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shouldn’t have

published: 2014-11-22

A lover describes the various relationships he’s had with women. He’s broken the hearts of a few, he says, and he so hates himself for it. It makes him feel terrible to know he’s hurt them.
I’ve been hearing men tell me similar things these past few months. It has me wondering why we women do that, why do we fall in love? And why don’t these men? Does it mean something is wrong with us, or in fact with them?
I choose the latter. Loving is the hard part of all this.
He tells me he’s been learning. He once popped a cd into an ex-girlfriend’s letterbox. It was her favourite music. A few weeks later he ran into her and asked after the cd. She said that he shouldn’t have done that.
“Why did you do it?” I ask.
“Pity? I think.”
I myself find a package in my letterbox today. I recognize my ex’s handwriting. It sends a jolt of resistance up my spine. It is a book: Letters of Note. There is a small card in it which says how the letter I once wrote to him is the most noteable letter he himself has ever read.
Ok, I think. I realize that music and words referring to the love you once shared mean nothing. The person does, but he isn’t in the package.
I’ll probably run into him sometime. He’ll ask whether I received the book.
I could then ask why he sent it to me, but I now know the answer. And so I’ll just say: “yes, I received it. You shouldn’t have.”

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