Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dear Cousin

Dear “Cousin”,

When we were kids, you and I would walk behind Pa and Granny’s to the chicken coop. The dirt on that hillside was moist, and we would sit for hours sifting through it in search of worms. We were always hoping Dad would take us fishing. 

When it would get too hot, we would rejoin the girls in the front yard and swim circles in a kiddy pool not built for four. In the evenings when they pulled out the stereo and all the adults sat on the front porch and gossiped, you and I would run off to catch lighting bugs by the shed. We were inseparable. You were my buddy. My Blake. 

When I came out, you never really said anything. You met many of my girlfriends, hung out with us, joked with us, and we all went places together. You often told me how attractive they were. To my face, you were fine with my sexuality. 

However today… the day after the biggest day in LGBT history, you have spoken out against me, my heart, my humanity, and “my kind”, a term that you used to represent all “queers and lesbians”. Thank you for clarifying. 

“Ok so I am completely UN happy with gay marriage being legal in some states, as the bible says be fruitful and multiply and two people of the same sex cant multiply. If god wanted the same sex to be together then he would made everybody the same gender but did he no he didnt and what kind of example is this going to set for future generations I mean children cant ever pray at school w/o getting in trouble. What kind of president would allow this kind of stuff Obama would he is the WORST president ever in Americas history he needs to be impeached ASAP before America is left with absolutely nothing.”

First, unhappy is one word. You’re unhappy with gay marriage being legal in some states… Does that mean you’re ok with it being legal in others? Also, you mentioned that the bible says to “Be fruitful and multiply.” Without looking it up, can you please tell me what verse that is? In fact, can you tell me ANY verse off the top of your head? The truth is… you don’t go to church. You’ve never been religious. Name ONE TIME when you we’re in school that you were UPSET that you didn’t have time to pray. Seriously. One time. 

Going back to the “being fruitful thing”, does that mean women who can’t get pregnant, or men who are sterile shouldn’t be able to get married? What about the elderly? Pa can no longer have kids. If he chose to remarry, should he be allowed? Does that mean also that everyone should have kids before they’re married so we can ensure they can reproduce? I thought having a baby out of wedlock was against your religion… 

Also, please tell me what your problem with Obama is? What is one problem you see with his current term as president. I do expect a detailed answer with examples of policies and regulations, because the truth is… you don’t know anything about politics. The only reason you don’t like him is because he’s black. I’m not going to say his presidency has been flawless, but if you’re going to speak out about him… have a reason that isn’t racist. 

Finally, you told me to “keep that nasty shit out here with me, and not to bring it to Tennessee.” Did you forget that I was raised on the same soil you were, and that I was gay in Tennessee, before I was ever in California? Tennessee is where my heart is. I grew up there… You are not the keeper of the states, and I will be gay wherever I damn well please. LEGALLY. 

From this point forward, whenever another state legalizes gay marriage, I will toast to you and your ignorance. Just so you know, that’s a lot of toasts… Because whether you like it or not, most people aren’t homophobic. Gay Marriage will be legal nationwide very soon, and you will sit there rambling your nonsense unheard.

You told me that if I had a problem with your opinion that I should delete you. Which, I’m going to do… but before that happens I would like to remind you that you had NO PROBLEM wearing my gay clothes. Whenever I outgrew my t-shirts, and hats, and jeans, and jackets… which cousin wore them? My ignorant straight homophobic cousin wore them. Every day. In fact they were the nicest clothes you had.

I have always been good to you. I have always made it a point to stand up for you, and I even tried to get you to go to college and then live with me until you found a job in California, but it’s probably better you didn’t. There are a lot of queers out here. 

I hope that one day you do embrace God. You would see that his word preaches love, hope and faith. Not hate, belittlement, and discrimination. 

With Love,

Your Lesbian Cousin

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I've Got A Feeling

My sister was six years older than me so when she was going through her rebellious teen years, my ten year-old self thought that it was hilarious to disturb or put her off in some way. It was only then that she paid me attention. Well that and when she wanted someone to convince our dad to take us out for Chinese food.

I remember building this complex - not really - contraption once, which was attached to her bedroom door. There was a board that would fall when the door was opened hitting the on button of the vacuum cleaner, which I had dressed as a ghostly figure. The hose on the vacuum would blow into the ghoul, waving madly the arms of cloth-like nature. From another angle, the door would trigger a pulled string that would turn on the fan. From there the fan would spin slowly around with a balloon for a ghost head.

