The Complete Package

And this realization hurts. Can hurt anyone. The bulkiest ogre, or the ittiest little red riding hood. The fact that I’m replaceable, but he’s not. That I wasn’t in it for me, I was in it for us. Sometimes, a person can be too sure of someone, too sure of that eventual future. This is the jinx I mean when I laugh at people who get their lady’s name tattooed on some outlandish place, and then they break up. This feeling is what happens when you name imaginary children, when you “try” to remain friends after it’s over. It’s equivalent to a few rejection letters a week in my case, and something’s gotta give.

Anne Lamott said in one of my favorite books Bird by Bird:

After thirty years or more of floundering around and screwing up, you will finally know, and when you get serious you will be dealing with the one thing you’ve been avoiding all along—your wounds. This is very painful. It stops a lot of people early on who didn’t get into this for the pain. They got into it for the money and the fame. So they either quit, or they resort to a type of writing that is sort of like candy making.

Writing is painful. Putting yourself on display, especially as a nonfiction writer, is painful. You run many risks, and taking those risks don’t generally keep you going. At least not for me. Today I’m busy, I have another new client, and I’m still writing Product Descriptions for the previous one (hold tight Ed!) I’m preparing for my second to last residency (yaeeh!), and my son’s birthday is today. Happy Birthday Tye! He makes twelve. I’m trying to remind myself why I wanted to write so badly when Bukowski already warned me not to do it if it “doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything.”

The problem is though, it does: When I’m on all fours breathing bleach scrubbing the jets in the inside of my jacuzzi tub the stories come to me, when I’m organizing my styling drawer by color and type of hair pin, when I fall asleep and am awakened by my tween exclaiming “Nope, cause it’s my birfday, nope, can’t do anything cause it’s my birfday,” when I wake from a nightmare that just won’t quit and I can feel the fear of failure—yes, the stories come out of me. And I have to submit. I have to let my neuroses take over. I simply sit down, close my eyes, and remember his breathing.

You simply keep putting down one damn word after the other, as you hear them, as they come to you. You can either set brick as a laborer or as an artist. You can make the work a chore, or you can have a good time. You can do it the way you used to clear the dinner dishes when you were thirteen, or you can do it as a Japanese person would perform a tea ceremony, with a level of concentration and care in which you can lose yourself, and so in which you can find yourself. —Lamott

My mentor recently informed me that I’d overwritten the ending of my memoir. Happy enough as that was, it made me feel like damn, even after all of my work, I still couldn’t get it right. This, she said was a positive thing, overwriting. It meant revision, and voila! It means that I have pieces I can pull from that are well written, and can begin to see the light of editors. I should have been happy.

I’m excessive, if asked to do one thing, I’ll do ten. If asked to do my best, I’ll do better than best would have been. If chanced to fall in love, I suppose, I’ll fall… and I don’t know if I’ll come out. When I’m asked on interviews what my weaknesses are, saying “obsession with what I’m working on”—just doesn’t do any of my attempts justice.  Beyond being fixed or compulsive, by this time I’m already sure of the outcome. I give all.

I have made many mistakes, and lost much sleep over this.

To participate requires self-discipline and trust and courage, because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, how alive am I willing to be? —Lamott

I write because it makes me feel that “aliveness,” but it is lonely, and what I crave is experience and contact, to draw from. I am now alight upon a new journey. I think it will inform my writing in a terrific and mighty and even riveting way. It’s big news but I’m not ready to share it with the world yet. But I will tell you, it’s that BIG, and it makes me want to sing:

“So why does our writing matter, again?” they ask. Because of the spirit, I say. Because of the heart. Writing and reading can decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truth, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.—Lamott

Even though I’m sure it’s too late, and life has gone on—in every sense of the word gone…  even as backwards and misconstrued as “text-tone, is” and the language of tears, and as many uneducated dog-faced hookers I’m sure he’s moved on to, I’m going to write it out of me because I still miss him, I still miss him, and I’ll still miss him,  just a lil’ bit.

