Warning: This work has been rated 16+.
I am typing this essay from notes scribbled upon a paper boat, smudged with pencil marks, that was folded ever so gracefully by a dear friend of mine over lunch today. She has been listening to me drone on and on and on and on and on about my love life for the last couple months, and with all of her usual grace she sat, endured again, and then proceeded to give me the biggest 'you jackass' look in history.
Our last conversation left us in a state of mutual understanding, that I was irrevocably out of love with my ex, that I wished him a barefooted eternity spent walking across Lego strewn floors. I was just going to ignore him forever, I told her. It's over. Sayonara.
Yesterday afternoon I consulted her for math help (because math gives me hives) and in the midst of logarithmic functions and other things I do not understand, my ex walked up and I greeted him like a happy puppy, and produced from my bag a gallon of his favorite iced tea. He was equally happy to accept it and walked me to class, just like old times.
Meanwhile, my friend is hovering over my math homework, looking like she was hit with a brick.
Upon my return I had to explain to her the unexplainable. My ex boyfriend and I.... are friends. It sounds as twisted and bizarre as peanut butter on a tuna fish sandwich, or Kanye West at a KKK convention. The two just should NOT go together. It should not be. And somehow, in our case, it is.
I have many, many reasons to hate this guy forever. He is bat shit, for one. At any given moment I could expect some sappily sweet gesture, such as appearing at random with a literal gallon of Hawaiian Punch, just because it is my favorite (which happened last week). But the next moment, he could make an incredibly racist joke that just makes me want take that literal gallon of Hawaiian Punch and crack it over the top of his stupid head.
He also has an unfortunate tendency toward condescension. He sometimes talks to me like a geeky gamer version of Daddy Warbucks, like I am a little girl who hasn’t the foggiest idea of where her neck ends and where her asshole begins.
At the same time, no one make me laugh like he does. No one else could keep me up until six in the morning (on a school night!) talking about nothing. And ironically, when he is at peak infuriating levels, when I feel about a stone’s throw from walking away from him entirely, the one person I want to gripe about him with is…him.
At the end of the day, I know we are supposed to be in each other's lives.
Now, this is not to say that it works. Not all the time. Particularly not on days like today.
Last night, he sprung it upon me that he is still in love with me.
I about lost my lunch.
Just to fill you in, dear reader, just over one month ago I suggested that he and I should give being friends a shot for a while, because the relationship was undeniably crumbling. His response was an absolute and emphatic no. He claimed it was unthinkable to put a relationship on pause, and "go see other people, only to come back and realize, oh I DO actually want this person after all!" Two weeks later, over the phone, he says to me "I think it would be healthier for both of us to take a break."
And at the time, I was like... did I not say that two weeks ago? Did you fall and bump your head? Are you selectively amnesic?
And now, with this new information that he still loves me, I’m just like…. Are you bipolar?
What is most disappointing about this conundrum is that we were doing so well as friends, for the brief candle that it was. I loved what we had become: an easy as breathing couple of goof balls geeking out together over life’s stupidity. We could complain about professors, and work, and family bullshit without worrying that we were ‘burdening our partner with extraneous emotional baggage’. We could crack our old inside jokes and be us, minus the us part.
It was so comforting, to know he still had my back, even when he no longer had my backside, so to speak.
But now… I just don’t know.
I don’t know what he wants. I don’t know where we are headed. I don’t know if I want to switch around my schedule so that we can finally have that long awaited dream class together before he transfers to a four year college, like we had always talked about doing. I don’t know if it would be better to separate now before we get in over our heads with round two, because while we were miraculously able to shove the shit back into the horse once, I’m not sure we can do it again should things go bad. And the worst thing that I don’t know is how I actually feel. Part of me still loves this jack ass, and I have no idea why.
One minute I want to hug him, next minute I want to hit him. One day I start to see our lives unfolding together, I can see him as the best man (Man of Honor?) at my wedding, I can see our children playing together, and other days I just want to slam a door on his face.
And then when I’m particularly hormonal, I can feel his hands on my body, taste his breath, and miss the comfort of his arms around me.
Lord. Maybe I’m the bipolar one here.
Or maybe it is love, grand ol’ Love, that is bipolar. It is insane. One minute you are soaring, and the next you’re eating concrete. It makes you do impossibly stupid things, like fall in love with someone you know for damn sure you are not meant to marry at any point in your life. It makes you ask the age old questions “What is preferable? Spending an eternity with this person, or jumping off of the Brooklyn Bridge?” and “Could I feasibly fart in front of this person and not want to die of embarrassment?”, and finally “Why do I love this asshole, I mean really?”
I would pay a good amount of money to learn the answer to that last question. Undeniably, I cannot let go of him. And it is infuriating.