~Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome to your thirties

Another week had passed without much word from Statham. I got dressed and left my apartment for my weekly night out. I look forward to it; it's the only social interaction I get all week. Most nights I leave work late and run along the river. After I get home and walk the Femme Fatale and prepare dinner, it's 9:30 by the time I finally sit down.

It was a light crowd that night. Inclement weather in the South kept most people at home. But when the boys discovered I just had my birthday, they took turns buying me birthday shots: blow jobs, red-headed sluts, blonde-headed sluts, something that tasted like orange-flavored cough syrup and then the southern version of an Irish Car Bomb.

Another boy appeared in front of me. I recognized the tattoo sleeve poking our from under his red t-shirt.

I pointed at him, "Is your name [Tattooed Boy]?"

He smiled.

"Hey! I'm Sarah!" I extended my hand to him.

"I know," he said as he took my hand. I've seen him around;I've just never spoken to him.

He sat down next to me and ordered the strongest drink I've ever tasted. He enjoyed watching me try it and then scrunch up my face in disgust. Every so often, he's push his drink toward me.

"I haven't seen you around lately," I said.

"I know. And you won't after this week. I'm moving. Leaving the state."

"Aw, that's a shame. You seem pretty cool."

"I am very cool," he said. "You're missing out."

He invited me out the next night. I accepted and gave him my e-mail address.

Clemson appeared from the corner of the bar. I was splitting food with the Tattooed Boy. He ordered food as well. The Tattooed Boy kept pushing his drink to me and then laughing as I coughed and sputtered.

The Leader grabbed my hand and we danced to a song on the jukebox. I laughed. I laughed a lot. It felt good that the new group of friends were acknowledging my birthday. It felt like acceptance, that I was now one of them.

The Tattooed Boy left and Clemson and I began chatting. He was inquisitive about my family and my origins. I spoke of my father leaving in the middle of the night. He shook his head in sympathy.

"So you hate men?" he asked.

"No! I don't hate men. I'm just wary. Trust has to be earned," I corrected. We spoke for awhile and I grew tired.

Clemson looked at me. "You doing okay?" he asked.

"I'm pretty shit housed," I admitted.

"You can come back to my place again," he offered.

"Okay," I said without protest. I couldn't drive. It wasn't even a question.

He took me back to his place and turned on the TV. It was some ungodly hour and I had to show up to work sometime the next morning. He sat down next to me and I threw a pillow on his lap and laid down. He immediately put his arm around me and caressed my shoulder. I closed my eyes. It felt nice. It felt really nice to experience that kind of physical contact. Despite the selfish, dirty sex, I hadn't received any affection since Valdosta back in January.

Clemson noticed I was dozing and he shut off the TV and told me it was time for bed. He told me to sleep on his side of the bed because it was more comfortable. I climbed in. He pulled up the sheet around me. When I shivered he found a blanket, shook it out and laid in on top of me. I appreciated his sense of detail.

"Ugh," I moaned. The birthday celebration had caught up with me.

"What's wrong?"

"My stomach feels wonky and I have heartburn," I whined.

Clemson fetched a glass of water and a bottle of Tums.

"You have Tums? But you're a boy. Boys don't keep meds," I said.

"Are you kidding me? I'm in my thirties and I'm a computer geek, of course I have Tums. Welcome to your thirties," he said as he toasted me with the water glass.

Clemson climbed in bed and spooned me. I relished it. Not specifically Clemson, but the touch. It felt so good to be held; I miss being held. I sighed and stretched my legs.

"Ow ow ow ow!" I cried as I sat straight up in bed.

"What's wrong?"

"I have a charlie horse in like the arch of my foot!" I wailed. I had increased my running frequency that week, running a 5k every day. I don't know if the increase in male attention was directly related to me dropping a pants size, but I wanted to lose another one just to be sure.

Clemson sat up in bed and grabbed my foot. He rubbed out the cramp. He collapsed into the sheets and I nestled in the crook of his shoulder. When Clemson's alone, he's kind of a gentle guy, I thought. He rubbed my back as I drifted off to sleep.

A few hours later, his alarm went off. I got up and ducked out of his apartment without saying goodbye or thank you.

I have no idea what I'm doing these days.

~Thursday, April 28, 2011

The End: How I screwed up

Statham and I have been IMing daily. Some days it's not more than a few lines. Others it's lengthy conversations. After my usual weeknight with the dodgeballers, Statham popped up in the corner of my screen:

How was last night? Any less drama than last week?

No. Drama. Drama. Drama. You realize everyone knows, right?

Knows about what?

I frowned. Then I typed, That we have shared the sex.

Statham panicked. He opened a new IM window and began messaging Girl from Irish Pub, asking what the hell happened last night. Unfortunately all of the drama transpired after she left; she didn't know a thing. Then he contacted his ex to again profess his innocence. He got drunk, hit on me and I turned him down. End of story in his opinion. He said she isn't handling the breakup well and he didn't want to hurt her anymore than he already has.

He did all of this before I had a chance to tell him what exactly happened. After twirling with the boy, I followed Clemson and the leader of the group to a second bar. Never go to a second location on a weeknight. Just shut it down and go home. But I didn't. I perched on my bar stool between Clemson and the Leader. It was just the three of us in the entire bar and we sat there until 2 a.m.

I told dirty jokes while Clemson ribbed me. Then the Leader puffed out his chest and told me about all of his conquests among the league.

