The Curse of July 4th

Published July 4, 2017 by dividinguplife

I used to enjoy July 4th for a multitude of reasons. I love the summer, I love fireworks and how they light up the night sky in a beautiful display of color. As I got older, I loved that I had the day off of work to do nothing – which is exactly what I’m doing today. 

But last night, as I sat in the sunroom with the windows open, and listened to the crickets and cicada’s singing their nightly song, I realized just how cursed July 4th has become for me. Not all memories are bad, but the residual leftovers are sad.

 

July 4th, 2004

My daughter was a month old. My husband at the time (her father) and I were on a trial separation. Probably from the lack of sleep in a colic baby, probably because I was nineteen and had no business being married in the first place. Probably because neither of us had yet to grasp the idea that parenting meant we had to grow up.  The night before, my ex-husband had gone out with his friends while I sat at home with our daughter. This night would be my night to go out and do what I wanted. I was staying with my mother for this period of  time, while my ex-husband and I tried to figure out what our next steps would be. 

Naturally, I ended up at my current husbands house. My need to see Blue Eyes (Now, my brother-in-law) fueled my desire to reclaim some of my freedom. It was at a time that I still drank when I had a free weekend (and before the legal age to do so). Blue Eyes had just moved back to this state from his home state, and I hadn’t seen much of them for six years. I was convinced that he was the love of my life and that I would find a way to make him see me. I wasn’t a scared thirteen year old anymore. 

The party became a neighborhood party. Somewhere inside my mom was getting drunk off her ass, which would later having her clinging to the toilet, wishing for death. I stayed outside in eye-proximity to Blue Eyes, watching him with a fondness that I had always had for him, but staying aloof because I knew that being clingy would just push him away. Playing hard to get really was the answer to this puzzling game of men and women. The more he drank, the more his eyes found mine in a sea of people. I tried to act like I didn’t see him or notice him in the least, but my heart pounded in my chest every time I could feel him looking at me. 

tim

Eventually he pulled out a huge tarp that covered most of the backyard. He poured Dawn Dish Detergent all over it, sprayed it down with the water hose, and made a neighborhood slip-n-slide. Clothes were shed, there were naked drunk people running all over the yard. Blue Eyes launched himself down the slide, a free bird of balls and biceps. He threw himself on the tarp with so much speed that he kept going once the tarp ended, which resulted in a white ass in the air, face-first in the bushes that lined the woods. 

Meanwhile, my current husband had shut himself in his room to game on the computer with his friends. That is how he spent his time. Eventually it got late. The cops were called for disturbing the peace, and Blue Eyes walked around with a towel wrapped around his waste. The neighborhood dispersed and went to their respective houses. Blue Eyes and myself sat on the front porch, while he massaged my feet, and I half-slid out of the chair. We were both past the point of drunk, but I had his attention. At some point my current husband came outside and looked at me and told me that I needed to go home. Blue Eyes told him to take his ass back inside to his room and to mind his own business. This was back in the days of my not being able to really tolerate my husband very much. I never understood his hostility towards me. It kind of hurt my feelings that he wouldn’t want me around. 

Eventually, Blue Eyes and I crawled our way into the living room and made it to the couch where we collapsed and tried to keep the room from spinning. Some time passed, but I remember becoming coherent because his proximity had lessened. Then he was over me, and his mouth was on mine. His lean body was pressed into me. I told him that I wanted him and heard him groan under his breath. He told me he would take my ass into his bedroom if I didn’t watch what I said. I told him I dared him to.

I don’t remember getting to his room, but I remember clothes being shed, and his ceiling fan being on high, because as he approached me, the air was blowing my hair in my face. He brushed his hand across face to move the hair, and his mouth claimed mine again. 

I remember parts and bits of having sex. I remember falling asleep afterward to “Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees playing on his computer. I remember waking up at some ungodly hour of the morning and stumbling around to drive home. I remembering thinking that this was the start of something I’d always wanted. 

I wouldn’t see him again for another six years. 

 

July 4th, 2005

It took me an entire year to get over the fact that Blue Eyes and his family moved away again, without saying goodbye. This was the second time they had done this to me, and I was just as devastated at nineteen as I had been at thirteen. At the end of that July their house had caught fire, and they decided to return to their home state, ten hours away from me. 

