No Turning Back

It’s done… officially ended.  No turning back even if I wanted to.

I settled in at my cousin’s house quite easily, I spent some quality time with the family before they embarked on their trip leaving me to care for the dogs.  I was enjoying the peace and quiet, but I wasn’t completely at ease.
For one, their home was at least a 25 minute drive from the ocean.  As beautiful as life was in the mountains, it was painfully hot and their was no relief other than sitting still in the shade.
For another, the dogs were a lot needier and more anxious than I had anticipated, making it difficult for me to take off on day trips.
And finally, I was completely and utterly alone.  The tiny town was still a 15 minute drive… there were neighbours but they were farther down the hill and I rarely saw them.
With nothing to do and no one to talk to the boredom set in quickly and that boredom lead to loneliness and that loneliness made me think of Nick and how much I missed him.
We hadn’t spoke since I left, and although I knew it was probably a good thing, I wondered what had changed.

A week after my arrival, I heard a small peep from him: “Hey mate, how’s Noosa?” he wrote on my wall.  I eagerly sent him a huge message, filling him in on everything that had happened down to detailed descriptions of each of the dogs distinct personalities.  I even told him how I was getting over a urinary tract infection and how painful that had been.
His only response?  “Well when you clear up, you should get out and have some fun.  You deserve it, don’t let me stop you…”
He’s telling me to sleep with other people?!   I could only assume he had started a physical relationship with someone else and was trying to alleviate his guilt by pursuing me to do the same.
I expressed the doubtfulness of me ever getting laid out in the sticks and he seemed to pity me.
I asked him if he was still planning to come visit me after Christmas.
“I only have two 4 day weekends…” was his (pathetic) excuse.
I could see exactly what was happening, I did understand he was trying to do the best for both of us, so we could both move on, but still it hurt that only a few days ago he was telling me how glad he was to have me in his life.

After that conversation, the silence between us grew.  A few days later, I was chatting with my mom on Skype and she asked about Nick.  “I don’t know anymore… we’re not really talking.”  At that moment, my phone lit up with a message from him.
“Speak of the devil!  Let’s see what he has to say.”  I read his message in my head and then laughed out loud half in disbelief, half in rage.
“What did he say?” my mom asked.
“He’s gotten back together with his ex…” I explained, trying to keep my voice from trembling. “He wants us to keep being friends…”
“Are you alright?”
Thank God I was (somewhat) in my mother’s presence.  We talked a lot about the situation and she kept me calm, but the moment I ended the call, I fell apart.  I cried uncontrollably whenever I thought back to all the times I accused him of still loving her and how he denied it, how he promised he would never take her back and accused me of being insecure.  All those time he would message back and forth with her while swearing they were just friends.  In my heart, I always knew they would end up back together, but I assumed further down the road, maybe after I’d left Australia or we’d lost contact.  Not a couple days after I left town.
I hated her for taking him back.
I hated him for being too weak and pathetic to be alone.
But I hated myself most of all, because my instincts had been screaming at me and I totally disregarded them.  I let myself be swayed by Nick and his friends and my friends.  I let myself be pushed into a relationship that I didn’t want in the first place, only to have my heart stomped on as soon as I began to really feel something.

I drove into town and bought a bottle of wine, a chocolate bar and a pouch of tobacco.
I sat on the patio and chain smoked while slamming wine and listening to Alanis Morissette.  I went on a massive Tinder tear and chatted up all the hot locals I could find.  I talked with a couple friends on the phone and they listened patiently as I ranted about how all men are pigs.
By 9 pm I was emotionally exhausted and collapsed on my bed.  I woke up in the middle of the night when one of the dogs got up.  The first thing that came into my conscious mind was Nick and instantly I felt sadness overtake my body.  Then I felt cold… freezing cold… in the middle of summer in Australia.  I put on sweatpants and a hoodie and doubled up my blankets, I curled up in a small ball for warmth, but still I was uncomfortably chilly.

When I woke up in the morning, I felt like a new person.  My day of mourning was over, I had granted myself just one pity party, I swore to myself that I wouldn’t allow one more tear to fall for Nick.  I got up and did what I always do when I’m trying to turn my thoughts off: I worked out.  For hours and hours.  I also showed myself a lot of love: I made myself some incredible healthy meals, I meditated and read my book, I went to the beach, I did my nails and plucked my eyebrows.  I felt genuinely positive about life.  Nick had done me a favour, I could move on with my life completely and maybe even meet someone new.  I could go back to focusing on myself and my travels, without always having part of my heart back with him.

I read over his message a couple more times.  I contemplated possible responses.  I could tell him to go fuck himself or I could take the high road and wish him well or I could respond with something short and icy.  Nothing would make me feel better, nothing would affect him and nothing would change the situation.
After a lot of thought I decided to simply not respond, I didn’t have anything left to say and I didn’t want to ease his own guilt by either forgiving him or letting him have it.  When he got back together with her, he knew that there was the possibility he would lose me from his life entirely, and he still made that decision.  I had no interest in remaining friends or keeping in touch, surely my silence would reflect that.  I blocked and deleted him from Facebook and every other form of social media to avoid seeing anymore messages from him.
Unfortunately, I forgot to block his email address, because a couple days later, he messaged me, begging to respond even if just to say I didn’t want to talk.  I quickly blocked that too.

