Monday, October 31, 2016

Pan Roasted Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I will." He said.

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

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

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

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pan Roasted Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Emotional Temperature

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

End of the Romance Line

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They had needed to disconnect to reconnect.

Monday, October 24, 2016

HPV Free Since...Forever

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 21, 2016

Strepped Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Hahaha, sorry."

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

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Break Down from KSL

KSL messaged her his perspective of the evening:

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

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Bad Person

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She was so afraid that it was too late.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Leave Your Conscience At The Tone Part 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" came?  You are okay?"

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

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

"Man...that was intense."  She said.

"Mmm" he agreed.

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

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

"Well, at least until April."

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

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

"Ah, the romantic comedy pact?"

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

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

Monday, October 17, 2016

Leave Your Conscience At The Tone Part 3

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

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

"Dive Bar Dancing?" she texted.

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

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

"You okay?"

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

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

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

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

"How goes?"

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

"Okay, gimme a few.  I'm on my way."

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

"By the dance floor."

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

"Ready to go?" KSL asked her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I could come up for a drink."

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

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

Friday, October 14, 2016

Leave Your Conscience At The Tone Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Ok, be safe."

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

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

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Leave Your Conscience At The Tone Part 1

She was late to the memorial service.  She almost turned around and bailed out.  She never met the guy but was really just there to support SD.   Her heart already felt too heavy from the mood she was about to step into.  Being emphatic was a real bitch at a funeral.  It made her inappropriate and just all around miserable.

She came in and sat next to BFF and her boyfriend, with Goldie and her husband behind them, along with most of the improv troupe in front of them.  Her ex was noticeably absent.  Everyone seemed coupled up, and she felt her peak loneliness fall upon her.  She did a slow cry through the service, and felt bad that KSL couldn't be there because he couldn't get off work.

Just as she thought of him, he appeared.  She saw him across the room and felt his energy immediately.  He was so sad, her heart felt as if it was being squeezed.  She felt compelled to go to him.  So she did.  She saw the tears in his eyes and didn't stop until they were hugging.  It was the longest they had stayed in an embrace in public.  He really had his guard down, and for some reason it drew her in closer.  It was as if there was a sudden role reversal, and now she was preying on him...

They talked a little more at the reception afterwards, and it was harder and harder to deal with all the sorrow surrounding her.  The dumb bitch with HPV sat down, and she couldn't stand it anymore.  She left for her BFF's mom's retirement party.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Testing The Waters

She felt weird about their relationship, something was up with him.  When they were together it was was his off time she was worried about.  He still didn't want to delete his dating profile, and was evasive and insisted that he didn't message anyone anymore.  She pretended like it didn't bother her...but it really did.  She was trying to be the cool girl about everything but it just felt like she was being stepped on.  Everything was on his terms according to what she had going on.

She got off work early that day, and they had decided to go swimming.  They swam laps, flirted back and forth with each other, and kissed.  She taught him how to do a flip turn, once she remembered how to do it.  He decided not to attempt it himself.  Eventually a guy came with his two boys to swim, and they decided there had been enough swimming.

They went back to her place and each took a shower separately before heading out to an early dinner.  He had been craving Chinese food, and so they went across town to an upscale chain he liked.  Their conversation was easy, but also stilted.  Quiet.  She chalked it up to them both being tired old introverts.

They went to the mall to check out a new store, and joked around about the tennis rackets, and walked around looking at the new stores.  She went for his hand, and he held it very loosely, eventually dropping it.  She didn't pursue it.  She knew he didn't like PDA all that much.

He took no time in another marathon sex session as soon as they got back to her studio.  It was still early in the evening, but he had worn her out.  They watched a movie and she dozed on his lap on the couch.  They stopped the movie for more sex, and then she slept on him as he watched Game of Thrones from the bed.  She felt bad about sleeping so much, but she was just so tired.  Her thyroid fatigue had finally gotten the better of her from all the marathon sex.

She woke and tried to rally, but he was no longer in the mood.  He said now he was tired.  She asked if he was staying, and he said he could.

Minutes later, he jumped up in bed and exclaimed "Oh shit, I forgot to feed the dog."

"Can't your dad do it if you call him?"  She asked.

"He'll just say that I should be taking responsibility, that it's my dog." He replied.  Didn't sound like the type of guy that would let his sons live with him...what was he covering up?  He didn't want to stay, she guessed.

"Don't they know where you are?  Do they even know I exist?"  She asked, hesitant.

"Well, they know I'm seeing someone..."  He trailed off, staring at her.  She stood up.

