Chibimagic's Weblog

Side by side

Posted on: January 20, 2014

I like D’s music better, I think to myself.

Balancing the half-melted container of ice cream on my knees, I catch myself. Is it wrong to be comparing them like this?

They call me
D-U-D-E-T-H-A-T-

The Lonely Island blasts from M’s speakers. Just as Cobra Starship blasted from D’s speakers four weeks ago. M put on their penultimate album as he started driving tonight, then asked me to buy their latest album with his phone and play that instead.

That he uses the same music app as D only further highlights their juxtaposition. D has the career that M dreams of, and I’m pretty sure D would trade a chunk of his soul for M’s personal life.

But it feels wrong to draw these direct comparisons. It feels like objectification: reducing them to a pro and con list of qualities that are attractive or convenient to me.

A message from D pops up on my phone. I read it without launching the app, then proceed to ignore him until four hours later when M steps into the bathroom.

I probe my feelings. I empty my mind, then throw them up one by one against a stark white background: S? No reaction. No emotions there. M? None. D? I hestitate. I am beginning to remember.

Two and a half years ago, sitting at dinner with J: I am complaining once again about D. “Why are you dating him then?” J asks me. “Because—” and I stop. I can think of no good explanation to follow. I realize this is the third person I’ve complained to about him and the third time I’ve had to justify myself. But I have no justification. I make up my mind: I’m going over there tonight.

Somehow in the intervening years I’d forgotten.

“I think you are very cautious because you’ve had your fair share of being hurt, so you hide away your feelings so you don’t have to make yourself vulnerable,” S said me earlier that day. Cheap five cent psychoanalysis bullshit.

“I think I search out emotionally stunted software engineers so that I can be in control,” I reply.

S laughs. “There it is again,” he says. “Control issues.”

Later that night M kisses me, and I do not turn away. New experiences today.

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