Tag Archive | friends

Orange Crush

I’ll never forget the night I came home with his phone number.

Back when I was living with J, a guy at work gave me his Playstation Network ID, which took me a few tries to decipher his handwriting before I was able to add him. Sometime after that day, I was given his phone number, and I was grinning from ear to ear as I walked home. I don’t often get guy’s phone numbers, and usually when I do, it’s someone I have no intention of contacting ever again (which is part of being a woman, I guess, feigning interest just to get away from a guy without starting a problem).

Anyway, we ended up hanging out one day, because I had the day off and was content with doing my own tour of the mall. I left the mall to pick him up, only to bring him back to the mall for a little while.

Prior to picking him up, I had made a playful comment that was taken as a double entendre. My intentions for the day weren’t more than platonic, as I simply enjoyed his company and wanted to spend time away from the office. Well, something happened… and after it did and we had parted ways for the night, I said that what happened was because he wanted it, which in hindsight sounds like I had regrets, or that I felt coerced or even forced, but that’s really not the case.

I suppose you could say I’m “all or nothing” when it comes to certain physical acts. However, I have an odd history when it comes to casual sex partners, which is why I don’t want to have any more casual sex partners. I mean, the guy who deflowered me would only talk to me about sex later on, so I lost a friend who made me a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards and would talk about different movies that I now enjoy, but the final nail in the coffin was his current political stance. Another guy, who was only vaguely memorable for the physical stuff, was more memorable for the conversations we had, as he grew up on the west coast and had experience with hallucinogenic substances and I still lived on the east coast and was too afraid to even try pot. I actually miss that west coast dude, and I wonder what he’s up to these days, but I realize he didn’t send me any messages because he simply wanted to talk, so my purpose in his life has ended. So that’s my thing, either the friendship is lost, or it was never really there, so I’d rather not do something that could cloud my judgment if this person happens to be pretty shitty.

To be honest, the guy from work kind of reminds me of West Coast Guy. It could be the chill attitude, the nicotine reliance, the physical build,… I don’t know, but they are two separate people.

Recently, we were geeking out over Coheed And Cambria, comparing favorite songs off each previous album, to which we have similar tastes. Most of his favorite music is heavy metal that I’ve never heard of before, but sometimes he delights me with covers of popular songs that I know but wouldn’t otherwise listen to of my own volition. But to sit there and compare favorite songs from one of my favorite bands, with someone who seems to have a little more than just a passing interest, that’s an amazing feeling for me considering my passion for the music i connect with.

Overall, I found myself talking with him more often in recent days, and for no real reason so of course my mind has to justify it. Since I work with him, I was contacting him on the day of Libra’s verdict to give an idea of how late I was running, and that day he was one of the first people I saw once I got to work, and told me I should go home instead of clocking in. I asked him for a hug when I saw him, expecting to be rejected since we work together, but he gave me a half hug in consideration of me being over encumbered with coffee and leftovers from lunch. I stopped by work a couple of days later, on a night that I wasn’t working but he was, because I wanted to show that I was already doing better than the last time he saw me. I had forgotten I was still wearing makeup from my solo trip to the mall, so now I’m wondering if it was noticed and given a second thought.

I feel like I’m developing a crush on him, which isn’t to say I wasn’t before. But after that one night, when he started sitting next to another girl at work, and then someone else, I nodded my head and applauded my decision to not reduce what we had to something physical. But now, I want to go out on dates with him, especially because I know him well enough now that I think there would be something more than sex between us. Then again, I don’t think I’m really his type, just that we get along well. And then, I thought about it in the car tonight, that if we dated or this did get physical or whatever, I would end up losing someone who’s become one of my favorite guy friends. So maybe, just maybe, this is how it’s meant to be between us and nothing more. Also, I’m dealing with feminine stuff right now, in addition to life weaning me off Libra, so I wonder if this crush isn’t just a neurochemical cocktail designed to ward off a cold and lonely winter, so to speak.

Eh, I should just view it as I’m spending time with him while I can, before I leave the company for another job elsewhere, or before I leave the state to try living somewhere else for a while. If something is really going to happen, it will happen, right? And if not, then I’m right about us being good friends and that we should not mess with that.

Yeah, after everything I’ve been through, maybe I should take a break from a lot of things for a while. What’s meant to stay will stay, whats meant to return will return.

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Mission: Adventure!

My time in this house with Libra is nearing its end.

I knew this was coming, before I agreed to moving in with him. However, I didn’t know when. He didn’t even know when, because there was no set date. As much as I don’t want to be vague, since it sounds like we’ve just reached a point where we can’t stand each other, I unfortunately have to be vague for the sake of privacy and personal information. Yeah, it sucks, but I don’t feel as if I’m at liberty to discuss such things.

Ah, but tragedy befalls other friends as well, as my best friend suffered a tragic loss. There’s a lot going on with that, so I should probably hold my figurative tongue. So much going on in life, not at liberty to discuss any of it.

Well, one of these two situations provided me an excellent opportunity!

I was asked if I would personally deliver some legal papers to an address in Buffalo. I agreed, solely because i had the time and I was helping out a friend in need. So preparations were made, Libra gave my car an oil change, I was given gas money by the friend I was helping, and I set off on my whirlwind adventure.

