Thursday, January 5, 2012

the drill.

she looked up from scanning through e-mails on her iphone.

which may as well have been an appendage to her small framed body.

those two blue eyes looked glassy, shadowed with dark circles--dark enough to suggest at least two or three sleepless nights. though i couldn't decided whether the wateriness was a product of emotion or irritation.

"yeah, it's ok. i'm fine. really."

she trailed off and began sipping up the last bit of her diet coke--an unconvincing reply to my previously asked question. her eyes scanned back down to the screen of her phone.

i shifted in my seat, preparing my next verse. praying for some inspiration. i desperately wanted to say the right thing.

my lips opened, not sure of what may come out, when she quietly and unexpectedly continued.

"i'm no stranger to the feeling."

her gaze was now shifting back and forth, from different points of the room back down to our table. never directly at me.

"eventually," she began with a deep inhale, "...eventually a girl just learns."

what do you mean? i asked.

a small, nervous-slightly-cynical sounding laugh came from across the table.

"i mean, you learn the drill.

cause it'll always hurt. being alone again will always suck. but you've been through it before and you know that you can get through it again.

you take a deep breath every morning. and forbid your mind from wandering too far into what-has-been-lost when you get in bed at night.

it's the drill.

find ways to keep yourself distracted. avoid any 'old-nostalgic-songs' or country music radio. because you know that shit about rain and heartbreak is just going to leave you swallowing your own endless tears, trapped and alone in 5:00 traffic. putting on a comically pathetic show for your fellow traffic-jammers.

the drill. where you start thinking about every possible way that you can improve your life--you know--things like getting a new hair cut, buying yourself some new over-priced blouses from nordstrom, hitting-up the tanning beds, visiting your local barnes and noble to buy all those books you've 'been-meaning-to-read-but-just-never-had-the-time'...and making all sorts of new goals to be the best you that you just never could be.

and after a massive and mildly dramatic self-improvement attack, you'll find yourself burning out. snapping at the core. breaking down. unsure of what to do next.

tears--not only from sadness--but also the unsettling nature of the unknown.

of starting fresh. of picking up where you left off. and honestly, you can't remember for-the-life-of-you where that was.

the drill of dreading all the things people will say. and of the things they may be thinking. and at the same time...not really caring.

being reminded that you're actually really good at being a hermit. and that mexican food can be a great comfort.

and though the winner does usually take it all. and you wish that could be you. because you're a competitive beast by nature...there are times when nobody wins.

when you both go home. without words. without explanation. without any real understanding. sharing the knowledge that you played all your cards...the only way you knew how. and somehow, you both lost.

you'll always love them. you wish you wouldn't. but you will. wishing you could have just had some crappy-a parting. the kind that you see in movies--where you turn and walk in one direction--and never look back.

but that wouldn't be the drill.

you'll pretend like you're over them. you'll pretend like you don't still cry at random times when that song comes on. you'll pretend like you're stone. that nothing can getcha' down.

yup. these are things a girl just learns...

and then you'll head home, turn off the bathroom lights and hop into a dark, steamy shower. and just stay there for a while.

maybe because no one can hear your crying amongst the sound of running water. or maybe because it just helps you calm down. maybe it's just a good place to think.

or maybe, because that's just the drill."

there was a long silence. her eyes met mine briefly. then fled back towards her new text message. she began composing a message back. to someone. someone who probably had no idea what she was feeling.

someone that didn't understand--not that it was their fault.

because she would never tell them.

here, i began as i stood from my chair, let me refill your diet coke.

she looked up and smiled, "thanks..."

"you know the drill".


  1. This is beautiful. And I know the feeling.

  2. This makes me sad :( Well written dear.

  3. Pain can be a very tangible thing, can't it? It's overwhelming when the feeling becomes an actual physical presence. In your heart. In your head. In your everywhere. Sobering. Another beautiful post Keen.

  4. mexican food = anti-depressant/pain reliever

  5. No matter where we are or what we’re experiencing, we can use our immediate experiences as fuel for our own ambitions.

  6. You don't know me, I dont know you. But my best friend sent me to read your blog before I was about to break up with the boy I thought I would marry. Your
    Blog gave me the courage to do what I knew in my heart was best-despite the load of shiz that would follow. Five months later I'm coming out of the hermit mode, almost excited to start over. Still fearful, yet more aware then ever that sometimes God says no for a reason, sometimes we are saved from what we think we want and led to what will make us whole, not just patch us up. So, just wanted to say thank you. You have a gift for writing what is so real and hard to say-thanks for helping me realize I wasn't alone. Here's to those diet cokes, hot showers, and Nordstrom dates. Who says retail therapy doesnt help? I'm a believer :)

  7. Katie--thanks for your comment girl. That really means so much to me. Just knowing that there is someone out there that understands and knows how it feels. And hearing that from you is honestly inspiring and encouraging for me. I also know that everything happens for a reason and that God knows better than I do. And really, that's the only piece of knowledge that really gets me through times like these. Thank you so much. Best of luck as you get back out there :) You're doing the right thing.

    And you better believe that I'm a full supporter of retail therapy! ;) It may not cure everything, but it definitely helps!

  8. Kiley, thank you. Thanks for reading :) The emotion of pain is truly an interesting a phenomenon. And Bags...I'm going to try and channel that piece of advice. :)


from keen.