My 40 days are almost up, and only today do I realize how much I’ve learned and how far I’ve come. It’s okay to hurt. Pain is a part of life. Pain isn’t optional. Suffering is. I choose better for myself.
Hiding away from the world in my aunt’s beautiful apartment, I Skype with Puppy. She catches me doing this, says hello, exclaims over his good looks. Later she asks what I knew she’d ask. “Does he know what you are?”
I’m in too good of spirits to give anything but the perfect answer. I sigh. “Yes, Titi. He knows that I’m an asshole.” She walks away laughing.
I wake up safe in my bed with Puppy, relieved beyond measure. I’m supposed to go visit my aunt in the suburbs today, but Puppy and I can’t seem to stay away from each other. I make us an amazing breakfast. We linger in the bath until the water gets cold. We fuck until I’m in pain, still unwilling to stop.
Eventually I go off into the cold night towards another inevitability. A she-wolf’s work is never done, and it’s time to start working on something I promised myself I’d do a long time ago: start healing my family.
I’ve known I needed to do this for a long time but never really had the strength til now.
“When a man tells you he’s going to hurt you, believe it.
They always warn you and they’re always right.”
I knew this would happen. All day I knew it. My anxiety rode high though I tried to play it cool. Even when Mme. Lapin bought me an expensive and forbiddingly delicious milkshake as a kind gesture to quell my obvious stress, it almost overwhelmed me. I take deep sips of that NYC-in-Spring scent all day as I walk around with the Lapins doing errands at work, hoping to ward off the inevitable.
And tonight it happens, just like I knew it would. I see Green-Blue before I even have one boot in the bar. I feel my heart break into a million pieces. I look at Puppy desperately and then away guiltily. I cannot control how I feel, but I can control the way I act. So I keep it cool: I drink some drinks, smoke some cigarettes, take a Xanax, and black out most of the night’s events. I only wish I could forget the cigarette I went to smoke, catching Green-Blue’s eyes— I didn’t realize he was still at the bar. My own eyebrows knit and I offered a pained smile. He held my gaze for a heartbeat, excused himself from the conversation he’d been having with a mutual friend, and brushed past me back into the bar without saying a word.
It was like I didn’t exist. It was like we were nothing. It was like every time we woke up smiling at each other surrounded by pillows and the scent of our sex was a lie or some fabrication in my mind. We never danced in his living room. We never made thoughtful meals for each other. We never spent hours talking in candlelight. Nothing.
Everything is fine. I know it. It just wasn’t right. He warned me, so I left. He didn’t want me, so he let me go. I love Puppy, and not as some mere consolation prize. Everything is going to be alright. I’ll get over it. I’ve been through worse than a failed romance.
But in my heart of hearts, I replay walking out of the bar with my cigarette over and over in my head. It’s the same every time. Instead of walking away, Green-Blue grabs me and holds me. I cry, he gives me his sly sexy smile. I kiss him goodbye, giving him all I have like I always did during our brief time together. He kisses back. He says something, the right thing, whatever that is that closure entails. He gives me a squeeze, I give him a sniffle, and we walk in opposite directions. And that’s it, the end.
I don’t know what to do about it anymore. I can act tough and strong all I want, I can move on and live life and be happy, but I’m concerned that I’ll always mourn(even to the tiniest extent) the exact color of those peepers of his.
We make a pointed decision to stay away from each other for a day, Puppy and I. I have various existential crises-du-coeur all day yet again, chainsmoking my electronic cigarette and doing errands before I can even think of what to waste my day off on. I bank on a night with the girls, and drag my corpse to the Lower East Side yet again. When the girls choose a bar and he shows up, he leaves before I arrive. Later at another bar, I see him walking outside and run out to him, kiss him, and send him back on his way.
Baby gets tired early, the marijuana she’d smoked earlier wearing her down. Ari walks her to the train because she’s besotted with Baby, and I lone wolf it to a club I used to favor destroying myself with free vodka in. I am delighted to find it’s lost its flavor, and have a single free drink before Ari calls me back scathing. We discuss meeting up again but I end up deciding to go home.
On the train I am delighted when Puppy’s sister boards the car I’m in, and move to sit by her. We talk excitedly, bonding easily. I walk her home and linger outside her and Puppy’s home before looping back the two blocks to my own home, ecstatic to have a wonderful new friend.
