After my most recent ex, Autumn, dumped me, following the reappearance of my disastrous first ex, my initial thought was, “free again!” Then, I remembered that I had thought the same thing a few months before when it had been me doing the dumping, and me, again, who had gone crawling back.
“Not this time,” I resolved, thinking about the Kate Bush song of the same title.
It wasn’t like Autumn and I had been getting along that great over the last several weeks anyway. We kept finding ourselves enmeshed in arguments over stupid stuff like which was the correct way to unload a toothpaste tube.
Me: It doesn’t matter.
Autumn: It does matter! If you squeeze if out from the middle, the tube eventually cracks and you have a mess everywhere.
Me: Yeah, but it’s my toothpaste.
Autumn: Oh, now I have to start bringing my own toothpaste when I come over here… etc.
“Fine,” I thought. “I am done with Autumn, and I am done, done, done with monogamy!”
That night I emptied the box of things that Autumn had returned to me from her place: some non-latex gloves, water-based lube, a romantic mix-CD, a favorite video… the usual consumables of a romantic relationship. I put everything away, watched a few CSI reruns, then went to bed around 11:00.
I had to work the next morning. When my alarm went off at 6:30, I threw back the covers, ready to leap out of bed and back into life as an unencumbered single lady. I seriously tried to get out of bed, when an unexpected wave of pain hit me. It was like this voice in my head said: “Now stop! Hammer time!” All I could do was lay back down. I didn’t cry, which was worse. I fell into a sulk that reminded me of being back in San Francisco on the coldest of foggy days.
What could I do? I had to call in sick. Luckily, I did it early enough that no one was in the office. It's a lot easier to tell lies to a machine than a real person. I dragged my laptop into bed with me and proceeded to load it with Dexter DVDs, disk after disk, until I had watched the entire first season. Feeling a little dark? Who, me?
The next morning I wasn't much better, so I called in sick again. I felt like my