Friday, July 29, 2016

Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting

One of her actors had just turned 21, and they used the following Saturday night to really celebrate.  They hit up a lounge that was for older people, but for some reason the theatre crowd liked to visit ironically.  It had a dance floor, and bad drinking, but it made for a good time.

A mix of her old cast and new came along to celebrate, as well as SD.  The drinks and shots worked their way into their systems as they talked, and she spent most of her time making sure 21 was having a good time.  She let him into the women's restroom to see the good lighting everyone used for photos, and bought him shots with the understanding he would get the signature beverages for closing night celebration.

Once they had enough to drink, the dancing started.  She mostly stayed with one person as the rest of them danced, but then SD convinced Acrobat to pull her onto the dance floor.

Acrobat was unlike any guy she had been interested in before.  They had met last year on a show, and had been good acquaintances since.  He was in the pre-show for her current show, and he was in her next show.  They were about to be spending a lot of time together.  The flirting started while she had her fever.  He was making fun of her, then asked her for help shaving his legs for a future show he had.

"Listen, if I'm helping you shave your legs, we better be fucking is all I'm saying.  Ask the stage manager for that show for help, not me!"  He found that endlessly amusing, and continued to encourage her to say inappropriate things.  He joked about how he was far from perfect, and she would counter with "Of course you aren't aren't in love with me yet."  The conspiratorial wink that followed cinched their flirtationship.

Alcohol only made their flirting more, and being theatre people, the touching only escalated.  Not only for them, but for anyone else around.  He encouraged her to "let go" and let him lead.  She squealed and said she was trying.  He dipped her low to the ground and everyone around them clapped.

They shut down the bar, and decided the fun shouldn't be over yet.  They got into separate cars and decided on another bar.  21 and SD fought over who would drive while she sat in the back, convinced she wasn't the most sober one.  SD flooded the engine twice in the parking lot before 21 took over and got them there in one piece.

The second bar had already had their last call.  She bitched on social media about how last calls were horseshit, and they decided to walk down to the next bar that was sure to be open.

She ended up walking with Acrobat, with their arms around each other they talked about relationships.  She boldly asked him if he had been with anyone intimately since he broke up with his girlfriend a year ago.  He said no.

"What?  Acrobat, you've got to get over her by getting under someone else, for real.  I mean, I'm not volunteering or anything should."  She told him.

"You're not?" He joked with her, pulling her closer to his side.  The comment, though made in jest, stung her heart.  "No, I'm not the girl you randomly sleep with to get over your ex.  I'm the one you have a relationship with."  She might have said, or she might have just thought drunkenly.

The flirting continued at the next bar, with more shots and 21 going into the crowd and scoring more shots from someone else.  SD left shortly after they arrived, ghosting and walking home.  She got a from SD after she left.  She was a little hurt, as they lived in the same building, that she wouldn't at least ask if she wanted to walk with her.

Acrobat quickly turned her attention back to him, buying them all a shot.  He asked her to lean closer to him, as another actor sat between them.  "I'm going to kiss you."

He did.  It was a peck, nothing to it kind of kiss.  She was too drunk to let it turn into some creepy make out session over another person.  It was trashy enough as it was.

Then he said something to her that she emotionally blocked out right away.  Maybe it was something about using her for sex, maybe it was something else.  All she could remember was pushing him away and saying "If that's the case, then stay the fuck away from me."  He laughed and didn't take her seriously, but she was very serious.

She and 21 decided to call it a night shortly afterward, and they walked back to 21's car.  21 insisted he was okay to drive, and he would drive her home.  He did so successfully, and she said to text her when he was home safe.  But because she was drunk, she fell into bed as soon as she closed her door.  She knew the sun would wake her in mere hours anyway.

She woke to three text messages from 21; he had a flat tire, where was she, and then one final "I'm arrested."

She threw on some pants and walked around downtown to where he would have gone, wandering and checking parking garages for an hour.  She called and texted to no avail.  She became worried sick.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Perfect on Paper Part 1

"That profile is detailed, I'm impressed!" She messaged to the guy who had mutually liked her on the online dating site.  She was trying out a new one, she figured if nothing else it would provide blogging fodder.

They were an 83% match.  He talked about food right off, and they discussed their likes and dislikes for food.  She mentioned her other blog, and they discussed that for minute or two.  It was awkward for awhile as he didn't seem to fully understand what she was talking about, but he finally came on board.

He had moved from the Northwest and liked the city.  He was a crisis counselor for the students, which she told him was pretty amazing.  It takes a strong person to be able to deal with all that conflict.

A couple of days later he asked her how her weekend was going.  She had marched in the Pride parade and had a show coming up that night, and was celebrating a birthday.  She was still sick but trying to push ahead despite being burnt out.

"That's no good.  You've got to take care of yourself.  How can I persuade you to go out with me if you are sick and worn out? ;)" He asked.

She responded "Well, in this weakened state you should be able to catch me more easily!"

"I might be able to ply you with chicken soup I suppose."

"I wouldn't turn down chicken noodle soup no matter what my physical state!" She replied.

"How late does your show run?  I could take you out for pho after."

And thus, a date was made.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Dusky sent her a text.  "Ni**as is tryin' to talk shit about you.  Nothing nasty but passive-aggressively saying backstage needs to be a little tighter."  She was obviously upset, and he texted back "They're actors!  I'm telling you, actors are garbage."

She thought about the scuffle she had with the directors, and now this.  She was busting her ass with a 103 temp and still struggling with strep.  They weren't even making their call times.  She was going through a divorce, they were lucky she wasn't in one long crying jag from the get go.

