Tuesday May 22 2012


☼ ○ ▬

I’ve just started working at a restaurant that’s understood to be Rick’s Café but its interior is completely different. Customers are asking me questions about the muffins on the menu. They’ve heard rumors the muffins weren’t that good, maybe even stale. I can’t assure them of anything because I just got hired here and have never tried the muffins.

▬ ○ ☼

It’s 9:20 a.m. Waking up earlier than usual.

Egg and Cheese Burrito with Salsa. Orange Juice.

Meeting Josiah at the storage unit. Chet, the owner of the property, helps us finish building the wall behind the garage doors. We give him a hand unloading his pickup truck in return. Then we hang carpets up to help block the sound when we play music in there.

Meanwhile I’m receiving disheartening texts from Kristin. Apparently, she’s still overwhelmed...

Her: “Robert I can’t do this. My heart and soul are being strangled. I just need to walk away.”

Me: “heart and soul being strangled?? I don’t understand.”

Her: “You really don’t understand? I’m already heart broken and some things matter more to me than other things and my health and purity is really important to me and that fear has taken over and my feelings have withered away. It’s eating away at me. I just want it to all go away.”

Me: “you’re paranoid.”

Her: “I’m not the most rational person.”

Me: “obviously.”

Her: “Yeah I am – so what?”

Me: “well you’re letting your paranoia ruin something beautiful.”

Her: “It’s tainted we can never go back to what we had before you disclosed this to me. I feel differently and I tried not to but I do. :( It hurts me more than it probably hurts you. I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest. I fell for you really hard. How can I not let this bother me?”


Her: “Robert...I really want you to not beat your self up over this. I’m one girl with a lot of paranoia about this sort of issue. You’ll find someone who won’t care.”


Me: “this hurts me more than you think. this is unnecessary. you’re being a coward. I feel like fucking shit. Kristin. this is really breaking me. please don’t just up and scram.”


She calls me up and things get unexpectedly hostile as I persist in educating and convincing her that this isn’t as serious of an issue. I’m fighting for something I don’t even know about. I just feel so helpless.

I lie down on my bed and drift off into a heavy power nap.

I guess I just feel rejected but not in a normal way. Maybe dejected is a better word.

I feel like every time I’m offered an opportunity to experience another relationship that could potentially be healthier and more beneficial to me, I get shut down...and for unprecedented reasons.

[Text message]

Kristin: “Are you ok?”

Me: “not really. I feel depressed and helpless.”

Kristin: “Robert Stop. You’re such a great guy!!! Don’t let this bring you down. I am scared of getting what you may or may not have. That’s it. Please don’t let this bum you out. Let’s take some time apart see how we both feel then revisit being friends. Ok?”


Kristin: “I can’t stand you being sad. You’re too awesome to be sad.”

Peanut Butter Bagel. Tortilla Chips with Salsa and Avocado. Honey Green Tea.

She invites me over to her apartment and possibly to join her on a night out. On the drive there I’m stuck in a blockade of traffic on I264 – everybody is forced to go no faster than 20 mph practically the whole way until I get closer to Norfolk. The rain disturbs the flow too.

I text Kristin, “I hate today. I hope it gets better. I feel once I see your face it will somehow.”


I arrive. The rain has subsided somewhat. In her bedroom. The windows open. Fresh rain smell protruding through to the senses. Nothing feels wrong except a sense of embarrassment on both our ends.

Her: “I’m really like kind of embarrassed about like how seriously bitchy I get on the phone sometimes.”

Me: “I don’t like talking on the phone. I like in person communication cause there’s so much empathy and you’ve got your hands. You’ve got your face. You’ve got your body. It’s really important.”


Me: “I feel better now that I’m here.”


She runs out to retrieve her phone. I crawl around on the floor trying to get on the cats level while she's gone. They’re really timid and difficult to pet. But I use my animal tact and win over Freddie with back scratches. Kristin returns.

Her: “The cats love you and it makes me really jealous.”


Me: “It’s always good to resolve things in person. I don’t want you to feel, well, we got sort of hostile on the phone. We were trying to understand each other. We were trying to be understood.”


Her: “I’m crazy.”

Me: “I don’t know. Maybe you are, dude.”

Her: “But not really. I’m just like neurotic...is the best word.”

Me: “I don’t want you to feel invalidated to feel the way you feel. You know what I mean? I may have come across a little eager on the phone. Like you said I was trying to persuade you or something. I felt like I needed to educate you. But yeah you have every right to feel scared or apprehensive, too.”

Her: “I’m just like pissed about it. Because I want everything to be just like...”

Me: “...Perfect. Like a fantasy?”

[Shared amusement and smiles]

Her: “Shut up. Maybe a little. I don’t know.”

Me: “It’s okay. Everybody strives for that.”

Her: “Yeah. You’re right.”

Me: “You know I’m falling for you too. I don’t know if I’ve ever really told you.”


I bring up the dichotomy of the string of texts I was sent yesterday morning compared to this morning.

