Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
You can also find Monica's writing here:

Chapter 10

Still, I am fully aware of how we just need to be cool, enjoy NOW for NOW, laugh together, see some sights, make out if we wanna, and see what happens. Life is scary...and that's a good thing, I think. Otherwise, we'd all live lives of safe cul-de-sacs, fern bars, and tepid passion. We are two people who don't want that for ourselves.........and then we met, one night, in the oddest of ways.

I'll take that for now. And I hope you feel the same way......

Text me if you hit the bar with your friends, ok?


I'm Coming!!!
Thursday September 9, 2004


It is 4:20 (how 'bout that?!) on Thursday. By tomorrow at this time I will be in Philadelphia. Your hometown! How crazy is that? If you would have told me a month ago I would be headed to Philly, I'd have never believed you.

I can tell I made you nervous today, what with me being anxious about the trip and all. It's just so damn overwhelming. This thing, with you and I. Most of the time I think it's the greatest thing that has ever happened to me and will be the best thing that will ever happen to either of us. Then, about 5 percent of the time, I kind of freak out. Why do I freak out? Not sure. Afraid one of us will be disappointed with the other and be afraid to talk about it. The inevitable disillusionment that comes with being in a relationship. I don't want that to happen! I want to be excited about you, and us, forever.

And I wonder what the fuck I'm doing throwing my mom into this mix. What am I doing messing with the delicate balance that you and I have created this past month? Fuck... It's all so crazy. But it's an adventure, and what happens, happens. I know you and I feel the same way about this. We're overwhelmed, anxious, excited, scared... and just waiting to see what happens next. I can't wait to see you. Inexplicably, I feel safer with you than with anyone in the world... and I've only know you a month. Serge!!! We are so crazy. I love you and I will see you tomorrow night! Jesus! Tomorrow night is almost here.


Visiting Serge in New York City was unbelievable. I had never been further east than Colorado. Suddenly, I'm flying into JFK, hailing a taxi into Chinatown and taking a bus to Philadelpia to catch a Marah show. And my mom was along for the ride.

Because my mom had never traveled, because I desperately wanted her to meet Serge, I brought her along. Call me crazy...

We spent the first few days wandering around the storied streets of Philadelphia. At night we watched Marah play in front of a hometown crowd. Mom fell instantly in love with Serge. He's a charming bastard, that one. From Philadelphia we traveled to New York where Marah put on yet another raucous show and then it was on to Princeton, New Jersey for still another gig.

Immediately after that last Marah gig Serge's brother Dave went on vacation and Serge, my mom and myself were left to utilize his Brooklyn apartment as we saw fit. We did everything. Serge's rolodex of historic knowledge came into play and we were given a tour of the greatest city in the world, a tour that would have cost a bundle had I not been fucking the tour guide. And fuck the tour guide I did. The best I had engaged in thus far in my 27 years.

The only interruption - the occasional text from Caroline.

"Why is she so upset?" I asked. "I thought you said she's seeing someone in London."
"I think she is. She's just mad that it was me who finally ended it... It's an ego thing. But she'll be okay."

Serge didn't contact Caroline. He let her vent via several text messages and hoped she would move on. And he was right. The texts stopped. Caroline faded into his past, where she belonged, and we were able to enjoy the greatest city in the world without interruption.

I loved to follow my man as he authoritatively navigated through confusing subway stations and then cling to him as the train picked up speed. I remember holding tightly as the world raced by, my hand tangled in the curls at the nape of his neck where he was sweating in the humid August weather. I leaned in and breathed deep, knees nearly buckling from the sheer joy of being in lust... and love. Another vivid memory: standing atop the Empire State Building at night, wind whipping our hair as we took in the vast expanse of the greatest city in the world, the lyrics to Pogues' Fairytale of New York echoing in my mind.

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

In mid-September we said goodbye, but not before purchasing Serge a ticket to Utah. Despite being embarrassed in front of my mom, I craned my neck to catch a last glimpse of Serge waving madly from his brother Dave's stoop and then cried all the way to the airport. He would be following us to Salt Lake City two weeks later. I could hardly wait.

Little did I know his second visit to Utah would change my life dramatically. Forever.

To be continued...

Homage to NYC: