The Things I Know

6

You kissed me in a car. You kissed me in the coffee shop. You kissed me at my doorstep. You texted me good night. I texted you good night.

You kissed me in your basement. You kissed me in a red dress. You kissed me between your sheets. You kissed my naked skin. You kissed me to stay. You texted me, “I wish you’d stayed.” I texted you, “me too.”

You bought me three red roses that I hated but pretended to like. You wore the green sweater that I loved. You bought me a used book with yellowed pages. We slept in your bed more often than not.

We ate Thai take away on the floor in your room. You laughed at stand up much too loudly, as I looked on and smiled. I kissed you with fervor when I had too much wine. Your hand found every crevice when you smoked more than you should. You always asked me to stay.

I left. We can make this work. We didn’t try hard enough.

I took up baking. You had sex with someone else.

I was back in the Spring. We went to the movies. You kissed my neck in the dark. You walked me home. You told me you loved me. We ordered Chinese and had sex in the kitchen.

You kissed me in the dark. You kissed me long and hard. You kissed me in the morning when the light was reflecting on the wall. You kissed me at the door. I texted you, “I love you.” You didn’t text me at all.

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She’s Not the One.

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She is not the one. Your knees are too weak for her history, and those with no backbone will be weighed down by her self respect. When you need easy, she will never be. A fighter, with a soft smile and sharp edge. I watched her live to tell her tales when nobody thought she could. And I knew then, as I know now, she is not the one. She could never be. Certain things defy odds, but are never the same. They grow wildly, and become untamed. And you won’t know what to make of a black rose surviving n its own. She’s your long way home, the sunset horizon, the city streetlights in the evening rain. She is love in the early mornings. And she is not the one, because that’s not nearly enough. She’s the spaces that fill in what’s missing. She is everything else.

J. Raymond

Dear March

  
Dear March,
 
Happy Birthday, me. I’m 23 now and if you had asked 16 year old me, or even 18 year old me where I’d be right now, it wouldn’t be here. In the same old place. Yet, as stuck as I thought I’d might feel, I feel surprisingly secure. Perhaps it’s the graduation cap and gown that are now sitting on my desk, waiting for me to put on in two months time, but suddenly, I feel like anything can happen. Sorry for the cliché. Even though I haven’t gotten a call back from a single employer and have had countless “we regret to inform you” letters delivered to my inbox on the daily, that doesn’t stop me from trying. I hope to finally get somewhere. Be the person that I imagined myself to be one day. Add more pins to my world map. Be the adventurer I think I am. 
 
So far this year, I’ve done a handful of things that took me slightly out of my comfort zone which is needed. I went to an event where I knew hardly anyone and made myself talk to new people. I interacted. I was social. I shook hands and was handed business cards. I acted like a normal human being for once, and that’s always a step in the right direction. 
 
I went to New York, which isn’t out of my comfort zone because cities are very much my comfort zone, but I met new people and exchanged information with more new people. I’m meeting people! Who knew that after five years of having friends that live far away from me, I can actually interact with humans standing right in front of me? Strange.
 
I joined the Francophone Society of St. Louis so I can embarrass myself in front of strangers with my French. I must say, though, I have really improved. Ask the man at La Bonne Bouchée, he knows. Le homme est trés patient avec moi quand je choissis quelque chose manger avant la classe. 
 
I have stopped, well I’ve been getting better at not spending my money on stupid, unnecessary things. Which is really hard.
 
March, it’s been grand. I feel good about this year. More than I did at the start of it. I’ve decided to give up my biggest comfort of all which I’m going to be okay with at some point in the future. I know it will. But that’s a piece for another time. Until then, I’ll see you forever in my dreams.
 
Now, I’ll patiently wait for April.
 
Mackenzie 

Love or something like it

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Love or something like it.

Those are the words that have been running through my mind the past few months or so. What exactly is love and why do I care? As I was sitting, minding my own business at Starbucks, some cute couple had to walk through the glass doors, smiling and looking all happy like they had no care in the world and they just loved each other. And it’s hit me, lately, I’m really lonely.

And that’s the worst time to wish for someone.

On a daily basis, I talk to two people and both of them live far away. I’m lonely for companionship, for friends, for love. But honestly, I’ve done this to myself, right?

I’m really good at being lonely. Being by myself is my favorite time. I’m also really good at pushing people away. Making sure that as soon as I might feel something, I run in the opposite direction. Because being lonely is easy. There are no emotions that could cause disasters and headaches and ‘e’motion sickness and all the other bullshit that comes with liking someone.

However, I’m also really good at liking people that don’t like me. I think we’re all really good at that. Good at liking someone who may contact me today. Maybe. Good at talking down my feelings so it doesn’t seem like I care at all. At that, I’m a master.

Love or something like it.

I’ve decided I need to stop. It’s time. I feel as if I have turned into someone, that if I was looking from the outside, I’d roll my eyes at and think pathetic. I have loved no one in my life, except family members, cats, and the occasional girlfriend who has held my hand while I cried. Those are the good ones, the ones who have seen snot form a bubble out of your nose and handed you more chocolate.

Or didn’t make fun of you until after you were done sobbing and told you how disgusting you are.

I could have loved someone. It would have been very easy to if I hadn’t played chicken and just admitted how I was feeling. But feelings are gross and boring and too private.

Way too private. Even for someone who you could have possibly, maybe, kinda, probably, could be in love with. But maybe, not likely, no.

Love or something like it.

I thought I understood it, that I could grasp it, but I didn’t, not really. Only the smudgeness of it, the pink-slippered, all-containered, semi-precious eagerness of it. I didn’t realize it would sometimes be more than whole, that the wholeness was a rather luxurious idea. Because it’s the halves that halve you in half. I didn’t know, don’t know, about the in-between bits: the gory bits of you, and the gory bits of me.

Like, Crazy.

I’m still not over that quote. I don’t think I’ll ever be.

Love or something like it.

A lot of people wonder why I just don’t try.

“What’s stopping you? Why are you so scared?”

Because of everything listed above. Because being vulnerable sucks. Because nothing ever lasts and why should you share so much about yourself with a person when it will eventually end.

Humans aren’t made to be monogamous. It’s not natural.

We all grow up. We change. We learn new things. We’re not the same person we were five years ago, and thank goodness for that. So, why do we expect that the person we’re with won’t change as well? Why do we think that the person will always be exactly as we want them to be?

That’s why I’m scared.

Because I could have loved someone. I probably still can, but what’s the point?

Love or something like it.

And also, have you seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?

No, thanks.

Love or something like it.

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