"You better go feed your dog."

He left, and she felt empty.  She really felt like the dog was an excuse to not stay over, and she wondered what she did wrong to make him lose interest.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Yes And...

"Ready to meet the troupe?"  She asked.  She felt she had adequately prepared him for the ego-show that was her funny group of Improvers.

He was ready.

They got a vodka red bull to enjoy the show with, and laughed about how terrible their drink choices were.  It was a party drink, but they had zero plans to party.

During the show he laughed out loud more times than she'd ever seen him laugh.  It was hard to tell with his ultra introvert status, but he did really seem to like it.  He said SD was fantastic, and it really was a marvel she was great at all considering that her brother had died the week before.  The funeral was next week, and she knew she had to go but was dreading it.

She became nervous when he finally met BFF and Goldie for a minute after the show.  Both of them were great and engaging with him.  She asked BFF why her boyfriend wasn't there.

"Well," BFF began, "He told me that he wasn't really feeling that great and so he wasn't coming to the show tonight, and I was upset...but then he took me out for sushi so it's fine now."

She laughed and turned to Piz and said "For future reference, if you ever need to tell me something horrible, it won't be that bad if you take me out for sushi afterwards.  Literally almost anything can be made better with a sushi meal."

He really stood on his own, and they talked as they were the only ones at their table.  The subject of a hot springs weekend trip was made up, and they looked up the place on her phone to check it out.

"They have regular rooms and they have dorm style rooms with other people!" She said in horror.

He deadpanned "I get top bunk."

They laughed and she said they might both get top bunk if the place was all booked up.  They looked at the site a little more before deciding the place was out of their budget, even if they did take the bunk beds.  Another dream laid to rest.  She was beginning to think that they would never actually get a weekend away.

They went back to her studio and had another round of marathon sex.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Peak Loneliness

One afternoon, a conversation between her and KSL turned to why he was so depressed as of late.

"I think I'm hitting peak loneliness. Saw the ex the other day, we chatted a bit. She gave me a hug. And it felt empty. There was nothing there. I couldn't tell if she was intentionally holding back or if she was just truly done with me, and I don't know which is worse. But I jokingly was like "Thanks for humoring me with the hugs." And she did nothing to dissuade me from that assessment. I mean, I dunno what I expected. And I feel truly alone now. I gave up my right to ask how her day went, or see how she's doing, or to try and offer words of comfort during her hard times. Maybe I'm trying to rationalize my way back to her just so I won't be alone. Which would be the worst reasoning. Hence my depressive state right now."

"Well I can certainly understand that. This weekend I thought about the same things. I miss having a person to go straight to when I was upset about something, or have them ask me about my day. Have someone to automatically care. I texted Piz about how my friend's brother had died and all he texted back was "I'm so sorry." He didn't offer to come over, or ask if I needed anything. It felt empty. It made me miss my ex for a minute, before I realized that he wouldn't have asked either. You might have...and it made me miss us for a hot minute. Even in this relationship I'm alone...I think that's who we are. To get someone that truly understands us is rare. Granted I didn't get the full KSL Girlfriend experience or anything, but I saw it when you were with your ex. You and I just give more in a relationship than other people, so we are always going to be disappointed when we don't get that back."

"It's funny you say that, as I'm often accused of not being the giving type in a relationship. I'm a sponge. I soak up everything-- affection, affirmation, etc-- but then when I give it back, I get wrung out and emptied, and I need more to replenish what was lost. I'm unable to manufacture it on my own. It's a problem."

"Listen, I'm not saying that you don't also do do. You need attention like oxygen. It's hard. It is hard being in a relationship with you where you seem satisfied. I can count exactly once when you seemed honestly happy with me. Me saying that I would give us a chance and be in a relationship with you...that was a big deal. But I'm not shitting on you, that's just who you are. You require a lot. I'd like to think that I'm pretty easy going but I know I must demand a lot too. "

"Yeah. If I can ask-- what was that one time?"

"It was the last time we were together. We were laying on the bed, and I told you that I thought you were a wonderful person. I laid it all out, built you up...told you every awesome thing about how and how you shouldn't feel bad about yourself. I put myself out there and it was really scary for me. You looked at me and I knew it was the only time I'd ever gotten through to you. Then you kissed me. We had sex, and it was sweet. That's when I knew it was the end. Because I literally poured everything that I was into that speech, and it was the only time I made you happy. I knew I couldn't give that much every time, not without getting something back...and it was over."

"Damn. That's...deep."

