Monday, October 19, 2009

Like poetry in motion...

Update: This post is a lot longer than I expected. You should probably just read the cliffnotes, which go along the lines of: "I hate my ex and women are whores, stabby, stabby, stabby".

Yesterday, once I decided my course of action, was spent lounging half-naked across the California king bed in the apartment, watching Whedon's Firefly on the oversized flat screen (with surround sound) while working on my papers and nibbling on two bite-sized red velvet cakes.

That was... mmm... so nice.

Two papers later, GV8 texted me and we hit my favorite restaurant on Sunset Boulevard for dinner before he headed back to work. Crawled into bed with me at 1 or 2 in the morning and I woke up enough to stroke and scratch his back until he started snoring into the pillow.

I'm turning into his bitch. Sigh. Ah well.

I promised, dear readers, that I would post an email my most recent (broke up over a year ago, mind you) ex-boyfriend sent me last week, and my response.


(I should have known he was a cruel man by the curl of his upper lip. That always bothered me.)

I just want to throw out there...

We have not really spoken since March, so, all these months later, I don't really know how you feel about any possible future encounter with me. I would only say, on the ever so slight chance you had any ponderings on the topic, that I have no problem with you. If we were to run into each other at a club or party, at least on my end, I don't expect to provoke any awkwardness or drama.

Regarding G's Halloween party next weekend, I know you and G are good friends. I would not want him to miss out on your company if you had any apprehension that I might cause a scene if you were to show up.

I hope you enjoy your Halloween season.

I guess that was all.

P.S. - Happy 8-days-late birthday

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking something like, "How polite and gentlemanly of him," or "How sweet that he would attempt to patch things up" or something along those lines.

And, without any backstory, I would feel the same way.

Here's why I don't:

We moved into a two bedroom apartment by the beach two Novembers ago. The two bedroom part was in case we ever broke up. It started as an office and turned into my bedroom immediately after the break up. It was agreed that since he made so much more than I did, we would split the rent 40/60, utilities 50/50, and security deposit 50/50. I would keep up the apartment, do the dishes, the cleaning, etc to make up for the difference in payment.

And I did.

When we finally broke up, it had been a long time coming. We hadn't been fighting as much as me constantly going out and him staying home and wallowing in depression because he got himself fired from his job for intentionally poor performance. For four or five months, while he wallowed, I attempted to get him out of the apartment, attempted to get him to clubs, to friends, the things he would enjoy. And once he got out, he would perk up, be happy and personable.

As soon as we returned home, snappish and moody.

We broke up. I was sad but relieved. And we agreed that, for six months, neither of us would date while we got used to the roommate situation, so there would be no drama, no rough patches.

He agreed, I agreed.

Three days later, he started dating a girl that I had indirectly brought into the our social circle. He tried to hide it from me, but I'm not a moron.

After the initial cry, we talked. He had broken his side of the deal. He agreed that he would not bring her by the apartment until the agreed upon six months was up.

Two weeks later, at work, I receive a phone call. He's upset. He's going to be having one of his many parties soon and he can't invite his girlfriend. What's the point in paying now 55% of the rent (after the break-up, we re-adjusted) if he can't have his girl over for parties.

So I agreed that on party nights I would find myself elsewhere and he could bring her over.

Another week passes, another phone call. He doesn't find it fair that she can't come over for his one a month weekend gatherings of friends and gaming. I tell him no, I already agreed to the parties.

He doesn't care. He'll move out if she can't come over for those.

I sigh and agree.

Two weeks pass. He calls, totally distraught. The apartment doesn't feel like his, he says. He wants his girlfriend over, he can't stand not being at his own place and hates driving the 30 miles to hers. It's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair, he's paying 5% more rent, so he should be able to have her over.

I agree to working our schedules around each other so I can tell him when I'm going to be out for the weekend so she can come over... if he agrees to stop being a little bitch and calling me at work to sob at me about the unfairness of life because he kept agreeing to things and going back on his word.

He agrees.

Two weeks later, another distraught call. "I'm a whiny bitch, I'm a whiny bitch" he says to me.

Okay, that's not true.

