Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Everything is possible

Do you know what is impossible?
It is impossible to hug someone across an ocean.

Do you know what is impossible?
It is impossible to stop another's tears when your own won't cease.

Do you know what is impossible?
It is impossible to say the right thing when you already know your words are helpless.

Do you know what is impossible?
It is impossible to imagine someone else's grief when you are mired in your own.

Do you know what is impossible?
It is impossible to grieve for one without re-living the grieving you have done over others.

Do you know what is impossible?
It is impossible to hold someone's hand, to hold them close, to look them in the eye from across an ocean.

Do you know what is impossible?
It is impossible not to feel helpless, completely and utterly helpless, in the face of death.

Do you know what is impossible?
To understand that someone is irrevocably gone. That is impossible.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

This is So Real

The second meeting of the family. The faces were familiar this time, the hugs even warmer, the kisses even closer.

Hey Blondie!
This is TC's... wife? Fiance? Just kidding. Girlfriend... for now.
That's why we all say, you're a keeper!
TC, bring her by before you go to the airport tomorrow, okay?
Lauren, my grandmother is looking for you.

And the kicker. We were at dinner. He got a text. His mother.
"I brought grandma's ring to give to you. You can have the diamonds re-set and give it to Lauren."

He showed it to me. "Look what my mom said." He shook his head, a little smile. I asked what he replied. "I told her to keep it until I'm ready." Very logical. As always. We didn't speak of it again.

I want to marry him. We talk realistically about it all the time. But that tiny ring, that little band of gold with some sparklers resting in it, made it so real. A tangible thing. Proof of a never ending commitment. It made my stomach tighten up and a silence settle over the table. It doesn't scare him... it scares me.

He drove me to the airport the next day, and I cried a little for the end of our blissful vacation and a little for how much I'd miss him while I was home and he was here.

A thoughtful silence filled the car, and then he asked, "What do I do with the diamonds? Have them re-set?" For one brief second I let myself picture it happening, a random Tuesday while I made tacos in sweatpants and an old tank top, and he danced around to Michael Jackson behind me. He'd say, "Hey, Lauren?" I'd turn around and he'd be there, on his knee, with the sparklers. And I'd be happy. I'd be so, so happy.

The ring. It means fear and happiness all in one. And it just got a little more real.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Meet and Greet

A year and some months later, I'm finally meeting his friends. His group of high school buddies that played JV soccer together with silly nicknames on their jerseys. What started as a small gathering over dinner, us plus three of them, has ballooned into an eight person affair with an acquaintance who wasn't originally invited (awkward) and another girlfriend (thank god).

If the three potential outfits packed in my bag don't already give it away, I'll come out and say it. I'm nervous. What do they know about me already? How will the conversation flow? Should I buy lots of drinks? And. The one that all the others stem from. Will they like me?

A seems to think so. I guess we will find out.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's a Romantic Weather Report Part 2

Yesterday morning, 8:07am: "Pouring bring umbrella."
This morning, 8:13am: "I love you and I miss you. It looks warm out but it's very windy and cold. Please wear a coat."

These would never be lines from a love song. But it's what reminds me every day that he's the one.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Car trouble

"Okay ma'am, we'll send someone out there within an hour. If the car starts, you will have a 49.99 service charge, and if not, that charge will be removed. We'll have them call you when they get there so you don't have to stay outside."

I grab my lower lip between my teeth as I walk the five minutes back to my apartment from the parking garage. I look firmly at the floor as I trudge down the hallway. I collapse on the sofa and suddenly I'm a shuddering sobbing mess, wrapping my arms around myself, unable to stop the tears.

It's just a car that won't start. Who knows, things happen with rental cars. It's no big deal, sometimes the battery just runs low. It'll be okay. I know. I know. I know.

Except that for the past three days I've been having nightmares about car crashes that hugely amplify the actual crash. Except that this is a rental replacement because my car is in the body shop. Except that I have a police report and an insurance deductible that loom up as soon as I open my eyes from that nightmare. Except that it took me an hour to even screw myself up to the point where I could go out to the rental car at all.

