Love & War

Talking about my arguments with people, no matter how petty the argument, is really not something I want to do here. It’s far too easy to put someone in a negative light, especially because I’m going to be biased towards myself since I understand my side of the argument before I’d even consider if the other side has a valid argument.

So of course I’m going to talk about an argument I had.

I mean, it wasn’t the first one, and it certainly won’t be the last argument I’ll have with J. This argument was more situational and in the moment, instead of being the result of built-up stress and what not.

Okay, so, it was nighttime, everyone was tired, it had been a long day by that point. A friend of his had stopped by, then a friend of mine said she was in the area so I convinced her to visit me. His friend left first, at which point I was a little more comfortable to bring out a side of myself that J and my friend were both used to. One thing lead to another, and I was hit on the head with a piece of wood about a half inch thick.

For me, thats when the fun ended, that very moment that I was hit on the head. I wasn’t really hit, per se, it was the force of gravity on a heavy object which collided with the top of my skull. But it hurt, oh god did it hurt, maybe not like getting hit by a bus or something like that, but certainly more than if that wooden object had collided with a more padded area of my body.

I expected an ounce of concern, someone to ask if I was all right. When I didn’t get that, at least in any form that felt satisfactory, I felt myself losing control of the situation. I abruptly hugged my friend and bid her goodnight before I headed up the stairs and went to my room. J spoke to my friend for a bit before she departed, then he came upstairs.

And that’s when the fight began.

I don’t even remember his first words. I just remember his next words were louder than the ones before. I left my room and walked down the hallway towards his room, and I stood outside while we went back and forth. Every so often, I somehow managed to inch myself closer to his room, to the point where I could feel his soft plush carpeting beneath my toes, a stark contrast to the painted wood in the hallway. Part of me wanted to be in his room, to cuddle beside him on his bed for a little while, but that would mean putting this argument behind us.

And he wasn’t budging. He complained about how I treated my friend. He complained about my actions in general. He claimed he apologized to me after I was bonked on the head, but I never heard it. The longer I stood there, the longer we fought, the more it seemed I should be remorseful. Unfortunately, remorse seemed to contradict everything I knew and felt to be true, that all of this started because I was in pain from being hit on the head and no one cared that I was hurting. And it added emotional pain to the physical pain I felt, and I couldn’t seem to get that through to him.

At one point I stood there in silence, just staring at him. He asked me if there was something I wanted to say, or if something was on my mind, something along those lines. I could feel my lip quivering; could he see that? At that moment, I wanted a kiss, didn’t matter if it was on the lips, the cheek, the forehead, or the top of my head where I got hit. I just wanted a kiss from him. I wanted this argument to be over, I wanted to be in his arms.

I wanted to feel safe with him again.

He sent me downstairs because I left a light on, at which point he slammed his door. That was the end, no more arguing.

I turned off the light. I remembered I had started to wash his coffee cup and lunch container while my friend was visiting, so despite being angry with him, I finished my cleaning duty. Not that it was really my cleaning duty; he never asked me to do it, and I just started doing it because it caught him off-guard to see it already done. More than that, doing things for someone is one of my love languages, which I did mention to him a few days prior. But I had debated whether or not to finish washing his cup and container, as leaving it unfinished felt like I’d be sending a message, not that I forgot or didn’t have a moment to start washing it, but that it didn’t matter enough to me to complete the task that wouldn’t even take five minutes. But yes, I finished cleaning the cup and container, then told myself it would be the last time, that I was done.

I came back upstairs and got into bed, however I had chained the door when I was downstairs. The other tenant, who spends most of her time away from here because of work, was going to arrive in the middle of the night. I got out of bed, crept down the servants steps so as to not be obvious that I was going downstairs again, and I unchained the front door. I noticed that my Mom’s guitar was still sitting on the couch, because I had taken it out of its case and we were playing it, so I put it back into its case and onto the guitar stand. I told myself I’d bring the guitar and stand upstairs the next day, that I’d figure out where to put it in my room.

I returned to the upstairs once more and climbed back into bed. Sleep was intermittent, and it seemed I woke up about every hour or two. At 5 in the morning, my bladder insisted that I got out of bed, so I crossed the hall to do my business and then came back to bed. However, J wakes up around 5 to get ready for work, and for the next two hours I was treated to the delightful sounds and aromas that go along with starting the day. I pulled the covers over my head, shutting out even the melodies being played on the guitar which I normally would have tuned into by moving closer to the source. I must have fallen asleep, because it was after 8 when I looked at the clock again, and then it was around 10 when I finally got out of bed.

I took a shower. I got dressed. I did the litter pan. zit was at least 12:30 by the time I went downstairs, and by that point I was already thinking about what I was going to do with my day so that more of my things would be out of his sight, and what I would do with myself so I didn’t have to see or deal with him. I was sad, possibly even depressed, I wasn’t moving quickly at all. I grabbed a stack of crackers I had near the sofa, and then returned them to the kitchen. Wow, one item moved at a snail’s pace.

As I walked into the kitchen, I noticed there was something written on the note magnet where I jot down my schedule. Ah, I’d have to remove that magnet, because he’d see it and think of me. And yet…

“Crazy Lady, Thanks for washing my cup and bento set. Have a good day. J.”

I cried. He never really thanked me for washing his stuff before, at least not like that. And calling me Crazy Lady was a term of endearment, it wasn’t as if to say I was being crazy. Suddenly, I didn’t know how to go about my day.

I made a trip to the Korean bakery. It was payday, and J never stops there no matter how many times I’ve suggested he should go with me. After getting a few things, I walked to the Asian market nearby. I wasn’t there for too long, when I had the idea that I should make miso soup. J has said he likes miso soup, which doesn’t surprise me based on the instant packets of the stuff that linger in the pantry. However, I’ve never made miso soup from scratch, and already I was making it for someone else’s approval… if I decided to go through with it. I returned to the house and put away my food purchases, as I had perishable items, and time to kill if I was thinking about going out to eat dinner.