But I get another phone call. He's still upset. Life still isn't fair. And he thought he could hold up his end of the agreement again, but it turns out that (again) he can't. I tell him that since his apartment is half his, I will alternate weekends with him (which is how the couchsurfing started) so they can have the apartment to themselves twice a month, just have her out by Sunday night so I can go to bed on time.

He's joyous at this, thanks me, says he won't ask for anything else because it is half my apartment and oh boy thanks.

Two weeks.

I should have expected this.

Two weeks.

He calls, he emails, he can't take this anymore. Those are his words. He can't take only having her over two weekends out of a month. It isn't fair. It's his apartment too. He wants her over whenever he wants.

I tell him I will move out if he does this, and he cannot afford the place on his own.

He says he doesn't care. He would rather have this girlfriend of just a couple months with him than preserve our friendship and memories of a two year long relationship.

He starts bringing her over. Putting up calendars with their schedule on the fridge so whenever I go to grab something from the kitchen I get to see them. When I complain, he tells me to buy magnent boards and he'll hang them in the room but the refrigerator is half his so he should be able to hang anything he wants on it.

He starts emailing me any little problems he has, complaining that he might move out if I do x, y, and z, knowing that I cannot afford the neighborhood we live in now if I'm on my own.

He sits me down and purposefully triggers a panic attack in me one night, knowing I'm battling withdrawal and just not caring. He's powertripping because I'm powerless, because he likes being in control.

He sits me down one evening and tells me he feels like he can't be in the living room because if he breaks anything he thinks I'll make him pay for it, and he found it incredibly unfair that I asked him to give me $1.50 for the cost of some food of mine that his friends ate without asking. He tells me that the pan I inherited from my grandmother that he left sitting in the sink for two weeks that ended up rusting over should not have to be replaced by him because it was obviously a crappy pan and he shouldn't have to replace crappy things.

I break.

I go past the point of caring that I live anywhere remotely near my job.

I talk to my parents.
I talk to my friends.
I determine logistics.

I clean the garage while he's out for the weekend. Empty my things from it and rearrange it so nothing appears to be missing.

I empty my closet while he's gone.
I partially empty my bookcases of books, leaving the visable shelves full.
I borrow a friend's truck and move everything into my parents' garage.
My mother helps me unload.
I give my 30 days notice to the landlord and ask if they notify the other tenant.

They tell me no, they don't.

Slowly I shift things out. Taking down paintings and posters, photos. I sell nearly one thousand books on Craigslist for $20.

He's leaving for New Orleans soon, for Mardi Gras. Back to his hometown.

He's a southern gentleman, you see.

One week, one week before he's gone, the landlord calls him to check to make sure it's just the one of us moving out.

He calls me at work. The anxiety is gone, my heart no longer pounds when his name flashes across my cellphone's screen.

He asks me if I had thought he wouldn't find out.

"Out about what?" I ask, hoping it's something else, hoping that I can fake him out if it's some little thing.

But he knows. And he's panicking. He tells me this.

"How does it feel? Being the one panicking? God knows I've been feeling it for months now, and you've been purposefully causing it."

He feels betrayed. Asked me what I was going to do, if I was going to tell him.

I tell him I was going to move out while he was on vacation. Leave him a note and let him keep the security deposit for my last month's rent.

I lied.

One of the few times I out and out lied.

What I was planning was to move out, then call him while he was on his vacation to tell him in order to wreck his spending and partying because he's very money focused and knowing that he would have to pay the full rent would absolutely kill his vacation.

And he could have the security deposit. It was more than my month's rent and utilities combined.

He was shocked and horrified that I would move out without telling him. He couldn't believe I would do such a thing, betray him like that, not communicate with him because I was the one who taught him how to communicate, taught the value of communication to such a private man.

That weekend, before he left, I was packing in the kitchen. His girlfriend was sleeping in his (our) bed. He told me that he hoped we could still be friends. He told me that he would miss me, my intelligence, humor, wit. That he would miss clubbing with me.

We talked for two hours. I mostly listened to him, how much he would miss me, how he would desire my friendship still. He kept trying to convince me that I should remain friends with him.

Then I asked him why, why had he treated me the way he did.

He looked up without a hint of regret and said, "I thought you could take it."

That's when I imagined punching him in the face.

