With my eye completely healed, on this morning I woke instead to a vague pain about the chest. Breaking up is so hard. For a while I had it all, I thought, staring up at the ceiling of the Staten Island Ferry Depot. He really seemed like the one, I told myself, in that familiar retroactive optimism that comes after the end of almost all my affairs. And in typical post-relationship fashion, I began to review the arc of our story: It was love at first sight, I recalled, remembering fondly the shadow from which his voice had first emanated. Or rather, love is blind, I corrected myself, finding a truth in my having blacked out most of our first conversation at the bar. Love, I waxed inwardly, had struck a blow to my head causing the erasure of most of my memory of our meeting, and the memory of numbers seven through nine of my mathematics timetables, and any memory of the exact location of my left sock (still at large), and was probably the cause of that lump on my head too, I reasoned romantically, investigating the tender bruise around my hairline with my fingers.
Suddenly regretting my decision to so rashly cut off the possibility of any future between us, I texted him from where I lay next to the newsstand, wondering if my actions could possibly be reversed, wondering if he still felt anything for me, wondering how it was that it had all fallen apart, wondering if we might try it all again? I chose my words carefully. Dexterously I typed, “Is the complete Men's Wearhouse Commercials available on DVD yet?”
He never wrote or called back. And that night, back at my place, cleaning up my apartment and putting my tap shoes away in silence, like that, another affair ended with unanswered questions.
Eight Days With Iris, pt. 5