Addiction, Alcoholism, Attention Seeking, Breakups, dating, essays, Sex, Sex Addiction, Writing

This Is What Happens When You Leave Me


My beautiful roommate moved out this week. As any urban dweller who has ever lived with another person out of financial necessity knows, roommates seriously interfere with one’s ability to sloppily consume a sandwich naked while standing over the kitchen sink, staring into space. I also like to eat a salad with my bare hands from a bowl large enough for me to sit in while watching cartoons in the living room, dressed only in my underwear. Basically, a lot of my grumblings about having a roommate stem from sometimes having to put pants on, and not being able to eat dinner like an ogre.

But now she is gone, and all my plans to turn her room into an S&M jail cell evaporate in a vague sense of sadness and abandonment.   Because it’s not all that fucking different from when Sketch moved out three years ago. I had to close off the room he used as a studio, because the echo in there after he removed his canvases and brushes made me sick to my stomach.   If my roommate hadn’t moved in, that door would still be shut, like a museum of dust motes that can only be visited by other dust motes.

It makes me eager to leave this place as well, but I still haven’t closed on my new apartment. I have a ream of cardboard boxes in my bedroom, waiting, but the prospect of packing everything I own makes me so damn tired that I just want to climb inside one of these boxes with my rabbit like a stowaway. Maybe someone else will carry us down all the stairs.

Whether it’s a box or a whole apartment, it’s important for me to have a place to hide.  Sketch used to call it closetability. No one can see you, no one can judge the way you are living. We both longed for good hiding places, and it’s one reason we always got along so well, a mutual code of no-judgment after you shut the door.

I always tell people, You can tell me anything. I don’t judge. But this is an utter crock of shit. Basically, I don’t want people to judge me, so I profess this highly laissez-faire morality with other people when they name the questionable people they are sleeping with or the various ways they are getting over on the system, while I do all my judging secretly, in my head.

One of my favorite things about Connecticut is the way he accepts me. There are plenty of things about me might bum him out, but he withholds comment. I really appreciate that, although I wonder if he is secretly taking stock of my selfishness and whorish tendencies. I wonder if a clock I don’t know about is ticking down, while I stall on making a decision.

I’m leaving for Greece shortly this weekend, and my roommate has always been the one who watches the rabbit while I was away. But she won’t be here, so Connecticut is taking her. I like to picture him, chasing her around his instrument-and-amplifier strewn apartment, trying to wrangle her back in her cage. This image makes me feel all those soft feelings I am unaccustomed to dealing with. You are turning me into a girl, I complain to him, with some fucking emojis for emphasis, just like a girl.

Fucking feelings. This weekend, I brought him with me to Gantries Park, unrolled a blanket, plopped down on it with him in the early spring sunshine, and read a book while using his torso as a pillow. I could hear him turning the pages of his own book; he reads fast. Basically, this exact tableau has been my fantasy of having a boyfriend for pretty much my entire adult life.


Ugh, I can tell I like him because even this picture of his torso makes me happy.

And it happened, and it was so awesome that I couldn’t concentrate on my book because I was so happy that it was happening. Also, I kept looking at him and laughing, because his shirt matched the pattern of the blanket and it seemed funny to me that he came to this book picnic camouflaged.

He is camouflaged, concealed in the grain of my life, but I’m finding I don’t want him to be hidden. It’s not a secret that I like this guy. I take him with me to go look at a friend’s couch; she is moving to L.A. and I need a new couch. “Are you guys moving in together?” she asks us, making everyone uncomfortable.

By everyone, I mean me. I slept over Sketch’s the night before. Stay still, he tells me, pushing into me. Don’t move. This is all I want sometimes. To stay still. Not to move. Trapped under the sinuous weight of my addiction and crying out love. It’s a motherfucker; when Sketch is with me, I still feel like he loves me.