It’s been years since I’ve been to Buffalo. I’ve driven through the area more recently than I had last visited, as we (Mom and I, for example) would have to pass through the area on the way to visit my brother when he still lived in Pennsylvania. The last time I had visited was when I was spending time with my first ex, which was about ten years ago.

I didn’t want to just go, drop off the papers, and then turn back around.

Libra was going to go with me, but then he changed his mind for reasons I understood. Had he accompanied me, I might have tried looking for the two bars that my ex had visited, as I felt like Libra might have enjoyed the bar that had a devil theme to it. Then again, I felt like Libra might not have cared what we did, except to tell me that he didn’t want to be with me while I rekindled memories.

I ended up going alone, which is not a problematic situation for me. So I chose the music, brought some snacks, and headed out on my three-hour-long journey.

When I was almost to my destination, I sent a message to the friend I was helping. I was then informed that the recipient wouldn’t be home for about two more hours. Well, I did plan to occupy more of my time while I was out, did I not? So I pulled into a parking lot for some business that was closed, either for the day or forever, and I searched Google for something that would cater to my interests.

Asian markets.

In hindsight, I don’t know why I searched for Asian markets. It’s not as if I couldn’t make a day trip to Syracuse for Asian food, or just popped in to Wegmans after work for their limited selection of goods. Furthermore, it’s not as if I actually needed anything, as I still had two bottles of Calpico in the fridge, I had ramen, panko bread crumbs, okonomiyaki flour,… I did not need anything more. Why I didn’t search for something entertaining, like a science museum or an arcade, is beyond me.

Lucky Dragon was closed for the day, which was only a disappointment in that I couldn’t say I visited a store with Dragon in the name. My first stop was then Hana Mart, a shop with about a third of the floor space of Han’s. I’m not kidding, the floor space was about the size of someone’s living room. It was tiny! But what the store lacked in floor space, it made up for in selection, as I found a few things I wouldn’t have found elsewhere. The girl behind the register was so nice and friendly, and we talked about how baked goods always taste better while they’re warm, after she passed along the suggestion that the brownie-cookies I bought would taste better after being in the microwave for a moment.

I consulted my phone again, this time finding another store that was occupying a repurposed Walmart. The store is called Asia Food Mart, and the entrance is flanked by a pair of lion statues, just like the other Asian market that I know of in Syracuse. Like that Syracuse store, there is more of an emphasis on Chinese food and culture, although other Southeast Asian countries are represented as well. But unlike that store in Syracuse, this one had a nook with furniture in it, and one corner of the store displayed porcelain dishes with small spotlights focused on the items, and glass display cases arranged in a rectangle with jewelry pieces and jade knick-knacks on display for purchase. There was also more Indian food and seasoning as well. I bought a lot of drinks, from canned coffee to juice with bits of coconut in it. I also bought some jelly snacks, which are closer in consistency to gelatin than to something you might spread on toast. I told myself I was going to avoid anything that needed refrigeration, which probably saved me some money though I might have missed out on having ice cream mochi as a treat in the car. At least I know the other Asian store in the Syracuse area has ice cream mochi, so I’m not at a loss. But what I didn’t know, or at least what I didn’t realize at the time, was that the Asia Food Mart in Buffalo is a sister store to the Asia Food Mart in Syracuse, the place I keep using for comparisons. No wonder they have so much in common!

Half way through the Asia Food Mart, and when my phone wanted to deliver a message, I got a message from my friend saying that my recipient had arrived at home. My friend was anxious for me, and everyone was fearing that the scene would be more eventful than it was. I didn’t mind taking my time to finish up in the store, as it allowed my recipient to get comfortable for a bit, though I’m aware that it only drew things out for my friend. But I navigated back to the given address, confirmed I had the correct recipient, then dropped off the papers and fled the scene. There was no confrontation, probably because my recipient was blindsided and confused. Hey, I’m just the delivery girl, I did what I was asked to do.

I parked in another parking lot, then made the necessary phone calls to say it was done and how little I had to deal with. Then I recalled seeing a listing for a ramen restaurant, which I searched for as it was nearing dinnertime and I was not going to do drive-thru if I could help it. The first five listings, when searching for ramen near me, were all for Sato Ramen, located near the University of Buffalo campus. My first thought was that this is obviously “the” place to go for ramen, so I went there. The food was amazing, of course! I’m pretty sure the portion of ramen I had was an American-sized portion, and with my okonomiyaki fries on the side, it was too much for me to eat in one sitting. I’ve heard in Japan, you can’t just get your leftovers to go, but since we’re in America (and again, that was a generous portion, I’m not even kidding), the restaurant had to-go containers. With my leftovers packed up, I returned to the car.

At this point, it’s after 6 pm on a Sunday night. The mall was closed, in fact a few things would’ve been closing up for the night if they weren’t already.  I already told myself I wasn’t going to cross into Canada, which is why I left my birth certificate at home (birth certificates along with photo ID can apparently be used in lieu of passports or the enhanced drivers license to cross the border into Canada). That didn’t mean I couldn’t go to Niagara Falls, it just meant I couldn’t go to the Canadian side of the Falls. So, I plotted a course for the Hard Rock Cafe, Niagara Falls USA.

