Bay the lust comes into phase, but you're down in Marrietta.

I'm somewhere in Georgia and the most interesting thing has been going on in my head.

I used to do this a lot, obviously. I've spoken of this recently even, of both the need to do this again and also of how three years off has rendered me wary of what is fit to print and what is not.

My brother in law Rashei and I spoke of this while swilling cheap PBR's in East Atlanta on Saturday, questioning how honest honesty is. My blog is honest, yes, but that only goes so far as it's also meant to be entertaining. This means that while honest, I tend to admit the things that are poignant (like when my boyfriend grabs me in the street and chases me home, twice) and omit the things that are boring (like going to the pharmacy to buy tampons). If you have read me for some time, you'll also note that it's somewhat thematic (XXX).

But see, it's not like I'm trying to keep anything from anyone, I just feel like maybe all of this--everything going through my head right now--maybe it's just boring. And I've told this story before, haven't I? Several states away from some boy or another, hanging all my hopes on seeing him for a few days convinced that it will be enough to right me and it never is, and then someone moves (usually me) and it all goes to shit. This is what happens when you live your days in several states, I'm sure of it. Okay, fine. Maybe it's just me.

Regardless, there is some shit going on in my head right now that you would not believe. Wait, okay. Disclosure. I mean t say that there is some really explicit shit going on in my head right now, and I'm unsure how careful I have to be with everyones feelings that are both in and out of my head, and I don't remember worrying about this ever before, so it doesn't seem fair that I should feel guilty. It's not fair! And this is where it gets boring because I'm caught in this ultra weird cycle of guilt and horniness and stagnation that could all be cleared up with a conversation that I can't have because we don't have that conversation. Ever.

Wait, that's not entirely true. We did have that conversation once, and I was all like "I don't want to do this anymore" and he was like "I don't really give a shit" and I was like "No for serials I'm breaking up with you" and he was all like "that doesn't really work for me." I just don't want to do all of this again. We only want each other because...because why not? And we only really want each other when we really can't have each other--so isn't the memory enough? Do we really have to go through all of these motions and airplanes and me posting all of this cryptic nonsense on the internet over and over and no. No, I'm sorry. This is all bullshit, and it sounds like vagina. You see? This is exactly why I didn't want to write about this.

But there is still all of this stuff in my head, stuff that will come to fruition if I simply let it happen. But if I feel guilty already, how will I feel when I shove him back on a plane with no plans to reciprocate? No plans to even plan reciprocating? I just mean that in my head there are two things happening: there is the part where I'm ranking the top five best times we've ever had sex and can't break the tie for #1 between Labor Day Georgetown Horseshoe Warehouse '06 and Last Afternoon of His Birthday Week In SF '08, and there is also the part where I'm trying to forget that I am not be the one who is the most invested this time.

The point, I suppose, is that I'm now somewhere in the Carolinas and that the sex part is winning.


Sweetness, part 2. I mean 3.

from: ["miranda moure" m@mirandamoure.com]
sent --- 15:43:12, 01.23.12 to: ["Alan Stevenson" astevenson@sbcglobal.net]


You are quite possibly my favorite device, and I miss having you around. For sure.
We can talk. We can talk as much as you like, but you're right that I am still struggling with putting myself out there again both on the internet and in real life. Thankfully being me in print has been helping me to be me in real life.

Oh, Hunts. I wish you hadn't reminded me. It was so painful to lose him, possibly made more so as he had strung me along for over a year claiming to be busy or whatever. I thought we weren't hanging out because I wasn't reaching out enough or that it was somehow my fault and I felt like he led me to believe this on purpose. When I read his letter I cried halfway through it, and it hurt even more that it was so, so well written. Now I peruse this blog and every other comment is his, and I miss the way he observes things, and I still desperately miss my friend. 

The Hunts situation especially seems so ultra ironic now--I remember feeling so cheated out of my friend by his wife, but now I wonder who's responsibility it is to keep your partner from cheating--is it her job? Was she doing it properly? I mean, is this a thing people do?

