Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Chapter 10: What Would Stainer Do?


I have been looking forward to my date with Emily for days. The week seemed to last a month, but it's finally Friday.

Stainer keeps telling me to stop spying on Emily. He says it's "creepy". He says I worry too much about what Emily, and everybody else, thinks. He says I live my life based on what others want, because I'm afraid I'll disappoint them and they'll leave me. He says I am a big baby.

You probably think I'm a coward for letting Stainer talk to me that way. Well, you're wrong if you think that. I don't need Stainer for friendship. I need to learn from him, and as long as he keeps trying to teach me, I'll keep listening.

I was happy to hear that Emily didn't like Stainer's cologne technique. It reminded me that he doesn't know everything after all.

He told me to be late picking up Emily, so I said I'd be there at 6:00, then deliberately did not show up until 6:30. It will be close, but we should make it to the restaurant on time.

I knock, and all the air rushes from my body as Emily answers the door.

She's in dingy sweats, with her hair twisted into a sloppy bun and held in place by a pencil. "What are you doing here?" she asks, glancing at my tie.

"I'm picking you up for our date, Emily! Why aren't you ready?"

"I have a huge project to finish! I left you a message at work!"

"Why didn't you call my cell phone?!"

"It was during office hours! I don't have time to call a thousand different numbers, Eric!"

My phone had been ringing all day. I stopped answering around 3:30, because I wanted to get my work done and leave. So I could get ready for my date.

She's going to see him tonight. She never intended to see me at all. Or maybe she did, but changed her plans as soon as he decided he wanted to see her. The outfit, the story about work, they're all part of an elaborate plan to trick me, a plan she will probably be laughing about with Doug later.

"You could've--"

"Could've what?" she hisses. "I called you at work! You always check your messages! Why didn't you check them before you left? It's common sense!"

I'd be a bit less humiliated if she apologized. Why won't she do it? Why is she so determined to choke every last bit of life out of me? How can she be so hateful?

The anger starts in my stomach, a fiery ball that grows, eating everything in its path until it consumes me.

I walk through the door. My eyes turn to the glass-topped table against the far wall. A chipped, dusty green vase filled with artificial flowers sits upon it.

"Eric, I have a lot of work to do--"

The bouquet was a gift from an ex-boyfriend, Chad, whom she "almost married", according to her. He moved away and left her years ago, but she still smiles wistfully when talking about him. And of course, she refuses to part with that hideous bouquet. It's almost as if she keeps the flowers just to mock me, to remind me that I am nowhere near the kind of man she truly wants.

Maybe Stainer was right when he called her a bitch.

"You don't appreciate me!" I say, finally.

"Eric, you're not listening to me. I told you I had to work! What am I supposed to do--"

I walk forcefully back toward the door, my heavy footsteps shaking the glass on the dining room table. My hand clenches into a fist, and I watch in slow motion as it smashes violently into Chad's vase.

The vase explodes into tiny pieces, and water runs down my hand. But why would she put artificial flowers in water? And why is the water... red?

"Eric! You're bleeding!"

Blood throbs from an open flap of skin between my thumb and index finger. I watch as it coats my palm, dripping from my hand and forming little red dots on the beige carpet.

Suddenly, it becomes clear: I don't have to just sit back and accept it when someone disrespects me. I have the power to do something about it. The vase angered me, and I destroyed it. My mind ticks off a long list of things--and people--who deserve the same, and, though I didn't think it was possible, my rage grows bigger and stronger than before.

No. I couldn't hurt Emily. Could I?

"Eric, you're bleeding all over my carpet!"

I lunge at her, and I am outside my body again, watching myself as I scream at her nose to nose. "You did this, Emily! You see this?" I yell, holding my bloody hand up to her face. "This is your fault! It's your fault!" I barely recognize the sound of my own voice.

"I'm sorry! Eric, I am so sorry!" she sobs, as I turn and storm out the door.

Guess I got my apology after all.

Next... Chapter 11: The Saw Mill Road

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Coco the Ho

Sunday, October 29, 2007, 1:00pm
Shadowfax Stables

Eating is an adventure without a gall bladder. In fact, it's less like actual eating and more like borrowing the food for a few hours before it shoots out of your ass as if blasted from a whale's blowhole.

Yeah, I can't eat like I used to. The doctor says I'll be back to normal soon, but until then, I'm staying far away from anything remotely unhealthy.

The post-surgery pain isn't bad at all. I have four incisions on my abdomen, the largest of which is the size of the memory chip slot on my cell phone. Most of the time, I don't even know they are there.

Last night, Tim decided I had recovered enough to resume my evolutionary duties, so she leaned over in bed and whispered softly in my ear until I was ready to go.

What she actually said is irrelevant. It's the sound of her voice, her closeness, the heat of her breath, that gets me off. She could have been reading a weather forecast; as long as she threw in a few cocks and pussys, I'd be hard enough to smash a plate-glass window with my johnson by the time she was done.

And hard I was--but mounting her and pounding away like a Rottweiler was a bad idea. As soon as the cumshot--and the flood of endorphins--subsided, talons of pain clawed at my intestines until I rolled off the bed and onto the floor in agony.

"No seconds for you!" Tim giggled.

So yeah, my return to, um, normal activity didn't go so well. But that was, like, 12 hours ago! I should be fine now.

Tim and I, along with four other couples, sit in a lazy circle and introduce ourselves before our horseback riding trip. "We're Adam and Kristen," a guy says. "We're from Boston."

I approach him as the horses are being saddled. "So you're from Boston, eh?" I ask.

"Well, Worcester, actually," he says.

Those of you from the area are cracking up right now. Massachusetts is small, and it's all relative, but a Worcester guy saying he's from Boston is kinda like going to Coney Island and saying you're in the Bahamas. It's like going to a carnival in a church parking lot and claiming you're at Disney World.

"It's easier to say 'Boston' than 'Massachusetts'", he says, noticing my grin.

It seems that Coco, my horse, is in just as much gastro-intestinal distress as I am. After walking less than 50 feet, she stops dead in her tracks and lets out a fart that could have peeled wallpaper--a rancid, rotten, barf-inducing cloud of stink that sticks to the back of my throat like Chloraseptic spray.

One hundred yards later, Coco has taken an unhealthy interest in the asshole of the horse in front of her, sniffing desperately at it like a cokehead trying to get the last few specs off a mirror.

"Pull back on the reins," Ana, the group leader, yells. "Show her who's boss!"

I pull back, and Coco dips her head angrily. We're definitely off on the wrong foot.

She stops again and drops another stink bomb, followed immediately by a series of wet plopping sounds. "She's using the bathroom," Ana says.

She shoulda gone before we left!

Coco has fallen behind now, and trots to catch up, zeroing in on her buddy's asshole like a heat-seeking missile. She nuzzles it, apparently too aggressively, and the other horse rears up on his hind legs, his rider clinging, terrified, to the reins.

The horse takes off like a shot and Coco springs into a gallop after him.

"Pull back! Pull back on the reins!" Ana shouts, but her voice is fading so fast I can barely hear her.

Coco's gallop bounces me violently against the saddle, my incisions screaming in agony as I strain to hold on. I'm not going to last much longer.

I'll hold on. I have to. People don't get thrown off horses!

Do they?

Coco sprints past the other horse and around a sharp bend in the trail. There's no way I can hold on.

The reins slip from my hands and the Earth turns upside down in slow motion. I hear a dull thud, and wonder for a second what it was before I realize it was me hitting the ground.

Ana rides up behind me. "You didn't show her who's boss!" she scolds.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I left my heart gall bladder in San Francisco Hawaii

Wednesday, October 25, 2007, 8:12pm
Room 424

The operation is tomorrow morning at 7:30, so I can't eat anything tonight. Not that I am hungry, anyway.

A nurse came in about 15 minutes ago with a small paper cup full of pills. Whatever was in that cup made me forget all about the pain; now, all I want to do is sleep.

I'm a little cold, so Tim drapes another blanket over me. For the first time in what feels like 300 years, I straighten my legs out and my abdomen does not scream in agony. I take a deep breath, and it's pure relief.

I can't help but wonder what would have happened if I lived in a third world country, or anywhere with substandard health care. What if I had to endure this without hospitals or medications?

"...can come back first thing in the morning, before his surgery--" the nurse is saying to Tim. I had almost nodded off.

"I'm not leaving my husband," Tim says, firmly.

"He's fine," the nurse says, reassuringly.

"I know he's fine. But I'm not leaving him."

"You can come back in the morning."

"We've been married for five days; I am not leaving him. You can either get me a cot to sleep on, or I'll sleep on the chair next to him, but I'm not going anywhere!"

"I'll speak to the doctor," the nurse says, clearly annoyed.

Thursday, October 26, 2007, 7:27am

"You're gonna feel a little pinch," a nurse says, and inserts a needle into my left arm, next to the elbow.

I laugh out loud. After what I went through yesterday, regular pain is a joke.

"I'm giving you something to calm you down before the surgery," Dr. Patel says through his powder blue surgical mask, and injects something into the tube in my arm.

Whatever he gave me rushes to my head like ten shots of whisky. I look up, and the wall is... breathing, rippling before my eyes as if it were made of water.

"What is that shit?" I ask, and the doctor answers me in a faint voice, as if he's standing at the other end of a long hallway.

"I love you, Tim," I say, and the room goes black.



Voices swirl around me, and I struggle to focus on them. This must be what a bear feels like after hibernating for five months.


I'm hearing every fourth or fifth word. I might as well relax until the drugs wear off.

I wonder where Tim is--

"I saw his eyelids flutter! I think he's awake! Baby? Can you hear me?"

