Saturday, September 26, 2009


Driving past, I saw him, and for a second hope that he didn't see me. Everyone was excited that I had a Real Live Date, and smiled when I expressed concern on where he would sleep. If it's bad, I don't want him to stay. And if it's good... I don't think I should. But my friends just winked. Oh Erin. Please. Has this really been a concern? I pull into a parking lot. He is overdressed, more so than I am already.

I debate not unlocking my car, going home, taking a nap. But I've already callled him. Did you see a blue minivan? Yes, I am now walking towards you. Great. Great.

Something smells in the car. Something organic. Something like my cat. Something musty and musky with a baking soda cover-up. I pretend to look out my window to the left and sniff my sweater. Nope. That's not it. I turn to my right. He smiles at me.

I sit in front of a friend. She texts me. Hows the hot date going?!?!?! I want to write back Tepid, but he's leaning in next to me. My brother asks me if he's nice. My parents have called me a half dozen times today. I text them and tell them I'm on a date. I can hear the excitement in their response, and tell me not to worry and have fun. The music starts, and I am stunned to find out that he is a seat-dancer, moving and tapping his knees to the beat of the music. I alternate between feelings of extreme judgement (is he really doing-I can't believe it-please stop smiling at me) and superficiality (I last went on a date when?-This is the first date I've been on since I could legally drive other people in my car-Jesus Erin you have problems too). The concert ends, and while picking the daisy petals of emotions I end on judgement. Nevertheless, we drive out to a dive bar in my hometown.

I'm sitting with my full glass of beer, at a going away party for a girl I don't know. My date is still smiling at me. I want to bare my teeth. I wonder, for a second, what would happen if I did. Most everyone here was at the party two weeks ago. A very blonde very drunk girl comes up behind me, hugs me, and says that she's glad to see me. I vaguely remember her from last week, and am more concerned with the fact that this is the second night in a row that I have work a cardigan to a bar: the worse the bar, the nicer the cardigan.

My date leaves to get another drink, and my friend leans in. So, what do you think? You know that he's really into you.

I am not drunk, not even tipsy, but I get incredibly sad. This guy that I hardly know seems to really like me, but the fact that he's into me without even seeing me sober before tonight just makes me more uncomfortable. I'm not used to this. Sometimes, in an overdramatic 20-something way, when I'm hooking up with someone, if I ever will be used to this feeling.

I don't know, Sarah. I don't think.... can he stay with you? I rattle off some bullshit excuse. She nods.
Well, that's ok. Maybe you'll just make a new friend. My friend who has been in a relationship, a serious relationship, for most of the past seven years. I have yet to establish that comfort, and the more I delay, the more awkward it gets.

The first time I even saw a fig was at the farmers market at home. An old rival that would soon become one of my close friends sold me three, each the size of my fist loosely grasped. I didn't even know what to do. Eighteen years old, and still surprised by the surprises. I cut open the fig, slicing from the tip of the opening where the tiny fig wasps crawl in and are destroyed by enzymes in the fruit. I let it lay open, unprotected, naked and vulnerable. Like the first time you cut open an apple and see the star shapes created by the seeds. The fruit was juicy, perfect. Not too sweet, the individual seeds (technically each an individual fruit) melting in my mouth.

Since then, the only figs I have found, ever, are small, the size of ping pong balls. There is too much skin and less meat, and whenever I try and slice them open the symmetry inside is ruined. I buy them whenever I see them, eat one or two, and let the rest go bad in my fridge.

Yesterday I stumbled across a box of figs. Popped one in my mouth, whole. The seeds gritted against my teeth, and I could not shake the image that they were not seeds but bits of undigested fig wasps, led into this falsely welcoming fruit.

Monday, September 21, 2009

September 21

I haven't said anything in awhile, but I think I've used up all of my florid prose these last weeks in Wagner and Form and Analysis (aka Effing A).

Eli has started school and I am so excited for him.

