I used to write. I used to write a lot. I wrote about everything that happened to me, the daily minutiae, the ups and downs and highs and lows. Hundreds of people tuned in when I posted online to hear about my sex life, my love life, my boozy escapades and narrow escapes, my darkness and light. And then one day I stopped. I got happy and distracted. I became enmeshed in a loving relationship and kept my stories safe and secret. I got caught up in caring for someone and making a home. I put writing aside. I stopped sharing the ups and downs. I held my cards close to my chest and even, over time, grew to distaste the idea of writing about my life. I became grossed out at all the TMI-ness of it all. The very thought of writing something personal provoked a Pavlovian gagging in my throat.

I haven’t written for a long time.

And here I am, about to share Too Much Information again. Struggling with my loathing of posting intimate details I try to remember how healthy I used to find this process, and how readily people identified with my words. I wonder why? I question everything and yet, in an effort to get out of my own head and move on in life I feel compelled to write and post it. If this is the best I can do before I can get down to writing better things, then so be it.

I am happy to be posting this even as my throat constricts and my stomach churns.

Here goes.

I don’t care what the experts say. It’s not about the details. In hindsight none of the details matter. The “where will we live”, the “when will we have kids”, the “will we get married” questions. None of them are important if you’re lucky enough to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. None of it matters, and yet, so often in the midst of trying to move forward in life, those kinds of questions take over. The desire to reach the destination completely overrides the journey. The journey, inevitably, loses it’s lustre. In the last couple of years I’ve spent so much time worrying about my future that I forgot to tend to my present. I lived in dreams and let weeds grow in the garden of my reality.In the shattering aftermath of the relationship I thought would last a lifetime I am left with a slew of regrets.

While it’s true that I have a  warehouse-sized treasure chest full of beautiful jewels and cherished memories, it’s the ugly, stomach-churning regrets that keep surfacing. I look back at the things I wish I had done better and, even though I know I did the best I could with the tools I had at my disposal, I’m painfully aware that the breakup itself has given me a brand new set of tools, and that now I have nowhere to use them. It hurts. I ache to be able to work on this with the person who left me, but he is gone and keeps himself busy building thick walls that seem, from the shadows of their towering height, frighteningly impenetrable.

I think about his family and how much I love them. How badly I want to watch his nephews grow and the Thanksgivings I will miss. I think about the family I wanted to build with him, the kids I wanted to have, the fantasy of it all. I feel the loss of a dream and I mourn imaginary people. Am I crazy?

Break ups. Heartbreak. Loss.

My own personal earthquake in a world already trembling.

From the ruins of it all I contemplate my future while trying to learn from my past. Resentful, angry, hurt and ashamed I force myself to feel positive, hopeful, loving, excited. Sometimes I succeed. I throw myself into exercise. I swing Russian kettle bells and roar and sweat. I work hard. I show up. I distract myself. I enroll in writing classes, writers groups and retreats. I go to therapy and try to accept that “his decision was about him”, not about me. I try to believe the words I hear “he was unable to embrace the things about you that need healing because he has not healed himself”. I try to send love out to him, I try to let go. I cling to the cliff of hope, refusing to let go and fall into the ocean below, an ocean that represents the certainty of life without him. But I know I must. I must let go. The ocean will catch me and I know how to swim. I just have to remember how.

And I have to forgive myself for the way it all played out after he spoke those six knife-like words that changed my own life and ended ours.

“I think I’m wasting your time.”

I wonder what my life right now would look like if I’d behaved with grace and love in the face of that pain and sorrow. I’ll never know.

I didn’t cry. I didn’t scream. I didn’t say anything kind, adult or loving. I didn’t beg, at least not then. I didn’t do or say anything I can be proud of. In the white-hot heat of my pain I chose anger. I strode into the next room, picked up his newly acquired copy of “The Four Hour Body” and shredded it. Literally shredded it.

“It’ll take you more than four fucking hours to learn how to be a man,” I said.

It was not my greatest moment, and not one, surely, that made my lover question his decision.

No one can accuse me of not expressing myself honestly. No one can accuse me of not wearing my heart on my sleeve. Now, knowing that I have an inner Hulk, would anyone dare?