A crying jag was indeed, impending.  She started to do a slow went through the rest of the show, their "talkback" for an hour after the show, and up until 7:00 AM the next morning.  She couldn't stop crying, and she couldn't figure out why 3 actors talking trash about her was upsetting her so much.  She was all emotion and zero understanding, which just made her cry more.

Mid morning she finally got her clarity.  It was the parallels that were getting her.  She wasn't being appreciated.  Not by the directors, not by the actors...and especially not by her ex for the past 15 years.  It was a feeling that she had been running from, but she accidentally turned a corner and slammed right into them.  The realization hit hard and fast: The more she tried to be good and help, the more of a determent it was.  She was never going to be "good enough" for anyone.

"I give and give and everyone puts me on this high pedestal, but only so they can knock me off of it.  Or once I climb up they just build it higher so I can't reach it.  I don't know, my metaphor is weak." She told Dusky.

Once she realized this, another crying jag erupted from within her.  This one only lasted a few hours.

A few days later she was explaining her feelings to Mo over the phone.

"No," he said.  "No, who you are describing isn't my friend.  That's not Penny.  The Penny I know causes amazing differences in people's lives.  She is the one who tells me to go for jobs I would be afraid to go for, and now I'm starting with the airline at the beginning of next month.  That's only because you told me to go for it, and now I have a better job and am going to be making more money for my family, for my wife and our unborn child.  You made a video application for our co-worker who knew nothing about video editing, you directed it, and she got that job.  You might not have gotten the praise you deserved for that, but you changed her life for the better.  You are making a difference, those same people complaining about you, your made a positive impact in their lives.  The person you are talking about isn't you.  If those people can't see how much you have enriched their lives just by being there, fuck them.  You did it, they just don't see it.  That's on them, not you."

Her tears slowly stopped.  He was right.  She just needed to hear it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Hot Perverted Virus

"I can't believe I'm telling you guys this, this is deep shit."  The actor started his story of how 4 years ago, he slept with one of KSL's flings.  It was during a show that was very sexually charged, and the one night stand happened suddenly with no build up before hand or after.  After the sex was done, he got dressed and left.  The next day she was all over him like they were a new couple and then completely freaked out when she found that he was not open to that kind of thing.  It had been weird between them ever since.

"But maybe that's because I'm a little mad too, bitch gave me HPV."

Her heart started thumping in her chest.  This was years and years ago, which meant that SHE had been exposed to HPV through KSL.  Of course, she couldn't say anything about this, but she had to tread lightly.  She got on her phone and found that not only was she too old to take the vaccine, but she couldn't even be tested for it.  It also said that almost nothing happens with it, out of all the STD's this was the best one to get.  She still wondered if KSL knew and didn't tell her, or if he didn't know at all.

She really needed to find an OBGYN.

She asked KSL to meet her for a walk and talk, and he pressed her as to why.  They fought back and forth until she finally told him she had heard a prior partner of his had HPV.  He responded.

"I appreciate your concern.  Depending on who you're speaking of, it's probably been well over a year and a half since anything has happened between us.  If I do have it, then its the sub-clinical type, with no outward symptoms.  So, I just keep practicing safe sex, like I do."

She didn't answer.  She was furious that he thought it was just all out of concern for him.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Bad Connection

She was running around as her first alarm went off for the show.  Simultaneously a text came through from the ex.  Would she forward him an email from the phone company so he could log into their cell phone account?

6 emails and a text from the company later and he was finally in, and she was stressed out from having to juggle the show and his texts.  She became irritated and asked him why he needed the password right at that particular moment.  "Looking at the costs for switching plans, as well as possibly separating the phones.  I also wanted to see if I was listed on the bill, which I could then use to establish residency.  The website makes it look like switching would be terrible.  I will need to go into a store and talk to someone."

She. was. livid.  That was something that could have totally waited, why in the world did that need to happen right this minute?  She was mad that it bothered her so much, and then she became upset.  Upset because he decides now that it's over to be forward thinking and take control.  Now.  Now was the time he does it.

When the anger subsided, the hurt came in.  Of course he was taking action now, he had no choice.  It took her finally leaving...which means that she did the right thing by leaving.  What he needed was a lack of her.  She was bad for him.

It was a harsh truth.  She wasn't helping.  Maybe she wasn't helping anyone.  She took a deep breath and told herself "You can only help people if they allow you to."

Friday, July 22, 2016

Why Yes, Yes I Am Too Old For This Shit

After she found the closest drop in clinic was closed, she went to the one in the next town over.  She was able to just stroll right in to the doctor, who was struggling with their new computer system that caused them to type everything out in super-detail. She found out later that her idle chit chat was also being recorded into the report.

After ten minutes, she felt like she needed to bring up why she was there.  "'m pretty sure I have strep."

The doctor stared down over her glasses and without any hesitation said "I think you are a little old for strep."

She was taken aback, as she didn't realize that strep throat had an age limit.  "Okay, well...I have it anyway I guess."

After another 10 minutes of typing away at her computer, the doctor finally told her to hop onto the exam table.  She checked her pulse, her temperature (which was high) and then her ears.  Finally she got around to asking her to open her mouth.

"Oh my......word!  That's like, out of a textbook!" She exclaimed, taking a step back. 

"Too old for strep, huh?"

"How are you even walking right now, functioning?  That looks terrible!"

"I used to get these all the time, at least twice a year."

"Twice a--you need to speak to your regular doctor about surgery to get them taken out.  That's just...that's crazy."

She ended up prescribing penicillin instead of a Z-Pak, she said it would burn everything out more quickly.  "Your fever will most likely get worse tonight before it gets better in 24 hours.  Buckle in!"

