Twitterpated by Spookysister7











{April 18, 2014}   Get it? Got it? Good.

window

Well, I haven’t written in a while because there has been a lot going on. I put my house up for sale last week. I don’t know where we are going to go or even if it will sell in the condition it is in, but I am ready to move on.

At first I was super excited to find a house near T. Then, I thought, we could finally be together. My mom wasn’t as excited. Not only did she not really want to move to T’s town, and I don’t blame her, but she said I was making it too easy on him. We are not even engaged. She’s right, as usual.

T doesn’t seem to get it. The closer I get and the more I try to be with him the flaker and more distant he gets. I tried to talk to him, ask him if I was pushing him or moving too fast. You know, 2+ years shouldn’t be enough time, right?!

It really hurt(s) me. I mean, if he doesn’t want to make an effort to be with me then why am I trying so hard? What would happen if I got really sick? I already was on the fence about having kids but when I think about having them with T it is like NO. I don’t want to do it all by myself and, as it is, that is what I would end up doing.

Don’t get me wrong. I think T loves me the best he can. But what if that isn’t enough? What if his ‘spontaneous’ (i.e. no planning or commitments) lifestyle isn’t something I can swing with in the long term?

I’m pretty easy to get along with. I’m super adaptable and can hang with pretty much anyone. I’m… easy.

Maybe too easy.

I just don’t like to make a big deal out of things and I always feel like it is just my perception that is off.

“It’s not really that bad.”

“He didn’t really ignore me for a whole week.”

“He needs a lot of time for himself; I shouldn’t be so demanding.”

“He isn’t feeling well; I should be more careful about what I say and do so I don’t upset him.”

“Things never seem to go right for him.”

Creepily, these are all real thoughts I’ve had. I have seen ideas like this before in abusive relationships. I never thought I’d have them.

I’m not saying he’s abusive, but he’s not doing me right.

I started writing notes, daily, on how I feel, what I have accomplished, and what T has done or said. Just short things like “feeling sad” or “T has headache” or “wrote a lot today”.

The more I think about T the worse my day is. The more I work and don’t have time to think the better I feel.

I don’t think it is right to be planning contingencies when you spend the weekend with a long distance boyfriend. Like “if he wants to sleep I’ll clean the kitchen out” or “if he gets overwhelmed we can go for a drive to get him away from the situation.”

It goes beyond even that though.

I have been thinking about marrying T. What would my life be like? In dream land we would open our coffee shop, work hard together, and have a blast.

In real life I can’t see him working hard for that long. It would interest him for a bit and then he’d be on to the next thing or hanging out with the customers and leaving the work up to me. He wouldn’t be able to get up early and cook, he… I’m just depressing myself. You get the idea.

In reality, I see myself living in a rundown house that I wouldn’t have picked because he likes it and is comfortable there. In a city that’s equally run down, with people to match. I would spend time in my garden, working, and in a small, dark room telecommuting. I would be the one to keep the house clean except the toilets and the yard mowing, one because I refuse and the other because ‘it would look bad for a woman to mow’. Junk would pile up as he drug it home from trash piles in front of people’s houses and he’d refuse to throw it away because it was ‘good’.

Essentially, I’d end up being his mom. That’s what her life is like with his dad; with the exception of travelling for work conventions, which T doesn’t really like to do, and visits to Disney which is just about her only happy place.

She’s not happy. T knows it. I just don’t understand it. T hates the way his dad is, why is he copying him? I mean, he’s not really, because his dad works all the time and T doesn’t and T isn’t mean to me the way his dad is to his mom sometimes, but…yellow

He is.

His life is becoming a mirror of his dad’s.

It kills me.

I’m pulling away. I can’t leave him, not now. I’m not strong enough. But I can back away to ‘friend’ status in my mind. I can say no more. I can think about him less. I can move on with my own life.

I can fake things pretty good. I’ve been doing it for a long time. I had just hoped…

But he’ll be happy with the change, I think. Less pressure on him. Less responsibility. He’ll probably get happy again, less shadowed as he’s lately seemed.

If the house sells, I’ll find a nice rental house for the family somewhere close. They can stay here.

I’ll move in with a roommate for a while near them, let them get a feel for not having me around every day all day.

Then, later, I’ll find where I’m supposed to be. I’ll find my pretty place. My yellow house. Or I’ll travel to look for it.

I’m glad I put the house up for sale. It was the motivation I needed. I’m cleaning it up. I’m going to move forward in my life, with or without him.



{March 21, 2014}   Food as Love

pea-on-a-plate

Mom and I were talking about T. Am I going to move to his town? Does he ever seriously talk about getting married? What will our lives be like? Do I really want kids, and if not is he okay with that?

It hit home earlier that day. I was walking at lunch and went into a trendy furniture store I passed. I saw a table T would like and the saleslady told me about it.

“Are you decorating a house?” she asked.

“Well, my boyfriend just got a house,” I said, “And I thought I could tell him about it.”

She gave me a funny look and I left as soon as I could. All I could think of was what would happen if she asked me more questions:

“He bought a house? Not ‘we’? Are you two not serious/not been together long? You don’t have any say in the décor? Are you planning on living there?”

And I would say, snarkily, “No, he’s a special kind of guy. He does what he wants and I’m just along for the ride. But what a ride!”

But that’s true. I am just along for the ride. He does what he wants. Plans what he wants. He wants to live in his town, where he’s comfortable, even though neither of us likes it very much and I DON’T want to raise kids there. I don’t like my town either, but I have always wanted to live in the country.

And what about after marriage? After the wedding and the honeymoon? We just settle in there, doing what we’re doing. Having a kid or two and moving to a slightly bigger house or expanding that one. Just… existing?

