Sunday, January 31, 2010

Satanist Dan, Ex-Boyfriend

It wasn't a surprise or anything. I didn't have to explain. He knew he wasn't being much of a boyfriend, and he knew I wasn't happy about it.

I think I scared him. Not for the reasons I was afraid of, not because I was turning into Crazy High-Maintenance Girl, but because I was real, because I have feelings. His actions had consequences, affected me in a real ways, and I think it's been a while since he's had anyone who cared what he did or didn't do, and I think that scared him. And that sounds like criticism, and I think most of you will see it that way, but it's a feeling I understand. Neither of us is very good at considering other people, and both of us are afraid of responsibility.

I think we'll get along, with him as my ex-boyfriend. I'm not going to delete him from my phone. I'll keep him on Facebook. We'll chat--but not very often. No one is angry, and no one is hurt. I'll be sad, sometimes, and I'll wish it could have gone differently. But it didn't, and I'm not sorry it happened. I'm already starting to categorize my thoughts of him under "fond nostalgia." And "Satanist Dan, the Ex-Boyfriend" has a nice ring to it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

This is totally uninteresting I know.

I spend a few days or a week thinking that this isn't working, and then I get up the courage to say this needs to get fixed or this needs to end, and I tell everyone that it's over, or it's going to be in a day, a week, when I get to talk to him. And then he quits a job, or finds an extra afternoon, and I see him or talk to him and I think that it will be fixed, and I spend a few days or a week happy to know that we're back on again, but it never goes as hoped and I spend a few days or a week thinking that this isn't working. It's a sad thing when even I'm bored of my own stupid drama.

So today I'm back at stage 1 again, asking him via Facebook IM if there's any time I can call this weekend, and he's in the shower or already left for work and won't answer. I kind of feel like an ass because this time around I'm confident in his affection for me, and I'm confident that he wants it to work, and I'm going to dump him anyway. I'll spend the next few days telling people this, at least, before I change my mind again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

49 Things I Remember (for Nonfiction)

An ice skating recital where we dressed up in snowman costumes and skated to Frosty the Snowman. I learned how to ice skate, but I never learned how to stop. I can see this happening from above, like a home video or a dream, even though my parents never videotaped anything.

Electric blue lining in a violin case. I was supposed to be choosing a violin based on how it sounded or felt on my shoulder but I picked it for that blue case.

Summer classes. Calligraphy, art, computers, dance, theater, chess, fencing.

Until High School, I didn’t have friends when we weren’t in school.

I like to think that I remember ever person I’ve kissed.



Mark Daniels.


Joanna. I didn’t really kiss her mouth so I don’t know if it counts. I kissed her neck and bit her earlobes and tried to see if I could get her to break off a sentence while she was on the phone.


Another Andrew.

Another Andrew.

Mara (on a dare).

Mara (not on a dare).

Tim. I was 19; he was 16. I didn’t tell anyone.



Kissing Liz while Yuri was there, and maybe I kissed him that night, I know I wanted to, but the next morning we all pretended that nothing happened.

Wanting to kiss Jason and Justin.


Wanting to kiss Lindy.


A girl whose name I didn’t learn during a game show at Pride in San Francisco.




B., Jeremy, Satanist Dan, Renee, Ryan, and Tony.

Seeing Tony at graduate student reception last Friday night. I wanted to run away but instead turned my back towards him and hoped he didn’t notice.

Stealing nail polish and lipstick.

The first time I saw snow fall. I ran outside, barefoot and amazed.

Remembering The Last Unicorn, which I saw as a kid, but only remembered a few moments, and then I found the movie while I was in college and I watched and remembered at the same time.

Funny double vision from waking up on my side, one eye half-closed, squished against the pillow, and one eye open. I remember blankets, pillows, and my arm in front of me layered on top of each other, translucent. I remember trying to figure out how to replicate that in a photograph.

When Andrew (the first one) proposed to me. I was sitting on his lap on a cliff between two houses in La Jolla and he couldn’t get down on one knee. He did the knee-thing later.

When I broke up with him and he was sobbing and holding a knife, a small hand-sized knife, and I didn’t know if he wanted to use it on himself or on me, and I don’t think he knew either. I don’t think he cared about the difference. At the end, all destruction is the same.

