Breaking up

It’s not all bad

Anthony is taking the week off, so we’re re-running a column from 2007.

Lately I’ve witnessed, heard about, barely skirted, or been involved in several breakups, some of which I’ve mentioned in this space.

Lost love is in the air. I think it has something to do with the fading light and the promise of long, cold—and maybe lonely—nights.

So I’ve been thinking about my lost loves, sometimes not so much mislaid as flung away in horror. I’m surprised by how many details of my own personal breakups I can’t quite recall anymore. The stuff that used to haunt me has slipped away. Memory loss ain’t all bad.

There were a few partings in high school that were so slight as to be barely distinguishable from no change at all, the end of romances largely confined to school—in the hall between classes, at lunch and after school—and every now and then at a party in the corner in the dark.

Back then I fell in love with any girl who’d stick her hand in my pants, and sometimes with any girl I could even imagine sticking her hand in my pants, which still didn’t amount to as many as one might think.

The summer I graduated from high school, my girlfriend quit me while I was sick and confined to the house. I’m not sure how I found out; I think she wrote me a letter. I was, of course, broken-hearted, mostly because she never actually told me why, and I didn’t have to nerve to press her. Her father never let us see much of each other anyway, and I didn’t think she could’ve gotten tired of me. Now I see that being 14 was reason enough.

With one woman, I just snapped and hung up on her. That particular neurotic—I love crazy women—had called me at work to poke me about something or other, and I was being as reasonable as I could under the circumstances. Suddenly, my considerable patience unexpectedly ran out, and I found myself unable to remember what exactly had made swapping body fluids with her seem like a good idea. So I said I’d rather jack off than take her bed again and hung up the phone. What a relief, and so simple! I should have done that a lot more often.

One woman I lived with for a while threw me over for a Puerto Rican lesbian, which was traumatic, believe me. She still called me with graphic descriptions of their lovemaking, though, so there were compensations. I even learned a new word, always worthwhile for me. Can you say tribadism?

One of the most bizarre breakups was the end of an on-again, off-again, off-again affair with a woman addicted to imagining the worst. She called me her toy and treated me like a yo-yo, and on that last yo, the string broke. In the midst of it, a friend told me about Stevia, a plant used as a sweetener that can abruptly go bitter.

Lucky for me—and you too, bubbeleh—it’s all good.