8 Apr 2019


Written by sally @ 11:32 am — Section: sally

I did not advance to the next round in that short story contest, which was not a surprise, as I am not a short story writer. However, the feedback was fair and valuable, should I choose to enter another contest to do a thing I don’t know how to do in the future. The huge upside is that I didn’t have to write another story over the weekend, which worked out since Spike had four soccer games and I was busy screaming the whole time. Today I am hoarse. Enthusiasm!

I am now in a book club, and we are reading Geek Love, and while I like the writing, I am stressed out beyond reason by Arty. Also, one of my cats knocked over a glass of water onto my copy, and being forced to read a creaky, crackly waterstained book is hurting me.

I’m pretty good at embarrassing myself, and last week I managed to do something so embarrassing I’m pretty sure I turned into ectoplasm for a few minutes before I regained my human form. To explain, pretend that you have a new friend named William who, when you met, spilled his drink on you. Pretend also that when your friends say, “What’s new?” you say, “Well, not much, I met this guy and when we hung out he spilled his drink on me,” so in texts they check up on you by asking, “How is The Spiller?” Then one day, inspiration hits, and you text them, “Hey, The Spiller’s real name is William so I came up with a great new nickname for him: SPILLIAM” except no, OF COURSE you didn’t text your friends. You texted Spilliam. Yes. You have been placed on this planet to ruin everything all the time.

In doing this, you have revealed the following to Spilliam:

1. You talk about him to your friends
2. You think his drink spilling is noteworthy
3. omg, SPILLIAM
4. You don’t know how to text

I have been watching New Amsterdam, which is like Grey’s Anatomy minus the sex and plus magical, unrealistic solutions to medical problems. The hospital across town is the only one with that special machine? Then by all means, let’s fake our identities and go over there and use it! The woman who my sister donated her heart to is now in my hospital with heart failure? WE MUST SAVE HER. AND WE SHALL. It is not stressful, it has a diverse cast, and everyone is beautiful. Recommended for people who get stressed out by imaginary people and situations.

Ok bye

15 Mar 2019

Best Historical Insult, Hookworm Edition.

Written by sally @ 2:52 pm — Section: sally

I’ve developed an interest in hookworms — as one does — and just came upon this extremely descriptive passage from Thomas D. Clark’s The Emerging South (1968, p25-26):

“As the white population expanded, the incidence of hookworm became greater. Barefooted and carefree men of nature defecated on the ground, giving the bloodthirsty killer in their bowels the air and soil necessary to complete its life cycle. Pale, emaciated, tobacco-stained dirt-eaters became stock characters of the natural southern scene…As the barefooted population increased, the germ of laziness spread with enormous ferocity. No one, of course, knew that the cause was really a parasite.”

I can tell you that this is the most spirited description on this topic that I’ve found. I’m considering acquiring an enemy just so I can say this:









10 Mar 2019

Again with the Brain.

Written by sally @ 8:53 am — Section: sally

Last week I was at the public library picking up two Elizabeth McCracken books (I like to burn out on an author by reading everything they’ve written in a short period of time) and I ran into my former dental hygienist, who now owns a sno-cone business.

“Hey! How’re you?” we both said.

“What do y’all do in the sno-cone off-season?” I said.

“What was that?”

“What do y’all do in the sno-cone off-season?”

“Hmm. Sno-cones. Ok, good to see you!” She walked off.

After thinking about it for a minute, I realized that our kids played soccer together a few years ago and that she probably doesn’t know shit about dental hygiene or sno-cones. I started to laugh and went back up to her.

“Oh, hi, I just realized you’re Aiden’s mom and NOT my former dental hygienist who now owns a sno-cone business!” I was barely able to say these words because I was laughing so hard.

“I was trying so hard to remember if we’d ever gotten sno-cones together!” she said.

“No, I’m just insane,” I said. “Good to see you!”

When I got back to work I looked them both up on Facebook and in my defense, I have to say, they look remarkably alike. Both have eyes and hair and everything.

25 Feb 2019

Just The Hat. Ok.

