0

A Risky Return

I paced the floor anxiously.  I stood up, sat down, stood up, sat back down.  I let out a disgruntled moan.

The time had come.  My cousin and his wife would be returning from their trip in only a couple short days and I needed to make a decision on where I would go next.
My mother and I were meeting in Bali in a month’s time, so it seemed silly to begin a new job and settle down in a new place, only to have to pick up and leave soon after.
I didn’t want to stay where I was so I considered travelling for the month, but was seriously low on funds.  I tried to find a temporary job doing farm work or fruit picking, but did not receive a single response.
The only option that really appealed to me was returning to the surf town.  I reasoned that I could get my old job back, have a few couches here and there to crash on, and that it was necessary because I really truly missed my friends and needed them in my life.  All that was true, but maybe the real subconscious reason for my decision was that I wanted to see Nick, even though my heart started pounding and my skin started sweating anytime I thought about seeing him.  It had been nearly a month since his announcement and I had yet to respond.  I knew that seeing him would be inevitable, so I decided to try and be the bigger person and call a truce.
My fingers trembled when I dialled his number.  After an eternity he finally answered, I took a deep breath and firmly spoke my peace.
“I’m trying to be happy for you, because I know that this is all you’ve ever wanted,” I told him.
“That’s not true -” he interjected.
“Do NOT interrupt me.  I’m speaking now,” I spat and he shut right up.  “Anyway, I’m coming back to town and I know we have all the same friends and I know I’ll have to see you so I wanted to tell you that I don’t hate you and that we’re cool, but in no way can I ever be your friend.”
He said he understood and thanked me for my call.  I hung up the phone and got to work planning my return.
Oh dear God, what have I done?


I had changed and so had the town.  It was noisier and more chaotic than I had ever remembered, chalked full of all the visiting summer vacationers. I felt reborn and vowed that this time around I would be the most social version of myself and say yes to every experience offered to me.

I met up with Kyle and the two of us walked the beach.  Of course, the second person we ran into was Nick…  He and Kyle chit chatted, while I stood off to the side.
“Nice to see you,” Nick smiled at me, “Otis is in the truck if you want to say hi.”
I spent the rest of their conversation cuddling Otis, who had become a full-grown dog in my absence.
After finally escaping the awkwardness that felt like it lasted a lifetime, I received apologies from both guys for putting me in such a situation.  I told them both not to walk on eggshells around me and that I was fine, but the minute I walked into Kennedy’s house I began drinking heavily…

That night we celebrated my return with an epic chicken dinner cooked by Jill, followed by lots of wine and joints and cigarettes, followed still by a quick ride into town where we would proceed to dance the night away.  I met up with heaps of friends including one in particular who had messaged me earlier in the day named Fred.

… A little backstory on Fred: He and I met shortly after I first moved to town.  Jill and I were sitting on the beach and a group of guys walked by and called out ‘cheers!’ to us while simultaneously tipping their beer bottles in our direction.  They were cute, friendly and drinking so we decided to join them.  They were a group of local street artists and I hit it off particularly well with Fred.  We all ended up getting loose at the bar.  Fred and I snuck out the back to smoke a joint and laugh about our same stupid sense of humour.
“You’re really cool, we should be best friends.  No, seriously, we should be best friends,” he insisted.
After that, we chatted back and forth and he ended up meeting me at the drum circle.  He insisted I come to the bar to have a drink and dance with him. It was getting late and I had work in the morning so I told him I was heading home.  He leaned in to kiss me.  In all my stoned glory, I dodged his smooch and yelled out, “Did you just try to kiss me?!”
“Um, yeah that was my intention…”
I was all too aware of some of his chick friends standing out of his line of vision and filming the entire scene on their phones.  I felt so incredibly awkward, truthfully, I was attracted to Fred in a lot of ways and I was curious to kiss him, but I had just started dating Nick and didn’t want to betray him.  Instead of explaining any of these things, I just turned around and ran out of the bar.  After that, Fred and I were less friendly, but we’d still chat here and there, I’d run into him every so often and we’d have a drink together…

But this time, dancing at the same bar where he first made a move, I didn’t turn away when he leaned in to kiss me.
When everyone began parting ways and heading home for the night, Fred turned to me and asked me to spend the night with him.  Back at his house, drunk and turned on by the prospect of a new partner, I threw him down on his bed and attacked him with all the prowess and seduction within me.
He was tender and attentive, thumbing my nipples and kissing my breasts.  When he took off his pants my jaw dropped at his size, the largest I’ve ever had without a doubt.  He fucked kind of fast, which was slightly painful, but I managed to slow down the tempo.


