Total Pageviews

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Meeting the Poet

On a crisp night in February I left my Hoboken bubble to visit it's unpopular sister, Jersey City, for a housewarming party thrown by a friend of mine.

This friend is 50-year-old writer who actually has a tangible, published book available (seems unheard of nowadays) and took a liking to me while I was serving him at a restaurant almost four years ago.

Greeting the party in my gray and orange striped cardigan, gripping my Smirnoff handle I bought on sale for twenty bucks, it was clear I was at the wrong event. Jazz was softly streaming and the lights were dim enough to feel like I was entering a poetry club rather than a one-bedroom apartment in a Jersey ghetto. I pretended to look at the books lining the walls, but that was an act, since I already spent nights examining his bookshelves.

My friend tried playing good host by taking the large handle from my small hands and introducing me to some people, sitting in a circle, "This is Stephanie, she's a poet."

My face reddened and I stuttered something about not writing much poetry anymore, more along the lines of short stories. Everyone shook my hand and said their names but I did not process anything as I was too busy trying to fit in.

A surly man, who my friend introduced as "also a poet," starting questioning me on what I write or how I write or something and really, to stop the questions I just handed him my card. I am quite proud of my business cards, adorned with a black and white picture of an alter-ego of sorts with long, wavy black hair and a star tattoo on her neck.

I am pretty sure the next question was if I was having sex with the 50-year-old. I politely guffawed and dismissed that notion.

Later the glum poet pulled up my blog and Twitter via his smartphone and started quoting me -- to me! -- as I tried desperately to avoid eye contact and walk away. It's one thing to comfortably pseudo-promote yourself but another to hear your words read aloud, by a stranger, who you can't tell if he's drunk, condescending, hitting on you, or genuinely enjoying your stories.

The next day I had a friend request and new follower on Twitter. Turns out, this poet was just as nervous as I was and also felt out of place. We're friends now. He encourages me to write, builds my ego. Maybe, in a strange way he's become my mentor, or at least, showed me what I'd be like if I was a 40-year-old, professor-poet.

So that's how meeting the poet led to "Unemployed Sex" -- my new weekly column on

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Should've Gotten a Magician

As the dutiful Maid of Honor for my sister's upcoming wedding, I was in charge of organizing her bachelorette party. I previously only attended one -- for my now sister-in-law -- but after getting kicked out of a bar and throwing up on my mother, my memory clearly could not guide me on what a bachelorette party is actually supposed to be like.

My bright idea was to find a stripper magician. I was intrigued by the ridiculous possibility of a man, only wearing a bow tie, pulling dildos out of top hats and using my sister as his glamorous assistant. Alas, Google brought me to more midget strippers than I ever knew existed and my goal was never achieved.

Someone suggested Hunk-o-Mania at Club Elegance in Midtown. The gloriously cheesy name and ironic location convinced me it might be fun. Having never seen any sort of stripper event before, I tried to let go of my hesitant judgements as I read the web site's promise of many chiseled Hulk-like naked men dancing.

Nine VIP tickets later -- including a "hot seat" for my sister -- the bachelorette party was set (as far as expected, raunchy single girl antics go).

One step into the club, my party was greeted with penis memorabilia: penis wands, penis pens, penis balloons, headbands with bobble penis horns, veils adorned with tiny, plastic pink penises... until the day bachelors go out with vagina hats, I will never wear or make someone where anything with a penis on their head.

As we settled into our seats, I was overwhelmed by how many bulky men were patrolling the room with the sole purpose to make girls feel special and receive tips. Our waiter greeted us with direct eye contact, leaned in close, and subtly stroked my leg and arms. Was wearing a skirt a mistake? I ordered a vodka on the rocks with a lemon, realizing I was way too sober for whatever is about to happen. He tells me when he returns I will touch his abs and if I like it, give him a dollar. Excuse me?

My mouth readily accepted the iced house vodka in a small plastic cup, while the waiter asked me where I was from. "Jersey but I just moved to Brooklyn" -- I needed to establish how hip I was, that I was not like the dressed up, excitable girls that generally enter this institution.

