A Night of Love and Loss: P Meets a Friend
This is a follow-up to our “Exclusive Interview with Pretzel” from May of 2023. Pretzel is back and trying to process some new experiences.
SAB: So, P, we meet again! Do tell, what brings you here today? If I recall correctly, we didn’t have the best rapport, so honestly I’m a bit shocked we are once again sitting here chatting.
P: I hope you know I sincerely wish I didn’t have to be here but I had no one else to call..and it’s just–I don’t even know.. I just feel like I’m going crazy you know? Like crazy crazy. I just have no idea what even happened. Everything was going so well. I mean P2 said they wanted to meet my family for crying out loud! And they know I don’t even know where they are so I feel like they were showing that they were in it for the long haul! I mean right? Where did that sentiment go? All of the promises made, ughhhh!
SAB: Hold up. P2? As in a second one of you? Like two Ps, and from what you’ve given me thus far, may I go as far as to say two Ps falling in love?
P: Oh my god why would you even say that right now? Yeah, one P falling in love and the other P throwing it all away.
SAB: Slow down. Let’s just hear it all. And before we really get into things, I can put all of this on the record right? You are probably going to be the subject of an article I’m hoping to write, not that your sorrows exist for pure entertainment or writing practice or anything like that..but I need to ask for consent before–
P: Yeah yeah yeah just let me vent dude put whatever you want on your little record and call it good. Anyway, it was all going so great. I have no idea what happened.
P: I’m in the museum and I spot them. P2 sauntering with this gorgeous wrapped white shirt. Immediately I knew something incredible was in store. But of course, I couldn’t just go up there right? So like any hopeless romantic pretzel, I sat into my fate, and accepted my future of yearning.
SAB: No no no! A hopeless romantic would write a letter! Get a boombox!
P: But a hopeless romantic pretzel wouldn’t. Stay in your lane. This doesn’t matter much though, because destiny stepped in for me..*sigh
P stepped into the elevator, thinking nothing of anything at all. Well, nothing except for P2. The thoughts had become so loud, P stepped into the elevator as if in a trance, not seeing a thing in front of them. All of the longing and longing matched P’s melody that they sang to themself. P’s singing got louder and louder until it was rudely interrupted by another voice…
P: *glances awkwardly at P2. Thinks to themself, “Have they been here the whole time?”. To stay safe, P glues their gaze onto the elevator buttons, eyeing the lit-up 2.
P2: I said I love Radiohead..that’s great taste you know..
P: You really like “Exit Music”?
P2: For sure! *stammers…You can laugh…..A spineless laugh…..We hope your rules and wisdom choke you..right? Good stuff
P gained their courage back and sang the next bit– “Now we are one in everlasting peace”? P2 nodded. They screamed the last bit in unison. Following the silence was an exchange of the look. And so it had begun.
The Beginning (of nothing).
SAB: Damn! Talk about tension! So you’re telling me P2 caught you singing Exit Music acapella style in an elevator and still stuck around? Talk about an open mind.
P: *scarily chuckles..funny. “Stuck around”. *a single tear runs down
SAB: Oh no! No P, I’m so sorry..I didn’t mean to, well..-do whatever I just did.
P: It’s all good I don’t care anymore about the past. It is all just gray to me now. So anyways, we left the elevator together. We ran around the museum in a way that felt like the greatest adventure I had ever embarked on. I felt like a child again..
P and P2 skipped around the place..they gazed up at the high ceiling of the apse and they spent hours mulling over each piece that surrounded them. A warmth washed over the both of them as they laughed and critiqued..No pretzel could have joined them in their adventure. They wouldn’t have noticed anything or anyone outside of the bubble of existence they had created together, held together by inside jokes and secrets.
P: We walked arm and arm outside and watched the concert happening just in front of the museum. While they were singing music a bit more upbeat than I usually go for, it was a fantastic show. I hate to say it given that I am in a horrible breakup mood, but it was a blast…Our shoulders touched. It was exhilarating.
P’s Cozying Up to the Music.
P: And get this! During the–
SAB: Wait for a sec P, sorry but I thought things went you know..
P: What? I have no idea what you are trying to say right now
SAB: Umm, like, things went sour you know?
P: Sour. Yeah. I’m sorry I just got so ahead of myself and everything but yeah, you’re right. Things went wrong.
SAB: Ok so–
P: Stop the record.
[Following P’s statement, they had to take an exit. After a free latte from the UMMA cafe and a tearful kumbaya with the SAB, they began again on the record]
P: So to sum the good stuff up…it was the best 24 hours of my life. Want a peek?
The Ps spent an undisclosed amount of time venturing into their shared world. All compliments, jokes, and desires existed in a sort of liminal space, caught between the marks of reality and a wonderful dream.
P: I really felt like things went great. I even dropped a coin into the tip box to show my appreciation for art and commitment to supporting institutions that make thoughtful art available (for free)! But no, that [retracted term] pretzel couldn’t have cared less about my good character.
SAB: So, I’m going to have to retract that term. I just can’t believe they dipped like that. I mean everything was set up you know? I thought a more serious relationship was in store judging on what you have described.
P: well.. They did say they weren’t looking into anything serious.
SAB: Hold up. They explicitly said that ??
P: Yeah—but..I mean it was sooo obvious.
SAB: What exactly was obvious?
P: ugh! That P2 wanted something serious!
SAB: Oh god.
SAB: Girl you need to chill out and re-think this all. This is a whole different story now that I know this!
P: P2 was all cutesy and then one day, it just burst.
We were happy, or at least I thought we were. You know, chatting it up, looking at the art.. I was talking about how much I loved Picasso, and the P2 mentioned something about A Woman?! I should have known then something was off. Anyways, we are looking at this one painting right? Named Sunset…I’m like
P: this is a great little sunset! I just love those colors and the drama you know.
P2: I do like the colors
P: They just serve you know? Ugh that palette is practically perfection what do you think?
P2: we should just be friends.
I literally could not comprehend what P had just said. I don’t even think I could relay back to you the conversation because all I could do was cry.
The Fateful Moment.
SAB: Maybe..just try..do you remember anything at all?
P: I just said I don’t know.
P: All of this stuff about how all we do is fight (and not in a good way). And something else about how it was obvious? Like what? Obvious to who?? I was flabbergasted. P2 left. I went straight to the Monet and symbolically died.
Silence After the Loss.
SAB: Ahh, the typical, “The Break-Up of the Ice”. Not the time I know but, that is surely a wonderful choice.
P: Well, I am pretty picture-perfect if I do say so myself. I just can’t see this story any other way. P2 lifted me up, melted me, and left me here to die. This will be a very cold winter.
SAB: Yeah that sucks. I will say, P2 wasn’t looking for anything serious though. At least anything serious with you that is..Well, you know what might cheer you up?
P: Nothing SAB. Nothing at all.
Come take a look at UMMA’s new exhibition, A Gathering which showcases the newest acquisitions in UMMA’s collections. A Gathering encourages one to “gather to feel full, to be moved and inspired by all the possible imaginations of what is yet to come.”
– Annabelle Rollins, SAB leader
P: And that I will.
In the depths of our love, we shared a world of dreams, but now I stand on the broken ice of heartbreak, gazing at a distant horizon of possibilities. Though the pain lingers, I’ll carry the lessons of our love into the future, knowing that my heart will mend and beat again. With each sunrise, I hope to find the strength to embrace the unwritten chapters of life’s unpredictable story (and I hope I find a new P too)
SAB: Oh so beautiful. Closing off, thank you as always P.
*This specific narrative is inspired by the film 500 Days of Summer