Once said, always said. I will hold the past over your head.
I don’t update this because I went back to livejournal, but just for the record, Costigan broke up with me a few months ago. As you may recall from an older post, I had written, “ I can’t live with the idea that someday Costigan will realize he’s hooked me, stop writing me letters, stop trying to learn more about me, stop sharing our music, stop texting me to make flirty jokes, and he’ll become everyone else.”
How incredibly sad that it all came true. No letters, no flirting, no late-night conversations. He never took down the pictures of him and his ex-girlfriend from his living room, and when I asked about it, he threw a fit. He claimed that it was wrong of me to force him to throw away something that had been his life for the past 6 years. I told him not to throw away the pictures, just store them somewhere. That was not good enough for him. He turned it into an ultimatum. I knew that not a single one of my friends would call his behavior normal. I knew I was right on this one. But I let it go. Unfortunately, this situation would become the overlying theme of our hollow relationship.
He would tell me he had to work on something at home, but when we’d talk later that night, I would find out he had played video games the whole time instead. Or he wouldn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, so I laid with him until I fell back to sleep, but when I would wake up, he would be out in the living room. He stopped planning things with me. He stopped being there for me when I needed him. On important days in my life, he was either making it worse, or not present. I would write him letters and leave them in his pillowcase or stuffed in a notebook. I received nothing in return.
At first I was sad and upset with him for not making me feel cared for anymore. I would bring it up and it would create an unsolvable argument. I’ve never had that with a person before. Eventually he turned it around on me, angry that I was making him out to be the bad guy. Wanting to make the relationship work, I asked what I was doing wrong and tried to work on it.
Number one was he wanted me to listen more. He didn’t feel listened to. So for weeks I walked on eggshells, doing my best not to interrupt him or bring up my crap. I asked him how he felt constantly. I tried to help him work out his thoughts. But it seemed to have no effect at all. He continued to feel more distant.
I became desperate. I didn’t understand why he didn’t like me. It was a vicious cycle, because the more I felt unliked, the less “me” I was. I stopped being happy, hyper, outgoing, talkative, flirty, and probably all the traits he originally liked about me. I became a passive people-pleaser.
A couple weeks before he broke up with me, I made dinner for us. I could tell he was unhappy. He laid on my couch with little to say. After a couple hours of eating and listening to him talk about his problems at work, he finally said what was really on his mind. He didn’t think this was working. He sat up on the couch and said something has echoed in my head over and over again.
"Being with you has made me appreciate a lot of things about Susan."
Susan was his ex.
This was the moment to break up with him— to stand up in a storm of rage and tell him to walk the fuck out of my apartment and never come back. But I was weak. I wanted the boy who used to hold my feet when they were cold, leave me cards with cute messages when I was having a bad day, fall asleep cuddled next to me on the couch, and stay up until sunrise just to talk to me. I was sure he was still hidden away somewhere, ready to jump out at any moment and hold me the way someone with love in their heart would. He would look into my eyes at any moment with that excitement and intensity that he did before he knew he was mine. But he never did. He had stopped feeling that way a long time ago.
It went on for two more weeks. Not only did he not love me, he barely even cared for me. And my crying never affected him. The only plan we really made together during that time was to go to Palo Alto for a date, and I would show him around the downtown area with all the cool shops and restaurants. We hung out besides that, but those times were just sitting around, trying not to get into an argument.
Finally, one morning I woke up and as I went to move closer to him, I knew something was wrong. I could sense it before I even turned to see his face. He was rigid and cold. I turned to face him and he was awake, looking at me.
"I don’t think this is working." He said.
This moment plays over and over again in my mind. To wake up next to someone who has decided before you even opened your eyes that he was going to dump you… it’s disgusting. It’s embarrassing. It’s traumatizing. It’s immature and cruel. I would say it’s cowardly, but you’d have to have a lot of balls to be that mean.
We talked for hours. At first, he almost seemed unsure about whether his words meant that he wanted to break up. He wasn’t even sure what of the three reasons he had were valid. He missed Susan. He thought our personalities didn’t mix. Work had made him very stressed out. Maybe it was one, or two of those options. Maybe it was all three.
I broke down in tears. He made me feel like an unwanted freak. He did little to comfort me. Like always, my crying had no effect on him.
Finally, I stood up. I stacked his shit on my dresser. He got up to pack his things. And that’s when I found out how he really felt, even if he didn’t know it himself.
"You’ll never see me again." I said.
"Don’t worry," he responded, "In two months you’ll forget all about me. That’s speaking from personal experience."
Personal experience? Oh, right, his ex-girlfriend. This is what was on his mind. Feeling sorry for himself because his ex-girlfriend wasn’t moping about his absence.
I don’t really care about using a codename for this asshole anymore. He doesn’t deserve “Costigan.” I like that character. This guy’s name is Justin. And Justin is a cowardly weasel who wormed his way into my life because I was pretty and not Susan. He freaked without his girlfriend as a safety net and made me feel like it was my fault. He went to great lengths to explain to me that I was very attractive, but that my personality was the problem, so that I would later spend months with no confidence, getting involved with people I knew would never care about me just to try and fill a void he left in my self-esteem.
