Rain Delay. Delay.

The night before. We check in. The usual. Simply confirming. Still 7:30am? In case one of us wants to push up or push back. For whatever reason. In case one of us admits to premeditated excessive drinking leading to being hung over the next morning. Possible. And there is always grace for that.

It’s looking like rain all night. And next morning.

V: Do we still run tomorrow at 7:30?

V: Run later at 2pm?

M: Can’t do. Got adult plans. Washer/Dryer.

V: Right! Sunday?

M: Yeah, could work. Tomorrow could clear up. Let’s play it by ear.

Next Day:

6:30am: rain stopped

M: It’s not raining, we have a small window until about 9am. Might not get 10 miles, but to the water and back. Still good for 7:30?

Crickets

7:00am: still no rain

M: It’s cool, you’re probably still sleep. I’ll head over. Run with me if you wake up in time.

7:28am: warming up the car

7:30am: headed over (continued to buy some time)

7:45am: parked, waited a few moment

7:50ish? finally running out

8am: running, rhythm and glance left–

He’s getting out of his car. He sees me. Playfully pretends it’s hard to identity me.

M: Didn’t you get LASIK?

The fucking timing. The rain delay and delay.

What are the fucking chances? How did we get a few minutes uninterrupted?

What? Why? How?

Now What?

I could have rolled over and slept in. I could have knocked on her front door to get her up. I could have run an entirely different path. No.

That’s the path I enjoy best. To the ocean and back. To the familiar tower 26 and back. With hills. With plenty space. With safe space. Not necessarily my path. But again, the path that brings me the most joy.

This the year of constant work. Hustle. Getting the job done. With sprinkles of joy. And my joy is that much more important to me. That much more critical. Not willing to compromise it. Not willing to run another path. Even if the risk is a clear and present danger.

Possibly to the left. And there is grace for that.

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Alcohol. Alcohol. Friendship.

NYC.
The phone call that started it all. Abbie’s phone. My phone.
Marsha: Hello?
Paige: Hello, this is Paige, Abbie’s roommate
Marsha: Hello?
Paige: Hi, this is Paige. Abbie’s roommate. Did you have questions?
Marsha: Is Liz around?
Paige: We got separated. But she’s around. Did you have questions? Can I help you?
Marsha: No no. It’s okay. I’ll figure it out. Thank you.
Paige: Ok. Bye
Marsha: Bye
 Second Day Reflections–
When the conversation was ended. I wish I had the courage to continue it:
No no. Let’s continue. What about my words were hurtful? Why were they so hurtful? How old did you feel in that moment? What else were you able to confabulate in that moment?
My apology is not coming for you. It never will. My words were not rude. I was simply asking to speak with someone I know. I was simply declining your help.
An hour or so had passed after our first phone call:
What gave you the courage to impersonate Abbie? Why did you need to know exactly where I was? Why did you feel the need to speak to my character? More specifically, how did it feel to tell me I was a rude fucking bitch?
With more time passing, I was apologizing to Abbie and saying I needed a safe place to stay. Seeking refuge late in the night.
Why did you continue to impersonate Abbie via texts with hurtful words? Yet simultaneously trying to get me on the phone— When calling Liz’s phone to get me to hear your apology, how did it feel when I again declined to speak to you?
Concluding Thoughts:
Did you think deleting your hurtful texts from Abbie’s phone was also going to diminish or silence how hurtful you were? Did you think I was never going to tell Abbie the truth? How else did you envision the consequences of your behavior? What did you think my response would be?

Geography is Destiny

It’s the best line of this episode of Jack Ryan.

It’s also the best setting to describe my guilt in Latin America. My guilt when visiting Guatemala.

When I was there, I looked around and saw what my life could have been. A different path. If my parents haven’t left. What could have been. It’s overwhelming. It’s difficult to experience without having an incredible amount of internal conversations with myself.

I feel the need to apologize. To no one in particular.

How do I redirect these feelings? Where can it go? Does it always stay with me? Will it find it’s way out of me? How can I practice gratitude with the guilt living within me?

How do others process? What can I learn from them?

I am a product of my parents escaping poverty and violence. I am the living result of their sacrifices. I am their dreams come true.

I was. I would have been. If I was presently okay. But I’m not.

I was. Maybe briefly. Brief moments. That was the past. It’s all dark from here on out.

Emotional Abuse On Christmas Day

I woke up extra early. Didn’t wake up my family. Simply left my parents house by 7:00am.

I was on the road with our son. Racing back to you. To surprise you. To share Christmas with you. The love of my life.

I could barely hold onto the steering wheel. It was so cold. The heat wasn’t working. I was too afraid of tweaking the dials and risk breaking down on the road. So I kept driving with chattering teeth.

I arrived by 9:30am. Walked in. You were still in bed. You were awake. And now furious that I showed up. You made it clear I wasn’t welcome. You made it clear my efforts were in vain.

We argued until we had sex. It was the only time I got away with saying the words:

I LOVE YOU.

We moved into the living room. Onto the couch. With our son. And Netflix.
I moved to hold your hand. You pulled away sharply.

We aren’t together.
But we’re still married.
We’re separated.
We just had sex – I thought to myself. But I wouldn’t dare say out loud.

We watched more until you got ready to leave.
To leave to have Christmas dinner with your family. Your words.
Severed from people I’ve grown to love.

