If there is one thing to be said for me, it is that I get myself into stupid relationships a lot. If there are two things to be said for me, it’s that my break-ups are always epic. For a while there, many years after all of that happened, I got accidentally involved in a long-distance, mostly epistolary affair with an extremely talented writer who is married and kind of famous. I wasn’t really planning on it, it just happened to me and then I didn’t know how to stop it. We started sending eachother dirty videos and calling eachother on the phone when we were alone, so one day when he tried to start a webcam chat with me through gmail, I accepted it, and put the laptop in front of a mirror, with the camera facing the mirror. I sat out of frame, at an angle, so I could see his reaction. I watched him stare quizzically at himself in the screen. I watched him think that it was a joke, or some sort of weird new sexy thing I was about to try. I watched him try to go for it anyway, but lose interest. I watched him just kind of watch himself in the screen, this sad, lonely man cheating on his wife of many, many years with some girl at least a decade his junior, a girl who didn’t really like him, a girl with a conscience. After I thought he got the point, I reached back into frame and closed the laptop, so that the video ended abruptly. He never bothered me again.
The other day, one of the people who directly inspired this list walked into a bar I was at and sat down next to me without saying anything. I turned away from the people I was with and just sat there next to him for an hour. There was a mirror behind the bar, so we used that to look at each other and still avoid direct eye contact. We didn’t talk. We just enjoyed our drinks in silence. At the end of it all, my friends got up to leave and I settled up and got up with them. As I stood up to go, he looked over his shoulder at me. His friends were just walking in the door. I said “hey, thanks.” And walked away.