Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Just remember darling, all the while, you belong to me."

You graduated college in 2007. I heard you were in Delaware working with a minor league baseball team. I imagined you experiencing "freedom" by way of pub craws and after-hours at work. When I went home for Christmas that year I hadn't heard from you in four months. The text message I received on the night of Christmas eve did not come as a surprise.

"I need to see you."

I didn't. Knowing you were alright was enough. Despite being within 10 miles of one another for the first time in over a year, I was not ready to see you. By this time I had lost sixty pounds, not even within eyesight of my goal. I had this vision that when I got "there", to a place I envisioned myself mentally and physically, in an oversize Fred Perry cardigan and jeans tailored to fit my perfect, imaginary body, I would find you. It wouldn't matter where you were or what you were doing, I knew exactly what you wanted and my only focus had become satisfying your expectations. Having a rough idea of where you were was enough, I didn't need you mucking up my greater plan with your new-life issues.

Sometime following the holiday, January or February maybe, you called while I was sleeping. You left a voice mail that I must have listened to thirty times while debating whether or not you were sincere. Whether or not I'd call you back. Whether or not I was ready for the unexpected. The "new" you.

"...Because in the end, you're my best friend and the only person who really cares about me..."

I broke. This time things were well planned out. I did my grocery shopping in Williamsville that evening, about 40 miles from where I lived. I told you I'd call at nine and I did. You went on about how you were drying your Brooks Brothers tie, finding it both humorous and satisfying that you'd have to concern yourself with such things. I told you our conversation felt small and insignificant. I wanted you to know that I wasn't interested in casual dialogue. I told you things hadn't been good. That I was planning, at this point, to leave R, that I had lost a great deal of weight in a less than healthy fashion which resulted in several hospitalizations, that my life as I knew it was beginning to collapse around me by my own devices and that I was in no position to take on additional hardship by way of our relationship. Somehow, this too became small talk. You told me your new job required many unpaid hours overtime. You were drinking as much as ever and had developed a reputation for being a drunk which permeated your work environment and resulted in a vocal lack of respect by your associates, administrators and subordinates. This is as much as I can recall of our colloquy before I was within eyesight of my apartment complex. I told you I needed to go, and asked you what I should expect for the future. "Are things going to go back to the way they were? I mean, phone calls. Text messages. What should I expect from you?" You told me that you should be asking me if it would be okay for us to continue, implying that you took some kind of responsibility for our prior contention.


I could have told you that I loved you. That I thought about you every day or even more truthfully, every hour- several times. I didn't. "Slowly" I said, as I hung up the phone.

There was a notable gap before I heard from you again. Just enough time to poise my most brilliant failure to date.

No comments:

Post a Comment