best judgments to go beyond what you know you’ve been conditioned to be thus far. Because it has to fully unteach you what every other bad experience has taught you. It has to be the feeling with your heart that says ‘go slow’—but the feeling in your mind that says ‘you still have to go.’

Because it has to be the big hugs for the small reasons.

The consistencies. Never wanting to leave.

It’s got to be wide and mad.

I don’t know how to feel it anymore, do you?

 I don’t know I’ve really felt it before.

It’s Better To Be Absolutely Ridiculous Than Absolutely Boring

Having a shitterific day. How are you?

Broke my cell this week and only some contacts carried over to the new one. If I had your number and you haven’t spoken to me in a while…

it’s likely I don’t have your number any more which means we aren’t going to be friends much now are we?

Post scriptum:

I am dreaming of…

Wearing these:

Ballet Platform

Then relaxation like such:

And this beautifully designed home (Gwyneth doesn't mind, really we go way back)

And this beautifully designed bedroom (Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t mind, really we go way back)

Apparently I like things that hang and swing in my house, lmao!!!

 

Secret: I’ve never had a macaroon and I’m not having one until I get to Paris. I’ve never been to Paris.

 

 

Long Term Relationships = Complacency

Who can help it?

The natural progression of things. Ebb and Flo. Eventually you’re showering and peeing together (ewk!) the love is “bunny nosey posie.” Coos and spooning. Fall asleep holding each other without any realistic idea that it’s definitely going to get hot like two obnoxious kissie-poo bears cuddling in the middle of a microfiber double down comforter might get. Oh M, f’in’ gee.

You’re comfortable. There’s the point in the part of the relationship that begins a slow pitocin drip of complacency. The quick-death of a relationship. This is where everything you’ve worked so hard for goes straight down the chute. He conveniently forgets to call as often or keep to the same level of esteem as he once had about the relationship. She conveniently forgets to dress up, cook dinner, or put out. It just isn’t the same. So what in the interest of preparation and prevention can one do to avoid this? Since we’re all just dyyyyyyyyying to fall in love and get trapped in that one-way street?

Allow me please, to share what this work-in-progress 2.5 year psych drop out + two faulty engagements + single-parent home raised (after 15 yrs old) + the fall of one of my very best friend and mentor’s marriage has taught me thus far… and I do mean”work-in-progress”

Trying is EVERYTHING. The try matters more than ANYTHING.

Here are 5 ways to prevent that from happening.

  1. Get to KNOW a person AFTER you know them well enough already. Ask her her second favorite color. Ask him where his favorite place to go as a kid was. Ask if there were anything else professionally your partner could be in the world, what it would be? What about where you two could go? Find out if your alter egos are compatible. Find out if there’s something that you don’t know how to do and she does, if she’ll show you. Everyone loves to feel needed. Ask him what he thinks about himself. Pry, flirt, and make everything you do unexpected.
  2. Plan something. A trip. An event. Projects. Block out the world together and learn how to share like you’re five years old again.
  3. Don’t forget your “self-love,” any person will appreciate if you can balance doing what’s best for you and still make them a high priority.
  4. Yes, it is true you’re only as good as your worst day, but if your worst day is every day… or if you are one of those women who have rollers and pajamas on every time this man comes over… then don’t be surprised when he is out with “the boys for a drink or two,” and know, there’s always other women involved in that “night out.” You just want to make sure you have a place your guy craves to come home to. Keyword craves. Same for you guys. Spruce up a bit. I mean, no one has to look like ~summerfireflies~ in the morning or every single time you see them; but there’s nothing less intriguing than a man wearing his favorite hole-y sweatshirt with the bleach stain—out on a date. {insert gawk face here}
  5.  And seriously, if you remember nothing, at least “please be interesting.”

P.s if you don’t, y’all will be bored and complacent and your ass will end up like this:

How do I know so well you ask? Because I am that picture! Lol.

