21 August 2014


"And so if I had the chance, to ask him about you, now that he is removed from it all... what would he say?"
I sink deeper into my chair and pull my knees to my chest. Taking a look around the room I have a moment where I know where I am, but I have no idea why I'm here. Then I scan back around and catch his eyes, looking right at me.
"Hmm. You know. That is a great question."
I don't have an answer. At least I don't think I do. I run my fingers over the condensation of my glass and make hearts on the table with it. No one should ever under estimate me. That is what I am thinking. I am thinking that whatever he would say about me would be just that. He would be selling me short. And the fact of the matter is... well... never mind.
"I guess it doesn't matter really." He says, feeling a bit guilty and regretting asking. He can tell, just like most can, that is question has my brain doing flips now.
"No, no. I bet he would say that I have stars in my eyes and bees that swarm around my heart."
Saying that makes my stomach feel sick.

Chapter 6 is all about this moment. Sitting here. In this city. In this neighborhood. With this man. Who happened to be a the right place and the right time. Or maybe, the wrong place at the wrong time. Depending on your outlook. Depending on what you know about me. Chapter 6 is about the regroup. It's titled, "Why I Chose to Stop Looking and Start Closing My Eyes More #liveitloveitshoveit"

"What does that mean? Bees?"
I laugh. And shake my head. Catch a glimpse of my hometown hero's on tv and look back at him. Right in his brown eyes.
"It means... That they are keeping my heart big, and hurting it at the same time. Because I love to a fault, and a lot of that is based on the fact that I can't help but get hurt. I see the flowers covered in bees, and I stick my nose in for a sniff anyway. Because some asshole once told me to stop and smell the flowers and for some reason, some god forsaken reason, I always go for the flowers that are covered in bees. They must be the best ones right? The best flowers have the most bees. They are the sweetest, the most accomplished. And every time I get stung, my heart collects a new bee. And I can't shake them. I've named them. Eric. Mark. Andrew. Joel. And so on, and so on..." My voice trails on and I feel my eyes get big..."You know what I need!?" I say, slamming my feet on the floor and grabbing for his hands that are resting calmly on the table. "Um, you need another beer I think?" I put my head down. Forehead to table, "No." I say, talking to the wood. "I need BUG SPRAY."
He laughs.
He laughs hard.
Then I laugh. And start to cry, but just a little.
"It's time to make time to take time to get over it all. I'm working my fucking ass off right now hustling my way to where I actually want to be, which is far from where I was when I thought I was where I wanted to be. This isn't some hashtag universe bullshit either. And I can talk about. Be about. Live about. Then talk SHIT about it and still be ok about it because fuck your shit and your whatever."
His eyes get big and he shifts his head backwards. I go to take my hands back to my lap but he just grabs them harder, "You be you, doll. That big sexy brain and those weirdo thoughts. They get it. You get it. They don't. They didn't."
We sit like this for a few beats then I say, "Never under estimate me. What I can do. What I know. What I've been through. How I got here. How I left there. Where I am going. And never under estimate my ability to find shit out. Creep that, peep that, blah blah blah."
He reaches for my cheek and pinches it.
"Oh doll, don't you worry."

When they read this they said, "Genius really. This moment. The way you talk about it and write about it. We just need..."
I slam my notebook shut and sit up from the big table, "This is what you're getting. You can't ask for a favor and put conditions on it. You can't say I love you and then throw in the word 'but'. If you want more of anything you'll have to reach out to Eric or the boy who was at the table in that moment."
They look at each other, look at me, look at each other again.
"When will you be thinking about chapter 7?"

Buzz, buzz, buzz. Doc, there's a hole where something was.


13 August 2014

Oh Hey, Doll

"You know, it's too bad for him. You were ok with spending the rest of your life with him and his body. You were more than ok with it, you were excited about it. That's just going to get harder for him. At least if he's hoping to find someone even close to as attractive as you."
Sip. Sip. Shrug. He shakes his head and puts his can down on the floor.
"Have you ever thought about..."
Then he keeps talking about something and my mind wanders off.

I wrote the handbook on self destruction. I toured cities and talked about it at length to other women who felt as though they get the process out of order. "Well, first you see you seek out something that just isn't a good idea. I mean it has to be glaring..." I never knew that anyone would take it seriously. I never knew people would ask me for advice on how to function on a non functioning level. Or ask me to write about it. Or ask me to share advice on the "comeback" or the "up swing" or whatever they called it during whatever meeting. I didn't think this rock bottom was worth talking about to people who actually wanted to hear about it.
I titled chapter 2, "This has nothing to do with the #universe". They asked me why. I told them because everything in this book only made sense to me because it is mine and if anyone wanted me to write kindly about them then they should have behaved better. And they left me alone after that.

