December 10, 2014

I haven't launched it yet (because it has to be SO rad first) but I have a new website and I hope it's going to make all of the publishers in the world drop what they're doing and come offer me all of the jobs.

Just kidding.

No, seriously, like, that'd be cool, but mostly, I just want a creative outlet to share with friends, family, and all of those boys I've been writing about over here who want to see the things I've written, but who can't actually see the things I've written because what would I even say? "Don't pay attention to June-December 2012 because all of those pieces were written about how head over heels I was with you (even though our dates were stupid)", "That piece about a business trip to Boston had nothing to do with that one time you and I went on a business trip to Boston", and "The seven thousand+ essays I've written about your plaid shirts have nothing to do with you, Jude! Coincidence, duhhhh."


So, new website, here I come! I'll let you know when I launch!

(P.S. I have seriously been watching so much Scandal. Can't wait until Imy parents ask me how finals week went and I can say "IT'S HANDLED" like I'm Olivia FREAKING Pope.)

November 24, 2014

"But by God, there will be dancing."

I watched My Best Friend's wedding again tonight and almost cried several times because no matter how much my life progresses, I'm still the Julianne Potter and someone else is still the Michael O'Neal. And do you know how hard that is to come to terms with? 

Anyway, all of this led to an emotional conversation with my best friend, Austin. You know, the George. The one who grounds me and reminds me that "Michael's chasing Kimmie, you're chasing Michael, and who's. chasing. you... Nobody. Get it?"

I love him like WOAH. 

November 16, 2014

I pick up the phone.
“Can I come over? Are you busy right now?” It’s Jude. I feel his urgency and can’t say no.
“Of course. Are you alright?” I ask.
“Yeah, I just need some Courtney time.”

            Twenty minutes later, I am wrapped in a plush blanket on the sofa in my living room. He walks in the door, removes his coat, and looks at me.
            “I’m not interrupting anything, right?”
            “No, I’m just reading. Come here, sit down.” I bookmark my chapter and flip on the T.V. The news is on, so we watch for a while.
            “I’m going to get a glass of water,” he says, “do you want anything while I'm up?”
            “Coke, please. It’s in the fridge below the—”
            “Deli drawer. I know.” He comes back over, sets down a glass of ice and the can.
            “How’d you know I’d want ice?”
            “Because for two years, I’ve studied your intricacies, and ice, even with a refrigerated can of coke, is one of them.” His face is emotionless and pale.
            “What’s wrong, are you okay?” He sets his glass down on the coffee table, reaches for my knee, and lays his head in my lap. I freeze.
            “Do you know why I came here?” My hands are to my sides, to myself.
            “No. Why?”
            “Because I needed consoling and I needed it from you.”
            “Okay,” I say. “Is this about your mom?” 
            “I don’t want to talk about that,” he says, “I just want to be here because I tried to think of the last time I felt safe and it was with you.” Hands still to my side, I let him keep talking. “I wanted to feel safe and less alone and it brought me here.” I don’t reach for him or tell him that I feel less lonely with him, too. Instead, I let him lie in my lap, hand on my knee, until quarter to midnight comes, when I know he’ll leave. 

November 13, 2014

A quick hello from the busiest person in the world.

Well, okay, no.

I am not the busiest person in the world. But holy hell am I MAY AS WELL BE.

So, this is just to say, I am alive. I am well. I am not making boys fall in love with me. And the ones who I might've tried to coax into it wave to me from the hot tub in the courtyard and say Where are you off to in such a rush? Come on in! But I don't. I never do. Because even though my old roommate's ex-boyfriend (who is now my neighbor) looks like Jacob Black, and sits in that hot tub with an almost-degree in political science, I still just do not have time for him. And :( about that.

I am working my tail off planning events, writing press releases, being a top notch employee, researching for this new business transition and planning marketing strategies for a media avenue that I don't understand (but pretend to!)... and all of the shit is slipping at school because it's my senior semester, and GOOD NIGHT, I wouldn't wish any of this upon my worst enemy. It is tough stuff.

My parents have been in Israel for a month and while I think it's really cute that they think they can abandon me like that, it doesn't work that way. I have been a mess without them. I spoke with my mom on the phone the other day and cried. Just cried about the mess my life has erupted into since she has been gone. She, of course, was sympathetic and wonderful. Told me that anything I needed, she could help. But they stopped by Paris on their way home (eye rolls all around) and have "just been having the loveliest time!"And who knows when they're coming back now.

Jude Law has begun to realize the depth of my neediness. Recently, he told me "You're more emotional than you usually are. Lately, you've been letting your emotions rule you and I don't know. It's just not like you. Are you okay? What's going on..." Funny thing is, it's exactly like me, he has just never been in the eye of the storm like he is this go-round. Guess that's the way it goes when you have exactly ONE friend in the town you live. You become readable. Something I've never been before.

Anyway, I'm going crazy--crazy. Like I've never gone before. I don't know. Do we think it will pass?

And, you guys, how would you feel about a different blog? A fresh start. Is there anyone out there still reading this? I think it's time, don't you?

October 22, 2014

Stay Lonely Soon.

I wear an opaque cropped blouse and high waisted, black skinny jeans to tease, to remind him that I am a woman, a force to be reckoned with.

He stares a minute at my slim calves. Ankles crossed, I lean into him. He skates an anxious hand across the duvet. Sifts my hair through his fingers and says there's something more striking about my winter eyes tonight than he's noticed before.

And then, abruptly, just before midnight, he goes back to his own bed. Says he doesn't trust himself here late at night with me lying the way I do on this duvet. 

And I don't know if we're both scared, but one of us is, so we forego a discussion of what he means and instead, find sleep in our respective dreams.

His flannel shirts and Rhett Butler urgency, my Achilles Heel, but let that pass. There's tension in the banter, and he's pulling on my jeans, but carry on. 

Because tomorrow will come, it'll happen again, and we'll both stay lonely soon. 

September 26, 2014

This was my week. Every day. 

 I spent more time in the library this week than I spent at my apartment. I ate all my meals in the car, on my way to campus or actually on campus. I shuffled from work to school to workshop to yadayadayada... It was exhausting. One more paper to turn in tomorrow and then I'm off the grid until Monday. 

Tonight, I talked to my best friend, Kelsey on the phone. She graduated in May and is now teaching high school English at a very progressive charter school in Utah Valley. When questioned my decision and told her I wish I wasn't writing all these papers and finishing up all of this busy work, she tried to raise my spirits by telling me that it was almost over--to just hold out until May. You know. Stuff they all keep trying to tell me. But nothing hit me like the last thing she said: 

"Getting a degree was the best thing I ever did. Knowing that I've done something hard--something really, really hard that only a tiny fraction of the world has done before--is incredibly rewarding." 

Late nights in the library, I'm going to remember that. This is important stuff. College is important and the hardest weeks will be the ones you remember most, right? 

If you're looking for a sign, something to get you back to school, this is it. I promise you, it's worth it. Hard, like, the hardest thing I've ever done, but when I'm not running on four hours of sleep, my life feels wasted because I'm not consuming the world, not devouring books or arguing the differences between dramatic and cosmic irony, oxymoron and paradox. And that's not a life I want, anyway.

 So go to school. 

Do the hard thing.

September 24, 2014

Early Modern Hawaii.

"Here, Courtney! Write this paper on Thomas More's Utopia and contrast it with a primary source from pre-reformation England!"

"Hey, Courtney! Analyze society in Faulkner's "A Rose For Emily" and be sure to mention all the literary devices used to make a point about the south, post-Civil War."

"Courtney, you look like you could use some extra stuff that doesn't apply to anything you want to do ever. Memorize the regression method, find the R.M.S. Error, and spend 7 hours in the library studying so you can get a C on your test!"

