The Cons of Making It to Thirty

With my knees on the floor.
Elbows to the mattress.
Forsaken lovers dance.
Across the lids of my eyes.

I’m not a sinner.
I just came from confession.
One Act of Contrition.
Three Hail Mary’s.

I’m not a heartbreaker.
I came home alone.
One bold, red tattoo.
Three feet of severed hair.

My eternal penance.
For a broken word.
Is a ball and chain.
With a broken lock.

I paid for individuality.
With a happy home.
And unborn children.
The condemnation of freedom.

Antisocial Dating

I can’t remember the last weekend in which an absurd story wasn’t embroidered in the headers and footers. If every day is noteworthy, no day is ever noteworthy. I went on a date with a friend of a friend. Actually, it was rather me inviting him to a show, because I couldn’t get any other poor sod to rise to the occasion. In a dimwitted attempt at giving back to the community, I’ve recently put a stop to the continuous string of one-hit-wonders with strangers. He insisted on driving the opposite direction to come pick me up…to humor the pretense of formality, let’s pretend.

The first time I’d met him was a couple years ago, when I was with a boyfriend. The second time I’d met him was a year ago, with a different boyfriend. The last time I’d met him was a couple months ago. This time I had no boyfriend, just the dress and makeup of the previous evening’s date. I didn’t know him well, but considering the kinds of blinds and randoms I’d been out with lately, you could argue I’d known him a lifetime.

He picked me up at a quarter to 8pm. A 6’5, slender brunette. Great bone structure, perfect symmetry. It was my first time being in a Prius. He’d brought rum in a water bottle and two packs of cigarettes. My kind of date. We dusted the rum in the parking lot before the show. Sadistik & Cunninlynguists. We had another drink or 2 at the bar and got lost in the music. I hadn’t encountered a romance that was not toxic and in some way ugly, tainted, or wicked in over a year. Hell, the last time I’d been out on a date with somebody with a first and last name was over 7 months ago.

The intertwining of fingers to live music in a dark crowd of true fans tends to evoke a deeper kind of connection. Although I’ve held a match to every one of my fingers, I still found myself wanting to get caught up in the whims and follies of the music junkie. We left before the show ended. I was only interested in seeing Sadistik’s set, and he was only interested in seeing me naked. I’ll admit. When I left the house that night, I didn’t see myself inviting him up. Not deviating from the trend of honesty, I still have trouble seeing myself inviting him up.

I’m not sure when exactly I let slip the notion of a luminous love and instead adopted a notion of twisted despair. Maybe it was when I found out I couldn’t have children. Perhaps it was when I found out my husband slept with my best friend. Or maybe it was when I broke the heart of a virgin and felt nothing but relieved. I want two hands squeezing tightly around my neck, as I throw an arm out into the dark and slap the jaw of an unknown. I don’t want to look him in the eyes, and I don’t want to fuck in daylight.

I got him out of the house before 8am. I left shortly after to go visit my childhood best friend. She bartended Monday mornings at a small dive. Sometimes I find it comforting to be around familiarity, even if they do think I’m nothing but a running gag. The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. Late afternoon I found myself on a rooftop bar in Laguna Beach, with a forty-two year old man. I still don’t remember his name, or what he did for a living. I’d met him at the dive, and he’d invited me down to his house. I told him I’d drive down to meet him. The last thing I remember was excusing myself to go to the restroom, and dipping out the backside of the restaurant to my car. I never spoke to him again.

I’m not sure why I left.
I’m not sure why I ever leave.
I’m not sure why I didn’t tell him I was leaving.
I’m not sure why I never tell them when I am leaving.