I want a gay best friend in the worst way.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I want a gay best friend in the worst way.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
People are dicks.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
As of today, I've made a decision.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
“Don't,” I muttered, trying harder to concentrate. Biting my lip, I looked closely at the page.
“No, it’s fine,” I said distractedly. “I just wanna get it right.”
Alana sighed, annoyed. “It’s looked right the past six times, Ellie.”
I inhaled slowly, trying my best to stay calm. “Yeah, except a tattoo is kind of permanent, Alana. It isn’t one of those things you can mess up and say ‘oh, I’ll do it better next time, after I erase this crappy one off of my skin.”
She sighed and laid herself back down on the bench, shifting the whole damn picnic table yet again. “Sorry,” I heard her mutter before I had time to gripe at her again. It was only the first week of summer and I could already tell we’d been spending too much time together. Clearing my throat, I shifted my weight and squinted closely at the page. A car zoomed by in the silence, kicking up dirt and rattling the nearby highway sign welcoming you into Brunswick GA.
Alana’s tired voice complained, “when are you gonna stop doodling that stupid sun and just get it done? You’ve been eighteen for three months. What happened to ‘I’m gonna get this tattoo the minute I turn eighteen’?”
Sick to death of all the negativity, I tuned her out as I finished the left side of the sixth point on my sun. “Done.”
“Finally,” she sighed. “Tanner has been waiting for an hour.”
“Oh, really?” I asked sarcastically. It wasn't like she'd been reminding me about it for the past two hours. “Just go, Alana,” I urged, aggravated by her endless impatience. “You don’t have to wait for me. I told you I wasn't going back into town until one. Viv is at my house.”
“I know,” she said as if I'd just told her it was sunny outside. “But it's almost two.”
Annoyed, I shoved my sharpies into my bag. “You need to learn how to be.”
“I can 'be' when we finally get to my boyfriends house as promised.”
“When you get there,” I murmured. I had no interest in going to see everyone I hated from school getting smashed and acting like complete idiots.
“Oh no you don’t,” she chastised as she sat up, her curly brown hair poking out everywhere. “You promised to come with me.”
“I hate Sea Island parties. Plus, you know I’m grounded,” I finalized.
“That has never stopped you before,” she argued back, giving me the eye.
She had a point. Thinking on my feet, I racked my brain for another excuse. “Zachary and Callie are visiting this weekend.”
“Yeah for the whole weekend, Ell. You have all weekend to hang out with your brother.”
“But this is the first night they’re here.”
With an irritated sigh, I could tell she was giving up. “Come on, Ellie. You promised.”
I pondered helplessly for a moment. I had promised. Just as I was about to cave, I thought about the typical party situation up at Sea Island: an empty beach house, tons of people I didn’t like, endless, loud noise and my ex classmates acting like dumbasses. Quickly, I decided to pull out the guilt card. “Yeah, except you know I’m not looking forward to going. Jeremy is going to be there. You know how much I adore seeing Jeremy. He moved to Sea Island...all the more reason never to go there.”
“You have to face him sometime, Ellie. You have to get over it,” she said with a shrug.
I took a deep breath. Maintaining tranquility was becoming increasingly difficult. “Alana, just go. I’m not coming.”
The tension in the air was as thick as the Georgia humidity. The awkward silence that followed didn’t help.
“But you drove,” she finally fought back with a scowl.
“So?” I said passively, even though the idea of her behind the wheel of my ‘91 pride and glory scared me to death. “Drive to Sparky’s and leave it there. Tuck my keys under my seat and leave all the doors locked except the rear right side,” I commanded. It was normal protocol.
“You’re letting me drive the Legacy?” she asked with gleeful surprise. “I mean, thanks,” she recovered quickly, remembering we were pissed at each other.
“Don’t fuck up. I have a very good memory. Even when drunk.”
“You’re never going to let me live that down, are you?” she said, obviously trying to lighten the mood as she extended her arm for my keys. Painfully, I set them in her open hand, feeling like I’d just handed her my left foot or something else really vital to life.
“Is that a warning or a threat?” she smirked.
“Both,” I said with a half smile of my own. “Have fun.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to come?” she asked nicely, cocking her full head of dark hair to the side and absentmindedly sliding her foot around in the dirt. It truly was amazing how quickly Alana’s mood changed when she got her way.
“I’m sure.” I waved her off, keeping my eyes on my open notebook page filled with sharpie doodles.
