Monthly Archives: September 2014

Never Date a Musician

Never date a musician.  He’ll write songs about you and songs that are dedicated to you, and songs that make you to forget that all they are, are some vowels that sound pretty when strung together, and some ‘a’ minor chords that make anyone’s heart break no matter what order they’re put in.  He’ll sing you to sleep and he’ll kiss your eyelids when you cry, and he’ll even figure out the chords to “Puff the Magic Dragon,” because you told him one time that it was your childhood lullaby.  He’ll be able to feel your pain from a mile away because he is so intuitive that it is almost like having a sixth sense.  While he’s cradling your face with his beautifully calloused finger tips, and kissing your forehead, using his manufactured words to make you believe that everything will be okay, he’ll never forgive you for your feelings, because he is so terrified of his own.

Never date a musician because he’ll inspire you.  He’ll bring out the artist within you and you’ll become an addict of passion.  The athlete you’ll date later on will be gorgeous, and he may even impress you with his wisdom and knowledge of current world affairs, but he won’t remind you of what it feels like to feel, and you won’t become addicted to him because he doesn’t make you want to explore the attic of that haunted venue in Milwaukee with him, and he doesn’t give you ideas for the new screenplay that you’ve been writing.  The tattoo artist that you thought you could fall in love with will be the perfect balance of passion, stability and kindness, but while you’re making love in his squeaky bed, he won’t do that thing where he stops for a moment, smiling, and tells you that you look beautiful under the pale moonlight that is shining through the open window.  The boy with the blond hair will make you laugh.  He’ll make you laugh so hard that he’ll wash away all of your doubts with his sweet smile and the way he can keep you up all night, entertained simply by watching bad television together and eating jellybeans.  But they’ll come back.  The doubts will come back when the blond boy can’t find the perfect lyrical analogy, or he can’t silently grab your attention from the other side of a crowded room, and they’ll come back when he doesn’t cause you to bite your bottom lip in lust, because only a musician can do that.

Never date a musician because that is not his heart on his sleeve.  When he’s on stage, setting your soul aflame with his Alvarez that hypnotizes you, his eyes that shyly stay looking down and his vulnerable voice that makes the audience fall in love with him because they believe that they can see what he his feeling.  They can’t.  That is not his heart on his sleeve you silly little victim, it’s just his ego on display.

Never date a musician because he’ll always try to recreate that one night when everything was perfect.  The night that the two of you went to the bridge and splashed rocks into the water so that you could see the bioluminescence.  Then you ran through a park, in the dark, and played tag together and climbed up a tree until you both made it home and sat on the kitchen floor listening to Cat Power and eating left over beans and rice that you cooked together the night before.  You’ll wake up with rashes on your knees from making out all night on the scratchy rug that the two of you keep meaning to replace, but you both hate IKEA so the rug remained.  He’ll always try to recreate that night, never accepting the evolution of relationships because he’s a musician, and they never have to grow up.  When he can’t recreate that night, he’ll hate himself and resent you, and then just write a song about it instead.

Never date a musician because he’ll lie.  He’ll lie about everything.  He’ll lie about his father being an alcoholic, just because it sounds dramatic and captivating.  He’ll lie about the origin of his name and the time that he saved this little girl from drowning.  He’ll even lie about a tragic drug problem he supposedly had just because he wants to pretend that he can relate to Neil Young’s, “A Needle and the Damage Done.”  He’ll lie about these things because they sound romantic.  He has learned from the best… Jim James singing about death and bigotry and Jeff Mangum writing about the only girl he ever loved who got buried alive one day in 1945.  These lyrics will make him believe that he needs to experience the worst of the worst, and somehow that means that he has lived large and with integrity, but it doesn’t.  You’ll realize later that the song you used to play by Carisa’s Wierd that says, “saying sad things that don’t make sense, can just make you look like a liar” didn’t make him squirm because an ex-boyfriend of yours introduced the song to you.  Now you know he hates that song because it hit too close to home.