But the next day Connecticut and I buy sausage rolls and weird foreign sodas from the Irish grocery store in my neighborhood, and we go to the playground and watch the dogs in the dog-run, and make up voices to narrate their interactions, and he makes me laugh. He makes me laugh so hard, telling me about a friend of his whom was once found passed out naked beside a sex-toy ass that he had broken in two, that I fart, and then I sort of want to crawl under a car and hide there forever, but it is also funny, the sudden exposure. “It’s all the anal sex,” I complain, still laughing. “Any involuntary noises are mostly your fault.”

It’s all OK. This weekend I leave for Greece, running the way that I like to run, toward sunshine and good-looking foreigners who do not expect things of me. But the rabbit will be hidden here, with him talking to her in a soothing voice. I look at Connecticut I think maybe. He looks at me, with a gaze so unabashedly warm and doting that I realize: to him, I am Sketch. It’s a lot of responsibility, having someone be into you. It is fucking terrifying. It makes me need home, a door I can lock. But sometimes, I think I might want him on the same side of that door as me, his shoulder to it, helping me keep out all the monsters, lying to other people that I’m not there.

Addiction, Attention Seeking, Blogging, dating, Friendship, Writer's Block, Writing, yoga

No Off-Switch

imgres-22Scenes from this week are like a montage in a movie where an overgrown teenager finally begins to take adult control of her life. Driving lessons! Looking at apartments for sale! Organizing things into manila folders! Demi Lovato’s “Confident” is playing in the background of every store I walk into (I read messages into the pop songs that follow me around, the way other people read tea leaves; incidentally, if you hear “Uptown Funk” three times in a row, know it is a harbinger of satanic forces in your immediate vicinity, and get the fuck out of the Yogurberry).    Also, a thing that happened this week: the blog was featured on the Discover section of WordPress. This momentarily opened up the pipeline of attention I have so long and ardently desired that I needed to take an Advil and lay down. Apparently, wanting things is easier, in many ways, then getting them; I’m constantly trying to get people to look at me, but apparently I have no idea what I want to tell them once I get their attention. Cue panic.

My last post got two likes, so I’m kind of used to being a blog nobody who can comfortably and anonymously spout whatever she likes about her vagina, and now, for a moment anyway, it seems that the mic is on.   Fuck! It’s a lot for this attention addict.   I think about this guy I knew, years ago, who had a pretty hardcore crack problem; he found the transformer where the local dealers were stashing their curbside package for easier street distribution, utterly by accident, when he was cracking open pieces of city infrastructure to try to salvage the innards for copper scrap. He looked at all the shiny narcotics, neatly packaged for individual sale, and he thought I’m probably going to die. No off-switch. I relate, brother.

Balancing the equation, the thing I hate most is when someone ignores me. There are other things I hate, like when I see people dragging their dogs away from things they want to smell or when someone plays the bagpipes on the subway, but ignoring me is the number one way to make me lose my mind.

I’m not sure if Connecticut is ignoring me this afternoon or if he’s trapped in an abandoned mineshaft or if he forgot that we are supposed to be going to see Deadpool in an hour, but there is no word, and my texts are sounding increasingly strained, all prefaced with things like Don’t mean to sound paranoid here…   I’m a perfectly rational person until you blow off my texts or defriend me on the Facebook, and then: crazy time.

It’s my own fucking fault too, because I have a HUGE goddamned mouth. I could never secretly be a superhero; I’m way too attention-starved. I’d be all cryptically namedropping my Justice League pals or letting my utility belt just peep out from under my sweater or finding situations at work that accidentally show people how superstrong I am.

So I couldn’t resist telling Connecticut about the blog and the whole Discover thing and the brief spate of online attention and why I have my phone, merrily vibrating with notifications, out on the table where everyone can see it (I completely suck as a human being and am hoping modesty, and quiet dignity, and bigger boobs, are in the karmic roll-of-the-dice for the next go round).   And I send him a link, even though the last couple of months of this blog are chockfull of references to my infatuation with him.

Anyway, I send him a link and a Bluebeardy warning to ONLY look at the one entry and not to poke around at the others.   Which is basically like telling someone where you keep your diary, and what page your thoughts about them are featured on, and that there is free candy inside. And I haven’t heard from him since.

