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  • Juliet Anonymous

CHAPTER ONE - SETTING THE STAGE

What is the Juliet Anonymous project? Well, strap yourself in, dear Nurse, because I'm about to lay it down.


Dearest Nurse,


I left my husband, Paris, on August 2nd, 2021. It was four days before our 10-year wedding anniversary. In a way, I didn’t even mean for the words to come out of my mouth. I wanted to leave him, of course. I’d wanted to leave him for a long time, longer than I’d like to admit. But the pandemic, lockdown, our youngest being under 2… I could give you a whole sack of excuses as to why I didn’t get out of there sooner, but that’s not why I’m writing this. This is an experiment. 30 days to figure out who I am, why I stayed in a marriage that was NEVER good - in spite of being a relatively confident, well-educated, moderately successful woman - then, clean myself up, and find out what it is I truly want.


I’m not the first woman to write about her personal transformation and self-discovery. Not by a long shot. So, why do it? Well, accountability, for one thing. I’ve set a very high bar in terms of this program I’ve designed for myself, and I want to make sure I follow it. If I know you’re out there reading this, Nurse, I’ll stick to the plan.


Also, I love telling stories. It’s my favorite thing to do, and I happen to think I’m very entertaining, charming, and adorable. (I really do. It’s silly. In my head I’m Zoey Deschanel. In reality, I’ve been told I have resting bitch face.) I also work in entertainment, hence the anonymity. I’m not a famous person by any stretch, but enough of my work is out there so that I’m easily Google-able. More to that point, one of the hardest things about being a writer in a broken marriage was that I never felt I could really tell MY story. That if I did, if I spoke my truth in a direct, no-holds-barred manner, I’d be judged. (I would have been judged. I would have been insulted and shamed. I don’t think that, I know that.) So, I am choosing to write under the pseudonym Juliet, to enable myself to be truly, unflinchingly honest for the first time in… maybe forever, while protecting those who also appear in this story.


So, where am I in this whole journey and what’s the deal? Let’s play a bit of catch up here, shall we?


As I said, I told Paris I no longer wanted to be married on August 2nd. He was devastated, begged and bargained, but once the words had come out of my mouth, I knew there was no going back. Honestly, it felt too good, too right. It was hard, but I stuck to my guns, and he was out of our Los Angeles apartment the following night.


Now, I am a product of separated parents. (Mr. and Mrs. Capulet didn’t fare so well after the whole plague upon their houses thing. Go figure.) As such, I know how this goes like the back of my hand, and I knew it was best for my two daughters, Big (7), and Little (2), that we come up with a schedule ASAP. Paris had moved in with his mother until he could find a job (I know, I know…) and his own apartment, so we agreed that the girls would be with him Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday night, and that I would have them the rest of the week. Great. Done. Perfect…


Within A WEEK of this arrangement, I got restless. I’m not good at being alone. I’ve never been good at it. I know I’ll get into this ad nauseam during the course of this 30 day experiment, but for now, it’s enough to say that I crave companionship, and when I’m feeling low, lonely, and insecure, I want that companionship to be male. Blah... I said it.

So, I’m watching Big Brother, alone, drinking wine, alone... really, REALLY trying to enjoy being alone, but I cannot figure out what to do with myself. Now, we all have that person who was the best lay of our lives. I hope for your sake yours is the person you are currently with… but that didn’t happen for me. Instead, during my married years, whilst having supremely subpar sex - if we had sex at all - I often thought about a fellow whom - you guessed it! - will hereby go by Romeo.

The year was 2005. Katrina just had slammed New Orleans, Lance Armstrong won his 7th straight Tour de France, Democrats were still reeling from the reelection of George W. Bush, (because we had no idea what was coming) and I had just graduated from my lovely, midwestern, Liberal Arts college. Knowing my destiny lay somewhere in the land of sunshine and plastic, I bought a shitty convertible and drove from New York to Los Angeles with $3,000 bucks in my pocket. When I tell you I was determined, that wasn’t the half of it. I was on fire. I had no connections, no contacts, but by God, I was going to make it in Hollywood if it killed me. I barely ate, when I did sleep it was the sleep of the dead, and I spent all my afternoons pounding the pavement with my resume, or at internet cafes applying for any and every acting, production, or crew gig I could find. Which is how, by mid-September of that year, I ended up with a one-night job working for The Inflatable Crowd Company.


