Years before it was possible to spend hours at a time stalking exes and exes of exes on Facebook, there was just the straight up internet. Specifically, AOL – anyone who used Netscape or ICQ made me feel uneasy because… well, how simple was it to just use AOL?
What we had wasn’t epic, it wasn’t eternal – but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t special. We swapped stories and spit; most times, we shared more than that. Beds. Meals. Toothbrushes. We met each other’s friends, but not each other’s families. That was good enough, wasn’t it? Great, even.
My Self- Summary: I hate writing these things/I suck at describing myself/I am not at all good at this but here goes nothing… I’m an easygoing guy. I love a challenge/adventure/good movie. My friends say I’m ________. I’ll let you judge that for yourself, though. [Insert emoticon of choice.]
Gotta Dance – Stephanie takes up professional dancing. She busts her ass, struggles with practice, and thinks about quitting several times. When she hears that her group performance of ‘Motown Philly’ might land her an entire summer of dancing boot camp, she throws the performance on purpose and busts out some cray cray dance moves. All of her fellow dancers are like, “Homie, what?”
Then I freaked out. I remembered that, unlike Thanksgiving, unlike New Years, Easter is a religious holiday. I thought, “I can’t go to church.” I expressed this to my roommate as we were sharing wine. He said, “It’s an hour of your life, it’s an experience, won’t you just write about it?” And I said, “Yes, I will, you’re right.” But it was a lie, I couldn’t go, I would cancel on my parents the next day.
Once there was a time when breaking up with someone any other way besides having “the talk,” face-to-face, was totally abhorrent. If you told someone that you and your partner broke up via phone, it was like… disgusting. This was a time when yeah, breaking up actually was hard. Enter the age of apathy – aka now. All bets are off. No one is owed a decent break up these days.
I look White. My sister looks Spanish. My mom is Black. My dad is White. We never talked about these things. I never felt like I needed an explanation. At the first sign of summer, I wanted to fry in the sun and be tan like my sister. I remember my brother picking on me – he has a different dad and is darker, like my sister – and I told him that he wasn’t Black, like mom, just dirty.
Wake up, remember what happened the day before, sob. Get in the shower and stand so that you’re facing the water. This will create the illusion that you’re not crying. Blow your nose into your hands. Talk aloud; giving unsolicited responses to questions that no one is asking you because your “talk” was unsatisfying. Say what you need to say.
I will develop a “bedtime routine.” I will make a diligent effort to wash my face every night before bed. I will dab anti-wrinkle cream on my fingers and gently trace circles onto my aging skin, like I’ve watched my mother do. Once a week, I’ll apply a facial mask that will require fifteen minutes of doing something else until it dries; something noncommittal like fixing a cup of tea.
Often, “shitting where you eat” refers to a workplace hookup; an ill-advised soirée involving yourself and the company ink. However, I’d argue that this analogy is better suited to the inter-apartment hookup. After all, where does the majority of your shitting and eating go down? Don’t answer that.