Our “break-up” was sudden. She stopped returning my calls, text messages, and instant messages. She was going to attend Boston University. She wasn’t accepted at NYU; she was noticeably upset when she told me. This was six months away. I slipped into a moderately debilitating depression for a week. What was wrong with me, I wondered. I knew nothing was wrong.
A month later I heard she was dating someone new. He lived in Eastbluff–another specialty community not far from Turtle Rock–drove a BMW, attended her private school, and was going to attend NYU. Her internet presence was positive; she seemed happy.
We haven’t spoken once in six years. This is normal for people our age. We are willing to cut our losses whenever and wherever if the other party has acted poorly. I miss her now and then. I look at her Facebook and stare at her profile picture and try to stalk, but we are not friends and her page is locked. I dare not add her.
There aren’t many memories of us I remember explicitly, except this one: we were sitting on Alta’s back patio where we could smoke. It was empty and the middle of the day, the lattice sliced the gloom above us in cubes. We were alone, she was looking at the ground. She was talking about her dad coming to visit for Thanksgiving for the first time in several years, and she didn’t want to see him. “He’s a bad man,” she said. “He drinks too much. And I’ve seen him hit Mom before. I mean, she might’ve deserved it a couple of times, but still…you don’t ever hit a woman.”
I nodded and clicked my tongue, ashed my cigarette.
And he never calls me. When they were together Daddy and I used to go to the park and he’d watch me run around and play, give me money to buy ice cream for the both of us. We’d sit on a blanket and eat the ice cream; and he’d never tell me when it was all over my mouth. He’d just sit there and look at me and smile. Then he’d rub it off slowly and firmly with his thumb.”
She tapped her cigarette and looked away.
“I miss that. I miss Daddy.”
Non-Privileged Men know the PWG is a trap. The PWG will always find a Privileged Man, to replace the Non-Privileged Man. I feel like most of the Non-Privileged population regard the PWG with disdain, contempt, jealousy, see her as a nuisance. But we reach for them, because we think they’re damaged in a way. Olive has money. She will be taken care by her parent’s wealth even when she is 80. But she is sad. She wants to leave Turtle Rock, but is scared of a small apartment with a creepy super. She wants to date artistically-inclined men with no privilege, but their hair is dirty and clothes are unlaundered. We think we are the exceptions, we are the ones that will break her out of Turtle Rock.
We are Sisyphus. They are the rock. Someone is always laughing.
We don’t blame the PWG. They can’t help it.