CGI is expensive. Actually filling stands with live human extras, even at the standard, non-union $58 bucks a pop, is even more expensive. So, if you need to fill an entire football stadium with human-like figures, you hire The Inflatable Crowd Company. This results in stands jam-packed with blow-up dolls, dressed in old clothes, most likely pulled out of a donation box on Ventura Boulevard. My job was to move silently, placing inflatable torsos with heads in whatever area of the stands could be seen in the shot, then dress them as quickly as I could before they called “rolling!”. At that point, wherever I was, I had to hit the deck. Literally lay down on a cement floor that has seen more grime, beer, and piss than a Vegas custodian, until the shot was done. Now, I’m sure there were several other Inflatable Crowd employees running around with me that night, but I only remember one.


"This is an experiment. 30 days to figure out who I am, why I stayed in a marriage that was NEVER good - in spite of being a relatively confident,well-educated, moderately successful woman - then, clean myself up, and find out what I truly want."

There’s this look a guy gets when he sees something perfect. Something he wants more than anything, and a million fantasies pass through his mind in a single instant. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, here, but I’m a decently attractive woman. When I was 22 and 120 lbs, however, I was easily somewhere between an 8 and a 9. (A 10 to those who are into slightly damaged, tough-on-the-outside city girls with an axe to grind. And let me tell you, a lot of them are.) At the time, I knew this look well. I fed off it.


I have daddy issues - if that isn’t ridiculously obvious - and the ability to turn boys into putty without lifting much of a finger, was too delicious to resist, regardless of how much I wanted to. In college I had been a serial monogamist… or, I tried to be… but that damn look. I cheated on every single boyfriend I had, ruthlessly, male approval a drug I just could NOT get enough of.


But this wasn’t college. This was real life, and there were stakes now. I had a $700 dollar-a-month studio apartment that needed to be paid for. A kitten I had found to take care of. A career to start. I didn’t have time for this… but, there he was. Romeo. 21 years old, with narrow-set, blue eyes, a raspy voice you just want to sit on, and stunning teeth. (I’m a massive sucker for good teeth… and Jewish men, for that matter. Did I mention I’m a New Yorker?) To top it off? Not only was he looking at me like dinner at Mastro’s, he told me as much. Right off the fucking bat. I should mention that if I was a 9 at the time, Romeo was around a 6 or a 7. Not as objectively beautiful, but so confident it blew the rating scale out of the water. I could have screwed him in the trailer that night outside the stadium, surrounded by plastic blow up dolls… but like I said, I was on a mission.


He followed me the entire night, running around the stands of that football stadium, setting up dolls, clothing them, and diving for cover during takes. I can still remember the two of us laying there under the seats, trying not to giggle during the shot, as we stared at each other. I knew right then and there I was in trouble.


But like I said, I’m a sucker for the look, so against my better judgement, I let him take me out. We met for an innocent dinner, but it didn’t take long before he was back, inside my apartment, and between my legs. I don’t remember the date, but good God, I remember the sex. Like I said, Romeo was the best. Even at 21, he knew a woman’s body as if he had built it himself. It was uncanny, and, despite the fact that I had promised myself not to date ANYONE for at least a year into starting my new life, between the sex, the look, and that raspy voice, I was done for.


The details of our short relationship will come out over the course of this project, but for now, I’ll just say that we were broke as a couple bad jokes. I was a complete stress case working several jobs, just barely keeping my head and hopes above water, and in spite of all that, we never had a single fight. Let me say that one more time: We. Never. Had. A. Single. Fight. Perhaps not remarkable for some, but I’m human gasoline. I can pick a fight with a pineapple if I’m in a bad enough mood. But Romeo never engaged. Whatever I was stressed about, yelling about, or annoyed about, he either laughed and fixed the problem, or calmed me down. He never yelled back, never matched my energy, only countered me and put be back on track. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but that’s genuine kindness. And then we’d have mind blowing sex. Every. Single. Night.


But I wasn’t in heaven. Why? Because Romeo had a provision with which he entered the relationship. He was young and smart, and knew the realities facing us as a couple. We probably wouldn’t be together forever. He was scared of commitment, and as such, made me agree to one condition: we would be together for as long as we were having fun. When we weren’t having fun anymore, poof! Over. No hard feelings. And did I agree? Of course I did. The guy was a sex God who treated me like a million bucks. I had to, didn’t I? Well, I didn’t, and I probably shouldn’t have, because I was falling for him. And it was always there, in the back of my mind, that the day I stopped being fun, Romeo would be out the door.


