Monday, November 14, 2016

Trump was elected...and then I totaled my car.

Ugh, I forgot what street this is. I should use my GPS. Wait, there's a red light, I'll turn it on now. Ok, so turn right coming up on -- wait, what does that say? Damnit this loaner phone screen is so much smaller than my other droid.  Stupid phone company, how long is my good phone going to be on back order? -- Why is there traffic on this street? Bumper to bumper, COOL. -- Ok blinker on, check your mirrors, there's no one on my right behind me?  Ok she's going forward, the light must be green up there I can't really see around her -- check behind me one more time, pulling to the right getting around this -- BOOM!!


(Latino accent) "Miss?  Miss, you ok?"
Me: "I CAN'T SEE!"
Him: "oh no..."
Me: (aw crap he thinks I was somehow blinded) "No I'm sorry I mean -- (hysterically crying) -- I can't find my glasses, WHERE ARE MY GLASSES?!"

Wednesday morning, along with about half of America, I woke up (maybe just slightly) hungover and wrought with sadness and disbelief.  I somehow on 3 hours of sleep rolled out of bed and managed to drive to work through morning tears and a lack of caffeine that would ever be sufficient enough to wake me up from what I believed to be an inescapable nightmare.  I kept the radio on silent during my commute because normally I listen to NPR every day to find out what's going on in the world.  But I already knew what was going on in the world, and knew that I could find no comfort from an unbiased news source right after the defeat of who I thought -- NO, KNEW -- was going to be our first female president.

I trudged along through the day, barely communicating with my boss and using 2 word answers because I was afraid I would burst into tears and I didn't want to make everyone uncomfortable.  Maybe he was feeling it too.  He left me be to feed my newfound addiction to despair as I scrolled through the screaming outrage and 3am articles posted and shared by my liberal friends on Facebook:

I'm scared to leave my house, I'm a Jewish and Latina Woman. I don't walk to my car alone as it is, and now there's a swastika in my neighborhood.
"Day 1 in Trump's America"
I feel like I just got grabbed by the p**** best friend from high school voted for Trump. She went to Harvard. She said she's a feminist. Wait. What?!
"Dow Jones Plummets Overnight"
My child just asked me if her classmates are going to be deported. 
"Gay Man Bashed to Death After Trump Takes the Election"
                                    .....and on and on and on it went.

I got home from work. I saw my neighbor standing outside of his apartment. I couldn't make eye contact. "What if he voted for Trump? Does he also think sexual assault is ok?" I passed someone else while we both walked our dogs. The dark cloud returned. "Can I trust that whoever I pass by on the street isn't...bigoted somehow?"  A black woman with her two children came into my building to look at an apartment. "According to polls, black women are basically the only demographic that if they voted, I could be *sure* to some degree that they voted for HillaryIs she also sad today? I wish I could hug her...but strangers still have boundaries, that would be weird if I did that."

My trust in the world and those around me was shattered. I couldn't look people in the eye, or feel the same way about strangers without suspicion or sadness.   In just one night, my perception of the direction we were going in as Americans and human beings, was completely turned upside down.

A girlfriend of mine said to me, "I look at every white person on the street with distrust. (Keep in mind we are both white women) I feel so stupid, I feel like black people have been trying to tell us this shit for years and we never really heard them."  

and. we. never. really. heard. them.  I can't stop replaying that in my mind as my chest is pounding, wondering if my next door neighbor is part of the other.  My heart hurts.

My heart hurts as I scroll through my feeds and realize that I had friends, fellow comedians even, people in the arts who are usually as liberal as they come, who voted for Trump.  Did they just not see it?  Do they really not believe that even if he was kind of an ok guy, the people and policies he stands for and is supported by are a gateway to over half of our country being legitimately oppressed?  Sure!  Hillary covered her butt with some missing emails, but maybe do your research and figure out how and why her "private server" shenanigan happened in the first place (check out the article on Politico or last week's "This American Life" you'll probably laugh and maybe want to cry a little.)  ONE OF MY FRIENDS VOTED FOR A CHIPOTLE BURRITO AS PRESIDENT BECAUSE SHE WAS PRO SANDERS AND I RESPECT HER MORE THAN TRUMP PEOPLE.

So as that dark cloud sat above my head, and as I kept ruminating over our country being so awfully fated, thinking I can't trust anyone I see because who knows who they *really* are, thinking I might have actually woken up in an alternate reality where we were in the beginnings of a modern-day Nazi Germany, or that I better keep my mouth shut for fear of a body snatcher sounding an alarm on me for not being "turned yet" --


Him: "Miss, your door is stuck, I'll find your glasses, let's get you out of the car."
His wife: "unlock it honey, can you climb out of this side?"
Me: "yes, *sob* I can climb over."
                We go over to the curb, their 4 year old daughter is looking at me with wonder and concern as the tears are streaming down my face.  A redheaded woman with big blue eyes grabs me by the shoulders -- 
Redhead: OH MY GOD ARE YOU OK?! (she hugs me and rubs my back)
                   They sat me down. This lovely and kind Mexican family -- yes that's not an umbrella term, they were actually Mexican -- helped me out of the car and sat me on a stoop, their neighbor brought me a bottle of water. 
Him: Miss, we moved your car to the side of the road.
His wife: I called 9-1-1 they are on their way. We'll stay until they get here.
Him: Do you need an ambulance?
Me: I'm sorry -- No, (still sobbing) I think I'm ok. My face didn't hit the airbag.
Him: You have a burn on your chest.
Redhead: It was probably her seatbelt.
Him: Are you sure you're ok? Do you need your phone? Here, we got your purse and your phone and your glasses from the car.
Me: I'm -- so -- sorryyyyyyy (leave it to a woman to apologize multiple times for crying because eff 
Him: Do you need to take pictures Miss? The other car is up there. 
Me: (in between sobs) Yes, but I don't know where the other driver is, I didn't see them come over.
Redhead: Oh! It's me! I'm so sorry you hit my Volvo, there's hardly any damage, really.  I feel sorry for anyone that hits it, that's like hitting a brick wall!

