Monday, December 27, 2010

The things I'll do:

I'll go out with my old friends.
We'll find fun little restaurants
places to dance and sing
and quiet coffee shops to talk and listen.

I'll join a club.
Learn to knit or sew
or read a book a month
and make new friends.

And I'll take up hobbies.
Shopping for antiques
biking down the side streets

I'll finally start that book I've always wanted to write.
And I really will go to the gym three times a week.
I'll find new recipes and modify old ones.
I'll keep in touch with family
maybe do some introspection.

I'll live.
Even if I do miss you all the while.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'll probably be doing this kind of thing a lot as the end of the year approaches:

I always have so much to say. My inner monologue is in past tense, as if I am narrating an extremely interesting novel. Things like Twitter and Facebook and Blogger allow me to release the pressure when I feel that I just must share what is going on inside my head.

One day I'll marry someone who will listen to me and at least look interested most of the time.
It won't be enough. I'll still write.

I was thinking back on what happened this year. My first thought was of my first kiss, on New Years Eve sometime in the early morning hours. It is hard to focus on it now. I have a hard time looking past all the pain and anger I felt afterwards over the year. But at the time I loved him and he loved me. And it was kind of cute even though we both had too much to drink and not enough sense. I feel that, with the exception of my parents, I let him hurt me and disrespect me more than anyone I've ever loved, but I wouldn't undo any of it now.

One time we went hiking and got lost. We had to cross a stream with no bridge. My shoes got wet inside and I had to hike for hours in wet socks. I got blisters. And we kept coming across that blasted stream. Or maybe different ones. Each time was awful. I slipped on the rocks. The water burned the cuts on my legs from the thorns. But each time we came to a stream it seemed that we had no other choice; we had to cross. It was awful. We laugh about it now.

My relationship with him is like that. I wanted to venture into the unknown. And when I came to the unpleasant places, I didn't see another way out. Over and over. I didn't see the way out.

But that awful hiking trip didn't stop me from ever hiking again. I waited till the blisters healed. I explored new ground. But now I stay on the trail. I wouldn't go back and change the decisions that led me to that day. I learned valuable lessons. And now we have something to laugh about.

I think some blisters take longer to heal than others. And it is harder to see the path in a relationship. But I wouldn't undo the missteps that got me here. I don't know what I might have missed otherwise. I know now which places not to go. And that is enough for now.

Friday, December 03, 2010

If I still know how many days it has been,

I must not be over it yet.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

It probably would have been amusing to the observer.

We decided to drink together. Over the phone. Because we are far away from each other.
I couldn't keep up. My body gets really excited about chemicals.
For example:
(My body says) Caffeine? Did you just give me CAFFEINE? I AM SO EXCITED! LIFE IS SO GREAT!!

So then I gave my body alcohol. It went something like this:
Hey, I feel warm.
Oh man, all my muscles feel niiiice.
Hey! I want to say everything I am thinking!
My legs aren't working right! Or maybe it's my balance!
I still want to say everything I've EVER thought!
Let's run into things!
I'm SO happy!
The room is spinning if I close my eyes. I'll keep them open!
Okay. Spinning not stopping. Too much. Enough with the spinning.
I'm feel sick.
Oops. I need to wash the shower curtain. And clean the floor.
Why is it so hard to stand up?!

But now it's morning. I woke up feeling perky and excited. I have no idea why. Shouldn't I feel really sick? Isn't that how this goes? Not that I'm complaining.

Friday, October 29, 2010

She is a stair. I am too.

She is a stair.
One of the many.
Maybe made of sturdy boards
from ancient many-ringed oak trees.
Crowns reaching towards the golden sunlight.

I am too.
Not so grand.
I am poured concrete,
a rough surface to scratch your feet.
I am cold and unadorned. I am no beauty.

I cannot say
you will not stumble
will not stub your toe upon the step.
I cannot promise to lead you somewhere
greater than she. Me, without visible appeal.

But should you choose
to take your journey with me
you will find you do not compete with
many busy hands and busy feet, fighting for the top
and though I am not the most appealing, I will take you
higher than you've ever been. And though she may weaken
in time. I will never let you fall through. You will never break me
and though time and wind and rain may test us, I will never break you.

I made it for you.

I made a place for you.
A small opening in my heart like a person-sized spot in a crowd.
Come, stand among those I know. Those I like.

I made a pedestal for you.
Lifted you high above the ground and worshiped you.
Only as a unknown stranger can be worshiped. You fell.

I made a bed for you.
Held you close against my body and shared my warmth.
So that my love could seep into your skin tangibly.

I made a home for you.
Rearranged my previous plans and emptied drawers and closets and rooms for you.
You would be my companion. My favorite one. My home.

I made a castle for you.
Demolished everything I knew to make something grander for you. For us.
My future now all tied up in you in stone and gates and towers.

But you didn't want my castle.

What you don't know yet:

You don't know yet,
but you think she will make your life happier just for being in it.
She will laugh at all the right times
and make you just the right kind of miserable.

You don't know yet,
but you're sure she's going to be yours forever.
That you won't understand completeness until you hold her.
And she'll make you smile till it hurts a little.

You don't know yet,
but you hope she will spark your greatest adventures.
She will make you truly understand what it is to be needed.
And make you feel like she sees no one else.

You don't know yet,
but you need her to be the end of your searching.
The answer to an unasked question.
The right kind of smile and touch and smell.
And a mystery that keeps you ever searching.

You don't know yet,
no, you just don't know yet,
but it's me.

These pictures inspire me.

Don't worry. We'll figure it out.

Sometimes you say things that hurt my feelings.
And sometimes we misunderstand one another.
There are moments when I think understand you
and then you surprise me in the worst way ever.

Sometimes I wish I could see more of you.
And sometimes I just need a long, long break.
There are moments when nothing you could say
could possibly resemble the right thing to say.

Sometimes I think you must be the most perfect human being.
And sometimes you call me names.
There are moments when we just can't get it straight
no matter how hard we try.

Sometimes time changes both of us in unpredictable ways.
And suddenly we are strangers to one another.
There are moments when I don't know how
we can ever be okay again.

But hey,
don't worry,
we'll figure it out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

These things keep circling around my mind when I forget to think about something else:

I used to weigh over 100lbs more than I do now.

My home caught on fire and I couldn't live there anymore and I spent weeks with no home and everything I owned fit in my car and I was alone.

I fell in love with a man that didn't know how to love me back. I let him hurt me over and over again. I wanted things he couldn't or wouldn't give me. He didn't want to have me. He didn't want to let me go.

I grew up with parents addicted to prescription drugs. They were everything awful a drug addict becomes. They made me feel unsafe. They made me feel unworthy of love, attention, respect, or consideration.

Each of these things brought me to tears. Made me have moments where I didn't feel strong enough to make it through by myself. A few times I even wished that I could just stop existing. That somehow I wouldn't have to face another day. Because if life had to keep hurting the way it hurt back then, I didn't want anymore. Sometimes these things twisted my personality, perception of the world, self-perception, reactions, and expectations in unhealthy ways. They nearly broke me.

I say this not because I want sympathy or help or anything else like that. Its just, I cannot tell you just how free I feel now if you don't understand the things that weighed me down.

I could go into detail about each thing. I could cry again, remembering those days, those nights. But right now, I'm sitting in MY apartment. And I feel safe and secure. I feel loved and appreciated. I am happy with who I am and where my life is headed. I'm going to have bad days. And I'll forget, eventually, just how sharp the pain was before.

But I remember today.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I wanted to write poetry. Put up with it. :)

The things he does:

He says the right things.
and it’s enough because
no one else is saying anything to her.

He makes her cry.
and she lets it go because
no one else makes her laugh and smile.

He treats her well
and that’s often enough because
the rest of them ignore her.

He makes her feel worthless
and she believes him because
it seems true enough to her.

He pushes her
and that just pushes her away because
she would rather be alone than on the ground.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The story of how I saw that lady's panties:

I had an extra day off today because of Columbus day. I didn't leave the house. When Johnna came home around 11:30pm, she brought me a notice that had been posted on my windshield. This notice informed me that my car would be towed tomorrow if I did not fix the flat tire.

Flat tire?

I investigated. I did indeed have a flat tire. So, we made a late-night trip to purchase fix-a-flat (and some groceries). We used Johnna's headlights for illumination and I followed the instructions on the can. The last step was to immediately add more air to the tire, if necessary. It was necessary.

I went to the gas station by myself. When I arrived, I discovered that the air machine was one dollar and I needed to get quarters. So I went inside.

Standing at the counter with her male companion was a woman wearing a lace teddy. I could see her white bra through the lace, as well as her black panties. And when she leaned forward to put her elbows on the counter, I saw the rest of her panties as the teddy rode up over her (and I feel this word appropriate in this context) ass. She purchased flavored condemns. She expressed a concern that she did not have the ninety-nine cents available in her account to cover such a purchase. She left.

I tried to communicate my surprise and dismay at the cashier lady while I requested my change. She came around the counter and hugged me. And held the door open for me.

I wandered out into the artificially-lit parking lot a little dazed. I made my way over to my car and proceeded to drop my quarters into the machine. A car pulled up behind me, blocking the driving area in the parking lot with his SUV. I assumed he wanted the air machine next. I filled up my tire. Put the cap back on. Got back into my car. And the man left.

Sometimes, strange things happen to me.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

So, if you wanna be with me, you have to follow through with every word you say.

My roommate and I were talking about the times we have called off work. The last time I called off work was to take my my to the hospital because she was overdosing. I think that was in February. It snowed. My brother wouldn't come with me. I sat at the hospital and cried and texted my friends until my head hurt so much I thought I would get sick myself.

