Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The End of An Affair*

*The people, places, and events of this are all real. Details, however, are subject to interpretation.

This is a tale of love, loss, betrayal, and deceit. It starts in Chicago and ends in New York City and spans several years of my life that I will never get back. The names of people are inconsequential but for the sake of clarity let’s just call him “X.”
X came to visit me one beautiful weekend in October. But it was over before he even got there. It had been over for more than a year and yet both he and I clung to something. Nostalgia, perhaps. In any case, we both knew it was done with but for those three days we suspended reality and lived in a fantasy world. And is there a more perfect backdrop for failed romances than New York City? If this were a movie it would be equal parts film noir, comedy of errors, and pornography. Soundtrack? Hmm…more than a heavy dose of Jeff Buckley and Elliott Smith.

So for three days our lives played like a movie. It was all dulce de leche ice cream, sex, movies at the Sunshine Cinema, sushi in the East Village, beer, walks by the Brooklyn Bridge, and lazy hours spent at cafes. We pretended to be a couple, pretended to be adults, and pretended to afford a lifestyle that we both knew we couldn’t. I played my role and he played his. I was the na├»ve girlfriend, oblivious to all his indiscretions and cheating. X was the perfect guy, also oblivious to my snooping and indiscretions. Yeah, we were kidding ourselves since in reality we knew all too well what the other was up to and it sure wasn’t pretty. It all seemed so perfect (surely, we can put aside our anger, jealousy, and all could be forgiven) but as soon as I dropped him off at Port Authority and promised to see each other again, it was completely and undeniably “finito.” No more e-mails, no more calls, no more nothing. Part of me was devastated but part of me knew better than to fool myself into believing in a relationship that wasn’t and being in love with someone that I didn’t know anymore.

Just like any modern romance, this one ends in apathy and oblivion. The details of it will, over time, be forever sucked into the black hole of my brain.

“Es tan corto el amor
Es tan largo el olvido” –Pablo Neruda

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