Tag Archive | J

Weeb-ing a Spell

“I’m going to get a bunch of Ramune today,” said Pete, after I replied to his Facebook message from last night. Later he sent me a picture from the store where he bought the glass-bottled “marble soda” drinks.

“Wes bought this and I couldn’t help but think of you.” This message came from another friend today, with a picture of candy sushi being held by a guy who I assume is the aforementioned Wes.

Lately at work, I’ve been catching up on my manga, getting back to reading Maid Sama! and ordering the volumes I lack.

While waiting for the deliveries in the mail, I read Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn, a young adult mystery novel about a teen girl who goes to Japan with her father, and while he’s busy with his assigned task, she’s tracking down clues as to what happened with a missing van Gogh painting. While it was somewhat enjoyable, I found a number of ways in which the writing could be improved, though I’m probably not the intended audience.

And when I haven’t been reading, or haven’t been at work, I’ve been getting back to learning Japanese. While at work, I have a kanji workbook, and I’ve practiced ichi, ni, san, yon, and go, or the numbers one through five. At night, I’ve been getting back into Duolingo, so far maintaining an 8-day streak while retaking lessons I worked on over a year ago.

I figured I would work on my Japanese some more to make it easier for myself when I manage to go to Japan, hopefully to start with going to a Japanese language school (hear me out: immersion. I’ll be forced to practice in my daily life) and have at least a year-long visa. I understand that if I try to go for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, or JLPT, and I manage to pass the N5 (basic Japanese proficiency) or N4 (a higher level of fluency, more conversational), it would help me get closer to the blue collar work visa when they finalize the requirements, but my weight would still present an issue. Regardless of that, if my skill with the language helps me get into the country, it’s a good start.

I didn’t stop at just reading manga and practicing my Japanese at work. I got mad at a coworker, and instead of being aggressive about it, I played up one of his insults for me, and let my weeaboo flag fly. To be fair, I don’t consider myself to be a weeaboo, just a Japanophile at best, and even then I have plenty of interests that don’t involve Japan. But I started wearing more of my anime and J-rock shirts to work, and I started wearing cat ear headbands. I had hoped that he wouldn’t want to be around me.

I don’t really understand why I am both comfortable and out of place while wearing the cat ear headbands. Obviously I’m the only one with cat ears, which makes me stand out, but no one seems to care, or they give me compliments if they do care. I’m reminded of the Japanese phrase that, translated, says that the nail that sticks out is the one that’s hammered down. Basically, if you don’t conform, you will be made to conform. But no one is making me change, no one is telling me to take off the cat ears, no one is telling me to only read novels if they’ve been approved by wealthy former talk show hosts, no one is telling me I shouldn’t be wearing certain shirts.

And worst of all, the coworker who upset me seems to still want to sit near me, which is the opposite of what I intended. Maybe he knows it’s frustrating me that my plan is backfiring, or maybe he’s using it to try and frustrate me. To be fair, though, the day he got me mad, it was “straw breaking the camel’s back,” I was wearing a new dress and felt ecstatic in it, but “trouble” came and I didn’t want to ruin the dress, and he seemed uncomfortable to be sitting next to me while I actually looked like a girl that day. So after I got back from my lunch break, he fed me a line that I could see through clearly. My supervisor asked me to take over a call elsewhere on the call floor, and after I finished the call, I used paid time off and left for the day. I was able to take care of what bothered me, and I had a wonderful afternoon as a result.

Maybe that’s what it is. I’m being a little more true to myself. My heart is in Japan, because there’s a guy there and I’m hoping for the best with that, but if that fails, I would have still managed to achieve a dream, I would go where I’m around a lot of the things that bring me joy. And maybe people are seeing that I’m happy when I’m around things relating to Japan. It’s kind of nice, though, to know that there’s something in this world that reminds people of me.

In the newest training class, there’s an Asian guy. In the looks department, he’s fairly average, and he reminds me of Gedde Watanabe from Gung Ho and Sixteen Candles in that respect. I’d date him, but… at this point, I’m starting to feel guilty for having feelings for Libra, for Bojack, for J, and I feel like anyone else would be a further distraction from my travel goals and possibly ending up with my friend in Japan. But oh, as I was walking down the hallway towards the break room, and he was heading towards the training room, when he said, “nice cat ears,” I melted a bit.

