For Thao--My Favorite Things

“I don’t remember it being this hard.” I don’t. I don’t remember it being like this.
“Wow, you are really pushing it with that one. You have to be kidding me. I mean—I remember waking up in the middle of the night to you sniffling and trying to sleep. You know when you cry so hard you’re shaking? Yeah—you had a really squeaky mattress back then.”
She’s right, it was really squeaky, but I only remember that happening once, maybe twice. It was different though—it was one of those cathartic break-ups where you’re glad to be crying, glad to be free. Excited about the opportunity to find something better or many, many things that don’t matter.
“I really don’t. I mean I cried…”
“A lot. You cried a lot.”
“Yeah, I did. But it was different; it was like…look, I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do now.”
“Do it. With as many people as possible. Just do it.”
I want so badly to take this advice, to dive right back in and regain the ability to place some boy in my bed using little more than the curve of my brow and the choreography of my eyelashes. I miss this; miss the glance and the chase, the sense of control, the methodical way in which they’re chosen and acquired. I miss the way they quiver under my command.
“I can’t do that.”
“Sure you can, I’ve seen you. You’ve seen you, and furthermore, you want to.”
“No, I don’t. What I want is…well…” I can’t even say this out loud. It’s so cruel—it’s cruel to her. She’ll have to deal with it just as much as me if I get what I want. She’s the one who will bear the load of my frustration if I fall back down that path.
“Oh my fucking God, no. Don’t say what I think you’re about to.”
“I do. I really do. I want to call him. See him again.” She is so beautiful, and possibly more so when she’s angry at me.
“What the fuck! Why this? Why this all the time? Let’s…you know what? Let’s do this. Let’s just think about, for two fucking seconds, what round three might actually be like. Just for two seconds. Can we do this? Can we do this for me? I mean, why are you always back here? It doesn’t make sense anymore. Furthermore, he doesn’t make sense anymore so I don’t even know why we’re talking about this.”
It pisses me off when she’s right.
“Look, I know. I know all of that, but maybe I did something wrong? Maybe I wasn’t clear and now I’ll never…”
“You’ll never call me again if it’s going to be like before. I can’t handle this shit anymore.”
“What I was saying is that I’ll never know. I’ll never know because everything I decided about him was a series of educated guesses.”
“And why is that?”
“Because he was never very open with me.”
“And why did we stop seeing him again?”
“Because he was not very op…you know, there was other stuff. There was good stuff too, and not just the sex.”
“Welcome to adulthood sweetie. It’s not always going to be like in eighth grade when he puts gum in your hair and you don’t like him anymore. You’re 25. You’re going to break up with people you like sometimes. Like a lot. Love.”
“But it really, really sucks.”
“Yes it does.”
“No, I mean, it really sucks. I mean, I don’t even know…I don’t know if I should have. I think I was wrong.”
“You said that last time.”
I had. I had said that exact thing before, and at all of the little events in between when he’d piss me off and yet find some way to get me naked again.
“Look, I know. I know I can’t expect things to ever be different, It’s just that I don’t care. Even that was better than this. It was better.”
“Yeah, but tomorrow will be better than today.”
“This is so stupid! Don’t do this, don’t even try. You know he’s not right for you, how many times is it going to take to make this clear?”
She’s right. She’s always right—but I’m getting to the point where I can’t afford my new martini habit and need some kind of better solution.
“Maybe I wasn’t accommodating enough. Maybe I expected too much.”
“What? You wish you were more accommodating? What more could you have done? I mean, in order to make this better you’d have to live in his closet and be ready to suck his fucking dick and do his dishes at a moments notice. It’s never going to work. Goddamnit! I mean, c’mon, this situation does not make you happy! You’ve said that to me more times than you could count and I heard you, why can’t you hear me?”
I fucking hate her when she thinks it’s all somehow that easy. I fucking hate that. I just fucking want everything to be like I saw it in my head and I’m pissed and torn that I can’t have that, and I still don’t quite understand why.
“He wont sacrifice anything. Ever. I hate that—but maybe I could be…”
“C’mon. What are you willing to give up really? Everything you’ve ever wanted, your dignity, your sanity—I mean think about it—you wouldn’t even really be willing to share your bed with him, and you expect him to give up his bachelorhood for you?”
“You’re right. I’m not good enough for that. Wait…what do you mean I wouldn’t share my bed with him? Yes I would! That’s all I ever wanted, that and…you know, all the other stuff that is supposed to go with that.”
“You’re not good enough? You know what, I’m not even going there. Not even touching that. The point is—you know you wouldn’t—you know you’d hate it if he was the one in your space, I mean…”
“No I wouldn’t, I fucking wouldn’t! All I ever wanted, all I want is the opportunity to share…”
“Oh yeah? You wouldn’t mind at all? You sure about that?”
“Yeah! I’m fucking sure!”
“Oh really? Then tell me, if this boy was in your bathroom and using your coffee maker and sleeping in your bed then you tell me…”
“Tell me. If half your bed was his, then where the fuck would you put this? How pissed off would you be if this was not the first thing you held in the morning?”
I hate how she holds it. Like it’s some kind of plaything. It’s beautiful and fragile, 12”x10”, an inch and a quarter thick, and a luminous white that is so much prettier than the boyish titanium of the other models. It holds everything I know, everything I really love.
“It’d be okay. I could handle it.”
“No. No you couldn’t, and no one expects you to. Here…”
Take your fucking laptop back.”


1 comment:

charles.bukowski.costanza said...

as they say in jarhead, "welcome to the shit."

for reals. welcome: it's not so bad here. once your nose/tastes/expectations/aspirations adjust.