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Showing posts from 2013

Mostly, You Just Make Me Mad

"Know the feeling that everything is completely falling apart and the only thing holding u together is fear of the unknown?"

He sent me a text message on Monday afternoon. I was still at work.
I had nothing to say. I felt relieved he was unhappy with his life.
'Pale Blue Eyes' was playing and it reminded me of the last time I actually saw him. 
Three years ago I had gotten off work around 10 at night. He was parked outside my house. 
I drove around the block and called a friend.
"What the fuck do I do?"
"Tell him you have plans with me," she said. "I'll buy you a drink."
"Shit, okay."
I parked my car and took a deep breath. As he began walking towards me I asked what he was doing here.
He shrugged and gave me a look I was supposed to understand. I don't remember quite how it happened but the three of us got in my car. I drove to the bar.
We sat on stools in front of the well. My girl friend went to the bathroom. I order…

10.6.13

It started with an Otis Redding tape. The rain was relentless and I could sense I was looking for company. When I came home from work, I found my spot on the couch. There was no one I really wanted to call, but I knew he would want to come over.
There was Chinese food and Black Sabbath in the living room. He knocked on my door an hour later, drunk and perspired.
“Looks like you’ve had a rough day,” I said.
He looked at me like I just kicked a puppy.
“I’ve been drinking since ten this morning.”
My mind became foggy and un-attracted, so I asked if he wanted a beer.
I went to the kitchen and did not want to leave.
He was sitting on my couch in 12-hour clothes. The smell of grease, sweat and booze absorbing the air.
I put on a movie and kept the lights on, hoping for a more sobering experience. When he announced he wanted to try to kiss me on the mouth later, I said nothing and stared at the television.
I could feel his eyes pausing toward me.
“What?” I said.
“You keep rolling your eyes at me,” he s…

lipstick and cigarettes

I was listening to Waylon Jennings and remembered I left my favorite lipstick at his house.
When I pulled up to his house, he was sitting on the porch smoking a cigarette. I could tell he hadn’t slept in days.
“You’re not a smoker,” I said.
He stared at me and shrugged his shoulders.
“I bought a pack when you told me you needed space.”
Two weeks ago.
His neighbors were outside drinking cheap beer talking about video games.
After the uncomfortable silence, we walked inside his apartment. His bright red couch was staring at me cold and firm.
“I was going to throw it away,” he said.
I had to remember where I was. “Huh?”
“Your lipstick.” Flat. Stern. Heartbroken.
I felt my hand do that thing. I reached for the side of my head and combed my hair through my fingers.
“I’m glad you didn’t,” I said. “It’s my favorite color. They don’t make it anymore.”
He walked upstairs to get my lipstick. I waited in the apartment where I had recently broken up with someone for the first time in 27 years.
E…

July 7, 2013

I am sitting on the porch, barefoot and drinking red wine. The faint sounds of a Michael Jackson cover are haunting the neighborhood. I have been reading a Murakami novel for an hour and a half, but now my mind is flushed from the wine.
I keep trying to remember last night and the way he said, “You know what I mean?” after every thought. We talked about rock and roll bands and produce. I take note that he is thirty years old and never had a cup of coffee.
We were sitting at a table in the middle of a dive bar on a Saturday night. My eyes were gravitating towards the butts that kept coming within less than a foot of my face.
“You don’t like Pink Floyd?” he asked.
“I went through a phase in college,” I responded. “They helped me write a couple short stories.”
The awkward silence is trampled by an acquaintance of mine who buys us a round of drinks.
He asks where I see myself in five years, and my only response is “thirty-three.”
He wants to talk about his high definition Blu-Ray telev…

opening lines

I was driving home at three in the morning listening to the Flying Burrito Brothers. I cracked open the window, as if I were going to light a cigarette. The fresh air was nice. It made me think of you.
I could still smell the wine I spilled on my pants that night. Saint Matthews was quiet. The music was telling a story.
It was January. I ended up on the rooftop of his apartment at three in the morning in my underwear.
I will always remember the homeless man who smiled and called me Miss. He told me he liked my tattoo, as I turned right onto the Sunset Strip.
I accidentally took a wrong turn in Beverly Hills and wound up talking to a Kardashian-eque woman in a Land Rover. She needed help deciphering a text message, with a little help from a lost, sweaty tourist from Kentucky. I’m just trying to find this fucking restaurant.