"You know all the girls on our team?" the Leader asked.


"I've slept with them all." He paused, "If you were on the team a few seasons ago, you would be a notch on several people's bedposts by now," said the Leader.

"I've been playing with y'all for three seasons!"

"That's right. I heard you hooked up," he said.

I threw my hands in the air. "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm untainted," I professed.

"Right," he said.

Statham was never mentioned by name, and I didn't press the issue because I thought that asking what he meant could be seen as an admission of guilt. Just deny and change the subject.

I sent all of this to Statham.

He's not talking about me, typed Statham. He's talking about you going home with Clemson.

Crap. Didn't know he knew about that.

But it's impossible. I didn't do anything with Clemson. And Clemson was sitting right beside me when the Leader called me out. Clemson would have been caught lying. The person I hooked up with was Statham.

Meanwhile Statham's on the phone with his ex. Just mentioning the gossip that we hooked up hurt her. She decided to leave town for a few days to escape the situation.

Statham insisted that it's Clemson the rumor is about, not him. Then he drops the bomb on me. Everyone knows about me spending the night at his place. Statham heard it from Girl from Irish Pub and he heard it from another girl I've never even spoken to as well as other sources.

Via e-mail, I confessed the entire night. I detailed the night for him so he would know I was telling the truth and not lying, like I was doing for him.

Statham then updated me on the story he concocted for his ex-girlfriend. As he's ad libbing a new story that explains the Leader's rumor, I realized that Statham doesn't give two shits about me; he's more concerned about his ex's feelings than he is mine. Because I now officially feel like garbage. The lies and stories that we never happened are starting to hurt me. We agreed that neither of us would say anything, but the extent he's going to cover it up is beyond any effort I would put forth. It's made me feel cheap.

"I just don't know why the Leader would think we slept together. I never said anything," he told me later that afternoon on the phone.

"Um, really? Do you not remember Saturday when you said we went out and you didn't go home until 2 a.m.? Did you not see my eyes screaming at the other end of the table?" I asked.

"Just tell them we were drinking until 2 a.m." he shot back. I felt myself become smaller. It turned out he wasn't peeing on me; he was just that oblivious.

I never really heard from Statham after that. Not even on my birthday.

~Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I turned 30 over the weekend. I feel like I'm supposed to pen some coming-of-age, commemorative post. Except that I don't have a lot to say.

I spent the last year preparing to turn 30. I made a list of everything I ever said I wanted to do and began crossing them off. I didn't finish the list—there were four items left—but I accomplished a lot nonetheless. I ran a 5k. I shot a shotgun. I went pole dancing. I went down a zip line. I did things.

This summer I plan on rock climbing and kayaking and hang gliding. And maybe even finish those paper cranes.

I've been listening to a lot of punk lately. It's got a peppy, upbeat tempo that makes me happy. It's been years since I've listened to it. I've gone through two punk phases before: once in 2000 and again in 2006. Both times I was trying to claim my independence. I have no idea what I'm stake my independence from this time.

Last week I was at the bar of my old dodgeball league catching up with friends. "Next time you see me, I'll be a grown-up!" I laughed as I twirled.

The boy gaped his mouth open in disbelief. "You're turning 30? 30? You?"

The boy in question was 32, so I knew it wasn't the chronological age of 30; it was me being 30.

"You cannot be that old," he stressed. "You're just too young. I mean, you twirl in bars for god's sake." He picked up my hand and spun me around again in demonstration.

He made three. He's the third person in the last couple of weeks who has commented on me being young at heart.

I'm back. S and Christopher did not ruin me.

~Thursday, April 21, 2011

All that glitters is not gold

Saturday was game day. I had my own plans with Schmoozer to go to a festival in the morning, but I was going to make the game. Statham had told me that he wasn't sure which weekend festival he was attending, but he wouldn't be at the game. So I was surprised when I was lazily standing by home plate and heard cries of Statham's name across the field as he caught a pop fly in his own game. He team cheered and rallied around him.

It had been a week since our initial hookup, and this was the first time we were in public together. The Girl from the Irish Pub who had been so hard on me during the week said nothing to me about Statham during the game. Instead we talked about our remaining weekend plans. First Baseman was out of town, and I recognized Clemson's stocky run as he crossed the bases over in Statham's game.

I headed over to the team bar afterwards with the rest of my team. I squinted when the door swung open. I couldn't tell who was entering; all I could see was the bob of his baseball cap. Then Statham appeared at my table.

"Hey! How was y'all's game?"

"Abysmal," I frowned. "We gave up."

He took a seat at the booth. When he found out we had all ordered food, he put in an order as well. Clemson and the rest of Statham's team were drinking outside.

My plan was to deny, deny, deny and pretend that we still don't know each other outside of the league.

"How was your race this morning?" he asked me.

"It was a sloppy race. It was 2,000 people running in a 4-foot wide street. The first two miles were fine, but the last 1.1 miles were a solid incline. However, I did improve my pace by 2 minutes a mile."

"That's great!" he cheered.

Okay, so maybe people would think that I told him that I was running a 5k last week.

He looked at the rest of the table and gestured to me, "We went out on Thursday and she took me to the greatest restaurant. I've been telling everyone about it."


He continued, "Yeah, I didn't get home until 2 a.m. and I had to get up at 5. I was beat. How were you Friday morning, Sarah?"