"Oh really? My father's from Brooklyn..." he tells me, with his crotch an inch from my face. Score, my idea worked, he thinks I am cool and we are discussing something productive.

"Now it's time to touch my abs," he says -- Fail. -- "That's okay, I'm good." I respond, quickly pressing my lips on the straw, sucking up the liquor.

"But everyone has to," he smiles, probably thinking I am just being coy.

"No, really. I am good." Can we just talk about your father again? He walks away and did not address me the rest of the night.

Majority of the club workers were "exotic" but naturally, my eyes migrated toward a tall, toned blonde boy standing along the wall. He looked miserable, like he did not want to work there, like he was strictly there for money but knew deep down he was an incredible musician or writer or something much more interesting and fulfilling than a stripper. Of course, I was projecting my own insecurities and aspirations onto him, but he was so sweet looking I had to believe he wanted more for himself than this life.

I pointed him out to my sister who laughed at how typical my choice was. "You always go for the whitest of whites Stephanie." I knew that was true, I guess I have a type. "He also looks like he's twelve." That was also typical of me, to go for the baby face. In fact, my friends already pinned me into becoming a cougar once I pass my twenties.

My cousin nicknamed him "Kansas" as he looked like an innocent, country boy while my sister-in-law said he reminded her of The Tool as in "Sure, he has a nice body but he has that cute, pre-pubescent boyish charm."

He must've noticed our eyes and whispers and took advantage of this by sauntering over and asking if we wanted a private dance, but he said this with such a thick Russian accent, I was taken even more aback and stuttered a high-pitched, "Oh.. what? Hi.. um, no, uh... thanks.. No, that's okay.. Thanks." Then, sheepishly smiled. Why am I so socially awkward?

He left us while an MC ran onto the stage, "How are all you beautiful women doing tonight!?" the guy yelled into a mic. It did not take much to rev up this crowd. "I have a huge boner right now! I have such a big boner it would knock you back and put your boyfriend or fiance or husband to shame!" The women screamed.

I immediately went to the bar for another drink. Clearly, my waiter was not coming back and how anyone could shout about having a boner into a microphone and not laugh is beyond me.

The lights lowered and "Proud to be an American" played over the speakers as men strut on stage in all sorts of uniforms: a marine, a policeman, a fire fighter, and then my blonde Russian, as a naval officer. The men performed a strange patriotic tribute, lip synching the song and doing choreographed, synchronized salutes.

More naked men later, I began to think something was wrong with me. How could all these women publicly fawn over such contrived behavior? Also, how come it was so easy for them to rub their hands all over the dancers' sweaty bodies while I could hardly make eye contact? Personal space did not exist here. Neither did anyone who thought as much as I did, apparently.

While contemplating why I was perceived as the weird one there, my mind drifted to The Tool and how much I missed his sex. I also began to imagine him as one of these waiters, noting how perfect his abs and broad shoulders would look in the wifebeater uniforms and how his sneaky smile would cause some girls to melt.

My longing was interrupted by the topless, blonde Russian who walked right up to me again but this time with a smirk, like he knew some secret I did not. "I like your hair," he states.

My face reddened and I mumbled, "Thanks," while fireworks went off in my brain. He likes my hair. And he's so fucking cute.

Any solace derived from that comment faded when I noticed my sister and her friends giggling, pulling out their cameras. Instead of taking my hand and leading me to a private room, the Russian placed his hands on my knees and spreads my legs. He preceded to rub his butt into my lap and flex his abs. I closed my eyes tight, not knowing what else to do. So this is a lap dance.

I felt his breath and body heat all over me, while my body was a tense bundle of nerves. My hands were clenched into a tight fist, my shoulders stiff. I kept trying to close my legs but he just kept opening them, insisting on dry humping me as my sister's friends continually grabbed my arm to put my hands on his body. Each time my fingers went anywhere near him, I reacted in such a way you'd think he burned me. I wanted to touch him. I could not touch him. At one point, my reaction was so fast the tip of my finger tugged at his belt loop and I felt the need to utter, "Sorry."