A navy blue bathrobe.

Electric blue leopard-spotted Doc Martins, day-glo orange fishnet tights, and a silver-sequined mini-dress.

Being naked.

Being drunk in an elevator while someone talked loudly to a friend about how he didn’t want to see me naked. He didn’t know I was there.

Crowd surfing on my sixteenth birthday. I fell six feet onto concrete and wouldn’t tell my mother for fear she wouldn’t let me go to any more concerts.

Running around the house on my hands and knees, pretending to be a horse.

How my mother sewed animal-shaped patches on the knees of my pants, and how I hated them because other kids made fun of me but I never told her.

Confession as memory or the other way around: Making my brother cry on purpose because I hated him. I told him that I hated him. And then, afraid that I would get in trouble when my parents got home, I told him that I didn’t mean it, don’t cry, shhhh, don’t cry.

We had a dog named Caboose because he was the runt of the litter except that no one really wanted a dog so we didn’t love him very much and he had a backyard to run around in but no hugs and no walks and he stopped eating and one day he ran away. I’ve never told that story before. I’m sorry. I didn’t know better; I was a kid. I’m so sorry.

Eating nothing but apples and Earl Grey tea with milk and honey for weeks until I was afraid to walk down the stairs because I could feel myself falling and there were four flights between my dorm room and the ground.

My mother driving me home from the airport during winter break my junior year. She drove a white Dodge Neon. She told me that my brother had tried to kill himself, and I was the only one who could save him. It was up to me.

Yelling at her about that later.

The office of my first psychiatrist. It was a warm brown.

This getting depressing. Driving my gray Buick Century up I-95 from Baltimore to New York City, with The Cure in my diskman (I remember diskmans), playing Friday I’m In Love over and over again. That song always makes me think of being free.

The road at 1:30 in the morning, 1000 miles from where I was from, and 1000 miles to where I was going and I didn’t stop until I got there.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Taking votes now

Which do you like better, A or B? These are work files, so color, contrast, etc. aren't finalized.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dead Bird

It's been so long since I've made any images. I was starting to forget.

Monday, January 18, 2010

somewhere else, someone else

A long time ago, in another place, I was in an abusive, controlling relationship. We were engaged.

He wanted me to need him. He encouraged me to think of everything as "something I couldn't do well," or at least, "something he could do better." The things he couldn't do better than I could were things he resented. Actually, he resented a lot of things. He resented my parents' money, my good grades, all of my friends, and swing dancing.

He'd tried to learn so he could dance with me, but he couldn't stand to be in a lesson where I was better than he was. He thought I made him look bad. I embarrassed him. Even if he had been willing to learn, most of the time we lived across the country from each other, and I went dancing without him. He hated me for it. I went anyway.

But I always knew that when I came back, he would want to know if I danced with any cute boys, and I would have to reassure him, no I only danced with ugly boys. No one is as cute as you, sweetheart.

When we broke up I started dancing without the guilt, without the specter of the fight we would have when I got home. I cut off my hair and dyed it blue (something that we'd agreed looked good on some people, but not on me).

And it's been more than ten years, but sometimes when I go dancing I still feel the thrill of independence. I am doing something that I love, and I am doing it well, and there is no shame in that, not anymore.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

between the lines is sanity

The thing to remember is, this blog is a terrible barometer for my life. This blog records only the extremes. I might spend eight hours one day feeling fine, and two hours in abject despair. The two hours get recorded here, the eight hours go unnoticed. Most of the time, I really am okay. It's true that I am not as good as I have been in the past. I am much more fragile, more sensitive and prone to overreacting. I worry, a lot.

I have come to use this blog as a coping mechanism, and my despair, once recorded, becomes just that: a record. It becomes past-tense. I set it down and move on.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

88 characters

Finished syllabus. Can send while i get oil change. Feeling sane again. Thanks for hugs.


I'm unhappy with myself because I spent all afternoon doing nothing, playing on the internet, watching tv, waiting for Dan to wake up again. I'm unhappy with myself because I feel like I wasted the day; I didn't get any work done and I didn't really get to spend time with Dan. I feel stupid for not realizing this would happen in the first place, and I feel stupid for taking so long to realize that I was wasting my time and not doing any of us any good, and I feel sad and pathetic because I was waiting around for the chance that he might wake up again soon and I didn't want to miss the chance. I feel like that girl who sits and waits by the phone, who won't go anywhere or do anything, because he might call. And I'm really stressed about jobs and I'm really stressed about school, I had two days left before everything starts and now I only have one day.

