Friday, December 23, 2016

Baby, It's Cold Outside Part 2

"I have some new stand up that isn't Patton Oswalt!" He exclaimed, then set up his phone.  They listened and snuggled, occasionally stopping the recording to relay their own stories to the topic.  It was nice and comfortable until she started getting cold despite her heat being on.

She grabbed and turned on her electric blanket, and KSL grabbed for half.  They snuggled under the blanket and watched the moon rise, laughing along with the stand up so hard their cheeks started to hurt.  He was being very playful, very physical with her.  He started reaching to boop her nose, and old game they shared.  She resisted, and playfully bit his arm that was holding hers down.

"Hey, no biting, you know what that does to me!" He exclaimed.

"Do I?  What does it do?" She asked innocently.

"Stop it, you know how much that turns me on."  He shot her a sideways smile while still holding down her arms.  She couldn't help pushing her luck.

"I thought that was just your earlobes.  I had no idea it was everywhere!  Is it here too?" She asked, going for his neck.  He protested and they wrestled with each other a little while longer.  He eventually let her go but kept teasing her with his words.

She grabbed his face and started kissing him.  He said in-between kisses "Hey, what are you doing?"

"Shutting you up.  This is the only way I know that works."

There was no hesitation from him.  He jumped into grabbing and biting, commenting "It's winter, no one will see them." Then biting her on her neck.  She yelped and pushed him a little, saying "Watch it, I don't own a turtleneck!"

He smiled devilishly and bit her shoulder.  She responded by biting his neck hard, then giving him a huge raspberry on his stomach. They both laughed and joked as they moved to the bed to continue to fool around.  He kept asking if she was okay, all the while pushing a little farther but keeping his own pants on.  "I'm just respecting this 'No Dick December' thing you've got going."

Eventually she caved.  "Alright, I give up.  Let's have sex.  Go get the condom."

He was hurt, saying "Wow.  Way to make a guy feel special.  I mean, I really am in the mood now that you are begrudgingly having sex with me."

She grabbed his face and started kissing him, again shutting him up.  The rest of their clothes came off easily, and after 3 or 4 positions, they collapsed on the bed, her head on his chest.  They talked some more, laughing about his excessive sweaty-ness on her clean bed.

"Maybe I'm just weird about the sleeping over thing." He said.  "I just feel like sleeping over is making it more serious or something."

"Yeah...well I can't speak for anyone else, but I think sleeping is just sleeping.  And, judging by our issues with sleeping alone...I think it might be helpful to us."

He turned slightly towards her, while still stroking her back lovingly and spoke into her hair "You too?"

"Yeah...I blame this stupid pillow.  A couple of weeks ago I reached out for it, and it felt like Piz's chest.  For a second I couldn't figure out why he wasn't reaching out for me, like he always did, even when he was asleep.  I haven't been able to sleep through the night since."

He remained silent.  She let the silence envelope them, then realized he might be falling asleep.  She raised her head to look at his face.

"KSL?" She whispered.

He mumbled a sleepy "Uh huh?"

"What are you doing?"

"Shhh.  Resting."  He pulled her gently to his side, and slowly he stopped stroking, leaving his fingers resting on the small of her back

Soon he was snoring loudly.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Baby, It's Cold Outside Part 1

It really was below freezing.  She walked back from rehearsal to her studio, her face slowly losing circulation.  Before putting on her gloves she called back KSL.  They were supposed to meet up and he'd called her during rehearsal.

He didn't answer, and she suddenly realized for the first time she was hearing his voicemail message.  It was...ramblely.  He said the same thing twice or three times, and it lasted far too long.  As a performer she was shocked he didn't write it out and record it, like she had with her own.  She shrugged, commented on his extended message with her own voicemail, and said to call her.  Instead he texted her back that he was still walking home from work.  "Want to meet up somewhere?" She asked.

He was broke from buying his new car.  She said that she didn't have much to drink at her house but he was welcome to come over.  She was hoping for a gift exchange, a drink, and goodnight.  Looks like she was in for a longer evening if he was coming over.

She wasn't wrong.

He was unusually jovial as soon as he walked in the door, giving her a great big hug and asking how she was.  She said she was fine, work and rehearsal were just stressing her out.  He said he had to use her bathroom really quickly and then he'd be back.  He took off his jacket, hat, and backpack and threw them on her bed.

He returned and said "Okay, now a proper hug." and embraced her for longer.  She tried not to relax into it.  She had been so lonely, she really needed to watch herself tonight.

They caught up on each other's lives, she told him about a new play she'd read and wanted to direct.  She let him try her new tequila, and when he didn't like it she finished the shot.

She motioned to the present on the table and told him to open it.  It was two books he had put back while they were at the book store the other day.  He was so overcome with emotion that she almost thought he was being facetious, but she realized he was genuinely moved.  He pulled her into another hug, and she got uncomfortable.  She was so unused to someone being appreciative of her actions.

"Honestly, it's no big deal."  She said, trying to diffuse his emotion.  He wouldn't let it go.  "No, this was like, seriously amazing.  Like, it's just so thoughtful of you, it's amazing."

She wondered if he wasn't used to this kind of kindness as well, or if "Receiving Gifts" was high up on his Love Languages.  Either way, it eventually made her happy that he was so moved by her small gift to him.  They talked about the books for a little while, and she told him to look inside.  She had written in each one an old school "This book belongs to" with his name and a snarky saying about not returning them to him.

"Now that makes them irreplaceable." He said.

Monday, December 19, 2016


They guy she had been messaging on the dating site previously asked her out for a drink after a long day of talking.  For some reason their earlier chat from before she deleted was gone, so she had to go on her existing chat with him.

They decided to meet at a bar...of course it ended up being the same bar she had visited with Piz and KSL that ended in a make out session.  She deliberately plopped down at the bar, made it clear she wasn't moving, and he came in shortly afterwards.

What followed was a couple of hours of nice conversation, he even made fun of her a little.  About halfway through the date she got a text message from Dawn asking who this guy was.  A mutual friend of theirs had gotten in trouble last week, and she was worried.

It was then that she realized...she didn't remember this guy's name.  At all.  It wasn't on his dating profile that she checked later, and it must have been in the earlier messages that got erased.  Maybe it wasn't.

Maybe he saw her text message and realized that she was a garbage person for not remembering his name.

Maybe that's why 3 days later, without a word, he deleted his online dating profile, and thus any form of communication they had between each other.

She was going to try not to take it personally.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Desperately Seeking Validation

She had a chocolate bar in her fridge for weeks, left behind from a KSL trip to the capitol for coffee.  She didn't feel like eating it.  It struck her as very unusual that she didn't want chocolate.

The feeling was desolation.  She had no romantic prospects and woke up thinking about Piz every night, in the middle of the night.  She would cuddle with the pillow he used to get back to sleep.  She still couldn't figure out if she missed him, or the idea of him.

She couldn't figure out what kept drawing her to online dating.  She didn't find anything great last time, why try again?  She asked BFF which escalated into a fight that she shot down everything that BFF suggested that she do.  She was just trying to have a conversation, and there were so many other things she was angry at her about that she just gave up instead of fight.

This wasn't like her.  This was another, deeper level of depression.  She didn't even want to drink.

She had decided to spend time with her mom earlier in the week.  Her mom had asked her, several times, if it was really over between her and her ex.

" you think that's what I deserve?  Do you think I deserve to stay with a man who doesn't love me?  You think I'm making a mistake?"  She had to ask this several times before demanding a yes or no answer.

"Well, I mean, I guess no." She finally answered.

She told KSL about it later.  "I just kinda need someone, but my mom especially, to be adamant about my worth.  I let this happen for a really long time because I thought I didn't deserve better.  And I waffle on that everyday, thinking I'm not good enough.  And it's just so easy to slip.  So easy to go from being okay with myself and being confident to thinking; if my mom doesn't think I'm good enough, why am I using up all this air?"

He messaged back "Stahp.  You are worthy.  You deserve love.  You are right to want someone who wants you.  Truly."

It made her feel a little better, but she was still just sort of devoid of emotion.  She got a surprise call from PJ on her way to rehearsal and gave him a lowdown of the feelings, and also added that she had decided to go for online dating again.  After a few hours of being back she had a message from a guy she was talking to previously, and a guy wanting to pay her to talk about farts.  It was just freaking fantastic to be back.

"I don't even understand why I'm doing it.  Validation I guess, like I need someone to pay attention to me, which is lame and silly.  I just feel like I'm so much better than this, I deserve better."

PJ was quick to respond, "Hey, it's me you're talking to, you don't need to make excuses for your feelings.  It's funny, I feel that way about work sometimes, that I shouldn't be working at a warehouse, I'm smarter than all of it.  And maybe that's it for you, maybe because you aren't getting the validation you need at work or have a significant other to turn to, it just ups the lonely factor.  I don't think you are doing anything wrong."

That almost brought her out of her malaise.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sick Day

She was beginning to wonder if doing anything physical with KSL brought down her immune system so drastically that she became sick.

She had some sort of sickness again.  Strep it wasn't, but her body aches and sore throat were getting out of hand.  Her doctor wasn't available so she again went to Urgent Care.

She got the same doctor as last time, and the doctor was very concerned about her.  "Your uvula is like, touching your right tonsil.  It's that swollen.  It's insane."

