tea hearts kit. december 15th and 16th.

kit really saved me yesterday.

this all started on monday, i guess.

i knew i had to go to the house to get stuff for work. i almost went after work, because it's easy to do on my way home. but it made me feel like pulling over and throwing up. and then i worried that the puppy would be running amok and that almost made me cry. so i didn't go. i decided to go on thursday, at the last possible minute.

i just couldn't deal with it. so i didn't.

so there i was, sitting at suck store yesterday. chatting with nina off and on, i guess i talked to her a little bit about it, but mostly other random things to distract myself from it.

but it was on my mind, and kit popped online, and i mentioned the house, and she said, 'just do it today. get it over with. i'll go with you. tea, just get it over with.'

and i couldn't commit to doing it. i didn't want to, not that i ever would. and i was a bundle of nerves.

but she talked me into it. and i had already resolved to go alone before talking to her. because i felt like i needed to do it alone. not to mention, i didn't want her to have to interact with him.

but after talking to one of my divorcing customers, and after the email from my lawyer talking about him possibly trying to get a pfa against me to keep me out of the house (protection from abuse), i realized that she was right. because if no one was there with me, he could say i did something i did not.

so before i could back out and change my mind, i emailed ever and said that i'd be over. if he wanted to put things by the door, i'd grab them. and if not, i'd get them myself.

then i got really heady about it. going through all the possible scenarios repeatedly in my head. and when i left work, i was driving. i was having a hard time focusing, because my stomach was completely sick and had been since i decided at around 1 that i'd go. i had eaten food at work, because it was time to. but i could easily have skipped it. as soon as i ate, i felt nauseous. until about 8 that night.

driving, thinking. trying to listen to my workout mix to get me angry and fired up about going, so i'd feel less scared and sad about going.

and i drove home from work the way i always do. and at the point where the six lanes dump everyone into three, i very nearly had a wicked accident.

everything was fine. it's a tricky bit, because i have to get over from lane six to lane one. but i do this every time i drive on this road. i'm good at doing it safely.

but because of my mindset i was probably less sharp, and i turned my head to check the next lane over, and didn't realize that the fucking moron driving ahead of me was stopping in the middle of the road for no apparent reason. no traffic jam or anything. just hard brakes.

so when i looked back, and started to go, their bumper was literally a couple inches from the front of my car. i said something aloud, maybe i screamed, and jerked my wheel into the lane i knew i could merge into. my car started to fishtail because i was going like 60 and jerked the wheel to avoid hitting them. luckily, the people behind me gave me some room and i kept control of my car, and kept going.

it was unbelievable. really scary. nothing like a heart stopping close call while experiencing a long lasting panic attack. once i recovered from that, it was like it canceled out the ever mindfuck.

i picked kit up from work and went with her.

it was the right decision. the way i explained it to her is that i've gotten better at ripping off bandaids. like the surgery, i knew the anxiety and anticipation was much worse than the experience would be. no matter what it was. because days of worrying wouldn't matter after ten minutes max at the house.

i told her about the close call, because i was shaken and it had just happened.

i went home first because my stomach wasn't going to let me wait to go home until after. and i wanted to get the cds i had put aside that were his. and his fucking fake tooth bridge that had ended up in my piggy bank in a ziplock bag. gross.

i'd bought him the cd case back in june for his birthday, but that was about the time he became an intolerable dickhead, so i had never given it to him.

i grabbed those two things, leaving the third thing i had set aside for him, a letter i'd found in my keepsakes from when his father died, listing all his personal effects and the price of his cremation. because that just seemed too horrible a thing to give to him right then.

and we drove there. i couldn't even smoke, from nausea. she kept realizing how fucking freaked out i was and telling me that it was almost over and to calm down. it was crazy. she was making me laugh and not think about it, but every block closer, it would hit me in waves. waves with really short wavelengths.

and i got there. and i parked. the sidewalk was a hot mess. trash everywhere. it looked hood. exactly how i remembered it.

the first test was trying my key, because i was afraid he'd changed the locks. at the same time, i didn't think he had, because he doesn't really do anything that requires effort.

