Thursday, June 30, 2016

Letting Nature Take It's Course

The sprinklers had just turned off as they rounded the corner to the park.  The water droplets hovered on the very tips of the grass and formed mini rainbows across the landscape.

The dog happily sniffed around and she trailed behind breathing in the moist morning breeze.  The birds chirped into the warm air, and all was calm.  The scene could be seen as beautiful, calming.

She scratched her bug bites as the dog tugged her along, getting the bottoms of her work pants damp.  Even though she had a shower, she still smelled like the dog.  The adorable, codependent, whiny dog.  The scene could be described as miserable and done too.

Thank goodness this was the end of the week.  She was ready to have her 435 square feet back, in the heart of the city, without many bugs.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Late Night Pains

She let another 24 hours pass not speaking to KSL.  They needed yet another cooling off period.  She had made the make up sex joke, and karma was swift: She got her period 12 hours later.  She was quickly in a lot of pain and worried about how she had brought nothing with her and had to swing by the studio.

She was in pain, but she was more tired than anything else.  The dog had kept her up all week, and she hadn't gotten more than 5 or so hours at a time.  One of the few times she got to sleep early he had woken her up to have a fight.

Around 11PM she managed to pass out.  An hour later she woke suddenly: almost at the same time she realized her phone had gone off and another monster cramp ripped across her abdomen. She took a moment to do some deep breathing, then reached across for her phone.

"We had to cancel our show tonight" KSL texted her.  It was close to when the show should have ended anyway, so she wondered why he waited until then to tell him.  She asked what happened, and he said one of the people with the most lines quit 2 hours before showtime.  She had missed the opening of the show the night before because of a panic attack.  They cut 2 pages of script on stage waiting for her to make her entrance.  The show was stressing her out and "She wasn't able to leave shit at the door every night" according to him.  They had spent the whole night reworking the entire show and would try it during the performance tomorrow.

"Stupid question, but anything I can do?"  She asked.  He answered "Not really, but thanks.  I'm just fucking livid."  She could understand, that was beyond unprofessional.  If you are prone to panic attacks, maybe don't be in a show where you were one of the main characters and everyone depended on you.

He asked when she would be back in her own place, she told him a couple of days.  It was isolating there but at least MG and the ex had come by to keep her company a couple of nights.

"The ex came over?  How'd that go?"

"It was really good actually.  He understands now where I was coming from, and I think we will make it out of this with our friendship intact.  I don't feel as guilty anymore."  She wondered how he would take that.

"That's really great.  Happy for you"

Stilted short sentences.  Anger?  Distain?  She decided to ignore it.

"Thanks.  I feel ready to move on."

"Good for you"

He was pissed.  He had to be.  He was angry that she was happy, that her end of relationship was going to be a healthy one.  Maybe he was the one that would get hurt if they continued having sex.

Wouldn't that be a trip?

"Thanks.  If this dog and my uterus would let me get back to sleep everything would be perfect.  I'm sorry things aren't going well for you.  Let me know if I can to anything.  For now I'm going to try and sleep.  Have a good night."

"Sleep well" he responded.

"Same to you"

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How the Tides Have Turned

"You're going to hell, because you are Jewish."

She was about 6 years old when these words were spoken to her.  The kid in her class every year thereafter would give her an extremely religious Christmas card, and sometimes speak to her in nice tones before ending their sentence with "'s really too bad you are so nice, because you are going to hell."

One year she and her mom found the most religious Hannukah card they could find, and she gave it to him.  The cards stopped altogether after that year.  They never really spoke again, but they lived in the same neighborhood and heard rumors.

His parents split up, his mom got lipo and married a doctor and ran away, never speaking to her children again.

Today her mother got an updated on the family.  The boy who thought she was going to hell had gotten married and named one of his children...after her.  He knew no one else by that name, most likely his whole life. 

She wondered what that was a metaphor for.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Bitter and Resentful

After a 24 hour cooling off period, she and KSL still continued to fight.  He made not one but 3 passive aggressive vaugebook posts during their conversation.  She zigged, he zagged.  They seemed to be at an impasse, and she decided to do what she knew he didn't like.  Make him face himself and see at the hurt he was causing.

 "Does it give you a warm fuzziness to push away people that care about you? To take an action you know won't have any good outcome?"

"Mmm, I feel some more vaugebooking coming on.  I mean, I know it's wrong, but I think I'm gonna do it anyway."

"So then yes, yes is the answer. It does give you a warm fuzzy feeling to hurt others. Good to know."

"No. It hurts. Everytime."

"Like "hurts so good" like a workout? Because it's like you enjoy making me cry on a bi-weekly basis.  'Hey, she's hypersensitive, let's get her to open up so that I've got ammo to emotionally cripple her and treat her like trash!'"

Fuck it
Fuck it all
Sorry to hurt you
As I do"

"Okay, great, let's say you are sorry. What are you going to do about it? Make it up to me, try to change, or just do it again later?"

"In all likelihood and honesty, some combination of all three.  Not at the same time, of course.  That would be silly"

"God forbid this get silly."    

Friday, June 24, 2016

Showmancing the Stone

Her new play was in it's second week.  Things were just starting to get rolling, and this ended up being the first rehearsal where everyone really started getting to know each other, joking and laughing.

There was only one straight male in the play, and after she was joking around with them, she sensed him watching her.  She stood up more straight and took stock of how crappy she must look in the sweats that she wore to walk the dog.

"Hey.  Penny."  He staged whispered to her as a scene was going on.  "Where is the second director?"

"Her son has a viral infection, she had to stay home with him." She replied in the same stage whisper.

"Ah, well...that is more important, isn't it?"  He seemed to stare in her eyes for longer than seemed needed.