Her: “Dude, this is like reminiscent of like every single relationship I’ve ever had in my life. I’m talking about what you just observed. Being different from day to day.”

Me: “But you seem like an extremely loyal person too.”

Her: “Well, yeah I am.”


Her: “It’s just a lot to take in. You have to realize just how much it is to take in. It’s not gonna go back to normal. I have to figure shit out. I have to figure out what I wanna do. It’s not like, oh hey I told you this one thing-let’s just act like it’s not a huge deal. And continue on. That creates the ideal situations I don’t like. I’ve never been great at dealing with that kind of stuff. It creates a world of problems around a problem. The problem has a little fort around it and it won’t let anything progress.”

Me: “Until the fort gets broken down. And a resolution comes.”

Her: “Yeah but do I want my fort broken down? The fort is protecting me from your issues.”


Me: “We’re not even in a relationship. There hasn’t been any efforts or tries.”

Her: “Yeah but it’s like total classic me though to be on this total level of like...”

Me: “I really like you!”

Her: “Yeah I like you too.”

Me: “I don’t even know you yet. I wanna get to know you. I’m not afraid of who you are.”

She puts on a Lucero record quietly in the background.


We continue sorting through, detail by detail, fact by fact, the fact that I might have HPV. It’s the cause of all this turmoil.

Her: “But what makes me think that you’re worth it to me?”

Me: “You don’t even know. You haven’t even tried.”

Her: “I know but maybe I don’t wanna pursue it because maybe I don’t wanna get attached and I don’t want that to skew—”

Me: “We’re not even having sex right now. I just wanna hang out with you.”

Her: “Yeah but you don’t understand how I am. I’m gonna get all emotionally attached to you. I need sex to survive.”

Me: “So I like sex too. People need sex to be happy. I agree.”

Her: “Yeah. Exactly. So I’m gonna be getting like this emotional awesomeness from you and then I’m gonna not be with you? No that’s not gonna fucking happen. I’m gonna sleep with you and I’m gonna regret it. I’m gonna be anxiety ridden. Is that a risk I wanna take?”

Me: “It’s a risk you took every time you slept with someone else. It’s all a risk.”

Her: “I’m probably one of the worst people that you could’ve ever started something with and like told this to.”


Me: “Cause I feel like the whole reason you’re scared is because you’re thinking of becoming involved with me sexually.”

Her: “Yeah I want to.”

Me: “But seriously it’s not about the sex for me. Like I really enjoy hanging out with you. Like, you’re cool with who I am as a person.”

Her: “Yeah I totally am.”

She cranks up Lucero on the record player. And the mood heightens to something more casual – making fun of each other – being playful. She gets dressed – trying on different outfits and keeps looking in the mirror. She resembles a fashionista doll – spunky and charming. Her ripped tights add a sexy appeal that I repeatedly comment on.


Lying on the bed exchanging passionate kisses – making out. Kissing her is dramatically fun.


Waiting for her best friend, Hannah, to show up. She’s bumbling around the room changing once again, putting on makeup and perfume.

In a light manner she announces, “You stress me out. All boys stress me out.”

Me: “What did I do?”

Her: “You’re usurping my time.”

Me: “I have never really used that word before.”

I go out the room and play with Freddie the cat.

Her: “He is totally your friend and I’m jelly! He fucking loves you. You’re like his best friend. It’s totally rad.”

She offers me a Vegan Banana Muffin with some Coconut Milk.


Finally, Hannah arrives and we start off down the street. As we’re walking we run into Jordan and this guy Chris who I graduated high school with and apparently I played a game of Sardines with way back in the day in an empty house near First Colonial High School.

Me: “This was a great junction.”


At Tortilla West we find a table with Jamal and some of his friends. Sharing John Daly drinks and good cheer.


Afterwards, we venture to The Taphouse where Abby is working. Having a Dirty Hoe beer. Playing a few rounds of Addams Family pinball. I achieve my multi-ball goal.

“Dude, Norfolk nightlife!”

It’s interesting to watch her in her element with girlfriends and a social atmosphere. She doesn’t fail to still keep her attention on me though. I’m having a nice time.


Time to go. Hannah drops Kristin and I off at the apartment. Back in her bedroom. Helping her update and sync her iPhone because she hasn’t done it possibly ever.


Meanwhile, angsty and moody music lulls the scene into an intimate physically connective bliss. Kissing. Making out. CPR training – breathing in and out of each other’s lungs. Airing the wet orchid. I stay covered while I uncover her – pleasuring the sensual doll that she is. It’s a beautiful young scene of eroticism.

Excessive laughter in the kitchen over silly shit. She feeds me a slice of Bread with Honey and Butter.


Time to go.

Me: “Alright, well sleep well and dream about...purple unicorns romping over a yellow hill. And I’ll be there lying on a towel naked. You’ll be riding one of the unicorns, also naked. You see me and get off the unicorn and hop onto me.”


On the drive back home. It’s 1:46 a.m. No stoplights.

Her face with its longing smile is firmly imprinted in my mind’s eye.

Back home.

Sleep at 3:30 a.m.

[i] All images by me.

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