"I'm a medical marvel for sure."

The doctor actually did a test this time, for strep, the flu (even though she'd had the shot, it takes 2 weeks to work through the body), and some other illnesses. The test for strep A and the flu came back negative, the rest would need to be sent out.  In the meantime she set her up with another round of antibiotics, and instructions to skip work the next day.

She got her medication and went home, skipping rehearsal that night and the next.  They advanced her a sick day for work.  She slept in the next morning and awoke to stomach troubles associated with getting her period the day before.  Her stomach sounded like a thunderstorm.  Or a volcano about to erupt.

She was in her bathroom for what felt like the whole morning.  She even took a long call from Mo while in the bathroom.  Once the grumbles and the cramps had subsided, she finally stood up and went to flush.  Nothing happened.

She walked out to the hall to look on the door, and there it was; water was to be shut off for the next two hours.  How kind of them to give her advanced notice.

Her stomach started up again, and she went to the main floor to go to the gym bathroom.  She just sat down when there was a knock at the door.  "Maintenance!"

Of course now is when they would clean the bathrooms.  Couldn't think of a better time.

She went back up to her studio and moaned her way through the next two hours, watching tons of movies on HBO.  She really wished she felt better on a sick day so she could get more done.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Driven by Selfish Guilt

"What are you doing this weekend?  Tomorrow?" her ex asked her.  A feeling of dread overcame her.  Why would he want to keep hanging with her?

"Umm, tomorrow I have yoga and then I'm hanging with Dawn.  Sunday I have something I think, I'll have to look."  She made her escape as KSL was waiting in the car.

Later, when she had time to think about it, she panicked.  She had to fill her weekend so that she didn't have to spend time with him.

"Having a crisis of conscience.  I just talked to my friend Mo and he said I'm being stupid about trying to get out of time with the ex, that I don't owe him anything and I've spent enough time with him.  I can't bring myself to tell the ex that.  I don't know what to do.  Advise?  Opinion?" She texted KSL later that night.

"I mean, he's not wrong." He responded.

"I know, that's why it's hard." She texted.

"Wah wah" He snarked back.

"That's not helping."

"Sorry.  But seriously though, you don't owe him anything."

"I know, I just don't want to hurt him.  It's breaking my heart seeing him hurt by me, that's why I don't want to see him.  The guilt.  Which is selfish of me."

"Welcome to my life.  Driven by selfish guilt."

"I do NOT want your life."

She posed the same question to Dawn.  Her response was "You definitely don't owe him time.  You just saw him yesterday and went in a disastrous road trip last weekend.  Having forced time time apart will help him detach from you."

That was an angle she could get behind.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Wasted Afternoon

Her vacation was leaving her with too much free time.  She had stayed in bed until noon, and then went out to pick up KSL for a movie.  They looked up movie times as they drove, then realized that all the theaters would be full up because of the holiday.

They considered driving to the capitol for their new signature coffee drink, but a phone call proved they were closed.

"I know it's not your thing, but I did get a Starbucks gift card for my birthday.  We could tie one on there!"  She smirked, and they decided to hit up one inside a book store so she could look for some stationary.  She wanted to write letters to all the people who had helped her this year.  She thought of it a few days before Thanksgiving, but it was too late to execute it before then.

Clearly cute stationery was out.  She couldn't find a thing.  They picked up some cold brewed coffee from the Starbucks and walked down to the pet store so he could fawn over the "snake cats" as he called them.  They walked through the store as he turned into a little boy, getting excited about every fish and parrot.  She laughed at his uncharacteristic positive outlook while inside a pet store.

They drove out to see if a stationery store she thought was on the outskirts of town was open.  No dice.  After another adventure out in grocery shopping, she dropped him back off at his house.

"This was a good afternoon, right?  I mean, we got some Black Friday shopping in, drove around for awhile, got to see some cute animals.  It was good!"  KSL exclaimed.

"You don't have to sell the day to me buddy." She said, surprised at his sudden need to win her approval.

"You just seemed disappointed that we weren't going to see a movie." He said.

"I was just wracking my brain trying to think of cheap things we could do, I wasn't disappointed." She said.

"But it was good though, wasn't it?  It was a solid afternoon.  We had some laughs!"

She couldn't for the life of her figure out why he was suddenly being like this.  "I never said I had a bad time buddy.  It was good, a good afternoon.  I'm not regretting any of our choices today, okay?"

"Okay, okay, I was just worried."  He exclaimed before getting out of the car.

"Just coming home from spending the afternoon with KSL." she texted Dawn, "There is this weird powerflip happening now, he's like dying for my approval.  Wanting me to tell him I had a good time today.  It's so odd."

She responded "That's what withholding sex will do to a man.  Classic."

Thursday, December 1, 2016


They went back to her studio for more drinks, and again listening to some new Patton Oswalt he had on his phone.  He slowly put his arm around her as they were listening, and she slowly snuggled into his side.

"You want to know something funny?  I wouldn't have thought you were romantically interested in me at all if you had slept over.  It was you sticking your dick in me that did that."  He laughed and said "noted."

"I almost went to your apartment that night after the trip.  I was so stressed out and tired and didn't want to drive all the way home.  I almost knocked on your door and was like 'I don't want your dick, I just want to sleep and be held while doing so.' but I drove home instead.

"That would've been funny actually." He responded.

He flicked her hair off her face, and they looked into each other's eyes and talked, slowly getting closer.  She brushed the stray hairs in his eyebrows and his beard while they talked about trivial things.  He complained about being fat, she rested her head on his stomach and told him that if he got skinny and turned back into that chode in the photos she wouldn't be friends with him anymore.  They continued to snuggle, her face buried in his neck.

She made a small noise and he called her out on it, asking what it meant.  She just really didn't want him to leave, everything was so comfortable.  She never really had this kind of ease with Piz where she could have fallen asleep on him as easily as made out with him.  She knew KSL would be leaving soon, and she wanted to fall asleep in his arms, in the most platonic way possible.

He started kissing her face, closer and closer to her mouth.  She eventually made the leap to kissing on the mouth.  He was cautious, almost shy with his kisses, unlike how he had ever been before.  They made out for awhile with slow intensity before she broke off and said "It's so weird to be doing this like...without feelings."

He made a noise then, almost a sexy kind of disdain, and he leaned her back onto the couch as they continued to make out.  His hands were everywhere, and her loose sweater slipped over one shoulder that he caressed, careful to avoid the other shoulder with her flu shot.

Eventually, when it got a little too heated he said "I think I should go."  She agreed.  They both stood and he put his hat, jacket, and shoes on. She stood for a hug goodbye, with a quick kiss.  They were both still too emotionally charged, and he took her face in his hands as they continued their passionate make out session.  He pulled her up, and she stood on her tip-toes kissing him, reaching behind his head to his neck.  He took his hat off, tossing it on the couch, and then lifted her up to meet him, bridging the almost foot long gap.  He went for her shirt and she immediately put her arms down, stopping the fabric from coming up over her head.

"You're right, you're right...sorry, got carried away."  He said.  She walked him out to the elevators and wished him a Happy Thanksgiving.

"Happy Thanksgiving again," she texted him later, "Even though we are a little dysfunctional, I'm very thankful for you in my life."


Her ex came over a few hours earlier than expected, and they had a nice meal together.  She had to ask him for help on things he should have already been helping with, but when she asked he at least stepped up to the plate.  She thought back to last Christmas when she was exhausted making treats for their friends, and he did the bare minimum and left her to struggle.  She was still doing the right thing in divorcing.

She texted Dawn about her slip up with KSL later that night.  She responded "Color me not at all surprised.  Hahaha.  I love it.  And good for you for sticking to your guns."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


"What's wrong with me that I want to go out for a drink but I know as soon as I get home I'll take a hot shower, watch a movie while I write, and go to bed early?" She texted KSL.  She had gotten out of work early, went to a doctors appointment where they had surprised her with a flu shot, which already hurt like hell, and had sushi with Dawn.  It was only 5 PM and she was done with the world and ready for the extended days off she had laid out before her.

"I don't know.  I'm down for a drink after rehearsal." He responded.

"When are you out of rehearsal?" She asked.


"Mmm.  Okay, let me know." It was so far away that she might not be in the mood when the time finally came.

She took a shower, tried to take a nap but her mother and Mo both called and kept her from both her movie and her writing.  She laid down, finally, around 8:30.  She woke up from a text from KSL at 9:34.

"What's the dizzle, P-sizzle?"

"I could drink.  Just need pants.  Where do you want to go?"

They ended up at the same bar that she had last been with Piz.  The bar was full for a Wednesday night, and KSL gestured up to the loft where Piz has kissed her.  She winced, but they went up to sit down anyway.  KSL sat in the same spot Piz had, and she deliberately sat in a different spot.

Their talk was pretty jovial, showing each other photos from their youth and memes they had found recently.  She laughed at his early 2000's sideburns and dyed black hair.  She told him that he was lucky they met when they did, or she wouldn't have found him the least bit attractive.

They snapchatted some "Ethel Merman Sings The Everything" with the 90's R&B that was playing at the bar.  He stole her phone they laughed as she tried to find it on him.  She chided him on his "old man cardigan" his brother had bought him.  It was nice.  Maybe a little too friendly, but that's where they were.

