Being in a long-term relationship is like being a passenger on the Titanic. You think of it as this big, indestructible force that's going to sail forever. But all it takes is one crack to bring the whole thing down. While it's filling up with water, you're busy listening to the reassuring words and fancy music. You pay no attention the tilting, the creaking, the rushing sound from below. Things will be okay. They have to be. This is the Titanic. The greatest ship ever.
The ship is going down. And you're motherfucking Leo.
Five years is a long time to spend with someone, especially when a relationship was never the goal in the first place. But relationships tend to sneak up on you when you think you're just fucking and making jokes. Before you know it, you realize you'd rather have her head on your chest than your dick in her pussy. You care if she comes. Genuinely care. Not because you think your sexual reputation is at stake. You notice her flaws and find her more endearing for them. You want to take care of her and make out with her in the rain, because as shitty as those movies and song lyrics are, they're not so shitty when you have someone you can reenact them with.
Sappy becomes good. When you're in private, at least.
Relationships aren't defined by the big moments, but by the small moments in between. The days spent laying around. The trips to the grocery store. Giving up your last french fry. Her drool on your pillow. The things you take for granted -- the mundane, the inconsequential. Those are the things you miss the most. It sucks when you realize you'll never hear her mumble about work in her sleep again.
Distance does things to relationships. Stretches them. Like a thread of gum clinging to the sidewalk and a shoe-bottom. Everyone told me it wouldn't work, but most people are idiots. Assholes. If you can play to the assholes in this world, if you can lower yourself down to entertain them, then you stand to make millions. Dane Cook is living proof of this, although I'm not sure he's lowering himself.
Anyway, this time the assholes were right. It didn't work. But what surprised me is she ended it. I thought that if anybody was going to end it, it would be me or my ever-curious dick. Not the big-headed Asian girl who paid for everything. I miss her big head. I can't blame her, though. I mean how would you feel if your boyfriend abandoned you for a dream? What if the only time you saw him was when you had enough money to buy him a plane ticket? And you still had to convince him to come see you? And he's got all these pictures of him up on his Myspace dancing and drinking with pretty blonde girls and you're at home in the Tennessee woods eating spaghetti and doing crossword puzzles and falling asleep by ten o'clock on Saturday nights. How would that make you feel?
Yeah. I know.
But this is my blog and I have to say, in my defense, I make eight dollars an hour and pay twice the rent she does and have to work as much as possible to stay afloat. My nights out are earned. And I never ever ever forgot to call.
But distance does things to relationships...
I won't go into details (I know a lot of them), but he was 5'6. Five. Six. His dick was somewhere in between. Physically (and mentally, I'm sure), he's an inferior male, which is a huuuuuuuuge blow to my ego. Take how much the average person with a brain hates Oprah and multiply that by ten. That's a big fucking blow.
The problem with inferior people is they're not so inferior when they're around. They're substitutes. Rental cars. Utilitarian entities. She was lonely and he was in the lab next to hers. He showed her attention and that's what she needed. That's what we all need. She told me she likes him, but when we're lonely we'll like anybody who likes us, as long as they're reasonably attractive and don't smell like shit.
Plus I was the only guy she'd ever been with. That's like eating filet mignon all the time. As good as it is, you get tired of it. Used to it. After a while, you want to know what taco meat tastes like.
I'm not looking forward to hitting the reset button on my sex life. I have to start all over. Test the freak waters again. What if the next girl's not a good kisser? What if she doesn't like to be choked out? What if she's not down to put a finger in my ass? What if she doesn't swallow? And how the fuck am I going to find all of this out without her thinking I'm a fucking pervert? Shit.
Still, sex is ultimately sex. Love is not ultimately love. You can't get the same things back with different people. And it makes me sick to think of trying. Maybe it's still too soon. I don't know. All I know is, my girlfriend and I, we hated the same people. We made made fun of retards together. I could fart in front of her, forbid her to do the same in front of me. We could watch each other sleep. Kiss each other with morning breath. Fuck each other with no condom on and without showering beforehand. I could make the odd slur and not worry about her branding me a racist or leaking a tape to the media.
I could talk to her about anything. And I can't imagine, not in a million years, doing that with someone else. And it feeling the same. Or even near the same. No.
If you read my giving-beer-to-the-homeless blog, you may remember James (my homeless friend) saying that if he could do it all over again he wouldn't give his love to nobody. That way they couldn't put a foot up his ass. I disagree. But then again he's black and homeless and I'm just a white guy who thinks way too much of himself. But still...
One of my coworkers is afraid that her burgeoning relationship is going to end in pain. She's thinking of pulling the plug before she gets in too deep. So I asked her this:
"Would you not get a puppy knowing that it would die someday?"
She said she'd get the puppy. So I told her okay then. Don't pull the plug. Because in essence, that's what relationships are: pets. They start out small and untrained and unbelievably happy, and then they grow and get bigger and wiser and older. They slow down. Stay in a lot. But the love is still there. And there's no need to prove that love because of everything that's come before it. The joy, the pain, the laughter. Times have been had, memories have been made, stories will be told. And you've grown as a person. You're better. Stronger.
And that's why it's so hard to say goodbye. To lay with it for the last time and hold onto it. To wish you could go back in time to when it was a puppy and make things that way forever. But you can't. And those tears flow and burn when you wrap it in a blanket and put it in the ground and shovel dirt on top of it. And you stare at that mound and you make sure it's perfect. You put flowers on it. You visit it every day. And you promise to remember and hold onto the pain.
But the pain eases.
The grave gets dirty. You visit less. The weather beats the mound into flat earth again. And as hard as you try to recall the pain, to make yourself cry, you can only squeeze out a couple of tears.
All you remember are the happy times.