January 22, 2010

I feel sorry for the men when I leave them. This might come as a surprise to you because I’m sure you’ve heard I have no feelings. But trust me, when they’re sitting on their beds, usually in boxer-briefs, elbows resting on legs, heads in hands, begging me not to go, that I’ll regret this forever, that — tears choking them — they love me, I really feel bad. I do.

It’s selfish, but it’s me. I find no one interesting for more than a few weeks, which, inexplicably, is the time I’ve found it takes for a man to fall ridiculously, confusingly, and pathetically in love with me.

I’m uncomfortable with this. Maybe if I was smarter, prettier, more athletic, a better cook, a world traveler, well-read, thoughtful, better at math, or loved animals, I could understand my allure instead of being constantly awed by it. But that’s not the case.

When I was young, my mother took me to the mall around Christmastime to get my photo taken with Santa. My mother was always very impatient and decided the line was too long, so she took me to get an ice cream cone at the food court. We sat on the edge of the huge fountain that served as the centerpiece of the mall, and as I licked my bubble-gum flavored treat, my mother opened her purse, fished out a quarter, handed it to me and said, “Make a wish.”

I remember wanting to just keep the quarter — I had an obsession with those tacky, 25-cent candy machines inside of grocery stores — but to make my mother happy, I clenched it in my palm, thought for a few seconds, then tossed the quarter into the water.

My mother smiled a closed. tight-lipped smile and I finished my ice cream cone. I never got my picture taken with Santa that year and my mother never asked me what I wished for. It was probably petty and unimportant anyway.

All I know is that now, every time I’m walking away, the questions are the worst part.


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