loveless generation

8:22 PM

I'm sitting in my favorite ramen restaurant on Varet Street at 5:53pm on a Friday evening. I'm the only one here and it's 84 degrees outside. Love Stinks by the J. Geils Band is playing and instead of thinking about the associated 80's movies and hair bands, I can't help but assume that this whole situation is a little symbolic of this entire week, or perhaps the entire year. 

Here I am on what regular folk usually consider a 'date night', on a date by myself looking quite embarrassing if I'm being completely honest, in a place that just doesn't make sense according to the world outside. But somehow my body gravitated to this situation like I had no choice, with my personal soundtrack playing in the background. 

Earlier this week I got some disappointing news in my romantic life. Another one bites the dust, onto the next, c'est la vie. My best friend Alyssa typically spews analogies that make no sense to me when she attempts to bridge the real world to Star Wars or some galactic Disney animation - but this time she actually made sense. We were on the phone, I was walking to emotionally indulge in a donut. She gave me the "you're better off" talk, patiently listened to my voice shake as I ranted about the news and asked if I'd ever take this guy back. I told her I didn't know - probably not. Unless he performed some grand gesture like showing up at my apartment with a bouquet of peonies and a heartfelt confession and tickets to Japan. Alyssa replied with, "Dating in New York is like a romantic comedy. Except the grand gesture never happens."

Okay, Lyss. You win this one. You're like, fucking spot on. 

The truth is, we all secretly want this grand gesture to happen when we go through a shitty situation. A couple tiny little cells in our brains actually think it will happen. It doesn't matter if he was the biggest asshole in the world (he kinda was), feelings blind you and you still want the happy ending - not a tacky 80's song mocking your personal life when you're solo dining at Samurai Papa. A couple just walked in and sat down, so the scene just got better. 

I won't go into deep details of the situation, but believe me when I say that I shouldn't want the grand gesture or the happy ending with this one. Instead, I'm full of questions - not specifically about what went down, but about humanity itself: How could somebody be so cold? Why would you hurt somebody who has only been kind to you? What did I do wrong? Why couldn't you just be honest? Why do people lie at all?

Of course, everybody is different: the way they think, the reasons they act the way they act. But as an adult, as an enormously intelligent man with a fascinating career and the ability to delicately nurture animals and keep strong friendships throughout one's lifetime.. how could that person be so careless with another's existence? 

My mind has been tossed back and forth between posting about this or not. I don't want him to know how much he's affected me, but the truth is, I can't be ashamed of who I am. I'm a bundle of passion, I feel things to the extreme, and that scares some people. I'm also more proud of this characteristic than most, it can be painful and dramatic, but it's always beautiful. I was mislead, perhaps by my own high hopes and the idea of what somebody could be. But I can't and I won't allow someone's blatant abuse of trust to hinder my ability to open up or become vulnerable in the future. So here I am: open but confused, bummed but mature, pissed off but calm, and gracefully strong. 

On Tuesday night, I told my friend Jason, "This keeps happening - I can't help but think it's me." My male friends have always questioned my taste in men, and he solidified that by saying "It's not you, it's your choices". They're also getting pretty fed up with seeing me ache over and over, so let's hope the next guy knows better for his sake. 

I leave you with a lesson learned, this Lorde song, this Rupi Kaur poem, this article that my amazing friend Lynn sent me, and a promise that I will never let you bring me down.

Photo by Graham Burns

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