A few minutes later, police came, we deny a need for a police report, Redhead named "Anna" (because why wouldn't I hit a princess when I have a princess party company?) is holding my hand and we're sitting/waiting for the tow truck to come get me.
Her: I know, this sucks. I'm going through a divorce and I just had to call my almost-ex-husband to get the insurance information.
Me and Her: *laughing/crying*
Her: We were all hungover at work today.  I work on (x TV show) and they gave us a half day. All of Hollywood is so sad right now.
Me: *sniff* I love that show.
Her: The important thing is that accidents happen, so many people were helping us just now, and everything is going to be ok.  We are going to be ok.
                    We hugged more.

Through the tears and the sobbing and the dark clouds over all of our heads on November 9th, I felt a ray of hope that night.  I looked around at all the people who were kind and concerned, grateful that they barely asked me my name before running to my aide. I share this story with all of you so that you can know there are still good people in this world.  There are still people you can trust in this world.  There are still people who are going to help you when you are in need, and stuck in a crashed car, crying in the street disrupting traffic.  There are still people who care about women, and minorities, and those who are "different".  So no matter what happens with the next presidency, no matter who you see on TV or in the administration or even in your everyday life that may make you feel unsafe, just know that there are people out there who are still safe and good.

Try not to lose your faith.  I almost did.

My baby car. Hit her at 10-15mph
Her brick wall. lol!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Things that every man should know before he attempts to date me...

In case you have ever thought about dating me, here is a list of pros vs. cons.  If this list scares you, then please cancel our plans immediately.
  1. Con: I embellish things and use run-on sentences  
    Pro: I'm told that I am a great storyteller, so my lack of grammar and brevity should be, at the very least, mildly to moderately entertaining. Sometimes I'm a riot.

  2. Con: I have zero patience for injustice, and sometimes will start a fight with a waitress over why my skinny margarita didn't cost the same as a regular margarita 
    Pro: I'm the one friend who will deliver your soon-to-be piece of shit ex-husband his restraining order papers. I will then relish every second of it, and I will sleep well at night with remembering the dumb look he had on his face when I did it. (And yes, I've done that.) 

  3. Con: If I fall in love with you, I need constant reassurance that you're still into me. When I'm alone for long periods of time and I don't hear from you for more than 7 hours, I'll think it's because you don't like me, or you died, or you are getting back together with your ex girlfriend. (2 out of 3 of these things have happened to me on more than one occasion.) This can usually be remedied with texts to tell me you're thinking about me, and telling me I'm pretty. A lot. 

    Pro: I've been told that I'm the most affectionate girlfriend that my past boyfriends have ever had. I will smother you with kisses on a regular basis, and sometimes make you cookies or buy you dumb keychains with your favorite superhero on them. I'm always thinking about ways to make you happy...

    ...and not want to leave me. 
  4. Con: I might drag you to social events that you don't want to go to, like an engagement party of friends of mine that you've never met. And Jesus fucking Christ please don't wear that sweatshirt you have with holes in the sleeves over a ninja fucking turtles tee shirt, so help me God...

    Pro: I will always look classy AF so even if you're bored, you'll know I'm wearing incredible lingerie underneath my dress that you will totally get to see later. You deserve it for enduring that painful conversation with the bride's cousin Cathy about her sick cat and her terrible desk job that no one actually gives a shit about.

  5. Con: If I'm seriously looking forward to something and then it doesn't happen, I'm devastated. Like, if we were talking for three weeks about going to Disney Land, and then it rains or one of us gets a terrible throat infection, I may bawl my eyes out. 

    Pro: You may never meet a lady my age who gets so overjoyed by seemingly small things, that she cries just a tiny bit. Bring me flowers for no reason, or show me a video of an army dad surprising his kids at Christmas, and I'm dead. It may actually entertain you to an incredible level because it's just fucking ridiculous. I'm like Kristen Bell when Dax Sheppard brought her a sloth for her birthday and she was in-fucking-consolable. Look it up, there's a video. That's me. She and I are basically twins. I enjoy life, mother fucker.

  6. Con: You should tell me to be at social engagements 15-30 minutes before you actually want me to be there. You may even start to quote my best friend Abby when I tell you I'll be there in 20 and ask, “Is that 20 minutes real time, or Pearl time?” 

    Pro: I will either look fabulous, or I brought you a present to make up for it. Or I stopped for coffee because I woke up late and I needed caffeine so I wouldn't bite your face off. You might be annoyed we missed the previews, but you still have a face... in tact.

  7. I often say I'm going to do things like clean my room or make a diaper cake for a baby shower, and either I forget about it completely, or it takes me about 2-3 times as long to get it done. 
    Pro: Whatever it is, I'm fabulous at working under pressure and you'll never know the difference in quality. 

    Second Pro: I'm also great at coming up with excuses.  Like that time that I forgot to call my doctor to renew my prescription, and he totally believed me that I was out of town for 3 weeks and was dealing with “personal emergencies”. Somehow this always works out for me. I will do my very best to not pass this very precarious trait onto our children...though if they possess my genes, it may be a blessing for their dumb lazy asses to be able to think on their feet.  I guarantee you they will forget to have either of us sign permission slips every. single. fucking. time. they. need. us. to.

  8.  Con: I have no idea if I want children, and will often say that I don't. At least, none from my own womb. I will probably ask you if instead,  you're ok with having several dogs. 
    Pro: I have 10 years for you to pull the goalie on me if we're married. I am also confident that I'd be the most excited and incredibly affectionate and encouraging mother that I could possibly be just like my mom. And the dogs will happen regardless.

  9. Con: I go through varying stages of wanting to be in comedy clubs every night, to being a weird reclusive hermit. Sometimes my ideal Friday night might just be staying in and drinking all the Trader Joe's wine I can find hiding in my house. 

    Pro: I'm a damn good cook, and you will be so grateful that I stayed in my pajamas for 7 hours on my day off, because I was preparing you the best fucking beef stew you've ever had in your adult life.