We’re friends, though, seriously.   I like Connecticut, even though we are completely different kinds of animals.   This is, after all, a man who is on a self-imposed hiatus from sex and relationships: a year of voluntary celibacy, as he puts it, which sounds to me more like a judge’s sentence then a life experiment. Us being friends is like one of those old unlikely-buddy movies. I’m thinking the one where they make Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger put on matching white suits.

And now I have probably screwed that up because I have an almost comical ability to be discreet about anything, ever.   This is why Sketch won’t tell me about anything anymore: you’re just going to put it in your blog.  Sketch is nowhere to be found, either. He’s just started yoga teacher training, coincidentally with that hot instructor who looks like him that I was stalking a couple of years ago. So he’s busy, and I am imagining that he has girls all over him, “adjusting” him with their hands and sucker-like yogi vaginas. Girls always like Sketch, and girls also love male yoga teachers, so I glumly fear I have seen the last of him.

I’m home, alone, and my phone is still going. It buzzes and it lights up. Attention. But not from Sketch and not from Connecticut, and I am on the Discover tab and I am still kind of totally alone.  But I’m discovering things on my own, such as the fact that I am not naturally such a terrible driver, and that I can learn to be better. Outside, from the stereo of a passing car, Bruno Mars promises to uptown funk me up. It harbingers a text from Connecticut, who was napping, and who wants to know if I am OK.


Addiction, Attention Seeking, Awkward Moments, Blogging, dating, New York, Sex, Writing

Walk of Shameless

FullSizeRender-16One of my most dearly fondled anxieties about being unmarried concerns what will happen after I get hit by a cleaning van on Northern Boulevard and can no longer use my arms and legs. Maybe this is a thing all single people worry about: those cleaning vans are a menace, their mop-ballasted weight careening around corners and straight into bicyclists and dogs and forty-year-old single women.

Who will take care of me?

The thing is, I know it’s a scam: having children or a husband still doesn’t guarantee that you have someone to take care of you when you are old and fucked up. Being married doesn’t mean you will have lifelong companionship after you have reached the point where you pee when you reach for things. More likely it just means someone else to clean up after.

So I hired someone to do my investment planning and I figure when the time comes I will just pay people to feed/ bathe/ fuck me in my dotage. I’ll secure a team of monkey butlers or something. It’ll work it out.

Sketch comes out with me to somebody’s birthday party this week, a rare social appearance that makes the whole night easier. He is like my social-situations guide dog. I’m blind and groping and he steers me faithfully towards conversation topics that are appropriate (so not anal sex, then), making people laugh so no one notices that I have dropped a mussel in my lap and am now trying to figure out how to get rid of it. He does this thing where he will sit and tell the person on his left his favorite things about the person on his right. I especially enjoy this when I am the person on his right.

I do my best to flounder through interactions with other people most of the time on my own.   I am still exchanging texts with that guy from Connecticut, even though people from Connecticut don’t like me. I guess we’re friends? I’ve never really had an unmarried straight male friend before. Generally, if you’re unmarried and straight, at least one of us is wanting to wrap a leg around the other. Connecticut and I share a love for things like cannibal horror movies and punctuation; he introduces me to something called an interrobang, a question mark / exclamation point hybrid meant to denote sarcasm.   FullSizeRender-15Because I’m not quite done scrabbling for attention from him, I text him, Have you just interrobanged me? Have I been interrobanged? I don’t include the aforementioned sarcasm marks because I haven’t figured out the keyboard shortcut yet.

I have a copy editor’s itchy fingers. I used to work at this techie magazine, back when I was still on a shit-ton of methadone, and I could often be found at my desk with the stem of my neck broken forward in an unlovely nod. But I loved to fix the things other people wrote, smoothing out errors, emailing PR flacks at software companies to double-check the specs on some software package I didn’t understand. It was like proofreading in a foreign language, one where you know the grammatical rules but not the vocabulary.

