The Christina Chronicles: The Worst Memorial Day Weekend, Part 2: And I Hate Your Breathing
She denied it up to the day the final nail was driven into our friendship’s coffin, but Christina was crazy jealous of my friend Alisha. I often wondered if it would have been an issue if Alisha had been my friend first, but as it turned out, she didn’t enter the picture until nearly two years after Christina put her possessive fingerprints all over my life. Christina’s jealousy was rooted in a few factors:
- Alisha and I became fast friends and quickly began spending pretty much every weekend together.
- Alisha is a lesbian so clearly we were having sex together here, there and everywhere during all those weekends.
Unfortunately, this was not true, but it’s how Christina acted. I thought she would be happy for me because at that time, I didn’t really have many friends around Pittsburgh. And now I had found one with whom I connected on a deeper level than I would typically. Alisha and I could spend hours just sitting in her kitchen, smoking cigarettes and talking about everything; I could be myself around her, serious and silly all at once. And I quickly found that she was open to new music, so I started making her mix CDs.
Another thing that boiled Christina’s blood, I’m sure.
Alisha was also the one, back in March of that year, who warned me of the potential dangers of getting romantically involved with Christina. We had a talk about boundaries and when I told Christina this later, she insisted Alisha was trying to talk me out of it because she wanted me for herself.
Obviously! But I wonder why Alisha, after FIVE YEARS, has yet to make a move? Maybe because WE’RE JUST FRIENDS?
That Sunday, the day after the infamous pb&j meltdown, Alisha came over to meet Christina. I’ve never really felt like that before, but I was actually embarrassed to have them meet.
Embarrassed that Christina was going to act like an idiot.
Embarrassed that Alisha was going to think, “Oh my god, THAT’S what you’ve been having sex with?”
It was pretty awkward. I don’t remember the two of them really talking at all. I can close my eyes and picture Alisha sitting in the chair by the window, her back to Christina, eyes on the TV. Eyes still closed, I can picture Christina roiling about on the couch, animation level kicked up to 900.
And then Henry left to pick up pizza, at which point the tension increased significantly. It was obvious that Christina wasn’t going to make an effort, and I honestly didn’t feel it was Alisha’s job to go out of her way.
Since the next day was Memorial Day and Henry was once in the SERVICE, I decided we should make him a card. Not out of love or respect, of course; don’t get it twisted. But out of my special brand of emasculation that I reserve for Henry.
I got out all the supplies and set to work on the floor of the living room. All the other two had to do was sit there and wait for their turn to sign it. I’m very Type A when it comes to arts and crafts. Since we didn’t have much time before Henry came back, I tried to be as simplistic as possible, relying mostly on marker but adding a small amount of glitter glue for spunk. A very small amount.
Before handing the card over to be signed by Alisha and Christina, I warned them to be careful they didn’t smudge the glittered outline of the stars.
Alisha signed her name with competence.
Christina grabbed the card and immediately rammed her big fucking thumb into one of the stars, smudging the perfection of my masterpiece.
It was not a good weekend for something like this to happen and I probably made a bigger deal about it than I should have. But there was already an air of annoyance steady radiating around Christina all weekend. Even when she was sitting quietly, I was finding things to hate about her. Glitter-thumbing Henry’s card was the last straw. I was over it. Done-zo. Couldn’t co-exist in the same room with her anymore.
It’s safe to wager that I made her cry after vomiting my wrath all over her face. I had a knack of making her cry just by slitting my eyes in malice.
Apparently, Henry liked the card so much he jizzed on it.
Then Henry had to ruin the already-cursed card by pointing out that he’s not technically a Vet, which caused me to cry, “OMG YOU HATE MY CARD!” (This card’s clearly been through the war over the last five years. OH!)
At the end of the night, I wanted to take Alisha home by myself.
“She only lives 10 minutes away, if that,” I argued with Christina. “Just stay here.”
“But I want to come!” she begged. She wasn’t taking no for an answer. God forbid I should be alone in a car with Alisha! She might try to impregnate me. Short of distracting her with a toy and sneaking out like I do with Chooch, it was clear no ditching was going to happen that night.
So not only did she get her way, but she sat in the front seat! Alisha is very mild-mannered and didn’t make a big deal about it, but I was pissed. Alisha was my guest and Christina should have sat in the backseat where she belonged.
We drove in silence.
Alisha got out.
We drove back in silence.
That night, I lay in bed with Henry and blurted out, “Henry, what have I done? I can’t stand to be around her! I want her to go home.”
He just laughed and mumbled something about the bed I’d made.
After watching the annual Memorial Day parade that goes past my house, Christina and I were sitting on the couch together. I was trying to watch the French Open, but all I could hear was her breathing.
And her toes cracking.
And her breathing.
There was a good three feet between us on the couch, but it felt like she was melding into me.
“When does your bus leave?” I asked with gritted teeth.
She answered, “6:00pm” and I felt my heart sink. It was only 11:00am.
“Aren’t there any buses that leave earlier?” I prodded. She shrugged and I suggested, “Maybe you should go FIND OUT.”
There weren’t. Short of dropping her off at the Greyhound station seven hours early (which I wanted to do but Henry stepped in and stopped that), I was pretty much stuck with her.
And her toes cracking.
And her breathing.
