On Looking in the Mirror

Love, listen 
You gotta own up to this shit too 

Because no, it’s not your fault that he’s a lying asshole 
But it’s on you that you said

“I’ll be patient.”
“No, don’t worry about it.”
“I promise it’s okay.”

When it fucking wasn’t okay. 

Because you are the one that prides themselves on being chill. 
On never being called crazy, or at least, not to your face. 

Because you have seen women, so many women, who let their emotions ride them and force men into that passenger seat. Who can’t let little things go. 

But those little things add up. Those little things mean something. And chill does not mean that you don’t have emotions. That you feel nothing. 

And because you’ve not been monogamous, you haven’t had a real, concrete relationship, you haven’t learned how to speak for yourself. To say, this isn’t right.
This isn’t how I should be treated. 
You’re not my boyfriend, but you fucked up. 

Instead you say 
You’re not my boyfriend, so I have no right to be mad. 
Even though you are.

And that’s on you. 

For setting the standard so damn low and being annoyed when even that isn’t met. 

Because my darling you deserve the moon 
The stars 
Flowers and hugs and kisses on the cheek. 
You deserve to have your hand held 
To be introduced as, ‘You know, that girl I was telling you about?’ 

Just because you aren’t monogamous doesn’t mean you are undeserving of respect 

Maybe if you didn’t act like you knew you weren’t, and didn’t deserve to be, his number one
He wouldn’t make you his number two

You’ve spent so much time bottling it inside, swallowing your emotions down, allowing tension to creep through your shoulders and to turn your muscles to cement to contain the feelings threatening to drown you. 
And when asked a question, instead of the answer you want to give, your flood may leak over, you may speak in nonsensical ways because you are not just batting with what you should say – you are battling with yourself if you should say anything at all. 

And through the mess you see what you fear the most. 
That look of 
‘You’re crazy.’ 

But now you’re sitting here wondering why he’s not texting you when you gave him carte blanche 
To treat you however he choose 
While you say 
‘It’s fine, I’m here for you.’ 
While you’re dying on the inside 
Wondering what you’ve done to deserve this 

And you did not ask for this level of jackassery 
You did not ask to be treated like shit 
But you did not demand better 
Because you felt you couldn’t 

That, my love, is what’s crazy 
You know you deserve more 

That someone fucking up your night and saying ‘I’ll make it up to you…Netflix and chill?’ Is not enough 

That someone saying ‘It’s just so confusing right now, I know she wants monogamy but…you’re just so cool.’  And then taking her on dates but ignoring you for days on end, is not okay. 

That someone saying ‘I promise, she means nothing,’ taking you home with them, then announcing on Facebook she’s their girlfriend is some cheap shit.

You are allowed to be upset. You are allowed to feel. And calling out this bullshit should not be your responsibility – but it is.

Because you have to be your own cheerleader 
Your own advocate 
Your own coach and overprotective best friend 

Because if you don’t set that standard so high that it provides you shade is this sweltering sunshine

Why on earth would he?

On Daydreams

I’m wiping down the bar when you come in. 

The door swings open, and I look up to say that we’re closing, I already did last call, but stop when I see it’s you. And I smile.

You’re wearing a faded shirt, and those dark jeans I love so much. Boots that are not weather appropriate. Your hair is a perfectly tousled mess, but you’re already running your fingers through it again. 

“Hey,” You look around at the empty place, and stay by the door. “Are you closed?” 

I shake my head. 

“Not quite yet. You want something?” 

You nod, and try not to look too awkward as you sit where I point, a seat at the end where I can be close to you. 

“What does not quite yet mean?” You don’t open the menu I put in front of you. 

“It means, I’m shutting down, but can’t lock the doors for another fifteen minutes. So, it’s last call, basically.” I smile, you don’t. 

“I’m not-” 

“Shut up and pick a drink.” I keep working, cleaning, running mats and tools through the washer, and try to ignore your eyes on me, remind myself how to breathe, keep my heart rate down. 

You ask for the beer I already know you’ll want, and grab one out of the fridge, and pour a whisky for myself. I tilt my glass to you, and you tap your bottle against it. 

You keep looking around, not sure what to do with your hands. You tell me, “I didn’t think it would be this quiet already,” 

I shrug, and don’t say anything. I’m waiting for you to speak, to tell my why you’re here. But instead, you just keep drinking. So I turn around and keep working.

“You always close this early?” You ask. I shake my head. I lean against the shelves, looking at you, picking up my glass again. 

“I don’t want to keep you.” 

