Monday, November 30, 2009

Throw It In The Bag (Get Rid of It)

We all know there's a shelf life on how long you can linger upon an ex. There's a certain amount of time where you're allowed to grieve, eat ice cream, stare at old pictures, cry, and whatever else dealing with a breakup entails. But then you must move on. You must pack up all the items around the house that remind you of them. You must put them in a box with all the gifts they gave you...well wait. Maybe not. What if he bought you a pair of gorgeous diamond earrings for Christmas one year? What if she bought you a beautiful Rolex (nice girlfriend) for last year's birthday? Those are pretty nice items and they can easily become apart of your daily wardrobe without carrying the stigma of your now ex. My question is, while we must move on and move out, are we allowed to keep certain gifts? My first thought is yes, if they hold no sentimental value now. So, yes, you can keep the Gucci loafers because they are a basic black and match most of your suits. No, you cannot keep the stuffed teddy bear he won for you at the fair because it's softer than any pillow you've ever owned.

My ex-boyfriend's motto was, "ask and ye shall receive." And whenever I asked for something, I usually received it. For Christmas, I asked for diamond earrings. I own a pair of 2 carat nuggets. For one birthday, I asked for the new video IPOD. I still play music on it. One Valentine's Day, I wanted to go on vacation. We did a long weekend getaway. However, one year, when we weren't together, he bought me an amazing Christmas gift. I think the gift was to get me back, but he swore it wasn't. Said he'd bought it long before we broke up and still wanted to give the gift to me. I unwrapped the small box and gasped at a platinum band with diamonds inset around it. He said it was a promise ring, but not the silly high school kind. It was a promise to get himself together and be exactly what I needed him to be. Later, when we got back together (his shit was together more or less), we said we'd make it apart of our wedding bands somehow. It has major sentimental value and is in a jewelry box now, never to be worn again. But what about the earrings? Sure, for a nanosecond when I put them on, I remember where they came from, but it's so quick, it barely registers. And I don't even remember the moment when he gave me the IPOD while I'm dancing around to my favorite tunes. But what if my boyfriend was wearing a pair of cuff links his ex gave him? What if he asked where I got my diamond earrings? Isn't it a bit of a slippery slope?

That bitch stole my line,


Blackie Collins

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Very Blackie Thanksgiving

Being young is fun, but perhaps the best part of being a teenager is discovering the opposite sex and subsequently, discovering your own little teeny bopper sex drive. When I was in high school, I was dating this gorgeous running back from a rival high school. It was my junior year and I had recently realized just how much I liked boys. Okay, I knew this long before as I had been boy crazy since I came out the womb and winked at my male doctor, but junior year was different. Junior year, I went from being boy crazy to make out crazy. So, back to Gorgeous Running Back. We were both in the same phase apparently and our make out sessions were prize-winning. Monumental. The kind that leave your lips red and numb. Hickeys all over your neck. Always a good time...

Junior year's homecoming was sure to be a blast. My friends and I were all coupled up and heading to the big dance. I was wearing a glitzy black gown that was halter style and criss-crossed in the back. My tendrils were piled on top of my head, diamonds pricked my ears, french manicure on my acryllic nails. When Gorgeous Running Back saw me, the smile that lit up his eyes was like the finishing touch.

The night was perfect. We danced all night, kissed during slow songs, took the prerequisite hold-my-elbow prom picture. It was one of those nights where my brain took as many snapshots as possible, so my memory could recall it easily in the years that came and went. When the night ended, we decided to "call it a night" and send our friends off to Friendly's and the myriad of after parties that would surely hold nothing but keg-stands and beer pong.

We had other plans.

My mom was out of town and while I was old enough to stay home with my younger sister alone, my mom decided my aunt should stay over since I would be out most of the night. My mom's sister, Laurel, was perhaps one of the coolest chicks out there. I'd never called her Aunt Laurel. She wasn't a grown up figure. She was Laurel, who I smoked weed with for the first time a couple years later. Laurel, to whom I asked all my sex questions and cursed at. More homey than aunt on any day, so she wasn't a problem.

We arrived home and instantly plopped ourselves down on the couch in the family room. Laurel came down, cigarette in hand, said hey and then headed back up the guest room. My little sister was long asleep. Gorgeous Running Back and I had plans. And no hurdles in the way.