I shriveled up on the inside. The boy is peeing on me. That's what he's doing. The damned fool is marking territory. Because you know who is sitting next to me? The leader of the entire sports league. The main man who has slept with everyone. This is the guy that keeps a running tally of who has slept with whom. When my girlfriend denied who she has gone home with from the league, it was the leader who pulled me aside and told me. This has just become part of my permanent record.

Now, why was Statham giving me the golden-shower treatment?
Was it because he liked me? Or was he getting back at his ex in some effed-up manner?

Everyone began talking about Easter plans. I announced I wouldn't be in town.

"That's right. You're going to the Nooga for your 30th birthday," explained Statham.

"Really? That surprises me. I would not have thought that about you," said a girl at the table.

I could have said, That's what Statham said! But I didn't. I was still trying to play it cool. "You're the second person who's said that to me this week!"

Statham met my gaze and said nothing.

After he was done eating, Statham did his usual thing. He parked his pitcher of beer by me and flitted off to the other tables to say hello. Periodically he'd return and join the conversation while pouring himself another pint. No one said a word to me about our date and I was grateful. I

I left with my team and we worked our way out by stopping at each team's table. Clemson's face lit up when he saw me; I don't think he knows. We chatted for a brief minute. Then I walked with my team to my car.

As I was fiddling with my Shuffle, I saw Statham appear in my rear view mirror. I rolled my window down.

"I'm going to go home and nap before tonight," he said.

"Yeah, me too. I'm exhausted."

"I've got plans to meet some guy friends of mine," he offered.

"That sounds like fun."

He winked at me. "You behave yourself tonight, okay?"

"Yeah, you too."

I drove away. Down the road I was stopped at a light and I saw Statham's car come up on my left. He honked as he passed me.

Nope. Still can't figure him out.

~Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Statham of the Union

Statham's contact with me after our encounter was primarily apologetic. He said he's not normally like that and he doesn't typically move that fast with women. I heard his apologies so many times that what I began to hear was I respect women, just not you.

He asked me out on a date and I half-convinced myself he was following through on it just to prove that he was a nice guy. I even gave him an out the morning of our date while we were texting in bed and expected him to cancel before the day was through.

My fears were calmed as soon as I opened my front door. Statham looked good. Really, really good. He wore a plaid button-up that was rolled up to the elbows, jeans and flip flops. His hair was styled into a messy fauxhawk of sorts and had enough product in it that it was hurricane proof.

I smiled. It was a date. A Real Date. I brought my A game as well. I had lost so much weight recently that my jeans no longer fit me. I had them tumbling in the dryer on high heat for two hours trying to shrink them. Even with my belt notched on the tightest loop, they still were loose. I covered them up with a silk khaki top that made my hair and eyes look like chocolate.

Knowing Statham's penchant for outdoor patios, I took him to the same place I took Guy with Rash. As we pulled into the hidden neighborhood, he was impressed. Despite being after 9 p.m. on a weekday, we still had to wait for table.

The conversation was easy. It's always been that way with Statham and me. I met him in early December between Valdosta's and my first and second date. I was stretching in the hallway before my first dodgeball game and he just walked up to me and began talking. As he chatted away, I smiled and thought that I could get used to this. Then he dropped the girlfriend bomb and my face fell in disappointment. However after every dodgeball game, he always wandered over and said hello and spoke to me. He was my first dodgeball friend.

Statham and I have identical personalities: outgoing to a fault and no social filter that would sometimes get us into trouble. (A prime example of this would be the incident in which I asked about the status of the ex in front of her, and then he told me that she's in front of me. Fail on both of our parts.) Even when we were talking in the previous weeks, people would laugh at us because we spoke the exact same manner with the exact same vocal inflections. They said we sounded like twins speaking our own language.

"You know, this week I remembered something you said to me during dodgeball season," I told him as our second round of drinks arrived.

"What's that?"

"After we played your team, you crossed the court immediately after the game and you told me I had the cutest stomp you had ever seen. I thought I was some badass during dodgeball and you completely threw that image out the window by calling me cute."

"I remember that! You would stomp every time you got out, like you were surprised. It was hilarious!"

He asked me more about my list of things to do before I turn 30. "I never would have guessed that you're turning 30," he admitted.

"Why?" I scrunched up my nose. "Older or younger?"

"No! I would have said you were 25. You just have this thing about you that most people lose when they get older. You're just so energetic and bubbly."

A smile slowly spread across my face. I've heard this before. Adam said the same thing. Andy used to tell me that I had a childlike sense of wonder about me. Matter of fact, I haven't heard this in years. I beamed. S and Christopher didn't kill me; it's just taken me some time to recuperate.

Back at my apartment he checked out my city views. Once again, he's impressed. He said my apartment looked like home. We talked for a few minutes and he got up to leave.

I walked him to the door. This was the test if this was a Real Date or not. He turned around, grabbed me by the hips and leaned in for a Real Kiss. Real Date! Real Date! Unlike last week, the kisses were tender and gentle. Until they weren't.

He pulled away and sighed, "Do you want to go to your bedroom?"

He found his way to my bedroom as I made a pit stop in the bathroom. But when I get to the bedroom, he's sitting on the edge of the bed. He changed his mind.

