let me save you the trouble:
because what i'm trying to say is
i'm not a good person.
i don’t tell valerie about how i planned to rekindle
my friendship with charlie’s best friend last year
just so i could get to him and hurt him.
(i don’t tell her how, in the end, i ended up liking
his friend instead, and charlie dated another
fifteen year old
because shit happens and what was i doing,
expecting things to go my way?)
there are certain things she doesn’t need to know,
certain things i can’t say because
putting it into words what it was like waking up,
that sort of shame that came with it –
it was like – it was like looking into a window
and swearing there’s a monster behind it
before, slowly, i realized
it was a mirror.
what therapy promises me: love yourself, forgive but
never forget, tell us your past
then let it go.
what i learn in therapy: nobody has all the answers.
we certainly don’t.
“you know all these articles about
how my generation is the dumbest
“are those true?”
“no. people are actually getting smarter
by about three IQ points every decade.”
“you’re a doctor. is there any particular reason
adults wanna make us feel like shit?”
“other than projecting their guilt of ruining the economy
and their envy of your technology
and their desperation to tapdance
around their own problems?”
she smiles sadly. “no. none that i can think of.”
“today i hugged conor for nearly
“that’s a long time.”
“he laughed,” i say, crumpling a hershey’s wrapper
in my lap.
“and he said, ‘uh, katie?’ but it’s –
i don’t think he understands the feeling
of being forced to let go.”
“charlie told me the girl he left me for
is the only girl
he’s ever loved.”
“why would he say that you?”
“i don’t know. i don’t know why he does
what he does anymore. and i don’t care.
i don’t care.”
she has a sympathetic look that i hate.
definitively i say “i don’t”
right as the tears begin.
“no. just give me a minute.
give me a minute.”
she does, but it doesn’t matter.
getting over this kind of pain
will take forever.