Thursday, December 31, 2015

Auld Lang Syne

The year was ending on a high note, one that was a long time coming.  She had interviewed for a job in marketing, and ended up being interviewed for another job in the same building once they realized she was there.  She got hired for the second job, which was the same pay and benefits, just more administrative work.

The day after orientation she got a call from the first job offering it up to her.  Per their words, "The other one didn't work out." What could have happened in less than 24 hours she'll never really know, but she suspected that the girl had lied, as she got a text indicating they had contacted her prior employer.

It was the only job she had applied for that she wanted in months, and she was thrilled to see the light at the end of her tunnel.  It would be making enough so that she could pay for an apartment, which she was already searching for.  By March, she should be out of her mothers house and onto a better life.

In the shower this morning she found herself looking back on this hard year.  It was ending with an amazing job opportunity that she hoped would sustain her for life.

Happy New Year Penny.  You tried your best.  Next year should be better.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Putting a Band-Aid on a Bullet Hole

She got a phone call from a news station inviting her to come in and interview.  Getting the part time, paying hardly anything job would mean she would have to give up her stage manager position and not be able to take any more for the foreseeable future. 

But it would hopefully lead to a better position at the station that would be more of what she wanted out of a job.  That might be years away.  In the meantime, she would be stuck in her mothers house, barely making ends meet, if at all.

The BFF didn't even know about the interview, because she hadn't gotten a chance to tell her.  Whenever the BFF called it was to complain about her own life and not ask anything else.

If she did get this job, it would be putting a band-aid on a bullet hole, but she would have to accept it if it came.  At this point she was considering applying for food stamps, as unemployment had still not gotten back to her, and she was getting desperate.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


The Christmas party was fine.  BW said she was being a little whiny...twice.  Maybe that was all that was bothering her, but the depression weighed heavy the next day.

She had to get it together for the husband's Christmas party later.  Her mother forgetting what she said a minute after she said it wasn't helping.  She knew people would miss her if she was gone, but today...she didn't care.  She didn't want to be (t)here.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Anna Karenina in 2015

The 2012 version of Anna Karenina had found it's way to Netflix streaming.  She felt like it was a piece of art, with everything taking place on the stage and in the audience.  She loved the ballet of the movement and the odd society ways that society thinks they've outgrown.

The line that really sticks is when someone is asked if they will call on Anna after the scandal becomes public, stating it wasn't like she broke the law.  The lady replies "I'd call on her if she'd only broken the law.  But she broke the rules."

There was a girl...a woman actually, only a year younger than herself.  She had gone to LA and changed her name, gotten a few acting gigs, but then decided to come back home.  She started her own local theatre company, and rented out other spaces to do her performances. 

The thing was, she almost always casts herself as the lead and her boyfriend as the male lead.  As it was her theatre company, that was her prerogative. However everyone in the community seemed to hate her for it.  The BFF especially didn't like her.  Was it because she was successful and knew how to market herself?  "She really knows how to self-promote" BW said about her with a tiny bit of disdain.  She was talked about this way in the community. 

She was successful, but people were resentful.  Why?  Because she was doing what they couldn't accomplish?  She could sell out every show and do good PR work, but the entire community looked at her as if she was Anna Karenina.  They spoke about her behind her back although she had done nothing but get what she wanted in life.  Well, Anna cheated on her husband so it's not a perfect comparison.  She was still being treated as if she had done something horrible.

Society likes to think they have evolved since 1877, but the similarities are very strong.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Altered States

Was she being overly sensitive?  A question she asks herself more often than not after finding out that she was a HSP.  After the slight at her blog last week, then him smoking himself into oblivion again last night, she felt that there was something going on with him. 

The thought started as her being completely selfish. Why would he want to smoke into a stuper instead of actually hanging out with her and the BFF?  It's like they weren't enough, like he didn't trust himself to be himself anymore.  Which is what lead to the thought that maybe he was just unhappy. 

Just as she was thinking of this she got a text from him.  She took it as a sign and asked him if anything was wrong, as he seemed distracted and preoccupied. He texted back "I'm fine.  I'm just trying to plan the trip I'm going on with my buddy from New York.  Everything is fine.  Trying to maintain that balance between involvement and free time as usual.  Thank you for asking though. :-)"

"Let me know if there is anything I can do." She responded.  That was basically all she could do.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Year Anniversary

It had been a year since moving back to her hometown.  In some ways her old life felt like a dream, but it also didn't seem like it had been a year.

She spent most of the day commemorating the day by getting sick due to her untimely uterus shedding.  She suddenly craved donuts, so her and the husband went to go get some.  She had one, he had three.  One was enough, her sugar craving had been dulled.

She wished that she could have thought about where she had come from in the last year...but she was in too much pain to care.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Heart Iced Over

" blog, that no one reads."  She finished up her sentence, something that was important to her.

"If you wrote a blog about smoking herb, I'd read it."  He replied.

It kicked her right in-between the gut.  She knew he didn't mean it as badly as it came out, but how she took it was "Write about something I'm interested in, and I might read it."  Wouldn't you want to support your friends, read whatever they wrote about?  She read his entire blog without him having to ask her.

He proceeded to get completely baked and become a vegetable the rest of the night, further upsetting her.  It was as if he didn't realize that when he smoked he became...a real drag.  Literally and Figuratively.

Maybe she was being too sensitive.  Maybe it was just because of how she was raised, but she felt his behavior was disrespectful.  The best he could offer was his friendship, and they didn't see each other that often any more.  So when it was just his body that was present instead of his was insulting.  It hurt her feelings.  She wasn't good enough to be present for.  Maybe for anyone.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Cleaning out the storage unit was a job she decided to give herself to distract from the fact that she was seemingly unemployable. She'd taken two trips to the donation place, combined several boxes together, and overall gotten rid of lots of things. 