Now I’m here.  I’ve assured myself that Nick did not intend to use me or hurt me, I think he genuinely believed he was over his ex, but what he resisted, persisted.  Still, I don’t need his presence in my life.  So now I’m just here, contemplating my next move.


I draw the curtains tight
To block out all of the light
How can the sun continue to shine?
When you’re no longer mine.
I know it’s all for the best
But still my anxious mind cannot rest
Thinking about the man with the beautiful soul
God, how I loved you so.


New Years Eve Steeze

These New Years Eve celebrations were one of the best…. scratch that, THE BEST of my life.  In years past he and I would both work late, come home and have a low key evening by ourselves: thoroughly enjoyable but always uneventful.  Before him New Years would usually find me disappointed after I couldn’t find a suitable man to kiss at midnight.
In fact, even last year was a bust.
I made fondue with my mother and Sendal.  She and I were both newly single and I refused to ring in midnight sitting in my 60 year old mom’s cramped condo, I insisted Sendal and I join Suki at a local restaurant that was hosting live music.  Suki picked us up and we made it to the venue in time for the countdown.  It seemed everyone in attendance was part of a couple.
“3… 2… 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!”
Suki and her boyfriend Monty kissed, everyone else kissed, Sendal and I held each other tightly while rocking back and forth and yelling: “Lonely Hearts club for life!”
Monty was getting over the flu really wanted to leave and Suki was DD so Sendal and I decided to catch a ride with them and return to our quiet evening.  We were saying our goodbyes and Monty told us he would meet us at the car.  We walked out to the parking lot: the car was gone.  Monty decided we were taking too long and left without us.  It was impossible to get a cab so it looked as if we were stuck where we were.  We walked back inside, sat down at the bar and started drinking excessively.  One of our girlfriends insisted we come back to her house for a wee after party.  We were already half cut so we thought: ‘Hey, why not.’
A bunch of people crashed the party and our hosts kicked everyone out.  Sendal got in a huge argument with some guys over a cab.  I smoked almost a whole pack even though my resolution was to smoke less.  I woke up and felt like shit.  Happy New Years to me.

It’s not just the events of last year that have me reflective, its my state of mind at the time. I was depressed and confused and unsure of my future.  I was insecure and needy, It seemed impossible to find someone who was on the same page as me.
This journey I have been on this past year astounds me.  I can’t believe everything that has happened in such a short time and how I’ve grown as a person.  The prospects of what could happen in the next year is astounding.

But anyway, I digress…

This year was heaps of fun.  We started off with no real plans at all (always good, keeps one from getting disappointed.)  We knew we wanted to spend it in Nelson with our friend from home, Jill, but that was about it.
We arrived at Jill’s, showered, dressed up and started drinking.  It was the 3 of us, plus her 3 roommates and one other friend.  We all threw together our last remaining groceries and put together a huge stir fry feast.  Everyone dispersed to do different things and only Kennedy, Jill and I remained.  We consumed drink after drink, Kennedy busted out the guitar, Jill busted out her ukelele and the two girls jammed Amy Winehouse covers.  I participated with an apple shaker.  We started to get pretty silly and Jill performed a burlesque show for us and then insisted that we both do the same for her.  We were all laughing and having a great time, but decided we should head into the square for the countdown.
We arrived just in time to watch the last band and stood amongst the crowd with a huge bottle of champagne tucked safely out of sight.  The music stopped and the crowd started yelling, “10… 9… 8… 7” you get the idea.  At the words “HAPPY NEW YEAR” we popped open the champagne and downed it in no time at all.  We chatted with several other foreigners before starting off towards the bars to get our dance on.

On our way we’re approached by a some people wearing shirts that say ‘Freedom.’
“Would you guys like some free sausages?” they ask.
“Free?” I ask suspiciously.
“Yeah free!  You just have to tell us what freedom means to you.”
Kennedy said something short and profound, I launched into a rant about how blessed I was to be born in a free country.  Jill came running around the corner screaming,
“YOU GUYS!  These people are Christians!  They’re luring us in with free sausages to try to convert us.  RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!”  Yet we still went back for seconds.  What’s a little religious banter when free food is involved?
Once again, we found ourselves en route to the bar just as a girl came flying past us on the sidewalk, holding her shoes, balling her eyes out, make up running down her face.  We all immediately blocked her way and began cooing to her: “Aww sweetheart, what’s wrong?  Are you okay?  Where are you going?”
She couldn’t even begin to explain why she was so upset.
A guy?  We all asked.
She nodded.
“Don’t let this douche bag ruin your night!  Come out with us instead!”
“Okay!” she agreed, her face lighting up.  “Help me put my shoes on!”
I crouched down and look at her shoes.  They were huge white platforms, circa 1995.  I half heartedly struggled with the buckles before giving up and kinda interweaving them together.
She started telling us about this jerk guy, how he’s her baby daddy and how she’s only 21.  She really wanted to go to one bar in particular, we all kind of agreed since we couldn’t think of any better venues.

