He called it a break. My friends called it being single. They also called it “He’s an asshole.” I called it the thing that lives with me, has sex with me, but never kisses or says it loves me back. The thing that ensured that I kept a bottle of wine on the rack for no more than a day. The thing made me lie, telling a dozen young men that I had plans each day they wanted to go to lunch for a year. The thing that made me stop eating, not because I wanted to but because nothing tasted good anymore. The thing that smelled like whiskey sometimes or had white powder in its nose. The thing that saw me as an object to be controlled, an animal on a leash. The thing that made me see myself that way. The thing I waited a year for and never kicked out.