It’s good to be myself.

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That, Too, Did Pass

“Tire is shot,” he told me. “Worn almost to the belt.”

Thankfully it wasn’t my car, and it wasn’t a mechanic telling me that. My car, which I’ve had nearly 9 years now, is running smoothly. I suppose an oil change will be needed soon, though.

At this time, I can’t afford new tires for my car, nor can I afford new brakes and rotors, all of which seem to need to be replaced about every year and a half or so.

I have nothing in savings. I had money in savings, but it’s gone now.

I planned to get my passport this month. But when all is said and done, I’m going to have $60 left in the bank, and I still need to buy groceries. I don’t have money for fun things right now, not unless I want to eat instant noodles, or worse, starve.

I remember back in 2017, when I was buying candy from a local religious fundraiser outside of a grocery store where I bought food on food stamps. One of the ladies, noticing that I was paying with spare change from a coin bank, said she was going to mention this scene in the weekend’s sermon. It was something about me having kept the change until it was nearly all I had left, or not knowing when you might need it, or something.

I hit rock bottom. I was sleeping on a friend’s couch. I had food stamps. I was having issues finding work, to make money, to pay my bills, so I wouldn’t lose the phone I needed to get a job or all the possessions I had in storage.

Finally, I got a job that lasted longer than a month. And before she threw me out, I got off my friend’s couch and out of her life… I mean house, I got out of her house.

I moved in with J and paid rent. Half of one biweekly paycheck went to J, and half of the other paycheck went to the storage unit rent. I had my phone bill to pay, and car insurance as well.

I managed to scrape up $500 to replace my brakes and rotors in early 2018, only to find out that I needed to replace my tires as well. When I tried to take out the credit card at the shop, I was denied based on my credit report. I had to hold off on the tires until I had more money put aside.

Once my car issues were resolved, and my income taxes resulted in a refund, I splurged and got a newer phone.

Little by little, I managed to put more money into savings, taking out as needed. At one point, I had $1000 back in savings! But after moving two counties away and then moving back, some of my savings went into the cost of moving.

I’ve been living on J’s couch for two months now, paying the same amount for rent as before. Since I haven’t been able to have the cat here at this time, he’s been at a friend’s house, with a two-month limit for his stay.

I had to find a place that would be within my budget, or I had to hope things would change here. Well, I had to go outside of what I wanted to budget, but I found an apartment that met my needs!

And then… They asked for a security deposit. There went my savings, what was left of it anyway.

And I need a bed. It’s a long story that makes me bitter.

When I looked at all my bills, and did the math, I realized I could afford the bed, plus my bills, plus the first month’s rent, on the paycheck I just received.

And that’s why I have $60 to my name, and still need to buy groceries.

But holy mother of who-knows-what… I couldn’t get an apartment last year, and definitely not the year before, because I didn’t have the means to do so. Now I’m going to have my own place, and the cat.

And when I panicked about how much more I’m paying in rent, and wondered if I could afford it, I remembered that the difference in rent between staying at J’s and living in my new apartment is equal to the storage rent in New Jersey. Since I don’t have that storage unit anymore, I can easily afford the higher rent and all the perks of living alone… with the cat.

I’ve come a long way. To think back on it all and realize I’m in a better situation now, it feels amazing!

I mean, I’m back to being broke, which sucks, but it’s temporary.

And maybe I can still apply for my passport this month, with any luck. It puts me one step closer to Japan, otherwise it gives me an excuse to drive to Canada for lunch on a whim, if I have my passport.

I made it this far, so let’s keep going!

Going The Ex-tra Mile

“So she was calling herself your ex,” I told the guy from work. “I knew you two were dating; I just didn’t know you two were an item.” 

“Yeah, you can tell her that’s not true anytime you want,” he responded. “More of a stupid mistake.”