Written by sally @ 10:39 am — Section: sally

• I finished Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken over the weekend, and whoa. My favorite books are usually those that you can describe as “weird, sad, beautiful,” and this one is no exception. It’s more weird than sad, though there’s sadness throughout. (Just not rip your heart out of your body sad. I’m looking at you, Cold Mountain.) I was flipping through to find some examples of weird/sad/beautiful, and basically every sentence was such. Here are two, though, that aren’t spoilers:

“Orphaned, taken in. Alone, married. She did not know who she was. Her soul was a goldfish, a little thing inside the bowl of her body. She always had to concentrate to find it before she said her prayers.”

“She was a tyrant. She was a thief. He loved her yet. Years later he would die with these truths upon his lips. He loved everyone he had ever loved.”

I’ve already read 13 books this year (#single), and this is by far my favorite. It also has a pretty cover, which doesn’t hurt anything.

• Bookstore employee on phone: “The Cat in the Hat? Oh, just The Hat? OK.”

• I’ve been to several flea markets and antique stores lately, which is a fun way for us olds to pass the time. Some stuff I’ve purchased:

–photo of a random German (?) family from the 30s, inscribed with their names on the back: Phili, Rudolf, Margot, and Hans

–some glasses with a hunting scene on them, one of which has a cool lodge name:

–a very cute bright blue glass creamer

–70s movie posters from a Hattiesburg drive-in. Y’all think these are family friendly or what?

• To complete my journey into spinsterhood, I have started doing the New York Times crossword puzzle every day. And maybe writing down how long it takes me to complete them. And then bragging. I started this a few weeks ago, and I am pleased to report that for the first time, I completed the Sunday puzzle yesterday! I didn’t even cheat, outside of pressing the uh-oh button! Maybe that’s cheating? I’m not calling that cheating. Googling stuff is cheating. And even then, that’s my own arbitrary rule. In case you’re interested, a Monday puzzle takes me about eight minutes, but the Sunday took me 45.

20 Feb 2019

Lost My Mind. (That’s a Matthew Sweet Song.)

Written by sally @ 1:11 pm — Section: sally

Last week I came across a pile of concert ticket stubs. I’m a pretty good archivist of my own life and thought all the concert ticket stubs were already together, so this was a treat. I was wondering where the evidence that I went to a Goo Goo Dolls concert once was, and now I have it! I was sitting next to a 10-year old, who got her tickets as a birthday present.

There were two stubs in the stub pile that didn’t seem familiar at all: one of those multi-band concerts sponsored by a radio station (featuring Live, which I don’t care for) from 1999 and a Matthew Sweet concert from 2000. The first one I immediately dismissed: totally not my stub. First, I have no memory, and second, it was Live. No. But Matthew Sweet? I love Matthew Sweet! I have seen Matthew Sweet! It was 1993, at one of those multi-band concerts sponsored by a radio station! Tony Bennett, Matthew Sweet, The Lemonheads — it was a good lineup! But I have only seen Matthew Sweet once, and certainly not in 2000.

Just in case I got roofied, I texted pictures of the stubs to a couple of friends: did we go to this? Did YOU go to this and somehow I ended up with your stubs? Nope. No one was there.

I put the picture on Facebook. A couple of people were at the shows, but they were people I didn’t know at the time.

During this, Gorjus kept asking, Do you know what Occam’s Razor is, Mawmaw? You were there. You’ve just forgotten.

Here are some of the alternate theories I offered:
1. I found the stubs at the Alabama Theatre
2. I intentionally planted them to confuse future me
3. I stole the stubs from someone I had a crush on (most plausible of all of these, tbh)

Then I remembered that I’m a pretty good archivist of my own life! And I kept a journal during those years.

You should not be surprised to learn that when I consulted the source material, it turns out that I went to both concerts. Both of them. I have seen Live, apparently. Once I read who I went with (I wrote: “the Loser Crew came to town”), I had a hazy memory of rain and homemade trash bag ponchos and being miserable and then going to IHOP afterwards.

But Matthew Sweet? Nope. I can’t remember the venue, and even when I saw that I went with a couple of the members of the aforementioned Loser Crew (who, coincidentally, were also some of these virgins), still no bells.

I haven’t had this experience before, where, when presented with a physical artifact, I still could summon no memories. The other day I listened to “Nothing’s Going to Change My Love for You” for the first time since 1987 and still knew all the words. What gives, BRAIN? IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF THE END? You let me keep Glenn Medeiros but you delete Matthew Sweet?!

I updated my Facebook post. One of the guys I went with commented, “What a great concert!”

Was it? I’d like to know.

12 Feb 2019

Here Are Some Random Paragraphs.

