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[audio:https://killauthor.com/audio/issuefourteen/carissa_halston.mp3|titles=Kris and Tyler Compete|artists=Carissa Halston]

“It took me years to write well. I always used pencils because ink was too slick. The words came out too easily and my handwriting would be unrecognizable. So, gripping the hell out of my pencil, I pressed so hard that my notebooks contained dozens of pages filled with indented words.”

“I can beat that. I used to wear down my erasers, then bite the ends to push out the part that would otherwise be unused so that if I erased too hard—which I always did—I’d tear right through the page and would need to start all over again.”

“I hate clothing pills. I shave my coats more often than I shave my face.”

“I didn’t know I had dimples until I saw our wedding photos. It’s entirely possible that I never smiled before our wedding.”

“I need to either take meetings or phone calls. E-mails won’t work because I read them and respond to them aloud and then delete them.”

“I can only read at night. Otherwise I don’t have the attention span. That’s why I work from noon to eight. And those first five hours don’t involve reading.”

“I stole and later sold my ex’s clothes and books to a secondhand store.”

“I once told my ex that I masturbated to photos of her and her mom.”

“That’s not really comparable.”

“What you mean is, I win.”

“As a teenager, I routinely stole my dad’s Rogaine to rub it on my chest. When he asked about it, I blamed it on my brother.”

“I hid my cat’s food because I thought she was fat.”

“How does that make you a bad sibling?”

“Mom always called her my sissy.”

“One time, I threw up on a man on the bus out of spite. He had this box of Chinese takeout that he was eating, right there on the bus. It smelled so good but I was on my way to work. It would be hours until I could stop and eat.”

“I once fantasized about how to quit a specific job. My boss was this gaping asshole. I mean, the job was a giant ass and he spewed shit on all of us. When I quit, I sent his wife an anonymous letter stating that he was sexually harassing all the office workers under 25. That was after he wrote me a recommendation letter for my next job.”

“I talk during movies.”

“I wink at strangers on the street.”

“I whistle in elevators.”

“I wet the bed.”

“I mention ex-lovers in bed.”

“That word is disgusting.”

“Bed?”

“You know which one.”

“Ex?”

“I’m not continuing this conversation.”

“Mention?”

Moist.”

“Stop it.”

Ointment.”

“I’m going to vomit. I will literally vomit.”

“Don’t do that. That’s misusing the word. It doesn’t count to misuse it. There’s nothing wrong with the word itself. Moistointment.”

“STOP.”

“…”

Make love.”

“Do phrases count?”

“They do now. Make love.”

Going steady.”

Having an affair.”

Take a lover.

Mistress.

Husband.”

Wife.”

Balls.”

Tits.”

Spouse.”

“Prom date: This has been a lovely evening.”

“Meeting your mother: We met at work.”

“The day we met: It’s nice to meet you.”

“You jackass. What about this? I do.”

“Take that back.”

“Okay, I’m kidding. It’s actually: I love you.

“To whom?”

“To everyone. Isn’t it always only true to a certain point?”

“Sure, when you’re talking to your Mom. When you’re talking to your girlfriend at sixteen. But not now.”

“Fine. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay.”

“What’s yours?”

It’s okay.