What about our coffee shop? What about a house in the woods where I can work on my novel? What about seeing something new? About being in beauty every day? About having fun in life and not just making it?

I’ve been just making it long enough.

When I went to bed last night I laid there thinking and quietly crying for over an hour. My ‘food as love’ metaphor came from there.

To start out: I hate peas. Loathe them.

Do you know the Bible verse: “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?”

My family’s love is like peas. I ask for food/love. Something tasty like berries or cake or even something simple like pasta is what I have in mind.

They give me peas.

And I can’t get mad at them. It is food, and to them, who like peas, it is good food. You can live on peas. So I smile and take the peas and swallow as much as I can. But over time I learn not to ask. The nausea from the peas is worse than the emptiness.

Every once in a while I’ll get Brussels sprouts, which I actually like, but I can barely eat it because I can still smell the peas.

T’s love is like bread; plain white, flavorless bread. But after a diet of peas bread is like manna.bread_white

At first I eat as much as I can take. But the bread is not always fresh. Many times it is day old, crusty and dry. I try to swallow anyway. Sometimes the bread is moldy and makes me slightly ill. Sometimes it is rotten, full of maggots. But the hunger is so intense, whetted by the bread, that sometimes I eat it anyway and live with the churning inside me for days.

Once in a great while the bread comes with butter or jelly. I almost, sometimes do, cry. It is such a treat: that little burst of flavor. That glimpse into real food. Before I can take more than a bite it is gone.

But the bread comes irregularly, and most of the time I am left hungry anyway, even when I ask. Sometimes when I ask I get a picture of bread and almost laugh.

I can see, in the distance through a difficult maze, a small plate of real food. Just enough to feed one person. Really not enough even then. That is my ‘alone’ food.

I almost forgot my friends. They are a bite of cotton candy on a humid day. Before it even registers it is gone, though it does taste sweet for less than a heartbeat. But it doesn’t fill, doesn’t satisfy.

And what is my love? Plain spaghetti to my family, who have drained all the sauce and spice and flavor out of me until that is all I can give.

To T, I started out with berries and cake. Rich and flavorful. After a year I ran out of richness and gave him chocolate cake. A bit dry but still good, with a little icing. After two years it is white cake. Dry and almost flavorless, but still more of an effort than I can really manage.

I’m not starving. I’m existing on a diet of bread and water and peas.

I want chocolate. I want berries. I want rich fettuccini alfredo and garlic cheese rolls. I want cream brulee.

I want to feel loved.

Another random thought I had earlier yesterday that made me cry was ‘what if my mom had married the guy she was engaged to when I was little’?

She’s still friends with him now, although he lives very far away, and he is married and has kids of his own. He’s a great dad, crazy great.

She didn’t marry him because she wasn’t attracted to him. But he loved her. In every way that mattered, would matter to me, he loved her. cake

What would it have been like to grow up loved? To grow up with a mom who was loved and didn’t look to me to be the strong one, the one to give her love? To have a dad who wanted to be a part of my life? Who made an effort? Who made me feel special? What would it have been like to be encouraged to go out and make a life for myself instead of clung to and dragged down?

Would I be brave? Fearless? Always smiling like I was when I was little? Would I be successful now? Smarter, well-traveled, knowing what I wanted out of life?

Would I be able to eat cake? Would I expect it?

Would I not punish myself in a hundred different tiny ways for not being good enough, smart enough, fast enough, perfect enough to deserve the love I get? Would I not berate myself for being selfish and wanting more; for not settling for the crumbs and scraps with a thankful heart, aware that others are starving?

Would something, anything, not be enough for me to contemplate staying where I am because it is safe and known and I don’t really deserve any better, I don’t really deserve even that much, and any crap I have to deal with that comes with it is just my penance for getting what I don’t really deserve?

Would I reach out expecting to get love instead of punishment or neediness or crumbs?

Would I be full enough to have some left over to give away?



{March 11, 2014}   Dating Post #138: Just Now

storm

I’m on some meds that make me a bit crazy. I think they lower my inhibitions and make me more focused on the now then the future. The ‘if it feels good now, do it’ mentality. I don’t know if it is just the pills or the overwhelming darkness I had been feeling has finally caused me to snap.

T is… a special man. I can’t even explain it. I don’t understand it. How he can be so frustrating and so right at the same time. This weekend should have been terrible. Instead, it felt wonderful. Gram went in the hospital Saturday night and I was up all night as Mom called me. T slept all day Saturday and I helped his mom clean out a shed. Friday was aggravating because he was at his parent’s house doing laundry. All in all, not very great.

Plus his mom was venting at me about him, pretty much telling me he wasn’t ready for the responsibility of… anything. She doesn’t see him taking care of a house or a real relationship with me. Inspiring, huh?

Sunday I got up and went to church with him. I was tired, but not the sleepy kind of tired. I went in his room to wake him and told him what was going on with Gram. Somehow we ended up making out until we were late for church.

I told you my ‘later’ is broken, and I’m usually the responsible one. Then we went to lunch with his parents and then to the Barnes and Noble to pick out my Nook for my birthday in a couple weeks. We went back to his parent’s house to get my stuff and his laundry. Then we took it back to his house and I helped him clean out his car and move his bed to another wall.

I washed his back because he was sweaty and itchy then we sat down to watch TV.

I didn’t want to watch TV. I wanted to make out. No. I wanted sex. I’d been wanting him since… well, that whole weekend. Maybe the pills amplify that as well, I don’t know. I usually do when I’m around him but I am too timid and tired to make the first move. And he, as usual, is either clueless or talented at pretending he is.

I got up from the couch and got a blanket. I laid it on the floor next to the couch.

“Lay down here,” I ordered.