Written by sally @ 10:33 am — Section: sally

I had a dream recently that I was telling someone this story, so here you go. I am literally making my dreams come true, just like Laverne and Shirley! That guy’s Facebook posts continue to entertain me, but he has gone blonde and it’s not that cute.

Speaking of Laverne and Shirley, I was just reading about Cyndi Grecco, who recorded “Making Our Dreams Come True,” and how she also recorded the theme song for another Happy Days spinoff called Blanksy’s Beauties that did not take off.

I love a dumb project no one cares about, so I have endeavored to tweet the entirety of the 1892 comic novel The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. Why? I don’t know. I haven’t read ahead and so only know what goes on as I’m tweeting. Since it’s in diary format, I post one entry a day. It’s really taking off: I have FOUR followers. Follow me at @pooterdiary if you want to be the fifth. (The nobody’s name is Charles Pooter.)

There’s a miniseries version of Howards End on Amazon Prime right now. Apparently I’ve gotten it confused with Sense and Sensibility. Sisters, a house, etc. All I remember is that someone may or may not get crushed by a wardrobe at the end. I’m only an episode in so I’ll have to report back.

Speaking of Amazon Prime, yesterday an important item arrived. I ordered some of those little triangle things you stick on your wrinkles and I tried one out last night. While I didn’t awake 30 years younger (ok, thank god for that), for a couple of hours this morning I had a furrow-free forehead! I call this a $15 temporary success story.

It’s fitting that I have returned to blogging about boring things just in time for theohreally’s 15-year anniversary!

6 Feb 2019

Social Media Policy.

Written by sally @ 6:43 am — Section: sally

I have been unfollowing people willy-nilly on various social media platforms lately. Here’s a partial list of reasons:

–posted a picture of their feet
–asked for advice on placemats to go with plates (THE PLATES WERE WHITE OMFG)
–was interested in a Confederate Flag Day event
–author I admire was making me not want to read their work ever, ever again
–too much complainin’ about boring things
–too many medieval-themed retweets
–gross food picture
–too many posts
–didn’t respond to my comment

Here is a partial list of reasons to keep social media people forever:

–posts about drama with ex-husband, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend (it goes back and forth)
–shares things about creepy mansions/Parisian apartments
–posts screenshots on Twitter of their Facebook fights
–quality cat pics
–the Reddit Relationship account and the inevitable 200+ DUMP HIM replies
–posts about how men suck posted by married women whose husbands are not on social media
–interesting stuff

28 Jan 2019

Extremely Prolific Writer Update!

Written by sally @ 7:40 am — Section: sally

Update: I did finish and submit the story! The way it works is that all 4,500 people who entered the contest are assigned to various heats that dictate the genre, subject, and character in the story. Then if you win that heat you move on to the next round. I was assigned comedy, incompetence, astronomer. (I learned a lot about interstellar medium in this process, mainly the fact that there is something called “interstellar medium.”) It wasn’t very good, but it got done, and now I can proudly say I have written two stories ever.

25 Jan 2019

I’ll Wrap Around You.

Written by sally @ 5:06 pm — Section: sally

I’ve mentioned my freakout dreams before, which are technically called hypnagogic hallucinations, though I think “freakout dreams” is more descriptive and less showoffy. I haven’t had many recently, though apparently it’s either a pen floating merrily through my room OR it’s camo-clad men and their dogs climbing through a painting.

They started in the summer of 1996 when I lived in Starkville, and like I said in that older blog post, started with spiders. Because look, if you thought there was a spider on your pillow, that’s believable, right? It was just that the spiders multiplied, and then became tarantulas, and then mice, etc. Anyway, I haven’t seen a spider in a freakout dream in 20+ years!

Last night I was listening to the Velvet Crush song “Time Wraps Around You,” which, incidentally, is very much tied in my brain to the summer of 1996 and the person I was dating then. I turned it off, I went to bed, and THEN GUESS WHAT HAPPENED?

There were spiders! A cone shape of light was shining on the bed kind of like a cabaret and silver spiders were turning and glistening in their Liza Minelli moment! I screamed, I turned on the light, the spiders disappeared, and I think it’s best I stay away from the Velvet Crush.

22 Jan 2019

Cool Your Operations.

