Wednesday, December 11, 2013

i gave away my joy

two months ago, you broke my heart. and it didn't take a whole lot.

under other circumstances, i would've expected it. that's how i carry through my life. expecting anyone to hurt me, physically, emotionally, in any given moment.

i cringe when cars drive past because i'm afraid someone toting a gun, an easy getaway, and opportunity will see me as the perfect target for some random act of violence. i cringe when men get near me because i'm afraid someone toting no conscience, an agenda, and opportunity will see me as the perfect woman to fill their bed.

you made me feel like i didn't have to be afraid. in fact, you told me i didn't. you told me you wouldn't break my heart. but you did.

you didn't break my heart because i let you. you broke my heart because you let me down.

so i gave you another chance not to let me down. and you did it again. but this time, it hurt more.

you had the opportunity not to make the same mistake twice, but you made the exact same one. you did the exact same thing. i once had the vision to see that i would be let down. but i didn't care what i knew would happen, because what mattered to me was what could happen. what could've happened would've been great. but it ended up not being possible, after all.

i begged you for weeks to tell me how you could do it, but i don't need you to answer that. i know how. because i was too much, and because you couldn't say that. maybe you wanted it to work - but when it came down to it, you couldn't give me what i wanted. and you couldn't admit that. you couldn't even say sorry.

and that's all i want.

how can i forgive you if you refuse to say you're sorry for breaking my heart, twice, and every day since?

how can i forgive you if you refuse to say you're sorry.

i gave away my joy, and i don't have the strength to take it back.

i see all the meanness in the world reflected in you. i gave you everything. i tried everything. i said everything. my entire heart was in the right place even if you didn't agree with the things i did. i did it all because i cared for you. and i never let you forget that. you told me you cared for me, but your actions didn't show it. how could you be so cruel to me? 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

my missed connections

on the downtown 6 train from grand central last year, coming home from work.

me: wearing a short white dress, studded rose gold, stunned, always complimented. the cashier while i was getting my lunch - "you going to a party?" wicker heels with a gold detail, nude, not quite the right colour to complement my dress but the most comfortable option for a night i'd be constantly on my feet. though i looked fabulous in that dress i couldn't sell it that night, could never sell much at all. the things i wore, no one else could, or was willing. never average, rarely translatable to other figures. maybe that was my issue - i'm not relatable.

you: tall, dark blonde, with a friend. staring relentlessly and unabashedly at me with a silly grin on your bearded face. wearing an ugly sweater and brown cords, not at all my type, but still cute.

i looked back at you and smiled sheepishly, couldn't bare to stare back at you without interaction, looked away. in the window, i watched your reflection watch me. every now and then i found the courage to look back. "hi," you said. "hi." i waited for more, awkward, unsure what to do when we were both getting off at union square and ended up next to each other as we exited the train. maybe if i had looked up, instead of looking down, down at my perpetually unpainted toes and barely justifiable shoes, something would've happened. i don't remember if we both got on at grand central, or if you were already on that 6 train, if you were always on that 6 train; a version of you would always be everywhere i went, on every 6 train i'll ever board. and even if you weren't my type, i wouldn't miss you next time.

i got off the train and saw two cold degenerates begging for money. i looked, walked past, then acknowledged something that drew me back towards them. "do you guys want some hamburgers?" i asked, knowing the diner in my building was still open. "yeah," one said. "you look very pretty tonight."


walking down 19th street, on my way to bed bath and beyond to meet my roommate.

me: heartbroken. coming from a lunch date, chipotle with a friend, chips 'n guac and all - something i'd feel too guilty to splurge on in any other mental state. wearing an off shoulder blue sweater, a pink and white striped betsey johnson bandage skirt. i'd woken up and asked, what would serena van der woodsen wear? i didn't have any prada. amongst the chaos of moving in and settling into a new year, someone had shattered my heart. the night before, i decided i was only dating blondes from now on. i was through settling and anyway, i wouldn't want to be put in a position again where i would have to choose whether or not to settle down with someone who i knew i wouldn't marry. thinking too seriously about love, i wasn't late to marry, i was young to, and i had time to find anyone else. but i was always, running late.