My ex-husband and I had split up for good after we realized that we couldn’t make our marriage work, no matter how hard we tried. I was finally owning up to the fact that being a mother meant my kid came first. He hadn’t quite gotten there yet. I moved out and into my own place with our daughter. He got her every other weekend if he could manage, or if he didn’t have plans to go riding with friends on his motorcycle. (Now, he’s a fantastic father. It didn’t take him very long to get his shit together and figure it out.)

I signed up for match.com and put my profile picture out there. The night of July 3rd I received an e-mail that piqued my interest. This man was recently separated. His wife packed all of her things and moved out while he was at work, leaving him devastated. He liked my picture. I replied back explaining things about myself, and also told him that I was a bigger girl – to not be fooled by how photogenic I was in my picture. He said he didn’t care about that. We agreed to meet in the Circuit City parking lot the next day since we were both spending the 4th of July alone. I was still heart-broken over Blue Eyes leaving again, but I had a determination to move on from him hurting me again. 

I arrived first, and waited a short time for him. He looked angry and awkward. I could tell that when he pulled up, he wasn’t very impressed with what he saw. My heart deflated. I was going to have a difficult time finding someone to love me. Still, he got out of the car and we talked for a bit, then I got into his car and we went to Subway and had lunch. We went back to his house and sat there in awkward silence for a bit, and then he drove me to my car and that was it. I knew I would never see him again. That night while I was at the store, my phone rang, and it was him. He asked me if I wanted to come back over. He was lonely and he enjoyed talking to me. I agreed and thanked my lucky stars that someone was interested in me. This is the man that I refer to affectionately as The Abuser 

Today would have been our 12 year anniversary. I spent last night digging through old pictures on photobucket. His login crept into my mind – and I’m sure he hasn’t even used photobucket in ten years. But I tried logging in, and I was able to. Immediately I was overwhelmed with pictures of us. 

ChesChes1

There are days (like today) that it still hurts. I don’t miss his abuse, and I don’t miss him. I don’t regret my marriage to my husband in the least. But I will always feel like a failure with this one. I don’t know if it’s residual emotional abuse from him. I don’t know if it’s my overachieving ways that my ego is still bruised from not being enough for someone. I don’t know if maybe it’s because he was the first person I loved in my adult life that had such a pull over me, that I will always think about him. 

He beat the shit out of me for three years, and then he cheated on me and threw me out on the streets. He never loved me. He moved on to marry someone else and have a child with her. Someone that treats him exactly how he treated me. He had it good with me and didn’t realize it until he had thrown me away.

I find myself wondering if he even remembers what day this is. If I was enough to cause him to remember this day for the rest of his life, like I do. 

 

July 4th, 2015

On June 25th, 2015 I was sitting in my living room, scrolling through Facebook when a picture of my uncle popped up on my wall, from my Aunt’s boyfriend. All it said was “Please pray for Dennis, he has been in a serious accident.” My face paled and I immediately sent a text to my Aunt. I was confused as to why nobody had reached out to me. My aunt was in a daze when she answered the phone. They were up at the hospital. She apologized for not calling me, but said she couldn’t even think straight. I rushed up to the hospital that night to sit with the family.

I returned nearly every day for the next week. He was in critical condition. His brain was swelling, but he was responsive to commands. He could move his hands when asked, and make a peace sign when prompted. His eyes were still swollen shut, but he knew we were there. His fifteen year old daughter, my cousin, stayed glued to his side. She was about to be sixteen. She said she didn’t care if she had her sixteenth birthday party in the hospital as long as she could celebrate it with him. They were inseparable. 

My Uncle had a craniotomy done to allow his brain to swell comfortably. Shortly after that he was brain dead. I went in to see him one last time before they pulled the plug on his life support. His hands and legs were still doing involuntary twitching, giving us false hope that he would recover. The nurse explained that it was just his body’s response, but that there was nothing going on in his brain. When we pulled the plug, he would be dead. 

DennisDennis1Dennis2

His organs went on to save six people. Everything had changed the moment that seventeen year old didn’t check his blind-spot and sent my Uncle careening into a telephone pole. Our lives were affected. He left behind two kids, and a grandson that was a month away from birth. He was 45 years old. A survivor of cancer, a business owner, an incredible human being. 

That night, my husband and I took his kids downtown to see the fireworks. I stood there in awe and shock, wondering if any of this was actually real. I prayed that my Uncle had a better view of the fireworks from Heaven. I prayed that he would always be around us. I prayed that his children would recover from losing a man that was so incredible. 

