kit and nate. april 9th (and 10th).

in light of recent backtracking, i'd like to chronicle the road trip story of all road trip stories.

this is the story of saturday.

i woke up fucking AMPED. friday was a late night. i came home from happy hour, and was up until i think like 430. no sleep for this kid. i had to be up by 11 to leave by noon, but i slept in until maybe 9 or something. i couldn't go back to sleep, so i got up, made coffee, showered, shaved, and got ready for my new york road trip adventure.

i wore a skirt for the first time since the last warm day of fall, and the adorable tee nina gave me in march when i came home to tell my parents i'd already left ever. it's so worn and comfortable, adorned with heart made of stars, complete with a smiling saturn. just the cutest.

i packed a pair of jeans, because i knew i'd be warm in the car, but also knew from experience that, as the sun sets in the big apple, it gets cold quickly. the sun is always blocked, unless you're in the middle of a street or in central park.

i was proud, because it would be my first trip to the city alone. i told nate the night before that i was going, and hoped to pin him down for lunch between his day and night job. i didn't think our schedules would mesh, and had decided that i'd remain calm no matter what. and in case of emergency panic, packed my ativan.

we left at noon, late as per the usual. i promised kit to get her there for the ceremony at three, and dropped her off at the store to buy stockings and hairspray. i filled the tank and picked her up, and we were off.

we relived 'romy and michelle' with a 'look out tuscon, here we come!' moment. and i started my spring mix feeling smitten with a beautiful 60 degree day and crushed out with the music i'd lined up.

we blasted music, i sang every song, she sang some, at the top of our collective lungs.

it made me realize how lucky i am to have her, and with our typical 'hetero hetero' chant, told her i loved her and that i was so happy to drive her and go to new york city for the day.

by some fucking miracle, i pulled up at the church, without missing a single turn (no small feat when driving in new jersey - any trip there is plagued with getting lost), at precisely 302 pm. i was proud and relieved, and she was excited.

i downloaded the mta app for my iphone and googled park and rides for the path train into the city in the church parking lot, taking a minute to collect my thoughts and feelings.

i decided then to park in hoboken and go from there and raced wildly towards the coast.

i came over a hill in newark, and was somehow surprised to see the city looming so close in my path. i squealed out loud, turned the music up louder, and followed iphone verbatim.

something bad happened as i got into hoboken. i guess i missed a turn, but maybe the directions had told me to turn on a street that didn't exist. i don't know which. i told myself not to worry as i passed the entrance to the holland tunnel. i was right there.

but i passed the street i was to turn on, and ended up overshooting. and had to sit in dead stopped traffic at the tunnel entrance for half an hour. by the time i figured out where to turn, and waited my turn through countless light cycles, it had been a whole hour (double what it was supposed to take to get there). i found a flat rate lot and parked. but when i went to pay for the ticket, no one was there, and i saw the sign that said i had to be out by 6, which was not going to happen.

she'd asked to be picked up at 8, so i had three hours to get into the city and back out again.

i found a parking garage at the grove street station, and was tired of circling for flat rates to find that they all closed at six. i said, 'fuck it' and parked, assuming my little jaunt into new york would cost like $60 or $80. i didn't care at that point. i just wanted in.

so i took a picture of my car, the floor i was on, the spot i was in, and the outside of the garage, in case i forgot in the three short hours. so i wouldn't panic upon leaving.

i thought that was a pretty smart move. and it did pay later.

i went underground, and read the signs, nervous already. it said the train was arriving on track one, so i waited while all the jersey kids filled the station to head in.

or so i thought.

the train pulled in on time (also a miracle for mta and the path), and i got on. i found a seat between two indian dudes, and played with my phone, which had no signal, while we moved forward.

we got to the second stop, which said 'hoboken', and i got this sinking feeling in my stomach. all i could think was 'holy fuck! i'm going the wrong way!!' and had that overwhelming feeling that i need to get off the train. a junkie got on, maybe 45 but looking much older, with knuckle tats and neck tats and rolled back pinhole eyes. he stood a little too close to me, and spoke to me. i ignored him, with earbuds in place, and he left me alone.

but the indian dude next to me decided it would be awesome to sit with his legs wide apart, touching mine and pushing against mine. i gave him a dirty look, like, 'dude. really? i'm tiny. and squished in. do you have to be touching me??'

the junkie was talking to everyone, and i thought about asking a nice jersey lady if i was in fact headed into new york. the train stopped somewhere else in jersey and i decided to get off at the next stop, no matter what. then the train changed direction. which is a bit like getting into an elevator and pushing the button for a floor above you, and the feeling in your stomach when it drops instead.

i was wigging out. trying not to only made things worse. and trying to appear as though i wasn't freaking out at all was a taxing chore.

the train stopped at christopher street and i ran off. halfway up the stairs, a confused woman with two kids asked if we were in new york or new jersey and i said i didn't know. but wanted to know also. a nice looking new yorker came down the stairwell and i apologized for stopping him, asking which state we were in. he said new york, and i literally jumped up and down, telling the woman, and headed up and out of the station.

new york city never looked so good to me.

i texted kit and nate that i'd made it and nate texted me right back, asking where i was. he said he was on his way walking, and that he would be to me in 20 minutes, to stay put.

so i went on a two block shopping adventure up to bleeker street and bought the cutest ring in the history of cute plastic rings, and a little heart covered changepurse to help me keep loose change and subway tokens organized.

i went back to my corner and waited.

