Four years after he broke my heart, a night that would finally put it all to rest.
I dated Seth for a good part of year and half. There were other men before him. But for some reason he was the one who penetrated my skin, got into my bloodstream then the heart, like mountain water finding its way to a deep well through underground creeks and pathways. He was handsome, smart, beautiful. And so very young.
It wasn’t love at first sight, it was a more gradual process. But all of a sudden I found myself thinking about him all the time, his face filling my mind every time I closed my eyes.
With him I was smarter funnier, cooler. It was as though something inside had ignited, from blue and violet to red and orange. Don’t think I realized at the time how much I liked him. There were clues, big ones, but when you fall for the first time, there’s just no reference.
Love isn’t blind, it’s stupefying.
Looking back, I should have seen it a mile away. There was always something not quite right. Kept telling myself that’s just how he is, the rich background, the cold upbringing. I remember going to his parents’ house for Thanksgiving. Nice folks who wouldn’t yell if the house was on fire, who spoke to each other in soft, formal voices, who couldn’t imagine leaning their elbows on the dinning-room table.
Seth was funny, witty and distant, like his mother.
It came one day. The message. The one you can’t ignore. A night at a club. We had lost each other for a minute. When I finally found him he was with someone, drunk off his mind. There was something in the way he looked at that guy, the way he touched his waist. An intimate moment.
I watched. I had to be sure. Then the answer. The two walking towards the bathroom. Together.
My heart racing. My mind, lost.
Oh no you’re not, not on my watch.
I walked over, looked at his friend.
“Get lost. Now.”
The guy froze, caught between his pride and fear, then left. I turned to Seth.
“Don’t call me. Ever.”
Outside, alone, a cry so primal, so loud, not even a midwife could imagine. Then the fall.
The damp of pillows, the terror of morning, a bed that seemed to be magnetic. Bills unpaid, laundry unwashed, blinking messages unanswered.
Just me and my bedroom wall. A Broken man.
I thought when they said “heartache” they meant it figuratively, a metaphor. No one warned me.
A few months later, another discovery. A letter he’d written. Not to me, someone else. Descriptions of weeks filled with passion and sex. Always a letter. I take a deep breath. The date, not recent. Three days before that night.
A broken heart even more broken. Nothing but pulverized dust where pumping muscles used to be. Anger and pain finding their way back to a place they used to own. Cold sweat. Tears in my mouth. Was I not good looking enough?
I met the boy in the letter, during Pride, with Seth. The look in Seth’s eyes. No, he isn’t cold, it’s not the upbringing or his mother. The way he looked at his new boyfriend, the same way I looked at Seth. He has it in him, just not for you.
What is it about this other boy? Handsome, but come on, are you kidding me? I examined his face, his eyes. Then I saw it. The way he looked at Seth, the same way Seth looked at me. Life, come-upins. Boomerang.
Then the power of divinity, the twisted humor of a God. Four years later, at a party, his boyfriend walks into a room.
“So who are you dating these day?” he asked.
“No one. You?”
“Still with Seth.”
“I thought you guys split up”
“We did, then got back together. We’re having some trouble, I don’t think it’ll last.”
“Does he know that?”
“Maybe you should tell him.”
I looked at him. Handsomer than I thought. Wisdom in his eyes. A man not a boy. Then this:
“You know,” he said, “I’ve always thought that if we had met under different circumstances, I would have asked you on a date.”
“I think you’re an incredible guy. I’ve dated many people who have come out of relationships all fucked up. Seth’s not. I think it speaks very highly of you.”
A few drinks. Then a few more. Then a kiss.
I push him away.
“Dude this isn’t right." I say. "Not that evil.”
“Come home with me.”
“What? No. Dude. Can’t.”
“Come home with me.”
“No fucking way. You have a lot of shit to figure out.”
“Come home with me. I live right across the bridge in Brooklyn.”
“Brooklyn? Are you nuts?”
“Come home with me, I’ll make you breakfast.”
I had to know. I had to know what he looked like under those clothes. I had to know what he tasted like. I had to know how big his dick was. Was he better than me?
His small cramped room, an unmade bed. Has he changed the sheets since he last fucked Seth? Clothes on the floor, his tongue in my mouth, his fat cock, his small butt. Sleeping with the enemy, the man I’ve thought about so many times, the origin of so much pain, here sucking my dick, kissing my lips, holding my hand.
My ego restored. My curiosity squashed. My guilt above normal. My grief, over.
There are moments in life all the fiction in world can’t surpass. A moment when even the biggest atheists must wonder. Can this really be coincidental?