scarce, and thankful. black friday, 2011.

i can't honestly say if i haven't been writing because i'm so busy, or because i don't want to deal with what i've been doing and thinking about, but it's now gotten to the point of being completely overwhelming.

i can't even remember what i last wrote about, but it feels like forever ago.

my headspace operates differently now. on a different level, and at a different clip. but the same things float around my brain, just at a much less crippling pace.

still feel the urge to have a good cry, and i still can't cry.

to try to pick up where i left off, i had to look back. i haven't written about what the shrink said after i got the scoop on greg.

i haven't written about the little fire i've been stoking at work, with aubree's assistance, in the shape of a boy named chris.

or about my new glasses and thrift store finds, and how all of my friends are currently trying to get me laid.

i haven't written about the work we've been doing on the house, killing ten gallons of paint in half as many days.

i haven't written about aubree's birthday party.

and now i am adding thanksgiving, black friday, and my mini attempt to pick up a bartender, part one.

things have just been so hectic, with work and the house, and trying to resuscitate my social life.

having aubree here is the most untoppable feeling - i can honestly say, when she is around, that i don't know what i'd be doing if she wasn't. i don't know if i'd still be standing. having her work with me has been fantastic. it's helped me get some of the volunteered overtime i've worked back, by drastically cutting my hours spent there, so i can do all the things that i never had time to do before she arrived.

and the work at the house? she's been my main motivator, my biggest helper, and my inpiration to make shit happen.

and now, hot on the heels of another birthday, i'm determined to make this one different. every year since i turned 22, i have cried on my birthday. reflecting on things i haven't yet accomplished. feeling like i have nothing to show for my lifetime of hard work and dedication.

but this year, i'm excited for my birthday. i want to have a fantastic party with my closest friends, but also invited people i haven't seen in a long time. i want to have a house unveiling party. like a housewarming, without gifts. i want my old friends to play acoustic sets, like the one ever and i threw when the house was ready enough. and i want to have fun.

it's such a different feeling, and by putting so much pressure on myself to have the house finished by then (well, aesthetically, anyway), it's making me push through the time consuming chore of organizing, cleaning, painting, carpeting the hall, fixing things that make me batty, and keeping things nice.

so that i can entertain regularly, which is my favorite thing to do.

i was so embarrassed by this house for so long that it feels fantastic to have made such progress in such a short amount of time, and to feel pride. it makes such a difference in daily life here, and it makes me feel completely different about making roots in phila.

i hope that the party lives up to the daydream in my head. it's so clear to me now, i will do everything i can to make it happen.

i have spent two thirds of my paycheck at home depot in the last week. and i'm okay with that. when i get rent, i'll probably continue to. doing things ourselves is a wonderful way to save money and get more accomplished.

we started painting last weekend. i'd picked up ceiling paint when dad and danny were here, and had primer left from when we bought the house, which was still good, so i had a head start. i'd taken a couple weeks, toying with paint swatches, before settling on colors for the entire house.

i started with the color i'd picked for my room. but when i got it home, i realized that i didn't really want it in my room, and that it would look awesome in the hallway. i'd decided a month ago to get carpet, too. so the goal for last weekend was to finish painting the hall before the carpet goes in.

and we did it. pam, kim, and relle came over to stay the night and help us paint the hall. there were a ton of learning curves, and it was lucky to learn from several planning fails on a floor that will soon be hidden. i had to remember to delegate jobs. i was so overwhelmed by the task and tight space with five people in it, that everything felt difficult. and what was worse, i was on the verge of a panic attack. but i managed not to get too snippy (sorry, ladies, i know that i did more than once), and go with the flow.

and i could hardly believe that, at midnight that first night, the hall was a lovely lavender tinged grey, with white trim. while painting, i figured out where i'd gone wrong with colors for other rooms in the house, and formulated the plan, which consisted of using the same color in the dining room.

what was unfortunate was that aubree got sucked into my line of thinking, which is always to tackle the entire problem, instead of sticking to the one-room-at-a-time plan we'd agreed to. because prep is 2/3's of the work, and set up is a bitch, we started to think about painting all of the ceilings at once, then decided one floor at a time. we came to our senses once exhaustion set in, and reverted to the one room at a time plan.