And I still feel like that a lot of the time today. The bar down the street, a depot for drunks that spew contrails of urine and vomit as they taxi along my sidewalk, has a chalkboard sign outside that tells lets passerby know: the kichen is open till 11.  The misspelling is driving me crazy. The kichen? It sounds like what reindeer eat off rocks. Everyday I walk by, and it’s still there, still spelled wrong. Is it that no one else sees it, or that no one else gives a shit?

I try to remind myself that I want other people to be gentle and forgiving with my mistakes, so I should try to do the same.   Last week I accidentally published a post with a joke-ruining typo in it and until I could get home to my laptop to fix it it was like walking around with your sock half folded on your foot inside your sneaker.   I kept waiting for someone to derisively point it out, but no one did.

If I watch how other people act closely, I might eventually figure out how to act, like a language you learn from studying the pictures on a menu. Have you ever noticed that food and body parts are the first words people learn in any language? After dinner, Sketch comes back to my place, to apply his body parts to mine, and in the morning, I pretend I have lost all use of my arms and legs. I lay on the bed bonelessly, laughing while he rifles through my underwear drawer to find panties to put on me, picking out clothes for me to wear. The outfit he constructs is hilarious—tinselly legwear with this black micromini dress I might wear out to a club if I ever went to a club in my life.   It’s a dress for a person from a different life than mine, but I can’t bear to part with it in case someday I stay up past 9:30. He pairs this dress with silver thigh-high socks and a pair of Chelsea boots. I look like a madwoman. I tell him I will call this look the walk of shameless, and, spontaneously regaining the use of my legs, I throw my parka over the ensemble and head out with him. My hair stands out in eleven well-fucked directions, and when we go to the diner for eggs and coffee, I see a bunch of people I know.   My underwear is on inside out for the entire day, and, as with many things, I do not realize it, or care.







Addiction, Attention Seeking, Blogging, Writer's Block, Writing, yoga

Side Dishes for the Socially Anxious

IMG_3033This post is the blog equivalent of a Starbucks gift card, purchased in a panic on Christmas Eve.   I just don’t know what to give you, and my self-imposed publishing schedule doesn’t give a fuck that absolutely nothing is going on. I feel like I’m writing on a chain-gang this week, and so here I am. Taking it off, boss.

I know I can’t be the first writer to consider making some bad decisions on purpose, just to have something to blog about. I get an email from that girl I like, who wants to know when we are going to get together for French fries.   Maybe I answer her a little too fast, because I don’t hear back after I list out some days to see her. Or maybe I didn’t hit send. I’m half-assed like that.

Also this very week: a highly stimulating man I know suggested a midwinter fuckation, and that, my friends, is a tempting offer.   Someplace hot enough to justify running around in age-inappropriate clothing. Surf. Sand. Lubricants.

Instead, I am here where it’s cold and the trains don’t run for shit, holed up in my apartment. I am trying to learn how to write a book proposal, using my twin powers of the Internet and bothering my friends.   I am invited to consider my platform (hello my 11 Twitter followers!) and asked to consider what I am promising my readers (soup! I will make soup for everyone who buys my book! Everyone likes soup!)

A book proposal. I feel like I have just shown up for an Iron Chef competition with a bottle of ketchup, a freshly honed spork, and a dead-earnest expression. Let’s fucking do this thing.

It’s mortifying, but I grimly finish all the modules of this online course, tamping down rising panic and self-loathing with handfuls of leftover Christmas candy. Sometimes I sit on the floor and just look at nothing for a while, chewing. I fill a notebook with careful summaries, bulleted lists, questions I want to ask (yes, junkie nerd to the bitter end). Then I leave the notebook on the floor, and my rabbit eats half the pages. Yes. My rabbit literally ate my homework.   This goes beyond my reach exceeding my grasp—we are in the territory of full-bore delusions, people.

Or maybe not. Who the fuck knows. I’ll just keep sporking away over here on the blog.   “You need to talk to more people,” suggests my friend and amazing writer-person, Jodi Sh Doff, who invites me to view social media a bit more socially (I shiver, side-eyed). “It’s like a cocktail party. If all you do is talk about yourself, people will drift away.”