"I suppose so.  Hopefully he gets better soon."

She continued to feel him staring at her throughout the rest of the rehearsal.  She was slightly uncomfortable; not because they were unwanted advances, but because she knew from his Facebook that he'd been in a relationship with a girl for 3 years.  About as long as KSL had been with his girlfriend before they split up.

For a moment she thought to herself "Hey, maybe you can try real hard and see how many long term relationships you can fuck up this year."

Why were men in relationships attracted to her? 

Thursday, June 23, 2016


The next day she was still just as mad as before.  He didn't contact her, and she didn't contact him.  She was still seething with rage and would say many, many hurtful things.

The day after, a text came through at 10:30 at night.

"How goes"

She was not going to answer that.  To just start up a conversation again like nothing had happened?  Fuck him.

"Or not, that's cool too"
-Sent at 12:14 AM

"Sorry I pissed you off so badly"
-Sent at 12:17 AM

She went to sleep.  The next morning she waited until 9AM and sent the fried shrimp emoji.

"Why a panko crusted prawn?"

"Honestly I don't know what else to say to you right now."

"You are the one that got all huffy with me that I hung up."

HE hung up?  He again said that by stopping sleeping together, it would stop people from talking.

"What would change outwardly for them?  Nothing!  The only thing it confirms to me is that you can shut the emotions on and off for me, so I am just that warm body.  That thing I didn't want to be.  You are being so jumpy with me around other people that you aren't even being a regular good friend right now.  I love our friendship; I hate being treated this way.  If you care that much about what other people think, that's ridiculous."

"Seriously, when you break it down to it's base, how is what we're doing any different from a standard rebound?"

"If you told me you wanted to stop because you were still hung up on your ex or you didn't feel right about it, that would be one thing...doing it because you think other people will stop talking is another."

"She's already moved on."

"With who?"

"With herself."

"Yeah, well with you being this emotionally draining I can understand.  I've been nothing but supportive and nice to you and I feel like I get punished for it all.  I'm not talking about the sex, I'm talking about our friendship. The only outcome from talking to your roommate is she thinks that Goldie and I are catty bitches. So while I protect you and tell people how awesome you are, you are indirectly bringing me down with other people."

 "You could also listen to your friends. I feel like everything I say to you, you just "meh" and don't actually listen. Yes I have my faults, but the benefit of overthinking everything is that I see all the possible outcomes. I don't just jump into anything. I saw us coming a mile away, weighed the pros and cons, and decided to let it happen. I called you bailing on it after once or twice a month ago in my blog. I'm not an idiot."

"Wow, life must be pretty boring when you have all the answers. Nice to know that you had/have so much faith in me" 

"Are you mad about it and attacking me because I know you so well and I'm right, or that you honestly thought it was going to play out differently? Because you HAVE to know by saying "Wow, life must be pretty boring when you have all the answers" that it is a hurtful thing to say to someone you consider a friend."

"Sometimes friends hurt each other. I have no clue what I'm doing in my life. So when you claim your oracle powers, yeah, its a bit disheartening. Plus, if you knew that I was gonna bail, as you put it, why even do anything at all?" 

"Because despite it all, it was still worth it. It would still be worth it. It was fun, it was exciting. If you were still open to the arrangement, it would be beneficial to both of us. We could take solace in the fact that we are healing from our past relationships together, while at the same time regaining our independence. I could help you be a better person, and you could help me be a better person. You push me to take walks and be healthier about getting out there. We have fun. We both have something to bring to the arrangement.  But you just seem so determined to be miserable...why should I stand in your way? You do you."

"If this is it then it was fun while it lasted. The only thing I'm sad about is the fact that I'll turn into everyone else when it comes to you.  They all say you are a great guy with some issues that you never seem to want to resolve. Despite what you think, no one has ever said you were an asshole or a bad guy. Just unwilling to change bad behavior.  Saying things like "sometimes friends hurt each other" rather than just thinking about what you say first. Saying that when you break this down its just a rebound instead of exploring where it could go. You could change so much of this yourself, but you won't. Everyone knows and says this. I can't deny it.  I have to accept that I will have zero impact with you no matter what I do."

"I don't know what to say." 

"Well, you can't say that you'll change or try or anything like that, clearly. So you win. I'm all out of literal and figurative fucks to give. I'm everyone else."

"I am trying

Nobody sees it

You wanna not be like everyone else?

Believe that I'm fucking trying"

Try as she might...she was having a hard time believing.  They had a day of silence and then another day of fighting.  The last thing she texted him was "This make up sex better be fucking worth it."   

She truly believed that they next time they had sex, it would be the last time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Keep Me Awake...Forever

She was having trouble sleeping.  The dog kept waking her up to go out, so much so that she had just started leaving the back door open, chancing the fact that she would get more bug bites all over her body.

She managed to be so tired one night that she passed out around 11:00 PM instead of the usual 2:00 AM.  Around midnight, right before her "do not disturb" kicked in, KSL called.

"I just finished with the show and my family, and I'm so tired.  Please keep me awake while I drive home."

They shot the shit about things in general, and suddenly his tone changed, and she knew what was about to come up was the real reason he called.

"Tell me more about this rumor thing with (his roommate)"

"Shit KSL, I thought we were done with this.  I only told you because It was just valid enough to not want to fully trust her, and I thought you should know and that we should be careful at your place."

Back at their first show, Goldie overheard this girl say she was screwing KSL.  It had been a long time ago, 8 months.  Goldie didn't even really remember exactly what happened.  It might not have even been her, it might have been another girl.

"You know I'm going to bring it up with her right?" KSL said.

