fishtail. january 6th.

there's a lot i haven't written yet about my trip home.

and i don't know if tonight will be the night that i make it happen, or if it will be another dark sky like thing, where there's too much to say so i say nothing and ultimately forget the details with passing time.

because i don't want to think about it or write about it before i try to sleep soon, i'll go ahead and get the ever shit out of the way.

the only aftershock really is that i'm having a hard time thinking of anything else. seeing him set me back in a way, but it also is propelling me forward and making me want to get court over with.

alice was right when she said that it took the shock of seeing him in court out of the equation. it's just preparation on a looser scale. because now i know what he will look like when i see him next.

i don't know how to prepare, but i'm going to have to write it out, because i blank out when i panic, and if there's anything going to court for work has taught me, it's to be ready. practice saying the things aloud. and don't drink too much coffee. and it will be over with. so much more time is spent worrying over it than actually being in it. which is why i wish that i could put it out of my mind until the 17th. but i won't. i'm not capable.

taxes are going to be a bitch. i tried to look at it just now, got overwhelmed and closed the window. it's going to be much harder on him, but i don't know how the house will get split according to taxes. a question for the accountants i'll see tomorrow, i suppose.

i applied for a credit card online today. it's the one i have that i closed when they jacked my apr up. i'm sure i'll get denied, but it will give me access to my credit report, which will help the court case.

i'm trying to be smart, but i don't know if i am.

i guess i'll find that out tomorrow?

as per the usual, i just want it to be over so there's nothing to think about except freedom. i can't say enough that i'm glad i'm not with him. but seeing him and not speaking makes things harder in a way. because the person i shared ten or eleven years of my life with is now someone i can't even make eye contact with.

i should have kicked him out. i'll have to explain why i didn't, i guess. and if he's not able to pay on time, then i think it will become a game of bluffs. saying i'll gladly move back in and pay things on time. and perhaps even make the offer gmac made me. if he wants out, all he has to do is tell them so. and then it's all mine. which is how it should be, all things considered. because all he seems to be capable of proving is that he isn't capable of taking care of the house or the financial end of homeownership.

saying that i warned him to prepare, saying that i requested the leases on more than one occasion, these things will probably get me nowhere. but i can say them regardless.

and i know i need to go through my emails and print them out. but looking through them right now is more than i can handle.

it's funny how strong and carefree i was in florida. and how threatened and weak and scared and hopeless i feel now.

maybe the biggest difference has been in my diet. or lack thereof.

in florida, there was too much to eat, food literally being pushed on me by both my parents and grandparents, who accused me of 'not eating enough to fill a bird'. but i ate the whole time i was home. breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, more snacks.

since i've been back things have gone back to a dramatic version of what they were. the day i flew in, i didn't eat until i was home and in favorite bar at about 530 pm. i had wine and crackers and peanuts on the plane. then came home and went to bed after the bar.

yesterday's craziness meant that i didn't eat until i went to the bar with alice at around 430.

and today was a slight improvement. i had a croissant at work. a few bites of my leftover burger from favorite bar. then came home and had soup because i felt funny.

it's so much easier to get busy here and not eat. or to get sick and nervous and lose my appetite.

it's fucking up my metabolism, but maybe i'll balance out soon.

something else i didn't mention was that my life is now different and changed because i became the proud owner of a new iphone while i was home, too.

long story short, i was content to wait until february to get it, but my phone starting shitting out again, and i asked the at&t store what my options were. and they said i'd have to wait until september. shit phone would definitely not make it that long and the warranty ran out today.

so, in the store mom announced her plan all along. give me the iphone my grandmother was eligible for. and buy it for me. which i wasn't for, as it was $200 i know my parents don't have right now, on top of the suitcase i had to buy to carry everything else home in. they dropped so much money on me. and had i been selfish, they would have spent even more on me. but i refused, and managed to only buy things i needed, like shoes. and beer. and a few nights out. honestly, i don't know where the money went that i took home. but i came back broke as fuck. literally $30 in my account. plus this mystery $340. i don't know where it came from, but i need to go back to the beginning of check registry time and try to figure it out. maybe tomorrow. or this weekend?

in any case, angry birds got me home on the plane. like all of my other game obsessions, this one feels inescapable. i love it. i love zoning out to it. and when i forgot my ipod for the long drive to see nina and her family, pandora played things that i hadn't heard in a long time, and a lot of new stuff i liked.

