It’s 3 a.m., and I can’t sleep. So I write.

Last night, I was late meeting my boyfriend. I’m usually late, but this was important.

I rushed down 9th Avenue to Barrage. There he was, sitting in the corner booth, exactly where I would have picked. He knows me well.

I haven’t written about him much. I don’t know that I will. I haven’t written about how we met, or when I asked him to be my boyfriend, or our one-year anniversary. It’s hard to write about things when you’re in it: I find my writing is better in retrospect. When something is over, I know the entire plot of the story, start to finish, and only then can I begin to write it.

So here we are. Me and my boyfriend. Neither of us can look at each other, because we know: It’s over. When we finally start talking, we do so for two hours. What we’re feeling. Where we went wrong.

It’s hard not to feel like you’ve failed. Another relationship, another two years dedicated to something that no longer exists. We tried – both of us, I think. We tried so hard.

I wonder if it’s me. I wonder, if giving all of myself isn’t enough, will anything ever be?
I wonder why love isn’t enough?

I got through most of our conversation without getting emotional, mostly because nothing we talked about was new. I knew he wasn’t invested anymore. I knew he didn’t love me. It wasn’t until the end, when he asked if I’d ever tried to intentionally push him away. “No,” I said quickly. “Did it feel like I had?”

“Near the end. You started talking about marriage a lot, like you knew it made me uncomfortable.”

That’s when I choked up. “No,” I managed to say, shaking my head. I couldn’t look at him; I slumped in the booth, staring at the ceiling, the disco ball’s reflection changing color every two seconds. “That’s just me. That’s just want I want. That’s just who I am.” A disco version of “We Could Have Had It All” played in the background—I’m not even kidding.

When he left, I went to pay my tab, and the bartender told me that my boyfriend – my ex-boyfriend – covered all of my drinks. “Hey – aren’t you the guy who writes for Get Out! Magazine?”

“That’s me.”

“I love it. Want a shot?”

I took it, reminding myself that I didn’t move to New York to get married; I moved here to be a writer.

So I write.

It’s 3 am, and I’m listening to Aimee Mann. “I get lost in space, that goes on forever – and you make all the rest just an afterthought – and I believe it’s you who could make it better – though it’s not. No, it’s not. No, it’s not.”