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The façade of my vociferous "happily single" column onslaught can no longer be kept up. That really bums me out. It has nothing to do with putting my foot in my mouth or the painstaking conversations that will ensue once a certain few get their hands on this confession. No, the lies can no longer continue because an amazing woman has crept under my skin. "Under my skin" is such a disgusting and horribly visual phrase. Like a splinter starting to fester, turning red as it swells. That exactly is how it figuratively feels. That's right, I just said exactly and figuratively in the same breath.

"You know what I mean though" as I scratch my head and start to back-peddle. I had just finished explaining to one of my many "relationship experts" how I've finally found someone who has everything I want in a girl but that I just don't want it right now.

She looks at me like a disappointed mother, "what's wrong with you?" Her eyes were piercing and the question was so simple and direct.

I took a deep breath, my mind raced with thousands of brush-off answers until 'fuck it' popped into my head. I stalled for several more moments, looked her right in the eye and said, "I'm scared…"

<

"Sean, I've never taken you for a liar but that's one of most honest things you've ever told me…" The disappointment disappearing from her face was followed by intrigue that my pea-sized heart might actually be beating. "This girl is good for you," she continued.

"Yeah, as good as a hole in the head." I've always had a way with ruining moments.

The fear of the past, while still ever present in my mind is greatly overshadowed by my fear of the future. Things are good. Yesterday was good, today wasn't bad and I'm sure tomorrow will be fine. I love that. Life is stable, controllable and running fairly smoothly. Allowing someone to become close to me could seriously screw that up. I mean, for all intensive purposes, life has taught me that things will eventually become messed up. I'm not necessarily saying that the girl who gives me the warm-fuzzies will be the one who fucks it up. I'm pretty sure I can handle that on my own. That scares me the most- I don't want hurt her. Not now, not ever.

I try to look at things as objectively as possible and I realize how pessimistic that sounds. What else do I have to go off of though? The formula I've concocted to achieve life's goals over the next several years is an extremely selfish one. There's never been a thought of someone else in my plan and I'm struggling to figure out how to incorporate that.

"Woah, slow down, Sean." I keep telling myself. "You're not even with this girl and you're talking about 'life plans'." However, this is a declaration of honesty and it is something that honestly needs pondering. I'd hate to sabotage something before it begins. Scratch that, I refuse to sabotage something before it begins. If I'm going to allow this constant festering to grow into a full-fledged infection then I need to be prepared for the sickness. Too bad love isn't something that a dab of ointment and a few days rest can cure.

As it stands at the moment, I am certainly not "happily single". I am horribly confused, brain beaten, stomach twisted and trembling with excitement as I write this. Though a splinter is the perfect analogy for what I'm going through, it's a horrible representation of what she means to me. I'll work on that. Along with allowing my mind to wrap around the concept of someone becoming significant to me. And me, possibly, becoming significant to them….

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I have a picture hanging on my bedroom wall of a beautifully discontent woman. The LA skyline is in the background, black and white. The woman’s tank top is white and her hair is black, rich sun-kissed skin glowing. Her eyes are closed but if she were to open them she’d be looking at her shoes. Her posture, however, is what ties this picture together. She’s confident. Her shoulders, cheeks and lips have not been defeated. Her head is heavy but her spirit is on fire.

I find myself thinking about her, usually before I fall asleep. I lie there and wonder what went through her mind 3.7 seconds before the picture was taken. 3.7 seconds is the amount of time I’ve decided it would take to position herself in such a way once this particular thought crossed her mind. People rarely carry themselves with this subtle indestructible confidence- and then her head lowers. It’s like she filled her lungs with that smog soaked air and is about to take the first step into her newfound realization.

I have the timing down but I can’t figure out what’s running through her mind. I’m afraid if I did, the picture would become meaningless to me. The mystery and my interpretation is all that matters. The truth would shatter that along with the 3.7 seconds of perfection leading up to the click of the shutter. Is that what I want though, the bliss of my imagination?

As the last few paragraphs have proven, I have the ability to build things up beyond their straightforward impressions. Given the right circumstances I can completely disconnect from reality altogether. That somewhat worries me. How many times have I been wrong? I’ve stepped back for several seconds, taken a breath of sweet mountain air and marched on into my perception- possibly not reality at all.

I’ve found it hard to stay grounded lately, especially when I’m left alone with my thoughts….

crushed

I read something the other day that made a lot of sense to me.  I wish I could remember what it said.

I’m so sick of television, music, movies, and books that I actively go out of my way to watch even more TV and listen to more music.  I’m a media masochist.  I’m not completely sure why I enjoy torturing myself.  Like at this very moment No No No is playing through my stereo by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. My heart sinks in such a beautifully content way.

I suppose I could relate it to all the women I’ve agonized over but that doesn’t make much sense.  What do the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have to do with my first girlfriend?  How could Karen O be crushing me just like Carrie H did?  She can’t.  And why would Karen O want to crush me?  She wouldn’t.  Unless all girls want to crush me…

I’m beginning to understand that women crushing guys is a common theme.  I mean, other than Karen O, I haven’t been crushed in a long time but that’s only because I haven’t allowed myself.  The fools in the television, music, movies and books I’ve been absorbing aren’t so lucky.  They keep going back for more and lose a piece of themselves each time.  It’s a train wreck taking place on the most gorgeous spring day of the year and that’s why I can’t stop watching.