"Please," she said "You have a lease with her for a year, why in the world would you try and start some shit?  What good will really come of it?"

He wouldn't be deterred.  He got more and more aggravated at the fact that people kept talking shit about him.  She smiled as a line from Rent came to mind, but then turned her attention back to him.  She told him people will always talk, and he shouldn't let it affect his life.

"Maybe we better stop this thing we are doing.  Then people would stop talking about it.  We should stop."

She was floored.  THIS was the reason they were going to stop sleeping together?  Because other people had been talking about since before they even kissed?  What kind of flimsy ass excuse was that?  She quickly moved from floored to infuriated.  How dare just give up no-strings-attached sex with her.  She had given him every opportunity, been a total Cool Girl about it, made excuses for him through his break up and move out and the start of his show. 

Fuck.  Him.

"Okay, so you are saying because of what other people think, it's over?"

Suddenly she heard voices in the background.  He had just walked into his apartment.

His voice suddenly became fake-joyful.  "Whoa!  Hi Guys!  Penny, I'm going to have to let you, there are people in my place."

She took the phone away from her face and hit the end button.  She hadn't hung up on anyone in decades.

She was furious.  How dare he treat her like this?  Sex aside, he was being an asshole of a friend right now.  He was taking her for granted, not being respectful, and she was done with it. 

She was funny, smart, caring.  Always looked out for her friends, very loyal.  She had her faults of course, but he was lucky to not just have her as a friend, but as a lover.  He'd be DAMN lucky if he ever got her as a girlfriend.  Which was real thin at this point.

She was just about done with his shit. 

Now she was never getting back to sleep.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fighting Off The Lonely

She felt so isolated in the house, and burdened with responsibility that she had been avoiding for 2 months.  She now had a dog to walk, plants to water, and rehearsal to attend.  She even had homework in the form of two books to read while she was away.

And she was lonely.  She wanted to see people.  She stopped by her mother's house to visit for a minute and pick up her mail.  She also went to pick up a check that her ex had promised her, but couldn't find it in the house.  She texted him and he said his checks hadn't come in yet, so he was bringing cash by for her.  She gave him the address for the house she was sitting.

He came by and ended up staying for a couple of hours.  They talked about their life, and where their relationship stood.  He asked if it was basically over, and she said there was no way she could say.  If you held a gun to her head, she would say that yes, it was.  But she cared too much about him to rip that band-aid off.  "Also, never say never" she reminded herself.

They talked about money, about how he needed to get it together.  He was still trying to get it together for her, and she told him that he needed to get it together for himself.  Nothing he should do from here on out should be for her benefit. 

She talked a little about how much pressure she felt within the relationship in the past year and further back; she felt like she always had to keep an eye on her finances to bail him out when something unexpected happened.  How she read the love languages book to try and improve their relationship, but he had refused or reverted back after a few months. 

He said he had spent this time apart really thinking about everything, where it had all gone wrong.  He admitted that he hadn't tried.  He knew that something was wrong, but chose to hide from it rather than fix it.  He still wanted them to work, but he would rather just be friends then lose her he was okay with the separation.

They both cried at different times, but it was more of a release than a sorrow.  They had put off this conversation for too long...or maybe it came when it needed to.  Either way they were having it, and it felt cathartic to get it out there.

They agreed they should meet up every couple of weeks to check in with each other.  "In the meantime, if you want to go to a show or something give me a call."

She hesitated, then said "I'm not sure it would be sending the right message to go out on dates with each other.  You know how the theatre community is, they are like our children.  I don't want to possibly give them false hope."

He nodded. "That makes sense.  Something like this is nice too."

"It is nice."

And it was.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Other People's Boyfriends

It was intermission of KSL's new disaster of a show.  She stepped outside to call the next door neighbors to see if they could let the dog out, but they were more obsessed with the fact that Muhammed Ali died.

"Yes, that is sad, but not actually why I'm calling.  I didn't realize I was at a 3 hour play and the dog hasn't been let out in awhile and I'm worried.  Are you home to let her out?" She asked with urgency.

He was not home.  She was texting a mutual friend when a parade of loud motorcycles passed through, giving her a slight headache.

"Isn't the motorcycle convention next month?" She turned to face who spoke.  It was a taller guy with stylish thick framed glasses, sandy colored hair, and a hipster style button down shirt.  "I think it's in a couple of months actually," she replied.  "Unfortunately we have a few more every year that just stay around for longer, which is terrible.  Get a muffler, am I right?"

"Yes!  I can't stand that.  I live downtown and I hear them every night."

"Me too!  Where do you live?"  He gave cross-streets that indicated they were just down the street from each other.

"So, what do you think of the play so far?" He asked her.  "I'm kind of the worst person to ask actually.  There are many different ways to look at it.  I have a BFA in theatre.  Plus I read the script because I was running lines with one of the cast members."

"Me too!  My girlfriend is in the cast, the one with the short red hair."

"Awww, she's so cute, I can totally see you two together.  I'd love to meet her at the reception."

"I'll introduce you.  Which one is yours?"

"KSL...the loud and obnoxious one."

"Man, he's really good though.  His singing voice is amazing!"

They got to talking and found that they both spent too much time in another city, and had just moved about a year ago.  It was so refreshing to find someone else that understood the dynamics of both cities.  He had lived in the bad area, and regaled her with stories of how a man walked into his store with the bullet sticking out of his head and asked him to call 911.  He quit a week later, for obvious reasons.

They called for everyone to come back in for the third act, which was going to be mostly singing.  She looked forward to hearing KSL really perform and sing for the first time, but he didn't really get that many solos.

