“That label rubbed off.”

inelegant ranting, belly aching, and hope.

Reader,

Do you ever wish for the world to go away while you are taking some time? Like the globe has to have a mandatory nesting day to match your foul mood?
What if there was a national day of rest? Who would get to rest?

I am in between jobs and my friends suggest I try to enjoy this downtime. I will not likely have this much time to myself to do what I want for a long time. The only issue is that what I want is this time AND the security of a job and a regular income. Despite this uncertainty, my friends, my rag-tag group of gay folks, have made me feel less alone than I have ever felt.

The other day, a friend who works at a pasta shop, (Imagine that, an entire shop for pasta.) sent over two pasta-making kits for me so that I would have some easy meals. Arriving with the orange, tomatoy vodka sauce was my cooler. This blue, Igloo cooler was given to me after another friend upgraded. It was brought to a picnic weeks ago and has changed hands and cars and its contents before finally being returned to me. Inside, were a few leftovers.

“Lefties,” M said, or something to that effect.

A few coronas and some other beers were rolling around the bottom of the empty cooler.

I invited them in for wine and popcorn, realizing I hadn’t grocery shopped in a while so my snacks were lacking. But friends don't care about things like that. And I look at the battered label of this beer with a fondness. How else could it have gotten this way had it not changed hand over hand, car to car, only to eventually make itself back to me?

M and Z and I snack and chat and catch up. I try not to think about losing my apartment. My mouth is burning because I didn’t think to ask for no jalapenos on my veggie tacos, and I am tired from a food service shift. But I feel peaceful. If I don’t look too closely at anything, that is.

“Do you know that saying? ‘If you get married in June, you’ll always be a bride.”

Z looks at me and shakes her head.

We watched a lot of older movies when I was younger. Mostly because they were on TV and we didn't have cable. And usually, because they were PG. With a mom that made us turn offThe Simpsons, my knowledge of older films grew.

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” might be a play or something. One of those old ass stories that make its way to Broadway and people pay the equivalent of my rent to sit front row, fluffed up with their self-importance.

In the scene below, the girls sing about this saying, twirling around in their starchy white underthings, and thirsting after the 7 bachelors they are temporarily rooming with.

It’s honestly a little gay.

Z says this is one of their busiest seasons and I think about marriage.

I think about routines and familiarity and that bone-deep, knowing.
I’m afraid I’m the least stable of all my friends. I’m afraid of working weekends.

I’m just plain old afraid.

I’ve asked for company more times this month than I ever have. I am destructive when I am alone, especially to myself. As if I want to punish myself for failing this intensely. And it’s not fair to me.

This is just the hard part, they say.
The interviewing. The tired feet and sheepishness. The plotting. The planning. Job searching is hell and losing a job is traumatic.

I don’t ever want to do anything hard again in my life. It feels like this strange revenge of the universe:

You came out as a Lesbian.
You ended your 5-year relationship with a man.
You got your own place.
You found a queer community.
You found a connection at the end of a relationship with Moon Girl.

And now this.

Would it be cowardly if I said I want to give up?
On my worst days, I think about what my friends would say if I took a “long sleep.” On my worst days, I tell myself, “This is as far as we made it. It's okay to go now.”
And then I get angry, and I fight a little more. Because there’s so much more that I want to taste and feel and I want to love so much more and live so much more.

I want to drink every last one of those beers in my fridge with the label rubbed off, and feel the sun on my shoulders and the grass in between my cute toes.

I want to

feel

feel

feel.

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