 

I woke up, naked and sprawled across his bed.  My mouth was dry and I was disoriented, but something had woken me up.  It was an older man standing in the open doorway, we made eye contact before he slammed the door shut in embarrassment.  I had a sudden flashback of stumbling into a grandiose house, chalked full of expensive looking art pieces.  And then it hit me: Fred lived at home.  Fred lived at home and we had just spent the entire night having loud, boisterous sex.  I was mortified.  Even more so when I had to get up and be introduced to Fred’s dad and even more so when he had to drive Fred and I into town because apparently we had cabbed into the middle of butt-fuck no where and Fred had lost his license earlier in the month due to a DUI.

Once in town, we went to part ways.  He asked what my plans were for the night and I told him about a show I was meant to go to.  Not even an hour later he messaged me saying he had gotten a spare ticket and would see me there.  I couldn’t help but grin.
“Be careful,” all my friends warned, “He obviously likes you a lot.”

My friends had ditched the show and I hadn’t seen Fred anywhere.  I was just about to leave myself when there he was, leaning against the front door frame, chatting to one of the ticket girls.  When I saw him, he looked embarrassed as he pulled me close to him,
“I was just trying to guess where this girl is from.  I thought Germany, but my friend thought Russia so I had to come over and find out,” he explained nervously.
I just laughed and brushed it off, happy that I had finally run into him.  We spent the rest of the night dancing, drinking vodka and making out against the bar.  When he took me home I told him how uncomfortable I felt meeting his dad.
“My dad really likes you, I’m glad you met him.  I don’t bring girls home very often, and I want you to get to know my family because I want you to be around a lot.”
I blushed.  My friends were right, he obviously did like me… a lot.


Fred asked to see me the following night, but I told him I needed a night to myself.  He expressed his disappointment, but asked me if he could cook me dinner at the beach on a following night.  I could barely contain my excitement at the prospect of such a romantic date, but felt sideswiped when he mentioned that a couple of his friends would be joining us.  Ashamed that I had misread the situation, I desperately texted Jill and begged her to join us.
Once we were all sitting and I was desperately trying to relax, who should walk over, but Max and Brandon and Kyle and bevy of the rest of Nick and my shared friend group.  I knew they were also planning a barbecue but thought they had chosen another spot.  To my horror, they decided to join us and I let out a huge sigh of relief that Nick was not amongst them.
Long story short, we all got stinking drunk and Fred and I disappeared back to my tent, but ended up just passing out on top of each other.

I woke up covered in sweat and with a vicious hangover, I rolled over and groaned with the pain.  Fred awoke and suggested we treat ourselves to a lazy hungover day at my campground.  We smoked weed and swam in the pool, smoked more weed and got breakfast, smoked even more weed and had sex and then smoked a little more while hanging out in the jungle.  We finally left the grounds to catch sunset and smash a pizza on the beach.  We parted ways and promised to get together soon to watch a movie, but after that day things changed drastically.


Fred stopped responding to my messages, whenever I’d see him out he’d make an excuse to leave, yet he would tell me how beautiful I was and kiss me in public, but then I’d hear stories about him leaving with other women.  I confided in my friend Reese and she insisted none of it was true.
“I know Fred really well, he’s not the kind of guy who picks up random girls at the bar.  He’s a sensitive artist type.  Trust me, he’s a good one.”
Maybe so, but it seemed he had moved on from me and I wondered desperately what had changed.

On Aussie Day, high on M and feeling alone, I made the mistake of calling him up and telling him I wanted to see him.
“I’m fucked up,” he admitted, “I want to see you too, but I don’t know if I can make it back into town, you could come here though.”
“Why don’t you text me the address and I’ll try to get a lift,” I suggested.
“Yes, that would be awesome.  I’ll text you right now, I really hope I get to see you.”
I never received a message and I spent the next day wallowing in my hangover and hating myself for being such a fool.

A couple days later, I saw him out, but walked away before he could notice me.  Sitting down on the patio with my friends, I tried not to notice him leave with a skinny brunette.
When Reese arrived and I told her, she was in disbelief and disappeared to get the scoop from one of Fred’s friends.
“Okay babe,” she said upon returning, “this is going to hurt really badly, but it’s better for you to know so you can move on.  That girl he left with is his girlfriend, apparently they’ve been dating for a while.”
Ouch.
“And on top of that, supposedly he fucks a new girl every week.  I’m so sorry, he had us all fooled.”
Double ouch.

I tried to be strong and laugh it off like I didn’t care, but I fell apart.  All the Nick issues I’d buried inside came bubbling to the surface.  I told everyone I didn’t want a boyfriend, but I’d used Fred to distract myself and to replace that giant gaping, Nick-shaped hole in my life.  I cried, a lot.  I could not stop.  I left the bar and went home where I cried myself to sleep.


