Sunday, August 31, 2008

Flaming Wordly Posessions

I picked up swimming again recently.

It was sort of a spur of the moment type of thing.

"Here are your keys. Hope you enjoy your new apartment," a girl with bangs covering half of her face and a slightly crooked but lovable smile said to me last week after I handed her my rent check, and just like that I moved into my new pad.

It took me two days to realize that the indoor pool was on the first floor, right next to the gym. Usually, I'd make tired excused to not work out, like, "Oh, I don't wanna walk/drive to the gym. It's too far. I'd rather sit around here and pointlessly stare at my computer screen all afternoon instead." But now I was out of excuses because, well, all I'd have to do is change into workout clothes and descend three flights of stairs and , boom, I'd be right there. Ready to work out. Yay.

I've always enjoyed swimming, though. I liked being around water and ever since I was a little kid, my parents always lived next to a river, took trips to a sea or an ocean. During my teenage years, I remember being jealous of my peers whose parents' had a pool in their backyards. I knew that the thing I'd miss the most when moving to Ohio for grad school would be the ocean. I was right.

But now I've got my own place, and a pool that comes with it. And last night around 10pm, just for the hell of it, I changed into a swim suit, grabbed a towel, and went down to the pool for a late night swim. Swimming is like riding a bike. No matter how much time passes, you never forget how to do it - but you do need a few laps back and forth across the pool to feel every muscle of your body come alive again.

I was blissfully unaware when my phone began to buzz by the edge of the pool, informing me of the phone call from The Neighbor. At that moment, it felt good just to swim. At that moment, it felt like home. Michael Phelps, watch out.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


The Neighbor asked me to be his girlfriend.
I'm not ready but then again, it's only been a week. I need more time.

It's funny because my last serious boyfriend also asked me out after only one week of knowing me. We ended up dating for two years with, at one point, him wanting to propose to me.
Marriage? Me? Ever? Never.

I don't feel like I am ever going to be able to open up to someone so completely so I could get hurt if they decided to leave me. I was always the one to got to do the leaving, save for one relationship. That one hurt me the most because I was left helpless in shambles for longer than I'd like to admit.

I work hard and, at times, tirelessly so I can always rely on myself, my finances. I feel that relying on anyone other than myself is like gambling with your safety and security. I hate how I watched Michael Phelps win his eighth gold medal yesterday and I saw his mother cry because she was so proud of her son. I hate that I feel that I haven't made my parents that proud yet.

And love is a feeling that still haunts me sometimes when I make dinners for one or when I watch my favorite movies online by myself. I want to share parts of me with someone... and maybe not the whole me. Not right away. But I want to know that someone can take me for who I am and not get sick of me.

Maybe someday it will be The Neighbor. Just not today. He's got potential but I just need more time.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I got 'em.

"Would you like to go see The Dark Knight on Sunday?"

"Sure, I'd love to."

It was the most effortless of ways I got asked out. There I was, standing with a beer in my hand at a local outdoor bar. The night was winding down, surely it must have been well after midnight and I had to excuse myself for a minute to go to the bathroom. My friends were left behind, nursing their drinks as I pushed myself through a small crowd of people towards the restrooms.

Once inside, I took a deep breath and paused for a moment, glanced at myself in the bathroom mirror. Earlier on in the night, through a little birdie, I found out that The Artist got himself a girlfriend. And here I was, like a fool, standing in the bathroom, still thinking about him, still as captivated by him as I was five months ago, when I met him for the first time.

What was it about this boy that got me so stuck on him? Was it his looks, his personality, or his rejection of my advances? Maybe it was all three. But last night, none of those reasons mattered because the reality of the situation was that I still held a spot in my heart for someone who will never be anything more than a casual friend.

As I shoved the thoughts about The Artist towards the back of my mind, I walked out of the bathroom with a more clear head and a better perspective on things.

While I was contemplating unavailable men in the depths of the restroom, my friends' new neighbor arrived to the bar. A cute guy, I noticed him right away. As we were formally introduced, The Neighbor and friends continued the conversation they started without me, but after a few minutes, it was just me and him - talking about God knows what, but talking, laughing, and maybe even flirting a little.

And then as the bar was closing, and the bouncers were ushering people out, he mentioned something about "the new Batman movie". He said he saw it and, apparently, it was really good.