As it got too cold to continue inside the storage unit, she realized she was separating the boxes into his stuff and her stuff.  She only realized that when she came across a candle her mom had given them for their wedding.  It was two figures that melded into one.  They were supposed to light it to remind them that they were becoming one, on their wedding day.  Somehow it had gotten left behind on the way to the wedding, and they had never actually burned it. 

She walked it over to the car to donate, then stopped about a foot short and looked at it.  There wasn't much left from the wedding, even their album had become wrecked after their best man's death.  Her husband had ripped off the photo with him in it to scan, then never returned it to it's place.  It had gotten lost in her mother's hoarder house, possibly never to be seen again.

She walked the candle back to the box, then decided there was nothing to do with an old candle that she clearly wasn't going to burn.  She walked back to the car, again coming short.  Her logical brain couldn't find a reason to keep this candle.  Even her emotions couldn't find a reason right now...yet in the end she returned it back to the original box.

It was a "His" box.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


BW said to her "Do you really enjoy going to Yoga with TM teaching it?"

She replied, "TM runs a really good program.  He's a little too Uber Namaste for my taste, and sometimes he doesn't explain the poses well.  He actually does Shavasana for like 10, 15 minutes at the end.  It's a little too much time sometimes, but it's my alone time so I'm good."

Even though she was driving, she could feel the sarcastic eyebrow raise coming from BW.  "The only time you are alone is in a room full of people doing yoga?"

"I live with three other people and two cats, one of which has an attachment problem.  Someone is always home, always wanting something from me, or I’m putting pressure on myself to find a job or always be doing something else.   During Shavasana it’s like that scene from Hit and Run…I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Later she wondered what exactly Shavasana meant, and looked it up.  Literally translated, it is “corpse pose.”

Turns out the only happy time she had when she was playing dead.

Friday, November 27, 2015

My Favorite Mistake

Before Catfishing was a real thing, she lied about her age on the internet.  She rationalized that she was taking college courses despite being a junior in high school, so she was really just stretching the truth when she said she was in college.  She WAS in college, just...part time and semi-illegally.

He was her constant, her best friend.  She eventually came clean with him, and he was forgiving.  She hadn't lied about anything else, and neither had he.  They met in person years later, him doing the cool guy lean against a parking meter on the Haight, her chiding him immediately for hiding his face when meeting someone from the internet.  There shared everything with each other, not only that light but for years afterward.  He never judged her or pushed her to be something she wasn't.  He was the only one in her life that accepted her exactly as she was.  Was it because he didn't have to see her everyday?  Maybe.

Her good friend said that he had a crush on her in college.  She didn't believe he did, because he never made a move or brought it up in conversation.  When you had the computer to buffer, you say all kinds of things that you wouldn't be able to in person.  But it put it into her head, and she was worried.  She didn't want to ruin the relationship.  He was her Yes Man.  He validated her choices in a way no one else ever did.

Then, years ago, he decided to drop off the face of the earth.  He got married and didn't tell her about it until afterwards.  No one knew what he was up to anymore, but she missed him, now more than ever.  She was doubting herself in ways that she never had.  She needed her friend back.

It entered her mind that not pursuing a relationship with him might have been a mistake.  She imaged how her life would have been with him.  He was never going to make big money, but he would have made her a priority and made sure she was taken care of.  He would have made sure that she felt loved everyday, telling her that even when they were apart they were under the same moon.  She would have lived in the bay area like she always wanted, stayed close to home.  Maybe he was her favorite mistake.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Extra Firm

It had been a rough day.

Her husband had agreed to buying KSL's King size bed to replace their horrible California King.  Ever since moving something was wrong with the bed.  They tried rotating it, but she still felt like she was sleeping in a hole.  Along with everything else going on, not sleeping was not helping her mental state. Her husband didn't really seem to care.

Once she called upon him to get the money for the bed, he found fault in the plan.  They went back and forth about the space or how he would be uncomfortable with a shorter bed.  She ended up contacting KSL and saying that she couldn't take the bed.

She had a moment of crisis after he left.  Was she being too sensitive about the situation, where he didn't care about her comfort, or at least not above his own?  She felt as if she was no longer a priority in his life.  She wondered if it was because she asked for money.  When it was reversed, he wasn't willing to share?  Was this going to end up being the deal breaker?  Would she feel like she was making a mistake if she asked him to leave?  Would he even care?

She still loved him, but she no longer felt any love in return.

Friday, November 13, 2015


She had a plan.  Just because she was unemployed did not mean she was at everyone's beck and call.  She wanted to do two loads of laundry, take a quick shower, and meet BW at his coffee shop and see if she could network and look for jobs on her laptop.  If she didn't set up plans like this, she'd never get out of the house and slip further into depression.

When she went to put the first load in the dryer, she found leftover clothes in the dryer her husband had left.  Wrinkled.  It would set her schedule back 30 minutes.  She was annoyed, but threw the dryer on and waited to fluff this unknown third load.  If she didn't get this done during the week, her mother would get angry that they were flooding the septic tank with too much water.

After the husband did some last minute plan canceling on her, she was almost on her way.  Her mother had texted earlier to say that she needed her tires pumped, and would she come over with her pump.  She told her that she could come by three pm but not before.  Then mom passive aggressively said she would take care of it herself.

Right as she was going to get the last load of laundry, her mother called.  She was on her way home and would be there in 3 minutes.  Could she get out the pump and do it now?  Did she have a choice?  Did her time mean nothing to the people around her?

