Of Roses

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Prestige

“You know what your problem with women is? There’s not an ounce of persistence in your body”

“Why do I have to be persistent? Shouldn’t an attraction be effortless? The one for me isn’t gonna make me jump through hoops. She’s not a sadist. There are other ways for me to prove I’m a man who can be dedicated and work hard for what he wants.”

“You have a point somewhat but you can’t always think that way. Women are all different. Women are God’s greatest gift…”

“My ‘God’ is Science.”

“Then you should know adaptation is the way to survival. Change your ways to move ahead. Go out there and try something different and see what progress you can make.”

“It’s not like finding her is my main priority anyway. She’s out there for me, that’s the point of soulmates, you find each other without looking”

“If you say so. What do you know about souls, you’re an atheist”

“It’s just an expression. I still believe in an inherent attraction between the right people through chemistry.”

“So you’re saying we all have a single piece that completes someone else’s molecular puzzle?”

“That’s one way to put it, yes. Just use your God-given eyes and look around. You see people whom you’d never find attractive in a million years in relationships with other people you’d never approach. ‘How in the world did that guy find a girlfriend?’, you say to yourself. Chemistry my friend.”

“But how do you know it was chemistry? They could break up tomorrow. Chemicals have shelf lives y’know.”

“You’re missing the point. It’s the way I view it. We’ll get ours eventually. I just don’t believe in forcing anything or going out of my way just to not have that same interest reciprocated.”

“What a load of Bologna! Quit the pusillanimity. You’re just afraid of failure so you’ve brainwashed yourself into this delusion. Shit happens, you ge…”

“Hold that thought, my wife is calling me.”

Stress

Nights spent lying in bed, mind shrouded in contemplation, thinking of the day’s misgivings and reminiscing on the times when you had no worries keeping you grounded. Suffocation takes a hold of the air and you begin to drown. Drown in your sorrow, wallow in your pathetic, downtrodden, and misguided excuses. You can’t seem to find a way out of this nightmare. An illustrious nightmare it’s become. Though like all dreams, it’s only temporary, you awaken, relieved and refreshed. The twelve ton boulder is off your chest and you can inhale fresh oxygen once more. It was there for a reason, it was there for a lesson.

Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 6

The WordPress.com Blog

Here’s the latest collection of our favorite stories from writers and publishers across all of WordPress. You can find our past collections here — and you can follow Longreads on WordPress.com for more daily reading recommendations.

Keep these stories coming: share links to essays and interviews (over 1,500 words) on Twitter (#longreads) and WordPress.com by tagging your posts longreads.

* * *

1. Criticism and Self-Criticism (S. Li, The Kenyon Review)

Li, an associate professor of English at the New York Institute of Technology in Nanjing, China, recalls being forced by a teacher to criticize her best friend as an adolescent. “Criticism and self-criticism were required practices in every socialist social unit,” Li explains. “In the village school I attended, they took the form of trimester reports constituted by two parts: class criticism of each student and each student’s self-criticism.”

2. A Letter to Mitchell Browne…

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9/25/14

This past Thursday was a day for the ages. From sunrise til bedtime it was a day full of greatness. After work I headed on down to  The Bowery Ballroom for a much anticipated show by My Brightest Diamond and Brooklyn native Doe Paoro . Needless to say it was a spectacular evening.
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Doe Paoro walked on stage and my eyes lit up, could it have been love at first sight?, quite possibly, but anyway, she started things with “Nostalgia” and the crowd was feeling it. When Born Whole came on I was sucked into her soulful voice. I would compare her to Adele or even the late great Amy Winehouse. Either way she’s sure to become more known very soon.
During an intermission by all-women drumming band, Batala, My Brightest Diamond snuck on stage to bless our ear drums with Pressure.
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Don’t exactly know how I can describe the kind of performance Shara delivered so I’ll just say she’s a force to be reckoned with. This was the kind of performance where you really don’t wanna go home. The kind where you just wish the artist were a robot so they could stay on that stage until you had to go to work and then you’d just quit your job so you can watch the stage forever. There was never a dull moment during this hour of perfect harmony. She sent us home with a cover of Elvis’ “Fever”. For sure all of us in the audience caught the fever.

How do people do it?

anilynedyes

That charm. The confidence. Their positive and ambitious demeanor. They make it look so easy. As if its second nature to them. To just walk up to someone, anyone, and instantly become friends. I can’t even get past “what’s your name?” It’s as if I have no idea what I should say next that won’t scare them away. I’m so bad at small talk it’s crippling.
I mean what common things do people talk about? I know what I like but I have no clue what you like and no idea on how to ask you.
Do you like the things I like?
Are we completely relatable?
Or polar opposites?
Do you like me?
Will I like you?
Is seeing each other again because we want to talk to each other a given?
Or will we be those “I’ll see you when I see you” acquaintance’s?

And if you ask…

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