Stiff Upper Lip

Dear Mallory,

Today, I thought I saw you. My heart skipped a beat. It felt like I was about to crash my car into your existence and at that moment I wanted to call out “hello” in my excitement and horror. Then I wanted to hide from you and the fact that I had messed up. And even though all the while I knew it wasn’t you, for all the anxiety and misery and fear it caused to think I could have bumped into you and made bad get worse… I wanted nothing more than for it to be the case. Because I never knew that the last time could or would be the last time.

And I didn’t mean to care.

I didn’t mean to love your laugh. I didn’t plan on being fascinated by your tattoos and loving the way your glasses fit your face. I didn’t mean to be warmed by the sound of your voice… Or charmed by your love of hockey.

And now I wish for silly things. Things like remembering what your favorite NPR show was. And what exactly your tattoo said because I remember thinking someone who wore that philosophy was probably awesome company… And it was true, for the time. I want to hear your laugh again. And get frozen yogurt. I want to converse about social justice and see what you think about things. I wish I didn’t for the first time regret having sex with someone… Because it was fantastic. I didn’t mean to have sex with you. I didn’t mean to like it so much. And I didn’t mean to trade it for the chance of getting to know you. Because getting to know you was one of the few experiences I was having that the prospect of simply made me happy.

I have fantastic half memories.

But I suppose to you I’m the guy that all in 2 days: banged your head into a wall with his pants down, poured salsa in your tequila shot, dragged you on an errand for his mother to the ghetto grocery store, and then proceeded to drunkenly, amorously hop in your bed one night.

I wish you’d have told me how you felt at the time.

I wish that when I asked you to breakfast you’d said yes. Cause it was meant to be an apology and I just wanted to clear the air. I wish you’d given me the chance to fuck up in person, instead of assuming that I would. I wish I seemed to you like I was worth getting to know better. For some reason, I can’t quite explain the only thing I knew about you was that you just seemed like you were worth getting to know better.

Sincerely,
Me

PS I really mean it when I say I’m sorry. I don’t know what I did to give you the impression I didn’t respect you and it deeply troubles me that I did somehow.

PPS If it means anything to you, I’m demisexual.

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The Ceiling

-My craft is the death of me.-

Sandra lay in her bed staring intently into the darkness. She wanted to call him. The freckled boy from down the road…

When she first caught the wicked glint in his eye, she didn’t think much of it. Maybe it was just the way he looked at things. He seemed the type to always be scheming. And while that ordinarily would be off-putting and maybe even a little scary… She found it an incredibly charming shade on him and wouldn’t rather see him in any other color.

It was a surprise to her when she asked a friend to find him for her after that first night. They’d barely spoken three words or paid the other any real attention… But their eyes met a few times and that seemed to be enough…

It was a surprise when she cast him a coy, “…drinks?” and he responded by inviting her over to create a new kind of cocktail for a joint party they ought to throw on the weekend.

She didn’t think much of it, but suddenly they had an excuse to spend time each day for three days. She didn’t quite know it yet, but she thrilled at the prospect…

And as drinks led to her rambling on about social justice the first night, surely embarrassing herself and he had a date to attend the second night with his latest prospect, whom he professed to be truly interested in… It definitely didn’t come as a complete shock when during a quiet moment in hosting she yanked him away into the coatroom, for a few seconds of slap and tickle… And scratching. And she could still feel his nails drawing across her skin. And there was some bristling excitement left as she considered what were some of the most exciting kisses she’d shared with anyone in recent memory. But they didn’t end the night in the same bed.

And so there she lay, in her own bed. Staring. Confused.

“Do I call him?” she wondered? What should she say? Was there a right or wrong move? And was there a safe line to toe in such a situation…

Why, oh why had she sleep with his roommate?

She’d wanted to. And this perplexed her further.

Sandra wondered aloud to herself if she was allowed to want this. Her brother said yes, which startled her because she didn’t realize that he’d been reading below her in his bed, nor that she was talking out her predicament in short disconnected, but intelligible ramblings.

“But Michael, are you sure I’m not a slut?”
“No.”
“Oh that’s really helpful.”
“I don’t know you’re life. Well I do, but-…”
“But nothing. Is it bad that I want both roommates? They literally are both keeping me up at night…”
“Why do you want them? Don’t you have a boyfriend already?”
“Well, it’s a long way from here to Spain… And I love him, I really do… But David is fun and Sam is really freakin cute. Am I allowed to tell you they’re good in bed-…”
“No.”
“Too late, Or well I think David would be but I know Sam is.”
“So if you’re already doing this, what’s the problem?”
“I don’t know…”
“Then there isn’t a problem and I’m going to bed.” James rolled over in his bed and sighed.

“…The problem is that I did it but I want to keep doing it and don’t know how to do that! Also I didn’t tell Esteban the whole truth so now I’m keeping a secret… Which kind of makes me want to do it more, but makes me feel like a bad person even though it’s not against the rules unless I don’t tell him! So technically-…”
“You’re not a slut, you’re a floozy and I just want to sleep! Just tell Esteban and don’t worry about any of the room mates unless they try to sleep with you again? Ok? Ok. I’m going to bed Sandra.”
“But-..”
“BED!”
“…Hmph.”

Sandra lay in her bed staring intently into the darkness. She wanted to call him. The freckled boy from down the road…