Inside My Head

the literary rantings of Angie Frissore

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

boston-from-marblehead

Stir crazy. The only term that comes to mind, having spent the better part of two days relatively hidden away, working feverishly on No Messages. I’ve come to the point where I’m not sure how much more of the book I can post of it here, for fear of giving too much away. There are so many little fun twists, turns, surprises and shocks…I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am.

But fear not, I’ve decided to balance the existing with the new by launching a new project which I will share in its early stages (to some degree) – this should serve as a nice dynamic for me as I wrestle with the procrastination that tends to befall me at times.

So many things in the pipeline…in the mix…I sit here with my mental lasso, leisurely reigning in random little gems of creativity…

December 28, 2008 Posted by | Randomness | Leave a comment

“Do not go blindly…”

After a few weeks of settling into single life (something I hadn’t been used to in years), I finally decided to take Amy’s advice and ‘get out there’…mainly by going on an internet dating site. I had done the internet thing back in college, actually achieving a long-lasting friendship as a result of it. I hoped that I could ride that success again after years of being out of the game.

I sat for what seemed like hours, staring at the computer monitor, trying to formulate an appealing profile. I wrote and re-wrote, trying desperately to find the perfect combination of words, until I realized that most of the responses I would get would be mainly a result of the photo, and not so much what I’d written.

I finally settled on a cute-but-witty little paragraph, uploaded a couple of (what I considered to be) my best pictures, held my breath, and hit the ‘post’ button. This was it. I was internet dating. I called Amy.

“So I did it,” I moaned, after Amy answered the phone.

“Did what? Kill someone? Eat a pigeon?” Amy said.

“Yeah, Ames, I ate a pigeon. Weirdo. Anyway,” I explained, “I posted an online profile on some dating site.”

“You did? Holy crap! That’s awesome!! I’m coming over so we can check out the selections.”

…………………..

“Oh my god,” Amy gasped, “This one’s got a mullet!!” She collapsed in giggles on the floor as I examined the extent of the mullet factor. We were dealing with a full-on, mega mullet – this guy wasn’t fooling around.

“Aw, come on…go easy on him,” I said, trying not to laugh. “I’m sure he’s got the best trailer in the whole park!’

We erupted in laughter for a good five minutes before returning to the dating site’s search results. Things weren’t looking good for Single Abby.

After a few dozen profiles of overweight, role-playing, dateless rejects, we decided to scope out my competition and took a look at the profiles of other women on the site.

“Well, the good news is, you’ve got it in the bag,” Amy laughed, noting how one woman was proudly sporting the garden weasel – bangs frozen in the form of a curling iron and teased to such a degree that would add a good four inches to one’s height.

“Dare I say….”

“Don’t do it, Abs,” Amy warned.

“That I have….”

“Abs, stop it.”

“Some stiff competition?” I erupted in hysterics, more so over Amy’s reaction than to my own humor (which was convenient, considering there really wasn’t any).

“It’s like dealing with a child sometimes. Anyway, you can’t get discouraged,” Amy assured me. “Maybe the good ones just have to come to you. We should be patient.”

“We’ll see…I don’t want to have to resort to Captain Mega Mullet,” I moaned.

…….

After a few days of little activity on the dating site, I finally got an email from a thirty-year-old single father – a Flight Medic, not originally from Boston. We exchanged several emails over the course of the week, finally deciding to meet up at Fins for lunch.

I realized upon pulling into the parking lot that I was dreadfully early, so I strategically parked behind the largest SUV I could find in order to not be seen. I had a storm of butterflies in my stomach – I hadn’t been on a date in years, let alone a blind date. Not that this date was particularly blind; we had both seen pictures of each other, and were both, most likely, praying that neither of us lied about it.

I saw him approaching from the distance, and a wave of relief washed over me. He represented well in person, at least from what I could tell. I got out of my car and headed over to him, smiling, when it finally hit me. I was towering over him.

It wasn’t a deal-breaker for me that I stood a good three inches taller than my date. I was, after all, wearing my stealth-sexy heeled boots (gaining their name from the outsider’s inability to properly see, under cover of denim, just how high the boots came up my thighs). I was a little disappointed in knowing I’d have to wear flats should we have a second date. I hated flats and always felt like a little kid shuffling around in them.