We started kissing furiously, hands pawing each other, embracing in a way that reeked of desperation and passion at the same time. My house was huge, so the different nooks and crannies we could hide ourselves away in seemed obsolete as there was no one to catch us really. It was like being home alone.

"Let's go in the dining room," I said.

"What's in there?" He asked breathlessly from the tangles of my once up-do, now resting on my shoulders. I winked and did my best impression of Jessica Rabbit sashaying out the family room, through the kitchen and foyer, into the formal dining room. Gorgeous Running Back followed.

"What are we doing in here?" He asked once we entered the room designated for Thanksgiving dinners and formal events. It was off limits, which made it even more enticing for some reason. At least to me. I grabbed him around the waist, pulled him close and just before kissing him said, "It's the dining room. You're supposed to eat in here." I winked again-I'm really good with the winking-and kissed him. This time he hoisted me up on the dining room table. The same table where we celebrated my grandma's 75th birthday with a cake and catered meal. The same table that drove me crazy whenever I had to pull the leaf out the middle and shorten the table for decorative settings. Now I was laid out on that table and Gorgeous Running Back climbed on top of me ready to, well, dine on me, I suppose.

There was something in the air. We had never gone all the way, but that little something lingered, letting us know it was a go situation. My sweatshirt was off and thrown somewhere. His shirt completely unbuttoned. Pants unbuckled. We were in it to win it.

I heard a creak in the floorboards. I thought it to be nothing and continued. Moments later, I heard it again, closer this time.

Laurel was awake.

Laurel was coming downstairs.

Laurel was going to catch me in a position that would force Laurel from "friend" to aunt. The kind of aunt who used make me finish an entire bowl of her famous firey chili before letting me touch a morsel of juice. I was mortified, not to mention completely out of time.

The staircase led to the foyer, which fed into the kitchen in one direction or the living room in the other. If you stepped into the living room, a giant archway awaited you and you'd have front row seats to me and Gorgeous Running Back's show. I prayed she'd go through the kitchen. At least then I'd have a fighting chance before she swung open the saloon type doors that connected the dining room to the kitchen.

Gorgeous Running Back seemed to hear the footsteps at the same exact time and popped up from the table faster than I'd ever seen on the football field. We grabbed for clothes, mouthing to each other to be quiet. His shirt was buttoned wrong, but he had no time. I threw my sweatshirt on, thankful that I'd changed clothes, just as Laurel pushed the door open.

"What are you guys doing in here?" She asked, hand on hip.

"Just talking," I said, feeling hot all over, especially on my neck where I knew dark bruises were forming.

"Uhhuh," she said looking back and forth between us. The seconds ticked by. I knew we were in for it. I thought of the groundings to come. The "You've Lost My Trust" conversation my mother was sure to have with me, which was worse than any punishment. But then Laurel turned to walk out the room. We were safe. We exhaled as if we'd been holding our breath for days.

She turned back.

"I didn't know kids were wearing their sweatshirts inside out these days." She raised an eyebrow and headed back up the stairs. That was the day I realized brown girls could in fact turn red from embarassment.

"He should be getting home too, right?" Laurel tossed over her shoulder. It wasn't a question. It was an imperative statement. Gorgeous Running Back grabbed his stuff and took his blue-balled self home.

A couple weeks later, at Thanksgiving dinner, Laurel looked at me, and said to my mother, "The table looks different this year, doesn't it? Did you do anything different to it?" My mom shook her head and shrugged. I wanted to melt into the floor. Laurel winked at me and smirked as we all gobbled up Thanksgiving dinner.

A few years ago, my mother replaced the dining room set and as they carried the table out the front door, I thought of all the meals eaten on it. All. Of. Them.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This Is What It Sounds Like When Men Cry

I've never been good at watching a man cry. In fact, I'd go as far as to say I suck at it. As soon as the tears start to fall, I get all giggly and uncomfortable. It's insulting, really, as it appears I have no sensitivity chip. I do. I just get awkward when men cry. It freaks me out. Like what am I supposed to do when the strong rock that I depend on falls apart? Where do we go from there? Of course, it isn't that serious but let me back track.

