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Showing posts from 2016

There Must Be Something Wrong With Me*

*formerly titled Say Anything
“We have to find a way to make you less afraid of me.” I didn’t know how to respond. I felt my heart drop, and let the weight continue to sink. We were standing in the kitchen making dinner, both of us barefoot. I was leaning in the doorway as if I couldn’t step any closer. He had finished cooking the chicken and moved over to sauté the greens. I was staring at his black shirt, wishing I had the courage to stand behind him with my arms around his body. That’s what normal women would do, I told myself. There must be something wrong with me. I don’t have anything to say. I grabbed a couple plates from his cabinets. When I turned around to hand them to him, he was there. We briefly embraced and he kisses me. It felt reassuring. My hand went under his shirt and I let it slide softly across his stomach. He pushes back laughing because he is ticklish. I smile because in this moment I was myself. We let go and put some food on our plates. In the living room we sat …

Difficult Information

This was in January. I was bar hopping with a friend when he approached me. I was wearing a black dress with purple and gold fishnet stockings. We had met before, knew a lot of the same people. We were hitting it off and after a couple drinks, we decided to go dancing. He followed my friend and me to the next bar and one thing led to another. He asked for my number at the end of the night. I was surprised when he texted the next day. We saw each other casually a handful of times throughout the next few weeks. It was reassuring to know my heart could still beat the way it used to.               It was late on a Tuesday night in February when I got his text. I hadn’t heard from him all night when suddenly, I have herpes. My ex-wife didn’t get it and hopefully you won’t either. I wondered how to approach this. It would be the first time I would have to expose my secret. Even though I hadn’t even so much as kissed this guy I didn’t question the timing of this message. Since I’m…

Too Cool

I am looking at him standing at the bar. I had gotten there early and was nearly finished with my first cocktail. I notice he is going bald on the back of his head. His thin brown hair is slick as if he had just taken a shower. He still had his beard, although trimmer than I remembered. Suddenly, I have a flashback to when we were nineteen years old and he surprised me at the record store with a new haircut. A look I was positive had long ago been trademarked by Mr. Clean. He is walking back to our table and I am brought back to the present. I tell him we should go sit outside. He and I are in our thirties now. He is divorced. I am single. We are outside and sitting at a yellow picnic table. I look around to see if I know any faces. I am glad that I do not. He is sitting across from me. I think to myself, 19 21 26. That’s how I young I was when he broke my hearts. He is quiet until he asks me what’s up. I laugh because it’s so unoriginal and we are both nervous. I tell him I was accep…

Gray : a personal essay

The morning after I woke up almost naked. I struggled to open my eyes buried in the disheveled sheets. There was a sea of vomit next to me, falling down the side of the bed. I called him to make sure. “What happened last night?” “You don’t remember?” “No. Did we have sex?” I asked. “Yeah,” he said. And then, “you were pretty out of it.” I hung up the phone. I heard my roommate open the bathroom door. I picked a t-shirt off the floor and put it on. I asked her if he had been here the night before. She looked at me as if I were telling a joke. “I don’t remember anything.” I pointed to the bedroom leftovers. I had been sitting on the couch, drinking my pint of Seagram’s whiskey and chasing it with Diet Coke. I was twenty-one years old. I was alone, and he had reached out earlier letting me know he was in town. We both knew why he would want to come over. I kept on drinking. There was a knock on the door. I let him in. I closed the door and I saw him take off his coat. As I sat back on the couch…

Rosaline

Lila was driving when she got the call. She was driving her black sedan Volvo then, with an interior the color of caramel ice cream. The voice sounded unfamiliar, even though she knew who it was. The girl on the other end of the line seemed distant and unsure of what to say now that there were two voices on the line. “It’s about Rosaline,” she said, slowly. Lila felt her heart beating, faster and harder in an unusual way. She had just seen her. They walked past each other a week ago. No words were exchanged because they hadn’t spoken in almost two years. Lila didn’t take her eyes off the stoplight. “She’s…” “What? What’s wrong?” The light quickly turned green and Lila pushed her foot on the gas pedal to take a right turn. She was going to take a left at the next light. But before she made it to the light, she heard the words. “She’s dead.” Lila felt her weight sink into the car. The rush hour traffic became a blur as she felt her face transform. She still had to make that turn…

Spicy Chicken Wings Gave Me Herpes?

It’s hard to forget the day you get the phone call you’ve been dreading all weekend. This was two years ago. It’s especially hard to forget when you’re out in public at a bar-q-que restaurant during lunch hour. I was sitting with my friend and her three-year-old son, debating if it was too early for a beer. And then my phone began to vibrate on the table. The illuminated screen forced me out of my seat to find a more secluded section so I could pick up. My hands were shaking and I lost any control I may have had over the rest of my body. I already knew what she was going to tell me anyway. I might as well have an order of spicy chicken wings to go along with my diagnosis. It didn’t occur to me until after I hung up the phone what had just happened. Not only did I just order spicy hot wings guaranteed to leave a near burning sensation in my mouth, but my doctor told me that I did, in fact, have herpes. When I sat back down the waitress told me I looked like I could use a bee…