She ended up being an hour late meeting BW.  His coffee shop had the owners hanging around and was extremely busy.  She was sure it would have been fine an hour earlier.  She was so mad on the way that she used some essential oils that were supposed to be used for headaches.  It had an adverse affect much like benadryl and she got sleepy the rest of the day.  She didn't even mind that BW didn't want to hang out but instead drop off some of his own resumes.

She went home, had a swig of tequila and sat at the table to eat her sandwich.  Her husband saw she was still upset and asked if there was anything he could do.

"The laundry." She replied.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Snow Covered Moments

She dropped her head onto his shoulder briefly, letting go of her anxiety in that few seconds. They were in the darkened theatre waiting for the BFF to come back and the Apple Guy movie to start.  She knew without speaking that he would understand she just needed a moment of quiet, and he did.  He let her breathe into the moment, and in the silence let her know he was there with her.  It was only once she raised her head that he asked her how everything was going.  "The same."

She succeeded in not letting herself rest on him again that night.  He'd given her enough in that little moment to move onto her next one.

While driving home she admired the ivory peaks and valleys of the city.  The moon wasn't out, yet the snow covered mountains were still visible in the darkness of the late night. The pinnacles hung at the edges of town like a ghostly fairy tale.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Beaucoup de la Mort

"How to Spot an INFJ."  It was a photo that PJ sent her out of the blue.  The first bullet point was "Asks if you are okay more times in five minutes than you've ever been asked in your entire life" and the last bullet point was "I know you better than you know yourself."

She was at a pretty deep point in her depression at that point.  She knew that she wasn't understood, appreciated, or respected.  By anyone.  The one who was supposed to love her the most asked her for money.  She tried to reach out to her husband with her pain, and was met with silence.  She was all but accused of bumming him out.  She wanted to just disappear.

She didn't eat because that cost money that she didn't have.  It became a game for her, how long she could go without eating.  A day and a half was her record.  She'd lost three pounds.  So that was a bonus.

PJ once again saved her self esteem, respect, everything.  If he thought she was worthwhile, then maybe it was okay.

She dragged herself to his one act play downtown, and ended up going by herself after BW flaked out.  She stayed afterwards and she and PJ walked down the street to retrieve a stray glove, forgotten before the show.  Fall had gone quickly this year, and they could see their breath as they talked about her problems.  Then they talked about his problems, as the chill crept into her cheeks. It amazed her how he could keep her attention though extreme temperatures.

He mentioned that AB was starting rehearsals for a show soon, so he would have more free time to hang out with her.  She looked forward to it, cold nose and all.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Write and Wrong

With everything else going on, it was easy to see how she was over-reacting to every situation.  BW had told her that TM had rejected one of her photos for a set up they were doing just because it was hers.  Because she would have wanted to be credited for it.

She was so torn about what do to about TM.  He was young, and not as intelligent as he thought himself to be.  Young was the perfect word for him.  Life had treated him nicely despite his opinion of how downtrodden he thought he was.

He'd been coddled by a lot of people, and for too long.  In doing that he had elevated himself to a place in the community that getting on his bad side was unwise, and she found herself there.  She didn't feel the need to apologize more than she already had in regards to the situation.  She shouldn't have to smooth things over when she was in the right.

She still felt isolated and alone in the community, and felt like this was the nail in her coffin.  Maybe she was never meant to make friends or fit in anywhere.  She was tired and wanted to stop trying.

She thought of Alessia Cara's "Here" as a friend had said it reminded them of her.  The more she listened to it, the more she identified with it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


23 applications later and she was still out of work and stressed out.  She no longer had anything to look forward to in life.

She had some weird feelings about the end of the show.  It came at a terrible time with her losing her job, and there was a lot of emotion attached to it.  It hadn't been an enjoyable process due to other people's bad attitudes.  PJ had thrown a fit early on because his job made him late and he couldn't handle his anger.  It made for an awkward rehearsal.  Then the director started falling apart emotionally.  A few weeks later the director's boyfriend broke up with her and she was at a loss, crying all the time.  The director hadn't been directing before, and she really bailed out after that.  She brought in a friend who undermined training they had gotten from a professional.  It was a great show despite all the offstage drama, but it hadn't lived up to it's potential, and she'd felt helpless against it.  Her BFF had been cranky through the whole process, and it just ruined it.  She hadn't really bonded with anyone, but she was so close.

She didn't feel like anyone had become her friend or gotten to know her.  Then one of the actors was asked to stage manage the next show.  She felt unwanted, unneeded, useless.  Now that she didn't have a job, the rest of her life was empty and meaningless.

Then the husband asked her for $20 after she had been out of work and was upset when she said she didn't have it, and then upset that she didn't have it in cash.

She was drowning slowly. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

One Door Closes

She saw it coming.  She wasn't shocked...or maybe she was in shock.  She couldn't be sure.

"I'm gonna have to let you go.  I just don't have the money to pay you.  With the business slowing way down I just can't afford to pay you right now."

It was effective immediately. That very minute.  She packed up her stuff and drove back into town.  A theme was sensed when she was unable to do a mobile deposit on her phone, and the ATM was down.  She had to walk in and deposit it in person.  She tried to think about how things could be worse.

She dropped all her office stuff off at the storage unit, and spent the rest of the day on the couch applying for jobs and watching My So-Called Life on Hulu.  She was always surprised that every time she watched the show, she felt differently about each character.

At the end of the day she snooped.  She checked on his emails to see if he put out a call for someone to take over her job.  He hadn't.  At least he had been telling her the truth.  That made her feel a little better, that it was nothing she had done.