"Damn it, it looks like I'm the last person on Earth who has yet to see it," I lamented out loud.

"Well, I wouldn't mind seeing it again. Wanna go see it on Sunday?" The Neighbor asked.

"Sunday sounds good. I'd love to."

As I walked back home after we all left the bar, I couldn't help but laugh at myself. Laugh at this funny thing called life that seems to hand me lemonade right after it throws lemons at me. As Voltaire wisely put it centuries ago, "God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." And I don't know if there is God or not, but if there is - last night I wasn't afraid to laugh with him.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Case of an Ass

I get it. I, after all, wasn't born yesterday and I am certainly not a naive little girl any more. Well, not most of the time.

Mr Unavailable - my lovely friend who has a girlfriend - and I went out last night with a bunch of my friends, mot of whom are guys. Now, I know that men act and talk slightly differently when they are around other men, as opposed to women. But it seemed like, for whatever reason or maybe no reason at all, Mr Unavailable decided that it was the perfect night to let his inner asshole come out in all of its shiny glory. Not only did he let it come out, he seemed to shove it in my face on numerous occasions.

Now I understand that technically, my feelings of hurt came from underlying jealousy. Even though I say he's my friend, there is that unspoken attraction there. Although I say I am not a jealous person, there is a line where a guy's actions don't even make me jealous any more, they become borderline disrespectful.

I must reiterate again that my feelings may be completely unjustified. This morning I talked to one of my friends who was out with us last night and I mentioned to him that Mr Unavailable was being an ass. His response was, "Really? I didn't think he was being that. Did he say anything to you that made you think that?"

Well, no... but actions speak so much louder than words:

1) He was going out of his way to look at every single girl at the club. And by look, I mean stare. And stare and stare and stare, and as the girl would pass him by he'd turn around and follow her with his eyes. What an ass.

2) He asked me if my friend's semi-girlfriend was single. When I said, "No, she's not." He goes, "Oh... well, she's very nice." Yeah she is but... you're fucking kidding me, right?

3)He's going away on a business trip to Atlanta and LA for three weeks, and as he decided to loudly relay to one of my guy friends, he's going to act like "a total asshole in every city I go to, because no one knows me there. And we're gonna go to so many strip clubs - it's gonna be awesome." Why wait til you go to another city, Mr Unavailable, you're ALREADY acting like a total asshole NOW. Congratulations!

I am more than aware that if I had no feelings for him whatsoever, I would have cared less if he did all those things in front of me. However, as much as I want to draw that line in the sand that says, "We're just friends and, therefore, we're allowed to hit on and like whomever we please.", I no longer can. Like, who am I kidding? I think it would be hard for almost anyone to keep their feelings in check when just the night before I was receiving text messages from him telling me how "hot" and "tempting" I was.

At one point of the night, I had had enough. I started looking around the club and my eyes met the gaze of a fairly cute guy dancing a few feet away from me. I smiled at him. Taking it as an invitation, he made his way over to my group of friends and introduced himself to me.

"Are you dancing with your boyfriend?" he asked me, his eyes scanning the guys in my group.

"Haha," I laughed effortlessly, "I don't have a boyfriend."

It was time for Mr. Unavailable to get hit with a reality check. He stood helplessly, as I gave the cute guy my number and he promised he'd call soon. Will he? I don't know and frankly I won't be crying myself to sleep if he never calls me. I had to turn the tables on Mr Unavailable for just a few moments. All I needed was to let him know that sometimes it's not fun to feel like you're being treated like crap.

After we left the club, I drove everyone home, as I was the designated driver and I let Mr U stay at my place for a few minutes as he sobered up and got ready to drive his car home.

"Your friend's girlfriend is really nice," he echoed his earlier statement.

Again, an urge to punch him in the face came over me for the N-th time that night. "Yeah, she is," I said flatly, instead. We shoot some shit for a bit, talking about this and that, all the irrelevant crap that I could care less about. He bitches and moans about his girlfriend and how he's got a tough decision to make. How tough, buddy, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

As he was about to leave, he hugged me goodnight and said he had an amazing time.

I texted him this morning to wish him a safe flight and a fun time in Atlanta. (Go look at all the strippers in the ATL, for all that I care, you bastard) He replied with a cute smiley face, saying thanks and how wonderful of a night he had last night and how he will call me later on this week.

Don't. Fucking. Bother.