 

Today, I’m staying home. I’m not going anywhere, I’m not doing anything. The memories of years past are enough to make me want to shut myself away from everything. My husband is working until five. I have no desire to celebrate this stupid day. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Days Seem to Blur

Published June 29, 2017 by dividinguplife

Yesterday, I finished helping my grandpa pack the rest of his things for his move today. I have spent three days a week for the past five weeks packing up his entire house, laughing with him, following his instructions (He’s always been a business owner, so he’s more of a point-and-order kind of man, and you just do what he says), and just spending quality time with him. I had to reassure him a hundred times that everything would get done before his big move. I was supposed to go over there this Saturday to help him finish, but his son moved up the date by two days, so we had to crunch big time to get it all finished. Who knew a thirty-one year old and a seventy-six year old could pack an entire house of thirty years? I’m still pissed at his other family members for not helping him at all. He sent his sister a check for five hundred dollars because she needed new glasses, but she didn’t once offer to come over and help him in the least. 

Mine and my husbands joint account is still levied, though we did find out exactly why. My husband lived in his home state the year of 2012. He moved down here at the beginning of 2013. By the end of 2013 he moved back up to his home state. The State Revenue assumed that because he didn’t file taxes in that particular state in 2013, that he just didn’t file taxes at all, and put a levy on our account for an estimated amount of what he should owe them. When my husband explained that he lived in a completely different state for the year 2013, they said he needed to provide proof. We dug through boxes Saturday night and finally found his 2013 W2 and emailed it over. Of course they are taking their sweet time reviewing the documents. The levy remains, and they don’t seem to care. I didn’t even know it was legal to put a levy on an account based on an assumption. I had to open my own account separate from our joint account so I can continue to pay bills. 

My dad’s health continues to decline. He weighs next to nothing. He’s on three different pain medications, including a morphine patch. I saw a text in my grandma’s phone where he was asking if she had any extra Percocet. Apparently, the pain is so bad that he’s eating through his like candy. Stage 4 Colon Cancer is no joke, my friends. 

I think my husband and I are going to have a lunch date on Sunday and then go to the shooting range to take out some of our frustrations from the past month. There is nothing more therapeutic than firing a weapon repeatedly at a target. Plus, I need to get myself more familiar with my gun and my aim. It won’t do me any good to have a gun if someone kicks the door down at home, and I can’t shoot them correctly. 

Life continues to move forward at an alarming pace. Here we are, more than halfway through the year. I look forward to summer so much, and June is already over. 

It’s too Much, Sometimes

Published June 22, 2017 by dividinguplife

I realized on Tuesday that my husband relies on me more than I ever realized. It’s not a bad thing, but more of an eye-opener of this man that I view as such a strong presence in my life. 

I received a “low balance” account notification Tuesday afternoon at work, which puzzled me. I mean, we didn’t have a lot of money in the bank, but we had enough to where I shouldn’t be getting an email telling me that our account is below 25.00

I logged into our bank account and saw that it was at over negative sixteen hundred dollars. The only thing it said was “account hold”. I called the bank and told them that I thought someone had gotten hold of our account information, and asked them to check into it. 

The lady looked at the hold, and told me that it was a levy on our bank account from the Department of Revenue. Specifically the Revenue Department from the state that my husband lived in before he moved back here two years ago. I called my husband and told him what was going on, and then asked him if he had received any letters in the mail from the State Tax Department. His answer? Yes. Did he read them? Not really. I knew he hadn’t, because had he of read them, he would have known that they were going to put a levy on our account. They give you fair warning. I gave him the number to call the Department to see what they could do. Well, more specifically the creditor that has the account that works with said department. I went back inside to work with the wheels turning on how we are going to make it for another week without money, now that our account has been frozen.

He text me and told me that they won’t release the levy until we pay eight hundred dollars. Well, we don’t have that. Even after we all get paid, we don’t have eight hundred bucks left over once the bills are paid. Back to square one. 

My husband is a very smart man. Let me say that. But things like this? I think the mechanical wheels that turn in his head don’t apply to stressful situations. I think everything just kind of shuts down. Like “Well, we’re screwed. Oh well!” Meanwhile, I’m shuffling possibilities through my head like multiple tabs being open on a computer browser. If we do ‘this’ and ‘this’ will that solve the problem we have of paying our bills? Is it possible to do something like ‘this’ and work around this unfortunate situation?