He raised an eyebrow and grabbed a pillow and laid down on his side. I pulled his arm so he laid on his back and then I straddled his hips, leaned forward, and kissed him, hard. It finally clicked, I saw, as his eyes dilated.

“So this is why you wanted to make the bed,” he said with a smirk.

I nodded, leaning down to kiss him again.

He grabbed my shoulders.

“The bed’s more comfortable. I’ll watch,” he said, still smirking.

I got up and he followed me back to the bedroom, helping me make the bed. We crawled in and I stripped off his shirt, needing to feel his chest. I curled up against his side, pressing my body against him. We whispered quietly for a few moments, forgotten soft words, and then I pushed at the waistband of his shorts, helping him slip them off so he was left with only his boxer briefs.

He watched as I sat up and untied the back of my shirt and slipped it off, my pants quickly joining them on the floor. Again I pressed against his side, only our undergarments separating us.

“You like this?” I half-fearful, half-teasing, asked. I didn’t know if he would be offended that I made the first move or not. I didn’t know if he would think me too forceful, too aggressive.

He nodded and growled, his arms wrapping tight around me and pressing me even closer.

I shifted on top of him to straddle him once more, our chests pressed tightly together as I kissed his neck. His hands slid down to the low of my back, warm against the bare skin there, and held me tight as he bucked up against me once, twice.

“Sit up” he murmured, grabbing my shoulders. I did, looking down at him in the dimly lit room.

“You look perfect, right there,” he whispered, his eyes penetrating and focused on mine.

I smiled, but hungry for more leaned forward once again to kiss him. I moved slowly against him but it wasn’t enough.

“Please,” I whispered into his ear after a few minutes.

“Please what?” he asked.

“Please, turn us over. I need to feel you on top of me.”

He wrapped one arm around me and then we’d turned and his weight pressed me into the bed.

I wrapped my legs around him instinctively, moaning as he crushed me to the bed, his weight so perfect.

He moaned too, jerking against me before I felt his control return with tense and shuddering muscles.

I buried my face in his neck, kissing and sucking gently. I looked up, into his blue, blue eyes. His red hair brushed across his forehead.

“My beautiful, beautiful, man,” I whispered, looking at him in awe.

He stared into my eyes as I kissed him. On the lips, on his cheeks, on his beard. It didn’t matter as long as I could feel him, taste him.

He moaned my name and I whispered his, my voice a breathless whine of desire.

“Kiss my neck,” I begged, nibbling at his ear.

“I was waiting for you to ask,” he growled, kissing down my neck and making me writhe against him in pleasure.

“Please,” I begged, “I need more.”

“What do you need?” he asked.

“I need to feel you.”

“I haven’t pulled away,” he said, fuzzily confused.

“No,” I moaned, my legs tightening around him, my short nails digging into his bare back, “I need to feel more of you. I need to feel you move inside me.”

He stiffened and froze, his arms tight around me.

“I-I can’t,” he said, tensely, “I wouldn’t be able to stop myself. I’d take you.”

“Just a little,” I said, “N-not all the way. I just need…” I moaned and shuddered, jerking up against him.

“I can’t. I can’t. We have to stop,” he said, his voice so tight. He rolled off me.

I gave a little moaning cry of shocked loss and turned away from him, curling unto a ball. My legs shifted against each other, trying to relieve the pressure, the need.

“Please, please, just something. I need you. I need you,” I whimpered, feeling utterly lost.

He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me to his chest, holding me tight so I couldn’t move.

“Shh, shh, calm down,” he soothed.

I whined and whimpered as I forced myself to calm down, to stop moving.

His grip loosened and I turned over to face him, hiding my face in his neck.

“You really wanted me to, didn’t you?” he asked.

I nodded.

“I’m sorry I’m acting crazy,” I said at last, “the meds are some of it. And I… I don’t want to lose you. Lose this.”

“You don’t have to have sex with me to get me to stay with you!” he said, sounding shocked and slightly offended.

“No, no!” I said, “I know you’re not going to leave me. I just… I’m afraid one day I’ll get tired of waiting. That I’ll be alone. And I don’t mind being alone. But I don’t want to lose this. I can’t. I can’t.”

“Then don’t,” he said, “You won’t have to wait much longer.”

I winced and whined and hid my face deeper.

“It hurts,” I whispered.

He stiffened in alarm.

“No, no,” I said quickly, “You didn’t hurt me. I just… it hurts that I don’t believe you. I want to. I want to. I want to.”

“Then do,” he whispered.

“Hold me tight,” I asked.

He did and I let the tears dry on his neck before I moved or spoke again.

He was the first to move. He flipped us back over, me under him, and jerked once against me, hard.

“I changed my mind,” he growled as I looked up at him with wide eyes, “I’ll take you, right now.”

I said nothing.

“You’d let me, wouldn’t you?” he asked.

“Yes. No…” I looked away, “Yes,” I said finally.

“Why?” he asked, grabbing my hair and forcing me to look up at him.

“Because I say I don’t want to but I do, I always do. More than anything in the world. And because you want it too.”

“Soon,” he said, kissing me.

We went into the bathroom and I washed my face and then his. He sat on the edge of the tub, his legs vibrating from exhaustion, and I washed his hair, clumped from sweat.

“I am so blessed to have a girlfriend who does things like this for me,” he said.

“I like to,” I said, enjoying the feeling of my fingers in his hair.

Everything went back to almost normal then. But different. More.



{March 6, 2014}   Rough Time of It

brokenstairs

It was a bad morning. Bro threw a major fit like he was 16 again and psycho. Another job come and gone in two weeks or less.

