Tuesday, October 04, 2005

sad things and a boy

Sad things:
1. Britney Spears is auctioning off an old "white stone bra" to raise money for the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund.
2. The middle fingernail on my left hand is falling off (after being crushed in a metal door last June although that's not the sad part. The sad part is not having a nail.)
3. I am still writing my Proust paper, like squeezing blood from a rock. At this rate, I should just call it that -- Still Write with Proust.
4. My friend Eric is moving to Thailand in a few weeks, for an indefinite period of time, both to help build wooden fishing boats and to drift around Asia and "meet a lot of people who also don't know what they're doing with their lives." I'm happy that he is going to have an adventure; what disturbs me is that last week, when he told me he was leaving, I started to cry. I don't know why.
Eric and I were the friends who became more than friends but never really talked about it. Three and a half years ago, we were emailing each other from our respective offices at least a dozen times a day, talking on the phone all the time, eating dinner together two or three times a week, and, eventually, sleeping in each other's beds.

I don't even need to tell this part of the story because don't you know it already? These things always feel like they're precariously balanced between "best friendship/real love" and "oh my god, this is NOT going to end well."

And, it didn't end well. One night, after drinking three lychee martinis and taking a taxi to Eric's apartment, I said, "If you don't want me to fall in love with you, you need to tell me." He didn't say anything, just stood up and put on his blue jeans and asked me to leave, and when I refused, he slept on top of the covers with his back to me while I looked up at the ceiling, wanting to talk to Eric-my-best-friend about Eric-the-asshole.
I left the next morning, back to work in the same clothes I'd worn the day before, and a month later, I met Robert. (In between, I met Matthew at the Community Bookstore in Park Slope, and thought it was fate -- fate! -- that we were both writers who happened to take the same -- the same! -- anti-depressant. But that's another story.) As far as Eric went, we didn't talk for a few months and then, we started emailing again and seeing each other occasionally but nothing more. No more "magical" nights on the roof, no more hand-holding, no more kisses or "I need to see you" messages or signed-with-love letters.

But Eric told me he is leaving New York and I started to cry and he said, "Are you crying?" What he meant was, "Are you crying about me? Awesome." Like my sadness was an ego stroke and he wanted to revel in it. He asked me to dinner.

I went to Brooklyn on Sunday night and met him outside. First we walked to the water and there was a huge fireworks display for no reason ("Third quarter profit earnings for Goldman Sachs?" he said and I said, "Maybe it's for Rosh Hashanah, two days early?" Eric shook his head. "No, no," he said, "I'm Jewish and I know. We don't celebrate with fireworks. We celebrate with food. Do you know what kugel is?")

Back at his apartment, on the roof, he tried to kiss me.
What I should have said is, "No, you know I have a boyfriend."
What I actually said was, "No, I can't. I'm sad that you're leaving."

Why did I do that? Why am I still trying to make him feel good instead of just saying the truth? The truth: Eric, I have always known we will never be together in a real way. I never want to kiss you again. Go wherever you want. Enjoy your life.

2 Comments:

Blogger Unsane said...

Those Jewish boyz-- don't they just want you to be their mother?

2:40 AM  
Anonymous camille said...

Yikes.

10:21 PM  

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