She told him about how the ex had stated that he should have encouraged her writing more, and seeing as how the first guy to take an interest in her writing she had sex with, he was onto something.  KSL winced and said "I'm not sure how I feel about that."  She responded "Well, technically B read a bit of my public blog too, and I fucked him 100x more than I did you."  He nodded but still was trying to suss out what he was thinking.

"You know I've tried finding it a couple of times." He looked up and confessed.  Her eyebrows rose in amusement.  "You did huh?"

"Yeah, it crossed my mind a couple of times.  Tried some key words...nothing came up."  He seemed genuinely disappointed.  "Well, we did stop reading before we got to the good stuff to be fair." She smiled at him.

"So....what do you want to do now?"  She winced.  Exactly what Piz asked.  KSL asked what was wrong as he saw the look on her face.  She explained what had happened that night.  "Well, at least he went after what he wanted." KSL responded.

"You hungry?  I haven't eaten dinner yet." He suggested Pho, and suddenly it was all she was desiring.  Besides, it was the only place that was going to be open that late.

As they arrived she remembered it was him who had made fun of her for never adding anything to her pho, and now she made a huge mess of things.  He asked her which was the fish oil, and she laughed at him for not remembering.  He picked out his tripe, and she made fun of him of him for even ordering it.   They tried each others and made fun of each other for how the pho tasted. 

"This is what I meant that night.  This is what I missed about our friendship.  This is where we were always supposed to be, even though we got a little lost."  He smiled at her and nodded.

He suddenly checked his watch and exclaimed "Well, it's official.  Happy Thanksgiving!"

She was glad that she was with him for the first parts of the day.  She was glad that he had really come into her life this year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What a Beautiful Wedding Part 2

At the crack of dawn, they woke up to "enjoy" the free continental breakfast the hotel had to offer.  As she made her half waffle from their waffle maker, her ex grabbed his plate and sat down to start eating.  For some reason it jolted her that he just started without her.  The waffle wouldn't have taken that long.  Then she realized he had always done this.  Her heart sank.  She tried to push her feelings aside.

As they drove to wedding, they talked about how soon it was after his best friend's death that his wife was remarrying.  They made themselves sad thinking about his death on the way there, and how hard it was going to be.  They cried in the car together.  They questioned why they had even felt compelled to go.

As they entered the venue, the bride was talking to someone, distracted.  She looked over and saw her first.  The bride realized that it meant the ex was there, and she lit up like starlight and rushed over to him, hugging him.  The bride was cool to her, but was good about hiding it.  Obviously she was mad at her for breaking the ex's heart.

She suddenly wanted to wait out the whole thing in the car.

The feeling only grew as her ex walked around not introducing her to anyone he spoke with.  This was usual for him, but usually she had the confidence to intercede on her own behalf and introduce herself.  She no longer had that confidence.  What would she do, introduce herself as the ex-wife?  She just stood behind him awkwardly as he had conversations.  She was dejected, downtrodden, low on confidence.  She wasn't used to this feeling of inadequacy.

The ceremony started, and it was harder than she ever anticipated it being.  She looked over at her ex, and he was also having a hard time.  Everytime they spoke of everlasting love, and made vows to each other...vows that she had spoke and now broken....the guilt of it all overtook her.  She couldn't stop crying.  Her ex couldn't stop crying.  They held hands for a short time after the ceremony was over, then chided each other to "get it together."

The bride's mother snapped a photo of them right after they stopped crying.  It was sure to be both of them looking a hot mess.

There was a bad storm coming, so they left a short time afterwards.  She fell asleep shortly after getting in the car, she had been emotionally drained.  She woke a half hour later, and they were barely out of the city.

Despite driving hours out of their way to avoid the storm, it caught up with them.  What followed was hours of nail biting driving, punctuated with the "Ethel Merman Sings the Everything" road game.

Once they got back to the house, they shared a long hug goodbye.  He said he was glad that she had joined him, even though it had been hard.

She didn't get home and asleep until 1 in the morning.  She had to be up in 5 hours to go to work.

Even though it would only be 3 days, it was going to be a long week.

Monday, November 28, 2016

What a Beautiful Wedding Part 1

The dreaded trip had finally arrived.  It started off fine, with them playing their favorite car game of saying who in their friend group they would sleep with, which was something they did when they were together as well so it was harmless.  Traffic and going around some bad weather set the 6 hour drive back 2 more hours.

"How is school?" She asked him.  She knew concentrating on schoolwork had always been hard for him, even though he was smart.

"I'm doing pretty well actually.  There is this class where we have to do a lot of writing, and most of the other students are writers.  When the teacher hands back the papers, they are just dripping with red.  Mine have red on them too, but not as much.  The other students get more than me,'s a really hard class.  It made me appreciate writing more. I should have encouraged your writing more."

She took a deep breath, and her eyes filled with tears.  "Maybe" she answered, but in her head she thought that seeing as how the first guy to take an interest in her writing she let sleep with her, he might have been onto something.

They talked a bit about their relationship.  He confided that he thought he was giving her space at her mom's, and she said it wasn't just about her mom's place, but before when he would not watch TV or spend any time with her, for years.  He just buried his head in the sand.  He was quiet for awhile.  She was sad, as he still didn't really get the extent of her pain.  Never apologized.

They finally arrived at the hotel.  She held her breath a little as he opened the door, and exhaled when she saw two beds.  She wasn't sure why she was so filled with relief, even when they were married they got separate beds because he was too tall to share a bed.

"Where in town is the wedding venue?" She asked as she dumped her suitcase on the bed closest to the door.

"You know, I don't know.  Let me take a look."  He said, picking up his phone.  His disappointed sigh followed, and she asked again where it was.

He hadn't paid attention, and since she was just along for the ride she didn't ask until then.  When they were together she did all the planning, as he was no good at it and it was half the fun for her.

The wedding wasn't in town.  It was 2 hours away.  They had just driven 8 hours only to have to wake up in 6 hours to drive another two. 

It was going to be a long trip.

Friday, November 18, 2016


She came across Piz's text messages, and on a whim went back through their entire text history. 

It was a mistake.

There were only two of note, the rest were all working out the specifics of getting together.

"I know.  I miss you too.😊"


"I had fun last night.  You're a good kisser 😃"

When she looked at the texts, it all ended so abruptly.  She forgot how often they spoke on the phone, or just spent time in person together. 

She wondered where it all went wrong.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


The elevator doors slide open and the solider stepped on with his child.  It was very early in the morning, the sun barely over the horizon.  The child was asleep in his father's arms, still clutching his toy car tightly.

She found it amazing that even in a deep sleep, a child was able to hold so steadfastly to his plaything, likely his favorite.

She suddenly flashed to Piz, and how even when he was sleeping he would reach out for her, hold her.  Snuggle into her neck, all unconsciously.  She missed that...maybe not him so much.  She was starting to become one of those dumb girls who would go to a concert and cry because her ex-boyfriend used to be a drummer.

Her boss told her a story about how the other night his wife was making dinner and they had forgotten an ingredient to the dish.  He said that he would run out and get it, and a minute later asked her "Are you coming?" because they did everything together.  She felt a pang in her chest because she had never had that.

She realized that she had missed out on the domesticity of it all in her relationships.  She and the ex had always just split chores, or he put them off until she just did them because she was tired of seeing it not done.  In fact, in remembering it, there was an element of "just go away and let me do it" when she suggested that they do things together.

She was dreading this upcoming trip with him.  Even though it would be less than 48 hours together, a majority would be in the car talking.  She knew she was bound to cry most of the way.  She was developing too many triggers...literally everything hurt.

At the very least, at least she and KSL's friendship seemed to be fully back on track.  She no longer felt any kind of romantic feelings towards him, so in that regard at least Piz had fulfilled his purpose.

After a late night movie, KSL made mention of how he slept with a full body pillow because he "doesn't sleep alone well."  It had been the third or fourth time he had thrown that tidbit of information out to her.  It was almost like he was asking for she bit.

"So, if you don't sleep well without come after all the times we had late nights together you never stayed over?"  She asked.

"Honestly, I didn't want you catching feels.  Plus we could barely fuck on that thing, it's too small for both of us to sleep on."  He said this as he hopped out of the car to check his mail.  She howled with laughter.  She thought to herself "The best way to not catch feels is to not fuck.  Silly boy."

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Be Afraid To Lose Me

"You should be alone for awhile."

"This would be a good chance for some alone time for you.  You should concentrate on yourself."

It was coming at her from every angle.  She felt doomed to be alone forever.

"You aren't meant to be alone." Said everyone of those people that told her it was good to be alone for awhile.

So which was it?

"I miss it.  The romance of it." She said to KSL one night as she was driving him to rehearsal.

"I know what you mean.  I miss having someone to go home too that asked how my day was and meant it.  Someone who gave a fuck about me.  I mean, I know I have friends that care, but it's not really the same."  He responded.

"I miss the physical of it.  The feeling that someone desires you.  Physically reaches out.  Not in a sexual way per se, but just holding hands or cuddling on the couch as you watch a movie.  You can feel their eyes on you, adoring you for who you are.  You know what I'm talking about?"  She glanced over, as he had been uncharacteristically quiet.

"I get it.  I know what you are talking about.  It's hard, man.  Being alone is a real bitch sometimes."

"Yeah.  I'm not digging it."

