Friday, December 28, 2018

The Six Month Lean In

She'd become worn down.  She could always pretend for a certain amount of time before she broke, but she had no longer had her own space to break down.  Living with someone, but especially KSL, caused only the tip of her iceberg to be above water.

Her mental health decided to weaken at the exact moment that she had her busiest day of her vacation.  She'd put off socializing until it all happened at once, and two social gatherings turned into four.

On the fourth however, she ended up in a conversation with an acquaintance that she enjoyed talking to.  He was a stand up comedian and they could go back and forth with great quips.  She missed having a witty tete-a-tete.

She mentioned this to KSL when she was finally home.  Naturally, his low self esteem caused him to apologize even though she never meant it as a dig to him.  But since he seemed to want to go through some self-loathing...

"It's not your fault, you just aren't the D&M type.  You just...don't have conversations.  You don't even want to really talk about the movies you make me watch.  You got cranky when I said Blade Runner didn't have as much running as I anticipated."

As if she had challenged him instead of stating a simple fact, so they launched into a retrospective of what she liked and disliked about the first half of their lease. 

"You are just so squirrely about everything between us." she repeated multiple times.  "I bought a special robe to get to my bathroom because you were being squirrely about nudity, which is silly considering our history." She dug a little deeper and let a little too much go, the tide recede slightly on her iceberg due to her being worn down by disappointment the entire month.

He stepped out of character as well, and told her a story of him happening upon a fellow actor years ago when she was changing.  He had been "squirrely" and she had said to him "These's just tits, honey"

"Remind me of this conversation in the future" he said, "So that I can try my best to be better."

The next morning he came out of his room, haggard.  "You okay?" She asked.

He spoke, and just based on his body language she knew he had taken the D&M too much to heart and was worried by it.  As if to confirm, he said "Hey, new rule; we don't start a D&M so late at night."

"That's fair" She answered.

For the next few days he was on his best behavior.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Mental Health-Weak

Since she had missed out on what seemed like a lifetime of Self Care Sundays, she was really looking forward to having the entire week of the holiday off.

Her ex had been asking her to go to a movie with her, and to go look at the Christmas lights around her old neighborhood.  Even though she'd already seen the movie with KSL, she saw it again with him.  It was nice, but for some reason it was getting hard to spend time with him again.  She put off, then reluctantly agreed to go see lights with him.

After a full day of socializing that she didn't want to do, he texted that he was starving and convinced her to go to eat even though she was emotionally not feeling well so therefore wasn't hungry.  She tried to keep up conversation with him while he ate, but very soon an old injury of his had flared up and he was clearly uncomfortable.

Searching for a topic of conversation, she told him she'd been to the doctor because her periods were so bad and they decided to put in an IUD.

"Well that will help with all the free-wheeling I bet, huh?" He responded cruelly.

"No...I literally just told you why I was doing it.  I don't want to be in pain anymore."  She was taken aback as normally he wasn't this mean.

"Well, no, that's true, you still have to worry about STDs."

She shook her head as if to get the conversation stricken from her brain.  She suspected that somehow he'd found out about her and Mel seeing each other.  Which made her laugh since she had never ended up having sex with Mel, unless he wanted to count a night of Mel not being able to get it up with a condom and her eventually getting tired of trying and going to the other bed and going to sleep.

Her ex said it with such venom that someone must have said something, or he was just in a bad head space from his injury.  Ex then brought up he got a late night phone call from a mutual acquaintance that had been after him since before they were married.  "Please, anyone but her for your rebound" she told him, then regretted saying it as she just felt like she was "getting back at him" for his comments on her IUD.

They tried to go around and look at lights for a bit, but she eventually just drove him back home and said goodbye.  He was about to go into a really hectic work month so she didn't have to worry about seeing him for awhile.

She felt the day weigh on her and her depression deepened.  She wished she was done for the evening, but sadly it had just begun.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Good Intentions, Bad Party

She had invited Mel to the work Christmas party.  The retirement party had gone so well that they decided they looked good dressed up together.

"After the Christmas party, I would really love to get some hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps, hop in an Uber, and go around looking at Christmas lights for an hour.  How does that sound to you?" Mel asked.

She was incredibly touched by the gesture and said that sounded really nice.

When she got off work he said he was just leaving his house, so she said she'd change and meet him there.  She had poured herself into a dress of Goldie's and some high heels she never got to wear out even though she'd owned them for years.  She checked in and walked around saying hello to everyone she worked with, until Mel texted her that he had just arrived.  She stood up and went to greet him at the door and immediately noticed he was exhausted.

"Did you have a hard day at work?  Are you okay?"  Normally she would have been happy to see him but she knew something had happened.  It had.  His "friend" had an emergency and he had driven 20 hours in the last 24 to help her out.

He only had a plateful of food, said he didn't feel well, and went home instead of their plans.  She told him it was okay, he needed to rest.

But she had a feeling in the pit of her stomach, depression and low self esteem starting to flow through her veins like a cold liquid.  She wasn't prioritized enough, to anyone.  Mel didn't want a relationship with her, Nameless was content with the occasional text and hook up.

She wasn't worth it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Drastic-ish Measures

"So, at my last checkup, I mentioned maybe having to up the dosage of my pain pills for my periods.  It's actually gotten much worse since last year."

"Yeah, what's been going on?" Her kind OBGYN asked.

"It's so bad that I had to call into work last month.  I have to take the painkillers, drink a large amount of alcohol and take an edible just to not spend 2 full days on my bathroom floor."

The doctor agreed that it sounded like endometriosis.  She had a couple of different options to choose from; an operation to scrape it all out that would have to be done again in a couple of years, or get an IUD put in.

She was conflicted, as she didn't want to go to the extreme of another surgery.  But she thought about the depression she encountered when she was on birth control pills, and worried about the same with an IUD.

"I would give you the smallest IUD on the market, and eventually it gets to the point where you won't have your period at all, so no more intensely painful cramps.  Do you want to give it a shot?"

She decided to try the IUD first, and they scheduled an ultrasound and the IUD insertion for the same day a week into the new year.  The doctor said that the ultrasound would make sure there was nothing else strange going on before going forward.

She was scared about all the things that could happen, and decided she needed to keep track of her mood every day to make sure that depression didn't take hold again.  Cautiously optimistic, she looked forward to no more pain. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Holiday Trysting

Scheduling had been a real bitch between her and Nameless.  They ended up going almost two months without seeing each other due to his schedule always coinciding with her period.

Finally they were able to make a date work.  Well, an evening.  In order to make it work he was driving up late one night, and had an 8am meeting the next morning.  He got them a hotel room, and texted that he could be later than usual, around 10:30 at night.

She ended up downtown waiting for him at Goldie's place watching the dog with SD.  They turned on White Christmas, made hot beverages, and talked about making "Sisters" their newest karaoke duet that they'd never perform together.

Finally Nameless texted that he had arrived.  She said goodbye to a very sleepy SD and got into Nameless' incredibly tall truck.  She struggled to get into it as he laughed at her.

She could tell he was tired though.  He had just drove 2 hours after working a full day and right before that he had just flown in from across two time zones.  Regardless, they checked into the hotel and went to grab a drink from the nearest non-smoking bar.  After catching up and buying each other 1 round each, they decided it was time to head up to the room.  It was strange how they always needed a period of adjustment to get used to each other, to remember they were attracted to each other and not just strangers.

They had also been sexting a lot lately, and she was a bit concerned how much of it he actually wanted to put into practice and how much was just talk.  She was a little bit nervous.  He actually made a joke if she brought anything to get tied up with, and she did say she brought her scarf just in case.  He laughed and said he was just kidding, and she wondered what else he was kidding about.

Maybe she had just waited too long for him to arrive, but even two drinks later she wasn't feeling it at all.  Her spirits lifted a little when he finally reached out to her and kissed her.  She was more comfortable in a one on one space with him anyway.  She had to wonder if that was a KSL holdover, trying to pretend like they weren't anything when they were in public together.  Mel was the only one who was prone to PDA out of the fauxlationships she'd had the past few years.

It wasn't long before they were both kissing and tearing clothes off.  She was suddenly acutely aware that he was always on ripping her pants off, but didn't bother with anything else most of the time.  She took it upon herself to get her top and bra off, and he didn't say anything one way or the other about it.  He was actually very attentive, and for a few quick moments she thought he had maybe forgotten about his no oral rule, but he would always end up moving away as she was getting excited for anything to happen.

As per their discussions, she 'begged' him not to stop, thereby causing him to get too tired to finish in the middle.  Stating he just needed a small break, she teased him saying it was his fault for asking her to tell him not to stop.  "Well, I hope you got yours already" He said, causing her to near-snort with laughter.  He was a man of science, surely he didn't think she was just spontaneously orgasming.  It must have been the rock n roll past where girls would just lie to him without reason.

As he rested a moment her mind wandered to how KSL always said that he would make sure the girls would get theirs before he got his.  She shook her head violently as she realized what she was doing.  Why was she in the middle of a sexcapade thinking about him?  Thinking about how well he would be treating her at that moment?

