Published by admin on May 6, 2018

The Girl w/ Cat Breath


It was our second date–but more of a friend date.

I didn’t feel a ton of chemistry on our first date, but it was fun, and she was interesting and out-of-the-box, and totally irreverent, so we kept in touch with the intention of doing artsy/creative things together.


It took a few weeks, but she invited me to a film event down in Miami.

We sat down, near the back, in a theatre about three-quarter’s filled. But then something happened. She turned to talk to me, and after a few seconds I encountered a residue lingering between us which, had it a color, would have been smoky-yellow. It reminded me of those times I got too close to a cat, and it breathed right in my face.

Cat breath.

It was different from guys’ bad breath, which I would have to say is more like dog breath.

Tbh, I had thought we might hook up that night, and sitting in that theatre, I kept wondering: with that breath, could I kiss her? could I have sex with her? could I have sex with her without kissing her?

After several times of her turning to talk to me, I couldn’t hardly take it anymore. I had to do something. I asked her if she had any gum, hoping that if I popped some, maybe she would, too.

Nope, she said. No gum.

Then, I thought to go downstairs to the concession bar to buy some mints and then offer her some (after having some first). But I was pretty stoned, and I didn’t feel like getting up and going downstairs to the concession bar. I started to wonder: could I just tell her that her breath was stinky?

Well, I didn’t.

The date ended with a hug.

A week or so later, I get a text from her: what are you doing right now?

I told her that I had just gotten home after a day of poetry events, and I was pretty beat. She said ok with a smiley emoticon.

A few minutes went by, and I–in my infinite wisdom–decided to call her back.

She was a bit taken back, given that I had just said I couldn’t hang out tonight. But she was sweet about it. Hi. Ok, so, there’s something I didn’t tell you last time we hung out, and I normally wouldn’t share this, but you seem like the kind of person who prefers honesty and directness, right?

Now, before I tell you what happened next, let’s just step back and analyze the utter stupidity and carelessness of this brainchild.

Better yet, let’s not. We’ll get there… I promise.

Last time we hung out, your breath was kinda stinky, I said.


It was hard to talk to you because every time you turned around in the theatre to talk to me, it hit me.

More silence.

Finally she says, I have smoker’s breath, rather matter-of-factly.

Vomiting from my mouth, I continue: No, I’m sure it’s not smoker’s breath. You probably just had an off night; we all have bad breath sometimes.

I want to defend her now; to be her champion.

{More gibberish spews from my pie hole.}

I start to die a little on the inside for being such a horrible person.

Somehow, we get past this nefarious subject and start talking about an event later that evening.

We speak for about 15 minutes, and finally she says, Ok, I’m going to go watch my movie now. Incredulously, not a hint of anger in her voice.

Feeling horrible, I chatted with an online friend, Laurie, to get her take on the whole situation.

Hey, I need your advice on something.

She is a lighthouse in my dark, bleak world of stupidity.

I am going to describe what I said to a woman, and I want you to tell me how I handled it.

So, I tell her the relevant details and wait.

Would you have wanted me to tell you, I asked.

Her answer was revelatory: it all depends on how you said it.

And I would have wanted to have been told that night–not a week later.

The truth is that I was too chicken to tell her that night.

My inner reasoning to call her and tell her was that I wanted to help her. Because she’s such a cool person, and how many people would tell her such a thing? And I’d want to know. I was doing her a favor, went my rather irrational rationale.

I knew it would hurt, but I was weighing the hurt vs. the overall benefit to her and her future love life.



But the how.

I could have just gone downstairs, bought those mints/gum, had some and then offered it to her. If she said I’m good, I could have said, no really… while giving her a wink and a friendly smile.

I could have made it not such a serious thing. And just had fun with it–since we all fart at inappropriate times and have dirty assholes.

After my convo w/ Laurie, I almost texted back, I’m sorry.

I had apologized before initially saying it to her, but the depth of my shitty feelings were hitting me harder now.

But I didn’t text or call her because then I’d be like a cheater who feels guilty for cheating and decides to tell his wife/husband about it–to feel better himself.

No. Sometimes you just have to eat your own shit pie.

(Or put it in a blog and broadcast your ineptitude and lack of social graces so that others might benefit from your experience.)


Some people espouse a mantra of brutal honesty and sharing our truth (I used to be one of them), using it as justification to be lazy with our words–and show the opposite of care.

But care is possible in each moment–even when we’re upset or feel hurt by someone.

In this situation, I failed badly.

I unnecessarily hurt another person, and I feel shitty for doing it.


But I am learning from it:

To focus more on the how I say things to people I care about.

To do it now vs. later.

And to do it with humor.





#bad breath#brutal honesty#care#cats#context#dating#humor#love#mantra#timing#truth#yellow
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