Opening my eyes is every bit as hard as prying the cap off an old bottle of glue. But when I do, the first face I see is Tim's. She's smiling down at me, just like a blonde, ponytailed angel.

"Hi, honey," she says.

"Heyy," I slur.

"The surgery was successful. It took a lot longer than they thought, though."

"What time is it?"

"It's after noon."


"I'm sorry for ruining our honeymoon."

"Stop it!" she says.

Leave it to me to have a medical emergency while celebrating my nuptials.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Can you believe the stones on this guy?

Tuesday, October 24, 7:00pm
Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

All day, Tim and I have been spraying each other down with Panama Jack, downing colorful drinks by the pool, then rushing upstairs to rip each other's bathing suits off and fuck in every position imaginable. I could totally get used to this.

I am lucky to be married to such a horny woman. Most days, I wake up with her on top of me, sucking on my earlobe or reaching her dainty hand underneath my boxers. Yeah, sometimes, my cock wakes up before me.

We have been fucking nonstop since we got here. The weeklong holdout has worked wonders. No matter how much we do it, I feel completely backed up. But it's not just that.

Wedding planning is stressful. Bills are stressful. Work is stressful. We get a break here or there, get lost in a movie, maybe go to bed early every so often, but other than that, it never lets up.

But there is something liberating about flying 10,000 miles from home. It's not like taking a day off, and being 15 minutes from the office. Right now, I'm not even in the same hemisphere as my office. There's no possible way I can accomplish anything here, and no one expects me to. I've got a free pass for 10 days, and I sure as hell am going to use it. At this point, there isn't a whole lot to do other than eat, drink and fuck like inmates on a weekend furlough.

The concierge at the hotel had to talk us into going to the luau. We have not been doing many of the touristy things here, other than going to the beach and relaxing, and it's been sheer heaven.

The beach is completely dark except for a few blazing torches. A soothing wind blows softly against our skin, as if ordered by a considerate host.

A row of long-haired, ridiculously curvy, grass-skirted hotties stand flawlessly still, and then the music starts--loud, hectic drumbeats played by two men on either side of the stage, and the girls spring to life, dancing with controlled fury. I am amazed at how their hips move so independently of their bodies--and yeah, more than a little turned on, too.

"Should I get you a bib?" Tim asks, curling her lip at me.

"They're not that hot."

She rolls her eyes at me.


Men with shovels surround a spot in the sand and dig furiously to expose an underground oven called an Imu. Reaching bottom, they pull a gigantic pig from the hole, and I can feel the blast of heat 10 yards away.

The closest thing I can compare it to is pulled pork. The meat is so incredibly tender that I almost don't have to chew it. I am full after the third heaping plate, but it's way too good to stop. When's the next time I'm going to be at a luau, anyway?

Wednesday, October 25, 2007, 5:07am

I sit quickly upright in bed, clutching my stomach.

The pain is on the right side of my abdomen, just under the rib cage. I've had it before, usually on mornings after I overeat. Generally, I take a Gas-X and it goes away in a half hour or so.

It feels like I have to shit, but I can't. I load up on Gas-X, and the pain doesn't flinch. It's all I can do to stand upright, as the pain squeezes down like a vice on my intestines. Hours pass.

"Can you come down and eat?" Tim asks.

"Do I look like I can eat?" I snap.

"I know it hurts! You don't have to be a jerk about it!" she hisses.


Tim makes me a warm compress and I lay down on my left side, but the pain is no better. And it hasn't moved from that one spot, either, which makes me think that this is not just something I ate. I wonder if I'm getting an ulcer.

I take a hot shower, and it helps a little. Tim runs to the store and does some laundry, and we watch TV together for a while.

"I'm sorry you're so sick," she frowns. "Is there anything else I can do?"

"Let's just wait it out."


I've been in pain for 8 hours straight, and it's gotten no better.

"I want you to go to the hospital," she says.

"What? We're in Hawaii!"

"They have hospitals here, Steve."

"Just give it some time. I'll be okay."

"Either let me take you to the hospital, or I'm calling an ambulance!"


The emergency room is packed. After hearing my complaint, the triage attendant, wearing a worried face, sits me in a chair.

An obviously homeless man approaches the desk. "I need someone to wrap up my foot," he says.

Why? Aren't you gonna eat it here?

I focus on Randy, the homeless man, as he talks. And talks some more. He was playing Frisbee with his girlfriend Becka's brother, you see, because his girlfriend's brother thinks Randy is no good for Becka, and he's trying to loosen him up a bit--

It's no use. The pain simply will not quit. It keeps tearing away at my insides, as if I swallowed a bowl of broken glass. The only thing that helps a bit is leaning to the right in my chair and holding my left hand over my head. At this point, I'm probably competing with Randy for "Biggest freak in the ER" honors, and I don't even care.

I was right before about this not being a digestive problem. It's been far too long for that. Something is broken inside me. It's too high to be my appendix, but I wonder if it's a kidney. Or my gall bladder...

They finally take me to an exam room. A technician smears gel on my stomach and rubs a device the size of a computer mouse across my midsection.

"Take a deep breath and hold it," she says.

"What are you seeing there?"

"The doctor interprets the images. I just take them."

"But does it look like--"

"Deep breath and hold, please."

Every few minutes, someone pops into the room to ask how I'm feeling. I wish I could take something for the pain, or at least sleep. Maybe if I closed my eyes, I could nod off for a while--

The door opens. "Mr. Caruso? I'm Bonnie. From the business office. Your emergency room copay is..."

Is she seriously asking me for money? Now?

"I'm a little indisposed here. I'll pay on the way out, Betty."

"It's Bonnie."

Sure that's not "Bitchy"?


"You have multiple gall bladder stones," Doctor Patel says.

"Am I... is that serious?"

"Your white blood cell count is very high. You should have your gall bladder out immediately."

"You mean you want to operate?"


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Steve's wedding: The aftermath

Sunday, October 21, 2007
Kahului International Airport, Maui, Hawaii

I've flown across the country lots of times. It gets easy after awhile: Do some work for a couple of hours, knock out a few crossword puzzles, watch a movie, take a nap, and you're there. But none of that prepared me for flying to Hawaii.

It's five hours from Boston to LA, and another five from LA to Hawaii. It's like flying across the country and back again all in one day.

In Hawaii, every local clock, as well as the position of the sun, tells us it is 3 in the afternoon, but our bodies are telling us it is 8:00 at night, and that we should be getting ready for bed. We should be fine tomorrow, as long as we keep ourselves awake for the next six or seven hours. Somehow.

After stepping off the plane, it takes us about 45 seconds to get Hawaii-fied. We deplane and walk 50 feet, turning left onto a long hallway with a floor-to-ceiling picture window, and I stop dead in my tracks as I look through it. To those who live in Hawaii, it's nothing. To me, it's a Rembrandt or a Van Gogh, a work of art burned in my memory forever.

Two palm trees stand side by side, bent slightly to one side as if curved by the wind. Behind them is a hulking mass of black rock the size of a strip mall. The sky is cartoon blue, a shade we might see in Boston once or twice a year, when the pollution takes a day off.

I used to think we flew halfway around the world, but that's obviously not true. Clearly, we've flown to another planet entirely, where no one stresses about the weather, because it's gorgeous every day. In fact, I bet no one stresses about anything here, because it simply doesn't make sense.

"...just gonna stand here all day?" Tim is asking.


"Let's go get our luggage! I can't wait to see the hotel!" she chirps.

Makena Beach, Maui

I'm unprepared for the view. The horizon stretches endlessly from east to west--an uninterrupted meeting of sky and water so profound that suddenly, I can comprehend my place on earth, the overwhelming hugeness of the planet and everything beyond it.

Warm waves splash against my feet then retreat back, scurrying away from me like shy children. The sand is...cleaner here, softer, less rocky than I am used to, and the water melts it away around me until I find myself buried ankle deep in it.

Tim and I find a spot above the tide and sit, me leaning back against my elbows, her sitting between my knees, watching as the sky burns pink and orange and the sun slowly disappears into the ocean.

"I'm tired," she says.

"Don't go to sleep, hon. It's too early!"

"I won't."

Neither will I.

Makena Beach

"Shit! We fell asleep!" Tim says.

So much for beating jet lag.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Steve's wedding: the duringmath, concluded

"It is truly an honor for me to introduce to you for the very first time as husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Steve Caruso!"

Most people don't get applauded very often, and it is quite a rush. Kind of strange, too, since we didn't do anything particularly unusual.

Up until a week ago, our wedding song was going to be "Have I Told You Lately" by Van Morrison, but "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat took a late lead, and we decided to go with it at the last minute. The tempo is odd and hard to dance to, but we aren't interested in much besides whispering to each other and swaying slowly, anyway.

The rest of the bridal party joins us on the dance floor. As the song ends, I feel a hand on my shoulder and turn around.

"You're my best friend," Paulie says, and I hug him back without looking him in the eyes, because I am sure he's sobbing like a kid going off to his first day of Kindergarten.

He lets go of me and hugs Tim, and I hug them both, and pretty soon it's the biggest group hug you've ever seen, right in the middle of the dance floor. Today, there is no family drama, no fighting, just lots of love all around.

Chris takes the microphone for a toast. "Steve and Tim are one of those couples that you root for, the way you root for a favorite team," he says. "We all noticed a change in Steve when he and Tim started dating. You could see how crazy they were about each other, even when they were saying, 'Ohh, we're taking it slow, it's nothing serious.'

"I speak for everyone in the family when I tell you, there were a lot of people praying for this. And today, Steve and Tim's wishes came true, and ours did too.

"I love you both, and I wish you a lifetime of happiness."