He told me the events of the week. He met up with his ex for closure. Breakup is still on, but he feels like he's betraying her by being here with me so quickly. He said people thought our conversation of outing her at the Mexican restaurant was planned, when in reality it was just both of us being awkward. He said the difference between us and the rest of the group is that the rest of the group just hooked up. He was going from a relationship to dating someone else—feelings are involved and people are hurting.

I felt like I was getting dumped all over again.

"What do you think?" he asked.

"I mean, what do you say to that?" I spoke carefully. I've said these exact words to Valdosta.

I sat next to him on the bed. I said that it was natural to feel what he was feeling. He would be pretty cold-hearted if he wasn't conflicted by this. I maintained I still didn't know what this was, but I saw myself as having two roles with him. It was my job to support him and give him his freedom. And as far as feelings getting hurt, that ship had sailed last weekend.

He sighed, "There's nothing I want to do more right now than rip off your clothes. You're incredibly attractive and I've noticed you. I've been watching you. I, I, I... I just don't know what I'm doing right now. I should go."

I wasn't going to fight for someone that isn't confident in wanting me. I've wasted my entire twenties doing that.

"I'll walk you out." We stopped in my hallway and I reached in my gym bag. "Before you go, I wanted to show you my new running shoes. They were my birthday present to myself." Statham is an ex-track runner and I wanted his approval. My new running shoes are bright fuschia with neon yellow laces. They are the new version of the Nike Free line that was just released this month.

"Omigod, those are bright," he laughed. He flipped them over and picked out the gravel already stuck in the tread. "And they're light!"

"Best of all, they're pink!" I bounced in excitement.

He stopped and got serious. "That's what I'm talking about. That's the thing you do.

"Screw it," he said and he began kissing me again, walking me back to the bedroom.

We flopped on my bed. "No," I fought. "You can't give me that whole speech and then change your mind. I'm not going to let you feel bad about being with me."

He said I was right, that as far as hurt feelings go, the ship had sailed.

His face was on top of mine. I could feel his breath on me.

"What do you want?" He asked hoarsely.

I turned my head and stared at my closet door. It was too intimate of a gesture for me to handle. I don't trust Statham. Not yet. But here is a beautiful boy on top of me, detailing the past four months about me. He had been watching. Besides, we already slept together once...

"I don't want you to go," I whispered, still looking away.

So he didn't.

~Tuesday, April 19, 2011


A few days later I showed up with a girlfriend to a bar to visit old friends from dodgeball season.

"Hey! Sarah!" waved the girl from the Irish pub on Sunday.

"Oh! Hey!" I immediately headed towards her table. Sitting across from her was Clemson. One chair down from her was Statham's ex. Uh oh.

We chit chatted about our Monday mornings and how rough they were due to the weekend activities. She said she wasn't drinking that night, but still managed to have a shot and a beer in front of me.

She leaned towards me, "I noticed, by the way. First Baseman was too drunk to notice, but I did. Statham had his arm wrapped around your leg on Sunday."

I immediately looked up. The ex had her back to us; she was deep in conversation with another girl I recognized from girl's night. I had a feeling I knew what she was talking about: the very same boy we were talking about.

"Oh. Ha ha. Nothing happened," I worked out.

"I noticed," she repeated.

I didn't say anything.

She looked around the room, uninterested in my answer. "My drama isn't here tonight." Funny, because First Baseman is out of town. She's referring to someone else. Statham was right about everybody being with everybody.

"I don't like drama. I love other people's drama, but I don't like my own," I told her.

She looked hard at me, "You better be careful then," she warned. She turned around, "Doesn't the ex look so sad? I IM with her while I am at work."

Her loyalties don't lie with Statham; they lie with the ex. Statham warned me that his breakup was going to create a fissure in the group and that he was going to lose friends. I just didn't think it was going to be the girl in front of me. Everything was fine a couple of days ago. She was even trying to set him up with one of her friends.

I didn't say anything again. I was too concerned with the current situation with the ex to be bothered to see if Clemson had heard any of this.

My girlfriend arrived and I was grateful for the distraction. We headed to the opposite corner where our friends were. Meanwhile, I typed out a text to Statham:

Did you say anything to our friend?

I'm confused. About what?

I'm at the bar. She just said something to me.

I learned later is that this is the exact moment Statham's phone blew up. I wasn't the only one texting him. So was the girl from Sunday, and so was the ex. When Statham realized we were all out together and he wasn't there, he damn near had a panic attack.

What I didn't know then that I know now is that in between Statham's and my hookup and me being at this bar, Statham met up with the ex for some closure. The morning after meeting up with his ex, he contacted me to set up a date. He asked if we could go somewhere in my part of town "preferably somewhere without the chance of gunfire." I originally thought he was making a crack about my apartment location, but now I'm beginning to think that "gunfire" meant a situation such as this.

Even though Statham and I promised to each other that neither of us would say anything, everyone knew in less than three days. Despite Statham flat-out telling the girl from Sunday that he hit on me and I turned him down, and despite me being tight-lipped to her as well.

Later on in the week, Statham would be sitting on my bed and telling me what really happened in the bar the night I was there. The girl from Sunday told the ex that Statham got drunk, hit on a girl and she took him home. Thanks to Facebook, it was pretty apparent that the girl was me.

She knew. The whole time I was there, she knew. And to give her credit, she didn't say a word to me.

~Monday, April 18, 2011

Sleeping with the Enemy

We had sex. The dirty, selfish, 9-1/2 Weeks kind where both participants are focused on his and her own pleasure. The kind of sex you have when you don't know when your next opportunity will be. Things were done. And truth be told, I was the instigator of most of those things.

