Bi-Coastal Booty Call

The other day, sometime just after midnight, I was awoken by a call from my ex-almost-boyfriend: “Any chance you’re in New York and could spare a couple feet of floor space for me? I’ll be flying in from L.A. for a few days and I need somewhere to stay.”

I didn’t have to think hard to translate this into practical-sex-speak: “I’ll be in New York and I want to hook up with you while I’m there.”

I wish I could tell you that I laughed and said no, or even that I had been pining after this boy all semester and was thrilled to see him and stayed up all night in anticipation of the amazingly orgasmic sex I was going to be having with the long-lost love of my life. Unfortunately, my response was actually more like “no, I’m not seeing anyone” and “sure, I was heading home for a couple of days anyway.”

It’s a funny thing about break-ups and graduation – as it turns out, there is this liminal post-graduation space wherein you have to figure how (or if) contact with your graduating partner continues. Just the other night I was talking to a very close friend of mine from home who is dancing the delicate dance of letting his high-school girlfriend know that when he leaves for college he won’t want to stay in touch with her at all. For some, graduation means weepy goodbyes, long letters, and overly complicated summer travel plans. For others it’s as simple as the occasional Facebook message and the obligatory homecoming slumber party.

My relationship with Chris has been strange from the start. He was certainly never my boyfriend and he was only ever sort of my friend. He’s like that guy who Lena Dunham has sex with in the first ten or so minutes of Girls . We’ve always hooked up in very straight forward yet socially discreet ways that would have been unflattering if they had been caught on camera. Granted, I met him during my prefrosh weekend at Amherst and back then he was an incredibly charming Real College Student. As a freshman, especially first semester, he was able to conserve some of that charm as an All-Powerful Senior. He knew where parties were and he could always get me alcohol and his ex-girlfriend had written a Vagina Monologues piece about his how devotion to Jewish cleanliness laws had fucked up their relationship. Plus he knew way more than I did about international politics. Oh, and he was an athlete, which at that point in my life still held some novelty appeal.

When he graduated, I felt like I was losing something sort of important. He was basically the only person with whom I had sustained romantic interest over the course of freshman year. In part because he was graduating, I stayed on during commencement doing grounds work. I planned a whole good-bye-and-good-luck-in-life speech to say to him before he flew off to Chicago or wherever he was going because I wanted to memorialize the semi-relationship. I paced outside of his dorm for awhile on packing day and eventually worked up the courage to go in and give him my speech. Of course, this plan didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. By the time I got there he had already left and I sat, for a while, on the naked blue mattress in his old room. I was sure I would never see him again.

This would have been the perfect (albeit highly pathetic) end to the ConstantLy-and-Chris show, had he not deemed it appropriate to ask to stay with me over homecoming weekend. I wrote about this already, but basically in the course of a few months since graduation, he had transformed from a Really Cool Senior to a Slightly Unemployed Grad in the Real World – aka a decrease in charm overall. I let him stay in my dorm, I was unimpressed, and I assumed that we would resume ignoring each other forever and ever after.

But then I get this call. Did I mention that it was already after midnight? And something in me, a deep and stupid lack of EITHER foresight or hindsight, agreed yet again to go along with this relationship, which now appeared to be morphing into a twisted bi-coastal friends-with-benefits game.

You may be wondering: did I enjoy being back in New York with him?

I enjoyed wandering around Washington Square Park by myself reading, watching a homemade rap being produced, and cheering on the Junior Medieval Weapons Club of Manhattan tournament. I enjoyed spending time with friends who I probably won’t see for the rest of the summer. I enjoyed having the time (for once!) to calmly eat lunch with my dad and dinner with my mom.

But there’s a level, I think, at which meaningless sex perhaps becomes too meaningless even for me – a chronic one-night-stand-er and sworn commitment-phobe. There’s a moment at which that kind of encounter actually leaves you emptier than you were before: less horny not because your physical needs were sated but because you begin to despair at there ever being real intimacy or connection even in the most supposedly intimate of acts.

You, my most faithful she-bomb readers, have heard (read?) me go through a variety of permutations and over-shares on my sexuality and sexual history. So here’s another one of those. While the rest of you are finishing up your last finals, I’m heading back up to Amherst by bus, trying to figure out what I’m missing that I had when I came to Amherst at 17 and met a cute blonde guy at the socials and loved how bright stars looked in the suburbs of Western Mass.

<3 Constant Theme, ConstantLy

PS
Obviously names have been changed.

PPS
Had any similar experiences? How have you dealt with your sig-O (aka “significant other”) graduating?