Down in the gutter.

It’s always a little disappointing when someone asks I am and they immediately disregard what I’ve said and delve into a whole spiel about their own misfortunes, in this case, something I’ve been hearing about for a long time. To me, the solution is simple.

The terrible rap music pulsates against my eardrums, gyrates in my skull. It is not fitting for my defeated and agitated mood and I’m tempted to change it but what would be the point? It’s only four more minutes out of…

I hear the word “boyfriend,” in a vapid attempt to relate to my expression of loneliness and dissatisfaction, and I literally roll my eyes to the roof of the car.

It’s a good thing that it’s dark outside.

“He’s a bum,” I want to say. She’s said it herself. I’ve agreed. But I still want to say those exact words in a bitter yet confident tone. I don’t want to say it to be cruel. I want to say it because I know she can do better.

Because, honestly, he’s like all those empty beer cans he’s probably recycled for five cents apiece.

I know this person. I know him very well. I know his manipulations and pathetic attachments and inability to help himself, or perhaps, his lack of desire to help himself. I know he will drag himself into the ground, and, if she’s not careful, she will be dragged down with him.

As she said, “I put up with everything.”

Advertisements

Taking (Another) Break.

I’ve been on the same dating website on and off for about six years now. I’ve been on my fair share of dates, but nothing’s ever amounted from them. I got pressured into giving a guy a handjob when I was 18, and that’s really the highlight.

Which is pretty sad.

Then came tinder. I’m pretty sure, if my memory is correct (which, to be fair, it is often not), I’ve only met two people from tinder–that guy I met who drove me to the res (which I wrote a blog post about last year), and a person who I fell for but ended up just wanting to be friends with me (and that’s where we are today).

I was talking with this friend recently about the frustrations I’ve been having, and she’s been having many similar ones. She has come to the conclusion that she is unlovable—while I tried to argue with her on this, I see where she’s coming from. If it hasn’t happened already, it probably never will happen, and probability and simple logic lead her to believe that she is the common factor, so it must be her.

I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the idea.

I’ve spent years trying not to believe those exact thoughts. I’ve spent my entire young adult life holding onto this hope that someday I will find someone. And I’m not even asking for a long-term partner or a soulmate–I’m merely asking for someone to show me a little bit what it’s like to be romanced, to be loved, to have a good time, to have something special with someone, even if for a while.

But, it seems highly unlikely.

Last night I checked Tinder and, lo and behold, the guy who I had talked with at the bar for a little while who I also matched with on the app, unmatched with me.

Now, this really isn’t a big deal. But I was still befuddled. Any number of reasons could have caused this unmatching, but damn, you’d think, Hey, we’ve already talked, sliding into this online conversation will be a lot easier.

But I don’t think people on tinder are that serious. Tinder is game. It’s an ego-boosting app, and that’s usually the end of it.

So I deleted all my “dating apps.” Because my friend may be right–it may be time to give up the ghost. It may be time to just try and accept being alone. Sure, I’ve tried before, but I was younger then, and now that I’m 23 with a pretty solid understanding of myself, maybe it’s time.

The reality is, not everyone meets somebody else. And it seems like that’s probably my reality.

Men Die Young

I was actually excited about this “date” (thanks, Tinder…) but sitting in the passenger side of this stranger’s car, listening to the Deftones, has me totally unenthused. Maybe this person’s lack of simple manners stems from the fact they went to Rush-Henrietta and don’t trim their beard enough. Beards are fine, but there’s a limit. I haven’t made eye contact with him once, nor has he tried to make eye contact with me. He inhales his cigarette really sharply and exaggerated and I expect him to say something each time. He’s boring. Or maybe I’m boring.

Sitting in the passenger seat, I know why men die younger: because they drive like lunatics. I keep thinking, I don’t want my parents to see my mangled corpse in the wreckage of this strange man’s car. On sharp turns it takes all of my muscles working together to keep myself in the seat. He changed the music and turned it up even louder. As if I’m not deaf enough as it is.