I know we have never spoke of him Alan, but I can't get this vision of Chase's hand in some other girls crotch out of my head, and it's not just the act, Alan. It's the way he did it so casually, as if it weren't already fucking disgusting to be fingering some girl in a bar let alone in front of your girlfriend, your wife, your best friend, and your housemate. I wonder now if this isn't what Laura kept imagining in her head and I now know how bankrupt people's promises can be, and I also know how very much easier it can be to just force your partner to do as you say because I let Chase do it to me for three long years.

I went out with my brother in law last night and we chatted about things that we regret. Losing Hunts is one of those things, but for the life of me I can't figure out a way to go back and do it over and I know that my promises mean shit in the eyes of someone who's probably been hurt before. I miss Hunts so much. I miss him more than I miss you or most people and it hurts to think of him today.

We can talk more soon. But probably never ever about Mark ever again. I admired him and loved him and I loved the way he made me feel talented even when it was unwarranted or no one else cared. I valued his opinion more than pretty much anyone else, and I guess it hurt so much because I knew deep down that he was right, that I never deserved to know him anyway. I was just some silly girl in a grey skirt and circus makeup padding about an Alaskan Way apartment complex and I never really went past that for him. In fact, I have no idea who I was to him, but I'm fairly certain I don't want to know.

And Alan, I'm not her. So please. Please don't make me her again.


The OLD Guerrilla Illuminati.

from: ["Alan Stevenson" astevenson@sbcglobal.net]
sent --- 9:18:54, 01.22.12 to: ["miranda moure" m@mirandamoure.com]

I check your blog every few months, and I was more than surprised to see several new posts recently. I'm happy for you yet I'm indifferent; I'm dumfounded as to why you've waited so long. It's been so long! And I am not exactly delighted nor saddened--I'm really just straight up moved. How long have we been telling you to revisit this? Have you even taken the time to consider who you were without this semi-daily outlet?

Can we speak again? I mean, I know. We're even farther from each other than last time we spoke, but how are we? You still owe me a post inauguration recap, and I think I deserve it still.

I heard about Huntsman--I mean, no. I didn't hear. I gathered, and I asked [him], and I, as I assume you also did, felt the weight of his departure from your life and from your writing--and I know that this is weird. I fully understand that there is obviously a much huger situation happening right now, but I also know that we, together, we never knew of Chase. That just wasn't our thing. We never spoke of him together and I fear that by not mentioning Hunts' departure from your...well, everything, then we'll really be negating the last few years when what I'm really trying to do is recapture it.

But you get this, right? I think I am right from what I'm gathering from this is that there is an old/new illicit boy that you're..."entertaining".

Am I included?
I miss you.
A lot.

All my love from Grace Cathedral Hill,

p.s.-- Call late. Haha. That's so old school.

[edit per MM: Ironically, my Blogoversary is a month from today. I will not fare the same fate as I did 3 years ago.]


I do as my baby bids me do part 2: It's Keenan's Birthday

Wait. I'm not done. And I'm still talking to you, as I was in the last post.

It's late, I'm up so late.

It's Keenan's birthday, and he's made me exceedingly sentimental tonight, and I'm leaving tomorrow and it is reminding me of our once or twice monthly tet-a-tets that we used to schedule between SF and Seattle. It's not so much the trip that is reminding me--but the solitude before; me alone in my immaculate apartment, anticipating traveling alone. It's scary how much I've missed this.

There is something else I've missed.

This is so hard. That's weird right? Coming from the person who wrote this and well, this which I actually wrote about you and your friends reading me on the sly. I'm historically not shy about this sort of thing, but I find myself wanting to click-click-click out elipses on my keyboard, and I'm finding the words stuck in my throat.

What is that saying about a band-aid?