Finally, I left. Because my dad and my brother would not come. And she was out of it. And she was going to be okay.

I went to Jeremy's house. I almost wrecked my car on the way there. Because of the snow and the tears. He listened to me. He distracted me. But he had to work in the morning so I left soon after.

Sometimes memories change when you look back on them. My whole world was a place full of uncertainty and being treated with disrespect, or complete disregard, where a part of my everyday life. It made me cling to things that seemed good to me. Made me want them in an unhealthy way.

But my whole life has changed. That girl who wrote blogs last year, two years ago, longer- all strangers. Sometimes having bad things happen in your life helps you see the good things better. Makes you appreciate the better days. And the bad things can make you stronger. A better person. But too much bad can make unhealthy things seem good, in comparison. Too much bad starts to break you down and warp your personality.

I have a small panic moment every time I get a voice-mail and I can't see who it was from. I have nightmares about terrible things happening. Because, even now, I can't comprehend that some terrible thing isn't about to happen. That everything is good. And life's horrors are all about rainy days and disappointed plans.

I think the point I'm trying to make is this:

There are things that used to seem good to me. And behaviors that I put up with, or even appreciated before. But now these things aren't okay. And I'm not going to keep the not-so-bad in my life when I have so much GOOD now.

I've had enough.
Now let's see if I can follow through.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Some days I just have more to say. Some days, it doesn't matter how much I write if I don't find the right way to say it.
It feels like my whole world has changed since I last saw you. And now I'm a different person. And that was a stranger you last hugged. And I don't know how you fit into my life now.

But I understand. It didn't seem long at all to you.

She may not frown, but she'll never love you.

You get the Public version. Sunny smile. A little sassy.
She laughs at appropriate times.
She sings and dances and makes funny faces.
She tells you stories.
She doesn't tell you what she is really thinking.
She doesn't show any negative emotion.
She lies with smiles and agrees with what you say.
Arguing isn't for the Public version.
This is what you get now.

Real version cries sometimes.
Sometimes gets her feelings hurt.
Grumpy or sleepy or quiet.
A little more work than the Public version.
But this one says, "I love you"
and calls you when she's feeling lonely.
And Real version
will cook you dinner and go places with you.
And make you feel like you really matter to her.

But you get Public version now.
Because you gave me Public You.
And I didn't like it.

Saturday afternoon.

It's going to be okay. Just
Take off your party dress.
Put on your t-shirt and jeans.
It doesn't matter anyway.
Wash away the make-up,
put on some sunscreen.
You didn't need to feel pretty today.
It isn't a time for sandals now.
How about those walking shoes?
The sun is still out.
You can go walking alone.
It doesn't have to ruin your day
now that he isn't coming.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Task status: In progress.

Sometimes this moving-on thing is hard work. I live in a new home. I have a new job. A new routine. Even some of my relationships are completely different. But there are still moments in time when I keep trying to reach back to familiar things that I don't need anymore. Sometimes letting go isn't just about not holding on anymore, it is about not wanting to hold on too. I wonder when I get to that place?

How can I be so happy, and still mourn a little? I love my new home. I finally know what it is like to feel safe here all the time. That panic feeling that simmered just below the surface before is gone. I love being at home. And I love my roommate.

My job is challenging and dynamic in a way that does cause me stress but it keeps me from getting bored and makes me feel satisfied that I am using a lot of my brain and effort to do things well.

My relationships are fulfilling and varied and many.

So why do I keep wanting things that I've already decided to let go of? Things I don't need. Things that are bad for me. It makes me frustrated at myself. Be happy, unhindered!

Sometimes I think I am just a great well of want that will never be satisfied. That is okay with me, as long I learn to just want things that are good for me, things like more knowledge and world travel, and healthy habits. This should be my new goal. Want good things.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sometimes I think in status updates.

Sarah Jo is listening to Frank Sinatra sing about love while putting on her make-up.
Do you shave around the tattoo, or give up on shaving the whole leg altogether?
Have you ever had angry moments at people you haven't spoken to in a long time?
Sarah Jo is irresponsible.
Sarah Jo is an attention whore.
I got angry at myself for drinking too much water before bed.
He told me to dream of him, I failed.
I think mushy talk makes me nervous and uncomfortable.
You are the bandaid in my emotional pool! You make me feel like: Eww Eww Eww!
Sarah Jo is ready to go tell people what to do and make sure they get paid for it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I miss you. I love you. Have fun.

Sometimes I wonder if people come into our lives just so we can learn to love them and then learn to lose them. I don't mean that they die, but going away and maybe-never-coming-back feels a whole lot like losing someone. I don't know how to make it feel any easier.

It gets easier after some time. I establish a new routine that doesn't involve said missing person. Of course, it doesn't always feel right because I keep wanting the replacement to feel as right as what is missing and it never does. But I move on. We move on. We have to. And then it only feels awful every one in a while.

Like looking at our pictures on facebook. All the things we did together. It makes me think of all the things we aren't going to do together now. And I know the people I keep losing, I am losing to bigger and better things. But I'm selfish. And I wish they could be happy and successful and near me at the same time.

But we can't keep people. Because if it isn't distance that separates us, it is time and circumstance. It is misunderstandings and lack of common ground. It is life events and relationships and so many other things. Even when relationships last, we don't keep each other. We change and that 40 year old woman isn't the teen girl you so loved. We can't keep them. They can't keep us.

So I'm going to have to get used to this losing-people-feeling. I hate it. Because with a new tattoo or an apartment fire or a broken heart, I know those things aren't going to last. I'll get over those pains, even if sometimes it feels like they might break me. But I miss you and miss you and miss you. And even if that feeling  passes, I'm going to miss missing you too. Because THAT will mean it really is over, and I don't want that.

Sometimes they are across an ocean. Sometimes they are states and states away. Sometimes only a few hours in the car. Sometimes just blocks away. And I miss them. And I hate it.

But sometimes it really does feel like people come into our lives so that we can learn to love them and then learn to lose them. Was that part of the plan?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Sometimes I have days that feel like this: EVERYTHING MAKES ME ANGRY!

Today, for example.

The alarm went off. Why are you waking me up?! Can't you see I want to sleep?! 
And then the sun was so freaking bright. Too bright. Obnoxiously bright. Stop SHINING on me!
I ran out of time and couldn't get my usual iced latte from the coffee shop. Why?!?!
And two of my employees showed up late. Where the heck ARE they?
And then there were SO MANY CUSTOMERS! Where are you people coming from? Don't you have other things to do on a Tuesday? 
The rest of the day continued in much the same manner.

Stupid, irrational, angry feelings.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The things people say to me:

Your phone voice is so pleasant. It's like butter melts in your mouth!
You have a nice voice; you could work at a phone service.
If I was into girls,  I would be ALL over you right now.
Sarah Jo, you just seem like you have the greatest life ever since you moved out.
You have such a nice smile!
Your hair is so freaking cute. Can I pull one of your curls?
You are the exciting one in our group.
These attributes you picked are wrong. You are outgoing, articulate, genuine, and passionate.
You sing well. You should join the karaoke league!

Thats all I can remember right now. But I think about these things when I have insecure moments. Thanks for saying them.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Flit" is a fun word.

Remember when we were friends? I'm not sure if we each changed or if we didn't see each other at all.

I can't look back on the memories without fondness, but I can't bring myself to want to see you again. Maybe it will always be like this. Maybe we are meant to flit through each others lives and leave only the briefest impressions. What are a couple years of memories we can't hold on to?

I'm so grateful for the person you taught me to be, but I'm equally grateful that I don't need you for that anymore. Sometimes the pain we cause each other isn't worth the reward. That is where we ended up.

So, I'm sorry for the bad things. I'm grateful for the good ones. I hope you look back with fondness too, and that you don't get too tangled up in the negatives.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Is it really so hard to just ask permission?

I went to do karaoke with a friend at a bar. Two guys were hitting on us but I thought I was giving pretty clear "I'm not interested" signals.
Do I come here often? Not really.
Do I want to dance? No.
Can he buy me a drink? No.
What was I drinking? If you buy me a drink, it will sit right there on the table all night.
Where am I going after this? Home. I just came to sing.

Eventually, he left. Or I thought he did. I was talking to Jaylene when he came back from behind me, grabbed me by the head, and kissed me. His lips were mashed against mine and his tongue tried to pry my lips open. I made some noise meant to convey my extreme displeasure at the situation and pushed him away by the face.

I feel so gross. I feel so angry. I have now been kissed three times. I'm not happy about any of them. Great.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I have a lot to say.

I write more when I'm upset about something. I think it makes this blog look like I'm always upset about things. But when I'm happy and busy and content, I don't need the therapy that writing gives me. So I don't do it. But today, I need that. So please allow me this.

I finally moved out of my parents house. I have been free of them since July 25th. Despite all of the struggles and pain that followed, I have been free of their poison for weeks and weeks.

They taught me untrue things about myself. They reacted to me like I was the most unreasonable, demanding, judgmental, cold, uncaring, selfish, spoiled, cruel person they had yet come in contact with. They made me feel that no one else knew these things about me because they didn't have to live with me. They made me believe the lies. I am a bitch. I am hard to get along with. I do ask for too much. I am too cold and uncaring. I am demanding and selfish and spoiled and all kinds of other things.

But no more.

I have flaws. Certainly. But if I am the awful person they painted me to be, then I have exceptionally patient, kind, and forgiving friends. And lots of them.
It must not be all true.

So now that I'm working on un-believing all these lies, I have a hard time putting up with the same behavior from other people.

I am a person worth love and respect. Worth consideration.