On top of that I haven’t been feeling well, physically or mentally for a while now. Since Valentine’s Day-ish I guess. Not that T wasn’t nice to me. He did get me flowers and strawberries and a teddy bear and a heart locket with leaves on it. He didn’t have dinner anywhere near ready, was so-so on the dessert and…

Anyway, I’m surviving. That’s about it. Some days I don’t even do that good. Bingeing on Netflix crap I don’t really care about, too burnt out to give my work more than 20%. Hiding at the grocery store to keep from going home.

I’m empty. I should feel……. Something.

Dull anger. Exhaustion. Nausea. Heavy. That’s about the limit.

I stare a lot. Hug my bear I keep in my car. Sit in parking lots and watch Netflix until my phone gets hot. Pretend I’m sleeping. Pretend it’s just another day.

Most of the time I only go to work because I don’t want to stay home. I only go home because I don’t know what else to do. I go to T’s because it’s better than either, sometimes.

My life, my personal life, isn’t that bad. It’s not exciting, but it’s within reason. It’s the people around me, my family, even T, that make everything hard. They’re all broken stairs, broken staircases in my brother’s case, and I’m tired of climbing around them. I’m standing at the bottom, looking up at all those broken stairs I have to navigate to get an ounce of happiness and… I don’t think it’s worth it anymore.

The light doesn’t glow that brightly at the end of the tunnel. It’s easier to just stay here. I’m tired of fighting.

I’m going to be 29 soon.



{February 10, 2014}   Dating Post #137: Flash

I haven’t felt like writing in a while.

Why does it take the extremes, sadness or joy, to make me want to write? It is the everyday that stays in memory.

This weekend was our 2nd anniversary.

It snowed last week, looked like Styrofoam balls.

We went to the first place we met, ate there, and drew, again. He cut it out and framed it and now it sits on my desk.

The flowers were wilted because the truck broke.

I gave him the copper card. I think he liked it.

We drove to the park downtown. The traffic was bad because of construction. We didn’t stay.

We went back to Town and Country. We walked in the warmer air. We talked. We snuck onto the hotel terrace and listened to the children play and the steel drum.

We ate outside as I laid against his chest.

We went to Ikea and laughed. He forgot to eat.

We napped in the car.

We slept, I worked, he slept.

We watched a silly show. The last show, for him.

He left.

I miss him.



hopeandfear

So, last week was really bad. I had this overwhelming feeling that I had to do something. T was sick all week with strep throat so we didn’t talk much and I was glad because I wouldn’t have been able to hold it together.

When I went to therapy on Thursday night I told him I was going to break up with T on Sunday. Not forever, really, but for a few months or a year. Enough time for him to get his act together and show me he was ready for marriage. But if he didn’t, or couldn’t, then I would move on.

T had a big game on Saturday that he had been looking forward to so I wanted to not mess that up but I also wanted to talk to him at his home so he wouldn’t be upset driving home all that way. I mean, I at least would be mentally prepared. I certainly couldn’t break up with him over the phone. Even if I had tried he would have shown up at my door 2 hours later crying and wanting to talk to me in person.

So, I was determined to break up with T on Sunday, after church and lunch with his folks like usual.

I did not go to his house on Friday night because of the ice but I went early Saturday morning so that we could get to the coffee shop to play Twilight Imperium with his friends by 11am. I was really stressed thinking about Sunday but I tried not to think about it because I knew I would break down the moment I saw him.

I got to his house and then we left to play the game. Three others joined us, a man and his wife and a younger long haired guy. The wife started having contractions (she was 8 months pregnant) so they had to leave. It was okay though because we just didn’t use that section of the board. The three of us played until 9:30pm (yeah, one long game). T won, of course, but I was only 1 point behind him. Then another kid that T knew, about 17 yrs. old, joined us to play a quick game of Qin. He was a funny Asian kid whose head swiveled like radar every time a girl came in the door. It was really very funny.

After that we were both worn out so we went home and fell into bed. The next morning I got up and took a shower and then woke T. We went to church a little late and then met his parents for lunch, which took forever! I was anxiously watching the clock just wanting to get it over with because I was so nervous.

On the drive home T was talking but I couldn’t concentrate or even really look at him.

“What are you thinking about so hard?” he asked finally.

“Lots of stuff,” I replied quietly, my throat tight, “But I don’t want to talk about it in the car.”

He immediately started getting upset and asked what he’d done wrong.

“I’ll talk about it when we get home,” I replied, feeling stupid for not being able to hide it better and dragging out his pain.

We got home and he sat in his car for long moments.

“Come in the house,” I said and he let go of his death grip on the wheel and followed me inside.

We put down our stuff and then I pulled him into the guest room and sat him down on the bed, closing the door.

“I…” I started to say, unable to look at him. I sat next to him on the bed and hugged his arm.

“I made up my mind to break up with you today,” I said.

“What? Why?!” he asked, his voice breaking.

“It’s not that I don’t love you. I do, I do. No one could love you more. I just…”

I’m not sure what I said in reply, the fragments of hurt and fear and loneliness breaking out in a mishmash of words that made little sense to even me. I started crying.

“You’re not making any sense,” he said.

“I know. I’m sorry. I didn’t plan this. I couldn’t think about it or I wouldn’t have been able to keep myself together this long.”

“How long have you had your mind set on this?” he asked.

“A week,” I whispered, “All this week I knew I had to do something. It just hurt too much.”

“I knew there was something wrong. I was just too sick to figure out what,” he said quietly.

We both sat in silence as I tried to calm down and pull myself together.

“I want you to do whatever is best for you,” he said finally, “But I can’t imagine my life without you.” His voice was thick and I could tell he was trying to hold back.

