Vic was someone to whom I owed no excuses. She’d be walking away with more than she’d started with and she knew it; she had no cause to gripe. But I needed something—a rift to justify my disgruntlement.
There was her aborted marriage. The engagement was in the final stage: invites out, two families mobilized, travel accommodations booked, everything nonrefundable. Then, with only days left to go, her fiancé bailed. One could only imagine the humiliation. Vic had become calloused after that, eschewing commitment altogether and indulging in casual sex, which she regarded as essential. We’d discussed her history, which I had no issue with. (We’d both been slutty.) But Vic truly believed that a sexual relationship could persist in a state of unemotional purity—a notion I knew I could debunk quite easily, so one night I baited her.
“So Vic, I’m curious. You can sleep with a guy and it’s just sex, is that right?”
She said yes.
“So, what would happen if you and your fuck buddy bumped into each other randomly one night?”
“Then we’d probably end up together that night.”
“Okay, here’s the scenario: You go out to a club and he’s there, you spot him easily, but he doesn’t notice you…because he’s with another woman, what then?”
“Then I’d avoid him.”
“Okay—weird enough, but okay. But suppose he calls you the next night wanting sex, what happens then?”
“I don’t know.”
“Don’t give me that bullshit, Vic, answer me!”
“Why are you being mean?”
“Because I’d like you to face reality, that’s why. What do you do? Do you fuck him? Even though you know he’s fucking someone else?”
“I don’t know. I guess not.”
“You guess not? Well if it’s just sex, then what’s the problem?”
Winning the argument didn’t make me feel any better. I knew I was projecting. But I felt justified. I was, at the very least, aware of my own artifice…whereas Vic was blissfully accommodating hers.