Right now, I am angry, hurt, disappointed, and disillusioned. I have been treated with a complete lack of respect or consideration. I have been disregarded. I have been treated like I have no value, no worth at all. And I don't need to keep relationships with people that make me feel this way over and over again.

Because I DO have worth. And I DO deserve respect. And I deserve to be cherished and valued and LOVED by the people that claim to be my friends.

I don't need anything less than that. No one does.

I think I feel a little better now.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I tell you what I need, you call me needy.

You've seen me in pretty dresses. With my hair just right and my make-up defining my eyes in the evening light. Confident and happy and secure.

You've seen me in my hiking boots. Half covered in mud and pieces of trees. Skin shining with sweat and sunscreen. My face red with exertion and my breath coming fast and loud.

You've seen me in my pajamas. All twisted around the wrong way from tossing in my sleep. Red lines on my face from the pillow and crazy, crazy hair. Crusty bits in my eyes and my voice husky from sleep.

You've seen me after too much caffeine. Fidgeting in the seat next to you and talking much too fast. Smiling until it hurts.

And you've seen my fighting sleep. Trying to stay up that extra hour or two just to be with you. Losing the battle until I'm sleeping and you're watching the movie alone.

And even times when my shirt is wet with tears. Snot leaking out of my nose and words almost indecipherable between the hiccups and the shudders.

You've seen me full of joy. Dancing and laughing and joking in jeans and a t-shirt.

Or after too much alcohol. When I tell you all my secrets and giggle as the room sways.

You've seen me full of anger and hurt. Raising my voice and telling you how awful everyone else is until the moment I deflate and apologize for the rant.

You've seen me cry because of you. When I cling to you and don't want the hug to end, even though I am hurt and you did it.

And you've seen my quiet and content. Reading or singing or watching a movie and just smiling because I'm happy, and not because anyone is watching.

You've seen so much more.

After all that, why can't you tell me you love me?

Things I don't think to want when I'm awake:

I dreamed I got married. I didn't have to do anything but show up.Someone else did all the planning and everyone kept telling me how beautiful I looked and complimented my hair and everything was so perfect, except I never saw the groom. The dream kept cutting to before and after the most important parts.

I had a dream I owned my own business. It was in a beautiful little building that we bought and all it needed was a little love and organization, which I was definitely willing and able to give. It was successful with people standing outside waiting for us to open. With employees who were happy and capable, if not so very independent.It was perfect except I don't know what kind of business it was.

I dreamed I was going to buy a house. I was shopping for this house on my bicycle, to make sure it was a bike friendly area. I found the perfect little house. It was small and just a little funky looking and a really great price because people don't seem to like funky looking and there was no landscaping. But it was right down the street from everything that mattered and I was going to buy it.

I had a dream I went to a clothing store with my friends. I wasn't going to buy anything because I just hate shopping with girls. Then I saw this dress that was so ridiculous I wanted to try it on for a joke. But it looked good on me. Even if I have never reached my goal weight. And I liked the way I looked. And I felt confident and beautiful and sexy.

Usually I have dreams that seem to twist and bend all the worries and frustrations I have throughout the day into horrible, long, awful stories. I really appreciate the dreams I had last night. It makes me wonder if I am, for the first time, the kind of happy that I don't even have to choose. The kind of happy that just occurs all by itself because everything actually is going better than I hoped for.

I can't wait to see what happens next.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

That was surprising.

Johnna asked me to go with her to get her septum pierced. Of course I went. Going to the tattoo shop makes me want a tattoo, but I go to live vicariously.

Apparently, piercings really disturb me. I don't have any myself. As I watched the man prepare all the tools and put the clamp in her nose and swab things down, my heart starting racing. Her eyes were watering. Then the needle. Oh god, the needle. But it was over soon. Not so bad. For me anyway.

I realized I was squeezing Johnna's arm. I let go. I felt like I couldn't get enough air. Like I used to feel when I tried to go to sleep at night when I weighed over a hundred pounds more. It frightened me. Was my dress too tight? I breathed in and out and it wasn't working. I clutched the wall because suddenly I felt very much like I was going to throw up. Right there in the tattoo shop.

Johnna notices my face. Am I okay? I'm not sure because I've started to feel dizzy and her voice sounds too quiet. Hot and cold prickles are crawling up my skin. She asks if I want to sit down. Yes, yes I do. I'll go back out to the waiting area. My purse is on the floor and I can't pick it up or I'll fall over. I feel like I've had too much to drink, minus the feeling of not caring. I might fall over and I care very, very much.

The piercing artist pulls over a chair for me instead. He says something but I don't know what because his voice is so small and so far away. I sit. The room tilts and wobbles. My ears ring and roar at the same time. I must be sweating. I must be shivering. I might throw up. Johnna is looking at me with concern as her new jewelery glints in her nose. She promises it will pass in a moment.

By degrees, it gets better. Slowly, I feel normal again.

What on earth happened? I ask Johnna. It happens to some people, she assures me.
I can't believe I got dizzy from just WATCHING.
I don't think I'll ever get anything pierced.
And don't ask me to go with you.

You moving away

You moving away was kind of like getting a new tattoo. It hurt a lot at first. Not just when it happened, but for awhile afterwards. It was a tender spot to be avoided but not forgotten. I didn't want to hide it, though. I wanted to tell and show everyone.

Then I would forget about it for short periods of time. For moments and hours and maybe even a day I would forget that you were further away now. That you aren't coming back. And, like the tattoo, I would be shocked when I noticed it again. How did I forget? After everything. All the attention and worry and thought?

Eventually, it became normal. Like the ink beneath the skin on my legs. Part of everything, part of my life. I have an ax on my leg. You live really far away. No surprises there. This is how it is.

And some changes in my life because of it. I can't wear capris or skirts at work. I can't spend my day off with you. I have to put sunscreen over my tattoos. I have to drive hours and hours to see you. And so I buy long skirts for work. And I try my best not to want to see you or talk to you. Because then I don't have to be upset that I can't.

But I like short skirts. And I do miss you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

One day I'll look back and say:

That was the summer we played pianos in Cincinnati. The summer my dad got arrested while we test drove the Smartcar in Columbus. That was the summer we went to Chicago. It was the summer you moved away from me. That was the summer I turned 24 and you made me a gorgeous mocha cake and then we played laser tag. It was the summer my apartment burned. That was the summer we did our second fifty-mile bike ride. That was the year I got my first kiss. The summer we hiked too long and got stuck in a state park after dark and the park rangers drove us back to your car. It was the summer we built that book mosaic and you won all that money. The summer we joined a trivia league. The summer I decided that I will always, always love you, no matter how far away you are. The summer I got promoted to office manager and finally moved out and got a roommate. The summer I lived in that temporary apartment for weeks. That was the summer I learned just how many people love and care about me. It was the year I visited Heather in Kentucky and Sarah in Columbus and Jeremy in Salem. It was the summer I felt like my whole life was falling apart. The summer it all started coming together. 

I forgot things! What else did I miss?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Are you moving out because I accidentally started a fire?

Remember that time Dad passed out in the middle of the kitchen and fell off the stool and we couldn't wake him up?
Remember that time I took you to the ER for an overdose because Dad left you and went to work anyway?
Remember all those times you passed out on the toilet or standing up against the counter or sitting up in your bed or even driving?
Remember when you used to steal my things and sell them at pawn shops for money to buy pills, and then I got a  lock for my bedroom door?
Remember when we were homeless and lived in a dirty motel?
Remember when I picked you up from jail? When I bailed dad out of jail? When I picked you up from jail AGAIN?
Remember when the cops came to the house looking for you and you ran out the back door, barefoot, into the snow?
Remember how you and Dad fight and scream and throw things at each other?
Remember all those times the electricity or water or rent didn't get paid for weeks at a time but you guys still got high? Remember when it was so bad I couldn't come home? Remember how I paid all those things with my credit cards and I'm STILL paying for them?
Remember when you stole money from my bank account? Again and again?
Remember when I realized that your "tired" wasn't like other peoples tired?
Remember when I discovered that everyone else I know doesn't call me a bitch, selfish, cruel, judgmental, uncaring, or all those other things you claim I am?
Remember when we got robbed by your "friends"? Remember when it happened again?
Remember when your "friends" started calling my cell phone and harassing me about where you are and where their money is? Remember when they would come to our home?
Remember when you got arrested for shoplifting?
Remember when my brother started being just like you?
Remember that time I wouldn't take you to your dealers and you grabbed the steering wheel and told me I might as well drive us into a tree? Remember how I parked at the grocery store and ran inside because I was afraid of you?
Remember all those times you didn't know who I was? Who anyone was?
Remember how you taught me things I'm trying to unlearn?

But you're right. The fire is the only reason I'm leaving.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Routine is comforting. I wanted to be comforted.

I'm already tired of my life being about the fire. My routine hasn't come back to me. I forget to do stupid things like drink enough water or put my perfume on. I miss wanting to go hiking or biking everyday after work. Now I'm worried about getting groceries or just going "home". I want normal back. It can be a new normal. I like change. But I don't like this whole get-used-to-temporary-living thing I'm trying to do. Why should I establish a routine when I'm only going to live here for three weeks?

I want to go home. MY home. Even though I've never been there before.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I have so much going on inside my head and inside my heart. I can't even sort it out enough to tell you about it. I don't know what is going to happen next. I'm hopeful and scared and worried and excited and very, very nervous. But mostly I'm tired. And I want to rest. I miss my favorite chair.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sarah Jo keeps talking about that damn fire.

