Earlier in the week Sarah, my best friend at work, one of the few coworkers who I actually text with and see outside of the office, invited me over to her apartment for a Break Fast party. (She’s Jewish, if you didn’t get that from the whole Break Fast thing.) It was my first official “breaking of the Yom Kippur fast,” though I didn’t fast and am not Jewish. But that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate.
It was actually perfect timing — her invitation. You’re coming over tomorrow, and I needed a distraction to get through this last day before seeing you again. So even though I knew Sarah was the only person I’d know at the party, I was happy to trek out to Brooklyn earlier this evening to take part in my first Break Fast.
When I got there, Sarah’s apartment was jam-packed with people and food. It was filled with lox and bagels and, oddly, about eight different types of salad. And there was plenty of beer and wine. Sarah took the bottle of wine I had brought and dropped it off in the kitchen as she gave me a quick tour of the apartment. Then she was off to play host, flitting around and talking to all of her guests, leaving me to fend for myself, which you know I’m not great at, especially when I don’t know anyone. Luckily, I had plenty of food to stuff my face with, and Sarah had told me about one of her friends who I wanted to talk to. Thurgood — a gay friend of hers who’d also been dumped recently.
Finding Thurgood wasn’t too difficult. Neither of us knew many people at the party and so we were both hovering near the food. (When in doubt, the buffet line is always a good place to make friends.) Also, we were about the only two Southerners at the party. And while I don’t have an accent, he still has a bit of his South Carolina drawl.
It was so good talking to someone who understood what I’d been going through and was going through the same thing. While my girlfriends have been super sympathetic to me and amazingly supportive, they haven’t been freshly dumped. They don’t know completely get it.
There’s an extra layer of understanding that comes when you’re sitting in the same dark hole of a recent break-up. You were the second guy in my life who had dumped me, and it felt just as terrible as the first time. You’d think I would have learned. But the years have put distance between twenty-five-year-old me and what was then twenty-one-year-old me. Time has dampened those post-break-up feelings so that I remember them as being shitty. What I don’t remember are all the gritty details. The listlessness. The hours and hours of free time I suddenly had to fill. The constant doubting. The what-ifs. The crushing sadness.
Thurgood’s going through these same things. And just like I can talk it out and sympathize with him, he can do the same with me. So it was great meeting him and getting to talk to someone who really understands what I’m going through, and understands it from recent memory. It made my trip out to Brooklyn totally worth it. And like I said, it was four more hours where I could be distracted from dwelling on your upcoming visit tomorrow afternoon.
I’m going to bed now, but I doubt that I’ll be able to get a single hour of sleep. I haven’t seen or spoken to you in four weeks…and you’re coming over tomorrow.