A single past (part 3 of 4).


The first slow-dance that Phil and I shared was the final song of the Valentine’s Day Dance our freshman year of high school.  I don’t remember what the song was but it was 2005, so, use your imagination.  The dance was, inappropriately enough, held in a local bar that closed down for the event and we swayed and smiled. In that same spot, eight years later, I would be dancing with less-than pure intentions with a guy I never thought about during third period math class.

Our first kiss was behind the Museum in town.  We were seated under a tree and were joking about something (I don’t remember what) when he looked at me and simply told me to kiss him.  I did.  It was nice.  We did it again and his tongue came into my mouth and, in shock, I bit it.

The relationship wasn’t solid.  I still maintained my short-term dating style with Phil but over a course of four years.  I loved Phil, yet I was afraid of love, so even though he told me he loved me on a few occasions, I never admitted it back to him. Eventually he stopped saying it to me.  A small part of me is hoping he reads my blog so that he can just know that there was a time that I was in love with him.

We hugged a lot when we were together.  I was afraid to kiss him after the first incident.  I’d get over that by senior year when we weren’t together but tended to find each other in the dark room during photo class.

In preparation for this segment I went through my email to read our old correspondences.  There weren’t a lot but there were some that proved we were close once.  One conversation involved me just checking in with him to see that he was okay when he didn’t show up for school one day.  Another were a series of fractals that he sent to me on Valentine’s Day.

valentine's day


This boy is the smartest person I knew at the time (he’s still pretty high up on the list).  He was teaching himself physics our sophomore year and I tried to get Chuckie to teach me something about it just so I could impress Phil (sadly, I think I just embarrassed myself with both of those boys).  He also is extremely talented with a camera in his hand.

He made me an earring once.  He never finished the pair so I would wear it on one ear and just part my hair in such a way that you couldn’t see that my other ear was naked.  I keep the earring in a keepsakes box on my desk.

At the Junior Prom after-party, a drunken me got separated from her friends and confusedly wandered around the bonfire.  Phil found me and held me until we fell asleep in front of the dwindling fire.  When it got too cold, he took off his peacoat and laid it over us like a blanket.  Looking back, that was probably the first time I realized I felt safe when I was with him; in a way he was home.

I don’t know who ended it for the last time.  We never had dramatic break ups for the whole school to witness.  We weren’t those people.  Our breakups tended to be simple, to the point, and with educated reasoning.

A friend of Phil’s died at the end of the summer after our graduation.  All I wanted to do was comfort him the way he had comforted me at that prom party.  I didn’t because this grief was too big for any of us to handle and I didn’t know then that comfort is the same in all arenas of life. I regret not going to him to this day.

Phil never tried to change me.  He never needed me for anything but who I was and didn’t complain when who I was compromised our relationship.  He was the first consistently inconsistent boy in my life.  He was also the first person to tell me to pursue my creative writing career (I have it in writing).

A small part of me wishes I could go back and love Phil as fully as he loved me.  I think my life would be different and I would be less afraid of love.   I don’t think we would have made it past high school either way but I think I could have learned a lot about love and relationships from Phil if I had just given him the chance.

A single end game.


It shall hereby be known that I am, officially, the worst.

The worst at what? You may ask.

Well, dear readers,  I am officially the worst at the end game.  I can cast a lure, I can get the guy interested, but I can never seem to figure out an end game.  This always leaves the boy confused, me frustrated, and both of us disappointed.

The fact is that most of the time I know my end game is ultimately going to be different from his.

Let’s take Jesse, for example.  Jesse was dancing at the Box when I rolled up last Wednesday looking to dance and drink.  So my friends and I joined Jesse in a few moments of awkward 80’s style dancing (which is the best any of this group could accomplish).  At one point, I walked up and just started to flirt with him, luring him in to the situation.  We danced. We flirted.  We laughed.  We generally had a good time.

Then the Box lights came up and it was time to go home and Jesse looked at me expectantly.

“Want to come check out my room?” He asked.

“I can’t.  I have to be up early.”

“Me too but I can go all night if you’re up for it.” He moved in closer for the kill.

And that’s when it usually hits me.  It’s like a giant, red-flashing sign in my head that reads ABORT telling me to run and run fast.  I mean, I flirted and initiated the entire situation but, when it came down to it, I was afraid to reach that end game.

So instead of jumping in a cab and following Jesse home I simply said, “Maybe next time,” and then left so quickly that there is probably a trail of regret and poor life choices burned into the floor of the Box. I know how unfair that is to poor Jesse.  He put all his chips in, hoping for the best, and I unceremoniously just swiped them off the table and walked away.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, Readers, I’m just worried that if I keep this up that this blog will become a barren wasteland of frustration and angst.  I’ve got to get out of this defunct end game.

Any suggestions for me, Kids?

Single Throwback Sunday: A single excuse.

In school, teachers don’t let you get away with excuses.  If you didn’t have a paper or other homework assignment with you when it was due then an excuse just wasn’t going to cut it.  “What?” teachers would say accusingly, “Did your dog eat your homework?” No.  I just didn’t manage my time in order to actually finish the work but who wanted to admit that?  There was no excuse, that’s what we both knew, I just wanted them to give me the favor of believing that I had a dog who really wanted to eat my homework that particular night before a mid-term project was due.   I wanted some extra time. But we don’t get viable excuses to use in real life and that’s what our teachers knew before we did – that was the lesson they were teaching us all along.
If you are one of my loyal followers then you may have noticed my multiple-week absence.  No, my dog didn’t eat my laptop and my great-great-great distant relative, twice removed, didn’t pass away.  There was nothing even close to these unfortunate situations.   I simply didn’t have enough time in the day to actually try to fit in time to flirt with a boy whom I barely know or analyze the messaging techniques that I use when communicating with a mysterious bachelor on the internet and then write some witty words describing the situation.
It’s all fun and games until he grows up
to eat your boyfriend.
From: http://static.gotpetsonline.com/pictures-gallery/
And, as I write this, I can only wonder what my time management skills will mean for me in the coming years.  What if I don’t have time to sit down and flirt? What if I end up alone because I couldn’t manage my time well enough to actually try to get me a man? What excuse would I use then? Because some day, about twenty years from now, my mother is going to look at me and ask me why I’m the only one of her daughters who hasn’t given her grandchildren.  I’ll have to look down at my shoes while I mumble something about how the dog ate my boyfriend.  
There is no denying that is a viable excuse but that doesn’t mean I can use it all the time.  There is not a single excuse that I can use now that will make me feel like I have accomplished anything more. Nothing will convince me that I have found love, that I have traveled.  There are no excuses for life.  All that can be done is your best.  That’s what I’m doing – my best.  I’m just finding that it’s not enough these days which means I’m going to have to do better than my best.  Will that require even less sleep from me? Yes.  Will that require some serious planning? Yes.  Will that require me to stop asking so many questions in my blog? Yes.  I’m going to do more.  Stop making excuses for myself and keep the masses entertained with more blogs.  
But you all should know that my blog did eat my homework.  
I couldn’t resist that one.
But, really, it did.