crashing down, and mayday. may 2nd.

it's a hard thing to adjust to.

i had been absolutely high on life for a couple weeks running, feeling almost invincible. everything was perfect. perfect weather is what kicked it off. followed by boy stuff and house stuff. tiny little things lining up on a daily basis. nearly escaping being doored by a car despite being lost in a daydream.

all those little coincidences where other people make one decision, and it changes everything for you.

there were too many to count, really. old tea, back in the day tea, would have blathered on and on about how wonderful and perfect everything is, how everything happens for a reason, and how everything is meant to be.

new tea says, 'hmm...' and moves on.

the thing is, when it's so beautiful outside after such a rotten winter, it's hard to not smile. everyone is smiling.

and it's hard to be indoors. everyone is out in the weather.

i've been lucky the past four spring seasons, i'd guess. i haven't had allergy issues in years. when i first moved up here, i was really sick, because my poor florida body wasn't accustomed to pennsylvania pollen i guess.

and this year? well, it's just unacceptable. i've had yet ANOTHER cold for a few days now. friday i felt so terrible that i caved, called my doctor, and paid a retarded sum of money for fake allegra, mucinex, and nasonex. i'm juicing. it's kinda funny.

but it's also not going away. there was a day, thursday i guess, when i used my neti pot four times in one day. and my nose was so clogged, no saline would pass through. it was unreal.

and i spent friday afternoon on my deck. and friday night. all day saturday. and then all day yesterday on a bicycle adventure date with sam. not to mention, every window in the house (except my bedroom) is open. pollen is on everything.

but i can't not sit outside when it's 65 and sunny. and i can't keep the house closed up when the breeze is so amazing.

the price i pay...

getting sick was part of the fall.

the underlying stress and anger from that fight took a few days to sink in. i did a great job of ignoring it at first, because i was angry. but then i wrote through the anger, and got really sad about it. and then i wrote through the sadness, and now i guess i just feel nothing about it. it's a holding pattern of sorts. i need time. and i'm taking it.

and as the weather got nicer, i became an insomniac again. it's been so rough. on work nights, i've been up until 1 or 2 every single night. which kinda kills when you wake up at 545 or 7. thursday and saturday nights were both 4 am nights. and i can't sleep in, even when i try. so i'm running on a few hours of sleep, for a couple weeks running now, i guess.

and i got into bed at 830 last night. and was awake until midnight.

i don't know what it is. my body just thinks it can function properly without sleep when the days are nice and don't have to end. when the nights are pretty and tempting. and i can fight it with brain power or medicine. and insomnia wins. it sucks.

i think the saddest i got in the last seven days was the thursday/friday combo bummer. thursday was matthew hangout night. and i guess he seemed slightly less excited to see me, and slightly less enthusiastic about hanging out.

and i know it's because he was tired. we both were, and that was the day i woke up snotnosed. but dinner was just okay. and conversation was just okay. and the sex was just okay.

it felt lackluster. and it made me sad. i didn't see him for a week, and we usually have stupid amounts of fun together. so what would probably have been a good night for other people was really disappointing for me, because it was the least fun i've had with him.

i mean, we had fun. we went to a diner and to a bar after that. and came home and put on napolean dynamite. it wasn't bad. it just wasn't spectacular, like it normally is with him.

the worst bit is that he fell asleep at 1030. and i was awake. until 4 in the fucking morning. i even took nyquil in an effort to pass out. it didn't work. it was just the worst. because i had to work the next day. i could not turn off my brain. and my brain could not turn off my body.

and he left and i took a nap before getting up to go help the girls do inventory, before going to delaware. i usually wake up at 8 if i do that, it's a 2.5 hour nap that fixes me. at the lastest nine. so imagine my panic when i woke up at 945. i knew i needed the sleep, but it threw a major wrench in my day.

on thursday, i had my last $20 on me. and spent it. knowing that i literally had change in my checking account. i had fucked up last weekend and overspent. and kept things on lockdown last week. but it was too late.

so that was weighing heavily on me. money tends to stress me out quite a bit. it's most of the worrying that i do. just not good. and to be that broke? really really not good.

so i couldn't even buy anything i needed in delaware. which was the worst feeling, because ultimately it means i will have to spend more money on it later.

the thursday/friday combo clusterfuck was fully achieved on my way back from delaware. despite waking up late, i felt pretty good. i was in a fine mood, and felt better when i woke up next to matthew than i did when i fell asleep next to him. but i was playing a new mix in my car, and a pinback song came on.

and it made me realize that joey is m.i.a.

what's the most funny is that i know i said, at least twice, after easter sunday morning, that i didn't care if he never called me again. that it wouldn't really matter and that it was fine.

but after he called and missed me twice on sunday, and texted back and forth that night, that was that. he instigated all of the texting that had ever gone between us. and i texted him on tuesday asking him how he was doing, and then on thursday asking him to go to the show with me, because he likes them and i had an extra ticket. i got nothing back.

i'd told him when i hung out with him that i'd pick up a record for him at the show, and he was stoked.

so when the song came up on the mix that was already a little dull/melancholy, i realized he hadn't responded at all. so i called him. and i left him a nonchalant cheery message, calling him duder most likely, and saying i didn't hear from him about the show and didn't know if he was tied up.

whatever. hung up. drove back to phila.


and so i decided, at four o'clock on saturday afternoon, that i would give him one last chance before calling it quits. and i called. and he didn't answer. and i hung up and asked mike to go with me.

i feel better about it now. but on friday, i was sad about it. i don't want to think that easter was the only day i'll ever hang out with him. the trick with him will be stars aligning. because he's the type of person to ask at the last possible second, planning is not his strong suit. and i plan everything ahead. so the chance that he'll ask when i'm not already doing something is slim.

so it goes. i only let myself call him a second time because i hadn't yet, and because he's called me several times. but in my head, it reminded me of chasing coffee. calling and popping up where he worked. texting didn't exist in those days, but the texting added another layer. it made me very self conscious, because i really don't like being the one to make first contact. and it made me feel stalkerly. but then i realized that was just stupid. and i guess that i've come a long way. because before i would have either popped up at his place, because i bike very near it so often, or would have put the record i got in his mailslot or something equally insane.

and so i waited. and heard nothing.

i don't know what i'll end up doing with the record. i bought two, because even though i don't have a record player, i wanted it. it was a super special edition, and there were only a few left. and i got a tour ep in a handmade case as well. they always have awesome merch, because they only sell their tour eps on the road. i was really excited to have exactly enough money to get all three things.

and wasn't really mad about the joey thing. i wish it could be that his phone is broken, because it was well on its way there. but i know it's not, because it didn't go straight to voicemail.

whatever. he'll pop up again some day. or he won't.

it bothered me a lot on friday. and a little on saturday.

but the show was AMAZING. i almost went alone, because i've never gone to a show alone and not met up with someone there. but i'm glad i didn't, because there weren't actual tickets, so i would have had to meet someone outside the place, and take them in with me. i don't know.

choosing to ask mike was the best idea. he had never heard of them, and ended up loving them. we walked in, and this fucking hideous band was opening for them. i mean, i left halfway through their set because i couldn't deal variety of awful.

but we walked in and bought a beer, and gave the band a listen. and i look up to mike's left. and rob crow is just standing there, kinda being into the band. head nodding, and all.

it seemed so unlikely that i was convinced i was wrong about him. i wanted to say hi and thank him for being an amazing musician, but my gushy starstruck self probably would have kept going on. and that would have been stupid.

it was so sad, because the last time i saw them, i'd made food for everyone. and met his wife and son. and talked to him for maybe 5 or 10 minutes.

and then he was right next to me, and i was afraid to approach. i already had set myself up for feeling weird, because that last show i watched them play from the side of the stage. being on the spectator end of things is a far cry from being behind the scenes. ever was good for green room access, and i met some amazing musicians in the days i spent with him.

the show was so incredible, that the disappointed feeling only lasted for that little window of time. they played so many songs. and only two the whole night that i didn't know. their encore was five songs long. which is just unheard of. it was the best. i love them so much, and live, they are really fantastic. and they played my absolute favorite song. which i managed to record in its entirety on my phone.

and then it was over, and we were zipping from one end of the city home, listening to mobb deep and gza on mike's phone, through the middle of the city on a saturday night. drunk people loud and everywhere.

and i got home, and turned off the computer at maybe 130. and was up until 4. so gross.

woke up sunday, feeling pretty good somehow. i'd slept until 1130, had just enough time to pound a big ass mason jar of iced coffee, get a shower and get ready for my date.

so. finally. sam.

i think this date took about a month and a half to set up. and i was running behind yesterday, so i didn't mind that he was, too.

he asked if i wanted to meet him on time, or if i'd rather he be an hour late with a bike.

so i said hour late with a bike. and gave miss breezy a bath.

it was awesome. first bike wash in three years. i practically detailed her. all but the spit shine on her chrome.

i took a little soft sponge and took about 45 minutes cleaning her. between the spokes and all. then windexed all the chrome, and hand dried her.

