Love Triangles Are Bad, Love Cubes Are Worse
I did something bad once, but it was that special kind of bad where you can't really grasp how bad it was until years afterwards when you retell the story to a crowd of stunned and disgusted friends.
Ladies and gentlemen, I was in a love cube.
A love cube is like a love triangle, except way more complicated and messy. Where a love triangle concerns three people -- like three corners of a triangle -- a love cube concerns four. My few months involved in one rocked my world... but not in a fun way.
What the hell's a love cube?
I know what you're thinking: there are far more corners in a cube than four! Especially if it's one of those cubes you draw on scrap paper while not paying attention in geometry. This is true. Those extra corners represent the people you become when you're involved in such a heinous activity. All the extra space in the middle of the cube? That represents the air of anxiety, distrust, and hatred created when involved in a love cube.
Who was in this cube?
This can get Inception-style confusing, so pay close attention.
To describe the characters in this sickening, three-dimensional hexahedron of lies involves a little backstory. I once dated and lived with a mad woman who decided to start dating another man while we were broken up and still living together. We'll call her Kate. Kate was a ghoul.
During this time, I worked at a cafe along with Kate, her current boyfriend, James, and my ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend's ex-girlfriend. We'll call her Sammy.
This is how it happened
People do very terrible things when they're hurt and seeking attention. I was rightfully upset that my ex-girlfriend decided to date another man while we were sharing the same bed -- and I assumed that she would be equally ticked if I started dating another girl... especially if that very same girl was her new beau's ex-girlfriend. Getting the cube started wasn't my full intention, as I didn't think it was within the realm of four people to commit four separate awful deeds at the same time... but as Ian Malcolm says in Jurassic Park as he watches a Tyrannosaurus rex escape from its shoddily made enclosure: "Boy, do I hate being right all the time."
I remember once she offered to buy me fried chicken the day after I shattered the glass door to my apartment by kicking it in an intoxicated rage.
And release the T. rex I did, metaphorically of course, as dinosaurs had been dead for hundreds of millions of years when these events took place. Forcing myself to feel romantic feelings toward Sammy was a feat that ended up being easier than I thought, as she was doing the very same thing to me. We confided in each other that we suspected our exes had always been into each other and agreed to keep up the front for as long as it took to break them up.
Sammy and I fell into a shapeless blob of a relationship that felt very much like a Banana Republic set up by two corrupt dictators. Every date was a chance to infuriate our exes by running into them, every kiss was done in vain, and every sexual encounter was glazed in disappointment. At the same time, our camaraderie never waned, as we would always be there for each other whenever either of us felt particularly down that day. I remember once she offered to buy me fried chicken the day after I shattered the glass door to my apartment by kicking it in an intoxicated rage.
Yup, that happened.
Life in the cube was a mess
There was no more hopeless feeling than being in a sham relationship that thrived only to destroy another couple. I felt like the pilot of a shark-shaped mini-submarine that used rogue swimmers as fuel. Could you imagine if that actually existed?
I'd like to imagine that it wasn't actually me making all those poor choices, but rather some kind of imposter: two kids in a trench coat-style. I wasn't faithful to Sammy or Kate; and I assume neither gave much of a damn about me. In the rare instances in which Kate would sleep in my bed, we'd have sex and talk about our extracurricular relationships. I don't know what kind of relationship my ex and James had, but I remember hearing about how he was a supremely nice guy who played music. Kind of like Perry from In Cold Blood. And why shouldn't he have been mad?
Two girls he had been seriously involved with had seen me naked.
There was no schedule in the cube -- I shamelessly slept with who was available and would leave one girl to see another based on who texted me first. Sex became passionless and all I could do was make sure all of us weren't in the same room at the same time.
The outcome was bleak
Sammy and I were together -- in the roughest sense of the word -- for a month before I clumsily ended the relationship by moving 200 miles away. She wasn't particularly sad and, I believe, declined to see me on the day I left the city. Kate and James ended up getting engaged, but broke it off a few months afterward because she stole money from him.
In the end, I stopped talking to everyone involved. I stopped caring and stopped putting forth effort, because all it took was a few smacks from my friends to realize what I was doing was beyond stupid. It really did end up being one of those things I don't regret at all happening, because this experience added to my ever-growing list of personal red flags that I can bury in my "that happened once" graveyard.
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Jeremy Glass is a writer for Thrillist and is currently in a very healthy love trapezoid.