At the afterparty, she and the castmate's boyfriend spoke some more.  He seemed like a real nice guy, he admitted he was socially awkward and didn't have a lot of friends yet.  She felt bad for him and wanted to reach out, but didn't want to seem like she was trying to hit on him.

I mean, it's not like she broke up relationships on purpose.

She decided to leave it in his hands, and he left it with a "nice to meet you" and that was it.  Earlier he had asked to read some of her plays, but she had corrected him and said she didn't actually write plays herself.

He seemed like a cool guy.  It was a shame to not connect with him, but she was sure she would see him around.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Granola Vacay

One of the actors from her last show said she would pay her $200 to live in her house for 12 days while she was away and watch her dog.  Her house was only a few freeway exits down from her own, so she met up with her to meet the dog and get a feel for the house.

It was an adorable, small cottage type house.  She decorated it like a beautiful Pier 1 Imports catalogue, and it was cluttered but homey.  They sat on her couch and talked about the situation with the ex while the dog rolled around between them, lapping up the attention.

"Have you ever read Codependent No More?" She asked her.  As she wasn't into self help books, she had not.  She didn't see how it had anything to do with her either.  She wasn't the Codependent one.

"You should treat your time here like a retreat, away from the things of man with only a dog and my books!  It's going to be restorative and amazing for you!  I'm excited for you, this is going to be a journey of self discovery."  She smiled her charming, sweet smile.  She was the kind of person who had been through a lot, but still wanted to see the good in everyone.

Because the two places were so close, she moved her stuff over in stages as she had time.  The first night she sat down and turned on her giant TV, ready to catch up on all the regular stuff she had been missing.  The donated TV she was given sat in the corner, too old to be compatible with anything and too heavy for the stand she had bought.  There were $200 Smart TVs, and she planned on using the money from watching the dog to buy it.  She needed to get rid of the old TV soon as well.  She wasn't fond of the clutter it was causing.  It had gone from a temporary spot to a permanent eyesore.

When she stepped into the house and greeted the dog, she realized the amount of trash and clutter was actually in the house.  To a normal person it most likely seemed like regular clutter, but to her it was hovering into her mom's hoarder status house.  There were dirty items in the sink, zero microwaveable plates, and hardly any silverware.  How was she going to make it in this house for 12 days?

The cable was below the basic level.  She might as well be watching her kindle at home, as it received more programming than this TV had.  She found the Codependency book, along with another self help book, on the guest bed.  She closed all the windows and turned on the AC.  It was going to be over 90 degrees the whole time she was there, so she might as well start raking up the bills now.

As she walked around, the clutter started to get to her.  There was so much stuff that could be organized, thrown away.  She itched to throw things away.  She couldn't concentrate on the codependency book.  She wondered if that was a metaphor for something.

The first night, the dog kept waking her up to go out and she got maybe a full 3 hours of sleep.  Yoga was difficult, and she was cranky.  She had to go watch another dog for an hour, and she was so sluggish that she barely made it.  She gathered the rest of her things, went to the sad house, and ordered pizza while watching bad movies on cable.

She was in for a really long week.  She already missed her great view, and the city right below her, ready for the taking.  Now she was back in a cluttered house, and it felt like death.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Namas-Yeah Motherfucker

Yoga had been very restorative lately, and she always looked forward to Saturday morning.  All her friends encouraged her to stay home, sleep in...but the sun demanded she awoke at sunrise.  Spending every Saturday morning in bed until she had to go to Yoga was the best part of her week.  The only thing that might make it better is someone to cuddle with during that time too...but only occasionally.

She awoke one morning feeling stronger, like she could take on the world.  She could feel her posture improve in each pose, and even took on some new poses with ease.  TM always wanted them to "step out of their sacrum" but she was actually doing it today.  She was keeping her shoulders steady, there was hardly any wobble to her.

She was doing yoga today, not just attending the class and failing.  She felt a mega-surge of self confidence.  She was going to be okay despite the work situation that was causing her stress.

They got to the pose she's been working on and almost nailing, and she assumed she would not make it again that day.  As always, she was going to try.

No one was more shocked than her when her forehead came to her splayed open toes about a foot away from her in the seated position.  She gasped, but stayed in the pose for as long as she could.  It hurt a little, but mostly she wanted to nail the pose for as long as TM made them hold it.

Appropriately, the perfect song came on the speakers to celebrate her triumph.  It had been the end song to the play that TM wrote last summer.  The start of her new life, the first play she got involved in coming back.

She took a deep cleansing breath, and took this as the great sign that it was.  Everything was going to just get better...her only New Years Resolution.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Stand Up and Run

She was just beginning to settle into a Friday night looking out at her view and writing on her couch when her phone chirped out that she had a text message from Goldie.  It was sent to her and Super Director, and it was an invite to see a SNL alum do stand up that night.

Goldie was forever with some of the best luck she'd ever seen.  This event was sold out of course, but Goldie not only got them 2 tickets, but got them bumped up to the 4th row VIP area with 4 drink vouchers.  When it rains, it pours.  She was more than happy to swim in Goldie's solid gold pond for the night.

She picked up SD from her floor and they made their way to the venue.  On the way is when they discovered that they would be in the 4th row.  SD gasped, and said "You know what this means?!?!"

"It means we will be just close enough to be sad about how old he looks now."

"Penny, THIS is why we are friends.  Yes!  It's going to be so much fun!"

"And if it's not, we can totally bail!"


They arrived and were excited to find that there was no need to bail out of anything early.  They grabbed some free Vodka Redbulls and had an amazing time, sitting 4 rows away from an awesome opener and an SNL legend.  Afterwards the crowd cleared out quickly, and they were chatting and catching up.  Suddenly their contact for the tickets hung up her phone call and said "We need to run.  We have to hurry, let's go!"