"So, Courtney. Take something from your life that you've been wrestling with, make it hard and pithy and stunning, put your whole self into it, and then bring it to class so we can tear it apart and tell you what you need to fix." 

"Welcome to work, Court! We're sending you on a business trip to Honolulu. Like, as in, we're actually going to pay you to go to Hawaii for a week with the insanely rad people that you work with. During school. A month before finals." 

What is sleep, even? Today I spent twelve hours on campus. I've been meaning to get in the office more than I've been able to, but, life comes at you fast. I don't have time for friends or Netflix or any of it at all! I'm planning races, drinking Diet Coke, writing press releases, analyzing literature, and on good days, I remember to eat. Wait, have we addressed that I'm going to Hawaii on business? Serious Q: is this something professors sometimes overlook? Is this allowed? AM I OKAY?! 

There's this great line in Eat. Pray. Love. where Liz talks about how she has actively participated in every decision of her life. It's a contemplative soliloquy that can be tailored to fit every human situation. This idea that one day, she had wanted all of it. 

Well, I can't get that out of my head. Because, turns out, "all of it" is hard as hell to manage. 

September 22, 2014

I don't know, just a thing.

I found this in one of my poetry portfolios tonight. Whenever I have wayyyy too much on my plate (three papers and a statistics test this week, kill me!) and I should be spending time studying, I usually find myself not writing papers and instead sifting through my desktop files. Tonight, I found this. It is from my Advanced Poetry Workshop last semester. Supposed to be one of those poems where you look through magazines and find interesting words and phrases and combine them in interesting ways. That's not what it is, though, because I hate those poems. I'm not very good at that sort of thing, so mine rarely come together in any sort of coherent way. So, this was a bunch of different phrases that came into my head all within a day or two. And anyway, I found it tonight and love the way it is pieced together. Sometimes, even when words mean nothing, they fill this strange hole inside of me that nothing else does. Like, even when the lines don't make sense, they do. A paradox of consonants and vowels that I get attached to. That's how I know I was always meant to be a writer. 

P.S. I was reading a lot of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes around the time this was written... So, lots of second person addresses, short, punching moments, and an uncomfortable amount enjambment. 

Preferring Things
A cut-up poem 

I’ve always preferred wildflowers
to dreams on the site of the battle
at Ghettysburg, and delayed construction
on I-15 has never thrilled me
the way I’d like to be thrilled
by you.

And watch me as I don’t
participate in playful banter
at the dinner table with
your dysfunctional family. Pay
attention to my hair when it
falls across the pages of
your novel, so fetchingly, as we
lie in a field of green memories
and Campbell’s Soup advertisements.

It’s sweet the way
you don’t like Shakespeare,
but you like to eat breakfast
with me.

September 12, 2014

Summer, Part I.

"He struck me with his sophistication, dedication to professionalism, and admitted lack of know-how when it came to child rearing. He makes me thirsty for conversation--thirsty for thinking. He's a grown up. Buys eight hundred dollar suits. Does business lunches. The kind of man you'd like to honeymoon with."

I met a man at the beginning of the summer who taught me so much about myself. About things that make me angry, mostly. Fiery, the good kind. The excerpt above was written mid-May when we met. The first thing I ever wrote about him. And now, I think I'm ready to tell you about the whole thing.

In June, I went to Boston on business. I didn't write anything down about the trip because I wanted to really be there. Snapped a few pictures, but nothing of real note: A panorama of the city against an amber flood of sky. A backlit photo of an incline, apartment balconies saturated with citrus light. I watched him walk through the reaching of my lens as I shot the landscape. The rhythm of the city encircled me. He stood grid-center watching the clouds shift around the buildings. Kept saying, "I want to mold myself to city life soon." I smiled, repeating the eighth month of the year over again in my mind so it would sink in deep. Tried to convince myself that it wouldn't jar me when it came.