She was sick for an entire week following.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Oh But It's Sad When A Love Affair Dies

The cherry on top of a perfect week came swiftly on a Saturday afternoon.  She had just dropped off Dawn at her car and it felt like someone just stuck a red-hot poker into her throat.  It was on fire.  She went home and rested before her show, drinking copious amounts of OJ and trying to stop herself from also putting vodka in it.

The next morning she attended a breakfast with Dawn, an old professor, and her ex.  It was stilted conversation because her throat hurt and she didn't want to talk.  She tried to smile and not make it awkward, but later Dawn told her that it had been a little bit because she wasn't talking, so the ex also wasn't talking.  She didn't realize that his speech had always been contingent on hers.  Yet another thing to feel guilty about.

As they parted, she made mention of splitting up the rest of the bills as he handed her a check.  She felt bad taking his money, although he had taken hers for years.  Why did she feel so guilty?  He asked what she was doing later, she told him she would most likely being trying to sleep off whatever she had.

She awoke from a torrid nap to her phone ringing.  It was her ex.  Her ex who knew damn well she was sleeping, trying to rest her voice, and that she liked being left alone when she felt sick.

Irritated, she texted him back that she had been asleep and her throat hurt so she couldn't talk.  What did he want?  His voicemail had only said he wanted to "catch up" as if they didn't do that at breakfast.

"Well, with what you said about the bills being split up.  It made me wonder if you had come to a final decision about us."

Ugh.  She had 103 degree fever, but now is when he wanted to have the talk?  She tried to take the diplomatic route.

"As it stands right now, I don't think it looks great.  I think if we reconcile it is a long way off."  He expressed his sadness, so she continued.  "I thought you understood where we were last time we spoke.  Right now you still seem to be struggling.  Quitting theatre and getting a job you hate isn't really what I was looking for you to do.  You still need to be able to be on your own and find happiness.  Right now it seems like you are making yourself miserable to get me back, which only pushes me away and makes me feel guilty.  I can't be your reason.  That puts a lot of pressure on me.  I think we need to put something on Facebook and make it official."

He replied "Look, I know this isn't exactly fair, but the truth is that I still love you deeply and miss you terribly.  And I can accept that you need this time for yourself, but please don't feel guilty.  I am merely setting priorities in my life so that I can hopefully work towards the things that matter most to me.  As I get out of here, as I find a more stable job, then I will be happy to do some more acting, and maybe some other things as well.  Until then, I will work and learn and network and keep trying to make myself better.  It is something I want to share with you, and I am willing to wait.  But I also need to know if that door is closed, or if it ever does."

"I feel like you are pushing me to say now...I feel like the door is closed.  But it is still a door and not a wall.  I can't predict the future.  I don't think I can ever say one way or another.  Right now there is still a lot of hurt and anger that I'm not sure I can ever get over.  You should not wait."

"Fair enough, I definetly screwed up and you have every right to those feelings.  But you really are someone I need in my life, so I can and want to wait for awhile, because you are certainly worth it."

Tear streamed down her face, and her already choked up throat tightened even further.  She responded "I think you will be missing out on someone who can make you happy.  I love you and always want to be your friend, but the pressure that you are waiting on me, that you are hoping for it to work makes it really hard to see you or spend time with you.  I feel guilty because I can feel you wanting something I may never be able to give you again."

15 minutes passed, and he finally responded; "This gives me a better idea of where we stand than what I had.  I will keep on the plan that I have but I will remain open to other possibilities.  As time goes on, those priorities may being to change and I may meet someone else, or you may, and that will be that.  But, for now, at least you know my position.  I actually feel a lot better than I have in awhile, even knowing that it may be a really long time, or even never.  Because at least I feel like I have a better grasp of the picture."

They decided on a separate but unified message to post on Facebook, and changed their status to single.

She couldn't tell if her heart was breaking, or if her fever had just broken.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dawn and Dusky

Dawn was an acquaintance from college theatre.  Her hair was perfectly colored in an ombre blonde and her skin was just as luminous as it had been 10 years prior.  They bonded over their deceased dads, and their single status.

After a Saturday yoga class, Dawn started crying.  The yoga had brought out all the emotions of her current breakup.  She hugged Dawn to her tightly, and comforted her until she stopped.  They went out to get something to eat to talk it out.

As Dawn chowed down on her vegan meal, and she on her lox, they broke all the Bechtel rules and talked about their similar romantic relationships...or lack thereof.

Dawn had been in her casual relationship for a few weeks, but she felt him pulling away, like something was off.  Then, without warning, he decided it was too soon after his marriage and he broke up with her, wanting to remain friends.

They were both amazed how all the men in their lives could just shut off that function that processes sexual attraction.  It was like a literal switch they could flip that would make things non-sexual.  Platonic. Static.

Why would no man be able to feel as deeply for them as they did?  It was a sad state, and there was no way to fix it.  Her ex, though a great guy, never really felt for her as she did for him...or they would still be together.  He would still fight for her.  Someone should.

Enter Dusky.  Gay and with a boyfriend, they had started a flirtationship anyway.  He had been in her show last summer, and they had become closer since, and even more so now that he had joined up her current production.  He was filling the KSL void nicely, actually being a friend and being affectionate in public.  She felt loved, appreciated, and listened to.  They could have existential conversations without it getting weird and involved.  When she needed someone, he came over.  He was a good friend.

She felt like she was slowly able to move on from everything with friends such as these.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Imodium AD with an Advil Chaser; for Life

Tech week had arrived for her new play, and it was sure to be a stressful one.  Two different thinking directors made for a huge difference in style and how she should be doing everything.

