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Relationship Babbling

The topic of discussion is no longer valid.

Round 2 with Rhonda ends with a technical knockout: after several goes with phone sex and a few sweet letters dashed off, I called her and asked, "why do I feel you drifting?"

"Because it's over," she said.

Oh.

I will do myself the dignity of not writing down my begging shamefulness on the phone, my back arching as I wept and moaned. But when I hung up the sense of horror and loneliness disappeared. All the emotion drained away and the empty space filled with calm, even cheer.

Now that's a killer: did I love her or not? I'm embarassed either way, because if I did I should be mournful, and if I didn't, why did I strip myself of dignity as I pleaded with her not to let us end, only to finish the conversation in indifference?

The simple answer: I'm crazy. Not apeshit, not wacky, not loony, just a little crazy, and I got scared and convinced myself I needed Rhonda back, that nothing else would come along. The complicated answer: I loved her, in a way you love a person you don't love. I think.

And nothing may come along, but that's okay. I have other things to keep my hands occupied.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

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