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.

How ‘Bout Now?

Notebook in her bunny suit pajamas

2 lbs. 10 ounces of pure feist, and I love every second of her. No, no one ever promised this life would be a piece of cheesecake, nor did they promise me an abundance of healthy days. It happens, that in the best of my denial, I’m still sick. Still, unchanged.

Doesn't the little bunny suit look adorable?

But on most days, when I look at my beautiful little fluffy sass and my son, I smile. I wonder when I’ll get a break? When the good part is gonna happen? When won’t it be such a thick pill(s) to swallow? Why is it me? How come it’s so difficult to enjoy the now?

What's up?

I wonder when the faeries are gonna come in and mop my floor? Why Prince Charming starts as himself—then becomes the frog when it’s supposed to be the other way around? How many second opinions I have to get before I believe it?

Why it was effortless for him to rev up and off? In the melee of skirmish scrimmage, why some moments aren’t deemed worthy of face-to-face conversation? Woe the whys of my world. How many times do I have to say I’m sorry before I can say I did the best I could with the lemons I had?

She always catches the camera. He's out.

“There is a color inside of the fucking, but it is not blue”

~Maggie Nelson, Bluets

I once slept with a man who was falling out of love with me at the time, or had already fallen.

It must have been the most painful encounter I’ve ever had. Maybe, at least close. I believe in the mental, physical, emotional elements all melting in sync and when someone isn’t there, well, they just aren’t there. I will tell you, it was sunshiny when I went into that pretty hotel lounge to have him for drinks (pun intended) and it was a slow cyclical dripping of rain when I ran out and away from him the next morning.

Fucking leaves everything as it is. Fucking may in no way interfere with the actual use of language. For it cannot give it any foundation either. It leaves everything as it is. —Maggie Nelson, Bluets

The next time we spoke was on Valentines Day not very much long after when I was with my new boyfriend at the time in San Francisco. I pretended to be overly happy for my ex love when he advised me that he was getting married, to someone else. When I hung up the phone, I cried in the bathroom so hard I shook the bathroom stall. I walked out of the bathroom like it never happened.

A warm afternoon in early spring, New York City. We went to the Chelsea Hotel to fuck. Afterward, from the window of our room, I watched a blue tarp on a roof across the way flap in the wind. You slept, so it was my secret. It was a smear of the quotidian, a bright blue flake amidst all the dank providence. It was the only time I came. It was essentially our lives. It was shaking. —Maggie Nelson, Bluets

Last night I met Maggie Nelson, author of “Bluets,” and more recently “The Art of Cruelty.” Maggie read from her latest TAOC at the Redcat Theatre at CalArts’ Downtown Center for Innovative Visual, Performing, and Media Arts. It was beautiful. A stunning and intellectually provocative showcase indeed.

I’ve loved Maggie since she wrote “Bluets” and have also read “Something Bright, Then Holes.” With much thanks to Douglas Kearney (my workshop leader) for prescribing her to me after the aforementioned engagement gone awry. It blends the nonfiction/poetry lines, as does Wayne Koestenbaum in his new book “Humiliation.” Wayne was there too reading from his masterpiece, as was Jack Halberstam encouraging us all too fail big. How big and lightbulby I felt after digesting the reading of their work. The Q & A was heavily laden with words and references I need to look up and remember, lol.

So after the show I stood the painfully stalkish wait for Maggie to sign her book for me (The Art of Cruelty), and I even had the old one on me (Bluets) and I asked her to sign that one too. There aren’t many people I can say “SAVED MY LIFE,” (because that’s so huge) but her book did. I attached a picture because it’s such a big deal to me, and this is all about me y’know. After a 7 year breakup which I’ve coined “all my good twenties goooooone,” her book put things in perspective and since it is written in a way that interjects her retrospective voice with her story in numbered elements of prose poetry; I couldn’t help but tell her (that it gave me hope and that I may have contemplated a slow medicinal overdose if not for it, actually, really, I sorta did anyway, or did less because of needing to finish her book), she gave me her email address and said we should talk later. I love it when writers have big hearts. I was in near-tears (paused behind fear of course) because it takes a lot to go up to someone and thank them for the impact they’ve had on your life—through their writing, especially in such a personal way. I’m thrilled to be starting her book of criticism and will devour it soon enough.