when the hall was done late saturday night, we slept like babies, and woke up sunday to hang out lazily in pj's with breakfast food and coffee. but like an idiot, i started moving furniture to prep the dining room, and high on paint fumes, decided to start painting and prepping the dining room. and it was contagious, and everyone helped me.

by the time we went back to work on monday, the trim was done and the ceiling was done, and the room was ready for color.

monday night, we finished the second coat in the hall after a ten hour work day. wiped out, and awake until after one.

we did it knowing that we had a two and a half day work week.

and tuesday night, we prepped the kitchen trim and ceilings.

the problem is that ever destroyed the house. finding all the nicks and dings and holes in every wall and ceiling in the house is a daunting task. but i chose to be the patcher, because every putty knife of joint compound was like a little ever-magic-eraser, removing any trace of the disrespect i feel every time i look around.

grueling, up and down the stairs, up and down four foot and eight foot ladders. physically wiped out, holding extension poles and 18 inch rollers of ceiling paint five feet above our heads. i was working stomach and arm muscles i'd forgot existed.

work on tuesday was crazy, but when i got out at four, i went home to prep some more. and when aubree got home, we went at the dining room and kitchen and living room full force. i dreamed of having all three done for thanksgiving, but as it turned out, there are simply not enough hours in the day.

in the process of sanding drywall mud, and taping shit off, and moving furniture, the entire first floor was in a state of upheaval. it was continual stress to be surrounded by such mess. truly insane.

but wednesday, we got color on the walls in the dining room, with kim's help, and i started putting the first floor back together.

we were still painting at 430 in the morning. we hadn't done anything for thanksgiving. we admitted painter's defeat, and started with the thanksgiving prep, passing out sometime after five. and like manic crackheads, we woke up after a few hours, and frantically pushed through the remainder.

five days of paint fumes and mess later, without much sleep at all, i got a shower after everyone had showed up, and made it look like it was easy in my fancy new outfit.

last week, fueled by thrift store updates from nina, i took myself shopping.

i must have tried on fifty things, and only came home with two pairs of jeans (polo and levi's - amazing finds that fit without trying them on!), a sweater, a skirt, two aprons, and a button down jacket shirt.

but the sweater/skirt combo is a knockout. and i spent a total of maybe $30, and rekindled my crush on thrifting.

aubree is still giving me shit about a retarded decision to wear my new $5 polo jeans on the first day of painting, when i was 'being careful'. raked the paint tray, and the jeans are now demolished. she is pissed. i could care less. i mean, hindsight, yeah. it was a lame decision made out of pure laziness. i have four pairs of painting jeans already. kinda happened into three of them in the same fashion, one was my favorite pair of levi's. sigh. i can't be taught.

but with new (old) clothes in hand, i am finding that i am more confident, which is something i always struggle with. i adore sweater weather, and wool skirt weather, and gone are the days where i take the easy way out at old navy. i'm so over wearing shitty clothes. so i'm finally doing something about it.

and i think it might also be related to the new pair of glasses i'm currently rocking, which are also mostly to blame.

i haven't bought glasses in something like six years. i've had the same sad, broken, tired pairs all this time. no new prescription. one pair was missing nose pads, and one pair had a broken arm. so i never wear them. but i hate contacts in the winter time, and after a failed attempt to get glasses last winter and again this summer, i put my foot down.

my friend nikki works at a shop. and my favorite brand was having a trunk show, complete with cheese, beer, wine, and raffles. so i finally went. and dropped more money than i've ever spent on a pair of glasses on a pair of glasses.

i really wanted the $500 pair, but in the end i just couldn't do it. so i was stoked on the $220 pair, and jumped up and down the next day when the $5 i had spent on raffle tickets resulted in a fancy pants $50 hair salon gift certificate. it was thrilling. and the sales benefited canine cancer research, so i was doing a good deed, too.

while i was on the fence about which pair to spring for, aubree finished work, and rode back with me to decide. there was a cute boy, naturally. and also naturally, i couldn't come up with a single line to use on him.

