Tag Archives: relationships

Ten Poems (11-12-17)

1:
We don’t have souls; we’re just our bodies.
Not much better than ants,
Smarter, with a larger, more complex society,
But you kill us and we go away.
There isn’t some spirit that survives.
It’s all very simple, he told me.
And I thought he had no sense of the silliness of life.

2:
We sat in the back far corner of a studying-type bubble tea place.
I don’t think I’m the person he invites out to go drinking.
But, I could be myself with him for a minute, which was great, because I was sullen and being assholeish.
I used crude language to be fun.
I updated him about my life, my dates, my non-ending sinus infection, and my fears.
I listened while he had to remind himself to come back to his body, because his depression would take him somewhere else.
I laughed at his stories, and his breakups, hookups, and drug use.
It was nice to be friends for a minute.
To think to myself, we’re friends, I can do this.
I can buy life insurance,
And have tea, normal-like, and find a way to make it.

3:

4:
He gave her what she wanted.
That’s the refrain.
She wanted another child.
She told me, my mother,
She was thinking about getting a donor, if she didn’t find someone.
Were we not enough?
Are my sister and I not enough?
Is that why my brother gets more money and attention?
He’s the boy. The youngest, the one really wanted?
She told me when she forgot she was talking to me.
They were getting divorced soon anyway,
She said there was no way.
I’m thinking I was the one last try, the goodbye, or the accident.
At the same time she was mock-trial arguing women’s reproductive rights at her law school,
She chose to have me.
And I sit here on a Sunday afternoon wondering what I’ll do by accident,
And what I’ll get because I want it, one way or the other.

5:
I wore a tank top that showed my bra
So he would look at my cleavage.
It’s the one thing about me I thought he might like
But if I’m resorting to skin,
It means I’m desperate.
I’m not sure which shows more strength,
The persistence of trying without hope
Or the courage to have confidence in what’s left of my body.

6:
Will I be my mother and have no long-term close friends?
Will I have no one to hang out with on Sunday nights?
Because I want that.
The casual, they just show up.
I’m tired of having to plan it.
I know it comes with time, trust.
But I want a click, I want luck, I want safety.
I guess I’m sacrificing the opportunity for something better, to settle safe.
I think I’m okay with that.

7:
Be proud of your failures.
What an un-American thing to say.
Us, the people who can’t take seriously the things we didn’t do ourselves.
Unless you’re talking to businessmen who are telling you about how to build a better life using these three principles,
I don’t see anyone taking that to heart.
I see them pretending to brag about the things they did that went wrong,
To fool themselves into an excuse for bragging, and follow step three written in the first book they’ve read in years.

8:
It’s like she forgot she left.
She was telling me how bad dad was to her when we were little,
With a casual wave, before you remember.
I told her, when it was just me and dad,
When she was in school,
He was calmer by then.
She looked at me in shock,
Still never seeing that other people have lives too,
That might be just as important, painful, or meaningful.

9:
I don’t open up to him, I don’t feel safe.
I like him, I’m attracted, but I don’t feel I can be myself.
Is that because he’s more attractive?
Or because my body knows he’ll hurt me, and it’s keeping me tucked away,
The me who has no boundaries.

10:
I’ve been staring at a age-spot that appeared on my hand.
I remember the wart that was there for years and years.
The constant shame of my hand, the constant hiding.
Right there over the third knuckle.
How often I would pick it apart, hoping I could make it go away without showing anyone.
Without creating another problem for my mother.
Who tried to ice-burn it away with some over-the-counter contraption she picked up on her way home when she was only going to the grocery store for one thing.
I was fifteen before we went to the skin doctor and the third thing he tried made it vanish.
And I wonder if his spot on my hand if from the cream they used.
If this is a delayed reaction, to the fact I hid my shame,
And didn’t tell anyone about what was wrong until years later.

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Ten Poems (11-7-17)

1:
I can’t be honest with you,
I got enough sleep last night.
My usual self-medication hasn’t worked. My brain isn’t foggy.
All I can do is sit here and calculate all the ways in which I made mistakes are wrong,
And be hungry even though I just ate.
I can’t seem to write.
So I’ll just tell you what happened to me this week.