And I have things to be thankful for: nobody was hurt, the damage is fixable, nobody was hurt. It was really not a huge thing after all. Accidents happen. I know I know I know I know I know.

But the rental car not starting today has just dipped this day in abysmal doom and I can't seem to pull myself together. The tears won't stop no matter how hard I hug myself. And all I want to do is to curl up in bed and hope the building collapses on top of me.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Falling Slowly

I picture him floating. High above me in an ocean. He is treading water and I am drowning in it. He can see clearly across the glassy surface of the water with nothing to obstruct his view, and deep, down below him I am blind. I can use the tips of my fingers, but nothing else. I can only take away what I imagine to be there. Far, far below him. Struggling against all these visions of my own devices. He is held down by nothing. He thinks I’m right next to him, softly treading, too. I’m not. I am far, far below him.

I can’t tell if this is real. Trust your gut. Listen to your heart. Don’t let your fears get in the way of taking a risk. Let go of the past. I can’t do it all at once. Am I trusting my gut, or am I letting my imagination run away with me?

“Who is she?!”

“A friend of Dave’s. There are bigger things in life to worry about, Lauren.”

“You don’t trust him. If you did you wouldn’t worry about this stuff.”

I don’t trust him. He could be doing anything. With anyone. And why wouldn’t he be? How would I know? I can accuse and accuse until I’m blue in the face. Or until I push him away.

I could choose to trust him. I could sink slowly down into the water, let go of the struggle, and allow the ocean to swallow me up. I could lose myself in this.

And that’s just it.

I could lose myself.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One is the loneliest number

I recently went through a breakup.

Not my own. But a breakup still.

Both parties are my friends and so I heard both sides. “I think M. would see me every day if she could!” he griped.

I’m smack in the middle of my first real adult relationship. We’re 9 months in. We’re happy as clams… most of the time. We spend a few weeknights and every minute of the weekends together, sometimes taking hours upon hours to lie in our own filth and do nothing and then tell each other that these are our favorite moments. There is no one I am happier with. No one I would rather spend my time with. Dave Matthews was right: it’s not where but who you’re with that really matters.

“Let’s play Wii tonight! We haven’t played in so long.”
“I’m gonna try and get some work done tonight.” Work tonight. Work tomorrow.
Crushed. Silence. “Are you mad?”
I wanted to text back that of course I was mad. I knew he wouldn’t end up doing work. I knew he’d come home from his day job, peruse Facebook for two hours, watch bad TV, eat takeout, and watch more bad TV until 4am. The following night he would come home from his day job, nap, go to his show, drink with his friends until 4am, and come home and crash. I’d see him Friday and our weekend cycle of filth and nothing would ensue.

So why was I mad? Why did it hurt? Everyone is allowed time on their own. I was even thinking myself earlier in the week, “I can’t wait to come home and read my magazines and have nothing to do and be alone.” But when he says it… rejection. TV and the internet are more desirable than me.

Is this a girl thing? Was M.’s ex-boyfriend right to break up with someone who wanted to spend every minute with him? I thought back on M.’s relationship, as I had been privy to almost every moment of it, and I knew the schedule she kept with her boyfriend: they’d see each other a few times a week, and more often than not he liked to be alone or with his friends. I even said to TC once, “I think M. wishes she had the kind of boyfriend that I have: one who wants to be together all the time.” If I ever complain about not seeing him enough, TC will come back with, “I’m going to spend my life with you! We’re going to live together. For the next 5 months until that happens, I think it’s alright if we spend a few nights a week apart.”

And it is fine. My rational brain says, “Are you a lunatic? Give the guy some space. He wants to do guy things.” My emotional brain will probably cry myself to sleep tonight because I’ll imagine how much fun he’s having without me.

I know this isn’t normal. I know this smacks of insecurity.