So glad if my words ever helped your heart, best wishes. —Maggie N. 10.16.11 Redca

Lalanii—so glad if my words ever helped your heart, best wishes. —Maggie N. 10.16.11 Redcat

And so, what is it with empty sex? The kind of loving that leaves less to be desired, but more and more until you can’t fill enough of yourself up? The kind you write books about. The way Maggie speaks about the man she fucked for six hours straight (please read page 46, I can’t keep quoting) only to find him with another—only to find she would have to give up such a love. I guess for me, to find that what matters most isn’t the physical act, but the time and efforts around it, the expectations that surround it, the things you give up for it. The balancing act of, and with a person. Are they not only willing to show you, but rather go out on the limb, of a shaky tree, in a snowstorm, after unfortunately having forgotten a jacket and put their hand out, for you?

One of my best friends (who doubles as a comedian at times) likes to debate with me about emotions and sex. He said to me the other day something along the nerve of “sex is like getting something new from the store, as great as it is when you bring it home—a week goes by and you cannot remember it, not hardly, unless it reinvents itself, unless it is particularly sentimental for some reason or another (love-ish?) or it glitters in gold or shimmers (new partner).” Sometimes we can be satisfied and still need more; we can be happy, but still want happier; we can be fucking but still want love. I want a man that loves subtlety all the way through me; a man that kisses me so intensely that to hold back would be an orgasm in itself.

I Regret You and Your Mama Too!

I regret “spooning,” I regret his over-excitedness about daily regurgitating tasks, I regret the handholding—the squeezing, I regret all the big dreams about French doors and ponytails. I regret going along with it all by thinking I’d grow into it.

I’m 28 years old and I’ve never been in love. I’ve only been in regret.

I can explain. You meet someone and you fall impeccably, dancing around lampposts “in love” with them, their smell, the habits they have that you initially think are cute. Wait for it…

You meet their Mom and you’re sold. She’s nice, which is the best word to use about any man’s mother you just met. You meet his kid(s). I once fell in regret with a man who had two little girls. Prettiest peaches ever. No, I mean impossibly, selflessly, itching under my skin to be around him and his kids. It wasn’t as hard as some claim to get children to “like” you, but again, this was only one experience, and only my experience. I was pushing the four year old on the swing and the seven year old was coloring with me at the park in no time. Cake. The issue is, the moments you remember most—like a movie, those moments that incessantly replay, aren’t the moments of fancy dinners or dotes, but are the moments you had to catch your breath with overwhelm, the moments you’ve said to yourself “I want this.”

Thing is, when you fall, you fall hard for their families too. I recently watched “How to Lose Your Lover” on Netflix. A funny chic fling movie about a writer convinced he’s over LA life, so he does everything he can to rid himself of excess LA baggage, including women. He goes off about pissing everyone in his corner off. He shoves his love interest into uncomfortable positions such as meeting her parents and his friends on the first and second dates. An interesting concept indeed. I think this way now. I’ve realized that so many people wait the three months, six months or years before they meet the friends and family of their significant others only to find it plops. People don’t realize that when you date a person (for the most part) you date their loud ass mom, their overprotective dad, their sneaky sister, their ignorant ass friends, and their horribly annoying children.

If you think you can handle it, you should know sooner rather than later about the people you might love regret.

Case in point: when you love, you love the bad about a person sometimes even more than the good. This wanes and regrets once it’s over, often while it still is. Gretchen Rubin says in “The Happiness project” a book I’m currently reading “I knew that my combativeness and pedantry in this conversation came not from petty irritation but from a desire to protect myself against false hopes.” I completely agree with her. False hopes.

