Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that

Yesterday, November 8, 2016, the American people made a decision. We were given the choice, ultimately, between and a man and a woman. We were given the choice between a (failed) businessman with no political experience and a woman who has been working in the Federal government for several years.

We were given the choice between a man who spews ignorance and hatred every time he opens his mouth and a woman who has presented herself with dignity and grace at every turn.

We were given the choice between a man who all but bragged about sexually assaulting women as young as 15 and a woman who was forced to deal with her husband’s infidelity in a very public arena.

We were given the choice between a man facing civil and criminal court dates in the near future and a woman who was convicted by the court of public opinion several times over, even after two FBI investigations proved she had done nothing wrong.

Make no mistake, the American public was given the choice between a man and a woman and we chose the man, despite the magnitude of his crimes and the content of his (lack of) character, simply because he was the man. Because he is a white man. Because he is a rich white man.

At the very core of this decision has been an air of rampant misogyny. The newly elected president of the United States, Mr. Donald J. Trump, has spewed hatred toward every group of people that is not him for the past year. He has publicly mocked people with disabilities. He has vowed to deport Mexican immigrants and build a wall to keep new immigrants from entering the country. He has called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists. He has proposed facilities and tagging systems for Muslims that are Nazi concentration camps in everything but name. He has ridiculed veterans and women and treated women as property and objects to be owned.

In her capacity as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton made decisions that may or may not have led to American deaths at an American embassy in the Middle East; decisions we, as civilians, will never fully understand, decisions that had to be made in the time it took to take a breath, decisions that may have not had favorable outcomes, regardless. And ultimately, the events that led to making those decisions were the events that kept her out of the Oval Office.

It was never about her acquiescence in the way she received the Democratic nomination. It was never about the platforms upon which she was running. It was never, really, about the emails. It was always about what is (or is not) between her legs. It was always about that part of her anatomy her opponent bragged about grabbing.

All of that was meant to be an introduction to a post I intended to go a very different direction. I apologize for ranting. I apologize if I sound bitter and angry. I do not apologize for BEING bitter and angry. I am angry. I am angry as a woman that as an American I will be represented in the world by a man with so little respect for me, simply because I have two of something he only has one of.

Maybe that’s what misogyny is really about. Men are mad that women were given two X chromosomes and they only have one.

I could spend the next four years, angry about what happened yesterday, angry at 180,000+ people in Florida who voted for Gary Johnson instead of Hillary Clinton, ultimately tipping the scales toward Trump. I could fume and fight, rail against his attempts at destruction of the things that make me proud of my country, that made me proud of President Obama.

Or I could use the next four years to bring out the best in everyone I know. I could do good things and love the people around me. I could offer kindness to the groups he has vowed to hurt. I could be the bigger person.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. I am going to love with all of my heart. I am going to create. I am going to stand up for others. I am going to mourn for those who suffer in the next four years. I am going to show the world that Donald J. Trump, a misogynistic, racist, homophobe, may have been elected as the president of the country where I live but he does not represent me. To echo eight years of conservative rhetoric, “He’s not MY president.”

I voted for her. I live in a state where the majority of my neighbors voted for her. The majority of my friends voted for her. Of that, I can be proud, even if I can’t be proud of the choice others made.

Holiday Hell

It is officially the 3rd of October, which means that my birthday is less than a month away.

It also means that people have been saying for the last two days that it’s officially Halloween season and no one has any place to get pissy with them about being excited because it’s “too early” or it’s “still hot outside.” And I’ll give you that. I’m totally cool with starting the official celebration of any holiday within the month (Halloween in October, Christmas in December, that sort of thing).

My struggle is personal.

No, I don’t have to compete with Christmas but competing with Halloween for the rights to my own birthday has always sucked. As a kid, it was all about, we did the Trick or Treating thing, we can’t really do something for your birthday two days later. When I got into college, no one made a big deal out of birthdays. Mine or anyone else’s, and having one so close (but not actually on) a day that was really just another excuse to get sloppy drunk, made it even more invisible.