2:
I broke down in my sisters kitchen chopping vegetables on a black floor tile counter.
I called my mom.
I’m not good enough mom,
I’m breaking.
She said, have you tried painting? Or buying something for yourself?
I needed someone to sit with me while I coped.
The things I thought were all I needed to be okay turn out to not be enough.
I just want someone to care about me.
I just want to do something in an office.
I just want space to cook, and enough heat to not be cold.
I want enough jeans that fit without holes.
But I’m still not okay. And it’s not fair.

3:
I planted plants.
I paid too much for the bag of dirt.
If I can keep something else alive,
I can keep myself alive.
My friend got a cat even with her allergies.
Homeless people with dogs tend to be better off.
Something about dirt and full circles,
But really, it was the first time in a while I’ve wanted to do something,
So I did it. Hoping I’d want to do more things in the future, instead of just more sleep.

4:
My Dad’s slipping.
He says I’ve told him that before. He didn’t know it was getting worse.
Of course it’s getting worse. This kind of thing doesn’t get better.
Am I not important enough for him to keep details straight?
Or is part of his brain dying?
He doesn’t understand how to tell me it will be okay.
He doesn’t understand how to comfort.
I don’t know which one of these will break us, but it’s around one of these corners.

5:
I met someone off an app for coffee at my least favorite coffee house.
We both get bored at live music.
He seems nice.
Not attractive, but nice.
And now we play my favorite game called,
What will I do to eff this up?
Text too early?
Sing along to songs?
Be ugly with double thigh dips?
Forget to drive you back to your car?
How will you Seinfeld me out of your life?
Go give me something small about myself to mull over for a couple weeks.

6:
My sister says I don’t need a lot from other people.
I’m pretty self-sufficient.
That can intimidate some people.
I bought life-insurance today.
Is that what she means?
I monitor my credit score, and don’t have debt, so one will love me.
Here you can have my paid-off car and my healthy relationship with my brother.
Can I have a date for my work Christmas party?

7:
I love romance novels.
I have to read them on a half-empty brain or I get mad at the sexism and assaults.
A refuge is predictability. It’s calmness because nothing will go wrong worse than you can imagine.
There’s so little secure in my life. I want someone else’s love to have a plotted existence.
I want structure to give me meaning in what I see everyday, so I find that in trashy books.

8:
I misplayed at cards on Wednesday night.
I shouldn’t have been cocky or smiley happy because we were winning.
He huffed away mad.
I forgot to hide myself, and I was shot down for it.
It’s not unusual.
I’m always mad that they’re people.
I want them to be people I already know.
And I want them to like me because I’m perfect.

9:
I made a pineapple upside-down cake.
That was the highlight of things I did I’d never done before last week.
I remember when I tried to do something new everyday so that I could tell the days apart.
I see people, and naturally compare myself, and say, wow look at that. They’re experiencing life. I want that. And instead, I arrange pineapples on brown sugar for my brother-in-law.
I cut cherries precisely in half, instead of falling in love.
I change the recipe just a little bit because you should mix the butter and sugar together before adding the flour.
I don’t take a road trip. I don’t spend money.
I save money for later in life when my back will hurt worse,
And I’ll feel guilty for not having lived while I was young.

10:
I only lived there a year.
My sister reminds me, like somehow I didn’t earn anything.
Like experience is something to earn.
Like she knows I can’t claim a place because I was there a little less than 400 days.
Don’t be dramatic, you’re just the same as me, she says.
You’re life doesn’t have my value.
Look what I’ve done in that time instead.

Ten Poems (10-28-17)

1:
I live with accidental consequences of the things I did right.
I cleaned the wood paneling along the floor,
Now I clean along the chip on the wood paneling on the floor.
I didn’t have that relationship, I didn’t move to California with him.
But I never met his friends, never did something stupid,
Never tried to save something I knew would die.
I know you live with your mistakes,
But you live with the successes too.