I sat on a back porch drinking beer and discussing why some things just "suck" and that's all there is to it. And the person sharing the bench with me made good points. And the way his eyes are always so soft and welcoming made me rethink some things about my approach. Then I felt like a grumpy asshole. Then I slid my finger through social media and laughed to myself about a few things that have been unfolding before my eyes when everyone thinks I'm not even looking. And I sighed. And I shook my head. And thought, "literal motherfucker"...
And I titled chapter 3, "The one where he tries to find meaning but can't so he chooses #potentialbabymamadrama (and it hurts the way it's supposed to)"

I sat at a bar with a boy who has tattoos that tell stories and laughed about making gin in "our" bathtub after he told a bystander that he was just trying to "impregnate this girl, cause damn..." and they said, "Well she seems pretty perfect." I just rolled my eyes and ate dried fruit and laid out the next 10 months of my life in one word sentences and glanced over at him for reaction. He laughed at all the right times and didn't react at all the wrong ones and then I wondered what I've even been doing on this planet.
I went home and titled chapter 4, "Bar stool romance 101: Buy your own damn drinks"

I cried on Avenue 9 while driving through the orchards and felt nervous for myself and then said, "Pull yourself together, for fucks sake." and I toughened up and deleted everything about anyone who ever made my heart feel bad and worked hard to forget. But trying to forget is like trying to remember something that never happened and so I just let myself cry. They are about to travel together. So I know I wasn't special. I was a pattern. I was a process. It makes me sick. It made me sick. I pulled over and dry heaved and then called a friend. "Was she around when I was still living there? Why are they going to NY together?"
"It doesn't matter Stephanie. Haven't we determined that he never actually loved you? We have the evidence..."
I went home and titled chapter 5, "How I got over the fact that he got over me too quick #andhowiplannedondestroyingthemboth #kidding #notkidding

I laid in bed next to someone who has already been mentioned and we discussed the potential of life in the valley and where the "top of the top" go and why everyone seems like they are ok with being "on the bottom" and then we might have giggled because he may be 33 and I may be 27 but sometimes immature things are needed when you are trying to figure out where you both should be going and if your paths crossed for a reason or if I should put my shoes back on and call it a day.
"But don't go. I'm not ready yet. 5 more minutes. Maybe 10. Just lay back down. Not yet."
And I went home and wrote chapter 1 after getting through to chapter 4 and titled it, "I wasn't ready to become a past tense thing in his vocabulary #howiwentfromakeepertoworthless"

I wrote the book on self destruction. Now I'm writing the sequel.
I just need a title. One that stings. One that teaches "you" a lesson in the worst kind of way. One that when people see it they think, "I'm not even sure what it's about, but it's about me."
"He Tastes Like You, Only Sweeter: How I Got Over Him & Under Someone Else & Learned I Was Better Than That Anyway & She Can Have That & Fuck Him & Break Ups Are Dumb & Fuck Off Just Read This."
And on the inside, "I haven't changed anyone's names because they all deserve what is written about them in here. Including you ___________
And then I pulled myself together and just spelled out the name.
I hate being ignored.

"Well what do you think?"
Oh sorry, I wasn't listening.
"Do you think I can walk on my hands for a minute? Wanna see me try?"


09 August 2014

Every 2 Days

And then I fell. Scraped my knee. Rolled onto my back. Fell asleep. Cried next to a rose bush. Looked for you in a book store. Pardoned my french. Kicked rocks. Waited. You always kept me waiting. Picked up a pen. Put it to paper. Convinced someone it could be something. Parked my car on the side of the road. Deleted you from everything. Through caution to the wind. Decided to have better judgement. Kissed the boys and made them cry. Stood up. Walked it off. Trashed your name in cities you haven't been to yet. Wondered what I did wrong. Felt thankful that I did it. Laughed until I cried. Let the sun make me feel whole again. Ran mile after mile hoping you'd be at the finish line. Felt relieved when you weren't. Punched a hole in a bathroom wall. Wrote love notes on receipts. Pulled myself together. Found love on a bar stool.
Moved on.
Moved forward.