Scene setting: Heat, around 80 or so, in the kitchen. Three fans whirring in here alone, in a five foot radius alone, and not doing much. Me in a sports bra and a pair of shorts I've had since college. Half a tumbler of red wine, a sort that tastes better a little chilled, wine that had five shrunken cubes of ice in it but as I look back at it moments later, there is nothing but wine. One clock radio blinks 12:12, the other 7:47pm. Outside, they tell me it's Saturday. My sleeping bag stuffed with all the clothes from last week's trip still sits in my car as I wait for night fall to lug upstairs to my attic apartment, in my own little subdivision of Hell, temperature-wise, anyway. Sarah Mason is singing "to wrap my arms around your name, hallelujah." Stands of hair and dust on everything.

You do not know heat. You do not know what it is like to be where I am, so don't even think you know. I don't care where you live. You simply have no idea. Now, with that out of the way….

I pray half-heartedly to God that I did not just make this discovery about myself. That I am not ready to tackle it now, not with the heat being so unbearable. Not after looking at a check stub from payday to see that I will likely make around $40,000 this year and will likely have nothing to show for it except a stack of ticket stubs from the various places I've visited taped inside of a scrapbook, along with a dozen or so photos of me and someone else that are actually pretty good. Sure, a handful of the cavities in my head have been mended, bills maintained, loans paid on time every month. I am one of few people I know who can pay off an electric or phone bill in its entirety each month, but that shit is expected. Most life maintenance is not something to be proud of, is it?

I tell God that I'm not ready to tackle the issues about myself that I've uncovered in the last week. Please, I say, give me another month. Let me catch up. No, then there will likely be more that will distract me. My brother that I haven't laid eyes on in 4 years will be visiting me here. Then in September there is the wedding and frantic trip to New York. Then in October is L'Abri. Couldn't I wait until then, Lord?

But I already know the answer. It's too late. I realized it, and now I have to deal with it. It seems to big right now. I'm never going to be leveled out enough to ever deal with this and have proper footing. I'll give away a hint. Every contact I've known of boys and men was carnal and empty and disappointing. When I tell people that I have a two week limit on men, I realize now that it has always been this way. The fact that it wasn't that no one would love me or care for me but that I never let them, that I was and continue to be the biggest block. Even though we don't believe it, low self-esteem is actually one of the most self-centered acts, not unlike suicide.

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