i still don't know how to use it to its fullest potential, but i am in love with it. now if i can just keep from spending too much money on it and paying for it monthly, as well as keeping from depending on it with my life, i'll be okay. but i feel it happening.

i bought angry birds. $1. totally worth it. and now that i'm back in the city, it doesn't seem like i got much use out of it, but i'll still say that the $4 i spent on star walk was also totally worth it. had it not been a foggy disaster, i would have known exactly where to look for two simultaneous meteor showers my last night in florida.

i'm still having a hard time sleeping, but that was the case even when i was home. i

i was so tired when i got home from work today at 430 that i got into bed and didn't get up until just now to have a couple cigarettes. because i don't have the energy to get back up and go back out again.

i felt tired when i was there, but i feel drained now that i'm back.

i can't believe it's already friday. and that two days off will follow a hectic day tomorrow.

i'm proud of myself for making a work to do list with kenna and knocking almost every single thing off of it yesterday. and the last pressing thing off of it today right before i left suck store.

something else i didn't address here yet is the pile of reasons for moving home. how they were all validated for me when i was home.

alice said it last night, and i guess it is a little surprising... i don't have too many friends here. kit is like 134 friends in one, because she helps me not spend time alone and not go out alone and not feel lonely even when i am alone. and i get to see alice about once a month. and ash maybe once every few months. and lauren is an awesome new friend, who i get to see every couple weeks.

but for the most part, it's crazy to have spent eight years of my life in one place, and only have a few really awesome local friends to show for it. now that i am leaving in six or so months, i have no motivation to try to make more new friends to make me happy i'm here. because i'll take it too hard when i leave.

but alice said that she didn't realize that florida is home, and that the majority of my friends are there.

what i realized, being there, is that it feels so much better to me to have ten or so people tugging at me, wanting to hang out and spend time with me, when i'm there. here, i feel like i'm the one tugging on people who are as busy or busier than i am, and who can't make time for me when i need it, more often than not. it's not fair to say it, because how can they know, if i don't tell them, that i'm having a shit day and don't want to be alone. or that i will do anything some days to not be at home alone.

since i got back, i've had a night with alice and a night with kit, but i've been happy to be alone, because i did spend so much time with everyone, all day every day, when i was home.

phila just reminds me of all the things i lost, the people who are not in my life anymore. and everyone called me crazy, saying that ever on his own is enough reason to leave this amazing city, to retreat to my hometown. because i don't think any of them thought i was being sane or realistic when i explain that everywhere i go, i think i'll see ever or his crew.

but yesterday at the bank just proved to me that i'm not crazy. that in this huge fucking place where i don't know that many people, it DOES happen. i will have to see him. and had i been there with someone, or had he been, it would have been even more awkward than it already was.

on one hand, it is refreshing to feel validated. and on the other, it feels like home can't get here fast enough. and on yet another, it makes me sad about leaving.

because i'm not in a rush to get away from the people here who mean a lot to me. but i'm in a crazy rush to get as far the fuck away from ever as possible. and all the tiny ways that his reach still touches my life, indirectly.

yeah, fuck him. i know. don't live my life in fear of him, yeah. i get it. but i didn't look over my shoulder a single time in florida. and after the run in yesterday, i feel less paranoid and insane for looking for him everywhere today. that tiny glitch in space-time has sent me into a bit of a tailspin. or maybe, more accurately, a fishtail.

i have written so much about it before. the whole piece about being on vacation and having a finite amount of time to cram in as much hanging out as possible. and being in high demand.

but i really feel like i don't have the same thing here. and i also feel like, if i only see one person a week when i'm home, i'd have years of hanging out to do there. and here, i can go for weeks without having more than a few beers with a couple people.

the line i'll have to walk carefully when i go home is the pattern i'm trying to escape. being on my own there is easier, because i'm never really alone. if i wanted, i could see my family if i needed to. mom hugs are so underrated. having them several times a day when i felt like i wanted one was amazing. kissing my mom's cheek and telling her that i love her. or just being tired in the kitchen when she walked in was all the excuse i needed to walk up to her and hug her for a solid sixty seconds.

the pattern is the one where i was never alone. never on my own. always with someone. always being tugged on and tugging on others.

i'll have to be careful to strike a balance. i don't have to do that on vacation. but i will have to do that in real life.

and in contrast to my life here, that will probably be the biggest thing i have to face when i go. because i will probably have offers to do things. and i'll have to turn them down sometimes, to feel like i'm not cheating at being single and living on my own.