2:
I wish she would be clear with me,
But I don’t have the courage to be straight with her.
Isn’t that just the way it goes.

3:
I met a German
I think, maybe I’m too silly for him.
He did not laugh,
But he sort of chuffed once.
He was not handsome,
But he was safe, and wanted me to like him.
And he’ll beat himself up later about the silly things he said.

4:
How did I get myself up this morning?
More importantly, when will that will give out?
And it’s always a just barely,
So close to a not.
That’s why I always felt guilty of my accomplishments in college,
They were just barelys instead of easily and because of hard work.

5:
I want to have done something I’ve never done before.
To have an experience, another story,
To keep me warm.
Maybe I’ll poach an egg.
And bake a new cake.
To stop this wanting to have a place of my own, with a person of my own.

6:
I don’t know what I’m doing.
Here. Now. With this life.
I’m so aware of how precious health is,
Because I’m coughing up a storm.
But now what do I do with this awareness?
I ask the question we all ask,
What now?

7:
He talks to me in the morning,
And he’s like a brother.
He was raised with sisters, I can tell.
He makes faces at me when we both try to stay awake at work,
He sends me silly gifs in gchat,
He’s human and honest in my little machine corner.
And he’ll play catch, whereas no one else will run with the sarcasm stories of,
Of yes of course I took my pony into work.

8:
I cannot make you love your body.
I am sorry I do not have this power.
I cannot rearrange the features of your face to make you happy.
I can’t make you look good in leggings.
I can tell you that all your parts work, that you are you. That if you weren’t you, you wouldn’t be you. You’re the youest you around.
I can tell you that your whole line of ancestors has produced a human that is capable of achieving in this world. That the vehicle for doing this is your body.
But you don’t care.
I don’t know what you want.
To be prettier?
To be thinner?
To be less chubby?
I can tell you how to accomplish these goals. But if you are not happy with who you are, no matter how the outside changes, you will never be happy.
You can always start over, but you bring yourself with you wherever you go.
The doctor doesn’t say you’re fat.
I don’t think your fat.
Who says you’re fat?
Your husband does not care. He says you look good.
Your mother would think you were fat if you were a sheet of paper from the side.
It is only you.
I cannot help you with this.

9:
God I would love to be thinner than her.
It would somehow be divine recompense for the years she yelled at us, took out her anger at us,
For not looking the way she wanted.
For the puking, and the food judging, for the snide remarks about bowls of chips.
It provokes the cat smile, doesn’t it? I could finally do something better than her.
Because she always has to be smarter, prettier, with a better looking man.
Just the one time, wouldn’t it be nice, to be first in something.
But I’m sure she could make me feel guilty for being fat in the first place.
And I’m equally positive I’ll never get in that good of shape.

10:
I call my mom for support.
I needed that support, and my sister cannot offer a shoulder to cry on.
She’s too harsh for that.
Harsh is a good word, I think.
I’m sure the love is there, but it is regulated, and used with a purpose.
My mom will tell me about all the suns and moons I am,
And babble at me when I need it,
To feel at home.

Ten Poems (10-02-17)

1:
Why is it that it’s so much easier to be the one liked more?
And once you know you like someone more than they like you, you cling.
I should speak for myself. I cling. I am cling. I am dryer sheet.
I want them to like me.
Maybe I should give up, and never like anyone again.
Or be less fat.

2:
I think the brain that decides it’s going to wear my skin while I’m on my period,
Has very different taste in men than I do.
It says, this one is safe.
Then this thought will appear, it says
I want to rest my legs on theirs.
But when I meet them the next day, I can’t figure out what it is about them
I liked.
And I think I’m the practical monster all over again.
She who only sees people as a means to scarcely allocated resources.