His lack of manners come even more into play when we reach the reservation. He doesn’t wait for me to get my cartons, or wait for me to pay, or even wait to head back to his shit-mobile. Again, no eye contact. On the drive back he plays some terrible punk-metal-teen-angst-sounding band that I hate. Commercials via Spotify keep coming on, either advertising beer or sex or both. I watch the sphere of the sun in the reflection of the window. It’s silent. My mind wanders.

I think about how getting an 8.5 out of 10 on a poem isn’t good enough. I think about how I need to participate in my classes more, and that project that’s coming up that I need to email my professor about. And that paper on Orlando which I really need to start writing. I think about the possibility of being raped, and I think about how I’ve never thought of that before. I think about how I need to buy booze but I have so little money and I really hope my paycheck is decent this week but I know it will be mere pennies. I think about how dry my mouth is and how cold the inside of the car is.

I have nothing to ask this person.

There’s not even a handshake on parting, which would have been weirdly formal but I’d take anything over him scuttling back into his apartment, which, only God knows what that looks like. It takes me a minute to back out of the small, snow-choked driveway and I head back toward 490, toward home, with a cigarette between my fingers. I took a chance. I took a chance, and I only wasted two hours of my life. But at least I got a free ride to the reservation. There is that.

–Zara

Another Post About Being Single.

The last time I saw my psychiatrist, this past Tuesday, I mostly only had good news to bring him up to speed on: I’m doing well on my new medication combo, I ended my first semester at my new university with pretty fantastic grades, and work is going okay. Among a couple of key issues in my life right now, one of the ones I chose to bitch about, which I never do with him (which goes to show how much it’s been bothering me), is how I’m still single after nearly 22 years of living.

Now, I know I’m not the only one. There are plenty of other people out there in my position. But I don’t interact with them. All of my friends, except one, have been in relationships or are in relationships. They’re all more sexually experienced. They all have better social skills. Most importantly, they’re seen as attractive individuals.

My psychiatrist said that when I don’t want it, it will happen. I dispute that. I go through phases of wanting and not wanting it. There have been many periods in my life in which I genuinely did not care. It didn’t happen then, so I dispute that theory. He also said, as many others have, that it will just “happen.” Sure, maybe, but when?

I feel constantly rejected in many ways. I feel rejected from my coworkers; always on the outside, never part of the group. I feel rejected by my peers; the quiet one, the more eccentric one, the one who is not like the others. I feel rejected by society for the same reasons. I feel rejected by both men and women and everyone in between. Maybe I’m not straight enough for men. Maybe I’m not gay enough for women. Maybe I’m too tall, too fat, my bone structure isn’t sharp enough, my neck isn’t long enough, my eyes aren’t big enough, my lips aren’t full enough, my limbs aren’t elegant enough, my clothes aren’t nice enough, maybe I’m just all around a piece of shit. I don’t know. I don’t know how I’m perceived. But I do know that I am not seen as attractive. And that’s partially my own fault, so I will indeed own up to that. But even when I was borderline-thin, I was in the same position as I am now, just with a bit more self-esteem. So what does that say?

I’m just tired of it. And what gets to me the most is knowing it will not change. I will continue to eat away at myself because of this for years to come. I used to say when I was 16 and 17 that I’d be shocked if I were to date anyone by the time I was 20. Well, I’m past that age point. Nowadays, I think even 30 is asking for the moon.

I was feeling good earlier today.

I guess I need to stop thinking about people who have rejected me.

–Zara

D.U.F.F.

also known as, “Designated Ugly Fat Friend.”

I wasn’t always a D.U.F.F. Well, not to the extent that I am now, anyway. I once worked out four times a week. My legs were muscular and toned. My stomach was almost flat, which in turn made my breasts look larger. I never had hips or a nice ass, but back then, my ass was a little less flat. My face was thinner, more angular. But even then, people paid no attention to me. No one asked me out. No one eyed me or said hi to me.

My friends Megan and Susanna are not D.U.F.Fs. I am their D.U.F.F. Susanna is small and has the epitome of “birthing hips” and a voluptuous chest, and long, long blonde hair and blue eyes. She actually does look better without makeup. Her skin is the most perfect I’ve ever seen. We made out once. Megan is a little taller and works out all the time. She has a nice ass and toned legs and large breasts. Her face is nothing special, but she has that non-threatening, flirtatious, nice-girl vibe that people really like. She’s had lots of boyfriends and hook-ups.

