You whispered this over dinner, a secret you had only told a few men in your life. You would wake suddenly when your head was sideways on the pillow, you would hike with your headphones in and rip them out when, in between songs, the timpani of your pulse would pound in your ears. It’s not the sound, you explained to him, it’s the fear of it suddenly stopping. You’re afraid you will hear the moment your heart just stops.
You explain this to him, you drop it like a cat dropping a dead bird at his feet. This is what you do, you play the clown so often you may as well have a red foam nose. Maybe he laughs. Maybe he nods solemnly, understanding completely. This beautiful bearded one tilts his head, his lips purse. It is not you, you say to yourself, and offer to get him another beer when you get up. “I’m not good at giving compliments” he says later, handing you the most beautiful red flag you have ever seen. This cruelty is a kindness. Continue reading Ray of Light→
I’m slogging through the holidays, like I do every year. They’re a combination of sweet and hectic: this is my busy season at my day job, and it makes December rush by in a blur. It’s colder than usual, so cold that when I walk and fart I’m scared people walking behind me can see it billowing out, a beautiful white cumulus smelling of my colon that expands forever, slowly engulfing Portland. I’m lonely, too. All I really want is a boyfriend for the winter I can cut open like a TaunTaun and nestle inside wait not that.
I spot the guy on social media, he is my type, maybe even My Type: tiny. Bearded. Professional. We hit it off, follow the steps, I follow the script to the tee. “Super handsome, how’s your week? I’m Mike.” “Wanna get off this app? I don’t get notifications, text is easier for me.” “Want to grab grub sometime? I promise I’m not a psycho.” The joke is on him, because I am actually a raging psycho. I make sure he is truly single: the hot trend is guys on social media who are in super committed relationships who pretend to be single online just to be more popular. Continue reading A Better Version of Me→
Set the story in the winter of 2015, in Portland. You will have just been broken up with by a dude you were bonkers in love with, in a way that rattled you to your core. Go grocery shopping, feel it coming on, leave the grocery store before you burst into tears on the way home. Think to yourself, Can we all agree that grocery stores should not play slow, sad Christmas songs any fucking more, please? Or at least have a trigger warning beforehand? Imagine it like that, fully: a red and green-striped rotating light descends from the grocery store ceiling, spins silently. Shoppers look up: some keep shopping but others abandon their carts, drop their baskets. Eggs shatter, a ball of iceberg lettuce rolls down the aisle as they leave the store in a row: the lonely old cat lady in her housecoat, the gutter punk in the pleather jacket, the middle aged bearded gay man wiping back his tears. Behind them, the beginning strains of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” start playing in Safeway. Continue reading How to be Okay→
You bike home from the coffee shop in the crisp early fall drizzle, your legs pumping the pedals as fast as they will go, which is not very fast. You have a rainjacket on but you also know that you’ll be soaked by the time you get home. This was not a Good Date. It started inauspiciously anyway, when he told you that he just came from another date. Having a date tell you he just came from another date is like watching someone coming out of a bathroom stall chewing on food. Continue reading When Three’s Not a Crowd→
I’ve been in Portland three years. I love the summers here; they seem like they go on forever and then disappear in the blink of an eye. They say summer is a great season to fall in love. It’s been a while since I fell in love. I’m not on the dating apps: they alternately bore and frustrate me. But once in a while, someone catches my eye in real life and I give it a go. This is one of those stories, this is a story of my worst date, if not ever, then certainly this month. This is the story of my date with Mike Schneider. Continue reading A Very Long Engagement→
Damnit. It’s over. I know it in my heart, I can feel it every time he and I touch: the magic is gone. What do I do when our love has reached its expiration date? How do I tell someone who trusts me completely and might still be crazy in love with me that I don’t feel the same way?
Okay, hold on a sec. Is it actually over? The more empathetic you are, the earlier you’ll be able to tell when the feelings are fading for you. If you catch it early enough, you can talk it out with your partner and see if the fading feelings are mutual, or if it’s something just one of you feels, and the two of you agree to try to rekindle the feelings.
You do this: you ride the bumpiest, smallest plane on the planet from San Francisco to Albuquerque. You have white knuckles and the Xanax is taking the edge off the anxiety you feel, but just barely. You wonder if the plane falls out of the sky will it spin or tumble. Maybe it will just dive down nosefirst, and for a beautiful minute everyone will be weightless in the freefall inside the cabin. You decide that if that happens, you will unbuckle your seatbelt, you will enjoy the last few moments of your life like an astronaut. Continue reading Pride→