The last bookstore

There was the Barnes and Noble in New York City where I used to meet people off Craig’s List. I’d pass them a paper bag containing a pair of my underwear in exchange for $100 bill. I remember feeling like such a badass just rolling in cash like a 19 year old gangster. The types of people I would meet were not the types that you might think — I say that only because they weren’t the types I pictured. They were everyone from a sharply dressed business man to a pot bellied middle aged man to a tiny old man in suspenders. They were all polite, punctual, never haggled me and I never felt uncomfortable in the slightest. I was in the position of power 100% of the time and the men were all timid, almost vulnerable — admitting their “fetish” and quietly seeking out their satisfaction.

There was Lawn Gnome — the used bookstore in downtown Phoenix sitting on an epic side street jam packed with independent businesses. It was a hub for creativity (before it got bought up be developers) and all the cool people hung out down there, including a young hipster couple that interviewed me to be their potential birth doula. He owned the bookstore and she baked at the coffee shop. Freshly married and newly pregnant they were a sweet, naive couple. Based on their wishes and preferences, I encouraged them to consider home birth, but then didn’t hear from them for months and assumed I had pushed too hard. But then, a voicemail. Her voice saying they are having a home birth and want to hire me and sorry for the delay — her mother had died a few weeks ago. It was the most emotion I had felt in the shortest amount of time. Deep satisfaction for them having chosen a home birth and chosen me, and epic fucking sadness for a first time mom losing her mother in the middle of her pregnancy. I sobbed my fucking eyes out for her, for myself not having a mom, and for all of the women since the beginning of fucking time who’ve had to survive that unique type of loss.

There was that dumbass new age psychic bookstore where I spent fifty bucks on a reading from a guy with a lazy eye and a british accent that ended up being complete bullshit. Crystals for this, angel cards for that, all of the sparkly answers to all of your bullshit problems here on these dusty, aged, particle board shelves. Come in and find yourself, they say.

There was the Borders bookstore where I used to be allowed to go by myself as a tween. I’d wander around for an hour, spend six bucks on a sugary non-coffee drink at the coffee shop, and feel like I was an “adult”. This must be what it’s like, I’d think. Freedom, autonomy, interesting people, sugar, choices, information, and an endless soundtrack of muzak.

There was the bookstore in the non-denominational church where I was waiting for my counseling appointment. Most churches offer sliding scale counseling services and I figured one that claimed non denomination might be open minded enough for me. They weren’t, and I wished I could’ve gotten my $35 back out of the “offering envelope”.

There is the tattered copy of Under the Tuscan Sun that I got used at Goodwill. The one that inspired my solo trip to Italy that I dropped in the bathtub right before leaving. I put it out in the sun to dry, and it did, but its pages are forever inflated and it doesn’t lay flat. I have another copy, but I never read that one.

There are the books that are easy to get rid of. And the ones that you never will. The ones you’ll read again and again that feel like they were written just for you, or like you’re the only one in the world who really “gets” them.

I could see the big box bookstores disappearing entirely, but something about used bookstores seem timeless. Find the used bookstore in town and that’s where the cool people are. That’s where the good coffee is. It’s the best free activity in town and the best way to get to know a new city.

P.S. — did you know bookstore was one word? I honestly didn’t until reading this prompt. I also thought bull shit and mother fucker were also two words. But let’s just say that’s endearing, eh?

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On seedy motels and bubbles bursting

Seedy motels.
You know the kind — rented out by the hour mostly.
Today a friend and I were talking about them.
We know what they are and how to spot them. If you’re looking at New York City hotels and find one for $60 a night — it’s probably “one of those”.

She said she had stayed in once once with her grandmother and it was super awkward. They both felt like they left with lice and some sort of STI.

I said I’d had sex in on once, “back when I was making poor choices”, I told her.

She asked how that came about and I said, “I was living in New York City with two guys — one my current boyfriend and one my ex-boyfriend…..wait a minute — did I never tell you this story??”

As long as we’d been friends, this had never come up and like any woman would, she had to “know everything”.