you: doing something on the street, taking a survey, maybe. dressed in a slate gray button up, black pants, perfectly my style, and oh god, blonde. looking directly at me, smiling. i wonder if you can see my eyes from behind my sunglasses? i smile, we walk past each other without looking away the entire time. i know you'll turn to look again after you pass, and you do, and i do the same, but only after you're too far away to see it. maybe i would have been more brave if i wasn't running late, or if you were taller. but i had found a blonde who had been more utterly taken with me in the seconds we passed one another on the streets than my heartbreaker had been on our first three dates. i am running late, but the universe is prompt in telling me i'll be ok.


waiting for the bus on broadway.

me: just getting off of work, looking painfully boring as i always do, out of place for a college student. wearing a nondescript black blouse and a tight gray skirt. feeling defeated after 6 hours of sorting bad mail at my desk, the $700 i'd just spent on two textbooks.

you: running by, long brown hair wet with sweat and a blank white tee in the same state, gray shorts. not my type at all but appealing in the silly, athletic college boy type of way. in my heart i am just a college student, no matter how hard i try to be more. you see me and you look back. i see you seeing me though i can't believe you do - i feel immemorable. you stop, seeing me see you, and walk back in my direction. i look away because i can't believe your gaze is meant for me. discouraged, you continue running. i am always rejecting someone's affection, and it always sends them running.


at the rooftop club in a fancy hotel.

me: coming from a sorority semi-formal, feeling exhausted and relieved to finally be somewhere more in my element. wearing a tight, sparkling gold dress with cut outs in the back, fuck me stilettos that i finally found an excuse to wear. there is hairspray in my hair, for one of the two or three occasions a year that i will care enough to do it.

you: looking extremely androgynous, 90s boy-next-door hair that is cropped for a woman but long for a man, wearing a powder blue sweater with a modest v-neck and square frame glasses. offering to buy my friend and i who are standing, contemplating, a drink.

we walk to the bar, you pull out your wallet, i tell you no - it's fine, you don't have to, i've got it. you tell me not to worry and i believe that i shouldn't because you're holding a crisp new $100 bill. you buy two - a vodka cran each for me and sam. we stay to talk to you for a while, being boring on purpose because your friend is very drunk and out of it and because we do not want to give you the wrong impression but can't say so out loud, and want to lose your interest instead. but i have always been attracted to androgynous women, and i wish that i could stay to talk to you without my friend thinking differently, and i am surrounded by 20 other of our closest friends for a birthday party. you ask for my number should we get separated and not find one another before you go out to smoke a cigarette. you tell us you have a nice penthouse suite and that we should party in it. you are only in town for the week and i do not see you again.

i text you the next morning, shyly, and tell you that i enjoyed meeting you. "yeah," you say. "we should all hang out again soon."

i immediately begin thinking of excuses as to why sam can't come, leaving out the only true explanation, that i am attracted to you but don't want sam to know i am half gay because it would inexplicably change our relationship even though she "wouldn't care." i plan to tell you that sam can't come because she lives out of town, but i would love to see you again tonight.

i end up not texting you back at all.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

it's not your fault that we aren't right for each other

Some days I hate you more, though there are many days when I hate you less. Overwhelmingly, the days don't make me think of you at all.

Yet Thursday, I walk past a woman who I know is exactly your type, whose beauty twinges my heart. Still, I have the urge to approach her and ask, "Are you single? If so, can I introduce you to my ex?" Because even though we couldn't work it out, you deserve to be happy with someone. One day I will be happy, too.

But it is too much of a simplification to call you my ex. To call you my ex denies the part of our history that has destroyed me the most - the fact that we never made it to a relationship. I referred to you as my boyfriend to other people because it was easier than having to explain that we had been dating forever, and that you had asked me to consider us getting serious. Though we were never together, I always treated you like you were a permanent fixture in my life. I never would have guessed that you would eventually refuse to have a place in it.

Friday, I walk past a woman who I immediately can't control my contempt for, because I imagine she might look like Amy.

Saturday, I have been too busy to think about you.

Sunday night, I swipe past your best friend on Tinder.

