Of all the reasons I’d ever imagined to be the cause that would make my relationship with The Dude unravel like a spool of thread, I’d somehow never thought technology would be it.
When you are in a relationship with as many blind alleys and grey areas as ours, you’re bound to imagine scenarios that would lead to its end. I’d imagined that some day, I’d want more and he wouldn’t be able to give it to me. I even had a vague speech ready—what I’d say, how he’d respond and what our final goodbye would be like. In another version, the relationship would run its course— we’d have nothing left to give to each other as a couple and we’d go back to being friends. But over the past few weeks, I’ve seen life throw curveballs at the most unexpected junctures in our journey.
It started about three weeks ago with a mistaken SMS.
The Dude had just bought us both this really expensive, complicated phone with features so complex, I’m convinced it was actually meant to launch a missile and start a nuclear war. In his excitement to test all its fabulously incomprehensible workings, he sent me a photo. Which, by itself, is unremarkable. Except that this time, he unknowingly started a group chat. I was one of three people the image was sent to. I didn’t even realise it was unintentional until he told me who those other two people were: his mum and a guy friend. Now the thing is, I have this genius phone app that filters every number that shows up on my own Nasa-manufactured contraption and tells me the true identity of the person that the number belongs to. Obviously, it wasn’t his mum’s.
It was a girl I’ve met and liked. She’s someone I could even be friends with. I knew they were close, but he always gave me the impression that they were just very good friends. Obviously, she’s something more. I don’t know why that should surprise or hurt me, but it did. Usually, when I have a problem, I chew his ear off with subtle and not-so-subtle hints. This time, I decided to say absolutely nothing. In the past one year, I’ve realised that the key to survival in a relationship as difficult as ours is to let some lies slide. A year ago, every untruth, even the small harmless ones, would play on my mind till we sat down to dissect it. It was beginning to take a toll on me and our relationship. The Dude hates confrontation. His lies—not always, but often—are more his way of protecting me from the heartache that knowing about the other women will cause me, than about wanting to pretend he’s a one-woman man. We’ve been at an impasse on this one ever since I can remember. I like information; he doesn’t like sharing it. And so, my only resolution for 2013 was to make our relationship less difficult—since he wouldn’t change, I’d change myself.
But that’s easier said than done. Twenty-six years of conditioning and a carefully cultivated habit of filing away names, numbers, dates and details don’t go away because you made a decision. You can’t tell your brain that wef so-and-so date, we’re going to clear our junk folder at the end of each day. So I decided to do it the old-fashioned way—I started putting all the annoying little nuggets of information into mails. Letters I’d write to myself to put things into perspective. Just knowing there was a tangible something I could go back to at a later date helped the letting-go process. I never intended to go back and extrapolate from the information but the knowledge comforted me. And those emails were never meant to be seen by other eyes.
Which brings me to the second part of my current hate- hate relationship with technology: thanks to its inborn inclination to fail when it’s absolutely imperative that it doesn’t, a sick mind is privy to some of my most private thoughts and intimately weak moments. A fortnight ago, someone hacked into my email, Twitter and Facebook accounts. And last week, the person decided to hurt me in the most lethal way there is: by playing on every single one of the insecurities I had vomited out in those emails. Naturally, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking in the past one week. The what ifs and if onlys are driving me crazy.
But on the brighter side, I’ve finally made the damn trip to the stationery shop and bought myself a diary, like I’d planned originally.