Feeling out of place today

“We’re all searching for something to fill up what I like to call that big, God-shaped hole in our souls. Some people use alcohol, or sex, or their children, or food, or money, or music, or heroin. A lot of people even use the concept of God itself. I could go on and on. I used to know a girl who used shoes. She had over two-hundred pairs. But it’s all the same thing, really. People, for some stupid reason, think they can escape their sorrows.”
Tiffanie DeBartolo, God-Shaped Hole

Today I feel lonely and it comes and goes through a month. Mostly it’s when I have all these places I want to visit and no one to go with. When I desire a workout buddy, or just someone to sit and read with, to discuss a book or a film I’ve just seen.

Feeling lonely like this makes me miss my old home back in the midwest. It was easy to go out. I had a good 30 or more people I could contact or meet up with at the drop of the hatch. Or I could just go to the coffee house and run into someone there and make plans. I don’t know if spending time out there was easier because I was closer to all these people, if it’s because in a more rural town there’s less to do or if people just didn’t make solid plans as often. Whatever the reason it seems everyone is so booked up each weekend or weekday.

Sometimes I feel perfectly at home here, extremely happy I’ve found a place and some days I feel a misplaced tile in the whole mosaic of order out here. In a lot of ways I love home, but I feel out of place here much of the time. I don’t feel needed and without purpose I’m not sure what there is here to grow from.

Then again, maybe it’s me. I’ve grown out of touch with old friends, my hobbies and viewpoints are different and the majority of my friends out here do have a significant other. They have clear-cut plans and life events happening for them. I guess you could coin many of friends out here as “settling down.” Maybe I don’t reach out enough to my friends, tell them what I’m feeling and I rarely talk about my feelings. I use to, but lately I feel so closed off.

Again it comes down to feeling out of place here and I’m not sure what to do. I can only hope I will find (using the most cliche phrase) where I belong.

Virgin BlowJob (Update)

I’ve been in a publishing slump, which I shouldn’t complain about because I normally get at least one acceptance letter a month from a journal. So why am I bitching when I don’t for two months? Because I can and January and February was kind of shitty anyways.

But this Monday I found out one of my poems got accepted into a badass anthology about women’s issue. An Anthology I was really hoping to get into. I mean I had busted my ass with the poem they accepted too. Rewrite, after rewrite and I had even gotten to the point of sending it to my old professor (a week before I found out) and he was like, “I don’t find anything to cut or pinch or snip. It’s funny and partly scandalous and damn good.”

The poem that was accepted is about my old ex/hook-up/whatever you want to label “Virgin BlowJob.” The poem carries images touching on memory, my emotions and the sense of place. But especially the emotions, the idea that “I wasn’t the one.” Because he that said to my face, “It’s not like we’re gonna get married or anything.” This was right before the blowjob I gave him.

This was the image that stuck the most with me from the hook-up. It wasn’t like I was hoping I end up with this guy at all during the hook-up, but we had gotten close, we had stayed up late talking a lot. I didn’t think marriage, but I thought I was more than a blowjob.

He made me realize two things:

  1. Just because you’re a virgin doesn’t mean you’re not a chauvinistic pig.
  2. Men really do think like that don’t they? They really think “well this is just a fuck.”

And you know the worst part is I think I was just a girl to fuck around with because I wasn’t a virgin and he couldn’t be in a real relationship with someone who slept around. (He was religious to a fault).

It’s funny though because last night an old friend was asking about him. Gosh, I hadn’t really thought about him since I posted about him on this blog and it’s been a year and a half since the corn field thing happened and a just about a year since I’ve spoken to him.

So, since it was getting close to 3AM and my mind needed a break from submissions I decided to take a peek at his Facebook profile.

He just recently (like last week) proposed to his girlfriend.

I never really have mentioned this before, but the moment he said to me, “not like we’re gonna get married” his Ex girlfriend popped in his head because I knew and felt that was who he wanted to marry.

I’m not sad or hurt. 

It’s more of just a “huh. Well, look at that.

My poem was pretty much on target, huh?”

Disabled Writers

I’ve read over this article on the Poetry Foundation website numerous times, mostly trying to give myself a jolt in my personal statement and also it’s rare to find an article on disabled writers (which is ironic because that’s half their arugment…the lack thereof).