Written by sally @ 2:42 pm — Section: sally

I stupidly signed up for a short story writing contest, even though I have only written one (1) short story in my LIFE, and it was in 1994. They assign you a genre, a situation, and a character, and you have a week to write it. It is due on Saturday. I have written 341 words and all of them are terrible. However, if I at least finish, I will have written two (2) short stories in my life, and that is a good thing.

I saw The Favourite, and I loved it. Then I saw on Facebook that an older lady I know also saw it, who said, “I don’t know what to say about The Favourite. It was a different kind of movie for me.” #lesbians

The Prime version of Vanity Fair was awesome, and I loved it. It took me a couple of weeks to watch the whole thing because my stress level just can’t take anything these days. Mild stress brought on by an adaptation of a 19th c. novel is just as real as whatever it is you people with real problems get stressed about, ok?

A coworker was talking about her crummy husband and said, “As my mama would’ve said, he done tore his britches with me.” I like that, and while I will not be saying it, probably, I will certainly be thinking it when people cross the line. Do you bite your thumb at me, sir? You’ve torn your britches with me, sir! She also said her mother was fond of saying, “He’s not worth the salt that goes into the bread,” but that’s a little wordy. I didn’t say anything because her mother died recently.

I routinely interact with someone who can’t pronounce words correctly, and you know I find this amusing. A few weeks ago she said, “We’ll have to give them coodles for that,” and it took me a moment, but I eventually got there. I gotta give her coodles for screwing up kudos so charmingly.

My beloved Mary Oliver died last week! She is everyone’s beloved Mary Oliver, or should be. She’s a model for how to appreciate and be astonished by the world. In a weird way her body of work reminds me of the Catherine Wheel song “Here Comes the Fat Controller” (bear with me here) and its instructions for how to be better:

Don’t you think that it’s about now
that you cooled your operations
and be generous somehow?
Don’t you think the sarcasm’s a little hard to stomach?
Your cynicism’s boring!

A search reveals that the last time I referenced this song here, I was full of joy for the world. Oh, baby Sally of 2013. I wish I could bottle that feeling for us both, or at least invent a time machine that sends you back in time via blog post. I’m not regretful, but I am wistful. (Updated to add: apparently they’re synonymous? Ok. So I guess I mean I don’t regret anything that’s happened, but maybe I wish I’d enjoyed it more while it lasted?)

13 Dec 2018

Wacko, not Weirdo.

Written by sally @ 3:58 pm — Section: sally

I set a Goodreads goal of reading 50 books this year, and a few days ago I panicked when I realized I had only read 47. I enjoy setting an arbitrary goal that no one cares or knows about and then taking it very seriously, I guess. (Old schoolers: remember that time I posted every day for a YEAR?) I read Lucy Knisley’s Something New (#48! I liked it, but not as much as Relish) and then took to my shelves at home looking for a thin volume I could knock out.

I’ve always been a big reader, though for most of my childhood/preteendom I read a lot of teen garbage. All the Sweet Valley Highs. ALL OF THEM. I’d get a stack for Christmas and have finished a couple by the time we got to my grandparents’ house. I read and loved The Westing Game and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, but I really loved that teen garbage.

One of my favorites was called The Rise and Fall of a Teen-Age Wacko. (I could’ve sworn on my life it was Weirdo, not Wacko, but it’s Wacko). It must’ve been one of the books I kept at my dad’s house and really read over and over because at some point the spine broke and half the pages fell out. I bought a copy (with all the pages in it) from Thrift Books a couple of years ago and didn’t read it then, but it was perfect for my purposes this week.

What I remembered: a girl stays in Manhattan by herself with a babysitting job, which she announces to her parents like this: “I’ve a job”; she has a little sister who at one point says “I put my money in a safe place: I keep my coins in my mouth”; Woody Allen is involved; there is a part where her dad has a moped which I read as in “I moped around the house” but was actually “small lame motorcycle thing.” And that’s about it! So yesterday I read it. (#49!)

First, the cover is divine.

There was much I’d forgotten, obviously, but so much that was familiar. The narrator goes to Bloomingdale’s and buys an outfit that includes a “chocolate tee” and I remember being fascinated that a teenage girl would spend money on a brown shirt. Like, it’s a brown tshirt? Ok. But in context this time it seemed to make sense, perhaps because I am old enough now to enjoy a brown shirt. She takes her babysitting charge on truly fun-sounding New York adventures that I want to go on as well — the Morgan Library and auctions where you can buy a vintage dress for $40 and it fits you perfectly and you feel like Gene Tierney!