a pretty girl asked me which way to macdougal and i told her i didn't know, but let her use my phone map. nate said to head back up to bleeker, so we walked together, chit chatting about being lost in new york. i told her it was my first adventure and that, luckily, my friend was coming to rescue me. she turned to her street as nate walked up.

excited jumping up and down hugs later, we were on our way to strand. i had arrived within walking distance, but pressed for time, took the subway there. it was my top priority.

i love strand. seriously, love. i can't go to new york without going, and usually buy two or more books that collect dust while i'm there. the last time, i found 'cruddy', my all time favorite book, and had given it to the writer, so i was there to re-buy my own copy.

i also wanted 'zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance', as listed by a million boys on dating site.

i found the only copy of cruddy, on sale, because i was meant to buy it, and zen, and saw a hemingway on sale for $3.50 and nabbed 'for whom the bell tolls', because i'd loved 'the sun also rises'.

and let me tell you. if ever in new york, looking for hot boys to stare at, just go to strand. everyone who works there is pretty and tattoo laden, most of them with glasses. and the customer base is also pretty.

nate and i have the same taste in boys, so we were grabbing each others' arms and making purring noises at all the same times.

we left and went to union square. i was already freezing and in need of a bathroom to change in. we people watched in the square for a bit, and headed to a starbucks to use the bathroom.

we talked while we waited in a line for thirty minutes, i changed and peed, and kit texted to say things were running behind, that i had another whole hour.

so i took him to dinner.

we caught up about life, and it was the most real conversation time i've ever had with him. he tends to be very private about his problems, even though i'm an open book, and it was awesome to sit across from him and just listen to stories that weren't hype and drama.

i felt great, told him about my date night, and made small talk while we ate at the same restaurant brownies had gone to with us the last time i was there, and that nate and i had gone to another trip as well. it's a couple blocks from strand, a great burger joint with awesome fries. so it does the trick.

we finished dinner, and he took me to the train station nearby. he caught his train and i caught the path back out of the city after a whirlwind three hour afternoon with an awesome friend.

as per the usual, i went in with an empty backpack, just a spiral sketchbook and my paper journal. i'd anticipated sitting in central park and writing for hours, before i knew i'd see him. and i came back with a bag so full it actually busted open on the street walking to the parking garage to get my car.

i was trying not to sweat how much i'd have to pay to get my car out, and had another mini panic when i realized it was a cash only ticket booth. i gathered all my cash, fearing the worst, and put my ticket in.

imagine the elation when it said $15. i was beside myself, cramming money in and saying i'd never go to new york by car another way. it was the best relief.

i got my car, which hadn't been broken into, and plugged in kit's address for the reception.

and that is precisely where all my worst fears came true.

kit had sent the exact address in a text. and i typed in the name of the resort and had iphone find it for me.

i followed the directions, while she texted me to say that she was eating and nearly ready.

i was so proud that i'd gotten out of the city and into my car with time to get to her, and not make her wait.

but when i got to the 'destination', there was nothing in sight. i zoomed in and drove in circles where it told me she was. and she was nowhere to be found.

so i called to say that i wasn't to her yet, that i was lost and had no idea where i was, but that iphone was telling me i was there.

she asked someone standing around, who told her i was about 30 minutes south. so, panic stricken, i got onto the highway and headed north, editing the route from my current location.

drove for about 30 minutes, iphone telling me i was there yet again. only i was in a different place. and again. she was nowhere to be found.

thing about new jersey is this... the highways don't have signs on them. so say you take a wrong turn and don't know it. and you keep driving. there's no interstate sign to say, 'hey. you're on this road. headed this direction.'

they should take a note from 95 north, and just fucking post the shit.

by that time, she'd been waiting for me for an hour. she was getting pissed, and i was in such a state that i turned the music off, didn't have a cigarette, in an effort to focus on finding her, and drove.

i kept thinking i was on the wrong road, but there was no way to verify that. so i kept pulling off the road, in a sweaty panic, to edit my route from the current location.

by the time i made it to the road she was on, and was at my destination yet again, she was nowhere to be found. and i fucking lost it. head in hands, crying in a parking lot of some different resort by a different name, begging her to ask someone if they knew where i was and how to get to her.

the other thing about new jersey is this: there are number names and word names for all the streets. we have that a little, too. but nowhere here does it only give you one of the two for reference.

i knew i was on 202. but she kept saying morristown. and i kept plugging the same shit back into iphone and finding out, every single time, that i was 30 minutes away from her.

at this point, there was no calming down. she had been waiting for two full hours for me to find her, and i was still not there. she finally asked someone the exit from the highway, which i was at the entrance of, and once i had the exit number, i knew i could get to her.

literally, i had passed this exit at least four times. up and down, up and down. thirty minutes each time, killing half a tank of gas, and half the night, and all of my already fragile brain.

the epic roadtrip of awesomeness was now a fucking pit of misery.

but i found her then, and we headed back.

we'd both had a shitty two hours, and i guess about two thirds of the way back, we were able to laugh about it.

but it was fucking horrible.

i know it had to have been operator error. because the next day, perfectly calm in bed, i looked at the map history for all the routes i'd plugged in. and every single one had been the exact address she'd given me. i don't know what went wrong, but as is always the case, once i start to panic, i can't make correct decisions. and i start second guessing myself.

and that night? it made for the worst of epic disasters.

i will die not knowing what the fuck went wrong. or how far from her i ever actually was. i'm sure that, at more than one point, i must have been super close, and just not known it.

the whole time i was looking for her, contractor was texting me and calling me because he had picked up some stuff for me, and wanted to drop it off. i'd originally told him i'd be home around 10, which became 11. and he was texting me at 10 while i was lost and panicking, saying he was on his way.