… right?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Even these Americans, they also do have some family commitment and all that, ah?
Yes you know some of them have very close family bonds! Look at this boy - such a close family he looks like he has. Very sweet looks like. How he was telling me about his mother and all you know - and he also calls his grandparents and all that, ah.
Ya - and how we seem to think, that only Indian people really have very close knit families - we don't even think that of these white people no? We only think divorce and all that.
And that way these people are quite loving and friendly, ah. And nowadays what, even Indian people are getting divorced all the time - things are not the same, these Americans are not the only ones getting divorced. How we used to think when we were their age - but nowadays see, our boys and girls are also finding their own American husbands and wives and how they are also doing okay. You know that one's children speak so sweetly - born and brought up there!
And so nicely they eat our food, they take interest in our customs, see now we have quite a few Americans in the family, and how nicely they also learn to become a part of us. Even our own children don't touch our feet anymore, but if you tell these Americans they will do it happily.
Oh touch our feet! No now no more of that. But even our children are not bad, ah, even though now it is all AmericaAmerica see, they still cook our food, still they call and they will light some lights for Diwali and all that.
Oh now no more touching feet to show respect, but now we get hugs - my granddaughters, always hugs, hugs and kisses.

He doesn't speak my languages, he didn't grow up celebrating Diwali with firecrackers and lanterns, visiting family at Ganesh Chaturthi, playing with colors at Holi. His skin isn't brown, and his eyes are blue-green. My grandparents don't know his, and unlike the rest of my family, my great-grandfather's cousin's mother-in-law's nephew's daughter-in-law didn't live on the same street as my family fifty years ago. He still sometimes eats his chappati with two hands instead of neatly tearing it into bite sized pieces with only one.

But he loves his parents and looks out for a gift for his sister. He speaks to his grandparents regularly and visits them on his own. He celebrates Thanksgiving and Christmas with much gusto. He loves Indian food and likes experimenting with spices. He cajoles my mother into making his favorite Indian snacks when he's around. He doesn't mind camping out on a mattress if the house is too full of guests. He speaks to my grandma's friends even though some of them don't speak English. He takes the sugar my grandma offers before we leave the house. He usually tears his chappati neatly with one hand.

Such a sweet boy no? See how he has picked up how we do it.
Yes, he is quite a good boy - and I hope she is also acting nicely with his family like he is being with us!

Friday, March 18, 2011

What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?

“I know you don’t realize it now, but background becomes very important in a relationship. It could really come between you.”
I shrugged off the advice. What did my mother know anyway? She’d lived in Rochester her whole life, married a man from Rochester, raised kids in Rochester. All in an era when it was expected for women to really make something of herself; create an equal partnership with someone from their class, their upbringing, their morals and values. I grew up knowing I’d marry someone just like she did. My husband’s parents and my parents would be great friends. Our moms would meet for coffee in our hometown. Our dads would go golfing.

And then I met TC. And he broke every expectation I had for a partner. Certain things became important that I never knew I needed. He turned into my best friend. The best advice giver. My protector. My clown. My head-over-heels love affair. He grew up in the antithesis of my household. His parents were both addicts in different ways. His mom would fall asleep on the couch in the afternoon when he was 3 and 4 years old, and leave him to make dinner for himself. His dad would drink too much and hit his mother. His mother disappeared for a few years, and then came back. All this was happening while I sat at a clean kitchen table in suburbia and was made to drink my milk before homework and an early bedtime.

Yesterday I met his mother. He loves her. Of course he does. But I can not help but listen to her talk and judge her based on the stories that I know. “When TC was little, he got scarlet fever. And when I took him to the emergency room, they said, ‘Why did you wait so long to bring him in?! Why didn’t you bring him in at the first signs?!’ As if I would wait to bring my sick son to the emergency room!” But I knew that she probably had. I hated her for it. I smiled at all of her stories, her non stop stories, and acted interested when she went on and on about horror movies. She pestered the waitress for Coors Lite. No Coors? Michelob Ultra. And make sure it’s VERY cold! Is this cold? Did you pull it from the bottom?

