My need to be friends with an ex is a compulsion. It doesn’t matter that I broke up with Kick—twice (see here and here for the gory details). I still find myself deeply offended to have been de-friended on Facebook. Everyone knows the mature response is to block the person from your feed (note: that is not the mature response).
I have a tough time with the definition of friends when it comes to boys. Case in point: Church was a skinny guy with no job and no apartment, and I found him riveting. We would meet on the Highline in Chelsea and run around sniping at each other with Supersoakers; we sat on the second-floor terrace of his Airbnb sublet in South Harlem watching a film shoot in the adjacent yard, blowing bubbles and trying to get the actors to look up. I brought over blow-up boxing gloves and we turned purple trying to get enough air into them to punch each other.
We had terrible sex—both of us so skinny, our hipbones like two garbage can lids banging together. He shaved the hair around the base of his dick so it would look longer (he tried to sell me some horseshit about it keeping his bits cooler in the summer, but I wasn’t buying it), and the resulting stubble was a horror-show for tender lady parts. He earned the moniker Prickle Dick, but was too much fun to let go of. His nickname for me was T-Rex, which I loved; I wanted to keep him around just so there would be someone in my life who called me that.
The night before I left for Taiwan, my adorable roommate who has long blond hair like a mermaid came into my bedroom in her pyjamas: “Someone is ringing the doorbell and asking for you.” I was in bed with those stickers under my eyes that are supposed to make you not have wrinkles.
“Ignore it. I’m not expecting anyone.” Ten minutes later, someone was pounding on the door of our apartment, having gotten past the non-existent security of my building by walking in behind someone in the lobby. My roommate and I stood behind the locked door, bumping heads as we tried to both look through the peephole and I jerked my head back, remembering that in the movies they can see you looking through the peephole and that’s when they shoot you through the door. There was an enormous man-shaped shadow in the hallway holding something: a weapon, or a duffel bag filled with human heads, or a pillowcase a-wriggle with specially trained rapist-snakes, I could not tell.
“Just leave it there!” I shrilled through the door. The man stood and processed this for a bit, then set the mystery parcels down and walked away. My roommate and I opened the door and there were two Trader Joe’s grocery bags filled with birthday balloons with dinosaurs on them. T-Rex dinousars, to be specific. Ah, Prickle Dick. The gesture was sweet and creepy at the same time.
When I get back from my trip, I will see him one last time—I will wear something skimpy and then not want to have sex with him, and he will peer-pressure me into having sex anyway, and afterwards my labia will look like someone fucked me with a cheese grater. I will cut him off, something I’ve never done before. “I don’t want to talk about it, dude,“ I email him. “Go live your life.”
Go live your life becomes the catch-phrase with my friends Jocelyn and Court, it’s meaning circling somewhere between go fuck yourself and run, be free.