Insomni-maniac Attack (Jack)

Joce. Joce. JOCE. JOCE!!!


Get up. Wake up.

Why? What? Good gawd. It’s 3 o’clock in the morning!


Damnit, no, I’m tired. I haven’t slept in days. This is what, the third morning in a row that you’ve woken me up now?


This is seriously affecting my ability to function during the day. My job. My life. I need sleep. Please. Leave me alone.

Not a chance. Wake up. We need to talk.

Ug. Not again. 


Fine. Let me guess. This is about Jack.

Yes. It’s about Jack. Of course! We’ve got to work this out. Finalize some shit. Close the door on that chapter.

I’d love to. And if you’d quit bothering me with this, when I’m asleep, when I’m dog tired, when I’m vulnerable, maybe I could move forward. Give me a minute!

You can’t move forward until you admit what you did. Step. Ball. Change.

Great. Okay. Why don’t we rehash, again, what I did. How I’m a big, fat, stupid failure. This is always a good time. My favorite time, in fact. 

It’s true, Joce. You did it. Again. You forced yourself on someone who wasn’t interested in you, you knew they weren’t and yet you insisted, to yourself, to him, to Jack, that he consider you for the job. You tap danced around, made a fool of yourself trying to get him to notice you, until he did, because you didn’t give him an option. Then you completely freaked him out and he ran away as fast as he could. Now you act all sad and surprised that it’s over. 

I think he was interested. For a time. Maybe a little anyway. He’s just older and has different priorities.

Even his friends told you that it wouldn’t last. From the beginning. “He’ll never grow up.” “Jack is a good guy, but even when he’s with someone, even if he has a girlfriend, he’s just on his own, he isn’t really WITH them.” They were trying to set you up with other people. While you guys were still “dating.” Can you admit that’s a red flag? A bad sign.These people have known him for decades.

I just thought maybe it’d be different, he’d be different, with me. Jack and I, we have similar souls. Don’t you remember that time reading Matthew Dickman poems together? Or when we were singing Beautiful South songs on the porch? Thanksgiving? Or when he popped that balloon and we laughed for hours. Hours! Or what about that time we went to the football game and I ran away and we saw that deer in the river and Jack chased after me? I told him I was afraid of not being part of the plan and he said, “No, you are! You are part of the plan.”

All of those things happened. Yes. And he was drunk, all of those times. We all say stupid shit when we’re drunk.

Or when I told him he was a treehouse! He almost cried. He said I was a sage.

Drunk. You were drunk, too. Saying stupid shit.

No, He TOLD me, that he and I, we were good. Things were good. He said he needed someone to help him, take care of him, and that he could see that I needed that, too. We understood each other. I’m not making that up!

Joce, he didn’t even notice you had freckles until New Years. How many times did you sit across from him at a table, next to him at the bar, on that fucking porch swing? A hundred times? And he didn’t notice you had freckles?

I thought it was sweet when he noticed my freckles. Maybe it was a lighting issue. Bars are dark. 

Honey buns, you have freckles all over your face. Dusted across your cute nose, sprinkled across your cheeks. Face it. He wasn’t looking at you. He never saw you. He didn’t care enough to notice anything about you. I bet he couldn’t tell me what color your eyes are, probably not even your hair color, if I asked him.

He told me I was beautiful. That night. He told me I was pretty.

Joce, that is just sad. Let’s make a new rule. If someone doesn’t think you’re beautiful, doesn’t tell you that you’re pretty until 5 MONTHS IN, and only then, when he’s completely drunk off his ass, let’s not sleep with him, let’s not pretend we’re dating him, that he's the love of your life. Okay?

I know what color his eyes are. Blue. They are a beautiful sparkly bright blue. He’s so cute. His hair. His shoulders. He has nice hands. I miss his hands. His soft skin. 

You have nice hands, too. He didn't notice. Nice hands doesn’t make you soul mates.

I know that. He’s really nice. Super smart. Talented. Kind. We had fun together. Enjoyed each other’s company.

Yeah. He’s nice. He’s smart. People like him. Lots of people like him. He’s popular. He has fun with lots of people. Especially the ladies. He enjoys the company of a large group of friends. I’m sure, in the time he knew you, that he liked you fine. But, he likes a lot of people. You were, are not, special.

Why are you always telling me that? How is that helpful? Kicking me while I'm down? Just for the heck of it? 

Because, you need a reality check, Joce. Quit expecting people to see something in you that’s exceptional. You aren’t exceptional, you’re just like everybody else. Only probably not as well adjusted. I mean, after all, you’re pretty old to still be working this shit out. Making the same juvenile, puppy love mistakes. 

I am exceptional! I’m different than other people. I’m one of the loveliest, kindest people I know. I have so much to give, so much heart.

You’re also a bitch. And a nag. You’re downright mean sometimes. A lot of times. And you have a fat ass. Have you seen your hair lately? It looks terrible. Talk about mousey.

I’m getting a hair cut next week. I have an appointment. And I’ve lost five pounds since he dumped me.