I put a phone call into a tax attorney for information. I called the bank to find out if I could open up a separate account in my own name (I can), and then told my husband to login to his employer and have the direct deposit stopped to our account, and opt for paper checks instead. 

The attorney called me back yesterday and told me that it wouldn’t financially benefit us to hire them because of the cost associated with that. But he told me exactly what we need to do to work around the creditor with the levy, so that we can have it removed. He was super helpful to me and assured me that they can’t touch my account when I open it, because my name isn’t tied to my husbands tax levy. So now I have to go to the bank on Friday or Saturday morning and get a new account open so that I can provide my employer with an updated direct deposit account. My husbands paychecks will arrive later than the Thursday’s he get’s paid since we have to switch to paper checks. It’s going to screw up our flow a little bit, but we will manage. I’m just thankful this happened after we had already paid our first round of bills for the month. Had it of happened when we had money in the bank, I have absolutely no idea what we would have done. We could have potentially lost our house if I wouldn’t have been able to make the payment.

I take care of my husband’s every need. I fix his plate at night before I go to bed, since he eats later than I do. If I’m still awake when he eats, I heat up his food, or fix it. We spend all of our time together and I have no desire to hang out with people outside of our family. I’m faithful and devoted to him, always. And I know he is to me, as well. In return, he helps with more than his fair share of the household chores. He kills the nasty bugs that I scream and run away from. He gives me space for quiet time when I need to recharge, and we never fight or argue about anything. One year and three months of being married and we haven’t had one single fight. I’m proud of that. 

I just wonder if he realizes how much I take control and solve things that happen. This isn’t the first fire that I’ve had to put out. He owed back taxes to the IRS, and I opted to file together and just get it paid, rather than file as an injured spouse so that I could keep all of my refund. On the flip-side, when I was surprised with that faulty check arrest warrant from 2009, he did everything he could to calm me down and make me feel better – though the thought of going to jail or having anything on my pristine criminal record, nearly sent me into an anxiety attack. 

Even though I don’t have to, I try to prove in small ways that I will never be like his ex-wife. When things get hard, I’m not going to pack up and leave and blast his name all over the state like he’s this horrible person. He isn’t. And he’s now starting to see that his ex-wife is a miserable cow. She’s engaged to some useless blob of a man that won’t work, and is content sitting on his ass and letting her work sixty hours a week. When she was married to my husband, she barely worked twenty hours a week, and played video games all day while my husband worked all day. The tables have turned on that miserable cow. 

Sometimes being the reliable one gets tiresome. People at home, at work, and random strangers often lean on me for support and advice and seem to suck my strength away from me and take it for their own. I take care of my grandmother and all of her medical needs, I’ve packed my grandpa’s house on my own for the past month – I think we are at 75 boxes packed at this point, I pay the bills, I work 40+ hours a week. I have a patient of mine that has cancer and doesn’t have any family. I will pick up and take her medication to her sometimes when she’s too sick to leave her house. You know, things like that. Like, how much can I be stretched? Is there going to come a time when I just crash and fall to pieces? Will there be anyone there to help me if I do? If people lean on you during times of crises, what do they do when the leanee becomes the leaner?

A Letter My Father Will Never Read

Published June 19, 2017 by dividinguplife

Dear Dad,

I find it ironic that your cancer is what pushed us together as the end draws near. How much time do we have left? Three months? Six? More? Less? Every time I see you, your face has become more hollow. You can’t even sit in a chair comfortably anymore, because there’s no meat there. You are a walking skeleton that pushes away any help extended towards you. By “growing closer” I mean that I have seen you more in the past year than I have in my thirty-one years of life. How many times has it been since last July? Five or six, maybe. Five or six times we have been in the same room together, laughing at the same things. Five or six times in a year, which is more than I ever saw you before. 

There’s no time left. Not when you shut us all out. How can their be dignity in dying alone? Whenever I ask you if you need anything, you tell me that you have everything you need – and yet there is nobody there to help you. When you eat, you throw up. When you take your medication, you become constipated. You refused chemo and radiation, and then when it got bad, you wanted it … but it was too late. Why are you so stubborn? 

The other day I had chest pain from a pulled muscle. Rather than bothering my husband, I drove myself to the emergency room to be checked out. I laughed to myself because I had just jumped on your ass about going to the emergency room without letting anyone know. it made me sad to realize that I am so much like you, and yet I am just learning these small things that genetically, yet uniquely match us together. 

I know that I like to write, like you do. I know that I’m stubborn and very introverted, like you are. 

