Month: October 2014

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 (Part 2)

On top of being a great addition to the apartment, my new roommate Marjorie told me the craziest story the other day. A story of lies and infidelity, something you see on soap operas or those terrible, unrealistically dramatic CW shows where twenty-eight-year-olds play teenagers. Here’s the short version:

Before Marjorie moved here, she was seeing this guy named Leyland in Minnesota. They had been dating for maybe six months. Long enough to be exclusive, but it wasn’t like they’d moved in together or anything.

So they’ve been dating for a while and things are going well, but then Marjorie gets a job in New York and moves here. That’s when they decide that it’s probably best to break up. At least for the time being because the distance thing just isn’t worth it (something I can attest to as I wasted the better part of my first year in New York dating my college boyfriend who lived in North Carolina and then LA). However, Leyland is a web designer/developer (I can’t remember which) and he actually works for himself out of his apartment and had been considering a move to New York as well. So while he and Marjorie broke up when she moved, it was this kind of up-in-the-air thing. They got along well, they liked each other, had good sex… If he did end up moving to the City, then they would have gotten back together.

There’s a zero percent chance of that happening now, though. Because this is where the story gets interesting. For whatever reason (maybe the break-up gave her the distance she needed to listen to a niggling worry she’d always had that something wasn’t right with Leyland) Marjorie decided to look more closely into one of Leyland’s girl friends. (Note the space there. This was a girl that Marjorie had been told was just a friend. A former girlfriend, actually, who Leyland had basically shit on to Marjorie. Something about the sex being terrible and that’s why he had dumped her but for whatever reason was still “just friends” with her.)

Marjorie decides to do some snooping into this girl. She finds her on Facebook and Instagram and then lines up some dates and some of Leyland’s stories and starts to question what was really going on. Mind you, this took her hours to do. But Marjorie is a thorough girl (and maybe a bit neurotic), so she decides to take it a step further and emails with the girl. The girl is a teacher so she hunts down her work email since those things are public. Then it’s just a matter of waiting for a reply.

Marjorie’s frank but nice in her initial email. She asks the other girl about Leyland and then tells her that he was seeing her as well. When the girl responds, it confirms everything…she’s dating Leyland and didn’t know about Marjorie either. Leyland was dating them both and lying to both of their faces! The other girl lived out in the suburbs in Minnesota, so he’d spend time with her there and then spend time with Marjorie in Minneapolis. They never overlapped.

Shady, right? This Leyland guy was a real douchebag. After confirming that Leyland had two girlfriends, Marjorie confronted him. And he still tried to deny it! How ridiculous and dramatic. When you get caught, just own up to it. At least Marjorie is done with him. No regrets on that move. But still, she’s going to think twice about trusting the next man she starts seeing.

I still can’t quite believe it. Not just the fact that Marjorie’s ex- was seeing another girl on the side, but that he went about in such a planned — almost pathological — way. This wasn’t some guy who happened to hook up with another girl. This was a guy who purposefully hid the truth from Marjorie, making up elaborate lies even at the end after she had found out and called him on it.

Like I said, something out of a really bad soap opera. I didn’t think these things happened in real life. I guess you can’t really trust people.

I trusted you, though. You didn’t have a guy on the side, though there was one time late in our relationship when I thought something might be up. (And I know this might sound psychopathic of me, but really, I wasn’t snooping; I just happened to see this by accident.) You had left the room to pee or something and your your phone was face-up on your nightstand. A text came in and your screen lit up. I only saw a glimpse of it, but it was definitely a picture, coming in at eleven or so at night. I didn’t have my contacts in and it was across the bed, so I don’t know exactly what I saw.

All I know is what my instincts told me. The far-off camera angle. An empty living room or bedroom in the background. Someone standing in the middle of the frame, presumably posing. Most likely my paranoid mind playing tricks on me again. Could it have been a sext? Probably not. But it made me wonder.

What if you did have someone on the side? You met a lot of guys at the bar where you worked. And a lot of them hit on you. Who’s to say one or more of them didn’t get your number, didn’t start texting you pictures. Just because you got a flirtatious message from a guy didn’t mean that you were doing anything with him. While we were dating I got a few text messages from this one guy I had hooked up with before meeting you. I always deleted them without responding. He didn’t seem to get the hint, though. What if you had seen one of those? What would you have thought? He wasn’t sending me pictures or anything, but the concept’s the same.

We spent a lot of nights together, so I can’t imagine you’d have had time for someone else. And if you had, I’d think your roommates would have said something to me. I was friends with them. I would imagine they would have disapproved of you seeing someone else. But maybe not.

I still wonder what it was that caught my eye that night. Probably just your mom texting you a picture of how she redecorated your room or something. I had time to take a closer look. You were out of the room. But I trusted you and let it be. Curiosity always leads to more trouble.

I went to bed that night worried, though, wondering what I would do if I lost you to someone else, or if I had already lost you. Now I don’t know what I’d do if I found out you’d had someone secretly tucked away. I’d rather not know if you did.

You wouldn’t, though, so I don’t get worked up about it. But hearing Marjorie’s story, I can’t help but think what if that happened to me. I mean, she didn’t suspect her ex- was up to anything either. People can surprise you. Especially when you think you know them.


Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 (Part 1)

I have a new roommate. She moved in last week.  But then, in my ridiculous six-person apartment which we’ve affectionately dubbed “the Real World,” (I’m the gay one, fyi), it’s not unusual to have a roommate defect and a new one move in. I never saw the last girl, so the new one is certainly a step up.

Marjorie is her name. She moved to the City two weeks ago. She’s from Minnesota in every sense – born there, raised there, went to college there, graduated and got a job in Minneapolis. I think this is her first time away from that state.

She’s got the cute accent and the Midwestern charm. And she’s super pretty. Dark, olive skin. Dark hair. Athletic body type, but petite. Very outspoken. Able to get guys like I’ve never seen. (Consider all the girls on my kickball team and think of someone completely different. Not that I don’t love the girls on my team. But they lack the confidence around guys that Marjorie has. She jokes about her “man-getting” powers. And she definitely has them.)

Marjorie moved into the basement with me, just down the hall. I think we’re going to be friends.

In fact, her arrival couldn’t have come at a better time. I used to spend very little time at home. I was usually at your place. And when I was home, I’d stay in my room, keeping to myself unless I was cooking. I never minded getting my alone time. But now I’m starting to get lonely.

My roommates are nice, I’ve just never cared to make the effort to get to know them. We’re all Craigslist connected, so it’s not like we have a natural affinity to each other. We all get along just fine, though. (Most of us, at least. We do have the one girl who’s a poisoner. But I make sure to stay on her good side.) I’ve been living with these people for a year and a half, so it’s difficult to push the reset button on our roommate relationship. I’m the quiet, gay one who mostly keeps to himself.

But now, with Marjorie newly moved in, I have a nice blank sheet to start with. I think it’s going to be good for me.

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

I learned to knit today.

I know it seems out there. A little old-fashioned. But it’s actually fun. Or at least soothing. The steady click-click of the needles, the monotony of the stitches, the slow progression of something forming from hundreds of little things that I’ve made, a pattern coming together in front of my eyes. And I’ve always liked scarves and toboggans (or “beanies” as I’ve learned that people not from Kentucky don’t know that a toboggan is also a hat). So why not learn how to make them on my own? Think of all the great Christmas gifts I’ll be able to make. And the fact that you’re not getting a hand-made scarf in a few months. Sorry. I guess that’s the price you pay for breaking up with me, a cost you didn’t realize a couple of weeks ago but which I’m sure you won’t be that heartbroken to discover.

To be honest, awesome scarves and toboggans weren’t the only reason I wanted to learn how to knit. (Not that you’d be surprised by that revelation.) I needed something to keep me busy, to keep me from moping about you. There’s only so much time I can spend sitting in my bedroom in the dark listening to sad songs and mindlessly watching Netflix. I need to feel at least a little productive, keep my hands busy with something crafty. And a few of my girlfriends knit. So I thought why not learn? My mom cross-stitches; I’m going to learn how to knit.

So I called on my friend Lauren for help. She lives on the East Side near me, and we decided to meet in Carl Schurz Park, this fantastically beautiful little park that looks out on the East River. As luck would have it, a couple we know was also planning on picnicking in the park, so we decided to make it a foursome.

I got to the park ready and eager to learn. I was going to borrow knitting materials from Lauren. She had an extra set of needles and half-balls of yarn left over from other projects she’d finished. It’s not like anything I was going to make on my first day at it would be worth keeping to wear, so I wasn’t really worried about the quality or color of the yarn. Whatever scraps she had would do.

Sitting on a blanket at the park, Lauren set forth to teach me how to knit. She taught me the basics of how to hold the needles and then how to cast-on the first row of stitches and begin a scarf. I chose this light blue yarn, an aquamarine kind of color that I thought would really make my eyes pop. I got the first row of stitches on my needles and I started working on my first scarf.

It was my first time knitting, so Lauren only taught me the most basic stitch — the knit. (Later that night she would teach me the purl. But I wasn’t ready for that yet.) It was a pretty easy stitch. Very slowly I set to work, sliding my needle in the loop, knitting and pulling the string tight, continuing on to complete a row and then flipping the needles to start the next row back. Eventually I built up a sort of rhythm, though it still couldn’t be called fast or even efficient. If I took my eyes off the needles I had to stop. But it was a start, and I could tell that I would pick it up eventually.

While I started to knit on my own, Lauren picked up her needles and resumed work on some complicated looking project that I could only dream of one day being able to execute. As we worked, our couple friend (Jane and Bob) handed us drinks and told us about their big news.

They’d gotten engaged! (Which, of course, I had already seen on their Facebook pages.) So there was a lot to celebrate. They now had a wedding to plan and a dress to buy. A venue to book. A date to pick. So many things. I’m really happy for Jane and Bob. They’ve been dating for a pretty long time and I always knew their engagement was just a matter of when. They’re a lovely couple and a perfect match for each other.

But honestly, it was hard to listen to them gushing and happy, glowing with this mutual love. Especially considering that they’d gotten engaged on August 16th…the day you broke up with me. I’d just had my heart broken by you. And seeing someone else doped up on love made me want to scream.

I’m bitter, I know. But I put on a happy face. Luckily I had my knitting to focus on as I listened to their happiness and nodded along.

They’re going to remember Friday, August 16th, 2013 for the rest of their lives. I’m hoping that one day I’ll be able to forget it.