Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Even Cowgirls Get The Blues

I let you hold me back. We were going to do a triathlon together, and I waited until the very last minute to sign up. We ran a practice two miles and you said we were too out of shape to do it. I wanted to start my projects at 20, but you called them stupid. I didn't write a play until we broke up. You didn't come to my improv shows. You didn't even ask about them. I spent my Saturdays with a book at your swim meets so I could watch you freestyle for 90 seconds. You planned a romantic walk, but I wore new shoes because I didn't realize we'd be climbing in mud. You called me a baby when I went home. I had $100 left from my semester abroad because I was a rockstar at budgeting, so I bought us a fancy dinner on the wharf. You told me you were going to send me care packages as we had a tearful goodbye. I checked the front desk in Kyoto every day. Nothing came. You told me you didn't like responding to my emails because you were too busy with homework. You borrowed my car all the time. In fact, you held onto the keys. So then you let your friends borrow my car too. You acted like I was a nag when I needed to drive again. You wanted to spend 80% of our time in your room telling me about what albums Pitchfork deemed worthy that day. I found a list next to your lamp of my flaws. There were only two--which was nice--but they were that you didn't like my best friend and you thought I had bad taste in music. I wanted to giggle and goof, so I did. With other people. You told me you were jealous of them and that maybe it was even inappropriate. You punished me by going to parties I wasn't invited to and not coming to ones I was. You always found the counterculture people who treated me like trash, but they were cool, so just let them be. You pressured me to be someone I wasn't. You were disgusted by how much I studied for our Shakespeare final but during the last class discussion said verbatim something I told you over lunch. At the time I thought we were over because you lied to me and were battling a felony. Thank god because I would have died with you. I thought I was a bad girlfriend because sometimes I didn't want to be around you. I felt too needy. But now I know you didn't follow through. You went to a concert without me for our anniversary and sent me a text message on Christmas. You weren't funny, but you told me I was uptight if I didn't laugh at your jokes.

In your defense, there were things I liked about you. I thought you were cute, and I kept the voicemail of you asking me out at 2 AM until I left college.  I loved your family. Once when I had to pay $300 for an unexpected repair, you took me to breakfast and drew a smiley face on the napkin. Honestly that's about it. I was grateful for letters your wrote me at camp and the occasional footrub. I didn't know those should be minimal requirements. The whole history should make me sad, but I never think about you. And when I do--it's with this sense of cartoonish breeze. I float high to the sky. I soar with the weights cut. At the time I thought you were the best I could do.

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