Recently, I was setting up a few submissions and it crossed my mind, what if I submitted a non-disabled poem to a journal that’s focus was the disability community? Would they want it? If I wrote a poem about falling in love, wouldn’t it still be on a technical level about a woman with a disability, falling in love? Wouldn’t every aspect of one’s words have an underlining acknowledgment of the disability? If a poet of color wrote a poem about love, you wouldn’t strip away their race because the poem is about love and not skin color. I think it’s interesting that disabled poetry becomes a one-sided publishing endeavor but with gender, race, or class journals are merely there to support the authors.
I enjoyed what each writer pointed out, but I only wished they had more regarding other disabilities, besides the physical and deafness. (Funny the disability community ignoring its own community and leaving a chunk of us out.) Because I have my own set of problems and issues I deal with daily, along with the notion of hiding in plain sight. I don’t have a wheelchair or a missing leg to account for my daily struggle. People don’t see me as disabled right off the bat, but I go into panic mode when trying to count coins or trying to spell the word, “especially.” I fear cashier jobs and publishing jobs worried they will find out and think less of me. Teaching a tiring job of showing up an hour early to fix my spelling errors on the board, practice saying each word in the lesson plan, to hide my disability.
That’s where I disagree with some of the writers in the article. I do wish to protest, to talk about the pity moments because sitting down to write is a battle itself for me sometimes, because I will spend 20 minutes trying to remember how to spell a word, or going back and changing every “now” to a “know.” Same with “see” and “she.” So I’m sure the poet in a wheelchair, the deaf fiction writer and I all have a different set of struggles.
I guess I’m simply trying to say is, though the disability community has become a larger part of the writing community, I still believe most readers imagine only wheelchairs, sign language, and failing bodies when they see “disabled” across the page. When voices of the community also are writing about torn identities, hidden self and trying to make do with missing tools.
Plus how can I really make someone understand what it’s like not understanding language? It would be like trying to write a poem about taking one’s breath away, which is more an expression of feeling than a literal idea.

Once a Skinny Girl Always a Bigger Girl

(I could have written more on this subject but it have gone on, so forgive me if I seem to be leaving out thoughts and ideas).

For the majority of my life, I’ve been a skinny girl. Not just kind of thin, but I a stick in high school and I wore double zero jeans. Which prompted my college friends who glanced at old prom photos of me to ask if I had been anorexic:

No, I wasn’t anorexic. I was just a really thin kid. My fathers side of the family hasn’t always been the best gift givers in the generic trait gifting department, between the shortness, the ingrown toenails and the crooked teeth, acne I got one wonderful generic trait that everyone on my father’s side has: “a fast metabolism.” My dads side of the family is the “on the go” kind of people, were cooking is never a concern for them. They would rather be outside running, riding dirt bikes or cycling. So I was lucky to eat whatever I wanted and gain nothing. It also helped I rode dirt bikes on weekends, played on club soccer team, ran cross country and track and really never sat still for a minute as a child.

Growing up I was a tomboy. There was no room for dresses or nice shoes in elementary school. Those clothing items only got in the way of recess sports. I wanted to play sports with the boys and prove I was much faster and more athletic than all of them. (I always was). Sports were a huge aspect of my life as a child due to the fact that I wasn’t great in the school. My learning disability made me quite and take a back seat in class, but sports I discovered was something I excelled at from an early age. So no dresses, no fancy shoes, no cute braids in my hair. My mother always tells me how badly she wanted to dress me up when I was young, but I would always just squirm out of everything. When I was away at school she would randomly send me clothes because she was so excited that finally I wanted to wear the cute dresses and boots and put on make

When I was away at school she would randomly send me clothes because she was so excited that finally I wanted to wear the cute dresses and boots and put on makeup.

End of sophomore year I was side-tackled pretty bad during a school soccer practice. Normally I’m pretty good at shaking things off like that, but I remember feeling pretty dizzy after the fall. I had landed on my neck and back in the worst of ways, but regardless of the dizziness of the fall I shook it off and went on with the day. Later that afternoon I went up to my mother worried because I could turn my neck left or right. It was very tender and very difficult to extend my neck. After a long E.R. visit, they found no broken bones. Few months later I was in Physical Therapy and after a few MRIs they told me I injured all the soft tissue in my back and neck. Lots of painkillers, lots of crying and not sleeping. I stopped playing club soccer and around my senior year, I did try stepping back in and it just wasn’t the same anymore.

