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."


Friday, March 23, 2018

The Search Begins

She was going to have a talk with KSL about a potential roommate situation later.  Until she could meet with him, she went into overdrive looking for one-bedrooms.

Goldie and SD kept sending her links to units in their building.  They were all more money than she was paying, and when she went to see them...they looked their age.  It was a 50 year old building and it was fast becoming apparent that her unit was the most updated.  She secretly thanked her lucky stars that she'd found the only hardwood floor-Ikea-ed out kitchen in the entire building with a dishwasher.

She had let in three different potential investors and given them the grand 20 second tour.  A couple of them had hinted that they might buy the place and let her stay, but she needed to be prepared and couldn't rely on empty promises.

Mel was trying to get her to move into a piece of shit place by herself, tried to convince her that she didn't need things that she found to be essential.  Maybe he was just too young to realize that when you get to be a certain age, you don't have to compromise least not about the things that really matter to you.  Mel managed to pressure her with all this while at the same time almost completely disappearing from her life.  Being as they shared the acts of service and quality time love languages, she took this as a complete abandonment and let her heart drift out to sea.

Dishwashers mattered to her.  A washer and dryer in unit would be nice, but she could potentially live without it.  It had to be under a certain amount of money or she wouldn't be able to eat.  She didn't want to live out in the sticks and have a million hour commute.  She could save a bunch of money if she had a roommate.

Her mind screamed no, that it was quite possibly the worst idea in the history of ideas that she become roommates with KSL.  They would kill each other.  It would be volatile, an emotional minefield of awful.

She started writing down concerns, questions about the apartment.  Her mind kept going and she started a new page.  She re-wrote.  Then she heard a few voices in her head of people who had told her she was negative, a defeatist.  She started a new page of positives about having a roommate, having her as a roommate.  She figured that he would know what his good qualities of being a roommate would be.

She was ready to have the talk.  There were a few things on her list that she knew if he didn't agree to, that it couldn't work.  She at least felt more calm now that all her options had been laid out in front of her.

The crying had finally subsided.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Genenna- a place or state of misery; hell.

She was avoiding messaging her landlady.  She knew her lease was up at the end of April, and the front desk guard had told her the owners had just been slapped with a huge fee for something silly.

She figured maybe if she waited...she didn't know.  She signed up for a new app that sent her updates of free apartments.

One day she received the text.  Her landlady was going to sell the apartment.  She asked for at least 2 months notice of her having to move out, she acquiesced.

Her mind went into overdrive.  She researched apartments, signed up for alerts...and that night she went out to dinner with Mel.  She apologized for fixating, and he said it was fine.  She mentioned that one possibility, that she didn't want to really think about right now, was that KSL needed a roommate in June.  Mel recalled his days being a roommate with KSL, and advised strongly against it.  She said that with KSL she would at least know what she was getting into, she knew him.

Mel said that he would offer to move with her, but "that's a little too relationship stuff."

Internally she rolled her eyes.  God forbid she was awesome enough to want to have "relationship stuff" with.  She decided to shake it off, since he was the least of her worries at this moment.

Then, days later...she got her two months notice.  She needed to be out by May 15th, and there were three realtors coming by that weekend to look at the apartment.  The tearful phone call came right in the middle of the wrap party for the movie.  She tried to pull it together, but the text messages from the investors came rolling in right after.  She just tried to keep it together as well as possible.  She spoke briefly with KSL over the phone about having a talk about being roommates.  He was going through his own thing and she deliberately tried to keep the emotion out of her voice as she spoke to him.

Mel showed up soon afterward, but he was spooked because an old girlfriend who had once slashed his tires was there.  He said he didn't feel comfortable with her there, and left soon afterward despite the fact that she said she wasn't feeling well and needed a ride home.  He texted with her a little later vaguely threatening that if she moved in with KSL that he wouldn't see her anymore.

Good Riddance.

She got back to the apartment and realized that she was going to be up for hours trying to clean the apartment for the first realtor the next morning.

She got as far as her front hallway and started sobbing.  She was not ready to say goodbye to this space.  She was set free here.  She realized that sex was enjoyable in this space, fell in love, and had so many drunk late nights with friends.  She was not going to see Goldie and SD as often.

What if she had to go back?  What if she ended up having no choice and moving back in with her mom, and her ex who still lived there?  She was suddenly back there, that moment before she moved into her studio and was so desperate to have a different life, to be set free.

She felt as if she was going to lose her freedom again.  It felt terrible.

"This place saved me.  This apartment, you, saved me.  I'm not ready to let go" She tearfully sobbed to Goldie.

She would figured it out eventually....but for the next three days she couldn't stop crying, couldn't stop mourning the potential loss.  And she did it alone.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Free Weekend Part 2

"Let's go walk back to the other bar." JJ suggested.  Even though it was pretty cold, she decided a quick walk wouldn't hurt.

Less than 10 feet from the bar she regretted her decision.  Though he was only wearing one thin white t-shirt, JJ took off his jacket and put it around her.  She tried not to accept it, but he insisted he ran hot anyway.

A few steps later, she was suddenly flat on her back on the ground.  Her glasses were off of her face and she had no idea what happened.  JJ was helping her up, and she was reaching for her specs and relieved to find them unharmed.