And here I am. Disbelieving, stunned, reeling, depleted. Trying to find a new identity that isn’t enmeshed in “us”.

I am me. Weird, wonderful, scarred, loving, faithful, honest me.

I’m not perfect.

I fuck up.

But I’m human and I try so hard to get it right.

And one day I will.

TAGS: , , , , ,

ZOE BROCK was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia. She has lived in more cities and on more continents than she can count (truly, she's a model and can't count) and is currently residing in the deep fog of San Francisco. Her true home lies on the dusty plains of Burning Man where she feels safe and challenged and truly alive. Zoë once had a very popular blog on MySpace and writes everything from awful poetry to truly delicious dark satire, and all sorts of sexy things in between. She has appeared on the cover of Elle magazine, inside the pages of Vogue, Cosmo and Marie Claire, to name a few, and is working on her memoir, an expose of 'growing up model'. Zoë is also a certified yoga teacher. Yes, that means she's bendy.

75 responses to “TMI: A Girl’s Guide To Gracelessness”

  1. Kimberly says:

    I’m with ya, sister. On everything. And all I have to respond with at the moment is this: ♥

    • Zoe Brock says:

      Nice to see you Ms W. It’s been a long time. Thanks for checking in and sending me a new heart, although it’s much smaller than what I had previously, it at least appears to be whole. 🙂

  2. Esther Sanchez says:

    I am so happy to see you posting again, Sweetness. You are spreading lotsa smiles.
    Especially when you mention shredding books. That’s one of my go-to moves.

  3. Nancey says:

    Been there, both sides.. it sucks. I’m sorry. But I love your voice and your writing, so thank you for that. I hope to read more of it. I thought the 6 words were “I don’t love you any more”. Those kill too.

    • zoebee says:

      those would have been very hard to hear. what is harder though is knowing I am loved by him but that he chooses to walk away rather than find a path to walk together. Wasteful.

  4. gypsy divine says:

    I love you, Zoe. Especially your inner Hulk. It’s what makes you so damn sexy.

    • zoebee says:

      I love that you aren’t scared of my green side, even if I am. Thanks M. Lets drink to writing it out and loving each other lots.

  5. Slade Ham says:

    The shitty thing about that place, mentally, is that it is hard to shake for more than just a fleeting moment or so. It doesn’t matter how many other people love you or look out for you or are thinking about you… it’s the fact that that ONE person doesn’t anymore.

    So much easier to say from this side of the screen, but let go. The water’s kinda cool and swimming can be fun.

    • zoebee says:

      are you single?

    • DragonFly Derrick says:

      I’m in a similiar situation, although I have compound it some. I am grieving the loss of a love, all while attempting to move on with someone who may or may not accept me for who I am. The difference is I walked away from my love in some foolish hope that I was worth his running after. I learned the hard way that I was not. He filed for divorce, found a new one, and our 6 years together are now referred to by him as his “mistake”. I feel your pain. Slade Ham hits the nail on the head as well. No amount of the love and compassion I feel from any one else helps me feel better. It was a pleasure to have you expose TMI so that I could feel a connection with you today.

    • DragonFly Derrick says:

      I’m in a similiar situation, although I have compound it some. I am grieving the loss of a love, all while attempting to move on with someone who may or may not accept me for who I am. The difference is I walked away from my love in some foolish schoolgirl hope that I was worth his running after. I learned the hard way that I was not. He filed for divorce, found a new one, and our 6 years together are now referred to by him as his “mistake”. I feel your pain. Slade Ham hits the nail on the head as well. No amount of the love and compassion I feel from any one else helps me feel better. It was a pleasure to have you expose TMI so that I could feel a connection with you today.

  6. Gloria says:

    Good luck, Zoe. I appreciated reading this.

  7. Zoe, True grace abounds in your words…. I used to read your TNB pieces way, way back before I ever started writing here… You know how to string together a damn fine sentence. So good to know you are writing again.