I am self-loathing again. I want to hurt myself again. And as bad as that feels, I feel even worse because I'm angry at myself, embarrassed and self-loathing for feeling this way. Positive feedback loop. I thought I was over this. I thought I was better. I was better. I was confident. I liked myself. I was so fucking proud of myself. And now I feel like I'm 15 again, 19 again, and I hate myself for it. I'm sitting on my bed sobbing loudly and talking to myself, an imaginary confession to Dan.

I cried, a little, before I left Dan's place. And I apologized, and I said I didn't want you to see me like this, and I mean it, but it's not the whole truth. I could have hid it if I had really wanted to. Part of me wants to let myself bawl and be held, but I'm afraid of it. I'm afraid that he won't like me as much once he sees how fucked up I am, how needy I am. I'm afraid that he will still like me. I'm afraid that if I trust him then that lets him in too close. I think I've been intentionally keeping him at a distance by not confiding in him, because if I do, and he stays, then that means there's something more to this than I'd like to admit.

And something more is dangerous, for so many reasons. If I start letting him give me emotional support, I might start depending on him for emotional support, and I have an infinite capacity for needing emotional support. The more it's offered, the more I take. There is no limit. I don't want to turn this relationship into one where he has to take care of me all the time. And even if that didn't happen, and I found a balance, it still leaves us too close. I am trying to not like him too much. I can't afford to like him too much, not when I'm doing my best to leave without him in six months.

And then I come home and get an email from a professor, giving me my assignment for the first day of class, and it's totally over my head and out of my league, which is what everything feels like these days, and I just want to give up.

154 characters

I'm sorry. I'm stressed & scared & unhappy with myself & none of that is your fault. I'm trying to not take it out on you. You've been really sweet to me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Being Good, part 2

So I overreacted this morning. It doesn't matter why, because it's the same thing, really, that I do all the time. I am neurotic and insecure and overly sensitive. Anyway, my feelings were hurt, and this time I decided to tell SD how I felt, some sort of experiment in communication, actually telling him how I feel. And he was sweet, and said the right things. He was sorry, he had no intention of hurting my feelings. But the funny thing was, I told him I know that this is partially because I'm insecure, and that's my problem and I shouldn't take it out on you, and he said he was surprised to hear me say that I'm insecure. He said I don't seem insecure at all.

The thing is, he's not the only one who's been trying to be "good." I've been trying really hard to be good, which, for me, means not being the crazy, neurotic, insecure, needy, clingy, girlfriend that I think I easily could be. I try really hard to keep my problems as my problems, and not make them his. Apparently I've succeeded. He has no idea.

But what, really, have I succeeded at? I have pulled off the illusion that I am confident. I have fooled my boyfriend into thinking that I'm the person that I'd like to be, and I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Check One

Okay it says at the top "please check only one category"

Then, next to one of the categories, it says "please also check this box and indicate your preference for Affirmative Action purposes."

Which means, I think, that I'll be checking more than one category? Despite the instruction to only pick one? One check for "multi-racial" and then one check so I can pick the side I want them to count me as? I am so fucking sick of picking a side. I would THINK that if they've figured out that there's a "multi-racial" category that there are people who don't fit in one box, but they have that category and STILL ask for one box?

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I love the shuffle-shuffle-tap getting the snow off my shoes before going inside. I love soup, and scarves, and my rainbow gloves. I love hot irish creme. I love a warm comforter, and a warm body to share it with. I love waking up in the morning and seeing that the city I went to sleep in has moved out from under me while I slept, and this new city hasn't figured out how to go about its business yet and is quietly waiting to get started.

omg omg omg

I'm famous!

Ravelry peeps: go vote for me!

12:01 am,

and the snow has been falling since 2:30 this afternoon, fat lazy flakes in no particular hurry to reach their final destination. I am driving slowly home. I am writing these sentences in my head, to write down later. I remember that this is how I used to write, in the old days, as I fell asleep, writing and re-writing until I had a paragraph or two, until finally I had written too much to carry and turned on the computer to put it down.

