What people do together overshadows Who They Are. If I can’t make you fall in love with me for who I am, maybe I can interest you with what I understand.

For my birthday, I stop eating meat for a week. I stop drinking. I pray to forgive the bad things. I pray to remember the good things. I go to yoga, I make my body like a bundle of sticks and roll on the floor for several minutes. A white lady in a turban, who I’m sure used to be a partner at a law firm tells me to touch my thumb to my pinky to control my mercury, which will in turn control all my intentions. I roll my tongue into the back of my throat, I stare softly down the tip of my nose and see the crescent blue-green moon. She says, this is the gift that Shiva gave to his wife. I empty myself and all the people I no longer talk to, walk through me and are gone.

I email E. in New York and tell him, I forgive him. He writes me back. He’s not a writer, just a finance guy who never thought of doing anything else and so his writing is pretty pathetic. Equal parts sad, limited, and pressed in by all the things he can’t say anymore because now we have made peace.

I email A. who has been my longest and most faithful companion. I haven’t spoken to her in 9 months–a new york minute really. We got into our first fight after a content friendship of 15 years. During our tentative make up lunch, I said, so we fought, it’s okay to get into a fight. And she said, down at her plate, her chin almost touching her sternum: we didn’t fight, you abandoned me.

Sometime after this, I meet N. who shows up to our first date in a casual suit, a single button wool blazer. Later, he tells me he’s allergic to wool and drops a piece of lobster three times while trying to put it on my plate. Instantly, right then, I decide I like him. But as you all know, I have liked many, many men over the years, and I have loved more than I’d like to admit. But with N. besides liking him and eventually loving him, from the start I wanted to acquire him. Everything in me, leapt to possess him. He frowns at this description; but let me elaborate. Isn’t the desire to purchase simply another way of saying: you should belong to me. It is something which is owed, which is really the basis of the financial markets and also love and life. N. is owed to me for I have already paid for him, with all my waiting and all my faults.

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