the next time i saw nikki at the coffee shop, i told her that i'd thought of the perfect line on the way home, hours late and opportunity missed. she knew exactly who i was talking about, and said that a few of the boys who work there were making a big deal over him, too.

and that afternoon when she went to work, in a surprisingly bold move, nikki got his name for me. now i have to figure out what the fuck to do with the information, in a totally non-stalkerly way.

the night before, i'd made plans with kit to see phantogram. she was trying to get a boy to go to introduce me to, for my casual needs. he didn't make it, but the next day was when i realized that i have now crossed the threshold no sexually awake woman should ever have to cross. if i make it to my birthday on this path, i will hit the ungodly six month mark. i'd say 'fuck me sideways!' in exasperation, but that would only add insult to injury. insert jokes about dusty snatch and cobwebs that need to be cleared and sexual frustration on a daily basis at work. ding. they're worked into shop talk when i pant after boys who are entirely out of my age bracket, and would make young mothers hide their freshly-turned-21 sons. i'm finally starting to venture into the realm of boys in their late twenties, and have my eye on a couple who have passed the 30 mark. i'm working on it...

but in spite of all that, i am proud.

this year was a bitch. starting with the divorce, learning about ever, starting to date and learning a lot of lessons the hard way, meeting having something special, and losing something that meant more to me than anything else in the last decade of my life, bottoming out, and getting medicated.

it's ending on a high note, letting me believe that 2012 will be my year. i cannot wait for the new year.

i'm starting on an upward trend, and am excited about where i live, the life i lead, the friends i've made and kept along the way. a lot of people have expressed a lot of love in my direction lately, and that is what makes me tear up.

i'm becoming house proud, instead of hating where i live and seeing problems everywhere i look.

all of this, typed out, so far, following something that might look to an outside observer to be a manic upswing, complete with shopping sprees at obscene hours. maybe it's because i was geared up for a star party, and decided to paint instead.

but i did well. my first black friday outing since i moved to phila. i'd count the appliances i bought three years ago, but they didn't require anything more than a trip to home depot the day before thanksgiving, and a streak of good luck, where i could buy all my appliances for my brand new house at a fraction of the cost.

in the last 24 hours, i bought clothes. i bought things to make myself smell awesome. i bought twister for a party where boys might be present. i bought kitchen gadgets and sets of things i legitimately needed. and a garage door opener for that project, which i'd like to finish before the snow starts piling up, to save a ton of time sleeping instead of digging my car out. i bought things for friends, which is a resurgence of an old habit that i'm really going to have to get in check soon, before i go broke gleefully every time i leave the house.

in the time that has passed, i had my 'first' thanksgiving. while ever and i had a couple where i cooked, they were sad little imitations of what people think of when they think of thanksgiving. times when i was homesick for the family and food that sits around for days following one of my mom's epic mealtime extravaganzas.

the best one in the last several years was the one when i flew home before thanksgiving, and back on the day of, to have dinner wtih ever. i had a double thanksgiving, which i needed at the time.

but this year, i hosted. and i'd have made my mother proud, if she knew what all i did.

i dubbed it an orphan thanksgiving, because most of our families are not around, and because i wanted to start a new tradition at a time of year that makes everyone a little sad, and makes everyone miss what they don't have.

i wanted to try to brighten a day that was difficult for a friend, to try to distract her from everything that makes her sad.

i like to help people. and that's not always a bad thing. it tends to backfire in romantic relationships, but otherwise, i think it's a good thing.

and in trying to bring a little of my home to the city, i asked everyone to say what they were thankful for, and aubree asked to say grace.

it was sweet. it was heartfelt. i will cherish it for a long while. and it will fuel future holiday festivities being held at my house.

one of the nicest things that kim and pam say about my house is that it is legendary. i love that people want to come over and hang out. whether it's to escape the mundane, to hide out, to run away from problems, to be with friends, to vent, or just to watch football and shitty cable tv.

i love that, somehow, without having kids, i have created the house that i grew up in - the one with the cool mom (that's what they all call me - 'mom'), where everyone wants to hang out when they get together.

