More, yes more, old stories, old lovers, old everything cleaned out from my Google Docs. We are not in 2014, and if we thought the decisions inspiring my fiction were bad then, well buckle up Buttercups. Ages 24 – 27 introduced some real characters into my life. Not sure we’ll hit all the highlights in this episode, but here it goes:

Like a Love Sick Puppy (12/8/14)

*One*

Ugh… Annie thought as she pulled out her phone and read the caller ID. 

“It’s him,” she explained, “again.”

“What does he want? It’s been what, seven, eight months? Doesn’t he get it yet?” Caitlyn questioned.

“I guess not.”

Annie ignored the call and looked across the Dunkin Donuts to where she first made eye contact with Phil. It had been three years this coming February. She had ironically been there with Caitlyn home from college for a random weekend. Caitlyn was two grades behind Annie after a messed up situation between her and the BOE. Caitlyn should have been at school with her but she wasn’t; it sucked, but it meant she was always home when Annie made her last minute trips back to New Jersey. Caitlyn had told her way back then to stay away from Phil, but as per usual Annie hadn’t really stopped to listen to reason. She was still paying for it. Her screen lit up bringing her back to the present. 

“Are you going to answer it?” Caitlyn snapped.

“Of course not!” Annie said with more bite than she meant to, “I haven’t spoken to him since May. It’s January, what would we even talk about?” 

Not that they had ever really talked that much. In the beginning the conversations were focused on when and how, but somewhere they had become friends. They had talked about music, friends, dogs, and Phil’s problems with The Man and The Man’s problems with Phil. It was only after Annie had truly tried her hand at a committed relationship with someone else that their conversations became protests from Phil about why Bill sucked, and the infinite ways he was better.  After Annie had managed to ruin her relationship, Phil had stated dating Mariana and their conversations became Phil begging for Annie’s “perfect pussy” among a hundred other inappropriate things. 

“Aright, I’m over this. Ready to get going?” Annie asked Caitlyn as she picked up her keys. It was her turn to drive.

“Yup!” she replied as she picked up her medium black iced tea with one Splenda.

Annie loved black coffee, but not as much as her large caramel lattes. Her hatred of artificial sweeteners was as great as Caitlyn’s hatred of coffee in general. In fact, if there were two things that Caitlyn could change about Annie’s habits there were her on and off again smoking and her mild codependency to caffeine. As much as Caitlyn couldn’t stand her best friends taste in guys, she had long learned to accept them.

As the girls headed toward the back entrance Annie felt her phone vibrating in her hand. She stepped to the side allowing Caitlyn to forge ahead through the door. Annie fumbled getting her latte and her keys together before pulling out her phone. Caitlyn had gotten to the exit first, and was holding the door opened for her friend when she both saw and heard the thump of Annie’s face meeting the unopened door. An inaudible grumble escaped Annie while she miraculously managed to hold on to the array of items balanced in her hand.

“Are you okay?” Caitlyn screeched as she dropped the door and leaped over to help Annie.

“Yeah. I’m alright.” She began to explain, “Surprisingly, slamming in to walls is less annoying than other things I bump into.”

Caitlyn followed her friend’s gaze until she noticed the black sports car that had just pulled into the parking lot.

“Is that what distracted you?”

“No… this” Annie explained as she showed Caitlyn her newest text:

            Yo.

“It’s like he knows everything I do.” Annie mumbled.  

It wasn’t like this was the only time he’d shown up where she was after he had sent her a text, or had tried to reach her after she had been venting about him. It didn’t matter to her what he wanted, as long as she could keep ignoring him. The two girls exchanged looks of exasperation and made moves for the door. Annie kept her head held up and remained über focused her burnt sky blue car. After what felt like a twenty minute walk to Linus (the Chrysler Seabring) Annie and Caitlyn settled into her car and buckled up.

“You remember that this is a non-smoking trip, correct?” Caitlyn said.

Annie loved Caitlyn, but sometimes she wanted to smack her in the face; in the nicest way possible, of course.

“Yes. I remember” Annie whinged. 

*Two*

“Victory!” Annie exclaimed as she thrust her first in the air. 

“I’m still confused as to how you always get a parking space; even at the Garden State Plaza,” Caitlyn questioned.

