Before I was in high school, I had a fake boyfriend.
He was handsome and nice, but he was so in love with me that sometimes it got uncomfortable for me.
Because I was the kind of girl who wanted to keep things casual, I was just a kid after all, but he was all over me. Not physically, of course, but emotionally. He knew, of course, that we couldn’t do it because I wasn’t a whore, but even though there were girls seriously interested in him, he was waiting for me.
Several of my friends knew about David.
His name was David because when I first told my friend Lana about him and she asked his name and at that moment the only name I could think of was David because we were students at an Yeshiva and also David Horowitz was walking by and probably making gagging sounds at the sight of me since we were nemeses. (And if you’re going to read some “romance” between me and that asshole, I have to ask that you enroll in remedial reading immediately because that was definitely not there.) By the way, this is a good lesson, if you’re going to lie and create an imaginary boyfriend, you probably should have some things in order- like name, age, where he lives (I hear Canada is especially welcoming to the imaginarily in love) and maybe what he looks like. Believe me, I learned the hard way.
Lana wanted to know all about him and I had to improvise. Since I wasn’t the sharpest crayon in the shed,the improvisations sounded something like this.
Lana: What does he look like?
Junior Marinka: What do you mean?
Lana: Is he handsome?
Junior Marinka: What?
Lana: What color hair does he have?
Junior Marinka: Color? Hair?
But eventually I settled on blond. Either that or brown.
Sometimes he sent me flowers. I really, really hope that I never actually sent flowers to myself from him, I hope that I just told me friends about the flowers he sent, but I can’t be sure. There was a florist nearby and I was, as you may be picking up on, insane. The only reason I think I wouldn’t have sent the flowers was because my junior high school wasn’t in an office and everyone knows that that’s the only point of having flowers delivered- so that everyone else can see and be a little jealous (where “a little jealous” = realize that they have no reason to keep living since they will never know love like you know love). So I’m sure I told everyone that he sent me flowers, but I probably didn’t buy them. I need to hold on to this now, if you don’t mind. I really do.
Eventually when I started dating a real person (so overrated) I still felt weird that I never dated before, so I kept David as an ex. That’s the awkward thing about breaking up with a made up boyfriend that no one tells you about– you have to have the whole break up scenario at the ready. And with homework and being on a team, I was already stretched to the limits. I went with some sort of “it just didn’t work out” bullshit, which, when you’re 16, really goes a long way.
But that was over, OMFG, over three decades ago. I was a teenager and David was a figment of my imagination. So tell me, why, today, of all days, as I was coming home from grocery shopping and checking the mail, did I think about David?
And why did I miss him so much.