I gave her the back story, which led to me living in New York City with the two guys, and cheating on the one with the other.
I reminisced how it really was sad. I was having a great time working in Manhattan whereas my boyfriend could only find a minimum wage job at a shitty bodega in the boroughs that was three trains away. His life was shit, my life was awesome and I’d frequently get off work on the upper east side and meet my ex-boyfriend downtown.

We’d already had great sex when we were actually together, so it was no wonder that we just sort of picked up right where we left off.
Except this time it was layered with the richness of it being an affair.
Since we all lived together, that meant we could only have sex in public, which is still something that totally turns me on.

Not “public” public, but you know what I mean — underneath the table at the restaurant….in the dark movie theater….on the park bench….in a library bathroom…..where only the two of you would know and you’d feel so hot and dirty having a secret.

One night all of our spots in the city were taken. We couldn’t find a park or a bench so we decided to get a hotel for a couple of hours.

I was 19 at the time, and in telling my friend this story today, at 32, I said — “Isn’t that funny? Like I can’t imagine wanting to have sex THAT BAD right now.”
Bad enough to where I’d take all the money out of my wallet and he’d take all the money out of his wallet and we’d count it and hope we had enough to get a room.
We did and we had dirty rotten hotel sex and it was hot.

As I was reminiscing about that today I laughed at how epic level naive it was to think I could live with my boyfriend and me ex-boyfriend and everything would be cool.
But what I hadn’t thought about it in awhile was the fact that I had actually cheated with that same ex-boyfriend on an entirely different boyfriend.
And then I went to live with him? What did I THINK was going to happen?

I remember having those hot affairs though and I appreciate that experience because I really have incredible empathy for people who get to the point of having an affair.
Yes — some people who cheat are just slimy sex crazed losers with no souls.
But I think more often — cheating is a merely a symptom of a much deeper problem.

When I cheated I was hungry for attention and for validation as a human. As a woman — I got this from men finding me sexually attractive. I learned that game from my mom. She divorced my dad when I was a baby and went on to be a classic serial monogamist. Going from one serious relationship to another, always proclaiming that they were the one. The one that would complete her life, the one that would make her whole, the one that would make her eye never wander again.

She thought, as most do, that when Mr or Mrs “right” came along and it was real and true — you’d automatically never have eyes for anyone else.

This is a terribly unhealthy and laughably unrealistic idea that a lot of people still cling to as they spend their lives perpetually miserable and in a state of longing. We’re all just animals who would sniff each other’s butts upon meeting if it wasn’t socialized out of us and we’re all just sizing each other up as sexual mates subconsciously anyway. It’s human nature.

Anyway — I was slipping right into that state of longing. Seeking out love and sex wherever I could find it. Always thinking the next guy was the next best thing.

Add that to my increasingly boring and unfulfilling life in general. Spending days behind a desk, making an insulting hourly wage, trading my precious time in exchange for making someone else rich. Getting home at the end of the day exhausted with no energy to put towards creative projects or hobbies or anything else positive. I went from work to home to enter “work recovery mode”, which meant microwaving some lame dinner and watching a few hours of T.V. in an attempt to zone out and reset only to get up the next day and start it all over again.

Pair that with a darling, loving man who was a good idea on paper, but didn’t make me feel much of anything beyond your basic, warm affection and you’ve got a recipe for infidelity.

And when that sexy ex with his giant foreskin-laden penis and deep throaty New York accent wanted to get it on? That was the most alive I’d felt all year. That universal feeling of being desired is where I can say, “I understand why people cheat”.

Being polyamorous now, and looking back on myself way back then I wonder — had I been polyamorous then, would it still have been as hot? If it was allowed, encouraged and transparent would it have been as sexy? Probably not. If I’d had healthy self esteem and self worth, would I have been as interested in the attention? Probably not.

Polyamory is funny that way. It’s that psychology of wanting what you can’t have. But when you can have it, you don’t want it so much anymore. The “can have” deflates the whole thing. It makes it impossible to float up into the clouds of your made up fantasies. Poly makes for grounded, honest human relationships.

