December 6, 2023

If the eyes are the window to the soul, what’s Google search historical past a window to? Our bunions and boils? One glimpse at my boyfriend’s current searches prompted our already precarious relationship to topple. This can be a cautionary story of the guts in addition to the browser.

I went over to my boyfriend’s home on a late Saturday morning. The plan was to work on a puzzle we had tinkered with for months with little progress. The puzzle was not the everyday Monet portray or postcard panorama however a colour gradient, transitioning from crimson to orange. My boyfriend, a 3-D designer who wore shirts in goofy prints, belonged to this puzzle’s goal demographic.

Predictably, the colour gradient puzzle was difficult. Even assembling the outer edges proved to be a process past our talent degree. With one in all his NPR podcasts on, we might maintain items underneath the sunshine of a desk lamp, questioning our capacity to discern between shades. I discovered myself questioning in regards to the nature of colour itself. What was crimson? What was orange? The place did one cease and the opposite start?

The puzzle was a becoming metaphor for our relationship in that I by no means knew what we had been or the best way to transfer ahead. With a way of doom, I’d stare on the items of our fraught connection, turning them 90 levels, keen them to slot in methods they didn’t.

I solely found that he thought of me his girlfriend secondhand. He had an always-answer coverage for his grandmother’s cellphone calls, which had endeared me to him early on.

“How’s your girlfriend doing?” I heard her ask by way of the receiver.

I put my hand to my chest and gasped. If I had requested him about our relationship standing straight, he in all probability would have modified the topic, then averted me for days. He was glad to make use of the concept of dedication to make himself appear extra put collectively for his household, however he didn’t care to let me in on it.

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