"Hey, you got some from marathon man for awhile there though.  Had some great sex, way better than what we had."

"Stop it.  The only difference between you and him was that he actually had feelings for me, which made it mean a lot more.  Just means he hurt me more, because I stupidly let him in...He should've been afraid to lose me, not let me go."

He was quiet again.  Unlike the night before, when she had given him a ride and he had told his lame dad jokes at high volume, and freaked her out when she tried to back her car out of her tight spot in-between two SUVs.  She went to smack his leg and, according to him, hit the tip of his penis instead.

"I'm sorry!  You scared me!"  He seemed to lighten up from the blow pretty quickly.

Now he was quiet, pensive.  Unlike him completely.  She'd already asked how his day had gone twice, so she didn't press again.  Whatever it was, he would tell her whenever he was ready.

"The ex said he did want me to go to that wedding, so that should be fun.  Wonder how that sleeping arrangement is going to work out."  She mused.

"He'll be a gentleman, he'll take the floor." KSL said.  "No he won't," she retorted "He would always take the bed because he was taller and needed it more than I did.  Nothing will happen even if we sleep in the same bed.  If he was going to try something or fight for me he would have done it already."

KSL hugged her tighter and for a longer time when she dropped him off.  "I've been dying for more of that coffee we had at the capitol.  I'm off on Monday if you want to go get some more."

She told him she was down for it.

"And didn't you mention our favorite portable beverages soon?" He asked.

"Those are always in the back of my mind." She smiled.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


She got home from her day with KSL feeling a weight had been lifted.  She looked around her apartment, landing on her messy bed.

She needed to take that bed back to being just hers instead of one she shared with various men that felt nothing for her.  Or, maybe felt too much for her.

It was her bed.

She started several loads of laundry, determined to cleanse her entire apartment until it was hers again.  She stripped the bed, the spare towel he had used.  The bras he had taken off of her went directly into the laundry basket.  She wanted everything cleansed.  Disinfected.  Had she been rich, she would have just bought a brand new bed.

It felt good as she put away all the towels and laundry, and made her bed perfectly.  She even febreezed her couch so that ever single smell was gone from her studio.  It was finally her space again.  She swept and mopped and felt better with every sweep.  His hair was everywhere, even behind the door in the bathroom.

She baked the mac n cheese KSL had given her, and felt almost domestic doing it.

Before she even had time to sit back and admire her work, her old-timey car horn of a doorbell rang.  Followed immediately by a knock.  Then right afterwards another doorbell ring.

It was Goldie and SD, wanting to go out to the buffet.  Even though she was full on mac, she changed and went out with them.

It was good to be back to being with the girls and not having to worry about romantic relationships.  It was time to focus on herself and what made her happy.  She threw too much of herself into other people, and it was time to start being a little selfish.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Getting Back on Track Part 3

" I end up going to an AMC to see Jurassic Park 3 after my grandfather's funeral.  Two disappointments in one day."  He finished his story.

"Gosh I hate funerals.  I always get this feeling that like, anything I do afterwards is being disrespectful.  Movies, Retirement parties..."

"Sex?"  She didn't need to look over to see one of his sideways glances with a grin.

"Actually, I think that's a normal thing to do.  I know it wasn't really the right thing for us to do felt right, you know?  I felt better."  She strangely didn't feel vunerable admitting it.  She took what she wanted.  She knew he had needed it too.

He didn't hesitate to admit it.  In fact, he sung her praises a bit, telling her that he was a willing partner, and it had been super hot.  They laughed over him still going after he had finished, because he felt the need to compete with Piz, the marathon man.

"So....and I don't want you to take offense to this, and don't think I'm blaming you or that I didn't want it or anything.  But...I don't think I was sober enough to consent to all that."

He was taken aback, and said " mean, you were game.  You were the one pushing it."

"I was making out with you yes, but I wasn't taking my own clothes off.  You were the one making all the rules about taking your jacket off, and I took it off after your time was up.  I'm not claiming that I was innocent in all this at all, but honestly...I was too drunk to actually say yes to actual sex.  It was hot and I don't regret a second of it, but I never actually said let's have sex."

She let the silence sit for awhile, and she could feel that he did understand what she was trying to say.  She glanced over and he gave a small nod.  She lightened the mood.

"Speaking of our hot sex, what are you doing to me?  Like, are you biting my arm?  Because it looks like bite marks.  You are like a super sexy wild animal."

He laughed and said he really didn't think that he was biting that hard, but he was biting.  They laughed and talked more about how crazy sexy that night had been, but with an ease that had never been there before.  Maybe it was her testosterone, but she felt way more in control and over any romantic feelings she had for him.

"I know I said this during, when I was super drunk, but I do miss this.  I miss our friendship a lot.  It was a good day."

"It really was.  I had a lot of fun today.  I missed it too."

When they got back to his house they watched some SNL instead of the movie, and near the end his roommate came back home.  She did her best to ignore them as she stomped past into her room.  She looked over at him and smiled, but he wasn't amused.  He went into his room and got ready for his callbacks early.  She told him that she would drive him downtown, and he gave her the mac n cheese he had made.  She thanked him, thrilled that she didn't have to go grocery shopping for crappy food.

She dropped him at the bank downtown, he said he would walk to rehearsals from there.  He thanked her for the day out, and she thanked him for the food and the company.  She saw out of the corner of her eye his arm reach out, and she instinctively looked around for what he was grabbing for.  A split second later she realized that he was going in for a hug.  They did the awkard car side hug, and he hopped. out.

As she ate the mac n cheese later, she texted him that it came out great and was really tasty.  She thanked him again for the friend day.  He texted back welcome, and then said that the roommate was already eating the TimTams.  "Blaming it on her period, haha" he said.

She smirked and had a second helping of mac n cheese.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Getting Back on Track Part 2

"Hey Penny! Heeeeeeeeeeey!  Hey Penny!" he stage yelled jovially.  "Whhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaat?" She yelled back, imitating him.  What followed was several dad jokes that he had hilariously committed to memory.

"So, I did a dumb thing the other day."  She started.

"Ahhhh man, I had one more joke." He pouted.  She sighed.  "Tell your joke."

"No, tell me about the stupid thing you did."

"I offered to go with the ex to a wedding next weekend."

"That is stupid.  That's almost as stupid as asking my ex to go to the awards show with me.  She went back and forth on it for awhile but she went.  It was nice actually, it didn't end up being weird at all.  I thought it would be."  He mused.

"Why do we do this to ourselves?  We don't want them back.  They hurt us.  Why do we feel the need to reach out again?"  She asked.

"Because we are hopeless romantics with a martyr complex." He said.  He might be right.

After picking up the coffee they went to Costco to do some big box shopping.  He made fun of her as only he could after she got cranky not finding what she was looking for.  "We did not drive all the way to the capitol for you to get some burrito bowls, we are finding this shit.  What else are you looking for?"

"Razors.  I've decided I'm just buying the cheaper guy's razors, it's a racket." They walked around, and she suddenly flashed back to that night and realized she had not "woman-scaped" enough for an intimate encounter that night.  He immediately noticed her change in thought and asked.  She told him.

"Don't worry about it.  I've dived into deeper jungles than that."  She wrinkled her nose and said "Yeah, well...I didn't expect you to be diving into anything that night.  At all."  It was weird how she felt more grossed out thinking about hairy vaginas than she did thinking that his tongue had been in them, and then her.  Her feelings for him really felt gone.  She looked at him and didn't feel an ounce of romantic spark or electricity.

They wandered into the movie section, a dire mistake for them both.  They found several movies that seemed to be available for a limited time, childhood favorites.  He ended up with 5 or 6, and said that he would give her the DVD copies of the Blu Rays.  She paid for two of them, told him it was his late birthday present.  He thanked her, and she felt that kinship coming back.  It felt good.

They decided to head back home and watch one of the recently purchased movies.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Getting Back on Track Part 1

She woke up that morning and knew immediately that the estrogen was finally done raging through her body.  Instead of being sad and weepy about her situation, and about Piz, she was angry.  Angry and over it.  He obviously hadn't been ready for a relationship from the start, as she said, and he's stupid.  The sex was great, but it was over and that was fine.  She was too good for him, and she was totally okay with it.

It might have been the testosterone that spilled over counterbalancing the estrogen.

Despite the 'roid rage, she was also still a little lonely and vulnerable that day.  She asked several people to adventure with her to the capitol for coffee, no one was available.  She messaged KSL, since she asked him to come along last week before realizing the weather was too bad to trek over.  After her rehearsal was canceled, it seemed they had the whole day to adventure.

He got in the car, and it was easy, no awkwardness.  He launched right into a hilarious story about his punk roommate and how they were shopping at the store and she got angry because he had finished some TimTams that she told him to finish.  Then she got more angry that he bought her a whole new bag, citing she was starting a diet and didn't need them.

"Speaking of food," he said "I made a spare mac n cheese dish that's really good if you want it.  Just return my cookware of course, that shit was expensive."

Her upbringing and pride made her hesitate.  For some reason she was just always taught that you never accepted charity, it was polite to not take anything from anyone, even when offered.  However, he had offered, and it would save her a lot of money on food that week.  It sounded really good.

"You know, I should say no, but that sounds amazing.  If you mean it I'd love to have it."