But that didn't put money in her bank account.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Du Jour Means Crash Positions

"Our old teacher just called me.  They just lost their male actor." He texted.

She sighed and texted back "...she cast you didn't she?"

"She was talking to BW as well.  Hopefully he takes it." He said.

"BW won't take it.  He knows you will."

"Dirty pig fucker.  I wish PJ was available."

"Crazy husband.  Did you take it?"

"Only because I'm stupid."

"You are stupid.  It's adorable."

"Ugh, this character is like all of my worst traits amplified, plus a pothead"

"You mean like the kind of idiot who would take a role 9 days before opening night?"

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

No Direction

BW talked to the director about her too.  Basically said the same thing he said to TM; "She's awesome, stop fucking it up."

The director was driving her crazy.  She was singlehandedly letting down the entire female population with her antics.  She would say things like "You know how in old movies girls just wanted to be hit?" and would cry at the drop of a hat.  She was not directing.  She lost it a couple of weeks before opening and brought in the male artistic director of the company to direct for her.  She was going to lose us the right to vote.

"The energy feels a lot different than it did with the last one, doesn't it?" PJ had asked her one night about halfway into the run.

"Yes it does," she answered.  "The last play actually had a director."

She really just hated the fact that she was stuck not being able to fully do her job.

Right before the run the director had taken her aside and asked what she could do to help.  "You have it the wrong way.  I'm supposed to be helping you, but you won't let me.  You pull in other people, don't ask my opinion, and deliberately change plans after I've told everyone the opposite thing.  The next time you direct something, you should really pick a stage manager you trust.  I'm not sure what I did to make you not trust me, but clearly you don't."

Not sure if that made it any better, but for what it was worth the director wouldn't be around anymore.  It was her show now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Two Wrongs Don't Make a CopyRight

She loved photography and taking pictures.  She'd felt a deep connection to it ever since her father had introduced her to it.  He taught her how to center the main focus of the picture, composition, and tried to teach her F-stops and shutter speeds.  Sadly that education had been lost to time, but she still loved taking a good photograph.  As technology had progressed, her iphone had told her time and again her storage was full so she couldn't take more pictures.  She would frequently do a dump of photos onto her computer so she could start over.  She bought tiny little lenses for her phone so she didn't have to lug the big computer around.

She also had the Nikon her father had left her.  She became the play historian, taking photos and video.  She posted them on her Instagram and on the private Facebook page for people involved in the play.  During the last play she noticed her pictures going up on the theatre's public page with no photo credit.  She mentioned it the theatre manager (TM) who ran the page.  He laughed it off.  He laughed off a lot of things that were disrespectful and bothered her.  It was starting to become a problem.  Even more so when she realized that they had put her photos up on the official web site for the current play.  Without permission, without credit.  Didn't they teach everyone these things in Kindergarden?

She had her writing stolen several times when she was trying to do freelance.  It wasn't okay when complete strangers violated her like this, but someone that she considered a friend?  She felt betrayed, double-crossed, stabbed in the back.  It really cut her deeply, and she didn't know what to do.  A few days later the BFF convinced her to tell her the whole story, in an alley behind the theatre with PJ.  With tears it came out, along with the fact that there are certain things she just didn't feel comfortable sharing with the BFF.  BFF was upset about that for sure.

But it was her friend BW that ended up saving her.  She had gone to him to vent about the situation, and he had talked to the theatre manager, and said "Penny is one in a million and gives her all.  Don't fuck it up with her.  You need her."

TM had been kissing her ass ever since.  BW certainly had a way with people.  Out of all the people who she had told about this awful situation, he was the only one who took action to protect her.  She wouldn't soon forget that.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Walks of Art

Drinks at a bar before the restaurant opened.  Dinner at her favorite ramen house.  A half an hour at a youth poetry slam with current students from her old high school.  A show where neither of them had a job to do but be audience members.  A gallery opening.  Spending time with each other talking about everything that matter to them at the time.  A hilarious late night drive through for food for him and desert for her.  He had even offered to drive a majority of the time.

Had they been romantically involved, it would have been a hell of an epic date.  As it was, it was a great and fun night out between friends.  It was nice that they didn't have to worry about their significant others being jealous, that time was behind them.  In fact, it had been his girlfriend that said they should go to the ramen place.  Everything felt pretty settled in their friendship, and she felt comfortable moving along with it being the same way, this way, for a long time.  She knew the dynamic would shift a bit after this show was over, but she had a feeling they would still make time for each other.

He had asked her at the end of the night what her favorite moment was.  All of it was great, but she had enjoyed the deep conversation with dinner.  Blurred a bit by the mojitos, it was great to have someone that made her think and question without making it feel like her feelings were invalid.  He understood her in a way that no one else had.  That didn't make him the most important person in her life, but it certainly brought him up the list quite a bit.  She was lucky to have him as a friend, and wished she could think of something to do for him.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


The crush had disappeared on her way to work one day when she realized she didn't think about him as she sailed under his street.  That KD Lang "Constant Craving" was over.  But she still had that odd disdain for his new relationship.  Eventually she would come around to being happy for them, but for now she rolled her eyes every time their schmoopy couple photos got set as a default on their pages.  It was her birthday today, and he posted not just once but twice on her Facebook wall, with multiple photos.  Ugh.

They had grown apart, but after a day-long panic attack that rattled her body, it was only his hug at rehearsal that made her calm down.  A few minutes after she felt that release of nervous anxiety, and took her first deep breath since 9 AM that morning.

They had made plans to hang with each other on their one day off this week.  She was looking forward to it even though she knew their friendship would never be the same.  She mostly looked forward to the calm she could feel having alone time with him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Playing Pretend with Fatigue

Her energy level is always teetering on empty.  She was always just getting by.  If she went for a hike, or a walk longer than a half hour, She'd be laid out for days.

