Seth checked his watch. The Presidential Debate was coming on in an hour. Ugh. He let out a noticeable groan that everyone in the restaurant could here. They looked at him. Mainly, because he was eating alone. He decided tonight he was going to eat alone. In a restaurant. Around other people. In front of them. Not waiting on anyone. Not looking at his phone too much to distract him. He had to do it. For his own self-worth, to remind himself that he was going to be ok, he was going to make it through, he had to do this.
Did it make him feel better? No. Did it make him feel like the empowered woman he always fancied himself as? Not really. Was it still a giant leap forward. Oh, certainly.
He had forgotten the debates were on tonight. Great. Just what he needed. Watch a 70-year-old child talk down to a woman who has more experience in her pinky than he has in his whole body. The whole election cycle was maddening. He thought about what scholars would say when they write about this debate year. They'd call it probably the most disgusting display of politics they had ever seen. That's what Seth would call it. Nothing was a surprise anymore. The hate, the mysoginy, the lies, the anger, the demeaning. It was all just so insane.
He loved politics, but these debates always set him on edge. He would be back on the couch in an hour, though. He had to watch it. And his leg would be shaking. His breath would be heavy. He'd be a nervous wreck. He wanted her to win. He wanted her to crush this asshole. Every time she would speak, he'd lose his nerve. He wanted to badly to get out of this muck. This whole year was not making America look good. November will be here, he said to himself. November will be here soon.
Going out to dinner by yourself is one of those wins in the Emotionally Strong Homosexual's Breakup Handbook. He would mark it off on his attached checklist that they provide you the minute you changed your status on social media. This went right along with crying in your bedroom into a pillow, learning a new language, and going to the movies solo.
Seth promised he wouldn't do the things that he usually did. With the last breakup (this was getting ridiculous) he would take on the traits of the guy he had just broken up with. As a way to still hang onto the memory of the guy. He bought cookbooks cuz the guy loved to cook, he bought a book on learning French cuz the guy could speak it, and he even flirted with changing religions. When his mother found out, she hit the roof. And he'd ask himself why? Why do this? What is it going to do?
Fact was, it was his thing. He did it to hang onto the memory of the guy. He did it because maybe, possibly, the guy would see him doing this thing and they'd finally be a match like he always wanted. But the books never got read, the languages were never learned, and the cuisine was never cooked. This lasted about two weeks.
Why? Why would he do this? Why try to hang onto something that's gone? I mean, Seth remembered dating a guy who used to fall asleep to The Shining every night. No joke.