and while, driving the wrong way on unmarked roads, i was only able to text him back, 'no.' and 'three hours.'

he called as we were pulling into a rest stop. kit answered and talked to him for a bit while i nearly flipped the car trying to make the turn.

this is precisely why i don't talk and drive and text and drive. i felt horrible, because he'd made a trip to home depot for supplies, to come over and work on the tub for a bit before going to another job late that night. and i couldn't comprehend what had just happened to me, much less communicate it to him. luckily, kit and i were laughing it off at that point, and he got a kick out of the story, telling me he'd be by the next chance he had. sunday wasn't an option, so it would be monday or tuesday night before we had mutual time to get it fixed. (it ended up getting fixed monday - as read about in other post)

it was just awful. the whole reason i was so hellbent on working with him that night was because the tub had been clogged for over a week. to the point where, showering for work every morning, i was standing in someone else's shower water. it was so upsetting, and that was going to be the only thing we did that night.

so not accomplishing that, paired with arriving home at 115 in the morning fucking frazzled and stressed, was enough to make me cry. i'd cried twice on the way back, and walked into the house and directly to the fridge for a belgian tripel. i was dying for a beer, and beyond exhausted from all the anger and frustration and panic and emotional overload.

i was still awake at 430 that morning, on beer number two, before taking nyquil to force my body to shut down. it had no intention of sleeping.

and was i ever surprised when i woke up at fucking 1245 the next day.

i woke up thinking it was 8 or something dumb, refusing to look at the clock. but my brain woke up and i couldn't pass back out, and looked. and literally yelled, 'holy fuck!' and jumped out of bed.

how i didn't wake up with a coffee migraine is beyond me. but starting to drink a coffee then is a horrible thing to do. much less, waking up feeling nauseous from sleep deprivation makes for a total lack of coffee appetite.

i only drank about half of one before heading to favorite bar to have brunch with kit. brownies called as i was leaving, and we caught up for about half an hour while i circled for parking.

kit was late to a gathering and i ended up drinking a belgian tripel (trend much?) in about 15 minutes flat. and walked dizzy back to my car at 3 in the afternoon. wondering how i was going to get anything done when i was mostly drunk on an empty stomach after waking up two hours earlier.

i talked to nina while i drove home, and for an hour in total.

i felt awful, but came home. mom was flying out, so we talked for the last hour she was here. i say mom, but i mean mike's mom. she became mom the first day she arrived, and became a real mom by day ten when she left.

i told her goodbye before she was actually leaving, in an effort to not cry and get all sappy. she was truly a joy to have around, and fed me lots of mom meals and mom sweets while she stayed in the house during the day, while we were all at work. we talked a lot over late night cigarettes about former husbands and missed opportunities. about men, about women. about motherhood. we covered all the bases, and i know that she'll be back. it's the only reason i didn't cry.

kinda like when i say goodbye to aubree. it's never goodbye. it's always 'see you soon'. and that way, we can mostly avoid boo hoo cryfests.

while they packed her up and went to the airport, i cleaned.

it was supposed to be a vacuum party, where i vacuum everything. and then mop.

but i started in the bathroom, and what i ended up doing was organizing the closet, breaking down the huge baker's rack that was in there, carting it down to the basement, and reorganizing everything onto the small rack, to make room for storing all sorts of other things.

in the time it would have taken to vacuum and mop the whole house, i'd neatly tucked everything into the closet. so it didn't really look as though i'd done anything at all. it was super disappointing, but at the same time felt good to know that i knew where everything was. i got all the tools and supplies out of there, and all the stuff that didn't belong in there out. and hid everything in the closet, so now it's just a big open bathroom instead of a junked up pile of mess.

then i commenced vacuuming. and i got everything done. mike was going to mop behind me, but at that point it was already 11. i was disgusting from going up and down the stairs and carting everything into the cleared out basement.

all of ever's stuff got stuck down there. which made me feel both good and bad.

bad, because i doubt he'll ever get any of it. good, because i don't have to see it and think of his dumb ass every fucking time i walk into the dining room.

all told, it was a super productive day. it only sucked when i was still up at 2, and had set the alarm for 7 for work on monday.

at 11, i was almost sleeping when aubree called to talk about mom and dad. then i was talking until after 12, and wired awake until 2. most likely from the coffee i'd had at 2. getting old fucking SUCKS.

so that was the story of kit and nate. the new york adventure and road trip that i could have lived without enduring the second half of. seriously, when we got to the wedding, i was on top of the world. and by the end of that night i felt like i had never been lower. flattened by a city bus brand of badness.

but we survived it. and got home each in one piece. it was the best time i've ever spent with nate, and i only wish that i could have spent more time with him.

and i learned a few valuable lessons. none of which i will soon forget.

matthew. april 7th.

so i'm coming back to write about that first date on the eve of second date, because things were sweet and cute. i'll keep the juicy details in paper journal, but some of the conversation points can go here...

writing posts with boys' names for titles makes me feel mannish. like, conquests or something. i was thinking yesterday that it would be easy to confuse what i'm doing with some mistaken case of a vendetta. like, bringing boys to bed to get even with them for doing something they never did to me.

it's not like i got conned by some. i mean, yeah, i've had my fair share of heartbreak, but it was not really caused by boys who made me think they liked me, took me home, and never spoke to me again or something.

