February 21, 2002

First

I can’t recall what she said or did or even what the fight was about, but I know that we were standing outside a place in Harvard Square called The Garage, which isn’t a garage at all but an indoor mall. Also there was a trash can there, right where we were standing, so I kicked it over, or did something else to it, I don’t remember what exactly. She was – this I remember well – surprised; I could see it in her eyes.

I’m not given to violent displays, but the feelings between us were so intense that if we weren’t fighting, we were fucking, or about to fight, or fuck, sometimes it didn’t matter which.

This time, though, we were definitely fighting. And so while I was doing whatever I was doing to the can (which plenty of people were watching me do), I shouted, “I never want to see you again! Get the fuck out of my life!” Something to that effect.

As it turned out, that just the first of many breakups. It was the most dramatic but not the most traumatic – not by far. That one occurred six years later, in her apartment in San Francisco, as I reached down to untie my sneakers. All she said was, “Don’t untie them.”