Sometimes I think critically about whether or not I have a drinking problem.
I found out today that after almost five weeks of occasional conversation about reconciling followed by retreat, that the Broken Poet has a new boyfriend. He changed his relationship status on Facebook and then deleted his profile altogether shortly thereafter. You’ve got to love friends who have both my back and the ability to grab a quick evidentiary screen shot.
This comes on the heels of a return to texts with the Poet after a week of semi-blissful, emotionally healing radio silence between us.
We spent the last weekend texting. Frustrating for me, with a hint of optimism as he texted things like, “You were right, I shouldn’t have left”, “What if the life I had made for myself up there is better than the life I have here?” and “I’ve been thinking about coming back.” All paraphrased, mind you. Why would that be frustrating? Because I hate having serious conversations via text. I’m sure a few friends would enthusiastically vouch for the statement that I text in complete sentences and complete thoughts. They’d also probably stand behind my statement that I like context, too. I know that the Poet, in text, is a man of his generation…few words. Sadly, that provides precious little context and lots of room for inferring. Bad combo for communicating clearly.
Friday night I was looking at airfares to bring him up, not knowing when, exactly, but the following Tuesday had decent rates. I was going to have to consolidate my open credit on two different cards to buy it and then likely break into my piggy bank for spending money while he was here; but in for a penny, in for a pound as they say.
I can commit.
Plus, I was in a great mood because I had an extremely promising interview for a job that an old manager of mine had put on my radar and strongly encouraged me to apply. I would report to the person who reported to him. This was who my interview had been with. I was in a particularly good mood. Did I say that twice? It deserved to be repeated.
The Poet is potentially coming home and maybe I’m going back to work.
Imagine trying to reconcile a broken relationship via text, across two time zones and five states. I kept pushing to talk. Call. Give me a time.
I pushed too hard and *poof* he was gone again.
We were at Sunday morning at this point. By Sunday afternoon, he’d changed his relationship status. With a flowery dedication to his new emotional bandaid – er – boyfriend, no less.
You did believe me when I said he was broken, right?
By Sunday night, he had deleted his Facebook profile. Unbeknownst to me, of course, as I explored options for selling my Seattle condo and moving to New Mexico to be with him. Or near him. It’s an appealing idea…three bedroom houses are $60-75k in Grants, $125k if you want central air. Central air is comfortable in the desert, but I had gotten as far as admitting that I would have to forego central air if I wanted to buy a place outright, have enough left over for a car and some money to get by on until I could land a job, y’know…be actually comfortable and not starve.
I can fucking plan.
And perhaps stalk?
Let’s go back to “I can commit” and leave it at that. But, I am honest, you can count on me for that, my friends. Although, you must allow a little latitude for alliteration and hyperbole.
At 7:30 Monday morning, I get an auto-reject email telling me I was out of the running for this job I really thought I had a better than average chance at snagging. Who the hell turns away a candidate that his boss puts in front of him? Well, maybe I can have his job. 🙂
On Tuesday, my screen-grabbing-friend breaks the news to me about the relationship change.
On my way to coffee with the Fox, I’m texting the Poet, not being too rough, but letting him know that I know about his new boyfriend. Asking him to clarify how he could be telling me he’s thinking about coming back to a life that is better than the life he retreated to while dating someone else.
It didn’t jive.
His response sent my balls right up into my abdomen. The new boyfriend had changed his status to “In A Relationship with” and tagged our poor Poet. He felt like he had to accept so that he could still have one person in his life that wasn’t yelling at him.
This actually made sense to me.
His family gets credit for the original fractures that were the foundation for the ultimate breaks in our friend, the Broken Poet. His grandmother had cut him off financially after buying him a plane ticket home and filling his tank with gas, suddenly the doors of the home he had been raised in – the doors that were always open for him – slammed shut.
That couldn’t have happened before you bought him a plane ticket out of Portland, lady? Just saying, things would have been a lot easier if you’d drawn the line a few days sooner.
He’s been living with his dad since he got home, whom he had been estranged from for…20+ years?
These are the people he’s licking his emotional wounds around.
