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The End of the Affair

Politics and I are on a break. We’ve been taking some time apart to find out who we are. We first got together in the mid 90’s. I was an idealistic university student. Politics was experiencing an adolescence of sorts as well. I neglected my studies to stay up late, taking long city walks, talking about everything, my cheeks flushed with passion, later crashing on politic’s threadbare sofa. When I transferred schools, dutiful politics came with me. We had a good summer together. We said we were keeping it light, but I knew my feelings were intensifying. We flirted a bit at a certain party, but we both knew it wasn’t right for us.

That fall was a critical time for politics. I was as supportive and doting as any first wife. After some heavy campaigning, I gave up my innocence to politics. He is nothing if not persuasive. It wasn’t until morning, when I found myself alone, furious and ashamed, that I realized I had been misled. I felt cheap, used, and naïve. Politics went out for cigarettes and didn’t come back. Dejected, in tears I filled a box with our mementos, cards, buttons, a little book; I burned the mix tape he made for me. I got on with my life.

After graduation I moved to New York. I had heard politics was there too, but I was busy with work, struggling to make my way in an unforgiving city. I couldn’t believe it when politics called and asked me to meet for a drink. I was once again seduced by his charming, boyish guile. Once again, I put politics first and almost forgot who I was. There was magic in the air, as we took tentative steps toward making a go of it. We set up house. I wanted to feel smitten and secure again, the way it was in the beginning. But something was off. Politics couldn’t blind me with his skillful rhetoric like in the old days. Had he changed or had I? I was more mature, in some ways disillusioned; I had different priorities and politics couldn’t see that. I disengaged. I broke it off, “it’s not you, it’s me”, but I stayed in body if not in spirit for a few more torturous months.

By spring I was furious, I took my few things and left, determined to make a clean break. I let him have our friends, the apartment, even our dog, whom we called “Buster” for short. I cultivated other interests. There was one night years later when we saw each other, for old time’s sake. He was no longer green with envy, but he was still an ass. My heart wasn’t in it. I could barely look at him. All the bad times came flooding back, “You’re such a nag. I need my space”; “You’re just like your father. Dick.” Once again, I was left feeling cheated and lost. I was disappointed in politics, in myself, in the whole world. I was uneasy in his milieu.

So now I’ve decamped, left the country altogether. The distance does improve my perspective. I can laugh at myself, at the situation. Understand where politics was coming from maybe. No, oh I don’t know. Maybe it’s just nostalgia. Being objective I can see his beauty despite his faults. He has a lot of work to do.

We’ll certainly never be lovers again. And I think being friends would be too painful after all that has transpired. But I’d like to believe that if ever we meet by chance in the street, maybe during Christmastime, all bundled and laden with gifts, we would be cordial, even kind and wish one another well, sincerely. Politics, if you’re listening, take care of yourself. You could be so much better than you are.

happier days, at the beach

Politics was always up for a fancy dinner

There Are 3 Responses So Far. »

  1. Jillian,
    I don’t get what is going? That last picture is of you and Malcom. You and Malcome broke up? What the heck is going on? There’s a disturbance in the force. Oh wait is this your cunning way of being the super writer that you are and you used that picture of you and Malcome as part of your awesomely writen post on “politics?” I don’t kknow what is going on… I feel so lost right now.

  2. You’re a nutball.

  3. You’re genius!
    PS – you should have known better from the start – politics and the beach don’t mix!

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