Briefly, she wondered if it was a ploy for her affections, as he knew Acts of Service was her love language...but he was just being a friend.  A good friend.  She missed that.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Estrogen Ellen

As the estrogen from the last of the birth control pills coursed through her body, she started thinking a lot about the end of her marriage.

She really missed him, missed their inside jokes.  She read through the marriage tag on the blog to remind herself of just how bad it had been.  Although it had been bad, she missed what they had together.

She was down to the last bit of cereal in her box, and was careful not to get the powder into the last bowl.

She failed.  The powder went into her cereal, and it was like her whole life fell apart.  She could almost feel the estrogen coming off her in waves as she sat on the floor and sobbed.

Her whole life was falling apart.  Her job was on the verge of ending, No one wanted her in a relationship, No one appreciated her for who she was.  She was always giving 100% and getting 0% in return from everyone.  No one gave her the credit she deserved.

And she needed to get her shit together, or she was going to be late for work.  She tried to calm down, dabbed at the tears so as not to ruin the makeup she had just put on, and cried all the way to work.

She parked her car, gave herself a little slap on the face, and rallied to go inside.

Later on in the day she would describe the event to her office manager, and they howled with laughter, so hard she started crying again at the absurdity of her off the charts hormone changes.

She hoped that it had finally broke and she was leveling out.  She couldn't take much more.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


"So, it's been two weeks.  I miss talking to you, and you don't seem the type to ghost, so I thought I'd reach out and see if you were still thinking about everything."

She had blown through all her emotions.  She needed her closure.  She was fully aware that after two weeks he wasn't going to go running back into her arms.  She just wanted it done.

She just wanted him to say it.  Just like she needed him to say it to start it.

An hour and a half passed, and she got a response.

"Hi Penny, I'm really sorry I haven't contacted you.  I feel like a real asshole about it and I'm sure you agree.  Look, I think you're smart, you're pretty, you're cool and you're really sweet but I don't want to be in a relationship right now.  I've realized in the last couple weeks that I don't even want to date right now."

She smirked at this, as she had rejoined the dating site that day and checked his profile.  He had been online at 8AM that day.  Looks like he still didn't understand that being on that site meant that people assumed that was what he was looking for.  She continued to read.

"I'm too busy with school and I'm leaving in a few months and it's best for me if I don't get attached to anyone.  I feel terrible about it, I feel like I led you on but I'm really happy about the time we spent together and it was great getting to know you.  If you want to be friends we can still be friends but I don't want to pursue a romantic relationship with you anymore."

She got a phone call and didn't end up responding to him for an hour.

"Thank you for responding and giving me some closure.  I can't disagree that I was led on by you, but I always had a feeling about it, which is why I tried to end the romantic aspect of it.  I'm sorry if you felt like I was forcing you into a relationship that night, I was just trying to understand what you were looking for.  I will always be your friend if you want me to be.  But I don't want to be anywhere I'm not wanted."

He didn't respond.  He didn't need to.

Monday, November 7, 2016

You Think It's Really Over This Time?

She shouldn't feel this way.  It wasn't even really a break up...they were never really together.  Piz had ended up being just as bad, if not worse, than KSL.

How could her heart get trampled on three times this year when she'd only been in one real relationship?

She'd been thinking about her ex a lot.  Wondering if she had some sort of chemical imbalance and really things hadn't been all that bad.  She still loved him.  She'd always love him.  When she sat and talked with him last weekend she realized it.  She'd always care about him.  But she knew that she had broken it.  Broken him.  It would never be the same.

They were trying to be friends again.  He had said that he wanted to sign the papers and get it over with so they could go back to being best friends.  That had been healing to hear.

They were talking about another couple and she mentioned how she would never change her relationship status on Facebook without giving him a head's up first, as a courtesy.

"You wouldn't need to do that."  He said.

"But, I would." She replied.  "Not that it'll be changing anytime soon.  But I would."

Then she suddenly wondered if he had already started dating someone else.  She put it out of her mind immediately.  He was working crazy hours, he didn't have the time.

Or did he?

She was having more retrospectives.  It was amazing, all the little adjustments she had made to let Piz into her life.  Her earplugs still sat on her bedside table due to his adorable snoring.  She would lay in her bed and imagine his arms grabbing for her, enveloping her.  Not letting her go the whole night.  The way he would squeeze her and say he never wanted to stop, he wanted to never let her go.  He would grab the sides of her face, stare deep into her eyes, and say "You are just so cute!"

What happened?  How did she go from being cute, irresistible, and someone he could have sex with 3 times a nothing?  What was wrong with him?  She had been SO chill and understanding...had she been TOO understanding?  KSL had said that once, she was too accessible.  But he had also said once she was closed off.  Which was it?

She was still emotionally messed up from starting on the new pill.  She could feel that it was causing her major depression.  She had lashed out at Goldie, and had to apologize the next day.  She had finally come out of the depression, she knew the difference now.  She knew she was despondent, and it wasn't just the ghosting of Piz.  It was all the evil estrogen flowing through her veins.

"I guarantee you're on Piz's mind daily.  He just doesn't know what to do about it."  Dawn said.  It sounded comforting.  She told Dawn she felt like one of those women with hysteria in the 1940's.  If she saw him on the street she would slap him, then kiss him.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Standing Up to Sit Down

She made a last minute decision to shirk her responsibilities at the Improv show and go to see a stand up comedian that was in town with MG.  There was no food in her house, so she had a glass of wine instead.  Drinking to forget was kind of becoming her thing for the week.

She spilled what had happened to MG, who seemed too wrapped up in her own excitement over the comedian to really focus.  She felt more alone than ever before, and wondered what had really gone wrong for her.

She put on her mask of happiness, and spent the evening being nice, listening to MG, laughing a little too hard at the stand up acts, and drinking.  Before the night was over, she was very buzzed, and still putting on a brave face.

She wondered how long much longer she would have to do that.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Wrong Kind of Milestone

Exactly a week since it happened.  She had told him he could take a week if he needed to, which meant that after tonight, it really was going to feel like he was not going to contact her again.

She tried to shop for food, but didn't have any appetite. She knew there was nothing at home, but ended up just spending $30 on booze rather than spend money on dinner.

It was a Friday night.  Her last for awhile since her play was starting next week.  Maybe she should have reached out to Dawn or someone for support...but she didn't.  She was lonely, but maybe needed more alone time.

It was the 8th day of her period.  She wondered if her depression was just period emotions.  It had been painful for the full 8 days, but suddenly it turned into a Quentin Tarantino movie.  Her brand new jeans were drenched in blood by the time she got home.  An "8 hour" pad lasted her 2 hours...twice.

"If I die, go on Oprah and tell the world I loved puppies." she joked to KSL.  He laughed.

She wished that something would happen.  She wasn't depressed, didn't really want to die...but if it happened, it happened.  She wasn't afraid of it.

What a terrible place to be.  Depressed but realistic.  Heartbroken but realistic.

Sometimes she wish she could be fully romantic.  Fully depressed.  Fully heartbroken.  Lose herself in the emotion, let go.


Let herself feel everything.

She couldn't do it.  The strong people didn't get weak moments.

She hadn't spoken to Dawn since Sunday.  She had spilled about her weekend and said "We'll get together soon though.  I just don't know when that'll be."

Dawn never asked about how it went...maybe she never really cared.  Dawn had her own issues to deal with...she didn't have the space to care about hers too.

No one did.

She really needed to get used to being alone.  It was the only way she was going to survive.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


She had a good feeling she was going to be ghosted by Piz.  It was the middle of the week and she hadn't heard a peep from him.  She had deleted her dating profile so she couldn't check and see if he was still checking it.  She knew he was though.  A few times he had popped up on her Facebook sidebar, liking a status or two.  She shared everything that she had been doing that week with gusto.  She wanted to make sure he knew she wasn't sitting around pining away for him.

Of course, that's all she really wanted to be doing.  She wanted to have time to get over it.  But instead she was early voting, having dinner with friends, and going to see a show.  In-between, she was trying to control the near-constant panic attack.  She drank shots of lemon juice to shock her system into somehow stopping freaking out.

She hated being HSP and yet totally logical.  She had gone her whole life without Piz, it would be effortless to continue on without him.  She had seen things in him that had made it clear that they wouldn't last anyway.  His teeth were funny.  His open mouthed smile was sometimes disconcerning. It showed his uncertainties, his weakness. He wasn't, in the end, going to be strong enough for her.  He was too similar to her ex in that sense.  It would have never lasted.

And yet, he made her feel alive when they were together.  He was so passionate, he kissed her like he was getting oxygen from her.  Like his life depended upon the next kiss.  She could get drunk on his attention.

He had noticed her birthmark on her shoulder one night, had called it an arrowhead shape.  He traced it with his fingers the way she traced the turtle tattoo on his arm earlier that same night.  She was obsessed with his adorable sailor tattoos and thought the meaning behind each was great.  She asked one night if the turtle had a name.  He said that he didn't, but she could name him.  Since he was right below his "Rebel Scum" tattoo, she named him Luke.

Whenever she had gotten up in the middle of the night and gotten back into bed, if he was awake or asleep, he'd always take her into his arms.  He had made her heart melt.  Then harden.  She felt like a half-melted chocolate that someone had thrown in the freezer for later.  She would never be the same shape.