The fondue restaurant in the mall had a Thursday night Ladies Night special, so I decided I’d treat myself. As I was waiting for my appetizer of cheese fondue, I got a text from J asking if I’d be willing to chat with him while he was on his commute back home. I had my headphones, I could have taken a call and still had my hands free, but I knew his commute was an hour long and I knew I’d be spending most of my dinner time being the rude customer on the phone. I texted him back and said I was “out and about,” and that I would talk when I got home.

At first, it was if nothing had changed between us, it was like normal. Sometime later, I said to J what I had realized earlier that day, that if he had just kissed me on the head where I got hit, I would have been fine, I would have been better, and it might have saved a lot of arguing. About a minute or later, he did kiss me on the top of the head. I looked at the clock that was in my sight and noted the time.

“Well that was 23 hours too late,” I told him.

“No it wasn’t. I was at work for about 8 hours, slept for about 6 or 7,… really it was only about 2 or 3 hours late.”

“Mmhmm…” I smirked.

When I asked what possessed him to write me the thank you note, he said that normally he’s scatterbrained and forgets to say something. I find it a bit hard to believe that he forgets anything, as he’s admitted he can recite movies verbatim after seeing them only two or three times, and he remembered more details about our fight from 2011 than I had even recalled. So I wonder if he noticed that I hadn’t finished washing his things, as he’s actually good at noticing things for a guy, and then it meant a lot to him that I finished doing the job despite having argued with him. But I’m a hopeless romantic, so we’ll just take his words at face value and I’ll stop deluding myself.

Because remember, J isn’t interested in me romantically.

Which I don’t think is entirely true. I’ve been listening to The Beatles’ If I Fall a few times since J played it “for me.” It’s a song about being cautious in regards to falling in love, not wanting it to be in vain but wanting to go all-in if the love is actually reciprocated. Today I had the option to choose a song, but I told him that it was his choice instead, so he played yet another song I’ve never heard before, Save You by Matthew Perryman Jones. It’s a song about being in two states of being, or having to decide between two things, and the singer is asking the listener to make the decision for him, asking, “wouldn’t that save you?” Sometime prior, he played Audioslave’s “I Am The Highway,” a song that suggests the singer is more than he’s being viewed as by a partner, that he’s not just one of many things that come around again but instead he is something greater that’s always there when everything else moves along. I know I’m looking into it too much, but J seems cautious, conflicted, and he wants to be everything to… someone. Let’s not get our hopes up, because I do want to see him happy with someone. And I always feel like he’s happier to be around his ex when she stops by, or at least that he doesn’t look at me the same way he looks at her,

Regardless, I know not what the future holds. I do know he had me try on a mens’ fleece jacket when we were shopping about two weeks ago, and only recently did I consider the possibility that he did that as a means of sizing me to buy me a jacket of some sort. And this was after looking at leather jackets and discussing what we liked about different styles. There was a significant lean towards the idea of me wearing a jacket like the one Jessica Jones wears on the popular Netflix show, so I wonder if that’s going to happen. Of course, that all came before I fell in love with a leather jacket that had a dragon embroidered on the back, when I was already telling myself I didn’t need any more jackets.

Ah, well, as it usually goes with me, it’s now his move. Let’s see how things play out. At least our arguments are getting more civilized, so maybe things will work out favorably.


Imprisoned By Hope For Revealing All

Sometimes it’s difficult to be around people in a social setting. Put a bunch of introverts in a room together, throw in an ambivert who is already walking on eggshells after the last time she met one of your… close friends… and see who lasts the longest. It’s bound to write a few stories for itself.

J and I were invited to celebrate the birthday of an ex and former housemate, the girl who occupied the room I’m currently staying in. While I know the girl from seeing her at work and when she stops by the house, the only other persons I knew at the party besides J was another coworker who I’ve known a couple of months now but whose sister I’ve known for 12 years. Needless to say, I was closest to J out of everyone there.

The problem is, in my head I had to keep things from looking like we had gotten too close and personal and whatever else. The girl whose sister I’ve known for 12 years, I’ve talked about J in front of her to the point where she considers me to be obsessed with him, when he’s the one person I socialize with the most because it’s kind of hard not to do so. Not to mention, I don’t know what’s under the surface between J and the birthday girl, and I know he’s not mine and won’t be. But I have bad memories of just walking into J’s house and being silently hated because we could play off each other’s humor and knowledge of movie quotes. That might have been then and not now, and her and not any of the guests, but it’s hard to know what I might face.

I ended up forgetting myself, or at least I ended up feeling safe around these people for the most part. I did feel uncomfortable around one woman, which I discussed with J after we left the party, to which he said that it was just because I was a new person to the woman. I’ll admit, I wasn’t shy despite what might be inferred up to this point, but I did hold back a couple of times “because I knew better” even though no one may have really cared. But that’s no big deal.

J brought his acoustic guitar to the party, because he knew that he’d be asked to play if he brought it, or someone might ask why he didn’t bring it at all. He played a few songs, and while I listened intently at first, I found myself wanting to focus on something else, anything else. I saw the birthday girl’s dreamy smile, I saw J’s focus on making sure she was pleased.

I saw myself back in 2007, sitting on the couch while a guy played acoustic guitar before me. Oh how I wished my delusion was the reality, that he loved me and played for me. I was already bouncing around a certain phrase in my head, about how “the guitar is never played for me,” and it wasn’t hard to see that the phrase was more true than ever.