And here it is, the uncomfortable awareness that no matter how much of myself I’m willing to bare for you, it’s still just my bloviating self going on about myself.

And I panic. Am I a boor??  Am I that person who wants to take you conversational hostage at a work function to tell you about the weird dream he had, and the symptoms of things he’s experiencing, followed by a slideshow of vacation photos on a greasy iPhone screen? Am I that person?


I can do this. Not a big deal at all, just go cruise around some blogs and leave some comments. Come on, Tippy. Go make friends.

And instantly I feel like I did when I was eight and my mom would send me over to go talk to some kids. Hi, I’m Tippy and I like things that have skin on the outside.   Do you also enjoy making mouth sounds? Like an alien, trying to pass herself off as human.

And so, hyperaware of the freaking hubris of this whole thing, I struggle to connect somewhere. I read blogs, leaving comments that I hope sound casual but I fear border on shrill. I go on Instagram, where I see this Kino MacGregor quote beside a photo of one of my favorite yoga instructors:   

“Get comfortable with who you are. Just be yourself. You don’t need to be the ‘best’ or prove your worth. You’re enough. You don’t need to be better than anyone else and you certainly don’t need to try to be anyone else. No matter how tempting it may be to compare and contrast yourself with others, life is not a competition.”


Serena Tom, Instagram 

Posted along with this photo, by the gorgeous and bendy Serena Tom.   It seems like it’s mostly the people who don’t need to compete, because they are already physically flawless, talented, and wildly popular, who love to remind the rest of us that it’s not a competition.

But if it wasn’t a competition, there wouldn’t be so many numbers attached to it all. It wouldn’t be so easy, to go online and count the ways that I am sort of failing.

That’s kind of a grim ending for a post, but I probably won’t publish this anyways, not unless I get really desperate, and then I’ll make sure to include a picture of a hamster at the end or something, just to cheer it up a little.


My exact expression when someone asks me who my audience is

Addiction, Attention Seeking, Blogging, Breakups, Confessions, dating, essays, Photography, Writing

People From Connecticut Didn’t Like Her

FullSizeRender-10I know this perfectly adorable couple. Their vacation pictures on Facebook look like an advertisement for Love, or possibly teeth whiteners.  In the Florida sunshine, her elfin face peeps over his shoulder, his lips pressed against her, the ocean vast behind them. Of all the fish in the sea, of which there are reportedly many, they have found one another and they radiate benevolent delight. It’s a Relationship, and from where I’m sitting, it looks enticing.

Of course, who knows what is actually happening when they are at home and no one can see them. Maybe they argue, pelting one another with garbage.

There should be a word for the vague sense of embarrassment I feel after going out for the night for other humans, clumsily attempting to connect with other people the way everyone else seems to be doing on Facebook. I go to see this guy’s band play, this guy I like. I must like him, because for the last week I have been curiously closed-mouthed about the whole thing; I am disinclined to even assign him a pseudonym for the blog.  Feels jinxy.

I want to see him all week, on high-alert for his texts, but on the train, en route to hang out with him in person, all I want to do is turn around and go back home. I just washed three weeks worth of yoga clothes and there is now an enormous bag of clean laundry in the hallway and that is a very comfortable place to sit. Also, I found a Raymond Carver book in the garbage. All I want is to stay home on my laundry throne and read my garbage-book. Simple pleasures.

Instead, I am forcing myself to try to reach across the fathomless distances that exist between me and other people, but it’s hard to sink hooks into him. This is a person who has solved the New York Times crossword puzzle for the last 23 days in a row. He is too smart for me.

All week I have been explaining to him about things like how I just want to stay home burrowed in laundry and how I can’t help mortifying myself at every turn when I walk out my front door.  My friend Court asks me to send her a picture of him and I text back: his awesomeness doesn’t translate in photos—kind of chubby and bearded. I am then 90% sure I texted this message to the guy by accident, and want to throw my phone and myself into traffic. I think of Sketch’s imaginary epitaph for his tombstone: Well that was long and mortifying. I have begun proposing my own epitaph: People from Connecticut didn’t like her. You know the people I’m talking about. Normal people, the ones who aren’t dying of embarrassment every second.