“You’re not keeping me.” I take a drink, needing something to do. I’m afraid, afraid you’re going to leave, afraid you’ll decide it’s too awkward, that you need the break of other people around, other things to be distracted by. 

“I’m glad.” 

You say it as my face is turned, and I don’t hide my smile. Five minutes to go, and I’m counting the cash in the drawer. I move around to the front, decline your offer to help, and bring the sign in, turn off the outside light, and lock the door. 

And now we don’t know what to do. 

Because we need to talk. We really do. But neither of us want to. Neither of us know how to. There is so much there that we don’t have answers to. So instead, you ask me how much more I have to do before I can leave. I tell you, not much, and finish what I need to finish. You’re nursing your beer by the time I’ve finished and clocked out, but I need another whisky. Badly. Need something in my hands if you’re here, looking like you do. You smell like smoke and something else I’ve never quite been able to place. 

I sit down in the seat beside you, and the corner of your lip tilts up in a smile. 

“Do you usually have after hours drinks with customers?” 

I shake my head. 

“Emma,” You don’t know where to start, I don’t know where to start. But you’re here, and I want you to be here. And that’s enough.






But this is my problem.
I don’t know what happens next.
I think of you and how you’ll look and what you might say, but I don’t know from here. 
Because in my mind, this is where it ends. It’s you being there when I need you to be there. To show me that you care. 


But this is not our story.
This is not you. Or anything you would do.
And I know this.


But when it’s late, and hot, and I’m about to lock the door
I wonder what it would be like if you were there, hoping to be let in.

On Distraction

If I fill my calendar 
With drinks 
Coffee 
Lunches 
Work 
Training 
Sex 
Then I won’t think about you
Right?  

If I scan through apps like it’s my job 
If I search for something, anything, that’s like you but not you 
Then will I finally forget you? 
Will the memory of your touch flee from my mind? 
Will I stop looking up when I see someone who looks like you, not want to flinch away from them, because I see you in their eyes, their nose, their movement? 

And if I keep my brain occupied enough, paint my nails to stop myself from biting them, focus on everything that is not you, then each day should be easier. If I let the days become a blur, will it take a month, two, three, before I can go back to the places you took me and the drinks we had together and not care? 

And with each day I don’t hear from you, will it be easier to forget why I wanted to hear from you in the first place? Remember that you are replaceable, that you were the placeholder on the road to something better? 

Or, is that how you think of me? As a temporary solution to a problem you wanted to ignore, to be cast aside when it was convenient? 

I will never know. 

Maybe with time 
My resentment 
And my anger 
And my hurt 
Will fade

And I can think of you the way I want to 
With a fondness and dull ache 
Instead of the bubbling of something I don’t know how to process when your song comes on 
Or when I see your book on my shelf 
The bottle on my counter 

So I’ll preoccupy myself. 
And forgive myself that I need time, and probably will for a while. 

And I will hope you don’t show up 
Making me start all over again 
Unless you’re there to stay.

On A Red Brick Street

I’m sitting in the bakery.

This bakery, that I haven’t been to in almost a decade. With Douglas Adams trivia on the chalkboard, and cupcakes the size of my face.

It sits on a street paved with red bricks, a reminder of an earlier era, with little boutiques and shops and another cupcake place down the street.

It’s a beautiful place, the water right nearby, the air clean, the buildings so beautiful. It’s a place that screams of money, but with a vibrant energy that only those who are younger can bring.

And I think to myself, maybe it won’t be that different.

But, of course it is.

There is no longer trivia on the board, there is a sign boasting its lack of wifi, there is coffee served in the back and cookies line shelves in the front. There is still a place to sit, and the cupcakes are still there.

And I can’t help but think, you might’ve been here.

To see it.

To see it change.

To see it become what it is now.

Because it is a moment, if only briefly, of, this could have been your life.

And it’s not sadness, or regret, necessarily. It’s more of a wistful nostalgia.

For that moment, when you chose this instead of that. Turned left instead of right. Because where you are now is not where you thought you’d be, not where you a decade ago had planned.

Just like the walls of this place, you have changed.

Maybe, in another life, I walked along these streets again. I lived this. I came here, stayed here. And maybe I walked with friends, or a partner, who would laugh as frosting covered my nose. Maybe I’d do different work, sitting at this very stool.

But I probably would not be drinking milk in my tea.

And, again, it’s not regret.

It’s a wondering, about the life I almost chose.

And who’s to say which one is better, or worse.

It just is. A sign that we don’t always get the answers to the questions on our minds.

