“I don’t know how to say this, but I think we need to break up?” I even used that up-talk that girls use when they can’t mold thoughts into declarative sentences. “I think you’re right,” he said back to my astonishment.
Astonishment. Yea, he already knew.
I mildly expected him to offer up reasons we should give it another go. Instead, he pulled a Colin Firth, “Yes, yes, very well. Jolly good fun we’ve had. Quite agree this is done.” I think that was verbatim, actually. Spoken as cool as an English cucumber.
We could tidily close the scene here, except there are rules to breaking up fairly. One of those rules is that both parties have to say their piece. It’s like a kid’s Christmas pageant: No one really cares what you say, but since you practiced those lines so damn hard, we’ll sit here and listen to you say them. So I was like, “wah wah wah.” Then he was all like, “blah blah blah.” And I was like, “After baby Jesus was born, the wise men came to Jerusalem…”
And then. And then.
A silky soft brown insect flew past me. He reached out and smashed it hard between his hands and it fell dead on the ground. “What was that?” I asked. “A moth,” he said. He crushed a Moth in the middle of our break up talk, which was too perfect to be sad. “I’ve had a problem with them since this winter,” he explained. Oh, sweetheart, you don’t even know how well put that was.
Brimming with civility, we decided to enjoy one last meal together at our old favorite haunt within walking distance of an apartment we used to share. In related news, that restaurant shut down the very next day: see “Trailblazing Williamsburg Restaurant Dressler Closes Without Warning.” I guess it’s without warning, if you don’t count our ominous break up dinner there.
Afterwards, I stopped at his place on the way home to pick up my tennis racket. “Do you also want your label maker back?” he asked. “No,” I said sentimentally, “You keep the label maker.”