Hire me.

I don’t even know where or how to look for a new job anymore. I always knew my city was known for its medical and technological advancements and employment, but hitting the job market after finally getting my four-year degree is unnerving. Even the writing jobs are within medical or technological fields. Not something I can really jump into.

Publishing? Editing? Coming up empty-handed. I guess I could look more into tutoring and teaching. I gave up on one teaching application because it was so goddamn long, and also, I really don’t have any solid references.

LinkedIn has become so depressing. My pool of connections is a wading pool at best. Meanwhile one of my college pals got a job that is entirely writing based, at a reputable business that I’m fond of.

I’m happy for him. I am. But also, we both graduated in May.

What the fuck.

All I know is, if I have to stand for eight hours at a time for much longer, I might just bust both my knees, and if I can’t work on my lower body strength, I have no reason to go on.

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Fourth of July.

I think I fucked up cooking the spaghetti balls. I really only had to throw them in a pan with some oil, but they taste weird, so I guess vegetable oil was the wrong move. I can’t cook. Also, Bennett left red Gatorade in my fridge and I don’t know why she chose that flavor. Red. The red flavor.

“Sixteen Saltines” by Jack White is playing on a loop in my head. Black hat, white shoes, & I’m red all over. My nails are longer than they’ve been in years–somehow I haven’t bitten them off, and let’s not pretend I’m fucking any women.

“You should still try.”

The other night Susanna and I got way, way too drunk. I will shamefully admit that I used to sort of enjoy being casually passed around from friend to friend for innocent sexual experimentation, but now I feel like a piece of meat–you have fun with me for like five minutes but don’t even make a commitment beyond that, then when you sober up you all go back to your boyfriends. Literally. But part of me is still thinking, Make a fucking move, because I haven’t kissed anyone in two years, let alone had sex with anyone.

Oh boy, I’m really winning here.

So Susanna had her hand on my inner thigh about two inches from my crotch all night, her other arm around my waist, leaning onto me. She gleefully bit the side of my neck at one point. And I get wasted too, but I still have low self-esteem when I’m drunk, so I don’t make a move. Also, I have no intentions of ruining a good friendship.

Although I may have done that with a male friend of mine. I forget how infatuated I am with him and how badly I want to fuck him until I see him, which is seldom, and the last time, I was plastered. And way too handsy. Because I get handsy when I’m really drunk. I didn’t grope him or anything, but it was probably pushing the boundary of, “She’s just being drunkenly affectionate.” Nah, I wanted to fuck.

Who’s jealous of who?

97 degrees.

It’s only the third day of July (by the way, happy birthday, dad) and I’m already torn down, oppressed by my own dwindling mental health, and unsure of what to do with myself. I’m supposed to be at work in nine minutes and although I carefully crafted my face to be suitable for the day, I’m still in the clothes I slept in last night and I’m looking for other jobs; although I’ve been doing that for a little while now.

I just can’t do it today. I really can’t. And I’ve never not called in. I’ve never just failed to show up. But I can’t bear to dial the number, hear the profound disappointment and frustration in my manager’s voice. It’ll just be strike one, anyway, and the guilt of letting down my coworkers will eat me up more than any threat of punishment.

Dealing with customers, assholes, has started to just absolutely crush me. The most infuriating part of my job is not being able to stand up for myself–someone dumps on you but you just have to continue to be polite to them, because for some fucked up reason, they have the power and you don’t.

Looking outside right now, I love this world. But my god, people have got to learn some basic decorum. Actually, people over the age of 40. Middle-aged people and the elderly have such an unwarranted sense of self-entitlement. Damn millennials abiding by the company policies of the places they work for.

I can’t quite determine if I’m actually about to take a nosedive into a depressive episode or if this is purely circumstantial depression, but I hope it’s the latter. I’ve been pretty stable for a while (except for that final semester of school, but even then I was managing better than I had in the past) and the constant fear of losing that is exhausting. I’m lonely, I’m drained by my job, I have little money, and all the hopes I ever had for any sort of future seem so unattainable, even in the smallest sense. I mean, I don’t even know what else to look for in terms of finding a different job, a job that pertains to my actual skills and my actual degrees. I live in a city that is fueled by hospitals, rapidly growing technology, and anything related to the hard sciences. I have a two-year degree in psychology and a four-year degree in English. Which seem like decent degrees, but around here, it’s certainly proving not to be the case.

A posting for an internship at one of the local news stations required “previous internship experience.” Goddamn.

 

Loneliness Stole My Orgasm, Damn It.