“Thanks, love,” she said tickling my arm before sauntering off towards my Subaru. I kept my head down but my eyes glued on the car as it drove away, making sure she wasn’t speeding. My little red car disappeared around the first bend and I let my eyes adjust back to my drawing. I could concentrate better now, anyway.
Sighing, I kicked off my sandals and moved from the picnic table to the grassy sand dunes just paces away. The sun beat down from directly above me, flying solo without a cloud in sight. Big, blue waves extended in front of me for as far as I could see, and the fact not a soul was in sight thrilled me.
So far, my summer had been uneventful, but I cherished being alone...because being alone meant I didn’t have to deal with all the parties, the endless faces, the smoke, the noise...basically everything and anything that could remind me of Jeremy. And honestly, I had finally gotten to the point where I just didn’t want to think about him anymore. I could finally say I was at the point of indifference...where I didn't secretly long for him or think about him wistfully whenever something reminded me of him. After spending years trying to salvage a doomed romance, I was tired of love. Jeremy had sucked me dry; it was definitely safe to say I wasn’t looking for love anymore—if not avoiding it all together.
And of course, Alana didn’t get that. Mostly because she had a boyfriend, but also due to the fact she was too busy off being Miss Gorgeous: queen of the male species. Don’t get me wrong, Alana was a fabulous friend and one of those few humans justified in the title of perfection. Long, curly dark hair framed her heart shaped face, sprinkles of freckles lined her button nose and a pair of glittering ice blue eyes had long, thick lashes enclosing them. She was a typical pessimist, but extremely loyal. Easily bored. Saggitarius. In short, the only person who possibly succeeded at being my friend.
You see, I couldn’t make up my mind. About anything. I never really could...and the future wasn't looking good either. Sometimes, I wore glasses. Sometimes I hated them and wondered why I’d wasted my parent’s money to get them. Then, I couldn’t see shit when I was driving and I remembered why I’d wanted them in the first place: because I needed them (but I didn’t actually like them). (That's a stupid example, yet it's a pretty accurate representation of what it was like in my brain at all times... Except, it was much worse in real life, because there were all these huge, important decisions to make that I just couldn't.) Granted, it wasn’t that I couldn’t eventually make decisions, but I would always change my mind later. This little decision-problem applied to people, my hair color, sometimes even the Legacy—which swung between the love of my life and the inanimate object representing the hole that still burned in my pocket.
Picking up my cloth bag and giving up on the tattoo for a while, I dawdled along the beach, humming some new song I was attempting to write (poorly) on the guitar and thinking about solving life. Since I was little, I’d loved puzzles and figuring everything out. I supposed it also caused my indecision, because I always saw every part of the equation—every ramification and every perk. Nevertheless, I’d always had a burning desire to solve something huge, but I'd never arrived upon something worth solving. It wasn’t that things weren’t “good” enough to be solved, just that there were too many good things with good reasons to be solved.
“Ellen!” a shrill voice suddenly sailed through the air behind me. Oh, how I despised that name. That was one thing I had decided; I hated the name Ellen.
Turning in the sand, I looked back to see my next door neighbor, June Landon, walking her golden retriever, Mac (named after her computer). June was probably the classiest old lady I knew; at sixty seven, she was still keeping up with the latest technology, exercising more than I did, and always asking me about “modern” things like self-tanning lotions. At heart, I estimated she was still about thirty five.
“Hey, Mrs. Landon,”
“How many times do I have to tell you to call me June?”
I laughed, pulling back an unruly strand of hair blowing across my line of vision. “I promise, I’ll stop.”
“Good girl,” she said patting my shoulder and squinting beyond me. I turned my body to see what she was looking at.
“Oh, nothing. Just thought I saw something.”
I smiled. June Landon was one of those “feeling” people. She was always claiming she got “feelings” about certain things. For example, when I was eight years old, I was in this spelling bee—for God knows what reason, since Zachary was the smart one in the family—and the day of the spellling be, June had come over with these sugar cookies shaped like bees and proceeded to tell me she knew I was going to win. Her evidence for this revelation? She “just had a feeling about it”. Then, I did win—by some miracle—and ever since then, I’d had my eye on her.
“What sort of thing?” I asked with a laugh.
“I think it’s going to storm later,” she mused thoughtfully, shrugging like it was no big deal that she was predicting the weather.
“I don’t know,” I said doubtfully. “Andy Brocke said the week is supposed to be flawless.”