I've only seen a handful of men cry. Of course, there are movies and TV. We've all watched a few guys choke up on the big and little screen, and many women find it endearing. They dab at their eyes as they hope for a sensitive man to enter their own lives. I don't do that. Sometimes I give a heart-filled, "Aww," but rarely. It's just weird. My dad. My high school best friend. My ex-boyfriend. That's it. And every single time was weird.

It's best to start with where this odd reaction stems from. My dad. When my parents divorced, my father used to cry. A LOT. More than altogether necessary. My mother cried a lot too, but she was the wronged party, so in my mind it was okay. My dad, on the other hand, cried as a means of manipulation. To make everyone feel bad for him. It didn't come from a genuine place. We'd sit in the driveway, when my father dropped us off after our weekend with him, and he'd cry as if on cue. He'd lament his mistakes in a depth that was too much for a seven, twelve, and fifteen year old to deal with. The first time, we were shocked. The next time, kinda unsure. After that, it was simply inappropriate and ridiculous.

My best friend in high school was Dave. He was a strapping football player, king of the school. In fact, he was voted homecoming king our senior year. He was the proverbial man and represented all that was strong and resilient. Now, being that we were close, I'd seen him upset, pissed, but I'd never seen him cry. Not until our junior year when one of our close friends died in a horrible accident. Dave fell apart on me. I felt ridiculous at first. Just kind of hugged him awkwardly, but then I cried myself, affected by the death and by Dave's emotion.

I was sitting in my now ex-boyfriend's car. It was early on in our relationship and we were still in the "new, getting to know all about each other" phase. On this particular night, we sat in his Jeep as he told me stories about his life. One being how his cousin and best friend was murdered. As he told the story, I heard the crack in his voice. I watched him put his head back for a moment and shield his eyes. I knew what was happening and that same ridiculous feeling slipped over me. I patted his leg. Told him it wasn't his fault. That his cousin was in a better place. I wasn't being entirely helpful, but that was all I could offer. Which is the sad point. I have nothing to give. They cry. I sit there awkwardly, trying to stifle a smile that isn't towards them, but towards my own discomfort.

Even now, when I'm sitting with the guy I'm currently dating. He'll start in on a story from his past, something that evokes emotion and I'll stop him and say, "Are you going to cry?" It's so rude. I know this and yet I can't stop the words from tumbling out. As if I can somehow prepare myself for his strong showcase of sadness, because if I know what's coming, I can get my own self together, put on my own suit of armor. Something that will be better than patting his back and saying, "Um, it'll be ok," while secretly willing him to stop making me feel weird. See, the problem is it isn't about me at all and yet I've made it about me. Back when I sat in my dad's SUV, listening to him apologize for breaking our family up for the millionth time, watching him squeeze tears out his ducts, I started looking at a man's tears as a way to make me feel bad. The tears came to mean something far different than what they actually were. Instead, his tears, coupled with his ability to break every promise he made, created a world of distrust, not a world of comfort and honesty. His tears exhausted me and set every guy that would enter my life up for failure.

But as I write these words, I realize a man's tears aren't that at all. When a man cries in front of a woman, he's saying, "I trust you. I feel comfortable enough with you to let down this barrier," and for me to somehow put myself in front of that is even more awkward and ridiculous. It is unfair for me to take that from them.

That bitch stole my line,


Blackie Collins

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Short & Sweet: Hitting a Double

Remember when you were impressed by the fact that your friend "jerked" Matt off or got fingered by Freddy? You wouldn't budge pass second base, beyond feeling each other up, grinding around the ball field, never hitting home plate, yet "scoring nonetheless." Then somewhere around your teenage and young adult years, you discovered getting and giving head.  Second base was getting smaller and smaller in your rearview mirror. Then came sex and who even remembered any base but sliding into home plate.

Do B a favor. Hit a nice single or double.  Trust me, boys, fingering your girl will produce amazing results, if done right, especially during the instances where you're a little too tired or not nearly as able to run repetitive circles around the ballpark.  And for the girls, recall what it was like to jack him off and go for it.  It's simple, easy, and because it's
so not the norm, surprisingly incredible.  I guarantee if whether you stay in the mid field or start there on your way home, you won't strike out.  Instead you'll hit a grand slam.  Cause it's one, two, three strokes your in at the old ball game!

That bitch stole my line,

Blackie Collins

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some Girls...