Never fall in love with a musician because he’ll make you feel like you’re crazy.  When you wake up crying for what you think is no reason, in hindsight you’ll realize that it was because deep down you knew that he was on the other side of town waking up with Adelina, or Calico or Berlin… or some other girl with an exotic name.  She probably has multi-colored hair, and her lips are probably fuller than yours, and she’ll pretend to know all about Wilco just to impress him.  You’ll plead with him on the corner of 3rd and 5th, as strangers are walking by and tears are spilling onto your blue shirt that you’ll never wear again, to tell you the truth about the girl with the Kurt Vonnegut tattoo, but he won’t.  He won’t because telling the truth would mark the end, and all musicians are terrified of a conclusion that cannot be depicted with a few “la-la-la-la’s” and a gentle fade-out.

There will be a tombstone marked “Muse” where you will lie dead.  The day will come when he’ll bring that Alvarez, and sit on top of this grave, and sing to you sweet lullabies, trying to resurrect a time, a place and a you that has long since passed.  Do not fall for this though my friend, because he’ll never love you completely, because completion would mean The End.

Also see, Never Date a Writer.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Next Time, I’ll Just Sleep with Him

I don’t know if the city of Los Angeles is a disaster, or if I am the disaster and that town just brings out the worst in me.  There I was though, back in the city of demons, having yet another head on collision with Hollywood after only being back there for twelve hours. Let me begin this tale by letting you all know that the whole reason that I was going back to the city that murdered my soul, was to spend two days with a guy that I had only known for two days because clearly, that sounded like an excellent decision.

It was at the end of the last tour that I was on and it was just me and the Tour Manager left on the bus, as the rest of the crew and band had already left.  We started the trek westward from Indianapolis, which for some stupid reason is on Eastern time and for some stupid reason it bothers me when states that are not in fact located on the East coast, are on Eastern Standard Time.  Also, in my educated opinion, I think that we should just get rid of Mountain time because there is only like nineteen people in that time zone anyway, and that’s where all of the irrelevant states are except for New Mexico which I exclude from the list of my “irrelevant” states because it has exceptional beef jerky.

We drove non-stop for 36 hours, from Indiana to Los Angeles and it was excruciating because we were heading West, so the days were getting longer.  We had two drivers, Gary and Lady Gary.  Lady Gary was our driver’s girlfriend who came onto the tour later, as an “assistant driver” (which is very unusual but I won’t bore you with the reasons why that happened), so we never learned her name and instead, took to calling her “Lady Gary” to her face because we’re assholes.  Because we had two driver’s who alternated, we literally only stopped for gas and so that I could buy $35 worth of beef jerky.  At one point during this agonizing ride, which I am surprised that we all survived considering that we had no drugs and no alcohol, (I don’t even do drugs, but if someone would have handed me a mystery pill that had a smiley face on it, or even a skull and cross-bones on it, I would have gladly accepted it and chased it with an overdose of Robitussin  just to cure the boredom), I began running up and down the length of the bus, attempting to sing rap music (which is always a bad idea in my case because the only rap that I’ve ever been exposed to is one Eminem song that came out in 1997), and stopping every few laps to breakdown into something that resembled jazzercise.  Rhett just stared at me with his mouth open because he was now used to my ridiculous behavior that he had been dealing with for the past couple of weeks, which I chronicle in Adventures of Touring Part 13. The moral of this part of the story is NEVER take highway 40 across the country because none of the truck stops sell alcohol.  They seem to think that Native American snow-globes are an adequate substitution.

Once we finally got to LA, it was 1:30am and we then moved all of the gear from the bus trailer to another trailer.  Don’t ask.  This ended up being a fairly painless, fast and efficient process because Mexicans were involved.  We then drove all of this gear through the Hollywood Hills as one of the Mexican’s was speeding us down Mulholland Drive like he had a death wish, but at this point, I didn’t care.  We arrive at M’s house which is the size of my hometown, unload all of the gear again, and into his garage.  It’s now like 4:00am, but Rhett and I decide to do about 15 shots with M’s roommate, anyway because we felt so deprived from our road trip and because it was the irresponsible choice to make.

