The next night:
“You know those things people say to you that describe you so perfectly, they stick with you? A roommate once described me as an expert at being an amateur because I try so many hobbies.”
He goaded each of us to say our own, pressing me that I must have one: I do, when someone sees me clearly, it’s a “you are very wise” after a deep conversation.
There’s something really nice about getting into bed with yourself when your legs are freshly shaved, feeling the smooth skin of your left calf glide against your right shin, a coziness like clean sheets.
When your blog post about using a necklace to get guys, gets you guys…
He rubbed his fingertips across the small of my back. I wasn’t expecting it, goosebumps jolt up my spine. I tried to steal a moment alone with him, after the busy day with much company, I walked slowly, hanging to the back of the pack, as we left the park, the sun set, and he rubbed his fingertips across the small of my back.
So my boyfriend and I break up, and I start working out a lot to stay sane. And now I’m like, great, now I have abs, and there’s no one to look at them. Can I get a second opinion on if my perky spin butt is worth the chunky spin thighs?
I’m still in that self destructive phase where if someone offered me a chance to meet a stranger who would become the love of my life or a text from my ex stating that he wanted to see me, I’d choose the latter.
It’s starting to have been long enough since we broke up that if I died, it wouldn’t be immediately obvious to people to call you. I still can’t believe you don’t want to hang out anymore. I just want go home.
I didn’t have any warning. I still had soup in your freezer and eyeliner placed gently on the ground of your bathroom as I sprinted after you to brunch. I feel like I lost a home.
I was in town for just a couple days. It was dark and the road was shiny with wetness from an earlier rain. I was running between plans, cramming much into a couple days, trying not to be late to meet my boyfriend’s friends. It was a little east in the East Village, a little past where I usually find myself. The street was a little quieter, a little calmer than the ones engulfing it. You walked right up to me, also alone, eager to see me, like a dream, out of years of the abyss, I appeared. I saw me through your eyes, through the director’s eyes. You were eager to catch up, tell me about yourself, who you are today, on this night. You insisted we meet up later if I ended up going out. Last I heard, you were dating a supermarket heir and had developed a red head fetish.
It was good to see you out and alive. I worry about you a little less now.
And then you said goodbye and said the only words that would ever be enough for me. “Good night,” you said, you’d tried so many others. And then you hung up the phone, parting with the only end that would ever satisfy me.
There’s something so soothing about “good night,” something so comforting about acknowledgement of another day come and ended, another day closed and opened with well wishes. Someone else acknowledging that you live and breathe and now, sleep. Someone else doing it in sync with you. As you shut your eyes, your mind, your March 4th, you accept what’s past in the day behind you, let it rest and simmer, and prepare to take in the new.
Like the urge to announce your arrival after a long flight, it feels wrong to part ways with the day, without a human connection, without a hint or warning of any change in waking state.
It’s a beautiful end to a simple day. It’s my favorite end to any day. It’s my favorite words English has to offer. “Good night,” he wished me, and I had to accept, it is enough.
You didn’t know I loved those words. You didn’t know how beautiful they are to me, the way you said them with gravitas and meaning. I replay them forever. There’s days I interpret that gravitas to mean we’re meant to be together, there’s days I interpret that gravitas to mean we lived a perfect romantic tragedy. There’s such beauty in both.