" I can still remember the two of us laying there under the seats, trying not to giggle during the shot as we stared at each other. "

And, as fate would have it, that day was April 1st, 2006. Yes, April Fools Day. Fucking ridiculous day to break up with someone and mean it. He told me I was the kind of girl he could see himself marrying - if he believed in that sort of thing - and he just wasn’t ready for that yet. I was completely blindsided - half because he was leaving me, and half because he actually thought my man-eating, rough-around-the-edges ass was marriage material. I was devastated, and really, really angry. It was the best relationship I had ever had… would ever have, and it only lasted seven months.

It didn’t take long for Romeo to express regret. He would do so a couple times in the coming years, but I was so wounded and prideful that I couldn’t let him in again. And so, I dated other people, and ended up marrying Paris in 2011. That was the last year I saw Romeo. I rented a softball field on Cahuenga Boulevard and invited a bunch of friends to play for my 28th birthday. I should mention that Romeo is loud, doesn’t care what other people think, and tends to throw his weight around. Paris couldn’t stand him, particularly when I mentioned we had dated in the past, and thus began the era of turning my back on every person I had ever slept with. That was a lot of friends. Sex was like a handshake for me back then. But, obviously, that explanation didn’t sit well with Paris, and so I was shamed, yelled at, and eventually, complied. Yeah… I know.

So, anyway, back to Big Brother on August 11th, 2021, 10 years after that softball game. I’m alone for the first time in over a decade, I’m two glasses of wine in, and I start thinking about Romeo. Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve thought about Romeo in the past decade, or even the tenth, or hundredth. I wouldn’t say I obsessed about him, but he popped into my mind often enough. For one thing, the fact that we never fought. At a certain point, all I did with Paris was fight. It was completely exhausting, even for human gasoline over here. There were times I would daydream, not about having sex with other men, but about sitting across from them, having a pleasant conversation. I’m not kidding, Nurse, I legitimately fantasized about dudes just being nice to me. So, of course Romeo popped into my head then. But let’s be honest, I also fantasized about the sex. A lot. Sex with Paris was never great. It was okay at best and a chore at worst. Particularly when we were trying to get pregnant with Little, but that’s not entirely his fault.

What was Paris’s fault was that he hardly ever touched me. He slept on the couch for the last four or five years of our marriage. I actually lost count. His kisses were hard pecks, and sometimes he’d go for days without making eye contact with me. So, yeah, there were a few nights where I laid in bed alone, and thought about Romeo until I ached, and then tried to force myself to sleep. I told myself this was as good as it was going to get for me. I told myself fun sex was a thing of the past, and that I could live without it. Who cares? I have great kids. I love my job. Yada yada, you know the drill. But no matter what I said to myself, I couldn’t escape how fucking sad it was. That I might never feel that again, that complete, unadulterated ecstasy that I felt those fleeting 7 months, 16 years ago.


But last I knew, Romeo had gone back to Florida. I should mention that Romeo has zero social media presence. The only way I was able to gain information on his whereabouts was through his brother’s scary right-wing Facebook page. So, even though I figured he was thousands of miles away, now that I was free from my commitment to never contact anyone I had ever slept with, I decided to reach out to the best person I had ever slept with.


"There were times I would daydream, not about having sex with other men, but about sitting across from them, having a pleasant conversation. I’m not kidding, Nurse, I legitimately fantasized about dudes just being nice to me."

And he wrote me back within the hour.

And he was excited to hear from me.


And he was in L.A.! What?!


And he wanted to hang out!


Like, as soon as possible…

What was happening!?


Play it cool, Juliet, play it cool. Just plan on Friday night. That’s normal. That’s what normal people do. People with no expectations, and people who don’t want to come right out and say that they just extricated themselves from their marriage 9 days ago… because that would sound presumptuous, ill-advised, and fucking batshit. This is batshit! What am I doing? Omigod, is it possible that I could actually, really, physically have sex with Romeo again?! Stop it. Calm down. Fuck… I don’t own a single nice pair of underwear!


But I was getting ahead of myself. Way ahead of myself, and to some degree, I knew it. Somehow, between the wine and a hit off my weed vape, I managed to get some sleep.