maybe this is relationship retaliation. all the boys that broke my heart. making up for all that monogamy. a lifetime of being a serial monogamist. i bet kit on our little roadtrip adventure that i'd easily double the number of boys i've slept with my entire sex life so far (15 years' worth) by this summer. we'll see if that becomes the case. i fear that the only wrench would be meeting one that i like, and agreeing to exclusivity. but i don't really see that happening before summer.

safety first. i'm careful every time. and as long as that is the case, i don't take issue with what i'm doing with my body. or to my body. or having done to my body.

fuck it.

so, first date.

a few of you got the live version of this story in tea voice, but because i tend to tell stories in a strange stream of consciousness, some things might actually have been left out. or this might be the third time you've heard some of the bits, because i tend to retell pieces by saying, 'did i tell you that he said...'

in any case.

so i worked that night, closed the store. i got caught late, and he did, too. so we changed the time to be later. and it meant that i had time to go home and shower. which i was quite grateful for later.

redid makeup, got dressed quickly and ran out the door. he was going to walk, but changed his mind at the last minute and drove as well.

so there were two cars at the bar. and i kept forgetting all night that he didn't walk. i thought he thought i was braindead because i kept talking about him walking when he didn't.

in any case, we said 8, he ended up being ready early, so he went early. and i texted him that i was there, when i walked up outside. as i pulled the door open, he was three steps away from me, walking to me.

and right off the bat, a joke.

'oh, i thought you needed to be picked up.'

it was a great way to start the date. it was funny because, aside from the bartender, there was one other person in the bar. before i opened the door, i wondered if i'd have a hard time finding him inside, if he was there yet.

he said he hoped i didn't mind he started without me. and he had a little pile of money on the counter that the bartender pulled money from and added change to. so we sat there talking for two beers. on his third, we decided to go to another bar to eat.

we joked around quite a bit, talking mostly about work i guess. he was on his fourth day at a new job, where he works in a cubicle and hates it, because the people there are so boring and lame. i had told him about all the fun i have at work, and so we traded stories.

when we walked to the other bar, we were laughing and i was surprised to have to walk extra fast to keep up to him. what was funny was that, on the way to my car later, he said something about keeping up with me. i walk really fast. people are always fussing at me for accidentally leaving them behind. i always have to slow down. i was kindof impressed that he was faster than me, because he was only a couple inches taller than me.

anyway, we got to mom's and ordered corndogs and cheesy waffle fries and tots. i think he thought it was pretty fucking badass that i didn't turn my nose up at the food. as soon as he mentioned corndogs at first bar, i said, 'let's go. perfect!'

second bar conversation drifted away from the mundane work stories (which were not mundane at all, really) and friend stories, to the more flirty dating stories.

i said at one point, 'you know, the best thing you said to me during that phillies chat was the bit about not being annoying, liking baseball, and having boobs, what's not to like?'

maybe he didn't exactly remember saying that to me, but sounded familiar enough for him to laugh about it. and said, 'yeah. i'm pretty much out on a date with you because you have awesome boobs.'

i was giggling, totally into the honesty of the situation. we had a five minute conversation about boobs and bras and how important support is, and how awful it is when people don't know that and walk around with saggy tits.

the whole time we were talking boobs, he had one of those little plastic frogs. the kind that have the little tab on their butt, that you push down and release, to make it jump. he was aiming for my cleavage. i was coaching. he admitted that the game was really just a way to stare at my boobs blatantly. and i apologized for wearing my best bra and a tight shirt, because it gave him no chance to get anything down my shirt. the poor frog kept bouncing off my left boob and back onto the table. but i give him a lot of credit for trying.

it seemed so juvenile, but it didn't feel that way. it was fun.

that was about the time that he complimented my collarbones. and started to accuse me of lying about the gym.

and i said something about him having exactly the type of body i like on a boy, too. and he said that he used to be a fat kid, and that he still worries about ending up back there again. that he battles the pudge. i told him he's insane, that there is no pudge. he kept patting his belly. his non existant belly.

then we talked about dates and dating. about dating site. and i really listened more than talked, as he was my first date. he asked me what was my worst date, and i had to say that he was kindof my first date, that i'd just joined the site.

and what was funnier is that he wasn't surprised by it. he said he gets that enough to think that he has a knack for being people's first date. and said, 'i think i'm a great first date.'

and i concurred.

he talked about a few bad dates he'd been on. one with some feminist who kicked him out of her car after he walked around to open the driver's side door to let her in.

he said enough for me to know that he goes on a lot of dates, with a lot of girls. and i picked up what he threw down. it didn't come across as cocky like chalk. or as slutty. it just came across like he enjoys going on dates, and likes to be out often. so he does.

we talked about how funny it was that we were both in head to toe gap clothes. i complemented his sweater (white knit, cottony goodness) and he said his mom bought it for him like 12 years ago, and that he loves it, and that it's from the gap. and we both started saying, oh so is my shirt, so are my pants, back and forth until all of our clothes were designate as gap.

i don't know. he was a lot of fun. and i was right about thinking he'd be a lot like my friend bryan from back home. very similar looking, with his hair and hat and brown beard and glasses. his sense of humor wasn't quite as dry, but he laughed as much and made me laugh as much. only bryan was never really my type, but somehow matthew is.

i don't know, i guess it was after the gym comment that he said something that was smoothly followed by, 'i mean... i'd do you.'

and i giggled and said, 'word.'

we talked shit about our crappy waitress, who was the girl version of confused eyebrows hottie who is dumb as a box of rocks and looks confused when you order a pbr. and decided to split. he was definitely beyond tipsy, but not really drunk. i was right at tipsy. i only had one beer there, he had two. i paid for that portion of our date, after he'd bought drinks at the other place.

