I emailed The Neighbor.

I emailed The Neighbor two nights ago.

I’d had a glass or two of white wine, there was a late Spring chill in the air, Sinatra was playing on the record player.  Every sock drawer had been organized, every bill paid, all the laundry folded.   There were no hanging chads in my life, so to speak and it was as if suddenly I had nothing else to do but email him.

So I did.

As my fingers slid across the keys it was an out-of-body experience.  Was I really doing this?  It’d been a year and a half since we’d seen each other, more than two since he dumped me.  Why was I doing this??

Even as I wrote I knew it was an awkward stream of consciousness.  “I’m genuinely curious to know if you’re great or struggling.  After two long years apart I continue to work hard to trust and be open.  I basically trust no one; it’s almost a joke.  So, I guess I’m admitting to you that I’m not great.”  But I didn’t care and hit Send anyway.

The next morning I did a game recap with surprised friends.  Ann and Meredith were supportive, but both wanted to know what my hopes were.  Why now after all this time??

I had a toothbrush in my mouth when it hit me: breaking the silence I imposed upon us was for me.

My stoic acceptance of his decision to end the relationship without so much as a discussion about it, my reluctant agreement to be friends because that’s what he needed, my heartbreaking realization that I still loved him and had to say goodbye, my stifled, private rage at discovering a trail of lies and blatant dismissal of everything I’d ever wanted, my enduring pain at seeing his car every day and sustained, low-level anxiety of running into him while at home.  I did all of that alone — he bore not one ounce of the burden, not for one second — I kept it all.

It seemed to me during our few times meeting as friends in the 9 months after we broke up that whenever I let my pain become evident, let it slip out ever so slightly, he would cringe.  Whether it was from guilt, fatigue, or disdain I have no idea, but I was intent on buttoning up more tightly for two reasons: 1) I didn’t want him to have anything of me and 2) I didn’t want to hurt him.

As I wrestled with the leaching reality of abandonment and betrayal I believed that responding to it would be losing something.  I didn’t want him to get anything from me ever again — not one calorie of energy — even the pain, sorrow, and stifling lack of trust he left behind.

And even though he absolutely deserved to see the lacerations of his lies upon me I didn’t want him to feel badly.  That would be a direct link to my issue with ever being open about my real feelings about someone or something.  If my feelings hurt or upset someone then they are implicitly wrong, right??

And now it seems that what I did was create a void where all that feeling had no where to go but to me and so I have festered.  I have fucked, flaked, fought, and floundered until I am completely and utterly uninterested in not only men in general, but even sex.  Why bother when every time I let a dick get near me it literally disappoints me?  Think about the double entendre there.  It’s intentional.

He replied today, overly friendly to be honest.  How dare he call me his pet name after everything he’s done to me?  Should I list them all for you or just hyperlink like crazy??  The point is, the tone of my note was not familiar, so why respond to it in such a way?  It wasn’t appropriate.

He said he was saddened to hear of my trust issues because he can relate due to his own.  Not that he was saddened to hear it because he clearly contributed to them.  But because he can relate.  Well, awesome.  Thanks.

He gave me a better email to use and invited me to text, but I no longer have his number and I don’t yet know what to say to him.  I feel a volcano of emotion about to erupt, that needs purging.  I want him to know what the last two years have been like for me with his odd internet stalking of my AFF profile, seeing his goddamned car every goddamned day, and the anxiety of a run-in I carry with me despite my best efforts to exorcise it.  (It’s possible had I never run into him and his girlfriend at the gym that the threat would have ever crossed my mind, but it did and so it does.)

Some will think this is a huge mistake; I’ve already gotten closure, moved on.  It’s been two years! they’ll say.  Others will think there never was closure and this is a good path forward; Show him, girl!  Tell him!

But what do I need from this?  I didn’t write the first note expecting anything in return, but what I got was friendly in tone and communal.  It wasn’t bad.  But there was a sensitivity missing, a subtle nod to what that must have taken for me to finally write.  His response wasn’t somber enough.  This man broke me and he replied to me like a long-lost close office mate whose 9-5 life he once shared.

I’m still contemplating all of this.  What I want to do is not at all clear.  That stupid 150 word email has begun to peel a long-suffering scab atop a festering wound and I feel like a stranger in a strange land.  I only know how to be controlled and at a protective distance.  How do I do this whole This is the truth deal?

I hope there are still some who read me; any words of wisdom are more than welcome.  I need help.  I am at a complete loss.  But maybe this will be the end of it?

 

Taking responsibility.

💔

Today it’s grey and drizzling outside and my head aches from the fender bender with a Jeep Wrangler up my backside on my way to take Peyton to school.  But it’s nothing compared to the ache in my chest.
At 4 am Sunday morning I awoke to ghoulish, choked noises from outside.  I ran to my window and peered towards the dark wood line.  I saw a cat-sized grey animal walking calmly in the shadows, but the noises had stopped.  

I raced outside and began to call for Faisal, my sweet, fat cat who loved to be outside and whom I’d let out at midnight when the dog needed to pee.  I called and called and listened for more noises, a rustle in the brush, but nothing.

My sad iPhone light illuminated only the density of the undergrowth.  It was cold and I gave up.  There was nothing more I could do at 4 am.

When the sun was fully up I put on long sleeves and a hood and trudged up into the woods looking for his remains, but calling his name all the same.  Branches and leaves crunched beneath my boots and the hood kept my hair from being dragged by the web of branches I ducked between while calling and calling.  Still no baby cat.

A couple of hours later I brought the dog and Peyton with me.  We hiked over the territory I’d covered earlier and farther in the opposite direction until it seemed we’d gone far enough.  This time I’d left the hood at home and my hair caught in the jagged net of branches and I almost welcomed the petty cruelty.  I deserved it.