We walked along the water front in the dark. His navigating was effortless. There were glass bottom dinner cruises sailing under the green light of a nearby fishing dock and I can't imagine the appeal of a glass bottom boat in the Boston Harbor, but middle age men and women crowded around the center, danced to polka music in the cool summer evening, and it all lit me up in ways I can't explain. I don't remember what we talked about on that forty minute walk, but I remember the way he was so pleased with just being there.
     "Some people, you know, don't like to wander around foreign cities aimlessly like this. It's like they always have to have a purpose. Somewhere to go."
     "Well, not me," I said.
     "Good. Me neither," he said.

He ordered Swordfish at a restaurant with no name. And I want to be clear. This isn't the use of poetic license to romanticize the restaurant. The small seafood eatery on the wharf seemed to belong to no one.

     "Do you want a bite of this?" He said something about how he'd never tried Swordfish and that on a waterfront in Boston seemed as good a time as any.
     I smiled, "Sure." He cut a small piece of velvety fish that fell, steaming, onto his utensil, lifted his fork toward me. I came at his plate with my own, chewed for a moment, hand cupped over the side of my mouth. "Delicious."
     "Isn't it?"

     Walking back, I used a word incorrectly.

     "Huh. Apocalypse. What about all those lights in the building remind you of an apocalypse?"
     "I used the wrong word. I meant to say eclipse. Like when the sun eclipses the moon? Or, maybe it's the other way around. I'm not sure." And I wasn't. I had no idea what I was talking about and we both knew it.
     "Okay, eclipse. Lunar, solar--who knows," he shrugged his shoulders, hands in both pockets as we walked along the edge of the sky line. "Should we grab a taxi to the station? It's getting late." We looked around. A few cars buzzed around us, but no one was on the street.
     "I think we can walk," I said, trying to stretch my minutes.
     "Sounds good to me," he said.

     In a train that led us out of Boston, we sat together on a sloping bench near the sliding door.
     "So, what made you decide to leave?" I asked.
     He scratched the back of his head and raised both eyebrows the way my dad does when he's about to give me financial advice. "Uh," he breathed, "I don't, uh. I don't really know, actually," he shrugged,  "Sorry, that's not really an answer. I just--I don't have anything tying me down at home, and I got this job offer that would've been too hard to refuse. So, I took it," he paused for a moment, stroked his third day scruff. "And, uh. I guess I'm going." My forehead creased. "I think I just started realizing that I'm not going to be in this spot forever, you know? Like, I'm twenty-four. And I love the city, so I'm going for a while. To get it out of my system, before, you know," he motioned with his hands, "a wife. Kids. Mortgage."
     "Right," I nodded, "sounds like you know what you want."
     "I love it back home, but--" The train door slid open, jolting us both. My curls, fallen from humidity, stuck to my lipstick. I looked up at him without regrouping.
     "But you want to go," I finished. He nodded.
     "I do. I just want to try leaving," breaking our contact, his eyes moved to the ground, "and see if I come back."

     We stood up in unison and exited, leaving the conversation in the car, but I'll never forget it.

August 19, 2014

Please see this collage of tragic endings. I want you to feel sad like me, so I'm throwing Schindler's List at you.


Sorry you are so out of the loop. Kept this one locked up tight, unlike all of my other secrets. Honestly, though, I wish we could all sit around the fireplace and have a good, hard cry as I told you about the summer I've had. 

August 18, 2014

"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when, shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void."

August 15, 2014

The story of how YOLO and the concept of being casual changed my life.

Well, okay, it hasn't yet, but WHAT IF IT DOES, YOU GUYS. 

The other night, I was talking to my best friend, Haley, on the phone and first, she taught me about Analysis Paralysis, and then, she diagnosed me with it. I guess it's where you over-analyze your anxieties to the point that you become paralyzed and you stand still while nothing gets solved. 

