I walked by J’s house Tuesday night and there was a cat in the window. I stood on my tip-toes to peer in and saw a lamp in the hallway, a clock on the mantel—all things that weren’t there before—and then there was the cat. He’s allergic to cats.
Whoever is living with him in his home, whether it is a new girlfriend or friend or stranger. And whether the motives financial or a favor or love—whatever may be reason, the cat in the window was the final betrayal. For he is living with an animal that he’s allergic to for the benefit of someone. An out-of-your-way kindness. And a blurring of his strict boundaries that he rarely extended to me. It was the final nail in the coffin that spurred me quickly and finally from anger to depression to acceptance. Because fuck him. Seriously, guys, breaking up is hard to do.
I wrapped a giant marketing project this week at work—and as I signed off on the final draft, felt a mix of overwhelming fear that I did something terribly wrong and huge sense of relief.
So I went out last night with the frat boys and an old friend from Chicago to congratulate myself on a job well done. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger and chicken wings and french fries. And a celebratory shot of fireball (or two). And I stayed out past midnight on a school night.
I don’t see the frat boys often these days, but the shorthand is still there. We still eat off each other’s plates and laugh at each other’s jokes and mock each other relentlessly. I’m lucky in that way. Lucky in many ways, in fact. For I have better friends than any girl has right to—friends that show up on my front porch on a Tuesday night with a bottle of wine without me having to ask, and read and respond to long emails about cats on a Wednesday morning, and buy the first round of shots on a Thursday. They’re good like that.