Back next to our building we scoured the boulders Faisal patrolled and as each minute passed my heart sank further.  “Pey,” I said with a quivering voice, “I don’t think he’s ok.  I think a coyote got him.”

Peyton didn’t want to help me look at first, but I insisted.  “He’s our baby, we have to look,” I explained.  All geared up in rescue attire my human baby struck out with me wondering aloud if the noises I had heard the night before were Faisal crying for help.  I agreed that it probably was and hid a sob.

It’s been almost 36 hours and he hasn’t returned and I have lost all hope.

I cried all day yesterday and couldn’t sleep last night.  I’ve researched if cats are coyote prey, how they hunt, where they eat their kills.  I know to look for vultures circling.

At 3 am last night I poured over my Instagram account – my other one – and clicked on the hashtag I used for him and my other cat.  You see, “Faisal” is two cats; my strict No Personal Details Policy made them into one, but there’s literally no Faisal now, not figuratively or literally.  The “Faisal” I lost this weekend was the animal that made my little menagerie a family, the only creature everyone agreed they loved.  The dog, Peyton, the other cat, me.  We adored him; he was the glue.

If only I hadn’t let him out, I keep thinking.  If only.

But I know I can’t blame myself.  Peyton said I should blame the animal that took him, that I was only doing what Faisal wanted, and that I shouldn’t be ashamed.  I cried harder at the pureness of empathy coming from that little body and held my baby close.  We cried together.

My feline baby loved to be outside, but he rarely was out at night.  The night I opened the door never to see him again I was deliriously tired, painfully discombobulated.  Had I been in my right mind I might not have let him go out when the dog did.  But I did and here we are.  Perhaps it was inevitable.

After I looked at all the beautiful pictures of my lost kitty — the ones of him buried in my neck or loosely draped across the couch arm or stretched out in a sunbeam or being licked by the dog — I wondered about my surviving fur baby.  They were so bonded and the other half of “Faisal” lived in the sunshine of the other.  

And so I found myself researching if cats grieve, how soon is too soon to get a new cat, should I get a new cat?  Next, I was on a local shelter website looking and wondering what the fuck I was doing.

My entire life my cats have gone outside and survived; this has never happened before and I am gutted.  Yet at the same time I think, But he loved it out there, and I step back a bit from the recriminations.  It’d be like never allowing Peyton outside of the house for fear of death, never letting my child fly on a plane without me or ride in a car with someone else.  Life is death, isn’t it?  

We can plan for everything and still have what we love taken away, it’s the way of things.  We’ve gotten so used to never losing anything we’ve forgotten how commonplace and natural it is, how much a part of living grief is.

As the mother of an only child I have to choke down my stark raving fear almost daily – What if something happens to my baby?!  I wouldn’t be a mother anymore.  I don’t even notice that I do it anymore, it’s just a part of my DNA now.

Living a full, wide life, though, is what I do, it’s how I’ve always done it and I guess I extended that philosophy even to my cat.  You wanna go outside, lil’ buddy?  Ok, you go roll in that dirt with your bad self.  It’s not unlike how I give myself permission to do as I please, to suck all the cocks, to fuck all the men, to fall for a man who isn’t mine, to expose myself online over and over again, to laugh loudly and wrap myself in hedonism.

I never shirk the responsibility of my choices; I own them.  In theory, I’d much rather live in a bigger world like my little Faisal did — on his feline terms — than in paralyzing fear in a shrunken world.  Losing him, though, is quite a price to pay for such freedom and frankly it seems like too big a toll at the moment. 

I’m filled with doubt about everything now; maybe I’m doing it all wrong.  Life, love, career.  Maybe I should play it safer, slower, so I don’t end up with hair tangled in greedy branches on Sunday mornings with tears in my eyes or with random condom wrappers under my bed.

Despite being utterly hopeless, I will make signs and put them up around my building and at the mailbox on the off chance someone snagged him and decided to ignore his giant black dog tag with return instructions.  

My only thought left on this is that he heard me calling for him and knew I was there for him, even if I couldn’t save him.

And that hopefully I also won’t need saving someday.

 

 

 

 

He is like an infection.

My insides were tight as I walked down the hill towards my apartment complex’s gym.  The Neighbor’s car has been outside of his building the last week and a half around 9 am; what if he saw me walk past as he left for work?  What if his new later hours meant he was in the gym??

I decided to chance it because I so badly need to run and lose myself in sweat and burning muscles and possibly tears.

His car was there just as I’d dreaded.

I punched in the gate code to the pool and pulled it open.  The reflections on the gym windows on the other side of the deck shimmered with leaves.  As I approached I saw the handles on an elliptical moving swiftly.  I froze.

I moved to my right, just so, to see the shape of the person on the machine and it appeared to be a closely cropped male head.  He’s grown his hair back from bald, I knew that much.

I moved to my left to confirm and could still only barely make out a thick-ish shape, but it was enough.  I couldn’t make my feet move one more inch forward.  I turned on my heel and sped out.  Fuck this shit.

I sat on the retaining wall by the mailboxes hoping he’d either be right behind me and headed up to his apartment or prove I was completely paranoid and drive by in his car.  Neither happened.

I sat there, feet dangling, and fought tears.  I just want him to go the fuck away already.  It’s been 18 motherfucking months and I feel like a prisoner in my own home.  Why is he still here??  He makes plenty of money — a move would be absolutely feasible.  I can’t leave.  I have a child whom calls this home and I don’t have the funds.

Why did he stalk me on AFF every week?  Why did he use my 2-and-a-half-year old Venmo invitation to join when he refused for months when we were together (Venmo is a banking app where you can easily transfer money to your friends who use it, too, and leave funny memos, such as he did for a beautiful co-worker, “You know what this is for…”)?!  Why did he take that woman to my gym class??  Why did he want to be my friend??  Why didn’t he let me dump him all those times I tried??  Why did he follow me here??  Why won’t he go away???

