Friday, July 3, 2009

"The Best Value Under The Sun."

Terrified and frantic, I pulled his apartment together and fashioned a plan. "You can't. You wouldn't." It was clear that Boston would offer me no options. It became my inherent responsibility to unearth a solution to a problem I had caused; no, a problem I had committed. I dropped him at the local mall at 5PM, promising him that I'd return as quickly as I could. The drive to Buffalo airport to pick up R. was stomach turning. Noticing everything. The way the telephone poles passed on the highway, the smell of the power plant just beyond Grand Island, the sound of planes landing. What could I say? He didn't deserve this.

He had treated me well. It was not his fault. I could not love him.

Numb. I admitted defeat, but in true coward's form, did so introspectively. R. opened the passenger's door and sat down. I started the car and pulled away from the airport. For the first 10 minutes we were both silent. Finally I told him that I planned to leave. That things between he and I had deteriorated beyond our ability to coexist.

In reality, I could not look him in the eyes. He told me he knew, even that he understood. My mind reflected on his departure. The weight of his walk and his paralyzed expression as he moved quietly out of sight. There was a silent understanding between the two of us. The air was palatable, both knowing that after four years and many honest and not-so-honest attempts, there was nothing between us, and nothing left to say. My actions added insult to injury. In this moment, I truly understood what I had done.

He told me that my leaving was fine, but that if he found out that I had someone in the apartment while he was gone, it "would not be good." He then asked me directly, "Is there anything you have to tell me?" Driving 70MPH on the highway, I assessed the situation. This was neither the time, nor the place to have this conversation. I turned my head, looking him in the eyes for the first time. There was a long pause as the seconds seemed to stretch on. My body language said "yes", but I opened my mouth, and said "no." I told him I could not stay in "our" apartment that night. I needed "time to think" and so did he. He was suspicious, at the very least, but his response was trusting and familiar. I dropped him off, hastily packing a suitcase. I told him I would be back the following afternoon and that we would be facing a difficult conversation upon my return. I could feel him wanting to trust me. I had to escape, and quickly.

I picked up Boston. We decided it would be safest to stay in the next town. We checked into a Days Inn in Amherst, NY, stopping only for a cheap bottle of vodka. I didn't want to think. I didn't want to feel. I no longer trusted myself. I'd given up; submitted. A wave of hopelessness washed over my body. I had lost control.

The Red Sox won that night.

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