V: The First Six Months 

The first six months of our relationship were a total lovefest that we gleefully documented for public consumption on Instagram and Facebook (the photos are now archived in a folder called “I’m a Hero For Not Deleting These”). We were as happy offline as we appeared online.

Keith talked endlessly about marriage and at every holiday or special occasion, I suspected he might propose– and hoped he would.  It was important to him that I knew that he saw his future with me, so he also routinely mentioned that reversing his vasectomy was “a simple procedure.”

Things were serious.

But our lovefest, sweet as it was, was unfolding against the backdrop of a complete fucking circus: a circus brought to town by Keith, of which I became the unwitting and, by the end of the relationship, bitterly resentful ringmaster.

I wish now I’d taken the “not my circus, not my monkeys,” approach and made him clean up his own messes, but instead I went with, “Fuck a Clown, End Up Juggling His Balls.”

(That’s good. I’m copyrighting that.)

For the record, though, I’m not a total fool. In real time, he was a wonderful, enviable boyfriend 90% of the time (with hindsight, that percentage takes a significant dive, of course). It’s the other 10%– the shit he didn’t successfully conceal or that I tolerated because so much was so good–that helps piece together a treasure map to the inevitable conclusion.

Now then, let us talk shit.

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