The sound of him urinating with the door open wakes her, but she keeps her eyes closed as she traces the sound of his return into the bedroom and the collecting of his things. Underwear and jeans going on the same way they came off, as one. The zoosh of his rising zipper, the whoosh of his shirt being whapped right-side out, and the clank and clatter of the belt, the keys, the phone. The end of the bed depresses as he sits to put his shoes on, and then she can tell that he has twisted his torso to regard her. Her eyelids are twitching, but she remains very still. Just get the hell out.
When the door clicks, she is out of bed in an instant and throwing the lock. She turns, a dagger in her skull, to appraise her apartment. The pretty little yellow bowl she bought at the antique market in Paris is wretched with stale, soggy cigarette butts. She loathes the person who chose to use one of her favorite belongings as an ashtray so she would seem worldly when she commented off-handedly that she had picked it up in Le Marais for a song. Brie goes to it and dumps its contents into the garbage and washes it with soap and water until it no longer smells, and then she dries it carefully and places it back into the cupboard.
The bottle of Paul Hobbs stands half-drunk on the coffee table, which looks like a toddler went at it with a small hammer. In an act of self-flagellation, she picks up her phone and googles the vintage. $189. She takes the bottle to the sink and pours the rest down the drain. "I'm an asshole," she says as she rinses it and tosses it in the recycling. Then she erases every trace of the previous evening and scrubs herself clean beneath scalding hot water and calls in sick to work.
This is self-pity. No, this is a hangover. This is a personal day. She makes some coffee and lights a stick of incense and sits on the couch in her bathrobe staring at her fucket list, trying to see if Adam might fill a slot. What is wrong with her? She huffs out a self-critical breath. She is the culprit, the engineer of her own unhappiness. She is a bad person, and bad people deserve bad things.
She picks up her iPad and starts reading yet another article about Bill Cosby being a serial rapist. Women are coming out of the woodwork to recount how they were sexually groomed, drugged, and raped by America's favorite family man.
Brie looks up. "No, he's an asshole." She types self-improvement retreat los angeles into the search bar and scans the results:
The Power of Pizza and Prayer: Self-Discovery Through the Catholic Culinary Arts.
Enneagram Enlightenment: 3-Day Retreat & Workshop in Beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada.
Could there be a less appropriate locale?
Live, Laugh, Love: Finding Your Inner Light & Purpose Through Stand-up Comedy Aboard The Queen Mary.
"I am funny," she says, clicking through.
Join beloved therapist and stand-up comedian Eddie Orpa on this hilarious voyage of self-discovery aboard the historic RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Sail the stormy high seas of adulthood as you examine life's biggest challenges, your own failures, family relationships, addictions, personal weaknesses and shortcomings, and the disappointment of reconciling who you thought you would be with who you really are. Live, Laugh, and Love for three days and two nights aboard the Queen Mary, enjoying her luxurious accommodations. Build friendships that will last a lifetime as you reveal your true and inner self through comedic exercises, culminating in a five-minute stand-up comedy routine you will perform before a live audience. Laughter really is the best medicine. Register Today! Spaces are limited, and this event will sell out.
Brie clicks through to the registration page. Holy guacamole, it starts today and there's only one spot left! She calls up her calendar for the weekend, which is painfully vacant save for an entry on Sunday that reads: Dinner with the Fam?
This is it. This is the trailhead. The unexamined life is not worth living. Sonicare, or whatever his name was, would be proud. And get this: Oprah. Deepak Chopra. Eddie Orpa. What further proof could one need?
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