29 October 2014

Mrs. Big Time

“Thanks for having us here.”
I’m crunching my fingers through my pony tail.
“Oh sure.” I say. “It’s cool!” I exclaim. “I mean, welcome. You know.” I stutter.
All I can focus on is the sound of their feet on my wood floor. Clomps, and squeaks, and floor boards creaking.
“Would you like a beer? I’m going to have a beer. Would you like one?” I dash to the kitchen and grab the IPA that’s been sitting in the fridge. The boy who claims to be my boyfriend got it for me, “I hate IPAs. But I got this for you.” He said. “Cause you like this stuff.”
“No. That’s ok.”
“Oh, c’mon. Here.” I pour 3 glasses. 1 pint for me, and 2 half glasses for them. “Let’s go outside.”

Walking through my bedroom I am nervous. “Sorry, I didn’t make the bed.” They just shrug.
“Can we snap a few quick photos before it get’s dark?”
I feel my heart beating fast. “Sure. I mean I did model at one point. Hit me.”
I pose. Beer in hand. Teacher clothes gleaming. I take the witch pin off my cardigan. “Halloween” I say, with a nervous chuckle. Hip to hip. Smirk to smirk. She is using an iphone, “can you send me those?” I ask, without any sense of shame.
“Ok. I think we got it.”
We sit down and just start talking.
“So you’re writing this book. What’s your plan with it? What’s the goal?”
“To make women feel ok about being… weird and dumped and sad and the realities of a break up are you cry and you decide to lose weight and change your hair and start wearing fake eye lashes or think too much about slashing tires and stalking their friends and egging houses. People make break ups sound like you just cry and eat ice cream and hang with girlfriends then you’re fine. That’s not true. You get sad, angry, mean, vindictive, sad again and hopefully over it.”
“How long has it been?”
I count on my fingers. I hold back a tear, “6 months.”
I take a big, big long drink of my beer. My glass is half empty…eh hem, half full. I stare at him. He looks like the boy who bought me this beer but different. Calmer.
“And how are you doing? Has writing the book helped? Do you miss him?”
“Ok. Yes. Everyday. Everyday. I think about him everyday. I miss him everyday. I am a sad dumb girl who can’t get over it…”
“But that’s ok… just like in chapter 9. You’re sad and you miss him and your friends tell you to move on but you just can’t yet, but that’s ok. Because fuck it, it’s your heart. Your emotions.”
“You read the book.”
He smiles.
“I mean, we went through a lot. 2 years together, lived together, baby together… lost baby together. I hate that, ‘lost’. Sounds like I misplaced it in my car. He was and is the man of my dreams. It’s sick. It makes me cry. It makes me drink beer. It makes me want to call him and just hear his voice. I wish he’d call me.” I stop. I am spilling too much to people who are going to tell everyone everything.
“Have you talked to him? Does he know about the book?” I look up at a squirrel. I look up high to blink tears backwards. I’m crying backwards. I’m fucking crying…backwards.
“Oh yea. We’ve chatted about non-important things like… cocktails and if my boxes smelled like rat pee. He doesn’t miss me. I mean, I wrote about that in chapter 13, the final chapter. Me dealing with the fact that he doesn’t miss me cause if he did he would say it. I mean, all he has to say is, ‘I miss you’ and it doesn’t have to mean like ‘I miss you and love you and want you back’ it can just mean, ‘I miss you.’” I stop again. “Shit. Why is this pouring out to you!?”
He laughs. She keeps writing, even though they are recording. He drinks his whole half of beer and picks up hers. Winks at me.
“Anyway.” I say, with an eye roll.
“What’re you thinking?”
“I’m thinking about my life before.”
“What about it?”
“I had a boyfriend once.”
“What happened?”
“He had other plans.”
“What do you have now?”
I look at him, head tilted, smirk.
“I have a boy in my life that is romantically attached but doesn’t touch my butt enough.”

He smiles. Too big. She laughs.
“So what else is going on?” He asks, scooting his chair closer.
I smile big and laugh. “Is this still an interview… about my book?”
I just want things back the way they were, but with the person I am now.

