I fell in love once. I can pinpoint the moment I knew it was her I needed. The moment I saw her. That should’ve been the first sign. I am a blind man.’ Her and I’ quickly became ‘us’. Love never comes without it’s high. Something about that person tells you that they will tether you on to the cliff you’re bound to fall off. A quaint relaxation that a missing part of you returned to its original place.
Helen was a work of art. Watching her walk was entertainment. Not just for me. Everyone saw it. To be present, was an honor. It didn’t feel very honorable two years after we moved in with each other. The perfect image of the sturdy rope that you draw for yourself quickly dissolves with every bastardization of the reality you drew. It was cute that she snorted after laughing. I once wanted to strangle her during a comedy film.
I ended it two weeks ago. The fight was stupid. All of them were. Over the four years we were together, we came to understand how flawed our image of each other really was. I came back home one night, after spending a few hours at the bar with my friends, and I found her waiting for me on the chair in front of the door. Had it not been for her texting me a million times about when I’d be back home, I would have been shocked.
She asked me to give her my phone.
“I just want to see it, give it to me.”
I pulled out my phone, and gave it to her. I didn’t feel like going through the hassle of a fight, and there wasn’t really anything in it that needed hiding. She quickly tapped in my code and started going through my phone.
“I didn’t know you had my password.” I said.
“Yea, well, I do.” she quickly replied, without even glancing up for a moment.
I walked around her, and went to the bedroom where I changed into my pajamas. I brushed my teeth, and sat on my lavatorial throne. I reached into my pocket as I squeezed, only to remember where it was. I then realized I hadn’t had a quiet shit in more than three months. The only time one shits peacefully is at work.
She called for me from the living room just as I finished wiping. It happened so often, that at that moment I had a revelation that I might have been turned into a dog.
“Pavlov’s fucking dog.” I said to myself, as I pulled up my pants, looked in the mirror, smiled at my handsome self, and got out into the hallway.
“Nadel.” she moaned.
“I’m coming. I’m coming.” I said. “Can I have my phone back now? Are you happy?”
“No, I’m not happy. I know you’re keeping a secret from me.”
“You’re hiding something, and I don’t fucking like it.” she said, pushing the phone into my hands.
I grabbed her by the arm as she turned away.
“Wait, just. Hold up.” I said, bringing her near to me. “I’m not hiding anything, I promise. Where the hell did that idea spring up from anyway?”
“It said it on my horoscope.”
I rubbed the bridge of my nose. Mona Lisa was burning right in front of my eyes. I remembered the first time I made her laugh, and how perfect she was. How flawless. To me, she was God’s masterpiece in engineering. So how was it that I was being bombarded by a Lego wall built by a limbless toddler?
“I can’t take this shit.” I said, letting her arm go, and returning to the bedroom.
She stayed in the living room and watched television.”E! TV”. I laid in bed, and surfed the internet for a while. I heard Kim Kardashian sobbing from the living room, and something clicked in my brain. I searched for her porno, and I masturbated. I hadn’t jerked off in longer than three years. There was a certain sense of liberation and comfort after that, and I rode that pleasurable feeling into a blissful nap.
She woke me up at three o’clock in the morning.
“I’m sorry.” she said.
“It’s fine, we’ll talk tomorrow.” I yawned at her.
“I won’t be able to sleep if we don’t talk about this.”
I took a deep breathe and imagined a marine assaulted me out of no where and drenched me in cold water.
“Alright, I’m up.”
“I don’t know.” she said, “Those things are almost never wrong, and you know how I feel about them.”
“It’s fine. Can I go to bed now?”
“No, not yet.” she said, giving me a playful smile. “Remember when we first met?”
I nodded slowly, still smacking my eyelids together, trying to let them know they’ll be working for a while.
“I asked you what you think about fate. Do you remember what you said?”
“You make me feel like it’s not bullshit.” I said with a nostalgic smile.
“And you remember when you used to read the horoscopes with me and laugh about how you’d see them happening?”
I laughed, and realized that it’s only nostalgic if you lost it in the first place. The marine came back and gave me a good kicking, and drowned me in ice.
“Where are you going with this, Helen?”
“Do I still make you feel that way?” she said. “Do I still make you feel like fate and everything beautiful in the world isn’t complete bullshit?”
“No,” I blurted out. “not a single bit.”
I kept cold and wore a marine’s poker face. She started sobbing.
“I could feel it you know.” she sobbed through her palms.
“I don’t know what to say. It’s just not there anymore. The world is as dull as it always was, and your glitter faded. Everything I loved about you never existed. I was sold a bad product, and so were you. It’s my fault. It really is. I don’t regret any of it, but we should have known.”
She cried louder, and nodded her head.
“You’re a fucking fool, you know that?!” she yelled at me. “You think you’ve got it all figured out. ‘Mister nothing makes sense’. You and your stupid fucking ways. You just can’t follow anything, can you? There’s no fucking way to make you even think that any of that was possible. You’re so stuck up your own ass, you can’t see what’s right in front of you. You don’t take anyone’s bullshit, I’ll give you that. But it’s only because you’re so in love with your own.”
“Tell me, then. What’s in front of me?” said the marine.
“Love, you son of a bitch. True love. We have something special, and you’re throwing it out the window.”
“Love?” I said, “Love is a lie Hollywood made up so we can populate more and create more consumers. Love is a satire taken serious. What we had was special. Nothing in the world can ever recreate it. It ran its course. I don’t want a part of it anymore. I want out, Helen.”
She sobbed again. Louder, and then louder. I sat and I watched.
“You’re breaking up with me?”
She sobbed harder, and I got up to wear my clothes.
“Where are you going?” she asked “Let’s talk about this.”
“We just did. I’m going to sleep at Jerry’s tonight.”
She went to the living room, and I could hear her cry. I could hear her cry all the way until the end of our stoop. I looked back at the life I built over the past four years. If fate intended this, then it’s nothing but a bad joke. I took out a cigarette, looked at the side walk that split in two opposite directions, and wondered where I should go. There was no way Jerry is awake. I felt like being alone anyway.
Left or right. Fortuna depended on it. There must be a correct path, I thought to myself. There must be the perfect path. I stood there for a while. I smoked three cigarettes by the time I realized what I had to do. I went in between both paths in front of my chain linked fence. I closed my eyes, and I spun. I don’t know how many times. I made it a goal to not count.
It’s not a mistake if I didn’t decide it. When I stopped turning, I saw that I had spun right back to where I started. Facing the street. I stepped off the sidewalk, and went to the other side, and my feet declared the direction on their own. I had no idea where I was going, and I didn’t care. Nothing I did was right. Nothing I did was wrong. My feet started walking faster. Before I knew it, I was running.