By Thursday she was still sad, but had calmed down.  No more panic attacks.  No more drinking to forget.  Just sad acceptance that she would never hear from him again.  She finally had space to decompress and breathe.

The dumb girl part of her brain kept saying "Maybe he'll call...maybe he will come to his senses."

The logical girl part said "Even if he did...would you even want him back?"

She had no idea.  She almost wished she never had to make that choice.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


She was spiraling.  She had finally started to feel and overthink what had happened, and she was furious.

She was mad at herself for making it seem so easy for him, putting the ball in his court.  She should have just said what she wanted.  She should have said "Stop worrying, lets have fun and in March I don't want to hear from you again."

She was mad for not making him feel bad about his dating profile.  He was leading people on by having it at all.  It was bullshit.  If he really wanted to keep it he should have changed it to "looking for friends" and called it a day.

She was mad at herself that she had sex with him when clearly she saw this as a possibility for happening.  She almost knew it in the moment, knew that when he said "It's just you and me until March" that he wasn't thinking about it.  Ugh, men were stupid.

Why did this always happen?  Why did no man want to stay with her long term except her ex, who was really just coexisting and not being together.  What was wrong with them?  She was a catch.  There is literally no reason why someone wouldn't want to be with her.  She was fun, had a sense of humor, smart.  Maybe these guys just weren't that smart.

Maybe she was too intense.  She came on too strong, seemed too free.  Maybe it was the opposite, she came off too aloof, distant, always holding everyone at arm's length.

She just wanted to be alone.  Be depressed about it, and watch sad movies and listen to sad songs. 

She hated everyone and everything and didn't want to deal with anyone's shit anymore.

She was spiraling.

She didn't have the space to be anti-social right now.  She had agreed to help at the Improv show that Saturday.  There was a guy on the dating site that had been bugging her to meet, and she said she would comp him a ticket to the show just to shut him up.  He wouldn't stop with the small talk, and she had actually told him that it was killing her soul to keep small talking with him.  He was still not to be deterred.  He had really bad timing.

She didn't recognize him at all when he came up to her box office.  This was the closest she had come to being catfished.  He looked like he had taken all of his photos before trying meth.  He looked like white trash.  She was so turned off she could barely look at him.  She avoided him the rest of the night, even though every time she did look in his direction, he was staring at her.

She went straight home after the show, and a message popped up from the guy.

"By the have a great smile."

She snapped and deleted her account.  She was done with it all.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Pan Roasted Part 2

"I.....I don't know.  What...what am I doing up here?"  Piz said, and leaned over, putting his face in his hands.

"What do you want from me?" She asked.  "It can go either way, but I just want this to be clear."

What followed was a blur of emotion.  He pulled on his shoe and kept saying he had to "get out of there" and "couldn't think." He mostly said he was scared.

"What are you afraid of?  We need to sort this out, once and for all.  If you don't want this, then that's fine.  I want to be your friend, even if that is all there is, if that is all you can handle.

"I just....I can't.  I can't be in a relationship right now."

She quietly noticed that it had gone from "can't be in a serious relationship" right now to "can't be in a relationship" period.  Clearly he didn't know what was going on in his own head right now.

"It's not you, you are so wonderful, amazing, I could just...ugh I could look into your eyes forever.  I just can't do it, I can't be in a relationship right now."

"Okay," she said quietly, "Then answer this for me.  Why are you on the dating site every day?"

He looked down at his hands.  "So that's what this is about."

"It's part of what upsets me, yes.  We agreed to be exclusively dating.  That's what we were doing.  It was great.  Then you started pulling away, being distant.  Clearly it wasn't what you wanted anymore.  So I gave you a pass, I ended it.  That's fine.  But when you continue to be on the site looking at other woman, it's basically like saying I'm not good enough.  That you will always be looking out for something better."

"That's not what it's like at all!"  Then he proceeded to basically tell her that it was exactly like that.  He was awkward, he was still saying he was scared.  He told her that when he first got together with his ex, she made him stop talking to girls that were his friends, and delete his dating profile right away.  Because he liked her so much he did it, but he felt like this time around he had to do things on his own terms.

"Okay, but then that isn't being exclusive, which I asked you several times before we had sex if those terms were okay.  You agreed to those terms.  So okay, new situation, new rules.  I'm willing to compromise a little bit.  You can keep your profile up.  I'm done talking about it.  We can either keep dating exclusively and having sex, or dating casually and not having sex.  I wouldn't want you up in my apartment again.  Or, we can just be friends."

"I'll have to think about it.  What are you doing on Sunday?"

"Sunday I don't have any plans, but you don't have to answer by then.  You can take your time."

She got his pan roast out of her fridge, and he hugged her and kissed her on the forehead before he left.

"Hey, please just text me that you got home okay?"  She asked.

"I will." He said.

She waited an hour before texting him first.  "Did you get home okay?"

No answer.  15 minutes later she texted again "Okay...I hope you did.  I've got to be up early so I'm going to sleep now.  Feel free to contact me when you are ready."

The weekend passed without a single message.  She was afraid that she might be in a situation where she would be ghosted.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pan Roasted Part 1

"Just want to make sure we're still on for ramen tonight?  How's your day going?"  Piz texted her. 

She actually had smelled the pan roast a co-worker had brought for lunch that day, and asked him if he had ever had it.  Most people expected it to be a pot roast of some kind, so she felt the need to make sure he knew what he was getting into.  He just said that "that pan roast sounds really frickin' good."  She assumed that he knew.

They decided to meet at the restaurant with the pan roast, and treat themselves.  They greeted with a hug, and after a drink at the bar their table was ready.

As it turned out, he didn't know what pan roast was.  He was, as always, a sport and ordered a bowl for himself.  They got the combo, but when his arrived he discovered that only crab was inside.  He had really been looking forward to oysters, and it took awhile to flag down the waitress to tell her what was wrong.  The waitress was super nice about it and brought him a brand new bowl, as well as wrap up the old one "for lunch the next day."

He ate half of his second bowl, so they boxed up the rest of that one also.  They were worried about the cream and seafood remaining out for too long, so they dropped it at her apartment, and then he drove them to a bar for a drink.

They grabbed their drinks from the bar and then went upstairs to the couches where they had more privacy.  Their conversation continued to be friendly, entertaining, and fun-loving.  There was an occasional hand on her thigh, and she took his hand.  He looked down but left it there, gently stroking her hand.

"Penny, what do you want to do now?" He asked.  It felt like a loaded question.  She threw the ball back into his court.  "What do you want to do?"

She locked eyes with him, and they stared each other down.  She remembered all the times when he said how amazing her eyes were.  Soulful.  She wondered what he was going to do with this stare-down.

He broke the stare and looked down, as if gathering his strength.  He looked back up, gently pulled her face to his, and kissed her.  After a small make out section, he pulled back and said "Cm'on, lets get out of here."

She slipped her arm through his as they walked to the car.  He had to park a little far away from her apartment, and she shivered from the cold.  "You are cold?" He observed.  She nodded, and he put his arm around her, letting her into the side of his jacket while he was still wearing it.

He went directly to the balcony glass door to look out when they got to her place.  "That's really the only reason you wanted to come up here huh, for my view?" She joked with him.

""  He turned his back to the window and brought her to him.  Eventually their passionate kissing led to him leading her to the bed.  As they rolled across, and he pulled off one of his shoes, she put her hand to his chest and said "Wait....what are we doing right now?"

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Emotional Temperature

Ever since starting the birth control pills, she was on high alert about her mood.  Of course, everything in her life had started to go downhill, so it was hard to say.  Her work was rocky, it was on the verge of the owner selling the building and shutting down everything resulting in the loss of her job.

She missed Piz.  She missed her ex.  Hell, she even missed KSL a little...they were slowly deconstructing what happened and wondering why they sort of turned into a dumpster fire.

Goldie didn't think she could be friends with Piz, that it was going to slide back into the physical.

"Yes," she began to a friend, "I really like him and miss him and the sex and passion was great, but...I mean, I used to have self control.  And we really do work as friends too.  I don't know, maybe I'm fooling myself."

Her friend responded "If it feels good right now and gives you hope, then be foolish.  No sense in dreaming up the worst scenario and experiencing failure in advance and calling it realism.  Fuck that."

She needed to protect herself.  Her ex, though he never meant to, used her.  KSL used her, and most recently she had used him.  Clearly they were not meant to be in a relationship.  Piz was okay with being in a relationship where he didn't commit as much as he said he would.  He didn't want her enough.

Yet she still had love for all of them.  Why?

She was worth fighting for...she couldn't understand why no one was fighting.

Maybe she needed to stop taking the birth control pills.  It's not like she needed them anymore.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

End of the Romance Line

She tried to go over and over it in her head so she could stand her ground and not back down.  He wouldn't delete his online dating profile, he wouldn't stop checking it everyday.  He wasn't there for her.  He didn't want to spend his birthday with her.  Suddenly waiting for him to arrive, none of it seemed to matter as much.  She had to stay strong and go through with this.  She deserved someone who wanted to do those things, not someone that she had to ask or force to do.  She deserved better.

Piz asked to meet for a meal instead, she was starving and said yes.  It was a Japanese infusion restaurant with a lot of weird of things on the menu.  She stuck to the things she could pronounce, and they talked about what they had been up to.  He talked and talked about school, and how he was about to go into 4 or 5 weeks of intense homework, projects, and tests.

