Saturday, November 29, 2008

high school reunion

So last night I walk up to the bar were my 1o-year high school reunion is taking place and the first person I see of the night is RS, basically my bus stop bully. He asked me for a cigarette. I don't know what I really expected last night, but it was a lot of hollering people's names, just to prove we remembered each others' names after all these years, and having very little to say to each other. I think I was one of less than a dozen sober people in the place, with five other people being the two valets, the coat check girl, and the bouncers.

Detox counselor was concerned about me going to this "high-trigger situation" but I told him it would be okay. When I got there, I was kind of glad I wasn't drinking because I'd prepaid $60 to go to this tequila bar, and I could have easily put down $150 worth of premium tequila and made an ass out of myself proclaiming eternal love.

I'd say that about 45 percent of my reason for going was to seek out "Calvin," this guy who always reminded me of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. He was a goofy kid, kind of a troublemaker with the longest eyelashes known to mankind and a perpetual smirk on his face. We never had common friends or hung out but we lived close to each other and rode the bus to school together. I always had a soft spot for Calvin, but after we both got our drivers' licenses, our interactions were pretty much limited to waving to one another when we drove past the other on the road. I never really thought about him much until this past year when I read something I'd written about this weird day when I found him standing outside in the rain at school, kind of frozen and unable to speak, and I brought him inside to the warmest spot I could think of, the pool, and sat with him for a while, not talking. I have always had a severely soft spot for troubled souls.

Someone told me he was there last night. I spent about a half hour looking for him. I pushed my way through the tight-packed bar, avoiding the same people, looking at the faces over and over again, wondering if I was seeing him without seeing him. Finally I gave up and decided to go home. I felt like an old crotchety lady. The bar was loud, everyone was drunk, and I was sick of yelling the same thing over and over again, losing my voice, and so I'd begun to just give nonsensical answers and decided to leave. I was retrieving my coat when I looked up and there he was, sitting at a booth by the door with some blonde and some assholes I vaguely recognized. He wasn't the cute, sweet, slightly vulnerable looking boy that I'd remembered--surprisingly, a lot of guys still looked exactly that way--he'd gotten a lot bigger and meaner looking, but I approached them unafraid and he graciously rose to talk to me, to give me his full attention for the first time we'd laid eyes on each other in ten years.

The little exchange we had, the hugs we shared, made my night. Just by being there, by getting up and being there, Calvin made my night.

I couldn't live up to my expectations last night, which was tough on me. My current drug cocktail is making me a little spacier than usual. Combine that with PMS, stress, sobriety, and home-induced nicotine reduction and you've got Serious...Something.

The funniest moment of the evening was when this guy stopped me and called me the name of one of the four other Asian girls who were in my class. "Emily Lee," he said. "I got your message on facebook and..." I just smiled pleasantly and corrected him: "I'm Seriously." He went on. "Emily, I didn't expect to see you here." And I said again, louder, "I'm not Emily. I'm Seriously." And he slapped himself in the face and said, "Oh man, I'm so sorry! Seriously Serious! I'm so embarrassed! That's awful! And you were one of the people I actually respected and liked! I remember the last time I smoked pot with you and Chuck Smith. That sucks! Man! I'm so sorry. That's awful. I'm so sorry. I'm so embarrassed."

I said, "If it makes you feel any better, I have no idea who you are at all."

Monday, November 24, 2008

iPodic (extremely long post)

When things start to get really crazy in my life, I find it intensely comforting that no matter what happens, the songs in my iPod pretty much stay the same. That's not because I've been listening to the same music for years or anything, it just means that I'm too busy/lazy/distracted to swap out any of the songs on the limited space on this 4GB machine. So in times of extreme duress, when the world goes for a continuous assault on my cranium, I listen to the same 777 songs over and over again. It reminds me that oh yeah, yesterday when I listened to this same exact song, my life was like "this" and four days ago, it was like "this," and seven days ago, it was like "this." So they help to form some kind of stable backdrop to the WHA!...WHA!..WHA! that the world keeps pouring in.

Ah. Please note that I am blogging from Teacher's College, sitting across from one of the finest specimen's of male existence I have seen in several days. So if I seem a bit more distracted than's because I'm ovulating and there's an extremely hot man wearing a grey thermal shirt and a bandana pheremone-sniffing distance away from me.

Y'all got my email about Neighbor's accident, which meant that I spent eight wondrous hours in the "step-down" floor, which means "a step down from intensive care," but not yet in a regular room. Hospitals don't freak me out as much as a lot of people because my parents work in them and I spent some time in them as a kid wandering the halls, and lived in one for a week. I'm just intensely grateful that she is going to be okay and I'm glad that I can be here for her in whatever capacity possible. I can't help myself from making the cliche mention of how fragile life is, particularly when enclosed in a metal box zipping around at obviously unmanageable speeds. Have I mentioned how terrified I am of cars?