It must be nice to peak the interest of not only men, but also women, I think. It must be nice to be perceived as attractive. It must be nice to get invited to social events. It must be nice to have a partner who loves you for who you are.

A few nights ago, Megan and Susanna went to an…”upscale” frat party. If you can call it that. The point is, everyone dressed up to get beer funnelled into their throats. Susanna’s boyfriend is in the frat, which is why she went. But she attempted to set up Megan with one of Ethan’s friends, even though Megan has a boyfriend. Megan went along with this, despite expressing her feeling uncomfortable with the whole thing. She just can’t say no. Ever.

Bennett brought up a good point last night, as we sat in her car and smoked our cigarettes: even though we’re the single ones, Susanna still chose to set Megan, who is taken, up with someone over us.

It was probably never even a thought in her head.

And all my life, with every friend I’ve had, I’ve asked, “Do you know anyone you could set me up with?” The answer has always been no. Whether that’s more so because of me than the other person, I don’t know. But damn it, stop being greedy and just introduce me to your single friends so maybe I can get somewhere in life.

As I was wrapping my friend’s Christmas presents today, Susanna sent me a text with a picture of a note from a guy named Steve who goes to MCC. He wrote down his name and number. Because she smiled at him. Because they made eye contact.

This has never happened to me. Nothing even remotely close to that has ever happened to me. But it’s nothing that unusual for Susanna. Or Megan.

So, here I am. The D.U.F.F. Eternally making my friends look even better by comparison, eternally alone in my D.U.F.F.-ness.

-Zara

How To: Revert Back To The “Coffee Date”

Alright, she wants to get coffee. You haven’t been on a “coffee date” since you were 19 and a little less intelligent than you are now, and way less sure of yourself than you are now. You know you hate the coffee date. She gets out of work at 5:30, wants to meet at six. Six o’clock in the evening isn’t the greatest time to drink coffee. Maybe you can get something else. Get a fucking tea.

You’re a suburbanite. Going downtown is just a very easy way to become irritated, stressed, and lost all within a matter of seconds. You’ve never been to this cafe. You’ve been told there’s convenient parking, but where the fuck is it? The lot behind the cafe connects to a tattoo parlor and it looks small anyway. You figure you can’t park there, so you turn around and go back to the huge lot that is connected to nothing yet has a sign that tells you your unauthorized vehicle will be towed at your expense.

At the crosswalk, you feel awkward and assume every stopped car contains a person staring intently at you.

You struggle to find the main entrance of the cafe, which is actually in the back of the building. You also find out that you totally could have parked in this lot, and you’re an idiot. Inside, you barely glance at the menu. There is no line. There is immense pressure to order immediately. You order a small iced coffee. The surly male barista utters nothing else aside from “$1.75.” You pay with a twenty and drop a dollar in the tip jar, not because it took him any effort to make your drink or because he was friendly, but because when you approached the counter he was adjusting the tip jar to face you directly. You don’t believe in karma but you wish you did.

Without thinking you add some skim milk to the coffee, but no sweetener, since you think the sweetener has been making you break out, although it probably hasn’t been. You circle the cafe then settle on a small round table near the main entrance. Two young men, probably not much older than you but clearly much more social, established, well-dressed, and financially stable than you, sit by the window. They’re talking about business. Some event this one dude is going to, he’s taking his ex as his date. You try to determine if they’re on a date or just friends but can’t tell. The one who’s talking more gets a phone call. He has an industrial piercing and this irritates you.

Your date texts you, asking where you are. You look over and see her, but she’s not looking at you. You tell her to look to her left. She slowly approaches the table, clearly unsure of whether or not you are her intended target. You are, and you’re slightly insulted she can’t recognize you – you have blue hair, after all. She sits down, but then you ask her if she wants a drink. She says she does, so she gets back up.