KSL, the actor a foot taller than her, thought it was funny to have her get a running start to high five him...friends dancing around an empty bar and looking at her sitting down and wondering why she wasn't joining's not fun.

She didn't want anyone to think she couldn't do something, so she stayed silent.  Only a few people knew that she has this illness.  She wished no one had to know.  She wished she had a job that had insurance so she could go to a doctor and get medicine before it runs out in the next month.  But it was not looking good.  Or fun.

There was no light at the end of this tunnel.  Not right now.  She was waiting for a bend in the road.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ben Nye The Makeup Guy

Who sends emails anymore?  Her director apparently.  At 9:00 AM on "Makeup Rehearsal" she had emailed to say that no one had ordered the makeup, so it was going to have to wait.

She had never done a literal face palm before, but she did one now.  The director was basically giving up, saying they would rehearse other things that night.  She was giving up on her show, because basically not everyone was available together again until tech week.  First time directors were NOT her cup of tea.

A skipped lunch and several phone calls later, and both the chorography was set and the makeup delivered.  She wouldn't get reimbursed for the makeup for awhile, but it was worth it to save the entire show.  She knew she wouldn't get the credit she deserved for saving the day, but she wasn't really doing it for the credit.

What would they do without her?  Roll up the show and go home I guess.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Ring

She had never subscribed to the thought that if you forget your ring at home then something is wrong in the marriage.  Sometimes you are in a hurry and just don't get a chance to put it on that day.

However, her husband had lost his.  Less than a year into their 10th anniversary rings, his was gone.  She had bought their first ones, days before the wedding.  They had both let that bit of wedding list fall to the wayside, and ended up with a three ring set that cost $500 from a department store. 

When it came to buying their 10th anniversary rings, he was supposed to pick up the tab since she had gotten the last one.  That didn't happen.  He had to pay for something else and she shelled out the money for the rings.  About 8 months later, he had lost his ring.  It hurt worse than the 10 years when he complained that the first ring hurt him.

She slowly stopped wearing her ring.  It might have been on purpose, and meant something.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Rage Monster

"So, what was with that temper tantrum he threw the other day?" The 22 year old asked about the 38 year old.

She took a deep breath and tried to figure out how to answer.  It was hard to explain how PJ had reacted, even though out of anyone else on the planet she could explain it.

"He...just really hates being late.  He was...I have to talk to him about it, it wasn't okay how he reacted."

His new job had kept him late, and he was late to rehearsal.  It was not that big of a deal, but he was an INFJ.  Being late is something that really alters their perception on life and it affects them horribly.  Apparently the way it changed him was he threw fits.

He had walked in apologizing, clearly angry at his job.  He walked across the stage and threw his backpack down with a loud thud.  It was so loud that everyone in the room simultaneously reacted verbally, yelling "Woah!" or "Hey!" and "Are you okay?" and he continued to respond in anger.  He just wanted to get on with it, not wanting to take a moment to get himself together as the director suggested.  They launched into the scene, but it wasn't funny as it had been before he arrived.  It was a dark comedy, but it was more comedy than dark.  It became more dark as he came late the next day.

He even showed up angry to a restaurant as they all went to dinner before the bargain movie night that had become their staple.  He showed up "with a headache" and rebuffed any help anyone offered him.  She reminded herself that night to take people's help and stop being so stubborn.

"You need to talk to him about it?  Like, as the stage manager?"  The 22 year old actor asked as he sipped his whiskey at the bar after rehearsal.

"I need to tell him as a friend.  Not as the stage manager.  He doesn't realize how he is effecting others.  Once he knows, he'll be better at it."

She hoped to god she was right.

Friday, August 21, 2015

You, Me, and Five Bucks

She did end up sending him an email.

"Have you ever seen Reality Bites? When it first came out I thought it was the funniest comedy ever. I would watch it and laugh for years. Then I sort of forgot about it, and about 6 years ago remembered it and watched it again because I needed a laugh.

I cried almost the whole movie because it had become my life. I still love the movie though, especially this moment here:

Except I don't smoke, and I'm not really fond of coffee. I think you and I need to find a common vice"

He responded the next day:

"I love that movie! The Ethan Hawke character really strikes a chord with me for various reasons, but I haven't seen it in years. I would like to assume that it stands the test of time. Great scene btw. Hope your work is going well!"

 All of her pet peeves about email exchanges suddenly came to the surface.  Not addressing all the things in the email.  Doing the "conversation ender" of "Hope your ____ is going well" and saying "various reasons" and not listing them.  He had a great blog where he wrote fantastic poetry.  She knew that he could write beautifully, but he wasn't sharing any of that with her.

He texted later "I start tomorrow at 9am at my new job!!!"

She congratulated him and called him on her lunch break.  They talked the entire half hour about the job, what jobs meant anymore, how they just wanted a nice roof over their head, a couple of vacations a year, and how much they had to make in order to get those things.  They talked about Reality Bites, and how their vices didn't meet up yet, and it was something they had to work on.  She walked almost a mile around her work as they talked.  Except for the fact that she severely disliked talking on the phone, it was a good conversation.

When she hung up, she realized that the method of communicating was so different from text to speech.  She had reached out to him through both his and her preferred method of contact.  He had responded best in his, of course.  But she felt like he didn't even really try in hers.  Though they were both so similar, she was seeing the hurtful differences.  She was getting tired of being the one who gives the most in everything she does.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Movie Night

It was bargain movie night, and so far the only people seeing Man from U.N.C.L.E. was herself and PJ.  After the conversation about texting he had started calling her at work, which anywhere else would be something she couldn't really do.  It was a 6 minute conversation that could have been completed in one text.  In fact, it already had, by her last week.  She had suggest the time and the movie and it had been agreed upon.

