Ten months after our breakup, I was back in town and called to see if he wanted to get a beer. I used the pretext that I needed some stuff from our old house, but really I just wanted to see him, find out where things stood between us. I took certain preventative measures: I asked him to meet me in the early evening at a bright, family-friendly brewpub and picked clothes and makeup that made me look good, but not like I was trying. In case I tried to do something regrettable, I took out an insurance policy by arranging to meet my most judgmental friends at a nearby bar two hours after I was set to meet him. Keep that door shut, girlfriend. Nerve: The Virtual Pet That Embodied My Breakup
He was (characteristically) late. As I waited in a black vinyl booth, I tried to divine the source of my sudden nervousness. We knew each other better than anyone, but I didn't know how I would feel when I saw him, and it scared me. I needn't have worried. He was just the same, or nearly so—his thick Greek hair was slicked back into a bun. Gross, I thought, and relaxed. This person sliding into the booth across from me was no threat to my equilibrium.
We started out with pleasantries—gossip, biographical tidbits, things we'd been reading, just two old friends catching up. But the conversation turned personal somewhere into our second beer. We talked about the ups and downs of our six-year relationship, the strangeness of dating and sleeping with other people, the emptiness of making out with strangers at parties. Our friends had encouraged it of both of us, and I told him it always made me feel that much more alone. He nodded understandingly; I'd forgotten what a relief it was to have a conversation with someone who always knew what I was talking about. Two hours passed in a blur, and as our intimacy deepened, I was glad I had a reason to leave. Nerve: When Mosquitos Doomed Our Sex Life