After a short wait in line we got inside and to bumping music and glowing black lights.  I bought us a round of shots and we all immediately went out into the smoke pit to get our fix.
I perched atop a picnic table and noticed in my peripherals, seated directly beside me, a rather cute boy.
Now in the last couple days that I had spent with Jill and her roommate Sam I realized something rather profound.  Watching the two of them out at pubs I couldn’t help but notice how they effortlessly met men.  It was so simple: they saw a guy they thought looked interesting, went over to him and just struck up a conversation.  And every single time the guy was interested right back.  Never was there any harsh rejection or awkward moments it was just as easy as saying, ‘Hello.’
I was determined to try out this amazing approach rather than wait and hope for guys to strike up a conversation with me.  With that in mind, I turned to this guy and said:
“So.  What’s your New Years resolution?”
He turned to me and with a big grin answered: “To stop swearing so fucking much.”
I laughed and we started talking.  His said his name was Rod, he was from the North.
We were headed inside to dance and as we were leaving Kennedy chimed in: “She’s really awesome, you should definitely dance with her!”
I blushed and simply said, “Maybe I’ll see you on the dance floor.”

Us girls got close to the DJ and started busting out our best moves.  I was meeting all kinds of people from all kinds of places and having the time of my life.
I spotted Rod on the dance floor and tried to dance with him.  I was trying to grind up on him a little while he was flailing around spastically.  He went to get a drink and didn’t offer me one.
What’s this guys deal?  I can’t tell is he’s really into it.
I decided to cut my losses and continued doing my own thing.
At some point in the night I asked Rod if he had any smokes as I had already smoked an entire pack (despite again resolving the cut back.)  He didn’t.  He made it his mission to find me some.  He asked the bouncer if he could leave to buy a pack and the bouncer informed him that tobacco could be purchased at the bar.  He splurged on an overpriced pack for us to share.  A man true to my heart.  At some point (before the smokes? after?) we had started making out.  He may have kissed me, I may have kissed him, but it was now obvious that he was, in fact, into it.
Outside, one of his friends cornered me:
“Are you taking Rod home tonight?”
I blushed and became flustered.
“Um, yeah, sure, I guess.”
“Don’t just ditch him!  Cause he has no where to stay and he doesn’t know the city.”
“I swear I won’t leave him to sleep in the street,” I promised, I just wasn’t sure how he, Kennedy, and I would all fit into the van.

Jill had split without a word long ago, the ugly lights were on and Kennedy had also found a guy.  We stood outside and discussed the situation.  Neither of us had the option of going to our respective guys’ residence, so we agreed to go back to the van and one pair would sneak back into Jill’s house and sleep on the pull out couch.
20 minutes later we were totally and utterly lost.  Kennedy was getting frustrated, I was practically napping while Rod carried me and tried to GoogleMap the location.  We eventually found our van, right on the street where we left it.  Kennedy and her friend disappeared into the house (we later discovered that they literally had to break in by climbing in through a window.)  Rod and I were left to our own devices in the, somewhat, privacy of the van.  We started fooling around, but neither of us had a condom.  I was too scared of Jill’s stern roommates to risk trying to break into the house and then possibly walk in on my friend getting laid on the couch.
We tried to think of other options, but we were at a loss.
“That’s alright,” he assured me, “let’s just have a cuddle.” (I LOVE the way Kiwi men say the word cuddle, its so fucking endearing.)
We cuddled and started talking.  He admitted to me he has been on acid all night and was just coming down now.
Seriously?!  How do I never notice these things when I pick up men at the bar?  Is it my own drunken stupidity?
He told me everything about himself, all about his job, his family, his taste in music and showed me endless pictures.  He asked me lots of questions about myself which I tried to answer enthusiastically, despite the fact it was 5 am, the sun was rising and I was passing out.

In the morning I wanted to go inside and make coffee and breakfast with my friends, but didn’t quite have to heart to wake up the sleeping form beside me.
I shook him gently: nothing.  I shook him a little harder: he stirred slightly.  I nipped his neck.  His eyes opened.
“Sorry to wake you, but I gotta go have breakfast soon.  Can I drive you somewhere?”
He directed me to his friends dads place, left me the remaining cigarettes and gave me his number while insisting I call him later to meet up.  He gave me a quick kiss and said, “Talk soon.”

All day I wanted to text him, but stopped myself.  I finally sent him a message telling him we were hanging out at the beach and to come join us.  He and his friends were literally just leaving as we arrived.  I texted him later to say we were going to the local jazz festival. He messaged me to say he and his friends had decided to do the remaining acid, but they might come by the fest.  I strongly advised against it.  What a crazy dude.
Regardless, we soaked up the sun and the sound of bluesy melodies and then all headed downtown to watch a Gypsy Swing show.  It was an amazing day spent with incredible people and beautiful music (and weather!)  They say the first day of the new year sets the tone for the entire year.  If that’s the case then I have a lot to look forward to.

Stumbling back down the alley to the van (Kennedy has bowed out early and gone to bed) my cellphone started ringing.  It was Rod, still totally fucked up on acid, but proclaiming that he really wanted to come see me and where was I.  I really wanted to see him as well, (acid or no acid) but the reality of my situation was as follows:
I was in a parking lot at 1 am.  There was no where to go, nothing to do at this time of night on a Thursday.
My friend and travel companion was fast asleep in the van.
He was with his friend and they were both fucked up.
Was he expecting to get laid?  What was the point of this visit?
I explained this to him as tactfully as I could and asked if maybe he wanted to go for coffee in the morning.  He said he understood and apologized because they would have to leave too early to catch the ferry.  We said our goodbyes and promised we’d try to meet in the North.