I get up and hug Chris when he is done, and laugh to myself as I think about the day not so long ago when I kicked his ass and put him in the hospital. It seems like a million miles away now; I feel as close to him as a brother can be.


"I'd like to call your attention to the dance floor," the DJ says, "where the bride and groom have a surprise for us!"

People look up from their salads, then exchange curious glances. Tim has changed out of her wedding dress and into a slinky white one with a long slit up the side.

Before anyone knows what to make of it, the music starts and Tim and I are tangoing feverishly across the floor, amid hoots and hollers.

The tango was my idea. I suggested it months ago, and Tim loved the idea, so we hired a choreographer. Week after week, we practiced pretty much daily until we could do the dance in our sleep. Mindy told us that was the goal, to be able to go from start to finish without thinking about the next move.

We've had tons of practice, yes, but it's not nearly the same as doing it for an audience. The adrenaline is flowing, the spins are easier, our feet move faster, and we have to fight to keep from getting ahead of the music.

The song ends, we take a bow, and every guest is out of their seat, applauding thunderously. We bow again, and the applause gets louder before finally fading. Mindy said there would be a huge ovation. Guess she was right.

The dance is the one thing we hear about most for the rest of the night. Even now, weeks later, people still mention it to us. It just goes to show you: It doesn't really matter where the wedding is, or what you had for dinner. It matters who was there, and what happened.


The limo is supposed to pick us up at 4:30 and take us to the hotel. That's only about a half hour from now.

People always talk about wedding night sex like it's a big deal. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to be fuck-ready tonight at all. I am exhausted.

We agreed not to do it for a full week before the wedding, to build a little sexual tension. We usually go at it once a day, sometimes twice, so at this point, I am ready to burst. But having the wedding stress off my shoulders is such a relief that eight hours of sleep might just make me come.

"Hey everyone," Tim says over the speakers, and I look to the front of the room, where she stands holding the mic. "I'm trying really hard not to be corny, but I'm very bad at this..."

What is she doing?

"I just want to say that I've been through a lot in the past couple of years, my surgery, getting a new job, moving, and it was pretty stressful, and I feel so lucky that Steve was there to help me every step of the way.

"Steve, I'm very sure I would not have made it through in one piece without you, and I'm so lucky to have you. You are the most caring, supportive person that I have ever known. I love you more than words can possibly say, and thank you for making me the happiest wife in the whole world."

She pauses as the "Awwwww"s subside.

"The night that Steve and I first met--and please, don't get the wrong idea about this--but I was on a date with another guy."

She pauses again as the room fills with laughter.

"It was nothing serious, I promise. The guy wasn't my boyfriend or anything. But I met Steve, and we talked all night long, and by the end of the night, I was a smitten woman.

"It was about 2:00am, and the place was closing, so the DJ played a slow song. And I wanted to dance with him, so I said, 'Ooo! This is my favorite song! You have to dance with me!' Meanwhile, I had never heard the song before in my life."


"So we danced, and it was actually a few months later when we actually started dating, and then one night after we had been together for a while, he said, 'Honey, listen to what I downloaded!' and it was the song we first danced to. And I was like, 'Awww!'"

I know where she is going with this now, and I am really flattered.

"I thought it would be nice if we played the song now, so we can dance to it again."

The DJ plays the song, "Sweet Bitter Love" (which is playing now) by Aretha Franklin. Somehow, as she sings, Aretha manages to convey deep love and deep sorrow at the same time, and I can't help but feel a bit sad myself, that this amazing party is almost over, and that it might be a long time before I see many of these people again.

But it's more than that. As I think back on that first night, it amazes me that Tim and I wound up together. I was dating Stephanie, she was with Dom. In fact, she probably went home with Dom and fucked his brains out that night, and many other nights before she and I finally got together. What if I never saw her again after that night? Just like that, she would have been out of my life forever, and this day never would have happened. It's sad to think that I could have missed out on everything we've had over the last two years.

I've been thinking about Mom a lot today too. Yes, I am sure she would have managed to make a scene somehow, but it would have been nice to have her here just the same. I was the only one of her three sons who she did not get to see on his wedding day.

The song fades out, and Tim and I goodbye our way around the room.

As we walk through the door, I turn and look one back final time at the festively decorated hall and the smiling guests as they wave us a fond farewell.

As Sam Malone once said, I am the luckiest son of a bitch on earth.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"I, Felicia, take you, Steven..."

Saturday, October 20, 2007, 4:12am
Residence Inn, Room 2104

I'm late.

Holy shit, I'm late!

I snap upright in bed and frantically fling the covers away, grabbing for the digital clock next to me and knocking it to the floor.

I was supposed to be there at 10:30. And now it's... it's...

It's still dark outside.

I exhale slowly through puckered lips, as if blowing cigarette smoke. My nerves are getting the better of me.

I weave my way through the living room, around my sleeping brothers and friends, and manage to drink half a glass of water before going back to bed. I sleep for what seems like forever, roll over, and check the clock. 4:49.

Northern Pines Country Club

"She's not ready yet," Chris says.

I peer out a heavy oak door and take a long look. Every ornate wooden pillar has been carefully adorned with tulips and silk bows; guests fill neatly-curved rows of antique chairs, and soft music plays over strategically-placed Surround Sound speakers.

It hits me that every one of those people are here for Tim and me. They all got up early on a Saturday morning, put on fancy clothes, and drove to a country club in the middle of nowhere to see us get married. If this many people care about me, I guess I'm doing all right.

"Steve, she's ready. She's ready!"

I take a deep breath and look at my watch. It's 11:21.

Chris and I walk out the door and across the room, stopping in front of a huge picture window which overlooks towering pine trees and an ocean of flawlessly green grass.

I look around, my eyes picking up friendly, familiar faces in the crowd: Aunts and uncles, old friends from school, and, in the front row, my dad.

I am so glad he got to be here, so glad that he lived when the doctors said he might die. This day would not have been the same without him.

He smiles at me and rubs at his eye. What a softie.

The opening notes of Kanon in D by Pachelbel waft from the speakers, and my niece MacKenzie bounds down the aisle, just like she did at practice, dumping handfuls of rose petals as she goes.

Next up the aisle is my best friend Paulie, striding purposefully, hands crossed at his waist, mouth and eyes turned downward, as if this were a funeral. He's probably trying to keep from crying.

Lila follows close behind him, a vision of beauty in her rasperry-colored dress, her long hair pulled up in an ornate bun, with one strand hanging down, just the way I used to like it.

Tim and Lila love each other. They have grown very close over the past couple of years, and we agreed right away that she should be in the wedding, as crazy as that may sound. With all the people that Tim and I have been with, Lila is the only ex here today.

She catches my eye as she sits down and gives me a bright-eyed smile, and I smile back. I wasn't always good to Lila, but seeing her face now, I know that everything is okay between us, and I am glad.

My brother Greg. He walks the aisle and takes his seat, waving sweetly to his daughter MacKenzie on the other side of the room.

Next is Tim's cousin, Ellie, who came all the way from California to be here. She and Tim have been close since they were little girls, and often called each other when they had no one else to talk to. As soon as we sat down to pick the bridal party, the first name Tim thought of was Ellie's.

Ellie is no waif. From across the room, she is all boobs and hips, and I am sure she will have her share of admirers at the reception. She takes her seat.

Next is Tim's sister, Drea, the Maid of Honor. A hush falls over the room as she walks past, maybe because it's almost time, and maybe because Drea is so beautiful. She really is like a younger version of Tim, except a bit taller, with darker hair. She walks with a straight back and a quiet confidence, like a runway model.

Drea is just 18, and therefore miles cooler than anyone else in the room, but she has been a huge help in getting ready for the wedding. Whether it be making phone calls, running errands, or reminding us about important tasks, she's been the Most Valuable Player for us. Thanks to Drea, the wedding planning was a lot less stressful than it might have been.

She walks past the chairs where the rest of the bridal party sits and stops at the front of the room, across from Chris and I.

As if on cue, the violins swell to a crescendo. Every guest in the room stands and turns around, and Tim makes her way up the aisle, her right arm holding her father's left.

The first thing I notice is her bare shoulders. The strapless, sleeveless gown was a great choice, given her long, dainty neck and toned upper body. Silk gloves stretch past her elbows, and she's holding a cluster of deep red roses.

The dress is smooth and blizzard-white, with a train that extends for a mile behind her. Her makeup is flawless, like a movie star's, and even from 20 feet away, my cheeks flush and my heart flutters at the sight of her denim blue eyes.

She is far too beautiful for words, so completely perfect that, if I drop dead this minute, my life will have been worthwhile for intertwining with hers.

The music fades. Marvin extends his hand and I shake it. "Congratulations, son," he says, and I am touched that he would call me that. He is not one to show emotion easily.

I take Tim's gloved hand in mine and it's almost as if I am in the presence of royalty, like I somehow lucked out and got to meet a celebrity.

"Hi," she smiles.

"Hi," I say back.


The vows come and go quickly, so quickly that I barely remember them. But as the Justice of the Peace says "You may kiss the bride," I know that, at long last, we finally made it, that I did not screw this up, and that despite my past, I have a great life ahead of me. Applause washes over us and we walk triumphantly back down the aisle together, smiling and laughing.

Now, it's party time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Steve's wedding: The duringmath

Friday, October 19, 2007, 11:45am
Steve's office

"Steve, the implementation budget for Adams Corp. is gone," Ted says.

"Project isn't done yet, Ted."

"But the budget is gone."

No matter how long we stay on the phone, nothing productive will come from this conversation. Ted's call is a symptom of deeper problems.

