An imaginary conversation about sneaking away

It sounds like you had a good time.

We did. I did. I think we both did. As you know, I am never quite sure…

…About anything, I know. You are probably grateful I didn’t ask if you were on a date.

I am, actually, because I don’t know. I’m going to just have to start asking.

No, don’t. That would be weird.

People expect me to be weird.

And you never disappoint. Still. Don’t ask guys if you are on a date with them. They won’t like it. So then what happened?

I was starting to fall asleep, and I couldn’t stay, so I left.

By yourself?

Who would have gone with me?

You walked to your car alone? Downtown?

Yes. It was only a few blocks. It wasn’t a big deal.

He didn’t try to stop you from leaving?

Of course not. He was sleeping. I don’t think he even realized that I left.

You just snuck away without saying goodbye?

Yes. Maybe. Yes. I guess. I don’t know.

That was mean.


Not saying goodbye is rude.

Some might say that waking someone up to say goodbye is rude. Maybe we were both a little socially inadequate. He fell asleep. I left without saying goodbye. We were even. I did give him a kiss and say goodbye. It’s his problem if he was asleep at the time.

Why couldn’t you stay?

No one asked me to.

That’s dumb.

And I was wearing jeans.

Jeans? So?

I had to work in the morning, and I can’t wear jeans to work. I’d have had to get up at 5 to go home and change.

Don’t you get up at 5:30 normally anyway?


I don’t get what the big deal was about staying there.

It wouldn’t have been a big deal. It would have been fine. It just..I don’t know. It didn’t feel right.

Don’t try to tell me you had moral qualms about it.

Of course not. I wasn’t kidding about no one asking. It felt weird to stay when I wasn’t invited.

You really think he would have objected to your staying?



I don’t think he would have said anything to me about it, no, but I felt like it would be awkward.

I think maybe you were overthinking it.

I didn’t really think about it at all, actually. I felt weird being there, so I left. If I had to guess, I would guess that he was relieved that I was gone when he woke up.

I’d be offended if you snuck out on me like that.

Awww, that’s sweet.

I bet waking up with you is fun.

No one has ever described it as fun, so you would probably lose your bet.

Are you grumpy when you wake up?

No, I don’t think so. A little quiet, maybe, until I am caffeinated. No one has ever called me grumpy.

Pretty? I bet you are pretty.

Definitely not pretty. Messy hair. No makeup. Fuzzy brain. Like most people, I guess.

It might be the only thing about you that is like most people…

Well, if we ever wake up together, bring me a cup of coffee in bed and tell me I look pretty and we’ll be friends for life.

Wow. You’re easy to please!

Not just any coffee. It needs to be good coffee.

How do you take it?

Black. No sugar.

Hard core.

You have no idea.

What a tease!

Again, you have no idea.

Hard core.

You already said that.

You can be very distracting.

And I’m not even trying right now…

An imaginary conversation about gods and art

I don’t get it.

Get what?

The decor in your bedroom.

You have something against Amish style furniture?


Queen size beds?


I don’t understand. what’s beyond your comprehension. It’s a fairly standard bedroom. Maybe a little messier than some.

I thought you were an atheist.

Yeah, so? I’m not allowed to decorate if I’m an atheist?

So what’s with the God wall?

It’s more of a wall of superstition.

Madonnas and saints?

And a few crosses. Maybe an ankh.

In your bedroom.

They go with the color scheme. They’re shiny. They’re aesthetically pleasing.

You don’t think it’s weird for an atheist to have a whole wall full of religious art in the most personal room in her house?

Not really. It would be weird for me to have a Bible or a rosary on my bedside table. It would be weird for me to say my prayers at night or go to church on Sunday. Art is just art. Some of it is superstition–Chinese lucky coins, and Middle Eastern evil eye charms…

I didn’t notice those.

You’ll never get afflicted by the evil eye in MY bedroom! I have protection.

It’s not like I have been in there a lot.

I didn’t remember you being in there at all!

I got the quick tour, but I wasn’t invited to stay.

Don’t make me bite you. You’ve had opportunity, but no motivation.

That doesn’t seem accurate.

No? In what way?



It’s complicated.

No, I think it’s pretty simple. The cat wouldn’t like giving up his spot anyway.

That’s why you’ve never invited me? Because of the cat?

I’ve never invited you? Really? Are you sure about that?

Not in so many words…

I think I am going to have to call bullshit on that.

You’re probably right.

Not probably.

So you’re officially inviting me?

I will stop at the stationary store and get an invitation tomorrow.

There’s no need to be a smart ass about it.

When am I not a smart ass?

When you’re praying?




Am not.

Bet I made you flinch.

Bet I can make you…

What? Ohhh–prove it!


An imaginary conversation about choices

So, what did you end up having for dinner tonight?


Popcorn? Just popcorn?

Popcorn and a salad.

And a salad?

Why are you repeating everything I say?

Because it seems sort of unlikely.


Now you’re doing it!


Don’t be. So why popcorn?

I was all stressed out when I should have been thinking of something to have for dinner. When I stopped being stressed out, I didn’t feel like cooking, so I made a salad. Then I was still hungry, and I still didn’t feel like cooking. I don’t do well with food and stress.

Why not? Food is just food. What were you stressed out about?

Should we have this same conversation about why you smoke? The reasons could be very similar.

It’s an addiction, and it feels good.

What made you start in the first place? It probably didn’t feel good to start with.

We aren’t talking about me right now, Duchess Deflection.

There isn’t much else to say about my dinner menu.

We aren’t really talking about the menu, we’re talking about why you make certain choices that are not very good for you.

You are. I am not.

Fair enough.

Talking about it just makes it worse.

Makes what worse?

It. That nebulous It that makes me eat too much, drink too much, and obsess about things.

Shouldn’t talking about it help?

Should I feel bad about talking not helping me in addition to whatever residual awesome feelings I might already have about the poor choices in general?

What? No! I just meant that maybe talking about it would help, and I am a good listener I hear. (Get it?)

Got it. The thing is, making the right choices, or rather healthier ones, is super simple. It is. Any child knows the basics of a healthy diet. Any even semi-educated adult knows many, many different ways to cope with stress that don’t involve overeating or drinking. So when you don’t do these super-simple things, you tend to feel like a moron.

You aren’t a moron.

No, but I feel like one a lot of the time because although I am a very smart person, I am pretty much unable to deal with my feelings in a way that isn’t at least a little bit self destructive.

You think having popcorn for dinner is self destructive? That’s a little excessive, don’t you think?

Yes, it is excessive and yes, I do think. I think the problem is that I can only deal with a couple of emotional issues at a time. Any more than that, and things leak out around the edges. And I almost always have more than 2 things going on at any given time.

Most people do.

No one ever said I was emotionally competent.

You are one of the most competent people I know in almost every possible way, except being kind to yourself.

I know, I know. That is why my mantra is “give yourself a fucking break.”

You should. Give yourself a fucking break, and don’t give up on yourself.

Well, I am nothing if not persistent. It’s just harder with eating because everything is a trigger: being happy, being sad, being restless, being excited, being lonely, being with people, a celebration…Plus, I just like food.

So what are you going to do about it?

When things calm down a bit, I will start to deal with it again. Somehow. I mean, it’s not rocket science. It’s just not eating.

Some people have the opposite problem.

Yes, and the world loves them.

Well, I love you.

And I love you right back. You’re good people.