The next day I texted him to ask if he made it back okay, he responded that they weren’t able to book a ferry so they were still in town.  I told him we were going to the beach.  He showed up minutes later, friends in tow and sprawled out on the blanket next to me.  I actually felt nervous in his presence.  We hung out for a bit and then he and his friends had to go have dinner and then head towards to ferries; they managed to get a reservation a 2:45 am boat.
“Give us a cuddle,” he said in that adorable accent.  I went in for a hug and he leaned in and kissed me.  I was so surprised and taken aback it took me a minute to react and actually kiss him back.  All my friends gushed about how much he must like me to come all the way out to the beach for under an hour just to see me one last time.  Later that night he texted me to say how glad he was that we had met up.  I beamed and patted myself on the back for picking him up and managing to play it cool.

The point of this post is not to brag about the hot guy I managed to meet.  It’s to paint a picture of the stark contrast of myself back then and myself now.  I truly believe that 2015 will be a prolific year for me.  I’ve found the courage to come to another country and make a life for myself.  I have the strength to go after the things I want and the wisdom to move on if things don’t work out the way I hoped.  Right now I’m happy to follow this path I’m on and see where it takes me, rather than try to plan every stop and detour along the way.

Good bye and good ridden 2014.  I deserve a fresh start.


Romantic Musings in New Zealand

I dreamed about him last night.

Not him but the last him, “the one that got away.”

Since I’ve come here I’ve slept well and deeply (surprising since I share a double ‘bed’ in the back of a small van.)  Because I’ve had no access to weed and barely any money to spend on drinks I’ve been recalling my dreams in vivd detail.  Every morning I wake up astounded and quickly relay them to Kennedy before they’re gone forever.  I’ve even started writing them down for fear they’ll slip away.
When I woke up this morning I did not write this dream down.  In fact, I shook my head and released my mental grasp on it, letting it fade away into the recesses of my memory.  Because when I woke up the feeling that lingered was pain.
The details are non-consequential: he was there with me and it felt good, great.  Then he was gone with no explanation, no goodbye and the hurt came on loud and strong.
This is the second time I’ve dreamt of him since I got to NZ and both times were the same.  It’s funny that I don’t dream of him in a romantic or sexual way, its just these melancholy memories.  I can’t help but laugh and say: I get it subconscious, just let him go already.  He’s not for me.
And for the most part I have, I just wish I had closure.  Maybe someday…

I’ve been reflecting a lot on relationships these days.
I read Susan Miller’s predictions for me for the month of December and she reiterates what she’s been saying for a while:

Saturn, the tough taskmaster planet that seems to have been causing you frustration in terms of your love life, will move out of Scorpio and your fifth house of love on December 23 . . . [Y]ou have been coping with Saturn since October 2012, a planet that limited your enjoyment of love, but relief is finally in sight. . . .  [I]f you are single, meeting someone new was hard to do. . . . Think back to all you learned in the 2 years starting October 2012 and pat yourself on the back.

Basically my love struggles are coming to an end and it’s true that I have felt Saturn’s presence.  I spent the last year unable to really meet anyone new and those I did meet (all two of them) acted so selfishly and disappointed me so completely.  I spent the previous year plus fighting for a relationship that seemed doomed and wondering whether or not I should throw in the towel.  Susan predicts that I’ll feel that changed after the new year or after September.  Little-Miss-Hopeless-Romantic should be jumping for joy, contemplating who this new love interest might be, but instead I feel myself shrugging, Meh.

I don’t feel it, I can’t see it even in my wildest imagination and truthfully, I don’t want it.
Maybe last summer hardened me, maybe my last sexual encounter was so disappointing that it left me defeated, I don’t know what it is but something inside of me has changed.  I’m not the love sick little puppy I was months ago and that scares me, because when you’re truly happy, when you genuinely want to be single that is when a too good to pass up guy falling into your lap and fucks up your life.

It’s crazy, I’ve been without him for one year now.  In no time at all I’ll have beaten my personal record for singledom (One and a half years, but I was desperately looking and sleeping around the entire time.)  It feels good, it feels right.  Finally I feel complete and satisfied in myself, finally I realize all the freedom I have and how to focus my love on myself.  I have to ability to walk away from a bad situation and leave it in the past.  Have I looked back?  Sure, I am, if nothing, nostalgic but I haven’t turned back and haven’t even really considered it even in my lowest, drunkest states.

It’s weird, here I am at 27 years old and I feel like my life is just beginning.  Most people my age have done the “travel thing.”  They’ve seen what they want of the world and long to settle down, get married, have kids yet I’m the complete opposite.  I’ve had a taste of domesticity and I never want to go back.  I want to be free and experience the world.  I don’t mean just travelling and sight-seeing, I want to be a part of it all, I want a different life every year. I want to live and chill out in NZ.  I want to teach English in SE Asia.  I want to live in Italy and FINALLY learn Italian.  I want so many things.  It’s all finally happening.

It’s funny, when I first moved to the Resort Town I wrote about seeking independence and freedom and confidence.  This week, Kennedy went to Australia to visit some friends.  I navigated across the South Island to the most beautiful camping spot overlooking a surf beach.  I’m driving across a foreign country alone and without any doubts or hesitations.  How’s that for independence?

So much has changed in such a short time and yet here I am, sitting on the beach watching a mess of surfers fight for waves.  So much has changed in me and yet the scenery is much the same.  Nothing but good things, coming my way.


Repeat Offender

The last couple weeks have been a blur.  A busy, hectic, stressful blur.  On top of a non-stop work schedule I was also struggling to get myself organized and packed.

