I told my friend I was swearing off men. We made a pact. Three months we said, no dating, no flirting, no men of any kind, just life empty of all the needless complication. No waiting by the phone. No wondering. No needing someone else to validate you. Enough is enough. We pinky swore and chased the promise with vodka cocktails. It’s time to grow up, we crowed. It’s time to learn to be so perfectly alone. I was already halfway there, purging my heart of weakness and keeping them at arm’s length. No more. We were high on the freedom of blinders, the ability to look straight ahead. I danced and I drank and when I sat down to rest a friend introduced me to him. It only took a five-minute conversation before I thought, “Well, shit fuck damn.