"Maybe....maybe it's time to take a break then.  Maybe we should cool it for awhile."  He looked at her and his face was hard to read.  She stumbled through the maybe he just wasn't really ready to do what they had set out to do in the first place.

"Honestly...I've been kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop since you told me that sometimes you lose interest and leave people."  He grimaced, then nodded his head as if to signal his regret at having said it in the first place.

"I don't want to be the reason that you failed something, or distract you from what you need to do for school.  I don't think you need my added neurosis."

"We are still going to be friends though, right?  Yeah, I mean, did I tell you that my ex started to text me that she was lonely, suicidal, and keeps saying she's going to kill herself?"

"See?  You don't need any additional issues mucking up your life.  There's no room for you to provide what I need out of the relationship."

"I think...I think I need too much pressure on myself.  I was the second in my class for undergrad.  When I'm in school, I have to get A's.  I have to.  These classes are just so hard...I have to give them my full attention.  Maybe I'm overthinking it, I don't need to try so hard.  Maybe I need to start taking more breaks, time away from constantly pouring over books." He furrowed his brow.

"If you need a study break, I'm here for you.  I don't want to lose you as a friend.  I want to let you know that my feelings for you haven't changed at all.  I just don't want to wade too deep into what you are clearly not ready for."  He didn't need the added stress of her affection.  She needed to stick to this.

"Maybe we could try again in a year.  I'll be back by October of next year, and then maybe...I know that is a long ways away." He said.

"I'd like that...depending on where we both are of course.  I won't hold you to anything.  I just don't want to be the cause of any more stress for you, or expect something that you can't give me right now."

They finished their meal and stepped out into the rain.  It swirled around them in a romantic fog.  She was reminded of the end of Casablanca as they walked to their cars.  They stopped at hers and spoke for a little while longer.  They made no future plans, but he caught her eye and they starred at each other, rain gathering on the top of their heads. 

She stepped forward into his arms and they stood for awhile.  They pulled away slightly, and he looked down at her silently, as if asking permission.  She silently gave it.

He tilted his head down, and they shared a small kiss.

She watched him walk away into the mist before getting into her car and driving away.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


"I was wondering if I had done something.  The last few times we've seen each other, out in's felt weird."  Her husband stared at her, not with the usual beaten puppy dog eyes, but with a steady calm gaze.

"It's just...weird...watching other people watch us interact.  I feel like nothing I do is right, like I'm on a stage performing for them or something."  He nodded at this, understanding where she was coming from.

He caught her up on how he had been doing...working three jobs that didn't pay enough for him to move out of her mother's house...going into debt on the normal things, but paying off the school as he went.  He looked at her, and she realized he finally understood how hard it had been on her that year that he wasn't doing anything.  How stressful it must have been considering she had been worrying for the both of them.

They both decided to get a move on with the divorce.  He didn't want to drag her into his debt..the accident that he had gotten into in March might not be covered by insurance, and then he'd be on the hook for way more than the debt they had paid off with the house.  She respected that he didn't want to get her pristine credit involved in his business.

"Does your family hate me?" She asked, a little worried.  "They...they just don't understand.  They keep asking what happened, what I did or what you did.  They don't get that it was a one instance kind of thing."

" would be easier if someone had gotten beaten or explain anyway.  We just...stopped being good for each other.  It's not like I stopped loving you.  But if we had stayed together, I think the love would have been lost.  It would have gotten ugly.  I didn't want that for us.  I value the friendship we have too much."

"I really miss our friendship too.  We should sign the papers so that we could get back to that.  For today though, I guess it's time to get our phones split up."

 They ended up sitting for over an hour at the store getting everything together.  At the end of the day, she went to a lower plan, and while also paying for a new phone, she was saving $80 a month.  It was a huge weight off of her.  Even a measly $80 a month was going to help out so much.  She already felt like she could breathe a little easier.  They got new numbers in the correct area code, but still one number right next to each other.  "I still want us to be close." He said.  It both stung and felt comforting at the same time.

They made plans to see each other soon for the paperwork, and for making time to become friends again.  It finally felt like it was starting to heal for them both.

They had needed to disconnect to reconnect.

Monday, October 24, 2016

HPV Free Since...Forever

"Guess who is HPV-Free?" She messaged KSL.

"You, and by extension, me?" He guessed.

"Ding Ding Ding!  I still have to do the blood work for the rest of the HIV/STD stuff, but I'm sure it'll be fine."

"That's good to hear.  A relief actually.  It feels good."

It really did.  It felt good.  She was going to look into getting the vaccine soon.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Strepped Again

"Do you work with kids?" The Doc-In-A-Box asked her.

"No...I guess I'm the kid." She answered.  The doc said she would send this report onto her main doctor with a recommendation to take her tonsils out.  It would be a welcome removal.  She never thought she'd see the day where she'd look forward to a surgery, but here she was...asking for it.

"When was the last time you had strep?"  The doc asked.

"It should be in your computer...a few months ago it feels like."  The doc looked it up and gave her the date...around July 4th.  The last time she'd had sex with KSL.

"The minute clinic confirmed the last time I've had strep, and no offense but the correlation is your dick in my mouth. Wash that ish."  She messaged him.

"Mmm, good to know.  I had showered earlier that day, but then had the show that night."

She couldn't help getting one last dig in.  "Or maybe stop making chicks deep throat it."

"Hahaha, sorry."

She texted Piz that she was sick, and could they reschedule for the next day?  He was fine with it, but had to go in for a test and signed off quickly.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Break Down from KSL

KSL messaged her his perspective of the evening:

"I will break it down for you. We came into your apartment, sat and talked for a bit. Drank screwdrivers. Listened to a lot of Patton Oswalt, because we high-functioning depressives need the aural comfort of our own kind. As we were listening, you leaned on me. I put a friendly arm over your shoulder. So far, so good. We get refills. More listening. You go from friendly leaning to full-on cuddling. You nuzzle into my neck and shoulder when you laugh. You also hold my free hand loosely in yours. I'm a bit trepidatious now, but don't say anything, because again, its still fairly innocent. Then, during a quiet moment after the comedy ended, as you nuzzled, it seemed like you were falling asleep. I asked if you were, you said no, thanked me for being a good friend, then kissed my cheek. Then I kissed your forehead, the closest and most innocuous area I could reach in order to return the friendly affection. You kissed my cheek again a few times, each time moving closer to my mouth. I should have gotten up then and ended shit, but then you kissed me full on. We start to make out, and I stop and say we shouldn't. We both know what can happen, and how we have agreed to be done with that phase. I remind you that you still technically have a boyfriend, even if you're mad at him. You reply, and I quote: "He wont delete his dating profile; fuck him." And continue to kiss me, straddling me. I go with it, cuz you're into it, and honestly, after your last statement, so was I. It was, as Oswalt said, like Viking sex on a burning ship. Like, we're going down together. Your shirt comes off with no resistance, bra soon thereafter. I have a moment of clarity, and gently shove you off. You stand on the couch to get to eye level with me. Its silent. You grab my face and kiss me again, hard. You say that you miss our friendship, and as much as you hate to admit it, you missed this too. "It sucks that you're such a good kisser," you say. I apologize halfheartedly, and reiterate that this shouldn't be happening. You agree, and we have a brief hug where nothing happens. But you start kissing my neck and earlobes, and I warn you that it gets me worked up. We move from the couch to the wall. I give you a bit of the rough affection that we have been known to partake in. You push me off, and begin to pull me towards the bed. I decide to give you an out. 5 more minutes, and if my jacket stays on, I leave. If it comes off by your hand, "its fucking on." You immediately unzip my jacket and smirk. I ask if you really want to do this. You reply that my jacket is still technically on, and pull me onto the bed with you. We make out roughly, with me counting down the minutes out loud. When time is up, I stand and announce it. You stand on the bed, look me in the eyes, and start to defiantly remove my jacket. "Penny..." I warn. "What," you say. "Its been five minutes." The jacket is now off and around my waist, with you holding onto the sleeves. "Does it still count?" You ask, pulling me into you. The rest is, well... i wont go into detail there."

"Man," she thought to herself, "Drunk Penny is a real tease."

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Bad Person

"I should feel more guilty about this.  I really really should.  I'm a bad person."  She told Dawn.

"Listen, you know I don't judge.  You were having a lot of feelings and that is just what happened.  It's not good or bad.  It just is."

Dawn had taken her out to breakfast and to run errands all day to distract her from her drama.

"So basically, you were emotionally vulnerable, so was KSL, mix in some liquor and opportunity, and you fucked him...I think that things like that happen all the time." Her friend messaged her.

"Really?!?!  That makes me feel a little better." she answered.

"Hey, you did something in the heat of the moment in a vulnerable space...welcome to being human.  You're not a bad person."

She felt a sense of relief.  At least someone didn't think she was a bad person.  She still felt like a bad person.

"Thank you.  I really needed to hear that from someone."  She replied.

"Although I'd advise against spending too many nights in the arms of Crazy McPsychoPants.  Even if you do need some lovin...he ain't worth the regret."

"Trust me, we went too hard for me to ever try it again.  I look like I got into a car accident." She messaged.