I was at work, talking with a new colleague. Seemed okay at first. Nice girl, easy on the eyes, same age bracket, maybe we'll be friends. Maybe not. Apparently, she is one of those people who tells all their business to the first person who will listen. I usually don't when it doesn't interest me, but do a good job of pretending I'm listening. However, she was talking about her ex-boyfriend-who-she's-still-in-love-with. She had no idea who she was talking to! As she went on and on and on about her ex-boyfriend-who-she's-still-in-love-with, my irritation level went on a slow-cooker type of process. Slowly, but surely, through and through, I was ready to pop my lid. Just as I thought of a nice way (I try to take it easy on people who don't know B), she said something that made me wanna slap her.

"I was his girlfriend first, I'm the one he loved first."

I looked up from what I was doing, removed the glazed look, and stopped her.

"What did you say?" I asked. She repeated herself, which reiterated that she felt just fine about her statement. Turns out her eex-boyfriend-who-she's-still-in-love-with is living with another woman now. Has "moved on." But he still talks with my new colleague on a regular basis, texts her all hours of the night, tells her he's still in love with her too, walks hand in hand with her through the city, kisses her in public. When I asked why she would do this to the new girlfriend, her response was "I was his girlfriend first. I'm the one he loved first." My response was without warrant. It tumbled out.

"Are you in the third grade? You were in line first, so you throw your arms up and call out that you are the line leader, you were there first? Grow up! What you are doing is not only detrimental to the new girlfriend, whom many women could care less about, but more importantly to you. Why haven't you moved on? Why are you believing any of the BS coming out of the ex-boyfriend-who-you're-still-in-love-with's mouth?" She looked at me blankly, so I continued.

"Do you honestly think you're meant for him?" She nodded.

"Do you believe he wants to be with you?" She nodded her bobble head again.

"Then, why isn't he living with you? Why aren't you his girlfriend?"

"Because he can't right now," she said with as much gusto as she could call upon.
"More like doesn't want to," I said and went back to my task. She tried to talk to me more throughout the day, tried to defend her ex-boyfriend-who-she's-still-in-love-with, but I didn't care. Some girls are simply idiots. I never give advice or speak out of anything but experience, so I've been there. I've been in a ridiculous situation (a story too long to share) with an ex-boyfriend-who-I-was-still-in-love-with. I have made the feeble attempts to defend him. I have believed whole-heartedly that he simply couldn't do whatever I needed or wanted. But the truth is that he was perfectly capable. He just didn't want to enough.

Some girls that take less than they're worth. Some girls hang on to a thread, when they could have the whole spool by themselves or with someone better. I have no idea why, though. My only defense for them, and myself, is that they're so blinded by a love that doesn't exist. So hidden behind a veil that they don't see reality for what it is.

Some girls just don't see it and until they do, I can't give them 20/20 vision. I can only hope that one day those girls will see that the ex-boyfriend-who-they're-still-in-love-with is really just the-dude-from-the-past-who-taught-them-what-they-were-worth: more.

That bitch stole my line,

Blackie Collins

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Feast or Famine

Jump off's. Love them or hate them, they've been here forever and will continue to be. But that's not really the point of this post. The issue on the table is how long you should feast on a jump off? At some point the time will come when you've had your share and should move on or get another plate and stay a while. There's an expiration date on jump off's or casual sex partners. You simply can't consistently be intimate with someone, have all these slumber parties and not eventually catch the feelings flu.

Three to five months.

That's it. That's all you get before she starts asking what you do during daytime hours and he starts wondering what you look like with your clothes on. It isn't a lot of time, but it's just enough for the rules to change, the lines to blur, and the whole game to get f*cked-and not in the way you'd like to get f*cked.

I'm not saying you'll both feel this way. Some people stay in sexual relationships for months and months. You occasionally hear someone say, "we slept together off and on for years." But if you probe, you'll find the off and on sexual relationships usually span a few months before they cease and then start again a little while later. Either one of the two started dating someone else or they just grew bored. The point is it just can't go on too much longer or this imaginary dating curve comes along.