I would love to take the time to write about how this all makes me feel. I want to write a detailed description of how you go from chatting to someone on facebook to standing outside in your pajamas with no shoes on watching black smoke pour out of your bedroom window. I want to tell you how easy it is to be okay at work all day when I have routine and demands on my attention and how much easier it is to fall apart when I get into my car and realize I can't go home now. I want to describe all the wonderful things my friends and family are doing for me. Maybe I'll be able to do that in the near future.

Right now, I'm trying my best to take care of one thing at a time. I don't know which things can be saved. I don't know how much money insurance will give us. Or if we will get another unit soon or have to wait for them to finish repairing ours. How do I go out shopping to replace everything in the kitchen? Everything I have fits in the back seat of my car. This sunburn is so bad I can barely sleep. How long till that stops hurting so much?

How long will we have to stay in a hotel? The insurance company is giving us a check to cover the hotel. How long should that last? Should we stay in one room together to make it last long enough? Can I have my own room?

I miss stupid things like my pillow and bed. The way I feel when I'm in my bedroom and the door is closed. My books. Walking around in my pajamas. Having a space that is MINE. Its only been a couple days. This will probably all be over and resolved very quickly, especially in the grand scale of life. And I don't like to focus on the negative.

But please, for now, indulge me. I'm going to complain. And then I'm going to go to work.

Fire FAQ

Sunday morning we had an apartment fire. I made a list of answers to questions everyone was asking and put it on facebook, but I decided it should probably go here too:

I thought I would take a few minutes using my REALLY SMELLY netbook and Java Johnnys free internet to answer some questions everyone seems to have.

Is everyone okay?
Yes! We all made it outside very quickly. And we woke all the neighbors.

What happened?
It was a grease fire in the kitchen. My mom turned on a saucepan with oil in it and then walked away. It didn't take long from there.

How bad was it?
The kitchen is completely gone. The dining room kind of melted from the heat. You can see straight through to the rafters and roof in some areas. The rest of the apartment is smoke damaged. Covered in a black film. And its hard to breathe in there right now.

Are the other apartments okay?
Yes. Ours was the only damaged by the fire. The others in the building are all smoke damaged but are livable.

What can I do to help? What do you need?
Everyone has been so kind. Everyone wants to help. And I really appreciate that. It makes me feel so loved and so grateful to know that I have such caring, generous people in my life. Last night, the Red Cross put us in a hotel room and gave us a prepaid credit card for food. Today, I'll talk to the insurance adjuster because I DO have renters insurance. I'm not sure how much they cover or what comes next.

The apartment complex is putting us into another apartment soon. I'm sure we'll have to replace nearly everything we had. I don't even know where to start. I just don't know what to do. So I'm not sure what you can do to help, you know?

How are you doing?
I just don't know. It's a scary thing to watch everything you own get destroyed. It felt like a dream, standing in the parking lot in my tank top and pajama pants. I didnt have shoes. I wasn't even wearing a bra. And being outside that long gave me the worst sunburn of my life. I have never had that feeling of having absolutely nothing like that before. It was scary.

I know it was just stuff, but I don't know how to operate without stuff. I don't know how to be okay when I can't go home.

Everything is going to be okay. Worse things happen to people all the time. This is just the worst thing that has happened to me. And I don't know what to do now.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I always thought my mom would burn down the house with a cigarette. Turned out to be grease.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I couldn't wait to get to this part.

Remember when I loved you? Oh, it had a violent end, but it was glorious while it lasted.
Remember when you  loved me? You can say it never happened but I still remember the way you held me.

We were beautiful, you and I. We could have been the thing other people always try to be. Such a spark. Such vitality and vivid colors and light. Oh, our love it would have grown roots. And we. We could have been "us". But we never were.

Remember when I loved you? I know it scared you to death. So unready for my love. I understand now. But do you remember? Oh the things I would have told you. The things we would have done. The sheer weight of potential shimmering in the air.

Remember when you loved me? You kept it reined in. Held tight to your chest. You didn't want me to know. But I always saw it there in your eyes. Your accidental words and stray glances. How much might it have cost to just tell me? Don't you remember? Remember how you loved me? You were so selfish, you wouldn't give me the words.

We were standing at the edge of something great. You wouldn't come along with me. You never saw it. The things I saw. The things I see now. We see two different things when we look at the world. Our imaginary futures never quite lined up. We could have been everything I ever wanted. But not what you wanted. Not at all. You tried to tell me that.


Remember when I loved you? Remember when you loved me? It's over now. But it was glorious, wasn't it?

Or maybe it was ordinary. We always did see two different worlds.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Double rainbow all the way across the sky!

This weekend seemed like a blur of activity. Actually, the whole week felt that way.

Friday night I went over to Rachel's after work and we made dinner together with Robbie and then edited some video we shot earlier in the week. We made a music video for Jerimih's "Birthday Sex" for Emily's birthday. It took much longer to edit than we expected, but it was worth it.

Saturday Jeremy was in town long enough to get his things for his new apartment and I got to see him for a short while. He brought his friend Kari from Salem, who I've been hearing a lot about. It was interesting. I'm not sure if  it was good interesting or bad interesting. Then I left and swam for a bit before meeting up with friends to see Inception. We were hungry after the movie and decided to stop at Waffle House for some food. This Waffle House happened to be located near a Hustler store. I suggested we go. No one argued. We went. Fun ensued.

Today I went to Kenwood area with Johnna before going to the gym, swimming, then heading to the comedy club with Johnna, Katy, and Christine. Johnna and Katy came in and we shared our favorite youtube videos with one another and after they left I talked to Jeremy on the phone and drank cider.

That was the what-I've-been-doing portion of this post. Following, you will find the how-I'm-feeling portion. Enjoy.

On the way home from the comedy club Katy and Johnna talked about their respective boyfriends. And I'm going to be honest (because I nearly always am) and say that I'm jealous. I want to be dating someone. Even if it turns out all wrong. Just to do the get-to-know-you dance. To kiss someone. To laugh and dance and feel awkward and feel relieved. To start feeling connected to another person and then get all confused when they don't match the picture I've built of them and then I have to re-assess. And perhaps to get closer to finding the person I'll spend the rest of my life with.

Kari mentioned that she and Jeremy were discussing getting Billy and me to move to Salem. Of course I won't go. That is asking me to leave behind far too much for too little return. With Jeremy, I always feel a little bit like I'm walking through the woods in the dark. I can't see the path and I just might trip over something or step into a hole in the blackness. I need something a little more certain to just up and leave everything and everyone.

I would leave everything and everyone. For someone. For someone that I thought of things in terms of "us". When it was always our life and our apartment and our plans. But not for a friend.

Especially not this particular situation. I love him and want to be near him, but my rational mind knows that I need space. I need to learn to now want things from him that he doesn't want from me. I can say this move was a good thing. And I can say that I know it is better for me that he isn't near. But it doesn't feel that way.

It would be truly awful for me if I followed him there. Changed my life for him. He would be my only friend. My only person. And I would be stuck teetering there on that line between friendship and something more, struggling as he asks me to be one thing but then sometimes treats me like the other.

So it made me a little angry to hear that. Coming from her especially. I should move there, she says. I would be miserable.

I'm so happy here. I have so many friends that I love and they love me. Healthy relationships. People that say they love me when I say that to them. And I would leave it all behind one day. But not like this.

Sometimes I wish things were simpler. But then the complications seem to make life interesting. And it helps me learn and grow. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I'm having fun trying to find them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This reminds me of creative non-fiction class.

I haven't worked this all out in my head yet. I may get to a point as a write, but if you choose to continue reading know that this is more of an exercise for me than something containing an actual point.

Today I was thinking a lot about how our memories of the past are all wrapped up in stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. We forget the pieces that don't tell the stories. Sometimes we remember wrong things. I'm not entirely sure if we can consciously form these stories or if they just happen, but I think these stories help build the pictures we have of who we really are. And both the self-stories and self-pictures seem incredibly hard to hold onto. Like those puffy white clouds shifting in a summer sky. Always made of the same stuff, but never quite tangible and never the same.

But our stories aren't novels. Mine has no pretty beginning, no ending that ties in all the sub-plots and makes it all make sense. As a reader and writer, I keep waiting for the strands to come together. I keep expecting all these little days to add up to something greater. But then I face the terrible possibility that there is no Great Something at the end. No climax. No satisfying conclusion. How many  people walk into the very last day of their life and have no idea what any of it meant? How many people take time to think about it along the way?

I'm not looking for religion. I went that  way once and found it only made me less happy. But I would like a narrator. Some omniscient voice that sees the reason in all the folly. I don't even need the reason, as long as I know there is one.

I can't not-believe in Purpose. I watch youtube videos and join discussions and just SEE some of the ways people work together to make things better. So many organizations and causes and intentions to help one another, to help the planet, to help strangers and friends and it just inspires me. How can there be so much good in the world for no reason? How can I have these moments when I stop feeling like myself and start feeling like one particle of a larger US, if we aren't something more than just human?

I know there is a flip side. I see small parts of it everyday. People that seem to have no regard for other human beings. Selfishness and cruelty and ignorance. Blind, stupid hate and immaturity. Violence. And accidents. Carelessness and disregard. Some of it makes me feel sick inside. Like that oil leak slowly pouring poison into our ocean and we can only blame BP when we all participate in a system that creates the problem. We are guilty too. And I've been the selfish one. The ignorant one. Even the cruel one.

One day at work I tried to entertain my mind (in the mindlessness of repetitive tasks) by imagining the aura's of my customers. What color would it be? What would it feel like? How big is it? Is it light and transparent in a cloud that floats around them, bobbing as they walk? Perhaps it is an inky sickness, leaving invisible drops on my counter that stick to my fingertips and taint me.

