the duality

She knew what she would have done. She would have gone to the bowels of hell and shot back through the crust of the earth. She would have swam across great oceans. She would have tried sushi. She would have done a great many things, most of which were impossible and largely fictional, for him.
You can imagine, then, I'm sure, the sheer shock she experienced when, one spring morning, she realized that despite her willingness to hell-dive (among other things), he would not do the same for her. In fact, he would not even deign to appear.

It was a chilly late morning -- the sort that causes you to turn in on yourself and immediately regret all your past decisions, most recent of them being your outfit -- and the dogs did not bark. She noticed something odd in the air, or perhaps a lack, more specifically. But she refused to be deterred. Today was a day of days! One to remember! One to cherish! 
She headed to a local coffee shop, their favorite. She knew what today would hold. A shiny something in a small velvet box doesn't just reveal itself for nothing. Today would be the culmination of all her dreams. Her fella would show up soon, nonchalant, and sit across from her, like it was nothing.
Small talk would ensue.
"So. Work."
She would smile and giggle, because she knew herself to be the bright side of the relationship. You see, to her knowledge, every relationship had a bright and a not-so-bright side. The bright side is chirrupy, perpetually excited and happy, bloated with the great knowledge that yes, indeed, this world is good. The not-so-bright side, as she had learned in the course of this relationship, did not smile quite as much. The world appeared to have dealt them a hand that caused them to lose control of their already poor poker face, and their silence simply left room for her to fill the void with sheer glee. It was a perfect balance, she believed, and her relationship absolutely sang with the symmetry of it.
After a period of talk and one-sided giggling, the conversation would move quietly in another direction.
"So. The future."
"Yes?" she would inquire. "What about it, darling?"
"Wanna?" he would ask, sliding the box, still shut, across the table.
"Oh, more than anything!" she would cry, opening the box and placing the ring on her own finger.
For an hour she sat, envisioning the perfection of her scenario. All at once she realized that their date had passed, that had he shown up he would already have to be back at work. Heaving a sigh, she gathered her things and returned to their quaint apartment. The place still seemed primarily hers, and perhaps it was, but she knew without a shadow of a doubt that his toothbrush by the sink meant something much more than a desire for early morning hygiene. The recently-placed toothbrush was a sort of memento to her, and whenever she felt particularly lonely on those long nights awaiting his return from a work meeting, she would stand in the doorway of the bathroom and stare happily at the toothbrush. It was blue, which clashed perfectly with her own purple one.
This afternoon, however, when she returned to her -- oh! their -- apartment, the item she chose to wax nostalgic upon was the shiny little something in the small velvet box in the corner of her apartment that she rarely had reason to examine. 
But it was gone.
Perhaps she had misread the time of their coffee date?
She flipped through her day planner, though she knew she never misread the time of any appointment.
In her panic, she flew to the bathroom to see the one piece of comfort she had, the blue toothbrush propped next to her purple one.
It, too, was gone.
The next day, as she perused the internet looking for hide or hair of him amidst a pile of chick flicks and Ben & Jerry's, she came across photographs of the very ring she had seen in her apartment, on the hand of some blonde.
"So happy I picked the right one!" his caption touted. 
A text chirped on her phone. 
"Sry it took so long. Ur just not it. Thought you wud flip if I didn't bring the damn toothbrush. C u maybe. Prob not. Bye."
She swore on that day to never even consider sinking as low as trying sushi for any man ever again. Bright side, my ass.


Writing in private notebooks doesn't do a damn thing.



"I know that January 1st doesn't represent anything but another day on a new calendar. But I need it to mean something to me. This year was... not good, overall. It had bright spots, but overall I think I can say that I have never been so happy to see the tail end of a year than this one. I need January 1st to be a turnaround. I need it to start something brand new and better. I deserve something brand new and better, I think."

lolz. I crack myself up. Silly optimism.


maybe i should bench myself. that'd be easier.

I am creating a team. It's necessary for me to have in order to deal with the absolute shit storm that my life is and is about to become.
I thought I had my small, cozy, close-knit team at the start, being just two people and myself. But I had to bench (but never trade!) one of those people, and make the other second string.
Then I added a player, and I feel good about that choice.
The problem is, though, that people outside my team are not supposed to know what's wrong for a litany of reasons, and we all know that the more people you tell, the more people exponentially will know. I trust these people, but it's a testable fact.
There are two people I'm considering adding to my team. Actually, I suppose I sort of half-way added one to my team. I guess he's the bat boy as of now. I would possibly make him second string.

It's all a matter of dependability. Who can I trust to be there for me? Who will tell me they love me? It's important to have the right team.


but the window is open

I feel so incredibly lonely.

Maybe it's the packing and the turmoil.
Maybe it's the lack of sunshine starting to choke out the happy chemicals in my brain.
Maybe it's the change.
Maybe it's the nonstop missing.
Maybe it's the unfinished love.
Maybe it's the wanting.
Maybe it's the lack.