i love that more weekends than not, i have overnight guests. and that there's a regular cast of characters who show up on the weekends for slumber parties. i love that people have claimed beds and rooms and things in my house as their own. i love that more space in my house is 'common area' than just three rooms on one floor that never get used.

and i love using that good feeling to ride a wave that makes me want to continue the work i'm doing to make it even better. and this past week? i love that there's a team effort to help to make it better still.

i could never have done this alone. i wouldn't have. and so much work after so much is a priceless gift that makes me realize just how great a life i have.

and i love that aubree has seemingly been the bond that holds it all together. that she is my catalyst. and that she loves it here, too. that we do things when i'm not feeling up for it, and that i have a social life again.

and because i haven't said it yet? i love lexapro, too.


miracle drug.

the past few days have been a little heavy for me. i've been physically beyond pushed to the point of exhaustion. there was a time both last night, and today, where i was shaking, and afraid that i might fall over from running on empty. but everything that is good has fueled me to this point.

i think that i'm probably more homesick than i might think. i know that i wanted to share the holidays with someone special, and i think the heaviness is probably mostly made up of that. there's nothing like sharing traditions new and old with someone in that way, and i've been craving that since summer, and fearing it since summer, too. and now, it's here. it has arrived. and i'm surviving it.

no matter how good i feel, it's going to be there for a while, i think. and now that i've bounced back from the one-two rejection punch, and seeing joey at a show, i'm ready for the next round. i have my eyes set on two potential applicants for the 'next ex boyfriend' category.

boyfriend. there's a novel idea. i haven't been someone's girlfriend since 2001. that is absurd. dear god. i need a man in my life.

to back up a little, i saw my shrink immediately following the time when i was reprocessing greg for the nth time.

and again, i figured out something about myself. the reason why i feel so stuck in the same loops, the reason why i rehash things over and over again with every new piece of information, is this:

i am an overthinker. my brain needs to understand. and i suck at understanding.

when i finally figure things out, whatever that means at the time, i start to let go of the thoughts.

but when i get new information, instead of doing what i think most normal people do (ie. 'hmm, that's interesting. moving on...'), i take the information, and apply it to all of those thoughts, from start to finish.

i rip off the band-aid, and start picking at the scab of everything that has bothered me, forgetting every time that it will leave a scar.

and when there's a lapse between information, it takes my brain a long long time to put things aside, and let go, and get on with thinking about everything else.

as it applies now, i have been at points in thinking about this greg thing, where i honestly start to let go. i don't think about it so much, it doesn't have a daily impact on me.

and i have made a lot of progress in that department. but i was starting off with broken equipment. and when i rigged the equipment to get through the worst of it, that was a shitty start, but it was a start.

and because this is how my brain works, it dealt one way when he bailed on me physically. it dealt another when he bailed on me emotionally. it dealt again when he finally explained himself to me. it dealt again when i saw him on dating site. it dealt again, probably the first real attempt, when i got medicated. it dealt again when he ignored my proposition. and just when i was angry enough to really say 'fuck all' and walk away from it, it dealt again when i found out what has really been going on.

and i guess that since that day, twentyish days ago now, it's gotten better. but for whatever reason, this week it came back. the plans he made with me, all of the things that he told me he'd introduce me to and teach me. and i think it's because i really thought i'd be with him for a lot of holidays, after that day i met him. and when he subsequently implied that i would.

and the harsh reality is that i have a pretty good clue of what he's been up to the past few days, none of which includes thinking about me at all, and all of which include self-medicating.

when i went to the shrink, i explained this to her, along with the explanation of his situation. and explained that i always want to help people, and that i always minimize red flags and shitty technique with the list of excuses their diagnoses permit.

i told her i wanted to show up on his doorstep with cookies. and when she asked why i would want to do that, i told her that for the first time in months, i didn't want him to be able to ignore me. and i wanted to see his eyes when he saw me and couldn't ignore me.

but she called me out on it, asking me what i really hoped to get from it. at first, i had no answer and said so. and i thought aloud to her, and came to my own conclusion that was so glaringly obvious to everyone else around me: it was a horrible idea, and i had nothing to gain from attempting it.

