Morning is Broken

{I was searching for the sketch I did of the nightmare I recalled in my last post when I came across some assignments I saved from college. This one was supposed to be recounting part of a normal day in the minutiaist style of James Joyce’s  Ulysses. It gave me the most powerful flashback to the morning I recounted that I thought I’d share it here.}

The mirror bids me good morning as usual. Nightshirt off. Panties on. Good morning to the closet of a bedroom and ugly white walls covered in black and white photos of other people kissing. Good morning to the spots on my face, too small breasts, too wide hips. And now a head of hair that’s about eight colors because I can’t leave it alone. Idiot.

     …ugly. Say it, say you’re not good enough. 

     I’m not good enough. 

     That’s right. You’re lucky, aren’t you? So lucky I keep you. 

Stop it. Stop.

A shake of the head. Hands ball into fists far too late to act as any real defense.

     Don’t think of him. 

A sigh. Stomach flat. Edge of a hip. Okay. Better. A turn. Cellulite.

…not good enough….not good enough….not good-STOP! 

Debating breakfast. I run hands over the straight lines of my collarbones, down arms, almost skinny enough. Grip breasts. Fuck it. Shower.

After the shower, it’s quiet. Anna is asleep still. Elyssa gone. Dance probably. Theatre major. Daisy… probably upstairs in her boyfriend’s bed.

Lonely. Still and lonely.

There’s a tiny patch of sunlight that hits the corner of the living room. It glints off the edge of a bit of fingernail clipping, caught in the buzzcut carpet. Silver polish. Not mine. Should vacuum. Swear I’m the only one that cleans. But that’s all right.

I don’t mind. Keeps my mind busy.

     You’re everyone’s mum then. 

     Not really. 

     You are. But it’s endearing. 

THERE’S a happy thought. Daniel. Lips. Hair. Eyes. Voice. Accent. Hair on his chest. Man. Man. Love. Eyes. So new.

     They’re hazel. That’s what you were wondering. I saw it. 

Movie theater. Valentines Day. Walking home. Hollywood after dark. Down those streets a thousand times but not with him. Hands, laced in the dark. Lips. Chest. The curl of brown hair, chest, stomach, lower. God, how I love…

   …the way “Robo-Cop” sounds with an English accent. 

I sit in the patch of sun. Wedge in next to the sliding glass door, press my back against the wall, heartened by the feeling of my vertebrae pricking my skin from the inside against the plaster and at the same time hating that the feeling cheers me up slightly. I brush my hair, eyes closed. Copper tipped bristles scrape my scalp. The sun’s glowing warmth hits a shoulder and a hip first. Spreads from the points. It’s the wrong angle to be hot, just the sensation of being touched by light. A hum starts in my throat.

No one’s around to hear. Lonely and still. Quiet, so quiet. It’s not that bad.

Two sips of whisky in the flash but I’m not gonna drink it

Swear I’ll make it last til we’re

Drinking out of the same glass again

The rythm of my brushing keeps time to Passenger tunes.

Ahhh Passenger. 

Daniel, Daniel. Where’s my phone? Eyes open. Done with the brush. I stretch in the sun. Curl my toes like tender leaves of grass in a breeze.

My legs are skinny at least, thought they look sickly and pale in the direct sunlight. I can see every tiny blue vein through the vellum I’m made of. Blue. Wormlike. No one will love you. My skin is so easily broken. I’m made of tissue paper.

I’m still in my towel. And I’m sure I should getting off to somewhere. Class perhaps.

Who am I kidding, of course class. I’ve missed far too many days already.

Dress. Leggings. Shoes. Eyeliner. Halfassed and smudged. Powder. Nothing else. I might have a date tonight and that calls for the full nine. Though I get the impression that this one wouldn’t mind if I skipped the makeup. Simplify simplify. Maybe that’s why I l-ike being around him.

Though the sand may be washed by the sea.

The old may be lost in the new

Four will not wait for three

I like my voice at least. Soft, husky, good ear for pitch.

Class. Too hot. Took the stairs and am out of breath. Sitting against the wall, my own misshapen citadel, I fan myself  with the yellow legal pad I keep with me for my lists. And the letters.