Everything else aside, I want you in my bed. 
I'm sorry, I want this to be exceedingly clear--I need you to fuck me like a memory.
I need you to fuck me like in a fucking movie where it looks like it's somehow occurring in a room with a strobe light, like it's being carefully edited to only include all the awesome parts; I need you to fuck me like you always do when it's been a while. I need you to fuck me like a song; I need you to fuck me like it should be set to some Americana rock song with an acre long screeching guitar riff.
Fuck me like if someone were for some reason to paint a representative painting of this fucking that it would depict some broken fucking glass strewn across some barbed wire and an eagle and with a flaming fucking sword in his talons. Can you please just fucking fuck me like I'm the last person on earth, or one of many people on earth, or just like the only fucking girl you want in your bed because I know that that's probably fucking true. I need you to fuck me like we'll never see each other again. I need you to fuck me like you've fucking wanted to all this time, I need you to fuck me like I'm Cake; and now I should probably fucking stop--not because of all of this fucking fucking but rather because I know a lot of people reading this will be irritated at all the infinitives I just fucking split the fuck up.

And so you will find that I'm not all responsibilities and reservations, and I just barely remember who I am, and I remember. I remember how much I loved you.

I remember how I once surmised that I could use you lounged around my apartment in SF to swat the bees from my living room. I once contemplated the fake coupledom that we'd immediately fall into upon spanning the states between us. I was once racked with all the same indecisions that I am right now--but somehow along the way I forgot how much I just want you to fucking fuck me.

This is not one of those posts with a poignant or moralistic ending.


I do as my baby bids me do.

Neither one of us is saying anything, so I suppose that I should.

No, that's not entirely true. We're saying things, we're talking. There are these daily text messages across the country that make me feel like a teenager. Of course, people didn't have cell phones when we were teenagers, and I say that to illustrate how old we are now.

We are so old! I remember feeling like just barely an adult when I met you, and maybe I was or wasn't, but I'm sure that I remember you baby-faced and bright eyed and swilling cheap beer in that overly lit bar in Belltown the very first time I laid eyes on you. I remember fitting you into my little pink bed and noting how still you were when you slept. I remember the two of us petering out in a matter of weeks. And then I left.

And was it then? At my going away party? You gave me a little pin of two hands folded into a tiny red heart, and I've worn it on the breast pocket of my jacket ever since, and when people ask me where I got it I will say it's from Alexis, or Wood, or My Ex because you have so many names that I use interchangeably. It confuses everyone and it confuses me because part of me needs this small amount of subterfuge to keep you all to myself. 

But you understand this, don't you? I mean, I know it's fucked up--I know it's unfair because it belies an understanding that I'm wary of letting you so close again, and yet I can't think of anyone else I want close to me, and I want you around all the time, and I don't want you back at all. I'm racking my brain trying to figure out exactly how you could really fit into my life but I'm coming up blank and I imagine this will go the route of every other time in the last eight years that we've decided to entertain the idea of us.

You just texted me. Just now. Just to say "I love you...but don't tell anybody" and I laughed out loud as responded that I intended on telling everybody. And kind of already had.

But this time seems so different, doesn't it? Now we're both in our thirties. Granted, it's likely not much different for you as you've always had a penchant (an obsession?) for holding onto your youth as long as possible, for avoiding responsibility, for sleeping so soundly in your little Georgetown flat knowing you don't owe anybody anything. While these years may have given you nothing more than a case of "absence makes the heart something something" it's been a little bit different for me. 

Because now I want a baby.


P.S. --I did not write the title of this post. It is a line from the poem, My Lover Lives On the Other Coast, M Doughty, 1996.


Fool me can't get fooled again.

On the eve of my final doctors appointment, it was brought to my attention that Chase made out with or was manually stimulated by (yes, I mean on the penis) a handful of my guy friends without ever bothering to so much as mention it to me. Since I just got home from my fifth gyno appointment dealing with the repercussions of having him as a cheating partner, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to have a little chat about responsible polyamory.

If you are unfamiliar with this term, it generally involves a couple who for whatever reason decide to seek sexual partners outside of their commitment to each other. Some highlights to illucidate this for you:

"The word is sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to sexual or romantic relationships that are not sexually exclusive, though there is disagreement on how broadly it applies; an emphasis on ethics, honesty, and transparency all around is widely regarded as the crucial defining characteristic.
Distinguishing polyamory from traditional forms of non-monogamy (i.e. "cheating") is an ideology that openness, goodwill, truthful communication, and ethical behavior should prevail among all the parties involved." [italics mine]

Honesty, transparency, communication. Rules. Responsible polyamory cannot exist without following the rules. Why? Because it is simply dangerous, but it is also simply disrespectful to your partner.

