Thursday, May 28, 2009


I ran into you by accident yesterday.

You looked stunning as always.

You had cut your hair.

Yet I was the one who suddenly felt so weak.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Run, Little Fox, Run

Dear Justin,

I've met someone I really like. I'm not willing to compromise it by coming to see you [this weekend -- 05/15-19!]. We both knew this was coming. I'm not your girlfriend and anything between us is conditional. Please be happy for me.

05/13/2009 (6:17 AM CST)



To be honest, I had no idea this was coming. Last time I checked we were anything but conditional. Maybe not a couple, but there was a commitment. You can try to dodge this truth by coldly rationalizing our relationship in any manner that suits you best, but the fact remains that what you're doing -- and certainly the way you're doing it -- is simply heartless. Congratulations, you've proven yourself to be completely untrustworthy and totally incapable of loving and being loved.

I would call your bluff and say that this new flame of yours doesn't even exist, that it's just you getting cold feet all over again. After all, you've done this every time you've come to visit. Either before or after you feel this desperate need to bail, and this calculated, cavalier rejection of yours reeks of a blatant lie. But I won't dive deeper into it. 'Cause if you are telling the truth -- if there is a someone who magically appeared in the last month (i.e., from the time you started telling me that you LOVED me with all your heart, WANTED TO BE WITH me soon and absolutely COULDN'T WAIT to see me!), someone who would require you to cancel your vacation as well as compromise our friendship and the friendships of everyone you know through me ('cause that's exactly what you've done) -- it doesn't mean much anyway. And you want to know why it doesn't mean much? Because sooner or later you will fuck it up, Jamie. You're inherently self-destructive and, unlike me, most people won't give you the benefit of the doubt. So when you do get cold feet (and you will) and predictably follow suit by vanishing, that person will not make the effort to pursue you nor take you back. I'm the only one who's that stupid. I'm the chump who believed that you actually want more in life than perpetual misery and isolation. What I failed to see time and again is ultimately this is your decision, not mine.

Despite all your proclamations otherwise, you relish being the lost little orphan girl, Jamie. You absolutely can't stand the idea of being accepted, loved, appreciated, understood, cherished, doted upon, taken care of, respected. You will continually lie, deceive, betray and destroy just to keep the status quo in check. You're codependent on your misery because it's what you know best. It's human nature: if you don't challenge the status quo, even if the way things are make you utterly weak and stifle everything positive about you, nothing changes and, thus, everything is "safe." Sanity in familiarity, right? Laugh it all away, right? Laugh! Laugh at the absurdity or else the ugly truth about your ugly self and your ugly soul will overwhelm you! I guess you were right: I knew this was coming after all. But that still doesn't justify anything. That still doesn't sadden me any less. That still doesn't stop me from saying, Fuck you, Kit. Fuck you for being everything you say you don't want to be but choose to be anyway.

That said, we now have a money issue at hand. I bought that ticket on good faith that you would come see me. If you can afford to waste it, you can afford to pay for it. You owe me $207.20. If you're adult enough to squander everything we've worked for, you can finish the job by being reasonable and responsible and paying me back in a timely fashion. Prove that you have some ounce of respectability. I'm appealing to the rational side of you -- that cold, unfeeling, logical side that you use whenever you reject me. If that's the only part of you I'm allowed to communicate with, so be it. You reject me, you pay for that privilege. Fair's fair.

Last but certainly not least -- and I know this likely means nothing to you, but I feel compelled to say it anyway -- I love and care for you with all of my heart. And despite all the hurt you've caused me, I still believe in the best of you. I've been quite preoccupied this year overcoming a lot of heartbreak and baggage and trying to find people I can trust and love without worrying that they'll stab me in the back, but none of that hurt or doubt could eclipse my love for you. My love for you fueled my ambitions. It was my undeniable proof that there are still plenty of things worth fighting for, that it doesn't always have to end in pain and sorrow. You made me believe that WE could accomplish anything. But that's obviously never going to happen as long as your neurotic, sinister and ultimately destructive actions and attitude undermine our entire relationship. I don't have all the answers in life, Kit, but I do know that I deserve better than this. When you finally and fully understand the extent of how cruel you've been to me, you're welcome to apologize. Maybe then we can even talk.

Until then, I wish you nothing but the best as you continue to do your worst.

05/13/2009 (2:13 PM CST)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stalled at the First Step

Hey Justin,

So, I just read the essay in your profile about non-monogamy. I probably should have read that sooner, but somehow I missed it. Props to you for being so open and honest...but the thing about me is that I have some pretty undesirable baggage that would make a non-monogamous relationship EXTREMELY complicated. I hate that I have baggage at all, and I am trying to work through it---but it will always be a part of me. I wish I could change that, but I can't; so the thing I am trying to do is accept it, forgive it, and live with it. But it is not easy. And it means that, for the sake of being as open and honest as you have been, I have to admit this: I am not the girl you seek.

For that, I am sorry.
I wish you all the best, though. Really&truly.
And I hope that you find all the Love that you desire.




I didn't ask you for a relationship, nor did I ask to pursue one. I just liked your profile and thought you might be someone I would enjoy sharing my time with. ANYTHING after that -- and I mean ANYTHING -- would require honesty, open-mindedness, pragmatism and hours upon hours of discussion.