So, I will take this box of cake to the home I now have.

Say goodbye to those here.

And carry on, as any other day.

On Wants vs Needs

I found this in my cloud the other day. It was written a fair few months ago now, and I don’t know why it wasn’t a post then. But it’s basically still true, so, meh.

~*~

I refer to this friend too often not to give her a name, so, the friend from On Dirty Minds will now be BB.

BB and I had a conversation a while back, regarding relationship needs, what we could emotionally handle vs short term wants.

I have a post planned that will get more into this and into the whole ‘casual dating is the devil’ thing that a lot of people seem to have a problem with. I’m not talking about that here.

I’m talking about wanting to have sex outside of friend groups, outside of connected people, someone who I could have sex with without strings attached, get my horniness sorted out, and move on with my life.

At the same time, I understood that would be a temporary fix to the problem. I wanted someone who I could turn to when I was having a bad day, when shit was going down, and say, look, not trying to make your life more complicated, but I could really just use someone to cuddle with right now. We don’t even have to talk, I just want company.

Because this city is really fucking lonely.

BB didn’t find this odd, necessarily, but applauded my little arctic fox self for coming down from my snowy isolated hill and admitting this. Admitting that I might want something ‘more’. What that more would resemble, I’m still not entirely sure.

So tonight, when I’m so sore I can barely move the lower half of my body, stressed about work, stressed about basically everything, and want something to hold on to, what do I do?

A part of my brain says that I just need a body, someone there beside me. Another part says that anything physical won’t help.

I don’t know what’s the need and what’s the want. Is it a need for physical distraction? The thought of having to open up emotionally to someone makes my skin crawl, and makes me even more exhausted, but maybe it would be nice?

It’s something I suppose I need to sort out. Eventually.

But for now, I have heating pouches, a stuffed dog, a memory foam mattress, and Xbox.

So, I guess that works for now.


On Springtime

On a chilly dark night
You walk beside him on the street
“Just for a few blocks,” he says, “I’m close by.”
And you talk, and you laugh, and you shiver in your jacket.

When you get inside there are books, and things to look at. Things to compare.
There are candles, and dim lighting and music comes through speakers
A list you suggested and he likes
There are curtains that could be closed or not, windows that could be shut
You say no
Because in a few moments his skin will be on yours
And you don’t do well with sweat

Then it’s sighs, and moans
Fingernails scraping skin
The tickling of his scruff against the inside of your thigh
“Please,”
“More, please,”
Hands everywhere, gripping, pulling, supporting
softness of lips against the feeling of your hair being pulled back, and back
“Such a good girl,”
And he says your name
A whisper as he’s done.

An arm is draped around your shoulders
You lean back against the couch
And you discuss things, improvements for next time
Kisses, then more kisses goodbye
They are different than before, less restrained
“You’ll see me around,”
And he sends you on your way

And you’re walking back down the street, to a bar you know
That will always be open for you
And you sit back with self satisfaction

You won’t think
Well, you’ll never see him again
You could have said no, let’s go out another night.
Let’s go get a drink first
Treat me like more than a booty call
Because that was what you wanted
You wanted him on top of you
You wanted him to make you scream
To make you feel
To know that someone like him was not out of your league

So you’ll leave it, for a few days
And assume he’ll message
But
Eventually
You have to decide
And you think
Oh, he’s probably traveling
He’s busy
He’s with someone else And you hope
Well, maybe he’s just as awkward as you are

But you’re not awkward
You know what you want
And so you send a message, a joke, an olive branch
You say hello, in a way you know how
And your phone will stay black
And silent

You will come home, and light a candle
The scent of spice a reminder of another season
Of a past time
When things were changing
And leaves were dying
And you were hurting from new things and healing from old ones
And you will want to retreat, but you no longer can
Not the way you used to

You can no longer run and hide from things
From how you feel
Or the idea of feeling
And you what you wanted that idea to be
You will breathe in the calm air, the humidity will cling to your lungs
As you try to understand
That you were weaker then

Because to be the one that says hello
Is admitting that you want to talk
That they were on your mind
And all your time hiding in the dark, refusing to try
Did nothing to prepare you
For when you finally tasted the sun.

On Intimidation

He comes in a suit.
It’s clean. With a matching tie. His beard trimmed.
He tells me,
“If I attacked you, you wouldn’t look me in the eye.”

He and his friend had come into my work the week before. Drank too much. Tipped too little.
His friend said he wanted to hear us fuck.
They try to get me to leave with them. They say we’ll play guitar and sing. Maybe more.
They say I don’t have to fuck either of them. Or I could.
After all, the night is still young.

