Part 1: The Reason

Over a year ago now, I wrote about gingers, specifically the abundance of gingers in my foray into the Portland(ish) dating scene. I directly referenced a few, in particular. I ended up taking a chance on one of those gingers; I believe I referred to him as something like the “simple, but wild one.”

Why on earth would I saddle myself up to a “simple, but wild one”? I’ve asked myself that same question, as have some of my most important friends in the world. (Looking at you, Tomas and stupidityhole and Cheeky.)

One of the easiest conclusions that I’ve come to is this: Despite moving across the country, escaping my own personal hell that was Louisiana, to pursue a lifelong dream of the Pacific Northwest…I found myself soon fallen into the same patterns, the same rut: that of work, cheap fast food or no food at all, bingewatching some bullshit show, not being able to focus on reading…on words, and spending most of my time alone and moping, in bed. I knew a physical move wouldn’t fix anything other than the immediate surrounding stimuli that fucked me up on the daily in Louisiana. I knew it would take real effort. But I was failing at it.

So I started dating. I never felt comfortable doing so in Louisiana, partly because my better-part-of-5-year-separation took that long to culminate in a divorce, and partly because I’d have never been comfortable dating there. Running into my ex while out on a date, or even trying to date someone and get serious with someone in a place I knew I couldn’t stay. Couldn’t live. Couldn’t breathe.

So I started dating. Dating sites, of course. How else was a recluse going to meet anyone? I met some terrible people, but I met some damn good people, too. I had some fun. I had some prospects for serious. (I learned quickly that in modern dating, one has to openly profess they are monogamous if they have any hopes of landing someone who isn’t into “ethical non-monogamy.” Y’all. You do you, but that’s just not my jam. I’ve tried to be open to it, but it’s just not me. It’s so far out of my comfort zone that it can only end in misery.)

I also quickly learned that, while I wanted someone whom would date me exclusively while we decided whether or not we were compatible, I also wasn’t ready to plummet straight into some til-death-do-us-part thing. Another thing I learned is that I get bored easily. Very easily. I don’t want to sit on the couch, night after night, bingewatching tv. I don’t want to waste my life away watching other people live theirs. I don’t want to talk about politics, every single day, day in and day out. And no, I don’t want to rush into marriage and move into your parent’s farmhouse, for fuck’s sake.

I wanted…needed…craved…excitement, stimulation, new.

Enter the “simple, but wild one.” I’ll come up with something to call him at some point, but for now, that will do.

He was wild. He was unpredictable. He was untamed. He wasn’t interested in anything serious. He wanted to go out. He wanted to do things. And oh dear god, was he fun. The most fun I’d ever had with a boy I was seeing regularly. There was an edge of danger to it all, and it was fucking thrilling.

And so, I allowed myself to get carried away with it. Sucked into his insane fucking charisma and magnetism. I willfully turned a blind eye to the enormous red flags that anyone who’s ever known him can see (like his extreme levels of narcissism and sociopathy and alcoholism). I willfully entered into a thing that caused everyone I knew – including the few of his friends I was allowed to meet – to seriously inquire, “What the hell are you doing with him?” (That question got more and more searing as time went on, more and more pressing, more and more concerning from the asker, and more and more telling to me of just how obvious it was to absolutely everyone what a brutal fucking mistake I was making.)

But, son of a bitch, I was having fun. I was living life with reckless abandon, something most people get out of their systems in their teens. Something I’d never done.

That. Is the reason. Well. That is the surface reason. More reasons will be expressed in future chapters. Like the whole, I lived so much of my life in fear of winding up with a replica of my father. And I did. Not only did I “wind up” with him, I dove headlong into it.

This isn’t a tale I can tell in one sitting, hence the parsing of it into chapters. I don’t have the energy for it, nor do I have the desire to give it that much time and attention in one sitting.

But that. That is my version of a beginning for this. That is my reason for what came to pass.

On Diaries and Invasion of Privacy (AKA Young Love, One Yummy Motherfucker and Blogging)

Journaling has always had a significant pull for me. I don’t remember the first time I asked for my own diary, but I know I was little. Even as a child, I was highly introverted and recognized I needed an outlet for my thoughts. Writing would be a way to process the world and my place in it, or so I thought.

Writing My Heart Out

I did pretty a pretty good job of keeping a regular, (semi-)daily diary up until junior high school. I was around twelve years old when I threw in the towel (the first time). That’s when my asshole brother violated my privacy and trust. I don’t remember whether I’ve assigned a name for him yet, so for now let’s just call him B. For Brother. Or Butthole. Take your pick (both will work in a pinch) (eww pinched butthole).

So there I was, journaling my angsty little heart out. About school. About bullies. About shame. About public humiliation. About depression. About music. About boys. Oh yeah. I wrote about boys: two boys in particular. One was a crush I’d had for two years already (who would later become boyfriend, then spouse, then shhh I don’t wanna talk about that right now). I talked about that one a lot. Oh what a crush I had for that little bad boy. And the other was for one who would be my first boyfriend.

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Miguel looked just like this. Only twelve. But still yummy. (Shut up, I was twelve. It wasn’t perverted to find a fellow preteen yummy.)
I’ve mentioned him before. What the hell did I call him? Shit. (No, I most certainly did not dub him Shit. What was it? Fuck me, I forget.) (I totally need a system for this.) Let’s call him Miguel. Oh Miguel, you yummy thing you. He looked just like Anthony Kiedis, and I was So Fucking Smitten.