Then her period decided that three days early would be the perfect time for a visit, ensuring that the entire tech run she would be trying to make things work from a hunched over position.  This period had also seen fit to make itself a weepy one, and she found herself crying over the smallest things.

The middle of tech, life came crashing down around her.  Goldie had a personal tragedy that made life seem so remarkably unfair that she didn't even want to go on with the show.  Then, minutes later, she got a text from her other friend who had broken up with her boyfriend.  She was heartbroken, even though she had sort of seen it coming.  The situation had been remarkably close to her and KSL, so her heart then also went out to her.

She had ignored a call from Mo earlier, and he texted to see if she was awake just after her show was getting out.  She said she was finishing up at the theatre.  He sent her a video she couldn't hear, but he was opening a present of baby clothes.

"You're going to be an Auntie!" He confirmed.  She was happy for him, sad for her friends, but mostly her uterus was just trying to eat itself inside her, and she was trying to keep it together.

If this had all just waited until after tech, she might have been able to handle it.

Then her ex insisted on Sunday breakfast with an old professor of theirs who was only in town for a short while.

She got queasy.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Independence Day

Since inviting KSL over to watch the fireworks with her, she had three people invite her different places.  All the invitations were tempting, with people she knew and loved.  She felt like she was missing out, but she couldn't go back on her word.

Of course, now he wasn't answering her texts, so maybe she didn't have to worry about it.  Goldie was having a party upstairs and insisted that she come up for a little while, even though her ex would be there.  For added safety, she changed KSL's name on her phone, then headed up to the party.

She made her way upstairs and visited with BFF and Goldie, eventually SD.  Even with her ex there, she kind of wanted to stay.

The text came through that he was walking from further downtown.  "Text me when you are in the elevator." she sent, then sat back and continued to enjoy the company.  When she stood minutes later to say goodbye, BFF grabbed her phone.  The text from KSL was still on the screen, although with his new nickname.  She quickly grabbed it out of her hand, hoping she hadn't put two and two together.

The doorman wasn't around, so she road all the way down to open the door for him.  "If you had other plans I could've stayed at home." he told her.  She rolled her eyes and said she was invited to several things, and she chose to stay with him.  "Well I didn't even get an invite anywhere else, so..." He said, fishing for sympathy.  She wasn't biting, and they setting into her apartment.

They decided to watch Zootopia until the fireworks started, and she sat next to him and rested her head on his shoulder.  He didn't reach for her, but he didn't shrug her away.  It felt like he was just tolerating her, and that made her more and more angry as the night continued.

As he left he gathered the booze he brought along, stating he needed it for "movie night" at his house.  That movie night that she wasn't invited to.  She made a face, but wasn't going to say anything.  He quickly pointed to her and said "Don't be a bitch!"

She felt her face get red with anger, and she tried to calm herself down mentally, though it was difficult.  How dare he call her a bitch for being upset at a situation that HE created with his big ass mouth and her good intentions?

She blocked it out of her head and a few minutes later, hugged him goodbye.  She gave him crap about not even a kiss.  He hugged her again, and walked out her door.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Mile Marker 3*

She closed her front door behind them, and he tore off his shirt.  "I'm so overheated right now, I'm about to be inappropriate, I'm sorry."

"Nothing I haven't seen before, you do you." She sat on the couch and tried to regulate her breathing.  He took off his pants and shirt, leaving only his tank and boxer briefs.  They sat on the couch and guzzled the last of her water and used the rest of her ice cubes.

He went over and splayed face up onto her bed, trying to stretch out and cool off from the walk.  At one point she went and laid down beside him.  She propped her head up with her hand and turned to face him.

She asked him to listen, because she wanted to be clear about her intent with their friendship.  It stuck with her how much his ex had crapped all over his job, and she wanted him to know that his job situation was not anything to be ashamed about.  His job paid well, they liked him, and he was on a path for advancement.  That's more than almost anyone could ask in this day and age.  It wasn't their parents generation anymore, where you got 7 job offers as soon as you graduated college, and you stayed there until your 50th where you got a gold watch and a pension.  That time was over, but they were raised to believe it wasn't.

"You are not a project, you are a person.  A person that I like for who they are.  I just want you to be able to see you for who you are.  You have a great job that pays well.  You are also a loud annoying jackwad sometimes.  But you can also be very nice and thoughtful and do the right thing.  I don't want you to see an inflated version of yourself, I want you to see an accurate version of yourself.  You've got plenty of shit to work on, and I'll call you out on it, but in the end it is up to you to work out.  You've got to do you.  No one can help you with that."

He was staring up at the ceiling during her monologue, and as she finished he nodded slightly and closed his eyes.  She let him take in what she was telling him, and he turned to face her.  They looked into each other's eyes, getting lost as they almost always did.

"What?  I know you want to say something" he asked her.

"I was going to say that I could get--"

"--lost in your eyes?" he finished with a smirk.

"Yeah," she smiled back "but I didn't want to say that because then you'll just get a swelled head."

He gave her a genuine smile, and reached out and put his hand on the side of her face, and gently stroked her cheek.  Then he leaned in and kissed her warmly.  The warmness grew to passion, though their hands were still intertwined romantically.

Much like Goldilocks, their third sexual encounter was "just right."  They experimented and pushed boundaries together, working as a team for the first time, instead of him taking the lead.  It was nice, consensual, expressive experience.  There were 2 new positions they tried out, and although they didn't work, it was fun to try.

It went so well, and was so beautiful, she almost never wanted to see him again.  Just hold onto this as their last moment.

But she had already invited him to hang out and watch the fireworks for Independence Day a few days later.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mile Marker 2

He was also in a bad mood because his ex had requested to meet with him, and had torn into him for what sounded like hours.  She had hit all the low points of their relationship, and had taken some low blows as well.