Or maybe it's some horrible, fucked up combination.


a series of unfortunate events

I know it's a little early for end-of-year reflections, but I want to lay it all out, organize it, think about it, and resolve it.

Let us begin at the beginning of the year, where I was still dealing with an horrific break-up, seeking counseling for clinical depression, and watching the man I loved seemingly love someone else. In retrospect, I don't know what happened. I don't know why everyone else seems so capable of moving on, but I sank until I hit the bottom of the well, and then I couldn't even look up. Perhaps it was because I felt like I couldn't get away from it. The beginning of the year marks the middle of me refusing to speak to him, which in some respects helped. I defined it as this: when I was speaking to him, I felt so sickeningly horrible; when I wasn't, I felt nothing. I reasoned that feeling nothing was a step up from feeling horrible.

February I found out I have hypothyroidism. Not a huge thing, it just means my thyroid doesn't work hard enough. It explained a lot of things, and taking medicine for it helps. But it scared me, because of the constant medicine thing, and because the only thing that had ever been wrong with my was my vision and my allergies to silicone, grass and pine trees. Also, it meant I had to have blood drawn on a tri-monthly basis until my levels evened out (which they haven't yet, 10 months later), and I am terrified of having blood drawn.

Moving on to my 21st birthday. I went out at midnight with my ex, which was the winding down party of Mardi Gras. It was so much fun, and we discovered my favorite bar ever down on Washington Ave. It was a fun, drunken night. But also, it was turbulent. I managed to continue having fun into the following night, the actual night of my birthday, when I went out with all my amazing friends. The turbulence continued, but my friends made sure I was too drunk to care for very long. I have amazing friends :)

In April he left her, and we started talking more and hanging out more. It felt good. But I'm a creature of habit.

In May I graduated. That was a bittersweet moment. I did it a year early, which was nice and I was very proud of myself, but I also hated myself because I felt like I had intentionally torn myself away from all my friends prematurely. Why would I do that to myself? But all was well. I moved home, set up shop here. I still get to see them, though it tears me up how infrequently.

In late May, I visited Spain. A beautiful, amazing trip. My favorite part was the Alhambra in Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in Spain. So spectacular. I wish I hadn't been so lonely on that trip. It was really an overbearing feeling over the course of the entire trip, and I feel kind of petulant saying so. But I wouldn't trade that trip for the world. I'd just perhaps force a friend to go with me.

In June my dad shut down his firm. That meant no more income. I thought we were avoiding the economy, just sitting in our warm house looking out the window at it, but now we were in it, too. "Were"... really we are. I've had friends deal with this, and I suppose I just didn't understand until I experienced it, too. It sucks. I'm done experiencing it.

July passed with little activity. I searched for a job, I played computer games a lot. With no money and little morale, I didn't feel much impetus to accomplish anything.

In August I got the worst job ever. I also got a UTI. Guess which one sucks more. I really can't tell you, because they're about equal. I hate my job. It completely ruins my self-esteem on a day-to-day basis. The UTI was pretty awful, too. Also in August, school started. This was a day I had been meaning to avoid, the day I attended a school I didn't want to go to, a school where the only person I knew was literally never on campus at the same time as me. I was taking night classes, which I've always hated, and working all day during the day and on weekends.

September and October passed in a blink. I worked. I went to school. For Halloween I dressed up as a gypsy in order to loaf around my house and hand out candy to all 9 trick-or-treaters. I watched a horror movie with my family.

In November the house went on the market. This is not something I talk about, and that is intentional.

Now, in December, we are gearing up for the weirdest Christmas we've ever had, with the least accoutrements we've ever seen. I'm searching for a new job. Both my parents are looking for work. It's sort of a bleak situation, but I've been listening to Christmas music out the wazoo, and I will be buying the tree and paying for the Christmas cookies. I will make it look normal. Maybe I will buy a small trinket for people close to me (though I probably won't get to that under the glare of tuition and textbooks). I am determined to feel normal this Christmas. (A thought! I may not be able to buy anything, but I can afford a thing of yarn! I have time to knit gifties!)

I know that January 1st doesn't represent anything but another day on a new calendar. But I need it to mean something to me. This year was... not good, overall. It had bright spots, but overall I think I can say that I have never been so happy to see the tail end of a year than this one. I need January 1st to be a turnaround. I need it to start something brand new and better. I deserve something brand new and better, I think.



The realtor asked us to come up with a list of disclosures about our house, things a future buyer should know. I've created my own list.

You know that huge tree in the back corner of the the backyard, the cyprus? The one that sheds spiky orange things like crazy? It's only about half grown. Watch out.

The Christmas tree looks prettiest in the corner of the living room under the stairs, next to the bay window. That way it's in plain view as soon as you come in the front door, and it's furthest from the fireplace.

The floors in the kitchen etch. Anything you spill on it, even if it's just water, you need to clean up immediately. Sorry about that... it was my mom's flooring choice, and the bane of our existence.

Sorry about the scratches in the hardwood floors about three feet in front of the bay windows in the living room. I once had a dog, and she used to lay there, but she was sort of klutzy and would scratch the floors when she tried to get up.