I spent at least two hours testing this prank.

I opened and closed the door over and over, re-taping the strings and propping up the board. It was an experiment and I was just the scientist to discover the exact angles and speeds at which this prank would need to go off unhitched.

I lay under her bed waiting patiently for her arrival. Minutes passed. They turned into half an hour, and slowly half an hour became two full hours. I waited… When she finally came home I could hear her voice floating in from the kitchen. She was with her best friend Heather. I knew then that this prank wasn’t going to go over well. You see, when I pulled pranks on my sister she screamed and slowly laughed back into a happy place where she could see me through the tears in her eyes. When I pranked her in front of her friends however, smoke escaped from her ears and her head spun like an exorcism. I tried to shimmy out from under the bed on time, but she was too quick. She threw open the door, tearing the tape off of the door. No balloon. Whew.

I hadn’t prepared for her aggressive entrance however, and the board over shot the vacuum cleaner. It flew underneath the bed and smashed my finger at the exact same moment that my sister saw my creation in the middle of her room. My outcries combined with her yelling vibrated the wood pane windows.

That’s all I remember. I don’t know if she got angry. I’m not sure if I cried. What I know is that I waited there patiently for hours on something that might never pan out. That’s okay, because I know that the journey is half the point, not just the destination. Yes, I wanted to see her reaction, but also I wanted to spend two hours as a warrior awaiting my opponent. My hand constructed Trojan horse was there in the middle of the room, ready to surprise. I wanted to wait for something. I wanted to feel the anticipation in my chest as my heart beat quickly.

And wait I did.

I live for that moment now. The little rush in your mind that turns your body cold. The slightest little skip of the beat of your heart. The moment when you have never felt more alive than you do right then. To me, those are the significant moments. The ones that get your heart beating. I don’t mean when you get on a roller coaster and you know that there is about to be a big drop. You know that it’s coming. No. I’m talking about chance. Whether these moments are triggered by the touch of a beautiful woman or by looking out over a mountain top you climbed without stopping and finding that there happens to be a rainbow just on the other side, those are the moments to look out for. Those are the ones to keep on a shelf in your heart so you can pull them out and relive them; even the ones that are a little more painful.

When I was fourteen I went to Florida with my high school basketball team. Of course it was during that time in my life where I thought that it was cool to be a bad ass, so my fourteen year-old friends and I got Smirnoff from the seniors and headed out to the hot tub to join a bunch of older hotel guests. My step-sister was a year ahead of me and friends with the older crowd. They came outside for a while, but before long only two of us girls remained. Since the guys had fortunately figured out that we were very young they left. The other girl and I finished our Smirnoff and headed back to the hotel. My heart pounding.

The entire time I was on the edge of my seat. I knew that if we got caught that we would be in serious trouble, but it was Florida and we were kids. Palms sweating, we snuck back into our hotel room and climbed into bed hoping to dream about our wild evening. I had my first hangover the next day. I didn’t play worth a lick, and I wasn’t as alert as I wanted to be. We were stomped by the competitors at that camp. I thought that beating was bad enough, but I had no idea what lay in store for me when I went home.

A few weeks had passed. I wrote my step-sister a letter talking about that night in Florida. I don’t know if she left it out on purpose or if my mother was snooping, but the letter was found. She sat us down, still unsure who the author was. I think she expected the letter to not be mine, but she was wrong… and very disappointed. She never dreamt I would do something so careless… or wrong.

My mother standing in front of me with her head down, hand covering the tremble of her lip, stepped away from me. Shaking her head she turned and left. My heart sunk. It was the worst feeling I’ve had in my entire life, and has happened on a couple of occasions... The day that I came out and the day that I told her that she could have loved me more as a child.

The truth is though that I live for those moments too. They’re the ones that allow me a comparison. How would I know how truly incredible some things feel, if I never knew how bad others hurt. It showed me exactly how much my mother loved me. Had her love not been unconditional she would have given up on me by now. It shows me every day how lucky I am to be alive. How lucky I am to feel the beating of my heart in my chest and move freely with intention to succeed throughout my life because I want to. Not because I have to.

I still make all of my own decisions, and I try to be more aware of their consequences, but the truth is… I’m still human. Good or bad, I want that feeling… Often I will do whatever it takes to get it.

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Apology

I am sorry for the things that I have done.

