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The Break-Up

January 12, 2007

I shop at the Zone for a new jacket, sweater or dress and find a cool beaded sweater and decide it is my birthday present to myself. I buy a new pair of clunky boots and spend an hour doing my hair and makeup. I drive over to Pigtown to pick up my boyfriend for a family birthday dinner at my grandmothers. I am a tad early so I wait in the car. An hour goes by and now he is late. I let myself into the house when I see his sister stop home to change before work. She asks me what I am doing and tell her it is my birthday and Mark and I are going to dinner at my grandmothers house. She is making chicken and dumplings and angel food cake with chocolate frosting. Karen raises and eyebrow and says, “Huh. I didn’t know. Happy Birthday but I don’t know when he will be back…” and dashes out the door. I deny that he is standing me up and when it is another 45 minutes he shuffles in and seems surprised to see me on the couch reading and smoking. I say, lets go, you are very late and he smiles awkwardly and we leave. We eat. We sit and I genuflect upon him as he is the coolest boyfriend I have ever had. It is a big birthday….I am 20 and no longer a teenager. Mark is 22 and seems so mature and wise. He is funny and polite. We leave and go back to his house to listen to Tom Waits, play rummy and drink and smoke. We have played a couple of hands in silence and I am getting drunk just playing and drinking–not talking. All of a sudden he says, “You know, I didn’t think you would be here when I got back. I thought you would be mad and just leave.” I say, “Yea, I was mad but I didn’t think you would have forgotten or stood me up….it is my birthday and you are a nice guy.” I say kissing him on the mouth and smiling at him. He is so incredible and sexy and smart and I am so in love. Mark says, “Well, I think that we shouldn’t really see each other anymore. This would be easier I think if you were mad at me for being late.” I am stunned. I sit in silence just looking at him not really believing what he has just said. I think he is kidding and I start to laugh. He is very serious and looks down at the floor. I say, “Are you serious? Really? Tonight? Right now? On my birthday?” He pauses and says, “Oh, I forgot, here is your card.” He hands it to me and I just hold it in my hand. I feel woozy and like the room is spinning around and my face feels too hot. I think of everything we have ever done and the memory of it whooshes by and I feel a ‘fump’ back into myself and I am still sitting on the antique rug I bought him for a house warming present not believing this is it. I thought I would marry him. He was the first person I felt that I could just shut the fuck up and sit around with and not feel like I had to fill every single second with the sound of my voice. And if you know me well, that comes as quite a shock I am certain.

I think I start to cry and get my shit from his room and around the house…things have have accumulated over the last 4 months and leave. I drive away slowly and watch as he leaves his house right after me. I am sure to see some other girl. Later that week I find out it is another girl. An old girlfriend. She is older than I am and has a great job. She is how I met Mark about 3 years before but we don’t realize that until later while we are dating.

I stalk him. I drive by his house everyday. I go to the bars we went to but he is not around. He is not anywhere. I never run into him. A boyfriend before I met Mark calls me and begs to see me. We meet at the Owl Bar and he tells me he was crazy to break up with me and he thinks about me all the time. He thinks he is in love but he is older than I am and was freaked out by our age difference. He is 26 and a psychologist. I have known him since I was in 7th grade because he was the best friend of my best friends older brother. We meet years later and really hit it off. But he dumps me too. Right before Mark. And now as he is sitting in the Owl bar almost crying and staring into my eyes with longing and affection all I can think of is where is MARK. We leave, Kevin and I and go to Fells Point. I know I might see Mark and it might make him mad to see me with someone else. I spot him on the street and he is kissing a girl. Kevin is talking to me but I am just staring at the two of them on the street. Mark is kissing some other girl. In front of me. I don’t hear a thing Kevin says. I turn to him and kiss him. We pull away and both realize that no, we were right before. It doesn’t really work and we never see each other again.

I meet up with Mark almost a year later but am leaving town and we don’t last. He was the first real love of my life and I will always love him. He was the first grown up love and I wish every day I could tell him. And I can’t because he is gone.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2007 4:28 am

    Wow….just, wow.

  2. January 12, 2007 6:07 pm

    WOW…apparently again…

    wandered in from your comment on Trenches

  3. January 13, 2007 6:00 am

    Boys. (Scowl.)

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