5.27.2012

Backburnered.

I'm not in New York right now, I'm not even in NY state.

Keil invited me to spend the long weekend out in PA at his parents' house and acreage, and I accepted. Seriously, we're really far out here, and I am (fortunately?) without cell service. On the drive out from Philly we stopped for gas and I checked my phone for what was to be the last time for several days. I had been busy sending people pictures of my new tattoo and was expecting a few responses, but what was in my inbox when I unlocked my phone?

"Want to have brunch tomorrow?"

What the fuck.

I should probably give you some background.

Obviously, I am no longer dating musicians. Although I definitely don't have any kind of expressed rule about it, I tend to pick partners from the world pool of creatives even when they are not musicans, read: designers, screenprinters, architects, and yes--wordsmiths, painters, and indie-film makers. Of the latter I was recently dating two, but then...well, then it just petered out with one of them. I was routinely unappreciated and flat out criticized too many times for me to really want to put to much effort into it, so when he told me he was getting more serious with someone else he was seeing I thought it a perfect opportunity to let this one go forever. I mean, he essentially dumped me, right?

That's what I had thought. But he didn't dump me--he had the balls to try and fucking backburner me.

Not familiar with this term? Backburnering is when you don't think you want to see someone anymore, but for whatever reason you're not quite sure--maybe they have a really great book collection or the sex was really great--so you leave your parting somewhat open ended so that you retain the opportunity to revisit that later. I have backburnered people tens of times over the years with mixed results: both Nick the Writer's, Wood, even Chase for a time--but I have never let anyone of so little consequence backburner me. Ever.

So what happened with the girl with which it was supposedly so serious?

Who kinows? Maybe this girl got sick of being fucking judged all the time by someone who is far too old and far too foreign to have so little common sense or willpower. Look, this is all just speculation, and yeah. If I really wanted to know what was up instead of inventing some story in my head that makes me feel better about myself I would have just asked. I didn't ask. I think that speaks volumes.

I did reply, however. I sent back "No, sorry, I'm out of town for the long weekend."

Not that he would do this and not even that he would care even if he did do this, but when I replaced my phone back into my back right jeans pocket I immediately wondered what Keil might think if he read this string of text messages saved in my phone that had just grown by two. When a couple minutes later I felt the telltale vibrating and read some common reply that I don't remember exactly but likely went something like "we should do it another time," I did something that might have been unthinkable a few years ago. Had the sex been great? Yes. And he was pretty hot, tall, successful, and had an accent that left snail trails in my panties; all pretty perfect criteria for a solid backburner, right? But way out here or back in Brooklyn or even in my hometown like we will be next week it has been Keil who I make plans with and buy plane tickets with and kiss sweetly on street corners in the moonlight and it's him whom I miss when he's not around. I'm not going to get into a semantics debate here, but regardless of who Keil is or is not to me there was something telling me that the least that I could do for him was not let anyone else disrespect me so blatantly as to backburner me.

Do brunch some other time? No. We really shouldn't. I decided to keep it simple, and replied in kind.

"Look, I'm sorry, but I don't think we should be hanging out anymore."

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go now. There is a very handsome man seated next to me that I haven't stared at for no reason in hours.

--M

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