It Happened

People think I’m crazy to walk in the cold across four lanes of heavy Long Island traffic alone during lunch hour. I don’t mind. It helps clear my head, saves my parking space, gas, and burns calories.

That particular Wednesday I had brought lunch but craved a bagel so I walked to a deli I rarely visited.

It had snowed so it was a bit wet outside, snow mounds and icy cold, filthy puddles lined the sidewalk. After I crossed the busy road I stepped in an ice puddle which soaked my entire sneaker and sock beneath it.

I ordered a sesame bagel with vegetable cream cheese and grabbed some tea at the self-help stand next to the deli counter. I added hot water to my cup, some sugar. I hate when the tea bag soaks for so long the tea becomes bitter, so I stood there stared at my cup waited for the tea to steep.

Boredom grew, I glanced over to the right hand side near where I had entered, to the space where they have a cold refrigerated case with pre-made lunches. I saw a man there. He looked like a nerd. He wore glasses, his shoulders slumped forward which gave him a bit of a hunch back, especially when he bent down to grab another dish to inspect from the cold case.

I stood there and stared. Watched. Observed. Like I was lost in the middle of the jungle and a lion crossed my path.

The man looked quite familiar, I could not put a finger on where I knew him from. He had ash brown hair, thinned a bit at the top, he wore wire rimmed glasses, an off white cardigan.

I’d know that posture anywhere, that side profile, although he appeared heavier than I remembered. I tried to look at his left hand, searched for the wedding band to confirm this mans identity.

His hand not visible. I did not need to see his wedding band. I knew who it was.

This is the man I loved for a year of my life. The one it took me years to get over. The man who I had strong feelings for and eventually discovered was not my man.

The last serious relationship I’ve ever had was with this person. The last time I felt love. Five years had passed since. I have not seen him in person since we ended our relationship.

I wore a purple, lacy headband and had not washed my hair since Sunday. Gym sneakers adorned my feet along with ankle pants I wore all through the winter months. I looked in no condition to run into an ex.

I waited patiently, my legs shook, heart beat fast. I waited patiently for him to look at me, recognize me. I braced myself for a “Hello, how are you? What are you up to these days? Married? Seeing someone?

He approached so quickly, his chest, forget eye contact he was so tall. I remember looking at that exact spot on his chest so many times – first date, first kiss, laying together.

Then he was gone. He walked straight past me. Like I was no one.

A ghost of the past. A year worth of memories, of love shared between two people. Dead. Over. In the past. Like it never mattered. Never happened. Life moves on.

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Future Nightmare

When she is ready to be married wedding hashtags will be obsolete.

The year will be 2030 and her beauty will have faded.

Her best years spent trying hard with the wrong guys; never with the right ones.

Good opportunities tossed away decided instead on the unplausable.

When she finally meets someone her beauty will have faded leaving only the scars on her heart and the bitterness of a woman rejected so many times she lost track.

Prime years spent focused on boys who did not care for her like she cared for him.

Today, she is a nice girl with a pretty face; in denial of wanting a man who loves her; secretly dying inside each day because it seems like she will never find him.

Soul Mate Timeline

14 years old
we met for the first time
he kissed another girl instead of me
I felt jealous

19 years old
we met at work
he dated another girl instead of me
I felt disappointed

26 years old
we met at a birthday
we danced together
he kissed me this time
we were electric
dripped in sweat
addicted
I felt powerful

26 years old
he texted photos of his penis
in various poses
with various objects
I felt disgusted

27 years old
heard he had another girlfriend
he chose a lesbian over me
blocked, deleted – phone number and social media
I felt defeated

28 years old
we met on a date
he stopped sending photos of his penis
after I asked
I didn’t kiss him
I felt satisfied

28 years old
we met at a bar
he refused to kiss me
because I didn’t kiss him
he left me at the bar alone
hysterical
I felt heartbroken

28 years old
we met alone
he texted “come over”
We cuddled, we talked, we laughed
I felt happy

28 years old
we stopped meeting
he does not talk to me
since he got what he wanted for all of these years
I feel nothing

This is How I Spent My 28th: Back to the Psychic Healer

Colorful cupcakes with sparklers

On my 28th birthday I took the day off work. I awoke at 6:30 a.­m, went through my leg routine, spun it out and burned more than 450 calories at the gym. I stood in the Crunch restroom blow drying my hair in my bright colored, floral romper while passersby stared at me and admired my outfit, complimenting me on how pretty I looked and asking what the special occasion was.

“Today is my birthday,” I responded to a girl who asked.

“Happy Birthday! How old?”

“Twenty-eight.”

“You’re a baby.”

Twenty-eight is a baby, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not ready to be considered “old” by society’s small minded standards.

I had asked my parents to go to a birthday breakfast with me at one of these nice restaurants I enjoy going to but don’t get to visit often. I looked forward to it. The plan was to leave at 10:30. I was not surprised when my mother took her time and we did not leave until 11:30 – a mere hour before my dad needed to catch his train to work.