“I don’t know but we have shopping and story swapping to do, so let’s start making moves here.” 

After checking to make sure her keys were out of the ignition and into her purse Annie got out of the car. It didn’t matter how hard she tried, or how much enthusiasm she had, it always took her the longest to physically get out of her car. 

“I don’t get you; you tell me to make moves, and then you make me wait an eternity for you out here in the misting grossness” Caitlyn sighed. 

“You should know by now half of what I say to others is really just a verbal kick in my own ass” Annie smirked.  

She really couldn’t help it. She never tried to, but she almost always told her friends things she herself needed to hear without realizing it. Unlike her friends, she didn’t listen to her own advice; just her bad ideas. It was a wonder how she functioned at all. 

Baking Bullshit 101 (3.13.15)

Building a resume is like baking a tray of cupcakes… which is fucking impossible. I’ve been baking since the second grade, and I do enjoy a good cupcake, but for some reason making the perfect cupcake is not as easy as the TV or recipe books make it seem. Neither is building your resume. There’s a fine line between baking powder and baking soda; self-rising flour and non-bleached flour; lying and finding the right way to articulate whatever it is that you currently do.

Class Evasion (3.5.15)

Every once in a while high school memories creep up on me, which is hysterical since by the time I reached junior year of high school I was over the whole institution. I couldn’t have cared any less had I tired. For the senior video (the one where everyone walks out the front of the building and waves) I went to the bathroom, waited for the pre-video shoot assembly to start and then walked out to my car and bailed. I got in my minivan, lit up a Marlboro red, went to Dunkin and then headed to work early. The other day my mom and I were bullshitting when one of us brought up that time my report came in the mail and I had a few absences in all of my classes, except physics… in physics class I had 23 (or 32, I don’t remember which) absences.  

My mom, being the great parent she is, asked me why the hell it was that I had so many absences from one class. My reply was a truthful, if not completing deceiving one. I told her that my teacher was a really old man with white hair who was probably in his eighties and who couldn’t remember my name on a good day. Again, all of that was completely true, I mean, I’m not sure if he was actually in his eighties, but to a seventeen/eighteen year old he looked as though he should have been regardless of his actual age.  

That was years ago, now instead of being a selfish teenager, I’m a mostly independent young woman who has bills to pay, taxes to get done, and a condo to maintain.

(The punchline of the story I never finished is that man, my physics teacher whose class we confirmed I cut 32 times, that man? He ended up preparing my taxes for me. Apparently life after high school teaching includes working at HR Block)

A Piece of Gregor (3.25.15)

Gregor wasn’t sure what to do with himself. His mood matched the groggy, damp weather outside. Nothing seemed to be right, and he was starting to feel that it was he the was the problem. 

It seemed whatever he had been feeling the other day was the beginning of a cold and not a new chapter of happiness like he had suspected. Gregor was used to these waves of false hope, or so he thought. The parting of this wave was particularly hard to Gregor to stomach. The thought of it was enough to cause waves of nausea in erupt in his stomach.

Coke-A-Cola (5.21.15)

Kingsley had chosen to ignore the pit in his stomach when he reached out to Vino for financial assistance. Now, he wished he had listened. All his life Kingsley had his heart set on working in the hospitality business, but after being dropped like a hot cake from the club he proudly managed for 10 years Kingsley couldn’t stomach staying in the industry. instead, he returned to the grocery store where he had worked at on and off during his high school and college years. 

Even though he had money saved from his time working at Eaglenest Ridge it wasn’t enough to purchase the grocery store. Who had an extra $70,000 just laying around? Kingsley certainly didn’t, but there might be one someone who did… Kingsley remembered the first time that he had met Mark Vino. It was Kingsley’s first few weeks at the club and the old manager had left a complete mess. Kingsley was in his element stepping up to the plate and repairing relationships the previous manager left broken and hostile. Vendors had started answering the phone if Kingsley called from his office at the club, and a few had mentioned looking into promotional rates for anything Kingsley needed for the club, and some even personally. He didn’t doubt that if he had asked Mother Nature for a sunny afternoon after a rainy morning that the sun wouldn’t pop out by 12:05.

