“What? Another webseries announcement?” A few years ago I came up with the idea of pulling some of the dating horror stories from the blog and making them into a webseries. It would take place in three cities! It would involve a cast of thousands! Well, then reality hit as I did the math and realized that this was a really ambitious project for my first time out of the gate. I’m still in love with the idea of How To Save Your Own Life, and it’ll always be percolating in the back of my mind until I have the resources to execute it properly.
In the meantime, I’m thrilled to present “This Ends Badly”! Continue reading This Ends Badly, A Webseries
You’re in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, you are called in by a tight-lipped nurse. You sit in the examining room, look around. It’s the usual suspects: the boxes of latex gloves, the canister of cotton swabs, the paper-covered vinyl-cushioned examining table. The doctor’s assistant comes in, updates your information. She’s warm and sharp as a tack: she remembers that you live in the neighborhood, that you moved from California a few years back. She notices you haven’t had a refill for the Xanax you take to fly lately, asks if you need more. “No,” you exhale, “I’m not flying as much anymore. That relationship ended.” Suddenly without warning David’s ghost is there in the room with the two of you, standing behind her. He never says anything, this ghost that appears sometimes, his blue eyes just stare at you. Continue reading Oh, the Places You’ll Go
You do it like this: you get through the anniversaries, one at a time. Your first FaceTime date, his first trip out to Portland from Milwaukee, your first trip together to New York. Sometimes your brain plays tricks on you, you dream of an alternate universe where the two of you are still together, but it happens less and less often. He’s like an actor making appearances in your dreams that the writers are trying to write out slowly, making just cameos, then finally his contract running out.
In the meantime, you cautiously put your toe back into the dating waters. The last time was way too soon, it was a disaster and you weren’t ready yet, you took things too fast (dated pop-culture references not to say when having sex with someone for the first time: 1. “Brace for impact” 2. “Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?” 3. “Autobots, ROLL OUT!”). This time you decide to take it slower. It’s funny, you muse to yourself before a beer with a handsome guy you met on Tinder, I was one of those guys who used to be like “Let’s go on a date, let’s not call it “hanging out”. Now you realize that this is all the energy you have for anyone anymore. You can’t call it a date yet. Maybe you’re waiting for the thunderclap that hit you when you first saw David in person for the first time. Maybe you’re scared you’ll never feel that again for anyone. Continue reading Synonyms For Spring
Dear BLCKSMTH: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve regretted?
Tweeting a comparison last week between the death of the baby dolphin in Argentina and the demise of my last relationship. Haha! Heh. Ugh.
Dear BLCKSMTH: You look really young for your advanced age, and you seem so full of energy! What’s your secret?
Honestly, between my day job and the writing, I don’t even know when I find time to hate myself so much! But the secret to looking young:
- Cry a lot, it’s nature’s “collagen injection” for the area around your eyes! 2. Get in debt 3. Rub your face in silky cat fur at least twice daily 4. Cry some more!
Dear BLCKSMTH: I’m on Scruff and I’ve noticed a guy who I would really love to get with. He’s really flirty and seems genuinely interested back, but when I see him out, he clams up, doesn’t make eye contact, and seems really awkward. What is going on? Signed, J. in Portland Continue reading Dear BLCKSMTH: Bad Advice For Good People
You keep it together like this: you wake up, you get groceries, you pick up cat food for Ned from the vet. You do this all successfully without crying! You celebrate these little victories since the breakup, these small signs that you’re getting better. You get online on the dating apps (major shout out to the dudes trying to look serious and smoldering in their profile pictures, who come off looking crazy and murder-y). You look at the New York guys to see who might be available to date once you move out there, but instead you’re interrupted by a vivid mental image of every single one of them taking turns on your ex who lives there, all of them lining up for a chance at him, the line extending around the block, extending across the Brooklyn bridge into Manhattan, all the men eager with hungry, mean eyes and bodies far more muscular than yours, and at the head of the line your former love’s door, occasionally opening, letting one out, letting another in, him closing the door gently like he used to with only you, and now a revolving door of sex with anyone but you. You shake your head of this image, grab your keys, head to your first therapy appointment. You have no clue what you talk to therapists about, it’s probably a bad fit because he’s not even gay and what the fuck would he know about your life. You go up to his office, greet each other, look at his walls lined with books. Maybe one of the books has the right sequence of words to make you better again, the magic incantation to make you as good as you were with David. The therapist says: “What would you like to talk about?”
You burst the fuck into tears. Continue reading My Own Worst Enemy
Part 5 of 5. To read previous parts, click here for Part 1.
It’s the holiday season in 1991, and I’m a freshman in college. I’m coming back home to Albuquerque from spending time in Los Alamos, New Mexico, with my first boyfriend Max. I met Max’s family there, saw Star Trek 6 with him in an empty movie theater while I whispered the complicated galactic politics to him. We secretly made out whenever possible: to this day, I have a soft, nostalgic spot for the Drakkar Noir cologne he wore. We get back to our dorms on the UNM campus, and I get the call from my sister: something is wrong, come to the house right away.
I open the front door to my parents’ house, and my life is never the same after that. I see my sister’s tear-stained face, she’s in the living room with her husband Bob. My Dad is stoic but barely keeping it together while my grandmother shuffles around in her slippers, not understanding exactly what happened. My mom is wandering from room to room in the old Victorian house, incoherent, apoplectic, wailing with grief. I know then that my big brother John is dead. This is what it looks like when a family explodes from the inside out. Continue reading My Brother’s Keeper, My Brother’s Killer, Part 5: The End of Everything
I was honored to be interviewed for Matt Baume’s Sewers Of Paris podcast series. *Thrill* as I recount stories of my childhood sci-fi crushes! (I didn’t give Quantum Leap-era Scott Bakula’s legs due credit in the podcast; apologies Scott) *Wonder* as I recall formative music of my youth like Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814! *Cringe* as I audibly start crying when I talk about my ex! My gift to you is the feeling of being profoundly uncomfortable, so please click here to listen to the podcast.