You don’t recall last night
Well let me refresh you
You told me of all the could’ve-been girls
You ravished me like never before
Before disclosing your noncommittal sexuality
You said that you need to escape from here
Your future is measureless
And I am a wavering pawn
Nothing is certain
You make it very difficult to be naive
That’s exactly what i’d like right now
To flap my limbs around as I learn how to move on my own again
I bluff beside you, feign poise
Yet I am in a quandary as to where I stand
Here is where I inspire reflection
I now scrawl the most impressive phrases
And this spot is reserved for creative metaphors
I don’t know.
I told you that I was a roadway of potholes, not safe to cross. You said nothing, showed up in my driveway wearing roller-skates.
The first time I asked you on a date, after you hung up, I held the air between our phones against my ear and whispered, “You will fall in love with me. Then, just months later, you will fall out. I will pretend the entire time that I don’t know it’s coming.”
Once, I got naked and danced around your bedroom, awkward and safe. You did the same. We held each other without hesitation and flailed lovely. This was vulnerability foreplay.
The last eight times I told you I loved you, they sounded like apologies.
You recorded me a CD of you repeating, “You are beautiful.” I listened to it until I no longer thought in my own voice.
Into the half-empty phone line, I whispered, “We will wake up believing the worst in each other. We will spit shrapnel at each other’s hearts. The bruises will lodge somewhere we don’t know how to look for and I will still pretend I don’t know its coming.”
You photographed my eyebrow shapes and turned them into flashcards: mood on one side, correct response on the other. You studied them until you knew when to stay silent.
I bought you an entire bakery so that we could eat nothing but breakfast for a week. Breakfast, untainted by the day ahead, was when we still smiled at each other as if we meant it.
I whispered, “I will latch on like a deadbolt to a door and tell you it is only because I want to protect you. Really, I’m afraid that without you I mean nothing.”
I gave you a bouquet of plane tickets so I could practice the feeling of watching you leave.
I picked you up from the airport limping. In your absence, I’d forgotten how to walk. When I collapsed at your feet, you refused to look at me until I learned to stand up without your help.
Too scared to move, I stared while you set fire to your apartment – its walls decaying beyond repair, roaches invading the corpse of your bedroom. You tossed all the faulty appliances through the smoke out your window, screaming that you couldn’t handle choking on one more thing that wouldn’t just fix himself.
I whispered, “We will each weed through the last year and try to spot the moment we began breaking. We will repel sprint away from each other. Your voice will take months to drain out from my ears. You will throw away your notebook of tally marks from each time you wondered if I was worth the work. The invisible bruises will finally surface and I will still pretend that I didn’t know it was coming.”
The entire time, I was only pretending that I knew it was coming. Miles Walser, “A Sonnet of Invented Memories” (via pigmenting)
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better. -Mary Oliver
Pleasing The Man
My sidekick is a blonde bombshell. Since middle school, she has been a magnet drawing in every guy. I admit that I have fallen into the background, never living up to her standards.
Out at the bars, I wonder what must be wrong with me that I never get hit on. I’m not bad looking. Maybe it’s my height? Am I intimidating? Do I seem cold?
My guy friend - much too drunk - says that I gotta stop hanging out with such a gorgeous woman as my sidekick. That she is so hot, no other woman can compare. He also tells me that I should grow out, letting me know that he finds short hair hideous.
I still contemplate it. Is that what I am doing wrong? My hair? Would men find me more attractive if…
Would I finally find the relationship I have been searching for if….
Yes, growing out my hair is certainly the problem.
I remember caring. I remember butterflies in my stomach when I had a crush on a cute boy. I remember my first kiss, and why I first fell in love and how it felt and I can’t seem to ever get those feelings back again.
The world is spinning faster, we are all becoming desensitized to sharing ourselves with one another.
I want to believe there are souls out there like me, people I will meet one day who don’t lead with their dick or their eyes but act with their heart and mind.
My sidekick doesn’t want to be judged on her looks, and neither do I. We both are passionate, intelligent, deep people who just want to find someone who can see that side of us without feeling like we have to settle for something less. We don’t want to spend our futures in misery just because we feel like we have to please the man.
Times have changed, and it’s not all about you any more.
If you want something real, and I hope that you do, you must give yourself and try to pretend for a second that you are actually interested in more than those big blue eyes or bountiful booty.
And sex. We are becoming desensitized to intimacy of any sort. I had butter on my toast this morning…I kissed a guy…I washed the dishes, and I had sex. It’s become routine, and we give it no second thoughts. We don’t even feel guilty anymore. And we probably don’t really know who we are fucking. They certainly don’t know us, the real us.
We use sex to validate ourselves. To feel, for a second, as if someone could love us - at least in one way. At lease we can please them somehow. We never think for a second whether we even like them. Isn’t that insane? Why don’t we have more self respect? Why do we feel like sex is all we are good for?
I used to be a hopeless romantic. I used to want to wait until marriage. I used to write poems and paint pictures and sing songs for men I really liked. I used to be more vulnerable in my passion. But as time drew on I realized that no one cared. They would listed to my song and say alright, fine. They wouldn’t understand my humor. They would be bored by the poetry I sent them.
I fuck men. I fuck a lot of men. I have spent my entire life trying not to admit the more difficult things in life, even if they are true. Things like the fact that I fuck men who I know don’t give a shit about me. They don’t know me, and they don’t want to. And as soon as I bring up some subject that is too “sensitive” for the fuck-buddy zone, I see them flee. Things like “why did we never actually date?” or “Do you really only like me for sex?”
Rest assured that in most cases, those questions will never be answered, and you don’t want to know the answers because you already know them.
The answer is that I am a hypocrite. The thing that is wrong with me is that I have been fooled into believing no one wants to get to know me. No one will ever really want to love me. And so I shouldn’t love me. I should give men the one thing I know they won’t pass up. I should please them the only way I know how because then at least they might want to see me again.
Some days I play the role of a strong woman. The truth is that all of us are cowards. We can’t admit the truth to ourselves, let alone others. We place blame where it shouldn’t be placed and we make all the excuses in the world to validate our actions. All of us just want to be loved, but many of us don’t think we deserve to be known, or that others deserve to know us. We judge people within the first five seconds of meeting them and decide then and there if there is a connection or not.
As my sidekick walked down the street with the man she had just met, his hand on the small of her back, I felt only envy. I shouldn’t care - she is being judged just as I am; on a impromptu first impression that is most likely wrong. She is just as single as I, and just as far from finding someone who wants to know Her.
I hope some day we can find love.