You said, I still wasn’t allowed to come with you.
You said, you didn’t want me to come.

This is what I need.
This is what I’m comfortable with.
This is what is best for me.

I begged. You left.

There was nothing in the fridge. For me, Christmas dinner was popcorn. And wine. Alone.

When you came home, you kept your distance. Sitting at the dinning table. On your laptop. Making little eye contact with me.

I tried to make a bit a peace by trying to kiss your cheek and say goodnight before bed. You pushed me away disgusted and angry.

We aren’t together!
But we’re still married.
We’re separated!

Rejected. Dismissed. I retreated to my car. The cold shelter where I started the day. I didn’t last long.

I ended up laying next to you in our bed. Crying myself to sleep. Within inches of you. But completely alone.

My first client didn’t pay me.

He was my husband at the time. I asked him to take me back to where he was staying to have sex. He said yes, on one condition. That I didn’t say ‘I love you’. During sex was the only time I got away with saying it. Until then. I agreed. No words, I promised.

He called for an Uber.

After we were done. I got back into the bed, under the covers. He didn’t. He said he wanted me to leave. He didn’t feel comfortable with me staying the night. But why? He just didn’t want me there with him. It was what was best for him and his needs. He continued to ask me to leave.

I told him, I don’t have a key. I’d have to see if she (my friend) was still awake at our Airbnb. He asked me to text to her find out. I texted. He was looking over my shoulder. My friend texted back a frown emoji. Now I feel bad, he says. He still insisted I leave.

He asked me to get an Uber. I told him, if you want me to leave you do it. He didn’t think it was fair since he Ubered us from the wedding.

I asked him for a shirt to wear over my dress. The dress was thin and I was thinner. 10 pounds under weight. An extra layer was vital. I told him he had to at least walk me out to the car. He did.

He never paid me.

The second client didn’t either. It’s become a bad habit. Not getting paid for providing a service. Services.

I’ll make sure the next client does.

Dearest Camry

Ode to the 2002 Camry. From Valencia, CA. Bought new. Now 296,000+

You’ve done a lot for our family. The least I can do is honor each mile you’ve given us. And of course, put up with your crap when you’re moody.

You were my Dad’s car. You belonged to my parents. Well, according to the Title, you still are. He would drive you to and from LA. He put lots of miles down on the 210, the 5, the 99 and 65. You were proof we were living a luxurious life. A comfy interior. Low on gas. You were a dream come true.

During my senior year of college, Dad gave me the Camry. I used you mainly to drive to and from my internship at KTLA and to and from work at CPK. Before you, I had gotten so good at taking the bus and so good at politely asking for rides in exchange for food. You came at the right time. You always did.

I hung onto you for about a year after college. You allowed me to escape SCICON when it felt like too much. Which was every weekend. I kept you until I had to give you up for strange lands: Miami, FL

You were given to my brother’s wife, when she was in a pickle. Terryn was essentially car-less. And my parents provided. Our Camry provided.

After Miami and after Spain, Matt and I came back to the States BROKE. We blew our wedding savings in traveling places we never thought we’d get to see. We became one grad student and one full time $12 dollar an hour employee. But you were there. At this point, not as reliable.

At this point:
I’ve been in a parking lot with fresh groceries when you’ve died on me.
I’ve learned the trick of hitting the starter.
I’ve been consistent in giving you the oil you demand because you’re a thirsty bitch.

But it was OKAY, because you kept us going– for the most part.

Some people get a car when they turn 16, for turning 16.
Some people get a car at 16, that they later pay off to their parents.
Some people get a small loan of a million dollars.

Whatever happens to you. I will continue to care for you in your older age.
I got you. Still got you. Until your last days. I love you.

Craigslist Adrian – Roku Stick

Gawd. I hate having a vagina when I need to sell on Craigslist.

This is for survival. Gotta sell. Gotta bring in more income. Every bit counts.

Posting. No problem. I’m clever. I’ll reel them in. The Roku stick got a few inquiries.

Agreeing on a time and place to meet. Panic. Panic. Panic. Pure fear.

Who can come with me? Where can I still be in a public place? How can I defend myself if needed?

So. I try to accommodate. Reasonably. Good thing it’s still light outside after work.

I wait outside at our scheduled time. Rookie mistake.

I text. I’m here. I get a response. On my way.

I go back inside. We agreed on 6:30 and it’s now 6:45.

I say to myself: I’ll wait until 6:50.

He says he’s on the street. I walk outside. At this point, I figure he could be a she.

He rolls up in a little red car. And rolls down the passenger window. There is a younger lady there. Way younger than Adrian. He motions to approach the window. I ask him to get out of the car. No bitch. I won’t hand you the goods when you can speed off.

He has questions about the set up. The pin? How to log in? The directions are in the box. The box is unopened. Why the hell are we discussing about the set up process?

I try to smile. I try to be polite. He tries to haggle. I don’t budge. He finally asks the young woman in the passenger seat to give me the cash. She resists and finally does. She was trying to talk him out of it the entire time. Was this a bit? To get me to lower the price?

She didn’t want it. She didn’t want him to buy it. I didn’t care the entire ordeal wasn’t pleasant. I would have been happy to sell to someone else.

Eventually. I got cash and began to slowly walk away.

You live around here? He asked.

Yes. And now I wait for them to drive away.

Plug for Offer Up. Where you get to rate the buyer/seller. Bye Creepy Craigslist!