Monday afternoon at work, I have to find the contact information for a woman who you work with. I envy the proximity i imagine Erin has to you, and my heart nearly implodes as I imagine her speaking to you in the office as you wear my favourite suit of yours. The dark blue one that you wore to our date to Broadway, that you always wear with a crisp white button-down and your matching camel-colored leather wingtips and belt. The only thing that I think may expand my chest and rid me of this crushed feeling is Chick-fil-a, my favourite. But it's your favourite, too, so I feel as if I am giving in.

I keep thinking that these constant reminders of you are signs that we need to give it another shot, but maybe New York is just a small city full of 8 million people. The bus route that I take to get home every day passes by Phebe's, where we had our first kiss. But in a few short months, I know that I'll stop looking at Phebe's and wondering if you'll be there the next time I am. I'll stop making the decision whether to go or not go there on the off chance that you are. In a few months, I'll even find the courage to Facebook-stalk Amy, and the sight of her won't twinge my heart even if she's prettier than I am, or if you two found a way to make it work in a way that you and I couldn't.

Monday evening, I agree to go on a first date with a nice Jewish man who will help keep my mind off of you. I drink an entire bottle of wine by myself at dinner, which is no small accomplishment for a 5'2, 105 pound woman who only began to really drink a few months ago. I ask that we split the check, because the restaurant is BYOB and he had already gone to the store prior to accommodate my request for plum wine. He declines, and has kind eyes when he tells me that he will split it with me if I insist, but is much happier to pay himself.

Tuesday, and I have finally given in. I'm stuck in bed and tears, writing this note to you. Sobs overtake my body that has been growing steadily too thin. I clutch the Build-A-Bear that my best friend gave me to cuddle for moments exactly like this: I need her here but she lives across the country, and there is essentially 3000 miles of emotional space between you and I. In this city surrounded by 8 million people, I have no one to talk to, and anyway, you're the only one who would be able to make it right.

I started dating someone around the same time as you, who I got along with just as well. He was younger, more energetic, and maybe more compatible with me than you were. Neither one of you wished me 'Happy Birthday,' but I hated you more for it. I forgave him because once at half past midnight, I began to crave OJ after watching Louis C.K. have groceries delivered, so he got out of bed and went to the store to get me some. Earlier that night, I'd seen a man laying dead on a Brooklyn street corner, face up, eyes open, clutching a bottle in his hand. When I'd drink two bottles by myself and call you crying weeks later, I would not be trying to drink myself to death. I'd be trying only to drown my heart.

I confronted you about not wishing me 'Happy Birthday' when you finally texted me three days later, and you insisted that you didn't know, that I never told you. I had sent you three snapchats that day: a bottle of wine with the caption "Let the birthday celebrations begin!" just after midnight; a picture of my food and friends with the caption "Birthday Lunch"; a selfie in which I was wearing a birthday crown and flipping you off because you'd opened both of the pictures before, but still hadn't bothered to say anything. A few weeks prior, I had specifically made it a point to tell you that my birthday party was on June 29th because I would leave for Italy a couple of days after, but my real birthday was July 6th. I made it a point to tell you because I wanted you to remember.

You didn't.

There are things that we both could have done differently. I'll be the first to admit that I spent a lot of time fighting with myself and trying to push you away, even though I never wanted to be without you. For the pure reason I would never imagine that I could be, or try to be, or choose to be in love with you, I can confidently say that I almost loved you. In the little moments after I finally got home from Italy and we started to spend all of our time together, I felt myself almost slip and say so, often. One night we laid in your bed, you rubbing the skin on my arm and looking down at me, and you sighed and said, "For months, I've been imagining what it'd be like when you finally came back, and now you're here." The first thought that came to my mind was, "I missed you, and I love you."

I remember the look you gave me that night as your thumb brushed the skin along my hip, and I remember that I have never felt so adored. Many men had looked through me that way before, but you looked at me. Monday night looked through me that way as he held my hand across the dinner table, while I was too drunk, too desperate for affection to remember or care about my typical first date no-contact rule. But Monday night saw me all dolled up, throwing out my most impressive, intelligent conversation, skillfully navigating my sushi even though I confessed I wasn't a huge fan.

