November 24, 2015

Hi hey hi it's me I'M ALIVE

I'm alive! I don't write as often as I used to, but when I do, it's on my private Instagram account (that you're welcome to follow if you don't already—@clkdelight). 

I can't even remember the last time I blogged? July, was it? Oh, how much has changed since then. I fell out of like with a man who ticks all the boxes on my checklist and back into love with another who does not, but who kisses my neck and leaves long voicemails when he gets overwhelmed.

And anyway I hate my new job. But life is good. I am in the city with the sunsets and the skyscrapers and life is still so good.

July 16, 2015

Your brain on men. *Your brain on men with salary jobs and law school dreams.*

"I think you're sort of comically great. And I thought it seemed so promising, so, I bungled it. Because that's what I do. I bungle things."

July 8, 2015

On egg shells about you.

     "We need to have a serious talk," he says. We're in the back corner of a Sports Authority in a wealthy New Jersey suburb. It's Friday afternoon. I've had him for three hours and I'm looking for ways to prolong our time. I'm organizing boxes and he's following close behind.
     "Okay, what about?" I slam a box of race bibs down on the registration table.
     "When you're moving out to D.C."
I roll my eyes, audibly laugh in a nonsensical way, like it's impossible to even consider. In my mind, I tell him what our mutual friends have suggested I boldly say: if I do, are you going to take me on a real date?
     "What makes you think I'm going to make that move?" I say.
     "Lots of things," he twirls a pen between his fingertips, "first of all, we've talked about this--it's your city." 
     "Why are you pushing so hard?" I ask, hands on my hips. Hard to look authoritative and in control in yoga pants and a neon tank muscle tee. He leans against the table I'm working to clear.
     "Oh, come on! There's so much we haven't done yet! So much left to do! Now that I've been there long enough, I've developed some favorite spots and I can't wait to show you."
     "I want to. I really want to move there, but--"
     "No, sorry, no excuses," he says, waving his hands around. "I'm starting to believe you don't want it at all."

My mind shifts into mayday mode. What if he really believes I don't want it? What if I've played it too cool? Will he stop begging? I like it when he begs!

     "Oh, I want it. I promise I want it." 
     "Then prove it," he says, a devious smile across his face. "Tell you what: you come visit me again this summer, and I'll change your mind. Again." He folds his arms across his chest. "And, hey! If you end up moving out there, might just be a surprise waiting for you." 
     "Well, tell me what it is and maybe I'll decide right now." 
     "Oh... Sorry. No can do! Move to D.C. I'll have it waiting." 

He grocery shops for M&Ms. Bags and bags of them. Says he's only going to buy one this time, but always returns with more. He plays the piano. Has curly hair that springs just so when he's neglected a haircut. Likes mediocre Chicken Tikka Marsala and when I make biting remarks on his behalf. He's reverent about the American flag and hates the idea of a family dog, something I find strangely intriguing and, uncharacteristically, endearing.

Give me the time and remove my pride, I think I could, very easily, become an east coaster soon.

June 19, 2015

For Jude.

Where's that line I used to know?

With love, 

the one who slipped on you.

