Day Thirty-Nine   /   lettering by Joshua Davis

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?

What did y’all do together?
It felt nice to wake up in Tim’s arms. We were out the door by 8:30 AM, on to Magic Kingdom. Tim scarfed down a cheese danish, a chocolate croissant, a microwaved egg sandwich, and a tea. This boy can seriously eat. After Tomorrow Land, we walked though Fantasy Land and went on the the Winnie-the-Pooh ride.


I have an Alice in Wonderland obsession and I wanted to go on the Mad Hatter tea cup ride, but it was shut down for renovation. Around 2 PM, we wandered down Main Street. The street was lined with charming candy shops, ice cream shops, and bakeries. Tim and I split a large pistachio ice cream cone. We sat down near the sidewalk around three to watch the parade.

I have mixed feelings about this place. On the one hand, there is something fascinating about Disney World. There is a high level of detail to every aspect of the operation and the experience, from the hand painted signs and the technology behind the projections and holograms, to the large scale coordinated shows that happen like clockwork. Yet, as Prince Charming passed by us waving, and I watched the little children squeal in excitement, I couldn’t help but think there is something twisted about this place. This whole place just plants expectations in children’s minds that make them think they will grow up to meet the perfect person who will make all their dreams come true. While this kind of storybook love is a positive and a seemingly innocent notion, it’s nearly impossible to live up to.

It’s interesting to think about how this kind of true love is a relatively recent concept in human history. Marriage unions used to be treated in a much more practical manner, often as nothing more than a business arrangement between families. It was only in the last few hundred years that we saw this birth of romanticism throughout culture.

Did anything interesting happen?
Yes. It all began with a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. We had dinner reservations at the Flying Fish Cafe on the Disney boardwalk. On our way to dinner, I realized my shoes were giving me a blister. I ran back to the hotel room to grab a new pair. We were almost at the train when Tim mentioned I would probably get cold without a sweater. He wanted me to go back to get one. I looked at the time and I realized we were already running late. I didn’t want us to miss the reservation, so I suggested we go to dinner and I would buy one on the boardwalk later.


We enjoyed a nice dinner. I had scallops, and Tim had salmon. After dinner, Tim wanted to walk along the water to watch the performers and the fireworks. I was freezing cold, as Tim predicted, so we stopped in a tourist shop to get a sweatshirt. I finally found one I liked, looked at the tag, and made a comment about how pricey it was.

Tim got loud with me. He said I was forgetful and irresponsible, and that I should have listened to him. He said he didn’t understand what was wrong with me, and that it was no wonder I couldn’t save any money. I usually shut down immediately when I feel attacked, but I know how that annoys Tim even more. So I tried to stand up for myself, but this only pushed it further. Feeling defeated and unsure what to do, I shut down. I walked out the door towards the taxi station.


After I walked out of the tourist shop, Tim ran after me and grabbed my arm. We sat down in the grass together. I asked him to think hard about what he was doing. Was he doing this as his usual defense mechanism? Is this his fear of vulnerablity? If so, I was willing to work through it with him. On the other hand, I’ve been completely open and honest with him about who I am, and what I can offer him. If he doesn’t think we are working romantically, then we should end this now and try to remain friends.

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
All of Tim’s quirks and oddities seem adorable to me. The way his hair sticks up awkwardly after his sunglasses have been on his head for a while, how his pants are too short, how he eats too quickly and always leaves a mess. I even find it cute that he can become overly sensitive and takes things so personally. I find humor in these imperfections and accept him as he is.

Unfortunately, this is not the same for him. While we’ve been having a great two days here, Tim finds moments to slip in negative remarks. He said that he was bothered by how accommodating I am to him and his desires. He said I should pay more attention to my grooming. He said that he didn’t like that I don’t eat enough. He made a negative comment about how my nail polish is chipping off. While I understand objectively where these comments are coming from, it still really hurts.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
I had a relationship once where the guy fell very quickly for me. While I cared for him deeply, I knew he wasn’t right for me long-term. Even though I recognized that I was being irrational, everything about him increasingly bothered me, from his mannerisms to the things he did. It wasn’t the things that he was doing that were actually bothering me, it was him. I used these excuses as a way out. Is this what Tim was doing?

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
We continued to talk on the grass. He said he didn’t think it was a defense mechanism with me, but that he didn’t think we were right for each other. He said something about me rubs him the wrong way romantically. He said my strong feelings for him deeply worry him, and, like usual, I was moving too quickly. He said if we continued to date he would just fall back into his old habits and that he didn’t want to hurt me. He said I deserve more.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
I told him I understood. However, I can’t deny feeling rejection and pain. I already loved him as a friend. After I allowed myself to open up to him and let my guard down, I’ve started to fall for him romantically. It seems I’ve repeated the same pattern again. I opened up too quickly, empathized too deeply, and I have another failed relationship to add to the list. I don’t know what to do or think at all anymore.

