Denial River

Lara and I had met online.  She worked full-time in an art gallery in NYC and had recently graduated college.

We met up in the city and went out to a Chinese place.  Once we sat down, I complimented her pendant, which was difficult to miss, as it was a large, abstract, silver design.

She said, "My boyfriend gave it to me."

Just for clarification, I asked, "You mean your ex-boyfriend?"

Her hand went right to the pendant.  "We're on a break.  He cheated on me, but we're getting back together."

Disappointed in her baggage, I asked, "Does he know that?"

"As soon as he's done fucking that slut."

She frowned, then wrinkled her nose, and her face slowly crumpled into a visage of rage.  Air shot out of her flaring nostrils like a bull before a matador.

"Lara?" I asked, "Are you okay?"

A waitress came by and took our orders.  Lara spoke through grit teeth and her hands trembled as she held the menu.  I had quite obviously stumbled onto the sorest of sore subjects, and my focus shifted from "impress Lara" to "ensure that Lara doesn't try to tear me in half."

The waitress left with our orders and I asked Lara, hoping to change the subject, "Your favorite movie is Love Actually, right?"

She had been staring off into space, playing with her spoon.  She then bent her spoon and looked at me.  "Sorry.  I was just thinking about the whore my boyfriend is probably fucking at this very moment.  Forgive me if I'm a little sidetracked."

I slid out of the booth and stood up.  "I should go.  I'm obviously not helping."

She grabbed my wrist and said, "You are.  You're distracting me, and I need that right now.  I'm sorry.  I'm just really upset.  You would be, too..."

I sat back down.  "It's okay, but–"

"...if your significant other was out fucking every warm piece of rotten meat it could get its fucking hands on."

I stood up.  "I'm not doing a good job of distracting you.  I think I'm going to leave."

She stood up too and said, "Talking about it isn't helping.  We should probably go take a walk."

We canceled the order, left the restaurant, and walked uptown. 

On the way, she barely responded to anything that I had to say.  It was clear that she simply wasn't in the mood for conversation.  Finally, I stopped walking.

"Lara, let's just call it a day.  This isn't working, and..."

She didn't stop walking when I did.  She kept on going, eyes ahead.  I caught up and started again.  "Lara, did you hear me?  I'm just going to go, and..."

No reaction.  No nothing.  I stopped walking, she kept going, I headed for the subway, and that was the end of our date.


  1. Dude, you need to grow a pair. I would have been out the door the second she started up with that "we're on a break" shit. Either she wants to get nasty in the bedroom to get back at him (which I'm all for) or she's going to bore the shit out of you gabbing about him (which I'm not).

  2. I think it's more that I like giving everyone a chance, even if they're a little off. If they're a lot off, then I take off.

  3. At least the OP was trying to be a nice guy.. but not a chump, either.

  4. Joe has the proper response: you either try to be a decent guy (leave) or demand to screw. There's no in between for an "on a break" situation.

  5. Certainly, there's no in between, but maybe she needed a friend, and, in the off chance that she wasn't nuts, I wasn't about to just leave her. That is, until she showed me she was nuts.


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