Then there’s your favorite verbose, context and truth loving optimist. I could easily see where my context-filled-texts that frequently called him on his predilection to retreat behind excuses created in the moment to justify his actions versus being introspective and honest with himself and urging him to do the right thing versus the easy thing could have come across as – I dunno – lectures? Sure. But “yelling” would be a stretch. Maybe if he’d talked to me on the phone he could have heard the reason in my voice versus the rage in his internal Jiminy Cricket’s voice.
By the way, my antagonistic Sonos is now playing Sara Bareilles’ Gravity. I swear it’s on a Motley Crue station.
By the time he’d sent the text demanding I send him the notebooks with his art sketches and poetry in them so he could “leave something behind”…well, I almost felt bad for IMing the new boyfriend screen grabs of the texts I’d gotten hours before he got a new boyfriend that painted a clear picture of how close he had come to not actually having a new boyfriend.
Never mind, it might paint the picture that your new beau isn’t one you might actually care to have.
At coffee with the Fox, we had discussed the whole shituation. My word, BTW, look it up on urbandictionary if it is somehow indecipherable to you. I left feeling relieved. I bluntly stated that I was old, ugly, unemployed, broke, out of shape, emotionally over all the American unaccountability…but he countered with a well reasoned, “You can fix some of these things: Being out of shape, go back to the gym! You’ll get a job again, that will fix being unemployed and being broke, eventually. I’m old. You aren’t old. And you’re not ugly!”
Well, I was with you up until that last point.
How come I don’t get a gofundme? Because I’m not a put upon Christian Conservative? Sheesh. This is worse than going to Catholic school and not getting abused. What’s wrong with me?
And I tell him that I appreciate the effort, but I am as real and honest with myself as I am with the people in my life. I have to live that life. The mirrors in my house work just fine. I also have a good many photos that make my argument for me. Nonetheless, resisting the urge to throw my coffee cup at him after his parting platitude, I leave feeling relief. Not happy. Relieved.
Who wants a goddamned Sonos? This is the time it decides to barf out I Know Him By Heart by Vonda Shepard? Don’t make me come find you, karma.
But…not my monkey, not my circus.
I could move forward.
Perhaps, limp forward.
But it sure beat the last five weeks of sitting around in virtual seclusion moping and pining for someone who wasn’t to be. I think I would have a better chance of drifting on a dinghy in the Bermuda Triangle hoping to find the missing Ghost Ship Mary Celeste than I have of getting my Poet back and seeing him grow from Broken to Beautiful.
It was time for a return to the gym to blow off some steam – which was met with mixed results. All I have to say is that if your mood is as heavily influenced by music as mine, do not make the mistake of falling for Google’s Pop to Make You Feel Better playlist. Every damn song reminded me of the BP. Every. Damn. Song.
I came home, sweating. While waiting to not sweat anymore so I could take a shower, I thought about writing it out. When I opened my laptop, the manuscript I’ve been kicking around was open, so I thought, “Why not? Chapter 4”.
Here’s why not: I’m drawing off of some personal experiences, namely my own gay bashing in college and leveraging that time of my “character’s” life against his present day life in Seattle where hate crimes are on the uptick. Dropping that poor schmuck right in the middle of that mess.
It’s a love story?
Obviously not. One of the trite rules of writing I’ve always heard is “Write what you know”…when I write, I like to picture Bill Shakespeare over my shoulder shaking his head.
It’s an inspiring tragedy?
So, more heavy stuff. Not that I am not happy to be making the effort to actually write a novel. And, as you can see from the last five weeks, and maybe a few of my other blog posts, I am clearly a rejection junkie. Why not add a few literary rejection letters to the mix? At least then I can say that I did it, and I doubt this process leaves the same type of scar tissue as dating. So, I’m grateful to the friend who got this ball rolling and the friends and family that encouraged me.
At some point, I bet one gentle reader or another got up and got themselves a drink. I’m going to get one now, too. Because, sometimes, when I think critically about whether or not I have a drinking problem, I suspect the problem is that my alcohol tolerance is simply too low.