The problem is, I couldn’t leave the party. I came with J in his SUV, so I couldn’t excuse myself because I had a day shift the next morning or feign exhaustion from already working that day. So I played games on my cell phone for a while, which thankfully didn’t deplete the battery or else someone might argue that I shouldn’t have been using it excessively if I wanted to keep the battery charged. Eventually, though, we did leave, and yes we were the last ones to leave the party. In a way I actually felt guilty that he had to leave, because I felt like he might have stayed longer if it wasn’t for me having to work, but he was actually getting tired at that point.

When we got back to the house, I wasn’t myself. My thoughts had consumed me for the evening, but it was nothing I could tell J. After all, my line of thinking looped through 2011 with J, before coming back to the present date with J, and included other guitarists and people in my life. J tried everything to coerce me into talking about what was on my mind, but I resisted everything he tried. I would have rather died than to give him even a short answer that might suggest I was jealous or something, and that’s exactly what I thought would happen if I gave up any part of what was on my mind. I agreed to emailing him, though, which I started working on immediately instead of watching something with him before bed.

The email was rather emotional for me, and I cried before I ended it. Honestly, I’m still wondering how fate brought me back here, because I said I felt like I should be chasing some other guitarist and repeating my cycle where his interest is in another girl and not me. I expected J to review my actions and suggested what I should have done back then, or something. I didn’t expect for him to shrug it all off and just say something about how I’m allowed to have feelings and emotions and the like. But that’s all he did, he allowed me to have the emotions that I had felt or was feeling.

I guess that was better than being reminded of how foolish I was back then and through the years. Mind you, I was, but let’s not think about that.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning.

I had a day shift, the first in a few days, so I kind of wanted to see J before he left for work. The house was quiet except for the floorboards I couldn’t help but creak as I walked. I was at the top of the stairs when I heard him pick up the guitar and start to play. He played two Beatles songs, And I Love Her and If I Fell, started to play a Billy Joel song which he stopped because it didn’t seem to sound right to him, and then played the theme song to True Blood, Bad Things by Jace Everett.

After he finished, he asked for my opinion. Then he said, “Now you can’t say that no one has plan guitar for you.”

“Yeah, but…” I protested before I was cut off.

“Ah, no,” he said to me, holding up a finger to silence me. Anytime I tried to make sure that he understood that I was talking about a guy playing guitar for me because he was interested in me romantically, he didn’t want to hear it.

I spent the whole work day wondering if that’s what it was, if he was subtly interested in my romantically and has been trying, here and there, to get me to reveal things about myself. It wouldn’t surprise me; he already suggested that he would get information from me by sneaking questions and certain statements into conversation. The problem is that I speak before I even think, which takes away the challenge of actually trying to figure me out.

Take, for example, last week’s shopping excursion. We poked around a discount store, checking out books instead of just going straight for the bed sheets which was our reason for going. First, we had to drive past a guitar store before parking in front of the discount store, which got him on the topic of what date nights with him consist of. So while looking at books in the discount store, he was telling me about this girl he dated, who he took to a retail chain bookstore, and they had nothing in common in regards to the kinds of books they’d read. “And she would read historical dramas and nonfiction,” he told me.

What did I do? But of course, I told him that I read sci-fi, fantasy, some new age stuff (I have dream dictionaries and tarot guides),… and romance and erotica. Did I need to mention what I’m into? No, it just seemed appropriate for some reason.

Ah, let’s not get our hopes up. He said he wasn’t interested in me romantically. It’s just as well; things seem really good between us, and he’s the kind of guy I’d rather have instead of the kinds of guys I’ve dated. so I’m probably not meant to have him. That doesn’t mean I won’t make the most of the time I have with him, but I know my place will be housemate until I move out, and that’s all.

Another Revolution Around The Burning Sun

“Your password expires in 7 days.”

I’ve managed to hold my job for three months. If one of the perks is that I actually get to change my password, then a celebration is in order.

I did change my work password last night. I typed in the old password, which began with the name of my friend from Japan. For the new password, I chose to reference Moondragon, a Marvel comic book character that I never knew existed until Saturday night. Gone will be anything that will remind me of my Japanese friend.

Facebook has been reminding me of lat year’s split from the ex fiancé, not only of the day itself but also the days following. I, of course, had already popped in to OKCupid to see when it was that my Japanese friend first wrote to me. I wanted to write to him and say “hey, it’s been a year since you first wrote to me!”

But, I didn’t write to him. At all.

I had already said I’m done, but this time I felt like I was in a better place emotionally to make that call.

I have a long way to go before I can consider going to Japan in any capacity. Knowing that, I wanted him to come here, even just briefly. He told me I would have to come up with a plan for him to be here. I’ve made many plans, and considered many possibilities. The problem is, I can’t make plans for where he’ll stay if I don’t know for how long he would be here, or if one place would cost too much for him and another place just wouldn’t be good enough. I can’t make plans for where he would work, if I’ve only been given vague responses to that question, and don’t even know if he would be staying long enough and would need employment to survive.

But why did I have to make that plan… alone? If any part of him was serious about coming here, then he should have at least met me halfway. “Can you recommend a hotel that’s decent but not too fancy? Do you know of any companies that would hire someone with this kind of expertise?” I would have appreciated anything to guide me towards a plan that would work for him, for both of us.

Some people can be difficult. He was difficult, and at times he was impossible.

It’s not even that hard to make plans if you have an idea of what you want. My complaint was that he wouldn’t cross an ocean for me, and I told him so. And I didn’t care. I guess that made me brash, pompous, and a lot of other words that are characteristic of being American. But if I had to think about how he’s being Japanese, then I’d be reading between the lines, and he would have already been telling me that he wouldn’t cross an ocean for me, that it didn’t matter if he ever met me or not.

I feel like we ran out of things to talk about. It was always my debt, or the fact that I was still staying up until 2 am, or anything I did that was bad for my health while trying to tell me I should be walking more and eating better. I could have mentioned anything, from video games to Japanese food and festivals. Half the time, if not more often than that, I wouldn’t even get a response to whatever I said or asked. Other times, he barely seemed interested, with the extent of his interest being if he had a family of his own to do things with.