What I did not manage, however, was keeping my mind off Romeo for a second in the hours leading up to our Friday evening get-together. I barely ate, due in large part to the fact that I was figuring out how to juggle two kids and two dogs on my own, but nonetheless, I was fixated. I went so far as to get my first mani-pedi since 2019. I found a rooftop bar that would be the perfect meeting spot. This was going to be perfect. It had to be perfect.


I left the house two hours early. I just couldn’t occupy myself any longer. So, I popped in my AirPods, took the train into Hollywood, and roamed the streets. My old stomping ground. I passed my old Starbucks, visited the complex where I lived in my 20s. Where Paris moved in with me for a year when we first started dating. The idea was to reclaim this place. Hollywood had always been mine, not Paris’s. Didn’t matter that we met on the corner of Hollywood and Vine. That was over now, and thank God. I felt light, like a kid, padding over the stars in my Keds while texting Sampson, one of my closest friends. I mean, I had to tell someone I had decided to reunite with an old flame a week after ending my marriage, didn’t I? I was just nearing the corner where Romeo and I were to meet when she suddenly texted, “What if he’s fat and bald?”


I stopped in my tracks. The thought had never occurred to me, but she was totally right. The last photo Romeo had posted on social media was from 2016. Anything could have happened in that time. I wasn’t jumping in a time machine, this was real life, and if Paris’s rapid physical decline was any indication, real life could take a fucking toll on a person.

And so I did what any rational literary romantic character would do. I ran across the street, and perched on the stairs of the post office, so I would see Romeo well before he saw me. And I watched and waited, praying he wasn’t the dude in the toe shoes, or the one on the electric scooter, or the… oh wait… there he was… five minutes late, and hurrying for the door. He wasn’t fat, and though he had definitely slathered on some type of hair product, he definitely wasn’t bald. “He’s perfect.” I texted Sampson, and headed inside.


I heard him before I saw him. Like I said, Romeo is loud, and he was doing his best to petition the bouncer to let us onto the rooftop bar as soon as I arrived. It was so surreal, hearing that raspy voice again, that I was thrown off balance. So, rather than try and make some kind of grand approach that could have gone hellishly sideways, I slipped in behind him, and ran a finger down his back.


He was just as thrown as I was. Without thinking, he pulled his mask off, then realized he was inside, and fumbled trying to put it back on, all while trying to hug me hello. I, however, was grateful for my mask. This was enough to take in at the moment, and I already felt the world spinning. He had aged a bit, but so had I. He was somehow taller than I remembered, but more slight in the shoulders. He was happy to see me, there was no doubt about that, but there was something a bit sad about his countenance; a dullness in his skin, as if he had been through something. But that wasn't what I wanted to focus on. What I did, however, was how, in spite of my nerves and pounding heart, I felt so. incredibly. comfortable. Like nothing I said would be wrong, and everything that came out of my mouth was something he wanted to hear. Nurse, I’m not trying to be a martyr here, but I have not had that in a very, very long time.


Finally, we were permitted to go to the elevator that would take us to the rooftop bar. I don’t know what lead to this, but Romeo has always been slick when it came to getting the information he wanted. “…and you’ve got kids, and you’re happily married…” He said. I scoffed into my mask,


“No, I’m not.” I said, and then I went for it, “Do you honestly think if I were happily married I would have reached out to you?”


I wish I knew how he felt in that moment. He fumbled, something about us being old friends and wanting to reconnect, but if he didn't before, he had to know right then what I wanted.


I’ll get into the details of the next couple hours in a later post, but suffice it to say, when we got to that rooftop bar, and sprawled out on the large, palm-leaf upholstered banquette, there wasn’t a dull moment, until… “I am in a relationship.” He forced himself to say, half looking at me, like the words tasted bad. “And we do live together.” My heart dropped into my shoes. “But I’m finding my way out of it.” He continued. “I actually don’t think she likes me very much.” My heart perked up, and started its climb back into my chest cavity, when…


“And my politics have completely changed since we were together.” Oh no, oh no. Please don’t say— “I’m a conservative Republican.” My heart slammed back to the floor and ran under the banquette for cover. What the actual fuck, Romeo? You were the most staunchly left wing progressive I had ever met, and I’m from New York City. It was annoying actually, how dogmatic he was back then. How had this happened?


He went to get us another drink, and I texted Sampson immediately. “Spoke too soon. He looks great, but he’s a fucking TRUMPIE.” Sampson has a newborn and has probably slept five hours in the past two months, but still replied immediately, “Oh noooooo”.