    • zoebee says:

      Hi Robin! Thank you. I guess perhaps some of my newly acquired tools were used in the construction of this blurt. Those tools I got through having the pain of it all. In that case I guess it makes it all worthwhile, which is a fucked up and annoying consolation, but a consolation nonetheless.

      Life is bizarre and we keep on truckin’.

      You’ve made me smile. Cheers. x

  8. Dana says:

    “I didn’t cry. I didn’t scream. I didn’t say anything kind, adult or loving. I didn’t beg, at least not then. I didn’t do or say anything I can be proud of. In the white-hot heat of my pain I chose anger.”

    Honestly, I can’t imagine anyone being able to pull off kind, adult or loving in response to those terrifying words. Because if he was wasting your time, what the hell were YOU doing? It IS wasteful. And sad.

    On the other hand, it’s really great to see you back here again. (The same week as Listi? Maybe it IS the end of times.)

    Life is pain, highness… as is love.

    • zoebee says:

      I wasn’t wasting time. I was loving it.. even the shitty times, for there definitely were some. But we at least we had each other to go through it with. That’s LIfe, y’know?? Good and bad and up and down and ugly and beautiful and always evolving.

      Fuck him. God love him.

      I do like you! thanks for reading and being There. x

  9. Brad Listi says:

    Zöe Brock. It’s so nice to have you back, albeit under difficult circumstances.

    The part about writing and sharing stuff online (or elsewhere), the part about living out loud and how it used to be something you did all the time and then it turned into something you almost never did (to the point of activating your gag reflex) — that part really resonated.

    Anyone who writes enough has to have those thoughts at some point, and I’m certainly no different. I’ve had similar episodes, most of which were, I think, ultimately ego-based and related to this need I have (had?) to present my work in a matter more befitting a “serious” writer, to stage-manage my career and present myself to the Internet public as a literary commodity.


    You know what? I think I’ve given up on being a “serious” writer. I don’t give a shit anymore. I don’t want to be Louis-Ferdinand Celine or J.D. Salinger anymore. Or even Kurt Vonnegut. (Actually, I kinda still want to be Vonnegut — but then he didn’t seem to take himself as seriously as most other writers.)

    I mean, I take the work seriously, sure, and I want it to be useful and entertaining to me, and useful and entertaining to the handful of people who might read it. But all this mental effort and anguish and judgment and self-protectiveness and….

    You know what I think I want to say?

    There’s value in doing it, and there’s value in not doing it. There’s no right answer. You can write or not write. It doesn’t matter, ultimately. You’re free.

    But this thing you just wrote, and the other things you wrote before you stopped writing — you should know that it brings people comfort (and probably brings you some measure of comfort, too, at least in the moments of creation).

    Not everybody can tell the truth like that. Not everybody has that inclination, or that compulsion, or that sorta courage. And moreover, when you do it, with little in the way of self-protection or artifice, you help people feel less alone and less encumbered and more able to express themselves, and so on. And that ain’t nothin’.

    So hang in there.

    Best unsolicited advice? Maintain your sense of humor, however dark, at all costs. That’s the best I can tell you.

    Be viciously funny. And don’t be afraid to wear costumes in public (not that you ever were).


    • zoebee says:

      You’ve done many weird things to me Listi but you’ve never made me cry before.
      I must be premenstrual.

      Thanks. Truly. Your words were heaven to read just then and I’ve soaked them up and will roll around in them a lot in the days to come.

      You’re a big sweetie, y’know that? x

  10. Ashley Menchaca (N.O.Lady) says:

    “I think I’m wasting your time.”

    Wow. I’ve been on both sides of that statement and it never gets any easier. Even reading it here brings back thoughts and emotions I didn’t know were still there.

    Heartache is not fun but growth, strength, and knowledge come out of it. Good luck on your journey.

    And keep writing! Even if it’s just for yourself. Being able to see your words will bring clarity that thoughts alone cannot give.


  11. Copa says:

    One of the things I tend to miss in a state of happiness and when everything is going right, is my creativity. It goes away (mostly). I dislike it very much and I feel like I have to really work at trying to find it. You have the grace of a very creative, emotional brain and a knack for reaching others on a very human level. It’s such a unique and beautiful thing, that I hope you see what a light it is amidst your current feeling of loss.

