Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Everything splinters over a time. Sometimes it's a gradual shaving, and sometimes an explosion. Whether beautiful or troubling usually depends on where the splinters land. A kaleidoscope of colored wood on the floor being much preferable to a single blade of tarnish lodged in the plantar.
When I was living with Celeste, Sora, and Sir Trick in Mission Hill, our front door was the only door in the house that wasn't splintering. It was solid and brown, while the rest of the doors flaked paint on the floor, and wore at the hinges.
Divine moved in in September. And the other doors continued their slow wither, and the front door continued to be, well, a door.
In December, Sora let me know that he was going to be in town, and he wanted to talk. And the talk was uneventful, and uninformative. He was, as always, late. I was, as always, forgiving. I bought the meal, and we parted company when he realized he was half an hour late for meeting some of his other friends.
I traveled home without incident. Opened the door to the house, which was never locked, got into the tiny lobby, and the door...the door to my apartment, solid, brown, sturdy, had been thoroughly decimated. The hinges were ripped from the wall. Huge chunks of splintered wood lay in ideograms on the floor. Each one reading something to the effect of "theft", "loss of trust", and "holy shit".
I plodded to my room, because the house was empty, and what good would running do? Everything appeared to be in order. Nothing ruffled through, nothing missing.
I went into Divine's room. Everything appeared to be in order.
Nothing missing in the kitchen, the empty bedroom (though they could have easily taken nothing from nothing and I wouldn't have known), the bathroom, or the pantry.
I called Divine who asked me, right away, if there was a Raspberry Records bag on top her TV. There was not. "Oh no!" (S)He said. "That's where I'd put the rent you gave me."
(S)He stole my money and broke down our door to make it look like a theft. (S)He then used my money to pay the rent to the Landlord and make me look like a rube for not having it. I wasn't sure of it at the time, but after another four monthe of h(im)(er) not paying any bills, my trust was was splintered into ideograms which read "(S)He is a fucken thief who would concoct any story necessary to keep h(er)(is) drug habit going."
A year and a half later, I'm sitting on a couch in a different apartment with Bacchus, surrounded by my roommates, watching The Roast Of Bob Saget when someone starts pounding at the door. I imagine it exploding inwards, so I rush to it, and open the door, and...and it's Asterisk. He's tanked, as per usual, "What's up motherfuckers? I was coming down the street and saw your lights on and OH MY GOD, IS THAT CLORIS LEACHMAN?"
It was. And Asterisk gracefully stumbled over to the couch (he's had a lot of practice stumbling, he's very good at it), and sat to my left. A befuddled Bacchus sat on my right, leaning into me whenever Cloris said something hilarious. And every time she said something scathing, Asterisk dug into my left leg with his right hand. And so it was that her humor was bruised into me for days.
Asterisk left at the end of the roast, and Bacchus and I surrendered to my room. "Asterisk was very..."
"...drunk?" I offered.
"touchy with you."
While he was, surprisingly, hands on "There wasn't anything romantic or sexual about it. Asterisk and I have never been and will never be anything more than friends."
And I reached my arms around him and "Not tonight." He said.
And this is where my memory splinters.
I remembered the restaurant correctly. A Japanese place with excellent soup. I remembered him seeming more awkward about halfway through the meal. I remembered a guy sitting at another table recognizing him, walking over to our table and saying he was surprised to see him there. "I thought you only came here to break up with people. " Then turning to me, and saying, " I'm sorry, I hope you two aren't here on a date."
And I saw any future we had, tearing at the hinges.
What I remember is him growing distant. I remember him saying he wasn't all that interested in me as anything more than a friend, and me saying "I already have friends." or something snarky that devalued our relationship for no good reason other than I wanted to hurt back.
But, after a few months of not seeing him, I ran into him in Cambridge, and he invited me back to his apartment to watch The Bourne Supremacy (which wasn't about Cape Cod at all), and when it was over, and he invited me to stay over, I asked why he hadn't wanted more out of her relationship.
And he tried to give me a funny look, but failed. He only looked hurt. "You broke up with me." He said.
I didn't want to argue, so we talked about other people we were seeing, and I stayed the night, but nothing happened.
Back at my new home in Brighton, I checked my old e-mail and instant messanger conversations, and sure enough, I'd asked him if we were going to continue just fooling around, or whether we had a future as a couple. And he had said he needed some time to think about it. And I'd told him that wasn't good enough.
It should have been good enough.