I have a friend, Dana, who called me, asking my opinion on a cut buddy of hers. She was irritated with his morning routine and how it got in the way of her snoozing when she slept over. My first question was how long she'd been sleeping with him. She said a few months. Then I asked her why she cared in the first place. While she tried to convince me, or herself, that she didn't care, I started thinking of the timeline and listening to what was between the lines coming out of Dana's mouth. Dana cared. Couldn't help it actually. She'd been intimate with him for just enough time to care about his morning habits. To care about anything outside of the sex business. She complained of him cuddling her the night before and then switching back to cut man in the morning. I pointed out that she couldn't really be thwarted by that when that is, in fact, what makes the cut just a cut. They're yours for the time being, but once morning comes, it's pretty much back to business as usual. Once I dug deeper, Dana realized she wanted something more than a guy that she only shared her sheets with. Dana wanted someone to share her life with. She'd spent too much time jumping off, making that cut go deep and no band-aid would heal it. She was wide open.

But he was not and when she stopped calling, he did too. So on to the next. Which is a great idea, but remember the window of opportunity is three to five months. After that, either sit down at the table and prepare for several courses or head over to McDonald's for fast food.

That bitch stole my line,


Blackie Collins

Friday, November 13, 2009

Even Halle Has Issues

Not enough women love the skin they're in. Too many of us hate our hips or our noses or our hair. I can't make you love your own body, but I can ask you why you're so against it to the point where it's messing up your sex life.

I remember having a conversation with male friend. He kept going on about women who have low sex self-esteem. My ears perked up. What was this and how could it be spotted? He explained that it was the kind of issue a girl who keeps her shirt on during sex has. The chick who can't do it without being in the dark. The woman so un-into her own body, that she doesn't want anyone to see its imperfections. Listen here, that's just foolish! I was like that when I was seventeen and had sex for the first time with my boyfriend. I was shy and nervous, but fast forward a couple romps and I was screaming from the rafters and ripping my clothes off with fervor. I wish I could say I get it, and maybe I do a little bit. There've been times where I've thought for a split second, "I bet this position isn't so flattering," but not once has it ever stopped me. What a blower to an activity that's sooo great!

See, I think it comes back to this place where women have been taught that if they don't look like Beyonce or some supermodel, they aren't worthy. Case and point: Halle Berry. Gorgeous, amazing body, flawless skin, not to mention ageless. But Halle has stated repeatedly that she's got some of the worst self-esteem ever! She's let men beat up on her and was married to a sex addict who
cheated on her. How do you cheat on Halle Berry?!! But that's the point, even when you're subsequently perfect, there are still all these flaws. We all have them and no one has been spared, so why bother picking yourself apart, ruining your own body-image. Look, there are plenty of people, places, and things that are ready, willing, and able to tear you down. I suggest you check out of that mode of thinking asap. Instead, make a list of your physical assets. Stand in front of the mirror if you need to. I know, that sounds crazy, but if you don't love your body, he won't either. I'm lucky enough to wake up to someone who tells me I'm beautiful on a regular basis. Let's me know I have the most amazing body, which I surely do not. But I'm good enough for me and I faked it until I made it. Now, I just believe it and if he weren't there to tell me I look great in the bright lights with no make up on, I'd still be the best I ever had. And the best he ever had too. ;)

That bitch stole my line,

Blackie Collins

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sometimes it's cute to see a couple kissing on the street or holding hands as they walk ahead of us. Our eyes fall on them and linger for a second or two, imagining our own little lip lock earlier in the day or the boyfriend waiting for us at his subway stop, ready to usher us off, hand in hand. Yes, sometimes it's endearing, adorable, and sweet.

Sometimes it isn't.

Sometimes it's the kind of PDA that isn't a new smartphone, isn't some parental organization, isn't giving a gentle kiss on the corner of 72nd and Broadway. Sometimes your standing, minding you business, crushed in the rush hour crowd in the middle subway car. It seems like everyone decided to leave work at the same time and someone isn't quite so Sure. You're holding your breath, angling yourself away from the sweaty guy pressed up against you. Yet instead, you turn away and are face to face with a couple going at it. In fact, they're doing so much, in such close proximity, you're actually considering this your first threesome. It is no longer the cute moment of love you saw the model-esque pair in Soho sharing, this is more the couple who was basically having sex in the restroom at Bed last weekend. It's unnecessary and completely unacceptable. Kissing, yes. Sucking, fondling, gropping, no.