"I thought you could take it. You were so strong. I assumed you could take it. Apparently you couldn't." His tone expressed disappointment and mild disgust in my apparent lack of ability to "take it".

He elaborated while I wrapped up my glassware in papertowels and newspaper. Talked while I carefully packed up my grandmother's glass punchbowl, the one I had specifically asked for because I knew of his love to throw parties and thought it would make my (ex)boyfriend happy. The same punchbowl that was carefully placed in a box by my aunt with loopy, feminine script on the lid reading, "For all the happy times and memories". The same punchbowl my ex had the brainlessness to ask me if he could use for the Christmas party he and his new girlfriend had been planning. This was for the same Christmas party he asked me to pay for half the Christmas tree and to use my Christmas decorations, when the year prior he made me pay for the Christmas tree myself because he didn't see the point in getting one.

He talked and I envisioned flinging the bowls and glass into his face, pounding his skull into the tile edges of the counter.

I did not show my anger.

Finally, he finished his "I wish we could be friends" two-hour long speech and I went to bed.

A few days later, he said goodbye to me as I went to bed, as he would be boarding a plane early in the morning with his girlfriend to go to New Orleans. I went to bed and when I woke up in the morning I found one of his friends on the couch.

You see, after his heartfelt speech, he decided to sneak one of his friends into the apartment, give him an extra key, and have this friend watch my moving out to make sure I did not steal anything.

Even better, he did not tell this friend that was what he was there for until he left in the morning. The friend was not pleased. I was furious.

I tried to get this man out of the apartment, but even threat of calling the police did not sway him. And I actually liked this guy, so I felt horrible throwing such a fit. It wasn't his fault, he was just a tool.

In the end, he ended up giving me my space, even vacating for an evening... the evening I went and got my tattoo. Yes, move out weekend, the day I departed from the life I had set before myself, the day that I chose the separation from what I had been told to want, I spent eight hours under the needle, getting those black blocks embedded in my skin.

Saturday was moving, my mother, her friend, my best friend, and another good friend. My ex's friend also helped, brought tools and rope.
Sunday was ink. I laid on the floor of my bare room, in the sleeping bag that now accompanies me everywhere, aching from the eight hour long stretch of needles and ink.

And then I was free.


Tires beneath me, sleeping bag and duffel bag in my trunk, fuel in my tank... what else could a girl need?

A few months later, at a club, I ran into the best friend of the woman my ex was now dating. She apologized for her friend's behavior, and then informed me that this woman had been plotting to split us up for over a year and a half. Since they met. That this girl had been crazy for my boyfriend, and that all those little things that I dismissed when she had been around were cues I should have picked up on.

And that the foursome we had at a friend's beach house the summer prior, the one she had initiated with me, my first time with a woman, had been in order to get to my ex.

Two weeks ago, I ran into that same friend. She told me that my so frugal ex had moved her into his apartment some time ago, even though it has only been a little over a year since they started dating, and bought her a car.

Then, last week, I received an invite to a Halloween party, one he had also been invited to. Knowing this, he emailed me. tell me he would not cause a scene should I show.

Because he has something to be angry about? Something worth being pissed about? Some grievance? I did nothing to him. I treated him with respect until the last moment, and even then, I treated him better than he had treated me.

This is not the first time he had emailed me.

So if you re-read that email, knowing what you do, and with my own knowledge that I left many things out that would cause this post to become even longer than it already is, know that the first email I composed in response was full of anger.

And the second, once I had deleted the first, listed the men who have, in some way, harmed me, and how I hated him the most.

And the third, once I had deleted the second, told him how embarassed I was that I had dated him, how he was the butt of my family's jokes.

And once I deleted the third one and composed the final draft, when I hit send, it read:

Please do not email me again.

Thank you.

And that was all.


  1. Even though he's an asshole, I think he is partly right, I think you are stronger than you think and can take it. Doesn't make it right though.

  2. See, the thing I was told, that I ended up agreeing with was that my strength is in my ability to endure pain. I don't find myself a strong person because... I don't know. I should probably think about what I consider strong and work on that. Huh. But I don't think the ability to take a mental/emotional blow is that admirable when it comes to strength. It's just learning to cope with pain.