On Cigarettes at Sunrise

(This has been sitting in my drafts for a while now. Found it again the other day, gave it a once over, and hope you like it.)

The call would come sometime between two and four am.
You, unable to sleep.
You, insomniatic, looking for the same from me. 

But you’d never actually ask me.
For an hour or so, you’d hem and haw and turn it back on me.
“Do you want to come over?” 
Of course I did, I rolled my eyes, or I wouldn’t have answered the damn phone.

It was easy to pack, in those days. My makeup bag still in my purse from the day, add a pair of leggings and a toothbrush, and I was already walking to my car when you finally said
“Okay, come over.” 

We didn’t have a greeting, per se. 

I’d open your bedroom door, and there wasn’t a hug or a kiss, it was you. Sitting on your bed. Sometimes the guitar was on your lap or your notebook on the table.
But, more often than not, it was just you, sitting there, still in jeans, watching the sky outside, smoke trailing from your cigarette.
And I’d sit down, on the folding chair across from you, and reach for your lighter. 

We’d talk, or listen to music, or sit in silence for hours 
Watching the sky grow from black to purple to pink with orange hues. The breeze drifting in and your pack emptying out. You’d brush your hair out of your face every few minutes, switch between music, look out past me, through me, shaking your head at unvoiced thoughts.

I would listen to you, focus intently on whatever you were saying, but my gaze would often drift down to your lips.
I liked the way you formed your words, the way your mouth moved as you softly sang along to parts of songs, the way you spoke about anything and everything
I liked the way you kissed.

And your head would tilt to the left, hair falling out of where you’d just placed it, and your mouth would twitch into a smile.
That 5AM smile.
A smile that felt like it was only mine. If only for a moment. It was only mine to see.
This is stupid, I know. 
Untrue, a fantasy then and now.
We tend to romanticize the past.

And then, with the sun in the sky and the birds twittering you’d look at your phone and moan.
You had to sleep. Or try.
Be at work at whatever time.
Demand I be your alarm clock and wake you up, make you move.
And at this point, you still would not have touched me. 

So, we’d crawl into bed, and you’d ask if I was sleepy.
5, 6, 7 AM. 
“Are you tired?”
Of course I was. I was exhausted. But I would stay awake and say, 
No.
Because then, and only then, would you wrap your arms around me.

And when your mouth found mine, pretense faded. And all your shouldn’t, can’t, and won’ts turned into my clothes on the floor and you on top of me, kissing me, pulling my hair back. 
I’d sometimes make my eyes meet yours, and when I did, you’d fuck me even harder. 
Because it was only in those moments, the seconds of fevered movements, that you could admit
If only for an instant, if only in that way
That you really did want me

You’d roll over, and groan, again, at the time.
And I’d say I’d wake you up as you pulled me to you, cuddling me against your chest.
In the morning, you’d have let me go, and when your alarm went off I’d press my lips to your skin, and gently tell you to get up.
You told me once it felt nice, to have me holding you.
I’d stay there until the music played two or three more times. 
And when you left, you’d kiss me goodbye.

You couldn’t tell me that you miss me
Instead, in the after, you said that you miss having an insomniac to call. That you miss “those nights.”
So now, as I can’t sleep, my mind racing and aching, I use your language
I miss watching your face under the light of the rising sun
And the cigarettes and the music and your voice
And you know, full well, that means I miss you too.

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 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 says 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 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 a Drunk Text

I don’t want to drunk message you.

So I’m writing this instead

Because I’m sick of using inebriation to tell you what’s on my mind.

I want you to fuck me so hard I see stars.

I want you here, in my arms.

I want you to sneak me away and fuck me against the bathroom stall – with girls coming in seeing my fingers curled around the metal frame, hearing moans and grunts and sighs.

I want you to pin me down, twist my hair in your hand, and tell me I’m not going anywhere.

And then I want you to hold me close- like in that moment I’m the only person that matters.

Because goddammit, I miss you.

I miss you so much it hurts.

And I know full well you don’t feel the same.

You don’t say hi anymore. You don’t call, or message, unless I cave and make the first communication. And it sucks. So fucking much.

But, I also get it. You’re hung up on your ex. You are very, very far away. So, I won’t tell you any of these things that occupy my mind.

But I miss your arms around me. I miss the way you look at me and the way you say my name. I miss the way you smile at me when you haven’t seen me in a while, kiss me and say, “Well, I feel better.”