it was funny. it's funny to write about her as a her. but that's how i feel. she's a she. and she was happy.

when he said he was ready and leaving the town where he lives, i started biking. i knew i'd have some time before he got there, and knew i wanted to take pictures, because it's always pretty.

and yesterday was the best possible day for biking. it was not even 70. and it was overcast. there was no hot sun to beam down. and the wind wasn't bad, so there was no extra work to do against it. and by the time we finally met up, it was two hours after we'd originally planned to meet. and we just got right on the path after hugging hello. and talked while we dodged a thick crowd of people along boathouse row.

there was a regatta that had just ended, looked to be high school kids, and i had the chance to explain my limited knowledge of rowing to him.

i have realized that, due to my casual approach, i wasn't nervous at all waiting for him. and i think he was nervous about me, because the first fifteen or so minutes were highly concentrated with slang that made him sound dumb. and i thought, hmm... this might not have been the best idea.

he was adorable. and short like i like them. he looked exactly as he had presented himself online, which was a relief, as i didn't recognize geoff when he walked up to me. i knew sam right away.

but as we settled in and talked side by side on the bike path, he talked about things he knew, and the slang disappeared.

and we biked out about 5 miles. i'd already ridden 4 from my house at a slow clip, so as to not wear myself out before the date even started.

and about halfway down the path, i saw a familiar face. and he was smiling at me. and it was CATERPILLAR.

and i waved and said, 'hi, caterpillar!' enthusiastically. and he waved back and rode past. he was alone. i was glad that troll wasn't with him. or the trollop, as kim and pam call her. we haven't seen her with him lately, and i thought that seeing him alone would make for a nice little bit of conversation tomorrow.

had i been alone? i would have about faced and joined him. alas, i was not alone. note to self...

back to it.

we got to the end of the path. not the actual end, but where the construction had ended it for us. and we happened to be in manayunk. and i looked to my left, and saw that i was somehow in familiar territory, at the split in the road for main street. so i said we should grab a beer and a snack at the brewery.

and he was totally into it, so we did.

and i know it was a good idea. the food we picked was absolutely perfect. we ate everything, sharing, and weren't too full to bike back. it was great.

but our server sucked ASS. she didn't come by for a while, maybe ten minutes. then took our orders. and the food came out pretty quickly, because they were appetizers. and our beer was still missing maybe fifteen minutes after that. no water. nothing. which wouldn't have been bad if we hadn't just biked kinda far to get there.

and i finally grabbed another server and said we were looking for our server, who had our beers. she popped up like five minutes later. our food was halfway gone, because we were afraid to eat without drinks. it was just awful.

and when she remembered us and we finally got our beers, i thought maybe we'd get free drinks out of it. but we didn't. and, the kicker was, she brought him the wrong beer.

but times like that show a person's true colors. and he was as cool as i was, despite the situation. which was a relief. because i was about to have a mini freakout.

i'd guess we were there for an hour. they were playing reggae, we sat outside on the river because it was so nice out. and talked a lot more.

online, we noted shared musical interests, and i was pretty blown away when he said he had an extra ticket to see beirut in jersey, outside of new york city, in a theater. and asked if i'd like to go. problem was, i am already double booked that day. friday the 13th. otherwise, i'd have been all over it.

that opened a can of musical worms, where we went back and forth for the rest of the time we spent there.

and then we were biking back. and the way back is always so much faster. we got back to the place where he'd parked and had cigarettes, the first since we'd met up. i couldn't remember if he smoked, and he couldn't remember if i did. but he'd had his last one on the way there, so he bummed one. and we talked about what we could do the next time we hang out.

and decided a picnic lunch in fairmount park would be fun, and he offered to teach me frisbee golf. and i told him i've been pretty busy, but that maybe in a couple weeks we could make that happen.

it's so funny with boys. like, comparative shopping. no one is as cool as matthew yet, but geoff was fun to talk to. and sam was glad and relieved that i was into biking, and we had a super chill, laidback bicycle date that ended much better than i thought it would in the first ten minutes.

everything went well. i only had to stop to blow my nose a couple times. not bad, considering we were on a path that didn't feel like the city at all. everything was in bloom.

i hugged him goodbye, and had the feeling that he probably wanted to make out. but i kissed him on the lips and said goodbye. he offered to give me a ride home, but i told him i was into biking it. so i did.

20.25 miles, all told. i felt FANTASTIC.

contractor was working at his bar, and said i should swing by with my deck measurements for a beer on the way, so i did.

and in that beer, some of my dreams were dashed. as quickly as he'd told me that building the deck would be a lot less expensive than i thought, we started adding up the cost of the supplies. and they were right at $2000. and the labor would be about $2500.

and i just couldn't justify spending that kind of money, and said i didn't think i could swing it.

and biked home, at sunset. about three blocks from the house, the streetlights came on.

it was a great day. i had a lot of fun with sam, and even though the deck got sidelined, we decided to put a window in, and a functional door. and that i can hang on the roof for a couple years before worrying about a new roof and the deck that will someday have to protect it.

bittersweet. but sensible.

so we'll go back to the list of things that are much less fun than a deck, but also more important than the deck. and today i thought that maybe we could put stairs up to the third floor roof, because the deck would be half the size. and that i could swing. that's the view i want anyway...

we'll see what he says about it.

aside from that, aubree is now three short days from moving in. and i am beside myself with excitement.

mom and dad have been in a rough patch because of it. and i'm hoping that they can get excited for her (and me) soon, so that it doesn't feel like such a selfish bad thing that i did.

i guess that, from the talk i had with mom for over an hour a few days ago, what i'm left with is this:

mom and dad are super sad that, instead of having both of us home for the entire summer, they now get neither of us for the entire summer.

and i get it. yeah, i'd love to have sold the house, be sitting on a gigantic pile of cash like i thought i would be by now, and be going home for the whole summer. to sit and float in the pool and shun all my responsibilities. to not work, to just BE. and i'm sure that aubree feels the same way. she'd rather be around everyone and having an easy internship with the doctor she's been shadowing for the last year in surgery.

but i really know, without a doubt, that she is getting a once in a lifetime opportunity. and i'm thinking about her future, despite the fact that it started out being a way to not be in this house alone all summer.

i love my sister. i cannot wait for her to be here. where she can be herself, not an asexual version of herself. where people won't judge her. where she won't have to live a double life. i'll be the best distraction for her, with her girlfriend continents away, to quickly pass three months of what will be a life-changingly long year. to give her a place away from distractions to study for the mcats.

i just want her to see that there's so much more to life than florida. and so much more to living than doing what other people want you to do. my goal is to never put any pressure on her to be anywhere or do anything that isn't mandatory.

i'm not afraid to bust her chops about studying for the mcats, because she'll need that. and i'm not afraid to take her out here, too. but we have all summer for that.

i'm just hoping to give her a healthy environment. and i don't know what i'll get out of it, besides having too much fun with one of my absolute favorite people. i know i will learn a lot from her. and i know that having her around is going to be good for me.

but aside from that, i just want her here.

it's blowing my mind that the star party i've been waiting for since last year is now right around the corner. it's this month. it's in 24 days. i can't get over it.

and i'm excited to teach aubree what little tiny bit i know out there, and to be able to share that with her. it really changed my life, and though she is not as inclined to stargaze as i am, she's genuinely excited about going, and i think she'll at least have some sort of a spiritual experience up there. and, like i did, make peace with the things in her life that she can't control, and come back feeling better about her decisions, and excited and inspired.

it's going to be awesome.

and aside from that, nina gets here in 69 days. the number of days keep shrinking, and i keep getting more and more excited for our week of awesomeness. seems like i was just saying 86, and then 74.

and i had a great trip to my shrink today, who made me feel even more confident when i left, about the way i've been feeling and thinking and handling things. i was afraid to go, as i always am, afraid to cry, as i always am. and not only was it not scary, it wasn't a cryfest. and i talked more than i have the other visits, giving her less time to put together questions. there was no silence today.

and i left feeling lighter. it was a good day.

i feel better about joey today, i guess i've decided that it was great. and if that is all the time i get, i will be disappointed. but not heartbroken.

and maybe things with matthew will be better when we hopefully meet up on wednesday instead of thursday, when my sister gets here. maybe we'll both be less tired. and maybe he'll be a little more excited to see me. and maybe i'll have the balls to tell him that i really enjoy our two hour makeout sessions. and that i really enjoy the sex, too. and that what i would enjoy most? that would be having both.

in telling nina about it yesterday, i realized what frustrates me.

i need the making out to be turned on. and i need the sex to immediately follow if there is any hope for me overcoming my five year obstacle.

and he doesn't know about my five year obstacle. and i've never said either of those things to him in a way that would demand a serious response, because we tend to just have fun and give each other a lot of shit when we hang out.

but i don't want to skip the making out. and i don't want to skip the sex. and if he's not as driven as i am, that's fine. but i can go into our time together knowing what i'm getting into.

