sent mail

I have a pit in my stomach, but I’m afraid to tell you about it.  Feeling needy scares me, and maybe it’s something I should swallow with milk.  I’m going through this alone.  Holding the worry in my stomach, in my shoulders, in my womb.  I’m frightened of dying alone.  I’m afraid my life won’t be as colorful as I imagined it. 

With fears about my future, I hang onto the good I can now, hoping it will be enough.  Sustenance.  I get high off ideas I write on napkins, thin lines in my red notebook.  I satiate on the idea of these ideas. The sweet voice of a friend on my voicemail, when Linus rests his little head in my hand, Natalie Merchant.

I missed you so much today; I could feel it in my wrinkles, smell it in my pillows, and taste it in my tears.  When it’s safe, I’ll give you this.  I’ll use ribbon and save it for when you believe in us.  So you won’t get frustrated and yell that you give up, you won’t wonder if you make me happy.  You will stop making me afraid to be sad near you.  You’ll let me be me, tears and all.  By then, you’ll have the answer on you.  You’ll carry the yes in your pocket with your keys.  And, I hope you don’t drop it.  Because yes, you do make me happy.  Yes to it all.  My love for you is profound and as real as the earth.

Nothing has changed, though now our earth is so separate.  My love for you runs thick like the water covering it.

* * *

For my first time since middle school, I visited the New York Public Library.  I didn’t know where I was going; I just went.  Up all those courtly stairs into a museum on Russia?  Man, what is this? "Where is the library?"  The guard tells me to take the elevator to 3.  Ah, okay.  On 3, I ask a sack of a woman at the information desk for a card.  "No dear, this is research, the real library is across the street."  So let me get this straight.  You can’t take out any books at the New York Public Library?  Yeah, the one with the Lions and the stairs.  It’s monumental, and you can only leave with flimsy pamphlets about how to borrow books from across the street.  What a sham.

So, I went to the Manhattan Library as instructed.  I read a little Pablo Neruda.  I like his ode to socks.  I still prefer Ms. Olds.  Anyway, I’ve got to hop to class now.  I’m kinda mortified about what I submitted.  Oh well.  Work in progress.  Work in progress… aren’t we all.  I should walk around with an orange sign, “under construction.”



  1. Have you guys heard of the law of attraction (no pun intended)?
    STOP worrying about it, don't get desperate and keep positive. It'll happen. And when it does, it'll be worth waiting for.

    Um, as far as having a 'colorful' life, oh, come now, my dear…..

  2. I need to repeat myself.

    I was onto something with the whole "dear" thing in the Dirty Di post. I write much more honestly when I think I'm confiding in someone or something.

    When I click through my 'sent' mailbox and re-read OLD emails to friends(key word is OLD), where I share all the juicy tid-bits of my dates… well they're much more natural than anything you'll find here.

    In fact, my earliest posts were originally written longhand in a journal where I had no reason to feel caution or self-conscious. I hate that I've allowed self-consciousness to slip between the spaces of my words. Fuck it, my next entry is going to be titled… sent mail.

  3. Stephanie,
    Reading someone one's blog is voyeuristic to say the least. we give people insight into our lives and they assume they know us. Your post was very honest and open. We all feel the same way you wrote about – but it takes someone with a lot of courage to pen it.
    Big hug!

  4. Think I got it…

    Sent mail is GREAT mining material. It is date-stamped with emotion. It's e-mail "verite;" our own unintentional mind tracks preserved in their raw state for future reference.

    People change. Memories often fade and are graded on a curve as time goes on. Sent mail?? Same as it ever was.

  5. Oh my god. I totally know exactly how you feel.
    When I was a kid, I went to a carnival.
    Okay, I was raised in a carnival.
    Okay, my parents just followed the carnival.
    Alright, I followed it alone.
    OK OK OK I'm still in the carnival.
    Allllright, I'm a midget.
    Shheeesh You got me. I'm the guy who stands on his own nutt sack and begs for ham.

    Anyway, — wait what were we talking about?

  6. It is a very good post. I think a lot of this anxiety, and I speak in general, is passed between people our age because we are all either too guarded or too selfish. I know all my relationships failed whenever I started "going for mine". Do you run into a lot of that? I think it's like that commerical about quick rewards. We all expect sterling results, but very often, we don't put in the sweat (not just in relationships). Not that this pertains to Stephanie or anyone else. I think though, that if you want to get serious, you have to approach it seriously. "Serious" is not just a racheting up of emotions, or going from dating to girlfriend. It's a matter of stewardship. You are taking on more, so you have to care more, you have to work more…[RANT OFF]

  7. Stephanie,

    I have felt the same as you. Most of us do, I think. I've always wanted children and have never been able to have my own. Adoption wasn't an option due to the cost. Now at this stage of my life, it's no longer worth pursuing. I know what I'm facing as I grow older. I won't have a family, but I don't think of it anymore. There comes a time in everyone's life when we learn what we can control and what we can't, and your fears change or disappear. It's then that you finally find peace with yourself. Much like I have. Yes, I will always regret not having children, but it was out of my control. It wasn't my fault. I've accepted it.