I wish the story ended there, but Justin felt the need to earn some sort of hall of fame award. When I asked for my things to be returned by the end of the week (it was mostly a small metal desk shelf I cared about), he forgot to. And when another week passed, he forgot again. He saw my sister every weekday and forgot every weekday for two weeks. On the third week, pissed that he cared so little about me, he couldn’t even remember to do one last thing for me, I told him to keep the stupid shelf. I didn’t want to see it and be reminded of how shitty he was treating me. The next day, he ignored my request to keep the shelf. He returned it. What a kick in the fucking pants.
It took months, but I got better. I stopped thinking about him. I made new friends. I moved on. I found new hobbies. Every Wednesday I would go with my friends to a pub to watch an open mic night. Last Wednesday, Justin showed up. He HAD to have known I go there every week. Every friend I had there was someone we had both worked with in the past. My one friend said he even warned him ahead of time. But Justin showed up anyway. I accidentally said hi because I thought he was someone else at a glance. I would do anything to take that greeting back. I wanted to leave, but the waitress had just place a burger on my table. I lived an hour away, so driving the burger home made no sense. My appetite was dead. I sat there and stared at the burger.
Trying not to give him the glory of hurting me, I was extra chatty with my friends. Inside, I was so uncomfortable. I was raging angry and desperately sad. I hate him so much. I wanted to let him know that out of all the emotions I had felt in the past few months, there was one consistency. I never missed him. He wasn’t missable. There was nothing about the relationship I wished I had back.
I wanted to tell him to go fuck himself for even showing up. I knew he was a selfish person, so of course he would ignore my emotions and make a presence at a place that I considered to be a safe and happy problem-free zone.
I wanted to let him know that just because my sister tolerated his stupid ass after I left didn’t mean I was even remotely okay with him, and that I wasn’t the only one who wished him the worst.
And most of all, I wanted to shine a mirror in his face. I wanted him to see the person he truly turned out to be. He cheated on his ex to kiss me. Then he emotionally cheated on me, wishing to be back with his ex. He did whatever he pleased and didn’t care about who it hurt. He would claim he cared, but his actions spoke so much louder than his words. There was no space in his heart for love, and he was a moron for thinking there ever was- not for me, and not for his ex either.
So fuck you, Justin. You think you had me figured out from head to toe, but you stopped trying to get to know me the minute the safety net dropped out from beneath you. You’re not special. I know that now. It’s really easy to listen to someone you have a crush on and then grant their wishes like you’re a mind reader. You know what’s not easy? Understanding a person at their core and learning how to communicate with them and develop a mutual trust. You couldn’t even so much as respect me. Telling me I make you miss your girlfriend after I feed you dinner? What the fuck is wrong with your head?
I hear you’re going back to Washington. Great! Go right ahead. Get back with the girl who said you wouldn’t so much as plan a vacation with her. Enjoy that amazing personality she has that you dumped to get with me. I will be amazed if she takes you back, but I guess it would be hard for her to accurately evaluate the situation when you weren’t honest or forthcoming with just how badly you cheated. I’m sure she has no idea what you wrote in a card for me for Valentine’s Day while you were still dating her.
So when you can’t sleep at night, look at the sky and remember that hike we took where you told me how happy you were watching the sunset with me, and how she could never just look at a sunset and simply soak it in. And when you buy flowers to get her back, remember the tiny bouquet you gave to me while you were still dating her. And when you open your messenger bag to hand her a letter full of your insincere words, remember the time you spent 20 minutes emptying that bag to find a tiny magnet that said “love” on it which would never mean anything at all.
I can’t remember for the life of me if I ever showed this to anyone but my bestest writing friend, ‘Niro. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve written, although I don’t know if that means it’s artsy crap that only its creator can love :) Anyway, it makes me happy so I thought I’d share. Apologies in advance for the formatting destruction. Y U no accept Word formatting, tumblr?
She’s getting married. An evening party thrives in the white walls of a pristinely manicured mansion. The chandeliers shine yellow light on hundreds of smiling faces.
She’s dressed like a princess in an ivory gown; her amber hair in an array of curls swirled high above her head. She converses with a group of nameless acquaintances, each with a drink in their hand.
The night moves like a whirlwind. She floats from swarm to swarm, lost amongst the sea of guests. Her smile is polite, but withdrawn. Every few moments her eyes peek over the heads of her immediate company. Her doting love is nowhere to be found. Somewhere in the distance, he sweeps to each new crowd like a bee to pollen, relishing in every delighted greeting.
For most this would have been a happy occasion, yet this particular celebration for this particular girl felt more like a sloppily edited preview of her life to come; a conviction by a jury of socialites who claimed to know more about her well-being than she, herself, ever would.
She finds no comfort in the welcoming words of strangers. In a million pairs of open arms, she feels alone. Not a single familiar voice has carried into her ears in hours. A claustrophobic form of panic wrenches in the pit of her stomach. She swallows hard to keep it down.
