"you don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man,
but you do have some say in who hurts you."

The Fault in Our Stars

i have a lot of things to tell you!

i recently discovered that maybe my blog isn't as safe a place as i thought so i'm wary of disclosing all my thoughts and feelings (which are manifesting themselves in abundance these days, as you'll see from my very deep comments below) but anyway here they are.

1. i tripped walking up the stairs today. yes, i was wearing a skirt, and yes it was a short skirt, but no there was no one around to see it. so, kind of an anticlimactic story.

2. i just discovered that i love cauliflower?? I AM MAKING SO MANY SELF DISCOVERIES LATELY.

3. you know those people that you "can't decide" about? like you can't decide if they're attractive, or if you like them; and if you do decide, you can't decide why you decided that, like you don't like or not like them for a particular reason, or they're not attractive or unattractive for any particular feature, so you just can't decide? i think i might be one of those people. i'm just undecidedly whatever, i think. or maybe i can't decide what i think of myself. decide is a weird word.

4. i got twooooo letters in the mail today. i always hate thursdays because i get tons of spammy mail on thursdays, but today i got tons of spammy mail and two legitimate letters. they almost made me cry (except nothing makes me cry anymore, cold and dead inside or something.)

one said "you never once tried to put the spotlight on yourself or receive recognition." which is the biggest compliment ever, i can't put into words why, but it makes me feel like my heart could explode of gratitude. (it's also a counter-intuitive thing to say on my blog, where i only talk about myself, but just go with it.)

the other letter was from someone who used to be one of my best friends in the whole world. he actually introduced me to the only person i've ever thought of as "the love of my life" (note: this is no longer thought of him, but he is probably still "the only significant love of my life up to this point.") the letter had starwars stickers and words like "dude" "sup" "perspective" "da hood" "depths of humility" "low down" "purifying power" etc etc etc. He also told me to tell my brothers "WHAT UP DAWGS," and called them by the nicknames he gave them. which they still use.

boys who love my brothers are like. i can't even.

which leads me to...

5. yesterday, my mom was talking about how good my sisters boyfriance (they can't decide) is with my little brothers. and she said "he's almost as good with them as bryson was." and i was like. Gahhhh - knife in my stomach for losing the only boy who loved my brothers as much as he loved me, which is more than anyone else ever has, sooooo.

6. i get closure, i guess, by trying to force myself to have feelings for people who i was previously involved with, and then realizing that I couldn't make myself because there was a reason we were no longer involved, and then i move on, like in the middle of the swing of things, because i realize that i'm bored/unattracted/tired/whatever. I've done this with 3 out of the 4 legit-ish relationships i've ever had, is that a normal thing?

7. i guess that's all.

'eva's cafe' inspired thoughts

okay, so lately i've been thinking a lot about love.

(haven't we all.)

not my own love but just the concept of love. you know, from an anthropological standpoint, the idea of love and how it occurs in people.

i did a lot of 'couple stalking' (which is like people watching, but weirder) this weekend in the city. i saw people who i would think would be... 'over' or 'above' love, being in love!

i watched two gangster-thugs make small chat while holding their women's purses and pretending to care whether or not "this dress shows too much ass."

i watched a tatted, gadged biker man tenderly kiss his girl when they met for brunch, and listen and chime in on stories about her day. (why is it so hard to find people who chime in on things? i'm not talking to you for my HEALTH here, is how i feel about it.)

and it just makes me wonder how people find themselves susceptible to such a fickle emotion.

and what's more, how do people go about it so cavalierly?!

in order to be in love, i feel like conditions have to be just right. both people have to be receptive to affection, open to trust and commitment, dedicated to respectful communication, etc etc etc. which, one would think is just the rarest thing for two compatible souls in the right place for love to find each other.

i've only been in love once. like real, true, head over heels, do anything for you, perfect for each other, i can tell you anything love. just once. and now we're not in love and he's actually in love with and engaged to someone else, which i find to be perfectly okay, but i mean.

some people fall in love a dozen times by age 21.

and i just want to know HOW?

anyway, if there's one thing i learned while couple-stalking and shopping around it's that the only thing i want for in life is a flattering, comfortable, long-er-ish chambray dress. is that so hard to ask??

this is a long story about stupid teenaged, angst-y love. enjoy.

american heritage, first semester, freshman year.

while there were more than 400 people in my section, there were maybe 22 people in my weekly lab. i honestly had no interest in getting to know any of them.

my campus routine was always the same.
pull on my shoes, shrug on my backpack, put in my headphones.
walk to class.
if i arrived more than 7 minutes early, i would go to the bathroom or peruse the vending machine until it was appropriately early to go to class.
swing off my backpack, slouch into my desk and wait until class began to wrap up my headphones.
silence for the duration of the class.
bell ring, headphones in, backpack on, out the door.

most of the people in my lab had a similar routine. not many people participated. only two or three students answered questions on a regular basis, and it was generally more out of wanting uncomfortable silences to end and less about having a genuine desire to contribute to the 'discussion.'

once, the grad student who taught our lab asked if anyone could describe the difference between a flat and a progressive tax. silence. i thought of the debate i'd had with a group of guys the night before on the very subject, and as time and silence dragged on, i reluctantly raised my hand.

at the same time, one of the regular-participants also raised his hand, and our instructor sighed and called on him. as i put my hand down, the grad student noticed my movement and cut-off the fellow student with an almost urgent tone.