Why why why????

I’ve deleted his number out of my phone, I got off of Fetlife a year ago when I saw he was using photos I took of him as his new profile pic, blocked him on FB and AFF and even fucking Venmo so I don’t have to see why the hot girl and him are passing money back and forth.  I hold my breath every time I come home and leave, check my mail, go to the pool, and now I’m afraid of my own gym.

I am so very fucking tired of this.  So, so tired.  I don’t know how much longer I can take this.

I feel like I’m drowning, though I am the strongest swimmer I know.  How is this happening to me??  I’ve done everything right, taken all the right medicines. I’ve kept my head held high, left him alone, moved on, worked hard to feel better, find a new friend and lover, invested more in my writing and this life, focused harder on mothering.

I have done it all and yet because he’s immutable I am stuck being forced to go around the steaming pile of shit that is his existence at the very gate of my life.  The very gate!

I’m glad to see that his life is so easy that the thought of moving hasn’t occurred to him.  I know what he tells himself; he says, “I’m too lazy.”  It’s what he told me when I raged at him for updating his age on AFF while we were together, but not adding the fact that he had a girlfriend like I’d nearly begged him to do months before.  “I’m lazy, Hy!” he yelled back.  Mmhm.  “Lazy.”

He doesn’t see me, nor is he reminded in any way of my existence, and he told me many times over when he’d be critical of me noticing whether his car was home or not that he never thought of my proximity.  Well, good for fucking you, you ignorant asshole.  Unlike you, I’m aware of my surroundings.

I can feel the prick of tears, the weight in my chest.

I need to run.  I’m going back down again.  Maybe I’ll get further this time.

Fuck.

I wish a giant hole would open up under him and he’d disappear forever and get the fuck out of my life for good.

 

I miss you.

I miss all of you.  This life I once had.  Me, Hy, you, all of you.

Deep, lacerating pain singes along the pathways to the pads of my fingertips and painted toes like lit gunpowder.  The crevice where my hot blooded heart was now gapes empty and yawning.

This summer has grasped me by the ankles and wrists in two hands and twisted with no mercy, wringing every drop of me into the sea of loss below.

I am a fighter and have not given up.  My eye remains on you, on me and Hy.  My grip is strong even as I flap helplessly in the storm.

The depth of my own strength fills me with pride; others would have crumpled into an ashy heap of dried tears.  

But more than anything, I wish I had no cause for proving my Viking spirit still.  I wish it was done with me already.

I want to come back.  

With my hips gathered in painful fistfuls; with the slit of my body choking a greedy, begging face; with my cries and sobs and hot, wet, motherfucking tears welling in the shells of my ears.

I miss you.

I miss me.

I miss everything.

I was wrong.

He didn’t move out this weekend.

His fucking fancy black car is still there, mocking me.

My heart lurches when I pass him on the street, though I’m invisible to him in my new and unfamiliar car.  Lucky him.

I dread seeing him when I run to get groceries and have scathing, vitriolic conversations with him under my breath as I stride angrily through the heat from my car to the produce section.

“You should never have followed me to my complex.”

“You lied to me about who you were.”

“You are a cruel, selfish bastard for invading my home.”

I think twice about getting my mail.  Do I look good enough if I run into him?

I think twice about walking to the office.  Will he see me?

I think twice about visiting the gym behind his building.  Does he use it?

When I park at the bottom of the hill near his building late at night, laced with wine, and with a virile, good-smelling man I wish he could see me saunter up the hill.

When I go to the pool with my little string bikini I worry he might be there and even worse, be with someone who looks better than me.  Because that’s somehow important to the small woman in me.  I’m reduced to thinking looks matter.

The bottom line is, I was wrong.

I got his apartment number wrong — it’s not actually listed on our website — and it feels like he’ll never leave.  I have no idea when it’s going to happen.  There is no relief in sight.

I am trapped in Purgatory and forced to face my mistakes every morning, noon and night.  I ignored all the signs and focused on my love for  him.  His thoughtful sweetness, his throbbing sex, his delicious distance.  I have no one to blame but myself and when I once had power in the situation I no longer do.  I can’t make him go.

I struggle with the word regret.  It feels like I’m admitting I got nothing from my choice when that’s not true.  I loved that man madly and deeply.  I proved to myself I was capable of magic with another human being.  I unearthed parts of me I didn’t know existed.  How could I possibly regret that?

The regret I feel is for ignoring my gut that summer before he moved here — something was seriously amiss — and though I have no actual proof my sleepless nights and early morning searches for GPS trackers were enough for the jury of my heart.

I wish I knew why I felt those things, I certainly wish I hadn’t, but I did and I neither tried to prove or disprove them.  I simply put one foot in front of the other in total denial and love and hope and resistance.

And now I’m afraid to check my mail.

Because I was wrong.

 

Sometimes you miss the one who hurt you the most.

In the depths of my fears I think of only one voice and feel only one set of arms around me as the storm slams against the shutters: his.

I long for his calm words, his thoughtful response, his bulldog ways.  When I was broken he rushed to my side.  Always.  He was my safe place.

It’s been one year and 4 months since he showed up to my house to stay the night and instead asked for a break from me; 8 months since his tear-streaked face left my home for the last time; 6 months since he brought his new woman to my gym class;  5 months since he clutched her in photos and kissed her smooth, smiling cheek; and two days since he last looked at me online.

The knot of suspicion I carried with me like a baby clutched close to my chest left when he did.  I celebrate its absence, dance on its grave each time I breathe with a lightness which eluded me when he was close and yet I pine and I miss.   I miss him.

I am ashamed.

I am embarrassed.

My longing proves my weakness, my failure.  The seasons have changed and I have not.

I have raged against the machine of men clamoring to get between my legs and bellowed at the one or two who have dared to acknowledge my heart.  I have no safe place, I am unmoored and I have no one to blame but myself.