Puppy texts me to ask how girl’s night went and asks if he can stop by for a goodnight kiss. When he comes in, it’s obvious that he’s not leaving. I tell him to get his ass in my bed and follow him down the hall to my room.
I think they’re silly.
My back is an excruciation.
I didn’t get wasted. Again.
I showered quickly enough to make girl time happen.
Tonight’s the night. Puppy is long overdue for me to make him one of my famous meals. I think about why I delayed so much and my thoughts drift to Green-Blue and how our brief relationship revolved so much around cooking for each other. Our time together was always very selfish and indulgent, the aromatics created between us clinging to our skin and made indiscernible from our sex. I decide it’s high time to start shaking it all off once and for all.
I feel bad thinking that my lingering feelings and memories have kept me from consummating my love for Puppy in this way. I put extra work into the meal, fretting and fussing. Fingers stained with fresh turmeric and reeking of garlic and cumin, I finally present to Puppy his due.
The fragrant meal I place before him is delicious, but also a loaded gun. I don’t, can’t tell him that eating, accepting, enjoying this food makes him thoroughly mine, so I don’t.
Nothing in the world smells like, or better than, New York City in spring. The scent is pervasive, evocative, and addictive unlike anything else I can think of. Every time it fills my nostrils I lose myself quite thoroughly. To attempt to describe it would be an insult to its beauty, so I won’t try now.
I struggle somewhat with leaving my house, the City’s scent wafting through my every room of my apartment, haunting me, leaving me torn between being a real girl and a werewolf. It takes last year’s man lover engaging me in an hour-long G-chat. We end on a note of friendship, and I was happy. We met as lovers but it was clear we should have been friends all along, and with the fullness of time, it’s happened.
I find a patch of white hairs on the side of my head and pluck them slowly, reverently. I discover that some of them are actually banded white, black, white again. This upsets me and I have a slight crisis-du-coeur until Ari prompts me to go out, which I do with some struggle.
Day melts into night in a haze of beer and whiskey and tacos. Dinyar comes to meet us. I feel young and strong and free, but am also conscious of my drinking. I leave to meet with Puppy and friend. The day was so nice, I almost don’t mind the gallbladder attack that racked me before I fell asleep in pain in Puppy’s bed.
Puppy and I spend an increasing amount of time together, and oddly this doesn’t bug me. I can’t really remember a day we haven’t spent time together. It occurs to me that I’ve never really had a conventional romantic relationship before this and that I have no idea if this is normal or alright.
I decided to not think about it too much and when he invites me to have drinks with his sister, I agree even though I’m exhausted. Puppy’s sister has the same striking-but-shy beauty as a deer in the woods. I friend crush on her immediately as we all feel out a comfortable-yet-somehow-still-awkward conversation. Puppy and I leave early, exhausted but happy.
I fell in love with Puppy’s sister when we were talking about our mutual love of pens/writing implements and she succinctly stated that all of a person’s potential is in a pen. I never thought of it so perfectly and simply before.
Threatening mutiny. Sacrifice:
Fear of assimilation
Puppy’s sister and her many notebooks
I didn’t even want to drink at the bar
I got dressed and ready to go out after a hard day’s work.
Another extra day at work, I spend a lot of time thinking about the way all sorts of relationships work: family, friends, lovers, etc etc. Oddly, this doesn’t stress me too much. I go back and forth trying to determine what’s right and if there’s such thing as being right in matters of the heart, etc etc. All I am certain of is this: any sort of love isn’t selfish.
I can say sorry as well as forgive. I’m not petty(well, I may have petty thoughts, but I control my actions). I can admit when I’m wrong. If I’m unclear about something, I’ll ask for elaboration. I wasn’t always this way. I’m grateful I’ve come this far, but kind of sad that it isn’t so common. I can feel myself pouting, silently scold myself, and throw myself into caring for Mlle. Lapin. It always feels good to make someone else happy, after all… especially a child.
After a long walk with the baby and her typically happy demeanor on yet another beautiful sunny Brooklyn day I dream of summer, of long hair and tan skin. Memories of balmy nights, cereal mornings, and listening to Duran Duran’s “Rio”. I go to meet Puppy for sushi in a strangely happy mood.
Confession: I’m not really surprised she hasn’t checked in on me or apologized or even tried to see what’s up.
