I used to have this boyfriend who made odd food requests, mostly late at night. Tonight, for some reason, I was reminded of his habit of eating cheap cheddar cheese on plain english muffins at all hours of the day and night. He'd always buy huge blocks of cheddar at this weird grocery store called Waremart. He used to crave really strange combinations--one night he asked me to make a pasta burrito. We had eaten pasta for dinner that night; shells in marinara with asiago, parmesan and ricotta. So I took a large flour tortilla and put a bunch of the leftover pasta inside, and heated it up a little in the oven. I didn't have a microwave then.
Back then I think I would have done almost anything for him. I thought I loved him. He used to say things to me like "You're just going to have to get used to being happy" and "Everyone else has known that I'm in love with you for a long time." He was seemingly obsessed with the idea that people were meant for each other. That's what it seemed like, at least. He pursued me relentlessly even while he was dating one of my friends. We were all in college. He had me convinced that he had been in love with me for almost a year. I believed him.
I think that I wanted to be in love. I think that the attention he paid me was intoxicating. The heady feeling I had during this time seemed to far overshadow any other considerations. During this time I neglected my schoolwork, my family, my friends, even my cat Walter. It is Walter I regret the most. When I look back on this festival of self-destruction and delusion, I can barely believe that I am the same person who made chicken cordon bleu for him. I had been vegetarian for almost 10 years at the time.
One of the things I remember the most is that both of us wrote poetry. We had this thing we did--we would compete with each other, alone and together, to overhear or eavesdrop on other people's conversations or utterances. When one of us heard a line or sentence that sounded good, we would tell the other about it. We often argued over who had first heard a line, who had first rights to it, etc. One of the lines that I still remember we overheard on the streets of Ferndale on a foggy afternoon. We were just crossing the street, and an old man said "Every day is a long day."
Towards the end of our relationship, I wrote a poem about him which really turned out to be about me. When I read that poem now, I realize that I knew even then what a shit he was and how utterly deluded I was to think he really cared about me. I think the idea of love, of being wanted, had the power to make me do really crazy stuff. Still does.
2 weeks ago