I hate that I miss him still, this soft and sad part of me.  It clings to me like the scab that it is and I want it to be gone, to peel it away with a long, low sting to reveal the fresh pink of health below.  But maybe there is no health beneath all of this.  Maybe I will always be lost and stubbornly stuck in the rot of my life.

::

The gale of confusion and impersonal betrayal I experience in my dating life has worn me down to a bloody stump; doubt in men has seeped into my consciousness and it scares me.  If I lose hope then who am I?

I scour the transcripts of my interactions searching for clues and force myself to put one foot in front of the other only to admit to my own subterfuge.  I am abnormal, extraordinary.  I turn an innocent afternoon of get-to-know-you into a mastermind game of deflection and redirection: do not get to know me, get to know what I’m willing to give you.

Sex is safe, I am not.

::

He will be leaving my life soon.  All the way in the way that the internet can afford us, anyway.

I will no longer be subjected to his fancy black car parked neatly near his building.  Checking my mail will be an ordinary event: I will no longer feel compelled to open the little brass door only if I am sleek and beautiful.  Walking to the office, to the pool, living my life in my little square block will become an empty theater.  My audience and potential critic will be gone.  Not that he probably cared anyway, I’m sure.

Longing for his support when the clouds have blocked the sun is an outright betrayal of myself, of my determination to heal and move on.  I recognize I have no control over how I feel and that this is [obviously] part of the process but I am moved to tears nonetheless.  Why have I found nothing to fill the void he left behind?

I still feel the spring of the curls on his chest beneath my palm, the scratch of his beard on my face, his beautiful cock buried deep inside of me, his taste.

This is an extraction.  Nothing will grow back.  I’ll have to chew around it.

On occasion I find myself in that filthy sess pool we call Facebook.  I slap myself with knowledge I have no right to know and grind on happy thoughts, toss darts on the board of Good For Him.  I walk away stiff-legged and raw, armed with ammunition to continue my quick clip away.  Thankfully.

This cycle of need, burn, and retreat is like the earth around the sun: there’s a summer when it’s hotly uncomfortable and a winter when I am cold and distant.  How many times do I have to go around him?  How many seasons must pass before I break loose and no longer taste him?

The gift of hindsight left a present at my feet: I have never loved anyone as much as I loved him.

When I loved him, when the loving was a thing I did every day, it became a part of my fiber and when it was stripped away I was left bereft.  A tree in the dead of winter, naked and bare.  Starving for a spring that has yet to come.

Instead storm after storm and a longing for a man who didn’t want me, who never wanted me, pounds at me.  I foolishly throw myself to the wolves hoping one of them will recognize me instead of devour me.  I own that.  But I must rest.  I must stop.

I must surround myself instead with my other anchors.  The batwomen and sisters I rely upon, the one or two or three men who encourage me to be sensitive, the sister who now knows that I write and is proud of me.

To look at me you would never guess at my continued heartbreak.  To read me you might not guess it either, but it’s time to be honest. It’s true: I am still heartbroken.

I still feel his absence.  I still wish that things were different, that someone, anyone cared about me, but most of all him.  I am terrified of attempting to find someone new.  In fact I feel wholly ill equipped to do so.  I am a big, fat faker.  I only go through the motions because I derive some sick purpose out of it.  I am a masochist to a frustrating degree.

::

Longing and heartbreak are the same as it was a thousand years ago.  I am blathering on about nothing, as usual.  I wonder what their advice was then all those long seasons ago.

 

 

 

 

My heart turns blacker: The new rules

I am at that place again.

That place of keening frustration and battered ego, hopelessness.

I had a magical night with a beautiful, charming man Thursday night.  A tall, lean welder.  I leaned in for a kiss at the bar and breathed in his woodsy soapy scent.  “You’re a good kisser,” he said smiling, his eyes locked on mine.

“You’re not half bad yourself.”

“Wanna get outta here?”

I texted him my address and we jumped in our cars.  Back at my place he stooped to kiss me and turned me around and pressed his body against my back.  His hands reached around and squeezed my breasts and I pushed my bottom into his hot jeans.

He pulled down my panties and curled his fingers into me.  “Harder,” I coached.  “More, faster!”  His hand obediently slammed against me and I filled his hand with my juices.  He groaned and ground his mouth down on mine.

We half-assedly pulled our clothes off and let them hang on our ankles and waddled awkwardly and hornily into my dark room.  He said he had rubbers except we didn’t use any.

I sucked on his chubby — it was only two-thirds hard, I could tell.  I was shocked that he could possibly be intimidated, he was stunning.

Six-foot-three, loaded with muscle, bald as a cue ball with a trimmed beard.  This man had no reason to be afraid and yet there he was at half mast.

To take the pressure off — and to possibly turn him on more — I sucked and slurped on him.  I stuffed all of him in my mouth, a very full mouthful.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a Magnum condom in his hand.

He pushed me off of him and spread my knees apart.  “Please don’t suck,” I told him.  “You suck on me and I’ll die.”  He tried it anyway and I yelped and pushed him away.  “You can only lap at me.  Like an ice cream cone.”

His bald head shone from the moon outside and he lapped willingly at me.  He slipped a finger in me and I educated him to a climax – twice – then hauled him up and grabbed my Hitachi.  He still wasn’t 100% hard.

His pretty face latched on my nipples and I rode the vibrations to a crushing orgasm.  He rolled on top of me and began rubbing his bare cock on me.

“No,” I panted.  “Don’t do that.  It’s not safe.”

“But oral sex is ok?” he countered.

I was out of my mind from orgasm and lust and wondered if forcing him to wear a condom wouldn’t kill the rest of the night.

“Ok,” I relented.  “Do it.”

He pushed into me and instantly got hard as steel.  And big.

