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4 week—1 officially dating– with Blue flew by with the kind of blissful excitement that can only come out of a new romance. Nights spent in bed listening to alternative music, awesome dates at East Village local Chinese and Austrian restaurants, long easy-going walks and what was shaping up to be a very exciting sex life.
I was finally starting to feel like I could let my guard down. After all of my failed relationships, brief romances and hookups, this seemed to finally be shaping into something I could see manifesting into permanence. It was just easy. And I’ll admit, things moved fast. It may not have been the most intelligent or rational way to go about the relationship but the truth is, it just felt good. It felt good to move fast, to say sweet things and, most of all, to just be myself and let a guy like me just the way I am.
That’s one of the things I liked most about him, that I could just be myself. I wasn’t worrying about speaking my mind or being too forward. I didn’t worry about having too much fun with my friends or getting too crazy on the weekends. He seemed to like that about me. He seemed to really enjoy my openness, my free-spirited nature, my sharp sense of humor and my active social life.
He doesn’t talk much around other people. He’s stoic. That didn’t bother me. It was like he was the wind beneath my wings. Quiet, there if I needed him and never pushy or overbearing. I enjoyed it and I became very comfortable, quickly. It’s extremely unusual for me to let anyone into my life. I tend to live by the whole “No New Friends” mantra, content with my friendships, not really looking for anything serious in the romance department. So, this was different. At least for me.
And, over the last few weeks, I started to feel happy. Really happy. And strangely, it didn’t scare me to feel like that.
As it happens not everything could keep swimming along so easily. Reality had to come knocking and it decided to do that knocking this weekend, when I turned 24 years old.
The night before my birthday party was perfectly normal. My best friends, Blue and I all had dinner at one of my favorite burger places—it’s my party and I’ll have a burger if I want to!
Afterwards, we drank wine on my roof, and one-by-one my friends disspeared, off to bars or to bed. Blue and I spent a few more hours listening to Sam Smith (my choice, my birthday) and talking.
The next day was just as carefree. We laid in bed for most of it, and then took a long walk with my friend GH, who was staying with me from Paris until the following Monday. After Blue left to head downtown, GH told me Blue looked like a husky puppy. His hair is almost completely grey and he has stormy blue eyes I can’t get enough of.
My birthday party was a blast. I, of course, was very drunk. It was my birthday, what better excuse could I have? My roommate and best friend since childhood, ON, had words with one of my friends but other than that, a drama-free evening flowing with too much red wine and champagne.
My new roof neighbors, a group of young twenty-something guys, were also having a party and we all joined together to make one muddled, wildly fun gathering. I don’t really remember going to sleep, but I remember having a marvelous time.
A great way to bring in the arbitrary age of 24.
The next morning, my actual birthday, was when things went terribly wrong. Blue bluntly said, “I don’t think I can keep up with your lifestyle.” Dizzy and still slightly drunk, I recalled he’d gone to sleep early, leaving me to dance the night away with my incredulous cohorts. His words were sharp combined with the searing sunlight of mid-morning. It took me a moment to understand what was happening: he was breaking up with me.
What happened next, and I can’t recall the entire conversation for having been so exhausted, was a back-and-forth of how it wasn’t fair to judge my lifestyle by what I did at my own birthday party. He commented on my drinking and I shot back that I don’t even drink during the week. Also, I’m 24 years old. If I want to drink on the weekends with my friends, I damn well will. All I kept thinking was, It’s my birthday.
He said if my drinking habits were something I wanted to work on then he wanted to be with me. And in those early hours of that Sunday, I couldn’t think. I wanted to go back in time. Or, better, I wanted to erase the last few minutes altogether. To make them never exist. To make it so he had never said those words. But he did say them and I didn’t want him here, near me. Not now. Not now that I was so exposed. I was being judged. His judgement made my skin crawl. It made me want to fade away from him. It made me want to undo every decision I had made to put me here in this moment.
“You should go.” I said. He gathered his things and left without saying anything more.
Over text, we decided to see each other that week, try to talk things through, try to forget or fix whatever it was that had broken between us.
Over the next few days I did a lot of thinking. I tried to stay busy with work, to try and fill my days with as many tasks and assignments as I could so that I wouldn’t have to process my emotions.
But, when night crept in and everything was quiet in my apartment, when all I could hear were the muted sounds of the city through my glass porch door, the thoughts would creep into my mind. For days I lay awake thinking, feeling.
My heart began to close again. An icy frost slowly slithering over the exposed ventricals and mixed emotions until there was no pain at all. Only logic.
I knew that I couldn’t trust this relationship anymore, that we had become too happy to fast and that broken thing Blue and I were meant to discuss later in the week was not just something between us. It was us. We were broken. Broken after only 4 weeks. And what can you do then?
The more I thought about it the more I realized this couldn’t be fixed. At least not right away. We couldn’t just go along in some dreamland pretending like nothing had happened. My trust was gone. It had evaporated like the alcohol from the half empty bottles on my porch.
I knew that no matter what he said, no matter what words, that if I even touched alcohol in front of him I would feel guilty, I would feel judged. And that made me angry and it made me sad. I had almost had a boyfriend. He had almost been something. But it wasn’t meant to be. Like Juno put it, he was a piece of furniture in my weird life and no matter how much I wanted it, he just didn’t quite fit.
I knew I had to end it.
He called Wednesday night. The conversation was brief but I was firm. I know he felt badly. I wish I could say I didn’t think he deserved to but he did. He managed to sabotage something that I actually began to want after so many weeks of doubt. Now doubt was all there was left.
As the rain came down in icy sheets against my porch, washing away the residue of yet another New York day, as I lay in bed, alone again with my thoughts, I knew that this was for the best.
We’re still friends. I’m sure we always will be. We care about each other, that was never a question. We just didn’t quite work. The idea was there, the execution, lacking. I think he’s a very nice person and he still thinks the same of me. There was no nasty, heart wrenching, crying-for-days breakup. Just a realization early in the game.
That’s the thing about almost boyfriends: they can always be your friend because they never even finished the race.