When my younger sister says this schmuck she’s seeing bails for the nth time because he’s hungover, I no-sympathy tell her to cut him out. Drop him like the filthy diaper that he is. Delete, block the number. Move on. Funny and ironic and hypocritical because I was that guy. 

I remember walking down Washington Ave with Kate one night. Headlights roaring. Night sky so sorrowful and deep a black. Maybe only northern hemisphere states know the bleakness of middle winter. I remember walking over wet snow, shaking my head. Telling Kate we could only be friends. I said Kate I really like you but there’s this other girl and me and this other girl weren’t just friends like I’ve been saying. I stopped and looked up and told Kate I loved this other girl. 

Our smiling Instagram Stories hide the skeletons. Maybe implicitly, perhaps unintentionally. By shifting the focus to the Crest White Strip Christmas, we shove the Ghosts of Past into the closet. 

I often wonder: what shit are they hiding? Everyone’s got something, right? Dirty laundry swept under the rug, I mean. 

For the first five months I knew Kate, I played her. Couldn’t decide between her and this other girl. Of course, I didn’t tell Kate. Or the other girl. Went about my business. Indecisive and indulgent. Until walking down Washington Ave when I told Kate and she properly put the fuck-you card face down on the table. 

I find myself wondering about people. Has that woman cheated? Or what about that dude—respectable man who says porn’s terrible but iPhone lubes up on the regular? 

I’m all sorts of judgmental. For example, my friend’s husband got this airborne midlife idea to go reinvent himself. Said that marriage wasn’t serving him anymore. No spark. So he bounced. Never mind the house. Or the wife. Or the vow. Said he needs space. Needs vitality. I hear this and the high horse in me starts stampeding, kicking up dust like “what a shit” and “who does that.” Alanis Morissette would backhand slap me till her hand hurt. The irony. Because I was the ass I now slander. We criticize in others what we hate in ourselves?

Many movies do push marriage into turmoil. But only so the drama can resolve after two hours. Tie up loose ends. All is well that ends well. So the narrative moves from bad to good. Or conflict to resolution. What few films capture is the constant cycling between dark and light, good and bad, tragedy and comedy. The shades of grey that stack on top of one another. 

So yeah. Anytime a guy changes his last name to something sparkly like Loveeachother, you have to wonder what he’s trying to compensate for. What demon he’s trying to purge. What failure he’s fleeing from. That’s me. Ryan Loveeachother.  

Perpetually trying to reinvent, lean to the light, and love. 

 

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