Every couple is allowed to make their own rules for their own relationships, but there are some that are widely considered universal just to insure everyone's safety.

1. Always practice safe sex.
If you are having penetrative sex outside of a committed relationship, you MUST ALWAYS use barrier type protection from STD's. This generally means a latex condom.

2. You must communicate to your partner the details of these sexual forays.
This will allow your partner to make informed decisions about their own health, be able to detail an accurate medical history to their doctor or gynecologist (who will always ask if you or your partner has had unprotected anal sex with someone of any gender, or has had sex with an IV drug user), and generally promotes transparency.

Different couples seeking different ideals will add to and augment these rules. Some common rules in polyamory?

1. Third parties can only be involved when both members of the couple are present.
This is your typical three-way situation, and is really common on the breeder community. It usually involves a pre and post-game discussion. I have been in all kinds of moresomes, and they're not entirely my steeze, but fun if performed safely. The real trick here is avoiding cross contamination, specifically from penetrative sex, even if it's with a toy. This means that you must have the foresight to change condoms between penetrating two different people. This is exceedingly important. And it is your own responsibility if you are doing the penetrating, so keep your head in the game.

2. Same/opposite sex partners only.
This one is amazingly common, specifically for people who are attracted to people of both/many genders. This is also a rule I had with Chase, as we were only to seek out people of the same gender as ourselves (with full disclosure of course, not that I received that). The opposite example would be a lesbian couple that only sought men outside of the relationship.

3. Cyber sex only.
This is steadily increasing in popularity. I've never done this myself, but this seems like such a safe fun way to, and not to get too Cosmo on you, spice things up a bit. If it works for you, more power to you--especially because no one in the history of the world has ever caught an STI from a computer.

4. Only within a determined timeline.
I've done this one a lot. I had an almost completely open relationship with my ex-husband, but we decided together to nix the extraneous partners for the first year of our marriage just to take some time to ourselves.  Chase and I had this rule too; we decided together that one summer, Memorial Day to Labor Day, would be our timeline.

The rules are not just what does and does not define cheating, they are also what keeps you safe. I am a perfect example of what breaking these rules can lead to. And please, don't come crying to me about leeway in the rules. If you break a rule, you are a cheater.

I had my last gyno appointment today for what will hopefully be a year. I already had a barrage of tests, but as of today I am happy to report that I do not have HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, or Trichomonas. My appointment today was for an interesting reason--to rule out HPV, or Human Papillomavirus. Although there are almost 40 different kinds of this virus, only 4 are really dangerous, and they are generally confirmed or denied through a standard PAP test. My PAP returned abnormal cells, which led to a biopsy which would normally be a flag for HPV but mine seems to have been caused by the Trich I got from Chase (which I have since treated and confirmed that I am now free of).

In a week I will get my HPV results.
But it will be 3 more until I find out whether or not I have cervical cancer.

If nothing else from this sticks with you, then please remember this: if you cheat on your girlfriend, you can give her CANCER. So please don't. Transparency, guys.

And please, let's all take care of our penises and vaginas. They're the only ones we have. Let's stick to...sticking them where they belong.

Here are some resources for you.

Information about STI's:
The CDC's STI page. Good information here!
Planned Parenthood. Men and women can be screened for STI's here, often FOR FREE.
Have an ethical question about sex? My hometown homie Dan can prolly help you with that.


"Are you nice now?"

Last night I hung out with my friend Madelena as she was determined to make me eat something. She's a San Francisco native, born and raised in the Mission, and decided we should meet at Arturo's. "It's a total North Beach place" she noted, and lord it was. The jazz, the italian food, the bulbous wine glasses lit by candlelight and not so stingily poured--it was magic, like being on Columbus for one night contemplating a nightcap at Vesuvio's.

Today I finished going through everything in my apartment, determining the things that are Chase's, and boxing them up to hide away in the closet. I've spoken to two social workers about this task--one at the doctor's office and one at the DA--trying to figure out how I would be capable of performing the task at all when I couldn't even talk about it without crying. Both asked me the same thing: "Didn't he already come and get his things? he should have been issued a court order to retrieve his things." Yes, I told them both, he came and got some stuff, but he left some stuff too, and I promised I would get it to him. They both had the same advice: "You're not legally obligated to keep it. Just throw it away."

But these things! Throwing them away would be even harder than keeping them. These are wonderful things, useful things, sentimental things. The drawings his nieces made for us and tons of pictures of them. The copy of Still Life with Woodpecker I bought for him with the post-script I added. His concert posters and mic stand. I went through all of our albums noting that the Zeppelin and Gershwin are mine, the Chet Atkins and Gordon Lightfoot, his. His copy of Catcher in the Rye. His inspiration sperometer.

I don't know why I have to keep this stuff for him, but I know that if it were me I'd be devastated if it were suddenly gone; losing the Robbin's novels alone might send me into a tailspin. It would kill me to have it happen again like when I was 16 and I shoved my camera and a sketchbook in my backpack with some underwear and never saw a baby picture of myself ever again, or the doll I once cherished, or the blanket I carried around as a toddler. It's killing me that I love him enough to do this when all I want to do is to return the favor and love him as little as he did me. It's killing me just to admit that.

I spent my time as Chase's girlfriend being routinely shamed by him, embarrassed, and humiliated. I can't even count how many times he'd scream at me to the point that I would just chose to walk away, a chorus of his rants behind me--and these are just the times that it happened in public, when he'd get a minute alone with me and pick a fight in front of a bar or on the sidewalk, and my friends would be left inside wondering what happened to me for the rest of the night while I or we had just vanished. "Stay in your lane!" I was once advised on a rare occasion that I actually admitted to someone that it had happened again; you kinda have to say something when you're crying into a beer for seemingly no reason. "Stay in your lane. You don't deserve this, he owes you an apology."

Chase would sometimes say the word sorry, but real apologies were never his forte. I didn't stay in my lane, but rather whenever he had started in on me and finally cooled down, I'd simply ask, "Oh, are you nice now?" and he would generally respond yes, and this was my que to forget that it had happened and go on with my day. People are telling me it's not my fault, but it's hard to believe that when I routinely emboldened him to treat me like shit.

Last night after about a half of a glass of wine, Madelena finally turned to the bartender and demanded to see a menu immediately. "We're getting pizza, and you're eating some." I agreed, and when our pizza came it was all melty and gooey, and covered with anchovies. I ate three pieces.

Anchovies! I love anchovies, but Chase didn't. And in that little bar on faux Columbus street I realized that I hadn't eaten a single anchovy in three years, nor have I worn five inch heels, listened to The Who, worn granny panties or visited my best friend in Phoenix for the exact same reason. As much as I thought it would feel amazing to eat the leftovers in bed today, it just reminded me that I had handed my life to a man to disassemble at his will. And that thought is killing me, too.

Are you nice now, are you nice now, are you nice now. I said it thousands of times and it has never done anything, and yet now I'm asking myself the same question, wondering if I'll ever smile again. It's the only question in my mind when I wake up in the morning and it's what goes through my head when I'm trying to sleep.

I'm hoping it's not much longer until I can answer myself "yes."


The Takeaway

I had a normal day today, or as normal as a day can be when you spend the morning at the doctor getting vials of blood drawn and giving samples of seemingly every substance my body is capable of producing. But the afternoon saw errands! Cleaning! Painting! Food? No. But I ate this morning (I think?) so fuck it. Then, after a long day wondering whether "rule out" and "precautionary" means I do or do not have cancer, I actually went to bed at a reasonable hour.  Then an hour ago I woke up in a cold sweat after having what had been a recurring nightmare and I guess still is a recurring nightmare.

Yeah, my boyfriend sliced me with a chefs knife, and he got arrested and will see trial for it, but it is not this that haunts my waking days and infiltrates my dreams. Do you know how sharp a brand new professional chefs knife is? It's razor sharp, and when he cut me I didn't even feel it but rather just kept screaming and crying for him to leave and pushing him off of me. It wasn't until he brandished the same knife in my direction and asked me if I wanted some more did I see the blood dripping down my arm and wondered if I was about to die.