It wasn’t the first of the workplace banter, nor did I tell him all of what was said this time. It was stupid and immature, and the person saying it was slowly losing my respect. Not that it mattered to me anyway, because it was nothing I had to personally deal with. 

A few days later, I was visiting my cat, since the current living situation doesn’t allow me to have my cat living with me. Since he’s being kept with people I know, there’s always the chance of seeing other people again when they visit, and this weekend had one such person that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. 

At one point in conversation, it was suggested that J probably has the most exes under his roof right now than any time before. And since I happen to be staying with J temporarily right now, I knew I was being referenced. 

“I’m not his ex,” I stated. “We never dated.” 

I don’t remember the phrasing at that time, but when I got back to the house, I talked to J about it. 

“I said that I had tried to date you,” he told me casually. 

The more I’ve dwelled on the thought, the more it has bothered me. I mean, this isn’t like the situation with the guy from work. He can at least say he dated the girl. 

But what about me? 

Once, J said he “considered” dating me. That’s nice. It sounds like I’m on an episode of The Bachelor, or one of those other “reality” shows, doesn’t it? Like, if I make a good impression, I’ll get to stay in the game. Needless to say, I hadn’t made a good impression, and he decided not to date me. Well, I guess, thank you for your consideration. 

But now he’s saying he “tried” to date me? No, I won’t accept that as an answer.

If his idea of a date is me hanging out on the couch while we watch movies and TV shows and such, then he’s dating me again, and he dated me when I last lived here. But that also means that anyone else who watches movies and TV shows with him while on his couch is also dating him, which means they’re no more special than I am. And when I mentioned how I had considered taking a potential date to an archery range one time, he said that’s something he’d do with friends, but I told him how I differentiate between it being a friends’ outing and a date, and that’s how I’d pay attention to what the other person finds interesting. To me, it’s a date if you actually go out of the house, if you actually do something more than just hang out. 

Trying to date someone, to me, means you actually asked them if they would like to go out on a date, or even if your date idea was a night in, you would at least say, “hey, how about a date night where we stay in and watch that new Marvel movie, and we order Chinese takeout?” If our busy schedules didn’t line up, or I rejected you, then you could say you tried dating me. You tried; I was just too busy. Or maybe you tried; I had already seen the movie you wanted to watch, and you waited for me to decide on an alternate movie to watch, but either we could never agree on something or I was just too indecisive and never got back to you. You tried; I was already seeing someone else and you weren’t aware at the time. You tried; you made the effort, you did everything in your power to go out on a date with me, but I never even met you halfway and I had nothing but reasons and excuses. At that point, you could say you tried. 

But if we never dated, I can’t be considered an ex. I don’t agree with that at all. If I did, I would have a lot more exes. By what unit are we measuring? If we went out for drinks and it was just one night, is that an ex? If we went to dinner, or we played miniature golf, or did both (and I’ve now dated two guys and had dinner and mini golf dates with both guys), does that mean they’re an ex? If it was just a hookup, are they also an ex? I need answers! The only people I consider to be my exes are the ones who actually had a relationship title, they were my boyfriends or they were my fiancé. 

So what does that mean for J? I’ve thought so much about this, and I feel like it’s a vanity thing. I mean, I could understand if someone said to him, “hey, you two get along so well together. Why don’t you ask her out?” If that happened, then I wouldn’t be bothered if he said, “well, I considered dating her, but decided not to.” It still makes me sound like I’m not amazing enough for someone to see if I have any further potential as a lifetime partner, but I would accept it over “I tried to date her.” Trying to date me does sound like I put up some resistance, but in this case I just see J as someone who didn’t try, that using my name is scoring him points. 

No, we’re friends. 

At least this time around, he has a slightly warmer tone when it comes to the guy from work. I suppose that since he’s still around after a year, I can’t call him New Guy. I guess he deserves a nickname as well, and I had been hard-pressed to think of something, but since he and I are watching a cartoon to point out his similarities to its title character, I might as well refer to the guy from work as Bojack. 