Daniel: I miss you. Is that selfish? Very well then, it’s selfish. You’ll never read this. 

     You’ll never know…

     I love him, I love him. It’s pointless. He’ll just go back to England. But I love him. 

Check the ipod, finally. I have to wait. Can’t just check it constantly. Have to have some boundaries. Inbox. Empty. Refreshrefreshrefresh. One message. Not him. Leave it. Glance up. Professor’s chatting. Down again, reach for the watch I left on the bathroom countrer. Stupid. I crane at the clock and feel hideously rude. Two minutes left.

Refreshrefreshrefresh.

Nothing.

     Three never waited for two. 

     Though you will not wait for me

Scratching a heart on the corner of one yellow sheet in pencil. Graphite smudged on my fingertips. Scratching it out again.

     I’ll wait for you. 

Stomach growls. I pretend it’s upset. It is, but for the lack of foord, rather than what sort. Tap my foot, tap the tip of my pencil against the desk. Tap the toes inside my shoe. The usual anxiety building. I should focus on something else.

     I can’t take this deep slow panic. 

     Teach me, teach me not to dream

     Dream deeply

Tap in time to the shift in soundtrack.

Professor. Erin. I call her Erin. Even when I’m not in class. Hands me something. Journal. Never know if I’m doing these right. Wish I could compare with other people. But I don’t talk to them.

What? My hair. I touch it.

It doesn’t look bad.

A grin.

Thanks. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

I cling to the wall. I needed that. Shouldn’t have dyed it. Shouldn’t mess with it. Why do I bother trying to be pretty? Why. But she was kind.

She’s always kind. I wonder if she knows.

Orientation. 3? 4 years? English advising. Saw the tattoo on her wrist. Her smile the first that didn’t make me want to hide under a table. Or run. No more school. Please no more people.

I sat to her right. Or left? So long ago. Only her face left, her wrist. It’s the little things that stick. Most important.

Maybe I won’t be weird here. Maybe… 

She’s my favorite. Role model. Something. Has been since day one. Never told. How would I even go about doing that? So infinitely awkward. I don’t keep my mouth shut enough as is. Maybe at graduation.

You kept me here. 

     I just wanted to be like you. 

Erin, green gem of the silver sea, or at least hope for a place where I’d be comfortable in my skin.

One minute to class time. Attendance poll. The routine.

Blergh

I like class. What I don’t like is leaving my closet of a room. The bathtub, no water, knees to chest, huddled. It’ll be okay. It’s okay. I’m okay. Class is great. Rooms are too big. The walk there too open. Too many people. Like cattle lowing and ambling from one pen to another.

Let the day begin.

Refresh the inbox one last time. One message. Him. Wrong him.

Subject: YOU

Body: need to get back to me. You don’t get to do this. YOU are MINE. Call me. NOW.

-M

And this routine’s back.

 No one else will want you, say it, say it. 

Don’t think of him. Don’t. Don’t. Ipod away. Hiding. Routine. Fear. Loathing. Also routine.

Face in hands. Phone lights up.

New message from: Daniel

Temptation. Class has technically started. But I need this. I need this.

I can resist anything but temptation. Just a peek.

Morning angel. Walk with me tonight? It might rain : ) xx

Worth it. I do love walking in the rain. So does he. And his umbrella’s a perfect fit for two.

Nobody else will want you, say it, say it SAY IT you are MINE….

Morning angel…

I’m nobody who are you? Are you nobody too? Well there’s a pair of us, don’t tell…

Phone away. NOW the day can start.

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I went on a date…

What the heck, right?

Unless you read the last ramble about how I’m inept in the romance department. In which case you knew about all this.

So now like some weird, less fashionable, less horse-faced Carrie Bradshaw let me tell you about my experience.

The son of my high school History teacher asked me out last week. As I mentioned before, we have a TON in common and have been aware of each other for years, just never really spent much time together or really talked until he started being all up on my social media starting about a month ago.

My problem is this: I feel NOTHING for him. Cognitively I know we like the same movies and tv shows, our upbringing and families are similar. I was good friends with his sister in high school. He goes to church but doesn’t seem super serious about it, so that matches up. He work out daily, as do I. He likes animals. We can nerd out and drool over food together. It’s great. On paper, we’re perfect.