They had started out as fuck buddies and it turned into something more.  She flat out told him that his job, his ambition, wasn't good enough.  He was supposed to be supporting her through her 10 years of college, and then after his indentured servitude, she would take over the bread winning.  To her, he was a project to be finalized, worked on.  He was a sculpture to be molded, not a real person.  She was even the one who insisted that he go to therapy She was a real piece of work, and the more that he told her about it, the angrier she became over the whole situation.  He must have some serious low self esteem to go back to that a second time.

They had walked too far, and were both physically having a hard time.

"So, you think...that we...we are..." She puffed, having a hard time catching her breath after their urban jungle miles walk.

"What?" He asked.

"Do you want to stop what we are doing....because...of the parallels in your last relationship?"

He raised his head a little higher in recognition of the situation.  It was funny that he had never thought of it that way before, when she thought it was the whole reason he was telling her.  Justification.  And rightly so.  Did she think of him as a project?  She didn't think so, until he brought it up.  Was that what she was doing with him, just trying to fix someone?

"So, you said the other day that you felt like your therapist would say you are only fucking me for validation.  It made me think, what am I really getting out of this situation?" She asked him.

"So, what are you getting out of it?" He asked her.

She replied "I'm still thinking about it actually.  It's fun and validating for me sure, but with all the emotional bullshit you put me through on top of it, I think I should be getting way more dick."

He smirked at her, and she continued.  "I value our friendship, WAY more than you seem to.  And though I'm surprised by it myself, I'm able to separate the physical relationship we have from the emotional pretty well.  Right now you are being a crap friend, but I still find you attractive sexually.  I've let you get away with a lot more as a friend, maybe because of the physical.  That's where it gets blurry.  I make allowances I shouldn't because I'm leading with my genitals."

At this point they had reached her building, and he stated he was coming up for water.  She continued her speech.

"I was thinking about that time during the show, when I told you not to kiss me again until you actually had feelings for me, and it wasn't really friendly kisses.  Do you remember?"  He nodded, still breathing heavily.

"I've been going back and forth about re-instating that.  Because although I know I'm able to separate the sex from the friendship pretty well...I'm not sure you are able to."

She snuck a peek at his reaction.  He stood against the corner of the elevator, his shoulders slumped.  His breathing still labored, he was considering this possibility.  His eyes flicked up to meet hers, and she could not read the intense look he gave her.  She looked away, up at the numbers to see if they were almost to her floor.

The doors opened.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mile Marker 1

"I want to walk the crooked mile later when it gets cooler.  You up for it?"


They had been studio-locked for a long time, only once meeting up for a movie with other people involved.  His roommate had been there, and they started out the walk talking about her.

"She wanted me to say that we decided to cancel.  She didn't want you coming."

"That would've been awkward because I would have been there with Dusky anyway.  What is her deal with me?  I defended her." She bit her tongue and decided not to tell him that Goldie had gotten more information, and it most certainly WAS her that had been talking about fucking him, and that her friend was saying she didn't want to hear them fucking again that night, or see the bruises on her the next morning.  She had decided to drop it.  It was before they had gotten together, and what he did before that was his business.

"All I've got to do is hold on for 10 more months and then I can come up with a new plan."  Almost the same sentence structure as when he moved in with his girlfriend.  He would always be waiting for the future to reach him.

He was complaining about all the usual stuff, and she was letting him wear himself out.  His roommate was a bitch, had problems, might be losing custody of her kid, etc.  She was in a bad mood, he was still pissy about what other people are saying about him, and her.  Even his ex thought he and the roommate were fucking.  He was angry about everyone thinking he was doing things he wasn't doing, and how no one thought he was changing when he was trying to hard to make everything right, including taking all of the blame in situations.

After he had wound down, she said "Are you just looking to vent or do you want my opinion?"  He replied "By all means, go ahead!"

"Okay, remember I asked you first.  Everyone talks about you behind your back (and I'll get to why that doesn't happen as much as you think in a minute) because you don't outwardly change.  Whenever a situation arises you take on all the blame, you say it's your fault, that you are an asshole.  But you NEVER say 'I'm sorry, what can I do to make it better and have it not happen next time?' You never learn from your mistakes, you just keep making them.  People want resolutions, not the same mistakes over and over again.  Beating yourself up and then not doing anything about it makes people feel LESS sorry for you."

"And people don't talk about you near as much as you think they do.  You go to these great lengths, including treating me like shit in public, to get people to stop talking about us.  I had MORE people come to me asking if we were fighting then I ever did asking if we were fucking.  They saw how you treated me, saw that I was upset by it, and came to my aid.  People talk because they care, and I'm glad for that kind of support in my life.  I know you don't see it like that, but maybe you should start, and realize that the talk is something that, for the most part, YOU are creating."

He was quiet for longer than he usually was, taking it in.  She had finally gotten through to him, got him to think about it.  She wondered how long that would last.  If she could judge by her ex, about a month or so.  Maybe shorter.  She could see his expression change and knew something else was on his mind, and asked him to share.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fight or Flight

It was Goldie's husband's birthday.  She and MG had shared a ride to the location, and were enjoying themselves at the pre-gaming bar.   Suddenly MG looked up and said "Oh...oh, your ex is here."

She felt bile raise in her throat, and she felt the panic start.  What was he doing there?  I guess they were his friends too, but she just felt like the rug was pulled out from under her.

MG moved over so that he could sit down next to her, the exact opposite of what she wanted in the situation.  She ended up giving the wine she didn't like to him, and some of her avocado egg roll.  She suddenly had no desire to eat, drink, or be merry.  He puppy-dogged her the entire way to the arcade, the next location.  She pulled MG into the bathroom as they got there.