I Wish I Was a Smoker Part II

“What are you doing?” he asked.
I am going to regret answering the phone.
“About to leave work,” I said. “What’s up?”
“I was about to put a couple burgers on the grill,” he said. “You wanna come over for a bit?”
I stumbled for the right words, my grip on the mop growing tighter. The Clash’s self- titled record playing in the background.
“I actually have plans,” I told him the truth. “And I’m not that hungry.”
The kind of awkward silence where he knows he’s not getting any.
“Yeah? Well I’ll call another time when I can get lucky.” He hung up.
I heard my mouth make a noise I rarely use.
A riot of my own.

*****
It is two in the morning. My car smells of fast food and crayons. I’m driving home listening to ‘Pissing in a River’ with the window slightly rolled down. The early morning air smells of a faint kind of lonesome. The pages of a vintage Rolling Stone high fiving the faster I drive.
I still wish I was a smoker.

I Wish I Was a Smoker Part 1

Sometimes I wish I could be a smoker. I tried for a little while, but I don’t like routines. Now I only have one after so many cocktails, and I don’t know the difference.  After a long night of drinking, I woke up back at my apartment wearing only an old Guns ‘n’ Roses shirt. There was a head crease in the pillow next to me. Suddenly I couldn’t remember how I had gotten home. He had left half a pack of Camels on my floor. I picked them up and grabbed a diet coke from the refrigerator. “What the hell,” I said and lit a cigarette. I turned on the television. My roommate had been watching Lifetime for Women last night. Click. Without realizing it, my weekends had become a routine: of whiskey, tears (salty cheeks) and unconsciousness. I think he liked me better that way. I was sixteen once. Five years later I still didn’t know any better. He always took and I gave without the slightest hesitation. The half-pack of cigarettes were all he had left me with. I smoked every one by the e…

Bar Food*

*work in progress, feedback welcome.
I met up with him at a bar. A dark bar with cheap drinks and runaway faces. Greasy food and Skee Ball. I was already sitting with my friends at a booth, catching up on our lives and what three fried appetizers we were going to order.
He stood at the bar for a while, talking to someone he knew. He seemed to know a lot of faces. He came back with a Budweiser, I looked down at my empty pint glass.
His face was cuter than I remembered. And then he spoke, mostly about himself.He works outside and every Wednesday takes pictures of Water Towers.
He went up to the bar to order some food. When he came back to the booth he announced that he ordered a grilled cheese, cut into squares.
“Why squares?” I asked.
“Why not?” he replied. “I wanted something special.”
When the kitchen announced that the food was ready for ‘something special,’ the 33 year old sitting next to me got up to receive his grilled cheese squares. I went to get another cheap beer.
My eyes g…

untitled

“You made me so sad,” he said.
This was my art professor in college.
I could feel my toes crinkling inside my boots. I noticed the shapes of the foam on top of the beer inside my cup. I can’t remember how old I am.
“I made you sad?” I asked. “Why?”
“Because you didn’t believe in your self.”

dancing on my own

As of two weeks ago, I am 28 years old. I’m laying in a bed with someone for the first time in over a year. The light from his laptop is distracting. His back is turned to me.
I lay straight and still, hoping he forgets I am here. We are not wearing clothes, but nothing will happen.
He puts on a movie and immediately starts to snore. There is no way I am going to sleep tonight. I turn my back to his and feel nothing.
I feel nothing and then suddenly a sneak snuggle attack. His leg wrapped around my body as if he knew I was want to leave. My anxiety began to burn through my pupils and burn holes in the wall. The bed was made of quicksand.
The first time I remember checking my phone, it was after 1:30 in the morning. I have nothing but time on my hands and so I start to remember this guy from college. I remember the way he used to make me feel.I remember visiting him in D.C. six or seven years ago. We left a party many beers later and I woke up to his back towards me as he’s watching L…

when food world's collide

Three and a half months ago I stopped through West Virginia for the first time since I left. I was en route to a wedding in Lexington, Virginia and wanted to see if Rupert had changed. It had not, aside from the hillbilly version of Walgreen’s resting in peace.
I arrived in the late afternoon, just before they closed for the day. I’m as giddy as a child in a candy store, minus twenty pounds. This does not go unnoticed, as the first thing Scarlett says to me is something about my ‘chicken legs.’ The repetition of ‘how’ve you been’ and the smell of powdered apple cider on the hot plate reminded me of a different time.
A camouflaged twenty-something man walks in with an unusual purpose. He asks if they have vinyl records. My interest was peeked. There’s a tension in the air that mixes with the cider that makes me feel things. Scarlett seemed put-off or perhaps just confused by such a radical request. I was thrown off by the idea that anyone in Rupert actually had a record player. Homebo…