We had a great date on Saturday. We started out going to the Arboretum at our old university campus but it was closed off for some reason so instead we trekked all over campus revisiting the old sculptures put out by the college of art. We talked, we laughed. We spontaneously went to a movie. Then he took me to dinner.

I had a really good day. I felt happy. We work well, together. I had a very low level of anxiety being around him. HOWEVER, it seems to stem from the fact that I don’t care. Which is a problem.

I talked to all of my friends leading up to this date. I actually started thinking that maybe I should call it off. I don’t want to lead him on. I’ve been led on. I don’t want to do that to someone else. Everybody seemed to be of the opinion that I should give him a chance. That I might like him if I’d take the time to think of someone outside of my massive Viking-related crush. So I did. I resisted the urge to cancel the date and I had a good time.

We came back to my apartment and finished the last couple episodes of Daredevil and then I subjected him to Archer. He kissed me.

That’s all that happened. There wasn’t even any attempted second base action, just kissing, and hand holding; it was very PG. He’s a good kisser, aside from the fact he rocks one of those stubble-goatees so I kept getting jabbed in the face. He’s also very attractive. He’s athletic, with strong arms and shoulders, a hard, flat stomach, and that V that cuts down his hips and into his jeans(I’ve seen pictures, no live action, it was PG!); he’s droolworthy, really.

I just don’t care.

I started making lists in my head while kissing him, thinking of other things, other people, other places. I just zoned out.

I don’t want him. I know we’d make a good team but I don’t want him, no matter how hard I try to make myself and I don’t feel like wasting time with some distraction. I also definitely don’t want to lead him on.

I also don’t want to shoot something potentially healthy and functional in the foot without giving it a chance, though. So I’m torn.

HE seems really into ME, though. I’m having trouble keeping him at arms length.

Besides that I keep comparing him to the Viking.

I CARE about the Viking. I find little things he does so perfectly adorable I can’t put it into words. I stare off into space dreamily when I think of him and my friends notice. I feel safe with the Viking.

He’s not cut like an athlete. He’s older, and softer. He doesn’t have that metrosexual snappy-dresser thing down like my date. He’s sweet and funny, not dashing and charismatic. On paper the Viking should be inferior.

But I want him.

So I’m stuck and confused and this would all be SO simple if I could just flat say all this to the men involved and get straight answers and understanding out of both of them, but that’s not the way the world works, so I guess I’ll just suffer.

Hooray.

MBTI: the new dating profile!

I have this friend. He’s a new friend. He’s a guy friend.

If we get really specific he’s a friend of a friend I’ve danced with a few times.

He messages me every day trying to get to know me and his game is obvious, even for your favorite Queen of Insecurities here. He flat asked me out once but I legitimately was out of town that day (unlike this other time, with this German kid, sorry, story for another day).

Sadly, I have no interest at all. I would like to keep him neatly packed into the friend zone, but he messages me every day without fail and apparently everything he hears just makes him more persistent. He follows me on every form of social media and whenever I post something new, I get a message.

“Hi Tais. I noticed your post on IG where you posted a Bastille lyric under a photo of your cat. What kinds of music do you listen to?” (He hasn’t actually sent me this exact message, yet, but I have definitely posted my cat on Instagram with a loosely related Bastille lyric for the caption. I AM that girl).

I answer him, and try to be brief as possible to help him get the hint, but I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

I don’t want to ignore him, that’s rude and also just REALLY obvious. And rude.

I also don’t think continuing to answer his questions is doing us any good either.

So because I’m a fail, this will probably continue on for a while yet, but the point of all this is not how hard I fail in the old romance department.

The point is, the other day one of his questions was, out of nowhere: Tais, what’s your MBTI personality type?

In the words of Dave Barry I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.

I copy and pasted it from Facebook (minus my name) to make sure it was identical, punctuation and all!

Is that a weird question for anyone else?

I studied Psychology for a while so to me, it seems hyper-clinical and invasive and just a weird thing to ask of someone you weren’t actively head-shrinking.