 

O, and by the way: Marie Clayton knows I love her work! Find her and the above photos at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/marielclayton/

He Is Sitting On The Edge Of My Couch And I Am Watching The Way He Talks

He is sitting on the edge of my couch and I am watching the way he talks. Someone else is spraying Windex into my eyes, and ketchup globs around spinning in circles—splush all over the kitchen and I am screaming through my bones that I love, that I love. He is sitting on a comma, I am wishing for an exclamation. Someone else is having a tantrum because I stopped believing in Valentine’s day. He is showing off in front of his friends like he’s thirteen and four months. Someone else is not paying me no mind. He is surprising me. Someone else has let me sink, three days before zero hours, deadpan and a-lonely. He is talking to me—closing into my face, I am treating his words like rhyming sunshine. Someone else is soliciting muddy tears from each place I make up. He is causing an utterly obsessed set of recollections. Look what it has done. Someone else is afraid I’ve gone missing; an unattractive disinterest. He is keeping me up at odd hours of the night, I am eeking of him. Someone else is sleeping with other women, someone else is flyfailing, falling in lust with withdrawal. He has borderline “I’m not sure disorder,” takes unreliables-anonymous classes, and subscribes to ringing phone disease. Someone else is making me put my hand over the bible and promise I haven’t made tacos or had patron shots with strangers. In plain sight of anger. He is likely rotten, I ask please peacefully for the ache if in hindsight, if then it matters. Someone else is losing grips. He is understanding. I must like understanding. Someone else is quiet like a light switch—only I don’t know which.

And now I can’t tell the difference between any of this. So now he‘ll have to whisper loud enough to infiltrate my imagination.

Burrow, actually.

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.

Because You Owe Me!

People like titles. Names. On resumes. For songs, names of our goldfishies, turtledoves, bunnies, names of our decrepit family members. It always sounds so much better when I speak to my waiter by name, maybe a wink or two. How much more personality did my car have to me when I gave her the name “Strawberry?” Tons.

But what about relationships? Do we title our relationships? And if not, do we eventually? How soon after we either begin dating someone or begin sleeping with a person do we say out loud or in our heads, that this person can formally be introduced as “my boyfriend/girlfriend?”

Is it subjective depending upon who the person is and the vibe/aura you feel, or the chemistry this person emits? Should there be standards and rules and when you meet the “Gamechanger” (the person that goes against said standards, rules, and supersedes expectations) do those rules stand to be broken?

Does any of it matter if you’re having a damn good time enjoying the person and getting to know whatever it is they’re about, or does the lack of title set you up (me up, us as women up) for heartbreak?

My friend and I were having this talk over Asti (sweet white wine) the other day. Initially she spoke about the title: “Enjoy yourself and see what it does.” (Her exact words were “See what it do”) and then you wait, you wait in what is unexpected. I haven’t mentioned yet that surprises annoy me a bit in this way:

Tangent alert: Surprises annoy me because they mess with my ability to plan, to deliver ready-conclusives, and OCD my way into or outta something. Surprises force me to relinquish control. We are talking about a person who generally knows what time a movie starts, ends, and is generally there to see the majority of the previews—why? Because of Moviefone. But that same urgency-adrenaline-wreck a surprise gives to me, is the same emotional tug that intrigues me. The break in monotony. The element of the unexpected causes me to come back for more, while the predictable bores me after what I’ve painfully realized more than once, is about ten days. —Lalanii, on surprises

Halfway through the bottle she confesses (aka contradicts) that the “title,” or rather, “recalling when she knew things were going in the right direction” was undoubtedly when her “Gamechanger” put his arms around her and whispered at the tip of her earlobe the musical words she longed to hear. She’d asked where they were going—or what they were going to do (I can’t remember which) and he’d responded with something to the likes of:

“You’re my girl, anywhere you wanna go, anything you wanna do is fine, jus’ wanna be with you.”

Realize that she ain’t heard a thing after You’re my Girl. Real Noah, in The Notebook-like. This is why us women are fucked up! If we keep waiting for Noah, the likelihood of anything really pretty happening is slim, because that was just a movie. A man on today’s market-menu expects a woman to do the majority of the work for him. Let me not generalize, I HATE categories as much as I love them, but it is true that a colossal majority of decent men like to be pursued these days, in my own humble experience.

I agree with reciprocation, although, I just can’t see myself chasing. After a certain amount of time—motives, perceptions, and possibilities become clear.

I remembered this guy I used to hang with, a while back. For me the most important things, the things that grab me in are:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Drive and potential
  3. Physical attributes
  4. Kismet and chemistry
  5. Consistency

Let’s not fail to say that in the story I’m going to quickly sum up—this man had all of these. Maybe a stretch to say his drive was uncommonly strong, but his potential made up for the lack of drive in the way people usually make excuses for the shortcomings of the people we like. He was incredible, he could’ve worn the red suit with the cartoon i, mid-chest, incredible. One of the very few people I used to stay up all night talking to and head straight to work after, never having closed my eyes. The type of person with an infectious demeanor. His presence was what I won’t forget, long after I’ve forgotten the emotions that developed over the 1.5 years we hung out frivolously. By hung out, I mean, I got attached. He got, high.