Right now if Kris and I were monogamous and really tightly closed in our monogamy to the point where we couldn’t even discuss urges and feelings and primal instincts, then I’d probably want to fuck everyone as a subconscious move of rebellion against the unnatural (for me) state of monogamy that I was chaining myself to.

I’d probably salivate over my bank teller and fantasize about ripping his clothes off.

But now? Eh, not so much.

The bank teller is hot, sure. But what it would logistically take to get him from behind his desk to actually have sex with me? That just sounds like a lot of work. And in the end, it would all be just to have some sex with a stranger that’s probably not going to be that great anyway.

We didn’t know at the time that it was the last time, but our hot affair ended when we finally got caught. We’d never been caught before so that was a new thing. I was blowing him on a park bench and my actual boyfriend walked by and we made eye contact, dick in mouth. There was no denying that.

I wonder, too how much the “getting caught” really killed it. There was another person involved who was hurt deeply by what we were doing. It’s really hard for it to be fun after that. Because before that happens you can convince yourself that you’re not hurting anyone. That nobody knows anyway so what’s the difference. You stay in your bubble of sexy texts and PDA and secret meetings.

Until your bubble bursts.

Her response? Some fucking Taoist bullshit.

This is one of those prompts where I literally have no idea where the fuck it’s going. I know I am going to start by telling you some anecdote about my driving superstitions, but I know that won’t take up all the space. So let’s just fucking see.

Whenever I’m stuck in traffic. Or I forget something and have to drive around the block back to my house. Or I make a “wrong” turn. Or whatever the fuck else — I always think, Oh. That’s okay. I was probably just saved from something. Like I made a wrong turn because otherwise I would’ve been in an accident. I had to drive around the block back to my house, which saved me from being rear ended.

Sort of like it’s just life, recalibrating itself. Oooops, oooo we’re a little off – let’s have that bitch forget her wallet and that will get all the timing back on track for the day.

What the fuck is that though? Isn’t that funny? It’s literally coming from nowhere. I don’t believe there’s some orchestra leader in the sky, or some mystical destiny that’s always got us in the right place at the right time.

I used to be more into that shit, but it turns out it was just a phase. In the end, I was much more burned by spirituality and spiritual people than I was helped or better off for it. Everything from spiritual bitches two-timing me to some douche bag kundalini yoga guru trying to put it in my butt in the name of transcendence.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine shared some really terrible shit with me about her childhood. Just pretty horrific childhood abuse. After she left, I messaged a new friend of mine because we’ve recently bonded over our childhood’s being similarly shitty and our mom’s being similar shit shows. And I was like, “Dude — our mom’s were fucking princesses compared to this!!” and I shared with her what my other friend had just unloaded on me. It was pretty heavy and I needed to tell someone and just sort of decompress. Her response? Some fucking Taoist bullshit. Literally some dog shit quote about all suffering putting you that much closer to enlightenment.

I about threw up in my fucking mouth.

I told her I didn’t that my friend gave a shit about enlightenment and I certainly did not and that I could say with complete confidence that she’d trade all of her horrific trauma to not be enlightened even a little bit. She continued spouting spiritual nonsense and I said again, I didn’t think Taoists would take “Sexual abuse of a child” and file it under “suffering in the name of enlightenment”.

That, to me, was spiritual bypassing at it’s fucking finest. That’s my beef with the spiritual community. No one can be sad. Everything has to have meaning. Just be grateful! Fuck all of that shit. Things can just suck. And not have any meaning. And sadness is good. Anger is valid. All human emotion is important. Being present does not equal being happy all the time. Or thinking positive all the time. It’s okay to just be wherever you’re at.

Spirituality or Taoism or positive thinking or any of that shit is no different than organized religion. It’s all the same shit if you are to the point where you have tunnel vision and think that you’ve achieved the ultimate state of being evolved and that anyone who hasn’t found christ or buddha or inner peace is somehow missing the point and off track.

