Every morning, before I wake up, my roommate takes his two dogs for a walk. I admit, I’m the last one up in the house, every day. I like my sleep. And every morning they return to the house, he unlocks the door, keeps them in a “sit” for a few seconds, then says “OKAY!!” and they race down the hallway on the hardwood floors outside of my room, nails clattering, tags ringing against each other. Every morning.

Then, every evening, I return home after a noisy, chaotic day at the shelter, and he’s watching old “Golden Girls” reruns on the television in the living room, which is separated from my room by a set of pocket doors with a gap of three inches between the floor and the doors. “BLANCHE!!!” The television is also connected to the stereo system, and every evening, at 5:15, the stereo comes alive on its own accord, blasting the sound of whatever channel was left on. Tonight it was “TRY THE FRESH NEW TASTE OF TACO BELL’s MEAT AND POTATOS BURRITO, WRAPPED IN A TWO LAYERS OF TORTILLAS AND GARNISHED WITH MOUTH WATERING VELVEETA CHEESE SAUCE>!!! GET YOURS-“(click) Believe me, I’ve tried to turn the alarm off; I’ve pressed every single frickin button on the unit and the remote; I’ve held down buttons for five seconds; I’ve tried various combinations of buttons, nothing works.

My eye is twitching.

This weekend, after my joint birthday party with One Half of the Studly Couple tomorrow night, the Studly Couple is flying to Hawaii and I get a week of bliss, house and dog-sitting for them in the ‘stro. With a car. I cannot wait. I am so excited. Quiet is becoming, like, a fetish for me. I fantasize about it, I obsess and I manipulate situations so that Quiet is invited, I sweet-talk Quiet until it submits and takes off its clothes and covers me, soft and warm, like a blanket.

What should I do with the filthy past? Bury it deep, tear it apart, raise it on a flagpole? How much of me is that old me, the me I no longer am, the me I hold up to see, to say look how far you’ve come ?

I harbor few regrets, and most of my damage was interior. But there was a moment, in the beginning of my five-plus year relationship, when I lied. And that lie, as lies do, gathered surrounding earth in its downhill descent. Was the relationship built on a lie? That’s a bit dramatic. But maybe we were sustained on lies. Then things changed. As David Sedaris put it, As a perverse and incredibly boring experiment, I am now trying to prove that I can get by without the drugs and the drinking. As the experiment continued, the lies stopped working. I couldn’t do both, something had to give, and eventually it was us.

And now I’ve wrapped romance around Ski; distorting his simple, handsome features into a mask I’d energetically French-kiss as my personal movie’s ballad swelled up; our embrace bathed in rosy, soft-focused lighting. Oh, we all do it, I know. But the mask has tormented me for over a year. And if I’m gonna share a little cabin with him next month up at the River, the torment’s exit is required.

Why do I glamorize the down-to-earth? Why do I imagine I could fall helplessly in love with a good-hearted, sexy man whose last favorite book was the Harry Potter series? I’m an asshole, I know. But such love only works in the movies.

As the Tattooed Monk put it last night, I like to think about things. I live a lot of my life through my thinking, I think about living, I question life and I question myself and you know what? That’s probably not going to change. The Tattooed Monk and I can talk easily for hours. Ski? Um, no. As much as I hate to admit it, no.

As with the Ex, I could fall for the what-you-see-is-what-you-get-ness, and later fuck things up when my desire for intellectual stimulation led me astray. What I need is blue-collar looks, grad-school brains. Does that make me a snob? Or just hard to please? I belong, firmly, in the camp that finds prison, the military, the gym, the ranch, and the delivery truck unquestionably hot. Circuit, chicken, Queer as Folk? Not so hot. I’m a cliché, I’m a stereotype, I’m a market niche. But I’m me, the now me, the truer me. The me I’ve always wanted to be. (And…cue Enya soundtrack)

Expiration Oh Three Oh Two

Yesterday I attempted some long-overdue shopping therapy, and was thwarted at every turn. Sorry, we’re out of that size, and yeah, that size too. Sorry, your card expired. Didn’t you get the one we sent? Sorry, we’ll have your new card to you in seven to ten business days. Thanks for your feedback; to complete the transaction, click the button below and complete the next form. Click. Click. Click click click click click click. Hello! We noticed you attempted to register online with us and appeared to have problems. Please call us during business hours at…well, yeah, I would, but I don’t have my new card yet.

So walking in my old boots with the run-down heels, I go home, log off, lay down. I finish the same video game I finished the day before. I log back on. And words fail me. Perhaps this is part of grief, I don’t know. I’d write about it to satisfy your possible, graceful curiosity but it won’t come. Which makes it worse. I spend a lot of time with my finger on delete.

Because the government doesn’t recognize same-sex couples, my mother’s partner of twenty years is not entitled to her social security benefits; a right guaranteed to heterosexual couples. The money just goes right back to the government instead. Which they’re spending so wisely right now. We’ve come along way, baby, but you still treat me like crap.

Mom died two months ago today. Sometimes I want time to make a little more sense. Don’t expect things to be fine, you know?

(The words aren’t working tonight; I try to twist them, fit them together but they fly apart. How many metaphors for the heavy heart have I nailed to the wall? I’ve run out; insufficient fun.)