"I can't do this MG.  I'm so sorry, and I'm sure that Goldie will drive you home if you want to stay.  I can't do it, I can't be around him when he's constantly my shadow like this.  I need to leave."

MG talked her into staying for 15 minutes and trying to power through it.  As more people arrive, she started to panic more, as if she wasn't going to make it through.  She gave a look to MG, who said they had to go and she was unable to answer or meet the eyes of Goldie.  She felt ashamed for letting this situation get to her, but she had to get out. 

They barely made it to the car before her first tear fell.  She slowly leaked tears all the way home, not being able to figure out exactly why she got so upset, why she felt she had to leave so badly.  He just made her feel uncomfortable in crowds, as he continued to act like they were a couple...moreso than when they were actually a couple.  Her leaving had somehow activated how much he loved her, whereas it had only strengthened for her the fact that she no longer loved him.  She felt aggravated by his attention.  She also felt guilty that she left a birthday party for selfish reasons.  She should have gotten herself together.

Later Goldie messaged and called her.  She was with KSL and didn't answer.  When she called back, they both apologized to each other and all was well.  She still felt guilty and promised that she would hold it together regardless.

Her test came the very next day, when there was a festival that Goldie was judging, and the ex happened to be there with Goldie's husband.  She spent time with them until she had to leave to meet someone for coffee.

She had hung on, and she knew that it wouldn't happen that way again. 

She also knew she was running away from what needed to happen.  There needed to be an announcement, or a legal split soon.  For now, she just wanted to keep running.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Taking Feminism Back 10 Years

"So, I normally don't ask my dates to come armed, but...would you mind if we borrowed your foil for my play?  I promise to take good care of it and get you free tickets to opening weekend!" She asked her potential date.  He agreed, and they agreed to meet shortly after they were both off work.

She saw him getting out of his car in the alleyway behind her building to meet her for coffee with the foil.  She almost called out to him, but didn't want him to see her coming out of her building.  She followed behind, watching him jaywalk across the street to the coffeeshop.  He was a lot bigger than the 50 pounds overweight he'd led her to believe he was.  It was still workable, but she felt no immediate  spark from seeing him.  She walked over and took the actual crosswalk and came up behind him to say hi just as he was ordering.

"Hi" He said without too much feeling, then asked how much his coffee was and took out his wallet.

He paid for his coffee, then stepped aside to wait for her to order.  He never offered to pay for her coffee.  He never even attempted.  She paid for her coffee awkwardly, and they found a spot to sit down.  The air conditioning wasn't on for some reason, and she fanned herself for a minute with the scripts from her play.

They talked about their days, other things they had covered online.  She felt like she was carrying most of the conversation talking, and hadn't really gotten to know him besides a few stories.  She predicted she wouldn't be attracted to him, and here it was.  But, was it because he was just nice and nothing more, or did her vagina just seal shut the second he didn't pay?

She was taking Feminism back 10 years with these thoughts, but...was chivalry really that dead?  At least offer and let her decline, right?  She was so floored, this guy was talking about second dates and taking her out to sushi for lunch...but he didn't want to shell out $5 for her iced chai latte?

Her friends all gave a resounding "Nope" when they heard about the not paying, men and women alike.  Her co-worker even said "I think these things come around every once in awhile to test you, to see if you'll find into the same patterns.  You don't need a guy who makes you pay, again."

She had an awesome point.  Looks like she needed to get back out there.

Friday, July 8, 2016


"I'm having a helluva day, could we move coffee to tomorrow?"

Her mind spun as she thought of her super hectic schedule, moved things around in her head, and replied "Ummmmm I think so.  I'm pretty sure I have the same schedule going tomorrow."

His response: "Thanks-my brother pulled some shit and I'm trying not to be worried."

"What better distraction than coffee with a cute girl?" She thought to herself.  Outwardly she was supportive, and he confided to her that his brother was basically a late 90's soap opera and had run away from rehab.  It was a mess, and he needed to take time after work to call the police stations and hospitals in a town 8 hours away.

"Are you sure you don't want to put off coffee indefinitely?" She asked, feeling like this was all a ploy to never meet up with her.

"Not a chance, just need a day that's slightly calmer."

Well, okay then.  She guessed tomorrow would be the day then.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


The date with ODD was fast approaching, and she was petrified.  She didn't even date her husband, they just sort of hung out until they got married.  They never went on dates.  She had no idea what to do.

"Just act like you are meeting a friend for coffee, only he's paying.  He's a nice friend.  You don't even know if you like each other yet, don't let it stress you out." MG said.  She was right, she needed to get out of her head about all of this.

It didn't help that her mind was still swirling about KSL.  She needed to make a decision.  She had texted him the night before, when the alcohol stopped being fun.  She sat on the toilet of the bar, pulled out her phone, and asked how the end of his show went.  She finished her business, stood up, flushed, then realized she was reaching out to him.  At midnight.  SHE was trying to get a booty call.  Or at least a ride from the bar to her apartment.

She immediately shot off another text.  "Nevermind why the fuck am I drunk texting you."

He didn't text back until 2 in the afternoon the next day.  "Sorry.  My phone was on silent.  Didn't get home til 4:30.  Just woke up"

She waited a half an hour, then sent back "It's fine.  I was in a little trouble but even in the moment I obviously knew you weren't the one to contact.  Just forget about it."  She baited him with the trouble line...why did she do that?

"What kind of trouble?" He asked immediately.

She waited another half hour.  "Saturday night shit.  It's fine, I managed on my own."  As soon as she sent it she wished she had said "by myself." That would've gotten him.