PJ's girlfriend was coming of course.  PJ had also decided to call the BFF and ask her if she was coming.  Turns out she did reschedule with her other friends and was also coming.  Looks like her almost-going-by-herself-movie got really busy.

She needed some organized friends.

It all came together however.  The BFF came to eat tacos with her, and the movie was amazing.  Everything came together beautifully; hitting the nostalgia but not too hard, acting, costumes, humor, everything was glorious.  She marked the soundtrack to listen to on Spotify later.

Even though she had a good time, she was tired by the end of the night.  PJ had insisted on watching from the back of the front-most rows.  Her peripherals still hurt for hours afterwards.  She would have to take the husband to see it once it went to the cheap theaters.  Even the thought of that now exhausted her, all she wanted was some alone time.  She wasn't going to initiate any outings for awhile.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Another Day, Another Destiny

The read through of the play had arrived.  It didn't feel like it had been that long since the last one, but it had been about 17 days.

Two people were missing for the next couple of weeks, so she read their parts.  It would be the closest she would come to acting on the stage, and she was just fine with it.  She didn't have to act in front of anyone except for the cast, and they weren't judging her on her acting ability.

It seemed like it was going to be another production that would come together completely by accident.  Half the actors had neglected to print out a copy of the script, something the first time director had overlooked printing out.

The BFF was very cranky, and she never knew what to do in that situation.  She never wanted attention called to her when she was upset, so she left her alone.  She seemed distant the rest of the night, and she worried that there was something that she did to make her mad.

At the end of the night the BFF told her and PJ that she was going to be unable to make it to movie night the next day because she had made plans 3 weeks ago with some other friends.  She made a pouty face at her, but let it go.  She still wanted to go see the movie, and would watch it alone if PJ decided that it would be weird for just both of them to go.  Of course, this would be the week that his girlfriend AB decided to come.  Nothing like being the third wheel.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Voice Your Opinion

It didn't quite bod well that she was already playing hooky from work.  But the boss was out of town, she was the only one in the office, and she could do everything from her phone.  Plus, her sanctuary needed a spa day.

After spending the morning with the bosses computer problems, she left.  She took her car for an oil change and smog check, and ran into her husband who was just finishing up his oil change.  Another unexpected $50 that he'd spent that they didn't have.  They both knew that until he got a job there would be unease.  They currently had $200 to their name after paying off the credit cards.  She desperately didn't want to go into debt.

After her car was finished she headed back towards PJ's neighborhood.  It was around 100 degrees so they took refuge at a local bar and talked. This was the first time they'd talked without much of an agenda, and it consisted mostly of the back and forth of comparing INFJ traits.

He hated texting.  She had noticed and stated how he always said things like "I hope you are having a good day," rather than "How is your day going?" He texted in conversation-enders instead of just having an ease of conversation.  He hated text conversations.  He rated his preference of interaction as face to face first, phone calls second, emails third, and texting dead last.

She had once felt the same way until texting took over and she loved the fact that she had time to respond.  It took a little longer to get across how she said something, but sometimes she felt like she had to do that in person anyway.  At least she knew her words were strong and meaningful, they had intent.  She wasn't babbling over the phone like an idiot.

She smiled at him and said "Maybe I'll shoot you an email sometime then."

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Long Sorrid Tale

She knew if she went home right after auditions that it would just be her and her mother.  Dreading that kind of further interaction, she texted PJ and asked what he was doing.  Rearranging his rented room after he cleaned up all the bedbugs.  Gross.  Still, she picked potential bedbugs over spending time at home.  She grabbed both of them a double chocolate milk from the convenience store and headed over.

He had one too many pieces of furniture for his tiny room, and his birdcage was massive.  All his clothes were out, begging for another infestation.  She helped him put back all of his books while trying to rearrange his room in her head.  He said it was like one of those cheap games as a kid where you had to move the pieces on the board, but there was only one open space.  She had always preferred Tetris.

After getting his room to a livable state, they sat down to enjoy their drinks and talk.  He was clearly tired from the day of moving heavy objects around, and the stress of maybe always having bedbugs as long as he lived in that space.  He still wanted to have the talk though, and so reluctantly she began her story.

Mostly it was focused on her marriage and the difficulties facing that.  The husband had relied on his charm to get him everywhere, and he wasn't sure what to do anymore.  She had a suspicion that he wasn't even looking for a job anymore, which meant there was no end in sight to moving out of her mother's house.  Her boss had paid her a dollar less than agreed on the last paycheck, and she was afraid to correct his mistake.  It would be an awkward conversation, but one that needed to happen soon.

She told him a little of her auto-immune disease and how hard it was for her to even work at all.  He was baffled by the behavior of the husband.  He asked her "If I just bashed your knee in right now, and you were unable to work, what would he do?"

"The same thing he is doing now.  He doesn't feel that need because he still thinks something good is about to happen to him.  But we are at the beginning of debt now, I can't pay off my credit cards in full anymore.  They money just isn't there.  I'm drowning, and he's just standing by watching.  Someone will always be there to fish him out, so he's just drowning and not worrying about it.  There is no panic there."

"I wish I had a solution for you."

"I wish you did too, but until he gets a job, this situation will continue.  Once we are both employed and out of the house, I need to seriously look into the relationship again and see what is there.  Maybe we can work it out.  I hope we can."