Soon they were back again for round two, and it was just as great as it had always been.  Until he suddenly stopped, and stated that the condom had fallen off for a second.  When they tried a different position he joked it had been "easier when the condom fell off" and she suddenly didn't really feel safe anymore.

It was late when all was said and done and he went quickly to sleep.  She found it hard to drift off, her thoughts going back again to people who treated her a bit better.  There weren't many.

She'd waited months for this encounter, only to feel more alone than before.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Merry Christmas Indeed

They say that once a company culture talks about being a family, it's time to get out.  They want you to get comfortable so they can take advance of you the way a family member would.

A sad thing to think about in regards to both work and family.  Neither are easy, but you can't live without either one.

But wouldn't it be nice to try?

She'd felt uneasy ever since KSL had texted her that he didn't need a ride home from work that day.  He texted it pretty early on in the day, but since she was up to her ears in work she didn't give it too much thought until she walked in the door and found KSL sitting on the couch, not on his regular side.

"Good news, you don't have to drive me to work tomorrow!"

Her eyes narrowed and her heart dropped.  "Why?"

"Or the next day."


"Or, ever."

"KSL, why?"

As she suspected, his job had decided to pursue other interests besides him.  He could have very easily been stoned, drunk, freaking out, or all three at once.  However he seemed pretty calm and collected for what had just happened to him.

He told her not to worry, that he had gotten an incredibly decent severance package and a pretty solid approval from unemployment when he filed, as others in the company usually got it without a problem.

Her heart ached for him.  He was already going through a depression because his ex had felt the need to tell him she was "seeing" someone else, but that it wasn't serious.  He didn't deserve to lose basically everything.

Merry Christmas Indeed.

"You are taking this all really well." He said to her, possibly projecting.

Of course she was taking it well.  It was her second rodeo after all.  She had gone through her own unemployment, and had gone through being the only person earning money in the house.

He told her not to worry, possibly thinking about her ex and how she had to do nothing but worry.  She would try her best not to, but she was already mentally canceling orders and trying to figure out how to do Christmas on a much smaller budget.

It was a very, very easy mentality to slip back into.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Retired Habits Die Hard

"So what time should I be there for your boss' retirement party?" Mel asked via text.

There had been a miscommunication.  She had sworn he had said that he couldn't come, that he would be busy.  "No, that was earlier this week.  I'm free."

She scrambled and got her plus one back on the same day, and told him it was supposed to be pretty fancy.

He showed up on time, looking great in a suit as always.  His new mountain man look sort of negated his nice suit, but at least he was there.  He had, in fact, showed up for her for once.

"You look so beautiful tonight!" He said upon seeing her.  She blushed, said that it wasn't really her at all.  A friend had done her makeup and her hair, she couldn't take responsibility for any of it.  "Hey, you look beautiful.  Just you."  She smiled at him and they headed inside.

As they sipped their beverages and caught up during cocktail hour, she mentioned to him again that she really liked seeing him in a suit.  He smiled and said "I like getting dressed up and going places with you.  I'm really glad you asked me.  I've missed you."

She knew it was a bad idea at the time, but when speeches were happening, they held hands under the table.  Both of them wished there was coffee, and suddenly after dinner coffee was served and they both basked in the glory of a caffeinated second wind to the night.

The band started up and she decided that was a good time to go to the ladies room.  He followed suit and they met up and went to the bar where he ordered another cocktail, and she just grabbed her water to sip on as they listened to the band.  Her boss was very excited to perform, but she was distracted by all the signals Mel seemed to be throwing her way.

He looked into her eyes and restated: "I've really missed you." His gaze darted from her lips back to her eyes, silently asking permission.  She leaned in for a small chaste kiss.

"You wanna get out of here?"


Mel had recently moved into a new place, and gave her instructions on how to get there.  She ended up following him most of the way, and was surprised in how close it was to her apartment, just down the hill.

His dogs jumped all over her in greeting, and she used his bathroom to change into a more casual outfit than the semi-formal dress she had on.  He had recently been to the spot they went to last Autumn and picked up some apple wine which they tried to enjoy with the dogs climbing on top of them.

They listened to some of his vinyl records since his wifi hadn't been set up yet, and waiting for the dogs to calm down before they resumed their kissing and fooling around.  Once it got a little too hot and heavy and he said he "I really want to take you back there to my bed" that she pulled away.  She had work the next day and had to be going.

And she wasn't about to get disappointed by their lack of sexual chemistry again.  They might be great make out partners, but they would never be any more between them than that.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Alone Together Time

She'd been watching Goldie's dog for days, and she was feeling lonely.  And as always happens, once she was feeling the most lonely a man would text her, and keep her on a hook.  This time it was Mel instead of the usual line up.  He wanted to hang, but he was short on funds.  She suggested a movie night at Goldie's and they would pick up some cheap tacos for dinner.

As they sat around catching up while waiting for the tacos, he shared his plans for next week in Vegas meeting Cher and tooling around in a limo with his friend from the bar.  Later on in the month he was going to Peru, to take part in some sort of ritual.  "What do you hope to get out of that?"  She asked, he answered with a little bit of peace.  She said she hoped it would help him, and she meant it.

There was still something between them.  It was hard not to want the future that he wanted for himself; house, kids.  The dream.  As it stood now, they were just the same level of lonely.

He hadn't seen The Haunting of Hill House, so they watched the first couple of episodes.  It was only a matter of a few minutes before they were snuggling comfortably, him occasionally laughing at her jumping at scary parts even though she'd already seen it.  SD came by to pick something up, and he didn't pull away from her while they were all talking.

It was easy, nice.  Nothing more complicated than that.  He hugged her and didn't try to kiss her goodnight when he left.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Losing All Sense of Home

"So, I'm actually moving in a month." SD dropped the bomb on her for the few minutes they spent together before she had to get back to Goldie's dog.  Goldie herself was moving out of the building next summer.

"Is it weird, coming back here now that you don't live here anymore?" Mel asked when he was over to visit.  "No," she answered, "It still feels like home."

She realized suddenly that soon she would have no reason to go back to her old building.  The place she still considered home.  Though she had a place to stash her crap, it didn't feel like home.  She knew it wasn't going to be forever.

The next day she had a start of a panic attack and didn't know why.  Talking through it with Banana she realized that it was just because it was like moving out of the building all over again, losing her home all over again.  Luckily the sudden knowledge of what she was panicking about stopped the attack, but the sadness of the situation remained.

She was emotionally homeless.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Roomate High

"I wasn't lost in space, I was lost in time.  All the times I'd travel that same path, or a similar one.  I lost touch with time and that's why I needed an anchor."

All she had to say to PJ was this, and he understood, got why she left early when she was high for the first time. Now that she'd gotten high a couple of times by herself she was able to piece it together.

"That's what I love the most about it.  The things that I don't want to do; work, social obligations...they can take as long as they need to.  But being home, being with AB and the dogs...I want that to last longer, which is why I puff.  To make those moments last longer."

She smiled.  "That's what I hate most about it.  I got lost going home, it was all taking too long.  I don't want anything to take that long."

She was finding her way, however.  Sometimes it was the way that it changed everything else that brought the allure of getting high.  One day she went to get the signature drink with KSL and they took it home.  She offered him an edible, and they sat on the couch and watched a movie.  She didn't feel the usual pressure to "enjoy" the movie the way he usually wanted her to, checking on her reactions out of the corner of his eye.  He might have still been doing it, but she no longer cared.  It was easier, nicer to deal with him when they were both high.

There were still certain things that she didn't feel the need to "extend" her time on and didn't end up eating edibles regularly, but they had their place.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Same Level of Lonely

She had decided, against better judgement, to reconnect with Mel.  She didn't really trust him, but feeling sorry for him sort of over-rode that emotion.  They met for sushi, and she was embarrassed to say that she had completely forgotten his beginning order, save for one roll.  It had only been a few months since they had seen each other, but she guessed it wasn't important enough to her to retain that information.  They did do a fair amount of catching up, and he made fun of her for breaking it off with him and now she had started actually doing edibles.

She apologized about how she was in a bad place and ended it through a text message.  He forgave her, said that it happened, and asked how she was doing now.  Better, she decided.  She was just overwhelmed with emotion and felt like she would never get anything more than what she had with him, that they just weren't meant to be and it was silly to continue to waste each other's time.  Her feelings hadn't changed, but the situation hadn't changed either.

They ended the evening on a good note.

She awoke one morning and started off to an annual autumn event that she had gone to with Mel the year before.  It had been both their first times doing the event last year, and it had been so long since she did a "couple-y" thing that it was thrilling in the moment.

At the last moment she decided it was too hot for what she was wearing and changed into a t-shirt, then realized that it was the shirt Mel had gotten her from the time they went to see his favorite band.  On the way out of town, their song played, from another concert they'd attended.  She decided it was a sign, and brought the spoils of the trip to his workplace that night and explained what happened.

"I was just thinking about you this morning too." He confided.  "Yeah?  What were you thinking about?"  She prodded.

