After a breakup, a box of hair dye and a buzzer, a stack of magazines and a pack of smokes, always revive me and bring me back from the living dead. I cried my way through clipping four inches off my scalp, and blubbering all through GQ’s December issue. I shed my signature jet-black coiffeur for a breezy chestnut hue and hated every second of it.
“Love the buzz cut. It really sets off your green eyes.”
“I hate it—and I have been crying so much that my eyes are all puffy.“
This time, my existing tools for sweetening a sour relationship didn't work. I knew why. I actually cared for him—Finn I mean. This wasn't some fly-by night, off the rack type of romance, but one started in the summer that, despite military intervention and distance, had panned out.
“Another guy, another flake-out: I would think you would be used to it already,” Luke said. I was half listening, while staring in the mirror.
“What does that mean? And thanks for the vote of confidence.”
“No joke, Joey, this is the life we live,” Luke sighed.
“Or the hookups we choose, is what you meant to say, isn't it?”
“As much as I'm enjoying this little Carrie Bradshaw and Miranda tiff,” Luke shot back, clipping off his words at his exit along with the lights...
Salting such a fresh wound as a breakup I could muster, any other time of year, but with only a few weeks till Christmas, a season of singleness is an entirely different beast, so I would need reinforcements. Unfortunate for me, mistletoe and holly turned my band of brothers into the three Wise Men.
“Why is everyone so gaga over tonight?”
I could hear Will take a breath, and usually a quick pause in speech reveals a hidden agenda.
“It’s just dinner. Maybe swing by Rockefeller Plaza. See a few shop windows. Be all touristy. That’s it.”
“Sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what we want for Christmas too?” I blurted out.
“Something like that.” I could almost feel Grady and his BF Marc, crowded over Will’s shoulder, hoping that I would take the bait. After the big Thanksgiving revelation of Grady's Funhouse infidelities, Marc accepted Grady's apology and reined in that already taut leash he has him tethered to.
“You have been a very naughty boy this year, Joey. You cheated on your boyfriend, and now look what you’ve got.” I didn't have to hear his response, after my words fell out.
I hung up the phone and cried myself to sleep.