“And since when did Andy Brocke become God? He’s just the channel six weatherman,” she said with a careless wave. Laughing again, I admitted she was right. Anyone could count on June Landon for a good laugh. Her white hair was pulled into a loose braid, half covered by her floppy sun hat. “Anyway, the real reason I flagged you down was to ask you a very important question.”
“Yes. Are you still doing art?” she asked with an intense stare with her big blue eyes.
I smiled. “Yes, I am.”
“Oh good! How thrilling!”
I was half expecting her to ask me for lessons on the newest techniques in the art world. “Why?”
“Well, you might have noticed but I’m doing a remodel at my house.”
“Oh, no. I didn’t see, but I haven’t been home much lately.”
“That father of yours huh?” She knew too well. “Anyway,” June continued, “I’m in need of some mosaic work done on my back patio. I remember seeing that absolutely marvelous project you and your brother did last summer on your garden path.”
“Mmhmm,” I said as we began walking together in the other direction.
“Would you be interested in helping me out? I’m not particularly picky, as you know. Any artistic design would really add some sparkle to that old patio,” she said, waving her fingers a little. I nodded, smiling.
“I’d love to.”
“For pay, of course,” she added hastily, as if I’d been worried about that. Any excuse to get out of my house was fine by me, paid or volunteer.
“Oh, you wouldn’t have to.”
“Why, of course I do! Such beautiful work deserves payment.”
“If you say so,” I laughed.
“Great,” she said, putting her arm around my shoulders. “Why don’t you ask your parents if you could come by for some dinner tonight and we can look it over and talk about what we’d like to do.”
“Sounds great,” I replied with a nod. “My brother and his girlfriend are actually coming for dinner, but maybe I could bring some dessert by and we could look it over around seven?”
“Oh yes, yes. You should be there when Zachary comes, he’s just such a joy. And dessert sounds great. I will supply, of course,” She said as she simultaneously petted Mac’s head.
“Oh, are you sure? I can bring something by.”
“No, dear, desserts are my specialty. In fact,” she said, bringing her hand to her chin in thought, “bring Zachary, why don’t you? I need some help with my new computer. He’s probably a whiz at that sort of thing.”
“He is,” I agreed. “I’ll bring him if he doesn’t pass out on the couch before. He just finished all his semesters at DeVry, so he’s gonna be exhausted. Hopefully he won’t be cranky,” I joked.
“Oh that devil!” she laughed, her eyes twinkling happily. “I’d think it would be impossible for Zachary to be cranky.”
“It has happened a few times,” I smiled.
“All right then, dear. So I'll see you and your brother around seven, maybe seven thirty, for some dessert. I just put some angel food cake in the oven. Speaking of which...”
“Ha ha, I’ll see you then, June,” I replied with a curt nod and a grin. She squeezed my hand again and smiled her cute June Landon smile. Scurrying away with Mac by her side, she waved goodbye as she made her way down the beach.
I wondered what kind of artwork she wanted. I wondered if I'd be able to come up with something good enough. I wondered if I'd ever decide what to lay down on that patio. Sighing, I realized I was doing it again: the indecision red flag was waving fervently in my head.
My indecision drove people insane. And it should’ve; I totally understood why it was bothersome and never blamed anyone for calling me a bipolar bitch. Trouble was, that wasn’t it; I just thought through things more, never arriving at a decision because I saw too many sides to the problem.
'Stop thinking so much,' Zachary would tell me all the time, always pulling me into a gentle head lock and ruffling my hair. My brother Zachary—not Zach, Zachary—was the complete opposite of me. We looked the same, but we were entirely different. We were both tall with dark auburn hair (unless you’re me and go through a hair-dying phase... aka sophomore year) matched with big hazel eyes and even bigger smiles. (If I got lucky enough to be told I looked at all like Zachary, I was content. Girls hung from him, and rightfully. He was a god—at least my god, anyway.)
But everything was light and easy for Zachary, something I wished for myself everyday. The kid never took anything too seriously, but also knew when to shut his mouth. He was one of those damn geniuses too, the type of person that seems to be amazing at everything they try. It was annoyingly fabulous.
I was excited to see him tonight, too. A weekend of Z and Cal was a saving grace for me. Sighing, I decided it was time to go back to the house. Exhaling, I whispered goodbye to the water and turned back to the place where the dunes met the road.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Do you ever feel like you're going in circles?