having brownies there was really one of the most exciting aspects of my visit.

seeing nina is something i probably take for granted. and when her trip to hometown was cut short, i realized that. and that's why i drove to see her when i knew for a fact that i hadn't had my fill yet.

but i had three different times where i hung out with brownies. it was the first trip home since we've become more involved in each others' lives, and we just had fun. there was no weirdness about patching things over. it was just pure fun.

the first night we hung out was the mini reunion with nina, while she was still there.

and getting to hang out with her was a nightmare of missed connections and hassles caused mostly by my family. but once we finally got into the same room with her, we were all wiped out. and talked and ate.

it was the second time we hung out when it was just the two of us, doing things we used to do. and we made fun of ourselves for trying to recapture our youth, our single years, before ever came along, and before she started dating a couple different people; the time when we no longer hung out. the years between then and now, when neither of us went out drinking and dancing.

we had dinner together before going out dancing.

the place we picked was actually pretty cool, as far as something different to do in hometown that isn't a chain restaurant. it was a very earthy place, that had vegan and vegetarian stuff, and a long list of beers on hand.

we caught up, talking about our christmases. and then went back to her place. her boyfriend was out of town, and she'd invited me to stay over in the guest room after our night on the town.

her place was amazing. the most recent case of house envy. i am mostly sure i mentioned it before, but it was just beautiful. and the proximity to downtown was so appealing, it just sealed it.

and when we went out, we had so much fun. getting there was hilarious. we were both hungry, she hadn't eaten all day. so our dinner at 630 was super early as preparation for going out. we went back to her place to have drinks and talk and kill time before it was acceptable to go to the club. and we talked so much that time flew, and we were both getting ready, and then we were freezing our asses off to not bring our coats into the club, running through the main streets downtown.

we walked into our old favorite club, where we spent every single friday night for the better part of at least a year, maybe more. and it was a tuesday, so it was very different. but at the same time, being there with her felt very nostalgic on both of our parts.

it took a couple beers to inch closer to the dance floor. and i think it was probably beer number three when we actually started dancing.

the thing that was funny is that, when we walked in, the dance floor was already packed. i remember the way it was, where it took at least an hour of being there to feel like everyone wasn't staring at us because we would be the only people dancing.

and with our first drink in hand, i started counting boys i'd go home with. seriously. literally. calling out numbers aloud every time a hot guy would pass by or stand near us. i could not get over it. the place was crawling with them. all these boys who were right up my alley.

and we laughed about it, and i kept counting all night. i was definitely swervy by the time we left at the end of the night. maybe drunk, but maybe not. definitely not carry-me-to-the-car drunk like the last time i was there this summer. but when i left, i'd lost count somewhere near the 23 hot boys mark.

i just couldn't believe it. i'm lucky to see one boy here, when i'm out. and i'd never run those odds to say something to him here. there are so many hotter girls standing around me.

but there? there were all types of girls. and all types of guys. and if i talked to every single one of them, the odds are pretty good that one would have given me the time of day.

it was incredible.

it gave me hope. being single there has to be easier than it is here. even if the tradeoff is being in a room with a bunch of the same guys every time i go out.

we made it back to her place with relative ease, and stayed up after 4 watching viral videos on youtube. she didn't know anything i reference, so i made her watch all of my absolute favorites. we laughed until it hurt. we laughed until we cried. we drank water and went to bed after that.

i woke up in the morning and had coffee. we talked for a while before i headed to my grandparents house.

the fourth time we hung out was on new years. the last new years i spent with brownies was pretty epic. it was the new years of 2000, saying goodbye to 1999, when everyone was afraid that the electronic world would implode. we spent it at a club in her sister's city, where drinks were free. it was the last new years before ever came along and i started spending them with him.

more than anything, i wanted to have a fun night, spent in a safe place, not having to drive around with a million drunk people. i got the guest room again, and met her boyfriend and a friend of hers from work.

they were both awesome. we all talked as much as each other, and every one of us was funny in our own right. and we spent the night cracking each other up. having mojitos and beers, and playing games until the ball dropped.

it was super fun, and after a champagne toast at midnight, we took the sparklers my mom had sent me over with, and started lighting them in front of her house, and watching fireworks that her neighbors were setting off.

around two, we were starting to hit the wall. i'd impressed even myself by drinking a glass of water between every drink i had, and managed to not get drunk at all. i guess i was probably a little tipsy, but they'd made a fantastic dinner for us, so it all kinda balanced out for me.