I finally outlined what was wrong: the lack of a job, not moving forward in life, not making an effort to be with me, and so on. I told him that maybe I was coddling him, making it easy on him to stay where he was. Maybe by leaving he could move on.

“You’re not coddling me. You’re motivating me. Before you I had no idea what to do with my life and now, now I have a reason to be more. For us!”

Then he came back, telling me all the stuff he’d been doing. The interviews he’d gone on. The projects he was working on. Even planning to move out of his parent’s house. Things he hadn’t told me.

“Why didn’t you tell me any of this?” I cried in frustration, leaning against his chest and somehow in his arms.

“It’s kind of embarrassing. I didn’t get the jobs. None of it is successful yet. Nothing real has happened yet. And I was going to tell you all of it when I had something to show for it.”

“I don’t care if you didn’t get the jobs; you’re trying! That’s what matters! That’s what I want to hear about!”

“Oh,” he said quietly and paused, “You and I think very differently. I have to change my thinking. It can’t just be what’s successful, but what’s successful for US.”

“Yes!” I said, “If you don’t tell me than I can only assume nothing is happening. You have to TELL me.”

“Another communication issue we’ll work on,” he said, hugging me tight, “Stay with me,” he whispered, almost too soft for me to hear, “Please, please.”

We talked for a little while longer and as he held me tightly I again heard his whispered plea, “Please, stay.”

“I’ll stay,” I said at last, “I love you. I’ll always love you.”

He gave a half sob and buried his face in my hair.

“I love you. Forever and ever. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen or even imagined. You are so special to me and I want you with me no matter what. I’ll never let you go, whatever it takes. Whatever you need me to do, I’ll do it. Just stay with me.”

“I will, I will,” I whispered, reassuring him.

I held him for a long while in silence as I ran over the conversation in my mind. I was exhausted. Drained beyond belief.

I had told Mom about my plan, thankfully, so it wasn’t a shock for her to hear how tired and upset sounding I was when I called home to say I was spending the night. I’d already planned on working from home Monday so it was not a big deal work-wise.

The rest of the night T didn’t leave my side. His parents wanted to go over to the grandparent’s house to check it out because that is where T is moving to so that he can fix it up and maybe buy it from them.

“I’m not trying to push you two into anything,” his mom said, “But you have been together for a long time and if you have any plans to get married we are willing to help you get started with this house, like my parents did for us.”

T’s hand was tight around mine and I knew he was thinking about how differently the conversation could have gone that night. We went to dinner with his parents too and then back home.

We sat in the bed and talked for a long while. Just about everything. He told me again and again how much he loved me, how special I was to him, how beautiful, how every other woman was invisible to him because of me.

“It’s like a pretty candle versus the sun. Yeah the candle’s pretty enough and gives light, but when you have the sun you don’t need a candle. The sunlight is blinding. Sometimes I feel like I need my sunglasses just to look at you.”

We hadn’t kissed all weekend because he had been sick but he kissed my cheek and forehead and then my lips.

“I couldn’t not kiss you,” he said, “If you get sick I’ll pay for the doctor, but I have to kiss you.”

We laid back in the bed and talked some more. This time we talked about the future. What it would be like when we are together.

We amused each other with silly fantasies and secret dreams.

“The more secrets we share, the clearer it is that we are made for each other,” he whispered.

I finally shared a secret nighttime fantasy of mine that I knew he would like but I was afraid of telling him.

“Master,” I whispered, silently laughing as a shudder ran visibly down his spine.

“This afternoon you were ready to break up with me and now you’re calling me Master. What changed?” he asked, his voice low.

“You love me,” I said quietly, “You love me.”

“I do. I do love you. Forever.”

A long pause to make out.

“How long have you wanted to call me that?” he asked finally.

“Since the time you asked me to use your name more,” I said truthfully.

He chuckled, “Slightly before I knew I wanted you to call me that. Because every time you said my name it sounded like Master somehow. And I liked it. But I couldn’t ask you to do that. You had to do it yourself.”

“It is biblical,” I teased with a naughty grin, “It says Sarah called Abraham ‘Lord’, so…”

He laughed and sat up.

“It means even more responsibility for me, though. But I want it. I want to be responsible for you. I want you to count on me. I want you to hold me to a higher standard. One thing, though… How far are you thinking about taking it?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, some people go pretty far with the whole thing and I just want to make sure we are on the same page.” He went on to describe some things he had read and I made a face.

“No. Just a between us thing,” I said, “Nothing too weird. Our secret.”

“Good,” he said, “That’s what I hoped. I think we’re weird enough to other people without adding that in too,” he teased.

So… That was a big turnaround. Unexpected. But I feel better about our relationship now and more confident in our love for each other. I think we’re gonna make it.



To continue

We got home and it was too early to go to bed. I sat on the couch with him and we watched some dumb reality show on Netflix on his iPad about penny pinchers. Even though when he told me about it I said I didn’t want to watch it. Even though I turned away a few minutes in and said it was too sickening to watch. Then he showed me the ‘highlights’ and thought it was so funny. I’d have much rather watched him play a game instead.

I was finally called away to do something and then went and did my chores for a while. He kept trying to kiss me and waited for me on the couch playing a game on his iPad.

He hugged me once saying, “You’re my favorite. I can’t imagine my life without you.”

I chuckled weakly and hugged him back.

Finally I didn’t have anything else to do and I was tired. I changed into my pajamas and made his bed, even though he was sitting right next to all the stuff to make his own bed that whole time. I went upstairs to find the pillows that someone had moved and then came back down, half hoping he’d have fallen asleep.

He hadn’t. I turned out most of the lights and sat down on the couch and watched him play his game for a second. Then he turned it off and wanted to make out. He did everything he could to get me worked up but I wasn’t. I stared away into the darkness, getting more and more aggravated. I didn’t respond to him in any way and was just tired of it. He didn’t notice for quite a while. Or maybe he did and just tried harder.