That was the second time I had been to the Hard Rock Cafe on the American side of the Falls, the first time being when I took another friend of mine to the area to pick up her daughter. That was before I met my first ex. I bought a t-shirt and a necklace at that time, along with the Shakira pin which is one of my favorite pins yet – it’s a pink winged guitar! This time, I bought two shirts, a necklace, and three different pins. I couldn’t resist the one shirt, as it had a guitar with wings on it, and it wasn’t until I was wearing it at work the next day that it reminded me of Kyosuke Himuro and some of his merchandise. I wanted to get dessert, but I had already transferred money out of my savings account to pay for shirts I didn’t need after buying Asian groceries I didn’t need.

After I left the Hard Rock Cafe, I walked around a building that housed an international food court and a gift shop. I walked in because the Chinese eatery advertised bubble tea, but then I didn’t buy anything, not even the bubble tea. When I was looking through the gift shop, I thought about different people and what I might buy for them. Libra might’ve received a pocket knife with his name on it, and I might’ve purchased a shot glass for one of the guys at work who’s a close friend. The only thing stopping me was knowing how much I had already spent on the trip, though I also considered the gift-giving gesture would be appreciated but the gift would be unwanted.

I was quickly running out of daylight, so I decided not to stay at the Falls for too much longer. Besides, the Falls are spectacular at night… from the Canadian side, not the American side. Since I had to work the next day, and I needed to get home without passing out and crashing the car, I figured it was best if I ended my adventure, at least for this time around.

I hated having to leave for home. Home, of course, being the place where I rest my head at night. I could’ve rested my head in a hotel room, but I wouldn’t have been ready for work, and I can’t just do my job remotely. So that got me thinking, I should get a remote job, I should just go to different places, especially places I’ve never been before.

So that is my plan, at least the most generalized version of it. I will get a remote job, I’ll quit being a relay operator, and I’m going to see more of the United States. Because if I leave for Japan, there are things I’ll have never seen in my own country and might never see, and I’ll have to fly over all of it anyway. So then I thought about taking a train across the country, to at least see the landscapes, then hop a flight to Japan from the west coast. Finally I thought about just taking a road trip across the country, instead of taking a train, before I conceded that Japan isn’t in my budget yet. So how will I afford this excursion? I’ll stay in one place for a few weeks, then go somewhere else.

For now, though, I will prepare, because this is going to be a long journey, and I don’t quite feel prepared for it yet. But when I am ready and I head out, I hope it’s going to be worthwhile!

Follow The Love

In Japan, you can find a variety of cafes which cater to your every whim, from fandom-based cafes with themes like Sailor Moon and My Little Pony, to animal cafes where you can dine with owls and rabbits, and even cuddle cafes where you can curl up next to a cute girl for an hour and just talk and relax.

Perhaps a trip to Japan is exactly what I need.

Today was probably the first day in a few days that I’ve felt like my cheerful self again, and I have no one to thank for it but myself and my own biology.

I can’t seem to properly convey my biological stresses, to begin with. It’s possible that I have a condition that throws my hormones out of whack, so when it’s almost that time when the hormone levels change, I have a change in needs as well. My craving for cuddles, my need to be kissed, knowing I’m going to be denied these things if I ask, it all made me feel so lonely and sad, which was probably also the hormones talking.

Then Libra and I were talking, and it got up to the topic of how I wanted to be cuddled. His reply was to say, “because you want a boyfriend, and I can’t be that for you.” We dropped the conversation, which was just as well since it was going nowhere, but I couldn’t figure out why it bothered me so much.

Today at work, I had more than enough time to dwell on my thoughts.

I took out a pad of paper and wrote down, “guys who would cuddle me,” then thought realistically about it and added, “if I lived with them and schedules allowed.” J was on that list, as we often sat side-by-side on his bed and watched an episode of a show we were working on, then I’d go down the hallway to my room. Then I wrote down Pete, because even though I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve platonically shared a bed, the fact remains that he is a bit affectionate.

Next I wrote down, “guys who would kiss me.” And again, J and Pete. I’m just talking about a peck on the lips or the cheek, a loving kiss that’s not lewd. I know J would ask for a kiss before I departed from visiting him, and I know Pete would kiss me again if I give him the chance.

“Guys who have said ‘I Love You’ in the past few days.” Pete said this to me, after a brief vent from me. I felt kinda bad that I vented to him in the early hours of his birthday, but I ignored his replies so I could focus on sleep, then replied with an “I love you too” sometime after waking. I have friends who aren’t that close to me, but who will still say “I love you” to their friends, and I’m not uncomfortable with it because you should feel that strongly about the people you surround yourself with. You should love your friends, you should make sure they’re alive and are trying to stay alive, you should care enough to pick them up when they’re down, you should keep them from harming themselves or others. If you don’t love your friends, are they just… there?

“Guys I would date or who would date me.” Well, that’s the fun part. J has already stated that he’s not interested in dating me, though he had considered it at one time. Pete would date me, I could be his primary this time around, since last time I was secondary when he had a fiancée (it was complicated, but it was polyamorous). I have nothing against Pete, I just can’t see myself dating him. After some time away from him, spent with my ex fiancé, Pete became one of my best friends because we stopped trying to make a complicated situation work, and friendship and understanding came naturally after that.

