?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The Telling Detail

« previous entry | next entry »
Jul. 27th, 2014 | 02:39 pm

I knew right then. It was the distant thumping bassline of Calvin Harris singing “Feel so close to you right now,” that told me. The irony was too perfect not to walk away.

No. Not then, it was the night before. When I sat in the back of your one-man show and heard the story that made fun of me. Your half-guilty glance over the audience, knowing I was there, the same furtive look that came before the giggle every time I asked you what you liked in bed.

Now I remember. It was the week before, when we came out of another show together. My ridiculous platform sandals caught on the broken pavement and sent me sprawling. Your words were so concerned, your hands so very still. I acted like I was fine so our friends wouldn’t see.

No. It was three days before that, when I told you I’d had to pull the car over to weep, and you asked for some reading material about depression because you didn’t understand. Because, you had to admit, you always heard about “depressed” people (air quotes yours) and wondered why they didn’t just pull their socks up and get on with it.

No—I think it might have been ten days earlier, when you brought over everything I’d left behind you’d promised to bring me but added the sun hat (useless in Canada) that I’d said I was keeping at your place.

Maybe it was back in South Africa, when I said I was scared of ghosts and you told me about the one in your apartment the night before you left for the week. With the car. I will admit, mocking my fear later made a great seven minutes in your show. Nice punchline.

It was before that, I’m certain. When we sat around the table, me reaching the limit of my Afrikaans when your brother said, “It’s just not natural. Just look at the equipment. Two women, maybe. But even so, it’s not right.” I didn’t know the verb, so I got up and emptied the dishwasher so your mother would hug me again.

Really, I knew the day I looked at the yellow stains in the armpits of my white t-shirt and threw it away. You said, “I’d been wondering about that.” I said, “Next time, tell me. I’d tell you.”

It was in February, when the ocean wind made me buy sweaters and you never closed a single window.

No. It was farther back. When I demurred at your offer to pay half the flight, and you didn’t ask twice.

Earlier than that. When I chatted you online for the third time in three days, glad to be with someone I’d crushed from afar for so long, and you typed, “are you always online?”

Wait, I lie. The detail was this. Looking at your Facebook the day after we decided, the day after our week together after our first kiss. The day I flew home from Guadalajara after singing Adele at the top of my lungs in my rental car, drunk with happiness—fairy lights! There had been fairy lights in the trees on the rooftop where you asked me!—and logged on to maybe change my status because you had changed yours. There it was on your wall, that post that was just a smiley from a hot young Mexican guy.

That’s when I knew.

_________________________________________________
whipchick thinks the penguins at Boulders Beach were worth it.

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {52}

Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>

John Louis

(no subject)

from: grail76
date: Jul. 27th, 2014 08:01 pm (UTC)
Link

Rings a few bells.

Very nice.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 28th, 2014 05:32 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Jenn

(no subject)

from: kickthehobbit
date: Jul. 28th, 2014 12:58 am (UTC)
Link

Oh, this is heartbreaking. In a good way, but I want to give you a hug. :(

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 28th, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks - fortunately, this is the one that ended almost a year ago, so I'm in a way better place now ;)

Reply | Parent | Thread | Expand

rePRobayt

*reads*

from: reprobayt
date: Jul. 28th, 2014 01:27 am (UTC)
Link

*nods*

*hugs*

Reply | Thread

whipchick

Re: *reads*

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 28th, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

dmousey

(no subject)

from: dmousey
date: Jul. 28th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
Link

Hugs... thanks for sharing that personal piece.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 28th, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
Link

You're welcome - thanks for reading!

Reply | Parent | Thread

drwex

Aww hon

from: drwex
date: Jul. 28th, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
Link

I'm sorry. You deserve better.

I want to wordsmith but daren't. Too personal.

I did not get the yellow stains, though.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

Re: Aww hon

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 28th, 2014 05:39 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks - this is actually the relationship that ended last year, so I'm in a way better place now. But thanks, I appreciate your care very much.

Yellow stains - when a white t gets old, you get yellow stains in the armpits and the shirt is garbage. People who love their girlfriend draw her attention to the stains instead of letting her wear it out of the house for others to see :)

Reply | Parent | Thread | Expand

Laura, aka "Ro Arwen"

(no subject)

from: roina_arwen
date: Jul. 28th, 2014 07:52 pm (UTC)
Link

I love the way to take everything back, one step at a time, as if you should have realized something was amiss from each little puzzle piece.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 09:25 am (UTC)
Link

Thanks - I'd been thinking about this off and on, and as I wrote it I totally had more a-ha moments!

