I asked her out, hoping she’d say no.

I asked her out, hoping she’d say no. Well, not hoping beforehand, but I was happier after her rejection than I would have been otherwise.

We were in the grocery store. She inspected a can of Campbell’s soup. She replaced the can it back and grabbed another. I asked, “Good read?”

“Not really,” she said.

I asked what she was looking for.

“Sugar,” she said. “It’s in everything.”

“Why?”

“I gave it up for Lent.”

“Do you always give something up for lent?”

“Yeah, it’s like a second shot at a New Year’s Resolution.”

I asked if she’d enjoy grabbing coffee. She said she has a boyfriend, “but it’s still nice to talk in the grocery store.”

Walking away, I celebrated. I hadn’t asked her out because I wanted to go on a date with her. I had asked her out because I decided to start dating again. Asking someone out is uncomfortable, so you’ve gotta hurdle it at your first opportunity.

It’s Good to be Disliked, A Manifesto.

I probably don’t like you. You’re welcome.* (*: Not sarcastic.)

My fourth-grade classroom restricted its students to bringing identical Valentine’s Day cards for everyone or no cards at all. I found this a problem, as most of my classmates were bland blobs, while a vocal minority were… [people I didn’t like].

Only this year—at age 25—did I finally realize I can choose my friends. Four of my friendships ended this year, and I’m glad they did.

An ex ended our friendship—my first official ending—in July, followed by an old poker buddy in August. I ended one in October—my first initiation—and a different ex ended our friendship on Monday. Every one of these has been a wonderful change, with benefits extending far beyond free time.

It’s common knowledge—and I find it experientially true—that you “can’t please all the people all the time.” Apply that to relationships: Some people won’t like you. Turn that around: You won’t like some people. 

Ending a friendship is therefore an act of integrity. It forwards your values. It makes manifest your soul.

You prioritize your family. You care about your friends. Most people choose a partner to prefer over all others. Having preferences is Good. It’s the foundation of consciousness. 

All my friends have former, now-dead friendships. Most drift apart instead of going out with a bang, but both seem to happen surprisingly often. People grow and change. Friendships die. We can still love what was.

You can hate some people and everything they stand for. You can love with abandon those you prefer. You can express your soul. If someone doesn’t like you, good for them.

What if my dating profile were just a list of my values?

What if my dating profile were just a list of my values? After all, that’s what I’m searching for.

My values, 9 Feb 2019

(In the order they came to me)

  1. Clarity
  2. Positive impact
  3. Humor
  4. The human species
  5. Art
  6. Animals
  7. Honesty of impact, not necessarily of speech
  8. Freedom
  9. Writing
  10. Exploration
  11. Freedom
  12. Games
  13. Family
  14. Word choice
  15. Sex
  16. Touch
  17. Personal optimization
  18. [Censored for privacy]
  19. Privacy
  20. Sleep
  21. Personal improvement
  22. The youth group I advise
  23. [Censored for privacy]
  24. My long-form creative projects (especially my novel. Soon to be my TV show as well)
Previous values that no longer carry such great strength:
  1. Habits
  2. Winning
  3. Poker
  4. Board games (comes back out when I’m with old friends/family)
  5. [Censored for privacy]

An Ex texts, “Marry me?”

An Ex texts, “Marry me?”

I say “You must be reading my blog.” She says no. She says she’s serious. Phrases include, “Clearly soul mates”, “White picket fence”, and “Multiracial adopted kids”.

How the hell does someone respond to that? After sufficient bewilderment, I settle on: “No thanks. Not really interested”. Later, I add, “But I suppose I appreciate the sentiment”.

After an hour of confusion, including texting a mutual friend to ask if Ex is okay, Ex tells me it was a joke. She has, in fact, been reading my blog. A joke, you say? Ha…

Ha…

I guess.

I suppose I deserve this. And I did ask for more pranks. It’s also eye-opening: this must be what friendship with me is like.

After a month or two or three or four, I’ll finally admit I wanted you more

When we dated, I hated the Satan we created,

But being dumped has lumped those bumps into the rough, tough suffering of a motherfucker.

After a month or two or three or four, I’ll finally admit I wanted you more

Than I was willing—how thrilling and chilling,

But I was the villain, or maybe I still am.

 

The fast past we lasted unmasked a part of my heart; it started smarting.

That caressing mess tested this repressed hesitant lesser

Who now piles miles of style on humble, tumbling mumbles to crumble your wall, crawling his all

To your mind-wracking shack, where a taxing hacks dances without pants, hands landing in bands on yours, the shores of sores that hastened mace to our faces, disgracing us apace,

Then the end, when I bended to mend but you send us friends, me in tender shreds.