At 7 am I staggered into work hungover, sleep deprived and depressed.  My co-worker and I smoked a joint before starting on our cleaning duties and the weed helped numb me.  In fact, all I’d been doing since I’d returned was drinking, smoking weed and using hard drugs and the chemicals were reeking havoc with my emotions.  On top of it all, after finishing my shift, I received an angry phone call from my dad, accusing me of being a shitty daughter.
“You’re right,” I admitted, “My life is an absolute mess right now, but I’m going to try harder.”
I wanted to go back to sleep, but my tent was too hot so instead I met some friends at the beach.  The moment I got out of the water I made eye contact with a smiling Fred, walking towards me, blissfully unaware of the revelation I’d just received.
I panicked.  I had no idea what I wanted to say to him.  So I did what I do best and quickly ran away from the beach.

That evening, I was still too terrified to face him, but instead constructed a long text message.  I knew it was the cowards way out, but I didn’t want to see him and I had to get some things off my chest for my own sake.
I just told him that I thought we were friends and he really disappointed me by being like every other Aussie guy.  I explained that I never wanted a relationship, but would have appreciated honesty and a bit of respect.
He apologised for being distant and blamed it on his upcoming move, before asking me to hangout the next day.
My response?
“The reason I’m saying these things is not because of you being distant.  We live in a small town, and I’m not an idiot.”

I didn’t expect a response and wasn’t surprised when I didn’t get one.  I seriously questioned my judge of character, took a deep breath and tried to make the most of my remaining days in town, thankful that I had Bali to escape to.

 

Advertisements
0

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.

0

Goodbye

I rolled over and slowly opened my eyes, the space next to me was empty.  I supposed it was him getting up to use the bathroom that woke me up in the first place.  It felt late in the day; the sky was bright and it was quiet, too quiet, missing was the sounds of the family going about their day.  I groped for my phone, the digital clock claimed it was only 8:00 am, we had slept for 10 straight hours, yet still I felt drained.

I groggily recalled returning home, although I guess it wasn’t really my home anymore, I felt like an intruder when I walked in the door last night.  I went into the house in search of my landlords so I could tell them I’d changed my plans, but the entire family was out, probably at their daughter’s Christmas concert.
We’d stripped down naked and collapsed on my unmade bed, even though we’d both been exhausted we still made love, his strong warm body on top of mine, his perfect member thrusting deep inside of me, it was all I could do not to look into those blue eyes and whisper, “I love you.”  Then I was on my stomach and he was behind and soon I was coming, my orgasm so profound that for a moment, I left my body.  I suppose sleep came soon after because I didn’t remember much else.

He returned to the room.
“Good morning beautiful,” he cooed softly in my ear.  “I’m going to the bakery for a pie run, do you want anything?”
“Mmmm… coffee please,” I mumbled.
“Coffee,” he repeated with a smile, “Go back to sleep, I’ll be back soon.”
I curled up on my side as my mind attempted to recall the hazy details of the past 24 hours.


It was Friday afternoon, the day before I was meant to leave and Nick had insisted on having a barbecue for me, unaware that I had booked a bus ticket for the next morning.  Driving to his house I felt anxious: I hadn’t finished packing, I had no reliable transportation back into town and the way he and Jill had been talking, I knew they were planning on a wild night.

When we arrived at his house, no one was home so we all broke into his yard and started sipping beers and listening to tunes.  Nick finally showed up with his puppy Otis in tow, others began to arrive and soon the party was in full swing.  We drank, we ate, we drank, we smoked.  At one point, all of us girls went swimming in the pool.  Everyone was fairly intoxicated and adamant on doing cocaine.  Nick went down the street with money and returned with MDMA.  Everyone loudly vocalised their distaste, but we all ended up doing it anyway.  My anxiety soared as I began to peak, I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t relax.  I kept moving seats and getting up to do things and starting new conversations.  Jill was all over the map, Nick kept wanting to cuddle and tell me how special I was, Don could barely speak, Shawn was too intense, Kennedy had not done M but was stoned as shit, Mel was too high to function and her cousin Sally looked sober, bored and judgemental.
Max showed up with a couple friends and I insisted they drop with us, they even chipped in for another baggie.  I started to feel a little more relaxed.

It was certainly an entertaining night, Jill got into the clothing I intended to donate and we had a fashion show.  We played truth or dare and everyone got naked or made out.  We took turns confessing deep secrets and fantasies.
Everyone was starting to do more, but I was done and falling asleep on Nick’s shoulder, I knew I should just go to bed and get some sleep, but I just wanted to stay in the company of my beautiful friends and listen to the sounds of Shakey Graves picking away at his guitar and crooning, “Some of us were built to roam…”

I persuaded Nick to join me and he laughed when I begun my game of seduction, “Why didn’t you just tell me you wanted to fuck?  We could have snuck off for a quicky…”
“Nothing about this is going to be quick,” I assured him.
We explored each other’s bodies touching and kissing every inch of skin.  I felt dazed as if I was entering and exiting a dream.  After half an hour I dried up and we both just fell asleep.