She sits back down with a large cup of steaming coffee. It’s begun. The opening act of small talk. The development into actual dialogue. You agree on a couple of key issues. You discuss technology, how much dating sucks, writing, art, how much it sucks that you can’t smoke anywhere in this godforsaken state.

You can’t tell if you’re attracted to her or not. You can’t read her, but you’re shit at reading people in general. All you know is that this person is intelligent and probably even more shy than you are, which could be a problem. You begin to compare her to someone else and you have to remind yourself to stop.

After a while, you both decide going outside would be nice, considering the live band playing is, of course, extremely loud. You walk down Alexander until you reach an obscure corner of the street with large stone benches, a chess table, and a couple of boring sculptures. Later, a Google search tells you that this place is called Nathaniel Square. You follow her to the furthest bench, nestled in the dark. You light a cigarette, offer her one, she takes it.

You want to know what the name of the apartment building looming overhead is. The flashing blue light of the traffic camera is a distraction, as are the pedestrians that enter the Square. An older man, possibly homeless, probably not, sits on a stone across the way and lights a cigarette and stares at you as you talk about how much debt you’re in because of school. A young-ish couple with a toddler in a stroller appears, disappears, then reappears. They sit down next to you and talk loudly, occasionally scolding the child for coughing, for doing it “on purpose.” The woman repeatedly spits onto the ground. You want to light another cigarette and despite what this child is probably exposed to on a daily basis, you decide not to allow it to breathe in your silly secondhand smoke.

She checks her phone. It’s after nine and she says she should get back. You agree. As you walk back, two young men on a porch say something about how “she was with another motherfucker, acting all TV.” You reach the corner where it’s time to part ways. You say it was fun, encourage a second meeting. You tell her to walk home safely. As you wait for the orange hand to turn into a white figure, you watch her walk away, an all-black figure swaying with each step.

Z

Positivity Dwindling

Yesterday was my first day of classes. I left my house at 7:55am, since it takes a little more than half an hour to get to campus and I like to have time to smoke a cigarette, find parking, relax. I get on the expressway and immediately it’s bumper to bumper. Too early for work traffic. By 8:10 I was pissed. I texted my friend S, “I should be halfway there by now”. When 8:30 rolled around I was STILL on the same stretch, thinking to myself, I SHOULD BE THERE BY NOW. Finally, I see the flashing lights of the police cars. A fucking cabbage truck got knocked over or had a collision and they were dealing with the cabbage. CABBAGE.

I got to campus, clueless and panicked, right before 9am. I found a single parking space that said “Permit Only All Violators Will Be Towed” and thought, I have a permit. It’s a RED permit, and I don’t even know what the hell that means, but I have a permit. So I park and then grab my schedule and map. I have no idea where I’m going. All my classes are in the Liberal Arts building. There’s a concrete tunnel that’s been turned into a colorful mural. I can’t remember if I need to walk through that or go the other way. I go the other way. I look at the map, but I’m a woman and it’s useless to me. I turn around because I THINK I remember going through the tunnel. Low and behold, there’s the building. I’m only a couple minutes late to my first class.

When I made my schedule I had anticipated living on campus (also I was sort of late to register for classes so there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room), so I didn’t mind having a break from 12:05 to 2:30. Well…it’s not fun. I didn’t want to stray from the LAB because I knew I would get terribly lost. I’m also currently driving a rental car, so I couldn’t go to the car to chain smoke. I sat in the courtyard in front of this huge fountain and did a bit of work, smoked, but felt miserable. I went to the car to eat a granola bar and bask in the A/C. At 2pm I went back to the fountain for another smoke, then went to my last class.

All in all, it was an uneventful day. I feel lost, out of place, and already overwhelmed with assignments (I’m slacking off right now I GOTTA GET BACK TO DOING TOLKIEN TERMINOLOGY). The commute bums me out and I know I’ll be spending A LOT in gas, which just sucks. It was an odd day. It just felt like it shouldn’t have been happening.

Also, you know that girl I’ve been seeing? We went on a really great third date last Friday night. I texted her yesterday evening. No response (BUT I KNOW SHE’S BEEN ON TINDER). So I don’t know what’s happening with that.

But overall I just feel very sad and alone and anxious.