Broken hearts hurt, but they make us strong.


21 October 2014

Write Right

"So... how are things going?"
I'm focused on a hang nail. Picking picking picking. Biting biting biting. I reply without looking up.
"Fine I guess. I've sort of stopped focusing on it. You know. I've stopped trying I guess."
I finally make eye contact and smile. I squeeze my eyes together 3 times and go back to my nails.
"But you...talked to him... right? Or am I confused?"
"Oh yea. I talked to him. You know. Small talk. Nothing with impact. Though maybe talking at all was impact. Or maybe it meant nothing. It probably meant nothing."
She is leaning down now, trying to catch my eyes.
"So did you ask him if you could meet? You have been saying if you were given the chance to ask you would ask. It sounds like the chance came."
I look up and smile again. Tug at my ears. Rub my nose.
"Oh. Yea. I asked."
"And....? I mean. Nothing."
I shrug. Smile. Squeeze my eyes while tugging my ears.
"He doesn't want to see me, Susan. I mean, we didn't need to ask him to know that, right?"


I have moments of clarity. When I'm standing in the road. Letting the sun hit my eyes. And I feel my entire self go back into my body. And I take in deep breaths. Smile. Rub my hands over my face.
"What're you doing?" He says. "Are you ok?" He asks. "What's going on?" He says with concern.
I interlace my fingers and put my hands on top of my head.
"I think the Skye is falling."


I wander up and down the hall in my bare feet. Focusing on the way the cold wood floor feels compared to the rug running down the hall. I'm pacing to help myself focus. I'm pacing to regroup. I'm pacing to keep my heart rate steady because these heart palpitations are getting worse. I should call the doctor back. I wander into the backyard and lay on the deck. Watching squirrels. Watching birds. Listening to the neighbor guys lift weights next door. I hum the tune to all of the songs that convey my feelings. I write a blog post about it. I roll onto my stomach on the deck and close my eyes and scream.


"So how are you controlling the urge to ask him questions?"
I look at her and furrow my brow and look to the left.
"Have you ever seen a really cute dog tied up outside of a grocery store? And you want really badly to pet it. It's like this urge and you can't stop it. But you know there is a really good chance that dog is going to bark at you really crazy and scare you and embarrass you. Or worse, it could bite. Do you know this feeling?"
She nods, looking confused.
"But you decide to risk it anyway because maybe someone once told you to take time to pet dogs, or you think it probably won't do anything bad and maybe petting it could be therapeutic. And you're having a bad day and could use some happiness. So you start to walk up slowly saying sweet calm things like, 'Hi puppy. Cute puppy. Sweet puppy. You're a good boy huh?' and you have your hand out so once you finally get close enough it can sniff. You're walking slowly still saying those words and the dog looks timid but you keep going and finally you get there, to it's nose. And it is very cautiously sniffing you. And you freeze. You stand perfectly still because this is progress and if you let it sniff you long enough it will eventually probably let you pet it's head. So you stop breathing normally and just stay very still so you don't fuck it all up. Do you know this?"
She nods again, this time frowning.
"Well, I guess I feel like maybe I am at the hand sniffing and now I'm scared. So I'm holding it together the best I can. So he doesn't bark at me or bite me or run away."
I think I'm crying now. I can't really remember. Even though this was only a few hours ago.
I smile, squeeze my eyes three times, tug my ears, rub my nose, and let out a deep sigh.
"I think it's time I just freeze here and let my mind go away from everything else."
Now I know I'm crying.
"The blog. The book. My phone. It's time to unplug some things and see what happens."
I'm nodding and crying and squinting and biting and rubbing and shifting in my seat.
"I'm stuck in those places anyway."


Laced with brilliant smiles and shining eyes. Perfect posture, but you're barely scraping by.
And you can't fake it hard enough to please everyone. Or anyone at all. And the grave that you refuse to leave, the refuge that you've built to flee, the places that you've come to fear the most.