  10.  Con: My room is always a disaster. And sometimes I can't find important things that I need to leave the house with, like my phone, or my keys, or my sanity.
    Pro: Everywhere else is clean. The bathroom is sparkling, and I do not leave food around because I'm terrified of garbage and bugs...
     Oh, yeah, another con, I'm terrified of garbage and you may be asked to take it out for me... you're also my new designated bug killer. We can't go to sleep until that spider that we saw crawl under my dresser is dead. And there's no lying, I need to see bodily evidence.

  11.  Con: I like to drink, and probably more than most “adults” are used to, or non-Irish Catholics. I'm told that my super power is that most people can't tell the difference between sober and drunk me.
    Pro: I'm incredibly responsible, and I'm very tiny so I'm still a cheap date. Also, I'm totally able to keep my shit together and your mother won't notice that you and I got a nice buzz going during family dinner night. She'll probably think I'm just more pleasant than normal.

  12. Con: I'm horrible at making decisions. Sometimes it can be crippling for me to order from a waitress at a restaurant because I'm afraid of ordering the wrong thing. I also hate that they stare at you, waiting for you to say something. I might tell you, “This is what I want, order that for me when she gets here because I'm not allowed to change my mind.” 
    Pro: I'm fantastic at handling an emergency. Like when a child is injured on the sidewalk, I can immediately locate wipes and a bandaid from what would appear to be out of thin fucking air. I've also been asked several times to say the eulogy at family funerals, because I'm one of the few who can keep my shit together during a crisis.  Except for Auntie Nancy.  She's a stone-faced saint.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dreams and Beasts and Magical things.

One night I dreamed of colors.
A surging, swirling rage of purple and red and orange.
Out of the storm came a magical bus, a city bus in fact.
My sister, the driver, enticed me to enter the door frame and take a seat.
We flew over the hills of Los Angeles to an unknown destination.

"I know a shortcut," she said. "We must pass through this Castle."
"No." I said. "I don't go there anymore. That is a fortress I cannot be found wandering through. There is a Beast who dwells there, with whom I cannot cross paths."
"It's the quickest way."
She ignored my dilemma and we landed, toppling over a pointed setting on the rooftop, it gave out instantly like a plastic piece of a Lego set under too much weight.  The ceiling gave way. No one inside noticed.
"Let's go, we must travel down this hallway and pass through the other side of the Castle to get to where we're going."
She smiled and took my hand.
"She's so sweet," I thought, "she has no idea what she's done."

There were many courtiers about the Castle halls.
Masks of many colors and sparkling jewels in their eyes, their faces covered, their bodies draped in elegant gowns and fashionable suits.

Suddenly, I see him.
The Beast.
But he hasn't noticed me yet.
I hide behind a heavy, red, velvet curtain. But it may be too late.
The magic has begun and I must make my getaway.

A girl with nut brown hair comes out of the corner to walk beside him, they hold hands, they both wear powder blue.
I look ashamedly at my outfit, vastly under-dressed for such a place.
I hope his lover won't see me, she will know how much prettier she is than I, and sneakers are no place for a Castle.

My sister is now gone, she hid, but disappeared.
I find myself alone, quietly following the Beast and his girl, while trying to escape this place.
The last place on earth I wish to be.
A Castle where I thought I'd ne'er return.

His princess is gone. She has exited my field of vision.
The Beast stops in his tracks.
He turns to me, stone faced.
I'm caught.

"I knew you'd come," he said. "Have you come to ask a favor of me? I knew you'd need me someday.  What is it that you need?"
"No, Sir. I'm fine, Sir. Why do you haunt me so, Sir?"
"Whatever do you mean?" he cooed as he took my hand in two of his own. "I came here called upon, I haunt you not. You came to me."
Flustered with a red face threatening to silence me, I mustered up what came out as a small yell.

I said, "I dream of you.  Do you dream of me too?"
"Of course I do," he said. "But I don't believe in dreams... do you?"

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Prov. 28:26 "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool..."

Two vastly different ideals about how we are meant to lead ourselves around in this world: 

1. You can't trust your own heart.  Even the bible says it, not that most of the people that read this will care about that, but just the idea that your heart will mislead you has been around for many many years is quite apparent.

2. Follow your heart.  Because supposedly you always know in your heart what is best for you, or what the right choice is.

I have altogether too often believed the second piece of advice from the world.  Then of course I have been wrong time and time again about a man, and each time feels so different.  Different kinds of love, different reasons for loving them, different things I loved about them and different ways that I expressed my love for them.  But then it always ends the same.  (Well, for the purposes of this explanation, there is a running theme even if the story changes).

Usually it's some version of the following statement: "You are (would make) such a good girlfriend, (wife).  You're smart, funny, kind, etc.  You're beautiful.  You've done nothing wrong, BUT --- " and usually it's followed by, "I'm just not ready for a relationship right now." OR, "You'll make such a great girlfriend, just not MY girlfriend." OR "I'm an asshole, I don't deserve someone as great as you."

When you're told that you've done nothing wrong, and that you're somehow so perfect, even been told by a man how much he loves you, but he still leaves you, there's a small part of you that dies each time.  A small part of your trust, your openness, your ability to love, your optimism; it's a hole in your heart that gets bigger and bigger until someday, you become one of those awful disagreeable fat grey-haired secretaries with a mom-do that everyone at work hates because all she talks about is her cats and her breathing problems, and how bad her bunion is hurting her even though she wears diabetic shoes. I bet they all used to be very fuckable and pleasant, but were driven to terribleness by assholes.

You tell yourself that next time, you'll be able to sniff out the bullshit earlier on.  You tend to trust your instincts much sooner.  20 minutes into a date you know if you're going to sleep with them or not, and after the second or third date you know if you could date them for at least a few months and put some effort into it.  But after a few relationships, you start to learn more about yourself and what you're looking for.  You (hopefully) figure out your own quirks and what you may need to change for a future mate.  You can enjoy dating and be happy about the choices, even the mistakes that you've made, because they're preparing you for "the one".

