not your best

Something happened last night that did not feel good.

I was on a date, at a man’s apartment. Things had heated up and I asked him if he had a condom. He said he did not like wearing them. That they made him go soft. I told him I was ovulating. This apparently meant we were at an impasse.

He tried to go down on me but soon stopped all activity and just wanted to cuddle. Then he said he wished I had told him sooner. He would not let me go down on him or try to do anything else. He wouldn’t even talk. So I just laid there with this guy’s arms clamped around me until I fell asleep.

Except then I had to wake up a couple hours later, because he doesn’t do sleepovers. Or condoms. Or god knows what else.

I got crushed by a wave of sadness that had been lingering with me for the last few days. He kept apologizing – he was sorry if he had upset me.

I left in a sad cloud. He texted in the morning and apologized again. Sorry if he’d upset me, not necessarily sorry that I was sad.

Now my sadness is starting to melt into anger.

but that’s okay right?

You’re in a boat and I’m swimming out to it. But the water gets deeper quickly. Soon I am gasping with nothing to hold onto, and you have gotten no closer.

I push forward until my arm muscles burn. Waves are constantly coming at me. Sometimes I float above them, and sometimes I submit to them. I cough and flail.

Meanwhile you are teasing me with your invitations. It’s been so long. You’ve missed me so. Once I get there everything will feel so good. We will melt into each other like we did before, will go even further beyond what we did before. You didn’t actually disappear; you were just too far out on the horizon to see, but you wanted me there the whole time.

I’m so close, and when I come it will be amazing.

Water stings my eyes but I push ahead. Fueled by lust and fantasy and promise.

I open my eyes and you are pulling up your anchor. The boat is leaving. Plans have changed. You’re so sorry we keep missing each other.

Then you disappear. And the shore is so far away.

So, fist, here’s my fucking heart and stomach.

Hi yes I’m still dumped.

I have moved pretty quickly from sadness to anger. But the sadness flares up a lot on top of it.

I just posted 40 selfies on Instagram instead of texting him. It felt weird and narcissistic but honestly, it was better than breaking and sending him something sad.

He left things feeling very open ended. Even though the phone call did not start that way. In short he had lunch with his ex and realized he’s still in love with her and that he thinks she feels the same, even though he also knows that getting back with her is a bad idea.

So, fist, here’s my fucking heart and stomach.

By the end of the call he admitted that he thought I was beautiful and fun and smart and that there had been a very obvious strong connection. That he wanted to hear from me still. That he did have feelings for me. That going back to her could make him into a “fucking doormat.”

I don’t know what is going to happen or why it is happening. I don’t know how I’m going to respond to it. But that’s the only thing I’m in control of.

Him: “You can call me anytime, or we can meet and I can answer questions you have.”

Me: “I don’t have questions.”

So now I’m posting selfies. And if he doesn’t see them, then I’ll know that it really is over.

Fuck.

dating panic

Liking a person hurts. Even if there is evidence that the other person likes you too.

Last night he didn’t text me as often as he does. He got engrossed in watching Breaking Bad. The fact that this bothers me feels so stupid now that I’ve written it down, but I have anxiety spinning all around ever since and am trying not to get caught up.

This morning I woke up convinced, terrified he doesn’t like me anymore. I went on a bookstore adventure. I read for a long time. I even texted with him a little before he went to lunch with a friend. He is still at said lunch and I am spinning because I haven’t heard from him since this morning. I haven’t said anything to him about this. I’m writing it down here so I don’t go nuts.

It feels like there are two warring factions in me at the moment. One is easily sparked, yelling in my ear that he is about to leave just like my ex did, that I should be grieving it now and then get over and move on.

Another part is saying that the pain of my last relationship hasn’t fully been resolved in my heart and that I am projecting it onto this new person because I am afraid. That things are fine. That this is okay. That I have had thoughts, panics like this before and he has proven to still be super interested in me.

So both are happening at the same time.

I should write something.

sexual frustration magic energy

It has been 13 days since I last saw the person I am dating.

During that time, he has texted me every day. He has sent photos of himself. Of his arms and their tattoos. Of his face. Of his body.

He has written me notes. Of things he wants to do to me. He mentioned a dream he’d had, an idea for a fantasy, and it happened to be one of my deepest: the two of us in a room full of women. Then we had a 2.5-hour sext session, easily the most intense I’d ever experienced.

And then I had to wait a week.

I was far away, in the state I grew up in, and my body was constantly burning for him. Self pleasure eased things slightly. But there were always more photos, more promises, more fire.

So then I decided I wouldn’t touch myself until the next time I saw him. It was supposed to be yesterday. And then he got strep throat. So here I am, trying to do something productive with the energy pulsing through me.

He, of course, loves this.

Ugh even the word pulse does it.

and i’m sure someone is into that

At work, he is pushing me.

He gave me an assignment

Write an ad that is like a one-act play

Where there are four rooms.

Show him what happens

Show him how the characters perform

What each room’s mood is.

He knows I am a playwright.

He loves it.

And now he wants to push me with it.

He is setting up a massive slow-moving watermelon

And he wants me to smash it with a baseball bat

And cover him with watermelon bits.

And good god I want to do that to him too.

Metaphorically speaking.

Break Down. Build Up.

I’m noticing a strange one.

Weird things at my job. First they put my team in a temporary bunker because of “office renovations.” Turns out that was code for down-sizing. Now no one is guaranteed a desk.

