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

Chapter 3

When the emptiness in my email inbox gets the better of me, I draft the following email and hit send before I can talk myself out of it.

It's strange how I went about life, never knowing this beautiful fellow from Philly called Serge Bielanko ever existed... I certainly had a good time the other night. And thought you were spectacular in most ways that matter. But behind all that was the disheartening thought that I was just the girl for the night. Nothing significant in the grand scheme of things.

How can I articulate the craziness in my brain at this particular moment, when I may have only been a small blip on the vast expanse of your massive life experiences. And boy, have you gone out and grabbed yourself some life. I'll give it a try: I wish I could explain to you how monumental it is that you got to me. Despite the ease with which you and I hooked up the other night, that is highly uncommon for me. I don't meet people anymore that intrigue me. I know - that is sad, and a story for another time. Jesus, I'm from the Mormon/Republican capitol of the world. It's hard to find good, free-thinking folks!

You, who are so original, asked me the cliché "someone must have hurt you for you to be so bitter". Maybe - but it's also just reality. Most men I meet don't express much interest in intellect. So why would some crazy little rock'n'roller from Philadelphia, "cut from chintzy burlap", be any different? But you are. I have been reading online about you. Have fallen in love with your words. You are beautiful, the soul of a poet, with this scrappy city boy exterior. You have wrestled me in somehow, against my will, and without you even trying... Just by being your Serge self.

So perhaps I am a casualty of Band Guy On The Road and that would not surprise me. It will dovetail nicely with my impressions of men thus far in my life. Fuck, maybe you are married with kids. Whatever. Somehow you reached in and helped yourself to a huge chunk of my soul - AND I LET YOU! It hurts, I don't like it... Am not comfortable. Don't know what to do about it at this point. Perhaps nothing. Maybe you never respond. And that's the way it goes.

I'm sitting in my room listening to the Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated. It's late morning. The Ramones are a good, get shit going in the morning band. My dog Max (a big black lab, little dogs are for the high strung, or highly sentimental) is laying on my feet, and I want to talk to you. What the fuck is going on? I met you once. Do you have this affect on women often? If so, I will feel so unoriginal. At this particular moment I like to feel as if I have a secret about this amazing, crazy man that nobody else knows. Whatever... I'm starting to feel like a jackass cuz I've really put shit out there. But fuck it. It's not like we'll run into each other at the movies next week and have an awkward moment. Might as well lay it on the line.. And it doesn't suck to be told you really made a big splash in a woman's life, right?

Monica from Salt Lake City

Four days go by. I try to continue living life normally. That proves rather difficult though. My dad had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He has driven from Colorado to Salt Lake City for surgery at the world famous Huntsman Cancer Institute. I was spending all my free time in his hospital room trying to cheer him up.

I arrive at work one day and log onto Yahoo to check my email for what must be the hundredth time. There it is. My heart leaps into my throat as I see the return name of Serge Bielanko on the only email in my in box. Shaking, my fingers click the buttons and within seconds I am reading.

Hey there now Monica,
This is the first time I've been able to check email since I left Philly; I have 34 new ones, mostly ads and crap. BUT, I also have two intensely sweet ones from you. They both made me feel really lifted, the fact that you listened to my music...and that I somehow made you feel good after the time we spent. Truth got to me too. I have been in a relationship for 4 years next month in some capacity. Like I texted you: since May its been pretty much on hiatus while we attempted to try and figure out when or how or if we could live in the same city sometime soon. And more importantly, whether we could find our way through the confusing swamp of damage that we left in our love's wake. Anyway...

I love that girl. I spent a lot of time trying really hard to be able to see her from faraway. We have many problems and many people think we are doomed as a couple. But I believe that somehow: I won't know just yet, not until we have one more chance.

Then I go and loosen up and decide to have a bit of a kiss on the road and I meet YOU. Monica, you are fabulous....I mean it. Sexy, sophisticated beyond what I think you even realize (which makes it cooler and sexier!), intelligent, extremely conversationally adept, well-read, hard-working, ambitious, with a a travel bug, and two very gorgeous blue eyes. Plus, you are an incredible lover. AND you like great music and food and have a truck!!!!! And a lab!!!!

SO: even though I could easily fall for you in a matter of moments perhaps, and even though I am certain that many, many, many men would tell me I am a fool from hell for not letting go of what has been so difficult for me and trying something else....I feel as if I owe it to myself and Caroline to try for real once more.

Dammit, Monica....please, please, please let’s stay connected, somehow. Or at least emails and phone calls/texts. This is all very bizarre and new to me. Goddamn, Monica......I don't know.......text me today. Please don't feel strange here if you can help it. I think you are superb. And who the hell knows where life is gonna lead any of us.......

Serge: A sunny cyber cafe in L.A.

Damn! He’s eloquent and articulate. I’d been hoping to find an email pockmarked with grammatical errors and misspellings. That turns me off a guy as quickly as it takes to read the email.

I draft the following response and hit send.

Hey now, back to you.. You are the most eloquent man I have ever had the pleasure of communicating with in all my 27 years. Now, one might say I am not well traveled and therefore your skill with words is relative to the jackass-types I meet in Utah... which ain't saying much. But I am well-read (have taken you up on Dickens) so I have some idea about beautiful writing and the ability to express yourself - in an email of all things! You compose a mighty fine email, love. Of course you have got to give it a last go with your girl. There is no question. You owe it to yourself, and her. Just make sure you're doing it because you cannot imagine spending the rest of your life without her - that no other girl could ever measure up - and not out of some obligation to the four years that came before.

You don't need my advice. You know what you're doing. And you know the right thing for you. It will all work itself out in the end. In the meantime, what can I do with myself knowing such a lovely man exists? I will have to subsist on texts/phone calls and emails. When the renewing of your relationship begins... I'll lose that, most likely. This may sound strange, but I feel like you and I are old friends... but also much more. Your words make me tremble - I literally get weak! You strike me at my core. Really. I can't believe the way you express yourself, musically, as well as in general conversation. Reading what you have written is as good as any sex I've ever had. Your tour diary... a few interviews I have found online.. your lyrics... Are you afraid yet? A girl can only be so aggressive before she scares most men off. But if I scare you, than you are not for me. I am generally not interested in men, no I'm not a lesbian (although I have had my encounters)... I just mean that most men bore me.. There is no substance. Then YOU come along and rock my world, in every way. Even if Caroline is the bird for you, I take great pleasure in knowing that someone like you is out there. I would love to stay in touch with you. How could I not? I wish you the best with Caroline even though the only thing I want is to spend a weekend locked in a hotel room with you, a few good albums, books, some good liquor, and perhaps a little weed... I feel like I could talk to you forever, and never be finished. Perhaps I am naive, but I truly have never experienced anything like this. What will happen, will happen... and I'm okay with that. It's good to know I affected you in some way... that the feeling was mutual.

Monica: In a chilly newsroom in Salt Lake City

To be continued...