29 REASONS WHY THERE WILL BE NO REPLY
by Chelsey Clammer
- You didn’t visit me for fifteen months.
- I know, pandemic and whatnot, and we live three states apart, but why isn’t your lover in your “circle”?
- When we did finally see each other, it was only because I came to see you, but even then
- You didn’t spend the night with me because
- You didn’t want to tell your wife I was in town, meaning that
- You spent the day fucking me, then lied to her by coming home at night and saying work was fine that day, which also means you, yet again,
- Put your wife’s emotional needs (to continue denying the ongoing affair you finally told her about) before not just my relationship needs, but also your own.
- Because you are a fucking spineless coward, or it’s possible that
- You’re lying to me about wanting to leave your wife to be with me, which isn’t a terribly baseless accusation because
- I have witnessed you lying to your wife for over two and a half years, so
- How can I trust you?
- Because it’s like my mom said: “He’s either a liar or a fool,”
- And I don’t know which it is.
- But whether liar or fool, you have your self-proclaimed dream girl right here and you won’t jump through some hard, emotional hoops with your wife to be with said dream girl.
- After two and a half years of your unfulfilled “I’m leaving my wife” promises, you have finally lost your dream girl.
- Because I have lost respect for you.
- Also, because you never replied to my last text (re: “I can’t keep holding on to something that’s never going to happen,”) which means I guess we’re no longer together, which also means
- You gave up.
- And yet, you’re ‘liking’ my Instagram posts a few days of silence later as if, what? We’re friends?
- We’re not.
- Excellent point my real friend made when I told her that you ‘liked’ my Instagram-posted selfie: “He is a TURD. A floater turd that will not be flushed away.”
- The most excellent of all excellent points my real friend made when I told her you ‘un-liked’ my Instagram-posted selfie about an hour after you had ‘liked’ it: “If that’s not a lack of commitment, then IDK what is.”
- I deserve to be liked without any hemming and hawing about it.
- I also deserve to be treated like I matter.
- Re #25: I’m remembering the last time I saw you. In the Aubrey hotel, room 1602, when you arrived the morning I was leaving, and I had been crying the night before, alone, because I had a realization, and when I told you my realization (i.e., “No matter what I need or want or what I do, it doesn’t matter any in this relationship.”), you got real quiet, then finally looked at me and said, “I don’t know how to answer that.”
- Because it was the truth—I don’t matter, no, didn’t matter in our affair-ship.
- Thus, if you ever do text me back, silence will be my reply.
- At least that’s the plan.
Chelsey Clammer is the author of the award-winning essay collection, Circadian (Red Hen Press, 2017), and BodyHome (Hopewell Publications, 2015). Her work has appeared in Salon, The Rumpus, Hobart, Brevity, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Normal School, and Black Warrior Review. She teaches online writing classes with WOW! Women On Writing and is a freelance editor. Her next collection of essays, Human Heartbeat Detected, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. www.chelseyclammer.com
Cover Design by Karen Rile