I can’t help but say those words over and over in my head. I know that they don’t mean quite as much inside here as they would out in the open, lying at the feet of those who deserve those words the most. I find that I’m a trial and error kind of girl. I make mistakes more often than not and I have found that in the middle of each mistake is a broken heart or a confused mind. Unfortunately the mistakes I make are ones that I can’t take back, and often they hurt someone else along the way. I don’t avoid them. I run head on towards these mistakes, determined to pave my own way.

Yes brick hurts when you run into it, but who is to say that this wall won’t give… just to reveal an open meadow?  I know that it’s not likely, but I also know that it is possible and I believe in fate. Or at least I think I do. To be honest, lately I’m not sure what I believe in. I stare at the United Methodist Church on the corner of Highland and it’s big gay friendly sign. Even gay friendly, I’m not sure I want to go inside.

My friends read of their most updated list of potential celeb worthy baby names, and all I can think is “Why would you name someone Charles?” Not that I have anything against the name, but what kind of person is motivated to name a small child that? Someone older I would think. I can’t see myself with a child anymore. I can’t see a life where my entire focus is on a tiny human being. I also can’t see that focus being on a partner.

I’m selfish.

That word tastes a little sour as it rolls of my tongue, but the truth is I had rather taste the hint of sour selfishness than the constant bitterness of regret, and that is what I’m afraid of. I’m afraid that I will regret settling so young and having a family instead of dedicating my life to changing the lives of others. I can barely offer my own thoughts and dreams the amount of time they need to develop. How am I suppose to give “all of myself” to a woman? Everyone tells me I'm supposed to, but that isn't what I want right now. I don't know why I don't want it.. maybe I get it from my father. This urge to postpone commitment as long as possible.

It took me a while to understand this. Unfortunately I hurt someone along the way, and I don’t know if she will ever read this but the only thing on my mind is this apology.

“I’m sorry for not knowing sooner that my heart was never fully there. I’m sorry for being so skittish; then again I’m not. Flight was a protective characteristic that my mother never developed. The fight in her was always more prevalent and she has beat herself down ever since.

I’m sorry for letting you down. I hate that I left things open-ended in your mind, but I couldn’t see clearly anymore. I had strayed so far from my own plan hoping that the foundation would rebuild itself underneath me, but it never did. You really are incredible. You’re one of the more delightful human beings I have ever met in my life and the only thing I regret about us is that I know now that I will never be as close to you again as I was in that first month. The intoxicating adrenaline we got from one another kept me drunk on more than one occasion, but we both knew I had to sober up eventually. It wasn’t realistic, you and I. We were both laying band aids over the wounds we had and tried not to touch them… but I want to let air into my skin. I want to watch the scars peel away.

I am sorry for not being as certain as I thought I was. I am sorry for hurting you. God knows you didn’t deserve it. I’m also sorry that you never felt like I was sorry. I felt it as strongly as I knew how. If it helps, I finally cried. The following Monday I sat in the floor of a bathroom that wasn’t my own and I cried into my knees tucked tightly to my chest. For a moment I felt like a child again, holding myself together in the corner… hiding away from my fears that spilled over only through my eyelids.

It doesn’t make it easy, and it doesn’t make me right… But I am sorry." 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Girl Who Changed Everything

The girl who changed everything, I met once only briefly. She doesn’t know all of my deepest secrets, the ones that betray me. This girl isn’t someone I have slept with, or even kissed. She’s not a saint… but she changed my life.

This girl, a southern girl with a sweet smile and a hidden wild streak, didn’t mean to change anything. In fact, I doubt she even knows that she did. No, this girl doesn’t set out to change people. She sees the best in everyone and tells you about it every time you speak. She has a heart of gold, and a soul that’s only ever been explored surface deep.  Those around her have never understood this girl. There has never been another to recognize her potential or her depth. Something tells me she doesn’t even know it yet.

However, I caught a glimpse. Fate brought us together just once. Moment after moment I found myself alone with her, face to face, looking a little too deeply into her eyes. I often felt my chest closing, tightening itself around my heart… building a wall as quickly as it could while it pounded away.

Unfortunately, there were cracks in the foundation, and my motivation was weak. Her gaze seeped through, and I knew I had to discover her, this girl. I had to understand her thoughts and why she felt certain ways. I found myself grasping to the information that she shared and wrapping it in cotton. I placed it gently on a shelf in my mind hoping it wouldn’t break or disappear. The thought of her consumed my mind and captured my attention so wholly that the images of us became more vivid in my mind now than they ever were in person. Every moment played back in my mind then in slow motion and continues to. 

