Me: So what are you doing?
Her: I’m at work. (*Note: I love answers likes this, for two reasons:
- I work from home as a freelancer, so I’m always vaguely amused by the idea of people in an office; I can only imagine it as in a movie; endless rows of desks, phones ringing, people shouting — “The Enright file! Get the me damn Enright file, A.S.A.P.! We need it now. No! Not that one, I said the ENRIGHT FILE, are you goddamn deaf?!!)
- An-nnd number two — where was I? — and number two, of course she’s at work, it’s 11 a.m.; where does she think that I imagine that she is? Out sailing the seven seas?)
Me: So what are you doing?
Me: …I just called to say that I miss you and love you so-ooooo much.
(Here, we both start cracking up at the over-intensity of my voice on the words “so much.”)
Me (still laughing): Anyway, so there’s that.
Her (pleasingly sarcastic): Gre-eeeat.
Me (in a mock “official” voice): …Well! Guess I’ll let you get back to your business-related duties now!
Her (way fakely and overly cheery): …Thanks so much for calling and wasting my time!
Me (in the same tone): No problem. Talk to you soon!
—Two minutes and fifteen seconds pass; then, I redial—
Her (wary): …Yes?
Me: …So I just realized that I could do a Thought Catalog thing out of the thing that we just did.
Her: The phone call?
Her: …Enh.¹ You’ll just end up making me sound like a heartless bitch.
Me (possibly lying): .No! Of course I won’t. I’m a good guy!
Her: Why would anyone even be interested in reading this conversation?
Me: …Because Thought Catalog readers are 19-year-olds who only “read” photo galleries of cats (not that I’m against those), or lists about WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE TO MOVE TO NEW YORK; or — finally — essays about dating, because they’re nineteen years old, and thus think that dating is the most fascinating subject in the world; failing to realize, as one does, as we wax older — that dating is actually incredibly boring as a topic, because it’s incredibly repetitive, and only one of two things can happen: (1) you break up, or (2) you don’t. And if you don’t break up, then you’re writing about having brunch with someone; which is so-ooo boring. And if you do break up, then who really wants to really another break-up story? …But hey! This technically counts as an essay on dating, so people will read it! …Plus, we’re actually interesting — we’re not quite either together or not-together; we exist in the grey area, probably only really 87% broken up, in real life; and so we’re in the null space, where shadows form. …Plus it’s either this or I write another 2,000 word essay on poetry that only three people will share on Facebook, and writing this is faster.²
Her: …Just don’t make me sound like a heartless bitch.
Me (starting to crack up): …How would that even be possible?
Her (likewise cracking up): Yeah; how?³
Me: Okay! G’bye!
(1) “Enh” is a very Eastern European sound to make — as I may have mentioned before, my ex is Romanian; and fascinatingly, the Romanians have a precise facial expression to go along with the “enh” sound: sort of a 20% smile, 80% twisted frown, all mooshed together. The smile expresses the belief that the future might all be okay; the frown the inevitable Eastern European knowledge that nothing will ever work out, ever, for a single fucking second. …Read more about the history of Eastern Europe; or, hell, any history book ever, if you’d like to learn more about this.
(2) …Hyper-obviously, this section of the phone call did not actually take place in reality. Hopefully you didn’t have to come all the way to the footnote section in order to figure this out.
(3) And my ex isn’t a heartless bitch! She has actual moments of niceness. As I also may have mentioned, we still live together, and sometimes she brings me presents — mostly Kinder Eggs, which are awesome hollow-only-to-be-found-in-Europe-style chocolate eggs, which contain excellent and bizarre toys inside them: toys like THIS GUY, who isn’t just an adorable alien with a mohawk hair-do; he’s also a paintbrush — his hair is the brush and the dots on his feet are the watercolor paint, and how can you handle that — and he’s just ONE toy out of so, so many, and how… can you handle… that?
Anyway, here’s a drawing that I did of my ex, on the day that we broke up, which was her birthday:
…So moving on from that, my ex can be nice: sometimes she lets me kiss her neck and rub her back, most often after she’s done watching Game of Thrones, whose sex and death gets her all riled up. (And death, on the show — which I’ve only seen two episodes of — really seems like just another version of death: la petite mort, if you will; sex implied by finality, by penetration via sword or arrow. (If you want my Psych 101 theory on the show, that is.))
ANYWAY, the show gets her all riled up, and then sometimes I can kiss her neck/rub her back, which means that I’m still sort of living in that Romanian half-smile/half-frown — tiny amount of hope; but eighty percent impending doom. (And I realize how lame all of this makes me sound.)
And that’s it! That’s the end of this essay. ….Sorry, folks, no fake bullshit pseudo-philosophical “uplifting” ending this time around. …If you’re looking for more of an essay like that, I can suggest a bunch of authors who do them, though. We have many of them.