In the highly-anticipated second installment of the critically-acclaimed “Love Across Broadway,” trouble is on the Hudson horizon for Millie and Roaree. Will they survive? Who’s to say!
PART II: IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S MY TOXIC MASCULINITY
I’ve already bought the ring.
Or, like, my class ring. But wouldn’t that be romantic? Like sharing a letterman jacket, or eating the food off of her plate. I had it all planned out—I’d get down on four legs in the line for a Diana smoothie, and then we’d have the ceremony on Low Steps, and the moment we kissed, the fountains would start spraying.
She’s so smart, too. It’s bad for my ego, but she might be smarter than even me. Even when she’s wearing a dress, she always has her participation pants on. The way she treats every lecture like a discussion section; I love… how bold and beautiful she is. I want her to piggyback off of my point.
I don’t know what to do. I spend my days in JJ’s, smoking cigarettes and drinking melted vanilla ice cream just to forget the pain of yearning for her furry touch. I’ve never known a bear with better fitting overalls. I’ve never known a bear who instinctively knows how to please a lion.
All I know is that I want the rare kind of love that I’ve only seen in Lee C. Bollinger and Jean, the kind of ravenous desire that makes a man copy and paste his wife’s name into his email sign-off. I wanted her to be Mrs. Roaree the Lion, of Barnard College of Columbia University.
I like her too much. I need to focus on my classes, and my bros. I’m not about to become a wilted simp salad, all shaken up in the hands of any Sweetgreen-loving lady.
In Women’s Studies, she sits down right next to me. I stiffen. I don’t say anything. She looks so pretty; she has scrunchies up to her elbows, and is that the new overall dress that she talked about? It’s time for me to stop.
“Hey, Roar, are we on for tonight?” I hate that she calls me that. Of course, I respect women (I am the founder of the for-profit Fraternities For Feminism), but I hate that Millie can hand out nicknames like pens at a club fair.
“Uh. I actually have a thing tonight. Gotta tend to my homies, y’know. Sorry.” Out of the corner of my eye, I see her fiddle anxiously with her Muji pens. I cringe when I realize that I’ll probably have to ask to borrow one of those, because I only came to the lecture with a spare jersey and a protein shake.
I hate doing this to her, but I also hate how I can’t be my own person with her. Am I not my own person, or am I just so used to being self-centered that the idea of an equal relationship of mutual respect and affection feels like a loss to me? Nah. I love Millie, but I can’t let the homies think that this lion can be tamed.
How much of a bold, bumbling buffoon do I have to be to fall for Roaree?
You’d be better off with any old bodega cat. You deserve more than someone who smells like a log of salami that was left in the locker room of an Equinox gym. You deserve more than someone whose favorite mixed drink is the vat of hot cheese at JJ’s.
But the way he looks at me. We’re both at the top of the food chain, but sometimes, I catch him staring at me like he wants to devour me whole. I’m his antelope. I’ve always wanted that. When it’s good, it’s so good. I’ve even started skipping my Thursday Coming-of-Age Movie Nights to spend more time with him. Bad, I know.
It’s been two months of just “seeing each other.” Two months of me wearing his Columbia hoodie to Hewitt the next morning. Two months of me eating all of the vegan parts that he picks out of his food. Things have been weird, and it feels like this is just an extended NSOP-esque delusion. We aren’t friends, we’re affiliates. When this ends, he’ll just be another dormant name in my contacts, another person to avoid eye contact with in the dining halls.
Besides, he’s been so volatile lately. One day, he’ll hand me poems that he wrote for me, stained with his spilled Redbull and lovesick tears. But the next day, he’ll hardly speak to me at a party and when I offer him a White Claw, he’ll lie and insist that he does, in fact, prefer beer. For a warm-blooded mammal, he’s been so hot and cold.
Roaree doesn’t deserve to be my partner. In the end, he’s nothing more than a big cat with a small dick.
It’s been radio silence from him all weekend. I go up to the seventh floor of Hamilton, where I know I can be alone, and sit down in the empty classroom. Wanting to remind myself that he’s an untalented, pompous nightmare straight out of the Cats (2019), I pull one of his crumpled poems out of my canvas tote bag.
Sonnet 1754, for my beloved bear
O! Millie, when you first danced next to me,
I knew our love would cross even Broadway.
Your cottagecore aesthetic, oh, so twee,
Your eyes when Harry Styles would start to play.
I always think about when you were there
to hold my trembling hand at Tree Lighting,
because you understood with such great care
my terror when the Kingsmen start to sing.
You were the only one who stood by me
when I got in a fist fight with PrezBo
and they dismissed me from the rowing team.
But you so healed my broken heart and nose!
Though Harry, Kings, and Bo are better men,
I hope I’ll always be your special friend.
And suddenly, his tears aren’t the only ones staining this poem.
All is bad via Bwog Archives