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I’m not sure why I did it. I could have stopped myself. Should have stopped myself. You didn’t stop me, but I know it’s unfair to put that on you. And though you won’t call yourself a victim, I will.

I’ve relived the experience many times already. Thank god I lack an eidetic memory. I wonder what I looked like, from your point of view. My voice getting more agitated as my arms flailed around. It didn’t feel excessive at the time. I thought I was in control.

I swear to god it was just excitement. It’s not an excuse, but it is an explanation. And that is what I’m trying to do here—explain myself to you. And apologize.

I’m sorry.

Can you forgive me? Or is this where our relationship stops?


I blame that fucking cat. I wish I’d never heard about that cat. Trapped in that steel crate.

I hope it’s dead.


I should have known better. I’m so awful with spoken words. My strategy is simple – if I cannot find the right words I pelt my conversational target with all the words and let them sift through the clutter for meaning.

You would have figured this out eventually. But I wish it had come later, during those post-fusion months and years in a relationship when would-be deal breakers are rebranded as mere peccadilloes.

We had the start of something normal, or something that looked capable of approaching normal in some yet to be defined limit. And though you say it doesn’t matter, you will never be able to look at me the same way again. I’ve let slip my weirding ways too soon.


And yet, there is a voice screaming inside me that doesn’t want to accept responsibility—not all of it. A voice that reminds me that you acted first. If questions count as action. You baited me. You practically begged me. Maybe the voice is at least partially right.

I’d warned you before, hadn’t I? That there were some things that I just could never explain. Not because I didn’t want to, but because there were simply no words. I know it’s cliché but I can’t help it if a million other folks said it before me in a million situations less appropriate than this one. There were no words.

You fucking asked me. Over brunch. Who fucking asks a question like that over brunch?!

There is no intimacy in brunch. Brunch is a public affair, not like breakfast, which can be had in bed. You asked me to explain over bagels and cantaloupe. And roast beef. After two Bloody Marys.

Can you explain Schrödinger’s Cat to me?

That infamous paradox that gets at the heart of all that is so strange and unnatural about quantum mechanics.

You asked me to explain quantum mechanics to you, over brunch, and you think I’m the weirdo?

You think I’m weird for babbling on for a half hour about Schrödinger’s equation and probability waves and electrons that appear to be nowhere and everywhere at once, for circling back and second guessing myself – for reaching across the table to take your napkin and the waiter’s pen and drawing a picture that maybe you could actually understand since your mathematical abilities peaked in the 7th grade?

You think I don’t know I was knocked down a peg that day in your mind? That in the race between me and your last boyfriend, the one who is currently studying philosophy at Yale, he just pulled ahead, in your view, once and for all? Well, I know many people who are way smarter than me, but that douchebag is not one of them.

“You couldn’t even give me a basic explanation,” you said. “You didn’t need me to give you all those details. Those equations. All I was asking for was a few words.” That’s what you said to me.

Well, fuck you. There are no words to answer that question. There are equations and then there is ignorance.


It occurs to me that—due to my outburst at brunch—our relationship now dangles, like the cat, in a superposition of two possible worlds: it is dead or it is alive. Or as Schrödinger taught us, it is dead and alive.

If I ask you, now—“what is the future of our relationship?”—you will be forced to choose. The wavefunction of our relationships collapsed.

So perhaps I’m better off not sending this email at all. Better off not forcing the question. For as long as I decide not to look, our relationship has a chance.

Jesse Stone

Jesse B. Stone loves science and writing. Apologies if you were looking for the "Jesse Stone" played by Tom Selleck in the CBS movies.

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