Last night I went to David’s birthday dinner with my boyfriend (oh, fuck, there I go again) E.S.
I’d been looking forward to the event for several days, when shortly beforehand I found out that David had also invited T.H. This meant that I would be going to a party with my boyfriend (shit) and the man with whom, not to put too fine a point on it, I cheated on him the last time he was my boyfriend. (This is an oversimplification, but it’ll do for the present.)
“You invited WHO?!?!?” I shrieked electronically and ungrammatically at David.
“I forgot,” he said. “The idea of you and T.H. together makes no sense to me, so I never remember that it ever happened.”
So now I had to figure out how to handle the situation. I could just keep mum about the whole thing. But since T.H. reads my blog, he would know who E.S. was, but E.S., though he knows that T.H. exists, would have no idea that that’s who he was sitting across from; this seemed an unfair and disrespectful state of affairs. Which meant I’d have to tell E.S. that T.H. would be there. Not that there was any real problem here, because, as charming and delightful as T.H. is, E.S. is really a far more suitable boyfriend for me; still, the thought of the conversation I’d have to have filled me with agony and anguish. My past behavior towards E.S. has been reprehensible enough that I fear a confrontation with it in the same way that Dorian Grey might fear a confrontation with a certain portrait.
I agonized and anguished about how to tell him–the more so because, being totally broke, I’m taking time off from therapy, so I couldn’t get my therapist to write my lines for me–and finally, Sunday night, I called E.S. and, in the course of our conversation, said, “um, there’s something slightly awkward about David’s party.”
“Let me guess,” he said. “T.H. will be there.”
Stunned, I asked, “How did you know?”
“Well, I knew they were friends, so when you said there’d be something awkward, that leapt to mind immediately. Don’t worry. It’s fine. I think.”
Slightly terrified at how intuitive my boyfriend (drat) is, I hung up and went shopping for a birthday present.
In the event, the guests at the dinner were seated at a long table. E.S. and I arrived slightly late, and the only seats were at the opposite end of the table from T.H. (and, incidentally, next to this man, whom I was glad to get to know a little better).
Though I was sad not to be able to participate in the conversation happening at the other end of the table, I was not sorry to leave the portrait wrapped up.