we talked and played games until maybe 3, and we went to bed. i was leaving from there in the morning, and sent a text to the writer on his pacific coast, telling him happy new year. he was the only person i knew would be awake at 330 in the morning. and it took a while for me to fall asleep, but when i woke up, i had some coffee and talked to brownies and then left for nina's.

it just felt great. like a mature version, a grownup version, of the friendship we used to have. and the days are already getting mixed up for me, but i had another night out with her, the third night. she came to our house to talk for a while, and then we wanted to talk about stories better told in bars and away from parents, so we went to the alehouse, and talked. for four hours. it was amazing.

there's something about the way we talk to each other. even when we're talking about things that aren't funny, we have a way of telling them so that we're cracking each other up. and having four hours of that gets to feel almost unhealthily fun. like, is it possible to feel so good for so long, just from laughing and crying and laughing some more?

it also is in contrast to how i feel about talking to kit. i feel like debbie downer the majority of the time when i talk to her. our friendship is so much more serious. i mean, we have a ton of jokes that crack us up to tears. but i feel like i confide in her more than just tell stories, because we know most of each others' funny stories.

and i do a great job of talking to nina on a daily basis, but it's usually on chat, and though we crack each other up all the time, it's different in text form.

i love that i have different types of friends. and i guess the novelty of brownies is that i forgot what kind of friendship we used to have before she spent hours consoling me and handing me tissues when ever would dick out while we were dating. and before brownies and i stopped making each other laugh.

she told me this story that night, that i didn't remember at all. it was the last time we saw each other, ten years ago. she came to the house, probably after work one day. she asked if she could come by and i told her she could. i was watching tv on the couch, and she came in and i didn't move or look away from the tv. so she left.

i completely ignored her.

i can be such a wicked bitch when i want to be. and i felt awful hearing that i did that to her, even though it was like ten years ago. that i could have been so cold and mean to her. but that just goes to show where i was in my life at that time. and she said i had a ring on my finger, so i guess i didn't bother to mention that i was engaged and getting married either.

in any case, it was a fantastic reconnection, and there aren't words for how happy i am to have her back in my life.

and from her place on new years day, i rode the wave of awesomeness to nina's house. i was welcomed by scootering kids and a smiling couple. it was great. it was new years day and 80 degrees out, so we did what people in florida do on a warm new years day: we went to the beach.

i still can't believe it. i have been bragging about it since i got back, because of how bitter and cold it was here while i was away.

usually when i visit nina, it's just the two of us, with a little bit of kid overlapping time. and then we talk and hang out and have a drink or two and go to sleep.

but i had decided to stay the night, and got in at around 3 i think, so we had a lot of time. and the whole family hung out. it was really sweet. everyone was happy at the beach until it got cool. and we all realized simultaneously that we weren't dressed for sunset on the beach, and we were all pretty cold. so we packed the kids up and took our sandy selves out to dinner.

it was really nice to be out with a young awesome family, with adorable and smart kids, and a funny husband. and my nina. enough said...

then we drove home and tucked the kids in. for the past couple visits, i've read her daughter a story. which is something i never do. last time, it was in the kids section of a barnes and noble. this time, it was a funny story about a pig who wanted to be kosher. and what i couldn't get over was how snuggly she was. and how, within two minutes of turning out the light, she was fast asleep.

we visited with her son a little, and then got ready and went out for our version of a night on the town in a sleepy beach city. we went to a target to shop before going to the bar. and it was deserted. literally, there were maybe ten people shopping there the same time we were. and it was only 8 on a saturday night. it would have been a madhouse in phila. but it was hauntingly quiet.

and then we went to a kickass bar that had about 30 beers on draught. they had my favorite, golden monkey, on tap. so we each got one.

and because we were thirsty, we drank them a little too fast, and got a little tipsy right off the bat.

we were playing scrabble slam until the drunken texting started. we talked for a while before deciding to have a second beer. but we made another excellent choice, a hefeweizen, served in ginormous traditional glasses.

it was fun, we were being silly and talking to random people who were also hanging out there. i was talking about moving and my ideas, about my trip so far. things with nina are always very organic and we don't usually run out of things to say. i appreciate her for allowing me to be myself, and to say what i mean. and that she doesn't judge me, and gives great advice.

