Heyo Mr. Mag,
So I just got my period this morning and my lady parts feel like there is a small mosh-pit army of angry teenagers, all flailing fists and karate-chop elbows tossing around. Or maybe just like my kidneys are on the brink of exploding.
I turned 32. I thought (as every year) that maybe I’d feel different but not really. I keep hoping one year something magical will happen but in general birthdays are underwhelming. Perhaps someday I’ll wake up with clarity, or friends will fly in to surprise me and spend time with me.
It’s the grand gestures. Am I the only one left who is capable of making them? Really, it’s all I want. I want to mean so much to some person that they have no other option than to let me know through a sweeping demonstration of how much they love me. Showing up on my doorstep in the rain. Showing up at my office just because. Driving across time zones and state lines to say “Hey, I know you are having a rough time. Stop, I’m here.”
It’s showing up. I just want someone to show up.
Also flowers. What’s a girl got to do to get a boy to give her flowers?
I have a friend I have to have a serious talk with and I’m not sure how, because I don’t know if we are close enough but I want her to know. How do you tell a friend they have a problem? She came on my birthday trip and the night before had gone drinking and at some point bonked her head. She then spent the day (really the next two days) complaining about a hangover and her face bruise.
The thing is, this isn’t a one time thing. And she’s fairly functional and we’ve all gotten too drunk before. I myself have struggled to have a reasonable relationship with alcohol. One day I realized that of all the things getting in the way of my hopes and dreams, that was the easiest one to get a handle on. My friend has so much talent and potential, but I think her habits are severely getting in the way. I mean, for Pete’s sake I have a connection I can make for her if she fixes her portfolio. It’s that simple but I cannot vouch for her until she does this. I’ve told her, “you need to do this.” But she has a hangover.
Face bruises shouldn’t happen from an accidental night of binge drinking.
You have to want it more. You have to want it the most. You need to show up, making your own grand gesture I guess.
I spent the car ride down to Portland lost in introspection. A friend of mine from Chicago now lives here. He’s the kind of person that makes you forget to function just by breathing the same air as him. I remember the first time I met him. I was sitting in Goldstar in Chicago. I was drinking a Stella. He walked in and we locked eyes. I forgot to breathe. I unabashedly could not stop staring at this man for the entire duration he was in the bar. I think maybe he couldn’t look away either. I watched him play pool with friends and I can bet you at least 100 dollars that Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” played because it always did back then, and at least 10 times a night for the following six years. As he was leaving he walked up to me and said “Hey, I just wanted to say I hope you have a good night.”
I ran into him a year ago here in Seattle after a Tinder date. I was walking up 65th when I remembered that my friend Rob lived at the top of the hill. I asked him if he wanted to grab a neighborly margarita. We found ourselves at El Chupacabra and I was wearing my Blackhawks hat. At the table next to ours a man said “I like your hat.” It was then I looked into his eyes. We sat there for about two minutes looking at each other, trying to process the time and space. Finally I straight-up yelled “NO FUCKING WAY?! PETE?” and he probably replied with a “Holy shit” and there was a hug.
Then I spilled an entire margarita on my lap.
The moral of the story, this is a human that makes me forget I have to breathe. Every time I run into him I turn into a bumbling idiot who can’t make words come out of my mouth. Is he the one, doubtful but that’s what we should all hold out for. That human who makes you feel like you were on auto pilot before they showed up. I dunno. I feel real alone nearly all of the time but I like idea that there is still a person out there that will make so much sense. Maybe I won’t even need a grand gesture. Maybe he’ll even bring me flowers.
And I won’t make the same mistakes
(Because I know)
Because I know how much time that wastes