And then, just when you start to feel like you have everything figured out, you get sucker punched with a sledgehammer.

The most common saying among couples and happily married folks is that they "knew".  Sometimes they knew right away, maybe love at first sight.  Other times it was within the first couple of months, but very quickly.  You tell yourself, "I'll know, My heart will absolutely tell me and I'll absolutely know for certain when the love of my life comes along." and you wait, and you hope, and you try to remain optimistic.  It should happen for everybody, right?

About two months ago, I met someone. He was everything that I had pictured in my mind when I would think about the perfect man for me.  He was intelligent, very skilled at his job, successful, had his shit together, and was well respected among his peers.  He had kind eyes, a gentle voice, and was incredibly well dressed.  The second that I saw him I thought, "I have to talk to him.  I want to get to know that guy."  It was as if lightning had struck, like when Michael Corleone saw Appolonia in The Godfather and immediately went nuts for her.  So I slipped him my card, shook his hand, and walked away hoping that if there is a God, He should want good things for me, and that night one of those things was that this very attractive guy might just happen to be single.

So the next day he called me. On the phone. Like an adult man who is interested in an adult woman fucking should do. (He even addressed how he doesn't think that people call each other anymore, and how detrimental that is to how dating should be.  I obviously agreed.)  We set up a date, and I was so nervous the night I was meant to go out with him, that I almost threw up.  I thought about what I was going to wear for two fucking days.  I didn't even know this guy, but I know that I wanted him to like me. A lot.

Here's something you should know about me: I don't get nervous before dates. EVER.  Excited, yes. Terrified?  Absolutely fucking not.  That's how I knew this was very different.  A little voice inside me told me how important this was, and how I needed our first interactions to be perfect.  So of course when I walked in to the bar to meet him for drinks, I tripped over myself like a giant baby giraffe.  He didn't laugh.  He stood up and greeted me as though it didn't even happen.  What a gentleman.

All foolishness aside, the rest of the date went extremely well.  We both had an instant attraction, had similar likes/dislikes, political views, and were very career-driven.  He even said, "I think you really like me.  I think you were thinking about me all weekend." I don't remember the last time my face had turned so red, and obviously he was right.  When he walked me back to my car and kissed me goodnight, the first thought that popped into my head was, "I think I'm going to marry this guy." and as crazy as that statement may have been, it was not completely irrational to become attached so quickly, because we started saying, "I love you" by date 3.

I remember he asked what was the most common problem that I had encountered in my past relationships. I said, "I feel that I've always had to fight to make myself a priority, and I should never have to do that."  He seemed to view this as a challenge.  "This girl doesn't know what's in store for her, I'm going to treat her like a queen."

He was doing everything that a man with deeper intentions would do.  Out of the 5 love languages, I think he was using all of them pretty much each time we saw each other.  Making quality time, words of affirmation, touch, gifts, and I suppose acts of service if you count how much emotional intimacy we were sharing.  When I was away for Christmas, he called me every day, twice a day.  We emailed love letters and got to know each other on a deeper level.  When I returned he promised to take me places, go on mini adventures, and overall he was treating me the way that I had always prayed for a man to treat me. We talked about things in "we" statements, as if we were suddenly glued together and would be for some time.  It was even discussed that if he should have to leave town for an extreme length of time, he would fly me out to visit, and I would stay in his home to take care of the dog.  We made plans for trips, events, next year's holidays; he said things in such a certain manner that I didn't think we would ever end things by choice or something of our own doing.

Then one day, he seemed... off.  Nothing so different as to truly worry me, but he was going through a lot of stress.  Work, tax season, personal life, a lot of things that were hitting him all at once.  Life was happening, just like it happens to the best of us.  I didn't feel the need to become alarmed, we were still saying I love you and he was still calling me at the end of the day to help calm him down from the shit hitting the fan.

But the next night, after I was assured that everything was fine, after I'm still making plans in my silly little head that this wonderful man would never break my heart, he pulled the rug right out from under me.  "I am so stressed out.  I can't be in a relationship right now.  You've done nothing wrong.  You've been perfect.  I need time to figure my shit out."


I emailed him asking him to reconsider, just take some time to relax and not put a complete stop on us.  To remember that a relationship is about two people who are there for each other when life happens, and please don't shut me out.  Later on to myself, over and over in my mind, I kept recounting everything he ever said, "WE can't mess this up, WE have a future together, WE're different and WE have a shot at something really great." and now a week later after complete silence I wonder how I can, or ever should, trust any man ever again.

This kind of bullshit is what turns women into bitter old cat ladies.  You're promised things, you're given gifts, you're given hope, you go to bed with a smile and wonder how you ever lived without a love like this. You don't remember the last time you've ever been so happy, and in one fell swoop this person who you trusted with your whole heart revealed their wolf-like fangs from under the soft woolen muzzle of a sheep.

There are relationships I've had where I honestly did imagine or infer feelings and a future together.  Situations where I got my hopes up due to my own crazy thoughts, and I wasn't actually promised any of the things that I expected.  However... this time, it really seemed different.  I was promised things. I was told the things I had always wanted to hear.  I thought I was given the sun, the moon, and the stars, and that I could touch them and hold them right in the palms of my hands.  I was so excited that perhaps I could still believe in my fairy tale, that real love can happen to me where this person would love me just as much as I love him, and a man truly would follow through with everything that he presented himself to be.  But then the moon and the stars suddenly turned to dust in my hands, just as my hopes were at their highest height.

Perhaps I dodged a bullet.  Perhaps this was supposed to happen, to put me over the edge and say, "fuck this shit, I'm getting a puppy and I'm saying screw it to all these men and focusing on more important things."  Perhaps I got lucky and found out early on that he was all talk, and ended up being unable to deal with crisis in his life without shutting me out.  Is this how he would react if something terrible happened while we were living together, or married?  Should I write him off as a coward and say to myself that he wasn't a "real man" to begin with?  Most women would tell me that "real man" doesn't leave his woman in the dust when life happens, they would go to their woman for encouragement and consoling.

