Love Triangle Limbo
I went to see a psychic the other day. “Why do you think you have bad luck?” She asked me, shuffling a stack of tarot cards and then flipping them over. Then, flipping the second stack, “Your heart is in a twist. You’re sweating love. You’re sad, resentful. But do not be stressed — everything will work itself out.” She told me this quickly, and in Spanish. I struggled to keep up.
Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry. You don’t know how lovely you are.
My heart is in a twist. But he sang “The Scientist” to me, and my heart untwisted just a little. He learned how to play it on the piano. He learned all the words. I told him I love that song, and he learned all the words.
I had to find you. Tell you I need you. Tell you I’ve set you apart.
I shiver on the steps of my friends’ Bushwick apartment at 5 a.m. I’m barefoot — wearing only booty shorts and a sheer tank. “Did you like it?” He asks. He’s in Miami.
“You know I love that song,” I tell him again.
Tell me your secrets. And ask me your questions. Oh, let’s go back to the start.
“You’re not listening to the words. This is how I feel. I think I’m in love with you.” It’s the drugs talking, but I desperately want to believe it’s him. “I know you’re in love with me, too” he says.
My heart soars. “Yeah, I have been for a while — I think. I mean, you know I adore you.” I trip over my words. Why can’t I say it, Goddammit? Just fucking say it. Yes, I’m in love with you. “Want to pick me up from the airport?” I ask instead.
Running in circles, coming up tails. Heads on the science apart.
A day passes. “I need to spend some time with her now that you’re gone,” he says. “I need to reevaluate my feelings. What I’m doing isn’t fair to me, it’s not fair to her — it’s really not fair to you.” He’s talking about his on-again, off-again girlfriend. She’s the only thing standing in my way — in our way.
My entire body goes cold. I say nothing. There’s a 50-50 chance he’ll choose me. There’s a much higher chance that he won’t choose at all.
Nobody said it was easy. It’s such a shame for us to part.
“If he picks her, I’m never going back to Miami!” I say drunkenly — to no one in particular. I’m sitting in a Park Slope bar at 5 p.m. on a Sunday. “I don’t care if I get a job here or not. I’ll strip if I have to. If he picks her, I’ll never, EVER go back.” Now I slur directly at the bartender. He pours me another shot. I don’t care.
Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard. Oh take me back to the start.
“Sorry if I said anything crazy yesterday. I was really, really drunk,” I text him the next morning. I can’t remember if I called him, and the saved texts don’t reveal much. “Will you still pick me up from the airport?” He says yes, and that it’s OK. He’s been hammered like that plenty of times before.
I was just guessing at numbers and figures, pulling the puzzles apart.
“I just don’t get it,” I cry to my friend. I’m hungover and suicidal and really regretting those last 3… 4… 5(?) drinks. Little by little, then faster and faster, I unravel. “I thought I had this in the bag,” I say.
“He loves me for a week. Then I leave, and after only three days, he doesn’t love me anymore,” I pause. “I was really, really drunk yesterday. Did I say anything crazy? Do I even say crazy things when I get really, really drunk?” I’m hyperventilating.
Questions of science, science and progress do not speak as loud as my heart.
“I love talking to you. I love hanging out with you. I love fucking you,” he says. “I don’t know what it is; I can be myself with you. She called me and I had nothing to say. I was anxious to hang up just so I could talk to you… I really miss you.”
It feels like ages ago since I heard those words from the doorstep in Bushwick. Now he says, “I love you, but I love her too. Her and I sleep well together. I’m not a piece of shit. I can’t just throw that all away.”
Tell me you love me. Come back and haunt me. Oh and I rush to the start.
My flight is delayed — it’s way past midnight. But still, he picks me up from the airport. “I missed you,” I say. I’m begging for attention.
He smiles, and says nothing.
I stroke his arm and the top of his hand with the tips of my fingers. I’m begging for time to rewind to that day when he told me he loved me/missed me/wished I was there with him.
Running in circles, chasing our tails. Coming back as we are.
We have sex one last time, but of course I don’t know at the moment that this time is the last. It’s sweet and sensual and salacious on his part, angry and deliberate on mine — and lasts all of 15 minutes. For the rest of the night and halfway through the next day we cuddle, changing positions every hour or so, taking turns being the big and little spoons. I cry for four days after that, certain it’s over.
Nobody said it was easy. It’s such a shame for us to part.
“So you guys are really good then?” I ask him. “You spend hours on the phone and have great sex? You have a million things in common and crack each other up and want to be together all the time?” There’s a hint of desperation in my voice. He doesn’t hear it because it’s slathered so thickly in sarcasm.
“No…” He trails off. “You and I have all that; you and I are best friends. What we have is more special than any relationship — but she knows how I sleep. And that’s really important.”
Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard. I’m going back to the start.
My heart is in a twist still, but also, I’m OK sleeping by myself. And finally, I too have learned all the words to “The Scientist.”
A | A | A
5. To you, your little brother is always going to be your little brother.
I still tear up way more than I ever have, and am learning to accept that as a part of me. I’m trying to embrace tears as a visceral human reaction to life, not as a sign of weakness or cause for embarrassment.
“Sorry, but we don’t have a larger size than that.”
You are never going to be the most popular girl in high school, but that’s okay, because the friends you’ve made will be of better quality than any of the ones you wanted to be friends with.