Friendship is built upon trust. Trust requires communication. We haven't communicated much at all to even get to the point where it's safe to discuss terms for a serious relationship. So while your concerns are legitimate when it comes to the long-term, at this point they're a tad presumptuous. I'm a sensible guy, you're a sensible girl -- at least that's the fair shake I give everyone I meet -- so I would appreciate it if you could think long and hard about whether or not it's a good idea to allow assumptions (about me, about you, about your reaction to my assumed behaviors) to burn a bridge you haven't even tried walking across. I can assure you right here and now that I would never demand anything of you that you're not willing to give. I can also assure you that just because our initial correspondence has been exceptional doesn't guarantee that we'll be friends, lovers, partners and/or soul mates. We'd have to discover that over time. In person.

If you decide to stop internalizing all the things that COULD (not will) happen between us -- and, more importantly, all the things I might say in response to your every worry and concern ('cause, really, you don't know me nor ALL of my perspective and vice/versa) -- it would still be my pleasure to meet you for dinner/drinks.


P.S. If you would like to further understand more of my take on how assumption and avoidance does nothing but destroy relationships, check out the most recent episode of my radio show: Noble Efforts. (FYI: My name on the show is Bob Dubilina.) We present two excellent stories -- one negative, one positive -- on why communication is essential in any relationship. Start around the 10:30 mark.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Shipwrecked (An Excerpt from "The Duck")

I stood naked in my bathroom, the light off, looking for a hint of a reflection in the mirror. I knew it was there, staring back at me in the dark.

It was sometime after midnight. I was home alone. The bathroom door was locked.

"Can you hear me, Robert?" I asked the reflection I couldn't see.

No response.

"Hey, Robert," I tried again. "You there?"

Maybe it couldn't hear me. It was noisy in here. I was running a bath. The roar of the water gushing out of the faucet amplified off the tiled walls, filling up the tiny room, muffling my voice. The tub wasn't even a quarter full and the steam was already starting to leave a film of moisture on every surface.

I smiled at the mirror. I felt a wave of calmness wash over me. The water and pitch black were providing sanctuary from the worries and doubts that awaited me outside the bathroom door. The real world wasn't allowed to intrude here. The din and dark disguised my location, shrouding my presence from further reproach.

I felt cut off from everything and everyone. A good thing for once. I felt detached from myself, a primitive sketch of the weary and confused soul who was off somewhere drowning in self-pity.

I was thankful for the reprieve. This was a luxury, this vacation from all the burdens I carried, both present and past. My tension headache was gradually dissipating. My stomach was settling for the first time in hours.

If only this feeling weren't so fleeting. If only I could take this moment and insulate myself within it indefinitely.

I stood there in the dark and thought about escape, about making a permanent getaway.

I imagined standing on a stretch of white sand, rocking slowly to the gentle whoosh of high tide meeting the shore. My skin would be the copper brown of a new penny, no longer burnt or peeling, from countless days in the sun. The taste of salt in the air would be near stifling in my parched throat.

I would love being shipwrecked. The memories of home would be distant, faded from the years spent on an uncharted paradise lost in a vast ocean rife with profound mysteries and grotesque mirages.

I imagined Sara walking along the coast, walking toward me. She found me when I first washed ashore along with the accidental flotsam and jetsam of my life. When I awoke, I discovered that I had forgotten history and science. I had forgotten logic and truth.

I would speak to her of Algebra because it would be all I had left. Variables and coefficients would be my currency, my language. Seventeen years translated into a grueling maze of radicals and exponents multiplied and divided a hundred thousand times over.

This equation would be the only thing I could call my own.

That, and Sara. She would be mine, too. She would prove invaluable to helping me solve for x.

She would be the constant.

She would be the solution.

I imagined her naked, her tan body glistening in the sun. Her firm breasts would rise and fall with each languid step, her nipples stiff with the thought of my mouth kissing them. The fluid curves of her body joined together to create magnificence.

Her eyes were the mild green of the ocean at the edge of the reef.

She would have a smile that spoke of a life I had yet to live.

It was a life with her.

She would come closer. I would want her more with each step. I would kiss the freckles the sun had splashed across her face.

I would feel her lips brush the bridge of my nose. I would close my eyes and feel her tongue slide along my ear. I would shiver and sigh and know that I was where I wanted to be.

I would inhale the heady aroma of salt and sun on her neck and shoulders and know this is where I belonged.

She would run a hand through my unkempt hair. She would stroke my cheek. Her fingers would trace secret lyrics on my chest. She would be my sanity.

I would be anything she needed. I would be food and shelter.

I would be gravity and sex.

I would be Robert.

I would be the Robert she needed, wanted, desired – the Robert she hungered for like I hungered for her once before, a long time ago. Somewhere far away from here, a place where she was always just out of reach.

Somewhere I used to call home.

We would be one here. Her touch would save me from an ordinary life.

In no time everything would add up just right and I would have it figured out.

One more stroke and I would remember everything I needed to say to make her mine forever.

Standing on my toes, every muscle tightened, my breath surged out in a quiet rush.

I came in three short bursts.

I held the moment for as long as possible. I held it until my lungs begged for air and my legs turned stiff. I held it until I was certain the sun and sand were no longer there.

I relaxed.

I stood naked in my bathroom, the light off, facing the mirror. Depleted yet still erect. Cloaked in steam, veiled in darkness, unsure where my reflection might be.

I turned on the faucet and washed the mess down the drain. I cleaned the porcelain in silence.