There was one person on the guest list whose attendance she hadn’t anticipated, and with timing comparable to fate, he chose to make his presence known. Not a voice, or a tap on the shoulder. He was never one for convention. No, he chose a more passive entrance- one that only she would recognize. And maybe he knew how much it would affect her, but that kind of debatable assumption was what had always made him somewhat of a mystery.
Piano carries into the room. She freezes in place. Her head perks as she listens to the tune. She recognizes it instantly. Only one person knew that song the way she did. She puts down her drink without looking behind her to see where it lands, sweeping instinctively into the next room like a charmed serpent.
A bar surrounds the gorgeous black piano. The music ceases. No one sits before the guilty ivory. Her vision darts and she spots the back of her unconventional charmer. He’s walking away.
She follows him out, desperately trying to keep up. She squeezes between people; dashing around others. By the time she reaches the door to the back garden, she’s lost him. She looks left to a fountain- he isn’t there. She looks right to the lawn- he’s not there either. Then in front of her- the long path to the dimly lit gazebo where they grew up together, shared all their secrets, and kept each other warm. He sits on the swing alone in his black suit, his forearms against his knees, holding a martini between them. His sandy hair was shorter than she remembered.
Things had changed since they last sat on that swing together. She had met a man from the city with corporate ties and an inheritance that rivaled her own. The boy with the sandy hair, on the other hand, never had her fortune. As they grew up, differences had carved their friendship into something neither of them could manage to hold onto. Staying in the city was something he couldn’t afford. Leaving the city was something she couldn’t imagine. He moved without warning, ripping the band-aid off a wound that would never heal. Try as he might to change it, they were two different classes of people, and while he fought to pay for living day-to-day, she went off to college and traveled the world.
Her implicit hesitance slows her step. She pads towards him with a wavering caution, as though she is walking on eggshells in its most literal form. He doesn’t notice- gently rocking himself with his toes. He looks into his drink as though he holds a crystal ball in his hands.
As she takes her first step onto the wooden floor, he hears the clack of her heel against the hollow ground. He glances upwards, feigns a smile to greet her, then goes back to his drink. She sits down next to him, mirroring his slouched posture.
“You picked today.” She remarks, almost to herself.
“You know me.”
“I used to.”
He smirks bitterly, miming a stab to his heart with a free hand. She watches, though not amused. He drops his arm at the sight of her disapproval.
She presses her thumb into her palm, searching for words. “I thought, after all this time, I would have come up with something to… I don’t know. Everything just happened so fast. You know what they say.”
He gives her a fleeting look, and responds, “No, actually. I don’t know what they say.”
“Time flies.” She grins and shrugs.
He nods, though not seeming to agree, and adds, “…When you’re having fun.”
She grimaces as though she hadn’t thought through the entire saying.
He takes in a breath, “I’m glad you’re having fun, Aly.” His voice is quiet but sincere.
She shifts her weight and looks off to the distance. She looks at him, but after waiting for him to meet her eyes to no avail, she goes back to staring at her hands. “I wasn’t trying to…”
He shrugs, unaffected.
She slowly keys into the look on his face. In a word, distress. She leans closer, still aching for his eye contact, but he keeps to himself. His head nods slightly, but not enough for her to judge whether it’s intentional. Her jaw edges forward in uncertainty.
“Are we okay?”
He presses his lips together in a fighting half-smile, preventing any thoughts from escaping. One hand lets go of the martini glass. He raises it, as though to speak with it, but can’t seem to find the words. His fist squeezes and releases. He signs a forced “OK” with his fingers, then drops his arm back onto his knee. He starts a laugh to allow all the reserved air to rush out of his mouth.
She watches him with concern, though more in tune with her own plight than his. “You have to tell me you’re okay with this or I can’t. I can’t do it without you. You have to tell me it’s okay.”
“Since when has my input been important to your decisions?” His voice carries more edge than intended, but he lets it go without remorse.
Aly pulls her arms against her chest, debating the meaning of his tone.
Though he watches her withdrawal from the corner of his eye, his train of thought has already traveled far past hers. He speaks, taking her off guard with the subject. “Do you remember that time we took your dad’s watch? And we accidentally dropped it in the lake.”
She frowns as she recalls. “The fancy compass one?”
“Yeah…” He begins to glow with a reminiscent smirk.
She continues the story, recollecting aloud. “We ran so far away. I don’t know what I was more scared of by the end- my dad or being lost in the woods.” She laughs. “We could’ve used that compass.”
He laughs too.
“Why?” She asks quizzically.
His laugh wanes. He shares a glance with her, as though waiting for her to catch his train of thought. She remains curious.
“I, uh…” He laughs again, this time with a semblance of disenchantment with himself. “I don’t know.”
Then she tilts her head, suddenly remembering something stowed away deeper in her memory banks as she says, “That waterfall was so cool, though. We never would have found it otherwise.”