Reply | Parent | Thread

rayaso

(no subject)

from: rayaso
date: Jul. 28th, 2014 09:42 pm (UTC)
Link

What a wonderful way to approach this, to go back through all the details of a failed relationship to the time you first really knew. Thanks for sharing this, and I'm glad it's a year later.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 09:36 am (UTC)
Link

Thanks, me too!

Reply | Parent | Thread

Jessica

(no subject)

from: kf4vkp
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 02:05 am (UTC)
Link

I always always love your writing.

And I want to buy you tea or coffee or a drink one day and talk to you face to face because you truly feel like a kindred spirit, Anne of Green Gables style. </p>

I see myself in this piece. With the break up of mine that happened not too long after yours.

Or was it just before. Honestly, I don't remember. I remember you comforting me during one of my entries about the flash backs though.

Glad all is better now (I read the other comments).

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 09:40 am (UTC)
Link

Thank you so much! And yes, let's have coffee sometime, it would be great to put faces to words. Yay kindred spirits!

Reply | Parent | Thread

tatdatcm

(no subject)

from: tatdatcm
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 02:33 am (UTC)
Link

What's that they say about hindsight? I love the subtle use of the prompt and how truly appropriate it was here.

I hope the irony of the opening paragraph was how it happened. It's too good not to. Glad you're in a better place now.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 09:43 am (UTC)
Link

Thanks. And yes, it did happen that way! It was a good moment to walk away - Calvin Harris does an amazing bridge :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Teo Says

(no subject)

from: eternal_ot
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 06:33 am (UTC)
Link

It always make sense backwards doesn't it?...beautifully written...quite relatable..*Hugs*...and i'm sharing this one..:)

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 09:46 am (UTC)
Link

Thank you :) It's been something I've been thinking about, and whoa, it's so odd to realize that I knew the whole time!

Reply | Parent | Thread

Ink Well

(no subject)

from: penpusher
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 12:05 pm (UTC)
Link

Brilliantly constructed and diabolically reasoned. But yes, sometimes a relationship isn't about what you get from the person, but what you get to do/acquire as a part of it. Like I got my favorite black hoodie from an Army/Navy store on Market Street in San Francisco (which probably isn't there anymore) because of one relationship. And because of former relationships I got to travel to places like Vienna, Amsterdam and Newark... places I likely wouldn't have seen otherwise!

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 31st, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks! I agree - the archaeology of a relationship often leads to a bunch of experiences I wouldn't otherwise have had, and new interests, too!

Ahhh, Newark...

Reply | Parent | Thread

Every Day Above Ground

(no subject)

from: mallorys_camera
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 04:38 pm (UTC)
Link

Very well done. The momentum and rhythm of the piece in particular (an oft-neglected part of the writer's craft.)

I have one suggestion if you ever want to revisit the piece, do a second draft. I might actually incorporate a line from the Calvin Harris song (without identifying it as such) into the last paragraph. Just to bring the piece full circle and throw the foreshadowing into deeper relief. (Although I guess the whole piece in a way is about the futility of foreshadowing, isn't it? :-) )

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 31st, 2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks very much! I worked on trying to have it speed up, so I'm glad that came through. And thanks for the suggestion, I'll try it out!

Reply | Parent | Thread

Rebecca

(no subject)

from: beeker121
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 09:58 pm (UTC)
Link

The way this peeled back layers was fascinating; it's always a little surprising how clear everything is in hindsight. It hurts a bit to go back through this with you, but in the best possible way.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 31st, 2014 03:04 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks! It was funny to me how some of these things actually came up while writing it, and I was all, "Ohhhhhhh...that really did tell me, if I'd been willing to admit it."

Reply | Parent | Thread

kick_galvanic, zagzagael, skull_theatre

(no subject)

from: bleodswean
date: Jul. 29th, 2014 10:56 pm (UTC)
Link

I love this line - I got up and emptied the dishwasher so your mother would hug me again. So much reveal in such a small detail. That's nice.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 31st, 2014 03:04 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you! I actually want to write a whole 'nother essay about how when I broke up with this guy I didn't get any closure with the family, whom I was close to. So I'm glad that detail caught you!

Reply | Parent | Thread | Expand

Es'ka

(no subject)

from: eska818
date: Jul. 30th, 2014 01:19 am (UTC)
Link

Lovely and heartbreaking piece - I like the way it backtracks, and the idea that you really knew from the very beginning but didn't realize it until later.

I'm glad this is over for you, and that you're in a better place. I definitely relate to the idea of finding out what a "good" person in a relationship does in comparison to an asshole.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 31st, 2014 03:05 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks! And yeah, it's so nice to be with someone now where I'm all, "Oh yeaaaaaahhhhhh. That's what humans with other humans they like." Glad you liked the writing!

Reply | Parent | Thread