Our salesmen use their considerable powers of persuasion to coerce clients to pay us huge sums of money. They are so driven to bring in business, in fact, that they sometimes do stupid things like lower the price. I have no respect for a salesperson like that.

Go ahead. Walk into a Lexus dealerhip and tell the salesperson that you really like the car, but you don't want to pay $70,000. Instead, you'd like to pay $40,000. I can tell you for sure you'd be leaving there on foot. You wouldn't get a deal like that, and you wouldn't expect to, either.

"Why do you care, Steve?" you are asking.

Easy. Because the price that the customer agrees to includes a budget for my team to implement the software. And the lower that number is, the faster we have to get the project done, and the less time we have to manage the details. Oh, and if there is any delay whatsoever, we are fucked. Just like we are now.

I was smart to get out of my last job. The hours were ridiculous, the work load neverending, and the politics overwhelming. But my new job isn't paradise either.

My team is going to end up finishing this project in a quick and sloppy way, and none of the time we work on it from now on will be billable. Unless, of course, the salesperson is able to get more money out of the customer, which never happens.

This kind of thing happens constantly around here. Because of that, sometime next January, Bert will call me into his office and ask me why my team isn't billing more. He ought to know the answer without asking. Or maybe he does know, but he's looking for an excuse to keep from giving me a bigger raise.

The funny thing is, though, I don't even care. It will bother me someday, but right now, work is nothing more than background noise. I keep repeating to myself, "This time tomorrow, I will be married."

Married. Married. Married. I think about the word so much that it seems foreign, unfamiliar. Marriage is for old, stuffy people, isn't it? Could it be that I am really going to do this?

Yes, it could, and the truth is I am so proud to be marrying Tim. I know, she had her partying phase, and she screwed around a hell of a lot more than I did--in fact, that is how I met her. But I sense a seriousness about her, a devotion to me and our relationship that I have never felt with anyone else. That devotion makes me want to do the same for her, makes me think of her constantly, fills me with the urge to grab hold of her and never let go.

Yeah, I definitely can't wait until tomorrow.


"Guys, I'm out of here. I'll see you in two weeks," I say, as I dash out the door to a wave of goodbyes and good lucks.

The Brown Stone House
Rehearsal dinner

Chris stands up and taps his glass. "The lone holdout is finally caving in," he begins, to a gale of cheers.

"Thanks for coming out, everyone. It's going to be a great day tomorrow, when my little brother finally gets married. I think you made a great choice. I think you both did," he says, smiling at Tim and me.

The guys are staying at a hotel tonight, and the girls are at my house. As I walk to my car, and Tim walks to hers, I quiver like a 17-year-old on his first date.

I look at Tim, at her beige blouse and blue skirt, at her long blonde hair and round blue eyes, and feel that rush of pride again. Tomorrow, she will be my wife. And yeah, the little boy inside my head wonders what she sees in me.

She hugs me and I close my eyes, inhaling her perfume, touching her silky hair. "You're nervous!" she laughs.

"Not as nervous as you!"

"I'll see you at the wedding," she whispers, and I watch her drive away.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Steve's wedding: The beforemath

Thursday, October 18, 2007, 7:00pm

I'll say it again: I'm glad I waited a long time to get married. I got a lot of womanizing out of my system, and I am mature enough to make smart decisions. Like my bachelor party, for example. My one request was that we have it two days before the wedding, not the night before. I've seen my share of hungover grooms.

Tim and her friends rented a limo and took off for a night of bar hopping. As for me, my brothers and friends came to my house, blindfolded me, poured shots down my throat (it tasted like rum--whatever it was, it was nasty), then packed me into the car and drove for a while. When they pulled the blindfold off, I was at a VFW hall that I had never seen before. I bet they hired a stripper.

I hate strip clubs. If some hardbodied 19-year-old is going to wave her cleanly-shaved pussy in my face, she better be prepared to have my dick in her mouth as soon as I can yank my boxers off. But no, they smile, flirt, thank me for my dollar bill, and then bend over for the guy next to me. If I'm getting some at home, I don't need to see some other chick naked, and if I'm not, seeing a girl I can't touch is just going to frustrate me.

A mountainously fat tattooed man holds the door open for us. I guess he's there to protect her, but it's hard for me to be intimidated by a guy who probably can't even tie his own shoes. "So you're the lucky guy, huh?" he chuckles.

"Yep, that's me."

"No touching," he says, raising his voice to a harsh growl as he addresses the crowd. "And keep the noise down. You break the rules, we're outta here. And there's no refunds."

A door at the back of the room opens, and in walks Bree, in a "Hard Cock Cafe" t-shirt and pink short shorts.

By now, you guys know me. I like them tiny, with long hair and straight teeth, and Bree could not have been any better if I made her myself. She's maybe 4'10", with hair down to her ass, and a mouth straight out of a toothbrush commercial. The guys howl at the sight of her.

They plop me into a chair in the middle of the room, then form a semicircle around me. "Are you the one who's getting married?" she asks, in a high-pitched little girl's voice.

The voice puts me over the edge, and I go rock-hard despite the alcohol. She's just a kid, but she knows what the hell she is doing.

She pulls her t-shirt slowly over her head, exposing a plump, tanned pair of breasts, and proceeds to straddle my legs, brushing her long hair against my face. She turns around and wiggles her perfect bubble ass at me before bobbing it slowly up and down against my crotch.

I can't help but wonder what it would be like to fuck her. And I wouldn't mind seeing her naked--

She slips her thumbs under her shorts and slides them down, stopping halfway down her thighs, then bends over and places a hand softly against her right ass cheek. The guys are going crazy, but I barely hear them.

She steps out of her shorts and bends over again, farther this time, and her pussy lips open like flower petals. I ache to fuck her, to grab her petite little hips and slam them into mine...

She turns around and our eyes meet. I've got The Look now, the look she's probably seen 1,000 times, the look that tells her that I am hers. If a man has The Look, she could tell him to gargle with broken glass, and he'd do it gladly. And she knows it.

She sits on my lap, facing me, and tugs at my shirt. "Are you trying to undress me?" I ask.

"I like bare skin," she smiles, pulling my shirt off and flipping her hair over one shoulder. She bends over and nibbles at my neck, as my eyes slide closed and my hands find her naked hips.

My friend Paulie used to go to strip bars all the time. He even dated a few of the girls. He told me that his secret was not to hit on them, but to talk to them about their day jobs or their families. Every other guy in the place was telling them, in disgusting detail, exactly what he wanted to do to them, while Paulie was coming off as a regular Joe.

No, I'm not planning on nailing her, but instinct kicks in. "How old are you?" I ask.

She totally ignores the question, instead breathing in my ear. She bends her knee and rubs her leg agaist mine, closely enough that I can feel the heat of her crotch.

My breathing quickens; my hand squeezes tighter on her thigh. "You can touch it if you want," she says, and I look up to see her face so close to mine that our noses are almost touching.

"But the guy said--"

"It's okay," she whispers.

I don't want the guys to see. They'll see me do it and think they can follow suit, and pretty soon they'll get carried away, and she'll be out the door.

I let my hand slide down the inside of her thigh, and brush the backs of my fingers gently against her clit. Is this going to happen?

"Go ahead," she coos in my ear, as if reading my thoughts. I extend my index finger and all at once I feel her warm wetness. Am I really fingering the stripper?

She pushes her hips against me, driving my finger deeper, pressing my face between her tits. I remain there for a long moment and I can feel her breath, quick and shallow. Is she enjoying this?

I've been to plenty of stag parties over the years, and at the really wild ones, the stripper would disappear into the ladies' room, and a long line of horny drunk guys with $20 bills in their hands would form outside the door. I can't help but wonder how far this particular one would go...

The crowd is getting restless. "You better go make the rounds," I say, pulling my finger out of her, and she does.

She's gathering her clothes when Chris grabs me. "I've got a surprise for you," he says, and pulls me out the door and across a dark parking lot to a building the size of a backyard storage shed. "Wait here," he says, and walks out, pulling the door closed behind him.

Minutes pass, and the door opens again. "What am I waiting for?" I ask, and my heart stops as I see the Hard Cock Cafe shirt and pink shorts.

"Me," Bree smiles, and she closes and locks the door.

"Are you... are we..."

"You have really good friends," she laughs.

Chris must have paid her an extra couple hundred dollars to fuck me.

She peels off her t-shirt and straddles me, just like she did at the party. "You were hard before. I could tell," she smiles, flashing her flawless teeth.

Oh really? You knew I had an erection? Nothing gets past you, does it?

"Do you want to touch me again?" she breathes in my ear, and before I can answer, she takes my hand and guides it between her legs.

"We can't have sex," I hear myself say.

No way I'm fucking this little skank. I've never paid for sex in my life, and I'm sure as hell not starting two days before my wedding. Yeah, I know, someone else is paying, and it doesn't matter. It's an insult. What, I can't find anyone on my own?

Besides, it's not exactly appetizing to think about the three or four thousand scumbags she's probably fucked--bearded, beer-bellied truck stop types with cigarette breath, I'm sure--and she probably acted just as hot and horny for them as she is for me.

She looks at me.

"You're really hot," I say, "and I'm sure we would have a lot of fun, but..."

"You love her. You're being a good fiance. That's so sweet!" she chirps in her airhead voice.

I probably shouldn't ask her this, but I am loaded, and it is my party, so...

"Are you... do you still get paid if we don't..."

"Your brother said you were going to chicken out," she laughs. "So he made me promise that if you didn't..."

"That he was going to pinch-hit for me?"


I walk back out to the party and find Chris. "A prostitute at my stag party, Chris? A hooker? Really?"

