"Yes, that's true, I forgot that for a second there. Sorry."
"That's okay. So anyway...how's life?"
"Oh, you know, just the same old stuff. College. How are you?"
"No, how are you? I'm worried about you. Indeed, that's exactly the purpose of this call: to check up on how you are."
"Oh, really -- don't worry about it. I'm fine."
"Gosh, I just feel terrible. And so guilty."
"Well, you shouldn't you know, because at least you're calling, sweetie."
"Don't call me sweetie!"
"Sorry, sweetie! I mean, sir. It's just that it's -- it's been so long, I... I completely forgot --"
"No, it's too late now. This will have to conclude your checkup."
"Yes, I'm sorry. Checkup's over."
"Oh, well. So anyway, talk to you next week, then? I ho --"
Did I really need this checkup? No, thank you. A checkup would not have made me feel any better. It would have just been another opportunity to humiliate myself. I'm grateful to my ex-boyfriend who didn't check up on me. At least if you feel sadness, disgust, anything on a sliding scale to mutual loathing, at least then you know you're human. All those bad feelings we are too enlightened to feel nowadays -- such as resentment, jealousy, betrayal -- also signify the capacity to lose yourself in the first place, to fall in love with someone other than yourself. They presuppose that there is a soul to protect, that there are hopes to be shattered, a lost love to guard, even if now only mentally and futilely. No hard feelings? I'm advocating a return to precisely that: hard feelings. At least then you know you're a person, that you have a heart. Whereas this checkup business is like a computer backing itself up automatically. A farce.