But I also know I am unlike you in so many ways. Unlike you and my mom, actually. I never abandoned my daughter. My grandmother (your own mom) lives with me and has for almost five years, because you wouldn’t let her live with you. I wouldn’t have it any other way, either. I’ve dedicated my life to healthcare so that I can have a small role in helping others. I’m not selfish in the love that I give to other people. 

I forgave you years ago, though the pain has always lie dormant in the recesses of my heart. Your explanation of your abandonment was sufficient enough for you to have the forgiveness you needed before you passing, but a small part of me will never understand why I wasn’t good enough for you to want. You say you love me, and yet I feel nothing from you. What’s worse is that I feel nothing towards you. I feel sadness that you’re dying. I feel sadness that we have a small amount of time left, and yet you still won’t let me in. I feel even more abandoned than before. We have opportunity to spend every minute together that we can, and you still don’t want to. Why? 

My handsome, introverted, selfish, stubborn father. How you have molded and shaped the person I am today just by simply not being there for me. I became stronger because of it. I learned what not to do. I learned that sometimes someone needs the forgiveness you aren’t sure you can give – but you give it anyway. Selflessness thinks of the other person, always. That’s what I have done. When you die, you will be able to go knowing that I don’t blame you for the choices you made in regard to me. You will die knowing that I will be okay, and that I will take care of your mother until she dies. When you die, you will leave behind a lot of unanswered questions because of your refusal to open up to any of us. 

And somehow, we will all still be less, because of your absence. 

 

-C 

20 Things About Me

Published June 18, 2017 by dividinguplife

To break up some of the sad, crappy posts I’ve been putting up lately – I thought it would be fun to post some facts about me. Some quirky things or tid-bits about the kind of person I am. 

 

1. I love ranch dressing, but despise any kind of dressing on my salads. Ew. I don’t like crisp lettuce turning soggy because of dressing. 

2. I love listening to Classical Music

3. I also love to watch Hip Hop Dancing 

4. Storms excite me. The more intense, severe, and damaging, the better. 

5. I love cheese. I will put it on everything. 

6. I had 2 imaginary friends when I was growing up. Their names were Jodi and Bobby. One time, Jodi colored on my Uncle’s waterbed with permanent marker. He told me that if she did it again, he would bust my ass for it. Jodi and Bobby moved to England. I never heard from them again.

7. I have a prison penpal that was my former ninth grade English teacher. He went to prison for embezzelment. Everyone turned their back on him, but I didn’t. 

8. I find the good in everyone I meet, which means that oftentimes I block out their bad qualities, which can end up hurting me in the end. 

9. My husband and I check out women together. I don’t do jealousy, and I trust him one hundred percent to be faithful. 

10. I will not have sex unless I’ve washed my hair. I don’t do “dirty” sex. I have to be clean. Plus my hair is naturally greasy, and I can’t have my husband running his hands through my greasy hair. 

11. I took ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop growing up. 

12. I was in a mental institution for suicide attempts when I was thirteen. 

13. When I get bored I often revisit my past in daydreaming.

14. I’m an introvert

15. I’m a picky eater. 

16. I love the ocean. When I die, I want to be cremated and scattered in the waves. 

17. The Little Mermaid is my favorite movie. I’m not talking about Disney’s version. I’m talking about the 70’s Hans Christian Anderson version. (Which you can find the full-length movie on YouTube.)

18. Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables) will forever be my favorite TV Couple.

19. I hope that I will live for a long time, but I fear my death will come more quickly than I hope. I’ve always felt this way. 

20. I would give anything to go back to the 90’s and live it all over again. 

Quiet as A Mouse

Published June 18, 2017 by dividinguplife

From a young age, I was conditioned to be very quiet. My mother always had one ailment or another that required very little noise in order for her to get through the day. I had to keep my little brother occupied and out of her hair so she could nap for hours at a time. As a result, my brother and I grew very close and to this day he has nothing to say to our mother. 

Into my adult life, I have learned that my problems are my own, and nobody wants to be burdened with them. Usually that isn’t true, but it did prove to be true when I was with The Abuser. One time I had abscess cellulitis in my left breast that became infected. My breast was as hard as a baseball and very painful. I drove myself to the hospital, was injected with medication, had the area cut open, and they had to dig the infection out. When I got home, The Abuser was fast asleep. He never asked how it went, he never cared that I was in pain. 