The next morning is when I am supposed to meet up with Dan, the boy who I was staying with for the next two days, and the whole reason I suffered through the last 40 hours.  Being in Beverly Hills, staying at M’s house with a zip code that is literally 90210, you would think that some of these motherfuckers would petition for cell phone towers… or at least buy their own.  I’m sure that the owner of Verizon actually lives in that neighborhood.  Regardless, I couldn’t get any service, and all I knew was that my destination is somewhere in Silverlake, which is on the clear other end of town.  Remember that line from Clueless, “I expect you home in twenty minutes!  Everywhere in LA takes twenty minutes!”  This could not be further from the truth.  It takes twenty minutes just to back out of your driveway in Los Angeles.  I estimated that it would take 50 minutes to get to Dan’s house.  If he was someone who I had known for longer than two days, I probably would have made him pick me up, but since I was determined to come across as self-sufficient, and because I hadn’t yet decided if I was going to sleep with him, I thought it best to rely on my independence that boys so much loathe.

A straight cab ride would have been too expensive, and I don’t like Uber because I am like a drug dealer and only deal with cash.  My plan was to take a cab ride to the nearest metro station, then take the metro to the stop closest to Dan, which was then, just another quick cab ride to his house.  Of course, this is not what transpired. M’s roommate had even offered to drive me part of the way, but because I am a masochist, I thought it would be a better alternative to purposely inflict a painful day upon myself. More importantly, I just didn’t want to put anybody out.

Like I said, I had zero cell service where I was, but I welcome these first world complications, I see them as a challenge and a way to practice my anti-technology problem solving skills so that I’ll be the one everyone is following when the Apocalypse occurs.  Rhett was going to the airport, so he used his Uber app to get picked up.  I figured that I’d hitch a ride out of the neighborhood, into downtown West Hollywood where I would at least get cell service and a coffee, and be able to asses my current situation with more mental clarity.  I asked the Uber driver who came to get us, to please just drop me off at a coffee shop or something that was on the way to the airport so as to not inconvenience Rhett.

Apparently the Uber guy’s sweat that was dribbling down his bald head had drowned his brain because he was fucking retarded.  He immediately gave me anxiety when he pulled the car over after we had only gone a half of a mile down the road, and started screeching, “Do you see me?!  Do you see me?!” over and over again while Rhett frantically fingered his Uber app.  This guy was on more cocaine than Andy Dick at a drag queen show.  I choose to ignore the world of technology, mostly because of situations like this. I barely understand what apps are, so I was able to just play dumb in the backseat.  The driver was having a meltdown because something in the app wasn’t working (due to the lack of reception) so he thought it would be best to stay parked in one spot and repeat the same obnoxious outcry 508 times while I stared out of the window wondering if this guy was going to a.) have an aneurysm, or b.) kidnap us and sell our organs in exchange for the $1.50 he MIGHT miss out on due to Uber malfunctions in the 90210 area.  I told him that Rhett would give him a hand-job on the way to the airport if he would just continue driving the damn car.  I suppose it was cruel of me to volunteer Rhett, but I was in the backseat, so it just didn’t make sense for me to be the one to perform the sexual favors for the driver.

Ten minutes and a few miles later, and it’s not fucking funny anymore, this dude is seriously freaking me out.  I have no idea where we are, but I ask him to pull the car over and let me out.  Both guys looked at me perplexed, but I didn’t have the mental power to explain myself, I just needed to get out of that car.  So they dump me off on the sidewalk with my two suitcases and a giant backpack.  I put my over-sized sunglasses on (because in LA, even if you look like a sweaty homeless girl who is carrying everything she owns down Sunset Boulevard, if you add over-sized sunglasses, it makes it chic) and began walking through the glamorous part of West Hollywood where you would find the type of celebrities whom have purse dogs and are getting brunch and sporting their over-sized sunglasses.  Basically, I looked like a fucking idiot.  At least now I had cell phone reception.

I called Dan and decided not to tell him about my current predicament, and instead, tell him that all was just swell and that I’d be there in an hour.  I then heave my 200 pounds of luggage up the steps of “Urth Cafe,” a place that I already hated because misspelling words for the sake of marketing annoys me.  Thank you Dunkin’ Donuts, now the entire world thinks that you spell doughnuts, d-o-n-u-t-s.  This bougie cafe had at least 150 people in it, all wearing over-sized sunglasses, but all lacking 200 pounds of luggage.  At this point I am literally laughing out loud at myself as I am trying to find a place to park my suitcase so that I can order a damn green tea before these people think that I am a bum looking for air conditioning.  Actually, that is exactly what I was at the moment, but I was frantically trying to solve that problem.  So I grab a business card with the address to fucking “Urth” cafe, and call a cab.