he hadn't emailed me back that day about my visit, or about the email i'd sent a week ago.

the key worked. i knocked anyway, and called in. only the girl roommate was there (i think). the light was on, but i guess her door was closed and she didn't come out. i'm sure he'd warned her i would be there.

the dog was barking and running around in my old bedroom, so i don't know if he was there with her hiding or not.

no one did or said anything.

what sticks out to me about the visit the most, is that it was disorienting. i guess that's the best word for it. the whole first floor was completely rearranged. there was so much furniture and other people's stuff everywhere; couches, a huge tv, a piano. and i forgot everything the second i walked in. i couldn't remember where the light switches were, and all the lights were out. it was strange, stumbling around in the dark for a second and feeling lost all at once.

i found the first switch, and headed to the bureau where i thought my stocking was. my mom had asked me to get it, because she had sewed one for each of us when we were born. so this thing is now 33 christmases old, and she wants me to bring it home.

only i couldn't find it. so i guess i had the foresight to grab it when i left. it must be buried in my closet somewhere.

then we went into the basement to get the work stuff. but i ended up in the kitchen, passing the basement door and looking around, smelling curry and food. i was just completely mindblown. it took a second to realize that i was in the kitchen and didn't mean to be. and then i had to recall why i was there, and what i was trying to do, where i was trying to go.

being there felt so foreign. i still haven't processed it, i guess. despite dreams and nightmares where i'd gone back to get things and deal with him, i wasn't mentally prepared for it.

it was so odd. i can't get over it.

i set his stuff on the granite countertops that i miss the most. in my dream kitchen. and there was no time for thinking and feeling, because i was on a mission. at one point, it sounded like the dog was loose, but she wasn't. i kept thinking she was going to tear down the stairs and turn her little circle at the bottom and start jumping on us. but she didn't.

we went into the basement and i walked directly to the things i needed. which, in the sea of boxes and tools and mess, was no small feat. the first two places i checked had both of the things i went for. it was crazy. so i grabbed them and bailed super fast. there was a box of my handmade journals he'd put in an unsealed box, down in the filthy basement, with my name on it.

i grabbed everything, and kit grabbed a couple other random boxes of my journal making stuff down there, and we were up and out of the basement, and out the front door, locking it, and throwing shit into the car and getting resituated.

she said we were there under five minutes. but time had stood practically still for me. i wanted to smoke, but was in this foggy stupor and couldn't seem to figure out that i needed a lighter.

so she said, 'leave. get out of here. light it on the way. just get away from the house! no sense tempting fate.'

and she was right. and i did. and we high fived and pulled a few blocks away, where i pulled over to collect myself and light the cigarette. and put on the song i wanted to hear right then.


it's been interpol for the last 48 or so hours.

i can't get enough.

i'd dug it up when i was painting my apartment. and stumbled into this song that used to slay me. and i have spent a couple days listening to the song on repeat after integrating it into my mix.


last night, i spent a few hours watching live videos of them, and interviews with the singer, paul banks, pining away for the dark and fancy brooder with the unbelievable voice. yes, i am aware that he has a mullet in this video. no, that doesn't change things for me. he has normal hair most other places, so i'm letting it slide. his eyes are so cold. like he needs a big hug and some snuggle time involving hot chocolate.

apparently i still have a thing for the broken musician-types.

i had pictured him being forty-something with a ruddy complexion. not young and creamy complected with hair in his eyes, wearing all black and playing with this depth that nearly swallows me alive.

so i listened to obstacle 1, which is so aptly named, on the way home from the house. i dropped kit off, and made three trips from my car upstairs, putting everything inside my apartment that had been living in my car since thanksgiving, and then all the rescued stuff from the house as well. and the laundry i did at kit's this past weekend.

and i had told myself that i'd go to favorite bar after, to treat myself, for surviving the house. for taking care of business. for ripping off the last and final bandaid before i go on vacation.

i practically ran there. kit had given me some of that amazing birthday cake to take with me, i wanted to share with the bartenders who took care of me on my birthday.

