– For not spending your birthday with you. When you called me and said you were waiting at a bar for me to give you directions to the party that I was at, and then you rode to the last intersection I described on your bike in the cold October, and after an hour of silence from me, you gave up and went by yourself to the diner around the corner from your apartment to buy yourself dinner. While I was making out with a guy I had already told I had no intentions of dating or even going home with because it was your birthday, while I was dancing to old blues songs with a man I didn’t even like, while I was drinking and smoking hookah, while I was while I was while I was while I was while I was
– For making fun of the spot where your hair is thinning.
– For making fun of your insanely pale ginger complexion at every opportunity, all the while being privately fascinated that in the darkest room, you glow like a little moon tucked underneath my covers.
– For not cooking you breakfast the first night that you slept over at my apartment.
– For fleeing your apartment in the early morning after we started hooking up again, after our third break, even though I had absolutely nothing to do that day. My jacket was too thin for Chicago March 8ams, my skin was too thin. I sat at the bus stop huddled up in my own arms and I thought about how warm (albeit cramped and uncomfortable) your twin sized bed was. I thought about the quilt that your mother made you. I thought about how you kind of radiate.
– For not slapping you the first time you called me a bitch.
– For using you as a tool, at least initially, to make my last boyfriend jealous.
– That most of what I think defines me is cobbled together from the damage of all my ex-boyfriends.
– For keeping reminders of my past loves visible in every corner of my apartment.
– For not inviting you over the nights when we were really having fun, when you would have really enjoyed yourself.
– That you want to fuck everything that moves.
– That when you get drunk, you get aggressive and mean and it often takes more energy to deal with you than I am willing to put forth for you, even though you put up with it all the time from me.
– That I blame you 100% for the loss of several already doomed friendships.
– That I am so anxious.
– That you make me so anxious.
– For ruining the mood that night that my best friend started hitting on you. I got really angry at her even though I knew I had nothing to worry about. She told you I was mad at you so you left, and I yelled at her on the bus in front of everyone that she was an idiot and she’d gotten it all wrong, that she had ruined a perfect night, because I had let her. That if I could ever have just had some faith in you, we would have been fine.
– That my bed is uncomfortable.
– That my room is always messy.
– That my friends all think you’re an asshole and they hate you because I love you anyway, and it shows.
– That when you rode your bike to my house from the bar on the other side of town where we were celebrating my birthday, you beat me home (I knew you would) and I didn’t give you the key so you waited outside on my sidewalk in the freezing winter night. I took a shortcut through the alleyway to save time, having run as fast as I could from the train station without pitching forward onto my face on the ice but when I finally got there, instead of making my presence known, I hid behind the back staircase, watching you: your back to me, your strong, perfect profile glowing like the snow. And I kept you waiting out there for me for at least another five minutes because I just couldn’t stop looking at you.
– For wanting very much to be a better person, to eat better, to be more positive, more understanding, more supportive, for you and then going out with my friends instead.
– For not following you out the door when you stormed out of my apartment last night.
– For not even opening my eyes or sitting upright on the couch when you stood in my kitchen slinging your bike over your shoulder and walking out the door. For not moving at all even though I knew it was the last thing you’d ever say to me: “everybody suffers. It doesn’t matter who you blame.”
– That I’m not confident you will ever be completely satisfied with what you have.
– That if you are, it won’t be by me.
– For erasing your profile on my Xbox 360. I was angry.
– That I am telling you all of this in a list and putting it on display.
– The vanity and pure self-indulgence involved in hoping that someone will care about these things even if it’s not you.
– That this list was always primarily about making myself feel better. That everything about us has always been about making me feel better.
– That this will not fix anything. That I am still an asshole.
– That I haven’t written anything good about you yet.
– For being horribly, painfully jealous of the pillow on which your head lay.
– That there are a lot of things that I left off of this list because I can’t accept the fact yet that I did them. That I very much owe you an apology for those things. That I probably will never own up to them, and certainly will not here or now or soon.
– For wanting to fight everyone you’ve ever loved, including, I hope, myself.
– For that time we sat on your couch watching a movie after I told you I didn’t want to date you anymore. When you smelled like a taco after eating whole slivers of lime and popcorn and I told you that it felt like we were on a boat, sitting at opposite sides of the couch but with our legs stretched out toward eachother, tangled up together, so when you went to put your foot down to grab something, I yelled at you to put it back, yelling that the floor was lava, because I just wanted to keep your legs across my lap, and you laughed sarcastically at “all those boats in lava” (I am sorry for never making sense. I will make sense someday, I promise) and I wanted to kiss you more than I have ever wanted anything, ever. But I didn’t. Because I was scared, not of the very real reasons why I knew we would never work out, not because I was worried that I would be giving you confusing signals or you’d think I was playing with your head, but because of the stupid things, the impossibly stupid and nonsensical and often imaginary things in the world that I am very afraid of, like carpets turning into lava, like you falling in and being lost to me forever the second I turn my head away.