Suddenly my heart clenched into a knot. Hot tears streamed down my face as I gripped the edge of the sink to steady myself. I felt paralyzed, the blood in my veins boiling me alive from the inside. I made a grimace and a strained, nearly inaudible whine escaped my throat.

The profound burden of memory, the grotesque mirage of splendid isolation.

There was no solution here. Not a favorable one at least.

The only constant, a boy shipwrecked in his own mind.

Ten seconds passed.

Five more before I could loosen my grip and finally take a breath.

My heart was pounding. I turned off both faucets with shaky hands.

I got in the tub. I kept the light off.

Fully immersed. In memory, in water, in darkness.

If I could dissolve away into any one of them, I would. Without hesitation, without notice. I would.

I fell asleep and dreamed that I was swimming in a sea of broken glass.

(c) JVH
10/2001 (First Draft)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Worst. Guest List. Ever.

The following is an IM conversation between Justin Velander Holt & Kyle Ramos.

March 18, 2009 (2:50 p.m.):
Velander: Okay.
I'm going to say something.
'Cause it's ON MY MIND!
Kyle: DO IT
Velander: And I just need to just get it out.
Kyle: just tell me when so it doesn't get in my eyes
I will NOT!
I will NOT!
Kyle: DO NOT
ask penny!
Penny would like that!
Velander: Penny's gone for Spring Break.
Kyle: man wtf
Velander: Denver
Hahaha. Kit?! I can't fly her out for a concert! I can't afford that!
Kyle: do not do it
Velander: OH! OH! OH!
I got it!
I know WHO!
Kyle: who?
Velander: VERONICA! [Ed. note: Justin's ex-girlfriend.]
Kyle: yes
AND MAEVE [Ed. note: Another of Justin's exes.]
Velander: I'll stop by her apartment TONIGHT!
At about 3 a.m.!
Kyle: and CHLOE ANNE [Ed. note: Kyle's ex.]
Velander: YES!
I haven't talked to CHLOE in, like, A YEAR
And her new HUSBAND!
Kyle: yes!
Velander: THANK YOU, KYLE!
Kyle: good ideas!
Velander: WAIT, WAIT!
That's A LOT of guests.
I need someone to co-host!
Veronica, Maeve, Chloe, Marcus, Kyle & Justin!
That would be EPIC!
Kyle: throw zoe [Ed. note: Another of Kyle's exes.] in for good measure
Velander: DONE!
Kyle: I would hang myself

Shout-Out in Savage Love

Well, it finally happened. Dan Savage added his two cents on my love life. No joke.

Savage Love
March 19, 2009

I've been seeing "Radioman" for a few weeks—the physical chemistry between us is amazing, and we have a lot of fun. He had a vasectomy a year ago (he's only 26), and for me this is a deal breaker since I want to have a family. The other surprise is that he is in relationships with two other women and the three of them get together and have threesomes. I am a bisexual woman recently out of a long-term relationship, and I am interested in joining this little playgroup. However, I met one of the other women recently, and she seemed jealous and upset. Radioman insists that she was just tired and actually likes me. I'm not so sure. Am I asking for drama by getting involved in this foursome?

Thinking Of Joining A Harem

Dan Savage replies:

Here's the actual link for proof that I'm not making this up:
NOTE: Second letter. Scroll down.

I'm getting this column framed and later signed when he next comes to town.

aka Radioman

Monday, March 16, 2009

The EJS Doctrine

The EJS Doctrine:

1.) I have a vasectomy. I got it in July 2008 as a way to ensure that I would not accidentally burden anyone with an unwanted child. Simply, I have zero interest in being a father. I don't want to adopt. I also highly doubt that I would ever get into a serious relationship wherein I would assume the responsibilities of a father. Yes, there is a possibility that my vasectomy can be reversed, but that would involve a lot of pain at great expense and there is no guarantee that I would be able to have children even if the operation was successful. This is why a vasectomy should be considered permanent.

2.) I do not hate children. I simply don't want any of my own, nor do I want the responsibility of raising one. This was not a decision I made lightly, and it certainly wasn't made in response to any particular childhood trauma, fear of failure or inherent selfishness. I have my reasons; I do not need to justify them to anyone. (However, I will happily share them with you in the interest of full disclosure as well as to exchange thoughts and feelings on the subject in a courteous, intelligent and non-judgmental manner.)

3.) If you are certain that you want children of your own someday, I completely respect your decision. However, I will never dictate the course of our relationship – be it friend, fuck buddy or long-term partner – based on the issue of parenthood. (This is only common sense; I am incapable of procreating, so it is no longer an issue for me.) Thus, if you do plan on having a family of your own someday, it is ultimately YOUR decision how our relationship will proceed. If my vasectomy is an absolute deal breaker for you, I suggest you bring this up sooner rather than later. This will save everyone a lot of grief and possibly hard feelings in the long run.

4.) If you use the fact that I have a vasectomy as a reason not to pursue a serious long-term relationship with me, you have no right to expect a serious long-term commitment from me. Do I genuinely like you? Yes! Would I still like to see you, share my time with you, enjoy your company and everything you have to offer? Absolutely! That's why I date you in the first place! Will I ever develop an emotional attachment to you? Of course! Vasectomy or not, I do not stifle the emotions I feel for someone. I am perfectly capable of even going so far as to fall in love with someone yet still respect the fact that we will never truly be together. As far as I'm concerned, the more intimate the relationship, the better! But, rest assured, I will never lose sight of the fact that you don't want to be with me for the long haul due to my decision. I both understand and respect your point of view, and I trust that you will not change your mind unless you tell me otherwise.