so i had a couple beers, and they all talked to me the whole time i was there. i love those nights. i learned a lot about a couple of them, and talked a little about myself, and we just joked around for a while.

they tore into the cake as i was leaving, but i know sam loved it. hot bartender showed up right as i was leaving, which was unfortunate considering that they were all entertaining me all night, and that i would have loved to listen to him talk for a minute.

but, i left and went home to make some dinner.

so that was tuesday.

then yesterday was a different kind of a day.

yesterday was an easy day, my first day at awesome store in what felt like forever. the girls had bought silly christmas hats to wear from now until the break. we like to keep the customers entertained, i guess.

but they bought this hat for me. it was even crazier than the gigantic birthday hat the last time i worked there, last wednesday. it looks like a santa hat. with a bell on the tip.

but there's a button on the brim, and when you touch it, the hat flops from side to side and this crazy loud song plays. it's hysterical. all the customers were cracking up over it.

in the bandaid spirit, i actually went straight to the drama store when i got to work, in an effort to get that all over with right off the bat, so i could have fun and enjoy the rest of my work day.

only quinn wasn't there, so i had to wait.

go work, then come back.

i ended up talking to her for almost an hour. it was retarded.

i can tell when she's lying to me. and when she's exaggerating. and i was honestly so angry at having to have this whole talk with her that i wouldn't even look her in the eye. i was facing her, staring out the window while snow flurries fell. wishing i was anywhere but there.

i guess that my main issue with her is that she's condescending and talks down to them, and then they bitch about her amongst themselves and then to everyone else.

it's all talk. i can't seem to figure out how to curb the drama there. i have now told all of them to zip it up. and so help me, if i have to get involved again, i'm going to start firing people.

so then i went back to my store and hung out for a while. cleaned a lot. i went home a little early, and did my sales stuff and sent it off in an email.

i also talked to kenna, so that helped me plan for work on friday and monday. and then...HOME.

i can't get over it.

i'm so ready for it. and excited.

well, i should rephrase. emotionally, i'm so ready for it. in every other possible way, i'm not nearly ready for it.

i'll do the rest of my laundry and clean my place and pack this weekend. no problem.

and as far as physically goes, i'm also really not ready. i have officially thrown in the towel on being summer-skinny tea. i've said it before, i'll say it again. chalk is the only person who will see me naked in the foreseeable future. and i don't feel obligated to impress him anymore. maybe i'll get inspired after the holidays. but i doubt it. carbs are just too awesome. and exercise sucks too much.

there's one other thing i'd like to do before i leave. i am really determined to change my door handle/lock, in an effort to keep my creepy landlord out of my apartment while i'm away. and also try to bust him sneaking in. i'll know if he tried to go in when he tells me that i'm not allowed to change my lock if he tries to go in.

since he lives on the first floor, there would be no other reason for him to go upstairs. it will make me less paranoid and worried anyway. i'm never totally uncertain that he doesn't go into my place when i'm not home.

we'll see. if i can do it, firstly, and if i can go undetected, secondly.

there's only one way to find out.

so today, i'm back at suck store for the last time until the new year.

and what's more? i've made like $80 in tips this week. it makes me wish that i worked in stores everyday alone.

but then i wouldn't be doing my job. i'd just be working.

soon enough. soon enough.

the only other thing i wanted to write about was my night out with kit last night.

she's been slaving away at school with her douchebag boss, and wanted to get out for a beer with me afterwards yesterday.

i was looking forward to it all day, but thought she might get stuck at school and not be able to go. but she did.

favorite bar was packed to the gills, so we went to a different bar. which was deserted. it was quiet and warm and awesome.

so we talked for a while about her work and my work. and then i asked her opinion about that whole online dating can of worms i cracked open last week.

specifically, i said, 'kit, do you think i'm ready for it?'

her response was a violent one. she laughed really hard and said, emphatically, 'no!'

it was site-specific, that was the problem. she warned me about the guys that are on there. and i already know some of the horror stories of things she's encountered being on there. in fact, some guys she'd never even talked to before asked her to 'hang out' that night, while we were sitting at the bar.

