And I meant it. Because you do know me. You know that I’m a rational person. I wasn’t about to go get wasted beyond belief. I wasn’t going to go gorge myself on a tub of ice cream. I needed to think, to process everything, and to talk. So I called up Scott, one of my good friends. Luckily he and his roommate Amber (I actually introduced them, so extra points for me in the roommate finding department) were home. They live close-ish to Madison Square Park. It was a good walk for me to clear my head. And a nice night out.
As I walked, our short break-up conversation played on a loop through my head. I still couldn’t believe it. I was in shock, feeling detached from my body. My steps didn’t feel solid beneath my feet, my head was light and airy, like the first-stage buzz of a wine drunkenness. The lights of passing cars and crosswalks didn’t register at all. I was walking on auto-pilot, thankfully going in the right direction.
Then I thought about whether this was the last time I was going to see you. Is this going to be the last image I have of you in the flesh? You were wearing shorts and a t-shirt and some sneakers. You’d been to the gym after work, before our dinner. The hair dryer was broken in the locker room, though, so you’d bought a hat on your way to dinner. A backwards, black baseball cap. So unlike you.
Was this really the last mental picture I was going to have of you? You in a hat? Your coifed hair is your defining feature. Buzzed short on the sides and in the back, then long on top, blown dry and styled in an upward and back swoop. What a great head of blonde hair you have. So very attractive. You broke up with me and I didn’t even get to see it.
Really, you should always look your best when you break up with someone. It makes them miss you even more, makes them feel even worse, and by contrast, you even better. No more staring at this beautiful body. No more having sex with it, either.
Out of my three boyfriends, I’ve only broken up with one of them. And that was over the phone. He was living in L.A. at the time. We’d been dating for a year and a half (the same length as you and me) and doing long-distance for a year of it. It wasn’t working. We only talked like once a week, and we had no trips planned to see each other. I was working at a dead end job at the time, making something pathetic like $10/hour. I couldn’t afford a trip out there. And he was working like a madman as a production assistant for, of all shows, Dance Moms. (That was when it was just getting big. I think he worked on the first season. I remember I used to get excited when any of my friends mentioned watching it.)
Anyways, things weren’t working out and I knew it. So one night I called him and broke up with him. It wasn’t easy to do. I’d been planning it for three weeks. But it needed to be done. I wish I could have done it in person, though. I would have put on my Freakum dress and done it up. Because at the end of the day, I didn’t like having to break up with him, but I knew by comparison, I would feel a lot better than he did.
And I hope you felt better than I did. Though numb is a pretty neutral feeling. The sadness hadn’t kicked in yet. So maybe you weren’t feeling better, unless you were feeling finally free.