plans, pt. 5


I never really liked making plans, but with Eris it was kind of necessary. Without plans to hold her down she was completely unpredictable. I think that's what drew me to her in the first place, because chaos always looks like a lot of fun until you have to deal with it constantly. But when I made a plan she would always follow through, so it sort of became our thing.

I remember, back when I was still calling her 'porch girl' and we weren't really officially together, I started making these very convoluted, specific plans, just to see if she'd follow through. I thought at the time that she did because she was eager to please, but looking back I feel like this was something she'd done to prove that she was better than me, or more reliable than me. At the time it was somewhere between flattering and creepy.

The thing is, the first time we met I promised I'd wait outside to meet her again, and I never did. And throughout our entire relationship she told me I was her anchor, and the whole time she was really telling me, through everything that she did, that she was the reliable one. In the end she betrayed my trust, of course, but she never once broke her word. When she agreed to a plan, she stuck with it, and that's something I can't say for myself.


plans, pt. 4


For years I was convinced that the only important thing in this world was "plans." I was never particularly happy with it, but when I made a plan I stuck with it, come hell or high water. My days were mapped out weeks in advance. Somehow I was convinced this was the road to a successful and enlightened future.

My sister came to visit unexpectedly once and I remember the first night she was in town I had a date with some kid who, despite boring me to tears on our first date, managed to convince me to see him again. He said he had something special planned. I was dreading the evening, but a plan was a plan. I gave Eris my regrets, and sort of expected to go on the date and find some excuse to leave early.

Instead she stole my phone and called him and said "Yeah, this is her sister. She can't come out tonight, or any other night, because I'm visiting and you're boring." Then she deleted his contact and tossed the phone back at me. "There! Now you don't have to see him. Now we can watch a movie or something."

I reluctantly assented, but was determined not to enjoy myself. That plan, too, fell through pretty quickly, and as I was sleeping those first, vital seeds of doubt were finally planted: maybe I was living life all wrong. Maybe I could do without all the useless plans.


plans, pt. 3


I remember once I was delirious with fever, and instead of staying away like a smart person Alex just lay with me in bed, as if hat would somehow make me feel better. Trying to sleep that night was an unending nightmare of chills and sudden overwhelming heat, strung together by fever dreams from some haunted corner of my psyche.

I remember thinking that the night would go on forever, that maybe there had never been anything but night and anything else was just a dream. And then cutting through my delirium Alex started talking, just making these stupid little plans. "Hey, when you feel better we should go get ice cream." "This weekend do you want to go see that movie?" "I kind of want to take a road trip next week."

And it actually helped. Somehow she got my brain thinking about these tiny little concrete moments, these meaningless little plans, and at some point as she kept talking I must have finally drifted off to sleep, my fevered mind content in the knowledge that at some point in the future we were going to go get ice cream. Sometimes it's enough to just have a plan.


plans, pt. 2


When you called and asked if I could pick you up from the airport, I started making plans. As soon as I knew when your flight was, I tried to figure out what we should do that night, because you were someone I made plans for, even if they never happened properly. I made plans because you were important to me, and I knew this gesture you'd made, asking me to give you a ride, wasn't meaningless. I knew that because nothing you do is meaningless. There's always a reason and there's always a plan.

I agonized over this for, oh, it must have been weeks. None of the plans were actually particularly viable because you'd have just flown for however many hours it is from London to Seattle, and you'd be tired. But I tried. I imagined driving out to Gasworks or something and watching the city and just talking like we used to do before, and I kept coming back to that one.

So that was the plan. I still remember ignoring your phone calls that night, thinking what a lovely night it would have been to just sit on the grass and watch the skyline glow, your head on my shoulder. And I remember thinking, as I deleted your texts without reading them, it had been a good plan.


plans, pt. 1


The first time I met you--I want to say early April, but time is so fickle--I made plans. First it was just planning to get you alone so I could talk to you. This worked better than I'd expected, because it turns out we both hate parties. Did I ever tell you that I hate parties? I've just gotten better at hiding it; you, I'm not sure if you ever figured it out.

Anyway, once we'd had a chance to talk I knew I'd walk you home. We'd stand on the front porch under the light of the waning moon and talk. You'd probably pretend to fumble with your keys for a while, then we'd sit down and sit in the beautiful chill of an early spring's night. By that point we'd both be too drunk to be subtle while flirting, but we'd try anyway.

You'd try to kiss me, then, and I wouldn't let you. I actually remember what I had planned better than I remember what actually happened. You'd lean in, hesitant, because you're a hesitant sort of person, and then I'd pull back, hold you at arm's length. Then I'd say something like "Maybe when you're sober you should give me a call."

The thing is, and I think you figured this out before I did, this wasn't just a plan for how to tease the boy I'd just met at a party I didn't want to be at. It lasted a lot longer than that, because the first time I met you, I planned to always be just out of your reach.