I feel like it's almost funny that I'm about to say "the really scary part was..." because one might think that pondering their own mortality at the hands of their boyfriend doesn't really get beat in scariness, but this was not the scariest part. Rather I keep remembering him, a few minutes before he got the knife, shoving me into a wall, evading one of my swings and grabbing me by both arms and forcing me onto the floor slamming my back against the ground and shaking me while screaming something in my face I can't remember. Even in the nightmare version I can't make out what he's saying, but rather can only hear a tinny vocal interference over my own pleas to leave me alone. In reality, I had my eyes closed while this happened--I remember feeling the tears well up beneath my eyelids and realizing he was too strong for me to fight back--but this is what makes the nightmare version so frightening, because my mind fills in all of these visual details.

And dreams are weird, aren't they? This one is no exception, because even though there are things happening in the dream that I know didn't happen--like watching the scene from outside myself as a third party or even being able to see it at all--it just seems so real. Hence the waking in the cold sweats.

Everyone keeps asking me about how I plan to move on, about what I've learned from all of this, but as I had already ruminated and this nightmare returning has proved, I'm just not there yet. But what the fuck am I supposed to have learned? A month into our relationship he had taken to screaming at me every single day. Usually for hours. Was I supposed to know then? When he tried to ban me from speaking to any of my ex-boyfriends a couple of months later? How about six months later when he grabbed me for the first time, when I was trying to leave for work and he's yelling, and he gripped my arm so fiercely I wore his fingerprints for hours? These things just seemed like something to work on. A problem to be fixed. I thought that this was exactly what was happening but I wonder now if the only thing that changed was my will to oppose him, and then in the same moment I'm not even willing to let myself think that because it would really mean that he never even tried to love me.

I'm desperate for the "next time I'll do this" and the "I wont do that again", but this and that isn't exactly black and white, and then the whole relationship seems only to hang on the rules I laid out for him last summer after he chased me through Willamsburg stoned, crazed, and screaming.
So I suppose I already composed my takeaway last June:

You are not my jailer, master, or Sargent.
You cannot force me to do your will.
You cannot grab me.
You cannot shake me.
You cannot shove me.
You cannot scream at me when you are upset with someone else.
You cannot expect me to agree with you all of the time.
You cannot abandon me and expect me to still want you.
You will not make me your plaything and your possession.
You will not be my nightmare.

I can live without you.



For Alexis

It's the middle of the night. And I'm up.

And I'm in the most excruciating pain that I can remember in the whole of my life.

The funny thing about having an auto immune disease like mine is that it leads to something that I think you might be familiar with--nephritis. Don't you get this? Or kidney infections or something? I have a vague memory that you were born with some sort of kidney problem, something about the way your kidney connects to your bladder, and I'm sure that you've also realized by now that we never talk about stuff like this.

But why should we! We have the "Myricks Swagger" about us, and greet death with the "Myricks Furrowed Brow" and care nothing of our mortality and laugh at all the rules. Until maybe my hair fell out and grew back and now my kidneys are so swollen inside of me and my period started ten days early again this month and I feel like I'm falling apart and crying hysterically and I can't take any pain killers with the meds I'm on or can I? I have no idea. It wont help anyway.

Ah, but there are a few things we do talk about, often. List?

1.  I've. Been. SMOKING.
I've had 4 cigarettes in the last week. That is a lie. I have had 6 cigarettes in the last week and 3 the previous. This is getting completely out of control, likely because I feel completely out of control most of the time. I had been delighting in (or rather, trying to delight in) some of the things I once enjoyed when I was single--sleeping diagonally, writing with dry erase markers on my mirrors, talking about my vagina on the internet--but this one is gaining a foothold on my life that I'm uncomfortable with. I smoked a Newport today. That is a lie. I smoked 2 Newports today--and I NEVER smoked menthols. I was Camel Lights, the occasional Parliaments, for...17 years.

I blame the south. The dirty, warm, lawless south where you can smoke in bars and everyone knows me as a smoker. I blame these goddamned corner stores that sell looseys even though it's illegal. I blame Chase! For making me want to smoke again! All of that is a lie. I blame myself who is slowly losing the will to make myself stop killing myself.

which brings me to...

