dear website,

i know i’ve been neglecting you lately, and i’m sorry about that.  it’s just that i’ve been really busy, and a lot of things are happening, and i haven’t been able to find much time for you.  i have missed you, though.  you’ve been in my life longer than almost anyone i know, and i don’t want to take you for granted.  so i’d like to tell you what’s been going on with me.

for the past week i’ve been housesitting for some friends.  they’re on a family vacation and have left their charming house, two cars, and lovable dog in my care.  they think i’m doing them a favor, but really they’re doing one for me, as i’ve found the change of scenery refreshing.  as soon as i arrived at the house i unpacked all my things and put them in their proper places–clothes in the closet, laptop in the living room, shoes at the foot of the bed, toiletries in the bathroom.  then i straightened up and cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms.  it was more cleaning and nesting than i’ve done in months, and it felt really good to make the place feel like my own.

when i packed for the housesitting, i threw in everything i thought i might need (and even a few things i might not need), because i wanted to avoid having to go back for anything but the mail.  it’s impossible to anticipate everything, though, so i did have to go back once.  the first time i pulled up into my usual parking space, i couldn’t make myself go inside.  instead i sat in the car thinking about how it isn’t really my apartment, but it isn’t our apartment anymore because there isn’t an us anymore, so i guess now it’s just the apartment.  anyway, i couldn’t go in.

the second time i went, i managed to get myself up the stairs and through the door into the apartment, where i ran smack into an anxiety attack.  do you know what anxiety attacks feel like, website?  i’ve had a whole lot of them over the past few weeks, so i know them pretty well.  though this may sound a bit nebulous, the best way i can describe an anxiety attack is to say that it makes my whole body feel like static–radio static and tv static and static electricity all together.  my breath gets fast and i can’t stop shaking and my brain won’t focus on anything besides the breathing and shaking.  the worst ones last for hours at a time, and there’s nothing i can do to get rid of them that won’t render me unable to function.

so i was trying to calm down and trying to get the things i came for, and i kept stepping over boxes and boxes and piles of stuff that was mine and stuff that wasn’t mine and stuff that wasn’t anybody’s, and it was hot and stuffy and sad and strange and i got out of there as fast as i could.  i didn’t feel better until i got back to the house.

as of saturday the house won’t be mine anymore, either, so i don’t know what i’m going to do then.  suck it up, i guess.

also my best friend went to europe for the summer, my sister went to brazil for six months, and my parents moved away to another state.  my childhood home is for sale, if anyone out there wants to buy it.

everything is changing, website.  i’ll try to keep you posted.


letters to people i’ll probably never see again *

dear a)
at least, i’m pretty sure i’ll never see you again.  it makes me sad, because i think you might know me better than almost anyone else out there.  it may not matter now, but i’m really sorry i hurt you.

dear b)
we had our falling-out almost nine years ago, and i still miss you.  a lot.  i think that if one of us had done things just a little bit differently, we might still be friends today.  i often wonder if you’re happy, if you’re where you want to be in life.  i also think about how good it would feel to be more successful than you.
hey, i never said i was mature.

dear c)
remember when i wasn’t ready to sleep with you on our second date and you told me you were “used to the wham, bam, thank you, ma’am”?  that was awesome.

dear d)
remember when we met for drinks and you said, “do you think of me as a friend or as more than a friend?” and i said, “a friend,” because that’s what i thought we were, and you said, “alison, i’m a horny guy, and i only get one night off a week,” thereby indicating that you were only spending time with me because you thought we were going to have sex?  that was even MORE awesome.

dear e)
i still resent your apparent decision to stop being my friend so you could spend more time hooking up with girls.  i still get angry when i think about the time we ran into each other at a bar and you were rude to me because you didn’t want the girl you were there with to think you had too many female friends.  you were my BEST FRIEND.  and i MISS YOU.

dear f)
the number of dreams i’ve had about you is much, much larger than the number of times we’ve actually seen one another.  i don’t know why this is.  maybe it means we’re meant to run into each other again.  if that ever happens, please disregard this letter.

dear g)
you were sweet and strange and interesting and smart, you made me laugh, and you always knew what i was talking about.  i hope someday we can walk through the streets of a big city together.  if that ever happens, please disregard this letter.

dear h)
for a first love, you weren’t half bad.  i didn’t think it was funny at the time, but eight years later i find it HILARIOUS that you called to break up with me at 7:29 pm on a sunday, just as the simpsons credits rolled.  don’t let dumping your girlfriend get in the way of a new episode, eh?

dear i) and j)
there are two reasons i haven’t kept in touch with you:
1) i’m not very good at it.
2) when things in my life don’t go well, the last thing i want to do is talk about it.
which is a shame because i know you would have listened and empathized and not judged me at all.  i wish we still knew each other.

dear k)
i’d never have done anything about it because it would have been bad for both of us, but i was always, always a little bit in love with you.

* i wrote this in my head four months ago, during a ben folds show.  something about seeing live music makes me think weird thoughts and write them down in my head.

dear people,

if you are someone i know, and i was supposed to call or email you or do something for or with you this past week, please know that i’m sorry it didn’t happen. i got a cold and then i contracted a severe case of listlessness, depression and general malaise.  for days i couched and stared at the television and took naps from which i woke sweaty and disoriented.  you wouldn’t have wanted to be in contact with me for fear i’d give you my cold or lower your morale in some way.

you’ll be happy to know that the cold is mostly gone, as are the listlessness and malaise.  the depression i’ve had since i was eighteen, and it’s gonna take more than cough drops and bad naps to get rid of that.