    If you were anywhere close to broing, I’d say TMI, but you’re not even in the same universe, Zo.

    I love your writing.

    • zoebee says:

      Thanks S.

      You, as usual, know all the right/write things to say. Thanks for making me feel human and normal and yet not normal but perfectly okay with it. LOVE

  12. Tom Hansen says:

    Awesome. Angry girls are sooooo….yum.

  13. Matt says:

    Ah, Zoe. Ever capricious is the human heart, and how hollow words sometimes echo within it.

    But this? Not a wasted word, each one simultaneously cutting and soothing.

    And I know where you’re coming from. My last relationship was almost seven years (the bulk of my 20s) and it ended with “I don’t love you anymore, and I’m moving out.” Complete blindside, a tactic on her part to break up with me in the nastiest way possible so I wouldn’t fight to save the relationship. Can’t say I took it well, but then, sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and say, “fuck grace.”

    His loss. Our gain. Glad you’re back.

    • zoebee says:

      Lovely Matt. How good to see you. I feel loved and you are very appreciated!!! Thank you. Kindness heals.


  14. Lindsey Wood says:

    Oh dear… You may be stuck writing about your life Zoe. You do it beautifully. What an incredibly honest piece. I have so very much been there, and sitting here reading this could even glimpse again what that was like and appreciate even more what I have now having gone through it. Thank you.

    • zoebee says:

      Thanks Mrs Wood. (It feels good to call you that!)

      Today is a good day. Today I can imagine a future without him and am excited by other prospects and places, but tomorrow might be like yesterday…. and yesterday was not as much fun. Peaks and troughs and friends in between.

      You still owe me a drunken afternoon……

  15. Zara says:

    Darling Zoe,
    Oof. That one hit me right in the solar plexus. I have been on your ship and the churning sea of regret and ended possibilty is a difficult sea to navigate. It is painful. It is full of sorrow and anger. I am so angry on your behalf! You are such a magnificent woman – so full of life and light and love that it makes no sense to me that shit things should happen to you.
    On a purely selfish note- I am so pleased we get you back. So pleased and excited that we can read your wonderful words again. I have really felt your absence here- you have such a talent and an ability to inspire and encourage and I am so grateful that you are willing to share yourself – all your beauty and humour and darkness and wisdom.
    You shine. You are a bright star and you light up the sky with your words. Welcome back my love. I am sending you a mountain of love xxxx

    • zoebee says:

      God damn I wish you were a man and then we could run off together! what a love story! … “they’d known each other since birth”…. it’s better than The Notebook (insert sobbing)


      Thank you. I’ve been very loved and cherished for a few years and the feeling lasts (bouyed by you and others) so it was not at all in vain. Your words and encouragement make writing seem less insurmountable and more within reach. THANK YOU.

      I’m thinking of you a lot, Z. Especially as I gaze over at the fluro yellow poo-bucket in my office.

  16. Joe Daly says:


    I don’t know you and we’ve never met, but when I needed help planning my last trip to San Fran, I reached out to you and you reflected back a kindness and generosity of spirit that humbled me. I was just a random TNB contributor, trying to show his girlfriend a nice time in San Fran. You hooked me up with a wealth of information, some funny insider tips and your number in case I needed anything while I was there.

    I don’t know you, but you are one hell of a good person.

    Sorry to hear you’re enduring such an emotionally whipping time, but the self-awareness you communicate, combined with your understanding that you’re moving into the next stage with a new set of tools, is as encouraging of a start as one could hope to have.

    You’re right- it’s the journey and you’re in the middle of a thorny one right now, but you can be sure that “this too shall pass,” and there are some amazing, heart-stopping, glorious things waiting for you on the other side. Take your time getting there.

    Oh, and next time I get up there, I’m taking your ass out. So there.

    • zoebee says:

      I know a place that makes a damn fine margarita with a brandy floater.

      Thanks dude. Kind words from an almost stranger. I hope you and your lady had a grand romantic time! I seem to remember we sent you to some slightly kinky places so I hope they measured up. 🙂

      You’re right. I gots me some brand spankin’ new tools. Now I just need a nice new tool belt to keep em in. Helloooooo Home Depot.