I regret not learning how to “fight right,” as in, pick my battles. I regret not loving myself enough to love anyone else. I regret having to admit that I went crazy before I got this half-right. Only half. I regret the growing up process and all the short sticks I give and get. I regret the shit out of not getting to know a person enough not to regret the whole damn thing.

I’ve never been in love, only regret. Funny what you regret is what could be what you’ve loved the most. Funny what you regret is what you’ve learned the most from.

Dating is shit, literally

I stopped dating for a while.

I think that starts mentally first. Sure there are the plentiful “in-betweens” I’ve met over the years, exes, or wanderers that have affected me and would rightfully say that him and I were “dating,” but such is a lie. I met him. Once or twice. I hung out with him; he called whenever he was bored. Once or three times, through a friend or he bought me a drink and I sipped and sped off.

Anyway, dating to me is the person (for the hopeful romantic upchuck/serial monogamistical/ and manic idiosyncratic like myself) that you wanna talk to before bed and stay up late talking to risking priorities not being met. The person you start dating and don’t mind a phone conversation while you’re sitting in the bubble bath with your teacup, tub-side. The person that after you’ve been dating a while, you don’t mind taking to the toilet with you for a pee or shit (over the phone of course! Don’t judge!) Anyway—that comfortable person for you. I’ll revisit the shit part later.

Needless to say… no one like that in my life. [Like I said ignore any coughing here] Lately, I tire early, request alone time, writing time, studying, reading, whatever—my life. From my perspective, “for now” and “wait list” are gravely different from “VIP guest list.” The man this story is about is “VIP guest list.” Yes, that hot. He is.

So I met him shortly (very shortly rather) after an aforementioned “in between” forced me to exclaim after dinner that yes— it’s time, I’ve been mentally “checked-out” for over a year and no we never go out like we used to, hell, chat like we used to, laugh at all— for that matter ((yawn)) and carry on for another hour of oil not mixing with water—like I said I stopped dating long ago. Lol.

I’ve called myself “in love” before or I’ve said that I have loved a person, although all of this is questionable at this point albeit my two family members and one close friend are all simultaneously in the process of divorce right now. Sort of changes the game when the people whose marriages you’ve always looked up to have come to an end. I’ve come to the conclusion that instead of being “in love with the idea of love,” I’ve just been “in love with what I wanted love to give me” and more importantly—with where I thought love would get me.

I’ll repeat more simply: If I wanted a happy marriage and a baby girl–I’d fall in love with that illusion instead of the person that could give that to me. So it wasn’t the holding hands in the park, secret-special, life is wonderful when you’re in love that I wanted—but the partner who helped me create the best creative reality using his imagination. I’m a sucker.

Here’s where it all comes together. I started (about 3 months ago) going out to happy hours/business mixers, attempting too-long bike rides, and posing men I’d meet on said adventures in the nonfiction stories I’d write. Truth is stranger than fiction—type of gig. I’d never imagine beyond the day I met the person. I’d never think that beyond a few drinks or lunch that I’d meet anyone I’d care to seriously see again. After some random guy would compliment me and walk my groceries to the car, I’d never bother thinking of him again  after the 500-word story about how my dress ended up being tucked in my panties, and so on. That type of thing.

So I go out one night to a dancy dive-type bar. Raunchily, the ill-appropriated folk are humping and cooing and the ceiling is sweating down on me. I simply had to drink to stand it as otherwise my OCD wouldn’t have let me continue on. Since I was there at this place of business this would insinuate that because I wouldn’t take anyone seriously here, that I am not a girl to be taken seriously, seriously.

Then I met [redacted]. Sorry I haven’t gotten his permission to post his name and I love his name so it’s much better not to make him up yet.

 

But I met [redacted] twice. Let’s call him “Red” for short. I went to the bar to “take the edge off” as the Alchy’s call it. Relax, have a laugh, and most importantly, write another damn story. Or live it well enough to write it the next morning.

