I sat at the bar. Ten seats away sat a woman with whom I had made out, one time. I hadn’t seen her in the months since that one time.

Several men surrounded her, clamoring for her attention. Jealousy surged through my veins, pulsing, throbbing. I called her names (in my head). I called the men names (in my head).

My rage is born of an ancient, omnipotent chain of fantasies and thoughts:

  1. She should want me (and only me).
  2. If she wants other men, that somehow diminishes me.
  3. It reflects poorly on her that, in my presence, she doesn’t drop everything for me.
  4. It reflects poorly on the men surrounding her that they’re trying to seduce/win/take advantage of her.
  5. If were to seduce her it would reflect well on both of us.

It’s fucking crazy.

I don’t matter to her (and the truth is, she doesn’t matter to me). We play no role in one another’s lives. I hadn’t thought of her since we made out. She likely hadn’t thought of me, either. To the extent either of us is anything to the other, we are nothing other than a bit of diversionary fun.

In a best case scenario, it’s a lot of diversionary fun. But still. That’s it.

In spite of this, the drama playing out in my mind has much higher stakes.

Postscript: turns out, the woman at the center of the scrum isn’t even the woman with whom I previously had made out.

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