That line of thinking is so toxic and scary.

It’s one thing to offer gentle advice and encouragement. It’s entirely another to not be grounded in this reality, present, and able to have an intense conversation about real things that are happening to real people.

It’s like the whole “sending our thoughts and prayers” bullshit. Oh really? You sent some prayers? I could really give a shit about that. It applies whether they’re sending prayers to disaster victims or just to me personally when I’m going through a hard time.

I can’t tell you how many people have said, “Sending you love!”…..”Sending you good vibes!” …… “Praying for you!!”

Oh, really?

Stop sending me love and send me a fucking Trader Joe’s gift card so I can buy some toilet paper. Stop sending me “good vibes” and instead get off your fucking ass and actually help me. Shove your prayers up your ass if that’s all you’re going to do. Stop praying for me and at least say something real like, “That fucking sucks. I’m sorry. Let me know if I can help.”

I’m not bitter though. Oh, no.

Sending love and vibes and prayers is the ultimate escape, too. It’s just like people who think “liking” a photo on facebook every week or so is all they need to do to maintain a friendship.

It’s not.

We have to be there for each other. And make time to see each other. Or talk on the phone. Or otherwise be there for each other in real fucking life.

SO yeah, superstition. Where were we?

 

And still, our friendship remains unchanged.

Long story short: Kris and I met when our families became friends when I was 13 and he was 22. I don’t know if it was because I was home schooled and wasn’t saturated with mainstream teenage behavior, or had to grow up fast because of my mom, or was just a general bad ass from day one, but we were legit friends even with our age difference. Our families lost touch a few years later when my mentally ill mother took a turn for the worse and I moved out of the house at 16 years old. A few years after that I found myself married and living a somewhat stable life for the first time. I decided to Facebook stalk those that I had lost touch with, Kris included.

Turned out he was still in Phoenix and was also married. We met for lunch and found our friendship still easy and familiar, even though it had been some years. We went on a few double dates with our spouses and continued having lunch — sometimes every few weeks, sometimes with months in between. His wife was struggling with mental illness and he was starting a business with his best friend — all of that consumed most of his life. But for lunch we’d meet — often when he was having a bad day and needed cheering up.

We never flirted or had any sort of energy like that. If anything he always sort of made me nervous. I was the goofy, younger girl and he was the sophisticated older guy. I do remember having fleeting thoughts of: does he know his life could be like this all the time? I’m fun all the time….and he only gets it for an hour at a time on his lunch break.

I had already “broken out” of the mainstream having quit my corporate desk job and started my own business working as a birth doula. I remember wishing his life wasn’t so hard and wondered if he made it harder than it needed to be simply because he didn’t know any other way.

Our friendship continued through both of our divorces. I found myself single and curious — going on dates and to parties and even meeting a couple that wanted to have a threesome. For some reason butt stuff was on the table for this threesome and I of course consulted Kris. There was no subject that was taboo, nothing that was too personal to discuss. The next day he used his lunch break to accompany me to the sex shop to buy an ass blaster because I didn’t want to go alone. A few months after that we were having lunch discussing my newly discovered pregnancy and upcoming abortion. We were never anything but 100% supportive of and transparent with each other.

He was going on dates too — finding matches through dating sites and calling me with stories afterwards: what car they drove, where they went for bad food, what jokes of his they didn’t get.

Eventually I decided to spend the summer in Europe. I still felt like someone’s wife and needed something dramatic to mark the shift and shake the feeling. I had a going away party and Kris was there. We remained in loose touch over the summer and as soon as I arrived in New York City (where I was spending three weeks before returning home to Phoenix) I sent him a message to say my cell phone was back on and I had service again. He called me two minutes later and we spoke every day, which was a new thing for us. Through this conversations we continued to bare all. He had spent a bachelor summer and had gone through a shift of his own, too. And for the first time — we spoke about the potential of attraction and sexual compatibility between us. It was decided that good sex was entirely possible, but that together in a relationship we would be terrible. So we just sort of left it at that.