A few hours later my alarm went off.  The first thing I heard was the sound of heavy rain on the rooftop.  I thought about all my friends passed out around the house, I looked over at Nick, naked and beautiful, peaceful.  I thought about leaving them all to trudge down the street alone to the bus stop, to wait in the rain, to rush into town.  The idea alone nearly brought me to tears, so I did what I should have done in the first place: I called Greyhound and for a mere $6 fee, changed my reservation to the following day.  I cuddled up next to Nick and fell back asleep.

The next time I woke it was to my phone ringing.  Kyle was on the other line, he was on his break at work and wondering if we’d all survived the night.  He was especially concerned about Max who was apparently still up cleaning when Kyle had left for work.  I wandered out to the patio and found him staring off into space, poor guy.  I made him tea and as the others began to stir I made them all teas and coffees as well.  All the anxiousness was gone, even though I’d changed my plans last minute and messed up the schedule of my cousin, who was picking me up from the bus stop and my landlords, who were expecting my suite to be entirely empty.  I knew I should feel bad, but truly, I did not care.
I rolled a joint and we all got good and stoned before Max made us bacon and eggs.  Jill had to rush back to town for work so I offered Max my seat in the car, insisting I could get a ride with Nick.  On their way out the door, we grabbed Kennedy and convinced her to stay and spend the day smoking weed and watching Futurama.

Eventually the sky darkened and we dropped Kennedy at home before returning to my now empty abode.  And now we were here…


I sipped my long black and tried to gather my bearings.  I took a much needed shower and said my goodbyes to the family who I had been sharing a home with over the past 3 months.  I made the bed up nicely for the new tenant and Nick and I loaded up his ute.  In town we walked on the beach for a while and ran into some friends who I bid adieu to.
This was the final day I was meant to have; not strung out on M; not tired from being overworked; not rushed and stressed.  This was the farewell I needed: chilled out and with him… the man I had loved and lost, cried for and laughed with.  This man who’d been such a massive force in my life, who I had forged this intense relationship with.

At the bus stop, he gathered me in his arms.  “I miss you already,” he promised and I fought back tears, because the truth was I never intended to move back and he was one of the main reasons why.  The last couple weeks I’d been with him, yet had managed to keep my distance, but I knew eventually I’d get sucked back in.  I couldn’t stand the thought of feeling such deep pain again; the heartbreak was inevitable.
Despite my best wishes, there was no future for me and Nick and there was no life for me in this place.

Onto the big coach I climbed, while he watched me go.  I tried to be strong and look only forward though my body trembled with sadness.

1

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Today I googled myself.  I was hoping to find my old MSN Profile (apparently they don’t exist anymore?) to access old high school photos.  What I found instead was my old blog I kept in high school.  It was a little disarming since it contained my full name along with extremely personal details and real names of those involved.
The posts were fairly dull and contained huge time lapses.
Some stories I had completely forgotten about and so I had a good chuckle while skipping down memory lane.

Eventually, I stumbled upon a post that made my eyes well up with tears.

I was ranting about my best friend Dillon.  I complained about how clingy he was and bemoaned that fact that he obviously liked me.
“I DON’T like him,” I had so venomously stated, “Why can’t he just accept that?”
I went on to describe how at a party at Dillon’s parents I had hooked up with our friend Arthur.  Dillon made some snide comment in which he referred to me as promiscuous.  I was outraged and angrily asked the cyber world: “Why does he think he owns me cause we’re going to prom together?  The only reason I accepted was cause my first two options bailed and I didn’t want to go stag.”  Ouch.
I was shocked at my cruelty and callousness.  Dillon is my best friend and has been since high school.  Sure we’ve had fights and falling outs, but not back then.  Back then we’d just begun getting really close, he’d done no wrong at this point.
I clicked over to my next post, it begun with an email I had copied and pasted:

“I realize you’re mad and you have every right to be.  I wasn’t trying to call you a slut, but I can see how it came off that way.  So, I’m sorry.  Something like this was bound to happen eventually.  I just have to accept the fact that we’re not going to happen.  So yeah, I’m sorry about what I said and I hope you forgive me!”
My heart broke when I re-read those words (and apparently did at the time, according to the remainder of my post.)
I knew Dillon liked me, but the story I usually tell about how we came to be friends went something like this:
He liked me, we went on a date.  I wasn’t feeling it, I told him I just wanted to be friends and we have been ever since.
It’s a story I tell myself more than anyone else.  The truth is, I hurt him, badly.  He cared about me and probably still does and I never gave him a chance.
I began to see the light a little when trying to describe the nature of our relationship to Kennedy.  I mentioned that his one and only girlfriend and my ex both told me the same thing:
He’s in love with you and always will be.  How can you not see it?
But still, I denied it, I refused to acknowledge it, I pushed it out of my mind.  Sure he had liked me at some point, but that was 10 years ago, he’s moved on.

