Frehel Diaries: The Crying Game
"People think that falling in love they make themselves whole?...I think otherwise. I think you're whole before you begin. And love fractures you. You're whole and then you're cracked open."
-The Dying Animal by Philip Roth

After hours of playing with Chunk, I was exhausted. We dropped Chunk off with her parents and after showering all the sand off, we went down to the "boardwalk", a brief strip of restaurants for the tourists. At a food stand, the Sauvage ordered a belgian waffle, or gauffre, with nutella for Nana, and we shared some frites.

He asked me, again, if Americans had nutella. We do, of course, and I had told him so before. What I couldn't explain was that to Americans, Nutella is a particular brand of chocolate hazelnut spread, whereas in France the term doesn't refer to a specific brand, but rather to a chocolate hazelnut spread in general. While I had been interested in these differences before, that my only use at this point was trying to explain the cultural differences between France and America was beginning to bore me.

After "dinner", I was on the verge of narcolepsy thanks to my extended play session with Chunk. I asked the Sauvage to drop me off at the hotel. I figured it would give Nana and the Sauvage time to be together, which apparently despite the afternoon together they still needed, and I could get some rest. I fell sound asleep almost before my head hit the pillow.

The Savage woke me when he returned at 9 by saying to me "This relationship is too difficult, it can't go on."

When I start a relationship from the first date or so, I imagine how it's going to end. What is it that is going to do us in? Jealousy? Other women? Inability to commit? Trust issues? His failure to leave the apartment? My emotional intensity? Based on what I know of him and myself, I begin to quickly whittle down the possibilities. Part of the point of the game is to prevent me from being blindsided by heartbreak; the other point of the game is that when it does happen, and I take the end of a relationship as a given, that I will at the very least have some roman noir-esque patter for the ending conversation. Anatole Broyard once wrote that you should have a style for dying, and I think you should have a style for leaving a relationship. Mine is to leave him bleeding and bruised with psychological torment. I want him to be in therapy....for years.

In this regard, I have a singular gift, which any of my ex-boyfriends will tell you. Assuming, of course, they are feeling brave enough to even mention my name. There is a reason why most men emigrate after we break up. Much like the Eumenides (the Furies of Greek and Roman myth), there is no escape from my wrath.**

But this, this completely surprised me. I had expected the end of this relationship, but not now, not like this. I had thought that he wouldn't contact me after I returned to the US, that he would lose interest long before my return, that he would ditch me after the first sign of trouble with his parents or my health, but it had never occurred to me that five days before the end of my vacation, he would decided to break up with me.

And out of all the times that I had planned and rehearsed a break up speech, this was the time that I needed one the most.

And I had absolutely nothing.

Unfortunately, while you don’t need language to fall in love, you do need language to fight. You need language to defend yourself. To reveal errors in logic. And when all else fails to insult and threaten. In short, in order to break up, you need a common language.

And so deprived of language, I cried. He tried to explain all the difficulties this relationship presented to him. As if I was unaware, as if I HADN'T BEEN WITH HIM THE ENTIRE TIME. I understood all these difficulties, but I couldn't explain to him that I was facing even more problems with this relationship. After all, I have a life, friends, a career in NY. I could never hope to be a professor in France, and yet here I was having crossed an ocean to be with an older man who increasingly ignored me so he could devote all this attention to his daughter. I desperately wanted to explain to him how lucky LUCKY he was that he came across on me on a particularly bad day because most of the time I wouldn't have even deigned to accept a drink from him. I mean, a blue collar ten years my senior single dad? I could spit and hit a better catch than that in NYC. No wonder his wife left him that ungrateful, self-centered prick.

But, of course, I couldn't say any of that so I cried. Not because he was leaving me, but because I hate feeling helpless. I was revolted by being in this situation and disgusted that he would put me in this position. Had I the ability, I would have vomited on him. That would have been a more accurate reflection of my emotions. As it was, I cried.

Seeing my reaction, he relented and took off his clothes to get in bed. I tried to seduce him, and it worked, but just as soon as he started to get turned on-I began to cry. If I couldn't torture him with words, well, I had other ways of dealing with that. If I was going to be rejected, I was going to make damn sure he felt rejected as well.

Instead, I got up and took two tylenol PM. Thankfully the drugs worked their magic quickly, and I fell into heavy dreamless sleep that prevented me from thinking what terror the next day held in store for me.

** My wrath is reserved for men who break up with me, but if I break up with the man generally I feel some sad affection for him and what was lost. Also, my rage is fueled by relationships where I've been killing myself to make things work while he has put in only nominal effort. Sure that's partly my fault, but when trying to drag myself out of heartbreak I find it better to externalize my rage.

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