He remarked that I talked less while we chatted, compared to when I wrote email. I asked if he preferred chatting with me because of that, to which he remarked that it was an observation. But lately, my emails received the response of “I’ll be available to chat around this time on these days.” It was just before bed for him, but for me it was the start of my day, which meant I either had to get up early regardless of my plans for the day or I had to chat with him while getting ready for work. I missed the days when it was reversed, when he would catch me at the end of my day and he was just starting the next day.

But I’ve been writing to him less since moving in with J. Not as much has been happening, either. Well, I could talk about going to the store with J, but that seems mundane. Work is work; I answer the phone and make calls all day, and I’m not allowed to discuss my calls at all. At home, i cook and watch Daredevil with J. Nothing about my days stand out as much anymore, so I have less to write about.

So, that’s the end of that.

I got a letter in the mail recently, from the collection agency that holds my debt to my New Jersey apartment owners. They’re offering to reduce my debt from just under $10,000 to about $6,600. The difference is the cost of going to Japan, and a little extra. It would be a little less to worry about, just in general. I might manage to get my debt paid off sooner than expected.

Even on my days off, I can’t seem to sleep past 9 am, but like clockwork I manage to wake up around 6 or 7 am. Even waking at 9, after I’ve told myself I can be lazy and sleep in until 11 or later because I have nothing of great import and no place to be, I feel like it’s just time to start the day. I can’t seem to sleep late like I used to do. And unless I try, unless I make myself sit in front of the computer and write a lengthy email, or I try to play video games for a few hours, I can’t stay up until 2 am anymore. For the past two nights, I’ve called it a night around 11 pm.

My life is changing in ways that would gain the approval of my Japanese friend. However, it feels right to close that chapter of my life. He entered when my ex fiancé left, he kept my Valentines Day from being miserable, and perhaps all I needed was just someone to keep me going.

Not that J is a romantic partner. He had already said he doesn’t see me romantically, and another guy friend of mine says that won’t change once a guy says something like that. Yet I’m in this limbo of “he did this nice thing, so… maybe?” and “I see how he looks at his ex, or how he talks about his date ideas and how past dates have gone, and I’m clearly not a love interest.”

Saturday he was telling me about one girl he dated, or at least how the dates went. This was while we were perusing a discount store and checking out the books they had for sale. He was telling me how the date didn’t go so well, in that they didn’t have much in common. At one point, he started flipping through an encyclopedia of Marvel Comics characters, when he came to a page that said Moondragon.

I laughed and pointed out that there was a character named Moondragon.

“Yeah,” J repled. “I thought that’s who you named yourself after,” referring to the Luna Dragon moniker I bestowed upon myself. I have a very basic knowledge of comics and the DC and Marvel universes, so this was one character I had no knowledge about. I briefly read her description and noted that she kind of sounded like me. “Right?!” J said in agreement.

“Your password expires in 7 days” came the prompt on the screen at work. I had already been thinking of changing it to get my Japanese friend’s name out of the password, but I hadn’t taken the time to think of a new password. Although I had the rest of the week to consider it, I decided to ride the Moondragon wave for the next three months, and incorporated that into my password.

While writing this, my friend from Japan actually emailed me. He said he’s been thinking of me more than I probably realize, and that he doesn’t know what to say so as to not upset me or make me uncomfortable. But they’re only words now, I suppose. I can’t keep going just on words.

At this point, I need to be distracted from J. Mere words won’t be enough.

Acoustic #3

A week ago, I hopped in the car and set off for New Jersey to retrieve more things from storage. I had a list of things I absolutely wanted to liberate from the storage unit, some things that would be nice but not needed, and even a really short list of things I would need to take with me when I headed down there (because I probably would have forgotten the GPS device without reminding myself to take it).

My number one priority was to grab my Mom’s acoustic guitar, a Fender Classic, model FC-10. Beneath the strings, there’s a label bearing my Mom’s name and the address I lived at until I was 8, a reminder of where it’s been and how old it is. As I write this, I looked up information on the FC-10 and found out they were made until 1981, which means the guitar is older than I am. While it’s been very rarely played, my Dad being the last one I remember playing it, that guitar is one of the things that’s always been in my life.

I carefully loaded the guitar, enclosed in a soft leather-like case, into the back seat on top of everything else I had packed up. I told J to pray for my safe return, sending him a picture of the guitar as the reason why he should hope I return safely. And while my return trip started with a two-hour delay on route 80, and I spilled a bit of my Dairy Queen Blizzard after a mid-trip stop, I did make it home without too much of an issue. There were no Fender-benders to speak of.

I’ve slowly been unpacking the car over the past week, with the guitar… actually, plural, because I also grabbed the electric guitar I picked up at a garage sale in 2014, along with my Rock Band guitar controller for the Xbox 360… I unpacked all three guitars as soon as I got back. Yesterday, I unloaded one of the random bags of things I put in the car, which had two miniature model Fender guitars and one of the guitar-shaped pens I found in a bookstore.

Why does a girl who doesn’t play guitar have so many guitars?

Well, condensing much of my life into one statement, I wanted to be a singer. A famous singer. I wanted to be a pop vocalist. I wanted to be the one recording albums and performing on stage. As I got older, I realized I loved music, and that being a famous vocalist was more an expression of that passion, it was what I felt I wanted to be because that’s where my heart was drawn. It’s not the path I’m on because of parents who knew what was best for me, as the story usually goes. I can’t resent them for that, because I might have started chasing an unobtainable dream.