First time I saw Red I said to myself —is the room shaking? —Is it Christmas? — Can I touch him? —Is he real? Or something non-short of such rah rah. He had sunlight skin, a tiny mustache, twinkling eyes, baby’s-toot-soft-skin, and a navy baseball cap if memory serves me. Nothing shiny or belligerent. No “ghetto bunkin” jersey when he’s not at a basketball game, no non-tailored blazer. Basic tee-and-jeans cutie.

He comes on strong, but asks for my number. I say no. He looks 12. My son is almost 12, I refuse to raise more children before I’m ready, unless of course you’re a rich publisher—please do inquire as none of this male bashing applies to you. Sorry I’m back. But I say to Red as he watches drinks swish down my sinkhole.

“No, you’re too young, besides, you asked for my number you should have politely demanded it.”

This was my way of deterring him, my weeding out process, my “if you’re too drunk you can’t jump through this hoop.” I tend to come up with many of those… aka… excuses. After all he was “12-looking” (or early twenties) and he did ask instead of tell me nicely and I was busy trying to graduate and not fall in love with anyone who fails to perfectly exist at this moment. Again, I shrugged my shoulders and bopped off. I was there to laugh with my friends and create stories. Not meet anyone, really.

The second time I met Red my friend and I were at the same ceiling-sweaty-place and he passed me with a sly smile. When I got up closer, I was about to say something along the lines of “don’t I know you?” when he confidently demanded my number, later reminding me that we’d met before and I’d said no because he “was hardly making the double digits in age, and that my son was nearly 12, I was almost 30, sorry but I’m not looking for anything.”

Wow, I say a drunken mouthful.

He decided to let me know that “I didn’t need to be looking, necessarily” and he bought me a diet coke and vanilla vodka and escorted me to the dance floor—this time without asking. Somebody learned. Fast forward to less than a week later our second date (our first date being a whole different story I’m writing) and I chose to cook for him at my home (which I’ve done for one handful of people because I’m afraid they’ll all realize that I have perfected 3 meals total and everything else I’m wingin’ it.)

He shows up. On time. Nicely dressed—and immediately my puppy loves him. Good signs. We eat our food, which I will not tell you in case I end up making it for you one day. Auh F it: we ate lemon peppered salmon, sautéed green and yellow green beans, langostino tails in garlic, and a red rice medley with flax seeds and barley.  Showin’ OUT. The appetizer was a Toscana cheese topped with cinnamon and what should have been crackers but when I tried to serve them they ended up being stale, so I quickly shoved them in the trash before Red could see.  So yah, appetizer was jus’ plain cheese and Rosé. Yea, I did that. Lol.

Damn he was fine. Mighta tied me up and chopped my kneecaps off for breakfast and I woulda smiled type-a’fine. Mighta forced his baton up my ellipsis type-a’ fine. I ain’t got no good sense nor proper sentence structure for this type-a’ fine.

Most men don’t (I repeat if this were a regular date I’d have scared him off already) keep me intrigued enough for a second date or I say too much all at once and there’s awkward silence and then no more. And here I am crazily offering to cook for a pretty stranger.

My puppy twirls at Red’s feet and jumps his lap hoping for a French kiss worse than I was.

I have not hoped for a French kiss since I was 15. I don’t really enjoy kissing much, when a relationship requires too much of it, especially when folks aren’t very good at it. I’m turned off. Slobber baths give me the creeps.

But this man. This Red guy. I wanted to kiss kisssssssss kiss. Put my OCD about saliva in a tight-lipped jar and kiss him until I saw stars. Possibly even make my prose rhyme a bit. Yes, that’s it.

We never got to the kiss. We never did because two romantic comedies later my puppy bless her soul—trots in, all 3 ½ pounds of her maltese wannabee pit bull comes from down the hallway— stares both of us down as we sit on my white couch surrounded by my off-white living room encompassed by my unusually oversized fluffy white rug fresh from the dryer early morning— yes my baby maltese “Notebook,” the girl pup I peacefully trained this spring by asking her please and praise—my little universe in the size of a shoe—shimmers into the living room and takes a long sarcastic “This is my mommy’s house who the fuck are you” staring dead at Red and shits in unbelievably juicy spurtles—similar to that of oversized bird droppings, in a sickly circular way all over my fluff rug.

