Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Enterprise - 46

One December night, Melissa and I sat in the Indian restaurant around the corner from her place. She told me she had been depressed.

“For how long?”

“For a while. For quite a while.”

She’d started seeing a shrink, she said. I asked her if she’d talk to me about her sessions. No.

She’d been prescribed an antidepressant whose side effects included reduced libido.

“Are you on them now?”


Still, it was over. I knew it. Had been over for months. It was over more than ever. Going to end soon, soon, soon. Still, I was relieved. Maybe the malaise in our relationship hadn’t been my fault. And I allowed myself to be flattered by her confession. Didn’t it mean she wanted me to stay? To play the role of the supportive boyfriend? Could it be that all I had to do from here on out was be there for her?

I told her I’d do whatever she wanted. We’d do whatever she wanted. And that I understood. Hell, I’d felt that way too. Together, we’d get thr—

It was late at night on Valentine’s Day when she told me it was over. I lay in bed beside her, formulating my reply. Staring at that old, familiar ceiling in a whole new way. I wasn’t the least bit surprised. I was devastated. I was elated. I was hungry.

“I feel like I haven’t been myself around you,” I ventured meekly.

“What do you mean?”

“I haven’t been acting like me. The person you just broke up with isn’t me.”

I could tell she was annoyed by the way that she was quiet. Like a fool, I persisted.

“Let me show you who I am. Please.”

She took a drag off her cigarette. Women are so cool and cinematic when they’re breaking up with you.

“If you aren’t you, then who the fuck have I been with all this time?”

It was a strong question. Diamond-tipped. All the best questions have no answers. Or answers so obvious no one dares to speak them. This one hounded me into my pants and out the door.