He nods silently, his eyes gazing through his glass. “I’m glad we lost that watch.”
“…Yeah. Me too.” She sighs.
“…You think it’s still there?”
She ponders. “The watch?”
He shakes his head. “Nah, never mind.”
“I always meant to go back there.”
“That was like ten years ago, Al. It’s probably a parking lot now.”
Her voice rings with daring optimism. “Oh, come on. I bet there’s still a trickle.”
He feigns belief. “Really.”
“Listen to yourself!” She exclaims. “What happened to Mr. Adventure?”
She softly pushes his arm, causing his body to rock away from her and back. A yielding smile curls into the corners of his lips. “I’m being a huge stick in the mud right now, aren’t I?”
“Well… Yeah. You are, actually.” She grins.
Gaining more confidence, he adds with toying smugness, “Regardless, I’m sure it’s not there anymore.”
She taps her finger on her leg for a moment, then lunges off the swing, startling Ethan. She turns around, her hands clenching the skirt of her dress. Her eyes glare challengingly at him. She takes a couple steps backward, then darts out of the gazebo.
“Where are you going?!” He yells.
“To prove you wrong!” She taunts.
His face lights up. He jumps out of his seat and follows, casting the martini glass into the grass. He quickly passes her. She scrambles to take off her shoes, trailing close behind.
“You threw my glass!” She cries.
“Don’t care!” He retorts.
She hops on one foot, yanking on the strap of her shoe. “This is so unfair!”
He freezes in place. “Alright, I’ll give you five seconds to catch up.” As he counts down, she’s already removed her shoes and sneakily caught up. She rushes behind him and gives him a push. He laughs and runs after her, giving her a playful shove back. She squeals as she tries to keep her balance. He grabs her from behind and spins her around, making her even more off-kilter. She teeters around, then dashes towards him. She jumps onto his back. He takes a hold of her legs and continues running with her latched onto him.
“Wait!” She suddenly cries.
He stumbles to a stop and puts her down.
“Do you hear that?”
He smiles and holds up a finger. “Shhh!”
She hits him. “Shhh!”
He scoops her up once more, this time tossing her over his shoulder. She squeaks with laughter as he runs a few steps with her.
They reach rushing water tumbling down the cliff side.
She kicks and he gently lets her down, not taking his eyes off the sparkling waterfall. She turns around, standing in front of him, and stares at their rediscovered landmark. Her lips part in awe of the beauty. The moonlight catches in the pool, flashing glittery reflections into their eyes. He gently rests his hand on her shoulder.
“Ethan?” She turns back to face him.
His hand slowly slides off her arm as he searches her for her next words. She looks at her hands, then up at him.
My mom’s dog lived to be 18, which is great, but he had to be put to sleep on Mother’s day. This is sad.
Our first cat lived to be 1. He was hit by a car, found by our neighbor who was also a veterinarian.
We later got two cats, who were brothers from the same litter. Keep this story in mind as I continue on this history.
Our next dog lived to be 13 or so. He survived cancer, but was a little limpy and flies bit his ears from time to time. My parents went on vacation to Australia, and my sister and I were charged with taking care of the pets (we were young, so a babysitter was keeping us at her house and driving us to our house each day to take care of the animals). One day we came home and the gate was open. A neighbor said police had been going through the neighborhood looking for a prowler. They probably didn’t close our gate correctly. Now our dog was gone. So was one of the two cats. It was labor day weekend (my birthday weekend) so the Pound was closed. We kept going back each day but it kept being closed. Finally they opened. They had found our dog, but put him to sleep while they were closed because he was “unadoptable” by their standards. My cat never came back.
I hate the pound. He had a collar. I don’t know what kind of idiot puts a dog with a collar to sleep. Apparently this kind of idiot. And let’s not forget the carelessness of the police.
A stray cat started living with us just a few months before the Pound incident. She had kittens. Two didn’t have tails. Shortly after the Pound incident, we took all four kittens to the vet, only to find out the two manx kittens had birth defects in the nerves of their back legs (which explained the no tails, funny walking, and the random pooping). They had to be put to sleep. Then one of the remaining two kittens disappeared on the week of Halloween. She was white. Then my neighbor knocked on our door a few months later to let us know he thought something was wrong with the remaining kitten, who he found sleeping in wet grass. The remaining kitten had drank antifreeze some idiot must have poured in the gutter. His body had shut down. We carried his limp body to the vet and he had to be put to sleep.
When we moved, my dad wouldn’t let us take the stray mama cat with us. I don’t know what happened to her but I cried a long time.
My family is down to one cat— the one of two brothers. He’s 18 now. He’s lived a very long, full life. He started having joint problems a month or two ago. We took him into the vet (this was hard to talk my family into) and he got better. Then his eye clouded over a few weeks later. We took him into the vet (again, hard to talk my family into), and he got medication. He barfed up the medication, his eye stayed cloudy, and he stopped eating and drinking. We took him to the vet today. He was 20% dehydrated and had lost 25% of his body weight since we brought him in at the beginning of the year. They offered to put him to sleep. Fuck no. They injected him with fluids and gave him a cortisone shot.