I love you, my friends. I cannot do anything without you, and the thought of losing any one of you makes me sick with anxiety. Sometimes I get so scared about things happening to people I love that I want to vomit or booze it away, and I was in a cold-sweaty state of paralysis for the ride out to the farthest fucken hospital in the five boroughs to find Neighbor. Of course I had to run from the main lobby to the emergency department, back to the main lobby, to the recovery floor, to the "step-down" intensive care unit until I actually laid eyes on her, and I attribute my two-week mark of sobriety to being strong enough not to cry and to deal with her family. Poor thing was doing a remarkable job of doing that herself with a goddamn neck brace and breathing tube on. She is so fucken strong.

I felt sad and vulnerable that day and I wanted to be coddled by a man, so I texted Joe. I felt a little sheepish about it because I thought I'd broken up with him that cuntly Friday two weeks ago that marked the end of some serious boozeness an the beginning of sobriety. I was a little surprised that he was down to see me again, but happy nonetheless. I promised myself to be good to him as his reward for coming to see me.

After eight hours in the 90-degree hospital, I went from Flushing, Queens to the Flushing G stop for Red's good-bye party, which was in his unheated warehouse loft space. It was difficult for about twenty minutes to not stare longingly at all the beer, which did not even need to be refrigerated. But then I had a good time. I kept an eye out for Joe, and did not even have to be anxious that he would show up because he is Joe, and Joe is dependable and sweet and he likes me. We had a good time dancing and that night I think we reached some kind of understanding, both independently and together.

These are the big realizations I've made about my feelings toward Joe:

1. I completely trust him. This should say it all. I've never felt this way about a boy since Prince, my very first boyfriend in high school.

2. I don't find him exciting at all. Or particularly funny. This is also the way I felt about Prince. Obviously I am drawn to guys I find exciting or funny, guys that provoke me in some way. With Prince I was just always excited to see him because I was in love with him. This definitely has something to do with the fact that I'm not intensely physically attracted to him, though I know for me that can change over time so I'm not particularly concerned about it.

3. I'm incredibly attracted to his stability and positivity. I particularly want to see him when I'm in bad mood or when I'm stressed out. When I'm feeling hyperactive or really good about life, I don't really think about him as much. I have no idea what this means.

4. I only want to have sex with him like once a week. I don't know what this means, because he's great in bed and I love it when we do have sex.

5. I complicate everything and he simplifies everything. If I were to send him this post, he would probably laugh and say, "Don't worry about it, dude. Things are good, right? Let's go for a walk and look at the river."

Joe makes everything okay. And he sings this kind of silly song that is so beautiful and comforting and hopeful and I want to listen to it all the time. If you go here and click on song #5 (There's a Place), maybe you'll agree with me. (oh boy distracting me with mannish sighing...bwahaha) It is nice to think about love today, because it has gotten cold and I am stressed about $chool and Neighbor and sober Thanksgiving but I feel good about things with Joe because when I left his place yesterday I didn't flee, as I am usually wont to do.

I think now that I am sober, I am actually ready to fall in love. And I got Joe to give me an mp3 file of his song that I'm obsessed with, so now I can put it on my iPod and incorporate it into my mental loop, so I think this will work out quite nicely.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Crush(ed)


Hardly slept last night, cried to my detox counselor, totally stressed because of school and sobriety and the crushing crushing abyss of sobriety is TWEAKING me out lately. 

Yesterday New Crush made my day by coming to the weekly lecture and sitting next to me, and I got to steal glances at him for an hour and a half, and then we had a nice smoke break together. Then not five minutes ago I ran into him outside and we talked about hanging out in suburban Chicago--where his folks live, be still my heart!--over the winter vacation, and then he dropped the g-bomb:


That horrible noise in my head: is that my teeth grinding, my soul crumbling, my heart breaking, or some wrenching combination of all three, made all the more poignant and unbearable by FUCKING SOBRIETY?!!!!

Focus, focus, focus, on unsurmountable amount of work I have to accomplish, and the light feeling that I had up until five minutes ago, before the explosion of the g-bomb. Let's harken back to December 31, 2006, close encounters with spastic crush-turned-My New Best Friend, when I decided to embark upon 2007: Love without Fear or Expectation, and recapture that kind of gusto, that is more about FUCK THE ALTERNATIVE than embracing reality.