Perhaps the distance I’ve created between myself and vaginas has everything to do with Reality Bites and nothing to do with Carrie H.  It’s completely possible because no matter how many leather jackets I own I will forever be Michael Grates.  Women know this.  At least those who know me do.  What’s wrong with that though?  I rooted for Michael through the entire movie.  I actually took his side and was outspokenly upset when she chose The Douche.  It wasn’t because my life roll was similar to Stiller’s character but because he was a nice guy.  A good guy.  His heart was always in the right place while The Douche had a bad haircut and took up couch space.  It broke my heart, and that’s what made it such a good movie.

Possibly my heartache has nothing to do with all Lelaina Pierce’s of the world but the Chloe’s from Sol Goode.  In fact, I’m certain of it.  Chloe is the girl that’s always been there for you.  She’ll always be there for you.  You drink beers together, sing along to Jimi Hendrix, make fun of mutual friends and feel utterly empty when she’s not around- never realizing why.  You’re blinded by her beauty, to point of not accepting it.  Chloe is the reason why you never have any successful relationships.  Every girl you meet is compared to her, knowingly or not.

Chloe terrifies me and that’s why when Karen O explains “and cool kids, they belong together” I’m crushed.  Crushing so hard over my Chloe…

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Being the 20 something single that I am, dating is not only on my mind but also the people I surround myself with. Not necessarily even those who are single, in most cases it’s friends in relationships who try to live vicariously through my encounters. Most of our conversations are concluded by them accusing me of being a moron, I guess having the reassurance of someone at home gives them the confidence to make such statements. However, I can’t argue with them. I am a moron, or as I like to put it “relationship challenged”. I’ve been told that I need to be a little more PC so here’s my effort to make my disability sound as warmfuzzy as it could be.

“You haven’t called her back? Jesus, it’s been two days!” One of my ball n’ chain cohorts snapped.

“Two days…” I think out loud, “I haven’t even called my Mom in two days.” I say defensively as I glare back.

“You’re an asshole.” That seals the conversation. There’s nothing I can say that will change her mind, I might as well run with it.

“No, I’m a romantic. There’s nothing more alluring then stripping a girl of her self confidence and letting her neurosis run wild while waiting for the phone to ring,” I say as condescending as possible. “Plus, what makes you think she even deserves a call back?”

That pretty much sends my friend over the hill at which point she mutters “moron”. The conversation changes gears but I can’t help but think about this quandary later.

To me, two days is nothing. Two weeks is nothing. Call me chauvinistic but I often miss the days when corresponding with woman took place by horse and buggy. After the Pony Express, dating became so much harder.

See, we live in a society of instant gratification. Are you hungry? Pop something in the microwave. Missed the weather report? Hop online. Lost? Hit up your GPS. Can’t wait to see the highlights on ESPN tonight? Bust out your cell phone. Can’t sit through a goddamn movie without gossiping with your girlfriend? Send a text message! Relationships have fallen somewhere between Paris’s last “newsworthy” exploit and Howie Mandel’s nightly Indian casino guessing game. My inability to conform, according to my relationship experts, has made me an asshole.

I’m okay with that. I’m still young enough not to feel desperate and fortunate enough not to have felt like I’ve lost the girl of my dreams due to my phobia of the phone. But what will happen when that day comes? Either day, desperate or twitterpated. Am I just too old fashion to be in a relationship? Is there no room for taking time to reflect upon someone or having a sense of absence to make the heart grow fonder? Possibly.

If women of today have taught me anything, it’s that waiting is inconceivable. It’s something that you do at Planned Parenthood or the DMV and is looked upon as the same such chore. There’s no Christmas morning with these chicks, no tropical vacation you’ve saved up for. According to them, for all intensive purposes, that is what a credit card is for. I don’t believe it’s solely their fault however, they’re a product of their environment. Nothing in their lifetime has ever told them to slow down.

Somewhere between the first Iraq war and Al Gore discovering global warming, our government decided to raise the speed limits across most of the country. As these girls were entering college, a dial up internet connection seemed obsolete at which point Americans decided it would be faster to walk to the Starbucks on the corner rather than boiling water. Yet it amazes to see Carrie Bradshaw bitch about a guy who gets off in under ten minutes. You wanted everything in a New York minute baby, you got it.

Which leaves me on Island Time. I’m no Axl Rose sweetheart, but maybe all we need is a little patience? Let the butterflies turn and the anticipation eat you alive. Maybe I need to wait until my next paycheck before I can afford to take your ass out again. Or maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones and I’ll never call. After all, I am an asshole…

The Mixed Tape Manifesto: Gold

The mixed tape; the most powerful device of the squared glasses hipster. His version of the Sistine Chapel or that crazy sex wall in the Middle East. His contribution to the uneducated music masses and his chance to tell the greatest untold story of them all- his own. Within an hour and twenty minutes, this inept jerk can create the greatest love story of all time, free Tibet, mock emo, or simply turn a friend on to new music. The tape’s power is limitless and timeless. If played by someone truly willing to listen, it could change their life. I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes…

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