the only time i wasn't doing those two things with him was the sunday brunch date. and that was my favorite date with him. so i'm not saying that i can't have wholesome fun with him. i just prefer the wholesome bits followed by the naughty bits.

life with less stress, and letting go of the things that have been upsetting me in a lot of the aspects of my life have given me an appetite back. and all the exercise i've been getting have made me need to eat more. i'm feeling better about myself. now if i can just start eating vegetables, i'll pretty much have myself back to a place where i feel like i'm doing things mostly right.

i haven't been writing here, because that last post really consumed me for a few days. a lot happened, but i have this feeling now, like most of it is irrelevant. and yesterday, waiting for sam, i did something i haven't done in a very long time. i pulled out my sketchbook, and drew my surroundings for about five minutes until he got there. i've been so much better at photo documenting the nature and scenery of my life. not necessarily the people i spend so much time with. but drawing at the steps of the art museum was a great way to spend my time, as opposed to killing it.

and today, i don't feel the need to have the crazy highs. because they're usually followed by the crazy lows. today was a day of leveling out. recovering, even. and rebounding.

everything is going to be okay. and i think i'm exhausted enough to try to get some sleep. which i need. desperately.

tomorrow i have a date. it's a date i'm really excited about...

i haven't seen alice in so long that i can't remember the last time. and i asked her for a date last week, and she gave me tomorrow.

i hope that she makes it. we don't know what each other has been up to, and a reconnection is in order.

i also get to see lauren, who used to work with me. she biked to austin from here, and is in town for the court case stemming from over a year ago, when she was hit by a car on her bike. to try to recoup her hospital bill money, and said that as long as she gets her three front teeth fixed properly, she won't care what she gets beyond that.

she's a tough kid. i hope i get to see her as well...

i spent my afternoon, post-shrink, cooking and baking. on basement house day, i'd promised contractor a home cooked meal. enchiladas, a family favorite that mom makes for our birthdays, based on what he likes.

it takes about four hours to prepare them, because the tortillas are made from scratch, like the rest of the recipe. the last time i made them was last april, when the writer came to town, and i made them for him and his band friends.

it took over a month to make the time to prep them for contractor, and i don't know when he'll get to eat them, but they're all but made up. i don't like making empty promises. and it felt good to cross that off the unofficial house list.

and then, i spent an hour after that making my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. and i used four pans, two of which were mine from living here with ever. and the cookies on those pans burned on the bottom. blackened sugar, stuck to the pans. i pried them off with a pizza cutter, and bagged them for myself, i guess. it made me feel like a mom, who eats the food she burned and gives her kids the best of the batch.

and the two pans that turned out well will be mailed to a couple people who are far away and needing them...

being in my kitchen for all that time, and having more space than i needed felt right. i haven't spent that much time there since i moved back in. i've cooked some. not a lot. but it was a nice long stretch of thinking time. i got to talk to nina and to brownies, and had a lot of time to myself, too. both the boys came home while i worked, and i got to catch up with them as well.

things are falling into place. and just as last week is ending, and this week is getting started, i'll have a few days of quiet and adjustment to life in the middle of the road before aubree gets here and things really ramp up.

here's to life in the middle of the road. sometimes mediocrity is best for everyone. or maybe i'm just speaking for myself...

the easter bunny. april 24th, part 2.

that show was crazy. and we left from there, to go to the house for the most fun slumber party i might have ever thrown.

kim and pam showed up right as we were getting home.

the slumber party for kit almost didn't even happen. and, how awesome that it did...

kit had spent her birthday eve getting fancy. she got her hair done, bought a new coat, and looked killer.

she FELT like she looked killer. in the year and a half that i have known her, aside from star party stuff, i think that night the happiest that i have ever seen her.

i did it all. the cake. the ice cream sundaes. the candy. the gift bag. the sister birthday card that seemed more fitting than any other variety.

we drank. we played. roommate mike and his friend vishnu showed up, adding a layer of hilarity to the night.

i had face mask, and biore strips. we had quite the little party. it raged loudly until 3 am, when we were all too tired to be upright.

kit and i shared a bed, and the girls took the loft. kit was up in bed at 8. i woke up at 930 feeling ill. hungover. nervous. pukey. i got ready and drove kit to her car up in northern libs, and the girls and i went to get fancy.

i got a pedicure and opted for the manicure combo. i hadn't had one since 9th grade homecoming. and we got our eyebrows waxed after our nails were dry.

i left feeling saucy. happy. cracked out. it was an ultimate success and i had time to nap before kit was ready for her party, part two.

matthew was flaking on me. hard. i'd been sexting him in delaware. he made a comment that i'd better have bought him something pricey on my shopping day status update. i texted him, saying that i'd gotten something for him, alright. that pricey was debatable, and that he'd better rest up and hydrate, because i didn't yet know if i was mad or enchanted that he'd withheld sex from me. and that he's better show up good and ready. and when he responded, 'yes, ma'am' i about fell out of my chair, laughing.

so i was trying not to let it bother me, because the night wasn't about me. i'd spent too much money and had opted to eat at home before going out. i tried to nap, but couldn't. it's a theme lately.

so mike and i left a little late, and had yawning battles in the subway station. we missed our train because i took us up the wrong stairs to the el.

we made it eventually, and a lot of people were already there.

somehow it was stressful. i wasn't in charge of any of that party, and it seems like i have been choosing to have control over things in my life in a big way lately. i enjoy calling the shots. matthew has taken to calling me miss bossy, and i don't mind it.

we left from there to go to favorite bar. a big party of us, all taking the city bus in lieu of like five cabs.

we took up the first four rows of the bus. kit was uptight, and not enjoying herself fully at that point. i think the stress of organizing the event, paired with a boy letdown was getting to her. i thought i'd fix it by videotaping the front of the bus, when i started singing happy birthday to her.

our entire party joined, and i'm sure the bus was a little blown away. there was a stop in the middle of the song, with all these people boarding. i don't know. it seemed like the best option at the time. i'm not quite sure if it worked. but it was super fun, and i was happy that i thought to do it.

so we roll up to favorite bar, and i knew for certain that matthew wasn't coming. it had been hours. i knew he was sleeping. and i'd only had two beers to that point, without even achieving a buzz. as we walked in to sidecar, everyone was clapping and telling kit happy birthday. steve walked up with two shots in hand before we even had our coats off.

to keep kit safe, i'd promised her to drink any shots that were poured for her. my exact words were: 'i'll puke for you. you are not drinking liquor.'

so steve handed me the shot of tully. i've never done a shot of whiskey. and i probably never will again. the tully was smooth. don't get me wrong. but it burned like fire.

i was immediately hot and tipsy. and had already ordered a beer that i was less than thrilled with. so i drank it slow.

i had some alone time, smoking, talking to lauren. and some alone time with kit, smoking.

i went back in and checked my phone.

and almost fell out of my chair, part two.

joey texted me. he was having some friends over. he spelled my name wrong (the error being like marcy vs marty), calling me sweet thang. and saying i have to come over. he gave me his address right then.

and i looked at it. and started writing him back. saying that i was out for kit's birthday at favorite bar, which he already knew. and that i was officially drunk (stupid fucking whiskey). and that i would be happy to grab coffee with him the next day if he wanted. but i didn't send it.

what i wanted was advice. what i got was a table full of advice.

i explained how we'd had plans last sunday, and he had double booked himself and canceled with me. how earlier that day, he had called me. i was surprised to see that it was him calling, and answered hesitantly.

he'd explained that shit was fucked up. that he'd gotten a new slew of experiments to run, that his pi wasn't in favor of the paper he'd turned in. that he'd been asked to rewrite it again (draft six by then, draft nine by that night). that he was stressed.

i said something like, 'woah woah woah. dude. calm down. first of all, don't stress. everything is cool. hanging out is not stressful, and shouldn't be stressful. do science. and hit me up later this week to hang out.'

he said, 'but i really want to hang with you.'

and i said that i wanted to hang with him, too. but to knock his shit out, and don't stress about me. it will happen.

he felt really bad. and when i hung up with him, maybe because i talked to him, i told him to hit me up anytime. that we'd work something out. and to just knock his shit out.

i don't know.

i didn't have that awful feeling from last weekend. i had relief instead, i guess. because i was so fucking tired. that nap hadn't panned out, and i knew that by tomorrow, in light of matthew saying he was staying over that night, i'd be exhausted and ready to be alone and get some sleep.

i saw it as a way to open up my day, and take a day for myself like i should.

it was cool. disappointing? yes. but fine regardless.

so it was in that mindset that i dealt with matthew flaking. and again, wound up going, 'you know? i made plans with YOU. and i set time aside for YOU. and two of you are going to bail on me? are you serious?? what the fuck...

so when i saw the text asking me to come over, my mind bounced around. first, i was angry. what? you can't hang with me, but you can have an impromtu party instead? and invite me over to that?

then i thought, shit. he was SHAKING. he must be trying to find a way to have some kind of a group thing where i'm just a person there, not the only person there. bunny slope into the hangout.

