“Your friends don’t like me.”
Five words said over the phone while I drove home from work.
“They do. They wouldn’t lie to me,” I said.
But I was starting to not like her.
“We’ll just spend time together without them,” she said.
And that was the point of no return. I don’t recall the exact sequence of thoughts but I felt the wind change in my mental sails. The flags had been flying over her masts since the beginning. I heard a comedienne once say that “Love is Blind but Lust is Helen Keller”. She’s right. Lust is deaf, dumb, and blind. A few good orgasms and your brain melts to the capacity of a diesel generator that’s low on fuel.
It wasn’t what she said. Okay, I take that back. It was what she said. If being with her meant excluding my friends who had helped me pick up the pieces after my last break-up, that wasn’t a good sign. I was being isolated. Without a support network, I’d be easier to manipulate, easier to twist into something “more pleasing” for my partner. And she knew what she was saying, even if she didn’t acknowledge it.
So instead of driving home, I told her I’d see her in a few minutes. I was on auto-pilot for the rest of the drive. You know how you get in the car and start driving then reach your destination but have no recollection of the minutes between point A and point B? That’s what I can recall feeling.
My latest attempt at a relationship was over.
Another one bites the dust. Hoorah.
Why? The sex had been good. Not great but that takes time and practice. The conversations had been stimulating but one-sided at times. Then I remembered the lunch she and I had attended with my friends. The posturing, the presumption on her part that her viewpoint was the correct one, and the bullish tone she used. Perhaps my friends didn’t actually like her but they saw I was somewhat happy.
Is that what friendship means? Not to lie outright but to obfuscate the truth a bit here and there to spare someone? But I couldn’t be mad at my friends. I wasn’t even mad at my soon-to-be ex-partner. Anger didn’t factor into the decision-making. It was fatigue more than anything. Weariness of having to end something that had barely begun and then soldier on to find a new partner. How many times would I have to do this before I got it right?
I parked in front of her apartment. It was a short walk from the car to the door but it felt like miles of desert that had to be endured. One step after the other. And a conversation I knew I had to have but not one I wanted to have.
“I think we need to stop seeing each other.” The door was barely open before I said the words.