You Blocked Me On Facebook
Sex Acts And Emotional Problems
“It’s okay,” Caitlyn told him.
It wasn’t really, but there was nothing they could do about it now.
“Thanks for apologizing,” she said. “I mean I appreciate you calling, coming clean and everything, but it doesn’t change things between us. We broke up and you’re with Cassandra.”
“I’m not,” David revealed quietly. “She told me I was still in love with you and said she didn’t want to be a seat-filler.”
“Excuse me? What?”
“Yeah,” David answered. “After I got Stacy’s message I asked Cass what she thought I should do. Stacy can be pretty scary sometimes. I figured if she was coming at me that hard it must be pretty bad. If you’re depressed because you lost your job…”
“Hold on,” Caitlyn cut him off, “I’m not depressed, David.”
“I’m glad to hear that.”
“Anyway,” she urged for more, “go on. You figured I must be in a real bad place so you wanted to reach out.”
“Yeah,” he confirmed. “When I told Cass that I wanted to come to New York and check on you she flipped out. She said the whole time I was with her, I was just waiting for an excuse to try and get you back…”
Caitlyn cut him off a second time.
David took a breath before he answered.
“Yes and no,” he said. “I wasn’t in love with her. I knew she’d never be as perfect as you were in my eyes.”
“David,” Caitlyn pulled the sheets off her legs and got out of bed. “Spare me the romance. You were pretty mean last year. You called me a fucking bitch.”
“So what?” he countered. “You’re mean too, Caitlyn. And if you wanna dish it out you’d better be able to take it, or learn to play nicer.”
“That’s fair,” Caitlyn agreed.
“So how are you?” David asked.
“You shouldn’t have said anything,” Caitlyn told him, “about Stacy’s message to Cass. You never bring up the ex to the new girl. That was silly.”
“It was more passive aggressive than anything,” David explained.
For an instant Caitlyn missed him. They were both too smart and smug for anyone else to endure in large amounts. Distance had strained their bond, but it didn’t appear to be completely broken.
“We weren’t actually together,” he added, “in December at Shannon’s birthday.”
“By the next morning?”
“It’s okay,” Caitlyn said. “It’s whatever.”
“You blocked me on Facebook.”
“I did,” she admitted.
“Come on,” David scoffed. “That’s immature.”
“Social media interaction is the most prevalent communication of our time,” she told him. “Blocking people allows near immediate psychological relief from relationship distress.”
“You don’t have anything to back that up,” he challenged.
“You don’t know that,” Caitlyn joked. “I’m sure the material exists somewhere, online.”
David let it go.
“Anyway,” he said, “I’d like to see you soon.”
Caitlyn walked out of her bedroom and inspected the refrigerator for left over something or other.
“I don’t know,” she said. “It’s nice to hear from you and I’m glad we can talk like this without fighting…”
This time David interrupted.
“I’ve got a couple days off and I wanna visit Shannon anyway. It’d be nice if we could talk at least. Start over our friendship.”
“Okay,” Caitlyn surrendered.
It wasn’t like she had anything else going on, like a job interview.
“Give me a call when your train gets into the city and I’ll meet you at Penn. We can do dinner after.”
He motioned with his eyes to the American Spirit still barely burning in her right hand.
“Can I have that?”
“Sure,” Caitlyn held the cigarette to his lips.
Michael wrapped his fingers around her wrist, pressing his thumb into her palm as he inhaled.
Caitlyn glanced briefly at his crotch, where Paula’s left hand clutched his thigh tightly in place as she focused on adding a swirling tribal pattern to his oblique.
“Is this weird for you?” Michael asked.
Caitlyn brought her eyes to his.
“I’ve never been fired before.”
“No,” he said. “I meant watching Paula fake tattoo me naked.”
“But the world around us makes everyone go to school, get a job, and play by the rules of the field they’re in. And Art is a field too. And ‘the scene’ has a texture, but it lacks substance. You know, ‘the scene’ is cool. But it’s not Art. And it’s disgusting to me, to have to consider and carve out a place for myself inside of that, to have to play by society’s rules inside of Art. Creativity is a beast. I want to let it out and play with it. But society, the scene, is like this cage within a cage within a cage.”
Whatever Michael’s game, his winning meant Caitlyn needed to want his time and attention. He needed her to be willing to compete for them, to play along, and succumb to his phony charms. But she wasn’t going to because she didn’t care.