And I can only say these things when there are stars in the sky, when my breath smells like whisky and life is blurred around the edges.

I hate that you make me feel these things, and that you don’t feel them back.

So that’s why I’ll write them here. I won’t burden you with a message you feel like you have to respond to, and probably won’t know how to, when you’re thousands of miles away.

But,

This is my safe place. To openly feel whatever it is I’m feeling.

So.

I guess.

I miss you. And I really wish I didn’t.

On No. 4

She told me you were safe. That she wouldn’t leave me alone with you unless you were.
We were hanging out on your boat. It was a fun night; hanging with friends, old and new.
We watched the fireworks on the dock, watching the reflection of the sparks and lights in the water.
And we drank, because of course we did. We were adults on a national holiday.
And the other two left for home, and I was alone with you. The last train home had left, and I said I’d just sleep on the boat. I wanted to feel the waves rocking me to sleep, feel the peace and quiet that being on the water brings me.

 

And we had beers, we smoked, and you told me about your girlfriend. Told me the distance is good for you. Told me she doesn’t want to share you. Told me you were physically – platonically – affectionate, and that people didn’t understand.

 

I understood. I have friends with whom my levels of affection come out in ways people might find weird or inappropriate considering we are not in a relationship. But it’s consented to by us, it’s taken a length of time to get to that level of emotional intimacy.

 

You wanted to cuddle, and I didn’t see a problem with that. We talked for hours, looking at the sky, the way the moon shone off the mirror smooth water.

 

And because you’d said these things, said the limits of your relationship, I didn’t think anything when we continued to cuddle as we moved down into the boat. You thought she might care, and told me if anyone asked, I spent the night in a different room.
I shrugged it off. I was tired. I wanted to sleep. I didn’t care if we kept cuddling or not. You wanted some affection? Fine. Whatever. I told you I was dating someone and didn’t know the parameters of that relationship and didn’t want to fuck it up – nothing was going to happen anyway.

 

But you didn’t just want affection, did you? Because I was half asleep, and your dick was pressed into my ass, and you were grinding against me, seeking something, I don’t know what. And my mind couldn’t process what’s happening. I was still partially asleep in your arms until you tried to touch me, and I said Stop.
You stopped. Half apologized. Said it had been a few months since you’d gotten laid, that you missed having someone to hold. I told you I’d go to the other room, and you said no, and you pulled me to you again. You said the look on my face as I got turned on was enough for you.

Finally, you fell asleep again.

Until an hour and a half later, when again, in a half-conscious state, you were dry humping me again, and I could feel your breath on my neck and your hand pulling my hair and I couldn’t get my mouth to work. I wanted to stay stop before I did. The second I felt you on me. But I was not fully conscious, and whether or not you knew that, I’d told you no.
And I finally managed to get my brain and body to cooperate, to wake up, to say Stop again.

And you did. Immediately.

And I reminded you of your girlfriend, and you said that was why your pants stayed on.

I pulled myself away from you, clinging to a pillow on the other end of the bed, and you pulled me into your side again.

And I was not safe. And I could not leave. Because I was trapped on a boat and you were my only way off.

You said we should watch the sunrise, and I was more than grateful to get your body off me. I felt so violated by everything you’d done, I didn’t care if you saw me change my shirt. I didn’t care what you saw. Because you seeing me was somehow less invasive than your hands on me. Than you caging me in a headlock so I couldn’t move as you felt me up.

And you said you knew I liked the dominant stuff. So that made it okay, right?
If you know I like my hair pulled, its okay that you do it, because you know I like it, even though I’ve said I don’t want anything to happen.
If I say I like x, y, and z, then you know it’ll trigger a biological response, even though I don’t want it to be you doing x, y, and z.

Did you notice I wouldn’t touch you after that? That the night before we were cuddly and friendly and nice, and after I wouldn’t touch you, I would barely look at you, I wanted to be on my phone, and distance myself from you. Because you were my ride home. I was at the mercy of your transport, or the trains that were not running until a certain time, of your will to go where I needed to go.

So you took me out to see the sunrise. You wanted me to catch my first fish. You took me to breakfast and a diner you’d thought I’d like.

And I was amiable enough to you. Because I felt disgusting. I felt like I’d betrayed someone, someone who is your fucking friend. I felt like I’d done everything wrong.

