The initial challenge of this project was to turn all my sordid, strange, Seattle non-relationships into one-paragraph stories. My roommate had been consoling me, “this was a chapter in your life, and tomorrow you’ll turn the page and start a new one.” To which I laughed (snorted, really) and replied, “he was just a paragraph.” In the beginning it seemed like reducing these men into a few sentences would be impossible, but interestingly enough, by the end I realized there wasn’t very much to say about them after all.
Small Dogs. Spring – Summer 2013.
What I despised most about his ridiculous papillon was not it’s own terrible behavior, but the behavior it inspired in him. But if a man would rather have his ex-wife’s yappy dog in his bed than a woman, let him. One night he drunkenly blurted out “I can’t believe you put up with my shit”, and in that moment I realized: I do not have to put up with any man’s shit.
Drunk Dial. Fall 2013
For the record, I never called you a “piece of shit”, I said, “you’re the worst”, but I guess you were correct in that you knew exactly what I meant.
Summer Bummer. Spring – Summer 2014
Like Lana Del Rey, he emitted such a curated essence of tragic, talented artist it was insulting to accuse him of putting on a persona, yet that’s what it reeked of. His dreamy remixes on SoundCloud, his floral prints and designs, his insomniac habit of wandering around with a camera at night attracted me like a moth. However, if someone claims to be lonely yet still rejects your company, take the goddamn hint.
Double Blind. Winter – Summer 2015
None of your bus sketches, meticulously detailed, portray women. It is possible you were simply hesitant to draw unsuspecting women riding public transportation. But like the women on the bus, you saw me regularly and never bothered to study what was in front of you. Here is a good lesson to learn: If I am not what a man is looking for, it is not worth the effort to open his eyes.
Sweet Chocolate. August 2015
The first and only time you brought me home, you introduced your newly-exed girlfriend as “my roommate”. She clawed off your flimsy wrapper and a hot, sticky mess emerged, oozing onto my hands. I should have refrained from greedily licking you off my palms, but instead I comforted myself with nibbles until I realized I was making myself nauseous. Two addicts chasing a sugar high, trying to find the right balance of bitter and sweet.
Half Baked. ? – March 2016
We often like to think “the one who got away” is a matter of unfortunate circumstances. “The one who did not prioritize me” is a significantly less enjoyable way to remember you. I followed your trail of breadcrumbs across the Atlantic, only to discover you had been satiated by someone more scrumptious who arrived on your doorstep ahead of me. In hindsight I am glad I avoided being coaxed into your oven, to be roasted alive with unrequited desire for your consumption. I crumbled like cinnamon sticks beneath your fingertips and discovered a sweetness only released when crushed.
Message Read. April – June 2016.
“Are you fucking serious“, I screamed and threw my phone against the laundry machine. Cruelty is to treat a woman with indifference after she has opened her body to receive you. I am a goddess, and when my dress slips off my shoulders and crumples to the floor, I expect men to do the same. I know it is important to your self-esteem that you are seen as a “good” guy, not like the others. You view “players” with scorn, as if they are beneath you and you are somehow different. Let me reassure you: You are not.
Stranger Thing. August 2016
It is hard to continue giving men the benefit of the doubt after this one, because no millennial with a conscience would promise to not Netflix Cheat on Episode 4, only to proceed to string me along for the next three weeks and then have the gall to feign surprise at the very predictable outcome, as if this completely unnecessary behavior was in no way as intentionally drawn-out as this fucking sentence.
All Kaps. November 2016
I Am Not Sure Why You Capitalized The First Letter Of Every Word You Texted Me. Like your grammatical choices, much about you was a mystery I frankly lacked the motivation to understand. But by the time we met I had become shipwrecked by loneliness, nails chewed ragged, lips picked dry, growth creeping in the cracks. I like to think you texted me I LOVE YOU in all caps because you knew I was too far gone to hear it unless you screamed.
Unpack This. April 2017
There is a jar of sand in my room from the beach we danced upon, your hands replacing the ocean breeze in gently ruffling through my hair. Granules of rock, softened by the rhythmic lapping of the sea and hastily stolen by the fistful from Belize. The sand is now preserved forever, sealed behind glass like the memory of you. I am thankful we were not given the luxury of time, because then we would have had the opportunity to sour.
Engineering Consent. July 2017
Robots do not experience insanity because machine learning algorithms prevent them from doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I wish I was one of those robots you built; rational and emotionless and unable to be electrified by rejection when you chose her over me. We often emerge on the other side vowing to never make the same mistake again. The trouble is that while machines have reliable data storage, over time humans brains tend to forgive or maybe just forget.