Keep On Keepin’ On

I had a rather abrupt realization the other day. I love being single.

The thing about healing after heartbreak is that it isn’t a binary state — one day you’re sad, the next day happy. No, each day is an incremental journey towards the other side, towards acceptance and integration. Some days you slide a little, but there comes a day when you realize you’re in new territory. Continue reading

"You’re throwing away my youth!"

There were a tense few days last year after Ms. K and I moved in together where, frankly, neither of us had much to say to each other. She took one look at all my accumulated crap, contemplated the reality of having it merged with her own, and figured that she wasn’t impressed. Cue a night of her sleeping on the couch followed by a trip to our new storage unit, our love finally saved.

But before you think Ms. K bullied me into letting go of sentiment, the pendulum eventually swung the other way. It’s just that her cull wasn’t as dramatic as my teary eyed trips to curb with bulging trash bags because Ms. K had already done a big cull before we moved in together. Still many things remained in the way of gratuitous kitchen supplies and clothing purchased during the later years of the Clinton administration.

In the run up to our trip to Sweden and Amsterdam, it became obvious that Ms. K needed new adult clothes. With shopping bags full of purchases from a high end discount store in Gravesend, I locked my sights on the stuff that needed to go, clothes that hadn’t been worn for years, holding up each offending article with no mercy.

Synthetic blend pull-over from Express? Gone.

90s era surfing logo t-shirt with arm pit stains? Gone.

Jean skirt that is so short it could be a belt? Gone.

Ms. K winced as each item went into the trash. “You’re throwing away my youth!”

Whatever nostalgic argument she had, whatever story of inappropriate activities she once took part in whilst wearing said clothes, I wasn’t hearing it. Payback’s a bitch.

"No, honey, it’s our desk."

Each day that goes by, Ms. K and I become a little more merged, a little more complexly interwoven. It’s been a year since we moved in together, but there’s still plenty of stuff to cede to the collective “we”.

“That’s my desk,” Ms. K will say of the glass IKEA desk that houses both my iMac and her Macbook Pro.

“No, honey, it’s our desk.”

That’s all fine until I started sharing my Netflix account with Ms. K and discovered that a certain someone (ahem) had been watching Cher: The Farewell Tour, irrevocably throwing off my Netflix recommendations. This stands in sharp contrast to the unfortunate pile up of Holocaust themed movies in my queue that I am understandably never quite in the mood to watch. Although Ms. K and I recently watched The Reader, I joked, noting my Netflix queue, that we could follow The Reader with a double feature of Sophie Scholl: The Final Days and Bent.

Hmmm . . . Cher: The Farewell Tour isn’t looking so bad anymore.

"Hello, Sunshine."

Apologies, I’ve been terribly remiss with this whole blog writing lark. I took some time to get my head screwed on after the accident and I am generally starting to feel normal again. The whole car thing is still in limbo and I’m waiting to get a copy of the police report, but I am finding it rather humorous that the first name of Ms. K’s total loss adjuster is Sunshine.

Anyway, the other night I realized that Ms. K and I have gotten to that stage in our relationship where we walk around the apartment with our pants unbuttoned and such. Like that time Ms. K found toilet paper in a not so sexy location, it’s funny (or mortifying) to realize that whatever borders of propriety and formality that humans have between each other eventually fall in a long term relationship.

There was an incident in particular that had Ms. K and I laughing at some very unsexy personal stuff. Except I can’t remember what exactly — probably for the best — but I threatened at the time to blog about it.

“No! Don’t blog that!” she said. “People are going to think we wear sweat pants and baseball caps and don’t have sex!”

Again, lucky for her I can’t remember what sort of toilet humor we were laughing about that night.

"You used to make me cry in the night."

I guess what I was trying to say with my previous blog entry is that after a wobbly start, my relationship with Ms. K finally found some solid ground at the end of 2007. It’s funny to think that I had had my doubts about the seriousness of the relationship considering that now we live together and find joy in the simple pleasure of cooking dinner together and looking at paint samples. How very lesbian of us.

I don’t know, guys. What happens when you get into a serious long term relationship? This is a little bit new to me . . . or maybe not so new since I was with my first girlfriend for almost three years and my second for a year and a half. But I think I blocked those years out. Well I didn’t block everything out since I remember my second ex-girlfriend having a rage fueled breakdown involving a hammer and a bookcase.

