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06/01 Direct Link
It's surprising, really, how long I've gone without wanting to off myself. Is it because I'm too busy to be down? If Paxil had made me this up, I'd have never taken myself off it. And sure, it's a little unhealthy to spend so much energy being anywhere but home, but it's not home. Home is 900 miles away, with people who love me and don't treat me like shit. It's not here, where I'm sitting, listening to my sister's kids scream and treat HER like shit. Maybe it's a sign of maturity. Maybe the worst is yet to come.
06/02 Direct Link
I guess it's just seeing my shell around his big, blue eyes. To see the extrovert that wants to leap out from behind that mask of self-doubt. I have no patience with people who can't get over what I've gotten over. Maybe that's the rub – opposites attract, but people who are the same can't stand each other. Maybe it's saying something that he came by the store yesterday – maybe he was hoping to avoid me, but didn't see my car in the lot. I feel that same mask pulling down around me, and I know there's only one way out.
06/03 Direct Link
There's no certainty there – only the wad of dread forming in your stomach that makes you want to drag it out kicking and screaming. You or it, it doesn't matter whose screams fill your head, whose blows lash out against the world around you – real or imagined. You can't remember ever being really happy – you can only think how dumb it was to feel so free. You twist your certainty to remember that every smile was forced and resign yourself to a life of facades. Really, you are only certain of your uselessness and the greater good of your riddance.
06/04 Direct Link
I just want to go home. Yes, I know my bed is in the next room. I get my mail here. When people say "where do you live" I give the vicinity of this house.

But I want to sit on Heather's porch, listening to music, drinking my booze of the week, surrounded by people who don't care that I like the Monkees. I want to play Cribbage with Gabe-o and joke around with Tasha. I want to go drunk-shop with K. I want to spend ridiculous afternoons behind the counter at Chicago Digital.

Homeward bound, I wish I was.

06/05 Direct Link
Take him back again. Go ahead. Believe him when he tells you he's fine, you're fine, everybody's fine. I didn't move down here for my health, you idiot.

Try standing up for yourself. Act like the person I always thought you were. Make him eat out of your hands for a change. Please, don't let your daughters grow up thinking that this is how love looks, drunk and cocky and racist.

I will go back, my life will go on. This life isn't mine, it's yours, and the sooner you figure that out, the better off your kids will be.

06/06 Direct Link
Go ahead. Get creative. Turn this monotonous hell your life has become into a pretty phrase. Find inspiration in the forty lattes you make a day, or in telling the three year old to get her sister's wand out of her nose. Do it on your own time – which hasn't been your own since October. Mention Matthew, if you must, but don't mention your infatuation with Ben; it's kind of nauseating. Whine about Chicago, or the plastic Americana you've thrown yourself into. There's no real beauty in your life anymore, so write about the ugliness. But make it sound good.
06/07 Direct Link
Tired, scared and homesick is no way to sit in front of the computer and come up with one hundred words that matter to anyone. You can't spin words into beauty or inspiration when you're surrounded by plastic Americana and the only interesting thing you've seen all week is your nutcase mother win some fantastic award. Depressed, bored and sober is no way to be at 2 o'clock on a Saturday morning. I nearly died today, and all I could think was "not here, in the middle of DC – they'll have to tow the car all the way to Chicago."
06/08 Direct Link
This is so stupid. All I ever do is go to work, go home, sleep, and do it all again. On my days off, I get so bored and depressed that I can hardly stand myself, because it's Wednesday and I don't have to be at work and there's nothing to do. Luckily, all my friends are 900 miles away, so there's nobody giving me a swift kick in the ass and telling me to go out and DO something. Do what? Wander around a strange city and hope to stumble across the life I used to have? Not hardly.
06/09 Direct Link
"Look, Katie, he's bad for you. Why don't you go do counseling and try to let him go?"

"I don't need counseling. I know why I stay with him – my dad beat me and now my husband does, too. I don't need a shrink to tell me."

"That's like if I have a flat tire – I know why it's flat, I ran over a nail, and I know why the car drives funny, there's a flat tire, but fuck all, I know the problem – why fix it?"

"You can be such a bitch."

"That's why we get along so well."