I should mention that I am fantastic at not hearing things I don’t want to hear. According to my mother, I’ve been mastering the art since age 3, and now I’m just fantastic at it. I didn’t want to hear about his ideology shift or where it came from, so I didn’t engage. I changed the subject, and that’s when things got handsy. Little touches here and there. I couldn’t help it. Neither could he. The chemistry was off the charts. We said everything. Everything we had thought about the past 16 years. How he was the best lay of my life, how breaking up with me was his biggest regret… And then he got closer. I was talking, I know that, but I had no idea what I was saying, because he was staring at me, my mouth…


“God, I want to kiss you so badly right now.”


I said something, I think, but I can’t remember for the life of me what it was, because the next thing I knew, his mouth was on mine. There was a flash of white, and suddenly there was no one else in the entire world. My entire body lit up, vibrating like some celestial orb, illuminating the entire night sky. Holding one another’s faces as our tongues and lips found so much more than they remembered. I shit you not, Nurse, that was the best kiss of my entire life.


"The chemistry was off the charts. We said everything. Everything we had thought about the past 16 years. How he was the best lay of my life, how breaking up with me was his biggest regret…"

We couldn’t stop. We knew people were probably staring, but we were helpless against one another. Somehow, we managed to pay the tab and get back to the elevator, where I pulled him into me, our arms a tangled mess as we sucked and groped. He gave me a ride home in what could literally have been the same old, white Corolla he had when we were in our 20s, and we sat in my second parking spot - aptly named the “G” spot - making out like the old days, getting more hot and bothered by the second, until he sat back, and gazed at me.

“I can’t stay.”

“I know.”


He looked me up and down. That life sustaining, hungry, male look I was once so addicted to… but there was something else in it. Something I didn’t want to see at the moment, but was definitely there… sadness. He rested his head on the seat.

“I would need hours.” He said, referring to the time he wanted with me… with my body. I inwardly gasped. “But I have to take care of some things. I’m not a cheater.”


“No, you’re not.” I was trying to be supportive, but the truth of the matter, however selfish it may be, was that I didn’t care that he was in a relationship. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend, or even a companion. I wanted to get laid, and I wanted it to be with the best. I wanted to prove to myself that I was still beautiful after years of being ignored, and I needed to know that my body was still capable of enjoyment, orgasm even. It had been so long, I had forgotten what it felt like, and all I wanted was to be reminded. The worst part may have been that I didn’t know if I wanted him to break up with his girlfriend at all. That maybe, if I could just get him to step out on her here and there, I could get what I wanted without a commitment. The last thing in the world I was looking for after 9 days of freedom was to feel trapped again, even by Romeo. But he was the anti-commitment guy. The guy that walks out when things are no longer “fun”. Surely he would appreciate that now, finally, after all these years, all I wanted was a bit of fun too, right?


He left that night without coming upstairs. I probably should have left him alone at that point. Been respectful and let him handle what he wanted to handle before being with me again. But a switch had been turned inside me, and the rational, compassionate Juliet I had evolved into in my adult life, quickly left the building.

The next few days were a blur. I didn’t sleep at all that night, kept awake by near constant arousal. His mouth, his words, that kiss. There was a mess of texts ranging from romantic to very, very dirty. I have never sexted in my life. The very thought used to make me cringe - not because I thought it was gross or stupid, but because it embarrassed me. Sex embarrassed me, not to mention sexuality. But I was done with that. I was done letting anything or anyone hold me back. And it actually felt amazing. Dear Nurse, don’t judge me too harshly, but I solicited my very first dick pick, and I got it. It’s kind of a coming of age these days… or, at least, I think it is…


He came by Wednesday night, and it was another flurry of manic passion, and a lot of confusion. I couldn’t tell what the boundaries were. He wasn’t being clear about where things stood with his girlfriend, Rosaline, and neither of us could keep our mouths off one another’s long enough to discuss it. It wasn’t until Romeo, my own personal sex God, went soft, that we took pause. He hadn’t broken up with her yet. Things were complicated, and he was feeling guilty.


So, instead of screwing like rabbits as I'd hoped, I made the most lethal mistake any woman can make who just wants get laid and get lost: I cuddled with him. Ah… there was that fucking connection again. That comfort. That complete and total ease with a romantic partner I just assumed I’d never have again. And the way he looked at me when he left, churning in the doorway like he couldn’t bear to part with the sight of me… damn it, I was cooked.