so, no, she said. you aren't ready for those guys. their expectations are unreasonable, the site is not classy, and most of the guys are total assholes who make themselves look respectable, but they're all the same. for every good guy on there (i think she's met three), there are massive piles of misogynistic cheaters.

and because i'm 'old' in contrast to the babies on these sites, she recommended eharmony. i don't think i'm ready to make that plunge. i think those guys might be a little too into marriage for what i'm looking for. which is just a little fun.

i just want to make out. MAKE OUT. is that so much to ask??? i think i'm going to have to do it the old fashioned way. get nice and drunk, and for the second time in my life, bust out a, 'hey, can i buy you a drink?'

and be prepared to take full advantage of the situation.

and the boy.

but that's a story for another day. i've gotten off track. but we spent a good half hour discussing online dating. and once again, kit prayed...

'dear god, please give tea the gift of game. amen.'

it's my favorite prayer. and it is never answered.

rock star and cupid. december 12th.

last night was fantastic.

karaoke was a great idea, in hindsight. though it didn't feel like it at all at the time.

it was a little tense for a bit, mixing workers and friends. but after a few drinks, everyone loosened up and then we really started singing and performing. and by the end of the drunkenness, the entire room of 8 was singing 'bohemian rhapsody'. which sounded lame to me in the beginning. but everyone knew the words, so it ended up being a highlight.

dave and ash even showed up, but ash was in a funk because kim and pam were there. and they all kinda don't like each other, because we all used to work together. and there had been a falling out. but like i said, everyone got drunk enough to sing and get past it.

it helped me feel better about my real birthday night. because every person who said they would make it actually showed up. it's like everyone knows by now that i get really bummed when people flake on me. it was a great birthday, in the end. even if it did take a few days to celebrate it.

for being as afraid as i was about singing, i sure hid it well. when it was just kit and i in the beginning, we started toying with the machine. and once i started practicing, it was on.

and kit recorded me singing 'telephone' for my sister, which was hopefully as good as it felt when i did it. i really hammed it up, stood up and danced and the whole nine.

i guess part of it, too, is that i was trying to get other people into it, and showing them that i was perfectly willing to make an ass of myself in front of them made me feel like they'd feel better about chiming in. and what was super cool was that all of us could actually sing. ash and dave's duets were awesome. dave in general was awesome, because he loved singing the girl parts of songs, and he's one of the funniest people i know. i wish ash had felt better, but it just means that i'm going to have to get kit in a room with them when former employees aren't present.

and ashley from work showed up, and because she'd taken relaxers earlier in the day after a panic attack, she was super drunk after just a couple beers. so i felt like i was taking care of her, which made me act slightly less drunk than i felt.

suffice it to say that drinking to get the free room was a good idea. but we were all pretty sloppy by 8 when we left to find food.

anyway, i felt like a rock star last night. and even though i only got up in front of a few people to sing, it gave me a little confidence that i could do it in a different way, someday, if i ever felt the desire to.

we ended up getting food and cabbing it home, and i drank a bunch of water and went to bed. i wasn't drunk anymore, and felt pretty awful. part of me wanted one more beer. but the other part of me decided that four was enough and that second drunk wouldn't be nearly as much fun as original drunk from 5 to 8.

so today i spent over an hour, anonymously looking up boys on that dating site the girls busted ever on this summer.

what is outrageous is that i saw that boy conor that liked this summer. he was the only person i saw that i knew.

i was impressed by the number of hot guys. and the number of jersey guidos who actually talk about getting tans. and the number of scary looking guys. and the number of guys who take pictures with their girlfriends. or girls in general. and their dogs.

so i noted the ones that were funny and cute and in the age bracket i selected. which, for a 33 year old girl, i am not embarrassed to say that the age range was 23 to 33.

well, actually, i am. but i'm trying not to be. if only there hadn't been so many 23 year olds that were so cute, i might have been inspired to change the age bracket. but there were. so i wasn't.

maybe someday i will actually put myself on the site. it was fun to see what guys present to the world on dating sites. i was tempted to today. in all honesty. but at the same time, i couldn't do it. because honestly, even though i consider myself to be 'single', i felt more compelled to check 'married'. i think that is the reason why i am so reluctant to even try to pick up a guy.

