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.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Curtain Call

He had asked if she'd like to meet up before the show, she acquiesced and then launched into the death spiral of possibilities  Was it a request for a goodbye?  Was he simply being nice?  Did the talk have impact on him and he saw that he needed to reach out to maintain the friendship?  Maybe it was to end the friendship, maybe she had gotten weird.

It was a simple thank you dinner, his treat, to thank her for her services on the play.  He had played a minor role, and didn't need to thank her for anything.  He was just that kind of guy.  It was another awesome conversation, about how relationships work and how different people react to different things.  She, against better judgement, advised him on how to deal with his new girl.  It didn't feel like an end, and it made her feel a little better about the continuation of their friendship.  However, only time would really tell.

The play went by too fast, there was not enough time for emotional moments.  She hugged everyone before they went onstage, but everyone was tired.  It was the end of their rope, their acting stride long behind them.  The show was anything from perfect, but it was enough.  She had two dirty martinis at the bar to keep the dulled senses going until she had time to properly deal with it.  Having another play lined up helped, but she would have some ennui tomorrow.  She had great conversations at the bar, her emotions safely tucked behind the vodka and olive brine.  She thought they would stay awhile, into the night feeling the rest of the out.

She was wrong.

Everyone decided to leave when she was still intoxicated.  No one wanted to stay with her.  She was very careful as she drove home, but the abandonment was what messed with her equilibrium.  Would she always be disappointed in people and their ability to love?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

La Petite Mort

It happens at the end of every show.  She knew that they would never be in this configuration again.  Sure, some of them would have other shows together, and meet new people.  Those times would also be great and unique, but it was the current show that was near the end; dying.  This had been a premiere of an original play never produced before.  The playwright had become a friend.  Everyone had become a friend, some more than others.

She was walking with him back to her car to get his stuff.  The bar noises slowly faded the further they walked away.  He looked pensive, and she knew, almost without having to ask, what he was feeling.

"Having some feelings about the end of the show?"

He was.  He was happy with what they had accomplished, and he was thinking of the last show the next day.  He asked what her feelings were, and she told him the truth, that she would miss the special bond that this particular production had shared.  She was already mourning the loss, yet at the same time was happy for it to be over.  He looked at her incredulously and asked her if she thought that everyone would just stop hanging out as they did now.  In that moment, she was reminded that in life, he was Gatsby and she was Nick Carraway.

The answer was yes, but just because everything would be different.  People are less likely to hang out if they didn't all just come from the same event.  He was in a new relationship now, which would take up much of his time.  She took a deep breath and told him that she was done reaching out to him.  She knew he wouldn't take this the wrong way, and he understood she was saying he was busy and she didn't want to get in the way.  She reminded him that she would hang out with him everyday after work if he asked.  But he would have to ask.