For those of you unaware: the MBTI stands for “Myers Briggs Type Indicator” and its a questionnaire that categorizes your personality into one of 16 types based on how you use your perception and judgement. You can read more on it here and take a free version of the MBTI here. Its fun.

Sorta.

If no one is demanding that you share your type with them.

The two times I’ve taken the MBTI, I never shared my results with anyone other than my best friend and that was because she knew me so well she could guess or probably answered everything on my behalf with the same results.

Sharing a personality indicator to someone who is mostly a stranger? Horrifying. Not doable.

Where is the line of appropriate when it comes to trying to date someone?

I used to get snippy when people asked my race at bars.

It’s apparently an acceptable pick up line. “What are you?”

I’d get confused, they’d explain “well clearly you’re mixed but what are you?”

I’m sorry mofo, last time I checked I’m a human being and don’t really see any reason to give you a freaking lecture on my genealogy. Especially since you’re too drunk to appreciate it.

So my usual takeaway from that line is “Does my face look THAT weird?” Which I’ve yet to ask anyone. But I may some day. Would THAT be inappropriate?

I’ve had guys tell me I have a dimple in my cheek and it’s a good place for a dimple. Which isn’t offensive or intrusive, but is still pretty weird.

The list of weird approaches to hitting on girls goes on and on and I just do not understand the process behind most of them.

Maybe I just don’t understand men.

I mean CLEARLY I don’t understand men, but basic social convention was something I thought I had a handle on.

Psychological profiling as courtship, though?

Not the way to go in my book.

Girls are Creepy

Last night my roommates were comparing notes on guys they’d met Blues dancing with me and things… well… We’ll say things got a wee bit out of hand.

Now, I will freely admit, I am the resident internet stalker. I have found every form of social media on a man just knowing what he looked like, and where he was one night. No name. Just a face and a temporary location.

When I was on Exec board for my sorority in college and girls were potentially cyber bullying someone for calling them on breaking House Rules, I was the one called in to hunt down ambiguously-named Twitter accounts and screen cap evidence for Judicial Board hearings. I had a list of a dozen girls found in under 2o minutes. Personal best.

That being said, I thought this was a specialized skill and that I’d been getting better at it over the years.

Now I’m thinking I haven’t been so much honing my skills over the years, as the internet is just making it increasingly, horrifyingly, easy to find all sorts of information about people you barely know. Cue my hiding in the bathtub and never emerging.

Last night, my roommate found the LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Myspace of the guy she was internet stalking. Now, that’s pretty standard stuff, I’m sure. It’s social media, after all, LinkedIn is for workplace networking and head hunting. Easy to find. Easy to access.

She also found street photos of his home address, a school-based interview with him from when he was five, an obituary for his grandfather, and his dad’s cell phone number.

WHAT?

She wasn’t the only one stalking people last night.

I found some old high school info on a guy. Where he works. Various places he frequents. From the info I found on some old local articles I was able to calculate his age.

We were giddy with power, fingers flying over the keys, shouting out each new sliver of truth we discerned on these poor helpless fellows who have no way of knowing the bubbling kettle of madness they’ve landed themselves in.

At one point, giggling, Dee piped up, “But wait! Wait! You guys! When you see them again, you’re going to have to pretend you don’t know any of this!”

“Old hat.” I responded. Kay shrugged it off as well.

This is normal to us.

You see a guy. He’s cute. You talk to him, he’s nice. You go home and find every last speck of information the internet has to offer on him, make up your mind who he is, then strategically draw the information you already have out of him the next time you see him. It looks like a great conversation from his end, and is really an enormous track-covering sham.

THAT’S how we start relationships.

I justify this by saying I’d like to know if a potential flame was a child-murderer BEFORE I waste my time enticing him over.  But if we’re being honest, I’ve stalked the absolute pants off of every last one of my exes and nowhere did it say they were psycho-abusers, stalkers, drunks, or goldfish perverts (don’t ask). So clearly this method is flawed.

WHY do I do it then?

WHY does every girl I know do it?