It wasn’t passion or lust. It wasn’t a decision that I made. It was a reaction. A connection. It was what happened to me the moment we met for the first time. I never saw her standing there, but I heard her voice. It was a voice so strangely familiar, yet one I knew I shouldn’t recognize. I hugged her immediately. I had heard so many great things, and I found myself focusing on everything about her.

The first time I caught her alone in the car, we had a conversation about sexuality. She knew before I arrived that I was a lesbian. Our mutual friend had mentioned it many times. In fact, the thing that people remember most about me from high school is that I am gay. She had a friend that she believed to be gay, but had never really been around people who were. I knew then that there was something special about her. She didn’t have the typical southern mentality. She saw things so openly. She was non-judgmental, and wasn’t at all fazed or made uncomfortable by my openness. It was okay that I was gay.

I knew after that we would never stop talking. I knew that we had the potential to have a friendship that most people never dreamt of and that I would do anything in my power to make sure that would happen. She is a lot like me, this girl. Especially before I left home. My heart wide with purpose, so sure it would burst if I didn’t use it. So I chased my heart and my dreams to the big city scene. He’s going through the same thing right now.
Some have even said we looked alike, but I don’t think seeing her is looking back at me. I think that she’s the better version.  it wasn’t until I saw her cry that I saw her heart.

She sat inches from my face, tears welling in her eyes. They were red-rimmed and threatening to spill over… her mascara waiting to run. And there it was. Her heart. It just sat there swimming in the tears. Doing flips that caused waves of emotion, pushing each drop closer to the edge. Looking back I can’t even remember what all I said while trying to comfort her. I just remember thinking that I would do anything to help her stop. Even share my tequila.

And as she stopped crying she hugged my neck and said “You are incredible.” How was I supposed to repeat that and make it sound genuine? I couldn’t, but she was incredible… and she stole the words right out of my mouth.

That night, the music and the lights swam in between us. The way her hair fell in front of her big greenish-blue eyes as they danced their way across the room. I would remember her forever, this girl. The girl who changed everything.

Don’t be confused. I’m not in love with her. I’m likely never to see her again. The thing that she changed isn’t my relationship status or even my heart. No. This girl changed my mentality. She showed me something in the South that I haven’t seen before. She showed me respect, and equality. She helped me believe in the greater good of this country, and the better half of myself.

Some people will never believe that marriage between two women is ok, much less legal. Some same sex couples will never be allowed to marry. In certain areas, hate crimes will still exist… but here in the deepest of the south sits a girl who sees a woman… Not a lesbian. A woman who recognizes a friend… not a menace.

And as I drove off my phone vibrated a message from her. “I’m so glad fate brought us together.” So am I. She will never recognize how much. 

Monday, June 10, 2013


Last night, I let my roommate hear my work. I read it to her aloud. My voice quivered as she sat there silently, you see, I’m still not used to reading my work aloud. Not to a stranger.

It’s not that I don’t know her. We’ve known each other since freshman year of college when we stood back to back in line for orientation. She heard the sound of my voice, and spun to me and asked, “Are you from Australia?” I stood like a deer in headlights, dumbfounded at her misinterpretation of the accent I knew I didn’t really have. “You clearly don’t know anyone from Australia.” I said and my palms started to sweat. Palms never have been good with women. I explained to her I was from Tennessee, and we carried on our day.

In the weeks to follow my name would sweep across campus, except no one could remember what it really was. Instead, they remembered my thick Tennessee accent, and from that day forward, that’s who I was. Tennessee, Tenn, Tenney. It varies from day to day.

So, it’s not that she’s a stranger. No, this girl and I share the same last name. We sat there, side by said in the M’s section when they called us to the stage for graduation. We had the same major in college, and my sister’s middle name is the name of her first.

No. We aren’t strangers. But I am afraid that she’ll stand there today, arms crossed at a loss for words. I’m afraid she’ll see through the tears that shield my fears and say She’s strange, her, this girl, who spills words on a page. Wasting their potential. Not to mention she’ll still stand there, arms crossed … today.

She’ll stare at me and all she’ll see in this, “Strange, her.” She’ll point me out, and all those around will see. This strange her she speaks of is me.

I’m the strange her; the girl so different from the rest. I spill my heart upon a page, upon a screen or canvas. I speak aloud of ups and downs, my hearts woe and memories. And here she sits with arms uncrossed, listening silently.