we walked out, talking about cee lo. he wanted to play it on his phone and make some grand entrance for his first friday at his new job. but we both decided that it might not be the best idea. that someone might get offended.

and when we got outside the bar, he put his arm around my waist, which was nice. i wanted to do it, but was afraid to. so i was smiley when he did. and he had his hand on my hip, and kinda tickled me while we walked. i kept squirming out from under his hand and laughing. and he kept doing it. he'd decided to let me drive him home because he didn't want to drive after drinking. i'd made it clear i was stopping when i did specifically to drive, and told him i'd take him home.

so we got a third of the way to my car, and he stopped walking suddenly. because of his hand being on my hip and arm around me, he was easily able to swing me halfway around, to him, and kissed me right there on the sidewalk, mid block. it was awesome.

i said, 'that was nice,' and i guess about two thirds of the way, he grabbed my hand, laced fingers with me. and stopped dead in his tracks, telling me that, if i wanted to hold his hand, i had to act like it. i asked if it was the equivalent of a dead fish handshake, and he said not that bad. so i said, 'seriously. critique me. what am i doing wrong? this could be very helpful to me.'

and at first, he was reluctant to say, or maybe it was just a feeling, not something specific. but in either case, he just squeezed my hand a little harder, and said, 'more like that. let me know that you are there. let me know that you want to be holding my hand.'

it was funny. it wasn't mean at all. again, not cocky either. just playful and helpful. i was grateful.

and then we were at my car.

and got in. and i turned the corner, and asked where he lived if i was taking him home. and he said, 'well, are you taking me home or are you taking me home with you?'

and i looked at him and smiled and said, 'i'd take you home with me.'

and he said, 'great. we can make out and stuff.'

and i told him i like making out. and spent most of the rest of the drive apologizing for how messy the house and my room was.

and that's how it was that i had a boy over last thursday. i've said all i'm going to say about the rest of it. and i guess that there will be more to say about him tomorrow.

i quite like him. not in that swoony heady way, exactly. just like, 'that boy is FUN. and he's CUTE. and he's good at kissing. and somehow managed to pick me up. more than once.

i fucking LOVE being picked up. ever never did it and i always wanted him to.

when i left him, and told kenna about it originally, i said, 'i want to be carried to bed, you know?'

and she knew what i meant.

and it's nice to get that. from a string bean boy with what i consider to be a perfect boy body, who is barely taller than me and almost as skinny. i couldn't believe he could pick me up.

he surprised me more than once.

and i'm pretty excited to see him again.

not too excited. luckily.

head squarely on my shoulders.

it's funny, all this boy stuff.

the chalks and matthews of the world? no problem. i can have sex with them all i want, and not get all swoony and attached. not lose my head in a smitten crushed out kindof a way. maybe over time. maybe after like 30 times of sleeping with them. but most likely not a concern.

it's the joeys that i fear. the ones i liked first. the ones i pursue. the ones who aren't random boys i don't know at all. who i got to know, then decided that i'd like to make out with. then maybe something else with.

they're going to be the ones i have to be careful with. they're going to the be the ones that i hesitate to jump into bed with. because i have to, to protect myself.

i'm so afraid of getting caught up and my heart swooning and running away from me.

i'm really good at keeping myself from making that final leap. i can absolutely push myself to the edge and come back down from there, without caving. i did it when i decided to be alone. i did it the way i mean it here when i was in florida and chalk was trying to talk me into poolside sex.

i always warn them. well, i say always, but i have before and now it will be easier to. before i met ever, i used to tell boys 'i will not sleep with you. if you're just looking to get laid, don't waste your time on me.'

and half the time, they walked away. and half the time they put in enough effort for me to feel like giving it to them in time.

but now? now i come with a warning label. well, if i actually like them as more than a random friend. if i'm afraid of getting tangled up and wanting to say things that are too telling and wanting to cook and bake and makes mixes for them.

those are my tells. like itching your nose at a poker table. when i catch myself thinking, 'i should play my mix for him,' or, 'i should make him dinner,' i am going to have to do some serious internal lecturing.

because that is precisely how i've ended up in every relationship i've ever been in. it's also how i've ended up smitten and heartbroken with every boy who wouldn't have me, despite my desperate attempts to win them over.

it's funny. this is precisely the opposite approach i had in my life before ever.

i would only sleep with boys that i thought i loved. boys that i thought i would be willing to marry. boys who earned it. boys who only wanted to be with me.

now? i will only sleep with boys that i don't have any kind of an emotional attachment to (he's cool/funny/respectful is about as far as matthew got), now i'm mostly certain i don't ever want to get married again. i'm giving up on the first date to boys who probably don't deserve it at all. boys who can get it from a slew of girls, and probably do.

which is why i'm careful. and always protected.

and it's why i'm going to have a lot of fun.

and for those who have been concerned about my nervous non-eating... i am now pigging out again.

i don't know what changed. maybe because i have a second date and because i finally talked to joey and because i stopped worrying about ever dying. my nerves are calmer. and i guess it's been since yesterday at work when i felt hungry. like, making up for lost time kind of hungry. i know it's a cumulative effect from not being able to eat much for like two weeks. that, and hormonal imbalances making me want to eat everything in my line of vision.

it feels good to start to catch up on what's been happening with me. now if i can just tackle the nate weekend and kit roadtrip. i'm out of time at suck store. i got too much work done today to have written that thing out. but maybe when i'm home. i hate feeling so swimmy because i can't make time to type it out and get it out of my head.

