I Can’t Tell You What I Ate for Lunch Yesterday, but I Can Tell You…
Memory is selective.
I can’t tell you what color socks I wore yesterday but I can tell you what it felt like when someone I used to love or think I loved pointed out that I was so afraid of intimacy that I couldn’t commit to a pair of socks. It didn’t feel great. Especially because she was correct.
I can’t tell you the last time I attempted to fold a fitted sheet after washing my bedding but I can tell you that a former friend once unfollowed me on Twitter because she said she could only read so many self-promoting Tweets sharing the self-deprecating essay about the time a Hooter’s waitress shit my bed. I can also tell you what it’s like to think about that like twice a week.
I can’t tell you how many bottles of whiskey I’ve purchased in the past fiscal quarter. But I can tell you that one time my Brooklyn building superintendent, who I’m pretty sure ran a gambling and/or drug ring from his basement apartment, told me based on my trash that I should stop drinking so much.
I can’t tell you the last time I had to change from one shirt to another because of heavy perspiration. But I can tell you what it’s like to find out you almost didn’t get a job because one of the people interviewing you thought you sweat too much during the interview, and to then wonder how many other jobs that could have changed the very trajectory of your life you’ve missed out on for ridiculous reasons. I can also tell you what it’s like to walk into a Gap one day on your way to work to purchase a new button-down because you’ve sweat through the one you’re wearing during the commute into the city only to find another guy in there shopping absurdly early just like you except he tells the cashier he needs a new shirt because he’s coming straight to work from the club.
I can’t tell you what I ate for lunch yesterday. But I can tell you that one time a former colleague called me “too sensitive” behind my back and that I think about it even more often than I think about the time someone called me “medium-looking.” And I think about both a lot. I guess I am sensitive. I can also tell you what it’s like for the same former colleague to chastise you for eating sardines in the office (which is kind of tough but also fair).
I can’t tell you which shoe I put on first this morning. But I can tell you there is definitely a possibility that telling someone via the written word that you’re “very aroused” by the nude thirst trap they posted to Instagram will not go over well at all when they do not intuit that you were saying so in jest, using Ron Burgundy’s voice in your head — and that this one thing you said will ruin a years-long friendship.
I can’t tell you how I broke my fast this afternoon, but I can tell you that the last thing the potential love of my life said to me before we didn’t speak for more than a year, and that was, “Just because you’re sorry doesn’t mean it’s okay.” I can also tell you what it’s like for that person to eventually reach out and start talking to you, and for them to then abruptly cease all conversation a few months later without any explanation.
I can’t tell you where I purchased the couch I’m sitting on, but I can tell you that the reason I own it is I needed to replace the one from Wayfair that I broke while fucking.