and i'm really fucking glad i didn't cave to that desire when it felt like it was striking me over the head with a frying pan. gonnnnng.

there is nothing to gain from greg. absolutely nothing.

i told her that i don't want to be with someone who treats me like that. that i don't want to be low priority on the to-do list. that i have no business at all being with someone with his diagnosis. that, once again, i found a broken one to work on. that i'm sick and tired of those boys, and that he is no exception. that it's my innate complex to fix and nurture and help that made me want to take him cookies and physically show up to offer myself to help in any way that i could.

but it was a mean trick my brain was trying to play on me. because, as i broke it down for her, only one of four things could have happened:

one, neither of us have any feelings and it's over.
two: i see him and realize i'm not over him, but that he is over me.
three: he sees me and realizes he's not over me, but i'm over him. or,
four: that we see each other and it's fireworks again.

but the problem is that the only one that would be 'good' is the first. and one in four aren't good enough odds to risk any of the others, not to mention more information to apply to thoughts. and seeing that it is really over. i'm too fragile to realize he really could care less about me. i'd feel too guilty to realize it was a flash in the pan for me, and that he really was trying to protect me. or to find myself in another doomed relationship when we're both fucked up and try to give it another go.

at the end of the day, i don't want him. i just want the version of him he presented initially. he was really something special. but i think maybe it was a joke. or a trick. or some kind of a sick and twisted game on a particularly bad day. now i believe he believed he felt it, but it wasn't real when he thought about it.

and in light of his brain, i don't think that the version of him i was with so briefly would be anything like all the other versions of him i saw then, or know about now.

no cookies for that boy. his loss. and i say that with the utmost confidence in my baking skills. dumb ass.

i had to return to my favorite movie quote of all time, and practice telling myself silently when i feel my mind start to flirt with the idea of him, and going back: 'you can't be my friend if you aren't my friend.'

you can't help those who don't want to help themselves, or those who won't let you. life is too short. i can help a lot of other people, without losing parts of myself in it.

if i could find that version of him in an unbroken package? that is what i want. not greg. not his issues which explain why such a catch is all alone, romantically. and not being put off and ignored. the well adjusted version, in the flesh.


i can't honestly say whether it was my rebellious nature or determination to get back on the horse after being thrown off for what felt like the 98276098345879th time, but after i went through that whole headtrip with her, i told her that i can't find anyone online that even looks interesting to me. and that i can't date customers, which is the only way i really meet people at all.

but i came home from that appointment, after she said that it is my brain's way of telling me i'm not ready for the next thing yet, to peruse the dating site. and whether it was some uncanny coincidence, or one of the above reasons, i was inundated with the amount of boys who appeared to be what i am looking for. i literally found myself telling my sister that i didn't know where they all came from, or if i was just seeing with new eyes.

there was snow, and nuzzling weather that week.

and orion is rising nightly. it could be any of these things.

or maybe it was my brain actually letting go of greg, and realizing that i always use fantastic distractions when i'm less than happy. and that i need a new one, in any form. or maybe it was that i decided that he was simply not worth waiting for. because, despite what i told him and myself, and anyone who would listen or read, i was waiting for him to come back to me.

i didn't want to do anything to jeopardize another go with him.

and now i don't want to care anymore.

recovery. relapse. overdose. recovery.

i'm always looking for a good blog title. too bad that one's probably taken by a junkie.

pair that with a massive influx of hot bearded dudes at the coffee shop and city bars, and away we go...

enter chris. with the same last name as my high school boyfriend i thought i'd marry, to complicate my brainwaves further. marrying back into my mother's maiden name, and hoping that we weren't related in some extrapolated way. but i digress...

chris. he's been getting coffee for years, like joey. unlike joey, we all have had crushes on this one at different times. ashley was smitten with him. pam wanted to make babies with him (jokingly, of course), and i said he looks like he'd be lazy in bed, but that i wouldn't mind fucking him regardless.