3:
They’re younger than me.
I didn’t think it mattered. I’ve always been on the other side of that.
But I sat at lunch today, in the cafeteriatorium,
They got all the names of all the country stars wrong,
And I was “never minded” by a guy younger than me for not answering immediately.
I wasn’t myself.
Because I can’t be myself at work and still have a job,
More so, though, to me, they’re still college kids,
Taking about how they learned something new that changed their lives,
And wondering why something can’t be said out loud.
I have more important things than that group, and I’m not sure that they do.
It’s like they haven’t hurt anyone yet, and they don’t know how much future hurt they’re already carrying around.

4:
My father is paying my offering money again.
When we were little, he would run down from the pulpit and hand us each a dollar,
Sitting there huddled in the first pew.
To put in the offering plate.
He asks me each week on the phone if I need money.
He sends me a dog-eared twenty and a five brochure folded in an old bulletin.
This week I put my cash in my white envelope, then in the heavy, rust flecked plate,
And it felt like I was sitting in the same pew all over again.
My father taking two seconds out of his important work to rush down the steps, and give his girls money to make sure they were part of the congregation.
Separating us from them and connecting us to others at the same time.
Like he’s always done,
Teach me how other people think,
And how everyone else is wrong.
He’s never been able to see from a smaller perspective, and he misses out on the insights idiots can make.
Which is why he never understood my embarrassment at having to be the one getting money from the dad’s last-minute pocket.

5:
Suddenly there seems to be so much time.
I wonder if, thinking back, we’ll say those were the days when we were young and silly,
Before we settled down. I’m so glad we settled down.
Or if, instead, I’ll think back to a minor thing I said while I wasn’t paying attention,
A relationship version of nicking a parked car with my sideview mirror,
A slipsecond of not paying attention,
That causes us to never speak again.
Maybe I’ll call you up, in twenty years to see how you are,
To see if you got what you wanted.
It’s turning over the next card in blackjack to see if you could have made five-under-twenty-one,
I want to check to see if I made the right decision, even if I can’t change it now.

6:
God, what did he say to me?
Hang on, let me find it.
I don’t ever want you to go. Hopelessly devoted I think I am.

My head processed the annoying grammar before it read the emotion.
I think he’s lying. But he doesn’t know he’s lying.
I don’t think anyone can predict their emotions like that.
But, the happy part of my brain says, what if he’s right?
That’s creepy, says me who learned that my terrible step-father only went on a first date with my mother after waiting outside her building for weeks.
He seems to like me?
Is this a self-confidence issue with myself? Do I not think people are capable of liking me?
I might have heard this before, but maybe those other cases don’t apply to this one.

We’re different social classes, which you don’t think is important, but it is.
But wait, I’m arguing about a different issues, instead of this one.
What is the issue?
I don’t know what to do about him liking me. And this makes it seem like he really does like me. Love me.

But that phrase gives me all the power doesn’t it?
He doesn’t want me to leave.
I like that.
But at the same time, I’m still more comfortable with the boy planning out the dates and taking care of me. It’s work to be the one in control.
I can’t have the power and still expect him to make the decision though? Can I?
Maybe it’ll be more nonsense he’s said with all the other things.
Or maybe he means it. Or maybe he doesn’t know how to say what he really feels?
I can’t know him better than himself though? Can I?

7:
Everyday I have to drive on a fast, crowded, four-lane twisty, hilly road to get to work.
They test teslas cars on that road.
In the left lane, I’ll be passing a gardening truck with hedges sticking out past my dotted line,
I have to take a deep breath to keep my hands steady. The cars coming south are inches from my mirrors around the curve, past the rich, tech-money houses.
The first time I drove it, I said I would smile every time I rode on it.
Now I wish it were a flat line.
I wish a mountain were a flat line.
That’s how much I dread work. I don’t want any more of my attention directed in that direction.

8:
My brain can’t stop telling me all the ways this could go wrong.
Over and over to be rejected by an automated resume-reading machine.
I want a nice job, one I don’t hate.
I should go back to school, be in debt, but happier in the long-run.
But I don’t have anyone to give me recommendation letters, and it’s too late to ask, and I haven’t taken the test, and I’ll have to wait a whole other year.
And I’m wasting another year of my life.
I’m mad at myself for not knowing what it is I want to do, for not taking the time to figure this out when I was younger. I want it to just happen, I want someone to make the decision for me. I don’t want this responsibly.
I paid my car insurance today isn’t that enough?