I get them out the door, and he stops, right in front of me.
Tells me
“But I just wanted a kiss,”
I ask him it back.
“Did you just want a kiss?”

He smells like whisky, with bloodshot eyes. His skin droops and sags.
“Well and then see where it goes, but you won’t fuck me. You won’t ever fuck me.”

Another coworker is waiting, trying to get inside, but he’s on top of me and I’m back against the door unable to run back inside or leave.
So I kiss his cheek and say,
“Get home safe.”
And they finally exit, let my coworker come through. Let me go back inside.

So he comes back in his suit and says
“I don’t remember what happened,”
He explains,
“My friend told me I should come back and ask you out. That you’d say yes.’
He tells me,
“The other guy, the other one that works with you, said I don’t know what you did but I basically raped you.”

He says, many times,
“But I didn’t rape you.”

He sits at the counter, with his smoothed out hair and alcohol on his breath,
“I am sorry,
But it’s all moot isn’t it,
Because you will never fuck me.”

And he doesn’t understand that what happened was intimidating. That his presence makes me nauseous.
He says
“I didn’t assault you”

“I didn’t touch you,”

“I didn’t rape you.”

Because this standard is such that If you, a well meaning man,
Come into my work
Where I make the money I need to survive
And make me feel threatened,
Trap me with no place to run
Tell me I’m only as important as my legs will spread for you
It’s okay
Because, as you said,
You didn’t fucking rape me.

Because I will still look at you.
Because I will talk to you.

So nothing really happened.

Nothing happened at all.

On A False Goodbye

I am writing this while sitting on your chair,
Praying I have the strength to keep this promise.

I need to walk away from you.
From your eyes that set my body on fire without a single touch. 
From your arms that pin me down, then hold me close to you, protecting me from everything but you.
From your mind that challenges me.
From your body that ignites me, makes me feel alive.

Because we were going somewhere, weren’t we? You acknowledged this before.
You met my friends. My family.
Before you admitted that there was someone else.

And you knew I didn’t care, but she does.
So we went from messages almost every day, talking about more than just my hungry cunt needing your dick to fill it
To you isolating me to booty calls in the dark of night.

You tell me you saw a show that affected you, that made you think
A show you saw with her
You said the illusion of choice, of having too many choices, affected you
I think you were trying to tell me something, but it’s something I already know

You chose.
You chose long ago.
And I thought I could withdraw, be just this with you., and I can’t. I want to hold your hand in daylight.

And now you’re done with your shower
So I’ll pick myself off this chair
Wipe away last night’s makeup from under my eyes
Try to do the things I need to do.

Because you will exist in this limbo for as long as you can, for as long as I allow.

I don’t allow it anymore.

Or so I’ll say as the sun is up, and my willpower is here. Until the next time you message me and make me melt with desire.
Because this is much easier said than done, but I know I will never find what I’m looking for with you.

Give me strength. Give me will. Give me the energy to walk out the door.

And never open it again.

On the Bitterness of Mania


You don’t understand what I mean
When I say you don’t look at me like I am real.

Because you see me, and you see freedom
And excitement
An escape from the morals you both want and don’t want to adhere to.
From the duties you feel you must fulfill.

But in this you miss, if not my expectations, the fact that I need to viewed with substance.
To be more than the manic pixie
That you so desperately want.

Because I will sit here and watch
As you pass me as a stepping stone in your life
And find your wife
Have your kids
And long for something more than what you chose.

And you will love her, and you will care for her
Every feeling true, and intense, and meaningful
While you fuck someone like me
And hold her close
And make her feel like nothing more
Than your most treasured fantasy.

On Hesitancy

In the middle of the night, I hear your voice.
And I’m not sure if these words are in my head, or a dream.
But after an age I roll over, press my lips to yours, and say it back to you.

And these words shouldn’t be too big of a deal, but it takes us another month to acknowledge it again, aloud.

Maybe we didn’t have to.
Maybe it’s the way your arm falls around my waist in the morning when you don’t want to wake up.
Maybe it’s in the way you pull me to you before we drift off to sleep.

It’s not love. Not yet, quite possibly not ever.

But there is something in the way you smile at me
That makes me smile back.

And I’m trying not to hope, to give a mile when you give an inch.
I’m being careful, and I think you are too.
But we can try these new things together.

With your lips at my ear I feel beautiful, strong, and brave.

And I want to keep feeling that way.