so i was on the fence. not to mention, i had plans. and i was out. granted, i had said one beer. and was planning to go home after it. it just meant that i'd go to his home instead of mine.

and i cursed him, for not letting me prepare. i had a stacked ipod to share. i had beer for him. i had cigarettes. i had easter candy to share. and by texting me after midnight, he made it so that i'd have to go over, in contacts, and probably fall asleep in them.

but that was all background. because what i was most concerned about was, if this is a game, and i'm playing it, what are the fucking rules? why do there have to be rules? is it sad/pathetic/lame to be able to drop what i'm doing to go?

so a table of five helped me mull it over. i erased what i'd written to him. and they, at first, were on the side with me, originally. he broke plans and threw a party instead. that's kinda fucked up.

but after i explained the nervous hands from the day he came to talk to me at work, they started to see why i was contemplating going.

not to mention, in my mind, where things do happen for a reason, the fact that matthew had flaked on me, making this an option.

and then i sold them on the fact that i'd been so excited for this hang out that i'd take any incarnation i could get.

back to the easter bunny and zombie jesus thing. this is where i'll attempt to pull it all together:

all that i have faith in is that i have to take opportunities when they arise. and not worry about what might have been or what could be. i am actively working toward a place where i can just BE. in the moment. be here now. and i think daily about how much work it will take to accomplish that feat.

i delayed him while we debated. and said that i was at favorite bar and that i'd try to work some magic, but didn't know if i could pull it off.

and he texted me right back. 'pretty please with sucrose on top!!!'

and i was done for.

his brainy text sealed the deal. and i started to make my exit plan. put lauren in a cab back to her digs, told mike i was leaving, said goodbye to everyone. asked kit if she'd picked up the beer for me, which she hadn't. so i bought a mixed six pack there, and took off. i asked if he'd be willing to walk and meet me, or if he was too busy entertaining to do that.

he said he would. i stopped at 7-11 for a seltzer (i'm back on my old kick of seltzer water right now? i think because i drink so much more, i stay dehydrated, and cannot drink water) and a pack of smokes. because the ten i had at home weren't helping me, leaving the bar with a couple in my pack.

so i walked over to his place.

i was so nervous. it was not far, maybe six blocks. i told him to give me a five minute head start, and he told me to meet him on the corner where he was with his friends.

i saw him from a block away, all six feet, five inches of him. and his guy friend and girl friend were flanking his sides. he introduced them as his puerto rican friend, and his polish friend. they told me their names and went to get cigarettes. i was hoping that they were leaving, just to get him alone, but they weren't.

he hugged me and picked me up, swinging me around, telling me how happy he was that i made it. and i said 'maaaagic' while he spun me. kittens inspired style. i corrected him immediately about my name. and he said 'that's even better', and hugged me sideways, grabbing my arm, and then led me inside.

while they ran to the store, he showed me the rest of building he lives in. a library that was converted into an apartment, where he said we should spend some time hanging out (that night - we didn't end up doing that). another studio apartment. doubly wide staircases. all original woodwork.

it is just an incredible building. huge and airy. built in the 1800s, to be sure, in the fanciest neighborhood here (but not on the park). the highest ceilings, which says a lot coming from me. mine are ten feet, and these dwarfed mine. i'd say easily 18 foot ceilings, at a minimum.

huge built in bookshelves. pink subway tiled bathrooms. huge windows that ran floor to ceiling. it was overwhelming. all the apartments in the building are vacant. and all the doors are unlocked, so he has free reign over hanging out in them, and running around in them, and takes full advantage of it. only one other place in the building is rented out. to a little old hard drinking lady, and her little old husband on the first floor.

then we went into his place on the third floor, and this is when the night got interesting.

do not read that as bad. do not read that as alarming. just read it as 'not what i was expecting'...

so he's a scientist. and i imagined him living alone. which he does. and i knew from his address that his place would be awesome. and it was bigger than i thought. huge ceilings, huge windows with open blinds. a fantastic view of the city from his living room, a fire escape from his bedroom. he had a brown leather couch on one side of the room, a green vinyl chair circa 1972 (he took that - at the record player), and a mini futon chair (i took that). his pitbull (apple) was there. and his friends came back immediately and took the couch, which is where they had been camping out before i showed up.

but in a very unscience-like way, there were beer bottles everywhere, and cigarette butts in ashtrays on both tables. and ash everywhere. he smokes in his living room. so four of us smoking was stifling. the windows were open, but the cool breeze sweeping in didn't help much. he was out of smokes, and asked for one of mine. i put my pack between us, for the evening, telling him he could smoke all he wanted. he ripped the filters off of each one of my ultra lights, as he's a marlboro red kinda guy.

as a smoker, second hand smoke in an enclosed space really gets to me. i acclimated quickly when bars here banned smoking, and still sometimes go outside for smokes when i'm home and can smoke in bars.

but i was cool. it was just messy. dirty. his puppy was a crazy person who had covered every single square inch of his place in dog hair. again, something i'm used to from having a puppy who was a crazy person. but she running around and chewing things up, making us chase her when she'd get something she wasn't supposed to have off the table (you name it - his wood pipe, taryn's glass pipe, empty beer bottles) and ran under the kitchen table with it to chew and play. he chased her when he wasn't tending to records, and i babysat when he was.

i was a little overwhelmed. it reminded me of boys' places in tahoe. where the party never stopped and started, so he never had to clean up. his refrigerator was an abomination. his sink was piled with dishes that weren't specifically dirty, but weren't washed yet.

they all smoked pieces of bowls as the night wore on. i did not, because i'd been drinking. even though i really wanted to.

and we all talked.

he was running around the living room frantically, stopping on occasion to touch my shoulder and tell me to sit and relax. he was all about relaxing. said it like ten times, even though i told him i was relaxed. he was pulling records, setting up songs.

initially, he would stop the song after his favorite part. i kinda couldn't wrap my head around that, but let it slide after giving him shit about it. but eventually he did settle in a little. he was just so into all of it, telling me which he played on, which were friends, show stories. and dancing around and being his usual random self, sporadically blurting out lyrics in time.

and i guess a song or two in, it became records in the dark with friends. i was drinking a liter of seltzer, before my drunkenness faded to a slight buzz. i had two more slow beers sometime between 3 and 5am, i guess.

i wasted no time, sifting through his record collection, noting stuff i love, and appreciating the prettiest packaging. and he high fived me a few times when i commented on something near and dear to his musical heart, playing the stuff that was in pretty packaging, to show that they weren't empty promises. mono was probably my favorite new territory.

adrian knew my house, from the label. he hadn't been inside for a show, but said the label name when i said the corner i lived on, and i said, 'yeah. it's not there anymore. but that is my house.'

taryn totally blew my mind with zero degrees of separation, naming someone in a band that i actually knew. it was wild.

i had to pee about halfway into my seltzer. i didn't know the switch was outside the bathroom door, and fumbled in the dark, panicking when i couldn't find toilet paper. eventually i realized it was behind the curtain covering the window over his fire escape. and took the last three squares.

taryn went after me, and i told her i'd taken the last three squares, so she wouldn't get a surprise, and said that joey's was drip dry. which was just wrong to me. obviously, he doesn't poop at home, and doesn't have girls over often. which was some kind of a relief, as much as it was gross. no toilet paper is a big no no for me. i always check before i go at home. living with two boys who rarely use it has trained me to.

we stayed like that for a few hours, i guess. the four of us, listening to records. i took to calling him dj trainwreck when he reverted back to skipping around songs and dropping the needle in the wrong spot. switching genres violently. one of his favorites was a band of friends of his. so mathy he said you need a calculator to listen. it was one of the funniest things he said all night.

adrian left. taryn stayed a while. it was this situation that felt familiar from 19. one night i'd been hanging out with this boy i'd fucked around with, terence. and he had a girl over. but i didn't care, because his way hotter, way nicer friend azlan was also there. i was way more smitten with azlan, and didn't seem to notice that terence's girl's friend was, too. the three of us hung around a while, while the other two fucked around upstairs, breaking my heart a little. her name was candy. she was a whore, falling for the same line i had. it took about an hour before i realized that azlan was more into the other girl, and that i was the third wheel, not her. and i bailed.

apple woke up from a nap, wound up, and i forgot that she was a pit bull. playing with her meant that my arm became her chew toy. and i have scratches and a gnarly bruise on my arm to prove it. i ended that quickly.

i couldn't figure out if taryn was a friend or someone he was interested in. i only knew that she wasn't with adrian. and she wouldn't leave. ultimate clam jam.

i had to pee again, and said i wanted to go to buy some. he said he wanted to go with me, and taryn followed, despite stating that she was entirely too fucked up to be out and seen anywhere.

on our way down, we went into the library, because he said there's toilet paper in there sometimes. as luck would have it, there was. which was great, because i was at a critical point. i peed, taryn stole the roll after, and we went back up instead of heading to the store.

but instead of stopping at his door, we went up again, so he could show me the roof off the fourth floor apartment. the apartment itself made me long for $1500 a month to blow on it. the kitchen was 1960's era, with a kickass burgundy stove, and those flecked countertops that you see in old diners, lined with silver trim. it was a huge place, the windows were the best in the building. clear glass with molten awesomeness, like stained glass, only with clear glass filling out the design.