Additional comments?
How did this even happen? Are we completely over, or is this an argument that we’ll forgive and forget? I just want to escape the thoughts and feelings circling around in my head right now. When we got back to the hotel room, I took a sleeping pill with a glass of wine and went to bed. He crawled into bed behind me and held me, and we fell asleep together.


Day Thirty-Nine   /   lettering by Mark Pernice

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
If I could play the guitar, I’d play the blues.

What did y’all do together?
I was crabby in the AM because I was hungry, but Jessie was full of energy. I ate a horribly disgusting breakfast, and I felt better. We hit up “Space Mountain,” “Splash Mountain,” “Haunted Mansion,” “Pirates of the Carribean,” and more. We even got our portraits done by a silhouette artist. The Magic Kingdom is an evil spectacle and I love it.


Early on, I encouraged us to cut into the “fast pass” line at the Pooh ride. The “fast pass” line is there if you got tickets beforehand. However, there’s a limit on fast passes you get. After the first cut, Jessie became obsessed and wanted to cut every ride. It became so much fun. We literally saved ourselves hours of waiting in line.

Did anything interesting happen?
We stayed for the parade at Magic Kingdom which is at 3 PM everyday. They do this massive production every single day, 365 days a year. Anyway, after that we went to the Grand Floridian resort to rest by the pool and have some drinks. However, things felt weird for me and our communication breakdowns were becoming more and more evident. Not to mention the conversation we had yesterday in the sauna started haunting me. As “40DoD-Day” is creeping on us, I realize I do have a responsibility to let her know how I feel. It’s Jessie, and I know how she needs to know. I know how she can’t live with this uncertainty as day 40 is hanging over us. I have to muster up an answer somehow. On a lighter note, I am so white right now! I could probably blind someone.


Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
Jessie wants love. She just wants to be a great girlfriend and to take care of her man. It just seems like she wants the perfect prototype to slide into her perfect boyfriend role.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
This trip is making everything feel very serious to me. Usually, after two or three weeks of dating and being physical with someone, you don’t go on a trip together. At least not normally. There are times I have gone on trips a month into a relationship, but there’s been no pressure or countdown. However, it’s very natural for Jessie to go on a weekend trip this early in a relationship — sometimes even earlier than this! That’s just not me. I need time, and I don’t think she clearly understands that.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
By the time we went to the Boardwalk resort for dinner, we were quiet and there was an awkward undertone to everything. Earlier, as we were leaving the hotel, I told her to go back and get a coat because it would get cold. She didn’t want to do that. So after dinner, she was chilly on the boardwalk and we stopped in a gift shop so she could buy a sweatshirt. As we were looking at sweatshirts she complained about spending the money. Then I got annoyed and reminded her that I had told her so. I know I was picking a fight, but she always backtracks on everything and then I have to listen to her complain the entire time. Well, she didn’t like what I had to say and she got loud with me. Then I got loud, and then we started arguing in the middle of the gift shop. Then she says to me, “You have issues! You’re fucked up! I’ve been so accommodating to you, and you don’t even care.”

After hearing that, I just threw the paddles in the lake. I’m sick of this. I basically told her that all I want is for her to STOP being so damn accommodating. Stop worrying about what I’m doing all the time. Stop worrying about being such a good girlfriend. This is something that has consistently been wearing on me, and it’s all come to a head now. All day she’s been worried about me like she’s my mother, constantly asking me what I want, what I need, who I saw, where I’ve been, how I feel, what I know, etc. I’m sorry, but it’s not attractive to me. I’ve talked about this before, how she puts her man before herself, and how that’s not my style. I just like a nice balance. I want to know that she knows who she is. I don’t want a partner who’s main objective is to be a great mate. I want to be with someone who can be herself, and someone who will let me be me without concern.


So here we are arguing on the boardwalk about this, and I can feel the whole relationship crumbling around my feet. She stomps away to go back to the hotel, clearly pissed off. But I couldn’t let her go. I stopped her and asked her if we could talk about it. The look in her eyes made me want to die. She said again that she really likes me, and that she really doesn’t feel like she’s getting that in return. And she’s right, I’m not giving it to her, at least not the last two days in Disney. I barely even held her hand today. And as much as I try to convince myself, it’s obviously not working for me.


While we were talking, she mentioned that a recent ex-boyfriend of hers loved all her little quirks and all the things that make her “her.” However, she broke up with him because she couldn’t stand all of his quirks. Ironically enough, she said that our situation was the same, except that I was her, and that she was her ex. She deserves someone who loves her for those things. All of her quirks should be adorable to me, but it’s sadly not the case here.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
We calmed down and sat looking out at the water from the boardwalk. I couldn’t believe this was going down. It’s really over? It was as if I had no control, like some bigger force was making it all happen. We have such a kinship, yet there is so much friction between us. This dichotomy can’t be sustainable, I really don’t know what we can do differently at this point.

Additional comments?
We got back and sat in bed together. As we sat there, we started rubbing each other and kissing. I wanted every single part of her, but there was so much guilt. She whispered, “should we have break-up sex?” I didn’t answer her, and we slowly stopped kissing. Ten minutes later we were asleep.