But the Woody Allen part was a much bigger deal that I remembered. I knew that she somehow fell down and was thus in a Woody Allen movie; I’d forgotten that after she falls down and accidentally gets into a Woody Allen movie, she reads that he scrapped the project and then decides to become obsessed with Woody Allen and like, stalk him around town in order to get into another Woody Allen movie. She goes to Elaine’s on a night he’s supposed to be there, she reads that he’s filming another movie and just walks down to a creepy dark park alone and some dudes on rollerskates with painted clown faces scoot out of the darkness towards her, and then a police car drives up and she runs towards it and the cop gets out and HE has a creepy painted clown face too, and it turns out someone is filming a horror movie and now she has messed up the shot. Then she goes home and her dad has come back into town and is worried about her and she has told a lot of lies and everyone is mad at her but then at the end everything is fine.

Anyway, let me end this by saying that unless you spent a lot of time rereading this book in your formative years, there is pretty much zero reason for you to seek out and read this book. Unless teen Woody Allen fan fiction featuring chocolate tees appeals to you, and you are trying very hard to meet an arbitrary reading goal, of course.

3 Dec 2018

Peach Pie, Petrie.

Written by sally @ 8:26 am — Section: sally

1. I flew too close to the sun. I flirted where I should not have flirted.

After two months of avoiding gluten, Thanksgiving came. I was mostly strong! And then my aunt said she made a peach pie. And I could not resist. And I ate of the pie, and awaited disaster. And then…no disaster came. There was nary a rumble from the gluten zone. The next day, I waited. Still nothing. So I did the sensible thing, which was to assume that perhaps eating gluten very occasionally would not disrupt my system, and to go back to not eating gluten at all.


I ate a pizza. Yes. A whole pizza. (Half for lunch, half for dinner, but still.) Nothing happened! It was a Thanksgluten Day miracle!

Over the next few days, I ate a remarkable amount of gluten. A lot of it was also garbage, like a Filet-o-Fish. And a Big Mac. A pulled pork sandwich. REGULAR BROWNIES. Flour tortillas! Lasagna!


Without going into too many details (#diarrheapartyUSA), let’s just say I am back on the gluten-free train.

2. On Saturday, Spike had a friend over. The kid was playing basketball with the world’s crustiest soccer ball we found in the yard while Spike came inside to change his shoes. Then I got a text from my neighbor: “Is there supposed to be a child peeing in your driveway???” Y’all, this kid just decided to pee in the driveway. Like, we got bathrooms, and a private yard, even, but peeing right here where another house is but a few yards away and has no window treatments — now that’s some fun. (I’m all for outside pee times. Spike even has a designated Pee Tree he is allowed to pee on because it is out of sight! Now I’m thinking of Rob Petrie for some reason.)

I went outside a little while later.

Me: Hey friends, I hear there may have been some peeing out here. Let’s use the actual toilet next time, ok?
Pee Friend: YEAH, SPIKE.
Spike: Mom, we didn’t pee!
Me: I didn’t say YOU peed, did I?
Spike: Mom, seriously!
Me (looking at Pee Friend): TOILET.

17 Oct 2018

Two Weeks of Gluten-Free Eating: Observations and Whining.

Written by sally @ 10:10 am — Section: sally

So, it turns out that gluten is in everything delicious. And not just delicious, but convenient. No wonder I had a stomachache every day for 45 years! I was a glutenophile! I’m surprised there was any gluten left for the rest of you jokers. I was eating it all.

While there is plenty of stuff out there that is also delicious, and I am eating that stuff, it is not convenient. No sandwich or burger or pizza or burrito wrapped in a delicious flour tortilla. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO EAT FOR LUNCH? I am eating a lot of stupid salads. I previously only really ate salads in order to eat croutons. This small pleasure in life is now gone.

I thought I could just break down and eat some gluten occasionally and just roll with a stomachache, but what I didn’t know is that once it’s gone from your system, if you accidentally eat some, it’s so much worse. MUCH WORSE. I’ve accidentally eaten it a couple of times and the results were not ideal. So while I think abstractly about a cheeseburger from Rooster’s, I know that that cheeseburger wants to kill me.

