bad terms / ex vegans2022-02-13 kt
This morning I woke up and it was snowing. It wasn’t the nice fluffy kind, more like the sloshy heavy stuff that makes the sidewalks slick and your hair really wet. Yesterday was 55 degrees and sunny and while we all knew it was just the annual mid-february tease, it’s impossible not to be disappointed when it doesn’t stick. I looked at my phone and i had four text dissertations from the ex vegan. He was passionate -- “guess you never cared about me”; “i feel sorry for you”; “you treated me like garbage”; “i think about you all the time”. His words were a straightforward mixture of anger and pain, and I told myself no one should be blamed for feeling that way. After all, I’m always saying I should have more conviction around things I care about, not to mention the guts to be honest. But what he said was also condescending and rude and hurtful and at times not even true and reading his messages was simply no way to start the day if you ask me. It’s not that I fault him for how he feels, but I'm just not sure I should have to read so many parentheticals calling out my supposed 'insecurities' first thing in the morning. “(scary feeling, right? Something so special/good?)”, he wrote. I left the messages unanswered. Amy, Katie and I went to see the worst person in the world last night and I felt again the sort of tired and heavy feeling I had when I left the theater. There’s a scene where she breaks up with her long-term partner for no reason and a million reasons, and we're privy only to pieces of their drawn out conversation/argument -- the scene is well done, really. But eventually, they end up sitting by the window in a quiet and sustained hug/lean situation (I would say they were ‘holding each other’ but I hate that expression so this is my attempt to refrain). Maybe it has nothing to do with “good terms” or “bad terms”, but that post breakup purgatory looked sort of beautiful -- a final, exhausted, shared moment of intimacy when everything’s been said and somehow you feel closer than you have in a long time because finally you’re on the same page, even though that page is your last. Watching them, I wished I had gotten to have that with Rubin. Over the course of the day, ex vegan sent 6 more messages, each longer and more aggressive than the last. Sitting at lunch with Katie, Christina, and Zoe, watching them come in and trying not to cry, I decided to block his phone number. It felt finite and that felt relieving and also bad, but at the end of the day I have enough required reading as it is (no extra dissertations welcome) and I felt like I had reached my limit on text-yelling for now. Still, it was a sad reminder that sometimes things don’t end on good terms and that has to be okay. I scrolled through instagram on the train after lunch. I re-downloaded the app a few days ago, submitting to the allure of the virtual alter-egos of everyone I know. I regretted it immediately but I decided not to delete it again. I went to Shalma’s and laid down next to her space heater for a long time. When I left, I took a few steps down her hallway before turning around and telling her i thought i had taken the wrong shoes. They were the wrong color or they felt looser, there was a strange tag where there shouldn’t have been. It was like the end of a college party when you rummaged through the mountains of black jackets to find yours, praying you wouldn’t be subjected to a very cold walk home in a seasonally inappropriate outfit. They were my shoes in the end, so crisis averted (i realize this anecdote sounds like it’s supposed to be a metaphor, and a cliche one at that, but it really is just what happened). After that I made my way home through crowds of people loaded up with dips and 6-packs for the super bowl, which i keep forgetting is today. I decided I’m rooting for cincinnati, not that i’m watching.