Do yourself a favor: Take however you’re feeling; hold the feeling in your hand like a baby bird and then fucking murder the bird. Squash the bird with your bare hands and smear the blood and guts all over everything while screaming. If you can’t do that, I mean, if you don’t have it in you, just take the tremendous wealth of your feelings and scale it back by about 80 percent. Behave as though your feelings are controlled by a series of knobs and levers and turn that shit down. It works.
Of course I’m talking to the pansies. If you’re one of those hardened people who’s all “I haven’t cried in eight years” you should take this advice and reverse it. Obviously in this case you should put the bird in a cage and pet it and feed it worms and tell me you love me and call me your girlfriend.
I really need to stop writing about my crushes on my blog. Seriously, they’re going to find out, and it’s going to be really embarrassing. The other day the maritime civil engineer was like, “Maybe I should just break down and get a Facebook.” And I said, “NOOO!” (Even that is scaled back 80 percent. If I were operating at full capacity I’d have flipped over the table while crying.) He said, “Um.” Then I said, “Okay, well, you can get a Facebook, let’s just not be friends on it.” And then he said, “Why don’t you want to be friends with me on Facebook?” and I said, “NO REASON.”
Here’s when I knew I was really done for. I stopped by the engineer’s house at around 10 am on a sunday morning, after a long weekend away. I had a lot of thoughts and feelings stored in my chest and hands, and when I walked in, I saw a foreign pair of brand new converse tennis shoes and some adorable, baby blue robot socks sitting next to them.
“These are the shoes and socks of a woman,” my brain immediately concluded. I looked at the engineer’s closed bedroom door. “Whoever bought these shoes is in bed next to my crush.” I wrote the whole story in my head. He met the love of his life over the weekend, they got drunk, he brought her home and now they’re wrapped up together in one big blanket. It’s not like he’s cheating on me, since we’re only dating in my head, but I do technically live with him. If he brought home another woman it’s not wrong, per se, but a tad indelicate. I felt like a person who had been wronged a little but not enough to cry or flip over a table.
I didn’t know what to do, so I did all the dishes. After I did the dishes I went back and looked at the receipt sitting next to the slut’s shoes. They were purchased at Target at around 1 in the afternoon the day before. It was just the shoes and the socks, nothing else, paid for with a 100 dollar bill. The shoes were 60 percent off. I’m a goddamn detective and these were important clues.
I still didn’t know what to do so I went outside to talk to the guy who lives in the garage. It wasn’t my first choice; he’s not a mean guy but he’s not exactly friendly, either. I said, “Did Phil bring home a girl last night?”
“I don’t think so,” the guy who lives in the garage said. “Why do you think that.”
I told him there was a pair of girl’s shoes on the floor in the living room. “Did you see him last night?”
“He came in here this morning saying he was super hung over. He didn’t mention anything about a girl.” I think there was actual kindness in the garage tenant’s voice. I think he felt a little sorry for me.
“I don’t want to just barge in on them,” I said. “I mean, kind of I do…”
The guy who lives in the garage laughed. His english bulldog whinnied at me. I pet her big weird head and went back inside.
I stared at the shoes again. Whoever this woman was, she was a giant. I tried on the shoes and they were just a little too big for me, and recall, I am a giant myself. Also, not to stereotype, but what kind of woman goes to Target to buy a pair of shoes and socks and nothing else with a 100 dollar bill? I looked again at the shoes and wondered why I ever thought they were women’s shoes in the first place. The maritime civil engineer never buys anything at full price. And surely you don’t fall in love with a girl on a Saturday afternoon and then immediately go out and buy a pair of shoes and socks together, right?
I opened the door to the maritime civil engineer’s room and of course it was just him lying there, his long, gangly frame stretched out across the bed like an open hand. He said, “Hi Molly!” as though not a goddamn thing had happened, and indeed, for him, nothing had.
I turned down my emotions by 80 or 90 percent and laid down in bed next to him in what I hoped was a casual way. Eventually I said, “I thought those shoes on the living room floor were a girls.”
He was like, “You did?” and then, “Aren’t they sweet? I got them for 60 percent off.”
And that’s when I knew for sure how completely fucked I am, that I’m not the boss of me, and let’s face it: I probably never was.