The Day We Fell Apart

Some random depressive writing.

(This is a mirror of a random work from cohost)

David would never say that he doesn't love his husband.

Of course it's not that simple. He's used to being apart the majority of the time, as Gabe travels the country for his sales job and David makes the same short roundtrip drive five days a week to his boring office job. He'd gotten used to being apart, and how it served to make the moments that they did have together more special.

And more hectic, like the last time Gabe had just enough time to shower at home before grabbing another Uber to the airport for another flight for another meeting. The shower sex had been exciting, even if it was a necessity given the circumstances.

But now all travel was shut down, and all businesses were shut down, and the two of them were stuck together 24/7 in their one-bedroom apartment trying to find space to work where they weren't constantly interrupting each others' video calls during the day.

And the closeness was infuriating.

Gabe had never been a tidy person. David had known that even as they were dating, but it hadn't mattered when they were living apart. And after they'd gotten married, Gabe had mostly lived out of a suitcase or two, giving David plenty of time to arrange and organize the apartment however he wanted.

Organization that was rapidly becoming impossible -- and undone by the day -- as Gabe's work items and collections of takeout containers started consuming all available space in their living room as the weeks went by.

Speaking of food, Gabe seemed determined to continue his diet of restaurant delivery for every meal, even though he was no longer on a company expense account. It wasn't that they couldn't afford it, but David seemed to have the worst timing, and would always ask about cooking just after Gabe had already placed an order, or just as food for Gabe was arriving.

Oh yeah, food for Gabe. Never food for the two of them. Gabe never seemed to ask, and David never pushed, so there were never meals together with the two of them. And of course, because restaurants were shut down, they couldn't even do their sporadic impromptu dinner dates anymore.

So David would never say that he didn't love Gabe. But he also thinks that maybe the two of them were much better when they weren't quite so... together.

He's filled with hope one day when Gabe asks to talk after work, and David tries to come up with a list of subjects to bring to the conversation, but all of that goes out the window when Gabe asks him if David thinks it'd be safe enough to go to a car dealership to buy a new car. For when "things open back up again".

He doesn't mean to start a screaming match, but it gets so loud that the cops are called, and angry glares from neighbors dig into his skull every time he fetches the mail from the entryway after that.

It isn't an option for one of them to move out, of course, and even Gabe thinks that the expense of a hotel would be too extreme. Instead, they each settle into one of the rooms -- switching places, because David uses the kitchen, and it's easier for him to set up in the living room and sleep on the couch -- and more or less ignore each other from that point onward.

David still wouldn't say he doesn't love his husband, but he probably wouldn't say he does either, and maybe that's the most telling thing of all.

It's almost a relief when the divorce papers come, landing in his mail inbox one day with no fanfare and attached to an electronic signature system that he takes advantage of maybe too quickly. It was fortunate, he thinks, that they already maintained separate financial accounts, and had separate jobs, and generally had surprisingly little to do with each other except for their names on a sheet of paper that was soon nullified.

When things eventually do open up again, Gabe tells him he's found a new place, and David wishes him luck, and that's that.

David has to admit: It's strange to see the man you thought you'd spend your life with pulling away from the parking lot, and knowing he wouldn't be back.

But as he starts to throw himself back into a social life, he thinks that maybe he'd learned something from the entire experience.

And the next time he's at a bar and a handsome stranger buys him a drink, he tells himself that it's okay to take things more slowly this time around.