I understand how the feeling can overcome you. The feeling where you just have to grab your man and plant a giant sucker on their lips. I get how sometimes, you're riding along on the subway and you feel the need to hop on your dude and just take him. But you don't. You can't. Not because you have some sort of firewall, because obviously B has very few. You can't because of everyone else. Now, I rarely care what others think, but I care what I think, and I have no interest in having front row seats while he removes your tonsils with his tongue. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume everyone else shares my sentiment. Of course, there are the few pervs out there that wanna watch you get down, but, sorry, the majority of us just aren't interested in your sex life. But please by all means stay interested in mine:) Thanks! Management.

That bitch stole my line,

Blackie Collins

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

That's What Girls Are Made Of

I was at the Hudson bar, enjoying a drink with my best friend, Maria, when two gentlemen asked to join us. We consented and wound up having the kind of intelligent conversation that is so absent these days. The kind where no topic goes uncovered. The kind that ranges from pop culture to politics to the best Prince song ever written (Let's go crazy! Let's get nuts!). Eventually, per usual between men and women, the topic of relationships came center stage.

There was much discussion on the gender differences and how we love in our own individual ways, but something stuck out. A question that stumped Maria and me. We were volleying words that make men, men. Strong, protector, provider, masculinity. We tossed them with ease, having a clear picture painted. But then someone said, "Well, what makes a woman a woman?" And everyone was silent. Maria said kind. I said caring, sanguine and feminine, but it didn't seem right. It didn't seem to encompass the female make-up. And I was mad that we all agreed most on the words nurturing and giving. Why is it that our characteristics were dependent upon others? Why couldn't we stand alone in our traits as the men had? The truth is, women are taught at a very young age to nurture and care for someone or something outside themselves. How many little girls have you seen toting around doll babies in strollers or playing house and being the mommy. Contrastingly, you see little boys running a muck, doing what they want to do, jumping from stairs and scrapping, wrestling. They're taught early on that to be a man means strength and confidence. That they have the weight of many on their shoulders and must provide and protect. While we're being reared to get a husband and a household full of snotty kids.

A very close friend is going through a major breakup right now. They were together five years and lived together for the last two. It is safe to say that her boyfriend (well, ex) is going through some sort of quarter life crisis. He doesn't know much, but knows that he thinks he needs to be alone. So much for provide and protect. He's yo-yoed her around the last several weeks while he has done what he believes to be best for himself. Problem is that as easy as it is for him to think of himself first, he's just as easy to forget about her feelings altogether. Meanwhile, she's hanging on, reverting backwards, just to make it work-to take care of him and his needs.

It's a shame really. Why do we need to be the nurturers all the time? Why can't we be known as strong and confident? Well, if I really think about what it means to be a woman, and about the women I look up to and hope to be, I realize that maybe the reason its hard to pinpoint what traits create our makeup is because we are all of it. Strong, yet soft. Confident yet yielding. Giving and nurturing with the weight of the world on our shoulders too. I love being a woman. Sugar and spice and everything nice.

That bitch stole my line,

Blackie Collins

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Friends W/ Bennies Part 4.3: The End...

The phone kept ringing and finally, realizing this conversation would have to happen at some point, I answered. He didn't bother with pleasantries. Instead, he fired questions with such specificty, I knew he'd been briefed on what I'd been doing and with whom I'd been doing it. I sat and endured with a weird melancholy, knowing that prior to sleeping together, details such as these would've been given easily, or at least easier, for they would've been discussed between friends, which we no longer were. Steve didn't back down when I tried to give vague answers. He continued on until finally I said, "Look, I had no idea how you felt and you hurt me before. I wasn't about to wait around for you to do it again." It was wrong to place the blame on him. At least not the whole load, but it seemed easier than doling out details his brain wanted to hear, but his heart couldn't bear. The conversation ended with a thud, the sound of a clicking cell phone button that echoed as much as the clicking of a door lock.

And now, it's exactly what I feared when I first dove into this situation. It's strained. Where there was once an active love, there's now a passive, complacent one. The kind you have for someone you once cared about: you love them, but only because you once did, not because you still do. Where there was deep discussion is now catch-up conversations every week or so where nothing is ever said and everything seems stale. We are growing apart and I can feel it, yet I can't seem to stop it. Steve's competition has taken up space in my mind and maybe my heart. The time that was meant for Steve is now someone else's and I don't make a moment to settle the score with Steve. To try and reconnect our old friendship.

