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May 27, 2011

“The man on the stairs was taking so long, I forgot the danger for whole moments at a time and almost fell back asleep, only to be awakened by him shifting his weight. I was going to die and it was taking forever. I stopped trying to alert Kevin because I was worried he would make a sound upon waking, like he might say What? Or, What, honey? The man on the stairs would hear this and know how vulnerable we were. He would know my boyfriend called me honey. He might even hear my boyfriend’s slight annoyance, his exhaustion after last night’s fight. We both fantasize about other people when we’re having sex, but he likes to tell me who the other people are, and I don’t. Why should I? It’s my own private business. It’s not my fault he gets off on having me know. He likes to report it the second he comes, like a cat presenting the gift of a dead bird. I never asked for it.

I didn’t want the man on the stairs knowing these things about us. But he would know. The second he threw on the lights and pulled out his gun, or his knife, or his heavy rock, the second he held the gun to my head, or the knife at my heart, or the heavy rock over my chest, he would know. He would see it in my boyfriend’s eyes: You can have her, just let me live. And in my eyes, he would see the words: I never really knew true love. Would he empathize with us? Does he know what it’s like? Most people do. You always feel like you are the only one in the world, like everyone else is crazy for each other, but it’s not true. Generally, people don’t really like each other very much. And that goes for friends, too. Sometimes I lie in bed trying to decide which of my friends I truly care about, and I always come to the same conclusion: none of them. I thought these were just my starter friends and the real ones would come along later. But no. These are my real friends. They are people with jobs in their fields of interest. My oldest friend, Marilyn, loves to sing and is head of enrollment a at a prestigious music school. It’s a good job, but not as good as just opening your mouth and singing. La. I always thought I would be friends with a professional singer. A jazz singer. A best friend who is a jazz musician and a reckless but safe driver. That is more what I pictured for myself. I also imagined friends who adored me. These friends think I’m a drag…”

Miranda, how can you be so fucking devastating?

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