I sat in the backseat of my parent’s car, stressed out and anxious that we would need to rush and I would be the cause of my dad’s missed train. This situation felt too far out of my control. Even though it’s my birthday my feelings don’t get considered. They never are.

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Moving Backwards: The Struggle is Real

On Cinco De Mayo I posted a photo of myself on Instagram. The picture showed me at twenty-one proudly standing in front of the camera in my dorm room. My bra hung out of my too small top, red hair shone, body fifteen pounds thinner.

A red heart appeared on my photo. I decided I wanted an answer from the person who liked my photo. I clicked the message icon and typed “What happened to you?”

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I did something cruel, painstakingly awful and heartless today

No confirmation text the day of. I give him credit for his blind faith in a girl he met for seven minutes.

This morning I woke up at 6:45 a.m. then pushed my body back to sleep even after I reminded myself I needed to go to yoga. Instead of taking care of my physical health and mental sanity I laid there in my fleece pajamas, empty, heavy, unhappy, thinking negative thoughts.

I needed to shower, brush my teeth, kiss my sweet golden retriever puppy good morning. I slipped down the staircase, dragged my soulless body onto the couch and watched murder mystery docs – the second story so interesting it forced me to miss the 10:30 a.m. yoga class I desperately needed.

At 10 a.m. I thought of reaching out to him and letting him know I would not be able to make it, yet again. But I had already blown him off one other time when my car died and I had to spend the entire day at a car dealership.

Zombie-like I laid there, watched shows about terrible people and felt like a terrible person unable to pull myself from this heavy funk.

When the show ended I went upstairs to take a nap. I slept for a couple of hours, when I woke it was 3 p.m. I checked my phone saw a text from 1:58 p.m. “OK I’m here.”

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Boys have done this to me before and from experience I can tell you it is gut-punching painful:

Twice I sat in my room for hours staring at my phone waiting for texts to further solidify the plans we had made and neither ever replied or showed.

One time I had a plan with someone and texted to confirm that day and he never replied to me again, ever. Disappeared.

Another time I went out with someone, he asked for a second date and a kiss. I said yes to the second date, no to the kiss and he disappeared.

The 100th time one guy texted me telling me he had to work overtime the night we had a scheduled date and then I never heard from him again.

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Of course I felt (and still feel) completely terrible about what I did to this innocent person today. Especially as I have been on the receiving end of this and it’s very cruel.

To put it simply, I simply cannot date anymore. It’s become painful for me. Look pretty, smile, giggle, listen, energy and effort. All for dudes who never stick, they don’t care for me. I either cut them off or they cut me off or it’s mutual and I can’t do it any longer. It’s killing my hope, faith, and happiness.

I met the one from today at a speed dating event over one month ago. He, being the 5th and final match from the event (judging by how the other dates went I did not want to waste my time again). I blew him off several times for valid reasons:

  1. my car died
  2. wedding
  3. packed schedule
  4. i cant date anymore
  5. how many times can i tell this guy no?

He even told me, “You seem like a busy person with a lot of obligations but I would still like to go out with you. How about Friday or Saturday?”

I could have told him, “I’m too drained/heartbroken/tired to put up this facade for another guy who is going to disappear on me anyway and I don’t think it’s fair to you to schedule a date with me when I’m not 100% in.” But I can’t say no to men.

That’s been my thing lately. I can’t say no to them. It’s like I don’t care much about my single status anymore. I tried for years and nothing sticks – rejection and disappointments. So I focus on myself and fall into physical things with men in moments when I crave the intimacy. Then it becomes empty and I don’t even want to do it yet I still cannot bring myself to say no.

I’m numb to feelings. I’m numb to trying. I just want to be friends with a guy. No dates. Definitely no sex. Just friends, talking and getting to know one another. This whole speed dating, online dating, even forcing a physical intimate relationship with a guy who doesn’t value me as a person. I don’t have the energy or the care for it so I go along and don’t say no when deep down I’d much rather go out with other friends.

I did a terrible thing today. I blew off a guy who I had a scheduled date with, made him sit in a restaurant alone. Treated him like he isn’t a person and doesn’t have feelings. Didn’t even give him a heads up like, “I’m sorry. This isn’t fair to you. I hope you find a wonderful girl someday and I don’t want to waste your time.” I just stayed silent. Didn’t show, didn’t reply to his text. I disappeared on the guy. Just like all the other guys have done to me.

I’m sorry, guy. Truly. If I hurt you, I didn’t mean it. I simply cannot date anymore and I’m sorry I couldn’t verbalize that to you.

I Dine Alone

Friday nights spent half-watching reruns of The Office while half-texting until my fingers hurt. Instead tonight I drove my old white Mitsubishi to the Thai restaurant in town. Had to ease my craving for drunken noodle, calm my sour mood.

Immediately, I ordered a Thai Iced Tea. I never even knew what that was until my ex-boyfriend introduced me back in 2013. I traveled to Stony Brook to buy the special tea leaves from an Asian market once, purchased condensed milk then made it for him at home, used way too much condensed milk. He told me so. But I didn’t listen.

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