The horrific dance lasted no more than five minutes. He just stopped and walked away. I felt dirty and used. Everyone else got a private room, they got twenty minutes. I got five minutes of humiliation and teasing. If we went into another room maybe I could have convinced him to talk to me, he could've confided in me what brought him to America and why he was stuck stripping. Maybe I could have saved him. Or maybe, I would have just gazed into his blue eyes and he could have saved me.

Flashing lights and house music brought me back to reality. I condemned myself for just thinking of a scenario so fantastical, bought another vodka, and toasted with no one.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


A lump is growing in my throat as my mouth dries up, my palms feel clammy and my heart might beat out of my chest. With each breathe, the crack in my heart that was sloppily stitched starts to rip at the seams... it hurts. It nags. It weighs on my lungs.

The rock in my stomach hardens when a little voice in my head whispers, "You knew this would happen" and while my eyes are dry, I am crying inside. Violently shaking. (The only time I can physically cry is when alcohol is involved).

Make it all go away. His eyes. His smile. His false promises. (I am begging to no one).

While you may act like "the wind," I remain--

a fish gutted on the sidewalk.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Writing about Writer's Block

Writer's get a reputation for being hermits -- which we sort of are -- or at least I sort of am.

If I am not hiding indoors like a vampire, I am dwelling in my head with my nose in a book. Or I am sitting at a bar, preoccupied with my martini and writing on a notepad (or bar napkin).

When I am ready to open up I spend hours staring at a blank computer screen. My fingers gracefully run over the keyboard but fail to formulate any sentences.

Now unemployed, in a new city, my friends and funds are lacking. During my long days and nights I want to write but all I think about is having a pity party. All that I write is crap.

Friday, August 3, 2012


That awkward first kiss haunts me at each lips first touch, while my virginity is taken over and over and those blood stained shorts lie in the bottom drawer. My first love, my first physical intimacy, neither left closure and my mouth is constantly searching for you both... with each full moon and sandy beach my body howls at the lost night.

Those boys from high school who only held my hand in secret -- who I let hide me -- I learned the power of my mouth, my stare, my hands. I can twirl boys on my finger now just like I let you twirl me and with each secret, my body goes through the motions of a robot: "It's just a physical thing," my conscious whispers.

That friend who kissed me on the couch, and spent a whole summer kissing me, with each hesitant first kiss I hope it will be yours. I search for those butterflies my body trapped then lost when you let me go.

And the boy with the soft blue eyes, who let me throw a yogurt against the wall and cleaned up my mess. I can never look into another's eyes without wishing they were yours, watching me, telling me, "Everything [I] do is beautiful." I can never cry without feeling like something is missing -- your arms around my shoulders -- your eyes pleading with me.

My rebound anarchist, who was the best sex I ever had, each first meeting I want to be ours, with an instant connection where you know something amazing is going to happen. My hips crave your hands when they'd rub down my side and send chills through my spine. I still bite, expecting you to bite back, or at least invoke a spank, but new lovers never respond.

There's a guy who won't let me go. I've never hated and wanted anyone more, and each drunken night, I want him in my bed. Every dirty word I say is taken from our conversations. It's a trap of sex and emotion and with every new relationship, my trust reminds me you broke it.

Each lover left a scar, my skin is almost covered. If there is someone I am supposed to end up with, where will he fit?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

He Told Me to Write Fiction.

"Why wait for those movie-like moments? Why not create one?"

He asks me while we lay on my roof, side-by-side staring at the sky, mistaking stars for satellites. We were convinced the blinking lights high above were moving -- not us -- not until we outstretched our hands into a diamond in front of our faces and realized we were not the center of the universe. But it felt like we were.

"I can't get out of my own head."

"...So you're depressed?"

"Yeah... How about you?"


While an actor, his front falls for me. Despite our opposing images, there is a quiet understanding. A rare friendship that breeds and begs me to...