We took him home and as he tried to leave his cage, I realized something horrifying. He was dragging his back legs behind him. I picked him up and put him on his blanket. He was more alert than he had been in a month. He was eating, drinking, looking all over the place… but no back leg movement. I called the vet. They told us to come back.
The vet said there was no way that anything they did could have caused this. I call bullshit. He had full use of his legs when we went in. 50% use when we came out. They called it a coincidence. That nurse aid couldn’t have looked more confused when she was given directions on his cortisone shot and fluids. She screwed up. She probably hit his spine. Stupid woman.
People are unreliable. They cost me my pets. I hate people.
I live a block from the beach on the west coast and there is a tsunami siren, which I previously imagined was built for paranoid people in the 50s and never used, about 50 ft from my bedroom window. Living next to the beach was really cool up until Friday around midnight. Then it became “OMG I’M GONNA DIE” time.
I always thought “tsunami” meant 20-foot wall of water that will obliterate all that is good. When I heard that my area had been upgraded from tsunami watch to tsunami warning, I didn’t know what to do. Wetting my pants sounded like a valid option, but I opted for internet research.
Wow, internet, you are so not helpful for this kind of thing, let me tell you. All the official tsunami watch weather websites were basically warning of the apocalypse. All the news sites were saying “Meh, maybe a foot of water will wash up onto the street. Oh but look at how it wiped out a city in the Phillipines!”
I eventually packed up my photo albums, Snooky (my stuffed dog 4 lyfe), all my paper journals, and a bunch of apocalypse food. I almost went to a hotel further inland, but opted after some convincing to go to Costigan’s top-floor apartment in the big city.
My street was closed down, schools were closed, and half the town was evacuated, but it seems like there was pretty much zero damage to my town. Granted I didn’t go back until like Monday.
Though this entry is mostly about the tsunami, I should also reiterate in more implicative terms… I didn’t go back until Monday! Quality time with Costigan, watching movies, walking by the Comcast Sportsnet office and daydreaming of Brodie Brazil, eating Indian food, walking the dog, listening to rain, etc.. It was nice. I had fun.
Sitting on Costigan’s couch while writing this, which I suppose is the most obvious indicator that things are going better now.
Breaking up with Sullivan wasn’t easy and has continued to be a rocky rollercoaster that I’ve been trying to close my eyes on. We want to stay friends, despite me being a total douchebag, but he’s clearly starting to see what a douchebag I was to him. I don’t know what will happen. I know I’m closer to him than anyone else. I don’t want him to lose that. And he’s closer to me than anyone else too, so it would be nice for us not to throw that completely away. We’ll see.
Costigan and I have also been on a challenging path, but it has been a collaborative effort to make things right. We spent some time not talking unless necessary, but found that it only made things worse because we kept assuming one another was angry or upset or distant. We decided to communicate more, and that helped a lot. We were back to laughing and talking about work pretty quickly.
We’ve gotten close now. I don’t feel comfortable saying it’s a relationship, or that I’m his girlfriend, butI don’t really have any concrete reasoning for feeling that way. I’m happy around him. I like him. We’re still occasionally running ourselves into walls and having ugly “I don’t know what you’re talking about right now” or “Why didn’t you tell me this back when I could still fix it” conversations but that’s just a result of us learning how to communicate.
Life is pretty good right now, despite thinking I was going to get fired at the beginning of last week, and wiped out by a giant tsunami by the end of the week.
There’s a lot to say, and after making a mega post that is still in the works, I’ve decided I need to pare down to what actually happened in briefer terms.
Costigan and I kissed. It was both awesome and horrible. Awesome because I enjoyed it when it happened. Horrible because I knew I had to break up with Sullivan. It had gone too far. I was being a really bad person. He deserves much better than me.
Costigan and I had a falling out over the ramifications of the kiss. We stopped talking.
I broke up with Sullivan. It was very sad. In a way, he understood, and it sounded like we might even be able to stay friends in some small way. We’ve been talking for months about what’s missing from our relationship. I’ve always been honest with him about how much time I spend with Sullivan. This wasn’t a big surprise to anyone. I miss him a lot, but I try to take comfort in the fact that he should have someone better and more compatible than me in his life.
Costigan, around the same time, broke up with his girlfriend of six years. Now everything is weird. I want to give him space to heal. I don’t know if he needs it. He hasn’t even lived in the same state as her for over a year and a half now, but still, six years. Long time. Today was the first day in I don’t even know how long that neither of us texted, sent FB messages, saw, or called each other.
We kissed. Now I’m at a standstill. I don’t want to move forward with him. I don’t want to move forward with Sullivan either. I don’t want to spend any more time in slow-eroding relationships. I can’t live with the idea that someday Costigan will realize he’s hooked me, stop writing me letters, stop trying to learn more about me, stop sharing our music, stop texting me to make flirty jokes, and he’ll become everyone else. I want a fire that doesn’t die. I want to pause time.