    You still have time to change it, and if all goes according to plan, that's great, but don't count on it and please don't dwell on it, because life is bound to throw a wrench in it somewhere and sometimes we can't always dodge it. Enjoy the ride and live while you can because tomorrow is promised to no one.

  8. Life happens while you're making other plans.

    So, it may not work out as you thought it would. Or how you were told while you were growing up–that one's a big laugh for most of us. Or how your friends did.

    This doesn't mean that it didn't work out.

  9. Yeah, I get that. . .
    I've been toying with the differences between "fears" (which are more rational than not) and phobias (which are more irrational than not). Fears, I think, can be healthy but phobias, I know, can be paralyzing. One suggests caution and the other calls out panic. I'm still trying to figure out which is which and when.

  10. Well Stephanie, you have once again penned feelings that I relate to yet have a hard time facing. I am newly divorced (3 months) and am having a very difficult time realizing all the feelings that come with it. I can't spend two minutes without the nagging questions….Why? How? Could it have been different? Did I make the right decisions? You are obviously much more poetic than myself, and I only wish that I could share my emotions with such rawness and unabated honesty. I guess denial is my medicine. This medicine has horrible side effects though… no warning label on the divorce decree. One minute so glad to be alone, the next minute in absolute fear of dying alone…no one to mourn my passing. No claim to fame. Nothing. Great highs and deep lows….valleys of despair and hopelessness. What is my purpose, what vision is this? Did I plan this all along, or am I just one of the statistics? Answers, if I only knew the answers….

  11. i actually like the research library — looking at books knowing that i have only a certain amount of time to see them, writing down the name in case i want to come back; sitting all afternoon, people watching. bringing a notebook, a sketchbook, or not. there is something about the big old rooms and wood tables and hushed importance that lends a different ambiance to the whole experince; not just a functional place to borrow books.
    ok, so i miss being in NY.

  12. Stephanie,you put into words so beautifully what were all feeling……even 30something guys in london who also are sick of being alone and wondering if it'll ever change!!

  13. Life is funny. We never know what the good Lord has in store for us. When we least expect it, it will happen. Trust in the Lord, not to sound too much like a fanatic, but it's the truth. Things happen in strange ways. Keep the faith! To thine own self be true.

  14. The lord made her fat in the first place dad. The lord screwed up her relationships.

    The Lord. HA!

    What Stephanie needs to do, and I mean this with all due respect and the intention to affect chnge, is to stop being so freaking introspective all the god damn time. Stephanie is so obsessed with Stephanie that of course she is gonna exhibit these signs of psychosis.

    If you stare at your hand too long, pretty soon you'll be sure that it want's to kill you. it's like saying any word over and over — cucumber — cucumber —- cucumber — cucumber. eventually you'll go nut's.

    Start concentrating on fixing somebody else. Fixate on their flaws. Fixate on their happiness. Fixate on their extra skin.

    Stephanie has a method that is a dead end road. It's is simply impossible for a body of water to flow into itself. Open the floodgates –flow AWAY!!

    Either that, or kepp putting yourself out there as the problem all of your readers examine to avoid their own dementia.

    The way I see it. Unless you change soon. you're fucked.

    Again I mean this as helpful honest advice.

  15. merk???

    You show me the author who has it all together, and I'll show you a boring book.

    "I Am Fine" by Susie Got-her-s**t-Together

    Chapter 1. I'm Okay With That
    Chapter 2. Things are Peachy
    Chapter 3. Things are Keen
    Chapter 4. Isn't life Great!

    Epilogue I'm Still Okay, How about You?

  16. I'd pick happiness over being a fucking sideshow attraction any day. I wasn't advising on how to write.

    Your comment is self centered. So you enjoy reading about Stephanies pain. I just find it painful. I prefer pain of any sort to stop.

    Call me a happy ending. Things can be fixed. There is nothing wrong with FIXING problems. Steph's methods are bad. She's compounding problems in a glaring and public fashion. She invites comments. I make them.

    Screw your stupid book Stephanie, Find some love. End the introspection. It's cancer.

    Hey everybody! Don't listen to Brian. He only cares about his own amusement.

  17. What does "have it all together" really mean? So many degrees.

    Also, I will show you one author who "has it all together" John Updike. If you consider his books boring…gwaaan you is, back to school, shorty.

  18. merkley???
    Just about everybody's self centered but you, eh fella?

  19. are you kidding? i'm a wreck. and the most self obsessed person i ever met. yeah, you heard me. i met myself.

    mine is a cautionary tale.

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