Alternate Realities

“If you get in that taxi, I swear to you, we are over!” I harshly spat with emphasis on the word, “over.”

The shouting and hushed cries echoed off the Alphabet City brick and mortars with a spine-tingling intensity as I slammed the taxi door with what physical strength I had left in me.

He hesitated as the cruel words continued to be exchanged and he opened the door again. The taxi driver became visibly impatient and David finally closed the door without entering. He took my threat seriously, I thought to myself. In hindsight, I’m not certain if I meant it or if I was simply threatening but I’ll never know. I probably didn’t mean it.

Cockroaches – the large, disgusting ones that are the size of an average human beings’ thumb, crawled around my sandaled feet. Typically, this would be of prioritized concern but my relationship was on the line, there was no grey area and it was do or die. The person I pictured myself spending the rest of my life with, albeit a mediocre life at best was swiftly fading.

The shouting continued as intoxicated passers-by gawked and shop owners exited their stores to figure out what all the commotion was about. It’s fascinating when mutual passion, alcohol and a serious relationship are combined, all societal proprieties fly out the window per se. That is to say, I didn’t give a fuck who heard me tell David that he was being completely ridiculous, that the Asian guy at the bar was flirting with my Asian friend and not I – besides Asian guys were rarely ever attracted to me.

He was upset that a guy had occupied his seat while he went to retrieve beverages and I was in shock at the strength of his reaction. I had actually done the appropriate thing and told the gentleman that he would have to move as soon as my boyfriend returned. Being the jealous and severely insecure person David was, however, this major detail didn’t seem to matter, especially to a drunk David. And being the rather insecure, actions speak louder than words, often jump to conclusions kind of woman that I was, his trying to leave me in the middle of alphabet city at 2:30 in the morning spoke volumes and those volumes couldn’t be anything but that he didn’t give a shit about what happened to me.

To this day, I often wonder to myself what would have happened if I had let him get into that taxi, let him leave? I imagine I meant the words “we are over” as he rode off in a yellow cab and I stood under fluorescent streetlights in gold, patent sandals, Manhattan cockroaches crawling all around. What if?


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