And I eventually realized that my own imagined aura had changed from some warm shade of yellow, like those rays of sun peaking though the clouds, to an institutional beige. I let all those negative people drain the color out of me. I let them. And I asked God or the air around me or no one at all to just please let me have one nice person. One.

And there she was. Hers would probably be pink. Like the color of the pink amoxicillin. To me, it always smelled and tasted delicious and I knew it would make me feel better. Maybe pink amoxicillin mixed with a cool breeze. She infected me with her bubbly, innocent, sincere kindness and I couldn't even thank her properly. Then it became my goal to infect other people with good feelings.

Two things:

First, if people DID have auras, I think they would look different to every person depending on how you saw that person and what colors, textures, flavors meant to you. Because while I find pink amoxicillin to a comforting memory, someone else might think it gross. So how could there be static, definite, definable auras? We are all different people to to different people.

Second, I think I was working towards the idea that we all have the capacity for goodness and badness. And there is so much of both already in the world. We can choose to focus on either when we look at the world as well. Maybe our self-stories can shift back and forth depending on what we focus on when trying to form the story?

I think what brought me to this whole line of thought was this:

I used to have the intention and goal of being the best possible version of me I could be, whatever I decided that was at the time. If being healthier would be better, I would be more that. If being kind and joyful is my best me, I would be more that.

But I got distracted.

For a long time now, and I don't know how long, I've been focusing on filling "wants". And that is okay to do sometimes. But that was all I saw. WANT. And how to get there. How to get more.

And looking back over my self-story for the last I-don't-know-how-long makes me feel guilty. And all I can do  is resolve to be better.

My self-picture used to say "I'm Awesome!" at the bottom in bold print. I'm going to get it back that way. Just  you wait and see. Or better yet, go figure out how to be the kind of you you can fall in love with too!

We only remember things that fit into our self-stories.

Yesterday was one of those days that starts off innocently enough, going along at the mundane pace that some days do, when it completely changed and took me by surprise. In a bad way.

It seemed like all these little bad things kept happening. Not so important. But they kind of piled up on me like canned goods in a grocery bag. And they kept coming. And I just wanted to go home. But I was a trivia with my friends who, though they love me, don't see the upset version of me often enough to know what to do about it. So I texted Jeremy and he promised to call after work to listen.

Not that it is morning, I've decided that I need to focus on the good things about yesterday. Because our memories are only the stories we tell ourselves about our day, our week, our life. And I want the story of yesterday to be a good one.

Those girls at the smoothie place complimented my eyes and my hair. Over and over. And people do that a lot. And I should believe them.

The sun was shining and it was warm and beautiful yesterday.

Rachel's mom said she read my blog and said really nice things to me about it. That was encouraging.

My friends really did try to cheer me up.

Chipotle happened!

Jeremy called and talked to me until I nearly fell asleep.

And even more things too. So it was a good day. Even if I did cry a little.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Attention to detail can be very important for skin health. Trust me.

Today was my day off. I spent the first too many hours lounging around my room reading a dirty romance novel. Once it become clear to me that everything would turn out okay, as it inevitably does in romance novels, it also became clear to me that I needed to GO DO SOMETHING.

So I went.

The something ended up being a bike ride that I embarked on against the wishes of a few people ("It's too hot!" they exclaimed.) and my better judgement. Turns out, riding 20 miles when it is FREAKING HOT OUTSIDE is a considerably more difficult endeavor. So afterwards I got in the pool and just kind of floated around.

Turns out I didn't properly sunscreen the backs of my hands. And they are an angry, angry shade of red. And they hurt, of course.

Sarah came over after the swim and we proceeded to the Hamburger Wagon for her first time. And then Dairy Queen. Unhealthy behavior, I know. The plan after that was to see the Gin Blossoms at The Greene but the storm made us decide that we could make better use of the movie theater during that time. And we did. By seeing Eclipse.

I am more impressed with this Twilight movie than the rest. But the books are still better. And Edward is still all wrong. But Jacob is just perfect.

And then I came home. And talked to people via technology. And it was a great, beautiful, wonderful day.

Thanks for listening.

I want to:

ride a mechanical bull.
go karaoke-ing.
get a new tattoo.
kiss a man.
go canoeing.
sing out loud in a public place with lots of other people singing along.
make-up with broken friendships.
bake a cake.
go to a Reds game.
go someplace I've never been.
hug a stranger.
visit Jeremy.
go to a bonfire.
laugh until it hurts.
hold hands.
tell people just how much I love them.

So I will.
Oh. And you're invited.

Monday, July 05, 2010

I'm kind of mean (because I hope you miss me too.)

I spent most of the day reading. I felt vaguely guilty about ignoring the lovely weather outside. And also about being so inactive. And also about being so unsocial.


I spent several days staying up too late and getting up too early. One day at work was so bad that I cried at the end of the day. And I got to see all kinds of people that I like and love over several days and so today I just felt like hiding in my room.

Now, I can pretend that it doesn't bother me at all. I can stop mentioning it and keep it a secret. But I'm not going to.

Because last year on this day I was with Jeremy. And I don't remember much about the day except that we played with fireworks on the back porch and I heard stories about him hurting himself with fireworks as a child. We lit bottle rockets in our hands and threw them into the air.

But today I spent alone. And he was hours away. And I don't know if he misses me like I miss him. I think it's different for guys. But I would like to hear it all the same. Just to make me feel like I matter enough to miss. Today he texted me to tell me that he misses my intelligence. I told him it didn't go anywhere. I wanted to add, "but you did." to that text but I knew it was cruel. He didn't leave me. He just left. And I want all kinds of good things for him, but I'm selfish. I wish he could be happy and successful and near me all at the same time.

It is all for the best, I suppose. It is what I keep hearing. And what I keep telling myself. Because obviously, no matter how many times I tell myself that he is my best guy-friend and of course I love him for that and THAT is why I miss him so, I know it isn't exactly right. He can be on the other side of Ohio or the other side of town and I will still struggle with the part of me that has always wanted him to be more than just my friend.

And that is never, never what he wants.


He isn't the one for me. He isn't my "person". But he knows how to make my heart race and how to make me feel beautiful and exactly how to take me off-guard. And I'm lonely. And impatient.

But more than all of that. I miss him.

I want to hear him laugh. And I miss the silly little songs he makes up and the way he dances. I want to watch him play a beat on his steering wheel. I miss the way he smells and the way my name sounds when hes says it. I want to watch him smoke his pipe against a curtain of stars while we sit in front of a fire. See his face get all animated as he tells me about something that excites or angers him. Let him say something insensitive or mean just so he can flounder around to fix it. See him smile. I want him to pinch my calves as I walk  up the stairs in front of him. Give me a little push when he walks past. I want a hug. The kind where he pulls me closer till I feel like I'm falling but he has me in his arms.

I want to stop wanting all these things. To go on with my day and my week without worrying if he is happy or if he is forgetting about me. I want to be free of it. Almost as much as I want him here with me. Almost.

He'll be gone long enough that I'll forget how much I enjoy watching movies with him because he always adds his own commentary and occasionally ignores the film to watch me watching it. I'll forget about  the way he opens doors for me. Forget how his compliments seem like treasures to me. Forget how much fun I have arguing with him. And it won't seem sad to me then, the forgetting. Because all things come to an end. To make room for better things. Healthier things.

But I haven't forgotten yet.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Dear his-parents:

Thanks for making him. I know you didn't do it for me. And I know some of the things I don't like about him he probably learned from you. But I love him. And you made him. So thank you for that.

Things that don't matter to anyone but me:

After hanging out with Johnna today, Robbie and I both had headaches and were very sleepy. He said he wanted to come up and sit in my recliner for a few minutes because he was feeling dizzy. I turned a fan on for him and played Regina Specktor and we talked for a few minutes while he leaned back in the recliner and I lounged across my bed. Soon I realized Robbie had fallen asleep. And I liked that.

I got my book out and got comfortable reading about the adventures of Claire and Jaime. He woke up a little while later, looked at me, and went back to sleep. It made me feel like we had reached the kind of comfortable with one another where we could be in the same room doing different things and be okay with it. I liked that he invited himself in, like he really understood how welcome he was. And I especially liked that when he realized he had fallen asleep, he went right back to it.

I don't know how often it happens for other people, but I truly appreciate this level of friendship. We don't have to entertain one another. You can sleep if you're tired. I'll read. And we'll be in the same room. You don't have to go home. We'll keep hanging out when you're done sleeping. I really wanted to read for awhile anyway.

It felt comfortable.

It seems to me that we always point out the things that make us upset but we gloss right over the little moments and details that are truly wonderful. Little things that don't really matter. Little things that make life so very, very nice. Let us pay attention. What great, little things make you happy?

I have a friend that could probably do just about anything. She really could.

I stay up too late. And sometimes I do unhealthy things. And I care way too much for the wrong people sometimes. My life lacks direction and drive. I don't know so many things. And I'm wrong all the time. I can't see past my own life at times and I have a hard time feeling sympathy for others. Sometimes I'm selfish and insensitive and other people can't see it at first because I'm friendly and happy. And get so angry and don't tell the person that should actually hear it. I cry.

But I'm really happy. And people like me for the good things I am. And I have amazing people in my life that make me want to be more of the good things and less of the bad.

Right now I'm feeling appreciation.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My feelings are always all over my face. And in my hands. I don't know why one some people see that. And those people see it REALLY well. Everyone else thinks I'm happy every time I smile.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm kind of glad I only got 3 days notice.

He really is leaving. I folded and packed the evidence. Carried it with him out to his car. The closing of the trunk felt so final.

