When it finally happened, it was a bit of an anti-climax. It wasn't brought on by one of us walking in on the other in the shower with a stranger, or the sudden discovery of a criminal alter-ego. No love-child hidden away under the basement, no re-kindling of flames past. What brought the cards tumbling down was the gentle (or not-so-gentle, if you want her opinion) sound of my contented sleep. And all I wanted was a passionate, fiery, dramatic break-up.
I looked it up: the love-doctors can’t even converge on a collective, all-encompassing medical term for it. It doesn’t even have a name! You'd think after three years of spending every waking moment together (if not physically, then at least emotionally- on skype, facebook, g-talk!) I could come up with something more poignant than snoring to cause a loved one sleepless nights. That's a treacherous blow to your self-worth. You stood strong; you were her rock, her pillar, while everybody around you seemingly plumbed new depths of moral depravity. You stayed up nights to help her prepare for bar exams in a language you don't speak, you feigned weekly relish after meals of badly boiled cabbage and poorly pastry. After all that, surely the least she could have done was cop off with your best friend?
I wonder if we all go through relationships in the hope of a spectacular severance. Do you nourish and nurture your relationship like an unreasonable plant that blooms only once? Do you fantasize daily of the grand finale - do you wonder every day what will set it off? Do you plan furtively to ensure it's everything you hope for? Do you sow seeds of jealousy, sprinkle opportunities for self-doubt in your partner to ensure it’s must-see TV? Do you rush through the main-meal in a tearing hurry to get to the dessert, the piece de resistance?
I invested three years in that woman - she had it all, everything your philosophy and your literature will tell you guarantees just that. I had a novel riding on that woman - my 'Love In The Time Of Cholera', my homage to the great romances. And what does she do? She throws it away on something as mundane and un-spectacular as sleep pattern. See, the average German woman sleeps 7.1 hours a day. Leni approximates that my snoring wakes her up once every fifty-five minutes. It takes her between twelve and sixteen minutes -to roll me over, wake me up and roll me over, or scream into my ear and leave the room - each time. Considering we spend roughly seven to eight hours between “good night “ and “good morning”, that doth not a very productive day make for a working woman. So what does she do? She dumps me. But let’s start at the beginning.
*Prologue to Exes and Sevens. More excerpts here.