      Life’s ok. Today at least. All of this love and these fancy compliments from people are pretty yummy.

      have a bloody great day!

  17. I so wish I was one of those people that knows what to say in times like these. I have to say that I don’t mind reading about your life, not one bit, especially when it’s something as I can relate to. Writing through my breakup was one of the biggest aids in me getting through it and I hope that you find it therapeutic as well. I responded with just as much anger and am only recently learning to let go of it. Weirdly, yoga has helped me a lot. I hope your heart heals quickly, but until then, write as much as you need to and know that you’ve always got us.

  18. Zoe Brock says:

    Beautiful Becca, you absolutely DO know the right things to say. x

  19. sarah gray says:

    i love reading about your life but i am sorry this newest entry is under these circumstances. you are not “ott” with “tmi” it’s just enough “i” to make me want a little more. c’mon down and spend the night it has only been a few years since the last time. it’s still 1967 in santa cruz : )

  20. Richard Cox says:

    Ah, SS. I feel for you. Living completely in the moment is not as easy as it sounds. And maybe it’s even less easy for the female kind, who I think are prewired to want answers about where the journey may take us.

    You write, “In the last couple of years I’ve spent so much time worrying about my future that I forgot to tend to my present. I lived in dreams and let weeds grow in the garden of my reality. In the shattering aftermath of the relationship I thought would last a lifetime I am left with a slew of regrets.”

    Beautifully rendered. This is one of those life conundrums where The Guy takes great pleasure in setting us up for failure. Giving us the desire to examine the minutiae of our lives and also the hindsight to realize maybe we shouldn’t have been inspecting our lives quite so closely.

    Life sometimes seems like nothing more than a stitch up. And yet it’s the only one we’ve got.

    Sorry I missed you in CA but we’ll find another time. Pick up the phone and call whenever you feel like chatting. If you don’t, I’ll ring you.

    Cheers. x

  21. Simon Smithson says:

    No one has ever written about people telling the future from other people’s butts as you have, and I mean that. I really, really and truly mean it.

    Isn’t that just the way it works? You get the skills by being in situations you would have loved to have the skills in. As RC pointed out, “In the last couple of years I’ve spent so much time worrying about my future that I forgot to tend to my present. I lived in dreams and let weeds grow in the garden of my reality.” really sums it up.

    You’ve always been there for me, no matter how difficult times have been, and you always got it perfectly right. So there’s that. And I’ll never forget it.

    And whatever the reasons on the other side of his decision, I still think – and will always think – it was a dumb thing to do. You’re pretty awesome. On a scale of 1 – Smithson, I’d put you at around a 9.34, 9.35.

    And believe me, I don’t say that lightly.

    It’s wonderful to have you back on the boards. I don’t know there’s such a thing as TMI when it comes to your writing, for me.

    • Zoe Brock says:

      oh god. I DID write about that! Wasn’t the Sylvester Stallones insane mother? Jesus you have a good memory.

      Yes. It is the way it works. AND I FUCKING HATE IT!!!!!!

      Love you Sim. I know you thought we were a lovely couple and it means a lot to have you insult his intelligence. Really! 🙂

  22. Welcome back, Zoe. And adding my name to all the others who wish it could be under happier circumstances. But it’s interesting, isn’t it, the way writing is the place some of us simply need to go in our dark times? We can live without it when we’re high, but when we’re low it can literally be the life boat in the storm. I’m someone who has some squirmy moments, too, when it comes to writing about my own life, especially in this Brave New Internet World where something can be published for the entire world to see within moments of having written it, and then it can be difficult to stop that avalanche of lost privacy. In the past year or so, I have cut way, way back on writing about my personal life. I’ve been (though I’m not happy about this side effect) publishing less on TNB than I used to, although I get the happy privilege of remaining super involved through editing the Fiction Section. But I’m just going through one of those periods when I’ve been feeling more “private.” It’s odd. I don’t think it’s necessarily permanent. It’s as Listi says, we’re “free,” and ultimately we can put ourselves out there to whatever degree we choose. There are very good reasons to do it (community, comfort, catharsis–all those great C words) and there are good reasons not to do it (privacy, more time in our lives instead of writing on the computer, less chance of hurting others with something we might say)–there are no “right” answers. I think it comes down, really, to raw need. Sometimes, we simply NEED to write. I know I feel fortunate to be part of a community like TNB where, when I need to write, to reach out, there is somewhere to go, there are people listening and responding. I also feel fortunate to be one of those people able to read/hear the words of others, like you, who have so much to offer, when that need is present in your life.