Never once does she identify me as the strange her I expected. Not once does she judge me or question this page full of words. It’s nice to be able to put into words something that no one is going to judge you for.

After the final word falls from the page, she smiles and says “You should record that. It’s even better when you read it out loud.” I’m not sure if it makes sense aloud. Any of it. Sometimes my plays on words can be a bit distracting and frankly with my accent I say things different from most. My voice cracks when I’m nervous, and I’m not positive that anyone can understand me, but she was so supportive when she said it. So warm and inviting with her opinions. I couldn’t help but think that maybe I wasn’t so strange after all. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


For the past few days, I’ve done the same thing. I sit down in front of my computer and write a few lines. I’ll say them over in my head trying to decide where the story is going, and then after careful consideration I’ll delete them again. My heart isn’t interested in telling these stories that my mind conjures. It wants something more.

Even now as my fingertips stroll along the keyboard I’m asking myself if I’m sure these words are right. So far my heart hasn’t skipped a beat signaling my far right pinky to dance upon the delete button, so I carry on.

They’re funny things aren’t they? Fingers. You can move them all in sync, or separately. Then there are times where you can’t move them at all. Like when they’re in the hand of a beautiful girl. Then they’re hoping that they fit well there, and praying they don’t begin to sweat. Typically, sweating is the palms fault. Palms have never really been that good with women. That’s why Fingers are there to back them up.

Now, mine venture back and forth from resting quietly upon the keys, to treading them lightly. In the case however that my heart has something to share my fingers focused and determined, pound the keys of my laptop like the march of an independent army. Prepared for battle with the heavy cloud of certainty that this might be the last time they ever share again.

And it might.

This life was handed to us (no finger pun intended) and we’re expected to live it the way we see fit. No one promised us a certain number of days. They never said you’ll be alive long enough to…

No. What they said is, this is your chance. No one knows how long you have, so give it everything you’ve got.  Why put off something today with the excuse that you’ve always got tomorrow. That’s simply not true. We don’t have tomorrow. Tomorrow actually never comes. We will always be in today. Even if you sleep for twelve hours, wake up and the date is different… It will still be today. So why not spend today in a way that you’ll remember it when it becomes yesterday? Give it hope. Give it a chance to breathe life into the life of another. Hold the hand of someone you love… Hell, hold the hand of someone you just met, and through those fingertips, extend the life that you breath into the tips of theirs.

My fingers carry my voice. It leaks down from my throat, circling my heart, through my chest, past my shoulder blades, into my arms and through the tips of my ten tiny pens working together to construct a story far more incredible than my mind has ever considered.

Even after my fingers scamper back and forth writing line after line, that story still isn’t out… However nothing has been deleted either. Who knows. Maybe my hands are telling me something. Maybe these little fingers just want to speak. Maybe they could talk about two liter bottles, French bread and candy bars. As long as it comes out the write way, then they’ll be happy. And yes… I meant write. I didn’t misspell it. You see, there is a difference in the right way and the write way. The right way implies that there is a wrong way, and that you have to avoid it by following rules and guidelines. The write way is your voice being heard regardless of the subject, and it meaning something. As long as it’s well written, it doesn’t matter what you’re saying… As long as you mean it.

So here is my voice. Here are my fingers. Here is my heart.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I was seventeen.

I had been through the biggest break up of my life. I was in love with her, but she couldn’t be with me. I slipped word to her through a friend that I would wait for her at the end of a gravel road, on top of the deserted hill in her hometown.

It was “Raegan”. I mentioned her in Water Runs Blue.

J drove me. We sat quietly in his little green beretta as he wound down the road to my fate. He knew that she and I had a falling out, but not about what. I think he suspected at that point that we had been together. Especially considering I requested a handle of “Zombie” (a blue alcohol mix that nothing short of transforms you into the living dead.) We parked at the top of the hill and J rolled down the windows. The sun was setting, and the stars began peeking out in the distance.

Lifehouse had become our band of choice that summer, and You and Me was playing louder than it should have been for an incognito encounter.

I turned up the bottle using both hands. It was nearly half gone, and I was already drunk. It trickled off my chin and onto my shirt. I was a mess.

I could see two stars floating up the hill. They got bigger as they got closer. I realized they were headlights. My heart began pounding. What if it was the cops? What if they knew we were trespassing? What if they found out I was drinking? What if my parents found out? What if it was Raegan’s dad? Even worse… What if it was Raegan? Could I really stand to face her? To hear what she had to say? It had been a month since we had spoken.