"Just you, and when we went to dinner, and how it was nice to spend time with you." She smiled.  He said she made his "stoner kid heart swell" with the treats she had brought to him.  He was clearly already a bit stoned, but they had a good conversation with the other people he had been talking to, and he said he'd walk her to her car.

They hugged goodbye, and she noticed that he had taken a wider stance, This was something he used to do so that it was easier for them to kiss, and he hugged her longer than usual.  So long in fact that she asked him if he was okay, and he said it had just been awhile since they had hugged.  A look crossed his eyes briefly, then he straightened up and said goodbye.

She was slightly disappointed that he hadn't tried to kiss her, but also very impressed that he didn't.  It was incredibly respectful, while still feeling out the situation.  Even in his incredibly state of stoned he'd managed to still respect her.  It almost made her like him more than she had before.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Slowing Down

Since her big work month was finally out of the way, she had some time to breathe.  Of course, once she started to take a deep breath a social obligation popped out of nowhere; dinner and drinks with an acquaintance, dinner with another friend, a autumn day trip.  The 3 day weekend she was looking so forward to got obliterated by having to see people or do things on all three days.

She was struggling with being in the moment, slowing everything down. She thought by giving up theatre she'd have more free time, but it seems she was still being pulled in every direction.  Maybe things would feel a little easier once KSL's show was over and he was able to get a car.  Then KSL made an offhand comment that he wasn't even going to start looking until after he got his tax return back...which would be at least 5 months away.  He needed to get a car much, much sooner than that.

She hadn't had a day all to herself in a really long time, and maybe she just needed to get that one day back that she needed to go on with the remaining six.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Plans Meant to be Broken

Nameless: "The...mainly tying you up, bending you over and giving you a spanking...and maybe if you beg just right giving you those little bites you like all over your body."

"Hmm, when exactly will you be doing all this exciting stuff to me?"

The date wasn't ideal.  Her body wouldn't be down for sex that week.  "Am I still cute even if you can't have sex with me when you come?"  She asked.

"Well I guess.  At least you can be my drinking partner." He responded.  She rolled her eyes.

A few weeks later, and he wasn't coming after all.  "Boss just put me on a new experiment...I will be busy for the next few weeks.  I also won't be up until after Thanksgiving now."

She was disappointed, but put it out of her mind.

Goldie brought up the weekend and her plans on Friday, and she had told her that her plans had been canceled.  She ended up committing to dog-sitting.

A few days later, another text from Nameless.  "I was thinking about you last night.  I was thinking about the last time I saw you..then about some of the things we talked about that may or may not be done to you the next time I saw you."

"You were being naughty and thinking about restraining me?  That's an exciting thought."

He responded "I was just thinking about stuff like that.  I wish you could fly up to Portland with me next week.  Wednesday through Friday.  You should fly up...just take these days off."

She smirked to herself.  She really enjoyed their tête-à-têtes.  Just his text tone could make her smile.  She was so happy that she got the occasional words of affirmation from him.  She was slowly realizing that she was never going to get everything in one this might be a good start.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Go Ask Alice?

"Okay, so the bathroom is down the hall.  There's a spare bedroom if you need it, don't feel like you will need to go home tonight, you are welcome for as long as you want to stay.  Always, not just tonight."

She smiled at PJ.  He had been wanting this evening since the moment that they met and he found out that she'd never gotten high.  She thought back to that night where she'd gotten a contact high from him and told him to calm down about the $20 they were charging him at the drive through.  He thought she was going to love it, maybe almost too much.  Like he did.

He was making a pizza, had 4 different kinds of snacks, and for dessert he had bought them all ice cream sandwiches, and regular ice cream.  If she got the munchies...well she was more than covered.

He showed her how to work the couch recliner, and they had an edible and he "puffed" a little as well in the garage.  They went back in the house and talked about life, what had been going on, the experiences she'd had being a roommate now.  It seemed like everything she said or did got blown up on an epic scale and turned against her, twisted into a totally different meaning until she ended up apologizing for something that had made her upset in the first place.  It was like extreme gaslighting, and she was getting tired of it.

An hour passed and she stated she didn't really feel any different.  PJ had advised her to just shout out what she was feeling as it happened and enjoy the experience.

"Well," she said, "Everyone has their stories about how they did too much the first time, lets just try another one."

PJ again offered up their spare bedroom in case she felt like she couldn't move later, and another trip to the garage and they were back in the house.  10 minutes after that she said she felt heavy, like a whoosh of base suddenly happened in an empty movie theater. 

"It's like that moment where you just realized you had one drink too many, and you should stop."  She vaguely remembered going out to the garage a second time, but refusing to have any more.

She pulled out the couch recliner and laid in it, and PJ turned on some comedian sketch show on Netflix and they watched a few episodes.  She got really tired and faded in and out, napping through most of the show.  AB left the room after one creeped her out, but returned soon after.  AB and PJ went to the garage to puff more, and it felt like they were gone forever.  She became uncomfortable and stood up, and felt like she was just tired.  It was time to go home.

Once they came back inside she said her goodbyes, saying she was just tired but thank you for hosting her.  PJ made her come out to the garage one last time and wrapped up 3 edibles to take home with her to try on her own.

She got into her car and decided to not take the freeway home, figuring it would be easier in her tired state.

Each light took forever to change, and she got more and more anxious to be in her own space, in her own room.  She was going the speed limit, but it felt so incredibly slow.  She started to forget where she was in her journey in-between stoplights.  Soon, she was lost in-between them, in the dark.  The dark stretched on forever and she became overwhelmed with all the streetlights out and only seeing into the dark.  She was never going to make it home, and started to panic, tears streaming down her face.  She cried in-between three stop lights, but finally made it home.

She'd left her water bottle at AB and PJ's house by accident, so she was incredibly thirsty.  KSL had dishes in both sides of the sink so she couldn't get to the filter to get water.  She painstakingly emptied the dishwasher, being careful so she didn't break a dish in her state, and finally got her glass filled.  KSL commented that it took her a full 45 minutes to unload that dishwasher, and she shot him a dirty look and replied that she wouldn't have had to if SOMEONE hadn't had the sink full.  She then proceeded to sit in a chair across the room, and KSL said "You don't have to sit over there.  You can come sit on the couch."

She couldn't do it.  She couldn't handle the mind games while high, she couldn't take the guilt of where she even sat in her own apartment.  "Look," KSL said kindly, "I know you are high for the first time and I just want you to be comfortable, sit wherever you want."

She stood up, and without breaking eye contact walked past him into her room and shut the door.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Sweet Surrender Part 2

"Usually I get an upgrade with the government money, but no go on this one.  Just your basic room."  He said as they entered, then excused himself to the bathroom.  She took her shoes off and put down her purse.  She picked up her skirt to check the view out the window when he came out and commented she was sure making herself at home taking off her shoes already.

She smirked at his ribbing and took her own trip to the bathroom.  When she got out he had shoes off and was collapsing into the uncomfortable sofa.  He held out his arm, almost unconsciously for her to join him.

Her shoulder tucked under his arm perfectly, and he kissed the top of her head as she settled in.   He brushed her hair aside and gently stroked her bare neck.  She moaned softly and snuggled deeper into him.  "You always smell so good.  It's your beard."  He replied that it was his beard oil, sandalwood.  She sighed and expressed again that it was a bummer that he wasn't coming back.  After awhile he complained about the couch and she suggested they just move over to the bed.

They put the pillows at the other end of the bed and turned on the TV, complaining about how weird it was to be watching regular TV.  She sat up and rubbed his back and neck as they watched an old episode of a show.  They were only a few minutes in when he pulled her into a spooning position, no longer looking at the TV.  He started kissing her neck, and asking her if it was okay.

"Mmmhmm.  I thought you were too tired for this."  She said, reaching back to caress the back of his head.  "What can I say, your body woke me up.  You like this?" He asked, his hands roaming down her leg and around to her rear.

He made a surprised sound when he realized that under her long skirt she was not wearing any underwear.  In fact the only thing she'd left on was her bandelettes that were lacy on the outside and he deemed "extremely sexy."

She was shocked as he reached down and started rubbing her clit.  He'd made it pretty clear that oral wasn't something he was willing to do, so she sort of assumed from the time before that this was also off the table.  She was almost touched that he was stepping outside his comfort zone for her.  She rocked with his motions and let the physical tension build.

He finally spun her around and they had sex for hours, almost falling off the bed a couple of different times.  His stamina was incredibly impressive, and they both cried out several times that they didn't want it to stop, ever.

Eventually, of course, it had to. They laid in each other's arms for awhile, kissing and allowing their breathing to slow to a normal pace together.

He said he wanted to see her at least once again during that trip.  They tried, but it never ended up working out.  She said she would try and find a good time to drive down and visit him, but she couldn't really gauge if he thought that was a good idea or not.  She decided she'd wait a month and text to to see where he was at.  She'd gone and gotten herself a little attached, but not as badly as she had in the past.