What if that’s just a story I tell myself so I can hide from my own guilt?  When I met Dillon, he was a nice, sweet, lovesick little puppy.  He was a virgin until after we graduated.  Then he started reading Tucker Max realized, ‘Hey! Assholes really do finish first!’ so he set out to become one and he succeeded.  And it worked.  He got laid.  A lot.  At 27 he is an intelligent, confident man about to finish law school.  Beautiful women throw themselves at him, they trip over themselves to be with him, they blurt out they love him after sex, they pine after him when he pulls away.  He’s never had a real girlfriend (well, one for a few months) he always finds something wrong with them.  Yet something tells me, it’s because he’s still patiently waiting for me….

I think about how it must have been for him, watching me date my ex from Hell.  Seeing me get treated like shit and yet always going back for more.  Witnessing me suffer at the hands of a man I claimed to love.  Becoming an asshole himself in the hopes it would get him ahead.  Then watching me launch straight into a new relationship with a nice, normal, virginal guy, and his own cousin no less!  No wonder he became so bitter!  No wonder we didn’t talk during those relationships.
I recall talking to his brother who said, “You know he’s a jerk cause he likes you right?” and me whining, “If he likes me, why can’t he be nice to me?  Win me over with kindness…”  Of course he wasn’t.  He’d tried that before and it got him instantly friend zoned.  Besides, why would he when being a dick was proving so successful?  Now I sit here, with the heaviest question on my mind:
Am I responsible for the person Dillon is today?  Will he always be bitter and alone because of me?
I know it may sound like the most self-absorbed, presumptuous question in the world, but its the first time I’ve seriously asked myself this and I’m scared it may just as well be true.
Holy fuck I’m an asshole!

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I have wondered what it’d be like to be with him.
We talk openly and honestly about sex and I have no reason to doubt he’d be incredible in bed.  I don’t find him unattractive though he’s not really my type.  But what?  What could ever happen?  We couldn’t be together, we’re too different.  I know “opposites attract” but we are on opposite sides of the fence on every issue.  He wants to go back to our hometown and be a criminal defence lawyer, he wants that materialistic security.  I want to travel the world, be a happy bum and avoid responsibility and commitment forever.
Years ago we promised that if we hit a certain age and were both single we’d marry each other.  But now I’m questioning if I ever want to get married, let alone do it out of convenience and social pressure.  So what, should we just fuck?  Just to see what it’d be like?  Maybe ruin our friendship and for what?
I love Dillon, I can’t lose him.  We’re living our separate lives in different countries, but he’s always been there for me, we’ve always kept in touch.

A long time ago I had another best guy friend.  Our relationship was awesome and open, we had the best times together.  He told me he loved me and I said I couldn’t.  He wouldn’t relent, he said he loved me and wanted to be with me.  He treated me like gold and refused to give up.  One night camping, in a drunken haze, we hooked up and it just felt right.  He asked me again to be his girlfriend, but this time I said yes.  He was my first and I was totally and utterly in love.  Then everything changed.  I changed, he changed, we couldn’t just be us, we were like this one entity.  He grew cold and turned on me.  He broke my heart in the cruelest and most malicious way.  I felt all the pain and anguish from all those years ago as I re-read my heartbroken entries,  After that I vowed never to date a friend again.  But I did.  I met him and he loved me and one day I saw that I might love him too.  So we gave it a shot.  I still love him but I broke his heart and he’ll never forgive me and I’ll never have his friendship again.

I guess it’s better to have loved and lost than always wondered what could have been, but not this time, not in this case.  I can’t lose Dillon.

I guess I’m still a selfish asshole.

1

September is for Self Sabotage

Damn, I want a cigarette is all I can think right now.  As I begin to write this, I still haven’t fully processed just what the fuck has happened.

The other night there was a party at my friends’ house so my co-worker convinced me to check it out with him when we finally finished work.  Of course, I walked in the door and an extremely inebriated Dan was the first person I saw.  Of course, he hugged me and started acting all flirty while reminiscing on our past encounters.  I excused myself to do a lap, but somehow ended up talking to Dan again.  At one point, my brother literally stepped in between the two of us and started talking to me and now I realize why… because he saw something in my eyes and was doing his best to put a stop to it.  Because in that moment I really hoped something would happen between Dan and I.  If it were ever to happen again, it would be right now I rationalized, I’m drunk, he’s drunk, we’re vibing.

As I stepped outside to enjoy a smoke, he followed me and began mooching off me, as is his way.
“Seriously, you’ve smoked half of every pack I’ve ever bought, you really need to buy me a pack!  And pick up a pack for yourself since obviously you’re a smoker too.”
“I’m not a smoker anymore,” he retorted, “I smoke maybe a cigarette a week.  It’s only when I’m drunk.  Or when I’m around other people smoking.”
“I think it’s only around me because you take advantage of my good nature,” I responded, but still, I shared all of my last few cigarettes with him.
Later on, I was sitting with him on the front steps and went inside the house to use the bathroom, when I came out he was gone.  Biked home; didn’t even say goodbye.  I wasn’t all the surprised, but it still hurt, a lot.  I like the expression “heavy hearted” cause that’s exactly what it felt like: my heart had sunk to the bottom of my stomach.  Why was I doing this to myself?  Why was I letting him into my life and just throwing myself in his line of fire?  I just kept giving and giving and he kept taking and taking.  I couldn’t even stand up for myself.  Hadn’t I learned anything?