2.  I've lost 19 pounds.
I thought I was done with this for life, but apparently not. I didn't eat for the first four days. I was shaking, couldn't stand up, could barely hold my phone to my ear. On the fifth day I ate half a banana and threw up. You would think that I'm telling you that "this is when I realized that I can't keep doing this to myself" but that didn't happen at all. I ate for a couple days and then quit again. Then I tried to take my meds without eating and puked all over my dining room. You'd think maybe this is when I learned my lesson, but no, I haven't eaten in over a day and have somehow trained myself to take my meds without eating or throwing up. I got weighed again at the doctor this morning, and lost another pound since my visit yesterday and four since my visit on Friday.

which brings me to...

3. I think I owe you an apology.
I really do feel like nobody would want to see me right now; my hipbones are protruding and none of my clothes fit and I feel disgusting. But maybe that's not why I told you that when you texted me earlier, maybe it was a deflection of some sort, maybe when I read your message my heart jumped into my throat because I didn't know if I was supposed to say I love you too. But that's crazy! Crazy because I once dragged you outside of a bar and confessed that I was in love with you and then hopped immediately into a rental car an got on a plane. And yeah, I guess I've switched Alexises now, but I want you here. I don't want you here. I want you but not like this, but I don't want you and I want you here right now. And this might be what people call karma, because I'm pretty sure you did this exact thing to me four years ago.

Both of you always ask me the same thing, and before you do again, no. I don't want to come back.

I'm telling you that crying alone in my vacuous apartment with a migraine and swollen kidneys is somehow preferable to living in Seattle. Of course, I've also said that before.

I miss you Alexis.
I miss you Alexis.
And I love you both.

P.S.--I smoked 3 Newports today. --M


For Aubrey

First day on meds. I hate this.

But thank god for you--there are girls in my hometown like you; it must be that rugged Alaskan upbringing that has left you just as likely to don snow boots as heels. I like that! Beautiful, scrappy, traveled. I know someone else just like that.

We met 12 years ago next week. It's weird to think we were ever so young; I keep imagining winding a clock backwards and watching all of my tattoo's disappear and my hair grow shorter and my will to wear pants under maxi-skirts with combat boots come back. Remember Portland back then? The MAX only had one line and half of The Pearl was unpaved. Sometimes The Matador didn't card on Monday's. I mean, I was friends with my neighbors for chrissakes. What a place and time!

And now were here in Brooklyn a billion years later and you're explaining to me how to take care of my vagina for free, no pun intended. Of course I mean in a medical respect, but something this grave probably deserved a titter at the lead in, as it was probably one of the most frightening experiences of my life. Can you believe that it's come to this? Me. Miranda Moure. Given everything you know of me, did you ever think that I'd find myself in the position to be cheated on? REPEATEDLY? And I know, I know. You and Lisa and the nurse practitioner and everyone keeps telling me "well, you're doing the right thing" but it doesn't feel like the right thing when I've spent the last three years watching Chase lie to everyone around him and foolishly thought I was excluded.

I don't know how this caught me off guard. I mean, were talking about the same person who gave me herpes for my 28th birthday, and it was this experience that led to this last time: me in the stirrups, bottles of pills, but an otherwise clean bill of vaginal health. At the time I demanded that he have the panel too, and his results returned clean as well. I had no reason to believe that he'd see fit to go out in the world, pick up new STD's from other people, and bring them faithfully home to me. This never crossed my mind until I saw him do it with my own eyes, and even then I couldn't believe it.

Now it all makes sense--he's always invented different versions of himself for other people to see: I've watched him talk shit about people vociferously in their absence, and them compliment them the next day. I've seen him laugh at fag jokes with his family and then make out with guys at gay bars. I've watched him look people straight in the eye and assure them that he quit smoking pot for school, when the truth was that I forced him to because it makes him stupid, out of control, and violent. I've even watched him nurse a testicular fungal infection for a year an a half without seeing a doctor (you probably wouldn't even believe me if I told you that he didn't understand why I didn't want to suck his cock in this condition) and yet I naively thought that he would never, ever, keep a secret like "I had unprotected sex with someone who gave me an STI and now you probably have it." Have it? Oh, sorry. What I meant was them. Plural. And I still have more tests on Monday, and more results still coming, and more and more and more chances for even more meds and more diseases, and fuck. I cannot believe he would do this to me.

