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You are my closest friend. You are my brother. It was this same time about four years ago that we ate pizza at that place in Austin. Do you remember? I was married then. Every week we go to the movies. And then have deep intellectual discussions about camera angles and music scoring choices. You know so much. I am in awe. You are a kindred spirit.

You are my closest friend. And when my marriage collapses, and your relationship with your partner is over, you come to me with a proposition. It seems perfect. We could become lovers. We do, after all, have affection for each other. We are obsessed about the same things. We like the hamburgers at that one place on the east side of town. Why not? Let’s give it a try.

You are my closest friend. And I don’t think it will work out. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with you. But it feels wrong. The kiss…it’s all wrong. You want more. But I want to go back to the way things were. I want to go back to making fun of all the dickhead actors who think they they are gods. I want to go back to sitting next to you in a near empty theater watching the latest Aronofsky piece.

You are my closest friend. And when I say no, you plead. You send me inappropriate texts in the middle of the night. I didn’t want to see that side of you. Your naked flesh. It makes my stomach turn. You call me the next day. You beg me to go to your house and give you a blow job. I tell you I’m going to hang up. You convince me not to. You take advantage of my politeness. You take advantage of my confusion. You tell me I want it. You tell me I’m a dirty slut and that I want to fuck you. I tell you that I want to hang up. Don’t hang up. You can’t hang up on your friends, you say. I hang up. And I feel guilty about hanging up on my friend.

You are my closest friend. You act like nothing has changed. You go on telling me dry jokes. You tell me I look pretty in my blue dress. Your eyes are hungry. I think this is normal. Don’t all men look at me like that? Especially here? I’m supposed to play a part. Let the boys look at me. Make them feel like men. And then go home with a cancer.

You are my closest friend. When I am away on a job I get a text. You go on quite a tirade. Tearing me down. Telling me what an awful person I am. You want attention. I tell you to go fuck yourself. Politely, of course. I don’t want to make you upset. I don’t want to make anyone upset. And when I tell the person in charge, the person in charge tells me it will be fixed. The person in charge…also a man….also my friend.

You are my closest friend. And I no longer have a passion for that thing we used to do together. You and the person in charge pretended like it was nothing. You pushed me outside the circle. After all that, I was the one who felt guilty. My brain somehow convinces me it’s my fault. That I am the slutty monster. Women like me…the sexy ones with the brains, or the meek women, or the strong women….we all fall hard. And some men too. We hide in the dark place. We did something to deserve it. If we don’t play nice, we won’t go to phase two…or three…or whatever.

You were my closest friend. And the door is heavy but I push it closed. I have a key. I turn it and hear the click when it locks. I put the key in my purse as a reminder. We all need reminders. We are better than this. We don’t deserve this. We should not allow anyone to violate us. To make us feel ashamed for saying NO. We are all now each other’s friends. The Me Toos.

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