here's to a night of condom shopping, tanning, toenail painting, fingernail painting, foot scrubbing, leg shaving preparations.

boys, hide your penises. there's a cougar on the loose...

joey. april 12th.

today was fucking ROUGH. for starters, i was up until 2 am. tea the spring onset insomniac has taken over my life, and i kinda want her to go away.

my biggest mistake was checking my account balance in light of shawn's rent check bouncing. i went to the big city with $600 and didn't bother to check it before i left, because i knew i'd only spend about $100.

i looked last night to see what had posted, and my account was $200 in the red.

i panicked, and was up worrying for a while.

i woke up at 7 for work. i biked, even though it was supposed to storm all day, i was lucky it hadn't started when i woke up. i knew i had to borrow money and bike to the bank with it, to stop the hemorrhaging.

i put $400 in, and have $7 to my name right now.

between the fees and what i spent, plus my checks i'd written for bills that cleared, i was fucked. royally. i spent about 45 minutes there, talking to one of the reps about lines of credit, what i can do to keep this from happening again.

and my head was swimming when i left, which was an improvement over drowning when i went in.

i have a lot of ideas, but won't make a decision until i talk to my parents about a repayment plan, now that i'm not selling the house.

i walked back to work in the rain, trying to calm myself down. and as i walked up to my store, i wrote a status update for facebook that said, '...could really use some GOOD luck. because the bad variety is bringing a sistah DOWN.'

and because my luck was what it was, i lost my signal walking in, and it didn't post.

i strapped my phone to the wall for pandora use, and went back into the back room to make sandwiches.

because i'm at suck store tomorrow, and it's our busiest day, i had to prep sandwiches for today and for tomorrow. i started at 9, went to the bank at noon, and got back into it by 1. i finished at 5.

we have a couple jokes about sandwich making. the best one is, 'i smell like MEAT.'

i actually had kim bring some perfume oil from home, because i got all sweaty biking in and making sandwiches, and i'd forgotten my double spray of angel on my way out the door.

i was feeling rotten. i hugged kim and pam when i came back, in an effort not to cry.

i woke up today on the verge of tears, and chalked it up to hormones that are coursing through my body. that, and stress, and sleep deprivation.

so imagine my SHOCK when i looked up after bringing out a set of sandwiches and seeing joey walk in.

i ran into the back room, did my best to smooth my frizzball hair from walking in the rain and working in the humidity all day.

pam came into the back and said, 'yeah, girl. pull it together.'

i went out front in time to catch his eye.

i walked to where he was (third in line) and said, 'i've been looking for you, mister.'

she later told me that i went back into the room to smooth out with a full body blush.

pretty funny now, but i was proud at the time.

he skipped ahead out of line and said my name, again, in that voice of his.

and he followed me to the end of the counter.

he said something about reeking of formaldehyde, and i couldn't think to say i smelled like meat and pesto. i asked why, and he said that he'd been dissecting a human brain. rad.

what i realize tonight, reflecting, is that joey is the most random person i might know. from the once every month visit, to what he says when he's there.

last time it was, 'wanna see my new tattoo?'

today it was, 'wanna see my dog?'

and he pulled out his iphone, and pulled up her picture.

his hands were SHAKING.

like, really bad.

and he was super nervous acting, which caught me off guard. somehow i was not at all, because he was only there to see me and we both already knew what we were there to discuss. it really surprised me.

with shaky hands, he showed me another picture, and i asked her name.

her name is apple.

i saw he had a pack of marlboro reds in his shirt pocket. i said, 'oh, good. you smoke, too.'

it was a great shirt, kim said probably his fanciest. a nice red plaid short sleeve shirt. which overwhelmed my eyes, the way it was laying on his arms with all that ink.

he said that he's been smoking a pipe lately, because apple puts up with it, as opposed to cigarettes.

and i grabbed my sweater, planning to walk somewhere with him, and he said, 'wanna go have a smoke?' and i said yes.

and i was already two steps ahead, saying i'd be back to the girls, who couldn't stop smiling. kinda like me.

i usually go to this awesome hiding place kit showed me, far from watchful eyes of students and professors who comprise our customer base.

but he wanted to sit right by the front door.

it was cold by then. the rain brought a front. he took off his coat for me to sit on.

fucking sweetest thing ever. but again, two steps ahead, i was already sitting down when he said, 'you can sit on my coat if it's wet from the rain...'

i said it was dry, he put his coat down and sat close to me. i accidentally touched his leg with my foot when i switched the way my legs were crossed mid-conversation.

dude. i'm fucking giggling and grinning typing this out.

it was so AWESOME.

so i don't know what i said first. i know i thanked him for coming by. i told him that i didn't realize he worked so far away, and he said that his lab is under the radio station (8 city blocks or so).

i can't remember, it's all jumbled in my brain.

i got it. i said i was having a rough day. he apologized, and i said, 'it's not your fault.'

and told him how my sister had called me at 11 the night before to tell me that dad now knew about her girlfriend, the way my parents are, in florida. i said that for the last couple nights i'd been up until two, and not happy about the insomnia. he said that he'd just woken up at noon, and that coming in so late was one of the things that made it great to be a scientist.

he'd mentioned writing his dissertation, and waiting for weed, and not getting any, and not sleeping as a result. which did a couple things to my brain. one: sweet. i'll get stoned soon. i've been wanting to. and two: oh, man. a smoker stoner scientist? hmm...tread carefully.

and then he said, 'i'm from florida, too.'

he's from south florida.

and said his parents flipped when his brother came out. we talked about being supportive siblings, and how awesome it is for them to each take back their lives and be who they are without hiding.