It was a great middle ground.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Sweet Surrender Part 1

A month after their last meeting, a text popped up from Nameless at 5pm: "Sorry it has been very hectic.  Been on travel from Vegas to Texas.  Just got in from Texas last night and drove up this morning.  I'm in town for the next 2 days."

They decided that in a few hours when she got off work they would meet.  She went to the bathroom and immediately assessed how she looked in the mirror.  Better than expected, though her sunburn was still radiating heat.  She took a painkiller and went about the rest of her day.

By the time they met up they were both starving and ended up at the steakhouse inside the hotel he was staying in.  He commented that she looked tired, and she said she was just a bit wiped from the sun she got that weekend.

"You didn't have to come out tonight if you were tired" he said, a hint of sadness in his voice.

"Are you kidding?  And skipping out on a night with you?  Who knows when we'd have another chance between our two schedules.  And I wanted to see you."

"Yeah, especially since they just de-funded my project here.   Now I don't even have an excuse to come back occasionally, except maybe for fun."

Her heart sank.  This really was potentially the last time that she would see him.  "You don't have time for fun."

"I might, later on after my thesis is complete.  I might get some more free time."

She was quiet, then said softly "This is a bummer.  I'm really going to miss you."

He agreed.  "I was really disappointed.  There were so many factors that made it really sad, you being one.  A big one actually."

She felt her cheeks get hot and thanked her new tan for hiding it from him.  He did catch her smile, and didn't call her out on it.  It was a really nice moment between them.

The steak was great but the service was lacking, and she pointed out later that he seemed like the tired one now.  He agreed, and she asked if he just wanted to go back up to his room and call it a night.  He answered "Yeah, but with you."

She followed him up to his room after dinner.

Friday, September 7, 2018


Goldie was asking if she was still driving KSL to work.  She said yes, and explained about the two cars back and the payments he was still making.

Goldie was already a few drinks in and asked if she could text him, as if she could "fix" the situation.  She told her to go ahead.  Goldie started texting away on her phone, and she dug back into her crab legs.  Most of the conversation just came back around to who was doing the best on getting their crab all out in one go.

She shared her "perfectly casual" encounter with Nameless, and Goldie was super-proud that she was able to get to that point.  Of course she wanted to know why it wouldn't work out forever, and she explained the distance, the feeling that she just knew that it was never going to be "love" in the strictest sense of the word.  Affection, trust, respect, for sure...but not love.  Because the respect was there, she was perfectly happy with how everything turned out.

Maybe she was so happy with it because she knew that for the most part that might be all she could ask for when it came to men, to "relationships."

"Not to Rodney Dangerfield all over it, but I feel like no one gives me the respect I give everyone else.  KSL doesn't respect me."

"KSL loves you." Goldie retorted.

She rolled her eyes before responding "Yeah, okay sure...but he doesn't respect me."

Goldie still didn't get her point.  "He's very respectful.  I had to literally straddled him for that show every night and draw a scar on his face, and he never once made a move or a comment about anything sexual."

"Of course, because he respects you. He would never make a move on you."  She told Goldie.

"Yeah plus I'm married and not desirable"

Again she rolled her eyes.  Goldie was gorgeous and totally missing her point.  She changed the subject and they were back to talking about film festivals and dog sitting.

Still, being respected and being desired seemed to be mutually exclusive.  She couldn't expect love on top of it, it was a Venn diagram that never intersected...basically 3 circles.  She tried, for weeks, to shake it off.  Forget it, get it to stop getting her down.

It didn't work.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Sex In A Different Bed

She and Nameless decided to go to the bar at the base of her old building, since it was so close to where he was staying.  She assumed incorrectly that they had a good beer menu, and he decided to order a cocktail when he realized she'd been wrong.

After arguing about Marvel movies, who was the best Batman, Why a movie was a best Batman, the differences between "masculine" and "feminine" and him bullshitting with the bartender, he asked her if she wanted another drink.  She declined, again stating that at some point she was going to need to drive home.  He was again disappointed that she wasn't staying, and she told him with all the last minute she didn't have time to prepare.

He had one last beverage, she enjoyed her water, and then they walked back to the hotel.  The evening had been so wonderfully nice; good food, good conversation, great drinks. He listened to her, respected her opinions, but was able to debate and throw down when need be.  Even though their hang out sessions had been rare, they had finally maintained an ease.  She leaned into his towering 6' 2" frame as they got into the elevator, and he maintained the closeness.  She wasn't used to someone not pulling away, emotionally or physically.

She checked out the view, which was just her old view but closer to the ground.  They were suddenly kissing, the act was so fluid she didn't even remember it starting.  It felt so familiar and warm, as if they had been doing this all along.

Emotionally and physically they both knew where the other one stood.  He would only be in town occasionally, the worry of any sort of relationship was alleviated by the fact that he no longer lived in town.  It was the perfect casual encounter.  He was attentive both before, during, and after.  It was exciting, wonderful, and she felt like her heart was also in a safe place. 

When she said she should be heading home, he again chided her for not packing a bag, then walked her out to the corner where her car was parked.  He gave her a quick kiss goodbye, and she road the high for a long while.  They tried to meet up again the same week but the schedule didn't work out, so she said to just let her know a week beforehand in the future so she could clear her schedule.

Then the radio silence started up again, but she didn't mind at all.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Shall We Move On?

"Next week I'm at the downtown hotel...right next to your old place."

"I always wondered what the view looked like from there"

" you are inviting yourself to my hotel room?"

"I'm not inviting myself anywhere, just saying I was wondering about the rooms."

"Ha, you were totally inviting yourself, but that's okay.  I have no problem taking you up to the room."

She admitted she might have been inviting herself.  After all she was the one who had convinced Nameless that she wouldn't be having him in nature.  He had wanted to forgo the hotel and camp and invited her to join him. She informed him of her extreme princess status and how the outdoors was not a friend of hers.  It didn't take much convincing for him to book a room.

A few weeks later he was texting that he was in town.  After some back and forth they finally decided to meet up at the last minute downtown after she got off work.

She moved her car and they met up at the base of his hotel.  He side-hugged her and hustled her off to dinner, explaining he was starving.  They'd never had anything more than a few tapas together before and she was shocked at his actual hunger.  She got to explain to him that MP on the menu for the steaks at the restaurant stood for "Market Price." He declared himself too hungry to care and told her to order anything she wanted.

Two Market Price Steaks and two Old-Fashions later, and he opted for a third drink and she had some dessert.  He let her wax poetic about what was wrong with the local theatre scene, and what she would do to fix it, if she was going to stay in it.  As it currently stood, she didn't think she was going to attempt it again.  It hurt her heart too much to keep going with people not valuing her opinion or effort, or giving her a chance to direct.

Besides, she was having such a great time having downtime at the moment, otherwise she wouldn't be able to meet up with Nameless.  Hell, she'd had so many other friend commitments she had barely met up with him anyway.  She deliberately didn't make plans for two nights that week.

"Shall we move on to a bar?" He asked.  "I don't know how many other drinks I can have, I still have to try home tonight." She responded.

"You didn't pack a bag?"

Friday, August 24, 2018

This Never Happened...Again

"I'm sorry, um, about all that.  Won't happen again." KSL said before he went off to bed.  He had finally sobered up and all had seemed well.  She was pretty content to never speak of it again.

The next day he tweeted about hangovers in his 30's, which she took as a "I'm going to pretend like it didn't happen." Which confirmed they were not going to have a talk about it.  She breathed a sigh of relief and went on with the rest of her day.

It was a false relief.  When they met up at home after work, he apologized again.  She avoided his eyes and said "I didn't think we were going to talk about that."

But they did start a discussion.  About loneliness, regret, and the whys behind it all.  Even though she didn't want to talk about it, the conversation was a little healing on both sides.

"So again, I'm sorry, and it won't happen again." He repeated.  "You handled that pretty well."

"Okay" she said in a cynical tone.

"You kinda sound like I don't mean it, like you believe it's going to happen again." KSL was quick to respond.

"Listen, every time we've said this to each other, that's it's never going to happen again, something happens.  I'm tired of lying about myself and to you."

He again stated that she had "handled it well" and she felt an inner conflict and couldn't help but overthink the statement.  How else could she possibly have handled it?  Gone along with it?  Slept with him?  Let it get out of hand and risk that box of feelings she had getting out, only to get wildly slapped down the next day, hell the next few minutes after he sobered up and realized what he had done?  No, her heart didn't have any other choice than to do what she did.

He didn't dispute her logic too much in her disbelief that it would happen again.  She tried to explain that she felt like she continued to just make it worse with him, and didn't know what to do to make him feel better where it didn't get into inappropriate territory.

Physical touch was a slippery slope.  Apparently anything more than a hug was just a fast track to sex.    Which, frankly, disappointed her.  There were so many things that they could do to help each other night be lonely...but it was going to be impossible to do so.  She needed to learn how to un-care.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Climbing Out of the Pit

The fatigue continued to plague her throughout the run of the show.  She used to have a hard time sleeping even in her own bed, but now she could fall asleep almost anywhere.  She chalked it up to the sinus infection, the stress of work and the show and never being alone.  She knew this fatigue was much worse than it had been before she had been on medication, but she pushed it aside and keep moving forward as best as she could.