    • Zoe Brock says:

      Thanks Gina. Your words mean a lot to me and I’ve taken then to heart. It’s very nice to be here and be welcomed back into a community I adore and cherish. I hope I can manage more than one post every ten months from now on.
      You and Listi having similar issues is an eye-opener to me. I really thought I was alone in my discomfort and judged myself (and everyone else, depending on the day) accordingly.
      Interesting times. I hope you are happy and well. Thanks again sweetheart. x

  23. jmblaine says:

    My my
    Zoe Brock
    back in town.

    Nice to see
    you ma’am.

    This is like TNB
    old home week
    with you and Rich
    coming round.

    • Zoe Brock says:

      old home week? ha. Mom’s back, boys and girls…. time to get… weirder?

      what the fuck has been going on around here in my absinthe? I mean absence? Is there any booze left?

  24. Meg Worden says:

    Zoe, while I can relate to both the anxiety over the tmi and the wrenching pain of loss, I am seriously grateful that you chose to write it all anyway. When you write your truth, we get the sweet gift of being able to bear witness to humanity, and somehow that makes our suffering more bearable.
    There is strength and beauty in this, and while it may be veiled now…it will present itself and you will be healed.
    Thank you again. Your writing is like listening to Etta James singing straight from the heart.

    • zoebee says:

      ah yay. you brought a tear to my eye, Meg. Between you and Solar and Brad I’m never going to stop fucking crying!

      thank you. it’s nice to be getting to web-know you. xox

  25. Solar says:

    Welcome back, Dirty Bird.
    I think we have to buy each other a pair of shoes now. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.

    I’m so glad to see you writing again. Move that fucking energy out of your compounded cyclical thinking and explode it out of those lovely, long fingers of yours. The process suits you. You mouth off, you don’t filter, you challenge people around you with comfort, identity, truth. But you do it for you, in the right way.

    This sucks, I know. I have no interest in soothing away your feelings. Feel them, transform them, as you are. Get out of the city and find some stars to lay under. And I don’t mean James Franco. And I’ll be in LA soon enough to distract you back into unbounded laughter. You’ll forget and remember just enough.

    Keep writing!
    I love you.

  26. Dawn says:

    Darling Zo’,

    Firstly, I adore you.

    Secondly, the happiness in my heart at reading your words is oddly intense. The “before” time that you speak of was such a time of change in so many lives. Not in small part because of the you, and the amazing community that surrounds your writing. Yes, I says “surrounds” in present tense, because it is obvious that this community still exists. Older, wiser, but still here, still surrounding you with love and appreciation.

    I love that Listi said this… “Not everybody can tell the truth like that. Not everybody has that inclination, or that compulsion, or that sorta courage. And moreover, when you do it, with little in the way of self-protection or artifice, you help people feel less alone and less encumbered and more able to express themselves, and so on. And that ain’t nothin’.”

    It’s truth, plain-out truth. Loss, Grief, Pain, Butt plugs. Our Love Boat has been ashore for quite a while. Shall we go on another cruise? I’d buy a ticket.

    • zoebee says:

      Captain Stubing to the main deck, captain Stubing to the main deck!

      ALL ABOARD!!!!!!!!

      you make me smile. I feel like absolute dog shit and you make me smile. Thank you so very much. x

  27. Erika Rae says:

    Now that was just plain delicious. A voluptuous line delivered with sizzling honesty. Good to see you back, Zoe. I’m sorry for your pain, though.

