Can’t Find The Man of My Dreams ‘Cause I Don’t Sleep

 

I'm definitely the baby in this picture

I'm definitely the baby in this picture, lol

Every five minutes the thing nearest me changed into a mistake and disappeared. —Tao Lin

I’m in, if, of, and. I miss him like writing with my left hand. Tea cup got up and said “damn, that’s bad.” The what you’ve got til’ it’s gone. Watching me sleep. Zumba drop out. Clothes don’t fold themselves. Walls don’t happen to paint themselves fireplace red. Over my head. Send to journals. Write it. Revise it. Read it. Scratch it out. Insomniacs anonymous. He winked at me! And then I am there. I love it when a man winks. Then I have blacked. Then I am where? He said welcome to my world and held my hand while we were going under. I don’t swim like a fishie. How come they don’t tell you the things you want are gonna hurt this much? I’m poppin’ Motrins on a roller coaster.

~~~

*Woman of my dreams, I don’t sleep so I can’t find her* actual lyric by Lil Wayne

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.

5 Things I Can Help

“Stop assuming the negative I don’t give you reasons to,” [redacted] says to me.

“I can’t help it??” And he snapped back faster than ever, “Well, what can you help?”

Occupational hazard. Writers plan for the worst and secretly hope for the best. It’s a defense mechanism for publishing rejection. I cannot promise him I can stop doing that. But I wrote something to help him believe in my try:

The Things I Can Help

1. UuHm. [Clears throat] I definitely can help myself to another serving of, spending as much time as I can with you in order to know (enough in advance) what I want to help myself to.

2. I can help appreciating it after you treat me like we’re in a slow-motioned old-fashioned movie and you’re  behaving like Noah in The Notebook, give a little, then leave something mysteriously amiss—wouldn’t hurt if your look was sincere and you made an effort to stare longingly into my eyes.

3. Moreover, I would help myself to your psyche and while you seem to believe you would not want to walk with me on the beach; not walking with me on the beach would only lead me to discovering my full potential… which is destined to be an old, lonely, rich writer in Paris. I can help that.

4. I can help the way I write, and I can help myself to a second helping as you are so frikkin good for my writing that I have to ask if it’s selfish, or I have to ask if it’s too soon to beg that you never leave me yet? Or tell me when it’s safe to ask that? And don’t take too long to respond, a bitch got deadlines.

5. And what else can I help? You o you my tough little nookie-crook could help out in loosening-up-with-all-your-mite so I can help bind you to me exponentially and that would somehow reverse your adverse reaction to my cupcake-flavored lip gloss—which at one point your dislike of it made me sad—which was too bad because I envisioned no more a sweeter vision than you and I holding hands [the off-limits gesture] and making love daily, singing kumbiyahhhhhh my looooooord kumbiyuuuuuuow as you propose in a romantically aligned stupor that which results in my instantaneous pregnancy and combustion. Amen.

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.

How Can We Be On The Same Page If You Ain’t Reading Out Loud?

If you’ve been following, Red said that to me the other night. In agreement of understanding as I carried on in “know-all” about the ones I love, conveniently, not listening.

 

I tend to read out loud. Now, whether or not you’ve heard me or not is a different story.

 

I’ll say a “subconscious-unconsciousness of” — too damn much. For instance if the person in front of me says he doesn’t like women who shop… all of a sudden I’m a thriftily shopping mo-fo. He doesn’t like tea? O, I only dabble in tea sipping, pinky finger flailing, honey sticks, and lattés, just dabble, lol.  Similar to Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride when it was all she could do to match her counterparts, she forgot herself.

 

I read, a lot. I read people. I speed read. I read attachments. I read magazines, marketing material, interviews, the internet, but mostly, I read out loud. I tell a person what’s wrong, generally, like most of us do — before telling them what’s right. I’m proud to recognize this, and acknowledge myself as a work in progress.

 

I write my toot off. I stay up wee hours of the night reading. Studying. I put it first when at times it should come second to some things like taking a few minutes to make the people I love happy.  Ma calls me up the other day, exhibit #1:

 

“Where da hell you beeennnnnnnn?” Her southern accent, a cheerily bit ghetto. She asks of why I haven’t called her.

 

I go on explaining and rambling off about deadlines, genre workshops, reading group, and submissions and halfway through my summary of absence, this broad is not listening. At all. I’m talking about not only not listening, but in full conversation with my niece in the background.

 

“Maaaaam, did you hear me????  You not listening! You never listen, how you gon’ ask me a question then go all off talkin’ to someone else?!” I shriek.

 

“Awhl, shiiiiiiiit, leme call ya later honey, these children are on my nerves.” She hangs up. I laugh and shake my head. Like I said, I read out loud, no one listens.

 

Example 2: an ex of mine came over about nine maybe ten one night o clock a few weeks back to listen as I read a few pages to him for proofing. After all, I can credit him for catching a lot of my run-on sentences, verb tense issues, and grammar ridiculousness. He also fully believes in my work and I love that. This particular time no sooner than shortly after his arrival did I read into about the fourth page, and I found that he had apparently took the drug opposite of No-Doze. He was full-on asleep, light snore and all. Naturally, I’m human, I was hurt.

 

He exclaimed that he was tired, which I believe he was, and that if he’d only had the pages in front of him (like his own copy) he would have stayed up. The issue is, when someone gives an über quick reason for falling short, the explanation loses its weight. A simple “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again” would have sufficed. Practice with me: “I’m sorry it, won’t happen again,“ the most important words in language, since “I love you” is overrated and everyone loves everybody.  I’m really sorry, I won’t read a damn thing to you, ever again. HAhahaha!

 

Him actually using those words might have gotten us on the same page. Simple acknowledgement and reassurance that it (hopefully) won’t happen again. Although Ma still hasn’t said a word about her tangents of rudeness, and my ex and I no longer talk, I still feel I’m learning how to better express myself, and I continue reading out loud. I just wish the right people would listen.

 

Picture taken by moi from “be happy: a little book to help you live a happy life” by Monica Sheehan.
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