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?