It would've been nice to hold his hand then. Maybe, make out. Feel the graveness of his desire flood through me.

But we're just friends. There was comfort just to lay, without expectations. To have someone to be lonely with.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Repeat, Rewind, Delete.

His hair is just the way I like it: missing the gel locking each curl in place. The messiness masks his squinty, brown eyes, and fares well with his smooth torso and toned arms. He looks wild and rough as he pins me to the bed, pushing my hands over my head.

Our eyes lock, while he enters from above -- “You’re beautiful” -- he says (like it was normal), while thrusting his cock deeper inside me. Fuck.

I bite down on my tongue then screech -- “I hate you” -- as my hands unlock, calmly grabbing his shoulders, pulling his sweaty body to mine. Hips aligned, the harder he pushes the more tears brim in the corner of my eyes.

-- “Faster”-- the more he works, the closer we'll be. He won’t see the emotion on my face. The fear and tears that involuntarily spawned from his words.

I'm moaning loud now, telling him to continue, saying just what he wants to hear, but really, trying to cover his whispers in my ear, “I've missed you.”

You always say you miss me when I am right here.

“You’re beautiful”-- repeating that look, that phrase in my head. Only now, she is the recipient and you actually mean it. Is that why she stays?

In her naivety she doesn’t know where your dick has been. And in my knowing weakness, I still take you back.

I cannot trust you like she can. I am not blissful in ignorance. I am always second choice. ...But you won't let me go and the sex is too good (just don't tell me I'm beautiful again).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Making My Move

May Day hit me with a bang: snuggling into my sheets while snoozing I checked my email on my smartphone, thinking perhaps it was from the boss. It was from my landlord notifying me I had 30 days, more or less, to leave my apartment.

31 days later I am packing up the last three years of my life. I originally moved in with my brother and a gay Indian. I was scared, confused, not sure what my plan was as I was still adjusting to a life not in school and stuck in the tough economy.

Later, my roommates changed but I stayed. Some furniture differed but my small room was always growing with pictures and words sprawled on my walls. The growing art became my sanctuary, my comfort.

Even my apartment acquired a nickname, monikered the "party house." Despite my plethora of friends from the steakhouse I was always lonely. Felt different. Apart from the typical Hoboken breed.

As I leave Hoboken and head to Brooklyn I worry. Did I accomplish what I wanted? Did I make my mark?

Now, in Brooklyn, my mind questions why I left all my friends behind. And the bubble of 'boken where I knew the best places to eat, the cheap bars... Am I too Jersey for Brooklyn? Not bohemian enough to dub myself a writer, an artist?

Added to my worries, I have left the magazine I have written for the last ten months. Not knowing where my next paycheck will come from I did something I have not turned to in four years. I wrote a poem.

Plagiarize This

A blankness was

felt when a man accused
me of faking it--

my writing.

A numbing anger
washed over me,

hearing, I’m a Sham. A Fake.

Call me a slut. A bitch.
Anything else.

My greatest fear called out.

A lucid hurt
enveloped my heart,

labeled a Phony. A Copier.

But what’s to come of pages
sprawled with my guts--

a Trademark?

(June 2012)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

That Gave Me Pause.

Google searching "Skinny Ties" takes one to mostly rockabilly, vintage websites selling various sizes, colors, designs... it can get overwhelming when you're looking for a specific person.

I searched and searched, not sure exactly what for, until I found it. A one-of-a-kind navy, textured skinny tie with a small, silver shooting star.

I remember you wore it beaming with pride, every time, that I bought it for you-- that not only did the color compliment your soft blue eyes, but the star symbolized me with you. (You were one who actually understood my love of stars). Plus, you looked hip wearing it.

We were so cool.

I'd like to think my presents to you haven't gone in vain. But I wouldn't know. I haven't seen you in over two years... but one of the last times I did was a couple months after I moved to Hoboken. We went to see Mission of Burma as part of Williamsburg's free Waterfront concerts, ate some vegan Asian food, you came visit me and my new apartment but slept on the couch, of course.

