It's August 5th, 2015. I'm in Italy. Sitting across the table from Luca at dinner as he tells me that something special is happening with him and his ex. They just met in Brussels (or was it Bruges?), they've been talking for months as friends, now he wants to commit to her. I think, But two weeks ago you told me you weren't in the place to commit. I'm trying so hard to be the cool girl, to be happy for him and her. I ask about her, look at pictures of her, let him go on with his stories of her. He had just met her mother, he tells me. And I am screaming inside, screaming so loud it is still going on in some corner of the Universe. I can't eat my pasta, though Luca keeps asking me to as he shoves his in his face. His is Amatriciana. Mine is Carbonara. The pasta is mediocre, though he insists it's excellent. He's a Roman that doesn't know Rome, I think.
My refusal to eat is causing a scene in his eyes. The waiters fuss. I realize I am not that cool and I realize that being as furious as my body is begging me to be is not weakness. I ask him whether he told this woman - this ex from some fucking European country that starts with a B, this woman whose mother he's now met - that he was on his way to meet the girl he's been fucking for the last 18 months in Rome? He nods slowly as if his hand is on my head and he's forcing it towards his dick. You know that nod, right? That look? I told her I was meeting a friend. His nod deepens as he says this because it is oppressing a truth that doesn't suit him. He keeps asking me what I'm thinking but I'm speechless. It's 90 degrees out and I have a brain freeze. I finally tell him I'm trying to figure out how to leave and also I don’t know how to leave. I'm trapped.
I start to strategize. Put the napkin on the plate. Lift the bag off the chair and put it on your shoulder. Scoot the chair back. Stand up. Turn left. Walk through that door over there. I rehearse it a few times and I stop shaking enough to execute the plan. Wait, that's a lie. I execute it even though I'm still shaking. I don't remember what I say to him as I leave. I think it's probably something like Never contact me again you fucking piece of shit.
Then I'm out on the cobblestone street, walking away from the restaurant. It feels weird leaving him inside. I wonder later, Did he walk straight home after? Did he get a gelato? Did he tell her?Read More