When I put it in writing, I realized something. I was bothered by Libra’s unwillingness to give me affection, not because I was still hoping that Libra would be in a relationship with me, but because I have guy friends who are affectionate towards me and one of us isn’t looking to date the other.

I was so bored at work, my mind had all of these ridiculous slippery slope arguments. If we hang out, I might think it’s a date, because I’m looking for a boyfriend. If we get dinner, we should get separate checks, that way I don’t get the wrong idea and think he’s trying to be my boyfriend by paying for my food. I should just buy food for myself at the grocery store, anyway, otherwise it might look like I’m a live-in girlfriend and not just his housemate and friend. I couldn’t help but giggle to myself, because that’s how the whole situation sounded to me.

I missed being woken up to him laying beside me at my back. I missed cuddling in general. And if I imagine anyone curled up next to me, the feeling of comfort is still the same. But in my saddest moments recently, I wasn’t looking to put a title on a relationship. I was looking for platonic physical acts to release some feel-good chemicals into my system.

For tomorrow, I decided to take myself to the duck pond. I asked Libra, who protested because geese are apparently vicious, so I canceled the plan for us to go on Sunday. I mean, it also seemed like going out on a date, which is forbidden! So I’ll spare him from listening to me talk about how Mom would sometimes bring us to the duck pond, and how one time we drove in and then turned around and left because some people were using it for a “date spot” (I didn’t see what happened, but I’m thinking it was more scandalous than just kissing). Libra had asked me to think of something else as well that would be worth his while, so I suggested going to the mall. I didn’t tell him I was going to take him to the go-kart track in the mall, but that sounds like a date, the fact that I wanted to race him in go-karts. Suddenly, hanging out with J at an archery range sounds more enjoyable, because at least we have an understanding that it’s not a date at this point.

A phrase echoed in my mind while I was still at work, and I considered doodling it on paper. Either, “follow the love,” or “go where there’s love,” or something along those lines. It doesn’t have to be romantic love, just the caring and affection. Go where you won’t feel lost or lonely. Speak to those who you know will listen. Everyone has some kind of issue going on in their life; if someone helps you get through your problem, try to return the favor.

But overall, follow the love.

Map out the love.

Be a beacon so others can find love.

And as always, love yourself before others. Know your needs and wants, and always remember that you deserve to be happy.

Dark Side Of The Luna

I hit a low point recently, which prompted me to write a status message on Facebook that got me a small amount of attention.

It started with Libra, with arguing and everything else. Then after things calmed down, he suggested I should talk to a therapist because I sound depressed.

My status message on Facebook was to say that I know I’m not depressed, that depression just is. I know the reasons why I’m coming off as depressed, because I’m actually having emotions.

I mean, imagine spending months on a project you were passionate about, and the day before all your effort will be presented to an audience, your house burns down, you break a leg, your dog gets hit by a car, and your closest friends aren’t speaking to you. Imagine how you would feel in that situation: hopeless, helpless, confused, isolated, lost. Now imagine none of those things happened, you wake up the next morning and you don’t see the point of getting out of bed, and when you do you can’t eat breakfast because nothing seems vaguely appealing. You might have a five-minute commute to present your project, but it feels like a hike through the desert, and thats after you manage to get out from under the 100-pound weight that’s resting on your back. Not to mention, what is the point of making this presentation? What if no one attends, or what if they’re not paying attention? You would have wasted all those months, for nothing, so you figure that not presenting is the same as presenting your project, it’s all the same. You feel all of this, but you don’t know why, no one has said anything to make you feel like giving up, you haven’t seen anyone presenting your ideas ahead of you or in a catchier fashion. You feel this emotional weight that you can’t describe, because you have no reason to feel this way. That’s depression.

For me, I can list the reasons why I feel the way I do.

When asked about my needs, I figured out what I needed at a given time and told Libra. It reached a point where he didn’t want to try to meet my needs and said so.

Little by little, he’s become less affectionate with me. When I notice a change and bring it up, it’s “nothing personal,” he’s “not in the mood” at that time, “we’ve talked about this.” Each time he becomes less affectionate, I do take it personally, because I wonder what I did wrong, if I got too close, was too caring, or if I was too bitchy, too “crazy,” or what happened. Even if it’s just how he’s feeling towards me, or in general, I would like to know.

This morning when I woke up, I stayed in bed and thought about all the things I enjoyed about waking up next to him, and felt bad because the only way I’d have that is if I asked for it, in that moment, and he was willing to come upstairs to be with me. It’s like how the sun rises every day, it just happens and everything is radiant and beautiful, and then the day comes when you have to write to your congressman to ask for the Earth to rotate again because you miss sunny days, and eventually you get one sunny day after the whole bureaucratic process. It’s not the same as it was before. I want to wake up to him cuddling me, not because I want it, but because he wants to wake up cuddling me as well. Having to ask for it doesn’t fulfill the emotional need, it just reminds me that he made the conscious decision to not care about my needs, all the while ignoring when I’m trying to anticipate his needs because I can’t turn it off.

I went downstairs, and he could tell something was bothering me. When he asked, I said I was fine, that nothing bothered me. He persisted, knowing that something was wrong. What’s the point in telling him? If I write it down or type up an email, he’ll skim over it and ignore it. If I tell him directly, he’ll cut the conversation short, or he’ll tell me it’s nothing and I’m taking it personally, or he’ll “remind” me that we’ve been over this.