    • zoebee says:

      evil influence alert!!!! if you and I ever go drinking there might be trouble…… and it’d be awesome!

      thanks for the positive reinforcement of my inner bitch. I feel strangely less like a complete c*** all of a sudden. 🙂

  28. Zoe! This is my introduction to your work. I think your hiatus must have begun shortly before I joined up here. Must read back-log now. Beautifully done. “Break ups. Heartbreak. Loss. My own personal earthquake in a world already trembling” — what a great few lines among so many, terse and cutting and resonant. Looking forward to more now that you’re back!

  29. You know you tried to be the best version of yourself. You loved him. He knows that.

  30. dwoz says:


    “I think I’m wasting your time.”….

    My first gut reaction, as a somewhat sensitive man, was that this was actually a manifestation of courage on his part, to realize that things were off the rails or heading that way, and that it was better to minimize the collateral damage NOW, than to let things progress to the point that it would be a real wreck.

    But then I realized that was complete bullshit.

    What at first glance looked like him trying to take the blame, is actually looking more and more like a kind of passive-aggressive steaming turd, and a cowardly one at that.

    Trust me, (because I know you so well, right?) this is very, very telling, and you escaped by the skin of your teeth. It wasn’t going off the rails, it was being dragged off the rails. Passive-aggressive is the worst kind of insidious. (funny I should know that, I think to myself.)

    That doesn’t invalidate your love, by the way. Keep that.

    So listen…if you come around to visit, don’t feel offended if I take the phone books and put them away…I kinda use them every once and awhile, and well, I’ll leave out this copy of “the DaVinci Code” that somehow came into my possession, instead. You can have at that, no worries.

  31. Chrissa says:

    When I saw my inbox, I greeted the clicking with fevered excitement, while at the same time nervous hedging, because I was afraid for the story that you ended up telling. The funny thing about being a “reader” is that when you enjoy the storyteller and their method of wrapping words around a tale in such a way, you become almost detached until it is over. Because you so enjoy the words and the journey. And then, when it is over, when you know the person who is saying the things that made you cry, feel and hurt for them, you stop being a reader and you again are their friend.

    I am so very sorry for your hurt, and for what you’ve lost.

    I replay scenes in my former love stories like a scene from a movie in which you’re begging the main character to not open the closet door, or to take back the words they said, or when you scream at the TV knowing full well they cannot hear you. Sometimes they make me sad, but mostly, they make me grateful. I survived it, I am stronger for it, and assuming that wasn’t my only chance, I’ll be better next time. At least, I sure hope so, anyway.

    I’ve realized that, although it doesn’t make me feel “graceful”, anger really is a gift. And I’ve never written anything that isn’t shit while happy.

    I love you, Zo Bee.

    And I still want photos of your apartment. Hah!

    • Zoe Brock says:

      I love you Chrissa. Thank you for reading and writing, as always. You’re such a lovely friend.
      It means a lot to know you’re out There Somewhere.

      No apartment pics ever! At least not until it hurts less. 🙂 xoxoxo

  32. I hadn’t read this when I saw you last week; hadn’t known that you’d written it actually until Sara mentioned it. Having read these two pieces now, I don’t know whether my excuses for treading life alone again, that until I find my own balance i will just be screwing with somebody else’s, sound as cowardly as they often feel or justified in light of your painful story.

    So many familiar people on this comment board. I want to say hi to all of them one at a time and give them all kudoses but I shan’t. Instead I’m reminded that some people think of me as a vulture. I’m sorry that you feel Promethean exposing your liver to us but it will grow back and I hope our poking around in there helps the healing a little.

    From a selfish perspective, the hugs I gave were rushed and tense from the road and frankly inadequate and I apologise for not giving what I should have – the meditation of the road has yet to soak through me completely. Yet still, I caught a slice of the beam of light from you that I always do. As self-absorbed and exposed as I suspect you sometimes feel when writing and when sharing yourself in person, know that to me you never fail to give light.

    You remind me to give love, Zozo, and for that I will always reserve a piece of what is mine for you. I wish much for you always, and hope this next path you tread brings the peace and love you deserve. May the road rise up to greet you.


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