Finally he looked at me.

“What are you thinking?” he asked as I watched him from the corner of my eye, still looking away.

I finally looked at him with a sigh and rubbed my eyes tiredly.

“I…” it took everything I had to not just tell him I was fine or tired or whatever.

“I know you’re trying to be loving…” I said, watching his face shift from amorous to confused, “But you’re just ticking me off.”

I don’t remember his response. Probably a confused sound or something. He sat up and I did too.

“I’m sorry,” he said in his kicked puppy whine.

“Look, you know I don’t like to tell you no and hurt your feelings, but not saying anything just means you hurt mine instead. I told you being physical made me feel like dirt, and you’re doing it anyway.”

I realized that as much as I’d like to blame myself for how physical we’d gotten over the course of our relationship I honestly couldn’t. I had pushed for attention on occasions, but he’s the one in charge. He could have stopped us at any time. And he was the first to make a move. Nothing can happen without him. I’d realized that as much as I wanted attention, he directed what kind of attention I got or expected. I’d learned to like and even crave what he gave me, even when I knew it wasn’t right. And it was time for me to stand up for myself at last. And the only way to do that is to not want his attention.

“I’m sorry,” he whined again, “I don’t want to make you feel like dirt.”

“I know,” I said, “We’ve just fallen into bad habits. Well, good habits if the situation was different, but it’s not.”

He started to say something but I cut him off.

“I need to tell you something. I always think I am communicating stronger than I actually am, so I need to make something clear. I need to warn you. I told you I was on the edge and I still am. It won’t take much to push me over… I don’t know what else to say. If you need me to clarify what I mean then ask me and I will, but I…”

“I didn’t mean to push you to an edge,” he said.

“I’m not saying you’re mean to me. That’s not it. I just…”

“I’ve been working hard. Not for you, but because I need to. I hadn’t realized how far I’d fallen until you pointed it out. Well, I did once and then I was like ‘no, I’m not so bad’ and gave up but now I’m really trying.”

“That’s good,” I said weakly, tired of hearing that, “Maybe you could get some help? Like you said, I pointed it out so you could see it. Maybe you could go to someone, not a psychiatrist or anything necessarily, and they could help you?”

“I have. I’ve been talking to this mentor guy that’s approached me a couple times in the past but I never made time to talk to him because I was too busy but now I am talking to him.”

“Good,” I said again, trying to smile.

“And I told you that my grandfather was moving out next weekend to his son’s and wasn’t coming back except for his stuff so my parents want me to house sit for a couple of months until they figure out what they’re going to do with the house… My mom and I were thinking that I might buy my uncle’s half from him and live there. Or try to sell it after a while and live somewhere else. It’s a nice house, a little old but built good…”

I hadn’t said a word. I’d heard all this before, although before it had given me some hope. Now it just sounded like another fantasy, and a skewed one at that.

“But that means we, you and I, have to make a decision pretty soon…”

“Mmm,” I said, nodding and looking away again. I’ll believe it when I see it, but I know what will happen. The uncle will throw a fit, they’ll sell the house, and we’ll be back to square one.

Because he’s simply not ready. Because I’m trying to remember a time he said something would happen and it actually did; at least something he had influence in.

“I want to take you out for lunch tomorrow and go to Sunday school with you,” he insisted.

I told him goodnight and went to bed.

Sunday morning I got up because he wanted to go to Sunday school. He woke up with a headache. I went back to bed for a while, because Mom was too tired to get up too, and read. Then Mom and I got up and went to church.

After church we got gas and my car washed. Then we went to the store and got stuff to make sandwiches for lunch.

We got home and I was sick to my stomach because it was nearly 1:30pm and I hadn’t eaten yet. But we had to do the animals first before we could eat, of course. I insisted on eating myself before I woke Gram and fed her though.

I woke T enough to ask him what he wanted to eat because I knew he would just get sicker if he didn’t eat. I made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as he covered his ears on the couch because Mom and Bro were being too loud.

“Why is he covering his ears?” Mom asked me.

“I don’t know,” I snapped, my hands full both literally and figuratively.

I sat on the couch next to him and ate in silence, interrupted by demands from the bedroom to bring tea, get medicine, find hats and so on.

He wanted to cuddle again but I had to feed Gram so I hugged him for a few minutes.

“Your hugs are the best,” he said, “They can go on forever and not feel awkward.”

I sighed into his shoulder and nodded.

“I’m sorry I missed church and didn’t take you for lunch, I really wanted to. I’ll take you for dinner,” he said.

I nodded again.

He asked what church was about.

“Communication in marriage,” I said, managing a little more detail.

I got up and made Gram’s food and took it to her and read her the Bible. She asked me what church was about too and I told it all over again.

I came back downstairs and watched TV with T, The Curse of Oak Island. It was something he was really interested in and it wasn’t nerve wracking so we watched a few hours of it. Even Bro came in and sat with us for half an hour and watched it.

Then it was getting late and T would have to leave by 8pm so we went out to eat. He asked if I wanted pizza or Chinese and I said pizza but then he wanted Chinese so we went to get Chinese instead at the buffet near my house.

We talked about food and the people there, nothing personal. Then it was time for him to leave.

“I’d stay again but I promised Mom I’d help her paint all day Monday. But I’d rather be with you!”

After he left he texted me: “Miss you”

“Like a LOT!”

“<3”

“I love you. Sorry I felt so bad this weekend. I really wanted to do more with you. <3”

I said: “I know baby. I love you. <3”

He replied: “I love you so much! Next Sunday, we’ll do something just us.”