That’s another story for another time.

"Did you ever want to break up with me?"

Laying in bed one night recently, Ms. K was pressed against my back. With her arm hooked around my waist, she was, as she likes to call it, a big spoon to my little spoon. Content and warm, I began to drift off into the gentle waves of my unconscious only to hear her ask,

“Did you ever want to break up with me?”

Jerked back awake, I hesitated to answer — not because there were times when I had secretly considered ending the relationship, but because the question was far too loaded for pre-bedtime conversation. No, I cautiously answered, not apart from the two times we actually did break up.

(Consider this post some relationship DVD extras. Or rather a missing part of the narrative.)

The first break up came a little over a month after we started dating. For those who were reading at the time, I was enjoying myself. Highly. I wasn’t taking things very seriously because for the first time in a very long time I was having fun. There was booze, hot sex, and staying out late on a work night to be had. But at the same time I had my Lesbian Red Flag Detector set to kill and with each successive date I proceeded to interrogate the shit out of Ms. K. In hindsight I feel bad because I probably came across more as a member of the CIA than a fun date, but the point is that alcohol makes for good truth serum and I learned far more than I needed to know — far more than was relevant.

Armed with too much information I came to the conclusion to break things off and sometime in late August 2007, after blowing her off a little, I sent her an email outlining why I thought continuing dating was not in my best interest.

“Anyone else I would have told to fuck off,” Ms. K later said about my email. Instead she wrote a strong rebuttal and told me why I was wrong and why I should give things another chance. She made a convincing point and the burgeoning relationship lived to see another day. Actually what she said was, “I can completely understand why you don’t want to get involved with someone carrying around a lot of baggage . . . . I feel like maybe it’s possible that because of what you’ve been through with other women, you really aren’t giving me the benefit of the doubt.”

(I found out much later that my initial email had not only been mean, but had caused her to cry while at a her family’s Thanksgiving, Summer Edition. Yes, I am an asshole.)

Speaking of mean . . . this brings me to the second time Ms. K and I broke up, which was last December.

To simplify a long story, let’s just say that Ms. K had enough of my bitchy snark. (Hey, it’s a defense mechanism!) She met me after work one night in Union Square and as we huddled under the awning of a subway entrance trying to stay out of the steady drizzle, I watched her nervously pick at the the hole in her brown striped cashmere glove. She obviously had something to tell me, but her mouth was having a hard time forming the words.

“I . . . don’t think I can do this anymore,” she finally said after more than a few halting starts.

Oh, no way. No way she’s breaking up with ME, I thought.

We stood there for a long time, conspicuously positioned by the entrance of a busy subway station. Intervals of people pushed by us, umbrellas opened and closed, a German tourist asked us for directions, unaware that it was Not A Good Time.

When I asked her why she was breaking up with me, she reluctantly explained I was mean and that I didn’t make her feel good about herself.


I can’t remember what I said or what sort of defense I had, but I do remember that all I wanted to do was leave that perch above the stairwell and head back to Brooklyn. I was totally done.

We stood there awkwardly some more, unsure how to leave things. Goodbye? Nice knowing you? I watched as she continued to play with the hole in her glove as another wave of commuters flooded by.

At some point there was an energy shift and Ms. K started to back track. Life force quietly seeped into the corpse of our relationship. One of her gloved hands reached into my pocket and found mine, her touch rekindling our affection for each other. The warmth of her hand felt like water after a drought.

She later said that at one point I had looked at her with hatred and that’s what did it — that’s what made her regret ending things. Her heart, she confessed, would have broken if I hated her.

Suddenly exhausted from the emotional lurches, I motioned to the subway below, “Let’s get out of here and find someplace to talk.” Standing on the subway platform, we held each other as we waited for the Q train to take us back to Brooklyn.

"I’m glad we’re in love again."

The pendulum has swung the either way or rather Ms. K and I have gotten our mojo back. Perhaps it was packed in one of the boxes I went through last weekend? Either way things are back to sunshine and smiles and no more couch sleeping (fingers crossed). We even had (a drunken) date night last night at Superfine in DUMBO and an at home date planned for this evening. And as we walked to the subway last night after dinner, she pulled close to me and said that she wanted a million more Best Day Evers™ with me.

Just like old times.