When my friend offered me a little bit of mushrooms, I gladly took them.  It was, after all, officially September, we all had reason to celebrate the end of summer.  The mushies hit me hard and I spent the remainder of the night getting followed around by one of the roommates 20-year-old brother who was visiting from out of town.  I began to seriously contemplate going for it, he may have been young but he was totally beautiful.
“Don’t forget about the staff party tomorrow,” my co-worker called as he left.
“I won’t! I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Hey, I got invited to that thing,” the 20-year-old chimed in, “My brother’s girlfriend works there.”
The two of us then decided it would be a brilliant idea to try and stay up all night and show up absolutely wrecked to a daytime party full of families with young children.  By 5 am we were passed out spooning on the futon.  Again, I seriously considered taking it further, it was, after all, September and I had lasted the whole summer like I set out to.  But he seemed so nervous and when I considered the fact that he would tell his brother, who would tell his girlfriend, who would tell everyone at work, who would tell everyone else including Dan, I decided against it, but thought that even saints deserved a good cuddle sesh.
The draught continues I thought, but I was so very wrong...

In the morning it was pissing rain, so I got a ride with my bike and we all stopped for breakfast sandwiches.  The guys were discussing getting stoned on the couch and watching movies all day and I felt incredibly jealous.  I didn’t want to spend my only day off at this event; I didn’t want to ride into town, go on a boat, and be out in the rain surrounded by families and happy couples; I didn’t want to socialize and make small talk with my relatively new co-workers.  I. Just. Didn’t. Want. To.  I wanted to take a hungover day for myself and I wanted to start by having a nap.  My co-workers texted trying to convince me to come, but I relented.  I (wrongfully) assumed that I wouldn’t be missed at the 100+ event.  To this day, I’m not sure what it was that changed.  I had every intention to go to this thing up until that moment.  Maybe it was my own insecurities or just plain laziness, but what I did that day was very entertaining indeed…

“John? John?”  I heard my roommates name being shouted down the hall.
I stuck my head out my open door to see his best friend Jess.
“John went to the staff party with Carlie,” I told him, “How’re you doing?  Long time no see.”
He began to tell me about how he was going through some hard times and feeling rather depressed about his recent breakup.  I climbed back in my bed and invited him to sit down in my room. I listened to him talk and tried to offer advice and encouraging words and then gave him a huge hug.
“Would it be strange if we cuddled?” he asked me.
“I was actually kind of thinking the same thing.”
We started spooning and at one point in our cuddle session he began sort of massaging me.
Okay where is this going?
Then his hand grazed my braless breasts and I gasped, he continued to massage around them while playing with the waist of my pj pants.
I should probably stop this… but maybe not just yet
He continued to explore and I didn’t stop it, it just felt too good.
It wasn’t long before we were both naked and I was digging around in my dresser in search for condoms.  The two of us got down and dirty and the weirdest part was that not once in our entire encounter did we kiss.  There was no intimacy involved whatsoever, just straight animalistic sex and it was pretty hot.  I came twice and we both collapsed on the bed.
“How the fuck did this happen?” I gasped.
“I have no idea,” he replied.
And with that we both passed out, still cuddling unit I woke up again at 4 in the afternoon.
I had a missed call, voicemail and text from my manager saying that they’d all like to see me present at the staff party.
Shit I thought.  I looked over at a naked Jess, shit shit shit!

We started talking, trying to comprehend what had taken place between us.
“I always thought you were hot,” he admitted, “and thought about asking you on a date.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“I thought you were seeing someone at the time.”
“I guess I was,” i said, thinking back on how I was smitten with Dan when I first met Jess and then he had gotten a girlfriend shortly after.  I’d always thought Jess was cute, but thought nothing more of it since he was John’s best friend.  He was also close with my girlfriend Sally and I had encouraged her to go for him when he became newly single, but she always saw him in the friendship light.
As if reading my thoughts, he said, “You know, Sally’s going through some stuff right now too.  She and I are good friends and we’ve only ever been friends, but I don’t know if she can handle this… maybe we shouldn’t tell her.”
“You know her better than me.  If that’s how you feel…” I had no problem keeping our indiscretion quiet, but the first person I thought of telling was her.
“So, I think you’re really cool and I’m not seeing anyone right now at all, so I think…”
“I’m leaving soon,” I told him, “I wanna keep things casual, but I would like to spend some time with you, get to know you, just take it day by day you know?”
“Yeah okay, sounds good.  Maybe we could hang out tonight?  After I have dinner at Sally’s?  I gotta go teach a surf lesson now.”
We exchanged numbers, hugged, but still, not a single kiss, not even a peck.

