GOOD

Dealbreaker: He's on the Rebound

“Aren’t you, like, a broken man?” I asked, my hand protectively covering my lips. “Probably,” he conceded.


I don't remember when I first developed a crush on him, just that after enough sightings in our small D.C. neighborhood, he had slowly moved to the center of my frame. He started showing up at my friends' parties and popping up on my email chains. I’d often see him riding his bike around town, helmetless. I knew he had a girlfriend. I was pretty sure he didn’t know my name.

When I received confirmation that he was officially single, I didn’t make any sudden moves. But our hangouts started happening pretty organically, and soon they were stretching late into the night. Once, after a night out drinking and dancing, I invited him up to my apartment for a nightcap. We sat on my bed, not drinking our drinks. He leaned over to kiss me. I stopped him short.


“Aren’t you, like, a broken man?” I asked, my hand protectively covering my lips. “Probably,” he conceded, then quickly rose to leave.

Instead, he straddled the doorway of my bedroom, and we traded sentiments for several minutes about how “we” probably weren’t a good idea. I tried my hardest not to say “rebound”—I used terms like “transition” and “recover.” I was not interested in being a part of those, I told him. He said he understood. But when it felt like there was nothing left to say, neither one of us could move. I pulled his shirt over his head and he held me to his chest. I told myself I couldn’t care about his broken-man status anymore. For that night, at least.

The next morning, we woke up exhausted and hungover, our backs aching from a broken bed frame I hadn’t had the chance to replace. We got bagels and coffee and sat in a nearby park. “I’m just going to let you navigate this,” I said. He told me that was probably a good idea.

I was surprised when I heard from him the following day. After work, we met at a local bar. He launched right into it. “I can’t do this,” he said matter-of-factly. I learned that he was in an “emotional wasteland.” “I’m so attracted to you,” he continued, “but I can’t do this.” I took large sips from my watery whiskey, fixed my gaze on the area between his eyes, and counted down the seconds until I could leave. When we parted ways, we didn’t touch.

But by the next afternoon, I had crawled back to my keyboard to attempt to repair some of the damage. I thanked him for letting me down easy. “We’re in each other’s orbit now,” I continued, “so I have no doubt I'll be seeing you around the neighborhood (or on the dance floor).”

“Your email kinda made my morning,” he responded, minutes after I clicked send. “Here's to orbits. And dance floors.”

The next few weeks passed with few interactions—when we chatted briefly at a friend’s going-away party, I took quick swigs of cheap sherry and tried very hard to appear both laid-back and busy—but my mind kept circling around his words. And as it turned out, the next time we found ourselves on the same dance floor, he found his way back into my bed. Still, I desperately attempted to manage my expectations when it came to him. The fact that I was crazy about this man was insignificant. He was unavailable, emotionally if not technically, and that was that.

“Up for a walk around the neighborhood before it gets too dark?” he texted me one Sunday evening, a few days after our last unintentional sleepover. I met him after a yoga class, sweaty and unglamorous. We walked around for hours, talking about everything except us. When we sat down on the stoop of some stranger’s house, his hand found mine. Soon, we were wildly making out in an alley, my purple yoga mat propped against the dirty wall, his hands gripping my back.

For the next month and a half, we spent lazy Sunday days in our underwear sharing pints of ice cream, followed by drunken Mad Men sessions. He made me dinner. We took late-night walks with red wine in Solo cups and watched old movies on his laptop. He frequently spent the night at my place, despite the fact that my bed frame was now broken so badly that to sleep on the side closest to wall meant that you had to cling to the mattress with your entire body so as not to roll off completely. We called it “the mountain.”

“I’m coming up,” I’d announce, wrapping my arms around him and pulling my body towards his. We’d sleep, arms tightly enclosed around one another, at the very peak. To let go meant you’d likely end up on the floor.

And then he moved away. He gave me little notice, but he had never hidden the signs: From the beginning, I knew that he resented sharing a city with his ex, that he hated his job, that better career opportunities lay elsewhere. But I not-so-secretly hoped that my obvious adoration had exacted some sort of pull over him. Couldn’t I just love him into staying with me?

After he left, we emailed with less and less frequency. He never told me he missed me. We had been apart for four months when I flew out to see him under the auspices of visiting other friends. We met again in a weird bar my friends had recommended. This time, we didn’t talk about whether it was a good idea. Back at his place, his body felt the same, our rapport was the same, but it was clear he didn’t need me anymore. I’d served my purpose.

The thing about being a rebound is that you never feel like a rebound. When you’re in it, it feels easy, intimate, real—an illusion created by the both of you to help you pretend like using each other is ok.

Except it wasn’t ok. I knew he was a mess, and I couldn’t help myself. He knew I was falling for him, and he chose to ignore it. This collective denial allowed us to be sort of happy for a little while, but mostly, we were just absent. I disappeared in how much he needed me and how much I wanted to be what he needed. I tried not to think about how comfortable I felt clinging to him for dear life.

When I moved into my own place this past summer, I disassembled the old bed frame and threw away the parts. I spent those first few nights in my new apartment laying low on a mattress on the floor. And it wasn’t bad. It actually felt really good.

Articles
via Collection of the New-York Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. At the age of 10 he was given to the Auld family.

As a child, he worked as a house slave and was able to learn to read and write, and he attempted to teach his fellow slaves the same skills.

At the age of 15, he was given to Thomas Auld, a cruel man who beat and starved his slaves and thwarted any opportunity for them to practice their faith or to learn to read or write.

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Culture
via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

RELATED: 'High Castle' producers destroyed every swastika used on the show and the video is oh-so satisfying

In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

Communities
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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Politics
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

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In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

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Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The Planet