This guy, this guy that I am so drawn to, his family is from New Haven. He is a person from Connecticut. And yet I try. At the bar, I lean into his shoulder when I talk to him, my hand on his arm. He has a Kierkegaard allusion tattooed there. And still, he doesn’t touch me back. My entire spine is a run of flop-sweat.

“What did you want to happen?” Court will ask me later.

I wanted something. A moment. I wanted to feel that moment where someone looks at you and actually sees you, pronounces your real name, and is there with you, and likes you, even if they are from Connecticut and people from Connecticut don’t like you.

It doesn’t come out that way.  There is no moment, even though I am so nervous that my stomach lurches into full rebellion; it normally only gets that bad when sex is imminent, and nothing like that is going down. All that happens is I drink a watery iced tea with some of his friends, and I watch his band play their entire set, and I get a ride home in a crowded car where I have a conversation with the back of his head. As we flee Manhattan over the 59th Street bridge, this guy I like is telling us about his dentist. She is apparently stupendously hot.  Now, granted, I once fucked my dentist, but that is not the sort of detail you share when you’re into somebody, and I arrive at the depressing realization that while this guy might enjoy being under the heated lamps of my lusty gaze, he just isn’t into me.

I’m left feeling the way you do when you’re waiting and waiting and waiting and w-a-i-t-i-n-g for your coke dealer and finally he calls to say that he isn’t coming, and you’re not getting high tonight after all. It’s a particular type of disappointment, one where you know you are better off, and it’s still no consolation.

And outside it is cold and gray and blank in New York as we count down towards midnight and the New Year, and Court reminds me that just yesterday I had said I would be fine with just being friends with the smart man from Connecticut. That is in fact a thing that I said; there will be a couple of days of feeling disappointed and then I will lose interest, my addict brain casting about for a better fix. I’ll be vaguely pleased to see him in social situations—we have a handful of mutual friends.

And anyway, what about Sketch? You already have someone, Court points out, like that ever filled a void.


This fucking dog is looking right into my soul.

The next day I text the man a picture of somebody’s gorgeous blond dachshund in a Starbucks because we recently had a whole conversation about my contempt for short-legged dogs. I love a good sweeping pronouncement; it’s just that I tend to make them prematurely. I don’t ever like short-legged dogs, I declare. Except for that one.

One of my favorite sweeping pronouncements about myself is that I am good with handling rejection; my brain very helpfully begins pointing out flaws and drawbacks the moment it senses someone not liking me back. And thus my brain now protectively reminds me: who knows how it would have turned out? Maybe in six months, I would have been blogging about the rotten sex, and missing Sketch. Most likely, he would have hated the idea of this blog. He would have made me miserable, probably.

Besides, as I have pronounced sweepingly: I am not a relationship person.   Or at least I won’t be, until I am.

And so instead Sketch and I go up to Boston to see the Vermeer/Rembrandt show at the MFA before it wraps, and we take selfies in front of grimacing sculpture, pulling matching horrible faces.   After a week of worrying about another man, I slide comfortably back into my spot under Sketch’s arm. We are not the most adorable couple, and I do not put the pictures up on Facebook, but it is plenty.   Once I accidentally call him my boyfriend, and he does not correct me, and we come back to 2016 New York with new inside jokes.


Addiction, Attention Seeking, Blogging, dating, Holidays, New York, Texting, Uncategorized, Writing


images-65My computer has nearly had it. It’s sticky and clogged and that beach ball of Mac despair spins and spins onscreen. I am frequently informed that my Dropbox is full, which is like telling me how all the world’s bees are dying; I feel bad, but what am I supposed to do? Start an apiary in Brooklyn? Begin backing up? The cursor dangles just adjacent to my last sentence, and refuses to go where I tell it to go, like one of those carnival games where you have to shoot a target through a crooked sight; you can learn, eventually, to compensate. These words, for example, need to come out all on the first go, like a typewriter, because of the whole feral cursor situation. It makes me think a little longer on what I want to say. I deliberate, for a change.