It all came to a head the last night of the show.  She got into a fight with KSL that took her to an edge she rarely went to.  She raised her voice, talked over him because she was sick of being marginalized and was just all around over the situation.  It was finally over so she felt herself spewing forth all the things she'd been holding back "for the sake of the show."

The next day she'd thought about her feelings and the situation and how it could be improved, and finally came upon a solution; she must stop caring about what he thought of her.  She would never be able to help him, never be able to get to the level of caring that he needed.

So why try.

She had been hiding parts of who she was, 'dulling her shine' as PJ called it, and she was over it.  She decided to be 100% who she was with reckless abandon from here on out.  If she wanted to do something she'd do it, and she wouldn't if she wasn't feeling it.  She had just freed herself two years ago, she wasn't about to hide herself away again so quickly.

She went about the day with her freedom, playing with the small plastic dinosaurs a cast member had gotten her every time she walked by.  She finally had some time to herself to enjoy the easy, stress free life.

That night was KSL's movie night, and it seemed that only couples were showing up.  At least it wasn't just going to be the awkwardness of KSL trying to canoodle with his ex, but then his ex didn't end up showing up.  Mel's ex did however, but it wasn't awkward.  She assumed that she was aware of their shared man but beautifully never brought it up or let it get in the way of their friendship.  She was kind of an Angel.

Angel ended up snuggling up next to her, and the platonic affection was really nice.  She cursed herself for being an empath as she noticed KSL get more and more agitated by the fact that he was the only one not cuddling with someone else.  A passive aggressive tweet he sent out in the middle of the movie confirmed his feelings.

Angel hung back for a bit to talk, and then once she was out the door, she confronted KSL.  "What's with the tweet buddy?" Then she realized he was drunk.  He admitted as much, and hugged her and stated how he was just suddenly really lonely.  Maybe it was just the couples, maybe it was the end of the show...but he was clearly upset.

The polar icecaps around her heart melted a bit towards him, and she said that they could cuddle on the couch and watch a couple of shows until he sobered up, then he could go to sleep.  She had a bit to drink herself and wasn't going to bed anytime soon.

After an episode he went from having his arm around her to around the couch.  She figured he'd sobered up enough that he was physically uncomfortable around her once again, and she prodded a bit on if he was 'over' the cuddle session.  He insisted that he wasn't, but she commented it was basically her leaning into him and nothing more, and if that was going to be all there was then she could go back to her side of the couch.

"Okay fine, here, does this help?" He leaned over her and started kissing her.

Her heart dropped into her stomach.  Tears stung her eyes but she managed to hold them back.  Never before had she been so utterly sad to have someone kiss her, so used.  He was lonely, and she was there.  She was completely interchangeable from anyone else who could be sitting on that couch with him.  Strange how a kiss can make you feel not special at all to the person currently kissing you.

She waited for him to notice that she wasn't kissing him back, until he finally stopped.  "There, is that better?" He asked.

She dropped her head onto his chest and said "No.  We aren't doing that buddy."

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Sinus Infection

Seething hatred for herself.  So weak.  She continued to beat herself up as she felt herself slip further and further into fatigue and self-doubt.

A headache had started days ago, and it ebbed and flowed through her cranium.  Just when she thought it was gone, it would return full force.  Everyone was too loud, everything too bright.  KSL sent her on an errand and she had to keep her sunglasses on in the store, it was too bright.  She was too fatigued and messed it all up.  KSL pretended like he wasn't upset about it, but clearly he was.

One of the actors said that his wife has lupus, so he understood that sometimes...really all the time, was constant pain.  Most of the time she could hide it, but it looked like she was having a harder time.

Maybe she should find another place.  Then KSL's friend could give away her dog and move in and then he'd be happy, and she could go back to not having to pretend 24/7 that she was okay.  He was clearly embarrassed by her, or still just too worried about what people would think.  His movie night was a scary movie, and she didn't mean to be scooting towards him but she was tired, therefore weak, therefore looking for someone to lean on.

If she'd been his ex, he would have snuggled with her.  If she'd been his friend, any other friend, he would have comforted her.

But she wasn't someone else.  She must be avoided at all costs, even if that meant giving up "his spot" on the couch.  Had she'd not been sick, weak...she wouldn't have bothered sitting by him at all.  Wouldn't had even been there.  She considered just going out and sleeping in her car, but she felt too sick.  She slept through most of the second movie in his spot, and continued to beat herself up through the next day as her headache worsened.

Monday, July 16, 2018

A Sinking Ship

KSL admitted a pattern of needy women in his life.  He had asked her why she had chosen to move in with him, and she had given him a long, well thought out answer.  They talked a lot about their issues as roommates, and how improvements could be made.  Eventually though, it had gotten late and KSL wanted to continue the conversation later.  She knew the chances of that happening were slim.

He had expressed several times that everyone cried on him; his mom, his friends, his past girlfriends.  So even when she was desperately upset after everything went down with Mel, she kept it to herself, or tried to.  KSL had become fairly empathetic himself and could always sense when something was wrong with her.

He was also having a stressful time with not having a car and directing a show along with work.  He put himself under a lot of pressure to succeed, and beat himself down whenever he felt like it wasn't working.

So she didn't cry on his shoulder.  She didn't ask for hugs she desperately needed.  She did without, so that he could catch a break from people leaning on him.  She continued to weather her own storm and hoped that sometime in the future, someone would be able to be there for her.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Facebook Memories

Social Media felt the need to remind her that it had been 2 years since she and her ex had publicly split.  Privately they had been apart for 4 months before that.

Why did it still haunt her every day?  Why did she feel like she'd made a mistake...every day?  Every night before bed, she was painfully reminded that this small bed now belonged to her, and it was not likely anyone would ever join her in it.  She longed for the feeling she had gotten the first time she was with Piz, when even in sleep he had reached out for her.

She and the ex were trying to get back to being friends even though it was still difficult.  One day when they were speaking he said he didn't want to start drama, but Mel had told someone that she had called them a word she didn't use lightly.  She hadn't said it, and her ex believed her, said he knew she wouldn't do something like that.  It was nice that someone still knew her in that way, knew that she was a good person without even having to really check with her.  He said he only brought it up because she deserved to know what was being said behind her back.

Her heart sank as she realized this meant that Mel wasn't keeping his mouth shut about much, and her ex must know about them.  She told him that she had already distanced herself from Mel, and now that action felt vindicated somehow, so it was okay.

She and the ex went to see a bad play together and had a drink afterwards, and it was a really nice time.  She forgot how much she missed having conversations with him.  He almost never looked at his phone throughout the evening, which was very unlike him.  Maybe he was finally growing up a little.  She was happy for him, and hoped that he was feeling better than she was.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

One of Many Breaking Points

She hadn't been getting much sleep since her neighbor's had been letting their baby "cry it out" for weeks.  She'd made a joke on social media about calling CPS that had backfired spectacularly.  All her new parent friends didn't see it as a joke and got slightly aggressive.

Her mental health still wasn't where it should have been, and she didn't know why.  She didn't ever know what she was doing differently so she could fix it.

One of KSL's friends was at the apartment having a heart to heart with KSL, and she got a little sucked in, trying to help.

The girl was having a hard time with her living situation, and said to KSL "I wish I had gotten to move in with you.  We are so similar, we are the same level of clean and we like all the same would have been perfect."  She sat on the couch and sobbed into KSL's chest.

"I didn't know you were looking for anything..." KSL answered.  Her logical brain knew he was saying this and meant it, but her emotions told her that in that moment he would have jumped ship if he could.  Her irrational heart told her that she was in the way, again, of someone's happiness.  Why had she been selfish enough to room up with someone when she clearly deserved to be alone forever.  Hell, maybe she should take her mom up on her offer to just buy her a house so that she'd be out of everyone's way.

She knew she needed to go somewhere to be cheered up.  She didn't really have close friends any longer, so she found herself at Mel's bar.  His greeting to her was lacking in any real feelings, and her irrational mind took over once more.  What was she even doing with him besides wasting both of their times?  She felt empty when she was with him now.  They had started this to just have fun and be casual...and it was coming up on a year and it was starting to feel terrible for her.

The next morning she texted him to tell him it was over.  She wanted it all to be over.

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Death of Love

She had quickly discovered that by not helping, actively not taking action...made it even obvious how totally alone she was.

She talked to a friend who was one of those types that were always looking for the ultimate love, and frustrated that it didn't come in bulk at her local corner store.

She couldn't give her false hope or say that there was someone out there for her, because in all honesty...she wasn't quite sure that was true anymore.

Maybe the idea of love is so prominent in movies and shows because it is actually rare.  It's not for everyone.  Just like not everyone is rich, maybe not everyone gets love.

All those people that stick around for years on the dating sites she kept coming back to weren't finding love.  Neither was she.  The more and more she thought about it, it was possible she never actually had it.

She had friends that had found it, she knew it existed.  Maybe it was just luck on their part.