Not that Bojack and I are an item, or dating, or any of that. As much as I want to, part of me doesn’t want to lose him as a friend, though part of me wouldn’t mind waking up next to him in the morning. A month ago, I was wishing for his happiness, even if I wasn’t the one that made him happy. Then when things drastically changed for him at work, it had the opposite effect that first day, and in his misery he messaged me, when I was walking on eggshells after some things I had said and thought I had ruined things between us. But I didn’t think of any of that, as I dropped what I was packing to move out and rushed to aid him. As the dust settled, and he thought of all the positive things about the changes at work, his overall mood changed as well. But with it, I found we agree on one thing: 

It’s a bad idea to date coworkers. 

Not that it matters. My wish came true. It’s actually enough for me to be happy, because even though it’s Bojack’s happiness, it’s something I wanted. And something about that feels really good to me right now. 

Whether Terrified Or Unafraid

Girls don’t do that. And I knew that, and I knew that I’ve failed before. And I knew the timing was off.

Oh, where to begin?

Thursday night, the guy from work got out before me, as expected. That night, when I got home, I was scrolling through Facebook and noticing that the things which usually pull up his name were either absent or missing his name. Photos which he had commented on were without his comments, and the string of comments which remained just seemed incoherent. I clicked for his Facebook profile through the Messenger app, only to be met with an error message. I searched for his name the old fashioned way and found his brother, but the guy from work wasn’t listed among the mutual friends we had.

To me, the absence of his Facebook profile, despite still being on Messenger, was a bad sign. I panicked and worried… a lot. I went to sleep and woke up feeling calm, which upset me because I still wanted to be in fight-or-flight mode. At work on Friday, I wrote him a note that listed a few songs, the lyrics of which were the words I wish I could say to convince him that he’ll get through this, and then I mentioned a few things about him that I was proud of. After that, I admitted that I had lied about the trip where I picked him up to help him get his Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 super deluxe edition, as I said I had dropped a few things of mine off at J’s house which put me in the area, but the truth was that I had planned to drop things off and time got away from me, and I pushed to make the trip just so I could give him a ride and nothing bad would happen.

I added in the message that I wasn’t going to text him and add to his issues over the weekend. After I dropped the note in his mail folder at work, I noticed that with everything going on and his mind being elsewhere, he’s been neglecting everything in his folder. So on Saturday, I debated whether or not to text him and tell him to check his mail folder. Unfortunately, I did make that text.

I was up at J’s house at the time, one of many guests in his house. I had a collective of women to whom I could ask questions, and I did. And I asked, “do you think I should ask this guy out?”

“Do you think he’s into you?”

“Well, yeah, because if he wasn’t. he wouldn’t have stayed in my car for about an hour after work, he’d have said his thanks and gone in the house, right?” I listed off a few other things as well, which were possible events that could have meant something more, I supposed.

I heard, at least twice, “you’re a good person.”

He texted me to ask me why the note, what the purpose was for writing it. Eventually I said that I was working up the nerve to ask him out, but I could also think of a few reasons why he’d probably shoot me down.

“The fact that you even thought that was a good idea to bring up. Full fucking stop on this, dude.”

“Fine,” I said. “I’m sorry. Just.. whatever.”

I don’t think he blocked me, just ignored me sometime after that. I mean, I appear to still have the possibility of sending messages, but I haven’t tried, I don’t dare. I said the wrong thing, at the wrong time. I was aware of it, but I still went for it. My hope was that I could make him feel less alone as he’s going through some rough times.

“… not a good idea right now,” was the message that replayed in my head, forcing me to go back to the stream of messages to read his words over and over. He never said it wasn’t a good time, or that it wasn’t a good idea right now, just that it wasn’t a good idea.

But he didn’t say it wasn’t a good idea, ever. So, maybe?

Oh, give it up. Either his Messenger is acting wonky, or he has it set so that I’m ignored, maybe. Then again, maybe he just hit the switch so that people can’t tell when he’s idle or online. No, that can’t be, because I can’t see the link to view his profile anymore… although, that could be just a result of having his main Facebook profile disabled? I don’t know. But I screwed up, that I do know for sure.

“That was selfish of me.” I said to J, recalling the ride to get his limited edition version of Call Of Duty.

“Selfless,” he retorted. “Self. Less.”

