so i currently have covid. apparently, its the gift that keeps on giving, as ive graciously given covid to all my roommates (theyll thank me for the following months of immunity after this all passes).
covid – miserable? yes.
quarantine – lonely? yes.
reason why i got covid – worth it? yes.
ive (tried) to be the type of person who “doesnt shit where they eat,” my mind automatically painting neutral situations as either black or white, categorizing people as good or bad – defined boundaries, a fine line between two polar opposites (minding my own fucking business in hopes of you minding yours too).
but the happenings tell a different story.
“dont shit where you eat,” they say.
yet im the girl who hooked up with her roommate and best friend, all wrapped into one.
he said he wouldnt date me – and i said “ok.” he said to hook up with other guys, as if i should prove that im non-committal to him – and i said “ok.” vulnerability refuses to unravel, and feelings are left unspoken. and all i can say is, “ok” – for the fear of knowing, the fear of fear itself.
at some point, the walls come caving in, crumpling like paper mache; the line is blurred, and theres no escape from the undeniable reality – the chemistry being the most obvious, rejection a coping mechanism for the both of us. he said he wouldnt date me – well today, hes still my roommate but hes also officially been my boyfriend since then.
i guess with risk there comes reward (or vice versa?). i won the lottery with who i chose to be with. no awkward introductions, or act of approval from the friends whos opinions i value so much – they already know you and i do too (the perks of dating someone in your close-knit friend group).
so how my relationship started – i shat where i ate, and in return, i received a boyfriend, one whos reserved in his emotions at times, but shows his love in actions, checking on me to make sure im okay (because we all know i love attention).
and sometimes i wonder how we got to this place – a place of comfort, safety, and trust. i wonder where time has gone, as we continue to live in this streamline modern historic home with our two roommates (another couple), this place weve called home for almost two years. i wonder where time is going, what to expect as naturally, i always picture the worst case scenario.
and then i wonder if ive changed, if im still that self-sabotaging, manipulative bitch that the ghosts of my past claim i am (was?). i wonder if i just continue hurting person after person (why does everyone like playing the victim?), half-assed promises thrown out the window and words piercing like glass shards. i wonder whether the calm in you can balance the anger in me. i wonder if you deserve a category of “be better” that i cant offer.
and i wonder what life would be like if i were with someone who didnt let me blast “sincerely, kentrell” on drives together, the songs we skip when listening to the album by ourselves the same as one another, as if our brains communicate telepathically (“sad boy never happy again,” our little inside joke). i wonder what life would be like if i werent with someone as patient as ive needed, someone who makes me coffee each morning, someone who force feeds me gatorade as im slurring, plastered and shitfaced, to soothe my morning hangover (or hold my hair as i puke and holding my cup of ice cubes for me, if all else fails).
am i worthy? thats yet to be determined.
“dont shit where you eat,” i say.
i say that to my boyfriend whos ever-present eagerness to meet new people shines through as he started befriending his coworkers, seeing them on a more personal level i wasnt able to relate to.
i judged him even, for befriending his coworkers, looking down on them from my trash throne. maybe i was angry (jealous even) – to want something you dont have, to have people you can actually be honest with at work instead of pasting on a fake mask. maybe my competitive side always needs to be the center of attention, my ego tended to and nurtured.
work and personal life – two separate matters and two separate worlds, the overlap of the venn diagram blank for all the emotional, private aspects that shouldnt cross over into the professional realm.
it took one week – a business trip in vegas, a few days without the comfort of my roommates, boyfriend, home. one week – a slowly changing perspective, stories told over copious amounts of alcohol, a line thats losing its definition, fading gradually.
it took me almost three years to realize – i dont hate my coworkers. even the ones i thought i disliked, and im still trying to understand – their unspoken traumas, their loneliness in this large world and billions of souls.
it took me three years to realize that the people around me are more similar to me than i would have ever assumed on a surface-level. the self-described “geriatric man whos bedtime is 10 pm sharp” coworker (shes closer to my age by the way) recognizes the anxiety and the darkness too, and were both still learning how to deal with it.
and tales told over a bottle of “demon slayer” sake at the bougie japanese fusion restaurant we were treated out to, secrets unravel – psychic readings that have your future written out in stone, the edibles experience at some live action new york event with vanishing faces, people disappearing as the light strobes, (really trippy i hear), the golf tournament after popping some shrooms chocolate. not work appropriate conversation, id think, but those taboo talks speak deeper than the exterior “professional” shell we put on. its real.
so anyways, i guess that makes me the hypocrite, queen of mixing emotions into every situation, a chaotic worldwind. center of attention, self-declared queen of who belongs and who needs to get the fuck out – its all been needs, not wants, and sometimes were cornered in our mind, forced to pick a side before the whole story is revealed.
if theres any takeaway, i judge too soon. i expect the worst out of people most of all, as not all intentions are as pure as they may seem initially. im trying to not see everyone as evil.
but overall im grateful – to get to know my colleagues and work relationships for what they are, who they are on the other side, without the fake “happy colleague” mask or business casual attire – just some drinks, slots, and clubbing in a funny but fascinating “professional development” stance. worth it, even if i got covid as a result.
it would have been sad not to see that side – who we are underneath the mask.
“dont shit where you eat,” they say.
but sometimes honesty can come as a relief – youre not alone. and people see you for who you truly are, and maybe thats ok.