I need to move out. Unfortunately, it costs more to live on my own, and I don’t have anyone else who’d be willing to take me in at the moment. But I can’t “get over” him, as long as I’m still here. And I can’t distance myself without him trying to figure out why I’m barely speaking to him or whatever. I am kept at arms’ length; he pushes me away if I get too close, and gets close when I’m trying to be away. If I tell him what he did that bothered me, he tells me he’ll stop but he says it like I offended him, which makes me feel bad because I wasn’t trying to upset him, I just didn’t want to deal with something that bothered me and asked for his understanding.

I know he has a lot going on in his life, which is why I try to do things like buying groceries, picking up things I know he might use or need so it’s one less thing to think about. But I can’t just put aside my emotions for him. There is no one in my circle who is like, “yeah, I’ve got this going on, but Marybeth really needs someone right now, she needs a night out, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen.” I have the people who are like, “we should hang out sometime,” which means we’re not likely to hang out anytime soon unless we’re both absolutely free at a given time and are willing to go out.

So, I have to focus on myself, on what I’m feeling, on what I need. I have to focus less on what he needs, because he can take care of himself.

And that’s bullshit, it really is. I’m just supposed to put up boundaries? I’m supposed to say, “I went to the grocery store, and the food I bought is for me, so please don’t touch it.” I’m supposed to wash only the dishes I’ve used, and only touch my laundry as it’s being done. I’m supposed to isolate myself in my room because there’s books I have yet to read and movies I want to watch, instead of spending time with him and keeping him company and in good spirits. It’s bullshit, because doing stuff for him always made me feel good, and I would happily accept the affection as payment because at least he was doing something for me in return. Now I wonder why I do it, if I’ve been too nice, if I haven’t done enough, or if I’ve really done something wrong.

I haven’t done anything wrong, I know this.

I firmly hope for someone to come along who will make me feel like I can’t do enough for them, not because they make me feel guilty for the things I haven’t done, but because they will react so warmly to the effort I’ve put forth. Like, if I ever manage to burn dinner, or even if some part of it gets screwed up, I want someone who’s going to either say or think, “wow, you did all this for me?” and then say, “you know what? It’s okay. Let’s just use this as an excuse to go to that restaurant we’ve been talking about lately.” Or maybe I just mention a concert I want to see, or a movie that’s coming to theaters soon, and they get tickets and we go together, and I feel blessed to have someone in my life who encourages my passions that I return the favor, even if it means sitting through a football game or something else that I have only a small interest in. And it doesn’t have to involve money changing hands, it could just be a foot rub at the end of the day, or drawing a bath, or doing a chore I need to finish while I’m busy with another chore. I’m not asking for someone to do everything while I do little to nothing, I want someone to take care of me because I take care of them.

I thought that was Libra, I thought my life was going to be balanced. I was wrong, but I’ll learn from this mistake.

Things I Hold Onto

After a little over three months of knowing him, Libra and I have reached a point where we care about each other, but it won’t go beyond that.

For the past week, I’ve been dealing with figuring out what I want out of this now. He wanted physical space, I gave him that plus emotional distance. I have shut off the part of my heart that felt like we could have been something special, that everything I was willing to give could and would be reciprocated.

I wish Mom was still around. All I have is a mess of boxes to show of the life I had with her, which Libra and I made a special trip to New Jersey just to get all of those boxes. Now they’re consuming the entrance to the house, this wall of boxes that keeps me from my TV and therefore my ability to play video games and just forget about life for a while.

The boxes have been an issue between Libra and I, though I’m not completely against the idea of parting with many of the things I possess. The problem is the difficulty in actually parting with things.

There’s porcelain dinnerware that I could use for special occasions… except I’d be nervous about breaking a piece or scratching it somehow. So I should sell it off and not worry about it… but I worry that I’ll accept less than what the set is worth, and the buyer will resell it and make a profit.

There are items I insisted on keeping because they were aesthetically pleasing to me… some of which I know that Mom and Grandma would have reminded me of who owned that item and how long it had been in our family. I don’t remember any of those stories. I also don’t know if I’ll ever use or need some of the things I kept.

There are collectible toys, and t-shirts, and things that I bought as retail therapy while I lived in New Jersey, because I had the money and I had no one telling me I shouldn’t have these things. And as I go through the boxes, little by little, I’m happier when I uncover something I packed from my childhood home instead of things I packed from New Jersey.

Overall, it’s emotionally overwhelming, realizing that I will have to permanently part with more than just what I’ve decided to part with, that there are some things I will never have again because… because… I can’t come up with a good enough reason. I could buy certain things again, I could get married and have a porcelain dinner set on my registry that I might enjoy more, if I even think I would use it. I could buy more Funko Pop figures, I could buy more t-shirts, I could fill my closet and my walls with things that… look good.

Well, there are some things that cannot be replaced. I found a notebook that my Mom had used to copy her diary into. I took a break from working the boxes, and spent the next hour or two reading every line. The diary mentioned my father in a few places, but most of it seemed to be about this guy named Joe. Mom was clearly in love with Joe. My Dad, however, had been an on-again, off-again guy that she dated, who seemed to be a bit more possessive and into my Mom when he started to come back into her life, though she was still more interested in Joe. And while everyone else seemed to give her cards and such for one birthday, my Dad gave her a bouquet of sweetheart roses, when he wasn’t even her main squeeze at the time.