We had a great lunch, much to my surprise. He was handsome, articulate, young at heart, and had a great sense of humor. The service was slow, and we fully amused ourselves by making fun of other restaurant patrons and listening to his more amusing tales of life as a flight medic.

As the hour grew later, he hesitantly looked at his watch and sighed.

“I have to pick up Sophie,” he explained, looking disappointed. It was a good sign. “I wish I didn’t have to leave!”

“Well, that just means we’ll have to pick this up again, and soon,” I said, coyly, as he walked me to my car.

“I was hoping you’d say that,” he said, laying a gentle and polite kiss on my lips. I began to think I could get used to the whole internet-dating-thing. Blind date #1: success.

December 27, 2008 Posted by | No Messages - Excerpts from the Draft | , , | Leave a comment

Moving On

I wasn’t sure if it was right, but then again, I wasn’t certain it was wrong. I couldn’t be certain. I mean, it was research, right?

I’d spent a considerable amount of time underwater, routinely coming up empty-handed, but yet, I carried with me the hope of still finding that pearl, no matter how ridiculous I looked in the process. It had to be out there…and if I listened to my own common sense, and that of others, I’d end up settling for a shiny piece of sea glass instead.

There were no longer fresh scars from Damon…there weren’t even any that were almost healed, but still itched like hell. I couldn’t remember what it had been like to have him bruise my ego or my heart. In fact, when the dust settled and I stopped and looked around, there was no negativity in general, whether Damon-related or otherwise, and I stopped for a moment, in awe of the rarity of it all.

I sipped at my coffee, watching the snow fall through the window, and waiting for Rick to drive away. He left early, citing work-related necessities on behalf of his ride home, and was picked up at 10:00, a day and a half earlier than planned. I wondered for a moment if his plan would have worked, had he not been picked up in a different car. Part of me wanted to be angry with the lie, but the majority of me was just glad to see him leave, freeing up the rest of my weekend.

I settled down on the couch and wrapped a fleece blanket around myself as Taco curled up next to me. I fumbled momentarily to retrieve my cell phone from Taco’s armpit and called Samantha.

“Hey…what’s wrong?” She asked, sounding worried. She had expected me to be far too consumed with Rick’s visit to be calling.

“Nothing’s wrong,” I said. “Rick left early.”

“Really? Why? In the snow?”

“Yep. Who cares why, really…I’m kinda glad he’s gone.” I complained.

“No good, huh?” She asked, knowingly.  She knew there was only one main reason I’d be so nonchalant.

“No good.”

“Ugh, so, um…when did you realize this, if you don’t mind me asking?” she asked.

“Day one.”

“Dear god, woman…you should fucking sainted.”

December 26, 2008 Posted by | No Messages - Excerpts from the Draft | , , | 1 Comment

“Literature, the most seductive, the most deceiving, the most dangerous of professions.” – John Morley

The day after Christmas. The quiet, the calm…when people regroup and pull themselves out of the mounds of discarded wrapping paper and sweet treats and Christmas dinners and gear up for the new year approaching, all with the hopeful assumption that the coming year can only be better than the last.

The holiday was full of warmth and smiles as the current economic state drove most of us back to the basics of Christmas – small, thoughtful gift exchanges and affection for family. We all seemed to appreciate each other a little bit more this year, as we each plow forward on our separate life paths.

I have a nice reprieve from the day job, taking some much needed time off to give my full attention and energy to creative productivity. I haven’t had this opportunity since I began the novel – the chance to push aside all other points of focus and just…write. I am very much looking forward to that, as well as the interspsersed moments of reconnection which are planned for the week.

My life seems to have shifted into phase two and is providing me, suddenly, with plenty of inspiration for the continuation of the ‘No Messages’ series. I could write the series solely based on fiction – but where is the fun in that when my own life keeps chiming in with its own little plot twists and turns? I have started to feel like I’m living the story first hand, and am merely taking notes to share with others.

Things are happening…and for the first time in quite awhile I’m in sync with those happenings, myself, my universe.

Game on.