What have I done?

My stomach dropped. I just had dirty, selfish sex with someone that I am going to have to see again. And what about Clemson's feelings? What about Statham's ex? I'm pretty sure I already made her cry once this weekend. Oh god.

Statham came up behind me and sucked in air through his teeth. "You have scratch marks all the way down your back. I'm sorry."

Oh god.

Oh god. Oh god. Oh god.

I wanted to be friends with these people and what I ended up doing was creating the most volatile situation imaginable. I slept with a guy who broke up with his girlfriend 48 hours earlier, who is also in the same group. She's going to hate me and I don't blame her one bit. I feel like the other woman, a homewrecker. Word is going to get out and I'm going to be known as The Hussy.

But I'm not a hussy! The last time I slept with someone I wasn't dating was S in 2007, and even that turned into a two-year relationship. Before that was Nick in 2005, and he was a good friend from college. I don't do strange.

We got in the shower together. The conversation was awkward. "So, uh, how's your kickball season going?" he asked.

"We haven't won yet."


He left me alone to re-dress. The gravity of the situation hit me and I began to shake. Even though he's single, Statham's not available. Everyone had been joking all weekend that they were going to get back together within the week. He kept assuring me that's not the case, but let's be real here: I knew he was lying. He, at the very least, didn't know what was going to happen.

He reappeared in the hallway where our clothes had been strewn. He pressed me against the wall and began caressing my side.

"You okay?"

"I think... I think I need to sit down," I stammered. Instead of finding a piece of furniture to sit down upon, my back slid down the wall and I plopped on the carpet. I grabbed the towel I used minutes earlier and tried to use it as a security blanket, but Statham grabbed it out of my hands and tossed it aside.

"You think this was a mistake," he said slowly. "It's written all over your face."

Yes. "No." I paused, "Just promise me one thing: when you get back together with your ex, this never happened."

He tilted his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. "I know people have been joking all weekend, taking bets about when we're getting back together, but it's different this time. This wasn't one of our usual breakups. There was closure." He met my eyes and held them, "I don't regret what I did with you. Not one bit."

"It's just I'm new and I'm trying to make friends. I don't want gossip and I don't want a reputation."

He laughed. "It's an incestuous group. Everybody has slept with everybody—except for me of course because I've been in a relationship—and what you've done is nothing compared to the rest of them.

"I have a good time with you," he continued. "When we were hanging out at the team bar and we were all invited to the Mexican restaurant, I was excited to hang out with you more! I thought you were giving me a vibe."

I clasped my hands to my face and groaned, "I'm not supposed to be giving out the vibe!" And if I remember correctly, I didn't. At least not intentionally. Don't get me wrong, I've given Statham the vibe before, but at the team bar he was the one who approached me.

He popped up behind my barstool, "Listen, we have to talk about your shorts."

I looked down. I was wearing little red running shorts with my alma mater stamped on the leg. I looked at Statham's shorts. He was wearing the basketball shorts of the enemy. My rival school.

"My shorts are more socially adept than your shorts," I teased.

"My shorts are smarter than your your shorts."

"My shorts can outdrink your shorts."

"My shorts make more money than your shorts."

"My shorts have hot girls!" I shouted.

"Touche," he smiled.

So, no, it wasn't me. Or at least it didn't start with me.

"And then I get to the Mexican restaurant and the ex was there..." he trailed off. "She wasn't supposed to be there."

"I didn't know it was her."

"I was trying to get you to go home with me last night, but Clemson wouldn't leave," he snarled. I stayed silent. "And today at the pub you ignored me," he playfully slapped my leg. "Now it's Sunday night and we both have to be at work in the morning. So what now?" he asked.

"I don't know," I shrugged. My mind was blank. I kept thinking about when Valdosta dumped me. I invited him up to my apartment and he said no, that we needed to separate and let things marinate. That's what I wanted in this moment. I wanted to leave, let the dust settle and have time to sort out my feelings.

He tilted his head to the side and tisked. "You still think this was a mistake, don't you?"

Yes. "No."

But I already know this was a mistake, because I just put myself in a prime situation to get hurt. Your twenties are for making mistakes though. Thank god I got one week left.

"At least you can cross 'sleeping with the enemy' off your list of things to do before you're 30," he chuckled.

The tension broke and I laughed. I shook my head, "You know, I think you are my first."

I just don't know yet if this was a good mistake or a bad mistake.

~Friday, April 15, 2011


The next morning I checked my phone.

Hey, I had a good time tonight. I hope you get home safe. It was an unknown number. My phone said I got the message at 2 a.m. last night. I assumed it was Statham.

How do I answer that question without saying I went home with his friend?

I'm alive! I typed back.

Ugh, I'm not...

Ha, no running this morning? I tested to make sure it was him.

I don't want a repeat of yesterday, I got back. It was him. I know that now. I didn't respond because I really didn't understand what he meant.

I walked the dog and fed her ham to make up for the abuse I subjected her to by leaving her alone for the night. And then I crawled into my own bed and went back to sleep. The hours counted by and I never heard from First Baseman.

At 4 p.m., I got another text from Statham. Getting into any trouble today? I'm heading to [Irish pub].

