A Typewriter Confession

Putting together a few new essays to publish and then this happened, thought I’d share.

But You Still Love My Naggin’ Ass

I am the woman who would put this on her man’s dash.

I am also the woman who will cook him lemon chicken with rosemary in red high heels, and might I add that they may not come off throughout the night, if you know what I mean. But I am also a woman who needs things to get done. I like reminders.

These are the top five reasons I am an absolute f*&%$#@* nag.

  1. It’s innate, my Mama did it, sister did it, and my entire childhood was polluted with naggerific tendencies. It’s not an excuse, it’s just why.
  2. I want the best for you baby, for us, don’t you see it?
  3. Perhaps because I’ve only ever had experiences with people in which I have to nag or nothing will ever get done.
  4. I’m a mother and that came as a package deal.
  5. And finally, because it’s one of the few things I can do that will incite an immediate reaction. I like immediate reactions.

I’m going to generalize here, which I don’t like to do—but for the sake of the topic, I don’t mean everyone, but some and possibly even most.

What’s the worst thing a woman can do you ask? I answer. Nag. Yes, we know it is annoying, and I can even venture to say, until we nag (a repeatedly whiny asking over and over of the same thing)— or get louder, you’re generally going to ignore us until it gets… urgent for you. 

It’s like something else large has to be at stake. I like things at stake.

I feel like there’s this misconception, this misconception that a woman’s perfect man needs to be half-naked washing dishes. I’m here to tell you, as desirable as that might be, that isn’t what (and if I can speak for the women that I know) we want.

I, coupled with the few power women spoke on THIS topic all too recently, and it all falls in line with what I’ve always known.

Nagging has more to do with feeling alone with regards to responsibility, while a significant other should  share the heaviness of my load. Teamwork, go teamwork. Nagging has more to do with attention span, or lack thereof, and acknowledging when something has been asked, (even in a sensual way) and still no concerted efforts have been made.

I can remember the feeling of utter helplessness, the hindrance. The resentment and frustration, like I’m gonna “crawl up the wallside,” because I’ve asked and been disregarded for things that are (at the top of my list as) less important—ie: workouts, playing basketball, drinking beer, watching Lakers or Raiders, or my own personal favorite—feet kicked up in the lazy chair.

I want my feet kicked up in the lazy chair? But what am I doing instead? Refilling the puppy bowl, helping revamp his personal statement or CV, sorting laundry yet again, matching up his missing socks, replacing the toilet tissue and the paper towels back on the roll—because none of y’all see that sh*t is empty. All I’d like is for a man who notices things, acknowledges what I’ve said, and is present in the relationship he is in.

Since I’m currently single, I stand to warn a potential that, yes, I nag—with the most tender care and in the most yielding  and loving way possible. I nag.

Don’t worry, I use positive reinforcement, too. Very positive. I like positive.

What about you?

Picture credit: Jumbo post-it note

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?

The Man I’m In Love With

I’ve written poems for him. He’s innovative, incredibly creative, unique, marvelous to speak to and easy to learn from.  A friend of mine asked me the other day “if I even knew what I’d look for in a man if I were looking?” I suppose he meant to inquire about what the most attractive attributes the man I’d love and marry and potentially cook butterbuns in the oven for would have. I realized I hadn’t put too much thought into “Superman,” and who can ever be exactly correct in saying, but after a bit of thought some of those qualities and traits might be:

  1. Artistic
  2. Intelligent
  3. Honest
  4. Funny
  5. Eclectic
  6. Ambitious/Driven/Goal Oriented
  7. Empathetic
  8. Observant
  9. Level-headed
  10. Reliable
  11. Open Minded
  12. Respectful
  13. Faithful
  14. Experienced
  15. Expressive

As far as physical attributes he’d be handsome, a cul-de-sac type of smile that turns you around in a complete circle, pretty teeth, polished and well-put together look. He’d be well-dressed, confident, successful, and know how to take care of his family. What do you all look for in a significant lover?

I suppose the man I am in love with is also either the creator of these Lace Up Skate Boots (which I loOove more than any) or he is a fictional character that just doesn’t exist. I can’t tell which.

Damn, He’s Good Looking

The man I am staring at looks like this guy, possibly could have been him, lol.

The man I am staring at looks like this guy. See why I'm staring?

I’ve been staring at Mr. Gorgeous from across the cafe for approximately six minutes when he looks over and catches me in mid-stare. A few things come to mind:

1. O shit.

2. O shit.

3. Damn, he’s good looking.

I go back to writing. The thing is, I have a problem with concentration. Did I mention he wore argyle? I’m a sucker for argyle, and gorgeousness behind glasses. I think I’m over the last thought when, he smiles. His eyes look like wide almonds, I’d like to catch a grenade for him, lol. Am I shallow? And then I laugh at myself. I have three hundred things to do in one day, I cannot sleep most nights, and here I am waiting on inspiration when I wouldn’t know it if it hit me on the back of my fat head in slow motion.