But, I’m not here to complain about people neglecting my birthday. I’m going to be 36 years old this year and I’m pretty sure that I’ve had more than five but fewer than ten birthdays actually go the way I had hoped. So I’m used to it.

The thing is, as the years have come and gone, I have grown to resent Halloween.

Once upon a time, Halloween was easily my favorite holiday. I decided to embrace the day and the tendency to combine my birthday with it. So what if no one cared about my birthday? Halloween was a thousand times better anyway, right? And mostly that worked.

Until it didn’t anymore.

Now, there are people all over social media going on about how much they love Halloween and October and how it’s their favorite time of year, even better than Christmas. But it just serves as a reminder to me that I am not where I want to be in my life.

I want to be where I can call friends at the last minute and go to a haunted house or a corn maze (even though I’ve really never enjoyed either, I do enjoy people). Or go on a real ghost hunt. Or go check out one of the dozen scary movies playing at the cinema.

I want to be where I can make a batch of popcorn and watch scary movies on the couch, or in bed, with my significant other.

Being single and 250 miles from my closest close friends has made me dread holidays in general, if I’m being completely honest. I want to have a 4th of July barbeque with 15-20 friends and kiss under the fireworks. I want “birthday week” to be a real thing in my world. I want to do that bit with the scary movies. I want to decorate a Christmas tree with that same person I watched movies with and exchange gifts with people and drink mulled cider and eggnog.  I want to do that Friendsgiving thing where everyone brings something and we spend the day together enjoying one another’s company, not out of some familial obligation but because we’re friends (by the way, even spellcheck knows about Friendsgiving). I want someone to ignore me when I say I really don’t want flowers and cheap chocolate for Valentine’s Day and buy them anyway because he thinks I don’t mean it when I say I don’t want those things because “doesn’t every woman want those things?” And I want to be kissed on New Year’s Eve and caterwaul our way through an off-key rendition of Auld Lang Syne then get up the next morning to eat brunch with those same people.

So, yeah, I guess holidays in general have grown to be a source of general discomfort for me. But it’s definitely worse when you’ve grown to dread something that was once one of your favorite things.

I need you to hear me

Disclaimer: The following blog post contains subject matter which I have addressed before. It is possible that I have reached the point of beating a dead horse. I apologize in advance if anyone out there in internet land is sick of this story. Please feel free to stop reading here.

I want you to hear me. I have no illusions that the conversation will end with you telling me that you love me too and sweeping me into a passionate kiss. I have hopes, dreams, but no illusions. While I firmly believe in happy together, I have very little faith in the idea of fairy tale endings. I am a realist and a pragmatic soul and I believe that it is far less likely that two people fall in love with one another, simultaneously, at the same time, in the same way than it is for one person to fall in love with someone and the second person agrees to give the whole thing try.

So, I fully accept that confessing my feelings to you is going to earn me, at best, a what the hell, why not?

And I’m okay with that. But I want you to hear that. I just want you to hear me tell you that I’m fine with why not. I want you to hear that I understand that you may not reciprocate my feelings. But I want you to hear that I want you in my life.

I am not the girl who can’t handle being friends with a guy my feelings for him extend beyond friendship. I am not the girl who makes things weird. As long as we’re friends, I will care about you. I will support you. I will want to spend time with you. None of that will change. But I can care about you and support you and spend time with you as friends. And that is what I want. I want to be friends.

I struggle with close friendships. I am an extroverted empathic Scorpio; human relationships are very important to my well-being. I don’t think there is a substance – either natural or synthetic – in this world that could replace what I get from being intimate and emotionally bonding with other people. But I struggle with them. I approach every new relationship from the perspective that letting this new person through my walls gives them the ability to hurt me. Keeping everyone at arm’s length keeps them from having that ability. I know I push people away. I always have. Finding someone with whom I feel completely comfortable, with whom I actually want to share the parts of me I keep from so many people, is something that means a lot to me.