“No, because I’m the one that wanted it. He would have just walked home and been fine with it.”

“Yeah, he would have walked home with $200 worth of video game stuff, and something bad could have happened to him.” Yeah, that was exactly my motivation for doing it, and J understands that. I’m sure the guy from work understands as well, but his roommate probably had some kind of issue with it.

I am selfish, though. I’m the one who wants him to get through this. I’m the one who wants him to be happy. I’m the one who wants him to not have an emotionally toxic environment to go home to. I’m the one who doesn’t want him on happy pills, because I don’t think it’s going to improve things (I’m aware that I’m not a doctor, but even I know that some people are toxic to others).

Just the same, it’s taken me the longest time to see that I don’t need other people in my life. I’ve been comfortable, for a while now, with running errands alone, or going to the movies alone, or even dining out alone. And I don’t even know what the guy from work would really bring into my life, other than he’s a good person and good support system. So I really don’t need him, I never needed him.

From the first time we hung out outside of work, when I wanted to make it so he couldn’t say that no one ever wants to hang out with him, or that he really doesn’t text anyone. I wanted him to not be a homebody, to get out and run some of his own errands. I was already at the mall when I asked him about hanging out, and if he said no at that time, I was already at the mall and doing my own thing, I didn’t need him. Then more recently, when I gave him a ride to get a new computer monitor, he asked if there were any stores I wanted to go to, but I had already completed my mission of buying new jeans a couple weeks prior so I was wandering aimlessly.

I’m not trying to make a situation where he needs me, either. He doesn’t need me, he needs to not give up on himself and what he’s capable of. He needs to want all the things I want for him, all the happiness and satisfaction in his own life that I wish for him. And I know he’s capable of achieving the personal goals he has for himself, he just needs to give himself time and stop beating himself up because life hasn’t turned out as he has wanted.

Well, that cross-country road trip for fun and profit is looking better every day. Just me and the cat, hitting the open road. The fewer personal connections I can make, the better. There are good people in the world, probably not me, but I’m sure they exist, and I’m better off not getting too attached solely because they’re good. I can tell, I’m meant to be alone in this world, because I’m becoming proud of how it doesn’t bother me.

I hope he’ll be okay.

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.

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.

Someplace In Between

My bedroom here at J’s place is a mess, it’s a disaster that has resulted from moments of varying levels of apathy.

I’ve lived in J’s house for about eight months now. In that time, I feel like I managed to settle in a little bit, I moved some of my condiments and ingredients into the pantry instead of just keeping them separate, I put books on the shelf next to my computer. And yet, there were some things I never really unpacked, nor did I need them, such as my bag that was filled with baking supplies such as extracts and food coloring.

Technically, I had still been living out of a suitcase until about 3 weeks ago, when I stopped using the suitcase to hold the stacks of t-shirts I was wearing and just set them on top of the bin of more clothing where the suitcase had been sitting.

My room is a bit tidier now. I took some of the books off the shelves and put them in a reusable shopping bag. I put my dresses and some other clothes that I wouldn’t immediately need into the suitcase I had emptied out. The pantry downstairs is devoid of anything I brought into the house.

I don’t feel like I ever really settled in here. I had places to put things, and I could use my own things if I wanted. I had a bed, and a room, and it didn’t matter what I did in my room or with my bed because I was the only one sleeping in this room. But it was still J’a place, and I didn’t dare put any holes in the wall without his permission, so I never put up the closet rod so I could hang my shirts. But J was never my partner, and was never going to be. I occupied a space in his house, in his life, and possibly in his heart as well, and while some of that might still continue on, I won’t still be here to grow and become something more in his life, because that was never to be.

A few of the things I’ve packed so far have been left at Libra’s place. He had asked me to move in with him about three days after we met, citing that it’s lonely in the house by himself, which made me a bit cautious. I spoke with my best friend, our mutual friend, and she doesn’t have anything bad to say about him. So about a week ago, I took a few things with me and left them at his place, though a small part of me felt like I was invading his space. This weekend, I took a few more things with me, though it was mostly food from the pantry.