Upon my return I had a “welcome back party” and again Kris was there. What I didn’t know was hat he had brought an overnight bag and had every intention of sleeping over. We had funny drunk sex and I don’t think either one of us had an orgasm. He slept over and the next morning we walked down the street to have breakfast, nothing having changed between us.

A few nights later I went over to his house to hang out and we ended up having sex again and this time it was spectacular. However, our friendship remained unchanged. Both of us were still dating and still sharing those stories with each other. Over the coming weeks we spent more and more time together and found ourselves doing less dating because we knew if we hung out together it was a guaranteed good time.

And slowly, it became a thing. A couple months later we said I love you. He gave me a key and his alarm code. We moved in together. He walked away from the business he had started and severed ties with his ex-wife. We started eating healthy and cooking together. He got off all of his daily medications — allergies, antacids, thyroid, etc. We both short sold our houses and downsized our lives in an effort to start living the lives we wanted. We both started writing. We created the relationship we wanted – focusing on communication and expression, a real commitment to understanding each other deeply. We started taking our tiny budgets and traveling through Europe for the summer. We taught ourselves web design and graphic design. We have big ideas. We try things. We fail. We try again.

And still, our friendship remains unchanged.

 

I feel like I’m in a grey area of the magic of life lately.

I feel like I’m in a grey area of the magic of life lately.
Lately meaning this entire fucking year.

It’s hard to keep your boner for life when so many things keep not happening.
I know this is just my perception, really.
And I tell myself that if it’s meant to be, it will be.
If it didn’t happen, it wasn’t supposed to.
But I know this is just a bunch of shit I tell myself to try to make even a sliver of sense of it.

People say this too shall pass. And I do believe that.
I have flashes of knowing that there is plenty about this time in my life that I will actually miss.

I get scared sometimes though.
Some people never get out of it.

I was at yoga the other day and randomly ran into an old acquaintance.
She asked how we were doing and I said, “This year has been rough”.
I told her I felt like we were starting to come out of it, but it had been a struggle in every way: financially, with friends, family, work, creativity, health.

She said, “Oh yeah. To struggle financially. That is so draining. We’ve been struggling….well…..since little *Timmie was born.”
*name changed to protect privacy.

And I though, “Holy fucking shit, little Timmie is ten years old.”
WHOA.

And Kris’ grandparents — they’re on a very small fixed income living out the last years of their life.

I tell myself I’ll be different simply because I want something different.
And because I believe it’s possible.
Because I believe in myself.
And because there are sooooooo many things to be grateful for, even on the worst day.

I wonder sometimes if I do believe in myself.
But that question isn’t really a question.
Because if I didn’t believe in myself I wouldn’t still be trying.

This past month I’ve been getting rid of so much physical shit — fueled by the intense desire to move something, anything.

I found myself getting rid of birth books, placenta encapsulation supplies, Airbnb hosting stuff.
And I found myself purchasing things I hadn’t purchased in years — laundry soap, fancy hand soap, pre ground spices.

I remarked that so many major things in my life had come to a close.
I was no longer doing birth work.
My placenta encapsulation business came to an unexpected halt.
Airbnb can suck my dick because they’ve changed so much.
And I’m no longer obsessed with DIY fucking everything.
I don’t want to buy a shit load of ginger, dehydrate and grind it.
I want to just buy it at Costco.

I keep wondering what will come next.
But that’s a weird question because a lot of those things have been closed for some time now.
And still nothing new has come in its place.

In addition to wondering, I’ve been observing what has stuck.
What friends are still.
What principles I still have.
What knowledge has really cemented.
What parts of me are going to be true forever, if any.

And that’s the magic of life, isn’t it?
That everything is temporary and we’re just along for the ride.
That we never really know anything.

Mani – I laughed out loud about the DIY fucking everything. Relatable. I’ve been in and out of love with DIY everything for the past 22 yrs. Haha! Also, your observing what has stuck. So. Much. Yes.