We fucked and panted, gripped each other’s pale skin and I came and came again.  I writhed on him, willing him to lose his shit, and suddenly he did in a long, low, undulating orgasm unlike any I’ve ever witnessed.

He shuddered and humped and groaned and cried out and finally fell limp.

“Holy fuck,” he panted.  “That’s… that’s never happened to me before.”

“What?” I asked, my arm covered my eyes and chest heaved.

“I never lose control like that.  I can always wait to cum, but you…” he searched for words.  “You have a magic pussy.”  I laughed.  I’d never heard that before, but ok.  “You wanna take a shower?”

I was startled.  No one has asked me to do that in a decade.

In the shower we kissed and held each other.  I noted his back tattoos and felt shy in the light of the bathroom until he kissed me harder and turned me around.

I spread my feet and let him reenter me, 100% steel once again.  I came with my hands on the cold tile, his hot cock pushing into my body.  “Will you cum?” I asked, my head hung low.

“No.  I’ll have to wait until morning.”

I hardly slept.  The animals decided to make every obnoxious noise in their repertoire and I never sleep well with a stranger in my bed.  Before dawn his alarm went off and he rolled over and fondled a breast and fell back asleep.  I was happy he was able to sleep, the bastard.

But I wanted more and so I stirred and he rolled onto his back.  His abs were hard and rippled even asleep and I marveled at this warm, marble statue beside me.  I dipped my hand below the covers and felt his hardon which jutted almost past the waistband of his underpants.

“Mmm,” I said.

I kissed his nipple and stroked the heat beneath the cotton.  He was fully erect this time, way more than I could fit into my  mouth.  I lathed on him and he moaned and said beautiful things.

I crawled up on him and sunk gingerly down and immediately came.  He gripped my hips and we moved together and I came like a monster on crack, his cock hitting me in all the right spots.  My hands went numb and my hair swung in long blonde sheets, my breasts bounced like manic beach balls and I cried out along with my squeaky bed.

Twice, three times.  Each time I collapsed on him and heaved for breath in his neck.  The fourth time I sat up and giggled, bashful and greedy.

“Do it again,” I said sheepishly.  I felt like a child asking for yet another scoop of ice cream, more sprinkles.  Just more. 

He laughed and bucked into me while his hands pushed my hips down and back and forth.

I came with a hot blue swell and fell forward and half-sobbed into the pillow as he continued to fuck me from below and then with a long, protracted moan, peppered with shudders, he came deep inside of me once more.

He had to be at work by 7 and it was at least a 30 minute drive so while he showered alone I made him coffee.  I debated on what mug to send him with and landed on a travel mug I’d brought home from my folks’.  I’d be seeing him Saturday night and could get it back then.

::

The next day was Saturday and I texted good morning.  He texted back an hour later saying how busy he was at work and how they’d worked until 10 pm on Friday.  A few hours later I texted again to ask if we were still on for 7.  He didn’t say yes or no, but said he was currently “stuck at work.”  It was 5:30.  I told him my night was his and I was happy to be flexible.  If he was too tired to go out after work (whenever that was) we could chill at my place.

I never heard from him again.

::

The night I met The Welder I had a date that nearly cancelled on me.  I’d yelled at him about trying to bail 40 mins before a date and he’d agreed to one beer.  He stayed for 2 then left.  The second he left a short, older, round man invited me to sit at his table where for the next hour or so they grilled me about my dissolute life and then he asked me out despite knowing I was waiting for Date #2.

The following night I went out with a 21-year-old who’d also tried to cancel on me due to cold feet.  I’d told him to go to hell and he’d begged me to meet him after all.  I couldn’t call him a man unless you judge maturity solely on how big one’s Polo shirt is.  I sent him home with apologies, but I wasn’t able to bridge the age difference gap.  He was too childish.

An old friend, a man whose wedding I’d attended 9 years ago, was at the bar where we’d met with a work colleague and so I went and sat with them.  They were drunk and became increasingly inappropriate with me; their jokes thinly veiled sexual advances and filthy innuendos.  I felt masochistic sitting there wedged between them and then I began to receive texts from the rebuffed 21 yo.

Honestly I couldn’t stop thinking about fucking your tits the whole time [sly winky face]  Sorry for being young.

I responded with, “Well, I’m flattered, but I can’t get beyond the age thing.  I am impressed with your gumption, tho.”

The men I was with howled with laughter.  “He’s propositioning you!” they claimed.  I didn’t believe them until he sent this:

As a 40 yo you need to figure out how to get past [the age difference] so you can be sexually satisfied.

Lol [crying upset emoji]

[cry-laughing emoji][devil mask]

I kid btw… But really I would like to have some fun sexually [eyeballs looking left] IM 21!!! Plenty old [indignant-huffing emoji]

I didn’t respond until the next morning to give another hard NO.

::

This morning I felt wrung out.  I’d spent my Saturday night quietly optimistic about The Welder and filled with hope that he wouldn’t do exactly what he did to me.

Last Monday Bones “got lost in a book” and forgot to come over when he said he would.  I told him he was a dick and he agreed.  We haven’t spoken since.

Remington hasn’t returned my texts in days despite his last text being an emphatic “Yes, please!” to hanging out this week.

Men fall into two columns in my life.  In one, they utterly disgust me.  I am buried under an avalanche of men’s lust and equally repulsed by their methods.  The equivalent of them hunchbacked and jerking off all over me like fiends with their foul words and hideous pictures.  Unsolicited dick pic after another, gross come-ons and pathetic attempts to hump me virtually from all sides.  Me, Hy, just my very person in any incarnation I have.

And in the other they use me and lie.  My attempts to counteract such abuse are pointless, however.  The second I step outside the safety of my home I am contaminated.  The Welder claimed to be a human male, but was actually a fucking punchline for online dating and hope that anyone around here besides me acts like a grown up who respects others.

