Sometimes you’re lucky, it’s quick and almost painless. For you it was that simple: I was out and she was in, you were in love and I wasn’t invited, and maybe you were guilty for a few days but boy didn’t fucking your new girlfriend make everything Okay. How could you help it when you were so deeply and unexpectedly in love with the plain-faced tramp you’d been sneaking around with! Suddenly love is an excuse, being in love is somehow supposed to make your actions understandable, it’s an uncontrollable disease like alcoholism, and this is the part where I should say “You’re right, let’s still be friends,” because I’m not supposed to mind that my boyfriend, whom I love, has changed his mind about me, about us. I’m supposed to forget how he held me in the shower, careless and sleepy under the constant water, and said that we would be together for always, or else I should remember that “always” actually meant “until some bitch with tits turns my head right around.”
So she has you now for the holidays, for Halloween and my birthday and Thanksgiving and Christmas. I, in the meantime, have endless theories on picking up and moving on, none of which claim to be as expedient as your change of heart. Half the length of the relationship, says the nagging voice of popular culture, or else until you’ve hit enough rebound. Not until you fall in love again, say the hopeless romantics. You’ll never recover, says the voice of the even more hopeless romantic in the very back of my head, the one that can recall all too quickly the story a teacher once told me: “and when she died we found, still in her locket, a picture of her lost first love.” Balancing it out is the naïve, practical persona who says it’s up to your body, you’ve got to get rid of all that excess manganese and prolactin, you’ve gotta get outta your funk and into some emotional equilibrium, keep busy and get that adrenaline pumping, you’ll be fine again in no time. Except no time doesn’t get here fast enough, so you’re bitter and depressed and you cry all the time, always fighting the urge to scream it to all your friends, “What the fuck, I love him!” They’ve heard it and they know it and if you keep saying it out loud it’s like saying that somebody died, part of your life is over and you’re never getting it back, and all you can do is sit there and weep while you wait for your fresh start to arrive, to really and truly begin.