Ugh, not another beer for me, but I would punch someone in the face for a Coke and a hamburger. I asked who was going and it was just him and another girl from my team. I'd never hung out with her before and I wanted to befriend her. I got dressed and met them.

We sat on our fourth patio for the weekend and watched the Master's game. As soon as she sat down, she chirped, "First Baseman is coming!"

Oh, First Baseman who said he would call, but didn't? From her excitement, I could tell there was a vibe there.

First Baseman walked up to our table. He was visibly startled when he realized I was there. He sat down. "Hey sorry I didn't call you. I had some stuff to take care of today," he said.

I smiled. Bullshit. "No worries, we're all here now."

I looked around. It was Sunday afternoon and my new friends and I are huddled around the picnic table. The girls in summer dresses and the boys in polos, all of us shielded in sunglasses. Even though I had never spoken to the girl before, it felt natural thanks to the acceptance I had garnered from the two boys. We shared stories and I learned we are attending a lot of the same summer activities.

The girl cuddled up with First Baseman. There's an intimacy between them. I looked over at Statham sitting beside me. The other tables would think we're on a double date. I liked them thinking that. I liked that outsiders would just assume that I belonged with this new group of people.

Statham stood up and announced he had to use the restroom. I grabbed my purse and followed him inside. As we walked, he leaned in and whispered to me. "First Baseman is a huge player who's slept with all of the girls. There's something going on between him and the other girl."

That explains the club he invited me to. It's a trendy see-and-be-seen place that I haven't been to since I was 26. It also explains the ease in which he wanted to hang out with me.

I beat Statham back to the table. When he climbed over the pinic bench, he steadied himself by using his hand on my back. And when he sat down, his hand was now resting squarely on my thigh with his leg pressed against mine. Statham was flirting.

I froze, unsure of how to proceed. I liked Statham, I've always liked him since I met him in December. But he is 48 hours out of a relationship and these people are new and I don't feel comfortable overtly flirting back in front of First Baseman and the girl, despite the fact that that's what's happening on the other side of the table. So I pressed my leg back into his. He found my hand and tickled my fingers in his.

When it was time to go, the girl was supposed to drive Statham home. But Statham began protesting and the whole scene turned into Clueless where Cher is trying to get Elton to take home Tai from the party.

Statham argued, "If I ride with you, then we'll have to walk down the train tracks to get to your car. Just have First Baseman drive you to your car and Sarah will take me home."

I started up my car. Mumford & Sons began playing through my Shuffle. Statham sighed, "I love this band. I tried to get tickets to the show but they sold out in seven minutes."

We talked about running. It turns out we use the same trail, but I leave about 20 minutes before he arrives. I pulled in his driveway. Statham unbuckled his seatbelt and thanked me for the ride.

He looked at me. Then he took off his baseball cap. He's going to kiss me, I thought. You bump heads when you kiss with a hat on. Statham began leaning in, but then he stopped. "You want to come up?" he asked.

So up I went into his townhome.

~Thursday, April 14, 2011


I chose Clemson.

Clemson and I have more history than anyone else. He's the one I was flirting with when I wasn't supposed to be flirting. He asked for my number over a week ago, but he's never had to use it because we keep running into each other every few days.

Before Statham left, he asked for my number. "So I can call you tomorrow about shooting."

Well damn, if I knew skeet shooting and my lovely recoil bruise would have gotten me this much attention, I would have done it a year ago.

Clemson and I sat outside for another hour until we were forced to leave at 3 a.m. He was nervous and he was in bad shape. He was so drunk that he spoke in stilted sentences.

We walked inside his apartment and went to his office where his records were. I chose a Joy Division album and he put it on. We began talking. I don't even remember about what. But what became apparent in this conversation is that Clemson is a wounded soul. He's filled with so much sadness. And I think, more than a girlfriend, what Clemson needed was someone to listen to his story. I filled that capacity.

He was drunk, spilling drinks, knocking things over. Spilling the sadness in his life. We eventually headed to his bed. Clemson was the perfect gentleman and even kept his jeans on. He pulled me to his chest and I laid there. He smelled my hair and said he could smell it forever.

"I have to go to a birthday party tomorrow," he said. "Do you want to go with me?"

"I can't. I have got to go running," I said. And shooting.

"Okay. Well this weekend we'll sleep at my place and next weekend I'll sleep at yours," he said.

I didn't say anything.

"We haven't even kissed yet," he said sleepily.

This was a hint for me to lift my head off his chest and kiss him. Clemson was being so polite and so sweet. But I didn't. I didn't want to do it in that moment. Despite choosing Clemson for the night, I knew any physical activity would be choosing among all of the boys. And even though Clemson was harmless as a pussycat, he was also damaged. He was drunk. Very drunk. I couldn't forget all of that sadness he talked about earlier.

I thought about S and Christopher. I didn't want to do that again. I didn't want to be Wendy, Savior of the Lost Boys.

~Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Girl's Night

When First Baseman arrived on the patio of the Mexican restaurant, he stopped short. Seated before him were 8 ladies in summer dresses sipping on margaritas and not a single dude to be found. He grabbed a chair from a nearby empty table and sat himself at the head of the table, adjacent to me.

Within 5 minutes, Statham arrived. He walked coolly past the table and took a seat at the other end. Then the rest of the boys began staggering in. Clemson joined Statham at the far end of the table and a couple of other guys grabbed another table altogether and added it the lineup of ours. I was surprised with how quickly everyone cleaned up. It was only an hour earlier that we left the team bar in our sweaty kickball clothes and muddy shoes. And now everyone, myself included, was showered and dressed up.