It was getting her down.  She spent an afternoon on the couch, being quiet and decompressing.  She'd had hardly any time to herself and thought that it was possible that her depression was coming from not a lot of alone time.

The depression continued for the next month.  She stopped writing, stopped caring about anything.

Monday, June 11, 2018


"In al-anon, which is really control freaks anonymous, there's a rule:  Suggest something one time and you're being helpful, suggest something two times and you're being controlling; suggest something three times and you're being manipulative."  IL texted to her.  It stopped her in her tracks.

She and KSL had been at odds.  They both had a hard time accepting help, but wanted to give it to others.  She had tearfully exclaimed that "I don't know what you want from me!" One night after having words with each other.  They had both not been in a great mental place, and tensions had just been high after he had lost his car.

IL had given her so much perspective on how all she wanted to do was be helpful, but it was turning into a problem.  She was constantly explaining how she was trying her best not to give a fuck.

It was one of the hardest things she'd ever had to do.  She felt like she was being torn apart, not being true to who she was.

"Just remember," her sister said to her, "other people's happiness or comfort isn't your responsibility.  I'm still learning this one a bit."

She felt like she would be learning it her whole life.  Her #1 love language was Acts of Service.  She felt like she was no longer allowed to love anyone.  She was beginning to wonder if love even really existed.

Friday, June 1, 2018

All Doped Up

KSL had hurt his back later in that first week.  He'd asked her if she had anything stronger than her normal painkillers.  She hesitated, realizing she was anticipating something bad happening to her and had hung onto the last of the pain meds from her tonsils.  Clearly he needed it more.

He finished it all off the first day, and he came home the next day very drunk and with a baggie full of prescription painkillers from his brother.  She was a little concerned on how he had made it home in his condition, but he seemed to be fine.

He was happy drunk, her favorite version of him.  Nameless had joked to her to keep her roommate drunk and she'd never have a problem, because she was tolerable when everyone else was drunk.  She knew he'd been joking, but in every joke there was a grain of truth.  She'd been upset and uptight, and it must have been hard on him.

Right that moment however, he was drunk-jovial even in his intense pain.  He made himself a drink and busied himself in the kitchen while demanding to know how the wedding went.  She went through her realization story as he continued to interrupt her with his own evening.  A heart to heart with his brother, drinking games with his friends.  He told her to follow him into his room, as he stripped down to his underwear to get into his PJs.  Even though she'd seen him in less it felt wrong and she glanced toward his closet as his clothing got stripped down, only looking back over at him once he had something on.  He insisted she come in and sit on the bed and talked to him while his meds kicked in, since the love sac was currently covered in his clothes.

The conversation got very deep and meaningful, and she knew that meant he was so far gone he wouldn't remember most or all of it.  Even as relaxed as he was, his self-doubt and low self esteem crept into the subject matter.  He made mention that he was glad she "lowered herself" enough to be roommates with him.  She reminded him that she wouldn't have put herself in this position with just anyone, he was exactly one of two people that she would have lived with.

"Yeah, but clearly you don't have feelings, or never did have feelings for me, otherwise this," he gestured to their hilariously flawed apartment, "would never have happened."

She was a little hurt, but having to explain to someone who wouldn't remember made it a little easier.  "It's called compartmentalizing buddy."

He furrowed his brow and said "Compartmentalizing?  'Splain."

"We've been over this dude.  A long time ago.  You know exactly what feelings were there for me.  You made it clear they were not reciprocated.  So I wrapped the feelings up, put them in a box, and shoved them in the closet."

He seemed sad and said he was sorry that this situation had made her have to put away her feelings.

"It wasn't this situation, it was just life.  It IS just life.  I would have had to do it anyway, regardless of living situation.  It's okay."

He threw his arms out and gave her a puppy dog look, wanting a hug.  She didn't want pity from him and resisted, but he told her to bring it in.  The limp hug made it clear the medication was working and it was time for him to pass out.  She kissed him on the forehead, turned off his light, and closed the door.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

BFF Wedding

The day of BFF's wedding had finally come.

She had been dreading it for weeks.  If this wedding had come even a year later, she most likely would not have been invited.  They were in a weird place where BFF most likely thought that she had to invite her, and she thought she had to come.  Neither of them were adult enough to just admit that and not make it awkward for everyone involved.

JJ was supposed to be her date, but he bailed at the last minute, much like he had with being a moving buddy.  KSL had turned his nose up at being a "plus one" and Mel had to work and would have only been able to duck in and out for the ceremony.

She decided to take her mother, which everyone else saw as sweet but she saw as pathetic.  Dealing with the bad driving all the way up the mountain to the wedding site was whiplash worthy, and she relinquished control only when realizing she was going to have to parallel park.

The ceremony was sweet, but she still had this weird feeling that she shouldn't have been there at all.  Just being a regular guest hurt her heart.  She hadn't been asked to help or contribute, but it seems that SD seemed to be running the whole wedding.  They had been friends for a long time, sure, but it started to really sink in as the night wore on that she'd lost her best friend and been invited to the wedding.

Not that BFF's groom was bad, in fact she had come to like him far more than BFF.  She really enjoyed that he was supportive of everyone around him, and had a dark snarky quality that they shared.

Everyone was taking the mic and doing toasts, and she suddenly had the urge to go up there.  She got emotional and knew there was no way she was going to be able to hold it together, so she held off.

Just before she left she approached them and told them she wasn't a people person, so she was going to toast them face to face now.

"When BFF and I first met, it was because she was a mutual friend of someone else's and I needed to check her out because I wanted to make sure she was good enough for him.  Then we met and I told her she wasn't good enough for him.  Then you came along, and I had to check to make sure you were good enough for her.  And you are."

She got choked up, hugged them both, and left without saying goodbye to anyone.

Monday, May 28, 2018


The first week had been emotionally and physically rough for her.  She and KSL had some tense moments, but seemed to come out of it okay.

Many issues popped up that she had forgotten she had a problem with.  She fell asleep the second night and woke up in the middle of a panic attack because he had closed her door.  Claustrophobia was something she always forgot she had until it happened.

The little problems with the apartment had added up so much that it was almost comical.  They couldn't put anything under their bathroom sinks because of water damage.  Light switches and outlets didn't work.  Once the washer/dryer units were delivered, they were just big enough that the door to the laundry room didn't close.  The shelves in the kitchen were made of particle board, so they needed to buy contact paper.

In the meantime, things couldn't be put away until issues were fixed, so items remained out, causing her anxiety.  Everything was circumstantial, and as she promised him, there was going to be a big period of adjustment for her.

"You are really quirky, you get that right?" Goldie had said to her.  She knew, but that didn't make it any easier.  She was also dealing with an intense amount of brain fog.  The move had indeed knocked her entire body out of wack.  She held it together during the day, since she didn't have much of a choice as work was one of the busiest weeks of the year.  As she drove home each day she was out of energy to do anything at all.  She was jealous that KSL had been able to take the week off, and he could take his time getting everything settled.

She learned to sleep with the door closed within 2 nights.  She tried to keep to herself, suppress almost everything about her, trying not to intrude.  He still pointed out all her quirks making her self conscious.  He was matter of fact when he did it, not intending to hurt her.  In fact, he was being really great with her.  She knew he had the ability to cut her quickly and deeply, and he didn't.

They were both trying really hard.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Goodbye Art Pop Studio

"Breathe" KSL reminded her throughout the day.

She couldn't.  She just needed to get through the day.  Her ex was helping for a bit, she didn't want to waste his time, and the truck rental had sprung it on her that she actually had to have the truck back by 5pm or else she would get charged for an overnight.

The amount of money she was spending on this move was piling up and she was starting to panic about her finances.

She and KSL's styles on how to move were wildly different, and she tried her best to go with the flow of everything throughout the day, even though that's not who she was.  She felt a huge sense of relief when PJ showed up for a little while to help them with the last of KSL's stuff, ensuring that she would get the truck back in time.

As they walked along the path from the apartment to get things out of her car, PJ commented on the random toys children of the complex had left lying around.

"Every time I see a child's toy just laying around, I want to pick it up, and toss it in the dumpster.  Every time."

She giggled and loved how on the same dark page they were.  "I actually threw away one of the darts earlier."

They got the truck back on time, and chatted with the employee as he checked them out.  He had greeted them with a "Happy Mother's Day" which perplexed her.  Did she really look that pregnant? KSL later blamed it on his balding head in addition to her apparent advanced age.

They grabbed vodka, ice, and mixers to enjoy in the new apartment.  Her body was already starting to break down from too much activity on a non-working thyroid.  She guessed it was going to get worse before it got better, but so far she was just too much in pain to sleep.

KSL invited her to watch a movie since he had set up the TV in his room already.  "Make yourself at home" he said, gesturing vaguely.

"I am home." She said.  As stressful as the day had been, they had gotten through it together.  All their things were under this roof.

"That was kind of sweet" he replied.

She settled poorly into his love sac, and he crawled into his bed.

They turned on a stand up special, but after a bit the day started to wear down on her, along with the booze.  He asked her if she was falling asleep several times, thus keeping her from drifting off too much.  He continued to keep her from drifting off, until suddenly she heard him snoring.  The TV was glowing on the menu screen; they must have both fallen asleep.