Joell – “That everything is temporary and we’re just along for the ride.
That we never really know anything.” BINGO baby.

Jena Schwartz “I just want to buy it at Costco.” Title!!!!

Emily – Agreed! That stopped me in my tracks. YES!
I, too, find myself asking so many of these questions. I am both at peace and desperate to make meaning of it all, desperate to be present but also to leave an imprint on this world. How? It’s hard.
I loved these lines: “In addition to wondering, I’ve been observing what has stuck.
What friends are still.
What principles I still have.
What knowledge has really cemented.
What parts of me are going to be true forever, if any.” What is constant and also in flux.

I sliced up my finger in an immersion blender

Okay, so – I sliced up my finger.
In immersion/stick blender.
While it was on.
(I have pictures if you want to see. Some people are super into that.)

So that’s why I’ve ghosted these past couple of weeks.

It’s still bandaged now, but I am able to type — though with only 9 fingers. It’s amazing how my brain instantly just adapted though. Like I am legit lightening fire typing with nine fingers. How weird is that? It’s my left index finger, too. Which is pretty key.

ANYWAY.

I am tired of people who can’t handle their own emotions.
Can’t identify them. Can’t express them. Run away from them.

Kris and I had this thing where we each know that the other is totally emotionally autonomous, which means we have the freedom to say anything to each other. This makes fights and disagreements super easy because we don’t have to worry about the other one taking it so personally and wasting hours with their defensive wall in the way.

I have this same dynamic in a few friendships that are near and dear to my heart. I can say — you’re being an asshole right now. You hurt my feelings. Please don’t do that again. You’re a shitty person. We can’t just be friends when it’s convenient for you. I want to be there for you when it’s not pretty – don’t ghost me when things are shitty. I want to see it all and I want you to see me too.

My emotional transparency has been a great way to weed out people who aren’t genuine.
It’s funny how most people can’t handle the truth. Or emotions. Or real conversations.
They just ghost you. It’s too much. You’re too much. They want to hide and you don’t.
Case closed.

I’m noticing spiritual bypassing a lot lately. Example A — I shared with a friend some very upsetting things I had found out about another friend’s horrific childhood. We’ve shared a lot of intense stuff with each other, so I didn’t hesitate for a second to share this with her.

Her response? “The Taoists believe those who suffer the most are on the fast track to enlightenment.”

That made my blood boil. Fucking enlightenment? What the fuck even is that anyway? I’m pretty sure me friend would trade every moment of her childhood abuse for fucking enlightenment.

She followed it up with saying that she found solace in that thought.

I said I didn’t think the Taoists would reduce/label “extreme emotional, physical and sexual abuse of a child” under “suffering in the name of enlightenment”.

I haven’t heart anything more from her and probably won’t for a while, if ever.

What I think happened? She was triggered by the info I shared and instead of just saying that, she starts spouting off some bullshit taoist quote and shut the conversation down.

I’m talking about my actual friend who experienced actual abuse.
You’re talking about some vague concept of enlightenment.
We are not having the same conversation.

Could I have perhaps made her aware of that? Hey — I feel like I may have triggered you with that info and I’m so very sorry if that’s what happened.

Why didn’t I do that? Why don’t I want to?

Because I don’t want to babysit her.
I don’t want to coach anyone thru getting in touch with their feelings.

I just don’t have the patience, you know?

I’m intense, I’m all in, I’m too much for most.

I was struck by the quote, “I wonder if it will ever stop, or is this just who I am?”

I think about that a lot.
All of these things I want to be better at, to achieve, to conquer.

Will it ever stop? Will I ever feel settled? Will there ever be a moment where I’ve arrived?

Probably not. Sometimes I imagine that only happens when you die.
Because life is for living. For exploring.

Even if it’s simple things like yes — I’ve now made my millions and I’m kicking it in my Italian villa, but — I’m always up for a new restaurant, a new brand of coffee, a new book, a new film, new friends. Life is good, but it’s never too full to turn away opportunities for more sweetness, more adventure and more love.