 

Hy & The Welder chat 1

Hy & The Welder chat 2

Hy & The Welder chat 3::

I fought tears as I purged the darkness of my feelings to a friend earlier.  Surrounded by hipster coffee-drinkers I tried to be invisible.  I feel trapped and hopeless; I can’t not be me, but this level of disregard is more than I can bear.

There is no “fix” to this other than never dating again.  This is dating.  It’s a fucking war of the senses, of the heart, against the clock and all rational thought.  You’d think that finding a man who’d like to be cool and fuck would be easy, but it’s about as equally hard as finding love.  If I wanted to find callous, greedy men then I’d be in luck.  Those are everywhere.

I am distant, I am private, I have issues with intimacy.  I am not looking for a boyfriend.  I am asking to be acknowledged as a human being who doesn’t want anything serious. Why do men think it must be either a serious relationship or a one-night stand?  Why is there nothing in between?? 

I don’t want to be cast away again and again and yet I am.  Repeatedly.

My new approach will be less subtle: Some hoop-jumping and Magnums.  No exceptions.  Since I’ll be used up and tossed in the bin regardless of what I do I will no longer suffer through inflexibility or soft, little dicks.  I will demand what I want and move on, expect only one night with each man who meets my criteria and put my hook back in the water the following day like a good littler fisherman.  And lord knows that I seem to have the fattest and juiciest worms, so I’ll have no shortage of men flopping into my bed, their dead fish eyes staring back at me.

These are the new rules.

 

You have a new girlfriend. Good for fucking you.

I don’t know who the biggest asshole is here.  Me or you.

I thought about this post as I was driving home, cigarette hanging out the window, my jacket zipped up and my breath filling the cabin of my car.

I haven’t written a post like this in too long.  I’ve been measured, even, fair.  Tonight, I am returning to the point of this blog: it is my space to feel.  I owe no one a thing.  You don’t read me; you never did.

I want to send this post to you, from Hyacinth Jones, not me, not “JB,” the woman you nicknamed and kept on the hook from day one, not the woman who loved you and needed you and sacrificed her own better judgment to trust you.  No, you don’t get to ever hear from her again.  She’s fucking dead to you.  She might even be dead to me.

I want you to see an email from Hyacinth and for your stomach to clench.  I don’t give two shits if you ever open it, just knowing you saw my name would be enough.

I’ve already left the brown paper bag filled with your things after you brought that woman, your girlfriend, to my gym class.  I thought I was unreachable, but I was wrong.  You’ve touched me again, goddamnit.

Tonight I was with Hannah, the girl we played softball with who used to dry hump your leg for kicks, and I was telling her the gym story, the story of your colossal insensitivity.  “He looks too pale, washed out,” I told her.  “Not to be mean or anything, it’s just true!”  I always loved you with a beard.

We laughed, like assholes.  Oh, what assholes!

“I’m still friends with him on Facebook,” she said.  “Lemme see if he’s posted any new pics.”

I agreed that was a fine idea; you hate social media.  I’d been banned from tagging you in anything.  There’d be nothing to see.

She pulled you up and froze.

I took the phone from her and there you were with your arm around the woman from the gym.  Smiling, so happy.  Her caption read:

“Thanks for inviting us to your special day!”

So you attended a wedding with her.  I remember the wedding you were in two summers ago.  The one I was excluded from attending with you.

Another picture of you two at a skeeball competition.  “I don’t like going out late,” I remembered you saying.

And then there were the pictures of you in your Captain America costume and she was a Brownie.  “He’s the best guy,” her note claimed.

Lastly, the one that really twisted into my core, the pic of you holding her close and planting a big, smiling kiss on her cheek.  I read the comments as my friend kept saying, “Put the phone down, don’t look!”

I couldn’t stop.  My heart was still, my guts frozen, my breath even.

The comments were cute and then there was yours.  “What a lucky guy,” it read.

You were at a popular concert venue that I wasn’t even aware you knew existed.  Certainly had I suggested going you would have said, “No thanks!” as usual.

Work dinners, workout photos, everything I ever wanted you to do with me was there in photographic evidence with a pale, brunette, smaller busted version of me. Her smile soft, her arms toned.

You are an awful fucking person to never let me go despite my attempts to end things with you, a man who told me repeatedly he didn’t want to be with me, that I was the wrong person, and I am the Queen of Fucking Masochists for somehow believing that your actions spoke louder than your goddamned words.

Lies, all lies, TN. 

You are a piece of shit and I wish more than anything you could know the depths of the pain you have caused me all these years, the pain you still cause me.

I trusted you when you deserved none of it.  You followed me everywhere, cried every time I tried to protect myself and end our fucked up, lopsided relationship.

Three weeks before you planted that kiss on her plain, pale cheek you were crying in my living room because I was ending our friendship to save myself.

“I’ll support you no matter what, but I wish this didn’t have to happen.”

You were already burying your giant cock into this woman by then.  Deeply, with power, with — dare I say it — love?  You were already looking into her brown eyes and forgetting my blue. What is wrong with you that you could never let me go?  That you could never give me what I needed to heal?  To separate myself from you?

“I don’t want to date anyone, Hy, I swear.  Those women are just middle aged ladies from my workout group.  They’re no one.”  Oh really, TN?? This one has attracted your cock and captured your heart apparently.

You are a deceitful, awful man.

Can I print this out and plaster your fancy black car with it?  Can I vomit my pain into the ether and will you smell it?

I see you’re still on AFF.  Nice.  At least you continue to deceive and dally with others even when it’s not me.  Did you like checking out my profile in late September after we weren’t friends [update]two days ago tonight??  I hope you remembered how I felt around you, how I tasted when you dipped your mouth to mine and how I’d weep with pleasure as you slammed your hips against my soft, white thighs.