She quietly clamored out of the love sac, turned off his TV and light, and crawled into her own bed for some fitful sleep.  She was starting one of the busiest work weeks of the year the next day, and she couldn't afford to be out of it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


During one of their intense post-coital talks, she gave him a hard time about not being able to commit to anything, while he said she never took any risks.

"Why would I?  I'm happy right now.  I've got friends, a job that I love.  Why would I want to blow up my life just for fun?"

They decided their differences stemmed from upbringing.  His family moved around every few years, whereas her mom was still living in the same house she'd spent in life in from 3 months old onward.  They always had different jobs, so he always got bored with his jobs every few years.  She wanted a "forever home" job where she worked there until she retired or died, never having to worry about getting fired.

His marriage only lasted 4 years...her's lasted over a decade.

They were pretty different on that front.  He was a transient, in all senses of the word. 

He was only going to last in her life for a short period of time.  Impermanent.

He was a momentary variation in her current, voltage, frequency.  He was living in a trailer just a few towns over, and was planning on moving to a couch in Southern California soon.  He wasn't meant to stick around any longer than he did.

So it shouldn't have surprised her when he didn't show up for their last meeting, instead choosing to drink all night with his ex, nearly missing his graduation.

"Sorry it didn't work out." he texted nonchalantly.

"Yeah.  Honestly I'm not sure why I expected anything different from you.  Good lesson for me though.  I'd say keep in touch but you were never great at that, so I guess I just wish you the best."

He didn't respond.  Again, she didn't expect him to.  But this time, she needed to give him a month before she unfriended him on all social media and forget he even existed.

Monday, May 21, 2018


They spent the next two weekends together, with him spending the night and them having sex until they ran out of the condoms that she had since the last time she'd been with him. 

He was leaving soon, so she didn't attach any meaning to it.  The sex wasn't as good as before either, because she knew it wasn't based in romantic affection for her, or anything other than him being horny.

She shouldn't have started it, it was bad for her self esteem.  Luckily there was an end date to this tryst, and she almost looked forward to him moving.  She still had fun going out drinking with him, and having great conversations.  He seemed to confide things in her that he normally wouldn't to other people.

They went to the new improv show together, and she told him she would catch some shit later for it.  "Why?"

"Because all they know is you kinda broke my heart and now suddenly you are back in the picture.  Some of them aren't going to like it."

She ended up being shocked because no one really said a word about it except for Goldie a few days later, and she just said "Are you guys sh-banging again?" like there was no possible way they could be in a relationship again.

Had she ever even been in a real relationship?  It certainly didn't feel like it.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Skin Hunger

Piz followed her closely and went to check out her view.  She stood by the couch and took off her sweater.  She went to take a step towards him and realized that was what she had done the last time.  She only had to wait a few seconds before he turned around and walked to her.

After the disappointing night with Mel, she appreciated how much he took his time just kissing her, touching her, not just ripping her clothes off.  His touch continued to be addictive, and she was lost in it.

The sex was fantastic, as usual...but there was something missing.  It was like having one of the greatest hamburgers of her life, but someone had forgotten the ketchup.  Though he lavished her with attention, it no longer held the emotional impact it once did.  He said he wanted to make her orgasm, but wasn't doing the things he needed to do for her to get there.  She didn't return the favor, seeing as how she was sure he had unprotected sex with his ex and she was having sex with him.

4 condoms and half the night later, they were spent.  He pulled her under the covers and snuggled up to her.  The way he held her was still unparalleled.  She felt good, safe.  He must be uncomfortable but still he held her to him.

At some point during the night she got up to get some water, came back and he didn't immediately reach out for her.  She realized with some finality that this was it.  Even though he was giving her forehead kisses in his sleep, waking up to make out with her, and looking deep into her eyes before wishing her sweet meant nothing.

They woke up early due to the sunrise streaming into her high rise, illuminating the few boxes she had scattered around her space.  He kissed her good morning and put his hand lovingly on her face, then through her hair.  "Was your hair this long when we were together?  It's so great."

Though it was early, they easily launched into a serious discussion about the friend situation waiting for him back home.  His friend was going through a really rough time and having a drinking problem, as was his other friend/future roommate.

"Maybe you guys need to do a dry summer.  Or get a hobby.  Something to look forward to." She advised.  He agreed that a break from drinking would be good, considering he felt like he had a small hangover from his 4 drinks last night.

He went to take a shower, and she remembered that she had been texting KSL about the whole ordeal.  She grabbed her phone and read the last few messages they'd exchanged.

"Look up 'skin hunger.'  It's a thing.  Perhaps it's been too long since you've fed your body."

It had been just a few days shy of a year and five months since she'd last had sex.  She guessed that played into it, along with booze last night.

Although it was 7 in the morning, she texted him again.  "I can't get attached to any of it.  I know he isn't interested in anything, he's leaving in 3 weeks.  I can't connect.  It's just...there."

"Well yeah, that's why being a demisexual sucks." he texted back.

Piz got out of the shower and said he should go to the university to work on this paper a little bit.  He gave her a hug and asked if she had fun last night.  The question hit her as absurd and she stuttered a bit, saying "yeah, but...I are leaving in 3 weeks."  He seemed a little hurt and upset, and she couldn't quite read his emotions.  She told him it was fine, she just needed to sort stuff out in her head.  She offered up her apartment a couple of times a week for him to have a place to sleep.  His eyebrows went up and she said "Not for sex, you used up all my condoms last night anyway, just in general."

"I would just feel like I'm imposing Penny, I don't know."

"If you were bugging me you'd be gone.  You know that right?"

"Okay...I'll think about it."

And she would be sure to overthink about it all.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


It had been a bear of a week, and she took off work early and texted Piz, wondering if he was in town and wanted to grab a drink.

He was in the library at the university writing a paper, and asked her if they could meet up in an hour.  She said sure and headed home.  As she walked in the door she got a call from Piz saying he couldn't concentrate any more.  When he walked through the door, he was smelly and looked very tired.  He'd been at school working tirelessly and had moved into a trailer with his dad for the last few weeks of school.  "Do you need a shower?" She asked, half joking.  "Yeah, and maybe I could crash on your couch tonight."

They had trouble deciding what they wanted to do, so he headed over to her apartment where they talked for awhile before deciding on the local bar at the base of her building for the cheap drinks and apps.

She talked about how her grapefruit beer and avocado fries combo was a favorite of her and 21's, but with him being in England she never got to get it.  When they were out last week they had an amazing conversation where she called him a coward and he told her she never took any risks.  They survived that, and it was so nice to be with him again.  After a few more stories and a second beer for him, they decided to go to the Speakeasy they had attempted to go to a couple of weeks ago.

They were a little disappointed that they didn't ask for the password, they just walked right in.  Piz mentioned the password to the bartender, as it was a drink he had quite a bit when he was stationed in Brasil for awhile.  The bartender was obsessed with flavor profiles, and pointed out that they had meatballs for customers as well by the bar.  They each had a couple and agreed they were great, although the drinks were so strong that she could barely taste them anyway.

The BBQ meatball seemed to invigorate him, and he perked up for the first time all night.  She couldn't help but keep smiling at him, he was such an adorable child when things made him happy, it was infectious.

He noticed her smiling and asked "What?"

Her smile lowered a little bit, and she said "I'm just going to miss you when you leave.  I know you won't be coming back."

He looked at her, and she held his gaze.  "You were just an important part of my life, and now it's over."

"I know I've said this before, but your eyes are so pretty.  I could stare into them forever."

She melted.  The spark was still there between them.  She wasn't sure if it had always been that way or not.

They walked across the skyway back to her apartment.  She grabbed for his hand to lead him inside, and they stopped by the saunas for a minute and talked about going in but couldn't reach a decision.

"I don't know Penny...what do you want to do?"

She looked him, and said "I want to go upstairs.  What do you want to do?"

He searched her eyes, then leaned down to kiss her before answering.

"I want to fuck your brains out."

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Girl's Trip

They had to be up at 4am to make their flight.

Strike 1.

The sun rose as their plane made their decent into the city.  She tried to keep up with conversation, the energy and excitement of the trip.

They got into town and she ordered a Rideshare, who promptly called her and asked how many people she had, and said he couldn't accommodate her and she needed to cancel the ride.  The other girls yelled at her as soon as she had told them about it, like the guy had been her fault.

Strike 2.

They got to the hotel, that was of course not ready to check them in yet.  They spent time in the lobby talking about nothing for what seemed like hours.  Her introvert battery was quickly drained.

They decided to go to brunch early, and she decided to see how far she could walk before Mo came to pick her up at noon.  According to her Fitbit, about 17,000 steps later, Mo came to pick her up with his wife and baby, and they headed to their favorite sushi restaurant.

It was the first time meeting his baby, and he reached out for her immediately, which made her feel good.  She needed to make time to go down and visit him, maybe later on in the summertime.

