So, after the first two weeks even I’m starting to notice that something is wrong. I’m a pretty straight laced kinda guy even now, but this was the month that started to put some perspective on how boring I am as a person. Even now, years later, I’m still extremely dull compared to the rest of the people in this story.
At the end of the two weeks, the ex-boyfriend started looking at me funny. As did Conner. And most of the music department, really. Professors would walk by, look at me and chuckle to themselves. Roxy had a big mouth, but all of the things she had said to other people had been positive. I hadn’t really been in the department to know anyone well except for Conner, and he wasn’t too happy with the situation. She told people some things that I would have preferred had stayed in the bedroom. I found this out while some people were talking and thought I was out of earshot. I didn’t mind very much at first, but at one point I was getting checked out by a very elderly female professor from across the music library. That had to stop. For one thing, it was making Conner miserable, and I didn’t want him to feel worse than he did. I liked the guy. He was pretty much ok.
One night, I asked her to stop telling people about what was going on, or to at least tone down the level of detail a bit. She got a bit upset, but she said she was fine. I didn’t know. At the time I was not aware of the elaborate nuances which dwell within the word ‘fine.’
I didn’t really feel like discussing it anymore because she agreed with the fact that it was making several people uncomfortable. I guess she took that to mean that I wasn’t happy with the way things were going. I surmise this at any rate, based on the fact that she doubled her vigor in the bedroom. The unfortunate element here was that with the enthusiasm came the mood swings and the slow degradation into completely psychotic behaviour.
The first instance was the time when we were eating a leisurely breakfast, and I asked if there was any more coffee. The natural response is binary; either a yes or a no. In her case, it was to collapse weeping uncontrollably on the kitchen floor in a pile of kimono and cereal. She started screaming about the hockey team, and how I was using her for sex. Apparently my request for a small amount of coffee had reminded her of a time when she had been gang raped by her high school’s hockey team. She was inconsolable, but I remember thinking at the time that it was likely a fiction. That would be two stories involving hockey teams. Being the nice dumb guy, I did what I could to comfort her which turned out to be very little. There’s probably nothing worse than watching someone cry and not being able to do anything. Especially if you don’t know whether it’s genuine. She was one for mind games.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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