Thank you. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

more on sex and love

Friday night I kind of went on autopilot and decided to go out with B, even though I am thick into Soberland and I think it's been three years since I had sex sober, with possibly the exception of Love Affair. I met up with B and was intensely bored. We went to two bars in the West Village that provided good fodder for some serious crowd-bashing, which was only mildly entertaining for a little while. I was frustrated at not being intoxicated. Then we took a long, awkward subway ride back to my apartment to have sex, which I desperately needed. In the absence of drugs and alcohol, I thought at least sex would fill some kind of void. But the void I wanted filled had more to do with feeling loved, I think, and B did a very bad job of feigning interest in me. I tried to recapture the drunken feeling of being infatuated with just about everyone, but it wasn't working, and I just felt bored. Secretly I think I just wanted him to fawn over me, but I think he was feeling self-conscious because I was so sober and antagonistic. I accused him several times in the evening of having no soul, and I wasn't really kidding. It came to a hilt when he told me he wasn't really into music.

I've never heard anyone say that before.

Flash back to earlier that evening, about an hour before B texted me, and you'll find me outside a cafe on the Lower East Side, answering a phone call from the Ex, who just broke up with the girl he's been dating ever since we broke up, almost three years ago. I'd called him last week just to see how he was doing, and wasn't planning on discussing anything farther, but then I found myself plunged deep into a conversation with him about how I felt I had failed him as a girlfriend, and how my inability to have a relationship since him is just emblematic of my fear that I can't be trusted with anyone's heart anymore. I told him that all of the short-lived relationships I've engaged in over the past few years only remind me of how mistrustful I've become of my own judgment, but also that I truly feel like I don't deserve love anymore because I had it once, and I just let it go. The other part is that it's a bad feeling to chase love all your life, only to find out that it's just not enough.

It was a great conversation. It's not like we've never talked about our breakup before, but I guess I just felt it was more permissible to speak frankly with him now that he's single. He told me that he felt the same way, that now after two failed three-year relationships, he's really certain that he's totally fucked up, and questioning when to compromise, when to accept, when to commit, when to quit. We both had the same questions but no answers.

Actually, my answer to all of this confusion was to go out and get laid, and I think his response was probably the same. And that's why the sex was so unsatifsying--not because of the sobriety, but because of the lack of love. But...I think they are related.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


In honor of my five-day sojourn into Soberland, I got a haircut at Arrojo Studio. It was fun. Student haircuts rule! It was $20. Check out

Soberland is a weird place to be. It's kind of like this world, but with more headaches, more sleep, and more deep sighing. At times I feel very optimistic and other times I think that I must be seriously masochistic. Another weird thing that has happened is that cigarettes don't taste as good, and I haven't been able to consume anything but white bread and water since Sunday. Oh and coffee. My new detox psychiatrist is really expen$ive and I kind of hate her. But maybe it's just because she took my booze away from me.

I have followed through with my plan to have an email affair with ACLU lawyer. It's so fun! I'm going to marry this guy. Or else just sleep with him in random locations across the world. Either option seems good to me. So does the email affair. If I have to give up everything else in life, I can still have this, can't I? Today he casualy invited me to meet him in Miami in January. Coincidentally, Miami--like Charleston-- is also a part of secret plan 437b...

I can give up everything except cigarettes and boys.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

serious sobriety

I'm on Dry Day 3, only this time I'm being sponsored by Ativan and I'm not feeling as panicky as I was on that horrible week in Sober September.

Doctor $400 (how much she charges for an hour) says that maybe the low-grade fever (101) I was running last night was a result of withdrawal. So now I'm on Ativan, which is a benzodiazepine drug, meaning it's like a muscle relaxer/anti-anxiety medication. I'm feeling quite a bit funny, which is better than FREAKING OUT by a long shot. Last week Doctor 4 said to me that maybe I should think about going sober as an adventure, to not be afraid. He said, "Can you think about it the same way you thought about going to Charleston? Like, 'I'm going to Sober-land!'" It made me laugh so hard. But now I'm enlisting the help of DJE to turn "Funkytown" into "Soberland" so I can listen to it in the mornings. Rad!

Ysterday I was shocked to get a voicemail from John, whom I spurned pretty hard several weeks ago. To try and excise all men from my life, I wrote both John and Joe a message and posted it on Missed Connections.

My MC to Joe and John

I usually think that my intense conversations with people are enough, but then they call me later, so hopefully this will be okay.

But you know me, I go crazy without boy drama in my life, so I've decided to have a long-distance email love affair with ACLU, who emailed me this week. It was such a charming email, and I wonder how I am going to respond to it. I think it'll be fun.

I'm not sure about sober-land, but Ativan-land is so far, so good.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

serious cuntliness

In anticipation of more serious sobriety ahead, I kind of went balls-out last night, in a mildly boozey evening bookended by coke and pot and filled with serious cuntliness. I slept through the entire rainy day and got out of bed at 6 p.m.