A Ring To Die For (5.2.16)

She had been waiting for this moment since their fifth date. Now, he was finally proposing. She couldn’t believe it. She had ended things a month ago. He had grown complacent, as she fell out of love. “Take me back. Marry me. Make me the happiest man once again,” he said as he knelt. “I can’t,” she whispered. His head dropped. He lunged forward and shoved something cold in her mouth. “Swallow it,” he growled holding her mouth closed, “along with my pride.” He released her. Her body slumped to the floor, as blood trickled from her bloated, purple face.

Cut from “‘Eye’ Loved You Til It Hurt” (1.7.17)

The whole birds of a feather thing. You can’t have a vulture and a swallow caged in the same room. Eventually one of them is going to get hungry and it won’t be the cute swallow the ends up feasting for days.

Creepy Bar Guy 2/Birthday Cigarettes‘ Predecessor (1.10.17)

He stood there deathly still sending an uncomfortable vibe throughout the bar. The bikers, the college girls, the nine-to-fivers, and even those tending the bar all discussed this man amongst their own groups. It wasn’t just that he was dressed in all black from his boots to his necklace all encased in a black leather trench coat. It wasn’t just his ponytail – complete with shaved sides, his long jet black hair had been section of into thirds and poofed in the front. It wasn’t just his tattoos and piercings that cover his neck and face. It was all of that topped by his stance at the bar. His seemingly unblinking, not breathing, not flinching mannequin stillness. Lifeless – everything about him seemed lifeless. What made the whole thing more bizarre was that when he did move it was completely linear and in 90 degree angles. He seemed inhuman. A lifeless, in human body – tall and shrouded in black. For someone that remained entirely removed from everyone and everything he penetrated every group with his unnerving presence. What no one knew, or cared to find out, was that he was there for a purpose. The man at the bar scanned the room from each side. He was gifted with the curse of only having peripheral vision. He searched until he found his targets. 

William had been noticing Mary for months. Her long chocolate cherry brown hair, her smile, her enchanting gray eyes… he noticed the different ways her hands expressed her thoughts, and the ways she walked. He noticed how her mood affected the way she moved her hair. How when she was stressed or unsure she wrapped it around her hand, when she was focused she would wrap it and twist it into its own hair-tie free bun. Her hair flip when she was happy, the way she pulled it to one side, over her shoulder when she felt skinny, but would tug on the ends when she felt worried. He noticed. He noticed when she started noticing him.

Cuts From “Vicious” (1.22.17)

“S’cuse me,” I piped up. “I have a question,” I asked in my smallest voice. The bitchy one rolled her eyes and her head in the opposite direction, but the sidekick made eye contact. I inched closer to them, holding the coffee I had just found over the rich bitch’s over-sized, overpriced bag.

Aside from the fact that nothing this girl said made sense, she was bragging about something that she wasn’t even doing right. Feelings or not, there is this thing called personal pride. I can’t cook. So naturally, I don’t walk into my friend’s kitchen and start telling her how to make her friend-famous mac and cheese. Not because I’m a nice person, or respectful, but because I can’t cook. No matter what I do, her homemade mac and cheese will always be better than mine. How embarrassing it would be for she and I, if I started dictating the recipe to her and it came out worse than burnt, bloodied asshole?

Untitled (3.18.17)

It would have been better to over hear you making out with another girl than to hear your private conversation. Hearing your sniffle, your pleading voice. The same words you spoke to me not so long ago that I can’t still hear them in my head. Your cavalier attitude toward your deepest darkest secrets being discussed in what can be best described as an amphitheater reverberated through my heart like an earthquake.  It left a lot to be desired, mainly that you would say anything to tell my guts they were wrong.

A Broken Poem (10.12.17)

A “scientifically proven tweet” once “twot” that writers under the influence of alcohol are able to write “better” pieces than normally. Apparently that scientific study took “drunk words are sober thoughts” to heart. But what if they’re wrong? What if they’re all wrong? 

What if your abuser is the love of your life? 

What if they’re not and they murder you? 

What if drunk words are sober thoughts?

What if they’re childish misunderstandings? 

The amount of worlds that could be built around what-ifs are astronomical… 

what if there has never been an original story idea since Shakespeare? 

What do we do then? 

Do we stop trying? 

Do we cease to exist? 

Do we restart so one more hero can set the stage for centuries to come? 