Writing this all down has already made me feel as though perhaps I was under a spell and I'll get over this far more quickly than I imagined.  Going out and getting a dog after I said, "fuck it" has certainly more than helped hasten the process.  Though I haven't had to see hide nor hair of him, so I can't really say how I feel, aside from mostly numb.  I think I'm still in shock.

Needless to say, my heart lied to me.  She was foolish for talking me into believing him.  And I was a fool for believing her.


Dear God:  Please send me a man who will treat me like a queen, and behave like a king when the time calls for it.  Send me a captain to sail our ship when we run into choppy waters, and let me be his voice of calm and reason when the storm hits at its hardest.  Send me someone to respect, and shall respect me in return.  Send me a man who is as loyal as the sun rises, not just to me but to his friends and family.  Send me a love to be proud of.

Friday, January 1, 2016

"I don't know why I cry, but I think it's cuz I remembered for the first time since I hated you, that I used to love you." - Gwen Stefani.

It may be a lame song, but I think that sentence sums up just about everything that makes me so angry right now. 

I have a problem with anxiety and obsessive thoughts.  Some people think this is normal, I think that there's a real issue with my ability to let things go.  It's been a long part of my history to live in morbid reflection.  Why Why Why goes through my heart, piercing every piece of me, my whole body goes hot and tingly with rage or sadness, alternating between the two when I get near a triggering event or have to see someone that I'd rather not have to see.  I tell myself that I'm better than that, that I have strength and that I am over things.  I think for the most part I am stable, but then I'm weak and I stumble upon statements that I should not have sought out, or should not have been passed along to me by those who love stirring the pot. 

I knew you'd be there, and I went anyway because I wasn't there to see you.  I was there to have fun with my friends.  I had no expectations for the night, and I was even prepared to be cordial to each other.  I figured we would say hello if we actually physically crossed paths, or just nod and acknowledge each other. The nod would say, "Hey, we don't have to speak, I know we're not ready to do this, but I'm glad you're doing ok.  Looks like you're alive.  Ok, see ya."

Instead of this, you looked at the floor and immediately left the room.  As if no one else would notice, talk to me about it, or that old sting wouldn't come back.  The sting of forced silence and my existence being ignored.  But we'll get to that later...

They say there are 5 stages of grief, and the stages don't necessarily have to come in order.  I know this, because mine didn't come in the usual order.  There was denial, and bargaining, and then depression, and then more bargaining, and then months and months and months of depression along with more begging and screaming and crying and more bargaining.  And then I snapped.

Right now I'm in the anger stage.  I'm so angry that someone else gets to do this to me.  That they think they are victorious or better than I am by their actions.  That they couldn't just be a fucking adult and say hello.  That I have to feel like I'm the problem, when I was treated like my feelings don't matter. 

I don't care what anyone says, you didn't win, you were not victorious.  People know you're not always that nice of a person.  People know you love to talk shit and how snobbish you can be.  People tell me how I'm better off without you.  Though I'm sure there are people who say the same things to you.  How you're better off without that "bitch" in your life.  How they never liked me anyway. None of them really know what went on between us.  Quit acting like you're so high and mighty.

You're a liar, and a hypocrite.  You act like the victim, and never admitted fault to your actions of deceit or selfishness.  You say one thing one week, and scream the opposite the next week, stunning and confusing and hurting, acting as though this was normal and ok.  Invalidating my feelings at every turn.  Biting and clawing your way out of a cave of sadness, coming from a place of pain, and burying yourself back into the darkness when I had your hand by the wrist, trying to pull you out.

I won't be dragged back down there with you.  Not again.  I was in a dark place for a very long time, blaming the entire thing on myself.  From the moment I woke up, until the moment I fell asleep, and even in my dreams, I fought back tears and imagined every fight we ever had and how I could've stopped them or made things better, or just surrendering and ignoring how I felt because I was so afraid of losing you or that you'd stop loving me.  It was never about, "Why are you upset about this?" it was, "that's stupid that you're upset in the first place, so don't be, you're acting childish."  A therapist was the one who had to tell me how bad that is.  And I felt awful realizing that I did that to you sometimes in return.  I don't know how many of our arguments you even actually remember, because half the time when I would say something I could see your eyes flickering and going into panic mode, that you were too high to have a logical argument with me in the first place.

I told you, during our first year, the meanest thing you could ever do to me was to give me the silent treatment.  You promised you would never do that to me again.  And you broke that promise.  More times than I could count.

You always decided when we would speak.  When I was allowed to speak.  When I was allowed to be upset.  When you were going to walk away and an argument was put on pause.  You'd disappear for a few days if you didn't feel like finishing an argument or communicating in a healthy manner, because my reasons for being upset were too "stupid" or "immature" for your liking.  And when it came down to the end, you decided to cut me off and silence me.  Block me, block my number, block my emails, my messages, etc.  Because even after it's all over, the cards are still in your hand.  You get to decide what I'm allowed.

And you threw your hands up, saying that the responsibility couldn't possibly be yours, that you didn't know what you were doing when you opened the door to your cave and let me in a couple of times.  I knew you were in there, I was waiting at the bottom of a cliffside, climbing up and knocking every so often, sending in notes, flowers, yelling to you to make sure you were still alive down there while I slowly died outside.  You finally peeked out and opened the door and let me come down into the cavern, settle in; we came up with a plan to crawl out together. Twice. And both times you pushed me out over the side of the cliff, and slammed the door, telling me it was my fault that I climbed down in the first place.  You never invited me in, according to you.  I must have broken in, you were weak for letting me stay, I'm the problem and I needed to be shut out forever. 