That night, after texting back and forth, he came over when everyone else was asleep and we threw down again like we had earlier and passed out in each others arms.  Having the satisfaction of sex and the warmth of a man next to me was incredible.

I woke up in the morning to my roommate texting me, asking if I was ready to go for breakfast.  I groaned and texted her back that I needed 20 minutes, then started laughing because obviously she knew not to enter my bedroom.
“I gotta go have breakfast,” I groggily informed him.
“I’m supposed to be having breakfast with my boss in a little bit,” he yawned.
I got ready, but he stayed in bed, “I’m just gonna sleep a little bit longer.”
I hugged him and told him I’d talk to him later.  When I returned home from breakfast, a part of me hoped he would still be in my bed, but he was gone.  I lay in bed all day and thought about the situation over and over again.  I lamented going to work in fear that everyone was mad at me and that I’d get fired for not attending.
Why didn’t I just go to my staff party?  Then none of this would have happened.  I would never have fucked Jess and my life would still be boring but uncomplicated.
Yet I didn’t regret any of my actions, in fact, given the chance I’d do it all over again.  What I really felt guilty about was my lack of remorse.  I knew I should regret getting involved with someone so mentally and emotionally unstable, it was just asking for trouble.  But I believe we both just really needed it, we sort of helped each other.

That night at work, everyone asked why I wasn’t at the party, but no one seemed mad.  I couldn’t very well admit I was busy getting laid all afternoon, so I made up a bevy of excuses: I was tired, under the weather, not feeling it, etc.
When I left, I had a text from Jess.  I wanted to see him, so I texted him back asking him about his day.  No response.  One day later and still nothing.  Finally he texted me to say he was going to the mainland for a week for work.  I asked him when he was leaving, he informed me that he was already gone.  That was the last I heard from him.

Now I’m really starting to trip out.  Do I continue this messed up relationship with him?  Do I tell my roommate John?  Would he even care?  Do I tell Sally?  If she found out would she be mad?  Or just mad that I kept it from her?  What the hell do I do?!?!  I guess I wait the week out and try to sort out my thoughts.

Apparently the theme for September is self-sabotage starting right off the bat and turning my whole world upside-down.  Shit.

0

Keeping Promises to Myself

I think the Universe really wants me to keep this whole, “No Guys for a Year, or At Least for the Summer” vow…

The other weekend there was a local music festival going on.  I, of course, was stuck working doubles the entire time and didn’t make it to any of the shows.
On the Saturday night my manager, who was hosting one of the bands from Minnesota, invited me to the bonfire on the beach.  At this point it was midnight and I had to be up again at 5:30 am to work my morning job so I did the very “responsible” thing and opted to go to bed instead.  A very intoxicated Kennedy attended and phoned me the next day to tell me how fun the show had been and how she’d spent the night sucking face with the captivating lead singer.  I couldn’t help but feel the pangs of jealousy as I’ve been itching for a good make out session for weeks now.

The band ended up coming into my restaurant for dinner and I excitedly asked my manager who the lead singer was.
“Is it that blonde guy?” I questioned eyeing up an absolute babe at their table.
“No,” he responded, “he’s not with them right now.  That guy’s not even in the band he’s a photographer and friend tagging along on the tour.”
I finished work pretty late again, but by some divine miracle I didn’t have to be up for work the next morning, so when my manager suggested I come over and have a beer with the band I gladly obliged.  Besides, I was curious to see the guy that had my bestie so stoked.

When I arrived I was informed that Kennedy and this dude had disappeared together.  So I drank espresso stout and partook in flirty banter with the cute blonde hipster.  We laughed and chatted until, suddenly, it was 3 am.  The boys were headed out on their tour in a few short hours.  Everyone insisted I stay overnight and I seriously considered it, but with 8 guys and 1 girl sharing a 2 bedroom basement suite I decided instead to make the sketchy bike ride home.  I said my goodbyes and headed out, but every time I thought of the blonde haired hotty I felt jolts of excitement.  That’s when I began to reflect…
If I hadn’t been so busy working doubles (and if I hadn’t had this second job fall into my lap for that matter) I’d be at that beach fire, I’d be drunk, and I undoubtedly would have made out with this guy.  If I hadn’t met this dude a mere few hours before he was leaving town forever and if he hadn’t been sleeping in such close proximity to the band members with virtually no privacy, something would likely have happened.  My circumstances made it impossible for me to hookup with the first interesting guy I’ve met in months.  Things really happen for a reason.  But that’s not all.

My hectic work schedule has destroyed my social life and has practically forced me to save a huge sum of money.  This in turn, has lead me to a life changing decision:
Come November the beautiful Kennedy and myself will be leaving this crazy town and headed for NEW ZEALAND!  There is a divine path I am meant to follow.  It’s time to move on and New Zealand is beckoning.