"Well, it's a good thing that it's winter!"  KSL said, pointing to her arm after she got out of the bathroom.  She looked down and saw the imprint of what could have been his dental records in her arm.  She was embarrassed, and then petrified.  The next day she would find out that not only did the bruises cover her arms and breasts, but he had also been so aggressive that her ears were ringing...and not from the drinking, but from the bruises on her earlobes.  The pain would continue for days, she felt hungover for a long time.

She gave the rundown to PJ the next night, while at the same time sharing with him how uneasy she felt when Piz had shown up unexpectedly to KSL and Acrobat's show the other night.  Something about how 3 guys in the same building making her feel like an enormous slut.  PJ had picked up on something going wonky with her that night, and she explained.  He understood, as he always did.

"I'm not saying this is an excuse, what I did was wrong.  But, this would have never happened had he just been there for me.  I give my everything to this relationship, and I'm not getting much back.  I get that it is early, but...he should have come to the club.  He should have come out for one drink with me during his birthday.  I get that he's in school and overwhelmed with 700 level classes, but I'm not getting what I need from him.  He doesn't care as much as he should for me.  He's not ready for this, and it's unfair that I'm holding to it.

He didn't text her again after Saturday night until Tuesday afternoon.  He asked what she was doing on Friday after work.  She had a blood test to take, but then she was free.  He wanted to meet at her favorite bar at 7:00 PM.  No dinner, no picking her up, no swinging by the apartment.

The writing was on the wall.  Come Friday, this relationship was over.

"Just keep your heart guarded Penny." PJ said to her.

She was so afraid that it was too late.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Leave Your Conscience At The Tone Part 4

 One drink turned into two, as they listened to stand up on his phone, and she stroked the back of his neck.  She eventually rested her head on his shoulder, and she felt the sadness wash over him.  At one point he asked if she was falling asleep on him.  She had been, but didn't admit it.

It had been a really rough day, for both of them.  She raised her head and looked into his eyes.  She could feel his pain.  She reached up and kissed him on the cheek.  He turned his head slightly, and suddenly they were making out aggressively.

Suddenly she finally understood what he said to her at the beginning of the year when he had kissed her.  It seemed like he needed it. 

 Their grief had given way to passion.  Lots...and lots...of passion.  He pulled her on top of him on the couch, and she forgot how great he was at swinging her around and making her feel small.

"You know," she said in-between kisses, "I really do miss our friendship."

He grunted and with one swift movement removed her shirt.  His style hadn't changed, everything was still flawlessly choreographed.  Kisses that felt like all the love in the world, like she was the only girl on earth.  She knew she wasn't though, and that was okay.  She knew what this was.

"Hey, we are half naked...might as well have sex right?"  KSL asked.  She rolled her eyes at him and kept kissing him.

The sex was a Greatest Hits tape on acid.  They were both aggressive with each other, demanding more and getting caught up in the heat of the moment.

He was rough, but also compassionate.  He had her up against her mirror wall, and in one fluid motion grabbed a pillow and placed it behind her head.  There were many positions, and everything was super intense.

"Are you almost there?" He asked her.  "I was there forever ago, what are you talking about?  Are YOU there?"

"I came a long time ago, you didn't notice?  I was just trying to compete with Marathon Man."  KSL said, almost hurt.

"Oh my god get off of me if you are done!"  She said.

" came?  You are okay?"

She nodded, and he collapsed on the bed beside her.  "I'm sweating like fucking crazy...what time is it?"

She flicked up her fitbit.  3:30 AM.  They had been "hanging out" at her apartment for three plus hours.  He contemplated taking a shower, but instead just took off the condom and laid back down next to her on the bed.

"Man...that was intense."  She said.

"Mmm" he agreed.

"How do you NOT want a relationship with me after that?  You are fucking crazy.  I'm amazing." She said.

He laughed, and shrugged.  They both agreed that this was a one time thing.  "I don't think we should see each other naked for awhile."

"Well, at least until April."

"Why, is that when your boy is leaving?" He asked.

"Nope, that's when our pact is up.  He leaves the month before."

"Ah, the romantic comedy pact?"

"Yep.  Until then, you should be going.  Text me that you are home safe."

He just texted a simple "Home" at 4:30 AM.  She was already asleep and saw it at 8:00 AM.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Leave Your Conscience At The Tone Part 3

She texted Acrobat, who had just broken up with Banana and could also use some cheering up.  He had other plans.  She reached out to two actors from her previous two productions, both weren't up for going out and/or had to work.  Dawn was coming with a mutual friend, and MG was also coming, so at least she wouldn't be totally alone.

She thought about KSL, about how sad he had looked this morning.  She was sure he needed to get it all out of his system as well.

"Dive Bar Dancing?" she texted.

"At another bar.  Friend's band is playing.  Maybe after."

"K.  Need to drink the night away right now.  The hits just kept on coming today."

"You okay?"

"Not really.  Set aside all day tomorrow to celebrate Piz's birthday.  He just told me he needs to study instead.  So might as well nurse a hangover instead.  Peak loneliness indeed."

"Nice callback.  I'll check with you in a bit, yeah?"

She walked into the dive bar, where she took selfies in the bathroom with MG, Dawn, and their mutual friend.  She danced with MG, and MG pulled a cougar onto the dance floor.  She drank way too many dirty martinis.  Dawn's flavor of the week arrived, and they spent the evening talking about the din of the bad house band.

MG got a text right before her phone died that one of her friends needed her.  She told MG that was fine, that she would find another ride.  As if by magic, her phone went off.

"How goes?"

"You should come save me."
"Like from myself."
"But like after one dance."
"This is where I am in life."

"Okay, gimme a few.  I'm on my way."

4 minutes later he texted "I'm here, where are you?"

"By the dance floor."

He came and sat down in their booth.  She introduced him around, he thanked them for coming to his show a few hours earlier.  He refused to dance, and they sat and laughed at the people on the dance floor for a few minutes.  Dawn left to walk her flavor out to his car.

"Ready to go?" KSL asked her.

"Yeah," she said, "Just wait until Dawn gets back so I can say goodbye."

Dawn bounced back in a few hours later and sat back down with a huge grin.  "Oh my god, you got kissed!!!!"  She screamed over the music.  She stood up and reached over the table and planted a kiss on Dawn's forehead.

"The night isn't getting any better after that, we can go."  She patted KSL's leg with authority so he would stand up.

They walked to his roommates car, which he was driving until she came back into town in a few days later.  Then he would have to beg his mom to borrow her car again until he could afford to fix his own.

They sat in the parking lot in the car talking for awhile.  She leaned against the back of the seat so she was facing him.  She stole his hat, slowly, waiting for him to protest.  He didn't.  She took a selfie with it and then put it back on his head.  It must have been a terrible day for him, his wall was completely down.

He finally started the car and took her the short distance home.  He pulled up to the loading zone of her building.  She thanked him for the ride, and for the fun time.  They hadn't hung out as friends for awhile.

"I could come up for a drink."

She shrugged, and slurred "You could come up for a drink."

He took a sharp turn out into the street and into the back alley to park.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Leave Your Conscience At The Tone Part 2

"Okay, not to be a jerk, but this is the 3rd conversation we've had about this exact same problem.  You need to work this out with him...or like, just be busier so you don't obsess about it."

"You're right, I shouldn't have this much free time." She told MG.  MG was right of course, eventually something had to give.  It was upsetting that he still checked the dating site everyday, and she always felt like she was coming in last place to his school or nap times.  She was conflicted, but Goldie had made her promise to be cool about everything.  She was trying, but it felt like she was being pushed aside in the process.

She texted Piz right before the show asking how his day had gone.  An hour later he finally texted back that he just woke up from a nap.  He asked how she was, and she told him the day had been really hard, and she was going dancing at a dive bar after Improv to get drunk and forget about the day.  It was her cry for help, saying she needed him.  He said he was going to keep studying, and the next day his dad was going to take him out to dinner for his birthday.

"Wait," she thought to herself, she was supposed to take him to dinner for his birthday.  Was this his way of telling her?  What would Goldie say?  Goldie would tell her to play it cool.

She responded that was nice of him, and did he want to do something during the day with her instead?

"Today I was just catching up on homework but I've got an accounting exam next week that I should probably start studying for."

That didn't answer her question.  He was being overly evasive.  She tried her best to keep her temper in check and asked "So, you don't want to hang tomorrow?"

"I know it's my birthday but I need to study for this exam.  We can hang out sometime next week."

She saw red.  He didn't have a job right now, so he had ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to study for this exam.  What red blooded American male didn't want a birthday blow job from the girl he was seeing?  The fucking nerd wanted to study instead?

And, hang out "sometime next week?" What kind of vague ass thing was that?  Usually he was very specific about time frames.  Was he losing interest?  Was this because after marathon sex she had fallen asleep?  She had been so tired!  They'd been out doing stuff all that day...was he holding it against her, or thinking she couldn't keep up?  She was so hurt, and knew that she couldn't show it.  Goldie told her to be cool girl, and Cool Girl she would be.

"That's okay.  Have a good night and a good birthday tomorrow."  She knew she wasn't about to send him a birthday text the next day.

"Thanks for understanding.  You have a good night too!"

She threw out one last lure.  "Thanks!  Tonight isn't going to be good...lost of drinking my feelings."

"Ok, be safe."

She felt as if she'd lost the whole relationship.  She was so angry.  She texted back "No promises!"

She started texting everyone she could think of that would comfort her in her time of need.