Suddenly I pictured myself years from now. At a small, dirty house in Colorado with this woman at Christmas time. Heavy drinking. Smiling along with her stories. “You seen the Exorcist? I own it.” My holidays. My holidays that are usually so bright and cheerful and involve omelets and stockings and my mother apologizing for always giving me something corny like a Yo Yo because, “I just can’t help it.” These things are important to me. How can I give this up?

I know you don’t realize it now, but background becomes very important in a relationship. I haven’t talked to him about it. I don’t know that I will. Somewhere along the line, background became important. I just can’t force myself to look at it yet.

Monday, February 28, 2011


We drove around gazing at the brilliant otherworldly scenery, taking in the snow-capped mountains, the black lava land, the bleak, stark, complete, utter beauty of it all. We drove on for hours, following the map, flipping the guide book pages, laughing at inanities.

I made you a mixed CD, he said.
I giggled like a sixteen-year-old and squeezed him tight. Who makes mixed CDs anymore?!

The rented car didn't have an ipod connecter thingy, the radio stations were funny, and the CD was excellent. We bopped along and talked and laughed. And bopped along some more. And four hours later we'd bopped until we couldn't bop no more. I was shouting out the chorus for the fifth song, he was drumming the beats to the seventh. For the tenth we'd nod in unison. And by hour six, we were humming the next tune before it even began.

You're never going to want to listen to this ever again!
Not true! Except...yea sorry but never again!

I couldn't imagine playing it again for six months at the very least. And even then, maybe shuffled up with fifteen other albums. But I packed it away inside a book and tucked it into my suitcase.

Two long delayed flights and a cold and hungry layover later, I tossed off my boots and collapsed on the sofa. All I could think of was my bed - I bounded into the comfort of my blankets and pillows, squirmed around until I had my cocoon exactly right, and sighed.

And lay there, wide awake.

Two days was all it took to get used to having his arms around me again. Having his knees to tuck my toes under. Having his breath against my neck. Two days.

I ran shivering over the cold floor to the suitcase where I'd left it by the door. Tossing clothes and shoes on the floor, I scrounged around for that book. Slipping the CD out of it's case I shivered over to my computer then.

And let the music rock me to sleep. Because he wasn't there to do it himself. And I'd rather listen to that same CD for six more hours as I slept, than to lie awake missing the warmth around my heart.

This is love

"I had a terrible breakfast this morning."
"What did you have?"
"Pancakes from Bel Aire Diner."
"They were terrible? Usually they're so good."
"They used to be good. And then I had yours."


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Remembering a moment

I know she knows it. We both know it, we both felt it, and neither of us will ever say.

We both know the exact moment that he died. Because our hearts stopped too, and the world spun around. We didn't realize it until later, of course - but when the phone call came and the tears started, somehow it all clicked. That moment was real. His heart stopped for eternity. Ours stopped for a moment. But they did, they all did.

But that doesn't happen, after all. Half-way around the world, with an ocean and innumerable breaths between us, how could we possibly feel it? Know it? This isn't really dinner table conversation is it? Perhaps accompanied by a scoffing smirk or a side roll of the eyes. Better yet, not mentioned at all. Because after all, there's only so much sincerity you can build into "I do believe people are connected in ways we don't know" and only so much doubt and disbelief you can politely set aside.

But today I am going to sit here and think about that moment and take a pause. And I know she is doing the same thing. Because both our hearts stopped. Half-way around the world, with an ocean and innumerable breaths between us.

The only difference is that his didn't start up again.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy nonsense commercial day that unfortunately kind of sort of matters, loves.

(thank goodness it's only one day)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Can't Buy Me Love

“I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s stupid, and the 14th is just always the worst day of February, even if it has nothing to do with me being single.”