And then I am sitting there with my mouth wide, fake-laughing it off with jokes and a high-larious voice of “I hope you still call me anyway, this was a nice and shitterific evening,” or this dating shit ain’t easy because it really is shitty, in fact, I couldn’t have shit it better myself. My maltese looks at me as if self-satisfied.

She walks off.

Picture from Savage Chickens

C-List Celebrity


Trash truck’s outside and it’s blaring loud. Why? I’m trying to write. Fruity pebbles all over the breakfast nook table. Creativity stifled. Why? Fear of fail. YOUR. Or rather failing me. What has my creativity done for me lately? Made me crazy.

 

We all know the common no one’s perfect, and no one is. But just for once I want to be the person someone is talking about instead of just overhearing some stranger’s conversation that “my sister just won $26,000 on the penny slots in Vegas!” I want to be less envious of better writers, and more courageous. 

So here I go as promised; some fiction if you will:

C-List Celebrity

He was a C-list celebrity. Cute enough. Brown hair, bright blue eyes, sometimes green— which made me immediately think of babies. Our babies would have his eyes because of the dominant gene, or maybe not, anyway— lucky him.  He wore baseball caps, switched jobs like cigarettes, and drove a brand new car— very little mileage I’d noticed from the first time he picked me up.  This time we were going to go to a bar lounge. He sent me a text when he was outside.

I threw on my zebra heels, powder pink lipstick, and crimped my hair for aesthetics. High-waist black mini skirt, lavender lace top, black camisole. If I am going to cause a scene, I’m going to cause one. I’s colored my hair auburn in regret; I’d made so many mistakes since my ex had put a hex on me two years prior.

“Hey beautiful,” he says to me in his Boston accent.

“Heiiii” I clamor back, just then not sure if I should go out at all.

I pull the handle of the toy truck. New car smell. Ah. Same as I remember from a few weeks earlier. Third date’s the date something’s supposed to happen. Something always happens on the third date.

“Melissa-Janaé you look…” Jerry does his fingers like a New York pizza maker, kissing the tips in a delectable fashion. It makes me giggle and squirm. The night may be up to something.

We scavenge around Los Angeles to end at a lounge decorated in blue accents. Streaming lights and cameras flash as we exit the car, valet dashes off without manners only nods and I find myself clutching his arm. Perhaps a B-list celebrity? I walk through golden-rimmed doors and a shimmering chandelier to shit yourself over. Jerry takes my hand and leads me straight to the bar. Everyone seems to know him as a regular. I recognize people from TV shows, but know none of their names.

“A shot of patron and a shot of that” he points at some basic tequila.

I don’t like drinking on an empty stomach, without prior conversation, or taking shots as a precursor for the night ahead. Back to a bad night, I think to myself.

The tall over friendly bartender pours the shots without looking, but staring definitely at me. He is staring at my legs, I can tell. We take the shots and mine goes down smoothly, follows with me sucking the top of my mouth deliciously, The alcohol races to my arms, I am going to do something stupid tonight. Utterly undoably stupid.

Jerry flounders on about some fight and how he was such a tough guy back in his heyday and I try to pretend that I’m interested although I am listening. Listening was never my problem, caring about what was being said. Ah.

We end up taking two more shots apiece, I feel them tremendously and tell myself, if nothing else this will solidify freedom. My ex can’t come back, if I’ve finally moved on—at least physically. “Show off” is still dancing around himself while I’ve eyed three other guys interested, two on a couch adjacent very apparently brothers.