The conversation evolved into their friendship and how it was developing.  He knew that occasionally she needed these one on ones to really connect, and he respected it.  She apologized for assuming that she could use shorthand with him when he didn't have the whole story.  "You still don't have the whole story, but at least you know now why I'm going to be prone to moodiness and depression occasionally."

He understood.  One on one, she knew he would.  Then the non-sequitur came.

"I don't want your husband to get hurt by our friendship.  We know how this could go.  I don't want my girlfriend to get hurt either."

"He's fine now.  We had a talk after that night at the bar when he asked if he had to worry about you."

The husband had said in front of everyone "Do I have to worry about you leaving me for PJ?"  She had felt so called out and angry that he had said that in front of everyone that she responded without thinking.  "Maybe, have you seen him?" In the conversation at home that followed, she told him that the only thing he had to worry about was her leaving him for her own sanity.  Another man would never be a problem.  He understood that, and had been a little better since.

She told PJ, "I've always gotten along better with guys anyway, and he has always understood that up until you.  I think he gets that what you and I have is something that he can't really give me.  It's just not how he is built.  That doesn't mean I'm leaving him for you, or that you are leaving your girlfriend for me, but he will get comfortable with that."

They both agreed that with their relationship, they had to be careful of not hurting anyone else's feelings.  Even her BFF had expressed sadness over how close she and PJ had gotten.  It wasn't the greatest way to start something that had started out so powerful, but it was the way it had to be.

The night ended with an extra long hug and the promise of a future.

Friday, August 14, 2015

No Sleep Tonight

Her mom's hoarding had reached an all time low when she decided because no one was helping her, she wasn't going to do a garage sale.  However, she was in charge of the community garage sale next weekend.  The call home had come because she was unable to use the step by step instructions set up for her before the trip to wine country.

So she stayed up all night doing what her mother thought should be done.  She only got four hours of sleep, and could see the miserable stretch of the extra long workday ahead of her.  After that, it was straight to some auditions to fill the spots of her new play.  Stage Managing was a thankless task, but it kept her out of the house.

They needed their own place soon or she was going to snap.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


She knew they didn't do it on purpose.  It's why it didn't hurt as much as it usually did, being left out.  Their discount movie day had turned into a weekly thing, and it was amazing how two people she loved very much could drain her so quickly when they were all together.  Alone with each of them it was more quiet, easier.  Together they got so extroverted that her batteries were drained like a two year old iphone.

She was almost relieved when she had to shut down their bar dance party to go home early because her mother was freaking out.  She drove him home and they only really had time to talk about her new favorite song, "Home."  She didn't tell him the whole story, just that she found it a few weeks ago and it made her happy. They talked about the folksy side of pop now and how they liked it.

"I'd love to hear it, would you send it to me?" He asked.  She sent it before leaving his driveway, then started the long a different kind of Home.

She sat in her driveway and checked her text messages.  "I just started it.  I love that song!  I've heard it before, and just didn't recognize the band's name.  Sweet Song!"  and later "I'll have to watch the video again.  Have a good rest of your night Penny!"

It was a little unnerving, they way he always used her name in text messages.  He never said her name verbally, like everyone else.  She rarely even responded to her own name anymore.  Maybe that contributed to her isolation. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

In-between Sober and Drunk, There is Happy

Generous friends came aplenty in the last few days.  A trip to wine country on the "Goldie" tour for around $200 afforded her and the hubby a chance of a lifetime, and they took it.  No one fought on the trip, no one found fault in the music.  It was a small car they had to squeeze into, so small that she was still sore, but it had all been worth it.

When she was a kid, this was what she thought being an adult would feel like.  Opportunities to take off on a minutes notice for a once in a lifetime event.  Reserve wines, private tastings, patios in the sun that was hot but not too hot.  Gondola rides and learning about the three sip rule.  Learning new phrases like "revisiting" and who Georges De Latour is.  Getting $100 bottles of wine for $10.  This was some major adulting.

As far fetched as it was, this is who she wanted to be.  She wanted to be the person who could make this her reality instead of her once in a lifetime experience.  She wished that she could get a job that would allow her to take more of these trips in the monetary sense.  She wished her public blog was more popular, got more hits, made her any money at all.  This was the life she should be living.

Her reality wasn't so bad in the end, with pockets of happy like this.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Opening Up

"I talked to the BFF last night and she said you were concerned about me.  I'm sorry about how I've been acting.  I keep meaning to explain my situation to you but there never seems to be a good time or not a lot of people around.  I'd like to do that sometime soon if you are up for it.  I don't want my crappy attitude to ruin our friendship, I promise I'm not always like this."

"We are friends.  I care about our friendship.  I'm sure we'll get the chance to talk soon.  I hope you guys had a good talk.  We're all in this crazy mixed up thing called life together trying to do the best we can with what we have, and what we've been given."

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Come to Hey Zeus

"I should have just gone home.  The only reason I came out was because it was PJ's birthday.  I didn't mean to bring everyone else down."

"We WANT you there.  You need to start seeing how awesome you are.  I know your situation sucks, but you've got to be positive about the things that are good."

Another almost 2:00 AM conversation in her sanctuary, this time with the BFF.  Almost everything she was saying she knew to be true...but she could only see it through the heavy veil of the desperation and depression she was experiencing.  She was nearsighted, and her BFF was holding the truth very far away.  Not so far as that she couldn't see it was the truth, but it was hard to know how to get back to it.  It was all so very blurry.

Her confidence was shot, that was for sure.  She would work on it, in the meantime she felt like she had messed things up with the guy.  The BFF said "He called me and said we should go down and visit you at lunch, that you were going through something big and we should be there for you."