A million things ran through my mind at that moment. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I was hyperventilating. I was terrified.

Raegan stepped out of the car. I climbed out of the Beretta. Leaving the tell-tale bottle behind me.

“You wanted to see me?” was the only thing she said.

“You didn’t?” I slurred.

I took a step toward her. She took a step back, glancing at J.

“This is how you’re going to act?” I knew it was. She had always been paranoid. No one could know. No one could find out. Even the people who knew weren’t allowed to discuss it.

“You’re drunk.” She replied. It wasn’t hard to tell.

“And you’re an asshole.” I was angry. She hadn’t called. Hadn’t made contact of any kind. I knew that her dad was making it nearly impossible, but I loved her. I was ready to pack up my things and run away together. Instead, she just walked away from me… My heart was being ripped out of my chest with every second that ticked by.

“I’m an asshole?” She was hurt. In her mind she was doing everything she possibly could to stay alive. To this day, I still don’t know the things she suffered within the four walls of her own home, but at the time I was selfish. I was a child.

I spun on my heels and stumbled back to J’s car. He was propped up on the drivers side.

“Hand me the bottle.” I demanded.

“You’ve had enough.” Raegan said following me.

“Why don’t you listen to her?” He offered.

“Why don’t you stay out of it?” I jeered. I quickly rounded the side of the car and reached through the passenger side window. I grabbed the bottle of Zombie and lifted it out. Heavier than I expected, it slipped, crashing down on the car door. The window never rolled down completely, so an inch or so of the glass was raised above the edge. When the bottle met the glass it shattered. For a moment I thought it was my heart.

J grabbed his face with his hands and just squatted down to the ground. I knew I had fucked up, but damn it if I cared at that point. Every emotion that I had held inside until then came pouring out, as if it had been contained by the glass all along.

I was seventeen. I was in love for the first time. I was falling apart for the first time. I knew that I was dying, and I prayed for the end. When it didn’t come, I sunk to the ground. On my knees, I watched her walk back to her car. My voice caught in my throat, I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t breathe. All I could do was sob. All I could do was bathe in the pain. I watched her tail lights fade in the distance, and what seemed like years later J lifted me off the ground. He walked me, steadying each step, back to the car. Most of the glass had fallen into the door, but the few pieces that made it out glittered across the ground under the bright, big moon.

I remember wondering if I swallowed it all, if I might shine again. I knew that I wouldn’t. I knew that it was crazy, and I wasn’t about to eat glass, but nothing made sense in that moment. I didn’t understand what I had done so horribly wrong to feel the pain that I felt.

Why was it so easy for her to walk away? Why was it so hard for me to stand? How did I feel this way about her? About a woman? Why couldn’t I be “normal?” Why couldn’t I love J instead? It was no secret that he was in love with me. He took me to his Junior prom the year before.

As we drove home, the wind blew through the empty hole where the window had been. I stared up into the sky, the breeze taking my breath away, and cried. When every tear had dried and I couldn’t shed another, I took a deep breath. We pulled into my yard, and I stepped out of the car. I held a piece of glass in my hand. J who was living with us at the time walked in front of me and opened the door. He walked me to my room. My mom called out from the bedroom.

“Tenn? Is that you?”

“Yes mom.” I slurred out. Still drunk.

I crawled into bed.

“Can you take out the trash?”

J looked at me knowingly and turned to retrieve the garbage.

“I’m going to sleep. I don’t feel well. J’s got it.”

“Alright. Good night baby.”


Not another tear fell. The next morning is when I began writing. I woke up, and stepped over J who was asleep on the floor. It was an interesting friendship we had, but it was what we both needed at the time. He needed a place to sleep, and I needed a guy to “protect me”. People weren’t so tough with him around.

“What’re you doing?” he asked.

“I’m going to tell her I love her.”

“I thought you tried that already?”

“I’m trying again.”

The words fell down like paint on a canvas. The story came to life before my eyes.

She never read it. She still hasn’t read it. I put it aside when my heart began to heal. I look back now and it’s hard to remember what we ever had in common. I see her and struggle to place who she is. I haven’t felt love for her in years… but I remember the story. I remember the difficult path that we took. I marvel at what that has made me today.   

Tonight, as I wrap up this post, I plan to pull it out again. I’m going to finish this story. Not for her, but for me. I’m writing it all down. I’m baring my soul for everyone who feels like they can’t go on. For everyone in pain.

Remember me,

I’m Tennessee