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Untitled by Nick Tartive

“I spent all my goddamn money from a tour payout and took her out on the town. And somewhere out in the middle, I swear to god the stars burnt out.” – Cory Call, Arliss Nancy “Finches”

there was a moment where we both finally realized the relativity of time as the words dripped from your mouth like a faucet that wants to stop leaking

but can’t. they were words i had been expecting (honestly!), bracing for. it wasn’t what you said that split my heart in two like the glacier that felled the Titanic. no, it was how you said the words, the way your gleaming, moon- shaped eyes darted to my floor’s

stained carpet. i hated the way your voice cracked like cold glass in a blizzard. you felt nothing for me, and i could see the pain in your pupils, pulling you apart, for that,

if but for a few moments. but those moments are seared into my memory, mental lemon juice burning my eyes. i know this is an impossible request but please, don’t ever feel bad. your feelings are your

own, never forget that – that your choice is valid and if it shatters a heart or a hundred, then those hearts must learn how to piece themselves back together, without you, alone and alarmed.

please, never feel bad for being yourself for that is what drew me to you from the very beginning. own yourself, never… feel bad.

(i had a conversation with Julia some time ago where we discussed the persistence of men in our ever continuing quest to fuck and feel our way to early graves. for about a week i had been re-watching how i met your mother, and couldn’t help but admire Ted’s unrelenting capacity to set his sights on a woman and not give up until she gave in to his nerdy “charm”.

a friend of ours asked her boyfriend out nearly ten times over the course of a year until he gave in, and now they’ve been happily dating for two years.

if you’re so sure about someone, that if a chance or two were given then things could work out…wouldn’t you want to tell yourself not to take no for an answer? and i know in this context it sounds like i’m talking of “the one” – someone to settle down with and never look back. well i know that life is made up of a hundred different “the one”s. and as i look less toward the future and try to pull myself out of the wormhole that we call the past, i have to acknowledge that little lasts and that that is okay.

Julia brought up how men never let women alone. because plenty of men share Ted Mosby’s unrelenting persistence. and 999/100 the sentiment is creepy/annoying/alarming/all of the above. being pursued, romantically, can be a nice thing. but when men refuse to take no for an answer, that’s perpetuating the patriarchal ideal that women are meant to give men exactly what they want, when they ask for it – and sometimes, when they don’t ask for it.

taking no for an answer isn’t easy. nobody likes rejection. shit im scared to death of it, to the point where i put myself “out there” once or twice a year and tuck my head back into my shell once i receive the seemingly inevitable no. but for the sake of being a decent human being, accept that there is nothing you can do. maybe if Ted hadn’t spent 8 months pursuing Robin like a helicopter following a highway car chase, then it wouldn’t have taken him 9 seasons to meet the fucking mother…

i want to tell myself that there is a balance. im too much of a coward to try to find it. but maybe this is just another way im fooling myself, as a man.

the real answer is to accept a woman’s choice as her own. if that upsets you – sucks. turns out you ain’t actually got a say after all. move on. or, if you’re me: give up.)

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