Eventually, I started acquiring things to represent my love for music. My parents gave me a music note pin when I was in the school choir. I bought a smoothie at the state fair, and chose the tall cup that had a guitar shape around the midsection instead of the plain one or the one with an alien. I bought guitar earrings and a couple necklaces, oh do I have a lot of guitar earrings! My favorite guitar necklace is one where the body of the acoustic guitar is glass or crystal or something, and the neck is gold-plated. And then there’s the guitar pens, and the little guitar models. And the Japanese guitar magazine, because Hyde’s guitar was featured in its pages.

The first guy who I thought was possibly interested in me romantically, was a guy who was half-Asian and played acoustic guitar. He played for me one time, without me asking. Well, he played in my presence, let’s just say that much. The vibrations of the strings, the notes echoing in my ears, made me feel as if I was in love or at least a rather euphoric state. At no time was I really ever on his mind, it seemed. I went into that whole thing not knowing what to do, what I should do, and as it ended I was left wondering what I did do, what I should’ve done, what I should be doing.

At one of my call center jobs, I met this guy from Hawaii who brought in a teal electric guitar a few times.  The plate on the back was autographed by one of the members of Dream Theater, a band with whom he had spent some time hanging out. While I liked Dream Theater, after a mention from the previous guitarist got me listening to their music, it didn’t matter to me if this guy had spent time with any of the members of the band or even if he was one of the members of the band. Things had gotten playful between us, until I started getting uncomfortable. My desk was moved from being down the row from J to being on the other side of the room from J, not that J mattered at the time. We’re still talking about the Hawaiian here, and how I was moved to a seat where walking past me meant going out of the way to do so.

J and I worked together at that job in the sense that we knew that the other person reported to work there. We barely spoke to each other, unless it was part of a conversation with other people. I left that job, and that was it. A couple years later, he found me on a social media site and said hi. One thing led to another, and I end up hanging out at his house and meeting the girlfriend he had then. I think he brought in his acoustic guitar to work once or twice, but as I paid as much attention to him as I felt he paid to me at that time (which wasn’t much), I don’t remember if he did or not. I do know, however, that the first night I hung out at his place, I learned that he played guitar. And that we got along really well, so well in fact that it made his girlfriend jealous. But that’s a story I’m sure I’ve already told, even if I limited the details. Alas, things ended on a sour note.

Or did they? Because I live here now, with J and at least five guitars between us both (two electric, three acoustic), not counting guitar peripherals for video games, or any of my knick-knacks. And while I wonder what would really go on in J’s mind when he sees I’ve got something else that looks like a guitar, I have to think it amuses him in some way.

Just the same, I wonder what he thinks or feels as he’s playing guitar, if he can hear the creaking of the floorboards as I move to where I can hear him play just a little bit better. I can just barely hear him from my bedroom when he plays, so if I wake up and hear something, I can listen to him while I’m in the upstairs bathroom. I’ve gone from the bedroom to the windowsill at the lower landing of the stairs just to listen to him play. I wonder if he delights in knowing he summoned me. I wonder if we share the same smile, the same warmth. For me, it’s like Christmas morning, as there’s a gift to be enjoyed if I get out of bed, so I want to imagine him as the parent who gave a gift of themselves, knowing it’s nothing much but still appreciated. At no point do I remember thinking, “I would like to be awoken to the sound of an acoustic guitar playing softly in the distance,” but I have that now and I really don’t want to leave or lose that.

I share a birthday with Eric Clapton. I have no problem having a guitar collection… or collecting guitarists, whatever. Their expression through music is my passion, and I enjoy expressing that passion however I can.

Forgotten Relics

We watched Eddie Izzard last night.

I don’t remember how the conversation started, but J asked me which Eddie Izzard specials I had on DVD. Being unable to think of their titles besides one of them having Wembley in the name, I ran upstairs and retrieved one of my binders of DVDs. Instead of just flipping to the page as quickly as possible, we flipped through my binder one page at a time, reviewing my collection as a whole and discussing what was good and what hasn’t been seen yet. Finally we got to the page where I had standup comedy, to which he approved of my Blue Collar DVDs and Jeff Dunham as well. But we discovered that I had Definite Article and Live From Wembley. So we watched a special that was filmed in San Francisco, and found it to be relevant to current events as much as the bits were relevant back when that special was filmed.

Why do I even have those Eddie Izzard DVDs, anyway? I bought them out of curiosity. No, I wasn’t curious about what a transvestite looks like, I’ve seen Rocky Horror Picture Show, not to mention I’ve seen one in the Walmart where I used to work. Seeing men run around in high heels is impressive, considering I just put them on and can already imagine myself spraining my ankle before I’ve even stood up. But enough about men who dress more like women than I do on a regular basis.

I bought those two DVDs because someone had mentioned Eddie Izzard’s comedy routines. And as I watched J recite the show verbatim, all I could think, all I can think now, is that he was the one that got me interested and I bought the DVDs as a result.

I also think J was the one who suggested what kind of strings to get when I realized I had to restring my Mom’s guitar. I believe this, because I had just picked up the guitar when my car was rear-ended for the second time in 2011. I had to pay Guitar Center to restring a guitar, because I don’t play and don’t know how. Don’t judge me, at least not for that.

How many things did I lose from my memory?

I accidentally woke up and prepared for a 9 am shift today, only to realize that my shift started 4 hours later than that. I didn’t realize that until I was finishing my breakfast, and would only need to put my boots on before heading out the door. I’d say that on the bright side, I wasn’t late, however I can’t deal with an abundance of time because I actually do end up running late after occupying my time in other ways. Today was no exception.

In my abundance of time, I Googled the term “why would fate bring you back to unrequited love.” The results were mixed, but not quite what I was looking for. There were articles about what happens when it works out well, what to do so you’re not torturing yourself when it doesn’t work out, but nothing about unrequited love as an act of a cruel mistress.