 

I’m sad and mad for a lad’s behavior, but you’re no savior.

It’s unfair, but sharing care would tear at you more, so formerly yours will be sore for the pair.

When you miss kissing me, sissy, I’ll be listening, glistening with desire, no liar—

Just a failed male who paled in your presence, too hesitant.

I’m told more bold would leave me cold but I’m old enough to scoff.

It’s rough to be cuffed to a shelf of hell. Who can tell when I’ll fell

For another lover who recovers my suffering.

Just empty space—dear Lord, what a waste! This place doesn’t taste of your scent so I’m bent with pent up emotion, an ocean of notions.

 

No lies, just a tired writer’s inspired cries,

Pining in lines to know you’re trying too—

It’s hard for you. You miss me and list me as a risk to stop kissing.

 

Now shown, I bemoan roaming the loneliest road,

No shores of your pores that tore at my core.

So hey, Lady grey, I’d pay you today: explain pain in a way

That tames this crew, say you I matter too.

I feel the urge to text my exes, “Marry me?”

I feel the urge to text my exes, “Marry me?”

It’s not a serious question. I’m not a serious person. I’d text them for the same reason I took the side running path this evening to follow a guy wandering down it to pee. I wanted to see his reaction as I approached, catching him with his pants down. ‘Twas a sweet and savory surprise and amazement with impressively little (I saw no) fear. I wanted him to doubt for a moment the reality of the world around him.  I didn’t stop beside him or start up a conversation—that would make him feel unduly uncomfortable—but continued running as though our meeting were happenstance.

As long as I can remember, I’ve considered myself the Jester. Not the king or ingénue but the comic relief. The one who enthralls the world by showing people a side of themselves they forget exists. The side that compulsively touches every street sign and picks up a tree branch to smash it in half. The side that caws at women squatting across the creek and still, at 25, enjoys high-pitched “ting” sounds. The side we all share that’s exhilarated by destruction.

I’ve had this notion—text “Marriage?”—more than once. I’ve never done it, because it would hurt a person and ruin a relationship.

My relationships with exes have recently lost their importance. What if I picked a small one—one of my many lesbians, like the woman who wanted my babies at eighteen and has now been married to another woman for the past three years? What if I tried it–just a little, you know, to see how it feels? It’s mean, yes, but also I’m curious. Great art often ruffles the comfortable and comforts the ruffled, and I’m clearly quite ruffled in this here mood. Some people simply want to fluff the world. 

I pranked a friend last year, setting him up for a surprise lunch with Mormon missionaries. I thought he’d enjoy it. I never lied to either party, but also didn’t tell each who was coming. My friend was minorly annoyed that I’d wasted his time and majorly peeved I’d been rude to the Mormons—as he put it, “by using them in a prank.” I’m sure the Mormons were fine—we remain friends to this day. They received a free lunch and a warmer lead than their typical method of knocking on random doors. Still, I miscalculated. The friend didn’t appreciate it. I miss my former image of that friendship. I miss the friendship I thought we had. I miss feeling less alone, less one-of, less off.

In college, a friend turned my room into its mirror image. He moved every item to its exact opposite location. Clever prank. Great friend. I had to move each item back. Every prank comes with a cost. I wish I had more friends who played pranks on me.

When life feels like today, I’d even take an engaging negative: the loss of a beloved pet or someone breaking my heart. But those take investment—devoting enough love to something that losing it hurts. I’ve had trouble doing that since my most recent breakup. I’ve claimed it’s because I haven’t found a new someone. It’s really because I haven’t been looking.

A Pirate Looks at 25

I sailed five hundred miles today, of course to see a girl.

Docking tonight on this Pacific beach, pausing my quest ‘round the world.

She’s just one of many, and she knows it too, and that makes her mightily sad.

But if she wants more or less than I am, she best find a different lad.

 

Two long years I built this life: learned a trade, hired mates, built a ship.

Launching each day into uncharted lands—maturing is quite the trip.

 

If you ne’er stood alone on a beach in the night, you’re missing Poseidon’s roar.

The waves crash about you, scalp shivers in tingles and heart begins to soar.

You’ll thank every lighthouse and follow the wind. Try it. It’s what we are:

We’re conquerors, explorers, skullduggers and knaves. We pillage and rape and steal.

And when you’re done plund’ring your fill of the booty, pray the wench will cook you a hot meal.