5.) If we are an ideal match, you're always welcome to change your mind about not having children and pursuing a long-term commitment with me. But please be sure about this. 'Cause I am. After all, I got a vasectomy at 27 after four years of serious deliberation. My actions are irrefutable proof that when I say I don't want kids, I really. DON'T. want kids. If I truly love you, nothing would make me happier than to be with you. But you have to be happy with this decision, too.

6.) Last but not least, I am happy to inform you that I consistently use condoms without complaint. Just because I'm firing blanks doesn't mean that I'm immune to STDs. I may have chosen extinction, but I have every intention of sticking around and enjoying my days for as long as I possibly can. Safety first!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Hard Sell [Text Version]

March 12, 2009 - 1:02 a.m.
Kit: Sleep well, Wolf. I hope your day got better.

March 12, 2009 - 1:05 a.m.
Velander: It didn't. I'm still really upset and saddened by all this. I miss you. I love you. I trust you. But I'm down. Real down.

March 12, 2009 - 1:11 a.m.
Kit: I wish I could be there to curl up with you and say everything will be OK but you're just going to have to take my word for it. I'm sorry for all the stupid drama.

March 12, 2009 - 1:16 a.m.
Velander: I understand your worries. I wish you were here, too. I wish I weren't such a hard sell.

March 12, 2009 - 1:25 a.m.
Kit: You're not a hard sell. I loved you within twenty-four hours of meeting you. I just get scared easy.

March 12, 2009 - 1:33 a.m.
Velander: I'm a hard sell b/c of how I feel for others. No one gives me a chance to give them my ALL. I give my heart to so few, yet most think I'm just building a harem.

March 12, 2009 - 1:36 a.m.
Velander: I know it stings to tell you about my feelings for others, but I trust you to understand. At least I hope you do. :/

March 12, 2009 - 1:37 a.m.
Kit: Well, you do make jokes about needing a harem manager.

March 12, 2009 - 1:42 a.m.
Velander: You know that's a joke. I'm talking about people willing to take a risk on trusting me not to steer them wrong. I'm not asking for the world. I just want good faith.

March 12, 2009 - 1:44 a.m.
Kit: What you're asking is for them to have faith in themselves and their own worth. That's a much trickier task.

March 12, 2009 - 1:51 a.m.
Velander: That depresses me. Severely. Getting a double dose in 12 hours was hard. Poor, poor me, right? The boy who tried too hard to connect. I feel so dejected.

March 12, 2009 - 1:53 a.m.
Kit: I'm not rejecting you and Tilda made the conscious decision to be your friend rather than run the risk with more.

March 12, 2009 - 1:58 a.m.
Velander: Both of you spun so quickly. It saddens me. It took all my will to drive home last night. And learning that you lied to me made me want to fucking bawl.

March 12, 2009 - 2:02 a.m.
Kit: I lied to you with the best intentions. I know that paved the road to Hell and I hope you can forgive me for that.

March 12, 2009 - 2:06 a.m.
Velander: I forgive you. I completely understand WHY you did it. It just saddens me that you didn't trust me or yourself. Same with Tilda. All this momentum, dashed. I hate it so much.

March 12, 2009 - 2:08 a.m.
Velander: I can only hope that it will all be okay. B/c it's certainly not right now.

March 12, 2009 - 2:09 a.m.
Kit: Cut your losses and fall into dreams. Tomorrow is new.

Friday, January 16, 2009

How's That Working Out for You?

Your honesty and self-awareness are quite remarkable – you publicly admit point-blank what most men only dare to dream. You don't even wait to the second date . . . just out in the open, take it or leave it. Although, knowing the females well, I would say this becomes a point of attraction; girls often desire that which seemingly cannot be conquered.

So . . . how's that working out for you?

Oddly enough, last night my co-host and I recorded the long overdue – it should've been knocked out three weeks ago – season finale of my radio show. We spent the entire episode discussing my rollercoaster ride of a year in the love and relationship department. Overall, in terms of being completely candid about what I want, my dating life in 2008 was a huge success. Thanks to full disclosure I had some amazing adventures and met a good number of attractive, intelligent, open-minded women who took me as I am and decided for themselves how much they wanted to get involved with me. (Or they didn't cry foul when I told them how far our relationship was going to go.) Much to my surprise, I even received some of the nicest compliments I've ever heard in regard to my unconventional (and sometimes brash) methods. My favorite was from a girl I dated in the Spring who cut things off because she wanted to find someone more traditional. She called me after the summer, told me about how this guy she really liked ultimately led her on and then finished her story with, "You know, on paper he was supposed to be the perfect guy for me and you were the cocky bastard, but it turned out to be the complete opposite. You were the good guy, Justin. I'm glad you were so honest with me. I just wanted you to know that." Needless to say, I felt extremely flattered by her words. Better yet, I was happy that someone understood WHY it's beneficial to put the cards on the table.

