Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You wanted to see how good it feels to leave part 2

Amy called me in the middle of the day. I knew it was her from the unusual string of numbers that appeared on my phone.

"Hey," I answered.

"Hey, do you have some time," she asked me. Her voice was slightly shaky.

"Sure, I'm just sitting at home playing video games," I responded. I didn't know what to expect from this conversation. We'd been in decent communication, a few emails, some letters, a phone call or two. I didn't trust her anymore, and she'd done nothing to attempt to earn my trust. We seemed to be going through the motions. The distance between us had grown after she exposed her long going affair. We had tried to patch things together, but she seemed to be riding the fence. She still talked to the TA and I didn't doubt that they were sleeping together. Part of my desire to go to Thailand was to get away from her. It seemed like I couldn't quit her, it made me feel weak.

"I don't know how to say this...," her voice trailed off.

I sighed and rolled my eyes. "Go ahead."

"I'm moving out of my apartment."

"So what's the big deal about that? You've been talking about how you've disliked your roommate for several months now."

"Well I already gave her notice, and I don't have a place to go yet."

"Ah," I said with conclusion. She was going to move in with the TA. She had few friends and cared more for her immediate comfort than our relationship.

"I'm moving in with Rich."

"That makes sense," I said with comfort.


"Yeah, you have no friends because you've spent the last year sleeping around rather than focusing on one relationship and making friends. Now you have nothing to fall back on but Rich, who is far more lenient with you than I. You've been hedging your bets for a long time now. Biding your time til one of us quit the game and then you'd stick with the other."

"Are you mad?"

"Of course I'm mad. You're not holding up your end of the relationship at all. We said that we'd be single until I came back and then we'd try to start things over... remember?"

"But I don't know what you're doing over there," she pleaded.

"I've told you before that I don't have a girlfriend. I've done nothing over here. I wander the city, I read, I drink occasionally, its g-rated."

"Our agreement makes me feel restricted. I don't like you telling me what to do," her whimpers had turned to anger.

"It was an agreement. It was something that you wanted as well."

"You're so far away... I need something now."

"I'm not there. There's nothing I can do about that. I can try to stay close to you in other ways, but part of why you're not here now is because you cheated on me, on the relationship. I don't want to be in someone's life who is going to back out of every agreement, who won't stick it out."

"But its hard, I'm having a hard time right now, I'm lonely."

"What can I do about that? I can write you, I can call you, I can email, what do you want?" My tone had turned towards vexation. At some point my feelings had turned. Maybe it was when I boarded the plane to Tai Pei, maybe it was during the flight from China to Thailand. Maybe it was when I was wondering in the Pat Pong district, eating lunch at the MBK food court, watching a fight at Lumpinee stadium. It was quite possible that they'd turned that day during that phone call. At some point my feelings for her had turned, they'd become stale. I no longer felt attached to her. It was my sense of commitment that had kept us together. My desire to see things through. That will buttressed my emotionally confusing and unwanted entanglements. She was my first long term girlfriend, I'd been happy I'd cared. I was no longer happy with her, I no longer cared.

"I don't know, I don't know what you can do, I don't know what to do...," she started to sob into the phone.

I held the phone away from my ear for a moment. I wondered if she was faking her tears.

"You never know what to do, so you do what's easiest. You don't break off a relationship even if it comes into conflict with another because it would be too hard. You don't bring the truth to light because its too hard. You can't be alone because its too hard. What was it you said once? 'If I was in a relationship with myself I would end it.'"


"This is your fault, this is your responsibility. You've made choices. You chose to cheat on me. You chose not to try to gain my trust. You chose to hedge your bets. That said I made my own choices. I chose to leave, I chose to try to patch things up, I'm not saying that I'm clear of all the wrong but you've made choices."

Again there was silence on the other end of the phone. I was getting tired of the conversation. It had an emotionally exhaustive quality to it. We sat in silence.

"Its my fault," she said with no tone.

"Is that a question or a statement. I believe its the latter." I nodded my head and looked at the wall. I was sitting on the edge of my bed. The video game before me looked alluring. Outside of the window came the sounds of Bangkok's constant construction. I'd like to remember that last bit being the way the conversation ended. Instead there was more silence, more wasted time.

"I've got to go, the supermarket is closing soon and I need to pick up things," I finally said.

"Isn't it noon there."

"The supermarket closes early today, some sort of election thing," I replied. I hung up the phone and sighed. I laid down on my bed feeling relieved. It was as if I had just bathed after descending into a New York City sewer or a Bangkok Khlong. I sat back up and started playing my video game again.

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