we went out onto the roof. we smoked. he sprawled out on what would be the skylights of his apartment bathroom. they were white, not clear, and joined with roof tar, as many in philadelphia buildings are.

the view was fucking mindblowing. i'd left my phone downstairs and kicked myself. being on top of a building in the center of the city within a few blocks of the liberty buildings, which were huge in my view (they're the spiky buildings in every photo of the phila skyline, for those who don't know), was so picturesque. and i missed opportunities.

it was around 4 i guess, and he was sprawled out. i pointed out that a middle button of his shirt was open. running with that, he started at the bottom and unbuttoned his shirt slowly and completely, while he sang a rap song in richard cheese lounge stylings. taryn took a picture and texted it to me then and there, saving me by name in her phone, noting me as 'cool girl', so she wouldn't delete it later.

we talked, finished cigarettes, his song was over, i explored the apartment there. saying i wish that it wasn't more than my mortgage. he said, 'you want to be neighbors? yay!'

i said, 'i wish.'

and meant it. though he'd be HORRIBLE to live above, with all the loud music and movies all hours of the night.

what i've learned in setting stuff up with him is that he works from about 4pm to midnight, when he goes in. he works from home when he writes. his night is getting started as mine is ending. boyfriend material, strike one.

while i'm on it, i'll cover the other strikes. two: he runs out of toilet paper. three: i'd spend time cleaning his place. a LOT of time. four: he self medicates with beer and weed. a LOT. the way he smokes (cigarettes like joints) makes me feel uncomfortable. five: i would inadvertantly get used. i'd foot the bill for shit when he goes through his stipend and comes up short a week before payday. six: his stipend runs out a week before payday. which means he doesn't budget.

i'll give the reasons why he is awesome for other things later in the post. those are the unflattering red flags. i am a smart girl, see? a changed person. who knows what she wants. and more specifically, what she does not.

so we went from the fourth floor back to his place with taryn in tow. and joey and i took to the couch, and started talking. he had his arm around me, and i took a cue and stretched my legs across him. he tickled my knees and touched my legs through my jeans. and i melted a little. i let myself get excited, because with her out of the picture, it was obvious that i was what was on his mind.

the thing that killed me about that night, which i told him, was that i had prepared for my night with him (the next night - the one he had canceled). i had beer, i had cigarettes, i had easter candy for his jewish ass. i had a movie to bring (darjeeling limited). i had my ipod and a short list of ground to cover with it. but, that's the beauty of not being prepared. i was in my skinny jeans and a tee shirt, with hidden furry boots underneath, which was not my plan. and came back to bite me later.

i guess my senses were dulled, because a while passed, talking science and goals and life stuff with him before i realized that taryn had disappeared. i said, 'wait. where's taryn? she didn't leave because she didn't say goodbye.'

and he said that she was probably passed out on his bed, because that happens sometimes when she gets fucked up over there.

we got up and stood in front of his laptop for a minute when he changed music, which was attached to both his speakers and his tv. and his paper was open on the screen, and he clicked on it. he sat on the futon chair and looked at it from there. it's a mac, and things on the bar were bouncing around. he got up to play something else, and i asked why so many icons were begging for his attention, and he opened his paper for me, which was one of the non-bouncing icons.

i asked if that was the paper that was paining him, and he said that he submitted three more drafts before deciding that draft nine was requiring a break. that he was too burnt to make it ten, and invited people over. and said he was so glad that i made it over.

he sat down after i read most of it, and edited it for him (spellcheck).

he came over, showing me his data, explaining what it was. and why it's so exciting to him. again. hot. i'm grateful kit has taught me enough to know what the fuck i was looking at, though it was brain activity instead of t cells and b cells in his tables. he moved to the couch while i read.

and i joined him, after finishing the whole thing. telling him i had no idea what it meant, but that schizophrenia is interesting to me, because of my psych background. we talked about what he's interested in, other than what he does. i asked if he'd ever studied dreams, or done sleep studies. he said not really, but that he's really interested in it.

i had to pee again, and said so, after about half an hour of alone talking time, where he blew my mind talking science. i asked him what he studied, what he's interested in. and he talked at length. science excites him. he loves what he does. i asked him how he ended up in phila as a phd student, from playing in bands in south florida.

and he said he was interested in neurology after getting a b.a. in philosophy, and wonder what happened in the brains of people who become paralyzed. he found a doctor who was the best in what he wanted to study and decided to apply for the spot. and got in.

his intelligence was a turn on. his dedication to science, and being a self starter as far as that goes cranked my desire to eleven.

i was hydrating, what can i say? i broke the seal. i took a break from getting to know him to pee. and that was where it ended, due to circumstance.

i went into his bathroom, to realize before i peed that the toilet paper hadn't made its way out of her purse. and came out, asking him from the bedroom where she was sleeping where it was. we decided it was in her purse. and she woke up with a start from our talking, and said, 'are you guys going to bed? you want me to go?'

to which i gracefully responded, 'no. i just need the toilet paper that is in your purse.'

so i got it. and peed. and when i came out, she was on the couch, after having grabbed another of the beers i brought. which mentally took me back to bbq's when i met conor. all the kids who show up empty-handed and take willingly.

she said, 'i'm going to drink this beer and have a smoke and then go home.'

and i squealed inside. and watched her drink slowly and smoke three cigarettes. he put on a movie after her second.

he said, 'tea. have you seen donny darko?'

and i said, 'no. but i want to.' because i thought it was johnny depp. but figured out quickly that i was confused. maggie gyllenhall made me think of that boy greg who never did message me. fleetingly. i had my eyes literally on the prize. joey sat between us on the couch. she left half an hour into the movie. he let her out, and i stretched out on his couch. he sat down, putting my legs across his lap. i told him to get comfortable. and so it was, that we spooned on the couch and watched the movie.

there was a part of the movie where he is in a shrink's office. and he said 'oh, my childhood. it was like that.' we talked about seeing shrinks for a minute. we both see them now. he's on meds that he didn't specify. and i didn't ask specifics about.

he said something about 1987. and i said, 'wait. what?'

and he said he's 25. coo coo cachoo.

i really thought he was kidding. pam, kim, and i had him pegged as being 30. 29 at the youngest. my mind was blown. i said, 'seriously? no way.'

and he said, 'yep... i'm twenty five' in his deep voice, slowly.

i said, 'holy fuck. do you know how old i am? how old do you think i am?'

he said, 'i don't know. twenty six?'

i laughed and said no.

he said, 'twenty five?'

i said, 'you're going the wrong way, sir.'

he guessed 29, before i said, 'i'm 33.'

he high fived me. again. and said, 'fuck yeah.'

which cracked me up. and he said, 'the last chick i dated was a 38 year old korean bartender.'

which did two things. it made me think, 'he is dating me, in his mind.' which was a relief.

and it made me think, 'is he going to refer to me as the german from now on?'

and curled up, his hands started to wander. first, around me. resting on my belly, full of a mix of bar food from kit's birthday party.

i'll revert here to chalk like description here. it's too good not to. soft porn for the masses. not at all ladylike. but, taking a note from that dog., i say 'i don't care if you don't treat me like a lady. just take me home and don't disobey me.'

prudes, cover your eyes. or just skip to the end and work your way up.

my arm was under him, so that my hand was in his hair. and i touched him as lightly as i could, head, hair, neck. and tracing his ears. he was squirming. it set me off.

in my mind, it was sealed. at least a makeout session, which was all i'd gone over hoping for, and expecting.

his hands wandered to other places that weren't nearly as pc. and i was a little surprised that he hadn't even tried to kiss me yet. i giggled, and my head backwards to kiss him.

and kissing him. holy fuck it was good. very passionate. different from the other boys i've kissed. he has a crazy beard, for starters.

after a minute of craning my neck, we were facing each other, wriggling and squirming. and that is when the skinny jeans came back to bite me in the ass.

it was some kind of struggle to get out of them. clothes were being tossed on the floor quickly. making out ensued. and then we were naked, about halfway through the movie. and in my ear, he said 'i want to tear you apart.'

it did things to me. god, it was hot. and i said, 'wrap it up, (last name). let's go.'

and he was a little thrown off by it.

how it is that these boys don't give a fuck about who they're sticking their penises into, whether they could become fathers as a result, just blows my fucking mind.

i've talked to my friends enough about it to know that if i want to know i'm protected, it's all about my preparedness.

and he was no exception.

don't get me wrong. i know that fucking without a layer of inconvenience in the heat of the moment could very well be what creates my blockade. but i will not risk it. i'm not on birth control specifically to keep myself honest. specifically to force myself to be careful. because the boys throw caution to the wind.

anyways, he got up to do as i said, and on his way out of the room said, 'i'm clean if that's what you're worried about', but he was back as i said, 'no. that's not it.'

and i wasted no more time trying to talk logistics.