Once, maybe a year or two ago, my dad emailed me something about introverts. Even at the time, I ignored it. For the majority of my life I’ve seemed like an introvert, and may have been one for many years, but I’m really not one now. Also, I’m not super fond of slapping words onto my identity just for the sake of social congruence.

Throughout my early twenties–I’m not quite at mid-twenties yet, but it is coming–I’ve learned that I really am a social person. Am I the most skilled when it comes to social situations? No, but I’m far better than I was even a few years ago. I can attempt to mingle at a party, on the off chance I’m invited to one, and I have no problem introducing myself to new coworkers, acquaintances, or peers. But what is most revealing, I think, is how blatantly “extroverted” and, well, joyful when I’m with people I truly love.

For two straight weeks I didn’t speak to one of my very best friends–we had an argument, she wanted some space, and so I gave it to her, which is something I really struggle with. Admittedly, it is sort of greedy. It’s not that I have any emotional issue with giving someone space if they want it, it’s just that I crave companionship, entertainment, and conversation, and I have very few people to provide me with those things. That makes my loneliness dig into me even deeper–not speaking to her for two weeks was incredibly isolating. There were so many moments I wanted to share with her that I couldn’t, and so many times I just wanted someone to sit outside with me and talk, but I couldn’t ask her. I’m so used to seeing her pretty much every day that her absence weighed on me.

I’m lonely. I’ve been lonely for a long time, but it’s become increasingly more severe. My entire being aches for consistent companionship; emotional connections; the freedom of vulnerability; laughter. The thought of making new friends as someone who has severed ties with higher education, finally, and has a social outreach of about the length of a baby’s arm, it seems so improbable. I don’t even want new friends, really–I know I’ll never be able to have a bond with anyone else the way I have a bond with the three greatest loves of my life–but I know I need new friends. I just don’t even know where to begin.

I’ve read that loneliness comes from not feeling understood, but for me, right now, it really just feels like loneliness because I’m alone. And god, I can’t tell you how tired I am of erupting into a sudden burst of momentary tears every time I have an orgasm. Masturbation was the one thing in life that I had by the balls, and now that’s gone too.

Am I Unattractive or Unapproachable?

I’m sure a vast number of women (and men) have asked themselves this at some point. Honestly, I think I know the answer for myself–both.

Yes, I have pretty severe body dysmorphia; I spend copious amounts of time inspecting my face in mirrors, going over what I think is wrong with it. One of my eyebrows is slightly higher than the other, my nose is too wide for my face, I have low cheekbones, no jawline, my eyes are too small, my upper lip is too thin, my skin is flawed. The discrepancy go on and on with my face and my body. What I would give to not have the shoulders of a linebacker…

My self-esteem has gotten worse with each year. With each week, really. To be honest, I thought it couldn’t get any worse, but 23 has been the age I’ve experienced the lowest self-esteem of all time. When I look for books to possibly aid me, they really don’t delve into physical self-esteem issues; it’s almost entirely about emotional self-esteem issues. And no, I am not one hundred percent confident in that area either, but I am extremely confident about who I am as a person. I know my values, I know I’m intellectual and intelligent. I’m rational yet also emotional. I’m good at communication. I know I’m talented and capable, and I’m a great friend. I know my self-worth.

Except not when it comes to how I look, which seems to trump everything else.

It’s difficult to feel confident in how I look for a lot of reasons. I’ve analyzed my appearance with such scrutiny, and I’ve found “rational” explanations to explain why I’m so unattractive. And yes, my friends occasionally try to tell me otherwise, but they’re biased because they think my personality and who I am is attractive–not necessarily how I look. Also, throughout my entire life, no one ever told me I was attractive. Distant relatives and friends of my parents would comment on my brother and I and they would automatically declare that he was attractive. Me? I honestly can’t recall ever hearing that from anyone. It probably didn’t help that throughout childhood and adolescence, my brother actively berated me about being unattractive.

No one’s ever really complimented me (and it happens very rarely now–although I do have one friend to thank for telling me I look nice ever now and again), so I find it hard to believe.

I also know I’m unapproachable. I definitely have “resting bitch face.” In fact, I’ve had multiple people tell me I actually look like I’m on the verge of murder. At the very least, I know I look angry a lot of the time. Everyone I’ve ever become friends with has told me that before I actually talked to them (and sometimes after), they thought I didn’t like them and that I would be an unpleasant person.

Last night my friend and I went out for St. Patrick’s Day–sort of. I got looped into it, but I was glad I was sober for the multiple and extensive interactions with new people.