The snow is beautiful. Hardly anyone on the road. Driving as meditation.

At home, I warm up leftover chicken soup--the comfort of chicken soup makes up for my lack of cooking skills. Afterward I warm up a glass of Irish Creme. This may be the best idea I've ever had.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

oh and also

we appear to be back up and running. Hooray!

Being Good

Apparently, on at least one occasion, he had a little time to spare, wanted to see me, but didn't. Because he felt like he should wait until he had time for more than just a booty call. I think he's trying to be "good" to me, or for me. I think it's sweet. I could also cheerfully kill him. He wasn't the only one unhappily celibate. I would had preferred hours to talk and cuddle and hang out. But I would have settled for fifteen minutes every now and then until he got things worked out. I was tearing my hair out, wanting him, and convincing myself that he didn't want me.

Of course, at the time, he never actually said what he was thinking. And I never said what I was thinking. We are poster children for lack of communication.

The same thing happened when we were first dating and I was trying and failing to get him into bed with me. I was confused, and frustrated, wondering are you really more interested in the TV than me? And he was thinking how hard it was to be a "good boy."

I guess this is about two things, really. It's about our lack of communication. Our relationship was nearly over, several times, and we didn't really talk about it. I said things like I really need to be able to see you again, I need this to get better. But I never said if it doesn't get better I'm going to break up with you, and I'm willing to wait until January but that's it.

It's also about these rules he goes by, to be "good." He's always trying to take me out to dinner (it never works, because our schedules never match during dinnertime); he refuses to let me pay for my drinks. He doesn't want sex to seem important to him. And I don't mind, exactly. I do make an effort to buy drinks when he isn't looking, but I appreciate that he wants me to know that I'm more than a convenient, dependable lay. But sometimes I feel the rules assume that I don't have a sex drive. And sometimes I feel like I've been misplaced on a pedestal.

It's funny, because we met under the labels of Bad Boy and Good Girl. He posted an ad looking for someone to Satan-worship with him. I answered the ad and told him that I bathe twice daily in holy water. And I am, comparatively, a Good Girl to his Bad Boy. (One time, he looked at me and said, as if it were a weird thing to find out, you've never been arrested, have you?) But, fuck, I'm not a Leave it to Beaver character. And he seems over-awed, sometimes, by graduate school, by the jobs I'm applying for. I don't want those things to matter. I want to be cute, or fun, or a good kisser. I don't want to be impressive. I wish he didn't see me that way.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Notes left in Barthes, part 3

December 31

Let there be no misunderstanding: it is cold. Even in the middle of summer, the water in San Diego remembers being in Alaska not so long ago. This is December. But because it is San Diego, the cold is not too terrible, and the sun cancels out the breeze, and besides, I am resolved to going in the water today. Last month I put my toes in Lake Eerie (because it was Lake Eerie in November, I quickly took them out again). I am hardly going to chicken out of this venture.

Still, I don't have the courage to just go running in. I walk out a few steps at a time and let the water take me by inches.

Each wave starts with a lifting of the horizon. The water stretches up, and up, until it couldn't possibly hold itself, and then, impossibly, it keeps growing, breathing in and up, reaching above my head before it collapses into a rush of foam. The best part is when I can catch it right at the moment when the first edge of white appears at the top of the wave, right before it turns from a solid wall into rubble. I am lifted, held, and then brought gently down again.

Notes left in Barthes, part 2

December 29

I am always convincing myself that he doesn't want me. I think I must enjoy it--I do it so often. I am so good at it.

I think that what I really want is to be The Other Woman, always in flux, never sure of where I stand. I would have a secret. I would be sexy. I would know the face of the woman I was afraid of.

I am, not happiest, but the most content, when life appears the way it does in the movie version of my life that plays, constantly, in my head. I don't need things to be good, I only need them to be right.

Notes left in Barthes, part 1

December 28

This isn't life. This is happening somewhere around the corner and out of earshot of life. This is notes in the margin.

I don't want to be here anymore. It isn't home, it hasn't ever been home. I feel like a tourist in my own memory. I am done with this strange sunny weather. I want my stupid dingy apartment and my stupid boyfriend who might not be my boyfriend much longer and my ice and snow and stress and my whole stupid life back.