and taking a note from matthew, asking why i got divorced while our bodies were locked, this one said, 'i have wanted to do this since i met you two years ago.'

and i said, 'i know. me, too.'

and he asked why i didn't do anything, and i said because i couldn't. without explaining. that talk will come on the second date, as it did with matthew. so as to set the record straight. and so as to not mince words about what i'm looking for with him.

and he made a joke about letting the girls handle it for me. and i laughed, and then it was 45 minutes or maybe an hour of exhibitionist fucking. because of his windows. and because the sun was coming up while we got down. anyone who was awake and looking out their window across the street would have caught so much more than an eyeful.

it was incredible. it was so good. he is fantastic. i studied him closely. kissed him at all the right times. it was amazing.

at one point, maybe half an hour in, he apologized.

i asked why on earth he would be apologizing. he said it was because of that pesky layer, and i said that it was better than fine. i was in no rush.

and somehow i missed the part where he finished. i was just moving around, because i needed to, and when he thanked me, i realized that he had finished.

i was in no physical condition to get off. so it didn't bother me at all. i asked him, and he said yes. i asked how i had missed it. and he said that medication makes things difficult for him, but that i'd managed to make that not a problem. and we high fived. again. which just proved to me how perfect he is, as far as fuck buddies go. if you can't high five after a good fuck, then what the shit is the point of doing it at all?

he told me he liked the way i'm put together as he moved to the futon chair. i stretched out on the couch in my underwear to finish the movie we'd taken a giant break from.

he made a noise of approval. i said, 'you should be proud. this is the first time i've worn this brand new underwear.'

somehow i figured out what i'd missed with the movie, and he complimented me, saying that all i'd missed was the stuff that explained the beginning and the end to stupid people. that i was smart for knowing what i'd missed. and that i'd seen what i came to see, and missed the fluff.

we smoked like that, and the movie ended. and i followed him to his bed. he said, 'and now you have to go to work?'

i said no, that i'm off weekends. but that if he was kicking me out to sleep, i'd understand. he said no way, and pulled back the covers.

apple had destroyed the lone partial roll of toilet paper at some point after the last time i peed. there was toilet paper confetti covering his bed and floor completely. i said it looked like a fucking parade, and went to pee. he handed me a small pile of the biggest collective pieces.

and he curled up with me. it was 7. and i feared that i wouldn't sleep at all. but underestimated the dull effect of marathon drinking for twelve hours. and being completely physically exhausted from fucking.

he said, 'sorry. apple ate my pillows. i just have a blanket that i use, and it smells like dog.'

there was pillow stuffing to prove his story, and i didn't mind that the blanket smelled like her. it reminded me of the years i spent with a marital bed that always smelled like puppy daughter. and because he put his arm under me and cradled my head, there was nothing offensive or uncomfortable about it.

i told him it was funny. i said, 'i see that. and i like it.'

and i meant it. dog lovers will understand. the rest of you can't. it felt like home, in a way. an old comfortable, familiar home.

i laid there, and took two pictures of his bedroom door to the fire escape in the sunrise after he fell asleep. and shortly thereafter, i fell asleep, and slept so well i shocked myself. but woke up with a start at 947 am, and knew that it was over. the night was over. the morning was over. and i knew that if i didn't get up then, i'd have a coffee migraine within the hour. and that i'd slept with my contacts in and had to get them out of my eyes.

i felt pickled, despite sharing mugs of water with him during and after sex and before sleep. and i kissed his neck to see if i could stir him. and he sighed and said hi, but wasn't budging. i got dressed and gathered my things while he slept, and went in. i bent over him, and kissed his neck, telling him in a whisper that i had to go. that i hated to leave, and wished i could stay, but that i had to go home.

i don't remember parting words, was glad i remembered my phone i'd left charging before the sex. and in caregiver fashion, put not one, but two, cigarettes on his record player and let myself out. texting him from the street to tell him they were there, and that my lighter must be, too, because i walked for about ten blocks before finding a guy who had a lighter.

it was my first walk of shame.

and as matthew said to me, after that first night, 'there was no shame in that.'

i felt disgusting, physically. i was sweaty and dirty. i was sleep deprived from getting a total of 6 hours of sleep over the past 72. i didn't want to be in my clothes from the night before, but had no options. they were smoke soaked.

it was steamy hot. the high was to be 80, but at 65, it felt like it was in the eighties. because i'd left for the party at night, i had no sunglasses, and the sun was beaming. and my eyes were particularly sensitive because my contacts were glued to them from sleeping in them. i was carrying my coat and my scarf, a telltale sign of the morning after walk home. with an unlit cigarette hanging out of my mouth, in search of a source of flame. and my hair was wild, due to a lack of a ponytail holder to keep it on lockdown.

a cop passed me more than once, and i wondered each time if i looked suspicious enough to be stopped and accused of looking like a hooker walking home after a rough night.

i knew i didn't really. i think it was my mind's way of hashing out the stuff in my head. it was a paranoid fleeting thought.

kit happened to text me as i walked within three blocks of her house, looking for a cab or a city bus, whichever came first. she reminded me that buses are impossible on sundays, much less easter sundays. and i had a smoke with her, while she talked about what happened after i left her party for joey's. and i told her a very abbreviated story of what i'd done. and walked her to favorite bar brunch on my way home.

i saw two cabs, both with customers in them. and the bus rolled past me exactly at the stop where i'd have gotten off to go home.

i'd smoked three cigarettes on the way. not because i wanted them, but because one got me out of my old neighborhood, one got me through the hood, and one because i'd be done and home after it.

i have never felt so tired and hungover and gross as i did right then. it took a momentus amount of effort to just pick pajamas and get everything into the bathroom that i needed to shower and neti and get into bed.

i felt great after my shower, giddy from telling kim and pam that i'd gone over. because the last they'd heard was that he'd canceled. they were more floored than i was that i'd had sex with him.

pam called me a whore, because that's what she does. and kim said, 'fly little bird fly' after i thanked her for being the reason i was there in the first place, and thanked her for looking out for my vag.

also something that we say to each other regularly.

i fucking LOVE those girls.

it will be interesting to see when joey shows his face next. and what he says to them, how they react to him, and if i'm there, what the fuck will even HAPPEN.

as i climbed into bed, poor matthew texted me 'brunch or no?'

and i had a mix of feelings about it. how his one stupid flake out resulted in him sharing me with another boy. how i owed him almost as much gratitude as the girls, for buttering joey up for me. i owed him for letting me cash in.

and i said i couldn't, that i was going to sleep because i'd had three hours the night before and was too tired. told him to hit me up at night, if he wanted to.

i passed out. i actually napped. and i woke up feeling fantastic, which NEVER happens. i wrote and laid in bed and watched the end of the movie.

i talked to my parents for an hour last night. not realizing until it was too late that joey had called me while i was on the phone with them. that's what i get for not being rude and making them hold while i scoped it out.

while i was sleeping, he'd sent a text that simply said, 'thanks for the smokes and the good times.'

what a gentleman.

we went back and forth a bit, he apologized for not having coffee to make for me. and i blubbered about all the reasons i left. and told him next time, he's coming over to enjoy my deck and my music. and time passed. and he randomly texted me, 'yesterday was pretty awesome.'

which is still making me smile.

and i busted his chops, 'see? and you were gonna wait another whole week. pshaw.'

when i saw he called an hour afterwards, i texted him, but he didn't call me back.

i didn't hear from matthew until this afternoon, when i texted him about the wedding.

it's a night wedding. so i'm not going to be his date. i told him that if it was anyone other than my favorite band, i would sell my tickets. but that i can't miss the show.

and when he responded that he had his feelers out for my understudy, i both laughed and felt awesome. i was his first choice. and he took it like a champ.

good things, all the way around.

i ate two sandwiches at work today. a club first, a mozzarella pesto melted flatbread second.

and now? nachos. and birthday cake. with beer.

it's not easy being a rockstar. scary skinny tea says i'm allowed. in fact, she needs it. she's a demanding little bitch, that one. and right now? she's FULL.

i smoked another pack of cigarettes in a day for the second day in a row during the second half of birthday festivities combined with joey night. and vowed to change my ways.

i spent two days in a row drinking incessantly - endurance drinking, where i didn't even have a buzz for the majority of the time i was imbibing. for ten or more hours at a time. also not okay. feeling pickled makes me want to check into a rehab center. but not every weekend is a birthday weekend, so i'm letting this one slide. there just can't be more in my near future. i don't want to be pickled again until nina is here with me.

i write, from beer number three. saying as it's midnight, and i had the first one at 6, i am fine with it.

what an insane weekend. so much fun on friday. disappointment and frustration on saturday. until accomplishing joey. and then that aftermath. sorting it all out in my head, and finally having a fucking night to write it all out.

kit pointed it out to me yesterday: the way i feel about seeing more than one person at once is uncomfortable to me, because i feel like i have to pick one. to choose. to make some kind of a choice.

