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Problem Girl

Another day, another petty argument.

This one was between two very stubborn individuals, the guy who accidentally hit the girl in the nose, and the girl who only needed a few moments before the pain went away before she was better. We were in his room, getting ready to watch a show with all the lights off, so there was no way he could see that my nose wasn’t bleeding or anything. Even after realizing I was fine, and recalling a time when I’ve had worse and my nose was actually bleeding from getting hit, he still insisted that I go to the bathroom and check myself out. I did, but the back-and-forth soured my mood for the rest of the evening.

It’s been said that if you’re fighting, you’re a compatible couple. I have to laugh at that, because sometimes those arguments and fights that couples have are pure drama, they serve no purpose other than to belittle the other partner. It’s all the unhappiness they feel normally, that they keep bottled up until something breaks, at which point they don’t care if they hurt their partner because they’ve been living with their own emotional pain. Somehow, I always find the love in my arguments with J. He wasn’t satisfied with me saying I felt fine, he wanted me to actually look and make sure that my nose wasn’t worse than I thought it was.

The problem always comes back around to being me. I should have just gotten up and checked my nose sooner, despite knowing myself well and knowing I was fine. Not only that, but all the pain I feel in regards to things between J and I, that’s all on me.

I don’t know if jealousy is an accurate description for what I feel when his ex comes to visit, or in general.

There is that voice in my head that reminds me of how I’m not friends with any of my exes, as if to tell me that I should be upset that he’s still close to his most recent ex. But then i think of Pete, who I don’t really classify as an ex because we weren’t in a romantic relationship. Pete and I are fairly good friends these days, and I’ve considered asking if he could spend a few days in January to visit me. I haven’t broached the subject, because I realize that while it would be “giving J a taste of his own medicine,” it could backfire in a number of ways, and I could be without two guy friends and be left with the constant reminder of my spiteful behavior. However, it could go positively, if I only think of it and treat it as a chance for a friend to visit and get away from his life for a while, and I show him the Asian stuff in the area that’s kept me going for the past year.

Speaking of the Asian stuff, it’s been a while since I’ve made omurice and okonomiyaki. Since omurice, or omelette rice, is simple and requires only a few everyday ingredients, I made it earlier this week. There are still other Japanese restaurants in the area I haven’t visited yet, and lately I’ve felt I should get back to taking myself out and writing about my experience as a whole. That was one of the things I used to write about here, I used to talk about Japan more, and wanting to go, and all the things I can experience over here. I never wrote about making miso soup for J, which I could have done. And at the thought of picking up where I left off with the Japanese restaurants, it doesn’t seem right to continue as I had always done, which is to say I was taking myself out to dinner. If I’m going out for Japanese food again, I want it to be with J.

But I realize that he doesn’t want me.

Well, I guess “realize” isn’t the right word, in the same way that one would realize water is wet. I could say that I’m “starting to believe,” like one would start to believe that their sand castle will withstand anything because they haven’t realized that water is also destructive. I guess I’m “leaning towards” that idea, and yes there could be nothing solid or firm there for me to lean on, and I could fall and hurt myself… because I’m dumb.

Oh, let me explain. The last time his ex was here, it was, “she (the ex) knows I’m joking,” and other things that made me feel like they were a team and I was odd man out. And when I made dinner, there were only ten rolled tacos, so I figured J could have the extra one but he split it two ways… and shared the other half with her, even though I would have liked it if it were split evenly among all three of us. When he played music, she swayed to the sound, enjoying every moment.

I can’t be her.

Not that I know how the music feels for her, but for me, it’s so much more. Lyrics are the words that are never said but often felt, the music itself conjuring up the scene of the story unfolding in a few short minutes. I can’t just sway to music, I need to perform it, I need to move my mouth and hands in such a way that I’m conveying the feeling of the song, because I feel it within me as if the words are my own and that is what I need to get out. There are a couple of songs that are personal and meaningful for me, because they make me think of my parents, and one will always make me cry. I can’t stop with, “that’s a good song,” because I get too passionate about some songs I hear. But maybe that’s all he wants, he just wants someone to sway to the music and simply be entertained, not someone like me who’s trying to figure out if he’s speaking through songs and who his heart and soul cry out to.

