Once a week, Daily Intel takes a peek at what your friends and neighbors are doing behind doors left slightly ajar. Today, the Self-Professed “Damaged Goods” From a Never-Ending Breakup: 25, Brooklyn, female, advertising associate, single.
7:59 a.m.: Awake suddenly with a fierce charley horse that makes me cry out in pain. Wonder if my housemates might confuse the outburst with crazy morning sex. Dismiss idea.
11:20 a.m.: Review text message that my date from the night before, Terrance, sent me fifteen minutes after our subway entrance make-out session and five minutes after I informed him of my post-relationship status. I had called myself “damaged goods.” His text: “Ur the best-lookin’ damaged goods I ever seen.”
12:56 p.m.: Log into Gmail account and see that my ex, Marcus, is online. I say “ex” with quotation marks. After a one-year relationship, followed by a one-year hiatus while I was abroad and then a six-month breakup, we still talk and fuck a lot.
1 p.m.: After staring at Marcus’s name for a few minutes, I change my setting to “never show Marcus in contacts.” There’s nothing more tormenting than that shining green dot.
1:48 p.m.: Check to see if Marcus is still online. He’s idle. Are all exes are this crazy? Are all breakups this wrenching?
4:15 p.m.: I break my determined silence on my end, and G-chat greet him. He declares that he feels sick and needs “some lovin’ :).” I respond: “I’ll see what I can do,” and then immediately regret the exchange. Decide to block him from online communication.
8:30 p.m.: Salsa time! If I ever thought I would meet men in a dance class — and, believe me, I did — I was sorely mistaken. But spinning and grinning with my guapo instructor, I enjoy every minute of it.
9:25 a.m.: Entertain myself by playing the classic “Who on this train would I sleep with?” game. The answer is “nobody.”
4:30 p.m.: Succumb to impulses yet again, and G-chat Marcus. I propose we chill later tonight. I know it’s wrong — how can I be coy if I keep fucking him? Am excited anyway.
5:15 p.m.: Get second text from Terrance. The contrast between his interest and Marcus’s complacence is almost poignant.
7:15 p.m.: Terrance calls as I leave work. He wants to take me to sing karaoke this weekend! Big points for that — and for having Killing Me Softly as his karaoke standard.
10:15 p.m.: Sprint from dinner at friend’s house to leap on the express train, trying to get home before Marcus arrives. Create upbeat playlist to keep my V-thoughts positive. Just keep imagining the sex
Midnight: Plying him with booze, tolerating a mediocre movie, and hoping he’ll stay the night.
1:20 a.m.: Victory! He’s following me into my room.
1:45 a.m.: Okay, best sex ever. First, me on top. Then, him from behind, which is where we both come, at the same time. Settle into that familiar and delirious postcoital mode, replete with naked body caressing, primate back scratching, and some serious spooning.
8:45 a.m.: Really? I have to get out of this bed? But his hand is cupping my breast! And his penis is enticingly erect. I rub it a little, hoping that morning booty will banish the alarm clock from this earth. He moans and hugs me tighter, but work calls.
9:15 a.m.: My coffee guy sort of ignores Marcus’s order. It’s bad news when even the vendor on your corner can tell you’re doing wrong by yourself.
9:25 a.m.: On the train, Marcus alternates smooching my cheek (adoringly) with asserting (ridiculously) that his penis and my vagina “just go really well together,” thus situating our connection somewhere between eternal love and basic mechanics.
3:15 p.m.: Incoming message from Terrance. It’s signed “Love, T.” I freak out and call our mutual friend. Turns out it was a group text. Relief.
5:15 p.m.: Mentally replay last night’s stunning finale. Get a little weak in the knees. I can still feel his hands on my ass and his breath on my neck. Instead, discuss the hotness of a consultant at work.
6:02 p.m.: Elated when Marcus calls to suggest an “afternoon delight.” Officially decide that I can leave work by 6:30.
7:16 p.m.: Well, we just keep raising the bar. Soul music on the stereo, lights lowly on. It’s hot in my room, and the glistening sweat makes everything sexier. Marcus declares he’s “addicted” to sex with me. I tend to think it’s love, but, whatever. He says tomato
8 p.m.: Marcus leaves, giving me a nice kiss good night. I’m feeling good about us for the first time in a long time.
9 p.m.: Watch Tell Me You Love Me with housemates. The sex on that show is so raw it’s almost embarrassing to watch with other people.
