Katz insists that I broke up with him.
"Not that we were ever officially going out, or anything." I say it before he can.
Katz's story is, I was sick of him not acting the way I wanted him to – which is true – so I dumped him in a restaurant – which is a psychotic revision of history.
"I still thought we should see each other," he tells me, which means: He thought he should still be able to come to my house and have sex with me, or call me up late when he's feeling neurotic, yet simultaneously remain free to nakedly scope other women, even sitting across the table from me at brunch, without me pitching a fit.
A likely story. The long, drawn-out likely story out of my life. Months later, I still wanted to take him home from bars. Except I knew he wouldn't go.
"You know, I ran into Claudia on the street the other day," he mentioned, you know, incidentally.
"Yeah." Dot dot dot. "How is she?"
"You tell me," I said calmly. "You saw her."
I was quiet, waiting, eyes closed over the phone. A year later, and he was still number one on my autodial.
"So, you think you guys will be at No-Tell tonight?"
"Who even know," I told him, tired. There's just no telling, with men.
"Life is so existential," said Claudia. She was in high shine. Katz leaned over her, his arm against the wall.
They both had the smirk on, I noticed. It seems I noticed everything very much that night. I was in a hyper-aware state of drunk, stuck to my seat, struck dumb with deja vu and blinding strobe.
"We're going to go get coffee at Veselka," she came over to tell me. He was putting on his coat.
I could invite myself, but why. I already knew. Claudia and I are the same kind, we want the same things. But there's only so many of them, and there's so many of us. You do what you have to.
"Is that okay," she asked me.
I watched Katz light a cigarette and face the back wall, waiting for Claudia, waiting for me.
"Hello," said Claudia. "All right?"
And I just kept watching, and I didn't say anything, because Katz had just spotted the lookalike girl in the shoes. And for one bright, lucid moment I knew, if we all just stood there long enough, he could skip right over Claudia, and spare us.
"We're going," she said.
Oh what the hell, I thought. Why not let her suffer him. I was there once, soon enough she'd be here. I saw the coin turning in Katz's hand.
He would fuck her, and fuck her over. I knew how it was. I felt him watching us, women. Let him have her, then.
"Don't do anything I wouldn't do," I told her, and kissed the whole thing goodbye.
Like I didn't already know.