the timeline for what happened next is a little muddy.
and it wasn’t a secret. people told me how stupid my hair was, but
once i lost the mullet, people started to treat me differently. girls started to notice me. i met
it didn’t last long. maybe a few month. it felt longer, though.
we talked a lot on the phone, but never about anything special. we’d talk about how attractive her friends were. she also had a really cute cousin that was a year younger.
amanda was the first time
i wish i was making that one up.
i think this problem stems from a lack of confidence in my physical appearance. i’ve never felt like i had a lot to offer a partner, so when someone i deem more attractive that me shows interest, it fucks with my head.
when ninth grade started,
my next girlfriend experience was over a year later.
cindy may have been my first real girlfriend, but heather (different heather) was my first real relationship. this was the first time
i don’t think it was a horny teenager thing, because she was often the one to initiate. i was terrified to kiss her the first time. she made fun of me for never trying to feel her up. what was i doing?
and yet, i kept coming back.
i was unkind to her. there’s no other way to put it. at one point i broke up with her because i wanted to make sure there weren’t other options. after spending an entire day asking out every girl in my school and getting denied, i begged heather to take me back.
i was not happy about that. i wrote a very mean song about her in response. i may have even played it for her. i don’t remember. my mom continued to be her friend. she would invite her over sometimes. this made me even angrier.
i learned a lot of important lessons from samantha. lessons about depression and anxiety. to this day, sam is my favorite name for a women. every computer i’ve had since i met her has been named samantha. i had forgotten why until now.
sam left her boyfriend and started dating heather. talk about karma.
the last time i saw heather was after a mindless self indulgence concert. i was going to a different school at this point, so i hadn’t seen her in a while. she called me an asshole and walked in the opposite direction. good for her.
i looked her up on facebook the other day. she seems to be doing well. she has a kid now, which is weird. she never seemed like the type. she also lost a lot of weight. part of me wants to reach out and apologize. but the other part feels like it’s better to not remind her of how shitty high school was.
this is the first time i’ve reflected on how i treated heather back then. i don’t know why i don’t feel worse about it. everyone in high school was a dick during that time. even my supposed best friends treated me like i was subhuman. that doesn’t make what i did right, but it’s not surprising that i lashed out against someone.
i think this is where the problems started. i learned very early on not to show compassion. even to my partner. everyone was going to turn on me anyway, so what was the point in opening up to people? having a girlfriend wasn’t about companionship, it was a means to an end. what that end was? i don’t know. i certainly wasn’t interested in sex.
i set a bad precedent with heather. i still treat people like they’re disposable. only talking to them when it’s convenient to me. i’m kinder. i no longer write hate songs about people. but i don’t let myself get too invested in others. i have friends. but i prefer to be alone most of the time. it’s just easier.
what i would consider my first real relationship was in eighth grade. it only lasted a few weeks, and i wouldn’t exactly call it a deep partnership. but this was the first time i asked someone to be my girlfriend.
her name was cindy. and because we were only together a few weeks, i don’t remember much about her. we talked on the phone a few times. we held hands. one time we hugged before class and it gave me an erection. that was embarrassing.
it’s weird how time flows differently when you’re a kid. i remember being with
i don’t know why i asked cindy to be my girlfriend. i didn’t really like her. not like that, at least. she was fun to talk to at lunch, but i was still a bit young to be thinking about romance.
cindy also marks the earliest instance of a girl with baggage being attracted to me. at least, the first i know of.
cindy was very young when she became sexually active. she would
her stories worried me. she was also experimenting with drugs at the time. thinking about it now, maybe that’s why i asked her out. like i was trying to save her.
i didn’t do a very good job, though. because i left her for another girl.
the next time
our relationship was much tamer than what
but we did. i think.
the next year she was in a different class, and that was that. we talked a few times but it wasn’t the same. it’s weird how simply it ended. at the time
or maybe it was just the idea of her.
it’s not that crazy,
but what was the goal? i was ten. i didn’t know what having a girlfriend was.
we never saw each other after her second year at the school.
so i guess we just got bored.
with the new year approaching,
this thought process has led me to the realization that
the earliest memory
i don’t remember many details. how we met. why we were drawn to each other. how long it lasted. all
that period of my life is blurry.
and what did my teacher think about it? two five-year-olds kissing in the lunch line is not normal. what probably happened is the teacher called her mom that day and she was pulled out of school.