and then something changed for me. with my rosy greg-tinted lenses removed, and blinders off, i found myself looking forward to seeing him. fighting to make his cappuccinos, trying to draw hearts in perfectly frothed milk. and in the past few weeks, going beyond the mundane 'how was your weekend' small talk, asking him questions to get to know him. coming out of the back room, covered in sandwich shrapnel and smelling of meat, when i hear his voice, with an armful of food to appear coincidental and necessary.

and then enter aubree, who has a crush on him as well, and encourages this venture. moral support, and a heads up when i'm working in the back, with a tiny, 'he's here!'

we both made banana bread two sundays ago when kim had camped out for the weekend, following aubree's birthday party. and i mentioned to her that i needed to find a way to get it into his stomach.

because if there's one thing i have learned, it is that the way to a boy's heart is through his stomach. there is so much truth to it. and i love that i'm good at it. more often than not, i feel like that is my 'in'.

i don't know how we had the energy to bake, following the party, but we did. and everything turned out quite well.

her birthday party was the most fun party i've thrown in ages. everyone showed up, got tipsy together. i'd wanted to celebrate 11.11.11 anyway, and she was here for her birthday, so we combined the two. it was so awesome.

the most amazing part was this card kim and pam made for her. they gift wrapped a piece of posterboard with all of their (and our) inside jokes written out, with glitter drawings.

we've started this thing, 'remember that time', where we say things the just happened or are about to. talking about things like they were years ago, when they happened seconds before. the timing is most of what makes it so funny. it's the new 'my mom says...'

so they wrote out all of the things they remember. and the one that made aubree cry, and the one that had me choked up for the rest of the night was,

'you left and we all cried'

shit. it kills me. it was just the sweetest card ever, and so funny. we were crying and laughing at the same time. the thought and effort and time that went into it was so amazing, and all of the memories were made in a span of four short broken up months.

aubree is just like that. she's so special. i have never met anyone like her. she is the best sister. she is an awesome person. and it felt so right to honor her that night. she hugged me after cake time at 11:11 double birthday songs in the kitchen, and said, 'tea? thank you. this is the best birthday.'

kills me still.

so beautiful. i would die for my sister.

i said it. i'll say it again.

i'm clearing my throat and wiping the corners of my eyes...

back to the initial tangent, about chris.

in a brilliant wing man move, aubree asked him if he'd like to be the judge in our sister banana bread bake off on her birthday weekend.

he said he'd love to.

so we baked. and i hoped he'd choose mine, but hers was really fucking good.

he didn't show on monday to pick up the competing pieces of cake, like he said he would. he showed up on tuesday, and we gave him a rash of shit about not coming by, and he smiled when he walked away with individually wrapped pieces, designating them dark and light, since it was a blind study, and he didn't get any info from either of us, so as to not give away who had baked which.


i've come up with some pretty good one liners to use on him, if i ever find the balls, the best of which is related to the sleep studies he does at the university:

'if you ever need a subject for one of your sleep (over) studies, i'm here.' topped off with a wink, because i'm corny like that.

but when he took the entries, he said he'd be back in an hour to let us know his decision.

and of course, he didn't come back. and on wednesday, aubree sent me home early. and i missed him by about fifteen minutes. she told him that day and a half was the longest hour ever.

and he came by the next day, missing me again by under fifteen minutes. and the next day when i was off. he asked if i even worked there anymore, which still cracks me up. he agreed to come by on monday, because it wasn't fair to announce the winner when we both weren't present.

and i got ready monday morning with that in mind.

i'd picked up my new glasses that saturday, and paired with a classically hot houndstooth skirt and black sweater, i was dubbed the naughty librarian. customers were asking what was going on. it was awesome. i felt ready.

until he didn't show.

a full day in dress shoes, and no winner. it was the worst. i fought with my body slimmer the whole day. walking from my car to work, it was up around my waist. just awful.

in a world where timing is everything, i was absolutely annoyed.

and the next day, i did it all over again, two skirts and two different body slimmer fights in two days. fancy shoes and all. and because of thanksgiving, the school was a ghost town, so i left after only two hours to work. luckily, on my way home, i told aubree that, if he ended up showing up, she needed to facetime me, with him, for the results.

and sure enough, he came in a couple hours later, with excuses and apologies, to find that i was not there, yet again.