Well played Universe, well played.

0

The Hippy Flip

Bloggers Note:  I do not condone the use of drugs, but I personally find they are incredible tools for self discovery.  Please keep any judgement to yourself.

I’d been having the greatest time of my life, but I was really missing my closest girlfriends.  So when Suki and her boyfriend Paul came up for an impromptu visit, I was over the moon.  The three of us went into town and met up with my two favourite girlfriends here, Violet and Kennedy.  We all sat on a patio pounding back margaritas and discussing various options on how to spend our night.  I mentioned that Paul had brought an endless supply of MDMA.  Violet squealed that she had just received a huge amount of mushrooms, “We HAVE to hippy flip you guys!  Tonight is THE NIGHT!” (Hippy flipping is combining MDMA and mushrooms to get the ecstasy of the M with the visual stimulant of the mush.)
Suki and Paul looked hesitant, I was totally on board.  A bunch of us headed to my house and began barbecuing and drinking.  As it got later we all took the M and started feeling its effects immediately.  We decided to cab to staff accom so we might have a fire on the beach.  Once down at the fire with our huge group of co-workers, Paul and Violet started handing out party favours freely and before long there was 15 or so of us waiting for the effects of the combination to hit us.  And boy, did they ever hit us hard!  We were all cuddling and holding each other around the fire while intermittently running and splashing in the ocean waves.  The sand was rippled with water and the orange crescent moon reflected off the smooth surface, bouncing and dancing with every step we took.  The phosphoresce glowed in the crashing white wash.  Violet, Kennedy and I held each other closely as the water lapped at our ankles.
“Can you believe this is our life?” Violet whispered.  “We get to live here and see this every day.”
We held hands while spinning in circles while screaming, “I love my life!”
Throughout the night I would stare up at the sky, arms raised above my headed and opened towards the heavens and would let out the heaviest sigh.  There was so much beauty, I couldn’t handle it.  I felt overwhelmed by my own insignificance.  I could see every constellation in the sky, the animals jumped out from every direction.  The stars were all webbed, linking together like the ceiling of a circus tent and all the light in the sky, all the energy seemed to be focused on the cluster of stars directly above us.  My mind cried over and over again, “This is for you.  This is all for you.”  Looking up at the night sky I knew, that something big, something great was coming for me.  I didn’t know what and I didn’t know when, but I could feel it in my soul.  As the sun started rising, we all began coming down and began our trecks back to our respective beds.  After a 2 hour nap, we were all back on my patio, sprawled across blankets, still tripping over the swaying tree tops and watching eagles and falcons circulate overhead.  We smoked doobies and drank beer in the hopes of evening out.  I had spent the entire night enthralled with feelings of love and friendship for all of those around me, but now that the fun was over I craved a cuddle session with a beautiful man named Dan.  I texted him, he responded, I fell asleep, we didn’t meet up.  The next day I felt better but still a bit “off.”  I set to work baking a cake for my roommates birthday when I realized I had no milk.  I sauntered down the road to my brothers house to borrow a cup, but with no one home and nothing in view except almond milk, I went next door to ask Dan.  He greeted me with a  huge hug, gave me the milk and asked if I wanted to hangout.
“I’ll come by around 10” he said.
“You better text first, I might be in bed,” I responded.
The man showed up within 10 minutes.
After amazing cake and amazing sex I finally felt like things were starting to go my way, like I was in control of our relationship for once and that I could handle being just friends with benefits.  I went to bed late, but feeling fantastic.

When I woke up the next morning my attitude had done a 180.  I was sick.  Really sick.  Like, can’t-get-out-of-bed sick and totally miserable.  I cried out loud when I thought about my half-marathon in a mere 2 days, I couldn’t believe that after all my training I may not even be able to run it.  I wanted to be babied and considered texting Dan (after all, I’d been so nice to him when he was sick, didn’t he owe me the same?) but my pride wouldn’t let me.  I didn’t need him, I had plenty of doting friends.  Kennedy brought me a joint and some munchies in the hopes of cheering me up.

My race day arrived and I felt miserable while running the course.  The entire time my mind kept returning to Dan.  Could I be okay with only a physical relationship?  Could I handle him sleeping with other women?  Could I do without the emotional support?  Did he even care about me at all?  I made up my mind that the true test would be if Dan texted me to say “Good luck” or “Hey, how’d the race go?” I had been talking about it for weeks, if he remember then maybe he really did care.  The race day came and went and nothing.  I felt disappointed but not entirely surprised.  My disappointment turned to anger and humiliation and all night long my idle mind thought up various terrible scenarios in which he was using me.  I began overanalyzing everything he’d ever said and done and coming to the most negative conclusions.  The next morning, before I headed home, I walked out onto the black jagged rocks and meditated to the sound of crashing waves.  When my eyes opened, most of my anger had dissipated and I knew what I had to do.  I needed to swear off men…