This week, a newly single woman in L.A. wonders if her future husband is anywhere to be found: 28, talent agent, straight, Los Angeles, single.
8:00 a.m. I wake up and my body is buzzing with anxiety. My roommate and I must have drunk half a bottle of wine each last night watching dumb reality TV. I’ve been pretty good about my drinking lately — I try to stay away from it during the week, because it jump-starts my mental health struggles. But ever since I was massively dumped last week, I’m looking for anything to get me out of my own head. So far, wine has helped. But not this morning.
9:00 a.m. I get to work, though I still feel like my head is not quite attached to my body.
So, the breakup. I met him two years ago at a bar. He was gorgeous, and smart, and interesting, but there was always one problem or another. It was the kind of relationship where you’re constantly going down a rabbit hole of “who did what” and “who’s fault is it?” At the end of the day, he called it.
1:00 p.m. Bored at my desk, I start a dumb Instagram flirtation. Someone liked a picture of me, so I started liking all of their photos.
I work as an assistant at a talent agency in LA. It feels unbearable sometimes spending the majority of my life tethered to a desk, getting lunch for wealthy men. I want more than anything to work for myself, to write and to be an artist. That’s why I came out here, but it seems that the only way to afford being here in the first place is to have a full-time job. Unfortunately, after I’ve spent nine hours sitting on my ass watching life happen to everyone else, I don’t have a lot of time and energy left over to do anything that I actually want to do.
3:00 p.m. The Instagram guy wants to make plans to meet tonight but I’m not sure. He seems cute but I’ve never met anyone from Instagram before. Also I’m afraid I will burst into tears sitting across from anyone who’s not my ex.
Since I got dumped, I’ve started to feel like dating is musical chairs and I’m the last one standing. When I feel happy and secure, I’m not even sure I want to get married. But lately I’m not happy, so I’m consumed with finding a cure. In the end, I just want to feel safe and secure.
4:00 p.m. I ask my friends if I should meet Instagram guy, and decide to go for it. I text him to meet me. He’s sweet and receptive. Maybe he’ll be my husband!
9:00 p.m. He’s cute! Easy, meandering conversation. He has a dog. We don’t touch at all.
11:00 p.m. We finish our second drink each. I’m giggling too much. It’s time to leave.
11:30 p.m. He drives me home. We hug. I go to sleep with renewed hope.
8:00 a.m. I wake up feeling like the world is upside down again. At least today I have therapy.
9:00 a.m. Work is another source of stress lately, mostly because I’m working in a new department.
5:45 p.m. I duck out a little early.
7:00 p.m. Finished with therapy. It felt great, but I leave with the familiar disappointment of not being fixed.
10:00 p.m. I’m seeing an old friend who always makes me wonder about what could have been. He’s everything anyone could ever want. I know if and when he marries someone who is not me, she will be the luckiest woman in the world and his kids will have the best dad, and I will probably die choking on a Teddy Graham alone. I arrive and order two drinks.
11:00 p.m. He walks in and he’s cuter and taller than I remember. I’m so happy to see him. Maybe he’s my husband!
11:45 p.m. I am crying as I tell him that I’m not in a good place. I feel like a late-20s cliché.
12:10 p.m. We hug good-bye very intensely, like he’s leaving for war.
12:15 p.m. Before I take off, the bartender, who happens to look like Post Malone, asks if I’m okay. I almost laugh at how crazy I must have looked. I leave thinking maybe the bartender is my husband?
11:00 a.m. I make plans to meet A for drinks. He used to be my boss at another job, and we would spend lots of time together but I never knew if it was romantic. Plus I was in a relationship. Now we don’t work together, and I’m single, so …
8:00 p.m. I grab a Lyft to meet him near his place. I’m not sure what I will feel, or if I want to go. But I know I have to keep moving, and A is a familiar face at least.
9:00 p.m. I see A at the bar. Tight black T-shirt. It’s on.
10:00 p.m. Two wines deep, I boldly ask if this is a thing, me and him. He says it is and has been. Cool, noted. Check, please?
11:00 p.m. We go back to his place. It’s a concrete block of an apartment. L.A. wasteland chic.
11:15 p.m. He asks if I’ve seen American Dad. I haven’t. He turns it on and we immediately start making out.
12:00 a.m. For the next two to three hours, he’s diving head-first into my pants. It’s hot.
2:00 a.m. He has no real furniture, so I sit on his one leather chair while he squats, legs straddled for balance, fingering me like he’s digging for gold. I’m trying to manipulate his arm and hand so this doesn’t feel so … forceful? I’m suddenly worried for my IUD.
