Awkward Things I Say To Girls


IT ALWAYS SEEMED LIKE THE RIGHT THING TO SAY AT THE TIME

Archive for July, 2007

Boundaries Are For Losers

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Part 3, Chapter 12

The hot ex-copy editor and I are holding hands while walking back from having cider at the sort of coffeeshop they don’t have in the south, the kind that is big enough to be a house and so cozy inside that the windows are fogged constantly in the freezing winter. I put my arm around her and pull her close. She snuggles into my shoulder.

It’s a Thursday night in March of 2003. Despite all appearances, someone else is her boyfriend. Still.

It wasn’t my idea to escalate our relationship into cute semi-harmless physical contact, but getting hooked on heroin isn’t just something you just put on your day planner either. In our case, my relationship-boundary-observing world had been shattered months before when she suddenly pulled my arm around her when we were walking along. Since them, you couldn’t stop me from publicly or privately displaying non-kissing affection if you tried, and she didn’t. I never got on base, but I was certainly doing what baseball players refer to as “making contact.” Look, plenty of people cuddle with their platonic non-single best friends during movies. Right? That’s not weird.

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I’ve been cheating on you.

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

It’s true. Not only am I guilty of neglect and emotional distance with respect to Awkward Things, I recently completed a collaborative fiction project over at another website. Yesterday we launched another one.

The first was called This Most Recent Unpleasantness. It was co-written by Ross, who runs the whole website and who I have to thank for getting me excited pushing me along occassionally. I can’t think of any better way to get you to go read it than to say that, at one point, I have an awkward conversation with a girl who is turning into a zombie.

I looked down at her legs. Her right shin was in her lap. “Yes, you’ll be fine. Let’s get you to a hospital. And then afterwards, dinner? Is that a thing? Because I’ve always . . .”

She interrupted me again, yelling “I am on fire!” She screamed in pain. “Kill me . . . ”

Obviously this girl just has a problem with listening. That’s okay, though. I mean, communication is something you can deal with in a relationship. “The thing is, I’ve been secretly in love with . . .”

That’s when she spat blood all over me. It was as I was staggering away that she suddenly stood up, broken leg or no, and started shambling towards me, groaning loudly.

The newest project is called Gifted & Talented. This one is also collaborative and first-person, but it’s expected to be a bit longer and is being cowritten by Ross along with Val and Susan, both of whom I am ultra excited to write a piece with. Best of all for me, I get to write in a very different voice than I typically use:

It’s fully morning and I’m fully sober when I walk into the apartment. I don’t even look at my prick roommate before I start busting his balls. Call it a habit.

“Hey, asshole, I ran into your sister at the race last night. I think her butt’s getting bigger now that she’s 17. I like it.”

Now, don’t you worry your pretty heads about ATISTG. I’m practically bursting to tell you what happened last weekend, as soon as a I get the chance to edit the loooooong e-mail I wrote to a friend about it yesterday. But I figure that if I’m going to give you something to do for hours when you don’t want to work, I’m going to need more variety and lots of help from my friends.

I don’t think “nice” means “smoking hot.”

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Part 3, Chapter 11

“You should hang out with Justin sometime! He’s really,” she paused for emphasis, “really nice.”

I flinched when I heard the adjective. I don’t have anything against the word generally, or even its application to me, unless the person using it happens to be the hottest ex-copy editor I’ve ever seen. And when Michigan Girl is telling her friends that I’m really nice, obviously no one is going to be having hot makeout and cuddle sessions anytime soon. Except for perhaps them. And her. With people who aren’t me.

(more…)

Michigan seems like a dream to me now.

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Part 3, Chapter 10

“…and then when we woke up Michigan Girl and I went out for breakfast on that last morning before I left. We finally didn’t try to order the same thing as each other, but then when we went back to the cabin her dad said that he had ordered the same thing that I had, just a few hours earlier! And then…”

Gush.

That’s what I did, the second I was back in Cleveland. It didn’t matter who I was talking to: my roommates, coworkers, friends, and even my ex-girlfriend became uncomfortably intimate with the most insignificant details of my trip to Michigan, and the girl who had become, for me, the living representation of the entire state. If you live in Ohio you have to hate the University of Michigan, but I was in love with Michigan Girl.

“…and then I was about to leave, but I saw my bathing suit on her clothesline, you know, drying? Which obviously means that I forgot to pack it. But, I figured, why say anything? Because now she’ll just have to…”

I simply would. Not. Shut. Up.

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