June 10, 2015

March 26, 2015

     I lay my head on his chest and pull an arm up to fuss with his shirt buttons. We each wait for the other to speak.
     "So, we're just not going to talk about this?" he asks. 
     I shake my head. "There is nothing I need to say."  
     "Really? Nothing. At all?" 
     I look up at him, seeing only the outline of his chin through the dark. "What were you expecting?" 
     "I don't know," he runs a solitary finger in a straight line across my back. Pins together the wings of my shoulder blades and it feels like a metaphor. "I just got into so much trouble last time we did this--" 
     "Yeah, well, last time was different," I say, "you're not in trouble."
     "What do you mean last time was different? I remember last time being remarkably similar to this time." 
     "Except, no Jimmy Kimmel," I remind him. 
     "No, you're right. No late night television. This time, we sort of just pulled ourselves together in the dark and silence, didn't we?" 
     "And last time, you kissed me goodnight." 
     "What does that have to do with anything?" 
     "Never mind what it has to do with anything. You're not going to do it again."
     "Okay, fair enough," he laughs, "how are you feeling?" 
     "Nothing." I say. He laughs again. "No, honest. I feel nothing. Hollow."
     "Wow," he says. "Never heard that one before."
     "You've never kissed a girl who felt nothing?" I ask, pulling my face up near his.
     "I have to say--this is a first."
     "What, you've never kissed your best friend before?"
     "Not like this, no." My forehead rests against his cheek and I feel the creases, laugh-lines I've always caged a fondness for, melt into me. "Well, so, what's protocol? I mean, what do we do now?"
     "This. Exactly this," I say. He shakes me.
     "What? No."
     "No, I mean it! I'm leaving as soon as I can get out of here. We've already broken the rules and we both enjoyed it. Might as well break them again." I reach a hand up against the light scruff I know takes him weeks to grow and I pull him toward me because I know it works. He doesn't resist, but lightly lines my collarbone with his lips. A minute passes and he wriggles away from me.
     "We can't--I can't do that... this! To you. I can't do it."
     "Yes, you can. I'm practically gone already. This is a free pass. I'm giving you permission."
     "No. I refuse to let us get to that point. You are too important to me," I pull him toward me again, and let him keep talking. Talking, kissing. Collar bone, resisting. "I respect you too much. You mean too much and I don't want you to bolt again."

     Minutes later, we are still beside one another in that bed. That tiny bed inside the little brick house with the big, blue door. I can smell the sheets--cedar wood and mint julep. We're laced together, tastefully disheveled like Venus and Mars in that Botecelli, and I can't make sense of the words I hear him say. Some kind of backwards love ballad.

I can't kiss you, can't touch you again. Because I love you too much.

     And it hurts. Good hell, it hurts.

May 20, 2015

Help. I'm feeling.

It's a weird thing to be at a point in your life where you can do anything you want, but you're stuck in squares one and two until the fairy godmother shows up and grants you five wishes. (In my fantasy, it's a godmother, not a genie. And there are five wishes--not three. Because in my own fantasy, I'm the boss and I deserve my bonus wishes, honestly.)

When I am sad, I buy dainty underwear.
When I am really sad, I walk around my apartment in it and try not to bake more chocolate cake. 

I have a few big decisions to make in the next months. Having everything to do with where I'm going to end up and what I'm going to do when I get there. Each decision, I'm learning, will take a lot of heart, but heart's hard when you're ruled by your brain. 

Can't sleep again, so I scrolled old text messages and tried to convince myself that moving across the country wasn't the answer. No small feat, I'm afraid, because I stumbled across this and fell back in like with the city. And its people.

I once wrote this: 
"Thinking about The Jefferson at sunset, Arlington in the pouring rain, the handsome man who collected me at the Pentagon City metro stop, and how in the world I ever got here."

Hard to argue with it, right? 


May 15, 2015

May 11, 2014

There was the gravel road, the big, white mansion, your mom in the garden, and there was me.

I didn't want to come inside because I knew it would make me feel things. Things for you, things for the white mansion. For your mother in her gardening gloves and a beige linen dress. I knew I couldn't get away empty if I came inside, which is always a thing I'm trying to get away on, isn't it? I often run on only enough to carry me through. To the next gas station, the next meal. The next time I see you.

That's it with you. I want empty because it's less work. And work is something you're a lot of. And if you're work, then I want empty because it means there's less of you. 


I wrote this last year after my first visit to the big, white mansion on the outskirts of Brigham City. The first time I met Jude's mother, she was gardening and warm. A month or two before she'd been diagnosed. She invited me inside, but I declined her invitation. Because I was just too scared.

Last Friday, I went back to the big, white mansion and this time, I went inside. Started writing about the experience tonight and couldn't even get through the thing without choking up.