how do i explain my situation? i don't want to say married, or divorcing, or divorced (because it's not entirely true). i don't want to say that i want a fuck buddy. because more than that, i want to make out. and if i met a cute sweet boy, i'd want to hang out, too.

why am i so hard to categorize?

i don't know.

and maybe if i hadn't had that whole dream last night, i wouldn't have been so into it.

this was the dream:

in my dream, i was at the house. only it was five stories, like a gigantic warehouse.

there was a loading dock off back. huge cement stairs, freestanding, like in a stadium.

there was a top floor and there was a show up there. i accidentally found it, and immediately had to get out.

mom, dad, and aubree were there with me.

new girl was brown hair and braces. very young. red shirt. arms crossed and with him. as in, attached to him.

his hair was brown and kinda bowl cut. like a preppy 90s guy (probably influenced by buffy).

there was a ton of people there. karla was with me. went to get something specific.

but while we were walking this guy fell on his skateboard - there were a bunch of ramps, a skate park in the house - and he was knocked out. he was hurt really badly, like paralyzed. so someone called an ambulance. frede was walking up and down the stairs all night. we kept seeing each other, but didn't speak until the end, he wouldn't make eye contact with me the first few times.

he didn't acknowledge me until we were all blocked in the stairwell, trying to get out.

at the end, there was a fake gunfight on the dock over a car they both wanted, a bmw or something. these girl securitiy guards had real guns, but they weren't loaded. but they were acting like they were shooting each other.

ever had an ipad for the house and i was finding a movie to start playing for everyone. but the one i picked was a social distortion documentary, and i stopped it because it wasn't what i thought it would be. but everyone was getting angry because i changed it.

at one point i had to grab onto a press, and lay on the arm to swing myself around to leave, it was over the edge of a big dropoff. i got white ink on the arms and chest of my black hoodie.

he carried the hurt guy up the stairs once he woke up. everyone looked at him like a hero. but the guy was paralyzed, and i knew that he was probably going to kill him because he didn't leave him stationary and wait for the ambulance.

once i decided that i wanted to leave, i couldn't leave off docks in the end. it was like the bottom of the cement ramps became the tops. so every time i'd head up to leave, i'd end up at the bottom. i just wanted out.

once i realized that i couldn't leave that way, i had to go back up the cement staircase and this girl started to sway it like a suspension bridge. she almost fell off because she was being an idiot, she did a front flip in the air when she lost her balance, and landed back on the stairs.

aubree was really upset. she was aubree, only she was infant sized, and i was carrying her everywhere. mom and dad just stayed lost and i couldn't find them.

i was talking to people there, about why i was there or whatever. but they were my friends more than his. it was the people who were there, not that they were my friends kyla and other friends of aubree's.

in any case, none of that detail really matters. i guess because it stayed with me all day, that's why i included it here.

because at some point this week, i have to go to the house. it's not an option. and that means that i have to communicate with ever.

when i woke up, it was a nightmare, and as per the usual, i was paralyzed, flat on my back. and i had to tell myself not to cry, because when i woke up i had tears in the corner of my eyes, and the stress of it all was just the worst way to wake up at 7 am on a day off.

i don't want to go to work tomorrow. or for the next week.

but, one week from tomorrow, i'll be flying home. so i have to power through it.

and today, over scrabble, i set up a game night with james and jess for tuesday night. i do wonder if they'll ask about anything related to ever. because i try really hard to not talk about it at all in front of mutual friends. because i don't want to alienate anyone who is willing to spend time with me despite my leaving him.

it's bed time. somehow another long weekend kindof escaped me. and i feel like i wasted the majority of it. luckily brunch with kit today was awesome, and seeing everyone at favorite bar was great. super talkative, super friendly. it was a nice way to start my day after the way i woke up.

i don't know. looking at that dating site was a bad idea, because now it's all i can think about. so much easier a way to meet boys than having the balls to go up to them in public.

if only i were really single. if only i didn't have baggage. if only i just wanted to get laid and didn't care about anything else.

then it would be easy.