I know it is only 4.5 hours away. I'll see him once a month or so. But it isn't going to be the same. He is working when I'm just getting home. He gets off work and I'll be sleeping. I can't even text him. Or I can and I'll get those delayed responses. What am I going to say?

How was your day?
Good. How was your day?
Good too. I miss you already.
Don't be silly, Sarah Jo. It's only been a couple days.
I know, you just feel so far away.
You'll see me soon enough.

It won't be the same. Before we would see each other often enough to share all the details about the times in between.

What have you been doing since I last saw you?
Well Monday I did this with this person and these were the good and bad parts. And Tuesday . . . .

But now all those little details that make me feel like I really know him, that make me feel close to him, they'll be insignificant. He won't tell me stories about strangers that are his friends and what they talked about and where they went and what he thought about all of it. He might say, "I've just been working and looking for an apartment and hanging out with so and so."

He can tell me that he'll come home once a month. He can say we'll talk on the phone. And I can say I'll visit him as often as I can. But we won't be the same kind of friends anymore. And I know that these things happen. And I know it isn't a big freaking deal. But I'm still sad about it.

He is leaving. The evidence is in the long hug goodbye and my tears on his t-shirt. He told me not to look so sad. I promised to think about something else on the drive home so I wouldn't cry. I wasn't able to do either one of those things.

He is leaving tomorrow. But I guess, for me, he is already gone.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Have you seen the bills that were on my desk?

Me: Why did you clean my room?!
Mom: I was trying to be nice.
Me: Haven't I asked you not to ever, ever clean my room again?
Mom: Yes. But I just wanted to vacuum and there were things on the floor and I just wanted to move them...
Me: Do you know where my book went?
Mom: I didn't see a book.
Me: It was one of the things on the floor.
Mom: I don't remember seeing a book.
Me: It was on the floor right next to my bed between the trash can and my bed. I dropped it on the floor after reading last night before I went to bed.
Mom: If there was a book I would have put it on your desk.
Me: Where did my fan go?
Mom: I took it to your grandpa's to clean it out with the shopvac. It was dusty. And then I forgot it. Do you want my fan?
Me: No. I want my fan. And I want my things to stay where I put them. And I want you to stay out of my room.
Mom: I'm sorry. I won't do it again. I was trying to be nice. Can't you be appreciative?
Me: I've asked you SEVERAL times to stop cleaning my room.
Mom: Okay! I won't do it again.
Me: This is what you said last time.

I would write even MORE if I wasn't so tired.

I need to talk. Or sit next to someone while we watch a movie and I hold your hand and put my head on your shoulder and pretend that even when everything isn't okay, at least you're here.

I'll tell you about my day.

No one cares what happened at work. SO

Robbie and I went to get iced lattes because we both stayed up too late and got up too early. Who wants to go to bed early on a Friday night? Who wants to get up early for work on Saturday? Not us, anyway. And we had Columbus plans.

Except, at the coffee shop we realized we didn't actually get addresses for our destinations. So we went to my house to research addresses and get my GPS. Done. Then the drive, of course. We laughed and sang a lot, of course.

Our first destination was the Smartcar dealership because I made fun of Robbie when he refused to pretend we were married and go test drive a Subaru a couple weeks ago. After I told him he wasn't a real man at least a dozen times he promised to take me to test drive a Smartcar. So we did that. Actually, it took awhile to actually find a sales person and while we searched for someone, my phone rang.

Something horrible happened.

It was my mother calling to inform me that my father was in jail. At least, that is what she eventually informed me of after she got done crying and wailing. I came to several conclusions during said crying and wailing: This was not the first or the last time one of my immediate family members was in jail. She wanted me to bail him out without actually asking me to do it. I wasn't going to do it. Therefore; there was nothing I could do for her but listen. I listened. Gave her advice. And then decided not to follow my normal course of action (getting upset, crying about it too, worrying) and instead continue with the Columbus plan with Robbie.

Robbie talked to the sales person as I gained my composure. We eventually went as far as having a fake disagreement about how he wanted a sensible SUV and I wanted a cute little car. Oh. Also, he promised he would drive the car "balls to the wall" for me. Turns out, Smartcars don't do that. Actually, my intense desire for one faded quite a bit after the test drive. Oh well.

(Robbie and I in the Smartcar. I know you can't tell, but I AM wearing clothes.)

Then, North Market. We walked around a bit and got smoothies but it is apparently Comfest this weekend in Columbus and there were SO MANY PEOPLE. So after getting smoothies we decided to head back over to Easton mall.

We walked around quite a bit and ended up playing in the two fountains. One was a regular fountain where we sat on the edge and dangled our feet in the water. The other was one of those that sprays water out of holes in the ground at different intervals. We took turns running through the fountain, trying not to get wet. And we also did things like going into the phone book and walking all the way around a revolving door without going inside. We acted silly. It was fun. We had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and checked out Barnes and Noble for awhile. It started to pour the rain and we ran in it, getting pretty soaked but it was very, very temporary rain.

We decided to go to the Cheesecake factory at the Greene on the way home (because the Columbus one had a long, long wait) and between being tired and talking so much and partly because of the GPS we ended up somewhere in downtown Dayton. Bad idea. But we eventually made it to the Cheesecake factory for dessert.

Robbie listened as I told him how much I was going to miss Jeremy and how I felt like I had to pretend I was okay and that it didn't bother me at all because that's what I should feel, right? He told me he didn't understand how girls worked but that no one should ever make me feel like I should or shouldn't feel a certain way. You can't help it, he said. And he understood that. He told me that everything works out for the best, even if it doesn't seem like it now.

We walked around the Greene a bit before going home. I got an update about the jail situation (which apparently worked itself out without my intervention) and then he dropped me off at my car, still in the work parking lot.

It felt like several days, and not just one. And I had so much fun. I'm glad he kept me away from the drama at  home. And he distracted me from worrying about my friend moving away. So it was a good day, with horrible, horrible parts.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Untri. That was one of those fake words to verify that I'm not a robot. Type the word you see in the box. And it is all wavy and hard to read.

I was leaving a comment and that word appears to me like the answer in a magic 8 ball to a question I didn't know I was asking. It said "untri" but to my eyes it was one side of a floating pyramid and it said "un-try".

My question: What else can I do? No matter what I do, I just keep messing stuff up.

Stop trying to be so many things and just be. Like Ashley said, I can't force myself into feeling things. I keep trying that. Beating my own heart with a hammer. It just adds guilt and feelings of failure to the mix. I can't do it. When I say I'm going to stop and I just can't. I can't.

Sometimes he says the most insensitive things and doesn't even know it. And sometimes he does know it. And I care too much so that I read too much into what he does or doesn't say. That isn't fair. I can't win an argument with him and sometimes when I leave I feel angry and hurt and insecure. Sometimes I have to rewind the day to see if it really was a good night or not. And it's hard inviting him to hang out with my friends because he always has something bad to say about them. He is pessimistic (he would say realist) and I'm optimistic. And he is usually right. He keeps pointing out things that are wrong with me and it sucks because they are true. I feel like I'm spending too much time trying to figure out what the hell he wants and I wish he would just tell me because I also feel like I am always, always disappointing him in ways I could never anticipate.

But he makes me feel like he sees who I really am and not just the happy, fluffy version other people see. He is smart and complex in a way that makes me want to keep figuring him out. He challenges me. Makes me want to be wilder and stronger and more assertive and more daring. He always smells nice, even when he is smoking. He says the most shocking things and I like that. He doesn't try to be like everyone else. He is so strong. Strong in character. He doesn't waver. He knows what he wants and to me it seems he controls the atmosphere in the room. The direction of the conversation. Strong physically. I see his muscles moving under his skin and I know that I can't win in his fake-fighting matches. I have no chance. He is fast and clever and just strong. And I find that really attractive. I like arguing with him. It's fun. And sometimes the way he looks at me makes my heart race and my hands shake. Every once in a while I'll get a glimpse of the parts of him that aren't strong and that makes me respect him even more. Makes him more real. He is silly and caring and fun. The best listener. Beautiful voice. And I really think he wants to be good, even when he says he wants to be bad.

Boring for you to read, I understand.

But how I tell you the good things? I call my friends when my feelings are hurt and I need someone to talk to. But I don't need anyone to talk to when I'm driving home and I can't stop smiling even though I'm all alone now. I don't need to tell about his witty text messages or how he says exactly the right thing. So its a skewed view. I can't even tell you when I'm scared because I thought I was perfectly okay with just-friends feelings and then he looks at me like that and well, I like it. Even when it hurts. Because I want to be looked at that way.

And now he is leaving. I'm sure it will eventually be a welcome relief to not have to force myself to only feel and think about certain things. He'll be gone. I'll forget about it for days at a time. Maybe weeks.

But for today, it feels very much like losing my friend. Because I worry too much. And no amount of promises about the future will make me feel better. Promises are garbage. Hope is a knife. The future is always too far away. I'm just here, today. And today he said he is going away.

It's morning.

And I DO feel better. But I'm still hesitating in the middle of the book, unwilling to get any closer to its end.

My inner dialogue:

(This is going to make very little sense.)

Epic freaking fail.

Your hands. Your arms. Your lips and eyes and your face as a whole. Your hands. Your feet. Those legs. And your ass. And your HANDS. And then your chest and your stomach and your back. Maybe not that order. Your lips lips lips. Your hands.

All things come to an end. I know this. Good things. Bad things. And I start worrying about the end before we even near it. Make it not hurt! I pray to whatever god. Make me ready for the ending. Help me not mourn it when it is over. I pause in the middle of books and contemplate never reading more. Then it won't have to end. And here I am vacillating between readiness and a death grip. This isn't working.

