I sat across from a friend last weekend and talked about my writing. It felt a bit strange at first, considering I'm pretty sure he's never read anything on this blog. But he writes too, and so we talked about our writing processes.
We agreed that anything forced will turn out to be shit. We also agreed that when the idea hits, words and thoughts flow effortlessly from our brains to our fingertips, to our keyboards and onto the screen.
I told him I've gotten better about editing. About accepting the concept of a "first draft" and to let something sit a little before I revisit it.
Except sometimes I don't revisit it. I don't edit or complete it.
And that's where the following comes from. Bits and pieces of posts I started, but never finished. There's a lot, so consider this part one. They are all from 2015.
Two years ago I dated a man who did not find me funny. I’m hard pressed to think of something that has bothered me more than that. I was attracted to him, slightly fascinated by his neurosis, but constantly felt like I could not be myself around him. Like I didn’t measure up. And yet, never really felt like I should have to.
And so when it ended, I wasn’t altogether too upset about it. It wasn’t right. And I stood on his back deck one night near the end of it, and called a friend to say, “You know what? I deserve better than this. He doesn’t even laugh at my jokes.”
My ghost – the one I’ve tried to ignore for months on end – well, I know I’m not his ghost. Not in the same way that he is to me; ever present and just out of reach.
I sat next to him not too long ago as he pointed to a picture of a girl on his phone – it was through a dating app.
It was the way he said it more than anything. It didn’t sting – because I knew (I’ve known) that I’m not that person to him. But to see her, to see him point her out and say something along the lines of, “She told me she wasn’t ready for a relationship.” Well, that caught my attention and stopped me in my tracks a bit.
I don’t show up empty handed.
It’s something that’s been ingrained in me since I was a child- the asking of what I can bring, what I can do to help. I watched my mother do the same- write her name on small pieces of masking tape stuck to the bottom of Tupperware containers or glass dishes. Always bringing something along, always offering.
And so now I do the same. It feels right.
But I’ve shown up to my last few dates empty handed-- metaphorically speaking, of course. It would be rather strange if I brought a covered dish with me when I’m meeting a man for drinks.
Maybe it’s knowing that first dates, well- they haven’t exactly led to anything great.
And I have to wonder if they can tell.
On my first full day of being a 27 year old, I woke up with a man in my bed. Someone I’ve known for quite some time (going on 10 years now), but who I don’t know all that well. Yes, I can tell you where he’s worked, or even what his brother’s name is, but I don’t know what makes him tick or the face he makes when he’s really, truly concentrating on something.
Nor does he know similar intimate details about me.
I’m not sure what sparked the comment he made in the early hours of my 27th year, but with a laugh he said, “You’re the dumbest smart girl I’ve ever met.”