Soon after sitting myself down outside, I lit a cigarette and silently observed my over-stimulating surroundings: two very drunk girls standing next to me, a group of well-dressed men smoking a blunt on the other side of the picnic table, a man climbing a hardened snowbank to write something in chalk on the cement wall. A guy sat down across from me, and we made eye contact, so I gave him the inverted head-nod gesture. You know, when you quickly jerk your jaw forward in recognition? That’s usually what I do.

He was also silent, and out of my peripheral vision I caught him shooting me glances quite a bit. Eventually he asked me, “How are you?” I replied with, “I’m alright. How are you?” to which he responded, “Are you sure you’re alright?”

I laughed. “I’m alright,” I assured him. I knew why he was asking–I looked fucking pissed. “I use anger as a defense mechanism.”

We sat in silence again until I asked what was going on with him. It didn’t take me long to realize he was plastered. At one point he asked if I was single, to which I said yes. He asked why and I said, “Have you seen my demeanor?”

Nevertheless, I was happy to have talked to my new and very drunk friend.

Later in the night, my friend and I sat around the fire pit. Two of her friends had joined us as well. A bearded man in a short-sleeve button-up sat down next to my friend.

Listen, I actually love meeting new people, but I’m usually unwilling to break the ice–mostly, if not entirely, due to how I feel about the way I look. This guy eventually broke the ice for us by asking my friend what she studied at school. Then he asked her female friend. He didn’t ask me. So my friend came to my rescue and told him which school I go to, and then he asked what I studied and what I wanted to do.

It’s being an afterthought that really makes me feel hurt. It’s a pattern, and it’s a shitty one.

Soon it became just myself, my friend, and this man. The three of us talked, and we were both enthralled by his personal life for a few very specific reasons. I thought, “This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to speak to a man like this” so I decided that no matter what, I would ask for his phone number. I ended up asking to add him on Facebook, since that seemed more approachable (ah! That word). He seemed to happily agree to this and added the two of us. He also invited us to a party he’s having this weekend.

As the three of us were talking, a young man, extremely plastered, sat down next to our new friend. He asked the names of us “ladies.” After my friend introduced herself, he repeated her name and said “pretty” and licked his lips. Then I said my name. Boom. Not a person of interest, clearly.

We parted ways with our new friend as the lights of the bar came on and the bouncer shooed us out (although he seemed genuinely pleased that I wished him a good night; I’m sure it was a tough night for him). As I stepped outside, a dude said, “Hey girl” but I honestly don’t know if he was talking to my friend or myself.

As I pulled the car up, a man driving by honked at my friend.

Okay, I’m not wishing for myself to be sexually harassed in any way, but I’m the only female I know who hasn’t been (insert laugh track here).

And now I have this party to figure out. My friend actually can’t go, so I have to fly solo. And there’s no fucking way I’m gonna be sober for it, so I’ll have to shell out money for an uber. But that’s not the problem. The problem is, I’ll be alone. I’ve never been to a party myself. That’s terrifying enough, but even more terrifying is the fact that I barely know the host.

However, I’m very much into the host. It may be a little rash to declare that, but the more we talked with him, the more I realized how much I was aroused by him. It didn’t help that he put on an incredible red velvet blazer as we exited. What a dreamboat. Viewing his Facebook photos sealed the deal. Well, for me anyway.

Basically, I can’t determine if he was more into my friend than me. I would guess that he probably was. I just imagine him being disappointed that she didn’t show up. Also, I don’t flirt well. I never do it consciously and when it does happen inadvertently, I’m usually extremely aggressive or become a little self-deprecating to try and avoid actually becoming flirtatious.

This is a conundrum. And I don’t have therapy again until after the party happens, but perhaps that’s a good thing. I don’t know how to end this post–I guess my original statement still stands. The answer is both.

Dear C.

My first distinct memory of you is from our poetry workshop–you sat across the circle from me, and during one of our impromptu writing sessions, you began playing a Radiohead song from your phone, stating that listening to them is something you like to do when you write.

I remember thinking at the time that I only knew a handful of Radiohead songs and also who were you to be so bold?

And then you created such a deep love affair between Radiohead and myself that, to this day, I get chills whenever I listen to them, and none of my friends listen to them, so I have no one to go on about Thom Yorke to or listen to the entirety of In Rainbows with.

Friday nights were ours.

We would sit on your bed amidst the anti-capitalist artwork you created and the candlestick holder made from an empty brown beer bottle and drink Yuengling and smoke cigarette after cigarette until my hair was drenched in the scent of smoke and my lungs quaked.

