I remember when we first met. You were experimenting back then.
You bought a straw fedora and a flowy asymmetrical skirt from that Tibetan shop. You put purple streaks in your hair with the help of Manic Panic. You started learning pottery because it’s romantic, like that scene in Ghost. You went to Japan for a summer to teach English to children in a remote village. You took up the tambourine. You learned that life is but a journey.
And then you decided to take me seriously and everything changed. You got rid of your watch (and later all your clocks) because it felt constricting “like a boa” and you don’t like snakes. You got a tattoo on your lower back of the bumper sticker—“the mountains are calling and I must go”—even though you don’t go to the mountains. You dropped out of law school to travel around the world “like an Australian.” I knew this was the beginning of something special. And we had a good time, didn’t we?
When you drove down to Baja and almost drowned because you don’t believe in rip currents and don’t know how to swim. When you did Ayahuasca in the Peruvian jungle and thought a monkey was your ex-boyfriend begging you to come back. You channeled Mowgli and lived in the trees for three days and the shaman gave up looking for you and you had to find your way out, surviving on berries and leaves.
I was so proud of you when you based all your decisions on the daily horoscope written by the twin sisters for the TV Guide for six months straight. And when you thought it’d be cool to go skydiving with a guy you just met in Queenstown who promised he knew what he was doing, and a broken collarbone is not a big deal anyway, certainly worth the experience!
And sure, we had fun when you “voluntarily” lived in that cave in Afghanistan. And when you dreamt that your spirit animal was a kangaroo and you tried to get into one’s pouch only to be savagely beaten by her and get hospitalized for a month. Wounds heal but memories are forever, I reminded you.
And then you decided to move back to the city. I resisted at first, but you took up fire dancing and began practicing it in your apartment. The firefighter who came to condemn the building was very attractive and fun for a few dates until you found out about his two other families. And while we admired his ability to multitask, you were not ready for the commitment.
After the fire, when you decided to go back to law school, I supported you because I knew you were doing it for the turtles. “We’ll be back out in the wild helping the turtles migrate as soon as I get my degree,” you promised.
Then you decided to raise birds in your new apartment so you can have fresh eggs and launch a feather earring business. I laughed as you jokingly filed for an LLC.
But I noticed that you had started to change.
You didn’t make time for me anymore. You stopped reading the daily horoscope. You started talking about “the future.” The turtles seemed less of a priority, and you haven’t been admitted to the hospital once in the past few months. You got the bumper sticker tattoo removed last week. It’s just to make room for a better and bigger tattoo, I told myself.
Your feather earrings business suddenly took off and you built a website. You started looking for ways to expand your production. I heard you mutter the words “accounting software.” And then you made a five-year plan.
Until now, I said nothing but I have to draw the line somewhere. I cannot stand idly by as you collate your expenses into Pendaflex folders and organize your sticky notes by color. I cannot watch you pore over the PCMag reviews of the best password managers.
I cannot bear your unbridled excitement over your reasonably sized dry-erase board. I am nauseated by the sight of your rechargeable label maker. I refuse to listen to you enthusiastically “chat” with “Bob” about your deductions, depreciations, withholdings, and IRA.
How could you file your taxes three and a half weeks before they are even due?! What have you become?
I am your free spirit and I quit.