I agreed to shag in a strange place and it wasn’t my idea.
I didn’t turn down another day of pay in favor of fun.
I bump into my aunt after work, while I am trying to prepare for Puppy’s birthday celebrations tonight. I oblige her in sharing a cup of coffee and regret it somewhat— I’d forgotten that she behaves in such an entitled manner that I find myself desperately apologizing to service people in her wake. It’s fine, we chat. I escape with a green tea drink, but not before she asks me for the millionth time why I’ve disfigured my face by piercing my nose. I remind myself that I care about her and respond with grace.
Later I am fretting over birthday cake, over a card, over looking nice enough for Puppy to solicit jealous glances from other men to give him a little ego boost. The night ends up wonderful in spite of my trivial anxieties. Back at home, I fearlessly give Puppy his gift: my love.
What will be will be. I have my Rider-Waite deck, but I can’t predict the future any more than anyone else. I just don’t think I’ll have anything to regret if I keep doing my best.
I worry about becoming like my aunt sometimes: embittered, alone, angry, close-minded.
ticking like a bomb
My fear of caring for Puppy.
pens and all their potential
Bumping into my aunt was extremely strange for me.
I’m not the same girl I was when I started writing this. I’m not a different person. But I’m not the same. With 12 days left in this project, I figure I’ve got time to sort it out.
I didn’t think this would happen when I started. I expected 40 days of who-knows-what-but-most-likely-nothing. Instead, I’ve been forced to take a good hard look at myself, make changes, overcome obstacles… and I feel amazing. I’ve had to lay out both my strengths and my weaknesses. I’ve stopped fetishizing my own self-destruction in less than 30 days of self-reflection. Relationships have strengthened or dissipated as they needed to. Everything has happened just as it should.
When one achieves a lifelong wish, however accidentally, what does one then do with oneself? It seems like there’s only one option here: upward and onward. A person can always be a better friend, lover, sibling, child, etc. I spend the day in somewhat of a stupor in my bed before deciding that if improvement starts with caring for oneself, I should probably do my laundry for the first time in months.
For all my strength, NYC laundromats fill me with nameless dread. I can never afford to send my laundry out, so instead I have nearly 100 pairs of underwear and an obscene amount of clothing so as to make putting off trips to the laundromat easier.
Fear of the laundromat.
I only had to take one Xanax to endure my trip to the laundromat.
My day dissolved slowly until I was able to provide love for my boss in a dark hour. As I prepared tea for her and her husband and the baby alternately giggled and groused, the simplicity of my love for this family overwhelmed me. It was just for a moment, but the thought stayed with me all night.
“You’re a treasure,” Madame Lapin(my boss and her family shall hereby be refered to as “X Lapin” for the purposes of this blog) says as I work my magic. This fills me with strange bliss. I am sent off into the night with Monsieur Lapin’s ancient, precious, consummately badass leather motorcycle jacket as a ward against the unexpected rainstorm. Trust and love are given, trust and love received.
I started this writing exercise in part to try to assess a deep need. I formulate my entries every day, whether or not I actually write them in whatever way on whatever day. This causes me to think a lot about my interactions in real time. On this day I find myself gobsmacked with the realization that I am getting the love I’ve always needed, in a completely different place than where I’d been searching for it in. I rode the train home in the Lapin’s pleasantly spicy smelling leather with my heart full of words, feelings, and joy.
It’s as simple and complicated as this: I am, for the first time in my life, being given Freelove. No one worries about it or assesses it, it’s given openly and easily and without hesitation, reciprocated with perfect symmetry. There’s no point system or obligation, but there is an excess of appreciation and gratitude. Completely unexpected and unsolicited, a serendipitously perfect anomaly in this world.
Dichotomous, fey, strange. I'm a wolf in girl's clothing.
My interests include: 80s pop culture, accesories, adam ant, andalusia, anomie, antiquated turns of phrase, art deco, artificial strawberry flavor, berlin, cosmetic couture, depeche mode, dexter, duran duran, epaulets, fairy tales, france, gaga, gloves, human league, iamx, jewelry, joanne harris, ladytron, michael crichton, oingo boingo, paris, perfume, photography, semi-precious stones, shoes, sneaker pimps, stephen king, sweden, tears for fears, the lower east side, wine, and yasmin le bon.
I am twenty-six and living the American Dream in Brooklyn.