But it wont be so lonely this time as I am allowed to tell you, and anyone. Anyone I want, in fact. The one saving grace is that I'm no longer ruled over by this secretive tyrant who shit on everything I ever wanted to do and in return just thought I should work toward all of his dreams, and I did. I did it, and though I was promised that I would one day be repaid for all of the sacrifices I made for him--declining jobs, quitting my apprenticeship, following him to Minnesota THREE times, and moving to New York--but a slice in my arm and two brand new STD's doesn't really seem like the repayment I was looking for.

I wish I could wind that clock back and watch all of the scars disappear, before the swabs and the blood tests, back when I would have never thought that I'd be one of those girls crying uncontrollably in the waiting room of a clinic, so much so that they took pity on me and let me wait in the office.
I wish I could wind back before these meds that are making me nauseous, before I had lost 15 pounds in two weeks, before I was scarred in ways I can never repair.

This is apparently what happens when you date a cheat and a liar.
Your face helps me remember that I once thought I deserved better.


For Kimberly

When we first got to New York we were okay for a few weeks, but money that should have arrived didn't and jobs didn't pay what I had thought they would. We found ourselves pretty broke, and we had to sell my Macbook and his guitar, and yet we were still barely able to afford our Metro Cards. Chase was going to school full time and I had taken what turned out to be literally the worst job I've ever had--at a vintage clothing store in Manhattan making $10 an hour. The owners shorted me on every check they ever wrote to me, and were so stingy that they never even paid me for my last week of work--they stopped payment on my check, and from then on I kept that useless check in my wallet as a reminder of how bad off we were those first few scary months.

I thought of you, and of Alexis of course, last summer when this man whom I thought was my beloved was chasing me through half of Williamsburg drunk and high at 5 in the morning, grabbing me and knocking me down. I donned the Myricks' furrowed brow before I punched him in the face and finally got away. I ran four blocks to Broadway, then ran along the elevated track for two more blocks, up the stairs, and finally swiped into the Lorimer stop only to find that although I had my Metro Card, my wallet was missing including my irreplaceable Washington state drivers' license and my social security card.

I wouldn't let Chase come home until much later the next day. When he finally walked through the door apologetic and sweet promising to stop using drugs, I added that he would have to promise that he would never again follow me when I willed him not to, grab me when he knew he never should, and that he could never, ever knock me down ever again. And then I promised him I would leave him if he did. You would think it would have been easier to keep that promise, but even when he stormed into my apartment that he'd already been kicked out of, grabbed me by both arms and slammed me my onto my own kitchen floor, I was screaming "leave me alone" but I was thinking "how am I going to live without you?" And the worst part is, I really didn't know how I would.

Ah, but Kimberly! Who would I be if I rescinded on this? A liar at best, and much like I thought I might end up by the time he got the knife, dead at worst. But I knew I was going to live, I knew I was going to win by the time my hand lifted to the stovetop and wrapped around the handle of the biggest frying pan I own.

How many times have we lost our power Kim? And how many times have we found it again?

Four months after I lost it, the contents of my wallet were returned to me. Minus the cash that had been inside, my ID, social, library and bank card and some other miscellany were mailed to none other than that horrible vintage clothing store I worked at--all because I left that useless check in my wallet for all that time. My former coworker called me to tell me it arrived because I always looked out for him while I worked there.

This morning, just when I was beginning to lose hope again, another coworker from that same store left me this message: "Thanks for being a beam of light! I appreciate your care and friendship."

I have a dress from that same store that I always wear to job interviews, and this will be the one that I wear when I testify against Chase in court, and then the chips will fall wherever they may.

This is about when you should be realizing that this is a diamond in the rough story, a light at the end of the tunnel story, a story about how the best stories happen when you very least expect it.

Go big. Every day.