On one such day I was riding my bike to work, calculating the amount of hours of work I had left when my phone started ringing.  My phone was in my pocket and I can talk through my headphones so I answered without looking at the call display.
“Hey, how are you?” asked the male voice on the other end.
“Who is this?” I hesitantly asked.
“It’s Matthew!” he exclaimed, clearly offended, “I can’t believe you don’t have my number anymore.”
“No, no, I have it.  Just on my bike so I can’t see who’s calling,” I countered. “Anyway, how’s it going?”
I wasn’t all that surprised to hear from him, he had been Snap Chatting me non-stop over the past month and I had partaken in the flirty banter.  I may have sworn off Matt months previously, but I had reconnected with him in the hopes of having wild passionate goodbye sex before I took off for my adventure.
He told me how excited he was to see me when I got back into town and we made small talk before I arrived at work and said goodbye.
What an interesting turn of events.

I worked my double and started to bike home when my phone chimed with the sound of a text message.  I peered down at the screen: It was from Jess.
“Hey, back for the weekend.  Are you in town?  I’d really like to see you before you go.”
I am not exaggerating when I say the last time I spoke to Jess was when we slept together nearly 3 months prior.  I hadn’t heard a peep from him, but I knew he had been away working the entire time so I didn’t think too much of it.
Damn, am I that good that the last couple guys I slept with are desperate to get in one last roll in the hay before I leave?  All I need is a message from Dan and I’ll be 3 for 3.
(I was slightly hopeful, but of course, that never came.)
Back at home, I began my reply:
“Long time no talk.  I leave Monday actually!”
“Damn!  We should overnight” he suggested playfully.
I sat on my bed for a long time just staring at my phone, trying to come up with a response.
The smart, responsible part of me reasoned that I was way too busy to host him.  But the horny and desperate part of me thought back to our last encounter with excitement.
Forget what you should or shouldn’t do.  What do you WANT to do?  I asked myself.
It didn’t take long for me to decide and I typed out a response:
“We should overnight.  How about tomorrow?”
“Cool, I’m in town with a friend though.  Can she crash?”
An unexpected obstacle.
“Sure, I work late but I’ll text you when I’m off.”

When I finished work, I sent Jess a quick message and began my journey home in the pouring rain.  When I walked into my house I saw Jess’ head stick around the corner, “Hey!” he said with a huge smile on his face.  He and his friend Ashley were hanging out, waiting for me to get home.  I suddenly felt overwhelming discomfort.  Was I supposed to entertain them?  Did she know what he had come here for?  Should we just immediately retire to the bedroom or should we have a bit more tact?
“I have a nice bottle of wine, if you guys wanna have some,” I suggested.
We drank the wine and chit-chatted, Ashley was really cool and I enjoyed hearing the two of them reminisce on childhood memories.
Jess rolled a joint for Ashley and I to smoke and I felt myself begin to relax.
I loudly vocalized how tired I felt.  Jess followed me downstairs to my bedroom.
We briefly caught each other up on our respective lives and then got down to business.  Once again, we only kissed twice and there was little to no foreplay.  It was exactly what I needed.
In the morning he made Ash and I breakfast and the two of them left to go surfing.  They invited me to join, but I bemoaned all of the packing I had to deal with.  We hugged, said our goodbyes and parted ways and I began attempting to sort out the chaos that was my bedroom.

I barely made it out of town in one piece, but somehow, despite all the procrastination, I pulled it off.  I said goodbye to most of the people I wanted to and stared out the bus window sadly at the passing scenery, wondering if I would ever return back to this magical place.

When I got back to my hometown and set up at my moms house I was bombarded with messages from Matt asking when we were going to hang out.  Now that I had gotten my kicks from Jess I didn’t feel the same enthusiasm about reuniting with Matt.  I felt bad about the way I had completely cut him out when I left town and did genuinely want to reconnect with him.  I knew if I saw him that I’d probably want to sleep with him and I just wasn’t sure if it was wise to go down that path again.  He and I had history, it wasn’t as simple as sex.  I made plans to go for coffee with him the day before I was leaving to visit my university friends.  We sipped our cappuccinos and he asked me if I wanted to smoke with him back at his house.  Since I was on a mission to smoke all the ganja I could before leaving the country and since I was enjoying his company, I agreed.  We sat on his deck listening to music and passing the pipe back and forth.  I decided to go home and start getting organized for my weekend in the city and he took it upon himself to join me.
Umm, okay?
Back at my mom’s (empty) house I packed while he tried to flirt with me.  I was still on the fence.
“Sorry to be rude, but I’m gonna quickly call my friend back, I missed his call earlier.”
He dialled and lifted his phone up to his ear, “Sorry I missed your call man.”
The volume was up so high I could hear his friends response from across the room, loud and clear as he said: “Yeah you were too busy fucking your girlfriend.”
Matt chuckled and responded: “Not yet, but soon enough man, soon enough.”
That was enough to make my decision for me.  Matt had not changed; he was still a pompous asshole who bragged about me to his friends and honestly believed he was in control of our relationship.
“I really need to get organized here, I have to ask you to leave,” I told him as sweetly as I could muster.  He looked shocked, but we hugged and parted ways.