This was not something I’ve ever experienced with friends before – only boyfriends that I’m growing tired of. It’s the inevitable closing credits of the honeymoon period where the reality of all their flaws and peccadilloes come bubbling to the surface, leaving a trail of strewn socks and Q-tips and puddles of urine all over the lip of the commode. There’s little physical contact and everything is amplified. I never noticed her breathing before. Or the cracking toes. Or how pathetic she looked when she stared at me with her jutting lips and drooping eyes. I wondered how much her presence was responsible for tipping the scale during my bi-polar episodes; if the pb&j craving would have even inflated to such Sybilacious proportions had she not been there.
I knew that it was time to end this bizarre relationship and try to salvage what ever pieces were left of our friendship. I didn’t want to hate her. I wanted to go back to the way things were. We didn’t talk about it that day. The whole weekend was so traumatic to me that I just wanted it to end on a good note. So Christina watched old home videos with me, videos from when I was 18 and living in my first apartment. It helped to see myself so happy on TV. It distracted me from the cracking toes, the breathing, and the Dear John letter that was looming around the corner. We were able to spend the last few hours laughing together as I immersed myself in the backstories of everything she was watching on these videos.
Sharing those memories with her made me realize that I definitely didn’t want to ruin our friendship.
I emailed her after that weekend and explained it all to her, how I felt that every time we crossed that line, it might have seemed like it was making us closer at first, but I was afraid that it was actually chipping away at our bond and I didn’t want to reach that point of no return, where it became all or nothing.
i just don’t know what to say.
i understand that our “relationship” wasn’t typical,
or as you say it was barely one… but even so- it
meant a lot to me. i can move on though- because our
friendship means more to me than any of that other
stuff ever did. i’m not trying to do anything that
makes us not friends…
She swore she was fine with things, but I knew she wasn’t based on the fact she had resorted to her old ways of drowning her problems in sex. She still hadn’t fully come out yet and would pretty much give herself to any man with a working penis. I remember one day that June, she called me and bragged that she had given a blow job to this guy Jack from her work. He was married. His wife had just had a baby. Kudos, Christina.
I didn’t seek out to hurt her through the whole process. I never felt that I was playing games with her. I was following my heart. I was willing to give her a shot. It didn’t work out and now she was going to make me pay for it by whoring herself out and bragging about it to me.
We were supposed to go to Warped Tour together in Columbus (our halfway point) shortly after that, but I bailed on her the morning of. I just couldn’t imagine spending an entire day with her so soon after breaking up with her and then processing the fact that she was essentially doling out blow jobs at the workplace. Christina wound up still going with her sister instead and told me later that she saw Sylvia there. Awfully coincidental that Sylvia, whose brain isn’t developed enough to appreciate anything that isn’t Mariah Carey or anything equally as banal, would not only go to Warped Tour, but one that wasn’t even in her own city.
Even when Christina and I were just platonic friends, that hag was always hanging around, waiting, plotting, salivating hungrily for her turn at Christina. I always knew in my heart Sylvia would eventually get her way, but I still had faith that Christina would make the right choice.
OMG I HATE IT when people breathe! Seriously I just want to scream: the rest of us can breathe normally WTF is WRONG with YOU!? I don’t know how you made it through that weekend. <3
And you skipped the Warped Tour??? That's serious business right there.
And one of my favorite bands was playing that summer too!
I’m waiting for the twist: Sylvia isn’t even real
Wouldn’t that be fantastic.
Yeah serious kudos for not killing her that weekend. The more this story goes on, the easier it is to not like her.
It’s like, Friend Christina and Girlfriend Christina were soooo different from each other. She always had me on edge and brought out a real mean side of me that I’m not proud of.
Erin your writing is a breath of fresh air. I mean not a breath, exactly…..not anything to do with breathing. Just really, really excitingly fresh. I feel so boring now, and my boring green tea has gone cold, and I’ve just eaten a whole packet of some kind of fruit jubes while reading it. Look forward to the blogathon!
Fiona, thank you! That’s a huge compliment. I was all over your blog last night, by the way. Your photos (& life) are fabulous! I didn’t get a chance to comment on anything at that time because my son kept distracting me, but I want to quickly say that I can’t imagine having people on the street watching me get a tooth pulled. That’s insanity!
I’m glad I found you! (It was from Blog Frog, by the way.)
After the first few “Chronicles” posts, I was having a difficult time understanding why it was so hard for you to dump her as a friend, because she seemed so awful, but now I’m starting to understand it a little better. It’s difficult to let go of someone who understands and can sometimes pacify the intricacies of bpd, but it’s almost worse to be smothered.
I’m kind of surprised that Henry was as welcoming to and tolerant of her as he seemed to be. If I were in the same situation, I would have told her to go pound sand, except not in so many nice words. (Is he a saint?)
In other news, I also become completely bat-shit crazy, beyond the point of reason, when I’m hungry. You’re not alone. :)
You know how sometimes you see two people and it’s so clear why they’re together? No one ever could understand why or how we’d found each other. We made no sense. But somehow there was a strong emotional connection.
Comfort was a big factor, also.
Henry is a pretty easy-going guy. There have been very few people in my life who he down right disliked. In the beginning, he was uneasy about Christina, but they actually ended up becoming friends. In fact, he’s talked to her on the phone since she and I stopped talking.