Erin, the writer
Erin, an old flame of mine recently reached out to me. She was upset that she hadn’t been included in the Heartbroke Daily, and took issue with the fact that the site is dedicated to my stories of heartbreak. She wrote
None of your exploits are that surprising. And yet I can’t decide what I’m more mad about: the fact you write shamelessly personal things about your relationships with these women, or the fact I’m upset you haven’t written about me. Did I not make the cut, Knox? Was it because I’m not as famous as a professional tennis player, or as mysterious as someone who sells flowers, or as tragic as a drug addict? Is our story so boring, so banal I’m not even a blip on your blog? Screw you, Knox. I’ll write our story myself.
I thought about it, and realized that Erin was right. And thus, I decided to post Erin’s story, because it seems only right. Looking back, I guess I didn’t realized how involved Erin felt, and I feel somewhat guily. However, after reading Erin’s writing, in this story and on her blog, I feel she is stronger because of her experience with me. And I would be remiss if I didn’t share her story. Enjoy.
Knox, Someone To Do Laundry With
When I first met Knox at that laundromat in Emmaus, PA, I was hesitant – He was too handsome, too charming, and too unsettlingly funny—I knew he was going to be trouble from the start, and, as with most instances in my life, my gut was right.
Because no one lives in Emmaus by choice, he asked me what misfortunes had ultimately led me to dollar night Wednesday.
“I needed a job, dude,” I said. “This is the only place I could find work.”
He nodded. Like me, he was a writer, and the defeat in his voice led me to assume he knew how hard it is to get paid to do the only thing you were meant to do. Funny, but I never asked what brought Knox to Pennsylvania, and I still don’t know.
I’d moved from Seattle to New York six months prior, figuring if I were to get a writing job, it would be in the city where dreams and heartbreak shack up together. I took up under-the-table bartending gigs, serving East Village patrons too drunk to notice I didn’t even know how to open a bottle of wine, and spent my nights staying warm in the beds of men who came into the bar and stayed too long.
Every day, I sought the stability of a 9 to 5. Unfortunately, the only gig I could only find was an 8 to 7 in a town that couldn’t be more different from New York City if it was located in Iceland. I left my friends and old boyfriends behind for a job I couldn’t stand in a foreign town I loathed, just in order to pay the bills. Survival’s so boring, I told him, that first night in the Laundromat.
“Come get a drink with me,” Knox said. “It looks like you need one.”
We stayed until close at the only bar open past 10 P.M. – then headed back to my small studio apartment where we continued to talk about writing, movies, and music until the sun came up. He finally left at 6 A.M without even touching me—the scent of clean laundry on both our skins.
I fell in love that night, but by the second night knew it was a mistake. Knox was charming, yes, yet in his answers and jokes and books he’d leave on my night stand to read, he’d reveal nothing.
Our affair lasted the winter—and when the first leaf appeared on the tree outside my bedroom, he’d left. He didn’t even say goodbye, and to his defense our relationship was so ephemeral, I couldn’t say I was surprised.
But now, when I head over to Sunshine Cleaners to do my laundry on Wednesday nights, I can’t help but wish Knox was there to do it with me.
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