"What are you talking about, Steve?" he smiles.

"I'm not fucking a whore, Chris."

He sighs. "Have you seen her? She's incredible! Did you look at her, or were you too pussy-whipped to open your eyes?"

"She's hot."

"Hot? Steve, she's the hottest little spinner I've ever seen! She's exactly the way you like them! What's your problem?" He fixes his dark eyes on me, his jaw set firmly, like a disappointed parent.

"Chris, you used to be a little more discriminating. This chick has probably seen more dicks than the urinals at Gilette Stadium."

"So I'll give you a dome."

"I'm not interested."

"You're my brother," he says, softly. "I want you to have fun. This is your last night of freedom!"

"I plan on having fun for the rest of my life. Oh, and by the way, I heard you're my backup."

He laughs. "Guess I better go."

"Hey Chris." He turns around.

"I want details."

"You got it, bro," he smiles, then turns and disappears out the door.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I love the Patriots, and you are a pussy

I love the New England Patriots.

Let me say that again: I love the New England Patriots.

I love them even more now that being a Pats fan has become so unpopular. It's nice to know who your real friends are.

You're pissed that Bill Belichick broke the rules and videotaped the Jets. You're pissed that they rang up 52 points against the Redskins, and 149 points in their last three games alone. You're pissed that they leave their first string players on the field long after the games are effectively over, aggressively throwing the ball down the field on a never ending quest for touchdowns, pursuing points the way crackheads pursue little white rocks.

You like Peyton Manning better than Tom Brady. Peyton's commercials make you laugh. He's polite and respectful, and he's far too humble to take credit for his many accomplishments, instead crediting his teammates and coaches for the Colts' success. He even has the decency to be as ugly as a bassett hound, and to avoid dating underwear models, just to remind us that he's a regular guy, just like we are.

He's nothing like that bastard Brady, who clearly was not satisfied with merely winning three Super Bowls before the age of 30. No, Brady had to be good looking too! He insists on banging Hollywood actresses and Victoria Secret models, and getting his mug on the cover of GQ. Tom Brady is the kid in high school who outscored the geeks on the SATs, and then fucked his way through the cheerleading squad while the dorks were home studying.

Yes, Brady says all the right things. He deflects the praise, like Peyton does. He credits the coaches, and his teammates, like Manning. But you watch Brady. You see that twinkle in his eyes and that sly smile, and you know he does not believe what he's saying. You know he thinks he's the best thing to happen to football since instant replay, and you hate him for it.

You praised the Pats after their three championships. You had to. But you've always secretly looked for a reason to hate them and their golden boy QB. And lo and behold, along comes Cameragate.

You don't care that every other team probably did it. You don't care that the NFL commissioner himself admitted that the videotaping had no outcome on the one game in question. You saw the opening and you continue to pound away at it, even now, months later, after the punishments have been handed down and the league has moved on, and after the Patriots have run a train on everyone in their path since then--without the aid of videocameras.

You continue to call Bill Belichick a cheat. You continue to question past victories, including the Super Bowls, even though 100,000,000 people worldwide watched them and you still have zero evidence against the team. But you don't care, because you hate the Patriots and you always have.

So you watch the Patriots unblinkingly. You stalk them, searching for a weakness, because a weakness means that all is not lost. Every week, you manage to convince yourself that this game will be different, that this defense will be the one to finally slow the Patriots down, that the Pats will get complacent, that there's no way they can keep up the onslaught for an entire season without a single letdown.

You'll conjure up statistics to prove your point. You'll criticize past opponents, implying that real teams would have given the Patriots a harder time. But you know it's all nonsense.

You have always feared the Patriots, but you fear them more this year. This year feels different, and has since the preseason. They win Super Bowls with who-dats and other teams' castoffs; what will they do now that they are loaded with more talent than they ever have been?

You know what they will do. They will brutalize their opponents, humiliate them in their own stadiums, score touchdown after touchdown as the stands empty and the announcers whack off over the latest record that Tom Brady has shattered.

You whimper that the Patriots are classless, that they run up the score unnecessarily. You petulantly warn us that karma is a bitch, that their victims will remember and retaliate someday. You wonder aloud when someone will take a cheap shot at Brady, or Moss, and then secretly wish it to happen.

Of course, it never occurs to you that the Patriots were on the losing end more than any team they are crushing today. It was the Patriots who went 1-15 in 1990, 2-14 in 1992, and 5-11 in 2000. You forget that, not so long ago, one team after another visited the Patriots' slapdash, high school-caliber stadium, pounded them into submission, and left town laughing. You're witnessing karma now. You just fail to realize it.

If there is hope for you, it lies in the Colts. Eight weeks into the season, it is obvious: If the Pats don't lose to Indy, they will go 16-0. You can't bear to think of the headlines, the saturation coverage this feat would receive. So you obsess over the game, drown yourself in analysis, seizing upon any nugget which hints that the Colts will win, ignoring the tsunami of evidence that tells you you're wrong. You will hang your hat on last year's three-point victory over New England in the AFC championship game, impressing yourself with how Manning moved his team down the field, conveniently forgetting that he did so against special teams players and bench idiots, and that he did not fare nearly as well against the first string. Yes, the Colts won fair and square, but unless the Patriots defense takes a half off, there is no reason to expect a repeat performance. And you know it.

This is a violent game. Men get paralyzed playing it. Players grow old and wind up in wheelchairs, their bodies irretrievably ravaged and broken. It is a hard, unforgiving game, and should be played that way. Teams should try to score when they have the ball, and should do so aggressively, no matter how big the lead is. Mercy is for girls' softball. If it were any other team, you might agree, but you don't.

Keep hating the Patriots. Keep throwing things at the television and cursing as they gang-rape one team after another. Keep picking the Colts and telling yourself that they can hang with the Patriots, and when Brady is on the sideline, clowning with his teammates late in the game with a 24-point lead, turn off your TV and stop torturing yourself.

Of course, I'll keep watching.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

T minus 7

"Where's the contract? Steve, where's the contract for the DJ?!" Tim shrieks, shuffling through a pile of paper.

"I don't know, Tim."

"What do you mean, you don't know! You're supposed to be the organized one! This is the DJ for our wedding! If we don't find this, we're screwed!"

"Tim, we booked the guy three months ago. We paid a deposit. He'll be there."

Welcome to my life of the past eight weeks. Yes, Tim is the most beautiful, sexiest woman I have ever laid eyes on. She is also quickly losing her grip on sanity. I can't wait for our wedding to get here, not just because I love her, but because I don't want to duct tape her mouth shut.

We decided to keep the wedding small and cheap. And still, no matter how much time we devote to planning this five-hour event, we go to bed with a thousand details unattended to, and Tim can't sleep because of it.

"This is our one chance to get this right," she'll say, tears forming in her eyes. "If we screw this up, that's it."

I am so glad I waited until my 30's to get married. It made me realize that, whether the wedding is successful or disastrous, everyone, including us, will forget the details in a few years' time. We won't remember that the tablecloth did not match the flowers, or that the DJ pronounced Paulie's name wrong. And yet, these are just the things that Tim sweats endlessly about.

I tell her that this should be a happy time, that we should wake up thrilled every single day as we look forward to being husband and wife, that we are going to do something for each other that we have never done for anyone else, ever. I tell her I am excited because I know this is the first step toward our dream of having a family.

"I'll be excited after we cut the cake and dance," she says.


"Hon, can you leave work early tomorrow?" she asks, as I stare at the TV.


"What?!" I shout, then wheel around to look at her, and drop my Diet Pepsi.

In her underwear, she's as thin as an anorexic runway model.

"Jesus, Tim! You're wasting away!"

"I'm not that thin."

"You look sick!"


She gained 10 pounds after moving in with me, which put her around 127. On her 5'2" frame, the result was curvy and delicious. She's at least 20 pounds lighter now, and believe me, her Angelina arms are not attractive.

"Seriously. Why are you losing so much weight?"

"If my wedding dress is too big, I can gain weight to fill it out. It's easier to gain than to lose."

"You're gonna make yourself sick."

"Leave me alone, please."

I realize the day is going to be here and gone before we know it. I really wish there were some way I could bottle it and save it, so I could sample it again in 20 years.

I've been thinking a lot about my life lately, about how far I have come as a person and how important this is for me. Ever since I was a kid, I have always wanted this, always envisioned myself married and having children. I am so happy to finally be going for it.

The only thing that annoys me is how I keep hearing the same jokes over and over: "Ready to take the plunge, Steve?", "Getting cold feet yet?", "Putting on the old ball and chain, huh?". Hilarious.

I would love to write more, but this is the busiest I have been in a long time. I'll try to check in briefly over the next couple of weeks, but it might be hard.

Wish me luck, thanks for reading, and I promise there will be more Bismarck when I get back home. With my new wife.

Sounds weird, eh?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Chapter 9: Neither Hair nor There


I hate my hair.

Most males in my family are born with a shiny blond mop which darkens to a deep brown around age five, when the hair realizes it's no longer cute and politely vacates the kid's scalp. In my case, the blond never left.

In direct sunlight, it's bright yellow, the color of a Post-it note. I dyed it a couple of times in college, but that made it brittle.

I grew it long during my late-teen, I-hate-the-world phase. Combined with my six-foot frame, it made me look mysterious, maybe even intimidating. But the closer you got, the uglier it became. I had so many split ends that, if you grabbed a handful, it looked like a ball of frayed twine.

Emily says I have "Nordic" features. I assume she's talking about my blue eyes and thin nose, which are attractive in an understated way, like an evening news anchorman. Whenever a girl looks through my photo albums, she'll stop at any picture of me in a baseball cap and say, "Ooh! You look so cute here!", then sit quietly as she flips through the ones in which my hair is visible.