He waited 20 minutes then replied "Are you okay?  How did the show go?"

"I'll be fine.  Show was really good."

Finally, after what felt like forever he replied "Okay.  I won't pry.  Glad you are, or will be, alright"


She was worried she'd turned into him, sabotaging all her relationships.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Excuse Me, Do You Validate?

"Yep, words of affirmation are high for me.  Basically Netflix and Validate Me." she joked to ODD.

It seemed that validation was the theme lately.  She had lunch with a friend of hers that was in a new relationship, but her romantic interest wasn't being very affectionate.  She told her friend that men loved big gestures, and she just needed to take the bull by the horns sometimes.

She could see her friend's hesitation and was suddenly struck with the question: Why were woman raised to automatically carry such a heavy burden, emotionally and physically?  We still weren't allowed to be sexual beings, to feel right asking for more sex, so instead we just silently get more and more depressed over the relationship.  As women, we need to break free of this mold.

Everyone needs a little validation to live.  Just like Tinkerbell, everyone needs applause.  She started thinking about what validation she was getting from KSL...she couldn't think of anything except that she was a hot piece of ass.  Otherwise they seemed to barely be friends.

After his show they both went midnight shopping at Wal-Mart together.  On the way over she talked about how she was meeting the Online Dating Dude soon.  She had deleted all her dating profiles because they were all tall dudes that wanted their women to hike, fish, and camp.

"That's when you say that it's not for you, but you are willing to try it." KSL said.

"Then what?  When I try it and hate it the relationship is over and we've both wasted our time when I could just say it's not my deal in the first place.  Why lie about something like that just to keep a guy I don't even have anything in common with interested?" She replied.

"Well now I'm not taking you hiking." He joked.

"No, see you I'd go hiking with, you know my physical limitations."

"No I don't." He said.  She shot him a glance across the car's console.  He backtracked "I mean, like in the hiking sense I don't."

The conversation was brought around to his next therapy appointment, which was early the next month.  "I don't think she's going to be happy about you."

"Me?  You are talking to your therapist about me?  What are you saying?"

"I'm going to tell her I've entered into a non-committed sexual relationship with someone."

She replied sarcastically "Ooooh, it sounds so sexy when you say it!"  She softened and said "What do you think she'll say?"

He said "She won't want me to do it, and tell me that I'm just doing it for validation."

As they were walking out of the store, he said "I'm going to tell you something that you aren't going to be happy about, but I want to be honest."

She braced herself and went to the lowest common denominator...that he had given her an STD or something similar.  It didn't turn out to be that, but why she wasn't invited to his movie nights on Sundays.  It was because his roommate was still miffed about what Goldie had overheard, so it would be awkward if she was over there.  He said "You can say I told you so if you want, you did call this I guess."

She kept silent, her brain churning out thoughts on how to process this.  On one hand it was the roommates house too and she deserved to be comfortable in it.  On the other, this was the same problem they had just fought for weeks over.

"You just not gonna speak to me now?"  He said, not being able to take the silence any longer.  She had been thinking so loudly in her own brain that she didn't realize she'd gone that long without speaking.

"I'm processing."

"You're angry."

"Well I'm not happy."

She started to think he would never stand up for her, never even be her friend.  Maybe all he was seeking was physical validation from her.  What validation was she getting?  Just that she was still hot enough to fuck and nothing more.  Sex is great, but the sex they were having wasn't even that great.  He had mentioned he needed to start jerking off more to last longer, and she retorted that he owed her an orgasm for last time.  He was, of course, keeping track, stating technically he was up by one.  She corrected him and said he was up by maybe half.  The first time she had almost orgasmed through penetration and really wanted to do that.

She felt like he wasn't ever going to look out for her or respect her.  When she was at lunch with her friend, she was presented with options: drop the friend and just have sex, drop the sex and just be friends, or stop it all.

She had a decision to make.  Part of her wanted to wait and see what his therapist said.  Part of her wanted to end it right away before he could talk to his therapist. 

She wasn't sure what she was going to do, but it did have to be something.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Meathead Matty

A man who could only be described as "beefy" walked into the bar and up to the bartender, who was equally as large, and hugged him right off the ground.  There was clearly lots of bro-love between the two, and it was very funny to watch.

She and her friend laughed at the scene, then went back to their drinks and deep conversation.  They ran into their directors, and then all four of them bellied up to one small table to talk about the play.

A few minutes later the man sat down and introduced himself as Matt.  Her director would later tell her that he "zeroed in" on her, and they begin talking.  Matt "milked" fish part time, and the other half of the time he worked as an RN for a plastic surgeon.  They got a rapport going and things were going great...then he mentioned his fiance.

She did a hard switch back towards him just being friendly, then suddenly she was left alone with him as her friend left and the directors went outside to smoke.  She joined them outside and they laughed greatly at her misfortune.  Why is it always the guys that were taken that ended up being taken with her?  She was over it.

That night she dreamed for the first time in a long time.  She dreamed was out with Matt and he had overtaken her, holding her back from something behind him she needed to see.  He was too large and holding her too tightly.  He suddenly shifted and she could see over his shoulder.  What she saw was KSL staring at her, with her ex just behind him.  She called out to KSL, who stared through her as if she wasn't there.  He wasn't going to help her.  In fact, he turned around and approached her ex, and started to beat him up.  She cried out, screamed and tried to fight against Matty to stop it, but he was too strong and held her tightly.