"michal! did you have your hand raised?!"


"oh! please! go ahead! sorry!"

and then i went on to give a very eloquent and riveting answer, i'm sure.

anyway, about a month after the semester ended, i met that very fellow student whose answer i'd stolen.

and a few months after that, i fell in love with him.

it wasn't like weird high school "i love you" after three weeks kind of love. i didn't even actually think it was love at all.

it was like... i never had the urge to touch him. granted, i'm fairly well-known for my aversion to human touch, but still... usually when i'd had interest in a boy, i'd had serious interest in touching them. hand-holding, at the very least. but never with this kid.

i just wanted to be around him all the time. he was smart and interesting and adorably awkward. never-kissed-a-girl-and-probably-wouldn't-be-interested type of awkward and i thought it was all just incredibly charming.

and, because i was kind of intense and overbearing at the sweet age of 19 and he was kind of terrified of women, he freaked out and stopped talking to me so i made out with his room mate who was actually dating my room mate and it was this big stupid mess that kind of ruined my otherwise wonderful freshman experience, which probably isn't the ending you were looking for, but my point is---

for 4 months, i sat next to someone who i still, to this day, wonder about. it's been 4 years, and sometimes i'm still like... what if things had gone differently? you know?

and for those 4 months, i didn't know his name or even look at his face.

and that, my friends, is just the most hilarious case of love-life foreshadowing you could probably find on this earth.

don't get me wrong, vacations are really, really great. and i needed a vacation, you know? i needed to quit my job and go on a week long vacation--on the water!!--without worrying about anything and knowing that when I return I'll be starting a new job that i'm excited (terrified) about.

that's what i needed.

but also. while i was out there, i couldn't help but feel like i just needed my own bed, and my own space, and my own friends, and a little break from my neurotic self-analysis.

but how do you get a break from your own head?

no amount of distance can give you that.

anyway, i'm back and i'm tan and i really did have a wonderful time, and now i'm going to stress over what i'm going to wear on my first day because worrying about frivolous things like that is easier than worrying about potentially having just made a horrible decision or failing and realizing i've wasted my last 5 years in school on something i am not cut out for.

so my question to you is..... how do you feel about coral and black?

necessity of necessity

i stared helplessly at the neatly folded t-shirts in my drawer. i had nothing left to do.

i had sorted through every last belonging of mine, throwing some things out, stashing others in a large sack for charity, and finding permanent homes for the rest. my linen shelves were methodically organized, towels and sheets in their proper places. my bureau drawers were cleaned out and tidily arranged. the gift wrapping supplies and extra boxes in my coat closet was sorted and tucked away. i had rearranged my dish cabinets 3 times and replaced picture frames, pillows, and furniture. the vacuum had run it's usual course through the apartment several times that week. even the rugs were freshly shaken and cushions recently fluffed.

i'd started spending more time at my aunt's house. she was hopelessly busy and lived in a state of cheerful chaos at all times. i busied myself with video projects and excess laundry, piles of dishes and dirty windows. i worked my way through the family, curling hair and applying make-up, trailing behind and holding extra clothing during family pictures.

i found friends with tired bodies and precious children to babysit for, neighbors struggling to prepare for extended vacations, co-workers with impossible love lives.

the time eventually came that i was not needed.

i had nothing to do. i had nothing that needed to be done, and no one that needed me.

i hadn't heard from my sister in weeks.

i had caught her tucking away pictures of dresses, rings, and flowers. it seemed "a year" was no longer the plan, and she hadn't breathed a word of it to me.

she usually didn't talk to me when she was happy. she didn't need me when she was happy.

i hadn't heard from the rest of my family much, either, except for the occasional text message from my mom. she was working double-shifts at the diner and i could hear in her voice that she was exhausted, but more content than she had been in a while. she needed the job at the diner.

but she didn't need me.

not even my office needed me. they knew it, i knew it, my co-workers knew it. i wasn't valuable to the company, which made me less motivated, pushing my necessity further down the scale. i was filling space, and occasional conversation, and that was about it.

tracing my hands over the folds of clothing in the drawer, my mind drifted to a time when i was needed. wanted. thought-of, at the very least.

it wasn't a pleasant experience.

yet, here i was, feeling unneeded and wishing someone would call me with a crisis so i could feel some type of purpose once again.