Tuesday, December 12, 2006

In Your Eyes

Hey sweetie, it’s me. I just got on the train, but I’m calling to let you know that, well, I’m not coming home. Obviously I would prefer not to do this on your voicemail, but the truth is I don’t think I could handle seeing you face to face. I know what you’re thinking, and no, I haven’t met someone else. The problem is with you. When I look into your eyes, I don’t see the woman I fell in love with, or someone who cares about me, or a soulmate that I could spend the rest of my life with. No, when I look into your eyes all I see is John Travolta eating the head of a live puppy.

Do you remember when we went out to dinner with Craig and Sharon a couple weeks ago? It was the night you said I should try the skirt steak but I ordered the salmon instead? And then when our dinners came I hurled my steak knife at your face and flipped our table as I ran out of the restaurant screaming? It wasn’t that I had just remembered that I left the front door unlocked like I told you later that night; it was the first time I noticed the change.

Since that night, I can only see John Travolta eating the head of a live puppy every time I look into your eyes. It has gotten so bad that if I even so much as picture you in my mind I break into a cold sweat and become nauseous with anxiety. This invariably leads to such uncontrollable vomiting that I am forced to attack myself at the genitals until the vision of you is finally overpowered by pure, blinding physical agony.

Was it some change in your diet, or maybe the stress you were going through when you had to hire the new assistant at the store that caused this disorder? Believe me; I’ve gone through all the possibilities again and again. My guess is it’s probably the new assistant, but the fact is it’s been over two weeks now and your eyes haven’t returned to normal. You need to see a doctor, babe. It may even be the kind of thing that can be cured simply by having your eyes removed—I don’t know. But in the meantime, I can no longer pretend that acknowledging your existence doesn’t fill me with the urge to lay waste to every last inch of the universe.

Please don’t beat yourself up over this; I know it wasn’t your intention to have your eyes project the image of Travolta eating a puppy’s head. If it makes it easier, you can even blame me. I’m not sure what you would blame me for, but you could give it a whirl.

Anyway, good luck with everything. It’s been fun—well, except the last two weeks; those were a living nightmare. But I do sincerely hope you find a cure for your disorder. Also, let me know if you want me to give you Jennifer’s number; I seem to remember something similar happening to her near the end of our relationship.

Charlie Nadler lives and works in Chicago. He has recent work on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and MonkeyBicycle.

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