it's offensive because it's true but that's also why you're paying attention

We go on a double date and I relate to her husband more than I do to her.  But that isn't allowed and would send inappropriate messages that I never intended to send.  So I force laughter and feign interest in subject matter scooped up from the clean, clear, non-threatening surface in which she spends the majority of her existence.

I wonder if this frustrates her.  I wonder if she even sees it.  I wonder if I'm making it up.  

The thing is, I'm not a very nice person.  Not deep down past the clean, clear, non-threatening surface.  

At some point last year, I ran fresh out of my supply of sympathy for people who got themselves into the messes they turn around and complain about.  

I was just thinking last week, about how nice it is that I haven't gotten sick this winter.  And came down with a cold the following Monday.  I thought it was just allergies, so I bought some Zyrtec-D, which is the only thing that helps my allergies, which you can only get behind the counter.  The pale, unhappy-looking pharmacist will ask to see your driver's license and you can only buy so many every thirty days.  Because apparently people use it to make meth or something.  And maybe the pharmacist isn't really that pale and unhappy, maybe it's just those horrendous florescent lights.

Anyway, what I'm saying is the Zyrtec did nothing and it wasn't allergies.  
So, I'm sick.  But only just barely.  I take a day off to sleep and rest and drink liquids, but I know my absence makes everyone else in the office's day hell.  Not in a conceited kind of way, just in the way that they have more work to do when I'm gone.  And so I go in the next day and the next while my nose runs and the skin around my nostrils gets raw and my eyes burn in that way they always do when I have a fever.  Which I assume that I have, but I'm never sure anymore now that I don't live with my mom.  Because everyone knows moms have magical thermometers in their hands and cheeks.  And I look horrible.  Greasy hair, pimply face, mismatched outfit, horrible.  And I avoid making direct eye contact with anyone because as soon as I do, they wince and ask me a question like, "Not feeling well?"  No.  Because I'm hot but cold at the same time and sick, but only just barely.  As in not sick enough not to be here, but sick enough to be miserable while doing the being here.  Sick enough to warrant winces and irritate people with incessant nose-blowing in my cubicle.  

Except I don't feel too bad about that, because there's this lady here who has a tendency to blow her nose into her hands.  No tissue.  Just her hands.  To say that it's disgusting doesn't seem to get the point across.

I talked to HR about it once, and they said that they couldn't approach her because there's no way for me to prove there's "secretion."  So, they sent out a company-wide email reminder to wash our hands and use tissues.

Because company-wide emails always work, she still blows her nose into her hands.  

So, like I said, I feel bad about all of this nose-blowing.  But not that bad.

I wish it were ever okay to say what I'm actually thinking.  It isn't that I don't like you.  It's just that, if I'm faced with the option of being with you or being alone, I'm going to choose alone.  At least nine times out of ten.  Which probably sounds like an indirect way of saying I don't like you.  But it's not, and I can't explain why.  Maybe it's because I had a best friend once, she left me for beer and agnosticism.  Which I can't blame her for because I realize those things are probably much cooler than me, but I've never really been the same since.  I see her everywhere.  It's never really her.  Regardless, she's everywhere.  That is, until I look down at the person's shoes and think, No, that's not right. She'd never wear those.  And it's like that part in Inception where the brass top stops spinning and you realize you aren't dreaming anymore.  I'm not sure what it is about a person's shoes.  All I know is, to this day, she's the only person who knew how to properly head bang in the car.

And maybe that's just a metaphor for vulnerability, like everything seems to be these days.

But I guess all I'm trying to say is there's more to life than Taylor Swift and the Kardashians.  There just is.

(It's probably safest to assume none of this was written about you.)


  1. Please tell me when you get a book published....
    I like how you write and think, even if you're sick, just barely.

  2. Uh, first of all that's just plain disgusting about the lady who blows her nose in her hands. What the heck?!

    I can so relate about the way people treat you when you are sick. For some reason it's incredibly offensive when they wince and make comments like "I'm staying away from you!" or when they try to be sly but are actually very obvious with their application of Purell every time they come near you.

    Your pictures and words are lovely and I like how they don't seem to go together at all but at the same time it all makes sense.

  3. love your writing, love your honesty - don't love that your co-worker blows her nose into her hands.

  4. aren't people just down right, kick-in-the-nuts, annoying sometimes? It makes me often wonder what would happen if I threw an angry cat at them.

    In saying that though, I hope you feel better soon. Sickness is horrible and mean and unfair and always comes at the wrong time. Hoping you get pampered with cuddles and lemon tea xx

  5. no no no no no no no! a human being does NOT willingly blow their nose into their hands?!?! like how can that even be a thing! and as usual your writing is brilliant, and honest, and perfect.

  6. Listen. Please. I beg you. Never ever ever stop writing. I could read your words all day long.

  7. OHMYWORDohmywordohmyword.
    the last section. actually all of them, but the last one especially.the being alone but not really not liking people. there being more to life than the Ks and TS. yes okay.

  8. If you ever write a memoir, I would buy it in half a heart-beat and never put it down.


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