Also, I think cute guy who I gave a Starbucks card to, and will henceforth call Valentine, might like me a little. He invited me to play D&D with him. I don’t know, could be harmless friendliness.
Two very attractive guys on the train now have struck up flirty conversation with me in the past few weeks, one going so far as to ask for my number. A week ago, a guy followed me from Starbucks back to work to ask for my number because I was so “striking”. A month ago, a guy at the bank told me I was beautiful. I guess it’s just that time of year? Or maybe I stand out in this new city? Or maybe I just never spent much time around young people where I used to live and I had no idea people found me attractive. Heh… That’s kind of a weird thought.
“Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. It was a real choice mission, and when it was over, I never wanted another.”—Apocalypse Now
(Costigan posted “I wanted a mission” on his FB… I’m guessing it was from his favorite movie, and that maybe it was related to us, but I don’t totally know what it means)
One of the [cute] guys I work with was jokingly offended that my sister and I didn’t invite him to get coffee with us on Valentine’s Day. I told him we would invite him next time.
Later that day he turned to me randomly and said half-sighing, half-smirking in playful embarrassment, “I have to leave early today… because I’m having Valentine’s dinner… with my parents.”
I grinned. “Ohhhh that’s awkward.” I gave him a hard time the rest of the day, asking occasional ribbing questions like, “So… are you guys going to order off the Vday menu but just get an extra plate?”
One of my coworkers laughed and said, “So I imagine you told her expecting some sort of sympathy or something, right?” To which the guy replied, laughing, “Yeah, I was actually…” I smiled and shook my head no.
I used to send my friends Valentinesy stuff to make them happy on what can sometimes be a lonely day. The single friends, in particular, I made sure to gift to brighten their mood. This in mind, I took a walk over to Starbucks after the guy went home. I bought a $5 giftcard with hearts on it. On the inside of the envelope, I wrote, “Okay, maybe somewhere in my small, frigid heart there’s a little bit of sympathy. Happy belated Valentine’s Day!”
I left the card tucked under his keyboard. He sent me an email this morning with a little happy face, thanking me for being “sweet”.
Valentine’s Day was chaotic. I didn’t think Sullivan got me flowers because my sister had seen him earlier that day without any when he was on his way to work, but he greeted me with roses when I came out of work. The roses were a very light peach color, though (my favorite color is crimson red, so roses are a natural favorite of mine in addition to red gerbera daises). Thinking maybe he was matching the color dress I was going to wear that evening since I had showed him the hair clip I was going to use, I asked why he picked that color. He made a half-hearted joke about getting that color on purpose, then admitted that he bought them after work and that was all that was left. :/
We were supposed to meet at 7 and get on the train. Sullivan never takes the train system that I do. As I was explaining it to him, I turned around and he was paying on the wrong buzzer— the elevator instead of a walking gate. I don’t know why he did that. He gets very impatient. A little frustrated, I told him to meet me at the bottom on the platform since I couldn’t use the elevator (different pass type).
When I got to the bottom of the stairs, the train pulled up. I looked everywhere for Sullivan but it was crowded. I got onto the train, assuming he beat me onto it. I called Sullivan. He hadn’t gotten on. The train left with me in it and without him. The next train for him wasn’t for 20 minutes. I quickly texted to let him know not to get on the other train line, which doesn’t go to my stop. Too late. He got on that train line.
For 20 mins I waited in my car for Sullivan at our stop. When he got there, he called me, freaking out. His pass wouldn’t let him out of the gate, probably because he used the weird elevator thing. He was pacing like mad and cursing when I walked out to him, slamming his bike into stuff, eventually throwing his bike on the ground. My stomach twisted into knots as I tried to tell him to calm down. This was not how I wanted to spend my Valentine’s Day- not with this attitude.
By the time I came up with a way to make the gate open, my stomach was officially upset and gurgling. I now had only a half hour to change and do my hair and makeup, and deal with the upset stomach. Sullivan was able to push our reservations back to 9:30 but I still felt ill from the angry freakout he had.
Sullivan stood in the bathroom watching me as I did my hair. Normally I would find this sweet, but he didn’t necessarily look happy and my experience with him so far that day had been mostly negative. I felt frustrated. I was excited, however, to finally have a reason to do my hair all prom-style. Lots of curls. I put a big pink feathered flower nestled in the curls with a fishnet half-veil coming out the side (this was the aforementioned hair clip— $20 for this friggin thing). It was pretty dramatic.
Dinner ended up being nice, and mostly relaxing with the exception of the trashy group next to us in sweatpants and club gear, debating which car to take while they were “hella buzzed”. We went to a little Italian restaurant that overlooked the ocean. It had a twinkly light ceiling. I liked it. The hostess said I looked “really, really beautiful” as well, which made me happy.
We spent some time in the lobby taking pictures. In addition to pictures of the two of us which I had him have the waiter take at dinner, I wanted pictures of my hair since I had spent so much time on it. We got some of the flower side and some of the other.
