I wish my life were a work of fiction. Sometimes I think of things that would only happen in a story, and would be inappropriate for real life. For example, earlier this week, I decided I needed to break up with you.
I would go over to your house as planned. We would have amazing sex, and we would fall asleep, and you would have a taste in your mouth for more. After you fell asleep, I would scoop myself up from my side of the bed, gingerly. I would put on my clothes, gather all of my belongings, leaving behind only the long brown strands of hair I shed. And then, as if by mistake, a piece of paper would happen to fall out of my fingers perhaps on my side of the bed, or in the corner where I usually leave my things, or on your night stand on top of your cell phone you check while I’m talking to you. And maybe that’s too obvious, and instead I would leave it on your kitchen counter, and your roommate would find it and ask you about it. There’s something dramatic about a messenger from the universe calling out your iniquities.
The piece of paper would be an excerpt from a 2010 article by Eric Asimov in the New York Times. In it, he writes about the wine malbec. It’s what you always order, a wine you say you discovered that you like. You tell me this one night when you’re unsure about our relationship. That data point came back to me one day when I was bored at work, and I found this article. The relevant text in the piece would be circled by my red copy editor pen or perhaps in wine if I’m feeling meta or perhaps blood (okay, I’m not that crazy). I want you to know that it’s coming from me, but also simultaneously that maybe it isn’t.
The night I broke up with you, you told me your bike got stolen, as if that was the karma you were due for treating me horribly. I want to inflict you with psychological torture. I want you to be plagued by the same confusion you felt towards me with confusion surrounding misgivings about your actions.
Perhaps I will mail you the letter. Maybe with a different return address since you know where I live, or none at all and take my chances. Or maybe even fabricate an address. I could put your mother’s home address, or the address of your family friend whose bed and breakfast we stayed in when things were still bright.
I want you to taste the flavor of the burning words running down your throat like alcohol. Malbecs are “safe and reliable for people who may be unsure of their tastes.” I want you to internalize that you are what you drink. I want you to be in a room with the universe laughing at you. I want you to know how that feels.
I want you to be better. I want you to pick a better wine.