David N. and I enjoyed exchanging dating horror stories as foreplay. On the precipice of afternoon delight, we rolled around under his sheets (never before had I experienced the feel of super high thread count).
“Oh my god, you won’t believe how my last relationship ended.” I rolled my eyes in reminiscence while clutching David’s shoulders.
“Probably not as badly as when Meredith torched my Beemer.” He smiled and tightened our embrace.
“I’m glad you have a sense of humor about it. I just don’t understand why you never pressed charges.”
“That would’ve meant I’d have to keep dealing with that bitch. And there’d be a public record of the shit she put me through.”
“So what did that dick munch do anyway? Didn’t you tell me you thought he was The One at some point?”
“Nate seemed like a real catch. That is until he got back with his ex. And here’s the thing: I mean, you know I’m not superficial or arrogant . . . but this girl was like a three, maybe a four, soaking wet.”
“Yeah. That’s pretty fucking ridiculous. You’re at least a seven.”
I posted a poem and drawing from 2015 about refugees on my facebook page as one does, and was surprised although not shocked by a couple of comments I recieved. They were well composed, however they emphasized that the United States is not an altruistic society and how we must save our compassion for our own citizens first.Being the mischievous person that I am, or should I say make an effort to be, I could not leave well/comment enough alone. So ahead of The Fourth of July I will leave my reply here, in perhaps the vain hope that we might feel the rhythm and tether of history a smidge stronger right now:
The US is also the country that has instigated and perpetuated conflict in these regions for decades, are you familiar with that?
Is it not ironic when a country of immigrants and refugees whose architecture is built…
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In the aftermath of Brock Turner’s heinous crimes and Judge Aaron Persky’s revictimization of Emily Doe, a Yale alumna is inspired to communicate with her rapist.
When the fuck did I become a feminist who fantasizes about being a stay-at-home mom?
Sure, I understand that those identities aren’t mutually exclusive. However, the depth of my longing for that lifestyle absolutely confounds me.
I mean, I felt beyond relieved when I made it to 30 without getting knocked up or hitched. In fact, it used to really turn me off when men (or women, for that matter) seemed too focused on marriage and procreation, those loathsome heteronormative constructs.
I guess I’m at a different point in my life now. A point where my biological clock and socioprofessional disdain have converged.
This juncture distresses me on an existential level: more than ever, I don’t feel like the captain of my own voyage.
I was attempting to work on the manuscript for Men Behaving Badly when Edgar showed up unannounced (as per usual). I never minded his spontaneous visits, and I didn’t realize—until it was too late—how much I looked forward to them. He plopped down in his usual spot on the futon.
“You know, Edgar, I misunderstood the saying that revenge is a dish best served cold.”
“Have you been reading Stieg Larsson lately?”
“I don’t just get these ideas from literature and film. Give me some credit, man!”
“I always do.”
“You’re right. But, yeah, I just figured out what it meant right before you came over.”
“What did you think it meant?”
“I used to think it meant that it’s best to avenge a wrong as ruthlessly and with as cold a heart as possible.” I paused pregnantly.
“But I just realized the coldness relates to the passage of time.”
“I think you’re right on both counts, actually.” Edgar nodded pensively. “Of course, if you want to get revenge through the justice system, coldness isn’t so desirable what with statutes of limitation and all.”
“Fuck statutes! What these guys have in store is extra-legal (but neither illegal nor violent…we have too much to lose, and we’re more creative than that). Their lives will transform overnight without the slightest notice. Just like mine did. But, unlike me, they will have no recourse.”
“Sounds delicious.” Edgar’s pupils dilated with interest. “It’s been over 10 years. When can we get started?”
“We already have.”
“Oh, that’s right. I’m sure it has something to do with sending Tex that letter reminding him he’d have to pass the Moral Character Evaluation to become an attorney.”
“Nope. That was just our public duty and has nothing to do with revenge. That’s why we sent it as soon as we discovered his plan to follow his father’s footsteps at Harvard Law School. Not part of the revenge. No need to serve cold. Hey, wanna drink?” I gestured toward the kitchen.
“Sure, thanks.” Edgar popped the cork off my half-full bottle of pinot noir. “So, what’s next with respect to revenge?”
“There’re some clean glasses in the sink.”
“Coolness.” Edgar split the remainder of the bottle between the two of us. “I’m all ears.”
“How far can you run without stopping? How much can you bench press, squat, or the equivalent?”
“I thought you just said this wouldn’t involve violence or criminality?”
“Oh, it won’t. We just need to be and look like we’re in tip-top shape. We just need to signal that we’re as formidable physically as we are intellectually and psychologically.”
“In that case, I’ve got my work cut out for me. But I’m game. Tell me more.” He raised his glass and smiled with boundless intrigue.
The opposite of numb (but perhaps with the same result), I plunged so deeply into depression I couldn’t:
drive myself home
pick up a fork
wash my hair
erase my smeared makeup
brush my teeth
swallow 150 mg of relief
pack a bowl