December 26, 2008 Posted by | Randomness | Leave a comment

Friday Night (prelude to teaser….)

There had been break-ups in the past.  A handful of attempts to part ways, some more lasting than others, but I had always gone back to the security of Micah.  The in-between times, though, when I was free to roam and do what I please – those were times filled with youthful debauchery and a flagrant disregard for the other sex.

Each time I grew stir-crazy in the relationship, I broke it off, sometimes even going as far as to offer the promise of a future reconciliation just to get myself out.  There were aspects of my personality that seemed muted when coupled with Micah.  I was no longer the individual – I was the girlfriend.  I had fine-tuned my new found talents for feminine prowess and manipulation, and was eager to put those talents to play within the general, single populous.

We had experienced a six-month hiatus early on, just as I was finishing school (and moving into my own apartment).  I took a job running a mall portrait studio, and decided that I needed some space to acclimate myself to the post-collegiate world surrounding me.  Micah understood, and while by no means happy with my decision, took a step back to let me sew whatever oats I seemed to be holding onto.

My weekend tradition of hitting Lansdowne St. was soon resumed as Catherine and I began frequenting our favorite 80’s-themed club night again.  It had been a matter of ritual in college – Boston on Friday nights, and local bars on Saturday night.  This ritual had been sidelined by Micah’s jealous nature, as I was coerced into patronizing the north shore bars he was used to (and had cohorts available to report in on my behavior if needed).

The kick-off came one warm, May Friday night, and Catherine and I headed into our favorite stomping ground in the Fenway.  It was the one club that we could both agree on – she adored clubbing, and I conceded that since no one could look sexy while dancing to 80’s pop music, I would willingly club myself unconscious (leaving myself an  appealing option should the night truly become unbearable).  And, since she was always willing to drive, most evenings worked out in my favor.

We quickly consumed our first round of over-priced mini-cocktails while scanning the crowd, which was surprisingly pleasing for such an early hour.  Wall of Vodoo’s ‘Mexican Radio’ was blasted through the speakers as various pleather-clad club regulars slinked about the dance floor.

“I’m heading to the bar,” Catherine shouted.

“What?” I yelled, unable to make out a word she said.  She pointed to her empty drink, then to mine.

“Me…bar…more!” She mouthed, and I nodded, turning back towards the crowd.  I spotted a small group of about three or four guys walking into the room and was assessing the situation, when my gaze met that of an incredibly good-looking, younger-looking guy trailing behind them.  I looked away, knowing I had been caught in the act, and wished I wasn’t holding an empty drink as I fidgeted with my straw.  After a few seconds, I boldly looked back towards the door, but the group had disappeared into the crowd.  I let out a small sigh of relief that I hadn’t completely embarrassed myself.

I turned towards the bar to look for Catherine, who was now returning with two more Pixie-cup-sized drinks.  She rolled her eyes as she handed a cup to me.
“Remind me again why we come here?” She asked, exasperated.

“This was always your idea,” I gently reminded her. “Don’t blame me for the ridiculous willingness with which we throw money at these city bartenders.”

“Um, yeah….” Catherine slowly muttered, a sly smile forming across her face.  I looked at her, puzzled, and she tipped her head a couple of times before suddenly disappearing.

I turned to look behind me and there, standing right next to me, was my little staring-contest opponent, smiling.  I hadn’t been able to notice before, given the distance, but I had never seen eyes quite like his, at least not on a human.  His eyes were large and piercing blue, and looked almost Husky-like.  I couldn’t keep myself from staring into them.

“Um…hey,” I mumbled, nervously.  I had been caught off-guard, and fumbled for whatever coyish behavior I could muster.

“Hey,” he yelled, trying to be heard over the music.  He muttered something inaudible, and I just smiled and shook my head, pointing to the speaker.  He simply took my hand and led me onto the dance floor.  I was really hoping I would not come to remember that moment – the two of us, dancing to Dream Academy.  I really hated that song.

……………….

“So where are you guys headed now?” Huskyeyes asked, as the house lights came up around us in the club.