After a few minutes of chatting, I leaned my chair back. "Hey, Statham!" I called over the backs of the three girls separating us. "Any word?" It was bad code for Any word from your now ex-girlfriend?

"Yeah," he shouted back. "We talked and break up is still on. By the way, she's sitting across from you."

Oh god, I wanted to die in that moment. So did the ex-girlfriend as she got up from the table and went home. I had seen her before; I just didn't recognize her and know that's who she was.

After that, I focused my attention to First Baseman and two other couples in front of us. We split a pitcher of margaritas and had great conversation. I barely even touched my food. The night was good; I felt like I belonged.

"Hey, let's keep the group together tonight. Let's just head over to the regular bar instead of the drag show," I offered.

The girl across from me whispered, "Do you think that would be okay? I don't want to go anymore either."

Four of the eight girls headed to the show; the rest of us caravaned over to the bar. It was a typical night, nothing special: we sat outside on the patio and talked as pitchers of beer appeared in front of us. The band inside began playing a song that I always dance to, and I coaxed another girl's date to dance with me; it seemed more harmless than to pick any of the boys. When the song was over, we turned around and saw the girl and Statham watching us.

First Baseman was the first to leave with promises to call me on Sunday for shooting lessons. Then other people began to leave at the same pace that they had trickled in at the Mexican restaurant. Then it was 2 a.m. Everyone was gone except for Clemson and Statham, who were sitting on either side of me.

"It's a long drive for you. You shouldn't go home tonight," said Clemson.

"I have an extra bedroom, you can stay with me tonight," offered Statham.

"You take my bed and I'll sleep on my couch," offered Clemson.

That was the moment the light went off in my head. Both of these boys, these friends, these teammates are trying to take me home with them.

~Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The story should start with the fact that I went skeet shooting Saturday morning with Harvey and Katie. Shooting a gun was on my list of things to do before I turn 30 and time is rapidly running out. I was happy the girls offered to go with me; I had already pre-purchased two sessions back when Valdosta and I were together and he wanted to take me.

We piled in a car and headed down to the South side of the city by the airport. We walked into the gun shop. I put down my two certificates and I am handed two shotguns and two boxes of shells. Just like that. We received zero instruction on how to handle, load or shoot the guns. Just peace be with you, and go with God.

This explains the size of the bruise I currently have on my right shoulder. The recoil bruise is larger than the palm of my hand; I literally look like I took a punch. Both of my arms feel like they are broken because I didn't know how to load the shotgun and I exerted way more effort than was necessary.

Ruining your shoulder is probably the worst thing to do before your weekly kickball game. This season I decided not to play softball with my friends, but instead play kickball with the people I met over the fall kickball and winter dodgeball seasons. The team I joined was the team that we always looked forward to playing because they were so friendly and fun. Besides, with Schmoozer and Katie, Government Mule and Jenna, Harvey and her husband, and Vince and his girlfriend, my group is all coupled up. Great for them and blah, blah, blah, I don't want to be dependent on them anymore for my social life. They've all been hibernating doing couple-y stuff and I feel like an asshole when I hear about their dinners, etc. that I wasn't invited to. So maybe the story should start here: I branched out on my own in an effort to make new friends.

I walked out onto the kickball field. Everyone has been accepting of me, but I've been struggling with feeling like an outsider. Like my own group of friends, their group has a lot of history and they do a lot of activities together. For instance, no one showed up to the game on Saturday because they took a booze bus to the stadium to watch the season opener of baseball. I wasn't invited, therefore I wasn't hung over, so I was present at the game with a handful of other people. We didn't have enough female players according to coed rules. We should have forfeited the game. Instead we got to play, but got an automatic out whenever we reached the end of our lineup and a fourth female player wasn't present to kick.

Whereas I usually play catcher, a useless position for a kickball game, I had to play second base instead. It was this fact—I had to play second base because everyone else was hungover from the booze bus—that I became a full-fledged member of the group. When the runner headed to second base (coincidentally enough, it was Clemson, the guy who asked for my number a couple of days ago), the first baseman shouted my name and threw me the ball. I saw the ball heading towards me and I screamed, "Noooo!" I didn't want the ball; I can't catch the ball. But unlucky in guns, lucky in kickball. I caught the ball, tapped my foot on the base and got out the guy who had been trying to score on me in more ways than one. I earned my spot on the team. Maybe this is where the story should start.

We lost the game. Of course we did: we were outnumbered and getting outs every inning just because we didn't have enough people. But the score was 6 to 4 and I was proud. We headed to the team bar. Two boys sandwiched me at the bar while the rest of the team sat at a booth. The three of us ordered pitchers of beer and swapped stories .

"So what are you doing tonight?" asked First Baseman.

"I was supposed to be painting, but my shoulder is killing me." I lifted up the sleeve of my t-shirt and exposed my bruise from the shotgun. He recoiled and I explained about the lack of direction.

"You should have told me! I would have taken you shooting!" he exclaimed.

"Well, where were you?" I shot back.

"Here, let me get your number. I'll take you tomorrow and show you how it is properly done."

The guy on the other side of me spoke up. "Wait! I want to go shooting too!" It was Statham. Statham was the first guy I met playing dodgeball in December. It was his team we played against and won that day. While the rest of his team was celebrating their win, he was telling me about his awful night on the booze bus and how it ended with him breaking up with his girlfriend.

