Addiction, Art, Blogging, Breakups, Consequences of Blogging, dating, essays, Getting Honest, Girls

Still Addicted: The “Ex” in Sex

images-77Sketch calls me. And he calls. And he calls once more.

If your sexy, charismatic ex calls three times, I think there’s some rule that you have to call him back before he appears in the bathroom mirror behind you, right?

In the messages, he sounds like himself: funny, affable, familiar. But there’s something just underneath: hurt and bewilderment and teeming irritation that I can see like something glimpsed moving beneath the ice on a pond.   In the last message, he tells me he doesn’t know what to do, or why he can’t reach me, and that he might just come here.

I live on the ground floor of my building, and I find myself peeping, heart kicking in my chest, out the windows.  Afraid, and also feeling the other thing that I always feel when my ex is around. Over a decade, and my pelvis still tilts at his signal like a satellite dish.

Sketch has never been the type to come battle the bushes to imprecate through the window, so I don’t know what to make of any of this newfound passion. To be honest, I didn’t think he was invested enough to get on a train and cross the East River. I figured in the fullness of time, I would have to explain why I vanished, but I thought I would have  months of head start before I had to introduce him to the new boyfriend.

My new boyfriend, Connecticut: sweet, available, clumsy as shit. He fell in my bathtub the other day while we were taking a shower and scared the fuck out of me. Bruised his ribs. It seems I’m no longer the only one around here losing fights with furniture.

It’s not fair to compare him to Sketch and I know it. There’s no decision here, I tell my friend Courtney. It’s like being asked do you want a horse or a unicorn. Unicorns are amazing but you can’t actually have one, because they are not real. Once I realized that Sketch wasn’t actually an option, it got a lot easier to pick.

Sketch texts me: I read your blog, he says. What’s going on? Who is Connecticut?  

He texts me a picture of a coffee mug I once gave him that says, You are my person. There’s nothing like having your own coffee-mug promises thrown back at you. The guilt feels like I’ve swallowed teeth and they are chattering now in my belly.

I’ve written that finally moving out and moving on from a relationship like the one Sketch and I had feels like watching your childhood home burn to the ground.   But this is worse. This is watching your childhood home burn to the ground with your puppy still inside.

And there is nothing I can do, not without undoing a lot of the things I have already done. I want to go and rescue him, but all I have is this flamethrower and everything I could say is incendiary. How is this possible, I want to ask him. I am astonished by his astonishment. He had no idea, my friend Courtney says. When you told him there was someone else. He didn’t really believe it.

Meanwhile, Connecticut, my someone else, lets me pick what we do on Saturday. Sketch never used to let me pick the thing to do; he’s still upset about that time I made him come with me to see 12 Years A Slave; he rescinded my picking-privileges indefinitely after that one. Which I didn’t think was fair, as we had just gone to see Tim’s Vermeer and that film is literally two hours of watching paint dry.

Connecticut lets me pick. We go to Figment, the big participatory art-fair and weirdo-fest on Governor’s Island. Making our way past a group of people getting married in Midsummer’s Night garb and a bunch of acrobats in body paint and a man driving a giant toad with a throbbing base line, he posits, I don’t think I’m cool enough for you. He is, of course he is, but it’s nice that someone thinks I am cool.

He lets me pick, even though the East River ferry makes him a little queasy and the sun will wipe him out for the entire next day. We eat trendy popsicles on a pair of old-timey porch rockers, and talk about everything and nothing. When we go home, he will make me come until I cry.

It feels honest, which is a great feeling considering the fact that I am a lying sack of shit. I tell people that I told Sketch about Connecticut, but this is a lie. I told him that I was seeing someone, and that I had feelings for the person, and I deliberately omitted all gendered pronouns. I let him think it was a girl; it was the same week I made out with that girl from yoga, and I gave him enough details about that so he would think that was what I was up to.  All the while telling myself that we had an open relationship, and that leaving him with these half-truths would be less painful to him. I am a self-serving asshole, because really it was about making it easier for me to leave. It was about buying time so I could make a slick getaway.

And it was about leaving the door open just a crack in case things didn’t work out with Connecticut. Let me just be honest here, if no place else. It’s hard to look behind you and see that you can’t go back the way you’ve just come. How do I know I’m going the right way?

But there is no other way for me to go now but forward. I read the blog, Sketch said. For months now, the blog’s been all about me falling in love with someone else.

He will never forgive me.

All the guilt is here now, a wall of it, and I can’t face him. This person I have loved longer than anyone– the phone rings with him on the other end and I handle it like a pillowcase full of snakes, carrying it from the room with my thumb and forefinger to go throw it in a drawer.

Eventually I text Sketch, saying exactly what everyone everywhere says when they feel guilty about hurting someone they love: I love you but I need some space. Because I can’t. I can’t talk to him, I can’t see him right now. I don’t trust myself with him, the way I don’t trust myself around someone else’s Xanax. I can list for you all the reasons why it’s bad for me and still want it anyway.

So I hold myself back, and Sketch is at the windows of the burning house that is our relationship, and I pray, hard, that someone else will come soon and rescue him.

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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.

 

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Breakups, dating, Relationships, Travel

Ten Completely Awesome Things About Being Single

Reposted in honor of being single for one whole, entire week.

When You Stop Digging

These are the things I have discovered that I like about being single.

  1. You plan your own vacations with an absolute lack of concern for anything but your own whims. You don’t have to worry that maybe Angkor Wat will be too hot and boring for somebody else. No one gets any veto power over your plan to feed the monkeys there, although everyone says not to feed the monkeys because they are so aggressive.

    2014-08-06 09.18.55 I didn’t know cute and scary could ride tandem like this until I met these monkeys in Cambodia. I would like to bring one back to New York to be my personal bodyguard and to menace people who are annoying me by taking up two seats on the subway. If they bit a guy, I could be all, “Whose monkey is that?”

  2. You can eat dinner whenever you want, and if what you want for…

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