~Meniscus Archives~

Spring 2004
Issue #3

February - April 2004

Sex, Not Just for Teenagers
Mr. Ruggles

Like No Other Time, by Tom Daschle
A review
by Kristi Spurrier

Maintaining Spirituality in the Void We Call America
Mr. Ruggles
Libra Seeking Balance
Melissa Bator
What 2004 Means to Me
The Tonic
Bush's Capitalism: 21st Century Entropy
Jon Heinrich
Don't Think Twice,
It's Alright

Mike Kirkpatrick
Cows in the Road
Dan Berthiaume
Love, at 100
Pete Pidgeon
Summer's Freckles
Wes Ratko
Not a Love Story
Sarah Erdreich
Miami New Years
Team Meniscus
Tuckerman Ravine
Jon Heinrich
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: Ten tips for a successful Jazzfest
Chrystie Hopkins
Meniscus New Years Picks
Bootyjuice is a Band
Derek Gumuchian
One Double Grande Instrumental, Please (Hold the Flavored Syrup):
A Review of
Self-Titled Debut

Brian Gagné
Show Review:
Vida Blue, 1/3/04
Jackie Gleason Theatre, Miami, FL

Jon Heinrich
CD Review:
Spaceship Integration
Live From Nowhere

CD Review:
The Recipe
All You Can Eat
Love Is...
-Ryan Collins
Traded for Monkeys,
Livid [In Tall Grass]
What a Calamity!

-Brian Gagné
Meniscus Premier Launch Party
Zeitgeist Gallery
Cambridge, Massachusetts
August 14, 2003

Metro Saturdays hosts
Meniscus Portland Launch
Sky Bar @ The Roxy
Portland, Maine
August 30, 2003

State of the Art
Lounge Ten
Boston, Massachussets
October 23, 2003


Not a Love Story

Sarah Erdreich
Published 2/14/04


There’s a girl I’ve been thinking about recently. I know a little bit about her: age, interests, favorite movies. If I wanted to, I could find out even more, but anything I could learn isn’t as relevant as what I already know, what we have in common.

What that is, is the man I used to be in love with. R dumped me, unexpectedly and unceremoniously, nine months ago; three months later, he was dating this girl. The timeline would not be worth pointing out were it not for the evident pain with which he proclaimed, during our breakup, that he doubted he would ever date again, ever get seriously involved with someone again, because my reaction to the breakup (crying, disbelief, repeating the word “Why?”) summed up everything he hated about relationships.

I don’t want to speculate on how or why she changed his mind, or what their relationship is like. That would be fairly easy to find out; we have mutual friends, after all. But even any information they could provide me with would be inherently biased, simply in the way that third-party information often is. Trust me, I’ve thought about asking. I’ve thought about looking at her profile on Friendster, but instead let a trusted friend pass on any relevant information – that is, any information that would make me feel better about no longer being his girlfriend. She’s five years younger than both him and I, blonde, and short; my friend said she looks nothing like me, she looks like she’s twelve, like she’s a cheerleader.

R and I dated for just over a year; most of that was spent on opposite ends of the country, with visits to each other’s cities approximately every month. The longest we ever spent in the same place was two weeks, when I stayed with him while finishing my graduate thesis. R and his new girlfriend live in the same area, and I wonder if this proximity ever makes him nervous. Does he refuse to invite her along when he and his male friends go out, claiming, as he did with me, that girlfriends and friends occupy separate spheres in his life, and never the twain shall meet? Does he keep her at the same emotional distance that he did with me? Has she told him she loves him, and if so, has he asked her, “Why?” in an amazed voice, the same way he asked me in the dark of his bed, truly astounded that people could admit to love, could let themselves feel such emotion so willingly.

I know it’s odd to think so much about someone I’ll never meet, and knowing the details would do little to make me stop wondering, anyway. That’s because the questions I’m pondering go much deeper than knowing about their interactions and dynamic would ever answer. The questions I’m left with are selfish and intangible; they’re about how to fully let go of someone I once loved completely, and how to accept that I’ve been replaced by someone who might not love as deeply as I did, who might not challenge R to be his best, or – and here’s the flip side I can’t ignore – who might be the one who convinces him that loving someone is not the end of the world, and who might show him how it can be done.

Maybe I wouldn’t be feeling this way if my relationship history didn’t read like it did. Put simply, my MO is to be The First – the first real, long-term girlfriend. So it’s hard not to think that I set the standard, be it positive or negative, in some way; that dating me has given several of my exes a template for what relationships can be. I never actively sought out that position, and in fact, knowing that R had never had a long-term girlfriend gave me pause before we started seriously dating, because I didn’t want to be that girl again.

Then again, maybe it doesn’t matter where you fall in someone else’s relationship spectrum. I’d probably still harbor this curiosity about her, and about them, and about who he is when he’s with her, simply because I used to love him. I loved him for who he was and who he could be, who I was when I was with him, what we were together. You love someone for reasons no one can ever explain, no matter how many poetic and lovely terms people come up with, how many romantic gestures are made in the service of expressing feelings. At its basest, most stripped-down, love is inexplicable and complete, and when the person who inspires those feelings leaves, love stays in some way, no matter how much you want it to vanish as easily as wiping down a chalkboard, smoothing away every residue and stray mark.

I hope he’s finally found the courage to open himself up to love, that he’s finally accepted the fact that sometimes going out on a limb is exhilarating, rather than terrifying. Or, if that’s too optimistic and grand for this couple, then I hope they’re at least on equal footing, because I can tell her how much it hurts to feel more for someone than they do for you; to wonder, despite all verbal reassurances, if maybe it isn’t really some deficiency in you that makes him unable to love back.

I can tell her, but I never will. Our paths will never cross; he’ll never have to worry that we’ll strike up a friendship, perhaps over Friendster, and giggle like girlfriends over his position preferences, his choice in clothing, his love for his car. She’ll remain an enigma to me, the one who followed in my footsteps, the one who loved him next.

Sarah Erdreich


Meniscus Magazine © 2004. All material is property of respective artists.