And It All Comes Crumbling Down
It seemed to have such potential, that first night we made small talk on the dance floor. The lights of a new city can be so enrapturing –turning memories into romantic reels of smiles, laughter and cobblestone streets. But the high of newness makes us miss the subtleties. Eventually I found myself, as that distraction faded, seeing for the first time how self-important he sounded when he talked about his favorite ice cream flavor. (How can you be self-important about ice cream?) And when he told me he doesn’t like gin after I ordered a Tanqueray martini, it was with an air of condescension, not adoration… not flirtation.
Looking back, I’m starting to realize that it did nothing but lack potential, really. But the newness… the newness demanded that I not spend too much time looking in his eyes, because it would have meant far too much, though perhaps I would have spotted that bit of emptiness a little earlier.
The conversation I had been trying to start (over and over) ended up being preempted by a drunken phone call and an ugly fight. I was honest, and I risked releasing the untamed primary school temper tantrum I always knew was there. (I could see it under his cashmere sweater – illustrated pretty nicely by that time he got himself kicked out the bar because he thought it appropriate to storm the stage and lick the emcee.)
We chose our words unwisely; we ignored phone calls, text messages, facebook messages and we basically ensured that we’d never speak to each other again. The thought of spending another minute with him made me feel like rodents were scratching at my organs. But it was over. And I got a consolation prize: “Hopefully for whatever girl comes next, as you say, I’ll act more my age.”