You weren’t supposed to hurt me. You made me comfortable. I wanted to tell you things that I kept bottled up, hidden away from even my closest friends, because I wanted YOUR perspective. I wanted to hear what you could offer me to help me deal with things when I really just wanted to push them aside. When I already knew the reactions I would get from the other people in my life, I wanted to find out what you would say. Because what you would say would be different. Because I couldn’t predict what you would say the way I could with others. And I wanted that. I looked forward to that. I wanted to hear your voice.

Not your actual voice, although that is no less comforting, but your Voice. The voice you use to share your thoughts with the world. Your special, unique way with words. I have grown very fond of your voice over the years; even when you aren’t using it to speak directly to me. I miss your voice in my life. I don’t want your voice to not be part of my life.

Even though I always knew there was the possibility that you didn’t share my feelings, even though I knew that finding out that you only wanted to be friends would hurt, for a while, I also knew it wouldn’t hurt as much as long as I still had your friendship. And I think we are, still friends, but it’s not the same.

Maybe you can’t be friends when there are stronger feelings involved. Maybe that’s what happened. But you aren’t that guy. You aren’t the guy who avoids confrontation because it’s weird or uncomfortable. You aren’t the guy who doesn’t talk about things when there is something to talk about. You aren’t the guy who promises to be there for someone and then disappears when they need you to be there.

Maybe you’re not avoiding me. Maybe it’s all a misunderstanding. Maybe you still believe you are there for me, that we are friends, that I should always feel comfortable telling you anything, that I should never feel like I can’t ask you something or come to you with a problem. But I don’t feel like that anymore. I feel like trying to talk to you is futile. Like you aren’t listening anymore. Like you don’t want to listen.

And I need you to listen.

I need you to listen when I have trouble talking to anyone else.

But I also need you to listen to my heart. I need you to hear that all I want, in the whole world, is to know that I didn’t fuck all of this up. I need you to hear that as much as I want you to pull me into you and kiss me, I want to be friends more. I want you in my life and if I have to sacrifice romance in favor of friendship, I will do that. I can do that. I have before.

But I need you to hear me.


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today was the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. I spent most of the day away from social media but the few times I did check in, I saw memoriam posts ranging from urging others to cherish their loved ones and time with them to anger and hatred.

I shared my own personal account of what had happened that day. What I remembered, how I spent the day, because everyone’s memories are different and even though we say #neverforget, I’m not sure we really do that. I am not sure that we remember – when it is not an anniversary of a tragedy – to appreciate what we have in our lives. To be loving and compassionate every day, to tell people what they mean to us, every day, not just on days like today. Because while the world became a whole lot smaller on September 11, 2001, and the people who were alive when it happened swear they’ll never forget, there will be a year when September 11, 2001, joins December 7, 1941, as just another day in our nation’s history books when another country attacked us out of hatred for our way of life. There will be a year when this day will not elicit emotional memorial tributes and recounts of where people were and what they were doing when it happened.

I shared my personal account of where I was when I found out what happened and the only verbal response to my words was a call for hatred. When I responded that hate, in any form, is not the answer, I was challenged and brow-beaten with a paragraph about “what if it had been your family? How can you love something so unworthy of love?”

The idea behind Dr. King’s words is not to love the thing that hurts you. It is to not stop loving because you have been hurt. And to not waste your heart on hate. Don’t hate the thing that hurt you, love the thing it hates. Love in spite of that thing’s hate.

In general, this means be kind to other people, be supportive of other people. Don’t just TALK about being a “good person,” BE a good person. More relevant to what started all of this, invite your Middle Eastern neighbors into your home for dinner and ask them to bring a favorite dish when they come, so that you can learn about them (and have a hearty laugh when they show up carrying tacos). Support Syrian refugees. Tell your Congress(wo)man that you support allowing refugees into the U.S. Because love is welcoming thousands of sick, hungry, injured homeless refugees in spite of the fear that one of them might be a terrorist.

Don’t blame an entire population of people for the radical actions of a small handful.

In the days following September 11, 2001, bombs were dropped on Middle Eastern cities in retaliation for what had been done. When it happened, I thought that is how you fight back. Don’t kowtow to the bully.

I changed my mind shortly after.

When I realized that those bombs in those cities potentially killed more innocent people than all of the active members of Al Qaeda combined. When I realized that potentially more innocent people died in Hiroshima than could have ever inhabited a military base the size of Pearl Harbor. When I realized that the United States had chosen to battle hatred with more hatred. I no longer believed that bombing cities was a brave act of retaliation.

There are things about being an American that I cherish. I am free to share these words without the fear of persecution. I am free to speak to plants and the moon and call it a religion without being tried for heresy. I am free to speak out against my government when I feel as if it is not serving its people properly. I am free to sit or kneel during our national anthem if that is what I feel is right.

But there are also many things about being an American that embarrass me. I am embarrassed at the way our elected officials disrespect the people who gave them their jobs – from the constituents right up to the President. I am embarrassed that people in positions of power encourage those below them to hate without regard. Hate immigrants, hate Muslims, hate gays, hate women. It’s all there, if you listen. The hatred in our nation doesn’t start at the bottom. It doesn’t start with racist redneck hillbillies in the deepest reaches of the Ozarks. It trickles down from the top. It trickles down from voter suppression laws. It trickles down from statistically harsher punishment for people of color than for whites for the same crime. It trickles down from persistent attempts to remove basic civil rights from women and from minority groups. It trickles down from a pipeline that has the potential to poison hundreds of thousands of people and the media silence surrounding the cries of those people. And, unfortunately, it also trickles down from parent to child, a child who is born only understanding love and must be taught hate.

As September 12, 2016, winds to a close and another anniversary has passed, I implore my fellow citizens of Earth to love one another. Battle against those who harbor hatred for western cultures by loving. I am not telling you to love ISIS (don’t hate ISIS either; hate is what they want, hate justifies their beliefs, hate justifies their actions). I am not telling you we should implement hug a terrorist day. I am saying they hate us because we are greedy and immoral, selfish and arrogant. Love one another and show them that we are not all greedy and immoral, selfish and arrogant. Even when they are not watching, even when they are not listening, show them good people.

Love those around you with everything you have. Donate goods and money and time to charities. Do good things because they are good, not because of what you might get in return. Be kind. Be generous.


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


A radical idea for our election problem

In case you managed to miss the news, somehow, 2016 is a Presidential election year, here in the States. This is always a source of frustration and anxiety among the American people but this year, especially, many Americans – as well as citizens of other western, industrialized nations – are feeling the pressure to choose between two choices that much of the voting public are strongly against.

I have long been a supporter of the idea of a double blind election system, particularly where the President is concerned. Rather than candidates campaigning for themselves, there is a central committee. I haven’t quite decided who makes up the committee, how they are selected, but it would have to be a very scrupulous process.

From there, each person who is interested in becoming President goes through a vetting process then, when they are confirmed to be qualified for the position, they submit their platform to the committee. They submit their stance on the issues that will inevitably serve as deciding factors in the election – healthcare, environment, immigration, whatever happen to be the buzzwords in the current climate – and the committee presents the platforms to the public. The committee probably knows who the candidates are but not which platform belongs to whom and the public has no idea. No names are released until after the election is decided. The election, subsequently, is decided on issues rather than campaigns, on integrity rather than lack thereof.

To take it a step further, this year, especially, I don’t wonder if, rather than voting, we are given a test. How do you feel about this issue? Is it important to you, first of all, and second, are you for or against it? And our votes are based on how we answer those questions.