Does that make William Shakespeare a literary Jesus Christ (the son of God, not a dope carpenter)? 

Do we yield to society and social confides? 

Do we stop progression?

Do we stop thought? Or do we live in a cycle so routed elsewhere that we give into its pull without our awareness, our consent, or our choice? 

What happens when we die? 

What happens when we live without life? 

What happens when we live? 

Do we fall into a perpetual existential debate or crisis? 

Or do we stop. Just stop. Just. Stop. 

Why can’t we live in the moment? 

The past is a learning tool, and the future is unknown. 

Why can’t we make each day count? 

Why. Can’t. We. Just. Be – 

Be positive

Be men

Be women

Be ourselves

Be androgynous

Be whatever the fuck we want to be 

Does that include a murderer? 

Be whatever the fuck we want to be 

Does that include a rapist? 

Be whatever the fuck we want to be 

Does that include what society dictates us to be? 

Be happy. 

Be happy. 

Be happy. 

Be happy. 

No other words will ever mean more – not what my mother taught me

If he’s a beast before he marries you, he will remain one after

– not what my mother taught me

All anyone can ask of you is your best

– not what my mother taught me

Marry a man who loves his mother – but not in the Elvis way

– not what my mother taught me

Marry a man who knows what a prince and lover ought to be

– not what my mother taught me

All of life’s lessons come from two places – The Wizard of Oz and The Bible

– not what my mother taught me

In the end only kindness matters

If we were all happy… 

if we were all happy, and true to ourselves, and honest, and selfless, maybe, maybe, maybe “be happy” would be enough. 

But is it? 

Who knows? 

Not some twenty-seven white girl wine wasted on a Thursday.
Not stereotypes

Not hatred

Not fear

Not doubt

Not murder, molestation, monarchy, mothers, mandates, memorandums, 

NO

No.

No one knows.

So be happy.

Be kind

Be you. 

Always be you. 

____

Be U: 

A Not-Broken Girl: Herself

Be the you you want to meet

Be the you you want others to be

Be the you you know

Be the you you are

Be you. 

Always.

Be.

You.

Tied Up in Knots (10.12.17)

She pulled as hard as she could, but she couldn’t feel anything. She had been learning to tie ropes from volunteering with a local Pack, but no matter how perfect the knot, no matter how strong the rope, it never hurt enough. How can something hurt if you don’t feel it? Really feel it. How can something physical hurt nearly as much as something in your head? There is no sound logic. Just a simple “crazy girl” diagnosis. A diagnosis prescribed to someone who cared too much, felt too much, cried too much, or fucked too good too much. 

You never have to accept the labels the world gives you, but what if you agree? What if… this is stupid.

Untitled 2 (11.18.17)

“I have to see him,” she said in a raspy plea, as she clutched her hands over her heart, “please… I just have to s- ” 

“He is in no condition for visitors,” the doctor interrupted her, “the surgeon is on their way. Maybe after -” 

“Maybe after,” she screamed, “what if there is no after?” Throwing her arms open, she pushed past the doctor, the force of her walk sending ripples through his long white coat. Without any hesitation she barged through the hospital door. Her shriek escaping through the ajar door. The doctor thrust his clipboard toward the nurse, grabbing the door as it attempted to seal shut. 

“I told her no. Get security” he said firmly to the nurse as he strode into the room, “just in case.”

The door sighed behind him. His patient’s fiancée kneeling on the floor at the foot of his bed. 

“The blood,” she sobbed, “why is there so much blood?” The pleading whine had returned in her voice through the tears. 

“As you know, he was in an intense accident,” the doctor lectured as gestured to the entering security guards to help the woman off of the floor, “his arm has been severed. To what degree, I am unsure. The surge-”

“His arm,” the woman whispered as her legs trembled. Her weight supported by the officer. Her hair slid away from her face as she lifted her chin toward her fiancé’s body. “His a- a- aaacch,” she stuttered as she lurched forward, vomit cascading from her mouth onto the floor, specs spattering up the bedside linens.

“CCCUUUUUUTTTTT,” the director’s voice boomed out when the woman’s dry heaving had subsided. “Charlie, that was great,” Joe said hopping off his director’s chair, tossing his clipboard where his butt had previously been sitting. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.