And before those of you keeping up jump to conclusions – he is not the reason I’m a diehard RHCP fan. I need to write about that soon, but for now – no. Miguel has nothing to do with that. We were way more into Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Green Day at the time. For some reason RHCP wasn’t huge among my little group. So they were mine alone. Anyway. Digressing.

But. P.S. Miguel still looks like that. Fucker. Anyway, so we were twelve, and I had such an overpowering, all-consuming crush on him that I sometimes lay awake nights thinking about him. We hung out together all the time. Listening to music, smoking pot, talking about life and parents and school. His mom was totally whack. I mean seriously. I smoked pot with her. When I was twelve. Yeah. But Miguel and his sister weren’t allowed to. Miguel never got much into it, but I would sneak a toke a lot. He really was a good boy – he was then and, based on everything I’ve heard through the grapevine over the years, he still is.

All of those thoughts and experiences were in my diary. So were the details of the day he finally asked me to “go with” him, and how excited and nervous and scared I was. My first real boyfriend! Elementary Mario had no idea he was my boyfriend, so that didn’t really count. (Shut up. It totally counts.) Miguel and I were only a thing for about two weeks. Three, tops. It was awkward, and he wasn’t ready for a girlfriend. I was all in, but he wasn’t ready. At least that’s what he told me later, and I believed him because he didn’t have a serious girlfriend for at least a couple more years. (It didn’t help that his best friend kept making fun of him about us – I mean hardcore, too. That butthole. He ended up being a crackhead. That’s what you get!) (And, I will confess it crushed my soul when I found out Miguel finally slept with some girl at a party he went to freshman year. Casey, you bitch.)

But that two weeks was enough for my diary to fill with the sordid details of kissing in his bed (on top of the covers) and how it felt when his hand went up my shirt. (He had even asked permission.) I’m certain that book was filled to the brim with award-winning writing and frameable art (who wouldn’t want to frame hearts and arrows adorned with Miguel & Stephanie 4-Ever?)

It broke my heart when he broke up with me, saying it was too awkward and he’d waited too long and now it felt like he was kissing his sister because of how close we were as buddies. He was sweet about it, and we miraculously remained friends until I moved away (to a different apartment complex). 

Attack of the Pinched Butthole Brother

At some point after Miguel broke my heart and my crush moved back to the bad boy, B found my diary. I thought I was being clever when I hid it between my mattress and the box-frame. I hadn’t yet seen all those movies where every kid in the history of fuckingever uses that as a hiding space.

Not only did B find it, oh no. He also had to read it. And he was not content to stop there, either. I came home from school one day, and B and his bitchass pal, let’s call him “Bitch”..you know..for bitch, were already there, playing video games (on my NES, damnit). And oh the devilish smirk that plastered itself across B’s face when I walked through the door.

You know what’s coming, don’t you? Then I shall spare you the suspense. B stood up, diary in hand, and commenced to reading it aloud while his bitchass pal, Bitch, literally pointed and laughed at me. He even had the audacity to hold his sides, laughing so hard it hurt. B really outdid himself, too, drawing out the loooooooooves and even holding the diary up and pointing at the hearts for all the world Bitch to see.

I hated him with an unmatched fury. Both of them. And I told them so, through screamy sobs.

I hate you! I HATE YOU! GIVE IT BACK!

When I finally snatched it away from him, I promptly ripped it to shreds. In his defense (the only one I’ll allow him here), he tried to make me stop. But it was his fucking fault; he’s the one who drove me to do it. I probably would have done it one day, anyway. I hadn’t kept any of the previous diaries, because I always felt childish, stupid and vapid. But this was different. This was the first time I’d had the privacy of a diary breached (the first time to my knowledge, anyway). I tore that bitch to pieces, marched it straight down to the apartment dumpster, came back upstairs and cried and cried of embarrassment and shame and hurt feelings and rage.

And Then There was You

I was mortified. Completely mortified. And I’ve had a pretty fucked up track record with diaries/journals ever since. I tried again a couple years later, but then my mother found it. B wasn’t living with us at the time, so I tried the same hiding spot again. Different apartment, same fucking spot. So fucking naive. Oh yeah, she found it. And for the first time in months decided to speak to me. Well, more like sobbing in my general direction. I lied to her about sex. I hadn’t had sex at that point, but I had gotten very fucking close. I told her those were just fantasies. She believed it. Probably because she was living in her head, anyway, and was willing to believe whatever made her life easier to live. I could have told her anything, and it wouldn’t have changed our relationship or her life. No matter what I told her, she was going to spend her home time crying in bed. So I made it easy,

I can’t believe you read that. But it isn’t true. None of it is true. Don’t worry.

And then I shredded it. I tried again a few years later, when I was living with the bad boy. But he always insisted I read the entries to him. So it was more a log of my life as one-half of a couple. It lacked depth and fullness, but I was happier then, for a long time. I still felt like I needed my own space, but I never got it (not that I pushed for it). I still have a few of them, all with twenty to thirty pages filled. But then I stopped for good, because they weren’t really mine. Not fully.

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Two of them I could easily get to. Isn’t that blue one gorgeous?
I tried a couple of blogs over the years. But I always bulldozed them. Never felt good enough or safe enough. But the itch, the need has never left me. The need to purge my thoughts, get them down and out. Work out the meaning of the world, or at least my place in it. In writing.

And then there was you. I’m finally sticking with it. And while I know I haven’t been with you long, believe me when I say this is what Stephanie sticking with it looks like. I also know this is far riskier than a little paper journal hiding in my bed or underwear drawer. Yet this blog is giving me something additional that no diary ever could: accountability, community, commiseration and dare I say it? Friendship. So, for now at least, I’ve decided the dangers of discovery are worth it.