I obviously dip into non-film topics in this space from time to time, but I draw the line at relationship stuff. I’ll allude every so often to something going really well but leave it at that. Boundaries are respected, no telling tales, stays in the box. But I’m also figuring there’s nothing terribly gauche about acknowledging that it’s exhausting to go through a two-hour texting meltdown when things have taken a turn for the worse.

I wonder if anyone hashes this stuff out eyeball-to-eyeball any more. Thank God that iMessage allows you to text from a computer keyboard — I don’t think I could thumb my way through one of these ordeals. Texting your innermost disappointments and lamentations while keeping up your end of the “debate” (which can never be won or lost, of course) is quite debilitating. When you wake up the next morning you feel empty and a bit numb. Is “gutted” too strong a word?

I know at the end of the day that this thing (5 and 1/2 months, early May to mid-October — 6 and 1/2 if you count the gradual-warmup period) was one of the most transporting romantic trip-outs of my life, and that I performed the magnanimous and self-effacing boyfriend routine with more generosity than I ever have before. Partly due to self-satisfaction and financial comfort, partly due to sobriety, partly to late-blooming maturity. I gave it up, gave it up and gave it up some more. And it still didn’t work out.

One of life’s darker ironies is that the relationships that I know could last forever are always the ones that I can walk away from without too much concern because I’m less smitten than she is. The ones that eclipse sooner or later are ones in which the tables are reversed and I know I’m lucky as hell — one of those “God smiled and the heavens parted” deals in which she’s holding the strong cards and knows it. Romantic agony was inevitable.

It’s my fault, of course, for being drawn to women with broken wings or buried this-or-that or narcissistic tendencies or whatever. I drop into the same rabbit hole time and again, and c’est la vie. But for all the woundings and drainings that occur sooner or later, curiously motivated or extra-planetary zone-out girlfriends (i.e., Charlotte Rampling in Stardust Memories) are worth it. I’ll let it go at that.