HOWEVER, things were nowhere near sunny skies. In fact, 2008 was an extremely rough year in the relationship department. The girls I shared the deepest connection with frankly didn't know what to do with me. (After six months of trying to figure out what the hell we were doing, one girl in particular – a girl I loved more than any other – absolutely DEVASTATED me in mid-November.) Part of the problem is that I can be pretty intense in my enthusiasm for someone. I'm extremely forward with my feelings. I don't act coy, play games or beat around the bush. Simply, when it comes to WHO I want, I just know it when I see it and go for it right away. (This is the same quality that also kickstarts a lot of my spontaneous adventures involving lust/romance/(felonious) shenanigans/international flights to exotic locations.) As Kyle, my co-host (and best friend), put it: "You don't wait for people to discover you. You meet someone you really like and then say, 'LET’S DO THIS!' That intimidates a lot of people." And he's right to an extent. I’m willing to concede that I rely too much on the hope of meeting someone who will match me right away in passion and interest. Of course, that becomes my downfall because more often than not people are overly cautious/suspicious in the beginning, and I just want to pull back the curtain, tear down the defenses and get started already on the grand and fulfilling friendship/affair/romance/relationship that possibly awaits us. I expect people to see that I'm completely honest and genuine; therefore, they should be the same in turn Right. Now. Kyle says that's an unreasonable demand . . . but that's where I adamantly disagree. I'm trying to encourage a standard here, damnit! It's not enough to treat others as you want to be treated; I also expect others to be honest about what they want (or, barring that, what they don’t want) and do everything in their power to play fair. Life isn't fair, so it's up to US to be fair to each other, right? Is that REALLY too much to ask?

Okay, fine: Maybe it is.

At the same time I can't imagine asking for less. I can't imagine curbing my enthusiasm or twiddling my thumbs and pacing the floor while waiting for someone else to catch up. I understand full well that what I expect/demand makes me my own worst enemy – more often than not, I am setting myself up for failure – but there's a reason why I made these choices for myself. This year I will make the effort to be even more patient and understanding – there's always room for improvement and personal growth – but I can't wait forever for people to "get it." Either they will or they won't, and I won't squander my time convincing everyone why it's in their best interest to trust me. They can take their lazy cynicism and shove it up their ass. It's so fucking easy to be jaded. Give me something more! Give me pragmatism with a hint (or healthy dose) of optimism! 'Cause I'm not here to fix everyone and "sell" them on why I'm so fucking great. I just am, and you'll understand it if you give me a fair shake. Meanwhile, I've got a life to live, mistakes to make (and learn from) and an undying curiosity to see what happens next. Any and all are welcome to join me, but they have to make that decision for themselves.

What do YOU say?


P.S. One thing I do know for certain is that I'm not looking for someone to conquer or one-up me. In fact, that's a huge turn-off 'cause it simply proves that they want to rein me in or put me in my place instead of working WITH me. I may be easy to pleasure and hard to please, but my loyalty is easily won with the understanding that we can do so much more working/growing/sharing TOGETHER than we ever will attempting to assert dominance over each other.

More Secrets, More Harm


So this is how you play it? Finally go the full step and cut me out of your life AGAIN?

If you'll recall, you were the one who was rude to me on Friday. Crowing in front of my friends, "So what soapbox are you on now?" was completely uncalled for, especially in regard to the story I was telling them. You know full well how shitty the Hannah situation turned out for me, yet you went out of your way to make it seem I was just ranting over spilled milk. You called it jocular; I call it insensitive. Should I have told them instead about how easily you cut off our friendship when you decided to come clean about having this mystery boyfriend that you were hiding from me? Should I have mentioned how you punished me -- the one friend who has shown his support through and through -- for your lies? Would that have been a better topic of discussion? Would you have felt more included?

Also, inviting Lisa over to your apartment for dinner with Jon, especially in front of me, was beyond cruel. Why in the hell would Lisa get that privilege and not me? (Why would she get it before me?) I think it's only fair that I finally meet this one true love that we only know about in the abstract. I mean, I help you out every way I can in this city. I help allay the cost of living because I understand what you're going through, and I care enough not to let you slip through the cracks. I help you find work. I treat you to dinner and shows because I want you to get out of the apartment and enjoy nights out with friends. It's never been an issue for me, and I long ago stopped asking for anything (but your loyalty) in return. Hell, I've even made it clear that the invite is extended to this secret boyfriend of yours, yet he can't be bothered to show up to anything. Why is that? He can't be working EVERY NIGHT, can he? Seriously, what have you really told this guy about me if you're too ashamed to introduce him to me? What are you hiding from him? What are you hiding from me? This is serious cause for concern, O, and I think it's unfair that once again you punish me for all the secrets you're obviously harboring.

Why is it every time when I demand a little respect from you I get tossed to the curb? I take care of you -- far more than anyone else, it seems -- yet you go out of your way to insult me and then shut me out. You were totally okay with being treated to everything before our group assembled that night, but you just had to make a big deal of it when we're at the front of the line. (FYI: I was simply asking if I was paying for your ticket. You mentioned on IM that I would have to treat you to dinner if you were to come out, but you didn't mention the show. I accounted for both, but I needed confirmation. I wasn't rubbing anything in your face; I just wanted to know who was buying your ticket -- me or you.) Then you hound me about my foul mood at a totally inappropriate time. And when I gave in to your bullying and told you what was upsetting me (i.e., you making a big deal about leaving early when you already made such a big deal about going to the show in the first place; you making a big deal about getting a ride home when Lisa and I have NEVER had a problem giving you a ride home; Lisa's dinner invite; your willful ignorance of my feelings), you storm off. You already knew why I was mad -- I made it clear before we even sat down for dinner -- but I guess you yourself were looking for a reason to be upset with me for your poor behavior. All I wanted was for everyone to have a good time that night; you went out of your way to make sure that I would not. The ultimate proof of this is when you chose to leave rather than change seats with someone else. You knew full well that wasting my money would only anger me further, yet you did it anyway. Think about it: Altogether I paid $30 dollars for you to treat me like shit the entire night and then walk out on me once we got into the show. Man, what a fucking STEAL! Thanks.