In the midst of packing the last three years of my life, gearing up to move to Brooklyn, I found that perfect skinny tie hanging on a side hook in my closet.

What was it doing here? Why did I have it? Did you leave it here by mistake? Did you realize it wasn't with you anymore? Would you still wear it?

I held that skinny tie in my hands and outlined the star with my finger. Despite being worlds away, I am not sure if I'll ever get used to this. Us not being us. Us not being friends. Not having someone understand why I really love stars.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Discovering Awkward.

First impressions are crucial. In fact, if you think just how crucial it can make one a little nutty, no? 

Like all my life experiences, intelligence, and personality will boil down to the first ten minutes. Try as I might, any impression I made at you will always come back to those tedious minutes.

I don't remember when, I don't remember why, but within the last couple years a good friend of mine said I was "awkward." It wasn't meant as a mean statement, but simply, just that-- a statement. At first, I was taken back, could I really be socially inept? I always referred to myself as friendly -- and sure, insecure -- but never awkward.

Other people were awkward, I could point them out in a crowd. Did I have some weird tendencies or say strange things that made people uncomfortable? I guess sometimes I do share unnecessary or boring information. Maybe people think I say too much and it's difficult for me to distinguish a professional versus private self.

Factor in a pimple, weight gain, bad hair day... my high-pitched voice, horrible slouch... an endless list of nerves and doubts building until I convinced myself, I am awkward. I am a nerd, a bookworm, a drunk, a lame girl who lost her apartment, makes little to no money, and is stuck in an overgrown adolescent, awkward phrase.

I feel like a festering sore people just stare at, wondering how it got so bad. Insecurities eat me from the inside, my anxiety boils over, and I need to tell them I am awkward to perhaps, give relief (to me?) from the expectations and first impressions.

Now, I don't know if I actually was "awkward" when my friend told me years ago. But I sure as hell am now.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Failed Threesome

A couple years ago a quiet girl I waitressed with asked me out for dinner and drinks. Since I did not know her very well, I took it as her way of saying she wanted to be friends-- and who am I to deny an extended hand?

She wanted to go to a new restaurant her ex-boyfriend worked at because on Tuesday night they had cheap specials. Sounded good to me.

Once there, we each ordered a martini, followed by another martini we received courtesy of the manager, then another courtesy of her ex. By the time the place closed, we were more than buzzing so it was easy for her ex to convince us to go to another bar down the street.

There, the ex fed us numerous vodka shots. -- I should probably mention her ex did not speak any English. -- While he was taking care of my bill, I did not speak an actual word to him. My coworker sat in between us relaying English to Spanish and vice versa and through the drinks, we managed to have a good time.

By the time it was 3 a.m., we attempted to stumble back to our homes. Being the lush that I am, I invited the two back to my apartment. The least I could offer was more vodka shots from my Smirnoff handle I always have waiting in the freezer since I hardly paid for anything during the night.

After the first apartment shot, things started to get strange. The three of us were hanging out in my room as the quiet girl told me how cute I was. Thanks? Then the boy started rubbing my shoulders and whispered Spanish nothings into my ear. Seriously, Spanish nothings, since I did not understand what he was saying. Simultaneously, the two pressed their hands against my body and guided it to my bed where each tried to unbutton the long flannel I had over my leggings. My fingers quickly buttoned my shirt back up, as they each began to kiss my neck. 

My confused, drunk mind stuttered "I need more vodka" as I struggled to rise. I poured myself another vodka as I glanced at the guy who was sweaty and smelled like tequila. He looked incredibly excited, like a kid in a candy store, not knowing what to grab first.

As I took my shot, each lunged at my shirt buttons again. I laughed nervously then swiftly button them up like I was playing an instrument. Another shove, I was back on the bed... the charade again continued in trying to match my lips with theirs as they pushed down my hands so they could caress my squirming body. Wow, this was some kind of dual molestation.