They grabbed their things and ran down the hall into a ballroom off the main room.  Inside that room was one small table, and the SNL comedian.  SD was beyond excited and could barely speak.  She also didn't say much, mostly just trying to remember to smile for the photo as much as possible.  It was clear that this meant much more to SD and Goldie, themselves being comics.  It was very surreal, but she was happy to be a part of it. 

She briefly thought about how much BFF would be hurt by these pictures the next day.  She knew BFF was feeling edged out, and she confirmed it with a snarky "You guys go all sorts of places without me," days later.  BFF was about to leave town for a month however, and couldn't be upset by anyone doing things without her during that time.

It was going to be an easy month in the friend department, not having to worry about everyone's feelings.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


They decided to give the Improv show another shot that night, and she drove.  They left his car at his apartment across town, initially because he wanted to finish a story he'd started about a chick he had "half banged."  The story ended up not being worth the gas it was going to be to drive him back later that night. Apparently there were lots of girls that got just the tip in before deciding they didn't want to actually have sex.

He'd already backed out on spending the night because he had too much laundry to do.  He'd also backed out on actual sex despite the fact that she bought condoms.  He made the excuse that he hadn't showered in 2 days, she told him that he had gone down on her on the day she moved and she hadn't showered, so they were a little past that "Can't sex right now, stank" period.  They agreed to disagree as they got to the show.

One of the guys she had done a show with last summer showed up, and she caught up with him a little right before the show.  He was an affectionate guy, so they held hands and kissed on the cheek as they talked, with KSL right behind her.  Since KSL wanted to keep things on the down low, she thought this was the perfect way to deflect everyone.  She even squealed a little louder than she should have when he kissed/tickled her neck.  KSL seemed a little on edge when her friend decided to sit next to them, and for a second she wondered if it was almost jealousy.

A drunk couple came in at the last minute and sat in front of them.  The woman was ornery right off the bat, and kept turning around to stare at them.  Once she saw that KSL was chewing gum she made her move.

"Could you, like, STOP chewing your gum so loud?  I can't hear the show."  She was floored by the lady's rudeness and couldn't speak.  KSL was less than nice with his retort, telling her to stop sucking down so much booze with her mouth and he'd stop chewing with his.  When the Improv show asked for an audience member to participate, she raised her hand and the host asked if she was sober.  All four of the people in their row said "No" with the same enthusiasm.  She motioned to the stage manager to get security, he disappeared to do so and didn't come back right away.

Later she accused KSL of being "part of the show" when he suggested something they made a scene out of.  The lady's date started making fun of KSL's boisterous laugh.  KSL held up his hand to the back of their heads and flipped them off.  She shoved down his hand but didn't want to keep her hand on his because they were out in public and she was NOT his girlfriend.  She had a feeling he was so agitated that he would have acted badly towards her had she tried anything.  He was still his friend and she wanted to help, but she ended up being affectionate with her other friend for the remainder of the night.

The lady continued to be rude, saying "I bet you guys do that stuff" whenever the Improv turned to anal jokes.  She felt so torn, not being able to be affectionate to KSL to calm him, or talk shit to this woman because technically she wasn't involved.

Then the lady turned around to speak to them one more time, and she felt something inside her snap.  She leaned in until she could see the clumps in the lady's mascara and said with seething hatred "Are we friends?"

The lady was confused at first, then offended.  "Ugh, no." the lady replied, unsure of where it was going.

She leaned in further to the lady and raised her voice ever so slightly when she said with searing coldness "Then why the fuck are you talking to us?" The lady was shocked, and unsure what to say from there when the stage manager swooped down and told the couple to leave.  Just in time, as she was completely ready to throw down with this lady.  She had taken all she could of her shitting all over KSL, over everyone shitting all over him.  She'd never had a short temper, but something about him and how people just...she just got so protective over him.

Even when it came to himself.  After the show he assumed everyone was mad at him for causing a scene, the entire Improv troupe was out to get him.  He didn't want to go out, go back to her apartment, he just wanted to go home.  She tried to make him feel better on the way, he just got more angry.  So she stopped talking.  He then got hurt that she wasn't talking and asked if she was mad at him too.

"No one is mad at you!  Those guys were assholes, everyone saw that.  You didn't start anything.  Even I lost my shit and everyone heard.  You won't accept my help, there is nothing else to say.  I can't say anything else to you.  If you aren't listening to me, why I should I talk?"

They stayed silent for as long as he could stand.  It was the first time since meeting each other that they weren't speaking, and clearly he couldn't stand the silence.  He started talking again, explained that he was overthinking things.  That's just the way that the theatre community worked, they talked shit and changed the story and before you knew it, everyone hated him.  She remained silent, and he wound himself down talking.  By the time she pulled into his complex he was leaning in for a hug and trying to smooth it all over.

She went back to where the members of the Improv show were having a meal, hung out and chatted with everyone.  She told them what happened, but they were already completely over suspected.

For a friend alone he was extremely high maintenance.  It was getting amazingly easy to continue to separate their friendship from their lover-ship.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Moving Along

In lieu of the Ikea trip, they went to her storage unit for his coffee table.  Initially she was going to sell it to him for $15, but when she pulled it out of storage she saw it was very scratched up.  She mentally knocked the price down to buying her a drink with his next paycheck.

When he arrived to the storage unit he had just come from the ex-girlfriend's place, where he was picking up the rest of his stuff.  He was visibly upset, and she made him bring it in for a hug.  "I hate that, it feels so condescending when I'm upset." He said, hugging her back reluctantly.

"Oh but it's okay when you do it?  That's fair. "  She teased him, trying to get him to lighten up.  It wasn't working.  "What happened?"