Weren't we feeling the same sadness?  Weren't we both dreaming? Weren't we both feeling each other's sadness from far away, doing the same things, reading the same things, listening to the same things, feeling empty inside and wondering, "what if" and why love couldn't conquer the shitty things that had come between us?  Even our dating lives being so far apart were mirrored, it was almost comical.  After I thought there was a glimmer of hope, I was all in.  I felt like this was the reason I held on, the reason that I believed in the fairy tale, and the reason why I couldn't let go. Because you hadn't let go, and it was supposed to happen for us.  I was ready to change my life around for you, admit that I made mistakes or I left too soon.  But you got scared.  Your anxiety and distrust got the best of us.  You decided to stop believing me and called me a liar, confused me, hurt me.  Each time I tried pulling you out, you were too scared to take the leap, and clawed my hand away and said horrible things. You retreated again, almost killing me in the process.

You expected me to put you before work, but you never put me before work, and that was my problem for having a problem with that.  We were not equals.  And that's all I ever wanted.  You loved me, but only to the point where I was convenient.  If it wasn't convenient for you, it was either put me down, shut me out, or whine the entire time you had to do something for me and how grateful I should be that you were "so good" to go out of your way for me.  How awful it was for you, that you had to spend time with my family, or go to a party, or spend money on something besides pot?

Was I really that horrible?  Was I really so much of a bitch, or so needy?  I just can't understand how I always made excuses for you.  "What do you mean he won't go to dinner at your grandmother's with you?  Boyfriends are supposed to do those things." "Well no, he doesn't like small talk and he works a lot so I'm just bugging him by asking him to do that with me."  "But your gramma?  He can't take two hours out of his life to make you happy?"  "If he comes, I'll never hear the end of it. I'll just tell her we'll go some other time, maybe I'll go by myself.  It's really no big deal."  "You seem upset, though."

And I was.  It made me really sad to defend you for really simple shit.  Like there were times we couldn't go somewhere because, again, you might not be able to smoke weed.  Because you just replaced one addiction with another in your life, and that was a bigger priority than me.  I won't discount all the nice things you ever did for me, or say that your efforts were wasted.  I won't tell you that you just weren't good enough.  But I will tell you that there were times you made me feel like I wasn't good enough, or that things that were important to me were just stupid and I should learn to stop caring about them.  Silly things like Christmas or Valentine's Day, or birthdays.  Or family or work parties, or anything that wasn't us doing what you wanted to do.

Oh, and don't get me started on how I was such a bitch for asking my friends about whether or not any of this was normal or ok.

You don't understand how much I still hurt because I was never heard, and the final moments of our last fight, I still wasn't.  My feelings didn't, and don't, matter as much as yours.  And don't think I don't know that you did that because you were also hurting a lot.  You shut me out to keep yourself from continuing to hurt.  I know that I hurt you.  I know that I yelled at you.  I know there were times when I was a selfish bitch.  But the difference is, I admit to it.  After blaming myself and begging you and crying to you, saying it was all my fault, please come back to me, I'll do anything if you'll just love me again, I realized that I didn't love myself.  I let you make me feel like I was a piece of shit and it was all me, because I was so desperate for you to love me again.  You didn't respect me.

Those times in the cave were a test that I didn't pass"Get back to the bottom of that cliff, try again next time, maybe in another year or ten years, when I decide you're allowed to again.  We'll see if you live up to my standard of acting guilty enough.  We'll see if you do what I want you to do.  Don't step out of line or say one thing that I don't like, because I'll shut you out again!"  

"But aren't you proud of me?  Look at all that I've accomplished by myself.  I did this for my career." 

"I'll never be proud of you.  You don't have a career."
 (I wish I made that part up)

That last time, after I was cast aside and told I was nothing, I left you there.  I built a boat, I rode out to sea, I found a far away island and fell in love with a king.  He saw me from afar, asked if he could give me the world, and offered me all the jewels of his kingdom.  There was a great feast, and dancing, and celebrations with great joy.  I thought I was finally free.  But something felt wrong.  There was an emptiness in my heart that I couldn't fill with gifts or affection from another.  So I said goodbye to the king, thanked him and said I was sorry.  That it was me, not him, that he was good, and I was not.  And I wandered off to be alone.  One night in the dark, sleeping on the shore, the sea took me out in my dreams and I woke up here. I didn't ask to be back here, I didn't seek it out, but your voice drifted out and pulled me back in.

So I stood there, deciding whether I should climb up and knock on the door and see if you're still in there.  If you'd speak to me, if you'd ever come out, wondering why I could never save you, why you'd never let me save you.  Why you never wanted to save me.

It's not about love anymore.  Love was not enough for us, and that's the saddest part, because I so desperately wanted love to be enough and to believe in the fairy tale.  But it's not the only part.  It's about how neither one of us felt like we were ever good enough for the other one.  We both felt mistreated.  We both felt malnourished in our efforts to find fulfillment in one another.  I wish you would just admit that.  Admit that you did some shitty things to me as well.  Tell me that you were wrong to say some of the things that you said.  Tell me that even though we live three thousand miles away from each other and maybe we weren't meant to be partners, that you're proud of me.  That I matter.

We only get one life.  Tonight I will build another boat, and I will go back to where you can't hurt me anymore.

Because I'm doing really well.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

dragging invisible weight.

Wide shot opens.  It's the side of a highway with dead grass and empty fields of brown and tan.  Suddenly a girl enters frame from the right, she seems to be trudging, dragging something, and as she steps in a bit more, we see that she has a leash-like cuff around her wrist.  She's got a chain attached to the cuff, and her arm is straightened, but she's lazily and begrudglingly dragging whatever is chained behind her.  She seems frustrated, and gives it a big tug, suddenly this corpse-like man stumbles into frame.  He is dragging his feet, seems to be unable to give much energy into this walk, but he follows her, letting a grunt out here and there. We watch them drag across the screen at a medium struggling pace, and they exit frame.


The same woman is standing at the counter, checking people's books out for them.  She has a very blank, far away look on her face. The zombie-like monster is still chained to her wrist, but it's a reasonably long chain.  He has found himself a chair in the corner about 2 meters or so away from her.  A man with glasses comes up to the counter with several books.  She starts ringing them out with a scanner gun.

Woman: Do you have your library card?

