Words by Andy Watts. Illustration by Ben Ruby.
But then there she was again. Right. In. My. Face.
I hardly even miss her but if she wanted to reconnect, she could email me. Email is still a thing. She could text me, or, heavens, phone me. She could Facebook me. New Zealand Post, I believe, still accept and deliver suitably addressed letters. She could probably yell to me from her house. Any thoughts she may have could surely be formed into language and sent through one of these half-dozen mediums.
When is six of anything too few?
Okay, six grains of rice don’t make dinner. But six connections too few? On what planet does she need a seventh? I felt it rude of her to invade this: my personal, private space. It was my place; my fortress. A place of complete personal agency suddenly become another place that she could be in touch.
I hardly even miss her so I felt irritated about that. I mean, we split up for good reasons. She got annoyed about my pet rats roaming freely as if that were some kind of problem. I hated her eating habits. She never chewed enough. You’re supposed to chew vegetables ten times and meats thirty times. She never did.
Like I said, I hardly even miss her so it’s all for the best, I think. But, although I hardly even miss her, when she appeared again – right in my face – I didn’t want to be rude and tell her to get stuffed so I supposed I’d just live with it and maybe try to find another place for myself; one where she wasn’t.
How is having “too many pet rats” a good reason to split up with someone, anyway? Too many is a value judgment; a subjective measure according to one’s prejudice. A genuinely good reason to split with someone would be that you find Rebecca’s eating habits so objectively repulsive that you can’t continue to eat meals with her. So that’s one thing I definitely don’t miss.
Anyway, seriously, she had no right to be there. Six ways to connect is plenty. It was a massive infringement on my personal space. It is my special area where I control the comings and goings of people; what I say and who I say it to. Not her. I didn’t need her stinking up the place, silently judging me because of who I’m chatting to and how many rats I have. And I certainly didn’t want her face on my face every time I was there. No way.
But, like I said; I didn’t want to be rude.
So I swiped right. She must have swiped left because we didn’t reconnect.
It’s okay – really – I hardly even miss her.