Some Time Alone

“And I’m in so deep- you know I’m such a fool for you. You’ve got me wrapped around your finger.”

She kissed my cheek and excused herself to the bathroom. Alone in Dana’s bedroom, I walked over to the shelf with her wedding picture. My peripheral vision had picked up on this when I entered the room- my eyes developed the keenness of a hunter. Her husband had finally moved out that morning, she told me. Time to party.

Two weeks since I’d sent a text that read “no one fucking breaks up with me,” a few days after which I was sitting in the backseat of my car with Janine on my lap, hunched over with her arms around my neck and the small of her back pressed against the driver’s seat; my hands in her hair and her breath on my cheek, as she sang along to “Pretty Good Year” while quietly crying. Puzzle pieces that would’ve seemed foreign to anyone who walked in late- who didn’t see her response to things I’d written that resonated with her, who didn’t see the video she took of herself singing “Linger” with the word fucking inserted in the chorus- a little something I always thought would intensify the emotional impact of the song- just to impress me.

She texted me to meet her in a coffee shop where she was working on her graduate thesis. Before the world ended, this made sense. She asked about different pieces I’d written- she was fascinated. This is what you get for writing things that aren’t repulsive to women- something, I guess, every other writer instinctively understands. Why do anything that doesn’t get you sex? I’ve always been a slow learner.

I wanted to know about her life. This was the wrong move if I wanted sex, but I guess I’d rather write than get laid after all. Slow learner. She told me that she met a guy on Ashley Madison, and after a few months of talking, she left her husband. Turns out the guy was a liar and he ditched her, but her husband was still a pussy so she wasn’t going back- she was left emotionally homeless. This is where I enter the story. She’d been married since her early twenties- never cheated until she met the new guy, and never experienced heartbreak either. Her lips were cold when we kissed. She cried about being abandoned as she silently plotted to find her way back.

She thought she was tricked into falling in love, but this is as real as it gets in hell. You experience a few perfect moments that you want to keep, but they always manage to sneak away as you’re settling in. Love is allowing these moments to pass. Acknowledge that you have nothing and it won’t be such a shock to find out that you don’t get to keep anything.

Her husband moved out that morning, and Dana didn’t want to spend the night alone. She texted me to meet at her house where she had spent the day drinking. I was settling into my own evening- the sun had gone down and my dinner was almost ready- but these are opportunities you’ve learned to never turn down. Be positive; come from a place of yes. It didn’t feel as adventurous as it would have just a few years prior, but you weren’t going to let the world’s inertia drop any hints. You still felt young, and young men don’t turn down sex- they go on adventures.

After a few minutes of the kind of small-talk that Japanese business men make before trying to slit each other’s throats, she kissed me in her kitchen before leading me to her bedroom and excusing herself to the bathroom.

No one fucking breaks up with me, is what I texted her. I don’t do well when situations spiral out of my control. Axl Rose wrote “One in a Million” when he bought into the idea that rock stars were bullet-proof and wanted to test that theory- and when the results came back negative, with a media backlash, he tanked his own band. A control freak won’t play the game when he can’t make the rules. Rose emerged twenty years later with an album examining the limits of control- Chinese Democracy (2008) was only a metaphor.

No one fucking breaks up with me, and when they do, you escalate with napalm. Time alone is for suckers- you don’t mourn what’s dead, you watch the corpse burn in the rear-view. You meet girls that fucking weekend; that fucking night– as many as you can- and use every bit of charm that she took for granted, that you know she’s going to miss, and you make every girl you meet pay for her letting you go. You drink at night and write about it- examining things from all angles. You were too good to her; you made things too easy for her, she didn’t know what she had and she threw it all away. Axl Rose spent twenty years writing about being taken for granted, abandoned- no one fucking breaks up with him.

No one fucking breaks up with me, and you don’t care, because you did. Now I’m waiting for a stranger to finish pissing, to have sex with, to spite you. Looking at her wedding picture, on the shelf in her bedroom, I wonder if she’s meeting me for the very same reason.

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  1. weeklyreader23 · April 24, 2020

    “She thought she was tricked into falling in love, but this is as real as it gets in hell. You experience a few perfect moments that you want to keep, but they always manage to sneak away as you’re settling in.”
    Nailed it.
    It’s always the pictures when your in the strange room alone that make it feel like being in a museum.
    Nice piece.

  2. Pingback: Some Time Alone | Reaction Times
  3. Colby · April 25, 2020

    Given the darker nature of this post;

  4. Colby · April 27, 2020

    When I was searching for songs with the phrase, “some time alone,” REM’s End Of The World As We Know It was the first one to come up. Aside from their only two good songs, Losing My Religion and Happy Shitty People, that didn’t seem to fit. So I flipped a coin between STP’s Sour Girl and this.

  5. Pingback: Ghostbusters 2 | KTP

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