Around my junior year in college, my hair and I found a truce somewhere between George Clooney and Conan O'Brien. Most days, I part it neatly on the side, and comb it from left to right. I still don't like it, though, and it's a major blow to my confidence every time I walk out of the bathroom and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

If I am going to make myself over, part of the change should be physical. And if it's going to be physical, it ought to involve my hair.

Stainer says I am making a big deal over nothing. "If you're a good-looking guy, it helps, but if you're ugly, it doesn't hurt you," he says, flipping between football and hockey on my wall-mounted television. "Girls don't care about looks the way guys do."

"Then what's she doing with Doug?"

"Doug's got money and juice. It doesn't matter what he looks like. He's probably a fat, bald lardass."

"Thanks, man."

He's right, though. I just assumed that Doug was dashing and handsome, but I really have no reason to think so.

Stainer tells me that I need confidence, even if I have nothing to be confident about. "Did you put on any cologne today?" he asks.

"Um, yeah, I think so. Why?"

"One spray? Two?"

"One, I think."

"Come on, man! You gotta spray it like you mean it!"

He grabs a bottle off my dresser and aims it three inches from the top button on my shirt, then sprays frantically, as if I am on fire.

"What are you doing, dude?!"

He breathes deeply through his nose. "Ahhhh," he sighs. "Cologne smells differently on everyone, depending on their chemistry. That's why the cologne companies can't trademark their smells. You have good chemistry."

"So that's it? Just wear more cologne?"

"No. One other thing. When you make plans, stop asking her what she wants to do. Tell her. Don't ask!"

"But what if she--"

"Tell her! And stop playing with your hair!"

* * *

SugarKookie: so im going to top of the hub with eric on friday

RedFoxx85: with eric???

SugarKookie: yes ERIC... this is not a misprint :-)

RedFoxx85: isnt that expensive

SugarKookie: SUPER expensive

RedFoxx85: whats the occasion

SugarKookie: "he loves me"

RedFoxx85: pardon me while i barf lol

RedFoxx85: actually that is very sweet

SugarKookie: not sure whats gotten into him lately

SugarKookie: hes very... aggressive all of a sudden

RedFoxx85: ooo!

SugarKookie: no not like that... well maybe a little :-)

SugarKookie: he wanted to go out friday, it had to be friday, made me change my plans

RedFoxx85: doug plans?

SugarKookie: no i wouldnt have changed those plans lol

SugarKookie: oh and he smelled like he crashed into a cologne truck too

RedFoxx85: ew

RedFoxx85: y do guys do that

SugarKookie: no clue... cologne is supposed to be subtle, its supposed to make you lean in closer

RedFoxx85: i know eric always smells so nice

SugarKookie: get ur nose off my man lol

RedFoxx85: y do u think hes bein so aggressive

SugarKookie: dunno maybe he just subscribed to maxim

RedFoxx85: lol

RedFoxx85: u like guys with attitude tho dont u

SugarKookie: ya but thats not eric

Next... Chapter 10: What Would Stainer Do?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Chapter 8: A Double Decaf and a Skin Graft

RedFoxx85: is he back from vacation yet

SugarKookie: no monday hes been gone 2 wks :(

RedFoxx85: is he takin you out when he gets back

SugarKookie: o yeah he and i have unfinished bizness ;-)

RedFoxx85: ??

SugarKookie: told him he had to wait until he got back

RedFoxx85: wait for what??

SugarKookie: O:-)

RedFoxx85: ooo, gonna give him a coming home present eh?

RedFoxx85: ur holding out a long time arent you

SugarKookie: he wanted to do it b4 he left

SugarKookie: says i am driving him crazy ;-)

RedFoxx85: isnt that the point

SugarKookie: exactly :-)

I have been sitting at my desk for two hours, watching the time change in the corner of my computer screen. I can't think about anything else besides Emily, but I'm not going to let myself cry.

Apparently, no amount of optimism, love, or dedication will stop Emily from doing what she wants to do. She is hellbent on destroying our love, on humiliating me in the worst way possible. When she finally goes through with it, it will be an agony that haunts me for the rest of my life, and she laughs with her girlfriend about it like a giddy teenager, complete with emoticons.

It's almost like there are two Emilys: The one who spent a romantic night with me two days ago, and the cock-hungry monster who hedonistically seduces men, treating her long-term boyfriend as a punchline. Sometimes I think about dumping her, but breaking up with the evil Emily would also mean losing the good one, and I can't bear the thought of that.

I wasn't a punchline the other night, when I choked her, was I? It strikes me how nonchalant she was about it afterwards; I kept apologizing, and she kept telling me not to worry about it.

It's strange. Sometimes, when walking behind her, I'll accidentally step on her shoe, and she'll scream at me. This was a hell of a lot worse, and... nothing. Makes you think, doesn't it?

My friend Stainer used to tell me that girls loved being treated like shit. I secretly laughed at him, because he didn't get it. No one liked being treated badly! Holding a door for a lady, saying "please" and "thank you"--these were things that made people feel good. Where could he have gotten such an idea?

But Stainer was with a different girl every time I saw him. A different hot girl. He'd get laid, and the next morning I'd see him on his way to the laundry room, his cum-stained bedsheets wadded into a giant ball. Hence his nickname.

On the one hand, his strategy should have failed miserably. But on the other, women were drawn to him. I never could reconcile the two. I wish I could ask him about it now--


Stainer graduated two years ago and took a job as an EMT in Norwood, a sleepy, cul-de-sac filled town about five miles from here. I'll look him up!

* * *

"Your girlfriend is doing what?" Stainer asks, his face twisted as if smelling a dirty diaper.

I watch as he stirs three sugars into his coffee, then let my eyes wander to the long line of patrons waiting for lattes. I take a deep breath and tell him the whole story. I know he's going to rip into me for being such a loser, but it was a relief to tell someone how I was feeling.

He runs a finger across the rim of his cup as I talk. "You're spying on her with your computer?" he asks, finally.

"She's cheating, bro. Which one's worse?"

"If the bitch is cheating, dump her."

"She's not a bitch, Stainer!" I shout, and the elderly couple at the next table turns to look at me.

"Yeah, she is," he smiles, showing off his angular jaw and sparkling teeth. The girls at school always used to swoon over him.

"I'm not dumping her, dude," I say.

"Why'd you call me, then?" he asks, then searches my face for an answer.

He looks older than I remember him. The waistline of his blue Chinos has creased beneath his sagging belly, and I don't recall quite so many wrinkles across his forehead. But as he fixes his brown Latino eyes on me, his face commands attention and respect. I wonder what it's like to have that kind of control over people.

"I want to... make her sweat me. Isn't that what you do? Treat 'em like crap and make them chase after you?"

"Yeah, but..."

I look at him.

"I don't really do that anymore, Eric," he laughs. "I have a girlfriend now, and--"

"I'm not asking you to do it. I'm asking you to teach me."

"It's not like a home improvement project, Eric. I can't just teach you."

"Try. Please?"

He watches the steam rise off his coffee, then takes a noisy sip. "If you love her so much, then why do you want to treat her like shit?"

I knew this was coming, and I have an answer ready. "If it's between losing her and this, then I'll--"

"You don't want to be alone," he interrupts, smiling and nodding.

Maybe I don't. But what's so bad about wanting to be in a relationship with someone special? Who doesn't want that? Go to any bookstore, and the shelves will be lined with books about romance. How to find a relationship. How to improve a relationship. How to get more sex. How to get better sex. But how many books are there about friendship, or about being alone? Almost none, because those subjects are far less important to people. And what's so horrible about wanting to fix my relationship, about standing by the one I love?

"Do you like being alone?" I ask, careful to maintain eye contact.

"No, I don't. But you'd rather be miserable than alone."

I dislike Stainer's arrogance. He thinks he can figure me out over a cup of coffee, solve me as if I were a grade school crossword puzzle. He isn't even listening to me; he's just spitting out opinions, not considering for a single second that he might be wrong.

He annoyed me when we were in school. I remember now. I am a year older than him, and yet he talked down to me, the way you would to a nephew or grandson. Come to think of it, a lot of people speak to me that way. I'm tired of it.

The anger comes back. I can feel it as it descends on me, filling my body like an evil spirit.

I wonder what would happen if I snatched that bucket-sized cup out of his hand and tossed scalding coffee into his face. Would his skin blister and melt, like cheese on a grilled burger?

Unlike Doug, Stainer is here, right in front of me. I could actually do it this time. He probably doesn't think I'm capable. He isn't afraid of me. Well, maybe it's time for him to be.

Why couldn't I do it? Why couldn't I throw that coffee in his face, right this second? Yes, there would be consequences. But I guarantee you he'd respect me from now on.

"Eric? Eric!"


"You're not pissed at me, are you? You look pretty mad."

Then it hits me. Yes, Stainer is an arrogant son of a bitch. Yes, he annoys me. But evidently, he has something I lack. So does Doug.

I said before that I wanted to learn from Doug, to capture whatever it is that he's using to lure Emily away from me. But I've never met Doug, and probably never will, so Stainer is the next best thing. He's got something I need, so I will try to tolerate him.

I wonder how long I'll be able to.

Next... Chapter 9: Neither Hair nor There

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chapter 7: "It'll Be Over Soon"


"Happy anniversary, sweetie!" Emily says, bursting through my front door with a heavy-duty paper bag in hand.

Emily and I don't mark anniversaries like most couples do. We celebrate ours on October 12, the first day I helped her study. Every year on that date, we order Chinese food, just like we did that night. Of course, we didn't start dating until long after our study session, but we agree that our relationship never would have happened without it.

