Why, it’s a scrap of paper, of course.
It’s a scrap of paper that explains everything.
I’ll explain in a minute.
First I have to tell you about Fauxhawk and his friend who lives abroad. Fauxhawk and his friend have known each other for ages and are in touch multiple times a week, either by phone or by email. This week, it seems that Fauxhawk’s is in a situation with a girl. A girl he likes. What follows is a transcript of Fauxhawk’s side of the conversation.
“So you kissed,” Fauxhawk said into the phone.
“And then what happened?”
“So what are you thinking?”
“Right. This sounds like Stage D to me.”
“Wait – you think it’s Stage E?”
“Wow. Good for you, man.”
When it was all over, two hours later, I questioned Fauxhawk on his terminology.
“Stage D and Stage E are part of a system we devised to describe relationships,” he explained. Apparently, Fauxhawk and his friend had spent hours – and I’m talking HOURS – hashing out every detail of every date, labeling each emotion at every step of the way over a period of years to explain what goes on between people when they get that tingly feeling in their loins.
Stage A, he explained, is happy singledom. This is life without a committed relationship during which you date or don’t date, and feel fine either way. This is usually followed by Stage B, when single life begins to grow stale, and when you begin to worry about dying alone surrounded by feral cats. Just when things start looking really bleak, Stage C comes along – a prospect! A busty fashionista! A fetching boy with a bagel! At this stage, your tail is wagging, your coat is glossy, and you are panting with excitement. After a few ambiguous interactions, your hardcore crush is established in Stage D. Let the stalking begin! Fortunately, this stage is brief as it is entirely unsustainable - you will stop eating, sleeping and doing work. You will spend all of your free time diagramming every encounter with the crush over the phone with your friends, you will develop a rash on your face, your right eye will twitch incessantly. The uncertainty is about to kill you when, all of a sudden, you find yourself in Stage E. You are in a relationship and happy about it. Just when you’ve fattened up, the grinding wheels of fortune catch you in their rusty spokes. She’s sick of you. You’re sick of her. Fuck it, it’s over, and now you're in Stage F. You want out. But now that you're out, you're not happy either. In fact, you're totally and utterly miserable. Stage G is that special time when you stop washing your hair, cry in the mirror, and eat condiments out of a jar while standing around in your unwashed pajamas. It can't go on much longer - there is only so much hair loss you can tolerate - so with the help of prescription medicines, you pull yourself through to Stage A.
And it begins again.
“But what’s the smiley face?” I ask. “What stage is that?”
“That’s what happens after Stage E. It’s when you’re in a happy relationship that lasts forever. It’s when you’re officially off the diagram.”
“Holy shit,” I said, stunned by the intricacy of it all. “You guys are a bunch of school girls!”
So now I know.
My boyfriend is a woman.
This explains everything.
Diagram by Fauxhawk. Used without permission, of course.