Her name sounds a lot like mine.  Do you think of me whenever you say it?  Every time you see her smile do you think of me smiling at you while you broke my heart?

The saddest part of all of this is that you were a step up from my husband; I feel irreparably damaged by my own history and choices.  I knew — I knew — this was wrong form the very start.  Now I have to stop the bleeding, I have to halt the self recriminations.  I did what I thought was right, right??  Or maybe I’m just so stupid I deserved your fucked up, stunted self.

You have every right to move on and love and all the flowers-out-your-ass bullshit, but I don’t think you deserve any of it.  Not one fucking ounce.  You were cruel to me, TN.  Motherfucking cruel.  And selfish to the core.  You loved me and you needed me, but more than anything else, you need to not be a bad guy so you lied and hid and kept the things I needed to leave you to yourself.  Then and even now.

At least you unfriended me on Facebook despite me leaving it over a year ago.  One decent thing out of hundreds of shady, selfish ones.

When you got angry at me for ending our friendship you looked at me, tears streaming down your face, eyes red and raw and I thought, “What the fuck does he want from me?!”  That was your opportunity to say, Hy, you’re right.  I’m moving on and so should you.  Instead you did everything in your power to stop me and to make it as painful as humanly possible, but I prevailed and I left you. Finally.

But still: fuck you, fuck her, fuck everything and everyone.

Fuck this fucking shit.

And again: fuck you.

 
[Ed. Note: It’s occurred to me since writing this that he couldn’t have unfriended me if I was deactivated.]

Sometimes you have to climb the stairs twice.

Hy heartbroken in TN's underwear
Forty-one weeks ago I didn’t know what would become of us. Today, I know.

By now he’s climbed the three flights of stairs and found the brown paper bag at his door.

On top, neatly folded, is his Iowa sweatshirt.  Beneath it: a bag of his sex toys and lube, 20 or so movies, a blue patterned plate, a blue plastic cup, three pairs of socks, and one pair of underwear which I wore when he had asked for a break from me.

I curated this bag of things carefully; it’s all his.  Not gifts to or from me, nothing sentimental.  I briefly included the black velvet ribbon we used to signify I was in charge and our last dominoes score card he’d signed because I’d won, but I pulled them out.  The score card got tossed and I’m saving the ribbon for the next man.  It was always mine.  This is a simple return of goods.  I am not in that bag.

A week ago tonight I went to the gym to catch my favorite class.  It’d been a few weeks since I’d gone, but it’s like coming home.  The regulars say Hi, the instructor teases me, pushes me to limits I didn’t know I had, and the familiar smell of old sweat and disinfectant signifies it’s time to work.

I’d brought The Neighbor there with me long ago.  He’d quit his gym, joined mine, and began coming to this class with me.  We stood side-by-side for a year, to the instructor’s right, close to the mirrors.   Eventually he stopped coming with me, but I’d kept on and remained in my spot.  Cee-Cee knew I was “Hy on the Right.”

I walked in and caught a glimpse of a man with a familiar build on the far end of the room.  Pale, beardless, bald.  Surely it wasn’t…

“What are you doing here?” I asked stupidly.

It’d been two months since I’d seen him last.  He looked like a ghost: whitewashed without his dark beard, his light eyes bled into his impossibly light skin and shiny white skull.  “Um, working out?”

I was nervous.  We maneuvered around each other, got our gear.  I wondered if he’d set up in his old spot.

I dropped my things and looked behind me.  He was in the other half of the room.  With a woman.

They stood close to one another and talked familiarly, as couples do in the awkward fishbowl of a room filled with mirrors and strangers.

I looked around them.

Their steps were set up of identical heights (two higher than he used to use, but the same amount as hers) and they were set closer together than what non-couples typically do.

I felt like throwing up.

She was roughly my height, slightly slimmer build, small breasts.  Her dark hair barely shoulder length, her eyes brown.  Nondescript.  She’d make a good spy.  When she passed me once in class she looked through me as though I were just any other class member.

I spent those interminable 45 minutes hidden behind a dozen people away and one row up, though regrettably not far enough away to miss that when he should have faced my half of the room to do exercises he instead chose to face her.  The one kid in the marching band who’s lost his way.

After class she waited for him and as I left the room and walked out the front door he was waiting for her as she loitered around a display.  As I drove out of the parking lot I saw them talking near some cars.  Thelonious Monk spattered on my stereo as if to remind me of breaking glass.

I could hardly breathe.  My mind reeled  The code did not compute.

My phone chimed.  It was him.

“Didn’t think you’d still be going to that class!  That was a one time deal for me – just wanted to see it again”.

I didn’t respond.  I haven’t responded.  I’ll never respond.  Fuck you.

He is now in possession of what belongs to him, as am I: I have my heart and a little dignity.  His text sorta kinda apologizing without saying the words sent a message: Hy, run.  Run as far away as you can get from him, from this hurt.

This morning I set the grocery bag in my passenger seat and took Peyton to school then went and worked out.  When I got back home his car was gone.  I climbed to the third floor and set it in front of his door.  The cologne I’d bought him lingered in the cold foyer.

I set a little note on top, “Just the last of your things” it read.

On my way back down I felt the prick of tears.  I swallowed and sat in the car, drove up the hill and continued to sit outside my building.

After almost exactly 10 months since he ended things and 14 months after I should have, it was now finished.

I walked up to my apartment and sat some more.  I sat for hours not moving or thinking.  Heavy, worried, I felt disconnected from the process in general, like I was watching from the outside, peeking in through my own windows.  Something didn’t feel right.

It was time to get Peyton from school, but before I drove through the gates beside his building I detoured and double-parked in front of his stairs.  I ran up, two at a time.  The bag was still there, though the air was clear of his cologne.

I grabbed the crisp piece of paper off of “Iowa,” and turned on my heel.  Instantly, my face broke into a wide grin.  I bounced down the stairs, the sun on my face.