“Those heels are magnificent,” Jerry says to me. Obviously not a fan of the heels but rather the upper thigh. I sigh and smile, obviously not in need of a compliment, but rather stimulating conversation. He asks if I am ready to go which meant my body language was working and we exit the “ooh la-la lounge” not holding hands. Valet runs across the street to a lot, I scuffle my feet inward like I was trying to kick skittles and when I look up they are pulling the truck around the bend. Jerry jumps in and valet is nearly trying to buckle my seatbelt for me. What a nice place.

We stop off at Jerry’s penthouse, specifically because I imagine he wanted to brag of himself again, and I resist no temptation. He was such an intelligent, funny, good-looking man.

“I need to get home, I’ve got practice tomorrow.” I lied. I had no practice and didn’t know what the practice would have been for even if I did.

“Ah, ok.” An interested or even interesting person would’ve asked what I’m practicing for, but him not challenging my lie at that moment—all the better. My arms felt heavier and I wasn’t sure my wit and creativity would’ve been fast enough. We floor the elevator from the penthouse and hop in his car once more. Still, I am a little impressed.

As we pull back up to my house I can feel anticipation building. I was going to start the session then invite him up. I’d feel more comfortable. He goes on about how he likes girls to do this, and a girl he dated did that, and he hated it when she did this. I spaced out and leaned in for the kiss.

Wasn’t bad but I would’ve preferred less spit gushing.  We wait. I go in for the kill again. Hair ends up in my mouth and I giggle.

“Your smile is so beautiful.” He’s quickly losing points for unoriginality. I hike down my skirt and lean in again, hoping that the more I kiss him, the less unappealing things he’ll say to me.

“I wish we had gotten food, I’m starving, and tacos would hit the spot right now.” I say bored, and thinking of some Mexican food I would never eat, on a night I would never drink so much, with a feeling I would never have for someone I don’t know past three dates.

I tell two quick stories one of my father when he was going to school to become a dermatologist, and another commenting on his story from the bar— he interrupts.

“Do you talk during sex? Because that just won’t do”

“What?” I stutter. I’m thinking quickly but reacting slowly, alcohol boils in my bellyache. Blinking is in stop-motion.

I rage in my head. All night I’ve listened to this man gloat about himself, talk about his past fights, his drug life, his women, buy me shots of “I hope I get lucky tonight,” and he is now implying that I talk too much? I was planning to have sex with him but now that he’s made it clear that he’d expected it, I can’t.

“Yes, I talk during sex! I talk, and I whisper, and I moan and I might even tell ghost stories!”

I hop out of his car and slam the door. I stumble away as my zebra heel gets stuck in the uneven pavement; I pull it out and nearly fall to the floor. I look backwards to see if he’d seen me but all I could hear as I look back was the roar of his toy truck zizzing off into the night‑mad as a bee sting to the eye. I waddle up the walkway to my porch, kick over a flowerpot, stumble at the screen, open the wooden door, fall to the ground and let the tears drip down my face finally reaching my lace top.  I open the oven to feel as I pre-heat and prepare to bake myself a cake. It is my birthday, after all.

Picture is repinned by Lynsey @Pinterest original source unknown.

Unfortunate Unfortunate Dreams

My dreams are realities. They’re random, they’re painful, they’re rare manifestations of my imagination… and they come true. Like, seriously. This is what makes this so weirdly sad and irksome.

I remember pieces of my dreams and they always tend to kick me. Hard. In my face. There’s this one recurring dream that makes me shiver when I wake. Other times there’s a cliché tear in my eye. I’m dizzy upon waking.

It’s my wedding day. I am wearing this mystic white gown, ghostly and old-fashioned. I can feel myself, but I’m not actually there and everyone is a complete blur. I can sense who is in attendance from my immediate family, but the others I can’t see. The dream catches in that stupid second where the door opens up and the wife is supposed to walk down the aisle prettily, but what do I do?