I love when Emily visits me. Lately, it's the only time I can relax. I don't have to worry about where she's going, or what she's talking to Renee about, because she's right here with me. And, best of all, it's a chance to show her a good time, to prove that she doesn't need anyone but me.

I'm horrible with chopsticks. I drop the same piece of General Gao's chicken three times, then look up to see her standing over me. "You just want me to feed you, don't you?" she smiles.

"You're on to me," I flirt back.

"Can we watch this?" she asks, pulling a video from my shelf, and I agree before I even see what she's picked. I don't care if it's the most boring piece of Hollywood crap ever committed to film; as long as Emily curls up underneath my arm to watch it, I don't care. And sure enough, as soon as I hit "Play", that's exactly what she does.

The plot slowly unfurls. A 1950s detective is hired by a shady character to find a missing man. He questions a series of people, most of whom wind up laying lifeless in a puddle of their own blood soon after meeting him.

According to the digital readout, 63:42 has elapsed. I am interested in the movie, but far more concerned with the suddenly very clingy woman attached to my side.

86:27. The detective and a young woman dance, then kiss, then fall into bed, naked--and something goes horribly wrong. Their sex turns from passionate to intense to violent. She screams. There is blood--

Emily gets up to use the bathroom. When she comes back, she remains standing.

She's going to leave for home. Why else wouldn't she be sitting down?

It's after 11, and far too late to go see him. But then again, Doug and Emily don't exactly have a romance for the ages. It's pure lust, as far as I can tell, and I guess late at night is as good a time as any to have sex. Maybe she texted him from the bathroom to tell him she's on her way. Maybe he's growing harder by the second as he waits in horny anticipation for her.

She'll probably tell me she's tired, that she's got a lot to do tomorrow, that she can barely keep her eyes open. I'll offer to let her sleep here, and she'll refuse. "I'm okay," she'll say, and I'll watch from the front window as her taillights fade out of sight.

This is our anniversary. She's supposed to be thinking about me, me and only me! It's unfair! How could she bring herself to share a romantic dinner with her boyfriend, on our most special of days together, only to go to her boss's house for cheap sex afterwards?

I look down. Her cellphone is on the floor. She couldn't have texted Doug from the bathroom.

"Do you wanna come lay down with me?" she asks, sweetly, and I go stiff under my boxers. "Come lay down with me" has always meant the same thing.

This will be the first time we have made love since I found out. I'd like to say that it will be a relaxed, sexy romp between two long-time lovers, but it won't. This is the Super Bowl of sex, a pressure-packed test of my ability to please her. Whether I like it or not, I am competing against someone else now, someone who is almost definitely more experienced than me.

I stare at her face in the half light of my bedroom, watching her white teeth as she whispers to me, smiling like a little girl.

"Why have you been so sad lately?" she asks softly, tracing swirls on my bare chest with her finger.

"I miss you. I'm miserable when you're not with me."

"Yeah right, you probably have another girlfriend," she giggles.

"How could you say that, Emily? How could you say that to me?" I ask, sharply. We have been whispering up to this point; it seems like I was shouting, though I wasn't.

"I was just kidding!"

"I don't like the way you kid!

"Then I won't kid with you anymore! I'm sorry you can't take a joke!"

"Are you cheating, Emily? Do you have another boyfriend?"

Shock flashes across her face, then disappears so quickly that I might have been imagining it. "No!" she shrieks. "Should I be mad at you for asking?"

I shake my head no, and let silence fill the room.

She takes a deep breath. "I don't want to fight with you. It's our anniversary!"

"I don't want to fight either."

"You're so good to me. You make me feel special. You're the only one who's ever made me feel that way."

"Then why--"

"Why what?"

I have to ask her. Now seems like the wrong time, but there is really no right time for something like this. She's opened up to me now, maybe enough to be totally honest about everything.

"Then why don't I see you more often?"

I couldn't bring myself to say it. If I did, she'd come up with an excuse that somehow explained everything, then she'd rip into me for spying, and I'd have to suck up to her for months to make up for it.

"It's our busy time of year at work. It'll be over soon."

"Do you promise it'll be over soon?"


We kiss. All at once, I am on top of her, and our eyes close as I feel her tongue slip slowly into my mouth.

I pull away and watch in slow motion as I slide down her lacy pink panties. My eyes scan upward and stop between her legs, where I see...

She definitely has not shaved recently. Emily has a thick bush, straight out of a 70's porn film, and it's just as full as ever.

"Haven't you ever seen a naked girl before?" she chuckles, as I stare at her.

Doug will not go near her unless she shaves, and she hasn't shaved, which means she has not cheated on me. This is ironclad proof. I wish I could shove those black curlicues in the face of everyone who tried to break us up. I knew I could count on her!

She hugs me with her arms and legs, pulling me tightly against her, burying her mouth in the spot where shoulder meets neck. I am almost outside myself, watching as our bodies mingle together, and out of nowhere the realization hits me.

This is all Doug's fault.

Emily loves me. She always has. But then Doug came along, with his powerful job and fat wallet, and convinced her that she was missing something.

She must have told him that she had a boyfriend, and he didn't care. He just dismissed me, cast me aside as if I were an annoying kid. I was someone in the way of what he wanted, and he thought he could just crush me under the weight of his huge ego. But he doesn't even know me! Clearly Doug has grown far too confident, and even if he lives to be 100, he will never respect someone like me.

But for all Doug knows, I could be a black belt. Or a gun nut, with an assortment of loaded rifles under my bed. Or, I could have a nine-inch hunting knife in my glove box. How can he be so nonchalant about this?

Yes, I'm being territorial, and I don't care. He is trying to take what is mine, and it's awakened several million years' worth of evolution in me.

I'm too passive about a lot of things. I've always been an easy mark because I didn't fight back. But what if I finally did?

I am just angry enough to hurt Doug right now. Maybe angry enough to kill him. If he were here, maybe I could rip his insides out and watch as buckets of blood gush out of him, just like those victims in the movie.

In my mind's eye, I see myself grabbing Doug from behind, clutching a handful of his well-coiffed hair and yanking his head violently back as I slit his throat from one side to the other, feeling the warm rush of blood over my forearms, hearing the wet gurgle as he strains to draw a final breath.

Reality comes flooding back to me and suddenly I am back in my room. I can hear the grunts, which I barely recognize, though they come from my own throat, can hear the bed creak and groan frantically, like an old amusement park ride; and I can see my forearm across Emily's neck and her pained grimace as she tries desperately to breathe.

"Holy shit!" I say, pulling my arm off of her neck. "Are you okay?"

"Don't worry about it," she says, pressing our lips back together.

Could it be she enjoyed that?

Next... Chapter 8: A double decaf and a skin graft

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


You knew it was gonna happen eventually... no, not OJ being arrested again or Britney getting unhot.

I kept this blog secret from my family for three years, that's right, three, before I finally broke down and told my brother Greg. Why? Well, I was bored, and there was nothing good on TV...

The truth is, Greg reads a lot of books, and, no offense to you fuckers, but I wanted some feedback from somebody whose sanity I could verify. So, I gave him the link, and he looked around a bit.

I think he likes what he saw. Or, at least he didn't demand that I undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Greg just sent me a comment. Guess I'll post it here, since he's family and all... I asked him to send me a post every so often as well!

PS Keep readin', chapter 7 is on the way dawgs!


Hey Stevie Yo what up bro- I have never posted before but figured I should drop in and say nice work, good stuff..... Greg

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Chapter 6: Working for a Living


You'd think a 25-year-old guy would love the independence of living alone. But lately, I hate it.

Anything more than 30 minutes in front of the TV makes me question the intelligence of the human race, so I usually wind up at my computer. Of course, these days, surfing the internet only leads me to one place.

It doesn't matter how hot the porn video, or how addicting the game. Regardless of what I am doing, my eyes flit nervously back and forth to that little icon in the bottom right corner of my screen, the one which tells me everything Emily said online that day.

I curse my lack of will power and tell myself that I don't care what her IMs say, but all the while I know I will fail. I will watch as my right hand, acting on its own, slides the mouse over and clicks twice, and my eyes will open wider and my mouth will go dry as I eagerly read, then re-read, every line of every conversation. And, depending on what words are on the screen, I will either soar with relief or wallow in agony.

I wake up earlier each day. After showering, I wander the apartment, cleaning sinks, toilets and windows that are already spotless, then stare longingly at my PC before forcing myself into the car and on the road to the office. My job has been the one thing keeping me from insanity since this happened.

After arriving at work today, I sat at my desk and looked out the window. It was still dark.

My company, High-Grade Temps, places construction workers and factory laborers in short-term assignments around Boston. Todd, who runs the company with his wife, Sheila, hired me as an account manager after I graduated three years ago. I majored in marketing, and this was really more of a sales job, but I saw the potential right away. Everywhere you look in downtown Boston, there is a huge, expensive, complicated construction project going on, and there are not nearly enough workers to go around. I was no salesman, but I didn't need to be. I never had to call around looking for business. Construction firms found me and begged for workers, sometimes telling me to name my price.

I had been with High-Grade for about a year when AtlantiCorps, one of the biggest placement firms in the country, opened an office ten miles from ours. Though they are based in Dallas, AtlantiCorps smelled the ripe Boston market half a country away.

Jared, one of my fellow account reps, was the first to quit. He refused to say where he was going, but we all suspected it was AtlantiCorps. Then, one employee after another followed suit, each submitting a formally-worded resignation letter that looked suspiciously like the one before.