She awoke with major feelings of guilt, and realized that she couldn't juggle all this emotion much longer.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Another Go Round 1.5

The knock on the door made her jump.  They hadn't seen each other in person in a week and a half, and she wondered how it would feel to see him now.  They had a pretty serious fight, and she had said some really mean (but true) things to him.  She had really lost her temper, and he still kept coming back for more.

He was wearing the t-shirt he'd made for their first play together, a great sign.  Despite herself, she felt the ice in her heart melt towards him, and they stood in the doorway in an embrace for a long time, not speaking.

She sat in the middle of couch and he sat on the end, the indicator they had silently agreed was a good place to start.  They caught each other up on their lives, her online dating and his mis-adventures of the play and a co-worker hitting on him.  "You would have been proud of me.  I told her she was the kind of girl that seemed to want a relationship and not a booty call, and I couldn't be that for her.  She agreed with me.  Still, for a while there it was nice to be pursued."

He did his usual sideways glance, looking at her for an indication of what she was thinking.  As a friend she was proud that he had pushed a girl off after a little kissing, because he didn't need that complication while he was getting over his girlfriend.  As his lover, she was a insulted. Of course, kissing other people was in their rules as okay, so she didn't really have a leg to stand on.  She told him that it was good that he managed to keep it in his pants.

When he saw that she wasn't furious, he looked over with puppy dog eyes and asked if they were okay.  She said that he was there, but they were still a little shaky.  Things needed to be talked about, mended.  By telling her the story of how he resisted he was trying...he was doing the thing she asked, trying to change and open up to her.  She guessed that was progress, however slow.

"Hug it out?" He asked, opening his arms.  She snuggled into him and they sat for awhile, cheek to cheek, laughing about things, making jokes, generally being flirty.  There were kisses on the cheek, nose nuzzling...and she decided to go in for a kiss.

"Oh hi there!" He responded.  "Didn't you say you liked to be pursued?" She asked, a little pissed off that this was the second time he had rebuffed her when he had given her a clear go ahead.  "Can't I be bold, are we not past that damn point alreaday?" He replied "I might like you being bold...for tonight."

They started kissing and she was soft, polite.  He pulled back for just a moment, looked into her eyes for that unspoken permission, then it was him that took over the boldness.  It became clear he was still a little angry with her, and though it couldn't be considered hate sex, it was "I'm seriously irritated with you" sex.  He wrapped his hand around her throat while kissing her, but put very little pressure into it.  The danger was arousing, the action not so much.

He was aggressive, and a couple of times she had to ask him to stop the action he was performing because it began to hurt.  He was used to girls twice her height, and she told him he needed to scale back accordingly.  The arguing continued as he stopped her to ask if she liked giving blow jobs, she told him to shut up and enjoy it and all questions could be answered at the end.

They went back to making out a little, but the blow job conversation got into her head and she stopped to ask "Are you sure you want to do this?"  He looked down and gestured "He's ready to do this!"  She shook her head and said "I know he's ready....but is HE ready?"  She tapped his temple, indicating his brain.

"He'll get there." She looked into his eyes, waiting for him to realize his actions and run like a frightened animal.  His eyes stayed locked into hers, and he nodded his head slightly, indicating that he was okay.

They went back and forth on if they should use the free condoms or the ones she had bought.  She gave him crap that he was locked into having sex 12 times if they opened up the package.  He left it up to her, and she chose the free condom.  She would never get up the nerve to return that box of condoms anyway, but she'd be damned if she gave him the satisfaction of "committing" to her even that much.

He came after only a couple of minutes.  He made the excuse that it had been too long...she couldn't decide if she should feel good that she was so hot he came right away, or insulted that he kept coming right away.  The night ended without an orgasm for her, and she was left wanting more.

As she always would when it came to him.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Home Sweet--Travel

She barely had time to enjoy her studio after her return.  After one blissful night of sleep, it was back to long rehearsals and barely getting home and getting to bed.  She did love her bed though.  She was blissfully happy to be home.  She was looking forward to a nice relaxing day once rehearsals were over for the week.

"Hey, what are you doing Thursday?" Goldie texted.  With Goldie, it was always something amazing, so she set aside the feeling of wanting to be alone and said "I give up, what are we doing?"

What they did was drive 2 hours west to a comic book convention Goldie needed to do press for.  It was an after party with a childhood hero in the VIP area and a reality TV star covered in tattoos doing interviews in the front.  Comic Cons were a whole other beast now.  It was wild.

On the way they discussed and went through her new foray into online dating.  She had decided to distract her from the fight with KSL with other men that were actually interested in her.  As a new experience.

She hated it, all the attention that was was so surface level.  All the small talk.  It was beginning to hurt her soul.  Oh one hand, it was nice to know her face was cute enough that she was attracting people.  Goldie said the first 72 hours were as much action as she was bound to get.  She decided that after a week she would just delete it all.

2 horses emerged out of the dregs of fuckboys.  One started to become strange, asking her for her "secrets" and asking if she would keep him a secret since not everyone knew she was separated.  Then he started talking about sex and wondering if they were sexually compatible.  She told him to open up and say what kind of sex he was into.  He told her group, exhibitionist, and threesomes.  She asked him exactly how many partners he had in the past.  He said he hadn't been keeping track, but around 20-30.  He asked her, she told him two.  He said that would be a lot of pressure on him.  She said it would be more pressure on her to live up to all those women.  He said he was nervous to be "33% of your sexual history" and her snark came out and she said "Funny.  Didn't seem to bother the second guy."

The dude got super jealous of KSL, and it was all too preliminary for her.  She hadn't even met the guy yet and he was all judgey mcjudgerson, and clingy.  She asked the other horse to find her on a third party messaging service, and deleted everything.

She hoped one man would be enough of a distraction from KSL.  He certainly held promise.