and the beauty of dating is that you don't have to choose at all. you can choose who you spend more time with, sure. and that is based on who you want to see more. but that's not a definitive choice. it might change daily. one person's time might be more limited than someone else's. for me, that factors in greatly.

but i don't have to figure out who i want to spend time with. because, as i told joey when he called and we talked, when he canceled, 'i like to fly by the seat of my pants.'

if i'm available, maybe. if i'm tired, no way. and if i'm with someone else, the decision has already been made. pretty soon it will be second nature, and won't cause me anguish and heartache. the fear of making the wrong decision. always wanting something more or something different, or something better.

i am so fucking glad to have the day off from work tomorrow to get shit done at the house.

i can't wait until i'm on the other side of tomorrow. with a big push toward having so much shit done before my family gets here. aubree starts her internship in two weeks. it's blowing my mind. she should be here in the next ten days.

back to boys. of course...

it's funny. matthew did me a huge favor by flaking on me. because now i sorted out something (joey) that would have continued to stress me out until we finally met up. and now my mind is free from worry, because the list he is at the top of is very different from the one that scares the piss out of me.

maybe matthew will be my boyfriend after i fuck my way through a pile of dudes. if he puts up with it. if he decides i'm worth it, and i get it out of my system.

and in the meantime, when joey asks me to hang out with him, i'm all over it. because he's chalk grade fucking. with the same set of mental pathways on my end. there's no draw to care about him as more than a friend. no squishy feelings. just wanting more of saturday night, that was actually completely sunday morning.

i'm categorizing. i'm boxing boys into their nifty little cubbies. like an assembly line. a slow moving, sparse one. i keep waiting for the hopper to drop the next boy down to me, where i'm waiting at the end of the line.

next... shuffle... sort... next....

and because this weekend is now open without the wedding on the horizon, i'm going to text sam about a hangout. finally. actually, i stopped typing to do it. now i will wait and see what he says.

another 25 year old. now that my feet are all wet...

the easter bunny. april 24th, part 1.

there isn't much i really believe in, faithwise. no easter jesus. no easter bunny. no higher power.

it was slightly mind blowing to do the walk of shame (which was no shameful at all, i did it with an exhausted smile) on easter sunday morning. i walked home, forgetting it was a holiday at all. until i saw a man in a seersucker suit. and then it hit me.

the last four days have been an intensely insane whirlwind. being busy and working and boycrazy is absolutely exhausting. every day this week, i walked around worried that i'll end up in a hospital, on an iv drip. dehydrated, fatigued.

yet i march on. it comes and goes, the ate up feeling reminiscent of post-acid hazes. the sleep deprived sickness in my stomach. the highs i achieve from making out and fucking around and getting laid. the mental rollercoaster of conversations with boys, that lead to something or don't. the perpetual nausea that i can only sometimes eat my way through.

when i'm hungry, i eat too much. when i am not, i order what i know i'd get if i was, and force myself to eat half.

skeletal tea is slowly rebounding to a version of me that i'm content with. but every day it changes.

i am in desperate need of some leveling off. and i can't fathom that it will happen anytime in the not-too-distant future.

i'm playing games. i'm kicking asses and taking names and numbers.

but my head is not in the game. because it's pinging around from points a to j to q in a nonsensical pinball pattern.

i am cracked out. this post will be scattered. and it will be so insanely long that i only hope i can cover all of it today. i'm in bed now. and don't plan to get out at all today. maybe to fetch dinner and beer. but anything more than that? can't really see it happening...

i wish i could sleep, but i don't see that happening either. i fully believe that laying in bed resting can almost achieve the same effect. so i'm giving that a try. and if i can doze off? i most certainly will. sleep tonight can suffer. i have to get it where i can take it these days.

i just wrote the rest of this post in outline form. i don't know if there are enough hours to expand upon it. here goes...

thursday i made plans with matthew. he wanted me to meet two of his friends, his old roommate lauren, and her boyfriend. the original plan was for me to bike to his place, for chinese food takeout, his treat. there was this whole texting ordeal because he was at work, trying to sort out what he wanted to order for the four of us. i joked with him about his friends, asking first if he was testing me. and what happened if i didn't pass. he said, of course you get dumped. and then asked what happens if his friends like me more than they like him. and he said they would - his friends hate him.

so i biked home, took out my contacts for staying at his place. and he texted saying they wanted to hit a pub instead. so i biked over.

his friends were awesome. and they loved me, of course. they made a point to tell him at least four times, and he made a point to tell me.

we ate burgers and fries until we were stuffed and burping garlic all night. he rode my bike slowly, i walked next to him on the sidewalk. it was after midnight at that point, and we got to his place. i met his current roommate, who seemed cool. but who was having a few friends from out of town over. they were going out to close down a dive bar drag show. we shared a glass of wine, talking. then went to bed.

we made out for two solid hours. it was incredible. everything felt so right, and my head was full of squishy boyfriend thoughts. thinking about possibilities. thinking about how much fun i have with him. how much he loves to cuddle and make out. at its worst, thinking about the fact that he'd be the perfect boy to have a kid with, because he'd be the most fun daddy.

not that i want to have a kid with him, or let myself go to such an intense place. but just trying to think about what i even want in life, much less in my life right now at this specific place and time. and wished silently that he won't lose interest in me or end things with me, because i don't want a boyfriend. i secretly wished that he lets me have some fun until august. and decided that, by the end of summer, if he's still around, that i'd bet he would be my boyfriend by august. if i'll let him.

but then it came time for sex. i was so completely wound up from all that making out and fooling around. and when i asked him, he said, 'i told you i was tired...' and fell asleep almost immediately.

it was a horrible place for me to be mentally. because i still haven't broken my personal curse, i guess i felt like that would have been the time it would have happened. everything was so right. i just KNEW it would work. and when he started breathing heavily, i was laying on my back, in his most comfortable bed, in total silence, staring at his ceiling, trying not to cry.

i felt so many different ways, but more than anything i was far from tipsy enough to sleep. i was amped and wide awake, and so fucking frustrated. i know i was laying there, swimming in that for at least an hour, broken up by one cigarette. when i went back in, i fell alseep eventually. and maybe for an hour had fantastically deep sleep.

and then the party came home. so fucking loud. everyone in and out of the bathroom that shares a wall with his bedroom. everyone drunk. everyone eating cheesesteaks that managed to creep into his room on the second floor with the door closed. and i was just laying there, waiting for them to either start puking, or to pass out.

it felt like forever, but was probably about an hour before they announced plans to go to bed. i waited until everything was quiet, and went for a smoke. it was 330. one person i hadn't met and two people i had were in the living room i had to walk through. his roommate asked where i'd come from, which made no sense to me. obviously, i had that 'just woken up' look about me. where else would i have been but in his room that whole time?

when i came back inside, they were gone. and i went up to try to take another stab at sleep. and watched the light outside start to glow blue. i fell asleep again, for maybe another hour before his alarm went off. he woke up slowly, but started making out with me. the intensity had not left me, from a few hours before. and i was relieved to try again. but after an hour, he said he had to get a shower for work.

and he left and got a shower. and came back in and got ready for work. i studied his morning routine, which had (to this point) involved leaving my room for my car or his car. he smelled fantastic. and i asked what had happened. why he was holding out on me.

and in a moment of stupor, upon hearing his answer, i was both pleased and dismayed.

he said, 'maybe now i'll see you this weekend.'

i'd told him i wouldn't see him when he asked to hang out this weekend, because of kit's birthday festivities. he knew there was time he could grab or join, but i hadn't asked him. i think because i know he hates loud bars, and that was the plan. maybe i had invited him, but maybe he wanted alone time only. i don't know now.

we started joking around, and i got my clothes and walked out with him. he walked my bike for me, so i could smoke, while we walked back to the bar to get his car. he'd parked on the corner of the street i was going to bike home, so it worked out perfectly. and then i wasn't mad at him. i certainly wasn't upset anymore. and the rest of the day, i thought about whether i was mad or enchanted that he was playing the girl role, withholding sex for quality time spent alone with me, with the promise that there would be sex then.

it fucked me up for most of my driving day.

i biked home at 7. it felt both good and awful. it was a super quick ride, we're only a twenty or so blocks apart, the bar was only eight or so from my house.

and i decided to try to go back to sleep so i'd be well rested for the show and kit's surprise slumber party.

he had agreed to come along the next night (saturday), for at least part of the evening, and to come home with me and sleep over.

biking home, i had this line in my head. it is perfect for a song, but hasn't been written into one that i know of yet. and i resolved to write it down, so as not to forget. it was, 'with a head full of love and fear...' and i didn't write it down and lost the second half.

and it wasn't that my heart is full of love and fear specifically right now. it was the idea that it's there, underlying. that it is who i am at my core. and i thought a lot about how long it will take for me to let someone chisel away at the shell and get into it.

i couldn't sleep. i was laying there, trying, thinking about everything i had to do that day. and i got up to start putting everything together. so that i wouldn't fuck anything up. and i balanced my checkbook and thought about what i needed for the slumber party. and what i needed for life in general (no groceries for two weeks, at least, and no food in the house). i decided to go to walmart, target, and old navy in delaware. and that i would be buying all new matching underwear sets because i now need them and it had been over a year since i had treated myself.

