0

The Blister on my Heal

It started as a slight irritation and then grew into a dull ache.  Soon enough it was a full blister, throbbing with pain, oozing with every step.

How ironic that her flip-flops were the cause.
Because she’s just that: a constant hurt that won’t subside.

He lent me the sandals, one day after the dog destroyed mine.
“Just keep them,” he suggested with a shrug.  “It’s not like she’ll be coming back to claim them.”
They were two sizes too big and covered in a hideous pattern of flamingos.  Even Jill commented that they looked wrong on me, yet I continued to wear them.

Perhaps I was too lazy to find new ones or maybe I was just used to being surrounded by reminders of her

When we first met, his closet was filled with all her stuff, everything she left behind and intended to return to, but never did.
When we decided to date exclusively, he removed up all her things and set me a picture of his half-empty wardrobe.  It made me smile briefly, until I realized the clothing had simply been boxed up and pushed out of sight, but not quite out of mind.  Just like her.  The bulk of it may have been packed away but some items still remained.  Her pink heart covered raincoat was still shoved under the seat of his car, a constant reminder of how fresh his wounds really are.

They still talk, comment on each other’s various posts and photos, but I know it’s never about me.  Because in her case, I’m the one out of sight.

Sometimes I wonder if I am the most insecure woman or the most naive fool who ever lived.
I can’t remember ever feeling such intense jealousy and resentment, especially towards a total stranger.  It’s disgusting.

Yet, he’s not without his own fears: that I’ll meet someone else, that I’ll up and leave, that I’ll change my mind.  In the end we both run the risk of getting hurt, we both have the potential to break each other’s heart, but that’s no reason to call it quits.


Since we made that transition into exclusivity I’ve felt bogged down with uncertainty and anxiety.  I’m constantly weighing the pros and cons, debating whether I should just up and leave, or try harder to let my guard down.  I wonder if he genuinely likes me or just sees me as something he needs to lock down.  I’m not an object, I’m not his personal prostitute, and I’m not her or his ex-wife.  I’m just me.  I don’t know how to be anyone else.
I know we have no staying power, but right now, being with him makes me happy.  Too happy.


I’ve thought a lot about it over the last couple weeks and have come to a realization.  The reason my relationships take on the same forms, it because I always get in my head about them.  I can’t decide if I should pull away or totally commit and I drive myself (and my boyfriend) absolutely crazy until it decimates and I fall to pieces, fearful that I’ve fucked up and made the wrong decision.
What if this time, rather than waste so much time and energy thinking about him, I focused it on myself and let the relationship run its course?  I’m happiest when I feel independent, so why not continue to live my life on my terms, whilst having a beautiful boy on the side.  My rules, my schedule, my life and if he has a problem with it, then the door is right there.  I need to put myself first and this so-called relationship second.

Easier said than done right?

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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.

2

The Draught

As I write this, it has been 2 months.  2 months since I’ve slept with a guy, kissed a guy, had any romantic interactions with a guy.  Zip, zero, not even a flirtatious smile from across a crowded room.  Nothing.  It’s a good thing, this is what I wanted after all, but to not even meet one interesting guy and to constantly be thinking of he-who-shall-not-be-named, (and wondering if he ever thinks about me) it’s a huge bummer.

Lately, I have been really wanting to hookup with a random.  Just find a sexy tourist, throw down with him and never see him again.  No drama, no bullshit.  But the chances of meeting this hot fictional man seems slim.  Mind you, I haven’t gotten out of my comfort zone and gone out in an attempt to meet him, but a part of me sighs, “Why bother?  I’ve lasted this long, what’s the rest of the summer?”

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on the fact that I am full of excuses.  The first reason I can think of to not do something, I take it.  Even when I am completely single I still find myself not making time to reach my goals.  Now that I am working a second job I feel that I have extra incentive for bailing on my school work and my writing.  Oh, I’m just so tired, I deserve to chill out, relax and get super drunk and high.
I feel like I’ve been pretty good lately.  I’ve been good at not thinking about him.  I know it’s stupid and not worth my time, but my mind can’t help but wander.  Luckily I’ve been so busy at work I don’t even have a spare second to allow my mind to wander.  Even on my days off I’m too busy running around doing errands, but its times like these: the off moments like right now when my mind really dwells on it.
Stupid, I know.  I hate myself for it, but how can you just turn off your feelings?  Real or imagined.  When I fall, I fall hard and it’s difficult for me to differentiate between sex and love.  Once I have had sex with a guy, I feel an emotional attachment to him.
I just need time, once enough time has passed I can turn back and say, “What the hell was I thinking?” but I’m not there yet.  I just need to focus on working towards my travel plans so I can visit a new world, with new people, food and experiences.  Where I live is so magical and beautiful and yet it’s so limited.  Those that make this their home have nowhere to expand or grow, they’re stuck exactly where they are.  But for me, this is just a launching point to a whole series of new adventures.  If I were to date someone here, I would have even more incentive to fuck off from my responsibilities. My roommate started dating someone and I haven’t seen her in weeks.  She texted me once to ask what kind of birth control I was on and if she could borrow some.  I faintly remember those days… the days when you start a new relationship and all you can see is each other, everything else, everyone else is out of focus.  Those magical, whimsical first few weeks before everything starts to go to shit.  Perhaps I’m just bitter because I’m not getting laid and have ZERO prospects.  It’s funny, because right now I don’t even want sex, but my libido cones in waves.  There will be days when all I can do is fantasize about getting thrown down onto a bed, but right now I can’t even recall what it’s like to have sex and I don’t even care. Ughhh… The draught continues…

1

It Can’t Be Like Last Time

When I was going through those early stages of my breakup, one word kept coming to mind: karma.

