The title of this blog post is misleading. I was technically infected with the Mononucleosis virus before I got ghosted, but its six-week incubation period caused my symptoms to remain dormant until long after the carrier ignored my last text. So it goes.
2014 was a pretty shitty year for me. I let the lack of a text message define my self-worth and then I let that happen again. And admittedly, the second time was far more spiritually debilitating than the first. I felt stuck in a dead-end job folding offensive graphic tees while avoiding human contact. I stopped eating for a while because my stomach was a knot of jumbled nerves. I hardly read.
Toward the end of the year, the giant pile of dog shit my face felt permanently shoved into finally began to dissipate. (This is my laziest blog post, that was my laziest metaphor.) I went on to land my dream job, go on vacation, had a stranger say she likes my blog.
Then on January 1, 2015, moments after midnight, I meet a real life guy at a real life party. I ask if he is the party police, because I am drunk and he is leaning against a wall. He is not the party police, so I ask, "Are you dating that girl you're with or what?" He responds, "No, she's just a friend. She is also on drugs." Three hours later, I announce that I am leaving. He asks for my number. I tell him not to bother if he has no plans to follow through.
He texts me that same night, says I am the coolest person he's met in 2015. This is funny, because it is 5AM on January 1st. I laugh, apologize for the weird things I said to him throughout the night. The truth is he is weirder. I like weird guys. I have deplorable taste in men. I reenact the following Vine in my shower later that morning.
He comes to karaoke a few days later. He records me singing Destiny's Child with a friend and Billy Joel with strangers. I think this is cute, that this will maybe contribute to an anniversary gift consisting of an amalgamation of video footage taken at the start of our relationship. He runs a video department at a Millenial click-bait site that employs mostly terrible writers, so it isn't too far out of the realm of possibility. I shut these thoughts down as soon as they register, because they are Gone-Girl-meets-CW-level crazy and I am starting to entertain the dangerous possibility of Maybe.
He adds me on Facebook at the bar. I hide my latest blog post from him, it makes me sound unhinged, I am.
We make plans to hang out again the following Friday. I am off work at 11; I use my lunch break to do my makeup. 11 comes and goes without a text. I sit in bed, I do not wash my face. This is either hope or desperation, it depends on who you ask. His response comes at 1AM -- he is sorry, he fell asleep around 8:30, says it's weird, that he never falls asleep that early. I push to meet up anyway, because he leaves for Los Angeles the next day and I depleted an entire ozone layer with the half can of Aqua Net I sprayed in my hair.
I take a cab to Brooklyn because my savings account is no longer empty. Things go well, things with this real life guy who actually texts and flirts with his hands. He likes my dress, I've never met a guy who doesn't. He takes me to Barcade where I lose spectacularly at Donkey Kong and again at MS PACMAN because I am not a nerd. This pisses me off because I am a sore loser. He takes video of me losing. Video montage, and I am crazy again.
Then he's on the airplane. He sends me a photo of the airline magazine, because Dave Grohl is on its cover. This has implications. It says: I listened to something you said last night. This thing I saw made me think of you, and I wanted you to know that I was thinking of you.
Days later, after I know he's landed back in New York, I ask him about his trip. He says he is tired, but he wants to see me soon. He makes no effort to hang out that weekend, and I am about to start a small fire inside a car. Then I remember we are not in a relationship, I put the matches away, I am so breezy. A week later I try to make plans, he tells me he just got sick, but let's do it. So we do.
I drag him to two bars. At the first bar, he talks about former American Idol co-host, Brian Dunkleman, wonders aloud what that guy is up to. Brian Dunkleman is someone I think about every now and then, so I answer: He wanted to pursue stand-up comedy. Leaving Idol remains the biggest regret of his life. Dunkleman resents Ryan Seacrest, but don't we all? I take this as a sign, this weirdest of subjects that we have in common. That I can answer a question normal people would never think to ask.
The second bar is our shared favorite and I am glad about it, because it sucks now. Garbage people overtake a garbage bar, let it burn. He says he doesn't understand why guys would ghost me. He holds my hands across the table. We both have evening plans away from each other and it's fine. He kisses me goodbye because I lie about having a strong immune system. I just want him to kiss me.
Days later, Winter Storm Juno hardly hits. Everyone on Twitter is mean to Bill de Blasio. I watch the following Vine on repeat.
He does not text me this entire time. I relent and text him first, ask him how the storm was. He says, "Lame cause you wernt [sic] around." I realize now he probably meant to type, "Fuck off." Autocorrect is a tricky thing these days. My phone corrects 'believe' to 'BELIEBE.'
Two days after that, I am forward. I ask some version of, "What are you up to tonight? Want to do pickelback shots and make out or something?" He responds, "Yes that sounds awesome but I'm busy tonight." He gives me a reason that I cross-reference with social media in an attempt to verify the information. He does not know I do this, but he is telling the truth.
We settle on the next day, but he is too hungover to hang out or to text me until 8:45PM. I believe this excuse, because he is 29 which is almost dead. I never hear from him again.
I break the wall of silence with a text a week later. It is tinged with desperation; I am embarrassed when he does not respond but I am not surprised. I send a final text the following day because he needs to know he needlessly led me on. It's made worse because he knows that men have disappeared on me before. I maintain that I let him off easy. I wish I had spoiled Game of Thrones for him, but I am only on season two.
For the next week, I am that scene in Gilmore Girls where Rory is drunk off the gasoline they put in the Founder's Day punch. She is vulnerable and miserable because rich-boy Logan couldn't pause his rich-boy monocle-shining for one single second to call her. She is lying on the bathroom floor, crying and desperate, saying, "Why doesn't he like me? Why doesn't he call me? What did I do?" And Lorelai strokes her hair, tells her it's alright, knows that it isn't. Because Rory is this smart, beautiful, witty girl who has every single thing going for her and yet she lets her self-worth be defined by this one stupid guy who doesn't call her. I think about my mother.
But I get over it, I move on quicker than before, I am hardened, I wasn't in love, have never been in love, may never be in love. My friend tells me he was a muppet-faced motherfucker, that I look like Marina and the Diamonds, that I was dating down. I do not believe her, but I appreciate the attempt to make me feel worthy, to put a bandaid over the bullet hole.
Weeks later, I am sick. I have the flu, but work piles on so I can't rest. The flu doesn't let up, I fall asleep while I write. I am newly insured so I go to a clinic. I get steroids, they take blood, I have mono.
There is no happy ending here, no moral of the story. Sometimes life gives you lemons and sometimes life pours lemon juice and acid into your open wounds and doesn't let up until you beg for death. Then it doesn't let you die. The acid burns brighter. This is what I have learned.
I am, effectively, over it: Over the mono, over the boy. We talked for about a month, I wasn't worth a "No thanks," he wasn't worth a 30 dollar cab ride. So it goes.