My IT gifts extend only as far as restarting the computer and mumbling at it angrily, Be less shitty. This whole situation is not acceptable, because I need my computer. I have a careful fortress made of screens and electronic alerts set like bear traps and I need them, because unsurprisingly, I am the sort of girl who would rather text someone than talk to them.  I would rather blog than go to a party.  People are scary and I’m afraid of balloons. If only every time someone walked up to me at a holiday party, they could hand me a pad with their name and their intentions on it and invite me to write back in my own time, I would be much happier with all my social interactions around the chips and onion dip.   The screen is a buffer, and a delightful one; I like myself so much better in electronic chat then in reality, the place where I am accidentally head-butting people when we both go to reach for the same item, where the hood of my coat got stuck in the closing door of the subway from inside of the car and I had to get off at a later stop that opened on that side.

Things are not working this week. My stomach is expressing profound dissatisfaction with the holidays, burping and growling and being a nuisance. Eating has always been a problem, and that sucks, because aside from drinking and fucking, what else is there to do with other people? In my head, I am still the girl with the steak and the doublewide basket of bread and the glass of Glenlivet, and I don’t know how the fuck I turned into this person who is bitterly drinking a horseradish juice and picking fussily at a quinoa burger, no bun.   It sucks.

When I was twenty-four, I went to some hypnotist-spiritualist-charlatan type person who told me that there was a demon living in my stomach.  On the metaphorical level, I still believe it: some sort of internal Krampus propelling me from place to place doubled over, dealing with the bad behavior of other people’s children, eating charcoal tablets to try to deal with it and burping black clouds.   Some dark minion has taken up residency, and it looks to punish.

And I maybe need punishing. I am getting my flirt on this week with this guy I met in real life.  Met IRL, and immediately fell back, retreating behind screens. I scroll through six months of his Facebook posts, handling them like sheets of glass, afraid of accidentally liking something from last July and looking like a weirdo.  We lob texts at one another.  I don’t know anything about him except that he is good at texing, and he writes and reads and does music, and this is a wonderfully blank canvas upon which to fling bright buckets of need.   Every time I see a text from him, my heart lifts.  Attention.  It’s a Christmas miracle.

And all the meanwhile, I am sort of dying.  I spend the night at Sketch’s, and we have the sort of gymnastic sex that makes your toes splay.   I bruised my shin on a chair that was brought into the bed; it’s the kind of sex that co-opts innocent furniture.  And it’s good.  But after, my stomach hurts so bad I can’t even make conversation.  When he asks me if I am OK, I nod, try to pull my white lips into a reassuring shape.   I could be drowning, pursued by underwater bees, and I would still tell you I’m fine.

Definitely a demon, one that isn’t on board with all the fucking or the holiday cookies people are trying to give me.  My stomach bows demonically outward, twinging on high-alert every time the phone hums.  There is a sort of laser-sharp focus thing that happens when I like someone. Normally, I walk around sort of vague and forgetful, but when I like someone, and the texting thing is happening, I am on point. I am awake. I can feel the double-vibration signifying an incoming text from the next room, the way animals sense other animals on the savanna through the vibrations in their hooves.

But I find the suspense almost unbearable. There is something about thinking I might possibly have sex with someone at some point that makes me want to immediately have sex with them, because I can not stand the suspense of not knowing. I’m the same way with presents; I just want the cheerful wrapping paper that stands between me and the next disappointment removed and gone.

But life, much like my cursor, doesn’t allow for revisions. There is no going back. Once the pants come off, like gift wrap, there is nothing left but to look pleased and pleasantly surprised. So I deliberate, and finally just text this man a half-dozen dead-eyed Santa emoji, hidden behind my glowing rectangles, peering out and cringing at the mistakes I haven’t made yet.


Krampus: hates parties and is a terrible dancer.