I started to really gain more weight my first year at my four-year university. I was older, it was cold as fuck there. So  between growing up and filling out into a more woman form, to adding on meat to survive the winters I had gained more weight. I’ve gone from double zero to trying to a bridesmaid dress, size 10.

I’ve never really had a problem with my weight or my body. Besides my face breaking out I’ve never looked in the mirror dissatisfied with myself. I do love my body for what it is now but sometimes I just can’t help but dread the extra pound, dread putting on a swimsuit, the pool club parties I have to attend, the magazine folds full on women who look nothing like me. The thought that perhaps I’m not going to find someone to be with because this weight isn’t always ideal, isn’t always attractive.

And before you go on a rant of, “don’t say that” or “you are beautiful” even though none of you know what I really look like. I think my point with this whole post is the fact that nothing really has gotten better in the war of body shapes and sizes. Yes, there are more natural bodies in magazines, across the internet but has it really changed anything or have these larger bodies just shuffled into the folds next to everything else?

We spend so much time criticizing a dolls shape, a song about “bass” or how much the latest celebrity momma has shaved off her post-baby body. We forget to talk about how we aren’t over the thin body craze. How much my guy friends skim through hot thin celebrities, hot thin models and any larger woman has “personality” “humor” “big spirited” but the body is still left.

I sit down in my room looking down at my body and I realize we haven’t turned the tide at all in what is truly beautiful. Because I love my body, but I fear showing it off in public, because it’s not the ideal body.

“Sadly, the signals that allow men and women to find the partners who most please them are scrambled by the sexual insecurity initiated by beauty thinking. A woman who is self-conscious can’t relax to let her sensuality come into play. If she is hungry she will be tense. If she is “done up” she will be on the alert for her reflection in his eyes. If she is ashamed of her body, its movement will be stilled. If she does not feel entitled to claim attention, she will not demand that airspace to shine in. If his field of vision has been boxed in by “beauty”–a box continually shrinking–he simply will not see her, his real love, standing right before him.” ― Naomi Wolf

Andrew

In October of 2012 I started blogging (using a different blog) and for those who are still unaware I lost all of my passwords to this older blog. I’m a hot mess but before all that happened I did have this other blog that I started using in October of 2012 and in December of 2012 Andrew emailed me (I think so) I’m not 100% sure, because I can’t check that blogs email anymore (due to the losing of all passwords). But when I did know the passwords to those emails I never really checked them, but I finally did around January and I was shocked to find an email from a person, who was nice and reminded me there’s hope in the world. Well, I emailed him back thanking him for the email and one of the few things I remember from our firsts encounter was how he had forgotten he had even emailed me. (I mean it had been almost two months).

I’m disappointed I lost those passwords because looking back at old emails would have made writing this a bit easier. It’s also difficult to write this particular post because Andrew is one of the few people I know personally who reads this blog and he’s the only one that knows about my blog that I’ve made out with. Wait, that’s not true…I made out with my friend Tina and she knows about this blog.

So Andrew, I’m going to write this knowing you’ll be reading this over and maybe I’ll actually say a few things I’ve never said to you. You’ve probably noticed I hold my cards pretty close to my chest nowadays. (every time I say, “chest” I just think of my boobs).

Andrew was born and grew up in the same town I went to college in. The town I call “my second home.” Of course, he no longer lives there and I was only living there because of school. We live pretty far from each other actually, but the times we did meet up were in his home town when we both happened to be there..

Andrew, I’ve always found you attractive and when I was clever enough to look you up on Facebook (this took a few months) I was like, “ok, cool this is a real person emailing me, who does have a beard and does write and…oh, you were in a relationship. So I moved quickly away from even imagining having sex or making out with you. You know, because before then it seemed like such a plausible idea. (Not) You didn’t live nearby and I never thought you liked me, in the sense of “you want to see me naked across a desk or make out with me.” I always assumed you thought of me as this sad, lost girl trying her best at writing and dating.

