If I get drunk enough, I’ll tell you about my dead ex.
He was the kind of guy that my parents adored, because they like to believe that no premarital sex occurs, ever. He was intelligent, sadistic and could do a wicked impersonation of Julia Gillard getting a hair cut; the kind of things dream suitors are made of.
He also had cancer.
He asked her where she’d found them. She’d said it didn’t matter. She said she could guarantee it wouldn’t happen again. Not for them. It’s once in a lifetime, she said. One person in this house got it in their lifetime – it’s more like one in 3 million lifetimes.
They’d had a fight. It was nothing big. They had been irritable and stressed from life in the city. She’d gone for a walk. Continue reading
My relationship began as most do: with butterflies, feeling on top of the world whenever his hand brushed mine, melting whenever I smelled his cologne, adoring every word he said, and smiling whenever someone said his name. There were so many firsts all at once, it was like a love-bomb: first date, first kiss, first time we said the L word, the first time he stayed at my house, first time I met his family, and the first time we farted in front of each other (my favourite first).
Four years later, we’re engaged and living together, and things have naturally changed. We have all but run out of firsts. The butterflies are present but not nearly as frequent; whenever someone says his name, I’m like ‘yeah, ok’; and the conversation isn’t exactly adorable. Often I find him giving me a detailed description of the shit he just took, or telling me why tomato sauce should be a food group. Continue reading
Brought to you by Caitlin Fraser and Rhys Nixon.
This is what I have done with my life –
Alone, I have moved to the edge of a vast desert to live in a cold apartment with high ceilings, wooden floorboards, a dusty chandelier, and a claw foot tub. There is a large bedroom for my single mattress (with its sharp springs and sleeping-bag blanket) and a large bedroom for my desk (a weathered kitchen table harvested from the street side). On this desk sit stacks of paper, an open laptop, a burning candle that lights little and heats nothing, and a glass ashtray filled with pencil shavings. On the stacks of paper are the hasty and searching sentences that make up the first draft of my first novel. And on the laptop (the laptop open in front of my eyes) is a video that is not pornography. Because yesterday I learned that diddling one’s self while watching others engage in loveless sex does not quell the sensation that you are ultimately alone in this world. And you are ultimately alone in this world. Even if you’re in a relationship. Even if you’re a siamese twin. We are alone because we will never know what it is like to live behind another’s eyes…
This had been Jim’s third girlfriend to my knowledge – Patricia, or Pat, or Patt as she would be discussed. I was surprised it wasn’t Patti. (A Belgian. When she spoke English she sounded Canadian. I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask whether she spoke Dutch, French or German. I think it must have been French, or German, and I wouldn’t even discount Dutch altogether either.) She was a beautiful barn creature with long chestnut hair, big buck teeth that were becoming and non-invasive, and the kind of freckles that go along with being radiant.
I wouldn’t say I’m resigned to this fate. I chose it out of a line up of Married With Children, Happily Dating, Casual Open Relationship and Bitterly Divorced.
I’m not averse to The Relationship; in fact I’m considerably more open to it than to consuming ricotta at any given time. Growing old with someone sounds nice, in as much as changing adult diapers, putting in false teeth and crossing Abbey Road with a Zimmer frame might be nice experiences to share with a significant other. But I’d rather do it alone. Or as alone as possible.