On the Intersectionality of Things I Miss About You and Shit I Don’t by Colleen Kimsey

You don’t have to read this. It’s totally optional. Both of our lives will continue being just fine if you choose not to. There’s a lot of feelings here, some you might not want to hear about, and pretty explicit descriptions of sexual stuff. It’s your call. Either way, this was intended for you, and no one else really.


I still want you. I don’t know what the fuck happened. I suspect this is my fault. I both miss you and don’t miss anything about you at all. I want you on the other side of the city, nested in someone else’s bed six days of the week, but on the seventh, I want you in mine.

I don’t know what to do about any of this.


I don’t regret anything. You are so beautiful that my tongue goes numb and my knees go all a-quiver and I couldn’t tell if I loved you or if I was having an allergic reaction. The first time I tasted what you had to offer (and here is a short list of things you had to offer: yr skin, which tasted like tangerines, the savory tang of pot smoke in your unwashed hair, chicken curry and naan, too strong green tea, crest toothpaste after your very thorough dental hygiene routine), on top of the pillars at Berkeley1, I thought yes yes yes this is it i have found the thing i have been looking for. Clearly, mistakes were made, but I don’t regret looking across the table and deciding that one, right there, perfect.2

(I am both surprised and disappointed in the persistence of my desire for you).

And maybe, the most disheartening realization of all: it won’t ever be what we want. It’s sad when you know you could love the fuck outta someone’s stupid shit and they just can’t.

The epicenter of all this disaster can not be traced to a singular breakdown. Was my head on your shoulder too heavy? Did my mutterings in the mornings about the ice cream truck at the wedding and what did you think about Great Pyreneese puppies and a house in the hills, scare you off? People tell me, while backing away, that I have a gift for unabashed enthusiasm and I wonder sometimes if I was all too too much. When you laid your head on my chest to sleep, could you hear the missed beats of my unstable heart? Did you know right then and there what a disaster I would turn out to be?

The snap of some unknown hips3? Did my fist in the porcelain bowl of your hips feel too much like violence?

Irregardless, you are beautiful. The bat of your butterfly eyelashes slays me, the indulgent lushness of your mouth kills me and I am left breathless, gasping.


If lying in bed with my whole body curled around a flat pillow because i need you so much closer i need you so much closer won’t work, I will try this: I will not watch the cocksure cadence of your hips as you walk because I know what it takes to make that tempo doubletime with need and desire and the upward pressure of my thumb into that spot that makes you relearn how to beg, it reminds me too much of the slow stutter of your hips when you want something you know you can’t have and then my clit is throbbing and I am undone. (A review of the literature suggests that rushing to the bathroom stall to jack off over the memory of your wet warm mouth on my cunt will not solve anything, and will only make me late to class). More successful methods have been included in the appendix (Appendix: 1).

Methods that have produced mixed results include: avoidance, moderated discussion, not talking at all. While these may act as a panacea for the acted-upon (I can now read your business emails without my throat closing, I can watch you laugh without closing my eyes and thinking of blood) it leaves the actor with a phantom perception of pain.

Hypotheses of the actor’s experience are, of course, limited by the very nature of this report. But I can imagine that you are hurt by short sentences. I imagine that you want to be able to look into my eyes and see something there that satisfies you. I imagine you would prefer it if I could behave like a normal human being and not a pillar of ice and spikes.

But, oh my God, my methods are madness and saving grace. I don’t think you can, and I’m not asking you to, keep catalogues of pain like I do. But my God: the dry Arizona heat in my brain that led me to believe that I can do just fine, thank you, on three apples a day (eating is admitting you need things and right then I needed you so much that to admit any other vulnerability was to leave myself open to collapse [Appendix: 2]). I ran quarter mile laps4 under the indigo desert sky and watched vultures rise in the heat and practiced feeling nothing at all.

My methods fail me. I ended up in a hospital, weeping at the sight a tuna sandwich, afraid of everything that sustains me. Baby, you literally broke my heart5. I starved my heart into irregularity and now I sit in meetings with one hand on my heart waiting for that sustaining electricity to fail6(it stops, it lurches into doubletime and after you, I wonder if I can ever trust my body again [my cunt is a particular traitor, I have doubts about its allegiance])

How am I supposed to proceed? I am a polite abyss of need. I will install guard rails and pave paths for your safety because I know you’re done falling for me. I could never blame you for the erosion I inflicted on my own damn self. I am only telling you this so you understand that my methods are protective barriers for both our safety. You are not responsible for any of this, but at the same time, I feel like a refugee in a ruined city7. I don’t know if you fully understood how hard it has been to be nice, not yell, not press you up against the wall and (See Appendix:3 filthy filthy porn).


I am too much of an enthusiastic slut.

There was never anything there at all.8

I am built out of grasping hands and open mouths and you were looking for someone a little less hollow.