I remembered that next weekend I was to go to his house to play Twilight Imperium with his friends on Saturday.

I said: “Sounds good. I’m looking forward to playing Twi Imp too.”

Then he called me when he got home for about 30 seconds because he had to go potty. Lovely.



To continue

So, he got there and I got my shoes on and picked up my purse. He tried to kiss me several times and told me I ‘looked nice’ because I had makeup on from the baby shower. I tried to pull away as fast as I could without looking more than busy.

“Mom and I are going to Academy to get Bro some shoes. Do you want to come?” I asked to be polite.

He made a face and I knew the answer was no. I didn’t care except to think, ‘yeah, he really wants to be with me.’

“I don’t think I’m up to walking that much,” he said.

“Okay. Well, we’ll be back in a while.” I avoided trying to solve everything once again by telling him to take a nap. He was a big boy. He’d figure it out.

We went and it took a while. I wasn’t in the best of moods but I tried to not snap at Mom. It’s not like it was hard to understand why.

On our way home T texted and said: “Baby Bro is home… Want to meet somewhere for dinner or something?” Bro had woken him up.

“I’m almost home,” I answered.

At least Bro liked his shoes. T wanted to go out to eat but I didn’t let it bother me.

“I have dinner in the Crock Pot,” I said, “I just have to make some rice and we will eat.”

He followed me into the kitchen to ‘help’ but I ignored him. Then Mom came in to ‘help’ and I ignored her too. Neither one is any help.

Somehow without my explicit instructions they managed to get some drinks and silverware on the table. Whoopee. Everything else required my input so I just did it myself.

After dinner I got out the strawberry soda and vanilla ice cream to make a float. I’d really wanted one for a while.

“That or Orange Leaf?” T asked abruptly.

“What?” I asked, confused.

“Let’s go to Orange Leaf and get frozen yogurt,” he said, standing and leaving his plate and everything.

No ‘would you like to’ or ‘I’d prefer’ or even ‘How about we…’

Nice way to be asked out.

I put away the ice cream without a word and got my jacket.

We got to his car and he told me to ‘not look’ because he had to get junk out of my seat. ‘No problem there,’ I thought, looking up at the stars.

He tossed it all in the back seat and I got in. We got to the Orange Leaf without a word except me giving directions and him asking, “Are you sure this is the right way?” several times.

We got our food and sat outside, chatting about the flavors. He bragged about his hacking skills and how good bourbon was in foods and hot buttered rum. I guess he was trying to be suave and impressive? Nod and smile.

Why did this feel like a bad first date?

We started towards home and he stopped at a small pond behind an office building. We’d gone there before to make out in his car in peace and I hoped he wasn’t planning on that again. Not happening.

He parked and jumped out while I was still processing. He came around and opened my door and jerked me out of the car before I could even grab my phone.

“But…” I protested, turning back for it.

“You don’t need it,” he said, shutting the door and pulling me along.

He sat down on a wooden picnic table bench near the water and pulled me down to sit alongside. The ducks were huddled under the light and I wondered why. Then a loud motor sound came from the other side of the pond and I saw two men were playing with a toy motor boat on the water.

We watched the boat and talked about how it sounded and the toy cars we had when we were young.

The men left as the boat’s batteries ran low. T chased the ducks into the water for fun.

“That was mean,” I said, “Now they’ll be even colder.”

He shrugged and pulled me onto his lap. He kissed me, trying to force his tongue in my mouth.

I didn’t let him. I wasn’t obvious about it, didn’t grit my teeth, but I didn’t open up to him either and my own tongue got in his way.

I don’t think he even noticed.

I stared up at the stars through the tree next to us.

“What are we looking at?” he asked.

“I can see a star through the branches,” I said.

“It’s a planet,” he corrected, “and so is that one.”

“Yeah,” I acknowledged, not seeing the need for a distinction.

“Probably Mars.”

“Then maybe that’s Venus?” I said, trying to hold a normal conversation.

“No,” he scoffed, “Venus never gets that high. It’s probably…” he paused.

“Uranus?” I suggested, subtly snide.

“Ha, that’s too far away,” he corrected smugly, “Jupiter or Saturn. Probably Jupiter.”

“Mmm.”

After a minute or two of silence he got up and took my hand and walked towards the car. He walked past it.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“I want to see what’s over here,” he said, moving down the sidewalk towards a collection of small offices.

“I don’t want to get in trouble,” I said, trying to stop.

He yanked me along.

“We won’t. We’re just looking.”

“Trespassing,” I muttered, already feeling like we’d probably get in trouble for sitting near the pond, but even more for ‘casing’ the offices.

We walked around for a minute and then went back to the car.

We passed a big construction dumpster on the way out and he pulled up next to it.

“What’s in there?” he asked.

“Carpet,” I said as it was on my side of the car.

“Hmm, they sometimes have cool stuff in dumpsters. I used to find stuff all the time that way.”

‘Oh joy,’ I thought, ‘That’s something to brag about.’

He then went into detail about his best finds as we drove home.

“I know,” I interrupted finally, “You’ve told me about it before.”

To be continued…



Well, I made it through another weekend.

Friday I was not doing very well. T texted me around 10am and said he was getting another headache. Then I heard nothing from him until about 6pm saying he was sorry he was not going to make it to see me.

Needless to say I was ticked. It’s like he’s standing me up. I don’t know, I was just upset and felt like I couldn’t count on him. The minute he said he was getting a headache I prepared myself not to see him, maybe not even all weekend. I just…

I get sick of thinking “not gonna happen” every time he says something. I’ve even made it a mantra, of sorts, to keep me from getting my hopes up.

“Smile and nod and know that won’t happen.”