Man: Sure
(he gets out his card and hands it to her)
       (cont) Hey, what's that?
(points to the corpse.  Corpse weakly looks up at him and very quietly groans)

Woman: Oh that?  That's just my relationship.

Man: Huh. I think my sister had one of those for a while. But he was never, quite so...
     (he motions over his own face in reference to the burned crispiness of the corpse, CUT TO the corpse and we get a better look at him with tattered clothes, close to being burnt to a crisp, maybe missing lips, his teeth look pretty broken up)

Woman: Yeah, well, every one is different.

Man: Did you do that to him?

Woman: I guess so.  Well -- I don't know. I'm not really sure anymore.  But I'm the one who got stuck dragging him around.... at least until he finally dies.

Man: How long will that take?

Woman: (frustrated) I don't know, is there anything else I can help you with?  Just take your books.


I've been listening to Echosmith radio on Pandora.  It's been the soundtrack to my runs in the morning, my drives home late at night, the background to my writing in the middle of the night with a whiskey on the rocks next to my laptop.  It consists of Bon Iver, Vance Joy, Head and the Heart, and of course accompanied by my past loves of Lumineers, Monsters and Men, Taylor Swift (1989 not her other stuff). 

I run in the morning, during June Gloom where the air is foggy and the mist sits in my lungs while I huff and puff and let the tears run down my face.  I wear sunglasses, a hat, and a hoodie so no one can see my face.  They don't know that I'm a mess, they're probably just looking at my dog bounding ahead of me at full speed, keeping me motivated. 

Bobby has no idea in his joyful gallop that he's leading along dead weight. I run because it's the only way to find release before I have to start my day.  I have to let go of seeing you in my dreams and kissing your face, hearing you tell me you love me, make love to me, then later on yell at me about how awful I am over an imagined phone, night after night, and waking up with the same bed covers that trick me into thinking you might be underneath them when I wake up.  But you're gone.  You were never there. 

It's been a long time for you, to others as well.  They think it's certainly been long enough to stop missing you.  But they don't see you in their dreams.  They don't hold you one night and get to spend hours laughing and being so happy with you, only to wake up to you being gone.  They also don't spend the next night begging and pleading with you not to leave me like I left you. I wake up and you're gone again, but I'm trying so very hard to keep it together until I can finally get home and away from the world again that evening.

Each hour that goes by, my brain panics about all the other things I need to do that day before I can run. Ok, it's 10am you ran this off this morning, you're fine, you're with the baby and you're going to give it all the cuddling and kisses and forget about everything. Crap, she's asleep now.  Well, maybe just mess around on facebook.  Is her mom coming home soon?  Maybe you could get lost in your thoughts and just cry a little bit before she gets back.  I wonder what he's up to right now.  Is he thinking about me?  Is he thinking about how much he hates me? Is he hoping he never hears from me again?  I checked his Twitter last week, I can't check it again until I get really desperate.  I bet one of these days he'll block me on Twitter just like he blocked me on everything else.  I don't think I'll be able to move that day.  Ok, here we go, search his name in the search bar, and the panic will settle in as we wait to see if he blocked me.  Prepare for an incredible amount of tears.  This is literally the only way we have left to connect to each other.  Everything else on the planet including skype is blocked.  Ok, he's still following me on Twitter.  Maybe he silently keeps track of what I'm up to.  Maybe he misses me too.  No, if he missed me he'd talk to me.  No maybe that's not true, maybe he's just still hurting but he's more angry than he is hurting.  Should I be angry too?  I think I'm still 70/30 sad to angry ratio.  Alright, well he hasn't been up to much but this joke was funny, I wish I could favorite it.
Ok, time to drive back to the Valley.  There's a new episode of This American Life on Stitcher.  I can't listen to his podcast because I would just cry the entire time, but maybe if I listen to this instead of High Pathetically, because he listens to it we'll be connected somehow.  Maybe if he calls me ever again I can talk to him about this awesome thing that they're discussing this week.  Ugh I wish I could talk to him about Serial.  It was so effing good.

Alright, second job of the day is almost over.  I can go home, I can drink some wine, watch Netflix, and then have a good cry if I want to, and  no one will know. Maybe I'll write in my journal.  Maybe I'll pray about some stuff.  

Maybe I'll go on Tinder and see if someone else would give me some attention.  Ugh, I'm just gonna go on another Tinder date and cry the whole way home again like I always do.  I like flirting, but who gives a shit?  It's not him.  That last guy I couldn't stop thinking about what Will would think about this guy.  Would he judge him?  He'd think he was really annoying.  I think this guy is really annoying.  We would both laugh at about how annoying this guy is. I should just delete Tinder, it's a waste of time.  I don't even want to have sex anymore. Everything feels like a chore. 

 God I'm glad I live alone so no one can see how pathetic I am. Drinking wine from the bottle and crying to my dog like some psycho. I should just marry my career and become celibate. How did I let this happen? Why wouldn't he just come with me? I wish he'd come visit. He'd probably hate it in LA anyway.  If I heard a knock on the door right now and it was him, I think I'd burst into tears. We could go visit the best open mics and work our shitty jobs while I cooked us dinner and we snuggled with our dogs at night and talked about how someday when we're rich we'll have an extra room for an office and a finished basement. Then I'll start to get jobs on TV and he'll work the road and we'll trust each other and be happy in having puppies instead of children, and eat the best kinds of cheese at 1 in the morning in our underwear and talk about the universe. We'll get married in the middle of the woods and we'll go to Ireland and explore the world together.  

This is all contingent if he'll ever even speak to me again. God, I'm a fucking psychopath.  How pathetic am I?  Maybe I should just start pretending he's dead.  It'll be easier than remembering the part about how he just didn't want me anymore.  This is all my fault. I was so fucking selfish.  About everything. A whiny, selfish brat. Sure he had his problems too.  I wish we could just call it off.  ToMAYtoe, toMAHto, etc. Haven't we hurt each other pretty equally at this point?  He probably doesn't even love me anymore.  I guess that's my fault too. I was awful to deal with. But I'm different now.  I know I'm different.  I'm on my own and I've realized a lot about myself and other people.  I'm more patient and understanding and less argumentative.  I could be better. But there's no way he'd trust me again. Besides, he's dead, what the hell am I trying to prove?