Here’s the thing. It had everything to do with being single. In middle school, when the popular girls started carrying their roses and balloons and teddy bears through the hallways, I wore pink and pretended like the box of chocolates from my mom made me feel loved enough. In high school I received a few tokens but from a lanky, strange boy who sat alone in the cafeteria and solicited giggles when he approached me at my locker. In college I experienced my first Valentine’s Day with a boyfriend but it came right at the end of the relationship. “If you don’t want to come up for Valentine’s Day, you don’t have to.” “I want to. I think it’ll be good for us.” He showed up at my dorm with a grocery bag filled with candy and Pepperidge Farm cookies; a clear afterthought and a last ditch effort at a failed romance.

This is the year. My year. I’m in love. Seven blissfully happy months in comes the day when most couples hunker down in dimly lit restaurants to sip red wine and spoon feed each other chocolate cake, and the day that I’ve spent 24 times before dismally alone and trying to convince myself that relationships aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

“Valentine’s Day is so lame!” I griped to TC. “Restaurants charge you an arm and a leg for a pre-set menu, they totally screw you out of their real food, and everything is totally overhyped and stupid. Valentine’s Day is SO stupid. Let’s not do anything.” “I totally agree,” he said, of course. “I hate all that fancy, cheesy shit.”

He probably thought he hit the jackpot. A girlfriend who abhors the day as much as any man.

Can I tell you a secret?

I lied.

I want the sappy dinner. I want a card he went to Hallmark and picked out himself because inside it had poorly written lines about love and forever and mush and gush. I want a glass of red wine and a box of Jacques Torres chocolates. I want to be the girl in the office who has beautiful flowers to smile at in between sales reports.

But thus far in our relationship, I have prided myself on not being the girl who needs to be spoiled and doted on and gushed over with materialistic crap. His last girlfriend spent hundreds on her haircuts, thousands on vacations, and made him feel poor and inadequate in the process. “It was all about things,” he told me once. I try so hard not to be her. And I’m not. But part of me wants the things.

He tells me every day that he loves me. He isn’t shy about his feelings, and he never has been. He makes me feel pretty and special and taken care of every single day. He says things like, "At our wedding" and "When we have kids" openly in front of my friends.

So why does a stupid red flower have to show up to prove it? And why do I feel like such a jerk for wanting it?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I used to treasure those moments of peace, shutting the bedroom door, losing myself in my own aloneness, my solitude. I'd wish for more. I'd wish for hours upon hours of just me myself and I, hugging a book, watching whatever I wanted, lying on the bed staring at the ceiling if I pleased. I would wish that I could just be, without someone asking me where I was, or what I was doing, or what I was watching, or what I was reading, or what I was listening to.

Today, a minute after they left, my face crumpled in on itself. They'd been here for merely 24 hours. A short visit, not quite free of arguments either. And yet I had formed a habit already. I grew used to hugging and talking and eating together. I got used to having someone around again.

I stood in the elevator, riding all alone to the top. Step by step, down the hallway, turning the key in the lock, I enter. I shut the door. I lock it. I pause. Suddenly this one-bedroom apartment is vast, stretching out in front of me empty and bewildering. I sit on the sofa, occupying one little corner. There are three extra chairs and an extra sofa. 2/3 of this sofa is empty as well. I stretch out, trying to fill in the space.

Music, I think to myself. Something to challenge this deafening silence, this lack of voices, this lack of conversation.

My phone winks at me silently. I suppose I could call someone. I reach for it, but then my hand falls, slack, next to my leg. I reach for my book and curl up into a little ball again. Just 1/3 of this sofa.

I shouldn't complain. And actually, I'm not complaining, not really. I like my space. I like my privacy. In fact, I love them. I love being able to do whatever I want whenever I want, without anyone to question me.

The thing is, there's just nobody to do all that whatever and whenever with. Nobody to turn to and say - hey, how about a cup of tea? Nobody to idly ask, whatchu readin'? Just...nobody.