Sorry Kelly Clarkson, there's no such thing as a
Beautiful Disaster. This one is just bad, real bad, Michael Jackson. Perhaps I knew all along this would be the result. But that could all be bullshit simply designed to ease.

Today, right now, I have no real answer. We're just sort of there. Unintentionally intentional about being whatever we once were and are now.

Whatever that is, was, or will be.

That bitch stole my line,

Blackie Collins

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Friends W/ Bennies Part 4.2

I kissed him in return, ignoring the shouts in my head, letting him kiss my neck and forehead. He made a comment about hopping in the shower, cleaning the city's grind off. There was a different kind of familiarity as he showered and walked naked around my apartment. It was the comfortable ease of a man and woman sharing a space, a bed, a life. I almost cried at how sad it was. How at one point, I'd wanted nothing more than Steve at the moment and now I wanted nothing more than for Steve to leave.

I was not all in. I was afraid of losing my friend, confused on my feelings for everything. Transitioning and figuring it all out. And through the night, I was haunted by the foreshadowing of what was to come. Of what happens when friends take up residence in the point of no return only to forfeit the lease and lose their deposit. I saw the nights curled on the couch, chatting or watching movies disappear. Walks in the park and piggy-back rides given through the park (so the rats wouldn't get me) fade to black. Steve was one of the most solid men in my life, but somewhere between toeing and crossing the line, Steve wound up stuck in the friend category. I knew it was a done deal.

I tucked the notion of most likely ruining one of the best friendships I had known into the furthest parts of my brain and did what I do best: ignore. Life resumed with a ferocity. This would be the part in the movie where a good montage would play the daily activities of life, set to a good Natasha Bedingfield song. Out with friends, traversing Manhattan with a pair of great stilettos and a hot bag, dating.


Over the weeks, Steve's competition was steadily becoming the only team on the field. While, Steve had all but exited the stadium, he wasn't down and out. He wanted overtime, to block the kick, go for the extra point. See, Steve and Steve's competition knew each other in college, a fact I'd found out all but too late, and when Steve found out, he wanted answers. Answers to why I'd disappeared, took his heart and ran off, confused him, dated his friend. Answers to questions I didn't want asked, but didn't really have time to ward off because Steve's name was popping up on my caller ID.

to be continued...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Friends W/ Bennies Part 4.1

There have been several emails asking about my Friends With Bennies situation. A lot has happened, so here's the first part:

I was headed back to NYC, excited to get back home, sit on my own couch, watch the endless DVR, sleep in my own bed, hit up my favorite neighborhood cafe owned by the rasta, dread-wearing asian lady. I had lunch dates and dinner dates lined up. Happy hours to attend and friendships to resume. Particularly Steve. Steve and I were still talking, toeing the line between friends and more, trying to pretend there was no giant pink elephant teetering on the phone lines over which we spoke. Now, I was back and the promises made had to become reality. Steve had just moved into a new apartment around the corner from mine. He was excited for me to stay with him instead of he with me. I was excited too, but I wasn't sure if I was excited for the same reasons. I had been sifting through my feelings for him, trying to differentiate between loving him as I loved my MAN and as I loved a friend that happened to be a man. I was starting to feel like the latter which is classic B. Love the chase, hate to waste. I love the feeling of something blossoming, of the light drama of it all. The excitement. But I get bored quickly and once I get 'em, I start sabotaging or growing tired of the time wasted with them. Old habits die hard.

Plus, Steve had major competition. Nothing ruins a QB's season like having the next guy come in and take the team to the Super Bowl. I feared Steve's season was nearing its close.

But Steve was unaware of the possibility of a trade, so as soon as my feet hit the hot asphalt that is unlike any other city's, Steve was making plans. I was convinced I'd know the answer upon seeing him. He showed up that night and just as I'd suspected, the feelings threw darts at me, hitting hard, adding pressure, telling me the decision was already made. I knew what was to come and as he hugged me, I thought the words, realized they were hiding under the surface, ready to reveal themselves. He drew back and held me at arms length, going in to kiss me and the look in his eyes scared the crap out of me. He was all in.

to be continued....