That lunch break had been a little heartbreaking for her, as she tried to explain what was happening to them, but then kept getting cut off.  She had invited just him, but he had brought her BFF along without asking.  She was always happy to see her BFF, but it hindered her socially as soon as someone else was involved.  People get interrupted, you start talking about someone else.  It's no longer communicating, but entertaining.

If it had just been one of them, they could have sat down and had an interesting conversation.  Now that it was a threesome, she felt the need to take them to a coffee shop for snacks.  It didn't accomplish what it set out to accomplish.  In addition, it felt like he didn't want to be alone with her.

Her BFF's "You're awesome stop beating yourself up" speech came with extra conversation, mostly about PJ.  She'd forgotten to just be selfish and open up.  There were just too many people all the time.  No one wanted to hear about her.  She didn't want to work that hard just to be heard.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tumblr: So true it hurts a bit

Life and Death in the Wild

She was feeling low enough that she had scheduled a cry in her commute back into the city.  She preset a tissue so her eyesight wouldn't be blurry for the drive.  This was her life now.  Breaking down in-between human interactions.  If it wasn't his birthday she would have just gone home, had some ramen, and gone to bed.

As she turned the corner to get back to the freeway, her breath caught in her throat as she saw a beautiful deer on her side of the road.  Since the road was almost always barren, she immediately pulled to a stop on the road to get a photo.  As she was fumbling for her phone, a baby jumped out into the road to follow it's mother.  If she hadn't stopped for a photo, she would have hit that baby.  The gravity of what might have happened made her pause and just enjoy the moment instead of getting a picture.  Then another baby jumped out and also crossed the road to rejoin the family.

Even though she was already running late, she stayed stopped on the road for another minute, anticipating more deer.  She didn't want to be destructive to anyone but herself.

PJ's birthday dinner made her sick, the movie not as funny the second time around.  At one point the BFF asked her if she was okay.  She said no.  It wasn't pushed any further.  At the end of the evening the BFF tried to push her into another activity the next day.  The drama played on.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Irritation Squared

She felt like she was outside during a hurricane, able to see the eye of the storm on the horizon.  Dirt stung her eyes, yet there was no shelter to seek.

She realized she was trying too hard to be happy.  She flipped the radio to 90's alternative and embraced the emotion.

She was getting a bad attitude about everything.  It really all boiled down to no one listening or caring about her feelings or needs.  A meeting scheduled when she said she couldn't make it, putting her in a bad position at work.  When she got to the meeting, it was canceled because they hadn't thought about something else being in that space already.

All the while she is stressed out and texting people she already had plans with, going back and forth with when she would be there.  He texted "I don't know what I'll be doing by 7.  You're welcome to drop it off here when you are done with work, if you like.  I'll be here cleaning."

Which sounded dismissive, and not at all helpful.  Her heart sank.  As if he heard it, a follow up text appeared.  "And, then let me know when you are done with your meeting please.  I hope you are staying cool today :) :) :)"

Her heart still stayed pretty sunk despite his kind words.  Later that night her BFF played devil's advocate to something that was really bothering her in her marriage, adding to her isolated feeling.  She felt so utterly alone.  She had finally found someone that she could be 100% herself with...but she was now having to hide, again, who she truly was.

She texted her friend Mo.  "I'm just getting sick of being held to a higher standard than everyone else, without any of the benefits.  I complained to the BFF later and she basically said I was wrong with the situation with the husband, when he was the one who just spent the last 7 months blowing through all of my savings.  Why do I always have to be the better person?  And if we end up getting a divorce, I'll be the one everyone hates.  I'll never even come close to winning."

If it wasn't for PJ's birthday that day, she would just get in her car and keep driving. In this "death spiral" it was really difficult for her to see any kind of light at the end of the tunnel.  She just wanted to turn away from it all forever.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Race

Uncharacteristically, she was running late.  There were quite a few slow people on the road, but despite that she was in a good place at the halfway point.  She was going to make it.

As she sped up the hill, she saw a train in the distance just ahead.  One of her favorite parts of her job was hearing the trains pass by several times a day, but she was on the other side of the tracks.  If she didn't beat this train, it was over.  She was going to be late.

Go Big or Go Home started on the radio, and she was filled with a sudden knowledge that she would make it.  She just knew that there were no police around, no one to stop her, so she hit the gas hard, passing all the other cars on the road.  As she cruised past the middle of the extremely long train, the song urged her further.

It was nowhere in sight as she tore around the corner and across the tracks.  The horn sounded, and she was just putting her foot outside her car door when it blew past.  She felt triumphant.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Day of Unrest

She was up by 7:00 AM again, unable to go back to sleep.  She still felt a little intoxicated, but not hungover.  The weight of the last evening still weighed heavily upon her.  She never got a hangover, and she wasn't about to start with two dirty martinis.  She wasn't that old yet.

She waited for the husband to wake up.  She waited a long time, half the day was done when she finally got him to get going.  She ran errands for her mother, then went to the store to make the BFF some oreo truffles to thank her for all her work on the play.  It was really a thank you for all she had done to help out the husband with the show.

Around 2 PM a wave of fatigue hit her like a slow motion car wreck scene from a movie.  Her vision had been blurry all day, but it had started to double.  She asked the husband for help with the baking, hoping he would see how tired she was.  He looked past her, did the bare minimum of what was expected of him, and went back to his computer.

She finished up, burning her foot on boiling water and scooping up balls of chocolate on top of stacks of paper.  She clearly couldn't bake in her mother's hoarder house again.  The anxiety of all the things piled up around was the only thing keeping her awake.

A few friendly text messages from PJ got her until 9:30 at night.  Then the weight came her shoulders, her chest.  It was time to relinquish consciousness once more.