He broke the standards, as in, I don’t like men that smoke, generally. But I rationalized that he was a functional smoke-a-holic, though they rarely ever are. A week and maybe three days into the most rapturously enchanted delightful overflow, I was spent emotionally. What did I ask this man after knowing him for almost two-weeks?

“Where is this going? I mean, like, what do you want, or like, do you see yourself in a relationship? And if so, when?”

If I were on-stage somebody would’ve thrown a big ass avocado at my forehead. [klunk] It might have been the most brilliantly-idiotic and majorly-awesomely clumsy thing I’ve ever done. My best friend would’ve whispered “whooooooahh horsey!” His response:

“Man, you cool, but I on’t even really know you like that yet, I don’t really know you Lalanii”

Might I stress the usage of my name (the only title I have at this point) echoing melodically in my ear, confirming more strategically—my dumbassness. I spent the rest of the year with him. I’d meet other people, not like him, but other people, and I’d talk to them—but my nights belonged to him, and not always physically, but mostly—and always intimately. It got to the point where my call would cause him to answer the phone,

“What time?”

Yea, and this was the guy I would swear wasn’t anywhere near my type. If there is such a thing that matters enough.

“Time” was my title. I should’ve just changed my name to Time. Fix this whole mess up, right here and there. What I know now, that I didn’t know then is if someone is consistently giving you their time—the energy to speak to you, answer your calls, letting you in a bit—little by little, you have the answers to most of your questions. At least for the current frame of mind, which is all we can and need to see. If things don’t move along progressively, then you gauge what you’re willing to accept, and how long you’re willing to accept it for. Especially, without a title. So you see, not having a title can work in our favor, ladies and gentlemen, because we can essentially have less leeway—have less patience if so desired, and having a title can work less in our favor for the expectations that a “title” generally prematurely places on a relationship, usually before that relationship is ready.

If a name doesn’t matter try calling out the wrong one in the throws. No, I kid. I kid.

Not having a title coincides with surprises for me. The title behaves the same way in my mind. How marvelous is it to receive flowers you weren’t expecting? Very marveloso. But how fantastic is it to have your un-titled interest come over and replace a burned-out lightbulb? Unusually phenomenal. It’s the element of surprise. And practicality. And the fact that he noticed, and he gets triple points for me not having to ask for a teensy favor, ’cause you know how us damsels hate to have to ask.

Yes, there’s comfort in the feeling of “just knowing” when something is right, and leaving it at that. There’s more comfort in the things two people understand between each other that they don’t have to say or speak about at all. Often times, in the interest of understanding and communication it is best to ask more questions before you allow your heart to ask for anything as bigly as asking for a title.

It should be clear that when a woman (or man) wants a title what she is probably asking you for is your undivided attention. He or she is hoping for the grandiose introduction of belonging to someone. Namely, you. Problem is, it isn’t warranted because there are so many people that don’t respect it anyhow.

A quote I love from the movie Love Jones:

Nina Mosley: You always want what you want when you want it. Why is everything so urgent with you?
Darius Lovehall: Let me tell you somethin’. This here, right now, at this very moment, is all that matters to me. I love you. That’s urgent like a motherfucker.

The movie follows two young lovers who—if both were initially honest with their feelings for each other, could have avoided the heart-break, or the break up all together. It highlights that even through the harder moments we must all recognize what is there, what that Time means to us, the small Time. The large amounts of Time.

So much pride in courting these days. Tit for tat. When I watched Love Jones the other day it hit so close to home I had to re-think one of my all time favorite quotes:

“All of these people running around here jumping, falling in love ain’t s**t. Somebody talk to me, please, about how to stay there.” —Love Jones

So many superficial misconstrued shenanigans, so much hiding behind what has hurt us, or what we fear will. Yea, I’m human, so I want to be linked and relevant to someone other than myself, and correspond individually—while existing consecutively, yes… but sometimes I wonder why it can’t just be so wide—why for me it’s so hard to unfold and discover? Why do we need to owe each other anything?

How come we can’t just light up the sky with it?