Be especially nice to the walls in the foyer, upstairs and the stairwell. They're hand-painted, a nifty idea the painter had where he used either a rag or a plastic bag (I can't remember) to create that look, which makes it look like flowers and leaves. Also, the paint in the kitchen is hand-painted. The contractor, who moonlights as a muralist, painted those cracks and veins very carefully and by hand. So be careful with those.

There's a creak on the floor right in front of the stairs. Your teenagers will realize it's there and will take great pains to step over it when they come home past curfew.

On a similar note, the air vents in the basement go right up to the bedrooms. No funny business.

The rugs on the stairs are so soft and silky, but until you get used to them, avoid running up and down the stairs in socks. You will slip, and it won't be forgiving.

The closet in the bedroom closest to the front of the house is nearly soundproof, meaning you can't really hear anything happening in the house. If you're having a bad day, it's nice to crawl in there and ignore everything for a little while.

In the summer and fall, look out the window of that same bedroom, straight to the lake, and watch the light dance on the water.

The garage best houses an Infiniti G35 and a Volvo S80, but in place of the Volvo, an Audi A6 will do, too.

When you pull up in front of the house to park, line the nose of your car up with the line of asphalt closest to the neighbor's driveway: if you don't pull up this far, the mailman will make the effort to get out of his truck to leave a nasty-gram on your windshield saying he can't get to your mailbox, despite the fact that he's already out of his truck.

The playroom in the basement is the best place in the world to build blanket forts.

In the second bathroom upstairs, leave the door open a crack and the ventilator fan on while you shower, otherwise you'll overheat from the steam and feel like you're going to pass out.

Sorry about the weird outline of a dog on the driveway and a girl in the garage: it was a Halloween hijinks mishap that was supposed to wash away and some 6-8 years later still hasn't.

The screen door in the garage snaps shut faster when the weather gets colder, so if you don't hustle through the doorway, it'll bite the back of your ankle, which really freakin' hurts.

Only three of the six burners on the stove actually light up to the full flame. We don't get it.

I think that's pretty much it. I hope the realtor finds this a complete enough list.


the saddest dreamscape

I had a dream last night that I was a few years older, and I had a husband and a daughter. She was only an infant, maybe a year old. I went away for a while on a research trip, and when I returned they had developed a routine together that I was not part of. He knew what her little cries meant, and they had a system. She didn't want me. When he put her in the carrier, I asked to carry her. He agreed, reluctantly. I tried not to bounce the carrier as I walked because she was asleep, but I couldn't hold it steady. I kept knocking it against my leg.



What a terrible, horrible weekend. I feel like I spent the entire weekend in tears, but I really didn't cry that much. I just... I missed out on a wonderful weekend with my friends and instead spent the entire weekend working at a job I hate and arguing with my best friend. I thought I would be taken out on a date, but he was just kidding. I thought I'd get to go to a park again, but that fell through. I thought I might go out, but I'm broke.

And now I'm realizing that when I want to be alone, I don't get it. Either someone is demanding my attention or someone is just floating around and I feel the need to float, too. It's not normally a problem, but sometimes I just need to fucking be alone. And when I desperately want to be around people, interacting and having a good time, they're too busy.

I feel like my life is a downward spiral. I am lonely, but surrounded. I am broke, but working. I am bored, but learning. I don't ever seem to get what I want, even if it's just something little like the right ice cream. Everything feels wrong, out of place. I feel out of place.


a story about a nice man

Yesterday, an older, portly gentleman of approximately 70 came into my store. He looked slightly disoriented, like perhaps he had stumbled into the wrong store by some unhappy accident. I walked up to him and, as is customary procedure in my store, said, "Hello, sir, and how are you doing today?"

He turned his ruddy face toward me and his eyes expanded behind large glasses. "How do you think I'm doing when a beautiful woman walks up and says hello to me?" He laughed heartily. "Do I get a hug, too?"

Surprised, I laughed, as well. "No, sir, not today, I think." I appraised him quickly, noting that our store was probably not going to suit his fancy. "What brings you in today?"

He looked around. "I always walk into stores like this thinking I'll be able to wear the younger stuff, and then I realize I'm not as young as I think I am." He laughed again. I enjoyed his laugh. I informed him that our wares are relatively simple, which makes much of it suitable for all ages. I knew that what I was saying was completely worthless because he obviously wasn't going to buy anything here, but I didn't want to get in trouble with my manager for too quickly rebuffing a customer. He shook his head, thanked me for my effort.

He then told me that I was a wonderful employee. "Really, if I had a store, I would want you to work there. You're very good."

"Thank you," I told him.

"You know, you're going to go very far in life. You're just magnificent, I can tell. You're lucky in that God stretched your skin in a nice way, but it's not that, it's that your soul is lovely. You're very bright, people trust you and they like you. You'll go far in life, I know it. And there's something about the timbre of your voice... lovely, very bright."

I blushed. He thanked me again for my efforts. He left, and I stood where I had met him, stunned and pleased.