I Know You Didn’t Mean To

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I know you didn’t mean to lose my bike. You only borrowed it to run an errand, and then you parked it for just a second, and who locks their bike up every time they run into the store for a quart of milk? Listen – I understand I’m the one who should feel bad because you had to walk all the way home … and you even brought back milk for the coffee of mine that you’ve been drinking up.

I know you didn’t mean to tear my sweater. It just got snagged on the fence that you were jumping over to escape those cops who must have had you mixed up with someone who looks just like you. And you never would have borrowed it in the first place if your sweater hadn’t gotten lost by that stupid dry cleaner. I know I shouldn’t care, because a sweater is just a sweater, even though that one was woven by hand by my mother, may God rest her soul, but don’t worry, these things happen.

I know you didn’t mean to get my computer infected with that virus, either. I’m sure all the porn sites you go to are perfectly safe, and a man has to have a little bit of fun, doesn’t he? But I really wish you wouldn’t have used my credit card to purchase the membership on Whipsandchains.com, because now on my latest bill it looks like I’ve got $14,000 worth of unexplained purchases, mostly in Moldavia and Kazakhstan, and I’m sure you didn’t make those purchases, but still, I feel like maybe you should help me explain what happened to the credit card company, and now I’ve got to change my phone number and social security number, and possibly every single password I use on every website. But hey, I know if the situation were reversed you would share your things with me, if you had a computer, or a credit card, or a couch in your apartment that no one else was sleeping on.

And I know you didn’t mean to get fired from your job. So you called your boss a “war-whooping Indian” and gave him a fake scalp as a joke. How were you supposed to know that he was one-quarter Cherokee, right?

I know you didn’t mean to break up with your girlfriend, either. You did everything you could to please that witch, right? After you moved in with her, you helped with the rent, at least for the first three months you were there, and you regularly contributed to the food bill by bringing home leftovers from lunch, and you even cleaned her damn bathroom – once – after you spilled her shelf of perfume bottles, but it always smelled kind of funny after that.

And I know you didn’t mean to let her cat out of the window. You opened the window for a sec to toss your cigarette out, because your girlfriend didn’t want you to smoke in the apartment, so you didn’t want to leave any butts lying around, and it’s not your fault that a pigeon chose that exact second to land on the windowsill and the cat leapt at it and fell seven stories, but what the hell, they have nine lives, don’t they?

And I know you meant well when you went to the animal shelter and got her another cat that looked, swear to God, exactly the same as that first cat, and you can’t understand why she’d be so upset, or how she could even tell the difference. One black cat looks the same as another. Don’t they both go “meow?” Don’t they both eat tuna out of the can?

I know you didn’t mean to find where I hid my Christmas gift money, and you were sure I wouldn’t mind if you borrowed it for a few hours to go to the track, because by the time I got home you’d have already put it all back, plus an extra hundred bucks from your winnings, which you’d surprise me with.

So I know you didn’t mean to lose it all by betting on the 100-1 shot in the last race. But how can a horse named Lucky Charm not be the best bet of the day? Especially since you read about him in the Racing Sheet right while you were eating a bowl of Lucky Charms. It was just plain bad luck that he tripped over a thrown horseshoe and pulled up lame in the final stretch.

And I know you didn’t mean to come home drunk afterwards and throw up all over my living room rug. You were only getting drunk because you felt so bad about losing all my money. So really you were getting drunk for me.

And I know you didn’t mean to burn down my apartment by leaving that lit cigarette on a stack of newspapers while you ran out to get another bottle of whiskey to replace the one you’d just finished off. Only a true friend would be so considerate and try as hard as you have to make things right, or at least if you couldn’t make things right, to try to help me get properly drunk so I could keep things in perspective.

And I know you didn’t mean it when you asked if you could crash with me at my sister’s apartment until I can figure out where I’m going to live. Because my sister keeps a gun in her nightstand, and if you ever show your face at her door while I’m there, I’m going to find that gun and blow your nose off.

Oh come on, you know I didn’t really mean that. Don’t you?

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