I finally returned Joe's phone call Thursday night and so he met up with me and Dolly and came with us to the party. I was feeling super amped and decided to call Curly and Red because I haven't seen them in so long and I thought that maybe having them around while Joe was there would put me on better behavior and pave the way for friendship.

Enter B, whom keets warned me away from about two months earlier, which landed me instead with John. I think B is cute, if not a little strange, and around 4 a.m. I ended up pulling him aside and telling him I wanted to make out with him, but I was there with Joe. We ended up making out in the hallway and I gave him my phone number and told him to call me next week.

I didn't go home with Joe. I honestly planned on doing it, but then I didn't feel like it. He got upset. We went outside and he basically told me that he didn't understand what was going on. I told him that we had talked about this before and that I'm not exactly relationship material right now, and that I just wanted things to be exactly the way they have been: casual, sporadic, and completely under my control. He was like, Yeah, I know. I thought I could do that too. But I don't think I can.

Joe and I have been nothing but honest with each other. I know exactly how he feels about me, and he knows that I cannot be as reliable as he needs me to be. He is the sweetest, most understanding guy ever, and I keep jerking him around like a little bitch and he doesn't deserve it. We were hugging our goodbyes on Grand Street when Strong popped her head out the window and took a photo of us.

I really wish I had a transcript of what was said last night.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

serious fiending

I am at the branch of the New York Public Library by my apartment, attempting to do work. Unfortunately, I left my cigarettes at home and I refuse to go to the store and shell out $8.fucking.50 for a whole new pack, so right now it is a question of how much longer I can continue to be effective on a deficiency of nicotine.

It's an experiment. I'm going to aim for two more hours before I accidentally gnaw through my tongue. If I were working on something other than $chool, I think I'd be okay. But it's been so rough lately...wah wah wah. This is why I cannot be in therapy! Once I start thinking about problems and whining about them, I cannot stop. It's like someone has given me license to be a whiny little bitch.

hope and change, and it's not about obama

...though I am so anxious about tomorrow's election that I don't know what to do!!

BTW, free Starbucks on election day, heads up...

On the advice of my new CMC doc, I'm "sobriety sampling" this week. I promised to try and do three drinks per day. I'll actually be happy with six. Gotta start somewhere. But, in an effort to do due diligence, I've switched to wine, so I can indulge my oral fixation for longer periods of time and not feel like I'm depriving myself.

I've been secretly obsessing over the nice man I met last weekend in Chahlston, and thinking that I really should marry an older man, and possibly even someone who lives all the way across the country. That would get rid of so many Y-chromosome-related challenges in my life, at least for the moment. I've never dated someone significantly older than me and I think the stability would be such a good thing for me. Maybe he would find my fear and loathing somehow charming. Or he would just put up with it because I'm twenty years younger than him.

So I haven't called Joe in two weeks, since that night I called him up and he came over to calm me down. He very sweetly offered to make me dinner when I got back, but I have been in such a wretched mood that the only people I can bear to speak to, much less be around, are people whom I've known for at least three years. He called me tonight and something tells me I'm not going to call him back. Suddenly all I can think is, "What the fuck would I say?" This is the problem when I ease off the drink. My body has some kind of liquid quota, and it just fills in the gaps with piss and vinegar.

But I'm trying. I have to keep telling myself that it's just like quitting smoking, that the moodiness will pass. I just wish it was May and not November, and that I was pulling out my sandals and pretty dresses and not putting them away. I have *such* a hard time with the cold.

Anyhow, Big Brother thinks I should stop hanging out with everyone I know who tolerates my misbehavior. Hence my third night at home in a row, though to be fair we did cook a massive dinner last night, and Saturday night Entourage kept me company. Trimming the fat to me means Joe, even though he has expressed interest in going sober with me. I guess I just don't believe him. John said the same thing about the coke, but that lasted all of one day. I guess more than belief in someone, I just don't think that anyone can take care of me except for me. That's not being cynical, I don't think, just realistic.

I just don't want sobriety to be lonely. But today Doc hit a nerve when he got me to reveal just how insecure I am when I am sober, how I allow my thoughts to torture me, how at times I feel like it's about to happen...that the destructo part of my psyche will finally win this war of attrition, and I will just SNAP violently or silently disintegrate...and that it will surprise people even more than it surprises me, because lately it's been harder and harder to engage in self-deception.

This blog is really on its way out. I feel like it's started to replace real human interactions. I assume that the ten or so of you read it and that I don't have to explain myself to you anymore, and I think this is a bad thing.

November be damned. We will win, I will win, we will get through this.