high school was a simpler time. or at least
kelly was depressed and would sometimes call me after midnight when her thoughts got the better of her. one night when this happened
we lost touch shortly after that night. she started dating a different guy from journalism class.
sobriety came and went without leaving their number. in a month without drinking
i had a different experience the next day.
it started as a treat.
everything would have been fine if had
the problem with bars sometimes is that they serve you drinks you don’t order.
i took the following week off. the day i spent at work that monday was bad. i did my best to hide my hangover, but i know that people could hear me throwing up in the bathroom.
what’s interesting is that i remember throwing up in great detail, but i don’t remember the nights that led to it. what happened to make me go overboard? i know this time because i was only a week ago. but what the fuck made me drink so much that i had to pull over because i threw up on the steering wheel?
what interesting about the first time
the second time
just like before, i vividly remember being sick, but i don’t remember what was different about the night before. i had just finished spending a few weeks in montauk, so maybe i was celebrating being back in brooklyn. spending that much in time in long island would make anyone drink.
that entire trip was wild. i was originally visiting friends for halloween. somehow that turned into working on a feature three hours away from everyone i came to see.
less than 48 hours after sleeping with her
there wasn’t a minute of my trip where
the landlord was an old chinese women named su who pretended she couldn’t speak english when it was convenient. during the day she worked at a nail salon next door that doubled as the rental office.
i’m not sure why su chose to convert the property from business to residential when buffalo was already oversaturated with apartments. it was a bold move even for a slumlord. though something about our handwritten lease in a notebook tells me she may not have filed the proper paperwork.
the layout of the apartment was oddly utilitarian. this was likely due to it’s origin as an office building. at the top of the stairs was a small commons area where the receptionist used to work. now it was a living room.
no one hung out in the living room, so we never installed a tv. the only things we kept in there was tim’s overpriced drum set and the couch that trent slept on. in a few months tim would move his drums somewhere else to prevent people from playing them.
everything else was along a hallway the spanned the rest of the apartment. on the left was shane’s room, mike and justin’s room, tim and tasha’s room, and what became my room at the end. the other side was the kitchen, the laundry room, and the bathroom.
one bathroom, for seven — eventually nine — people.
when i arrived to the party everyone was already drunk. everyone except trent. trent didn’t drink anymore. not since his driver’s license was suspended after his last dui. in time, I would convince trent that drinking wasn’t so bad after all.
tim was nursing a mixed drink that he had poured in a chalice because he didn’t need to drink beer to feel like a man. tim was very comfortable with his sexuality. so much so that as soon as he noticed i was there he told me how little he cared about what people thought about him drinking a colorful cocktail out of a fancy glass.
on the opposite end of the spectrum was shane, who had just purchased a device that would help him shotgun beers faster. but only if used with the right kind of bottle. he was trying to get everyone to join him, but no was interested.
i spent most of the night talking with mike and justin about how excited i was to meet everyone last night. how great their apartment was. how much i wish i lived with them.
it was a weird slip. i’d never said anything like that to someone before. let alone someone i had just met. but it was true. maybe i could sense i was supposed to be there. maybe i was just excited to make new friends, something i hadn’t done since graduating high school.
it was true, though. i fell desperately in love with their living situation. and when i fell in love back then, i acted impulsivity. i let people know. i’m not like that anymore.
justin called my bluff and invited me to move in. he said it would be fine; there was room in the basement. it would all work out. i said yes.
tim had been elected head of the household, so i emailed him on myspace the next day. i told him what justin had said about living in the basement. I said that i didn’t even know they had a basement, but i would be more than happy to occupy it.
tim was confused by my email.
he said that there was a basement, but it was not part of the notebook paper lease. he wasn’t sure why justin would tell me that it was. maybe justin got confused. the truth is the justin lied because that’s what justin does.
i was crushed. i knew it seemed to good to be true. i didn’t want to continue living in my mom’s basement, but i didn’t seem to have a choice. for now at least.
a few weeks went by and i got another email from tim. the quiet gay woman hated living with them. they were too loud during the day, which is when she slept. three weeks into moving in she already wanted to leave. tim asked if i wanted to take over her room.
i was in.
the next day I met with tim to pay my first months rent. two hundred dollars. near the end of my time at the apartment i had trouble paying half that and split my room with another guy.
i didn’t know how good i had it at the time.