Part 2:  Back in the City

Cut to Friday night.  My girlfriends and I were crowded around the mirror, primping and prepping for a night on the town.  I was determined to dress up, look like a lady and dance up a storm in the city.  I stepped out wearing a modest, black dress that hugged every curve and showed off my slender legs adorned in high leather boots.  My hair fell in beachy waves around my made-up face.  I hadn’t seen this glamorous side of myself in almost 6 months.  I looked damn good.
We met up with some friends at the pub and began to drink excessively.
“Oh my god, it’s that ginger that I made out with at your party!” Jane exclaimed.  “I feel like I should apologize and buy him a drink after how rude I was to him.” (An entire other story in itself.)  Off she went as I continued to slam drinks.  It was nearing midnight and I was desperate to go dancing.  I was dancing on the spot and calling out to Jane and Andi (who were busy chatting up Gingy and his friend.)  Jack laughed and pulled me in for a hug, “Get your girls, go dancing, find a sexy man and take him home with you.  You deserve it!” he told me.
I laughed, “I just want a dance, I’m not looking for a man,” I assured him.
I finally dragged my friends and their new tag-alongs downstairs to the club.

At the club, Jane and Gingy immediately disappeared, Andi disappeared shortly after and I was stuck with Gingy’s friend.  The friend was cute and nice enough, but he kept trying to cuddle with me.  While waiting for a drink at the bar a young guy approached me, “This is going to sound really weird, but I went to high school and elementary school with you, although I was 4 years younger and I was so totally in love with you growing up and I just had to tell you,” he said, starting away.
“Wait!” I called, “Who are you?”
We started to chat about elementary school and the like when suddenly the Friend grabbed my wrist and pulled me away, “What the hell are you doing?” I asked, “I was having a conversation with him!”
I sat the Friend down and told him straight up: “Look, I’m not gonna get with you, I’m not interested in you, I wanna go dance and do my own thing, so you may as well give up this chase now.”
“I can’t help it, you’re just so hot,” he complained.
“I know…” I said, still feeling insanely confident.  “Here…” I grabbed him by the collar, made out with him for 30 seconds and then pushed him away.
“Man you just made it so much worst,” he moaned.
I abandoned him to join Andi on the dance floor.  I’m used to dudes trying to cut in when I’m out doing my thing and that night was no exception.  But one such man immediately caught my eye.  This one was different: he was tall, blonde and insanely gorgeous.  The two of us started dancing up a storm; we were spinning and dipping and grinding and shaking.  Within minutes we were pressed up against the glass, passionately making out on the dance floor.  I felt 19 again.

The bar was closing and I went to gather my jacket while he got us some water.  We went up the street and he excused himself to go get his coat.  I stood with my friends, swaying back and forth, “Should I go home with him?” I asked them, “I really want to!”
“Do it!” Andi insisted, “He’s fucking hot.”
When he re-emerged we climbed into a cab.  No words needed to be spoken, we both knew it was going down.  In the cab, I asked as an afterthought: “Hey, what’s your name?”

There was no one home at his townhouse and the two us retired to his room and began to go at it.  He stripped down to reveal a chiseled body, covered in tattoos and the hugest dick I’d ever seen.  I was in heaven.  This is going to be AWESOME!  Oh how wrong I was.

The sex was… too rough… and too short.  5 minutes into it he stopped suddenly and stood up.
“The condom broke,” he informed me.
“So?  Put another one on and let’s keep going.”
“No, I’m done.  I’m not going to be ready again for a looooonnnggg time.”
“Wait, what?  It broke?  And your done?” My head was swimming.
“Don’t worry about it, there’s something we can get for you in the morning…”
I wasn’t concerned about that (I always have a back up form of birth control, thank you IUD!) I was more upset about the possibility of having anything less than a clean bill of health.  I pride myself on being very safe and careful and now all of that was destroyed.  While I lay there lost in my own thoughts, there were several knocks on the door.
To my shock and horror, he called out: “Come in!”
The door swung open and I dove under the duvet in shame.
His friends chatted with him at the door and then one asked, “Is there someone in your bed?”
I stuck my head out shyly.  “Hi,” I said timidly as they awkwardly introduced themselves.  They left and closed the door behind them.
“Do you want some chips and juice?” he asked excitedly, “I’ll get us some.  I have Dorrito’s Cool Ranch, Dorrito’s Spicy, Dorrito’s Original.”
“Anything besides Dorritos?”
“I have Miss Vickies!”
He disappeared in search of the chips while I tried to sort out this random turn of events.
He reappeared, chips in hand and started setting up Netflix.  There was a knock on the door again and a girl entered and informed him, “I’m going to pick up some stuff.  Do you want in?  Give me money.  Also, I need to borrow your scooter.”
Suddenly it made so much sense.  This guy wasn’t drunk.  He and his friends were ridiculously high on coke.  And about to do more, at 3 am.
“Shit, I forgot the juice, I’ll be right back!” he exclaimed excitedly and ran out.
This is all too much to deal with.  I didn’t sign up for chips and a movie, I signed up for spontaneous, random sex.  I’ve got to get out of here.
I started gathering all my stuff and getting my clothes on.  When he returned he seemed genuinely disappointed.
“You’re leaving?”
I walked out past all his friends and said a hasty goodbye.  He walked me to the front door.  I can’t remember if I left without a word or I may have said, “Well, it’s been interesting,” but my exit was awkward and uncouth.  I walked towards the street, while crying on the phone to Kennedy.
“Every time I try to have a one night stand it is SO disappointing!” I whined.  I cabbed to her friends house and the 3 of us smoked copious amounts of weed and talked about our nights.  I declared that the next time I slept with a guy, he was going to have to really work for it.  I don’t need a relationship, but some sort of sentiment or anticipation would be nice.


