Well, we broke up.
And I was very, very sad. I was more than sad; I felt defeated. It was over before it even began. Like so many things, it started off well with heated text messages and hot sex, but then it ended in one post-coital swoop with the infamous “I don't really want a relationship” talk.
Why does this keep happening to me? Clearly I'm subconsciously not doing something right.
The day after the break up, I went over to a friend's house to cry, eat take-out, and watch the movie Liquid Sky. I kept thinking about how if I was different in some way, everything might have worked out. Because here's the thing, I really liked this guy and I thought things were going along just fine...so I was shocked to hear that he didn't want a girlfriend. Especially because I had already assumed we were exclusive. All those terrible thoughts about not being thin enough, or sexy enough, or having nice enough skin, or being funny enough—all those things couldn't help but race through my mind as I sat there trying to watch the movie. I decided I couldn't stay at my friend's apartment anymore. Liquid Sky and all the Mexican food were making me feel fatter and less appealing. She gave me a big supportive hug, and the self-help book Calling in the One.
I walked away feeling like the worst kind of New York lady cliché.
Whenever I start to date someone new I have a recurring fantasy that we'll be out and about, and we'll run into someone from my past that will make me look really good. Like, we'll stumble upon an old lover who still has the hots for me cause I'm a really rad lady. He'll lean over to my date and say, “Jesus, this one's a fire cracker.” When I was out with the dude that dumped me, I was constantly hoping to run into this one guy I had known in college. JC and I hadn't seen each other in years, but he's strikingly gorgeous and there had always been a great, exciting tension between us. The last time I saw him I was at brunch with a couple of friends and he came over to my table to say hi. When he left, my friend Manisha whistled and said, “Where the fuck have you been hiding him?”
Alas I ran into no one when I was out with post-coital break up dude. And it turns out I couldn't hold his attention on my own, so I doubt running into anyone would have made things better.
So there I was walking down Dekalb from my friend's apartment, feeling about as bad as I've ever felt, and I pass by Alibi only to hear someone say my name: “Lacy Warner?”
I turned around, and standing in the doorway was none other than JC, my self-esteem savior. Some people make an entrance into our lives, but other people just appear—back lit from the glow of a dive bar.
“JC! Oh my God I was just thinking about you.”
“Yeah, you've been on my mind. It's so crazy that I would just run into you like this.”
He reached over and tucks my hair behind my ear. He's good like that: confident and cocky all at once.
“We didn't run into each other—you manifested me.”
Then he walked over to the sidewalk and hailed a cab. He opened the door and said, “Get in.”
We were already kissing my the time the meter got turned on.
“Where are we going?” I ask.
“I've got to meet a friend for a drink in Greenpoint, and then I'm taking you back to my apartment.”
“Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.”
“Ok, give me one drink, and I bet you a hundred dollars you'll want to come home with me.”
“Lucky for you, I just got dumped, so I'm in a vulnerable and lonely position.”
He leaned back and looked at me.
“You don't have the look of woman who just got dumped. You know what I think? I think that means you don't call him for a month. He'll come back to you. Men love abuse. Give me your phone.”