I kept looking at the reusable shopping bag that I put Mom’s jewelry box into, and I didn’t want to deal with it until today. Most of the jewelry is costume jewelry, nothing I really want but I found a few pieces I might keep. There was also a photo of Mom with another guy, and I had an issue pulling it out of the section it had been set into because the photo was laminated. Once I lifted it free with the use of a brooch, I turned over the photo. Mom often wrote who was in the photo on the back side, usually writing the date as well. On the back was written Joe’s name along with my Mom’s name.

I can’t question why she still had a photo of an ex, as I still have physical photos of my exes. It made me wonder, however, how much time was spent wondering if she had made the right choice to marry my Dad, or if maybe things would have been better with Joe, because I don’t know how things ended between my Mom and Joe at all.

It’s strange, and yet oddly comforting. I feel like my Mom’s love life is reflected in mine right now. Libra is my Joe, the guy who seemed amazing just to talk about him, but he’s not the guy I’m going to end up with.

If there was one hard-to-swallow pill from a year ago, it would be that I should just live my life and deal with the here and now. Living in the here and now got me to living with J, which broke my heart because I hoped there was something there. Living in the here and now brought me here to live with Libra, which broke my heart because I wanted more than he wanted to give me. But living with Libra is forcing me to deal with things I didn’t want to deal with, which I seem to need to do. And if I can sell my things and make enough money, I can go where I still feel I’m meant to be.

I’m going to meet my Japanese friend.

Okay, I’m going to Japan. Meeting my Japanese friend would be a bonus, and yes I hope it happens, and that this is the fairy tale part of my tale. He’s been in my life since about a week or so after things ended with the ex fiancé, and he dealt with me going insane while I was sleeping on my friend’s couch. He introduced me to Japanese entertainment that hadn’t been presented to me before, such as Downtown and Kyosuke Himuro, and to this day I listen to Himuro like it’s melodic comfort food because it’s a part of me now.

He spoke to me through songs, he wanted me taking care of myself when I was at my worst, he stayed in the background while I lived with other guys. I had to do what was best for me, and I feel like I hurt him in the process. But what have I been doing the whole time? I’ve been shopping at Asian supermarkets, buying books to understand how Japanese people think and how they handle romantic relationships, and I’ve basically been low-key preparing myself for a life with him. After all of that, I don’t want to go to Japan solely to meet my Japanese friend, I want to go because I want to go. If I don’t get the guy, maybe I’ll get someone else, or maybe I’ll just live and do what makes me happy.

Whatever happens, I now have a diary of my own, where I talk about the guys who had my heart and what became of them.

So I Wrote A List And Went To A Party

After J started dating his current girl, I channeled my emotions through pen onto paper. I sat down and wrote a list, or three lists, dealing with what I wanted in love and the lustful side as well, not to mention what I hoped to find in a partner.

The list wasn’t done in one day, nor did I intend for it to be so quickly compiled and absolutely written.

It started with things that were definite, like I definitely want a guy with fair skin, and eyes that can hold my gaze. I definitely want to be in a relationship and not a casual fling, I definitely want to be with someone who has much in common with me but is still different and makes up for what I lack.

I added to the list as I lived. I read about Japanese relationships, about how Japanese women have no moves in bed, and how some Japanese guys get startled when foreign girls actually do stuff or how they wish their Japanese women would do more than stay still. So in the list of lust, I wrote, “If I’m expected to lay there and do nothing, then I expect to be tied up and/or tied down. Just saying.”

As I added items to the list, I thought more about what I wanted, things I haven’t had in a relationship, things that seem old fashioned but that were probably still being done in the 1980s or so. For example, I wrote down that I would like to receive flowers, just not for Valentine’s Day when they’re marked up in price, and not after an argument because it doesn’t actually fix the issue. But after I wrote that, I realized it contradicted my statement about only wanting a guy to buy me things I need, even though gifts and such would still be appreciated. But it also reminded me of the ex fiancé, how he would buy roses for me at the Renaissance Faire, so I added that I didn’t want to get roses just because a guy feels like he has to since “that’s what guys do,” I wanted a guy to buy me flowers because he knows I like flowers or he sincerely feels like buying flowers.

My intention was to reach a point where I felt the list was fairly complete, that I had considered as many factors from my life as I possibly could, from turn-ons to annoyances and everything in between. At that point, I figured I would give the list to J, because either it’s all coincidence or he has a fairly decent command of the universe and the energies held within and all of that stuff that I can barely explain because I don’t know how he does it. Then again, I’ve had my own moments since moving in here, which I assumed were because of things I told him about and he made good things happen for me. Well, J never saw the list, at least not yet.

One thing is for certain, which is to say I realized J isn’t the right one for me. There are things about him I wished were different, which is normal, but I feel like he won’t be someone I really want to spend the rest of my life with.