Somehow, my body lurched upright and I drunkenly shouted "Stop!" The girl then snapped out of it, grabbing her ex's hand and saying, "We're going to go now." No complaints from me.

The next morning she sent me a text saying she blacked out at the bar and didn't remember the rest of the night. We never talked about the incident.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Easter Birthday (again).

Many self-pitying people say how much they hate their birthday, how something bad always happens on their special day. I don't exactly hate my birthday, it just never goes quite as planned. (My hatred for Christmas is much stronger.)

Five years ago, my twenty-first birthday fell on Easter. To put it bluntly, it sucked. Sure, I was already drinking nine years before that, but everyone deserves to go to a bar on their twenty-first and have strangers congratulate you and buy you shots... to spend it at home with your family -- especially my family -- it was simply uneventful. But this isn't about my twenty-first birthday, this is about my twenty-sixth...

Since my birthday fell on Easter Sunday, it was decided I would celebrate the days before.

The Russian Vodka Room is a low-key Midtown piano bar with an array of high-quality, house-infused vodkas, making it a perfect choice for my Friday intimate gathering. After a couple hours, my empty stomach that consumed itself with straight vodka decided it did not want anymore. My brain shut off and I threw up. I don't remember the throwing up ordeal of course, I remember laughing with friends then waking up in my bed.

Saturday, in addition to the large yellowish bruises covering my body, my limbs ached, as my head spun in a vat of vodka. Around 10 p.m. my last bout of throw up emerged, red from the Gatorade I was drinking. The bridge on my nose developed a bruise, after smacking my face into the toilet from a quick run and slip to the bathroom. And after canceling my big dive bar smash where I invited every acquaintance I knew, I celebrated midnight by curling into a ball on the bathroom floor, reliving my early college days while simultaneously growing into my late-twenties.

Seems like I have everything figured out just fine.

The next day was spent at my mother's house with some family members and Italian food. Everything was okay until my 4'11" mother walked down the stairs dressed as the Easter Bunny. Seriously-- she sported carrot slippers, a full bunny suit, and a massive bunny head. As if this wasn't enough, she squeaked, "Happy Birthday Stephanie!" then nuzzled the bunny head into my face like I was actually going to pose for a picture. It was one of the most frightening moments in my life and I questioned whether or not I was still drunk from two nights before or maybe I was really turning six, not twenty-six. What about shrooms taken eight years ago? Could they induce a hallucinatory trip almost a decade later?

So that was my second Easter birthday. Taking a different form, read about the first one in a poem written during another life.

Happy Easter Birthday

Underneath my down comforter I hear
my brother’s voice bellow,
“Drink this. I made it for you.”

My head peeks out, confronted
with a champagne glass,
“Happy 21 Year Old!” in rainbow paint.

“Take this. It has nutrients.”
Then, a low grumble
“You act like you’re 80.”

I grab it. Chug it.
Stare at the mirror: numb.
My curls sit atop my head

like erratic broccoli sprouts.
My eyes: red, baggy, dark-circled
and puffy. Holding the glass,

I read the words backwards,
wonder why I am not a happy 21-year-old
and what room has a mirror facing their bed.

This is not feng-shui.

(April 2007)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Burning Down the House

Beep! Beeep! BEEEP! BEEEEP!

The high-pitched noise is drilling into my dreams -- wait, I'm not dreaming -- disoriented, my legs stumble out of bed, practically tripping my body onto the doorknob. When I open it and peak my head into the hallway, my mind begins to put things together-- it's the fire alarm.

But not just for my apartment, the downstairs alert system is going off as well. And I smell something burning. Not caring where it was coming from, my squinty eyes focus on my roommate, curled onto our couch. She's slept there three nights in a row already and it looks like tonight wasn't ending much different. 


"Heather!" She is still in her bartending attire, she must've gotten drinks after work. "Heather!" Leaning over her, my small hands shake her shoulder, she slightly opens her eyes -- glasses still on -- grunting something incoherent then turning away from me.