Striding to my car I crumpled it and let it drop to the grass, defiant.  A reminder, like bird shit on a window, that even if you forget they’re there they’ll still do their bird thing to survive.

Finally, I felt light.

 

 

The hurt is like bad cologne.

I wrote yesterday that it’s been nearly a month and a half since I last spoke to him.  Every day past the month mark is uncharted territory, a new scar on my heart.

So, tonight, I visited a profile of his I stumbled upon online some time this summer.  He’d written it when we were together because it says he’s 29 in the text (we were together from 27-30) and that he’s “single and employed.”

I went back there tonight to remind myself of the pain, the marrow-slicing deceptions I lived through with him and why I am better off alone and away from him.

And then I think, “If he came back to me, hat in hand, willing to be honest and come clean and work on whatever hurdles we had I might…”

I might do something.

I might yell, I might sob, I might even throw something — at him, but mostly at me — for being so trusting and so loving and so still in love with a man whom I didn’t really know.  I might take him back.

I read others’ pain, Charlie’s in particular, and I feel her words as if they’re my own.  This sense that I have only myself to blame because he was always up front with me: he never wanted to make us real or lasting.

And once we fell in love — at least I hope he loved me — I suspect he did what he had to do in order to remain separate and distinct from me and so he opened or maintained online profiles claiming he was single.

My wounds over accidentally discovering these things are not healed, indeed, they appear to be as deep as ever; I am leery of men and of people in general.  Couple this with my recent experiences of being catfished and basically abandoned, months worth of awful dates and the hundreds of insignificant texts and ridiculous emails I’ve had to wade through and I am drowning in the waters of dating duplicity.  I don’t know if I can ever trust again.  And that breaks my heart all over again.

I was once proud of my ability to trust in the face of adversity.  Now, I scoff at it.  What a silly woman I was.

I scroll through my phone and cringe.  Cocks with big, meaty hands wrapped around them — some of which I don’t even recall — mixed in with my angel’s face, my family, my dog, peppered with more of my iniquity, my tits and ass.  I feel dirty and desperate, powerful and prideful.  I don’t know what I’m doing.

I read an old post of love and lust between us and I question its reality while I heavy-handedly wipe my tears away.  Were his words true or were they convenient?  Did he ever love me?  That question sits on me like stink on shit.

I told him I found his profiles left sprinkled on the internet this summer.  He became angry with me.  I told him they were public profiles and I was curious, I needed to see.  He said he’d never pry at my profiles.

“I need to be hurt so I can move on,” I explained.

“I avoid them because it hurts,” he replied.

“Well, that’s how we’re different.”

The night I told him I could no longer have him in my life he said he might call me despite my rule not to, “Just so you can hang up on me.” I felt hopeful he might, but the truth may be closer to that of me never seeing or hearing from him again. It wouldn’t be unlike the others who slipped out of my life this year, The Russian, The Soldier.  It’s what I expect.

With each passing day I lick my wounds and try to be hopeful and confident, but I am more or less reminded that the men I meet don’t tend to find me all that important beyond my “perfect fucking nipples.”  How many times have I heard the refrain, “I wanna suck on your gorgeous tits”?  Enough, already!

I have tried dating too soon, not at all, and at the right time, but I am only exposing myself to more emotional vandalism.  Tinder and Bumble increased the tempo with which I had to swat away impertinent comments about my looks or willingness to fuck or brought me quintessentially unavailable men.

I found a sexy, smart, striking fellow who spoke attentively to me for hours and drove me home where we made out in the cramped cab of his little pickup only to have him text me the next morning to tell me has a girlfriend.  Fucking great.

Adult Friend Finder passes my way men who want to drink my piss to help with their allergies or men whose drive for sex is so great they seem to forget that there is an actual woman attached to my vagina.

“Why can’t you call me?” the no-name, pushy man asked me last night after sending me washed-out and glistening pics of his erection.

“Dude, because I can’t.”  FUCK. OFF.

I wonder how he’s doing in all of this.  His car is often gone now that he’s a man-about-town.  On the one-month mark my stomach clenched to think he was languishing on some woman’s couch, happy and lazy, periodically getting up to fuck her, to love her.  Not leaving.

That’s the thing: he was always leaving me.  Every day, every week, every month.  Always leaving, always having an eye to get back to whatever it was he was doing at home.  I tried to focus on all the time he did spend with me, but I knew he’d rather be at home.  He’d say, “Hy, I spend more time with you than anyone else on the planet — you’re my favorite person — but yeah, I’d always rather be at home, you know that.”

I am better now that I have shut the door, but I am left with the locusts that made it past the barn door and I struggle to keep them from destroying what I have left inside of me.  I’m trying not to be eaten alive, yet I am the nectar to their greed.

This is not a call for platitudes, simply an honest acknowledgement of the tatters I now seem to call Me.

I want to believe that his feelings for me were real, but as our relationship shrinks into the distance of my life I am left with the humiliating idea that it might have been my desire for it to be true and not reality.  A small, sharp thing to hold in the palm of my hand that I might keep in my grip, to not believe in anything so much again.

I have hidden so much of my pain because I am embarrassed by it.  I want to be stronger and more rational, but the truth is I am not either of those things.  I loved a man very deeply who did not return my feelings in kind and that kind of wound breaks a person, her belief in hope and herself.

I am working on repair, on mending my broken spirit and heart, but I worry that they will not make a full recovery.  Perhaps I will carry the memory of it all with me like a limp and be functional, but obviously different.  Perhaps I will struggle to love again, but never achieve it.  Or perhaps, I will just sit here quietly alone and wait for things to knit back together.

And thanks, strange dudes I don’t know, but I don’t give a fuck if you think my tits are great.  I’m trying to remember it’s what’s underneath them that’s most important.