06/10 Direct Link
Everything I touch turns to such shit – look at the Café. Sure, it was hurting before I took it over, but at least there was some method to the madness. Now I'm stuck with all that fucking salmon and everything's breaking and those goddam ants give me the willies all the time. Matthew won't even look at me anymore, and who the hell is Raegan to be giving ME shit? Meanwhile, I have to give up three hours every weekday to baby-sit my 30-year-old neighbor. How come nobody cares that much about MY suicidal tendencies? I hate this fucking town.
06/11 Direct Link
My three-year-old niece said to me today "I don't have any fun with you, Aunt Maggie" before she even said "hello". Am I that much of a bore that I can't even entertain a three year old? I told her I didn't have much fun with me either, but she didn't seem convinced. I drop her off at the daycare and all these people I don't know come running up to her and hug her, and I don't know if I'm jealous because all these other people are hugging her, or because where ever she goes, she knows she's loved.
06/12 Direct Link
I'm fascinated by Superman songs. Not Superman himself, just songs ABOUT him. I used to love REM's song "I am Superman" because I thought it said "I am superman and I can't do anything." Then someone told me that it's actually "I *can* do anything", and the magic was gone for me. But I figured that I was the one who paid fifteen dollars for that CD, not Michael Stipe, and I could sing it any way I wanted.

I guess I like the fact that the man of steel is more human than we think. I know I am.

06/13 Direct Link
So, drunk, he promises to take me to Chicago. "A road trip, next payday – its only 10 hours." I'm wary of this, as I look at his fifth beer that night and remember that look he gave me the last time we went out as "just friends". I don't know why I have this feeling of foreboding; he's no threat to me physically. I guess maybe it's because I've never been one to shy away from the physical threats; I tend to shy away from the old cliché – if you don't give your heart away, it'll never come back broken.
06/14 Direct Link
You incomprehensible, asinine, snot-faced tool. Sure, my attitude toward my job could be a little better – but then, you could occasionally tell me that I've done something RIGHT. According to you, I'm only losing the store money, despite my loss levels being half of what's expected, my staff constantly being praised as the best we've had in years, and all you ever do is make shit harder for us. And trust me, if I were going to start a fight with you, your first clue would be a lot more physical than my inability to laugh at your lame jokes.
06/15 Direct Link
She made my childhood pure hell. Telling me to hide in the basement when the penitentiary tested its alarm system – I was down there for three hours, and all she does is laugh and claim to not remember. Throwing the cats down the laundry chute at me, making me make out with my teddy bear while she and her friend watched, never letting a day go by without telling me what a piece of shit I was. They might be long-gone good times to you, lady, but you should keep in mind that a little apology goes a long way.
06/16 Direct Link
It's sick and rude, I know, to be lusting after a 19 year old, but when I'm trying to get my bitch on so I can get a bunch of stuff done, and he peeks around the corner to make sure I'm ok, to see if I need help – when I got misty eyed at that damn song that threw me back into the life I led with that jackass Jason and he stopped and set down his box and came over to make sure I was ok – for the love of god, where was he when *I* was 19?
06/17 Direct Link
In the ten years that I've been a part of the work force, plus the ages of seven through fifteen when I did work for my mom's editing company that she ran from our house, I have been reprimanded for my on the job behavior exactly twice. The first time, I tried to kill myself at the age of eighteen when working at camp in the middle of an incredibly appalling year of personal tragedy. The second time was yesterday, because we were out of bagels. For those of you wondering, this is how instances of "going postal" get started.
06/18 Direct Link
I noticed my father's eyes today. Not that they're blue – I knew that. But that they look just like my little sister's eyes. They look normal and fine on my father's face, but on my little sister they look beady, cynical, stupid. I also realized that I have my grandmother's nose. I sat around at work today, trying to seem to care about my customer's problems, wondering what my grandmother and her nose were doing when they were twenty-five years old. I wonder if twenty-five year old thoughts like these are why she's so demented at the age of 72.
06/19 Direct Link
There was a creek that ran not far from our little house in Kansas, and I used to like to send stuff floating down the creek, hoping that someone would pick up my floating trash and figure out what a great person I was and try to find me and take me away and be nice to me. One day, the "boat" was the only Barbie anyone was dumb enough to give me. I stuck an ice pick in her chest for a mast, my mom's boyfriend's handkerchief for a sail, and away she went. Never could stand that bitch.
06/20 Direct Link
You learn something new every day. The days inevitably come when you learn how babies are made, what Santa's story is, and the fact that pigs have orgasms that last thirty minutes. Yesterday, I learned that hydrochloric acid was bad. Also that when you spill hydrochloric acid on yourself, put baking soda on it. And I learned what it felt like to make my abhorrent manager feel incredibly stupid. To be right and smug about something pertaining to the business is one thing, to be right and smug about something that you can refer to as "common sense" is superb.
06/21 Direct Link
I remember sitting on that rooftop, feeling small and useless and lonely. I remember sitting there feeling like my world had just exploded into a thousand of the most cheerful things I'd ever encountered. I watched the neighbors fight, listened to my brother and his friend when they got excited about their newest copy of Playboy. I watched the airplanes grumble their way into the heavens. I dreamed about Josh and Edmund and Uncle Jesse from "Full House". I tried to imagine being old. I strained to remember being young. Nowhere in my mental wanderings did I come across Now.
06/22 Direct Link
She votes for Madonna. She drinks – constantly. I've never heard her say a nice thing about her mother. Once, at the age of 22, she ran away from home because she didn't want to vacuum the carpet. She borrows things for seven months at a time. Her sense of humor is limited to the sex and toilet varieties. She'll never understand why a carpool should never drive through a tunnel. But our Dad didn't want me, he wanted her. I wasn't enough to make his first marriage last, but when his second wife had her, that was all he needed.
06/23 Direct Link
I could spend my hundred words waxing about the tears of a clown. Maybe I could natter about how much I think I love Ben, or how much Jason thinks he loves me. Maybe I could tell you all about the day I spilled hydrochloric acid on myself, and got my first lesson in chemistry. I could rattle on about how an 18 year old pot head has more talent in his little finger than I have in my whole ego. It wouldn't matter to you – you're looking for truth and beauty and freedom and love, and I'm not it.
06/24 Direct Link
I want to have a home, not just a corner in my sister's basement. I want to feel needed again – not just be a taxi driver for my three year old niece. I want to unwind with someone who doesn't know all the people I know. It's one thing, in the wee, wee hours of the morning, to call yourself useless. It's horrid to wake up the next morning and realize how insignificant you really are. I want love and understanding and a feeling of belonging. I need some familiarity and a good belly laugh. I want to go home.
06/25 Direct Link
"You can't do this," he called out of his car window, the rain splashing her face and ruining her mascara.