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I went into preterm labor. My ex-husband was sleeping when it happened. I woke him up and told him that something didn’t feel right. I don’t remember what he said, but I remember driving myself to the hospital while he continued sleeping. They gave me some meds to stop my labor and I drove myself home a few hours later, once everything settled down. 

This week I pulled something in my upper back. I haven’t felt pain in my back like this in … well, ever. I pushed through work while slamming Aspirin down my throat. When I got home I barely moved, took a Flexeril and went to sleep. The next morning I woke up with pains shooting into my chest and the feeling like my spinal cord was about to rip out of my neck. The shooting pains alarmed me enough that after I got dressed for work, I drove to the hospital (which is across the street from my work) and went to the emergency room. Thankfully, it was only severe inflammation with muscle spasms. I was glad to hear that my EKG was normal. He gave me a script for more Flexeril and Percocet, and told me to go home for the day. 

I probably should have woken my husband up and told him what was going on. Chest pain scares me. I don’t think I’ve ever felt pain like that before. But that voice in my head; the voice that has been there since I was a child, told me to handle it myself, to not burden other people with something that may not be a big deal. So, that’s what I did. 

I wish I had a way to record the verbal words that I say in one day. Not during a work day, because I have to talk and engage with my patients. But on a weekend. I’m a very quiet person. My mind is always racing with thoughts, and I’m always listening to everyone else in the house when they are talking. Last night I was cooking dinner and trying to tell a story to my husband that recapped my day helping my grandpa pack. My grandmother went with me yesterday, so I was trying to tell him about the things she was doing over there. Instead, my grandmother interrupted me in mid-sentence to say something and my husband responded back to her, and they started their own dialogue. I never got to finish my story, but I did remark on the fact that I’m tired of being invisible. I don’t speak a lot, so when I do, I would hope that people would want to listen to me. I guess not, though. 

My husband also loves to watch these stupid ass SJW YouTube videos. He enjoys laughing at the absurdity of the things that come out of their mouth. This second-wave feminism shit just pisses me off. I hate watching those videos because I hate listening to stupidity. I don’t care that you’re pissed off because Marvel makes movies directed towards men specifically. I don’t care that you’re overly excited that Wonder Woman was directed by a female. I think you look ridiculous screaming about how men can’t be raped, and that only men do the raping. I hate all of it. I ended up going upstairs and lying in bed to watch something that didn’t piss me off or get me depressed. Yesterday was just a weird day for me, I guess. 

Add that to the fact that our receptionist is pregnant and is using that as an excuse to come in late, leave early, and basically do fuck all of nothing to help us out. Not that she helped much in the first place. She didn’t even want a baby. Once her husbands visa was approved for him to move from Algeria to the States, all of a sudden she wants a baby. And she’s the biggest fucking baby about being pregnant. I don’t even know how she’s going to do the mothering thing. She can’t even handle shit with the baby inside of her. I guess my tolerance for weakness has never been there. Especially with people that have had it all handed to them on a silver platter, and then whine and complain when they have to do something on their own. 

Here’s to hoping this coming week will be better. 

I’ll Fall With Your Knife

Published June 12, 2017 by dividinguplife

 

When I was thirteen (1998), my husband and his brother moved back up north to their home state. I remember listening to this song and daydreaming about the day I would get on an airplane, and fly up there to see my brother-in-law. In my daydream this song would be playing, and I would be coming down the escalator in a cute skirt, with my hair straightened, and there he would be, with his beautiful blue eyes. It would be in that moment that he realized how much he loved me and needed me in his life. 

I made sure that I got my song and my boy in one fell swoop. In 2013 I jumped on a plane and flew my ass up north. As I was getting off the plane, I put my earbuds in and turned on Peter Murphy. I was wearing knee high black boots, a lacy black skirt, a lacy black tank top with a long gray pseudo-jacket-cotton-throw thing that went down past my knees. I came down the escalator and from across the room I could see the brightest blue eyes – eyes that haunted my dreams at night. 

It was the older brother of the boy I’d crushed on for fifteen years. The older brother of my first love, first kiss, first heartbreak. 

I’m sitting here typing this now, and I glance over to my left, and my heart still skips a beat when I see him. 

Andy

I’ve known him for twenty years, but it was only 4 1/2 years ago that I started to see him as something other than the older asshole brother of the guy I was obsessed with. Now? I’d move heaven and earth to keep him by my side. He’s the first man that has made everything I’ve been through, completely worth it.