And people will say I did. That I should have gone into the other room anyway, to which I have no idea if he would have let me/if he wouldn’t have followed me. I have no idea.

And people will say it’s not that big of a deal.
Maybe it’s not. My clothes stayed on. Your clothes stayed on. Nothing was inserted anywhere. You can probably justify it to yourself that you didn’t cheat.

But that’s not the point, is it?

I will never feel safe around you.
I was promised you were okay, that I was okay to be alone with you, and that was not true.
I said no 3 times, and you ignored me.

And I can’t get rid of this feeling of self-revulsion. I can’t get rid of this feeling that I’m disgusting. That my boy should leave me because I did something terrible. That I fucked up, and I fucked up so bad. It’s why I’d said what happened in that room needed to stay in that room. Because how could/can I tell him?

After all, you did thank me for being a ‘good sport‘ about it.

But you texted me, asking me if I got back home okay.

Don’t pretend you care about my safety now.

Just go fuck yourself.

On a Love Letter

We don’t have the best relationship, you and I.

I beat the ever loving shit out of you, push you to the breaking point, call you names, tell you to do more, that nothing is ever good enough, and expect you to show up in top form the next day.

I hate you, most of the time. But you are mine.

If other people insulted you the way I do, they would never be forgiven.
But you are stuck with me, forever.

You are I are forever entwined, mind and body, together as one.
I will call you a whiny bitch, I will call you a brat, I will tell you to stop complaining, to stop aching, to get your fat pudgy ass up and keep moving.
Because we must keep training.
Because we must keep moving.
Because my brain is not okay when you are not okay.

And right now, you are broken. You are hurt. You are wounded.
You can’t move. We can’t train. We can’t work.

I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to hurl things at the wall.

And I can’t, because I need to care for you.

I’m worried about you. I need you to be better.

Because you are the thing that lets me move though air, that lets my fingers turn my thoughts into words. That lets me turn my emotions into movements, into dance, into flight. You will let me torture you, abuse you, yell at you, shame you, and yet you will get up the next morning and start all over again. You know I want you stronger, and will endlessly fight to meet my expectations.

You are my body, the only one I have. And when you are broken, I am broken. When you stop, my life stops.

I love you, and I hate you, for all your faults and imperfections.

Be patient with me, as I try to learn to love you better. As I try to make my mind sync with you. As I try to understand how to care for you as you should be taken care of.

I’m sitting here, on a Friday, with gin and tea and candles and my favourite show, with heating packs and pain relievers. I will do this every day, until you are better.

But please, don’t take too long.

On The Bad Stuff

I’ve been running into this problem lately, of only remembering those stupid ass moments.

When I fucked up.

When I got too drunk.

When I said something stupid.

When you had to deal with my incompetence and idiocy.

And I don’t want to only remember these moments, because for one, it makes it sound like you’re perfect, and no one is, and two, I want to remember the other moments.

When we lay on your couch doing nothing all day.

When I made your coffee in the morning, and wafted the scent towards your nose to breathe life into you.

When you put your hand on my knee.

When you made me talk about things without a hint of uncomfortability, pushing past my layers of shyness, so you knew exactly how to to pull me to you, hands around my wrists, holding me steady as your tongue made earthquakes travel through my spine.

 

I want to hold on to you as a whole. I want to be able to look you in the eyes, and know that we are on equal ground. I want to know that one day you will crush me into a hug again and I will not dwell on this, that, or the other but only on that moment, on your arms and skin and feel of you around me.

I never expected to feel an intensity with you, and you still don’t know all of these feelings rattling around in my head. Because when we talk it’s about something related to a previous conversation. It’s me sending you a TV show release date. It’s not us talking about the intricate details of our lives, our thoughts, our feelings. It’s not those kinds of conversations anymore.

Maybe it’s just the unsettled-ness of my life right now, but it’s so easy to dwell on the negative, to focus on my faults and my derp moments, that which makes my brain say – well you had fun, but do you really expect them to stick around when you’re such a dumbass?

But I know this isn’t fair, or true. People come in and out or your life for such a variety of reasons. Maybe you’ve got a blog somewhere writing about the depths of my ineptitude, but I don’t think so. (Others on here, maybe. But not you.)

 

You sent me three words the other day, and it helped far more than you know.

 

I miss you, too.