Now here I sit.  En route to New Zealand on a journey to find myself.  I have no solid plans, no expectations and have no idea what the future holds for me.  But I’m just going to go with the flow, say ‘Yes’ to every opportunity and hope for the best.



All I wanted for Halloween this year was to dance it up with my bestest of friends, but the night quickly went awry.

It started off fine: I had settled on dressing up as a lion (despite my earlier hissy-fit when I declared that I hated my costume) I had backcombed my hair into a fierce mane and done my makeup to match.  I was dressed to impress and determined to make out with a hot guy.  We went to a couple house parties and all my friends decided to do mushrooms, I hastily agreed although I wasn’t entirely on board.
We started towards the main party: a massive rave featuring multiple DJs on a property down the street.  As we walked we all began to feel the effects on the mush, pausing often to stare up at the moon and stars.

When we arrived Jack, Kathy, Kennedy, myself and Jack’s friend Derrick all promised not to lose one another.  “We’re on mushrooms and half of us don’t have phones… we have to stick together,” we rationalized.  So naturally within 5 minutes we lost Kathy and Jack freaked out and left.  Kennedy, myself and Derrick (who, by the way, is an absolute babe) were left.
“We HAVE to stay together” we swore once again.  We were all standing together talking amongst a bunch of different people, all the people began to disperse and suddenly only Derrick and I remained.
“Where the Hell is Kennedy?” I wondered aloud.
We screamed her name over and over again; we walked over to nearby groups of people, but there was no sign of her.  We circled around the party, calling her name repeatedly but there was no sign of her or anyone else I recognize.  Derrick and I made our way onto the covered dance floor to try and seek shelter from the sudden onslaught of rain, but it seemed everyone else had the same idea.  The dance floor had turned into a mosh pit and I was on the verge of getting trampled before we made our escape.
The rain was falling in buckets and we were both absolutely soaked, standing there at a loss.
“I don’t know what to do!”
“Maybe she went back to check on Jack?” Derrick suggested, “She was saying she was worried about him.”
“Maybe… I don’t see her anywhere.”
I took one last look around the party and then the two of us started back in the hopes of locating her.


Back at the staff accom house, Jack was home, but he was alone.
“Shit!” I cried, feeling myself begin to panic “We have to go back!  She’s not here!”
“She’ll know to come here when she can’t find you, lets just wait here for her to come back,” they both stated.
“No!” I cried, “She’ll think I just left her, I have to go back and find her!”
As I headed to the door, Jack cried out: “Wait… we’ll go with you.”
I got my rain boots from my house, threw on a rain poncho and headed back to the party with determination in my stride.
Back at the party every person I saw informed me that Kennedy was freaking out looking for me.  Finally I spotted her and the two us began screaming and embracing one another.
“You guys are fucked,” my brother remarked as he walked away in confusion.
Now to retrieve Jack (who was still too messed up to even enter the party) and inform him that we had found Kennedy and were staying at the party a little longer.  As we approached the entrance gates Kennedy skipped up and yelled “BOO” to some guy sitting under the gate tent.  He looked startled and then his eyes moved over to me.  He stood up immediately and rushed towards me to embrace me in a warm, genuine hug: Dan.
He looked… incredible.  He was wearing wired rimmed glasses, a plaid dress shirt and grey slacks with suspenders.  I’d never seen him in anything but a t-shirt and jeans, he looked taller and broader than usual and he did not have a DROP of rain on him.  Seriously?  Meanwhile, I looked like a drowned rat: my makeup was all down my face and my hair was puffy and yet somehow stringy.  We bantered back and forth about what our costumes were “supposed” to be, but I quickly excused myself as being terribly high and ran away.
My friends and I danced a while, Derrick and I were all over each other on the dance floor while staring up at the flashing lights and laughing hysterically.  Things started to get weird and I insisted we leave.  Back at Jack’s we sat around getting stoned and trying to chill out.  Derrick and I cuddled.  One of the guys from upstairs came down with a trashy looking female companion.  The two of them disrupted our peaceful vibe and declared that we should light off the two remaining fireworks.
Sure, we all agreed, one last shebang and then off to bed.
We went outside and he lit the first one and waved it around as it shot golden sparks into the air.  His trashy friend began doing a sexy firework dance beneath the falling flames.
Is this real life?
Trashy girl got distracted by some passing guys and started riding one’s long board down the hill… on her stomach.
“Okay, lets light off this last one,” he declared.  We stood in the driveway, waiting in anticipation.  A light shot up in to the sky and then EXPLODED with the loudest fucking bang.  The firework expanded across the entire nights sky, it was the hugest firework I had ever seen that wasn’t part of a professional display.  We all screamed and I ducked behind a car, shaking.  I felt like the power of the firework had shifted the stars.  With that we all said goodnight, I tried to discreetly invite Derrick to sleep in my bed, but my awkwardness got in my way so he retired to Jack’s van alone while Kennedy and I walked to my house together, pausing to stare up at glowing night sky.
Once warm and safe in my bed we began to relay the nights events.
“I can’t believe I saw Dan! I looked so shitty and he looked so great!” I bemoaned.
“That guy… he’s bad news for you.”
She had summed it up perfectly, there was no denying he was bad news.
We fell into a restless sleep.