so she told him we were facetiming the results.

i was home, covered in paint, looking an absolute wreck. but it was so awesome that i didn't care.

i was shaking, sitting in my family room, laced with paint fumes, while he laughed and smiled his crooked smile, and explained that my bread had won, despite having chocolate chips.

i'll try to forget that he used the word 'moist' to describe it (my least favorite word in the english language, second only to 'pussy'). and i had rehearsed all of my lines so many times, that my giggly 'i feel like i just won the lottery!' line went off without a hitch.

it was awesome. we talked like that for a few minutes, before letting him go. he waved good bye after 'happy thanksgiving's were passed between all of us. and agreed to prove his worth in the form of pumpkin cheesecake, which is the only thing he claims to be able to bake. which, as all of you should know by now, is my absolute favorite dessert.

and that is the only reason why i look forward to going back to work on monday after a five day holiday weekend.

and last night, after thanksgiving dinner and the immediate onset of the 'itis (ask your black friend if you don't know what this is!), aubree and i found a fifth wind to go black friday shopping. and she one-upped herself.

and somehow, between walmart at 10 and target at midnight, we found ourselves in wilmington with time to kill. i'd mentally prepared for two hours at each place, expecting madhouse masses and lines that made the great depression look like a picnic. but ending up at target with over an hour to go and a line of people waiting to get in at least an hour long, i had to pee and gas stations were all closed. we found out the hard way that wawa doesn't have public restrooms, and were surprised to find that our favorite secret bar in wilmington with $3 everythings and anythings was open.

so we took a seat, i ordered a beer. and we looked at each other, like we now do a billion times a day, sharing silent thought transfers.

the bartender was hot. right up my alley. he was old enough to get her approval (no 'we've got a cougar on the loose' shoulder radio transmission).

and my wing man went to work while i used the bathroom. starting conversation. excused herself to let me pick up where she left off. and like coffee's body language i was addicted to, when he talked to me, he leaned against the bar, close to me. he smiled a lot. and when he shifted away, he hopped up onto the refrigerator to sit and talk. he lingered.

he was sweet and cute, and my hands were shaking, while my brain tried to remember all the things everyone has taught me about picking up boys. i asked what he drinks, when he has a drink. and aubree said 'oh, no' when i told her he's a whiskey on the rocks dude (greg). and again, when he took off his striped hoodie to reveal an utley phillies tee (greg). and playfully shoved me when he talked about his attempts at home brewing his own beer.

he asked how we ended up there, and when i mentioned that i worked in wilmington on fridays, he said, 'that's why i've never seen you before - i don't work on fridays.'

i ate it up. there are a lot of people i might see that i couldn't say whether i had helped before. but any boy that i think is cute? i remember that.

he said he can't drink on the clock, because they work alone there. so i filed that away, and when i ordered a second beer, i fed $3 into the jukebox loaded with indie favorites, and put on a few songs.

aubree noted that he liked and knew the songs i chose. the shins, weezer (everyone in the bar was singing that one), matt and kim, and phoenix.

and when it was time to shop again, i was drunk. my new-found lightweight status is a welcome change. and it gave me the balls to slide a $5 across the counter, telling him to have a whiskey on the rocks when he was done for the night, on me.

his name is dan.

i will go back and ask him how his whiskey was, on thanksgiving night.

i woke up thinking about him this morning.

we walked out, agreeing to go back. of all the bars i've taken her, that one is aubree's favorite.

she is the best wing man.

my own tendencies here toward the manic are attempting to make up for over twenty prolific posts. it's like a reader's digest version of my life - condensed.

just add water.

5 am is the new 11 pm for this kid. it's fucking my shit UP. goddamn sleep deprivation and prolificity and productivity and manic bullshit in the wee hours of the morning.

i can sleep when i'm dead. while i'm taking a dirt nap.

i'm feeling a little ill now, and i'm giving up on more details, in lieu of sleep. the sun is about to come up, and i cannot stand the thought of watching that happen.

i'll try to be better. i'll try to restrict the novel posts to a minimum.

i'll try to get sleep.

i'll try to think less, and do more.

thanks for reading, readers. <3

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