"How are we going to make this work?"

I have StatCounter loaded on my blog and since I don’t have enough personal distraction while I’m at work, I like to spend time looking at who’s coming to my blog. I also like to note the strange Google searches that bring random strangers to Post No Bills. (I think “feeldoe demonstration” is still number one.) Anyway, last year’s post on the Best Day Ever™ came up in the statistics and I was reminded that for every bad day there is a good day and that for every low in a relationship there is a high.

May tomorrow be more of a Best Day Ever™ then another horrible, no good, very bad day?

"My phone has been commitment phobic in the past, but I think it’s ready to sign up for another year contract."

As I’m sure you all are tired of hearing, Ms. K and I celebrated our anniversary last Thursday. We met up at Von, the bar we originally met at for a drink — a drink that lead to fourteen more and a taxi ride with her back to my place — before capping off the memorial tour at Sala, where we migrated to after our first meeting. Then we jumped on the B train to Ditmas Park, switching gears from Spanish to French for dinner at Pomme de Terre. Again, it took very little coaxing for her to come home with me.

"We all have to cut corners, you know."

As I mentioned previously, Ms. K and I are going to move in together sometime around July. Should we decide to leave Lefferts Gardens, we’re laying the groundwork by researching neighborhoods and rental rates. We have a fondness for Ditmas Park due to it’s proximity to the Q train and desirable cost of living. The neighborhood also contains one of our favorite restaurants in the city, The Farm on Adderley.

On Sunday afternoon we drove the car down there for some urban exploration before parking it on a side street and continuing on foot. We were interested in checking out the stock of old apartment buildings down there and assessing our options. Way back in 2006, as some of my long term readers may remember, I dated/slept with this girl named Val for all of a month. She lived in Ditmas Park in a well maintained elevator building along with her 80 lb dog. She had a HUGE one bedroom for all of $1,200 a month. For New York City, this is what we would call a steal.

As Ms. K and I will be combining menageries, one of those old pet friendly buildings seemed like a good place to being our search. We snooped around various places and wrote down addresses on a small notepad. At one very 1960s looking location, we saw a piece of paper taped in on the glass of the lobby advertising an available 1 bedroom. The Super was there to let us in and we nearly died as he showed us the apartment’s HUGE living room, HUGE eat in kitchen, linen cabinets, walk-in hall closet, another hall closet, and HUGE bedroom that could have easily fit a king sized bed, four dogs, seven cats, a desk, and a dresser. Did I mention this bedroom had two more closets? And it was only a block away from the organic food co-op and subway. All we would need was $3,600 to move in.

Shit. We’re broke. Like seriously fucking negative money broke. How the hell are we going to move this summer??

We left the building excited, but slightly depressed as the real hurdle to moving showed itself to us. I actually began to think about asking my parents for a small loan/gift/whatever* — like $2,000 — but knew I was risking a lecture and a dent to my self esteem. When I called my mom yesterday, I tactfully asked for the money before going the “Just deduct it from my inheritance” route.

She laughed at first, but then began the critical onslaught.

“Why don’t you have the money? I thought you were doing well with freelance?”

“I had to pay my taxes and I think one of my freelance clients might be drying up.”

“You’re 30-years-old** and you have bad credit,” she scolded me. “You need to start getting your act together. How is it your brother has $20,000 saved up??”

“I don’t know. Maybe he’s involved in something shady?” I mumbled.

“He’s very frugal with his money,” she added tartly, glazing over the fact that he lived at home till he was 25. “We all have to cut corners, you know. It costs me $70 to fill up my gas tank. Why don’t you stop going out so much and cut back on all the $10 drinks?”

What my mom doesn’t know is that I have already cut back and that I’m in a debt management program. I hardly go out (except for Date Day on Sundays) because I can’t afford it. That’s why I never see my friends anymore. Look, I wanted to tell her, I have never asked you for anything since moving to New York. Instead our conversation petered off into mutual disappointment. “I’ll tell your father,” she said cryptically.

When I hung up I felt dejected. I felt like a 30-year-old** failure. I loathed myself for having to ask for her help. I seriously wanted to cry. And still felt broke.

Plan B, thy name is tequila.

* God, this makes me sound so entitled and bourgeois.

** Twenty-nine, FOR FUCK’S SAKE. TWENTY-NINE!!!