I couldn’t stop thinking about my ex, Roland and the shit I put him through when he left me.  I made his life miserable.  The works: 3 am drunken phone calls, showing up at his friends parties and the inevitable crying fits that would ensue after too many drinks.  I even convinced him we should sleep together a couple more times (and was subsequently mortified when he showed remorse.)  The entire time I couldn’t wrap my head around how his feelings for me could just disappear and how he could just move on with his life after leaving me.  Now that I myself have flipped the switch on my emotions, (literally overnight) I realize that it’s just something that happens.  Knowing you have to break someone’s heart in order to be happy is one of the hardest feelings in the world.  During those first days I contemplated leaving him I felt so much remorse at my crazy ex behaviour.  I now know firsthand how painful it is to make the decision to end a relationship let alone actually taking the steps to end it.  I longed to re-connect with my MIA ex, if only to apologize.  Unfortunately his engagement to an insanely jealous and insecure woman eliminated this option.  Still, I hope that one day I can look him in the eye and tell him how sorry I am.

~~~

When Roland left me, I found myself single and actually alone for the first time in 2 years.  At first I felt liberated, the way I do now.  Yeah sure I was hurt, but I felt kind of relieved and soon after I met Anderson.  He was gorgeous, tall, dark, handsome and athletic.  He was inked up, but came from a respected local family.  He was so good on paper it wasn’t even fair to any other contenders.  When we connected in our Philosophy 101 class we vowed to become study buddies.  Rather than study, we would stay up until the wee hours of the morning just talking about love, life, friends, family, relationships, basically anything besides early philosophers.  Turns out Anderson was still very much in love with his high school sweetheart and had the ED to prove it.  He gradually began to blow me off while I, in turn, proceeded to become needier and needier.  The end of this “relationship” propelled me into a very dark time in my life.

Enter the Darkness
And so I was launched into a world of drunken debauchery and poor life choices.  A world where sluttiness always prevailed over reason and where I would stay for a good portion of a year.  Rather than continuing to embrace my freedom, I chose instead to desperately seek out a new boyfriend at any cost.  I honestly believed that if I could secure a boyfriend I could a) Get over Roland and b) Simultaneously make Roland jealous to the point where he would beg for me back.  A solid plan, all in all.  The only problem was, I had never been a single adult and hadn’t the slightest idea how to approach dating.  My self-esteem was at an all time low and so I began bar hopping and bed hopping in hopes of attracting any kind of male attention and relaying that attention into a relationship.  Pathetic, I know, but I kept at this stupid shit until I started up with him.

~~~

Cut to a drunken night out after my latest breakup – a newly single me out with my best girlfriends.  Sendal’s best (and totally platonic) guy friend Dylan had met up with us for a few drinks.  We had already teased him mercilessly about recently becoming roommates with his ex.  We all agreed it was pretty clear that she wanted more than a residential tenancy agreement with him and he did his best to deny it.  As the drinks continued flowing the two of us became very hands on and I declared to all my fiends that before the night was through, we were going to make out.  Maybe I just wanted to prove that I could, maybe I wanted to move on, maybe I wanted to show my friends that I was over him, but for whatever reason I had made my mind up.  After all, he was my type: tall, athletic, tanned, blonde, familiar, safe.  Sendal encouraged me wholeheartedly (my friends love to live their slut fantasies vicariously through me.)  After an impromptu make out at the bar we were rudely interrupted by my giggling and nosey friends who insisted we go get pizza.  Even still, we continued to cling to each other like a couple of school kids and it felt so good to know in that moment that I wasn’t entirely alone.  In the cab home, Sendal and I began to discreetly conspire.  She and Suki were going to suggest we all stay at Dylan’s.  The two of of them would insist on sharing the futon while he and I took his bed.  When I insisted I just wanted to fool around, she assured me that he would never pressure me for anything else.  We snickered over our slyness all the way to his house.  Imagine my surprise when we returned to his house to find his ex-girlfriend/current roommate “asleep” on the futon!  He mumbled something about her always passing out while watching tv (the television was turned off) while we all exchanged awkward glances.  She did her best fake sleepy face and rolled over; it was pretty clear she had no intention of letting Dylan out of her sight.  So I bid him adieu and have the unfortunate memory of aggressively biting his neck.  Before retiring to bed I began plotting to eventually seduce him if only for the pure enjoyment of sticking it to his meddling ex.  In the morning I felt the full sting of my hangover and instant regret for my behaviour and pettiness.  Why the fuck did I publicly pounce on this dude I’m not even interested in?  Why did I try to take his affections away from someone who actually wanted them?  I felt hugely relieved that his roommate was such a cockblock or who knows what would have happened.  On top of everything, Sendal invited Dylan to come for breakfast so I had to make awkward smalltalk while obsessively trying to decode his feelings.  All the while I was scolding myself and thinking “It can’t be like last time.  I’m smarter now, I know better.”

The next time I kiss a man I want to be sure he’s worth my time.