...Meanwhile on repeat is Bon Iver "Skinny Love" and I cry myself to sleep while I think of new scenes for my script, and wonder if you'll ever speak to me again.

Come on skinny love just last the year
Pour a little salt, we were never here
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer

Tell my love to wreck it all
Cut out all the ropes and let me fall
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Right in this moment this order's tall

And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind

In the morning I'll be with you
But it will be a different kind
I'll be holding all the tickets
And you'll be owning all the fines

Saturday, March 21, 2015

"Wish I could be just a little less dramatic, like a Kennedy, when Camelot went down in flames." - Miranda Lambert

So this is me. 4 months later.  There are two extremes to how I feel at any given moment.  One moment it's like Boston was years ago, this crazy other life that I had in a completely different movie with different characters.  The next moment it was as if I were just there... well ok I was just there.  I flew home last week to shoot an indie feature and was horribly surprised by the ugly truth that I cannot possibly move back if I ever want to regain my sanity from my breakup.

I gave him up for Lent.  It wasn't hard, considering he won't return my emails anymore and probably blocked my number.  But then it got harder, because I was trying not to think about him at all and then of course my trip home was... well, it was too soon maybe.  I was hopeful I'd bump into him casually at an open mic, but I was busy and I didn't think stalking was something I'd be too proud of.

He hasn't spoken to me since my birthday.  Even after his promises that I would get an email or a phone call every few weeks and we'd try to rebuild or regain some sense of ourselves, giving me hope that we could someday get back together. I was thinking it was the only thing I wanted in the entire world, that I would pack up all of my things in my car and drive home with my dog and start over our lives together, mending the hurt back to love again.

I remember that's exactly what I was thinking of doing when I totaled my car.  I thought, "I know, I'll pack up all of my belongings, quit my job, and drive all the way back through Arizona, Texas, Alabama, Maryland, Virginia, and avoid the snow to get home.  I'll prove how serious I was about working things out and take the road trip all by myself across America to clear my head.  I'll do it, I'll -- WOAH that car almost hit me -- "


I froze, shaking all over, my puppy in the backseat crying because he was scared and stuck in his crate.  The diaper cake I had made for my friend's baby shower was somehow still in tact on the seat of the car. I had avoided hitting the black SUV next to me as they had tried to cut me off and sped away, but rearended the mini cooper instead.  I couldn't even speak when I got out of the car.  Somehow I managed to call AAA. The woman on the other end of the line was very concerned, "Oh no, are you alright?! Is there anyone you need me to call to come get you?" 

The worst pain I've ever felt was knowing that even though I had just totaled my car, perhaps could have died if I had been going any faster, my boyfriend wasn't going to be there for me anymore, because he didn't want to be.

He didn't want to call and make sure I was ok. He didn't want to be my person anymore.  He wasn't my best friend anymore. It's still very hard to believe that someone just doesn't love you anymore.  Or if they do, they don't want to.  It's quite tragic, actually.

One of my girlfriends just got a job in NY and her boyfriend, without even thinking about it, put in for a switch at work and is going with her.  I asked him about it and he said, "Are you kidding?  Do you know my girlfriend?  She's amazing.  I'd have to be an idiot not to see that.  Of course I would go with her, no question about it!"  I almost burst into tears.  Why didn't that happen with us? My mouth tasted bitter.

When I think of the story I told about how I murdered our relationship, I often still think of my day-to-day feelings as my having to mourn a death.  There are parts of me that are still in denial.  Like when someone dies and you go to call them, or you think you can't wait to tell them something funny, and then the tears well up again because they're not there. He might as well be dead considering the dead silence I get and being blocked on practically every social media outlet.  Maybe he wishes I were dead. ... Ok, little extreme...

I was just in Boston and every place I went reminded me of him.  Riding in the car especially, I used to be his passenger all the time.  It was worse because it was right before St. Patrick's Day, a day that had become the holiday we spent together, just the two of us, three years in a row up in Stowe, VT.  Last year we had talked about getting married there, back when we were arguably the most in love we had ever been.  Then he tried to teach me how to ski, and that was the beginning of the end.  I got accepted to my program the day that we got back, and the paranoia that he would leave me had sat in the back of my skull ever since. All of that anxiety, not that it's an excuse, but it built up to my sabotaging the relationship later on.

Yes, I still blame myself for pretty much everything. Maybe it's just easier to think it was my fault instead of admitting we weren't right for each other.  Or maybe I'm right and I'm a horrible person who deserves all of the guilt.  How else could I explain why he gave up?

Whenever I'm having too much fun, suddenly a dark shadow comes up behind me, and it's the zombie, that Frankenstein's monster that I tried to sew back together after bludgeoning him to death 5 months ago.  Jesus, has it really been 5 months?  How awful to think of it in terms of time. I tried way too hard, I was desperate and crazy and every part of me acted like an insane child, and my ex who tried to be there for the sewing ceremony up and left, ran screaming, wanting nothing to do with bringing the relationship back to life.  By then it was too late for me.  I was stuck with my choices.

I basically carry this zombie around on a leash everywhere with me, trying to stop him from eating all of my good times, good friends, potential flirtations.  But the leash gets pulled and I can't control him. He's too strong for me.  He eats away at everything, and turns it into a pile of death and sadness. Then he looks at me and smiles, the guttoral sounds coming from his throat and broken teeth, "I'm YOUR responsibility, you know. You made me. Now deal with me."

I don't have a choice, he just comes with me wherever I go.  He only has half of a heart, and half of a brain, kind of like how I feel most of the time.  Like half of myself.  Eventually, maybe years from now he'll die off completely.  But right now he's just searching for the halves he's missing. I think my ex boyfriend had a party when I got on a plane back to LA, and burned the halves he kept to ensure the final death.

Ashes to ashes.


Dead silence.

I think I'm a black hole.