We drifted apart. It happens.
She started missing dates, stopped laughing at my hysterectomy jokes. Our discussions of celebrities and what geometric shapes their faces resembled became more and more distant. Our erotic hugs and spooning became awkward embraces, as though we'd just discovered the ergonomic flaws in each others' bodies. After a week of this, I knew it was just a matter of time. The Slow Game had set in, the ancient time-worn game that had no name, or if it did have one I was too heartbroken and lazy to look it up.
One day a coworker told me they'd seen her at Sub Hut; she'd been eating subs with someone else.
For the next few days, thinking about her sent me into paroxysms of hate and lust. Behind love's curtain, base desires glide like shooting-gallery targets. I started playing the 'what if' game, wondering if we'd still be together if I'd just done a few things differently; and there are no winners in the 'what if' game: Like a wacky '90s game show where you start with a million points and have to get down to zero, it's always played to lose.
I got really high on Splenda one night and wrote her an email:
You never returned my last few calls. I hope you don't hate me, although if you do that's okay. I'll admit I hate you sometimes, not as a person but simply as an imperfect carbon of the larger thing you represent, which is Sub Hut. I had a really bad experience at Sub Hut one night when a teenager with spiked hair and a Blink 182 t-shirt threw fries at me and called me a capitalist slut and drew an anarchy symbol on my table in ketchup. Ever since then I've had a negative impression of Sub Hut - and Blink 182. Which is too bad, because I like in principle everything about their music from its energy to its DIY aesthetic to the politics behind it. It's funny I guess how one person's insensitive actions can destroy your faith in a larger transcendent concept, one that might've at one point had the power to save you but now just feels stained with that person's latent image. You eventually start having dreams about that person, ranging from prosaic self-pity to panoramic IMAX epics where you enact your revenge fantasies in lurid detail with savage cruelty.
PS: I loved you more than hope. Now I mostly just look at Poser porn, which is actually pretty satisfying, except for the models' smiles: they sometimes seem to be in spite of, not because of, the degrading acts in the pictures, which combined with the antidepressants I'm on makes them a lot less erotic.
PPS: I'm writing this pretty high so it might contain spelling errors and emotional stuff I wouldn't normally share. Fortunately I won't be sending it until tomorrow, so I can fix the spelling errors then.
I worked double shifts the rest of the week. Making subs helps me remember the importance of forgetting.
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Elliot said my breakup must have been due to the sweater curse, an unexplained phenomenon where anyone who gives their significant other a hand-knit sweater gets dumped. The only way to break the curse, Elliot said, was to destroy the sweater.
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