Another Breakup? Pull Up Your Socks

I'm the Boy in the Box

My girlfriend and I broke up tonight. After a couple of weeks of denial, she made me admit the fact that I’m not falling in love with her. That our relationship is doomed to failure. That what I thought was patience and hope on my part is actually inertia and cowardice. And maybe misplaced compassion.

In the book she lent me, “This All Happened” by Michael Winter, I’ve just come to the part where he thinks couples should write breakup statements when they part ways, that could be kept in the public archives for future couples to read. To see what they’re in for. I’ve come to the part where he talks about how our instinct is stronger than words, how people can sense how you’re truly feeling from your body language regardless of what you might say.

In the car, when I took her home after the movie but declined to stay. I wanted to get some work done at home.

Her: Oh. Okay.

Quiet in the front seat.

Me: What’s wrong.

A pause.

Her: I guess… I guess I’m feeling insecure.

There are enormous things I love about her. Her raw, grudging honesty. How she doesn’t back down from an argument. Her hands in my hair. The way she sings Corey Hart’s “Boy in the Box.” Pieces of love that I can’t seem to put together. Perhaps our hearts start off broken, to be built when we find love with someone else.

“This All Happened” is essentially a day-by-day diary, and I have come to the last chapter: December. To winter. By Michael Winter. My high school English teacher, Mr. Keat, would approve.

Goodbye Bambi. You are a wonder.


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