And I'm not saying I don't like stretching out on the sofa or reading my book in peace. I'm not saying I mind that nobody can look askance as I leave a dirty dish in the sink. I'm not saying I dislike having my own little world. I'm just saying...perhaps someone in the next room might be nice.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waking Up

It was late. I was disappointed. He was embarrassed. I tried my best to keep from crying as I stared out the passenger side window out into the drizzly, sparkling night. I had seen a side of him I never thought I'd see. He let me see a side that he never intended to show. He was fighting back tears himself.

Say something. I couldn't.
I don't know what to say.
He needed my approval.
You want to leave me?
It hurt my heart to even hear him say it.
No. I love you so much. I did. I do. I will.

He looked out over the road, gripped the steering wheel, looked at me quickly, then back at the road. 29 years of shame slid down his cheeks.

I never want to lose you.
You won't.

I come to life when I'm with you.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A space in the picture

No no no, I still have to get a photo with him! We don't have a photo together!

It was time to leave for the plane but we had to wait for the photographer. It was my sister's wedding after all. I couldn't understand how the photographer had left without taking this picture. How ridiculous - I know he'd been told at the very beginning who was part of the family and should be in the pictures. Besides, we'd taken group pictures with absolutely everyone, except him. What an idiotic photographer, what a silly mishap.
The bus arrived, but no sign of the photographer yet. Our bags were packed, everyone was ready to leave.
But I don't have a picture with him! I insist. I don't have a picture with you - we can't just leave like this. They're wedding photos!
He hugs me.
What kind of crazy world was this? How were we just going to leave without a single wedding photo of me and him together? A single photo with him in it at all? I hugged him, not really believing it. The photographer would be here soon, wouldn't he? I wouldn't let go - he'll be here, I know it.

I open my eyes. The light from the streetlight filters in through the shades. My blanket is still tucked in around me. I pull the pillow over my head. No. No. No. NO. We're supposed to have our pictures together. He's supposed to be there. He's supposed to hug me and smile as my sister cuts her wedding cake. He's supposed to make a speech. He's supposed to be in not just one, but in all the pictures. He's supposed to be right there. No No NO NO. No.

This is the part that's not real, I tell myself. This is the dream. This, lying here, thinking he's gone. Knowing. No. The blankets, the bed, the pillow. The streetlight. Here. This. This is the dream. I just need to wake up and go through the album. This is the dream.

But I kissed his paper thin skin didn't I? I felt his cool hand, didn't I? I saw his body lying stretched out there didn't I? I said my goodbyes didn't I?
This is the dream, I tell myself. This is the part that's not real.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wolverine sex?

No, thank you.

The fact that this guy's book is bestseller makes me cringe.

Oh god it's wonderful


How funny you are today New York
like Ginger Rogers in Swingtime
and St. Bridget's steeple leaning a little to the left

here I have just jumped out of a bed full of V-days
(I got tired of D-days) and blue you there still
accepts me foolish and free
all I want is a room up there
and you in it
and even the traffic halt so thick is a way
for people to rub up against each other
and when their surgical appliances lock
they stay together
for the rest of the day (what a day)
I go by to check a slide and I say
that painting's not so blue

where's Lana Turner
she's out eating
and Garbo's backstage at the Met
everyone's taking their coat off
so they can show a rib-cage to the rib-watchers
and the park's full of dancers with their tights and shoes
in little bags
who are often mistaken for worker-outers at the West Side Y
why not
the Pittsburgh Pirates shout because they won
and in a sense we're all winning
we're alive

the apartment was vacated by a gay couple
who moved to the country for fun
they moved a day too soon
even the stabbings are helping the population explosion
though in the wrong country
and all those liars have left the UN
the Seagram Building's no longer rivalled in interest
not that we need liquor (we just like it)

and the little box is out on the sidewalk
next to the delicatessen
so the old man can sit on it and drink beer
and get knocked off it by his wife later in the day
while the sun is still shining

oh god it's wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much

Frank O'Hara

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Returning "home" to nobody

For the past two weeks I can't remember a single breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a cup of tea when I didn't have company. Always an aunt or a grandma, a couple of cousins or an uncle around. And always, but always, D. Always conversation, always a joke.