But that never stopped me from having a crush on you. Also, my friends made so much fun of me. That’s what friends do, they make fun of you when you have a crush on someone and I would just mention Andrew’s name and BAM:

“Whose Andrew? OOOOHHH Andrew…the writer. Where does he go? Oh, that one school right? Wait, doesn’t he have that picture of the city? Oh yeah, Andrew…he’s the one with the beard right?”

They were relentless. 

We didn’t actually meet face to face until December 2013. I think so, right? You met up with me at that one bar and my friend Valerie was with me. I never told you this but at some point during the night Valerie grabbed ahold of me and said, “you could do better.” 

Which was confusing, because A: You were in a relationship B: You’re attractive C: I didn’t think you liked me that way D: (Due to the facts of A & C), I never pictured I would ever make out with you anyway. Plus I never thought I would see you again. So why she felt the need to inform me about “better” I’ll never understand and for the fifth time Valerie felt the need to say something about someone I was attracted to and when she did approve of someone for me, she either ended up dating them or they were assholes.

But what isn’t there not to like about Andrew? (Using a random weird system, that has no clear-cut setup and is randomly inserted in this post). He’s much taller than me (5pts) He has a beard (20pts) and it’s red (40pts) He did speech and debate! (20pts) Enjoys “my second home” (20pts). He enjoys some kinky ass sex shit (50 pts).

December 2014 we met up again by chance. I had moved away from my “second home,” but I happened to be in town visiting my brother (who was still going to the college there) and Andrew was visiting family for the holidays. Andrew was single by this time and it was enough of a push in my inner workings to at least think about saying something. I had many small conversations with myself about mentioning something or not. (I know you can imagine me rambling on and on in my car asking myself, “Should I just say I find you attractive?” or “I want you to bend me over?”

I didn’t say anything the first night we had drinks. I was hoping he would have noticed my anxiety/nervousness levels around him. I suppose I’m always like that, so how could anyone even tell there was a difference? I did linger outside with him by the cars, but it would have been much easier to just tell me, “I picture you and I having sex all the time.” Driving back to where I was staying I continued the repeating phrase of, “Dammit I’m a mess! Why didn’t I say anything!?”

The second night we met up for drinks I walked out with him carrying on the internal struggle, “should I say something?” It wasn’t until half an hour later, after leaving the bar I got up the nerve to text him and slip in the fact that I wanted to make out with him.

Luckily he’s not in his head, luckily he wanted to kiss me, luckily he decided to drive all the way over to where I was staying. (My brother’s apartment on campus).

It was very romantic when you think about the willingness to drive over to kiss someone, the sweetness in his voice when he called me beautiful or the way he smiled. Then you realize you’re outside the Student Apartment Complex, nicknamed (SAC) which only brings to mind a picture of a man’s testicles. And you feel like you’re in high school again because you have nowhere to go and talk. Only inside a car to make out, which feels even more like high school. 

I suppose this is when a poem or a short story would point out it’s not the place (add crappy detail here), but the people in the place that creates this tone, this feeling (blah, blah, blah crappy poems about place).

Andrew, you are a wonderful man and you have a wonderfully booming voice, soft hands and you care. I’m utterly confused why you would even want to spend time with me.

Then there’s that moment where I sink into the back of my mind and list all the reasons why it doesn’t make sense that anyone would want to spend time with me, let alone go out of their way for me.

We would meet up the night before I was about to fly back home and you didn’t push me to have sex, you cared about me, held me and it was a soft moment. At the end of the night, you were happy to have spent time with me even though it never lead to sex. You said I was beautiful and still I was so confused to why you would want to spend time with me.

I did spend a good portion of the night panicking (I’m sure you noticed). It’s been a long time since I put myself in that position: Lying down with someone, completely sober and trusting someone to be near my naked body.

A part of me is a bit bummed I was stressed and panicked. So I hope maybe I’ll get another chance. I would enjoy seeing you again.

One of my favorite songs

Taking Two Steps Back (Brad)

Brad

The closest we got was making out when I was half drunk and in his car. I’m glad that’s the farthest we ever went.