And there’s other ways I can’t be her. And I tell myself I should be good enough, or that I am. But then I realize that I’m nice to him in ways that don’t seem to matter as much, and I could be nicer at times when it seems more fun just to be a pain in the ass. I can’t simply show gratitude without coming off ungrateful first. And then I put myself in a mood I can’t easily shake, leaving J to wonder what’s wrong, but talking it over always comes back around to me being in the wrong and being dumb (not even in an abusive way, just reminding me that if I hadn’t said or done something a certain way, it wouldn’t have led to me overthinking a situation because nothing wrong would have happened), so lately it seems better to let my moods pass.

Although there is one advantage to knowing that I’m the problem, and that’s knowing I’m going to reject help and advice at a time when I know how things work for me. Yes, I’m sick, I came down with a cold yesterday. I texted J in the morning and told him I wasn’t feeling well, and that I’m not a whiny bitch when it comes to being sick. Basically I was telling him that I’m not the kind of girl, or person for that matter, who tucks themselves into bed and begs someone else to get them soup, get them tea, and basically wait on them hand and foot. I didn’t have to be told to take medicine, I found my antihistamines as soon as I could and took one. I drank tea and juice, and made myself soup for dinner. I left work halfway through the day because I had a headache that kept me from focusing on everything, and I didn’t think I could push through the last 4 hours of my day. I came home and took a nap, rolling out of bed when J got home from work, at which point I had more energy and felt more able to tolerate being around him.

My dinner was a mug of tea, a mug with chicken flavored instant ramen, and a plate with a grilled cheese sandwich on it. J had walked out to the kitchen around the time I was getting ready to carry everything out to the living room, at which point he offered to help me carry something. I’m not sure if being unwell caused me to get over myself, or if I was exhausted enough that I didn’t want to put up a fight, but I allowed him to carry my plate for me while I carried the two mugs, instead of insisting that I could take care of things by myself. He was rather nice to me yesterday, but again, it could be me being sick that I’m just being a bit kinder towards him.

“I’ll spare you from a kiss on the lips,” I said last night, before heading to my own room to sleep. After he questioned it, I reminded him that I was sick, something that I can obviously tell about myself even if it isn’t that apparent to anyone else. He, having an immune system I wish I had all my life, quickly pulled me close and gave me a peck on the lips.

He’s brave, that one. Kissing me when I’m contagious, dealing with my bullshit most days. I don’t want to let him go, but if he’s not into me romantically, we will have to go our separate ways one day.

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Thanksgiving, Gratitude, And Happiness

“You smile more than you think you do.”

The context is lost, but J’s words still echo in my mind. It’s amazing that anything echoes in my mind, as it often feels like my thoughts and memories are arranged like stacks of books, magazines and loose pieces of paper in an endless, dusty room. My mind is full and cluttered, nothing is as it should be.

J usually sees me smile, but he’s also the one trying to make me smile as well. I wish I could sit here and say that he made me smile by giving me flowers, or being more personal and thoughtful by stopping by my favorite bakery and getting me a chocolate cornet. Alas, I’m still not his girlfriend, not that I know if he’d do such things even if I was. No, he does other things to make me smile.

I had to work a day shift on Thanksgiving, from 9 in the morning until 5:30. It was one of the slowest shifts I’ve had to work, and I hoped they would send some of us home sooner than they did. Well, I managed to be released around 5:05, and when I got home, the house feast was ready to be served. So, I had to ask… did they wait for me? Did they time everything to be ready at about the time I’d be getting home? One answer was no, that it just happened that way, and another answer was that yes, they did anticipate me having to work my full shift so I’d be walking in on all the food ready to be served. I was beside myself, because I really didn’t mind grabbing leftovers and fixing a plate of food for myself. I am just one person, and barely important enough for a whole feast to revolve around my schedule.

I felt humbled, because I hadn’t been able to help prepare any of the food (except my apple pie, which is a long story in itself for a homemade pie bought as part of a fundraiser), so I helped put away the food once everyone was done eating for the evening. The turkey was cooked in an aluminum foil pan, which I tossed out with the majority of the skeletal remains once we had picked off most of the meat. Honestly, I could have spent more time and gotten more meat off the bones, but I was trying to make short work of it. Anyway, I feared for the trash bag, thinking it would rip from the bones and the bent foil pan. I said to J that I needed assistance pulling the trash bag, but since I didn’t specifically ask for his help, he didn’t help me with the bag, and that conversation snowballed into an argument.