that is how friday became shopping insanity. how i ended up smoking a pack of cigarettes in 24 hours. how i had a panic attack, paying $370 (i'd guessed i had $400 in the cart; gotta love tax free shopping!) for shit at target. and how, two minutes later, with a packed car, i was a giddy pile giggling in my car. squealing at how happy i was with the things i'd purchased. thinking about how i'd tell lawyer to just max out my credit card in exchange for having something to show for the hard work i'd been doing these past six months, when i didn't spend any money on myself other than food and alcohol and shit for the house.

because i went to target first, i bought everything except refrigerator items there. new sheets for both beds. super plush bath towels. four new bras, ten pair of underwear, super soft sleep shorts. paper needs for the house, supplies for making enchiladas, and enough party food to kill a horse. a shower rack for the bathroom. condoms, and girlie shit for the slumber party. i felt so good. so happy. there is absolute truth to retail therapy.

i worked feverishly at the office to get the fuck out of dodge. i needed to be home to organize the party, and contractor wanted to swing by to discuss our game plan for our tuesday work day. i stopped off at the grocery store to get the rest of the stuff for the party.

the timing was so tight. i knew i had a shit ton to do in preparation for the slumber party, and got talked into one drink with contractor to strategize for tuesday. we talked while i did laundry that had been stacking up, along with everything i'd just bought that needed to be washed. and while i set up party stuff, and put away all of my purchases. we facetimed nina, who wanted to meet my jewish contractor superhero virtually. he gave her the video tour of the work we've done and joked with her inappropriately about boobs. it was fun. i am excited for them to meet, because they will get along super well. i think i enjoy my time working with him, because he's like the slightly older male version of nina: same sense of humor, equal parts fun, similar ideologies. it's like having her a little bit closer to me, geographically.

mike was home, and the three of us talked in the kitchen for a bit. mostly tossing 'that's what he/she said's around. we had a smoke after feeling good about what we'd accomplish on tuesday, and he bailed for his next job. i hope i can handle the emotional flood that a basement day part two will trigger. ever has been heavy on my mind lately.

planning with contractor made me 15 minutes late to dinner with lauren. until i got lost somehow i northern phila, and made her wait another 15 to sort it out.

it was an intense dinner, with heavy conversation on both sides that made me wish i had three more hours to spend talking not in a burger joint with her.

but i had to leave for the show. filled with the fear.

so this is what i've left off of blogger, detailwise:

ever and i had a record label together. his employees/the dudes are all musicians. the friends that i lost when i left him were people that i'd paid for and supported for years. when i left him, he threatened a restraining order if i showed up to any show of any band that we had worked with.

it was total bullshit, but because i didn't want to see him, and didn't want to put them in the middle, i didn't go to see any of them play for the last year. of all of them, i had only seen my friend jay once in the last 13 months. and through other bands, got word that they missed me. but just couldn't go.

i'd invited about 20 people to the show, thinking i'd have a posse surrounding me, protected from ever, should he happen to go.

but it ended up being just kit and me going, and when i left lauren, i did not want to go. i couldn't tell kit how fucking SICK i felt over going, because it was the first of her birthday plans. and she was almost as excited to go as i was.

so when i picked her up, i told her how scared i was - almost backing out.

we came up with a plan that i was comfortable with. having a code word (oklahoma) if one of us saw ever. and we paid and got inside. and the reunion commenced. i bought beers and went to start easing in to saying hi to the people i spent more time with ever to avoid losing in my life.

that, paired with this insane set of opportunities to meet some of the most incredible musicians, to meet them, feed them, befriend them. i lost those benefits when i left, too. for someone who is so obsessed with music, and so smitten with musicians, it was also something i had to think about for a long time before leaving. it was the only consolation during times when we were so broke from releases and his total lack of income. meeting my all time favorite musician just before i left. and having tickets to go see them next saturday is kindof crushing my heart. because last time, i met him and his wife and son, and watched the show from the sidestage. in a way, i guess i feel like it shows me how far i've fallen. or that's how it felt. until i realized that seeing shows now isn't work anymore. i don't have to be 'on'. i don't have to entertain. i can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. and not meet the musicians. just appreciate the affect they have on me. and the effect they have on my life. being able to tell the people who literally make your day when you're happy, or help you wallow when you're sad is one of the most amazing experiences. meeting them as people, not as celebrities. hugging them as friends, not band members. meeting thao without ever's help showed me that i can still have it both ways.

but friday night at my first show back out in over a year, there were hugs. big hugs. cheek kisses. we've missed you's. it's good to see you's. so many people who were such a part of my life. and the show was bittersweet, because it was the last one with the current band lineup. it was the death of an era that started long before i met jay, nine years ago. it was sad. and it was happy.

the singalongs. the new songs. seeing them in a lineup that i had yet to see. hearing new songs that, before, i'd had access to as they were being written. all that dancing. smiling until my cheeks hurt. not seeing ever. being able to stay. recovering the feeling that i am a part of something bigger, and that my work there is not done. ever has fucked them royally, and i told kit that i feel led to do something to help them, without having any clue what it is. i can't afford to run a label for them, to replace the one that ever has completely run into the ground. all that hard work. all the time and money, spent building a little empire. a reputation. and now he has destroyed it so completely that everyone knows that his shit is just FUCKED.

he got all four of his bands go on the road for months of booked solid tours. and let them run out of merch two weeks in. about the time that i met with jay's girl to see if she thought there was truth to him using again, they were all out of merch, and no one was able to get him on the phone or via email.

it's even more sad to me than the death of our marriage. the one thing he had, that he could hold over my head was his label. and he has completely destroyed it now. it's devastating to me. i thought he'd be okay, because he would have that. it was the one thing that i couldn't take from him when i left him. and it is just dust now. a memory. it's the saddest thing. more sad than him using, even. because using is one thing. but having something to live for is another. and now he just has nothing to live for.

i didn't realize how serious it was, or how impossible it was that he wasn't there, until i ran into andy.

i met andy and was smitten with him instantly. a brilliant musician, cute, friendly. a tripper. a stoner. like apple and liam, my aquarian dreamboats. just like them, actually.

i met him briefly at the house. then hung with his band on new year's with nate (we both stared at him longingly). right as i was leaving ever, he was at the house one day, a bunch of us got stoned together. and that was the last time i saw him.

i always will wonder if people remember me. whether it's on facebook or in real life. from last week or from kindergarten. i didn't expect him to have anything to say to me.

but did he...

i saw him, and he hugged me enthusiastically. and said he hadn't seen me in forever. and as we were leaving the show, when it ended at ten, we walked outside and i ran into him, pretty much literally. his friend talked to kit, and he talked to me.

a fucking mile a minute. all about his band and ever. and what ever did to him.

i asked if the band was breaking up, or if it was an april fool's joke, because that was the day they announced it. and with bloodshot eyes, he speedily answered me, and corrected himself.

'yes. no. wait. i answered the wrong question. yes it's true. no it wasn't a joke.'

and launched into what he's doing next musically, so excited for the fifty or so songs he has written and is waiting to release with different friends and different bands. how excited he is for this time in his life when he is at some sort of crossroads.

and then took a turn for something i wasn't prepared for.

the whole night had been so fucking ups and downs. panic attack, fear, excitement, nervousness, pure joy, dancy fun, singing, loving. and then?

he basically vented to me about ever. in a torrent. for a lot of minutes. everything ever did to the band. all the inner turmoil it caused. how much money he conned them out of with empty promises built on lies and their faith in his ideas. the money he knowingly stole with his reputation. how he started figuring it out first. how no one believed him. and how ever took from them until they had nothing more to give.

and all i could say was, 'dude. i know. i was married to him for seven years. i know.'

and all he could say to that was, 'i can't even imagine what you went through. it was so fucked up and so complicated.'

and i apologized for ever, emptily.

and told kit as we got into the car that he will never show his face again to all those people he banned me from. because he fucked them all so royally. he STOLE from them. he made them hate record labels. he's made them all suspicious.

he changed them all. for the worse. like he did to me.

and i wish it made me feel better. i mean, in a way it does. because it took them all, independently, thirteen months to figure out that he was a sponge. that i was their fan, their support. that i did it all. and that, when i was gone, the label as it was ceased to exist.

what it will mean, i don't even know. i want to do something. but i know that i can live free now. and those dudes? i think it's safe to say that everyone sees now. i wasn't the bad guy. i was just close enough to see the wool. i saw him knit the web. and i pulled the shit off my eyes.

and i fucking ran while the ship was setting sail. and now they're all abandoning ship. full circle, a year later. he capsized. and he didn't fucking take me down with him.

i don't know what boat i'm on right now. i don't know the ship i'll build. but i'm pretty damn sure that i'll have all the passengers. while ever floats off into the distance, clinging to some deflating life boat.

i don't think that anyone can save him. because i don't know that anyone could want to. be continued...