His First Time

When I am writing, I loathe, detest, and absolutely cannot stand, interruption. The nanosecond I’m done, however, I want someone to hear it. Immediately. Don’t care what or where the person is; he or she has to hear it. If you happen to be in the shower. Be prepared for me to draw back the shower curtain and begin reading. Without looking up of course, except to gauge your reaction to my masterpiece. I only have this fearlessness the second I finish. After I am finished, and it’s been a few moments—hours, days, or weeks, my confidence levels dwindle into crumblets and I’m not sure my topic was any good, or that I correctly portrayed the perspective, or the dialogue—uh-uh-uh, just not right. But that moment I’m done, it’s pivotal. If it’s three a.m. and you’re sound asleep. If I wake you stumbling over my words because it’s so fresh and twinkling with it’s newness, don’t startle. The inner critic in me hasn’t had enough time to rip it down from the wall like “tweenage posters.” I won’t begin to tell you that there’s a person that understands this. But I will tell you, there’s definitely a person whose reaction was worth recording. This is the story of:

I have bedhair. The just woke up or never-went-to-sleep-kind. Groggily jumpy at 6:54 a.m. I parade into the room. The room, I’ve delicately taken over with subtle hues of pinks and pales. The furthest I could get him to go to yellow, was pale. But, the sheets? No one sees the sheets. Pastel, it was. I’d nearly passed out in the library-den because I’m in love with the lighting and the closeness it is to the kitchen. The teapot is large, unlike the pots at my house, the ones that whistle pretty—the comfortable usual. This, this strange foreign pot is never-ending copper and looks like a golden version of something out of Willy Wonka meets the Jetsons. This tea, goes on forever, and is never lukewarm. I don’t want to leave the massage chair because it rocks. How long have I wanted my own rocking chair? Long. How long have I wanted my own rocking chair that will swallow me. Never. But, that’s the point.

I’ve been here three nights. No need for a change of clothes, leave them on the heated patio and they will miraculously appear on the bedside clean and folded like spoiled rotten you oughta be ashamed of yourself. Mom, didn’t teach me how to relax. Dad sure passed on the panic gene, Mom passed on the worry, and I cultivated a culmination of the two against “worry more cause you can’t do shit about it.”But, I’d finished a story. My own little short story. A story that I’ve been told has a possibility of being published later this year. It’s a tough piece and in my excitement of pushing out a draft, I forgot that.

I run to him. An hour prior to this, I’d been offered more tea in the dim light, but I vaguely remember not looking up at all, not even for a thank you. This is what I call the lost stage. Everything is lost on me. It’s likely anyone would say my name several times and I’d fail to recognize it. I jump atop the pillows sloppily. I can see by his face, this is not his idea of fun.

“I’m finished,”

“… (mmHmmMm)…”

He snatches the paper from my almost-ready-to-read-to-him hands.  And pulls me over closer. I’m grabbing at the paper, but while I’m sitting I’m unable to reach—my arms are too short. He clears his throat.

And he reads my first draft to me slowly. By the third paragraph his left hand is shaking. By the second page he has forgotten I’m there and that I can hear his response to what he’s reading by the way he is reading it.

At the end of the draft he is not only speechless, he grabs for me, his eyes are wide.

“I feel like I was there with you.” I nod and lean back, and yawn.

“I don’t know if I want it in the world.” I tell him.

“I don’t think the world should be without it.” He adds.

I fall asleep on the corner of his pillow, I feel him looking at me but I don’t open.

In the morning he is quiet throughout egg whites, cheese, onions, tomatoes, and avocados. It’s a Saturday and my plans don’t involve brown leather briefcases and a cleanly shaven face.

“So, that was nonfiction?” The first words out of his mouth.

I stare at the black cracked design in the grey marble table and look to him with a yea smirk.

It was the first time he read any of my prose.

Bystanders May Be Written Into My Stories

Let me tell you what happened to me not too long ago.

I was not officially dating this guy, but we’d met, flirted. We used to party at the same places and it was convenient. He wasn’t my “type” per se, but his demeanor matched a balance between protective and nonchalant the way I’d never seen anyone capture before. Often, I didn’t know if he was talking to me in this low reassuring tone because he was trying to sound sexy, or if he was just trying to sound sexy, good times.