I have never seen a whirlwind, but I think it looks like the past couple of weeks. I don't even know what we did. The whole memory is a mess of color and conversation, laughter - and yes, a couple of tears and raised voices too. A bright warm shot of espresso in the middle of a cold, grey winter.

Late nights, early mornings. Spicy food and ginger tea. Hugs from a great-uncle, my grandma drawing her fingers through my hair as I rest my head on her lap. Adjusting my sari, holding my hands out for hours on end waiting for the henna to dry. Frantically looking for a blowdryer because you can't be in pictures looking like that! Curling up in a warm bed, tucking my toes under D's knees. Watching my mom run around like a hare. Sitting with my dad waiting for everyone to get ready. Greeting great-aunts I haven't seen in years. Admiring my little niece's hairpins and my nephew's shoes. Pulling a cousin close for a photo despite her efforts to get away. Holding back tears as I imagine my grandfather in the photograph. Clutching my baby nephew awkwardly as he wonders whether to scare me off with a wail or reward me with a dimpled smile. Trying to keep my eyes open for just one more minute. Living it, living it all.

Crouching awkwardly in my seat, trying to get comfortable. Filing a lost baggage claim. Pausing for a moment before I open the door. Entering. Nothing.

I couldn't bring myself to eat dinner last night. Isn't it scary how quickly you get used to not being alone and lonely? And worse...coming back to nobody.

Monday, January 3, 2011

About a Girl

There’s this girl. I didn’t expect her, didn’t anticipate her, never thought anyone like this would ever be a presence in my life. But there she is. She makes a living posting almost-nude pictures and videos of herself on a blog and keeping up a Twitter profile where she flirts and chats with anonymous users. I shouldn’t care about her. And I don’t.

But I do.

When I first met TC, I noticed that he’d occasionally mention her on his Twitter profile. I saw her name pop up in a text on his phone once. He told me she made a cameo in the short film he was working on. When I asked months later if he had a crush on her, he said, in his no-holds-barred way, “No. She’s married. We’re friends.” I ventured further. “She’s really hot.” He shrugged. “Yeah, she’s nice and sexy.” He has never been secretive or uncomfortable talking about her. She's just some girl.

All my life I’ve had women in my life telling me what I was worth. I am more than the package I’ve been put in. I am more than blond hair, and I might have to work hard to make people see the intellect in me. I should be as smart as I want to be without repercussion. I should be as pretty as I want to be without worrying about the judgment. It’s hard as a woman to prove you can be both, and I think I’ve spent time and energy proving to myself before others that I can be. And then there’s this girl. This girl who makes me question myself, and then brings me right back to who I know I can be.

“She’s following me on Twitter!” I announced one day. He laughed. 15,000 people follow her. She follows 97. I felt flattered, as if I’d been chosen. Her career, her identity, her public person is a semi-nude model. She is physically flawless and when I look at her and then I look at me… look at her… look at me… I feel like a little girl. And then I read her blog. Spelling errors, run on sentences, endless emoticons, diatribes about her morning workouts and her “yummy!!!!” lunches followed by ridiculous webcam videos of her in the bathtub. I look at her… look at me… I feel better. Substance. I remind myself that I have substance.

I don’t want a curvy girl in lingerie to make me question myself. Am I striking the balance? Do I care enough about how I look? Too much? It has nothing to do with TC anymore. He’s disinterested in this girl and sees her for exactly what she is. “What if I was a stripper?” I asked him once. “Then we wouldn’t be together.” “Why not?” “Are you serious?” I didn’t really even need him to say it.

There’s this girl. She shouldn’t make me feel so uncertain. But she does.