"She painted the bathroom.  Rearranged some furniture.  I had to give her a call to ask about something and mentioned that she was getting a lot done, and she must love that all my shit is out of the house.  She agreed.  Just nice to know that I'm not missed." He was still upset, and needed a distraction.

"Come in and help me find my toaster, I miss toast.  Try not to break anything in anger."  She turned away from him when she said this, so he couldn't assess how serious she actually was.

As they were going through boxes his face lit up with excitement as he stumbled upon her original Gameboy and games.  She was so glad that she could help.  "It still works too!" She said, glad he had finally started to cheer up.  He begged to borrow the games and she obliged.

He had a console at home that played them up on the big screen, and they spent an hour being competitive with Tetris and Mario Brothers at his new apartment while he cooked them salmon burgers for dinner.  He was surprisingly a good cook, he even made a sriracha aioli sauce to go with it that was both spicy and delicious.  It would have been cute and domestic if it wasn't for the fact that they were talking about their prior relationships.  He was upset that his ex had moved on...she was upset that her ex hadn't.

"Won't we be quite the pair?--You with your bad heart and me with my bad head. Together, though, we might have something worthwhile." -Zelda Fitzgerald

Friday, June 10, 2016


"It was a bad day.  There isn't enough alcohol in my house to get me through tonight."

"What happened?"

Work was bad.  Not "gonna get fired" bad, but she was basically in trouble for caring too much.  She did care too much...about everything.  No one ever appreciated how much she took on for everyone around her.

"...and now I wish I had four Vicodin."

"No you don't"

"At this point, yeah I do."

"Four would kill you."

"Nah, I don't have that kind of luck."

KSL has sent an emoji:

"What? I don't."

"If I didn't have rehearsal and a movie later I'd come and commiserate." 

"It's cool, I can be destructive by myself.  That's why they call it self-destructive."

"I'm sorry."

"Thanks.  I'm turning off my phone now."

She got home and had two mixed drinks and 3 shots of vodka.  It was around 5:30 that she drunkenly crawled into bed, setting an alarm for two hours.  She slept through the alarm and woke at midnight.  She turned her phone back on, and there was one text from him.  "I just checked my funds and I don't think I can make the Ikea trip this weekend."

She texted back "okay" and set her phone down.  When she came back to it he was making excuses and saying he'd like to go another time.  Then he asked "You alright?"


"Do I need to come over?"

"Need? No."

"Would you like me to?"

"I'm ambivalent."

"I'm downtown"

"Whatever you want."

 There was a knock at the door seconds later, he must have been in the lobby when he texted he was downtown.  He took one foot inside and enveloped her in a hug.  He took her by the hand and led her back into the studio, took off his shoes, and listened as she complained.  Despite her protests, he cradled her on the couch like a newborn, and she reluctantly put her head on his shoulder and talked it all out.  She had burned out 30% of her emotions out with her vodka nap, and about 20% having him there to hold her and listen.  She tried to remember his love language was physical touch, so he was helping her the best way he knew how.  She wished that he would remember one of hers was words of affirmation, but he wasn't her boyfriend.  It's all she really could expect from him.

Once she had gotten all her emotions out, the conversation turned.  They agreed to their rules: always use protection, all bets were off if they slept with another person, after a year they would go public and start to date if they were still doing their thing, until then; discretion.

And since they didn't have a condom between the two of them, they stayed up until 4AM doing everything but.  Since she hadn't orgasmed during their last encounter, he made it his mission to give her multiples that night.  She made sure that he got one of his own too.  She wasn't a monster.

Not a terrible way to end a terrible day.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Other People's Opinions

"He's not ready to deal with the feelings he has for you.  He might never be." Goldie told her.

"He will always have a bit of that wall up, but you've broken down a lot of it.  I've never seen him be that open with anyone else, ever.  And I've known him 10 years!" SD said.

"He's never going to stop until he has sex with you." MG stated bluntly.

"I care about you!  And I don't want to see you hurt emotionally or physically.  And to me this dude needs that emotional support.  So keep your guard up." Mo warned her.

"But if you two like each other, why don't you just date each other?" Sleuthy asked.

For their flirtationship being a secret, everyone certainly had an opinion about it, even if they didn't know everything.  Even a caustic ex-blogger had snarked about it on twitter.  No matter what form her writing had taken, that lady had always been there with her bitchy attitude adding her opinion.

If it felt good, she was going to do it.  If she got her heart broken, then so be it.  It was her heart.  If it got broken she would mend it and move on with her life.

"So apparently in the midst of everything else, the roommate gave me a Percocet on top of the Vicodin and booze I'd already had." She decided to not tell him that they were the same thing and just said "uh-huh.  So you were pretty screwed up that night huh?  Do you remember any our conversation?"

"No.  Sorry."


Playing hard to get (had maybe) resulted in him near-overdosing, and being an attention whore.  She was done with it.  She was ready to write it off, but keep an eye out for anything else.  Keep her guard up, as Mo suggested.  KSL was saying he felt weird about not having "goodbye sex" with his ex-girlfriend.  She said "Maybe you are growing.  Breaking free of your bad habits."

He mentioned how he didn't have any condoms one night, but she still snuggled up on him on the couch and watched silly YouTube videos on his phone.  They made plans to take a day trip to Ikea that weekend, because he'd never been.

Because Facebook makes everyone into an unintentional stalker, she knew that he was posting things to his ex-girlfriend's wall, once every few days.  It was really bringing down his fuckability quotient.

"How goes?" He texted the next day.  "Meh.  Malaise.  You?" She replied.

"Samezies.  Whats the cause of yours?