What you did -- not to mention what you're currently doing -- is rude and immature, Oshinn. All I've requested of you is to be more involved in your life. I didn't think it was such a big demand, especially from a friend who cares about and looks after you the way I do. What you're doing has grave consequences because it sets a precedent where I am continuously cut out of your life. You're obviously trying to either start a rivalry or generate animosity between Jon and me. I don't understand how this would help anyone. I don't want to be his best friend, but I do want him to know that I exist and that I'm fine that he's around, too. And I want him to feel the same. It will help prevent any future discord. I mean, what if you throw a party? You gonna invite all my friends and not me? What if you get married to the guy? You just going to casually sweep that under the rug and not mention it? Do you see why I'm so concerned about your eagerness to exclude me from such a big part of your life? Do you understand why I'm deeply hurt by your willingness to so easily throw in the towel? Think about it and get back to me. I am long overdue for an explanation.

01/05/2009 (2:10 PM CST)



I've explained all this to you before. More than once. Even in the abstract discussing why another girl might possibly not want to spend time with you. It makes me ill to justify you with a response. You already know. If you can't figure it out, that's your problem. I'm sick of it.

I loved how you went on about how you made me "better". You bought things for me -- to replace everything I liked about myself. You got me new clothes, championed my starvation. You also made me hate myself more than anyone ever has. You're a manipulative child. I started spending time with you again after I moved here because I thought you had changed, but you hadn't. It was just harder to see since we were no longer in any twisted relationship. Oh sure, you're generous. You give everything you have to whomever needs it, and think in return that you can be an asshole "just one time"- in most cases repeatedly -- and yes, that DOES erase all of your monetary benefit. Sorry. The best part about your generosity? It allows you to feel sublimely vindicated when people "throw you away", when they "abandon" you. You get to rub it in their faces and feel smug, and DO, so transparently it's both humorous and frightening. Ever wonder why that doesn't work? Because friendship doesn't come at a price. I didn't think I was insulting you at all that night. I didn't know what your sensitivity to Hannah was. I know you never fucked her and that she had a weird nose. But if you didn't want to talk to me after I was being a bitch, that would make sense. But why would you drop me, when you can keep paying for me and in return force gratitude? Remember how I tried to give all the shit back, how you repeatedly insisted on buying me meals, giving me whatever it was you were giving me? Even after I said NO? I thought by finally giving in it meant you knew it was all you doing it. Whoops.

I know, I know, you were being caring, you were being friendly. Sure. That's why when you gave me my birthday gift you didn't say anything about how glad you were that I liked it. You said, "See why you shouldn't be mad at me?"

Sorry, Justin. All the money you've given, the shit you've paid for, doesn't give you the excuse to act like an asshole, and it never has and never will. I'm not indebted to you, if you did everything in the name of friendship and caring.

I invited Lisa over BEFORE we even went out that night, you twit. That wasn't a personal affront to you. I would never want you at my house for dinner with Jon. You don't "deserve" to meet him, you don't "deserve" anything to do with him. You talked about him in an extremely disrespectful way on your excuse for a radio show. You're the one who perverts and breaks. He has nothing to do with you.

God. You don't deserve any of this. I would give back every fucking thing you gave me if it meant I never had to know you, be insulted by you. I was only a good whore for a short time. I hope to Christ you don't actually believe this drivel you spout about people not appreciating your generosity. If you do, you're fucked up. If you don't get why you lose friend after friend after friend, girl after girl after girl, then you need to get your head screwed on better. Of course, you refuse to do that. You're "trying". I already told you why that doesn't work, too. Apparently you didn't listen. I remember when you've been down Lisa and I have tried to figure out what we can do to make things better. She is too nice to say any of this to you and I'm sure hasn't even thought of it. That's my role. So do yourself a favor and listen, because when it gets to the point where she's the only friend you think you can trust, she isn't going to be able to say it to you in a way that you'll listen to.

I'm mailing your bus card back. I don't want anything from you again. Once you get yourself straightened out, you'll understand this. Until then enjoy the luxury of being pissed off.

01/05/2009 (2:42 PM CST)



I simply paid your way because I wanted you to join in the fun. 'Cause in the end it really doesn't matter if we have a good time. You were never indebted to me, but when you are being treated to something, it's only polite to play nice with with person who's treating you. It's in the same vein of saying, "Thank you," when someone gives you a ride home. But you treated me rudely in front of everyone. So how is that fun for me?

