Thanks to each and every one of my followers. Know that you are appreciated. :)
Yelp pointed us to FIKA for good coffee, but the lack of seats had us scuttling across the wet intersection to Starbucks instead. Dollar-store umbrella in hand, I held open the door for my ex, who I happened to have come to New York City with that day.
This is the ex who I was together with for 2.5 years, who I lived with for even longer. To some people we were the epitome of a mature relationship, impressive for a pair of barely twentysomethings to pull-off. To others, we were an unhealthy combination, especially when we decided to remain roommates after severing romantic ties.
To be fair, we were both of those things. The relationship was built on open, honest lines of communication, deep, mutual understanding, and genuine appreciation for the other. This allowed us to remain good friends even after the breakup—a breakup that was quite turbulent. The beauty of becoming best friends with your boyfriend is that you manage to still enjoy each others’ company even after the veneer of being in a romantic relationship is removed. All of this explained why 2.5 years after the end of our 2.5-year relationship, here I was visiting good friends in New York City with him.
Of course, things between us did end for a reason. As time passes after a breakup, you tend to either focus on the ugly or the good. Since we’re still friends, when one of us is single we tend to romanticize the past. That’s when the other person has to remind him of the ugly episodes. And when I say ugly, I mean ugly. The kind of ugly that gets fade-to-black episode endings on HBO or Showtime.
But there we were, 2.5-years removed from the ugly, sitting on Starbucks stools in rainy Manhattan. He had to get to a friend’s birthday party, I had made plans with my own friends for the evening. This was the end of our brief reunion. This was goodbye. We didn’t know when we would see each other again. He asked me for advice about the future. I told him to surround himself with a good support structure. We hugged goodbye, and with tears in his eyes, he gave me one last smile, whispered “I love you” and headed to the door. I remained behind with my half-finished coffee and pretended to check emails on my phone.
Before Looking premiered on TV, there was much hooplah over the race of the characters, and who was represented and who was not. After Looking premiered on TV, much of the discussion shifted to how it was too slow/boring for viewers. But after getting through the first 6 episodes so far, what my takeaway has been is the show’s portrayal of a gay pairing from different class backgrounds. The other criticisms of the show still stand, but I’m reminded that in today’s society it’s much rarer for a couple to be of different levels of educational attainment and socioeconomic class than it is for them to be of two different races. And for that reason, I think there’s something commendable about Looking.