In one of the positive articles, where meeting a past unrequited love would be for the better, it was said that the love would be stronger, better. For a moment I lived in a love story yet to be told, two hearts reunited under desperate circumstances find that… something… something… oh, who am I kidding? The only reason there’s a love story at all is because I have an amazing imagination.

When I got home from work, I ducked into J’s room to check in and talk about stuff. We discussed timelines, namely his because I was trying to figure out who visited him at work one time, back when we worked together. We got on the topic of dating, to which I was running between vague and blatantly obvious that I wanted to date him. Prior to this discussion, if I had to call what I sensed about him, it was that he was into me but reserved. I was pretty much spot-on, which means I might actually be energy sensitive… that’s another story and a small bag of crazy. Anyway, he said all this stuff about us getting along so well, but he doesn’t feel anything romantic for me, but would probably unleash his lustful side if it wouldn’t screw things up. There was something about me technically being homeless if it weren’t for him keeping me right now, and I’m not sure if he meant that as if to say he wouldn’t have taken me in if he couldn’t control himself, or if I’d be out of here if I unleash the wrong kind of crazy while living here.

I sat there in stunned silence. I had questions. I wanted to ask things. I wanted to say things. Heck, I wanted to cry, because that would mean I’d be living here and torturing myself.

He kept asking what was on my mind, and after a couple times of being asked, I threw caution to the wind. I asked about 2011, about how I remember being kissed and about the way things seemed to be back then. Was it timing? Was it because I went a bit crazy back then, with everything going on and not knowing what to do about any of it? Honestly I don’t remember his answers to those questions, but for good reason.

He invited me to watch some George Carlin before I went to my room for the night. After that, he asked if I needed anything before I went to bed. I said things like, “a million dollars… a stash of good chocolate…” and then I said “surprise me.”

So he kissed me. Not a forehead kiss like he’s been doing. Not a peck on the cheek like I had managed to get him to do, to see if he would open up some more. And no, it wasn’t a simple peck on the lips, like I kissed him last night to thank him for cooking Puerto Rican food and making a tasty meal. This was a kiss, a real, genuine, bonafide kiss.

I couldn’t properly walk down the hallway to my room after that. I was in a dreamy state, like Cinderella on the morning after the ball.

I have no clue as to where this is going. But at least the torture is seeing some improvements.

Walking Through The Park And Reminiscing

I’ve been riding a wave of euphoria for about two weeks straight, basically since moving in with J.

Well, it hasn’t been completely euphoric, as that would be a fantasy. Who can be that happy all the time?

I’ve been trying to remember the events of 2011, as if it would matter to look back at something that should be forgotten. I remember being mad at J, though I don’t remember what I said. I don’t remember how he reacted, if he just kind of let me walk away or what happened. I remembered that his girlfriend at the time had me labeled as someone who would steal men from their girlfriends, and I knew I wanted to get away from all of that.

I looked at the old texts I had. It was always him writing to me first, and me responding in a rather indifferent tone. It wasn’t that I was bothered by talking to him, but I wasn’t overjoyed. I had forgotten how much fun he was, but I had apparently forgotten the rough patch as well.

To be honest, I wouldn’t even want someone telling me what I said or did back then. If I can’t remember it, if I can’t pull up old messages with others that had my side of things, then my mind is probably blocking it from my memory for a reason. And I should just let it go.

After all, I’m living with J now. And I don’t remember having to apologize to get to this point. I have text messages from him, where he clearly started the conversation. He kept reaching out to me, until finally I needed a place to stay and then he let me in. A part of me feels like I don’t deserve this.

I’ve been doing little things around the house, from cleaning up the bathroom to doing the dishes and even making sure the dog is let out to do her business. J has said that other people have had an issue with doing the dishes, but I’m sitting here thinking about the dishes I have in storage that I can’t wait to use because it will mean we won’t be using paper plates all the time. I don’t mind doing the dishes, especially since it’s just the two of us. In fact, yesterday I washed out his lunch containers, despite him saying he would do his own dishes and didn’t mind. I was already doing the dishes at that time. It needed to be done. I’m beyond the point in my life where chores are a pain in the ass. A year ago, I lived in an apartment where I had to do all the chores because the ex fiancé had every excuse why he couldn’t do anything to support our household. Now I’m looking at dust, thinking, “I should clean that… I wonder if he would mind, or if he would get suspicious, or what would happen.”

For the most part, I did the dishes to pass the time yesterday. It wasn’t a problem.

The problem was being woken up at 6:30 am, maybe sooner, because the cat was insane and he woke me up. As I laid in bed, the aroma of coffee wafted through the air, and I was so tired that it wasn’t until midday when I thought that I should have asked J to make me a cup of coffee while he was at it. Just before 7, I gave up, and I sleepily made my way down the stairs to the living room where J was watching Firefly. It wasn’t because I wanted to be around J, it was because the dog would be in the living room and the cat would be too scared to approach me. It was my way of getting back at him for the wakeup call.

J finished that episode of Firefly, and then I bid him farewell as he left for work before getting myself ready for work.

After I returned home, I put the dog out, even though J would have been home about 20 minutes later and would have put her outside out of habit. To me, it didn’t matter, it needed to be done and there was no sense in making the dog wait any longer.

I put some chicken on the kitchen counter to thaw, and then I started doing the dishes. When J walked in, we talked for a bit and then he went off to play video games while waiting for me to get done. After I did the dishes, I made a few more as I cooked dinner. By the time I was done, it was a late dinner for me but slightly early for him. I made enough for two servings, but it would have been three servings if I had a little more tomato sauce. I just cooked the chicken in a frying pan, then added pasta and tomato sauce, and put some cheese on top once I put mine in a bowl. It wasn’t anything special or fancy. I offered some of it to J, who wasn’t going to eat it if it meant that I wouldn’t have any to take to work the next day. After some “do you want it or not?” he finally gave in and agreed to having some. After all, I had time before work today that I could have made something more, and there was still some plain pasta that I could do something with. I ended up eating the last spoonful of the chicken and tomato sauce mixture alongside the plain pasta that I added cheese and butter to to make macaroni and cheese.