The cab driver shows up in a timely manner, and he is a chubby, friendly, little Armenian man with a lot of arm hair who I was so grateful for because anyone was better than the coke-head, organ stealing Uber driver I just experienced.  The chubby Armenian informs me that I can smoke in the cab, but I explain to him that I don’t smoke.  For some reason this blew his mind.  Really dude?  Of all of the things that I am sure you have seen as a cab driver in Hollywood, me not smoking is really the most surprising?!  No one in LA smokes by the way.  They all even do that pretentious thing where if you’re smoking outside, even during a goddamn wind storm, they’ll still fake cough and wave their hand in front of their nose and give you and your cigarette a dirty look as they walk by.  That type of behavior actually makes me want to take up smoking.

Chubby then asked me if I’ve ever smoked an Armenian cigarette.  When I said no, he seemed even more shocked at this notion, because clearly, it’s alarming that someone who doesn’t smoke in the first fucking place, has never smoked an Armenian cigarette.  After turning down multiple offers to try one, I finally accepted the cigarette just to shut him the fuck up.

I drink coffee like it’s my job, so I consider myself immune to coffee caffeine, but for some reason, a single caffeinated tea feels like I just injected cocaine straight into my bloodstream.  So, I was already shaking from the tea I just had at the cafe that doesn’t know how to spell Earth, and jittery from the series of events which had just transpired, and now I’m adding this damn cigarette to the mix which is only heightening my anxiety.  The way Chubby was selling this thing, I was expecting it to have magical powers, or at least be laced with some hardcore narcotics that made me see Unicorns.  Nope.

So Chubby drops me off at the Metro Station, and I get onto the train with relative ease.  There is a nice looking black man a few seats from me who smiles sweetly and I consider for a moment asking him if he’d like to stop whatever productive task that he is in the middle of, and get a drink with me because I definitely need one.  I refrain however when I realize that a.) it is only 11:30am and b.) I am currently on my way to seeing another boy whom I have already forgotten about because of this disaster of a day.  I closed my eyes and pictured Dan’s cute smile and told myself that everything would be okay once I got to his house.  I then opened my eyes, only to witness a schizophrenic playing with fire.  One of the crazy’s on the train took out a crack lighter and was just keeping it continuously lit for absolutely no apparent reason.  At first, I thought he would just flick it on and off the way that people do when they’re fidgeting.  When that didn’t happen, I decided that he was going to light a bomb, so I came up with a ninja-like exit strategy in my mind, which included me and the hot black guy next to me busting out some tae-kwon-do and escaping just in the nick of time.  When the bomb had still not detonated after the schizophrenic kept the hand lighter lit for a straight five minutes, I thought it best to not test my luck, and got off at the next stop even though my stop wasn’t for another few miles.

I was about to call a cab to take me to Dan’s once and for all, but decided that it was not a good idea to let him see me in my current state.  After this fucking catastrophe I was definitely suffering from PTSD and determined that I needed to get a margarita, or six, to calm down and get my life together before seeing the boy whom I currently had a crush on.  I knew of a nearby Mexican joint, and impressed with my memory of the LA streets, found myself walking with 200 pounds of luggage down the sidewalks of Los Angeles yet again, but this time content because I had margaritas in my near future.

I sat down and ordered a 20 ounce margarita which I drank in 17 seconds, then called a cab.  The new cab picked me up and safely brought me to Dan’s house, and that is the last time that I will ever think it’s a good idea to act like an independent woman.  Next time, I’ll just sleep with him so that I don’t feel bad when I need to ask for a ride.



Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Michael – Moments 3 of 3

…to be continued from Moments 2.

Like I said in part one, I could feel Michael.  It was weird.  I always KNEW, without a doubt, when he was going to come into my work to visit me.  I knew when he was going to randomly pop by the house.  I knew, from miles away, when he was sad or having a bad day or when he was out, getting too drunk.  I knew the days that the demons were fighting him, and I could feel when they were laying dormant, temporarily leaving him be.  I knew all of this without words, and I think he sometimes knew them about me.  While that was so very special, this may just be the thing that ultimately brought us to our knees.  Not long later, I stopped being able to feel him.  I’m not sure who let go first, and I’m not sure that it even matters anymore.  I will get to that part at the end.