The guy looks at me again. I stare at my computer screen like I’m writing the bestseller I hope I’m writing. The waitress with the blonde hair that doesn’t look naturally blonde, her overly-heavy mascara—she is kind—brings me my omelette. It has avocados in case y’all didn’t know. Later, I find a hair in the omelette as I’m on my third to last bite. The manager comes over to apologize and thinks I don’t want to pay for it. She tells me that the waitress was crying. Funny, I’d already eaten it, I had every intention to pay for the hairy eggs I just devoured. The waitress overhears her tell me that she’d been crying. She says

“Did she just say I was crying?”

“Yes” I smirk.

And she laughs. It’s a funny thing what people do when something goes wrong.

Mr. gorgeous met up with some other man. They are talking, he has mentioned me because the guy he is sitting with has looked over at me, trying to disguise the fact that he is trying to see me.

1. Is he checking me out?

2. He must be selling something.

3. I’ve had enough bad luck for this month, ignore them both.

And so I do. I finish my homework assignment like a good girl should. I take my crazy meds, lol. I drink my chamomile bread and sip my warm toast, and I ready myself to leave. As I am packing my stuff up, the heavy make-upped waitress leans over and tells me that the men across the room (the delicious one and his buddy) were checking me out and joking about there being no ring on my finger.

*The man in the picture above is French accented Willy Monfret. Lawd have some kinda mercy on my soul. Lol.

I said “I like butterflies,” he said “I’m more of a ladybugs kinda guy”

Have you ever played This or That? OK. The game’s intention is to get to know the other person and to arouse conversation about certain subjects that wouldn’t normally be discussed. It’s great to use with potential love interests, long-time boyfriends (if the relationship feels stagnant) or interestingly quirky friends. Here’s an example:

  • Honey or Sugar?
  • Salad or Fruit?
  • Love or Money?
  • Passion or Compassion?
  • Blazing Hot or Snow Storm?
  • Butterflies or Ladybugs?

There’s no “right,” or “wrong,” necessarily. There’s just the asking, and in that asking you find out if you would have chosen the same or not, and you ask why. The point is you build comfort, you talk, and eventually, you get to the raunchier or more seriously morbid questions. You get a view of someone’s thinking in ridiculously hypothetical situations, similar to the game “Would You Rather?” The Twisted Sick and Wrong Version. Only they’re in short comparisons or weird juxtapositions:

  • Top or bottom?
  • Fast or slow?
  • Mentally or emotionally?
  • Terminally ill or paralyzed?

How much of getting to know someone is “opposites attract” until opposites don’t attract at all? Until, you’re just two people physically attracted to each other that don’t have much else in common—really? When is it best to let go?

My mom used to say “You stay until the bad start to outweigh the good.” She also used to say “You ain’t had enough yet, ’cause when you’ve had enough, it’ll be enough.”

I’ve had relationships like this, sometimes even friendships, where I find myself offering all the “let’s hang out,” “why don’t we go and talk,” “how about we get together and…” I’ve been the initiator, the person that sustains the bond, and the digger in finding more commonalities or differences we can laugh at. I am tired… of friends… and people like this. Of people who not only don’t make valiant attempts at “getting to know” or “maintaining a friendship” but of one-sided companionships and “orange-squeezing”courtships altogether. I usually quit them soon enough.

“When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out – because that’s what’s inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.”—Dr. Wayne Dyer

When you fight, argue, “debate” if you will, what comes out of it is emotions. I’ve found that there are some people I can hold my ground with, and then there are others that because I am seemingly suspended in air—I’m unable to articulate myself the same. Because the conversations are held (to me) on a higher echelon, I can get my point across very little, if at all. Not because I am afraid to lose them, because a loss is sometimes inevitable, but because I am trying to learn from them. I am trying to study what makes them, because I am quiet—I am recording. Sometimes to prevent the same issue, other times to do what most have the hardest time doing, really listening, present in that moment.

Never in my life have I ever been told at the beginning of a conversation what the outcome will be, and then still gone through with the conversation. It was sort of like being told “if you eat this monstrous bag of gummy bears you will have a tummy ache, a toothache, and gain 10 lbs.” only to then, be forced to eat it, all. Because I’m doing a “happiness project”, and for my own self-improvement and overall well-being, I decided to let this fly. I came to find out that what my intuition felt about the conversation and the reality of the situation was one in the same.

Recently at a gas station I had a misunderstanding get to a point of screaming, only to realize, when a person is proving a point by using an example, it’s generally an example they’ve learned from and there is something you’ve said or done, that causes them to feel like they need to give exactly that example.