However you, you knew how to look at me because you know that I'm not as adventurous as I sometimes make myself out to be. The first date we had after the first time we stopped seeing each other, you took me to a fancy French brasserie where everything on the menu was bone marrow or Branzino. I looked at you and said, "I know you're trying to make it up to me, but I would've much rather preferred McDonald's." You took me to a lot of nice places, and I usually offered to split or foot the bill because I never expected or relied on you to pay for anything, but you always insisted. Maybe it's your pride: the fact you are a man in your 30s with a stable career in law, and I'm just a college student.

One night out, we had an argument about some guy trying to dance with me, then got Drunk McDonald's together to talk it out. You had tried to walk away from me at least five times that night but I wouldn't let you, though you tried your best to hurt me. You accused me of only wanting attention, and I did, from you. Your friends had been hitting on me and you let them, told them I was fair game. I didn't understand why you wouldn't claim me at least from them, nevermind the rest of the world. But you hadn't let me walk away from you before and I wasn't used to men who wanted me to stay. In line, you looked at me and said, "I miss you already." That ended up being the most emotion I would ever see from you. At the cashier, I already had my credit card out and said, "I've got it." Mockingly, you replied, "Oh, you're going to pay for this expensive meal?" I cried, and you paid.

You looked at me sitting in a packed fast food chain at 2AM with mascara everywhere, and mayonnaise from my McChicken on the corners of my mouth. In that moment, when you told me I was beautiful, you wholeheartedly believed it. I apologised and apologised and apologised and apologised, until you finally told me to stop. It was fine in the morning, but "I love you" never came close to slipping out of my subconscious again.

I hope that this is more eloquent than the pages of texts that I would send you explaining myself and profusely apologising every time we fought. I hope this is more eloquent than the emotional outburst I had the last time we ever saw one another. A few days prior, I had lamented that we'd never spent a Sunday morning together, and my happiness to finally spend that insignificant measure of time with you was pouring out of my heart in kisses to your forehead and hugs to your neck. I was ordering breakfast from Seamless on your phone, taking too long to decide whether I wanted sausage or bacon on my bagel, when Amy texted you about your dinner date that night. I took a long time trying to figure out how to react, because we weren't together, but we had been talking about it so often and for so long, I had no doubt that we would be together eventually. I had already stopped seeing everyone else, and it was heartbreaking to see that you hadn't.

It would have hurt me much less if you hadn't been texting Amy while I was sitting in your lap, and earlier that morning when I refused to get out of bed and you didn't sleep in with me. My heart broke because you had probably been texting her last night in the cab home, when you had been on your phone for so long that I finally interjected - "Hey, why don't you spend a little time with me?" It was betrayal even if we had no formal relationship to betray. I tried to explain this to you through my tears, and you eventually got so tired of looking at me, raw me, that you completely stopped listening. You turned away, opened your laptop and began responding to your e-mails. In your inbox I saw something from one of your exes who had recently been reaching out to you, titled "Day 10 Poem."

I hope this is more eloquent that the text I sent you after I left that Sunday morning, explaining that I had been going through a lot lately, and maybe if we finally decided to really be together, I'd be at ease. I told you I would give you your space, I apologised as I always did too much, and promised that I wouldn't text you unless you texted me.

I hope this is more eloquent than the picture I scribbled to you on snapchat, after I deleted your number to force myself to make good on my promise. Maybe if I had been more eloquent then, I would have heard back from you.

I hope this is more eloquent than the e-mail that I finally sent you two weeks later, because I still didn't have your number and my message was too long to snapchat. I explained that I just wanted to say goodbye; since you had never said anything to me, I didn't get the chance. More than anything, I was looking for closure. I was working towards forgetting my heartbreak, or at least being able to function through it. I guess eventually, every woman e-mails her own sort of Day 10 Poem to someone who she almost loves.

Wednesday, I e-mail you again: To hell with eloquence. I demand that you finally say goodbye to me, and mean it. I am afraid that one day I will have finally remembered how to enjoy myself, until you text me that you miss me and you're ready to talk. I'm afraid that I will give in, because how do you decide when to walk away from someone who you know you can love? I am afraid that even if I say goodbye to you and try to mean it, you will never say goodbye to me, and I will never have my peace. I will keep responding to your e-mails every time you have something to say to me, because I want to know what happened, and for you to communicate your emotions to me is rare. I am afraid that if you don't say goodbye, I will be at the mercy of your time and my own apologies, forever.