The next day my hair was a disaster and I didn’t get myself close to enough time to comb it out and therefore had to rush to work with a haphazard, tangled mess of a bun.
I returned home, exhausted and sat down in Kathy’s room where we began trading stories from our Halloweens and wondering how we never saw each other once.
“I have to tell you something,” she said, smiling mischievously, “I saw Dan on the dance floor, he was talking about you… He said he doesn’t know what to do because he wants to be your friend and make amends with you and be on good terms before you go, but he feels like you hate him… And, I’m sorry, but I told him you felt the same way and that you wanted to talk to him and you were at the party…”
“I’m sorry!  But he seemed genuine and I think he was looking for you all night.”
For a second, my heart melted, because lately I had been thinking of reconnecting with him before I left.  I had been reminiscing about the fun times we’d had together and I realized that I was glad he had come into my life, despite everything else.
Kathy urged me to text him and I began to consider it.
Wait, no!  I chided myself, If he really wants to talk to me, he could just call or text me, or just talk to me… I live down the street for God’s sake!  And another thing… He knows that anything he says to Kathy will be relayed to me.  If I text him he doesn’t actually have to apologize or put in any effort and he gets an opportunity to try and hook up with me before I leave town.  What. The. Fuck.  No!!!!!

The night he left without even a goodbye was the moment I realized he was a selfish twat and decided I was done with him; we had not spoken since.  I had tried to be his friend before that night, I thought I could do it, but I realized I was just torturing myself.  I thought back to the pain I felt that first night in September and my heart solidified again.
I decided I to focus instead on getting organized for my trip… and possibly seducing Derrick while I still had the chance.

The next day I tried in vain to brush out my now dreaded hair.  I used a bottle of olive oil, an entire bottle of conditioner, a bottle of detangler spray, 4 hours of elbow grease and nearly broke my brush but it was no use.  I began to panic at the very real chance that I may have to cut out my hair… on the top of my head… close to my scalp.
I took a deep breath, my eyes welled up as I began cutting through the strands.

Kennedy showed up and tried to convince me to attend the lodge staff party, a poker night, to get stoned and eat all of the free food.  I put on a hat and agreed as I really needed a drink to console me.
It was Derrick’s last night night in town so I built up some liquid courage and stopped by Jack’s house.  I stayed up late watching a dumb movie and trying to flirt with Derrick.  I didn’t know how to go about asking him to spend the night with me so I kept making physical contact and commenting on how tired I felt.  We both headed off to bed and he tried to door of the van, “It’s locked… I guess I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.”
Now’s my opportunity!
I mustered up all of my courage.
“You could sleep at my house,” I suggested sheepishly. “I have a big comfy bed.”
“Uhhmmmm… yeah… sure,” he finally agreed after a long hesitation.
Oh my god, what have I said?  That was way too forward, he’s definitely not into it!
“Never mind,” I quickly responded, “That would be weird…”
“Okay, well have fun in New Zealand,” he said while giving me a fast hug and turning towards the house.  “I’m sure we’ll meet again someday.”
I walked home sadly, cursing myself and him for being far too awkward.
I think I may need to work on my flirting skills.


The Rainbow Bridge

Continued from before…

On a following day of no particular importance, Kennedy, Dee and I decided to embark on an adventure to a nearby lake in an effort to escape the growing negativity surrounding us.  We set out in search of the “Rainbow Bridge” an old delapitated bridge that had once been painted ROYGBIV style by members of the visiting Rainbow Gathering, but was now used for drinking on and jumping off.  After getting lost a multitude of times, running into a black bear and nearly an hour of backtracking we finally found ourselves on the right path: down an old secluded logging road.  Suddenly, Kennedy perked up, “I just got this weird feeling that we’re going to see someone walking down here.  We’re going to encounter them again and it’s not going to be good…”
Sure enough, as we rounded the corner we saw, smack dab in the middle of nowhere, an old, very inebriated man, stumbling along.  We collectively held out breaths as the man approached the slow moving vehicle and attempted to speak to us.  We all looked straight ahead and locked our doors in unison.

Once we finally arrived safety at our destination, we all breathed a sigh of relief only to turn around to find the man behind us and making his way in our direction.
“How did he get here so quickly?”
“Someone must have picked him up, he was at least a 10 minute drive back.”
We stared out at the lake while his slurred words drew nearer and nearer.  He reached us and began complimenting me on my shapely legs.  We tried to politely dismiss him until he turned away and then the three of us were off, down the bridge and into the forest on the other side of the bridge.  Once down the path, we began to explore our surroundings: a huge pile of broken glass and an entire men’s outfit abandoned in the dirt.
“Let’s go this way,” Kennedy insisted as she lead us further and further down a narrowing path.  On and on she walked forward in silence, as if in a trance.  Suddenly she froze and stared straight ahead, we all felt uneasy, as if there were another presence with us in the forest.
“Someone just ran across the path.”
“I think we should turn back before we see something we don’t want to see,” I suggested.

Back at the bridge, we stayed on the far end while smoking doobies and eating trail mix.  We all finally began to relax.
Kennedy peered down to the other end of the bridge.  “Is he still down there?  What if he’s waiting for us at the car?”
We tried to reassure her, but when we started up to leave he was by the car, slowly circling around it.  The moment he turned his back we all bolted in and drove away as quickly as possible.