Physics of a breakup

The Physics of a Breakup by

Time is relative and slows at high speeds.


I’m waiting for her, inexplicably thinking about physics. It went downhill fast—three days; it felt like a year.


Booze bottles glow clear, honey, and auburn on the backlit bar. Piped in Jazz muffles pre-dinner menu conversations.


String Theory, time reverberating like a guitar string, multiple realities.


I think about me waiting here in another dimension, one where she’s still happy, not fucking him.


Maybe just some mid-life shit, I hope.


 She’s late.


I finish my whiskey. I catch the barkeep’s eye.


“Double Makers, neat.”


I hate this soulless restaurant bar. Her choice.


Energy doesn’t dissipate.


From my rudimentary understanding I extrapolate past and future lives are possible. In how many lives have we argued? Fucked? Done dope, got drunk, aborted our little mistake? I don’t look forward. I want it to work now.


I look at my phone, 3:46 pm, no text. She is fucking late.


Time as a status symbol.


I check my watch, her wedding gift to me. She’s now thirty-nine minutes late. Probably fucking him, I think.


Who wears a watch these days? A pretentious prick like me–that’s who. Hello drunk self-loathing my old friend. That chunk of Swiss steel on my wrist could feed a village in some shit-hole country for a week. Then, I imagine her new man as the cruel dictator of such a place, sporting this piece of unnecessary horology, this $10,000 phallic compensator on his wrist.


I signal for another round. The barkeep nods.


She’s probably not coming, I think.


Blood alcohol content is a function of time, quantity, and speed.


I’m drunk.


She just pulled up. She texts: “Trying to park.”


I see her first. She looks happy, sexy. I feel sick.


“Hey,” she says.


Time is a paradox simultaneously infinite and limited.


She continues, “I’m at a meter and only have 30 minutes.”


1800 seconds.


“You’re late.”


“Traffic was awful. Please don’t start. Ok?”


Party time.


Happy hour lasts another five minutes. She waves the barkeep over.


He checks her out. He’s younger, handsome. She’s too young to be his mom, too old to be his sister.


“Cosmo, please.”


She smiles at him, I know she’s thinking, “My MILF days aren’t over yet.”


“Give us another chance. Please.”


She looks at me. It is a look of pity. It hurts like a gut punch.


Wormholes are short cuts in time through space.


“Listen, we had a good run, but our time together is over,” she says.


“We have lots of time ahead of us.”


“No, we don’t.”


I signal the bartender.


All systems eventually move to entropy.


“We just don’t work as a couple anymore. Sorry,” she says.


“Sir, you might want to slow down,” the bartender says.


Sir? He might have well said “dad.”


I take off my Rolex, and hand it to him.


“This should cover it.”


“Have a good life,” I say to her.


They both look stunned.


I stand up and leave.


Time just ran out.






JD Clapp lives and writes in San Diego, CA.


Photo by JD Clapp





Posted in

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *