I took a mental picture from the sealing of that apartment, at 11 PM, last Friday. A big, messy gray sofa in a small living room. On it, two people. A skinny, bearded guy with a beer belly, wrapped around the arms of a blonde-haired, tall and strong woman. Both naked, eyes closed; though in completely different places in their minds. She was relaxed, falling asleep. Him, The Writer, felt angsty and just wanted to get the fuck out of there.
“We shouldn’t have done that,” he said.
She opened her eyes and looked up at him. “I told you,” she replied, as she sat down next to him.
“I have a problem. My therapist was right.”
“I’m sorry. But, again, I told you it was a bad idea. Although it was nice,” she said.
“Yeah… It was,” he lied. One minute of intercourse, interrupted by premature ejaculation was not his idea of “nice.” Let alone these fucking feelings of shame and rock bottom he was going through.
The Writer looked at her, as she walked around naked, looking for a robe. In a different time, and under different circumstances, he would’ve enjoyed the ride. Now, well, he was overcome by regret. A feeling that followed him on his bike ride home, all the way from Nordvest.
Hi felt so ashamed, looking at himself in his bathroom mirror. He had only lasted two days without acting up on his sexual urges. But the second he gets a DM on Instagram from a woman who saw his contact ad on a porn magazine, he couldn’t say no. “It’s Friday, after all,” he thought; and found some comfort in the fact that he had, indeed, deleted all his dating apps, just like his therapist told him. This was a nice loophole. Or so he believed, before the fact. Before the guilt and the damning feeling of dread for having failed so easily.
“What am I doing with my life,” he thought, as he stripped himself naked and got into bed. And the thought stayed with him, in his insomniac night. He wanted to be dead, buried. He couldn’t fathom why he was still around, after all these years. “’The Decadence Chronicle’ was supposed to be over!” But the film kept rolling; the stories, still piling up. There was no rest. There was no real ending, just repetition.
Yes, he had loved. And yes, he had been loved. But it wasn’t good, and, certainly, it was not enough. So he kept looking for the high, in the aftermath. The excitement of the second date, of the first kiss, of the awkward first fuck. And the subsequent messages on his phone. And the pictures. And the breakfasts and dinners and walking hand in hand in parks and the beach. The long, lazy mornings. The warmth in the cold, gray and dark days. The hikes in the spring. The feeling of “This is it.” The fear of committing, and the balls to say “Fuck it” and going all-in anyway.
He kept looking, but hardly ever got anywhere near that.
“It’ll never be the same. Not after her,” he thinks now. It’s Thursday evening. He already took his walk, yet anxiety sits still on him; leaving a heavy pressure on his throat and chest. But words… Those fuckers keep flowing through him. The Writer writes, once more.
For a while, being alone wasn’t all too bad. But now he can no longer find comfort in his solace. Not anymore. No woodworking project nor paintings can now help him get his head straight. He hopes it’s just the transition between 18 months of antidepressants and his last 5 weeks completely clean. So then the premature ejaculation, the insomnia and the constant angst are just some shitty visitors, passing through town.
He takes a deep breath. “One month,” The Writer says. Then the next therapy session will come, and so will some new steps to be taken. Maybe it’ll be okay to go back in the apps. Or, maybe by then, he’ll feel much better than nowadays. Then he’s not gonna give two fucks about those damn apps, anyway. “One month,” he says again, and types these final words. “We’ll see.”

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