Libra’s house is a mess. There are boxes scattered here and there that are halfway packed, or halfway unpacked. Beer bottles and cans sit on an otherwise unused dining room table, not to mention there’s cans on the countertops, cans underneath the counter on the floor, cans on the floor just underneath the couch. The cupboards and drawers are scarcely filled with food and utensils and what not. The center island is a drop zone, upon which sits a mostly empty box with a few utensils and some silverware in it, a half empty box of soda, a few decorative bits that are covered by empty plastic bags and other bags that have unknown contents.

It would be wrong of me to say that Libra’s house has reached that state due to apathy. When I first met him and came to his place, the trash bin had been tipped over, and he didn’t care at that time to clean up what had spilled. When I had returned about two weeks later, that was cleaned up. Apathy isn’t the cause for his mess, because I’ve rarely seen him throw in the towel and just give up. I see his place as the reflection of his life right now, and while I can’t go into detail, I will say he’s waiting for some resolution to a major event in his life, whether things will conclude and he can move on, or if things will change so drastically in his life that nothing he’s done to this point would matter. Moving in with him, I’m caught in the crosshairs of whatever will come his way, so I’ll have to be prepared with an exit strategy of my own. But I figure, if he was consumed by apathy while waiting for this to all blow over, I wouldn’t be in his life by now.

The past couple of times I’ve visited his place, I’ve managed to arrive before he got home from work, and to occupy my time while I waited, I’ve done the dishes. Libra does have a dishwasher, which is a relief because for the first time in about a year and a half, the dishwasher is named Whirlpool and not Marybeth. However, dishwashers being how they are, I find myself cleaning residue off more than a few pieces, and I’ll hand wash those things and put them away as if they came out of the dishwasher without a flaw.

The last time I visited, I wiped down the stovetop as we were cleaning up after making dinner. This weekend, I wiped down the stovetop and part of the counter, as well as cleaning debris out of two of the commonly used drawers next to the stove.

Saturday night, while he cooked fried chicken on the stove, I cleaned up the center island. The box of utensils was emptied, its contents going into the sink to be cleaned and the box itself going into the wood stove to never be seen again. The plastic bags were emptied and gathered, the contents going either in the garbage or elsewhere depending on what could be used or needed. When I was done, my bottles of liquor that I brought down a week before were sitting on top, able to be viewed at eye level. The decorative pieces were arranged in the center, and I believe I have some candles in storage that I can add to the arrangement to improve upon that. But the best part was that I managed to make it so the center island could be used again, it could be used for additional counter space.

I wouldn’t say I did much this weekend. Overall, I hardly cleaned anything. I wasn’t trying to exhaust myself with overhauling Libra’s place. But I did make things feel a little more comfortable and livable, if I say so myself. The cupboards have a little more food, the drawers have more utensils and ingredients for crafting tasty treats.

And I know that if it were me in his position, I’d feel a bit helpless and maybe ashamed that someone else was doing this cleaning for me. Then again, if I hadn’t done it myself, I couldn’t have emotionally brought myself to doing it anyway.

Libra’s house bears the weight of a family he supported, the ending of a decade-long chapter of his life that will leave him wounded for some time. It’s not my intention to take any of that away from him, because I’d rather have him deal with his emotions and work through it all. More than anything, I want for him to feel like he actually lives in his home. I want him to feel warm and welcomed, to feel he has a place to find comfort.

And I want that for him because I want that for myself. I’m tired of moving around, of packing and unpacking and packing everything up again. I want a person I can grow with, to share things with, and I want to feel like the space we occupy expresses both of our personalities and interests.

Unfortunately, I know that Fate doesn’t like me having or being a roommate for more than eight months, and with Libra’s life issues hanging over him, I have no choice but to accept that this might be yet another living situation that won’t last a year. Maybe it’s not really about me, maybe my path is to help Libra in some way, and my consolation is in knowing if what I wanted in a partner is really what I wanted.

I guess time will tell where things go with Libra. It may still be someplace in between the things in my past that I have to undo and let go of, and the place in life where I’m meant to belong and be mostly happy and satisfied. If I can bring some light to his life, at least my time won’t be wasted.