Waxy Love

“It’s mutual, you know, the hate I have for cheese and the hate it has for me.” The man stands beside me, his mustache staring at mine with smug superiority.

“Do I know you?” I ask. My pink gown is dragging the floor, collecting dust and I shudder to think what else from this horrible excuse for a grocery store. I couldn’t go anywhere else, though. Couldn’t risk anyone I know seeing me with my whiskers growing in. How did this happen? It’s like my cat glued hair balls to my upper lip while I was napping and I’m already late for the party.

“No. But you can if you want,” he says. “Looking for wax?” He nods toward the Sally Hansen shelf.

“Go away.” I turn toward the waxing options. I can’t go for the heated kind because I’ll have a bright red face. And why is this mouth-breather staring at me like we met on the Love Boat?

He grabs a box and shoves it toward me and I notice that oh-my-god he has a nub for a pointer finger. “My ex-wife swore by this one.” He winks. “I like my women a little hairy.”

“Thanks, Magnum PI. Do you mind scampering away now?” The florescent lights highlight the greasy clumps in his hair.

“Wouldn’t kill you to be nice.” He shoves his hands in his pockets.

“Do you spend all your Saturday nights in the wax aisle of the grocery store trying to talk to girls?” I ask.

“You’re not really a girl. You’re a woman speeding toward middle age and you shouldn’t be wearing that Barbie dress.” He smiles, revealing perfectly yellowed teeth.

“I, uh, what?”

“You heard me. Don’t act like you’re better than me. You’re the one shopping for wax in a bubble gum pink ball gown. Life must have really shit on you.” He places his hand on my arm, tickling it a little with the nub.

“Do you want my phone number?” I ask.

He shrugs. “I guess.”

My stomach flutters from his filthy indifference. I pull a pen from my beaded bag and write my number on his palm.

“Call me, okay?”

“Yeah, maybe. I guess,” he says and burps a little.

My chest is heaving with the possibility of true love as I watch him limp toward the dairy aisle.

I Was Content Once

The year was 2007. My first child had just been born. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel any pressure to figure out what I had to do next. I spent my days loving him, tending his needs, and I was happy. It wasn’t perfect or simple, mind you. New babies are scary. Plus we moved from Arkansas to Michigan right after our son was born, and that wasn’t easy for me, but I am extremely adaptable. Maybe I had the opposite of post partum depression. I remember talking happiness with my cousin Chris and telling him that true happiness was indeed contentment. This contentment lasted for probably about three or four months. I am so wise.

My mom used to accuse me of wishing my life away. I’ve noticed my son does it, too. He told me lately he couldn’t wait to be big. I remember feeling that way. It makes me sad for him.

Even at this stage in my life, I’m constantly pushing myself do more, look for something else, accomplish something, because honey, it ain’t enough like it is.

I’m working on a writing project that keeps providing roadblocks. I take it as a sign that my skill is lacking, though overall it is a good piece of work. My confidence is on a precarious perch.

I decided to start writing again during my brief spell of contentment. I decided it was a good time to give my life-long dream a try. Why not? Now as I bang my head repeatedly against the wall, I only wonder why.

I’m pushing myself toward success and my goals aren’t realistic. But I wasted so much of my life afraid of failure.

My worry is how my discontent and the pressure I put on myself affects my family. But if I don’t apply the pressure, who will?

How do people find it within themselves to just be? I had it once, but it slipped away.

We’re Over, Lindsay

I mean it this time. I can only take so much. I’ve always been in the background cheering for you, waiting for you to get it together and be the star we all know you can be. No, the star you should be. But this time, honey, I’m done. I’ve put with at least thirty-two arrests, all those coke-snorting pictures on the Internet, you insisting you should be allowed to take Adderall in rehab even though you should actually be in jail and not in rehab at all, I Know Who Killed Me (that broke my heart, Lindsay), and Liz & Dick which was supposed to be your comeback but instead it was a steaming pile of Lifetime shit. But none of that pushed me to turn away from you.

Let me tell you why I’m so upset, Linds. I was in New York with my friend Jesse last weekend and we popped into a Russian piano bar for a quick cocktail before our reservation at Lucky Cheng’s. I ordered what was advertised as your signature cocktail. It was vodka, blackberry puree, and some liqueur that tasted like a dandelion’s anus. Perhaps you haven’t given your permission and have never even had this terrible flowery stomach-rot. But it’s just too easy to picture you enthusiastically throwing your name onto this disgusting purple concoction just because the owner probably complimented you on your boobs and gave you a free bowl of canned mushrooms with a side of oyster crackers.

It’s clear that now is the time for us to go our separate ways. If I give up now I won’t have any more of these bullshit comeback blue balls to deal with, and I definitely won’t end up drinking any more thick, purple things with flower extracts. Well, the last part is probably not true. But I won’t be able to blame you and let’s face it, Lindsay, you have a lot on your plate right  now.