It’s falling apart.

Also our IT completely sucks. We don’t have an in-office expert. So when you change a password, you get locked out. Of course. And you need to call an 800-number. But you don’t have it because you can’t get into your computer and somehow no one has thrown their computer at a wall yet.

Our phones don’t work either, and our office lines are being taken away. No one exactly knows why. But we use our personal phones for client calls. Our conference room screens don’t work for presentations with those clients.

Tonight an angry email went out about submitting all your timesheets for May. And then two minutes later, another email went out saying that the website to do that had stopped working. Oh but the proper people have been notified, just try not to look too pathetic until then.

It falls apart.

Every time something breaks down at this job, whether it’s a phone or a person, I feel like the universe might be screaming at me. What are you still doing here. But I promise I’m doing everything I can think of to try and get out.

But despite the fuckery, a beautiful, calming co-working space has opened across the street. It has windows and natural light. It doesn’t put me on edge every second I’m sitting there. In fact it reminds me to breathe and remember how feel, and not how the anxiety of my office feels.

That felt like a universe life raft.

So naturally, a co-worker said something weird and passive aggressive about it.

And as I was leaving that light place the other day, in the span of two seconds, my keys completely, hopelessly disappeared. I checked the space. Called the driver. Repeated. Absolutely nothing, nowhere. And now I start from square one and replace it all.

Pick up what has vanished and broken down.

That’s when you can start something brand new.

don’t do it don’t do it okay

The same thing happens every day. You’ll sit at your computer. Type. Work. Repeat. And then that tug will hit you. To compulsively sign on and check. To talk to him. To tell him it’s alright. Even if he doesn’t care. Even if he probably does.

But you just, can’t.

Be gentle, and patient with yourself.

(sigh)

You can be very happy and still get hunger pangs for something different. 
You can talk to the girl at work who you secretly have a crush on, and she can touch your arm while talking to you because that’s what she does to everybody. And you can feel that quiet buzzy thrill of being near her and knowing what she smells like. And even while your cube mate talks about your boyfriend, you can think about her hair and how nice it would probably feel in your fingers.

(sigh.)

I’m sorry I haven’t written you in a while. My head hums with thoughts, stories, ideas to tell you every day. But then work happens and they, if they’re lucky, land in a notebook.

There is so much I have for you. I’ll have something ready soon,

David Foster Wallace. Still Trying to Figure Out That Pale King

I have a complicated writer-reader relation with David Foster Wallace.

When I was 22, I utterly, deeply loved him- he was my favorite author of all time. I marveled over his super-computer brain and how he could infuse scenes, characters, and dialogue with wild imagination and philosophy. And most of all, how he could make even the grandest, craziest situations throb with desperate humanity. He built outrageous characters who wanted to eat and eat and eat until they consumed the universe, along with quiet, aching moments that nailed how it feels to be a depressed person. His books got me through some of the trickier parts of my life, and they kept me inspired to keep going, to keep writing, and to be unafraid with creativity.

But it’s more than that. I knew, even when I first read him, that I could never write like him. I never wanted to. After his death, he reached such a deific status that I was almost intimidated to admit how much I loved him, at the risk of criticism or a barrage of overly intellectual questions from a stranger at a party, scanning to see if I really “got” the great DFW. I didn’t even know if I really did, I just knew he made me feel things really deeply. And I noticed that other writers who loved him deeply had begun to think if they had long, esoteric sentences and quirky characters, they could be great like that too. I was afraid of becoming someone like that.

He also was far from a god. He was just a writer, a creative person, a fragile human. When you can put feelings down so well, you usually struggle with those same intense emotions in the bland day-to-day. And he made mistakes. He fell so madly in love with a married woman that he contemplated killing her husband. He pulled people in closely and shoved them away. He painted a room completely black because he thought it would help him focus but it might also have put him completely on edge. He completely forgot about the details of his books after he was done writing them, and struggled to answer fan questions about characters he’d created.

Even now, I struggle with how to express my feelings about him and his work. I’ve tried to reread sections I loved when I was in my early twenties, and now a lot of it reads like a smart-ass college student wowing the crowd with difficult literary pyrotechnics, popping wheelies for the sheer sake of it. But that raw sadness and humor and emotion is still there too, and that’s not for nothing. So I guess I still love him, and always will. He’ll always be a huge influencer to what I do, even if what I do isn’t at all like what he did.

Anyway, one of his biographies (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, a really great read) has somehow been turned into a movie, with Jason Segel giving an earnest attempt at playing an incredibly difficult human. My first reaction was intense rage (“how DARE you even TRY to do this”). But it’s not necessarily worth anger. It’s clearly a loving, thoughtful attempt at a portrait. And maybe that’s exactly what’s wrong with it. Jason Segel has clearly worked so hard and possibly fallen so deeply in love with this person (or the idea of this person) that any depiction can’t help but feel precious. And unfortunately, a precious, reverent biopic about himself is probably one of the last things Wallace ever would have wanted. Or at least, he would have said as much and then secretly loved it. And then been concerned about his own love for it. And so on.

See how he can get complicated? It’s enough to make your head spin. So at the very least, good on Segel for even trying to figure out what was happening in this giant enigma of a human mind.

Jesse Eisenberg, on the other hand. Ugh. Is he just constipated all the time?