I went on dates until I could not go on dates anymore. I knew this had escalated to the point that all my addictions somehow did — it wasn’t just compulsive; it was boring. This was the thing I resented most about myself — I never realized I’d swum out too far until I was already drowning.
It’s all so sentimental — objectionably so — the storing of mementos like this. Norman Mailer writes that “sentimentality is the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment,” and I have wondered whether I keep these souvenirs to make what I shared with those men feel more real, to add some gravitas to what may not have actually meant that much in the moment that it happened.