we had a lot of fun. so much fun, in fact, that a cute boy started talking to us. he was with a girl which kinda surprised us at first. until he explained that it was his sister. we were sitting at a picnic table around a bonfire, behind the bar. which was awesome. until the smoke started following us. he pointed it out, and when we changed tables, it followed us there, too. we smelled like fire, and had ash in our hair and in our beers.

eventually we moved away from them and from the fire. and they said goodbye when they walked in past us. but didn't leave. only i didn't know that.

so imagine my surprise, in a place that i have only spent maybe six days of my entire life in, when a boy called my name as i was ordering the hefes. it was the bonfire boy and his sister. while the bartender poured our beers, i turned to see who knew my name, and walked over to their table.

he asked if he could ask me a question. and in my own head, i told myself, 'you've got game. don't blow it.' because i thought something was about to happen. nina and i had decided that his sister was his wingman, and that he was out and testing the waters.

and what he asked me kinda blew my mind a little.

he said, 'can i ask you a question?'

i said, 'sure.'

he asked, 'are you and nina lovers?'

as i admitted previously, i was already drunk. and i think my reaction was to laugh, and start explaining in slurry words, that no, we were best friends, and have been since the fourth grade. that her mom was my elementary school art teacher and a bit of our history. sober, i don't know why on earth i needed to explain so much to him, but i guess i was overcompensating for my heterosexuality by supplying a ridiculous amount to detail to my explanation.

i stood talking to them for a minute. he asked if i lived there, how long was i in town for, all the things you'd ask a girl and say to a girl if you were trying to have a one off with her before she left town.

i've realized lately that i get chatty when i am tipsy or drunk, and i didn't even bother to ask him if he was in town or if he lived there, how long he was around for, etc. i did all the talking.

i told him that nina lives there with her husband and kids, and that i was leaving in the morning.

nipped it in the bud. but i still don't know why. nina had offered to be my wingman before we even met him, and he was really cute and friendly.

but i ended the conversation abruptly, and got our beers and carried them outside. and told nina what was said. and she egged me on, 'go back inside - ask them to play a game with us.'

and i wouldn't. then i decided to, but when i went back inside, they were gone.

i lied. i'll bundle up at 10 to have a smoke. why wouldn't i?

i'm not done yet. i guess that's why.

i've been dying to write for weeks now. and i guess that i am just running with it. as can be determined from the sheer volume of this post. two weeks worth of blathering in one post. sorry for that.

maybe i should break it up into chapters.

no. too lazy...

so another thing was that kit was at home for christmas while i was. and it was strange to not talk to her the majority of the time i was home. the day i got my iphone we talked for an hour while i was waiting for brownies. we were both getting sad about my moving and talked mostly about our trips home to that point. she was back in phila by then, and it seemed crazy to me that it was the first chance i had to really catch up with her. more than anything, i wished she was there with me, because we had a retarded amount of fun when she came home with me that summer. i talked to her for a while on new years eve, too. my mom was looking for a last minute ticket for her, because my family missed her, too.

and then i realize that i haven't written about my little chunk of time with chalk.

i honestly don't feel like writing about it now, which is pretty par for the course about how i feel towards him.

i'd much rather end this with a note about coffee. or the total lack thereof.

i would be lying if i said i didn't miss knowing he was there. and even more so than that, i was afraid i'd be so much less excited about my trip home in general, not having him to look forward to running into. nearly positive i butchered grammar in that sentence. it was awesome to be able to eat because he wasn't there to be nervous about. and had i done what i'd intended and gone out alone one night while i was home, i'm sure the coffee-shaped void would have felt abysmal.

but all said and done, i'm glad he's gone. my crush on him is a failsafe that no longer exists. it's one less thing to obsess about and think about and worry about. he's one less boy to crush on.

and i am being honest when i say that moving home is all the more appealing because i don't have unsaid things and unfinished business with him to keep me up at night.

i only thought of him a couple times when i was there, which is a major improvement. the last trip home, i was counting days until i saw him, and then looking for him anytime i was out, and making future plans to see him again each time.

i guess it has finally sunk in. i guess i'm actually really finally over him.

and deleting him from my fb friends while i was there just seals it. it was a big deal to make myself do it. i should have done it a long time ago.

he is officially out of my system.

and i'm happy about it. and proud of it. i have overcome a lot. and he is probably the biggest thing i had to overcome, as far as hometown is concerned.

i still didn't write out my resolutions. maybe tomorrow. in volume two...

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