“Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place.” – John Bender, Breakfast Club
I know there are by far, many a more clever movie line that a person can pick to quote from, but something about the above mentioned has resonated with me since first hearing John Bender mutter it. It’s my go-to for so much. Maybe it’s the deadpan delivery. Maybe it’s the fact I cannot recite or recall a movie line to save my life, except this sweet and short one. Maybe it’s because I feel every moment in life can be summarized by a quote from The Breakfast Club. The reality? I tend to think moreso it’s because it’s a flat true statement. No frills, no bells, no whistles. No matter how perfect we want life to be, the fact is, screws will fall out from time to time. Some damage in life may incur.
The screw fell out between TYO and I. Simple as that. No grand ending. Just a simple little “ka-plink” of the metal hitting the floor, and the next thing I knew the door was slamming with an unexpected force. Not out of anger. Not because someone slammed it. Just because the damn screw that was holding it open decided to fall out.
It baffled me the most, because it came so unexpectedly. One moment things we were going really good and we were tentatively planning weekend trips and the next he was just — gone. Like that guy who slips out of the party a little earlier than most, without explanation or good-byes. No reason. Or if there is/was a reason, I am not privy to it.
TYO to bring you up to speed, is the acronym for The Young One. He was the first and very probable only younger guy I had ever really involved myself with. Like, — a lot younger. I think there was about 16 years age difference between us. I still find it hard at times to admit that without inwardly wincing a bit. I hesitated on involving myself with him primarily because of the age difference. I danced between feeling naughty and feeling sort of like a stereotypical dirty old lady. I decided to embrace the naughty and with some slight prodding from good friends I I threw myself into things. Honestly, it was a fun ride. I will never look back with regret. It was a thousand times what I needed at exactly that moment. And the age? The reality was, I never — I rarely — ever noticed it. It was the quasi perfect arrangement for the moment; He had a schedule that didn’t allow him time for a fully committed relationship, and I didn’t have the heart for any type of dedicated relationship. We had only one rule, and that was sexual monogamy. To my knowledge, we both kept to that.
When I finally noticed he was gone, I didn’t think much of it. We had done short periods of time with little to no communication before. It wasn’t until I finally texted him about two weeks into the silence and it went unanswered, I sort of knew. I volleyed between being bummed and feeling the slightest bit jilted. We never really discussed how things would end, but I think that I thought that there would at least be something in the form of saying our good-byes.
I guess wanting to know why bothered me more than anything initially. In fact it drove me a little crazy at first. I like order. I like a beginning and an ending. I’ve never been one to be okay with the “off into the sunset” theory of a move ending. Ok wait, that’s not entirely true. Now that I think on it, more of my relationships have ended that way then in a grand dramatic fashion. But even those had a slow ending. Like watching sap drip down a tree trunk. Not the abruptness that this one seemed to have.
After the puzzlement of it just fizzling out, I’ll admit; I was a little angry. That would be my overly inflated, larger than life Ego entering into the room. I probably wouldn’t have admitted this prior to, but I assumed that when things finally ended it would be me who did the ending. There wasn’t a huge emotional vestment in this dalliance by either of us, but I assumed he would be the puzzled, or saddened one. I played this out with him as my practice boy, and me finally get my emotional shit together, ready to climb back aboard the Trolley of Love. When the time came, I would be brushing myself off, and thanking him for such a fun time but admitting it was time for me to be moving onto something a little closer in proximity to me, both in age and geographics.
Today I am neither angry or puzzled really. I figure he probably met someone and one of the perks of not being in a real relationship is that he didn’t have to deal with real relationship issues, like breaking things off. I can’t blame him there. I act like I would have handled things in a mature, regal fashion but the idea of just being able to turn off the text and never have to have that awkward moment is a little enticing.
So to that I should tip my hat, smile a slightly sad but knowing smile, and say, “Well played young man, well played.”