I’m guessing it’s not off your ass. Call me when you’ve dropped twenty. Of course, losing weight isn’t going to improve your weak "poor me" personality. Make up for your permanent grimace and furrowed brow. You are nothing but a bleedy, bleedy sad sack victim baby most of the time. Nobody wants to be around that. Especially guys who like FUN!

Anyways, special or not, he broke up with you. If you can even call it that. You were barely dating.

We spent a significant amount of time with each other for five months. He called me every single day when he was visiting his parents. I must have meant something to him.

Oh, yeah, that’s a vote of confidence. He was BORED, Joce, he was visiting his parents. He wanted to make sure you were feeding his cat. Did he give you a Christmas present? How ‘bout a card? Did he ever, even once, give you anything, a token say, of his affection? 

No. I don’t think it’s really his style though.

Maybe not. Maybe he shows his feelings by spending time with someone. Was he making an effort to spend time with you? Because in my recollection he spent way more time with just about everybody than with you. He made time for you once a week. Even then it was like pulling teeth. He’d give you a Sunday afternoon or a Tuesday. Never a Saturday. Or a Friday. Once a week.

No, at the end, it was twice, even three times some weeks.

At the end, you mean that ten days before he realized he couldn’t stand you and never wanted to see you EVER AGAIN? That ten days that you annoyed the shit out of him, so much so that he finally pulled the trigger and rejected you? Realized that he’d rather be with anyone, everyone else, than you. Why can't you see that? Frankly, I don’t blame him. If it wasn't required, I wouldn't have anything to do with you either. You're a mess. 


Let’s take for example the evening after you guys broke up. That very night. What were you doing? Crying in your soup probably. He was out. With his friends. Laughing hysterically with that brown haired girl, that you’ve never met (but who, by the way is younger and prettier and way, way more fun). And he was out the next night, too. And the next. Every night since then. Every day, night, since then, you’ve been sad, and mooping around. He is not sad! He is not crying! 

Has he contacted you since then? Called? Sent you a text maybe?

No. You know he hasn't. 

Of course I know. I know because he is not even remembering that you exist. I guarantee, the slightest flicker of regret has not crossed his mind. You think he’s waking up at 3 am? Ever? To think about YOU? No way. He’s not even thinking about you when he’s awake. Not in the morning, not at 3 pm by accident. Certainly not in the evening when he’s out having fun with his friends. Drinking. Drunking.

I know. But, I wish he was.

STOP it! That’s crazy. Why do you want someone who doesn’t want you? It’s such a waste of time. Move ON. And, um, I probably shouldn’t even bring this up, but if you’re going to set your sites on an unavailable man, lust after something you can’t have, you should really pick someone a little more worthwhile. Like Ryan Gosling or George Clooney or something, because Jack is not that great. He is not worth the effort you are putting into missing him and being sad that he’s not your boyfriend. He’s 45 years old. And, just because he dresses like a teenager doesn’t mean he doesn’t look every minute of his age. His skin is soft because it’s old and worn in. Like a baseball mitt. He’s 45 and he’s been single for all of it. He has no interest in commitment. Never has. Never will. He’s a drunkard. He smokes. He eats pizza several times a week, maybe more. He’s broke all the time. He doesn’t even have a car! 

Talk about mean. You know I don’t care about that stuff. It doesn’t matter to me. I like him. I like his brain. His heart. Anyway, I'm not perfect. I don't have a car. I'm a drunkard. I'm 36 years old and single and I still live with roommates. 

Yes, far from perfect. But, you should care about what he's bringing to the table, too. THAT is what you should care about. That he writes good poetry is irrelevant. And remember, those poems are not about you. Not one of them. You are not inspiring his amazing poetry.  Don't you think you should aspire to something, someone who has more going for them than you do? Because, it shouldn't be that hard. Pretty much everybody is doing better than you. And truthfully, this is not about him at all. This IS about YOU. Why do you keep doing this, to yourself, to US? It’s so destructive. You keep picking people who will never, ever, love you. They aren’t capable of it. More importantly they DON’T WANT TO. Not for one minute. Stop focusing all your energy on people who focus none of their energy on you.

Oh my God! I get it! Can I please go back to sleep now? My stomach is killing me, you’re giving me ulcers.

I really wish you could, would, get it together. I really do. I’ve been on this journey with you for long enough and frankly, it’s no tropical vacation for me. We’re all sick of it, your friends, your family, people you work with. We all think you’re pathetic.

Oh, fuck off. I’m trying. I’m doing my best. That's all I can do. And I need sleep! To do it.  

Well do better! Try harder! Just remember. This is all you. You’ve done this. It’s your fault. And you’d better figure it out, soon. Until you do, I’m going to have to keep waking you up in the middle of the night. I’m going to haunt you with this, night in and night out. Yeah, you’d better pop a couple more of those Tums because the ulcers are coming, for reals. Take an Advil, too, while you’re at it. Pain in MY ass. Now go to sleep. You’ve got to be up in 2 hours for work. By the way, that’s something else we need to talk about soon. Work. You’re really not living up to your potential there, either. But, you're right, that’s enough for tonight. Good night.

Good night. I’m sorry.

I know. It's you.