The next morning, I woke to a lovely Facebook message from Rosaline: “Stay the fuck away from Romeo you fucking home wrecker.” I shit you not, my first thought was, someone needs to tell this Karen homewrecker is one word. Like I said, I’m a writer.


Then came a barrage of one sentence e-mails from Romeo. Apparently Rosaline had seen my name come up on Romeo’s phone and found me on social media. I had no idea what she had seen and I didn’t really care. I know I probably should have, but how Jerry fucking Springer of her, really? And it didn’t stop there. Over the next 24 hours she found Paris and reached out to him, posted some really classy shit on photos of my kids on Instagram, kicked Romeo out of the apartment they shared, but apparently didn’t break up with him. Not sure what that’s supposed to mean.


But for Romeo it meant just enough to finally go through with things. So, during a one-hour window where he had a break from work and the girls were with Paris, he came by in his ancient Corolla, and we finally had the reunion we had been pining for. And, for what it’s worth, Dear Nurse, it was fucking amazing. It was a lot to take - Romeo is well endowed - but it was exactly what I remembered. I’ll probably end up going into detail later, but for now, we’ll just say that I could have cried. The plumbing still worked, I felt sexy and gratified as hell, and if he didn’t have to get back to work, I would have jumped on him again for round two.


I only had about ten seconds to enjoy the afterglow before my phone buzzed. A text from Paris: “I was in the apartment”… What? !


"Ah… there was that fucking connection again. That comfort. That complete and total ease with a romantic partner I just assumed I’d never have again. "

Apparently, while I was indulging in a fantasy 16 years in the making, Paris realized he didn’t have Little’s training potty, and came by to pick it up. I hadn’t mustered the courage to ask for his key yet, so he let himself right the fuck in. I have no idea what he saw or heard, but he knew what was going on, and because of the messages he had received from the lovely Rosaline, he knew exactly who it was going on with.

I was livid, and embarrassed, and so, so sad for him, but I didn’t apologize. No more apologies. I told him he had no business being there, and that he couldn’t come by unannounced anymore… But the real, larger truth was staring me in the face: This was getting really fucking messy.

Not only that, but I could feel myself needing Romeo. Craving text and e-mail responses, and becoming increasingly distracted if I didn’t get them. Shocker, I know, but I was beginning to realize my toxic marriage had left me with some deep insecurities, and I was increasingly concerned that I was going to blow this whole thing with my neediness. In the span of one week, from the time he had gotten my first e-mail to now, his entire life had exploded, and to top it off, he was dealing with family drama on the East Coast. He tried to keep up correspondences, to let me know he was thinking of me, but it wasn’t enough. As much as we didn’t want it, we both knew we needed time if this was going to be anything more than a couple passionate moments, walked in on by exes, and kept secret from partners.


I had no idea what I wanted from all this, but I didn’t want to be whoever I was right now. For his part, neither did he. So, we agreed on a month. A month apart to get our shit together.


I cried a little, I’ll admit. The week had been exhausting, but there was more to it than that. It was a reminder of what life can be, what passion and intimacy are, and that it’s not gone. I can’t tell you how many times during my marriage I told myself this is just how things went. You get older, sex stops being important. The longer you stay with someone, the less excited you are by them. No one ever feels the kind of electrifying, unadulterated passion for someone like they do when they’re young. That’s just life.


That, my dearest Nurse, is complete and total bullshit.


I had felt more in the past week than I had in ten years. What that meant, I didn’t know. I still don’t. I went into this wanting some gratifying casual sex and came out of it utterly confused and bewildered, but alive. I was alive again, and now it was time to figure out what that meant. Thing is, I knew there was no way I’d be able to do that if Romeo and I stayed in contact. If I was going to figure out who this alive person was and what she wanted, I couldn’t be waiting around for a text from him, and measuring the time between my responses so he didn’t think I was nuts. I needed to do this alone. Alone, alone. For 30. full. days.


And so, I wrote him this:


[Romeo],


I was hoping to hear back from you, but I know how busy you are.


Well, I'm going to go dark now. But...


On Friday, September 24th at 12:00PM I'll be back where this whole thing started sixteen years ago, almost to the day. If you show up, we can talk, see where this could go. If you don't, perhaps I'll see you in another decade or so. And if, for some reason, I don't show up... well, then you'll have your answer too.


