I feel the eyes of Orthodox icons hidden beneath the clutter of this low-slung basement. It’s become our screening room, where I learned to love Seinfeld, and to ignore the laugh tracks. But a line of cackling heads couldn’t save this moment from sorrow. Those people are dead.
So, let me take this opportunity to break the news I figured he already knew. Pause the sitcom, babe — here it comes.
“I…” wanted to say I love you.
“But…” I had no excuse for this relationship’s disintegration. I had nothing to say, because he didn’t want to hear justifications.
His actual response came in a poem two months late. “Here I remain,” he wrote, “lost in the viciousness of a cruel and intricate betrayal. I brimmed with hope for the renewal of our love. Only to see my suspicions real.”
In this case I had no reaction, except desperation. So I bared my confession. “Yes, I slept with him.”
“How many times?”
I sighed. “Maybe five?”
There it goes —purged by words, the anatomy of my heart laid in strips. He just blinked tears and exhaled a lot. In his mind, the poem continued, “The web of lies tumbled forth from her frightened guilty lips.”
My head felt too dense to move. A mistake isn’t when you f*** someone, but I f***ed over two. So, I just sat there like a fool before excusing myself to the restroom. My recommendation: don’t trust the overhead fan to hide a conversation.
It was his old friend on the other line. I needed to apologize. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” I cried. “Goodbye.”
Today, I’m still trying to grasp my formerly distorted thought process. Now I make amends from wrongdoings by being generous.
In the midst of the aftermath, he wrote: “Two months and not a day past…you’ve only left me in strands, doomed to dwell within swarms of opposing emotions for you.”
I felt the same, and retained a cosmic shift. Suddenly, I’m in love with his rotten green sweater, a color I just couldn’t get over. Now I wish he’d wear it when we make love.
For him, the situation drags through an internal battle, as he describes, “a new insanity gifted by her lies.” Confusion submerges him like flames, “coaxing me into a cynical calamity.”
Now I fear picking up his rustic dictionary, because I know under the entry for “monster,” I’ll only see me. In the same basement where we used to reside, he writes, “How odd to miss the monster, while she promises to evolve.” He takes another line. Embrace this time to be absent of one’s mind.
And this is me on the other side: a pathetic vessel of emotional paradox, while I chase company. But I never again saw his old friend, one worthy to remain unnamed.
Meanwhile, the scene replays in my head:
Me: Sob, sob, sob, I love you, sob.
Him: I need time. Give me space. I love you. Go f*** yourself.