It is absolutely your fault that you didn't remember my birthday, that you never apologised for anything, and that you went silent on me every time we had a fight instead of communicating with me, even when I begged you to. But I have grown to see that we were never right for each other, and that is not your fault.

Today, I am done blaming you for our fundamental incompatibility. I know that someone will be able to love you in a way that I couldn't...but I do not want you to find love yet. Today, I am still bitter despite myself, because I almost loved you, and you broke my heart.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

argo tea

    i do not remember large portions of my days, however, i am affected greatly by intimate details that are eventually ruined by my imagination. it was extremely cold this morning - not as cold as it has been, in fact quite tolerable for fall in the city. i believe winter does not begin until the end of november? today is november 15th, 2012. it is 51 degrees outside and i am wearing my hair short, in bouncy curls. i had meant for them to turn out like hollywood glamour icon sophia loren's - however, i am no sophia loren, and realisation of this has hindered me temporarily. even though i believe i'm beautiful, even though i see in others' eyes and faces and the turn of their mouths that they believe i am beautiful as well. i am not sophia loren. is there anything wrong with that? i am n***** *****n. is there anything wrong with that? i am wearing a nude cafe pink, in my opinion, colour of lipstick - "kinda sexy," and i'd agree. before i wore always "pink plaid" and while "pink plaid" is fun, it does not seem to attract the attention of the men i want. the kind of men who walk with their heads up and down and clutching a briefcase or bag with a specific destination in mind, with their headphones in and content to ignore everything they walk past perhaps because they are running late? perhaps because some of them are still too young to know that when they see a woman that they like, they should speak with her. because they are young and have their whole lives ahead of them, because they meet women in bars and clubs and lounges every night but those are the kind of women with whom no significant companionship ever comes. she is yours any night you want her and then she snaps, maybe i assume too much about these women who i have not met in your life, who i have only seen, who i imagine you have seen and occupy your time with. whose texts are you smiling at? there is no ring on your finger. but i get ahead of myself.
    i was walking, slowly, because it is cold outside and i am not wearing socks, i am out of clean socks at this point because i have not done laundry since perhaps after the hurricane, the hurricane which was only two weeks ago so why am i out of laundry already? perhaps i have been wearing more socks because it's colder now. i hardly wear high heels, i am always running late, i would like to wear high heels but they hinder me on my way to my destination and they make my feet hurt when i am working. still my hands were not too cold, i warmed them in the ridiculous faux fur of my ridiculous scarf that makes me look prissy, and aren't i prissy? so i kept my hands warm in the ridiculous faux fur scarf that epitomises my very personality and being. i am crossing the street - sometimes in high heels i have trouble crossing the street, sometimes in short wedge boots i have trouble crossing the street because the street is uneven and not conducive to people like me who walk without ever looking where their feet are going because my eyes are too busy with other things. it seems that all of us are too busy with other things. i become too busy to notice where i am walking when i see you walking, quickly, clutching a briefcase. you are tall dark and handsome, i know it's a ridiculous descriptor that no longer says much but if one can just imagine, you are perhaps 6'2, wearing a taupe gray crosshair waist coast, in your mid to late twenties with unaffected olive skin. your hair is dark, almost black but not, i sense you are middle eastern somehow with perfectly symmetrical features and your brown eyes. your hair is long on top, gelled into place and razed at perhaps a 3 on the sides. you have a small moustache, a bit of scruff, a rugged edge in your otherwise very clean cut appearance, that suggests to me that you smoke cigarettes from time to time. the smell of cigars just wafted in through the open door and i imagine it smelling like you. i see your rugged hands, the skin there looks alright, smoother than phil's i'm sure, i can see your veins and a bit of roughness. they are strong hands. perhaps because you are always so busy writing in your notepad, jotting down details of the apartments and skyscrapers you research now on your macbook air. what else do you write about? perhaps you do not write at all, but it is too early for me to tell. all i know is that your headphones have been in this entire time, you have looked down at your phone and chuckled on some occasions and i wonder to whose messages you chuckle. you send an e-mail. to a client, i'm sure, from the websites you've visited i gather that you are a real estate agent somehow. i wonder if that job gives you pleasure or if it only gives you money. i'm sure you enjoy the glamour of showing apartments and lofts and skyscrapers around manhattan, but i wonder what occupation you'd choose if it guaranteed you whatever salary you'd like.
    before you logged onto the internet i wondered if you had much money. you were trying to log onto the wi-fi, apparently they charge here at this cafe which i've never been to before. you put in a username and password, which tells me you have done this before, you have paid for access to their wi-fi, a practice which i find pretentious. wi-fi should be free. i am sure, however, that people still frequent this place as happily as they would starbucks, despite the lack of free wi-fi here. i admit i followed you here. i saw you went in and i began to walk by, until i stopped and stared at the door, stared at you inside, backtracked and went in myself. i stood away from the counter, staring bemused at the digitalised, everchanging menu above my head and wondering what kind of tea i would like. i do not like tea, i followed you into a tea place because i like you. i did not know that you'd bring me muse, i figured i would only enjoy the company of your beauty for a moment and you'd either make conversation with me, or we'd both depart immediately without ever saying a word to one another. i realise i did not sit in the best spot for you to strike up conversation with me. i sat behind you, when, i could have sat next to you, at the centralised table in sitting area that is large enough to be impersonal but compact enough so that conversation would have flowed fine, if we so chose. i could have sat there, but i immediately wonder if it would have made a difference because i don't look my most beautiful today. i am beautiful every day, but today it is sour, because i am impersonating sophia loren, i am trying to find someone else's beauty even though i have my own, don't i have my own? an asian woman walks by me, perhaps she is in her mid thirties, and she is absolutely beautiful, i know vienn would think so. but i have my own beauty. i left it at home today.
    you are in a very well tailored, navy suit, a light blue collared shirt and a tie that is some colour i don't remember. your boots are dark brown, your waist coat is taupe gray and your bag has almost a khaki hint. altogether, you look very well. you are a very handsome man. you raise your left hand to your temple and i can't see whether or not you have a wedding bang, but i do see that you have a bracelet on. it seems to be an impermanent bracelet, and i imagine, because you seem somehow middle eastern to me, that it is something for diwali. i think i catch a glimpse of a wedding band on your ring finger. i wonder what your wife looks like. i'm sure she is beautiful, i wonder if she is smart. i know she is charming, probably more so than i am. hopefully as genuine as i am. i don't know your name and i don't know your life but i have assumed much about it, and you; now my fantasy is over, but it has been over anyway. because this morning i woke up and i wanted someone else's beauty.
    i love you, sophia loren, you are an incredible woman. but you are not me. i cannot waste my time trying to be you, because then who is left to be me? i think i am an incredible woman.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

we locked eyes and you stared at me, until you looked away.

even if i annoy you sometimes, even if i am too young, you are undeniably attracted to me.
i never meant to hang out with you because you are too much for me. you're strange and pushy but i know sometimes that's just how older men are. they don't understand. one day i was finally curious and asked you for ice cream.

i've seen you three times. it led to me coming over yesterday, you kissed me, you're a wonderful kisser, probably the best i've ever been with actually, maybe because you're 35 and have more experience than anyone i've ever been with. is that why you like me, because i'm young? because i'm beautiful and tiny? or is it mostly because i'm young?

i like older men when they are like you. strong and fit and attractive, smart, liberal, easygoing. you like me because i'm young. i like you because i don't owe you anything and never have to see you again.

i don't do commitment

Sunday, November 4, 2012

do i miss you?

vienn, i do not miss you and your stupid rolex. your holier than thou attitude. your declaration that every restaurant we eat at is horrible. your blind support of mitt romney. your opinion that any clothes that aren't prada, are cheap clothes. your insistence that i take two shots of tequila with you every time we go out.

but i do miss you kissing my hair and rubbing the skin on my arms as i fall asleep. and then waking up next to you in the morning and knowing that you want to lay in bed with me all day. that look of dejection when i tell you no, i have to go, and you know i'm making up some excuse not to stay with you.

i miss actually caring about someone, even though i wouldn't let myself get too close to you. is that why you don't text me anymore? that's certainly made it easier for me to keep myself away from you.