“Home,” Catherine snapped, still unsure of whether or not we should continue our evening with our new friends.  Huskyeyes had two friends with him, but two cars – and proposed that he and one friend follow us back up to the north shore.  I looked at her pleadingly, having gone to great lengths throughout the evening to stress to her the hotness of Huskyeyes, and the wonders this would do for her best friend who’s just gone through a breakup.

“Well, my place,” I clarified.  I was calling trump.  Catherine was crashing at my house anyway, and Pete (my roommate) would be home by the time we got there.  I also did not want to have to point out that I was the sober one, and in charge of driving us home.   “You can follow us.”

Catherine sighed, before finally conceding (and realizing that it was the better-looking of the two companions who’d be accompanying my new friend).   We got into Catherine’s car, and I drove the two guys a couple of blocks away to get their car.

After quickly navigating my way back on to the highway, I remembered I had someone following me and looked frantically behind me to make sure they were keeping up.  I could see the SUV weaving in and out of lanes, trying to get behind us.

By the time we arrived back at the apartment, Catherine had forgotten all of her inhibitions about bringing our ‘guests’ back with us.  She wildly flirted with the Companion, who seemed to be more than adequately entertained, and we made our way upstairs.

December 23, 2008 Posted by | No Messages - Excerpts from the Draft | , , | Leave a comment

“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them.” – George Eliot

I tend to get excited about things.  People caution me, tell me that I’m rushing into situations blindly…it’s become a crime for me to have any excitement whatsoever towards any situation, unless that situation has already been played out before me, apparently.

But what’s not understood (not misunderstood, but completely beyond the comprehension of some) is what drives the excitement.

The excitement builds whenever a new stimulus is factored in.  Any change in the status quo opens up a floodgate of creativity – of, ‘how can I use this?’ – that allows me to veer down a new course, one which I may not have bothered to venture down otherwise.

A random phone call, or email, a compliment…a flirtatious smile – these are the matches that spark up fires in my mind and fuel the imagination and this – this is excitement! I will take this moment and mash it up, and overexamine it (if I choose), pick it apart and mold it all back together again into something beautiful…

And I cannot help but get excited.

December 22, 2008 Posted by | Randomness | Leave a comment

missing.

It’s not debilitating
In fact
It keeps me warm
In the soft, muted
Solitary slumber
Of snow-wrapped
Nights
Nested inside of me
Images of you
Gently embrace
My soul

December 21, 2008 Posted by | Poetry | , | 1 Comment

clash.

In the snow covered quiet

padded cell cityscape

i hear the battle cries

of youthful destinial denial

raining down upon the

midnight masses

of the faithful

who cling

desperately

to something worth

believing in

misspent youth

of envious spectators

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Poetry | | Leave a comment

the symbiosis of girl and dog.

pic-00211

Laying restlessly
She frowns, and I lift the shade
She bathes in sunlight

Canine contentment
Her joyful warmth fills the room
And I’m left smiling

December 19, 2008 Posted by | Poetry | , | Leave a comment

“You take the lies out of him, and he’ll shrink to the size of your hat; you take the malice out of him, and he’ll disappear.” – Mark Twain

I’d had almost the exact same conversation before.  The warning; the carefully worded manipulation of ulterior motives, of deceipt.

A simple question, gone unanswered, and yet, providing such illumination of the matter that leaves me with a familiar feeling.  I know this feeling well – and it is my enemy.

December 15, 2008 Posted by | Randomness | 1 Comment

fire.

Digging through  my yesterdays
I unearthed a tiny, smoldering flame
Just a little smoke at first
Waiting for its moment
To breathe, to run
And so my curiosity
Prodded
It poked at the ground
And watched the flame grow
From a safe distance
Until it was time
To jump in

December 13, 2008 Posted by | Poetry | | Leave a comment

“Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.” – Max Lucade

No dreaming last night, at least, none that I could recall.   There was a stretch of time during which I did not dream at all, which was strange for me.  I’ve consistently had intense dreams surrounding a recurring theme since I was roughly twenty-four; to not dream was an unsettling feeling.  I believe it was Thoreau who said, “Dreams are the touchstones of our character.”

I was given something to help me sleep through the night, as insomnia had popped up on the growing list of side effects of a semi-private battle with depression, and I stopped dreaming for weeks.  I felt out of touch…zombified to a certain degree, mechanistic in nature.  I was caught off-guard by the resurgence of my dreams after my body became used to this new tool.

And they began again.

The dream started years ago, in which I found myself touring the house my father grew up in – the house in which a large portion of my childhood was spent – led by a realtor, as if looking to purchase the home.  This dream continued for a year or so, until one evening, by chance, I was driving through Watertown and realized where I was.  As I passed the house on Waverly Street, there was a For Sale sign in the front yard – of the house next door.  I mentioned this to my father, who told me that his father had purchased that house first, before moving next door.

Over time, the dreams evolved into simply surroundings.  Social events, home situations, all taking place within a large home that seemed to be my grandfather’s house.  Eventually, I was discovering secret passage ways and rooms in the house.

Lately, however, the dream has taken on a more intense feel.  I’m in the house, but I do not live there, and I make desperate attempts to reach the attic (where my grandfather spent a great deal of time) in search of something, never finding it.  I don’t know what it is I am looking for, and I am uncertain if I am aware in the dream…

When the dreams came back, it was an almost overwhelming comfort.  I lost my grandparents before I could fully appreciate them, and to dream such dreams sparks within me the sense that they are with me, still.

December 10, 2008 Posted by | Randomness | 1 Comment

“Do Something Crazy for Me Again…”

I stepped off the jet way into the crowded arrival gate at O’Hare, pausing for a moment to catch my bearings. I had come to the conclusion that I much preferred to travel in the morning, as most of my fellow passengers en route to Chicago were business travelers, saving me from having to deal with crying children and over-talkative seat-mates. I spent the whole of the two-hour flight replaying the last week over and over in my mind.

It had only been eight days since The Face and I reconnected, and while almost every evening with this time frame had been spent on the phone (for hours, at times), I was still nervous that this would ultimately be categorized as one of the stupider decisions I’d made. I hadn’t seen him in well over a year, yet, here I was, only a couple of hours away from meeting his entire family.

He had accepted my reasoning for walking away from him when we were both in Boston, however weak it may have been. I had given up on trying to come up with an eloquent and poignant reason for abandoning this potential suitor, having simply admitted that when it came down to it, I just didn’t know why I left.

“It might have been the way you always warned me,” I had offered.

“Warned you about what?”

“That your job could suddenly pick you up and move you anywhere,” I reasoned. “It sounded like an excuse to not get too close.”

“Abby, that’s so far from true,” he had confessed. “I wanted to be sure that if we did this, you’d be on board with me. That you go anywhere with me.”

I brushed off my overly-cautious, pessimistic recollection of my past with The Face and decided to enter into this adventure with an open mind (and open heart). After a few minutes of struggling to find my way through the airport to the baggage claim area, I stood by the baggage ramps, scanning the area for The Face. I wondered if I’d even be able to pick him out with ease.

Realizing I had overshot our meeting place, I turned around to head back a bit. Just as I turned around, my eyes locked with his intent stare, as he stood head and shoulders above the crowd. My heart melted in an instant, and I dropped my bags and took off running into his open arms.

He wrapped his arms around me, lifting me up off my feet in a tight embrace. As we kissed, passionately, for a moment, various passers-by each let out a tiny little ‘awww’. I felt as though I was in a dream…a movie scene…and I wanted it to never end.

December 9, 2008 Posted by | No Messages - Excerpts from the Draft | , , | Leave a comment

“The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

I awoke this morning with a strange sense of hope and warmth, having had a beautiful dream in which I fell in love with a man who was faceless, nameless…

In the dream, which, like most of my dreams, involved at least some tiny aspect of dancing-purple-hippo-strangeness, I had suddenly found out that I still had a lease on my old apartment, which was a shock.  I haven’t lived there in a year and signed a new lease on the current home.  But, contrary to reality, I made desperate attempts in my dream to decide what to do and where to end up.  Somewhere in that chaos (and also spilling over into the recurring dream involving my father’s childhood home on Waverly Ave in Watertown), I found love.  It wasn’t puppy love, or lust, or some fleeting moment of fancy.  It was….real.  It was promising.  It mattered not that this object of my affection had no form to him…no distinction as to his true identity.  What mattered the most was waking up without the old familiar fear that I have lost the ability to fall in love again.

And so I march on, not keeping my eyes open but keeping my heart in tune should I happen to hear the call.

December 9, 2008 Posted by | Randomness | 3 Comments

The Face (Edited)

Shit, I thought, glancing at the clock in the car.  I was always getting to things far too early, always leaving myself plenty of time for nervousness and self-doubt.  I lit a cigarette as I weighed the pros and cons of waiting inside the coffee shop – first glance, definitely a pro.  Sitting by myself as an unknown number of coffee shop patrons witnessed my discomfort, however, was a major, not to mention awkward, con.  I checked my lip gloss for the seventeenth time and decided to wait inside.  Given the layout of the establishment, there was really no legitimate way I was going to pull off the I-just-pulled-in trick if I waited in the car.  I took a seat by the window as the coffee shop staff quickly and easily deduced the nature of my arrival.

“Can I get you something?” asked a young waitress with heavy black eyeliner, ripe with the pretentiousness that comes with working at a coffee shop.

“No, thanks.  Well, not yet,” I muttered, not taking my gaze off the parking lot.  The waitress chuckled.

“Okay, well, good luck,” she said as she walked off.  She seemed to understand that my nervous fidgeting was not caused by my own insecurities, but by the large probability that this blind date would be just as unappealing and misleading as the others.  I often wondered if I had  an inherent desire for self-destructive situations that leant itself nicely to the horrors of internet dating.

Soon, a black Mitsubishi pulled up in the parking lot, taking a space directly in front of the door.  I took a deep breath, waiting to see who would emerge from behind tinted windows, and reflected on my wise decision to wait inside.  I would’ve never been able to have seen him from where my car was parked.

My surroundings suddenly seemed to move in slow motion as my date stepped out of the car.  A tall, slender-but-well-built, fashionably-dressed man wearing sunglasses now stood next to the Mitsubishi as my heart began to pound.

Holy shit, I mouthed.  I had grown accustomed to dates who had provided outdated pictures, that, upon first encounter, seemed to have been of other people altogether; pictures sent which were taken frat parties and college functions – from men in their thirties. But this – this was a first.  The pictures I had seen of this particular date did this Adonis no justice at all, and for a brief second my mind entertained the notion that this man could be out of my league.  I no longer had the upper hand in the situation where blind dates had seemed more like conducting job interviews – no, this time I actually had to try.

He entered the coffee shop, resting his sunglasses on top of his head, and glanced around.  As his eyes locked with mine, a beaming smile spread across his ridiculously handsome face.  I put my best flirt forward and stood up with a sultry smile.

“Abby,” he stated, matter-of-factly, with a slight air of relief.

“Indeed,” I said coyly.  “And you, fortunately for me, must be David.”

……………..

We walked along the common, drinking our coffees and talking about our respective histories as I secretly reveled in my good-date fortune.  We talked about everything – family, past relationships, dating horror stories, goals – and I found myself lost for the moment.  There was a certain chemistry there, already, that had been missing for so long – it was a kind of Micah chemistry, a kind of rightness to it.

We began talking about supernatural things, in the spirit of the crisp October evening.  David was not from Boston, originally, and I felt it was my duty to fill him in on how we did Halloween in my home state.

“You’ve never had Halloween until you’ve had a Salem Halloween,” I argued.

“I know! I’ve never been but don’t people come from all over the place for that?” he asked excitedly.  “Maybe if I play my cards right you can show me a real Salem Halloween.”
I told him stories of my crazier days, of trips up north to what was our own little Mardi Gras, where hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of Salem and partied until the early morning hours.

“You know what’s silly?” I asked playfully.  “I even had an old Ouija board I bought up there, from the old days when Parker Brothers was in Salem.”

“Really?” he asked, incredulously.  “Do you still have it?”

“Embarrassingly enough,” I said, “I do.”

“We totally need to use the Ouija board!” he yelled excitedly.  “What do you say we go grab a nice bottle of red and go round us up some ghosties?” He leaned in close to me as he proposed the question, kissing my gently on the cheek.

“Smooth,” I laughed.  “But I’ll bite.”

…………………..

I laid in bed, awake, unable to slow the whirlwind of thoughts in my head.  The Face had been gone for about an hour, but the subtle smell of his cologne lingered within the folds of the cotton sheets.  I wasn’t quite sure what to make of him but, given the fact that I had (again) betrayed myself with my reckless impulsiveness, I knew it was probably best not to make too much out of it.

By now I was very good at recognizing the bad ones.  I was well aware of the typical warning signs and indicators of undesirable male behavior. The Face, though – The Face was different.  He said and did the right things, but he sounded so…sincere.  Here was this remarkably gorgeous military man, raised in the Midwest, with all the right manners and a cutting-edge sense of humor, and yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something just wasn’t right with him.

Taco quietly crawled up to her favorite spot on the pillows behind my head and I gave her a loving pat.  I suddenly recalled how The Face all but ignored the dog upon entering the apartment.

“Maybe that’s it, Taco,” I said with a sigh.  “Maybe I just didn’t like how he paid you no attention.”  Taco pressed her  nose against my cheek, staring at me.

“Yeah, maybe that’s it.”

-………………

“Come on, they give you a lunch break don’t they?”

“Well, of course, but…” I trailed off nervously.  I couldn’t believe what The Face was suggesting.  “What if I’m late?”

“You won’t be, I promise,” he pressed.

“Fine,” I said.  “12:00 sharp – don’t be late!”

I hung up the phone and sprinted down the hall in search of my boss, to let him know I was heading out for my lunch break.

“Hey, Russ?” I asked nervously as I stopped him in the hallway.  “I’m gonna go out for lunch.”

“Yeah, no problem,” he smiled.

“Yeah…but I might be awhile, like, closer to two hours,” I stammered.  Russ laughed.

“That’s no problem, Abby,” he told me.  “Really, it’s perfectly fine.”

“Thanks, Russ,” I said with a goofy smile.  I wondered if he could see right through my ruse, but turned and headed for the elevators before he’d have a chance to rethink it.  My blood was pumping as I marched out to my car to go meet The Face at my apartment. I felt so…dirty.

I got to the apartment before he did, which was fortunate, as it provided me ample time to freshen up before he arrived.  Standing half-naked in the living room, I contemplated some sort of lingerie.  After a few indecisive moments, I decided it was far too early on for that sort of thing and settled on simply unbuttoning my white, button-down collared shirt and removing the panty hose underneath my slinky, short black skirt (maintaining the black pumps, of course).

I heard his little sports car pull up in the driveway and talked myself down from a brief moment of panic.  I was about to commit an act that would more than likely send the completely wrong signal to this guy, but my adrenaline was pumping too much for reason or logic to gain control over my actions.

“Ooh,” he said as I greeted him at the door.  “Look at my dirty little businesswoman.  You look good enough to eat!”

“And I can’t tell you what a man in uniform does to me,” I said coyly, taking in the beautiful sight of him in his military dress uniform.  There was something ragingly sexy about it.  “I can’t wait to get you out of it.”

……………..

The week progressed, and I found that I didn’t want to deal with The Face after our little lunchtime romp.  As much as part of me adored The Face, there was a larger part of me that screamed out to me – do not trust this man.  I couldn’t put my finger on what, or why, but whenever I thought of him or heard from him, this instinctual, subconscious feeling of self-protection kicked in.  There was simply something off about him.

He knew what time I got out of bed in the morning, and would routinely call me just before I left for work just to say good morning.  He’d wait until he knew I was done getting ready for my day before calling, so as not to interfere in anyway.  It was sweet, yes, but I couldn’t overlook the statements he’d make about military life, and that he could be picked up and moved at a moment’s notice.  It was as if he was trying to lay it out on the line in some way – this would be fun, this would be romantic, but it would not be lasting.

Over time, I phased him out.  His calls went unanswered, emails unreturned, as I forced him out of my mind.  Eventually, there were pleading voicemails from him, only wanting to know what it was he did to push me away.  I would have told him, too, had I only known myself what it was he actually did.   He eventually disappeared altogether, though I’d be plagued by the enigma of it all for months to come.

December 8, 2008 Posted by | No Messages - Excerpts from the Draft | Leave a comment