Every single one

Stephanie Staab

There was one who borrowed his mother’s car to take me on a date, strangely proud.

One refused to call himself a feminist because of the prefix fem- and insisted it should be equalist.

One took me on a long walk in Paris to all his childhood apartments. He still knew the door codes and kissed me in the courtyards. 

One sneered in his sleep.

One went away for two weeks and didn’t tell me, didn’t call. When he returned, I ended it.

One left me alone in a hospital bed to go to band practice. I’m sorry he said we are all so busy.

One had a strange effect on me that I’ve never been able to replicate.

One swam.

One had a 13-year-old daughter who got her first period in his apartment. He had prepared for this eventuality by buying a box of tampons, a box of pads and an honest-to-god menstrual cup for her.

One had been in an open relationship for a decade with the first girl he had ever kissed.

One was much older and said he preferred dating younger women because Women my own age spend too much time cleaning their houses.

One died years after.

One was married and complained that his wife was more affectionate to the cat than she was to him.

One told me I was beautiful every day. 

Another one said it only once: I had cut my finger badly slicing bread and we were waiting for the EMTs to arrive and he looked me straight in the eyes, holding my face in his hands and said “You’re so fucking beautiful” as if the injury had added to the effect.

People are afraid of my memory and they should be.

One cultivated a friendship with my mother that lasts to this day.