I still have a reflection and I can’t walk through walls.

Sophie

This city is overwhelming.   Every time I come here,  especially in May or June, I feel like a sweaty, fat A.D.D. kid with smelly boxers and a super irritating and flashy Nintendo DS is sitting on my face. Which makes it difficult to-  well, to do anything. Flashy flashy, siren, bang bang, honk honk, IN YOUR FUCKING FACEness of NYC.  Oh how I can definitely live without you.   Though, I admit, we haven’t ever quite had the time to accurately bond. I assume there is a reason why so many people love New York.  But then, they happen to also be the type of people who become paralyzingly star struck and fail to realize celebrities are just like the rest of us, except with an excessive amount of money, time, and ego.

Ok. I’m guilty.

I admit I tried to call him around 3 this morning, East Coast time. It would have been midnight his time. I knew he was awake. I knew he was ignoring my call. But I knew he listened to my voice mail as soon as I left it. Because I tried to call him again, and I got the call waiting beep.   He shouldn’t have taken that long though. I didn’t say anything. I just stayed on the line and blankly stared at the TV, letting his voicemail record my breathing pattern while I soaked in some rerun episode of NCIS. And then I rolled my eyes and hung up the phone, with a bulky clang.

Its been eight months, and I should have forgotten him by now, but I haven’t. In fact, I don’t think I can ever forget him.  How can you forget the person who put your soul through a paper shredder? How can you forget that person when you have spent the last eight months pulling the pieces out of the shit can and have been taping them back together?

What would I even say if he answered? I have no idea. “How aaaaaaaaaaaare you?” Like we didn’t utterly destroy each other. Like I didn’t swallow a grenade when I traded everything I had going to be with him. Like he wasn’t this horribly unsteady influence in my life, and about as stable as lit fucking fuse.  If he answered, I’d pretend like none of that were true? I have no idea. I’d probably hang up. I’ve done it before.  I call from my hotel room, wherever I’m at. He’s caught on by now. He’s learned that area codes mean nothing.

Its an occupational hazard. My job puts me up in somewhat respectable places, and I have been known to raid the mini bar. Trazodone on flights have officially screwed my sleep patterns. Then again, so have transatlantic flights, time zone changes, being a workaholic, and general displeasure with life.  I suppose I could go buy an escort. I did that once in Boston- but I just made him sit there while I ran a bath, and talk to me about why he’s having a hard time finishing Culinary school.  I didn’t want to talk so much as I wanted someone to talk to me. It was worth $400 at the time.   He didn’t want to charge me, as he went into the room to watch TV while I read a book in the bath when he was too tired to keep talking. Wine will do that to people if they’re not used to drinking it. He ended up falling asleep. So I crawled into bed and let him sleep. He was still asleep when I had to leave. So I left the money for him on the nightstand (I’d always wanted to do that) and left, letting him know in a note to please leave before 11 am.  I left a wake up call for him on my way out, and never saw him again.

It was the perfect relationship.  He was beautiful. Tragic. Lovely, strong, sensitive, he had a job, he had dreams, and a soul. I don’t know if he was any good in bed, but I assume he would be as he made money doing it.  He was young, and scared. He was real. So very real. And it ended with no hard feelings. Just the way it should be.

Maybe relationships should only last a few hours. Less time to go sour.  Quit while you’re ahead.

Maybe we should have quit while we were ahead. While we still loved each other. Maybe we should have walked away when we were at our best. We should have said “It won’t get any better than this, I love you, goodbye.”   Hindsight is 20/20. There was no way of knowing it would have gotten that bad. And we were both at fault.  Just like my late night calls, I should have quit while I was ahead. When he still answered, I should have quit.  Now he doesn’t even answer. He knows.  Maybe I should quit now, while he still checks the empty voicemails immediately.  Maybe I should quit.

But more than an obsessive need, its become habit now. Alone in my room, quiet, its time to call him. Time. I pick up the phone, I dial it out, I let it ring, knowing he won’t answer… I listen to the same voicemail message, I let it sit for a few seconds, and then I hang up, forgetting I’d just called moments later.  Just another part of the routine.  Fly in, check in, get dressed, sit around, do the interview and act alive for a couple hours, come back to the room, strip, get in bed, turn on tv, call him, hang up, call again for a double tap,  finish off whatever bottle I’ve opened, and wait for the wake up call.

I suppose I like the idea of knowing he might be with someone, and his phone rings and I HAVE to cross his mind. I just want to be on his mind. I don’t want him to forget me. I don’t want him to move on.  I’ve successfully cut everyone else in my life out, and now I realize I don’t want to be forgotten.

Maybe I’m afraid of becoming a ghost all together.  The walking dead.

If he’s not thinking of me, that means no one is.  And then that means-   I’m gone.

And I’m not ready to be a ghost yet.

I just don’t know if I’m ready to face life yet either.

Where the Hell am I supposed to be tomorrow? I can’t find my fucking planner.

:::::Sophie

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