The first time I did coke was after one of our group writing meetings, just a few blocks from your apartment. It was a sunny day in winter, and I drank a beer and did a single line and didn’t feel much.

That didn’t stop us though.

You’d play The King of Limbs from your laptop as we cut lines on the floral-print plastic tray. I’d tie my hair back, press the rolled up piece of paper to my nostril and inhale. We wouldn’t even go out. We just sat and let out tongues and teeth move at top speed.

I still have the Javas coffee card you used to cut the lines with. You told me I was great at cutting lines. I guess I can put that on my resume.

I fucking loved you. There’s no doubt in my mind. I fucking loved you. I loved your scratchy voice and how your hair cascaded down your back, how you deliberately let your black negligee glide off your shoulder as you sat with your thighs crossed over the mattress.

I loved you despite the dirt beneath your nails. I loved you when you were a crumpled heap in my arms, and I brought you dark chocolate and Tension Tamer tea.

Not long ago, while at work, I pressed my face into a shirt someone donated because it smelled exactly fucking like your apartment–like laundry detergent and lilies and cigarette smoke.

Hell, there was even one time when I was in your bathroom, and, after reading the back cover of your copy of Slaughterhouse Five, I plucked your discarded black thong from the tile floor and pressed it against my nose.

Because I’m a creep.

I’m a fucking weirdo.

Even at the time, I knew it was a tragic thing, to love you. To want you.

And I don’t even know how we split apart. It just happened. I do that to people eventually–I just inch further and further away. You called me up one evening and I drove over, and it was like old times. I cried about my mother. We saw each other again that summer, sat on a park bench outside and drank iced coffees, talked about our mothers.

I’m truly sorry I became cold. Seeing you at my new school was like seeing a ghost. Your voice no longer charmed me. I didn’t know what to say to you. And I’m sorry.

But I see that you’re happier than ever now. You seem so fucking happy and I’m so glad that you are and even though it makes me sad, I know if I had stayed in your life, you wouldn’t be this happy, because that’s just how the world ties things together. It’s the butterfly effect.

I hope someday you’ll call me up again. I know you won’t. It’s okay. I’ll think about calling you but I won’t ever do it.

People come and go.

God, you’re unreal. You always were.

Dear D

I’m pegging our first interaction as you complimenting my pink sweater in what I think was 8th grade. I recall debugging you in my own reserved, shy way. Fast forward to a year later; we’re holding hands in the middle of the mall.

You were the first friend I loved while also knowing what love means.

Our high school days were full of teenage angst, mood swings, but most importantly, the hundreds of folded pieces of loose leaf paper scribbled with blue pen. Doodles of characters you made up, the never-ending song lyrics that I had memorized; talk of boys, teachers we didn’t like, spiralling emotions. God, we were the epitome of outcast teenage girls.

I don’t know why the universe treated you so poorly. From the moment you were conceived, you were doomed. And, unlike adults with choices, you were a child and you were helpless. You were flung into a household that denied you love and spoonfed you dirt and lies. I’m sorry for the time you hid under the house in the dark. I’m sorry for all the wails against your body. I’m sorry for all the times the people you were bound to by blood turned their back on you and ignored your pleas, your whimpering eyes.

There was one day in February when we were sitting in Dunkin Donuts and you were wearing the hot pink hoodie I had given you. You started crying.

You were in the habit of lying face down on your bed and texting boys until you fell asleep. Shit, I tried to tell you. Not so much in words, I’m sure, but I tried to tell you that you deserved better than to get fucked from behind outside the public library. You deserved better. You wanted love. And they just fucking preyed on that.

God, we had good fucking times. Remember when I ran out of pot and we smoked catnip? Our weed connections were few and far between. I loved smoking with you. I wish I could remember it all, but I remember very little of it. But it brings me a bittersweet feeling.

You always wanted a baby. And now you have one. A little girl. Shit. I knew it would happen but I always hoped it wouldn’t.

Please tell me you haven’t forgotten taking a pregnancy test in my bathroom when you were 16.

Please tell me you haven’t forgotten all the obscene doodles that I would see once I unfolded the pieces of paper.

You must remember when you got shit-faced for the first time on vodka and pissed on your hamster’s grave and I tricked you into drinking water.

I dreamed about you the other night–I know it was a dream, because if it was real life, I don’t know how I would react to you. But in the dream, you were happy. You weren’t doing anything “amazing,” but you were happy. No baby. It was truly like seeing an old friend.

I think about you for a while, and then I don’t for a while.

You’ll always have a place in my heart.