You're right. I'm wrong. Easy to say. So easy. But I don't think you see everything. Or I don't see you seeing everything.

This dress. And the things you aren't allowed doing to it. Why would it not be a good idea? I lied. I just wouldn't be content with one thing. Either stop staring or start using your hands. One or the other.

And when I said I wasn't drinking tonight, you took it the complete wrong way.

Resolve. Something I completely lack. Watch me painting futures in my head. See how they change? As permanent as shifting clouds. Dissipate. Float across the sun.

Slow down. Think about something else. Something else. Something else.

I am a paper figure. I look so strong. But see how I bend? See how the creases never quite come out? That isn't really a backbone. I'm not really so strong. I just don't fight the wind.

Sometimes I think there is a public version of you and a different version of you when we're alone. And I really like one of  those versions. And sometimes even when we're alone I get the public you. I can tell the difference. It makes me want to hide from you too.

I stack up all the bad things in my head. Repeat them over and over. Emphasize and exaggerate them until I almost feel like I can not care so freaking much. But it doesn't matter. Because I love you. You. Not just the good parts or the charming parts or the parts that don't hurt me.

Something else. Something else. Something else.

The blanket all saturated in his scent wrapped around my shoulders, filling every breath.
Friend friend friend. He is a friend. JUST a friend.
His hands on my neck for the briefest of moments. My racing heart.
Friend friend friend.
The smile across the darkness.
The compliment. The open staring.

Something else. Something else. Work.Or my plans for tomorrow. Or the fact that he is going away. Too far away. 4.5 hour drive. Too far to see him once a week. Once a month, maybe.

All things come to an end. Is this what is happening?
He promises there will never be an end. We'll be old and he'll still be bitching at me about whatever it is that makes old men mad. I don't understand his surety. I keep finding endings. Too many endings. And some I made myself.

Maybe everything will be okay. Just fine. Things always seem less serious in the morning.

At any rate:
Epic fail for Sarah Jo. Good job at not caring. Good job at taking a step back. Epic, epic fail.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chicago! (Skip this post if you don't freaking care about it.) :)

The links are all for extra detail, if you're REALLY interested.

I woke up early Friday morning so I could meet Robbie for breakfast before Jeremy and I left for Chicago. Robbie was supposed to be at my house at 7 and I waited till 7:15 to text him when he didn't arrive. His alarm clock didn't go off and he said he wouldn't make it until 8. With that news, we relocated the breakfast to a restaurant closer to my house to save time (because I didn't want to cancel it altogether.) It was a nice breakfast as Robbie made me laugh like usual and listened to my worries.

Eventually I got back home and left for Jeremy's house. We began a long drive interrupted only by a stop at Mcdonald's for lunch (I know, I said I would never eat there again) and some pretty amazing windmills along the highway in Indiana. Who knew there were so many? Chicago traffic was pretty horrendous and we eventually resorted to a road-trip game. We took turns telling one sentence at a time of a story, taking turns starting the next sentence with the next letter of the alphabet. I believe Jeremy began the first story with, "Aardvark sure is some good eatin, Ma!" It deteriorated from there. We laughed quite a bit and made up several ridiculous stories while making very little progress on the highway.

It turns out my hotel in Chicago was actually well outside of Chicago and that when I say I need help picking out the hotel I'm not lying. It was a nice place but it took a long time to get anywhere from there. We arrived at whatever-time-it-was and got to the room just in time for the power to go out. Actually, the power going out was preceded by a loud whoosh and followed by a wall of rain approaching our window. We watched the storm for some time before deciding that it would last longer than our ability to wait for dinner.

We braved the rain and plugged into the GPS the restaurant Katelyn suggested, Kuma's Corner. With all the lights out for I-don't-know-how-many blocks, it took quite awhile to get there. It was worth it. By the time we parked the rain stopped and the clouds magically disappeared. The normal really long wait seemed to have disappeared with the rain and before we knew it we were seated at the bar. I got a burger called High on Fire and Jeremy got the Led Zeppelin. Okay, I had two hard ciders as well. Yum. I would recommend this place to anyone. The food and the atmosphere were both incredible. And I'm not just saying that because I had my first drink before the food arrived and was therefore rather quickly affected. Check out the website!

After dinner we drove over to the venue, which turned out to be another restaurant/bar with a room in the back for a stage and some people. We were early so we sat outside and I drank while Jeremy "kept his wits about him". He found this necessary because of the large number of gay men gathering near the doors. Jay Brannan, the artist we were going to see, is an openly gay man. Apparently so are most of his fans. Who knew? Oh, thats right, I did.

The opening act was Far From Falling and you should probably head over to their youtube page just so you can see the ridiculous things the lead singer does with his hands while he sings. If you just click on the band name you'll see! I was so distracted by his hand motions, the sheer number of men in the room, and the alcohol in my system that I have no idea what the man was singing about. Honestly. But he seemed really into it, so that's good.

After their set, Jay Brannan came on and it was really nice to actually see him IRL (in real life, for those of you that aren't huge nerds) and not just on a video. However, by that point I was very sleepy (read:intoxicated) and also feeling kind of uncomfortable and out of place. I would have felt out of place in any group that I didn't belong to, not just this particular group. I'm not saying I need to always be in homogeneous groups of people just like me, but I don't want to feel like the only one that doesn't belong either. So, I don't know if I'll be going back to another show. I'll still buy his music, of course, because he has a gorgeous, gorgeous voice.

It was raining when we left and that was the only detail I registered before losing the stay-awake battle for the drive home. I felt like a jerk falling asleep, but I couldn't help it! Inside the hotel I curled up on the bed and announced that I just wanted to go to sleep. Jeremy informed me that I should at least put my pajamas on because he didn't want anything falling out of my tube top in the middle of the night. I followed his advice, not wanting "anything" to fall out of my top either. And then did the responsible thing and washed my face and brushed my teeth too. I was almost asleep before he even got out of the shower.

After breakfast the next morning- No, I have to tell you one thing about breakfast. (I'm trying to skip the not-so-interesting parts because who wants to hear about me waking up in the middle of the night or Jeremy telling me I move too loudly in my sleep or me getting dressed?) During breakfast I managed to drop yogurt on my crouch and had to change my pants. Jeremy exclaimed, "What is WRONG with you?" because I had done something else stupid that morning that I can't remember now. Oh well. Back to the interesting parts!

[Insert commute here] When we got into the city and tried to find a parking place, Jeremy became suddenly and intimately aware of my horrible navigation skills. I became suddenly aware of the traffic-cop-like-people-whatevers vehemently directing both cars and pedestrians in a way that made me fear to disobey. Good thing I wasn't driving. We did eventually find a parking place (apparently it is VERY expensive to park) and took a short hike to Millennium Park. We encountered some kind of Hispanic bike parade, complete with a bike trailer hauling a large speaker spouting some kind of Spanish music and dozens of people all riding and shouting at one another. We continued to encounter this rather loud group of people throughout the morning.

At the park we checked out several of the sights such as the BP Bridge, Jay Pritzker Pavillion, The Lurie Garden, Cloud Gate, and the Crown Fountain. Crown Fountain was my favorite part as we watched the children of all ages and several races all play and splash together in the puddle that stretched between the two rectangles. We ended up taking off our shoes and splashing with the kids too. The cool water felt so nice after the bright, hot sun.

After splashing in the fountain we made our way back towards the car, looking for places to eat lunch along the way. We eventually ended up at a table outside Corner Bakery Cafe. The wind whipped between buildings giving the Windy City an appropriate name. Napkins flew off the tables and birds braved the wind for a chance at food torn from the tables.

We made it back to the car and out of the city, despite my horrible navigation abilities and the GPS losing satellite reception due to the "L" overhead. On the way home Jeremy suggested we stop by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to see the dunes and the beach. It was strange to see so much sand, sun, and water in Indiana. It was beautiful. The sand though was very, very hot. Even with shoes on. And we decided to walk a trail that took us up and over one of the dunes. Uncomfortable doesn't quite describe it. It was worth the pain to see the Chicago skyline peeking out on the other side of the lake from the top of the dune.

Visiting the dunes required driving in and out of Gary, Indiana, where we also stopped for gas. It turned out to be a sad, scary-looking place, at least to this girl from southwestern Ohio. Jeremy pumped gas while I went inside to get our drinks. I was called "baby" at least three times while inside with such an intonation and accompanied by enough leering to convince me it wasn't just a polite term. I couldn't wait to get back in the car.

Several hours in the passenger seat and an equal amount of exposure to Jeremy's music rid me of that particular desire. After a quick stop at Wendy's and one last stretch of driving in Ohio, I was ready to be out of that damn car and out of the sun. I got both wishes about the same time as the sun was setting when we arrived at his house. He invited me to stay and have a fire on the back porch and I agreed, not quite ready to be in my own car.

We took turns feeding the fire and talking about almost nothing for a couple more hours. It was a nice way to unwind after all that time trapped in the car. Then I went home.

So that is my Chicago story. I probably left out funny or interesting details. I probably bored you with others. But I'm telling the story and you're listening. So there.

Please help!

My friend, Rachel-Eve, is in a scholarship contest and could really use some votes! If you have a moment, would you head over to to vote for her? Her entry is an incredible book mosaic that took us most of a Saturday to create.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I have good intentions to write about my Chicago trip soon. I've just been busy! But I will do it! For now, I'll tell you it was very nice and exactly the right amount of time. And also, I want to go outside and play instead of going to work. Alas, we must do what we must do.

I don't know what dancing is (if I've never danced with you.)