9:
My mother is coming to visit.
Suddenly I’m fat and slovenly.
My job is bad, and my clothes have holes.
I should have children already, read more, and wear more makeup.
I want her to buy me food, and not judge me.
That would be the perfect mom, wouldn’t it?
But very unlike my mother.

10:
She gets so angry, and I don’t know how to handle it.
It’s the same anger from when we were kids.
I have issues dealing with anger because of her, because of this.
I cower. Instantly. And it pisses me off.
I get yelled at for being angry, and she gets everyone to move out of her way.
She would tell you it’s because she’s great.
And I’m sure she is.
I just want her to go away, so I don’t have to put up a front all the time,
And have all my emotions just so in place.
My feelings don’t go in slots. And sometimes I have to feel them later,
There’s nothing wrong with me.
Don’t mock me for my feelings. I am right to have them. They are right to exist.
The reason this dialogue even exists in my head is because of you.

Ten Poems (09-16-17)

1:
Marc said he ran out of his script and has been without his meds for a couple of days.
He has a mohawk now. He tells me. While hiding in his girlfriend’s bedroom to avoid the fight she’s having with her temper-laden fifth grader.
He’s sharing to share, and because I’m there, available.
I say this as a point of pride, but probably because I’m afraid it’s not true,
That people share to me. I’m a non-threatening person. I’m not going to judge you,
Says something in my face. And it’s true.

2:
It is sitting at the same desk trying your best to emulate a machine.
To be paid, enough but not to spare, to do the same task ten-thousand times. To find information for other people, for other corporations to then sell.
And they want me to be happy? I do my job. That’s all they get from me. They don’t get me to care, or buy their products or ideas.
No.
I will do what you pay me for. I will go home. I will leave when I can.
Because I’m just a little more tired inside than I was the day before,
And I won’t be able to apply for new jobs tonight.
I don’t want to play these games for a giftcard. If you can afford to pay me more, than pay me more.

3:
I don’t give them enough time. We don’t do anything interesting.
This one sideburns, tallness, a nice voice, and a blue short-sleeved collared shirt.
At a dive bar where the pizza pans are better maintained than the building.
I don’t think he liked me. He had somewhere to be,
And I had to wait an extra twenty minutes to sober up from the one beer he bought me.
We ran into each other, but not to stay.

4:
I need to buy black markers to draw with,
And enough paper to stretch the world.
So I can listen to jazz and paint where it’s quiet.
In the sun, with windows, and air-conditioning and ice tea.

5:
I will ask him this week.
I will say,
Hey I like talking to you we should hang out this weekend.

No. I’ll be like my Dad.
So worried about everything going wrong and getting everything set, that I’ll forget to order food for myself, and I’ll have to share with what you ordered.

I think he likes me.
I want two tries for when it goes wrong the first time.
I bet it’s the age thing. I bet he doesn’t want to make a move because that gap. But I would be happy if he did.
Maybe he doesn’t like me, or I’m not pretty enough, or there’s something wrong with me.
Oh my god I’m being ridiculous.

6:
Open your mouth and tell our boss that you’re having debilitating cramps.
So what he might be embarrassed.
He’s not in pain. You are.
Tell him the problem. Tell him how it’s effecting your work. Tell him a solution.
Why are you embarrassed? Do you think you’re the first women he’s met with a period?
It’s blood. It’s your body. It’s who you are.

7:
He pushed my no.
And he couldn’t take a joke.
He didn’t know how to say out loud,
Please stop you’re hurting my feelings.
So he pushed my no, and I pushed his silence.
He hasn’t sent me another text after I thanked him for Saturday.

8:
This wonderful woman with purple hair streaks on her no longer gray hair
Tells me, why would I be embarrassed?
No harm.
So what.
She’s right.
Can someone message that information to my brain please? It’s not getting through.

