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.

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