That night, we watched The Avengers, which I’ve seen before, but since we’re going through the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe, we re-watched it for the important details. So of course, since we’ve both seen the movie already, we called out random trivia and quotes at various moments.

By night’s end, I was starting to feel a bit down. I cried myself to sleep, as I felt like I was bothering him and taking up too much of his time, probably even wasting my time by trying to do the right thing. I had closed my door, leaving a gap for the cat to leave to use the litter pan, but otherwise I kept it from being opened any further by putting my binder of music CDs behind the door. I figured if J got up in the middle of the night, he might wonder why my door was actually closed. Maybe he would care. But it doesn’t seen like he’s been waking up in the middle of the night anymore, at least since giving him the letter.

Saturday was a slow day at work. I wrote a letter that told him I had a thing for him. I told him I had written a letter, but didn’t tell him who it was for or what it was about, just that I stayed in the break room at work to finish writing it. So after I came home that day, and we went to the grocery store and looked like a romantic couple to at least one other customer (despite not wearing his jacket after he offered it to me, because I was dumb and chose to get my own hoodie), and we had dinner and watched a movie, it wasn’t until we were going to sleep that I handed off… the letter. After he hugged me good night, I handed him the folded up piece of legal pad paper, telling him “that’s the letter, good night,” then I headed for my room.


“That’s the letter. Good night.”

I asked about it on Sunday, and he said he had read it. But nothing seemed to change between us, which was either a good thing or a bad thing, I figured it was a good thing for nothing to change, because that would mean he already felt that way about me. But it was a bad thing if nothing changed, because I had written the letter in such a way that said he wouldn’t be held responsible for making sure I felt good, and that even if I wasn’t involved that I did want him to be happy with someone and that he would likely make some woman happy, so he could be left to just do whatever, which would mean he wouldn’t have to start a relationship with me.

The letter was probably the stupidest thing I could have done. I’m 33 years old. I just did the 13-year-old thing. Clearly I’m not ready for a mature relationship.

So that, of course, weighed on my mind last night, along with everything else. I felt like I was bothering him. So I vowed not to bother him.

I managed to sleep in a bit today. I got ready at my own pace, and let the dog out just before I left for work as a means of preventing any accidents until J got home. I was scheduled to work until after dark, and normally on such days, I would drive to work so I could avoid a dangerous situation. I wasn’t yet brave about walking alone at night, but I decided I would do it anyway. I figured I needed the walk to clear my mind of whatever the sleep hadn’t erased.

I didn’t send any text messages to J all day. I didn’t check in with him at all. I spoke to a mutual friend of ours, and told her I felt like I was bothering him but it was probably just being tired after a long day. I also told her about walking to work, and how I wondered if I would get a text message from J when he got home and saw my car but not me. Well, I didn’t get any such messages. After work, she and I spoke for a bit outside the building, about the safety of walking after dark. I was going to listen to music on the walk, but then decided to take the precaution of keeping my ears open. As we parted ways for the night, she told me I should text him, just to let him know I was coming.

“On my way” was all I said.

A moment later, I got, “I’m still downstairs to keep an eye out for ya.” And okay, that thawed my heart, somewhat at least.

I wasn’t quite on the steps leading to the front porch when I heard the door unlock. He was right there waiting for me.

We spoke for a moment. He hugged me and asked how my day was, and I said it was fine. The calls were uneventful, but I wasn’t thinking of work when he had asked me about my day. I thought about telling him how I felt like I had been a bother, but no part of me had the courage to admit that, or at least no part of me wanted to create an issue if there wasn’t one.

We headed up the stairs. A little more chatting.

He opened his arms for another hug, so I hugged him. And then he kissed me on the forehead. For the first time since moving in, he kissed me, even if it was just on the forehead. That’s, like, the kiss of a guy who feels protective of you. If I didn’t already feel like he was watching out for me after I got out of work, that kiss sealed the deal. Suddenly, I didn’t feel like I was bothering him, at least not for more than the end of a long day.

My bedroom door is open again tonight. I like to think that when he wakes up in the middle of the night, or even when he starts his day, he peeks in my room and smiles. I’m probably snoring, my hair is likely a mess, and my body is probably contorted in some weird fashion. But I’m here. I’m not sure if that’s what he hoped would eventually happen if he kept texting me off and on again, but it did happen. I should just let the past stay where it is, in the past. He and I aren’t in our twenties anymore, a lot has changed in 6 years, and this is clearly the makings of something else as well.

The Tension And The Spark

Tonight marks the eighth night that I’ve slept in this house, and the seventh night I’ve slept in this room.

It’s been a week that hasn’t gone by my expectations, and has been better than I could have hoped for!

There is a problem… or two… or so…

The first problem is that my friend and new landlord, who I’ll call J, plays guitar. And he sings. And he has taught himself how to play piano. Mind you, when he has played this past week, he has played for himself, more often than not just to pass the time. I’ve known him for years, so I already knew he played guitar and sang.

The second problem is that now that I’m away from someone who expects people to do things for her and complains if things weren’t done to her expectations, I’ve reverted back to… well, it’s one of my love languages, which is to do things for others.

I was making a lot of sandwiches for the first few days, using about half a loaf of bread in less than a week as well as the pack of deli meat that J requested I buy when I was getting cat food. So when I got groceries after work mid-week, I bought him more wheat bread and a loaf of white bread for myself and another pack of cheese slices. When I brought in my bin of pantry items, I set it where the remainder of a pack of water bottles was sitting, after I emptied the pack and put the water bottles in the fridge so they would be cold. And over the past 24 hours I tried to rekindle a friendship of his with a somewhat mutual guy friend, only to learn that the friend is only willing to hang out if J will go to him, he won’t come and visit J.