This test actually already exists and it seems to be fairly accurate. As it is, it only tells you which Presidential candidate fits your beliefs the best but it could be modified to include Congressional candidates, and ballot measures on the state and federal levels. For the most part, all of the questions would still apply so it wouldn’t have to be much longer than it already is, just offer more results. But instead of just saying “You align 75% with Candidate XYZ” it would just cast your vote, providing your results lean more than 66% toward one rather than the other.

Maybe it’s a totally radical idea. Maybe it’s something out of a 1950s dystopian future. But maybe it would take care of some of the corruption in our government.

Maybe it would get rid of our two party system. Maybe it would free us from our Stockholm Syndrome where we are held hostage by a broken system but keep defending it because it’s the “best one we’ve got.” Maybe it would get rid of media bias and candidate influence. Maybe it would get rid of that which makes Americans so frustrated and disenchanted by their own government.

When you’re an extrovert and feel like no one is listening…

Okay, but here’s the thing…

People get all twitterpated about “Facebook is not your personal diary” and “don’t air your laundry on social media.”

I am an only child. I grew up talking to myself, and for the most part, still do, any time I am alone. I have this thing about thinking. If I do too much of it, on the inside, it just makes a lot of noise and I’d probably blow a fuse if I did it all the time. I have to get the thoughts out of my head or they start to just kind of melt together and, before long, I can’t pick one clear thought out of the chaos. I’ve had that attributed to my creativity, to ADD, to myriad other disorders and conditions (not limited to autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia…although not by anyone who would legally be able to medicate me for any of those things). It doesn’t really matter what causes it, the fact is it’s who I am.

So when I “air my laundry” or use social media as a personal diary, it’s because I desperately want someone else to hear the thoughts that I needed to get out of my head. Because I am a Scorpio and apparently that makes me a walking paradox but because there is only so much I can accomplish by simply thinking – be it silently, within the confines of my brain, or aloud to my cats or the face in the mirror – and I need someone else to offer a response, which means sharing parts of myself that people might expect a Scorpio to keep hidden. Like feelings. Yes, I do have them. Intensely. I just don’t go waving them around all the time. Most of the time. Except when I need them to be heard. Paradox.

I also do it out of fear.

I need someone, anyone, to hear what I’m saying but I can’t bring myself to say it directly to an individual person. For fear of judgement, for fear of being misunderstood, for fear of getting a response I didn’t expect or of getting little response at all.

Of course, typing what is in my head in the little “What’s on your mind?” box on Facebook often results in little to no response at all but it’s still out in the world where someone – anyone – can see it and “hear” it.

And the box does say, “What’s on your mind?” before you clear it out to start typing so I kind of feel like I’m using it for its intended purpose. Chaos, feelings, anger, pride, happiness, confusion… that’s what’s on my mind, so that’s what I’m supposed to put in the box, right?

So while calm, calculating, rational me is begging for cessation, freaked out, emotional me is trying to get the attention of anyone willing to listen to share whatever noise is loudest in her head at the moment. This results in a lot of vague and veiled Facebook posts because one of the loudest sounds in the cacophony of my mind is his voice. Competing with the voice that asks what the hell I’m thinking, trying to box above my weight class with him.

There are other noises too – like writing struggles and work struggles – but those noises don’t lead me to operate with nearly the same level of surreptitiousness…. But when his voice is the loudest in the din, it sometimes makes me feel like I’m going to shake apart and I look around for someone who can tell me anything soothing.

So if you are reading this and you wonder why I am always saying things that sound like I am seeking attention, it’s probably because I am. Just imagine what sort of things I don’t share… I am an extrovert – which, according to Tumblr, means I’m a loud, obnoxious, attention whore – and I think that compounds my feelings of loneliness and those feelings are 1000 times worse when I just need someone to talk to. I’m an extrovert, which means I like to talk through things and be with people, but I’m a Scorpio, which means I’m predominately wary of most people and slow to trust.