Well, that's me now, but it didn't used to be. (See archives, summer of 2012-winter 2013--a very confident, different, unapologetic me, who lost those traits because one too many boys made her cry and instead of dealing with feelings where necessary, she didn't do anything about Dimples or the boy in the cafe all of fall semester. Because getting hurt is a pain.)

Well, it took me until about yesterday to remember that this really is the only life I've got, and is it worth a damn thing if I can't speak up for myself like I used to? 

Making all sorts of questionable decisions tomorrow and going to try not to over-analyze any of them. 

(P.S. A glam living room mirror self portrait because, you know, for posterity. THAT MAY COME FROM THESE DECISIONS!) 

August 11, 2014

A very lovely, average woman.


I had a very long talk with my mother last weekend. She told me that when it came to falling in love, she has always worried that I am too smart for my own good, direct quote. 

At first I was mildly offended, but soon realized that I'd rather be too smart than too much of anything else. If a man falls in love with my intellect before he falls in love with me... if it takes him several tries to figure me out and he has to think harder than a woman has made him think before, well, I don't know.

There's this Billy Joel song, Always a Woman to Me, that I've always loved.
In it, he praises the intricacies of a very average woman. 
My favorite stanza:

She's frequently kind
and she's suddenly cruel,
she can do as she pleases,
she's nobody's fool.

I hope that when you think of me, heaven forbid you fall in love with me, all of these things roll through your mind.

August 7, 2014

Can't talk right now. Too busy trying to charm men who look like Linus Larrabee. I'm using my funniest lines and attending parties I don't care about! I can't help it because look! He's successful, drives a nice car, and his face hosts perfect angles! 

Can't wait to tell you all about my summer soon. 

July 16, 2014

Need you to know that it was a pair of pancakes tonight that turned me pouty and reminded me that life's not fair. 

June 30, 2014

Confessions of your Maid of Honor.

The day before they got married, the three of us took a break from backyard wedding prep and stepped out for a bite to eat. Over our lunch, I heard this snippet:

Sam: Haley, may I have a fry? 
Haley: Sure, Sam! Besides, starting tomorrow, my fries are your fries forever!

This was the final click. Haley and I used to share our lunches in middle school. This silly conversation began a recognition of the obvious changes that were to take place the next day. My turn now, I thought, Here I go to pass the torch. 

At the end of the reception, she took my arm and asked me to help her change. As I followed her into the bedroom, I had to force myself to keep the tears inside. Keep your shit together, Courtney. 

I zipped down the back of her wedding dress and began packing the bag just as we'd planned, and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude came over me. I have spent the last eleven years growing up with this woman. She has had such a massive impact on who I am as a person and I cannot thank her enough for being so good to me. I kept making trips out to the getaway car to prolong having to say goodbye, though, once the final bag was placed in the trunk, I was at a loss with excuses. On the bed in a mess of undone hair and grass-stained heels, I sat cross-legged, watching her scramble around the room to ensure everything was in order. 
     "Court! Am I forgetting anything?" she asked. I'll never be able to forget the way she looked at me. Forever cemented in my brain like a sacred, sweet homage to the friendship we shared all those years. Like I was the one with the answers. I was the one who had to tell her things were good and she could go now.
     "I don't think so. I think it's time to go." 
     "Okay," she breathed. 
     "Guess it's time to say goodbye," I said, grabbing both of her hands. As I went in to hug her, the tears ran out of my eyes. I could hear the music outside, the party continuing without us. 
     "Thank you for everything. I love you," she said.
     "I love you, too. You're my best friend." 

And then, she left and it was over.

I was prepared for all the happiest pieces of the day, the parts they play in movie montages. Like, the one where, after she's just been married, I see her through the window, give her a thumbs up, and she responds with the biggest smile, like, can-you-believe-what-I've-just-done? How, minutes later, she walks down the stairs, and I'm the first person she wants to hug. Their first dance as husband and wife. Her hair and the way that it looks just so perfectly undone. I was ready for so much of it. All the good things. 