The night that I first fell for him was the first time we had ever spoken alone.  It was late and I was sitting at the bar alone.  Completely alone because I was managing the bar at the time and shut it down.  It’s an outdoor place, and I was winding down with a whiskey and Hemingway’s, The Sun Also Rises when for no reason at all, I looked up.  It was the first time my Michael sixth sense came into effect.  I knew that he was walking up even though I hadn’t heard anything and even though I didn’t know him very well at this point.  Before I could even see him, I hear, “Caitlin!” and then he emerged from the darkness, still in his steel-toed work boots, white t-shirt and paint splattered pants.  So I put my book aside, and we spoke for a while, but then he picked up my book and started reading it aloud.   For about ten minutes, without interruption, we sat there and I listened to him read to me.  I don’t know why, but it felt so vulnerable… just him, me, the night sky and a story about a lost generation.  I thought it was one of the sexiest things I had ever been a part of and we had never even kissed at this point.  But now he had hooked me.  After that, Michael started coming around alone more often, and by the next week, our romance would begin.

Later in our relationship, on some nondescript day, I was particularly bad.  He happened to call me and normally I wouldn’t answer my phone during one of these crazy spells, but I knew that he was the only person who would know what to do.  I am not sure exactly what I said on the phone, I doubt I was able to form real words, I just remember him saying, “I’ll be right there.”  And he was.  Less than three minutes later, he just walked into my house, I met him right at the door, and fell into him.  He held me in a way that I don’t know anyone has before or since, and for a moment, I felt like I melted into him.  You know that feeling when you love someone so much, and no matter how smooshed together your bodies are, it doesn’t feel close enough?  You feel like you want to melt into that person?  That morning, with Michael holding me as I cried over my bullshit, it is the only time that I can remember, when it actually did feel like I had melted into someone.

He didn’t say anything except, “You feelin’ it today?”  He didn’t ask me what was wrong, or if I was okay or if I wanted to talk.  He just said, “you feelin’ it today?”  That’s possibly my most cherished memory of him.  I just shook my head yes with my face still buried in his neck as he kissed my forehead and tears away, and that was all we said about it.  I knew that he knew what I was feeling.  He helped me catch my breath, exhaling loudly, breathing with me and shaking it off with me, and then sending me on my way.  I had to pull it together and go into work.  I don’t think we ever spoke of that morning again, and I don’t know what would have happened had he not been there.  There were multiple crazy spells like that which I went through, and he was always there for me; so much stronger than me.

I loved Michael for his honesty.  He was never afraid of hurting my feelings.  He would tell me that I was fucking nuts and that there were things that he didn’t like about me.  He did not mean this in a mean way, it’s not like this was said during fights, and that made me like him even more.  We were laying in bed together one night in silence, which was typical of us, words were always minimal, and he said to me, “You know that there are parts of you that I really love.  But then there are parts of you that I really don’t like.”

He didn’t need to say it, because I already knew.  And he knew that I knew, but there are some things that should be said out loud.  I know that it might not sound like it to you, the reader, but it was one of the most beautiful things anyone has ever said to me.  Later that night I said to him, “You know that there are parts of me that really love you too right?  And parts of me that just can’t.”  And he said yes, because he already knew.  And I knew that he knew, but I’m glad I said it.  That was the only time him and I ever used the L word.

As we continued in our dark cycle, we had some truly precious times, and I wish that I could remember it all better, but those times are such a haze.  Dark days.  We planned to drive to New Orleans together, our favorite city, to see a band play and stay overnight.  The date was approaching, but for some reason, Michael and I weren’t really talking.  I can’t remember what happened, but I stopped being able to feel him.  We never really had “fights,” but there was a couple of times when we both knew that we needed a few days from one another for whatever jaded reason.  Whatever it was that we disagreed about this particular time, it was the closest we had come to a fight, and we didn’t see or speak to one another for a week.  It wasn’t ugly or malicious, but that’s just how we were.  Minimal words.

