10   +   3   =  

If you’d like to start at the beginning of this breakup saga, click here.

So, where were we? Oh that’s right — after months of tormenting me, my ex-boyfriend and his replacement-for-me girlfriend moved in down the street from me. Four doors, to be exact.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

I called my sister after I found out he was moving spitting distance from my house. I’d stopped talking to her about him months before, because she was entirely burnt out on the subject (she wasn’t alone). She hated that I still “allowed” myself to be emotionally affected by such a loser. I prefaced the news by saying, “I know you’re sick of hearing about ____, but I need to vent about something, and I need you to be on my side about it.”

“Okay…?”, she responded with trepidation.

I said, “____ and his girlfriend are moving down the street from me.”

“Oh my fucking God! ARE YOU KIDDING?”

At first, I wasn’t sure if she was annoyed with me or him. Turns out, she was on my side, and totally saw his ridiculous assholishness.

In fact, everyone who’s heard this story agrees, it was a total asshole move.

I haven’t mentioned an important detail, and I hesitate to tell you, because it is an absolute downer. A month before his move, a terrible tragedy occurred. While babysitting, an icehead (ice is a violent form of meth) threw his neighbor’s toddler off an overpass, onto the freeway. The apartment my ex moved into belonged to that icehead prior to his arrest for murder.

While the shocking fact that he would knowingly move into a baby murderer’s apartment certainly highlighted his poor decision making, it also overshadowed the fact that he’d knowingly moved four doors down the street from me.

I mean, fuck — his proximity to me couldn’t even be the most fucked up thing about the situation. He had to move into a baby murderer’s apartment.

At first, I tried to make light of his nearness. His absolute disregard for me was so thorough, it’d become comical.

But as the days rolled on after their move — reality set in. It was bad enough, everyone agreed, that I’d had to see them out and about every damn where since our breakup — now I regularly saw him drive or walk past while I sat innocently chillin on my lanai (Hawaiian for porch) with my soul sister/roommate, Lisa.

Lisa had an unbelievable threshold for my ex-venting, and sometimes seemed to despise him more than I did. She’d never seen a good side of him, since she and I met just before the breakup. One night during a rant she said, “It’s absolute bullshit! Psychological terrorism. You know what you should do? You should make a tin-can phone that stretches from here to his apartment, and leave it for him with the note saying, “This is how close you’ve chosen to live from me. Call me when you’re ready to talk about it.”

“Fucking brilliant!,” I said. “I’m totally gonna do that.” She’d never expected that I actually would, but it was too hilarious not to. He clearly didn’t give a shit about anything I’d said, so I figured, maybe this action would speak louder than my words. “Show, don’t tell,” as the writing teachers say.

So, Lisa and I grubbed on some canned goods, I measured the distance from my gate to his truck with string, poked holes in the cans, and voilà: I had a prop — which technically qualified as a communication tool — that, at the very least, would provide me and Lisa with entertainment, and might make an impact on him.

I wound the string around the tin-can receivers so they met in the middle, walked the very short distance to his car, and propped the phone against his windshield with the rolled note tucked in, making a silhouette not unlike a cock and balls. How apropos, I thought.

I skipped the several strides back home, infused with a joyous freedom. Never had I felt so vindicated.


Tin-can phone!

That night, Lisa and I sat on the lanai, feelin’ fine and laughin’ up a storm.

The next day, he called. I wish I could tell you he said something acceptable, but mostly he just invalidated my feelings, yet again. What’s much worse, I don’t even think he appreciated the genius, symbolic, hilarity of my prop!

But fuck him. I knew what it meant, my friends thought it was amazing, I thought it was amazing. And even though his lack of acknowledgment soured my sweet vindication a skosh, I got to move on with my bad self, laughing with my girlfriends and growing into a woman who will never take so much shit from anyone, EVER, and he had to stay his stinky-ass self.