9:
Please give me a dream.
I want something I want to do for the rest of my life.
Give me a calling.
Give me a home.
I’ll work so hard.
If you tell me I can succeed.
Please.

10:
My senior thesis would disagree with you.
I kid you not.
I was talking to stretch my mind.
And she says,
My senior thesis would disagree with you about that.
I don’t want to provoke the people I’m smarter than,
I don’t need to prove myself in that way.
But damn, maybe she thinks I agree with her because I stayed quiet.
You shouldn’t play games with drunk people’s minds, and you shouldn’t tease the easily angered. Maybe.

Ten Poems (09-10-17)

mostly about romantic relationships today

1:
I remember after the first time,
Thinking I should feel something different.
Thinking I should be thinking something else.
Instead of vaguely sick and uncomfortable.
And mostly bored.
How can you not see it on my skin the next day?
How does it not show on the outside what I’ve been doing.
Shouldn’t it be obvious to everyone?
I should be the drunk who’s worried he’s drunk at his kid’s basketball game.
But instead, I over-interpret certain looks from passing strangers,
And take too many showers.

My brain likes to spit back certain moments the next day, as I work through them.
I sat on my bed in my church dress and thought through whatever I was trying to think through.
I guess going over the memories again and again hoping to make sense of them, and relegate them to certain sections of my brain, so that they come when called, and not surprising unexpected, uncomfortable.

2:
I’m so much more used to forward people,
Like me.
(Is that a lie?)
Who tell me they want me.
And I feel safe then,
To be blunt like I like.
I want to be the one holding back.
Power. Or something.

3:
Jesus, what have I done?
I broke it off. Officially.
I used my words and said I couldn’t keep the door open romantically any longer.
And two days later he sends me a text,
He says he’s going to change, I’m going to notice a change.
Is he being manipulative again?
Am I his love coach for life now?
Bad for breeding. He was sick with crohn’s.
We were raised in different SES places.
I’m cold steel on the inside, don’t forget.

4:
Did I really call it off?
He was nice.
That’s all I keep saying about him.
He wouldn’t give me grief in the way I want.
It’s a different personality type than I’m used to,
So I don’t already know what bugs him,
And what turns him on,
Just because I’ve met his type before.
Is that why I wasn’t attracted to him?
I’m not attracted to the guy I was with yesterday, but he was forward, so that was fine.
I don’t really want to know what that says about me. I’m not going to over-think that one.
That thought has been relegated to the unopened file cabinet of my brain.

5:
How do we feel about short guys?
I’m not that tall.
But I’m taller than him without shoes on.
It shouldn’t matter right?
No. It shouldn’t.
But I’m finding small things about people again,
The small things mean I’m looking for an excuse out,
Instead of a reason in.

6:
I’m excited to see him.
Is he too old?
Am I imagining too far in advance.
I think the gray hair is cute.
This is the first time I’ve planned out a life with someone.
I get to come into this community of people who have thought these thoughts before.
Who try to plan to get phone numbers, and think of what children will look like.
It’s a first for me.
I really do like him.
My friend told me the biggest problem with ten plus age gaps is that you’re very rarely at the same point in your life.
What do you mean, I asked.
He said, someone wants kids, has kids, or wants to move.
One is ready to settle, and the other wants to travel.
I said I’m open both ways, I just want someone.
We both like the cold, isn’t that enough to build something on.

7:
I wonder if she loves him.
And that’s why she was so upset,
When he said he was starting a relationship with a co-worker.
She has a boyfriend. In Milwaukee.
He seems better than her.
I’ve met the type before. I wouldn’t be around her if not for him.
But they’re “good friends.”
I can’t tell him he’s better than his friends.
I don’t know what troll they’ve faced in a dungeon that’s forged their bonds.

8:
Curls and comfort,
And talking too much.
God I love curls.
He’s a furnace,
But he made me feel attractive.
Which I know I am,
But I still want to hear it every once in a while.

9:
I feel young,
Like I should be happy I still have a first left to feel,
And the novelty of newness still able to take up hours after I should have been asleep.