"Only like 20% you.  I was just thinking this morning, wondering if it would ever go back to us being comfortable and happy again...then I realized it's never really been like that.  I made myself sad."

She waited a minute, then decided to mow over her last statement with distraction.  "What's the cause of yours?  Tell me the's Captain America isn't it?"

"I'm just stressing about life and the show and such.  And I loved Cap."

She guessed she didn't even merit 20% of his "life"

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Nope Octopus

She really didn't want to go to the fundraiser that she'd worked on all month.  She was tired, and had decided to play hard to get not just with KSL, but everyone in her life.  She needed a break.  She wouldn't ignore anyone if they texted her, but she was not going to reach out that week.

She did drag herself to the fundraiser, and had a "brown M&Ms worth of fun." She and SD had gone together, and she had worn the wrong shoes.  Despite that, they ran around Snapchatting various set pieces they were involved in, drinking, and dancing.  At the end of the night they met a guy they dubbed "Meathead Tony" that she danced with briefly, and SD ended up kissing him right before they left. They laughed all the way home, stopping every once in awhile to reflect on how hilarious it was that they were calling him "Meathead Tony" instead of his real name...which they never actually caught.

They had a great girl's night out, and the walk home wasn't as painful as she anticipated.  It had been a good night despite her bad attitude.  She stepped into her elevator in her building, smiling at how great of a friend SD was.

The only thing that marred the evening was around midnight she got a Snapchat from KSL, expressing concern for her well being.  Could she get home okay?

Her Snapchat story had been one of fun, with one tacked on the end of her heels saying "I'm tired, take me home." Had he thought that went out to just him and not on her story?  Who knows.  A minute later he texted her the time of a movie and said "You're welcome to join."  She asked him why he thought she couldn't get home when she lived two blocks from the venue.  Then she asked who else was going to the movie.  Clearly he wasn't going by himself.

"Me and a male friend.  Just figured I'd extend the invitation."

"Ooooh, a male friend?"

"Stahp.  I'm trying to be nice."

"Trying to be nice by inviting me to the movie or offering to drive me 2 blocks home?"

"More than 2."

"....more than 2 people?  Or 2 blocks?"

"Methinks so, yes.  Just trying to be a good friend."

The conversation continued it's circular motion, until she realized she wasn't that drunk, he really wasn't making sense.  After a little back and forth he admitted he had taken 3 Vicodin with half a bottle of tequila.  When asked why, he said he liked the floaty feeling.  This was the guy who didn't want to go on any meds for his depression because he didn't like the way they made him feel.

"I'm kinda fucked up.  Sorry"

"You're really fucked up but that's getting a little too existential for tonight.  How about you go to sleep and text me when the drugs are out of your system."

"Okay.  It's a good movie."

"Good night KSL."

She locked her phone, plugged it in, and went to sleep.  She woke up to 5 texts from him.

"You're mad/disappointed in me"
-Sent at 1:19 AM

-Sent at 1:58 AM

"Okay then"
-Sent at 2:09 AM

"Aw damn, is it that bad?  You don't want to talk to me anymore?"
-Sent at 2:27 AM

"Okay then.  Have a good night"
-Sent at 3:12 AM

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Playing Hard to Get

She needed a male perspective, and Mo was the only one that was removed from her group of friends, so there was no harm in talking to him.  She asked him about KSL freaking out after sex and if that was a normal/weird thing.  She couldn't wrap her head around how they had gone through the whole act without him realizing he still wasn't over her.

"Well, what he's feeling is a small form of withdrawal I guess or it finally hit him that he "Broke Up" I think it's a person thing. He was fixated on just doing something at the moment to recover that he didn't process the actions or feelings. Unfortunately, you were the rebound sex."

"IDGAF it was fun."

"You SHOULD give a fuck."

"Ugh.  He still wants to do this whole lovers/fwb thing."

"To be honest you shouldn't- kick him to the curb and move on yo-"

"I don't think I can, I'm too deep in this."

"He's processing everything. Give him a week and don't call or text him.  Let him have his own tail and it will lead back to you."

"So, seeing him this afternoon to run lines with him for his play would be...wrong?"

"Deep sigh." 

Running lines was friendly, he asked her how she was doing and she asked him how he was.  She suggested running lines and they got through his play twice.  He really improved throughout the run through, as they both sipped on iced coffee.  She told him she forgot how caffeinated she needed to be to do lines with him. 

He hugged her goodbye and she leaned into it, saying "Mmmmm, this is what I needed last night.  Just a good, loving hug."

He swung his arms under her and picked her up for a giant bear hug, she squealed as he lifted her.  

"See," he said as he set her down on the ground. "I'm a good friend."

He was.  Maybe that was all he needed to be.  Mo was right, maybe it was time to play hard to get.  Not just with KSL, but with everyone.  She needed a people break.

Later she reached into the fridge for some vodka, and saw that KSL had filled up both her ice cube trays, in his "special" way so that the ice was beautifully clear.  KSL knew she loved that trick. Her husband would never think to do that.  KSL was a nice guy.

No.  Stay strong Penny.  Hard to get.  You can do this.


Monday, June 6, 2016

I'm a Good Friend, Right?

KSL had called her after he got out of rehearsal and asked if she needed him to come over.  She said no, as her panic attack had just ended and she was covered in sweat.

He kept her on the phone, talking about what might have caused the attack in the first place.  He listened as she freaked out over all kinds of things in her life...being alone, feeling like her standards were so high that she would always be alone.  Feeling like she came back into town and jumped unwanted into everyone's lives. 

