“I think,” he said, stumbling over the words as he went, “that we need… to. Well. We need to scale back our relationship.”

I looked at him askance.

You see, I’d already done this to him four times. Most notably the fourth time where I said I was done and then we stopped talking to one another for more than a month. Not stopped communication entirely, perhaps, so much as really scaled it back. Scaled it back to six minutes of total face time in four weeks.

“Hard to imagine scaling back to a time when we didn’t know one another,” I replied, with a kind smile.
“What? No, I mean I think we need to be friends.”
“I broke up with you over a month ago.”
“What?”

After more of this I gave up and agreed.

“Sure, I’m happy with friends.”
“It’s just that it would be tragic if we lost touch with one another,” he continued.
“No really, I’m fine with this.”
“And you’re a young professional, I’m a young professional. We both live downtown.”
“I think this is a great plan,” I said again. “Really, this is fine.”
“I thought you would be more upset than this…. that’s all.”

I tried to think of nice ways to say “how can I be upset that you’re finally agreeing with me” but couldn’t manage anything so instead went with “Well, I’m not unreasonable, JJ.” He allowed as how he knows I am not unreasonable, but still admitted he thought it odd I’d sort of seen it coming.

“We haven’t spoken in weeks,” I replied. “I assumed you’d gone on your way.”
“And you weren’t going to ask me about it?” he asked, clearly shocked. “Define the terms or anything?”
“Nope,” I said, shrugging. “There is such a thing as beating a dead horse.”

It ended, thankfully, with a smile and an assurance that I would indeed be at his party this evening. So I suppose it’s about time to think about preparing for that. He’s decided to make Bellinis and Swamp Water Shots, whatever that is.

I think it’s time for some food.

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