Recently I messaged a friend asking if we could stay at her place the night of a concert. It took her a minute to respond and I remember thinking that whatever it was, just say it. Whether the answer is yes or no or I don’t know — just say it.

She wrote back and said she didn’t know yet. She’d had a few miscarriages over the years and was now pregnant again. The weekend we wanted to stay was just a few days after she passed a significant date for her and when she’d have a scan that would confirm some important things. “If the baby and me are fine”, she said “then we would totally be up for hosting you guys…..but if the baby is dead or I’m in danger — I don’t think I’ll be in the mood for company. Sorry to be morbid and also not have a clear answer, but there you go.”

I wrote her the most celebratory message back. I told her how much I appreciated her honesty and that her answer was in fact totally clear and I loved her for it.

Because you know what happens in situation like that where you don’t hear back? You make up a bunch of shit in your head. You think you’re not important or they’re an asshole or you’re a loser and they’re selfish.

But the truth just deflates all of that.

We once had a guy interview for our spare room. He pretended to be vegan because he thought that would impress us. Which didn’t make any sense because obviously he lived in our house and we saw what he actually ate.

I want to tell everyone – you don’t have to be afraid of me.
You don’t have to be who you think I want you to be.
Just show up and be genuine. Even if that means you’re a blubbering, weepy mess.
I’m not going to judge you.
I was never asking for perfection or for things to go my way.
I just want the truth.
It ain’t always pretty, but it’s perfect.

And then I remembered: I don’t give a fuck about any of that anyway.

A few days ago I was sitting in a Starbucks, which I *never* do.
It was circumstantial and couldn’t be helped.
The details of which left me sitting in said Starbucks for 3 hours.

I had my laptop with me and intended to “get some things done”.

All that went to shit because: Starbucks. I couldn’t concentrate. There were so many amazing glimpses into humanity that I couldn’t not eavesdrop. So I just gave in. I listened and looked and noticed my thoughts and then started writing them. It was the kind of shit I would’ve said to a friend had I had one sitting across from me — hey, look at her shoes…..omfg did you hear that drink order……what the fuck is up with his t-shirt…..

Since I’m my biggest fan and found what I wrote pretty funny, I decided to post it on Facebook.

I hit “post” and immediately felt hesitation. Why you ask?
Fear of judgement.

Fear of judgments on my rambling judgments.
Fear of being misunderstood.

What if people didn’t think it was funny?
What if they think I’m just some super judgey asshole?
What if they point that out to me?
What if they’re right?
What if I don’t have a rebuttal?
What if I just end up deleting the post because it’s such a shit show?
What if someone wants to get into a debate about fat shaming because I wrote about a strangers “sunburned neck roll”
What if they don’t read as merely observations?
What if they don’t get my sense of humor?
What if they don’t think me sharing my thoughts like that is appropriate?
What if they think I’m judging everyone who goes to Starbucks?
What if they feel like I’m judging them?

And then I remembered: I don’t give a fuck about any of that anyway.

Not giving a fuck doesn’t mean you don’t think these things. It just means that you fucking do it anyway.

So I posted that shit.
And what happened?

People fucking loved it.

They commented with their personal Starcbucks drinks.
Clearly no one interpreted even one iota of disdain for Starbucks.
Nor did they feel shamed for their love for Starbucks.
They were proudly commenting with their own funky ass beverage orders, for fuck’s sake!

It was the most engagement I’ve gotten on a piece of writing in a long time.
And it got me thinking about how much we’re all just fucking voyers.
That’s why the post did so well. It played into not only the voyeristic nature of everyone,
but the primal judgements that you almost reflexively make. You can’t help it. Unless maybe you’re a fucking monk. And even then – who’s to say? Maybe those monks are lying.

I went to a counselors office the other day – one who does EMDR because that’s something that I’m interested in.

I immediately began judging the woman’s office and everything about her.