As far as your birthday gift goes, I already knew it was something you would enjoy. And I said that you shouldn't be mad at me because that gift was overwhelming proof that I cared about you. 'Cause it was a gift for you. It wasn't a book or a CD that I could pick up for anyone. It was a work of art that I bought -- and had uniquely framed -- with you specifically in mind because I knew it was something you would appreciate and enjoy. Also, to me, it was a symbol that I believed in you. I believe in your creative endeavors. After you banished me, I could have kept it for myself or gave it to someone else, but I didn't. I stored it away for you and hoped that you would come back. 'Cause I believed in you. That's why I said, "This is why you shouldn't be mad at me." It wasn't the cost. (You don't even know what it fucking cost!) It was the gift itself! Who else would go great lengths to give you what your heart desired? Who else would help send you off to France because he simply wants to see what awesome photos you'd take over there? I would. 'Cause I believe in you, my friend.

And when did I go on about making you "better"? I simply pointed out on Friday that you have a nicer coat than you did a year ago. That's not all my doing, not by far. I even said so. It was mostly your doing. The most I ever did was buy you a sweater from Old Navy, some underwear from H&M and a shitty coat from the Salvation Army. And that's what I said: "Last year she had a shitty coat that I bought her at the Salvation Army." And now you seriously want to blame me for your more stylish wardrobe because I'm the first person who spoke up and said, "Why don't you wear something that actually fits you? Something that looks nice on you?" Really? That's such a horrible thing? If so, why is it that you're wearing all these great new clothes, huh? Why aren't you sporting the same outfits you wore a year ago? Why did you leave that old ratty sweater on top of a trashcan and come back to me shivering because you didn't have anything to wear? I'm such a fucking villain because you actually liked wearing nice(r) clothing so much that you went out and purchased more? Fine then. Consider me the enemy.

As far as talking about Jon on my radio show, those are just jokes and you damn well know it. It's a comedy show, and I was simply making an extreme point that your continued reluctance to introduce your boyfriend to ANYONE is really fucking bizarre. You think we'll ruin him for you? You think he won't like us? Hell, does he even fucking exist? Is he really your boyfriend? I think these are fair questions to ask. Furthermore, any jokes we made were about you and me, not him. I never once said anything bad about Jon. The worst I've ever said about him was, "Who is this guy? Where the fuck did he come from?" and "Take that, Jon, she's still mine!" You really believe I think that? You really believe that I think you think that? C'mon, Oshinn, you're not stupid, so there's no point in playing that card.

By the way, I love your extra jab on "your excuse for a radio show." Nice touch.

Also, your self-loathing has nothing to do to me. That was around long, LONG before I ever came into the picture. I only made suggestions; you took them to extremes (and sometimes used me in the process). I simply suggested that you start using anti-depressants -- which you were already taking, mind you -- that wouldn't also make you gain weight ('cause you had complained about that). Yes, I like you thinner, but I also knew that you didn't want the fucking extra weight in the first place! Wellbutrin was just another option, and you never complained when you lost the weight and regained your sex drive! Better yet, I offered to pay for it because I, too, was reaping the benefits of it! Jon, too, it seems! Poor, pitiful you! But let's get this one thing straight, Oshinn: I liked it when you were thin, but I never encouraged you to starve yourself. In fact, I remember telling you time and again that you needed more than snacks and Diet Dr. Pepper to survive, that there was nothing wrong with having an actual meal or two during the day. But you had to take the self-image thing way, way overboard, and there was nothing I could say or do to convince you otherwise. Of course, you sure didn't complain when you looked in the mirror (or at the scale), but go ahead and blame me anyway.

You know, you can wish that I never existed all you like, but just remember that all decisions you've made this past year were because I helped encourage you along. You moving to Chicago? Me. Your wardrobe? Me. Getting a handle on your depression? Me. Taking care of yourself? Me. Your photography? Me. Getting a job? Me. Surely they weren't all bad things. Or maybe they are. Either way, you sure seem happy with the bed you've decided to make in the year that I've known you. If you didn't like any of it, then why the fuck are you here? All I did was light a fire under your ass and prod you to get working on your creative outlets. And you've said, "You're right, you're right" every single time. Not right away, but you did. My influence is all over your actions, yet I'm someone you can't wait to forget? Well, color me confused on that one.

Finally, as far as losing friend after friend goes, I hope one day that you'll understand that demanding loyalty and honesty does not make me a tyrant. I've never betrayed you, Oshinn, yet this is the fourth time that your blatant disregard for my feelings has put us at a crossroads. I myself am not a perfect soul. Not even close. And every single day I beat myself up over certain friends I've lost over the years and what I could have done differently to keep them -- or at least not let an issue spin out of control -- but I also remind myself that every relationship is a two-way street. Some friends I know harbored grudges and sat on powderkegs of resentment; Hannah chose to vilify me as a way of displacing her guilt; Melissa was going to figure out a way to break my heart because I wouldn't give into her unfair demands (and would never have trusted me even if I did) whether or not we had that explosive fight. You will choose to declare me as your biggest mistake because you think you're above apologizing for your rude and dishonest behavior toward me (as well as the lies you must be telling Jon about your relationship with me).

No matter the relationship or the problem, though, I've always pulled my fair share of the weight and then some, so you can go fuck yourself if you think I'm not doing the same with you. I never forced you into anything. I never demanded more than you wanted to give. Everything you chose to do with me was by your consent. I've rarely helped anyone out -- financially or emotionally -- the way I've helped you, and one grown-up thing I learned to do was to stop twisting up our friendship in exchange. These past few months I learned to give to you without expecting anything but the loyalty I would demand of any friend. I learned how to give to you simply because you're my friend, and I don't let my friends scrabble for food or bus fare. I hold you in higher regard because you're someone I trust more than most. For better or worse, you and I have been to hell and back, and we still love(d?) and respect(ed?) each other. You can vilify me all you like for encouraging and helping you to take better care of yourself, but just remember that the decisions were your own. I have regrets with many; my conscience is clean when it comes to you.