2:01 a.m. I say, “You’re going to rip out my IUD.” He relents a little, and I come. Not hard, but enough to know the job’s done.
2:30 a.m. I’m so tired, but eventually I peel myself away and call another $30 Lyft home.
8:00 a.m. I’m still feeling excited just thinking about the night before.
10:00 a.m. A and I make tentative plans to do it all again next week, as this weekend I’m flying home to visit my parents and some old friends.
1:00 p.m. Mild sexting with A throughout the day. No pictures. If he actually sent me a dick pic I think I would freak out.
8:00 p.m. The giddiness is wearing off. I get really sentimental when I travel. I used to have panic attacks, but now I just feel an icy weight of loneliness and existential angst. I moved around a lot as a kid due to my parents’ jobs, which you would think would make me more resilient in the face of change, but I think it had the opposite effect. I didn’t feel like I could ever figure out who I was internally when I was so busy trying to adapt externally. I still feel fundamentally confused. Traveling triggers all that baggage, even if I’m going “home,” which thankfully is still same town where I went to school.
11:00 p.m. At the airport gate. I’m missing my ex now, because at least I could be completely up front about needing comfort from him. Now there’s no one.
6:00 a.m. Finally land. The guy next to me kept me up all night rifling through a bag of chewy Sweetarts. He had a wedding ring.
2:00 p.m. I finally get off the plane and run to my mom crying like I’ve been on a 19th-century transatlantic voyage. She seems confused.
4:00 p.m. My parents grab me pizza from my favorite place. Pepperoni can heal all wounds.
5:00 p.m. A is sending me memes. I feel like once a man has been inside you, even if it’s just fingering, he should be no longer allowed to communicate in cat pictures. I’m turned off, but not surprised.
7:45 p.m. Meeting a bunch of old friends at a bar. It’s an overload, and I almost can’t handle it. I’m so happy to see them, but I can’t shake the strangeness of being back in my hometown with people that know me as someone I didn’t always like. I’m honestly not sure who I even was to them. Also, a few of them are married, and I feel myself questioning if I chose a needlessly hard path.
9:00 p.m. I feel like I can’t think of anything to say, so I drink just to do something with my hands and face.
1:00 a.m. Making out with an old acquaintance, I think only because I said verbatim, “It’s fun to make out.” This is 28!
10:00 a.m. I wake up with a jolt of anxiety and quickly take stock of my possessions. I go through my questions. Did I do anything stupid? Yes. Did I lose my wallet? No. My phone? No. Did I text my ex? No. Okay, I’ll deal with the stupid part later.
11:00 a.m. Back to sleep.
2:30 p.m. Flying back. I have a quick cry in the bathroom stall in the airport before I sit at my gate, thinking it will get it out of my system.
5:00 p.m. A is asking when I’ll see him again. I say tomorrow? He says something ambiguous that I know is supposed to be mysterious or coy, but instead it makes me want to scream. Just say you fucking like me. Just be nice and normal. This constantly dangling affection just out of reach is more than I can handle. I consider whether this is a viable relationship, and then wonder if it’s too soon or too stupid to consider that. I just want someone who feels like coming home.
6:00 p.m. Finally on the flight back. A guy is clearly drunk behind me and keeps slamming the airplane window shut. I bet he’s married, too.
9:00 p.m. Home! I miss having a boyfriend who would pick me up from the airport. Even though my last boyfriend wouldn’t actually do that, so I guess I’m mourning a fantasy boyfriend.
8:00 a.m. I wake up feeling less anxious and more just sad.
1:00 p.m. A is really ramping up the memes today. I think he’s feeling insecure that I’ll cancel tonight.
7:00 p.m. I have to finish one more thing for work then I’m on the way to A’s concrete sex box.
8:00 p.m. I’m getting in the car about to drive to A’s when he texts, “Wait that’s tonight? I forgot.” I sit in half-amusement, half-shock. “Are you joking around?” I text. “Yeah, Sorry I’m actually in Highland Park. Are you at my house now?” he says. He tries to call and I don’t pick up.
8:03 p.m. I walk back to my apartment. I feel like a complete idiot for hooking up with A, and a complete idiot for almost driving 40 minutes to go do it again.
8:08 p.m. A says he was kidding, which somehow makes it worse.
8:09 p.m. I’m pacing my apartment crying and in no mood to touch anyone’s dick. A doesn’t apologize. He’s confused why I didn’t find it funny.
8:25 p.m. I’m back on the couch with my roommate, watching reality TV for the night. If that’s what guys find funny, then maybe I’m better off being alone forever.
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