11:30 p.m.: Terrance calls to ask for a date tomorrow. I accept, but know there’s no one I enjoy more than Marcus. God, I’m so completely, totally, utterly fucked in the head.
10:15 a.m.: Turns out that hot consultant is married. With a kid. And his kid’s in the hospital. And I’m feeling rather inappropriate right now.
11:07 a.m.: G-Chat Marcus, “My body feels like it ran a marathon in a good way.”
11:15 a.m.: Decide to block him as a punishment for not responding immediately to my thinly veiled reference to our earth-shaking sex.
2:30 p.m.: Walking to get lunch. I worry whether my “list” is getting too long. It’s a diverse list. Congratulate myself on my nondiscriminatory bedroom practices.
11:15 p.m.: At home from work late. Blow off Terrance with the excuse that I’m too tired. Go to low-key party with friends instead.
12:35 a.m.: Lounge in bed with gay guy housemate discussing the night before and analyzing our failed relationships. Marcus and his ex are best friends, which makes our love lives rather complicated and our heart-to-hearts fairly frequent.
1:20 p.m.: Rouse ourselves to get brunch, then settle into the sofa to watch a DVR’d episode of The Office.
5:30 p.m.: Play with my baby niece, and then stay with her while she sleeps so that my sister and her husband can actually go out alone. Maybe marriage isn’t so simple.
10 p.m.: Marcus calls and says that he’s feeling that tonight is the kind of chill night that actually makes him want a girlfriend, so he thought he’d call his “pseudo-girlfriend.” I try to ignore the comment and ask him what he wants. “I might want to see you later tonight,” he says. Twice.
11:20 p.m.: Text Marcus to see where he’s at.
3:30 a.m.: Leaving Manhattan. Call Marcus to see how we should meet up. No answer. Leave message.
3:45 a.m.: Marcus calls and says he’s not coming over. I’m pissed. Tell him he’s a tease and an asshole and determine never to let him disappoint me again. In all reality, that means never speaking to him again. Change his name to “Do Not Answer” in my phone and decide to stick to it.
12:09 a.m.: Wake up in the middle of a sex dream about Marcus in which our love-making was interrupted by the sudden appearance of people all around us: in bed, on the floor, coming into the room, asking me for things. What would Freud make of that? Why is he even allowed in my dreams? Masturbate off of dream.
7:10 p.m.: I am ten minutes late meeting Terrance at the movies. He’s a little pissed, and I’m more than a little drunk. Avoid all physical contact during the film and start thinking about ways to tell him I’m not feeling it.
1 a.m.: Realize that Marcus never called to explain or apologize for blowing me off yesterday. It upsets me more than I’d like to admit. How can a dead relationship still affect my mood so much?
1:05 a.m.: Decide to masturbate to get my mind off it, but I can’t really get into it.
10 a.m.: Wake up late. No work today! Took the day off.
10:30 a.m.: See e-mail from Terrance wishing me luck on my international travels and saying that he has enjoyed hanging out with me these past few weeks. Why am I not attracted to nice guys?
1 p.m.: Meet sister and mom for lunch. My sister tells me about some hedge-fund man she met at a party that she thought would be great for me until she realized he was a jerk. I thank her for trying and wonder if I’ll ever meet anyone I like again.
4 p.m.: Go online and see Marcus’s green light shining bright. I break my no-contact rule, because I feel he should know I’m still pissed off about Saturday night.
6:49 p.m.: Forget dinner. I have a painful and prolonged phone convo with Marcus that dispels any hopes I harbored of parlaying our fuck-friendship back into a relationship. I get the point: It really is time to move on. I kind of hope we never talk again.
7:30 p.m.: Terrance calls and says he needs to be honest with me: He really likes me and wants to date me seriously. I’m still crying, so I tell him everything — all the details about Marcus and our breakup. He listens well. Maybe I’m not feeling him, but this guy deserves a real shot.
10 p.m.: I smoke a joint and forget men exist. For tonight, it’s just me and my HBO. Tell Me You Love Me indeed.
Total: Two acts of masturbation; six resolutions to cease phone, instant messenger, and in-person contact with ex-boyfriend; daily communication with ex-boyfriend; two acts of sex with the aforementioned ex-boyfriend; one blown-off date with a potential new suitor; one date with new suitor; one anguished heart-to-heart with gay housemate whose ex is best friends with ex-boyfriend.