But nobody tells you about the stuff that makes you ache. No one mentions that after she leaves the reception, you'll sit on the grass under the party lights, barefoot, hair tied atop your head, eating leftover wedding cake, watching all the best parts of their 6 year romance on a plasma screen. There'll be quiet buzz behind you. The cleanup crew will arrive, clinking glasses, pouring leftover water into the plants, and collapsing tables, but you'll be alone. Absolutely alone. The empty parts, like these, are left out of conversation. There isn't a Hallmark card to express the feelings her dad will need to express when he watches his youngest daughter drive away on her wedding night, so, he'll come to you, hug you tight with tears in his eyes, and confess that what he's just done was the hardest thing he'll ever do. Stuff nobody tells you about.

I drove home that night so heavy in my head and heart that I had to pull over, hands on the wheel, and compose myself before driving on. What if things are different now? Now that I can't just call her up any time I want and demand a 3 AM trip to Walgreens.


Tonight, I FaceTimed her. When the call connected, I was overjoyed to find her beach-tanned skin and post-honeymoon demeanor. 

     "I called to see if you were still you, you know, still the same person. Still my best friend," I said.
     "I am. Well, sort of. A little different, though, because now I've got a joint checking account." Still the same person, still my best friend. 

And, my friends, no one tells you that the world sets itself right time after time. And though things are different post-wedding and you talk about sex more often than you used to, there's still more life to do, and she's still the one who's going to be there for you to do it with. She's the best person in the world and she's not going anywhere. 

Here's her wedding video. 413 plays. 400 were played by me. Enjoy!

June 22, 2014

Gone Girl.

"We share a taxi home, the streetlights making dizzy shadows and the car is speeding as if we're being chased. It is one a.m. when we hit one of New York's unexplained deadlocks twelve blocks from my apartment, so we slide out of the taxi into the cold, into the great What Next? and Nick starts walking me home, his hand on the small of my back, our faces stunned by the chill. As we turn the corner, the local bakery is getting it's powdered sugar delivered, funneled into the cellar by the barrelful as if it were cement, and we can see nothing but the shadows of the delivery men in the white, sweet cloud. The street is billowing, and nick pulls me close and smiles that smile again, and he takes a single lock of my hair between two fingers and runs them all the way to the end, tugging twice, like he's ringing a bell. His eyelashes are trimmed with powder, and before he leans in, he brushes the sugar from my lips so he can taste me." 

Too bad I didn't write this. 

Too bad this book is about a murder. 

But if F'd up psychological thrills are your jam, read it. 

June 12, 2014

June Violet Wilde.

Struggling with writing about myself, so I wrote about someone else instead. 

Her name is June Violet Wilde, and I made her up. 

This is all pretty new to me, because I would never call myself a fiction writer. That being said, I have needed to find ways to channel my thoughts in a productive way, so I've been sussing out the details of June for about a year now, but have kept her hidden away in a little word document. This tiny chunk has been through a fair share of edits and will need a few more, I'm sure. I didn't feel ready to share her with anyone else until I was overlooking a pass of mountain this evening and felt like doing something brave. 

I haven't fleshed out much of a coherent exposition because I think scenes come in waves. And also, I have no idea where I would even begin. Not quite sure where I want to take this yet, or how much I'd like to share--still trying to wade my way through story outlines, conflict resolution, and dialogue, oh, dialogue.

Please keep in mind that June Wilde is very much a person to me, dear and close to my heart, so please be kind.