-Pause like I’m dying, and one of two things happen; every single time this dream dreams. I faint. Done. On the floor. Whoops. Or two; have you seen Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride? I take to my Skechers Shape-Ups and dash down the cobblestone. Why in the middle of the most pressured time of my life am I having this slow motion nightmare? I mean yes, these dreams could be worse, I know. As they recur and I can foreshadow the dejavuish feeling in them- I can feel that I know (even in the dreams) that there won’t be anything I can do to change the fate of what is going to happen.

When I woke up this morning I said aloud to myself that there’s no point in dreaming anymore. My dreams belong in a circus.

Breakfast Potatoes and A Waste of My Time

Some things don’t go right first try, or second, or third.

But what about ever?

Is there a point where you give up? I was taught that you never give up, especially on dreams. O another near miss. Today I received the nicest “no,” for a position I was solicited for. How does that happen you ask? Somebody tells somebody that they know somebody and then… that somebody calls my phone thinking I’m somebody I never told them I was. She said she was looking for all of these things that’re directly displayed in my undergraduate degree in Organizational Management, again… sweetest pie of a lady.

First off she was late. Not ten minutes, but over thirty. The gal at the front had given me paperwork to fill out as usual with interviews, lalalala. I was psyched because the company is well-known, pretty much up my alley and after my experiences working in Visual Merchandising for Forever21 and Abercrombie and Fitch, I pretty much had it all. Except maybe whatever she was looking for. When she approached me I was still filling out the paperwork as I tend to be most detailed on the page. She invites me to continue working. Anywho… She waits a few tables down, I finish and approach the table.

We wander off in Visuals, Fashion, and finally the detail: Management conversation. As soon as I heard the word management I began to skiddle off checking out her blouse the buttons, her hair, the table adjacent, the fabric, the texture, everything I’d learned told me that she was not in Fashion herself, nonetheless she looked polished. I wore my dainty pale suit, matching pale earrings, pastel socks, beige heels, one pink crystal ring, and my Banana Republic slacks. I carried my portfolio, tea cup, and my rainy day smile. Although I have marketing and management experience I neglected to (purposely) put that on my resume and paperwork because truth be told; I don’t want another stressful management position… and as picky would have it- if I’m going to be stressed out about a job, it’ll be A. my own company, or B. at least a position in managing something with an emphasis in Fashion or Writing. C’mon… it’s my heart and soul. The reason I went into Fashion Writing, Fashion Merchandising, and stayed up wee hours in the super-morning dressing mannequins, cursing when the arm or leg fell off. I love to style a mannequin as much as I love to write stories.

Conversation speeds to an end. Just as I felt the meeting to be going well she whips out the actual position she’s looking to fill: … Store Management. Heart drops. Not Merchandise Manager, Product Description Writer, Fashion Guru– but Manager. Basic. She refers me a few places. I veer off again wishing I wouldn’t have wasted my gloomy morning excited about an opportunity that didn’t end up being what I thought it was. All of the fashion articles, the window displays, the artsy fartsy things I’ve done… and everyone wants to offer me up bland and basic. I’ve managed a Sales Team: Marketing and Promotions, I’ve managed a Health Club: Member Retention and 55+ Classes, and I’ve worked in writing, fashion, and mentored students. All exciting. She wants me to manage a store and tells me that because of my experience in Fashion and because my management experience is a few years behind me that I am not a good candidate. How nice. Really? How nice.

Back to submitting my work. Heck, I’m on overload nearing exertion anyway.

I’ve worked with amazing people and once even worked in an impossible setting of horrid treatment for over 4 years, and I’ve always been a big fierce compliant “by-the-book” Professional. Whyever can’t things work out for me, just once? O that and I made my favorite comfort food onion breakfast potatoes, with a side of grapes, turkey sausage, and warm tea. I sure hope my luck gets, better.

I ache

What about when you’ve done everything? Given everything? Tried everything?

What about when everyone says to make lemonade when you’ve been given lemons…

but all I’ve received is lemons without enough time to make trees?

What about being stretched in too many places to please everyone?

What about when I’m no longer sure of anything? Anyone?

Wanna move away, run away? What about staying? Wanna just sleep.

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