What is so wrong with just finding my chill, waiting until I see him (I CANNOT keep calling him ‘Senpai’) on Saturday and talking to him. I could even add him on Facebook. We have a mutual friend and he’s listed as “Going” in the event page for the dance we met at. Normal info, a normal person would have access to and be able to act upon.

This is exactly what is wrong with dating.

For all the vast stretches of information available to us through technology these days, it seems only to make it harder to be up front and real with each other.

We would rather infinite scroll through someone’s Instagram and read an article on their Elementary school than spend time WITH the other person deciding whether we like them.

Its horrible.

But much as I want to stop, I’m not sure I can.

A big part of this (for me at least) is fear.

I’ve fallen into “checking up” on guys I date through social media.

Nothing good has ever come from it. I found I was being cheated on this way. Twice. I found a guy I was dating still lived with his ex girlfriend and that they did everything together when he wasn’t with me. Nothing. Good.

So now I START each potential relationship off finding every way I can stalk him if we DO have a relationship. I start things off suspicious. Where is the room for trust to grow? I am ruining my own chances.

I’m also protecting myself.

This is the problem. It’s not clean cut and I don’t know the answer.

This, like every other part of my love life is messy and tangled and I probably have no business alining anyone else with my bullsh*t.

But if someone wants to put up with it, I won’t say no.

Because while I am super messed up in a LOT of ways, I know I’m also kind of special as well. I know I’m a great cook, a passionate lover, and kind of funny in a warped way. I have excellent taste in music, a good singing voice, and I’m not exactly bad looking.

I think that’s how it goes for most girls.

We’re creepy.

But probably if you were as interested in us as we were in you, you’d figure out we’re kind of special and we more than make up for it in other ways.

We’re freaking unicorns is what I’m saying.

Unicorns with wifi.

That Other Story

You know, the one from last time I said was a long story? About how I accidentally told my current flame I love them?

It’s really not that long; just embarrassing, really.

This guy and I were dating casually for a year or so. He cancelled our plans on my birthday, I got mad, he realized I was way too serious, he called things off.

He came back some months later. Started talking again. Apologized. He’s back in my life.

Kind of.

During a text message conversation (which I could probably pull up, screen cap, and post here except I really just can’t be bothered right now) he said “you love me.”

I’m an idiot.

Flash back to when he dumped me in Jan 2015. I wrote him a letter. Which I then sent to his apartment, assuming he probably wouldn’t get it because I HAD TO TEACH HIM HOW THE GODDAMN POST WORKS (he’s foreign, it’s not his fault, it was cute, moving on). In that letter was the following bit:

I sincerely doubt I’ll get to tell you in person now, I just wanted to write to say I love you. You ARE an adventure. You DID change my life. And I hate that I misread things and spoiled something that used to be so easy.
I’m not going to ask you to come back to me a third time, but know that if you decide to, my door is open. At least to talk. 

I would like to take this moment to reiterate that I am an idiot.

Now flash forward to me telling you he never got the stupid letter.

But when he said “you love me” I assumed he knew and read the letter, so I responded with “yes, but I don’t see how that matters” to try and play it cool, to which he responded “yes it does” but didn’t really catch what I meant. I didn’t catch that he wasn’t aware of the subtext and we went about our business until the next time he innocuously and colloquially said “you love me.”

Witness the horror that ensued.

Him: you love me

Me: Yes, and?

Him: Just saying

Me: Shouldn’t have told you. It’s clearly gone straight to your head.

Him: No. I know its the hair

Me: See. That is exactly what I mean.

Him: No I mean I know its not me its the hair.

Me(not having caught on yet): No I mean that’s exactly what I mean by it doesn’t matter. You don’t take it seriously.

Him: You don’t actually love me (mouse emoji)

Me (still not getting it): don’t be shitty.

Him: I’m not.  There was a question in there, I didn’t know.

The most obtuse freaking idiot ever (Me): You didn’t know what?

Him: That you thought of me that way.

 

BOOM.

 

And that children, is why you should always have face to face conversations where you can read the context of the situation.

Also: never write sappy love letters they have never done anything but leave material evidence.

I’m sure someone, somewhere out in West Hollywood, whips my letter out at parties for a good laugh whenever they so please.

Good lord.