I walked into the office one cold April morning, and the emptiness of the place hit me like a two by four. We had ten employees left, down from a high of 35. Atlantic had pulled our workforce out from under us.

Todd called me into his office. "Eric, we've lost a lot of good people. We need to recruit more account managers, fast. Neither Sheila nor I have time to run the day-to-day business here anymore, so we want to promote you to General Manager."

"Me? What about Gordy?" I said, instinctively.

The GM position would be challenging. Some problems would be out of my control. I'd be blamed for things I could do nothing about, and--

"Gordy's been here five months, Eric. We think you're the best candidate. And, of course, there would be a raise in it for you..."

AtlantiCorps did not offer me a job. They didn't even contact me. Slam-dunk promotions did not come along every day; I had no logical choice but to take it. Still, I waited almost a week to formally accept, and I only did it then because Todd threatened to look elsewhere. But I'm really glad I took the job.

I've learned a lot, and have served the company well. Show me a form, and I can fill it out in my sleep. Ask me a question, and I can answer it while doing three other things. My inbox is constantly filled with problems that others could not solve, and I love being the guy who can take care of them.

We're back up to 15 employees now, and yes, our overhead is a lot lower than it was when we had 35. But AtlantiCorps has taken a lot of our business away, too, so there's also a lot less money. Todd has been stressing about that quite a bit lately.

He continually reminds me that our account managers should average one placement per day, and that more than half of them do not. I reply that we're all working as hard as we can, that we're not out there partying. "I'm aware," he'll say.

I always thought Todd was exaggerating. But, last week, I realized just how bad things have gotten. "If the next six weeks don't pick up, we're gonna have to start layoffs," he said.

Summer is long gone, and that was our busy season. How the hell were we going to find new business now, in the middle of fall?

"We better find it somewhere," he said, and I noticed he wouldn't look me in the eye.

After all I've done for him, it would really suck if Todd fired me.

Next... Chapter 7: "It'll Be Over Soon"

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Chapter 5: A Dyslexic Love Story


"I found this on the printer. Is it yours?" Michelle says, placing two pages of song lyrics on my desk.

"Yeah, I made a mix CD for Emily and I was just... printing out the lyrics."

"Eric, can I talk to you for a second?" she asks, sitting across from me before I can answer.

I brace myself. She is going to give me an earful about Emily, as she occasionally does. She can be annoying, but I'm flattered that she wants to help.

"Eric, sometimes girls don't like so much attention--"

"I know you mean well," I say. "But you don't know the story."

"That's the problem. There's always a story. You're always... sucking up to her for some reason."

Michelle always seems to get away with her attitude. No one ever gets angry with her. In a way, I can understand it--Michelle is beautiful. How can I possibly raise my voice to her as I admire her flawlessly straight blonde hair, and her smooth skin, which manages a healthy glow without a speck of makeup? It's as if someone plucked her off a midwestern farm and dropped her into our office.

"Michelle, you don't understand."

"Explain it to me."

I don't know why she cares. The cynic in me wants to believe that she's just nosy, that she wants scoopage to share with her coworkers. But it doesn't matter, anyway. I have nothing to hide. I am proud that I found Emily. Why wouldn't I want to share our story?

I was Emily's RA in college. She came to me crying one day because she had a huge history exam and she couldn't get through her reading. So I sat down to study with her.

She would read the same sentence five times and completely forget it a minute later. I had her read it out loud, and she kept losing her place on the page. Finally, I read a few pages to her, and she picked right up on it. She actually had an amazing memory.

After that, I helped her study all the time. She would draw little pictures in her notebook while I read to help her comprehend things. I even read into a tape recorder for her sometimes, so she could play it back later.

Most of Emily's issues are workable when we put our heads together. I always try to think of things from her perspective, and act accordingly. One example is the CD I just made: It's a lot easier for her to read when she can hear the words at the same time. She loves music, so listening to a song while reading the words is a great way to sharpen her skills. Hence, my printout of the lyrics.

Michelle looks at me, expressionless. Clearly, she had no idea about this side of Emily.

"Did she end up graduating?" she asks.

"With honors. We found a method that worked, and that was all she needed. All throughout school, no one tried to help her. They just said she had ADD and put her on drugs. She told me I was the only one in her whole life who cared if she did well or not."

I wait for a response. I'm pleased with myself, because it's not often that Michelle is speechless.

"So then you guys hooked up?" she manages, finally.

But it didn't happen that way. Emily and I did not get together until after I graduated.

I was driving to work on an icy road one January morning, and the driver in the next lane lost control of his rented truck. He rolled it, and the truck landed right on top of my car. The airbag didn't deploy, and I got crushed against the steering wheel, breaking my sternum, along with eight ribs.

After a few days, the doctors and nurses tried to get me out of bed, but I wouldn't budge. They can't put a cast on broken ribs, obviously, and I was scared to death one of them would snap loose and puncture my lung or something.

Emily found out about the accident and drove to the hospital in a snowstorm to see me. She said, "I'm not leaving this hospital until you get up and walk," and then she smiled at me. I can still see her face now, her nose and cheeks red from the cold, her teeth just as white as the snow on the windowsill.

That smile was more powerful than any drug they could have pumped into me. Suddenly, I forgot all about the pain. I stuck out my arm, and she held it tight as I wobbled uneasily to my feet. "You did it!" Emily said.

A nurse stuck her head in the door, then ran to the nurses' station, shouting, "His girlfriend got him out of bed!", and the thought of Emily as my girlfriend made it a lot harder to stay standing.

Emily said she knew she loved me the minute I got out of bed and stood up. We've been together ever since.

I helped Emily when no one else would, not even her teachers or her family. I made her a priority, and she did the same for me when I really needed someone. She would not have done that if she did not care for me.

Michelle didn't know the story, and now that she does, maybe she will understand. But even if she doesn't, I don't care. I don't care if every single person I know hates Emily. I love her. And I am going to work just as hard as I did before to prove it.

"That's sweet," Michelle says. "I'm sure she cares about you, but--"

"But what?"

"She doesn't appreciate you."

"I should probably get back to work," I say.

Next... Chapter 6: Working for a Living

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Chapter 4: An Insufficient Gift


"What's this for?" Emily says, as I hand her an oversized gift bag.

"Last week you said you still had the same beach bag from high school, so I thought it was time for a new one."

"Oh, it's an L.L. Bean! And what did you put in here?"

"What's a beach bag without towels and sunblock?"

"You got me a bathing suit, too?" she says, pulling a black bikini out of the bag.

"Do you like it?"

"I love it!"

She twirls her long, black hair with two fingers, then slides it smoothly behind her ear. Her big eyes turn up to me with a flicker, and my knees go weak. She beams at me with the warm smile of a happy girl who knows she is truly loved, and I know right away that this was all I had to do; I just had to give her the attention she deserved. It's different now, I can feel it. Could it really have been this easy?

"I suppose you want me to model this for you," she says, holding the bikini against her torso.

"I thought you'd never ask."

* * *

I haven't checked her IMs in a couple of days. I don't much care what they say, anyhow.

I have forgiven Emily for whatever she did with Doug, if she did anything at all. I screwed up, but from now on I am going to give her so much love that she couldn't possibly want it from anyone else. Isn't that what monogamy is all about? Being with the person who treats you the best?

The phone rings, and my blood goes cold.

It's 7:30 at night. The only person who could be calling me at this hour is Emily, and she never calls for idle chit-chat. Maybe she's going out with him this weekend, and she's calling to make up an excuse for why she won't be able to see me. Maybe everything I did for her was not enough. Maybe Doug's expensive car and fancy clothes excite her in a way I never could. Maybe he makes her laugh louder than I do, impresses her more than I do, makes her lip quiver harder than I do when they are in bed together.

At last, I force myself to pick up the phone. "Did you call that landlord yet?" Mom says.

I burst out laughing. I've never been so glad to get bitched out in my life.

I fall asleep in front of the TV and awaken to the phone ringing at 9:30.

"I'm going to Renee's house. We're having girls' movie night," Emily says.


"You've been calling to say goodnight lately, so I just wanted to let you know I was going over there."

"I'll just call your cell," I say, more to hear her reponse than anything else.

"We're gonna be watching a movie," she says. "Plus Renee's having some problems and she's probably gonna be pretty chatty. So..."

"I can't even call you to say goodnight?"

"What's the big deal?" she snaps.

Her tone sets my anger ablaze; my fist closes tightly around the receiver and my ears burn with rage. I know I shouldn't do this, but...

"The big deal is that you are pretty unfair to me sometimes. I bend over backwards for you and you don't even appreciate it!"

"I thanked you for the beach bag!" she shouts.

"This is about more than a stupid beach bag, Emily!"

"Whatever. I'm hanging up. I'll call you tomorrow."

This was a huge mistake. I should not have let my anger get in the way; now, things are more complicated than before.

"I'm sorry I yelled. I love you, Emily."


* * *

RedFoxx85: why does he want you to shave?

SugarKookie: he hates hair down there. I dunno why but it freaks him out, he won't go near it unless i shave

RedFoxx85: so hes holding out on you? maybe he found out about your crabs :-D

SugarKookie: stfu lol

RedFoxx85: maybe he likes the preteen look. if he starts talking like elmo, run

SugarKookie: seriously i dunno what to do, eric asked me to shave one time and i said no

RedFoxx85: ohhhh, so now hes gonna wonder why you did it

SugarKookie: well ya...

RedFoxx85: didn't he just get you a bikini

SugarKookie: o yea!!! ill just tell him i shaved so i could wear the bikini

SugarKookie: i already put it on for him but it wasnt on long ;-)

RedFoxx85: u r so evil lol

Next...Chapter 5: A Dyslexic Love Story