I really don’t have much to say about Brad and I almost thought why should I even mention him? I mean there’s probably five or so other guys I will never write about because they didn’t teach me any lessons, or remind me who I really am or what I don’t want. Brad did teach me in a weird way. Or more he reminded me what I didn’t want. Brad was two steps back from the direction I was going in my life.

He’s about two years younger than me.

I hope people don’t take that the wrong way. I know I continually mention the guys I’ve seen as younger and actually all of my serious relationships they were all at least two -three years younger than me. I rarely meet someone I like whose older.

But dating younger guys has taught me I can’t date someone younger than me. (No offense) but I’ve gone through plenty of guys to learn that younger doesn’t work for me anymore. Younger guys don’t have realistic goals, they are still trying to figure themselves out (I mean aren’t we all?) But at 22 it’s a different kind of figuring yourself out than 27 or older. 22 figuring self out: Should I go to that rave? What should I wear to the bar on Tuesday night? Should I take that drug? Should I work or sleep another three hours? Why can’t she like me?

So no younger guys for me, because there’s no stimulating conversation and before you get your feathers ruffled because you disagree…well maybe I am wrong. But all the guys I’ve dated who are younger than me don’t read. So in my case study I’ve concluded nothing good can come from dating younger guys.

And the sex tends to be one-sided.(More me, less me).


Back to Brad

He reminded me a bit of my ex who cheated on me. About the same height as him, same humor and the lack of caring for school. Just kind of going with the flow attitude. Brad had just gotten back from the army and was a young guy who was depressed. He tended to sit in his house and drink. Also, my friend Max was always trying to set Brad up with his friends. Brad was cute, but I don’t think he was something to write home about. His beard was always a bit messy. There’s nothing worse than a messy beard. I’ll never forget the time my friend Brianne (who almost dated him) said, “I saw Brad after the bars and he was walking and threw up and kept walking like it was nothing. There is something not right about someone who can just throw up without it affecting them. Even that drunk.”

I did kiss him one night after he dropped me off from the bars. That’s about it.

No, we didn’t have sex. A weird set of events lead to why we didn’t have sex. Around this time I had set into my emotional, trust and sex issues. Sex was the last thing I wanted to get back into. And he told Max I wasn’t the kind of girl you just sleep with. I guess he was going through a hook-up phase. I don’t know if this was a compliment from him or not.

I’m glad nothing happened between us. It would have never gone any farther than sex. And I’m sure the sex wouldn’t have been that wonderful. Because there was no heat or energy in the kissing. It wasn’t a bad kiss, but it wasn’t a great kiss.

He would have just been two steps back into my old self. I don’t mind my old self. I just don’t want to be her anymore. She was always in so much pain and slept with anyone to make the loneliness go away.

When you’re finally ready to heal, you take the band-aid off the gunshot wound, take out the bullet and stitch your skin back together and wait for it to heal.

The Dick

The Dick 

I went out with two of my friends one night and all three of us were horny and in a crazy ass mood: Recipe for crazy shit is about to happen. My friend Alexis saw this really hot guy down at the other end of the bar (mind you he had two other friends) and she noticed within 15 minutes they had moved all the way down to where we were sitting. So Alexis dragged me down to buy them drinks.

Fireball shots, ugh.

Then we meet a man named, HorseShoe. He was a townie and he had brain matter coming out of his skull (Halloween costume) it was the week after Halloween, but a good chunk of people were celebrating it that Saturday. Then Horseshoe told us and the three guys he has two belly buttons. And that’s how I met The Dick. (His blog name rhythms with his real name). And I don’t care if anyone figures out his real name.

He knew about my blog and we would joke that if he pissed me off I would call him The Dick. Actually the last time I ever saw him he turned around and said, “are you going to call me The Dick in your blog?”

“Yep.”

We had a few drinks with them at the bar and they invited us over to ones of their houses to drink and play more games. We said, “hell yeah!” As we were driving my other friend Valerie made one rule “we all have to leave together. So no disappearing to have sex. I’m really only talking to you!” And see glared at me.

“Fine, no sex. I’ll make sure I come home with you guys.”