     “You’re pretty. I like you and love you and I want you to put down that newspaper, come over here, and let me kiss you for a while.”
     “Did you know that the average cost of a dinner in New York City is forty-three dollars and thirty four cents?” I walk over from the kitchen with a half-eaten apple in my left hand. My right holds the New York Times. “See that?” I hold it up to his face. “It’s right there in The Times.” I take a bite of the apple, sit down on the arm of the chair he’s sitting in, and continue reading. He puts an arm around my waist.
     “I think you’re worth every penny.” He pulls me in and kisses my cheek. I’m wearing pink and grey cotton pajamas with my pants tucked into tall socks, and that’s how I know he’s telling the truth.
     “We shouldn’t go out anymore. With the taxi, just to get out of Tribeca--that’s a hundred dollars a night! Think of what we could be spending that money on!”
     “A trip to Bali,” he says, kissing all around my face. I continue reading.
     “Oh, babe! Look at this,” he doesn’t mind me, but continues his charade. “They’re honoring Reagan at the Guggenheim on the seventeenth. My dad loves Reagan.” He begins unbuttoning my pajama top when I gasp. “My dad!” Startled, he sits up.
     “Well, if that isn’t the most alarming buzz kill at a time like this…”
     “No, no. That’s not—I forgot that I told my parents we would stop by next week. And also, I think I forgot to tell you.” I straighten the buttons that have been undone. “Wait, you want to go to Bali?”
     “We. As in, you and I?”
     “Who else would I mean? Yes, you and I.”
     “Okay, well, your parents live in New Hampshire, so just stopping by is a difficult thing to do.”
     “The seventeenth. Six o’clock.”
     “That’s going to be tight, but I can probably make it if Grant will handle my last account. By the way, your parents. They don’t know that we’re…”
     “Getting married? No.” I bite my nails. It’s a nervous habit I picked up somewhere along the road of debutant balls, beauty pageants, and I blame my mother for it."Or sleeping in the same house. Or bed. Or even that we know each other."
     “Well, where do I sign up?”
     “You're playing in jest, but you don’t get it,” I say, standing up, “they’re wealthy and my dad plays golf.”
     “What's not to get? I could play golf!”
     “I love you, Ian, but you cannot play golf.”
     “Okay, no golf, but I can schmooze your dad, and that's something!”
     “You didn’t even vote in the last election.”
     “Yeah, but I’ve got stuff! Magic, June. I can work dad magic.”
     “And I think it’s sweet that you genuinely think that. The point is that I promised a trip to see them with you in tow, and, well, I didn’t promise them you, but you’ve got to meet sooner or later.”
     “And you've chosen to make it the night you tell them that I even exist, which is equal parts terrifying and fun.”
     "You're not understanding this because you're from Portland where people have time. Lots of it. The land of Keens, organic juice cleanses, and riding your bike to work. I don't want to give them time to think you over. They just need one dose of you in one fowl swoop, and you're in. I just--with too much time they'll... I don’t want them to wreck you up.”
     “First of all, going to add ‘wreck you up’ to a list of ‘Things I Never Thought June Wilde Would Say’ and second, I am the accountant version of James Van Der Beek. Everybody loves me.” He’s trying to calm me down, which is something that often works, but I am still internally panicking.
     “I know. You’re right. So, let’s go. Will you go with me? I guess I never really asked.”
     “Happily, I will. But only if you won’t embarrass me in front of them,” he says. “I’m concerned about your outward appearance because I’ve only just noticed your pants tucked into your socks and it’s making me second-guess our agreement.” We laugh together and he takes a bite of the apple in my hand.
     “If I promise to adjust myself to a list of set stipulations, will you come with me to New Hampshire?”
     “Let me… think about it.” I slide myself from the arm of the chair and into his lap.
     “Please?” My apple arm is around his neck and I’m removing one of my socks with the other.
     “Oh, is this how you’re going to get me to go? You’re just going to keep removing your clothes?”
     “No, I was under the impression that my socks were the only item of clothing you opposed. But the clothes-removing theory you speak of has worked in the past, so I might try that if this doesn’t do the trick.”
     “I hate everything you're wearing. I hate it all!”

 I kiss him long, apple in hand, one sock removed, and we’re both very, very late for work.