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.”
“Why? What are you gonna do?”
“Give it to me.”
I hand it over. I live on the edge.
“What's his name?”
“Do not fucking text him!”
“I won't, but what's his name?”
“I can't believe I'm doing this. It's Daniel.”
“I just erased his contact. Now, you can relax.”
He handed me back my phone, and strangely enough a sense of relief washed over me. There was nothing left to do about Daniel, and now there was no way I could contact him.
We go to the bar to meet JC's friend. He was lovely. It's pretty amazing to think that an hour before I was walking home alone, hating myself, and now I was magically sitting between two gentlemen who were shamelessly flirting and buying me drinks. I think of the copy of Calling in the One, I have in my bag. Do I actually have to read it, or is owning it enough?
JC said to his friend, “When we were in undergrad, all our professors were intimidated by Lacy.”
That did it. I would owe him a 100 bucks, because I was definitely sleeping with him.
I know its a vicious cycle to base my whole sense of self worth on what the random dude of the moment thinks of me, but I also feel like, “I just got dumped. And here's this handsome angel, who happens to also be buying what I've been trying to sell. I'm going to go with this one.”
We said goodbye to his friend and walked to his apartment.
“So you know you owe me a 100 dollars right?”
“I'm a little short on cash right now. Is there any other way I can pay you?”
“I can think of something.”
The he started to undress me. Before I knew it, we were both naked and he was biting me on the ass. Seriously hard. I had a teeth mark bruise on my cheek the next day.
In between spanks, he said, “I've been waiting to do this to you since you were 19.”
We had fun sex, and we both laughed a lot. I'm not usually a ticklish person, but he had me pinned down and hysterical. It was refreshing to remember how sex doesn't have to be so serious, that it's actually pretty funny.
Later on, I was in the crook of his arm, and he was playing with my hair. It should have been a moment of relaxation and letting go, but I turned into my worst self, and started thinking about Daniel. JC picked right up on it.
“So you really liked this guy, huh?”
“Yeah. I don't know what happened.” I felt like I could start to cry, and I would have really, really hated that.
He held me closer and ran his hand over my chest. “Shhh. Don't let him have all the power now. Don't let him ruin our good fuck.”
Then we had sex again, and that time it was quiet. I fell asleep with my contacts still in.
The next morning I put on all my clothes while he was still sleeping. I love watching men while they're still asleep. They seem so harmless. Before I left, I bent down to his bed and kissed him.
“You going somewhere?”
“Yeah, I gotta go home, my eyes are killing me.”
“Ok, then. Same time, same place, five years from now?”
“It's a date.”
Follow Lacy Warner on twitter @laceoface