The day came when we would have left to go to New Orleans, and Michael shows up at my work.  I couldn’t sense him this time, and I hadn’t been able to for a couple of weeks.  He was there, expecting me to get in the car and drive away with him.  While I should have known he would pull something like that, I assumed the whole trip was off because of the weird state our relationship was in.  I told him I couldn’t go with him.  He walked away, hurt and silent.  I tried calling him, but I knew it was over.  That was it, that was the moment that we died.  I saw him walking his dog a few days later, and I got out of the car and we had a very short, amicable conversation that resembled something of closure, and of course, both of us apologizing.  I shed some tears, and he hugged me for the last time, and I got back in my car and drove away.

Since then, we have run into each other here and there, and there are no hard feelings.  We both understood each other too well for there to be bitterness.   We were in it for that time and place and we never tried to change each other; we just were.  Michael was my lifeline at a time in my life when I would have otherwise drowned, and this is all I can give him; just some words on a page.  I don’t know if he will ever read this, and I hope he already knows all of it, but sometimes it’s good to write it down anyway.  So raise your glass to Michael, the boy whose heart sets in the West.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Michael – Moments 2 of 3

…to be continued from Moments 1

I don’t remember how V found out, but it wasn’t through Michael.  I should remember, it wasn’t all that long ago, but fuck the details.  Not two days after the innocent kiss between Michael and I, you would have thought that Armageddon was happening, that’s how NOT okay V and his girlfriend/Michael’s roommate took the news.  I have no idea why the roommate/girlfriend gave a shit.  You’d think that she’d be stoked, but that’s irrelevant. I felt awful, and not because of the means texts, false rumors started or the social exile I was experiencing, but because I felt guilty about what Michael had to endure.  It was his best friend, and here I was, being a Yoko and coming between their friendship.  For a while I kept my distance, and I would have never made contact with Michael again if that’s what he would have wanted, but it wasn’t. It was too late, we were connected.

Michael felt uncomfortable in his own home because V was always there but giving him the silent treatment.  Michael tried talking to him a few times but to no avail.  He even offered to let V punch him if that would make things better.  This war without words went on for weeks, if not months.  Their space though, just brought Michael and I closer. We were bonded by our exile and a secret Michael/Caitlin world was temporarily built.

He would get up before sunrise to go to work, so we actually had mornings together which is something I don’t think I have ever experienced with any other boy. My body is such an asshole because it won’t allow me to sleep more than 4 hours, so I am often awake at 5:30am, and have had an entire day by the time anyone I associate with has even contemplated waking up. I’d sometimes rise with Michael, and we’d have coffee and listen to a good, morning song before he’d put those steel-toed boots on that I loved so much, kiss me good and leave for the day. Sometimes I would see him after work, sometimes I wouldn’t. Sometimes we’d see each other a few days in a row, sometimes we wouldn’t see each other at all for a few days. I would occasionally pop in and bring him an Iced White Chocolate Mocha thing from Starbucks. He liked six shots of espresso in these drinks, but I only got him the normal amount when I was buying because if he had a heart attack I didn’t want to feel responsible.

When he stayed over, we’d wake up in the middle of the night and mold into one another.  He’d keep his eyes closed and pull me into him, mold me to him, without saying anything and fall back asleep.  A couple of times he woke up in the middle of the night, pulled me into him, and without uttering a word, made love to me.  That was one of the sexiest and most romantic things that I have ever experienced because it was so honest and true.  Sometimes he would have nightmares, and I would gently rub his face and chest and whisper in his ear, to try to gently wake him up.  Between my attacks, him talking to himself and both of our nightmares… what a dysfunctional duo disaster we were. I worked a lot during this time, about 55 hours a week, so most of our interaction happened late at night, after I was off of work. It’s strange to think about, but I still have no idea what his bedroom even looks like. Due to our circumstances I was never able to go to his place. So the nights that he didn’t stay over, we would often meet up for a quick hello and a goodnight kiss at the bridge or the pier or the wall by the water or at this fancy nearby hotel that has a piano inside that we would sneak to, and hope that we could get a song in before someone discovered us. He played beautifully.

What made our relationship so different and so special, was that we acted like a 70-year-old couple. We NEVER texted each other.  Not once while we were together. We vowed that we never would, so it was all phone calls or random drop by’s.  There was something so romantic about him unexpectedly knocking on my front door.  What a rarity in this day and age.  We sometimes went on “drive’s,” the way that people did in the ’50s, and we drew pictures together, going back and forth with a sharpie, taking turns building a full page design.