As First Baseman was trying to get me to go to a club with him that night, some girls appeared behind me. They were going to a drag show and meeting up for dinner beforehand. They invited me out to girl's night with them.

First Baseman looked at me, "We'll do the club in a couple of weeks," he said. "Go with the girls."

The girl turned towards him, "Come with us! Meet us for dinner!"

First Baseman accepted. So did Statham. And so did Clemson when I invited him as I was leaving.

I was showing up to girl's night with three guys. This is where the story starts.

~Monday, April 11, 2011


Last night I stepped out of a shower that wasn't mine and wrapped myself in a towel that wasn't mine. I walked into the carpeted hallway of a townhome I had never been in before and stood dripping over two piles of clothes. I was shaking, my nerves no longer able to be contained.

What have I done?

He appeared and grabbed his boxer briefs from the pile. "I'll just give you a minute," he said.

"That would be nice," I squeaked.

What have I done? And where do I begin?

~Thursday, April 07, 2011

Flirting with Disaster

The hardest part about not dating is not looking. Not walking into a room and scanning it for the guy who's single and entertaining himself. Not stealing glimpses of him while a friend regales a story to you over a pitcher of beer and a plate of nachos. Not noticing that even though he's sitting catty corner two chairs down from you, he's listening to your conversation and laughs at your funny parts.

Dating You instinctively takes over. You lean back in your chair both casually and confidently. You smile a little brighter, laugh a little harder. Most days you feel like a 6, but tonight, girl, you are a solid 7. You turn on your charm and incorporate him into the conversation using your standard bag of tricks: you request the "male perspective" to settle a debate. Of course it works; it always does. You've drawn in the single guy. He's a smart one because he sided with you to settle the argument.

He's noticed you. He remembers seeing you before. Life as a 7 feels grand. You can feel his eyes on you from the other end of the bar as other boys take a turn enjoying time spent talking with you. The leader grabs you to dance. You smile the bright smile and tilt your head back and let loose your trademark laugh. Yes, he's still watching although he's pretending not to.

Another guy you'd been previously working on before you gave up dating sidles up next to you. You're surprised with the ease in which he touches you. His hand is on your side. During your flip cup game, he rubs his hand up and down your back which totally blows your concentration, but feels exhilarating nonetheless. The initial guy works his way back from the bar to the periphery of the crowd surrounding you. He's like a lion, trying to stake a claim in the territory.

And he does it. He asks for your number. You give him your real number before you realize that you are not supposed to be doing this. You, girl, are not supposed to be flirting. You told the world you weren't going to date in the meantime. But you still leave the bar heady. You put yourself to bed, slipping in between the crisp clean sheets and scissor your legs in delight.

And then you find yourself out with the same crowd five nights later. You find yourself enjoying another pitcher of beer and another plate of nachos while you regale another story. This time there's a guy standing with your company, but his eyes are clearly on you. And he laughs at your funny parts, so you know that this one is smart too. Dating You instinctively takes over as you lean back in your chair both casually and confidently and you smile a little brighter and laugh a little harder...

~Friday, April 01, 2011

Skinny Me

I woke up this morning skinny.

I don't own a scale. The last time I weighed myself was in February at a health club in West Palm Beach. I was crushed when I stepped on the damn thing and discovered that all that running I had been doing hadn't yielded me a single pound loss. Over the course of the following six weeks, I tightened up here and there, but I was confident that I still held on to every single pound.

Last weekend I was lounging in a hot tub in the mountains with Kickball Guy and Katie. Kickball Guy announced that since he started running with me, he lost 10 pounds.

"He can take his pants off without unbuttoning them!" giggled Katie.

I made a face at him. "I've lost inches, but not pounds," I frowned.

Just that morning, I pulled my slim-fit Lacoste polo out of my closet. I hadn't worn it much last summer because the slim fit is really only for slim people. I pulled it on and it fit perfectly. Better than ever.

"I weigh myself every morning," explained Kickball Guy. "Most days I haven't lost anything or even gained a pound. But I got up one morning and discovered I lost 5 pounds overnight. You just have to give it time."

I frowned again. "I have no thyroid and subsequently a dysfunctional metabolism; I'll never lose a pound," I huffed.

I spend an inordinate amount of time standing in front of the bathroom mirror and pinching my sides. I can distinguish the good days from the bad days. When I stuck the toothbrush in my mouth this morning and resumed pinching my side, I immediately recognized the difference. I didn't really think anything of it though. I just declared it a good morning.

Then I got dressed. The big cosmic joke with women is that the breasts are the last place we gain weight and the first place we lose it. I put on my bra and realized I ran myself right out of a C cup. The bra was too big to the point that it slid down my rib cage. Once again, I just thought the elastic was busted and made a mental note to go shopping.

And then I put on the skinny jeans. Skinny jeans don't lie. The skinny jeans were two inches too big. I shoved my calves into my boots and noticed the space between the boots and the pants.

The skinny jeans were the anomaly. The only thing I couldn't justify. I looked down at my jeans. "We'll just wait until I get to work at look at the horrid floor-length mirror under fluorescent lighting, then we'll see what's what," I told them.

The jeans in the office bathroom looked different. I looked different.

I woke up this morning skinny. I'm declaring it my 5-pound day.


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