Sigh. 

I was already telling myself that I needed to stop loving him, i needed to stop having this silly infatuation, that nothing would ever come of this. I can’t even compete with his ex, who stopped by before i got out of work and gave him some tres leches cake that she made, which seems to be one of his favorite foods. Now we’ve had another petty argument, making my chances that much slimmer that anything good might come of any of this.

Forget the evening cuddle session before bed. Since we fought, I wasn’t feeling amorous. I did need to take a shower, and the song “Im Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair” was stuck in my head while I did so, or at least that one lyric repeated in my mind.

Before I started the shower, I texted him the picture I took of the slip of paper I wrote on at work, listing what I was thankful for this year. As it’s posted on a board at work, I took the picture of my entry so I could keep it, and I figured I would need it for this day but I didn’t know it would come to this. In my mind, I was trying to say, “I was thankful for you, but you just pissed me off.”

“You forgot to say…” was his reply, adding a few things that went along with the argument we just had. Oh really? At that point, I simply apologized for saying nice, positive things about him. After that, since I stepped out of the shower to respond, I stepped back into the shower and finished what I was doing.

“Good. How dare you.” I didn’t read that angrily, when I first read that. I read it in his smiling, sarcastic voice when he usually says “how dare you.” It confused me, because I was actually regretting that I had even had a positive thing to say about him, and to post it in a public space.

“I’m thankful for you too. Usually.” Why? Why did he have to say that? I was mad at him! I mean, clearly my judgment is clouded by the crush I have on him, so if I stop having feelings, I’ll see him as he really is. But what have I even done that he’s thankful for me? I feel like a placeholder, like I’m just here until things work in such a way that he gets his ex back, or that I’ll be less important once he has another girlfriend.

And I shouldn’t feel that way. I feel like I am worthy of love, that I’m worthy of and deserve his love. It’s not just because I do the dishes. We were talking tonight about things, and it was mentioned that we both have money budgeted in such a way that neither of us is struggling on a monthly basis, and that we could assist the other in a pinch. “But we’re not in a relationship,” he mentioned, which was like stabbing me with a knife, albeit a decorative knife which I knew I wanted to keep. But the context was to emphasize that a couple he was referring to was engaged to be wed, and one partner struggled while the other seemed to do fine because they can’t budget financially together. Look what we have here, I thought to myself. But I suppose we only make a good couple on paper, or in theory. His feelings need to be there, not just mine.

After my shower, I crawled into bed and played on my cell phone. I heard a bedroom door open, then the wooden boards of the hallway floor creaked with each step. I figured it was the other housemate, who was in town for the weekend, or her significant other. I figured that whoever it was, the person was going to the bathroom, nothing more, so I minded my own business. I heard a muffled thud as something hit the comforter and my leg beneath it. I looked up, just in time to see the side of J’s face as he walked back to his room. I looked to see what hit me, only to discover it was the fourth 3-novel compilation of the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, which I started reading about a month ago. I had just finished the third novel in the third book, and thus the entirety of the third book, earlier that day at work. However, I returned that book in the midst of our argument, opening the door just a crack so I could place it on the small bookshelf by the door, then closing the door behind me. I was going to be stubborn and prideful, I was going to start reading some of my other books instead of grabbing the next in the Sweep series. His words were already pulling me out of the mood I was in towards him, but seeing the book on my bed, I couldn’t help but consider him to be thoughtful, like that was the only word coming to mind to describe him.

Over the weekend, we were watching the second to last episode of Iron Fist. As sometimes happens, he couldn’t seem to figure out where to put his hand behind me, or if it should be on my side. So I held it in place over my left shoulder for long enough that the only reason why he moved it was because it wasn’t a comfortable position any longer. I started nodding off during that episode, possibly because a lack of sleep was catching up to me, and just as I had closed my eyes he nudged me awake. Usually he’s the one falling asleep and I try to nudge him, or we both start nodding off. My eyes weren’t closed long enough that I missed anything, so it was nice that he caught me nodding off at that moment.

Yeah, I’m thankful for him. And if I’m smiling more than I think I am, it probably has something to do with his ability to make me smile when I don’t otherwise feel like it.

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. It 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.