I went to an anarchist event the other day. The gathering just tickled me. I'm not an anarchist at all, but I couldn't resist it. The second time was pretty interesting-heard from the Iraq veterans at Ft Lewis who are against the war.

Starting a theory tutoring group. Going to that now.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saturday Night

(Danica told me to do this instead of my alternate plan involving all of the cigarettes and alcohol in my house)

I needed to call someone the moment I got into my house. I walked in. The living room light was on, Wotan curled up on the couch, sleeping, with his chin up. I ignore the poetry and go to my room. Take off my clothing. Turn off the lights. Turn on the fan and shiver under all of my blankets.

I really wanted to hang out with her. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I had so much fun when I was with her. And I'm not just romanticizing the past. I remember what I didn't like just as much. But we've grown. I told her this, one time, tonight, at the second bar, before I sang "Funny Honey." We've grown up so much. I was a kid when I met you guys.

"You were fifteen."
"I was fourteen. And please." I tell her about the time we were at a fair and the man could show A the special book of riding equipment he made, but not either of us because we were under 18. S was mad at the time, but I couldn't understand why she wanted to see pictures of saddled-up horses. Years later I realized we stumbled across a certain niche, one of many I was inadvertantly exposed to.
"You really didn't know what he was talking about?"
"No!" I want to tell her about the box of sex toys I stumbled across only a year later, but I can't decide whether I should tell her anything at all. I go sing instead. People clap. The astonishingly handsome gay men wink at me.

"I mean, he was fucking weird. He was really into you."
"What are you talking about?" Was?
"He just has really low self esteem. I mean, he would always try and get with girls, and he was like really into you, but also just wanted to make me jealous, but also liked you."
"I was a kid."
"We've been over this, you weren't." I still think I was.

The conversation carries on, just me and her, although I'm only half there. Something piques my interest. I look at Danica, who is facing the opposite direction. I had one beer and a few sips of a screwdriver hours earlier. I'm not drunk. But now's my chance.
"I know."
She nods.
"Because I've been hanging out with him a bit this summer."
"Oh really?"
My turn to nod.
She turns towards her drink. Sips, shoulder to me. Here goes:
"And I slept with him."
She turns around, and for a second I panic. Then she howls.
"Really? Oh my god, how was it? When was this? Why didn't you tell me earlier?"
"I mean, I don't.... like two months ago? I wasn't sure what you'd say."
"Whatever, it was like six years ago." Good girl. I'm so glad I got this off my chest. I tell her I really just wanted to see if he still had piercings, I had bite marks-
"Well, yea, when someone's about to give me a hickey I tell them no."
"Oh, me too, but these were teeth marks." Her mouth forms an "O," then a wide smile.
"He was always into you."
"That's weird."
"Can I tell him?" She points to her friend across the table who hasn't heard anything. She tells him. He looks surprised.
"Does he know him?"
"Oh, he's good friend with his girlfriend."

Of course. The purse, the one time we met. The one who S swears is a lesbian, who her friend says she'll be a lesbian to "anyone who could kill her," which explains everything too. S talks about how pretty she is. Crazy, but pretty. Of course.

S's friend. I ask him, when were they dating.
"Oh, they took a break. You probably slept with him in that break."
I ask when the break was. He thinks:
"November, maybe?"
It was definately two months ago.
"Well, maybe it went til then." He leaves to go smoke, I presume.
S asks if I'm ok. I say I'm not.
"Well, he's just like that. He's always had that self-esteem issue and I sometimes think he hasn't matured since he was 19." When apparently he was into me, when I was 14 and had frizzy hair and a dying dad and no boobs.
"I just feel awful."
"Well, it's his fault."
He comes back awhile later. S and I are still talking. I ask him about the dates again.
"Oh, don't worry about it. I just got off the phone with her-" fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck "-and she knew about you. And it's totally fine."

Everything has fallen into place, and everyone is absolutely fine except for me. I go up to the microphone when my name is called, pulling my best Sally Bowles together. I get whistles, applause, and compliments from the entire bar, but my voice was wavering the entire time.