The walls of her office were sort of a faded doody brown complimented by an accent wall in the most foul shade of orange. I’m sure it was her personal pick though, hell – she may have even painted it herself given the shoddy edge work. She probably stood in Home Depot looking at those color samples and proudly picked out that orange thinking she was hot shit. I imagine her even contemplating quitting her job as a therapist and becoming an interior design she’s just so goddamn proud of herself.

On said accent wall is a bullshit old lady calendar. The kind you get for free with a $10 minimum purchase as Hallmark. The ones full of cartoonish flowers drawn in varying pastel shades. I think there might have been shit ass quotes…..maybe even of the religious sort…. on the top half of the calendar, but I may have blocked that out. On it is written super basic shit like “payday” and “Ed’s birthday”. Do you really have to write down payday? You get paid on the sixth and the eleventh every month? Does your memory suck that bad? Or is it just some shit to write so your calendar isn’t sad and blank?

Moving on to her desk. It’s old – cheaply made faux-oak looking wood. The kind of desk you’d see at Goodwill for $17. Behind the desk she sits in an uncomfortable looking chair with one of those bullshit lumbar supports hanging from the head piece – you know that shit is not legit and makes no fucking difference. Next to her sits two additional chairs, for what I’m not sure as their just covered in her shit. Her shit being one of those god awful oversize quilted bags. The kind Kris’ adorable mother sent me for my birthday that just warmed my fucking heart but that I simultaneously knew I would never fucking use. Not only is it not my style, it’s just not fucking practical for travel (which is what she bought it for – thought it’d make a good carry on). I mean bless her fucking heart, but what good does it do her or me to keep something I instantly know I will not use?

I sat on it for a few days and then realized it was just going to rot in a closet or go to Goodwill, so I might as well see about returning it on Amazon. Come to find out it was an expensive brand and I was sitting on a $75 bag. Hello Amazon credit! Got me some organic mineral make up with that. Seemed a fitting birthday gift to myself. I didn’t use the Amazon credit on anything practical like bulk food or paper towels. I gifted myself some shit I actually wanted.

Anyway, back to this counselor bitch.

If you let your eye keep going past the chairs full of her crap, you come to a similar-to-her-desk cheap as shit rickety bookcase piled with papers and other unsightly displays. And then you come to two more chairs sitting on the other side of her desk. One of them occupied by me, the client.

The judgment continued as I looked at her face. Her dry skin, her poorly applied lipstick, her frizzy hair. Her lack of self care and obvious assumption that uses the excuse “I’m just getting older” for everything. I wanted to hydrate the fuck out of her and take her to a restorative yoga class.

She had on a wide wedding ring – the kind that looked like it was made of multiple different bands. It seemed kind of big and showy in a way that made me wonder if it was real or fake. How is she ballin with all those diamonds working in a run down piece of shit government subsidized behavioral health care office?

But then onto the words she said. The elementary level understanding she had of human nature. The lack of knowledge she had on the connection of mental health and physical health. The tacky, cliche suggestions she made for me. The casual mention of medication to help me sleep dropped into the conversation 4 times over the next hour even after she assured me that she was on the same page with me about wanting to get to the root and not just mask the symptoms.

I left that office knowing I couldn’t work with her. If she could’ve met me intellectually, I’d sit in that fucking chair next to that awful accent wall every week for the next year. Because when it comes down to it, I judge everything, but only really care about the things that actually matter.

I didn’t even realize I was doing any of this making up my mind shit until she abstractly pointed out that we all do it.

She said, “I mean – you start judging things as soon as you enter a room. You suss out the space you’re in. I’m sure everyone who walks into my office has their mind racing trying to make sense of their surroundings”

I started dying inside a little bit inside hoping she wouldn’t say that, as a psychological exercise, she was going to have me list things I noticed about her office.

As sure as I was about her, I politely made a follow up appointment only to call and cancel it the next morning. It was easier to just make the appointment and get out of there, though I judged myself for not having the balls enough to just tell her right away that it wasn’t a good fit.

In the end though, I opted for the most simple path to get the fuck out of there. Not every move in life has to be you taking the fucking high moral ground.

It’s okay to take the easy way out sometimes.