What I found most intriguing about him were the moments when he’d asked me about things I was certain he didn’t give a hot good shit about. He’d ask me about school and I’d explain to him how it was a hybrid program and I could “do the lot of it online”—meeting up with mentors periodically—skype, email, it was all very web savvy. I’d gone into how often I’d meet with mentors and mentees sometimes via phone conversations or coffee shops or places like Writers at Work—but my residencies were twice a year. Then he’d ask a question like “So what time do you have to be at school on Monday?” And I would just shake my head. He was trying. I found myself in his company because he made wide enough attempts. He showed interest in me by being interested in my writing.

We did talk though. His mom was sick from something he hadn’t mentioned so he was looking after her, and he had some random family member staying at his apartment because he simply “had to help him out.” I thought I’d question why he had to, but a similar situation came up between a friend of mine and I before, and when I asked said friend, he’d told me that even if he were married with kids—if this person needed a place to stay, that a place with him (no matter the situation he was in) was what he’d get. I figured this was the case as well.

Once upon a time we went to a tavern that played nineties music and had an overhead projector that displayed a burning fire. Nice enough. After small talk I’d ordered a dietish vodka mix and he’d ordered a long island. I thought I’d ask more personal questions. There’s nothing like spending time with someone where I have to spruce up the level of conversation by asking things I normally wouldn’t ask, but I do so anyway because I’m bored as all good heavens. Like my old best friend and I used to say “If nothing else please just be, interesting.”

So I go, “You believe in abortion?”

He had one leg over the bench and he was slumped over facing me, full attention. We were sitting a few feet apart and his head flopped back and forth in a horizontal motion. He stirred in his seat, and I could see him squeeze his folded hands together. I knew his answer.

It was then time for him to ask me a question back or provide some commentary, this was how rapport building worked. Again, his lack of input eeked.

“What about gay marriage?” I offered. I wished I’d phrased it as same-sex marriage as soon as it came out.

He fiddled about and took his fist into his other hand socking it together and said “Nawww I ‘on’t think two men should be gettin’ married.”

His face had some sort of dejected upturn like he was an ogre and I’d ventured into his swamp. I finished my diet whatever wishing it had more Vodka, and leaned over to him in the closest and quickest whisper I’ve ever given a stranger and asked him,

“Will you leave me here?”

He looked at me blinking rapidly and said “You sure?”

I shook my head yes bigly, slowly, like a confession. That instant he dashed out of the door like I had just professed to him that he was not sexy, and that he should stop attempting to sound that way. I made friends with four guys and three girls in the corner of the lounge as I finished my drink, then I went home and wrote the premise of this story.

“If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you.” —Henry Rollins

All I Ever Wanted

All I ever wanted…   was a beach house with bay windows trimmed in yellow—opposing interior walls grey—and one person to think my faults were moldable.

Movable. Musical. Mutable, and journey-full. He’d wear a newsboy cap and drink chai and have no problem sitting back to back in the middle of our picnic where we might share apples. Or we might both at least enjoy the idea of sharing apples, but opt for cinnamon topped cheeses, raisin rosemary crackers, and melon instead.

He’d probably decide on our dinner fixins because he’d understand that if I’d been writing or editing that by the time I realized what was going on it’d be dark already and “our son” would be exclaiming that he’s staaaaaaaaaarving, and by “our son,” I’d mean my son, by a previous father, but “our son” because he’d never pose any distinction on those specifics and he’d explain how he’d known from the first moment he’d shared proverbial apples with me that he was cut out to be a father, a friend, and a foundation for us as a family.

All I ever wanted was a beach house, with 12 ft. ceilings and overlarge pastel mosaic doors where he’d come through every evening and never say “honey, I’m home,” but rather, “a little help here, in your vows you said you loved me?” And at the top of the stairs there I’d stand. Big-bang-kapow-smile like I just ate calorie-less pie—hands on hips in my pink stilettos, boyshorts, and his oversized sweatshirt. “What took you so long?”

*

Hope Edelman taught a seminar today entitled “Who’s Telling Your Story? Persona in Creative Nonfiction.” I listed nearly 20 separate personas I either have or want to inhabit in my writing. The above snippet was written from the perspective of a single mother/turned wife. The piece had to begin with: All I ever wanted _______. Over the course of the next six months my nonfiction pieces will start to evolve as I challenge myself to push and play with my voice on the page.

P.S. The man I describe above is presently fictional, but those shoes exist.

Flaws

…was just a label. dreams are just that. promises were meant to be tweaked.

you said the flaws were what you loved most.

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
—Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club 

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