Category Archives: dating

learn when to leave the table

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Our dinners together always had a sort of tv dinner feel. Perfectly contained portions of mashed potatoes, corn, mystery protein, and silence. A silence that never left us once the microwave was put to rest.

This silence wasn’t tender or quiet. It seemed to envelop with its sharp and loud vibrancy that radiated in the dull ache that made up the right side of my chest, screaming the word leave over and over again.

How could I leave him after all this time though? What was the point anyway — he was dependent on me, and I was dependent on being a good Christian…

Though it was never stated, I think the silence at our meals, at the intersections between the possibility of the present moment and the memory of his long-standing affair with his high school sweetheart, were mandatory.

My body would often engage in a gentle humming and swaying that my dear long-time table would join in with soft, scraping sounds that were always on beat. He stared down at his plate the entire time, which was fine with me. It saved me from having to see that same look he always seemed to have on his face in my presence — one of incredible emptiness and remorse.

It hurt deep in my soul how he could just turn it off and on, rushing silence out of the house, on the days our daughters or friends would come over to visit, sharing all the jokes he had heard on a recent sitcom, and looking at me with an intense look of love on his face.

I imagine that one day when I die young from a broken heart and go to heaven, he’ll write to our daughters shortly after I’m gone about his new girlfriend. He’ll say keep an open mind. Your mother, Celeste, and me were all best friends in high school.  The pain without your mother was just too much for me. She was my best friend, my love, for forty years. Celeste helps me to feel like I can go on. I know your mother is smiling down on us in heaven.

& since this is all made up anyway, I like to think that I am smiling down on them with a happiness that could never be too much for me, and that my dear table continues to make soft, scraping sounds on beat with their fuckery.

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Protected: love our darkness & our light

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cheery rainbow piece

***

The day he left we sat barefoot in the dirt, leaning against an orange
blanket, waiting. He dug his hand under my shirt, resting it
beneath my bra strap. He said he loved me. Or he called me beautiful.
They were the same to him.
I remember him smelling like laundry
detergent, his feet making lozenge
shapes in the dirt, and the tears,
his or mine, that crept into our kisses.

I loved listening to him breathe —
wheeze silence wheeze.
We would drink red wine or play scrabble or read Anne Sexton
poetry. Always Sexton — the only poet we could agree on.
“Maybe we would like each other’s poems,” I said,
my naked foot stroking his leg.
“No. You would see too much in mine, and
yours, yours, I’m afraid I would hate — cheery rainbow pieces,”
he said.

I saw his chapbook at a friend’s house today.
He wrote this love poem:
“The most important part, I guess
is that I love you –
the vulnerable way you can be at night
when you are falling asleep
and we hold each other
for the first time that day.
I’m tired of hoping
that you will become someone
new to me the following morning.
Someone worldly, or good for me.”

I tried not to see too much but my name was the title.

That night I wrote him a bedtime story:
“Maybe when you fall asleep tonight,
you can dream about yourself,
broken repeatedly then put back together —
a dream that includes everything you’ve
done to me. Maybe feeling what I feel
can change you.
Or maybe, just maybe, you can slip into
your sleep and stay there.”

Cheery rainbow pieces indeed.

–lissa

inspired by totally optional prompts


freddy’s back.


image: Freddy Krueger
by R_O_B_O

freddy’s back — well not really. i wouldn’t be stupid enough to let him back in.

i bumped into him a month or two ago in a bar. it seemed like he wanted to inhale me with his gaze. he had that same sneaky smile, giant gap still present. i avoided talking to him most of the night until he followed me out to my car.

you look nice, he said, hungrily. he talked about his living arrangements, his job status, his hopes for school. i tried to say as little as possible about myself.

then, he said the oddest thing. he brought up sushi. he said whenever he gets sushi he thinks about me.

um. call me crazy but i don’t find that flattering. maybe we did eat sushi together on one of our “dates” but still i don’t think of guys that i barely went out with when i eat something i had when i was with them.

imagine if i thought of john that i met at a journalism function when i ordered veggie burgers, or lester that i met at  school when i drink chocolate almond milk. and believe me i’m as sentimental as they come.

so anyway, i somehow managed to get into my car after twenty awkward minutes relatively unscathed.

i didn’t escape for too long though because a few days later freddy started texting me again. he uses words like “beautiful” and “great.” usually, i don’t respond. as tempting as it is, i don’t need attention from him to feel good about myself.

freddy doesn’t see my quietness as kindness though. his last text asked me “why is it that i text you and you don’t text me back?”

oh freddy. you just don’t get it, do you?

***

when i rejected freddy the first time, i said something i will never say to another man ever (actually, hopefully i won’t have to do any more rejecting). i told him that he would find somebody.

only now that i have recently been rejected and spoon fed that same line do i realize how patronizing and presumptuous it sounds. i winced when i read it in the email he sent me (yes, i am so cowardly that i could only make my feelings known through the internet.)

why after people are done rejecting you do they add this little annoying phrase? “you’re a great/special/wonderful girl meant for a great/special/wonderful guy and i have faith/i know you’ll find that guy one day.”

well thanks. that really made me feel better. compliment me after you reject me. that softens the blow. i’m so great/special/wonderful that you don’t want to be with me.

a wise pessimistic friend said it’s kind of like you have a delicious meal and you say gee this meal looks delicious/fantastic/incredible but i’m not going to have this meal. i’m not looking for good food. i’m sure there’s someone else though who will be interested in having this great meal.

a wise optimistic friend said it’s kind of like you have a delicious meal but you know you will not fully appreciate the meal or even finish eating it. so, you decide instead of wasting this perfect meal, i would rather pass on it and let someone else who would really enjoy it have it.

it’s up to you which side you want to take. i’m still debating.

— lissa