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Side to Side

"I was in such bad shape that night!  Honestly I can't even remember that much that happened.  Thanks for taking care of me though...obviously I wasn't good to drive until that medication kicked in."

Later on he asked her if she went to the Improv show after he left.  "You don't remember driving me!?!?!" She asked, shocked.  

"Oh....yeah, now that you mention it I remember."

She got lost in her own thoughts...maybe if he didn't remember telling her that sometimes he loses interest...or did he mean it more because he was delirious?  She felt her thoughts spiral and stopped herself short.  She had decided not to worry about the future, and make him live in the moment.

She looked deep into his eyes, smiled, and said "I'm glad you are feeling better."

His eyes searched hers, looking for worry or regret.  There was none to find.  "Kiss me and stop worrying" she said in her mind to him.

He got the message.  They made love as a gentle breeze came in through her open balcony.

The sex could only be described as marathon.  They averaged about 3 times an evening.  She found herself thinking that when people say they should be living their best life...this is what they were talking about.  Great sex all the time was the greatest thing on earth.

"I'm gonna be that Ariana Grande song soon." She told him.

"What song?"  He asked

"Side to Side.  It's about how she got banged so hard that she walks from side to side."  He laughed and said that he hadn't heard of it.  Apparently he was more into Wilco than Disney Pop.

He pulled her on top of him and they continued to kiss.  A few minutes later some music started playing from the alley below, and she shot upright.  Still on his lap, she pointed behind her at the balcony and exclaimed "This song!  This is the one I was just talking about!"

He laughed at her, then smiled and said "You are so cute!"

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Hurt of Others

Goldie started crying at the birthday party.  "I want to go home."

She had just gotten off the phone with SD, who was in shock.  Her brother had a seizure that morning, and never came out of it.  She was close with her whole family, especially after her mother's death just a few years ago.  SD had never properly dealt with the emotion from her mother's death, and she felt overcome with emotion for SD.  She couldn't deal with this again...she wasn't strong enough.  This wasn't fair.

They left and were quiet most of the way home, only really saying "poor SD" and commenting how awful this was.

She got back into her apartment and stood for awhile, not sure what to do with herself.  She sat on the couch and watched the sun set until she was sitting in the dark.  She felt terrible.  She needed to do something.

She left for the store.  She would at least get her a card and some flowers.

Her BFF called her as she got to the store.  She and SD had lived together, and SD's brother had been like BFF's own.  She was nearly inconsolable.  Everyone was in so much pain over this.

She picked up a card, but all the flowers looked horrible.  She ended up grabbing a mug with the poop emoji on it.  "Because life is shitty" she wrote on the card.

She hoped it would make her feel a little better.

"Well I know how much you hurt for your friends.  Are you okay?  Do you need to talk?  I'm happy to chat, I'm just chilling at home folding laundry."  Dawn texted her.

Dawn was such a great friend.  She did need to talk.  She came over for a little while, snuggled Dawn's dog, and they talked.  Talked about how unfair death is, how horrible family stuff was...and eventually boys.  Dawn had started a casual sex relationship with the ex she just wrote off.  It was an interesting situation...almost the same one she had gotten into with KSL.  Seeing how it would shake out would be an adventure.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Trust Fall

"I can't trust it."  MG said of her budding relationship.

"I can't trust mine either."

"What is wrong with us?  It's good, why can't we live in the now and just accept that they like us, they are attracted to us, and that's awesome?  Why do we have to live in the future and fuck up our present?"

"I don't know.  I'm so fucked up."

"I want to bail out.  I want to be like, forget it.  I'm not getting hurt again, I can't do this." She meant it.  If Piz wasn't so sick, she might just have just ended it tonight.  I mean, he said he sometimes just loses interest and leaves people!  And then says "not to alarm you or anything" as if there was some other reaction besides alarm bells going off like crazy in her head.

Part of her wanted to run.  Never answer his texts again, change her number, something drastic.  The last thing she wanted to be was left behind.  How did she manage to get herself into a position where she could be rejected like this?  Is this how ALL new relationships were?

According to Goldie the next day, they were.  Goldie said she needed to stop overthinking, stop reacting when she saw the worry in his eyes, and just keep enjoying it like she didn't know any better.

She was sure going to try.  It helped that she wouldn't see him until Thursday, and it was only Sunday.

She sent him the text messages that she would normally send him during the week, and on days where she didn't text him at lunch he would text her by the afternoon.  She encouraged him to do well on his presentation, and he told her to have a good day...and that he'd be thinking about her.

How was she supposed to maintain this balancing act of falling, yet not falling for him?  He had to stop saying cute shit.