"Come!" You say. "Come dance with me."
I don't know how to dance. I step on toes.
But you say you will teach me. You look so confident.
I take your hand.
You swing me around. We dance. We laugh. We spin.
I like this dancing. Why have I never danced before?
We spin faster.
The world behind you is a blur and now I'm dizzy.
"Slow down," I tell you. "Now all I can see is your face."
You laugh and pull me closer. The rhythm changes.
Now every part of you is touching me and we breathe together.
We step. We sway. And I still can't see a thing.
You lead me.
"We aren't slow dancing." You whisper in my ear.
"We aren't even dancing at all. We never danced."
And now I'm confused.
I don't know what dancing is if I've never danced with you.
The room still spins and I try to pull away.
You pull me back and I fall into you.
We step. We sway. And I still can't see a thing.
Now the rhythm doesn't make sense to my not-dancing feet.
You keep stepping on my toes.
You kiss me.
One final, violent spin, and you let me go.
Dizzy, confused, bruised shoulders and toes.
There you are smiling.
"Wasn't that fun?"
But I wish I had never taken your hand.
I don't know if I'll ever dance again.
I still want to dance and laugh and spin,
but not if it comes to the same end.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nights like tonight.

Trivia again tonight. I shouldn't start there. I ended there.

Work. And then I got to go home early! So I went on a bike ride. This always makes me extra happy. Being in the sun (and being ACTIVE) does something magical to my mood.

Then trivia. And I laughed so hard tears poured down my face. And I got the hiccups. And it started to hurt. And then it got hard to breathe and talk and communicate in general. We got second place today and I didn't contribute very much, as usual, but it isn't the prize that makes trivia so much fun, it is the people.

I freakin love those people.

And I'm realizing that I have so, so many positive, wonderful, affirming, lovely people in my life. This is where I should put my focus. Nights like tonight.

You kind of make me feel sick inside.

I had a dream about kissing.
I had a dream I drank contaminated water.
I had a dream I played in the mud.
I had a dream that I got angry enough and showed it and finally changes happened.
I had a dream I turned into a zombie.

Also, I want to stop wanting the things I want that are clearly bad for me. I want to want only good and healthy things. But I don't.

Monday, June 07, 2010

I know you would listen, but...

Sometimes there are things I want to say and they don't even feel said until I say them to a particular person. Like telling everyone else is just practice until I say it to the right person. I suppose I'm feeling that way just now. I thought I would write about it but then I realized that would be more of telling-the-wrong-person. So I'll go to bed.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

It's funny how much baggage a person can accumulate without ever actually dating anyone.

I feel much, much better.

This evening I played trivia with a few of my friends at a local restaurant. We actually decided to join the trivia league. Yes, we are THAT cool. We won second place tonight!

After trivia, Robbie asked me to go get a milkshake with him which was excellent because I very much wanted a milkshake myself and spending more time with Robbie was like getting a bonus. I think every time I hang out with him I find something else to appreciate. He has been my friend for these last five years, and for a bit of that we had some rough spots, but overall five years is a long time. I think that other relationships in my life have taught me to appreciate him more. And I'm grateful for that. I don't like hurting, but sometimes the hard parts are the best ways to learn.

I learned.

I appreciate these things about Robbie today:

He spent the evening with me and my friends and only had good things to say about them afterwards. He agreed (with enthusiasm) to be part of our trivia league. I worried about whether or not he was having a good time because he wasn't always involved in the conversation and he assured me he did. He asked me to go get "everything" milkshakes with him, like he could read my mind. He said, "I didn't drink my milkshake fast because I was ready to leave, I just really liked it." He asked me how things were going and he listened and listened and listened. He made me laugh so much it kind of hurt. He asked if he could come upstairs with me and stayed for awhile and talked with me. He said little nice things like they were facts and not compliments. He was an amazing example of a good, healthy, easy friendship.

I wish I could tell him how very much I appreciate and love him, but I think that is even harder than talking about hurt feelings. Because he is a man and I am a woman and therefore saying, "I love you." always sounds like it means one certain kind of love. I wish we were like the Greeks with their different words for love. 

I "friendship" love you, Robbie. Very much. And I'm glad I get to have you in my life. You are keeping me afloat when I feel like I can't take one more wave. And you are building me up when I feel like damaged goods. Thanks for all of that.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

It's just... I feel like...I'm sorry, I can't...When you...I hate unpleasant moments.

Relationships are hard. Obvious statement, I know. But I feel like I just keep having to learn that.

I have to stop this pattern I've let myself get into. The pattern where I avoid confrontation like it is going to kill me and eventually let relationships fall apart because I'm unhappy and never let the other person know.

I'm trying. But initiating a conversation like that makes my heart race. Nearly every time I try, I back down immediately and try to end the conversation as soon as possible. Escape. Say whatever it is that will make this go away. Right now.

Last night I tried. And I'm so horrible at it. I was grateful that he is patient and listens better than anyone I know. That when I stared at the wall and fidgeted and started sentences I didn't end, he waited silently for me to find my words. Waited long enough for me to string some together. Let me tell him about everything. Not just what just happened, but all the little things before it. Let me tell him about how I just wanted to leave. Let me cry. I needed him to be quiet for me while I did that and he was.

And then he said the right things. And then he hugged me.

I know it isn't all magically fixed now, but I feel better. Because if things don't get better, at least I tried. And I got some practice at talking. And now I know that it feels better than pretending. Even though it is much, much harder.

I don't want to live forever.

Getting to 23 has been hard enough. Life hurts. I couldn't handle more than one lifetime. Does it get easier?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Me doing more navel-gazing. I do like that word.

Sometimes things seem better in the morning. But it still hurts. I was thinking about it even in my dreams.

My parents make me cry. It isn't the drug abuse, the irresponsibility, or the mixed-up priorities that bother me. Those things suck, yes, but the things that bother me the most are the ones that show a complete lack of respect for me as a person, as their daughter. The things that show me they don't value me at all. Drugs are more important that me. Drugs are more important than my feelings or well-being or our relationship. Those things hurt the most. They make me feel like it is more than "they don't value me" but "I don't have value." Because they see me better than any other human beings, right? They know me better than anyone. If they don't value me, I must not HAVE value.

So a big part of my life has been trying to be the best kind of person I can be. Maybe if I'm nice and good and smart and healthy and honest and loving enough, I'll have value. I'll be more important to someone. When given the choice, someone will choose ME.

But it feels like I keep learning that I am, in fact, not worth it. I have so many people in my life that are there for me when I finally ask for help. So many people that love me and value me and make me feel like a person worth loving. Why why why do I believe the negative messages more? Why do I keep people in my life that keep telling me with words, actions, silences, and looks that I'm not worth respect and consideration?

I don't know how to stop.

I don't know how to stop that little twinge of excitement when I get a text from him.
I don't know how to stop looking forward to the next time I get to see him.
How to say no when he invites me over.
How to stop asking him to do things with me.
To not care so much when he says something even remotely nice.
To not care so much when he hurts me.
I don't know how to turn off the part of my brain that randomly thinks about him.
I don't know how to feel like I have power in the relationship.
I don't know how to speak up and stop forgiving him every time he hurts me.
I don't know how to stop feeling jealous.
I don't know how to not love who he is.
I don't know how to forget that he doesn't feel any of these things for me.

I'm going to have to learn.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Because I really, really love you. But you really, really hurt me.

So... I got my feelings hurt today. That phrase sounds so innocent, like someone called me a name on the playground. But it wasn't that. It was like someone saying, "You don't really matter to me" but with actions. And that sucks.

First, I pretended I was perfectly fine. He didn't know it happened. Just breezed right through to the rest of the story. I felt like someone hit me and I wasn't supposed to wince. My normal reaction is to pretend to be okay and then leave as soon as possible without actually letting the other person know I was upset. If they find out that I'm upset then we might have to TALK about it and that would be horrible. So I kept smiling and tried to attend the conversation while this voice in my head was saying, "Don'tcryuntilyougethome. Don'tcryuntilyougethome. Figureouthowtoleave. Keepsmiling. DON'TCRYUNTILYOUGETHOME!" Oh. I'm supposed to laugh at what he just said. Oh. My smile isn't convincing; he is looking at me funny.

Then I come to the horrible realization that it is going to be hours and hours before it is acceptable for me to leave without suspicion. And I can't do that. So I told him he hurt my feelings. And he apologized. And it wasn't good enough for me. I didn't feel better at all. I did a horrible job explaining just how much it sucked. I said one sentence and now he doesn't understand. He makes a joke. We move on. Or he does. But I don't. Not at all. I keep playing the words over in my head. I keep seeing them from different angles and analyzing the implications of the actions. He did this. It means this. He said this. It must mean this. All the while the outside world is barreling forward.

Smile at the people, Sarah Jo. Make jokes. Eat. Play cornhole. Watch the movie. Laugh at the appropriate places. Look at him when he looks at you.

What I feel like saying:

This is one of those things where it isn't so much just the one thing that happened, but also the twenty-seven other things I never talked about. Never brought up. And now it isn't just one instance of disrespect, it is a pattern of behavior that shows that I don't feel valued in this relationship. That I'm starting to feel the way I do right before I just completely disengage and watch the friendship wither. And I never said enough. And I didn't do enough to stop this from happening.

How can I explain where we are now if I never told you about all the wrong turns?
How can I start speaking now when I've been so silent?
How do I decide what is worth saving and when to just give up?
Because I really, really love you. But you really, really hurt me. Over and over again.
And I'm really good at forgiving people that hurt me, but I'm getting tired.

I made it all the way home before I started crying. I wish you wouldn't make me cry.