"I was literally turning around to tell you about the black ice on the ground.  Are you okay?"

She took inventory and realized she'd put out the heel of her left hand down to catch herself, and all of her weight had come down on it.  It was already starting to swell.  They got back to the bar and she ordered a drink strictly to put on her hand.

She told the bartender about her fall, and he kissed her palm better.

"Who is this guy?  And what happened to your other friends?" The bartender asked.

"He's my friend!  The other ones went home.  I'm not allowed to have friends now?"

He smirked and shook his head.

She and JJ continued to drink and play arcade games, and sat around kissing for a little bit before her hand swelled up more and she felt she had to drive home while she still could. 

"I have to go home.  My hand hurts so bad."  The bartender's cute smile turned downward, and he extended his hand to her good hand to hoist her upper body over the bar, and he tapped his cheek for a kiss...and turned in at the last moment.  She laughed at him, knowing he was just doing it because JJ was standing right there.

She drove JJ back to his car, and his kiss seemed slightly more urgent than the last.  She laughed to herself...looks like her bartender friend had his desired effect. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Free Weekend Part 1

"I know it's sort of late notice, but if you and AB are free, let's go to the arcade bar tonight!"  She also texted JJ, thinking that there was no way he was going to respond.

It was Saturday night, and she was finally out of enough depression to want to see the people that she really cared about.  Banana was mysteriously missing from her place at the bar, wooing a potential new partner elsewhere.

The group of introverts soon grew overwhelmed by the din of the games mixed with the growing crowd and decided to walk over to the other bar for some quiet conversation.  They talked about the poor crowds in the new BFF's new theatre space, how things weren't going well over there.  They thought she knew about it because of Banana's involvement, but in reality she and Banana talked more about interpersonal relationships than actual business. 

JJ was getting tired, starting to yawn, when JJ walked in.

"Just to let you know, I was just saying we were about to take off, so it has nothing to do with your arrival."  PJ said to JJ.

She and JJ decided to stay at the bar, and said goodbye to AB and PJ.  After a couple of drinks they made their way upstairs, mostly because there were comfy couches where she'd made out with two other guys before.  She thought maybe JJ found that to be a challenge, because she'd mentioned it earlier. 

Soon they were chatting and making out occasionally upstairs.  They had the chat they always had, about how he was incapable of a real relationship, how bad he was at communication, and the potential for a threesome between them and Mel.

"You wouldn't have done it!" He teased.

"I don't know, I was drunk enough.  But you missed your window, I got tired."

"Well, next time I'll ply you with booze and some protein bars."

After some more making out he said "Your laugh is always tinged with sarcasm.  I never know if you are laughing because you are amused or you are laughing AT me."

She answered him by kissing him and laughing ambiguously.  He was too emotionally needy to be satisfied by her. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Quit Playing Games With My Heart

She walked into the arcade bar that Banana frequented and where she was meeting up with Piz.  From his texts he seemed excited to meet up with her despite it snowing all day, threatening to freeze all the roads.

The bartender was instructed by Banana to flirt shamelessly with her so Piz got jealous, which was just a funny game considering that Piz was already in an (albeit terrible) relationship and she wasn't about to get involved with all that.

" still like him!" the bartender said with his trademark grin.  Her half-smile and glance to the right gave her away.  She couldn't deny it.  Maybe a piece of her heart would always be with that goofball.  What they had was fire and wasn't fully realized, and she desired closure so much that she was in that bar.

They played pinball, and a few other games that she was embarrassingly bad at.  After a few minutes of hanging out he asked her if she was hungry, because he was starving.

Piz ended up picking a new pizza joint within walking distance of the bar.  She grabbed her jacket out of the car and laughed because his light jacket wasn't going to cut it for the walk.  Halfway there he realized the sidewalk was too narrow and let her walk ahead, softly berating himself for not doing it in the first place.  Her heart squeezed a little bit as she remembered the time he pulled her out of the way of some leaking water on her walkway.  She felt like no one had ever really looked out for her in such a sweet way.

They walked past the restaurant that saw their end as a couple.  "You ever go back there?" She asked him.  ""

"Are you kidding?  They had a giant taxidermist bear head over the woman's toilet.  I'm never going back there."

He chuckled at the earlier memory of that night.  At the pizza place they talked about how the bar moving in next door was their second date.  She brought up that she always worried that he had stopped smoking because she didn't like it.  She mentioned that Mel was really into pot and it was a strong disconnect with her.

"Amy smokes pot every night, without fail."  He shared.

She took a deep breath.  "Does she know that it's over?"

He looked uncomfortable.  "I'm sorry, that was really overstepping.  You do not have to answer that at all."

"No, no...I honestly don't know.  She can't not know."

"You play it pretty close to the vest Piz.  She might not know."

They started talking about other things since he was clearly uncomfortable with the situation.  She was going to be sensitive because he was doing to Amy what he did to her, just on a grander scale.

They started talking finances, and as the conversation continued she suddenly realized how much he didn't really care about them.  When they met he wanted a career in finance, she thought he was passionate about it.

He was so...listless.  He didn't know what he wanted to do.  He never actually stuck to anything, or anyone.

She had, yet again, dodged another bullet.