This is another case of me needing to get something out of my head. I feel like a lot of this is a jumbled mess but I can’t really focus well enough to rearrange it so what you see is what you get. Sorry ‘bout it.

It’s 2AM so here are 2000 words, or No lifeguard on duty, swim at your own risk

This is not something I do very often. Which means it’s definitely not something I do well. I attribute it to being a Scorpio – an intense, brooding, passionate Scorpio, who is much more comfortable with the appearance of stability than trusting people with my vulnerabilities – because I wasn’t really raised in an emotionless environment. At least, not that I remember. All the same, I am not good at just laying everything out on the table but I feel like I need to.

I don’t know if anyone is reading this and if you are, you’ll probably abandon it before you get to the end. I understand. I’m about to say a whole lot of words and even I’m not sure what all of them are going to be. But things in my life are not what I want them to be and I don’t know how to fix them. Maybe because there is so much I want to fix, maybe because I don’t know what I actually want. Whatever the answer, I feel like I am drowning and it’s all I can do to keep my head above water.

I guess I’ll start with work, because that takes up the biggest portion of my life (well, there’s another thing but I’m saving it for later because I’ve beaten it to death). When I was … well, for basically, forever, I have been a writer. It’s the only thing that I’ve ever really known I could do and do well. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done consistently, without any major catastrophes. In high school, I took any writing class I could (which was, like, two in my Bumfuck, Nowhere high school with 25 kids in my graduating class). When I went to college, there was no question. I would earn my degree in English and become a writer. I didn’t know anything else.

I started freelance writing my senior year in college, getting decent money at first. Nothing I could live off of, at the time, but there was potential. As time went on, those paying gigs started paying less and less and today, even major publications “pay” in “credit.” Being a “writer” is getting to be an increasingly difficult obstacle course to maneuver.

Four years ago, I decided I needed to stop bouncing from crap job to crap job and try something more concrete. I applied to what sounded like an amazing MFA writing program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. That ended in flames so I started looking into smaller goals. The Reader’s Digest version is that I finally decided to try my hand at cosmetology.

And I enjoy it. But after three years, I still haven’t found my passion. I feel like there are things I want to do with this career that I’m not doing but I can’t figure out how to do them. I want to be a world class colorist. Or at least someone who gets their Instagram pictures noticed by magazines or whatever. Mediocrity is a double edged sword for me. It is something that I dread more than death and it’s something I feel every day of my life. I’m not unhappy in my choice, I’m not unhappy in my current employment arrangement; I am unhappy in my own achievements. I am unhappy in my own lack of passion. I am unhappy in my own skills.

I have always had a problem with going through phases. I don’t know what causes them – fatigue, stress, dissatisfaction – but I go through phases where something I have been doing over and over and over again for weeks, months, even years, goes up in flames every time I get near it. For a couple weeks, usually. Which was what I was saying about writing being the one consistent thing in my life. Save for bouts of writer’s block, I’ve never had those times where I just put out pages and pages and pages of complete garbage. I never got an F on a single essay, ever. I can’t even think of a single D on a written assignment. Words, writing, that’s what has always worked for me.

But these phases, they come out in my cosmetology endeavors too. Do the same haircut on 100 people and I’ll be damned if I don’t completely fuck up on the 101st.

So I feel mediocre. I’m decent but I’m not great and I have days I feel like I never will be.

To add to it, I don’t have (and some days, don’t want) a constant clientele. It’s not that I don’t want that, but I don’t want that here. Because I don’t want to be here.

People tell me all the time, just move. Pack up and move out. Go to the place you want to be (there are more problems with that statement than just that statement but we’ll come back to that). And there is one MAJOR obstacle in my way. I don’t know how to drive.

