March 3, 2012

“But you and I, we know the truth. We know something about real life, don’t we?” -Sex and the City

Following my revelation, I start seeing The Writer less. He is offered a job on the TV show he’s been trying to get on but earlier than planned. He has to rush to turn in the sample script he’s been putting off, before the offer is official. So I stay up all night writing half of his script with him and call in sick the next morning to help him edit it. My kickass temp job soon becomes my kickass full-time job, and he visits me during lunch once or twice. I bump into him at parties, and he enthusiastically introduces me to people, who I suppose are meant to be important. He begins calling me pet names–babe, pumpks. In return, I become increasingly sassy in the way I speak to him. But it only makes things harder. My sass turns to aggression, and he doesn’t know what to make of it. I’ve become like a little dog that won’t stop snapping. And I can’t seem to shake the thought that’s been echoing through my mind over and over since the concert: My life would be better if we were together. It’s not something I want to believe, not at all. But I do believe it.

So I decide to make a choice. I’ll seek refuge in distance, stay away from him and give my heart some space. I already have a long weekend planned to visit my family, and I book a week long trip to New York. When I go back to my city, I realize how much I’ve changed, how much I’ve compromised. When I return to L.A., I find myself unable to write, so I bury myself in work instead.

I start seeing someone else. His name is Drew. I take it slow with him at first, but then things become very fast-paced.

“You have these walls up like I’ve never seen in anyone,” he tells me after a few weeks. “I’ve been hurt before,” I tell him. He sees me differently than anyone else does. That is the quality that I find most appealing in a partner. It’s the fastest and most constant way to make someone feel special–just see them differently from the rest of the world. The Writer did that, too.

Drew and I have great chemistry–our relationship quickly becomes very physical. It’s not like what I had with The Writer. It’s more brutal. Brutally comforting or brutally sorrowful. “I miss you always,” I whisper to him, crying quietly one night when we’re out, and I’m too drunk to be conscious. He just laughs at me and gives me a squeeze, and the next day I laugh about it, too. He is never bothered by truth the way everyone else seems to be.

I cook him dinners, and he spends the night. While we fall asleep, he presses his nose into my hair and whispers to me in the dark. In the morning, he goes out on my balcony for a cigarette. It’s cold, so I sit between his legs, and he holds me while he smokes.

The playing field is more even with Drew. When our lips part after a kiss, he looks into my eyes with endless Read the rest of this entry »


February 26, 2012

“What is essential is invisible to the eye.” -The Little Prince

I feel someone tap me on the shoulder. In the middle of this sea of people, I decide to ignore whoever it might be, but I receive a follow up tap. Turning around, I see a girl with glowsticks braided into her hair, wearing a gushing smile. She opens her mouth to say something: “Kiss him!”

Let’s back up. I’m standing in the parking lot of an LA Metro station with some of my closest friends, looking raved-out. We’re on our way to a music festival where Chromeo, our favorite band, is playing. I puff-painted my shirt with some of their song titles and lyrics with the words “NEEDY GIRL” written in big pink and green letters across my chest, and I’m wearing neon blue heart-shaped sunglasses.

“We have the tickets and the pills?” My friend LB asks.  Tonight’s the first time I’ll be ingesting ecstasy since my ill-fated group sex night. But this time, there will be no orgies or panic attacks. “I double checked,” my other friend Dani announces before going back to yelling at her boyfriend. Everything is set for this to be a perfect night. What could possibly go wrong?

Here’s a piece of advice: never, ever ask that question because someone will always Read the rest of this entry »


February 18, 2012

“Only the gentle are ever really strong.” -James Dean

I shove him hard against a wall. The brick exterior scrapes the skin of my palms, but I’m too busy maneuvering my tongue to notice. Everything is so blurry. My arms wrap behind him while my lower body crawls up and thrusts against his. “Are we almost there?” I gasp before pressing my lips hard back to his. “Almost,” he mumbles into my mouth. I’m not sure exactly how I got here, but my body knows exactly what it wants. Which is good, because I fade back to black.

The first traces of sun glow through foreign blinds. A bicep lies between the back of my neck and a pillow, which is noticeably lacking in the firmness department. I turn my head slightly–two empty condoms on the floor. Looks like someone needs a package stimulus. And with that thought, he turns over and begins to hump my side. I’m still drunk enough to go along with it. But I fade out again before we get too serious.

“Hey, you,” he says as I force my eyes open into a squint. He stares into my eyes like we’ve known each other longer than the past seven hours. “Hi,” I say with that raspiness that comes with morning. It’s disorienting waking up in strange place. Or maybe it’s just the hangover. “I’ll be right back,” he says, getting up and walking to bathroom. Nice ass.

Trying to configure the puzzle pieces of the night together, I notice Read the rest of this entry »


February 4, 2012

There are two things I will always remember about my grandfather: he always wore red pullovers, and he had an extraordinarily specific scent to his presence. The scent closely resembled shaving cream but was entirely more distinct, and it drenched those pullovers.

They say scent triggers the strongest associations in the brain. When Pop Pop died, all my mom wanted was one of his red pullovers. It was her inheritance, what she was left. I was young then, so I found it curious that in the following years, there would be moments in which I became spontaneously and utterly overwhelmed by Pop Pop’s scent. I wasn’t actually smelling him of course–it was some cerebral sense. But when it came, I’d be overcome by memories–more emotional than circumstantial. These instances would simply erupt. Sometimes the scent would bring me great comfort and euphoria. Then other times, it would be immobilizing. My mom used to tell little-me that it was his way of saying he missed me.

I was sitting at the movies today with a friend, and despite the total sensory overload that is Transformers, that inexplicable sense kicked in. But this time I smelled The Writer–his raw, oppressive scent. It’d been weeks since I longed for him, but all of a sudden I was sick in my seat, so instantly nauseous that I thought I’d have to run out. My stomach settled, but my nerves didn’t. That’s when I realized: he doesn’t miss me. Not at all. I wonder why it took me so long to figure that out.

As it turns out, the red pullover isn’t as cozy as it looked when I was growing up. But that’s not its function, not anymore.

%d bloggers like this: