I’m single-by-choice until Sketch texts and we come together for a third go-round like two halves of a zipper, fitting into the familiar grooves of one another. I know we need to talk about things, but I keep chickenshitting out. We are together, but not together. He’s not my boyfriend anymore, but I stop sleeping with other people. Still, I find myself having chummy lunches with Puff and Kick, despite the fact that they are both kind of horrible people.
I feel like I’m dragging all my men around after me like a dog with tin cans tied to its tail; my friend Elena calls them my carcasses. I laugh that I’m trying to Frankenstein-monster myself a boyfriend by mashing together three men who each give me a piece of something that I need. I am told this is more of a Monkey’s Paw situation, and that’s not wrong. I wished to have Sketch back, but not this twisted, reanimated parody of our old relationship.
Puff and I go to see a show, and then we walk around Tompkins Square Park, clocking dogs. I want a dog in the worst way, a mutty rescue dog I would give a human name like Steve. There’s a place downtown that lets you borrow a shelter dog for an hour and walk it. This arrangement suits me; maybe I do have commitment issues.
Puff and I hang out in this cheesy East Village hookah lounge, and whatever’s in the hookah gives me a stomachache. Afterwards, Puff walks me to a 12-step meeting in a part of town I’ve never been to before, and kisses me for awhile. I haven’t figured out if I’m attracted to him anymore after the Night of the Really Disappointing Sex, but in lieu of a decision I put my tongue in his mouth and then go inside. Moments later, Sketch walks in through the door.
It feels like one of those dreams, where it dawns on you slowly that you are falling. And then you plummet. Did he see me? What does he know? Anxious and sweating, it takes me a moment to realize that he is with a date himself.
It doesn’t feel the way I thought it would feel, but then nothing has this whole trip. Something about the whole situation strikes me as deeply and profoundly funny. It’s comedy, not tragedy.
I end up back online, dividing my time between OKStupid and Plenty of Fools, getting notes from users with names like Mizduhmeanors, UObeyMe, and Ninja4eva (Best. Name. Eva).