J’s girlfriend said she might stop by after work on Friday, so J was hoping I’d be a little more social and actually talk to her. Well, my best friend, whose birthday falls five days before mine and who was born about five years after me, was having her party on Friday. I never told J about the party, not only because I figured he would probably choose to stay home, but because I didn’t even know if I was going to go. With J’s girlfriend coming over, and me waking up from a  weird and horrible dream that really got me down, the only right thing to do was to go to this party, drink something with alcohol, and try to neither sit in the corner or monopolize the party by drawing attention to myself.

I came home from work, and within 20 minutes I put the dog out and changed my clothes. There was a goth theme to the party, and while I’ve never been a goth, I have shopped at Hot Topic once or twice. I put on my black skirt from the Ren Faire, then paired it with a lacy spaghetti-strap tank top which was also black. I was going to wear a black cardigan, but my Pokemon hoodie had pockets which everything else was lacking, and it too was black. I added a beaded cross necklace and feather earrings, which did come from Hot Topic, and my outfit was complete. I could have spent more time making myself pretty, but this is just a party at my friend’s place, where everyone is either already attached or wouldn’t be interested in me anyway, so I was safe to just enjoy myself. After all, I wasn’t going to the party to meet people, I was going there to spend time with a friend I don’t often see, and she couldn’t care less about how I was dressed or groomed… within reason, of course.

When I got there, I couldn’t park in the small lot where I parked last year. So I called my friend to ask her where it was best to park, and she said in front of her place, that I could just park behind the little pickup truck that looked as if it was built from random parts of other trucks. It was dubbed the Frankentruck, and its owner couldn’t prevent the teasing. It reminded me of the Johnny Cash song where he talks about walking off with all of these various car parts and then has assembled them into a vehicle of mixed years and such.

After I parked behind Frankentruck and came inside, I found a seat in the living room near Frankentruck’s owner. He was a guy about my age, fair skin, dark hair, wearing a black dress shirt with white and reddish-brown stripes. From that point, the timeline got blurry. We shared a few laughs, I helped him make more of the mixed drink he made for the party, it was a good time.

At one point while sitting beside him, his fingers started stroking my hand. Eventually, his fingers linked mine. I don’t even remember when we started kissing, but we did, seated next to each other while party people were partying next to us in the living room.

My car followed the Frankentruck back to his place, but not before my friend sang the praises of this guy who I just met. Before that, I had to ask if she could assist me in my need for feminine hygiene products, because I was self conscious and unprepared for any outcome other than going straight home after the party. But it was after 4 in the morning, and I didn’t feel tired, but sleep was probably the smartest thing I could have done at that point.

Yeah, sleep.

I slept face down next to him, and was comforted by his hand stroking my back every so often. When I woke up, I was still under the same blanket as he was, still laying beside him and touching, which seemed hard to believe because I’m used to guys saying they get too warm laying beside me. I hadn’t considered that, but mentally I added that to my list, that it would be nice to sleep beside someone who didn’t feel overheated beside me.

It was at one point, when I realized I was focused on his eye color as much as I was focused on just staring at the edge of his contact lenses, that I recalled my list item that said something about having eyes that held my gaze. And, check.

In fact, while we sat in my car the next day, he checked off a few more things. He replaced the windows in his house, by himself? Knows home repair, check. His talk about car repair checked off the item where he would need more skill than I have. He mentioned going out to see live music at a bar, and I knew I found someone who wants to go out and do things instead of just staying at home watching movies and tv shows.

Within 22 hours, he went from being this guy who I never met before (that I’m aware of, so far) to being the kind of guy I’m clearly looking for in life.

And yes, from the time I arrived at the party, to the moment I left his place, I had spent 22 hours with him. If he didn’t have plans for later that evening, and if I wasn’t worried about dealing with J because I hadn’t returned home and was therefore postponing the grocery shopping until the evening, I don’t think I could have left his side. I could have cuddled him forever, gently running my fingers through his hair. I could have talked with him about anything, the conversations seemed to flow endlessly, I was never bored, I was enlightened and I could contribute my knowledge and opinions freely and it would only enrich the conversation and bring about more knowledge from him. And as for kissing and all else, I can’t begin to describe how perfect all of that feels with him, and yet if I couldn’t be in his presence to kiss him and such, I know there is still more to him that I’m seriously admiring right now.

I felt love for him before we shared his bed, before we left my friend’s house, after we had been kissing. I could see myself sitting beside him, embracing him warmly and tenderly, nothing even remotely sexual about it. But it’s too soon to feel that way, or to even call it that, right?

I am so very scared.

It all feels too perfect.

I’m waiting for fate to give me the punchline to this cosmic joke. It feels like fate is saying, “No joke this time, go for it.”

But if I go for it, what if I say or do the wrong thing, and it fails?

Ah, but what if everything I do or say isn’t so bad?

What if I’m everything on his list as well?

Road Trip Part Three (Amore And More? Part Four)

Our story so far involves J dating again, and in response I planned a trip to meet a guy I’ve known a while but only online. As part of the trip, I figured I would stop in Edgewater, NJ so I could go to Mitsuwa Marketplace once again.

After my stop to the bookstore and the shop that sells almost everything else you would want from Japan, I headed into the supermarket. My goal was to only buy things I wanted or might need, things that I couldn’t easily get in Syracuse at one of the local Asian grocery stores, and since I was far from home I couldn’t get anything that required some kind of refrigeration.

