Monday, July 10, 2006


I moved into my current apartment three years ago this May. It was one of three apartments I'd looked at, and was a welcomed change of pace from the dark, dank studio on Colfax that smelled like armpits and cigarettes and the modern, boring, white-carpet-equals-nightmare on Bryant. This place had personality: the little independent grocery store next door; the friendly building manager; two public balconies; bright, east-facing windows; hardwood floors; a clawfoot bathtub so big it's almost cartoonish compared to the rest of the space; walking distance from anywhere a 20-something would want to be in Minneapolis. It was a relief to have found a new home. J and I had broken up just before Valentine's Day, and though things were civil, they were still impossibly confusing and difficult.

I remember a lot of things about those 3 and 1/2 years - some happy, some not so happy. For the vast majority of our time together, though, I thought J was it. THE one. When we moved in together, I wasn't nervous about it. It was the kind of relationship that I didn't see ever ending - why would it? But it did. I don't remember the breakup conversation at all. Not a word of it. I don't know what I said or what he did. I know when I first moved into my new place I was terrified to leave it. The first six months in the apartment were spent in that strange gray space between being together and being broken up that happens with someone when you don't know how NOT to be with them. For all intents and purposes, we broke up for a whole year, ending with him proposing marriage to me, and me, having waited for that question for a few years, having to say no. It wasn't as emphatic as those closer to the situation would have expected, or even as emphatic as I would have expected from myself. But there it was.

Then one day I woke up and my life looked totally different than it ever had with J. My television lived in my closet (there's still a lingering nausea whenever I catch even a few seconds of a rerun of Frasier). I'd quit smoking. I'd lost 80 pounds. I had friends. A job I loved. All of these things were slow in coming, but they're there, and they're mine, and I don't regret a single day of any of it.

There's a lot of emotional baggage I carry from this experience and one remaining legal document tying us together. An educational loan I reluctantly agreed to cosign. I haven't spoken to J in two years, but Wells Fargo is now his representative looking to collect on that decision - a favor I did for someone I loved years ago. Now I sit and wonder if he bears me so much malice that he's decided to get one last "fuck you" in, if he just forgot, if he wants to see or hear from me and considered this his option to do that, if he's on vacation, if he's in trouble, if he's hurt or (god forbid) dead. And I don't really want to know that any of those options is the answer. I want all of those pleasant and not-so-pleasant memories to stay in the past, where they belong.

And if there's one thing I definitely don't need more of, it's debt.

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