As Sullivan and I walked back to the car, the fishnet veil attached to my flower flipped up. I thought it was just the wind blowing it out of my face. We got back to my house, talked a bit while I picked up stuff, and then I went into the bathroom to undo my hair. The flower and veil were gone! I ran out of the bathroom to Sullivan with that “oh my god!” look on my face. He didn’t know what I was freaking out about. I pointed to my hair. He stared blankly. “My flower!!!” I said. He frowned, confused as to what the problem was.
I can’t believe that after the big deal I made out of the $20 flower when I bought it, then finally wearing it, then making a fuss over taking pictures of it that he didn’t even notice that it suddenly wasn’t in my hair (it blew off in the parking lot at the restaurant) until I told him so 20 minutes later. The flower nearly took up half my head, and the veil swooped over a decent portion of my forehead, even covering my eye at some angles. Was he not paying attention? He didn’t really have an explanation for not noticing. He could have gotten away with “I thought you took it off” but he didn’t even say that. I don’t know why he didn’t notice. It makes me sad. I thought maybe he was intending to look at me in a meaningful way when he was watching me do my hair in the bathroom, even if I was frustrated. He didn’t have a meaningful expression on his face, but still, I assumed that was his intention. Was he just staring through me?
I don’t get it anymore. I got very close to telling him tonight that I needed a break. I’m frustrated, I’m mad at him constantly, and I feel like I have way too many negative things on the tip of my tongue when I talk about him. It’s a bad sign. I don’t like how strong my feelings are for Costigan, I don’t like that doing random nice things for other people makes me happier than doing meaningful nice things for Sullivan, I don’t like Sullivan’s attitude, and all this is just compounding. I know I’m being a bad girlfriend to him. I feel like it’s more fair if I take a break and really think about what’s going on. I might be wrong though. That might be the easy way out.
I read a Facebook or journal post a while back that I had written, saying that I couldn’t stop laughing every time I remembered “that dance my sister was doing in my car.” I couldn’t remember for the life of me what that dance was… until today.
My sister claims that when hearing music that’s really catchy with a good beat, she feels like pumping her fist to it. I find this hilarious. She thinks it’s normal. Nope, totally not normal. Just hilarious.
She started pumping her fist to the beat of Shake It by Metro Station. I laughed so hard my back hurt and I think I nearly drooled. At one point I think two fists were involved in this beat-rocking action.
P&P:I was in and out of dream world as the sun was coming up. I remember it got quiet. Then you said something to me but I don't remember if it actually happened or if it was part of a dream. And I don't want to repeat it because I will sound like an incredibly awkward idontknowwhat if it was all in my head
Costigan:In the morning light and sleepy you looked especially beautiful. I said so.
Costigan:Or did I? :)
P&P:If you didn't I'm still pretty excited-- you can read my dreams! I have always wanted this to be possible
P&P:Now if we could just harness the technology... Then record it...
Costigan:When I push this button we'll be transported back to one minute ago...
Nothing has been figured out. I grilled Sullivan in a series of questions that probably sounded trivial but meant a lot to me. There are two- no, three things bothering me about our relationship. One of these could be what kills us, or could be the things we work through to become unbreakable.
1. Living together did not work well. This could be my fault, but it is nonetheless an issue. Most times that I hang out with my friends, whether it’s work friends or Costigan or whatever, I don’t invite Sullivan. Sometimes I do, but for the most part I like to have my own friend time. Sullivan hated this. He became increasingly controlling of my time. Soon, he tried to enforce rules, demanding I text him to let him know where I was after work on a regular basis. I understand the purpose behind this, but I don’t want to live with “parents” anymore, and this felt like parenting to me. I couldn’t stand it. I failed to obey it, even when I was trying to be good about it. It made me feel ill every time he called or texted. I felt like I was in trouble all the time.
2. I’m a bleeding heart. He is self-admittedly not. That’s great for him, but I think bleeding hearts relate best to each other, even if it’s mostly damaging. I don’t feel happy when I stop my heart from bleeding, if that makes any sense. It needs to bleed sometimes. It affects the way I perceive most creative things. I see music as a very serious form of expression. He just sees it as sound. I have to write to get my thoughts sorted sometimes. He doesn’t really enjoy writing. I’ve painted and drawn just because I “felt” it. He draws constantly but not as any form of release for an emotion. These things make me feel like he’ll never be able to deeply relate to me on that level. He’ll be able to perceive and maybe understand enough to predict my feelings for those things, but he will never share in it. I will never be able to play a song for him that has made my brain fall out of my head, and see an expression on his face that matches that.
3. I get increasingly frustrated with him at my apartment. He leaves the toilet seat up despite my demanding that he not do that. He used my razor (ew!). He stomps around loudly. He untucks my bed. He leaves milk in my cups so they dry up and have the ucky look to them. I feel like he just romps around like he owns the place. This is my apartment. I have a lot of respect for it. I’m proud of it. Why doesn’t he care? This relates to 1. I don’t know how we’re ever going to get married if I can’t handle these things.