"I've done it, and what's more, you've done it, and I have a life to lead now," she called back, forcing herself to feel the courage of her conviction.

"This is surreal. It's raining. This only happens in movies. Let's talk about this," he called as sirens went by a block away.

"This isn't a movie. There's only one writer. This is my life, and I'll thank you to keep out of it," she called back. Only in movies, indeed.

06/26 Direct Link
You take two things that, by themselves, are perfectly fine. For instance, a raspberry smoothie is fine by itself. Irish Cream Italian syrup does its job nicely, thank you. But put the two together, top with whipped cream, and give it a cool name ("Gimme a scuttlebucket!") and holy shit, you wouldn't believe what people would pay for that nonsense.

This place is where love and imagination go to die. This is the granddaddy mother ship of heartless, plastic Americana. But my imagination, my love of raspberry smoothies and Irish Cream Italian syrup – I can give you that for $3.50.

06/27 Direct Link
He was a beady little man. Beady eyes, voice, walk. His laugh sounded the way Woody Woodpecker would sound if Woody Woodpecker had gone over to the Dark Side during puberty. He bought a bulletproof vest after September 11th, as if that would keep a 747 from killing him. He was always talking about or going to Costa Rica. He sent his dogs to doggie day care. His only friends were his co-workers, and they never missed an opportunity to harass or belittle him. I think he's me in twenty years, and I can't stand how much that scares me.
06/28 Direct Link
Occy is the sister I always wanted. She stops working on her thesis to listen to my neurosis. When I have nothing to write about, she says I should write about how beautiful I am inside my mind. She says the most outlandish things, at her computer there in Australia, and halfway around the world I get the one good laugh I needed that day. She forgave me for lying to her, which is more than can be said for that wank Wayne. I miss her when days go by and we haven't talked. She's the sister I'll never have.
06/29 Direct Link
I got to the hospital, and filled out the paperwork, and tried to listen to the Simpsons over the screaming kid in the waiting room. I wanted to tell the kid to shut up – he wasn't bleeding, and if it were really important he'd already be seeing a doctor.

One of the young doctors came running out to see my leg.

"It didn't eat through the skin," he said, though I couldn't tell if he was impressed with my first aid skills or disappointed at not having something as cool as acid-eaten flesh to deal with on a Wednesday night.

06/30 Direct Link
There it is, a month's worth of my plastic suburban life. Three thousand words on what I gave a shit about over the last thirty days. I thought for sure I'd get behind and Koyen would kick me off of his website, but here I am with forty-nine words to go. Do I stick in a last-minute school-girl rant about Ben? Write about what great hugs my niece gives? Or do I just try to stretch out these last few sentences so I can stumble off to bed and wake up tomorrow bright and early and dressed to get fired?