10:
I went to a church with my sister today.
We sat side-by-side like we did when we were growing up,
And my dad was in the pulpit.
I can’t remember the last time we sat alone in the pew bench together.
It was our dad’s church, small, old building, older chandeliers, oldest congregation.
But it was warm.
I don’t know how to explain it, other than warm.
The rhythm from my childhood was there,
And passing peace, and silent thoughts.
My sister said she was crying a lot,
How beautiful it is to see this group of people coming together to make themselves better for an hour. It’s not often anymore you can be in a building full of people who are good. Who you know are good.
I don’t go to church because I believe. And I told my friends I go because then at Christmas time so I don’t have to answer to my mother.
But I think it’s the rhythm that gets me.
The social aspect. I’m doing what I did the first twenty years of my life. It feels right.
I don’t have to agree with what the pastor says, or say every word of the confession of faith.
I can be in my own space again, know what will happen next, and be at peace.
Think thoughts I’ve thought before, but were just a little dusty.
God, the comfort, and the opportunity to sing as loud as I want.

Ten Poems (09-05-17)

i’ve been crying today. not really happy stuff below
1:
I ate my feelings today.
I ate broccoli cooked without butter,
And a spinach salad with honey dijon dressing.
Then hummus and cold pretzels, because they have to refrigerate both in those little packs.
I went to the store to buy special ice cream,
But when I got home, I was too sad to eat it.

2:
I can’t keep living with her, because she has to be the best,
The smartest, the thinnest, the right.
I can’t be myself here.
She doesn’t let me be angry,
This woman who says you have to get emotions out,
She makes me ashamed to be me.
I don’t want to explain myself when I get home,
I want to cry and eat potato chips with chopsticks so the salt doesn’t get on my fingers.

3:
I sat at my desk today and tried not to cry for eight hours.
Mark, I said, send me a happy update about your relationship,
He told me that sometimes they just look at each other and blush and giggle.
Isn’t that the cutest?
And then I tried not to cry some more.

4:
Me. I did it. I broke it off.
I said I needed clarity. And I got it.
Two shots. I gave him two shots.
And now for the first time I get to hear the phrases I didn’t think people really said out loud.
Please stay.
And
I want to go back to the way it was,
I’m really trying,
We keep coming back to this,
I’m sorry.

5:
I’m losing my bed.
As in the previous roommate changed her mind and decided in fact she did want the mattress and frame she left here.
So I’m spending my second paycheck in months on a new bed I probably won’t be able to take with me when I decide to leave again.
It’s just a bed. It’s just money.
Maybe I should’ve taken that offer of six hundred a month for a lakeside cabin on the island.

6:
I’m forgetting,
That I don’t have to be the prettiest to be human,
I don’t have to win every time to be happy.
It’s okay to do it wrong.
Sometimes you can do it all right, and it still won’t work.
My mom still thinks I’m great.
I don’t have to compare myself to anyone else,
I don’t have to say I’m better with people, or I can hike farther,
I can say,
I am me. I am good enough.

7:
I was being emotional,
So then there’s a reaction.
Useful, eh?
Can’t do it by themselves,
But oh man,
Raise a ruckus,
And guess who’s had hidden opinions this whole time?

8:
I’m pulling all the tendons in my brain away from the connections toward him.
Into myself.
I’ll hold to myself.
I’ll be safe.
I won’t need him, or rely on him.
I can again be self-contained. And share surface information only.

9:
I have a thought I take with me into work everyday.
If I make it to line 200 then I can think about how much fun tonight is going to be.
I can dream about seeing the guy with gray hair who I think is adorable,
Even if he’s too old for me.
Maybe we can talk again.
Line 202.
Just six more hours.

10:
We’re meeting for ice cream.
First date style.
I’m trying to be chill.
Stroll on,
As the guy on the radio told me this morning.
But what if he says we won’t work out because I call him on his mansplaining?
What if he has hair that I can see out the back of his t-shirt?
He could send me a cat emoji.
Or he could be cool.
I could be cool.
And he still wouldn’t send me another message.