Your friend,
01/05/2009 (4:44 PM CST)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Madly. Desperately.


The last two weeks have probably been the worst of my life. Losing you has been absolutely devastating, and I'm not sure how long it will take to feel like I'm back to my normal self. Maybe I won't ever be; maybe this is what my normal self will always be like from now on. I feel like I've been ripped apart and left for the wolves. I'm raw, vulnerable, angry, frustrated, lost, downtrodden and completely miserable. It's actually a worse feeling than when I started off this year -- you know how bad that truly was for me -- and currently I find myself dreading what awfulness is in store for me come 2009. I don't sleep because I know I won't want to get out of bed if I do. I try to make plans to distract myself, but I still feel more alone than ever, especially when I'm hanging out with others. Damned if do, damned if I don't.

There are a thousand things I've wanted to say to you these past two weeks. Things that might clear the air, bring focus to the real problems at hand, maybe start a healing process or miraculously get us back on track. But every time I sit down and stare at this screen, I find myself at a loss for words. 'Cause no matter what I say, you're probably not interested in listening. It's me vs. you -- a battle I've never understood because all I've ever wanted is to be on your side, never against you -- and I'm destined to lose every time because nothing I say brings assurance or clears the air . . . or makes things right.

Like it or not, though, a few things must be said. There are some truths that you need to hear. So in the interest in saving my breath and your time, I'll keep it simple and just tell you what's really important.

1.) I'm in love with you. Madly. Desperately. I've been in love with you the moment I first met you. I've never been more attracted or attached to anyone as I have been to you. NO ONE. And over time when it became clear that you didn't want a relationship -- or at least a balanced relationship where we could find some strange slice of middle ground that would work for us -- I still wanted you in my life. I wanted you close. I still do. 'Cause I still love and care for you. And nothing's ever going to change that.

2.) Believe it or not, since late April I've been completely committed to you. I've rearranged my schedule -- ditched work, dropped BFN, bailed on friends -- more times than I can count simply so I could spend more time with you. Our relationship may not have fit into any parameter familiar to you, but ups or downs, fights or faults, my heart was completely yours. It still is. I never gave up on you and still can't because ALL of me -- not just a chunk, part or sliver; ALL -- feels so wholly tied to you, and it pains me that you've never accepted that. But it's true. It's 100% true. You can ignore or forget this fact, but my heart still belongs to you. It beats for you. It breaks for you.

3.) I'm sorry for losing my temper. I'm sorry for scaring you. I'm sorry for the harsh things I said. Some things I said because I felt cornered. Some things I said because I truly was afraid of what you might do to yourself. Some things I said simply because I wanted to hurt you the way you hurt me. For that last one I'm truly ashamed. I just felt so worn down, unappreciated and incapable of making any point that you'd be interested in hearing, and I lashed out because I was tired of carrying the burden of your disappointments. I was angry because I was being punished for being honest and upfront, for not caving into your non-negotiable (and vaguely detailed) demands for a relationship, for not being able to read your mind. I was angry because you wouldn't give me full disclosure in return. But what upsets me more than anything now is that we could have done so much more working together than tearing each other down. That's the biggest crime here.

4.) It never had to end this way. I'm sorry for my behavior. I'm sorry because it scared you, it destroyed my integrity, but, most importantly, it shifted focus away from our problems so much that in your eyes it nullified any good -- past, present or future -- I brought to the table. Still, it didn't (OR doesn't) have to end this way. I'm more than my anger just as you're more than your self-destructiveness. You are not a child; I am not a beast. You may not believe that, but I do. I believe our good far outweighs the bad. And even if you can't bring yourself to believe that, I simply hope that one day you will understand that none of this had (or has) to end with misery, anger, fear, heartbreak and/or pain.

5.) And on that note, I will never give up on you. I will always believe in the best of you. I will always hope that you'll reappear with the intent of making peace and starting again -- in any capacity we see fit. Per your wishes, I will stay away from you. On the sheer hope that you may one day forgive me and invite me back into your life, I will avoid further conflicts with you and yours and simply wish every day that you finally get back in touch and we will only have good things to say to each other. I will wish that we both drop the pretenses and the baggage and take comfort in the fact that we complement each other too damn well to let this go fallow forever.

You may choose to hate me for the rest of your life. You may choose to forget me and completely erase the fact that I ever existed. As for me, I can't do that. I can't forget you. I can't shake you. And as much as I'll have to accept the fact that you may never say another kind word about (or to) me ever again, I'll also have to accept that you will never be forgotten here. I'll have to accept that the hurt is what comes with the territory of being in love with you. That itself is no burden; I'd rather have this than the alternative of erasing your from my memory. That I could never do. 'Cause I love you. Madly. Desperately.

I miss you, Suricata. I miss you terribly. And I am always here for you. That might not mean anything to you now -- maybe not ever -- but it is my sincere hope that someday it will. And when it does, I hope you'll pick up the phone and give me (and yourself) another chance to do better for both of us. Never say never. I guess that's all I can ask of you now.

Truly yours,