janmichaels

small little life update:

I don’t know if anyone will pay attention to this, or if anyone who is still an active follower even knows me IRL or CARES but whatever im happy and I don’t have too many outlets for all this good shit in my life

I moved in April, away from an abusive man and to a new city that felt just safe enough, and just new enough. I hid where I was going from him. He doesn’t know, not to my knowledge anyways. I started work at Starbucks, a company I’ve had experience with since I was 17. A real corporate starbucks this time, I’m a partner, with the free bag of coffee a week and free drinks and food, it’s a nice deal. I was thrilled on this new adventure, everyone at the store was so warm and welcoming, I found comradere with the closing staff most of all. It was a nice environment, we all bonded over weed and nerdy things, bullshit customers and relationship problems.

 And there was a ~boy~. JM. Okay, not boy. Man, full grown human man ten years my senior with blue hair and a zelda beanie and who was the most helpful and patient with me. I work in a rough part of the city. When I tell family and friends where my location is, their eyes widen. One of the best part of being a closer is that my closing crew takes no shit. They all made me feel incredibly safe, especially this ~JM~. I started getting excited when I saw him on the schedule with me. He was brand new, a far stretch from my normal type. Friendly and outgoing and incredibly smart and had this crazy cool life experiences. Protective in a very casual way, offering to walk me to my car when I’d clock out and nervously look at the dark parking lot. He casually called me beautiful, and everytime we’d work together, we’d end up just finding dozens and dozens of things in common, from weird personality traits, bad habits, our cat obsession. We ended up texting constantly, sharing music and bad relationship stories. I knew immediatley I would end up close to this JM person in some capacity. 

Aside from work, my life outside of it was awkward. I didn’t know many people here, aside from one close friend. I spent most off days in my apartment binge watching netflix, too broke to do much else. Every day I worked though I looked forward to it. People at work liked me, I was new but I knew plenty already, could bar with confidence and speed, had all of the product knowledge stored in my head to help customers. I was fast, always found something to do. 

JM opened up to me about his life. He’s a writer, like me, and was sharing pieces he’d written late in the night. At work, JM sung a lot, mostly doing dishes, mostly to himself. He told me it was to block out the bad memories. JM toured in Iraq with the US Navy, he was a medic. He likely has severe PTSD. He told me he sings to drown out the thoughts, that he sometimes forgets where he is, even at work. The singing annoyed some coworkers. After he told me that, it just worried me. I’d go to the back to make sure he was okay, which he seemed touched by. The pieces he wrote were haunting pictures of life during war. The violence he saw, participated in, and experienced is like nothing I could imagine. He shared stories with me he hadn’t told any other person. I did the same. He was a vault, a secret keeper, and so was I. We lived in eachother’s confidence, and found an inexplicable incredible amount of trust with one another. We both bore our own scars of trauma. 

The moment I decided he was special was when he told me a story about him in the Navy. One of my best friends growing up, Taylor, was also in the Navy. In 2015, my friend Taylor jumped off the boat she was stationed on. I cried for weeks. JM told me, not knowing about her, that he’d planned to do that same thing, years ago, standing on the side of the boat in the middle of the night. Something convinced him not to. 

He started cooking for me, bringing me food to eat on my lunch. When he got a horrible head cold, I brought him pho and nyquil. We started taking care of eachother, because nobody had taken care of us in a while. 

It was evident he was interested in me. My friend Julie met him and as soon as we left she told me “he is in love with you Abbi. Like full blown in love with you.” And despite my best efforts to remain professional, I couldn’t stop what was happening. At one point in the back room he was helping me grab something on a top shelf, and touched the small of my back, and my whole body went numb. I’d catch myself staring at him, memorizing his mannerisms. I’d notice the curve of his collar bone, the bulk in his arms. At one point in the back room the bottom of his shirt lifted and he had taught stomach muscles that made me turn bright red. Whenever I’d walk on a shift he’d yell “YAS” with such genuine glee. I started hanging out at his apartment, his roommate also works with us. We went to middle of the night carne asada fries, he gave me weed, we watched movies on his couch. He finally told me he planned to pursue me. I finally told him he needed to be patient. So he was. 

One night, he texted me that he needed me to come over. He couldn’t be alone, and his roommate was working late. He was shaky, tearful. Work had been bad, he’d snapped at a supervisor. The triggers had been getting more numerous. I listened to him on his porch, rubbing his back while he chain smoked cigarettes. He calmed eventually, I offered to take him to get food. After he was calm, he wouldn’t stop thanking me, telling me I was amazing. A few more days passed.

I’d had a bad day, one day, early summer. We were sitting on his couch, his arm around me pretty casual. It was me that broke the rule, that kissed him first. I was pretty forward, once I want someone I really want them. I asked him if I could stay over. He didn’t push sex on me, in fact we just slept in the same bed, his arms around me. But it was the best I’d slept in years, despite his apartment being 90 degrees. 

JM and I went to yosemite that day. We smoked weed on the drive up, listened to music with the windows down. Sat underneath the giant trees. The best part about he and I is we talk so easily. There’s never an awkward pause, just a constant cadence of conversation and joking. 

We joke now, 4 months later, that JM came over to my apartment and never left. He is my constant, my surprise addition to my life here. Nobody takes better care of me. He helps me with my bills, he is inexplicably not grossed out by most things. I wake up every morning to him telling me how beautiful I am. It’s literally the first thing he says to me, everyday. We cook for eachother, we explore the world around us. We never have a dull moment when we’re together, we make every day amazing even on our brokest, saddest days. It’s the first time I’ve had a relationship where there’s a realistic future. Which terrifies me. He makes everything so easy. I had a different picture for my life when I moved here, but this version is so much better. 

TL: DR???? 

IDK. I’m happy and in love and that’s the story.