This last time, when a bad thing happened, it only took three days of your life.
But it’s 9 days since now. He’s off your facebook feed, he’s potentially out of your social circle for months. When you finally see him it will be understandable if your eyes glaze over and look 10 feet past him, as if he were a ghost to squint through.
And your coworkers know, so they know why you couldn’t remember a thing and kept tearing up. And you’re not doing that anymore. You only had to do that for three days. It’s 9 days since now.
You showed up at all the places you were supposed to show up. And you laughed when you were supposed to laugh. And you put on your makeup and posed for pictures.
A much older man told you if you were his girlfriend he’d book you and you would become a star. He could book you all over but let’s not be dumb about who can make a star. He must’ve taken you for younger than you are. He must’ve taken you for hungrier, a much bigger hole to fill inside with those ambitions than you have these days. A nice bookend to the week- a young man, an old man, me I’m not young anymore. Me I want what an old person wants now.
9 days since and now here we are at Thanksgiving and you only have to work and hang out. And you don’t have to be around young or old men except immediate family. And you don’t have to put on much makeup, just a little eyeliner and lipstick for some work shifts, and you don’t have to pose for pictures. And you don’t have to see him. You don’t have to do much at all.
It’s hard but it’s not always hard. It’s hard, some days are harder, and you cut people out, and you decide what you just thought you needed but you really don’t and the easier days build up.
It’ll happen again but not with the same men. It’ll happen again and you’ll be out three days again. It’ll happen again and your social circle will draw tighter, your life will narrow down some more. A tiny pen dot on the map of the United States. Your location ever more specific, every day, not all things to all people, but one singular specific woman, startlingly consistent in what she can tolerate.
Roll on weirdos. It’s all we can do anyway.