We went over to their friend Marvins house. Yeah, silly name but his real name was at the same silly level as Marvin. We had drinks, we played Cards against Humanity. Dick was charming, funny and a wonderful dresser. He knew how to wear clothes. This is a rare find. He was my age, just out of school and working for the government. He was very charming. (Though my bitchy friend (Max) said he had a “butter face” but looks only go so far for me, so I didn’t care what my friend said, he was charming and what I was looking for. He was very sweet and caring to me. He had wanted to major in journalism in school but ended up switching out to something else. And when mention to someone that you write, who also enjoys writing it becomes a big turn on. Don’t ask me why, but it’s become a pick-up line almost. Or when I was on tour for poetry I would get hit on so much.

At a certain point during the night, as Marvin’s his other friend had informed us he had this cool stuff to look at. Everyone went downstairs, but Dick and I and before I knew it I was on top of him making out. And very quickly had to act like we weren’t kissing because my friend Valerie ran up screaming because Marvin has this huge picture of the city we live. We saw it at an art show and were like, “OMG we want it!” But it’s too expensive. Marvin bought the fucking thing! We were shocked!


 

Within a week, The Dick and I were talking on the phone and planned to go out for drinks. Which never happened because he canceled last minute and within hours of canceling text me that he was “seeing someone.” When I (or most people) read “seeing someone” you take it that they must be dating around, playing the field, etc. I’ve used “seeing someone” in that very context. I told him I was fine with this and made it clear what I thought “seeing someone” means. He felt really bad for bailing on me so he took me out to a really nice dinner, coffee and we watched movies at my place afterward.

He was really wonderful when we spent time together those few weeks. Our humor bounced off each other well, he was a smart guy and we had really great chemistry.


 

On Black Out Wednesday, my friends and I went out to a local bar that starts with a J. Locals tend to gather here (he was a local) which lead to this bar or this particular night. A bunch of my friends were out with us as well. I met a bunch of his friends that night as well.

I was standing near with my friend Valerie enjoying my drink and chatting. Next I heard a buddy of his said, “where’s your girlfriend dude?”

I should have put the pieces together. Connected the dots when he stayed over at my place and then would stop over at his friends house. Should have listened closer when he said, “seeing someone.”

**You would think after being cheated on twice I would see the red flags more quickly.

He came over to my house that night and we had a very long talk. Yes, he had a girlfriend. Yes, he understands “seeing someone” is misleading. Yes, he really liked spending time with me and thought I was amazing.

Yes, he’s done this before. In college, he had made out with two other girls but with me was the farthest he’d taken things with something (I mean we were practically dating). Yes, he almost thought about breaking it off with her and yes a part of me wanted him to.

But I made this a lot easier, I told him we couldn’t even be friends anymore. And that he should tell her what happened because you can’t keep lies like that to someone you love and lies like those have a way of getting out in the end. He started crying because he said he loved her and didn’t mean for this, he didn’t want to tell her. He said he wasn’t going to go out anymore.

I’m sure he apologized for all this, but I don’t remember that. I do remember being very honest with him. Which is something I’ve lacked in past dating experiences, so I was very blunt with him that he hurt me and he’s hurting someone else and I’ve been on the other side of cheating and it’s even worse. And that if he loves her he should tell her the truth. I told him I never wanted to see him again because I liked him too much and couldn’t torture myself like that.

He left his jacket in my room and called me 10 minutes after he had just left my house. I put the jacket on the porch and before he made it up to my porch I went back to my room and cried. I slept most of the day.

Later that day (after some very quick googling) I found his wedding registry. 2016 or 2015 was when they planned to get married. It makes me wonder if anything he said to me was true. Or exactly what was true.

I avoided this bar ( the J bar was always at when I was seeing him) for months and another part of me wanted to show up at the bar. To see if he really hadn’t gone out anymore. Also, to walk around looking good. A reminder that I’m worth something more. (I never saw him there).


 

This past December I went back to that bar, a year later and he wasn’t there. I haven’t seen since that morning he left my house.

I don’t think I was that upset it didn’t work out between us. I think I cried more about the fact that he went back to her because he loved her. It made me think about my Ex when he cheated on me. He didn’t come back to me, he fell in love and started a new relationship without even telling me.  He didn’t come back to me and he left me before I knew I was left.

“I did not know him, I knew my idea
of him.” ― Sharon Olds