Problematic Petting: Concerning the Neuroses of Waiting For Someone to Call

The utter melancholy and bitterness that my existence had come to me sitting in a room full of pretty pink flowers and waiting for a boy to call. Kittens on the floor. Mariah Carey on repeat. Speaking softly of nobody but looking out the window at my in-ground pool and thinking that the new tile looks nice.

I looked back on journals and diaries and cards of the past and saw how much of my life was dependent upon not only a male gaze, but a male attention. I thought I had thoroughly evolved. I imagined that I had moved on and became more of Woman — by which I mean reading romantic poetry and writing theses I thought reached a concrete point. By which I mean flirting with an off-limits Professor but not really flirting. Correct?

But I still regard the copious amounts of almonds my mother has bought and I re-examine my morning breakfast choices to say, “Yes, I think I’ll eat almonds today” since the eating habits have gone out of control and so has my weight and appearance. Perhaps this is why the boy has not called. Perhaps I should begin to eat tons of almonds again since maybe this would elevate my appearance so he would see me and think, “ Oh yes. It is she. See that angel? I shall reach her by the strength of my beating heart.”

I was real upset because yesterday I had an overwhelming feeling of contentment as I picked up a peanut butter and banana crepe at the Cleveland east market and got into my car. I was leaving for the highway and thought, “Yes, I think we have something, but I don’t need it to be anything, I do not need to call it anything.” I felt independent. I felt content. I felt that 21st century unfettered relationship structure that has now impacted our adolescent lives in a paradoxical dance of freedom yet complete prison-like confusion. No labels, guys. I don’t want anyone to think I care about them more than they care about me. But peanut butter and bananas and off into the sunset.

But then he never called. I woke up in a muggy and slightly gray 4:28am and looked at my phone for a “Sorry I had–” or “Just got in and–” and there was nothing but a dull background wallpaper. The monsters came out from underneath the bed and I pulled the covers over my failed Juliet of Verona face of disillusionment. I began to think that he did not even care for me at all, and as soon as he hopped off the train from work, ran into a tall boy beer and another girl’s bed. She was smarter, prettier, skinnier, better, liked steampunk or something not Mariah Carey or something harder than maybe just like THE ZOMBIES, and, naturally, didn’t wait for anyone. A tattoo laid itself so cunningly on her wrist and he looked over and forgot about that  light pink bitch from the burbs who still thought about boys in bed.

Forget about the damn romanticized peanut butter and banana crepes we would eat together looking over a desolate steel yard. I’ll just go back to sleep and Think Happy Thoughts.

I then had a frighteningly vivid dream which explained why he had not called me that night. His mother and his sisters came over to my house with slightly ghoulish looks on their faces and I began to cry. He was gone. He was dead. That is not why he called me last night—or even sent a “Sorry I was–” text. I fell to my knees but then they said he was in fact still alive—although very ill. He was working the night shift and was attacked by some man who was crazy and cuts up people. He held him down and they struggled, but the other workers finally got control of it. Regardless, he was very hurt and was life flighted to the hospital. He would call me in the next few days perhaps, but that is the reason why he did not call me last night.

The melancholy wave came in this morning as I looked at my phone and there was still nothing. He must be dead. Dead and dying. Licking that girl’s cosmopolitan tattoo simply out of knave-like respect. Crunching his way through the greener grass by the steel yards. Buying her peanut butter and banana crepes even though she’ll throw them out anyway on the grounds that it’s “too fucking twee.”

I was trapped in my room, in my sister’s old UCA cheerleader shorts, in my spooky labyrinth of Boy Thoughts and feelings of worthlessness. I felt like fleeing but didn’t have a clue where to start.

My mother said to “watch out” because the painter boys were downstairs and that I should put clothes on because one of them is cute. I went downstairs for a glass of water and saw that indeed one of them was cute. They were playing some misogynistic country song with some twangy [most likely] big-chested broad singing “What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?” I went back upstairs feeling frowns because I had to make sure I looked good for the cute painter boy who probably wanted his women to not have a clue about misogyny and what it meant. He probably didn’t know what it meant, either. He probably just shut up and sang along to the song.


This has been Problematic Petting with Cynthia and here is another post concerning desperation, a state of mind we all most likely endure. Please say you endure it. Please.

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