From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ancient Greek for familial love. Types of love. Cultural views. Related subjects. Biological basis Love letter Valentine's Day Philosophy Religious views Falling in love Mere-exposure effect similarity physical attractiveness triangular theory of love. Human sexuality: diversity in contemporary America 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. Strong et al. Gottschalk, How to Heal After Heartbreak p. Greenberg, Empowering Health Decisions p. Parent father mother Child son daughter Sibling brother sister. Grandparent Grandchild Aunt Uncle Niece and nephew. Spouse wife husband Parents-in-law Siblings-in-law Son-in-law Daughter-in-law.
Stepfather Stepmother Stepchild Stepsibling. Agape parental love Eros marital love Filial piety Storge familial love. Mother's Day U. I think it was my fault. I thought too much of him, put him on something of a pedestal. I bet that happens to Fred all the time. He loves to be loved, little shithead. It would take all day, and I have a deadline tonight. Do tears sparkle like shark teeth? I was all mixed up. I started to feel sorry for the guy, which was the first sign of trouble. There were tuxedo pants and unopened toothpaste and a single slipper stacked on top of the pillows like a modern art shrine.
Books were scattered. Certain things — sunblock, ChapStick, a stapler — had been hurled across the room, landed, burst and were leaking. Freddy had told me which blazer, still hung in the closet unless it was sprawled by the dresser, had a baggie of weed in the breast pocket. A few loose pills rolled underfoot like a very sad game of marbles.
I eventually acquiesced and joined the cleaning effort. I asked him whereabouts he would be living in D. Regrettably, the chum, a local, had a brother getting married the next week, and the apartment was about to fill up with visiting relatives who, family hospitality insisted, were not to waste money on hotels. Joseph would spend his first few weeks in the new city sleeping rough, by which he meant in a sleeping bag by the window.
I cut him off. And when I Skype Fred on Tuesday, you can look over my shoulder and ask him about the cuff links yourself. We talked it over a few more times, and finally, Joseph agreed. I gave him the spare key and a parking pass and he helped me put new sheets on the bed. After he left, with plans to return for good the following morning, I texted Freddy to brag about my good deed.
But I was sure I had a selfish motive somewhere. Maybe I wanted to observe a shark up close or maybe it had to do with wanting someone to tease, a kind of uber-Freddy. But motivation be damned, at least I was giving the poor kid a better place to crash than underfoot of a wedding party. It was true our commonalities were basically nil, aside from being theoretically the same species. But it takes all sorts in this life, and I was determined to be a more open-minded and considerate person. Freddy would return to find me canonized. The first morning, Joseph parked his car in the lot and pronounced my coffee to be bitter.
I made us a grilled cheese each for lunch, and he asked if I always ate like a 9-year-old, casting a critical eye on the state of my stovetop. When I came home that evening, pots and bowls and pans were soaking in the sink amidst gray water and a heap of bubbles. This felt insulting, though it was technically a kindness. I ordered in and watched Netflix on my laptop while he read Tolstoy on the best armchair. We were back to square one.
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On the third night, he brought me pad thai and a bottle of white wine. Freddy must have texted him the cheat codes to my affection. The wine was an upgrade from my usual, though the pad thai was cold. After the bottle was drained, I found whiskey in the back cabinet, and we drank our hearts sick. I think I loved him. It was the point in the night where enunciation is a challenge, but this was very important, so I tried my best.
That was never the kind of thing we talked about. Joseph would have to be a whole different kind of person, the kind who found the inner life of a lover more interesting than his metaphysical opinions. If Fred had met such a person five years ago, it might have done him some good, but by the time he and Joseph started going out, he was too far into the tunnel of his own mind. The story I told Joseph was a piece of fiction involving two entirely different men, and why Joseph believed it from a poor drunk girl was beyond me.
He left me on the bed, curled up on my side. I could have choked or gone into shock or something, but he left me, some friend. Some shark. It was a sort of confessional love letter and a melodramatic apology worthy of an old Hollywood starlet and somehow fumigated with a bizarre stink of clinical distance.
This is me. I made note in my mental zoologist observations. I belly-laughed, then hiccupped, then lay back down. Or do you cling to all your exes? We fought for nearly an hour. He was like my hangover made flesh, only he never raised his voice but spoke in creepy measured tones. I was the shouter, which rattled the rocks in my head and made my whole body feel like a landslide.
When he left, I went back to sleep. That afternoon, to make it up to him, I took him to an antiques fair in Manhattan. There were two Faberge eggs on display. This was when he told me about his Romanov dreams. Thank you. The sight of the gilded eggs had made him more loquacious by orders of magnitude. All night he gave me tidbits like this.
Afterward, he switched to a home improvement show where couples with unspecified high-paying jobs buy summer homes in Europe. I rolled my eyes and texted Freddy, who ignored me. We poked around fo r the cuff links but without much hope of success. I waited 20 long minutes, fearing the worst, and called him. He picked up on the third ring. Family stuff. I figured he was in his room with his feet up.
He peered at my laptop. I have a lot to do. I waited until 3 a.
Joseph had stocked the fridge with apples and protein shakes and snacking cheese; I had to stick my whole arm in to get the last yogurt cup in the very back, and as I blindly reached the back of hand touched something papery, wedged between the end of the shelf and the very back of the fridge. I snagged it; it was an envelope.
I mean that in the most salacious of senses; skinny Joseph would make rotten cannibal fodder. I took my time opening the envelope. I made myself comfy on my bed, door shut, legs crossed. This was the grand reveal, and I felt it deserved something.
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I was suspicious; the envelope was fatter than a cuff link should be. The handwriting was tiny and spidery; the letter was too many lines to count.
I was mad; live with a guy for nearly a year, and all I get is four words. Meanwhile, he leaves his rotten ex a soliloquy. As for the cuff links, I was torn. What tipped the scale was how little he deserved the letter.