This is in the same way I wouldn’t offer a student in my workshop, (or the virtual writing center, or the tutor center I work in) help with commas and punctuation, if I didn’t feel they needed that. I would also humbly preface that I struggle with run-on sentences, overly flowery language, and creative licensing—just for comfort.

We are all not perfect in this big bowl of melting. We all have our flaws, but like I was once (and there are many variations of this) told:

“When you pick people to be around you, you have to pick the people whose flaws you like the best.

When did I let go? From the second I didn’t feel like I had any choice anymore if I’d held on.

“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 Am Falling in Love with…

We woke up overlooking the water, french doors overlooking the bike path, his left arm crossed over my neckline and collarbone like it’d been there forever. It was such perfect poetry I thought I’d never move. But I did. I ran straight to the Keurig machine. Starbucks was needed, and I would have preferred Coffee Bean, but that would have taken too long.

Well, everyone, my vacation was superbly startling, and unreal. You know when you have unexpected moments and your heart pivots on its axis and all I could think about the whole time was… Jim Daniels.

The view from the hotel

The view from the hotel

Yes. I have fallen in love with CNF and Poetry. I recently made the switch from my major being Poetry to CNF (Creative Nonfiction). Poetry has always been my first love, but when I started putting words to the memoir I’ve been writing for eleven years, something creatively nonfictiony took over. Poetry is my minor now. I am riding the wavey-rainbow to the pot of gold, or at least to a few golden tickets. Jim Daniels is a mentor at my school and the residency schedule came out on the same night of my vacation. I checked it on my droid phone. There was no way I was concentrating on anything else.

He knew. I even heard him say something to the extent of “You are so, not, here, right, now, are you?” in front of my sugar rimmed margarita, I was just checked out, altogether. I felt bad.

Whyever the love of my life has to be writing and learning, I do not know… but it is. And it, means everything to me. My career-crush on Jim Daniels resulted in a dream after his lecture (on the residency schedule) was placed conveniently at the same time as my current mentor Christine Hale—both conveniently at 9am ON RED’S BIRTHDAY, December 15th. (Is this crazy?) I then dreamed about floating over Jim and Christine’s lectures as a ghost in two places at once—screaming because I couldn’t understand what they were both saying ‘cause they were both talking at the same time. My yell interrupted both classes and I was asked to leave. An impossible nightmare, I know. Yes, I laughed too. It’s the type of feeling that makes me never want to graduate, never stop reading, never stop educating myself. The poor guy.

The Perfect Ambiance— so colorful!

The perfect ambiance—so colorful!

Since my switch over to creative nonfiction I’ve subjected myself to possibly not being able to have Jim as a mentor, and this pains me, to the bottom of my bones. But again, my memoir’s revisions and workshops are what is most important at this time so it involved an executive decision on my part, CNF it was.

I question my ability to give enough of myself to anyone. But is my “I’m too busy” a scapegoat for not wanting to get hurt? Possibly. Is my “I’m too busy with memoir, mentor, studying” a diversion for falling for this one might cause me to have to trust, which is the number one rule I’ve seemingly already broken, somewhat. How many times do I have to fail to get it right? Rejection letters for submissions, break-ups, set-backs bigger than my panic attacks?

“Cheer up beautiful girl, you will love again and it will be magnificent”

My Daddy says things like this to me all of the time. My Mama says things like “Erase, replace.”

Brunch the morning after

Brunch the morning after

Everyone knows you can’t plan love, you can’t plan life, you can’t plan. But I plan. I plan to take 3.5 showers a day, I plan my reading schedule, my Masters lecture, responsibilities, my shopping list. When I go somewhere, I’ve usually checked the ratings, the weather, the menu and the reviews. If I haven’t, I either trust the person I’m going with, or I’m having a particularly “off” day. That’s just a “light example” of the type of over-the-top I am.

Jess McCann author of “ You Lost Him At Hello” says it’s not a game, it’s a strategy. She also says:

You need a strategy to get anywhere in life. If you wanted to start a business you would need a business strategy. If you wanted to lose weight, you would have a diet strategy. If you wanted to get your finances in order, buy a new house, land a new job, you would need a strategy!

I believe in a blueprint. I believe in growth and gradual increases. I believe that there is some type of (at least) semi-strict form that one must stick to, or else, there is not going to be any progression. No progression = boredom. Boredom eventually = unhappiness. Unhappiness + Stagnancy + Complacency= Resentment.

Resentment for anything is the worst feeling I’ve ever had. Worst feeling you’ve probably ever had, that you didn’t know you were having. This is what happens without conversation and a plan, people get let down.