i told him about my parents being super churchy, and he said his mom is cuban catholic and his dad is jewish. i said, 'interesting combo', and only then did i realize that i can see it a little. which must be the draw. i'm a sucker for jewish boys.

he's so tall. and so skinny. his beard has gotten thick since i saw him last, his hair pretty shaggy and crazy.

he said his mom would flip when she saw his newest tattoo, and realized that there's a 66 6 in the number plate under hannibal lecter's mugshot on his arm. i don't yet know why he has hannibal on his arm. and haven't seen the rest. i think it might be a fun game to play. i'll show you mine if you show me yours. and i'll even pretend to be coy when i show him my ribcage. but i digress...

i said something about my sister coming up for the summer from gainesville, because the last time i saw him, i'd asked him about it. he said he'd been there once. i said i had, too. then corrected myself to mention the week i spent at shands when aubree had her brain incident. he was still shaking, and smoking super nervously. i was watching him talk and he looked at me. he has really pretty blue and green eyes. which i am sure made me smile at the time.

i was at a total loss for technical terms when it came to what happened to her, because he's a neuroscience grad student. and he seemed to be, as well, so i didn't sweat it.

he said the time he'd been was with his band, and that he enjoyed playing for a big sweaty crowd. that i would have liked them, droney but sweet, and pretty good. that the band his band played with is getting popular right now, who are mathy but screamy, and that i probably wouldn't be so into them.

i thought it interesting that he has a grasp on my music preferences. i mean, i do tend to rule the music in the store, but see him so infrequently that i can't think of a time when we'd ever talked music.

in any case, our cigarettes were smoked, and i apologized for having to go back inside. and said, 'so do you want to grab a drink, joey?'

and he said yes, but that he wasn't into bars, because he wanted to be able to talk and hear me.

second time in a week that a boy has said that to me, but it meant something different coming from him. with matthew, i felt like he's probably said that to a thousand girls, and that it probably worked like a charm every time. with joey, i just thought, 'wow. he likes me.'

i said, 'oh, that's fine. i go to delaware every friday, and have like two cases of beer in my fridge.'

he said he has beer, too. that he gets his delivered. and mentioned the street that my house intersects with.

i said, 'oh. do you live in south philly? are we neighbors?'

he said he lives in center city, and that beer delivery just makes things easier, it was the name of the company, not the street. and then he said, 'i like to put on records and get fazed' or something like that. it gave me a great visual, of hanging out and talking over beer, him getting up to play records that suited his mood. sitting on his floor. it made me smile.

he asked when i had time, and i said that my only plans for this weekend were saturday night bowling in jersey. he made a sound that expressed disdain for jersey or bowling, but probably both, and he asked why i'd want to do that. and i said that i'm going with friends.

so i gave him my number, and he called my phone. what i realized about ten minutes later was that the fucked signal in my store kept the call from showing up on my phone. so i do not have his number. i'm an idiot. and he didn't wait long enough.

i said, give me a call, let's do something this weekend.

and he said he'd see me soon.

and put on his coat, and walked off.

i walked inside in shock. disbelief.

parts of it were so much easier than i expected. but i was grinning like an idiot.

and walked in, with the girls staring at me. and started squealing and jumping up and down, and said, 'i have a date! we're hanging out this weekend!!'

and they cracked up and high fives and all.

it was awesome.

and for the last two hours i was there, i made more sandwiches in the back room, pacing out into the store randomly. breaking into dance, and smiling and laughing. and going back to sandwiches.

and kim made fun of me the rest of the shift, telling me she needed me to act like i have some sense. but that it was so much better to see me so happy and smiley than mopey. that it makes working with me so much more fun.

but i just COULDN'T act like i had any sense.

he came by. and he couldn't stop shaking.

part of me wanted to grab his hand and make a joke of some kind to help him relax a little. maybe he was just cold. but body language stuff just made me think he was really nervous.

i am the happiest girl.

and in the back, making sandwiches, something kinda substantial hit me.

it was this rush of elation, followed by this upset, caused by information trickling down parts of my brain.

this is why i put off dating for a year.

i let boys rule my happiness.

and it scares the piss out of me.

literally right before he showed up, i was mopey and on the verge of tears. i'd already bet the girls that he'd show up tomorrow when i'm not there. and had already asked them to make him call me and demand to know why i wasn't there when he showed up.

i mean, i got ready this morning hoping he'd show. but after the way my day went, i thought it was impossible.

and when he showed up, and left, i was cloud ten-ing.

knowing that he likes me enough to come all that way and agree to hang out this weekend at one of our places just kills me. in a good way, obviously.

but it also wakes up that dormant fear. the one that forced me to be utterly alone for the last year.

i know i'm not putting ever hangups on another boy. which was my biggest fear. or letting myself fall in love in 2.3 seconds. which is my second biggest fear.

and here i am, worrying about falling for a boy.

i texted kit to ask what i could derive from the fact that he's writing his dissertation. and she said that he's about to graduate. and that he's probably leaving.

and i let it get to me. instead of being excited for a first date, i was kicking myself for not jumping sooner. because she's probably right about him graduating, and not too many people stick around.

it was this up and down rollercoaster wave, amplified i'm sure by my hormones. it happened so quickly inside.

it stole a little of my happiness.

this is what i do. i let the future shit detract from current fun. i worry so much about what might happen that i fuck up what is actually happening.

i won't fuck this up, though.

i'm already worried he'll think i have his number and not call me. or that his phone will break before he tells me where and when. because he said it will probably die before he sees me next. because he threw it when he fucked up an omelet flipping trick. hmm.