Now when he tells me his tall tales I just want to cry.

“Smile and nod and don’t cry.”

Did I ever tell you I distract myself from feeling, from being too focused on something unpleasant, by thinking “dead dog”? I don’t know why that helps me. I guess it is disturbing enough to distract me but not enough to make me upset? Stupid sounding, I know, but it has helped me to keep functioning many times.

Take nasty medicine, dead dog.

Break something and want to cry, dead dog.

Someone berating you, dead dog.

Having to fake the proper emotion, dead dog.

Boyfriend telling you something wonderful that you know won’t happen, dead dog.

Anyway, back to Friday. I have learned to make my own plans now and not count on him. It hurts me, but it just has to be. Saturday I had a baby shower to go to (R’s) until 1pm. So when he finally got back to me saying he wasn’t coming (duh) I texted:

“Maybe you can come tmrw? After 1 because of baby shower.”

“I plan to,” he replied.

Great.

I had decided, earlier in the week, to just be happy with the now. To enjoy time with him and not worry about the future. To ‘keep my options open’ so to say. I hated to think of T as a placeholder or someone to hang out with until I felt ready to move on, but that’s what I had been pushed to. But I was mad.

Angry.

I don’t get angry very often. Usually it is just a hurt reaction. But this time it was more than that. It was a matter of self-preservation. Of finally standing up for myself.

Mom said maybe the headaches were subconsciously caused by me putting pressure on him. Like maybe every time he got into something too deep and didn’t know how to deal or someone got really upset with him he got sick and then everything got better. So now he just did it unknowingly, uncontrollably, by habit.

But, you know what, it doesn’t matter anymore. I’m done being hurt to spare him hurt. I don’t want to hurt him, but I don’t want to be hurt anymore either.

Then he sent me a text: “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” I said, “You can’t help being sick.”

“I feel like I’ve let you down so much and you’re disappointed in me and I’m a failure.”

Well, duh. I didn’t know what to say. I knew he wanted me to comfort him. To tell him, once again that I was cool with it and I loved him and everything was fine.

It wasn’t.

He was absolutely correct. And I wasn’t going to baby him anymore.

I said nothing.

Three minutes later he sent: “I’m sorry. I’ll do better next time.”

I said nothing. I knew not to believe him. What is ‘next time’ anyway?

Five minutes later: “I love you.”

“I love you,” I sent with a sigh.

He called before I went to bed. I tried to pretend I was okay. I was too tired to talk and he was too pitifully sick to listen. We talked for about five minutes, mostly awkward silence, when I told him I had to go.

Saturday I texted him when I got to the baby shower. Just telling him I was there out of habit like I do Mom. That was 11 am.

He replied at 1:15 pm to say he’d just gotten up and showered. “After I eat, I’ll head that way if I’m up to making the drive. 8-Ball says ‘Chances Good’.”

Grr.

Making stupid jokes, ‘if I feel up to it’, and not even getting up until the time I said I would be done.

Fail.

I did not reply.

Thirty minutes later: “On the road.”

It took me twenty minutes to calm down enough to say: “Ok. On my way home.”

I pretended I was still at the shower and that’s why I hadn’t answered, and I was on my way home from the store, but I didn’t really feel like replying at all. I knew if I let it go too long he would call though.

Three hours later (it’s a two hour drive) he showed up.

Too bad. I had stuff to do now. I’d fed everyone, put dinner in the Crock Pot, and cleaned up the house a bit. Then Mom wanted to go get Bro some replacement shoes from the ones we had returned and finally got the money back for.

T knocked on the door. I was putting on my shoes but he wouldn’t stop knocking. I guess he thought he was being cute. I went to the door with one shoe in my hand. I’m sure I looked peeved, although I tried to force a smile.

He didn’t look like him.

He’d gotten a haircut, nothing drastic, but I’d noticed that over the past few weeks he looked less and less like him. At least the ‘him’ in my mind.

Rose colored glasses?

This weekend was like being with a stranger. Everything felt new again, strange, uncomfortable. I knew the motions I was to go though, the emotions I was to fake, but it was just that: fake.

He tried to be flirty with me as he changed his shirt. I almost gagged. Not that he’s ugly, but he’s just… a guy. Got a gut, pale, hairy. Not really appealing. But I remember being amused by it before.

I didn’t look at him much. I couldn’t. I couldn’t keep up the pretending if I looked. The few times my masked slipped he asked me, “What’s that look for?”

I just shrugged and changed the subject. How do you explain something like that?

To be continued…



{January 17, 2014}   Imaginary Workers

emptydesk

My office has imaginary workers.

Three extra desks; two with all the signs of life. A potted plant. A computer screen. A bottle of lotion, a tape dispenser, a mouse.

They’re lies.

Both desks have been long deserted. The one with the plant, a cactus which explains its longevity, is only a few weeks abandoned. The other has looked like that for months.

I can’t understand leaving like that.

No collection. Nothing picked up.

Just gone.

I guess there was nothing truly personal there in the first place.

In fact, besides the photo my boss has on his desk, I am the only person to bother having anything personal at all.

I can understand that for one of them, but the other two…

Is it the job? Does it feel so transitory to them?

And then there’s me. Hidden away in this tiny windowless exam room turned office.

It’s a wonder I am not insane. Surrounded by my childish items that add the only color to the featureless white walls.

A blue and pink pony, a yellow stuffed Peep, a squeaky Mexican-hatted Rufus, a solar powered green smiley face, and a stuffed purple dwagon.

All gifts, at one point or another.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m bored.

Or burnt out.

Or just tired.

I am trying to be happy. Trying not to let stuff, people, get me down. Trying to make it one day at a time.

It sort of worked. I made it to Friday.



et cetera
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