Daniel G. Amen, M.D says in his book “The Brain in Love,” that “no forethought equals no foreplay. Understand how the brain works and influences our behavior—and intimate relationships.” Sometimes, the worry is worth it, sometimes the anticipation is worth it. Sometimes when you have such high hopes for career, for love, for life in general, the apprehension helps you along. Other times you freeze up.

I am in the middle of a hot pan, frozen scared. Everything on the verge of anything. Over and over and over. In the middle of a vacation, I’m stuck on impossible, planning the lectures I want at residency. In the middle of a vacation I am stuck for words, somehow I have “Talkers Block,” which far surpasses Writers Block—and my disbelief in it enough to ward it off. Which makes me [seem] less witty, carefree, and sexy. And more gigglish, nervous, and scared. I probably should have woke up surrounding him in French kisses to match the French doors, but all I could think about was if maybe Jim might read a bit of my work and give me a few words of feedback, and anyway if the guy is right, he’ll understand.

I thought about Jess McCann again who also says midway through her book: “This is real life and not a chick flick. In real life you have to be smart and savvy to get what you want.”

P.S. walking along the beach, [redacted] held my hand.

I’m not shy, I guess, it’s just the butterflies, they’re eating me alive.

All of a sudden, I’m clingy. I caught myself. Usually intimacy creates it, this time—I blame the butterflies.

~~~

I like to call it smothersome. And boy have I had some of this medicine before. I don’t mean the gentlemenly “You look beautiful tonight,” I mean the “I’m going to attempt to kiss you four times in five minutes, come back to check on you, peek-a-boo around the corner-honey is that you, hi, I’m still here… just looking at you, watching you go about your business, studying your eyebrows and then guess what I’m going to do, honey-honey! honey! I’m going to kiss you. Yes, again. Mmmmuah” Seriously, I want to give up on people. [Shake-my-head.]

So what happened you ask? O, besides subtleties? O besides someone that knows how to play the push me once on the swing and let me flap my legs for a bit on my own, then come back and push me slightly—then run when I say “again!” He slips off, then pops up behind me when I’m least expecting it-game. See, it’s the same but quite different. Did I know about it until it hit me? Maybe once or twice before, but it’s very very different. Butterflies are more like dragonflies when you’re an adult. Like the bigger the elephant the harder it falls, maybe?

~~~

Case in point: The other day I was conveniently gossiping about the new cutie patoot. The conversation was getting so interesting, but I had somewhere to go, and I’d already started out too late. I decided it’d be a bright idea to bring my bestie (on the phone) into the shower with me via the cordless phone. I sat the cordless phone alongside the tub and decided to shower with her on speakerphone blasting and bursting with laughter— it went something like:

“Grrrrrrrrl, I know, I know! I know right?! Right!” I continued on explaining to her that I know it’s early, we just met, I know like only a few weeks but I feel (giggles) clingy. Like. I’m human. My emotions are carbonated lava and he likes to kiss five different places on my forehead and then doze off across the bed and pretend I’m not there.

Subtlety, S-O-L-D. Like rose gold. Like a garage sale, everything must go.

I’m smack dab in the middle of confession 101 when my son runs full speed into the bathroom and vehemently bangs and shakes the shower sliding door. I freak the hell out, slip the soap, slop the towel and the cordless phone slides jollily down into the shower water as I fancy a jump-hop-scream AaAAah of terror I’d be electrocuted back into my good sense anyway. I did all of this magicianship stark naked, mind you.

Today I spent $20 replacing the cordless phone battery after having dried it out inside of a plastic bag with a hair dryer like my good ole google-friends told me to.

And yes, and yet, I’m still fighting this, example #2: The other night, I swore North, South, East, West, and upside down that I didn’t like holding hands. It’s funny as soon as you draw a line how much you yearn to blur it. Now all I want is for him to grab for my hand. I want him to take off work and play in the sandbox, pink sand of course. I want him to hold my hand and hold it while he tells me the biggest storybook story with the most enormous imagination. Queue artful silence I like.

And yet, I would very much like him to keep holding my hand. And I guess that makes me clingy. Or irksome. Or what I’d coin as smothersome from some folks in my past in which I shall not name. Ah, the other foot is so hard to wear. I suppose I’d rather be slightly ornamental—sniffing him in like the tip of a permanent marker. Because what does it say about someone who doesn’t have an ounce of overdose in their blood? Someone without that race in their genetic make-up? That she sticks to no one? Or that she sticks to everyone? Or that she’s unemployable? I sorta dig long-term. Sigh SMH again.

~~~

He got really quiet the other night, and I pouted, well, because, well, you see actually … I just wanted his undivided attention.

How absolutely OUT of character of me.

I guess it’s just the butterflies, they’re eating me alive.

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