Despite these three things, I do love him. He means so much to me. He’s been there for me for a very long time. Even if he doesn’t understand a lot of my weird deeper complexities, he does know me very well. He knows my moods, he knows how I’ll react to most things, he knows the pitch of a voice that makes me excited in a song, and if he shows me something he thinks I’ll like, he’s always right.
I guess all I’m saying is it’s not clear cut. I’m not ready to end this. He doesn’t deserve it and that isn’t what I want. I don’t want to hurt him again, but I can’t ignore what I feel for Costigan. It’s something very specific, and seems heavily related to 2. We connect on that level effortlessly. I’ve never had that with anyone. My heart feels understood. I can’t let that go.
I suppose anyone could have predicted Costigan would become a problem. He suddenly ramped from being a manageable temptation to an irresistibly bad idea. Our friendship has been platonically drawn out over several months, but it took a quick twist once we started our new jobs.
Fucked up as it may seem, ever since we started getting close, I’ve felt alive again. My heart is functioning. I’m creative. I think about everything. I write poems and stories and script ideas. He makes me the person I missed being. When I’m around him, I feel like I’m 16. We laugh, we joke, we flirt, and we enjoy doing really stupid things together. We stay up all night. He’s loved Brand New ever since I gave him links to my favorite songs. I think of him constantly. I want to make him happy. I feel turned on every time he talks, even when it’s just listening to him at work, directing a meeting or asking a question. And when he whispers to me… I’m hypnotized. I want him.
It started getting out of control a few weeks ago when I stayed up nearly all night with him. Our conversations go on forever. I find him ceaselessly interesting. I noticed him get more and more comfortable with me. I played into it. His circle of personal space slowly shrank. First we sat on opposite ends of couches. Then adjacent cushions. Then the same cushion. He would reach over to point at things I would likely have been able to spot myself, simply to get closer to me. He’d find reasons to grab me by the shoulders— tilt me into something I didn’t want to be near, or gruffly “fix” a quick punch in the arm he had given.
He told me he wanted to see my hometown. He requested a tour. I’m not sure anyone’s ever cared so much about my dumb personal life before. It made me feel so… interesting. I took him all over town, showed him where I grew up, and he loved it. We drove up to the mountains and hiked to the top of a trail that I had heard of from a Facebook post. It was beautiful. I could tell I had made him incredibly happy. I felt so accomplished and special.
Last week he told me to meet him outside work. He handed me a small envelope and told me to call when I had completed the instructions within. Inside was a small receipt and two dollars for the concierge desk at Nordstrom. I brought the receipt to Nordstrom and they handed me a bag with Voss water in it (my favorite kind). He does things like this. I like it.
Over dinner he slipped up over a conversation about dates. I asked what he was going to say. He refused. I worked it out of him. Reluctantly, he told me that he speculated I would be very good at planning dates. That’s when I was pretty certain I had hooked him.
Last night things went too far. I’m certain, had I not kept such a tight hold on the space between us, we would have kissed.
I put on my designer heels that he had hinted about finding sexy. I demanded to see if I was at least his height when wearing them. He murmured as I brought them from the box, “You don’t want to do that…” He sat rigidly on the bed. I knew I was getting to him.
A part of me wanted to push him over the edge right there. I’m sure I could have. However, I kept my distance and strung him along. Made him stand close to me, feigning baloney interest in whether I was taller, but in reality just messing with his head by being close to him. I could tell he was spinning. As I tried to back out of the room to take the heels off, he half-moved to block the way. Had I stopped to meet his eyes, we may have kissed. But instead I put my hand on his chest, intentionally indecisively muddling the lines between tugging his shirt to bring him closer, and pushing him back where he stood. I left my hand on his chest too long. He knew what it meant.
He sat down on the bed, speechless. I had gotten to him. I made him help me fold my bedsheets, leaving an opening for coy bed-related remarks. There were several. Once the bed was made, I told him he could sit on it since I don’t have anywhere else to sit right now.
We ended up laying there and talking for hours and hours. The more we talked, the closer he moved. Suddenly there was a role reversal. He was now the one playing games. He reached over me to pick up my phone, letting his arm pin me down as he reached. He trapped me in blankets. Then I spooked. It was too real. I stopped playing along the way he wanted. I wasn’t ready to let him win. At one point he reached over me. I don’t remember why and I don’t think he cared why. He left his arm around my torso. I froze. It was too accidentally-on-purpose for me to enjoy. I didn’t like it. He quickly removed it when I didn’t react.
We laid on the bed like a Taking Back Sunday song. Together, just not too close. Incredibly tense, but no definitive moves made. I could feel his eyes on me as I stared off into the distance, or closed my eyes. He had decided on me like prey, and he intended to get what he wanted. Moments of silence passed. I was nearly asleep when he said quietly, “You look beautiful right now.” My chilled heart tingled.
It will only amplify from here, but is that what I really want? Or do I just enjoy the stir? Sullivan doesn’t deserve any of this. I’m screwed up, but that’s no excuse. I need to figure this out before it goes any further.