He kept her talking for over an hour, digging deeper into her psyche, asking her why she felt the way she did.  She confided that she was always under pressure to be the adult, the bigger person, for everyone.  She told him about a past job that had said they were holding her to a higher standard than everyone else, and how unfair that seemed, but also indicative of her life.

She told him she was so very afraid of never having anyone care about her, ever.  She told him that even though all these thing were valid and true, they wouldn't be as terrible to deal with tomorrow.  She was just upset today, high strung.  She would get over it.

"Until when?" He asked.

"Until the next panic attack."


"I can't help the way I feel.  There is nothing I can do about it.  This is how I deal.  Internally until it manifests itself physically.  It's the Penny way."

She talked about how she always put everyone else's needs ahead of hers.

"Obviously that came from somewhere in your past." He stated.  "I guess it was just how I was raised." She stumbled.  She wasn't sure how to really fix that either.

"But I'm a good friend right?" He asked her.

"Well, I don't have any other friends that would go down on me during my period, so I'd say that you go above and beyond." She retorted.  He laughed.  "What did you expect me to say?" She asked.

"I don't know....but not that."

Friday, June 3, 2016

Panic! At the Studio

2:00 PM: Was it heartburn?  Her chest was tight, and she couldn't figure out why.  She took some antacid medication.

2:30 PM: Her co-workers said that it was hot in the office.  Maybe she was overheated?

4:00 PM: She canceled her plans and just headed straight home from the office.  She blasted the A/C on the way...she felt worse than before.  This was a panic attack.  It had been so long since her last one she forgot how to deal with it.  She felt this odd sensation of wanting to be completely alone and needing someone to hold her.

Only there was no one to hold her.

Her long distance guy friend messaged her trying to cheer her up throughout...but she kept texting KSL.  "What's going on?"

"Nothing.  That's the fun part about panic attacks.  They just happen.  Body is just like 'freak out' and you are just like 'why' and your body says 'you gotta'"

"Oh, I know the feeling.  Was just wondering if there was a trigger."

It tapered off after 5 and a half hours, but the whole time all she wanted was a hug from someone that she knew cared.  Last time it was PJ that pulled her out of it...but she was alone.  KSL wasn't going to care enough about her to come rushing to her side...maybe ever.

Maybe that's why the panic attack happened in the first place.  Because she was alone.  She didn't have a person.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pack Your Bags, You're Going on a Guilt Trip

She downed the remainder of her signature drink from Sex Night two days before. She was going to need the booze to get through the 4 hour drive with her mother.  They were going to visit her aunt for the weekend, and it was sure to be a fun filled 2 days worth of Jewish Guilt and passive aggressive comments.

Her mother's driving was terrible but she refused to let anyone else drive her car.  She had whiplash before they even hit the state line.  The brake checking compromised her bladder control and the lack of music playing was almost too much to stand.

The weekend was punctuated by both her mother, and then and her aunt (and then her mother again) asking her why she wasn't willing to try couples counseling with her husband.  Her mother said it would "help him find closure and understanding."

She felt as if she was always going to be the one who was the bigger person, the one who was held to a higher standard.  Why should she be the one to drag her emotions through counseling so that he could get better?  Yes, she still loved him, but she was tired of giving her all to people and not getting anything but heartache in return.  She got more upset than she intended to, and a few tears were shed.  The tears were mostly frustration with her family for trying to salvage something that she had spent over a decade trying to salvage.

She deserved more support to do what she was doing.  She needed her wishes respected.  She knew what was best for her, and she was finally doing it.  She couldn't be his everything anymore.  It was too much pressure.

He was free to go to therapy on his own.

"But," her mother asked "You aren't going to move on to another relationship until he finds someone else, right?"

".............yeah, totally."

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sticking Your Dick in Crazy Part 4

He seemed to be very distraught, clearly beating himself up over how soon they had sex.  It was then she realized that when he kept asking her if she was okay, that maybe she should have also been asking him.

She tried to come down from her sex high and switch back to friend mode.  She sat down next to him on the couch and took his hand, letting it rest on her thigh.  She stroked the top of his hand as he talked about how the sex was just fantastic, making sure that she was okay, and then continuing to freak out over the fact that he had sex so soon after his break up.  As he continued to speak, she felt herself start to "act" supportive rather than "be" supportive.  He didn't seem to notice the difference.

She wanted to point out that he was more than willing to have sex with her while he was still in his relationship.  She wanted to say that he had explicitly stated what was going to happen before it happened, so why did no where in that time period did he realize he wasn't ready for it?

It seemed to be the orgasm that had really driven it home for him, that's when his attitude changed.  She felt suddenly like she was a slight variation of that SaTC episode where Miranda dates a Catholic guy that has to take a shower after sex.

She tried to calm him down with some lighthearted logic.  "But she even said it was over since your know it was the right thing to do, breaking up with her."

"I know, I know, but...I can't help it, I can't stop freaking out.  I don't think I was ready...I need some time I think, like 3 weeks until my show is up and running."  She thought again of the open letter, and how she said that this back and forth was kind of their thing.  They were the near embodiment of that song.

Then she suddenly realized she was fresh out of fucks to give.  She had a good time, felt free, felt no guilt.  His hangups were his own.  He was acting like it was the end of the world, but she was feeling the opposite.  The sex had been so exciting, so easy.  Enjoyable.  How could anyone feel down or bad after that?  Not her, that's for sure.  She interrupted his spiraling monologue of guilt.

"Look, even if we never have sex again, this was really good, nice.  I don't regret it.  But if you aren't going to stay the night, I'm le tired.  Text me when you get to your mom's place safely."


Her group of guy friends had a saying, "Don't stick your dick in crazy." But they also admitted that sometimes, sticking your dick in crazy can be a lot of fun.

She had fun.