Things are always better with a higher kissing:words ratio and this acted as a balm for our fundamental incompatibility (oh my god, your taste in gettin’ in it on music…)

There is a scarcity inherent in your character.

Unknown factor? Family issues? (I’m still embarrassed that I couldn’t keep my hands off of you, that is the one action I would take back [and let all others stand as proof of my good intentions towards you]) Your friends? My friends? My inability to take no for an answer? The fact that I don’t shower as often as I should and smell like a longshoreman?

The working hypothesis is that it is a quality inherent in my character, and I suspect it correlates strongly to my a) shameless and degenerate passion for you, b) willingness to drop everything and to make space for you and c) preferences that run towards butches in blazers and gentle acoustic guitars.


I am sad. You seem okay. I am wrapping my stuttering heart in clean cotton sheets and other bodies. You say you are hurt when I do not talk to you. When I talk to you I want to (Appendix: 3, optional pure pornography).

There is a problem here.

Discussion of Results

Champ, no blood no foul. You are so much braver than I have ever been to be able to call off shit that clearly wasn’t working for you. My sadness is not your responsibility, I don’t know if I can ever say that enough. The wetness you evince in me (when you bend over, when I smell pot on you, when I catch glimpses of your belt, of the smooth skin between your binder and your pants, when you look down), is not your problem. While what distracts me in biology is the fantasy that we could one day learn how to fuck and walk away, what I want most of all is your continued happiness and success. I want you to know you did the right thing. I want your girlfriend to make you so happy that your lungs are balloons of joy. I want you incandescent with pleasure.

And maybe it was never all that good. After all, the love we will never make together is the most beautiful, the most violent, the most pure and the most heady. I promise not to regret anything if you won’t. Because after all, I picked you.

Further Implications

I feel sometimes as if I am the keeper of memories of a city we built together but you have renounced all claims to. I wish sometimes what we built between us could have experienced a kind of Atlantis. I fantasize about tsunamis, submersion, the swaying of perfectly preserved mannequin’s hair in the ocean’s currents. Sometimes, I want an eternity of salty kisses. No decay.

There was a time back there when I would have given you my unbroken pulse if I had thought it would be useful .I would have offered you my breath. I know understand the importance of importance.

There’s a lingering effect of love, but so what. We can both walk, stretch, turn our heads to stare at other girls (see page 8, paragraph 1, line 1). Sometimes, I bet you’re sorry we ever crossed paths (I know I would fuck myself, but I wouldn’t date myself).

And I wonder about the effect of my wandering eyes, but there’s a song that goes im gonna dance with whoever im gonna dance with and I believe in that statement to its fullest implications.

At the end of all this I am left with one last image: You are lying in my bed, drowsily deciding whether to get up and put on clothes to go home, or just lie there and fall back asleep. There is no weight called obligation pulling you towards either decision. There is only sunshine, and warmth, and independence.


1. Clasp your hands. She is not a precious stone. Remember you did not like holding hands because of the height difference. Buy ripe fruit with few bruises. Hum a sad song quickly. Bathe in vinegar. Lather in shea butter. Buy a new pen. When people ask you on dates, say yes, don’t pretend you can’t hear them. If you miss her, it only means you miss her. Remember that you won’t ever remember it right. Remember that you knew, long before you really knew, that it wasn’t meant to last. Spend your last ten dollars. Take-Out. Hair dye. Remember that you learned the definitions of “need” and “want” in grade 9 economics class from the teacher who was always drunk. Watch CSI Miami and cheer on Horatio. Go Horatio, you can love again Horatio. Nobody is thinking of you right now. Nobody is thinking of her, except you. Point your toes when you sit on the bus and your feet won’t touch the ground. Buy ingredients and put them together. Bathe in lavender. Disengage. Remember that you don’t remember. Hold your own hand. – Zoe Whittal

2. (fuck tumblr, fuck collarbones, fuck bodies)


You, over the desk with your legs tied open. You, with your wet cunt

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TNgefYPCUs
2. I do regret embarrassing Kim, WHO I STILL LOVE UNGH UNGH WEE LIL SWEATER VESTS.
3. Your own ass is evidence that the divine does not require a god.
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B-MluGscaE
5. I understand that this actually falls under the category of my own damn fault, but oh my goodness, you sure stumbled into a landmine unawares.
6. “Bradycardia is a slowness of the heartbeat, usually at a rate under 60 beats per minute (normal resting rate is 60 - 100 beats per minute). Blood flow is reduced, blood pressure may drop and the heart muscles starve, losing size.” (University of Maryland, 2009)
7. http://pleasesaveusnotthewhales.blogspot.com/2010/08/i-want-this-to-be-number-41.html
8. i was yours, right? but i am beginning to doubt it