I got some makings for okonomiyaki, such as the powdery nori (basically seaweed sprinkles) and fried flour bits (think of it as tiny batter drippings that are fried). The special okonomiyaki flour was about the same price as what I pay around here, so there was no point in buying more.

There are hard candies flavored like some of Suntory’s beverages such as Dekavita C and CC Lemon, which I first bought from Mitsuwa though I never tried looking for some of the other beverage flavors. I couldn’t buy any more CC Lemon while I was there, but I did get another bottle of Dekavita C, and I found the cherry drink and the honey and lemon drink that are also featured flavors of the hard candies. The cherry drink was good, but of course I enjoy the hard candy as well.

I found Hello Kitty Pasta! Unlike the Rilakuma spaghetti I’ve purchased previously (which I didn’t find this time), the Hello Kitty pasta is shaped like Hello Kitty and flowers. It was $4, and it’s not even a pound of pasta, so I’m not sure if I want to eat it or keep it around for looks.

About $75 later, once it was all back home and in the pantry and elsewhere, I was asking myself what I bought. And yet, it’s been two weeks and I still haven’t consumed all of it.

Before I got back to the car, I got myself something for lunch. Previously when I’ve visited Mitsuwa, I was in the mindset that I only lived about 40 minutes away so there was easily a next time and it could be sooner than I could imagine. With that mindset, it didn’t matter what I bought to eat for lunch, because I’d be back again to try something else. This time, since it had been over a year since the last time I was at Mitsowa (which is hard to believe that time really passed that quickly), I figured that I had to get something worth the visit. I paced from one eatery to the next, trying to figure what I wanted. I settled on ramen, but I went for the combo that included natto. Oh yes, I was going for natto.

From what I’ve gathered, natto is pretty much the Vegemite of Japan. It’s an acquired taste that is seldom enjoyed by foreigners. Let me put it this way: imagine you’re eating beans, like kidney beans, but they’re in a sauce that requires fermentation… oh, and the sauce looks like the thin, stringy slime they use in movies depicting alien lifeforms. Natto is supposed to have a strong scent, from what I’ve heard, but my natto served on rice and topped with green onions was rather mild in taste and aroma. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it, and ended up not finishing my ramen because I just couldn’t eat anything else.

But then I got dessert on my way out the door, most of which traveled back to Syracuse with me. I ate the coffee jelly when I got to the storage unit, which was dumb of me because it was topped with ice cream. I knew it was topped with ice cream. For whatever reason, my brain thought it would be fine to wait that long before eating it. The ice cream was soup, of course, but it didn’t make a mess and was quite tasty as anticipated.

At the storage unit, it was lightly raining. As I packed the car, it seemed like a lot of things I had in storage were affected by the moisture in the air, as boxes seemed slightly damp and such. Well, my goal is to empty out the storage unit by the end of this year, maybe, so aside from a  few things I desperately wanted to get out to make sure they survived, I just loaded up the car with whatever was nearby. Within an hour, I was back on the road, and this time I was heading for home.

The whole trip was exhausting, but exciting. And I did find love, as I had hoped.

It wasn’t for my date, which I’m sorry to say and yet I don’t regret it. Being around him feels like being around my exes, which is only a bad thing because I wouldn’t be giving him the chance that Mr Smith probably deserves. And yet, maybe it’s just my inner workings being hyper vigilant and trying to avoid a repeat of the past, a past where I wasn’t happy, where the relationship I had really wasn’t what I wanted.

If anything, the love I found was for myself. I focused on what I wanted and what I needed to do. I did what made me happy. And I told people about it, because I wanted them to know that I found something that made me happy and they might enjoy it as well. I did things so that I wouldn’t walk away with regrets, or at least that I could say I tried. I met Mr Smith, and I had been wanting to meet him for a while, but now I know I like him as a friend and I don’t want to lose that. I tried natto. Heck, I spoke three words of Japanese to a vendor, which always made me nervous because I never wanted to assume that any Asian person was Japanese or could speak Japanese (and yes, it was a positive experience, or so it seemed).

Maybe it’s for the best if J’s house is just my home base for now. I can’t imagine it’s going to help my love life, as potential suitors might think J and I already have some kind of relationship and they might decide to not invest much time with me. But maybe I’m not supposed to be in love with anyone here, not even J. Maybe J exists to keep me from feeling lonely, to get me back on my feet and figure out where my life should go from here.

And maybe there’s an adventure in my future, a trip to Japan and not just a Japanese restaurant or supermarket. Why do I feel like I’m being called there?

And why have I really been brought back here to Syracuse? Because I could do without living with an unrequited love while he dates someone else. I never would have remembered I had a thing for him if I hadn’t moved back here. But I do have a good environment now, where I can think critically about anyone in my life. I know that J isn’t perfect, Mr Smith isn’t perfect, even J’s date isn’t all that wonderful.

Since I do have love for J, I do want him to be happy, and if it’s with his date and not me, it might be for the best. After all, getting tied down with J would only keep me in Syracuse. If I’m meant to be in Japan, then I need to be ready and willing for the opportunity when it comes my way.

So that was February, or at least the major parts of it. My birthday comes at the end of this month, and hopefully something exciting will happen between now and then. If not, I’ll find something to get excited about. Mark my words.