Dylan Garity – “Friend Zone” (Button Poetry First Readings)

The first time I ever danced with a girl
she leaned in close and asked me: why are your arms so stiff?
Dancing with you is like dancing with a mannequin If they made mannequins super bony
and with very sweaty palms. And to be fair, my palms were sweaty
and simultaneously ice cold I was, and continue to be, a miracle of physics. Who knew that adult hands could be supported
by wrists that a five-year-old
or baby duck could easily snap. This may be part of why I spent my teenage
years absolutely failing with women.
In middle school, I would ask girls who I liked how much they weighed
to see if I weighed more. Numbers made me excited!
I loved math! I used to think this meant everyone else loved
math, too! In high school, I became intimate
with the friend zone. With one girl, I spent so many years in the
friend zone I didn’t even realize I was in it.
She was from Sweden. so I guess it was literally Stockholm syndrome.
I would come over to her house and help her with calculus
and I would comfort her and tell her how she was beautiful
or how her boyfriend was a dick or how integrals are related to derivatives
Eventually, I spent so much time in the friend zone that
I grew to think of it as some kind of magical home away from home some lush forest
filled with unicorns and elves and puppies none of whom were getting laid. I was on an adventure!
Constantly uncovering new questions about this mystical place: Are you in the friend zone if they’re sleeping
with other people and NOT telling you about it?
Are you in the friend zone if they tell you they could
totally see marrying you in fifteen years? Why would you marry me in fifteen years if
in fifteen years I’ll still be a virgin because you never slept with me? A few months after my first girlfriend and
I broke up, I heard she lost her virginity to the next
guy she dated. At the time, I thought of this as a betrayal,
not her choice. As if she owed me something. A newspaper column once defined the friend
zone as follows: She discusses her love life with him and has
the “audacity” to ask his advice on it. He performs favors for her. He does everything
a boyfriend would do — but without the benefits.” as if the only reason to be a good friend
or a decent f***ing human is if you get something in exchange. The problem is, when I started
thinking of myself as a savior, I ended up thinking of myself
as a savior with a salary You put in your hours as a nice guy
and sex is just a living wage but sex is not a transaction.
Sex is not a handshake to close some deal. That girl did not “owe” me anything. Last year, I heard that her home was broken
into in a neighborhood known for sexual assaults. Nothing happened to her. We all know the statistics.
Your rapist is more likely to be someone you know.
The boogie man, the stranger in the alley, is real,
but less real than we are. We all know the statistics.
but we don’t know how to accept that we can be part of the problem. You cannot kill a monster
until you are willing to see it in the mirror. Until you recognize its shape in your own

9 Replies to “Dylan Garity – “Friend Zone” (Button Poetry First Readings)

  1. Oh look. Another white guy making insecure jokes that arent funny and acting like women owe him pussy if hes "nice"

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