"Something's burning! Wake up! Don't you hear the fire alarms?" The beeps are so loud, my thoughts are having trouble connecting. "Heather!"

Frustrated by her behavior, I run into Keith's room. How am I the only one to hear the noise? "Keith, I need help! Something's burning! Heather won't wake up!" 

Like a cartoon, Keith springs out of bed, still in his white boxer-briefs. I hurry into the hallway which is now filled with smoke. It wasn't like that before. "Smoke! Shit! I don't know where it's coming from!" I start to panic. Why won't Heather wake up?

Keith prances passed me, straight for the kitchen. Then I see it-- why didn't I think of this before? -- the oven is registered at 425 degrees. She left the fucking oven on.

As I push every button to turn it off, Keith reveals the culprit. A frozen Amy's Pizza that has turned into charcoal. Heather wakes up now, she grabs the smoking, hard disk that was in the oven at least two hours too long and attempts to run water over it.

It's 6:15 a.m. in the morning. The beeping won't stop. The girls upstairs hate us.

I snatch the pizza box to use as a fan. Finding the blinking red lights, I wave the box wildly over my head, hoping the wind will turn off the noise. My large t-shirt I wear to bed, rising above my bum, I continue to scream at the ceiling.

Keith is laughing, already reiterating the story while Heather is mumbling apologies. After my frantic hopping from alarm to alarm, the noise subsides and things (more like, I) seem to have calmed down.

Keith goes back to bed snickering, Heather tells me she didn't do it on purpose, she fell asleep. Of course, she didn't do it on purpose, but she acted like a fucking drunk-- which is what I wanted to tell her but I didn't 'cause the shame in me knows I am a drunk, too.

She staggers back to the couch, back into a fetal position. Why didn't she just go to her bed?

I go back to my room with my heart still pounding. I had to work at the office in less than three hours.

It happens.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Missing Friendship

We were riding the No. 1 train headed uptown, back to school, after our "leap day date." My hand clasped with yours like it was an old glove. I can't remember if we bickered or if I didn't feel well but you kissed me on my forehead.

(I never told anyone this before).

Right then, my heart sank. I knew it was the last time you would kiss me (as my boyfriend, my love). I gazed into your eyes -- those soft blue eyes --  you asked me why I looked sad. I squeezed your hand -- those soft hands -- you smirked.

(My mind recalled our first date when I nicknamed you "Smirky" 'cause you couldn't stop smiling around me, but you'd try not to, forming a goofy smirk).

The fight happened back at my apartment. Perhaps, I was looking for an argument, an excuse, a reason why we couldn't be together anymore...

You shouted, "Shut the fuck up!"

(I can still hear the way you said it. A slight hesitance after "shut" and a drawn out "fuck," in a louder tone than I ever heard you yell before). 

I did shut up. Right away. And thought about how I was turning you into an awful, unhappy person. My lips pursed together, as I lowered my eyes to the floor, then whispered, "I think we should break up."

Tears followed as I heard you choke on your breath. Five seconds might've passed, maybe five minutes, but eventually, you looked at the wall and said, "I think so, too."

We both cried and held onto each other. Reciting the last "I love you's," reassuring each other when we were older and ailing we would find the other and take care of each other again.

After we wiped each other's tears, we scooped bowls of ice cream and watched an episode of Six Feet Under (our favorite), cuddling under my fuzzy blue blanket. It felt like a giant weight lifted off of us. I don't think I ever felt a bigger relief than that night.

So we had somewhat of an anniversary tonight.

A Postal Service song you used to sing to me played at the bar I went to for Happy Hour. Typical. I came home and flipped through our old photos.

Why do I still feel compelled to tell you about the artists I interview and an installation I saw reminding me of Marcel Duchamp last week? Why did I want to buy us tickets to see the founder of Black Flag and Circle Jerks, who I read about on Pitchfork yesterday? Why were you the one I wanted to call when both my siblings got engaged?

"I can't be your rock anymore," you told me, two years later when you got a new girlfriend. "I can't give her a reason to be jealous."

I cried alone tonight.