but worst case scenario, if he doesn't call me this weekend, and thinks i didn't call him because i didn't mean it (he was that nervous), i can always bike past the smoking section of his building, since he told all of us where he works, and get his number.

this was part of that mental sadness tangent, though. what if he doesn't call? will it ruin my weekend? the way it ruined my weekend when that boy tim didn't show up to favorite bar on halloween. the way it was ruining dating site experience when no one was writing me back before there was a flood in the last week or two.

the way i always give up on myself before i even take a stab at it.

ugh. shut up, pms. i hate you.

figures i'll be hanging out with aunt flo about the time he decides to call or text and set something up.

i hate getting so excited about boys. i feel like i did a pretty fantastic job of playing it cool with matthew from the first date last thursday. and when he texted me yesterday to say 'let's hang out again', and i said that thursday was good, i was proud of that as well.

in all honesty, i did have stuff to do between then and thursday.

yesterday, i was up until 11 vacuuming and mopping the entire second and first floors. and organizing the bathroom, and cleaning that, too, after contractor left. we fixed the drain. it was awesome. no more other-people's-shower-water in the tub while i'm in mine. so nasty. it's so awesome to be shown how to fix something, and i told him to step aside while i pulled a sickening amount of stuff out of the drain, making fake throwup gagging noises. we were cracking up, and i was getting shit done.

tonight, i came home to write. and brought out my toe and fingernail polish supplies. and abandoned them on my nightstand to do something else instead.

today i primed over the logo on the wall that ever so lovingly painted fucking BLACK and about three feet by four on the living room wall. i tried sanding it, which really didn't work at all. after the first coat of primer, the marker that he'd used to outline the logo was showing through brilliantly. after the second coat, it's just a hint of raised lines where the stencil was. i'm pleased enough with the results to leave it the way it is for the time being.

and in my room, the atrocious red and blue paint all over my soffits has been cleverly once over'd.

it's a far cry from anything i'd call done. but it is started. and already i feel so much better. it's like i said to nina... i can't be bringing boys in here thinking these ideas were mine. it's embarrassing that he did it. more embarrassing for boys who come home with me to think that i think it looks good. or that i did it.

it's messy, for sure. but it's primer white.

and i made myself stop at ten to try to sleep at a reasonable hour for suck store wake up call.

and it's 1130 and i'm awake. tired, exhausted, even.

i pushed through the work just like i do on the weekends. did all the hard stuff, the taxing stuff, yesterday and today. and that leaves an afternoon and a night tomorrow that will be about me. making my toes and feet pretty. painting my fingernails and shaving for my date on thursday. getting extra sleep, hopefully, for a sleepless thursday, hopefully, before a long and weird friday this week.

it will be good. i'm so much happier bringing matthew over this time, or inviting joey if he wants to this weekend. though i'm assuming he's inviting me over. to drink beer and play with apple and listen to records. and maybe smoke a joint. who knows? it all sounds good to me.

which reminds me...

i canNOT forget to buy condoms on my way home tomorrow. and to tan. yeah. i have big plans for myself.

i told aubree when we talked sunday night... just tell mom i'm whoring it up. she'll forget all about how you're in love. and i'll be come the abomination again.

here's to hoping my mom realizes that she has a daughter that she loves, and that she just wants her to be happy. and i'm not talking about me.

i'm ecstatic. i'm feeling confident and full of myself and excited and ballsy. i'm wearing my skinny jeans from this summer, and fitted shirts.

matthew told me on our first date that i have perfect collarbones. and it is circulating in my head. because i draw people, and the thing that our teacher rode us about more than anything else were collarbones. they give so much meaning, if you place them right.

it was a high compliment.

he also called me a liar when i said i didn't work out. and i told him i've nearly killed two dear friends from dropping my end of things while lifting. and that i can't do a single situp. he felt my flexed bicep. and called me a liar again. i told him i don't lie. and that i swear it.

i can honestly say that i have never felt like this before in my life. not with a level head on my shoulders. i mean, boy crazy 19 year old tea felt like this. but irresponsibly so. obsessedly so. maniacally so.

i found something. and i hate that it took all winter to find it, because it made me want to die. but now that i have it, i know exactly what to do with it. and i have the clean sheets to prove it.

weekend's end. april 11th.

you know, this weekend was a killer.

i haven't been blogging so much because i made the switch to paper journal. i hadn't written in it since my birthday back in december. and i have managed to write so much in this past couple weeks since boys have been wreaking havoc on my head.

i save the sex stories and fights for that one...

all the dark shit that i can't cop to on the internet.

friday was such a crazy day. well, starting with thursday night. all i wanted, all day friday, was to call out of work sick, lay in bed, and write the whole day. instead, i had a hectic day, spent driving all over creation in the pouring rain. it was so cold. it was so dreary.

and i was so tired. it was the day of emphatic states of being.

i was high from that boy. i was excited for life. i was excited for spring, because whe the rain cleared that night, the weekend was set to be in the mid 60s, and there was a road trip on my agenda.

it's now almost one am. i'm on an insomnia kick which may or may not kill me. i've now sat down to write this post three times and i'm giving up. i'll catch up on it later.

when i started this post, i started with the last two sentences after suffering an insufferable silent treatment.

it said:

maybe the hardest part of growing up is communicating even when you don't want to.

especially when you don't want to.

it's something ever always faulted me for. it's something i work on daily. and it will always ALWAYS be a struggle for me. but i'm getting better. and that is a great place to go up from...