Good luck out there, and be good to yourself.

Much love,

[Juliet]


"I knew there was no way I’d be able to do that if Romeo and I stayed in contact. If I was going to figure out who this alive person was and what she wanted, I couldn’t be waiting around for a text from him... I needed to do this alone. Alone, alone. For 30. full. days."

And then I blocked him. I blocked him from my phone and my e-mail, and I will not unblock him until sundown on September 24th, or when he shows up - if he shows up - back where we first met.


Is this overly theatrical and heavily romanticized? Probably. Mrs. Capulet certainly thinks as much. But here’s the thing: I am a romantic. I always have been. I married someone who wasn’t, paid the price, and so convinced myself I wasn’t too. But the truth is, I want my life to feel like a play. A really good one, with high times and low times, and challenges that inspire growth, and love and passion, fireflies and rainbows.


Will Romeo show up? I have no idea, but I do know that if you want your life to feel like a great, classic work of theater, you have to write it yourself. And if Romeo isn’t willing to show up and go on that ride with me, then he doesn’t belong in my play. And if he does? Universe help us both, because I don’t know if I’ll be able to let him go.


So, all that brings me to what these 30 days are all about, and what the program is that I have set for myself. Here are the rules:

  1. No Alcohol - It’s an easy distraction, makes my face puffy, and leads to poor decisions.

  2. No Coffee - I haven’t slept well in months, particularly in the last few weeks, and being tired makes me an asshole. So, green tea only for the next 30 days.

  3. Exercise Daily - I’m pretty good at this already, but I will be stepping it up, particularly in the hiking department. Nothing like a good L.A. hike to clear the head.

  4. Masturbate - Yep, that’s right. I don’t masturbate. I never have. I’m close to 40 and I have never learned how to get myself off. I can’t rely on anyone - even Romeo - to be the master of my body, I have got to learn this for myself. (If you have any great tips or toys, please contact me and let me know. I need a LOT of help in this department.)

  5. Write Every Day - I have never written my truth before, and it is already proving more therapeutic than I ever expected. And so, Dear Nurse, I will set aside time every single day for the next 30 days to write to you and tell you exactly what is going on with me, no matter how raw, gruesome, or messy it is.

  6. No Flirting/No Dates/No Sex - If you haven’t gathered this already in the time you’ve been reading this, I’m not ready for any of these things. If I’m going to rebuild myself into someone who can even consider a real relationship, all of these are huge no-nos.

And what do I hope to get out of this? Well, aside from just becoming a better person and finding myself, I do have a few specific goals:

  1. To Become The Best Mother I Can Be - I’m a good mom - I think - most of the time… but I didn’t have kids to be passable. I want to be great. I want to be fully present with them, and act as opposed to react, which has been my M.O. when things get nuts… and they often do.

  2. Get My Confidence Back - I am the kind of person who thinks they’re confident until someone criticizes me, and then I spiral. No more. I need to find the courage to be soft on the outside and tough on the inside, able to weather any storm.

  3. Find Out Who I Am - I lost myself in my marriage. I lied to myself, and I lied to the people closest to me, pretending I was living a life I wasn’t. The purpose of this blog is to be as honest as humanly possible - to stop being scared of my truth, and embrace it.

  4. Figure out What I Want - and that goes for everything. My career, my kids, myself, my future, and even Romeo. Just because he’s got the name doesn’t mean he's good or right for me, and I have to be honest with myself about that. After all, what’s in a name?

And on that note, is there a good reason behind the “Juliet” of it all, or am I just that basic? Well, both. I’ve chosen the pseudonym Juliet for a number of reasons. First and foremost, during that crazed, whirlwind week with Romeo, the famous Shakespearian phrase, “These violent delights have violent ends” kept passing through my mind like a song you can’t get out of your head. Secondly, like I said, I’m a romantic. I want a beautiful love story as much as anyone. As much as she did. But she never got her happy ending, did she? Well, perhaps now, we can.


And lastly, Juliet is the picture of passion and youth. She was barely 14 in that eternal tragedy, and is often regarded as a role any actress over 25 is too old to play. I spent a decade believing true romance was behind me. That I had aged out of it, but that is simply not true. We can all be Juliet. We all are Juliet. And so I am… Juliet Anonymous.


Sincerely yours,


Juliet


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