808s and Karmic Heartbreak

Vulnerability is the essence of intimacy, of romance. 

Vulnerability is the essence of intimacy, of romance. 

“Did you have sex with her?”


I blink and swallow. My relationship isn’t over. Even if he did, it’s whatever. He can fuck her without wanting to date her. 

He clears his throat; I brace myself. 

“I love her.”


My eyes involuntarily flutter, hot bile swirls in my mouth and my cheeks puff out. I lean over and puke over the side of his bed. Masticated, half digested noodles and beef shreds make pools in the carpet. I smack my lips a few times— putrid pho. 

It’s 4 a.m and I’m at Jordan’s apartment. He’s my boyfriend- was my boyfriend. He’s also in love with Cynthia Lin. 

“It’s not fair,” I say. “You can’t love her. You love me. You told me on the phone this morning before you got on your flight. You told me to my face when I picked you up from the airport. What changed? HOW DID IT CHANGE?” My voice is strained and pitchy. God I sound pathetic.  

Thump, thump, thump. BABUMP BABUMP. My heart is in my ears, serenading me with 808s. I wonder if he can hear them as clearly as I can. 

I fumble for my phone and pull up her Instagram. I scroll through her feed. Jet black hair, high cheek bones, sophisticated designer clothes taunt me from the screen.  She’s beautiful. A beautiful fucking home-wrecking whore. I tug on my oversized Adidas sweatshirt with sweaty palms and jam the phone in his face. 

“IS THIS WHAT YOU’RE LEAVING ME FOR— TITS AND A YSL PURSE?” I sound comically deranged. His mouth turns upwards and for a second his eyes look kind. And then, nothing. His expression turns blank again.

“I just want to know why!” I howl. “Give me a reason and I’ll leave right now. I swear I’ll leave and I’ll never contact you again.” My face is red and puffy and my chest heaves up and down as I wait for a response. It never comes. So I do the only thing that I know to do in a situation like this. The only thing that’s been proven to end all arguments and flip the script back to page one. I launch myself onto him, rip off my clothes and grab his dick. It’s squishy and soft. I bury my face in his neck, making sure not to kiss him, because you know— pho vomit, and start groaning. Like pornstar, fuck me, moans. Hoping to get a rise out of him.  Ha geddit. 

I feel his hands wrap around my waist as he gently pushes me to the side. I refuse to be moved and I wrap my legs around him tighter. I feel myself getting desperate. My cheeks are suddenly wet. I cup his face in my hands and look into monolid eyes. 

“Please, can we fix this?” My voice cracks but I keep going. “Remember Burning Man? Remember EDC? Remember Japan? Remember Hawaii? Remember EVERY FUCKING PLACE WE’VE BEEN TO TOGETHER WHERE YOU TOLD ME I WAS YOUR PARTNER IN CRIME AND YOU’D DIE IF WE EVER BROKE UP? WELL WE’RE BREAKING UP RIGHT NOW AND YOU AREN’T DYING!” I bang my fists against his chest. He’s had enough of my theatrics and he pushes me off, this time harder. I tumble over the bed and land in my own vomit. Bile splashes onto my bare tits. 

So this is karma.

Two years ago I was dating a guy named Charlie and he was great. Six months into our relationship and we moved in together into a 2 bedroom apartment— he was a game designer and I worked at a local dispensary. We woke up in the morning, sometimes had morning sex, made coffee together, went to work, met up at home later, ate dinner together, sipped wine, watched tv, had sex and went to sleep. Repeat. It was nice, it was safe, and we were both happy. And then Jordan walked into my shop one day. Everything about him screamed fuckboy— Diesel jeans, Balenciaga polo, tattoos that ran from his knuckles, to his arms, and up his neck. He bought his weed and then left. And then the next day he came back. And the next and next. We built a rapport and eventually exchanged numbers. During this time, my relationship with Charlie disintegrated. Suddenly I found it intolerable that he left the toothpaste cap open; we fought for two days about it. The flowers that he sent me at work to apologize annoyed the fuck out of me. How fucking intrusive of him to invade my place of work with his stupid apology flowers. His jokes were no longer funny. Sometimes sex turned into never sex. 

A month after I met Jordan I moved out of my apartment that I shared with Charlie and left a note. This isn’t working, I’m sorry. Don’t try to call me, I’ve changed my number. That’s all it said. I didn’t really change my number, but I knew I didn’t need to. Charlie never tried calling. He was too proud for that. I knew that he knew it wouldn’t have done any good even if he tried to chase me. I had already made my mind up. He knew that I knew that he knew. Whatever. 

The next year and a half was a whirlwind of laughing, loving, fighting, and fucking. Not necessarily in that order. Oh, and traveling. He was an entrepreneur who had a hand in every type of business— cannabis, restaurants, gambling, gaming. I was intrigued with him—  wanted to be him, love him, and make love to him— all at once. But I was insecure. Jordan loved me, no doubt, but he also loved other women. I rationalized— men are creatures of variety, I told myself. Let him wander, let him look, maybe sometimes he’ll even touch, but he loves me. He’ll always come back to me. 

Until he didn’t. Until today. 

Now I’m sitting on the floor covered in my own puke and I’m completely broken because I know it’s over. And all of a sudden I’m scared. I realize that I haven’t been alone in more than two years. But now I am. When will I not be alone again? 1 month, a year… forever? I puke in my mouth little more at the thought of online dating, casual sex, first dates, let downs and possibly more heartbreak. I realize then that the idea of uncertainty is the hardest part of a break up. 

I pick myself up off the floor and gather my clothes. All I hear is Thump Thump Thump, Babump Babump. I bop along numbly, silently to the beat.


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