Eating Morning-After Bagels With The Boy You're in Love With and The Girl He Just Banged

It’s Saturday, 2pm. You’re shaking off the remnants of last night, scrubbing the caked-on mascara from your face, scrounging in your purse for money you can’t believe you spent, deleting the drunk texts you wish you could forget. Too lazy to shower, you ponytail your hair and half-heartedly squirt some concealer under your sallow eyelids. Better, you think, staring sullenly into the mirror. Good enough.

You step into the sunlight, always brighter the morning after five vodka sodas plus. The sky is pristine and cloudless and blue, and for a moment, you think, I can do this. All I need is a little sustenance, a little New York inside me. A large hazelnut iced coffee with skim milk and a whole-wheat sesame with walnut-raisin cream cheese will do me right fine, you say to yourself. Right fine.

It’s two blocks to the bagel shop, but you only make it one before you glance to your right and realize this Experiment in Leaving the Apartment While Hungover is going to go terribly, terribly awry. Walking towards you — are they two-stepping? — is the boy you’re in love with alongside a sheer-shirted, makeup-smeared, pretty little thing. Omigah, you think, your vocabulary suddenly reduced to online acronyms and profanities. Fuck my life.

The net effect of last night’s bender renders your reflexes slightly slower than the average three-toed sloth, and before you can either (a) flee the scene altogether or (b) beat a rapid retreat to the nearest coffee shop, the male in question has already spotted you. It’s a one-two-three punch of misery as you exchange pleasantries, make the mistake of mentioning your bagel shop destination, and learn that the toothsome twosome in front of you also have a yen for the same yeasty goodness. Stubborn and craving your goddamn bagel, you quash the desire to seek breakfast elsewhere; this woman has already taken your man, and she’s not about to take your hangover cure.

You’ll never know whether it’s a streak of curiosity, masochism, or just a desire to make the guy squirm, but you’ll suggest that all three of you sit on a bench outside to bask in the sunlight as you revel in your newly acquired carbohydrate load.

What tastes better than bagels with schmear of social intrigue? You wonder to yourself as you settle down next to your last-minute brunch companions. Nothing, you decide, as you sink your teeth into the two sides of seedy goodness sandwiching the sweetened cream cheese.
Always ask the right questions and never skip a beat. It’s essential to keep the conversation flowing, fluid, so you intersperse the questions you care about with innocuous queries, questions about career and hometown and how do you like New York. It’s a careful three-to-one, four-to-one balance, but it’s fun to watch the guy’s face out of the corner of your eye as you plant a grenade in the middle of the daisies.

She met him at a bar, she recounts casually, and it was funny, because it was on New Years. Funny, you think, because I was his date that night, and he kissed me when the ball dropped. Funny, because he met you after I left him, as I sobbed on my walk home because I knew he would never fully be mine.

Be grateful you’re wearing sunglasses so he can’t see the hurt in your eyes; wonder if the clouds have made a cameo appearance, because you feel a sudden chill. Bagels are less delicious when they’re served with a side of heartache, you discover, as you wrap half of yours and tuck it into your pocket.

You’ll give it away later, to a friend you see on the subway platform, who you’ll tell the whole tale to, embellishing it with details to make everything more dramatic than it was. He’ll hug you tight as he tells you you’re a great person, that you’re so well-composed, that you take everything in your stride. Spend the day telling yourself those things; buy a bottle of good wine, spend the night trying to forget the morning happened.

Wake up hungover.

Get a bagel. TC mark

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  • Kat Mandu

    o jesus

  • http://popserial.tumblr.com stephen

    life…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    bagels… i had it this morning

  • Larry

    I think we think that everyone likes these 2nd person narratives via 'modern, unavoidable narcissism' or something, but I (I! Me, motherfuvker) would disagree with that to some degree. (nothing against this piece in particular, which I liked)

    • PERFECTCIRCLES

      Bringing second person back.

  • meeeems

    this is painfully well written. keep it real.

    • rick scheilitez

      you should probably go redo high school english or maybe you are really high

      • meeeems

        sorry im twelve this really hits home

  • Janette

    Love your voice! And the story, well it sounds like something which would (and very well could…) happen to me. Hello love life, you suck.

  • Lazyroar

    Really really well done.

    • daisy door

      hi i am an overweight egyptian. i have been waiting all my life to lose my virginity, and now it seems i have found someone (you) with standards low enough, how do i get in touch

  • MAHMOUD

    I AM WRITE YOU FROM LIBYA. WE ARE TRULY SORY FOR YOUR HARD LIFE. PLEASE, WHEN YOU COME LIBYA, PLEASE STAY OUR HOME AND WE TRY TO MAKE YOU FEEL WELL.

    • PINA

      Hi Mahmoud! You and your country suck camel balls. Good luck to your lesbian-face leader!

      • iya

        Asshole

    • ALPHONSE

      I am write you from the republic of congo. We are truly sorry for your hard life (acceseble water, relatively good healthcare, public education, chance to work, internet connection). Please, when you come congo, please stay your home and we try to make you feel well.

  • SheesH

    “Bagels are less delicious when they’re served with a side of heartache”

    wow…

  • Feels Bad Man

    “What tastes better than bagels with schmear of social intrigue? You wonder to yourself as you settle down next to your last-minute brunch companions. Nothing, you decide, as you sink your teeth into the two sides of seedy goodness sandwiching the sweetened cream cheese.”

    Feels like I'm stuck back in high school, peer-reviewing shitty compositions by talentless, overzealous classmates. I've been seeing more and more of this garbage on Thought Catalog.

    Time to tighten up the submission standards, people.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Khaligula Khalil Pineda

      this was better written than most things here lol stop whining the prose in this was fuggin' great.

      • kareem prada

        you should go back to high school and retake english if you think the 'prose' in this article was good

      • http://www.facebook.com/Khaligula Khalil Pineda

        oh you're holding this to high school standards. I get it, you think things should ideally be written in third person lmao

  • Jordan

    i pretty much had this exact experience, it's been ongoing for weeks. but have yet to find bagels in london. that would have helped.

    • Jordan

      including the fact that he was my date for new year's, and we had an amazing kiss that led me into this rabbithole.

  • http://twitter.com/thedavidou David Ou

    a lovely piece, bagels hungover are the best thing in the world. maybe not so much anymore, but regardless, i'm glad you put that out there

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505759069 Julian Tully Alexander

    I hate it when I do these types of things to myself, and yet I always do them.

  • Kate

    Well done!

  • http://somuchtocome.blogspot.com Aja

    Ouch. This one hurt to read. But I seek solace in the fact that we've all been there. Good job.

  • Tabby

    I hate bagels, but this prose is oh so delicious.

  • Alex

    Get over it.

  • hazel

    I fell asleep and had the baddest dream about me being dragged along by the girl he is about to marryto their wedding!!! see, that was a nightmare…then I woke up I saw this post on a friends page, read it. Realized this is me. finished reading it and saw the first one to comment is named after him, saying “get over it” ( no offense man)

    I am fucked up!!!

  • Byron

    Good

  • http://www.facebook.com/Khaligula Khalil Pineda

    this was like the whiny girl version of chuck palahniuk

  • http://www.facebook.com/Khaligula Khalil Pineda

    and that was totally a compliment

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