We would listen to the radio together and leave each other notes on our car windshields or front door step. The morning that I ran away (which is another whole tale that includes me hosteling through Florida and living out of LA Fitness’s), I left him a note at the nearby bar that he sometimes worked at, simply stating not to worry and that I’d come back. I felt like I was in the Wild West, leaving a note with a gold coin for the barmaid with instructions to give it to the “fellow who will soon be passing through.” A few days later, when I decided to turn my phone back on and deal with all of the frantic voice messages I was sure to have from family and friends who basically thought I went missing, the one I got from Michael just said something like, “I think I know what you’re doing and I didn’t tell anyone, but they’re worried. I hope you’re okay and I miss you.”

Our secret world was even more isolated due to the fact that at the time, I was living without cable, wi-fi or any type of “smart” device. At one point, I went for a few days without electricity just to see what it would be like. Good God, I really was going insane. Anyway, I think that environment enhanced our little secret life because when he was over there were no distractions. We only had each other for entertainment.

This all sounds cute and innocent, and it partly was, but we also enabled each other.  We had some beautiful moments, but it wasn’t exactly a healthy relationship.  We both drank way too much.  I was trying to escape my demons and he was trying to drown his, so a lot of the time we were just drinking together, avoiding all of the dark feelings that we could sense in one another but chose to ignore.  When you are a lost soul, you can sense a fellow walking dead, and Michael and I were among the uncomfortably numb, using alcohol to try to feel something.  We both knew it, but never said it out loud.  I was constantly on the move, and didn’t know if I was running to something or away from something, and Michael seemed to always be having an inner civil war.

I secretly called him, The Boy Whose Heart Sets in the West.  He is from Northern California, and just didn’t seem to belong in Florida.  His heart is real, but it seems to function independently from his head.  An inner civil war.  I may be being presumptuous, because I really don’t know much about his past, but I think he was used to being the crazy one in a relationship.  When I came around however, he totally stepped up to the plate and became the one taking care of the crazy one.  I was out of my fucking mind at the time, and he was there for me. He dodged his demons so that he could deal with mine instead.  For that, I will be eternally grateful.  And embarrassed.  Thinking back, my behavior was so embarrassing, and I have no idea why he didn’t flee at the first sign of one of my crazy spells.

To be continued…


Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Michael – Moments 1 of 3

Michael was my lifeline at a time in my life when I would have otherwise drowned, and this is the only gift that I can give him. Just some words on a page. I don’t know if he will ever read this, and I know that he probably already knows all of it because he could feel me, but sometimes it’s good to write it down anyway.

Michael came at the worst time.  Who knows why I’m choosing now to write about him, but it is time.  Maybe it’s because I’m moving again; he’s all over this house.  Moving is always stressful, especially for me because I’m just so goddamn sick of it.  Since I graduated high school in 2005, I have lived in 14 different houses.  This is not including the multiple tour buses that I have spent many months in.  I think moving takes an emotional toll because you are forced to go through old sentimental shit that we all, for some reason, keep.  Items like ex-boyfriend gifts, old photographs of family members that have passed, letters from best friends whom you barely speak to anymore are revealed and it all takes a psychological toll as you’re throwing them into the back of a truck that you had to borrow from the guy down the street who hopefully won’t expect a date out of the favor.