I mean the third problem is that I expected to be antisocial for at least this first week. I figured I’d come home from work, make dinner, take it up to my room, and eat it while watching YouTube on the television or something. I’d spend my free time playing video games or doing whatever on the internet. Instead, J went through all of his movies, asked me if I had seen particular ones or if I wanted to, and had me make a list of movies that needed to be seen. My nights have been spent sitting on his couch while he sits in the chair, and we’ve been watching a few different movies such as Birdman and the new Ghostbusters movie.

If I have a night shift at work, I’ll either text him to tell him I’m on my way back or he will ask when I’m returning. One night after I came home, I fixed myself a dish of ice cream, to which he asked if that was my dinner and I truthfully told him no, that I had brought dinner to work with me. He watches out for me, which is more than I had hoped for, but I certainly appreciate it.

So what IS the problem?

Well, I had a thing for him.

2011 wasn’t my year, even though it wasn’t quite as bad as 2016. 2011 began when J, a previous coworker from a previous call center job, found me on a lesser-known social media site. Later that year, things happened between us. So far he’s been the only one, at least that I can remember, who has pinned me up against the wall (or in this case, a door) and kissed me passionately. You’re probably wondering how things ended, and to be honest I don’t quite remember. I just know his girlfriend at the time claimed to be okay with opening up their relationship, especially since he’s polyamorous and it would make things easier for him, but shortly after that their relationship ended. I had a lot going on, and I don’t remember if I stopped talking to him for a while after the first time my car was rear-ended or the second time that year, because I’m pretty sure we had parted ways before the third time my car was rear-ended that year. Like I said, 2011 wasn’t my year.

Since then, communication was off and on. We might have talked for a day or two or so, and then said nothing to each other for months. So when he texted me a few weeks ago out of the blue, I was a bit reluctant to ask if he had a room to rent, but I was getting desperate and knew I’d have better chances of finding a place to live if it was with another friend.

How did I ask for a room? I asked to stay here platonically. That’s right, I didn’t want any funny business. I didn’t want to move in for sexual reasons, or romantic reasons, or anything like that. I didn’t want to bother him, especially if he had other friends staying here or visiting or whatever. I wanted all of that off the table so it wouldn’t get weird and awkward.

But I forgot, I had a thing for him.

We get each other’s humor. We’re both nerdy and geeky, and will make references that the other one understands and plays off of. We have similar life views. He plays guitar, and I melt a bit when I hear someone play guitar in front of me, especially acoustic.

I still have a thing for my friend in Japan, whose name was incorporated into my self-selected password for work. I kept telling myself, I’m choosing my friend from Japan, I don’t want to get tied down here in the States because then I might never leave and go live in Japan like I want to do. Even if I don’t end up with my friend from Japan, I’ll still have every reason to be focused on going over there.

And suddenly I understand why J is polyamorous. Because I know that my personality goes so well with J’s, but my friend from Japan makes me want to improve myself or otherwise be a better version of what I already am. J doesn’t share my love of Japanese stuff aside from some anime, but I could discuss the whole culture with my friend from Japan and get his thoughts if he’s willing to share them.

Just the same, it’s another reason why I’m in no hurry to find my next significant other. The question has become, “what do I really want in my next relationship?” The only answer I can give is, “to not make another mistake.” For now, it feels easier to not be in a relationship, to just spend time and observe, to not have hopes and expectations of marriage, and to not complicate things by having sexual involvement with anyone.

I may, in fact, be torturing myself. However, it feels like it’s been too long since I’ve been kind and thoughtful and generous without expectation for it. I like feeling as if I’ve done something nice, and then feeling like it’s been appreciated. I also enjoy feeling like my presence matters, like someone cares enough to make sure I’m getting home without a scratch. I wouldn’t have that much if I lived alone, and it might even be awkward if I moved in with people I didn’t know. So I’ll deal with the torture.

If nothing else, then I’ll know the reasons why the girl who has his heart will be a really lucky girl. I’ll know the things that would bother her, that she might have to overlook or compensate for if she got involved with him for the long term. I might be the one who decides between A, B, and C, with my choice being the thing that makes her happy. And even if he’s not with me, does that really matter? Because J is a good person, he cares about others and he deserves to be happy, So I want him to be happy.

And I want to stay here for a while. Not just because of him, but there is so much I enjoy about being here. I like not coming home to just my cat, I like living so close to work that I can walk there. I like the fact that I haven’t had to buy something to sleep on yet, that it was provided and it’s not a couch. I like that the only reason why I won’t have a wireless internet signal is because I’m too far from the router, not because someone else didn’t sweep a dust particle from the corner of the room and so the whole house looks trashed because of it and everyone has to be punished. Let’s not forget, I’m paying less to live here than I would elsewhere, and it’s a pretty good deal if you consider that utilities are included and I also get a person who gives a damn about me. Let’s not screw that up.

Supposedly my Facebook page, not my personal page but the one where these posts are published to, has been popping up for some people who I’ve spoken to in the past. Chances are, J will see this post as a result of that… and things will get awkward. Or my friend from Japan will see this post… and he will stop talking to me because he will say that someone else might be better for me or something.

Regardless of what happens, life will continue on the path it was meant to go, and I can only hope for the best possible outcome. It doesn’t matter what happens for me. I’d rather find out I wasn’t meant for a person before I get involved with them. I’d rather have J be happy with whoever and however many women it takes to make him feel complete. I’d rather have my friend from Japan find someone who is less of a pain in the ass than I am, but I don’t mind staying if he really enjoys me being a challenge.

There will always be a guitarist, somewhere.

There will always be someone who gets my humor.

There will always be someone who gives a damn about my safety and well-being.

And there will always be someone whose day was improved by my presence.