Here’s another of those Scorpio traits. I hate having to rely on someone else. And the main reason is that other people have proven to me that they can’t be relied on. Who teaches kids how to drive as teenagers? Their parents, right? My mother refused and my father allowed me to not want to do it. Then I got into university and had an acquaintance who offered to teach me but he offered once and never again. Fast forward to living with my mother as an adult and she still refuses. She complains constantly about having to drive me places, about how MY work schedule interrupts HER life but when I say you wouldn’t have to worry about that if I could drive myself, she acknowledges the logic of the statement and responds with “but I don’t want to.”

We recently got Uber here. There are like 20 drivers. If I could drive and I could do something like that (or PostMates or the food taxi…) I could make more money to help her pay some more bills, I could save money to move out….I could take those jobs and make money somewhere else. And every time she complains, every time she asks me for gas money, I get angry all over again.

I even looked into adult driving classes. That’s how frustrated I am.

And if I could move out, I could move to where I had friends. I am so tired of never having anyone to do anything with. Want to go to a movie? How badly do you want to see it because you’re going by yourself. Want to go skating or bowling or to karaoke night? Have fun doing those things on your own. I’m an extrovert. I hate HATE being stuck at home. But I’m to the point I hate everything because I do everything alone.

Even when I try to involve people, I don’t get the response I want.

And doing everything alone reminds me of another thing I’m sick of. I’m single. I’ve been single for 12 years. My fiancé – also known as my ex-idiot, or ex-asshole among my friends – and I broke up, officially…. Well, we never OFFICIALLY broke up but we last spoke in July, 2004. I’ve had other possibilities in the interim but they all sucked. And then HE came along….

I honestly don’t know how long I’ve liked him. I really started falling for him (in a deeper way than just a crush) a year ago, spring. It was April, 2015, when I said, aloud, where someone else could hear me, that I thought I might be falling in love with him. Now, more than a year later, I don’t feel any less for him but we haven’t talked in months. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know if I did something wrong. I worry that I liked him too much, that he couldn’t be friends with me, knowing how strongly I was attracted to both his body and his mind. Or that he couldn’t deal with me not telling him because I talked about my feelings a lot, in vague, veiled words because we have a lot of mutual friends and I wanted to preserve his privacy as much as my own.

The truth is I’m just scared. I don’t want to tell him. I don’t want to talk to him because I don’t want to know what’s going on. Right now, I miss him like fucking crazy but I have that glimmer of hope that we could make something work, that he could be just as attracted to me as I am to him. Right now, there is hope. Talking to him, telling him the truth, asking him why he stopped talking to me, opens me up for reality. Right now, he can’t break my heart. If I tell him how I feel, he can. Right now, he’s still my amazing friend who is intelligent and caring and funny and … fucking gorgeous. A confession means everything will change. He’ll still be intelligent and caring and funny, but will he still be my friend? Right now, I can live in denial. It’s not healthy but it also doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as what I’m sure will happen otherwise.

I think about how much I like him, wonder when I first started, and can’t imagine, for a second, him feeling the same way about me. Sure, maybe he thinks I’m funny or fun to talk to but a crush? Absurd. I’m plain, vanilla, nothing special. I’m a boring hairdresser who works in a small town mall that people walk around because the full trip, without stores, is pretty close to exactly one mile. I don’t drive, I don’t do anything. I am unremarkable and I don’t expect anyone to be wowed by me, especially not someone by whom I am so very wowed.

I’ve always blended in with the wallpaper. I think that’s why I dread mediocrity so much. I long for greatness (that’s another Scorpio trait, if you’re keeping track) but I don’t think I’ll ever achieve it. And I think things with him could be great. I think he and I could take over the world.

I used to think that I was a pretty awesome person with passions and ambitions and personality in spades. Recently, I feel like Mia Wasikowska in Alice in Wonderland when Johnny Depp’s Hatter tells her she’s lost her muchness. The thing is, I think he could be the person to help me find it. And his muchness combined with my muchness could be enough to set things on fire.

I want to set things on fire.