There are lots of gluten-free versions of gluteny foods, and some are fine. The bread is not fine. NOT FINE. Granted, I have tried one brand, so maybe there is another brand out there that does not taste and feel like a dirty sponge, but I’m wary. It looked like bread, but so does this. Edited to add: this is my new favorite website! What the heck are people using this fake food for?!

Anyway, last night I tried a gluten-free hamburger bun. I sliced it in half to butter and toast it. I should’ve known something was amiss when the inside was kind of shimmery and translucent, like rice. I made it through half the hamburger before I gave up. I have never only eaten half a hamburger when presented with a whole hamburger in my life.

I’m sure I’ll get used to this, right? Humans are resilient and adaptable! Who knows, maybe I will start a trend when I break down and use two halves of a baked potato as a hamburger bun.

14 Oct 2018

Devotions, Redux.

Written by sally @ 1:42 pm — Section: sally

I’ve made a Mary Oliver Frankenstein poem from the pages of Devotions. Oliver’s delight in the world is inspiring. I don’t want to mythologize her, but none of her poems are about how she was a real jerk that one time; they’re all about a whippoorwill and the dappled light and the crispness of an apple, and mostly unspoken gratitude for all of it. (Surely she’s been a jerk at least once, right?) Her poems make me want to be a better human on the planet. Oh, Mary Oliver Poems, you’re as close as I’m ever going to get to reading scripture.

“How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.”

Another morning and I wake with thirst for the goodness I do not have.

You want to cry aloud for your mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need any more of that sound.

I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.

There are many ways to perish, or to flourish.
How old pain, for example, can stall us at the threshold of function.
Memory: a golden bowl, or a basement without light.

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

We do one thing or another; we stay the same, or we
Congratulations, if
you have changed.

What I want to say is
that the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what that will be,
darling citizen.

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

The poems, in approximate order of appearance, though I did some shuffling and now they’re all out of order):“Thirst”

“The Poet with His Face in His Hands”


“Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches”


“To Begin With, the Sweet Grass”

“Mornings at Blackwater”

“When Death Comes”

11 Oct 2018

Too Close to Home, Too Near the Bone.

Written by sally @ 9:59 am — Section: sally

Last night I went for drinks with a couple of friends, and when I got home, it was dark. Unfortunately it getting dark at night is a thing that happens regularly. I got out of my car, and I thought I heard a voice say “hello.” Hello? I said. Hello? No answer. I sped-walked (speed-walked? speededed-walkeded?) to the spot where the motion light would come on. Thankfully there was no one there, but I was so scared that I went inside and cried for an hour.

I let people know about my weirdnesses so I’m not caught off guard: I have to eat lunch early or else I turn into a monster. I don’t like public hugging. I hate surprise parties. I’m afraid of getting murdered. Basically my nightmare would be a surprise party with no food in which everyone hugs me and then takes turns murdering me.

I haven’t always been particularly afraid of murderers, and I envy my pre-fear self for moving about in the world without that particular baggage. As it is, now I carry it around with me, sometimes shifting the weight so it doesn’t feel like that much of a burden. In a certain light, I can convince myself that it keeps me safe.

A few years ago, I briefly dated a man who ended up scaring me. One night he got angry and spoke to me with such rage that I was convinced that he was going to kill me. Obviously, I ended it (and also, for the first time ever, deleted every email, put every gift in the trash can, threw away the pages of my journal that talked about him), but I remained afraid.

Maybe my brain’s danger receptors are out of whack and he was not, in fact, thinking of killing me; even so, when I think about that night, my brain experiences it all over again, and I sweat and panic. My brain makes a quick association between a man’s angry words and his violent actions. And so, in my relationships since, I explicitly say: please don’t do this. I can’t handle it. I am not built for this. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to request not to be screamed at or called names. (I shouldn’t have to ask, but I do. Just in case.)

Relevant: last week I received an email that scared the shit out of me. I read it, I panicked, I sweated, I cried. I read it again, same reaction. Every time I tell someone about it, I panic and sweat and cry. It made me afraid, and last night when I thought there was an email sending murderer in the bushes, my brain panicked and sent all the sweat and tears my body could produce to the surface. (At least I didn’t also pee. #blessed)

I don’t know how else to get through it besides continuing to talk about it and to panic and sweat and cry in the process. Maybe if I panic and sweat and cry enough, I can get to the other side of it, but I am so sad and so angry that this is where I am.

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