Last year, upon moving in, there was a lot to be done and I felt completely overwhelmed.  Michael helped ease the pain. He helped me paint the inside, he brought me tools I needed and shelves and faucet aerators and PBR for us to drink while we listened to music and sat on the cold hard floor while we waited for the walls to finish drying.  I was painting my bed frame, but taking my sweet time, so my mattress was in the middle of my kitchen for what I think was weeks before I actually started sleeping in a bedroom.  Waking up in the morning with him, in the middle of the kitchen on an uncovered mattress with the gentle hum of the refrigerator, may be the only times that being in that house really felt like home.  Now that I’m sitting here, really trying to cultivate memories of Michael and I, I’m realizing that the stages of that house are the perfect metaphor for our relationship.  When the house was relatively empty, before furniture purchases and boxes of old artwork and comic books arrived, Michael and I felt light.  Light, simple and untainted.  We would sit outside in the dark for hours, just drinking and talking.  He had such beautiful eyes. They were guarded, but sometimes, and only sometimes, he would falter, and the guards came down and those eyes would look at me in a way that consumed my every sense.  For just those single, fleeting seconds, it’s like he owned my entire sensory system and I was hooked to him as if he was somehow connected to me intravenously.  As time progressed, and the state of the house progressed, Michael and I began to feel heavy.  With the arrival of more clutter, came the arrival of more mental clutter.  Those unguarded looks became fewer and more fleeting and eventually led to times when I think we felt lost and confused in each other’s eyes instead of safe and light.

He worked (or works, I’m not really sure what he’s doing nowadays) at a retirement community as what I would describe, a handy-man.  I thought that was so sexy.  I love boys who get off of work and have paint splattered on their calloused hands, smell like fresh sweat and have grease stains on their jeans.  Michael had all of these. He would bring me a bunch of knickknacks from rooms of people who had just passed.  It became an inside joke that whenever he would bring me something new for my house I would ask, “Did this come from a dead person’s room?”  Thank you to the little old lady who once owned the nightlight I now have.  That’s my favorite.  This move was taking place during my dark days.

I refer to my period of living in Los Angeles as “my dark days,” but there was also a time, about six months after leaving LA, that I lost myself to yet another episode of dark days.  Of all my life obstacles chronicled by adolescent angst, teen heart ache, college stress, quarter life crises and career let downs, I would say that last year for several months, I was at my absolute worst, and this is when Michael came into my life.  Here I am, moving again, out of this place that parts of him are scattered throughout, so maybe that’s why I’m choosing now to write about him.  The days are no longer dark though, and I think he is partly responsible for that.

Michael and I were forced into what I call, “serious mode” because we breached the best friend line.  I knew Michael’s best friend before I knew him.  We will refer to him as V.  V and I VERY mildly were seeing each other for a second before Michael came into the picture.  We never slept together or did anything except for kiss for that matter.  He is a gem, but about two weeks in, in true Caitlin style, I knew there was no way it was going to progress.  We had that uncomfortable chat, and decided to continue as just friends… but maybe I hadn’t had made that as clear as I thought I had. I suck at that type of confrontation, and this whole calamity solidifies that notion.

V had already begun hooking up with his ex girlfriend again, so I was thinking, sweet! I’m off the hook. Apparently not.  An inappropriately short amount of time later, Michael and I kissed. We both did not think it was a big deal. Whatever, we got drunk and made-out, it happens. Michael was going to tell V and all would be well since V was back with his ex who just happens to be Michael’s roommate… of course!  There is the cherry on top just to make this situation even more appropriate for the mess that is my life.

Under normal circumstances, Michael and I probably would have just hooked up a few more times and lightly seen each other until it would inevitably fizzle out, like it always does.  However, because we unwittingly catapulted ourselves into a war zone, also known as a love triangle, we were now brothers in arms; bonded.  The curse of the best friend. That curse has always plagued me.  I can’t regret this mistake though, because it means that I had Michael, and we had our two-week romance.

I describe a “two week romance” as any romance that is viciously passionate, and ends as quickly as it begins with little or no communication before or after the affair.  It doesn’t have to be two weeks, but I’ve noticed that this is a common amount of time for these fleeting yet fervent romances to last, and “two week romance” has a certain ring to it.  I think Michael and I lasted about two or three months.  Just like I said though, the way we were thrusted together overnight, we ended just as abruptly.  Even though we were short-lived, I had someone who I could feel, during a time in my life when I couldn’t feel anything else except for crippling anxiety. It was literally crippling because it harshly effected my day-to-day life.  I had immense trouble leaving the house, I refused to see any friends and I was having frequent panic attacks.  Dark days.  I don’t think that there is anyone else but Michael who could have seen me through that time.  We had a deep, almost psychic connection that I have a hard time understanding, so I’m not going to cheapen it with an inadequate wordy explanation.  Let’s just say that we were very close, but a closeness that we could feel but not really see.  Michael had gotten into my bloodstream…

To be continued.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,