They met up with other friends and had an amazing time eating.  Back at the hotel, the girls had gotten drunk at brunch, and all started to text her that they wanted pizza.  She had just gorged herself on sushi and didn't appreciate that they all started to gang up on her, texting five or six times in a row.  She made a decision to ignore their texts, because otherwise she would end up back at the hotel in a rage.

They were drunk and cranky when she got back, and she left an hour later to go out drinking with Mo.  They laughed, talked, bar hopped, and had a great time.  She missed him so much, and when his wife asked if the schools were better in her town, she said yes without even knowing if they were.  It would be amazing if they moved to where she lived.

Things were getting a little better with him and his wife, and she was glad they seemed to be working things out.  She talked to him about her relationship woes, and they commiserated with more cocktails.

She didn't get to see him the rest of the weekend, and spent much of it on her own exploring her old haunts.  The girls got more and more drunk and belligerent as the weekend wore on, and it was testing her nerves.

Goldie got upset that her PJs had gone missing, but the maids had been in and made the beds, and must have put it with all the other clothes that were lying on the other bed.  When she suggested this she was berated again by the girls for how stupid of an idea that was.

Strike 3.  She was done.

Goldie got upset that she wasn't helping them look.  "They are lost forever." She stated coldly.  Later they of course found it in the exact place they had told them to look.  They responded by calling her sensitive...because that's the best way to make a sensitive person feel better, to call attention to their sensitivity. 

The entire rest of the trip she became cold and unresponsive, just waiting for it all to be over.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Another Bow

The honesty and straightforward conversation between her and Piz had been refreshing.  He was fast becoming the person she most preferred to talk to.  It was so easy, and while he was still with his girlfriend, still safe.

They'd hung out a few times without issue, having great conversation about what the future held for them.  He was kicking around the idea of going on in his schooling and getting a second Masters, but then would still be living with his horrible girlfriend.

They met up one night with plans that just continued to go wrong for them, and ended up at the bar at the base of her building after dinner. 

She dropped their conversation rudely when she realized the bar had a giant blind sheepdog hanging around.  After she was done playing with the dog, they took a couple of seats at the bar and ordered their cocktails. 

"So, I graduate in May...and I've decided to move back to where I'm originally from.  I'm gonna move in with my two best friends again, back to the couch again for now and we are going to find a three bedroom house for all of us while I figure things out."

Damn, another one bites the dust.  She was going to have to go back on the dating scene again, she felt like she was losing them all over the place.

"Have you told your girlfriend yet?"

"....No.  She's going to get so pissed off, it's going to be a huge mess."  She scowled at him.

"Of course it is, she believes that you love her but you are not only going to break up with her, but move out of the state.  That's going to be a lot to deal with at once."

"She's going to yell at me that I didn't tell her that I didn't actually apply for the Masters program.  The application deadline was in February."

"Well, she'll be right.  You didn't tell her.  You need to start owning up to your own cowardice.  We never like to admit that we did the wrong things, but we have to admit it, own up to it.  If you can have sex with the person, then you should be able to talk about anything and everything.  You and I can."

She admitted she was going to miss him and the friendship they had managed to form despite everything.  He admitted that she was one of the only people he could talk to this about, his dad and his friends had little experience or sympathy.  She said she'd always be there for him.

A few days later he said he'd broken up with his girlfriend.  She had lost her mind at first but then calmed down the next day, and everything seemed to be fine.

"I want to see you at least a few more times before I leave" He said.  She said that would be nice, though considerably more dangerous now.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

"Oh, you've got stuff written down, like on actual paper?  By all means, go ahead!"  KSL said jovially as he busied himself in the kitchen.

She pulled out her two pieces of paper, the third copy of each one.  She had thought of things, written and rewritten each one.  One was business, the other was emotional.  She hadn't realized she'd set it up that way until days afterward.

There were a few questions from both that made her nervous to ask, but she forged ahead anyway.  She guessed that it helped the conversation with her head in her notes and his in the cooking.

"I wanted to start with a warning.  I *will* be cranky about stupid every day things for a bit while I adjust back to real life.  I have literally been living in a tower where I can walk to my job that I love.  I haven't really had to worry about everyday things like traffic and parking in a long time.  You need to be patient with me."

"And because everyone has been telling me lately that I'm negative and only see the bad side, I'm going to start with the positives list I've made."  He seemed amused by the fact that most of her positives were the fact that she wasn't going to be his old roommate.  He laughed at her point that if he was ever feeling down she would put googly eyes on everything in the fridge.  His laugh made her stop on the rest of the list.  There were invisible lines she didn't want to cross.  If they were going to make this work she had to watch that any action she took wasn't taken as a relationship action.

As soon as the idea of living together came up, they had been apologetic to one another more than usual.  Supportive even.  It had also felt honest, and nice.

"I know you are stressed and this is a terrible situation...but living with KSL with boundries?!?!?  Oh man.  That would be a non-stop back and forth pseudo relationship don't you think?" Dawn had retorted to her over text one day.

She'd responded "I know it's silly, especially for a cynic like me, to think this will have a positive outcome.  But I'm trying to be outside of my comfort zone in order to find happiness.  I spent so much of my life closed off from every experience.  It might suck, but it will be a life experience that I'll grow from no matter how it plays out.  And I honestly do have a feeling it will be okay."

She went to the other list with KSL, asking about quirks of the current apartment, then got to another nerve-inducing question.

"Are you...well do you want to--"

"Use your words"

She scowled, hating when he said that.  She knew it was a joke, meant to be lighthearted...but it felt too much like the passive aggressive things that came out of her mother's mouth anytime she spoke.

"Do you want to stay here?  In this apartment?"

As it turned out, he wasn't quite married to the place after all.  Moving would be annoying for sure, but he wasn't completely opposed to the idea.  Emotionally, she felt like a fresh place would at least feel like both of theirs, instead of her moving onto his turf that he would already feel was his.  She'd always feel a bit like an outsider.  He had shown her his current roommates tiny room, and she suddenly remembered the claustrophobia she'd never had to feel 20 stories up in her high ceiling mirrored wall studio.

They talked about their space quirks.  He wanted to be free to host his movies nights, which of course she didn't have a problem with.  He also didn't have a problem with her project with Dusky.  He even joked about being a part of it.

"You know people are going to talk." KSL stated.

"You know that I don't care what people think.  But I think we also need to be careful.  We have lots of mutual friends.  I think that it's important that we don't bitch about each other in public.  I think we've reached a point where we can be honest with each other.  If we have a problem, we come to the other one first.  You know I'm more upset if you aren't just honest with me in the first place."

He agreed, and for the first time in the conversation she relaxed.  That had been her dealbreaker.  If he hadn't agreed, if he had hesitated just a moment...she would have found another overpriced one bedroom and not looked back.

She was glad to be a little more settled towards a future.  She was going to live with KSL for a year, save up as much money as possible, and then look for a house to buy.  She'd be ready to be alone by least she thought.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

So Long, Farewell

"How was your test?"

"Postponed.  Got two more projects I'm working on."

"Busy busy dude.  I don't know how you do it, I'd go crazy."

"Well the traveling is going to change soon.  My boss told me that I will be coming back to the city by the end of August."

4 hours away.  There would be no reason for him to come back to visit, he had no family or actual friends here.

"So full time metropolitan life huh?"

"Yep.  I guess the company is no longer interested is having someone permanently stationed up here."

She couldn't judge his mood, so she asked him how he was feeling about it.

"I am okay with it.  I really liked it up here and if I could find a place that did similar research (and as good as pay) I would jump ship.  But I like my work and the other city isn't bad."

"Well I'll miss our quarterly outings!  We will have to have a goodbye drink before you go."

"Maybe a couple of drinks."

She smirked.  She wonder if she was insinuating what she was thinking...if they weren't going to see each other again, maybe this was their last chance. 

A lot of doors were closing on her lately.  These last two years were going to exist in a such strange time capsule in her mind.

Might as well have fun while it lasts, right?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Breaking the News

It didn't occur to her until later, but she realized suddenly one day that she needed to tell her ex about the roommate situation before he found out from someone else. 

"I'm still not 100% sure where I will end up at this point, but KSL needs a roommate around that time and it would save me $400 a month to do that, so that's what I might end up doing.  Then I could save up for a year and then buy a house.

I know you were worried about him when separated, and I didn't want you to hear that I was moving in with him from someone else and assume it was anything other than a roommate situation.  I didn't want you to be surprised and hurt, I wanted you to hear it from me."

"I appreciate that."

Her heart sank.  She hated that she was hurting him...why did she still feel this way, still feel like she continued to rip a band-aid off that kept reappearing?

"Are you okay?"  She felt compelled to text.

"I'll be alright."

Even though she thought she'd cried herself out, fresh tears started to form.  "I'm sorry.  After paying so much for the studio the past two years I really need to save money.  I was going to roomie up with Banana but this date came up so fast she's not ready to move out, she's still between jobs."

"I understand, and you don't owe me an explanation.  I appreciate that you told me though."

"I feel like I do.  I know it doesn't seem like it but that last thing I want to do is hurt you."